Wizardry I Liveblog Bonus Edition: Chapter 2

Glad to see some people enjoying this, anyway. Let me know what you think of the writing style, etc.

And now…

Part 2: More first floor exploration

The party descended back into the dungeon.

Mahel042: “So where to now? I feel like we can wander a little farther and not have to fear death with every step.”

Emptyeye: “Agreed. Let’s see here…it looks like there are a couple keys on this floor. No clue what they open, but let’s try for those.”

The group eventually found itself in the southeast corner of the first level, looking at a statue that had the body of a chicken and the head of a cat. The statue was made of bronze, with an onyx pedestal. Looking around the statue…

Xanatos: “Ah-ha! You were right Emptyeye, I found what seems to be a key of…some kind. Looks like bronze, but we’ll have to talk to that Willy fellow to be sure.”

Consulting the map again, the party made their way to the northeast region of the level, where they found another statue. This one was silver, and was in the shape of a boar. Ominously, there were some partially obscured writings, talking about demons and ghosts. Despite that, the party looked around…

Rocky: “Ah, looks like it’s my turn. Again, we’ll have to identify it definitively, but this looks like a silver key to me.”

Emptyeye: “Awesome. There’s one more thing I want to check before we head back…”

The group backtracked to the southeast. There was one more gem-encrusted statue of a hooded man. A golden light emanated from the hood, and there was an altar in the room which smelled of incense.

Zudak: “Now let’s see herAUUUUGH!”

????: “Hey, how’s it going? I’m Murphy’s Ghost.”

Emptyeye: “Not bad, not bad. How’re you? I’m Emptyeye, by the way.”

Murphy’s Ghost: “Nice to meet you. I’m doing all right, I suppose. For being a ghost who can’t leave this room anyway.”

Emptyeye: “I…can’t say I know what that’s like. Can you tell us any…”

Emptyeye’s conversation with the ghost was interrupted by Nyperold, who could hold himself back no longer.

Nyperold:DIE, marginally-less-evil-than-me Monster!

Emptyeye: “Goddammit Nyperold!”

And the group followed Nyperold into battle.

(LIVEBLOG NOTE: This was a “a friendly group of…” battle. Hence the Neutral Emptyeye attempting to hold a conversation with the ghost before being overruled by his Evil party. Note that in the actual game, your options are “Fight” or “Leave”, but as if the game wasn’t hard enough, I’m trying to make an interesting Liveblog out of “Wizard is down at the bottom of the dungeon, kill him. That’s all the story you’re getting, pal.” How am I doing with that anyway?)

The battle was time-consuming, but the party noticed that, while they had difficulty injuring the Ghost, the Ghost likewise had trouble doing significant damage to them. The group eventually triumphed, and noticed that the battle with the ghost made them quite a bit stronger than any of their previous skirmishes had. That gave Zudak an idea.

Zudak: “What happens if I searrrrWHOA!”

Murphy’s Ghost: “Oh no, I’m not falling for that again.”

Again the group fought and defeated the ghost.

(LIVEBLOG NOTE: This was a generic battle with the ghost.)

Zudak: “You know, it seems that every time we search this room, that ghost will appear. We could probably get ourselves pretty strong just fighting him over and over. It may be a bit time consuming, but not really difficult.”

Emptyeye: “That’s an excellent idea.”

(LIVEBLOG NOTE: If you’re wondering why Zudak seems to have a somewhat disproportionate amount of ideas/lines, it’s because he has far and away the highest I.Q. stat, either 17 or 18 (Out of a max of 18) at last check. Emptyeye, at about 12, is the only other party member even in double digits. Yes, this includes Xanatos.)

The party killed Murphy’s Ghost a few more times before returning to the surface with their booty. Willy confirmed what the party had suspected.

Willy: “Yep, those are bronze and silver keys, all right. Additionally, these potions you’ve found are a Potion of Curing and a Potion of Neutralizing, respectively.”

Emptyeye: “Thanks. We’ll be taking all that stuff back now.”

Willy: “All right…” as he walked away.

(LIVEBLOG NOTE: As you might expect, the Potion of Neutralizing cures poison. Poison acts like it does in most other RPGs—which makes it hugely dangerous in this game, because your HP is much lower than in, say, Final Fantasy, and because you can actually die from it instead of simply being lowered to 1HP. And death is painful in this game. Thus, a Potion of Neutralizing is a huge help in an emergency situation, at least until your Cleric learns the cure poison spell.)

The party all rested in the Stables to officially improve their skills. The main benefits to this were that Emptyeye gained a command of basic Mage spells—the small fireball and sleep spells that Zudak had mentioned way back in their first encounter, plus the location spell Zudak had learned not long after that. Zudak had nothing to fear though—this latest level up had given him the power to injure entire groups of enemies, via columns of fire or showers of sparks. Xanatos, for his part, learned to cast an even larger forcefield, cure paralysis, and magically inspect trapped chests in case the group didn’t trust Rocky’s judgment on such things for whatever reason.

(LIVEBLOG NOTE: You have to actually stay at the inn in order to level up. Think sleeping to level up in Oblivion)

Next time: The Grind

Wicked Bonus Commentary!

  • First, typo alert: The original version read “This was a a generic battle with the ghost.” in one of the Liveblog Notes. That’s been corrected. There are a couple other questionable things that I didn’t correct–Willy’s final line may work better as “‘All right…'” and he walked away”, for one, and my over reliance on the word “huge” in describing poison and the cute for it for another.
  • Even though he’s allegedly the leader, Emptyeye does very little actual leading–in both this and Chapter 1, it’s mahel042 who actually comes up with the overarching plan (“Don’t wander too far” in Chapter 1, “We can go exploring now” in this chapter), although Emptyeye does iron out the particulars.
  • Speaking of character development, Nyperold’s “CRUSH EVERYTHING” philosophy really begins to take hold here. Additionally, TV Tropes loves their Xanatos…which makes his low IQ score in my party even more amusing.
  • Like pretty much any RPG of its time, Wizardry takes a lot of inspiration from Dungeons & Dragons. The somewhat arcane armor class system is one way (You start at 10, lower is better, it influences how hard you are to hit as opposed to how much damage you take), but the primary one for purposes of this discussion is the alignment system. Your characters can be Good, Neutral, or Evil. In this game, that exclusively influences what you’re supposed to do when you encounter “Friendly” groups of monsters. Good characters are supposed to leave them alone; Evil characters are supposed to fight; Neutral characters can do either. Acting contrary to your alignment runs the risk of your characters swapping alignment, which means that they can’t join the rest of your opposite-aligned characters upon returning to the Castle.
  • By the way, I plan to eventually put up the maps I made of the dungeon (Well, part of it) online, although not necessarily immediately.

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