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Life & Gaming: The Profound Intersection of one Person's Experience


Maybe you've heard that some of the games in the Turbografx-16 section of the Virtual Console are the same as games in the Sega Genesis section of the Virtual Console, just with different sprites for the main characters and a different plot. This has probably confused you greatly (if you care at all, that is). What exactly is and isn't part of this so called Wonderboy series you might have been hearing about? Well, it's far more complicated than it needs to be and you have every right to say WTF! However, I'm going to try and lay it all out here for you so that it's simple to understand (or at least as simple as I can possibly make it).

Okay, so it all began simply enough. There was a game released to the arcades in Japan known as Wonderboy. The problem began when it came time to port it to home consoles. Sega, whom had released the original arcade game, had a deal with the developer where they owned the game code and levels, but Sega owned the story and characters. With the Sega Master System being thuroughly trounced around the world, Hudson wanted to get money off of the game on more viable platforms.

Sega Master System: Wonderboy
Nintendo Entertainment System: Adventure Island

Adventure Island featured a different hero and some different graphics and a 'different' story. It would go on to spawn many Adventure Island sequels that had nothing to do with the Wonderboy series and, humorously enough, would outsell it.


Anyways, next there was an Arcade game known as Wonderboy in Monsterland. The gameplay of this game was very different from the first game, and would do much to set the stage for later Wonderboy games to follow. As before ports to the home market got made by Hudson (as well as one unofficial rip off port by Jaleco). As Hudson at the time was trying to support their own platform, the Turbografx-16, they released a conversion with the characters replaced with the cast of a popular anime of the the time known as Bikkuriman. Jaleco's rip-off replaced characters with people from the famous chinese novel, "Journey to the West".

  • Sega Master System: Wonderboy in Monsterland
  • Turbografx-16: Bikkuriman World (Japan Only)
  • Nintendo Entertainment System: Saiyuki World (Japan Only)

    Interestingly enough, an original sequel was made to Saiyuki World, that like the Adventure Island games had nothing to do with Wonderboy at all, that got released in the US as Whomp'em.

    Eventually a third arcade game got made, and this one was known as Wonderboy III: Monster Lair. While ported to the Sega Genesis, this version never became released in the US (but it did hit Europe). However, a port to the Turbografx-16, with the requisite modifications, did reach the US. This happened to be a CD Enhanced version.

  • Sega Genesis: Wonderboy III: Monster Lair (Japan and Europe only)
  • Turbografx-16: Monster Lair (CD Enhanced)

    Next came a game made directly for the Sega Master System, that didn't start out as an arcade game, that in Japan was known as Monsterland II: The Dragon's Trap. It was a direct continuation of the ending found at the end of Wonderboy II, with the first level being a retcon style replaying of the final level of Wonderboy II in a style similar to what people saw at the beginning of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. As the REAL Wonderboy III had never been brought to the US under that name (but the TG-16 version of the game did get here), and it took place directly after the end of Wonderboy II, Sega chose to release it here as Wonderboy III. As always, there was another Turbografx-16 port.

  • Sega Master System: Wonderboy III: The Dragon's Trap
  • Turbografx-16: Dragon's Curse

    Next we have another console original title developed in Japan for the Sega Genesis, this time known in Japan as Wonderboy V: Monster World III. Now naming it that is just being ridiculous. This game was ported to the TurboGrafx-16 as a massively updated CD enchanced game with opening and ending FMVs, but again with a different cast and plot. The following are the names that this game is known as in the US.

  • Sega Genesis: Wonderboy in the Monster World
  • Turbografx-16: The Dynastic Hero (CD Enhanced)

    Much later, after Sega stopped being involved, a sequel was made to the 'Monster World' series that wasn't technically an official Wonderboy game (even if it did reference previous Wonderboy games that fell in the 'Monster World' portion of the series). This game was never released in the US, but it has appeared on the Virtual Console in Japan already. As Sin & Punishment shows, there's a chance this might come here as well. This game was known as Monster World IV (even though I'd argue it should be Monster World V). You can currently play this game on Gametap, but that copy is completely untranslated.

  • Sega Genesis: Monster World IV

    And for those of you who were wondering, in production order the sequence of Adventure Island games are:

    Adventure Island (NES), Adventure Island II (NES), Super Adventure Island (SNES), New Adventure Island (TG-16), Adventure Island 3 (NES), Aventure Island 4 (NES, Japan Only), Super Adventure Island II (SNES, and contained gameplay that was far more like later Wonderboy games)

    So, after listing all of this, all I have to say is WTF Husdon... WTF! Understanding all of this on the Virtual Console is bad enough as it is, but I'm sure you'll be willing to make it even worse for us by adding all of the Sega Master System releases to the Virtual Console as well should Nintendo ever choose to add Sega Master System support! I understand that you weren't allowed to use the Wonderboy name on the Turbografx-16, but couldn't you have at least had some sort of consist naming for the releases on that system!? Worse yet, what's up with stuff like "Wonderboy 5: Monster World 3"? It's the 4th game in Japan to actually use the Wonderboy title (even if it is the 5th in continuity) and the 4th game in the 'Monster World' subsection continuity (and yet you only call it 3)!

    But if you think this was bad, you should look up how they named Bonk games across various consoles in Japan... EEEGH!

    -Clovis Dye

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