Wizardry

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Wizardry
Wizardry Logo.png
The series logo
Genre(s)Role-playing
Developer(s)Sir-Tech
Publisher(s)Sir-Tech
Creator(s)Andrew C. Greenberg
Robert Woodhead
First releaseWizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord
September 1981
Latest releaseWizrogue: Labyrinth of Wizardry
February 24, 2017
Spin-offsTale of the Forsaken Land
Nemesis: The Wizardry Adventure
Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls
Wizardry Online

Wizardry is a series of role-playing video games, developed by Sir-Tech, which were highly influential in the evolution of modern role-playing video games.[1] The original Wizardry was a significant influence on early console role-playing games such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior.[2][3] Originally made for the Apple II, the games were later ported to other platforms. The last game in the original series by Sir-Tech was Wizardry 8, released in 2001. There have since been various spin-off titles released only in Japan.

Development[edit]

Wizardry began as a simple dungeon crawl by Andrew C. Greenberg and Robert Woodhead. It was written when they were students at Cornell University and published by Sir-Tech. The game was influenced by earlier games from the PLATO system, most notably Oubliette.[4] The earliest installments of Wizardry were very successful, as they were the first graphically-rich incarnations of Dungeons & Dragons-type gameplay for home computers. The release of the first version coincided with the height of Dungeons & Dragons' popularity in North America.

The first five games in the series were written in Apple Pascal, an implementation of UCSD Pascal. They were ported to many different platforms by writing UCSD Pascal implementations for the target machines (Mac II cross-development). David W. Bradley took over the series after the fourth installment, adding a new level of plot and complexity. In 1998, the rights were transferred to 1259190 Ontario Inc., and in 2006 to Aeria IPM. In 2008, Aeria IPM merged with Gamepot, the developer of Wizardry Online.[5]

Games[edit]

Timeline of release years
19811: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord
19822: The Knight of Diamonds
19833: Legacy of Llylgamyn
1984
1985
1986
19874: The Return of Werdna
19885: Heart of the Maelstrom
1989
19906: Bane of the Cosmic Forge
1991
19927: Crusaders of the Dark Savant
1993
1994
1995
1996Nemesis: The Wizardry Adventure
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001Wizardry 8

Main series[edit]

The original Wizardry series is composed of eight different titles. All of the titles were first released in North America, and then ported to Japanese computers. Some of the titles were also officially released in Europe. The first three games are a trilogy, with similar settings, plots, and gameplay mechanics. A second trilogy is formed by installments 6 through 8 – Bane of the Cosmic Forge, Crusaders of the Dark Savant and Wizardry 8 – with settings and gameplay mechanics that differed greatly from the first trilogy. The fourth game, The Return of Werdna, was a significant departure from the rest of the series. In it, the player controls Werdna ("Andrew," one of the game's developers, spelled backwards), the evil wizard slain in the first game, and summons groups of monsters to aid him as he fights his way through the prison in which he had been held captive. Rather than monsters, the player faced typical adventuring parties, some of which were pulled from actual user disks sent to Sir-Tech for recovery. Further, the player had only a limited number of keystrokes to use to complete the game.

In Japan, the Wizardry series was translated by ASCII Entertainment, and became very influential during the 1980s, even as its popularity at home declined.[6] When first introduced, the games suffered from the culture barrier compounded by low-quality translation. This meant that the game was taken seriously by players who overlooked the in-game jokes and parodies. For example, Blade Cusinart was introduced in early games as "a legendary sword made by the famous blacksmith, Cusinart [sic]" but its meaning was misinterpreted because Cuisinart food processors were virtually unknown in Japan. However, this misconception appealed to early computer gamers who were looking for something different and made the Wizardry series popular. Conversely, the fourth game, The Return of Werdna, was poorly received, as, lacking the knowledge of subcultures necessary to solving the game, Japanese players had no chance of figuring out some puzzles.

