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Completed Let's play Wizardry 4!

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Crooked Bee, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. procrastinator Arcane

    May 10, 2011
    This LP feels more like a scientific research in the field of rpgameology.

    ^ Top  
  2. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Jan 27, 2010
    In quarantine
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    11: Werdna Reformed

    Previously on Wizardry IV we finally crawled out of the prison dungeon and into the sunlight of the Llylgamyn Castle, the place where it all began back in Wizardry I. Before we explore it, however, we have to make sure we haven't forgotten anything.

    In particular, now that we've got all the ingredients, let's pay another visit to the witch in the Maze of Wandering.


    But how do we do this if we can only Malor to the two starting floors? Do we have to persevere through the entire dungeon again?

    Not quite. It's true Wizardry IV hates you, but not that much. After you've beaten the Cube and reached the surface, it finally lets you Malor anywhere in the dungeon, implying that Werdna has at last fully regained his powers.


    "A man with your aspirations should definitely have some of my famous 'Blue Blood Special'. If you have the makings, I'll be glad to brew you a batch!"


    We have everything. To round it up:
    • Fe s-sub-2 is the Golden Pyrite;
    • We can extract a bit of Tannic Acid from the Witching Rod;
    • Rabbit's Fur is found inside the Magician's Hat;
    • Camphor is the Aromatic Ball;
    • The mysterious Spanish Unguent is in fact the Cleansing Oil, used to uncurse the Holy Hand Grenade and called the "Oil of Ole'" when unidentified (subtle isn't it?);
    • And finally the Blender is, of course, the Blade Cusinart', because it looks like one.
    This is some fetch quest. But it's only a part of a much longer and more involved one.


    Accept the deal (Y/N)?

    The witch asks a favor of Werdna as if scouring the dungeon for all these ingredients wasn't enough. The favor only comes at a later date, though, and Werdna is in this for world domination right here, right now.


    "Be Seeing You! <Cackle> <Cackle>"


    The "Dark Glob" shows up as a Dab of Puce in the inventory. According to Wikipedia, puce is "said to be the color of the bloodstains remaining on linen or bedsheets from a flea's droppings or after a flea has been killed," hence the connection with blood. As to why the blood is royally blue, puce was supposedly the favorite color of Marie Antoinette, so that might be what Roe Adams had in mind here. Or maybe there's something even more obvious I'm missing.

    But still, royal blood or not, all this trouble for a color pigment? This better be worth it.


    That done, we teleport up to the B1F pentagram, summon a Maelific, a Demon Lord and some Greater Demons, and climb up to the Castle again.


    Wizardry IV is very nostalgic about the first game. The Training Grounds (#1), Boltac's Trading Post (#2), The Adventurer's Inn (#3), and even the Temple of Cant and the Gilgamesh's Tavern (if you take the elevator at 12,9), it's all here.

    Naturally, there are some new areas to explore, too, such as the Citadel (#4), the political headquarters of Llylgamyn.


    At the entrance to the castle, a hoplite guard demands a password from Werdna. Unfortunately, we can't just kill the guard to enter, and this is yet another point where Wizardry IV expects not only puzzle-solving skills, but also a thorough knowledge of the first game from the player.

    There are two Oracle hints that can help you here -- Password is your ancient battlecry and Seek amongst the historical writings of Trebor's foes for the password -- but on their own they aren't enough. What you also need to do is recall the endgame of Wizardry I, in which you came across a message that both these hints are referencing.


    Nope, not this one. Nor the "Contra Dextra Avenue" that follows.

    Remember, what you're looking for is a battlecry.


    In "bad Attic Latin", no less.



    Ah the pleasure with which Werdna gives the correct password.


    The entrance at (6,3) leads to The Edge of Town. With all these nice pictures, you can see why Wizardry IV boasted "more graphics" than any previous Wizardry game.


    Just like in Wizardry I, the Edge of Town is the area where The Training Grounds are located.


    This being the training grounds, there are three wannabe adventurer parties here, Von Halstern Squires squads #1 to #3.

    At the same time, this is another reference to the Society for Creative Anachronism (which, as I have found out, Roe Adams was indeed a member of, as was none other than Richard Garriott), this time to the House von Halstern. As you remember, SCA is basically a LARPing society intented to (re)create and enact a medieval land with its own geography, rituals, arts and social hierarchy, which explains why role-playing game developers were involved with it in the first place.


    Aww level 1 adventurers. :3


    The poor sods don't stand a single chance against Werdna and his high-level demons.


    The second squad is barely less pathetic than the first.


    And not even teamwork can save them from defeat.


    Farewell, brave Crysogon, Arthur, Francis, Max, Guntar and Corwin, slain before they even got a chance to enter the first level of the dungeon.


    You'd think the first squad should be more trouble.


    What with Dracula himself in their ranks.


    Well, barely.


    Done with the Training Grounds, we enter Boltac's Trading Post through the backdoor. Unsurprisingly, Boltac isn't exactly happy to see us.


    Nor is he willing to sell us anything.


    Try to steal the Lych-gate (Y/N)?

    Unfortunately, we aren't given the option of looting the shop. We can, however, try stealing the Lych-gate, advertised to us previously by a blimp hovering just outside the Temple of the Dreampainter.


    Which results not in Werdna having a nice evil Lych gate in his inventory, but rather in a fight.


    Shouldn't it be "Gotcha this time, you senile delinquent"? :P


    The four elements that for some reason make up Boltac's Anti-shoplifting Unit aren't exactly weak. We can defeat them, of course, but that still won't let us claim the Lych gate. In fact, whenever you try to steal it, the anti-shoplifting unit respawns. Bollocks, I say.


    Done pointlessly exploring Boltac's, we attempt to enter the Adventurer's Inn, but to no avail. Let's look around for the key, then.


    Will You Wade (Y/N)?

    At (13,16) is the first of the two pools found inside the Castle.


    If Werdna was to bathe in it, his alignment would be switched back to evil. We don't really want that... for the time being.


    The second fountain is closed for repairs, so we can't yet learn its effect. Technically at least, because it should be pretty obvious.


    There are also stairs at (2,15) that allow us to climb up to the Castle wall.


    The Castle's first floor consists of two areas: the wall and the Adventurer's Inn's 1F. From the wall, we can also access four small 1x2 watch towers.


    Atop three of them is The Tower Artillery.


    The Tower Artillery are crossbowmen. They have low AC, but being pure Fighters makes them only a minor nuisance to Werdna.


    Back to 1F, we continue exploring the wall until we run into An Eagle Eye at (3,18).


    The Tower Sentry is a wimp who goes down in a single turn.


    The next encounter, at (10,18), pits us against A Trumpeteer.


    The Herald is a Bishop capable of casting Litokan, but I think you know how this ends.


    Or maybe not.


    The sound of trumpet summons The Honor Guard.


    The Honor Guard are pikemen accompanied by a Watch Officer...


    ...who even has a different portrait from the rest.

    Still, a party of Fighters can't even scratch us at this point.


    The only relevant encounter here, and the one we've come here for, is against A Man Who Bows, waiting for us in the watch tower at (17,17).


    "A man who bows" is an innkeeper because innkeepers bow a lot. Or rather an Innkeyper because he keeps a key.


    (On a somewhat related note, a Demon Lord is a wonderful thing to have.)


    They key Innkeyper drops is exactly the one we need to access the Inn.


    If you don't feel like fighting the Honor Guard and the rest again, you can go back to the Castle's ground floor by simply jumping off the wall. It hurts a little but saves time.

