Main Walkthrough

One of the most important Abilities in Breath of Fire III, Accession - otherwise known as transforming Ryu, the main character, into a dragon - is almost a game-breaker. Accession allows you to customize Ryu into one of many different types of dragons, giving him powers above and beyond those of his regular form. You don't need to use Accession to get through Breath of Fire III, but it will make your journey much, much easier.

This guide will cover the basics of Accession, and where to find the Dragon Genes needed to fully unlock Ryu's potential. It will also provide details on how to use specific forms of dragon, and when they might be useful.

Accession Basics

Accession is unlocked as an Attack Ability once you've battled Balio and Sunder beneath Castle Wyndia. When you choose Accession you'll be presented with a list of the various Dragon Genes that Ryu has acquired over the course of the journey, and you can choose up to three of these Genes when forming a dragon. Each Gene adds to the initial AP cost of the transformation, and also determines how much it will cost each turn for Ryu to maintain the transformation.

In general, the more Genes you apply to a transformation, the stronger the resulting dragon. That said, Genes interact with one another in specific ways, and choosing Genes poorly may result in a much weaker dragon. As you experiment with Gene combinations you'll learn which transformations work with your overall strategy, and which are better left ignored.

There are a few additional caveats to Accession that should be covered:
  • Ryu and his dragon forms have separate HP bars. When Ryu transforms his dragon form will have full health, and if the dragon is reduced to zero HP it will change back into Ryu, at his previous HP count. This is quite handy for keeping Ryu alive, as you can transform him into a dragon to offset low health.
  • As mentioned above, Ryu expends AP every turn that he is a dragon, and the cost rises with each Gene you apply to the transformation. Once Ryu runs out of AP he'll change back into a human.
  • If you use only a single Gene - most of the time, anyway - Ryu will transform into a basic Whelp. This does not make him useless, by any stretch of the imagination, but Whelps are by and large the weakest draconic form. If an elemental Gene isn't used the Whelp will be a basic green dragon with few Abilities.
  • You can turn into as many dragons as you like in a given battle. Each dragon receives an Ability called Restore Form that allows Ryu to revert to a human at no AP cost, and you can Accession again on your next turn to change him into a different dragon.
  • Ryu cannot use the Examine or Item commands when in dragon form.
  • Ryu cannot use any of his normal Abilities when in dragon form. The only exception is the Kaiser form, which we'll discuss below. Instead Ryu gains Dragon Abilities, and which he can use depends on the Genes you applied to the transformation. We'll cover those under the individual Genes.

Dragon Genes

As you progress through Breath of Fire III you'll come across chunks of purple chrysm. If you put Ryu at the front of the party and inspect the chrysm Ryu will gain a new Dragon Gene. You can then use the Gene to transform into new dragons, or use the Gene to bolster the abilities of your existing forms. Each Gene has a unique set of properties that affect Ryu's transformations.

Below is a listing of all of the Dragon Genes that you can acquire in Breath of Fire III. They are listed in order of acquisition. It is not possible to miss any of the Genes, though some of them are well-hidden, and require exploration to find.


AP Cost: 5
Added Abilities: Flame Breath, Flame Claw

The Flame Gene grants the Flame property when used in conjunction with other Genes. Given the sheer number of enemies that are weak to Flame attacks in Breath of Fire III, Flame tends to be a good Gene to use, especially earlier in the game.

The Flame Gene is the first Dragon Gene Ryu acquires. You'll earn it during the battle against Balio and Sunder in the Castle Wyndia dungeons.


AP Cost: 8
Added Abilities: Counter

The Defender Gene bolsters Ryu's physical attributes when transformed into a dragon. Defender is a good addition to the early elemental Genes, as it allows Ryu to change into something more powerful than a Whelp when paired with, say, the Flame Gene.

The Defender Gene is acquired automatically as you explore Mt. Boumore. You'll receive the Gene once Ryu and Nina slide down the side of the mountain to escape Sunder.


AP Cost: 3
Added Abilities: Varies; see below

The Defender Gene reverses any elemental Genes that you apply to the transformation. This allows you to access the powers of two Genes early, as a Flame Dragon with Reverse will be a Frost Dragon, and a Shadow Dragon with Reverse will become a Radiance Dragon. It also reverses the resulting dragon's resistances to the various elements. Once you've acquired the opposite Genes this one is rendered fairly useless.

