Wonderboy – Commodore 64

Wonderboy C64 front cover

Wonderboy Front Cover

Wonderboy Game Credits

  • Published by: Activision Limited
  • Developed by: Escape
  • Released: 1987
  • Genre: Action, Arcade, Platformer

Wonderboy The Game

Wonderboy was originally an arcade game.  I remember playing it on an arcade machine in my local café when I was a child.  When I was able to get a go that is, the older kids used to hog it.  Wonderboy was converted to many machines but today I’m going to take a look at a Wonderboy on the Commodore 64.

Wonderboy is an side scrolling arcade platformer developed by Escape and released by Activision/SEGA on the Commodore 64 in 1987.  The game was coded by James Smart whom was also behind the music.  The graphics were by Andrew Pang.

Wonderboy Story

The basic story of the game is that your girlfriend has been kidnapped by the evil king and you have to travel across several different lands to rescue her.  I’ve heard this somewhere before.  As you run and jump your way across the landscapes you must avoid different obstacles such as rocks, rolling boulders, fires and animals such as snakes, bats, snails and frogs.

You must complete each stage before your energy runs out, you can top your energy up by collecting various food items.  There are also various items that will help you on your journey.  These items are found inside eggs.  The most useful item is the axe, with which you can kill the animals.  If don’t have the axe, some places in the game become very difficult if not impossible.  Another useful item is the Guardian Angel.  The Guardian Angel only lasts for short amount of time but all enemies and obstacles can be destroyed when she is with you.

The skateboard is helpful in some parts of the game but it is also a hindrance in others.  When you have the skateboard you can not stop moving, you can slow yourself down but you will continue to move forward.  It allows you to take a hit but that is as much use as you get from it on the Commodore 64 version, it was far better on the original arcade version.  I mean you can’t even do a 360 kickflip on it ?.  The skateboard was only incorporated into the game when the creators of the original game found a skateboard on the terrace of their rented apartment.

Is Wonderboy on the Commodore 64 Naff?

Wonderboy Rating C64

7 / 10

No, it’s not naff but it’s not great either.  The converted version for the Commodore 64 is an average platformer.  The graphics aren’t bad, colourful and clear perhaps a little chunky, but I have seen a lot worse.  The animations are OK, nothing great.  It scrolls well, nice and smooth and the controls work well.  The music is fine, nothing wrong there. However for me the sound effects are pretty poor I’ve heard better on the smaller Commodore 16.  The gameplay is OK, still fun for quick go now and then. The difficulty factor is on the high side of average, not as hard as the arcade version but still pretty difficult.  I could never get very far without using the cheats.

Overall then, for me, Wonderboy on the Commodore 64 was a pretty good conversion. It was never going to be as good as the arcade game but it was a good effort.

Wonderboy Commodore 64 Cheats

  • Unlimited lives:  Type C at the title screen
  • Unlimited lives:  POKE 2676,238 SYS 2112
  • Unlimited health:  POKE 11760,165 POKE 62379,165 POKE 62401,165 POKE 62728,165
  • Level select:  POKE 2391,* SYS 2112 (* level number)

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