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Dragon Warrior III, known in Japan as Dragon Quest III Soshite Densetsu e… (ドラゴンクエストIII そして伝説へ…, Doragon Kuesuto Surī - Soshite Densetsu e…?, Dragon Quest III: And Thus Into Legend...), is a console role-playing game developed by Chunsoft and published by Enix (now Square Enix). It is the third installment in the Dragon Quest series (known as Dragon Warrior in North America at the time of its original release), first released for the Famicom in Japan, and then the NES in North America. The game later was ported as an enhanced remake on the Super Famicom in late 1996 and then on the Game Boy Color in 2001. This game was never released in Europe.

Dragon Warrior III introduces a Class system, which is later seen in Dragon Quest VI and Dragon Warrior VII, that allows the player to customize his or her party. This game remains close to the previous Dragon Quest games, keeping battles turn-based and in first-person.

This is the final game in the Loto trilogy and is the first chronologically. The story follows the traditional Dragon Quest Hero, who is on an adventure to save the world from evil. Putting together a party of assorted classes, the Hero must travel the world, stopping at various towns and other locations, eventually making his or her way to the Demon Lord Baramos' lair.

Gameplay

Dragon Warrior III is noted for greatly expanding upon the original Dragon Warrior and Dragon Warrior II. The game uses basic console role-playing game conventions, such as leveling up by gaining experience points and equipping items. Battle is turn-based and in first-person, like the other games in the series.

Dragon Warrior III features a class system, in which each character has a certain class. While the Hero always keeps the Hero class, the other characters can choose among the following: Soldier (Warrior in the GBC version), Fighter, Pilgrim (Cleric), Wizard (Mage), Merchant (Dealer), Goof-Off (Jester), Sage, and Thief which was available only in the later versions. The choice of class greatly affects the character's stats and spells he or she can learn. Furthermore, upon reaching experience Level 20, a character has the option of changing classes at the temple of Dhama, found halfway through the game. The game starts with just the Hero in the party, who then is able to recruit a party of three at the local tavern. Unlike most Dragon Quest parties, aside from the Hero, the party is not made up of characters involved in the story. Although only four characters can be in the party at a time, extra members of the party can be kept at the tavern, allowing room for new recruits. Another innovation is an arena where the player can place bets on the outcome of monster battles.

The remakes incorporated some interface changes from later games in the series, such as simplified door opening; the bag, which replaced bank item storage; the item sorting "Tidy Item" and "Tidy Bag" commands; and the "Full HP" command, which can be used outside of combat to automate the process of casting healing and status restoring spells.

Classes

Dragon Warrior III features a class system. At the start off the game, the player begins as a single hero, male or female. After the quest begins, the player can eventually build up a team of diversified party members through the local tavern in Aliahan. This team can be made up of Wizards, Pilgrims, Goof-offs, Fighters, Soldiers, Merchants, and Thieves (only in the remakes) in either male or female form. The Hero cannot change classes, but all other characters can change classes at Dharma once they have reached experience Level 20, and can change classes any number of times. A character who changes classes has their stats halved and restarts at experience Level 1, retaining their spells and, in the remakes, their personality. This allows a player to create a character that knows Wizard spells, but has the defense of a Soldier.

In the remakes, after selecting a character, the player can change the person's starting abilities with five magical seeds, given by the tavern listrar of heroes.[10] Also new in the remakes, each character has a personality trait, which affects the rate of stat growth. The Hero's personality is determined by the player's choices and actions during a dream sequence at the start of the game, while other characters' personalities are determined by their stats at the end of the character generation process, most personalities are available to both male and female characters, while a few are exclusive to male or female characters. A character's personality can be temporarily changed by equipping certain accessories or permanently changed by using certain consumable books.

Story

Plot

Dragon Warrior III is set many years before the original Dragon Warrior in a world separate from the first two games. A wicked fiend, Baramos, threatens to destroy the world. The story revolves around the Hero, son or daughter (the player can choose to be either male or female; the only gameplay effects of gender on a character is that a few items, like the feathered cap, can only be used by female characters and some dialogue changes with the gender) of the legendary and recently deceased Ortega. On his or her sixteenth birthday, the Hero is summoned to the castle and is given by the King of Aliahan the challenge to follow in his or her father's footsteps to try and rid the world of the evil archfiend Baramos. The Hero then is able to recruit up to three traveling companions to fight Baramos with.

The Hero leaves his or her home country of Aliahan to travel the world and complete his or her father's quest to defeat Baramos. A major portion of the adventure is the quest to acquires the last two of the three keys needed to open doors throughout the game. After saving two people of the town of Baharata from the rogue Kandar and stealing back the King of Romanly's crown, the Hero receives Black Pepper, which he/she then trades for a sailing ship at Portoga. Kandar later appears in the Dark World, in Tantegal's prison, telling the Hero where to find the Sunstones. With the ship, the Hero acquires the Final Key and the six mystical orbs which are used to revive the legendary bird Ramia (in later versions, Lamia). Ramia allows the Hero and his party to travel to Baramos's castle, which is surrounded by mountains.