The eight main titles in the series are:

Title Original release date

Japan

North America

PAL region

Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord November 1985 (FM-7) September 1981 (Apple II) 1983 (Apple II)
Notes:
Wizardry II: The Knight of Diamonds December 1986 (FM-7) 1982 (Apple II) N/A
Notes:
  • Originally released for the Apple II
  • Ported to Macintosh, Sharp MZ-2500, Sharp X1 Turbo, FM-7, FM-77, PC-8801, PC-9801, MSX2, NES, Game Boy Color, Commodore 64
  • Also available for the PC Engine as part of Wizardry I + II (1993), for the Super Famicom as part of Wizardry I-II-III: Story of Llylgamyn (1999), and for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation and Sega Saturn as part of Wizardry: Llylgamyn Saga (1998)
  • Part of Wizardry Trilogy (1987) and The Ultimate Wizardry Archives (1998)
Wizardry III: Legacy of Llylgamyn 1987 (FM-7) 1983 (Apple II) N/A
Notes:
  • Originally released for the Apple II
  • Ported to Sharp X1 Turbo, FM-7, FM-77, PC-8801, PC-9801, MSX2, Famicom, Game Boy Color, Commodore 64
  • Also available for the PC Engine as part of Wizardry III + IV (1994), for the Super Famicom as part of Wizardry I-II-III: Story of Llylgamyn (1999), and for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation and Sega Saturn as part of Wizardry: Llylgamyn Saga (1998)
  • Part of Wizardry Trilogy (1987) and The Ultimate Wizardry Archives (1998)
Wizardry IV: The Return of Werdna December 1988 (PC-88) 1987 (Apple II) N/A
Notes:
  • Originally released for the Apple II
  • Ported to Sharp X1 Turbo, FM-7, FM-77, PC-8801, PC-9801
  • Also available for the PC Engine as part of Wizardry III + IV (1994), and PlayStation as part of Wizardry: New Age of Llylgamyn (1999)
  • Part of The Ultimate Wizardry Archives (1998)
Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom June 8, 1990 (PC-98) 1988 (Apple II) N/A
Notes:
  • Originally released for the Apple II
  • Ported to FM Towns, PC-8801, PC-9801, SNES, PC Engine, Commodore 64
  • Also available for the PlayStation as part of Wizardry: New Age of Llylgamyn (1999)
  • Part of Wizardry Trilogy 2 (1993), a compilation of Wizardry V, VI, and VII, released for MS-DOS
  • Part of The Ultimate Wizardry Archives (1998)
Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge December 1991 (FM Towns) 1990 (Amiga, MS-DOS) 1991 (Amiga, MS-DOS)
Notes:
  • Originally released for Amiga and MS-DOS
  • Ported to FM Towns, PC-9801, 98note, J-3100, SNES
  • Also available for the Sega Saturn as part of Wizardry: VI and VII Complete (1996)
  • Part of Wizardry Trilogy 2 (1993) and The Ultimate Wizardry Archives (1998)
Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant September 1994 (FM Towns) October 1992 (MS-DOS) 1992 (MS-DOS)
Notes:
  • Originally released for MS-DOS
  • Ported to PC-9801, PC-9821, PlayStation
  • Also available for the Sega Saturn as part of Wizardry: VI and VII Complete (1996)
  • Part of Wizardry Trilogy 2 (1993) and The Ultimate Wizardry Archives (1998)
Wizardry 8 December 20, 2001 (PC) November 14, 2001 (PC) 2001 (PC)
Notes:
  • Last game in the main series, originally released for Microsoft Windows

Spin-offs[edit]

In 1996, the series received the first (and, so far, only) spin-off developed in North America, titled Wizardry Nemesis. It is played as a solo adventure: one character only, with no supporting party or monsters. All players use the same character, without the ability to choose class or attributes. In addition, the game contains only 16 spells, compared to 50 in the first four adventures, and more in the subsequent ones. It is also the first Wizardry title where the player saw enemies in advance and thus could try to avoid them.

The popularity of Wizardry in Japan inspired several original sequels, spinoffs, and ports, with the series long outliving the American original.[6] As of 2017, thirty-nine different spin-offs were released in Japan, with four of them also making their way to North America: Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land, Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls, Wizardry Online and Wizrogue: Labyrinth of Wizardry. The latest is also the last original game produced in the series, released in Japan in 2014, and officially released in English worldwide in 2017.

