Review by Saikyo Ki

Reviewed: 06/29/01 | Updated: 06/29/01

A grand finale to the FFL series.

It's a shame they didn't make a Final Fantasy Legend 4, but this is a great ending to the trilogy. This RPG is long, intricate and fun at the same time. It also has the longest quest out of all three FFLs.

Story: 9
Games that involve going back in time to save the future aren't uncommon at all, this game does this type of story well. You are a human, and you and your two mutant friends are sent back in time to grow up, learn about fighting and magic and eventually come back to the future to make things right. This is done with a special time travelling ship called the Talon. To keep the power of the Talon out of evil hands, most of the parts that make up its engine have been removed from the ship and scattered throughout the world and inbetween times. Once you find all of the parts, you can find out who is behind all of the evil. Along the way you also have the option of finding four very powerful swords to aid you in your quest.

This game has the coolest story out of all the FFLs, but the ending is extremely obscure, so unfortunately after you beat the game you will be more than a little confused. Aside from this, the plot is great and you will have fun seeing what happens next (except for the ending, of course).

Gameplay: 9
WAY different than the first two FFLs! There are still humans, mutants, robots and monsters (not to mention two new classes), but character class acquisition and changing is way different. You start the game with two humans and two mutants. This starting lineup cannot be changed. However, you can change your character classes any time throughout the game. If you give a human/mutant a meat to eat, they will become a beast. If you give a beast a monster meat, they will become a monster. You can also find spare parts of mechanical enemies after the battle is over and implant them into a character's body. If you give a human/mutant a mechanical part, they will become a cyborg. Give a robot part to a cyborg and they become a robot. Giving a character with robot parts in them a meat reverses the robotic state. Giving a monster a robot part makes them less of a monster. Sound confusing? It is, but it's very FUN to try out every character class. You can effectively take on the form of ANY enemy in the game (as long as they're not a 100% human/mutant enemy). Here's a rundown of all the classes:

Humans and Mutants: The base form of your party. Your mutants are much better at spells and your humans are better at fighting with weapons, but each class can do both.

Beast: Have some special abilities and can still use their weapons, armor and items. Beasts use martial arts better than any other class. Beasts can change into other beasts by eating beast meat. Make sure you don't eat a monster meat by mistake.

Monster: Cannot use equipped items but have their own set of attacks and can still use magic. A human/mutant cannot go from human/mutant to monster...they will first become a beast. Monsters can become different monsters by eating either beast or monster meat.

Cyborg: Have special abilities aside from their weapons and spells. Cyborgs are quite similar to robots in FFL2, because giving cyborgs equipment increases their stats. They can turn into different cyborgs by using different cyborg implants.

Robots: Have special attacks. Can equip weapons and items but cannot use armor or magic. Robots gain strength by upgrading themselves with capsules. There are HP, strength, agility and defense capsules. A human/mutant cannot go from human/mutant to robot...they will first become a cyborg.

Each of your characters has an element (Earth, Wind, Water, Fire). What element you currently are and what element the enemy was that you got the meat/part from will determine what your form/element changes to. What experience level you are at also plays a factor in what beast/monster/cyborg/robot you turn into.

Speaking of leveling up, it's done in the traditional way! No more long waits for a stat to gain experience points AND gold from fights. Also, weapons no longer have that nasty ''50 uses until it breaks'' rule! They last FOREVER!

Learning spells is strange, though. You buy a spell and choose which character to teach it to, but you can also take the knowledge of the spell out of the person's mind (???) and sell it back to a magic shop. Yes, I'm as confused as you are.

You can jump over things when walking by pressing the B button. This adds much more depth to walking around.

The combat system is actually quite different. In the previous FFLs, you fought up to three types of enemies at a time, and there could be more than one of each of the three types of enemies. In FFL3, there can be many types of enemies in a fight. You actually see each enemy on the screen. Fighting is basically the same, except there are two new choices, which are Parry (protect yourself) and Guard (protect someone else).

The game has a large amount of weapons, armor, spells and items like its predecessors. The best weapons are the four legendary swords, which are brought to your attention as you go along in the game. Why you have to find them is never explained, but they are extremely strong, and if you are having trouble in the game they will help greatly. You don't have to get them to beat the game, though.

This game world is THE best out of all three FFLs. You are able to travel to three different time frames...past, present and future (duh). The world is not linear in the least! You will have to make many trips to each time to complete different objectives and to see if your actions changed anything about other time frames. Sometimes, you will have to go underwater to complete a task, which means you can go underwater in the past, present and future. Effectively, that makes six worlds. Just when you think that you've finished everything there is to do in one time frame, you'll have to go back. The game gets very interesting as you travel through time. Aside from these six worlds, there is a seventh world you will eventually have to go to to complete the game. This world is HUGE. It is very refreshing to see a large world inside a FFL game instead of a bunch of small ones. Needless to say there is also a lot to do in this world.

To travel through time and get to the last world, you must use the Talon. At first you won't be able to do much with it at all. It won't be able to fly for a long time. Until it does, you can travel through time only by entering the shrine it is docked in. There is a shrine in each time frame, so you will appear in the same spot of the world in each frame. Eventually, you will be able to fly and travel through time anywhere you want. Aside from these features, you will also get other parts which give the Talon other powers. When you find all of the engine parts, the Talon will become an amazing flying machine!!

Yes, there are a lot of gameplay elements that make the game seem futuristic, but the game has not lost its medieval feel to it. I know many RPGers fear this happening to all RPGs, so I felt I had to put this here.

Graphics: 8
Overworld graphics, battle graphics and attack animation graphics are still great, but to make it so you can see each enemy you are fighting on screen, enemies had to become smaller, thus leaving less room to give them detail. For their size, however, they are still decently detailed. Bosses are still big and detailed, but the final boss is completely unimaginative. They should have put more effort into making a cooler final boss.

Sound/Music: 9
Sound effects are just fine. The music in this game is the best out of all three FFLs! The songs fit required moods well and go a step further by instilling a sense of adventure in you. I usually say which ones are my favorite, but I like almost all of them, so just play the game and you'll see what I mean. :)

Replay Value: 9
Although you are forced to have four characters in your party like in FFL2, you will grow old and grey discovering all of the different forms you can change your characters into and playing the game through with those characters. You can also discover if it's good to change character form(s) in the middle of the game. There is also a good portion of secrets to find.

Bottom Line?
A great RPG which will give you hours of fun with its long quest and innovative new features. Hopefully, there will be a Final Fantasy Legend 4 on the GBA, but until that happens, FFL3 will provide all the portable RPG satisfaction you've come to expect from the series, which is why I give it a 9.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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