Wizards & Warriors is a platforming video game developed by UK-based company Rare for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was published by Acclaim and released in North America in December 1987 and in Europe on January 7, 1990. It was also released in Japan by Jaleco on July 15, 1988, under the title Densetsu no Kishi Elrond. Wizards & Warriors was featured in early video gaming magazines such as Nintendo Fun Club News, Nintendo Power, and VideoGames & Computer Entertainment in 1988 and 1989. The main characters Kuros and Malkil would make appearances in the animated series The Power Team (part of the TV video game reviewing show Video Power) and Captain N: The Game Master. The game would also be novelized for the Worlds of Power series of NES game adaptations, created by Seth Godin. It received general praise for its graphics, sound, difficulty, and arcade-style gameplay. Criticisms include the presence of unlimited continues, which allow players to restart the game right where they previously left off while retaining all items that were collected before. Retro Gamer called Wizards & Warriors 'a unique experience for NES gamers in 1987, and technically well ahead of other games for the console at the time'. The game also spawned three sequels: Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II, Wizards & Warriors III: Kuros: Visions of Power and Wizards & Warriors X: The Fortress of Fear.
Wizards & Warriors pits the story's hero Kuros, the 'Knight Warrior of the Books of Excalibur', against the main antagonist, the evil wizard Malkil. He was considered one of the greatest wizards in the land, such that Merlin was one of his students. However, the aging Malkil has gone mad and has started using his magic for evil. As a result, Malkil has captured the princess and holds her prisoner in Castle IronSpire, deep within the forests of Elrond. The game's protagonist, the brave knight Kuros, is summoned to venture through the forests of Elrond. He is armed with the legendary Brightsword, a sword that is powerful enough to beat demons, insects, undead, and the other creatures which have fallen under Malkil's spell. With the sword, he ventures out through the forests of Elrond and the various caves and underground tunnels and to Castle IronSpire, where he must defeat Malkil and rescue the princess.
Wizards & Warriors is a platformer in which players control Kuros as he makes his way through the forests of Elrond to Castle IronSpire, where he must defeat Malkil and rescue the princess. After starting the game, the map is briefly shown for players to look at; afterwards, gameplay starts. Starting in the Elrond forest, players must explore the trees – both on top and inside – to find items and to make it into the caves and tunnels. There, players start collecting the various magical items and treasure; they must make their way through caves filled with ice as well as lava. Afterwards, players fight through a second set of forests before arriving at Castle IronSpire, in which the player must go over the castle in order to enter it. The castle consists of a series of mazes in which players must use keys to open doors and possibly find other damsels which can be rescued. At the end lies the final confrontation with the wizard Malkil.
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