The Let's Play Archive

Wizardry IV

by CrookedB

Part 13: So You Want To Be a God

12: So You Want To Be a God

But what if Werdna had no desire to play an errand boy or engage in politics? Then his task would be easier and more complicated at the same time. Killing everyone sounds unproblematic enough, but it wouldn't be Wizardry IV if things really were so easy.

The good news is, if you want the evil ending, you can comfortably ignore not just the Witch, but also all those fetch quest-giving Orders in the Adventurer's Inn. That doesn't mean you can ignore the Inn completely, though. You might recall there were two Wizardry I locations, The Temple of Cant and Gilgamesh's Tavern, that we didn't visit in the previous update, so it's safe to assume it is the other endings that involve them.

First let's switch Werdna's alignment back to evil. This isn't strictly necessary, but hey, roleplaying!

Entering the Citadel without the Crystal Rose means entering it without the royal pardon, so the good ending route doesn't trigger.

The Captain's Council won't even talk to you. Why waste words on one as evil as Werdna? They just attack.

In a surprising twist, the Captain's Council doesn't seem to consist of SCA members. Joachim Deeg can cast Malikto, and is the most dangerous of the six.

The Baron's Council is just as uncooperative.

Sir Patri and Bar. Elspeth are both capable of Tiltowait, and overall this is a strong spellcasting party that you will surely die at least a couple of times to.

We could also battle the Dukes' Council...

...but oh my, look at those stats! Thankfully we can ignore them.

Instead of fighting them, we turn around as soon as we reach 2F and make our way to a hidden room on the other side of the stairs. The room is concealed behind an illusory wall, so the only way you can even discover it's there is by bumping into each and every wall. Seriously, Wizardry IV

There isn't even a proper clue that would help you here. Unless you count the Oracle's The minuet in the minaret goes hand in glove! as "a proper clue," which let's face it would be a bit of a stretch.

Master Bertram of Bearington was apparently SCA's Society Chronicler, and a member of the Order of Pelican. His real-life name was David Schroeder, and I have a feeling it's this guy. I may be wrong, of course.

The answer to Master Bertram's question is in the game's backstory.

It isn't the Amulet, even if that sounds like an obvious choice. But would you really expect the object of Werdna's desire be so poorly guarded? It's actually the next best thing: the Mythril Gauntlets, the only piece of equipment that can let us even touch the Amulet without vanishing unto death.


The gauntlet shows up as a Mythril Glove in Werdna's inventory. For now we put it in the Black Box. Its time has not yet come.

What follows is one of Wizardry IV's most infamous puzzles. To solve it, we must first teleport back to the B1F pentagram...

...and summon a Dink from the very first pentagram.

At this point, what need could we have of such a pathetic level 1 summon? Why a Dink, of all things?!

The answer is carved in stone. It is right before your nose! Right before your nose, not Werdna's! And what is an RPG player supposed to have before his or her nose?

...That's right, graph paper with hand-drawn maps. So if you look closely at the maps for B1F to B4F, you can see they spell out a four-letter word: "Dink."

I'm not kidding.

That's a D.

An I.

An N.

And a K.

In short, the answer to "why?" is "Wizardry IV." As to what we need the Dink for, that will become apparent soon.

(To be fair, though, Wizardry IV isn't the only RPG to pull this kind of thing. There was a computer in Star Command, an old sci-fi CRPG, that required a password likewise spelled out in the dungeon's walls.)


PurpleXVI posted:

About the wall-clues...

If I recall correctly, then in Might and Magic 1 through 5, at least three of them had a puzzle like this. Though 1's might be the most similar, where you had to find the boss' name spelled out in the dungeon walls.

That done, we head upstairs, and to the Adventurer's Inn. This time our destination is the elevator.

The elevator is guarded by the Von Halstern Chivalry.

We defeated their trainee squire squads earlier, but the knights themselves are obviously a tougher bunch.

The Chivalry are all Fighters, though, so they wouldn't be much of an obstacle... if not for the Dink. He is immune to magic, but has to fear physical attacks due to his low HP. And believe me, we don't want our Dink to die. Otherwise it's back to the pentagram. That's how important he is.

Interestingly, the Von Halstern Chivalry would let us pass if Werdna had obtained the royal pardon, but that wouldn't get us far anyway, because the next event triggers the evil ending route no matter Werdna's current alignment.

Meanwhile, the elevator takes us to the first floor of the inn.

And we find ourselves in the Gilgamesh's Tavern, a bar for do-gooders.

Here, before another elevator, one of Wizardry IV's toughest encounters awaits us.

Is this thy wish (Y/N)?

Answering "yes" marks the beginning of the evil ending route.

