Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap Has a New Playable Hero

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Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap Has a New Playable Hero

Introducing Wonder Girl, the latest adventurer to join the roster of characters in this modern restoration of a platforming classic.

Hi, I’m Ben Fiquet, co-founder and art director at Paris-based Lizardcube. We’re a new company founded by Omar Cornut and myself. I’m the artist responsible for all the visuals in Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap.

Originally released in 1989, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap (aka Wonder Boy III) helped define the “Metroidvania” genre with its unique blend of action, exploration, platforming, and role-playing elements. Over the years the game has attracted a large following and is now widely considered one of the 8-bit era’s finest titles.

The Lizardcube and DotEmu teams loved the original game so much that we decided to team up and restore it, creating a new version with carefully crafted, hand-drawn 2D animations and a re-orchestrated soundtrack. Over the past few months we’ve showcased the various half-animal, playable characters, along with the popular Retro feature. But we haven’t yet revealed the new human hero design, and speculation has been rampant.

There’s a simple explanation for keeping the character’s identity a secret: we wanted it to be a surprise. But now it’s time for the grand unveiling.

Along with Wonder Boy in his classic form, you can now play as the totally awesome, totally radical Wonder Girl!

Over the years we’ve seen many different versions of Wonder Boy, depending on the specific game or console. Even the concept art had radically different characters. With such a diverse foundation to build from, it was on me to decide which direction to move in for this latest contribution to the Wonder Boy saga.

I remember as a kid, just looking at those tiny little pixels on my TV made my imagination run wild. So the obvious design choice was to start with the material I’d spent countless hours enjoying. I began with the original sprites from the Master System, aiming for a 21st-century reinterpretation.

Here’s a look at some early character development:

It’s tricky redesigning a game that players worldwide hold dear. I hope we did it justice and that new and veteran players alike will love the game and its “new coat of paint.”

Of course, you still need a contingency plan, right? In this case, if a player really digs the old-school style, he/she can switch from the new HD visuals to the original graphics (and original soundtrack) just by pressing the handy Retro button. Go ahead. Do it. I won’t judge you.

Working on this beloved classic was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our love and passion is infused throughout, and we hope you like it. Thanks for reading, and remember the PS4 release date is just around the corner: April 18, 2017!

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10 Author Replies

  • Looks promising ! Can we expect a platinum trophy for the game?

  • Single player or does it have co op? I’ll love to play this game whit my kids, sorry i never played the original so i don’t know this

    • It’s a single player game only like the original was sorry. As a father, I would also have love to be able to play together with my daughter but you can still explore the world of Wonder Boy together. There is a lot of secrets to uncover

    • @ Ben Fiquet:

      While you guys are at it, port the ENTIRE series to current gen platforms (Vita, Switch, X1, PS4, PC and 3DS), PLEASE!
      Keep up the great work!

  • Congrats for the beautiful art and animations Ben!!! :)

    I get the nostalgia thing about retro games (and I would like to see a lot redone myself, like Double Dragon, River City Ransom, SpeedBall 2 and a lot of others games I played back in the day) but I don’t get the pixelated look nostalgia that much… :/ I mean, we all buy 1080/4K tvs to play 8 bits pixels games? lol

    Really, the art you’ve done is looking great, can’t wait to see it in real on my tv!

  • As a huge fan of the original WBIII: Dragon’s Trap, I gotta say you guys made an impressive job reimagining the world while keeping the gameplay intact. These new hand-drawn sprites shows so much love and capture the magic of the original. Having retro mode with wide screen is also a pleasant option.

    Buying this day 1

  • Thank you. I really wanted to use traditionnal animation because I think it’s way more lively than any other techniques.
    With the retro-switch option, you can also see that with the same inputs, you can convey much more just by adding animation

  • The day before my birthday. I guess it’s a early birthday present to me from me. Looks great. Is a price point set?

    • It is priced at 19.99€ on the european PS Store, currently discounted for members of Playstation Plus at 15.99€
      It will certainly be the same price range for US

  • Is this releasing digitally only or will there be a physical copy also?

