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Video Game / Wizard's Crown

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Wizard's Crown was a turn-based CRPG (though there was basically no characterization) published by Strategic Simulations, Inc. in 1985. The goal of the game was to recover the eponymous artifact from the evil wizard Tarmon, who had been responsible (five hundred years previously) for the near-total destruction of the city of Arghan.

A sequel, Eternal Dagger, was released in 1987. It preserved most of the essential feel and mechanics of the game, while adding an overworld, abstracting away civilized settlements in the menu system, and making the first game's unused skills vitally important.

The Wizard's Crown duology contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: In Eternal Dagger, everything on the third island (especially buying a boat ride back to the second) is hideously expensive.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You had an absolute limit of eight party members at any one time.
  • Bag of Spilling: You didn't get to keep your gear from the first game when you used the Old Save Bonus option. This was explained as the interdimensional portals only permitting living matter to pass through (which was a plot point).
  • Crippling Overspecialization: A character without either of the Ranger or Fighter classes couldn't use any weapon better than a dagger. This wasn't much of a problem for your single-classed sorcerer... in the first game. Taking them forward to the second game would cause you problems, though.
  • Damsel in Distress: While cleaning up the slums, you run across a young woman being pursued by a pack of thugs. If you attack the thugs, she tells you to visit her father's mansion outside the town afterwards, where you are rewarded with a magic sword.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Party members killed in combat could be easily returned to life afterwards, as long as you had a priest who (a) was still alive (b) had enough Karma left to invoke Raise Dead the requisite number of times. (The latter point could be a problem if you'd been adventuring for some time since your last visit to a temple...)
  • Featureless Protagonists: Your party has no personality whatsoever.
  • Hell Gate: The back story to Eternal Dagger featured the creation (and subsequent destruction) of one; the plot revolved around closing it again after it became obvious that it had been reopened.
  • Killer Rabbit: In both games.
    • In Wizard's Crown, there was a single fixed encounter, well into the ruins, with four groups of "white rabbits". These were quite capable of scoring a One-Hit Kill on the flimsier members of your party if they got lucky. If you survived the fight, you found a large quantity of excellent equipment, implicitly from their past victims.
    • In Eternal Dagger, "snow bunnies" could be encountered on the third island.
  • The Legions of Hell: The driving force behind the plot of Eternal Dagger is the threat of a second demonic invasion.
  • Level Grinding: Technically skill point grinding, but the principle applies.
  • Mistaken for Granite: There is a room in the palace in Wizard's Crown with statues lining the walls. These turn out to be golems (well over a dozen).
  • Money Spider: Firmly averted. Only humanoid monsters drop money, and most animals, animated plants, etc. drop little or no loot.
  • Old Save Bonus: You could bring forward your characters from Wizard's Crown into Eternal Dagger. They kept their skills and stats, but left behind all their equipment, as the dimensional portal magic in the setting only permitted living matter to pass through.
  • One-Hit Kill: Possible (but unlikely) even early in the game, due to the rather complex damage system.
  • Random Encounters
  • Shield Bash: Available as a technique.
  • Shields Are Useless: A variation on this: shields weren't useless, but various enemies could break them. It was generally a much better idea to equip a "+N" gem in your off hand, since such items provided useful protection without being breakable.
  • Squishy Wizard: Averted (though you could build one if you wanted); a character's choice of armour was restricted only by their strength stat, and sorcerers were only low on the Life and Strength stats due to the high Intelligence requirement to take the class.
  • Strategy RPG: The Ur-Example of the genre.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying
    • The golem staff in Wizard's Crown was an ordinary staff with no bonuses, except when used against golems. Against golems, its base damage rating was tripled and it ignored the golems' quite considerable physical defenses.
    • Eternal Dagger generalized the mechanics of the golem staff into an assortment of cases, including a guaranteed sword of dragon slaying on the first island. This functioned effectively as a Sword of Plot Advancement, since it wasn't really practical to gather enough magical weapons and armour to take on the nastier parts of the island without killing the dragon and looting his extensive trove of such things.