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Video Game / Breath of Fire III

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The third game in the long-running Eastern RPG series Breath of Fire, released on the PlayStation in September 1997 in Japan and April 1998 in North America. It was later ported into the PlayStation Portable system and released in August 2005 in Japan and February 2006 in Europe, with no North American release. (Until 2016.) As typical for the BoF series, several characters from the earlier games are reinvented here.

The game takes place in a Standard Fantasy Setting, except that it has humanoid animals co-existing peacefully with humans. There are also some machines, though their origin is a mystery. A long time ago there also existed a race of dragons, but they were killed off for some forgotten reason; only their fossils remain, turned into crystals which are mined to power machines.

The story begins when a dragon whelp turns up alive in a mine. It escapes and takes the form of a boy named Ryu. The first part of the game is about Ryu trying to survive and find friends; among those he makes are Rei, a goofy thief tigerman; his orphaned sidekick, Teepo; the Rebellious Princess Nina; the ditzy scientist Momo; and the gargoyle-like Garr. The second part has the (now older) Ryu and his friends investigate why the dragons were killed.


The game is mostly remembered for introducing some of the trademark game mechanics on the series, including Ryu's dragon gene system, which allowed the player to mix and match several different "genes" (crystals) in order to create a variety of dragon forms; The Masters, certain NPCs who after fulfilling their requirements granted those under their tutorship stat bonuses as well as new techniques; and the Skill system, special master/enemy spells that could be learned and used by any party member. Most of these gameplay elements were later refined in Breath of Fire IV.

There exists a character sheet for the series. Place any character-related tropes there.


This game provides examples of:

  • Actual Pacifist: Durandal, one of the masters, styles himself as one. He teaches two skills (Feign Swing, Unmotivate) that have no effect, and one that can't deliver a killing blow (Backhand).
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: Caer Xhan.
  • Aerith and Bob: Ryu, Rei, Nina, Momo, and Garland are real names. Peco, Pecoros, Teepo, and Garr are not.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: When Myria dies, her last words are her worrying about how the world will survive when she is gone, and praying to "God, if there is a God," asking what she should have done.
  • The Alcoholic: Fahl, one of the masters. Arguably Garr, whose bio states he likes liquor. He is also encountered early on in Fahl's bar and an NPC notes that he goes there often.
  • All in a Row
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: There are items taken out of drawers on more than one occasion.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit
  • Arranged Marriage: One quest in the first part of the game deals with this. The Guildmaster of Rhapala wants his daughter Shadis to marry Zig, the big, strong sailor he's chosen to be the next Guildmaster, and has set him the Engagement Challenge of fixing the guild lighthouse. However, she's in love with the guild's bookkeeper, Beyd, who's smart and kind but is too weak for anyone in the Guild to take him seriously as a leader. Accordingly, the party takes it upon themselves to teach Beyd to fight so he can fix the lighthouse before Zig does. Zig challenges him to a duel for the right to go to the lighthouse, which will mean the right to marry Shadis. Beyd wins, but is too badly beaten up to go fix it; nonetheless, beating Zig proves that Beyd has the chops to lead the guild.
  • Art Shift: The final scene of the game ditches the in-game models and depicts the characters in their promotional art appearances (see the page picture). This is mainly only a problem for Nina, who looks almost nothing like her artwork in both halves of the game.
  • Audio Adaptation: Breath of Fire III Drama Album, which has Nina narrating her adventures with Ryu pre-Time Skip to two original characters.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Usually averted; enemy leaders tend to be crooked cowards, rather than boss-worthy. Played straight with Balio and Sunder, who are Co-Dragons to the mysterious leader of the Sin City gang and far stronger than Ryu and his friends (they're only defeated when Garr steps in). Double Subverted with the boss man himself, who makes a Run for the Border when he hears that Rei is after him, but when caught at the border gate, proves to be a threat when transformed, and takes Rei down with one shot.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Chain Formation - yes, it gives you insane speed, but it shoots your defense to hell, meaning that if you're not going to kill your enemy in one turn, you'd better be prepared with tons of healing items.
