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Old School Arcade Review: Wizards and Warriors Trilogy

6 January 2009 No Comment

I thought I would do another Nintendo Classic review and talk about one of my favorite series of all time, Wizard & Warriors. Some of my great memories of playing the NES were around this game, heck I even played this game with a busted controller to and that was even more difficult (lol). This was the only games I actually beat back in my young days of gaming without cheating, of course it did help that you had as many continues in the first one to keep on trying and trying to beat that game. If my memory serves me correct, I think I got Wizard and Warriors II the Christmas it came out and boy did this game frustrate me since I had only two continues to work with and many ways to be killed in this game before reaching the boss.

Even though I had made it several times to Fire Mountain I could never beat it since I was pretty much on my death bed with limit magic and a death touch each time the elemental’s hit you. Heck when I first got a taste for emulators one of the few games I thought of was those two and after many hours of searching for them I got them and played them for hours upon hours. They sure kept me occupied while I was in Iraq, which I am glad they did even though I had my Playstation 2 with me. Of course it was at this time or maybe a few years later that I would come across Wizards and Warriors III and I thought to myself woot another awesome game that will be just as harder or harder, sadly puzzle wise it is hard but enjoyability was not there and major disappointment for this fine trilogy. I tried it out several times but could never get into and not because I never had the time, trust me I did, I just never enjoyed it.

It would be interesting to see this franchise continue or maybe give them a 3rd generation face-lift with the current technology, but alas it is wishful thinking on that though. So lets get on with the insanity and begin my review.

Wizards & Warriors Trilogy

Some Screen Shots

Game Maker: (W&W I) Rare Ltd./Acclaim (W&W II) Zippo Games/Acclaim, (W&W III) Zippo Games/Acclaim

Year: (W&W I) 1987, (W&W II) 1989, (W&W III) 1992

Price: Odds are they were $40-$50 a game

Levels: (W&W I) 8, (W&W II) 10, (W&W III) 1 but broken down in several different parts which are too many to list

Sound: (W&W I) 10, (W&W II) 10, (W&W III) 9

Graphics: (W&W I) Perfect Pixel 10, (W&W II) Perfect Pixel 10, (W&W III) 9

Mini-Games: (W&W I) none, (W&W II) gambling, (W&W III) N/A

Difficulty: (W&W I) Back Then: 8 Now:2, (W&W II) Back Then: 10 Now:10, (W&W III) Back Then: N/A Now: 3

Game play:

(W&W I)

The objective of most of the levels is to rescue all the Damsels (princesses) in distress. To get to the princess on each level, Kuros must collect a certain number of gems in order to get past an invincible guard on the level. Once he has enough gems to bribe the guard, Kuros faces the level’s boss. After the boss is defeated, Kuros frees the princess.
By defeating enemies and opening treasure chests throughout the levels, Kuros may pick up items to aid him in his quest. Kuros may find Potions, Food (healing items), extra weapons, and other Tools. Although the game is considered to be quite challenging, the player is aided with unlimited continues with the only penalty being that the score is reset to 0.

(W&W II)

Each of the four elemental realms consists of two stages. In the first stage, Kuros must find a golden artifact which belongs to the Animal King of the realm; once accomplished, the path to the second part of the realm will appear. In the second stage, the goal is to find the magic spell which can be used to fight the elemental boss. Without the spell, it is impossible to damage the boss. Once the elemental in each stage has been destroyed, Kuros will pick up a piece of the legendary Iron Sword, which is needed for the final battle on Icefire Mountain.
A few new elements were introduced in this installment of the series. Gems and keys still exist, although the former are used for monetary purposes and the latter can be stored to open any chest Kuros comes across. Shops are located in each level, which sell weapons, food and magic spells. Kuros can also gamble in a game of chance at each shop, where the goal is to guess which cup a skull will land in. New to the series were magic spells which give Kuros special abilities for a limited period of time. Some spells can be used at any time, while others are only for specific situations.

(W&W III)

Unlike the previous games in the series, the gameplay takes place in three main areas; the town of Piedup, the caves underneath and the castle above it. Kuros is free to travel between all three areas, but will need certain skills to advance further. These skills come from joining three guilds in the game, each revolving around a certain class; Knight, Thief and Wizard. To advance in rank at each of these guilds, Kuros must find the statue which corresponds to the guild’s level; bronze statues for first level guilds, silver statues for second level guilds and gold statues for third level guilds. Each class has its own unique abilities, which evolve throughout the course of the game; Kuros is free to switch between classes at any time, except during boss battles or during guild tests.
Due to the game’s open-ended nature, exploration is necessary to find all necessary items and secrets. Most doors can be entered with a key, which can be purchased at an inn; however, some passages can only be accessed using certain skills. Most of the important items in the game are guarded by boss monsters.
Unlike the past games in the series, there is no continue mechanism; once Kuros loses all of his lives, the game ends. There are no hidden continues, nor is there any way to restore a life once its been lost. Even though there is no continue mechanism, the game is drastically easier than its predecessors. It is possible for Kuros to avoid almost all damage by using the appropriate class in its respective area.

Plot:

In this trilogy, you play as the hero Kuros and you battle with an Evil Sorcerer called Malkil. In the first game you must rescue the princesses and destroy Malkil and his evil power.

In Ironsword, you goal is to complete the four pieces of the Ironsword and destroy the four elementals Wind, Earth, Fire, Water who are controlled by Malkil.

In Wizards and Warriors III you once again have to destroy Malkil as he posses the King of Piedup and you must learn various skills in order to finally destroy this wizard once and for all.

First Impressions:

One of the best Nintendo trilogies of all time and one of the most difficult ones as well as these games had so much replay value that it never got old. I played the first two games on the original Nintendo system and seeing number three for the first time a few years ago. I don’t remember how long it took but I did beat the first one and only getting to the last stage in number II without never beating that game. Although the Wikipedia article states that the second game was easier that is untrue if you ever made it to the final stage and took on all four elementals at once with limited magic and no continues. As for the third game I wasn’t really impressed with it when I first tried it out and even though I have never beaten it, I doubt I will as I feel that game is let down after the other two games.

22, 19, 17 years later:

With the exception of number three, the first two games are still the best and I still play them now and then with finally beating Wizard and Warriors II 2007-2008. The music, the well detailed graphics, the bosses and so on are still great and well ahead of the time for the gaming World.
Overall Ranking:

(W&W 1) 10, (W&W II) 10, (W&W III) 3

Now for that Catchy slogan–

“Games don’t get old, just people!”

–Now for some copyright info–

Images and of course games are copyrighted to its perspective owners blah blah blah. Roms are illegal and so do not get caught blah blah blah or else blah blah blah. Reviews and opinions are my own so don’t argue with me unless you can prove otherwise why this game sucks and 100% of the time you are wrong because one your either a new school gamer and don’t know a good game when you see it or two, well there is no two so HA!!. All slogans, trademarks and names excluded the games I review are copyrighted to me blah blah and blah. 2007-2009 SM Old School Legend.

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