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Thread: Game of Whenever - Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (various platforms)

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    Default Game of Whenever - Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (various platforms)

    (Currently I only have screenshots for the MS-DOS version, but I intend for this topic to cover all versions, so please don't move it to PC Gaming!)

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    And now, for the first ever installment of TALES FROM WIZARDRY
    It had been nothing more than a stroke of bad luck that had taken Mewo from them. One minute they were exploring the second level of the mysterious dungeon which the mad lord claimed to be his Training Grounds, the next they were confronting a wizard and his band of axe-carrying highwaymen, one of whom had gotten lucky and separated Mewo's head from his body.

    The loss had hurt them all. Shreev the Mage was most affected, for he and the Priest had been very close, almost romantically so. Yet even Lornar, the good dwarf who nevertheless hadn't known the young priest all that long, lamented the fact that the party had just lost its source of free healing (though he was careful not to say this within earshot of Shreev, who no doubt would perceive this as insensitive and cram a Mahalito right up his dwarven ass).

    The party scrambled to the surface, and from there scrambled to pool their funds into the hands of their leader, Curtis, so that he might pay the extortion--that is, the "tithe"--for the Temple of Cant to raise their friend. In the end they wound up having to sell a healing potion that they had found during an expedition just to barely have enough to pay the price.

    They all sat anxiously as the priests did their thing, murmering, chanting, praying, invoking...

    ... and then Mewo's body turned to ash, and much moaning and facepalming was heard. Shreev ran off by himself, relieving his frustration in the first level of the maze by toasting any kobold or orc unfortunate enough to get in his way (of course Curtis ran to check on him, for even with the ability to shove six Mahalitos right up a monster's anus, mages should never be alone), but the rest soon got their heads together and asked the obvious question, "Well what now?"

    The priests of the Temple of Cant (who so far were living up to their God's name) said they might still be able to raise Mewo from the ashes... only now it would cost 3000 golds, twice what the initial attempt had cost. Oh, and no refunds!

    At Gilgamesh's tavern, this party's table was unusually somber. The other tavern goers could almost feel it, but they all understood and let the party be.

    At length, Kimbal, the OTHER mage of the group, said "There's nothing for it, we'll just have to clobber 3000 golds worth of monsters."

    Zapis Zuli the Thief said, "I seem to remember these walking coin critters, who had a lot of money when we finished them off. Actually, I think some of that money was the monsters. They were really easy to beat too."

    Excitement stirred ever-so-subtly as they remembered the creeping coins which resided on the second level. They had been numerous, but easily disposed of despite that. The party was only five people now, but between two fighters, a thief, and two mages who could both cram Mahalitos up a monster's nose, Zapis Zuli's suggestion seemed a surefire bet.

    Curtis looked around. Next to Zapis, Lornar nodded, then Shreev with a smile, and finally Kimbal, looking a little more psychotic than she usually did. So Curtis stood. "Let's do it, then!"

    Would that it had been so easy. While still generally able to navigate the maze (thanks to that their Player, a Mr. Moe Dantes, seemed to have an unerring head for mental-mapping which had more than once gotten these people effortlessly out of a zone of darkness) the five still found themselves missing the advantanges granted by their late friend. They no longer had his Lomilwa lighting spell to see down long hallways and reveal secret doors, or his Latumapic to instantly reveal the true names of all they fought, meaning they never knew if those people in kimonos were just trainee nobodies or the far more dangerous ninjas who practiced the art of decapitation--the very art which had taken Mewo from them (though not delivered by a ninja).

    As they fought, they also all gradually faced another somber truth: It was entirely possible that the Temple of Cant would fail a second time and thus, Mewo would be gone for good. It was said this happened because his soul had reincarnated on another world (possibly out facing Exodus in the land of Sosaria) but more than likely happened because the priests liked to screw with people.

    The truth is, whether they liked it or not, they wanted a replacement priest.

    Shreev had been the most upset by this realization, and for a long time isolated himself in the character roster, determined to sulk, while the other four met regularly in Gilgamesh's Tavern and gladly downed the drinks served by Gilgamesh's beautiful wife Enkidu. On the other hand, Zapis Zuli and Lornar--themselves replacements for fallen player characters whose corpses were still in the roster--were the first to openly advocate the recruiting of fresh young meat, errr, warriors.

    Then a soft young voice asked, "Excuse me, sirs."