Title Original release date

Japan

North America

PAL region

Wizardry Gaiden I: Joō no Junan October 1, 1991 (Game Boy) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Also known as Wizardry Gaiden I: Suffering of the Queen
  • The full Japanese title is ウィザードリィ外伝I ~女王の受難~
  • A complete, albeit unofficial fan translation was released for the game in 2014
  • Success ported the game to cell phones in Japan in 2005 as Nether Domain: Second Chapter - Suffering of the Queen (ネザードメイン 第二章 女王の受難), dropping the connection with Wizardry
Wizardry Gaiden II: Kodai Kōtei no Noroi December 26, 1992 (Game Boy) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Also known as Wizardry Gaiden II: Curse of the Ancient Emperor
  • The full Japanese title is ウィザードリィ外伝II ~古代皇帝の呪い~
  • A complete, albeit unofficial fan translation was released for the game in 2016
  • Success ported the game to cell phones in Japan in 2005 as Nether Domain: Third Chapter - Curse of the Ancient Emperor (ネザードメイン 第三章 古代皇帝の呪い), dropping the connection with Wizardry
Wizardry Gaiden III: Yami no Seiten September 25, 1993 (Game Boy) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Also known as Wizardry Gaiden III: Scripture of the Dark
  • The full Japanese title is ウィザードリィ外伝III ~闇の聖典~
  • A complete, albeit unofficial fan translation was released for the game in 2014
Wizardry Gaiden IV: Taima no Kodō September 20, 1996 (Super Famicom) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Also known as Wizardry Gaiden IV: Throb of the Demon's Heart
  • The full Japanese title is ウィザードリィ外伝IV ~胎魔の鼓動~
  • A complete, albeit unofficial fan translation was released for the game in 2016
Nemesis: The Wizardry Adventure January 22, 1998 (Sega Saturn) September 30, 1996 (MS-DOS) 1996 (MS-DOS)
Notes:
  • Only spin-off developed and originally released in North America
Wizardry Empire October 29, 1999 (Game Boy Color) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • A complete, albeit unofficial fan translation was released for the game in 2016
Wizardry Dimguil April 20, 2000 (PlayStation) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Available only in Japanese, though the original release allows changing of enemy names, item names, spells and stats to English
  • Players can transfer characters from Wizardry Gaiden III and Wizardry Gaiden IV through a password system
Wizardry Empire: Fukkatsu no Tsue December 22, 2000 (Game Boy Color) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Fukkatsu no Tsue (復活の杖) translates as "Resurrection Staff"
  • A complete, albeit unofficial fan translation was released for the game in 2017
Wizardry Empire: Inishie no Ōjo December 28, 2000 (PlayStation) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Inishie no Ōjo (古の王女) translates as "The Old Princess"
Wizardry Chronicle March 23, 2001 (PC) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • A complete, albeit unofficial fan translation was released for the game in 2016
Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land November 15, 2001 (PlayStation 2) December 19, 2001 (PlayStation 2) October 4, 2002 (PlayStation 2)
Notes:
  • First Japanese spin-off to be officially translated to English and released in North America
  • Released in Japan as Busin: Wizardry Alternative
Wizardry Summoner December 21, 2001 (Game Boy Advance) N/A N/A
Notes:
Monthly Wizardry: Shōnen-Ō no Yūutsu March 1, 2002 (Mobile phones) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • First of a two-part episodic series
  • Also known as Getsugaku Wizardry Scenario I (月額ウィザードリィ シナリオI)
  • Shōnen-Ō no Yūutsu (少年王の憂鬱) translates to "Melancholy of the Young King"
  • Available for users of EZweb and J-Sky mobile services
Wizardry Empire II: Ōjo no Isan October 17, 2002 (PlayStation) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Ōjo no Isan (王女の遺産) translates as "Legacy of the Princess"
  • Ported to PC in 2004 as Wizardry Empire II PLUS: Oujō no Isan
  • A complete, albeit unofficial fan translation was released for the PC version of the game in 2016
Monthly Wizardry: Andēru no Mori no Shin'nyū-sha October 15, 2003 (Mobile phones) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Second of a two-part episodic series
