It’s September, which means one thing: the 40th anniversary of Wizardry! I love Wizardry, and you love Wizardry. If you don’t love Wizardry, go fuck yourself.
Now, there is my post on the first game that was sort of popular for a bit. In that time since, I have begun making my way towards other Wizardry games, like its sequels, spin-offs, and legally distinct stand-alone titles. Before I write about more of those, I thought I would finish off the first game.
The party made it all the way to the 10th and final floor of the dungeon. This is where the real shit starts; the most brutal of enemies and the best gear are found here. Even though floor 10 is essentially a straight line, progress grinds to a halt here. Every fight is a coin flip to whether you live or die, and you constantly need to warp back to town to rest up, or to sell the loads of shitty gear you’ve acquired while trying to find the good stuff.
Unfortunately, something happened. Genji, our lovable Hobbit thief who wanted so badly to be a Ninja, was killed. Dahlia, our priest, who at this point was capable of raising the dead, failed to do so, causing his body to turn to ash. The party then brought Genji’s ashes back to the temple, where the many other priests there could hopefully bring him back. They failed as well, his ashes evaporating into the ether. Genji caught the heinous ailment that is “permadeath.” Because I
forgot to hit reset before the game could auto-save want to maintain the spirit of this narrative, the party went back to the tavern to recruit another thief who was a Hobbit who also was trying to become a ninja who also happened to have a Japanese name. His name is Sho.
Like I said, this is when the real shit happens. Floors 1 through 9 were merely a test for the final floor. Master Ninjas, Vampires, a whole group of Murphy’s Ghosts (which um…aren’t actually much of a threat at all), Fire Giants, Earth Giants, Ice Giants, and the worst enemy of them all: Poison Giants. Poison Giants fuck off. They will kill your ass deader than dead before you even hit the ground; fuck your speed stat, fuck your defense, fuck all that shit. You see these assholes, you either run or you die from instant Tiltowait spam. Tiltowait of course, being the most powerful magic attack in the whole game, which also attacks everyone on the opposing team.
Because every fight is guaranteed to drop items afterwards, Rosa the Bishop proved invaluable here. Bishops are what Final Fantasy based their Red Mages on. They can learn both Sorcery and Miracles, as opposed to Magicians and Priests being restricted to one class of magic. The downside to this is that Bishops level up much slower than everyone else, meaning that it will take much longer to get them the highest level magic than a dedicated class. However, the one thing a Bishop can do that nobody else can do is identify unknown items. Without a Bishop, you have to go all the way back to town and pay an exhoribant fee to the item shop to have them identify it for you. Having a Bishop saves me time and money, which ultimately doesn’t matter by this point, as everyone in my party already has about six figures worth of gold to their names a piece, but it’s the principle of the thing.
Anyways, during this slog on the 10th floor, they found a knife. Upon inspecting the knife, it was discovered that it was not just any weapon, but the much sought after Thieves Knife! When a Thief uses this knife, they instantly become a Ninja! Aside from a natural buff to Armor Class achieved by taking off all of their armor, Ninjas have one very useful skill that will make the rest of this adventure less of a hassle:
A Ninja has a chance to instantly kill an enemy in a single attack. ANY enemy. Nothing is safe from a naked Hobbit with a working knowledge of the anatomy of every race and creature in the world. Specifically, knowing how to remove a head from them.
After multiple trips back and forth, killing monsters capable of wiping out entire armies if they so chose, and selling off unneeded weapons to a salivating arms dealer, the party found themselves at the entrance of Werdna’s room.
Here it is, the ultimate test. Werdna, the wizard who plans on using the magical amulet to take over the kingdom of Llygamin, is behind this door. The man who has control over all the monsters of this dungeon, who has built the many traps and maddening labrynths that have killed so many adventurers before. This will not be an easy fight. The party steels themselves one final time, and opens the door.
Werdna is not only a powerful magician in his own right, but he is also flanked by the Lord of Vampires, and several Vampire minions. He was ready for this. The door closes behind the party, sealing the fate of one of these two groups. The toughest battle of these adventurers’ lives is underway, and there is no guarantee that a single one of them will make it back home.
Werdna is dead. Two casts of Tiltowait from Serena the Magician was enough to wipe out both the Vampire Lord, and his minions. All that’s left now is to pick up the amulet, and use it to teleport back home.
That’s it. That is the end of Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord! It was, and is still, an incredible game. Even 40 goddamn years later, it more than holds up as the pinnacle of the RPG genre. There is a damn good reason why every RPG you have ever played was influenced by this.
Hold on a second, Masanobu Endoh produced this? Endoh worked at Namco, where he would create games like Xevious and…
…The Tower of Druaga.
Fuck dude, all of my gaming worlds are colliding. That’s awesome!
But in any case, Wizardry is now over. Happy 40th to a great series, and I hope whoever is currently holding the rights to it quits being a bunch of dickheads, and fucking stops doing whatever they’re doing that’s keeping Wizardry: The Five Ordeals from getting rereleased. That game was supposed to come out back in fucking June! Come on!
The End of Wizardry.
Or is it? There are still two expansion for me to play! Time to export my characters, I guess.