Part 1: INTRODUCTION
Look at that awesome Super Famicom box right there, complete with cartridge and manual. This is Romancing SaGa 3, the sixth game of the SaGa series and the third SNES game to not get a release in english until much later. I should know, damn it. I only lurked on the forums that were releasing the translation for at least a good five months!
Romancing SaGa 3 was released in 1995 and sad to say it was rushed to compete with a mystery rival game. The patch by Mana Sword was released in 2000 though there were a couple of funny menu patches that gibberished up the rest of the game. Here's one I found from an older group called Dragonsoft
Swank, isn't it?
Mana Sword's translation for the most part is complete for dialogue and the like. The only things left out were various bugfixes (and obvious script problems, jesus this game's script is bland) as well as the ending credits. It's not a big deal I guess, unless you like making jokes about EVENT PROGRAMMING right?
On to the game! The opening sequence shown below will take you through the idea that the game itself will try to convey, or at least shed some light as far as a backstory goes.
These guys are responsible for Parasite Eve and SaGa Frontier. Sadly enough, they are also responsible for SaGa Frontier 2 (SOUTH MOUNDTOP! ) and Unlimited Saga. Man, what were they thinking there?
I guess there's Final Fantasy in there as well, but I don't know. Something that was originally made as an attempt to keep Squaresoft in money couldn't possibly have a huge following, right?
This is the most important thing in this game. All of the major bosses deal with this event.
: After ruling the world, the one thing truly burning in my mind was... the need to hang out with other folks. Nobody wants to hang out with me... I guess I'll rock out with some demons!
: So that one cool guy's gone. What do we do now? I mean there's snowmen, lobsters that talk, and... what? Elephants? I don't kno--
: DIE, MONSTERS! (I know, I know...)
: You can have this place. I already want to die.
Who will it be? What will they do? Where am I going with this? Where are my keys? Seriously... Where are my keys? I need to go get some food and I am stuck here.
There you have it folks! That's all of the important text from the opening and it doesn't show the attract sequence that happens, which is a lot of running around, random battle scenes (with one cool showing of a multitech)
Now, what's so special about this game?
SaGa games in general (here's looking at you, Final Fantasy Legend 3!) were all about freedom and not having any experience or level bullshit. You trained and your stats went up according to what you used. Weapons gave stats or skill points pertaining to their use and in Romancing SaGa 2 and 3, you gained weapon skill levels as well as the ability to gain a tech (instead of learning it on weapon level ups in Romancing SaGa, which were stuck to that one sort of weapon).
There's a LOT of freedom in Romancing SaGa 3. Once you're out of the character's introduction area, you are free to do whatever you'd like though there are of course quests that have prerequisites that you need certain HP levels or just overall badassery to complete. The main point of the game is to deal with the Abyss Gates that have opened up as well as the other evils coming out. The main villains have their own goon forces to send out that generally are not pleasant, but for some reason the most I see about it is increased monster rates. There's really only one Abyss Lord actively messing with people which will be seen later.
CHARACTERS AND STATS
Now, for character choices! You can pick from eight main characters ( 4 Male, 4 Female) though there isn't a lot of variation between most of them. Monica, Sara, Julian, Thomas, Harid, and Ellen all have the same opening dungeon. Harid gets the award for longest intro as he is also part of Mikhail and Katrina's intros, and Katrina gets the most unique intro with no battles if you really don't want to do that.
Since there isn't a lot of variation, I'm going to pick Katrina since she has the most interesting (to me) introductory area. I have no love for this game's Mass Combat system at all.
HOWEVER: What I will ask of you all is if you would like to select weapon/magic types for me to use. Those of you more familiar with the game will know of certain super awesome combinations, but please refrain on breaking the game too hard.
You can also choose Katrina's background and weapon speciality. It won't come into effect until I physically save and reload the game however...
Here is the obligatory stats picture:
Here is a description of what each stat does:
Strength(STR): Overall melee power with Spears, Both Swords, Staves, Kung Fu, and Axes. It also helps with the accuracy for Axes.
Dexterity(DEX): Affects the strength of bows and epees. It also determines accuracy .
Speed(SPD): This is how quickly you act in combat. It also improves Kung Fu.
Constitution(CON): Rumored to help with status recovery time but those aren't used so often where you'd drag a long fight out. Normally, a status effect used fucks you over pretty bad where you die. I'm looking at you, charm! This also helps with physical attack resistance.
Intelligence(INT): SOME techs use this but I really don't remember. This helps improve the power of magic as well as attack items that you can use in combat.
Will(WILL (hrrrrrr!)): This is how resistant you are to magic and status effects brought by magic that are not charm. It also helps with the effectiveness of your own magic and how well you can put a status effect on an enemy.
Charisma(CHA): This is purely a character's resistance to charm effects, as well as how good they are at putting them on.