    They turned, and saw a young boy wearing a cross, behind him an older man wearing both a cross and a funny hat.

    "My name is Luminos, and this is Balthasar, and we happened to notice there were only four of you, so we thought we'd ask... You see, I'm a priest in training, and he's a Bishop, and we're both first level. I've heard most first level characters don't last long, and... see... dying before you reach level two is against my religion."

    The four chuckled, deciding they liked this kid already.

    Over the next few weeks (which were only minutes in game time, which you'll understand as soon as you see how resting at the Inn works) the two new religious people in their party came into their own. Unwilling to risk the newbies against ninjas, the party stayed on the first level where they wound up finding a pair of magical altars: one had a key, the other was haunted by ghosts who refused to die (though perhaps being already dead was part of the problem) yet were worth plenty of experience points when they did. Then they had to make their way home through an area of false walls and darkness. Thank Cant for the Player's excellent mental-mapping or that could've taken forever! By the end of just one expedition, Luminos and Balthasar had both gained levels. Balthasar's funny hat would also go on to gain levels and have adventures of its own.

    Then finally, one late week, Kimbal said "Hey, we've got 3000 golds now!"

    Luminos asked, "What does that mean?"

    "It means we can finally... resurrect... our..." Kimbal's initial elation gave way to confusion, one she soon shared with the rest of the table.

    For you see, the fact was that as much as they had loved Mewo, now Luminos was just as good, if not better, than the person he was created to replace. Plus there was still the chance that the Temple would fail and destroy Mewo's ashes, and even knowing that the Player had made backups of his character disk was cold comfort, since going that route would mean erasing all that had taken place--all the levels, all the adventures, all the loot... plus, what if Mewo's soul really had moved on? Did he even WANT to come back? Then there was Shreev, who felt like he had become redundant and thus stayed in the roster reading books about tax collectors. He would come back if Mewo's resurrection was successful, but Bishops could cast all the same spells Mages could, plus identify items.

    So what would they do? Put the old band back together, or carry on with the new band which seemed to be working just fine?

    What would YOU do?

    Hope you enjoyed the story. Now...

    Let's talk about THE GAME

    The reason for this post's unusual start is to demonstrate a somewhat unique advantage Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord has in the crowded RPG field: It really makes me feel like every trip to the dungeon is an adventure, a story all my own playing out, borne of the consequences both of my own decisions and the roll of the dice. This is apparently very close to how its inspiration, Dungeons & Dragons, was originally played meaning Wizardry might well be the closest adaptation of the original pen n' paper RPG into a computer game we're ever gonna get (yes, even compared to the actual licensed D&D games).

    The reason for this is because of an unusual game feature: Wizardry actually doesn't have a traditional save-game system. Instead, its basically what you'd call a persistent world. Just for example, if your party of six adventurers dies in the dungeon, its actually possible to send a new team down there in order to find their corpses. I feel like this "persistence" makes my decisions feel more weighty--I could explore more, but do I really want to lose this nifty +2 Long Sword that the last random encounter happened to give me? Alternatively, getting teleporter'd into an unexplored area of the maze holds more dread since I know I can't just reload my last save (Well... you can if you back up the save file, which in the MS-DOS version is save1.dsk, but even then, you do it knowing that it resets your progress, so if you happened to find a nifty magic item before that teleporter was triggered, it still feels worth your while to try and fight your way back to the surface).

    That's just one feature, but its the most stand-out one, the thing that makes Wizardry still worth playing in this day and age.

    However, I'm not done talking. I'm not sure how to organize my thoughts any better than putting the other things I want to talk about into bullet points, so here we go:

    * Is this game hard? Wizardry is apparently known for its legendary brutal difficulty. Okay, to be fair, you probably will lose a few of your first characters and wind up with no choice but to replace them, at least for a time (as per the situation in the prose fiction above), but even given that I still feel like most people who describe this game as a meat grinder are overstating it. Other games like The Bard's Tale for MS-DOS are far more unforgiving, and really if you don't forget to equip the swag you bought at Boltac's, you should survive quite a few encounters.

    There's another school of thought that says Wizardry is all about grinding up your characters until they're level four at least, which I think has some validity, but I need to emphasize that it actually doesn't take as long as it might initially seem to gain a level. Speaking of which...