    • Kaiser form, while insanely powerful, will guzzle your AP up so quick you'll barely get any use out of it, especially if you use the Infinity/Trance/Radiance gene combo to get it at maximum power; this costs a staggering 53 AP just to initiate, and another 27 each turn; that's 80 AP just for a single turn in a game where, late-game, most players will barely have over a hundred for Ryu! On the other hand...
  • Back from the Dead: Myria, from the first game.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Garr.
  • Bishōnen Line: Both subverted and played straight. Ryu's dragon forms get more and more monstrous, yet his ultimate form, the Kaiser, is...himself, colored gold. Subverted when he uses the Kaiser Breath attack, which turns him into a gigantic dragon.
  • Berserk Button: Steal the apple off the GooKing if you want it to stay and fight. Though you may regret it if you're not prepared enough...They have a chance to drop the Goo King Sword if you manage to survive, though.
  • The Berserker: The "Berserk" skill, which dramatically increases the target's strength and removes control of it for three turns, after which he just dies. There's also the enemy Berserker who uses said skill, and both Ryu and Rei get transformations which turns them into this.
  • Betting Mini Game: One of the possible jobs one can give to the Faeries. Includes a "Guessing the Number" and "Guessing the Minor/Major Number Order".
  • Bilingual Bonus/Theme Naming: All McNeil ghosts are named after business concepts. Similarly, all characters related to the port city of Rhapala have their names based off types of fishing bait.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ryu and friends defeat Myria, who muses if she did the right thing and asks if there really is a God that can answer her as she dies alone, but this means the technology and the Desert of Death are unable to be mitigated any further, and Garr turns to stone as the mere act of fighting Myria was a Heroic Sacrifice. While Yggdrasil points out that Myria was holding back the world from recolonizing these lands, Yggdrasil uses himself to sprout a new World Tree to hopefully begin to mend the problem and the game ends on the ambiguous note of our heroes staring out at the desert from a cliff, leaving the player to determine on their own if the right thing was done.
  • Black Comedy: You are forced to carry out the Mutant Plant's Driven to Suicide wish. You have to turn the conveyor belt on to feed him into the magma. Instead you can switch it on backwards carrying him away from the magma. He complains about it as if you hit the wrong floor button in an elevator!
  • Boss Bonanza: In the Myria station. There are plenty of new bosses. But given how some of the bosses are inside some segments of the station might not qualify specially in the end where you get to the inner laboratory where you face the Experiments which are mostly a Boss Rush per Capcom's tradition but they included a few new ones (including a Dodo bird, still the crowning moment of funny is when you have to face five Rockys, considering it can still inflict you the Egg status via the Ovum spell).
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Archmage and Berserker, probably the best known examples on the whole series. The GooKing may also count, specially when it's angry.
  • Boss Rush: Present in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in a labyrinth-esque area. If you don't care about the treasure, you only need to fight 2 of them, the first of them being a group of the first bosses of the game which do single-digit damage to even moderately-leveled party and who go down in a single hit.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Archmage and Berserker drop the best dagger and shield respectively. Unfortunately, they're incredibly marginal upgrades and by the time you can kill these two you're probably already at the final boss and can eat her for breakfast.
  • Broken Bridge: A literal broken bridge connects Yrall Region to Dauna Hills and the road leading to the Urkan region was destroyed by a volcano which you have to detour inside the volcano. Both roads becomes accessible after the Time Skip.
  • The Cameo: Following in Breath of Fire II's tradition, though obscured due to the translator's ignorance. From Breath of Fire I there's Mogu, Bo (named Gary from his Japanese name Gilly, which is short of his Japanese original Gilliam) and Ox (his Japanese name is Builder, which the translator changed into Worker). From Breath of Fire II we have Bow (not referred by name, though) and Jean (under his first name Ecarl/Ekaru). Ladon (the Dragon Lord/God of previous games) also appears as a Master. One can also spot Chun-Li and Sakura from Street Fighter watching from among the crowd in the contest.
  • Can't Drop the Hero
  • Cash Lure: You can catch the fish man merchant Maniro by baiting your hook with a gold bar.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Rei's infamous "Doesn't this just beat all?"
    • Nina's very insistent that Ryu "is not a bad dragon".
