Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibōken (Japanese: ドラゴンクエスト ダイの大冒険,Doragon Kuesuto: Dai no Daibōke) is a long-running manga based mainly on III and its class system. It features filler pages giving game-like character stats of the heroes, and often explains details of the spells used in the games.
The plot centers around the revival of the Demon Lord defeated in an earlier war, his attempts to conquer the world and the fight of the heroes against him.
Dai, the main hero. He has grown up on an island full of friendly monsters. For a short time, he has been trained by Avan, but he always has difficulty casting spells, usually it works only when he is very angry.
Avan, who trains the hero for a short time, but then dies fighting Hadlar. He remains ever-present as a role model, and many of the characters are former disciples or comrades of Avan.
Pop, another disciple of Avan who came to Dai's island with him. He is the first party member to join, so to say. A magic user with a lazy and cowardly streak who often has to be shamed into doing the right (heroic) thing, he provides the comic relief in the series.
Maam, daughter of the warrior and the priest who fought with Avan in the previous war, and a former disciple of his, is the next to join. She is described as a white mage warrior. She has no offensive spells, but a gun Avan gave her that can fire spells on bullets. Pop, who initially detests her, later develops a crush on Maam.
Leona, the young princess of Papnika, a land of sages. Early in the manga, Dai saves her from a conspiracy that tries to use a ritual on the island to kill her, and falls in love with her.
Gome, a gold metal slime with wings. He rarely takes an active part, but is something like the mascot of the series.
Hadlar, who was defeated by Avan in the previous war and kills him early in the manga. He becomes the leader of the Great Demon King's Army, divided into 6 factions (each leaded by a leader).
Matoriv, a sadistic and lecherous old mage who fought on the side of Avan in the previous war. Reluctantly he agrees to help the heroes again and trains Pop for a while. Graphically, Matoriv sticks out among the characters; both his design and the style in which he is drawn resemble Moebius rather than anything from the Dragon Quest series.
Crocodine, commander of the Beast Army, who later changes sides.