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Wizard of Wor

“Fight me! I am the Wizard of Wor!”

Part Pac-Man, part Alien, part Dungeons and Dragons, Bally Midway’s Wizard of Wor took gamers down into a dungeon maze for a terrifying battle with monsters of all shapes and hues.

Somehow, your “Worrior” had managed to outfit himself with a spacesuit and laser rifle, but even with 21st-century firepower, these 15th-century beasts weren’t going down easily.

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The mazes changed from level to level, but the monsters remained the same. Blue, wolf-like Burwors were the most common, but the longer the game lasted, the more yellow Garwors and red Thorwors would roam the dungeon corridors.

The latter two beasties had the crafty ability to turn invisible as well, forcing players to keep one eye on the radar at the bottom of the screen to avoid an unexpected monster encounter.

After certain levels, the insect-like Worluk would appear, offering double points for the next dungeon to any player quick enough to hit its fast-moving hide.

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The most dangerous baddie, however, was the Wizard of Wor himself, a lightning-throwing crone who could teleport to various locations of the maze.

In a rare move for the time, the wizard also had the power of speech, daring players to come plunk in a quarter and try his deadly game.

In later levels, the walls opened up more, giving players fewer hiding places. As a consolation prize, players were awarded the title of “Worlord,” but the new honours did nothing to fend off the swarm of Burwors, Garwors and Thorwors that followed.

The most skilled players moved on to “The Pit,” a completely open area with plenty of monsters and nowhere to hide. Even on this challenging level, however, escape doors at the side of the screen allowed players a quick exit to the other side of the map.

The cross-time themes may have confused some, but Wizard of Wor had enough action and suspense to keep die-hard gamers climbing back down to the dungeon for more.

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