    Now that we've got the brass key, we have almost everything we need, but there is still one crucial thing left to do. For that, we teleport down to the Temple of the Dreampainter. As you might recall, we still have to solve the puzzle of the mysterious altar that we saw there.


    To solve it, we invoke the three precious stones we're carrying -- the Bloodstone, the Lander's Turquoise and the Amber Dragon.


    The altar didn't accept our offering of gold or any other items, but maybe the stones might please whatever god that inhabits it.


    The stones fit, and the altar is restored.


    The game gives us three unique swords to choose from, one for each of the gems we've sacrificed. Each sword is a deadly weapon in its own right, and also determines which of the three evil endings you get. Restoring the temple is just as crucial to the good ending too, so you can't skip doing it no matter the route you choose.

    The Green Sword, or the East Wind Sword, allows you to deal multiple attacks per turn and has a high chance of petrifying the enemy. The Blue Sword, or the West Wind Sword, is a Ninja blade that can decapitate the enemy on a critical hit. It also strikes several times per round, and has a higher base damage than the East Wind Sword. Finally, the Amber Sword, known as the Dragon's Claw, gives you only one swing per turn, but grants Werdna the power of regeneration, allowing him to regain 4 HP at a time both in and outside combat. On top of that, each of the swords boosts Werdna's to-hit chance.

    We take the Green Sword, and Malor back up to the Castle.


    The Adventurer's Inn only has 1/2 Mychelyn star. You could hardly call this place posh.

    And for those who remember Wizardry I, the signs pointing to the rooms and to the stables are a nice touch.


    The first encounter we have here, not far away from the entrance, is against The Walking Wounded.


    They are supposedly a do-gooder party wounded by Werdna in one of the encounters inside the dungeon.


    Being wounded, they aren't at full HP, but the Lord and the Samurai can still be a problem if you're unlucky.

    Finishing off the wounded, we take the stairs up at (14,12) and arrive to what I can only call a fetch quest area.


    There are four 1x1 rooms here, each stock full of Society for Creative Anachronism references. First we enter the one at (14,13).


    The Order of the Tyger's Cubs is holding a meeting here.


    Naturally, these are all Society for Creative Anachronism members. Roe Adams basically populated Llylgamyn with his LARPing friends.

    Furthermore, the Order of the Tyger's Cub is a real order of the East Kingdom of SCA, awarded to children under the age of eighteen "who have displayed admirable virtue and decorum at events."


    If we didn't have the Pennonceaux on us, they would ask us to find it -- and then attack us to better get their point across.


    "Here's a fetch quest, now let's fight!"


    Despite being Lords with low AC, the Tyger's Cubs aren't much of a threat. They're only children, after all.


    However, we do have the Pennounceaux they're looking for.


    So they present us with a Gold Ball. I'm actually surprised they don't fight us as well, you know, to reinforce their gratitude.

    The Gold Ball shows up as the Orb of Dreams in Werdna's inventory.


    Meanwhile, the Order of the Laurel meets at (14,11).


    Would you believe me if I told you that the Order of the Laurel has nothing to do with the Society for Creative Anachronism?


    I know you wouldn't, and rightly so.

    It is another order of the East Kingdom, awarded to the craftsmen and artisans of the Society for Creative Anachronism "recognized for their research and skill in crafts practiced during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and their willingness to teach those skills to others."


    We have the Dab of Puce, which pleases the Guild of Limners greatly.

    (And Trebor must've had a drinking problem.)


    If, however, we hadn't obtained it, the masters and mistresses of the Laurel would reprimand Werdna for not being a patron of the arts --


    -- and attack.


    Because whoever isn't a friend of the arts is an enemy of the arts.


    Yeah well, this could get nasty...


    ...if we didn't have the Dab of Puce, which we have. The Arrow of Truth is our reward.


    The third room, at (15,13), is the meeting room of the Order of the Pelican.


    The Order of the Pelican is an SCA order consisting of those "whose service has made a great difference to the SCA." Pelicans are so named for the medieval legend that a mother pelican will, in times of need, prick her own breast to feed her lifeblood to her brood.


    You have obtained HAT WITH VISOR.

    The Maintenance Cap is our well-deserved reward.

    The Order of the Pelican would also attack us if we hadn't restored the Temple of the Dreampainter. I could show it off if still had the save files, but it's no big deal anyway.


    Finally, we have a meeting of The Ladies of the Rose to interrupt. In SCA, the Order of the Rose consists of women who have ruled as a Queen of a Kingdom.


    Unfortunately, Werdna stinks.


    The ladies cannot bear that, and attack.


    This is the toughest encounter of the four, and there is no way for us to avoid it. Not yet, I mean.

    Speaking of which, let's go back to the broken fountain and equip the Maintenance Cap.


    If only things worked like this in real life.


    Will You Wade (Y/N)?

    Let's wade while no one is looking!


    Well that's kinda embarrassing.

    You can only wade in this fountain if you previously bathed in the pool in the Maze of Wandering which turned Werdna from Evil to Neutral, by the way.


    Werdna the Good Magician. No wonder his allies have all fled.

    Then again, the Ladies of the Rose should look at Werdna more favorably now.


    It's funny they consider getting rid of the annoyance that was Trebor's ghost a "chivalrous action" towards Trebor, but I'm not complaining.


    "Wizardry IV: The Importance of Bathing Daily."


    The sign of the royal pardon is a Crystal Rose.


    The only annoyance is that, his monster allies no longer by his side, Werdna must now face encounters alone.


    Or you can Malor down to the B1F pentagram and summon some new monsters.


    Anyway, time to visit the Citadel.


    For the humble fee of... wait what? How much?

    Luckily the B1F encounters are extremely profitable, and we already have the necessary sum. Apart from buying Oracle hints, this is the only point where gold is useful in Wizardry IV.

    (The "Weregild" was basically a restitution payment in early Germanic society.)

    Will You Pay (Y/N)?


    The horn we get is a Rallying Horn.


    Going up the stairs brings us in the presence of the Council of Barons. Barons are another SCA title, a group of people that, while not belonging to the Royal Peers, are entitled to wear coronets. They may be in charge of a Barony, or may have simply received the title of Court Baron (or Baroness) as a reward from the royalty.

    Wizardry IV mirrors SCA's social hierarchy quite faithfully.


    So Trebor is now a tyrant rather than a saint, huh? Everyone likes to back the winner indeed.

    Will you sign it (Y/N)?


    You have obtained A WAX SEAL.

    The Barons present us with a Signet Ring, and we are free to proceed.


    And finally we meet the Great Dukes of the Realm, the Royal Peers of Llylgamyn SCA "who have reigned twice or more as King or Queen."


    There are quite a few items you need for the Dukes to be friendly: the Signet Ring, the Rallying Horn, the Crystal Rose, the Arrow of Truth, and the Orb of Dreams. In short, you must prove you've been of great service to the realm.

    This has been a rather intricate chain of fetch quests, hasn't it?


    Do thee accept the challenge (Y/N)?

    Hmm, Werdna's chances are slim without his allies and spells, but we do still have the East Wind Sword.

    Challenge accepted!


    Well, this is a bit disappointing.


    "You've done some fetch quests, slaying half the Llylgamyn's populace in the process. All hail the new king!"


    Giving up the quest for the amulet is definitely the hardest decision for Werdna to make.

    Assume the Throne (Y/N)?


