At a Glance:
Wizardry Gold is a recreation of the
critically acclaimed Wizardry VII, Crusaders of the Dark Savant. The primary differences
in this incarnation are the markedly improved graphics and enhanced sound score. In Gold,
you control a group of adventurers that embark on a mission to find the Astral Dominae and
guard it against the Dark Savant, an evil overlord who needs the Dominae for supreme
rulership. The game uses four directional step-by-step movement and combines the use of
keyboard and mouse commands. The graphics and sound are decent for the time of release
(1996), and the gameplay (completely intact from the Wizardry VII) is enough keep you
glued to the computer for hours on end.
Wizardry is set in the world of Guardia. On the planet there is an object called the
Astral Dominae, which is purported to contain power to control the universe. Of, course,
theres someone who wants this power, a fellow(?) known only as the Dark Savant.
Judging by the sound of his name, this guy is no fluff ball. You and your party are sent
to recover the Dominae before the Savant does, which means finding it first. Naturally,
you are dumped off on a planet without any maps, any equipment, and you are all
inexperienced as a newborn - perfect people to be sending on a mission to save the
universe, eh? During your travels, you meet up with various monsters and people who help
or hinder you on your quest
Character Creation and Development:
You create up to six characters in your party, adjust their statistics with points
allocated to you, and adventure off into the world. In Wizardry Gold, the character
creation is fairly detailed. You are given a random dice roll which fills your basic
stats. Then you are given a random number of points which you can add to you stats in any
fashion that you see fit. You choose your race and class, which are quite varied. There
are your standard humans, dwarves, faeries, etc
, but my favorite was the Mook. A
Mook is a big, hairy guy, kinda like Chewabaca from Star Wars. The classes are similar to
previous Wizardry games.
After choosing you race and class, you get to add points to specific secondary skills
such as sword and swimming skills, allowing further customization to your characters. Once
in the game world, you characters gain experience and levels during their travels,
primarily through combat. Skill points are awarded each level and you assign these to your
skills as you see fit.
The Game Engine:
Wizardry Gold is played in the traditional Wizardry format using a first-person
perspective. Player icons are placed on the perimeter of the screen, and a menu bar lies
below that handles various functions, such as searching, trading and casting spells. There
is an automapper, but it is in the form of a spell that must be learned. The whole system
is turn based, with step movement in the four primary directions. The keyboard and mouse
are both used to maneuver around the world. The whole design was well thought out with
regards to interface, but unfortunately suffers greatly from long load times and tediously
long combat and cut sequences. One of the main drawbacks of the Wizardry Gold, the
constant combat and voice-narrated "special events" arent too detracting
early on, but prove to be very tiresome as you progress through the game. Character
portraits are done nicely in SVGA, but the main-window graphics could use much
improvement. The sound quality is great, but on the whole becomes rather redundant as the
The world of Guardia is fairly large, consisting of various cities and dungeons below
in which your characters adventure through. The landscape leaves much to be desired. On
land, you are limited to traveling in sort of a maze, and you never quite get feel that
you are outside - it sort of feels like you are in a dungeon with a sky above your head.
There are some very tough puzzles in the game, almost giving the impression that it is
imperative to buy a hint book to solve some of the more complex ones.
One good thing about Wizardry Gold is that way monster encounters and placement are
handled - rather than sending an army of Ratkins at you when you go up in level to
increase difficulty, you are confronted by tougher monsters instead (there are over 250
monster types in the game, though they are represented by only about 60 different graphic
representations). I believe Sir-Tech has struck a fairly good balance in monster
placement, and I spent as much time searching and solving puzzles as I did fighting of
The Good In Summary:
Wizardry VI was a very well designed game and Wizardry Gold keeps much of the flavor
that made the earlier title so popular. The graphics and sound are improved, and character
creation/development remains a strong point in the title.
The Bad In Summary:
Though graphics are somewhat improved, they are still grainy and sub-standard in
todays environment. Voice-acting and sounds can get repetitious. Some of the puzzles
are a little hard to solve. Very long load times and combat sequences
Make a well balanced party - try a fighter, ninja, psionic, cleric, and a sorcerer.
Give all of your party swimming early on - youll need it. Do not leave the first
city until youve cleared it out completely.