wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga front cover

Wizardry I – Llylgamyn Saga

llylgamyn saga title screen

Wizardry – the game everyone seems to forget whenever they try to convince you that the Souls games are the hardest games ever. Wizardry 1, originally released in 1981, is basically the blueprint for all dungeon-crawling RPGs to come.

 

Being the first actual party-based RPG ever made, the influence that Wizardry has had on both WRPGs and JRPGs alike is immeasurable! While being quite a hit at the time of its release, how does Wizardry hold up today, with its primitive graphics and insane difficulty? Let’s fine out!

 

Final Score – 22/30

Gameplay – 7/10
Graphics – 7/10
Music – 8/10

Style: Computer Role-playing Game (Turn-based)
Platform: Playstation 1/PS1
Release Date: JP: February 26, 1998
Developer: Soliton
Publisher: Locus
Length: 10~Infinity Hours

Wizardry 1 (Llylgamyn Saga) PS1 Review

I don’t really know how or why, but I ended up somehow writing 5400 words about Wizardry 1, so…

wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga title screen

The back cover of Wizardry I・II・III Llygamyn Saga

Finally, my first Non-JRPG review! My “About” page mentions that I like WRPGs/CRPGs too, and will be reviewing them, but it actually took an entire year before my CRPG review! What better game is there than Wizardry (Ultima, maybe?…) to be the first game of this genre for me to cover!

You might be wondering why I decided to review a version of the game that was released about 15 or so years after the original instead of just reviewing the original itself. That’s mainly because of a scoring issue. The original version of Wizardry doesn’t have any music or sound, which would force me to give the game a 0/10 for the Music score, which automatically means the maximum i’d be able to give Wizardry is a 30/40, or 75%. That’s assuming it scores perfect 10’s in all other categories.

Now here comes the next problem – graphics. Wizardry, being one of the very first graphical CRPGs (from the early 80’s), means i’d have a hell of a time trying to logically convince people that the graphics would be anything more than a 2-3/10. Even relying on the fact that it was one of the first of it’s kind so it deserves some respect for what it did at that point in time, the graphics aren’t really “impressive”, even though they were quite influential i’d say.

wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga instruction manual

The instruction manual and “Data Sheet”, which lists racial starting stats, class requirements, and other basic information

This means, that with a 0/10 music score and probably a 2 or 3/10 for graphics, Wizardry would instantly be brought down to basically a 50-60%, or ~20/40, which would pretty much disqualify it from even being reviewed in the first place (this site is meant to review GOOD games, so anything that would score less than around a 65%~70% shouldn’t even make it onto the site).

I feel that that is a bit unfair for Wizardry. Wizardry being a very old game means that it is very primitive, as even mind-blowing games in the early 80’s were still usually really primitive, even for their time. Primitive shouldn’t automatically mean an auto-disqualification, in my opinion, so I tried to search for a version of Wizardry 1 that could still hold up reasonably today, without forcing me to just keep saying “just try to think of how it was back in ’81!” after each section of the review.

This means I had two options. Option #1 was Wizardry I・II・III (Story of Llylgamyn) for the SFC, which I searched for originally. The problem with this collection is that it wasn’t “Officially” released – Story of Llylgamyn was released for what was essentially an SFC flashcart, back in the day. This flashcart also seemed to be able to load different ROMs back then, too…

That makes actually buying the game a bit iffy – you can’t really tell what games are actually loaded onto the cart. The carts themselves are pretty expensive too ($30 or so), so I was a bit hesitant to drop $30 and potentially get a cart with a bunch of random crap on it.

The Llylgamyn Saga disc

So, that leaves us with Option #2 – Wizardry I・II・III Llylgamyn Saga for the PS1! While actually being released before the SFC collection mentioned above, the PS1 version of Wizardry 1 seems to be the definitive version of the game. One thing to note before continuing onto the actual review itself – the SFC and PS1 collections are much easier than the original PC version of the game. We’ll find out why in just a bit!

