Friday, March 5, 2010

Wizardry: Won! (Seriously!)

I know it's a little hard to believe, but there it is.
Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord
United States
Sir-tech Software (developer and publisher)
Released in 1981 for Apple II; 1984 for PC Booter; 1985 for Macintosh, PC-88, PC-98, and FM-7; 1986 for Sharp X1; 1987 for Commodore 64, Commodore 128, MSX, and NES; Recompiled, remade, and re-released for numerous platforms over the next 20 years, including The Ultimate Wizardry Archives for DOS in 1998
Date Started: 19 February 2010
Date Ended: 5 March 2020
Total Hours: 40
Difficulty: Hard (4.0/5)
Final Rating: 37
Ranking at Game #413: 317/413 (77%)
Wow. Sit down for this one. I just won Wizardry. Trust me, I'm as surprised as you are. I thought it would take all night. My characters were only Level 11--I didn't even have the top level of spells yet.
The first thing you have to understand about how this happened is that for all the mapping you do, it's frightfully simple to get to the end game. Once you have something called a blue ribbon, which which lets you use the elevators, you can go all the way down to Level 9 in about 15 moves. And once one party has the ability to get the blue ribbon, it can get multiple copies of it, holding some in reserve with dummy characters for new parties. Fortunately, that's what I did.

After you get to Level 9, it's exactly five moves and one battle to get to the chute that dumps you down to Level 10. From there, in theory, you make your way through the level to the evil wizard Werdna.

How did I win the game so fast? It was all thanks to my useless, stupid thief. You see, the monsters on Level 9 aren't all that hard, and some of them are giants, which give absurd amounts of experience points for little effort. After I achieved level 11 with my characters (which took almost all day), I figured I'd just hang out on Level 9 slaying giants until I reached level 15.

Well, I accidentally wandered onto the invisible chute to Level 10. I was going to head for the nearest teleporter (Level 10 is full of them) to return myself to the town, but I was attacked immediately by a party consisting of one priest. I dealt with him with no problem.

The priest left a chest, and my idiotic thief identified the trap on the chest as a poison needle, so I tried to disarm it. As usual, my thief was wrong--the trap on the chest was a teleporter. Teleporter traps, as you might expect, teleport you to a random place on the same level. In my case, it teleported me directly into the lair of Werdna!

Werdna came at me with a vampire lord and three vampires. I started attacking him with everything I had. By the time I realized I might win, and thought to record it, I was halfway through the battle, but the video below shows the rest.

At 00:25, I kill the remaining vampires with some high-level spells, leaving only Werdna. I assailed him with fighters and powerful area effect spells. There are a lot of pauses in here as I try to figure out the best spells to use. Werdna whacks me with a MADALTO at 01:30, killing two of my characters, but at that time he's pretty weak, and my bishop kills him with a very weak MOLITO. I get the Amulet of Werdna.

At 02:25, you see me try to raise one of my dead characters--it never feels right to win the game when some of your characters are dead--but as usual it goes wrong and he turns to ash. Then I spend about a minute trying to figure out how to get off the level before I realize that I have to use the Amulet of Werdna to teleport myself. I haven't used teleport yet--it's one of the last spells you get, and I never got it--so it took me some time to figure it out. But ultimately I return to the castle and get the coveted "you won" screen at 03:50.

For reasons I don't understand, only two of my characters are around at this point, and I spent a few seconds trying to heal the others before saying screw it, I won the game. And I never had to map Level 10. As much as I'd like to do that and get those last spell levels--I really wanted to have the experience of clearing out multiple groups of monsters at one time with a TILTOWAIT spell--I know that upon my first death, I'd get frustrated and move on--so I think I'll do that preemptively.

Closing Thoughts

It helps that there's only one dungeon in Wizardry and the dungeon is relatively simple to navigate. If Wizardry had been the size of, say, Might and Magic VII or Neverwinter Nights and insisted on permanent death with no reloading, I wouldn't have lasted very long.

As I said in my introductory post, I like games that are a little difficult. And when they aren't difficult enough, I make them more difficult by forcing myself to save only once per screen/level or something like that. But Wizardry goes a bit too far. I'm glad that its attitudes towards death and saving did not propagate to later CRPGs.

But let's give Wizardry the credit that it deserves. It is, as far as I can tell, the first CRPG to feature:

  • Multiple characters in a party
  • Experience points and levels the way we think of them in CRPGs today
  • Multiple foes at the same time
  • A complex magic system (on both the sending and the receiving ends!)
  • Separate spells for mages and priests
  • Tactical combat
  • Multiple types of items--weapons, armor, helms, accessories--that you can find and wield.
  • Items that must be identified
  • Cursed items
  • A full list of D&D-style races and classes
  • Classes restricted based on ability scores
  • Alignments (I could be wrong about this)
  • The ability to change classes (which I didn't do)
Many of these features, of course, are derived from the pen-and-paper role-playing games (primarily Dungeons & Dragons) that existed in the era, but that's the point: Wizardry proved that complex D&D style role-playing could be adapted to a computer environment.

As a landmark in the history of CRPGs, it was fun and interesting to play. I'm not sorry I did. But neither am I sorry I played it only once.

On to Telengard.

One Last Edit

I was closing out my map file, and I suddenly realized why the architecture of Level 9 struck me as so weird: the creator of the game put his initials in the map: RJW. I think I remember something like this in Might and Magic I.


For further reading: My coverage of Wizardry: Scenario #2 - The Knight of Diamonds (1982), Wizardry: Scenario #3 - The Legacy of Llylgamyn (1983), The Return of Werdna: The Fourth Wizardry Scenario (1986), Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom (1988), Wizardry: Bane of the Cosmic Forge (1990), Wizardry: Crusaders of the Dark Savant (1992). We also look at the first Japanese Wizardry game in Wizardry: Suffering of the Queen (1991) and a guest post on "The Long Life of the Original Wizardry in Japan." Learn more about Wizardry's source in my coverage of Oubliette (1977). Games and Series influenced by Wizardry include The Bard's Tale (1985) and Might and Magic (1986).


  1. Woohoo! Congratulations on your win and for sticking with it through all the difficult times.

  2. Winning at level 11 is no small feat. Werdna can load up with far worse enemies than Vamps (like Flacks!). It also helps if you get easy encounters on the way there on level 10 (or, getting there via teleport trap; that's how I did it the first time ;P). I once fought a Maelific on level 10 (no problem, we had a 20something ninja in that party) and found a lord's garb (and stupid me, who had been playing lots of Wiz 2, forgot Wiz did teleporting a little different and I Sent us into rock, and we lost it :( ).

