Before we finish off Final Fantasy III’s endgame, here’s a rare video: the original Japanese FFIII.
Note that whoever did this somehow replaced Luneth’s sprite with one of the Four Old Men sprites, and a couple battle sprites are scrambled. Nevertheless, it shows the NPC storylines are all here, except for the individual friendships with particular party members.
As with Final Fantasy I, it seems that original FFIII presented the party as a blank slate upon which we could project our own character development, dialog and proficiencies, while the world and NPCs were at least somewhat fleshed out. Again, this mimics old tabletop RPGs and D&D, in which the game master provided the story, world, and npcs, while the players were in charge of their characters’ histories and development.
We’ve gotten so accustomed to games that create the player characters for us that we’ve quite forgotten the original strong distinction between PCs and NPCs.
Now, back to our playthrough of Final Fantasy III and the grand finale.
The original, 1990 Japanese Final Fantasy III starts out differently. It’s much more like FFI, with four completely generic, unnamed “Onion Knights” (aka “Onion Kids”) bumbling into a cave after an earthquake.
Here’s a derpy fan translation of the original:
Official Square material makes all four of them 14, whence the kawaii generic Onion Knight representing FFIII in Dissidia.
In 2006, FFIII finally came out in English via a Nintendo DS remaster that made the heroes more than cardboard and converted 8-bit sprites to 3D chibis. That’s the version that got ported to iOS. So with apologies to old-school purists…