After defeating Baramos in a ferocious battle and returning to Aliahan, the Hero's celebration is cut off as Zoma, Baramos's master, the true villain, reveals his existence, attacks and opens a pit to the Dark World. The Dark World is in fact Alefgard (of the previous installments of the series), where the Hero must acquire several of the artifacts that were collected in the original Dragon Warrior, including the Sun Stone and the Rain Staff. Rubiss, a legendary sage has been turned to stone and is rescued by the Hero. In return, the Hero receives the Sacred Amulet. These items, as in the original game, create the Rainbow Bridge, which leads the Hero to Zoma's castle for the final confrontation. Along the way, the party must defeat the revived Baramos, turned into Baramos Bomus and Baramos Gonus. With the Ball of Light, given by the Dragon Queen, the Hero defeats Zoma. For his or her bravery, the Hero receives the title of Erdrick (or in later versions, Loto).

Setting

The game starts in the castle town of Aliahan. Like the rest of the Dragon Quest worlds, this castle is set in a medieval time period, complete with knights and magicians. The party explores several caves, ruins, and castles during the adventure. The geography of Dragon Warrior III largely corresponds to the actual geography of the world, with the beginning setting of Aliahan roughly corresponding to Australia. In addition, many towns correspond to their real-world cultures, including "Romaly" for Rome, "Portoga" for Portugal, "Assaram" near present-day Iraq (perhaps derived from "Assyria"), "Jipang" for Japan and even a "New Town" in eastern North America that experiences a revolution against an overbearing ruler.

Development

As with the other main games in the Dragon Quest series, Dragon Warrior III's scenario was designed by Yuuji Horii, whereas the artwork was done by Akira Toriyama, of Dragon Ball fame. Kōichi Sugiyama composed all the music for Dragon Warrior III.

Remakes

The Super Famicom version, released in late 1996, during the last days of the SNES in North America, was never brought to North America, due to Enix America Corporation's closure in 1993. By the time Enix of America returned, the SNES had left the North American market. In 2009, it was unofficially translated into English. However, the next remake, for the Game Boy Color, was released in both Japan and the US. The Game Boy Color version is based on the Super Famicom version. For the North American release of the Dragon Warrior III Game Boy Color remake, Enix decided to give the packaging an anime feel, due to fan demand on Enix's message boards. Both remake versions of Dragon Quest III offer many new features and changes. No version of Dragon Quest III was released in Europe and Square-Enix has not yet made any announcement for future planned releases of any version of this game. Many of the names of the classes were changed in the English localization of the Game Boy Color version, such as Soldier to Warrior, and a new class, the Thief, was added to the roster. Also, in the new versions was the ability to change into the Jester class at Dhama, which was not allowed in the original.

New mini-games were added to the remakes, including Pachisi (called Suguroku in Japan), which is a giant board game style adventure from which the player can win items. This game is based on Horii's series Itadaki Street. The Tiny Medal system, which lets players collect hidden medals to gain new items, seen in later Dragon Quest games (it originated in Dragon Quest IV), was added. Another medal system, Monster Medals, lets players collect medals from fallen enemies, was also added. In the Game Boy Color version, two players could trade Monster Medals via a Game Link Cable. Two bonus dungeons become available after the main quest is over.

The remakes feature updated graphics. An overhauled introduction for the game was made, similar to the one in the original Dragon Warrior III, which included Ortega's battle with a dragon. Monster and attack animation in battles were added, a feature first introduced in Dragon Quest VI.

A personality system was added to the remakes of Dragon Quest III. A pre-game sequence in which the player answers moral dilemmas similar to that in Ultima IV determines the Hero's personality. The personality of the other members of the party is determined by the stat-raising seeds that the player gives them during the character generation process. Personalities determine which stats increase when a character levels up. The personalities may be changed by use of special items and books.

Reception

Sales

In Japan, Dragon Quest III sold over one million copies on the first day with almost 300 arrests for truancy among students absent from school to purchase the game.[1] It is often mistakenly thought that in 1988 the game's success caused the Japanese government to outlaw further releases of Dragon Quest games on school days. In truth, Enix themselves decided to hold off the release of future Dragon Quest games until weekends.[2]

The original Famicom/NES version of Dragon Quest III went on to sell 3.8 million copies total in Japan, and 95,000 units in the United States.[3] In Japan, the Super Famicom remake sold 1.4 million units, with nearly 720,000 units sold in 1996 alone.[4][5] The Game Boy Color version sold a lower 604,000 copies in Japan by the end of 2001.[6] Together, with the sales of the remakes, Dragon Quest III is the most successful title in the series and one of the best selling role-playing games in Japan.[7] The combined sales of the Famicom/NES, Super Famicom and Game Boy Color versions add up to 5.899 million units.