    If we chose to refuse, the Duke would attack us.

    Then again, Werdna's goal was power, and now he's being offered just that. It would be foolish to refuse.


    Bring out the confetti!


    You would think this is the perfect ending, if not for the favor owned to the witch. What is she asks him to return it one day?

    For now, however, it's all peace and celebration.


    But I find it extremely ominous that the above screenshot is numbered 666.


    Have we? Oh dear.


    You have completed The Return Of Werdna!


    Is Master Adventurer a good enough rank, I wonder?


    ...Even if highly improbable!

    That sounds like a challenge.


    Wizardry IV advertises replayability! It is probably among the first CRPGs to do so.


    Be Seeing You!

    Endings reached: 1 out of 5. Stay tuned for more.
    • Brofist Brofist x 14
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  3. Fowyr Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mar 29, 2009
    Great work. Not only with the game, but with the obscure lore surrounding it as well.
    And the names... These names... Brightblade and Corwin. :lol:

    Sometimes it still haunts me.
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  4. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    Mar 14, 2011
    Awesome :obviously:
    ^ Top  
  5. Occasionally Fatal Prophet

    Occasionally Fatal
    Apr 2, 2008
    Treading water, but at least it's warm
    Getting out of the dungeon and rampaging through the training and castle areas is a nice touch. And 5(!) endings!? I be tuned.
    ^ Top  
  6. LusciousPear Savant

    Oct 22, 2009
    MCA Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Jesus christ you can really beat it.
    ^ Top  
  7. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Jan 27, 2010
    In quarantine
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Yeah, the ultimate trolling would be having no way to beat the game at all. :P
    ^ Top  
  8. procrastinator Arcane

    May 10, 2011
    ^ Top  
  9. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Jan 27, 2010
    In quarantine
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Ah the perils of doing the same LP on two forums at once.
    ^ Top  
  10. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Mar 2, 2010
    Divinity: Original Sin
    And because the most famous blender, at the time, was the one made by Cuisinart. M&M and Wizardry had fun with this one for over a decade.

    Awesome update, it's so much fun reading all the comments you make in the LP. Keep up the great work!
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
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  11. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
    May 6, 2009
    Glass Fields, Ruins of Old Iran
    Bioware knows where it's at :salute:
    ^ Top  
  12. Fowyr Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mar 29, 2009
    I think I remember another cuisinart joke in the one of the Commander Keens. "It slices, it dices it causes 100000 light years diameter quantum explosion" or something. :lol:
    ^ Top  
  13. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Mar 2, 2010
    Divinity: Original Sin
    :lol: I don't remember it in Keen, but "it slices, it dices, and it something or other" was their motto at the time. Which was hilariously joked on in M&M, where the Cuisinart were enemies, and (at least in 6; in 2 they did indeed cause 100000 light years diameter explosion; which Keen might've been joking about, but I don't know if Romero or Carmack were NWC fans) their only attack was to, well, slide and dice. Which they did REALLY well in 6 until you were higher level...
    ^ Top  
  14. Kz3r0 Arcane

    May 28, 2008
    Doesn't the Cheshire Cat make a similar joke in American McGee's Alice?
    ^ Top  
  15. Fowyr Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mar 29, 2009
    Here you are! It's Commander Keen 5.
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  16. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Jan 27, 2010
    In quarantine
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    12: So You Want To Be a God

    But what if Werdna had no desire to play an errand boy or engage in politics? Then his task would be easier and more complicated at the same time. Killing everyone sounds unproblematic enough, but it wouldn't be Wizardry IV if things really were so easy.

    The good news is, if you want the evil ending, you can comfortably ignore not just the Witch, but also all those fetch quest-giving Orders in the Adventurer's Inn. That doesn't mean you can ignore the Inn completely, though. You might recall there were two Wizardry I locations, The Temple of Cant and Gilgamesh's Tavern, that we didn't visit in the previous update, so it's safe to assume it is the other endings that involve them.


    First let's switch Werdna's alignment back to evil. This isn't strictly necessary, but hey, roleplaying!


    Entering the Citadel without the Crystal Rose means entering it without the royal pardon, so the good ending route doesn't trigger.


    The Captain's Council won't even talk to you. Why waste words on one as evil as Werdna? They just attack.


    In a surprising twist, the Captain's Council doesn't seem to consist of SCA members. Joachim Deeg can cast Malikto, and is the most dangerous of the six.


    The Baron's Council is just as uncooperative.


    Sir Patri and Bar. Elspeth are both capable of Tiltowait, and overall this is a strong spellcasting party that you will surely die at least a couple of times to.


    We could also battle the Dukes' Council...


    ...but oh my, look at those stats! Thankfully we can ignore them.


    Instead of fighting them, we turn around as soon as we reach 2F and make our way to a hidden room on the other side of the stairs. The room is concealed behind an illusory wall, so the only way you can even discover it's there is by bumping into each and every wall. Seriously, Wizardry IV.

    There isn't even a proper clue that would help you here. Unless you count the Oracle's The minuet in the minaret goes hand in glove! as "a proper clue," which let's face it would be a bit of a stretch.


    Master Bertram of Bearington was apparently SCA's Society Chronicler, and a member of the Order of Pelican. His real-life name was David Schroeder, and I have a feeling it's this guy. I may be wrong, of course.

    The answer to Master Bertram's question is in the game's backstory.


    It isn't the Amulet, even if that sounds like an obvious choice. But would you really expect the object of Werdna's desire be so poorly guarded? It's actually the next best thing: the Mythril Gauntlets, the only piece of equipment that can let us even touch the Amulet without vanishing unto death.



    The gauntlet shows up as a Mythril Glove in Werdna's inventory. For now we put it in the Black Box. Its time has not yet come.

    What follows is one of Wizardry IV's most infamous puzzles. To solve it, we must first teleport back to the B1F pentagram...


    ...and summon a Dink from the very first pentagram.


    At this point, what need could we have of such a pathetic level 1 summon? Why a Dink, of all things?!

    The answer is carved in stone. It is right before your nose! Right before your nose, not Werdna's! And what is an RPG player supposed to have before his or her nose?

    ...That's right, graph paper with hand-drawn maps. So if you look closely at the maps for B1F to B4F, you can see they spell out a four-letter word: "Dink."

    I'm not kidding.


    That's a D.


    An I.


    An N.


    And a K.

    In short, the answer to "why?" is "Wizardry IV." As to what we need the Dink for, that will become apparent soon.


    That done, we head upstairs, and to the Adventurer's Inn. This time our destination is the elevator.


    The elevator is guarded by the Von Halstern Chivalry.


    We defeated their trainee squire squads earlier, but the knights themselves are obviously a tougher bunch.


    The Chivalry are all Fighters, though, so they wouldn't be much of an obstacle... if not for the Dink. He is immune to magic, but has to fear physical attacks due to his low HP. And believe me, we don't want our Dink to die. Otherwise it's back to the pentagram. That's how important he is.


    Interestingly, the Von Halstern Chivalry would let us pass if Werdna had obtained the royal pardon, but that wouldn't get us far anyway, because the next event triggers the evil ending route no matter Werdna's current alignment.


    Meanwhile, the elevator takes us to the first floor of the inn.


    And we find ourselves in the Gilgamesh's Tavern, a bar for do-gooders.

    Here, before another elevator, one of Wizardry IV's toughest encounters awaits us.


    Is this thy wish (Y/N)?

    Answering "yes" marks the beginning of the evil ending route.


