Wizardry: The Knight of Diamonds

a game by Ascii

Platform: NESNES

Genre: Adventure/RPG

See also:Wizardry Games

All you swords-and-sorcery gums couldn't have picked a better time to quest for an NES fantasy game. ASCII Entertainment Software just pulled the cork on Wizardry II, the sequel to the text-heavy computer title that started the electronic role-playing craze way back in 1979.

Wizard's Duel

The City of LLyLgamyn once enjoyed generations of peace and prosperity, thanks to the staff of Gnilda, which protected its people from catastrophe. No longer -- treachery from within (in the form of the wicked sorcerer Davalpus) proved to be the royal family's downfall. Prince Alavik, bearing the arms of the fabled Knight of Diamonds (KOD), fought bravely to save his countrymen, but to no avail. After the dust settled, all that remained of the two combatants was a massive crater, crawling with goons galore! Once again, the mayor's looking for a few good men, this time to recover the staff before LLyLgamyn is plunged into darkness forever.

Party On

You command a "party" of six rough and tumble brawlers, but each has his own profession and appropriate skills. The Fighter is best for bashing heads, but call on your Thief for tricky trap disarming. The Mage has the power to roast (or freeze) monsters alive, while the Cleric is gifted with the healing touch. After many death-defying dungeon romps, you can promote these characters to elite classes such as a Samurai, Lord, Ninja, or Wizard.

ProTips:

  • When first creating your characters be stingy and don't accept any bonus score lower than a 15. It may take a while till the game arbitrarily bestows you with such a high mark, but it's well worth the wait.
  • Your best bet for quick level advancements is the "Murphy's Ghost Stomp". Look for оl' Murph in a tiny room that's 19 squares north and three squares east of the Level One stairs.

There's more to character management than meets the eye because as you balance out your team's abilities, you must also allow for each character's moral alignment (Good, Neutral, and Evil). Good and Evil fellows don't get along, so a Lord and a Ninja, for example, can never journey together (normally, that is).

If you meet a group of friendly monsters. Good characters must avoid conflict and Evil adventurers must initiate a melee or alignment shifts could occur. Use this knowledge to bend the rules to your favor! For example, if your Evil Ninja wants to hook up with your Good-aligned party, have him change his philosophy by not fighting friendly creatures. With this "Good Ninja" (or "Evil Lord") loophole, you can eventually form the ultimate fighting machine: a Lord, a Samurai, a Ninja, a Cleric, a Mage, and a Wizard.

Swords Aren't Cheap

A quick trip to Boltac's Trading Post should be first on your list of things to do. You begin with just a few gold pieces, so initial purchases may be limited to a rusted butter knife and a trash can lid (but see ProTips for a great get-rich-quick scheme). Once a degree of wheats is attained, snatching up a few Scrolls, Potions, and Staffs would be highly advisable. You'll also need cash to pay for restoration at the Adventurer's Inn and to purchase specialized healing (such as Paralysis Cures) at the Temple of Cant.

  • It's an oldie but goodie gold-gathering trick: Create a character, clean out his starting funds into your party's coffer, delete him, and do it again.
  • Save a few bucks by using your Cleric's magic instead of the Adventurer's Inn to heal wounds. Each time have him stay in the stables to regain his spell points.

Of course, the greatest riches can be found in the dungeon below the city. The most treasured rewards of all: components of the Knight of Diamond's Armor. Once you assemble the complete outfit, one of your characters can become KOD and seek out the staff of Gnilda.

  • Some enchanted weapons can be used in combat to cast spells - experiment!
  • Secret doors appear and disappear randomly. Press Button A to bash them open.

Twisted Turns

The maze is six levels of bone-breaking terrors, traps, pits, and teleporters. It should be familiar territory for battle-scarred Wizardry I masters, but newcomers may have trouble getting used to the 3-D, map-as-you-go system.

If disaster strikes, push Reset and you'll warp back in time to your last campsite.

Magic Fizzle?

As far as true role-playing value goes, Wizardry II comes through with flying colors in some areas, but falls short of the mark in others. The quest is cool enough, and to make matters more interesting, a KOD's equipment may not immediately acquiesce to your wishes -- for example, the Gauntlets cast Tiltowaits (Atomic Fusion Spells) until you cry "Werdna". Also, there are some cryptic messages and mind-crunching riddles in the maze to whet your adventure appetite.

On the flip side, Wizardry II's plot has about as much depth as a Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote story. You learn very little about the semi-intriguing township of LLyLgamyn, and none of the inhabitants seem to be in a talkative mood. In fact, there's no sign of them anywhere in the game.

One problem with the original Wiz remains uncorrected in the return title: the graphics and music are flat-out dull. Instead of animated combat sequences you just see a still picture of your adversary. The tunes, too, get repetitive after a few hundred hours in the depths of the labyrinth (and, believe me, that's how long it'll take you to complete this sucker without the hint book).

Dungeon Crawler's Delight

If maze busting's your thing, Wizardry II: The Knight of Diamonds is heaven below Earth. But don't think LLyLgamyns safe just yet because rumors are already flying that more sequels will surface for the NES and the Super NES. Maybe by the time Wizardry goes 16-bit, the graphic interface will be upgraded to include eye-pleasing visuals as well as entrancing RPG play. Until then, take a dose of Wizardry II and, uh, call ASCII in the morning (if you're stuck).

Other games by
Ascii

Wizardry: The Knight of Diamonds Downloads

NES Wizardry: The Knight of Diamonds download
  • Asciiware/Nintendo

We've captured a special kind of magic in Knight of Diamonds, the Second Scenario. If you've never played Wizardry, you won't find anything like it on the Nintendo Entertainment System. This is role-playing at the highest level - a game in a class by itself. Soon, you'll find out what experienced players already know - playing Wizardry isn't easy. But stopping is even tougher.

reggie posted a review

You are a novice magician in this huge RPG. Use your spells and other weapons to fend of the forces of doom. Many statistics involved makes this one of the better titles.

reggie posted a review

The traditional dungeon crawler role-playing game series is maintained in Wizardry II. Here the main task is also to defeat the evil Werdna and return Mad Overlord Trebor's amulet. For success in previous adventure, the player’s party was inducted into Trebor's personal honor safeguard. Unluckily this honor didn't last that long since Trebor's madness and obsession with that charm and trying to prevent Werdna's return drove him to suicide.

Unfortunately the peace after death of both Trebor and Werdna didn't last long. Besides Werdna, there was one more evil Davalpus wjo lived in Llylgamyn. He stormed the castle, killed the royal family, and then declared himself the tyrant of life. But you are not supposed to have a final battle with that Davalpus. It has already been done, but there is a more interesting task prepared for you. The second Wizardry has the basic engine and graphics like in the first one. Players are able to transfer characters from the Wizardry I, or generate new ones from scratch.

reggie posted a review
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