Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Wizardry

Go To

Sir-Tech's Wizardry was one of the very first computer RPGs, and alongside Ultima, was the Trope Maker for the entire genre of Role-Playing Video Games. It was a hit in the early 1980s and spawned a trilogy, an infamously hard (and decidedly different) fourth title, a fifth that returned to the style of the original trilogy, and a final trilogy of Science Fantasy games. They are:

  • Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (1981)
  • Wizardry II: The Knight of Diamonds (1982)
  • Wizardry III: Legacy of Llylgamyn (1983)
  • Wizardry IV: The Return of Werdna (1986)
  • Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom (1988)
  • Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge (1990)
  • Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant (1992)
  • Wizardry 8 (2001)

The titles, up to Wiz V (excluding Wiz IV), were immensely influential, and countless tropes established there are still common today. The remaining three games did away with the old engine, spell system and story, added a mix of sci-fi and insane gods to it, but retained the sense of wry humour, resulting in something with a different feel, but really enjoyable nevertheless.

The first three games are very hard. The Big Bad can deal 100 damage to your party with one spell, and your Squishy Wizard characters rarely get more than 60hp, so he can kill half your party in the first round of combat and the other half in the next. Random high level encounters can be similarly deadly. For instance, ninjas can kill party members instantly with a critical hit. Resurrection spells don't always work, and come with a stat penalty when they do. Your mages have a limited supply of spells, especially early on, which can only be restored by returning to town at the top of the dungeon. Status Effects are crippling and often deadly if you don't have the magic to cure them. The dungeons are confusing non-euclidean mazes with dark zones, antimagic zones, spinners, teleporters, and generally defy efforts to map out. And your characters can die of old age.

Wizardry IV is in an entirely separate class from the other games. You play as the villain, and the rules are turned upside down, as you now must rely on summoned monsters to escort you *up* through the dungeon, while being constantly assaulted by powerful parties of heroes. The evil wizard Werdna is your only character, and you only level up at 9 specific plot points throughout the game. Your only allies are the monsters you summon, who cannot be directly controlled, never level up, and are gone forever when killed in battle. As a mage, Werdna has little HP, so if you run out of monsters, one hit can kill him. (Fortunately, you can summon replacement monsters for free at any pentagram, so your mini-horde of monsters essentially doubles as your HP.)

The series is Big In Japan, and over 20 licensed sequels and remakes were produced by Japanese developers, most of them suffering No Export for You, Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls and Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land are the exceptions. Dragon Quest writer Yuji Horii states Wizardry was a big inspiration, and one of his earlier games The Portopia Serial Murder Case had a direct shoutout in a maze section. There's even an Anime OAV based on the first game although it's somewhat dated.

This love of Wizardry-style dungeon crawlers has also directly spawned several Japanese-made Spiritual Successors, the staffs of whom thought that the licensed sequels were maybe not quite capturing the atmosphere right or wanted to try to put their own spin on the concept; Shin Megami Tensei (which mines heavily from Wiz IV in particular), Etrian Odyssey and 7th Dragon are the most notable examples that have since had influence on the genre and industry in their own right. Meanwhile, in the West, David W. Bradley, who directed Wizardry V through VII, made Wizards & Warriors which furthers the developments he had made to the Dark Savant trilogy so far and is considered something of an alternative Wizardry 8 by some fans.

Many of the developers and localizers of the original Wizardry ports in Japan continued to make Wizardry games with the original publisher's blessing, as such the series is notable for having survived the original publisher's collapse in Japan by teams just continuing to put out new, semi-official, games in the series. These semi-official Spiritual Successors are known as "Wizardry Descendants" in Japan, and usually retain the same gameplay elements, races (although names are often changed), and classes.

ASCII, who ported and localized most of the original games, created Wizardry Gaiden, and later a series of mobile games under the short lived Netherdomain banner.

Starfish released Wizardry Empire and Wizardry Asterisk and, shortly afterwards, moved this work into the Elminage series. Elminage continued the same gothic art style of the original Wizardry games while absorbing the "beast" races from Asterisk and Empirenote , as well as three additional classes from Empire, Asterisk, and Wizardry: Summoner: Brawler, a hand to hand melee specialist, Alchemist, a combination crafting and spellcaster class, and Summoner, a spellcaster that focuses on taming and summoning monsters. These expanded mechanics would be re-used in other Wizardy descendants such as Class of Heroes and Wizardry Xth.

Michaelsoft released Wizardry Xth Generation, which swapped the gothic fantasy elements for a modern military school; it spawned a direct sequel, Xth 2. When Michaelsoft dissolved, developers took Xth 2 and removed the modern military elements for a high fantasy anime theme while keeping the school aspects, resulting in Class of Heroes.

Another team of developers from Michaelsoft went on to found "Team Muramasa," which would eventually become the company Experience, Inc. Experience would go on to do an enhanced remake of Wizardry Xth called Generation Xth, which removed the school aspects for more science fiction; these would get yet another enhanced remake as Operation Abyss and Operation Babel. Experience would then go on to use the same formula and engine to make Students of the Round, Stranger of Sword City, and Demon Gaze.