    As described in the manual, The Softalk All-Stars (also known as Hawkwind's Hunters) is the canonical party of adventurers lead by Hawkwind who originally defeated Werdna in Wizardry I and stole his amulet in the name of Trebor:

    This can only mean one thing: it's time for sweet revenge!


    Naturally, the All-Stars are again Roe Adams' friends' personae, so "Margot and Al." are probably their girlfriends or somesuch. Wizardry IV can be a bit of a family affair.

    EDIT: It can be a family affair indeed, but in a slightly different way, as SA user delfin informs us:


    The Softalk All-Stars now serve as honor guards of the amulet, which resides in the Temple of Cant. I'm not sure what their character sprite is supposed to represent (is it a globe?). "Less one" means there are just 5 of them here at the moment, but even without the leadership of Hawkwind they are pretty fearsome. Sezmar is a proficient Samurai warrior who can cast Tiltowait and Lakanito. Tuck is capable of casting both Tiltowait and Malikto. Sarah the Priestess can cast Malikto, and Prospero the Archmage favors Lakanito. Few can survive this onslaught of magic, and Werdna is no exception. You will die a lot in this fight.


    The only viable tactics in this battle is casting Tiltowait and relying on the Dreampainter Ka for healing. Seeing the All-Stars dead is one of the most joyful moments in the entire game.


    The All-Stars drop a couple of interesting items, none of them crucial. The Diadem of Malor lowers your AC by 2 and lets you cast Malor when used, whereas the Holy Reliquary, which turns out to be St. K.A.'s Foot, allows you to cast Malikto.


    With the All-Stars dead, we ride the elevator to the second floor.


    The Temple's freedom to worship the god of *their* choice is actually an important plot point, but you wouldn't know that until you got the relevant ending.


    The first encounter we get here is against The Temple Priests.


    One deaf, one blind, one mute, one numb, one ageusic, and one who "thinks a little." They're pretty pathetic.

    This one, however, isn't pathetic at all.


    Meet Hawkwind, the self-insert of Roe R. Adams III himself. Lord Hawkwind, an Elven Ninja, is canonically the leader of the Softalk All-Stars, the adventuring party who defeated Werdna in the first game. After Werdna's demise, Hawkwind holds the esteemed position of honor guard of the Inner Sanctum at the Temple of Cant.


    Hawkwind is accompanied by his two pet dragons, a gold and a silver one, depicted also on the Banner of the Softalk All-Stars that they carry into battle.


    If there's one thing about all self-inserts, it's how modest they usually are.


    Dair Hawkwind of Skara Brae was Roe Adams' persona in the Society for Creative Anachronism, in which he participated together with Richard Garriott aka Don Shamino Salle Dacil of Bryn Gwlad. Characters by the name of Hawkwind appear not only in Wizardry, but also in the Bard's Tale and Ultima series, because Roe Adams took part in designing those too.


    Hawkwind is so powerful that neither magic nor physical attacks can harm him, making this battle basically unwinnable under normal circumstances. Hearsay has it, however, that he has an unexpected weak point, although what it is no one knows for sure.


    Apart from Wizardry IV, Roe Adams is usually known for his work on Ultima. In particular, he famously collaborated with Richard Garriott in designing the system of Virtues introduced in Ultima IV, a no small feat.


    He was also the co-author of the documention for Ultima III, as well as the author of The History of Britannia, included in Ultima IV's packaging.


    (This is a long shot, but "Pikestaff" might be a reference to The Pikestaff Forum, a literary magazine that ran from 1977 to 1996.)


    Most famously, Roe Adams's self-insert in the Ultima series is the Time Lord, a mysterious and powerful being responsible for keeping the flow of time smooth and orderly, and opposing those intent on bringing chaos to the world. The Time Lord's mortal persona, or incarnation, is -- expectedly -- Hawkwind, the Avatar's spiritual guide who assists him in taking on the Avatarhood and later in his quest of defeating the Guardian and ultimately ascension.


    The Time Lord first appeared in Ultima III, which took place in the land of Sosaria, where he told the Stranger -- not yet the Avatar -- how to use the four punchcards to destroy the silly evil computer Exodus.


    In Ultima IV, when Lord British heralded in the Age of Enlightenment and established the cult of the Virtues, the Time Lord took the guise of Hawkwind the Seer and took it upon himself to measure the strength of the Virtues in any would-be Avatar. Lord British even arranged for Hawkwind a separate chamber in Castle Britannia, where the Time Lord could do his karma-measuring thing from behind a magic sleep field.


    Residing within Lord British's castle is the Royal Seer, Hawkwind. Many aspire to tread the Path, but very few find their way. Seek the advice of the Seer as to thy progress upon the Path. He can look into thy heart's heart and read thy progress or failure. Heed his advice, for feet that have strayed may be brought back upon the Path.

    - from The History of Britannia


    In Ultima IV Hawkwind has some particularly strong lines when the Avatar is an evil, lying, stealing bastard, as I bet your Avatar was when you first played the game. "Thou art a cad and a bounder. Thy presence is an affront. Thou art low as a slug!" is my favorite. You can find all of Hawkwind's Ultima IV dialogue here.


    In the NES port of Ultima IV, Hawkwind is even depicted doing the Virtue card reading in place of the usual gypsy:


    (The above picture is from the manual.)


    After that, the Time Lord only reappeared at the time of Ultima VII, when the evil entity known as the Guardian began his attempt to invade Britannia. Fearing the Time Lord would interfere with his plans, the Guardian imprisoned him within a space-time loop in the Shrine of Spirituality; despite his imprisonment, however, the Time Lord somehow managed to conjure up a moongate that summoned the Avatar back to Britannia. Ultimately, the Avatar found and freed the Time Lord, who helped him prevent the Guardian's entry into the land.


    After the events of Ultima VIII: Pagan, the Time Lord helps the Avatar return to Earth, mentors him as he prepares for the final task, and then calls him to Britannia again to finish the Guardian (and his ally Blackthorn) once and for all and prevent the cosmoapocalyptic cataclysm that the evil being has put into motion.


    You may remember me as a name from the past, but I have been more involved in your life than you may realize. We share a past and a present, but for me, the past is as the future.

    - from Time Lord's Note (Ultima IX)


    In the scrapped Bob White Plot of Ultima IX, Hawkwind was also supposed to reappear in the endgame to instruct the Avatar in the final steps of saving Britannia from the Guardian.


    In that iteration of the plot, Hawkwind would reveal himself not just as the Time Lord, but also as the last survivor of the Ultima, an ancient race destroyed by their evil halves. Hawkwind was also to be revealed as the creator of the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, no less.


    As you can see, Roe Adams was pretty important for and in the Ultima series.


    Back on topic, Roe Adams also consulted on the first The Bard's Tale game, which is why the town of Skara Brae is present in both series.


    Speaking of the Bard's Tale series, although Roe Adams only seems to have worked on the first game, Hawkwind is a joinable NPC in Bard's Tale III, where he's some kind of hero who follows you around and gives vague hints when he joins you.


    While we were talking, Hawkwind has almost sacrificed Werdna to Kadorto.

    Will he succeed?


    Sacrificial bureaucracy is the best bureaucracy.


    Furthermore, sacrificial bureaucracy is the most efficient bureaucracy.


    Bound and gagged, Wernda can't act now, only his minions can.


    Oh dear.


    I would make a massage oil joke but I'm afraid this wouldn't be appropriate.


