Wonder Boy
Image: Westone / Sega

We recently asked you, our dear readers, which Wonder Boy game was your favourite, and your votes helped put together our guide to the best Wonder Boy games.

The poll caught the attention of none other than Wonder Boy creator Ryuichi Nishizawa, who also cast his vote and helped shape the final ranking. But, you might well be pondering, which game did Nishizawa-san pick as his favourite?

The answer is the second outing, Wonder Boy in Monster Land. Released in Japanese arcades in 1987, it would make its Western debut on the Master System the following year before being ported to formats like the C64 and Atari ST in 1989.

While it only got enough votes to claim 5th place in our list, there's a good reason for Nishizawa's fondness towards Monster Land – it essentially laid down the template which all future Wonder Boy games would follow.

You see, the original 1986 Wonder Boy was a pretty straightforward 2D platformer, but Monster Land changed things up by adding in light RPG elements such as gold, gear and NPC characters to interact with.

While it stopped short of introducing the non-linear world that would make the likes of Dragon's Trap and Monster World so appealing, Monster Land is undoubtedly a key title in Wonder Boy's development – so we can see why it has a special place in Nishizawa's heart.

[source twitter.com]