    1. Actually, the monsters Werdna summons up are proportionate in level as your party. My main party encountered Flacks (and was slaughtered) but my secondary party only encountered Vampires (and was victorious).

  3. Level 9 has the other creator's initials in the map: ACG: Andrew C Greenberg

  4. Once a friend and I were playing Wizardry and made it to the Werdna encounter -- and it was a *friendly* Werdna! After we stopped laughing we decided to leave in peace, only to discover that without the amulet we were trapped on the 10th level of the dungeon. D'oh!

    1. I just did an experiment (apple 2 version). I went back and killed Werdna, but didn't use the amulet. Instead I cast MALOR, the teleporting spell, for up 10 levels and I got the "you won screen". I'm guessing that is permitted in case the party doesn't have a bishop to identify the amulet.

    2. Problem with this, at least in the Apple II version, is if you go back down to the dungeon then take the stairs back up to the castle you lose the amulet. The only way to not lose (I should say to not give it back) the amulet is to teleport to town every time thereafter you have acquired it.

    3. Also, you can equip and use the amulet's special power to go back to the castle even if you have not identified it.

  5. Awesome story. That's a good idea for a "special topic" entry: when the game mechanics cause things to happen that the developer didn't intend. I'm glad you found my blog today; I hope you didn't spend ALL day reading it.

  6. Nah. I'm doing a reverse archive trawl, though, so I'll probably be dropping comments on posts in anti-chronological order for a little while. I've been playing CRPGs since the mid-1980's, so this blog is a high-octane walk down memory lane.

  7. BTW, what was the minimum number of bonus points that you would accept for a character? I once glanced at a guide that recommended no less than 20. How long did it take you to generate a party?

  8. Elzair - seriously? This is like half a year ago now. I have no idea. I do recall another reader saying that the DOS version had a glitch by which some of your stats would decrease upon leveling up. This happened to me all the time, but I thought it was intentional. Maybe that's why I had such lousy stats at the end.

    1. laugh, thats a bug? No wonder, I was wondering how I was ever goign to get a ninja, guess the answer is, I'm not because of this bug. When I rolled my chars I just took however many stat points they gave me (usually 8 or 9) except for my attempt to get 2 ninjas. I added up all the base stats and found that gnomes actually have the best stats in the game, go figure, since theyre genrally the whipping boys in every other game, so for them I tok a few minutes and waited until I got 15 stat points. I can't imagine waiting for 20 on all my chars. Anyways, the chars are at like level 8 and are nowhere near becoming ninjas because I lose as many stats as I gain each level. I need 102 total stat points to be a ninja (17*6), gnomes start out with 48 (dwarves 47, elves 46), and I got +15 to put me at 63 so I need +39 while each level I probably average +.05. Yeah, not gonna happen, sadness.

    2. No, it was intentional. I saw stat decreases on the NES version too. Stats generally increased, it was a net positive, but they could sometimes decrease.

      It it was a bug, they wouldn't have had text that specifically said, "Your strength goes down a point!", or whatever wording they used.

    3. Indeed a bug. That's why you want to play the Apple version of the game on an emulator. Besides, the Apple version has 16 colours graphics which is much better than the disappointing 4 colours on IBM/DOS, same up to Wizardry 5. Not sure why you're playing the IMB version instead of the original Apple version. If you want to know what all the stats do and other game calculations go to:

    4. Concur with Snarfaru: random stat decreases is a feature, but excessive stat decreases is a bug unique to the MS-DOS version. I chose the Apple version this time, so while I'm not experiencing all-18 stats on my higher level characters (some sites claim this routinely occurs), at least a few of my higher-level characters qualify for the advanced classes. That never happened on my MS-DOS run a few years ago.

    5. Theres a wonderful utility I discovered recently called Where Are We. Its core feature is an auto mapper, but it *also* will simulate 100 or 1000 stat rolls at character creation (allowing you to quickly get high bonuses), and has a feature that effectively removes stat drops on level up (basically it detects and cancels any stat loss). Makes the game *a lot* more fun.

    6. Thanks to Where Are We, I was able to figure out exactly *what* the bug is (although it's beyond me how the port managed to screw this up).

      First, to paraphrase Snafaru's documentation as to how statups are *supposed* to work: when you level up a character, there's a 75% chance a stat gets modified at all. If it gets modified, there's an Age/130 chance it goes down (with a 5/6 chance to nullify the decrease if the stat was currently 18), and otherwise, it goes up.

      So for an 18-year-old character leveling up, for instance, there should be a 64.62% chance of each stat going up, a 10.38% chance of each stat going down (1.73% if from 18), and a 25% chance of no change.

      The bug in the DOS version, at least of Proving Grounds, is that, for *some* reason, that Age/130 check is instead an Age/41 check, which results in a 42.07% chance of a stat-up and a 32.93% chance of a stat-down. (5.49% if already 18.)

      I have no idea how they managed to screw that up, but the divisor of 41 produces exactly the odds Where Are We reports. Note that I didn't check Wiz 2/3/5.

    7. Amazing that 40 years later we are still hacking at Wizardry.

      Now, I have to check that Where Are We utility.

      I can't help but notice that 130DEC is 82HEX which is 41HEX (here's the 41) if you divide by 2, so I wonder if during the port when they were looking at the bytes they messed up, I realize what I am saying here could very well be pure coincidence, but no matter what they were looking at, they messed up.

      Then I'm thinking the original on the Apple was written in the UCSD Pascal language, what programming language was used for the DOS version?


    8. No idea, but a friend of mine noticed the same, which makes me think that they intended to reduce the "old age" check to 65 (which is 0x41 in decimal) instead of 130 as a balancing measure, and just screwed it up.

      I've noticed anecdotally that all of the ports of Wiz1 I've played (NES, SNES, DOS, PSX, GBC, TG16) feel like they have less generous stat growth than the Apple version, but none quite to the degree that the DOS version displays. So I feel like they were aiming for an intentional balance change and just screwed it up.