  • Central Theme: Why does power exist? Does power corrupt? If not, then what should it be used for? These questions build up to the ending's philosophical question: Is it better to trust in one God to rule the world, or trust that people will figure it out for themselves?
  • The Chosen One: Ryu later discovers he's one. Dragnier has it foreshadowed that the one to come from the other side of the ocean through the transportation machine would be the one to face off against their greatest enemy Myria.
  • Continuity Nod: Mostly to the first game. The most known being the mural seen at the intro and in Dragnier.
  • Convection Schmonvection
  • Cross Counter: Performed, by all things, a pair of fairies on each other when they get tired of the other one calling them dummies.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the game is relatively light-hearted overall, there are quite a number of horrifying events happening to, and around, Ryu. The game dwells on the ethics of genocide, life after death, religion and faith, and morality, and while it does so without feeling too heavy, the terrible nature of said acts are only barely glossed over. Try not to think about them too much: it won't end well for you.
  • Death Mountain: Mt. Glaus, Mt. Myrneg, Mt. Levett, Mt. Boumore...
  • Demoted to Extra: Deis, while still important, is now only a Master instead of a playable character.
  • Derelict Graveyard: Steel Beach.
  • Developers' Foresight: The Dragon Elder explicitly asks for a beautiful girl for him to continue his exposition. Since changing party members require exiting town and setting up camp (already time-consuming, and that's before you add the time it takes to exit the Elder's chambers), savvy players would just bring up the Required Party Member (Nina and Garr) to the scene beforehand. Bringing Momo instead would result in one of the most hilarious But Thou Must! of the game. And THEN adding Rei would also add even more hilarity. There's no other reason for the player to bring Rei and Momo to the Elder, and it merely serves as an Easter Egg.
  • Door to Before
  • Double Consciousness: character
    • Rei has a moment where a ghost like apparition of himself walks out of his body and he talks to it. Seems he is torn between his easy life as a highwayman and his quest for philosophical knowledge of why world destroying power exists. There really is no comparison between the two and he tries to come to terms with the fact things aren't as simple as he's used to.
    • Nina has the experience where she is torn between her duty as a princess and gaining valuable experience through exploration as well as working towards being her own person instead of just doing what she's told to do.
    • Momo's moment is more determination to find out the secrets of the machines while wondering what her father would do if he was alive and in her place.
  • Dub Name Change: We have Babadel/Bunyan, Zurusuru/Loki, Garland/Garr and Pecoros/Peco, just to name a few. There are plenty of enemies, items and other stuff whose names were changed.
  • Duel Boss: Not as prominent as in II. Normally, Ryu fights these, but not always (and the Hall of Fire plays with the trope to no end).
  • Dumb Dodo Bird: One is a part of the Boss Bonanza, and a Unique Enemy to boot (the rest of the bosses in the area are rematches of earlier bosses).
  • Dummied Out:
    • A few unused spells are found within the code, though only one actually has both effect and animation intact.
    • There's a healthy amount of unused text buried in the code. Among them an alternate version of the Balio and Sunder ambush, one hinting at Rei being member of the Mafia and another where his Weretiger ability is hinted at very early during the story.
      • His Weretiger ability is obliquely hinted at relatively early. At Mt. Glaus, when he goes off to kill the Nue, he mentions that only he can use a certain ability, which is why Bunyan sent him off alone since he tends to attack his allies in that form as well.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Both Myria and adult Teepo are seen almost at the start of the game.
    • Balio and Sunder entrust a captive Ryu and Nina to the barman (later master) Fahl. When the two kids make their escape, they seem to fail to notice that someone else in the bar is watching them, deep in thought. note 
  • Elite Tweak: The Masters system.
  • Endgame+: While you can save a "Clear" data of your game upon beating it (and the ability even do so is a Guide Dang It! since you need to wait at the otherwise uneventful The End screen for several minutes), all you get out of it is a few fishing-related items.
  • Extra Turn: The EX Turn option, which grants those with a high Agi stat a second action "between" turns.
  • Face–Heel Turn: See that picture up there? Did you notice Teepo isn't in it? There's a reason for that.
