Wizardry had a Dungeons and Dragons style of gameplay to be written to computer play, and the first game to offer color graphics. It was also the first true party-based role-playing game. This is one of the most popular old RPG games long before Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls ever existed. Unlike those RPGs however, this only was a dungeon RPG where characters would not be seen. But this game is very complex and very tough.
Gameplay. At first players start in a Castle where they can form a party of up to six characters, and they can be of any species (Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, and Hobbits), and four basic classes (Fighter, Priest, Mage, and Thief). There are also four elite classes (Bishop: priest and mage spells; Samurai: fighter with mage spells, Lord: fighter with mage spells, and Ninja: fighter with thief abilities). Characters can be changed to an elite class after meeting the stat requirements. Priests typically cast healing spells, while Mages cast damage spells. Bishops, being a combination of the two, learn both sets of spells but at a reduced rate.
After equipping the characters with weapons and protective gear, the party then descends into the dungeon below Trebor's castle. This consists of a maze of ten levels, and each of them is progressively more challenging and tougher than the last one.
Design. Unlike the linear like graphics of the Apple II version, the NES version featured colored and detailed graphics, which was very well made. However, the graphics are simple by today's standards; most of the screen is occupied by text, with about 10% devoted to a first-person view of the dungeon maze using high-resolution line graphics. By the standards of the day, however, the graphics were a step forward from the text-only games that had been far more common. When monsters are encountered, the dungeon maze disappears, replaced by a picture of one of the monsters.
Legacy. Wizardry was first created by Andrew C. Greenberg and Robert Woodhead when they were college students at Cornell University, and then it was finally published by Sir-Tech Software. This game was a success that it sold over 24,000 copies by June 1982, behind Temple of Apshai's 30,000 copies and ahead of Ultima's 20,000 copies. 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." Wizardry spawned various sequels for the Apple II and PC that it spawned versions of the NES, and Super NES.
Rantings. What I don't like about this game is that you easily get lost, because it is a maze that you have to get a pen and paper to avoid getting lost. Mainly, because at that time, there were no maps for an RPG game like this. Also this game is remembered for it's unforgiving difficulty, and what I hate about this game is that some treasure chests have traps that could lead one of your party members or the whole party to it's ultimate doom.
Good Aspects. Though it has a high difficulty, this game is regarded as a classic that makes you learn how to think in tight situations. Also, the game has high replay value, and a million great qualities. Unfortunately, this game is not in the Wii Virtual Console. The music theme of the maze was so good that it truly fitted the area, as well as the battle themes. Also, I liked the Game Over look where you see the graves of your fallen party. And the good thing about it is, that the money you made after your party is killed can be transferred to new party members you create in the Training Grounds.
Overall. Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord continues to be a classic among old time gamers of the first generation. I come from the generation of NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and more, and this was a magic time of gaming long before gamers started only to care about graphics. Epic failure. This game gets an 8 out of 10.