Released in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Developed by Rare, and distributed in North America by Acclaim. One player.

Plot:
Why this game is called "Wizards and Warriors" is not quite obvious; you are one warrior, traveling through a kingdom (named Elrond, incidentally) to find and defeat one wizard.
The warrior you play as is Kuros the Knight. Armed with only a sword (to start), you must travel through a forest, down a tree and through a sequence of underground caves, rescuing beautiful maidens along the way, until you fight your way into the castle of the evil wizard, Malkil, who holds your lovely (and unnamed) Princess hostage.

Playing The Game:
A: Jump. Kuros holds his sword out in front of him, jutting humorously from his crotch, as he jumps, allowing you to attack enemies while jumping.
B: Slash. Kuros waves his sword around. Doesn't do any more obvious damage. However, when the Dagger of Throwing or the Battle Axe of Agor is found, this button causes said weapon to launch itself. Plus, you can still wave your sword around while the item is in flight.
Select: activates the Mystery Magic Weapon; see below.
Start: pause.

Technically, you have only three lives. However, you have infinite continues, and every time you die, you reappear in the same spot, having lost nothing. In fact, when you continue, you'll still be in that same spot, but you'll have lost... your score. All of the weapons and magic items you had before you lost your 'last' life are still there, you're still in the exact place that you were when you died, but your score is reset to zero. This would lead one to believe that the game is actually played for points, and that one should be upset upon continuing. However, not only is it impossible* to beat without continuing, if you play to the end, the 100,000 points you get from rescuing the Princess will leave you comfortably in first place.

Items:
Upon killing enemies, occasionally items are left behind. Sometimes you'll also find these lying around outside. You can also uncover these items by destroying torches or what look like blue, blunt lances but I'm assured are actually (blue) acorns with your dagger or axe.

Meat - restores 2 HP
Little Coin - Gives points; big deal
Big Coin - Gives more points; bigger deal
Pink Gem - worth 1 gem
Red Gem - worth 2 gems
Flashing Gem - found in secret rooms, worth 1 or 2 gems
Weird glowing pickle-looking thing - Kills all on-screen enemies
Clock - Stops the enemies from moving for 5 seconds

You can also discover potions, in one of three colors:
Blue: makes you faster; basically worthless
Red: makes you invincible
Pink: makes you jump higher
These potions also occasionally occur in set locations in order to help you past certain areas, and respawn about 5 seconds after they're taken (basically, right after the potion wears off).

There are also keys to be found, in the same colors (blue, red, and pink), which are permanent for the stage once found. Using them, all of the treasure chests of that color on that level open so you can access their contents, and the corresponding door also opens. In the grand tradition of key-finding games, the first key will be somewhere out in the open, with the next two keys hidden behind doors of varying colors. There is also the occasional grey door, which opens either randomly (and will disappear when it does so), after a boss is defeated, or never. And there are secret doors, which appear when you jump into them, taking you into a room filled with gems.

Within the chests, you will mostly find gems. However, you can also find one of these special magical items:

Shield of Protection - A white shield with a red cross on it. Blocks most projectiles which hit it.
Dagger of Throwing - Thrown at enemies, this dagger will always return to you. Jumping over it allows it to orbit you for a short while. You only have one, so you have to wait for it to return before you can throw it again. This allows you also to destroy the torches and "acorns" to get more stuff.
Battle Axe of Agor - Basically, an upgraded version of the dagger. Flies just as far, but does twice the damage.
Potion of Levitation - Lets you raise yourself about a body-length off of the ground, hover there for however long you need to (or can hold 'up'), and then use that height as a base for your jump.
Feather of Feather Fall - When you hold 'up', this slows your fall to about 1/4 of its original speed. Using this, you can jump about a screen-length. You also no longer get stunned by long falls (as long as you activate it before landing), and can direct your fall more accurately.

You can also find these mutually exclusive Mystery Magical Items, all accessed by the Select button.
Boots of Force - Allows Kuros to kick. The kick damages enemies, but more importantly, it allows you to kick chests open and get the treasure within without needing the key.
Wand of Wonder - Sends out a beam that freezes enemies. Does not freeze bosses.
Wand of Power - Sends out a beam that damages enemies.
Boots of Lava Walk - Allows Kuros to ride the Firespout in the Lava level, and to walk on the lava without being hurt.
Cloak of Darkness - Turns Kuros invisible - to you. The player. Yep. You can't see him too well, as he turns black and is surrounded by a slightly sparkly aura. However, all of the enemies can see him just fine, and can damage him just the same. You can still attack, jump, levitate, etc. while invisible. The only obvious use for this is to make the game harder.
Horn - the only item in the game without an adjective. When using the horn, a sound may or may not be heard. If one is, then a secret door is nearby.

Of course, since you have no way of knowing which item is going to be in the chest (unless you play the game religiously; the items are always in the same place), you could kick open a chest with your Boots of Force and end up with the Horn instead, with no way of going back to recollect the boots.

Passing from Level to Level
Guarding the main exit to each level is a red knight, looking exactly like Kuros, only red. The knight is completely invincible and swings his sword around randomly, damaging you if you come too near. The only way to get past him is to offer a bribe. A number will be suspended over the knight's head, and if you have this many or more gems, he slides into the background, allowing you to pass through the door (provided you have the key, of course).
After getting past the Knight, Kuros usually has to fight a boss. The boss' life is displayed in a life meter (marked "EVIL" in big letters) next to yours.
After defeating each boss after the third or so, his ghosts come back to haunt you. Dispatch the ghosts with your sword.
In any case, after the boss is completely dead, a pile of treasure rises from the floor. Collect this treasure, and Kuros speeds through the door. One of the fair maidens waits there, hanging from the ceiling by a rope tied to her wrists and fed through an elaborate pulley system anchored to the ground. Kuros cuts the rope, the prisoner is slowly lowered the 30 feet or so to the ground, falls to her knees, and Kuros walks off, satisfied with a job well done.

Where To Obtain It:
In the United States, one can probably find it at a used video game store for under $10. (Not necessarily very much under $10; since this is one of the few NES games that withstood the test of time, there's enough demand for it that you may have to pay a little more than you might have expected for a game that's 15 years old). Combine this with the $20 NES you can probably also get at this same store, and you'll be prepared for hours of entertainment. Outside of the US, or for those who can't get to a used game store, this game is emulated under the NESticle emulator, with the usual dubious legality found in all emulators.

Two sequels were also released for the NES: Wizards and Warriors II (Ironsword) and III.


It may appear that I'm ripping on this game. Actually, this is one of the more entertaining games ever released. If you owned a Nintendo as a child, this was probably one of the first games that you beat. It's not so easy that you get bored playing it, nor is it so tough that you'd want to give up on it. It's no Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, but you will enjoy it. It's still in my collection, and has been for years, and i still drag it out every couple of months to play through it. I heartily recommend it.

Some help from www.gamefaqs.com.


* Milen claims to have beaten this game without continuing, racking up such an impressive score that the score counter rolled over. I'm still deciding between awe and fear.

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