Dragon Quest III
|Main series games|
|Dragon Quest III|
North American boxart of the Game Boy Color release
|Platform(s)||Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Famicom, Game Boy Color|
|Release date(s)|| Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Rating(s)|| Game Boy Color|
|Media|| 2-megabit FC cartridge|
4-megabit NES cartridge
32-megabit SFC cartridge
32-megabit GBC cartridge
Dragon Quest III (ドラゴンクエストIII そして伝説へ… Doragon Kuesuto III: Soshite Densetsu he...?, translated as Dragon Quest III: And Into the Legend...), is the third game in the Dragon Quest series of role-playing games published by Enix and released on the Famicom/NES. It was later remade and released on the Super Famicom and Game Boy Color. Dragon Quest III is the third and final game in the Roto Trilogy.
Dragon Quest III continued to expand upon the gameplay of it predecessors. Dragon Quest III has a customizable party and class system, in which each character has a certain class. The choice of class greatly effects the character's stats and spells he or she can learn. Furthermore, upon reaching level 20, a character may change classes at the Temple of Dharma.
The world of Dragon Quest III takes place on two large world maps instead of just one. The first world map roughly resembles a map of Earth and many areas are modeled after different cultures like Romaly (Rome), Isis (Egypt), Jipang (Japan) and Soo (America) and are located in areas of the map roughly equivalent to their inspirations. Later in the game, the party travels to Alefgard, a world that exists beneath the surface of the first world. This world is familiar as well, encompassing the lands from the first Dragon Warrior.
Dragon Quest III replaced the lottery in Dragon Quest II with an arena-gambling mini game. The player can wager money on which monster will win each fight. Remakes of Dragon Quest III added a board game mini game called Pachisi (Suguroku). The game was also slated to have a collectible mini medal side quest, but this was cut due to space constraints. Later Dragon Quest games and remakes would feature such side quests.
The Super Famicom remake of Dragon Quest III was the first in the series to include bonus content after completing the main plot of the game. This came in the form of a bonus dungeon and other bonus locations. The remake also included a personality system for all members of the player's party. The personality system has not been included in any Dragon Quest game other than the remakes of Dragon Quest III.
 New features
- It is now possible to change the party's marching order. Also, characters can be added or dropped at Ruida's Tavern.
- The Zoom spell and the Chimera wing now offer a selection of places to go, instead of automatically returning the party to the last save point.
- Several new statistics: agility, vitality, intelligence, and luck appear for the first time. Also, each statistic is now capped at 255. The amount of stat points gained with each level is now randomized, with a range depending on the character's class.
- The combat system is enhanced to use the new stats; in particular agility will affect the order in which characters and monsters act.
- It is possible to attack allies; this is useful for curing status effects such as sleep or confusion.
- Experience values are divided by the number of current party members, so a lone hero will gain experience faster than a full party of four.
- There is a day-night cycle for the first time. Alefgard is always shrouded in night, however.
- Even the original Japanese version now has a battery save, instead of a password system. This means that more information can be saved from one game to the next; for example, a list of chests which have been opened, and the full stat list of the party.
- There is now an aerial vehicle in addition to the ship.
- Mimics appear for the first time. There is also an identify spell to detect mimics.
- Vaults appear for the first time, allowing gold to be preserved upon the party's demise, and storing unneeded items. The vault charges a commission to store items. The latter feature was removed in the remakes, since they added the Bag.
- Certain towns feature Monster Arenas, where the player can bet gold on which monster will win a fight. Odds are chosen based on the monster species, and the bet amount is determined by the lead character's level.
The game opens with a massive battle over a volcano between a man with blue hair and a dragon. The battle rages on for several seconds until the blue haired man cuts the wing off of the dragon causing the battle to continue on the ground. The blue haired man eventually runs the dragon through, however the dragon takes hold of the blue haired man and turns and begins to walk into the volcano. The volcano erupts and there is a scream heard, the screen fades to black.
Dragon Quest III is set many years before the original Dragon Quest in a world bearing great similarity to the real world. A wicked fiend, Baramos, threatens to destroy the world. The hero, son or daughter (you can choose to be either male or female) of the legendary Ortega, recruits up to three travelling companions and sets out to defeat Baramos, only to find later that Baramos is merely a disciple of Zoma, the fiend who rules the Dark World below. The hero then travels to the Dark World, which is known as Alefgard in subsequent instalments of the series, and restores light. For his bravery, the hero receives the title of Loto (Erdrick in the NES version).
