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Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is a side-scrolling action-RPG developed by Inin and published by G Choice for the Nintendo Switch and Sony Playstation 4. It was released in April 2021 in Japan, and the following month worldwide, with a PC version slated for Summer 2021. It is a 2.5D remake of the sixth entry in the Wonder Boy and Monster World series, Monster World IV, which released in Japan in 1994 and North America and Europe in 2012.
Like its source material, Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is a mix of the action-adventure, platforming and RPG genres, in which the player traverses a landscape now rendered in 3D graphics, defending the titular Monster World from danger.
The protagonist of this game is Asha, a young woman from Estafan Village who is inspired to become a warrior after hearing pleas for help carried on the desert winds. She is joined on her travels by the Pepelogoo, a mysterious creature hatched from an egg, who can be called upon to help Asha traverse difficult terrain. Armed only with a sword and shield, further equipment upgrades can be purchased in the capital city of Rapadagna, with merchants selling swords, shields and armour to better equip Asha for her perilous journey.
Asha's health is measured through two life meters; pink hearts reflect the damage that her equipped armour can withstand, and blue hearts which Asha increases over the course of her adventure through collecting Life Drops hidden across the land.
Although the game plays very similarly to the original, some improvements have been made for an easier experience. By striking enemies and filling up a gauge, Asha can now perform the Magical Hit, which inflicts much more damage to enemies when it connects. Some of her equipment will randomly fill up the gauge in place of taking damage. In the original game, the player had to talk to the Sage in order to save their progress, but players can now save whenever they please outside of boss battles. In the original, players could not return to dungeons upon completing them, but here they are allowed to, although certain Life Drops can not be obtained if they were not collected the first time.
The 16-bit soundtrack can be unlocked through a code, and upon completing the game, players can find the Secret Merchant, who maxes out her gold and sells the most powerful weapons and armor in the game.
Template:Expand section The game is a remake of Monster World IV and shares the same plot of the original game.
- Asha is a young, green-haired girl dressed in Arabian-influenced nomadic gear. Sensitive to the presence of spirits, Asha is able to hear the pleas of the four spirits, and ultimately endeavors to become a warrior and free them.
- Pepelogoo is a race of small, spherical-shaped monsters, who flap their ears to fly. While most Pepelogoos in Monster World are yellow, Asha's is blue. He is seen as more than just a curiosity to several people in Monster World; as in ancient days, the blue ones had been all but wiped out by people fearful of their magical abilities.
- Praprill XIII, descendant of Purapril from the previous Monster World games, and ruler of the kingdom.
- The Sage of Save is an elderly man who travels across Monster World, popping up in unexpected places, and recording people's memories. In the original game, he would appear in various places to save the player's progress. Here, he tells players that they can save whenever they want, which puts him out of a job, but he'll still appear to offer tips and support instead. He also appears with Asha on the save/load screen.
- Lamp Spirit is a sarcastic spirit being who resides in an old oil lamp. He becomes Asha's companion and servant on her quest, which he treats as just another hum-drum activity he will do before he is (as with several classical genie stories) lost for another one thousand years. He is the one who transports Asha.
- The four spirits tasked by the previous Wonder Boy with protecting Monster World after the events of the previous game:
- The Earth Spirit, Lotto, a young fire-breathing dragon who provided Shion with assistance around Begonia, the Dragon Village;
- The Moon Spirit, Shabo, a Grim Reaper-esque familiar who offered aid in the frozen wasteland of Childam, the Darkworld Village;
- The Sun Spirit, Hotta, the dwarf child, whose background is rooted in the swampy area of Lilypad, the Dwarf Village;
- The Wind Spirit, Priscilla, a Fairy Sprite originally hailing from Alsedo, the Fairy Village.
- The four wizards - the Flame Wizard, the Water Wizard, the Ice Wizard, and the Cloud Wizard - responsible for capturing the four spirits, working for an unknown being.
In August 2020, ININ Games and G Choice announced the development of Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World during the Gamescom Awesome Indies Showcase. The showcase featured a trailer for the game using developmental footage, showing several iconic moments from the story including:
- Asha hearing the spirits' pleas carried by the breeze, from the opening cinematic;
- Asha fighting, and later defeating, the Millipede found in the Tower of Silence; and,
- Asha meeting the Lamp Spirit for the first time; amongst many others.
This work is a full remake version of the 2D Side Scroll Action Game, "Monster World IV", with the graphic set to full 3D to greatly enhance the visuals and the gameplay content to be more sophisticated. In addition to visual changes, we are planning additional elements such as New Game Mode. In addition, Series' first Character Voice is included! Stay tuned for Asha's Voice!
The physical versions of the game also include the original Monster World IV. The Playstation 4 version includes a download code, while the Switch card carries both games on it, presenting both as separate games on the main menu. This emulated port offers several visual filter options to mimic how the game would appear on a CRT television.