Breath of Fire was released in 1993. After playing this game all the way through, I feel like it was a decent game. The graphics are good, the game-play is excellent; however, the story line and character dialogue is lacking. The dialogue may just be a hardware issue though. Back then, memory was a large factor when it came to coming up with a script for a game. Do not expect any long winded, epic speeches. Everything is pretty direct and to the point. I don't remember anything person talking for more than two sentences at any given time.
As I mentioned before, there isn't much to the story line. You live in a village, it gets attack by Dark Dragons, and then you have to embark on a journey to ultimately defeat the Dark Dragons. Along the way you meet: an angel princess, Nina, then a wolf-man hunter, Bo, a friendly thief, Karn, a useless fish merchant (also the biggest douche in the game), Gobi, an ox-man, Ox, a mage who for no reason hates Nina who is also half snake, Bleu, and finally a mole-person who is the most useless character in the game, Mogu. This motley crew of weirdos help you collect keys that the Dark Dragons want to use to control the world...that is pretty much the size of it.
(If you haven't played the game you wont understand it. If you want to actually play and finish the game without being spoiled, then don't read this section)
A decent ending for the time I guess. Back then, I considered any ending that lasted for more than thirty seconds worth while. Now, it seems that a lot of imagination is required to get any satisfaction out of it. Bleu goes back to an eternal sleep. Mogu seems to be on his way to becoming a master digger. Gobi decides to not go back to his hometown and goes back to being a merchant in the wealthiest town in the game. Ox returns to his village where his wife and newly born child await him. Karn becomes the new king of thieves (I'm assuming this because he learns a lot during the quest (in the tomb and all of the Fuse techniques). When he returns to the town he seems to be heading towards the house that belongs to the current King of thieves.). Bo goes back to his hometown. Nina goes back home and princesses it up. Finally, the hero makes his way back to his home town with his sister (Sara) always watching over him.
Being that there are very few words during the montage of characters returning to their hometowns, everything I just stated could be up to interpretation. However, I'd like to think that this is the best possible set of outcomes given what little information is offered to the audience.
Does the game hold up today?
I would say no. I think that Breath of Fire is a good game. It was great for the time that it was released in, but, the story is too linear and after you play it once there really is no need for you to play it again. It is definitely worth a download.
The Good: Simple gameplay, easy to learn. Good graphics for the time. Overall, a fun game playing experience.
The Bad: No character development leads to a weak story. The game throws a ton of boring side missions at you towards the end to indirectly increase game time (For example, when you reach the second to last dungeon, you have to get the elevator parts fixed to enter the tower. Then as soon as you enter the tower you are sent on another quest to find an item before you could actually enter the tower.). High learning curve towards the end (the second to last boss is really surprisingly difficult, multiple times harder than any other boss in the game).
Today's going rate: Copies for the SNES tend to go for upwards of $20.00
Difficulty: Easy at first. Towards the very end its much more difficult, mostly due to frustratingly boring missions and constant bombardment with random battles.
Time invested in beating the game: It took me about 25-30 hours to complete it.
Re-makes: Breath of Fire is out for the Gameboy Advanced