Wizards & Warriors is a platforming video game developed by UK-based company Rare for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was published by Acclaim and released in North America in December 1987 and in Europe on January 7, 1990. It was also released in Japan by Jaleco on July 15, 1988 under the title Densetsu no Kishi Elrond (伝説の騎士エルロンド?). In the game, players control Kuros, the “Knight Warrior of the Books of Excalibur“, as he sets out in the Kingdom of Elrond to defeat the evil wizard Malkil, who holds the princess captive in Castle IronSpire, located deep within Elrond’s forests. During the game, players make their way through forests, tunnels, and caves, battling hoards of enemies and collecting treasure, magical items, and additional weaponry to get past the obstacles and hazards that lie in their path. It was Rare’s second game released for the NES, after Slalom.
I rented this game from my Uncle’s video store back in the day (let’s hope that is the first and only time I use that phrase). At first glance of the box art, this game has a similar art design that of Mega Man. It’s super realistic that makes you believe (as a 6-year-old) that this shit is going to be off the hook or whatever the kids say nowadays. Is it chain? Off the chain? I remember hearing someone say “popping off at the neck” which sounded really odd to me. Maybe I’m getting too old… huh…
Why doesn’t the guy in the game look like him?
The music is impressive for it’s time. The tunes are super recognizable and have the ability to get stuck in your ear drums. The game play is a bit unruly at times. It’s the FUCKING JUMPS.
The jump system used has a strange delay. Most of the time I would do a double jump, swinging the controller around like the Dad in The Wizard. Who knew that something we did all the time as kids would one day make it part of the game controller? Nintendo that’s who. But back to the jumping.
After hitting the jump button, the sprite takes two or three more images to actually get off the ground. For the brain, the delay makes you hit the jump button again thinking that it didn’t register. This goes back to the ol’ Super Mario Bros days. That jump is immediate. You hit the button, BOOM! You’re in the air.Where as with Wizards and Warriors, you have to time it more to make those real sneaky jumps that any normal game you wouldn’t be able to make. You can make them here. Stupid sneaky jumps.
The combat system is similar to Ys where you just have to run into the enemy to kill them half the time. The game does have a “combat system” which, in quotes, is a loose way of saying “Really… all you have to do is run into the enemies to kill them.” It’s not until later into the first level where you actually get weapons or add-ons to help your combat needs. Throwing daggers, the Duke Nukem Kick, and throwing axes are just a few to help your arsenal in the fighting arena.
The game is set up in eight different stages and you get a sweet ass map showing your process after every boss battle. You keep your upgrades through out the whole game unless you lose all of your lives and have to start from the beginning.
The game also has some sweet glitches that you can preform to make your way through faster. Glitches that will ban you from the Twin Galaxy speed run. Game has to be badass for that right?
why a reboot?
The game series already consists of 3 other sequels: 2 for the NES and 1 for the original Gameboy. All three are entertaining (sans Iron Sword, which just pisses me off to no end. Sans is French by the way) and helps extend the same gameplay from the original. But this is almost 12 years ago since the last one!
No. Go away Iron Sword. I don’t want to play you… Oh, shit… is that Fabio? Yes… Yes it is.
I don’t know about you guys, but this game is fun. A lot of games now a days really aren’t that fun. It’s challenging. It’s one of those games that when you searching through your collection for something to play to kill some time, Wizards and Warriors will easily be over looked. You’ll feel that tension bulid up in the back of your neck giving you the warning that if this game is slipped into that console slot, you better be ready to put sometime away. Tell your grandma that you will have to miss her 80th birthday because you’ll be too busy journeying the woods of Elrond making your way to slay the Supreme Wizard, Malkil. She’ll understand.
The game has a level of fun, challenge, and a lot of replay value. The worlds are huge (well considering the time of it’s release) and there are lots of hidden passageways and forking paths to take. Although I was giving shit to the control scheme, it’s makes you learn how to play from Level 1. There’s no “Welcome to the game. Let me show you how to play!!1!” intro level bullshit, but the level design allows the player to test those “leap of faith” jumps, your combat skills on the ground before battling in the air, and shows right away that you can get a ton of gems just by searching for same colored keys and cracking up chests.
will it happen?
No. Why? Well the series was originally created by Rare (Rare Coin-IT in those days) and was released by Acclaim. Acclaim is now like Atari, not really a company but a name that can be whored out to smaller no name companies to release their games under.
Rare on the other hand is currently owned (at least in part) by Microsoft. And if Microsoft isn’t pumping out Call of Duty sequel after sequel or Halo garbage, there’s really no hope for a reboot on the Wizards and Warriors series. What could they do with it? Well, just another side scrolling adventure that can be played on XBox Live would do just fine for me. There’s enough retro gamers out there that would snatch this up like it was the last of the Cabbage Patch Dolls. But for the new crowd of gamers? It probably wouldn’t take off. Game companies today need to see money before the game is ready to be released in the form of preorders, request for downloadable content, viral YouTube videos blah blah blah.
If the game was reimagined into a 3D world, it would just be another dull boring adventure game that you can find in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart. The essence of the series is that the side scrolling matrix was taken to the limits of the hardware. The story is a simple concept of knight saving princess. Anything more would draw the attention away from the game and lose what is easiest the reason why old school games will always be better than today’s: it’s not about the ending or the graphics, it’s about getting there; the journey.
what do we do now?
Keep playing the shit out of the versions you have and let your days slip away into nothingness. Oh, and that birthday was your grandma’s last. Sorry…