Breath of Fire III was developed and published by Capcom for the original PlayStation console. First released in Japan in 1997, Breath of Fire III puts the player in the role of Ryu who is discovered in a mine and has the mysterious power to turn into dragons. The story follows Ryu and his companions as they search for the truth in Ryu's past and where his blood will lead him. Set in a fantasy world with steampunk vibes, this is first
Breath of Fire game to be presented in 3D.
Breath of Fire III is set in a fantasy world with hints of modern and steampunk technology. Often this world is compared to "Medieval Europe
" in its style. The populous of this world are both human and human-animal like creatures drawn with an anime style. In recent years, technological advancement comes, thanks to a compound known as "Chrysm
", a rare stone like substance that is in-fact fossilized dragon bone. Hints of a lost civilization are strewn across the world in the form of robots and heavy machinery, much of the plot is based on discovering its origin and it's link to the disappearance of the strong dragon race, 'the Brood
', centuries ago.
The story begins in a 'Chrysm
' mine when a large piece of 'Chrysm
' is blown apart. From the debris a baby dragon emerges and begins attacking the miners, throwing the mine into pandemonium. Eventually the baby dragon, or whelp, is knocked out and taken aboard a train for study. During the whelp's train trip it jostles the cage it's in, and falls down a steep bank breaking the cage open; the Whelp rolls toward the shade of a tree. Very weak, it transforms into Ryu and passes out. Later Ryu is found by Rei and Teepo and this is where Ryu's adventure begins.....
The Brood were a great race of dragons who could take human form, mostly peaceful but extremely powerful. Seen as a threat by the Goddesses, they were hunted by the Guardians, of which Garr is one. Assumed to be extinct until Ryu was discovered. Their fossilized remains are sometimes known as 'Chrysm
' which is highly sort after for it's power and magic effects.
The game is presented in an overhead Isometric view which is not locked to any specific view point (unless a cutscene is in progress), the player may rotate and tilt the camera at will to discover secrets or solve puzzles. Every character has a 'field ability' which they can use in the world environment this is used in conjunction with the camera to solve puzzles or destroy objects in the path of the player. Although the PlayStation allowed the world to be presented in 3D all the characters are anime style 2D sprites.
Some new features added to Breath of Fire III include:
- Master System
New to the BoF series the Master System allowed the characters in the game to study under NPCs called Masters this enabled characters to learn new skills and grow in different ways for battle.
- Faerie Village
Gained later in the game the player is given the task of rebuilding a village of Faeries, doing so can unlock special benefits such as: rare weapons for sale, mini games and a sound test mode.
On the world map the player can rest by setting up camp. In this temporary camp he can talk to the members of his party, save and rest.
Technically speaking this is not a NEW feature, however it is greatly expanded on the previous titles: a more detailed interface and a points system for cataloging which fish have been caught, as well as their respective size.
- Enemy Skills
The battle system in Breath of Fire III is very similar to other turn based battle systems in the style of JRPGs. Each
character takes turns attacking or taking actions (healing, using items etc) according to their agility score. Party size is reduced to three from previous titles in the series, but is slightly changed by a formation system which allows for tactical positioning. Battles are not on a separate screen but appear in the field the player is exploring, be it a forest or a hallway.
Characters gain experience for defeating foes in battle. Maximum level is 100.
New to the series "Enemy skills
" can be learned by examining an enemy in battle just before the enemy performs the move or skill. Characters only learn the skill if they survive the turn, and are able to use it immediately.
Another unique ability in Breath of Fire III is the Dragon Gene system, as Ryu travels through the world he can discover Dragon Genes and splice them together, upto three at a time, with hundreds of possible dragon combinations. Each new dragon discovered is saved for ease of use in a separate menu. Although there are not hundreds of dragon sprites each one is slightly different in it's abilities and weaknesses. Ryu can only maintain his dragon form as long as he has enough MP left, with each turn a dragon form depleates a certain amount of MP, if this reaches zero or his HP reach zero he returns to his 'human' form.
A soundtrack CD was released on September 19, 1997, in a limited Japan only release.
The voice acting in Breath of Fire III is restricted to battle only- when a character performs an action in battle (which includes dying). When the game was released in English speaking countries, the Japanese voice acting was retained.