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The Bizarre Way One Speedrunner Just Beat Dragon Quest 3

Most speedruns of a game consist of a variety of glitches or complicated techniques that the runner uses in hopes of completely demolishing a game (and sometimes your childhood if it's a game you grew up with) in an inconceivable amount of time. In the case of Dragon Quest 3, someone discovered an exploit that only those who are willing to possibly sacrifice an NES and a copy of the game should attempt.


In a tweet, a Japanese speedrunner learned that there's a bug that's exclusive to the NES version of Dragon Quest 3. This glitch lets the player begin their adventure at level 99, allowing a speedrunner to breeze through many of the game's random encounters and bosses. But the only way of achieving such a feat is to quite literally heat up a cartridge of Dragon Quest 3. A translated version of the tweet explained the bizarre process: "After noticing that you could cause a bug in the saves from Dragon Quest III by increasing the temperature of the cartridge and start at level 99 at a specific temperature, a player has made a speedrun of the game with his console resting on a hot plate."

Seeing this new glitch really makes one wonder what exactly prompted a speedrunner to test out the technique in the first place. This new exploit is very unique in terms of how it's triggered, especially since digital versions of Dragon Quest 3 can't be heated up the same way. It's currently unknown if other cartridge releases of the game such as the Game Boy Color or SNES versions of Dragon Quest 3 can be exploited by using the same technique.


Physically manipulating a cartridge to blast through a game isn't an entirely new process. In the era of the Nintendo 64, players would often tilt the cartridges of games like Super Mario 64 or The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time to cause glitches that would allow them to skip certain sections of the game. The use of cartridge tilting is classified under "hardware manipulation" in the speedrun community, a technique that Ocarina of Time speedrunners like ZFG urge people to avoid due to the potential risks of damaging the cartridge or system.

Considering the elaborate and potentially dangerous setup described in the tweet, it's uncertain if this technique will ever be seen at any speedrunning event. Should the console or cartridge overheat, the speedrunner could not only risk losing their run but also frying their system and copy of Dragon Quest 3. And it goes without saying that microwaving your console is probably something you shouldn't do.