DescriptionA long time ago, the great wizard Zot forged an orb of power. He soon vanished, leaving behind a vast castle filled with monsters, traps, and great treasures including the orb of power. The player takes the role of a bold adventurer in search of the orb of power and whatever other treasures he can make it out of the castle with.
The Wizard's Castle is a text-based role-playing game. The player creates a character, choosing between the races of elf, human, dwarf, and hobbit, distinguished by their personal statistics (strength, intelligence, and dexterity). The player can also choose the initial weapons, armor, and items to take on the quest. When all is ready, the hero ventures into the dungeon.
Gameplay is in some ways similar to a text adventure, with text descriptions replacing graphics. Simple commands are used to move from room to room, consult a map, or look around. However, many times the player only needs to choose from a several options for the current situation, such as during battles. There are vendors the protagonist can trade with, mystical pools which can give or take away power, warps to far parts of the castle, numerous monsters to fight and assorted treasures to find.
The game was originally written for the Exidy Sorcerer and was later ported to other BASIC platforms.
- "The Temple of Loth" -- DOS in-game title
- "The Orb of Zot" -- Alternate pre-release title.
- "Temple of Loth" -- Alternate pre-release title.
- "Hobbit Adventure" -- HP-41 port title
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TriviaSometime in the mid to late 1970s, Joseph Power played a mainframe game called HOBBIT, a fantasy-game similar to the mainframe Star Trek space battles. He managed to obtain the HP BASIC listing, which he describes as "a horrible pile of spaghetti code".
He rewrote the program on a TRS-80, but soon got bored of it. Power, who played D&D, was used to more interactivity, and finally decided to write his own version, which became Wizard's Castle. In his original design, the player could buy a shovel with which he could bury his treasure so that monsters didn't steal them, but Power abandoned the idea due to the amount of code it would have required.
Power first implemented his game on the Exidy Sorcerer demo machine of an early computer store, New Dimensions in Computing (thus the name of the kingdom, N'dic). He finally managed to squeeze the text-only game into 16K, (ab)using the graphics memory for his own dark purposes. The game became very popular: Apparently, two computers were sold by parents of kids who were hooked on the game.
Power then struck a deal with Kilobaud magazine who was looking for programs for its startup software division. However, the deal wasn't executed, with Kilobaud first wanting a graphical version, and then completely leaving the Exidy market.
Power published the BASIC in 1980 in the Recreational Computing. By then, the program had already been ported to TRS-80, and later to the Apple II (by Power) and CP/M.
Related Web Sites
- Port the Wizard's Castle to JAVA as a homework assignment! -- Lab 2 of Williams College's Fall 2005 session of Computer Science 136: Data Structures and Advanced Programming posed this quandary (all right, a sub-set of it: "come to lab with a proposed design for the Castle class") to the students.
- Temple of Loth remake -- This is a remake of Temple of Loth (alternative title for The Wizard's Castle) that features colored text, some graphics and sound. It requires the GWBASIC (or compatible) interpreter.
- The story of The Wizard's Castle -- Armchair Arcade article where Joseph Power and the Derelict recounts the history of this game and its Windows remake.
- The Wizard's Castle source code. -- You can get the game's source code at this location.
- Wizard's Castle Windows Remake -- A Windows remake of Wizard's Castle.