Additionally, while not actually based on that installment, many of the people who worked on the Japanese localization of Wizardry 8 went on to make The Dark Spire.

A Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, Wizardry Online, was released in January 30th, 2013. Notable for being the first MMO with permadeath as a central concept, the game was developed by Gamepot, and have flat out stated they're mostly working on adding multiplayer to the existing games, with a stated goal of recapturing the early, lawless days of Everquest and Ultima Online — open PVP was also confirmed. However, the game shut down its servers on January 2014, resulting in a rather short-lived MMO.

Wizardry Online was part of an intentional attempt by several Japanese companies to perform a Reconstruction of Wizardry as a whole in 2009, called the Wizardry Renaissance, it was an attempt to define specific tropes and quality assurance levels for games with the Wizardry title. More than 11 games were released during this effort, including Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls, and WizRogue. The latest game release being the PC re-release of Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls in 2020.

The Dark Savant Trilogy (composed of Wizardry 6, 7 and 8), can be purchased on Steam and

The series provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Original trilogy plus the fifth title 
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Inverted. The first Japanese versions lost many of the cultural references. For instance, the Cuisinart food processor was unknown in Japan, so the Cuisinart Blade was a serious thing. This led to the Japanese perspective of Wizardry as a grim story of grueling effort without the lighthearted elements.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Only six members are allowed to a party.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In Wiz I especially. Haman is easily the strongest offensive spell in the game, giving you the option of picking one of three effects (chosen out of a potential five), or in the original Apple II version, simply picking one of the five possible effects at random. The spell effects (which are guaranteed not to fail, regardless of the enemy) include offensive boons such as destroying/teleporting away every single enemy in the fight (including the final boss) while giving the party all the exp and treasure, silencing all enemies, or completely nullifying all enemy magic defense (no more seeing Greater Demons resist your Tiltowait spells). There's also Mahaman, which acts like a Haman spell with two additional defensive effects in the list for a total of seven, the best of which revives all your dead party members (even if they've been reduced to ashes) and heals your party to full health! The downside? You have to be at level 13 or higher for either Haman or Mahaman to work and you lose a level every time you cast one of them successfully. In order to use these insanely powerful spells, you basically have to be prepared to grind like crazy as every level above 12 is essentially a spell charge for them.
  • Bonus Level of Hell: In Wiz V. Contains a Bonus Boss with the best item drops in the game.
  • Character Alignment, In-Universe; on the good/evil axis. As explained in the first game's manual, a good PC goes out of his way to help an old lady across the street, a neutral PC would help an old lady across the street if they happened to be going that way themselves, an evil PC will not help an old lady across the street (although young ladies are a different matter), and the evil they all oppose helps an old lady halfway across the street before stealing her purse.
  • Class Change Level Reset: Partly true of the series, as explained here. When changing classes, your level and stats were reset to zero or the class/race minimum but you kept the skills and spells you had at your old class/level.
  • Continuing is Painful: Resurrecting fallen party members is expensive, permanently lowers their stats, and doesn't always work, resulting in Permadeath.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Averted. The final boss of Wizardry 1 can be killed instantly by a ninja's random instant-death critical attack.
  • Copy Protection: If you don't know the name of the spells, you can't cast them.
  • Critical Hit Class: The ninja class can kill instantly on a critical hit.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Your characters are assigned a random number of stat points at creation, from 6 to 60. It's heavily weighted towards lower numbers. Many, many players over the decades have accidentally canceled the screen (rerolling the numbers) right before consciously realizing they had a character with 30, 40 bonus points or more.
  • Deader than Dead: The "lost" status, given to characters that have failed Resurrection twice, or have ended up in some situation they can never recover from, such as teleporting into solid bedrock.
  • Early Game Hell: The games are Nintendo Hard in general, but savage on parties of low-level adventurers, who are just so ill-equipped for, y'know, adventuring that you wonder why they didn't take up a more appropriate career, like shoveling horseshit in a stable somewhere. Wizardry was one of the trope makers for the classic PC RPG "screw you" where you spend countless rounds flailing aimlessly at a single enemy without being able to hit because low level characters have such poor accuracy that they couldn't hit the side of a cardboard box if they were stuffed inside it, and would usually die in the attempt because their low-HP bodies were made out of soggy biscuits.
  • Guide Dang It!: Especially in V. It's also combined with Viewers Are Geniuses, as the clue to one particularly annoying puzzle happens to be written in Latin. "Contra Dextra Avenue" means, roughly, "Don't go right".
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Muramasa blade easily outclasses the best non-samurai weapons.
  • Level Drain: Quite a few monsters can inflict this later on in the dungeon, generally forcing any player to pull a Screw This, I'm Out of Here! just to keep their characters alive.
  • Level Grinding: lots of it. It's made worse by the presence of the extremely useful Haman and Mahaman spells, both of which drain a level permanently as part of the price of casting them.
  • The Maze: The entire game is one very large 3D maze, devoid of landmarks or even non-repeating textures, and is filled with plenty of nasty devices designed to make mapping the maze impossible like darkness, spinning tiles, teleporters, chutes and ladders, deathtraps, etc.
  • Nintendo Hard: Though Wizardry predates Nintendo games by a few years. Made infinitely worse as Save Scumming was impossible — the game automatically saved after every button press. Teleported into that wall? You just lost your entire party, no loading possible. Start over.note 
  • Nuke 'em: Tiltowait, the strongest pure-attack spell, is better known to fans as "Nuke 'em til they glow".
  • Old Save Bonus:
    • Notable in that 2 and 3 are practically impossible if you don't import a party that successfully completed the previous game.
    • At least some of the older computer versions required imported characters. On the other hand, some of the later releases allowed player to create new characters. Probably every version developed after Famicom/NES versions has this option. While Japanese releases of Famicom/NES versions support both created and imported (through additional peripheral released in Japan) characters, the import function was left out when NES versions were released in the West.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender:
    • The above description of character alignments adds that Wizardry is "an equal-opportunity universe where female adventurers are not only common, but have been known to help old men across the street!"
    • And this little gem in the first manual, after noting that it uses male pronouns by default when referring to characters: "Wizardry is not a sexist game. English however is a sexist language."
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The Evil Wizard Werdna and the Mad Overlord Trebor. Also Author Avatar.
  • Status Effects:
    • Possibly a Trope Maker and also unusual in that these are really, really nasty - if your party leader gets poisoned or something, you're not standing right next to the dungeon exit, and you don't have a powerful priest handy to cure him, your leader is toast.
    • Equally unusual is that the Wizard's Status Effects inducing spells are far more useful than most of their damage inflicting spells; in particular, the sleep-inflicting Katino is by far the most useful first-level wizard spell, capable of incapacitating an entire enemy group in one action even late into the game.
  • Total Party Kill: The dreaded Tiltowait and (to a lesser extent) Malikto spells. A number of enemies with magic resistance (like Greater Demons and the final boss in the first game) can resist these, though.
  • Trope Codifier: This series was the codifier for RPGs back in the Golden Age (before the Western RPG and Eastern RPG split). For a variety of reasons, the majority of RPGs made nowadays follow other codifiers.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Averted completely. Every spell is useful - traditional Useless Useful Spells being especially so. Some monsters later on have magic resistance out the wazoo and will ignore uber-nuke spells like Tiltowait, but a few debuff spells like Morlis/Mamorlis bypass magic resistance and make nasties like Greater Demons a whole lot easier. You won't see many other console games where you're ever better off bypassing the Big Damn Nuke in favor of a fear spell.

