All right, so that last Octurbo got a tad too salacious towards the end there. Perhaps I should actually start vetting these things before jumping in with the screenshot button. At any rate, let us all never speak of the Lady Sword incident again.
Moving right along, today we look at Bubble Bath Babes Dragon's Curse, part of the Wonder Boy dynasty and one of many TurboGrafx-16 adaptations of that series that underwent a few edits to get around Sega's inconvenient possession of the Wonder Boy license. Dragon's Curse is probably the least trifled with out of all those ports: a fairly straightforward conversion of the Master System/Game Gear game Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap (and not to be confused with the other Wonder Boy III, Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair). Dragon's Curse was renamed Adventure Island in Japan, despite having nothing to do with Hudson's axe-and-skateboards franchise. Well, besides the fact that Adventure Island was originally a graphical edit of the first Wonder Boy. You know what, I've explained this all once on the Wonder Boy wiki page, so just go check that out. It's nuts.
As for the game itself, it's a mix of a side-scrolling action RPG (though it's actually about as RPG-y as Neutopia) and a Metroidvania and was quite well regarded at the time. It's unfortunate that the Master System was more or less on the way out in all regions besides Europe and Brazil when the game came out, because it's probably the best thing on there. Wasn't a lot of competition, mind, but why diminish that accomplishment?
From Nudity to Cursing: This Feature Used to Be So Wholesome
And that's how the rest of Dragon's Curse goes. Your new forms act like Zelda items or Metroid upgrades: you can switch between them and each has a special application to allow you to pass through new areas. Recalling where the small passageways are, or where I needed to smash through some blocks, or underwater areas I couldn't swim through is the key to progressing, as well as procuring new heart containers and finding money caches. Plus, I can definitely appreciate any game that doesn't penalize you too badly for dying.
This is probably the most fun I've had with an Octurbo entry. It's a little disingenuous to call this a TurboGrafx-16 highlight considering it's a barely improved port of a Master System game, but there's a lot more craft and innovation on display here than in many other games I've covered so far. I mean, it is still cartoon fantasy Metroid at the end of the day, but I can definitely deal with that.