An odd leak has appeared at the GDC 2020 website. A possible game name has appeared under the Exhibitor listing that is supposed to only list companies and developers. Instead of stating that Studio Artdink, the developer behind games like Neo Atlas 1469 and Accel World VS Sword Art Online: Millennium Dusk would be there, it says ‘’Wonder Boy Universe: Asha in Monster World will be attending and provides the company’s address. [Thanks, Resetera!]
No other information is provided about Wonder Boy Universe: Asha in Monster World. It is not referenced on Studio Artdink’s website. The most recent project it has contributed on that is shown there is Ys IX: Monstrum Nox.
It appears Wonder Boy Universe: Asha in Monster World is referencing Westone and Sega’s Monster World IV. It is a Metroidvania sort of game that originally only appeared on the Sega Genesis in Japan, before eventually being localized and released worldwide first on the Wii Virtual Console, then on other platforms. In it, players follow Asha as she attempts to free the Earth, Moon, Sun, and Wind Spirits with the help of her Lamp Spirit and pet Pepelogoo monster. While it is mainly an action game, Asha eventually gains new abilities that let her reach new areas and acquires extra equipment.
New Wonder Boy games have proved increasingly common, though Studio Artdink hasn’t been involved with any of them yet. CFK released Wonder Boy Returns, a remake of the original game, for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC. Lizardcube and Dotemu also put together a remake of Wonder Boy III, called Wonder Boy and the Dragon’s Trap, while Game Atelier and FDG put together the Wonder Boy III-like Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom.
No Wonder Boy Universe: Asha in Monster World announcements will be made. We’ll have to wait until GDC 2020, which will be held March 16-20, 2020, for more news.