Help when you get stuck in FF3
I've been enjoying playing Final Fantasy III on my iPad, but there's a few places where I've been stumped. So here are answers to lots of FFIII questions, PLUS I've drawn maps of the Eureka Dungeon and Crystal Tower, since I kept getting lost.
(left) My screencap of FFIII: our old friend Ahriman.
NOTE: see my separate Mognet Sidequests page for help with: Ultima Weapon, Legendary Smith, letters from Alus / Four Old Men, or ??? Secret Dungeon
Tip: Many Weapons Cast Spells!
Use the Item command in battle and scroll UP to access the spells embedded on your weapons. You will NOT consume the weapon OR MP!
This is useful for white mages, which are otherwise useless in combat: wave those Staves and Rods about to cast fire, ice, etc.
Q: What are these 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 stats in my party menu?
A: Short answer: spell slots.
Long answer: Instead of having a unified MP system, where more powerful spells cost more MP, Final Fantasy III mages are allotted so many level 1 spells, so many level 2 spells, so many level 3 spells, up to level 8. The numbers separated by slashes show how many spell casts she has left at each level.
So, if your red mage has these stats listed:
MP 9 / 5 / 3 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
that means she can cast 9 level one spells (the same spell or different ones), 5 level two spells, 3 level three spells, and 1 level 4 spell. She isn't a high enough job level (or the class doesn't upgrade enough) for level 5-8 spells.
An elixir or an HP / MP well will recharge these slots.
WARNING: If you change jobs, you start with ZERO MP. You'll have to go to an Inn or an HP/MP pool to charge up!
Q: Is the iPad FFIII the same as the original 1990 Final Fantasy III?
A: Not entirely. There's essentially three versions of FF3, although the second and third are essentially the same game adjusted for a different platform:
- Original 8-bit Final Fantasy III from 1990 (video clip)
- Nintendo DS remake with 3D graphics (video clip)
- iPad/iPhone/Android remaster (video clip) of the DS remake, nearly the same except that graphics are bigger, clearer, brighter, and the music sounds kickass (like this)
The script, items and game mechanics of the DS/iPhone/iPad/Android remake follow the original Final Fantasy III, with various enhancements. Maps are substantially the same layout as the original game's maps, as you can see from the first two video clips of the same location, but there are minor alterations in some dungeon layouts, and some chests have moved around.
The most noticeable difference in the remake is that 8-bit pixel graphics (sprites) have been replaced with 3D polygon graphics rendered in a retro style. The original game's generic Warriors of Light have been fleshed out into named characters. NPCs sometimes step in to help the party in battle, instead of just tagging along. There's cutscenes with dialog (text boxes, not voiceovers) and bits of story. And of course, there's an English version, which there wasn't for the original game.
Bottom line: Numerous small tweaks make the game more fun, but underneath the pretty graphics, appealing characters and music, it's still structured like a 20-year-old game, with a lot of random battles and generic dungeons.
Video: Opening FMV from FF III Nintendo DS - Sadly, this wasn't included on iPad/Android
Oh, wow. Okay, here's one way in which the DS Final Fantasy III is superior to mobile versions: the opening video. VERY pretty:
Q: Why can't my mage cast this spell?
A: Mages can only cast a certain number of spells at each level. Also, while the game lets any character learn magic, only some characters can cast magic.
The color of the circle next to a spell's name indicates who can cast it. White mages cast white magic spells, black mages cast black magic spells, red mages can cast lower-level spells of both white and black magic, and evokers/summoners cast summon magic, which marked with gray circles.
Knights, by the way, can cast level 1 white magic spells (Cure and Poisana).
If you've just changed to a white or black mage, you should be able to cast magic of that type, but first you'll need to rest in an Inn or find an MP/HP pool to fill your Magic Points.
Tip: Changing Jobs
When a party member changes a job, it takes several battles for them to acclimate; until then there's a double arrow by their name in the party menu. You'll need to re-equip them after a job change. Find an inn or HP/MP wellspring to charge a mage's MP after changing from a fighting job.