    The fourth game 
  • Above Good and Evil: Literally, in the Golden Ending.
  • And I Must Scream: Getting the evil ending using the Green Sword results in Werdna becoming a statue like Kadorto was, able to see and hear the adulation his people have for him but completely unable to move or speak. All he can do is wait for the next adventurer to come for him seeking the amulet, even if it takes centuries.
  • Arc Words: "Have you forgotten something?" The game constantly taunts you with this message, usually not without reason. The game even ends on those words! ...unless you got the Golden Ending, where it is followed up by reassuring you that no, you haven't, this really is the end.
  • Bag of Holding: The Black Box, dropped by Glum the Assassin on BF8. Arguably the single most important item in the game, as it gives you nineteen extra inventory spaces, which is a godsend given the amount of items you need to solve the game's numerous puzzles - and not only can thieves not steal anything in the Black Box, but you can equip it, making it impossible for them to just steal the Box itself.
  • Cutscene Boss: Kadorto.
  • Evil Knockoff: In almost every summoning circle, some of the minion selections include friendly versions of the player classes that make up the game's encounters, such as the 1st level priests that are vital to making it out of the first room. Unfortunately, they are almost invariably weaker than their enemy counterparts of the equivalent tier.
  • Golden Ending: Possibly the first example of a secret "best ending" in video games. Achieving this involves incredibly obscure steps, including walking on thin air from one rooftop to another at the highest map level in the game, and then using a spell to teleport downwards until you reach the level below where you started. All the other endings tease you about this by ending with the words "Have you forgotten something?"
  • Guide Dang It!: Big time. Most players won't make it out of the first room without help. And things only get worse from there.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Werdna can wade through pools that wash off the sins of his past. Of course, this goes both ways.
  • It's All Junk: The Golden Ending. By walking the Tree of Life, Werdna overcomes his physical demands and attains enlightenment. In doing so, he sees the Amulet as the false promise it is and vows to return it to its makers, as he's beyond such petty things as the pursuit of power.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The Dink, otherwise known as the weakest monster you can summon. However, in order to defeat Lord Hawkwind (basically the final boss of the game), you will need one. Because for some reason, if you're lucky, it will attack him and cause 1313 damage! Hawkwind himself has a thousand health, so it will be more than enough to take him down.
  • Level Drain: Inverted, as you’re now playing as the Villain Protagonist and his horde of monsters, you can summon the same monsters that had this ability to your side. Using such monsters to reduce the levels of the hostile do-gooders is generally one of the most efficient ways to defeat them.
  • Level Grinding: Averted as you now only level up at specific plot points. There are no experience points or any other tangible reward for winning battles against heroes, except for money and loot.
  • The Many Deaths of You: There are lots and lots of ways to die in this game, death by hero notwithstanding. Basically, even by the standards of a Nintendo Hard series like this, Wizardry IV was infamously difficult, to the point where it's only been remade once, and only in a Japan-exclusive game for the Playstation 1 that included the Japan-only version of Wizardry IV. For those masochistic enough to try it, it's mostly in English as well.
  • Multiple Endings: Five of them, including one that comes in three varieties depending on which magic sword you choose.
  • Nintendo Hard: You face ninjas who can kill you instantly, mages who happily blow away your entire army with a single spell, thieves who will steal Plot Coupon items and run away (although you can hunt them down), and you have little for defense but a small Mook army (the same Mooks that are expendable in the other games) and a finite book of spells. All while being chased by a hostile spectre through confusing and unmappable non-euclidean mazes and having to solve fiendishly hard puzzles that render the game Unwinnable if you make the slightest mistake. While being killed by heroes. Did we mention that said spectre can walk through walls, stalks you relentlessly, and kills you instantly and automatically if it catches up to you? Also, you can save anywhere, which sounds great... but loading a save causes every hero group on the level to respawn. Generally, between you and the magic circle you need to heal and resummon monsters. Which means that the game can easily become unwinnable as a result of you saving your game.
  • No-Sell: If you don't have a Dink in your party when you fight Hawkwind, all attacks made on him will result in the game saying he "noticeth it not".
  • Non Standard Game Over: In addition to regular death from combat, failing puzzles, or getting caught by Trebor's ghost, if you attempt to pay the Oracle using the Mordorcharge Card (that you get from looting a dead adventurer), a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of Karl Malden steps out of a cable car and sends you back to your grave. If that sounds like it comes out of nowhere, well, it does.
  • Not Completely Useless: There is only one monster Lord Hawkwind is afraid of...
  • Oh, Crap!: A notable one if you try to claim the Amulet without wearing the Mythril Gauntlet:
    You reach out and catch the Amulet!
    You have it in your hand!
    Wait a moment...
    You have it in your hand!
  • Perspective Flip: You play the evil sorcerer with his army of monsters, while your opponents are parties of adventurers.
  • Schmuck Bait
    • The path to the Golden Ending has Werdna encounter a small black hole with something pulsating inside, and is given the option to put his hand inside. The correct answer, of course, is to not do it.
    • On B7F, the party Sorriman's Sorcerers drop an item called the Use Me Cape. It's a cursed cape that lowers Werdna's defence, damages him every turn, and can't be took off, so using it is certain death.
  • Shout-Out: Among other things, you need to use the Holy Hand Grenade from Monty Python and the Holy Grail in order to complete the Cosmic Cube; doing so repeats the gag from that where you lose track of the count.
  • Step One: Escape: The game starts with Werdna waking up in a sealed room in his dungeon. And you need to escape. It was notable because the puzzle was so Nintendo Hard (Wizardry IV being arguably one of the hardest PC games of all time) that the solution to this first puzzle came packaged in the box. The player needs to summon clerics, go in random encounter until the clerics cast light (You can't make them cast anything, they decide what to do randomly) which then lets the player see the door and cross it.
  • Timed Mission:
    • The ghost of Trebor haunts the labyrinth that Werdna is entombed in. Trebor seeks revenge on Werdna, and will hunt him down. One touch from Trebor is an instant game over, without a fight. Adding to the brutality of this is the fact that, despite being a turn-based game, he moves in real time. Loading a save does reset him, however, as does moving to another floor. Near the end, you'll find an artifact named Trebor's Rump; using this banishes Trebor's soul to the afterlife permanently, freeing you from this.
    • Another, far stranger timer: you have a limited number of keystrokes to finish the game - even hitting keys that don't do anything deplete this limit! (Fortunately, that number is 9999999; a fully completionist Golden Ending run will only see it reduced to about 9995000 at most.)
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Want to get that Golden Ending? Hope you've been studying your Kabbalah.
  • Villain Protagonist: Werdna is the vilest of the vile, at least at the start of the game.
  • Written by the Winners: A version. If you get the good ending, Werdna doesn't even have to bother with this because everybody else is already busy praising him.

    The Dark Savant Trilogy 
  • All There in the Script: According to some promotional materials, the castle and environs you explore in Bane of The Cosmic Forge are the ruins of the city-state from the first five games. This is never mentioned in the game itself.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: As part of the Final Boss, New Dimension.
  • Ax-Crazy: The characters with Chaotic personalities in 8.
  • Bag of Spilling: Explained with long space voyages and crashing spaceships. Or the greediness of your hosts.
  • Balance Buff: The Fighter and Rogue (previously Thief) classes receive a significant one in 8. In every prior game, they were strictly inferior to the hybrid classes and ninja/bard, leaving them only useful as starter classes until they could class change into something stronger. In 8, thanks to their newly exclusive ability to Berserk and Back Stab respectively, they can deal much higher melee damage than other characters.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Several examples, but the Trynnie from Wizardry 8 definitely count.
  • Beast Man: The Rapax and Trynnie in 8, and the Rawulf, Felpurr, and possibly T'rang and Umpani. The Mook might be a borderline case, as mooks look like a cross between a Yeti and a Wookiee.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Isle of the Dead in 6 and Isle of Crypts in 7. The Sea Caves in 8 are a borderline example, with lots of crabs mixed in with the undead.
  • Bonus Boss: The Chamber of Gorrors in Crusaders, containing six bosses ranging from surprisingly easy (in fact the very first boss you fought) to two incredibly difficult, all with Names to Run Away from Really Fast.
  • Bonus Dungeon: 8 has three hidden dungeons which specifically mimic the look and layout of the first Wizardry dungeon. They're not necessary to complete the game, but they're a fun call-back.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: 6 and 8 both have swamp areas.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: The Amazulu Temple in 6.
  • Captain Ersatz: Umpani are spacefaring militaristic rhino men — rough, reliable and loving uniforms and primitive firearms... similar to the hippo-like Giff.
  • Cat Folk: The Felpurr race, with excellent stats across the board, make particularly good thief classes.
  • The Chosen One:
    • The party in 8 is revealed to be the "Third Messengers", which are the ones who will recover the Destinae Dominus from Marten's Tomb. All knowledge is contained in the Destinae Dominus, but it requires the helm of serenity to safely wield, lest the party go insane from cramming all there is to know into their merely mortal minds. The first and second messengers are the Dark Savant and the Mook, which wield the Astral Dominae and the Chaos Moliri, respectively. All three macguffins are needed to win the game.
    • The Trynnie believe they are chosen to inherit the planet when the Ascension happens and the Higardi believe they were destined to ascend and become "Cosmic Lords" (gods) themselves... which really just means they get to go to the Cosmic Circle and write in the book of destiny.
  • Cosmic Keystone:
    • The Cosmic Forge in Wizardry 6.
    • The Astral Dominae in Wizardry 7, along with the Destinae Dominus and Chaos Moliri in Wizardry 8.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: In Wizardry 8, to acquire an essential Plot Coupon from the peaceful Mook, you have to steal it by switching it out with a fake lookalike, thereby robbing the Mook (after they've politely welcomed you into their hideout, no less). Or if that's unacceptable, you can just uncaringly snatch the Plot Coupon and straight up exterminate all the (now aggro) Mook on your way out.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: In Wizardry 8, pressing esc will ask if you want to quit to desktop without saving. When with most PC games, esc is the menu/save button.
  • Dead Man's Chest: In Wizardry 7 there's a chest with someone's remnants and personal possessions. Players may also learn the cause of death... ones too careless to learn Identify spell may learn this by demonstration.
  • Death Mountain: Giant Mountain in 6, the Witch Mountains in 7, and Ascension Peak in 8.
  • Developer's Foresight: Though 8 was never completed to the level the developers originally envisioned, many of the Rattkin, T'Rang, and Umpani NPCs will have a special line or two if you ask them about the planet Guardia and other topics from 7.
  • Distressed Damsel:
    • Vi Domina in 7. Despite that she is the decendent of Phoonzang (and thus the only person who can unlock the final resting place of the Astral Dominae) and is explicitly stated to be a warrior, she does nothing but get kidnapped by the Dark Savant (more than once) and used as a bargaining chip.
    • Defied in 8. Though Vi Domina starts off (again) as a captive of the Dark Savant's forces, she can join your party once you rescue her, and - belonging to the respectable Valkyrie class - is even one of the stronger NPCs you can recruit.
  • Divine Parentage:
    • The child of a party character and Al-Sedexus in 8.
    • Vi Domina is the only remaining descendent of Phoonzang, outcast of the Cosmic Circle, who set the entire plot of 7 and 8 into motion.
  • Down the Drain:
