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Video Game / Wonder Boy in Monster Land

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Bocke Lee Temjin on his way in now-invaded 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 Sega 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:

  • 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 Wonder Landnote  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. Both characters were also implied to be one and the same in the manual and remake of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, but Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom later treats them as two separate characters.
  • 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, possibly the third boss.
  • "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. Thankfully, the English Arcade edition (through Virtual Console and Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World) does away with all that and gives us a proper translation which does not end as such:
    War is over
    We regained our peace.
    But, be careful. More tests wait for you.
    Bye! MONSTER LAND . So long.
  • Boss Rush: The Final Dungeon, at least in the arcade version.
  • Chain of Deals: The primary sidequest has you go around various towns to obtain one of the two useful items needed for the final dungeon. The items in question are a bell that allows you to progress through the maze quite easily, or a ruby that depletes the dragon's health to a half.
  • Continuing is Painful: The arcade version restarts the section with the amount of gold at which you entered - only points (required for extra hearts) gets reset. Compared to the baseline, the Amiga version wipes all gold, and restores the player without a shield. And in the final stage, there is permadeath.
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: When completing a world on the Amiga port.
  • King Mook: The Myconid Master (giant version of the mushroom mooks), Giant Kong (giant ape), Snow Kong (giant snow 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. The bell helps you find the correct path without trial and error.
  • 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, unless you gain more lives through score (and continuing is impossible). Wherein the Arcade version, the bosses are much much more difficult; but by adding credits if necessary, you can continue playing should you die (up until you reach the final stage)… take your pick.
  • One-Winged Angel: When you have to fight the final boss again, it shows its true, mechanical form.
  • Optional 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.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: After 99% of the game consisting of medieval swords & sorcery, the evil tyrannical dragon conqueror turns out to be a robot crafted by space aliens who flee in a flying saucer following the dragon's defeat. The only things even remotely foreshadowing this are a line from one of the barkeepers claiming the dragon arrived in an "airship" and the obviously hi-tech room right before the final fight.
  • Palette Swap: Three of the bosses, notably the Death Master, Knight, and Giant Kong, as well as some of the mooks, have recolored variants, sometimes with different attacks, other times with simply more health.
  • Permadeath: Some ports, including the Amiga and SMS, forbid you continuous play at all points.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Since there is almost no ability to backtrack in the game, failing to find one of the secret areas in the Chain of Deals sidequest basically makes the entire quest impossible to complete. A particularly egregious example considering that the reward for the quest is either a bell (which chimes when you are going the right way in the final dungeon, making the whole thing significantly easier) or a ruby (which automatically all but defeats the final boss's first form).
  • Point of No Continues: You can't continue anymore in the arcade version once you reach the Very Definitely Final Dungeon; if you die there, your game will be over instantly and for real even if there are credits available!
  • Pop Quiz: The Sphinx Puzzle Boss gives you a riddle to solve. Guess correctly, and it will spare you. Guess wrong however, and you have to fight it.
  • Robotic Reveal: The final boss is revealed to be a mechanical dragon right after the hero defeats it and has to fight it again.
  • 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"). Many 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 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 Death Master and its upgraded version Coin Collector. The certainties of death and taxes come to mind.
  • Stone Wall: The grey Ghosts. They don't have any attacks, only low damage in contact, but take forever to die, tanking more hits than a Red Knight in the same room.
  • Timed Mission: There's an hourglass at the bottom-left corner. When it runs out, it will flip over and deal damage. There's plenty of things that can reset the timer while preserving your life energy (except for the Amiga version.)