During my sophomore year in August, 1981, our high school was gifted a black (Darth Vader) Bell & Howell Apple computer.  These were given to select secondary educational institutions around the country.  Additionally, our school purchased three or four more of the commercial beige Apples.  Since PC’s such as these were a totally new concept, a few of us took the plunge and tried to learn everything we could about them and what they could do.

About six months after learning what the Apple was capable of, I happened into a computer store and saw, on the shelf, a box with some nice and brilliant artwork.  Upon inspecting said box, I realized this was a game like no other.  The front was adorned with the name “Wizardry” and a nice graphic of a dragon while the bottom of the box showed screenshots of the game in action. I knew then and there I had to have it.  With all the money earned from mowing lawns, birthdays and other sources, I purchased the game and a box of Elephant floppy disks.

Since I didn’t own an Apple, I went back to the school and fired up the game. After making the scenario disk, I loaded it and created my characters.  After all these years, I still remember the character names I created.  My introduction, after I got through the Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord, was to explore the first level of the dungeon. Being weak (due to being new to the game), and the monsters having no mercy, it took a few false starts and a lot of character recreations after the previous ones were killed. Finally, I got the characters to sufficient experience levels so they could survive a lot longer.

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Kevin Butler Kevin Butler (16 Posts)

Since he played on the first Magnanvox Odyssey in 1973, Kevin was bitten by the video game bug. It didn't matter what the games looked like, they were just fun. When Space Invaders was released in the United States in the late 1970's, he spent a ton of quarters in his local Aladdins Castle trying (unsuccessfully) to master the game. He continued to play on various console and arcade games (even learning to program the Apple II+) until he joined the navy in 1983. Joined the navy in 1983 and became a Hospital Corpsman in 1984. While in the navy, Kevin was able continue his hobby of programming PC's and playing videogames. In the early to mid 1990's, Kevin learned to program the Atari ST and worked for Majicsoft for a couple of years. Before retiring from the navy in 2004, Kevin started to write FAQ's for GameFAQ's. His forte was arcade FAQ's since that was his real passion still. His FAQ's have appeared in many places that seek to preserve the arcade game history. This is especially true for the MAME project where his guides are a part of the documentation. After retiring from the navy, Kevin has been more involved in computer repair, networking, and computer security but he still is involved in the arcade history arena. He currently lives in Neosho MO with his wife and one son who is also a video game hobbyist.