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A new adventurer joins PS4 action remake Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap

The game's creator introduces Wonder Girl and offers an insight into its character creation

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: 18th April 2017!

9 Comments
0 Author replies
1

It’s looking great guys I have already pre-ordered it. This looks like nostalgia done right

You guys have gone above and beyond to deliver on this game. A day 1 buy for me.

CluckNuggets 22 March, 2017 @ 19:32
3

I’m genuinely excited to play this game. I can’t believe it’s finally coming in April. I’m also happy that this is multi-platform, it’s an ideal game for the Switch.

Carnivius_Prime 22 March, 2017 @ 23:02
4

One of the few HD remakes of an old 2D console game where I feel the new graphics are very much warranted. Unlike that awful Street Fighter 2 HD. This one looks beautiful.

5

Thanks very much guys , I hope you’ll feel all the love and care we’ve put into this game

One of my favorite 8-bit games of all time. Really hoping this update does the game justice. Very pleased you can switch between modern and retro graphics with the touch of a button. All remakes should allow this!

EquilibriumStone 23 March, 2017 @ 14:38
7

Never player dragons trap but now i will. I remember wonderboy in mosterland when i was 6-7 on the arcades!
Will you be having a physical copy of the game released? Im still waiting just in case before preordering! Very good work, congrats!

Rothnihalias 25 March, 2017 @ 09:35
8

The game is beautifully designed. The style is incredible! My only concern is the gameplay which seems simplistic and the character development which feels almost necessary after you’ve visually fleshed these characters out so well. Even if I don’t end up buying this specific title I’ll have this company on my radar from now on, I hope these developers can continue to output such remarkable art.

CluckNuggets 25 March, 2017 @ 19:18
8.1

It’s a remake of an old Master System game, of course the gameplay will be simplistic, that’s why they have the 8-bit mode too.

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