Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Wizard of Wor

Wizard of Wor (c) 1980 Midway.

One or two players move around a variety of line-drawn mazes, shooting the many creatures that wander within. Eliminating all of the monsters will advance the players to the next level. Creatures called Worluks and the Wizard Of Wor himself will occasionally appear and these can be shot for bonus points.

WOR's gameplay was straightforward but compelling, and the game cleverly presented the level mazes to players in random order, vastly adding to the game's replay value.


Wizard of Wor arcade units came in a white dedicated cabinet with sticker sideart of a menacing looking wizard. Cabaret and cocktail versions were also common (The cabaret models had wood grain paneling with no sideart, while the cocktail versions had the monitor mounted sideways for some reason).

Main CPU : Z80 (@ 1.789773 Mhz)

Sound Chips : (2x) Astrocade (@ 1.789773 Mhz), Votrax SC-01

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 320 x 204 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 256

Players : 2

Control : 4-way joystick (that had 2 positions for each directions)

Buttons : 1 (FIRE)


This game featured some early speech synthesis that was done in a similar manner to that in "Gorf" (Gorf and Wizard of Wor ran on nearly identical hardware).

A Wizard of Wor machine was shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.


Burwor (Blue Monster) : 100 points

Gurwor (Yellow Monster) : 200 points

Thorwor (Red Monster) : 500 points

Yellow or Blue Worrior : 1000 points

Worluk : 1000 points + Double Score for Next Dungeon

Wizard of Wor : 2500 points


When you start the game, your Worrior will be in a safe area in the bottom right or left corner of the maze. You will have ten seconds to stay in your safe area before you are forcibly ejected.

* Take a quick look at the maze before you go into it. Know the locations of the monsters and also find areas that will be suitable for defending yourself. The Burwors will already be roaming around. In the later levels, a couple of Garwors and Thorwors will also be in the maze.

* When playing in one-player mode, the computer player will assist you to a degree. Use this to your advantage. This will be especially true in the later levels when the invisible monsters are roaming the maze. The computer player can help you by making them become visible. Keep in mind that you can kill off the computer Worrior and they can do the same to you.

* Two-player works like one player. Learn to work together and try not to kill each other (unless you are playing a cut-throat competition).

* It is easier to turn from side to side then it is to turn from side to up/down. Find the short walls that will only allow monsters to approach you from the side. Also, align your warrior just a little past the corridor walls above and below. This will give you the advantage of seeing invisible monsters in two vice one passageway.

* Another advantage of the above is the fact that the monsters will push you back vice kill you. Of course, you must get back into position since the monsters seldom will attack you singly in the later dungeons.

* Learn to tap the joystick so you can rapidly turn without moving your Worrior. This will prove invaluable on the later levels when you have to turn back-and-forth rapidly to shoot the enemies coming at you.

* Learn to use your radar. Although it doesn't have the maze superimposed upon it, you can get a pretty good idea of where the invisible monsters are and where they are moving to. This will definitely help decrease the chance of being surprised by one of them.

* When you are shooting, make sure you are making your shots count. You can only have one shot out at a time. This basically means that until your shot hits a wall or a monster, you have no firepower. So don't fire down long corridors or you may find yourself surrounded by monsters without being able to shoot them.

* Your shots can also be negated by the other Worrior's shots, monster's breath weapons, and the wizards lightening bolts.

* As the dungeons progress, the monsters become smarter. Not only do they attempt to surround your character, they also move out of the way when you are aiming at them. In addition to becoming smarter, they move much quicker and tend to swarm on your Worrior.

* You can use the warp tunnel once during a dungeon. It will also clear out when the Worlock appears. When you use the warp tunnel, it will seal off behind you as you get to the other side. Only use it when you really need to. Don't hang around it since the monsters will also use it to get to your location.

* The Worlock will appear after the last monster has been killed. Worlocks usually appear in the center of the maze and move toward one of the war tunnels. Try to seal off the warp tunnel to prevent the Worlocks escape. Also, hit it at long range since trying to fight toe-to-toe with it would be suicide.

* After you clear out the Worlock, you may be confronted by the Wizard of Wor himself. The Wizard of Wor teleports randomly about the maze shooting off lightening bolts. This may be the one time when a pre-emptive shot may do you some good since the wizard may teleport into your shot. You can also use the same tactics of creeping out from behind a wall with the wizard since you won't be hit until you are pushed back into the corridor.

* If you survive through dungeon 7, you will now be classified as a Worlord. This basically means all the monsters are moving at maximum speed and they are all coming for you.

* If you don't lose a Worrior on the dungeons with the Pit, you will be classified as a Worlord Supreme.

* For the mazes that are open (such as the Pit) or very near open (such as the Arena), go to a corner to present the smallest possible target and to force the monsters to only come at you in two directions.

* While you are playing the game, if you turn the power off and back on quickly, you will start where you left off and your total amount of Worriors left will be at their maximum of 16.

* After the dungeon counter (located above the radar) passes 100, it will reset but the first digits will no longer by in synch with the counter.

* It is rumored that if you fire a shot and the Wizard of Wor first appears in the exact same spot where your shot is, the game will lock up.


Designed and programmed by : Tom McHugh, Dave Nutting


* Consoles :

Bally Astrocade (1982, "The Incredible Wizard")

Atari 5200 (1983)

Atari XEGS

Microsoft XBOX (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasures 2")

Nintendo GameCube (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasures 2")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasures 2")

Sony PSP (2005, "Midway Arcade Treasures - Extended Play")

* Computers :

Commodore C64 (1984)

Atari 800

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2006, "Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition")