Wizard 101 is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game that is targeted towards children and preteens, an Allegedly Free Game to play up to a point. The student is introduced via a cutscene that says he or she is a new student at the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts. There you take a test to determine your Personality Powers-based subject (or you can skip it and just choose from a list), and then off you are to fufill quests and advance your spells. The combat system has very simple roots similar to action-based RPG games, and relies on cards that show spells and magic points that you collect each turn to use the cards with. The cards work in a Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors power arrangement with the game's seven magic categories: fire, ice, storm, life, death, myth, and balance.Despite moderate graphics (that have been improved upon as more worlds are released) and some rather tedious quests, the game is mostly easy and fun to play. The main alignment of your character's magic does affect the plot and the spells to which you have access, though you are able to learn spells from other schools as well (though most likely there will only be one other school that does it with you because of the skill-building effect).Updates for the game, such as adding new Worlds, are constantly released.A sister game to Pirate101
Has examples of:
Affectionate Parody: The entire game is one of many fantasy books and games, including Harry Potter, and the worlds in themselves are parodies of both real life and mythical locations.
After the End: By the time the player reaches Dragonspyre, it has been destroyed by the dragon titan and only some of his army is still alive. Only two of the original residents are still alive, and one of them is the guy that summoned the dragon titan.
Celestia is another case based on Atlantis, when the Celestians tried to ally with the Storm Titan to stop Morganthe, the titan betrayed them and flooded their world for the hell of it.
Allegedly Free Game: At about level 10, unless you fork over some cash, no other streets will be available, and half of your current quests will all be moot. The only real gameplay left will be free PvP, simple games and Level Grinding with no real hope of further advancing the plot.
And I Must Scream: Dragonspyre's knowledge crystals absorb and store souls. It is not outright stated, but many of the souls seem quite aware that a long time has passed while they were stored.
However, the horror aspect is removed since most are fine with being in the crystals and teaching students.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Zebu Blackstripes talks about the Imperial War Fan he received from the Emperor of Mooshu, he says he used it to "signal my warriors, fend off spears, and cool myself in the hot sun."
Art Shift: When Celestia was released it signaled a shift to more environments with a more robust and open feel.
Bears Are Bad News: Both inverted and played straight: while the majority of Grizzleheim's bear population is friendly towards you—albeit wary, you being an outsider and all—sooner or later you run into the Red Claw, a faction of rogue bears hell-bent on waging war against you and anyone else who gets in their way.
Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Fire elf males are about two to three feet tall and and look like Santa's elves with short bows, females can be more than twice as tall and could be mistaken for humans if not for the pointed ears and gravity defying hair.
Dryads have a severe case of Masculine Lines, Feminine Curves to start but by looking at Greenbeard and his wife the other differences become even more clear. Greenbeard is one and a half stories tall and looks like his bark is in thick stacked layers that come to jagged points. His wife is only about eight feet tall with smooth bark that naturally indents in a way that it give her a shape that is reminiscent of Bare Your Midriff.
Bodyguard Betrayal: After you defeat him, Krokhotep (now a ghost) agrees to help you enter the Temple of Storms and take down Krokopatra, the only remaining obstacle standing between you and the Krokonomicon, which you're trying to retrieve from her before Malistaire does. You fail to do so, of course, which leads you into the next world to continue the pursuit.
Bonus Boss: They pop up occasionally; some of them are just standing around, while others require effort on the player's part to reach them before they can be engaged in battle.
Boss in Mook Clothing / Demonic Spiders: The optional instances are notoriously difficult because of these, especially Kensington Park. It's all too easy to go in unprepared and have your rear end handed to you within the first ten minutes. Some of the later worlds (namely, Dragonspyre and Celestia) also have them roaming about, which can make certain quests anywhere from annoying to downright painful to complete.
One of the worst of these is Gladiator Dimachaerus. This boss lives in a dungeon designed for level 30 wizards but is designed to be a tough fight for even a team of four level 90 wizards.
Brick Joke: When completing the first few quests to get to Avalon, Gamma tells you that Morganthe once tried to hit him with a wooly mammoth. When you get to the second to last dungeon of Avalon, you have to go into a past version of the castle disguised as Gamma. One of the bosses is a young Morganthe, who frequently interrupts the duel to use a few good wooly mammoths on you.
British Accent: Interestingly, the voice acting uses multiple British accents.
Call Back: In Wizard City one of the sidequests is to retrieve a sword, the Spirit of the Samoorai, from one of the skeletons for a collector. In Mooshu, Rikugun tells the player about how he had lost his sword and that a collector from Wizard City returned it to him.