The Reverse Gene is located at a ? mark, south of Mt. Boumore's eastern entrance / exit. You'll find it shortly after acquiring the Defender Gene and leaving Mt. Boumore.


AP Cost: 8
Added Abilities: None

The Thorn Gene enhances Ryu's stats while he's a dragon, generally making any form more powerful. It also bolsters his resistances to the elements, so if you transformed Ryu into a Frost Dragon with the Thorn Gene applied he would absorb the damage from Frost attacks and heal himself, rather than just nullifying the damage. Broadly speaking, Ryu just turns out better if you use the Thorn Gene, as long as you don't use it by itself.

The Thorn Gene is located at a ? mark near the Tower. The party will land there after escaping the Tower on the side of a rocket. Look east of the rocket and you'll find the Gene behind a tree.


AP Cost: 5
Added Abilities: Frost Breath, Frost Claw

The Frost Gene grants the Frost property when used in conjunction with other Genes. Plenty of enemies are weak to Frost attacks - Mt. Zublo in particular jumps to mind - making this a valuable Gene to acquire. Until you find the Frost Gene you can use the Flame Gene and the Reverse Gene to turn Ryu into a Frost Dragon.

The Frost Gene is found at the Maekyss Gorge, north of Genmel. Check beside the house beneath the north end of the bridge through the area to find the Gene.


AP Cost: 5
Added Abilities: Thunder Claw, Thunder Breath

The Thunder Gene grants the Electric property when used in conjunction with other Genes. Though it doesn't prove very useful at first, the Thunder Gene can be quite handy when you begin the crossing to Kombinat and beyond, as many late-game robotic enemies are weak to Electric attacks. Note that combining the Thunder Gene with Reverse will just give you a normal Whelp, as Electric is not naturally paired with another element.

The Thunder Gene is located at a small fishing hut to the northwest of Rhapala. Check by the seaside at the rear of the hut to find the Gene.


AP Cost: 8
Added Abilities: Remedy, Restore, Vitalize

The Eldritch Gene infuses Ryu's transformations with spells. In addition to the three restorative Abilities listed above, Ryu will receive more spells based on the other Genes he uses to transform:
  • Flame Gene - Adds Inferno
  • Frost Gene - Adds Blizzard
  • Thunder Gene - Adds Myollnir
  • Shadow Gene - Adds Death
  • Radiance Gene - Adds Resurrect
In general Ryu's Breath attacks are sufficient to cover AOE attacks, and Ryu can already learn all of the curative spells, making the Eldritch Gene a bit redundant. That said, Myollnir is a great single-target spell when fighting some bosses, and Resurrect can be handy if you're playing a lower-level game and haven't gotten Ryu to level 31, where he learns the spell in his human form. Late in Breath of Fire III you can learn all of these spells in Ryu's human form, making Eldritch a waste of AP.

The Eldritch Gene is found at the Lighthouse, just outside Rhapala. Climb to the top of the Lighthouse and you'll find it near the bulb.


AP Cost: 16
Added Abilities: Meteor Strike, Blitz, Charge

The Miracle Gene transforms Ryu into a Behemoth, absorbing the rest of the party until the transformation ends. The Behemoth has a lot of health and a high attack power, though it's quite slow and will usually go last. Behemoths take on the elemental properties of any paired Genes. This is a good form to use to start off a battle if you think your party might have trouble with a boss, though it will quickly sap Ryu of his AP, especially early in the game.

The Miracle Gene is located in Mt. Zublo. Near the end of the area, where you fight Gisshan, Scylla, and Charybdis, you'll find a large magma field. The Gene is in the southwest of the magma.


AP Cost: 5
Added Abilities: Shadow Breath, Chlorine

The Shadow Gene grants the Shadow property when used in conjunction with other Genes. Shadow Dragons are capable of insta-killing enemies with Shadow Breath, making them pretty good for fighting some enemies in the field. (As a general rule, if something is 'alive', it's susceptible to Shadow Breath.) This Gene is by and large ineffective against bosses, and probably won't get much use unless you like the look of a Shadow Dragon.

The Shadow Gene is located in the Dauna Mine. You'll receive it once you defeat the Dragon Zombie.


