Video Game / Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap
aka: Dragons Curse
Wonder Boy, as depicted in The Dragon's Trap.

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap (known in Japan as Monster World II: Dragon no Wana) is the fourth game in the "Wonder Boy" series. After being defeated by Wonder Boy following the end of Wonder Boy: Monster Land, the Meka Dragon places a curse on his killer. Wonder Boy turns into a Lizard-Man and now has to regain his human form, gaining other transformations in the process. Being made for consoles rather than an arcade game, Dragon's Trap ditches the stage-based format of previous games in favor of a free-roaming approach.

Dragon's Trap was originally released for the Sega Master System in 1989, followed by a portable version for the Game Gear in 1992. A Turbo-Grafx 16 remake was also released titled Dragon's Curse (also known as Adventure Island in Japan).

Surprisingly, this game's also getting a modern remake as a collabaration between Lizardcube, DotEmu, and the original creator Ryuichi Nishizawa. Trailer here

Tropes in Dragon's Trap:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Wonder Boy's in-game sprite has green hair instead of blond like he does in most official illustrations. The Turbo-Grafx 16 version, Dragon's Curse, depict him with the usual hair color though. Wonder Boy did, however, have green hair in the SG-1000 version of Wonder Boy (although not on the box art).
  • Ambidextrous Sprite:
    • Averted for five of the six forms in the original game (didn't need to be averted for the Lizard-Man who didn't use any equipment). Though they do use the wrong sprites when Mouse-Man is climbing the left side of a wall or a ceiling.
    • It is however not averted in the modern remake, which uses hand-drawn graphics.
  • Bag of Spilling: Justified: The Legendary equipment is turned into Ivory equipment because of the curse.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The main premise of the game.
  • Country Switch: Playing the Master System version on a Japanese Mark III will change the game's title to Monster World II and will enable FM music if a sound module is connected to the console. Otherwise, the game's menus and messages will still be in English.
  • Creative Closing Credits: In the Master System version, the credits start by showing the various forms the hero can assume, then lists all the enemies and bosses as the game's "cast" as well as names of music tracks used in the game and... that's it, there are no actual credits.
  • Cursed with Awesome: You'd think that being turned into a dragon or lion-type monster would be bad, if not for the special abilities that came with them.
  • Fan Remake:
    • A remake of the Turbo-Grafx 16 version was created by Vile 1011. It is not a strict remake though, as it has, among other things, a more elaborate level design, numerous new locations, a new tier of gold-colored enemies, an optional dungeon (in addition to the several existing locations that were expanded to full-fledged dungeons) , and a new optional form. To top it off, Charm Stones were made rare and collectable, and getting all 50 of them opens the Brutal Bonus Level playable with Wonder Boy as a human after the Salamander Cross is retrieved.
    • The official remake by Lizardcube also started its life as a fan remake.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: You can carry every possible piece of equipment and up to 99 of magical weapons and Charm Stones, but only three Medicines (the blue potions) and only one key.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Even though some locks look different from others (depending on whether you have to unlock them once or every time), the same keys will work on all of them.
  • Interface Screw: A minor example: the pause menu is disabled in Boss Rooms and pressing pause during boss fights simply pauses the game.
  • Involuntary Transformation: Damn blue flames.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Most of the mooks come in three palette swapped varieties, with the red monsters being the weakest, the green ones being moderately strong and the blue ones being the strongest.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: After defeating the mechanical dragon in the first castle, it collapses once you escape with it.
  • Metroidvania: Each boss defeated gives you a new form, which allows you to access more areas.
  • Multiform Balance: While the forms generally get better as you progress through the game, each has its unique strengths and all of them are used in the final dungeon (except Lizard-Man, which you will probably never use again after getting Mouse-Man). More on that on the character sheet.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: while the dungeons are all very obviously linear, the Daymio Dragon's palace takes the cake: the inside of the palace is entirely comprised of straight pathways with absolutely no obstacles other than the enemies.
  • One Size Fits All: All armors can equipped by the protagonist, no matter what form he's in.
  • Password Save: Relatively simple for the complexity of the game.
  • Pig Man: The shop owners and the guy who runs the church, at least in the Master System version.
  • Recycled Title: The PC Engine version is named Adventure Island, but had nothing to do with Hudson's series of the same name (which branched off from a remake of the first Wonder Boy).
  • Remixed Level: The Meka Dragon's lair, which is actually a much shorter and much easier version of the previous game's final level. You are able to get there again towards the end of the game, only to find out that it is now populated by different monsters.
  • Sequel Number Snarl: Dragon's Trap came out the same year as Monster Lair and both games bore the title of Wonder Boy III. Note that this was never an issue in Japan, where Dragon's Trap is titled Monster World II: Dragon no Wana.
  • Shape Shifter Swan Song: When Wonder Boy finally touches the Salamander Cross, he goes through all of his acquired forms in reverse order, and finally becomes human again.
  • Sudden Name Change: Despite the intro of the game depicting a condensed version of the end of Wonder Boy In Monster Land, the character is referred to as Wonder Boy rather than Bocke Lee Temjin or Book the Hero, reinforcing the main protagonist of both it and Wonder Boy as one in the same.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Unless he's in the Hawk form, Wonder Boy is not in the least uncomfortable walking around underwater. Though only in the form of Piranha-Man can actually swim and otherwise stays, uhm, benthic.
  • A Taste of Power: You get all of the Legendary equipment as soon as you start the game, but lose it after you escape the dragon's tower.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Ominous Floating Castle where instead of using just the Hawk-Man form, the player has to use all available forms to advance.
  • Video Game Settings: Includes Shifting Sand Land, a Temple of Doom, Jungle Japes, Lethal Lava Land, Under the Sea, Gangplank Galleon, Wutai, and an Ominous Floating Castle in space.
  • We Have Forgotten the Phlebotinum: In the Game Gear version it is impossible to regain the Legendary Shield later in the game.

Alternative Title(s): Dragons Curse