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Video Game: Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap
Bock Lee Temjin, 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 Bock following the end of Wonder Boy In Monster Land, the Meka Dragon places a curse on his killer. Bock turns into a lizardman 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 Master System in 1989, followed by a portable version for the Game Gear in 1992. A TurboGrafx-16 remake was also released titled Dragon's Curse (also known as Adventure Island in Japan).

Tropes in Dragon's Trap:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Bock's in-game sprite has green hair instead of blond like he does in the official illustrations. The TurboGrafx-16 version, Dragon's Curse, depict him with the proper hair color though.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Averted for five of the six forms (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.
  • 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" 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.
  • Divorced Installment: Dragon's Curse, the TurboGrafx-16 version, drops the "Wonder Boy" title and all references to "Monster-Land".
    • Dolled-Up Installment: The Brazilian version of the SMS version became a game based on local comic Monica's Gang - but in a deeper treatment than with Monster Land: every form of Wonder Boy, the shopkeepers and even the final boss became characters of the comic.
  • 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.
  • Market-Based Title: The Game Gear version in Japan was released as Monster World II: Dragon no Wana. While the Master System version uses the title Monster World II when played on a Mark III, Monster World II was never officially released for the Mark III in Japan.
    • The PC Engine version of Dragon's Curse is titled Adventure Island.
    • The English Game Gear version drops the numeral and is simply titled Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap.
  • Metroidvania
  • 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).
    • This is elaborated further down in a dedicated list.
  • No Export for You: Inverted. The Master System version was never officially released in Japan, so the game didn't get an official release there until it was ported to the Game Gear, coming out a few months after its Mega Drive sequel Monster World III.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Bag of Spilling: Just how did Wonder Boy lose his weapons?
    • Also inverted: Where did he get the ivory equipment?
  • 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.

Form-specific tropes:


Wonder Boy III Monster LairFranchise/Wonder BoyWonder Boy In Monster World
Wonder Boy In Monster LandUsefulNotes/The 8 -bit Era of Console Video GamesXevious
Wonder BoyGame Gear    
Sonic the Hedgehog ChaosSega Master SystemZaxxon
Wonder Boy III Monster LairPlatform GameWonder Boy In Monster World
TwinBeeTurbo Grafx- 16 Fantasy Zone

alternative title(s): Dragons Curse
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