  9. There isn't a huge difference in power between levels 11 and 13 for grinding it out, but that's still a pretty amazing achievement because the level 7 spells are so dramatic for the big battles. And that's the typical Werdna encounter group I remember, but hacking away at him with a Bishop and a Thief in the party while he casts a useless Zilwan is quite a gift because Werdna has boatloads of hit points and is quite capable of knocking all but your strongest fighters out with a Tiltowait. Back in the day, I was generally happy going at him with a level 13 group if that group had the right mix of quickness and spells. I would rely on ZILWAN to take down the Vampire Lord, throw a MABADI at Werdna with the quickest Mage and hope a fighter got in a hit at the right time afterwards, and blanket the Vampires with whatever I had left. Not getting hopelessly blasted by either Werdna or the Vampire Lord, not to mention the Vampires, was a simple matter of luck. FWIW, I believe the stats generally go up until your character gets OLD, then it's bad news because there's no way to reverse your AGE (at least in Wiz 1). And playing with a full stable of 20 characters is what makes the game great over the long haul, though obviously tedious after you have the maps worked out. I regarded rerolling characters as against the spirit of the game, so starting with low stats was always fine by me (and getting a ninja was exceedingly rare).

  10. Congratulations! When I started getting into CRPGs in the late 80s I heard a lot of praise for this series. I decided I should start by trying the first game and found it far to difficult to play for very long. I commend you for sticking with it to the end.

    Also, I like how you use Excel for mapping. I was always a map junkie, exploring every square of a dungeon just so I could make sure my maps were complete even if it wasn't necessary for the game. However, while I am also a big fan of using Excel for everything (the 2000 version, I still don't like the new one) I think I will stick with good old graph paper and a pencil. :)

  11. Epic! Hurrah for the stupid worthless thief! What a meta-fantastic way to the end the game. He's totally your 'fool of a took!'

    1. @Chase Duncan: +1 for topically relevant Tolkein reference :)

  12. Nice one! Congrats for the win.
    I'm convinced to never try this myself, though :D
    Imagining your incompetent thief messing things up all the time gave me the laughs.
    I can also hear your party arguing whether they should try to resurrect the thief or not.

    Fighter: "The thief has cost us enough already. I say we bury him and forget about him. He hasn't even identified a trap ONCE!"
    Priest: "But he is our comrade. I tell you, this time my spell IS going to work. I have practiced it a lot. Trust me."
    ~casts resurrect~
    ~thief corpse horribly decaying into ash~
    Priest: "Oops! I think i used the wrong ingredient again. I guess it's time to visit the town. Oh well."
    Fighter: "mumble mumble goodbye cash..."

  13. Ultimately, they decided they need a thief if they're ever going to have a chance to recover their treasure. And the cycle begins anew.

  14. i guess you are thinking about the MY NAME IS SHELTEM hint in the last dungeon of MM1.

  15. Yes. Even though I vaguely remembered it while playing "Wizardry," it took me embarrassingly long to figure it out in MM1.

  16. This is my first post to this gem of a blog which I stumbled upon while perusing RPGWatch.
    I just had to say how hard I laughed at the thief comments! I played Wizardy on my Apple II (I was probably about 12 years old around that time) and had a great time. I was also very much into mapping although the double-back thing led me off-track a couple of times and led to a panicky party running around and bumping into walls and monster encounters :-) . Although I recognize everything in your blog, I have trouble remembering my own experiences, I haven't replayed this game in almost 30 years. I do remember playing with a wizard called Mondain and using teleport a lot (figuring out how to do it safely). The game mechanics did lead to multiple parties also in my case but I do vaguely remember that powering of the Apple in the heat of battle (seeing that things were going rapidly southwards) helped in some way although I'm not really sure. Anyway, big kudos to this fantastic project and to your endurance, I can't fathom how you make time for this! I'm now skipping to the M&M threads and will surely post some comments there because they were my first really formative cRPG experiences!

  17. I'm glad to hear about your memories, Slam. I think shutting down the computer prevents the game from overwriting the saved game and allows you to effectively "reload" when you return to the game. There's some complexity about it that I forget, and I didn't even realize it until late in the game (at which point it would have been useless to cheat even if my rules allowed it).

  18. Thanks for your blog, a great read and an inspiration to those of us without the spare time to play every game!

    I've started blogging my game playing (mostly retro rpg's + console RPG's) and am currently playing through Wizardry, currently my characters are level 13 (with one 14) and finding level 10 quite challenging, with quite a few deaths.

    I hope you can continue to find enjoyment out of your project, as lots of these older games are just terrible (with the occasional gem). I don't have the patience for that, so am just going to select ones I want to play!

  19. I sometimes enjoy the terrible ones--they give me interesting things to write about.

  20. Couple of thoughts:

    If somebody wants to play Wizardry 1-5 today, they should try playing the SNES version. It has much better graphics and an enjoyable soundtrack. Also, with an emulator like ZNES you can use save states to save the game, which helps you prevent a lot of misery.

    I'm currently playing Wizardry for the first time and I have to say I'm not having problems with my thief at all. I think I maxed out or almost maxed out his thief stats after rerolling a couple of times, and when your luck and agility is high enough you barely ever fail in disarming a trap.

  21. I finally beat this today! Woot!

    My thief has been pretty useful: his agility and luck have been at 18 for several levels now. (My party was Level 12.)

    I did not have your luck though, CRPG Addict. I am "cheating" by using the save-state feature in AppleWin, and I ended up fighting Werdna about a dozen times before I won the game. (I actually beat him on the 2nd try, but didn't know what to do after. I think my party's inventory was already full so I think my party was stuck.)

    I have to say that Wizardry goes beyond "challenging" into the "unfair and no fun" category. Even when you have flawless tactics, you can be TPK'd if a bunch of high-level mages or dragons or vampires surprise your party. And the final battle with Werdna seems to boil down to who can cast TILTOWAIT first.

    While I likes me some randomness, the randomness of Wizardry can completely cancel 20+ hours of hard work, no matter what you do.

    But given all that, I still had quite a lot of fun -- but I imagine that if I didn't use my save feature I would've had to start with a new party from Level 1 maybe two or three times before beating Werdna. (And only after a whole lot of power-leveling, which I loathe -- to me that is the definition of anti-fun.)

  22. Perhaps you were lucky you didn't have to deal with mapping Level 10.

    While I love mapping with my trusty pencil and paper, and while I've tackled with some of the hardest that Bard's Tale 2 threw at me (including a massive area with magical darkness, anti-magic, and spinners!), Level 10 of Wizardry was probably the toughest mapping challenge for me yet.

    I was really thrown by the fact that the screen doesn't flash when you magically teleport. Sometimes I would be teleported without knowing it, and sometimes I would guess that I teleported when I actually didn't!

