Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap

aka: Adventure Island, Dragon's Curse, Monster World II: Dragon no Wana, Wonder Boy III, Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap
Moby ID: 8265
SEGA Master System Specs

Description official descriptions

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap is a direct sequel to Wonder Boy in Monster Land. When Tom-Tom defeats the MEKA dragon, the wounded beast casts a spell on him, turning him into a Lizard-Man. To regain his original human form, he has to find the Salamander Cross, hidden by the Vampire Dragon in Monster Land.

Unlike its predecessor, this side-scrolling platform game is not divided into sequences of levels. The protagonist is allowed to go anywhere, as long as he has the right shape or equipment. During his quest, Tom-Tom has to defeat various dragon bosses. Each win will give him a new shape with new abilities such as flying, swimming, walking on ceilings, or clinging to walls. These abilities also allow the player access to new parts of the world. The possible shapes are Lizard-Man, Mouse-Man, Piranha-Man, Lion-Man, and Hawk-Man, and the main abilities are defined by attacking power, defense points, and charm points (needed for equipment by collecting charm stones). Also, certain blocks can only be destroyed by specific weapons or are only accessible to certain shapes.

The basic actions consist of attacking and jumping, and in the status screen, it is possible to equip swords, shields, and armor. Special attacks include fireballs, tornadoes, arrows, boomerangs, and thunder strikes. Along the way, the player collects keys (only one at all times) and gold left behind by defeated creatures, and places need to be re-visited sometimes to access new areas. Equipment and items can be bought in towns. A password is given at the beginning of each town to continue from there.

The Game Gear version has minor tweaks to level layouts to accommodate the smaller resolution better. Prices of shop items have also changed.

Spellings

  • 銈€儔銉欍兂銉併儯銉笺偄銈ゃ儵銉炽儔 - Japanese PC Engine spelling
  • 銉€兂銈广偪銉笺儻銉笺儷銉塈I 銉夈儵銈淬兂銇綘 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Game Gear version)

8 People

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Programmer
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Designer (GG version)
Sound composer (GG version)
Assistant director (GG version)

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 85% (based on 35 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 64 ratings with 2 reviews)

The Wonder Boy series just keeps getting better and better

The Good
I liked Wonder Boy ever since I brought the game for my old C64, which I played to the best of my ability, but I never got around to completing it. The same went when I brought Wonder Boy in Monster Land, which I brought a couple of years later. Unfortunately, the C64 versions were much worse than their Sega Master System counterparts. I just read about a Wonder Boy III in a magazine, but it was only released for the SMS, and I only checked this one out when I played the game through Massage. Fortunately, I don't use this emulator anymore, but I use MEKA instead (named after the final boss in Wonder Boy in Monster Land), designed by Omar Cornut. You've got to hand it to him - he tries his best to get every SMS game playable in his emulator, so every SMS game that is stored on one of my CDs work.

In Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, you start the game off as Hu-Man, not Tom-Tom like in the first two games. The game lets you relive the situation where you defeated the MEKA dragon in the last game. But only this time, the path that you must follow to get to him has changed, and when you defeat MEKA, you won't restore peace to the land, but instead, you are transformed into Lizard-Man if the blue flame it produced touches you, and you must get out of the castle and head to the village. And it is not just MEKA that you defeat. You see, there are about six dragons that you need to defeat in WB3, and for each dragon you defeat, you will get turned into other creatures. You have Mouse-Man, Piranha-Man, Lion-Man, and Hawk-Man. No matter which character that you are, you'll explore jungles, aztec temples, castles, and ship wrecks. You also even get to go underwater.

Pressing the pause button on the joypad will give you access to your inventory. Here, you can select what sword, shield, or armor you wish to use, plus any other weapons besides your sword, including fireballs, tornatoes, arrows, lightning, or boomerangs. Just before you defeat MEKA, I suggest that you collect the numerous gold coins that it gives out, as these will help you buy these three essential things in shops. (Me, I like to save up on gold coins until I have enough to buy all the shit that I want.) Each of these items has attack power, defense power, and charm point rating, and the higher the ratings, the better you become. Unfortunately, since you first become Lizard-Man, you won't be needing any shields, swords, or armor, so it's best to buy them and then save them for situations where you do need them. You will also need to collect charm stones on your journey so that you can buy any special items that you come across.

As usual, with any previous Wonder Boy game, there are a horde of enemies that are waiting for you to defeat with your weaponry. All of these characters besides Lizard-Man can yield any weaponry that you got. (Lizard-Man can breathe out fire, so there's no need for any weaponry here.) Of course, being shot or touched by enemies will result in you losing some life, but how much life you lose will depend on the enemy's attack power. If you defeat an enemy, you are likely to find a gold coin, a weapon, or a charm stone. You start the game with only one potion, so if you suddenly run out of life, that potion will be used to restore life back to its fullest. You can get more potions by purchasing them in shops, but the maximum number of potions you can have is three. Another way to restore life is to enter hospitals and ask to be cured. The nurse there will be happy to cure you, as long as you have the dough. In Wonder Boy in Monster Land, you can exit and re-enter the same shop only four times (approx.) before the owner decides to shut it down, but fortunately, in WB3, you can do this as many times as you like without it being shut down.

If you do lose all your life but have no potions left, you have the option of continuing, but in order to continue, you must match the white square with a red heart, not an yellow one, because if you do, you'll lose. However, your safest option is to get a password which can be obtained by entering the very first building in the village, and what password that you use will determine which character that you'll resume as. During your journey, you have to enter some doors that have a red- or green-colored lock on them, and can only be opened by going into secret treasure rooms and opening the chest to get a key that will have it unlock. But since these are treasure chests, it is likely that you find a lot of gold, potions, or weapons, or maybe a combination of the three.

