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Return of the Dark Sorcerer

Hack of Final Fantasy III


Return of the Dark Sorcerer is an incredibly large fan-made Final Fantasy 6 modification that’s been in development since around 2010. Originally the brainchild of Gi Nattak, the project has evolved over the years thanks to a dedicated team and other skilled members of the FF6 romhacking community.

This mod promises to showcase some of the challenging aspects of FF6 romhacking, 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 many new and edited events, new overworld maps, a new musical soundtrack, difficulty selection, new battle scripts for monsters & bosses, and an absolute ton of custom monster/esper and NPC sprites.

It is a highly personalized modification of the original game and therefore naturally won’t appeal to everyone. It’s not a sequel, or a prequel, or a remake to FF6, it is quite simply a massive amalgamation mod and customization of FF6 which does contain a whole bunch of references and can be rather nonsensical or even immersion-breaking at times… but if you go into it prepared for this, you should have a much more enjoyable experience. That being said, a whole lot of time and energy has gone into this project and we are quite pleased with the result.

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, Stat Increase Items, Sp
HatZen08Original HackingGuest Adder, Learnable Rage, Step Dance, Antimagic Field, Resilient Morph, Even Gauge, SwrdTech Read
angelo26Original HackingNames clean-up patch, Restored ability names, spell granting event command, flashback color in battl
Leviathan MistOriginal HackingBattle speed up patch and fix
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, in battle swap Steal/Throw function
James WhiteGraphicsall portraits / all monsters / esper sprites, WoB overworld tree, Dragon King, espers sprites
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 (sprite)
LijjGraphicsOriginal Aurora portrait, and some help with the Onion Knight
XolarDarkGraphicsSome spell animations
JackimusMusicA good number of songs and compositions (see readme)
TsushiyMusicA few custom songs
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 dialog work
SutebenuScript Editing/RevisionCleaning up some dialog/grammar in the early stages
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
SynchysiOriginal HackingLimited Esper patch, various patches
dnOriginal HackingRage & Dance descriptions code
LenophisOriginal HackingNatural Stat Growth patch
B-RunOriginal HackingCharacters change palettes in the WoR check, unlearn spell command
BropedioOriginal HackingElemental Mixing
Think0028Original HackingDon't Reapply Status
EggersOriginal HackingExtended character palette code
seibabyOriginal HackingSmart Cover, Disable Near Fatal being reapplied if Dead, Independent Stop, Muddle Cancel, Quake remo
ScarabEnigmaGraphicsSome sprite work
emberlingMusicA bunch of custom songs
13375K31C43ROriginal HackingLots of patches

User Review Information

Quality Crisp

Reviewed By: RayofJay on 16 Feb 2020

First of all, thanks to everyone for creating such a great hack! I may be critical in my comments below, but rest assured I very much like and appreciate the work you’ve done!

Rating: 9.2/10 Overall: The overall course of the story remains the same, however, enough has been changed that I feel like it’s brand new all over again. The best part for me is the music. FF VI vanilla drills the battle music and victory tunes into your head. RotDS has a MYRIAD of different music sets, many of which don’t change from battle to walking around - GREAT! I do wish you could make the music keep playing when you select it from the menu though :( (the music switches to normal game music when you leave the menu).

The entire world map has been reworked. But sadly, there are very few additional locations, they have just been moved, or changed.

In the WoR, many characters have been moved or swapped - nice touch.And the characters themselves have been greatly altered

THE REFERENCES, FRANSCINE, OMG! THE REFERENCES, OMG! Another superb addition to the hack is the plethora of references. I haven’t kept track, but just to name a few: Zelda, RE 4, Futurama, Samus (low HP sprite is ball form, HAHA GREAT!), LotR, Wheel of time, mario, Pirates of the carribean, secret of mana, FF tactics, chrono trigger, SO MANY! They are quite well spread out through the game as well. This had me laughin several times an hour as i came across them! I sense kindred spirits in the developers, we are of the same breed!

The Coliseum shows you the item you stand to win BEFORE you select it! YEA! I spent hours as a kid mapping out what each item stood to win.

Gilgamesh just disappeared??

There just a tiny bit of religious input. I’m fairly anti religion and this little bit didn’t bother me at all. A little refreshing honestly, specifically the corruption of the church at the auction!.

