Wizardry I-II-III is an excellent remake of the first three Wizardry games for the Super Nintendo, combined into one. Needless to say, the game sports much better graphics than the earlier Nintendo versions (which were already a far cry from the stick-figure graphics of the original Apple II classics). The gameplay, fans will be happy to note, remains the same: it's a tough first-person dungeon crawl that many die-hard RPG fans cut their teeth on back in the 1980s. |
If you have never played a Wizardry game (and if you consider yourself a fan of computer RPGs, you simply must play the series), here's a synopsis of the main plot through all the three games: the story takes place in the fantasy kingdom of Llylgamyn. In Wizardry I, you (that is, your party of six adventurers) journey deep into the ten-level dungeon of Trebor, the "Mad Overlord", to defeat the evil archmage Werdna and retrieve the magical amulet. Following your success, you are inducted into Trebor's personal honor guard. Unfortunately, Trebor's obsession with the amulet drives him to suicide. Spotting an opportunity, another evil mastermind named Davalpus invades the castle and declares himself dictator. Fortunately, the Prince of Llylgamyn successfully fights and kills Davalpus using the Staff of Gnilda, but the god Gnilda, annoyed by all the fighting, takes the staff back and places it deep within his/her six-level temple. Before retrieving it, you must find five pieces of the legendary Knight of Diamond. This is your mission in Wizardry II. In the final game of the trilogy, you must venture forth to search for the magical Orb of Scrying (protected by a fearsome dragon) that can save the kingdom from natural destruction as earthquakes and tidal waves ravage the land.
In each game, the basic gameplay is similar: you control a party of up to six adventurers and send them into a 3D vector dungeon to fight monsters and find treasure. Be warned that the games are difficult: for the first few hours you spend playing, it is not too uncommon to get wiped out. Persevere, though, and you will be gradually lured into a wonderful world full of magical weapons, secrets and mind-boggling riddles. The "traditional" school of hack-n-slash RPGs just doesn't get better than this, and the SNES version stays very true to the spirit of the original Apple II classics. The game was released only in Japan, so the English version was never available until AEON Genesis, a group of SNES fans, released their English patch in 2000. Thanks to them and great emulators like ZSNES, Wizardry I-II-III is now accessible to all nostalgic fans, as well as RPG beginners who find the Apple II originals too primitive. Two thumbs up, way up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs