Wizard of Legend: Looking Back on a Niche Classic

Luca Ferro ‘27 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

A little less than a year ago, the announcement trailer for Wizard of Legend 2, a sequel to the similarly named original game, was shown off at the Humble Games Showcase. Though an official release date has yet to be stated, common consensus is that it will be coming any day now, and the community is extremely excited for this new installment. But why is this series so beloved? In this article, explore the manifold quality of the original Wizard of Legend.

Wizard of Legend is a roguelike dungeon crawler which encourages the player to generate combinations of spells and items in order to defeat increasingly difficult floors and bosses. The game is moderately challenging, and it is extremely unlikely that the average player will even get past the second boss on their first try. However, once the player starts to understand what kind of playstyle works the best for them, as well as what items and spells synergize well, they start to progress further. The game has a very satisfying feeling of growth to it, and the player is encouraged to experiment with each run while simultaneously improving their technical skill.

Each run of Wizard of Legend starts with the player selecting a handful of spells and a single item, which they automatically equip at the start of the first dungeon. Unlike some other roguelikes, there is no standard power expansion or increasing gains as the game goes on. The player only gains access to more options, and learns how those options are best employed. Additionally, this means that the game does have a significant amount of luck involved, as the loot, shops, and other locations that appear in each run are randomized, and there is no way for the player to ensure they get what they want. However, this unlocks an entirely new experience, in which each run has its own element of deckbuilding, where the player swaps items and spells in and out of their kit to try and find a winning combination before the difficulty ramps up too much.

The game does get quite difficult in its later stages, and certain attack patterns or elements just seem unfair. However, as mentioned before, the player’s greatest reward from each run is knowledge about the enemies and obstacles within the dungeon. Over time, the player begins to recognize bosses’ attack patterns, strengths and weaknesses, and how their place in the line of battlebattles determines their difficulty and what abilities they will have access to. They also learn what at their disposal will best counter enemies, and will end up forming a build that sacrifices certain elements to capitalize on others. The last couple bosses, especially the final one, are no joke, but luckily an entire run will only last an hour at most, so the player usually does not feel awful about losing, just excited to try again. And when the time comes, when the player has just the right amount of technical skills, game knowledge, and a little bit of luck, they defeat that final boss and simply feel amazing, all that effort and experimentation culminating in that perfect moment.

Even after beating the game for the first time, Wizard of Legend offers plenty more. There are a number of challenge modes that are all also very fun, and add unique difficulties to once again work out and around. However, the player might not even need to do these, because even running the base game again but with a different starting lineup can be a lot of fun as well. Alternatively, they can keep doing the exact same kind of run, but seeing what other combinations can be built with the randomized encounters and loot. Put plain and simply, Wizard of Legend has excellent replayability. Overall, the game is an absolute blast, and is very deserving of its praise. It keeps players hooked with its high energy action and buildcraft mechanics, and has the necessary content to continue that even after they have beaten the game once. This game, and its eventual sequel, should definitely be on the radar of anyone who enjoys fast action battlers and/or roguelike dungeon crawlers.

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