Dragon Quest III

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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...?, Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation), 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.


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 Alltrades Abbey.

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.

Dragon Quest III replaced the Tombola in Dragon Quest II with an arena-gambling mini game in Romaria, Isis, Manoza, and Cantlin. The player can wager money on which monster will win each fight, with new monsters and higher stakes being added as the player progresses through the world. Remakes of Dragon Quest III also added the board game-like minigame from Dragon Quest V, Treasures n' Trapdoors. The game was also slated to have a collectible mini medal side quest, but this was cut due to space constraints. While later titles in the series would finally include this quest, all remakes of Dragon Quest III have included an extensive mini medal quest.

The Super Famicom remake of Dragon Quest III added an extra dungeon to explore after the credits rolled, the first for a remake. The remake 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.

New features[edit]

  • It is now possible to change the party's marching order. In addition, characters can be added or dropped at Patty's Party Planning Place.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Several new statistics: agility, resilience, wisdom, 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 pseudo-randomized, with a range depending on the character's class.
  • Several new spells have been added, bringing the total to 60. Remakes would add to this list with the introduction of skills.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Canniboxes and mimics appear for the first time. There is also an identify spell to detect these enemies.
  • 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. 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.


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.


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[edit]

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 Mini 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.

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.

North American edition (NES edition)[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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 Dragon Quest 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 (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 Treasures n' Trapdoors 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 Gadabouts can now gain MP when leveling; this is needed since they now gain some MP-consuming skills.
  • As in Dragon Quest VI, the special actions of the Gadabout 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • Boomerangs and whips can now attack multiple enemies at once.
  • Mini 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.
  • 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 to toss you 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 Ramia, 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 Alefgard, including the music for the towns, caves and Tantegel Castle.
  • There are new tunes composed for the new areas, as well as cutscenes and item jingles.

Game Boy Color remake[edit]

  • 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, 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 Tantegel congratulates the party during the ending and given the credit for defeating Zoma.

Mobile Phone[edit]

Based on the SNES 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 Dragon Quest 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 SNES and GBC releases.
  • Monster animations seen in the SNES version are removed. As a result, the opening sequence featuring Ortega's quest is also removed.


Original edition[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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.


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.


External links[edit]