Posted on August 19, 2019
Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book/ロマンシング サ・ガ3基礎知識編
Worth getting? Yes!
Table of Contents
- 1 Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book Overview
Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book Overview
Here we have the 3rd and final Romancing SaGa 3 Guide Book – the Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book! Let me tell you right off the bat – this is one hell of an in-depth book! Think of it essentially as a Romancing SaGa 3 Encyclopedia, it covers everything about how the game works, meaning it covers battle mechanics, bestiary/item lists, the war and economic mini-games, and much more! Considering this is also a Square guide book, the overall feeling is quite similar to the Final Fantasy IV Fundamental Knowledge Book/ファイナルファンタジーIV基礎知識編, so if you’ve seen this post before you should have a general idea of what to expect!
Before I get into going over what’s actually in the book, I just want to say that this book would have been a massive help while playing through Romancing SaGa 3 for the first time. Anyone who’s played a SaGa game before knows just how cryptic and complex the games are, so having something that breaks everything down to such a level that the Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book does would have made playing the game a much smoother and fulfilling experience!
The guide itself is broken down into 6 distinct sections – “Fundamental Systems”, “Characters”, “Monsters”, “Items, “Battle Data”, and “Trade Data”. Like I usually do, it’d probably be easier to put each of these into broader categories, so i’ll categorize them as “Guide”, “Characters”, and “Data” sections like always! Now then, onto the “Guide” section of the overview!
Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book “Guide” Section
While more than half of the guide itself consists of what’ll be included in the “Data” section, besides a few pages in the “Characters” section, the rest of the guide is dedicated to the “Guide” section, which goes over all of the different systems in Romancing SaGa 3. This is the section that explains battle mechanics, status effects/elemental weaknesses, how to navigate the trading and army mini-games, and even going so far as to go over how to buy stuff from shops and other completely basic stuff to make sure it covers all bases.
While a lot of the stuff like buying from shops, navigating the main menu, moving around on the world map, and other simple stuff might not be very helpful, the parts that go over the more complex mechanics such as determining what stats will increase after battle and what skills can be learned from what weapons (some require using certain weapon skills in order to “Spark”) is invaluable! None of the Romancing SaGa games have any explanations of this stuff, be it in-game or in the instruction manuals, so there’s no way to figure any of this stuff would without the Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book.
For me personally, the Romancing SaGa series almost feels like it was created the way it was to sell guide books. SFC/SNES era Final Fantasy games, for example, never really made me feel like I didn’t know what was going on behind the scenes. I never felt like I didn’t understand a big part of character progression or certain combat mechanics. The Romancing SaGa series, on the other hand, almost always made me feel like I didn’t really know anything at all about what was going on during battles or why characters would level intelligence with melee attacks in one fight, but then level speed in another fight while doing the exact same stuff.
For this reason, I particularly find the guide books for the Romancing SaGa series really useful. While I was still able to beat all 3 games in the series without actually using any of the guide books I had, there’s no denying that you’ll be on a much more “level” playing field if you do decide to use them (you’re always at a disadvantage by default in the RS games, and not understanding the game-mechanics only increases that disadvantage).
The next section in the guide, “Characters”, is basically the same as it is in both the Romancing SaGa 3 Adventure Guide Book and the Romancing SaGa 3 Complete Walkthrough Guide Book. I’ll just briefly go over this section because i’ve already written about it twice in the above Guide Book overviews.
Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book “Characters” Section
For the most part, the character introductions in this Guide Book are the same as the ones in the other two Guide Books, just paraphrased a bit differently. For this reason, I won’t go through the trouble of writing them again (kinda running out of new characters to write about…). There is one cool new addition to the introductions in the Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book, though!
Each character has a personal Stat Diagram that shows their starting stats when you recruit them! This wasn’t included in the other two books or in the official manual as far as I remember, so this is actually pretty helpful if you’re using the guide at the beginning of the game and you want to theory-craft your main team beforehand!
In the other guide books, you kind of had to read the character description and hope that the character’s illustration actually matched the type of character they were. For some characters it’s pretty hard to know if they are a melee character, a caster, and even then what weapons they were good at or what magic elements they specialized in. Having the Stat Diagrams right there for you to see gives you at least a basic idea of what to expect from everyone.
Along with the Stat Diagrams, this book has detailed character break-downs, which tell you what kind of starting equipment each character has, their starting weapon-type, and what techniques they have right out the gate. This is also very helpful when building a team, since the break-downs combined with the Stat Diagrams basically tell you everything you need to know about a character before you go through all the trouble to recruit them!