  • Loving the art style!

  • Im in love!!! Dont quite remember this one, prob cuz I never owned a Sega system. Keep this kinda stuff comin!

  • Been lurking on your website, tumblr, and twitter accounts about this project for a while. Big fan of your art style. Congrats on making this project a reality! Day one purchase!

  • Ben, I’ll try to keep this brief, but allow me to wax poetic for just a moment. While my gaming experiences began on an Apple IIe with the likes of Roger Wilco’s Space Quest, King’s Quest, and the Atari 2600’s classics (my all time favorite being Maze Craze), it wasn’t until I received my own personal console that I truly saw the magic of video games. That console? The SEGA Master System. It was all I wanted for my birthday, and my Dad & Uncle bought this huge starter pack from Macy’s (yeah, they used to sell video games). Wonder Boy was one of the first games I had received, and I was enthralled by it…and subsequently Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Monster Lair, and Dragon’s Trap. It was an obsession to say the least.

    That said, I’ve been following this project for quite some time, and though it may seem odd to many, it’s one of TWO of my most anticipated releases. I cannot wait for this to hit…it will be all I know once it does. <3

    • Thanks man
      I was a Sega kid myself and the master system was my first console. Growing up in a deserted french countryside, that was a great escape .

  • I love the visual style! Very cool.

  • I love the rise of modern retro games. PS4 has been really good for that.

  • WOW Ben! You’ve done an outstanding job on the visuals, this game looks gorgeous!

  • Thanks everyone, I can’t reply to you all but I feel the love. Hope you will feel all the care we’ve put into this game .

  • Any chance this game will come to PS Vita?

  • Looking forward to playing this game again. Thank you Ben and everyone involved.
    Now to decide if I’ll play this in 8-Bit, new visuals, or do multiple playthroughs on both. :D

  • I’m really looking forward to this!
    Wonder Girl and the 8-bit mode are pretty sweet!
    This is going to be a day-one purchase for sure!

  • Looks awesome, can’t wait to play it! Can you remake “My Hero” next?

  • While she’s no replacement for Asha – man, I love Monster World IV – she’s super cool looking! You guys & gals at Lizardcube are really, really KILLING IT with this remake; this is just fantastic work! And I’m glad you – and the team working on Monster Boy at FDG Entertainment as well – are bringing back this series (and continuing its oddly fragmented naming system. I keep expecting someone to announce a new Adventure Island too just to add to the silliness, lol). Can’t wait to play this next month! With this and Capcom’s Disney Afternoon Collection coming out, April’s going to be all about the return of old school titles, far as I’m concerned :D

  • I’m glad, Monster World IV was my favorite.

  • I’m so excited for this game! I used to play this (Dragon’s Curse) non-stop on my TurboExpress back in the day.

  • No Vita release?

  • Love it!
    Is there any chance we can get Monica’s Gang skins, for old time’s sake? The license is free to use, as far as I remember.

    • haha, that’s not how license works
      But we hear you, Brazilian players. I wish it would have been easy to add those characters as well but it was already a licensing nightmare to begin with.
      Trying to implement that would have required more of very complicated licensing deal and also adding a lot of animations.
      It would have been cool, I confess :)

    • I recall the usage of the characters being free as long as it didn’t hurt their image or something like that. It may have changed in the past few years…
      Thanks for trying, though!
      Let’s hope for a moddable PC release ;)
      I’ll be looking forward to the rest of the series too!

  • love the art. Gz on a great job.

  • These crazy appealing designs have really put this game on my radar! Congrats on the solid effort!

  • Finally a date. The Wonderboy series were some of my favourite games growing up but number 3 will always have a special place in my heart. Glad it finally have a release date you have all done a fantastic job.

  • looks great, hopefully will come to PSV

  • This reminds me a bit of the Shantae games. Which is a good thing. I’ll keep an eye on this.

  • I’m so excited. Great work.

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