Master Higgins is based on former Hudson Soft executive Toshiyuki Takahashi, also known as Takahashi Meijin (or "Master Takahashi"), which is the character's Japanese name.
Contributed by Mass Distraction
The game started out as a port of the arcade game Wonder Boy. Although Escape had the rights to the game, ##SEGA## owned the rights to the main characters, bosses, and names, which meant that the NES version could not be a direct port. To get around the licensing issue, Hudson Soft changed the character sprites and names to create a brand new series.
Contributed by gamemaster1991