    * Quirks with the levelling system. One of the more infamous things about Wizardry is that it's one of the few RPGs where stats can go down as well as up each time you gain a level--except for HP, which only ever goes up. One thing that helps balance this is that for all stats except HP, you only ever gain or lose one point each level. I imagine this happened to demonstrate your characters changing as they mature, and also having to do with that Wizardry uses the D&D standard where 18 is the highest any stat can go.

    One thing worth noting is that some people claim there's a bug in the MS-DOS version which affects stat gains and losses. I'm not exactly clear on this, as this has become a case of "the telephone game" where the facts got mangled in endless retellings. One person said that the only "glitch" is that its possible for vitality to drop below 3 (which will kill the afflicted character), while others claim that the distribution of gains and losses is itself messed up, that apparently the trend is supposed to be towards gaining more than you lose. To be honest, I'm not enough of a Wizardry expert to verify any of these claims, but its something worth keeping in mind. For the curious, here is where I first heard these claims.

    The people who make these claims, by the way, say that the series is best experienced on the Apple IIe where it was born. The NES version apparently has its own glitch where Armor Class doesn't do what its supposed to (again, not sure if this is true)--though the NES and SNES versions also replace some of the maps with all new ones, so they're worth playing even if you're an expert.

    EDIT: Something Else Regarding the "Levelling Bug" - Some people claim to have noticed getting better level-ups when they play the game on slow computers, or with computers slowed down by artificial means (programs such as Bret Johnson's Slowdown in pure DOS, or low cycles counts in Dosbox). I habitually play the game slowed down and the first time I beat it over a decade ago, I was playing on a monochrome 286 laptop. These may be why I've never noticed a levelling glitch.

    I recommend you save and backup your characters before levelling, then test this out for yourself--go in with the cycles set really low (like around 100) and see if it results in more consistently upward stat gains. It's worth a try.

    * So, about mapping.... Lots of people claim they can't navigate Wizardry without a map, and even the manual says that mapping the maze is essential to victory.

    ... I've never drawn a map, ever, for this or any other first-person RPG (save one). For some reason, I don't get lost in these mazes. I always have a grasp on where I am and can find my way back to the entrance. Actually, games with an automap, like Dragon Wars or Resident Evil (the latter isn't an RPG but still) actually annoy me because I feel like I become dependent on them, but with Wizardry I've never needed maps.

    The one RPG that forced me to map, by the way, was the MS-DOS version of The Bard's Tale. Something about its scrolling or perspective throws me off and causes me to think I'm a step further back than I actually am. Most RPGs don't have this problem.

    I mention this for two reasons: One is I'm tempted to open myself up to challenges by having people send me a save state with their party left in some random part of the maze to see if I can make it back to the surface. Two is because I've seen people be put off of Wizardry because they hate the idea of keeping notes on actual pen and paper (something I personally have no problem with, by the by) and I just want to mention that you might not necessarily have to do this.

    * Should you try to make super-characters? When you roll up a character you get a random amount of "bonus points" to put into their stats. I've seen some guides suggest only keeping characters who roll like 17 bonus points or so, or to keep rolling until you get enough to make a Samurai or things like that. Personally... while I'm all for keeping such characters if you happen to get one, I think its a waste of time to intentionally hold out and discard any character who doesn't meet your lofty standards. That guy with six bonus points has just as much chance to survive and thrive as the seventeen-point guy, and either one could be killed in one hit by a damn ninja and then accidentally eradicated by those dimwits at the Temple of Cant. Just roll up a party and have some fun.

    * By the way, you should totally read the manual. Not because you need it (though it is necessary to learn what each of the spells does, as Wizardry's copy protection system was to give all the spells gibberish names) but because its freakin' hilarious. You can find scans of the Apple IIe version's manuals (basically all the same info applies to other platforms) at this site. No, that site does not offer roms. Just documentation.

    * About the storyline though... There is one quirk I've noticed with the manuals: The one for the first print of the game apparently contained no storyline info whatsoever. Of course, later versions explain everything about the situation going on (basically a mad lord and a wizard had a dick war) but I always found one thing strange about that: See, its possible to find this secret elevator and end up seeing story sequences which explain the true purpose of the maze, as if its a big revelation... but if you've read the later versions of the manual, it's just telling you what you already know. This makes me think the storyline was originally meant to be a surprise, so I guess originally players were just exploring the dungeon for the sake of exploring? This being 1980 when kids were more adventurous and didn't need to be given directions, I could see that.