Story

llylgamyn saga selection screenAs most people know, Wizardry is a dungeon-crawler, and dungeon-crawlers aren’t known for their stories. One important detail to note – Wizardry was basically the first true dungeon-crawler. That means that Wizardry 1’s story is even more non-existent than you’d usually expect. Therefore, this section is going to be super short…

An evil wizard named Werdna has stolen a powerful amulet from the king of Llylgamyn, Trebor. Trebor definitely wants his amulet back, so he hires a band of adventurers to delve into Werdna’s dungeon to defeat Werdna and recover his amulet.

I’m honestly not lying. That’s essentially your entire motive in the game. Trebor “hires” your party that you created, and your goal is to get to the 10th floor of the Maze in town where Werdna is hiding. There’s literally nothing else going on in the game.

Now, of course if you think about this as a story written in 1998, it would probably be the worst story of all time. Considering this was actually created back in ’81, when most games didn’t even have stories and were just arcade-y games with “1 life”, you gotta give Wizardry at least a tad bit of credit. To be honest, though, Wizardry 1 was designed as a dungeon-crawler, not an adventure or grand story-telling RPG, so there’s not much we can do about it lacking an actual story.

Graphics

The graphics in the original Wizardry were your standard sprites and wire-frame dungeons, with text menus filling up pretty much everything else. The PS1 version, on the other-hand, has fully rendered 3d dungeons, while retaining sprites for the monsters (albeit way more detailed!). One really cool thing is that this version of the game offers you the option to change the dungeon/enemy graphics to the old PC graphics, if you want that true Wizardry 1 feeling!

wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga first floor

Just noticed, after beating the game, that I actually mis-spelled my “Sorcerer”. Geez…

Even though the game is in 3d, it’s nothing that will take your breath away. Dungeons are 3d and scroll pretty smoothly, but the biggest issue is that Wizardry, being a dungeon-crawler, is a really dark game. By design, you’re not supposed to see anything more than one space infront of you, unless you use certain magic spells to light up corridors.

wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga ninth floor

Getting darker…

This means that for 99% of the game, you’ll be seeing pitch black infront of you, and a little bit of the walls on both sides of the screen. This goes on for all 10 floors of the Maze. Not only do you see black and sidewall the entire game, the walls only change design 3 times. Walls on floors 1-4 are the same, the design suddenly changes on floors 5-9, and then the final change is in Werdna’s Lair itself, floor 10.

wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga tenth floor

The final change of appearance, within Werdna’s Lair

While definitely better than wire-frame graphics, Wizardry 1’s graphics in the PS1 version still shouldn’t awe anybody. I do remember most other PS1 First-Person/dungeon-crawling games looking very similar to Wizardry 1, so while it wasn’t necessarily lagging behind in graphical quality, it just couldn’t compare to most of the Japanese RPGs that came out around that time (Final Fantasy VIII came out during the same year, for reference).

One really big step up from the original is the enhanced enemy designs! The enemies look way more menacing in the PS1 version compared to what one might imagine they actually looked like based off of the old PC sprites. Even monsters you’ll see on the first couple of floors (Skeletons, Ninjas, Bears) look really intimidating. Even regular monsters on the last 2 floors look like they could all be separate boss monsters (Greater Demons, Fire Dragons, Poison Giants)!

wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga enemies

For those of you who can’t read Japanese, this says “Game Over”

Since this game is a Japanese exclusive, I believe the artist for the sprites was probably Japanese, so you have a bit more of the Japanese-interpretation of “Western Style”, rather than the straight up Conan the Barbarian / He-man shit that over-ran all RPGs in the West during the 80’s and 90’s.

Monster variation is really great, too! I don’t recall seeing any sprite recoloring going on. Since monsters get crazier and crazier as the game progresses, I don’t think they could have gotten away with just recoloring a skeleton blue and calling it a “Frozen Skeleton” or something like that in the deeper levels of the Maze.