As described in the manual, The Softalk All-Stars (also known as Hawkwind's Hunters) is the canonical party of adventurers lead by Hawkwind who originally defeated Werdna in Wizardry I and stole his amulet in the name of Trebor:

The Manual posted:

I was entertaining a Vampire Lord and several of his liegemen, when the door to my study was kicked open and in burst a wild-eyed team of adventurers bent on my destruction. I was too far away from the amulet to reach it in time, and my pentagram for summoning monster allies was on the other side of the room. I quickly gathered up my energy and began to cast the awesome Tiltowait spell, while my guests rushed forward to my defense. Just as I unleashed that hellish fireball, I saw the Vampire Lord dissolved by a Zilwan spell! So, they had a high mage also. What! They still stood! That's one very tough team. Another Tiltowait should finish them, though. Before I could cast it, the leader of the team stepped in under my outstretched arms and delivered a critical hit to me. As my consciousness faded, I heard one of his men say, "Hawkwind, I have the amulet! Trebor will be pleased." I cursed Trebor with my last breath that he might endure endless torment. My final view was of their black banner bearing both a gold and a silver dragon in bend, and of the amulet dangling from the end of a sword. The darkness claimed me and I slept as unto death.

This can only mean one thing: it's time for sweet revenge!

Naturally, the All-Stars are again Roe Adams' friends' personae, so "Margot and Al." are probably their girlfriends or somesuch. Wizardry IV can be a bit of a family affair.

EDIT: It can be a family affair indeed, but in a slightly different way, as delfin informs us:

delfin posted:

At last, a reference to which I haven't been beaten!

Margot Comstock and Al Tommervik were two of the founders of Softalk Magazine, which early Apple II owners knew and loved.

The Softalk All-Stars now serve as honor guards of the amulet, which resides in the Temple of Cant. I'm not sure what their character sprite is supposed to represent (is it a globe?). "Less one" means there are just 5 of them here at the moment, but even without the leadership of Hawkwind they are pretty fearsome. Sezmar is a proficient Samurai warrior who can cast Tiltowait and Lakanito. Tuck is capable of casting both Tiltowait and Malikto. Sarah the Priestess can cast Malikto, and Prospero the Archmage favors Lakanito. Few can survive this onslaught of magic, and Werdna is no exception. You will die a lot in this fight.

EDIT. Kayerts chimes in saying the Softalk All-Stars sprite resembles the actual Softalk magazine logo quite a bit. That... makes sense.

The only viable tactics in this battle is casting Tiltowait and relying on the Dreampainter Ka for healing. Seeing the All-Stars dead is one of the most joyful moments in the entire game.

The All-Stars drop a couple of interesting items, none of them crucial. The Diadem of Malor lowers your AC by 2 and lets you cast Malor when used, whereas the Holy Reliquary, which turns out to be St. K.A.'s Foot, allows you to cast Malikto.

With the All-Stars dead, we ride the elevator to the second floor.

The Temple's freedom to worship the god of *their* choice is actually an important plot point, but you wouldn't know that until you got the relevant ending.

The first encounter we get here is against The Temple Priests.

One deaf, one blind, one mute, one numb, one ageusic, and one who "thinks a little." They're pretty pathetic.

This one, however, isn't pathetic at all.

Meet Hawkwind, the self-insert of Roe R. Adams III himself. Lord Hawkwind, an Elven Ninja, is canonically the leader of the Softalk All-Stars, the adventuring party who defeated Werdna in the first game. After Werdna's demise, Hawkwind holds the esteemed position of honor guard of the Inner Sanctum at the Temple of Cant.

Hawkwind is accompanied by his two pet dragons, a gold and a silver one, depicted also on the Banner of the Softalk All-Stars that they carry into battle.

If there's one thing about all self-inserts, it's how modest they usually are.

Dair Hawkwind of Skara Brae was Roe Adams' persona in the Society for Creative Anachronism, in which he participated together with Richard Garriott aka Don Shamino Salle Dacil of Bryn Gwlad. Characters by the name of Hawkwind appear not only in Wizardry, but also in the Bard's Tale and Ultima series, because Roe Adams took part in designing those too.

PurpleXVI posted:

In Wiz 4 all the acquaintance-inserts are high-level, but free of Plot Protection, as far as I can tell? Are there any of them we can't beat to a pulp if we want to?

Hawkwind is so powerful that neither magic nor physical attacks can harm him, making this battle basically unwinnable under normal circumstances. Hearsay has it, however, that he has an unexpected weak point, although what it is no one knows for sure.

Apart from Wizardry IV, Roe Adams is usually known for his work on Ultima. In particular, he famously collaborated with Richard Garriott in designing the system of Virtues introduced in Ultima IV, a no small feat.

He was also the co-author of the documention for Ultima III, as well as the author of The History of Britannia, included in Ultima IV's packaging.

(This is a long shot, but "Pikestaff" might be a reference to The Pikestaff Forum, a literary magazine that ran from 1977 to 1996.)

