|Breath of Fire III|
Buresu obu Faia Surī
- "A young dragon is forced into a world that has all but forgotten his kind. Without family or sense of identity, he is taken in by a couple of thieves, and given a center to grow from. But, across the world are those who have not forgotten the might of the dragon race, and they all set in motion the actions that will soon change the world."
- — Description
Breath of Fire III is the third installment in the Breath of Fire series, and the first to feature three-dimensional graphics, environments, and effects. New gameplay elements are introduced, including an expanded combat system and environment interaction, the ability to learn enemy skills, and receiving training from Masters that customizes the abilities of the characters.
Battles occur randomly when a player travels through hostile areas. When a battle is initiated, the characters and enemies align themselves according to the environment, and no battle transition occurs. At the start of each round, the player inputs a command for each active party member, in order of descending Agility, and its target, which are then carried out in accordance with the Agility of all combatants. A player may choose to Attack, Defend, perform special Abilities, use items, Examine the enemy in order to learn special Abilities called Skills, or flee from battle entirely. While previous Breath of Fire titles allowed groups of four characters to participate in combat, the number of active party members is now restricted to only three.
- See also: List of Breath of Fire III Dragon Genes
Special items called Dragon Genes can be found throughout the game which give Ryu the ability to transform into powerful Dragon Forms, giving the player great versatility in battle as Ryu is the only party member you can't remove from your team. Each Dragon Gene has its own different properties and statistics such as stat increases and elemental affinity. Only when two or more Genes are combined can unique Dragons be formed, while still being able to affect further by removing or adding additional Genes.
A new system called Formations is introduced, which allows for characters to be arranged in certain patterns for tactical benefits. Three Formations are unlocked initially, while the other three are gained through Masters. Each Formation has its pros and cons, some of which are not directly revealed to the player. These include increasing all party members' Defence, the lead character's Power, regenerating health after each round, and others.
- Main article: Master System
Masters are introduced for the first time, which allows any of the game's playable characters to apprentice under specific non-player characters. After a character gains a Level, the stat gain from the Master is added to the character's natural stat growth, which can greatly improve a character in some areas while completely stunt them in others. No Master has only positive stat gains (with the exception of a few) which urges the player to regularly switch the use of one Master to another for a more balanced character, or stick to one which increases the desired stat the most. Additionally, returning to a Master after having gained a certain amount of Levels under it (the number of Levels depends on the Master) allows the character to learn new Skills to use in battle.
Skills is the name of special abilities taught by Examining an enemy in battle, or by the use of Masters. If the enemy uses that particular Skill while the character is Examining it, there is a chance that the ability will be added to the character's spell list, allowing them to use it for themselves or pass it on to an ally through the use of Skill Ink. A Skill can only be known by one character a time.
The drastic new change in exploring comes in the new overhead isometric viewpoint, which allows the player to rotate the game's camera in any direction around the central character, as well as tilt it up or down to see over or under impending objects. When travelling through the game's environment, each character can perform a unique field ability that allows the player to solve puzzles or destroy objects, as well as gain access to otherwise hidden areas. Three-dimensional graphics are used for scenery, buildings, and other objects, while two-dimensional sprites are still retained for characters.
An additional feature, the Fairy Village, gives the player the ability to influence the growth of a small town of faeries, which in turn gives them access to special items or in-game features such as mini-games and a sound test. While journeying on the world map, players may set up camp, which can replenish a character's health by resting, as well as allowing them to speak directly to any member of their party. Other series mainstays such as fishing return with a new, expanded interface and point allocation system that keeps track of what fish a player has caught and their size.
