Wonderboy III: The Dragon's Trap
Sega - 1989
Machine: Sega Master System, and others
In the 80’s platform games were hard, very hard. This was before the age of save games so if you wanted to finish a game, you had to do it in one sitting. This meant that long games were very hard because you had to battle a limited set of lives and your own fatigue, few saw the end of games like New Zealand Story or Rainbow Islands. Wonderboy III changed that, there were still no save games but when you got past a certain section you were given a password which meant you could return to that point when restarting the game. This may seem like a trifling point but it was this that allowed Wonderboy III to become such a huge game.
Wonderboy III is on a scale unlike anything that came before, instead of a progression of levels there is just one massive field of play but certain areas are only available when you have certain abilities. Every time you beat a boss you are turned into a new monster with different abilities and able to reach new areas of the map. This keeps the game fresh right to the very end.
The shop feature is retained from previous Wonderboy games which enables you to buy power-ups which, together with the huge map makes the game feel more like an adventure and all of this adds up to make Wonderboy III the Sega Master System’s finest hour.
Jakey 07 Mar '04
MEKA reference to Wonderboy III - A great guide to the game.
Wonderboy Land - A good fansite with lots of info on the series.