I’m sure I’ve brought up Kandar, the thief from Dragon Quest III, in the past. I have somewhat of a strange fondness for the character, despite the fact that he killed so many times when I played the game. Interestingly, I was able to take him down in one try both times I fought him in the Game Boy Advance version. I’m not sure if it’s easier or I took more care to build myself up before the fights. He’s based on the sprite for executioner enemies, with a hood, no shirt, and a large axe.
I’m not sure where the name Kandar comes from, but a Google search revealed that there’s a Malaysian dish called nasi kandar, with the second word referring to the pole on which merchants used to sell it. So it’s basically Malay for “pole.” I understand that in the recent remake for smart phones, he’s called Robbin’ ‘Ood instead, a reflection on the translators’ fondness for puns, cultural references, and dialect.
The villain first shows up early on in the game as the one who stole the golden crown from the King of Romaly. Whether he planned to hold it for ransom or fence it, I’m not sure. Maybe he’s like Carmen Sandiego, and just enjoys stealing high-profile items. Regardless, you can find him at the Tower of Shanpane, where he tricks you into falling to a lower floor before you fight him.
He’s flanked by henchmen, and when you win the battle you let him go. You have no choice in the matter, even though it looks at first like you do, because he’ll just keep begging until you finally choose Yes. He then shows up again near Baharata, having kidnapped the pepper merchant’s daughter Tanaya. When her boyfriend Gupta (Galen in the NES translation) sets off to rescue her, he is captured and imprisoned in Kandar’s cave hideout as well. He again fights you with help from some henchmen, and once again you have to let him go. In the game as it originally worked, the quest for the crown was optional and the rescue of Tanaya required, which could lead to Kandar recognizing you even though you hadn’t met him before, and even your fighting him in the Tower of Shanpane AFTER the battle near Baharata. I believe later versions of the game corrected this oversight.
You never have to fight Kandar again, but he DOES show up later on, this time in the town of Brecconary in the second world of Alefgard. How he reaches this place isn’t clear, but one of the guards of the Great Pit of Giaga that serves as a portal to the second world does mention someone jumping into it after Zoma breaks it open. There’s also only one guard at this point instead of two, so I guess the other guard would have also fallen into Alefgard, but what happened to him is anyone’s guess. Kandar is upstairs from the church in Brecconary, wearing what appears to be prisoner’s garb, yet behind a regular door instead of a jail door with bars.
Maybe he’s been remanded into the custody of the church. He says he’s reformed, and gives you advice on where to find the Stones of Sunlight. For some reason, I always liked the idea that Kandar went off with the hero when he disappeared after the events of the game. I’ve had him and Erdrick living together in Sims households, but not as lovers.
Another thief who appears in DQ3 is Bakor, who made the Thief’s Key but had it stolen from him by an old man in a tower. You encounter him in a prison cell in Aliahan Castle.
While you never fight him, there IS a thief named Bakor in DQ4 whom you DO fight. He’s the one who steals a bracelet from a nun in Femiscyra, and you have to battle him in his cave hideout. His sprite is that of a martial artist, in a fighting stance wearing sweat pants and no shirt. He also has a few spells he can use against you. In the DS version of the game, his name was changed to Kirk Buzzer, an archaic name for a burglar.
The “kirk” part refers to churches, and I’ve found sites that said a kirkbuzzer either robbed churches (appropriate to the game, since he steals from a nun) or would break into houses while their inhabitants were away at church. So is this the same Bakor as in DQ3, or does everyone with that name become a thief?