‘Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap’ is often described as one of the best Master System games, but there’s another third ‘Wonder Boy’ game that many chose to forget.
Developed by Westone Entertainment
Published by Sega
Released in 1991
The recent remake of ‘Wonder Boy : The Dragon’s Trap’ is simultaneously a lovingly faithful tribute and a complete overhaul. It’s a remarkable juxtaposition that tugs at the nostalgia strings of those who have played the original Master System gem, while also proving to be a wonderful entry into a series for those entirely new. It’s been embraced by fans of the original and those who had no idea that it was based on a thirty year old game since it plays and looks like a modern indie classic. IGN called it "one of the best retro remakes yet", while Eurogamer claimed that it sets the bar for updating classics.
While my 8 year old daughter loved the recent ‘Wonder Boy : The Dragon Trap’ remake, I was drawn to it because of my appreciation for ‘Wonder Boy in Monster World’. In the past I have confused myself by trying to work out which games are part of the main ‘Wonder Boy’ series, which are remakes and which are actually just other games with a new sprites to avoid legal disputes. However this didn’t stop me being totally confused when I purchased ‘Wonder Boy III’ for the Mega Drive.
I had always (correctly) through that the prequel to ‘Wonder Boy in Monster World’ was the aforementioned Master System game ‘Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap’. However, the Mega Drive ‘Wonder Boy III’ I had in my hand had a different subtitle; “Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair’. Of the two games, the Master Systems’ ‘Wonder Boy III’ clearly has more in common with the Mega Drive’s ‘Wonder Boy in Monster World’ and should be acknowledged as the true predecessor. However, ‘ Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair’ echoes the original ‘Wonder Boy’ arcade game so theoretically it’s a more authentic follow up.