We knew that it would be here before the end of the year, and Square Enix has delivered. Dragon Quest III, one of the most influential video games in history, is now available on iOS and Android for the price of $9.99. We’ve been building up to this point for quite some time with the releases of Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest II, and this release further secures Square Enix’s plans to make Dragon Quest a totally mobile franchise, for better or worse.

As far as ports go, this one looks like it comes out on top of the others. The graphics lack the cheap mobile quality of the first two games’ ports, and they more closely resemble the Super Famicom remake’s, by far the best way to experience Dragon Quest III. There is also the question of the user interface, which has been horribly bland in the previous two games as well.

It haven’t seen it in motion yet either, but my guess is that it doesn’t have performance issues like Dragon Quest VIII thanks to its simplistic sprites.

Why the $9.99 price tag, though? Well, Dragon Quest III is a much larger game than the previous two in the series. It features a non-linear storyline which charges you with exploring its overhead world at your own pace, finding mini-plots to solve in each of the towns you come across. A world of depth can also be found through the character creation system, which lets you create your own party of stock characters and level them up as you see fit.

From what it looks like, this port could be the real deal, like Dragon Quest IV turned out to be. Buying it is the best way to tell Square Enix that there is an audience for Dragon Quest in America, and maybe we can get on the right track for a translation of the Dragon Quest VII remake on Nintendo 3DS, which I think is the main goal of all Dragon Quest fans at this point. Head on over to Operation Hero to show your support and sign the petition.

As for mobile releases, Square Enix has revealed that Dragon Quest V is on the way, and I expect that Dragon Quest VI will be quick to follow.