    * How can undead kobolds be friendly, exactly? This is the last thing I wanna talk about before submitting this post. As you saw in one of the screenshots, I encountered a "friendly" group. Apparently the fifth game gives you a wider range of interaction, but in the first game this only plays into the game's morality system--essentially, if good characters choose to fight friendly monsters then there's a random chance they'll become evil. This can be a problem if the character is a class like the Samurai (which MUST be good) because then they can't gain levels until they become good again (which is done by NOT fighting friendlies), but other than that the only effect I've ever heard of is that some pieces of equipment can only be used by either good or evil people. By the way, Neutrals never change their alignment, but there's a lot of classes that can't be neutral (pretty sure Priests are such a one, and believe me, you'll want a priest).

    But that's not why I'm bringing this up. I'm bringing this up because I sometimes can't help but laugh at the "friendlies" I run into. Just a quick list, I've run into friendly groups of undead kobolds, orcs, level 1 ninjas, gas clouds, vorpal bunnies, attack dogs, zombies (friendly zombies?) and, cutest of all... dragon puppies. Apparently its even possible for the final boss to be friendly!

    I hope you enjoyed this post. I might have more to say later, and maybe even more installments of TALES FROM WIZARDRY if you enjoyed that. In the meantime, I encourage you all to post your own thoughts and experiences. And remember: This is for ANY VERSION of Wizardry--not just the PC one! So get crackin'!
    Last edited by Edmond Dantes; 03-14-2017 at 05:54 AM.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    So..... new stuff, because I kept playing (though now I'm dividing time between Wizardry, Bard's Tale and a personal comic project)

    I'm thinking of practicing art by drawing interpretations of dungeon rooms.

    Update on Levelling and the Supposed "Glitch" - So I played the NES version a bit. Mostly, I wanted to see if that thing about the DOS version's levelling "bug" really had any merit, or was just ignorant kids not realizing that the stat losses were always intentional.

    For what its worth, I also tried the Commodore 64 version, and tried to play the Apple IIe version but the disk images I found must've been corrupted because it wouldn't boot past the title screen. As for the Commodore 64 version, that one locked up on me twice (the GAME locked up--the emulator worked fine) and was annoyingly slow. I leveled my characters up to three and felt like I was getting mostly uphill stat gains, but there were a few losses and I didn't get a good feel for whether the ratio of gain to loss differed that heavily from the MS-DOS version.

    As for the NES version, well... honestly, after about two hours with it, I didn't feel like the ratio of gain-to-loss was any different from the MS-DOS version, so either the NES one has this "glitch" too, or else there is no "glitch" (except for that one person's take where the glitch is simply that vitality is able to dip lower than its supposed to) and those claiming it is are mistaking a feature for a bug and not realizing the fact that there's freaking text programmed in for stat losses indicates it was intentional. Considering how freaking stupid many gamers can be, I'm edging towards the latter.

    Regarding the NES version though...

    Differences Between NES and MS-DOS Versions That I've Spotted So Far - (Not counting obvious things like graphics, music and controls)

    One: In the MS-DOS version all first-level newly rolled characters begin with eight hit points. On the NES, its random and possibly affected by the Vitality stat. Both my mages actually started with two HP.

    Two: I've noticed renamings. Some make sense--the Bishop is now called the Wizard presumably due to Nintendo's policies on religion (though the Priest is now called the Cleric, which is just hilarious as that's STILL a religious reference), but even in Boltac's Trading Post I see name changes for innocuous things, which I can only imagine was done for flavor. For example, +1 Plate Mail is now called Sturdy Plate, and Potion of Latumofis (which cures poison) is now called Potion of Neutralizing.

    Three: Minor thing but for some reason you have to use the A Button to open doors, whereas in the MS-DOS version just walking forward was enough.

    Four: Anyone who does magic has to rest at the inn to regain their spell points (fortunately, the free option is enough for this). On MS-DOS, you automatically replenished your spell points every time you exited and re-entered the dungeon.

    Five: This is a big one... Poison is FAR MORE DEADLY on the NES than it ever was in MS-DOS. The reason is because in DOS it gradually sapped HP over time, and faster in combat, but on the NES it saps your HP every step you take. Essentially, if your first-level thief gets poisoned and you're not RIGHT next to the entrance (or happen to have a potion of neutralizing), he's dead.