This makes you feel a little excited each time you reach a new floor, wondering which kind of new monsters you’ll see. They’ll all look way scarier than they really are though, so chances are you’ll be too scared to actually adventure away from the stairs…(that’s why it took me 3-4 hours to finally get 10 tiles away from the staircase in Level 2…).

That’s really all there is in terms of graphics. Attacks and magical effects are all displayed via text only. The towns and shops/inns/taverns each have a single static picture background, but they’re not really anything to mention. Wizardry 1 is just that – dungeon graphics and enemy sprites! Overall, the 3d parts are kinda average, but the enemy sprites are pretty cool and nicely detailed!

Gameplay

llylgamyn saga priest spells

You’re definitely going to want to know what Latumofis does – it cures Poison! The spell under it, Maporfic, is also a must – it decreases your entire party’s AC by 4, and it stays in effect as long as you’re in the dungeon!

One quick thing to note about this version of Wizardry, the SNES Wizardrys, and probably the other PS1/Saturn Wizardrys from Japan – they all include English! I believe Wizardry V for SNES has full English, while this version of Wizardry 1 is mostly English. The only things that aren’t in English, which is sadly one of the most important things you’d like to be able to read, are spell descriptions. Spell names, item names, monsters, menus, everything else is in English, but spell descriptions are 100% Japanese. If you can’t read Japanese, a quick lookup online will tell you what each spell does, so this is actually a very import-friendly game, region-locking aside!

Wizardry 1’s gameplay is pretty basic, as one could expect from a game that came out all the way back in ’81 (that’s a few years before the original Nintendo, for quick reference). The entire premise is crawling through the 10 floor dungeon below Llylgamyn, solving a few puzzles along the way, but mostly just killing monsters to level up and get gear.

wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga werdna rant

Here’s a fine example of one of the events. Werdna spittin’ hot fire at King Trebor

The game plays in a first-person point of view while traversing the dungeons, while everything else that you’ll be doing is menu-based (healing, shopping, creating characters, fighting, and casting spells). While traversing the dungeon, you’re only able to see one space infront of you, unless you use certain magic spells which light up the dungeon a bit. Upon moving around, you’ll sometimes have messages pop up which indicate an event (these aren’t random, they’re all hand-placed).

These events can range from finding key items used to open doors further down in the dungeon, summoning certain monsters to fight against, or even just friendly advice (which is usually very bad advice). Other than that, there are doors littered around the dungeon, which usually spawn monsters upon opening them (again, hand-placed encounters). Aside from event tiles and encounter tiles, there aren’t really anything else you’ll encounter while adventuring.

Some of the event tiles, however, can be a huge pain to deal with. Things like pitfall traps that you have no way of seeing before falling into them, tiles that automatically spin you around, and even tiles that teleport you to random spots on the current floor! In the original Wizardry, I couldn’t imagine playing through some of the floors while having to draw your own map (old-school hard!).

llylgamyn saga automap

Having an automap helps more than one might expect!

Luckily, the PS1 version, and I believe the SNES collection, include an auto-map feature, which basically eliminates all of the head-aches of having to deal with these tiles, and the “dark areas” where you literally can’t see anything. I think this is a very big point to mention – just the simple fact of having an automap makes the PS1 version of Wizardry 1 massively easier than the original PC version of Wizardry 1.

Most of the trouble I had while playing the PC version was not knowing where I was at. This became even more nightmarish when you have someone poisoned and are trying to make your way to the exit of the dungeon, while each step takes away 1hp. You honestly don’t have leeway to mess up and take a wrong turn!

wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga dark area

Yep, imagine being forced to walk into this for the first time…

Just knowing the right way to go when your party is getting low is a huge life-saver, and I would almost even say that the PC and PS1 versions of the game have a whole different atmosphere. I remember being so afraid of leaving the first floor in the PC version (took me 3 or 4 hours to get to floor 2…), but I didn’t really worry quite as much exploring floors 2-10 in the PS1 version of Wizardry 1, as I could always find my way back to the stairs if things went bad. That said, the game is still hard as hell and scary, overall!

