After past week’s little “Wonder Boy / Monster Land” feature, it’s time to go a bit deeper into the most recognized title of the saga, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap, developed by Westone and first released for Master System / Sega Mark III in 1989. The game starts recreating the ending of Wonder Boy in Monster Land (actually, in Japan’s was called Monster World II), when Wonder Boy is cursed by Mecha Dragon and his adventure to recover his original form starts.
The game continued developing the formula, with a non-strictly linear progression. There’s a town that works like a hub to different levels you have to visit to gain powers and objects with which you can open new levels and progress. Each level also has a Boss and after defeating each one of them, Wonder Boy will add another form that has different abilities which are needed to advance in the game.
After Master System original release, the game was ported to other platforms, like PC Engine / TurboGrafx, Game Gear or even Mobile. The game was also available for Nintendo’s Virtual Console. And past week a complete remake has been released for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with a PC version coming in June. The “III” has been dropped from the title and it has been developed by Lizarcube and published by DotEmu. This version features completely redrawn graphics and music, but retaining the gameplay and levels of the original. It also adds Wonder Girl as a new playable character. Here you can see some comparisons (you can choose to play this new version with original graphics and/or original music):
As unlockable bonus, the game has a concept art gallery showing the excellent work they have done recreating all the levels and beyond. Here you can see a little sample:
After playing the very first moments of the game I can say that the game is a complete success. It plays like always, with some little control annoyances that already were in the original, specially being a bit slippery, but with some beautiful graphics that make returning to it, after more than 25 years, a complete pleasure. Here’s a gameplay video of this new version, with some short moments where the graphics and music change to classic for comparison purposes. After all those years, I’ve forgotten everything about the game, so it was like playing for the first time… and I really show it xD: