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"Desire spawns Madness."
"Madness collapses into Disaster."
"Mankind Never Learns."
Opening text of Front Mission 3
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Front Mission 3 is a Humongous Mecha Strategy RPG video game published and developed by Square Enix (back when Squaresoft was around) for the PlayStation console. It was first released in Japan on September 2, 1999 with a release in North America on February 20, 2000, followed by Europe (and PAL-affiliated countries) on August 11, 2000. The game is a sequel to Front Mission 2, but has little to no connections to it (same goes with Front Mission 1).

The story begins in the year 2112, 10 years after the end of the Alordesh coup in the Oceania Cooperative Union (OCU), and takes place in Japan, parts of Southeast Asia and in the People's Republic of Da Han Zhong (parts of China and Taiwan) where players assume the role of Kazuki Takemura, a wanzer test pilot who's tasked to evaluate a new prototype wanzer made by Kirishima Heavy Industries (KHI) in Okinawa alongside his high school friend and fellow test pilot, Ryogo Kusama. After the test, the two are called in to assist with the first delivery of the new wanzers to the Japanese Maritime Defense Forces Base Yokosuka. But upon arrival, an explosion occus inside the base which Kazuki attempts to investigate since his adopted sister Alisa is inside. Later on, they're forced to escape being hunted by the Japanese Defense Forces after being framed as terrorists responsible for the incident. Depending on what choices the player makes, they'll either work alongside DHZ intelligence officer Liu Hei Fong or a United States of the New Continent (USN)-backed commando unit known as Purple Haze, under the Federal Agency of Intelligence (FAI), alongside Emir "Emma" Klamsky, a scientist who has an idea on what's happening in Japan.

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Front Mission 3 provides examples of:

