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Return of the Dark Sorcerer

Hack of Final Fantasy III


Return of the Dark Sorcerer is a very large Final Fantasy VI hack that’s been in development for many years. It has had quite a few different hands on to help get it to where it is today.

This highly personalized modification of the original game promises to showcase some of the challenging aspects of FFVI hacking, as well as plenty of fun and exciting new content – from an all new cast of playable characters with customized movesets, a radically changed story with new and edited events, new overworld maps, a custom soundtrack, music player, a difficulty selection, a font change option, lots of new battle scripts for monsters & bosses, assembly changes, and tons of spritework.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Final Fantasy III (USA) - NOINTRO
  • CRC32: A27F1C7A
  • MD5: E986575B98300F721CE27C180264D890
  • SHA-1: 4F37E4274AC3B2EA1BEDB08AA149D8FC5BB676E7
  • SHA-256: 0F51B4FCA41B7FD509E4B8F9D543151F68EFA5E97B08493E4B2A0C06F5D8D5E2
  • Headered and unheadered patches included




ContributorType of contributionListed credit
Mike FerrellHackingLead Hacker & Project Manager
DarkMageOriginal HackingFFVI improvement patch
GrayShadowsOriginal HackingNatural Ability Extension Patch, Golbez acting as normal magic learner hack, Spell learn rate hack
HatZen08Original HackingGuest adder, Learnable rage, Step dance, Antimagic field, Resilient Morph, Even Gauge Patch
angelo26Original HackingNames clean-up patch, Restored ability names, spell granting event command, flashback color in battl
Leviathan MistOriginal HackingBattle speed up patch and fix, 255 hours patch
DrakkhenOriginal HackingPhysical damage overflow fix patch
Master ZEDOriginal HackingNew game plus patch
LenophisOriginal HackingNatural stat growth, new RNG patch
assassin17Original HackingRandom monster encounter fix patch
MadsiurOriginal HackingMost of ROTDS specific assembly coding (functionalities, additions, tweaks)
SynchysiOriginal HackingHalf damage spell back row flag, always sprint hack, gain level command, Health to Miracle
EdrinOriginal HackingPalette change check for characters in WoR hack
LufiaOriginal HackingStep Mine / MP cost ASM hack
James WhiteGraphicsCustom portraits / monster / esper sprites, WoB overworld tree, Elite Knight, Dragon King
Poco LocoGraphicsMost main characters and NPC sprites, a lot of monster re-colors
ZeemisGraphicsFFIV Meteor spell graphic, Rifle (Auto-crossbow replacement), custom sword "Destiny"
SutebenuGraphicsA few sprites, Arc portrait, work on other portraits, Aerith, Opera Dress Tifa, Chained Tifa
Dr.BlankGraphicsElite Knight graphics (portrait and sprite)
LijjGraphicsOriginal Aurora portrait, and some help with the Onion Knight
XolarDarkGraphicsSome spell animations
JackimusMusicA good number of songs and compositions (see readme)
TsushiyMusicGave me permission to use any of his songs. (there's 4)
JCE3000GTMusicA few song hacks from other games
LockirbyHackingWoB & WoR map design and hack
Lord EnvoyScript Editing/RevisionSome original bosses and and the FFVI Advance Dragon battle scripts
Poco LocoScript Editing/RevisionA lot of dialogues chages and dialogue change suggestions
SutebenuScript Editing/RevisionPolished some dialogues and made grammar fixes
Magical TrevorScript Editing/RevisionFor his amazing grammar and syntax help
ZozmaGraphicsBarberella ('Purple Haired Girl'), Zigfreid, Vargas, Clyde
DjinnandTonicGraphicsPrinny graphics
OBSailorStarGraphicsOlbohn graphics
FEOKGraphicsFusoya and Pirate sprites
SathkaGraphicsHector (Old hooded man) sprite
Eddie LeeGraphicsHeartless sprite
KorekiGraphicsBow Wow graphics
JoshdammitGraphicsDevil-Bat Girl sprite
ChristianGraphicsTifa sprite
MercirothGraphicsRaditz and Saibamen graphics

User Review Information

Better than the Original??

Reviewed By: Fein on 26 Apr 2018

Where to begin…?

Let’s start with my credentials regarding this game..

I’ve put for sure over 200 hours into this version.

I’ve played through the game two times.

All characters max level.

All spells learned for all characters.

All bonus content completed.

