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The Wizard's Castle

DOS - 1981

Alt names Hobbit Adventure, Temple of Loth, The Orb of Zot, The Temple of Loth
Year 1981
Platform DOS
Released in United States (1981)
United States (1984)
Genre Role-Playing (RPG)
Theme Fantasy, Turn-based
Publisher International PC Owners
Perspective Text-based / Spreadsheet
4 / 5 - 23 votes

Description of The Wizard's Castle

A very primitive early text-only RPG, The Wizard's Castle is another release by IPCO, the world's first publication for PC. From MobyGames' description:

...A long time ago, the great wizard Zot forged an orb of power. He soon vanished, leaving behind a vast castle filled with monsters, traps, and great treasures including the orb of power. You play the part of a bold adventurer in search of the orb of power and whatever other treasures you can make it out of the castle with.

Gameplay is similar to a text adventure game. Simple commands are used to move from room to room, consult a map, or look around. Many times though you need only choose from a several options for the current situation, such as during battles. There are vendors you can trade with, mystical pools which can give or take away power, warps to far parts of the castle, numerous monsters to fight and assorted treasures to find. The Wizard's Castle was originally written for the Exidy Sorcerer and later ported to the IBM PC.

As far as 1981 games go, this BASIC game is not that bad. But unfortunately compared to the marvel that was Infocom's contemporaneous Zork, The Wizard's Castle pales by comparison. Worth a look for text adventure enthusiasts, but only as a historical curiosity that doesn't stand the test of time so well.

Review By HOTUD

External links

Captures and Snapshots

Comments and reviews

gnome 2024-05-05 0 point

I can attest to using the code to make my own version once upon a time... probably around 1990-92. I ported the Apple version into QBasic, assigned powers to the treasures, and changed it to a princess to be rescued.

Alas, I lost my only copy in a hard drive crash. I don't remember how widely I shared it, if at all. But if someone finds the Princess version I'd love to know it survived.

Twitch 2023-07-19 0 point

AW, If you don't input a random number seed (which this game doesn't ask for) then there's a default value for the random number generator at start. I tried inserting line 1511 RANDOMIZE TIMER
and each time I start the game for the first time, I get a new map

larry 2022-01-23 2 points

it would be great if myabandonware had "text-based" games as a specific theme. so we could search them properly.

i find text based games very interesting that they can provide a gaming experience without/very simple graphics. everything is "imagination" for both creator and player.

besides, some of them have huge depth that no modern games are able to provide. for example: star fleet 1 and 2. probably two of the most complex games ever designed.

moonbug 2020-01-25 0 point

@AW : looks like the WIZARD.BAS code only makes two calls to RND() so this version doesn't appear very random. There's another version of this game called The Temple of Loth that also runs in GW-BASIC with more RND() calls and also seeds the random number generator at the start of the program. Or you can try that C version posted by The Amiganaut.

Mr. Curious 2019-10-20 0 point

What are the differences between the alternative versions?

AW 2019-09-30 1 point

I'm playing this game with my son to show him what text based games used to be like, I first played this game back in about 1990. However none of the three versions above are randomizing the castle properly - when I start them, the rooms always have the same configuration. Does anyone know how to get it to randomize properly?

Tasak 2017-04-13 2 points

Didn't think that text games are that fun!

The Amiganaut 2015-02-16 3 points DOS version

I had an alternate version of this game that was an enhanced version by Verne R. Walrafen in 1984. I have completely rewritten it in C and have source code and binaries here :
It will run on just about anything, I have even tested it on Android!

Bec 2014-08-31 0 point DOS version

Game doesnt open when downloaded just gives an error code 404

Savvy 2013-10-05 2 points DOS version

Awesome text game with a good sense of humour!

A Wise Old Man 2013-02-21 5 points DOS version

Because the source for this game was freely distributed so coders could port it to other platforms - Commodore's PET, TRS-80, TI-99/4A, Atari 800, Apple ][ -- *and* Apple ]I[, believe it or not! -- and a couple of the UK lines - when BBS' started hosting download sections, modified versions of this could be found along with the "stock versions". The best ones added new character classes, different treasures, new combat options, and better monsters. And because the code was there to be modded, it was also there to be tweaked so that monsters could be renamed after various people in a particular BBS community.

One infamous version bitchslapped a group of pre-teen wannabee hackers - all less than 10 years old, and led by a =blind= kid whose father worked for IBM and mother spoiled him rotten - and because all of these punks had pissed off every sysop in the area, this version wound up on the file sections over over two *hundred* BBS' in the first week it was first put up for download. Even a few of the major multi-line pay systems carried it, and even AOL had a compiled version with the same mods - including most of the hacker punks' real names and their home phone numbers! - in their DOS games section for several years.

This one appears to be the stock version, but hopefully *someone* out there has an unrusted 5.25" floppy with at least one of the modded versions sitting in a floppy box, and will donate it here so the good times can be relived again. If not, give a copy to your kid(s) and let them tinker with it. It's a great way to learn BASIC and how to sort through clunky code without the benefit of comment blocks :) :)

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DOS Version

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