As of November 2010, the Japan mobile phone version was downloaded more than 1,000,000 times.[8] The Wii Dragon Quest Collection sold 403,953 copies in 2011.[9]

Critical reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 87% (GBC)[10]
78% (iOS)[11]
Review scores
Publication Score
Electronic Gaming Monthly 32 of 40 (NES)[12]
7 of 10 (GBC)[10]
Famitsu 38 of 40 (NES)[13]
36 of 40 (SNES)[13]
30 of 40 (GBC)[14]
GamePro 4 of 5 (GBC)
GameSpot 7.6 of 10 (GBC)[15][16]
IGN 10 of 10 (GBC)[17]
Nintendo Power 4 of 5 (GBC)[10]

In Japan, Famicom Tsūshin (now Famitsu) gave it a score of 38 out of 40, based on a panel of four reviewers giving it ratings of 9, 10, 10 and 9 out of 10. This made it their highest-rated game of the year and one of the magazine's two highest-rated games up until 1988, along with Dragon Quest II, which also scored 38 out of 40.[13] The 1989 "All Soft Catalog" issue of Famicom Tsūshin awarded Dragon Quest III the Grand Prize for the best game of all time.[18] A survey conducted by the Famitsu magazine in early 2006 among its readers placed Dragon Quest III as the third most favorite game of all time, being preceded by only Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy VII,[19] and as the best game on the Famicom.[20]

The North American release of Dragon Quest III did not meet nearly as much success. Considered an improvement over the first two games, Dragon Quest III "kept the same ugly graphical style and clumsy interface", according to Kurt Kalata of Gamasutra.[21] The North American release's poor sales are partly due to the fact that the game was released after the release of 16-bit gaming systems, making it seem archaic to gamers.[21] Critics found the new day/night system and the addition of an in-game bank praiseworthy.[21] Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it a score of 32 out of 40, based on a panel of four reviewers giving it ratings of 8, 9, 8 and 7 out of 10.[12]

Its reputation has risen in America since its release, primarily due to its gameplay innovations, leading Nintendo Power to list it as number 176 on their Top 200 Games list.[22] IGN later listed it as the 96th best Nintendo Entertainment System game.[23] GamesRadar ranked it the 17th best NES game ever made. The staff chose it over the other Dragon Warrior titles due to its job system which they felt had depth and was influential to video games.[24]

The Game Boy Color remake received very good reviews from critics. GameSpot gave the Game Boy Color version a "good" 7.6/10, saying that "DWIII is a worthy port of its old NES ancestor, but its firm grounding in the RPG old-school means that only the hard-core need apply."[15] Nintendo Power gave the remake a 4/5, while IGN gave the game a perfect 10/10.[17]

Manga

The manga series, Dragon Quest Retsuden: Roto no Monshō (ドラゴンクエスト列伝 ロトの紋章?, Dragon Quest Saga: Roto's Emblem), was written by Chiaki Kawamata and Junji Koyanagi with artwork by Kamui Fujiwara and was published inMonthly Shōnen Gangan from 1991 through 1997.[25] The series was later compiled into for 21 volumes published by Enix;[26] in 1994 it was released on CD and was released on December 11, 2009 on the PlayStation Portable as part of manga distribution library.[27] In 1996 an anime movie based on the manga was released on video cassette.[28]

A sequel series, Dragon Quest Retsuden: Roto no Monshō ~Monshō o Tsugumono-tachi e~ (ドラゴンクエスト列伝 ロトの紋章 ~紋章を継ぐ者達へ~?, Dragon Quest Retsuden: Roto no Monshō - To the Children Who Inherit the Emblem), published by Square Enix started in 2005 and is still ongoing; as of December 2012, fifteen volumes have been released.[29] The first four volumes were written by Jun Eishima and all the rest volumes written by Takashi Umemura. All of them have been supervised by Yuji Horii with artwork done by Kamui Fujiwara.[30] Dragon Quest Retsuden: Roto no Monshō is meant to take place between Dragon Quest III and Dragon Quest.

After monsters possessed the Carmen's king for seven years, the kingdom fell to the hordes of evil. The only survivors were Prince Arus and an army General's daughter, Lunafrea. Meanwhile, in the Kingdom of Loran, a child by the name of is born with the name Jagan per the orders of Demon Lord Imagine. As Loto's descendant, Arus, along with Lunafrea, set out to defeat the monsters and restore peace to the world.

