Starting a solo run in Wiz 6 is technically not allowed, but can be done with a little file editing. However, it comes with its own set of problems which are hard to predict and can easily make an already tough challange even harder and annoying.
Playing Wizardry 8 with a single character is a popular thing among die hard fans. I’ve wanted to do that for a while, but then I thought, why not play through all 3 games like that (especially since I did that with a 6-man party before)?
But then it turned out that Wiz 6 won’t allow me to start a game with less than 2 chars. I’ve combed the internet for solutions for that and couldn’t find it, but then I thought, how complex these save files can be? And voila, after a little experimenting, it turned out pretty simple!
If you want the complete experience of figuring out how play, read only the following section. Further down, I’ll list a few things which might save you a lot of time and frustration, while not really spoiling the process (I sure wish I knew these things sooner!).
Also, it should be obvious, but this is aimed mostly at veteran players, so I won’t be describing simple things like character creation and importing – there are plenty of guides for these things too. I’ll leave out the actual gameplay as well, to let you have fun figuring out the way you want to play 😉
How to Start a Solo Game
First, you are going to need a Hex Editor (easy to google if you don’t have one). Create your main character you are going to suffer play with (I’ll add a few tips for that further down) and add him to the party. Then add another character, any will do, just choose one of the pre-made ones.
Start the game and as soon as you gain control, save the game and exit. In the game folder (BANE) find SAVEGAME.DBS and open it with a hex editor. Scroll it all the way down until numbers end. Here you will see something like this:
Each character data begins with their name. Highlight and delete the second character, as shown on the picture. Also, right before the 1st character, there’s a number (also highlighted) which you will need to change from 2 to 1 (number of characters in the party). Save the file and that’s it! When you load it you’ll be all alone against hordes of nasties.
Wizardry 6: Tips
Playing with just one character is tough, and you are going to die A LOT, especially in the beginning, so you’ll want your guy to be as ready for the challange as possible.
- Character gender matters, not only because of the -2 STR females get, but also because of which special item from the endgame you can use and transfer to later games. Female characters CAN finish Wizardry 8 apparently (I didn’t know about that when I started my run however).
- It’s a good idea to start as a caster class, because it’ll determine your spell point regeneration for the whole game. Yes, you may change classes, but SP regen remains constant, and for all but casters it’s very low. You may think it’s no big deal later in the game when you get fountains to restore, but… You can’t use them as a solo! You see, usually when facing a fountain the game asks which character uses it, and you can simply choose “exit”. With just one, it’ll automatically choose him over and over in a cycle you can’t get out of (at least I couldn’t figure out a way to), and the only way out is to close the game. So you will have to rely on resting for SP regen for most of the game. Good news is since you are alone and someone is always awake if monsters attack you in your sleep, you’ll always be ready to fight.
- Carry capacity is also constant after starting the game (unless you use a side program to fix that, I personally wanted my playthrough to be as clean as possible, editing the save file was bad enough to me). So getting max bonus points and putting them into STR and VIT is also a good idea, after some time all those quest items and gear start getting really heavy. Having 16 VIT also increases your SP regen, so I’d say getting that and putting rest into STR is optimal.
- Speaking of quest items, you have a choice to make here. If you play the game properly, collecting them all, you probably won’t have enough room for them, let alone any gear. So you either collect REALLY critical ones, which you absolutely need to progress (I chose that route and by the end I had a full swag bag of them and 1-2 in the inventory), or use a save editor to remove them when they become useless. I preferred the 1st route for the sake of game purity, however that’s also not perfect because it requires “out of game knowledge”. Up to you here. I may put a list of items you can skip if somebody asks, though I found it fun to figure out on my own. Maybe put it under a spoiler…
- And a little tip in case you find winning your first few fights too hard: Search the 1st floor carefully (order of opening chests matters!) and you’ll have enough money to buy a few things from traders (bombs, powders) to make your fights easier.
Wizardry 7: Tips
Not many here, except for one moment. Unlike 6, you can actually start Wizardry 7 solo, and it doesn’t have the same fountain problem. SP regen and carry capacity also change during the game as they should (actually, not sure about SP, but either way it’s not a big deal IMO because fountains work fine). The only problem that remains is the limited inventory, and even that can be bypassed by temporarily dropping items.
However! Items DO disappear if you leave them on the floor for too long, even critical ones (I had to load a backup waaay back after losing some, good thing I made those every so often and I advise you to do the same). Also, from what I gathered it’s not tied to time, but rather amount of items you drop (drop too many and the game starts removing previously dropped ones, seemingly at random).
So if you rely on temporarily dropping items for inventory management, you should avoid dropping too many. Like, if a monster/chest drops potions, scrolls or powders, you can take them and use out of combat to remove them from the game quickly, and avoid opening chests unless they contain critical items or some gear you actually need.
Some chests contain items which are good for transfering to Wizardry 8, so if you want to make sure you still have them for that, it’s a good idea not to open them until the end.
I don’t think there’s anything I should say about soloing Wizardry 8 as there are enough guides on that already. It’s worth mentioning though that it’s going to be a little easier because of a few cool items you can import from previous games.
I’ve been a Wizardry fan since I got W8 many years ago (never played 1-5 though), and after finishing all 3 on Expert with the same character it feels like I’m finally done with it XD. Personally, I went with the “weird neutral” ending in W6, where I befriended the king but killed Bela using an exploit and took the pen, so I got both the ring and the locket (unsurprisingly, Bela was still alive in W8).