Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation

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Dragon Quest III (ドラゴンクエストIII そして伝説へ… Doragon Kuesuto III: Soshite Densetsu he..., "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. The original Famicom version, as well as the Super Famicom remake, were re-released on the Nintendo Wii in 2011 as part of the Dragon Quest 25th-Anniversary. A second remake was also made for Japanese mobile phones and later then re-released worldwide for smartphones running Android and iOS. Dragon Quest III is the third and final game in the Erdrick Trilogy.

Setting

The world of Dragon Quest III takes place on a large world map reminiscent of our own in the distant past; many areas are modeled after different cultures like Romaria (Rome), Isis (Egypt), Jipang (Japan) and Persistence (Native Americans) and are located in areas of the map roughly equivalent to their inspirations. Later in the game, the party travels to a hidden world that exists beneath the surface of the first world.

Plot

Warning: Spoilers
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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, and has begun to exert his vile influence upon the monsters of each continent to drive them mad and violent. The hero, son or daughter (you can choose to be either male or female) of the legendary Ortega, recruits up to three traveling companions and sets out to defeat Baramos while making his or her way through the world and saving several locations from doom.

The flow of the game is as follows; The hero travels from his home country of Aliahan for Romaria to explore the world and acquire three keys needed to open sealed teleportals throughout the game. During the party's travels, they will hear tale of six mystical orbs said to contain incredible power, and that these will be necessary in overcoming the fiend Baramos. After saving a young couple of the town of Baharata from the rogue Robbin' 'Ood, the hero receives Black Pepper, which he trades for a sailing ship at Portoga. With this ship, the hero acquires the Ultimate Key and searches for the six mystical orbs which are used to revive the legendary bird Ramia. Ramia takes the hero to Baramos' castle, flying over the tall mountains of the Necrogond. 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 Sunstone, 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. After the archfiend is slain, the king of the dark world will give the highest honor to the player: the title of Erdrick.

New features

Character customization

Dragon Quest III continued to expand upon the gameplay of it predecessors. The game is the first in the series to feature a customizable party in which each character belongs to a certain vocation. These characters can be recruited by the player by speaking with Patty at her tavern in Aliahan. The choice of profession greatly effects the character's stats and spells they can learn. Furthermore, upon reaching level 20, a character may change classes at Alltrades Abbey.

Character and Battle refinement

  • Several new statistics: resilience, wisdom, and luck appear for the first time. Additionally, each statistic is now capped at 255. The amount of stat points gained with each level is also pseudo-randomized, with a range depending on the character's vocation.
  • It is now possible to change the party's marching order, allowing weak or injured characters to hide behind their companions and be less frequently targeted by monsters. In addition, characters can be banished in the middle of battle and be found again at Patty's Party Planning Place.
  • Several new spells have been added, bringing the total to 60. These include adding second and third tiers to existing spell lines, spells that cause new effects in battle, and spells that facilitate effects on the overworld. Subsequent remakes would add to this list with the introduction of skills.
  • Offensive spells are now separated from each other in terms of monster resistance, meaning that an enemy immune to woosh can still be damaged by crack. Elemental spells are divided into Fire (Sizz, Frizz, and Bang), Ice, Wind, and Lightning.
  • 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.
  • The hidden Sage vocation marks the first appearance of a class that combines the best features of two others, and also requires reaching a certain benchmark with another as one of the methods to attain it. These traits would be repeated and elaborated upon in the sixth and seventh games.

Player conveniences

  • The zoom spell and the chimaera wing now offer a selection of places to go, instead of automatically returning the party to the last save point.
  • 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.
  • Banks 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, but there is no withdrawal fee for money exchange. The latter feature was removed in the remakes, since the programmers added the Bag feature that is always carried with the hero.
  • There is now an aerial vehicle in addition to the ship, which allows for a more intricately designed world and expands the player's freedom of mobility.
  • Canniboxes and mimics appear for the first time. There is also an identifying spell to detect these enemies.

Kingdom and Town intricacy

  • There is a day-night cycle for the first time, effectively doubling the number of events that take place in a location and the amount of dialogue for NPCs, who will also change their behavior depending on the time.
  • 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. As select NPCs point out, the arena is also a great way to see what monsters are capable of before facing them in battle and prepare accordingly.

Soundtrack

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:

  1. Roto (1:41)
  2. Prologue (3:58)
  3. Rondo (2:59)
  4. Around the World (Around the World ~ Town ~ Jipang ~ Pyramid ~ Village) (6:48)
  5. Adventure (3:09)
  6. Dungeon ~ Tower ~ The Phantom Ship (5:34)
  7. Distant Memories (2:52)
  8. Requiem ~ Small Shrine (3:11)
  9. Sailing (2:53)
  10. Heavenly Flight (2:44)
  11. Grueling Fight (4:05)
  12. Zoma's Castle (3:30)
  13. Fighting Spirits (Battle Theme ~ In Alefgard ~ Hero's Challenge) (5:41)
  14. Into the Legend (3:01)

Version differences

Like most Dragon Quest games, 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.

