Game: Dragon Quest III: And thus into Legend...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Dragon Quest III: And thus into Legend

I just started playing a bunch of old RPG videogames again. Some of them being the Dragon Quest games, which is also one of my favorite videogame series, even though there's not that much excuse for that, at least not for the early games in the series.
But I played the most modern remake versions of each game (mostly Nintendo DS ports), which made them even more enjoyable in my opinion..

Dragon Quest III: And thus into LegendI don't think I would have been able to get into video games during the NES era, especially those RPGs are something I'd stay the heck away from, even today. Luckily, Dragon Quest III got some make-up for the Super Famicon which is the best looking version of it (there's also a Game Boy Color version). The SFC version has battle screen backgrounds, better sound (I think), battle animations for enemies and some other extras, like mini games, mini medals, the thief class and weapons, like whips.
I also think it's the last part of a trilogy however, playing or knowing anything from the prequels doesn't seem important.
Apparently, Dragon Quest III is actually a prequel to Dragon Quest I and II, since the Hero or Dragon Quest ends up being the legendary hero Erdrick (Loto/Roto), whose descendants you play in the other two games.
Dragon Quest III: And thus into LegendThe game starts with character creation, meaning choosing gender and name for your hero. After that, there's a short prologue scene in which some voice asks you some questions to figure out your personality. The personality determines the stat bonus gain for your character when he or she levels up, and there are plenty of possible personalities. In general, what you want is a female Hero (remakes only) with the "sexy" personality (which is exclusive to the female gender) because it has the best boni, as far as I understand.
Dragon Quest III: And thus into Legend
After that, the game starts with one of those generic RPG intros, your mother wakes you up and tells you to do stuff. In this case, meeting the king. As a matter of fact, Dragon Quest III started this trope.
The hero is the child of a big ol' mighty warrior who set off to save the world by beating the bigger but bad guy, Baramos. However, Daddy disappeared and is presumed dead now. So the logical conclusion is to send out his pup to save the world.
While the game got some updated visuals, some nice effects and SNES sound, it's still very crude at it's core, with its spartan menu and battle screen.
The game doesn't really have a real story other than setting out to defeat the villain, or any noteworthy character interaction. The Hero is silent, and so are the companions. The companions are basically mercenaries you hire at the beginning or anytime you want.
Hiring is maybe the wrong word. It let's you add three characters to your party and you decide their name, class, gender and more or less, their stats as well, which determines their personality as well. Some of the classes are rather iconic in the series and I guess in the fantasy anime world as well, like Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, in which the characters are just named after their class. Even though it's just the game's class concept and maybe their design only displayed on the boxart and game guides that might have influenced other media.

The classes to choose from are the Warrior, Fighter, Cleric, Mage, Jester (BEST ONE), Merchant, Thief and Sage.
The Sage isn't available at the beginning and basically something you want your Mages, Clerics and eventually Jesters to become later in the game.
Dragon Quest III: And thus into Legend
The Jester is totally useless, they have high luck but are weak otherwise, and you can't control them in battles. So they are basically for laughs. The only reason to start with one early is because once the Sage is unlocked, you can only get one of them for the time being as they require a special item. Unless you have a Jester who can turn into a Sage for free. Also, the female Jester is a bunny girl. Akira Toriyama's beloved bunny girls.
That's actually all there's to Dragon Quest III. The rest is rather basic, travel from town to down, grind, gear up, talk to everyone to find out where to go next until you hit the final boss, and in Dragon Quest fashion, the hidden final boss as well. Not to be confused with the extra hidden bonus boss.
During the journey you do help out some people from time to time and I guess it does have some links to the prequels but that's it.
You can collect the mini medals in this version as well and get some cool gear for it, do some mini games like really basic gambling and another mini game called "Pachisi Track".

It was rather fun though, but mostly because I associated my characters with the ones from the artworks, and because I like those classic straightforward RPGs. The difficulty is fair, like in most DQ games, but the bosses, especially the final and hidden bosses can be really damn tough. Having multiple actions in one turn, hitting ridiculously hard, and multiple forms without letting you refresh in between (speaking for the DQ series in general). So grinding for money and simultaneously some levels for new gear, when reaching a new area is usually a must. And even if you feel overpowered for a moment, the bosses usually show you that you've only done the necessary to progress. The game has a gold bank since dying would halve your money in your pocket and send you back to town. Saving was kinda annyoing though, usually later DQ games always let you save in a churche. But not this one yet. Churches do the usual services except for saving. You either have to save in a castle at a King or find someone else like a nun. Who's not necessarily in the church. I think some towns actually had no one to let you save.
It's not that bad though because dying doesn't game over you and you can fast travel.
Overall pretty fun spartan RPG with some of the Dragon Quest elements in the Super Famicon version. But no one should feel the need to play this anymore, there are much better options unless you are a hardcore fan of that genre or series.

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