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VIDEO: Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap – Switch Between HD & 8-Bit On The Fly


Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a remake of the classic Sega Master System game that released back in 1989. The game has been completely remade with new graphics and music, but the team has also included the original 8-bit version, which you can access with a click of a button anytime you like. Even more radical is that you can actually use your old passwords from the original game to continue in this one and vice versa!

The game is scheduled to release this Spring for the Nintendo Switch. For more information, be sure to check out our preview.


A while ago we have discussed some of our work on Reverse Engineering the original 1989 version. What we kept quiet at the time is how our technique subsequently evolved, and the project evolved with it. The technology behind the game has been rewritten and we had something very specific in mind that we are happy to finally announce today.

  • You will able to change between 1989 retro graphics and 2017 modern animated graphics anytime, anywhere, at the press of a single button!
  • You will able to change between 1989 retro music/sfx and 2017 modern music/sfx anytime, anywhere, at the press of a single button!
  • You can mix and match: retro graphics + modern audio, modern graphics + retro audio. You can also can mix and match modern music + retro sound effect or vice-versa.
  • The retro modes are running in widescreen, 60 FPS (constrast to the original Master System version running in 4:3 ratio with a refresh rate of 25 or 30 FPS depending on your console region). So the scrolling and physics are now smoother.
  • We worked very hard and implemented some crazy underlying technology to nail the game details so that it would feels just like the original, down to random drops. For those technically inclined, we hope to describe some of the technology we created in a future blog post.
  • Tech trivia: for a same given object, the pixel resolution has been multiplied by 6 on each axis. In the original version the “blocks” were 16×16 = 256 pixels, in the new versions they are 96×96 = 9216 pixels each. So the amount of pixels for a same object has been multiplied by 36! The game is rather heavy on texture data 🙂
  • The game will accept your original passwords from the Sega Master System and Game Gear versions of the game! So you can effectively load a “save” from decades ago.
  • The game will be able to emit new passwords that will work on the original 1989 and 1991 versions. You can also use those passwords to transfer your game accross any platform the game is targetting.
  • The game will launch in Spring 2017 on the Nintendo Switch, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. The PC version should come shortly after (in the best case scenario we may be able to release it on the same date, but it may need to be delayed because PC compatibility is really tough to get right).
  • Maybe some other surprises? …


[Source: Lizardcube & DotEmu]


Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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