This (Monster) Land is your (Monster) Land

Wonder Boy's third Switch appearance! What is this, the 1980s!?

I never managed to beat Wonder Boy in Monster Land. It was one of my earliest Master System games and it thwarted me at every attempt. In the earliest days, my runs would normally stall out at the stone-throwing King Kong-esque mini-boss. After that, I was able to reach the Sphinx boss every time, but I'd always be defeated by him after failing to answer his trivia question correctly. At the time I didn't know you could buy drinks from the tavern in order to be given the solutions by the bartender.

I was too young to drink anyway.

I made it to the end a few times, even following the hidden quest to acquire the Bell or the Ruby. And I'd always, foolishly, pick the Ruby. What I didn't know was that the Bell would chime to show you the correct route through the enormous, maze-like final stage. I'd get there with the useless Ruby and stumble blindly around through the looping corridors until I ran out of time, my energy drained to zero, and I literally cried like a tiny child. Because I was, in fact, a tiny child.

And now, Monster Land is on the Switch. Of course, it's based on the arcade version, which is presumably even harder. I am prepared to cry and sob anew. That said, it's M2, which means extras galore. This version is packing a brilliant-sounding New Game + mode that lets you carry over your items from your previous failed run, which means I might actually be able to finish the game with a war of attrition. Very exciting stuff. I'll finally reach the very end and then I, too, will be a wonderful boy.