Most famously, Roe Adams's self-insert in the Ultima series is the Time Lord, a mysterious and powerful being responsible for keeping the flow of time smooth and orderly, and opposing those intent on bringing chaos to the world. The Time Lord's mortal persona, or incarnation, is -- expectedly -- Hawkwind, the Avatar's spiritual guide who assists him in taking on the Avatarhood and later in his quest of defeating the Guardian and ultimately ascension.

The Time Lord first appeared in Ultima III, which took place in the land of Sosaria, where he told the Stranger -- not yet the Avatar -- how to use the four punchcards to destroy the silly evil computer Exodus.

In Ultima IV, when Lord British heralded in the Age of Enlightenment and established the cult of the Virtues, the Time Lord took the guise of Hawkwind the Seer and took it upon himself to measure the strength of the Virtues in any would-be Avatar. Lord British even arranged for Hawkwind a separate chamber in Castle Britannia, where the Time Lord could do his karma-measuring thing from behind a magic sleep field.

Residing within Lord British's castle is the Royal Seer, Hawkwind. Many aspire to tread the Path, but very few find their way. Seek the advice of the Seer as to thy progress upon the Path. He can look into thy heart's heart and read thy progress or failure. Heed his advice, for feet that have strayed may be brought back upon the Path.

- from The History of Britannia

In Ultima IV Hawkwind has some particularly strong lines when the Avatar is an evil, lying, stealing bastard, as I bet your Avatar was when you first played the game. "Thou art a cad and a bounder. Thy presence is an affront. Thou art low as a slug!" is my favorite. You can find all of Hawkwind's Ultima IV dialogue here.

In the NES port of Ultima IV, Hawkwind is even depicted doing the Virtue card reading in place of the usual gypsy:

(The picture above is taken from the manual.)

After that, the Time Lord only reappeared at the time of Ultima VII, when the evil entity known as the Guardian began his attempt to invade Britannia. Fearing the Time Lord would interfere with his plans, the Guardian imprisoned him within a space-time loop in the Shrine of Spirituality; despite his imprisonment, however, the Time Lord somehow managed to conjure up a moongate that summoned the Avatar back to Britannia. Ultimately, the Avatar found and freed the Time Lord, who helped him prevent the Guardian's entry into the land.

After the events of Ultima VIII: Pagan, the Time Lord helps the Avatar return to Earth, mentors him as he prepares for the final task, and then calls him to Britannia again to finish the Guardian (and his ally Blackthorn) once and for all and prevent the cosmoapocalyptic cataclysm that the evil being has put into motion.

You may remember me as a name from the past, but I have been more involved in your life than you may realize. We share a past and a present, but for me, the past is as the future.

- from Time Lord's Note (Ultima IX)

In the scrapped Bob White Plot of Ultima IX, Hawkwind was also supposed to reappear in the endgame to instruct the Avatar in the final steps of saving Britannia from the Guardian.

In that iteration of the plot, Hawkwind would reveal himself not just as the Time Lord, but also as the last survivor of the Ultima, an ancient race destroyed by their evil halves. Hawkwind was also to be revealed as the creator of the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, no less.

As you can see, Roe Adams was pretty important for and in the Ultima series.

Back on topic, Roe Adams also consulted on the first The Bard's Tale game, which is why the town of Skara Brae is present in both series.

Speaking of the Bard's Tale series, although Roe Adams only seems to have worked on the first game, Hawkwind is a joinable NPC in Bard's Tale III, where he's some kind of hero who follows you around and gives vague hints when he joins you.

EDIT. Also this:

Kayerts posted:

In Bard's Tale 3, Hawkwind's whole gimmick is that he's out of phase with time--he appears in a few worlds, and "remembers" some things that "happened" to him during your party's journeys, despite those things being further ahead in time for you. Given that and the Time Lord, temporal antics may have been part of the original Hawkwind's character concept.

While we were talking, Hawkwind has almost sacrificed Werdna to Kadorto.

Will he succeed?

Sacrificial bureaucracy is the best bureaucracy.

Furthermore, sacrificial bureaucracy is the most efficient bureaucracy.

Bound and gagged, Wernda can't act now, only his minions can.

I would make a massage oil joke but I'm afraid this wouldn't be appropriate.

And so Werdna was defeated by Hawkwind. Again.

This isn't how the story is supposed to go, so let's do it for real this time. Speaking of which, you won't normally witness the entire sacrifical sequence if you have a Dink in your party.

That's because, in Wizardry IV's insane logic, Dinks are Hawkind's Achilles' heel.

It is this that the Oracle's Read the Iliad lately? hint refers to. So do such hints as Everyone has a weakness! What is his??? and Homer will show you the way.