Long ago, during the Age of Machines, the world's inhabitants lived in a state of technological bliss. The machines had one primary purpose: to prevent the Desert of Death from consuming the lands by keeping it at bay. However, war and quarrels ensued between the people of the land, and the area was completely swallowed by sand. The goddess, in anguish over not being able to save the people, split the world into two continents, dividing them by a barrier of water known as the Outer Sea. The Desert of Death was contained in the former continent, allowing life to flourish in the latter. The goddess maintained a steady construction of machines, sending them over to the hospitable continent through a giant transportation vehicle known as the Black Ship, aiding the humans in their effort to rebuild society. However, the threat to the world was not yet over. In fear that the world would one day be destroyed by the power kept by the Dragon Clan, the goddess created four Guardians. She gave them one objective; to find and annihilate each and every member of the Dragon Clan to eliminate that threat. However, the Dragon Clan never fought back or made any form of resistance. The once proud clan was virtually eradicated.
In a mine called Dauna located in a far corner of the world, a mineral called chrysm is being mined from the ancient and fossilized remains of dragons. When two miners rig dynamite to one especially large piece of chrysm and detonates it, a baby dragon whelp emerges. The dragon whelp is attacked by the miners, but are quickly dispatched by it. The whelp then proceeds to wreaks havoc through the mine while trying to find an exit, killing any miners that attack it and ignoring the rest. As the baby eventually emerges, one of the miners distracts it in order to knock it out with a crane. The whelp is caught, and put in a cage for transportation by train, presumably for research. However on the way the dragon manages to shake its cage off the train, down a hill and into a forest called Cedar Woods.
In Cedar Woods, a humanoid, catlike member of the Woren Clan called Rei is hunting a very large boar, but as he prepares to ambush the creature a loud noise is heard which causes it to flee. Rei goes to investigate, and finds a broken empty cage and a small naked boy being attacked by a trio of wolves. Angry at the wolves for scaring his boar away he quickly takes care of them. Assuming that the boy was abandoned he leaves the child. However his guilt gets the better of him and he decides to take care of the unconscious boy by bringing him to his home way out in the middle of the woods.
Rei arrives at his house and Teepo, an orphan boy who is roughly the same age as Ryu, greets him. At first thinking that the young boy is food, Teepo reconsiders and allows him to stay with them. Still unconscious, Ryu is put to bed. During his sleep he is visited in his dreams by two people; Teepo as an adult and the goddess Myria. Ryu however does not know who either of these people are and later discounts their appearance as mere dreams. Finding the house deserted when he finally wakes up he goes out searching for people; he eventually enters McNeil Village and sees Rei and Teepo making an escape from a house and its angry owner. Rei and Teepo seeing Ryu awake for the first time go to take him to the armorers to steal something for Ryu to wear, something slightly better than the night gown he had on at the time. It is at this point that Ryu finds out that Rei and Teepo are both thieves and criminals.
Rei suggests that the team should go down to Yraall Road to find someone to mug, They find a bush from which to hide behind and sees a man walking by (later revealed to be Bunyan), Rei wants to see what Ryu is made of, so Teepo pushes him down the hill, Crashing into the man. Bunyan realizes Ryu must have a connection with the two thieves and leaves a message that if he ever runs into them they’ll be sorry. Rei and Teepo, hearing this, come to the conclusion that since Bunyan is outside, his house is empty and thus easy to break into. After walking through the woods to find his house, Rei picks the lock and the group enters. After Teepo told Ryu to keep quiet, (he humorously had to catch a plate Rei knocked down) Ryu finds a Beef Jerky in the cellar. The other two come rushing down just before Bunyan returns home. Rei, offering to check it out, is heard yelling from upstairs. Teepo also goes upstairs and Ryu follows him outside, only to be knocked out by Bunyan and tied up.
