Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation was developed by Chunsoft and published by Enix in Japan in 1988. It was translated into English and released as Dragon Warrior III in North America in 1992, some four years later.
A number of changes were made to the North American version of the game – compared to the original Japanese version. A new title sequence and new prologue were included; new musical cues, and some new graphics.
The game is set many years before the original Dragon Warrior, in a world separate from the first two games. It is known for greatly expanding the gameplay of the series by introducing a class system (you can play as: Soldier, Fighter, Pilgrim, Wizard, Merchant, Goof-Off, and Sage – and also Thief in later versions). The choice of class greatly affects a character’s stats and spells that he or she can learn.
The story follows the sixteen year-old hero (who can be male or female) on a quest to defeat the archfiend “Baramos“. To do this you can recruit up to three companions to fight with you on your adventures.
Dragon Quest III features an even more open-world experience than previous games in the series. It also allows you to freely swap characters in and out of your party and to ‘store’ extra characters at a tavern, allowing room for new recruits and easy customisation of your party members. Upon reaching level 20, a character has the option of changing classes at The Temple of Dhama, which is another new feature. A character who changes classes has their stats halved and restarts at level one, but retains their spells. This feature also appears in some of the later Dragon Quest games; most notably in Dragon Quest IX (nine) where the process is called ‘revocation’.
Dragon Warrior III also introduced a day/night cycle into the game, in which certain items, characters, and quests are only accessible at specific times of the day.
Overall, although it doesn’t look or sound too different to the previous two Dragon Quest games in terms of presentation, Dragon Warrior III is a leap forward in terms of detail and complexity.
Dragon Warrior III has been re-made numerous times, including for the SNES (1996), Game Boy Color (2000), and most recently for the Nintendo Switch in 2019. A HD 2D remake was also announced in 2021, during the series’ 35th anniversary livestream, although a release date has yet to be confirmed (at the time of writing).