  • Artificial Human: The Real and Imaginary Numbers in 3.
    • Cloning Blues: The Real Numbers were created through artificial insemination while the Imaginary Numbers were engineered from cell cultures inside amniotic tubes. As a result, the Real Numbers are biologically stable while the Imaginary Numbers have supernatural potential but are at risk of developing potentially fatal genetic complications later on.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: 3 has the missiler Salvo skill. When triggered, the pilot fires all the missles they have left in their rocket launcher. On one hand, its really cool looking and powerful. On the other, you have no more missles left unless you have spare rockets in your backpack. And the skill activates at random, which means it could trigger on a wanzer that is already about to die.
  • Badass Crew: Kazuki's True Companions eventually grows into this over the course of their stories. Both campaigns, no less.
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  • Boring, but Practical: Shields. It depends on who you ask. But on gaming message boards, the oft-suggested build for most pilots, is their weapon they are the best at and a shield. The only exception to this is Kazuki, given his Hybrid Assault focus on shotgun and melee, and even then, a shield paired with a shotgun or melee weapon isn't out of the question for him.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Emma's campaign: Kazuki Takemura manages to stop Lukav Minaev's plan, but his father Isao was killed and Alisa stayed behind to get rid of the MIDAS for good. At least he, along with the rest of the gang, arrive at the USN Assembly Building in time to tell the truth of the MIDAS incident to the whole world. And he and Emma decide to start a family together.
    • Alisa's campaign is this but a bit less so: Mostly similar to the above, Kazuki stops Lukav's plans, but Isao survives long enough that he is the one to stay behind to stop MIDAS. Emma survives, but she has been mentally broken by torture that Lukav inflicted on her; however she beginning the path to recovery at the end. And Alisa survives.
  • Combination Attack: The game takes this a step further with battle skills that allow pilots to attack an enemy en masse.
  • Corrupt Politician: Those involved fight for the copy of another Weapon of Mass Destruction and, to prevent the other party from obtaining it, detonate the said copy in a densely populated area, killing millions of civilians.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Jose Astrada at the finale of the Taal Naval Base arc: He wipes the floor with the mighty Purple Haze before you fights him and... you can kill him in a turn once the cutscene ends.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Inverted in the game, where the JDF Special Forces sport darkly colored wanzers.
  • David vs. Goliath: An Infantrymen trying to fight a wanzer with a sniper rifle, either out of incredible bravery or sheer stupidity, is quite an interesting sight. Either way, their small profile makes them hard to hit and and it's really annoying to get stunned or force-ejected by them.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: There is one example of this. Depending on the path you take for the mission to save Alisa in Emma's path, you recruit Jose after defeating him in battle. However, on a different path in the mission, he just dies and you recruit someone else later.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Kazuki's True Companions are eventually working with either a DHZ intelligence agent or the FAI.
  • Energy Weapon:
  • A new weapon class called "Beam" exists for energy-based weapons which happen to be the most powerful, since there is no defense against them. There are only a few Beam class weapons, and the player has access to one.
    • It is possible to use an enemy unit's Beam weapon if you hijack it...
  • Failsafe Failure: The ejection seats are ridiculously faulty. It is not that they don't work when the pilot is about to experience a fiery death, but are in fact way too prone to ejecting pilots from their wanzers after their machine gets shaken a bit too much. Being flung out of your wanzer with nothing but a worthless handgun seems almost random at times.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • For Want of a Nail: The fates of a lot of people are effectively determined by a rather simple choice made very early in the story. It is, in many cases, literally life-and-death.
  • Government Conspiracy: Emma's arc reveals that the USN has an interest with the theft of MIDAS after the events of Front Mission 5. Kazuki and company raided the White House in order to reveal it.
  • Guide Dang It!: Most guides include how to get the Hoshun Mk. 112... not so much on That One Level in Alisa's campaign, where, like all missions, you have four people, but you must have Ryogo on foot (which makes him squishier than Twinkies), and only three wanzers against a full complement of squads. And Ryogo *has* to go ahead, activate a panel, and then come back. If he bites it, game over.
    • The secret is actually simple. Just go to the Network and download a map of the Sewer area beforehand. Also, in both scenarios, you can buy the image-enhancing software. Use it on the map and you can go through the map normally with four units.
    • In the PSN version of 3, simply downloading the map will let you use all four wanzers, and the location and password of the map is given in an e-mail a few missions beforehand.
  • La Résistance: The creation of the People's Republic of Da Han Zhong led to the rise of an internal resistance faction called the Hua Lian Rebels which is equipped and financed by the USN. Although under-equipped and outnumbered by the Changli Army, the Hua Lian Rebels seek to put an end to Jie Bo Lao's dictatorship at any cost.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Those attack helicopters . When you hijack them with your long-range combat specialists, Hilarity Ensues.
  • Mind Rape: In Alisa's campaign, neither Emma nor Alisa are willing to tell Lukav how to build the MIDAS, so he forcibly extracts the information from Emma, and leaves her little more than an Empty Shell by the time Kazuki and Alisa rescue her.
  • My Hero, Zero: A popular Japanese wanzer type in the game.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Emir "Emma" Klamsky and Kazuki Takemura, tied with Alisa as the knot. Alisa is Emma's blood-tied and Kazuki's adoption-tied siblings, respectively.
    • In Emma's campaign, the Ship Tease is already thick at the beginning, Ryogo playing Shipper on Deck notwithstanding. But that culminates with the ending, where Alisa and Isao Takemura pull off Heroic Sacrifices. THIS is their last piece of dialogue:
    Emma: This is where we were born. And where we grew up together. I only have good memories of this place. We were a true family.
    Kazuki: A true family...
    Emma: I'll come back here when everything is done.
    Kazuki: We'll do that... with a new family.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Some of the enemies you encounter are Infantrymen, Tank Drivers, and Wanzer Pilots fighting on foot. The fact that you have to hit them more than once with your Wanzer-sized weapons before they go down really does not make any sense as the various projectiles you're firing at them are between 20mm (Wanzer guns) and 6 Inches (Missile Launchers) in diameter.
  • Post-Final Boss: In the Emma scenario, Kazuki Takemura and company face off against some USN Capital Police wanzers as they try to break through the convention center in order to expose the conspiracy behind the MIDAS incident. This comes after the final battle against Lukav Minaev and his lackeys back at Ocean City in Okinawa.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Changli Army and the Rapid Reaction Force.
  • Random Number God:
    • Each wanzer part has a hidden "Pilot Skill" that will be learned upon satisfying certain conditions. Some skills are easy to acquire and other skills... are absurdly cryptic and too hard to figure out.
    • If you get a stroke of really good luck, you can initiate and string together a consecutive line of skill activations (also known as a combo attack) that will result in an enemy unit being viciously hammered to near-death or complete destruction.
    • Grenade Launchers are area-of-effect weapons that can hit and damage multiple units but are very inaccurate. They can be potentially frustrating to use and even more frustrating to get shot with.
    • Stunning a pilot or forcing them to consider surrender after just a normal attack seems to be a completely random and unpredictable occurrence. Though not as random and unpredictable as the morale mechanic which can take a long or short time to decide on whether an affected pilot should continue or give up. (See Failsafe Failure)
  • Sequence Breaking: A minor, yet comedic, example. If you happen to download the Nagoya Sewers map before you discover the password to download it, Kazuki questions it.
    Kazuki: Ryogo, how do you know the password?
    Ryogo: Wouldn't you like to know?
  • Shield Bash: Shield Atk I, Shield Atk II and Shield Atk III are Pilot Skills that allow a melee attack to be performed with a shield.
  • Shout-Out: A FAI assault unit in is known as the Purple Haze.
    • There's an USN fighter codenamed "Red 5".
    • Searching the USN network of the internet will reveal some information about a convicted killer named Norman Bates. Further research reveals that Norman Bates is a failed Imaginary Number.
    • The name of the pseudo-Internet, Tenmou, literally translates as Skynet.
  • Sphere of Destruction: The MIDAS.
  • A Taste of Power: Kazuki and Ryogo start off testing out the Shunyo Mk. 111, a top-tier Gunner wanzer that you can't get until late game.
  • Time Skip: In Emma's story, there are two noticeable time skips towards the end. One happens right after the MIDAS vaporizes the Ocean City, when Kazuki and co. head to the USN assembly to expose the truth about the incident. The other one happens in the epilogue, which takes place a year after the story ends in 2113.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: Averted. There are the downloadable Picaresque and Kaleidoscope software, whose functions are to reveal the hidden layers of picture files and magnify them with perfect quality.
  • World Tour: You'll travel to Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, and China (Da Han Zhong).
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