Bunyan tells the team that if they want to eat they have to do honest work, He sends Rei off to Mt. Glaus for an unknown task. Ryu and Teepo, on the other hand have to chop firewood (which initiates a minigame), Before he’ll let them go. After the task, the two quickly follow Rei up Mt. Glaus and find him inside a cabin at the top. Rei reveals that Bunyan sent him to kill the monster that had been attacking the village. Rei also infers the fact of Bunyan's choosing Rei for the task revolved around an unseen power inherent to his race and is unsafe to use if others are nearby. The team goes to bed, and is awakened the next morning by the monster’s cry. The monster turns out to be the Nue, and the team battles it, Though it manages to escape, the three followed the monster's blood and manage to find and kill the monster. However, they quickly find out that the Nue only tried to feed its cubs, (it didn’t realize the cubs were already dead). With remorse, they leap into the waterfall again and ride the stream down to the base of Mt. Glaus. Bunyan is there to congratulate them on their victory, (as now the animals can return when spring comes). Rei asks him if Bunyan knew that the Nue only tried to feed its children, Bunyan answers: “If you had known she had cubs.... would you have let her live...?”
After the monster of Mt. Glaus had been taken care of, the animals return to the woods when Spring came. The villagers of McNeil Village have reconsidered their opinion of the three rascals. Teepo suggests that they go down to the town to hear what the townsfolk has to say about them. After a misunderstanding when the three are surrounded by farmers with rakes and sickles, They are thanked and are now treated with respect. A suspicious-looking person clad in a green robe wanders around the town, And when the group speaks to him he introduces himself as Loki and asks them to help him with a favor. After accepting, he tells the group to meet him in the hut at the farm.
Loki explains that the mayor McNeil is corrupt and has been taxing the villagers’ outrageous amounts. He proposes that the group steal the money and give it back to the farmers, which Teepo immediately agrees upon, Much to the dismay of the reluctant Rei and Ryu. Loki suggests that they wait for nightfall, and the group waits patiently in the hut.
When they arrive at McNeil Manor, the team splits up to find a way in. Along the wall, There’s a section that stands out from the rest. Upon Ryu’s examination, the team joins him. Rei leans towards the wall in thinking, When it topples over, forming a way in.
The guard up front will not let the group through unless they bribe him. After they do, they find a wallet, which they give to another guard who lets them pass. After avoiding guards with lanterns who will throw the team out if they pass them, Ryu rings the bell of a tower with his sword to confuse a guard to leave his post. After entering the now accessible area they find a guard slacking off from duty. He notices the trespasser and tells them that if they manage to defeat the guard dog, he’ll let them pass further. After they've done so, he tells them the reason they had to kill the dog was so that it would look like it was the dog’s fault that the trespassers managed to enter, and not his.
After talking to a few people to convince a guard to leave his post guarding a shed, the three thieves enter to find out that the shed is actually a chicken coop. When Teepo tries to steal some eggs and call this break-in a success, a giant rooster falls down from the ceiling. The team defeats the rooster, causing the rest of the chicken in the coop to go crazy and fly out, With the guards distracted, Ryu and the others sneak up to the main entrance, only to find that it’s still heavily guarded. Rei acts as a bait and lure the guards away from the door, allowing Ryu and Teepo to sneak into the Manor.
As Ryu and Teepo try to head through the first flight of stairs, they are suddenly interrupted by a ghost. The ghost introduces himself as Torast and prevents them from passing, forcing the duo to dispatch him. They continue on by the stairs and get to a balcony, where they find McNeil himself. Ryu notices something strange about him, and he reveals himself to be another ghost, Kassen. After defeating him as well, they walk through the balcony and enter a room with a staircase. Here, they are assaulted by Galtel. The staircase leads down to the manor kitchen, and through it they see a hallway, only to be stopped by yet another ghost, Doksen. The duo journeys through the hallway and takes the waiting elevator to the roof.
On the roof, the two find a grappling hook and reunite with Rei, who uses it to form a pathway between their current roof and the one in which McNeil is residing. As they enter his bedroom from the chimney, McNeil is surprised by their sudden appearance and is cornered. Just as Ryu and the team are about to reclaim the townsfolk’s taxes, the ghosts of all the previous McNeils Ryu and Teepo just fought in the manor reappear, and form together to create a big abomination that attacks the trio. With the monster defeated and the money left by every doorstep, McNeil silently cries out a promise of revenge.