    • The seafaring sections of 7 feature very tedious battles, while the underwater sections of 8 are irritating due to some very nasty residents, including Nessie.
    • Also annoying in 8's underwater levels, fire magic doesn't work. Unless you were specifically planning for this, that's about 90% of your offensive magic.
  • Draconic Humanoid: The Dracon race.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: In 8, the Umpani set up shop in a mountain honeycombed with caves, while the T'Rang expand existing underground catacombs beneath an abandoned castle.
  • Elite Mooks: Later variations in enemy groups, often graduating to Goddamned Bats, if not Demonic Spiders.
  • Enemy Mine: The T'Rang and Umpani allying in Wizardry 8, if you complete the necessary quest.
  • Evil Is Hammy: And how! The Dark Savant has really turned it into an art form.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Averted in the eighth game, which can result in an Unwinnable situation if you are really unlucky.
  • The Faceless: The Dark Savant.
  • Fanservice: The Amazulus of VI are, as the name would suggest, dark-skinned warrior women who fight completely topless, complete with visible nipples. They were at least given bikini tops on the art cards that came with the Japanese release. There are a number of other bare-breasted female creatures in the game, such as mermaids and a topless demoness. In 8 Sprites are tiny, winged and stark naked women, while Al-Sedexus is bare-breasted and buxom.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The final battle with the Dark Savant takes place in the Cosmic Circle.
  • Final Death Mode: Iron man mode in 8.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Used by name to describe the Trynnie's thieving skills in 8. One of them steals a tracking module from a spaceport that is needed to solve a optional puzzle later on in the game, and another sells stolen merchandise in an abandoned monastery.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: *S P O T*
  • Game-Favored Gender: Female characters get -2 Strength, +1 Personality and Karma: worse for melee, but better for psionics and divine magic. Interestingly, females get access to a number of useful pieces of armor and accessories that males do not, and have access to the gender-specific Valkyrie class. The only advantage males have is having a slightly easier time rolling stats for some of the classes, and that advantage pretty much disappears after a class change, or when playing Wizardry 8. Women still get plenty of unique equipment in Wizardry 8.
  • God Is Evil: The deified Phoonzang and the Dark Savant turn out to be one and the same.
  • Guide Dang It!: Mostly in VII, in or around the Isle of Crypts.
    • The sheer number of different playable races and classes, including the ability to change classes makes it a daunting task to try to figure out what makes for an effective party. Who would have ever thought that faerie ninjas can be so deadly?
  • Hidden Elf Village: The City of Sky in 7. Slightly subverted in that they're there to protect an artifact, and go chasing after the Big Bad when he steals said artifact.
  • Hobbits: Straight The Lord of the Rings style, down to the name.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: The above happens even if you had an all-female party, and so Al-Sedexus took a woman instead.
  • Horned Humanoid: Rapax and some demons in 8.
  • Human Aliens: The Higardi, though the manual says they're highly spiritual. (But that doesn't account for the staggering amount of bandits in the population...)
  • Inescapable Ambush: The characters are just musing about the perfect suitability of road for these types of attack, when suddenly...
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The *Light* *Sword*. (Written just like that.)
  • Interface Spoiler: A bit more hidden than usual, but if you look at the in game data of enemies in Wizardry 7, the Dark Savant's type/class is Cosmic Lord.
  • Izchak's Wrath: Shopkeepers in 8 don't like if you try to sell back their own items. In fact they have special dialogue just for this occasion.
  • Killer Rabbit: Faeries are horribly lethal in 6 and 8. Some of which may be Faerie ninjas.
  • King Mook: Several of them, most notably the king crab and Gregor in the monastery. The former is a giant crab and the latter is a giant roach; smaller versions of each creature infest the monastery.
  • Knight Templar: Subverted somewhat 8. While there are literal templar rapax in the game, there is no serious indication that they think they are serving the cause of righteousness, only that they are serving the will of their goddess Al-Sedexus.
  • Large Ham: The voice actor for The Dark Savant in 8.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Rapax Rift in 8.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Level down in this case.
  • Lizard Folk: The Lizardmen race.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle. You do have the Phoenix egg / Bone comb and brushes / King's Diary with you, don't you?
  • The Lost Woods: Any wilderness area in 7 aside from the mountains.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: In 8.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: The result of the player character's tryst with Al-Sedexus in 8.
