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Dragon Warrior 3 Hardtype

Hack of Dragon Warrior III


This hack is designed to revive an old classic with some new balance features and a much higher difficulty.


  • Enemy stats generally increased, particularly their damage.
  • More thorough redesigns for late-game enemies and bosses.
  • Merchants now enhance the party’s item drop rates by an average of 50% and increase gold by an average of 25%. They can also use Falcon Sword, have substantially improved stats, and can wear much more equipment than in the original game. Plus they can activate almost any spell-casting weapon in the game (and there are more of these than in the original game).
  • Wizard’s early game spells, spell learning rate, and agility have been improved substantially, but their late game performance is largely the same as before.
  • Soldiers now gain bonus defense equal to level/2+2.
  • Fighters now have more claws and are more offensively oriented.
  • Pilgrims now have better physical damage output.
  • Goof-Offs now have improved equipment selection and stats, though still don’t perform optimally in combat.
  • It is now possible to class change into Goof-Off.
  • Equipment re-balance plus NEW equipment, such as the evasion-granting Dark Robe, the fire-resistant Wool Robe, the crit and miss rate altering Gambler’s Turban, the powerful Icespears casting Fangs of Fenrir claw, the luck granting Blessed Helmet, and more! (see below for more details)
  • New drops from enemies and higher drop rates across the board (see below for details)
  • Class changing from a 0 MP class to a class that gains MP now starts you with an amount of MP based on your Intelligence.
  • Golden Claw curse is now only in effect in the room it is found in and the claw casts Bang when used in combat.
  • Parry/Fight and Hero’s 8 spells bugs removed.
  • Cursed equipment is no longer destroyed when uncursed, and has also been made more useful, having some new, powerful, and unique effects to accompany their downsides (see equipment lists for details).
  • When enemies are immune to a spell, flavor text now informs you that the enemy is immune.
  • Seeds of Vitality and Intelligence now grant HP and MP proportional to the Vitality and Intelligence they give.
  • And much more!

Class, Equipment, and Enemy Drop Information

New in v2.2.0

  • Endgame boss gauntlet made *slightly* less difficult
  • Fighter’s endgame HP improved
  • Wizard’s endgame HP and agility improved
  • Goof-Off’s stat growth and equipment options greatly improved
  • Various Pilgrim spell MP cost reductions
  • Zombie Slasher and Dragon Killer bonuses reworked
  • Golden Crown, Dark Robe, and Shield of Strength now offer some resistances
  • Cursed equipment rebalance
  • Some other minor class and equipment rebalance
  • The king of Romaly no longer reclaims his crown
  • Staff of Change can now turn you into an elf (bugfix from the original game)

New in v2.2.1

  • Fixed a bug where a confused ally would sometimes cause errors.

New in v2.2.2

  • Fixed a bug where Soldier wrongly couldn’t use some equipment.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • File Name: Dragon Warrior III (U) [!].nes
  • No-Intro Name: Dragon Warrior III (USA)
  • (No-Intro version 20130731-235630)
  • File MD5: 3EF863D2DF43E805BAD70F74F0CCD909
  • File SHA-1: A867549BAD1CBA4CD6F6DD51743E78596B982BD8
  • File CRC32: 0EB63E83
  • ROM MD5: 16A03048CE659D3D733026B6B72F2470
  • ROM SHA-1: E58B61B031A9F0DC168525654BCB9883EF61A976
  • ROM CRC32: A86A5318



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User Review Information

A rewarding and challenging rebalance

Reviewed By: retrohacknerd on 01 Apr 2023

Dragon Warrior 3 has had many remakes and ports over the years, containing a lot of quality of life improvements and even the addition of mini medals and the thief class.

So why play a hack of the NES game that is clunky and lacks much of the updated content?

Well, this hack takes the original DW3 and supercharges it. The classes are all different from before, and more distinguishable. The Merchant class now provides meaningful gold bonuses and increased item drop rates. The Soldier is tankier and stronger than before with the best end game equipment options (other than the Hero of course). The Pilgrim can wear pretty good armor and is a decent physical attacker. All of the magic classes now have access to stronger, more useful, and less MP-costly spells. The result is, you actually will use your offensive magic and in fact you may find yourself relying on it heavily like I did. Every class has access to good, diverse equipment that suits them throughout the game.

Zombero added lots of new gear that wasn’t in vanilla DW3, so be sure to check the shops and consult the tables linked to in the description. It will help you identify the best gear for where you are in the game and list out enemies that can drop it.

Speaking of drops, it’s really great to see the item drop rates increased. I was able to find a lot of good stuff from enemies and there is just nothing better than getting a nice piece of gear for FREE. The original was farrrr too stingy with drops.

The difficulty is REAL and if you are a casual DW player like me you will hit some grind walls here and there. That’s OK! If you don’t enjoy a bit of grinding and dropped-item hunting, maybe you don’t like NES Dragon Warrior games :)

Highly recommend this hack if you enjoyed this game on NES or even the remakes. It adds another dimension to an all-time great JRPG.

Version 2.2.2 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
A rewarding and challenging rebalanceretrohacknerd01 Apr 20232.2.2Yes
An amazing hack that breathes new life into the gamerchassereau314107 Nov 20222.2.2Yes
One of the best « hard type » hackGrandpaf21 Jul 20202.2.2Yes
Excellent For a Fresh PlaythroughDrag0nwind06 Aug 20152.1.2Yes