Once again returned to their home in Cedar Woods, Teepo suggests they go down to town to gauge how much more their respect has grown since their last heroic deed. When the team heads down to McNeil Village, They find out that the villagers were terrified of what McNeil might do to punish the farmers, and gave back the money. Confused, the team meets up with Loki again who seems a bit paranoid and vanishes after a few words, Waiting for Loki at the shed where they first plotted the thievery, Bunyan suddenly appears. Pretending to talk to a cow to avoid any responsibility, he indirectly tells the group that McNeil had strong connections with a crime organization and that Loki was unaware of this fact when he asked for their assistance. Rei suggest that they lay low until the coast is clear. The group head on back home for hiding.
The group returns to Cedar Woods, only to find their home set ablaze. The two culprits reveal themselves and introduces themselves as Balio and Sunder. The two horsemen were sent out by the criminal organization to issue revenge and attack the party. Severely overpowered, Ryu, Rei, and Teepo are easily defeated, knocked out, and separated from one another.
Awakening a short while later, Ryu finds himself in the care of Bunyan who had nursed him back to health, and tells him he found no trace of his friends. Ryu still believes them to be alive, He is told by Bunyan that in order to reach Wyndia he must head east. On the way he needs to pass the large Mt. Myrneg, only to run into the two horseman brothers at its summit. Sunder, believing Ryu to be a ghost, starts to panic and in fear stabs him in the back with his sword. The two brothers starts relishing in their victory, only to get startled when Ryu's heart starts beating. The sword slides out of the wound and Ryu transforms back into the Dragon Whelp, still unconscious.
Ryu is captured, and in the belief that he can be sold, is brought to the Castle in Wyndia where he is presented to the king and queen. Ryu, however, has now reverted back into his human form. The king is shocked. Balio and Sunder come to the conclusion that Ryu can only become a Dragon once unconscious, and so they start hitting the cage. The king arrests the brothers, and they and Ryu are thrown into separate cells.
Ryu's captivity is not long however, as the young Princess of Wyndia, Nina, enters the dungeon after hearing Ryu's cries of despair. Feeling bad for his treatment she offers to let him out, before being interrupted by Balio and Sunder. Lying about leaving Ryu alone, Nina is tricked into opening their cell door, leading to her being knocked out. Nina is kidnapped in order for the two to gain ransom from the King, However Ryu conjures unknown strength and the door is broken, allowing him to catch up to the villains. When he catches up with them, he saves Nina as the two escape the dungeon. Ryu and Nina travel in the catacombs of the castle and eventually escape from it.
After asking around Wyndia, Ryu learns that Teepo was spotted at Eygnock Road, stealing just before he ran away from there. Heading there, Nina is then captured by Balio and Sunder, who threaten Ryu to surrender. Afterwards, they are taken to Arena Town Genmel, where ]they are watched by the bartender Fahl. However, getting too drunk, he doesn't notice the two escape from their bindings and flee the town. Travelling to Mt. Boumore, they are met with seemingly nice gondola workers who allow them to rest in the cabin. However when they wake up, they hear the voice of Sunder outside and realize they're being handed back to the two thugs. Quickly, they use the gondola and travel to the other side of Mt. Boumore and escape once again. But the two quickly reach a dead end with Sunder right in front of them. As a last resort, they jump off a cliff and land at the base of the mountain. Escaping being captured once again, the two leave the mountain behind them.
Ryu and Nina eventually come across a large tower and meet Momo, an inventor and engineer who is researching the properties of chrysm when the two of them arrive. Together with her diminutive robotic assistant Honey, the three escape the tower by rocket when a group of bounty hunters arrive looking for them.
Momo leads them to a nearby chrysm research facility conducting experiments on plants when they are approached by the institute's chairman and colleague of Momo's father Palet, who tells them that there is a mutant creature causing trouble at the dump area where their biological waste is stored. After defeating the mutant plant creature, It gives up its offspring, Whom Nina names Peco, to be cared for in its absence. As the four continue their journey east, they are captured by Balio and Sunder in a double-cross and taken to a nearby Colosseum. It is there that the team meets Garr, a seasoned warrior who aids them in defeating the horse brothers for good.