  • Made of Explodium: In all games of this trilogy the enemies seem to explode upon defeat. 6 they would turn into a burst of smoke, 7 was more literal in which they actually leave a tiny explosion upon defeat, and 8 they would burst into a pile of gore.
  • Mana Potion: Magicfood effect — in VII, it's Golden Apples (1), Moser's Mojo Tea (2), Bottle of Old Jake's (4), Mana Stone (6), Milk of Magmanasia (6) and Stave of 12 Stars (level 6, x12 charges).
  • The Maze: The 3D labyrinth Hall of Past in seven certainly qualifies. Also the Rattkin Funhouse, Rapax Castle (especially the King's Apartments), and pretty much every other dungeon area in all three games.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Savant minions, Battle Droids in the final dungeon of VII. You can get a malfunctioning one as a party member in 8.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • The Bard is a hybrid rogue / caster. His gimmick are the various instruments, which he can use to casts various buffs and debuffs, at no mana cost (using stamina instead). With status effects being very dangerous in those games, it makes the bard a valuable asset.
    • Wizardry 8 adds the Gadgeteer, a rogue / ranged combatant whose gimmick includes the crafting of gadgets (who function like bard instruments, only needing prior assembly) and the Omnigun, a gun that they upgrade with each level up, granting it new abilities and the ability to fire a wider range of Abnormal Ammo.
  • Monogender Monsters:
    • All Dane, Munk, Gorn, and Rattkin (until Wizardry 8) you meet are male, while the Helazoid are a specifically all-female race thanks to advanced technology.
    • All the Higardi raiders/bandits/cutthroats/etc in 8 are male.
    • Although the Higardi roustabouts look a bit different from the other rogues.
  • Mooks: There are multiple enemy types that increase in power and abilities of their members as you advance through the games.
  • More Dakka: The gadgeteer's omnigun in 8 will provide the ability to send increasing amounts of bullets or what have you downrange at your foes.
  • Multiple Endings: Resulting in an Old Save Bonus. There is one exception: if you choose the Astral Dominae over Vi Domina during the endgame of Crusaders, you can't import to Wizardry 8. But it isn't that surprising...
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In 8, after the Rattkin steal the Astral Dominae from the Dark Savant (replacing it with a fake one), he will briefly appear before your party to rant about it, hurling the fake artifact at your feet before departing. You can later use the fake Astral Dominae to steal the (very real) Chaos Moliri from the Mook.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Undead of varying kinds are a staple of the games.
  • Nintendo Hard: Three for three, that's a full house! Yeah, the games may be a bit easier than the ones that had come before, but they'll still cheerfully tear off your buttocks and wear them as a hat. In case it hasn't been made clear by now, Wizardry is one of the most hardcore PC RPG franchises of all time.
  • Nonhumans Lack Attributes: Surprisingly averted. Sprites appear as entirely naked flying women with butterfly wings, a demoness fights your party while topless and carrying a whip, and a recruitable female character (Private Sparkle) wears nothing but a pair of pants. It should be noted that in this last case, Sparkle can be given more clothes and there isn't much to see on her chest, due to her white fur. The fact that she sounds like a saccharine seven year old while wielding a small hand axe and spouting semi-fascist military slogans (duty! power! victory!) while having a propensity for petty thievery (a common trait among her species in the game) is a bit disconcerting.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If you act as a complete idiot with the Big Bad of Bane of the Cosmic Forge, the game rules you Too Dumb to Live and opens a pit under you for Total Party Kill. The creators even include a short explanation and a clue: 'take a look at the box'. Yeah, you had to type in the name of the game or a variation of it.
  • Noob Cave: The first level of the Bane Castle in 6 and Monastery in 8. 7 goes one better and only refers to its example as "The Starter Dungeon".
  • Offing the Offspring: If someone in the party slept with Al-Sedexus in Wizardry 8, their pissed-off demonic daughter shows up at Ascension Peak with the Rapax Prince to attack.
  • Old Save Bonus: Characters could be imported from any of the previous games non-bad endings to the next one, keeping some really useful items and alliances. (Although Bag of Spilling was used harshly between seven and eight, it was averted for items between six and seven: you could begin Crusaders with the Muramasa Blade and multiple Rod of Sprites.) You could save even at the end of 8, although a sequel was never planned in the first place and the characters are gods.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same:
    • Wizardry dwarves are par for the course, though they also make good priests.
    • The Munk also fit the Dwarf archetype, but are more oriental in style than most examples.