Why is the game so scary? Wizardry has PERMADEATH. Yeah, Wizardry is a game with permadeath and some of the harshest RNG i’ve ever experienced. Those two things usually don’t go well together, as you could probably imagine…

The battles in Wizardry are usually pretty unforgivable. Right off the bat, the monsters you’ll fight on the first level can kill pretty much any party member within 1-3 hits, regardless of class. Enemies also spawn as groups for the most part – you’ll almost never run into “1 Kobold”, or “1 Ninja”, it’s pretty much always “4 Kobolds” or “7 Ninja” (say bye to all of your party member’s heads, Ninjas have a 2 x enemy level chance of decapitating on hit, which is an instant kill).

Upon dying, which you’ll be doing way more often that you’d probably like, your character becomes un-usable. The only way to revive them is at the Temple in town, or with the help of a Priest spell (Kandi, I think?). Here’s the catch, there’s only a CHANCE that the character will be revived. If the spell fails, the character gets turned to ash.

Now shit gets really nerve-wracking. You have one more chance to revive them at the Temple or with a higher level Priest spell. If the spell fails again, well, you just sent your party member to Shadowrealm (metaphorically). Yep, that character is gone forever, and it’s time to reroll an entire new guy. Your cool level 11 Fighter died? Time to start a new one from Level 1 (and hope he gets decent stats, more on this in a second)!

Let’s go back to battles for a bit. Assuming you don’t die within the first turn, your party gets to attack too. Wizardry 1 is made with a party of 6 in mind. 3 characters are technically “in the front” and 3 “in the back”. Only the 3 characters in the front are actually able to attack and be attacked in melee. The back rows are basically reserved for casters/healers/or squishy characters that aren’t really used for combat (like a Thief or Bishop).

wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga fighter

The stats of my Fighter when I finished the game, at Level 13

The melee guys are basically just that – they hit a few times in melee for pretty decent amounts of damage. Melee classes usually have a perk of gaining an extra attack every 4th or 5th level, meaning that a Level 12 Fighter can hit the same enemy up to 4 times. Sadly, they can’t split attacks among different enemies in the same group. If they could, melee classes would probably be the absolute best of the best.

Moving on to spells, Mages can use both Attack and Debuff/Status spells. While very weak early on, Mages eventually get some spells that increase enemy AC (yep, Wizardry is a D&D game. AC is your armor class, the lower it is, the higher chance you have of dodging attacks), put them to sleep, blind them, or silence them, among other things.

Where mages shine the most is in AoE damage skills. Later in the game, mages start to get some spells that can kill an entire group with one cast, and at Level 13+, they can get a spell that can kill every monster in the fight!

Priests, on the other hand, have buff/status recovery and healing spells. Priests also get a few AoE damage spells, and undead insta-kill spells, but sadly they don’t get any much needed AoE healing spells.

Since Wizardry is a D&D game, this also means that Mages/Priest get spell slots – meaning they can only cast certain level spells a certain amount of times before resting. These high level AoE damage spells usually only have 2-3 casts available, unless you grind to an absurd level. This helps balance out Mages and Priest, or at least the ones in your party…enemy mages have infinite spell slots, it seems…

Aside from Melee and Casting, the only other fighting option available is the Priest’s “Dispell”, which attempts to kill any undead-type monsters. The good thing about this is that you don’t waste hp/spell slots to kill the monsters, but the bad thing is that you don’t get any exp for the monsters you dispelled, only gold and maybe a lucky treasure chest.

All in all, the battles aren’t too involved, but that’s kind of to be expected from the first game of this kind. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t any strategy involed, though. If you try to fight giants without blinding them and buffing your party’s AC, a couple of your guys are probably gonna get Shadowrealm’d!

wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga treasure chest

There’s probably a reason for that blood…

The last dungeon-related gameplay feature i’ll talk about is treasure chests. These drop randomly after fighting monsters, and they’re basically always trapped. Without having a Thief in your party, you’ll most likely trip the trap every single time you try to open one of these. Even with a Thief, you’ll still have about a 10% chance of tripping the trap.