    That's because there were some walls that "suddenly appeared or disappeared" simply when you look at them from a different angle. Ugh! I almost had a mapping hernia!

    And no, I do not intend to try Wizardry 4. This was enough Wizardry for me! :)

    1. On level 10, I eventually just threw my map out the window and decided to see what would happen if I just plowed ahead. Worked out great since there is really only one path.

  23. Glad I spared myself that. I'd hate to have to cast a DUMAPIC literally every move. Congratulations on winning. I wouldn't feel bad about using save states, given that you're probably exploring the game from more of a "historical curiosity" standpoint than really trying to immerse yourself in it. DOSBox doesn't support save states, so I couldn't do it even if I wanted to.

  24. I've kinda given up on the not cheating thing. After the fifth time I had someone turned to ashes and then permanently deleted I got tired of rerolling and grinding Murphy's Ghosts. Now whenever someone dies I just close out dosbox and restart an out party to save myself the 30 minutes of grind. I can't imagine how many more characters I'd have to relevel now that I'm constantly geting one-shot by priests casting badi before i can silence/sleep/kill them. On a positive note, after my 3rd bishop died the one true death I finally realized theyre completely useless in a dungeon and you just need one sitting in the tavern staying just sober enough to ID all your stuff before going back to his cups. I've replaced him with another mage and have werdna in my sights.

    1. I don't blame you. I had to keep multiple sets of characters and grind them all. I can't imagine having that kind of dedication today.

    2. On a modern replay, maxing out emulator speed and macroing can really change your definition of grinding. With this setup, your characters can "grind" 30,000 XP out of Murphy's Ghosts in 3-4 minutes, or 300K XP in 30-40 minutes.

      One drawback with AppleWin: when done with Murphy's Ghosts, you must remember to set emulator speed to one click less than max, or the chest identification message passes to quickly to be seen, which can make looting very costly!


      I assign F4 to a standard combat cycle, say {f1 f1 f1 p p p enter} (each fighter attacks first enemy group, while the back row parries). This executes one combat cycle in the blink of an eye.

      I assign F5 to inspect the space, leave, observe the idol, and search {i L enter enter y}, which instantly spawns a new engagement.

      If the ghosts are friendly, I leave and hit F5 again.

      In combat, I hit F4 until enemies are vanquished, then hit F5. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      I pay attention to my fighter's health, and occasionally forego the macro to manually attack while the back row heals anyone whose hit points have become too low.

      This rapid grinding transforms the game. I don't know how others play, but my objectives become the formation of my ideal party, and then dungeon question in the more difficult areas for those highly desirable but extremely rare equipment items.

      Even so, with the apple version, the monsters occasionally surprise you, and it becomes very exciting to see how many tiltowaits and breath attacks your optimized party can survive.

    3. That's an interesting approach. The only way I've ever been able to really justify grinding is that it takes time and is a bit boring, so you're really putting in some "work" for that reward. I suppose if you find a way to "work smarter" like you did, you're still putting in the work. Still, if it trivializes grinding to the point that the rest of the game isn't challenging, I'd regard that as a problem, as it unbalances the entire game. I suppose as long as you're having fun . . .

  25. Hardcore Gaming 101 just released an interview with RJW. Interesting stuff especially about Wizardry IV. No spoilers (for CRPGA), since Trebor left after IV:


    1. It's interesting that one of the screenshots mentions the influence of Oubliette, but not the text of the interview.

    2. Updating the dead link:

  26. Woot! Werdna goes down on the first attempt, I 'surprised' them and only one enemy got one attack off before they all died, heh, ended up being pretty easy actually. On to the next one!

    1. There's probably a "special topics" posting in here somewhere: disappointingly easy final battles.

  27. ...and once again it's obvious you really are more patient than I'd ever be with a game :)

  28. Your so lucky that you don't teleport into stones in level 10. I fact, half of level 10 is made up of stone and if you teleport to them, the entire party is instantly killed, along with their equipment, and can't be bring back by other parties :)

  29. Great write up! I'm currently working my way through the game myself. I'm about half done mapping dungeon level 3. After I lost my party and had to restart (I had 3 7th level characters beheaded in a surprise attack on dungeon level 2) I decided to overcompensate by keeping a large roster of characters. It's slow-going, but less nerve-wracking.

    I don't think the attribute fluctuations in the DOS version are a bug. I think it's supposed to be hard to raise your attributes. After my first party got wiped out, I started tracking how often my attributes went up and how often they went down whenever I went up a level. There's about a 50% chance of an attribute being modified each level. For each one that's modified, there's about a 55% chance it will go up, and a 45% chance it will go down. This has been pretty consistent over the 360+ changes I've recorded. It's too consistent to be a glitch, imo. Your stats do go up, but very, very slowly. If you don't spam stats during character creation, getting an elite class other than a Bishop and the occasional Samurai is going to be a pretty rare feat. My characters frequently have their attributes driven below starting minimums for their class; most of my fighters still have a strength around 11 by the 5th or 6th level.

    1. I appreciate your analysis, but it just seems odd to me that they'd create prestige classes like the ninja that would be almost impossible to achieve through normal gameplay. Then again, they were certainly willing to make everything else extremely challenging.

      Good luck with your game!

    2. I'm working my way through the game again as well. The NES version definitely has better chances of stats going up. I haven't read through Chet's postings yet, but my understanding is the DOS version has about an equal chance for a stat to go up or down. In the NES version, it seems more like 70-30 up or down, and 80-20 for primary stats based on class. That's just the feeling I get; all of my characters had 18s by level 13 in their primary and it rarely got marked down.

      Even with better stats, the game seems entirely random. I came upon him recently, level 13 - 14 with some decent equipment, and got completely obliterated the first turn. I only hope the next attempt will go smoother. Grinding for levels doesn't seem to add much of a safety net.

      Honestly, the Ninja class seems a little overrated. The idea of using no armor suggests it's a benefit, but even at level 14 he's still better off wearing the basic gear. Decapitation is a pipe dream and superfluous with mass damage spells like Tiltowait. I still got one because well, you know... Ninja.

    3. I think it's in keeping with the rest of the game's design philosophy. It seems a little weird to have your stats randomly fluctuate a little every level, but *everything* in this game depends heavily on randomness. My very first party was slaughtered on dungeon level one by a group of zombies + bushwackers. (For those who haven't played it, Zombies, normally encountered on level 2, paralyze when they hit, and bushwackers are the toughest enemy on level 1.) Having now had hundreds of encounters on level 1, I know how small the chance of getting this kind of encounter is, but that's what happened. 99% of the time you get a routine first level encounter, but every once in a while something tougher shows up. Wildly changing attribute scores aren't out of place in a game where it's possible to have your entire party decimated in your very first encounter through no fault of your own.