    Six: Probably goes with the territory but obviously, you can't back up your save on the NES cartridge (unless you're using an emulator, of course). So if the Temple of Cant becomes the Temple of Fail, you might be forced to let Mewo the Priest go. To be honest, this here might be one of the major things in favor of the MS-DOS version, because this is one aspect of Wizardry that even I think is a little bullshit. (That said, I THINK revival spells have a higher chance of working on the NES, but I haven't been able to test this. It seems like the revival costs are a lot lower though)

    Regarding Mapping - In order to make my time with the NES version meaningful and unique, or at least to give me something to do, I decided to try out mapping the first level. To be honest... I liked it. Lately I really like drawing and this allows me to combine it with playing games. You do have to be anal-retentive about detail though, and making sure of what's on each tile easily makes each floor take about... I'm tempted to say ten minutes because it honestly felt like it was over very fast, but that wouldn't be right since the course of mapping allowed my characters to make it to fourth level of experience before even leaving the first level of dungeon.

    (Yeah, even Gary Gygax once admitted that on its face, using "level" in so many different contexts seems confusing and he considered having each thing have a different term, but he found that most people picked up on the different types of "level" easier than they learned different terms. I read this in the AD&D 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide by the way)

    For what its worth, there are some minor differences in the first level map between the NES and MS-DOS version--mostly just that there's a one-way door out of the darkness zone (next to the "you feel compelled to leave immediately!" plate) that isn't there on PC. Its minor, but its still something I discovered, so I'm noting it. Apparently near the end you'll start getting whole levels unique to the NES version.

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    Cherry (Level 1) WulfeLuer's Avatar
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    "Dying before you reach level two is against my religion"

    Now THAT is a line.
    RPGs: Proof that one you start done the dork path, forever will it dominate your wallet's destiny.

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    Bell (Level 8)
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    The odd thing about the Famicom Wizardries is they were released out of order. If I recall, the second and third games were switched (even on the box they were titled like "Scenario II: Episode III: ..." or something). However, only two of those three ports were translated for the NES.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    Yeah, and in a wise move, the translator brought out the NES port of Knight of Diamonds instead of Legacy of Llylgamyn, thus restoring the proper order. Though I remember the renumbering confusing me when I played the SNES compilation.

    So, more notes:

    Okay, I finally played the Apple IIe version - But not for long, because playing three versions of the same game risks burnout. Hereafter I'm thinking I will stick to the MS-DOS version.

    In just a few minutes of playtime I found that some of the things I thought were only in the NES version (the random starting HP, and a special button for going through doors being just two examples) were actually in the original Apple IIe version.

    The Apple version didn't run near as slow or annoyingly as the Commodore port did and was a more enjoyable experience, however I still felt like I preferred the MS-DOS version more just due to some minor conveniences (which I've heard were in the sequels on Apple IIe, and were put into Wizardry 1 when it got ported to multiple platforms) such as being able to Pool gold (yeah, you actually can't do that on the Apple) and getting a convenient list of characters to add to your party (here you have to type in their names).

    I'm also still not convinced that the MS-DOS version really does have a levelling "glitch," though admittedly I only leveled my Apple II party up to two.

    Bonus Feature:

    It's once again time for TALES FROM WIZARDRY!

    Curtis the Fighter was having a bad day. The kind of day where he accidentally stepped on the tail of the innkeeper's cat while getting out of bed. Then during one expedition, Zapis Zuli got level drained by a Shade--fortunately level draining seemed to be no big deal since it apparently did not reduce his stats any, so being level 10 instead of level 11 was basically an academic point. Even so, it forever cemented a policy in the party's mind that when Shades show up, THEY DIE IMMEDIATELY, even using Mewo's ability to Dispell Undead if need be. (The reason they don't normally use that, by the way, is because they got no experience points for dispelled monsters)

    During that same expedition, he had found a marked tile on Level Six which did nothing except bring up the stats when the party crossed it. That behavior was consistent with what happened on tiles that required a key item to pass, so he wondered which key it needed.

    However, it was impossible to get down to level six without either the Bear Statue or the Blue Ribbon--one was required for the main path through the dungeons while the other was needed for the secret elevator. He decided that for this expedition, he'd let Mewo (yes, he got revived), Shreev and Kimbal stay home, while he took some fresh young talent that needed exercise: Zanko the Samurai Dwarf (which we desperately need a drawing of), Luminos the backup Priest, and Deomar the other Mage. Of course, experienced veterans Curtis, Lornar and Zapis Zuli took point.

