Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord

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Wizardry 1 redirects here. For the modern remake, see Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord Remake.
For the anime adaptation, see Wizardry (anime).

Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord is the first game in the main series for home computers and ported into several different consoles, Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord was developed by Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead, and launched a beta version of the game at the 1980 Boston Computer Convention.[1] In 1980, Norman Sirotek formed Sir-Tech to distribute, and followed by the final version of the game was released in September 1981 and first released on Apple II.


The evil wizard Werdna stole a very powerful amulet from Trebor, the Mad Overlord. He used the amulet's power to create a ten level maze beneath Trebor's castle. That was five years ago. Since then, Trebor has created a training centre in the upper levels of the maze from where he sends heroes further down to kill Werdna and get him the amulet. So far, no one has succeeded.


Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord has three primary gameplay systems. The town is where party and character management occurs, including purchasing equipment, training characters, and resurrecting or creating new ones. Characters stick closely to the RPG archetypes of fighters, thieves, healers, and magic-users while offering some advanced classes that allow the use of abilities from multiple classes. The maze is the exploration system where the player is presented with a first-person view of a multi-level dungeon and is tasked with navigating to the lowest levels of the dungeon to defeat the villain Werdna and retrieve his amulet. The combat system occurs during maze exploration when the party encounters monsters, either fixed encounters (which will always occur at the same point in the maze) or random encounters. The Wizardry series would stick closely to these core systems as the series progressed, although the underlying mechanics and management of party and save games would see several overhauls.

Monster encounters can be particularly deadly and parties have limited ability to replenish health or recover from harmful statuses between battles which makes resource management a key concern. Returning to town is the only way to fully recover a party's resources, which also means re-entering the maze at the first level. If a party is completely killed while exploring the dungeon, those characters are lost and cannot be restored without a new party entering the dungeon and recovering their bodies. Creating a map by hand (the original game included graph paper templates to assist in this process) was functionally required to prevent the player from getting lost in the dungeon, as well as identifying the quickest paths back to a given location. Elevators, teleportation magic, and other shortcuts could be discovered to make future trips into the dungeon shorter and allow a freshly rested party to resume their exploration close to where they had originally left off.

The layout of the dungeon as well as the location of key items persists between play sessions, and key items can also be transferred between characters in town. This allows a player who plans ahead to recover from the complete loss of a party by bypassing the need to reacquire, or at least making the reacquiring of key items quicker.

The game writes the results of most player actions to disk immediately, making the progression system closer to the "permadeath" style of roguelikes and less like modern games which allow the user to save and restore the game state at any time and keep multiple save files. Players at the time found multiple ways to bypass these restrictions, usually involving duplicating their save disks or ejecting save disks mid-game.



Development of Wizardry started in 1978, when Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead were both students at Cornell university. It was an attempt to bring the "maze runner" style of computer role-playing game that were popular on multiuser computer systems such as PLATO to home computers.[2] These games in turn were inspired by the popular Dungeons & Dragons series of tabletop role-playing games, which can be found in their use of common mechanics and concepts including AC (armor class), discrete character classes, and a focus on dungeon exploration.

Fan translation

Main page: Fan translation § Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord

A finished English translation for Game Boy Color port was made by Opus since August 22, 2001.[3]

Another finished English translation for WonderSwan Color port was made by Hengki Kusuma Adi since January 3, 2021.[4]



Names, etymology, and in other regions
Language Name Definition, etymology, and notes

Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord
Wizardry Scenario #1: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord

• The Mad Overlord refers to Trebor.
• Used for the cover art of WonderSwan Color port.


ウィザードリィ 狂王の試練場Uizādorī Kyō ō no shiren jō

Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord


Sorcellerie: Le Donjon du Suzerain Heretique

Sorcery: The Dungeon of the Heretic Overlord



  1. Jana Hallford (Swords & Circuitry: a Designer's Guide to Computer Role Playing Games (Cengage Learning), pg. 55-58)
  2. The Digital Antiquarian - Making of Wizardry
  3. http://www.romhacking.net/translations/56/
  4. https://www.romhacking.net/translations/5829/

