Wonder Boy 3 - The Dragon's Trap

a game by Westone, and Sega

Platforms: Sega Master SystemSega Master SystemGameGear

Genre: Action

See also: Wonder Boy Games

  • Manufacturer: Sega

What's a kid to do?

Wasn't it enough that he, Wonder Boy, had to furiously battle his way through two previous adventures? How much is one kid supposed to take? Now here he is on the threshold of a new journey, and he finds himself turned into a...a...lizard! And according to legend, the only way he can return to human shape is by locating the Salamander Cross, which has been hidden somewhere in Monster Land by the dreaded vampire dragon.

What's a kid to do?

What you can do (if you own a Sega Master System) is run down to your nearest video game dealer, and pick up a copy of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap. You won't regret it. This is a delightful and challenging game that will have you manipulating your control pad for days on end.

In this article, and the one to follow next month, we'll give you a close look at Wonder Boy III. As always, we suggest that if you already own the game, play it before you read too much of the information presented here. It's always more fun to discover things for yourself. If you read our clues prematurely, you may decrease your enjoyment of the game. However, if you haven't yet purchased Wonder Boy III, you may browse through this article in order to decide if the game is something you'd enjoy. It's unlikely you'll remember many of the clues once you do start to play.

Monster Land

Monster Land consists of many different areas, including jungles, deserts and underwater scenes. As Wonder Boy progresses in the game, he must make his way through all of these areas, fighting off the many enemies that will block his way. During his travels, he must search for items that will help him complete his quest. Hidden throughout Monster Land are many secret doors and treasure chests, all of which contain valuable surprises.

You begin your quest (after completing the opening scene in the castle) at the village. The village is Monster Land's central point, where you always begin your travels. Every time you continue a game, you will begin in the village. Monster Land is, of course, overloaded with monsters. Where do you think it got its name? All of them are out to stop Wonder Boy from finding the Salamander Cross, so it will be nonstop fighting once he steps away from the village. But that's okay: fighting is the only way (outside of finding treasure chests) that Wonder Boy can earn the gold he'll need to buy important items from the many shops.

Creatures and Armor

Each time Wonder Boy defeats one of the boss dragons, he'll be changed into another type of creature. There are five creatures: Lizard-Man, Mouse-Man, Piranha-Man, Lion-Man and Hawk-Man. Each of these forms has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Mouse-Man is the only creature that can walk on mouse blocks, while Hawk-Man is the only creature that can fly.

A creature's individual abilities can be enhanced by the various swords, shields and armor you can purchase at the shops. Each piece of equipment has a rating for attacking power (how much damage the weapon will do), defense points (how much protection from attack the item provides) and charm points.

In addition to their offensive and defensive powers, different equipment items work better in certain situations. For example, dragon mail will protect you from injury should you fall into lava. Finally, certain types of armor increase your chances of getting hearts, gold and other items.

There are a huge number of creature, sword, shield and armor combinations that can be tried.

You will have to experiment to find out what works best. However, it's unlikely you'll ever try every combination. Its complexity is one of the things that makes Wonder Boy III so great.

Rewards in Battle

Sometimes when you defeat an enemy, he'll drop something valuable. Usually it will be gold, but it may also be a special weapon. These weapons include fireballs, thunder, tornadoes, arrows and boomerangs. All of these weapons can be stored, until you lose all your lives (only gold and the items you've purchased are retained when you reenter a game using a password), and used where most effective. The arrows, for example, are great for killing off the hovering smog, and the boomerangs are good when you want to defeat an enemy from a distance.

Once again, you'll need to experiment. As you're playing, try the different weapons on different enemies, and see how those enemies are affected.

Let's Get on With It!

There's not that much to be said about the playing of Wonder Boy III. Most of the clues you need can be found on the maps that follow. But before we get to the maps, we'II give you a last piece of advice: although you can warder fairly freely throughout Monster Land, you'll have the best luck if you play the areas in the order in which we've numbered them. Good luck!

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