    The tile on level six reacted no differently when Curtis' party reached it with just the Blue Ribbon, so they returned with the Bear Statue and.... same thing, it reacted no differently. Was it programmed to recognize either item? The only way to find out would be to get down with just one key item and then drop it, which would trap them in the maze until they had the Malor spell, so Curtis decided to head back up.

    Then Level Five proceeded to **** with him.

    Just a few rooms before reaching the ladder back to level four, they encountered some monsters with a treasure chest... which turned out to be trapped with a teleporter. Which Zapis triggered.

    Curtis grumbled, but the veterans (and the player) pretty much had level five memorized so it was no problem to find their path back.

    Yet, very soon after doing so, they ran into another monster group... with another treasure chest.

    With another teleporter trap.

    Which got triggered.

    Curtis kicked a wall.

    "Oh well!" he said frustratedly, "I see we're in that one hallway that wraps around, so I know where to go to get back to the ladder!"

    So he led them through, and soon were near the ladder. However, in the same room where they had encountered the first monsters that had 'ported them, they found some new creatures had come to roost. Easily dispatched, these critters also left behind a treasure chest, with yet another teleporter trap.

    "You have GOT to be kidding!" Curtis cried to the heavens. But once again, he recognized the area and led them home... except, once again, just before reaching the latter they encountered some monsters in the same damn room and you'll never guess what happened next.

    "AAAAARRRRRRRRRGH!"

    Curtis' yell matched all their feelings. Seriously, fate was just toying with them now, and worse, they were out of neutralizing potions (one of the monsters had been poisonous spiders) and were seriously beginning to question their chances for survival. But there was nothing for it--they had to just get lucky. They were even starting to think they should just stop opening treasure chests.

    Fifth time was the charm, thank borking GOD. Once more they reached the same small chamber in their path which always contained monsters... except this time, it was a group of Shades, just sitting there and smoking hookahs, not bothered at all by the presence of adventurers. Luminos was able to ask if they could pass through, and the Shades were like "Yeah, go ahead" and waved them on by. The entire team thanked them profusely, and made their way out of the level and, within moments, out of the maze.

    "Well," Luminos said over a tankard of ale, "This'll at least make for a funny story!"

    This has been TALES FROM WIZARDRY. I hope you enjoyed the story. I actually had another one about teleporters that I was gonna post, but that one was simply about the team getting ported to a place they didn't recognize, and I thought this incident--which just happened today, by the way--would be far more entertaining.

    Also... having mixed feelings about something. Like I said earlier, I liked mapping the first level, but at the same time I was avoiding mapping the later levels since I don't really need to. But now I'm wondering if I should go ahead and do it just for funzies (and because level seven is actually kind of confusing--for this playthru I'm actually trying to see as much of the dungeon as possible, whereas previously I would take the shortcut to Werdna's lair)....

    .... Which reminds me that there's a teleporter on level ten that takes you back to the surface, so no they wouldn't necessarily be stuck if they lost all key items....

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    Something Else Regarding the "Levelling Bug" - Some people claim to have noticed getting better level-ups when they play the game on slow computers, or with computers slowed down by artificial means (programs such as Bret Johnson's Slowdown in pure DOS, or low cycles counts in Dosbox). I habitually play the game slowed down and the first time I beat it over a decade ago, I was playing on a monochrome 286 laptop. These may be why I've never noticed a levelling glitch.

    I recommend you save and backup your characters before levelling, then test this out for yourself--go in with the cycles set really low (like around 100) and see if it results in more consistently upward stat gains. It's worth a try.

    I've edited the above into the original post, for the people who find this topic later on but don't read farther than the first post.

    I'm nearing the end of the game now.... and I do have one legit gripe--I had no problem with the early game, but I feel like once you reach level ten of character experience, it takes too long for your characters to level up. Part of the problem is that even on the final floor, you're not garaunteed to get more than 3000 exp per encounter (encounters worth more DO happen, but not as often) and some of these near-worthless encounters are also deadly--for example, I've been TPKed by groups of Archmages or Ninjas or Poison Giants (though I think that last one IS worth a decent chunk of EXP).

