Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Wizardry V", SNES, 1992.

I don't know that Sir-Tech would have marketed any of the home computer versions of its Wizardry games this way (traditionally, players suffered a greater risk of growing old and dying -- and not in the good way -- insert link to relevant Phantasy Star game ad here -- before completing the game than suffering a heart attack from a sudden surprise) but this wasn't a computer and they weren't at the wheel here: Capcom was the undisputed lord in its Super Nintendo domain. And in 1992, Capcom decided it had a can't-fail system for advertising its computer-to-console RPGs: a few giant words, plus many small ones. If memory serves correct we'll see a few more (Eye of the Beholder?) drawing on this template.

MAKE PLANS FOR A HEART ATTACK

Before you decide to descend into the deepest levels of the vortex, you should know that your strength, courage and intellect will be tested like never before. You've learned that the kingdom of Llylgamyn is being threatened by an unnatural, magical vortex forming deep within the caves below the castle. There, forces are holding the magical Gatekeeper, who is desperately needed for the health and prosperity of the kingdom. Without him, plagues and general chaos reign.

To find the vortex, you must face many dangers and evil enemies. If you question carefully and seek advice, you'll find the leader of the Brotherhood and learn vital secrets of the Orb. If you use careful planning and strategy, you'll make it through the hazards, and find the trapped, magical prisoner. But, even if you make it that far, you must still attack the Heart of the Maelstrom, where the nexus of the forces holding the Gatekeeper reside.

If things go according to plan, weeks of heart-stopping adventure await you in Wizardry V.

With the swing of a sword, the magicians' final life points are slashed away.
In a dark corner of the Maelstrom, you are ambushed by a hungry Netherman.
Your cleric takes a stab at the Acolyte, but his magical shield repels the attempt.

Which castle? What Orb? The text-heavy style of ad has no excuse for raising more questions than it answers, since... it has copy to spare.

I like the screenshot captions. The second should be a random encounter in every RPG -- a "hungry Netherman" is a Netherman who is hungry, right? Not a man with hungry Nether regions? That bit about my cleric taking a stab rings instinctively false against everything Gary Gygax ever tried to teach me.

Frustratingly, the pommel in the logo's background sword kept distracting me into trying to document it as Wizardry VI, which is completely diff... well OK, same stuff, different pile.