Title: Wizardry 8
Developer: Sir Tech
Publisher: Interplay
Date Published: November 13, 2001
Platforms: PC
Availability: Available in stores as of this write up
ESRB Rating: T for Teen for blood and gore, violence

Wizardy 8 is the latest installment of the Wizardry series of role playing games for the PC; it is also the only game in the series without a tagline after the name. In it, you control a party of six characters whom you either create yourself or import from Wizardry 7. Throughout the game, you are in search of three powerful artifacts: the Destinae Dominus, filled with all knowledge, the Chaos Molari, imbued with the power of change, and the Astral Dominae, granting the power over life. Anyone who possesses all three of these is able to journey to Ascension Peak, unlock the Cosmic Circle and ascend to the rank of Cosmic Lord (think a pantheon of gods). The setting is the planet Dominus.

The packaging has a stone dragon curled up into a figure 8 in front of a plain black background for the cover art. The game itself is on three CDs.


Wizardry 8 is done in a first person viewpoint. The entire party moves as a single unit through the cities, hills, valleys and dungeons. Random encounters are not handled the same was as other RPG, you can see the monsters roaming through the countryside and can choose to avoid an encounter if you notice them soon enough and have ample room to sneak around them. When a fight is inevitable, it is a good idea to use the geometry to your advantage. Backing up against a wall or hill so that enemies cannot encircle your party and pick off the physically weak spell casters without first going through your tough melee characters is a good idea. A circular grid denotes where each party member is standing in the formation. You can rearrange the formation and placement any way you choose.

Character advancement is level based, very similar to the traditional Dungeons and Dragons approach. Upon gaining a new level, characters gain additional hitpoints, stamina and magic points. They also receive six points to add to their attributes and nine points to add to their skills. A maximum of three points can be assigned to any given attribute or skill per level. Spell casting characters may also choose to scribe any one unknown spell currently available to them and will gain access to more spell choices as level increases.


There are a host of computer controlled characters to interact with. Each NPC is fully voiced and will respond to questions concerning various locations, people and items. A built in notepad is available and will automatically scribe key phrases that you can simply click on to inquire about. These NPCs provide background information, quests and clues to new goals and destinations to seek out. Many of the NPCs are also shopkeepers and provide you a way to sell items you no longer have a use for as well as allowing you to purchase needed supplies and upgrades to current equipment.

Many of the NPC throughout the game will join your party if asked. While with your party, they act exactly like a regular player controlled character: they earn their share of experience, use items from the party’s pool, follow your commands, you can choose where to allocate their points when they gain an experience level and you choose which spells they learn. The main difference is that recruitable NPCs do have their own agenda and fears. Each NPC has areas that he or she will refuse to go, be it from a childhood fear or because you are traveling to their enemy’s home city. They can be removed from the party and picked up later, but they will not willingly go to those areas. They can be tricked into entering these areas by setting a portal and then teleporting the party in, however, they will frequently complain and will not fight their best while there. NPCs are a good way to strengthen your party for an upcoming fight or give more stability when certain abilities are lack (i.e. recruit a rogue to assist in some unsavory deeds). Up to two NPC may be in your party at any given time.


There are six major factions to interact and deal with in Wizardry 8: Umpani, T’Rang, Higardi, Rapax, Trynnie and the Dark Savant. The Higardi, Trynnie and Rapax are native to Dominus while the Umpani, T’Rang and Dark Savant have come to seek the three items of cosmic power and to thwart the other two. A minor faction is the Mook. They have the Chaos Molari and are on Dominus to learn more about it, however, they play a minor part in the game.

The Higardi are the humans of Dominus and mainly dwell in the city of Arnika. They are currently besieged by the Dark Savant. He has established a dark tower in the city that emits robotic Savant Troopers upon the city. The Higardi oppose the Savant but are mostly powerless against him because his tower contains a bomb that will explode should they tamper with it. The Higardi used to possess the Destinae Dominus, however, it was stolen by a monk named Marten approximately a century ago.

