Legacy of the Wizard

Feb 24, 2010 at 5:12 AM
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Hey, guess what? I just realized that one of my favourite NES games is actually made by Falcom, so obviously this is a good place to discuss it.


Legacy of the Wizard is apparantly the fourth installment in Falcom's Dragon Warrior series. In the game itself, there is virtually no plot or explanation whatsoever, and having never even seen the box it came in, I had no clue what the whole thing was about. However, that never stopped me from coming up with my own plotline:

You play one of the members of a small family of superheroes that live in a small hut in the woods outside a huge castle. One day they decide that there may very well be a princess in need of saving in that distant castle, so you all take turns trying to see who can get there and save her first. However, the castle is surround by impassable mountains so the only way in is through the secret tunnels that just happen to have an opening conveniently outside your house. The tunnels are of course filled with monsters and spikes, as tunnels are oft wont to be.
So, after an exposition as compelling as your imagination allows, the game opens to the interior of a standard log house with a small family and their cat sitting around the table. When you select one, they TRANSFORM into their secret identity [You can even play as the cat; it turns into a monster] ready to battle evil. Each of the family members has some different stats to differentiate themselves, and furthermore each can wield a variety of items.

The music in the game is simple yet catchy. All of the tunes do a great job of setting the atmosphere with the limited hardware available on the NES.

Now, I mentioned earlier that there was no storyline in game. Once you enter the dungeon, the trend continues; you are given absolutely no indication of where to go or what to do at all in an insanely massive and non-linear dungeon. Seriously, I could play this game for hours on end just exploring it's massive underworld, and I did, because I thought that's what you were supposed to do. Just keep going further, I thought. Surely to god it's got to end somewhere? But no. That's part of what makes me love it so much. The game absolutely abandons you the moment you turn it on. There isn't even so much as an explanation of what any of the items do, so half the time you're wondering what this big white glove you just found ought to do. Keep my hands warm perhaps? Yes, that seems reasonable.

In all the times I played this game throughout my childhood, I never even once had the faintest clue there were actually any bosses. One room had a giant sinister picture of a dragon stuck inside a wall, but there was no way in so I eventually disregarded that [this is actually the final boss of the game, I later learn].

And yet still I kept coming back for more; I just had to unravel the mysteries deep within this game! It wasn't until just a few years ago that I decided that I needed to seek professional help to finally beat it once and for all, and so I searched it up and found a Let's Play video on Youtube by a Mr. Deceased Crab. I'd never seen such a thing before, and the combination of retro gaming and non-sequiter commentary was very amusing to me, so once I finished I decided to watch a few more of his videos, and eventually I made the greatest discovery of my gaming life: Cave Story

So, Thank you Falcom. Thank you for this satanically difficult game that, in an incredibly convoluted way led me to find Cave Story.

Anyways, personal reminiscing aside, this is an epic game. I didn't even touch on gameplay because I don't even know how to describe it; it's like they took the best parts of every NES game and used some combination of science and witchcraft to amalgamate them into a single entity. I strongly recommend anyone play it if they have the chance, and I also recommend you don't dig out the strategy guide until after at least a week, because part of the fun is being utterly lost and confused with a strong (perhaps misguided, there never was a princess :() sense of purpose but no direction.
Feb 24, 2010 at 5:31 AM
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I think I'll try this game out on an emulator tomorrow.
Feb 24, 2010 at 8:44 AM
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I get all my NES game knowledge from DeceasedCrab and he LP'd this so I know all about it :3 It does look like a very good game and I'll probably try it some time.
Mar 31, 2010 at 7:24 PM
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Oh MAN, I love Legacy of the Wizard! I've been playing this thing since I was as young as I remember, my older cousins had it on NES...

I remember spending COUNTLESS hours on it as a kid always thinking that you just chose the character you liked the best and went into the dungeon. Not for years did I find out that each character is actually made to be played through a section of the dungeon and that there were actually BOSSES, lol! It's SUPER hard and SUPER complicated (compared to the majority of NES games) but it's still easily one of the best.

Oh, and the music is sooooooo catchy. The outside tune, shop tune and inventory screen tune are three of my favorite NES musics of all time.
Jun 9, 2010 at 4:51 PM
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Man this section is so active...
Jun 9, 2010 at 5:00 PM
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Talk about Legacy of the Wiz more.
Lyll (jumps really high)
Xemn (He's a man)
Pochi (Dog/monster/pink)
Meyna (The other girl that can't jump)
Roas (He's not a man at all)

Personal fave is Lyll because I love her jump skills but a close second is Pochi.