Released in August 2010, Epic Battle Fantasy 3 (titled as Epic Battle Fantasy III in-game) is the third game in the EBF saga, the sequel to Epic Battle Fantasy 2. Along with Matt and Natalie, the game features a returning and now playable character, Lance, a gunner and an expert in bomb-elemental techniques, which are also a new edition to the series. Now jumping deeper into the role-playing genre, many elements which were not seen before have been integrated; of most significance is map navigation and the introduction of non-player characters.
After the defeat of Lance at the hands of Matt and Natalie during the events of EBF2, the world managed to rebuild civilization and proceeded to live in relative peace. The three heroes, meanwhile, banded together, hoping that no evil would be able to overcome their combined strength.
A few years later, the heroes stumble upon the resting place of the infamous Akron, an ancient demon god so powerful he was sealed away to prevent the destruction of the world. Unwisely, the heroes prodded him (Matt poking him just once with his sword) to test his vitality. Akron awoke with a violent shockwave, draining the heroes' power. The heroes were only saved from death by the fact that their combined power was too great for any one entity to completely absorb. They awake in a distant land, determined to recover their lost strength and defeat Akron for good.
As the heroes discover more about their current location, they also discern the resting place of Akron. Driven by vengeance, the heroes begin their trek north, regaining some of their powers as they go. Their first obstacle is a thick forest, home to a swarm of poisonous bees, enchanted trees, and worst of all, an enormous robotic pumpkin. Their next destination is a lake, full of nudists and pirates, crawling with Crabs and Jellyfish, and plagued by a perverted giant squid. A frozen valley provides a sudden change of pace, and the heroes find themselves facing bizarre magic creatures, powerful minibosses and the world's last woolly mammoth. Again providing a drastic environment change, the heroes ride the mammoth into a desert, dotted with the ruins of a fallen civilization and defended by their creations. Finally, the party scales an active volcano, slaying a three-headed dragon at its summit, and entering the rift that Akron had created with his newfound powers. After a climactic final battle for the fate of the universe, Akron is killed once and for all, and the heroes go on vacation at the beach.
New gameplay features include the ability to level up all three characters, gaining experience and a new system of Ability Points, to upgrade a vast collection of skills and spells. Equipment can be collected and equipped, as well as forged with certain combinations of items to upgrade their power and effectiveness. Additionally, side quests can be accumulated by talking to NPCs, and when completed, will reward certain equipment, items, medals, or additional skills. There are also minigames to play that provide a source of gold and medals.
Concept and design
In addition to all the artwork and designs from the previous two games, Matt Roszak had released fresh conceptual designs for the new game on DeviantArt as early as October 2009. He uploaded an interactive flash on 29 October which featured the three main characters, showing random newly-developed armour and weapons equipped, as well as the improved character animations. Interactive flashes featuring many new foes also followed, along with item designs and a test of the overworld navigation. On 28 January 2010, he revealed the opening animation to the game. Further conceptual art for icons, backgrounds, world maps and NPCs, previews of minigames, cutscenes, and demos of the GUI, upgrades and battle systems, were uploaded to show his progress, until several teaser screens displaying in-game fight scenes were eventually posted, the last one on 7 August, before the official release.
A Facebook Page was created on 5 July 2010, to launch the release of the upcoming sequel to Epic Battle Fantasy 2, and spread news of the game's developmental progress. On 12 August the first beta version was officially released to the public on DeviantArt, followed by the second on 22 August. However the final version was eventually moved to Kongregate and released on 1 September, due to DeviantArt inadvertently deleting saved game data. A Newgrounds version was subsequently released on 12 September, as well as Armor Games on 14 September. Several related videos were also uploaded to YouTube; gameplay of minigames, and a trailer of in-game clips. The official Epic Battle Fantasy 3 soundtrack went up for sale at $10 a disc.
As a result, Epic Battle Fantasy 3 received much appraisal. In less than a month, the game hit over two million plays on Kongregate, and by mid-October over one million on Armor Games, also winning the Newgrounds Award, and earning tons of positive reviews there. Similar reviews appeared on several other gaming sites, such as NonsenseGamer.com, and the game itself popped up on various unofficial sites. User-made videos flooded onto YouTube, demonstrating map walkthroughs and fighting strategies. Numerous fan artworks were uploaded to DeviantArt, and a tropes article on the game was added to TVTropes.org. A wiki project, the Epic Battle Fantasy Wiki had been initiated on 28 November 2009, however it wasn't until the release of Epic Battle Fantasy 3 that it began to kick off.
- Epic Battle Fantasy 3 is the first game in the series to allow free roaming.
- Also, it is the first game in the series to feature a new playable character, Lance.
Epic Battle Fantasy 3 frequently references other works ranging from video games to animation to literature. A few examples include:
- Cave Story: The NPC in charge of the last minigame, Curly, says "Did you know the witch woman Jenka had... oh, wrong person." This references a NPC in Cave Story with a similar line.
- Dragon Ball Z: Lance implies that his scanner is actually Vegeta's scouter in his conversation with the NPC Bill in the forest.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Kamina, Yoko, and Simon make a cameo together in the ruins of the Kitty Kingdom. Matt also says "Pierce the heavens with your drill!" the first time Lance uses the technique Kamina taught him, "Tera Drill".
- Rurouni Kenshin: The NPC in charge of the first minigame, Sir Ken, is strikingly similar to the show's eponymous swordsman.
- Dune: "Walk without rhythm to confuse the worm!" upon encountering the Sand Worm.
- The Matrix: "May God have mercy on man and machine for their sins." upon activating Natz's Limit Break, Genesis.
- Pokemon: Matt says "Pidgey used Sand-Attack! Accuracy fell!" when he first gets hit by a crow's conjured dust cloud, and some Yellow Slime enemies have the red cheeks and lightning-bolt tail of Pikachu.
- Lucky Star: The blue-haired girl in the town (that gives you a quest so she can play the newest MMORPGs) is Konata, the protagonist of Lucky Star.
A more thorough list can be found at Epic Battle Fantasy's "Shout Out" page on TVtropes, a link to which can be found at the bottom of the page.
Play the game
- Epic Battle Fantasy 3 on Kongregate
- Epic Battle Fantasy 3 on Newgrounds
- Epic Battle Fantasy 3 on Armor Games
- Epic Battle Fantasy 3 on DeviantArt (no longer available, redirects to the Kongregate version)