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Literature / Wizards, Warriors and You

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Wizards, Warriors and You is one of many Gamebook series released in the 1980s. Basically the Wizard and the Warrior are the champions of the kingdom of Silvergate. There's a prologue in every book where they're presented with some daunting quest, and the reader decides whether to take it on as the Wizard or the Warrior.

The Wizard arms himself with the Book of Spells, and can use anything within it when the book allows. The Warrior uses the Book of Weapons; he can carry any three weapons from it in addition to the Sword of the Golden Lion, an indestructible blade forged by the same blacksmith who made Excalibur. Every six books the assortment of spells and weapons would change.


The success of spells or battles are determined by such methods as flipping a coin, what time of day the book is being read, or picking a random number. While this lent a somewhat bizarre feeling at times, Wizards, Warriors and You lasted for a respectable 18 books.

Wizards, Warriors and You provides examples of:

  • An Axe to Grind: One of the Warrior's favorite weapons is a giant battle axe.
  • Amazon Brigade: The army of female knights from Warrior Women of Weymouth.
  • The Archmage: The Wizard is not only a master of various magical spells and was under the tutelage of Merlin himself, he's also a master artificer and made a number of the Warrior's weapons.
    • This would more properly apply to the most powerful tier of wizards in the setting, called Grand Wizards. They don't show up much, but it's still clear the player-wizard is nowhere near their level. It's even pointed out in the spell descriptions that his ace-in-the-hole spell, Combat Magic, doesn't do anything against a Grand Wizard's spells.
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  • Artistic License – Animal Care: R.L. Stine doesn't know you don't given chicken bones to dogs.
  • Artifact of Death: The Warrior has two of these in his arsenal. The Cutlass of Cornwall is a flying sword that fights on its own, but always have a chance to turn on its owner. The other is the Rejuvenating Battlesword, which is a magical two-handed sword that will regenerate its blade whenever broken. However each regeneration has a chance of the sword impaling its owner. The Warrior however has used these properties to his advantage, including tricking an enemy to use the Rejuvenating Battlesword and then breaking it on purpose.
  • Automatic Crossbow: The triple crossbow is not this trope, it's instead a crossbow that looks like an inverted old Oldsmobile symbol for hitting 3 individual targets. The bolts shoot out simultaneously in 3 different directions, making this a Herd-Hitting Attack.
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  • Badass Long Robe: The Wizard wears one.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: One book begins with a wandering knight challenging the castle's champion (the Warrior). The knight's armor and shield are solid gold, which is immediately noted as a disturbing choice of metal, both due to its weight and softness - a strong sign the knight is not a mortal man. (Indeed, she's currently neither.)
  • Brains and Brawn: The Warrior just picks a weapon appropriate to the situation and starts attacking, while the Wizard has no directly offensive spells and needs to make strategic use of the powers he does have to be successful instead.
  • Cain and Abel: The Big Bad in the Wizard's path through the second book is his evil brother Warrick.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Lots of books describe the Wizard as gathering his cloak around him as he casts a spell; in one book it gets burnt and it even says the Wizard can't work his magic without it, although mainly to explain why he can't help the Warrior against the book's Final Boss.
  • Cool Sword: The Warrior has a whole collection of them! Besides histrademark weapon, the Sword of the Golden Lion (forged by the same smith as Excalibur, completely unbreakable), there's others like the Cutlass of Cornwall (can keep fighting by itself if separated from its user), the Rejuvenating Battlesword (spawns a brand new blade if the old one breaks), and the Dragon Tooth Dagger (the blade is actually the tooth of a dragon, sharp enough to cut through anything with one hit).
  • Depending on the Writer: Since the the series was written by numerous different authors and the rules of the setting were pretty loose to begin with, it was inevitable that things would be different between books sometimes. Conquest of the Time Master, for instance, says only magical weapons can kill dragons. There are several other books where the heroes fight dragons, and none of them say this.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Whichever character the reader wasn't controlling tended to get knocked out or trapped somehow as soon as danger appeared to explain why they couldn't help, in spite of how much the books made of how loyal the pair were to each other.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Not in the sense that dinosaurs breathe fire (they do run into a dinosaur in one book, but it's just a regular dinosaur), but that in The Dragon Queen's Revenge the Wizard and Warrior fight an army of dragons that, according to the illustrations, are just t-rexes with wings.
  • Distressed Damsel: Two books were about saving Princess Saralinda from danger, though for what it's worth she does appear a few times in a non-distressed role too. At least, no more distressed than the rest of the kingdom.