  • Our Elves Are Different: The player race of elves are said to be easygoing, friendly, and excellent mages.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: They rather have rat-like heads, green skin, and tails ending with an arrowhead, like in a tail of an stereotyptical devil. They only appear in Wizardry VI.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: The Gorn are militant, xenophobic - and happen to live right between two mortal enemies...
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The Rawulf race (not literal werewolves, but posessing all the qualities to LOOK like them) are kind, have high piety and make AWESOME healer classes.
  • Palmtree Panic: Bayjin, the resident Scrappy Level of 8.
  • Reality-Writing Book: The Book of Fate, and its companion pen, the Cosmic Forge. The Forge still works outside of the Cosmic Circle and when writing on lesser paper, but when misused like this it will find the worst possible way to interpret your words. In addition, if pages are torn out of the Book of Fate the events described on that page will be erased from history.
  • Rewriting Reality: The Cosmic Forge allows this. However to prevent it from being used for evil, if not used while in the Cosmic Circle, it will interpret the writing in a way the writer will deeply regret.
  • Schizo Tech: All over the place in Wizardry 8. Arnika, city of the technologically-advanced Higardi, is a Medieval European Fantasy town with a blacksmith, temple, tavern, and spaceship port. Its army, The Lunar Legion, look like standard town town guard with platemail and maces. Likewise, The Umpani, a spacefairing galactic empire, fights primarily with muskets and blunderblusses.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A recurrent enemy in 7 is the Demented Munk (sic).
    • One of the early bosses in Wizardry 8 is a giant insect named Gregor, clearly a reference to Gregor Samsa.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Private Sparkle is the only female Trynnie in Wizardry 8, and she isn't even found living with the rest of her kind, as she left Trynton to get help from the Umpani. Strongly averted with the many female Higardi and Rapax.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Thankfully averted in 8; when a hireling leaves, they will politely return all their gear to the party (except their personal items).
  • Stat Grinding: Some abilities can only be increased by assigning points to them during a level up; other ones can be upgraded by using them. For instance, in VII you can become a better swimmer by swimming, and become skilled at firearms by making use of a firing range.
  • Stealth Pun: The ability which determines the likelihood of getting a critical strike is called Kirijutsu. This is a made up martial art, and would be pronounced "Cri-jutsu".
  • Superpowered Mooks: As you reach higher tiers of mook types, most of them will develop special abilities if they didn't have any before.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The swamp in 8 is home to some of the more evil enemies in the game.
  • Temple of Doom: The Isle of Crypts. Justified in that it was designed to protect the object resting at the bottom.
  • Tomes of Prophecy and Fate: The Cosmic Forge and Tome of Fate.
  • Treetop Town: Rattkin Ruins in Wizardry VII; Trynton in Wizardry 8
  • Trick Boss: You might notice something is wrong, as there are two of him if you play on Expert.
  • Underground Level: The Mines in 6, and the various caves in 7.
  • Under the Sea: Wizardry 8 finally takes the party beneath the waves with Umpani-issue scuba gear. Watch out for sea monsters.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: You have probably fought at least a hundred Rattkin Leaders with Vorpal blades until you actually find one. And then it is a letdown.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Averted again, every spell is useful if you know where to use it. For example the hardest monsters could be killed by critical hits easily if you cast one of the seemingly less useful spell at them a couple of times.
    • Played straight with the Draining Cloud spell, which has a secondary effect of draining SP when used against the party; enemies do not require SP to cast spells, and thus are not affected by this.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Temple of Ramm in 6 and Isle of Crypts in 7. 8 oddly doesn't really have one, with Ascension Peak standing in for a final dungeon.
  • When Trees Attack: Wood spirits look like humanoid trees in 8.
  • Whip of Dominance: You acquire the first bullwhip in Wizardry 6: Bane of the Cosmic Forge by looting it from the Queen's secret compartment, along with the Studded Leather Bra +2 (yes, it's exactly what it sounds like, and the narrator sputters as he describes it).
  • A Winner Is You: The Good and Phoonzang endings lack a full animated conclusion like the Bad ending, being just text and narration as the camera rises over the Cosmic Forge. Downplayed given the final text is long and very detailed on what happens next, making both endings satisfying even if you don’t actually see what happens.
  • World of Buxom: Pretty much all of the females in Wizardry 8, including Vi Domina and just about all other human women (including the purple-robed cultists), Al-Sedexus, the female Rapax, the female Trynnie Sparkle (large for her small size, at least), and many statues of humanoid females. Even the giant breeder rats technically count as this.