Q: Why does this magic pool say "Nothing happens"?
A: Probably because no one in your party is knocked out. There are three types of Magic Wells: one restores HP/MP, one restores status ailments like Poison, and one Revives unconscious party members. If none of your party members need to be restored, "nothing happens."
Q: Help! Where can I find Phoenix Downs or revive a party member?
A: Find one of those "nothing happens" magic wells. They're revive pools that only work on unconscious party members, completely restoring their HP as well (and MP, I think).
There's Revive pools in nearly every settlement:
- the Elder's House in Ur
- in a small house in Kazus
- a hut in Canaan right of the armor shop
- in Viking Cove in a hidden tunnel going south from the left side of the harbor fortification
- in Castle Argus if you go south then east from the Round Table room
- in the Ancients's town in a house on the left side of the top level
- In the right-hand pool in the Temple of Water.
(That's not a complete list; check other towns, too)
You cannot buy Phoenix Downs ANYWHERE. Argh!
You can steal Phoenix Downs only from rare Rust Birds on Dragon's Peak (that mountain where you found Desh in a dragon nest on the continent where you start out.) I recommend turning your fighters into thieves and going back there to farm Phoenix Downs. (Thief job class boosts Agility, a useful stat since it can let characters take their turn before monsters.)
Once you reach Doga's Manor, there's a shop inside with all kinds of white magic spells. I had been getting by until then by buying tons of Potions or Hi-Potions and using them to heal people so I could keep all fighters, but right after that I hit a dungeon where I really needed Raise.
Tip: Ur's Inn is Free
Go upstairs in the Inn at Ur, face the bed for a (!) sign, tap it, and choose Yes to rest. It's free to use at any time, if you have the patience to return back there.
A stay at the Inn restores HP and MP and removes status effects. The only thing it won't fix is KO.
Q: Where is Tozas, the Gnome Village?
A: It's in the southwestern corner of the forest south of the Healing Grove where you meet the gnome, but Tozas is hidden unless all party members have "Mini" cast on them by one of your White Mages (or use the Mallet item).
Cast Mini by going to your party menu, choosing magic, choosing the white mage that learned Mini, then choosing Mini and All Party Members. Remember that after you cast the spell in the Healing Grove, you can recharge MP at one pool. (I think the other pool may un-Mini you.)
TIP: The gnome in the Healing Grove gives you another Mini Spell any time there's none in your inventory. Game glitch: when you "Learn" a spell, it removes it from your inventory. You won't get rich fast doing this, but you might as well have all four party members Learn Mini, bringing your total up to five spells, which you can later sell for a few gil.
Tip: Levelling Up Jobs and Character Levels
A character gets job points if they fight, guard, or take an action in battle. Have some characters steal or guard so that everyone gets a turn. (Learn how many hits common monsters take to die).
Experience points are determined by the enemy and divided between characters alive at battle's end.
Q: Where do I find the "toad spell" and how do I use it?
A: Go to the coastline northwest of Argus Castle, southwest of Owen Tower, and look for a passage through the mountains to the west. Then look for a cave. Talk to the Gulgans; one of them will give you Toad. Let your white mage Learn it.
Before using this spell, I suggest stocking up on enough Maidens Kisses from the Ancient City's item shop that you'll be able to change back without burning more MP.
Don't turn into Toads until you get to the spot on the ground floor of Owen's Tower where Refia says she doesn't want to turn into a Toad. Sorry, Refia! Now open your party menu, choose Magic, choose your mage, choose Toad, and then All Party Members. Enter the hole.
Once you've moved south from the hole, use Maiden's Kisses from your Item menu to change back. You can leave the hole full-sized; you just can't enter it without being Toaded.
Q: Ack, I don't have enough MP for Mini / Toad!
You'll need some items.
Desch gives you one Mini for free. You can cast it, then use a nearby HP/MP pool to recharge. Stock up on mallets (I think they're for sale in the Gnome Village) so you'll be able to restore Mini characters without burning MP.