The Japan-only 1996 remake of III for the Super Nintendo featured significantly updated graphics and sound quality, a new Thief character class, and an extra dungeon to explore and a hidden boss to defeat after the credits rolled, the first for a remake. The SNES version also included a personality system for all members of the player's party to influence their statistical growth, adding much more customization to the game. This personality system would later be adopted by the Dragon Quest Monsters series, Dragon Quest X, and Dragon Quest: Monster Parade.

The 16-bit version of III also added the board game-like minigame from Dragon Quest V, Treasures n' Trapdoors. The game was also originally slated to have a collectible mini medal side quest, but this was cut due to cartridge space constraints. While later titles in the series would include this quest in their original releases, all remakes of Dragon Quest III have included an extensive mini medal quest. The later Gameboy Color version of the game, which saw release in America in 2001, was based on this version. The GBC edition would include minor balance tweaks, but is mostly recognized for the inclusion of monster medals--gold, silver, and bronze tokens awarded when a particular monster is the last defeated in battle. They do nothing themselves, but attaining all of them opens yet another bonus dungeon with a superboss to vanquish at the end.

In 2014, an enhanced port of the SNES version was brought to Andorid and iOS mobile phones. It retains all content from the SNES version and some of the minor balance tweaks from the GBC release, but does away with the monster medal feature and it's associated dungeon. This version was made available outside of Japan on December fourth, 2014 and featured a newly translated script in-line with the standards set by Plus-Alpha that also does away with the lingering censorship of the GBC 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 rim. 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.
  • EXP and gold drops are increased 25%, so that characters can level faster.

Super Famicom remake

Art from the Super Famicom guide

The graphics and command system were upgraded using the Dragon Quest VI engine 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 VI's conversation recall system have been added; the Hero's spell list has been revised slightly to learn spells at new levels so as to learn these recall spells as well.
  • 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 Transcendence who can change the names of the characters (and even 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 than in VI.
  • Merchants and Gadabouts can now gain MP when leveling; this is needed since they now gain some MP-consuming skills.
  • As in VI, the special actions of the Gadabout class may now have special effects, similar to Hocus Pocus.
  • Female heroes now have different graphics, and a few line of dialog are changed for them.
  • There are also new dialog lines in the case that the hero is not in the party, if the game has been completed.
  • Patty's Party Planning Place 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 Manoza.
  • There are many new kinds of items.
  • Some weapon and armour shops have different items in stock. (EG, Manoza no longer sells dragonsbane swords.)
  • The world map shows visited regions in color, with the unexplored regions greyed out.
  • Boomerangs and whips can now attack multiple enemies at once.
  • Monsters drop different items at the end of a battle.
  • In the NES Version, the fight with Robbin' 'Ood in the Skyfell Tower could be skipped entirely. In the remake, he has to be defeated there before he shows up in The Kidnapper's Cave. Skipping it results in his henchmen in the cave tossing the player out.
  • The pyramid layout is slightly different.
  • It is now possible to save the game in Portoga, by speaking to the adviser 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 a certain feathered friend, the merchant you left in Immigrant Town will be released from prison and return to Patty's Place. 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 the Super Secret Faerie Village 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 when in the hidden world, including the music for the towns, caves and a familiar castle.
  • There are new tunes composed for the new areas, as well as cutscenes and item jingles.

Game Boy Color remake

  • It is now possible to collect Monster Medals; these are shared across savefiles, and can be transferred to other Game Boys.
  • Battle screens no longer have illustrated backgrounds due to screen size limitations, although monsters and spell effects are still animated.
  • It is now possible to create a temporary save anywhere, since the Game Boy might run out of batteries at any time.
  • There is a second bonus dungeon, the Ice Cave. It contains boss monsters (including Boss Trolls) 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.
  • In the NES Version, if you defeat Zoma without The Hero in your line up (Post-Game), then whoever you have at the front of your party will be given the title of Erdrick, and treated as a Legendary Hero. In this version, doing so causes The Hero to appear out of thin air as The King of the hidden world congratulates the party during the ending and given the credit for defeating Zoma.

Mobile Phone

Based on the SFC version, with the following differences:

  • New script for the English release. Modern English is used for the main world, and "Olde English" for the dark world.
  • As with other modern re-releases, references to Christianity and the Christian God have been changed to worship of the Goddess or Holy Mother, and all crosses in the game have been modified to look more like tridents, including on the hat of Priest-classed characters.
  • The spells associated with VI's conversation recall system have been removed, and the hero's spell list has been revised slightly to account for the removing of these spells.
  • The name-changer has moved from the Tower of Transcendence to Alltrades Abbey.
  • Touch-screen controls added, running the same system as in the mobile releases of Dragon Quest I and Dragon Quest II.
  • As with other mobile releases, new miscellaneous functions have been added including a Quick save and Travellers' Tips.
  • As with other mobile releases, Autosave functionality has also been added as an extra failsafe in case of the app closing.
  • Treasures n' Trapdoors minigame was removed, and all T'n'T tickets and have likewise been removed.
    As a result, there are fewer Mini Medals to collect, bringing the total back to 100 from 110 in the SFC and GBC releases.
  • Monster animations seen in the SFC version are removed. As a result, the opening sequence featuring Ortega's quest is also removed.

Bugs

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 T'n'T. 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 traveling 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.

Spin-offs

On top of being remade several times, Dragon Quest III also inspired several mangas including Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken and Dragon Quest: The Emblem of Roto.

Gallery

External links