Wonder Boy in Monster World
|Wonder Boy in Monster World|
|Release date(s)||Mega Drive/Genesis
Wonder Boy in Monster World, known in Japan as Wonder Boy V: Monster World III, is a side-scrolling action RPG originally developed by Westone and published by Sega for the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1991. It is the fifth game in the Wonder Boy series and the third game in the Monster World sub-series, following Wonder Boy in Monster Land (Super Wonder Boy: Monster World on the Japanese Sega Mark III) and Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap (Monster World II: Dragon no Wana on the Japanese Game Gear). It was also the last Wonder Boy game that was given an official English release, until the Wii Virtual Console release of Monster World IV in 2012.
Versions for other platforms were also made. In 1993 Sega released a Master System version of the game specifically for the European market, while in 1994 Hudson Soft remade the game for the Turbo Duo under the title of The Dynastic Hero (超英雄伝説ダイナスティックヒーロー Chō Eiyū Densetsu Dainasutikku Hīrō?), featuring an all-new theme and cast of characters. In 2007, the Turbo Duo and Mega Drive versions were re-released on the Wii Virtual Console download service.
Wonder Boy In Monster World puts you in control of Shion in his quest to save Monster World from the evil BioMeka. It controls like your standard platform game: run, jump, crouch, and kill enemies. The game is filled with Adventure elements close to the ones in The Legend of Zelda such as talking to townsfolk, collecting money to buy items, extending your life bar by collecting hearts, and equipping a large variety of armor, weapons and magic.
Shion travels through the many interconnected regions of Monster World, all the while collecting increasingly powerful equipment in the form of many different swords, spears, shields, suits of armor, and boots.
The game introduced a one slot save feature to save progress at inns throughout the game world. In the Japanese original Shion returned to the inn last saved at upon death (and was charged its fee accordingly), so returning to an inn in order to save is a simple matter of allowing Shion to be killed. In the English-language Mega Drive versions this was changed to a "Game Over" screen; this made it often tedious to return to the inns early in the game when Return magic hadn't been obtained yet.
"Monster World was once a peaceful region. Then, the peace was shattered by an invading army of monsters. A young man named Shion vowed to defeat them and make his land peaceful again."
During his travels, Shion will often be joined by a small companion who follows you around. Each companion is bound to the region he or she belongs to, and will return to their respective homes when you leave said region. All travel companions will also temporarily stay out of action during boss fights.
|Priscilla||A small fairy who hails from Alsedo, the Fairy village. She joins Shion when he talks to Queen Eleanora. Priscilla will randomly fly over to an enemy and bop the enemy with her wand but this does no damage, and is completely useless. Also, when Shion's health is getting low, she may conjure up a few small hearts for Shion to catch.|
|Hotta||A dwarf kid, who lives in the Dwarf village of Lilypad. He will follow Shion around when you save him from the bushmen. Hotta can break open some walls, enabling Shion's entry in the nearby temple, as well as uncovering a couple hidden rooms in the said temple. He also randomly digs up a fountain of small coins|
|Shabo||A little summoned reaper, who Shion obtains in Childam, the Darkworld village. He will fly alongside Shion through the Ice Caverns, attacking enemies randomly with his throwing scythe.|
|Elder Dragon's Grandson||The Elder Dragon's grandson hatchling, who will accompany Shion in Begonia, the Dragon village. He can help him through the volcano, frequently attacking enemies with his fire breath, but this can be more of a hindrance than a help, as it does low damage, and puts enemies in stun lock preventing standard attacks being able to hit for a short amount of time, meaning the player character may get hit as soon as the stun-lock ends.|
|Fairy Queen Eleanora||Her village is the first you encounter. She'll lend you Priscilla, one of her fairy companions, to aid you through your journey through the Mushroom infested forest lair near Alsedo.|
|Princess Shiela Purapril||You save her early in the game from a Dark Knight. She'll give you advice at a few points throughout the game, if you care to visit her. Near the end, the game eventually suggests some sort of love interest, as well.|
|Elder Dwarf||He's distraught about the kidnapping of Hotta, a young dwarf who lives in the village of Lilypad.|
|Elder Dragon||This wise dragon will tell you how to obtain the materials for creating the Legendary Sword. He also sends his grandson along with you on your journey through the volcano.|
|The Darkworld Prince||The Prince has gone missing recently. Rumor has it he was abducted by an evil force...|
|Alsedo||The fairy village. Contains teleport statues to Fairy Queen Eleanora. Mushroom enemies spawn in the village.|
|Lilypad||The dwarf village. Forest connected to the left in which you save the dwarf kid Hotta.|
|Childam||The darkworld village. Village in which you find the little reaper Shabo.|
|Begonia||The dragon village. Near Elder Dragon's location.|
Conversions and ports
The Sega Master System port is somewhat different. It features re-drawn graphics, fewer and shorter stages, and a complex password system (approximately 40 digits in length) rather than battery-backed save data.
Hudson Soft later released a slightly re-branded version for the Turbo Duo titled The Dynastic Hero. It features palette-swapped visuals, new insect-themed graphics for main characters (and insects' natural predators as bosses), a Red Book audio soundtrack which is completely different from the Wonder Boy original, and anime-style cutscenes at the intro and ending. Shion was renamed Dyna and was modeled after a Hercules Beetle, and the final boss was changed to a giant lizard king. An English-language version was also produced, but both were built off of the Japanese version of Wonder Boy in Monster World so they feature the same difficulty and mechanics as the Japanese version. This particular version was released on Nintendo's Virtual Console service in Europe on November 30, 2007 and in North America on December 3, 2007.
Tec Toy, Sega's distributor in Brazil, altered the Mega Drive version and released it as Turma da Mônica na Terra Dos Monstros (translated as Monica's Gang in the Land of Monsters). Like other Wonder Boy-to-Monica conversions, the game is in Portuguese, the main character is Monica (Mônica in Portuguese) from the Monica's Gang (Turma da Mônica in Portuguese) comics, and other elements and characters from it were added.
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Turbo Duo version an 7.2 out of 10, praising the music, graphics, and vast size of the game. GamePro were less impressed, remarking that the characters "have that doe-eyed look reminiscent of the best motel art" and that figuring out how to use some of the items is difficult. They did praise the game's emphasis on action over dialogue and travel, but concluded, "Still, it appears that the designers didn't work too hard to inject much freshness, like a more intriguing story line or more realistic graphics. That's what makes Dynastic Hero a 'run of the mill' rather than a 'better' RPG."
- "Review Crew: Dynastic Hero". Electronic Gaming Monthly (57) (EGM Media, LLC). April 1994. p. 46.
- "Dynastic Hero". GamePro (60) (IDG). July 1994. p. 126.
- Wonder Boy in Monster World guide at StrategyWiki