The remake was produced by Tomoya Asano and co-developed by Matrix Software and Square Enix. In addition, Ryosuke Aiba (Final Fantasy XI) was the art director. Akihiko Yoshida (Final Fantasy XII) redesigned the original characters for use in 3D, and designed the looks of the new playable characters. The formerly generic and nameless party characters were replaced with more concrete characters with new personalities and background stories, and additional scenes were added to develop their individuality; however, the main storyline was not altered significantly. Along with these four, additional characters (called "sub-characters") also join the party temporarily, like in the original. Unlike the original, however, these characters may randomly participate in battle.
Final Fantasy III for the Nintendo DS features overhauls to the job system, including the rebalancing of the classes, the addition of new abilities, a new "Freelancer" class that replaces "Onion Knight" as the default job at the beginning of the game (Onion Knight is retained as a secret class), new events, a new crystal and dungeon, and the removal of capacity points. Unlike the original Famicom version, most of the jobs remain useful for the entire game. The ultimate jobs (the Ninja and the Sage) and some of the lesser-used jobs like the Geomancer - were redesigned to have the same level of abilities as the Warrior. Also new are special job-specific items available only if a character has fully mastered a certain job.