Wizardry is a Registered Trademark of Sir-Tech, Ltd. and all material with the exception of the RMG guide and related work is copyright 1981-2004 Sir-Tech, Ltd. This guide and the related work is copyright 2004 Real Millennium Group & Backdoor Trot Productions, and not to be reproduced by any means without prior written permission.
Wizardry Scenario I: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord
Original Release: 1981 Nintendo Release: 1990
Welcome to the computer game that started it all. Proving Grounds broke the ground for all fantasy role-playing games that have followed. We have come a long way from the text messages and simple white (or green)-lined mazes of the 80's to the incredibly intricate stories and graphics we have today. Despite all that, there comes just a bit of nostalgia when playing this game, and the fun and challenge of leading characters through the maze has not lessened for the lack of modern technology. In brief, both the PC and NES versions have a maze of 10 floors, with the monsters on each floor getting correspondingly tougher the farther down you go. Of course, as a reward, you get more EP, more gold pieces, and better items for your party. The goal of the scenario is to reach the evil mage Werdna on Floor 10, defeat him and take the Amulet he wears, then return to the castle in victory.
When referring to a specific spot in the maze, the position is given as it would be indicated by using Dumapic. For example, 0-0 is the starting point for Floor 1, where the stairs leading to and from the castle are located, and all coordinates in the maze are figured from this point: 12N-4E on Floor 1 would be 12 squares North and 4 squares East of the castle stairs. So 0-0 on FL2 is directly underneath the location of the castle stairs on FL1. The maze is also designed with "wrap- around" floors. This means that when you reach one end of the Floor, if you venture any further, you are actually taken back to the other side of the floor. Simply, if you are at 5N-19E and take one more step East, you are back at 5N-0E.
Not only is the NES version a bit better graphically speaking, (brick walled maze with wooden doors), three of the floors are mapped out differently from the PC version, so you will need those specific maps to get through those floors. Remember also, the only way to recover spell points in the NES is by resting at the Inn. Therefore, your spellcasters will end up aging faster than your non-spell characters, which makes the magic potions and scrolls more useful than in the PC version by allowing you to conserve spell points and delay visits to the Inn. You also have to "kick" doors in order to go through them in the NES game whereas you can just walk through them as normal in the PC (the IBM) version - I believe this harkens back to the original Apple releases.
When encountering a monster, if you haven't cast the Latumapic spell, you might not know the specific kind of monster you may be facing. In the PC version, the picture of the monster remains the same whether it is identified or not. In the NES version, the pic of the unidentified monster is a shaded brown color, although the pic still relates to the actual monster you are facing for the most part (a rogue or priest is still represented by a humanoid figure). The pic changes to the colored representation once the monster is identified.
There also appears to be a change from the PC version which allows characters to enter the Dark Zone on FL1 without the aid of the Gold Key found on FL2. In the NES version, a character needs to have the Gold Key in possession in order for your party to enter the DZ from the warning sign entryway. Also unique to the NES is a one way door right next to the entryway. This door is only accessible from inside the DZ and leads to the spot next to the warning sign. Presumably this was done because the NES requires the Gold Key to access that area and without it, your party would not be able to get out of the DZ. This spot is indicated on the map of FL1 for clarity.
As you encounter and battle monsters, you will find that many of them will run from the battle. You get no experience for monsters that run (or for ones that are defeated using the Priest/Bishop Dispel option), so to maximize your potential EP reward for each battle, you want to go after those kinds of monsters as soon as possible so they can be killed before they can escape.
Special Note: the Critical Hit. You will notice that several monsters are adept at this kind of attack - the monster list notes which ones use the CH. There is no real defense from this kind of attack, no matter how low a character's AC or high their HP, once a monster connects with the CH, your character is sent to the great beyond. However, as your characters gain EL and Attributes, they will get better at avoiding the CH and be able to attack monsters faster and sooner in the early rounds of combat. In the early stages of the game, do not hesitate to run and save your party at all costs when encountering monsters who use the CH, it's better to stay alive and strengthen your characters until they have the ability to wipe out the enemy in the first round or two of battle.
You'll get a feel for inspecting and disarming treasure chests as you spend more time exploring, and when in doubt, having your Priest and Cleric cast their Calfo spells will aid in preventing accidents. But neither these nor a high level Thief/Ninja are foolproof. When there are doubts about a chest, and disagreements among the three inspectors, it's usually a safe bet to go with the trap that two out of the three agree on, especially if the third determines the trap to be of a nastier version than is common for the floor you happen to be on. If your Thief attempts to disarm a chest and fails, but doesn't activate any trap, then it's a certainty that it's the right trap and you can continue to try and disarm it. That still doesn't mean your Thief is guaranteed to be successful, and sometimes it's just better to leave the chest alone.
As mentioned in the General Tips, Alignment is only a minor part of game play. If you're familiar with the games, you already know that even though Good characters aren't designed to adventure with Evil characters, there is a programming loophole that allows you to form such a mixed party. However, as the manual states, your characters will change alignment if they act outside of the parameters designed for them (even those of professions that do not allow for that type of alignment, such as an Evil Lord) - i.e. Good characters will eventually become Evil if they continually attack friendly monsters, and vice versa if Evil characters do not attack all monsters encountered in the maze. Hence if you are looking to gain as much EP as quickly as possible, it is better to form an Evil party where you can attack every monster you come across. A general rule of thumb should be to always allow your characters to follow their alignment, especially when they have items equipped that only allow a specific kind of alignment, otherwise they will end up becoming cursed items and will need to be removed by Boltac.
Strategies for each floor:
So, just what is the best way to get through the maze alive, defeat Werdna, and return to the Castle with his Amulet to win the game? There are as many answers to that question as there are people who play the game. So feel free to change and adapt all the walkthroughs, guides, and what-not to your preferred style of game play. Occasionally, there is a recommended Experience Level that your characters should be at for certain points in the game. This is an estimated recommendation in order to avoid using the exit/reset option as much as possible. A full party of characters who are around EL 8 or 9 can actually take on some of the monsters on Floor 4 with relative success, but in the long run, it's much less of a headache to stick close to the recommendations. This does increase the overall length of time that you will spend completing the game, but isn't fighting and exploring part of the fun?