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, some of which may prove more useful than others.Wizards and Warriors is essentially a platformer with dungeon-crawler elements and mild RPG elements. Players had 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 5-item inventory limit (with specific items using specific slots).Would go on to spawn two NES sequels and one for the Game Boy. Kuros and Malkil were also regular characters on the cartoon segment of Video Power.
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, and could be done infinitely.
Disc One Nuke: The Boot of Force are the most powerful weapon in the first game. The developers were betting on your inadvertently trading them in later on, though.
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 for which to enchant your sword.
Fake Difficulty: 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 the final game).
Fetch Quest: The four animal guardians in Ironswordreally want their golden objects back.
Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality: Pushing the B button makes Kuros swing his sword with pathetically short range. His best attack strategy? Jumping. He keeps his sword extended during the leap, and any enemies that contact it are damaged.
Nintendo Hard: The first isn't particularly, due to infinite continues. The sequels, respectively, give you two continues, and NO continues.
Nonstandard 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."
Power-Up Letdown: In the first game, some items will replace other items. This may result in replacing the Boots of Force (which let you kick open treasure chests without a key) with the Boots of Lava Walk or vice versa. However, a major letdown is the Wand of Wonder, which freezes enemies in place... for less than one full second.
Even the Boots of Lava Walk are a let down, especially compared to the boots they replace. Lava boots: let Kuros ride the fire column but only in the lava stages, and provide less actual defense against standing on the lava than the manual (and item name) advertise. Boots of Force: lets Kuros open any chest you don't have the corresponding colored key for, and can kill enemies that your other weapons can't. And there's just something cool about killing giant spiders, bats, skulls, skeletons, and rock monsters, by your Knight in Shining Armor essentially using a karate kick (it works on bosses, too.)
This is much more apparent in Ironsword, since many of the items collected do absolutely nothing to improve Kuros' abilities.