  • Fishing Minigame: As expected. It was also made an special mode in the PSP port which unlocked never-published concept art.
  • Foreshadowing: When Ryu and Teepo go after Rei to Mt. Glaus for the Nue hunt, he says to himself that he can't use "that" while they're around. Considering how dangerously powerful and rageful his Weretiger form is, this was probably for the best.
  • For Science!: Momo at times.
  • Four Is Death: The Guardians.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Deis' introduction, in which she pounds on Garr while wearing nothing but a (presumable) smile. Rumored to be one of the key reasons the game has not been re-released on PSN.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Rei and Momo. As noted, Garr is a Barefoot Cartoon Animal.
  • Genocide Backfire: Myria thought the dragons would be a menace to the world and ordered them killed.
  • Get on the Boat: Later in the game you get to sail the Inner Seas with Rhapala's ship.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Makes up a lot of the game's boss gallery.
  • Good vs. Good: Ryu is not a bad dragon, and is a consistently heroic individual who makes the world a better place. Myria is a goddess who has spent her existence protecting humanity from danger and providing it with technological and magical aid through chrysm and the technology of the Black Ship. Unfortunately, she believes that dragons are inherently dangerous to the world, which is why she wiped them out in the past, and will do the same to Ryu if he doesn't agree to be sealed away in Heaven. Yggdrasil also disagrees with her methods, because keeping the Desert of Death away from the lands of life prevents life from recolonizing it. There is no wrong choice here, just an open debate, and it's ultimately up to the player to decide which side is in the right,
  • Gravity Barrier: A notably egregious one. One of the teleporters leads very close to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and PAST the Desert Of Death, but you can't step out of it due to a crate blocking out the stairs, even though the characters could as easily jump down the damn machine! Especially when game mechanics allow the characters to drop down higher places.
  • Green Hill Zone: Most of Yrall Region, including the game's starting point, Cedar Woods.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Fairy Village.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Most famously, Balio and Sunder's first encounter. There's also Garr's fight at the contest.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Saving face, Emitai claims to have lost the fight on purpose against "some kids" in the Contest, when, actually, he tried to convince those kids to throw the fight for him!
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Desert of Death.
  • I Let You Win: Realized by Garr at Angel Tower. After Ryu, a mere child, defeats him using only a fraction of the Brood's power, he realizes that there is no possible way that the Guardians could have defeated the Brood if they had actually fought back. That leads him to question why they didn't fight back with their full strength, and why God wanted them destroyed in the first place.
  • Inevitable Tournament: The Arena/Genmel "Contest of Champions".
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Force Gene. At the point in the game where you acquire it, it's a massive power spike for little AP investment, works with the Fusion Gene to enhance the Rei Hybrid, and it gets even better when you get the Trance gene.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Royal Sword (You have to fish for whales to trade for this one!), or even better, the Goo King Sword.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Teepo has Ryu go through one.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Deconstructed. A mysterious cloaked man hires Ryu, Rei and Teepo to break into the mansion of their town's corrupt mayor, steal his ill gotten gains, and return them to their rightful owners. The townspeople are furious that the trio not only stole from their mayor, but implicated all of them in the crime by giving them the stolen goods. Not only that, but the mayor manages to have the last laugh by hiring Balio and Sunder. Karma eventually catches up to Loki after the Time Skip when Rei mauls him to near death, McNeil gets arrested by Wyndia for smuggling, and Mikba (Leader of Syn City: Balio and Sunder also serve him) is killed by Ryu and Co.
  • Justified Save Point: The main method of saving is a journal found during camp most commonly, but on other select points inside dungeons.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: The Dolphin boss speaks in a Kansai regional accent in the original Japanese and was even called the Kansai Dolphin. This got turned into a Crocodile Dundee-esque Australian accent in the English version.
  • Last of His Kind: Played up with Ryu. Later he finds out Dragnier still houses a few extra survivors, although they've mostly relinquished their powers, and the only one who still had them then performed a Heroic Sacrifice to transfer the power of Infinity to Ryu.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Mt. Zublo.
  • Lighthouse Point: Rhapala's Lighthouse, which is filled with all sort of monsters and ghosts.
