Wizardry games

Group Description

Wizardry 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.

Award(s)

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #2 Most Memorable Game Villain (Werdna)
Related Link(s)
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Game TitleYearPlatformsorted in ascending orderPublisherUser Score
Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls2009iPhone, PlayStation 3XSEED Games4.06
Wizardry: Crusaders of the Dark Savant1992DOS, FM Towns, Linux, PC-98, PlayStation, WindowsGT Interactive Software Corp.4.02
Wizardry: The Second Episode - Curse of the Ancient Emperor1992Game BoyASCII Corporation...
Wizardry: The First Episode - Suffering of the Queen1991Game BoyASCII Corporation...
Wizardry: Llylgamyn Saga1997PlayStation, SEGA Saturn, WindowsASCII Entertainment Software, Inc.3.57
Wizardry VI & VII Complete1996SEGA SaturnData East Corporation...
Wizardry Online2013WindowsSony Online Entertainment Inc....
Wizardry 6+72013WindowsGamepot Inc.5.00
The Ultimate Wizardry Archives1998DOS, WindowsInterplay Entertainment Corp.3.51
Wizardry Xth: Academy of Frontier2005PlayStation 2Michaelsoft Inc.4.00
Wizardry Xth: Unlimited Students2006PlayStation 2Michaelsoft Inc.4.00
Wizardry: Summoner2001Game Boy AdvanceNatsume, Inc.4.20
Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom1988Apple II, Commodore 128, Commodore 64, FM Towns, PC-88, PC-98, PC Booter, SNES, TurboGrafx CDCapcom U.S.A., Inc.4.13
Wizardry III・IV 1994TurboGrafx CDNaxat Soft4.44
Wizardry I・II1993TurboGrafx CDNaxat Soft4.47
Wizardry 6, 7, and 82013WindowsNight Dive Studios...
Wizardry 82001Macintosh, WindowsEncore, Inc.4.11
Wizardry Trilogy 21994DOSSir-tech Software, Inc.5.00
Wizardry: Bane of the Cosmic Forge1990Amiga, DOS, FM Towns, Macintosh, PC-98, SNESSir-tech Software, Inc.4.12
Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord1981Apple II, Commodore 128, Commodore 64, FM-7, Game Boy Color, Macintosh, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, PC Booter, Sharp X1, WonderSwan ColorNEXOFT Corporation3.59
Wizardry: The Return of Werdna - The Fourth Scenario1987Apple II, FM-7, PC-88, PC-98, PC Booter, Sharp X1Sir-tech Software, Inc.3.59
Wizardry: Knight of Diamonds - The Second Scenario1982Apple II, Commodore 64, FM-7, Game Boy Color, Macintosh, NES, PC-88, PC-98, PC Booter, Sharp X1ASCII Entertainment Software, Inc.3.47
Wizardry: Legacy of Llylgamyn - The Third Scenario1983Apple II, Commodore 128, Commodore 64, FM-7, Game Boy Color, NES, PC-88, PC-98, PC Booter, Sharp X1Sir-tech Software, Inc.3.71
The Wizardry Trilogy: Scenarios I, II & III1987Apple II, Commodore 64, PC BooterSir-tech Software, Inc.4.59
Wizardry Gold1996Macintosh, WindowsSir-tech Software, Inc.3.83
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Selected Covers

Wizardry Gold Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Wizardry Gold

Selected Screenshots

Title screen of the Windows version. The original resolution of 640x480 was not scaled to fit the screen, leaving a black frame around the game window on higher resolutions.
Screenshot from Wizardry Gold
Title screen.
Screenshot from Wizardry Online