Garr agrees to help the group in finding Ryu's missing friends (Rei and Teepo) on the condition that he also accompany him to a sacred temple far to the east. After crossing a large bridge and travelling straight through a volcano, the group arrives at the temple where Garr and Ryu journey inward alone. It is there that Garr reveals the true fate of the Brood: they were slaughtered by Garr's race at the behest of Myria, an ancient goddess who promised an age of peace in return for their services. With Ryu as the last living Dragon, Garr attempts to slay him, only to have Ryu assume his most powerful form, Kaiser, and escape.
The story then cuts to several years later, where reports of a rampaging Dragon Whelp have led Garr to the same mines where Ryu was originally found. He finds Ryu now as an adult within its depths. Convincing Ryu that he will not harm him, Garr instead asks forgiveness for his actions against his people centuries ago and asks that Ryu helps him discover the truth behind Myria's genocide of the Brood. The two re-group with Nina, now as a young adult, and Momo, who has been performing experiments at the plant institute with Peco, who himself has been frequently visiting the great tree Yggdrasil, Overseer of the world's forests. They continue their journey once they receive information about Myria's whereabouts from Deis, Sister of Myria. The team finds Rei alive, now battling the leader of the crime organization responsible for the attack on his friends. Afterwards, Rei reunites with Ryu and his new group of friends. Teepo, however, remains lost.
Crossing the ocean to the forgotten northern continent, the group finds a town littered with advanced technology from a forgotten age, Then they proceed to the last known village of the Brood, Dragnier, where they learn of the battle between the heroes from the first Breath of Fire and the Goddess centuries ago. The Goddess has returned to seek her revenge against the Brood. Crossing a large desert, the team arrives at the ruined city of Caer Xhan, a former haven of technology, with a lift leading to Myria's fortress.
Making their way up the large escalator to the floating Myria Station, the group fights their way into the facility's inner sanctum where they meet a lavender-haired young man who reveals himself to be Teepo now all grown up. Having survived the attack by Balio and Sunder due to his latent dragon powers, he was later contacted by the Goddess, who convinced him to live in peaceful seclusion in her fortress to spare the world his destructive power. Unable to convince Ryu or his friends to do the same, he transforms into the gigantic Dragon Lord and attacks them, only to be brutally killed off, His dying words reveal that he just wanted to be with his "family", Ryu and Rei.
The determined groups makes their way to Myria herself within the station's control center, where she reveals that she exterminated the Dragons centuries ago for the same reason she removed the world's high technology: to keep humanity from inadvertently destroying themselves. She presents Ryu the same choice she gave Teepo, to live the rest of his life in peace within her station or to be destroyed. The spirit of the great tree Yggdrasil then channels himself through Peco and tells her she is taking her power too far, and like any parent, she must allow her children to make their own way.
The player is then given the choice to decide Ryu's fate. If Ryu chooses to give up his power, he will be imprisoned in the station's inner sanctum for the rest of his life. This will then result in the "bad ending".
If Ryu chooses not to, Ryu and his friends will be forced to fight Myria and destroy her, fleeing the station as it crumbles around them. Garr opts to stay behind to atone for his past mistakes. Deis, now revealed to be Myria's sister, appears to her just as the station falls apart, saying they will now leave the world in humanity's hands and assured her that they can take care of themselves. Ryu and his friends make their way from the rubble and back into the desert on their journey home, resulting in the proper "good ending".
Breath of Fire III was developed by Capcom Production Studio 3 in 1997, and was the first game in the series to feature three-dimensional environments along with traditional hand-drawn two-dimensional characters. Series writer and director Makoto Ikehara returned as head of the project, and was joined by a brand new art and sound team that would help expand the ongoing story of the Breath of Fire franchise. The project went through a lengthy development phase with numerous delays, mostly due to several writing and design changes mid-progress. Character artist Tatsuya Yoshikawa went through numerous preliminary designs for each character, only settling on a finalized set of drawings after many character sprites and portraits were already completed. As a result, some character's in-game appearances differ from official promotional material, such as child Ryu having a different hairstyle and wardrobe than his final design.