The Trynnie are an arboreal, curious race. They appear to be four foot tall, hairless squirrels. They have established the city of Trynton in a large tree, very similar to the Ewok village in Return of the Jedi. Trynnies are very outgoing and friendly, though they are notorious for taking shiny things that interest them. They have a strong magical and mystical background that influences their society. They befriended and assisted Marten after he stole the Destinae Dominus and he is still very relevant to them today.

The Rapax are a hostile race of minotaur like creatures. In the past, the Higardi defeated them and banished them to live in the volcanic badlands. However, this brutish race flourished under these conditions. The Rapax follow the demoness Al-Sedexus and their king has recently allied them with the Dark Savant. The Rapax would serve and assist the Savant in return for him annihilating all other races on Dominus. The player starts out as being attacked on sight by the Rapax but may gain free passage through their lands by becoming a Templar of Al-Sedexus.

The Umpani and T’Rang have both come to Dominus in order for revenge against the Dark Savant and to impede his goals. Despite sharing the same goal and common enemy, the spider-like T’Rang and the rhinoceros Umpani have been at war with each other for countless years. The player may ally himself with either faction, or even both if the right mouths are paid to keep silent on the matter. Both races have a set of side quests the player may choose to go through for experience, money and more back-story. Eventually, the player may be able to end their hostilities and unite them together against their mutual foe.

The Dark Savant is not a character that you see much of in person, in fact he is only seen twice throughout the entire game, however, his presence is felt continuously through his henchmen and thirst for conquest. The Dark Savant is similar to the Spider-Man villain Mysterio in appearance.

Character creation

Unlike most console RPGs, Wizardry allows you to create, name and customize your party. You can chose an oriental theme and have all your characters be monks, samurais and ninjas or you can choose a religious theme and have all your characters be priests, lords, valkyries and bishops. You must choose a name, nickname, sex, race, class and personality for each character

There are eleven races that each of your characters can be from:

There are fifteen classes or professions your characters can have:

