What is Front Mission 3?
Front Mission 3 was a strategy RPG by Square for the PS1 released in 1999 in Japan and 2000 in the rest of the world. It was the first of its series released in North America. You control a team of customizable mechs called Wanzers-
Yeah, it's short for Wander Panzers, German for 'Walking Tank.'
What's the Gameplay Like?
Well, the customization part of the game is pretty great, as there are nearly endless combinations of parts to put together. That's pretty cool, and, if I can manage it, I'll try to work reader participation into deciding what types of Wanzers I field.
As for the actual missions, they're okay, but not great. The biggest problem is that you only ever get to deploy four Wanzers per battle, which limits the strategic aspects of the game.
What happened in Front Missions 1 and 2?
In Front Mission, you play as Royd Clive, a disgraced OCU soldier turned mercenary who gets caught up in a mildly preposterous conspiracy. It was released on the Super Famicom, but was never imported into the United States until 2007, when a port came out for the Nintendo DS.
A guy named Bob Smith did an LP of it a few years ago.
In Front Mission 2, you control Ash Faruk, a OCU corporal who gets caught up in a revolution led by separatists in the future version of Bangladesh. He also gets involved in a mildly preposterous conspiracy. It has never been released in the United States.
What exactly is going on? This is all very confusing.
Right. The year is 2112. The world has largely consolidated into a new configuration of superpowers, most notably the OCU, which contains most of Southern Asia, Japan and Oceania, the USN, which is basically a united North and South America, and the DHZ, the future-China. Since the events of Front Mission 2, there has been an increase in separatist movements throughout the OCU.
Some of this will be explained in the game, and I'll do my best to keep it all manageable.
Are you going to show off the Internet? And both branches?
Yeah, although I'll let you guys pick which branch I do first.
Alisa's Branch Characters
A young test pilot working for Kirishima Industries. Also, the angriest hero in jRPG history. Has dedicated his life to protecting his adoptive sister, Alisa, which would be creepy if she didn't display what can only be described as "subconsciously suicidal behavior." Also, set a record for the lowest Love Interest:Female Character ratio in jRPG history. Favorite 70s Rock Band: Led Zeppelin. Final Disposition: Upon seeing the ending of the game, built a time-machine to ensure that this bad future never came to be...
Ryogo Kusama (Alisa's Branch)
Kazuki's nominal best friend. The yin to Kazuki's yang, he is relaxed to the point of insanity. He's the comic relief for Alisa's branch, except he's not really funny so....Favorite 70s Rock Band: Boston. Got so high that he became one with the universe...for three weeks. Then he resumed his mortal form and filed for unemploymant.
Kazuki's adoptive sister with a mysterious past, but not a terribly interesting one. Allegedly a scientist. But secretly a transhuman who helped build a super-dangerous bomb. But she's really a nice person, honest. Favorite 70s Rock Band: Fleetwood Mac. Final Disposition: Out of Kazuki's sight for not more than three seconds, she wandered into traffic. A memorial service will be held next Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Temple Beth-Shalom, all are welcome to attend.
Hei Fong Liu
An mysterious man who helped Kazuki and his friends in their hour of need. Actually a secret agent for the DHZ who has his eyes on MIDAS. But turns out to be a double agent working for Ravnui. He later decides to rejoin the party to avenge the guy who had tried to kill everyone else in the party. Favorite 70s Rock Band: Steely Dan. Final Disposition: Planned to create a home for soldiers who had been abandoned by their countries, but got sued out of existence by Hideo Kojima.
A Japanese police officer who got caught up in MIDAS affair. Somehow the brain trust of our party. Secretly a JDF spy sent to observe the party, but now she's on our side...probably. Favorite 70s Rock Band: Blue Oyster Cult. Final Disposition: Became the world's deadliest traffic cop, bringing a new and terrifying form of justice to the streets of the Greater Tokyo Area. Hundreds were killed, but everyone makes damn sure not to park in front of fire hydrants anymore.
