This week for Retro Thursday, we decided to do something a little bit differently. We’ve recently had a new segment pop up focusing on mobile gaming so as a way to encourage the spirit of gaming on the go, we’ve all covered Gameboy games! Not Gameboy Advanced, Not DS, but Gameboy Color and original Gameboy! Some years back, us kids needed a solid way eat up all the time we spent sitting in the grocery cart or riding in the back seat. The best way to do this was to pop a cartridge into the ol’ trusty Gameboy Color. I love RPG’s and that love isn’t recent. While I was riding around, I was probably playing a game like Dragon Quest 3!
Dragon Quest 3 was released in North America as Dragon Warrior 3. The Dragon Quest franchise is a long established line of traditional JRPG games; one of the originals. It features a rich story line, turn based fighting, and confusing user interface. Dragon Quest 3 was originally released on the NES in Japan on February 10th of 1988! A North American release wasn’t seen until 1991 and the version that we’ll be talking about today, the Gameboy Color version, didn’t hit western shores until July 2001. While previous iterations of the series were grand, Dragon Quest 3 took it to a new level by utilizing several new mechanics. In DQ3 the world is persistent and features day-night cycles. Perhaps the biggest feature, thought, was the introduction of a Class Changing system. This system was so revolutionary that it not only shaped several of the future Dragon Quest titles, but also the Final Fantasy series and several other RPG’s.
Since Dragon Quest 3 is a classic JRPG straight out of the early era, story wise you aren’t going to be experiencing anything groundbreaking. It’s a pretty average “save the world” type deal. The overworld is quite expansive however, mimicking actual geography with town names like Romaly (Rome), Portoga (Portugal), and Jipang (Japan). You’ll cross mountains, deserts, and oceans, and you explore cities, towns, dungeons, and caves. You don’t do so alone though. In the start of the game you are able to, and in fact advised by several people to, recruit three additional party members. The great thing about this process is that you are able to pretty much customize your party members by choosing their names and jobs. Each time you “create” a party member, their stats are generated through a random roll but you can opt not to “call” this iteration of them and simply recreate and reroll until you’re happy. There’s a whole cast of classes you can choose from spanning from Warrior to Jester and everything in between.
The reason that I chose this game in particular spans beyond it being a great RPG. Dragon Quest 3 was a revolutionary title that expanded how many RPG’s were developed. That influence still lingers in the RPG’s of today as well. But the main reason for choosing this game was because as a kid, it did exactly what it was supposed to do. I was able to play this game for hours and hours while I was otherwise trapped somewhere I didn’t want to be. I was able to explore the world and go on an epic journey with friends, defeating monsters and collecting treasure! It gave me a sense of wonder and it helped save me from utter boredom. So I say, Thank you Dragon Warrior III!
My name is ChristianCoal, thanks for reading everyone!