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developer Sir tech
Publisher Sir tech
Designer Andrew C. Greenberg
Robert J. Woodhead
David W. Bradley
Linda Currie
Brenda Brathwaite
First title Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (1981)
Last title Wizardry Online (2013)
Platform (s) DOS , Apple II , Apple IIgs , C128 , NES , WonderSwan , Windows and more
Genre (s) role playing game
Wizardry Logo from Wizardry: The Dungeon Of Captured Souls

The Wizardry series [ ˈwɪzədɹɪ ] is one of the forefathers of modern computer role-playing games .


Wizardry 1 logo

In 1981 the first part of the series, Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord , was released for the Apple II . The game was developed by Andrew C. Greenberg and Robert J. Woodhead , and it was distributed by Sir-Tech , the company founded by friends of Norman and Robert Sirotek for the distribution of this game. Wizardry was characterized by a complete three-dimensional representation of the dungeons in vector graphics and impressed the role-playing world with its well-thought-out race and class system, which was strongly influenced by Dungeons & Dragons . The focus of the games was on turn-based combat in a frontal perspective, which offered minimal graphic variety, but was considered very strategic at the time. The game and its successors were ported to numerous other contemporary computer systems (without major changes) and consoles (in contrast to the various computer versions, often with significantly improved graphics).

The content of the second and third parts were continuations of the original game with new scenarios, but few changes to the game system. They require the import of the hero group from the respective predecessor, as the level of difficulty was based on it. Part 3, Legacy of Llylgamyn , was one of the earliest computer games to contain a window manager , with which information windows could be superimposed and changed in size.

With the fourth part, Return of Werdna , the narrative perspective changed. The player takes on the role of the final boss of the first part and has to fight his way back to the surface of the earth through a dungeon full of hero characters. The hero characters came from fans who could send their groups of heroes saved on diskette to Sir-Tech and were selected by the developers. In the press and among roleplayers, it was considered the most difficult computer role-playing game ever to appear. Also for the first time, the principle of different possible endings depending on the actions in the game appears here, which later became a characteristic feature of the series from the sixth part. However, the development was delayed for several years. Instead of 1984, the game came on the market in 1987. In the meantime, Sir-Tech had contracted a role-playing game design to David W. Bradley and commissioned him to adapt the game to the Wizardry series. This work was already finished in 1986, but since The Return of Werdna had already been announced as the fourth part, Sir-Tech held the game back until 1988.

In part five, Sir-Tech returned to its old roots, but subjected the entire game to a general overhaul in terms of scope and presentation. A graphically greatly improved version with a higher color palette appeared in 1992 on the Super Nintendo and PC Engine .

The sixth part, Bane of the Cosmic Forge , represents another milestone: EGA graphics were used for the first time and the arc of suspense about the Cosmic Forge, which was to determine the game from now until the end of the series, began here. The game was completely translated into German. David W. Bradley, who is also responsible for other influential games, took on the role of chief developer for the first time.

In the seventh part, Crusaders of the Dark Savant , a static, rectangle-based environment was used for the last time, albeit this time in VGA . In addition, there was a change from a strongly fantasy- inspired game feel to a science fiction story. The game was completely translated into German.

2001 followed with part eight, the last part of the original series for the time being. A fairly free 3D environment and groups of opponents visible from a great distance, together with a new balancing of the game system, provided a completely new feel to the game. The battles were also moved into the 3D world, so positioning and movement became relevant for the first time in game history. For experts there is the Iron Man mode, which is only saved when the program is closed. When a character dies, popular reloading cannot revive them. The planned localization for the German market did not materialize due to problems with the publisher, so there is only a German version translated by fans.

The venues include the destroyed city of Arnica, a branching world on trees, mines and an underwater world with a sea monster, which was called Brombadeg in Wizardy 7 .

In addition to the main series, several offshoots and licensed products (mainly on consoles ) have appeared over the years, ranging from pure adventure games to completely new series.

Magic system

In parts 1–3 and 5 a Dungeons - & - Dragons -like magic system was used, one conjured up by entering five-letter spell names like MILWA for light. From part six this system was replaced by a point and level-based one.

Parts published so far

Original series

Offshoots and licensed products

These branches mostly appeared in other countries, mainly Japan.

  • 1982: Wizplus - editor for the first two parts
  • 1991: Wizardry Gaiden: Suffering of the Queen ( RPG , Game Boy )
  • 1992: Wizardry Gaiden 2: Curse of the Ancient Emperor ( RPG , Game Boy )
  • 1993: Wizardry Gaiden 3: Scripture of the Dark ( RPG , Game Boy )
  • 1996: Wizardry Gaiden 4: Throb of the Demon's Heart ( RPG , SNES )
  • 1996: Nemesis - A Wizardry Adventure ( Adventure , PC )
  • 2000: Wizardry Empire (RPG, PlayStation , Game Boy Color )
  • 2000: Wizardry Empire 2: Fukkatsu no Tsue ( RPG , Game Boy Color )
  • 2000: Wizardry Dimguil ( RPG , PlayStation )
  • 2001: Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land (Original title: Busin: Wizardry Alternative , RPG , Playstation 2 )
  • 2001: Wizardry Summoner ( RPG , Game Boy Advance )
  • 2003: Wizardry Empire 3 ( RPG , PlayStation 2 )
  • 2003: Busin 0: Wizardry Alternative Neo (PlayStation 2)
  • 2005: Wizardry Xth: Academy of Frontier (PlayStation 2)
  • 2005: Wizardry Asterisk: Hiiro no Fuuin ( RPG , Nintendo DS )
  • 2005: Wizardry Gaiden: Prisoners of the Battles (PlayStation 2)
  • 2005: Wizardry Summoner (PlayStation 2)
  • 2006: Wizardry Xth: Unlimited Student (PlayStation 2)
  • 2007: Wizardry Empire 3: Haō no Keifu (PlayStation Portable)
  • 2009: Wizardry: Inochi no Kusabi ( RPG , Nintendo DS )
  • 2009: Wizardry: Wedge of Life (Original title: Wizardry Seimei no Kusabi , Nintendo DS)
  • 2009: Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls (Original title: Wizardry: Torawareshi Tamashii no Meikyū , role-playing game , PlayStation 3 , 2011 USA & Europe)
  • 2010: Wizardry: Bōkyaku no Isan (Nintendo DS)
  • 2011: Wizardry: Prisoners of the Lost City (Original title: Wizardry: Torawareshi Bōrei no Machi , PlayStation Network)
  • 2012: Wizardry Online ( Free2Play -MMO from SOE )

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Scott Mace: Games with windows . In: InfoWorld . April 2, 1984, p. 56. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  2. ^ Philip L. Wing: Capsule Reviews . In: Steve Jackson Games (Ed.): Space Gamer . No. 72, Jan-Feb 1985, p. 46.
  3. Jimmy Maher: Of Wizards and Bards. In: The Digital Antiquarian. Retrieved July 8, 2019 (American English).
  4. Jared Petty: Robert Woodhead (interview). In: Hardcore Gaming 101.Retrieved July 8, 2019 (American English).