  • Also known as Getsugaku Wizardry Scenario II (月額ウィザードリィ シナリオII)
  • Andēru no Mori no Shin'nyū-sha (アンデールの森の侵入者) translates to "Intruders of the Annedale Forest"
  • Available for users of the Vodafone mobile service
Busin 0: Wizardry Alternative Neo November 13, 2003 (PlayStation 2) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Direct sequel to Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land
DoCoMo Wizardry 1-1: Baitokku Īhai no Hokora December 1, 2003 (Mobile phones) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Available for users of the services provided by NTT DoCoMo in Japan
  • First part in a series of six chapters
  • Baitokku Īhai no Hokora (バイトック・イーハイの祠) translates to "Shrine of Bytek Irhai"
Wizardry Empire III: Haō no Keifu December 25, 2003 (PlayStation 2) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Haō no Keifu (覇王の系譜) translates as "Genealogy of the King"
  • Ported to the PlayStation Portable (2007)
DoCoMo Wizardry 1-2: Nazo no Chika Iseki February 2, 2004 (Mobile phones) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Available for users of the services provided by NTT DoCoMo in Japan
  • Second part in a series of six chapters
  • Nazo no Chika Iseki (謎の地下遺跡) translates to "Mystery of the Underground Ruins"
DoCoMo Wizardry 1-3: Fushi Ryū no Shinden March 1, 2004 (Mobile phones) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Available for users of the services provided by NTT DoCoMo in Japan
  • Third part in a series of six chapters
  • Fushi Ryū no Shinden (不死竜の神殿) translates to "Temple of the Immortal Dragon"
Wizardry Traditional I: Jū-ni Shinshō May 12, 2004 (Mobile phones) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • First of a two-part episodic series
  • Also known as "Wizardry Traditional: Twelve of a Kind"
  • The full Japanese title is ウィザードリィ トラディショナル1 十二神将
DoCoMo Wizardry 2-1: Īdisu no Tō June 7, 2004 (Mobile phones) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Available for users of the services provided by NTT DoCoMo in Japan
  • Fourth part in a series of six chapters
  • Īdisu no Tō (イーディスの塔) translates to "Tower of Edith"
Wizardry Traditional II: Gekkō no Saji June 16, 2004 (Mobile phones) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Second of a two-part episodic series
  • Also known as "Wizardry Traditional: Grace of the Moonspoon"
  • The full Japanese title is ウィザードリィ トラディショナル2 月光の匙
DoCoMo Wizardry 2-2: Shin'en no Rīdo Seresuto-gō July 20, 2004 (Mobile phones) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Available for users of the services provided by NTT DoCoMo in Japan
  • Fifth part in a series of six chapters
  • Shin'en no Rīdo Seresuto-gō (深淵のリードセレスト号) translates to "The Issue of the Abyss of Lead Celest"
DoCoMo Wizardry 2-3: Īdisu no Tō Jōsō-bu September 13, 2004 (Mobile phones) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Available for users of the services provided by NTT DoCoMo in Japan
  • Final part in a series of six chapters
  • Īdisu no Tō Jōsō-bu (イーディスの塔上層部), translated as "Upper Part of the Tower of Edith"
Wizardry Xth: Academy of Frontier - Zensen no Gakufu February 24, 2005 (PlayStation 2) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Also known as Wizardry Ekusu (ウィザードリィ エクス)
  • The full Japanese title is ウィザードリィ エクス ~前線の学府~
Wizardry Gaiden: Sentō no Kangoku: Prisoners of the Battles March 25, 2005 (PC) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Ported to the Playstation 2 (2006)
  • The full Japanese title is ウィザードリィ外伝 戦闘の監獄
  • An extra scenario titled Jihi no Fuzai (慈悲の不在), also known as "The Absence of Misericordia", was made available as a paid download on August 11, 2005 only for the PC version
Wizardry Asterisk: Hiiro no Fūin December 29, 2005 (Nintendo DS) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • The full Japanese title is ウィザードリィ アスタリスク 緋色の封印
  • Hiiro no Fūin (緋色の封印) translates as "Scarlet Seal"
Wizardry Xth 2: Unlimited Students - Mugen no Gakuto March 23, 2006 (PlayStation 2) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Direct sequel to Wizardry Xth
  • The full Japanese title is ウィザードリィエクス2 ~無限の学徒~
Wizardry Gaiden: Itsutsu no Shiren - Five Ordeals June 8, 2006 (PC) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • The full Japanese title is 五つの試練
  • Users can create scenarios through an online editor, as well as download other players' creations
Wizardry: Seimei no Kusabi November 19, 2009 (Nintendo DS) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Seimei no Kusabi (生命の楔) translates as "Wedge of Life"
Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls December 9, 2009 (PlayStation 3) May 16, 2011 (PlayStation 3) December 7, 2011 (PlayStation 3)
Notes:
  • Second Japanese spin-off to be officially translated to English and released in North America
  • Released in Japan as Wizardry: Torawareshi Tamashii no Meikyū (ウィザードリィ 囚われし魂の迷宮)
  • A retail release with Wizardry: Torawareshi Tamashii no Meikyū and Wizardry: Torawareshi Bōrei no Machi titled Wizardry: Twin Pack was released for the Playstation 3 in Japan on January 27, 2011
  • An expansion titled Shūdō On'na no Akaki Kage (修道女の赤き影), also known as "The Red Shadow of the Sister", was made available for the Playstation 3 in Japan on July 19, 2011
  • The original game and its expansion were also released as standalone versions for the iPhone in Japan
  • A retail release with the game and the expansion titled Wizardry: Full Pack was released for the Playstation 3 and iPhone in Japan on July 6, 2011
  • A retail release with the game, the expansion and extra items sold individually as downloadable content titled Wizardry: Perfect Pack was released only for the Playstation 3 in Japan on December 8, 2011
Wizardry Online Mobile May 24, 2010 (Mobile phone) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • First MMORPG adaptation of the franchise
  • Adopts an isometric view instead of the traditional first person view
Wizardry: Bōkyaku no Isan July 29, 2010 (Nintendo DS) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Bōkyaku no Isan (忘却の遺産) translates as "Legacy of Oblivion"
Wizardry: Torawareshi Bōrei no Machi January 27, 2011 (PlayStation 3) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Torawareshi Bōrei no Machi (囚われし亡霊の街) translates as "Prisoners of the Ghost City"
Tōkyō Meikyū - Wizardry 0 - August 24, 2011 (Mobile phones) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Tōkyō Meikyū (東京迷宮) translates as "Tokyo Labyrinth"
  • Gameplay contains elements from card battle games
  • First social-network game in the Wizardry series, through the Mobage service in Japan
Wizardry Online October 14, 2011 (PC) January 16, 2013 (PC) January 16, 2013 (PC)
Notes:
  • Third Japanese spin-off to be officially translated to English and released in North America
Wizardry: Senran no Matō January 24, 2013 (iPhone) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Also ported to Android devices
  • Senran no Matō (戦乱の魔塔) translates as "The Magical Tower of War"
  • Also known as Wizardry: Tower of the Maelstorm (sic)
  • Second social-network game in the Wizardry series, developed by Namco Bandai
Wizardry Schema July 29, 2014 (iPhone) N/A N/A
Notes:
  • Also ported to Android devices
  • Services ended in June 29, 2017
Wizrogue: Labyrinth of Wizardry December 22, 2014 (Android) February 24, 2017 (PC) February 24, 2017 (PC)
Notes:
  • Fourth Japanese spin-off to be officially translated to English and released in North America
  • Avoided the traditional First-Person elements of Wizardry in lieu of an Isometric, Roguelike system.
  • Had "free to play" and "stamina" elements common to smartphone RPGs.
  • Also ported to iOS devices
  • The original Android and iOS versions have been discontinued, and cannot be played anymore
  • In 2017, the game was translated to English and made available worldwide through the Steam digital distribution platform; this version removed the stamina and free-to-play elements in lieu of a more traditional "buy once" business model.
  • The Android version was re-released under the same "buy once" model in 2017.
  • An arcade version titled Wizrogue: Labyrinth of Wizardry - Samayoeru Meiō (彷徨える冥王) was planned, but eventually cancelled

