The Let's Play Archive

Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord

by Chokes McGee

Part 5: It's the Eye of the Tiger, It's the Thrill of the Fight

Chapter 5: It's the Eye of the Tiger, It's the Thrill of the Fight

Okay, I'm going to level with you guys. This is the part of the game that gets really, really boring. The designers were hoping, nay, counting on the fact you'd be coming into this blind and making your own maps. That's really the only thing to break up the monotony of the next handful of floors. (Well, that, and getting your skull caved in in new and interesting ways.) If you already know where the next staircase is, there's not a whole lot of reason to fuck around with the rest of the floor. I'm really hoping for some interesting drops or fights, because otherwise, I'm probably going to grind a shitload and then head straight down to floor 8.

Still, there's enough content this time around that we can squeeze two more floors in before things get dicey. Onwards and downwards, towards level 4!

Well, we're back. And this floor doesn't look too hard.
You know, for once, I agree with you. It's pretty straightforward according to the map.

Let's head for the next staircase. Keep your eyes peeled.

Simple enough. We'll just head through here, and...

Not this guy again!
Wait. Is that... is the wall moving?

It is!

We're all going to die down here!
I'm too young to die! And handsome!
Uh, guys?
Goodbye, sis! If only we could've made it to the bottom!
Seriously, it's not that—
Can't... hold it back... Sorry, boss...
Alright, well, I'm leaving through the unlocked and open door behind us. You guys have fun.

Pretty simple floor panel here. In case it's not blindingly obvious enough, you need the Statue of Bear you picked up on floor 2 to get through it. This is literally the only notable event our party will encounter on floor 4.

A few minutes later...

Well, I'm assuming by the lack of horrible gurgling screams that you're not dead.
Lincoln found an indentation that the bear statue fit in perfectly!
Good thing I saved us all, or you'd be flat as a pancake right now, Justine!
Whatever helps you get up in the morning.

Shouldn't matter which one we take, if I'm reading the map right.
Might as well head left, then.
Wait. You hear that?
Yeah. Whatever it is, it's scurring behind the door.
Alright, everybody get ready.

Ahhhh! Giant bugs!
Oh, hello. Say, have you ever noticed how many people have entomophobia?
Er, no, I—
Fear of insects. Really, I've never understood why it's entomophobia. It doesn't sound like it deals with insects at all.
I find that entomophobia really doesn't make as much sense as acarophobia. Now fear of itching, that I understand. Nobody likes to itch. Over the course of my life, I've learned that a little talcum powder goes a long way towards conquering our fears.
Can I please kill him now?
God yes

A gargoyle!
It's just some guy in armor.
Who dares disturb my stony sleep! Explain yourselves, humans!
Seriously, you're just a regular guy in some armor!
We'll defeat you, evil creature of stone!
Why am I dependant on idiots to keep me alive?

Nope, I have no idea what happened here, either. Apparently they ran out of space for pictures? That's the only thing I can think of.

Saaaay. This is new.
Foul defilers!
It sounds all hot when you say it like that.
Ugh God stop talking

Priestesses are just Lvl. 3 priests, as far as I can tell. Watch out for the sleep spells, keep an eye on your mages' HP due to Badios, and the rest should work itself out.

So, everything's coming along peachily on this floor. We're able to keep up with monsters without any tricks or exploits, it's a short hike to the next floor, and there's nothing at all notable between the staircases.

And then, it happens.

Oh boy! Loot!

What's his problem?
He says that the chest has a new type of trap he hasn't seen before. The technology worries him.
So? He's been cracking open stuff left and right since we started this. He's got four arms, he can afford to lose one of them.

Everything seems to be going well, until...

...what just happened?
And why are my sinuses clear again?

I don't think anything happened. C'mon, let's get out of here and count ourselves lucky.

Should be just around the corner.

Shouldn't... shouldn't there be a door here?
Yes. Yes there should.
I don't think we're where we thought we were. Nico, why don't you cast Latumapic and see what's going on?
Lemme see here... 3 East, 6 North, 4 down.
Oh, son of a... No wonder we're lost. The stupid robot triggered a Teleport trap!

Well, surely it can't be that bad! We'll just find out where we are on the map and get out of here.

Uh, yes, all we need to do is find the door...

The door to the... um...

Oh my God. We're trapped.

And they were never heard from again.

Yes, this actually happened. You can imagine the string of obscenities I let loose when it did. If I hadn't known how bad the game was going to try to screw me later on, the LP would've been abandoned right here, and I would not have been ashamed. I expected death or dismemberment to my characters. I did not expect this.

See that little block of rooms Sternn and company got stuck in? Normally there's no way there expect a very specific spell—Malor. Malor teleports your party around. Needless to say, it's not something you want to do randomly. Thus, if you zap yourself into that ring, it's your own damn fault if you don't have another Malor to get out. It's a nasty trap, but at least it's something you did to yourself.