AP Cost: 16
Added Abilities: Varies; see below

The Fusion Gene takes the abilities, stats, and appearances of the other two active party members and combines them into a single, unique form. Which form the resulting Hybrid takes varies based on your current party members. See the Hybrid entry under Unique Dragon Forms, at the bottom of the guide, for more information.

The Fusion Gene is located in the Dauna Mine. You'll receive it once you defeat the Dragon Zombie.


AP Cost: 8
Added Abilities: Gambit, Aura, Focus

The Force Gene transforms Ryu into a Warrior, a humanoid dragon with powerful offensive capabilities. Capable of taking on a variety of elemental forms, the Warrior can hit extremely hard thanks to its combination of Focus and Aura, and remains a viable choice throughout the entire game. Put Ryu in the lead position of the Attack Formation as a Warrior and he can slaughter most bosses without much trouble.

The Force Gene is located in the underground facility beneath the Plant. Proceed through the dungeon until you find the third password, AA, beneath a ventilation duct. Climb onto the duct and you can walk one area over to find the Gene.


AP Cost: 8
Added Abilities: None

The Gross Gene amplifies all of Ryu's stats as a dragon. Simply put, you'll get a stronger, more dangerous transformation if you apply the Gross Gene, though it will also be more expensive to initiate and maintain. If you've raised Ryu to have tons of AP, throwing in the Gross Gene whenever you transform into a dragon can't hurt.

The Gross Gene is located at the Tidal Caves. Reach the exit at the far end of the caves and you'll find the Gene.


AP Cost: 8
Added Abilities: None

The ??? Gene is a weird one. For the most part it doesn't add anything to your transformations besides extra AP. That said, the ??? Gene is used to achieve or enhance three specific forms: 
  • ??? and Miracle transforms the whole party into Mammoth, a Behemoth variant
  • ??? and Mutant transforms Ryu into a Pygmy, a tiny dragon that's very cute, but... kinda useless
  • ??? and Hybrid with Momo in the lead makes the form more powerful
If you're not interested in one of those three things, you can ignore the ??? Gene.

The ??? is located inside a fishing hut, found west of Steel Beach on the world map. Twist the camera around inside the hut and you'll find the Gene sitting behind a white tarp.


AP Cost: 3
Added Abilities: Varies; see below

The Mutant Gene creates a dragon with a randomized set of stats and Abilities. If you were to try and make a normal Dragon by pairing the Flame Gene with the Mutant Gene, for example, you might instead wind up with a Behemoth. Or a Warrior. Or a Whelp. This unpredictability is a bit fun for playing around, but aside from one specific transformation - Pygmy, generated by combining Mutant with ??? - this Gene is better left ignored.

The Mutant Gene is located on Steel Beach. Run northeast along the edge of the beach and you'll find the Gene by the side of the water.


AP Cost: 8
Added Abilities: None

The Trance Gene works more or less the same as the ??? Gene. For the most part it doesn't add anything to your transformations besides an additional AP cost. If you use it in conjunction with other, specific Gene combinations, however, you'll receive several new transformations:
  • Trance and Shadow will change the whole party into Tiamat
  • Trance and Force will change Ryu only into Myrmdon, a more powerful version of the Warrior
  • Trance, Infinity, and Radiance will change only Ryu into Kaiser, a golden version of Ryu wll enhanced abilities
Despite its similarity to the ??? Gene Trance is quite a bit more useful, as Tiamat, Myrmidon, and Kaiser are all quite powerful forms that can get you through some of the toughest battles in the game.

The Trance Gene is located to the northwest of Kombinat. Check the Yggdrasil out this way and you'll find the Gene sitting at the tree's base.


AP Cost: 1
Added Abilities: None

The Failure Gene makes almost every Gene combination in Breath of Fire III weaker. Adding Failure to any other Genes will result in a normal Whelp with reduced stats. The only use for the Failure Gene is to combine it with the Infinity Gene, which will give you a controllable Kaiser. Unfortunately, this version of the Kaiser is a fair bit weaker than the Infinity + Radiance + Trance version, so it's still probably not worth using.

The Failure Gene is located at Colony, to the north of Kombinat. You'll find it sitting by itself in the northwest corner of the area.


