By: Matt Alexander
We ain’t talking ’bout practice, this the real thing. Yes, the REAL Final Fantasy III — not the one with double the number and double the bits — brings some swag in the form of 8-bit battling (or enhanced graphics, depending on which version you’re playing). First it was on NES, but only in Japan. Since then it has made its way to America by way of GameCube, yo momma, DS, iOS, and emulators
A word on emulators: Sure, save states are fun, but then you’ll be stealing by using an emulator (as well as missing out on the joy of no save points throughout the final double dungeon). Now that the game is on so many mediums, there’s no excuse to get the five-finger discount that may come with viruses (hey, just like your mom!).
Before I was so rudely interrupted by myself, we were about to get to the story. The 4 Crystals make their reappearance after a glorious debut in the first game. #EarthWindAndFire are joined by Water to hold on to the last vestiges of Light that hold back the (Cloud of) Darkness. Our “Onion Knights” (their actual starting job class in the original) are so cute they’ll make you cry tears of HP/MP spring water.
They actually have names in the new versions, as well as different back stories. Still, the basics are the same: 4 bros/broettes pop up out of nowhere/orphanhood, the Crystals need their help to save the day, they save the day. Get the strength of all the crystals, destroy the barriers using the elemental fangs, then take a bite out of metaphysical crime by CRUSHING IT and flexing your elemental-assisted muscle. Some assembly required
There is just one trick that will keep you questing (video game companies hate it!)! It’s called grinding. But unlike your mom at a single’s bar, this grinding is helpful and even enjoyable. You get better by surviving battles; there’s no time break or montage, you just toughen up through hardship. Your little guys will be throwing shirukens and casting Holy in no time (they grow up so fast!).
The changeable job system, summons, chocobos, multiple worlds, and recurring optional bosses are just some of the series’ staples that began here. A sufficiently medieval soundtrack by none other than Nobuo Uemastu (put some respek on his name!) will definitely be stuck in your head, and that’s a good thing. Some of the elements feel dated, and the game is shorter and has a thinner plot than we’ve come to expect from the greatest RPG franchise ever (Yeah, it is the greatest. I’ll fight anyone who disagrees. *throws down 2-handed Gauntlet relic*). But it is fun in its own right, and it connects so well to the series that you just have to give it playthrough or 10.