    And so Werdna was defeated by Hawkwind. Again.


    This isn't how the story is supposed to go, so let's do it for real this time. Speaking of which, you won't normally witness the entire sacrifical sequence if you have a Dink in your party.


    That's because, in Wizardry IV's insane logic, Dinks are Hawkind's Achilles' heel.


    It is this that the Oracle's Read the Iliad lately? hint refers to. So do such hints as Everyone has a weakness! What is his??? and Homer will show you the way.


    Now that Hawkwind is dead, we're free to access the temple's inner sanctum, where we discover the statue of Kadorto holding the coveted Amulet.


    The proper way to approach the statue is with the Mythril Glove and the East Wind Sword equipped, and the Holy Limp Wrist in your possession.


    But what if we didn't have the Holy Limp Wrist?


    Okay, that wouldn't be too good.

    The Holy Limp Wrist is important because it can cast Dialko, the anti-paralysis spell. It is a Priest spell, so Werdna can't cast it himself.


    Dialko weakens the statue's grip on the amulet, but our troubles don't end here. Kadorto wakes up...


    ...and disdainfully throws the amulet our way.


    What luck! Or is it? What if we weren't wearing the Mythril Glove?


    Welp. We better have it equipped, then.


    The Amulet is ours, but Kadorto isn't ready to give up yet.


    For Werdna, the answer can't be more obvious.


    However, that also means Werdna is Kadorto's rival now.


    And so the statue attacks. If we didn't have the Green Sword, or any other sword from the Temple of the Dreampainter, he would kill us on the spot.


    But luckily we do.


    Werdna is victorious, but alas, his triumph doesn't last long.


    Curiosity killed the wizard?

    Not quite...


    It petrified him, rather, and Werdna is now a statue himself.


    A green statue. Talk about a deicide gone wrong.


    But you always have this nagging doubt.. You always wonder..


    *** Congratulations ***

    You have completed The Return of Werdna!


    We hope you are satisfied with your fate. If not, then consider that anything is possible...

    ...Even if highly improbable!

    And so Werdna has become a god. A very, very unfortunate god.

    Is there a better fate for him?

    Addendum: The two other evil endings

    I will also transcribe the other two evil endings, because while Werdna becomes a god in all three, they're still significantly different.

    1. The Blue Sword (West Wind Sword) Ending

    You draw your Blue Sword and begin the battle. Ancient forces are pulled into the battle, and your sword begins to glow fiercely. Kadorto lunges down at you, but you leap nimbly aside. His blow makes rubble of the marble floor! Faster and faster your spinning blade weaves a deadly pattern in your hands!

    You leap high onto the foot of the throne. Kadorto is just recovering from his attack and is still bent over. On its own volition, the sword kicks out and touches Kadorto's chest!

    The sword scores a critical hit! Kadorto utters a strange gurgle, somewhat like a laugh, then with a shimmer of distorting light, he vanishes!

    The priests enter and proclaim you the new god!

    "What size and shape would you like, oh god?", they ask.

    "My own will be sufficient!", you reply.

    The priests are not overly impressed.

    "How quaint," says one, glancing up at the empty throne, "at least Kadorto knew how to look like a god. Well, we will do the best with what we have. Wait until you see the new robes we will design for you, the ceremonies and processionals! We will take good care of you, oh Werdna! Your every wish is our command!"

    The years pass quickly as you settle into the god business. Using the power of the Amulet, you raise huge temples, spacious retreats, and luxurious monasteries for your loyal priests.

    Oh, the people grumble under the burden of their tithing. Perhaps you are pushing things a little. "But no," a priest whispers into your ear, "yours is the greatest glory. The people love you for it, and you must guide them."

    But yet, even though you are a god, now and then, you wonder...

    Have you forgotten something?

    2. The Amber Sword (Dragon's Claw) Ending

    "You draw your Dragon's Claw. It hums with anticipation. Kadorto laughs at you, "What will you do with that?"

    Actually, you are not quite sure, but it has sustained you through many trials, lending you its strength and energy. Kadorto sends down a pillar of flame... and the blade absorbs it! He throws a bolt of lightning, only to see the blade cleave it in half!

    You feel filled with energy!! You let fly with a mighty blow, and your sword strikes true, slicing deep into the big toe of Kadorto!

    You feel his life force flowing into you through the sword. As it does, you begin to grow and he begins to shrink! Finally, you are the tall god, and he is the puny mortal.

    "Thank you, free at last", he croaks as he expires!

    You laugh as the priests scurry around removing the remains. Finally, they all assemble in front of you, abasing themselves and raising their voices upward in supplication:

    "All pray to you, oh great god Werdna. We rejoice the weak pacifist Kadorto has been defeated! Take up the sacred amulet. Lead us, oh mighty one, into glorious battle. Make the world tremble at your every step! Let us fill the altars with sacrifices, and the temple with gold and slaves!"

    The years pass by in a blur of fire, blood and destruction. Large areas of the world lie desolate. Your priests bloat you with sacrifices and praise. After this, there are other planes to conquer, other planes whose energy can feed your lust for power! You have all your desires, all your dreams fulfilled!

    But yet... every once in a long while, you wonder...

    Have you forgotten something?

    Endings reached: 4 out of 5. The final update, with the mythical Grandmaster ending, coming right away...
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  17. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Jan 27, 2010
    In quarantine
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Interlude: The Softalk All-Stars, or, Come Cast a Spell with Me

    ...but first let's turn to an article Roe Adams published in the Softline magazine in March 1982, in the wake of Wizardry's success and long before Wizardry IV, where the adventuring party known as the Softalk All-Stars was first introduced. The most relevant parts of the article are the in-character diary entry that precedes it and the character portraits it contains, but on the whole it's pretty funny, too. The article isn't exactly well-known, so I will post it here in full. Feel free to skip to the next post if you don't feel like reading it, but be sure to at least skim through the pictures!


    It was in the fall of the fifth year of the fanatical wizard Werdna that our campaign began. What season or year it is now, none of us knows. I believe we are on the ninth level of this accursed dungeon, but time and distance are ever shifting, and reality is fleeting.

    As we break camp, my five companions and I sort out our weapons and supplies. We have accumulated wondrous treasures and mighty weapons. Dreams of returning to enjoy the subtle pleasures that this shared booty could bring fill our wakeful sleep. Sezmar, the samurai; Hawkwind, the ninja; and Sarah, the priest, are the vanguard. Moradin, the thief; Prospero, the mage; and Tuck, the bishop, bring up the rear.

    We slowly make our way down the zigzagging corridor. Suddenly, the eldritch light cast by Sarah's lomilwa spell reveals a secret door. Kicking the door open, we charge into a small room. Unfortunately, the hellhounds, demons, and deadly creeping coins do not welcome company. A fierce battle ensues that shakes the very foundations of the dungeon. Hawkwind slays a lycarus with his bare hands, while Sezmar dispatches hellhounds with his murasama blade. The tide of battle turns and twists in a kaleidoscope of weapons and mystical energies. Finally Prospero ends it. While Sarah shields us behind a maporfic spell, Prospero casts the dreaded tiltowait spell. We are victorious!

    Bare, magic-blasted walls hardly reward our heroic effort. Our luck suddenly takes a dramatic turn—downward! The secret chute masks the hidden entrance to the tenth level. The final path to Werdna's lair is open. As we are standing around, slapping each other on the hack, the air is pierced with a maniacal laugh ... Werdna waits! Sobered, we regroup, heal our wounds, and set out again. We have no delusion: our greatest challenge lies ahead.

