Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

[Archive] Wizardry 8, Episode 7: Ratts!

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 7, 2015

Back in 2008, I did a playthrough of Wizardry 8, a game I’d missed the first time around. At the time, it was hard to acquire (yay for getting it brought back as a digital title!), and I felt (correctly!) that I’d missed out on a classic title. I blogged my efforts, but with the Great Blog Reboot we lost those articles. Since they’ve been requested, I’m re-posting them now. I hope that with the game now made available again via digital distribution, this may help other people discover this overlooked “final” game in the Sir-Tech series.

This is a continuation of my blogging a first-time play-through of Wizardry 8. The game may be seven years old – ancient in computer-game years – but I’m finding it to be incredibly fun and involving… a gem that I am kicking myself for overlooking in 2001. (Editorial Note from 2015: And it’s still a gem, now twice as old!).

So I’m at a place called Marten’s Bluff. As I got there, Vi commented about how she used to play there as a girl – before the T’Rang moved in. I guess she was a real butt-kicker as a little girl, to get past all those monsters along the road and in the swamp to get there. Apparently, the castle was there before the insect-like T’Rang got there, but they went ahead and moved in – mostly in the underground warrens.

My initial meeting didn’t go well. The castle entryway is blocked off by some transparent walls, and there’s an elevator that takes me down to a room with some T’Rang that insist I’m going to work for them. I just have to agree to do that. The room’s only exit is some kind of biometric lock that requires a T’Rang’s hand-print to open. They drive a hard bargain.

I searched around the castle, and found a catapult just outside the walls. At first, I got a crazy idea of using it to launch me into the castle. Dumb idea, I know. It didn’t work. However, when I got it to fire, the arm broke through the crossbeam and crashed into the top of the castle wall, forming a convenient ramp. Once inside, I found a dead T’Rang who had fallen victim to a booby-trap. His arm (with attached hand) was just LYING there, waiting to be picked up. How could I resist? There was little else in the upper castle area except a couple of encounters and forgotten items, so after unbarring the side gate (dodging the booby-trap to do so), I went back down the T’Rang elevator, and used the arm to get into the back rooms.

I met a scientist there who would talk to me once – but only if I bribed him – without me having signed up to join the T’Rang in their missions. I also found a portrait which concealed a secret door. Behind the secret door was a heck of a lot of undead, which I apparently unleashed upon the entire T’Rang base. They didn’t seem to mind much. There some storage rooms full of neat stuff, and Marten’s hideout – where I found the last page of his diary.

There was one more section where I couldn’t visit. It was guarded by a number of T’Rang who told me to leave or face the consequences. Three times I tried to violate their orders, and three times I got my butt soundly handed to me.

So I decided to knock it off – for now – and see what the Umpani had to offer. I’d heard they were past the northern wilderness – where I’d acquired the diamond – so I set off that way.

While en route, much happened.


First of all, I was paid a visit by the Dark Savant. He was torqued off about the Astral Dominae (the artifact from the LAST game) being a fake. At least he said he was the Dark Savant. It was dark and raining, so I couldn’t tell too well. At first he seemed ready to wipe me out (many things in the swamp were quite capable of that, thankyouverymuch) – but then realized he had the wrong folks. Such a nice guy, the Dark Savant, admitting to a mistake like that. He basically said, “Oh, sorry, didn’t mean to do that” and teleported away, leaving the fake artifact on the ground. Cool. No clue what I’ll do with it yet.

Then – I found myself hanging out with the Trynnies again. They are an okay bunch. So okay, in fact, that I decided to go ahead and try and solve their rat problem. They have a problem with giant rats in the trees. No big deal. Isn’t that like a standard 1st level quest for all fantasy RPGs?

I found some vines in the sanctuary that I was able to join together to form a big vine, and used it to repair the broken bridge to the rat infestation. My task was to take out their “breeders.” No big deal.

Much to my surprise – they were talking about Rattkin, not giant rats. Since I have something of a roguely disposition myself, I opted not to fight the breeders. Though I had to think – the Trynnies were good friends, but the Rattkin had never done anything for me. Except try to get me in trouble. Still, that wasn’t a reason to get into a war with them.

I found the “gawdfather” of the Rattkin, the “Don.” He said he could get me the real Astral Dominae. I told him to knock himself out. Apparently, he already had it, because when I came by again only a short time later, he had it. For about four times more money than I’d ever possessed. Woops.

On my way out, I found a key. Well, “found” in probably the same way the Don “found” the Astral Dominae. And – unsurprisingly – I’d found a locked door that couldn’t be unlocked by my mad lock-picking skills. So I tried the key! It worked! And I was immediately attacked by two breeder rattkin and their archer companions.

Lemme tell you, the breeders were a lot tougher than I expected. Their spears did phenominal damage. It felt weird and uncomfortable, because they looked like they were about seven months pregnant. But hey, they were the ones who attacked me, without even asking me my name.


After than fight, however, the Rattkin in the village began attacking me on sight. Except for the Don and his assistant, Milano. They were still okay with me paying them money. But fighting a bunch of rats across a bunch of rope bridges was – entertaining. Especially when the sniper-rats can insta-kill you with a single lucky shot.

I survived multiple rat attacks, and made it back to the Trynnie side of the tree. Not only were the Trynnies glad to see I’d succeeded on my “mission” (for which I still feel guilty), and rewarding me with experince points – and (for a small bribery fee) – the name of someone named Crock out in the swamp who knows how to get the OTHER artifact I’m looking for – the Destinae Dominus. Maybe he knows where Marten stashed it when he made his escape from Marten’s Bluff when the HLL caught up with him.

There’s a lot going on, and I feel like I’m only about halfway through things (based on the map in the manual and the places I’ve not been to yet).

After a tearful goodbye, I made my way along the deadly road to the Northern Wilderness to pay a visit to the Umpani, and see if they’ll make me a better deal than the T’Rang.

Design Notes:

While they got old after a while, battles in the vertical in the tree-tops with missile weapons were kind of cool. Also, I liked that while some level of combat was inevitable with these quests, I found several ways to delay or avoid direct combat to make faster progress in the game. One of the hallmarks of a good RPG for me is a more open approach to solving quests, allowing the player to try something other than the obvious alternatives.

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