With the release of Wonderboy: The Dragon’s Trap, I finally got my chance to play Wonder Boy III. As a kid, I never got that chance to own it due to my brother owned the Sega Master System. There were a lot of games that came out on the system that I finish for him then he did (The Ninja, Outrun, Black Belt, and more). It wasn’t that he was bad at them but he gave up on them and didn’t work on them. When I played them, he would sit back and watch me go level by level.
When my brother received Wonder Boy In Monster Land, it was our first Wonder Boy game we ever played (and heard of). All we knew was that it seemed to be a cool action platformer. Who knew about the time mechanic affecting your heart meter? Why did the game contain RPG elements such as armor and swords and money? I mean, it had a level base system to it with these elements you would find in Phantasy Star. As kids, it didn’t matter to us. We were playing a video game that we thought we could finish.
Boy, was we wrong?
Wonderboy In Monsterland is a difficult mess. We would get to the end of the game and was thrown into a dungeon that was a maze and to only get to a boss who felt like it would never die. I would play that game every night and get to the same point and would die. I would try again the next night and die. I don’t know what I was doing wrong. It’s a game that went unbeaten along with Rocky, Space Harrier, Alien Syndrome, and Ghost House (well GH is a weird one).
I would grind for money to buy armor and swords. I would find hidden doors that didn’t do much for me. The terrible jumping had to be timed and even when you should land on the platform, you would miss it and fall. There weren’t continues for this game or a save state. If you died and was far in the game, you had to do everything all over. I know things like this would prolong the game but it was unnecessary. It felt like this game wasn’t developed or program right. I haven’t returned to it and I think I don’t want too.
The last time I played this game, I failed for the last time. I put it back into the case, threw it on the shelf, and forgot all about the horrendous moments and time wasted on this game. Now that we have Youtube, it came to my mind that I should see the ending to some of the games I’ve never finish. This was on my list and I decided to watch the ending. I was mad but also satisfied that I never got that ending. All that work for some text? No thank you.
I’ve beaten Bionic Commando and Rygar on NES and got a better reward than this game. Putting that game in the cartridge back into its case and forgetting about it was one of the best feelings I had about those Sega days. Though it was weird that this game popped into my mind after all these years thanks to a remake of a game I never played. Who would’ve known.
How did I, as a kid, tolerate a game like this? I mean, I stuck with Ninja Gaiden on NES and it took me years to beat that game but the challenge was fair and I was enjoying it. It was rewarding to get the ending to Ninja Gaiden. Through perseverance, I was able to claim victory. Wonderboy In Monsterland though didn’t have that same polish and it deserved to be in the closet and lost to memory. That was a glorious moment for me.