The scion of a prominent Filipino business family, Pham is also the leading financier of the anti-OCU rebels in her country. Until, you know, we accidentally got the entire rebel army vaporized. For whatever reason, she decided to stick around. That said, she is terrible. Favorite 70s Rock Band: Joy Division. Final Disposition: Returned to the Philippines to take over Luis Industries...for about thirty seconds before the Philippine government arrested her on charges of terrorism. Fortunately, in addition to being an expertly-trained butler, Pierre was a deft defense attorney, and convinced the prosecutor to grant Pham immunity in exchange for information on the other rebels...who had all been killed several months earlier. It turns out that you can buy justice.
A former member of the DHZ special forces who decided, after killing many, many civilians and burning dozens of villages, that the indiscriminate slaughter of rebels probably wasn't going to bring her family back. Now she's joined us because...well, either way, she's here. Favorite 70s Rock Band: Pink Floyd. Final Disposition: Started a restaurant called Flamers, specializing in char-broiled hamburgers...also went on a killing spree with her wanzer.
An OCU spy who wants to help us deal with MIDAS because she totally, definitely wants to see it destroyed and has absolutely no ulterior motives regarding that weapon that is capable of rewriting the geopolitical status quo. Really. I mean, what are the odds that we'd be betrayed by three spies in our party? Favorite 70s Rock Band: Did I use Rush? No? Then, Rush. Final Disposition: Had to go back to Australia, which is tantamount to prison, I assume.
Emma's Branch Characters
Kazuki Takemura (Emma's Branch)
Still a test pilot working for Kirishima Industries. But is no longer surrounded by a harem of disturbing women, so he's got that going for him. Final Disposition: Lost a sister, but found a lover in his sister's sister, which sounds kind of bad when you type it out like that.
Ryogo Kusama (Emma's Branch)
Kazuki's best friend. Also, now has a strange fascination with butch women. Then again, who doesn't? Final Disposition: Briefly engaged to Yun before the USN killed them both for the whole 'invaded Capitol building, held President hostage, and tried to put the Philippines in charge of the world' thing.
A USN scientist who made MIDAS, but isn't particularly fond of the idea of her invention killing millions. Also, still Alisa's sister and an Imaginary Number...so, uh, try and be surprised when that gets dramatically revealed. Final Disposition: Got over her sister's death in the only reasonable way: Sleeping with her dead sister's adoptive brother.
An agent for the FAI (the USN's intelligence agency), he's basically the liaison between the USN government and the party. He's kind of like Liu, except lacks the Kojima-esque backstory to pull it off. Also, from time to time, is an unrepentant racist. Final Disposition: Became a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.
Yun Lai Fa
A.K.A. Moneymaker, but, well, 'Yun' is easier to type. Anyway, she's a spender who the party hired to help them get to the bottom of the MIDAS situation. She didn't do a very good job, but HR forced them to hire her under the USN's Young Female Runaway Equality in the Workplace Act of 2071. Final Disposition: See Ryogo.
The Senor Goodtimes. He was just your ordinary OCU special-forces soldier when some faulty orders led him to kill a bunch of civilians, including his wife. This depressed him to no end, and somehow led to him being in a stockade on charges of insubordination. When the party attacked Taal Base, the commander, out of desperation, released him in order to fight off the party, but Jose committed one last glorious act of insubordination and joined the party instead. Final Disposition: Became successful children's television host.
A.k.a. The Hurricane. He's supposedly an 'army commander' in the USN, but that kind of sounds made up, and anyone who'd be able to confirm his story was suspiciously killed by the DHZ army immediately prior to him meeting the party. Anyway, he's a gregarious giant, with a loving family back home. So, basically, the anti-Jose. It is said that when the end of days finally arrives, the two shall fight in a final combat for the future of all mankind. Final Disposition: Brought before 17 different courts-martial for his actions over the course of the game.