Out of all 3 guide books, the character introductions in the Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book are the most helpful, by far! The actual character lore descriptions can sometimes be very short, so if you’re looking more for lore-filled descriptions, the other two books will fit the bill better, I believe. If you’re more worried about the game-mechanics side of things, this book will be your best bet for building your A-Team!
Next, we’ll talk about the last part of the Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book, the “Data” section! There’s a lot of different stuff in this section, so we’ll have a bit to cover here!
Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book “Data” Section
Since we’re talking about a “Fundamental Knowledge” Guide Book here, one should expect there to be a decent amount of Data-related stuff included (bestiary, item lists, etc). Well, the Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book definitely does not disappoint here! There’s a ton of stuff included, and it’s all worth checking out!
First, I gotta mention the Bestiary. The Bestiary in this book is awesome, you get an in-game screenshot of each enemy sprite, along with individual descriptions + Stat, Drop, and Technique tables! This is great for figuring out which monsters you want to farm for specific items, as well as being able to tell what attacks you’ll have to deal with beforehand!
Most Bestiaries usually have good screenshots + basic loot/experience tables, or you have guides with decent loot/item tables but no sprite screenshots. The Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book has everything, including “Tier” levels which indicate which “Tier” each monster is (monsters get stronger as you do in the Romancing SaGa series)! This is definitely one of the best Bestiaries i’ve seen so far for an SFC/SNES era Guide Book!
Next up are the Item Lists. These are pretty great, too. They include what I love most, illustrations of items and equipment! While that’s just a personal preference, I love it when the creators go the extra mile and include little stuff like this. How are the actual lists themselves? I found them to be pretty nice!
The equipment list shows basic illustrations of the item-type, along with each item’s stats which include Attack Power, Price, whether it can be bought or if it has to be found, and a description of said item. While there are item illustrations, it’s actually not on a per-item basis. As you can see in the picture here, the “Sword” section has some general sword illustration, but not individual illustrations for each item, which is kind of a bummer.
Things are basically the same when it comes to the armor section, too. You get some general illustrations of a particular armor-type, along with the descriptions and stats. Armor has some extra stats such as elemental affinity and recovery, but other than that the rest of the information is basically the same as the weapon lists.
One thing I really like is when Item Lists include some illustrations. Most people can sort of imagine what a sword, axe, or a shield would look like (give or take a few details), but I personally think it’s much harder to imagine what items look like! I remember the Live A Live Complete Walkthrough Guide Book and Elnard The Encyclopedia of Adventure having really nice item illustrations! While this book once again only shows a few random item illustrations, it’s definitely a neat touch!
Since items don’t have any stats associated with them, you’ll only get a price for buyable items, as well as a description of what the items do. Illustrations aside, the Item List isn’t the most detailed part of the guide, but there’s really only so much you can do when it comes to items, so there’s nothing bad I can really say about it.
Next up is the Formation Introduction section, which shows you all acquirable formations, each accompanied by an in-game screenshot of the formation for reference. Descriptions of the formation along with the mechanical advantages and disadvantages of it are included. Advice and reasons to use the formation are also listed in its description. If I remember right, I mostly stuck with a certain few formations, and I believe that the advantages and disadvantages were listed in-game, but maybe not in quite as much detail as the guide.
Last but not least, we have the “Trade Data” section, which seems like it lists all of the items that you can trade within the Economy/Trading mini-game. I personally never got to play this during my playthrough as the mini-game is only playable when you pick a certain character as your Main Character. Considering the fact that I don’t have any experience with the mini-game itself, I can’t really tell if the information this section provides is useful or not. It definitely looks in-depth, even going so far as having sprites for each town’s Trader(I assume?), tax rates, and lots of other stuff included!
Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book Review
I really liked the Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book, in terms of just overall usefulness! While the other guide books such as the Adventure Guide and Complete Walkthrough are meant to get you through the game, to me the Romancing SaGa series is more about actually understanding how to progress. Especially with the earlier games having the “Battle Count” determine story progress and other arcane stuff that you have no way of understanding, the Fundamental Knowledge Guide Books are a must have for these games.
If you take the time to actually read through the “Fundamental Systems” part of the guide, a lot of stuff will become a lot more clearer. I absolutely recommend the Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book for anyone who is struggling to get through the game due to difficulty reasons (if you’re getting stuck because of not knowing where to go or what to do next, the Complete Walkthrough would be the way to go)!
Worth getting? Yes!
If you still haven’t checked it out yet, please take a look at my Romancing SaGa 3/ロマンシング サ・ガ3 review for the Super Famicom!
Check out my overviews of the other 2 official guide books below!