      Also, I imagine that when it first came out they expected people to play it a few times. There wasn't nearly as much competition for these kinds of games back then and at the time it was state of the art. If you go through several dozen characters you're bound to get one or two elite class characters eventually.

      Anyway, thanks for writing these. I'll try not to make myself too much of a nuisance. :)

    4. Maybe calling it a bug is inaccurate, but the developers seemed to change the algorithm in ports. It's hard to see value in replaying these difficult for difficult's sake games, with fate hinging on the luck of a single roll of the dice. Dice rolls the RPG isn't that fun there's a semblance that player actions matter. Beating a game like this only shows a stubbornness to achieve a lucky outcome. I'm bullheaded in this way and will finish Wizardry for the NES at some point. I actually think the DOS version was easier, I remember beating it as a teenager.

      Even Chet here admits winning the game at the point he did by pure luck. I still can't get over Werdna not leveling his party with Tiltowait, but that's how the dice roll.

    5. Necrotizing comments?

      I'm curious if anybody ever figured out definitively if the RNG for resurrecting, disarming, stat progression or anything else is borked in the DOS version that shipped with the Ultimate Wizardry Archives? I've been desperately trying to make it through it, and it's just an exercise in frustration. My stats rather consistently plummet, I've not once has a successful revival or rebirth, and I'm not even sure why I have a thief with me for all the good he does disarming traps.

      I thought maybe I was just a wimp, but out of curiosity I tried the Apple II, Commodore 64 and SNES versions just to see how I fared.

      Well, I found I didn't have the patience for the Apple II or Commodore 64 versions, but the SNES version is pretty slick, and I'm also finding I get far more favorable RNG results. My stats more generally increase, giving me 2 or 3 bumps for every fall. I've actually successfully revived characters at the temple too! I didn't think it was possible!

      I did find this breakdown of the math behind the scenes in Wizardry.

      What really makes me think the DOS version is glitched is that supposedly the Temple of Cant should have a 50% + 3 * Vitality chance of reviving a dead character. I cannot fathom how I can fail to ever revive a single character if that's true.

      Also, supposedly the younger your character, the more likely your stats go up, with a chance of 86% at age 18. This is also not even close to what I've experienced in the DOS version.

      Anyways, just pitching this into the pot if anybody stumbles by it.

    6. I didn't have your problems when I played Wizardry a year ago. Stats seem to go down 1/3 of the time, and Resurrection rarely failed if VIT was 16+ (you only get bonuses for stats in the 16-18 range).
      My Rogue generally was sucessful too.

      In general I'd recommend re-rolling until you get at least 15 bonus points. Then max out VIT for your melee types. Priests and Mages need Wisdom and Int respectively to learn new spells (low Wis and Int will really handicap them).
      Rogues need high Agility as well as Vit, Agility for max chances and Vit when they make fatal mistakes.
      Remember, there's no practical difference between 4 and 15 VIT! I have a hunch that too low stats is your problem. Better to max out one or two stats, than have 13-15 in all.

    7. In my winning post on Wizardry III, a commenter named Malte inspected and explained the code for the Apple II version:

      His calculations were that an attribute stays the same 25% of the time, increase .075 X 0.85 = 64% of the time, and decreases 0.75 x 0.15 = 11% of the time. I think the DOS version is more balanced towards decreases, maybe by intent, maybe by a bug in the code, but either way his response is worth checking out. It probably mirrors what you found.

      I agree with you on resurrections, though I did have SOME successes there.

    8. Yeah, I've actually been looking at the Apple II decompiled Pascal for the first Wizardry, and I can mostly confirm his findings as well.

      If I had to make a gut call, it's that whoever ported this to DOS misunderstood how the RANDOM function works and/or something subtle inside DOSBOX is skewing it. In Apple Pascal it gave you an integer between 0 and max. This was always moded to give a useful range. However, looking at modern Pascal this provides a real number between 0.0 and 1.0, unless your give it parameters. And who knows what the function did whenever this was ported to DOS for the Ultimate Wizardry Archives. It's possible they just read up on whatever contemporary Pascal was doing, and not what 1981 Apple Pascal was doing.

      Or, they just decided to make an already notoriously difficult game even more difficult. But something something malice something something incompetence, right?

    9. Old post, I know, but I'm currently playing the Commodore 64 version (it looks like the CGA version, but with better / more colors; screen updates are slower but bearable), and stats going down happens, but it's relatively rare. Most of the time, 3-5 stats go up, and then about half the time one stat goes down as well. So it's common to see 3-5 increases and no decreases, or 3-5 increases and one decrease, which is still a net gain, of course.

      As, AFAIK, the C64 version of Wizardry 1 was released years later (1987, I think) than the DOS one, it's likely that the DOS version was indeed bugged in terms of the RNG. Kyle's hypothesis makes sense, it could well be the cause -- and that was probably fixed for (or didn't affect) the C64 release.

  30. I just finished the NES port. I did the same thing, teleported back to the castle by going up 10 floors, and I got a message that I landed in the moat and some of my party drowned. Seems that happened to you too, but the game probably skipped over the message to give you the congratulatory screen.

    Tiltowait is nice for clearing out enemies. If my ninja were better at disarming traps, then I would have spent more time clearing out level 10.

    As far as I can tell, the NES port is very close to the PC version. The main difference is a menu based interface for spells, combat, and inventory. It also seems, as noted above, that stat gains are more consistent. DI never worked for me either. Someone mentioned the NES was dumbed down, but I don't think there was much of a difference. I had more trouble with this version compared to playing through on DOS about 14 years ago. I did not like the randomness of this game, and how a single combat can wipe out your entire party.

    1. Reading through others' account of the game, I realized running was a lot easier on the NES. I do remember a few times I couldn't run, so I'd probably place it at 90 - 95% success rate. It saved me quite a bit of trouble on the last floor since I could run from virtually any bad fights on the other side of the door. I was still wary of surprise monsters.

  31. I just discovered your blog and had to laugh for two reasons. First, I thought I was the only one crazy enough to play all the old RPGs in rough chronological order, but obviously you beat me to it by a couple of years. I'm also playing text based adventures such the Infocom games.

