There are two levels of overall difficulty in the dungeons—early dungeons and Worlord dungeons. In addition, there are two special dungeons, the Arena and The Pit, which occur at special times during play. Each dungeon consists of an eleven-by-six grid of walls. Every maze has a side escape door located four squares up from the bottom, on each side of the maze. The Wizard has cast a spell on each dungeon preventing any Worrior from leaving until the room is emptied of monsters. Trying to walk through the exit has the effect of teleporting the player to the opposite side of the same room. The entrance to these doors are then close temporarily and cannot be used again until the doors open again. When the Worluk is out, the door always remains open. Proper use of the side escape door will sometimes aid in escaping trouble, and can also help to cut off the Worluk before he escapes.
Each stage occurs in a particular dungeon inside the Caverns of Wor. Two Worriors occupy the dungeon together until one squadron is wiped out. Every dungeon begins with six blue Burwors occupying the corridors. When a Burwor is destroyed, a yellow Garwor takes its place. When the Garwor is destroy, a red Thorwor appears in its stead. When the final Thorwor is destroyed, a winged Worluk will appear. If you manage to destroy it before it escapes through the side exits, all of the point values for the next dungeon will be doubled. Once the Worluk is gone, there is a chance that the Wizard of Wor might appear to personally destroy you. He constantly teleports from one position to another in the dungeon, attempting to blast you with his lightning bolts. He will reappear continuously until one Worrior has been destroyed, or when he is shot by a Worrior. When the Worluk or the Wizard have been dealt with, the Worriors are granted access to the next dungeon in a never ending sequence of different rooms.
In the first dungeon, when the last Burwor is shot, he is replaced by a Garwor. When a monster is placed in the dungeon, it is at a random location, somewhere away from both Worriors. In the second maze, the last two Burwors are replaced by Garwors. The progression continues until the sixth dungeon, when all six Burwors are replaced by Garwors. Whenever a Garwor is shot, he is replaced by a Thorwor. This is the maximum number of monsters in one dungeon level is 18. There can never be more than six monsters in one dungeon at any one time (although it may seem like it sometimes).
Entering the dungeon
Entering the dungeon is simple to do, but it requires careful timing to do it safely, especially in later dungeons. At the start of each dungeon, you have ten seconds to bring your Worrior into the maze. To do so, just push the joystick toward the maze. If you don't move the Worrior out of the box right away, a ten second count-down will begin. After ten seconds, your Worrior is automatically brought into the dungeon. When the dungeon begins, all the monsters start away from the two player boxes. But since the monsters move randomly about, they can end up closer to you. When a Worrior has been destroyed, you may immediately bring a new Worrior into play. However, monsters may be wandering near your box. Wait for the monsters to clear the area before bringing your Worrior out. Note that a new Worrior can be brought in at any point during play. If you get eaten or shot, the next Worrior in your squad become available immediately. This is particularly useful if the Worluk collides with you, but does not immediately escape. You can bring in the next Worrior, and kill Worluk for double score on the next dungeon, before he escapes.
Teamwork and the computer
Teamwork is a major point of strategy in Wizard of Wor. In the early dungeons, there are places where two Worriors can cut off the monsters as they try to enter the corridor where the Worriors are standing. This position is strong but not invincible. The monsters, particularly the last few monsters left in a maze, are moving fast enough to occasionally duck in between shots, and eat you. Back to back in a short corridor is good teamwork. Note that two Worriors can pass through each other unhindered. But be careful: when you are close together, it's very easy to accidentally shoot each other.
The basic dungeons consist of many short passages with many possible different pathways, and some long corridors. At first glance, the long corridors appear to be the most strategic spot, but this is not true. Due to the firing mechanism, it is usually the most dangerous spot, as you are not able to fire very often. Finding good places for team work is relatively easy here.
In a one player game, the blue Worrior is controlled by the computer. Don't expect him to be incredibly intelligent. He will never shoot at you, he shoots only at monsters. However, if you get in between the computer and a monster, the computer will still try to take a shot at the monster, killing you in the process. Sometimes, he may save your life by shooting a monster that's approaching you from behind.
In the early dungeons, it is advantageous to shoot as many monsters as fast as you can. The monsters move slowly at first, but they speed up over time. The faster you work to shoot slow monsters, the fewer fast monsters you will have left to deal with. When the monsters speed up, find a good teamwork spot. In the higher level mazes, the Worlord dungeons, the critical thing is to not miss a shot. If a shot misses a monster, it is likely to travel a long way before hitting a wall, and in that time a monster will probably kill you. In some of the Worlord dungeons, there are places that two worriors can defend effectively, but they are very hard to get to, and often one player might loose a Worrior trying to move into position. There are no such strategic place in The Pit.
