The anime series Dragon Quest: Legend of the Hero Abel (Abel Yuusha) was a loose adaptation of Dragon Quest III into anime, mostly keeping only the name of the enemy, Baramos. It was one of many adaptations of various Dragon Quest games, of which Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai was three episodes longer in its first anime version.
The initial release date in Japan was 1989-1991 and the first 13 episodes (of 43) were dubbed into English in 1991 and aired on TV in America (as Dragon Warrior) by Saban Entertainment. Moreover, it was released in the dry period between Robotech (1985) and Ronin Warriors (1995) when almost no anime appeared on American television. The dub was fairly lightly edited, and most of the original names (which were pseudo-Western anyway) were kept.
The main character is Abel, a young warrior on a quest to rescue his friend Tiala after she was kidnapped by Baramos because of the Red Stone she received. This Stone is the one artifact that could release the Dragon of legend, giving Baramos the power to rule the world. Abel learns that he's the One Chosen to bear the Blue Stone, the artifact with the power to seal the Dragon after it's released. He's joined first by his other friend MokoMoko, and later by the wizard Yanak and the mercenary Action Girl Daisy, generally traveling from town to town following a trail of clues and prophecies about the Dragon to find a way to defeat Baramos and rescue Tiala.
The dub was often given poor time slots and wasn't successful, nor has it ever been released on home video. Japan eventually got a release of the series on DVD, but for some time the main version that existed in Japan was in the form of Compilation Movies.
This series provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Daisy.
- Adventure Towns
- The Anime of the Game
- Bishōnen: Adonis/Daisy's brother, Toby.
- Blood Knight: Daisy again stating during a monster squid attack that the greater the foe, the happier she is.
- Body to Jewel: Literally since all of Baramos' monsters are transformed jewels that revert when they are killed.
- Bounty Hunter: Daisy.
- Bowdlerization: An encounter with what is probably a prostitute is changed to having her offer Abel tickets to a bullfight.
- The Chosen One: Abel.
- Compilation Movie
- Damsel in Distress: Tiala, although she does try to escape on her own and eventually succeeds.
- Dangerous 16th Birthday: Tiala gets the red stone then.
- Dirty Old Man: Yanak.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: In the original broadcast of episode 32, as recounted by an old Tiala, all characters die except Abel and Tiala.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Tiala's Establishing Character Moment is putting the finishing touches on a set of glider wings she made for Abel. On the other hand, both Abel and Moko had a healthy fear of her inventions.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Tiffany.
- Heroic Sacrifice/Stupid Sacrifice: Started by Daisy but carried out by Adonis/Toby taking a direct attack head on for Daisy when everyone could have simply dodged.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Daisy.
- MacGuffin: The Red and Blue stones.
- Money Spider: Justified; Baramos actually creates monsters from gold and jewels, and they revert once defeated — to Daisy's delight.
- MookFace Turn: Doadonga, Tiala's personal guard who is a Minion with an F in Evil.
- Not Brainwashed: Adonis/Toby.
- Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Baramos has minions watching Abel and there gang everywhere they go.
- Team Pet: Abel and Tiala each have a pet slime accompanying them.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Daisy and Tiala.
- Took a Level in Badass: Abel over the course of the series and after sword training from Daisy.
- Training Montage: Shown while daisy is giving Abel sword fighting lessons while they travel.