Video Game Thoughts: Final Fantasy Legend III

Final Fantasy Legend III was a 1991 role-playing game for the Game Boy by Square. I found this game at a garage sale, much later than its release date. I don’t know exactly when it was, but the Game Boy was outdated by this point. Final Fantasy Legend III turned out to be a lot of fun though. It played like a typical Final Fantasy game. The player built up a party of four heroes who had to fight enemies all over the land in an epic quest to save the world. The story wasn’t all that great compared to other role-playing games I had played. I think it involved some sort of time travel shenanigans, but it was nothing memorable.

The gameplay wasn’t the greatest either. Each character could level up to 99, gaining new special abilities along the way. Through exploration the player could find better equipment to improve their character’s stats further. It was all pretty basic Final Fantasy stuff, but I was impressed with how Square was able to reproduce this on a handheld gaming device. I didn’t know the Game Boy had enough memory for a game of this size.

Final Fantasy Legend III was one of my favorite games during vacations because it was so long. Many sections required grinding to get my characters to a high enough level to fight a boss. Grinding is repeatedly fighting the same monsters over and over in a game to gain more experience points and level-up characters. This would normally be boring, but when I was stuck in the car for four or more hours, I happily grinded out levels.

I found the game quite a bit too hard at the end. I ended up having to do a lot of grinding. I think I had to gain around 20 or more levels to be strong enough to defeat the final boss. This was pretty annoying because by now vacation was over. I had to spend several hours wasting time grinding just to see the ending of the game. In some games, playing the game better could overcome the power difference, but not in Final Fantasy Legend III. The gameplay was simple enough. Player skill wasn’t a factor. The player’s characters just had to be a certain minimum level to defeat the boss, something that required a lot of grinding. These days I tend to avoid grinding, but I might put up with it for a retro game. Sometimes I find it fun to get a taste of years past, but I’m not interested in that very often.

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