Surprise-aga: Steam Randomly Encounters Final Fantasy III

guys do you think maybe we're in a final fantasy game

OK, first things first: this probably isn’t the Final Fantasy III you’re thinking of. Final Fantasy III on SNES was actually Final Fantasy VI. So if you get your hopes (and multi-colored hair) up for Terra, Locke, Kefka, and co, you’ll probably end up disappointed. However, this version of Final Fantasy III is actually pretty great – just significantly lighter on heartbreaking plot, iconic opera scenes, and the greatest giant purple octopus in all of gaming. But this old-school FF III – which is an up-rezzed port of the excellent Nintendo DS remake – isn’t as creaky or uneventful as one might expect. It’s a bit odd that it’s suddenly coming to PC eight years later, but I’m certainly not one to look a gift chocobo in the steel-crushing beak.

Final Fantasy III is about crystals and a world and peril and other Final Fantasy things. It doesn’t have the most inventive plot, but I remember having fun with the battle system, character progression, and exploration when I played the DS version several thousand years ago. The PC version will be slightly improved over that. Here’s what we’re getting:

FINAL FANTASY III has been optimised for PC gaming with new and improved 3D visuals and story sequences, and will include Steam Trading Cards and Achievements and new visual designs for the Job Mastery Cards.

  • New and improved 3D visuals and story sequences
  • Quicker browsing through the monster bestiary and other game record
  • New visual designs for the Job Mastery Cards
  • Upgraded graphics for PC
  • Includes Steam Trading Cards & Achievements

So some detailing on the paint job and basic Steam functionality, in other words. Nothing even the slightest bit game-changing, but Final Fantasy III is still solid – albeit rather barebones compared to modern JRPG kingpins. Assuming the price ends up being reasonable, count me in. The game doesn’t have a release date yet, but Square Enix claims it will be out “soon.”

From this site

57 Comments

  1. Commander Gun says:

    I am indeed ending up disappointed. However as FF6 was the best of the series (which i don;t fail to point out in every FF post on RPS, sry about that), i am pretty sure it will come out eventually. Hopefuly with the new opera scene too :)

    • Frank says:

      I’m delighted to see that no one is engaging with you in this tired best-of debate. This truly is a PC gamer crowd!

      • zaphod42 says:

        There’s no debate; 6 and 7 are the best of the series and anybody who says otherwise is objectively wrong :P As to which of 6 or 7 is better, they’re practically the same game, so it just depends upon if you like 2D or 3D better.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          I had never thought about this point but… goddamn, you’re right. They are pretty darned similar. No wonder they’re my two favourites.

    • zaphod42 says:

      Don’t be so sure. There’s technical reasons involved. FF7 and FF8 are on Steam because they had PC ports originally, so it was easier to transition them, you just had to update them from targeting Windows 98 to Windows 7 or whatever. :P

      And Bravely Default and FF3 (remake) and warriors of the light were all a new engine developed from the ground up for the DS; that modern engine could probably port to PC pretty easy, especially if they designed it at the time thinking about future ports.

      But FF6 is an SNES game. So they’d have to either completely remake the game in a new programming language (expensive) or they’d have to write, publish, and support a SNES emulator, which would be kinda janky, probably against Steam rules, and would probably ruffle Nintendo’s feathers.

      We’ll see, but don’t hold your breath. That said…. just go play it on emulator???? Why do you need it on steam?

      • techman80 says:

        Actually, this isn’t completely true. FF6 isn’t just a SNES game – they recently released an updated version of the game with higher quality sprites for Android and iOS. Same for the first five games. These are the versions that will likely be tweaked and released for Steam.

      • Premium User Badge

        cpt_freakout says:

        Well, FF3 has been out for a while on Android (and iOS), which I would assume is closer to ‘normal systems’ (haha) than the DS ever was, so I do agree that it is kinda strange that they took so long to get it on PCs.

  2. melnificent says:

    So it’s a new port, of an 8 year old remake, of a 24 year old game.

    • Viroso says:

      It’s pretty good, if you’re into turn battling

    • zaphod42 says:

      Would you be upset if Nintendo ported Super Mario to Steam?

      Just don’t buy it if you don’t want it. But clearly lots of us care.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Sort of. This game and the FF4 “remake” take broad strokes (major NPCs, world design, largely similar plot) from the NES & SNES originals, but have so many new features that they play more like prequels to Bravely Default than updates of the originals. The Playstation remakes were just that: direct remakes with shinier graphics, remastered music, etc. This is more like a fan remake mod (with fancanon bits added in as a bonus) for a completely unrelated engine that happens to be from the same company.

      So it’s actually PC as heck, it just happened to come out on the DS first.

  3. EvaUnit02 says:

    Nathan’s American roots shine through as only in that territory was FF VI released as III. The first PAL/’European/Australasian release of FF VI was a very late PS1 port, it shipped with a demo disc for FF X.

    • Gargenville says:

      I think you meant FF IX there.

