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Final Fantasy III Maeson

Hack of Final Fantasy III


Final Fantasy III Maeson is a rom hack of, obviously, Final Fantasy III for the Famicom/NES, and now has received its latest update, the 1.40 Version.

The 1.40 release is a gigantic new overhaul of the game, bigger than what 1.30 was. The main goal was to improve the progress of physical power of your characters, but to accomplish it with the level of polish the author wanted, he ended having to rework every single aspect of the hack again.

The end results aim to be the most polished and challenging version of this hack, and an attempt to make what could be considered a solid, final release; a 7th Anniversary celebration if you will.

Changes made on Version 1.41:

  • Modified mechanics related to the progression of physical and magical power that provide a higher ceiling in damage and a better curve for the former and a more stable growth among Classes for the latter. This also includes making Strength as a statistic more useful.
  • A few Battle engine modifications to make it a bit better, such as not needing to press a button to start every battle.
  • The largest change in the Magic system, bringing back the Multi-targeting system improved through ASM hacking (thanks to Cyneprepou4uk and Everything8215) and reworking all the Spells make a more dynamic and far less broken system. Instead of most Spells being Area of Effect by default doing very large amounts of damage, the player now has to choose between strong single attacks or multi-targeted attacks that deal moderate damage, and weaknesses and resistances play a bigger role. MP has been cut down in all Classes to brig back some of the feel of FF1’s MP management woes.
  • Because of the points above, all Classes were thoroughly modified. Stat growths between all Classes have been redone to make their progress on similar levels instead of the more chaotic way of gaining Stats than before, and of course equipment and Spell changes have been made here and there.
  • Talking about equipment, it has also been given a large cleanup. Beyond stat changes, several pieces of gear have been reworked to make new ones, like taking away the Onion Helm and Gloves to create things more Classes can use, or making the Thief Gloves something new.
  • Because of the deep changes made to formulas in this game, Monsters required to be tweaked. But while it started as a tweak, ended being probably the biggest shake-up to the bestiary for this hack. Besides stat changes, the game is now balanced on Defense instead of Evasion, making damage output of the player a lot more stable. Enemy abilities have been overhauled, monster groups have been expanded and made more varied when possible. With larger number of foes, the player now has to actually pay attention to the Row System, as it also happens on the enemy side too, not only yours. More dummied enemies were brought back too!
  • Shops and prices, alongside chest contents were also improved. Experience and Gil given by monsters was also touched up, now that enemy groups are larger. Enemy drops were also changed significantly, the player cannot get more Legendary weapons anymore.
  • Class progression made equal for all. As long as the player doesn’t run away, every action provides the same Job Experience to all Classes. This is to make them all grow at the same speed, instead of let’s say, punish a Dragoon for using Magic instead of Fight. The leveling speed has been lowered a bit.
  • New optional patches. For one, the Alex W. Translation got an improvement to give Item icons to consumable and key Items, putting them on the same level of equipment and magic. Another to provide Experience even if a character is petrified or dead was also included.
  • Flash Reduction patches. The game has a significant amount of flashing, and there are three patches that deal with Overworld Events, Random Encounter and Battle Flashes as much as the author could.
  • The Graphic Tweak patch got some updates for some of the Classes, like giving the Dragoon an overworld sprite that looks more like the real thing. A new optional window border was also added to make the window-over-window look cleaner.
  • An optional patch that offers a more casual difficulty has been added. The author loves a challenge, but that doesn’t mean that everyone would do too. Specifically, it lowers the physical and magical damage done to the player, while retaining the other features.

The Readme was updated, and so was the PDF Manual. With this new version, two older versions have also been included, the 1.23 and 1.37, both being the “last” release before big reworks, as both a way to look back and see the differences, and also for those that could just want to play older releases.

Because this game has several fan translations, and this hack requires text editing for a number of things, the author has made specific patches to work with:

  • The Alex W. English Translation.
  • The ad0220 English Translation.
  • The Chaos Rush English Translation.
  • The author’s Spanish Translation.
  • And another for the original Japanese (which will also work with any other translation that doesn’t shift around game data, although it will lack the text changes, so beware).

The author would like to still show his appreciation to Kea and STARWIN for helping back in the day, and also give credit and his thanks to Everything for helping out with the Element Boost fix and finding more game data, which has been researched on a great disassembly project that can be found at GitHub; and also thank Cyneprepou4uk for the help on the multi-targeting ASM hacking.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Final Fantasy III (J) [!].nes GOODNES 3.23b
  • MD5 4E9BDCDD1071FF48638A3AA0FDA325FC
  • SHA-1 C4443FC24625E3C2BB859525EB44B6B3A80E7C35
  • CRC32 170163F1



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ContributorType of contributionListed credit
KeaHackingOriginal Research & Hacking Notes