    Second, I beat Werdna the same exact way - due to my thief's incompetence and the teleport trap! Level ten is exceedingly difficult. You have to face six "fixed" random encounters on the way to Werdna. They are fixed encounters in the sense that you will always encounter monsters on those spaces (and you cannot run from them), but just what monsters you face is random. You might face 1 troll, or you might face 6 Master Ninjas, 4 Greater Demons, 6 Archmages, and 3 Dragons. Most of the monster combinations were absurdly difficult. I made it to Werdna the hard way twice, and was wiped out twice (I cheated by backing up my game file, so I did not have to start over). I failed to even reach Werdna what seemed like 100 times.

    In the end, my two fighters and my idiot thief (who I still call an idiot, even though his blunder saved the day) were level 13, and my two mages and priest were level 12. No 7th level spells for me, either!

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. I got awfully luck on my first expedition to the level, then.

      Not having the ability to cast Level 7 spells bites you in the butt on the first map of Wizardry II, I found.

  32. Fun reading your blog. I remember playing Wizardry to death when I was 13 or so, 30 years ago. A lot of the challenge disappeared when I figured out how to manipulate the system to keep doubling your equipment and your gold (you would give all your gold to one person, have them leave your party, go into the maze, then shut it off - when you recovered your party, both the guy who left early and your recovered party would still have the gold). I also vaguely remember a cheat where your bishop could identify item "9" and get a million or so EP - your attributes do, eventually, max out. Finally, I remember that the best random equipment in the maze was a sword called "Cuisinart" - I had no idea what a Cuisinart was at 13. But the thing would dole out 40-50 points of damage.

    1. Interesting. I thought Might & Magic II was the first game to employ a Cuisinart in a fantasy setting. I guess the promising of slicing and dicing was too much for anyone to resist.

  33. Winning sort of by accident completely counts, when it's a game as random and unforgiving as this one. Good work sir!

  34. See, I absolutely love the death system on Wizardry. I wish more modern games were like that. I'm also a big Roguelike fan, and permadeath is a big part of the reason why.

    I'd rather have my character get killed, than save and reload and play the exact same tough encounter over and over again until I win. I hate replaying stuff I've already done. It kills my interest and the immersion.

    It also leads to some lazy design, since scenarios that are probably too hard get added to games with the idea that the player is probably going to die the first time, but that death ultimately doesn't matter. With no permadeath, game developers have to create an artificial challenge.

  35. Will Neutrals turn to Evil if you keep fighting Friendlies? I haven't seen this happen yet. Only my Good characters turned to Evil. I need my neutral thief to go evil.

    1. No, nothing seems to happen to neutrals no matter what. But why do you feel you must switch the thief's alignment?

    2. I guess he wants to change his thief to Ninja using a certain evil restricted dagger that changes class to Ninja when activated. Probably the only way to get a legitimate Ninja in the DOS version of the game.

  36. i like a lot of these old RPG'S too.I've seen comments around here of people saying that the super nintendo versions of Wizardry is the best versions of the early wizardy games,but i don't think this is will find that there is several disc images for playstation versions of Wizardry that were released in Japan in the late 90's=
    WIZARDY 123-
    WIZARDY 4-5-,Ja%29_%28v1.0%29/177319
    i think what a lot of people don't realize (if many people even know they exist) is that the japenese playstation versions of the games can all be translated to english if you adjust some settings settings in the options menu(google it.)
    Not only do the playstaion games have better graphics than any other versions,but have cd quality music and sound,an AUTOMAP,and lots of other nice tweaks and extra features and stuff

  37. Oh,and btw, did you all know there is a modified version of the DOSBOX emulator that allows savestates ? search google for "ykhwong's SVN BUILD" or soemthing like that. you can save/reload any game in dosbox whenever you want. (Alt-F5 to save a state, Alt-F9 to load. 10 save slots, Alt-F6 to decrement slot, Alt-F7 to increment. Just like a console emulator. )
    yep,i know that's cheating, but, hey, you don't have to use it. =D

  38. I wonder if your struggles with the DI resurrection spell were because you were trying to use it in combat. I usually had success with it when I was in camp. Even better was the level 7 spell Kadorto, which could be used if the player was in ashes (although if ashes failed, the player was lost forever).

    1. I tried to use it in combat a few times, I'm sure, but no, most of the time I was well out of danger. I had both DI and KADORTO fail about half the time.

      I think in some other thread, we worked out that the failure rate is much higher in the DOS version and possibly bugged.

  39. What sucks even worse than dying in wiz 1 is dying in wiz 2 and then starting from wiz 1 again.

    My first success was c64 and man I was hyped on the dos version with my 486.

    Later I played around with xcopy of files for backups and later with the net I tried uge

    1. Indeed. This is why I originally bailed on W2 and didn't return to it until years later, when i was willing to make backups of the saved game.

  40. Fun finding this... I played Wiz1 on the PC back in like 1983 on 5.25" floppy... you had to keep swapping. At one point, something bugged on my scenario disk and I got some ridiculous amount of gold. Found a set of Lord's Garb, too. Figured out that you could "cheat" by using diskcopy and bringing characters in from other scenario disks. Won with a group of lords in garb... lived through the Tiltowait Werdna always seems to cast.

  41. Just finished it for the first time! (Where else am I going talk about it? Got to tell you guys!)

    My play-through lacks the purity of yours- I was completely unwilling to do the resurrection/ash dance, and relied on the Utilities->Recover option anytime someone died. I also played the Apple II version, having read the comments saying the DOS version disproportionately drops stats.

    What's interesting is that without perma-death, the pace runs pretty smoothly, almost like a modern game. Very little grinding is necessary- exploring a level and completely mapping it is generally enough work to prepare your characters for the next one. Having to shut off the emulator and recover your characters (and losing your xp progress) is tedious and time-consuming enough to be worth avoiding as much as possible, without adding the looming threat of starting from scratch. Having been raised on games mostly post-1993, grinding is something I prefer to avoid if possible. When I reached level 10 I wasn't strong enough to defeat Werdna. I have played my fair share of World of Warcraft, however, and grinding loses some of its tedium when you get great equipment at the end (farming!) Remembering hearing something about the Thieves Dagger, I did a little research, and couldn't resist farming for the Murasama Blade and the Thieves Dagger, ultimately getting the Lord's Garb and Blade Cuisinart as well (these items gave me some courage to experiment with class changes.) I ended with a 13+ level party, samurai, lord and ninja in the front, priest, bishop and mage in the back, with the best equipment. It was a gloriously short moment before I was forced to turn in all my equipment for the "honor" of joining the elite guard (um, no I'm good, but thanks for thinking of me...) Looks like the DOS version doesn't do that to you...