The flow of the game is as follows. The hero travels from his home country of Aliahan to explore the world and acquire three keys needed to open doors throughout the game. After saving a couple of the town of Baharata from the rogue Kandar, the hero receives Black Pepper, which he trades for a sailing ship at Portoga. With the ship, the hero acquires the Final Key and the six mystical orbs which are used to revive the legendary bird Lamia. Lamia takes the hero to Baramos' castle. After a ferocious battle, the hero's celebration is cut off as Zoma attacks and opens the pit to the dark world. In the dark world, the hero acquires the Stones of Sunlight, the Staff of Rain, and the Seal of Rubiss. These items are then exchanged for the Rainbow Drop. This item creates a bridge, which leads the hero to Zoma's castle for the final confrontation.
As with every Dragon Quest, Koichi Sugiyama composed the music and directed all the associated spinoffs. Here is the track listing of the Symphonic Suite:
- Roto (1:41)
- Prologue (3:58)
- Rondo (2:59)
- Around the World (Around the World ~ Town ~ Jipang ~ Pyramid ~ Village) (6:48)
- Adventure (3:09)
- Dungeon ~ Tower ~ The Phantom Ship (5:34)
- Distant Memories (2:52)
- Requiem ~ Small Shrine (3:11)
- Sailing (2:53)
- Heavenly Flight (2:44)
- Grueling Fight (4:05)
- Zoma's Castle (3:30)
- Fighting Spirits (Battle Theme ~ In Alefgard ~ Hero's Challenge) (5:41)
- Into the Legend (3:01)
 Version differences
Like most Dragon Quest games, Dragon Quest III was censored in its initial appearance in America as Dragon Warrior III. The Priest character class was renamed "Pilgrim," while the priests at churches were renamed healers. The churches themselves were referred to as Houses of Healing and had their Christian crosses replaced with six-pointed stars. Finally, dead party members were depicted as ghosts rather than as coffins with crosses on the lid as they were in the Japanese version of Dragon Quest III.
The Japan-only 1996 remake of Dragon Quest III for the Super Nintendo featured updated graphics and sound, a new Thief character class, a new Personality statistic that affected character development, the Tiny Medal collection game first introduced in Dragon Quest IV, Monster Medals, bonus dungeons and the Pachisi minigame. The later Gameboy Color version of the game, which saw release in America in 2001, was based on this version.
 North American edition (NES edition)
- There is now a more elaborate title picture, and the title BGM is changed to "Theme of Erdrick". The BGM for savegame selection is also changed; it is now the same as in Dragon Quest IV
- The American edition introduced the prologue showing Ortega battling a monster on a volcano. This prologue is also included in the Japanese remakes.
- The cross and coffin graphics are changed as in all the old Dragon Warrior games.
- The credit roll BGM has been extended to match the new longer credits.
- XP and gold drops are increased 25%, so that characters can level faster.
 Super Nintendo remake
The graphics and command system were upgraded using Dragon Quest VI as a base. However, its AI system was not copied.
- As in the first remake, it is now possible to search inside pots, barrels, bookshelves, and the like.
- As in Dragon Quest VI, it is now possible to climb into wells.
- The "spells" associated with Dragon Quest VI's conversation recall system have been added.
- The bag was added. So the vault is now a bank; one cannot directly use items in the sack yet, however.
- There is now a character at the Tower of Dharma who can change the names of the characters (or even of the Bag).
- It is now possible to specify quantities when buying items at the item shop.
- Combat screens now have backdrops and monster animations; monsters also have more sound effects.
- There is now a Personality system, which assigns one of 45 personalities to each PC to determine stat growth when they level up. The protagonist's initial personality is determined by a "personality test" at the start of the game. Other PCs initial personalities are determined by the seeds used at their creation. Certain books and pieces of equipment can change a character's personality also.
- 5 Parchisi minigames were added to various locations.
- Stat increases depend on a character's gender.
- There is a new "Thief" class, as described in the classes section above.
- Merchants and Jesters can now gain MP when levelling; this is needed since they now gain some additional spells.
