Part 12: Werdna Reformed11: Werdna Reformed
Previously on Wizardry IV we finally crawled out of the prison dungeon and into the sunlight of the Llylgamyn Castle, the place where it all began back in Wizardry I. Before we explore it, however, we have to make sure we haven't forgotten anything.
In particular, now that we've got all the ingredients, let's pay another visit to the witch in the Maze of Wandering.
But how do we do this if we can only Malor to the two starting floors? Do we have to persevere through the entire dungeon again?
Not quite. It's true Wizardry IV hates you, but not that much. After you've beaten the Cube and reached the surface, it finally lets you Malor anywhere in the dungeon, implying that Werdna has at last fully regained his powers.
"A man with your aspirations should definitely have some of my famous 'Blue Blood Special'. If you have the makings, I'll be glad to brew you a batch!"
We have everything. To round it up:
- Fe s-sub-2 is the Golden Pyrite;
- We can extract a bit of Tannic Acid from the Witching Rod;
- Rabbit's Fur is found inside the Magician's Hat;
- Camphor is the Aromatic Ball;
- The mysterious Spanish Unguent is in fact the Cleansing Oil, used to uncurse the Holy Hand Grenade and called the "Oil of Ole'" when unidentified (subtle isn't it?);
- And finally the Blender is, of course, the Blade Cusinart', because it looks like one. (And also because the most famous blender, at the time, was the one made by Cuisinart.Thanks Sceptic)
Accept the deal (Y/N)?
The witch asks a favor of Werdna as if scouring the dungeon for all these ingredients wasn't enough. The favor only comes at a later date, though, and Werdna is in this for world domination right here, right now.
"Be Seeing You! <Cackle> <Cackle>"
The "Dark Glob" shows up as a Dab of Puce in the inventory. According to Wikipedia, puce is "said to be the color of the bloodstains remaining on linen or bedsheets from a flea's droppings or after a flea has been killed," hence the connection with blood. As to why the blood is royally blue, puce was supposedly the favorite color of Marie Antoinette, so that might be what Roe Adams had in mind here. Or maybe there's something even more obvious I'm missing.
But still, royal blood or not, all this trouble for a color pigment? This better be worth it.
That done, we teleport up to the B1F pentagram, summon a Maelific, a Demon Lord and some Greater Demons, and climb up to the Castle again.
Wizardry IV is very nostalgic about the first game. The Training Grounds (#1), Boltac's Trading Post (#2), The Adventurer's Inn (#3), and even the Temple of Cant and the Gilgamesh's Tavern (if you take the elevator at 12,9), it's all here.
Naturally, there are some new areas to explore, too, such as the Citadel (#4), the political headquarters of Llylgamyn.
At the entrance to the castle, a hoplite guard demands a password from Werdna. Unfortunately, we can't just kill the guard to enter, and this is yet another point where Wizardry IV expects not only puzzle-solving skills, but also a thorough knowledge of the first game from the player.
There are two Oracle hints that can help you here -- Password is your ancient battlecry and Seek amongst the historical writings of Trebor's foes for the password -- but on their own they aren't enough. What you also need to do is recall the endgame of Wizardry I, in which you came across a message that both these hints are referencing.
Nope, not this one. Nor the "Contra Dextra Avenue" that follows.
Remember, what you're looking for is a battlecry.
In "bad Attic Latin", no less.
Ah the pleasure with which Werdna gives the correct password.
The entrance at (6,3) leads to The Edge of Town. With all these nice pictures, you can see why Wizardry IV boasted "more graphics" than any previous Wizardry game.
Just like in Wizardry I, the Edge of Town is the area where The Training Grounds are located.
This being the training grounds, there are three wannabe adventurer parties here, Von Halstern Squires squads #1 to #3.
At the same time, this is another reference to the Society for Creative Anachronism (which, as I have found out, Roe Adams was indeed a member of, as was none other than Richard Garriott), this time to the House von Halstern. As you remember, SCA is basically a LARPing society intented to (re)create and enact a medieval land with its own geography, rituals, arts and social hierarchy, which explains why role-playing game developers were involved with it in the first place.
Aww level 1 adventurers.
The poor sods don't stand a single chance against Werdna and his high-level demons.
The second squad is barely less pathetic than the first.
And not even teamwork can save them from defeat.
Farewell, brave Crysogon, Arthur, Francis, Max, Guntar and Corwin, slain before they even got a chance to enter the first level of the dungeon.
You'd think the first squad should be more trouble.
What with Dracula himself in their ranks.
Done with the Training Grounds, we enter Boltac's Trading Post through the backdoor. Unsurprisingly, Boltac isn't exactly happy to see us.
Nor is he willing to sell us anything.
Try to steal the Lych-gate (Y/N)?
Unfortunately, we aren't given the option of looting the shop. We can, however, try stealing the Lych-gate, advertised to us previously by a blimp hovering just outside the Temple of the Dreampainter.
Which results not in Werdna having a nice evil Lych gate in his inventory, but rather in a fight.
Shouldn't it be "Gotcha this time, you senile delinquent"?
