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This is a list of characters in III.
- The Hero/Heroine is the child of Ortega, and lives in Aliahan. On his/her 16th birthday, he/she seeks permission from the King to follow in his father's footsteps as an adventurer.
- Ortega (オルテガ): After the hero was born, he left to fight the Archfiend Baramos. It is thought that he died fighting a monster on the rim of the volcano Necrogond. But, in fact he fell into the land of Alefgard and was trapped. He then sought to defeat the Great Archfiend Zoma. In the original Famicom edition, his appearance (in the battle with the King Hydra) is that of a color-cycled Kandar. But in the North American NES edition, his appearance was changed to that of a male Soldier. The remake editions give him his own icon, although the Super Famicom ROM includes a sprite for Ortega as a color-cycled Kandar.
- Galen or Gupta (グプタ): He is the boyfriend of Tanaya (タニア), granddaughter of the owner of the Pepper House in Baharata. He wants you to rescue his lover from Kandar.
- Himiko (ヒミコ): The ruler of Jipang. It is assumed that she was killed and eaten by Orochi, who took her place, but in the remake editions the player can ask the God Dragon to resurrect her.
- Simon (サイモン): The former hero of Samanao, he was thrown in prison by the king. He is the owner of the Gaia sword. Not to be confused with Simon, one of the opponents in the martial arts tournament in the fourth game.
- Olivia (オリビア): She committed suicide after her lover, Eric (エリック), died in a storm. But her sad songs echo by the Cape northwest of Baharata in spite of her death, driving away any passing ships. So it is called Olivia's Cape.
- Lara I (ラルス1世): King of Alefgard, in the castle of Tantegel. He is an ancestor of the King in the first game.
- Garin or Garai (ガライ): A bard who lives in Alefgard. He owns the Silver Harp. He lives in his parent's home, which is in the northwest corner of the continent, where the town of Garinham was located in the first game. His parents are troubled because he has not returned.
- Rubiss (ルビス): Rubiss Apisto Karictis (ルビス・アピスト・カリクティス) is its full name. It is the earth spirit that created Alefgard. Zoma's curse has turned it into a stone statue.
- Zoma (ゾーマ): The final boss of the game, he is the Great Devil that rules Alefgard, and has clouded it in darkness. He calls himself the "Destroyer of all"; the people's suffering is his joy. The darkness that shrouds his body protects him from harm, but it can be stripped away using the Orb of Light. Using the Orb will change his on-screen color pattern; oddly, in the original version it changes him from full color to bluescale, but in the remakes it changes him from bluescale to full color. As seen in the manga Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken, he is weak to healing spells such as HOIMI and MAHOIMI. He is the first boss to use the "freezing wave" attack technique to eliminate the party's defensive magics. Akira Toriyama drew a picture of Zoma after his armor is destroyed, but this picture is not used in the game.
- Baramos (バラモス): The Devil that seeks to rule the world; he lives in his castle on the summit of Necrogond. He has the head of a pteranodon. For the first half of the story, he appears to be the final boss; but after he is defeated it is revealed that he is merely one of the followers of Zoma. In Zoma's castle are a color-cycled Baramos Bomus (Baramos Buros (バラモスブロス) in the original Japanese) and a zombified Baramos Gonus (Baramos Zombie (バラモスゾンビが) in the original). In the remake one also encounters a "Baramos Evil" (バラモスエビル) or "Zako Monster" (ザコモンスター) in the bonus dungeon.
- Robbin' 'ood (カンダタ): He is the leader of a large group of bandits. He stole the golden crown of the king of Romaly, and kidnapped Tanaya and Gupta from the Pepper House in Baharata. His original hideout is in Champagne Tower, and he has another east of Baharata. In his second appearance, his color scheme is changed, and he is more powerful. After being defeated twice, he reformed, and re-encountered the hero in Tantegel. In one of the texts related to Dragon Quest II, he is revealed as the founder of Delkondar. A character of the same name appears in the fifth game. The name "Kandar" (or "Kandata") comes from Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's novel, The Spider's Thread.
- Orochi (やまたのおろち): A dragon-demon that hides in a cave under Jipang. Orochi appears (with an "and" attached to its name) in the Chronicles of Japan. In the game, it is drawn to look like King Ghidorah, but with five necks. It slew Himiko and took on her form, plaguing the residents of Jipang.
- Boss Troll (ボストロール): The true form of the tyrannical king of Samanao. He used the Staff of Changes to imitate the real king, and imprisoned him in the castle dungeons. He rules the castle with an iron hand, confining visitors in the dungeons and executing the citizenry. In addition to his high attack power, in the remake he can use the RUKANAN spell to lower the party's defenses. He often delivers critical hits, so is a threat to party members with low HP. In the Famicom edition, it eventually appears as a wandering monster in Alefgard. In the Gameboy edition, it will appear in the second hidden dungeon. In the Superfamicom edition, it never appears except in Samanao.
- King Hydra (キングヒドラ): One of the disciples of Zoma, it is a color-cycled Orochi. It kills Ortega in battle. In the remake it appears in the hidden dungeon as a wandering monster.
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