    In the end it was actually a lot of fun; there's something meditative about stripping away the graphics and the story and just dealing with pure game mechanics. For anyone intimidated by it, but curious, I recommend playing it my way on the Apple II. It's not as triumphant as doing it with perma-death, but it's a good way to experience it without the heartache.

    At the same time, reading your experience, especially with that crazy ending with your thief, there's something to be said about how the difficulty and randomness made your play through personal and unique. I wish more games tried to find a middle ground, that doesn't require the same amount of dedication, but trusts the player to adapt to a certain amount of unpredictability. Closest thing I played to that balance would probably be Ultima 5. A lot to learn from these old games...

    1. I played Wizardry 1 for the first time a couple of years ago, and I too was impressed with it.
      But it is actually quite possible to play it Iron Man, and with no grinding, if you play carefully. The perhaps most important thing is to max out Endurance, in order to maximize chances of Resurrection.

      In comparison Wizardry 3 is much more difficult, since the starting stats are capped at 15 (and thus no bonuses at all) for imported characters.

  42. I think one day I will try it iron man, you know, for the street cred. But it's definitely rough- some of those fights are so unfair, specifically getting surprised by a group of high level monsters that can do group damage spells... There's no way to defend against a wipe out sometimes! I just recently finished Fallout 4 and was thinking about this... Theoretically, because of the degree of your control over your character and tactics, you could consistently avoid surprises, and maybe even iron man it (as difficult as that would be...) But in Wizardry, there's no reason for surprises, it's completely random. Which is fine, but without a way to save... Man that's brutal!

    I will keep Endurance in mind (and dex, to get that first round.) My first time playing I was less picky about my stats, if I do it the hardcore way I'll be more focused on that.

  43. Reading through this blog has brought back a ton of memories. Wizardry 1 was my first computer game and is still on my list of all time greats. Played it at age 10-13 on the first upgraded Mac (best version of the game btw, no other has as crisp graphics and since all the colors sucked B&W was just better) and instantly fell in love with CRPGs. Can't even imagine how many hours have been spent playing games since then, but beating Werdna that first time still stands as my favorite video game moment. ever. (it was early morning on a school day and I was in my undies up way past my bedtime haha). Love this blog

  44. For what it's worth, I've been enjoying Wizardry for about a month or so.

    I think you've really taken the best path by engaging Werdna early. When my team was around level 10-12, I was able to walk around 10th level, no problem. I didn't enter the final room because I wanted to level my characters up some more.

    Unfortunately, once several characters reached level 13, encounters took a step-jump in difficulty. Suddenly I was meeting creatures that could inflict 40 points damage to each member of my group, in a single attack. But, my mages don't have 40 points of health. In fact, averaging one hit point increase per level, they won't exceed 40 points of health for several more levels yet.

    It's just not feasible to enter the dungeon, proceed to 10th level, lose 2 members of the team, return to the castle, and resurrect. Every time.

    But, lesser levels offer lower experience. With members now requiring 400,000 experience more or less per level, it may take years of play to advance.

    For that reason, I'm beginning to think that late game play is somewhat imbalanced. I'm debating taking advantage of Wizardry's adaptive difficulty levels by rolling up a new team, advancing only to level 10-12, and then kicking Werdna's evil butt.

    1. The option I took was take my fighters, turn them into mages, and then roll new fighters. That way everyone could survive a first turn tilt.

    2. Thanks -- great strategy; I'll try it! One challenge that has discouraged multi-classing: for those of us who roll and re-roll until we have 15+ optional points, re-classing scrubs off those statistics benefits.

      On a separate point, I just got a great screen:

      You made the next level!
      You lost Piety
      You lostVitality
      You lost Agility
      You lost Luck
      You gained 1 HitPoints.

      Thanks you Sir! May I have another? LOL

  45. It's funny how I love reading about old crpgs, but I actually haven't played too many of them (mostly because the interface tend to be too cumbersome and primitive) the only one I've beaten was actually Wizardry (the SNES version though)

    I love your blog because anyone can learn about the history of the crpgs, and I can learn of games that I've never heard before (Like the PLATO games or obscure rpgs) I've been just a "lurker" for months, but I finally decided to leave a comment, your blog inspired me to go back and try to play more old games

    Oh, and it also inspired me to create a blog where I talk about games I'm playing too (though I'm not restricted to rpgs... and it's hard to keep a schedule so I haven't done a lot of updates plus I need to work on my writing skills to make the posts more interesting)

    1. I don't see your blog linked from your Google Plus page, so feel free to post it here.

    2. Huh, must be Google+ acting weird again, here's the link anyway, I don't have too much content yet though

  46. Wow. Not sure where to start. Your ambition (or affliction (ha!)) is quite impressive. Please keep up the great work. Falling into your site is like a black hole for me. It's hard to escape. And I haven't even really got past the Wizardry games.

    I originally played and beat both Wizardry I and II on the Apple II within a few years of their release. (yes I am that old) And I completed Wizardry VII some time much later. So I was looking to go back and play some of those that I didn't all those years ago. Wizardry III, IV, V, VI, 8.

    Which is why I am back in Wizardry I creating characters for Wizardry III to play at some point. I really want to transfer over a Lord so I have to build the party a bit to get one. But dang, I really don't want to have a Thief in the party and have checked out the Wizardry calcs here:
    So does the Thief really have any advantage over another character with the same Agility level when it comes to disarming? (Inspecting, yes they have a built in advantage) I am assuming and hoping it is just based on Agility.

    On another note, I saw you comment about Brutus alerting you to the CGA setting. "Early in my re-play, Brutus alerted me to a DOSBox setting that would produce better graphics and color. I did it, and agreed that it was better, but then had to switch back to the default settings for MegaTraveller. When I went back to Wizardry III, I completely forgot about the issue."

    So thank you for that. I never considered that the colors were a tad funky due to that. So I am now running with that setting.

    But in that same quote you mentioned that you forgot to change the setting back. I searched and didn't find another post on your site on this subject so I thought I would mention that you can have individual settings for each game under DOSBOX. (hopefully you haven't blown by the need for this or maybe it will help someone else) What you do is create a separate file with ONLY the settings you want to change from your global DOSBOX CONF file.

