|Wonder Boy in Monster Land|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
|Age rating(s)||Ratings Missing|
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Sega Master System, Commodore 64, PC Engine, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Amiga, Atari ST, Virtual Console|
|Arcade system||Sega System 2|
|Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough|
Wonder Boy in Monster Land (Super Wonder Boy in Monster World in the Japanese Sega Master System version, also known as Super Monster World: Super Wonder Boy in some North American versions and Super Wonder Boy in Monsterland for the Activision conversions) is a 1987 arcade game developed by WestOne Bit Entertainment and published by Sega. It is the sequel to the 1986 game Wonder Boy. The Sega Master System version was re-released for the Wii's Virtual Console in North America on January 26, 2009 at a cost of 500 Wii Points.
The game marked a drastic change in the way the Wonder Boy series evolved. First, the prehistoric setting that was prevalent in the original game was gone, replaced by a medieval fantasy world. Secondly, the game introduced a number of RPG elements that were unheard of in the first title.
Wonder Boy begins as per the original game—a blonde haired boy wearing a loincloth. Very soon, however, he is equipped with a sword, which is his primary weapon for defeating the opponents that he will encounter. As with the first game, the aim is to get from point A to point B. Unlike the first game, the levels no longer run strictly from left to right—it is possible to move everywhere on the map, and some levels can be rather labyrinthine.
Also new to the game is a trading system. Money is obtained by killing enemies or jumping in specific locations to free coins. This money can be spent to obtain boots (which permit Wonder Boy to run swifter and jump higher), armor (protecting Wonder Boy from various degrees of damage), a shield (which can be used to deflect some projectiles fired by opponents), as well as magic spells and healing potions. There are also inns where the player can obtain useful information for a fee, as well as a drink to replenish a small amount of energy.
The exit to most levels are only accessible by means of a key which is obtained by defeating a boss character somewhere in the level.
Wonder Boy in Monster Land is by far the most difficult title in the Wonder Boy series because there is no continue system nor is there a password system available for its console system versions. For the arcade version, there is no continue system on the final level. The presence of an on-screen hourglass timer limiting the number of minutes a player can stay in a level also adds to the difficulty of the game.
As with the original game, Monster Land was ported to the Sega Master System by Sega and to the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC by Activision. It was the first title in the series to be ported to the 16-bit generation of computers and consoles, with versions available for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST, also programmed by Images, Inc. and released by Activision. The Activision titles were released under the name Super Wonder Boy In Monster Land.
The Master System version contained fewer variations on the music than in the arcade version, and the ZX Spectrum conversion had no music. Most of the conversions were otherwise identical in terms of content to the arcade original, with graphics adjusted to allow for each of the systems' respective capabilities. A notable difference in the Master System version was the addition of an optional boss called "Mr. Wizard."
In 2005 Hudson Soft announced the development of Super Adventure Island for mobile devices. Super Adventure Island should not be confused with the game of the same name for the SNES; the mobile version being a slight remake of Wonder Boy in Monster Land.
The game has been cloned, hacked and remarketed a number of times over the years - with varying degrees of legality.
The PC Engine saw a conversion of the game in the form of Bikkuriman World, with changes made to the characters to conform to what was then a popular anime series. This version was handled by Hudson Soft, which also did conversions of other Wonder Boy games for the console.
In the United Kingdom, a bootleg version of the original arcade game was produced by Galaxy Electronics.
Tectoy, Sega's distributor in Brazil, used the Monster World license and code to produce Mônica no Castelo do Dragão for the Sega Master System. The game was identical in every way to the source material, but characters were replaced with known figures from the Brazilian comics Turma da Mônica (Monica's Gang). Of course, the game was correspondingly translated into Portuguese for the Brazilian market.
An unlicensed version (by Westone) of Monster World was also produced for the Famicom, under the title of Saiyuki World with Sun Wukong of the Journey to the West tale as the central character. This conversion was produced by Jaleco, and although it was never officially admitted that the game was a port of Monster World, the game's levels and gameplay were one-for-one identical. This game would later have a sequel, known in America as Whomp 'Em.
The game ran on Sega's proprietary System 2 hardware, an enhanced version of the System 1 hardware used for the original Wonder Boy. It was based on a Z80 processor running at 4 MHz. Audio was provided by two SN76496 chips, one running at 2 MHz and one at 4 MHz, with a 4 MHz Z80 audio co-processor. The graphics were provided by a raster video unit at a resolution of 256 x 224.
The game can be emulated using the MAME emulator, with images of the ROM chips to hand. To date, the emulator only emulates Japanese versions of the arcade machine as well as a hacked bootleg version of the game. Of course, the Spectrum, C64, Amstrad CPC, Master System, Amiga and Atari ST versions of the game can be emulated with suitable emulators of those machines.
|Gamest Awards||Best Ending|
Upon its release for the arcades in Japan in 1987, Wonder Boy: Monster Land had slow sales, but it would eventually pick up to become a successful seller. In Japan's 1987 Gamest Awards, it came eighth place in the "Best Ending" award category. In the United Kingdom, where the arcade version was known as Wonder Boy 2, it was reviewed by Sinclair User in its February 1989 issue, where it gave the game ratings of 9 for graphics, 8 for sound, 7 for addictiveness, and 8 for gameplay, with an overall score of 8 out of 10. The review stated that "the game is great fun to play," the "graphics are astonishingly well designed," and the "action is good" with "a large amount of hugely powerful power-ups." They concluded that it is a "highly enjoyable romp" and "would make a great 16 bit conversion."
ZX Spectrum version
The game was reviewed in 1989 in Dragon #144 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Wonder Boy and its sequels have enjoyed a considerable fan base over the years, and the success that this has generated led to a number of sequels produced. Wonder Boy in Monster World was the last title released worldwide, though a sequel, Monster World IV was released in Japanese. The fan base exists, with a number of fan sites around the Internet, including the authors of the MEKA emulator who have campaigned for the Wonder Boy series to be continued on the Dreamcast.
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<ref>tag; name "Dragon144" defined multiple times with different content
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- Script error: No such module "String". can be played for free in the browser at the Internet Archive