  • Locked Door: A few throughout the game, mostly containing items. Fortunately, Rei's a Master of Unlocking.
  • Lost World: The Lost Shore.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Fishing Mode in the PSP version. As bad as it can be to hook certain fish, try doing it under a time limit while shooting for a certain score. It's even worse when the fish decide to all swim out of range.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Palet.
  • The Mafia: Main enemies in two of the game's arcs.
  • Magikarp Power: Peco. He starts out at Level 1 with no skills or stats to speak of, but has a very high stat growth, and by this point in the game there are plenty of Masters he can train under to customize his growth the way you want it. He also shares the highest Reprisal rate in the game with one of Ryu's dragon forms and possesses innate HP regeneration, both of which you can easily take advantage of.
  • Mana Potion: One item reduces AP costs when equipped, and using the Transfer skill on yourself restores MP.
  • Marathon Level: McNeil Manor is an early-game example. It has two parts (the garden and the interior) that the party has to traverse like a maze. The garden part is mostly a Stealth-Based Mission with a minor Fetch Quest near the beginning and two Mini-Boss battles, and the interior is so labyrinthine that some characters inside even lampshade the oddity of why the mansion is like that in the first place. The interior is dotted with powerful random encounters at that point in the game and several Mini-Boss battles. There is a bed for healing relativelynote  close to the entrance, and you'll find yourself backtracking there several times, especially after a tough battle, until at least you finally reach the attic (the second healing point) which by then is again, relatively close to the party's objective. Oh, and the worst part? The player must go through the interior with only two characters.
  • Martial Pacifist: Hondara. Before he'll allow you to study under him, you first have to learn how to fight without killing, which you accomplish by learning the otherwise useless moves of the Actual Pacifist mentioned above. The Urkans as a whole seem to lean in this direction...except in the very, very rare event that they go to war. Then the gloves come off.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: If someone was downed in battle and still down at the end, they would be brought back with 1 HP and have their max health reduced. The game also has the Mandrake healing item that's cheaper to buy than most other healing items and heals you to full, but likewise causes you to lose some of your max HP. Also, the game contains a move called Disembowel which inflicts HP to 1 at the cost of reducing the user's maximum HP.
    • There's also the Desert Of Death, where you also lose a percentage of your max HP if you keep walking when you're thirsty: Unlike the previous examples which capped the cumulative HP loss to 50% of max or so, your max HP can drop even further this way.
      • All above examples of max HP loss can only be cured by sleeping in an inn. Sleeping at the always-available free tent doesn't cure it and neither do any of the items.
  • Mentors: All Masters in theory, but Bunyan fills this role most explicitly, even before he becomes a Master.
  • Mood Whiplash: The hilarity that was happening after Deis was finally freed from her prison was suddenly interrupted by a Deliberately Monochrome flashback showing the war— No, massacre of the Brood, with a couple of dragons' corpses and a whelp note  visible.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Ryu and co. are good people (as Nina says, Ryu is "not a bad dragon"), and most of the enemies they fight are either dangerous monsters or simply villainous scum. However, some monsters are either just hunting for food (for themselves or their cubs), or attack humans because it's their nature and cannot help themselves, some of the intelligent enemies have their own reasons for fighting Ryu and his friends, and there are a couple of cases where Ryu and his friends have to kill good people because that's what's necessary to complete their quest. Myria, the Big Bad, is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who's fighting to protect the "lands of life" from desertification, from the wars that unrestricted technological advance might cause, and from the world-threatening power of the Brood. But Ryu may not be interested in staying locked up on Myria's station, and as Yggdrasil points out, the life that she's protecting is getting awfully tired of the gilded cage that she's built.
  • Mr. Exposition: Both Deis and Jono.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Tell me you've never noticed Rei's agile glutes when his back is to the screen in battle.
  • Multiple Endings: As expected: One Bad End and one Good End. It is, interestingly, entirely possible to debate which is which.
  • Must Make Amends: Garr, the traitor who helped wipe out Ryu's race under Myria's command. Later, he plans on bringing Ryu to Myria, to question why the goddess issued those orders. He ends up defending Ryu from Myria himself.
  • My Greatest Failure: For Rei, it's failing to protect his "family".
