Wonderboy 3 “The Dragons Trap” – Sega Master System

What? No hammer throwing, skateboards or fruit that give you energy? Nah! This is a Wonderboy game with a difference, and an excellent one at that! Developed by Westone and published by Sega, read on and see what Daz thinks about one of Sega’s crowning moments.

Wow, I still remember going over to my friend’s house and seeing this game in action when he first bought it. It was 1989 and I just received my C64 from my parents a few months prior and thought my C64 was the bee’s knees. But when I started playing ‘Wonderboy 3’ it blew my mind! The graphics were amazing. The controls and the catchy music were just perfect. But let’s get into what the story is about.

The game continues on from ‘Wonderboy in Monsterland’ in the Mecha Dragon’s lair. You once again walk your way to the Mecha Dragon to defeat him, but unlike its predecessor when you kill the Mecha Dragon and he just dies, this version sees  your killing of Mecha rewarded with coins and a blue flame. Once this flame (which contains the dragons curse) is touched, you’re morphed from a human into a Lizard-Man. All this just in the first 5 minutes of game play!  Your journey starts from here…

To complete the game you must defeat giant bosses along the way. As you proceed to take them down, you receive the ability to morph into other animals. This is important as it will let you access areas which would not be possible with certain transformations. You are able to morph into Lizard-Man, Mouse-Man, Piranha-Man, Lion-Man and Hawk-Man, which each have their own special abilities. Coins and hearts will be dropped by your enemies to help you on your journey: coins will allow you but purchase swords, shields, armour and magic abilities like fireballs and tornadoes – just like ‘Wonderboy in Monsterland’.

The graphics and sound are just amazing, and in my personal opinion, it’s the best looking game I’ve seen on any 8-Bit system (yes, I said that). Apart from a little flicker here and there, there is nothing I can fault with this game. It’s sad that Sega have killed the series as I think the Wonderboy franchise shadows the Sonic series of games. If you’re a fan of 8 and 16 bit Castlevania and Metriod games, then this game is one you must play as it has the same kind of game play formula. ‘Wonderboy 3’ was also ported to the TG16 and PC-Engine with even better graphics and sound under the names Dragon’s Curse (TG16) and Adventure Island (PC-Engine) as Sega didn’t want to release the rights to the Wonderboy name. If you’re looking for the perfect game to play, I’ve just found it for you.

Score 5/5