25 years ago the world of eastern RPGs was forever changed with the release of Dragon Warrior III (in the U.S.). DQ3 is the grandfather of almost every cliche that we use in modern Role Playing Games. Dragon Quest III (as its called in Japan) is the epic quest of a young man who embarked on a journey to finish what his father started. DQ3 is legendary and stands among eastern RPGs as the goal they must strive to emulate to be successful. But, what can we say that has not already been said about Dragon Quest III?
Dragon Quest III was localized 3 years after its release in Japan. The fact that Dragon Quest III is not as fondly remembered as Final Fantasy or Ultima series in the west coast along. How the western RPGs that had come out during that 3 year gap had progressed further along the evolution of games by the time DQ3 came out in America which factored into its less than warm reception. There is even a Dragon Quest III manga which you can read in various sites. But, all these trivia facts do no justice to the fact that Japanese RPGs were forever changed by the champion which is Dragon Quest III.
DQ3 begins with our hero undergoing a personality quiz which leads to different scenarios. These scenarios can be solved through different means, but each solution will yield a personality that will affect your stat growth (and you’re actually in control during these moments). Once the hero wakes up, he proceeds to speak to the king who will provide him with some gold and equipment. It is at this point that the initial customization of Dragon Quest III begins, since you can go to the tavern and pick out which party members you wish to accompany the hero on his journey. From warriors to jesters, all classes had different advantages/disadvantages which could make the game easier or more challenging depending on the scenario. The player can even pick up the gender of the companions (I picked an all female party cast). Once you left town the game opened up massively and there was a ton of content available in DQ3.
From monsters posing as human beings, to a village of very vindictive elves you were exploring a gigantic world full of mystical creatures and wonder. Dragon Quest III didn’t pull any punches when it came to scenarios and there were some truly genuinely humorous moments (such as finding a human head in a jar). You could even play a board game type mini-game where you could potentially buy rare and powerful weapons. Perhaps the player wants to brainwash one of the party characters into becoming of a different personality? You can even do such actions in Dragon Quest III.
But, I don’t want to spoil the story for those who haven’t played DQ3. Dragon Quest III is a game that must be experienced to understand the depths and impact it had in gaming. There is a plot twist during the middle of the game which came as a surprise to many players especially those who played the originals. While I never played those two I was a member of Nintendo Power and was familiarized with the lore of the series. I was genuinely bemused when I finally caught on to the secret and will never forget the feelings I had when discovering it ( similar to the feeling that is keeping an old secret between two friends).
Don’t take my words for it, go find yourself a copy of Dragon Quest II or get it through the various means that exists out there (I’m talking about the iOS/Android version obviously). Journey through an era long gone and discover the secrets of the game that is still defining a generation. Dragon Quest III deserves all the love it has received throughout the time and will always have a place in the history of gaming.