External links

The Llylgamyn Saga
Scenario #1 (remake) Trebor - Vampire Lord - Werdna
RPG Replay exclusive Ealton - Giles Crow - Nael - Pirika - Shool - Vance
Anime exclusive Alex - Alper - Jouza - Morgan - Randy - Sheila - Shin Gartland
Scenario #2 Alavik - Davalpus - Gnilda - Margda
CD Drama Exclusive Alan - Arheim - Juty - Maria - Samus - Weed
Scenario #3 Beyki - L'kbreth
Scenario #4 Hawkwind - Kadorto - Moradin - Mron - Prospero - Sarah - Sezmar - Trebor - Tuck - Werdna - Witch
Scenario #5 Big Max - The Duck of Sparks - Evil Eyes - The Gatekeeper - G'bli Gedook - Lord Hienmitey - Ironose - The Laughing Kettle - The Loon - The Lord of Clubs/Diamonds/Hearts/Spades - The Mad Stomper - The Mighty Yog - The Ruby Warlock - The Snatch - The SORN
Races Human - Elf - Dwarf - Gnome - Hobbit
Classes Fighter - Thief - Priest - Mage - Bishop - Samurai - Lord - Ninja
Locations Llylgamyn - Gilgamesh's Tavern - Adventurer's Inn - Boltac's Trading Post - Temple of Cant - Edge of Town - Training Grounds - Lair of Werdna (#1) - Temple of Gnilda (#2)
Groups, objects, and concepts The Softalk All-Stars - Statue of Bear (#1) - Statue of Frog (#1) - Blue Ribbon (#1) - Amulet of Werdna (#1) - Hrathnir (#2) - Knight of Diamonds Equipments (#2) - Staff of Gnilda (#2) - Ship in Bottle (#3) - Alignment Crystals (#3) - Orb of Earithin (#3) - Dreampainter Ka (#4) - Mythril Gloves (#4) - Holy Hand Grenade of Aunty Ock (#4) - East Wind Sword (#4) - East Wind Sword (#4) - Dragon's Claw (#4) - Kris of Truth (#4) - King of Diamonds (#5) - Queen of Hearts (#5) - Jack of Spades (#5) - Ace of Clubs (#5) - Orb of Llylgamyn (#5)
Albums We Love Wizardry - Suite Wizardry II: Legacy of Llylgamyn - Suite Wizardry III: Knight of Diamonds - Suite Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom - Wizardry: Llylgamyn Saga - Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord Original Game Soundtrack
Novels Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord - The Story of Alavik and Margda - Knight of Diamonds - Legacy of Llylgamyn - Heart of the Maelstrom - Wizardry Novel: Ash and Youth Side by Side - Novel II: The Wind. Has it reached Dragon?
Other media Quest of Hrathnir - Anime - Wizardry RPG Replay - Wizball
Compilations The Wizardry Trilogy: Scenarios I, II & III - I-II - Trilogy 2 - III-IV - The Ultimate Wizardry Archives - Llylgamyn Saga - New Age of Llylgamyn - Story of Llylgamyn - Pay Wizardry - Wizardry Original
Spells Scenario #1-#4 - Scenario #2 (Nintendo) - Scenario #5
Monsters Scenario #1 - Scenario #2 - Scenario #3 - Scenario #4 (Do-gooders) - Scenario #5
Weapons Scenario #1 - Scenario #2 - Scenario #3 - Scenario #4 - Scenario #5
Equipments Scenario #1 - Scenario #2 - Scenario #3 - Scenario #4 - Scenario #5
Items Scenario #1 - Scenario #2 - Scenario #3 - Scenario #4 - Scenario #5
Walkthrough Scenario #1 - Scenario #2 - Scenario #3 - Scenario #4 - Scenario #5
Miscellaneous Achievements (PGMO remake) - Patch notes (PGMO remake)
Llylgamyn Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (remake) - The Knight of Diamonds - Legacy of Llylgamyn - The Return of Werdna - Heart of the Maelstrom
Cosmic Forge Bane of the Cosmic Forge - Crusaders of the Dark Savant (Gold / PSX) - Wizardry 8
Gaiden Suffering of the Queen - Curse of the Ancient Emperor - Scripture of the Dark - Throb of the Demon's Heart - Dimguil - Prisoners of the Battles - The Absence of Misericordia - The Five Ordeals (Traveler's Property / Children of the King Selene / The Devoid of Apotheosis / The Pickled Man of Galvan / The Wheels of Flame / The Price of Deception)
Starfish Wizardry Empire - The Staff of Resurrection - Princess of the Ancient - II (Plus) Legacy of the Princess - Ancestry of the Emperor - Asterisk: The Scarlet Seal
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XTH Academy of Frontier - Unlimited Students
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Other games Nemesis: The Wizardry Adventure - Chronicle - Summoner - Wizlite: Everybody loved RPGs
Mobile/Cellphone games Monthly Wizardry - Wizardry Chapter 1 - DoCoMo Wizardry - Wizardry Traditional - Wizardry Original - Variants Daphne
Cancelled Stones of Arnhem - Wizardry Gaiden VB - Strange Tale of the Rising Sun - Wandering Dark Lord
Compilations The Wizardry Trilogy: Scenarios I, II & III - I-II - The New Generation - Trilogy 2 - III-IV - VI & VII Complete - The Ultimate Wizardry Archives - Llylgamyn Saga - New Age of Llylgamyn - I-II-III: Story of Llylgamyn - Twin Pack - Perfect Pack - Legacy: BCF, CDS & 8
Tabletop games Wizardry RPG - Wizball
Novels Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord - The Story of Alavik and Margda - Knight of Diamonds - Legacy of Llylgamyn - Heart of the Maelstrom - Ash & Youth Side by Side - The Wind. Has it reached the Dragon? - The Return of Werdna - Suffering of the Queen (Futabasha) - Suffering of the Queen Iris - King of the Sands - Llylgamyn War - Prelude/Expansion - The League of the Crimson Crescent - Blade & Bastard
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