Reception[edit]

The original Wizardry game was a success, selling 24,000 copies by June 1982, just nine months after its release according to Softalk‘s sales surveys.[7] In the June 1983 issue of Electronic Games, Wizardry was described as "without a doubt, the most popular fantasy adventure game for the Apple II at the present time". While noting limitations such as the inability to divide the party, or the emphasis on combat over role-playing, the magazine stated that "no other game comes closer to providing the type of contest favored by most players of non-electronic role-playing games... one outstanding programming achievement, and an absolute 'must buy' for those fantasy gamers who own an Apple".[8]

Spin-offs originally released in Japan received generally positive reviews in North America. Gamespot reviewed Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land in 2002 and awarded it a score of 8.5 out of 10.[9] In 2011, Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls was also reviewed by Gamespot and received a score of 7.5 out of 10.[10] In Japan, readers of Famitsu magazine considered the Famicom port of the original Wizardry I to be one of the 100 best games of all time.[11] The series was ranked as the 60th top game (collectively) by Next Generation in 1996. They cited the "huge dungeons with elaborate quests and tons of differing enemies."[12] Fans of the series included Robin Williams, Harry Anderson, and the Crown Prince of Bahrain; the latter even called Sir-Tech on the phone.[13]

Legacy[edit]

Innovation in gameplay[edit]

Wizardry established the command-driven battle system with a still image of the monster being fought. This system would be emulated in later games, such as The Bard's Tale, Dragon Quest, and Final Fantasy. The party-based combat in Wizardry also inspired Richard Garriott to include a similar party-based system in Ultima III: Exodus.[14]

Wizardry was the first game to feature what would later be called prestige classes. Aside from the traditional classes of Fighter, Mage, Priest, Thief and Bard, players could take Bishop, Lord, Ninja and Samurai if they had the right attributes and alignment. In the case of Lord and Ninja, at least in the first episodes of the sequel, it was impossible to receive all the attributes needed when first rolling characters; this meant the player needed to gain levels to achieve those attributes and then cross classes, so they can be considered proper prestige classes. Wizardry VI allowed starting with any class if the player invested enough time during the random character attribute generation.

Influence on subsequent games[edit]

Wizardry inspired many clones and served as a template for role-playing video games. Some notable series that trace their look and feel to Wizardry include 1985's The Bard's Tale and the Might and Magic series. Wizardry is the major inspiration to the Nintendo DS title The Dark Spire.[15] While the game follows its own story and maps, much of the game uses the same game play mechanics, even going so far as including a "classic" mode that removes all of the game's graphics, replacing them with a wireframe environment, 8-bit-style sprites for monsters and characters, and chiptune music. The game's publisher, Atlus, also published another Wizardry spin-off, Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land.

While designing the popular Japanese role-playing game Dragon Quest, Yuji Horii drew inspiration from the Wizardry series, 1986's Mugen no Shinzou (Heart of Phantasm), and the Ultima series of games. Horii's obsession with Wizardry was manifested as an easter egg in one of his earlier games, The Portopia Serial Murder Case in 1983. In a dungeon-crawling portion of that adventure game, a note on the wall reads "MONSTER SURPRISED YOU." The English fan translation added a sidenote explaining "This is Yuji Horii wishing he could have made this game an RPG like Wizardry!"

Wizardry's legacy continued in Japan after the parent company ended, with titles such as Wizardry Gaiden, Wizardry Empire, Wizardry XTH, and Wizardry Renaissance being developed after the original games were released and generally keeping the same tropes, themes, and mechanics.

Notably Wizardry XTH: Academy of Frontier swapped the original's Gothic themes for a modern day military school setting, adding item crafting and party member compatibility to the Wizardry formula. Much like the original Wizardry, XTH spawned a direct storyline sequel, Wizardry XTH: Unlimited Students. The second XTH game was used as the basis for and shared code with Class of Heroes, which swapped the modern science fiction elements for a combination of High School, High Fantasy, and Anime aesthetics. Class of Heroes would go on to spawn several sequels and spinoffs itself.

Following the shutdown of Michaelsoft, the director of Wizardry XTH, Motoya Ataka took a group of programmers he called "Team Muramasa" that had worked on Empire and XTH and went on to found Experience Inc., creating a series of PC games with Wizardry XTH's mechanics called Generation Xth. These would later be ported to the Playstation Vita, their ports localized as Operation Abyss and Operation Babel. Experience would go on to create several other DRPGs using Wizardry's mechanics as a starting point, including Students of the Round, Stranger of Sword City, and Demon Gaze.

