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What Can You Tell Me About Dark Wizard?


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Old high school buddy of mine says this is his favorite all time game for any system ever. I do not own a SEGA CD, but might track one down based on his recommendation if it's as good as he says.


Also, what are my chances of finding a copy?


Any feedback is appreciated.



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Now that the work day is over, I can go a little bit more in depth.


Dark Wizard is a tactical RPG with strategic level gameplay. The action is zoomed out quite a bit more than most TRPGs. While most TRPGs have you fighting in small locales like an individual field or inside a city, Dark Wizard has you fighting across an entire country. Your forces are not a small tactical force, but an entire army. In addition to this broad view, there is another strategic level where you determine what areas of the world you will conquer next, although this part is more than a bit linear.


Dark Wizard's strength is the customizability. Very few units are set in stone. The composition of your army is largely dependent on what you wish to field. There are monster and human/demi-human units. Monsters can be dragons, unicorns, centaurs, giant squids, and others. Human/Demi-humans can be traditional humans, elves, halflings, and dwarves. The human/demi-humans also choose character classes and can be mages, priests, fighters, etc. Everything also has at least one (usually more) promotion class where they will become a better class after reaching a certain level. Some characters can even be promoted through items or combined with other units to form even more elite units. Each unit can also be given a custom name.


The game features four leaders, and these determine your selection of summonable units and spells during the game. In addition, each one has a different storyline. This gives the game replay value out the wazoo. No two games are the same because your leaders and unit mix can be completely different from one game to the next.


There are no combo attacks which modern games seem obsessed with. Units have zones of control which stop the movement of other units which move adjacent to them. Units get one counterattack per turn against attackers. These simple mechanics (which are absent from nearly all other TRPGs) create some interesting tactical situations.


There's also resource management as a minor part of the game. You have to fund your army. Plus there are artifacts you'll have to solve puzzles and quest for.


Now the bad...


The graphics were poor even when the game was new. If you want visual flash, Dark Wizard isn't going to provide it.


The battle animations are slow to load and get old fast. One of the first things you'll do upon discovering the options screen is turn them off. You'll only turn them on again periodically to see what your promoted units look like.


While the game only takes 40 blocks to save, you will want to have a RAM cart for more than one save.


The enemy AI is pretty stupid. Then again, this is a RPG, not a true wargame, so it's excusable. However, there are a lot of bait and trap tactics the AI mindlessly falls for which makes it easy to slaughter powerful enemies.


The game is LONG. Expect to blow about a hundred hours per leader you play. There are times where you will probably want to abuse some quirks of the game to grind. (Ring around the enemy general and whack.)


But these are minor nits. Dark Wizard is my most played SegaCD game. It never gets old. In fact, I had been thinking of playing it again when I coincidentally saw this thread.

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Nice description, Gabriel! :thumbsup:


It seems that to a degree, some of the elements found in Dark Wizard made their way into Dragon Force on the Saturn. Albeit, both are completely different games, but controlling the different leaders and the varying units is concept found in both games, coincidentally made by the same company (I wonder if anyone who worked on Dark Wizard worked on Dragon Force? Hm..)


Anyway, this one doesn't go for much by typical "awesome 16-bit RPG" standards. Maybe $30 tops, CIB. I've seen them for $25 as well on places like eBay. :)


Here's some gameplay of the beginning:


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  • 4 weeks later...

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