This article is from the Final-Fantasy and other Square Soft Games FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (Nick Zitzmann) with numerous contributions by others.
600 years ago, an event known as the "Shishoku" occurred when "Shisei,"
the Death Planet, eclipsed the sun, and all new infant life died on
Earth. All infants, baby animals, and new plants died. However, one baby
survived the "Shishoku," and when he grew up, he became the "Maou"
(Demon King) and conquered the earth. He opened the "Abyss Gates" to a
dimension where four races of evil Abyss beings lived. These beings
flooded the earth. However, suddenly the Maou disappeared, and the
attacks of the Abyss Gate monsters decreased.
300 years later, after the earth began to rebuild from the Maou's
domination, and another "Shishoku" occurred. Again, one baby managed to
survive the event, and the Maou's memory began to come back to the baby.
Fearing another world domination, the people tried to kill the infant,
but as fate would have it, the baby was not killed. However, when this
baby grew up, he became the "Seiou," (Holy King) and united the world in
peace and harmony. In addition, the Seiou sealed the Abyss Gates
Now, 300 years after the second "Shishoku," just as the peace that the
Seiou installed began to fall apart, yet another "Shishoku" occurred,
and yet another baby survived. However, having not yet fully grown,
nobody knows how this baby will turn out.
Romancing Saga 3 takes place more than a decade after the third
"Shishoku." The player picks a main character out of eight characters:
Julian, a member of the Shinon group of pioneers; Ellen, a childhood
friend of Julian's and fellow member of Shinon; Harid, a world-famous
mercenary; Sara, Ellen's younger sister; Monica, the princess of the
country of Roanu; Katarina, Monica's personal guard and surrogate older
sister; Thomas, a childhood friend of Julian, Ellen, and Sara, and
president of a trading company; and Mikhail, Ellen's older brother and
young king of Roanu. Through a random storm, all these characters get
tied together and go on a single quest in the beginning, splitting into
different parties. Afterwards, the story splits and focuses on the main
character's point of view. Later on, the main characters learn that
there are four Abyss Gates still open and go out to seal them off. And
of course, the baby that survived the "Shishoku" plays no small part in
all of this...
In terms of gameplay, RS3 shares some similarities with RS2 in that
there are no experience levels and character advancement depends solely
upon what each character practices. At the beginning of the game, in
addition to picking a main character, the player must also pick a
homeworld and weapon for your character. These choices will affect what
areas of the game the player will do well in. A large part of the combat
system depends on weapon techniques learned randomly in battles.
Although the techniques are learned randomly, weapon skill and primary
weapon also affect this as well. Like the other RS games, there are no
random battles; the monsters you fight are determined randomly, but
fights will not start until you run into an enemy icon on the map.
Being an almost completely non-linear game, the plot of RS3 will depend
slightly upon various choices the player makes throughout the game, and
what characters are in the party. Unlike most RPGs, though, instead of
having one continuous plot, RS3 consists almost entirely of many small
subplots. Most of these subplots can be taken in any order, and it is
not necessary to complete all of them. Also, some subplots are only open
to certain characters, like the company management event for Thomas, and
the "country ruling" event for Mikhail.