    I create a simple .BAT file to start each of my games. My .BAT file is in the same directory/folder as "" for Wizardry I (Wizardry Archives version) and the .BAT file looks like this:

    dosbox .\ -userconf -conf ".\wiz_dosbox.conf" -exit

    My "wiz_dosbox.conf" file is in the same directory/folder as "" as well. The contents of "wiz_dosbox.conf" are just these lines:

    cycles=fixed 500

    The "-userconf" parm tells it to use the global settings first and then apply the user specific settings in "wiz_dosbox.conf" to override anything in the global settings. That way you don't have to modify the global settings that you have set for the majority of your games.

    As was described in another post, the Wizardry Archives version of the games is looking for the "SAVEx.DSK" file for each particular game when you want to transfer/move characters. You just need to have that save file in the same directory as the game you want to transfer into. I put each of the games in separate directories/folders to avoid accidental transfers. I would also note that Wizardry V will accept characters from I, II, or III as well. With a 1 to 3 point per attribute reduction from what I can tell.

    My apologies, this got far longer than intended. (as does my visits to your site)

    1. Thanks for commenting, LanHawk. I'm glad you enjoy the blog, but man, I cringe when I see the length and quality of these early entries.

      The DOSBox stuff is great information for other people. For some reason, I won't use it. I don't know why. I recognize that it's easier than changing the settings in the main configuration file for every game, but I'm going to continue to do that anyway. It's one of those inscrutable things. Hopefully others benefit from it, though.

    2. As a note (For other people, I guess) you don't need to do this. You can specify what config file to use in a windows shortcut.

      I was about to write up how to do it, but realized I could link to something like which has screenshots and everything.

  47. Well, I just tried playing Wizardry for the first time myself. I was having fun, had mapped nearly all of the first floor and had gotten my party to level 5-6. I was not having any of the thief disarming difficulties you were--I would say he successfully identified and then disarmed traps probably 9 times out of 10 or more.

    However, my bishop and mage both lost a point of vitality every single level up and the bishop died of old age at 15 years old, after resting just 8-9 times. The mage has 1 point of vitality left before he also dies of old age. Super duper lame.

    I have read some commenters saying that there is a bug in the dos version, and that's all I can assume happened to me, but I don't know how to stick with the game when my PCs just wither on the vine like that.

    1. Back when I was playing, I didn't give enough attention to different versions. I had the version that appeared in the Ultimate Wizardry Archives, and while my characters occasionally lost attributes during level-up, it was never quite as bad as must have been possible in the original DOS version.

      I agree with Snafaru that playing the Apple II version makes more sense, though not for the color.

  48. Indeed it is a nasty bug in the IBM version where you lose more stat points than you gain. That's why you want to play the Apple version of the game on an emulator. Besides, the Apple version has 16 colours graphics which is much better than the disappointing 4 colours on IBM/DOS, same deal up to Wizardry 5. The guide I made for my Wiz mod shows all the easy steps to run Wizardry in an Apple emulator here: . As for the original game disks, they are here: make sure the pick the filenames with "Original" in it. As a side note. If you want to know what all the stats do and other game calculations go to:


    1. Thanks. I've decided to move on to Icewind Dale after the bug, but I definitely want to get back to it eventually. I'll make sure to use the A2 version instead, although I've never used the emulator. Hopefully not too finicky.

  49. I posted once, perhaps a bit angrily, that Wizardry was a "dull, punishing snoozefest." After playing the NES version (which isn't much of an upgrade--the only thing it really adds is colors and some music) I'm here to eat crow and say that it is actually pretty fun. The music and color helps my imagination along the last little bit it needed to find the game engaging instead of tedious, as I had previously surmised when playing the DOS version.

    Also, it might interest you that there's a new Wizardry game for PCs. It was PlayStation exclusive for a few years, but in January it was ported for PC and put on Steam and GOG. I haven't played it, but from what I can gather it's pretty faithful despite the new anime aesthetic.

    Wizardry is in some sort of legal grey area in Japan--being massively popular but with the original rights-holders long gone, smaller developers have been reviving the brand independent of each other. They've had varying degrees of success and faithfulness, but until recently they've been exclusive to consoles and handhelds.

  50. A note, Chet will likely never play this, but the Wizardry 1 port to the Wonderswan Color (A Japanese only handheld gaming system) has been translated to English.

    "This particular handheld port is not just simply a remake like the previous ones (NES, SNES, GBC, PSX, Windows). It introduced exclusive new features such as showing pictures for related items and events, new exclusive versions of weapons and items that weren’t originally available, a free automap feature, the ability to download New Maze and Shopping via Wonder Gate, and finally a new unlockable Survival Mode once the game is cleared. The Survival Mode is basically defeating waves of monsters without getting wiped out and achieving the high score. "

    1. That sounds like functionally a different game. It makes me wonder how many other "ports" were so different from their originals that I really should treat them as new titles entirely.

    2. Quite a few of the early ones, since "porting" a game meant literally reprogramming it from the ground up in the very early era. You'd get less changes when going from very similar computers most of the time, but when going from a DOS computer to a Gameboy or Supernintendo or weird British computer you'd get strange stuff happening.

      Also, often the art would have to be totally redone as the screen resolution would be very different, and the colour pallet would have nothing in common, etc etc.

      Luckily, most of the big changes will be when moving to consoles, which unless things have changed a lot you still don't do, and when translating things to Japanese. That said, I've been watching and a lot of stuff has been coming out where they take the Japanese version of an English game that had major script changes, and translate it back to English so you can see what Japanese players thought the plot to Might and Magic or Wizardry or whatever was.

  51. This was really quite an amazing game in its day. Long, long ago, when the Earth was young and my time would have been better spent studying, SirTech released the first Wizardry on the Apple II. I had a Commodore 64, but my colleague was gracious enough to tolerate my near-continuous use of his Apple II, throughout my Wizardry obsession. I haven't seen him since those college days, but Mark, if you should ever stumble across this note all these years later, thank you so much for your truly charitable tolerance of those abuses of your kindness.

    While today you have helped us understand something of its provenance, there was absolutely nothing like it in the day that was accessible to us in the home computer market.

    Anyway, thanks again, CRPG Addict, for bringing back those memories and helping us with our current nostalgic play-throughs!

  52. Fun to stumble onto this blog. My friend and I played Wizardry for many, many Saturday mornings in our childhood until finally beating it. I came across it again last year, and played again for nostalgia sake. Got all the way to level 10 and my thief did the same as yours -- tripped a teleport trap. In my world, though, we teleported into a rock wall...and that was that. Ah well. Thanks for writing!


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