Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair

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Not to be confused with the 1989 Master System game Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
Monster Lair flyer.png
Promotional brochure for the arcade version.
Developer(s) Westone Bit Entertainment
Composer(s) Shinichi Sakamoto
Platform(s) Arcade, CD-ROM²/TurboGrafx-CD, Mega Drive, Wii (Virtual Console), Microsoft Windows (Steam), Cloud (OnLive)
Release Arcade CD-ROM²/TurboGrafx-CD
  • JP: August 31, 1989
  • NA: August 1, 1990
Mega Drive
  • JP: December 22, 1990
  • EU: 1991
Wii Virtual Console
  • NA: December 17, 2007
  • PAL: December 21, 2007
  • JP: April 15, 2008
Mega Drive
  • JP: January 6, 2009
  • EU: March 6, 2009
Microsoft Windows
  • WW: January 26, 2011
Genre(s) Scrolling shooter
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Sega System 16
Display Raster, 320 x 224

Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (ワンダーボーイIII モンスター・レアー?, Wandā Bōi Surī: Monsutā Reā, lit. "Wonder Boy III Monster Lair") is a side-scrolling action game developed by Westone Bit Entertainment that was originally released for the arcades by Sega in 1988. It is the third game in the Wonder Boy series and the last one released for the arcade. A console adaption was made by Hudson Soft, released in 1989 in Japan for the PC Engine CD-ROM² System and the subsequent North American release on the TurboGrafx-CD dropped the 'Wonder Boy III' title. It was also converted and released by Sega for the Mega Drive in Japan in 1990 and Europe in 1991. Both, the TurboGrafx-CD and Mega Drive versions have been re-released for the Wii Virtual Console.


Screenshot of the Mega Drive version.

The game balances basic concepts found in both platformers and arcade shooters. The player is able to jump and shoot projectiles from a sword. He must ride a flying dragon and confront a large boss throughout the second half of each round. The player's life bar steadily diminishes as time passes. Health is gained through collection of fruit and projectile weapons. Some fruits, when shot, will expand and burst into multiple items.


In the action scenes, the player's vitality decreases as he makes his way towards the skull, but this can be restored by collecting fruit. A wide variety of weapons can be picked up, and not only do these allow the player to use the weapons for a limited amount of time, but they also increase vitality. In the shooter scenes, the player rides a pink friend as he makes his way through the scene. Here, vitality remains static unless hit by an enemy passing by. As usual, there is a boss waiting at the end that must be defeated. Every boss changes color to show how much damage has been done to it. Some bosses must be defeated in two stages. If vitality gets low in each scene, the player loses a life. Two players can play the game simultaneously.

Plot and setting[edit]

The player controls a green-haired boy hero named Leo (player 1) or a pink-haired girl hero named Princess Purapril (player 2) who must attack the invaders that attempt to collect weapons and use them to destroy the land. The gameplay consists of action and shooter scenes. The game starts out as a simple platform game, and later on the game is transformed into a shoot 'em up.


The game's music was composed by Shinichi Sakamoto, who is also responsible for the music of the game Wonder Boy in Monster Land.


  1. ^ "Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair". Arcade-History. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  2. ^ "It's Crystal Clear: Mario, Magic and Monsters – Oh My!". Nintendo of America. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 

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