For Toad, you'll have to buy an extra copy of the spell and make two characters learn Toad if one doesn't have enough MP to cast it four times. Remember that rangers and red mages can learn low-level white magic like Mini and Toad.
Mini and Toad are for sale at Gysahl Village on the eastern rim of the Floating Continent.
Tip: Raising HP
Kenpo Gi, Black Garb, Black Belt Gi, Gaia Vest, Fuma Garb, Onion Armor, Crimson Vest boost Vitality, which boosts HP on each level-up.
Jobs mostly raise stats only while wearing that job (stats marked in yellow or green), but jobs that raise vitality boost HP on level-up.
Q: Argh! Salamander keeps wiping us out with Fire Breath!
A: You too, huh? I hated this guy. Salamander is vulnerable to Ice, but 6000 HP is tough to whittle down, especially since he does two attacks every round. You need a White Mage healing everyone every round with Cura. You need a Black Mage or two pounding him with Blizzara. And you need a fighter pounding him with the Freezing Blade (found on the way through the Molten Cave) or Ice Arrows and the Killer Bow. Hit him fast, hit him hard, and if he keeps killing you, try again after leveling up.
Gather enough Potions (at least 40) before entering this dungeon that you can save everyone's MP for the boss battle. Level grind to get gil.
I finally solved this battle with a Warrior, White Mage, Black Mage, Red Mage. The Red Mage can get off a few rounds of Cura/Blizzara, but doesn't have as many spell slots; the main reason for that character was to have two fighters capable of clearing enemies without using MP on the way to the Fire Crystal. After the Red Mage was out of spells in the Salamander battle, I had her toss Antarctic Winds and the Arctic Wind (which did over 1000 points of damage) once Salamander switched to Fire Breath.
Q: I've got a new airship, but there's nowhere to land!
A: Tip1: It looks like fog, but it acts like water. Tap the ship while over the fog to turn it back into a sailing ship, and then you'll be able to step ashore on one of the new islands.
Tip2: Check the map.
Tip3: Your next destination is (highlight to read spoiler) [[the wrecked ship on the larger northern island. It's a little tricky to find the hotspot, but try ramming it and you'll step onto it.]]
Tip: Monk + Dragoons
Once you get Dragoons, the Monk's Retaliate ability becomes powerful.
Have at least two Dragoons jump. That leaves a 1 in 2 chance that your monk will get hit by a monster and hit back HARD with Retaliate!
Q: Where are all the summons?
I want my Shiva fix!
Just like Final Fantasy X, there are five summons that are easy to get, and three in hidden dungeons or sidequests.
The five regular summons are available for purchase at the village of Replito on the northwest edge of the NW continent after you've reached the Water Crystal.
Odin can be reached with the Nautilus. Look for an underwater entrance southeast of the walls of Kingdom Saronia, where the paved area adjoins the sea.
Leviathan and Bahamut are back on the Floating Continent and require the Invincible.
For Leviathan, go west from Castle Argus and look for a spot where the mountains are low near that lake with the fish-shadow. Hop over the mountains (click somewhere NOT on the Invincible when the ! comes up), disembark and continue on foot. Here's a screencap showing Lake Dohr where Leviathan dwells.
Bahamut's lair is a cave entrance enclosed by mountains on the southwestern side of the Floating Continent. Here's a screencap of the area.
Q: Help, I'm stuck in Doga's mansion!
Teeny tiny time
Cast a mini spell to fit through the holes.
Note that you can Mini everybody then check the magic book (I think?) in the room to the left of the room with the hole: there's a recharge MP/HP hotspot.
Q: Help, the Airship Won't Go Over the Mountains!
So you've got the Invincible airship, and Unei said yakky yakky yakky, and now you can't remember what she told you about how to get over the mountains. Me, too.