All of the monsters work on a speed-up timer. This timer increments the speed of the monsters every time it counts down, which is roughly every seven seconds. A Garwor that replaces a Burwor will start at the speed the Burwor was going when destroyed. The same is true for Thorwors. In the early mazes, Garwors and Thorwors end up going faster than Burwors, although, given enough time, Burwors can get moving as fast as any monster. In dungeon four and before, any monster traveling at top speed will always be visible. In later dungeons, Garwors and Thorwors will still become invisible at top speed. In dungeon seven, the Burwors start at top speed. Any monster traveling at this speed is not able to shoot lightning bolts.
Below the dungeon is the radar. This shows you the location of every monster in the dungeon, visible and invisible. Learn to use the radar to anticipate a monster coming from behind. Only the worriors and the Wizard himself do not appear on the radar. When you have reached dungeons eight and above, you have become a Worlord. These dungeons are much tougher, there are fewer walls and more open spaces. If one shot misses, and travels the long distance down to the opposite wall, you will be defenseless if a monster attacks you. Finding safe strategic positions is very difficult. Use the radar to determine the safest place when you can't see all of the monsters in the dungeon.
In the area between the radar screen and the dungeon, a description of some current important aspect of the game is displayed. In dungeon one, the word RADAR is shown, indicating to the novice player the function of the radar. On other dungeons, the level of the current dungeon is indicated. When Worluk comes out, the word WORLUK is displayed there, as is WIZARD OF WOR when he shows up. It tells when either of these has ESCAPED. And it tells when DOUBLE SCORE has been earned for shooting Worluk. It also tells you of THE ARENA and THE PIT.
You are sent to The Arena dungeon when your first extra life is awarded. Depending on the settings, it can be the fourth or fifth stage. It is the most difficult of the early dungeons. It features an arena, a large open area in the middle of the dungeon, with entrances level with the side escape doors.
Surviving The Pit is the ultimate goal of Wizard of Wor. The Pit occurs at the thirteenth dungeon, and every sixth dungeon thereafter (i.e. 19th, 25th, 31st, etc.). Missing shots in The Pit is almost certain to be fatal. The Wizard is particularly deadly here, since there is nowhere to hide. A bonus player is awarded at the first Pit and no other. Only the best players can survive The Pit without dying. Surviving The Pit without losing a worrior earns you the title of Worlord Supreme.
The Worluk and the Wizard
In the second dungeon and beyond, Worluk will come out after the last Thorwor has been shot. Worluk is a lightning quick and flies erratically through the maze, trying to reach one of the side escape doors. Ordinarily, he will try to fly to the door on the opposite side of the maze that he is initially teleported to. However, Worluk's chaotic nature leads him to frantically fly about, sometimes flying out the side escape door closest to him. If you shoot Worluk, all the scores in the next dungeon are doubled. Killing Worluk is essential for high scores. A good strategy is to position your Worrior by the door that Worluk should use to escape. If Worluk kills your Worrior, bring the next one immediately into play, and go after him again. Remember, he is worth double score on the next maze. Be careful, however, at the moment that Worluk has been shot since the Wizard of Wor might choose to appear.
The Wizard will sometimes come out after Worluk has been shot. He uses multiple teleport spells to pop around the dungeon, eventually homing in on one Worrior or the other. He wildly fires lightning bolts in every direction. At first he teleports some distance away from one Worrior. With each successive teleports, he gets closer and closer. Standing in a long corridor when the Wizard is teleporting in can be quite risky. If he comes up in that corridor, he will have a clear shot at you. The Wizard loves to fool Worriors by teleporting behind them. But watch out, he will also surprise you by popping up right in front of you. Note that if the two Worriors are very near each other, the Wizard may teleport right next to one of them the very first time. The Wizard will continue to teleport and fire lightning bolts until either one Worrior has been destroyed or the Wizard has been shot. Shooting the Wizard does not kill him; it only banishes him until the next dungeon.
The possibility that the Wizard will show up is based on the level of the dungeon you are currently in, and on the total number of Worriors left in the game. However, even at the highest dungeon level, it is not certain that he will appear. As you get deeper into the dungeons, the Wizard stays for a shorter period of time, and teleports even faster. This means he gets closer a lot faster, so you must try and shoot him soon after he first comes out. Otherwise, he may end up teleporting right next to you!
There are two features to the game that you should be aware of and take special advantage of. One has to do with how monsters are killed, and the other has to do with how you can be killed.
When a monster is shot, the resulting explosion absorbs the blasts from your gun. So if two players are standing on either side of a monster, and they both fire at it, they will not be able to shoot each other until the explosion disappears. However, monsters on the other side of the explosion are protected from harm as well. So be careful that one doesn't leap through the explosion of its brethren and kill you because you don't have enough space to shoot it.
When a monster tries to kill you, it can only do so if you are cleanly inside of a grid space. That is, if you are standing between two squares of the grid, and a monster collides with you, you will not die! In fact, you will be knocked back into one of the grids that you are standing on. At that point, you can be killed, so be careful. Getting bumped back into a grid is like having a second chance, but it won't last long if you don't react. A monster may very well continue to charge you in the direction that you were bumped, and you will be killed almost immediately.