Group DescriptionWizardry is a series of role-playing games originally developed by Sir-tech. The first game, Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (1981), is widely considered one of the progenitors of the genre, alongside Ultima. The game required the player to create a party of six characters, selecting between races and classes influenced by D&D scenarios. The player then explored a maze-like pseudo-3D dungeon, fighting randomly appearing enemies in turn-based combat. Subsequent installments were for the most part based on this template.
Wizardry introduced the concept of prestige classes, allowing the player to create versatile and powerful characters belonging to the classes of bishop, lord, ninja, samurai, and valkyrie, available only through large quantities of bonus points received at dice rolls, or by switching to them during the course of the game. The initial entries were set in a traditional fantasy environment with the races typical for the setting; later games incorporated science fiction elements and added exotic playable races such as lizardman, dracon, the feline Felpurr, the canine Rawulf, and the mysterious alien-like Mook.
The first installments in the series were created by Robert Woodhead and Andrew Greenberg. David Bradley was brought to the team as the lead designer of Heart of the Maelstrom (1988). However, it was mainly in Bane of the Cosmic Forge (1990) where his ideas were fully realized, making that entry a turning point in the series with its new skill system, magic disciplines, and a more refined interaction with NPCs. The main series ended with the release of Wizardry 8 (2001), the last Wizardry game developed by Sir-tech. However, several spin-offs designed by Japanese developers were released afterwards.
Early Wizardry games had a considerable influence on the development of role-playing games. In particular, they proved to be popular in Japan, influencing early Xtalsoft RPGs, Dragon Quest and to a certain extent Phantasy Star. Random enemy encounters and party turn-based combat mechanics eventually became the staple element of the Japanese RPG genre.
This group includes the main series as well as spin-offs.
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #2 Most Memorable Game Villain (Werdna)
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Front cover for Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord
Front cover for Wizardry III・IV
Front cover for Wizardry Xth: Unlimited Students
Front cover for Wizardry Trilogy 2
Front cover for Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom
Screenshot from Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord
Screenshot from Wizardry III・IV
Screenshot from Wizardry: Llylgamyn Saga
Screenshot from Wizardry VI & VII Complete
Screenshot from Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom