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Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair is a 1988 arcade game developed by WestOne Co. Ltd in 1988 and published by Sega, not to be confused with the Master System title, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap. A console adaption was made by Hudson Soft, released in 1989 in Japan for the PC Engine CD and the subsequent North American release on the TurboGrafx-CD dropped the 'Wonder Boy III' title. It was also converted and released by Sega for the Genesis/Mega Drive in both Japan and Europe in 1991. In 2007, the TurboGrafx-CD version was re-released for Nintendo's Virtual Console service in 2009, the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version was re-released on the Virtual Console in Japan, Europe and in North America.
The game balances basic concepts found in both platformers and arcade shooters. The player is able to jump and shoot projectiles from a sword. He must ride a flying dragon and confront a large boss throughout the second half of each round. The player's life bar steadily diminishes as time passes. Health is gained through collection of fruit and projectile weapons. Some fruits, when shot, will expand and burst into multiple items.
In the action scenes, the player's vitality decreases as he makes his way towards the skull, but this can be restored by collecting fruit. A wide variety of weapons can be picked up, and not only do these allow the player to use the weapons for a limited amount of time, but they also increase vitality. In the shooter scenes, the player rides a pink friend as he makes his way through the scene. Here, vitality remains static unless hit by an enemy passing by. As usual, there is a boss waiting at the end that must be defeated. Every boss changes color to show how much damage has been done to it. Some bosses must be defeated in two stages. If vitality gets low in each scene, the player loses a life. He may also choose to have Wonder Girl join, as two players can play the game.
Plot and setting
The player controls a green-haired boy hero named Leo (player 1) or a pink-haired girl hero named Princess Purapril (player 2) who must attack the invaders that attempt to collect weapons and use them to destroy the land. The game starts out like a simple platform game, but it's just when Wonder Boy enters the skull further on that the game is transformed into a shoot 'em up, so basically the gameplay consists of action and shooter scenes.
The game's music was composed by Shinichi Sakamoto, who is also responsible for the music of the game Wonder Boy in Monster Land.
The game received a negative review from Nintendo Life when it hit the European Virtual Console, scoring only an 3/10. They complained about the version being inferior to the TurboGrafx-CD version; an example of this is the much worse music. North Americans were even worse off: because the game had never really been in the North American territory, it required players to pay 900 Wii Points instead of 800 Wii Points, as in Europe.
- ↑ "It's Crystal Clear: Mario, Magic and Monsters - Oh My!". Nintendo of America. 2009-04-20. http://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/k2DkkXjZ8e-iK5NvROjrzW8lt9i5Ij2m. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
- Official Virtual Console webpage
- Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (Arcade version) at arcade-history
- Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair at MobyGames
- Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (Sega Genesis/Mega Drive version) at GameFAQs
- Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (TurboGrafx-CD version) at GameFAQs