Dragon Quest III is a fantasy JRPG first released for the NES in 1988, and originally localized in English as Dragon Warrior III in 1991. Together with the first two games, Dragon Quest III completes the "Erdrick" trilogy of the series. The game in fact takes place years before the events of the very first Dragon Quest title, where the player character is the child of a legendary hero tasked with defeating the archfiend Baramos.
Like the first two games in the series, general gameplay in Dragon Quest III revolves around exploring a top-down world map, towns and dungeons while gaining character levels from defeating enemies from random encounters and boss battles in turn-based combat.
The game builds on the Dragon Quest II's party system by allowing players to create and recruit party members from one of seven initial character classes:
Later releases of Dragon Quest III introduced Thief as the eighth class. The player character meanwhile is always the aptly-named Hero class. All party members have the ability to "class change" once reaching level 20, allowing them to retain their previous class' stats and abilities while gaining those from their new class.
In addition to character classes, all party members including the player character have a Personality which dictates the growth of their stats when leveling up. Personalities are often dictated by player choices made during character creation, but even these can be customized later in the game through class changing or special items.
Dragon Quest III introduced a day-night system for the game world, an in-game bank to store gold, and a monster arena for players to bet on outcomes of battles between parties of monsters.
Dragon Quest creator and designer Yuji Horii considered Dragon Quest III to be the game that finally cemented a proper template for future releases in the series. It was the first in the series to drop the password system to continue progress in the original Japanese release (localized English releases long adopted save files via cartridge battery backup).
Several remakes of Dragon Quest III have been released over the years on different platforms including the Super NES, GameBoy Color, Wii Virtual Console, and Apple iOS devices.
This game is also known as:
- Dragon Warrior III in Europe
- Dragon Quest III in Japan
- Dragon Quest III in Europe