Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap

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Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap
Wonderboyremake.PNG
Cover art featuring Wonder Boy (right), Wonder Girl (left), and their various transformations.
Developer(s) Lizardcube
Publisher(s)
Director(s) Omar Cornut
Programmer(s) Sebastien Ronsse
Artist(s) Ben Fiquet
Composer(s) Michael Geyre
Series Wonder Boy
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, macOS, Linux
Release PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
18 April 2017
Microsoft Windows
8 June 2017
macOS, Linux
18 July 2017[1]
Genre(s) Platform, action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is a platform action-adventure video game developed by Lizardcube and published by DotEmu. The game is a remake of the 1989 game Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, which was originally developed by Westone Bit Entertainment and published by Sega for the Master System as part of the Wonder Boy series. The game was released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on 18 April 2017, for Microsoft Windows on 8 June 2017, and for macOS and Linux on 18 July 2017.

Gameplay[edit]

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is a remake of the original Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, with gameplay reverse engineered from the original Master System code, featuring brand new hand-drawn graphics and musical rearrangements.[2] Set immediately after the events of Wonder Boy in Monster Land, players control an adventurer who, upon defeating the Mecha Dragon, has become afflicted with a curse turning them into a Lizard-Man. The player must journey across the world and defeat all the other dragons in the land in order to return to human form. Like in the original game, players explore various lands, defeating enemies to earn items, such as arrows and fireballs, and money which can be used to purchase new weapons and armor. Over the course of the game, the player gains new animals forms, each with new abilities allowing for additional exploration. These include Lizard-Man, who can spit fire, Mouse-Man, who can cling onto checkerboard-patterned blocks, Pirahna-Man, who can swim underwater, Lion-Man, who can perform a vertical slash attack, and Hawk-Man, who can fly through the air.[3]

The game retains the gameplay and level design of the original game, albeit with some enhancements such as instant weapon-toggling and removing the need to acquire charm stones to purchase new equipment. The game also supports passwords from the original game.[4] New features added to the remake include additional difficulty settings,[5] the option to play as a female character named Wonder Girl,[6][7] hidden bonus areas, and the ability to independently toggle the graphics and audio between modern and retro styles with additional options for visual filters and FM audio.[8]

Development[edit]

The idea of creating a fan remake of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap was originally conceived by Omar Cornut as early as 1998.[9] Development eventually began in late 2013, and the remake was first announced in June 2016.[10]

The remake was originally developed by programmer Omar Cornut and artist Ben Fiquet, who previously worked together on Soul Bubbles, as a fan remake developed by reverse engineering the original Master System game's code.[11] Lizardcube worked on the game in collaboration with original game designer Ryuichi Nishizawa.[12] Fiquet produced all the art and animation for the game single-handedly.[13] Despite requests from fans to include characters from Monica's Gang, mimicking how the original game was released in Brazil under the same license, Lizardcube have stated that it wouldn't be possible due to the licenses required, although an unofficial fan-created mod for the PC version was released in July 2017.[14][15] The same also applies to using sprites from Hudson Soft's Turbografx-16 port of the game, Dragon's Curse, as the rights to that version are currently held by Konami.[16]

The game's soundtrack is composed by Michael Geyre, who re-imagined the original soundtrack composed by Shinichi Sakamoto. The original chiptune soundtrack was arranged using real musical instruments played by musicians.[9] The arranged soundtrack incorporates elements from several world music traditions, including classical, tango, Middle-Eastern and Japanese music.[9][12] The soundtrack was released on Steam and Bandcamp on 12 July 2017.[1] A vinyl soundtrack was released by Fangamer on 13 August 2018.[17]