AP Cost: 5
Added Abilities: Divine Breath, Shining Claw

The Radiance Gene grants the Holy property when used in conjunction with other Genes. This makes Radiant Dragons a significant threat to undead enemies. That said, you get the Radiance Gene so late in the game that you likely won't find much use for it, since most Undead enemies that would be vulnerable to its attacks are found much earlier on. Arwan, located in Myria Station, is one of the few moments where the Radiance Gene comes in handy.

The Radiance Gene is located in the Container Yard, near Caer Xhan. You can reach it by teleporting to the Container Yard via Steel Beach's Portal Drive, aka Relay Point A. If you don't get it this way you can grab it when you find the Container Yard later in the game, using Garr to smash the box in front of the ladder.


AP Cost: 40
Added Abilities: Kaiser Breath, Bonebreak, Howling

The final Gene you'll likely receive in Breath of Fire III, the Infinity Gene is used to transform Ryu into a Kaiser Dragon. If you use it on its own - or with the wrong combination of other Genes - this Ryu will be berserk, similar to Rei's Weretiger, and may attack your own party members. There are two combinations you can use to attain a controllable Kaiser:
  • Infinity combined with Trance and Radiance
  • Infinity combined with Failure (weaker version)
The Kaiser is arguably the most powerful dragon form Ryu can obtain, since it has access to his normal list of Abilities with higher stats, so expect to use the Infinity Gene a lot when you reach the last few dungeons of the game.

The Infinity Gene is located in the well in the center of Dragnier, and is held by Jono, the village elder. You'll need to defeat Jono, which is part of the storyline, to claim the Gene.

Unique Dragon Forms

Most of the time when you put together a combination of Dragon Genes you'll create either a Whelp or a flat-out Dragon. Occasionally, however, you may luck your way into a larger, more powerful form, complete with higher-than-average stats and unique Abilities. Some of these forms will even swallow the whole party into a single creature, capable of handling bosses on its own.

This section of the guide will cover the various unique dragons you can obtain, and how you can get them. These forms tend to cost a lot of AP, both to trigger and to maintain, so you may want to save them for boss battles.

Whelp / Wildfire

Gene Combination: Varies; see below
AP Cost: Minimum of 1
Abilities: Whelp Breath, Blind
Adopts Elements: Yes

Ryu's most basic transformation. Whelps are the result of using either a single Gene (aside from the Force, Miracle, Fusion, or Infinity Genes), or the combination of specific Genes in a negative way (usually by including the Failure Gene). Whelps are usually only a bit stronger than Ryu's human form, and are at their most useful early in the game when Ryu doesn't have many Abilities.

If you combine the Miracle, Thorn, and Reverse Genes you'll create the Wildfire, a Whelp variant with paltry amounts of health but high defenses and an immunity to every element but Holy. Wildfire is a pretty decent attacker, despite its lack of Abilities, and its immunities make it a surprisingly decent countermeasure for bosses that rely on elemental spells.

Dragon / Trygon

Gene Combination: Varies; see below
AP Cost: Minimum of 10
Abilities: Dragon Breath, Snap
Adopts Elements: Yes

The next step up in draconic evolution. Dragons are the result of using two Genes that don't otherwise alter Ryu's form (such as throwing in the Force, Miracle, Fusion, or Infinity Genes). The Dragon is a few steps up from the Whelp in terms of power, and can prove helpful throughout Breath of Fire III, though this form might seem a little underwhelming compared to late-game bosses.

If you combine the Flame, Frost, and Thunder Genes you'll create the Trygon, a Dragon variant that has access to Flame, Frost, and Thunder Breath. Trygon is immune to Flame, Frost, and Electric damage, making it a decent choice for battles against spellcasters with a wide variety of elemental attacks at their disposal.

Behemoth / Mammoth

Gene Combination: Miracle
AP Cost: Minimum of 16
Abilities: Meteor Strike, Blitz, Charge
Adopts Elements: Yes

The first 'alternate' form that's likely to pop up. The Behemoth swallows the rest of the party and fights on its own until the transformation ends, using powerful attacks. The Behemoth has lots of HP but so-so defenses, and its poor speed more or less ensures that it will go second on any given round.

If you combine the Miracle Gene with the ??? Gene you'll create the Mammoth, a Behemoth variant that's far more powerful. It replaces Blitz and Charge with Giant Growth.

