Posted By: wraggster
News via Gamespot
Since E3, Square Enix has been urging role-playing game fans to "complete the fantasy" later this year, when the RPG magnate releases Final Fantasy III for the Nintendo DS. After all, the game previously existed only on the Japanese Famicom and, thus, is the one entry in the Final Fantasy pantheon never to be released in the Western hemisphere, nor in English. Luckily, the new release will be far more than a simple port of the 16-year-old game. As anyone who's been keeping up with this remake's progress knows by now, Final Fantasy III will appear on the DS with a full 3D makeover.
From the sound of it, Final Fantasy III will be getting more than just a cosmetic upgrade; Square Enix appears to be adding some new features to the existing gameplay as well. Longtime fans of the series will remember the Mognet feature in Final Fantasy IX on the PlayStation, which let you send mail to in-game characters, as well as help deliver letters between various characters to pick up a few side quests. A similar mail feature was also included in the GameCube-exclusive Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Square Enix tipped us off that the Mognet will be making a return appearance in FFIII on the DS, this time with more functionality than ever.
It looks as though this mail system will work similarly to the way it did in FFIX: you'll be able to approach any of the moogles inhabiting the game world and speak to them, which will let you then send mail to any character you've met previously on your journey. This will sometimes let you open up new quests that will yield rewards you wouldn't be able to access otherwise. In the example shown in our new screenshots, the player has sent another character a letter asking how the person's kids are doing. Through this exchange, it becomes apparent the children have wandered into a dangerous cavern and become lost, which establishes a side quest that will have you delving into the cave to rescue the little troublemakers (and no doubt defeating some nefarious enemies in the process). Presumably, you'll be able to pick up some nice items and such by completing side quests like this one.
Mailing in-game characters will be a good way to pick up optional side quests--which will potentially offer tasty rewards.
What's more, Final Fantasy III's Mognet will let you use the DS's Wi-Fi capability to send mail to other players who have the game. Though it's not clear yet whether this will be possible over the Internet or merely through local wireless, the former option is certainly more sensible, since there wouldn't be much point in sending an in-game message to someone with whom you're already physically in the same place. At any rate, Square Enix says it'll be revealing more information on the Mognet feature as development continues, so in the near future we'll have more info on how exactly this will work.
The DS has been a little light on RPGs since its release, so we're all the more excited about getting a Final Fantasy on Nintendo's capable little handheld--and a brand-new one at that, at least for fans who don't speak Japanese. The visuals look great so far; will the antique RPG gameplay stand the test of time? We'll find out when Final Fantasy III ships in early October, and we'll bring you more as soon as possible.