Characters: Dragon Quest III

Yes, there are characters. This is still in the eight-bit world of games, where characters don't get much characterization, but there are heroes.

The heroes

Ortega's Heir

The son (or daughter) of the great hero Ortega. Shortly after you were born, your father departed on a quest to defeat the fiend Baramos, never to return. In his absence, it falls to you to take up his quest and save the world. A Magic Knight and all-around fighter with access to powerful attacks and spells. Good thing the hero is so well-rounded, since you cannot change your own class.

Tropes associated with the Hero:
  • Always Male: In the original, even if you chose to be female, you would be "Ortega's son".
    • This was more a translation issue, howevernote , and is Lampshaded in the Updated Re-release: if you choose to be female there, the king will start to call you "Ortega's son" before correcting himself and justifying the mistake with "But your dauntless look — no man could hope to match you!" The smartphone version makes a decent few references to this as well.
    • The original also used the same sprite for the male and female versions of the Hero, unlike every other class.
  • Anime Hair: Spiky black hair for both genders.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: And can't change your class to anything other than "Hero".
    • Post game, the hero can be dropped.
  • Combat Medic: The hero can learn most of the healing spells, including the exclusive HealUsAll/Omniheal spell that restores the entire party's HP completely.
  • Fake King: You don't choose to be one, but the king of Romaly gives you the crown so he can go gamble. You can hang around as king for as long as you feel like, then make the real king take his crown back so you can continue on your quest.
  • I Have Many Names: In the end, he'll be Roto, Loto, or Erdrick, depending on which game you choose.
  • Shock and Awe: The Zap series of spells is traditionally exclusive to the Hero only.
  • With This Herring: 300 gold pieces. On the GBC and mobile remakes, the king gives you a small amount of gold and some basic equipment.

The Soldier/Warrior

Soldiers are your obvious choice for defense. They are able to use the strongest and most durable weapons and armor in the game, and have the most hit points of any class, but are slow as molasses and don't learn any magic.

Tropes associated with the Soldier/Warrior:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Another weakness of the warrior is that as they can use most weapons and armor, they are VERY expensive to equip. You'd spend time having to Level Grind for both experience and money to buy the warrior weapons and armor.
  • Ascended Extra: The female warrior has made cameo appearances in some of the other games in the series.

The Pilgrim/Priest/Cleric

Your designated healer. Unlike many games, healers in Dragon Quest can become decent attackers and can learn some wind-based magic and other spells; the Cleric actually began the tradition of DQ "healers" having pretty reasonable offensive capabilities, no matter the game they were in.

Tropes associated with the Pilgrim/Priest:

  • Bowdlerize: Not called a priest or even a cleric, but a pilgrim in the NES version.

The Wizard/Mage

Your designated combat mage. Very weak physically, but are capable of blasting enemies into little piles of dust with their magic, as well as throwing out combat buffs. Always put in the back.

Tropes associated with the Wizard/Mage:

  • Cute Witch <=> Hot Witch: Depends on the art style. In official art, the latter applies, but the sprites ingame tends toward the former.
  • Odd Name Out: Sure, Fireball/Firebane/Firebolt and Blaze/Blazemore/Blazemost follow a pattern, but Bang/Boom/Explodet? Averted in the remakes.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: The male Wizard/Mage even looks like a dead ringer for the classic Mage stereotype in the original artwork.

The Fighter/Martial Artist

The physical Glass Cannon. Doesn't use much equipment. In fact, doesn't really need equipment. A poor man's alternative to the Soldier (though sacrificing nothing in sheer power), but if you prefer two physical and one magic, you will have a Fighter.

Tropes associated with the Fighter:

  • Ascended Extra: The male Fighter has made cameo appearances in later games.

The Merchant/Dealer

The only one of the characters you need to have to complete the game, the Merchant is the Jack-of-All-Stats besides your healers, only not magical. Though they might not have the punch of a Soldier or Fighter, they have the ability to appraise items and find extra gold after battles.

Tropes associated with the Merchant/Dealer:

The Goof-off/Jester/Gadabout

What are these guys doing on the battlefield? The higher their level, the more they goof off when they're supposed to be fighting! And even when they do what they're supposed to, all their stats except luck are mediocre at best. Not the most reliable of companions... At level 20, however, they can become a Sage without needing the Book of Satori.

Tropes associated with the Goof-off/Jester/Gadabout:

The Sage

A mysterious and rare profession, Sages learn all the spells of both Priests and Mages. Nobody is capable of simply starting as one, however; it takes special training and the rare and highly-valued Book of Satori...

Tropes associated with the Sage:

  • The Red Mage: With none of the weaknesses of the archetype; learns all priest and mage spells, and has stronger physical stats and an overall wider selection of equipment.

The Thief

A Fragile Speedster that only appears in the Remakes. While the player cannot manually command them to steal, they have a chance of automatically swiping items from their defeated opponents... and the higher they level, the better their chances. They also have a set of spells useful for dungeon exploration.

Tropes associated with the Thief:

  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: The female Thief wears a very form-fitting catsuit sort of outfit along with a small breastplate.

Friends and Allies


The Hero's father. Fought a monster over a volcano and fell in.

Tropes associated with Ortega:
  • Hero of Another Story: Many comments made by various NPC's and the opening title scene of the game, reveal snippets of Ortega's heroic ordeal in trying to save the world. He even fought a few powerful monsters the Hero never encountered (most likely because he slew them). While ultimately unsuccessful, he went down like a true hero and put up one hell of a fight til the very end.
  • Take a Third Option: There are items and gear the Hero required to successfully surmount certain obstacles, that Ortega overcame without. We'll never know the details, but it's obvious he found other alternatives that worked.

The Hero's Mother

Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Has no canon name.

Tropes associated with The Hero's mother:


A god who grants you wishes if you defeat him.

Tropes associated with the Divinegon:



A thief whom the hero crosses paths with several times. A vicious, axe-wielding brute.
Tropes associated with Kandar:

  • Heel-Face Turn: Albeit not to your party. He just gives up the life of crime after you kick his ass twice, and becomes a law-abiding civilian.


A monster on the island of Zipangu who requires sacrifices.
Tropes associated with Orochi:

Boss Troll

A vicious beast who plagues the realm of Samanao by pretending to be the king.

Tropes associated with Boss Troll:


Thy enemy shall be the archfiend Baramos.

Tropes associated with Baramos:

King Hydra

A palette swap of Orochi. Kills The Hero's father.

Tropes associated with King Hydra:


An evil wizard working for Zoma.

Tropes associated with BaraBomus:


A skeletal dragon also associated with Zoma.

Tropes associated with BaraGonus:


The real cause of all this mess.

Tropes associated with Zoma:

  • An Ice Person: Future games that feature him as a Bonus Boss (The Monsters series, DQIX) portray him as a master of ice magic.