Wizardry: Tips for the Novice Adventurer

Hail and Well Met, Adventurer!

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is a satisfying game with old-school charm and gameplay to match. However, it doesn’t hold your hand at all. It pretty much just hands you a dagger and says “good luck”. So I’ve taken it upon myself as an experienced explorer of dungeons and prodigious killer of kobolds to provide a guide for the novice sellsword! In other words, these are hints to keep you alive as you delve into the depths of the latest Wizardry’s dungeons.

First and Foremost- Use Your Map!

You can access a map of your current floor with the square button. You can purchase maps for the top floors of each dungeon at the item shop, and as you delve into the depths you’ll likely discover maps of the lower floors. If you manage to make it to a floor you don’t have a map for, don’t panic- the Arcane Map spell in the mage’s spellbook will cover you until you can find a map. The map can be absolutely necessary to navigate Dark Zones and hazards like moving tiles.

While the automap takes care of the grunt work for you, if you find something interesting (say, a treasure chest that you don’t want to open until you can bring your Thief in to disarm the trap), check your map and take down the coordinates. This will save you time when you come back looking for it.

Re-rolling for Initiative

When you first create a character, you might want to hit the back button and keep selecting it until the BONUS on the character creation screen is higher. It’s usually around 8-10, but after a little effort will hit from 19-30, and can even go as high as 44. These are points that can be distributed to your starting stats and open up your class options considerably; as well as giving you more power early on. For example, if you’re rolling a Fighter, you can distribute those extra points to strength and constitution, which will make you hit harder and give you extra hit points.

Know Your Rows

Your party is divided into two rows (front and back) with three characters in each. In most cases, you’ll probably want to simply put your tougher characters (i.e. Fighters and Samurai) up front while your magic users and finesse classes (Thieves and Ninja) tag in the back row. However, there are situations where you may want to change this up. If you’re facing faster enemies you may want your Thief up front to deal a quick attack to an enemy that’s adept at dodging; or if you’re using the Bishop’s Magic Wall ability you may wish to put the Bishop in the second or third slot (I started doing this in the lower levels when the enemies would strike all my characters, and it paid to keep the fragile ones protected by the wall).

Class Warfare

Fighters are your front-line troops. They can use almost any weapon or armor, although their only special feature is their ability to use a “Trick Attack”, which takes a turn to charge. This ability isn’t all that useful.

Samurai are somewhat more specialized than Fighters. Their weapons and armor are far more restrictive, and finding good equipment for them could mean a lot of grinding. However, they also have the bonus of learning selected mage spells and have a special skill that can damage an entire row of enemies.

The Thieves, while not the heaviest hitters, are nonetheless essential members of the team. They are capable of disarming trapped chests, picking locks and will eventually gain the ability to hide, which allows them to backstab and steal gold from enemies. With the right equipment, they can be surprisingly effective support troops.

Priests are typically going to spend most of their time casting spells rather than swinging their rather pathetic varieties of weapons (although there are a few decent maces for them, but they are pretty rare). While they primarily heal, they can also use several holy offensive spells, buffs and noncombat skills (such as Torch Light) and can also use Turn Undead, which will essentially wipe out entire rows of undead enemies.

Mages are essentially your choice offensive spellcasters. They also have useful out-of-combat spells such as Levitate, Arcane Map, and Free Warp, which allows you to go anywhere you’ve already been in the current dungeon (this includes floors you are not currently on). Their special skill is Spell Boost, which doubles the power of their spells.

Bishops have higher class requirements than either Priests or Mages, but they make up for it in versatility. The Bishop learns both the Priest and Mage spellbooks, and as well can learn the Magic Wall skill in combat, which will absorb the brunt of (typically about three) enemy attacks. Perhaps most importantly, they have the Appraise ability so you can identify items without having to pay Ironhand’s exorbitant fees. This makes them an essential addition to any team.

Lords are a prestige class – they have the highest stat requirements of any class, so unless you roll very high, you’re going to have to change to Lord from another class. They learn several Priest spells and have some powerful exclusive weapons and armor. In addition, they also have the Big Shield skill, which allows them to protect party members (similar to the Knight’s “Guard” ability in Final Fantasy V), but since they tend to be front-line attackers, this is not as useful as it could be (in my experience).

Ninja are the final prestige class, and are overall quite similar to the Thief, with somewhat different weapons and armor available. They aren’t a bad alternative to a Thief if you prefer a more offensive-oriented finesse class, as their special skill is Assassination, which can one-shot enemies.

The Trading Floor

In the Guild, you can find the “Trade” option. Here you can swap items from your inventory for other, sometimes better, items. While you’re unlikely to find anything terribly amazing here (I think the best thing I found here was basic Plate armor and the Dragon Slayer sword), it is a pretty reliable place to get decent gear early on in the game.

Resurrection Blues

Chances are good that once in a while, the perils of the dungeon will be too much for your characters and they’ll die. In this case, you can use either the Temple in town or an upper-tier Priest spell to resurrect the character. But be wary of doing this too often, as the character may lose a point of vitality in the resurrection. In addition, it’s poissible (although fairly rare) that the resurrection will fail. The first failure will turn the character to ashes, the second will eradicate them entirely. So it might be a good idea to save before raising the dead.

These are just a few tips to get you started. Take heed of my notes, and then get out there and start adventuring!

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