Came Back Strong: When Malistaire is brought back as a Lich by Morganthe he is much more powerful than he was originally and he is completely invulnerable to attack and the only reason that the player is able to win the fight is the damage done to the battlefield while killing his minions causes the ground to break under him when he tries to finish the player off.
Cats Are Mean: The O'Leary gang, Marleybone's resident band of thieving felines—which, oddly enough, also includes rats in its ranks. Inverted with Baxter, a member of the gang who uses his inside information to help you try and stop gang leader Pops O'Leary's plan to bust Meowiarty, Marleybone's Big Bad, out of prison.
Color-Coded Wizardry: Ice wizards are white/blue, the fire school has red/orange/pink, storm has purple/yellow, balance is maroon/tan, life is green/brown, death is black/white, and myth is blue/yellow.
Subverted, however, by the fact that players don't necessarily have to follow the color codes of their respective schools. For a price, players can dye their clothes into different colors, allowing Ice wizard to wear Death-colored gear, a Life wizard to make Storm-colored robes, etc.
Also subverted in the high definition commercials. The two wizards dueling Malistaire are dressed like myth and ice but the number of pips have and the spells they cast reveal they are actually storm and fire.
Darker and Edgier: Although not to the same levels as most other cases of this trope, Dragonspyre has much less humorous dialogue and a much darker story than the rest of the worlds of the spiral. It didn't help that almost every NPC was already a ghost by the time you get there.
Death or Glory Attack: The storm school-exclusive spell Wildbolt. Originally it had a base chance of hitting of only 10% (equipment and spells could boost it, however) but it could do 1000 base damage (again, this could be boosted even more) at the cost of only two mana and pips. It was recently changed to a 70% chance of hitting but it only had a 33% chance of 1000 damage; the rest of the time it does only 100 or even a meager 10 damage and uses up any boosts.
Cranked Up to Eleven with Insane Bolt, which can do 1125 damage to the target... or it has a 20% chance of 10000 damage to the caster. Only non-school-specific spells' boost/resist affects the damage, and thus the spell usually kills the caster if it backfires.
Death Is A Slapon The Wrist: When you or your team is defeated, you're warped back to the world hub with one Hit Point and however much mana you had left. If you flee, your health remains intact at the cost of losing all of your mana.
Difficulty Spike: Due to the inclusion of a lot of features that weren't present in Dragonspyre (Astral spells, additional base stat factors - such as criticals -, the cheating bosses, more demanding/severe quests and enemies, etc.) Celestia, especially at first release, was this, and the rest of the Morganthe arc only gets harder. Its been nerfed since, but is still a rather challenging experience when compared to Dragonspyre (which in itself was a bit of a jump from Mooshu).
Downer Ending: While most worlds have Bittersweet Endings where the player saves whatever world of the spiral they're on from the powers of the Big Bad but fail to stop the BigBad's long term goal, the story for the world of Azteca is a full downer. The player fails to stop the villain's attack which results in that world being destroyed. The villain ever gloats that before the player even got the chance step onto the villain's lair the ritual had already been completed.
Most are actually very thankful. When an NPC isn't thankful, it often means you have to fight them.
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: A spell will only do minor damage against monsters of the same affinity, but will do massive damage to a creature of the opposite affinity: storm >< myth, fire >< ice, life >< death. Balance is the odd one out, doing and taking slightly more damage to and from myth, life, and death.
In worlds and areas released since Celestia, each enemy affinity developed a weakness to an additional two schools of magic.
Played with for celestial school enemies since they usually do have weaknesses to different schools but it varies from enemy to enemy.
Extreme Omnivore: Gobblers. Sure, they eat normal food (just look around inside Gobblestone Castle—crates of chickens/pies/ice cream sundaes and piles of jellybeans are everywhere), but it isn't long before one starts to notice the lampposts and houses with sizable chunks bitten out of them... not to mention King Gobblestone himself, who has apparently developed a taste for stone towers since moving in.
Fetch Quest: There are numerous quests that require a player to go locate an item and bring it back, only to find out that they need to get something else. The myth school in particular is notorious for doing this, as Cyrus Drake, teacher for the school of myth, would rather send the students away than interact with them. The myth quests could even be labeled Snipe Hunt, except Ivan, the tree of myth, helps the students complete the quests to Cyrus Drake's surprise.
Final Boss: Malistaire, obviously, but each world before that (along with Grizzleheim and Celestia) has a final boss of its own to contend with first.
Now that the Malistaire Arc is over, Morganthe is expected to eventually take this position.
Fire, Ice, Lightning: The fire, ice, and storm schools, with fire and ice having both an advantage and disadvantage with each other, while storm takes on myth in the same way.
Since mounts were released the player could buy a feral lion or lioness. When Zafaria was later released players can encounter anthro lions and lionesses.