    Resolutely raising our banner high, we stealthily tiptoe forward. We quickly vanish in the stygian darkness. Momentarily, our banner shines with its great war cry, "Trebor Sux!" Then it too vanishes as distant sounds of battle reverberate.

    —Book IV, Chapter 9, of the Wizardry Chronicles

    If this excerpt stirs excitement within you, then you are on your way to being addicted to one of the most innovative waves sweeping the country. Riding high on the crest of the popularity of computer role-playing games is Wizardry. It has been widely acclaimed as the finest and truest adaptation of the Dungeons and Dragons type game yet brought to the computer screen. Besides hitting the top ten on the charts, in the minds of many Wizardry should he the 1981 winner of the best game award. The second scenario, "Knight of Diamonds," due for mid-March release, may well capture the 1982 award.


    Epic Insomnia. In the short time since Wizardry's introduction, the ripple effect stemming from this unique program has astonished even its creators, Robert Woodhead and Andrew Greenberg. Hordes of fervent Wizardry groups (many suffering from acute insomnia) have sprung up around the country. The section of post devoted to games on the Source has been almost completely taken over by Wizardry players. When a message was left on the Source looking for input for this article, the deluge of response was phenomenal and diverse. These were some of the comments:

    "It sure helps to relax a person after a hard day at work. That troll does look like my boss!"—Mike, Omaha.

    "The greatest joy in the game is getting those rare treasures. The other joy is mapping out all the contortions of the maze."—Harry, Brookline, Massachusetts.

    "The dawn frequently breaks as a session ends. Luckily my boss is as addicted as I am."—Bill, Freeport, Maine.

    "What do you call a sixteenth level ninja with +3 plate, a + 3 shield, a + 2 helm, silver gauntlets, a Ring of Healing, and a Shuriken? You call him Sir!"—Jon, Richardson, Texas.

    Some of the responses were more sobering:

    "I think combat in this game is like warfare of the future: controlled on a computer terminal, impersonal, calculated."—Dale, San Francisco.

    "Sometimes I submerge myself so much into my characters, I lose almost all sense of my own identity. I once played for three days straight without coming up out of the game. When my party was finally devastated, I almost broke down into tears."—Dave, Seattle.


    Real-World Sorcery. Others related Wizardry to the real world. For example, from a lengthy interview with Harry Conover of Computer Simulated Sports comes this business application:

    "I'd liken Wizardry to a fantasized system of personnel management. As the manager of a small group of individuals, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, you must manipulate the members' performances against the 'competition' so that they achieve a certain goal. In Wizardry, as in real life, the goal can be mere survival, or the quest for power, or, over the long haul, the pot of gold."

    Another spanner of worlds is Chuck Dompa. He has brought Wizardry to academe. "CS470 (Teaching Fantasy Simulation)" is in the catalog of courses for Penn State University in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. It is a graduate level continuing education course primarily for teachers and educators. The focus of the course is game theory and application. Wizardry was chosen as the most sophisticated computer fantasy game.

    "The response has been so great that I hope to offer shortly an entire course centered around Wizardry. All the diverse elements that the course seeks to cover are contained within the scope of this game." Dompa feels that, through the impetus of his course, Wizardry will find its way into many other high schools and colleges as a valuable teaching aid.


    Creating Characters, Building Lives. That prophetic tomorrow is a reality today for Dr. Ron Levy, a board-certified child psychiatrist and author of the book, New Language of Psychiatry, published by Little, Brown & Company. Wizardry has become an added diagnostic and therapeutic tool in his Williamsville, New York, practice. How this came about he recently conveyed in a letter to Sirtech, the publishers of Wizardry.

    "This game, which allows children to create a group of adventuring characters and to journey through a maze where they fight battles with monsters, has turned out to be surprisingly helpful to me in my work with children who have emotional problems. ... The child, let us call him Jim (I have changed his name), was living in a family where there were serious marital problems. Jim, an otherwise bright and capable child, had begun doing poorly in elementary school several months before I saw him. I saw Jim on an emergency basis after he had announced to his family that he was going to kill himself. When he came to my office, he let everyone know that he did not want to be there and he refused to talk to me at all. This sad-looking school-age child sat quietly in my office staring at the floor, while his parents sat in my waiting room worrying about him. Because this child had declared his intention to commit suicide and was uncooperative with my efforts to interview him, there was little I could do at that point other than to consider admitting him immediately to a psychiatric hospital for his own safety and for further evaluation.

    "However, with the help of your game, I was able to move beyond this apparent impasse. Jim agreed to play video games on my Apple computer and he became fascinated by my description of the Wizardry game. He made a set of characters, gave them names, and played nonstop for almost an hour. After the first half hour, he was willing to discuss with me what he was doing in the game, and I was able to learn a great deal about him from what he had told me and from watching him play. I found out that he was not as depressed as he seemed and that he was able to become enthusiastic about something he was interested in; and we were able to talk about some of his worries, using the game as a springboard. At the conclusion of this visit, he told me he had no intention of killing himself because he 'wanted to come back and play some more.' In this case, as in several others, I have been able, by using your game, to evaluate correctly children who initially appeared much more disturbed than they really were. ... Although you intended to create a recreational game, you have inadvertently provided me with a marvelous tool for my work with children."

    During our interview with Dr. Levy, several related thoughts were brought forward.

    "Wizardry is considerably different from Ultima, because the perspective of Wizardry is always subjective, while Ultima is objective." He felt that this difference hampered Ultima as a role-playing game.

    Dr. Levy also felt that the development of a character through the dungeon parallels, in many ways, the growth of the child. The levels are similar to age brackets, such as the difference between a five-year-old and a six-year-old. "In a child's description of what his hero can accomplish often lie clues to some of the obstacles and troubles the child experiences in his own life. ... What the character is able to do is what the child fears to do."


    One for All and All for One. This train of thought prompted a hypothesis put forth to Dr. Levy:

    Wizardry is very different from most role-playing games in that it is designed for parties of six, rather than for solo explorers. In fact, the dungeon inhabitants are so powerful that no one character could survive long by himself. Therefore, unlike the typical game where you become the single character, here you must develop six different characters, each with their own persona and talents. Then the characters' mutual advancement and interaction becomes your goal. This is strongly reminiscent of Herman Hesse's classic concept of the "fragmented man," whereby each character becomes a different fragment of your own personality.

    Dr. Levy considered this hypothesis was quite valid and applicable here. "Certainly one of the game's strongest features is that the child has much more total involvement with six characters than with one character." As to the therapeutic value of the game, he stated that "this game seems to draw together a number of features that evoke in children many of their fundamental anxieties and to hold out to them the prospect that, with repeated attempts, anxiety-provoking situations can be overcome. ... That is the lesson of the game, that if you keep trying and don't overextend your abilities, you will steadily progress toward a goal."

    In his letter to Sir-tech, Dr. Levy closed with this endorsement: "I believe other professionals who work with children will find the game as useful as I have, and I strongly recommend that child psychiatrists and child psychologists seriously investigate the use of games such as Wizardry in the evaluation and treatment of children with emotional disorders."


    International Spell. The effects of Wizardry are slowly spreading worldwide. A call to a colleague in England brought forth several interesting facts. There the game is selling strongly. England has been heavily into role-playing games for a long time (they feel they invented miniatures), and they are rapidly embracing Wizardry. He related that there was a small group of fanatical Wizardry players on a nearby air force base where, during work, one has to duck constantly to avoid being blasted by flying lorto and molito spells.