With that being said…

I would play through this game a THIRD time if there was a reason to!

Here’s why I loved this mod:

First - there are multiple difficulty modes

I played through normal mode, then selected the new game + offered at the end, and played through the hardest difficulty mode - Insane mode.

The new game + is AMAZING! The only downside to this was you had to grind your levels back to 99 with all your characters again.. which is really time consuming.

The story line was much better (in my opinion) and made more sense, and was easier to follow than the original.

The espers were all nerfed for balance reasons (which is a negative in my opinion) and for that reason I used them less than 10 times between both play throughs.

Another downside was the character balance. Some characters were obviously overpowered and made the other characters feel obsolete. I realize this is almost always inevitable but some of the inherant skills in the characters were just a little TOO broken.

The difficulty curve was very high even for normal mode - not allowing for a casual playthrough. But, I actually loved this because it enticed the player to create more strategy in the battles.

Insane mode was definitely hard but because you got to carry pretty much everything over from your first file - this made things simple.


Clouds level 7 limit break was completely OP taking almost all of the fun out of insane mode. Otherwise he was an amazing character.

Tifa was just an amazing and fun character during the first playthrough, but useless on insane mode because her reels ability is garbage once you get good gear.

Otis should have had the Steal Command, but he was a very balanced and fun character to use - his jump command was very useful and balanced.

Shadow (who, in this game replaced Gogo) was a very good unit who I think should have had Gau’s rage kit (not reaper). This character could have been much better.

MOG was underwhelming, but was still MOG from the original - I’m glad he’s still the same.

FuSoYa - completely overpowered from beginning to end. His mighty guard lore and his huge list of prelearned magic spells (when you first get him) are way too powerful for that stage of the game.

Golbez - YES AND YES. Amazing character, however his torment is pretty useless.

Eiko - she can summon the equipped esper using her summon ability, but because the espers suck, this is pretty much useless (on a side note, my eiko was bugged and is my favorite character now haha)

Serin (Edgar) has aethers instead of tools which are very balanced but he has one that gives any enemy weakness’s that they wouldn’t normally have (This is OP)

Ronin (Sabin) is generic and his attack power is pitiful… Which sucks because he was my favorite character from the original game. This character could use some love..

Arc is pretty cool actually and would have been my favorite if he received the proper love an onion knight deserves. There should have been special onion knight gear and sword that changed his appearance in battle, he also should be able to equip more gear than he does as well as dual wield naturally.

Oboro (Shadow from the original) was weak.. pretty much never a point to use him because every character can steal using thief knives with dual wield and oboro has to replace his magic slot with an accessory that grants steal… yuck. At least replace his fight command with Mug..

Avalon - completely broken character, especially in your first playthrough. His havoc ability deals damage equal to his life. So he’s dealing thousands of damage a turn where your other units are dealing a couple hundred… You will never take him out your party..

Last but not least, a brief rundown on


I did NOT like the name of the consumables..

Sour diesel? Etc…

I could NEVER remember which was which in battle and it didn’t display during battle! The digestol was remedy but why not just leave it remedy? The original names have been burned into every FF players mind, and just switching it is a bad move.. or at least allow us to highlight an item in battle and show text of what it does..

The weapons curve is bad as well.. the hardest items to actually get in the game are pretty much useless. The zodiac Sword is better than Eternity, Destiny, lightsaber (Leo’s sword), Gamma.. and it’s given to you for free.

The essence shields shouldn’t be in the game.. at all. Especially the gold and red! They absorb 100% elemental damage

The Divine gift is completely useless. Please fix this.

Elixers are impossible to farm or find, but Omni elixers you can buy for cheap… What?

The coliseum was very well done, but Buu is completely impossible to beat.

I could go on an on about development and adjustments, but this is just a review.

OverAll, I give the game a 8.5 out of 10.

The original I would give an 8 out of 10.

I absolutely LOVED this game and it was an amazing experience BOTH playthroughs.

I was thinking about doing an advanced guide for this game as there isn’t one yet. Hmm?

Maybe when 2.0 comes out!

Version 1.8.3 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Better than the Original??Fein26 Apr 20181.8.3Yes
Best FF6 Hack of 2016break23 Aug 20161.6.0Yes
So very goodjesusbaddog23 Aug 20151.3Yes
Very Cool HackKlaviaturist27 Jan 20151.2Yes
Kludgy, but deserves meritEndymian09 Jan 20151.1Yes