Yeah, so Wizardry is a bit of a bitch. Here's what I've discovered bumbling my way through the first level:
- There's no real way to save the game. When you come out of the dungeon and return to the town, your characters are saved, but the dungeon itself is reset. There is no way to save your progress while in the dungeon. And here's the kicker: if your characters die, they die permanently. You cannot quit the game and reload to save them.
- When you encounter monsters, only your front three characters can directly engage them. The back characters can use spells, but they only get a couple of spells each at the first level, and these run out quickly. There doesn't seem to be any missile weapons in the game.
- Practically every chest is trapped, usually with a poison needle, and half the time my thief trips it and gets poisoned.
- The magic system is interesting. To cast a spell, you must type its name. Luckily I found some spell cards online.
- When you engage in combat, you tell the game what you want each of your characters to do in the next round, such as (f)ight, (p)arry, or cast a (s)pell. You then execute these actions all at once.
- There are fixed encounters at certain points on the map. Sometimes these encounters turn out to be with "friendly" monsters, but otherwise there is no way to avoid them.
I must admit, though, I'm a sucker for games that allow me to map on graph paper. I just enjoy making these maps and annotating what I find in each square. Lacking any graph paper, and not really wanting to carry it around with me, I hit upon the solution of using Excel to create the maps. I'm making each worksheet a level, and using the border options to draw the walls and doors.
|Modern-day graph paper|
You can see I didn't get very far. First trip out, I mapped the bottom corridor and killed some kobolds. So far, so good. I went back up to the surface to save and identify a piece of armor at the store. Second trip, I went back to the same place, got ambushed by two groups of "small humanoids," and all of my characters were slaughtered.
|Party 1 about to enjoy its first--and only--successful battle|
I generated a second party and had a little more luck, winning about six battles.
But none of my characters had even leveled before the inevitable happened:
Damn. This is a little discouraging. Well, when I have time I'll generate a third set of characters and try again. Having to buy the same equipment over and over is getting a little old, though.
I shouldn't even be playing this. I should be practicing crosswords. No more posts this weekend, and I mean it this time.