You will be faced with some puzzles, which mainly be only done with other characters and getting special items that will overcome hazards. If you're Mouse-Man, for example, you'll be able to scale checkerboard blocks , and get through very small gaps. Piranha-Man can swim himself underwater with ease. Lion-Man can use his sword to get rid of gold blocks, and Hawk-Man can fly up to places that go beyond the game screen. If necessary, you'll find the transformation room where you can change into these characters, if some places require a certain character. As for special items, they will help you overcome obstacles. The Dragon Mail, for example, will let you walk through lava, whereas the Magical Sabre and the Thunder Sabre will let you deal with other blocks.

Whatever character that you're currently playing as, they are bigger in size compared to WBML, whee your character is small. The graphics themselves look a bit detailed, slightly better than the last game. The dragons and enemies are well done. The sound itself is excellent as well.

The Bad
The final two bosses will take a massive amount of damage to be defeated - took me almost an hour to kill them.

The Bottom Line
You know, there is a version of WB3 for the PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16 out there called Dragon's Curse, which is a much better title than the The Dragon's Trap, and contains better sound and graphics than the SMS version.

Rating: ****

SEGA Master System · by Katakis | 銈偪銈偣 (43051) · 2004

Only platform rpg I know, one of the best games I played

The Good
I never fully understood what I liked so much with this game back in the old days. It was recently when replaying it for the tenth time I suddenly realised that it was the rpg aspects of the game that caught me in all thoose years ago. It was many years later I grew into a full-grown rpg fan.

Anyway, whats really the no:1 speciality in Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon's Trap is its 'non-linearity'. Thoose that really know that non-linearity is about will probably laugh at me when I declare this game to be non-linear, but let me finish. In Wonder Boy 3 you start in a town centre, and from there you can explore several worlds that all ends with a dragon that you must defeat to continue. Although you must take the dragons in a special order, you can visit each place at a much earlier stage, perhaps finding stuff that will help you when you are 'weak'. Later on you revisit the place after discovering new special abilities that lets you go further in that area into places you couldnt reach before.

This is truly unique for a platform game, and I have never seen anything like it.

The RPG bit is simple. You dont gain levels, but you can buy better armor, sword and shield that makes your life more easy. A few 'special' items can be found, such as a dragon mail (protection from lava) and thunder sabre (smashes stones). Theese also let you pass where you could not pass before.

The graphics is, for its time, really a piece of art. Compare this game to your average Nintendo game such as Super Mario and you will really see the difference.

The music is, if you like synthetic tunes, catchy, and you find yourself whistle the tunes after you finished the game.

The Bad
There is nothing bad I can say about this game. It is one of the most flawless game in time. Only its age and ageing graphics/sound can stop someone to like it, but that doesnt belong in a 'classic' review such as this one.

The Bottom Line
Wonder Boy 3: Dragons Trap is the only platform game with rpg elements I know about. It all starts with a hero (Wonder Boy) that smashed his way all through Monsterland to reach the Meka Dragon. (this bit is in Wonder Boy 2: Monsterland) After killing it, he is victim of the dragons curse that transforms him into a Dragon himself.

Finding himself into his new shape, he learns about an magical artefact that may restore him into his true form. The bad part is that the one that protects it is known as the vampire dragon and lives in a castle in the sky, unreachable to any landwalking creatures, however, all the dragons cousins have a similiar curse that is thrown upon whomever slays them. The curses transforms the unlucky hero to various animal forms.

The good part is that theese animal forms helps the victim to access places unreachable by human beings. For example the mouse can sneak through small holes and climb on walls. The piranha man can swim under water, and the lion man can with his brute strength shatter stone. All theese special abilities helps the player to solve the quest to reach the artefact.

The gameplay is like your traditional platform game, except that you can obtain better and better items such as shields, armor and swords. There are some unique items that you can find that gives you special powers. There are also spells that you can use, often to reach enemies from distance.

SEGA Master System · by JemyM (6) · 2003

Discussion

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Remake vedder (68292) Sep 14th, 2016
Similar games? Unicorn Lynx (180476) May 8th, 2012

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The SEGA Master System version of Wonderboy III: The Dragon's Trap appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Turma da M么nica em: O Resgate

The 1993 Brazilian version Turma da M么nica em: O Resgate by Tec Toy features a different protagonist. Tom-Tom has been replaced with M么nica, a girl with a powerful strength and her blue rabbit sidekick toy Sans茫o (Samson in the English version), which her arch-enemy Cebolinha (Jimmy Five) is always plotting to steal and make knots on its ears. This was based on the comic Turma da M么nica (Portuguese for "Monica's Gang"), created by Maur铆cio de Sousa. This licensed version has no animals forms, but the opponents are still the same.

Awards

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • December 1989 (Issue 5) - Best Sega Master System Game of the Year
  • Power Play
    • Issue 01/1990 - #3 Best Master System Game in 1989
    • Issue 02/1993 鈥 #3 Best Handheld Game in 1992

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by J. Michael Bottorff.

Game Gear added by Bock. Wii added by Sciere. TurboGrafx-16 added by Katakis | 銈偪銈偣.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Katakis | 銈偪銈偣, chirinea, Sciere, Alaka, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto, Jo ST, FatherJack.

Game added January 26th, 2003. Last modified October 9th, 2023.