A.k.a Methane Man. Linny is a dude with a simple dream...to build wanzers that run on shit. And no, that's not a euphemism, literal shit. Unsurprisingly, they suck. For whatever reason, the game designers found this so funny that he sticks around for the rest of the game, despite having nothing interesting to say or do. Thanks a million, Square! Final Disposition: Shit happened.
Table of Contents
- Mission #2: Takemura in Name, McRage in Spirit!
- Mission #3: The Unspeakably Villainous Exploits of Isao Takemura
- Mission #4: Two if by Sea!
- Mission #5: Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!
- Mission #6: A Shaggy Dog Story
- Mission #7: There Are No Kind Bombs!
- Mission #8: Officer Friendly
- Mission #9: Hit or Miss
- Mission #10, Part 1: Why Not Declare War on the Philippines?
- Mission #10, Part 2: Charts, Graphs, and the Unbearable Lightness of Being
- Mission #11: Clockwork
- Mission #12: The Berserker Goes to Prom!
- Mission #13: I Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts!
- Mission #14: And The Band Played On...
- Mission #15: Grand Theft Jinyo
- Mission #16: Elevator Music
- Mission #17: Waterworld
- Mission #18: A Big Battle in a Little Room
- Mission #19: Miho Does Not Approve
- Mission #20: United States ex. rel. Purple Haze v. Takemura
- Mission #21: Kazuki Takemura, Master Electrician
- Mission #22: The Real Senor Goodtimes
- Mission #23, Part 1: Luke Skywalker, We Ain't
- Mission #23, Part 2: Last Stand For a Gentleman's Gentleman
- Mission #24: Misery, or To Live and Die in Taiwan
- Mission #25: The Amazing Adventures of Treason-Man!
- Mission #26: The Great Escape
- Mission #27: Kazuki 3, America 0
- Mission #28: Little Trouble in Big China
- Mission #29: Every Time a Village Burns, A jRPG Hero is Born
- Mission #30: Dead Men Blog No Tales
- Mission #31: Of Numbers Real and Imaginary
- Mission #32: Filler
- Mission #33: Miho's Eleven
- Mission #34: The Robotic Revolution Will Not Be Televised
- Mission #35: A Time to Die!
- Mission #36, Part 1: The Halls of Exposition
- Mission #36, Part 2: The Sisters Klamsky
- Mission #37: Veteran of the Psychic Wars
- Mission #38: Rumble in the House of Monkeys
- Mission #39: Ten Steps Behind...
- Mission #40: Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy
- Mission #41: The Important Thing is That We Tried
- Mission #42: Takemura vs. Takemura
- Mission #43: Taking the Easy Way Out!
- Mission #44: War of Attrition
- Mission #45: Interstate I-Ninety-Murder!
- Mission #46: Into Thin Air
- Mission #47: The Road is Long, but the Trip is Short.
- Mission #48: Hellavator
- Mission #49: A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits Goes to War
- Mission #50: Bad Dudes
- Mission #51: Liu the Conqueror
- Mission #52: With Great Power Comes Great...Something
- Mission #53: Sorry, Kazuki, Your MIDAS is in Another Castle!
- Mission #54: The Ragtag Misfits Ride Again!
- Mission #55: Kazuki Will Destroy!
- Mission #56: The Audacity of Hoshun
- Mission #57: The Long and Winding Road
- Mission #58: We Rescue 95% of Emma!
- Mission #59: Things Fall Apart
- Bonus Final Battle Video
- Alisa's Branch Ending: But History Refused to Change
- Emma's Branch Mission #2: Damned If We Don't
- Mission #3: Pick-Up Lines
- Mission #4: Suicide For Fun and Profit!
- Mission #5: Johnny Grenade, American
- Mission #6: Police Cops
- Mission #7: Blood on the Overpass
- Mission #8: For Whom the Toll Bells
- Mission #9: I Choose to Remember Him as a Friend...
