On April 27, 1990 Final Fantasy III went on sale in Japan. A different ‘Final Fantasy III’ would be released in the United states some time later for the Super Nintendo, making for a confusing turn of events for US gamers when this game was released there over 15 years later. A 3D remake for the Nintendo DS released in late 2006 in the US and early 2007 in PAL territories marked the first time players outside of Japan could officially get their hands on Final Fantasy III.
After a tremendous earthquake by the small Town of Ur ripped open a mountain, 4 characters who lived there went there in search of adventure. They found it in the form of a Wind Crystal which had been buried away. This crystal and those like it that they would find later discover gave them new ‘Jobs’, each of which holding unique powers for them to develop and explore. They would utilize these powers to balance the forces of Good and Evil, of Light and Dark, because should this uneasy truce between the two be disrupted the world would be in great peril. The Job system was fairly elaborate. They included the Scholar, Conjurer, Archer, Viking, Magic Knight, Sage, Bard, Summoner, Geomancer... all of which were entirely new to Final Fantasy.
In the past when the Light was threatening to overtake the world 4 Dark Warriors emerged and cut a swath of destruction. In the present these characters now work for the Light, hopefully to once again restore balance to a world now threatened by the Darkness. The Cloud of Darkness was the nihilistic mastermind behind the world’s descent, and the game’s ultimate foe.
Summons could be bought in stores, but more satisfyingly defeated in battle and bent to the party’s service. Conjurers and Summoners lived up to their name allowing for Godlike beings to step into a battle and deal massive damage for the party while they were whisked away totally protected from the effects.
These early Summons originally didn’t have much of a back story, but were a critical new innovation to the franchise as a whole. Odin, Ramuh, Shiva, Ifrit, Titan, Bahamut, and the Leviathan were now available for use, all of which are names of gods or forces of pure power. Shiva is worshiped even today in the oldest sect of Hinduism as the supreme divine force.
- This was the first Final Fantasy game with Moogles. These delightful pint-sized winged cat-bear creatures are a staple of the Final Fantasy franchise and would help party members in this game, and many of those to follow.
- This was also the first Final Fantasy to use summons. Summons introduced in this game include Shiva, Ifrit, Titan, and Bahamut.
- No less than 3 Flying ships were in this game. The Nautilus, Enterprise, and the Invincible. The Invincible was a huge ship, practically sized like a small dungeon. The Nautilus also doubled as a submarine, a first for the series.