Sprites: All the sprites have been given an overhaul. I’m a huge fan of the character sprites. I love purple hair! The enemy sprites are so-so to great. I know sprite creation can take a lot of time, talent, and thought so I’m not complaining.

Characters: All of the characters have been tweaked in one way or another. I feel the characters are much more evenly balanced. Special abilities have been swapped around on many characters. This definitely adds to the feeling of a different game.

Espers: Certain characters can equip certain espers (there is a patch to revert this feature). I however left it in place. The characters can seem interchangeable at times and this extra distinction makes each character stand out in a different light.

Stealing: Placing the steal command on the shadow character, and only as an ADD ON at that, was a poor choice. Essentially every boss fight is a crap shoot attacking with thief knives waiting for a random steal attempt, since shadow is absent 90% of the time until half way through WoR.

Status effects: I ran into over half a dozen status effects in the first 1 hour of play time, making the beginning of the game seem overly difficult. Purchasing many of every type of cure item was a must to get through the beginning. And towards the middle and end, there were fewer status effects to be seen casted at you by enemies. They still exist, but a somewhat linear ramp up from game start to game end would’ve been much better.

I also find status effects (on enemies) to be 90% pointless. Either normal enemies, that are susceptible, aren’t worth the effort (they are easily beaten otherwise), or the bosses are immune. There are, of course, a few exceptions, like some bosses can be stopped, etc., but with the increased difficulty, and the fact that i play on SD2SNES, not emulator, I cannot afford to cast every status effect to see what happens and expect to survive.

Magic: I’ve never seen an implementation of FF VI (including the original) where magic seemed balanced against attack. RotDS is no different. Magic just doesn’t pack the wallop i would expect from the major disadvantages of magic. The foremost being the MP consumption. Sure, ethers are cheaper here, you can cast from the back row, but the benefit has just never been worth it, especially compared to just holding ‘A’. There are many fights where you cannot do this in RotDS, which is nice though.

Pressing Y in the magic menu lets you see the cost of every spell - very nice. I wish this were also in the esper menu.

Battles: battle length is just slightly exenteded due to damage done and enemy HP or defense. Well balanced. Of course being OP towards the end changes this.

Bosses: Boss difficulty is definitely increased. Which i like. The boss fights last a lot longer and you get to take advantage of a lot of different status effects, equipment decisions, etc. There are bosses that cast discord, which is a major flaw in my opinion. If this is cast, I basically reset on the spot. There’s no way to recover once it’s cast. Normal enemies, sure, but not bosses. The sheer quantity of different attacks is also nice.

Sabin: Once again, Sabin is carrying my party. He always seems to be over powered, and with the default two weapons in each hand, and a weapon for each elemental type, he’s a beast. This makes the game a little lop-sided and best played in a particular fashion.

Bugs: Overall, very few bugs. And the team seems to be constantly working to create solutions. I encountered only one major game freezing glitch. I examined the stump just below Leo’s grave (intended for WoR, not WoB i guess) and the character froze.

Suggestions: I have played FF VI T-Edition (in japanese, and I struggled through with the help of the google translate app…) and there are several features in there that are superb. You can apply the vanish attribute from the menu You control your fighters in the coliseum a second tower exists in the WoR that uses the floating island map for an extra end of game challenge (filled with esper battles).

I really would like some story and game flow modifications, but I can see that as being too much of an undertaking :(. perhaps i will contribute at some point?.?

Version 2.0.5 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Pleasantly surprised!Echoherb08 May 20212.6.3Yes
Very Well Done Hackmwa061925 Apr 20212.6.3Yes
Great art, bad everything else (long review)PokeFaize28 Feb 20212.5No
From brilliance to silly.Old_gamer11 Mar 20202.0.6Yes
Quality CrispRayofJay16 Feb 20202.0.5Yes
Better than the Original??Fein24 Apr 20181.8.3Yes
Best FF6 Hack of 2016break23 Aug 20161.6.0Yes
So very goodjesusbaddog22 Aug 20151.3Yes
Very Cool HackKlaviaturist27 Jan 20151.2Yes
Kludgy, but deserves meritEndymian07 Jan 20151.1Yes