Hit Points(HP): Don't need to explain this one.
Tech Points(TP): Also called Waza Points by die-hard SaGa fans. This is used for weapon skills.
Magic Points(MP): Did you think you were going to use TP for magic as well? Nope! When you buy magic for someone they get like 5 MP to cast a basic spell with to raise it up. It's really damn hard to get MP crowns in this game or at least a little annoying. Magic's pretty crappy in this game as well besides healing and buffing and other neat things later.
Life Points(LP): The cornerstone of SaGa games past Romancing SaGa 1. Life points are basically how many times your character can suffer mortal hits (knocked unconcious, hit while unconcious, and drain skills) before disappearing and dying permanently. This is what you go for when you really want to get some shitty person out of your party, but that usually is only the Poet in this game. Life Points pay a key part in a spell later on, and there is also a quest that has some emphasis on it. Generally though, unless you really shouldn't be in a place you won't be losing too much of this. You can recover this with Inns (Hooray! Romancing SaGa 2 wouldn't let you) and some special items like Barrier Stones.
Weapon levels are also shown. I will just list which ones share weapon levels. As weapon levels grow up, well, you can learn more useful skills for killing or healing in some cases.
Sword: Big Swords and Normal Swords
Axe: Axes and Maces
Spear: Spears and Epees
Bow: STANDS ALONE
Kung Fu: It bows down to no man
You have two slots for magic as well. One is for Sun or Moon, and the other is For Wind/Fire/Earth/Water. I don't think you can have any more than two magic types. I've never really tried to be honest and I've beaten the game 15 times. Magic is just... well, really disappointing.
Here are Katrina's base stats for those of you curious:
INT:8 ( )
You choose from five "stars" that signify her background:
Hunter: +1 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +4 Speed, +1 Constitution, +3 Intelligence, +1 Will, +1 Charisma, +5 HP ()
Scholar: +3 Dexterity, +2 Speed, +4 Intelligence, +3 Will, +1 Charisma
Royalty: +3 Strength, +1 Speed, +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +3 Will, +2 Charisma, +20 HP
Fighter: +4 Strength, +1 Speed, +4 Constitution, +1 Intelligence, +3 Will, +15 HP
Merchant: +2 Strength, +4 Dexterity (What?), +3 Speed (What the hell?), +3 Constitution (mind is being blown here), +1 Charisma, +15 HP. Zoinks, those are great for just about any non magic user ever!
Now, choosing your weapon speciality also will affect your stats which is only logical.
Normal Swords: +2 STR, +3 DEX, +2 SPD, +3 CON, +2 INT, +1 WILL, +3 CHA, +15 HP, +1 WP
Big Swords: +3 STR, +2 DEX, +5 CON, +2 INT, +2 WILL, +1 CHA, +20 HP, +1 TP
Axes: +1 STR (???), +1 DEX, +1 SPD, +4 CON, +1 INT, +2 WILL, +25 HP, +1 TP
Staves: +3 STR, +2 DEX, +3 SPD, +2 CON, +3 INT, +1 CHA, +20 HP, +1 TP
Epees: +1 STR, +4 DEX, +4 SPD, +1 CON, +3 INT, +4 CHA, +10 HP, +1 TP
Spears: +4 STR, +2 DEX, +3 SPD, +4 CON, +2 INT, +1 CHA, +15 HP, +1 TP
Bows: +2 STR, +6 Dex (Makes sense for once), +2 SPD, +2 CON, +2 WILL, +3 CHA, +5 HP, +1 TP
Kung Fu ( ): +4 STR, +3 SPD, +6 CON, +1 CHA, +30 HP, +1 TP
None: +5 DEX, +5 INT. +2 WILL, +4 CHA
Please be sensible on the choice of stars and specialties. Katrina is a great fighter and her base stats don't show really any aptitude for magery whatsoever beyond the broken skills that are better used to enhance melee fighting. I'm eagerly awaiting your response!
By the way, I'd also like to thank someone dearly. Their FAQ on GameFAQs showed me the difference in picking between starting options so I didn't have to go through and do all that shit myself. So, well, thank you Khajiit Rankin (Przemek Orlowski) for having a great goofy name as well as more patience than I will ever have.
Bonus Video - Byunei Alternate Route - ( Vimeo )
PARTY FOR FIRST PLAYTHROUGH
Big Sword/Wind Magic/Moon Magic - Katrina
Spear/Bow - Fairy
Epee/Fire Magic/Sun Magic - Fat Robin
Mace/Earth Magic/Sun Magic - Fullbright
Kung Fu/Water Magic - Boston
Formation Whore Member
Ladderface delivers a devastatingly direct montage.
Don't click this one if you have seizures. Ladderface did this one too.
Super Awesome Gif by Melaneus -