  • Alchemist: Alchemists are a type of magic user, but instead of relying on arcane gestures and spoken chants, they utilize powders, potions and other ingredients. In game terms, this mainly means that they can cast spells even while silenced by an opponent. They do not have to lug around a chemistry set in their inventory; they are just assumed to have it readily available. They cast spells from the alchemist spellbook and are the only class that can concoct potions while the party camps.
  • Bard: Bards are the minstrels of Wizardry. They are the only class capable of playing the various magical instruments strewn throughout Dominus. These instruments emulate spell effects such at haste, sleep and healing. The bard also keeps morale high and will increase hit point, stamina and spell point regeneration when the party camps. When required, the bard can wield a sword and engage in melee combat.
  • Bishop: Bishops are the all encompassing spell casters of Wizardry. They have access to all four schools of magic and can learn all spells. Like the priest they have the ability to use turn undead once per combat. They also have the innate ability to remove a cursed item from a character without expending spell points. Because of the great diversity in knowledge and power accessible by the bishop, it is the slowest leveling class in the game.
  • Fighter: Fighters are the supreme melee characters in Wizardry. While not having access to any spells, fighters are capable of using almost all of the weapons and armor found throughout the game. Also, fighters have an increased stamina regeneration rate along with the ability to render a foe unconscious with a single hit. Fighters also have the option of going berserk in combat. This increases their potential damage output while slightly lowering their chance to hit an opponent; berserking costs more stamina than a regular attack.
  • Gadgeteer: The Gadgeteer is the new class introduced in Wizardry 8. Gadgeteers are master engineers and are able to combine different items to create gadgets with wondrous powers. Gadgets act similarly to bard instruments in that they mimic spell effects, however, the both the individual parts (all gadgets are created by combining two different items) must be collected and combined before any effects can be used. Their engineering knowledge grants them the ability to pick locks and detect and disarm traps. While the bard has melee ability to complement her instruments, the gadgeteer comes equipped with her trusty omnigun. Omniguns are ranged weapons that gets upgraded as the gadgeteer levels. The expansions and enhancements added to it allow the weapon to use additional forms of ammunition as well as inflicting ailments to opponents.
  • Lord: The lord is the paladin of Wizardry. While not as robust as the fighter, the lord is a capable combatant. Lords are also able to cast spells from the priest spell book at higher levels. They are able to use heavy armor and have an increased innate hit point regeneration. Lords gain a bonus to their dual weapon skill.
  • Mage: Mages are the traditional magic users of Wizardry. They are able to cast both damaging spells as well as ones that disables enemies. Mages learn spells faster than any other class in the game and have a slightly higher resistance to harmful spells. They rely primarily on their spells since the have a very limited choice for weapons and armor.
  • Monk: Monks are the martial arts masters of Wizardry. They excel at fighting without the use of a weapon and have an innate damage resistance. They have access to the stealth skill which increases their armor class further than their equipped armor would imply. They have developed their other sense to such a great degree that they are only slightly hindered by the effects of being blinded, while other classes tend to lose all usefulness when afflicted. Monks also learn to deal critical strikes; this allows them to fell and enemy with a single blow. Monks also gain access to psionic spells at higher levels.
  • Ninja: Ninjas are masters of thrown weaponry. They automatically penetrate the opponents armor when they hit with a ranged weapon. They can deal critical strikes with both ranged and unarmed attacks. Like monks, ninjas have access to the stealth skill. Ninjas gain access to the alchemist spellbook at higher levels.
  • Priest: Priests are the pinnacle of healers of Wizardry. They have access to the priest spellbook and learn its contents faster than any other class. They have the unique ability to pray for a miracle and are one of the two classes that can dispel the undead.
  • Psionic: Psionics are mentalists with astounding powers of mind over matter. A psionic has access to the psionic spellbook and learns these spells faster than any other class. Their immense mental training also renders them immune to detrimental effects that target the mind such as fear, insanity or becoming a turncoat.<./li>
  • Ranger: Rangers are the hunters of Wizardry. They have acute senses and are excellent marksmen with the bow. Rangers are not front line fighters, they are a long range, support class. Rangers’ keen aim allow them to land critical strikes when using a bow. They are constantly aware of their surroundings and will spot hidden items as they pass by without having to make the party actively search the area. Rangers gain access to the alchemist spellbook at higher levels.
  • Rogue: Rogues are the thieves of Wizardry. They can pick locks on doors guarding treasure, disarm booby traps on chests, pickpocket items from unsuspecting {NPC]s and shoplift wares from stores. All this sneaking around and legerdemain has given them access to the stealth skill. Rogues also have the unique ability to backstab enemies during combat, causing additional damage.
  • Samurai: Samurai are the elegant swordsmen of Wizardry. While not having the raw damage per hit output of a fighter, they are able to deftly wield their swords to land multiple blows at once (called lightning strike) and deal critical strikes. The code of honor for the Samurai makes him immune to fear. At higher levels, Samurai gain access to the mage spellbook.
  • Valkyrie: Valkyrie are similar to lords. They are fighters able to cast spells from the priest spellbook. However, the valkyrie’s preferred weapon is the polearm and she has the ability to cheat death instead of hit point regeneration. What this means is when the valkyrie is dealt a mortal blow, instead of expiring she is rendered unconscious and set back to full health. She can do this but once per combat. Only female characters are allowed to become valkyries.

There are no racial class restrictions; any race can chose any class. However, certain races tend to lean more towards certain classes. While a lizardman makes a fine fighter, he would make a very limited bishop. A faerie’s small stature and weak frame makes her a subpar valkyrie, however, her high intelligence and innate magic regeneration make for a superb mage. A character can choose to change to a new class at any time a new level is reached, however, it is ill advised to do so because it waters down their abilities.

Each character also has to chose a personality. The choices are: aggressive, chaotic, kindly, intellectual, cunning, laidback, burly, eccentric and loner. The character’s personality has no effect on gameplay; it merely determines their voices and what color commentary they give to certain events such as monster attacks, gaining a level, finding a new item, etc. Each personality has two different voices for each sex for a total of thirty-six voices. While they will not assist in your speaking with NPC or net you a shiny new vorpal blade, the personalities do flesh out your characters and are a nice, side touch to the game.

