Wonder Boy (ワンダーボーイ) is an arcade game developed by Escape/Sega in 1986. It is a platform game that runs on Sega System 1 hardware, and lead to numerous sequels for a variety of platforms.
In Wonder Boy, the player controls a caveman-like character named Tom-Tom through seven areas with four rounds to save his girlfriend Tanya from a monster. There are numerous items hidden in eggs, including hammers, skateboards and fairies.
Wonder Boy was later ported to the Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Sega Game Gear, Sega SG-1000, Sega Master System, and ZX Spectrum. The Master System version of the game was made available through the Wii's Virtual Console service in 2008. The Japanese Master System version is called Super Wonder Boy (スーパーワンダーボーイ), and the American Game Gear version was renamed Revenge of Drancon for unknown reasons.
Wonder Boy is notable for branching off into two different series during the late 1980s. Escape (now Westone) initially had a deal with Sega in which Sega owned the rights to the names and characters featured in Wonder Boy, but Westone owned everything else (i.e. the source code). As Westone had another deal with Hudson Soft to develop games for them, Wonder Boy was brought to the Nintendo Entertainment System under the name of Adventure Island. Adventure Island was a huge success, leading to numerous sequels featuring the same character.
Westone would later release Wonder Boy in Monster Land, the first official sequel to Wonder Boy, however, unlike Adventure Island, this would take the form of a RPG/platformer crossover, in which Tom-Tom is armed with a sword and has to slay monsters. This formula also proved to be a success, particularly on the Sega Master System, and lead to numerous sequels also. To make matters worse, many of these games were also altered for release on the TurboGrafX-16 under different names (including another Adventure Island).
Though there are still games being produced which follow the original Wonder Boy/Adventure Island formula, there has not been a game that follows the Monster Land formula since 1994. There is a strong fanbase which wishes for new Monster Land games, including the creators of the MEKA emulator, which is named after an enemy in Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap.