Video Game / Wizards and Warriors

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Released in 1987 by Acclaim, developed by British company Rare, Wizards and Warriors features Knight in Shining Armor Kuros hopping through the kingdom, in search of his beloved (and nameless) Princess, abducted by token Evil Sorcerer Malkil. Along the way, he'll rescue any OTHER Damsels in Distress he happens to stumble over, along with picking up a variety of magical odds and ends.

Wizards and Warriors is a platformer with both dungeon-crawler and mild RPG elements. Players have to roam through large levels looking for enough gems to pay their way to a boss fight and could collect keys, treasure, and special items along the way, while dealing with a limited inventory.

The other games in this series are Ironsword: Wizards and Warriors II, released for the NES in 1989, Fortress of Fear: Wizards and Warriors X, released for the Game Boy in 1990, and Wizards and Warriors III: Kuros: Visions of Power, for the NES in 1992.

Kuros and Malkil were also regular characters on the cartoon segment of Video Power.

Not to be confused with an unrelated RPG with the same name designed by David W. Bradley of Wizardry fame, which was released in 2000.

The series provides examples of:

  • Auto-Scrolling Level: All of the thief class challenges in the third game involve puzzling through an auto scrolling platform section.
  • Beating A Dead Player: Enemies will not stop attacking and diving at the corpse of Kuros during and after his death throes.
  • BFS: The titular Ironsword from the second game and the Silversword from the third game. They shoot energy bolts.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The city of Piedup from the third game is a lot more vertical than your average city would be. It's handwaved by the manual as having been built as an experiment in space conservation, though this doesn't really explain how a city of houses on wooden platforms is able to support a massive castle on top without collapsing under its own weight.
  • Boomerang Comeback:
    • The Dagger and Ax in the first game.
    • The third game's second tier of the Knight class had a massive throwing axe that returned.
  • Bubbly Clouds: An eagle will take you there in the second game.
  • Cap: If playing the first game for score, the highest number the counter reaches is 999,999.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: In the third game, a separate pause menu is used by pressing the select button, allowing the player to switch classes on the fly. It also provides a split second of invincibility that can be exploited during the final boss battle.
  • Circling Birdies: Kuros will either get a halo of stars when killed or just have a sound effect happen depending on the game.
  • Colon Cancer: The title of the third game: Wizards and Warriors III: Kuros: Visions of Power.
  • Contemptible Cover: The boxart of the second game features Fabio in barbarian garb.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover artwork for all four titles depict Kuros as a half-naked barbarian, despite the fact that he's a Knight in Shining Armor in the games. Likewise, Malkil appears on the cover of the first game as an ashen-skinned Evil Overlooker but when you get to him he's a bearded wizard with bright sky-blue robes. He finally gets the "shadowy sorcerer" look in the Gameboy game, Fortress of Fear.
  • Critical Annoyance: Getting low on health will trigger a musical ditty that will not stop.
  • Crowbar Combatant: The second tier of the Thief class in the third game carries a crowbar. It functions as both a melee weapon and can be used to enter certain windows.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • One at the end of each level. They're even labeled as such.
    • The third game had three of them, each holding a crystal that was required to access the dungeon level back entrance to the king's tower. The fourth was in possession of a three-headed dragon.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: While the sequels averted this, the original game was very forgiving regarding death. You come back to life on the exact spot at which you died, unless it was a boss fight, in which case you restart the boss fight. "Game Over" and continuing is treated as nothing more than just coming back to life again, could be done infinitely but would reset your score to zero.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Feather Of Feather Fall.
  • Depth Perplexion: Floating tree stumps in the forest of the first game.
  • Disc One Nuke: The Boots of Force are the most powerful weapon in the first game. The developers were betting on your inadvertently trading them in later on, though.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The titular Ironsword of the second game is in four separate pieces, recovered through the first four stages and then used to great effect in the last stage.
  • The Dragon: A literal example in the third game as one of the four gems required to enter Malkil's keep is carried by a three-headed dragon. Since it requires both the levitation skill and the Silversword to defeat, it's probably the final gem that will be obtained by the player, especially considering that it's located right by the keep entrance.
  • Elemental Embodiment: In W&W 2, the bosses you fought were embodiments of the four classical elements: Wind, Water, Fire and Earth. In order to defeat them you had to find a particular spell with which to enchant your sword.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Malkil.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Dagger of Throwing, the Shield of Protection, the Boots of Lava Walk... Hell, just about every item.
  • Falling Damage: Kuros will not take fall damage but long falls will stun him for a few moments.
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • The final level in the first game. Bribing the knight guarding the door to Malkil requires 100 gems. Only about 65 are are out in the open which requires killing countless enemies to randomly drop the 35 gems necessary to proceed.
    • The platforming elements in this game can range from tricky (numerous sloped areas) to downright hellish. Be prepared to lose a lot of lives trying to land perfectly on every floating platform in the 3rd wizard trial in W&W 3.
  • Fetch Quest:
    • The four animal guardians in Ironsword really want their golden objects back.
    • Although in two of the cases said guardians appear to be too large to leave the room they occupy.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The third game requires you to join all three guilds to proceed, complete with appropriate outfits.
  • Gaiden Game: Wizards & Warriors Chapter X: The Fortress of Fear for the Game Boy.
  • Gainax Ending: For the third game. Malkil explodes, leaving a Portal Door. Kuros jumps into it and ends up in the future.
  • Giant Spider: One of the bosses in the first game.
  • Give Me Your Gems: The knight guarding the door to the boss in each level can only be placated by handing over the indicated amount of money. No, you can't kill him, no matter how much you may want to.
    • Coincidentally, this only appeases the guard, since the gems aren't actually subtracted from the player's total.
  • Guide Dang It: The cloud level of the second game requires you to bounce on the clouds to reach the upper reaches of the stage. There's no indication of how to do this in the game or manual. Brief experimentation should yield the player the answer to this rather quickly, though.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Food typically heals in all of the games.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Many key items and other treasures are in treasure chests. They need keys, too.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: While all three games have keys and locks, this trope only applies to Ironsword.
  • In the Hood: The Wizard form depicts Kuros in a hooded wizard's robe.
  • Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality: Pushing the B button makes Kuros swing his sword with pathetically short range. His best attack strategy is simply to jump. He keeps his sword extended during the leap and any enemies that contact it are damaged.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Inverted: the item is called the Cloak of Darkness. The cloak doesn't actually make you invisible, just changes your palette to be completely black. You can see yourself fine if there's a background object behind you. Its actual gameplay effect is that it caps the damage you take from non-boss attacks to 1 unit of damage. It's not very useful since most monsters only hit for 1 damage anyway.
  • Item Get!: Kuros will triumphantly raise the different class trophies above his head in the third game.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Kuros, though he's always shown as a barbarian type in cover art and on TV.
  • Lettered Sequel: The Game Boy title is X even though it was released third chronologically.
  • Levitating Lotus Position: Wizard Kuros can gain altitude this way in the third game.
  • Master of Unlocking: Kuros becomes one with his thief class in the third game with the help of a crowbar and a Skeleton Key.
  • Metroidvania: The third game requires improved class abilities to proceed past certain points.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Kuros, while primarily being a sword wielding knight, can make use of other weapons, such as daggers, staffs and axes. In the third game, he even wields three different types of sword.
  • Naked Apron: The Store Clerk in Ironsword appears to wear nothing under his green apron.
  • Named Weapons:
    • Kuros wields the Brightsword in W&W 1, then the titular Ironsword in the sequel once it is assembled.
    • The third game had the Silversword, a BFS that shoots some sort of magical bolts.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Malkil.
  • Nintendo Hard: The first isn't particularly hard due to infinite continues. The sequels, respectively, give you two continues, and NO continues.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Accepting Malkil's offer at the end of Wizards and Warriors 3 treats you to a small cutscene of Kuros chained to the floor in front of Malkil's throne, wearing nothing but his knightly skivvies, as Malkil laughs. While that scene is the standard game over, the non-standard part of that is when you actually accept Malkil's offer. You walk over to the other end of the throne room, when Malkil blasts you with some sort of spell and says "Ha ha! The fool."
  • Numbered Sequels: The NES games play this trope straight with some Colon Cancer.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: And have three heads, apparently.
  • Poison Mushroom: Ironsword contains swollen, bulging chickens that reduce your health instead of restoring it.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • In the first game, some items will replace other items. This may result in replacing the Boots of Force with the Boots of Lava Walk or vice versa. Generally the Boots of Force are superior because they can kick open chests without needing a key and can inflict kick damage to enemies. The Boots of Lava Walk don't really help against as much against lava as you might want. However, a major letdown is the Wand of Wonder, which freezes enemies in place... for less than one full second.
    • This is much more apparent in Ironsword, since many of the items collected do absolutely nothing to improve Kuros' abilities, they just change his appearance.
  • Random Drops: Present in the first two games.
  • Sequel: The Original Title:
    • The second game is subtitled Ironsword.
    • This was originally going to happen with the third game as well with the title Silversword, which still appears ingame.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the Damsels you save in the first game is called Galadriel
    • One of the heads of the Thieves Guild is called The Cat and one tavern is named The Red Dwarf.
    • One of the tavern owners is named Newton N Ridley.
    • Having to agree to marry all three princesses in a But Thou Must! moment is a direct reference to the Trope Namer, Dragon Quest I.
    • Malkil's castle is deep in the forests of Elrond.
  • Skeleton Key: The third level of the Thief in the third game gets one of these. With it, Kuros can open any door or brown window.
  • Slouch of Villainy: When Malkil is found at the end of the third game the villain is reclined very comfortably on an oversized throne.
  • Super Serum: Three potions in the first game. The red one grants you invincibility, the teal one doubles your running speed, and the purple one improves your jumping height. There's also the Potion of Levitation, which stays in your inventory once found.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Why are there uncollected head-sized perfectly cut gemstones out in the open is anyone's guess.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: See above about the Cloak of Darkness.
  • A Winner is You:
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The first and third games have plenty of damsels for you to rescue, though.

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