After selecting a race, class and personality, characters then has a certain amount of point to distribute amongst their attributes. The amount of points the character receives is determined by the race/class combination. If a race is more thematically suited for the class, such as a Mook psionic or a dwarf priest, then it will receive more points at character creation. Attributes range from 0 to 100; reaching a level of 100 in an attribute will unlock a special skill unique to that attribute. The seven attributes are as follows:

  • Strength: Strength determines how much weight a character can carry and how much damage is dealt by a weapon blow. Strength also has a slight effect on the chance to land a hit and the total number of stamina points. Maxing strength will unlock the Power Strike skill. Power Strike increases the damage done by melee weapons.
  • Intelligence: Intelligence is used as a driving force behind spell casting. It also determines how quickly and well a character will learn more complex acts like picking a lock, archery and mythology. A level of 100 will unlock the Power Cast skill. Power Cast will increase the duration and effectiveness of spells.
  • Piety: Piety is similar to intelligence in that it is used in the learning of new skills and complex acts. Piety is the major attribute that determines the number of spell points a character has available. Piety ultimately leads to the Iron Will skill. Iron Will will increase the character’s resistance to harmful spells.
  • Vitality: Vitality affects the maximum hit points and stamina points for a character. Vitality also measures the character’s resistance to disease and, in certain races, resistance to types of spells. Filling up vitality will release Iron Skin. Iron Skin reduces the damage taken from melee and ranged combat.
  • Dexterity: Dexterity is the measurement of a character’s hand eye coordination. Dexterity determines the number of blows a character deals per attack as well as the accuracy of those blows. Dexterity is also used in picking locks and traps, stealth, pickpocketing and martial arts. Having 100 dexterity will open the Reflextion skill. Reflextion will increase the armor class of the character.
  • Speed Speed determines how quickly a character moves. It controls the character’s initiative as well as the number of attacks per round. At the extremes, speed affects armor class. Eventually, speed will liberate the Snake Speed skill. Snake speed further enhances the advantages of speed.
  • Senses A character’s senses attribute determines how aware he is of his environment. It determines at what distance monsters are spotted. In combat, it has influence on initiative as well as stealth, critical strikes and psionics. Characters with maximum senses have access to the Eagle Eye skill. Eagle Eye is to ranged combat as Power Strike is to melee combat.


The magic system in Wizardry 8 is divided into four schools and each school has the same six realms. The four schools are mage, priest, psionic and alchemist. The six realms are earth, fire, air, water, mental and divine. The psionic school deals mainly with mental attacks and bonuses. The priest school deals mainly with healing and protection. The mage school harnesses the power of the elements for destructive power and to disable opponents while the alchemist school uses the four elements in a more balanced manner. A combination of the caster’s level, school and realm skill is used to determine how many magic points are available to harness. When casting a spell, the level of the spell must be selected. The higher the level, the more difficult it is to cast, the more magic points it uses and the more effective it is. This will allow players to cast small healing spells on minor wounds and use smaller fireballs for low level encounters.


I very much enjoyed playing this game. It was refreshing to be able to create my own party and take them about rather than having a set of characters forced upon me in order to complete a series of events scripted specifically for them. The array of race/class options was daunting at first, but that, combined with the personality selection, really allowed you to create a party to your liking.

The freedom of action granted to you was also a nice change. In many RPGs, there will be some kid blocking your way to an important dungeon or something to that effect. This kid always has lost his dog, is missing her dolly or just refuses to move until you bring him candy. So, instead of charging into the dungeon to slay many a foe and save the world, you are forced to seek out the missing item in order to get the kid to move. If this situation were to happen in Wizardry 8, you could lob off the kid’s head, toss the body into the ravine and go on about your questing. Granted, there are no kids in Wizardry 8 and the people I did this to were a kidnapper and the mafia, but the fact is you can be an utter bastard if you want to be.

The battle system had fewer, longer battles than the standard RPG. This was both a blessing an a curse. It was nice to have fewer battles, but actually have those battles mean something, but later in the game this proved a nuisance. After your characters grew mighty, the level 8 monsters would still pester you and require a few minutes to hew through them. I highly suggest turning up the monster movement rate to its maximum value.

Overall, it was a good game and I recommend it to those who are fans of the genre

This write-up complies with the E2 FAQ: Video Games standards.

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