    There is also talk in England of organizing Wizardry contests, where the winner would be the person whose team brought out the most gold in a fixed time limit. The event would be grouped into sections by the overall level average of each team, so that it would be fair, and everyone would use the same scenario. There is great enthusiasm for the idea in England; perhaps similar tournaments will be sponsored in the United States.

    A great true-life story was related by Harry Conover: "I've a friend, a high-ranking public official, who's deathly afraid of flying. He's been playing Wizardry ever since it came out. His addiction has become so bad that he dreamt he was on a plane that started to spin toward the ground. Rising from his seat, he cast the Wizardry spell kadorto (which brings characters back to life, even if they are ashes). Immediately the movie screen in the front of the cabin lit up with 'Spell failed' . . . and he knew all was lost."


    War in the Wee Hours. For a moment, step with us through the mirror for a wry touch of perspective, as related by Harry's wife Deborah.

    "It was all those 'beep-beep-beeps' at four in the morning that got to me. I knew Harry had solved Zork and Zork II in record time, but his involvement with this game Wizardry was bizarre.

    "So I lurched into his office and was silenced with a wave of his hand. 'Jeez,' he muttered, 'six level-ten mages, three chimeras, and three nightstalkers!!!'

    "I looked around the room and saw only Pepsi bottles, maze maps, and a man hunched over the keyboard.

    "'Harry, it's four in the morning. You can fight them tomorrow.'

    "'No. They must be dealt with now' was his abrupt reply, and his fingers flashed across the keyboard.

    "'There,' he said, turning and smiling at me, 'that takes care of them! And 6,742 experience points for me and the crew!'

    "'Harry, come to bed,' I said, leaving for a saner haven.

    "'In a minute: came his reply, wafting out of his office, 'I've got to get back to the castle first.'

    "So, if you see a thirty-four-year-old man outside a castle, tell him to come to bed."

    Our spell is wearing thin, time is fleeting. If you can linger, someone is offering free rounds of drinks at Gilgamesh's Tavern and Boltac's Trading Post is running a halfprice sale on copper gauntlets. Want to come along? It is only just down the road and turn left....
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  18. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Jan 27, 2010
    In quarantine
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    13: Grandmaster Werdna

    The starting point of Wizardry IV's True Ending is hidden on 2F, near the entrance to the Temple of Cant.


    The trick is to turn 180 degrees after you take the elevator to this floor...


    ...and then walk straight into and over the pit at (8,9):


    The counterintuitive thing here is that you'd assume Werdna should fall right down to the ground floor. But nope, instead you can continue down an invisible narrow ledge on the roof of Gilgamesh's Tavern, leading you to (11,9).


    Rummage in the nest (Y/N)?


    Lots of trash, as expected, including The Terror of Tiny Town.

    But... hey!


    Reach in and grab for it (Y/N)?

    Hell no, it can be dangerous!


    Wizardry IV, you're such a tease.


    Nyin is a Tibetan root meaning "sun" or "day." The item we've obtained is mentioned in one of the Wandering Oracle's hints: For traveling through nothing, seek the nyin.


    The Nyin shows up as a Void Transducer in the inventory.

    Now that we've got the Void Transducer, the second step is -- even more counterintuitively -- to Malor all the way down to (10,9) on B10F, i.e., to Werdna's tomb and the original starting point of the game. Alpha and omega, baby. Or should I say Aleph and Tav?


    Anyway, drums please... Now we must Malor further down to B11F, the secret floor. Wizardry IV's greatest secret is that the dungeon is eleven, not ten floors deep.

    Given the grenade puzzle earlier, it should come as no surprise that this is the only spot we can do that from. The Oracle's hints that might help you decypher this are sparse and vague: Down into the bowels of the Earth and Find the paths of the true way!


    B11F is an encounter-free riddle floor. Furthermore, in keeping with the Oracle's Live the Qabalah!, B11F is modeled after the Tree of Sefirot, the Tree of Life in Kabbalah.

    This is also what another Oracle hint, Look amidst "The Roots of the World", refers to.


    Admittedly this is a very complex topic, and I am by no means a scholar of Jewish mysticism (if there is someone among this LP's audience who can explain this better and in more detail, that'd be appreciated), but basically in Kabbalah the Sefirot, or ideal "numbers" (from the Hebrew root safor, "to numerate"), are the 10 divine attributes, or emanations of the heavenly realm through which the mortal realm is created and constantly being recreated. In addition to representing a particular aspect of God in His capacity of Creator, each Sefirah also corresponds to a certain stage in creation, or emanation. The Tree of Life, or the Sefirotic Tree, is a visual representation of the Sefirot, consisting of ten globes of light that are often depicted as arranged in 3 vertical columns and connected by 22 "channels." The channels correspond to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, believed by the Kabbalists to signify the immanent creative forces ceaselessly active in the world. The right column represents the spiritual force of expansion or Mercy, the left column, of restriction or Judgement, and the middle column, of the balance, or Harmony, between the opposing two.


    At the same time, according to the seminal book of Zohar, the Tree of Life is the spiritual body of Adam Kadmon, or "primordial Adam," the kabbalistic concept of the heavenly man who focuses in himself the totality of the divine emanation and is the original image of the earthly Adam and humanity in general. "The form of man is the image of everything that is above [in heaven] and below [upon earth]; therefore did the Holy Ancient [God] select it for His own form." The book of Zohar also states that not only do the Sefirot create the world of man, the moral perfection of the earthly realm also influences the ideal world of the Sefirot, so that the Tree of Life itself is in an important sense dependent on man. In the later Kabbalah of Isaac Luria (the so-called Lurianic Kabbalah), in contrast to Adam Kadmon, who is from the holy emanation, stands Satan, who is from the world of iniquity and death.

    Essentially, it is between holiness and death, Ein Sof (the One) and Satan, that Werdna now has to choose. This is the only route in the game leading to the One, and therefore the One True Route.

    Incidentally, I wonder if Wizardry IV was the first CRPG to feature "the true ending"?


    Our goal is to climb the Tree of Life and name each Sefirah. The riddles become considerably easier once you figure out you're climbing the Tree of Sefirot, but unsurprisingly, figuring that out is precisely the trickiest part.

    Wizardry IV associates every Sefirah with a particular vice, virtue, and color in a way that suggests Roe Adams took all this symbolism not from the original Jewish sources, but from a popular book on Tarot or, which is even more likely, from something like Dion Fortune's famous book of magic The Mystical Qabalah, first published in England in 1935 and reprinted numerous times since then. In fact, Dion Fortune's book may well have been what Roe Adams actually drew on, given that B11F's design follows its symbolism to a tee.


    The first (or rather tenth) Sefirah is Malkuth, "Kingdom" or "Kingship", which stands at the bottom of the Tree. Being the bottom Sefirah, it is usually associated with the feet (as connecting the body to Earth when standing) or the anus (when sitting). The riddle speaks of standing, so the answer is Feet.

    And if we were to give an incorrect answer...


    ...the game would teleport us back to B10F.


    The ninth Sefirah is Yesod, "Foundation." It translates spiritual concepts into actions that unite us with God, and thus "fuels the body with energy." "If we liken the kingdom of earth to a great ship, then Yesod would be the engine-room," says Dion Fortune in her book.

    Yesod tends to be connected with the reproductive organs, but the game modestly associates it with the Stomach.


