Breath of Fire III

aka: Long Zhanshi 3
Moby ID: 3987
PlayStation Specs
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Description official descriptions

Capcom's third installment of its epic RPG. Breath of Fire III is the first installment of the Breath of Fire Series to appear on the Playstation (And later ported to the PSP).

Set free by the the workers of Dauna Mine, Ryu of the Brood learns to both understand his power, and to understand the history of his extinct kind. By both utilizing Ryu's unique power and the abilities of those whom assist him, players will uncover the history of the Brood, learn more about the characters, and the very reason why the Brood were wiped out.

Players control Ryu and his allies on their journey, each of Ryu's friends have abilities only they can use, and they will have to work together to make their way through the obstacles and enemies that they encounter; creativity is key to your success in this game!

Ryu eventually is able to utilize his power of the Brood, allowing him to ascend into various dragon-like forms. This is done using a gene-splicing system that dictates what sort of form Ryu will take.

Breath of Fire III also includes a Master System, which permits Ryu and his allies to learn from various people to augment their abilities differently as they gain experience; these trainers can also teach abilities to those whom train hard under them.

Spellings

  • ブレスオブファイアⅢ - Japanese spelling
  • 龍戰士3 - Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • 龙战士3 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (PlayStation version)

97 People (96 developers, 1 thanks) · View all

Director
Main Programmer
Main Graphics
Main BG Graphics
Character Design
Engine Design (System Planner)
Assistant Director
Engine Programming (System Program)
Sound Programming
Shop & Menu Programming
  • Moyoko
Battle Design (Planner)
Battle Programming
Magic Effects
Map Design (Planner)
Map Scrolling Programming (Field Program)
Model Programming
Scenario & Event Design (Planner)
Special Event Programming
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 33 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 53 ratings with 1 reviews)

A turning point for the series, overall good game but not without issues

The Good
Breath of Fire III is the third entry in the Breath of Fire series, and the first for the PlayStation, following two SNES games. I had already played the SNES games multiple times so I was familiar with series as I started to play Breath of Fire III, the first "3D" game of the series.

The game took an interesting approach for its entry to the world of 3D consoles. Capcom decided to do the exact opposite of what Squaresoft did to their Final Fantasy series: The graphics are based on 3-dimensional environments, populated by 2-dimensional sprites. Most of the time, the camera is set is an isometric point of view, however it is possible to modify the angle a little by using one of the trigger buttons while using the D-pad, while standing. You cannot however move the camera while wandering around, and the angle of movement is very limited, the camera movement is mostly useful to discover hidden chests which are in a blind spot. Also during cut scenes does the camera move.

There is no longer a context switch between field and battle, which is a very welcome move. Because the camera viewpoint is isometric, battle scenes are very similar to what they looked like in the two previous Breath of Fire games, and this is a good thing as it marks the continuity of the series. We could say that the whole game happens in the viewpoint that was previously only used for the battles.

I find however the for a Playstation game the quality of the graphics are not exceptional. In some cases the 2D sprites clashes with the 3D environment creating absurd situations. I find that, since camera movement is used so sporadically anyway, they should have used 2D background for the game instead, allowing for potentially better graphics.

The battle system is relatively simple and in the continuity with the former entries of the series. You can choose between "auto-battle" where all your team members will attack physically, or select commands such as physical attack, items, and character specific skills and magic. Each caracter is really different here. Ryu can "watch" enemies and copy some of them skills if they use it, such as "blind attack" which attacks while inflicting blind status. There is also a master system where you can have select a "teacher" for a party member, and come back later for him to learn new skills to the party member as he gained levels. Unfortunately this system is very obscure, complicated (you cannot always back track to your "teacher" along the story)

As usual Ryu turns into a dragon, and they use a system different from both systems used in the previous games, so it seems the series has a tradition of having a completely different "dragon system" on every game. After turning into a dragon you can control it (using magic, skills, or physical attacks), but you loose mana on every round. Once your mana reaches 0 you turn back into Ryu. Unfortunately, even near the end of the game it would only last 3 turns before your mana runs out entierely, so it's an extremely quick transformation and leaves you weakened and unable to heal after it turns out, so it is only useful in a desperate situation after running out of mana for other party members and healing items (it really saved me a couple of times).

A good new feature is the ability to use your weapon on the field, to find treasures. You can also sometimes racket people and get one or two Zenny that way.

The music is a mixed bag. Is is really not bad, but is not very varied and a little bland. Most of it is for some reason more remembering of the Mega Man Battle Network series rather than the previous Breath of Fire games in it's style. Paired with the isometric camera, this game really feels like a crossover between Breath of Fire and Mega Man Battle Network! I can't really say that's a bad thing. So yes, the music is not as good as the one found in the first Breath of Fire, but not as bad as the one found in the second Breath of Fire in my opinion. The regular battle music should be mentioned, it is really very good, and is one of the major factor that will not make you too bored of the game. I'll also add this is the first Breath of Fire game in the series which have only a single regular battle theme instead of two (that's not a very good thing).

The sound effects are okay, I have nothing special to say. There is some minimal voice acting during combat (such as "yaah"), a great touch which sets the mod during battle.

What is also a good point about this game is that there is some variety behind the story quests, one of them forces you to use minigames such as fishing who was first an annoyance, but actually once I figured out what I had to do I had a lot of fun. Another is the infamous desert minigame, which involves traversing a desert. At first you're lost but after you get the idea (thanks FAQs on the internet) it's a very fun mini-game. This really changes the mood from standard dungeon crawling.

The Bad
Most of your party member suck really hard in comparison of Ryu, (they can do 4 times less damage than him, even using their special skills). Nina's attacking magic is awfully powerless so I ended up not using Nina anymore for the last part of the game. Other side characters are near useless, such as Garr, which looks very strong but actually barely does 1/4 of the damage Ryu does physically when attacking for no particular reason.

The story is very simple, and although it works, it is much less developed than the story of Breath of Fire II which is a major disappointment. There is two part of the story, half of it where you're a little boy and half of it where Ryu is teenager, which is a great idea since change the flavour of the game a little. Ryu is a Dragoon, and the Dragoon have recently been victims of a genocide by the goddess Mira, and you are one of the only survivors. You awake in a coal (or iron?) mine and you escape. Then you have to do random quests such as stop a famine, fight against two rogue guys, gain a battle championship, turn of a factory of genetically modified corn. Finally the main story focuses on travelling to Ukraine (yeah) to meet with God (yeah) to ask him "the truth" about the genocide. The more the game progress, the less sense the story makes. The world is post-apocalyptic, and people re-use machines they found in junk graveyards. I don't want to add spoilers, but the story of the game ends up completely unresolved, and even more mysterious than the start. Also the script is so bad that much of the dialogues makes no sense at all. I unfortunately played the French language version of the game (my native language), however much of the random words that appears on screen within this game can hardly be called "French language" at all. Yes, the translation is that horrible, this game sets the standard for horrible translations, I'm not talking about a mistake or two, but about most of the script being completely unintelligible. There is also many glitches with the text going out of the window or even completely off screen, or dialogue window remaining blank sometimes. This is sincerely unacceptable from an official translation by Sony. They could have hired someone who actually spoke French, and that check up that the game was playable, but they did not, because they despite their European customers and think it's not worth investing $10 in the translation.

However for some reason this nonsensical series of quest is still memorable, and in certain places, gets close enough to "epic" to want you continue playing the game.

I was disappointed that Bleu, the sorceress who appeared in the first two games, didn't appear in this game.

The Bottom Line
Breath of Fire III is overall a sold good game, with can be highlighted on its original quests you have to do during your travels, the global feeling/mod of the game, a simple but solid battle system, the lack of annoyances resulted by a context switch between field and random battles, the ability to use your weapon while exploring, and the humour. The weak point is an absolutely horrendous translation (for the French version, I do not know about English), the inconsistency of the story, the uselessness of the majority of party members outside of Ryu, and the fact that the game do not use the technical possibilities the PlayStation offers (the environments are in "3d" but the camera is static, there is no FMVs at all).

As the tradition in the series, few of your party members is actually human and are instead members of funny original races, which is a good thing as it sets the game apart from mainstream RPGs.

Overall I'd say this game is a stepping stone between the traditional SNES Breath of Fire games and the Mega Man Battle Network games (mostly because of the overal "Steampunk" feel, the camera angle and the music).

PlayStation · by Bregalad (937) · 2015

Trivia

References

If you look closely in the coliseum you'll spot Sakura and Chun Li, from the Street Fighter series.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Xa4.

PS Vita added by Sciere. PSP added by Kabushi. Windows added by Ms. Tea.

Additional contributors: Zovni, Unicorn Lynx, Ms. Tea, Patrick Bregger.

Game added May 4, 2001. Last modified May 12, 2024.