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Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibōken
Japanese title ドラゴンクエスト ダイの大冒険
Rōmaji title Doragon Kuesuto: Dai no Daibōken
Written by Riku Sanjo and Yuji Horii
Illustrated by Koji Inada
Published by Shueisha
Volumes 37
Japanese release 1989 - 1996

Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibōken (Japanese: ドラゴンクエスト ダイの大冒険 Doragon Kuesuto: Dai no Daibōke) is a long-running manga based mainly on III and its class system. It features filler pages giving game-like character stats of the heroes, and often explains details of the spells used in the games.


The plot centers around the revival of the Demon Lord defeated in an earlier war, his attempts to conquer the world and the fight of the heroes against him.



  • Dai, the main hero. He has grown up on an island full of friendly monsters. For a short time, he has been trained by Avan, but he always has difficulty casting spells, usually it works only when he is very angry.
  • Avan, who trains the hero for a short time, but then dies fighting Hadlar. He remains ever-present as a role model, and many of the characters are former disciples or comrades of Avan.
  • Pop, another disciple of Avan who came to Dai's island with him. He is the first party member to join, so to say. A magic user with a lazy and cowardly streak who often has to be shamed into doing the right (heroic) thing, he provides the comic relief in the series.
  • Maam, daughter of the warrior and the priest who fought with Avan in the previous war, and a former disciple of his, is the next to join. She is described as a white mage warrior. She has no offensive spells, but a gun Avan gave her that can fire spells on bullets. Pop, who initially detests her, later develops a crush on Maam.
  • Leona, the young princess of Papnika, a land of sages. Early in the manga, Dai saves her from a conspiracy that tries to use a ritual on the island to kill her, and falls in love with her.
  • Gome, a gold metal slime with wings. He rarely takes an active part, but is something like the mascot of the series.


  • Hadlar, who was defeated by Avan in the previous war and kills him early in the manga. He becomes the leader of the Great Demon King's Army, divided into 6 factions (each leaded by a leader).
  • Hyunkel, leader of the Hundred Beast Regiment.
  • Myst-Vearn, leader of the Shades and Ghost (and the like monsters) of the Demon Army. A creature shrouded in mystery. He rarely speaks.
  • Zaboera, leader of the Sorcerer Regiment.
  • Freezard, leader of the Ice and Fire Demon Regiment.
  • Baran, leader of the Super Dragon Regiment.

Minor protagonists

  • Brass, Dai's adoptive father.
  • The fake heroes, a group who act as heroes but are really just after money. The members in detail:
  • Shinana (The King of Romos), a typical elderly, rotund Dragon Quest King.
  • Three wise sages that protect Princess of Papnica:
  • Matoriv, a sadistic and lecherous old mage who fought on the side of Avan in the previous war. Reluctantly he agrees to help the heroes again and trains Pop for a while. Graphically, Matoriv sticks out among the characters; both his design and the style in which he is drawn resemble Moebius rather than anything from the Dragon Quest series.
  • Crocodine, commander of the Beast Army, who later changes sides.


Image Volume No. Japanese release
1 March 9, 1990
2 April 10, 1990
3 August 8, 1990
4 November 11, 1990
5 February 8, 1991
6 April 10, 1991
7 July 10, 1991
8 October 9, 1991
9 February 10, 1992
10 April 10, 1992
11 July 3, 1992
12 September 4, 1992
13 November 4, 1992
14 December 26, 1992
15 April 2, 1993
16 June 4, 1993
17 August 4, 1993
18 October 4, 1993
19 December 2, 1993
20 February 4, 1994
21 April 4, 1994
22 June 3, 1994
23 August 4, 1994
24 October 4, 1994
25 December 2, 1994
26 March 3, 1995
27 May 11, 1995
28 July 4, 1995
29 September 4, 1995
30 November 2, 1995
31 January 10, 1996
32 March 4, 1996
33 July 4, 1996
34 October 3, 1996
35 February 2, 1997
36 April 4, 1997
37 June 4, 1997
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