Limited Run Games released a physical PlayStation 4 version in both standard and collector's editions in Summer 2017.[18][19] Arc System Works also published a physical edition of the PlayStation 4 version in Asia in July 2017.[20] A retail release of the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch versions was published by Nicalis on 13 February 2018 in North America and by Headup Games on 20 April 2018 in Europe.[21][22] Pikii will publish a physical version for the Nintendo Switch in Japan.[23]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(XONE) 80/100[24]
(NS) 79/100[25]
(PS4) 79/100[26]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid8.5/10[27]
EurogamerRecommended[28]
GameSpot8/10[29]
IGN7.1/10[30]
Nintendo Life8/10 stars[31]
Nintendo World Report8/10[32]
Hobby Consolas84%[33]
Slant Magazine8/10[34]

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap has received mostly positive reviews, with the Switch version currently holding a score of 79% on Metacritic.[25] IGN said that "while (the original game)'s design definitely shows its age, (the remake) still has a few wonders in store for us thanks to a solid foundation, aesthetic upgrades, and some much-appreciated updates to the original programming."[30] Gamespot praised its visual enhancements and called it "one of the best retro remakes yet".[29] Eurogamer also praised the game, saying that it sets the bar for updating classics.[28]

The Switch version of the game has outsold all other versions combined.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Trap, The Dragon's. "Soundtrack now available! Game coming to Mac/Linux on July 18th!". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  2. ^ Trap, The Dragon's. "Reverse engineering the 1989 original: the quest for accuracy". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  3. ^ "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap". www.lizardcube.com. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  4. ^ Polygon (14 December 2016). "17 Minutes of WONDER BOY: THE DRAGON'S TRAP Remake Gameplay". Retrieved 3 July 2018 – via YouTube. 
  5. ^ Polygon (14 December 2016). "17 Minutes of WONDER BOY: THE DRAGON'S TRAP Remake Gameplay". Retrieved 3 July 2018 – via YouTube. 
  6. ^ Trap, The Dragon's. "Wonder Boy and Wonder Girl Trailer". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  7. ^ "Austin Eruption on Twitter". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  8. ^ "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap Lets You Switch Between Modern and Classic 8-bit Visuals - Niche Gamer". 25 February 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  9. ^ a b c Trap, The Dragon's. "Dev Diary 2: Music and Sound Design". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  10. ^ "Two Developers Are Bringing Wonder Boy Back With Two Entirely Different Games". Kotaku UK. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  11. ^ "Meet the mind behind Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, the rebirth of a Sega classic". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  12. ^ a b Trap, The Dragon's. "Dev Diary 1: Meeting with Nishizawa-san!". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  13. ^ Couture, Joel. "Faithfully updating the art of a classic in Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  14. ^ Trap, The Dragon's. "Launch Trailer!". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  15. ^ "Lizardcube on Twitter". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  16. ^ Trap, The Dragon's. "The Retro Feature". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  17. ^ https://twitter.com/lizardcube/status/1029043865611685888
  18. ^ "Limited Run Games on Twitter". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  19. ^ "Dotemu on Twitter". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  20. ^ http://www.play-asia.com/wonder-boy-the-dragons-trap-multi-language/13/70b4g3
  21. ^ "Nicalis, Inc. on Twitter". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  22. ^ "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap". Retrieved 3 July 2018 – via Amazon. 
  23. ^ "Pikii on Twitter". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  24. ^ "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  25. ^ a b "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  26. ^ "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  27. ^ "Review: Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  28. ^ a b "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap review". Eurogamer. 18 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  29. ^ a b "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap Review". Gamespot. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  30. ^ a b Ryan, Jon (17 April 2017). "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap Review". IGN. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  31. ^ Life, Nintendo (17 April 2017). "Review: Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap (Switch eShop)". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  32. ^ "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap Review - Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  33. ^ "Análisis de Wonder Boy The Dragon's Trap, el remake del clásico". 19 April 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  34. ^ "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap - Game Review - Slant Magazine". Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  35. ^ Kerr, Chris (11 September 2017). "Switch version of Wonder Boy outsells all other platforms combined". Gamasutra. UBM TechWeb. Retrieved 13 September 2017. 

External links[edit]