    Yes, I've been getting TPKed. Something that never happened before reaching the seventh dungeon floor, and usually happens as a result of a group of enemies getting to either Lahalito (big fireball) or breath weapon me early in the combat. Being slept isn't good either.

    I got to Werdna precisely once, only for him to cast Tiltowait and end me right then and there. So I feel like I have to level up and get my own Tiltowait.

    I have one problem with that--see, I don't normally mind grinding, because I like to explore and retreat when necessary. In a game like say Might and Magic, there's plenty of world I've never seen before so I have plenty to do so that I don't even notice how long its taking to get to the next level. Wizardry though, I've pretty much seen the dungeon. I suppose I could always go back and map floors seven, eight and nine though.

    Some might ask why I don't just fight tons of Murphy's Ghosts on floor one. Well, that takes awhile even with level three characters, but also I'm looking to see what treasures I can get, because the thrill of possibly getting a really awesome weapon or equipment after each battle is one of the things that still genuinely excites me. I've gotten two Helms of Malor. TWO. Malor is a teleport spell that lets you choose your destination, and its a spell neither of my mages can cast yet, so I'm genuinely happy to have it.

    By the way, question: When you have a "Broken Item" (which is usually a magic item which has used up its charges), is it possible to repair it and renew its charges?

    P.S. Trebor Sux.

  7. #7
    Insert Coin (Level 0) Jehusephat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparTonberry View Post
    The odd thing about the Famicom Wizardries is they were released out of order. If I recall, the second and third games were switched (even on the box they were titled like "Scenario II: Episode III: ..." or something). However, only two of those three ports were translated for the NES.
    Wizardry: Legacy of Llylgamyn was never released for the NES, but the Famicom version does contain a full English translation which can be enabled in the options menu. It's definitely worth importing if you want to play the game on a console.

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    I've never played this one (only messed around with the PS2 spinoff) but you're really making me want to! This topic has been fantastic -- I LOVE the little narratives you're doing.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    Thanks, I was actually worried about how well those narrative segments were going over. If people enjoy them then I'll keep them up not just for Wizardry, but any oldschool RPGs I might review in the future.

    I was trying to draw pictures interpreting some scenes, but my drawing hand is not cooperating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    Thanks, I was actually worried about how well those narrative segments were going over. If people enjoy them then I'll keep them up not just for Wizardry, but any oldschool RPGs I might review in the future.

    I was trying to draw pictures interpreting some scenes, but my drawing hand is not cooperating.
    I'm enjoying your little mini-sodes as well. It adds a little something different to make it special.

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    I got this game for NES the day after my 6th birthday along with my system and a few other games. The problem was that at 6 years old I wasn't an experienced enough reader yet to fully understand how the game worked. I would travel through the dungeon interested in seeing what kinds of monsters would appear, but didn't know anything about how to level up. The only thing obvious to me was to save up money to buy the better weapons (just guessing whatever costs more or sounds bigger is better). I was at least able to guess enough about it to stay interested in trying to play it and get farther. I think the farthest I made it by the time I was 9 was the 3rd level down. I kind of gave up when I fell into a pit down there and lost my whole group. I mainly stuck to playing Faxanadu, Dragon Warrior and Zelda for my sword-swinging fix.

    I finally got back into this game during high school when I had access to Gamefaqs and the school and library printers. I printed out maps and got myself a Game Genie for an easier first run through the game with quick level gain codes.

    A couple years ago I finally finished the game without using Game Genie for the first time ever. I did use the powerpak to play the game on my real NES. I backed up my save every once in a while in case I made a major mistake, but it turned out that I didn't really need to use it much, not even when fighting Werdna. I just
    fought Murphy's Ghost over and over hundreds of times and leveled up a lot that way. Then referred to the maps to find the important hidden items like keys and to avoid traps.

    It definitely took a long time - around a month to complete this game, even with the guides. After finishing this game I bought myself a complete in box copy of it for NES as a personal trophy. Since I imagine Knight of Diamonds will take just as long to play and there are SNES and PS1 versions that exist from Japan, chances of me trying to complete the NES version of this first one again so seriously are low. I might fire it up just to have fun and level grind every once in a while but if I'm going to make the difficult effort to beat it again, I might as well do it on a new version so I can progress in the series.
    [quote name='Shidou Mariya' date='Nov 17 2010, 10:05 PM' post='4889940']
    I'm a collector, but only to a certain extent.
    Not as extreme as Rickstilwell though.[/quote]


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