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Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation (ドラゴンクエストIII そして伝説へ… lit. "Dragon Quest III: and Now, into the Legend…"), originally released as Dragon Warrior III in North America, is the third installment of the popular Dragon Quest series. First released for the Japanese Famicom in 1988, it received a North American release in 1992. Several remakes have followed, including on the Super Famicom and Game Boy Color, with another remake announced for current generation hardware in 2021. On May 27th 2024, Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake alongside Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest II has been announced to release on Xbox Series S/X, Switch, PC and PS5 on November 14th, 2024, while the Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest II remakes will be released in 2025.


NES version[]

The Legacy of Erdrick Continues...


Dragon Quest III is noted for greatly expanding upon the original Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest II. Dragon Quest III adding a vocation system, in which each character has a certain vocation, a gameplay feature that would later reappear in multiple other titles of the series. While the hero always keeps the Hero vocation, the other characters can choose among the following: Soldier/Warrior, Fighter, Pilgrim/Cleric, Wizard/Mage, Merchant/Dealer, Goof-off/Jester, and Thief. The choice of vocation greatly affects the character's stats and spells he or she can learn. Furthermore, upon reaching level 20, a character may change vocations at Alltrades Abbey. Another innovation is an arena where the player can place bets on the outcome of monster battles. Dragon Quest III features a much larger world than its predecessors, as well as a much larger array of items, equipment, magic, and enemies. It was intended to have even more features, including a small medal system, but these additional features were cut from the original release to save space.

Both remake versions of Dragon Quest III offer many new features, including a mini game called Treasures n' Trapdoors (called Suguroku in Japan) from which the player can win items, monster and attack animations in battles, a new Thief vocation, two challenging bonus dungeons, a monster medal collection, new items, the mini medal system seen in later Dragon Quest games, individual personality types for the members of your party which determine which stats increase when they level up, a pre-game sequence in which your Hero's personality is determined based on your answers to moral dilemmas similar to that in Ultima IV, and many other small changes. The Game Boy Color version is based on the Super Nintendo version, which is currently being fan translated.

In the game, the player starts out as a single hero, male or female. When the quest begins, the player can build a team of diversified heroes through Ruida's Tavern in Aliahan almost immediately. This team can be made up of Wizards, Pilgrims, Thieves, Goof-offs, Fighters, Soldiers, and Merchants in either male or female form. After selecting a character in the remake, the player or the tavern can change the person's starting abilities with five magical seeds, given by the tavern. The ability to create a party right away was a first for the Dragon Quest series. It is also a stark contrast to all other Dragon Quest games which feature a multiple character party, as in all other games party members are added through plot events and progression through the game rather than at the beginning. For more information on the individual vocations, see Party (Dragon Quest III).

At the beginning of the game, a pre-generated warrior, cleric, and wizard are placed in Ruida's tavern. Additional characters may also be created there. The hero can only be removed from the party if one of the savegames indicates that the game has been completed.

vocation changing, at the Temple of Dharma, can be done whenever a party member (other than the hero) reaches the 20th level. It will reset the character's level to 1 and cut all stat values in half, however the character will retain all spells he or she possessed before the change. Special abilities, such as a merchant's ability to appraise or a thief's ability to snag items, are lost. Typically the greatest advantage to vocation changing is having a warrior/fighter character who knows many magic spells or the ultimate magic using character.

New Features[]

  • It is now possible to change the party's marching order. Also, characters can be added or dropped at Patty's Party Planning Place.
  • The Zoom spell and the Chimera wing now offer a selection of places to go, instead of automatically returning the party to the last save point.
  • Several new statistics: vitality, intelligence, 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 randomized, with a range depending on the character's vocation.
  • 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. Alefgard is always shrouded in night, however.
  • 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.
  • Mimics appear for the first time. There is also an identify spell to detect mimics.
  • Vaults 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 following the addition of 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.


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. The hero, son or daughter (you can choose to be either male or female) of the legendary Ortega, recruits up to three travelling companions and sets out to defeat Baramos, only to find later that Baramos is merely a disciple of Zoma, the fiend who rules the Dark World below. The hero then travels to the Dark World, which is known as Alefgard in subsequent installments of the series, and restores light. For his bravery, the hero receives the title of Loto (Erdrick in the NES version).

The flow of the game is as follows. The hero travels from his home country of Aliahan to explore the world and acquire three keys needed to open doors throughout the game. After saving a 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 the ship, the hero acquires the Ultimate key and the six mystical orbs which are used to revive the legendary bird Ramia. Ramia takes the hero to Baramos' castle. 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.


As with every Dragon Quest game, Koichi Sugiyama composed the music and directed all the associated spinoffs. Here is the tracklist of the Symphonic Suite:

  1. Roto (1:41) (ロトのテーマ, Roto no Teema)
  2. Prologue (3:58) (王宮のロンド, Oukyuu no Rondo)
  3. Rondo (2:59) (王宮のロンド, Ōkyū no rondo, royal palace rondo)
  4. Around the World (Around the World ~ Town ~ Jipang ~ Pyramid ~ Village) (6:48) (世界をまわる(街~ジパング~ピラミッド~村) Sekai o Mawaru (Machi ~ Jipangu ~ Piramiddo ~ Mura))
  5. Adventure (3:09) (冒険の旅)Bouken no Tabi)
  6. Dungeon ~ Tower ~ The Phantom Ship (5:34) (ダンジョン~塔~幽霊船)Danjon ~ Tou ~ Yuureisen)
  7. Distant Memories (2:52) (回想, Huíxiǎng, Recall)
  8. Requiem ~ Small Shrine (3:11) (鎮魂歌~ほこら Chinkonka ~ Hokora)
  9. Sailing (2:53) (海を越えて Umi o Koete)
  10. Heavenly Flight (2:44) (おおぞらをとぶ Oozora o Tobu)
  11. Grueling Fight (4:05) (戦いのとき, Tatakai no toki, time of battle)
  12. Zoma's Castle (3:30) (ゾーマの城, Zōma no shiro, Zoma's Castle)
  13. Fighting Spirits (Battle Theme ~ In Alefgard ~ Hero's Challenge) (5:41) (戦闘のテーマ~アレフガルドにて~勇者の挑戦 Sentou no Teema ~ Arefugarudo nite ~ Yuusha no Chousen)
  14. Into the Legend (3:01) (そして、伝説へ... Soshite, Densetsu e...)

Version differences[]

North American edition (NES edition)[]

  • 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[]

The graphics and command system were upgraded using Dragon Quest VI 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 the Dragon Quest VI conversation recall system have been added.
  • The bag was added, and 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 Dharma 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" vocation, as described in the vocations section above.
  • Merchants and Jesters can now gain MP when leveling; this is needed since they now gain some additional spells.
  • As in Dragon Quest VI, the special actions of the Jester vocation may now have special effects, such as healing the party.
  • Female heroes now have different graphics, and a few dialogues are changed for them.
  • There are also new dialogues in case the hero is not in the party, if the game has been completed.
  • Ruida's Tavern 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.
  • There are many new kinds of item. But it is no longer possible to obtain one item, although it still exists in the game data.
  • Some weapon and armor shops have different items in stock. (EG, Manoza no longer sells dragon slayer 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.
  • The pyramid layout is slightly different.
  • It is now possible to save the game in Portoga, by speaking to the minister of state next to the king.
  • Portoga and Baharata now have weapon shops.
  • A bonus dungeon has been added; it contains a castle which is a new Zoom target.
  • The location BGM is now remixed depending on the time of day.
  • There are new tunes.

Game Boy Color remake[]

  • It is now possible to collect Monster Medals; these are shared across savefiles, and can be transferred to other Gameboys.
  • 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 Gameboy might run out of batteries at any time.
  • There is a second bonus dungeon, the Ice caves. It contains boss monsters 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.

HD-2D Remake[]

A new remake was announced on 26 May 2021 (27 May 2021 in Japan). It will produced by Masaaki Hayasaka, known for his work in Octopath Traveler, from which this new remake will follow similar aesthetics with high definition 2D art, multiple layers and a sense of depth. No console or specific release date was announced, but it is planned to have simultaneous worldwide release.

At Nintendo Direct on June 18, 2024, it was revealed to have a November 14, 2024 release date.


Main article: List of glitches in Dragon Quest III

Original edition[]

  • 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 Frostburn 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.
  • By casting Robmagic on monsters that have the bounce effect, the caster gains a lot of MP instead of losing some.
  • Some speedrunners have found a max level up party exploit that involves heating the console on a hotplate.

Game Boy Color remake[]

  • There is an experience glitch associated with playing Treasures n' Trapdoors. 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 overworld. 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.


Playable characters[]

Game Boy Color-related trivia[]

  • A complete set of Monster Medals for Dragon Quest IV was partially implemented in the game code (they all exist, but with gibberish names), accessible only with a modification device. Originally, the fourth game was also to be remade on the Game Boy Color, but the design team decided instead to use the PlayStation as the remake platform early in development.



Nintendo Entertainment System[]

Super Famicom[]

Game Boy Color[]

Game covers[]

See also[]

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