Wizard's Crown Chronicles (03) - The Beginning

Bill Loguidice's picture

(See the prior entries in this ongoing feature)

NOTE: The format of these for now are going to be the REVIEW (semi-walkthrough) portion first, followed by the STORY (fictionalization) portion. Each portion is stand alone and I'll separate them with headers.

REVIEW

As a means of refreshing the idea behind the overall goal of the game, simply put, you create up to eight characters to find and return a stolen crown from an evil wizard, Tarmon. You can read the STORY blogs to get more story detail, obviously "enhanced" by me in the interest of writing the actual chronicle to go along with what I'm actively doing here in-game.

More detail of the game's play from the manual:
"

WIZARD'S CROWN is a game of adventures and encounters. The objective is to locate and retrieve a wizard's crown. You create a party of eight characters, each with personal attributes and professions that determine the skills he will have available for his actions.

The adventurers travel, setting out from the Inn, following clues and searching through a town and ruins. There are opportunities to enter buildings and other places in which dangerous and delightful events take place.

Be aware that monsters may appear almost anywhere. When they do, you may fight a detailed tactical battle. Or if you prefer, you may choose to fight quick combat, in which the computer resolves the entire battle in a few seconds.

After a battle, the characters take loot from the monsters, equipment (sometimes magical) to be used or sold later on. From their adventures, the characters acquire experience which they then use to increase their skills.

While in battle, a character may receive injuries that weaken him for future battles. By returning your party to the Inn, you make it possible to give a wounded character rest and recuperation before you send the party off on further adventures.

"

I read through the manual some weeks ago, so I'm not going to bother doing that again, even though I feel I need a refresher before creating my characters. At this point, I just want to get on with it already.

So I put my C-128D into C-64 mode, used the standard load command (non-JiffyDOS, since that didn't initially work) and then typed Run with the Wizard's Crown disk in the disk drive. After briefly loading with a plain text "WIZARD'S CROWN" on a black background...

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I was presented with this:

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Obviously the very first thing I'll need to do is to create a Game Disk and a Dungeon Disk for play, following the instructions on screen after selecting the appropriate option (sadly, even though I have many disk drives, only the Apple II version supports more than one).

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After going to my stockpile of 5.25" floppy disks and returning with one that's already been notched to make both sides usable, I pressed the mythical any key...

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...and inserted the side I deemed DISK1. It did its thing and asked me to reinsert side one (front) of the Game Disk. It then asked me to insert DISK1 again. And so on for many (many!) more times until it copied all it had to. I then did the same for DISK2, with a similar rather tiresome (and long) back and forth process, this time with side two (back) of the Game Disk.

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There is a starter party included with the game of course, but that's not what I'm here to do. I'm here to create my own characters, which to me is the whole point of an RPG. We'll do that next time, since it took so much of my time just to create the play disks! (to be continued next time...)

STORY

Yes, I am the one known as William the Chronicler. It has been a long time since I have told this tale, but the details still remain clear. I remember well the perilous quest for a priceless crown, the stolen Crown of the Emperor, bestower of knowledge and wisdom upon the Fellowship of Wizards who once ruled in the city of Arghan. The Crown was usurped through the traitorous ambitions of Tarmon, Wizard of Thunder, and imprisoned behind spell-woven walls in the shattered ruins of the once great city. The hidden prophecies foretold of a dynamic group of exactly eight highly skilled, but inexperienced adventurers who would grudgingly band together for the greater good of wresting the Crown from its captivity and restoring the mighty artifact's power to its rightful place.

Why exactly eight adventurers rather than an army? It is but one of the infinity of mysteries that the universe has presented to us since its creation. Indeed, we may question freely, but only rarely reach answers that truly satisfy our greatest curiosities. What happens therefore is as it was meant to be. This tale of the wizard's crown so begins then as it began when the original eight were first brought together, first brought forth for an audience with the ancient wizard, Kaitar...

Kaitar is old, very old. His bones seem to have been dumped haphazardly into his skin, which hangs in loose, wrinkled folds. His eyes tell of ancient secrets and magic lore long forgotten. Now, the dark eyes glitter with fierce intensity as he scans the first group before him, knowing with some sorrow that its very composition may ebb and flow like the tides.

These eight young adventurers, some known for physical prowess, others for mental acuity, shift uncomfortably under his relentless scrutiny. The glade the group occupies glistens in the moonlight, dew sparkling like diamonds. Everyone feels the presence of an ancient host, but no one, save Kaitar, knows its identity or intent.

(to be continued next time...)

Comments

yakumo9275
yakumo9275's picture
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Joined: 12/26/2006
Nice! Lets see how good your

Nice! Lets see how good your being a general is ;) Since this game is really only about combat...

-- Stu --

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Wizard's Crown
yakumo9275 wrote:

Nice! Lets see how good your being a general is ;) Since this game is really only about combat...

-- Stu --

So, you've played it? I realize it has a heavy focus on tactical combat, but I was hoping it would be a "typical" CRPG, just with a more hardcore combat mechanic.

===================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
===================================

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yakumo9275
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Joined: 12/26/2006
Oh its different alright.

Oh its different alright. Think pool of radiance, but with more combat, less story, less everything. just more combat. Lots of options for character creation. Very Poor/Rudimentry Story, very small play area/map. Lots of combat options + character options (that kinda felt superficial).

-- Stu --

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Bill Loguidice
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We'll have to see then...
yakumo9275 wrote:

Oh its different alright. Think pool of radiance, but with more combat, less story, less everything. just more combat. Lots of options for character creation. Very Poor/Rudimentry Story, very small play area/map. Lots of combat options + character options (that kinda felt superficial).

-- Stu --

Well, then, we'll have to see what my tolerance is then for making this a series through the end of the game. I was hoping for something like a POR, but with more combat options...

===================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
===================================

n/a
qachaos (not verified)
i loved this game on the

i loved this game on the apple ][e - especially the fields of bones where you got attacked by white rabbits a la monty python

Anonymous (not verified)
So I'm guessing you decided

So I'm guessing you decided not to play through this one. I'm a little saddened; this was one of my favorites and I was hoping to find someone who was going to tackle it with a modern review and retelling...

Bill Loguidice
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Wizard's Crown slog - no longer active
Anonymous wrote:

So I'm guessing you decided not to play through this one. I'm a little saddened; this was one of my favorites and I was hoping to find someone who was going to tackle it with a modern review and retelling...

If I remember correctly, I was looking for something fun and meaty once the work on one of the books ended, and slogging through an RPG intrigued me. Unfortunately for the Wizard's Crown slog, exciting new projects came in after that and rendered me helpless to do anything that would require that kind of commitment. I don't anticipate getting that time available for quite some time, so yes, sadly, I need to consider the Wizard's Crown slog defunct. As a minor mea culpa (beyond what I already did, including full manual and box scans), I may feature it on a future Armchair Arcade TV, but no promises there either.

***************************
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.

n/a

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