    • Somewhat subverted in that Teepo becomes an enemy you must kill later in the game.
  • Non-Human Undead: There are zombie dragon bosses.
  • Not Completely Useless: Durandal's Backhand can't finish off an enemy. Aside from the fact that you have to learn it to unlock Hondara, most players would write it off as useless...but when training Beyd, you want to injure him without knocking him out, so Backhands are a good way to train up his HP and Defense.
  • Novelization: Breath of Fire - Childhood Chapter, focusing mostly around the first half of the game.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Party members will remind you where they were heading to when talked in the camp.
  • Off-Model: For such a beautifully animated game, anyone who looks at the artwork and then the in-game spritework will find it jarring that Ryu, Teepo, and Nina basically barely resemble their promotional artwork at all. While Ryu's post-Time Skip self looks on-point, his child self has completely different clothes and an almost jelly-esque poo hair shape, and Teepo gets long hair and an outfit that looks it has a skirt. Nina's young design has somewhat accurate clothing, but her hair style is pretty different, and after the timeskip her entire design is completely different. This is the most blatant when you get the Art Shift in the ending, as Nina suddenly barely resembles herself from the past couple dozen hours. Part of the problem stems from the fact that these three characters had all their sprites done with concept artwork in mind, which varied wildly from the promotional artwork used for the face portraits and everywhere else surrounding the game.
    • Rei also shares this problem, albeit mostly because his hair style in the first half of the game doesn't really match up with his face portrait. However, there's no real artwork of this younger version of himself to compare it to, and he actually is dead accurate in the second half of the game.
  • Oh, Crap!: Myria of all people gets a really good one when she realizes that Yggdrasil is with the party.
  • One-Winged Angel: If you are against a human/humanoid character, expect him/her to transform just before the fight.
  • Our Gods Are Different: There are several beings referred to as gods, or who are otherwise of equal power (Myria and Ladon for the first, Yggdrasil and Deis note  for the second; Ryu as the Kaiser may also count). None of them are omniscient or omnipotent, however (and Myria thinking of herself as such is what drove much of the Back Story). In the ending, Myria herself is found praying.
    • This is consistent with the view of gods in the Hindu and Buddhist faiths, which are also referenced in other places within the game (such as the name Sudama (a childhood friend of Krishna), the use of prana, or Garr's outfit and ringed spear being loosely patterned after a monk's robe, prayer beads, and ringed staff). The apparent nonexistence of an ultimate creator god "at the wheel" of the universe, such as might have given Myria an authoritative answer to her anxious question, is particularly Buddhist. As is Myria being taken for a "big-G God" when in fact only "little-g gods" exist in the setting.
  • Overrated and Underleveled: Garr gets so much praise during the story as the former champion of the contest, who single-handedly defeats groups of three and who can Death Glare Balio and Sunder shitless. Yet once he joins you, he's barely above the player in stats/level. This may be justified as a case of holding back: When Garr joins the party, he fully intends to take Ryu to Angel Tower and kill him to wipe out the Brood once and for all. He wouldn't really want to show off all his best moves up until that point, lest Ryu be prepared for him. He is ultimately much stronger at that point as well, though Ryu still wipes the floor with him.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
  • Permanently Missable Content: Did you fail to compliment Deis the first time you saw her in serpent form? No Master for you!
    • The Beast Spear, Garr's ultimate weapon, is lost forever if you leave the room before examining Gaist's remains.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Durandal's skills are only useful in two specific circumstances. First, training Beyd. Second, earning Hondara as a Master.
  • Plot Tunnel: Quite a few actually, though in every case, they're temporary:
    • Climbing Mt. Myrneg for the first time prevents you from going back to McNeil for hours.
    • Leaving Wyndia will lock you out of the city for hours.
    • Once you complete Angel Tower, you won't be able to return to quite a lot of the world map that you've already explored for a while.
    • Getting on the Black Ship is a one-way trip. Once you get to the other side, though, which takes months, you'll almost immediately find a teleporter and go right back, much to the consternation of the rest of the party, who become quite upset at having wasted so much time that they will now have to waste again getting back.
    • Crossing the Desert of Death is treated this way, though again you'll find a teleporter that lets you return to the rest of the world.