Here's the other part, though. Teleport traps on chests do exactly what they say: Pick a random spot on the dungeon floor and Malor you there. As far as I can tell, the game's not mean enough to teleport you into a stone square—that particular calamity instantly renders all your party LOST, and that means they ain't comin' back. That's as discerning as the trap gets, though. It'll put you anywhere there's a valid space on the floor. Normally, most areas you're not meant to be in will have a one-way door to get back out into the main dungeon.

I don't know what the designers were thinking, but there's no such exit to this area. If you get teleported into this series of rooms, you are thoroughly fucked.

So, how did I get out? I didn't. Right before I went down to floor 4, I backed up my Wizardry disk in case something horrible happened to my party. If this doesn't qualify as "something horrible", I don't know what does. A quick copy statement later, and...

Okay, does anyone know what just happened? And why are all the clocks set back four hours?
Seriously, take a whiff of that fresh air. It's like my allergies are completely gone!

The re-descent to floor 5 goes smoothly, and my laptop is still in one piece, so thank God for a combination of previous experience and paranoia. This does raise an excellent point, though: Back up your scenario disk regularly. This isn't one of those old games where you made backups in case something happened to your precious 5-and-a-quarter-inch brick of a floppy. You can get real bad fucked down there and lose a significant chunk of your life down the drain with nothing to show for it. It's 2012, and preserving all your hard work is only a copy statement away. Do it.

Well, here's the stairs down.
And we didn't get trapped in an endless loop of rooms to die of starvation!
...Why would you even mention that?
No reason.
Just so you guys know, if we were trapped underground, I'd at least wait until you were dead before I ate you.
Aw, that's so sweet.

Another level, another map. Should be another fairly simple—


Floor 5 is where the game stops being interesting cute and hits you with a full 20x20 grid. Whereas before you could probably keep the map in your head, you're gonna have to graph them from now on if you don't already have one.

I'm not really seeing a lot interesting on this floor.
Agreed. Let's just head down to floor 6.
Is that a good idea?
What could possibly go wrong?

En route: Someone was unclear as to how doors work when they made this dungeon.

Down we go!

Alright, let's get our bearings and—

Oh, another party! Hello, fellow adventurers!
Another party! They're after the amulet, too!
They're higher level than us! RUN!
Pfft, why? Hanover can take 'em! Right, buddy?
Oh dear.

One reload later...

Well, shit. Now what?
We can't head down a floor yet. They're too powerful.
You know what that means.
Give up and go home?
Nope—it's time for an '80s training montage!

Dun dun dun!
Dun dun dun!
Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuun

Risin' up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night

And he's watching us all with the eyeeeeeeeeee
of the tiger

Yo, Adrian! I DID IT!
That's Rocky II, actually.

During the grinding, we managed to pick up a few nifty things. First and biggest was a Long Sword+1. This is a great midgame weapon and one of the more frequent rare drops. In all honesty, it's as good, if not better, than some of the named swords. We also managed a Short Sword+1, which is about as damaging as a regular long sword, but with bonuses to hit and initiative. This is really the area of the game where you start getting good drops, so pay attention when an unknown item shows up. You never know what you might get.

So, our party is Level 9 now. Hanover is sporting a Long Sword+1 and Copper Gauntlets, thus finally completing his armor set (helm, armor, shield, gloves) and taking his AC under 0 without magical aid. Justine's stats are coming along to the point where she may have a legitimate shot at a Lordship late game. Aldo and Nico know some pretty badassed spells now—Madalto and Lahalito are basically your tactical nukes for when you're outclassed. It's time to try floor 6 again.

Lemme at 'em!

Hold fast! We can do this!

Fantastic! Nothing can stop us now!

They're back!

And yet another reload...

Well, that was a collosal waste of time.
Not as much as you'd think.
Oh, really?

...what do you mean, "You picked something up down there?"
Oh, you'll see. For now, back to the Bishop!

Many, many staircases later...

Hiya, padre!
Ehn, y'know. Same old grind.
True, true.
Well, here's the stuff.
Lemme take a look at... Blimey!

Lor, where'd you get these?
Trade secret, padre. I got my angles.
Be'lie dat, yo.

Beside the Plate Mail+1, which is a big deal in and of itself, we now have our first named sword drop—the Slayer of Dragons. It's actually a fancy Long Sword+1 that just happens to be extra effective on wyrms. Not a terribly big deal, but just look at that name. The Slayer of Dragons.

Naturally, Sternn ganks it. But is it effective?

You better believe it.

Well, we're better equipped now, but I still don't think we're ready for floor 6.
Yeah, I agree.
So you know what that means!
Oh God no.

Dun dun dun!
Dun dun dun!
Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuun

NEXT UPDATE: What Do You Mean, "Take the Lift"?!