Players can also have pet versions of some of the denizens of the spiral.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Players with text chat (can use any words from a large list of words) used to use capital letters to get swears around the limitations. (ex. HELLo)
Thanks to a recent update capital letters can no longer be used.
It's possible for wizards to have the last name "Wildpants."
In many cases it's as simple as changing a letter. There are quite a few players saying "crop".
In Grizzlehiem there is a sidequest where you have to find the answer to the question, "Do bears sit in the woods?"
Players are not allowed to say "I hate you," yet "I hate ya" gets past the censor just fine.
It's possible to say "I want to see you with your clothes off." How THAT got past is beyond us...
Glass Cannon: The storm school. Their spells have the highest damage output of all the schools (at the cost of having the lowest accuracy), but storm wizards have the lowest starting health of all the classes.
The new gardening skill allows everyone to have one.
Gullible Lemmings: While this game probably has a few, an honorable mention has to go to Crab Alley which not only is populated by complete morons who can not figure out their current king is an imposter due to his lack of resembling them, but also are being controlled because of this and they to top it off they ask you, a stranger, to check in on the king because he is acting strange and you can spot how he isn't their king immediately and yet when you talk to the idiots that helped you to get into the castle they assume you are as dumb as them for despite you noticing the impostor doesn't have the same overall body structure as them within two seconds of your arrival. They go above and beyond with this trope when it comes to being gullible.
Even worse is some people got the chance to see what the king looked like when Crab Alley opened the first time.
Hidden Purpose Test: Cyrus Drake's first couple of tests are literally impossible to perform. The reason he is so harsh to new students is so he can weed out those that do not have the will to become true Conjurers.
Infernal Retaliation: The fire school-only spell Backfire. It slightly damages the caster and does a large amount of damage to the target.
Irrelevant Sidequest: The game is full of them. While some sidequests have legitimate purposes, like showing players other parts of the worlds that are not touched in the main quests, there are quite a few that have no impact on the storyline or gameplay at all other than granting some experience and trinkets to sell.
Lampshade Hanging: At one point in the Azteca plot line, you have to rescue a Jaguar from a giant toucan. Just before you confront the toucan, the narrator says: "The signs of scuffle lead you to this cave. Always a cave. Never someplace nice."
Meaningful Name: You can give yourself one, and there's quite a few in-game.
Mini-Game: Eight of them, and there's a "faireground" in each world with sigils that the player uses to access them. Playing them fully restores your mana and refills your potion bottles for absolutely free, and also rewards you with gold and items if you can score high enough, so they're definitely worth the effort. There's also a ninth minigame, Shock-A-Lock, which is only accessible via silver chests and which you have to play (and win) if you want what's in the chest.
Though at the higher levels, the sheer amount of time needed to play minigames for potion refills exceeds the time it would take to beat up something for the cash instead.
Even worse for the Orthrus spell quest for Myth wizards. They literally write an essay about Orthrus but still need Cyrus to tell them what the two items needed to summon Orthrus the first time are.
One-Winged Angel: Lord Katsumori and two ninja pig warlords do this by turning into Oni when you defeat them. But the big surprise is when The Emperor of Mooshu does one because he was possessed by the Jade Oni.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Averted. Most accents are done by people that naturally have the accent. Word of God is that Texans imitating East-European accents starts to sound like "Dracula with a Southern Draw after a few sentences."
Portal Network: Quite a few worlds in the game have a portal network that you can access to get to different areas within that world.Dragonspyre in particular has a portal network that can take you through the different sections of the world as long as you have the portal stone for the area you're trying to reach.
Practical Taunt: Ice wizards can get Taunt cards that make enemies target them, instead of their teammates.
Punny Name: Quite a few. For example, the ice tree is called Kelvin.
Lampshaded with the Earth school teacher at Wysteria is named "Chester Droors" (say it out loud).
Puzzle Boss: many of the rulebreaking bosses have to be fought a specific way or they can punish the player if they don't fight the boss the right way.
The most infamous of these is young Morgath, this boss has a tendency to throw about a powerful ice spell that inflicts a good chunk of damage and stuns the target. The reason this cheat is so infamous is despite the boss being around for a while, even the best spaders haven't figured out all the triggers. (Word of God is that there is a pattern.)
Quest Giver: Like a lot of MMORPGs, they're all identified by a floating exclamation mark.
Rainbow Pimp Gear: Averted. Yes, when you first get a dropped item it may clash, but you can go to a shop in the main shopping district and dye it to match whatever else you have on, if you have the gold (by the second world, you always will). This is good because it's almost always better to use drops instead of buying shop items (except in the case of decks and sometimes wands).