      • tonka_92 says:

        nope, he meant FFX
        the PS1 game came with a demo disk for a PS2 game in the same case
        I still have mine somewhere as that is where I first played FFVI

  4. RedViv says:

    It’s also the foundation for Four Heroes of Light, which in turn is the base for Bravely Default. So… Hoping that they plan on possibly bringing those over too?
    The success of the new releases of 7 and 8 seem to have shown them that there are enough people buying JRPGs on the PC. So that’s good.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      That’s… That’s actually a very good point.

      Bravely Default would be great on PC land, all those awesome painted scenario in full detail would be incredible, effectively making an already 10/10 game in a 11/10.

      Source: imagine this at 1080p http://www.twinfinite.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/4f752cfc_Bravely-Default-Screenshot-8-500×369.jpg

      Let’s just hope they don’t go “full japanese” on us and stick with the notion that a PC version wouldn’t have sense without the all important StreetPass ( ??? ).

    • Ahtaps says:

      I’ve been playing through the sequence in reverse order and am currently knee deep in Final Fantasy III. I knew Bravely Default felt a lot like FFIII when I played it, but I had forgotten just how similar the two are. I’m thinking of Bravely Default as something of an FFIII reboot now.

    • Keyrock says:

      Bravely Default on PC would be the bees knees.

    • zaphod42 says:

      Yeah that would be great news. Four heroes of light and Bravely Default are two of the best RPGs that square has made in years.

  5. strangeloup says:

    I seem to remember the DS version of FF3 (and FF4, for that matter, perhaps even moreso) being witheringly hard. Never got much of anywhere in either of ’em.

    They sure were pretty, though.

    • Fenix says:

      Yeah, I played both and III required unreasonable amounts of grinding. And my god that last dungeon and it’s terrible saving system, I don’t remember being so frustrated at a videogame as much as that time.

  6. kyrieee says:

    Square + reasonable price don’t usually go together.

    • Bull0 says:

      You think so? They’re always having sales on their website. I don’t think I paid more than £5 for anything on there, ranging from the FF games to the newer Hitman and Tomb Raider games, Sleeping Dogs, etc

    • zaphod42 says:

      Everything they’ve put on Steam so far has been very reasonably priced.

    • Yglorba says:

      I got FF7 on sale for $4 IIRC, and FF8 for $5 or thereabouts. That’s pretty reasonable in my book.

  7. fuggles says:

    Recently(ish) bought/played this on Android for the ridiculous sum of £17. It’s an old game, that much is for sure. It has no character development, very grindy (especially the last boss) and with random encounters galore.

    I wouldn’t pay more than £6 for it because it is an old game with old mechanics and better things are about. Cthulu saves the world springs to mind as a similar game type but with some modern concessions.

    It looks pretty and just about holds up to play, but boy are there better RPGs available, even old and free ones like the Spirit Engine 2 if you want to try something old and different.

    • tobecooper says:

      Ah, Spirit Engine 2. I really loved it – enjoyed the combat and really very nice pixel art.
      It’s absurd that that the game is free. If it came out today, it would be a Steam bestseller easily.

    • BooleanBob says:

      The critical non-veneration of TES2 is my personal proof of an unjust world.

  8. J Arcane says:

    I owned the iPad version, and you are not wrong: It is indeed witheringly “hard,” in the way that many of those era of JRPGs are difficult. You basically can’t get anywhere without relentless grinding, and the environs felt so empty that I couldn’t really enjoy the experience.

    It does make pretty screenshots, but I found the game didn’t live up to them.

  9. SomeDuder says:

    Seeing as there’s a limited amount of RPGs I’m interested in playing on hardware that isn’t a few hundred years old (FF6/FF7/FF8/FF9/Chrono Trigger/Secret of Mana/Seiken Densetsu 3), I can only hope that this is the sign that Square are planning on re-(and re-, re- and sometimes even re-)releasing more games from their catalogue on Steam.

    • Fhoenix says:

      You, sir, are getting a cookie for mentioning Trigger.
      Sora no Kiseki is also good. And is supposedly coming on Steam.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      I want FF Tactics so badly. Probably my favorite game ever and I just want it on every platform possible. The revised translation with the nice cutscenes, specifically.

  10. Fhoenix says:

    Seeing as how Square Enix is this days, we probably do not want a remake of FF6 by them. If you want opera and octopuses on PC, there are fully functional emulators of snes/gba for that.

    Feels kind of surreal to read about Terra and Locke on RPS.

    • Babaorum says:

      They actually already made a remake of FF6 for android / iOs, with new sprites and graphics. They didn’t go as far as making a full 3D version like they did for the FF3 or FF4 DS remake, though. And not all fans were pleased with the new design :
      link to play.google.com

      I guess if a “PC” version were to be released, that would be this one, just with higher resolution…

      • RedViv says:

        [vomits mentally]

      • Philomelle says:

        While I admire their decision to fashion the new portraits after Yoshitaka Amano’s artwork (as FF6 is arguably the game that carried the most of his influence), I cannot help but notice that the spritework is really half-assed. They’re really just upscaled FF6 sprites, which makes them look dreadful because the original ones lacked detail due to low resolution.

