Wonder Boy

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Wonder Boy/Monster World
Monster World MW logo.png
The Monster World Logo
Genre(s)Platform, Action RPG, Metroidvania, Shoot 'em up
Developer(s)Westone Bit Entertainment
Game Atelier
Hudson Soft
FDG Entertainment
Platform(s)Arcade, SG-1000, Mark III/Master System, Mega Drive/Genesis, Game Gear, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, MSX, Amiga, Atari ST, PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Famicom/NES, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Switch, PC
First releaseWonder Boy
April 1986
Latest releaseSega Ages Wonder Boy in Monster Land
30 May 2019

The Wonder Boy (ワンダーボーイ, Wandā Bōi) series, also known as the Monster World (モンスターワールド, Monsutā Wārudo) series, is a franchise of video games published by Sega and developed by Westone Bit Entertainment (formerly Escape). Beginning with the original Wonder Boy arcade game released in 1986, the game has spawned several sequels released for arcade, Master System, and Sega Genesis, as well as two compilation titles and two remakes by other developers. Several titles have been ported to other consoles by different publishers under different names, most notably Hudson Soft's Adventure Island adaptation of the original game.[1] The main character "Wonder Boy" was named Book by the developer and Tom-Tom by Sega for overseas editions.[2]


Arcade board

Originally Wonder Boy was going to have non-stop moving as a pressure element, but the designer Ryuichi Nishizawa who could not play the game like that, had that element removed.[2] The first Wonder Boy game is a side-scrolling platformer in which the player must reach the end of the level, avoiding enemies and collecting fruit to restore a gradually reducing time meter. Aside from Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, which features similar gameplay to Wonder Boy while also incorporating shoot 'em up gameplay, the other games in the series, referred to in Japan as the Monster World sub-series, focus on a fantasy setting with role-playing elements. Defeating enemies in these games earns money that can be used to purchase new weapons, armor, and items to make the player stronger. Many of these games have a Metroidvania approach to gameplay, in which obtaining new items or abilities can grant access to new areas in the game.[3]

List of games[edit]

Main series[edit]

Box art for Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World
Title Release Original system Ports Other names / Notes
Wonder Boy 1986 Arcade Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, SG-1000, Master System, Game Gear, Wii (Virtual Console)
Wonder Boy in Monster Land 1987 Arcade Master System, Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Wii (Virtual Console)
  • Super Wonder Boy: Monster World (Japan, Sega Mark III)[5]
  • Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land (Activision)
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair 1988 Arcade Sega Genesis, Wii (Virtual Console)
Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap 1989 Master System Game Gear, Wii (Virtual Console)
  • Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap (Europe, Game Gear)
  • Monster World II: Dragon no Wana (Japan, Game Gear)
Wonder Boy in Monster World 1991 Sega Genesis Master System, Wii (Virtual Console), Microsoft Windows
  • Wonder Boy V: Monster World III (Japan)
Monster World IV 1994 Sega Genesis Wii (Virtual Console)
Wonder Boy Returns 2016 Microsoft Windows PlayStation 4
  • Mismarketed as a remake of Wonder Boy.
  • Developed by CFK.[6]
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap 2017 PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android[7]
  • Remake of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap.
  • Developed by Lizardcube and published by DotEmu.[8]
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom 2018 PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch Microsoft Windows
  • Published by FDG Entertainment and developed by Game Atelier.
Wonder Boy Returns Remix 2019 Nintendo Switch
  • A remake of the original Wonder Boy, made in the same engine as Wonder Boy Returns and mostly reusing its assets.


Title Release System Games included
Sega Ages Vol.29: Monster World Complete Collection 2007 (Japan only)[9][10] PlayStation 2
  • Wonder Boy
  • Wonder Boy in Monster Land
  • Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
  • Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap
  • Wonder Boy in Monster World
  • Monster World IV
Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World 2012[11][12] PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Wonder Boy in Monster Land
  • Wonder Boy in Monster World
  • Monster World IV

Modified ports[edit]

Westone, the developer of the series, owned the copyrights to each game in the series, while Sega retained the "Wonder Boy" and "Monster World" trademarks. This created a situation which allowed other game companies to publish ports of the games to non-Sega platforms under license from Westone, provided that they changed the titles to remove all references to "Wonder Boy" or "Monster World".