Thieves can inspect the chest to see what kind of trap it is. There’s a huge list of trap types, but for example you’ll have stuff like Poison Needle, which will poison one of your party members, Priest Blaster, and Teleporter. Poison Needle is guaranteed death basically during early game, and even during late game if you don’t have any 4th level Priest spell slots left. Priest Blaster will paralyze your priests, who just happen to be the only class that can actually cure paralysis (old-school hard!).

Then there’s Teleporter, which just sounds like a simple nuisance, right?. Wrong. Teleporter can, and will, teleport your entire party into “rock” (dungeon walls or out of bounds areas), which instantly kills your entire party. This means that even if you start a new party, level up a priest, and try to go revive your old party, there’s literally no way to actually get to your old party. They got insta-shadowrealm’d.

Chests are absolutely not even worth opening until floors 9 and 10, though. There’s nothing worthwhile at all in any chests on floor 1-8, so there’s no reason to eat a poison needle for 13 gold. The chests on floors 9-10, however, contain the absolute best gear in the game…so while your Thief might feel like a waste of a class slot throughout the entire game, they do kind of become useful during the last 20% of the game…

I guess lastly, i’ll briefly describe the classes in Wizardry 1. This should have been included higher up at the top, but you’ll have to forgive me. Wizardry 1 for PS1 has 8 classes, with 5 of those being melee classes and 3 being spell casters.

  • Fighter – Your typical tanking melee character. Fighters can equip the heaviest armor and shields, along with being able to use gloves. Gains an extra attack every 4th level.
  • Lord – Essentially a Paladin in most other games. A hybrid between A Fighter and Priest. Can use the same equipment as a Fighter along with having access to Priest spells. Able to equip the best armor in the game, if you can actually get it to drop!
  • Samurai – An interesting class mix – A Fighter and a Mage. Access to all of the same Fighter gear along with Mage spells. Able to equip the best weapon in the game, if you can actually get that to drop, too!
  • Ninja – The games super class. To become a Ninja, you need to have an Evil Thief with 17 in every stat (probably not gonna happen). The Ninja is supposedly able to insta-kill enemies upon scoring a critical hit.
  • Thief – The weakest melee character in the game. Thieves have no utility at all during battle. Where they do become useful is while opening chests. Without a Thief in your party, you’re going to be severely under-geared during the last two floors.
  • Mage – Your average wizard. Mages start off with very low HP, and never get a decent enough AC to allow them to take a couple of hits. Mages become heavy-hitters near the end of the game, being able to annihilate entire groups of enemies with a single cast.
  • Priest – Your buffer and healer. Priests can actually equip a decent amount of equipment and reach an okay AC. I actually swapped my thief to the very back and put my Priest in the last melee slot because he had way higher AC, damage, and HP. I don’t think it would even be possible to reach the last boss without a Priest or at least Lord in your party.
  • Bishop – Bishops can identify items for free, which is a huge way to make money in Wizardry. Assuming you find the best armor in the game, the Lord’s Garb, you’d regularly need 1 million gold to identify it at the shop. A freshly created level 1 Bishop could identify that for you for free, and you could go around and sell that armor for 1 million. Basically your key money maker.
wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga treasure inn

My personal theory – sleeping in more expensive accommodation might give you better overall level ups? Probably not, though…

Classes will determine how a character plays, but it won’t determine how a character grows. Level ups are absolutely random in Wizardry 1. Not only are the stats that you gain random (stats that do go up only go up by 1), you can also LOSE stats when you level up in Wizardry 1!!! Many times have I had a Mage gain Luck, Strength, and Agility, while losing I.Q and Piety. Many times have I had my fighter gain 2 HP while my Thief with no Vitality gains 13 HP. It’s very possible to end up with a Mage that has better Fighter stats than your Fighter, and a Fighter with better Mage stats than your Mage.