The four elements that for some reason make up Boltac's Anti-shoplifting Unit aren't exactly weak. We can defeat them, of course, but that still won't let us claim the Lych gate. In fact, whenever you try to steal it, the anti-shoplifting unit respawns. Bollocks, I say.
Done pointlessly exploring Boltac's, we attempt to enter the Adventurer's Inn, but to no avail. Let's look around for the key, then.
Will You Wade (Y/N)?
At (13,16) is the first of the two pools found inside the Castle.
If Werdna was to bathe in it, his alignment would be switched back to evil. We don't really want that... for the time being.
The second fountain is closed for repairs, so we can't yet learn its effect. Technically at least, because it should be pretty obvious.
There are also stairs at (2,15) that allow us to climb up to the Castle wall.
The Castle's first floor consists of two areas: the wall and the Adventurer's Inn's 1F. From the wall, we can also access four small 1x2 watch towers.
Atop three of them is The Tower Artillery.
The Tower Artillery are crossbowmen. They have low AC, but being pure Fighters makes them only a minor nuisance to Werdna.
Back to 1F, we continue exploring the wall until we run into An Eagle Eye at (3,18).
The Tower Sentry is a wimp who goes down in a single turn.
The next encounter, at (10,18), pits us against A Trumpeteer.
The Herald is a Bishop capable of casting Litokan, but I think you know how this ends.
Or maybe not.
The sound of trumpet summons The Honor Guard.
The Honor Guard are pikemen accompanied by a Watch Officer...
...who even has a different portrait from the rest.
Still, a party of Fighters can't even scratch us at this point.
The only relevant encounter here, and the one we've come here for, is against A Man Who Bows, waiting for us in the watch tower at (17,17).
"A man who bows" is an innkeeper because innkeepers bow a lot. Or rather an Innkeyper because he keeps a key.
(On a somewhat related note, a Demon Lord is a wonderful thing to have.)
They key Innkeyper drops is exactly the one we need to access the Inn.
If you don't feel like fighting the Honor Guard and the rest again, you can go back to the Castle's ground floor by simply jumping off the wall. It hurts a little but saves time.
Now that we've got the brass key, we have almost everything we need, but there is still one crucial thing left to do. For that, we teleport down to the Temple of the Dreampainter. As you might recall, we still have to solve the puzzle of the mysterious altar that we saw there.
To solve it, we invoke the three precious stones we're carrying -- the Bloodstone, the Lander's Turquoise and the Amber Dragon.
The altar didn't accept our offering of gold or any other items, but maybe the stones might please whatever god that inhabits it.
The stones fit, and the altar is restored.
The game gives us three unique swords to choose from, one for each of the gems we've sacrificed. Each sword is a deadly weapon in its own right, and also determines which of the three evil endings you get. It is this choice that was supposed to make this into an interactive LP before I lost the save files. Restoring the temple is just as crucial to the good ending too, so you can't skip doing it no matter the route you choose.
The Green Sword, or the East Wind Sword, allows you to deal multiple attacks per turn and has a high chance of petrifying the enemy. The Blue Sword, or the West Wind Sword, is a Ninja blade that can decapitate the enemy on a critical hit. It also strikes several times per round, and has a higher base damage than the East Wind Sword. Finally, the Amber Sword, known as the Dragon's Claw, gives you only one swing per turn, but grants Werdna the power of regeneration, allowing him to regain 4 HP at a time both in and outside combat. On top of that, each of the swords boosts Werdna's to-hit chance.
We take the Green Sword, and Malor back up to the Castle.
The Adventurer's Inn only has 1/2 Mychelyn star. You could hardly call this place posh.
And for those who remember Wizardry I, the signs pointing to the rooms and to the stables are a nice touch.
The first encounter we have here, not far away from the entrance, is against The Walking Wounded.
They are supposedly a do-gooder party wounded by Werdna in one of the encounters inside the dungeon.
Being wounded, they aren't at full HP, but the Lord and the Samurai can still be a problem if you're unlucky.
Finishing off the wounded, we take the stairs up at (14,12) and arrive to what I can only call a fetch quest area.
There are four 1x1 rooms here, each stock full of Society for Creative Anachronism references. First we enter the one at (14,13).
The Order of the Tyger's Cubs is holding a meeting here.
Naturally, these are all Society for Creative Anachronism members. Roe Adams basically populated Llylgamyn with his LARPing friends.
Furthermore, the Order of the Tyger's Cub is a real order of the East Kingdom of SCA, awarded to children under the age of eighteen "who have displayed admirable virtue and decorum at events."
If we didn't have the Pennonceaux on us, they would ask us to find it -- and then attack us to better get their point across.
"Here's a fetch quest, now let's fight!"
Despite being Lords with low AC, the Tyger's Cubs aren't much of a threat. They're only children, after all.
However, we do have the Pennounceaux they're looking for.
So they present us with a Gold Ball. I'm actually surprised they don't fight us as well, you know, to reinforce their gratitude.
The Gold Ball shows up as the Orb of Dreams in Werdna's inventory.
