SEGA Master System
Wonder Boy
alt : The Dragon's Castle

He may have started off life as a skateboarding, hammer-throwing hooligan, but SEGA's Wonder Boy proved that not only was he made of much sterner stuff, but he could also give a certain Mario a run for his money.

Eschewing the traditional elements of the original 1986 outing, the Master System's third Wonder Boy title was glorious sprawling adventure that had more than a hint of RPG goodness.

alt : Cannot see the video?

Video is shamelessly embedded from Youtube. All credit to the video owner. No infringement intended.

Following immediately on from Wonder Boy In Monster Land, our intrepid hero had slain the evil Meka Dragon in order to restore Monster Land. Unfortunately, defeating the dastardly reptile unleashed a curse that turned Wonder Boy into a miniature fire-breathing Dragon (no doubt complete with a serious halitosis problem).

Stoically receiving his new humiliating form, Wonder Boy quickly headed off through some wonderfully bright Day-Glo landscapes (which really showed off SEGA's 8-Bit machine) in order to track down Meka Dragon's various cousins and hopefully lift that curse once and for all.

Unsurprisingly, things weren't quite that simple and a quick exploration of your surroundings soon revealed that various routes were blocked off. Fortunately, the demise of each impressive-looking but poorly animated Dragon you encountered enabled you to shift form into a variety of different animals, which in turn opened up those previously locked and tantalisingly out-of-reach paths.

Along the way, Wonder Boy was able to collect a variety of power-ups that let him annihilate an increasing array of oh-so-cute enemies, as well as collecting money to buy health and numerous items from the many shops that were dotted throughout the landscape. Add to this plenty of secret rooms, unlock able chests and those devious Dragons (not to mention an excellently designed game world) and it's pretty easy to see why this was rightly hailed as one of the best Master System games ever created.

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap European Case
Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap European Case

Case Quote

"Wonder Boy has been cursed! He critically wounds the ugly beast. but its final breath turns Wonder Boy into a Lizard-Man! The young fighter must now seek out the Salamander Cross, the only force that can restore him to his normal self. But first he must find it..."



Wonder Boy

Stout of heart and green of hair, you initially played Wonder Boy in the Dragon's Trap prelude. However, if you are sneaky you simply used the We5t 0Ne password to unlock him.

Lizard Man

Lizard Man

Don't let this cute looking fellow fool you, as Lizard Man's fiery breath was a force to be reckoned with. You'd spend the majority of your time as Lizard Man, so you had to master his abilities quickly.

Mouse Man

Mouse Man

Now this is more like it. Being able to stick to walls was Mouse Man's speciality and it came in extremely handy once you uncovered the Mummy Dragon's deadly pyramid.

Piranha Man

Piranha Man

With so much of Monster Land consisting of water - though strangely each character could breath in it - Fish Man's manoeuvrability became essential.

Lion Man

Lion Man

Unlike every other character in the game, Lion Man was able to use a nifty downward sword swipe, making him essential for getting to those hard-to-reach areas.

Hawk Man

Hawk Man

Though much weaker than his animal peers, Hawk Man's ability to fly through most of Monster Land was essential. Once he was unlocked, the end of the game was soon in sight.

Words from Retro Collection Magazine Volume 1 (Best of Games TM)

Wonder Boy III Screenshots (Master System)
Wonder Boy III The Dragons Trap Wonder Boy III The Dragons Trap
Wonder Boy III The Dragons Trap Wonder Boy III The Dragons Trap

The Remake

Wonder Boy: The Dragons Trap (2017)

In 2017, Wonder Boy: The Dragons Trap was released by indie developer Lizardcube for PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PS4.

The whole game is beautifully crafted. Sporting beautifully overhauled animations with a hand-drawn look along with reimagined orchestral audio, this remake stays extremely faithful to the 1989 original, so much so that 8-Bit graphics and audio can be switched to at any time during gameplay and even the original passwords work.

Wonder Boy: The Dragons Trap (2017) Wonder Boy: The Dragons Trap (2017)

The game can now be played with Hu-Man's counterpart Hu-Girl.

It has scored highly with gamers and cited as an example of how remakes should be. As a big fan of the series before my age had two numbers in it - to see such a cherished game get such special treatment is touching.

At around £15 the game is a bargain but often appears in bundles and some platforms have limited physical releases.

Checkout the official website at: which is packed full of screenshots, videos and development info.


Wonder Boy Games Of the Month Archive January 2005

Wonder Boy In Monsterland Games of The Month Archive February 2005

Wonder Boy III Games of The Month Archive February 2005

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