GSQ5: The 3rd dragon

It’s… a brief piece on Dragon Quest III. Except it’s referred to here as Dragon Warrior III, because that’s what they called it back then. Those innocent times, when we didn’t know any better.

At this point, given the screens included in this feature, it seems appropriate to thank Hardcore Gaming 101 once again for generously allowing us to use their hard-earned screenshots in our articles. It saves me the trouble of editing Kurt’s name out of the hero’s slot in RPG screens capturing screens myself, a real-life savings of hundreds of hours. Be sure to drop some change in their donation bucket, and pick up their upcoming print-on-demand book when it launches!

15 thoughts on “GSQ5: The 3rd dragon

  1. I have a _huge_ soft spot for DW3. I remember renting this from the local video store / Radio Shack, and even leaving a note so that subsequent renters would not delete my save game. Which happened anyway. Blah.

    Anyway, that video store happened to sell all its Nintendo stock, and I managed to snag the game for relatively cheap along with The Guardian Legend. My brother and I were very happy campers, to say the least. I still have all the manuals and box, even!

    What always intrigued me about the game was the way you could switch classes and retain abilities. If you wanted to create a Warrior / Mage-hybrid (or a Fighter / Sage!!!), you could do it, as long as you were down for the copious amounts of grinding necessary to do it.

    Really, the party didn’t have much in the way of characterization (heck, even the main character doesn’t, really), but it’s all about the quest, and specifically, the quest that all the legends talk about in DW and DW2. That in and of itself was enough to kind of fill in some story, although it ends up being kind of after the fact due to the big reveal at the end.

  2. I’ve always had a soft spot for Dragon Quest III’s job system. When you cnange jobs, you keep half of your stats and all of your spells when you revert to Lv.1, and given time you could potentially make your companions into super soldiers.

    Heck, what the hero and created cast lack in character is made up for with some of the colorful locales to visit. There’s castle with a king who’d rather bet at the monster fights than do his duty, a town put to sleep by a curse over forbidden romance, and a Japan analogue where girls are being sacrificed to Orochi, among others.

  3. I wasn’t exactly mainstream even in the NES era, since I was one of the few English speaking fans who liked the first three DQ games on NES and GBC. (Neither version of DQ4 is bad, but I’m not as big a fan.)

    Given the choice between the pre-established characters in DQ2 and the custom characters in DQ3, I currently prefer the latter. Mostly because the other prince in DQ2 was not especially useful…

  4. I *just* bought this game, for NES, the other day – turned in my old iPod and got this and Lufia (boxed) for free. Pumped to play it!

  5. That’s weird Sarge – I did the same thing (buying it from my rental place years later). I remember the first time I rented it it was “way too complicated” and I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I was honestly intimidated away from it and into the arms of Final Fantasy (which in retrospect is hilarious). The interesting thing about the “breakable” job system is it never requires you to change jobs, it’s like a complete side thing you COULD do if you were into that. And yeah, best game twist of all time.

    • I came to the NES later than most, so I was at a good age to handle somewhat stat-heavy games. I already loved to read, too. I think that’s what initially attracted me to the games, despite their relative simplicity to their PC counterparts: the stats, the math, and the reading.

      Just think, if my parents actually had the money for a computer, I might be waxing euphoric about Wizardry or Ultima. Now _there’s_ a strange thought.

    • In retrospect, aside from the blocky world map sprites, I think Dragon Quest III’s aged way better than Final Fantasy (One) has. If there’s any title from the original trilogy I’d love to receive the Arte Piazza (or even Level-5) treatment on DS, it’s that game.

      I loved the NES original (until the rental cart stopped working), and I still adore the Game Boy Color remake of the Super Famicom remake, even with its limitations. I really hope it does get another remake that’s not a Japanese cellphone exclusive at some point. It’s been about a decade since its last appearance.

      • There’s also a translation available for that Super Famicom remake, so there’s no excuse for us non-Japanese speakers to not give it a shot.

        In fact, I’d probably go so far as to say the game probably looks better as properly-scaled sprites than the PSX-level rendering and distorted sprites of the DS remakes. Not that the DS remakes look bad! I just prefer my sprites to be clean-looking.

  6. As I’ve stated before Dragon Warrior 3 has the best gameplay of all of the NES Dragon Warrior games. But 4 had the best story.

  7. Is there some reason FF Mystic Quest has to be bashed nearly every chance any retrogaming article online ever brings up an RPG of any sort?

    Honestly its NOT that simplistic. Its about as complicated as every JRPG of the era. Except it has a few actual puzzles, albeit rather simple ones.

    Most JRPGs back then were basically talk to NPCs. Unlock next dungeon or area by talking to said NPC. Walk in dungeon. Kill everything you encounter. Collect every chest and keep walking around. Meet boss. Use correct elemental spell against monster. Usually fire on ice, ice on fire, holy against undead, lightning on water. Use healing magic when HPs are around 33%.

    There. Those are the only things you really need to know to complete the entire GENRE.

    Yet.. Mystic Quest continually gets bashed when it had more variety in what you actually did gameplay wise.

    I don’t get it.

    Or does a ridiculously overrated Opera Scene somehow make a JRPG more advanced and complicated?

    • The game is a bit simpler than some other fare at the time, but I agree that the game gets far more hate than it actually deserves. It’s probably because it has the Final Fantasy moniker attached to it.

      Personally, I like FF:MQ. It’s not the worst RPG of that genre by a long shot, but it’s probably the “stinker” that most are familiar with, so that’s why it gets used.

    • FFMQ is one of most most overly reviled games of all time. Maybe the most. Not like it’s good or anything, but it’s _the_ go-to game when somebody needs a red-headed stepchild to beat without complaints from the peanut gallery. It’s the like Nickelback or Linkin Park of he game world. Not like they’re good or anything.

      And we knew better in those days to call the games Dragon Warrior instead of Dragon Quest. If there’s anything I miss about the old DW games, it’s the nomenclature. I wish the old names for the DQ stuff would return. Every last one of them. Including the game titles.

Comments are closed.