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Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord
Box artwork for Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord.
Japanese title ウィザードリィ
Developer(s) Sir-tech Software, Inc.
Publisher(s) Sir-tech Software, Inc.
Release date(s)
Globe.svg September, 1981
NES icon.png
NES
Flag of the United States.svg July, 1990
Genre(s) RPG
System(s) Apple II, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MSX, NEC PC-9801, NES, MS-DOS, Game Boy Color, WonderSwan Color
Players 1
Followed by Wizardry II: The Knight of Diamonds
Series Wizardry

Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord is the first game in the Wizardry series of computer RPGs. It was developed by Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead, and launched at a Boston computer convention in 1980. In 1979, Robert Sirotek and Fred Norman created Sir-tech Software, Inc. to distribute the game, and it was released in 1981. The game was one of the first Dungeons & Dragons-style role-playing games to be written for computer play, and the first such game to offer color graphics. It was also the first true party-based role-playing computer game.

Starting in the town, the player creates a party of up to six characters from an assortment of races, alignments, and basic classes. There are also four elite classes. Characters can be changed to an elite class after meeting the stat requirements. After equipping the characters with basic armor and weaponry, the party then descends into the dungeon below Trebor's castle. This consists of a maze of ten levels, each progressively more challenging than the last.

The style of play employed in this game has come to be termed a dungeon crawl. The goal, as in most subsequent computer role-playing games, is to find treasure including ever more potent items, gain levels of experience by killing monsters, then face the evil arch-wizard Werdna on the bottom level and retrieve a powerful amulet. The goal of most levels is to find the elevator or stairs going down to the next level (without being killed in the process).

The game eventually ended up as the first of a trilogy that also included Wizardry II: The Knight of Diamonds and Wizardry III: Legacy of Llylgamyn. Proving Grounds needs to be completed in order to create a party that could play in the remainder of the trilogy.

Story[edit]

One Morning, Trebor, the Mad Overlord, noticed that the fabled amulet, which he constantly held in his possession, had disappeared. Realizing his ultimate fear come true, he uttered, 'It must have been stolen while I slept.' Looking around the room hoping to find the amulet, he instead saw a note sitting on the table. "Foolish Trebor, I did not think I could take the amulet this easily. How senile you have become! Do not attempt to retrieve the amulet, Trebor. For your best efforts will surely fail. The Great Wizard Werdna."

When Trebor finished reading the letter, it burst into flames and burned to ashes. The angered Trebor sent notices throughout the countryside and gathered soldiers to recover the amulet. "Those who are able to recover the amulet will be rewarded with great riches and much distinction," he announced to the soldiers.

Thus, adventurers from throughout the country who were confident of their skills gathered under Trebor and entered the dungeon deep below the castle in hopes of conquering Werdna.

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