  • Port Town: The cities of Rhapala and Kombinat. There's also Parch and Dock. Parch is more like a fishing village though, so it's had to say if it actually exports anything.
  • Power Copying: Becomes a series staple with the Skill system.
  • Pressure Plate: One of the puzzles in Momo's Tower consists on turning all the colors of the floor tile the same by stepping on them.
  • Rare Candy: There are a slew of stat boosting items; Life Shard (HP), Magic Shard (AP), Power Food (Power), Protein (Defense), Fish-head (Intelligence), Swallow Eye (Speed), and Moxa (Willpower).
  • Really 700 Years Old: Deis, of course. There's also Elder Dragon Jono who comes from the time of the Great War, and so does Garr, seeing as he fought in the aforementioned war. Jono even remarks that Garr is "every bit as old as I am".
  • Revive Kills Zombie: An amusing example on a random encounter: A group of zombies led by one ZombieDr, who casts an all-healing spell on his team. Oops.
  • Robot Buddy: Honey, Momo's robotic pet.
  • Scavenger World: Most technology is fished up at Steel Beach and traded to the rest of the world. Only a handful of scientists (Momo, Repsol and Palet) actually try to develop new technology instead of just digging up the old. Myria is the one who's sending technology to the living lands, and she does so to improve their lives while keeping them from developing dangerous technology.
  • Schizo Tech: A major plot point. Still, there's the small issue of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon being a Space Station...Betcha didn't see that coming, did ya? Fully justified, though: Myria wanted to keep the world in perpetual stasis to prevent any of her "children" from coming to harm, which is also why she wanted to wipe out the Brood. Any technological advances could jeopardize her efforts.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Deis as she's first encountered.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: The "Influence" Skill marks one target which all low-Int enemies will attack until death.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Desert of Death.
  • Sidetrack Bonus: Going on alternate paths in the Desert of Death nets you a few good items.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the Western versions, the woodsman Babadel is named Bunyan, after Paul Bunyan.
    • The (literal) horsemen Balio and Sunder are named after Balius and Xanthus, a pair of immortal horses from Greek mythology.
    • Stallion's design and signature attack (as well as the animation for it) are a straight one to Ultraman. Strangely enough, these were removed on the PSP port, turning Stallion's white skin into brown, and changing the attack's name.
    • Though a Dummied Out spell, there was one which would have apparently stopped time. Its name? ZA WARUDO! There are even unused voice clips of the whole cast shouting it.
    • In the Japanese version, the two dragons summoned by Gishaborg/Gisshan in Mount Zublo are called Rufus and Arby, referencing a pair of Borzoi dogs from the manga Kaze Densetsu - Bukkomi no Taku. In the Western versions, they are localized to Scylla and Charybdis (another Greek mythology reference).
    • The original names of Kukuys (Kukurusu) and Doan in the Japanese version are a reference to the Mobile Suit Gundam episode "Cucuruz Doan's Island".
    • To fellow Capcom franchise Resident Evil: Two of the late-game enemies are named Plant42 and Yawn. The latter, however, is Lost in Translation as the enemy was renamed Foul Weed.
    • Rei's "I meant to do that" leap across the roof of McNeil Mansion should look familiar to fans of The Castle of Cagliostro.
    • A second reference to Lupin the Third is found in the Japanese name of the Artemis' Cap, an item that increases accuracy: Jigen Hat.
    • Ryu's Kaiser form causes him to gain incredible strength, blonde hair and without proper care he loses control of himself. Sounds like a Super Saiyan.
    • The introduction scenes for the Dolphin and Ammonites bosses are straight-forward references to the one iconic scnee from Jaws.
    • One of the late-game weapons is the Heat Shotel, a reference to the Sandrock Gundam's Weapon of Choice from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix
  • Stock Scream: Surprisingly, the sound effect of Myria's Venom spell is the Howie Long scream slowed down. You can clearly hear it in this sped-up video.
  • Time Skip: At the halfway point.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After Ryu first encounter Balio and Sunder, his attack animation changes from terrified flailing to confident striking, reflecting his period of toughening up after his life starts to suck.