Starfish, the development team behind Wizardry Empire, would later go on to create Elminage, a series of DRPGs that retained the original Gothic aesthetic of the western Wizardry games. Elminage was notable for using the expanded "kemonojin" races from Wizardry Asterisk, also by Starfish, as well as the summoner class from Wizardry: Summoner -- these included "Were-Beast," "Dragonnewt," "Fairy," and "Devilkin" as well as expanded classes such as "Brawler" (a hand to hand melee specialist), "Alchemist" (a combination crafting class and spellcaster), and "Summoner" (a spellcasting class that can tame and summon monsters from the dungeon). These "expanded" Japanese Wizardry mechanics would be reused in future Elminage games as well as notably Class of Heroes.

Wizardry Renaissance[edit]

In 2009 several Japanese publishers and Development teams started a "Brand Revitalization plan," which they called "Wizardry Renaissance". After Sir-Tech, the original Wizardry creator in the US, was dissolved, several semi-official games were created in Japan of varying quality and thematic elements. "Wizardry Renaissance" aimed to "rebuild" the brand by agreeing to a certain "worldview" and quality standards to these semi-official Wizardry games.

Wizardry Renaissance titles include:

  • Wizardry Online, a PC MMORPG
  • Wizardry: Torawareshi Tamashii no Meikyū, a Playstation 3 RPG (localized in the West as Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls)
  • Wizardry: Seimei no Kusabi, a Nintendo DS title
  • Wizardry: Bōkyaku no Isan, a Nintendo DS title, which re-used elements from Seimei no Kusabi
  • Wizardry Online Mobile, a mobile phone MMORPG
  • Wizardry: Torawareshi Bōrei no Machi, a Playstation 3 RPG
  • Tōkyō Meikyū - Wizardry 0 -, a Social-Networking Card-Battle RPG using the Mobage service on smartphones
  • Wizardry: Senran no Matō, a Social-Networking RPG for smartphones
  • Wizardry Schema, an Incremental game RPG for smartphones
  • Wizrogue: Labyrinth of Wizardry, an isometric roguelike RPG with lottery elements

These titles were released from late 2009 to 2016, with the latest activity being Wizrogue being re-released as a more standard single-purchase RPG without any in app purchase elements in 2017.

Related media[edit]

The popularity of Wizardry in Japan also inspired various light novels, manga comics, Japanese pen-and-paper role-playing games, and an original video animation. A popular light novel series titled Sword Art Online also had a character who stated that his inspiration came from this game. Most have been released only in Japan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The History of Computer Role-Playing Games Part 1: The Early Years (1980-1983)". Gamasutra. 2007-02-23. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  2. ^ "East and West, Warrior and Quest: A Dragon Quest Retrospective from". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  3. ^ "10 Classic Computer RPGs - Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (1981) - Slideshow from". PCMag.com. 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  4. ^ "Wizardry: A Conversation with Robert Woodhead" (Interview). Interviewed by Jared Petty. Hardcore Gaming 101.
  5. ^ Carolipio, Reggie (May 3, 2013). "Wizardry's wild ride from West to East". VentureBeat. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b Maher, Jimmy (2014-06-25). "Of Wizards and Bards". The Digital Antiquarian. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  7. ^ "List of Top Sellers", Computer Gaming World, 2 (5), p. 2, September–October 1982[1]
  8. ^ "Explore the Worlds of Computer Fantasy". Electronic Games. 4 (16): 52–56 [52]. June 1983. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  9. ^ Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land Review - GameSpot
  10. ^ Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls Review - GameSpot
  11. ^ Edge Staff (March 3, 2006). "Japan Votes on All Time Top 100". Edge. Archived from the original on August 14, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Next Generation 21 (September 1996), pp. 48, 51.
  13. ^ DeMaria, Rusel; Wilson, Johnny L. (2003). High score! : The illustrated history of electronic games (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 154. ISBN 0-07-223172-6.
  14. ^ Barton, Matt (2008). Dungeons & Desktops: The History of Computer Role-Playing Games. A K Peters, Ltd. p. 76. ISBN 1-56881-411-9.
  15. ^ "The Dark Spire Review". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-22.

External links[edit]