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Default Wizardry 1: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord

February 14th, 2014, 20:59
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February 14th, 2014, 20:59
Wizardry 1

The Wizardry series and the Ultima series are for the CRPG genre something like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles for the music genre. The Ultimas are a little more fine-tuned in GFX, interface and story. The Wizardries deliver raw power, challenging combat and excellent character/party development.
Both series are pioneers and invented many of the CRPG elements we still love today.
Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord was developed by Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead.
The final version was released 1981 on multiple platforms. It is the first part of a trilogy of Wizardry games that has to be completed to continue with the next parts.
Wizardry 1 is THE prototype for a good dungeon crawl. Your quest is to find a way down in a ten level dungeon to defeat the arch enemy Werdna. This sounds a bit cliché, but this is the FIRST game that tells this story. Get experience by killing monsters to level up, find chests to enhance your equipment and explore to find hidden secrets. The game has no auto-map feature and you can't save in the dungeon! Teleport into stone and you are dead.
You can create a party with 6 characters; you can chose from 6 races (Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Hobbits), 3 alignments (Good, Neutral, Evil) and 4 basic classes Fighter, Priest, Mage, Thief. The basic classes can be upgraded later to Bishop (Priest and Mage spells); Samurai (Fighter with Mage spells); Lord (Fighter with Priest Spells) and Ninja (Fighter with Thief abilities).
When your team is exhausted, you can go back to the Castle or make a camp. Dying is very easy in this game, and the priests of the Temple of Cant have high prices for resurrection, so make sure you always carry a priest/bishop and some antidotes against deadly poison with you.

The line-CGA-GFX are great for 1981 (text-based adventures ruled back then).

Two thumbs up for the Grandfather of all dungeon crawlers and inventor of many CRPG elements!

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
Last edited by HiddenX; February 14th, 2014 at 23:34.
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February 14th, 2014, 21:13
I lost hundred of hours of my youth with this game, it was my first real introduction to pc gaming, well Apple 2e actually but whatever.

I then spent hundreds of hours on it when it was released for the NES with actual walls instead of wire frame, so hi-tech.

Still play it occasionally now, it's still fun.
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February 14th, 2014, 21:17
Yep - I think the NES version (Wizardry 1,2,3) on a simulator is the best version to play today.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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February 14th, 2014, 21:18
First computer rpg I ever played. Took me a few days to figure out how to equip your weapons and armor. Still in my top ten games of all time. I also played it on Apple 2e with one of those green monitors.

Maybe the most satisfaction I had in ever winning a game.

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February 15th, 2014, 00:46
Also my first crpg I played, after a youth full of table-top gaming. I believe I played it on my IBM PC Jr. I love the mechanics of being able to send a different party down to retrieve a previous party that was wiped out
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February 15th, 2014, 01:15
my 2nd crpg (first one being Temple of Apshai). Also first game that had me freak out when I saw the Sun come out (but several months later I joined a D&D group in college and watching the Sun out was our call to wrap it up
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February 15th, 2014, 01:18
Originally Posted by Nukester View Post
Also my first crpg I played, after a youth full of table-top gaming. I believe I played it on my IBM PC Jr. I love the mechanics of being able to send a different party down to retrieve a previous party that was wiped out
Yep I remember a lot of solo runs hoping not to run in to any monsters so I could bring back as many people as possible.

Never have I felt such tension with every keystroke.
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February 15th, 2014, 01:50
Its the first PC game that required an entire disk - both sides!

It was necessary for storing the huge, static dungeon maze.

Before this dungeon crawlers, like the one built for Intellivision, were always randomly generated.

This game is remarkable for its huge technical breakthroughs. The secret was writing it in Pascal instead of BASIC in order take advantage of dynamic linked lists instead of fixed, static arrays.

The game is largely a clone of the text based Ubliette written for mainframe servers to be played on Plato; even the "unique" spell system, which in Wizardry acts as a kind of paper based copy protection. The difference being, that Wizardry is single player and standalone where Ubliette was meant to be played as co-operative multiplayer.

To allow for party based play in a single player game was another innovation of Wizardry.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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February 15th, 2014, 06:37
Whilst I played the Bard's Tale series considerably more, Wizardry has always had an elusively mysterious allure, since references to the games would regularly appear in magazines and discussions with RPG mates.

They were arguably a little more harder to purchase locally for me; as you wouldn't see them around as much as the Ultima's, SSI products/GoldBox games, especially for my format of choice at the time, the C64.

After reading about the series in Matt Barton's "Dungeons and Desktops", I actually dipped into the first game for the very first time on C64 in 2012. Whilst I only got my fledgling party to the third level or so in my little experimental time with the game, I could see the influence on future RPGs and really did feel a strong nostalgic desire for a slower, more deliberate style of dungeon crawling experience. It's definitely something I'd like to make time for and get back to completing in the future.

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February 15th, 2014, 17:45
Wizardry was developed as a college project by Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead then licensed, not sold, to Sirtek Software in one of the earliest transactions of the fledgling software industry which was still trying to define itself. During this time there was still a strong movement to prevent software from being commercialized.

For the most part, publishers or development companies would own their titles outright in the later years. Before Sirtech folded and filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990's they sold the Wizardry rights to their subsidiary Sirtech Canada, rights they did not own, for $50 000.

Greenberg became lawyer and a New York State bankruptcy judge him and Woodhead $30k in damages over a decade later.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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February 15th, 2014, 18:40
I lost 3 months of my life to this game, lol. They just really do not make them like this anymore, and I really wonder why. I think people would totally gobble up the old school games, I know me and most of my friends would buy them. I remember bouncing from this series to Ultima and back again, nothing in the past 20 yrs has come close to repeating the sheer enjoyment of that era. The goldbox games came close…..but close it all it was. Game creators today could learn a lot from the old time masters.
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