The OAV provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Sheer, the sole survivor of the party looking for her boyfriend Randy, is not only an adept magic user, but is also quick on the shank-side of things.
  • Aerith and Bob: Names such as Joeza, Sheer, Shin, Hawkwind... and Alex, Albert, and Randy.
  • Alien Blood: Blood from monsters that our heroes cut down come in blue and green.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The hero Shin gets his arm cut off in the battle against the now-inhuman Randy, but afterwards has his arm put back thanks to Joeza's magic.
  • Badass in Distress: Sheer is found attacked by a Greater Demon. Once the party rescues her, she doesn't let them down.
  • Big Bad: The Evil Sorcerer Werdna.
  • Bishounen: Werdna's attendant vampire lord.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Werdna is defeated, but Joeza dies in the battle and Sheer was forced to kill Randy.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The old sage Joeza's method of casting. It gets him killed eventually.
  • The Dragon: The unnamed vampire lord who tries to wipe out our heroes in Werdna's stead as he is finishing the ritual.
  • Evil Weapon: The sword Muramasa turns those with not enough willpower into enraged killers, which makes its wielder Randy even more dangerous thanks to his undead status.
  • Fan Disservice: Randy, while being a muscular Walking Shirtless Scene, has been turned into a zombie samurai, as shown when his chest is sliced open.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Subverted: Although Werdna's death causes the dungeon to shake around a lot, the heroes wait it out and then calmly walk outside.
  • Off with His Head!: Several monsters get beheaded before the party reach Werdna.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Sheer is the only female in both her parties, the active one and the previously-killed one.
  • Staking the Loved One: As it becomes clear that her lover Randy is too far gone for help, Sheer has to kill him with a powerful spell Tiltowait.
  • Total Party Kill: The fate of Sheer's previous party, except Sheer.
  • Villainous Harlequin: After saving Sheer, the main party attacked by a magic-casting jester calling himself Flack, who partially turns Hawkwind into stone.

Alternative Title(s): Wizardry VI Bane Of The Cosmic Forge, Wizardry 8, Wizardry VII Crusaders Of The Dark Savant