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Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II is a platforming action-adventure video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) developed by UK-based company Zippo Games, a subsidiary of Rare Ltd. it was published by Acclaim and released in North America in December 1989 and in Europe on March 27, 1991. It is the sequel to Rare's 1987 title Wizards & Warriors. In Ironsword, the player controls the knight warrior Kuros as he ventures in the land of Sindarin. He must defeat the evil wizard Malkil, who has assumed the elemental forms of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. Kuros must collect the parts of and assemble the legendary "IronSword" in order to defeat Malkil, who resides at the top of IceFire Mountain.
Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II was developed by Zippo Games' founder Ste Pickford and was the first game that he developed for the NES. Steve Hughes also assisted in development, while Rare's video game composer David Wise did the music and sound. Pickford wanted to expand on the previous Wizards & Warriors game. Having experience with developing computer games, Pickford used various animation and graphics techniques to try and show off the NES' graphical capabilities. In addition, Acclaim hired Italian male model Fabio Lanzoni to pose as Kuros on the game's cover.
The game was fairly well-received, selling 500,000 copies in North America and 50,000 copies in Europe. Various video game magazines praised Ironsword for its size, graphics and sound, detailed characters and bosses, and gameplay. Other reviews criticized its lack of originality as compared to other games that were released at the time. The game led Zippo Games to develop additional games for Rare on the NES such as Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship and Wizards & Warriors III: Kuros: Visions of Power. Ironsword won "Game Player's NES Excellence Award" from Game Players magazine as one of the better NES titles of 1990.
Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II is a platforming video game where the player controls the best warrior in the land, Kuros, as he explores the land of Sindarin to defeat the evil wizard Malkil. This time, Malkil has taken the form of the four "Elementals", based on the Greek classical elements – Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water – to stop Kuros in his quest. The objective is to assemble the legendary "IronSword", the only weapon that can defeat Malkil, and defeat the evil wizard who lies at the peak of IceFire Mountain. In the game, players can move Kuros left or right, or make him crouch with the control pad; the buttons allow Kuros to jump, to use his sword or a magic spell to defeat enemies, to access the "Magic Spell Screen", or to pause the game. Kuros has a life meter which decreases every time he sustains damage from an enemy or a dangerous projectile, or if he falls for too long a distance. Along the way, players can collect chicken and brew to replenish Kuros' life meter. Kuros loses a life when his life meter runs out, and the game ends when he loses all his lives. However, players may continue and restart the game where they left off up to two times; players may not continue the game after completing the Earth domain.
Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II consists of four levels called "domains" – each named after the four elementals. In each domain, Kuros must find a golden artifact which belongs to the domain's "Animal King" and return it to him. Upon doing so, the path to the second part of the domain will appear. In the second part, Kuros must find the magic spell necessary to defeat the boss – the domain's Elemental; without the spell, it is impossible to damage the boss. Once the elemental in each stage has been destroyed, Kuros obtains a piece of the IronSword, which is needed for the final battle on Icefire Mountain. Throughout the game, players must collect items, spells, and money to progress. Money helps buy magic spells; more powerful weapons, shields, and helmets; keys to open locked treasure chests, and additional food. Treasure chests, located throughout the game, contain one of the following items: additional money, magic spells, or weapon and armor upgrades. In the domains, players can visit Inns where they can buy food, keys, or items; they may also participate in a "Bonus chance" game where they may gamble their money to see which cup a bouncing skull will fall into.
In the game, magic spells help against enemies and Elemental bosses; some are bought, while others must be found. Magic spells include "The Familiar Spell" which turns enemies into money and helps retrieve golden objects, the "Dragon Tooth Spell" which turns enemies into food, the "Asp Tongue Spell" which slows down enemies, the "Silver Fleece Spell" which makes Kuros temporarily invincible, and the "Water Spout Spell" which creates an upward column of water that allows Kuros to reach high places. Many of the magic spells are of limited use and disappear over time. Other magic spells are necessary to defeat the Elemental bosses. These spells are found in each of the four domains and include "Windbane", "Blightwater", "Firesmite", and "Earthscorch". These spells can only be used in the levels in which they are obtained and consume magic upon usage; players can obtain additional magic by collecting small, floating, gold bubbles that appear randomly.
Players may also increase their score by defeating enemies or by collecting items. Hidden along the way are "Relics of Sindarin", which are worth many points when collected. At the end of the game, players with a high enough of a score can place their names in the "IronSword Hall of Fame". However, the list resets when the console is turned off. The game also includes a password feature in which players can obtain a password from the "Magic Spell Screen" to use to continue the game at a later time, even after the console has been turned off. (Quelle: Wikipedia)
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