With the exception of Monster World IV, each game in Wonder Boy series has been ported to other systems by Hudson Soft. The original game was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System under the name Adventure Island, which eventually spawned its own franchise. Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, and Wonder Boy in Monster World, were all released on the TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine under the names Bikkuriman World, Dragon's Curse, and The Dynastic Hero respectively. Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair was ported to the TurboGrafx-CD with original main and boss characters, although the North American version removed the "Wonder Boy III" part in the title while the Japanese version kept it. Another port of Wonder Boy in Monster Land, titled Saiyūki World, was developed by NMK and published by Jaleco for the Nintendo Famicom in Japan, also spawning an independently created sequel, Saiyūki World 2, which was released in North America as Whomp 'Em.

In Brazil, where the Master System received much popularity, Tec Toy released adapted versions of Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, and Wonder Boy in Monster World under the names Mônica: No Castelo do Dragão (Monica: The Dragon's Castle), Turma da Mônica em O Resgate (Monica's Gang to the Rescue), and Turma da Mônica na Terra dos Monstros (Monica's Gang in the Land of Monsters). These games replaced the main characters with characters from Mauricio de Sousa's Monica's Gang comic book series.[13] The latter, Turma da Mônica na Terra dos Monstros, received a re-release with SD card update compatibility in August 2017.[14][15]

Adventure Island series[edit]

Adventure Island was Hudson Soft's adaptation of the original Wonder Boy game for the Nintendo Entertainment System and MSX2, originally released in 1986. Due to the popularity of the game's success on the system, Hudson Soft created a series of sequels with no involvement from Westone, retaining the same gameplay style as the original game.

Other media[edit]


Monster World Complete Collection Original Sound Track
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMarch 8, 2007
GenreVideo game soundtrack

A soundtrack album, the Monster World Complete Collection Original Sound Track was released in 2007. Composed by Shinichi Sakamoto and Jin Watanabe the 2-CD album was published by Wave Master (the audio division of Sega).[16]

Comic books[edit]

Wonder Boy was adapted into two stories that ran in Fleetway's Sonic the Comic, which were loosely based on Wonder Boy in Monster World. "Wonder Boy in Demon World" ran between issues 2-9 and saw Shion, the protagonist who has a dislike of being referred to as Wonder Boy, fighting to save some people while staving off a demon curse. "Wonder Boy in Ghost Land" ran between issues 22-27, and saw Shion travel to a world of ghostly dinosaurs.


  1. ^ Kalata, Kurt (12 June 2012). "Hardcore Gaming 101: Wonder Boy". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Hardcore gaming 101 presents sega arcade classics volume 1". issuu. June 13, 2016: 124–127. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  3. ^ http://segabits.com/blog/2016/04/15/sega-retrospective-from-wonder-boy-to-monster-world-to-adventure-island-and-beyond/
  4. ^ "スーパーワンダーボーイ | Wii(R) バーチャルコンソール メガドライブ/マスターシステム 公式サイト". vc.sega.jp. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  5. ^ "スーパーワンダーボーイ モンスターワールド | Wii(R) バーチャルコンソール メガドライブ/マスターシステム 公式サイト". vc.sega.jp. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  6. ^ Mueller, Joanna (21 September 2016). "Wonder Boy Returns On Steam This Fall Hey Poor Player". Hey Poor Player. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  7. ^ https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-04-30-gorgeous-retro-remake-wonder-boy-the-dragons-trap-is-coming-to-mobile-next-month
  8. ^ Stead, Chris (4 June 2016). "Wonder Boy Remake Finally On The Way". Grab It Magazine. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  9. ^ SEGA AGES 2500シリーズ Vol.29 モンスターワールド コンプリートコレクション on sega.jp
  10. ^ Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 29: Monster World Complete Collection on segaretro.org
  11. ^ Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World on metacritic.com
  12. ^ EGM Review: Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World on egmnow.com
  13. ^ https://www.unseen64.net/2010/10/22/unseen-changes-wonder-boy-in-monster-world-vs-monicas-gang-in-monster-land/
  14. ^ http://www.seganerds.com/2017/05/09/tectoy-celebrates-partnership-with-sega-announces-new-genesis-game/
  15. ^ https://www.tectoy.com.br/cartucho-turma-da-monica-na-terra-dos-monstros/p/995044871821

External links[edit]