- Mission #10: Filler Mission #24
- Mission #11: Fuck the Heat
- Mission #12: Where Beer Does Flow, and Men Chunder!
- Mission #13: The Bandits of Tomorrow!
- Mission #14: Capitalism is Evil
- Mission #15: ICBEmma
- Mission #16: I Have a Bad Feeling About This...
- Mission #17: Lemmings
- Mission #18: Love: A Leading Cause of Death in jRPG Characters
- Mission #19, Part 1: Shit Got Worse
- Mission #19, Part 2: Dammed and Damned
- Mission #20: Lake Wobegon Days
- Mission #21: The Harm on the Farm
- Mission #22: Stoolie's Delight
- Mission #23: Why Can't Jose Shoot?
- Mission #24: I'm Recalling the Ambassador...to Hell!
- Mission #25: The Melee in the Taipei
- Mission #26: Theodicy, or Going Nowhere Slow
- Mission #27: Combo Train
- Mission #27 Bonus: The Biggest Chicago Disaster Since Bartman!
- Mission #28: Sunken Glory
- Mission #29: Blood For Oil
- Mission #30: Kazuki Meets His Other Half...
- Mission #31: Monkey Brains and Corporal Punishment
- Mission #32: Jose and Counter-Jose
- Mission #33: Anticlimax
- Mission #34, Part 1: The Run-Around
- Mission #34, Part 2: Live Free and Die
- Mission #35: Mercenary Sentai Wulong
- Mission #36, Part 1: Encyclopedia Takemura is on the Case!
- Mission #36, Part 2: Tactical Espionage Depression
- Mission #37: It All Goes to Shit
- Mission #38, Part 1: Hacking Made Easy
- Mission #38, Part 2: Funsplosion!
- Mission #39: Trapped in a Closet
- Mission #40: Olde English 800
- Mission #41: Sudden Death Overtime!
- Mission #42: Lessons From the Battle of Lissa
- Mission #43: Peaks and Valleys
- Mission #44: I Can't Believe It's Front Mission 3!
- Mission #45: Splitting Up is Hard To Do
- Mission #46: Remember the Wulong, Part 1
- Mission #47: Linny Still Sucks
- Mission #48: Moral Ambiguity 101: Introduction to Grey Areas
- Mission #49: KAZUKI HURLS COMPLETE GAME SHUTOUT, WINS 4-0
- Mission #50: Remember the Wulong, Part 2
- Mission #51: Is This Reality?
- Mission #52: No, YOU Fester In Your Own Inabilities and Die in It!
- Mission #53: The War of All Against All
- Mission #54: A Moment of Silence
- Mission #55: Yang's House of Discount Battleships
- Mission #56: With the Sea I Did Abide
- Mission #57: This Situation IS Getting Worse
- Mission #58: Zzzzzz....
- Mission #59: Action Kazuki and the Beatdown on the Beach!
- Mission #60: A Waste of Everybody's Time
- Mission #61: Metal Gear Lite
- Mission #62: March of the Submarines
- Mission #63: Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!
- Mission #64: A Message From the Action Man
- Mission #65: Filler Mission or Killer Mission?
- Mission #66: Pistons!
- Mission #67: Slackin' Off and Taking Names
- Mission #68: Punchline
- Mission #69: The Only Sensible Solution
- Emma's Branch Ending: Flowers!
- Emma's Branch Alternate Mission #13: Leavings
- Emma's Branch Alternate Mission #14: The Truth isn't Out There
- Emma's Branch Alternate Mission #15: A.I. Suicide is Painless
- Emma's Branch Alternate Mission #16: The Wrong Way, But Faster!
- Emma's Branch Alternate Mission #17: Futilitarianism, by John Stuart Filler Mission
- Emma's Branch Alternate Missions #18-20: No More Goodtimes
The road of LPer who works in the medium of 10 year-old sRPGs is a lonely one, so I decided to invite reader participation by letting readers design the wanzers I used. It certainly made things interesting, I'll give it that.