Dragon Quest Retsuden: Roto no Monshō ~Monshō o Tsugumono-tachi e~ takes place 25 years after the events in Dragon Quest Retsuden: Roto no Monshō. The world is once again in chaos and a young boy, Arosu (アロス?), sets out gathering companions to once again save the world from evil. Dragon Quest Retsuden: Roto no Monshō was popular in Japan, it has sold 18 million in Japan.[31] Its sequel Dragon Quest Retsuden: Roto no Monshō - To the Children Who Inherit the Emblem has also sold well in Japan. For the week of August 26 through September 1, 2008, volume 7 was ranked 9th in Japan having sold 59,540 copies.[32] For the week of February 24 through March 2, 2009, volume 8 was ranked 19th in Japan having sold 76,801 copies.[33] For the week of October 26 through November 1, 2009, volume 9 was ranked 16th in Japan having sold 40,492 copies for a total of 60,467.[29]

Gallery

References

  1. Keiser, Gregg (June 1988). "One Million Sold in One Day". Compute!: pp. 7. https://archive.org/stream/1988-JUn-compute-magazine/Compute_Issue_097_1988_JUn#page/n7/mode/2up. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  2. David Jenkins (February 23, 2005). Student Arrested In Dragon Quest Death Threat. Gamasutra. Retrieved on August 15, 2007.
  3. Dragon Quest History. Planet Nintendo (2002). Archived from the original on October 21, 2007 Retrieved on August 15, 2007.
  4. Japan Platinum Game Chart. The Magic Box (2007). Retrieved on August 27, 2007.
  5. 1996 Top 30 Best Selling Japanese Console Games. The Magic Box. Retrieved on December 21, 2008.
  6. 2001 Top 100 Japanese Console Game Chart. The Magic Box. Retrieved on December 21, 2008.
  7. Feena (December 12, 2000). Dragon Quest GB III US Bound!. RPGFan. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  8. 携帯アプリ「DQIII そして伝説へ・・・」100万DL達成記念にデコメ配信 (Japanese). 4Gamer.net (November 2, 2010). Retrieved on January 13, 2013.
  9. Anoop Gantayat (January 16, 2012). 2011 Game Sales Chart and Sales Trends. andriasang.com. Archived from the original on January 23, 2012 Retrieved on April 4, 2013.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Dragon Warrior III Reviews. Game Rankings. Retrieved on April 14, 2008.
  11. Dragon Quest III (iOS). GameRankings. Retrieved on 2014-01-08.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Electronic Gaming Monthly (1993 Video Game Buyer's Guide): 44 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Famitsu Hall of Fame. Geimin. Retrieved on 7 February 2012.
  14. Error on call to Template:Cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified. Weekly Famitsu (June 30, 2006)..
  15. 15.0 15.1 Brad Shoemaker (August 1, 2001). Dragon Warrior III Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  16. Brad Shoemaker (August 1, 2001). Dragon Warrior III Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Peter Sellers (July 20, 2001). IGN: Dragon Warrior III Review. IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved on April 4, 2013.
  18. Famicom Tsūshin (All Soft Catalog '89), 1989 
  19. Edge Staff (March 3, 2006). Japan Votes on All Time Top 100. Edge Magazine. Next-gen.biz. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  20. John Szczepaniak. Form is Superior to Mass: Famicom History. NTSC-uk. Archived from the original on May 10, 2006 Retrieved on December 18, 2007.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Kalata, Kurt (February 4, 2008). The History of Dragon Quest. Gamasutra. Gamasutra. Retrieved on July 20, 2008.
  22. Nintendo Power. 200. Nintendo of America. 2005. 
  23. IGN Staff (January 1, 2011). 96. Dragon Warrior III. IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  24. Best NES Games of all time. GamesRadar (2012-04-16). Retrieved on 2013-12-05.
  25. Error on call to Template:Cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified (Japanese). Square-Enix. Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
  26. Error on call to Template:Cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified (Japanese). Amazon. Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
  27. Japan's Sony PSP Manga Distribution Service Detailed. News. Anime News Network (November 24, 2009). Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
  28. ドラゴンクエスト列伝・ロトの紋章 [VHS] (Japanese). Amazon. Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Japanese Comic Ranking, October 26-November 1. News. Anime News Network (November 4, 2009). Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
  30. Error on call to Template:Cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified (Japanese). Square-Enix. Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
  31. スクエニ,PSP向けコミックコンテンツ配信事業に参入を発表 (Japanese). 4Gamer.net (September 24, 2009). Retrieved on 24 April 2013.
  32. Japanese Comic Ranking, August 26–September 1. News. Anime News Network (November 3, 2009). Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
  33. Japanese Comic Ranking, February 24–March 2. News. Anime News Network (September 3, 2009). Retrieved on November 9, 2009.

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