Today in video game history: 'Dragon Quest III' turns 30

The franchise as a whole has been credited with driving interest in the role-playing genre, and "Dragon Quest III" remains one of its crowning achievements despite its relative age, first released on February 10, 1988.

It might look dated by modern standards thanks to its 8-bit origins but its overhead view and fighting system is easily recognizable as an enduring artifact of its time thanks to the influence it had on "Final Fantasy" and, more recently, overt homages such as "Undertale."

As such it set in stone the early foundations of the RPG genre while introducing novel elements such as customizable group members and a day and night cycle, plus a story that cunningly folded back into the original "Dragon Quest" and thus the franchise as a whole.

It has been re-released a number of times over the last 30 years, most recently on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS, and the NES classic, which at first made its way onto SNES and then the Game Boy Color before a Nintendo Wii edition a decade later, can also be found on Android and iOS courtesy of a 2014 port.

The franchise's next core release is to be "Dragon Quest XI," destined for worldwide release in 2018 on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS, and with a Switch version in development -- its 2017 Japanese debut was subject to rave reviews and considerable commercial success.

Another modern-day introduction to the world of "Dragon Quest" can be found by way of "Dragon Quest Builders," which blends its parent universe of monsters and world-saving missions with the cubic visuals and creative construction frequently associated with "Minecraft" and its other derivatives.