Video Game: Wonder Boy In Monster Land

Bocke Lee Temjin, as depicted in Wonder Boy in Monster Land.
Wonder Boy in Monster Land, is the second game in the "Wonder Boy" series. A departure from the original Wonder Boy, rather than being a standard platformer like the original, Monster Land employed a more action RPG-like approach to its game design, allowing the player to equip his characters with swords, spells and various pieces of armor. The player controls a young lad named Bocke Lee Temjin as he sets out to rescue the country of Wonder Land, which has been taken over by an army of monsters led by an evil dragon.

It was originally released as a 1987 arcade game called Wonder Boy: Monster Land in Japan, with an international release for the Master System in 1989. The Mark III version was titled Super Wonder Boy: Monster World in Japan, making it the first game in the "Monster World" sub-series. Computer versions were also released for the Amiga, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC, along with licensed remakes for non-Sega platforms such as Bikkuriman World for the PC Engine and Saiyuki World for the Famicom. Similar to its predecessor, it was also re-released as "Super Adventure Island" for cell phones in 2006 (not to be confused with the actual Super Adventure Island, released for the SNES in 1992).

Tropes in Monster Land:

  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Contrast the image above (the Japanese box art) with the American version of the Master System version of the game, featuring a more realistically proportioned hero in full plate grinning wildly while cutting down a knight.
  • All There in the Manual: This game is virtually disconnected from the original Wonder Boy game except for a mention in the localized manual of the Master System port as the event having taken place eleven years prior. The citizens of Monster Land somehow heard the tale, and call the hero by the legendary title "Wonder Boy" (the manual also mentions that his moniker in the home ports, "Tom-Tom", is actually a childhood nickname). Now a teenager, Wonder Boy (real name Bock Lee Temjin) is summoned to save the kingdom. While there is no indication of this in the original Arcade version, both characters were reaffirmed as one in the same in the manual for Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Some versions suffered from this. For example, the Amiga version used: "3 gold get." The English version of the arcade game (which was actually a pirated release) was barely intelligible.
    War is over
    We regained our peace.
    But, be careful. More tests wait for you.
    Bye! MONSTER LAND . So long.
  • Bonus Boss: In the Master System version, the eighth round (which in itself is an exclusive area with its own end boss) is home to a secret boss known as the Wizard. Defeating him yields nine Lightning Bolt spells, which may definitely come in handy later on.
  • Boss Rush: The Final Dungeon, at least in the arcade version.
  • Chain of Deals: One of the subquests.
  • Country Switch: Playing the Japanese version, Super Wonder Boy: Monster World, on a western Master System will change the game's title and language. However, the translation displayed is completely different from the one in the official western version and the title is even slightly different (Super Wonder Boy: Monster Land). The Japanese version is also harder.
  • Degraded Boss: Many of the key and sword guardians, especially in the Final Dungeon.
  • Final Death: The arcade version disables continues in the final dungeon. Some ports, including the Amiga and SMS, have no continues at all.
  • The Grim Reaper: The first boss, who later has a palette swap that steals your gold.
  • Guide Dang It: The sub-quests and hidden items, including the final sword upgrade.
  • Life Meter: Yours is a series of hearts, while the enemy has a colored dot. Some ports removed the dot.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: When completing a world on the Amiga port.
  • Lost Forever: Since there was almost no ability to backtrack in the game, failing to find one of the secret areas in the Chain of Deals sidequest basically made the entire quest impossible to complete. A particularly egregious example considering that the reward for the quest was either a bell (which chimed when you were going the right way in the final dungeon, making the whole thing significantly easier) or a ruby (which automatically defeated the final boss's first form).
  • King Mook: The Myconid Master (giant version of the mushroom mooks), Giant Kong (giant ape), Kraken (giant squid) and King Demon (a promoted version of those one-horned ogre monsters).
  • The Maze: The final dungeon. Incorrect paths return you a few screens or possibly back to start.
  • Market-Based Title: A bit of a confusing example. The original arcade game was simply titled Wonder Boy: Monster Land in Japan and it became Super Wonder Boy: Monster World when ported to the Mark III. Overseas, the Master System version was released as Wonder Boy in Monster World, but the Japanese cartridges feature an early build of the English version titled Super Wonder Boy: Monster Land and some cartridge labels even misprinted the title as Super Wonder Boy: Super Monster Land. The home computer ports by Activision were released under the name of Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land on their packaging, but the actual in-game title varies between versions.
  • Mercy Invincibility: The arcade version prevents damage, but still applies Knockback when you hit a projectile or monster.
  • Nintendo Hard: Within the Sega Master System version, the bosses can be killed in just a few hits each, but you only have one life no continues, unless you gain more lives through score. Wherein the Arcade version the bosses are much much more difficult but you have unlimited continues, take your pick.
  • Palette Swap: Three of the bosses, notably the Grim Reaper, Knight, and Giant Kong, as well as some of the mooks, have recolored variants, sometimes with different attacks.
  • Pop Quiz: The Sphinx Puzzle Boss.
  • Robotic Reveal: The Final Boss.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The hero's name. The arcade game spells his full name as "Bocke Lee Temjin" (with "Book the Hero", the name given in the instruction card, being his nickname) in the casting roll, while the manual for the Master System version spells it "Bock Lee Temjin" (removing the "e" from "Bocke"). Some of the enemies have their names spelled differently as well, most notably the final boss of the game - which was originally called the Mechanic Dragon, and called the MEKA dragon, Meka Dragon, MEKA Dragon and Mecha Dragon in later sources such as The Dragon's Trap.
  • Spoiled By The Manual: The Master System manual calls the main enemy the MEKA dragon - and it's not a stretch to assume "MEKA" might stand for "mechanical".
  • Stealth Pun: The Grim Reaper and its upgraded version Gold Collector. The certainties of death and taxes come to mind.