One day a mysterious wanderer entered the town, with no memories of who they once were. Approached by a mysterious warrior with pale hair and sharp blue eyes, who tells them they will be the one to reach the bottom of the labyrinth and bring peace back to the land. And so the tale unfolds.
Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land bears much in common with the early Wizardry games I-V. A small set of races and classes, with advance classes such as the knight or bishop having entry requirements. It made a few changes and brought in new ideas, such as maps with curved and angled paths, and a party trust system.
A sequel, Busin 0: Wizardry Alternative Neo, was released in 2003 in Japan and nowhere else, due to the poor reception of the first game.
Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land contains examples of:
- After the End: The game starts in the outskirts of Duhan just after the mysterious flash which destroyed most of the city and left its remaining inhabitants to scavenge and explore the ruins looking for answers.
- Amnesiac Hero: The main character the party leader arrives at the town of Duhan knowing nothing of his past. Before the final boss it is revealed that they are in fact a fragment of the white haired swordsman's soul reshaped into strong soul not shackled by the past and thus never had any memories to have lost.
- Bittersweet Ending: The ritual to summon the dark god has been stopped, and the Endless Winter gripping Duhan has ended. Even though everyone has been Dead All Along, at the very least their souls have been freed to move on.
- Bonus Dungeon: The abyss becomes available in the Playable Epilogue. This dungeon is randomly generated and endless, with the monsters being selected from everywhere in the labyrinth.
- Character Alignment, In-Universe: All characters have one of three alignments good, neutral, or evil. A character's alignment along with their race determined their personality, affecting how they gain or lose trust with the party leader. Additionally some classes require the character to be of a certain alignment.
- Class Change Level Reset: Downplayed. When a character changes class they do not loose any gained experience. However their level will be recalculated based on their current experience which can cause them to lose some levels, or in a few cases gain some levels.
- Cursed Item: You can find cursed items while in the labyrinth initially as unidentified items. Vigger the shopkeeper is the only one who can remove a cursed item. These items often lower the stats of whoever equips them but some can still be useful.
- Dead All Along:
- Near the end of the ninth floor of the dungeon it is revealed that Everyone has been dead from the start. The flash completely destroyed Duhan, and everyone including your party are actually the souls of Duhan's inhabitants
- More specifically Queen Otelier had been dead from the beginning of the game. All of the party's interactions with her were instead with a puppet whose facade slowly begins to slip until it is revealed.
- Deader Than Dead: As in the original Wizardry games failing to resurrect a character will turn their body to ash. Failing a second time causes them to be gone for good. Additionally in this game characters who die when possessed by the reaper will be gone immediately with no chance for resurrection.
- Door to Before: As you get deeper into the labyrinth you will find shortcuts that lead you to earlier levels. These most often allow you to skip a level or two, usually the randomly generated floors. You will often find these shortcuts before you can use them on the higher level floors running into doors that only open from one side.
- Endless Winter: The city of Duhan has been experiencing cold weather and constant snow since the flash happened.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: Samurai show up commonly in the labyrinth and are dangerous enemies. There are a few NPC samurai during various quests some of whom join your party. This is all despite the fact that the setting is a standard Medieval European Fantasy, with no references to any sort of eastern Counterpart Culture. They seem to exist mechanically to serve as the wizard magic counter part to the knight class
- Flashback: Throughout the story the main character has flashbacks to events before the flash. At first it is unknown whose memories these are. As the story progresses the main character finds out that these are their own memories.
- Gratuitous Ninja: Ninjas show up as enemies throughout the labyrinth as fast enemies who can One-Hit Kill your party members. They are also a playable class and one of the first members of your party is a good ninja who has become a coward after coming close to death. Like the samurai they exist despite no references to any sort of eastern Counterpart Culture.
- The Grim Reaper: A constant threat in the labyrinth, the reaper seeks out adventurers to steal their souls by possessing them. At times the reaper manifests more fully to serve as a boss fight.
- Instant Runes: Whenever anyone casts a spell spinning rings of arcane words appear that coalesce into a white light before the effect of the spell is shown.
- Metal Slime: Called silver slimes they are hard to hit, quick to run, and give lots of experience. They are also pretty strong able to deal high double digit damage at a point where frontline fighters might not have reached two hundred health yet.
- Our Homunculi Are Different: Queen Otelier is a homunculus. A combination of flashbacks and interactions with the homonculus eventually reveals that they are not who they appear to be.
- Palette Swap:
- A number of enemies are recolored for stronger versions. Most apparent in the enemies based on the playable classes like the sorcerer or ninja as their are many versions of them that show up.
- Downplayed when it comes to character portraits for minor npcs. There are only a handful of base bodies which are recolored and given slightly different features such as different weapons and different faces. It is done well enough that, until a conversation that shows some of them back to back happens, you may not even realize that this is the case.
- Playable Epilogue: After beating the game you can load your save file again placing you back in town. Given the ending there is not much more to do other explore the Bonus Dungeon.
- Preexisting Encounters: While exploring the dungeons you can see silhouettes of monster groups made up of a colored smoke. Whenever the smoke turns red the monster will start running around at high speeds, though in both cases their movement is fairly random.
- Randomly Generated Level: Three floors of the labyrinth are randomly generated each time you enter the dungeon. These are explained in game to exist due to the chaotic magics of the labyrinth.
- Relationship Values: Once your party becomes a team you gain a trust score representing how much your party trusts you as a leader. Each character aside from the party leader has their own individual trust meter which can go up or down based on your actions. High trust levels allow you to perform useful combination techniques.
- Roaming Enemy: On some floors after reaching certain locations or after spending enough time the reaper will appear to chase you down. He is slow and can be avoided like other encounters, but can move through walls.
- Turn Undead: The dispel command learned by priests, bishops, and knights can cause undead to be destroyed or flee. An important skill due to undead only being affected by magic and magic weapons.
- Unknown Item Identification: Items can be identified in three ways. Taking it to the item shop to be identified which costs money. Having a bishop in your party who can identify, but at the risk of acquiring the fear ailment. Lastly you can just equip the item, but risk the potential of the item being cursed.
- Useless Useful Spell: Initially averted as sleep spells and other status effect spells are very handy at keeping large groups of enemies from decimating your party. Later on however it is played straight as most enemies are very resistant to magic debuffs.
- You All Meet in an Inn: You meet your first two party members, a warrior who wants to know if trust is useful and a ninja who has come to fear death in the remaining inn in Duhan. Later when you gain more members either those you create yourself or other npcs who you interact with in the game you can pick them up or drop them off here.