This makes changing classes later on very difficult. I can’t imagine being lucky enough to actually have a Thief that can keep his stats from going down until he has 17 in each one, without having to grind to like level 20 or something ridiculous like that. I’ve never seen a game where you can actually lose 3 stats, not gain any other stats, and gain 1 hp on a level up. That’s a LEVEL DOWN.

Overall, Wizardry 1 was one of the hardest games i’ve ever played. The gauntlet that you have to run to get to Werdna is probably the hardest gauntlet i’ve ever had to run. The second hardest being Dragon Quest II’s, even though this was the nerfed version of Dragon Quest II. The amount of RNG on the last floor, coupled with the 8 or 9 mandatory fights before the last boss, made the very end of the game extremely difficult. If the last boss gets a Surprise Attack on you, it’s an instant Shadowrealm.

One thing I do need to mention at the end here, is that Wizardry has a way of avoiding the autosaved-permadeath. For the PC version, if you can close the program before the end of the fight that you died in, you can restart the game and choose to “Call an Out Party”, and your members will return just how they were before the fight. I’m 100% willing to bet both nuts that there isn’t a single human that has ever cleared Wizardry 1 for the PC without “save-scumming” and avoiding their character deaths.

There’s just nobody sane enough to keep leveling countless groups to 10 just to have them get 1 shotted by a group of Level 10 Wizards that got a Surprise Attack on you on floor 10, or a group of Vampires who level drain you 4 times, erasing 3-4 hours of grinding in an instant.

wizardry 1 llylgamyn saga outskirts

Being able to save at your own convenience eliminates all possible permanent-shadowrealm scenarios

The PS1 version, however, uses a standard memorycard save-system, meaning you get to save in town whenever you want. This is vastly different to the PC version that autosaves after every step/battle. With this, there’s virtually no way to completely Shadowrealm your entire party irreversibly. If shit hits the fan, you can just reset your game and everything is fine. This is another reason why the PS1 version of Wizardry 1 is nowhere near as difficult and scary as the original.

Wizardry is a really fun dungeon-crawling game, the first true one at that. While it’s not super deep, there’s nothing else to do besides run around in the dungeon, there’s something relaxing about just heading down into the maze and just killing stuff and hoping that you get that super rare item in one of the chests. For anyone who’s a fan of older CRPGs, or is just looking for something that’s really difficult, Wizardry 1 should scratch that itch. The PS1 version’s controls are super simple, but if you decide to play the PC version, the interface will take a while to get used it.

Music

Here’s where the PS1 version differs greatly from the PC version again. This version of Wizardry 1 actually has sound and music! Although there’s not much variety (especially in sound effects, there’s basically an attack sound, spell casting sound, gold-clanky sound for buying and selling stuff, and a death sound for when you get Shadowrealm’d), anything is better than the complete silence of the original version, in my opinion.

The music is also doesn’t have much variety, but that’s to be expected when you only have a shop, a temple, an inn, a tavern, and a dungeon. While nothing like what you’d hear if you played any of the JRPGs that were out around the time of this games release (Final Fantasy VIII, Parasite Eve, the hurdle was sky high), it still adds enough to the atmosphere that I thought the music was a great addition.

I can’t seem to find an OST that has all of the individual songs, so i’ll have to post the entire OST at once here. I’ll choose a few of the songs I really did like while playing the game, though!

Fort City of Llylgamyn 02:02 – This is a rather relaxing song, that somehow catches the atmosphere of the game. While gloomy sounding, there’s also a sense of adventure to it! This sounds a lot better on the OST than it did in-game…I actually really like this track a lot!

