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Wizardry Takes Over

On 05/31/2024 at 09:58 AM by KnightDriver

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A week ago I was browsing the new releases on Xbox and came across a remake of 1981 RPG Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. I nearly lost my mind seeing that. My friend Mad Krammer bought it immediately, but at $35, I waited. A week later, after watching him play it, he gifted it to me and now we are both playing it excluding all else. 

This is a total overhaul of the Apple II game Wizadry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. It is, however, built upon the original game so is extremely faithful. You can play it in either enhanced, modern, style or with all the original settings.

I'm playing it in the new style to see how it goes. I'm just entering level 4 of 10 and consulting my original maps I still have written down on graph paper from 1984. The reason is that some levels are complex and dangerous, and I don't want to lose party members by falling into pits (which I've already done, having forgotten the one pit on level 2).

I was hoping the game had some sort of auto-mapping but it doesn't, or, it does but in a weird sort of way. The spell Dumapic creates a map of the level and reveals where you've been as if it has been auto-mapping your progress behind the scenes. I forget how it originally worked but with this enhanced setting, Dumapic accesses where you've been previously at the time you cast it (no real-time updates). It seems to only need casting once and then you can access it anytime, but to advance its progress, you have to recast it. It's a low level mage spell, though, so it's easy to do. 

I've come across some slight variations in the maps like the stairs placement in level 3 and some details of the rooms at the level 4 elevator exit. But it's mostly exactly like the original. Apparently levels 6-8 have been simplified for the enhanced version as well, but you can revert to the more difficult ones if you wish. 

The whole game, in enhanced version, is a little easier than the original. Enemies aren't quite as unforgiving and status effects like poisoning and paralyzation aren't as frequent. Opening chests tends to backfire less often too. 

I'm just loving it. I still know most of the levels by heart. The graphics are fun and just what we all wanted back in the 80s. I'll be playing every aspect of this remake in the next few weeks. So more news of it to come.

Join me on the r/wizardry redit community if your into it. 




05/31/2024 at 12:32 PM

Tamson is loving it as well. I'm enjoying it myself.

I just wish someone could wrestle Ultima out of EA's grip and give it the same treatment. I'd be so down for that. I'd even settle for re-releases of the Ultima games on NSO. 


06/07/2024 at 01:36 PM

Ultima would be great. I've always wanted to try games in that series. I've only watched youtube videos on them. 

Cary Woodham

06/01/2024 at 08:04 AM

I reviewed a Wizardry game way back on the PS3.  Wasn't really for me.  I knew about the series, though, since I had an Apple II computer.  But I was just a little kid so that game was too much for me.  

Here's the review of that PS3 Wizardry game:


06/07/2024 at 01:39 PM

Oh yea, Labyrinth of Lost Souls. I'd forgotten about that one. There's also Tales of the Forgotten Lands for PS2. I found both of them even harder than the original. 


06/06/2024 at 03:58 PM

Dude! You still have handwritten maps from 1984? That's so cool. I have not played a Wizardry game but I am familiar with the concept. Glad to hear this remake is everything you could have wanted!


06/07/2024 at 01:52 PM

Yeah, and I've been using them. It's nice to have a full map to look at instead of the Dumapic, incomplete, map in-game. In fact, some of my drawn maps are incomplete especially levels 6-8 (usually skip those for level 9 which is easier to navigate, though more dangerous), and I found myself adding to them again. Haha. 

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