The Invincible can't actually go over ALL mountains, just SOME mountains. After a while you'll start to recognize slightly lower ones, often 1 to 3, which are barring a green area you can't get to. Run straight at the barrier, and if an exclamation point appears when the airship stops, you've found a place to hop. DON'T touch the airship. DON'T touch the exclamation point (huh?) And DON'T touch the virtual stick.
Instead, when that exclamation point appears, tap anywhere else on the map, such as the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Hop! There you go.
Q: Where's the Tunnel under Castle Saronia?
I can't get to the catacombs!
You've tried sinking the Nautilus in the channels beside the castle, and you've tried all the secret passages leading down into the basement, but you just can't seem to find that secret dungeon
Me, too. I had to resort to a guide to find my way into the catacombs. Tip: Fly the Nautilus to the southeast corner of the walled-in lands around the kingdom and look around offshore down there.
Tip: Doga Village
Have you ever spotted that village east of Doga's mansion, encircled by mountains and sitting next to a pond? The Invincible can't go there. The Nautilus can. I'll leave you to scout around that island and figure out how. ;)
It's worth doing: nearly every spell in the game is for sale there!
Q: Mognet Sidequests, Missing Letters!
Major Spoilers Warning
This section is a little complicated, so I've moved it to a separate page.
See: FFIII Mognet Sidequests, covering:
- Sara's Pendant
- Legendary Smith
- Ultima Weapon
- Master Card (leveling jobs up to 99)
- Ultimate weapons FOR each job class
- Secret ??? Dungeon, aka "where are my letters from Alus and the 4 old men?!!!"
You do NOT need to complete Final Fantasy III in order to unlock all these things!
Final Fantasy III Monster List / Bestiary
I created a FFIII Monster List / Bestiary showing the locations of all monsters and bosses.
Here's the list as a PDF or an Excel file (sortable).
Q: Map of Eureka / Forbidden Land Dungeon?
I'm on it.
Click the thumbnail at right to open a full-sized version of my sketch map of Eureka / Forbidden lands. I've listed the different floors top to bottom, then left to right.
In purple, I've marked the six bosses you need to kill for the ??? Dungeon quest (Alus' last letter).
Note the two secret passages concealing one boss and a shop which sells Shurikens.
Please don't copy my drawing; just copy this link and it'll jump right here.
(Drawn on iPad using this drawing app, by the way ... it's great with a stylus.)
Tip: Level Grinding
The world map is lousy for level grinding; find a dungeon.
For endgame level grinding, climb up the Crystal Tower as far as your party can handle (maybe not the top, as dragons are tough), climb down and step outside to save, then enter the Eureka Dungeon and heal at the MP/HP pool. Rinse & repeat.
Q: Good Maps of the Crystal Tower?
Where's the Syrcus Gate (leading to Xande) and the Eureka Gate?
I kept getting lost in the Crystal Tower! These maps aren't perfect, and they're not to scale, but they'll get you through. Again, please don't copy, just link here. It took me forever to draw these!
Click Thumbnails for FULL SIZED MAPS:
WARNING: once you step into the "point of no return" area, you'll be in the endgame.
This means no way back to level up, buy stuff, or save your game. So don't go there until you're ready for a challenging final dungeon which you'll have to repeat if the party dies. Level up until you can confidently beat everything in the Tower.
© 2012 auronlu
auronlu (author) from Spira on April 26, 2012:
@anonymous: I agree. Although I'm finding FFXIII-2 more enjoyable than XIII. I like the characters, but despite the pretty graphics, I don't care about the world, the culture as much.
I've been going through all the old games, and there's such an amazing variety between retro games, fantasy games, and futuristic dystopias... they really have many different styles, levels of cute and fantasy and myth. I can see XIII in that context. But it's just not quite as fun as the earlier stories.
anonymous on April 26, 2012:
FFIII. One of my favorites! Loved it! Love the whole series really, until we get to the modern ones made for PS3. They just don't have the feel that the old ones had...not as good.
ImmatureEntrepr on March 04, 2012:
Love these old school games!