VGM of the Week: The Ice World (Wonder Boy 3: Monster Lair)

Monday, June 8th, 2015

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Welcome to this week’s VGM of the week. This week, our song comes to us from Wonder Boy 3: Monster Lair, a series with some very confusing history that I don’t feel like going into right now. I will just say that this is not the same game as Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon’s Trap on the Master System. The song also sounds different depending on which version of the game it is in, starting with the arcade version.

With this song, we have a pretty catchy tune that sounds right around the quality of the Japanese Master System. However, this one is probably the weakest version of the song. While it is still a good song in its own right, it is simply eclipsed by the other two versions of the song.

This specific arrangement of the song allows you to hear more of the melody and is just of better quality. Specifically, the bell portion is not nearly as restricted, and there is less of a focus on the metallic sounding synthesized trumpet… things. As for the atmosphere of the song, it certainly does not sound like the typical ice level theme, as with most of the music in this game. However, there are some subtle differences that make it fitting for an ice level. First of all, those opening notes have a subtle icy feel to them that is more prevalent in the Genesis version. Secondly, there are those bell notes and the higher pitched notes that follow it that provide a slight contrast to the rest of the game’s soundtrack. This really manages to help the piece stick out in a game that, admittedly, does not have the most memorable soundtrack.

And then there is the TurboGrafx-CD version. A lot of the same descriptions can apply to this version, but there is a noticeably different sound to it that is a lot catchier. There is also much higher instrument quality, and it comes across as much more clear and stylish. I’d definitely say that this is my favorite of the three versions.

For those who are interested, the Genesis version of Wonder Boy 3: Monster Lair has been ported to Steam and only costs $3.00. For some strange reason, both the TurboGrafx and Genesis version are also on the Wii Virtual Console, but the Genesis version costs two dollars more. Also the TurboGrafx version is just titled as “Monster Lair” on the Virtual Console if you need to play it on a console so no need to let that slip you up. Well, that concludes this week’s VGM of the Week and see you all next week.

About Annie Gallagher

My name is Annie Gallagher. I am 20 year old trans girl who has yet to go through any form of transitioning, just to explain the profile pic. I have always had an interest an interest gaming, but the more time I spent with this interest, the more knowledgeable and devoted I have become to it. I am typically not the type of girl who would stay up all night playing one game, but I would be lying if I said that I did not think about them every day at one point. I generally tend to take a lot of interest in the much lesser known and niche games simply because I like the idea of discovering something that no one else has. However, that does not mean that I dislike popular games. My personal favorite game genres are JRPGs, visual novels, horror games, and platformers, and basically anything with a good story. I am also a person who enjoys being able to share my own opinions with other like minded people.