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Fm3 ps1 cover

Front Mission 3 is a tactical role-playing game for the PlayStation, created by Square and released in Japan on September 9, 1999, and later in North America on March 22, 2000. It is based on the near-future of the real world, circa 2112.

It was the first title in the Front Mission series to be released in North America, courtesy of Square Electronic Arts.

GameplayEdit

Front Mission 3 is a turn-based strategy RPG, where the player goes through a series of battles interspersed with cutscenes. The player's party consists of several playable characters (PCs) and the robots they pilot, referred to as Wanzers. Wanzers are customisable, consisting of four parts: body, two arms, and legs. An optional backpack can also be attached, which can either be an item container or a turbo backpack. Fresh wanzers can also be assembled from scratch.

Battles take place on maps divided into a grid of tiles. The player may deploy a maximum of four units and gets the first move. Each team moves all their units before the turn switches to the other team. In certain maps, the player will have allied units that may also be in need of protection. On the same note, the enemy could deploy reinforcements on later turns. Enemy units are defeated by destroying the Wanzers, directly killing the pilots, or forcing them to surrender. Most battles are won through the destruction or surrender of all enemy units. The player can also access new combat skills by meeting certain conditions involving their Wanzer's parts and weapons.

In between battles the story progresses through a series of semi-interactive cutscenes, referred to as "Intermissions." The player may save the game at any point during an intermission. Player characters each have an email address, as well as a shared one for the team. This is mostly for receiving messages, although characters can only reply to certain messages with predefined replies. There is also a virtual network set up as a sort of mini-internet, containing websites which can be accessed after their addresses are discovered, either through interaction with NPCs, reading hints on other websites, or through the email system.

PlotEdit

Setting and storyEdit

Front Mission 3 tells the story of  Kazuki Takemura, who is the player character and a Japanese citizen of the Oceana Community Union (OCU). In 2112, Kazuki is a Wanzer test pilot for Kirishima Heavy Industries. He and his friend, Ryogo Kusama, get caught up in a national conspiracy involving a massive explosion that occurs during their visit to the Yokosuka military base. From this point the plot splits into two different storylines depending on a choice made early in the game.

In the canon storyline (where Kazuki joins Ryogo in delivering construction wanzers) has the player aligned with the USN. In this side of the story, Kazuki teams up with USN officer Emir Kramskoi (Emma Klamsky in the North American release). Their partnership brings them into a conflict against the DHZ and the OCU in search of the ultimate weapon of mass destruction: MIDAS, which the Japanese Defense Force (JDF) stole in the game's introduction cutscene. Emma is assigned to recover the device.

In the other non canon storyline (if the player refuses to accompany Ryogo), Kazuki and Ryogo along with Kazuki's stepsister, Alisa, join up with Da Han Zhong agent Liu Hei Fong who helps them escape Japan after the JDF marks them as scapegoats for the explosion. Unlike the Emma storyline where the player fights against the DHZ Army, players will ally with the DHZ against the USN and Hua Lian Rebels. For example, in one part of the Emma storyline, the player must disable the DHZ Changli Army mobile fortress Tian-Lei while in the same plot sequence during the Alisa storyline, the player must protect it from the Hua Lian's attack.

The two storylines in Front Mission 3 intertwine, often requiring the player to play both scenarios to understand the game's plot. However, it is not known which of the two scenarios are canonically related to Front Mission 5: Scars of the War, as parts of FM3's MIDAS theft cutscene is recycled late in the game as security camera footage.

The two scenarios have exclusive characters; indeed, only Kazuki and Ryogo are playable on both scenarios.

AudioEdit

The game's musical score, Front Mission 3 Original Soundtrack, was composed and arranged by Koji Hayama, Hayato Matsuo, and SHIGEKI. It was produced by Hayama and Matsuo. The soundtrack was released on September 22, 1999, by DigiCube and has not been re-released by Square Enix. It bears the catalog number SSCX-10035.

Hayama and Matsuo split the composition of the soundtrack, with the former composing 20 tracks and the latter 26 tracks, respectively. SHIGEKI has a sole contribution, the first track of disc one.

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