        Going through their releases, FF5 re-release suffers from the same issue. The awkward result is that FF1-2 look better than their successors because their sprites were redrawn from ground up for the release, not simply upscaled. No wonder people are unhappy.

        As a side note, this upscaling treatment also makes the decision to go for Amano-style artwork even more awkward. Celes’s original artwork looks absolutely nothing like her sprite, so she obnoxiously stands out to anyone who is actually familiar with the franchise.

        • Golden Pantaloons says:

          To be fair, the sprites in FF VI never looked anything like Amano’s original art. But yeah, I agree it looks pretty awkward.

          • Philomelle says:

            Well yeah, that’s precisely my point. They added these huge fancy portraits reminiscent of Amano’s artwork, but then simply upscaled the original sprites for in-game presentation. The difference between sprites and artwork is less obvious in the original because you only had tiny mugshots to go by, but it’s very painfully jarring in this version.

          • Yglorba says:

            They did, at least, give Leo’s sprite black skin to match his artwork, at least, so that’s something.

            (Probably because someone working on it realized he was one of only two black people in all of Final Fantasyland and they should probably not be ambiguous about that.)

      • green frog says:

        To be fair to the FFVI remake, the divisive new sprites were apparently designed by the same guy who did the original sprites (Kazuko Shibuya). So even if you hate them, there can’t really be any accusations that Square Enix just farmed out the remake assets to some amateur on the cheap. They gave it to the same guy, and this is what he came up with.

  11. Lemming says:

    Significantly, I believe this is the first previously console-only square game that’s made it to PC. Hopefully this is a sign that FF9 isn’t far behind.

    • Viroso says:

      Don’t get your hopes up. FF3 came out on mobile phones, so they had ported the game already, I bet the work done there could be easily reused for the PC version. It’s more likely the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV comes out on PC. Then maybe one of the trillion ported versions of FF1-6. But FF9 was never ported to any other platform.

  12. Frank says:

    I don’t know what “Surprise-aga” refers to, but the rest of that title is excellent!

    • Philomelle says:

      It’s a reference to how magic is tiered in Final Fantasy. All major spells in it come in three tiers, with second tier indicated by attaching Ra to the end of the spell name and the third tier indicated by a Ga.

      The correct way to write it would be Suprisaga, though, since the “a” suffix is used to replace “e” in spell names (Fire > Firaga, Cure > Curaga etc).

      • The Random One says:

        They must have been trying to keep King’s spectral lawyers at bay.

      • Frank says:

        Ah, I see. Been too long since I’ve played one of these things.

  13. Talesdreamer says:

    Just give me the possibility to save inside dungeons, PLEASE.
    I couldn’t finish this game on the DS. It was such a bore to grind for hours in a dungeon, only to be killed by the final boss and redo it again. I’m all for hardcore difficulty, but that was just plain frustrating.

  14. noodlecake says:

    Want want want

  15. zaphod42 says:

    Between FF7, FF8, and now FF3, Square putting their back catalog of RPGs on the PC finally is a really great thing. They had no reason to be so exclusive to consoles, and indeed they did port some of their games to PC over the years, but hopefully all of this gets them enough sales to warrant targeting PC more directly in the future.

    On the other hand, I remember several of the DS and iOS ports of the old classic Final Fantasy games to be absolutely abysmal. They tried filtering the sprites and changed the UI and the result was absolutely horrible, like something a teenager would make with RPGMaker, not something from SquareEnix. There was one of them that was good though, and that may have been the FF3 one. I can’t remember. Buyer beware.

    • drewski says:

      I dunno what the iOS versions are like, but the DS port of FFIV’s pretty solid. Although I never played it originally so I don’t know how the transition is, but as a standalone game it’s fine.

  16. MadTinkerer says:

    Dear Square Enix,

    I keep buying Chrono Trigger and Mana games on other systems (PS, Virtual Console, etc.), but can only play them on PC via ROMs. Since I am playing the ROMs AND buying the games, that is proof you will have at least one customer if you port them to Steam (or even better GoG) under some kind of Square Enix Classics or something. Sega has a bunch of Genesis games on Steam, why not classic Square Enix RPGs?

    Regards,
    The Mad Tinkerer

    P.S. Please DO NOT port FF13 to PC. It was painful enough the first time.

  17. aliksy says:

    Does it have frameskip/fast forward and save state? If no, then no thanks.

  18. int says:

    I always wanted an RPG where you play as pudgy little kids.

    • vecordae says:

      That’s why Earthbound is a thing.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        At least some of the sprites in Earthbound actually, y’know, look pudgy. I’m struggling to see it either in FFIII’s original sprites or in the models in this remake…

  19. The Random One says:

    Is it too much to hope Square won’t put their bizarre DRM in this twenty-year-old console game?

  20. green frog says:

    I don’t know how to feel about this because it means the FFIV remake is probably coming as well, and I already just spent $16 to buy it on iOS when I’d rather have had it on PC.

    I guess Square Enix’s strategy of surprise ports is working beautifully if they can get people to buy the same game over and over.