Tackling Wonder Boy’s Hard Mode

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Of all the possible achievements/trophies for Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, the most difficult to obtain (besides the one that pops for nabbing that damned mouse charm stone) is “Hard Earned”. This involves clearing the game on Hard Mode. Since a recent patch across all ports of the game. putting in one of your old passwords to max out your stats and go straight to the final boss on hard will no longer cut it. Fortunately, the patch also features some tweaks in regards to balancing this particular mode, making the feat a little more reasonable. I just wanted to pass on some words of wisdom to those looking to get this trophy/achievement after finally having done it myself.

Replay the game on Normal first

Since Hard throws in a timer that will damage the player after thirty seconds (similar to Wonder Boy II), it’s important to know the nooks and crannies of this sometime cryptic game. Knowing the location of treasure rooms that can be farmed for gold (by going to them, popping open the chest and then backing out to the main menu and repeating) and other items is crucial…more so than it would be playing the game on normal. Here is one of the most valuable of these spots.

At the latest, I’d recommend farming here before going to take on Daimyo Dragon. Due to the overpowered nature of the ninjas found in his temple AND the timer giving you additional damage, it’s essential to get some of the more costly equipment before even making an attempt.

Boomerangs Are Best

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If you’re a fan of James Rolfe and Mike Matei, let me put it this way- boomerangs are “the knife” for this game. You can build up a stockpile of them while traveling to the area in the above video, and they make the sunken pirate ship and the dreadful ninja/samurai temple a lot easier. They can clip through walls and damage monsters through them, they do a decent amount of damage to most of them (excluding monsters) and keep you from having to move in and risk taking sometimes copious amounts of damage should you miss your stab. In addition, they can also snatch up whatever items an enemy may drop after dying.

 

Keeping Your Sub Weapons

Death is considerably taxing in The Dragon’s Trap. Not only will it boot you back to the church at the very beginning of the game, but you’ll also lose every sub weapon you had (which is arguably the bigger burden).

There’s a way around this though. If you know you’re about to die and have no chance of moving forward, back out to the main menu. You’ll be back at the church, sure, but it’ll give you a chance to catch your breath and heal as this area is one of few places where the damage dealing timer does not apply. More importantly, you’ll still have all your sub weapons so that you won’t need to farm for more just for another shot at whatever area is giving you hell. Some may consider this cheating or a cop-out, but considering some people were using the password trick to get this trophy in mere minutes prior to the patch, I wouldn’t feel too bad about doing this while it’s still possible.

Hopefully, this saves a few controllers. If there’s anything else you think should be here, feel free to let me know over on Twitter @retrorev96 or in the comments section.

 

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