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Japanese arcade flyer, depicting Leo & Princess Purapril as well as the game's mechanics
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, sometimes shortened to simply Monster Lair, is the third game in the Wonder Boy series. An auto-scrolling platform game/Shoot 'em Up hybrid, it is the only game in the series to offer 2-players co-op play. Players control either the Leo or Purapril, as they set off to follow in the footsteps of Bocke Lee Temjin and free their land from a monster invasion.
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Originally released in 1988, it was the last "Wonder Boy" game released for the arcades and saw home versions for the TurboGrafx-CD in 1989 and the Mega Drive in 1990.

Tropes in Monster Lair:

  • Adaptational Badass: The King Myconid. In Monster Land, it's a coward who relies on minions. In Monster World, it's a Warm-Up Boss. In this game, it's a ruthless late-game boss who can only be defeated by its heart getting struck, and it has to be revealed through shots and a slot machine.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Once you beat the game, you get to play through again wearing the Legendary Armor, with a higher difficulty level.
  • Bee Afraid: Round 4 and its boss. It's full of bees to act as mooks, and the boss has two phases. A beehive that summons minions, and an agile queen bee right after.
  • Big Fancy Castle: The sixth stage. The prior stage has you ascending a mountain to reach the castle.
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  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The arcade version's ending text. "The invaders from the space were destroyed by your courageous fight..." The Mega Drive's ending screen isn't much better.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The manual for the TurboGrafx-16 version calls the protagonist Adam, but the high scores still show his name as Leo. Worse, the manual lists the Legendary Armor as the "Legendary Weapon of Complete Destruction".
  • Evil Doppelgänger: At first, the final boss appears to be Book the Hero or the original Wonder Boy (hence his name in the title), but it turns out to be an alien imposter. He still uses the abilities of the hero, though.
  • Gameplay Roulette: The first half of each round is Auto Scrolling platforming, the second half, where you fight the boss, is Shoot 'em Up.
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  • Gaiden Game: This picks up from the ending of the arcade version of Monster Land, where aliens steal the Legendary equipment. This is inconsistent with the SMS sequel, where Book the Hero leaves it behind in the collapsing castle after being cursed, but regains it near the end of the game.
  • King Mook: About half the bosses, including a giant snake, a giant fish, a giant bat, the Queen Wasp, a cactus jack-o-lantern, a Giant Enemy Crab, etc. The King Demon from Monster Land also returns.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Most of the stages, as well as the boss battles, end before you get to hear the entirety of the music, at least in the TurboGrafx-CD version.
  • Market-Based Title: The TurboGrafx-CD version drops the Wonder Boy III part of the title and is simply called Monster Lair. This does not apply to the PC Engine version, which still used the arcade game's full title.
  • Monster Town: Round 10 is a village inhabited by the Myconid mushroom mooks from Monster Land, and the boss is a giant version.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Big Bad and Final Boss reveals his grotesque true form after you slay his dragon.
  • Point of No Continues: You'll no longer be allowed to continue once you reach the Final Boss.
  • Rocket Punch: Round 13's boss has this. His fist is very fast and homes on the player.
  • Segmented Serpent: The boss of Round 2. A giant snake whose parts must all be shot enough times before it can be defeated.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Just like the first game, with the food acting as timer. Fruit can extend your decreasing time limit, and there is a fairy who can turn them into even more useful sweets, and a grim reaper who turns them into useless flowers.

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