Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Angel Wings With Baby Footprints Tattoos

Wizardry - Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (1984)

Since the end 80s and throughout the following decade were a remarkable success the dungeon-crawler firsthand. In the game, the protagonist, usually accompanied by a party greater or lesser extent, proceeds exploring intricate mazes teeming with monsters and treasure. Also by tradition, the dungeon wind "vertically" on multiple levels in the last of which is usually guarded the object (the beautiful princess, a magical talisman, etc.), the goal of the perilous journey. Worthy representatives of this class, just to name a few, are: Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder , Lands of Lore and Ultima Underworld. The popularity of this genre is evidenced by the fact that the titles I just mentioned, are actually the first chapter in a saga far more Apia.
Well, if all of us old players we could test ourselves into such a heroic adventures we owe largely to Wizardry title of which I am about to sing the praises: o)

was the year 1980 when two zealous students of Cornell University ( Ithaca, New York ), Andrew C. Greenberg and Robert Woodhead , decided to give vent to their passion for the universe of Dungeons Dragons making a game that can "see" when they had imagined during the long evenings based paper, pen and dice multifaced. The game was originally developed in BASIC on the Apple II and then be completely rewritten in Pascal to meet the well-known limitations of the most popular general purpose language the world. In 1981 the fledgling Sir-tech Software, founded by brothers Norman and Robert Sirotek , grabs the exclusive gift to the world the first chapter of a series that has dozens of titles, including original and spin-off series, survived until the beginning of two thousand years (twenty years of success!). After a brief delay, needed to bring the game to the platform UCSD Pascal (to put it simply an operating system platform independent created the University of San Diego to allow development of software independent of the microprocessor) the title comes in subsequent years on a variety of systems: PC-MSDOS (1984), PC-88 (1985), Commodore 64 (1987), MSX (1987).

Two views of Wizardry in its original incarnation for the Apple II

The plot is about as conceivable for a classic RPG (paper or electronic form that is). The kingdom of Llylgamyn live in peace and prosperity wisely ruled by Trebor , warrior and hero without stain. The serenity of the realm is guaranteed by the magic amulet recovered by the king after an exhausting search. Unfortunately, things are bound to change as the evil witch Werdna decided to take possession of the mystic talisman to increase his power beyond measure. Launched a paralyzing spell on the real castle, the wizard fails to steal the amulet to the sire and then burrow into the depths of his refuge: an underground maze filled with ten levels thrust from the monsters intent to defend the evil necromancer. For years Trebor seeks in vain a hero capable of breaching the fortress of Werdna . The few volunteers regain the surface with the deranged mind of the horrors encountered during the descent. The wait is finally over! You are the hero chosen by fate to end the nefarious plans of the sorcerer.

As in many games of this genre, the company begins with the creation of party that will accompany the hero on his journey. Six characters for each of which we can select a race (human, elf, dwarf, hobbit and dwarf), alignment (good, neutral and evil) and a class (mage, warrior, cleric and thief). In short, there are all the elements to shake characters that are best suited to your way of dealing with the adventure. Obviously, a party balanced between combat and characters brought to "cure" is ideal but anything will ban you affrondare of the game with more training arrembante. After creating each character, a phase that will define the characteristics and abilities of the same, you can also take on different "sizes" (strength, intelligence, compassion, vitality, agility and luck) sorting a set amount of bonus points (also this regulation as D & D ).

The screen that summarizes the characteristics of the character and the one for the allocation of bonus points at the time of character creation

addition to core classes, the game offers four classes elite not immediately available but can be selected following the growth of the character: Bishop, samurai and ninja master. Given that clerics can perform spells of care / protection wizards cast spells and attack you point out that: the bishop is a cross between a wizard and a cleric, the Samuri between a warrior and a magician, a man between a warrior and a cleric and a ninja warrior and between a a thief. Obviously, the classes elite have special characteristics and skills when compared to the intermediate classes that share.

After composing and reinforced the party may begin the descent into the abyss ...

Two screenshots of the exploratory phase in the first person

At this stage the game offers the classic (but innovative for the times) in first person view when we can "see" the narrow corridors of maze directly from the eyes of the protagonist. The screenshot I have just proposed to speak for themselves though compared to the Apple II version the playing area is shown at almost full screen, the scenarios offer a minimalist graphic made of only lines that trace the contours of the walls. Absolutely nothing comparable to the glories of Lands of Lore but definitely amazing for the first half of the '80s. Just a little 'imagination to feel the cold and moisture flowing from the rock faces: o)
In the early stages of exploration is advanced along the winding tunnels using the arrow keys: to move forward (and I would like to see well), and right left turn on themselves (there is no possibility of retreat). The pressure of the keys displayed at the top of the screen, allows camping ('C') for to rest and recover energy to members of the party , view statistics of the main character and supporting cast ('S') and inspect any items found ('I'). You may have noticed that there is no button to view a map of the section already explored. Unfortunately, the "mapping" function does not exist then Armed with paper and pencil to draw a map on the classic checkered sheet to avoid going in circles forever.

The exploratory phase stops when the party runs into one or more enemies. In this case you access the fighting in which, through a shift system, the holiday companions dan battle to save the Pellacchia (it The possibility of escape, but anyway ... who escapes from the enemy !?!?!).

's time to fight ...

At this stage of the game screen is divided into four sections, allowing the order of:

  • display the type, number and life points of the various enemies
  • in turn give orders to members of the party (attack, cast spells, use object, etc.). This area is also used to deliver brief messages on the progress of the battle
  • admire the great monsters of the thumbnails to watch the
  • statistics of the company
phases of combat are very challenging and require a good dose of strategy to be successfully completed. After each battle, usually, you can retrieve a "treasure" left by defeated enemies, I used quotation marks because, in some instances, the chest can contain objects left by the defeated harmful to the health of the unfortunate choice to open it (poison, explosive , etc.). Other treasures can be recovered during the exploration stage.

At this point I would not throw me too unbalanced, but the combat system reminds me of the incredible first episode of Final Fantasy!

After amply illustrated the varied gameplay and described above, via images, graphics I can only say a few words about the poor sound segment consists of some effect which emphasizes the movement of the main character and little else. But the speaker will not be possible predendere much more and many times, as they say, silence is golden. Well put your favorite CD and play in fun: o)
As you can see the unique control system is provided for the keyboard and requires the use of a large number of keys, most often proposed to screen ... thank goodness: o)

Wizardry is undoubtedly a masterpiece. A milestone in gaming history that created a genre, and inspired future wonders. If we consider that what I have said can be customized with a short chapter on graphics and sound, one of the many games came after is even more evident that the crystalline innovation carries with it the title.

Priva me leave you with the inevitable movie gave us some goodies related to the title:

  • The names of the two protagonists, and Trebor Werdna are the names of the programmers overturned
  • The title of which I speech is part of a trilogy that can only be played in the order by completing the various chapters. Among other things, an episode and not continue to use the same party
  • Wizardry is one of the few Western titles to collect a great testimony to this are numerous successo.A manga, anime , light novels, role playing and video game platforms poorly developed disseminated rest of the world ( FM Town, the various PC- NEC, PC Engine , etc.)
  • The series has eight episodes official released on multiple platforms including the major console
  • The spin-off the original series are more than twenty, the latter of which issued in 2010 for Nintendo DS
  • To know everything, but really all on the original eposidi see the following site: (English only)
to you the movie (for now pilfered on YouTube but I plan to prepare one as soon as possible ... deadlines for Re.BIT approach merciless!)


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