Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The Rampant Coyote Wizardry 8 Commentary Archive

Posted by Rampant Coyote on September 15, 2011

A reader – let’s call him “Jeff” (since that’s his name), emailed me asking my opinion on Wizardry 8. He was curious about my thoughts since I called it an “Awesome but flawed game” in my interview at IndieRPGs.com.

Poor guy. Little did he know I had a boatload of commentary. It was how I thought I’d “save time” or something. Or rather, justify all the time I was spending playing the game.

In the interest of being lazy, I figured I’d semi-recycle those articles for the benefit of those who never read them almost three years ago when I was writing them. In short – I loved the game, but the length of the combats (even with the speed-up patch) really, really bugged me. I suspect that the game had it’s own version of auto-scaling to the player’s current level, and I managed to get myself up to a high enough level that it was sending me hard-to-kill Rapax by the dozens.

So here you go: The Complete Rampant Coyote Wizardry 8 Commentary Archive:

Part I: So a Samuari, a Valkyrie, and a Bishop Walk Into a Bar…
Part II: Running the Gauntlet
Part III: Vi Domina Tricks
Part IV: Arnika Bank – No Safer Than Under the Mattress
Part V: In Fear of Little Naked Winged Women
Part VI: Old-School Goes Old-School
Part VII: Ratts!
Part VIII: Dances With Rhinos
Part IX: My Duplicity Has a Price
Part X: Missing Men and Mutant Frogs
Part XI: Swimming With the Psi-Sharks
Part XII: Desperately Seeking Marten
Part XIII: Lucky Thirteen, Unlucky Rapax
Part XIV: Storming the Castle
Part XV: Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Part XVI: The Return of the Demon Goddess
Part XVII: Luke, I Am Your Daughter
Part XVIII: Wizardry 8 Parting Shots

While I’d wished I’d played this game when it was new, going back and playing it three years ago was like getting a nice drink of ice water after a desert march.  It was surprising even to me how much I’d missed this style of RPG,  even in the midst of creating such a game. Fortunately, indies are doing what they can to fill in the gap, though production quality may be just a tad behind the modern AAA standard… 😉

I would love to see this whole series released on GOG.COM. I paid more than retail price for Wizardry 8 on E-Bay, and it still didn’t come with a manual. Or the original box. I don’t know if I’d have the patience to persevere through the first four games, but I never played Wizardry 5, only barely played 6, and would like a cleaner way to play Wizardry 7 than I have now.

Filed Under: Retro - Comments: 9 Comments to Read

  • Incindium said,

    Hey some of your links are messed up… missing a /blog/ in part of the paths.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Thanks, Incindium. I *think* those are all fixed now.

  • adorna said,

    now that was cool. After playing a lot of Wizardry 7 ages ago I waited for Wizardry 8 in a bad way and was obviously one of the few people who got it brand new. Your playthrough made me really really nostalgic. I don’t remember the long fights as being so bad … but I really felt that I earned my title as a hero by the end of the game – as in: few other could have done that ;D
    It seems (if I remember right .. my playthrough has been a very long time ago) that the character classes make a huge difference in what enemies are particularly difficult. I groomed a gadgeteer from the start (becasue the class is just that cool) and remember him being one of the most important fighters in the rift becasue he gets an instant kill chance.
    I also remember that like wizardry 7 it was imperative to save before gaining a level .. I spent lots of time redoing firght if the level up was not a good one. with the enemies scaling to your level that was pretty much crucial.
    I got the PSN Wizardy game and though I truely love teh 2d Portraits and the first person dungeon style I hate that you can’t actually do anything but fight – and the stats that you gain (and your bonus points from charcter creation) level out at about level 10 – it probably makes a lot of sense but I felt sort of robbed 🙂 it was such a key mechanic to the older games. When I played Wizardry 7 as a teenager my brother an I spent a few days just researching and rolling the best possible party.

  • Moonmonster said,

    Only tangentially related, but I had a thought.

    I loved the Wizardries, I played most of the early ones and won most of the late ones. But when I step back and look at the type of game they are (combat-heavy, lots-of-numbers-that-get-bigger-with-xp, character-creation) I realize that MMOs have usurped that role.

    If I want a bit of not-too-talky rpg that gives me a sense of mild accomplishment, I’ll reach for D&D online or Rift or whatever is my fancy at the moment. If I want stories, characters, and the experience of living in some other world, I pick up a modern-style rpg like … well, anything Bioware or Obsidian.

    I’m not sure I had a point, just wanted to share. 🙂

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    @Moonmonster – Matt Barton says something to that effect at the end of his book, “Dungeons & Desktops.” I partly agree. But I don’t think you have to go too recent before you find a lot more to these games than the MMOs can really give. BUT… yeah, most of the games of the era probably did’t offer much more. I just kind of focus on the cream of the crop. 🙂

    But yeah – if you are playing a single-character game that’s mainly about combat & grinding … well, you can get that in an MMORPG just fine and have a better time doing it.

    But having just read the CRPG Addict’s report of playing Ultima V… wow. That game is almost 25 years old, and yet it sounds to me like something that would be really hard to replicate in a multiplayer world where “everybody” is supposed to be the hero (or villain).

  • adorna said,


    I don’t know .. at least for me online games don’t really fill the same role .. you can never really see the end game and you never feel like heros at all (am I the only one who get a hard quest and think – why don’t you just ask the gig bad dude over there instead of me?Plenty to choose from)The world never really feels real to me either in an online game – with a ratio of dozends of player advebturers per storyline npc …
    maybe it would be different if someone would combine RPG and a harvestmoon style game – with the harvest moon players giving out the fetch quests ;D beating 10 other players to a boss to get a rare drop just isn’t the same as trying to take down a bad monster for the sake of the game world …

    besides – if someone would rate the current online games on the same principle I don’t even want to know how dad they’d rate with things like repetion, backtracking loadtime, storyline (or the lack thereof)

  • Single-Player RPGs Do It Better When… said,

    […] disagreed about considering the future of the genre. In it, he makes a contention echoed by a commenter yesterday that the a lot of the traditional, mechanical combat-oriented gameplay of those old-school RPGs are […]

  • SER said,

    Ah. This is a great series of articles. They are what lead me to this blog in the first place, I’ve been reading it ever since.

  • Karry said,

    I dont think i even once thought battles were too long. Insanely difficult at times – yes, a thousand times it crossed my mind, a bit too many of them – also yes, but long ? I…guess so, some of them, but it sure never bothered me, unlike some other games i could name. Not even Rapax castle battles, maybe your party was, quite simply, not strong enough ?