Dragon Warrior 3
Box Shot
Dragon Warrior 3
Platform: NES
Publisher: Enix
Designer: Enix
Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Published Date 1991
Reviewed by: Chuck Roberts

Well, if you conquered 1 and plastered 2, then your next goal is to take up the even bigger, more complicated 3! Yes, this one's a winner with new concepts and ideas that make it a must have for any Dragon Warrior fan! The story is completely different at first, but by the end you will know who Erdrick is! Anyway, it starts out with you, the young age 16 hero who is going to visit the King of Aliahan. See, there is another bad dude called Baramos who wants to conquer the world. Your father, Ortega, is a wonderful hero out to bring peace by defeating Baramos. At the end of a battle with a dragon, Ortega tumbles into a volcano and is not seen again. Now it's your turn to stop Baramos and bring happiness back to this world.

The super-cheap king gives you 50 gold and the action begins! The big change is now you don't have to find allies, you make them! Yes, you name them, pick a gender and can choose from 6 starting classes: Soldiers, Pilgrims, Wizards, Fighters, Merchants or a Goof-off. Each one has special talents and you can pick and choose. Also, when you reach Level 20 and find the Shrine of Dhama, you can have your allies change classes. A soldier with magic! A strong Wizard! There is also a secret Sage class that learns all of a Pilgrim AND Wizard spells! Goof-offs can become them automatically (That's a tip!), or you can turn another into a Sage with the Book of Satori.

Each class has it's own perks that make him/her special. A soldier is a fabulous strength and HP character. Pilgrims learn healing spells and have adaquate attack and HP's. Wizards have lots of attack spells and later on their HP's and agility shoot up! Fighters are very cheap to buy for and have excellent strength and agility (most weapons DECREASE their attack power!). Merchants can find extra gold, though not very much at all. Lastly Goof-offs are rather useless except for unbelievable luck and the ability to become a Sage. There is one other special, unique class... YOU, the hero. As this character your HP's and strength is great, though your magic is limited. It is totally up to you on who's in your party, even though the game gives a default party of a Soldier, Pilgrim and Wizard (with horrid names and they are all male).

The graphics are not to different on landscape or battles, except for mucho enemies, but you aren't as bad off as DW2 since you start with four characters. The towns have evolved to having beds, tables and other furniture to litter houses. The lottery is gone, now replaced with a monster ring where you can put bets on monsters and win big! The sprites are also more detailed, but the hero looks fat and ugly. There are definite differences between the male and female class members, but colors are not the best (a green king!?). There is more upbeat music, but the sounds haven't gotten too much better. Just a few more sounds and familar ones that haven't change.

The game play is pretty much the same, though picking out keys to unlock doors is irritating. The only real problem is that it double clicks when you don't want it to, plus you can wander off course for some unapparent reason. The variety is a dream come true. The spell list has grown to almost 60 and there is so many varieties of armor and weapons, it boggles the mind! Also, when you go to Alefgard (I spoiled a surprise, but I have to), it's before DW1's time and there are such creative differences. The magic key store hasn't begun yet and when it's perfected, they crumble after use (familiar?). Also the curse guy is still a child and the tunnel hasn't been finished yet. The only wonder is why does it look so modern, then refers to the prehistoric looking DW game as it's future!? Anyway, you probally made a logical guess to who Erdrick is by the clues given to you.

Now that I pushed all that good stuff out of the way, let's cover some bad stuff about it. The hero has a problem where his MP's are so limited and you never seem to have enough with him. He has 5 unique spells and they are SO expensive (Repel uses 4, twice as many as before and Healusall uses 62!!!). Enemies come out so often too and when it becomes night (I forgot to mention day-to-night time cycle), the enemies really pop out. Some of the little quests are so dumb like giving a king pepper for a ship (such a moron!) Also there are many, MANY things to do at once after you get the ship that you just become dumbfounded. Tracking down 6 orbs, beaking a curse, finding a Phantom ship, setting up the growth of a new town and upgrading your allies all the time is hard to do all at once! That's not even half of it, not by a long shot. Also, just when you kill Baramos and you're all happy, another quest begins to find the Master Archfiend in the land of darkness, Alefgard.

Well, that's alot about DW3, though it would take an entire book to discuss the game for every little detail and I just plainly don't have the room. I should mention the passing of time and even spells that get rid of curses (Curseoff) and makes you invisible! This game is much longer and involves much more planning, though the enemies aren't quite as bad as DW2. You will love the many nooks and crannies of this game, with so many options, a veteran may just fall over dead. I haven't, or else I wouldn't be writing this:). This is truly the biggest and best game of Dragon Warrior so far. This one sure made Enix plenty of moolah, also establishing a strong reputation as a RPG master. Get rid of your Final Fantasy cartridge (well, at least put it away), and get ready to be amazed! This is one for the record books and if you finish it, consider yourself the real Erdrick (haven't you figured it out yet?!) ...