EDIT. Hob_Gadling and Kayerts rightly point out that the Iliad doesn't describe the manner of Achilles' death, so the hints are a bit off.

Now that Hawkwind is dead, we're free to access the temple's inner sanctum, where we discover the statue of Kadorto holding the coveted Amulet.

The proper way to approach the statue is with the Mythril Glove and the East Wind Sword equipped, and the Holy Limp Wrist in your possession.

But what if we didn't have the Holy Limp Wrist?

Okay, that wouldn't be too good.

The Holy Limp Wrist is important because it can cast Dialko, the anti-paralysis spell. It is a Priest spell, so Werdna can't cast it himself.

Dialko weakens the statue's grip on the amulet, but our troubles don't end here. Kadorto wakes up...

...and disdainfully throws the amulet our way.

What luck! Or is it? What if we weren't wearing the Mythril Glove?

Welp. We better have it equipped, then.

The Amulet is ours, but Kadorto isn't ready to give up yet.

For Werdna, the answer can't be more obvious.

However, that also means Werdna is Kadorto's rival now.

And so the statue attacks. If we didn't have the Green Sword, or any other sword from the Temple of the Dreampainter, he would kill us on the spot.

But luckily we do.

Werdna is victorious, but alas, his triumph doesn't last long.

Curiosity killed the wizard?

Not quite...

It petrified him, rather, and Werdna is now a statue himself.

A green statue. Talk about a deicide gone wrong.

But you always have this nagging doubt.. You always wonder..

*** Congratulations ***

You have completed The Return of Werdna!

We hope you are satisfied with your fate. If not, then consider that anything is possible...

...Even if highly improbable!

And so Werdna has become a god. A very, very unfortunate god.

Is there a better fate for him?

Addendum: The two other evil endings

As promised, I will also transcribe the other two evil endings, because while Werdna becomes a god in all three, they're still significantly different.

1. The Blue Sword (West Wind Sword) Ending

You draw your Blue Sword and begin the battle. Ancient forces are pulled into the battle, and your sword begins to glow fiercely. Kadorto lunges down at you, but you leap nimbly aside. His blow makes rubble of the marble floor! Faster and faster your spinning blade weaves a deadly pattern in your hands!

You leap high onto the foot of the throne. Kadorto is just recovering from his attack and is still bent over. On its own volition, the sword kicks out and touches Kadorto's chest!

The sword scores a critical hit! Kadorto utters a strange gurgle, somewhat like a laugh, then with a shimmer of distorting light, he vanishes!

The priests enter and proclaim you the new god!

"What size and shape would you like, oh god?", they ask.

"My own will be sufficient!", you reply.

The priests are not overly impressed.

"How quaint," says one, glancing up at the empty throne, "at least Kadorto knew how to look like a god. Well, we will do the best with what we have. Wait until you see the new robes we will design for you, the ceremonies and processionals! We will take good care of you, oh Werdna! Your every wish is our command!"

The years pass quickly as you settle into the god business. Using the power of the Amulet, you raise huge temples, spacious retreats, and luxurious monasteries for your loyal priests.

Oh, the people grumble under the burden of their tithing. Perhaps you are pushing things a little. "But no," a priest whispers into your ear, "yours is the greatest glory. The people love you for it, and you must guide them."

But yet, even though you are a god, now and then, you wonder...

Have you forgotten something?

2. The Amber Sword (Dragon's Claw) Ending

"You draw your Dragon's Claw. It hums with anticipation. Kadorto laughs at you, "What will you do with that?"

Actually, you are not quite sure, but it has sustained you through many trials, lending you its strength and energy. Kadorto sends down a pillar of flame... and the blade absorbs it! He throws a bolt of lightning, only to see the blade cleave it in half!

You feel filled with energy!! You let fly with a mighty blow, and your sword strikes true, slicing deep into the big toe of Kadorto!

You feel his life force flowing into you through the sword. As it does, you begin to grow and he begins to shrink! Finally, you are the tall god, and he is the puny mortal.

"Thank you, free at last", he croaks as he expires!

You laugh as the priests scurry around removing the remains. Finally, they all assemble in front of you, abasing themselves and raising their voices upward in supplication:

"All pray to you, oh great god Werdna. We rejoice the weak pacifist Kadorto has been defeated! Take up the sacred amulet. Lead us, oh mighty one, into glorious battle. Make the world tremble at your every step! Let us fill the altars with sacrifices, and the temple with gold and slaves!"

The years pass by in a blur of fire, blood and destruction. Large areas of the world lie desolate. Your priests bloat you with sacrifices and praise. After this, there are other planes to conquer, other planes whose energy can feed your lust for power! You have all your desires, all your dreams fulfilled!

But yet... every once in a long while, you wonder...

Have you forgotten something?

Endings reached: 4 out of 5. The final update, with the mythical Grandmaster ending, coming right away...