  • True Companions: Ryu, Rei and Teepo.
  • Tsundere: Cadis the faerie. The other two faeries present in the party's first visit of the village seem to be like that too, but they don't really interact with the party much. Also, the Shipmaster Shadis to the Bookkeeper Beyd.
  • Tutorial Failure: Good luck finding your way through the desert by following the in-game instructions.
    • Interestingly, the spoken instructions given before the desert are correct, but the written ones you can check at desert camps are wrong. This may be intentional as there is an emphasis on the incorrect words.
  • Two Beings, One Body:
    • Ryu's "Hybrid" dragon form can take on four different appearances which takes characteristics and skills based off his teammates.
    • Stallion, Balio and Sunder's merged One-Winged Angel.
  • Underground Level: Dauna Mines.
  • The Unreveal: We never find out why Ryu had a prophetic dream as a boy (but never again) or whose voice warned him not to kill in Dauna Mine. (Fan speculation is that it was the spirit of his dead mother, who may have been the female ghost in the mine.) For that matter, we never find out why Ryu is still alive, when all the other remaining Brood lost the ability to transform (it's implied in a cutscene that Deis was responsible somehow).
  • Vice City: The aptly-named Syn City. The English translation doesn't even try to hide it by sometimes referring to it as "Sin City".
  • Video Game Geography: Type 1 "Flat and Rectangular". The world does expand beyond the areas you visit, but most of it is unreachable due to mountains or other stuff blocking the path.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: The sailor Zig, Beyd's rival for Shadis' affections and leadership of the Guild. He's a capable and honest sailor, but he acts like a major Jerk Jock to the bespectacled bookkeeper Beyd, spends a lot of time flexing his biceps lecherously at Shadis and has a sycophant following him around everywhere, so Ryu and company have a reason to want to help Beyd take his shot at Shadis. After he's defeated, Zig is a big enough man to accept that he lost and that Shadis belongs with Beyd, and later becomes the pilot for Ryu and friends' ship.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Ryu, as well as Rei once he gets the Weretiger command.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The shenanigans that happen in Rhapala during Childhood have very little relevance to the greater plot. You just have to sort out the issues with an Arranged Marriage, a broken lighthouse, and the fairies that were keeping the lighthouse from being repaired, before you can pass on to the Urkan Region. While the Guild provides some assistance after the Time Skip and the fairies become a major Side Quest later, ultimately the purpose of the events in Rhapala is to extend the game a bit.
  • Waiting Puzzle: Appears near the end with a dragon statue asking Ryu to "Bow down before me and pray...", a Continuity Nod to save-points of the previous games, but with no other hints or any animation of Ryu's sprite as indication of anything happening, making it seem like he won a stare-down with the statue when the path eventually opens.
  • Warp Whistle: There are teleporters scattered all over the world, which allow an easy way to reach different areas at once.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Myria, although somewhat open to interpretation.
  • We Were Your Team: In the childhood era, the only thing keeping the group together is Ryu, his search for Rei and Teepo, and Garr's desire to take him to Angel Tower. After Angel Tower, Ryu is MIA and Rei and Teepo are nowhere to be found. Nina returns to Wyndia, while Momo becomes a consulting engineer and tries to find out more about Peco. Garr, however, chases after Ryu, because their confrontation had left him with more questions than answers.
  • Wham Episode: The Angel Tower, where Garr's true identity and motivations are revealed.
    Garr: Recorded on these stone tablets are the names of us Guardians...otherwise Dragon-Slayers!
    • The game is full of tragic moments, though it's so long between each that it's easy to miss that it's a main theme of the game. However near the end the protagonist is reminded of several of them before making an important choice.
    • Your first encounter with Balio and Sunder.
  • Wham Shot: As the climax of the game approaches, you are directed to an unimaginably ancient ruin where it's said that the gods walked in long-vanished ages... and it turns out to be a modern-day city, confirming that the game does not take place in the Middle Ages with a bit of fantasy Schizo Tech, but in the distant future following a societal collapse.
  • World Tree: The main Yggdrasil (who doubles as a Master) and the several minor ones spread all over the world.

Alternative Title(s): Breath Of Fire 3


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