Final Fantasy III is sort of a forgotten game in the popular series, due partially to coming out on the Famicom not long before the release of the Super Famicom. As such, the North American market didn’t get it for a long time, with the translation of FF4 originally being billed here as FF2. It was finally released on the DS in a souped-up version. Graphical upgrades are only to be expected in such remakes, but with this one we were also given back stories for the characters. In the original, they were simply generic orphans, hence sort of a step backwards from FF2. In the DS version, they have their own names and roles. Luneth, the main hero, is from the town of Ur, as is his best friend Arc. Refia, the only female hero, is the apprentice to the blacksmith in Kazus, but does not want to continue in this career path. Finally, Ingus is the guardian of the Princess of Sasune, and the two have mutual feelings for each other. You meet these four characters very quickly, and after fighting a jinn who has turned many of the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Sasune into ghosts, you receive the power to change characters’ jobs. The familiar FF classes are all there, and I understand there are more to come. The original FF3 had everyone start as Onion Kids, but in the remake they begin as Freelancers, and Onion Knight is a special class.
While it looks like the four heroes will be the controllable characters throughout the adventure, there are others who will join your party. They will take part in battle when they choose to, with no input from the player. These extra characters include some familiar names from the series at large, including Princess Sara (spelled without an H), here the daughter of King Sasune. In the original FF, Sara was the Princess of Cornelia. Then there’s Cid, who appears in every FF except the first (I believe).
Actually, he’s a different character every time, but he’s pretty much always an elderly engineer and inventor who has something to do with airships. This time, he’s a resident of Canaan who is married, and he gives you access to an airship quite early on. Unfortunately, it’s destroyed when crashing through a rock that’s blocking a passage. As far as familiar FF denizens go, this is the first game in which Moogles appear, and Chocobos are back from FF2. There’s also an appearance from Bahamut, however his name might be pronounced.
I’ve always pronounced the dragon’s name “ba-HA-mutt” (like Cloud and Tifa in the video), which is presumably correct because it’s essentially an Arabic variation on “behemoth.” This was a coincidence, however, as my thirteen-year-old self had no idea how to pronounce “behemoth.” As I indicated in this post, it’s possible that Bahamut was a fish before he was a dragon. Regardless, Bahamut shows up on Mount Dragon in FF3, but he’s too powerful to fight. I understand he appears later as well, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.
So far, I’ve reached the Dwarven Hollows, but haven’t managed to defeat the boss who stole the ice horn. My party has been wiped out several times, which in a role-playing game like this one just means a return to my last save, but it’s still frustrating. I don’t know how the difficulty level of the North American DS version stacks up to the original, but I do have to say that it hasn’t been easy. You gather experience and money rather quickly, but that doesn’t mean I’m always ready for the boss fights. In addition, staying at an inn doesn’t cure all status ailments, as it does in some later FF games.