Franchise / Wonder Boy

A series of side-scrolling platform games developed by Sega and Westone. Originally began as a trilogy of thematically-related arcade games (Wonder Boy, Monster Land, and Monster Lair), each with drastically different play mechanics from the last. The second arcade game spun-off the Monster World sub-series on home consoles, which adapted an action RPG approach.

Consists of the following releases:

Young Nastyman does not feature in this series.

Wonder Boy general series tropes:

  • Aliens Are Bastards: There isn't a single non-malicious alien in the series.
  • Compilation Re-release: The Monster World: Complete Collection (PlayStation 2, Japan only) not only has all six main games, it also includes all of the cross-platforms ports (at least the ones that came out on Sega consoles) and some of the different regional releases.
  • Genre Shift: The three arcade games in the series are different from each other. The first Wonder Boy is a straightforward platformer, Monster Land is an action RPG, and Monster Lair is an Auto Scrolling platformer with Shoot 'em Up segments. All of the console sequels though, stuck to the action RPG format of Monster Land.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Each new threat of evil monsters turns out to be yet another world conquest attempt by the technologically-advanced space aliens from the previous game.
  • Legacy Character: Half the time, the titular Wonder Boy is not actually the player character depending on the game, since only Bocke Lee Temjin (AKA Book the Hero, the protagonist of Monster Land and The Dragon's Trap) is said to be the original game's "Wonder Boy" in both The Dragon's Trap and the localized version of the Monster Land manual; Leo from Monster Lair, Shion from Monster World and Jin from Monster Boy and The Cursed Kingdom are each different characters, and Purapril and Asha are girls, thus obviously unfit for the "Wonder Boy" title.
    • Likewise, Shiela Purapril from Monster World and Purapril XIII (or "Praprill XIII") from Monster World IV are both separate from the Monster Lair heroine (seemingly Purapril I).
  • Oddly Named Sequel: The lineage of the series is hard to keep track of thanks in part to the various name changes each installment has gone through between localizations, cross-platform ports and licensed remakes made by other companies.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Quite literally with the Legendary equipment, canonically worn by each successive Wonderboy (and Asha) since Monster Land.
  • Title Confusion: There are two games titled "Wonder Boy III" and both are justified since they're the third Wonder Boy games for their corresponding platforms. Monster Lair was the third arcade game and The Dragon's Trap was the third Master System game. Officially speaking, the latter is known as Monster World II in Japan, where it is recognized as the fourth Wonder Boy game, since the following game (Wonder Boy in Monster World) was called Wonder Boy V: Monster World III over there.
  • To Be Continued: Monster Land and Monster Lair both end with ominous foreshadowing, and Monster World explicitly ends on a "To be continued."