  • Dream Team: Sure King Henry has a lot of knights, but he's also got a powerful archmage trained by Merlin himself and the finest knight in the land so he's always sending out those two legendary champions when there's something more than a bunch of bandits threatening the kingdom.
  • Epic Flail: One of the Warrior's weapons in later books is a flail with three chains and three heads.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The two heroes are only ever referred to by their titles, even to each other despite being such True Companions.
  • The Faceless: Even when he's shown with his visor up, the Warrior's face is never clearly seen in the entire series.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Literally weaponized in the Mirror Shield of Zarkan, which the Warrior has the option to carry in the last few books in the series. Anyone evil who sees their reflection in the shield becomes good. Unfortunately the magic doesn't discriminate, and anyone good who sees their reflection in the shield becomes evil.
  • Hell: Well, it's called the Cavern of the Phantoms, but it's where bad people go when they die in these books.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: The Warrior usually has the option of carrying three additional weapons with him along with his Sword of the Golden Lion. The trick is that in some titles, you need the correct weapons in order to advance or even win. For example, in the Imposter King, if you're not carrying the Cutlass of Cornwall when the ghost of the Warrior's father visits you, he locks you in a room where you're eventually found and killed. And there's no indication of which weapons are the right ones until you've died for not having them.
  • Killer Rabbit: The evil Mirror Universe has killer squirrels.
  • King Arthur: The Arthurian mythos figure into a bunch of the books. There's the appropriately-titled Ghost Knights of Camelot, the origin of the Warrior's sword, and Merlin's an advisor to the Wizard.
  • Knife Nut: The Warrior is a master of the dagger and in his often changing arsenal, there'll always be at least one high quality dagger. With a dagger in his hands, the Warrior already a Lightning Bruiser, goes up a notch - against a troll swordsmaster armed with a magic sword, he'll kill the troll if the Warrior is armed with the master-crafted but nonmagical Devil's Dagger. However he'll die if he uses the Sword of the Golden Lion.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Wizard's most directly offensive spell, Merlin's Fire, can't be cast on living things. In one book (during the Warrior's path, so not a spoiler) he gets around this by first using another spell on his opponent to turn them into a flammable object, then using Merlin's fire on them.
  • Mirror Universe: Invaders from Darkland.
  • Missing Mom: The only thing giving any indication that King Henry was ever married is the fact that his daughter, Saralinda, appears in a few different books. Who her mother is, and where that woman might be, is never even brought up.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: They have two hearts and must be killed twice.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They're intelligent and can't be destroyed. But they can be incapacitated or fooled.
  • Persona Non Grata: During the Impostor King, both the Wizard and the Warrior are banished from the kingdom. They are also warned that if they have not left within one hour, they would get killed on sight. Guess what was one of the possible endings to this adventure.
  • The Power of Friendship: In the Warrior's route through The Haunted Castle of Ravencurse, when they get up to the front gates an evil knight rushes out and knocks the Wizard unconscious. He claims only a magical mace inside the castle can hurt him. You can run and get the mace and have a hard fight on your hands. Or you can refuse to abandon your helpless companion, and such a display of loyalty vanquishes your mighty foe on the spot.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The Warrior has a number of melee weapons that can also be accurately thrown with great force such as the Diamond Mace. Some of the weapons will even return to him after being thrown.
  • Reality Ensues: Do not use a weapon with a name like the Whistling Mace when trying to sneak up on somebody.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: In Ghost Knights of Camelot if the Warrior doesn't choose a suitable weapon to battle any of the undead knights he wields the Sword of the Golden Lion against Sir Bedivere, who actually kept Excalibur instead of throwing it back into the lake. Who's the upgrade and who's the prototype, and who's ultimately the greatest, will change based on chance.
  • Weapon of Choice: The Warrior is never without the Sword of the Golden Lion. Understandable as it's always sharp and nearly indestructible. After that he can pick three of whatever he thinks might be useful.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: The Warrior has an arsenal of excellent mundane weapons, and then there's the truly exotic or magical items in his collection. He got a few of those as a Battle Trophy and then the Wizard made the rest (though the Warrior made the Triple Flail after being inspired by the Wizard inventing the Triple Crossbow).
  • World's Best Warrior: It's implied that the Warrior, a mighty weaponsmaster, is the greatest warrior of the time period that the books are set in. And he shows it by defeating powerful champions one on one or smiting large groups of enemy warriors.


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