Wizardry is a Registered Trademark of Sir-Tech, Ltd. and all material with the exception of the RMG guide and related work is copyright 1981-2004 Sir-Tech, Ltd. This guide and the related work is copyright 2004 Real Millennium Group & Backdoor Trot Productions, and not to be reproduced by any means without prior written permission.
FLOOR 5: This room introduces a magical dead area (silence point or fizzle field) in addition to having a Dark Zone and Rotation Zone. Like the previous two floors, there are a bunch of different monsters you will encounter, including Dragon Puppies with breathing attacks, and Shades which have the ability to drain your characters of one EL (along with the requisite number of experience points). Item-wise, this floor is very similar to FL4, so the main reason for exploration here is to gain as much EP as possible with your encounters. The DZ and one square of the RZ pose little headaches, but the new twist found on this floor is the room full of Fizzle Fields near the center of the floor.
The FF nullifies the effects of any spell that is cast after the field is activated, even those cast by magical items such as potions and scrolls, and follows the party around throughout the entire floor. Fortunately, any of the "permanent" spells you cast prior to entering an FF area are not nullified (maporfic, latumapic, and lomilwa are still active even after entering the room). The effect also lasts during the entire time you remain on the floor, so once you activate the field, it will be up to your fighters to do the bulk of the work. Fortunately, any spell casting monster you encounter is also affected, and the FF is removed once you exit the floor. It is best just to avoid this area altogether since there is nothing of value to be found in the room, and without the ability to cast healing spells or cure poisoned party members, further exploration becomes too difficult to manage.
If you want to take the time, keep exploring this floor to get your characters to level up once more before proceeding to FL6. You will need some patience, however, as at these higher ELs, it take a while before you gain enough experience to level up. Care should also be taken as the most dangerous foes will be the ones who can drain an EL from your characters. You will be well aware by now of the time it will take to get those precious experience points back. As long as your characters are at EL 14 or 15, and have maxed out their key attributes at 18 (i.e. Mage has 18 IQ, Fighter has 18 Strength, etc.), you will be well prepared to continue adventuring on the next three floors.
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Strategies for floors 5-8:
Welcome to the next segment of the Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord guide. By now, your characters are well on their way to joining the ranks of the Heroes of Legend. While it is not necessary to do any exploration of the next four floors of the maze in order to win the game, true gamers do not want to miss all the goodies that can be gotten in these depths. It also can't hurt to face the tougher monsters here and build up your party with more experience. You should have the strongest possible characters when taking on Werdna for the first time, and that can only be done by fully exploring each floor of the Proving Grounds. After you mark up your first scenario win, then you can challenge yourself by creating a new party and trying different tactics throughout the next adventure.
FLOOR 6: Things get interesting at this point in relation to the NES version versus the PC version of the game. For this floor (and for floors 7 & 8), a completely new layout was designed for the NES game, so you will need a different map in order to find your way around. Other than that, the floors basically play the same in their respective versions.
Note of Caution:
Note of Caution: When exploring the maze for the purpose of gaining EP, extreme care must be taken if you plan on heading out with less than six members in the party. Though your characters may seem strong and agile after reaching the teens of EL, they are still no match for the monsters of the lower depths without their ability to work as a team. As tempting as it may be to explore these next six floors with as little as three members in a party, it won't pay off in the end as you'll spend more time using the exit/reset option than you will in actual game play.