Meanwhile, the Order of the Laurel meets at (14,11).
Would you believe me if I told you that the Order of the Laurel has nothing to do with the Society for Creative Anachronism?
I know you wouldn't, and rightly so.
It is another order of the East Kingdom, awarded to the craftsmen and artisans of the Society for Creative Anachronism "recognized for their research and skill in crafts practiced during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and their willingness to teach those skills to others."
We have the Dab of Puce, which pleases the Guild of Limners greatly.
(And Trebor must've had a drinking problem.)
If, however, we hadn't obtained it, the masters and mistresses of the Laurel would reprimand Werdna for not being a patron of the arts --
-- and attack.
Because whoever isn't a friend of the arts is an enemy of the arts.
Yeah well, this could get nasty...
...if we didn't have the Dab of Puce, which we have. The Arrow of Truth is our reward.
The third room, at (15,13), is the meeting room of the Order of the Pelican.
The Order of the Pelican is an SCA order consisting of those "whose service has made a great difference to the SCA." Pelicans are so named for the medieval legend that a mother pelican will, in times of need, prick her own breast to feed her lifeblood to her brood.
You have obtained HAT WITH VISOR.
The Maintenance Cap is our well-deserved reward.
The Order of the Pelican would also attack us if we hadn't restored the Temple of the Dreampainter:
Are they really intent on attacking anyone who has done no service to the Realm?
Looks that way.
The Pelicans are all Masters and Mistresses, SCA's actual titles of honor.
Finally, we have a meeting of The Ladies of the Rose to interrupt. In SCA, the Order of the Rose consists of women who have ruled as a Queen of a Kingdom.
Unfortunately, Werdna stinks.
The ladies cannot bear that, and attack.
This is the toughest encounter of the four, and there is no way for us to avoid it. Not yet, I mean.
Speaking of which, let's go back to the broken fountain and equip the Maintenance Cap.
If only things worked like this in real life.
Will You Wade (Y/N)?
Let's wade while no one is looking!
Well that's kinda embarrassing.
You can only wade in this fountain if you previously bathed in the pool in the Maze of Wandering which turned Werdna from Evil to Neutral, by the way.
Werdna the Good Magician. No wonder his allies have all fled.
Then again, the Ladies of the Rose should look at Werdna more favorably now.
It's funny they consider getting rid of the annoyance that was Trebor's ghost a "chivalrous action" towards Trebor, but I'm not complaining.
"Wizardry IV: The Importance of Bathing Daily."
The sign of the royal pardon is a Crystal Rose.
The only annoyance is that, his monster allies no longer by his side, Werdna must now face encounters alone.
Or you can Malor down to the B1F pentagram and summon some new monsters.
Anyway, time to visit the Citadel.
For the humble fee of... wait what? How much?
Luckily the B1F encounters are extremely profitable, and we already have the necessary sum. Apart from buying Oracle hints, this is the only point where gold is useful in Wizardry IV.
(The "Weregild" was basically a restitution payment in early Germanic society.)
Will You Pay (Y/N)?
The horn we get is a Rallying Horn.
Going up the stairs brings us in the presence of the Council of Barons. Barons are another SCA title, a group of people that, while not belonging to the Royal Peers, are entitled to wear coronets. They may be in charge of a Barony, or may have simply received the title of Court Baron (or Baroness) as a reward from the royalty.
Wizardry IV mirrors SCA's social hierarchy quite faithfully.
So Trebor is now a tyrant rather than a saint, huh? Everyone likes to back the winner indeed.
Will you sign it (Y/N)?
You have obtained A WAX SEAL.
The Barons present us with a Signet Ring, and we are free to proceed.
And finally we meet the Great Dukes of the Realm, the Royal Peers of
There are quite a few items you need for the Dukes to be friendly: the Signet Ring, the Rallying Horn, the Crystal Rose, the Arrow of Truth, and the Orb of Dreams. In short, you must prove you've been of great service to the realm.
This has been a rather convoluted chain of fetch quests, hasn't it?
Do thee accept the challenge (Y/N)?
Hmm, Werdna's chances are slim without his allies and spells, but we do still have the East Wind Sword.
Well, this is a bit disappointing.
"You've done some fetch quests, slaying half the Llylgamyn's populace in the process. All hail the new king!"
Giving up the quest for the amulet is definitely the hardest decision for Werdna to make.
Assume the Throne (Y/N)?
If we chose to refuse, the Duke would attack us.
Then again, Werdna's goal was power, and now he's being offered just that. It would be foolish to refuse.
Bring out the confetti!
You would think this is the perfect ending, if not for the favor owned to the witch. What is she asks him to return it one day?
For now, however, it's all peace and celebration.
But I find it extremely ominous that the above screenshot is numbered 666.
You have completed The Return Of Werdna!
Is Master Adventurer a good enough rank, I wonder?
...Even if highly improbable!
That sounds like a challenge.
Wizardry IV advertises replayability. It is probably among the first CRPGs to do so.
Be Seeing You!
Endings reached: 1 out of 5. Stay tuned for more.