Sunday, April 7, 2013

Game 13: Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (NES) - Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

And so ends the party... for now
One second I think I'm making progress, that I have some handle on the game, and in the next it throws a curve ball. I guess I ventured too far, too fast. I should really take this game one fight at a time, stay close to the exit.

I was exploring the fifth floor and doing well; I have a little over half mapped out. I even discovered a couple interesting items: a ring of jewels (not sure what this does, if anything) and an epee of dismay (pretty sure this was cursed, so I sold it). Then, all of sudden, my magic ceases to function.
Fizzle? Why?
I'm at a loss as to why magic quit functioning for my party. I thought it was a single room, but the effects lasted as I made a beeline for the exit. Unfortunately, I had been in the middle of deep exploration and there were many doors between me and the elevator, and even more to the stairs. The party fought bravely.

One by one my party started to fall, Pacpix was first to several breath attacks from dragons. I had no way to heal between battles and my mages were now useless, but there was a glimmer of hope. Only two more doors to get through, and I had just saved Alex from poison with a neutralizing potion. I think I mentioned it before, but entering doors seem to have a higher chance of encountering enemies.
The enemies' magic works fine!
I felt despondent as I saw the screen above. My hopes of making it back dashed. I considered my options. I could quit this game... no, I knew there were difficult games to get through. It's the sole reason I made the rule not to let up until a game was won. It's just... 13 hours, and I have little to show for it. At least I have my maps.

I set about making another party. It took a good 20 minutes, and as I'm about to assemble them I remember the thief, THIEF, that I dragged down to level 9. Maybe I could sneak through, find some friendly monsters, and get out with most of the party. I didn't have the funds to raise them yet, but it'd be good to have them back.

So, I did this, and it was just as disastrous. I ran into some dragon flies on the way down and was killed nearly instantly. Later on I would notice that Jonothan had disappeared from my roster. I wonder if only six characters can exist as out in the dungeon. Either that or some monster got a hold of him and dragged him off into oblivion. In any case, Jonothan is lost forever, along with the sturdy plate armor (best armor I've yet found). Well, time to get on with a new party.
Sean didn't start out as a very good thief
It was at that point I called it a night, and I truly considered moving on to another game. Who puts up with this? 13 hours, and starting the game all over again. Well, I ended up firing up the NES again today, and committed to an hour more at least. If I didn't make any progress after that, then I'd take some time off.

I didn't think anyone would want to watch me grinding out a new party, so I didn't bother to stream today. (My computer was also indisposed.)

Well, one thing led to another, and I decided instead of a single party I would make two. After getting to a point where I could once again grind on Murphy's Ghost, I made a second party and took them three by three to gain their experience.
Don't worry Sean, you're now the best candidate for ninja
It's been a very successful comeback up to this point. I took the new party to collect the Blue Ribbon. I did not put on the Ring of Death this time, and I now have the funds to raise my fallen party and then some.

The calls were not quite as close, and I managed to bring everyone back to the castle without incident. The only bad news in all this is the loss of Jonothan. I wonder, at what point do you think I can assault Werdna and get this over with?
My current roster
With this group of characters, I'd really have to suffer catastrophic losses to have the same setback as last time. Still, I feel I haven't made much progress. I'd like to see some gains in magical equipment that I can use, so I'm going to test the waters on the ninth floor. Wish me luck.

Session Time: 6h20m (Total Time: 18h20m)


  1. That sounded just brutal. Do you think that was a bug or is losing your magic a thing in this game?

    1. I don't know for sure, no real indication, but I noticed it right after I entered a certain room.

  2. I know how you feel. When I went to fight Werdna for the first time the monsters surprised me and destroyed me in seconds. I was so mad that I just spent an entire day grinding on Murphy's ghost around 700 times and then went down and killed him.

    Sounds like you found a dead magic zone. In those areas both monsters and parties can not cast any spells.

    1. You know, that's probably the quickest way to take him out. Spending all this time trying to get magic items and getting through each floor seems like such a waste of time.

  3. Oh no, I am dead and gone forever, and with the best armor, to boot! How tragic!
    But I am glad I was able to help for a while.

    1. It was definitely helpful, and I'd really like to know exactly where you went, but we'll probably never know.

  4. There's two sources of random monsters - the random wandering monster checks, and some - most - rooms are guaranteed to have some sort critter(s) hanging around waiting to fight you. You'll notice if you enter the dungeon, immediately turn to the right, and enter that door in the short dead-end hallway, you'll definitely have a fight. Leave the room, re-enter, you may or may have a fight, but that's just the usual wandering monster checks.

    Some locations have special encounters, usually fixed, like Murphy's Ghost, which is another way to encounter monsters.

    1. Beyond Murphy I can't find another fixed encounter, although I suppose Werdna is another.

  5. Yikes. It sounds almost like you'd want to build two parties and rotate characters through slowly, to replace deaths. On the other hand, it sounds like you get your whole party wiped out more often then just losing someone.

    1. I have enough characters for 3 parties which range from level 7 - 12. One of the frustrations come from my inability to gauge my strength and know if I can beat the game because every enemy has the potential to instantly wipe out a character.

  6. The more I learn about the Wizardry series, the more it seems like more of a chore than a game (at least the early ones).

    Contrast Wizardry I with Might & Magic I. I downloaded M&Ms 1-6 from GOG six months ago, and have been going through the first game very slowly (hey, I have an infant's tough to find time to play), and at no point has the game felt like a chore, despite the necessity of mapping, the lack of handholding, and the overall difficulty. In fact, the game is a joy. Wizardry seems to be the equivalent of someone kicking you in the crotch for failing to complete an impossible task. I hope you're having some fun with this, Zenic!