Final Fantasy III: The New Returners

Author’s Notes #1

Well, New Returners has been a fun project. Not to mention long. This story was first concieved in 1994, not too long after I’d played Final Fantasy III for the first time. This “first version” of the story, which has mostly been lost, had Terra waking up in an apocalyptic world where the remains of the Returners were struggling for survival (you can tell this was before I beat the game; I had no idea the World of Ruin would return to normal at the end). In the first version, Kefka returned, not as a villian but as an ally. I forget just why. According to that story he was an Esper by birth and had been controlled by someone during his reign of terror. There were such plot threads as the death of Edgar--and his return as a ghost, an ill-fated romance between Sabin and Sailor Moon (yes, Sailor Moon :0)), Celes’s coping with Locke’s disability (he had somehow lost use of his legs), and of course, everyone learning to accept Kefka as a friend, which eventually led to love, and a marriage proposal, between him and Terra. That story, however, was never finished, and was scrapped once I’d beaten FFIII.

After that, I didn’t write much fanfic. I didn’t really have a use for it, and no one to read it, so I quit until I played Chrono Trigger for the first time. This game, which I beat 5 days after I got it, introduced me to one of the most intriguing characters I’ve ever known about: Magus. I became an absolute Magus maniac the second my suspicions about his lineage were confirmed. After that I wrote countless fanfic stories about him, none of which were very good, but they helped improve my writing.

Then I took my first trip on the Web, and after reading some fanfic, I decided I wanted my writing in a place where other people could read it as well. The original New Returners had already been lost for quite some time, but I came upon an even better idea: same name, same villians/supporting characters, but create a story that incorporated main characters from both CT and FFIII! It seemed like genius at the time, so I set about writing it.

I trashed the idea of Kefka as an ally near the very beginning, as I wasn’t sure just how I would make that work in such a different situation, not to mention that I’d hit upon a different love interest for Terra... If you’ve paid attention during the story, it’s almost painfully obvious. Originally, Schala didn’t have any part at all in the story, but I wanted very badly to write a scene in which Magus tells his sister his real identity, so I put her in at the last second--which turned out for the best, although it caused a rather big change in the storyline. In case you’re wondering where that scene is, well, it’s not to be found in the 4 Parts :0) It’s in Episode 1, Demon’s Bane, which may or may not be up yet, depending on where you’re reading this from.

I’ve had some questions regarding the appearance of Zarok. Well, I wanted to leave this up to everyone’s imagination, but I always pictured him as having a muscular man’s body, with short tan fur, and semi-human hands also covered in fur and with claws replacing fingernails. His head is sort of like a lion’s head, and instead of a mane he has long, human-style red hair in a ponytail (if you’ve ever seen Princess Jasmine’s ponytail in the Disney movie Aladdin, that’s the kind of ponytail I’m talking about). And yes, he DOES wear clothes. I imagine they would have to be specially tailored, though, since he’s so much bigger than your average human. His sword Brunhild is from the magnificent strategy RPG Ogre Battle, as well as the name of his empire, Zenobia. The most important part of the entire fanfic is also from this wonderful game :0)

I got a couple of emails regarding the appearances of Funsworth and Frog/Glenn, as well. As for Funsworth, I thought I did a pretty good job of describing him. You’ll just have to re-read the story, and trust that it is in there. And for the time I was writing the 4 Parts, I had no idea what Glenn looked like in his human form, or if I should even make him human--since, after all, he doesn’t return to human in the game unless you kill Magus. Eventually, I chose to let the readers decide, and so my descriptions of him are as vague as possible (yes, there is one place where he’s referred to as a “knight-type person,” but that’s it).

The several flashbacks, dream sequences etc. scattered throughout the Parts are meant to be insights into the sketchiest part of Magus’s otherwise well-developed background--the time he spent in 600 A.D. before the war between Mystics and humans. I won’t discuss that here, as this is supposed to be author’s notes, not a fanfic :0) But the matter of Magus’s past will be resolved in the course of (hopefully) several more stories.

And now, to finish up... This fic is far from over. As I’ve said before, the 4 Parts are just a prelude to the conflict to come, setting the scene for the Episodes, which chronicle the confrontation with ultimate evil. So, until this adventure comes to pass, I leave you with these parting words:

The Figaran Legend
One to be born of the sky
Hoisting the light and the dark
Arises through universes to the lair of demons
Shining with the light of newfound truth
It brings a new Hope to the worlds with
Peace for all mankind.

May all your adventures end in triumph.

Lady Marrah, a.k.a. Mgirl

March 25, 1998


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