Training 19:20 – This is the song that’s played while you create characters for your party. It sounds a bit too cheerful for what’s about to happen to 95% of the people who actually pass training and walk down that staircase…

An Encounter 22:46 – Now here’s a battle theme! The song gives the sense of a epic battle inside the halls of an evil wizard’s castle or lair, for sure! I think it’s rather fitting, as each individual battle in Wizardry 1 really feels like your last!

Overall, I was quite impressed with the instrumentation of the Wizardry 1 OST. In-game, the music is much further in the background, so it was hard to distinguish, but upon listening to the OST for this section of the review, i’ve actually grown to like it a lot more than I originally did.

East vs. West

The PS1 and SNES collections weren’t released overseas, so there’s nothing to really compare them to. As I mentioned above, the PS1 version offers an automap and the ability to save on your own, which makes the game many times easier than the original PC version. That aside, I only made it to floor 3 or 4 of the PC version, so i’m not certain if there are any sprite changes or censorship going on. I don’t recall seeing any female monsters or anything that look like they might have gotten changed from something we’d see in the West. In terms of actual changes that are immediately noticeable between the versions of Wizardry you can play in the West, they consist of…

  • Japanese language option
  • 3d environments with the option of using the original dungeon graphics
  • Much more detailed sprites with the option of using the original sprites
  • Sound!
  • Music!
  • Automap!
  • No autosave, you can finally save when you feel like it!
  • The exclusion of the “Sorcerer” class that I believe turned into the “Bishop” class.
  • The way the final item you get after defeating Werdna works seems to be a bit different.

 

Should you play it?

I think anyone who is a fan of CRPGs should give the original Wizardry a spin, because chances are your favorite CRPGs have taken a bit of inspiration from it! While people who are used to newer games might find the systems and interface to be a bit arcane, if you give it enough effort  you’ll get used to everything after a few hours.

The game itself is still very unforgiving, even if you play the easier PS1 version. Doing something like grinding from level 12 to 13 will still make you take 10 or so trips back to town to heal inbetween – it wasn’t uncommon for me to go down to floor 10, end up taking way too much damage before even fighting anything worthwhile, and immediately having to go back to town without getting any exp at all.

The last boss is Old-school Hard, it’s honestly almost a “Mutually-assured Destruction” scenario. Wizardry isn’t the kind of game where you can just grind and grind and auto attack the last boss to death. You’ll honestly have to use all of your best stuff and HOPE if goes off before his stuff does. If you don’t like games with a huge amount of RNG that you can’t do anything about, Wizardry 1 will seriously piss you off. If you’re the kind that can deal with some RNG and love the feeling of accomplishment you get from beating an overly unfair game, then Wizardry 1 is probably just what you’re looking for!

What version should you play?

Well, the PC version of Wizardry 1 is abandonware as far as I know, so you can just go download that for free and go have fun. For me personally, I don’t create a connection as well with stuff that I download for free, so especially in Wizardry’s case, I’d probably ragequit pretty quickly. If you can hang with difficult games, then the PC version is of course the “true” version of Wizardry, and it’s free at that, so this is always an option.

If you want a more definitive version of the game however, and don’t mind importing (PS1 games aren’t too expensive usually), then I have to recommend Wizardry I・II・II Llylgamyn Saga for the PS1. While this version of Wizardry does seem to hover around $30, and you’d need an imported or modded PS1 to play it, the fact that it comes with a 95% English translation means that nobody should really have a problem playing the game itself.

Just be warned, I have a feeling that people who come from PC can have a blast playing the PS1 version afterwards, but I don’t think PS1 players would find the PC version very enjoyable, considering all of the Quality of Life downgrades that are gonna smack you in the face right away.

Since Wizardry 1 doesn’t really have a story, including a score for the story will kill the entire score, so i’ll do like I did with my Romancing SaGa review, and give a Final Score without the story included. That should give it a much closer score to what it actually deserves.

Final Score – 22/30

Gameplay – 7/10
Graphics – 7/10
Music – 8/10

Summary
Review Date
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Wizardry 1 Llylgamyn Saga
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Wizardry 1 Llylgamyn Saga

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