Wizardry II - The Knight of Diamonds
In 1982, Sir-Tech published a sequel to their earlier blockbuster CRPG Wizardry. If you haven't played that one, I highly recommend giving the good old Werdna a lesson in torture before engaging in a quest to save the once beautiful City of Llylgamyn.
They're exactly the same as in the previous game; there's nothing else to be said about it. In detail, this means you'll be wandering around a 3D maze drawn with white lines, with battles represented by CGA images of monsters and text describing the events in the battle.
There is still nothing that could bother you - not even a single beep. Not that I'd be impressed if there were any, as PC music in that decade was limited to ear-stabbing noises.
After you defeated the evil magician Werdna and his maze was infiltrated, King Trebor continued to order his soldiers to patrol the empty corridors and halls of the maze, simply because he became paranoid and expected his late foe to return at any moment. When he realized he couldn't bear the stress, he killed himself, and numerous parties fought for the crown.
Despite the power being divided among many, the city itself was as strong as ever. The Staff of Gnilda protected it, and Gnilda was a powerful god. The staff had a very interesting defense mechanism: nobody with violent thoughts against the city could enter it. But there was a catch: what if that evil wasn't outside? As you might assume, while everyone in the royal family was busy slaying each other for the throne, someone else was busy slaying them. And that guy was Davalpus. Only a prince and his sister survived the attack on the castle, and they knew that they could only defeat Davalpus with the Staff of Gnilda. Unfortunately, a hero known as The Knight of Diamonds placed it into the darkest depths of the temple of Gnilda ages ago, and if someone wanted to take it, then that person had to wear the armor of that legendary knight. The prince did so, and when the final confrontation was in progress, Davalpus, being an evil sorcerer, cursed the castle, which caused everything to blow up. The Prince, the evil sorcerer and the Staff all disappeared. Then Gnilda came down to the mortals, and told them that the city would be left without protection until the staff was returned to the temple's main chamber from the depths of the catacombs beneath it. Surprisingly, the city folks chose you to retrieve it.
Finally, the most important aspect of all... You'll be descending into the depths of a six-level dungeon, but there is no way of skipping levels (We all remember the elevator from the previous game, don't we?). There's another interesting fact: this time every level will be as important as the tenth one in Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. You'll have to slay a special monster - or boss, if we want to talk in fancy MMO terms - in each level, in order to acquire an item from it. These items will be a requirement for reaching the final scene. Yes, you will need to collect the entire Knight of Diamonds 'set' to be able to seize the staff. By the way, the monsters are tougher, but our spells are more powerful as well - just like our characters, which we imported from Wizardry 1, right? Of course! I can't stress the lack-of-character-generation issue of Wizardry 2 enough. You will simply not be able to play without characters strengthened in the bloodshed of the first scenario. This rule applies to the third installment too, but we'll deal with that later.
Okay, here's a bit which might cheer you up: you can save your game in the dungeon. There's no need for rushing back to the castle with the party every time you want to quit. There are also a lot of new things you'll encounter during the fierce skirmishes with numerous horrors, but I will not deprive you of the joy of revelation. If you wouldn't like to struggle with the game, then you'll find excellent maps and walkthroughs on the net, which might prevent you from sending your party on a suicide mission.
All in all, the game itself is pretty much the same as the first one in the series, with only minor changes in gameplay. I recommend this one to those who want more of Wizardry I. 4 out of 5 points.