- As in Dragon Quest VI, the special actions of the Jester class may now have special effects, such as healing the party.
- Female heroes now have different graphics, and a few dialogs are changed for them.
- There are also new dialogs in the case that the hero is not in the party, if the game has been completed.
- Ruida's Tavern can now save the game; this will be done automatically if the composition of the party is changed.
- As usual, boss monsters have had their HP upgraded compared to the original game. Boss Trolls no longer appear as wandering monsters in the endgame; the only one is the one in Samanao.
- There is a bonus dungeon with 8 new types of monster, and a hidden boss. It contains a castle which is a new Zoom target. Most of it is made up of floor designs from the previous dungeons or other areas.
- There are many new kinds of item. But it is no longer possible to obtain one item, although it still exists in the game data.
- Some weapon and armour shops have different items in stock. (EG, Samanao no longer sells dragon slayer swords.)
- The world map shows visited regions in color.
- Boomerangs and whips can now attack multiple enemies at once.
- Tiny Medals can now be collected, and given to the Medal king in the well in Aliahan. The system from Dragon Quest VI is used: prizes are given according to the total number of medals collected.
- Monsters drop different items at the end of a battle.
- The pyramid layout is slightly different.
- It is now possible to save the game in Portoga, by speaking to the minister of state next to the king.
- Portoga and Baharata now have weapon shops.
- The merchant you leave in Immigrant Town will retain his/her sprite, whereas the NES Version has him/her taking on the sprite of the usual town merchant.
- After hatching Ramia, the merchant you left in Immigrant Town will be released from prison and return to Ruida's Tavern. The town itself will be ran by an unnamed resident, with the jail being removed and replaced by a new house.
- The shop keeper in Elvenham will sell items to you if you take the form of a Slime, whereas the NES Version only allowed you to purchase items if you took the form of a dwarf.
- The location BGM is now remixed depending on the time of day.
- More of the music from the first Dragon Quest game is used for when in the Alefgard, including the music for the towns, caves and Tantegel Castle.
- There are new tunes.
 Gameboy Color remake
- It is now possible to collect Monster Medals; these are shared across savefiles, and can be transferred to other Gameboys.
- Battle screens no longer have illustrated backgrounds, although monsters and spell effects are still animated.
- It is now possible to create a temporary save anywhere, since the Gameboy might run out of batteries at any time.
- There is a second bonus dungeon, the Ice Cave. It contains boss monsters and mimics as wandering monsters, allowing the player to collect their monster medals. There is an additional hidden boss who will challenge the party to collect all the monster medals, as well as offering them a new weapon if they defeat him. Unlike the first bonus dungeon, the layout of this one is completely original.
 Original edition
- By selecting Parry in the combat menu, the damage a character takes in battle is cut in half, even if the player backs out and selects a different command. This bug is mentioned in the official guidebooks, but is fixed in the remakes.
- One can get a Leaf of the World Tree by searching in a square near Rimuldar. This square has the same coordinates as the World Tree grove in the overworld.
- Under certain circumstances, Metal slime monsters will take 10 points of damage instead of 1 or 2.
- The level requirements for Wizards to learn Blizzard and Ice Spears are switched.
- Some stats cycle if they are raised above 255. This has been fixed in the remakes.
- It is possible to create a party of only deceased characters by exploiting the paralysis status condition. This was first though to be only possible using the Dream Ruby, but has since been proven possible using paralysis induced by monsters. This glitch allows the manipulation of memory within the game, producing a wide range of effects and possibilities.
 Game Boy Color remake
- There is an experience glitch associated with playing Pachisi. If the player lands on a space which reduces his/her strength, it is common that the next battle fought will cause the character's experience to skyrocket. Often this leads to the character being level 99 immediately. This glitch seems to be intentional, or at least acknowledged by the creators, as if you attempt to save at the King before the next battle, he says you have gained experience in "an unusual way" and "it will become clear to you in battle".
- There is a bug involving the YellHelp spell which summons a travelling merchant to the party on the overwolrd. It seems that the items sold by the merchant are the ones sold by the last permanent merchant encountered in the game. This scenario holds true across multiple save files, meaning a merchant from late in the game can be emulated in another save file by using the YellHelp spell.
 See also
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