Feature | Wonder Boy Saga

I’ve very fond memories of Wonder Boy. I also remember that those days we had a group of Master System owners and sharing games was usual. Thanks to that I played first three Wonder Boy games on Master System. Years later, I’ve discovered all the saga, another difficult one to follow between ports, renaming and European distribution. So, and to celebrate the Wonder Boy III remastered version releasing tomorrow, I’m going to revisit the games and versions that I’ve actually played, some on the original platforms, others thanks to re-releases on digital stores. I think that the only title I’m missing is Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair. If you want to know about the saga, here you have a great video explaining it (I wish I could make something this good)

Wonder Boy (Master System)

The first game was an arcade platform released in 1986, different from the following titles. It was simpler, clearly because its arcade origins. The developers talked about this, focusing on home versions made possible to more deep, longer experiences and gameplay mechanics. I also  remember the skating part of the game. I played it on Master System (released in 1987) but right now I don’t have a version to play or capture. Recently there has been released a port with updated graphics, but doesn’t look too good.

Wonder Boy in Monster Land (Master System)

I was not sure about if I played this game on Master System (I was too young and I have some memories mixed), but according to some old note I’ve found, yes, I also played this game on Master System (released in 1988). As I’ve said before, from this sequel the games were really different and in some regions (like Japan) these game are presented as a new saga called Monster World. Yes, this is starting to get a bit confusing. This game is really important in the saga because set the basis (little RPG touches and the shops, for example) of the following games.

Monster Land is available in modern platforms (Steam, PS3, Xbox 360) thanks to a port of which I guess is arcade version. I’ve played it again to prepare this feature and I’ve to reckon that the game feels a bit hard right now and I had real problems to progress. So, the following video is a bit embarrassing xD:

 

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap

There was an arcade game called Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair released in 1988, but the real  Wonder Boy III is this original Master System game released in 1989. It’s a direct sequel to Wonder Boy in Monster Land and probably my favorite game of the saga. A new blog post focused just on this game, with gameplay of the remaster version will follow this one.

Wonder Boy in Monster World

This game was released for Mega Drive in 1991, but there also was a Master System port that I never played. The game is also known as Wonder Boy V: Monster World III… yes, this is the point where I get definitively lost. Fortunately, this game is also available for different platforms right now and I’ve been able to play a bit. The game’s base is really similar to Monster Land, with some new gameplay options (like crouch) and better graphics. It also is difficult and I’m still early with it, but looks promising. Here you can watch my first moments with the game, I’m sorry I couldn’t play a bit more before this feature:

 

Monster World IV

Finally, thanks again to digital re-released versions I’ve discovered this game, released for Mega Drive / Genesis in 1994. The setting is different, with Arabic elements and a female lead for the first time in the series. Again, I’m really early with this game, but looks to retain all the good points of the previous games adding some little new touches. Here the very first minutes of the game:

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. I want to get the remaster on PS4 because it looks so pretty and I remember enjoying some of the Wonder Boy games back in the day. I probably should refrain from buying it though, as right now I really need to focus on Persona 5.

    Like

  2. Mr. Panda says:

    Great retrospective! My first game was actually Monster World IV, which I played on Virtual Console (never owned a Sega system). I loved it. It was the kind of Zelda II, Metroid-like adventure I’d been craving at the time. I had since gone back and played all of them, and now I’m happily playing the remaster of Dragon’s Trap! This is such an underrated series.

    Liked by 1 person

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