Though some hat and robe combos might look a bit odd regardless.
Reality Subtext: Azteca, an Mayincatec world, has a huge comet on a collision course with it was released November 2012. This is a nod to the fears that the world would end when the Mayan Calender ends in on December 21, 2012.
Scenery Porn: While the graphics of the earlier worlds are moderate, Celestia and the following worlds have much greater detail and lusher backgrounds.
Shattered World: Each "world" consists of one or more island rocks floating through space with its own unique theme. The worlds are connected by a set of stargate-like doors, while access to the other worlds is granted by obtaining the correct "spiral key" for the other doors. The backstory was that fighting between the three ancient races tore the planet apart into the fragment worlds. Bartleby, the Grandfather Tree, and his sister, the Raven, weaved a spell that created the Spiral, which holds the remnants near each other and allows movement between them using the spiral doors.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The Titans were forced into a deep sleep after their war that tore up the first world. The difference between this and the usual cans evil is stored in is these are very leaky since they can be summoned without completely breaking the seal. The ruins that now make up Dragonspyre and Celestia are the results of the Dragon Titan and Storm Lord, respectively, being released for short periods of time, the former in an attempt to Take Over the World and the latter because he's storm, and thus chaotic. Also the coven's plan to start the Everwinter revolve around waking the Ymir the Ice Father.
Serial Numbers Filed Off: In-universe, where Pigswick Academy in Wysteria has the same schools as Ravenwood, except they have different names: Tempest, Ember, Frost, Nature, Spirit, Chaos, and Equilbirum for Storm, Fire, Ice, Life, Death, Myth, and Balance, respectively. Naturally, their teacher insist that they are of course doing things differently, and that they're doing it right.
Some of the more obvious ones occur early on in the game: Two quests on Unicorn Way involve you helping a girl named Dorothy Gale and a Wizard City guard named Private O'Ryan. On a larger scale, the world of Marleybone is arguably one giant shout-out to the Sherlock Holmes novels.
Snipe Hunt: Professor Drake sends new myth students on these all the time. He does it to weed out the ones that aren't dedicated enough. The sound of his voice when you bring him "truffula leaves" makes the quest WorthIt.
Speaking Simlish: Any magic creature you can summon that supposedly has the capacity to speak does this.
This is only when creatures are summoned for spells. When actual dialog occurs they are given full voice acting.
Stone Wall: The ice school. They have the highest health and defense of all the schools, but their spells don't do a whole lot of damage and their accuracy is average. Makes sense, since they're supposed to be the tanking class.
Summon Magic: Technically, 90% of all spells involve summoning a creature, though only for a single attack. Closer to this trope: while every class gets at least one minion spell, the myth school is built around it.
Summoning Ritual: Pretty much every quest to get a new spell from your school of magic involves summoning a creature to aid you in creating your spell. This is the the myth schools gimmick since most of their spells involve summoning a creature to ether aid you as a minion or as an attack spell.
Summoning Artifact: Some spell quests involve you getting or creating an artifact in order to get the attention of a specific monster to help create your spell. The Krokonomicon was implied to be one of these that can be used to summon the dragon titan.
Suspicious Video Game Generosity: In the Waterworks, there are two instances were you can solve simple puzzles that will fill the room with red health wisps if you successfully complete them. These rooms appear moments before you have to go into one of the boss battles in the dungeon. Oh, and if you mess up the puzzle, monsters appear.
Teleporters and Transporters: The spiral doors that connect the worlds in the game function like the Stargate wormholes. As long as the player possesses the correct spiral key, they can access that world from any spiral door.
Two Lines, No Waiting: There is the primary story with the Malistaire and Morganthe arcs and the Grizzleheim arc. Thus far, there has been no interaction between the two of them. There has also been Wysteria serving as a Breather Episode (although it was far from a Breather Level).
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Averted by other players during summoning a minion for a spell quest; anytime someone does this the game automatically turns all players not in battle toward the summoning.
What Happened to the Mouse?: There are quite a few quests that have no conclusion other than "good job", despite the quest itself setting the stage for further elaboration. Dragonspyre, in particular, contains multiple egregious examples of this, such as an evil wizard escaping, a boss that acts like he has been possessed, and whatever happened to the Krokonomicon that was used to attempt to wake up the Dragon Titan.
When Trees Attack: Nature's Wrath, a life class attack spell that summons a treant. Different varieties of treant also appear as enemies in Mooshu, Dragonspyre, and Grizzleheim.
The floating island in Celestia has some treants based on palm trees.
Wintertusk has some pine tree based treants
Winged Humanoid: Seraphs, the Judgement spell, or you if you're wearing a wing mount.