Warrior / Myrmidon

Gene Combination: Force
AP Cost: Minimum of 8
Abilities: Gambit, Aura, Focus
Adopts Elements: Yes

A smaller, humanoid form that's physically-inclined. Warriors are extremely powerful for a dragon that's unlocked halfway through the game, and you can use the combination of Focus and Aura to decimate most bosses. They also make good use of the various Claw attacks that come attached with the elemental Dragon Genes. Given the low AP cost, you can't go wrong with a Warrior.

If you combine the Force Gene with the Trance Gene you'll create the Myrmidon, a Warrior variant with a larger array of attacks. The Myrmidon loses Focus but gains Flame Strike, Thunder Strike, Frost Strike, Wind Strike, Holy Strike, and Aura Burst, allowing it to target almost any weakness an enemy might have.


Gene Combination: Fusion
AP Cost: 16
Abilities: Varies; see below
Adopts Elements: No

A wellspring of potential, the Hybrid form takes Ryu's two party members and combines their looks and abilities into a single, unique dragon. The Hybrid's appearance varies based on your current party composition:
  • Tiger Hybrid - Rei and Nina / Momo
  • Bird Hybrid - Nina and Peco / Garr
  • Knight Hybrid - Momo and Nina / Peco
  • Onion Hybrid - Peco and Garr / Rei
  • Whelp Hybrid - Garr and Momo / Rei
Each form has its own set of Abilities, regardless of which third character was included in the Hybrid's construction:
  • Tiger Hybrid - Shadowwalk, Tempest
  • Bird Hybrid - Typhoon, Lightning, Inferno, Blizzard
  • Knight Hybrid - Speed, Protect, Might, Restore, Remedy, Combustion
  • Onion Hybrid - Dream Breath, Venom Breath, Geo Breath
  • Whelp Hybrid - Whelp Breath, Blind
The damage output and usefulness of each form varies depending on your situation, but by and large each Hybrid transformation (aside from the Whelp, which is just sort of a dud) can prove quite powerful. The Tiger Hybrid in particular is a great choice for end-game battle, thanks to Shadowwalk, and because Rei and Momo are great party members.


Gene Combination: Mutant, ???
AP Cost: 11
Abilities: Dragon Breath, Snap, Magma Breath
Adopts Elements: No

A wee fellow, the Pygmy is more of a novelty than a viable combat form. The sprite is delightful, but Pygym is severely lacking in combat power and will likely get mashed in the first two or three rounds. Try it out for fun, then move on.


Gene Combination: Shadow, Trance
AP Cost: 13
Abilities: Doom Breath, Shadow Breath, Venom Breath
Adopts Elements: No

A coiled nightmare, Tiamat is a well-rounded late game dragon that swallows up your whole party. Aside from a weakness to Holy attacks it has a solid amount of health and good defenses, and can go the distance against most enemies. It also doesn't cost a ton of AP per turn, which allows Tiamat to stick around for a long time. The major downside of this form is that it has no truly killer moves for taking down bosses, so if you're fighting something that can swiftly heal itself Tiamat is not the way to go.


Gene Combination: Infinity or Infinity and Failure or Infinity, Trance, and Radiance
AP Cost: 40, 41, or 53
Abilities: Kaiser Breath, Bonebreak, Howling
Adopts Elements: No

The most powerful dragon form in Breath of Fire III, the Kaiser turns Ryu into a golden version of himself. Unlike most other dragon forms Kaiser allows Ryu to access all of normal Abilities with higher stats, making his moves much more dangerous. Using Kaiser Breath reveals the Kaiser in all its glory.

There are three different versions of the Kaiser:
  • If you use the Infinity Gene by itself or with any other Gene combination you'll get a berserk Kaiser. This version of Ryu is uncontrollable, and will attack anything on the field, including your own party members.
  • If you use the Infinity Gene and the Failure Gene you'll get a weakened, controllable Kaiser. This version isn't much stronger than Ryu's normal state, and given the AP cost to maintain isn't worth using. (Notably, when you use Kaiser Breath to make the actual dragon appear it will also look different.)
  • If you use the Infinity Gene with the Trance and Radiance Gene you'll receive a full-power, controllable Kaiser. It has a high AP cost, but hits harder than danged near anything else.
So long as Ryu has AP to burn and Abilities that take advantage of the inflated stats, Kaiser is the way to go in most late-game fights. Not only will Ryu hit very hard, you'll still have access to your other two party members.