    The eighth Sefirah is Hod, "Majesty" or "Splendor." The answer to this riddle is Legs.


    The seventh Sefirah is Netzach, "Victory" or "Endurance." Traditionally Netzach and Hod form the left and right hips and legs.

    The game chooses to associate Netzach with Hips because of the reference to Lust (of note is that Dion Fortune also associates only Netzach and not Hod with Hips).


    The sixth Sefirah is Tiferet, "Beauty" or "Spirituality." It is the Sefirah that represents the balance between Hesed ("Compassion") and Geburah ("Judgement"), and is related to the heart and the chest, or upper torso in general. The answer is Chest.


    The fifth Sefirah is the aforementioned Geburah, "Strength" or "Judgement." It is the power that restrains urges, allowing the person to overcome his or her inner and outer enemies. It usually corresponds to the left arm, but Wizardry IV agrees with Dion Fortune's book in linking it to the Right hand, as well as in referencing "the whip of Geburah."


    The fourth Sefirah is Hesed, "Mercy" or "Kindness." Hesed is associated in the soul with the desire to embrace all Creation and bestow goodness on it. And since Geburah was the right hand, the answer here is the Left hand.


    With the Void Transducer equipped, we enter the teleporter at (18,13) to be transported to the remaining three Sefirot, inaccessible otherwise. If I had to guess, I'd say the point here is that we enter the realm of higher faculties, and according to Job "Wisdom comes from nothingness" (28:12).


    The third Sefirah is Binah, "Understanding" or "Contemplation." In an anthropomorphic visualization, it is related to the left side of the face (or of the brain, even), but just as it was the case with Hesed and Geburah, the game follows The Mystical Qabalah or a similar source in switching the sides around again, so that the answer to this riddle is Right cheek.

    I wonder if this discrepancy between what's left and what's right in different interpretations has to do with the fact that Hebrew is written from right to left? Just a wild guess.


    The second Sefirah is Hokhmah, "Wisdom," allied with the color blue and the spiritual experience of seeing God face to face. Note that the riddle doesn't mention any vice related to Hokhmah; that's because there is none.

    And the answer is Left cheek.


    Finally, the first and topmost Sefirah is Kether, the regal Crown at the head of the Tree, the Lux Occulta called in the Zohar "the most hidden of all hidden things," completely incomprehensible to man, attainment and completion of the Great Work, again without any vice to correspond to it. Dion Fortune's book notes "Color: Brilliance."

    In the microcosm, the Crown corresponds to the Brain.


    However, the game isn't content with getting us to guess the bodily parts. It wants us to know what it is we have climbed.

    We already have the answer: it is the Tree of Life.




    Now Werdna knows what Tree the Orb of Dreams references when used:


    It is the Tree of Life, and the "Opening" must be the only spot in the dungeon where you can access it from.


    Going further north brings us in the presence of a radiant being who bestows a gift on Werdna.


    The "Clear Light" is a weapon, the Kris of Truth. "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life" -- Gen. 3: 24. "He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword was coming from his mouth." -- Rev. 1: 16. The "Flaming Sword" is also mentioned in The Mystical Qabalah as one that cuts "from Kether to Malkuth in the order of development of the Sephiroth," protecting the Tree of Life.

    The Kris of Truth is the fourth, secret endgame weapon. In contrast to the three swords that we can get at the Temple of the Dreampainter, this one is only accessible through solving the riddles of the Sefirot.

    With the Kris of Truth in hand, we teleport back to the surface, defeat the All-Stars and Hawkwind again, and enter the Inner Sanctum for the true ending.


    It is only now that Werdna really means business.


    To witness a god crying... but is this a god at all?


    Enter deus ex machina. Or is it machina ex deo?


    Religion is a lie. Such is Wizardry IV's pungent social commentary.


    Thanks to the sword of light, Werdna now sees The Truth.


    The Truth that lies in the enjoyment of today.


    Have you forgotten something?


    Werdna the Kabbalist is the best Werdna.


    But if you have found the path of fulfillment, why give SirTech a call?


    Because you're a goddamn Wizardry Grandmaster, that's why.


    PPS: Don't worry, you haven't.


    I think I just broke this rule, but hey, I'm not the first so it's okay.


    Oh come on...


    Trust you? That's a good one.


    No way...


    I can hardly believe it, but yes, I think this is it.


    And so Werdna has become beyond Good and Evil.

    THE END.
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  19. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    Mar 14, 2011
    Damn, that's one impressive history lesson! :salute: :salute: :salute:

    Should've photoshopped that last screen to say Bee seeing you! <grin> :)

    Goddammit 80s, why must you be so awesome and taunt us so? :(

    Somebody send this to Obsidian regarding Project Eternity (tweet to MCA). Let's see what the illiterate biodrones who don't want to control soulless automatons (i.e. create their party) think of this ;)

    Black Cat approved! :lol:
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  20. hoverdog dog that is hovering, Wastelands Interactive Developer

    Jul 8, 2010
    Jordan, Minnesota
    Project: Eternity
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  21. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
    Mar 29, 2010
    Ottawa, Can.
    Most of your pictures in these last two updates are in a very random order and often don't match the events you are describing...
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  22. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Jan 27, 2010
    In quarantine
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Huh, I was pretty sure I double-checked everything. I'll check again.
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  23. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Jan 27, 2010
    In quarantine
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Everything seems fine on my end.

    Anyone else having the same problem as HHR?
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  24. Kayerts Arcane

    Jan 28, 2011
    It's from the Softalk logo, I believe; the thing in the center is an apple. Curiously, that depiction of it looks quite a bit like the Astral Dominae of later Wizardies, which, along with three other universe-shaking artifacts, took the form of a sphere formed around symbolic items.

    I never knew that about the Hawkwinds throughout Wiz/Ultima/Bard's Tale. When I played those games as a kid, I noticed that that named kept recurring in significant roles. I assumed that Hawkwind was some towering real-world legend that I just hadn't heard of, on the scale of King Arthur or Achilles. Apparently the last comparison occurred to Roe Adams, if incorrectly. (I don't think Homer ever described the manner of Achilles's death, so those Oracle hints are not cryptic but wrong.)

    Oh, and in Bard's Tale 3, Hawkwind's whole gimmick is that he's out of phase with time--he appears in a few worlds, and "remembers" some things that "happened" to him during your party's journeys, despite those things being further ahead in time for you. Given that and the Time Lord, temporal antics may have been part of the original Hawkwind's character concept.

    Eh, you gave a good overview, and in the lore around the Kabbalah is fragmented without admitting that it is fragmented. (I.e., there are lots of splintered mystic groups, each vehemently certain that it is the true heir to that mystic tradition.) Authoritative authority on this subject doesn't really exist, and every account is to be regarded as idiosyncratic.

    Nah, Fortune's explanation for the reversal was a matter of perspective; i.e., viewing the tree objectively ("the macrocosm") or subjectively, as a representation of the self ("the micocosm"). Whether you're viewing it as a greater body or your own, basically.

    Anyway, thanks for the LP! This was amazing both in detail and in the fact that you actually did it. Wizardry IV is the only RPG I've ever started and not finished, mostly because after a few levels I took a glance at a walkthrough, saw the Cosmic Cube, and then my will to play took three shits and died. The endings are pretty great, though! "Are you a god? THEN DIE LIKE A GOD!"
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  25. LusciousPear Savant

    Oct 22, 2009
    MCA Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    So much hotness and luv
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