Rune Factory 3 Special Review

Rune Factory 3

Rune Factory 3: Fantasy Harvest Moon is a simulation role-playing video game originally developed by Neverland in 2009 for the Nintendo DS. Releases in Japan, North America and Europe followed in the following years.

Part of the Rune Factory series, it combines farming simulation with RPG elements. In March 2023, Nintendo Switch launched a remastered version called “Rune Factory 3 Special” in Japan, and it was released globally on Switch and Windows in September of the same year.

Rune Factory 3 Special Review

Faithfully Remastered: Rune Factory 3 Special Edition retains the style of its Nintendo DS predecessor, offering significant graphical improvements while adhering to its original gameplay. Developed by Marvelous Inc and XSEED Games, known for their contributions to the Rune Factory and Story of Seasons series, the game retains the core storyline: players with amnesia find themselves in a volcano. Enter the mysterious world of conflict between monsters and humans.

However, it lacks options for playing female characters, missing an opportunity for inclusivity.

Daily activities:

The game combines farming, crafting, romance, and dungeon crawling to provide players with a variety of activities. Although slow at first, the gameplay loop becomes satisfying as the player tends the farm, completes tasks, interacts with NPCs, and explores various abilities. However, some activities may feel repetitive.

Control issues:

The controls in Rune Factory 3 Special need improvement, especially in terms of inventory management and item equipping. Combat controls remain largely the same but provide an enjoyable experience with unique spells, special moves, and the option to fight as a monster. The introduction of the Hell difficulty setting increases the challenge.

Attractive characters:

The highlight of the game is its character development, featuring well-defined and unique townsfolk. Updated graphics and recordings enhance the experience, although it lacks a same-sex marriage option. Newlywed Mode provides additional missions after the main story, adding depth to marriage in the game.

Visual enhancement:

Rune Factory 3 Special Edition delivers an immersive world with improved graphics, creating beautiful and stylized environments in a variety of biomes. Despite some occasional glitches, the combination of new iconography, sharper visuals, and an enchanting soundtrack enhance the overall fantasy experience.

Final Verdict: While Rune Factory 3 Special remains true to its source material and offers visual improvements, it lacks innovation beyond aesthetics. The addition of Newlywed Mode and Hell difficulty settings offer some value, but feel more like a redesigned version of the original game. Still, fans of the series will have fun with this version.


Rune Factory 3 gameplay

In “Rune Factory 3 Special Edition”, the player plays the protagonist Micah who suffers from amnesia and embarks on a journey to a quaint village. He first meets Sarah, a hospitable local resident. Set in this peaceful town, players are given the responsibility of managing and nurturing a town farm, providing a variety of income avenues including crop cultivation, fishing, and resource gathering.

Delving deeper into the game reveals vast dungeons filled with terrifying monsters. Micah fights these opponents, and interestingly, some can even be tamed and made friends.

This special version introduces significant enhancements, including an advanced artificial intelligence system with dynamic timelines, fresh combat commands, and rich NPC interactions. Among the notable changes is that players can transform into golden wool, dig crops under a unique tree in Micah’s residence, and recruit villagers as valuable combat allies to expand strategic possibilities.

The game also introduces a multiplayer mode for up to three players, promoting collaborative dungeon crawling, encounters with rare creatures, and the search for elusive treasures in a more engaging and interactive way than its predecessor.

Rune Factory 3 plot

When Micah arrives in the village, he uncovers a puzzling dilemma – the giant Sharanth tree has been barren for fifty years, causing widespread land degradation. His journey includes rejuvenating the tree while managing the farm surrounding it. He suddenly received an unexpected revelation – he had the extraordinary ability to transform into a golden retriever and had half-demon blood. In order to keep this secret, he hid his true identity from the villagers.

During the course of his adventure, Micah encounters Univale, a desert civilization with a tense history. Although they once had a friendly rapport, tensions arose, leading to estrangement. Determined to promote reconciliation, Micah wins the trust of both parties and uncovers the sealed memories hidden within the mysterious orb. By defeating a powerful opponent and revealing his true identity, Micah successfully mediates between the villagers and Univere, rekindling their harmonious coexistence.

However, Micah’s happy wedding takes an unexpected turn when his beloved mysteriously disappears. He embarks on a perilous journey to ancient ruins, where he encounters the fearsome water dragon Aquaticus.

Aquaticus initially opposed their union, believing that humans and Univir should remain separate. However, Micah’s unwavering determination touched the dragon’s heart. Aquaticus revealed that his actions were aimed at uniting the two races, which was crucial to restoring the Shared Tree and averting the impending disaster. The game ends with Micah’s triumphant marriage and the magnificent revival of the Sarance Tree, symbolizing new hope and unity.

“Rune Factory 3” trailer

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