Dragon Quest III has been recreated in Excel without macros, somehow

Dragon Warrior III NES Enix Dragon Quest III Excel Microsoft Excel no macros VBA Visual Basic for Applications Papa Sensei

Originally released for the NES in North America as Dragon Warrior III, Enix’s Dragon Quest III is one of the standout titles on Nintendo’s original platform. It sold 3.8 million copies in Japan alone, and I’ve previously argued it was the first masterpiece of the RPG genre. Its subsequent influence is hard to understate, especially in Japan. To that end, an enthusiast in Japan named Papa Sensei (via Japanese site Gigazine) has achieved something bizarre and extraordinary: recreating Dragon Quest III in Microsoft Excel without macros. Evidently no Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) was used.

Since all available information about this incredible MS Excel Dragon Quest III is in Japanese, we can’t offer any explicit insight into how it was created. If I were to guess though, it probably involved black magic and witch’s blood.

However, if we trust a bit of Google Translate, Gigazine states Papa Sensei wanted to include background music and sound effects too, but Papa could not figure out how to make it work without VBA. Papa Sensei’s blog offers many more details, and (again, placing our trust in Google Translate) it apparently took a month to recreate the game as you see here. It usually takes Papa Sensei only about a week to create a game, and Tetris is apparently the next Excel project Papa will tackle.

Dragon Quest III in Microsoft Excel without macros is not something we were expecting to write about today — or ever. So this is a really delightful evening! What do you think of this amazing technical feat?


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!