The English version arrived in North America on April 30, 1998. Due to design limitations, character names were limited to no more than five letters, with Garland and Pecoros' names shortened to Garr and Peco accordingly. Because of an increased character limit for all in-game terms, many spell, item, and monster names were able to be rendered correctly for the first time in an English Breath of Fire game. Breath of Fire III was later released in multiple languages for the PAL region on October 8, 1998.
- Street Fighter characters Chun-Li and Sakura can be spotted in the audience prior to Ryu's fight against Garr in the Genmel Arena.
- Breath of Fire II characters Bow and Sten can be seen arguing within Genmel.
- The boss Stallion bears a red and silver color scheme similar to Ultraman in a clear parody of the character. One of its moves is "Utmost Attack," a beam-like attack that resembles Ultraman's "Specium Ray". Stallion's color scheme was altered to blue and brown in the PSP release.
- The face of Doraemon, the popular robotic cat servant character from the Japanese manga series of the same name, can be seen in one of the animation frames for Ryu's dragon transformation. This was removed in the PSP release.
On August 25, 2005, Breath of Fire III was ported to the PlayStation Portable handheld system in Japan. This version, though largely similar to its original release, contained a new title logo graphic, as well as support for the PSP's native 16:9 widescreen display. An expanded version of the fishing minigame found in the original release was included as a bonus game accessible from the title screen, which could be freely given to a friend using the PlayStation Portable's GameShare feature. The Japanese version was bundled with a special full-color fishing guidebook featuring new artwork by Tatsuya Yoshikawa. A limited English version was released in certain European areas on February 10, 2006 which used the original translation. The United States version was not initially released due to a rejection by SCEA. Nevertheless, a digital version of Breath of Fire III (PSP) was released on PlayStation Network on February 9, 2016.
PS1/PSP version differences
The PSP version contains a number of differences from the original PS1 entry.
- A new title logo replaced the original PS1 version's.
- The game has been updated with a 16:9 widescreen display.
- A slight bilinear filter has been applied to the sprites to smooth them.
- The fishing minigame is included as a bonus game accessible from the title screen.
- A "Game Share" menu option is included which allows the player to wirelessly share the fishing minigame to another local PSP user.
- Some music tracks feature slight differences in instrumentation.
- If played on a UMD, there are slightly longer loading times before battles. Digital versions of the game do not experience this.
- References to the memory card have been replaced with "Memory Stick Pro Duo".
- There is slowdown before attacks until you've had the game on for a bit.
- The frame in Ryu's "Ascension" animation that includes an image of Doraemon has been removed.
- Stallion's Ultraman-like color scheme is was completely changed to brown and blue, possibly to avoid copyright claims.
- Stallion's "Utmost Attack," another reference to Ultraman, has been renamed to "Vacuum Wave."
- Hachio's name is now "Haochi".
- The room with the block puzzle in Angel Tower has one of the passages decreased in width and the player cannot get into random battles to teleport to the top in order to skip the puzzle.
- The electric room with the machine soldier in the "Factory" has permanent slowdown which actually makes it a lot easier to do that sequence of lever presses. This may have been done on purpose because there is no other parts like it in the game.
In the Desert, getting into random encounters does not cause Ryu to turn in a random direction.Turning right once, then walking straight until you reach Manmo still works.
- The item duplication glitch does not work anymore.
- The Holy Mantle seems to work better. If the player walks perfectly straight, he/she will go a while without fighting. Turning after a long period of walking will activate a random encounter.
- For a list of Breath of Fire III Characters, see here
- For a list of Breath of Fire III Locations, see here
- For a list of Breath of Fire III Production Staff, see here
- For a list of Breath of Fire III Weapons/Aquirement see here
- For box art, images and artwork from Breath of Fire III, see here
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