Ironsword: Wizards and Warriors II

Wait…there was a Wizards and Warriors II?

Review Date: April 17, 2021

Release Date: December 1, 1989

Platform: NES

Publisher: Rare

Genre: Linear Platformer

Anecdotes: I was always curious as to how Rare would follow up Wizards and Warriors; the first game was both super hard and super easy at the same time. Kuros would die all the time, but there were infinite continues. Ironsword changed up the formula in quite a few ways, but most notably, a lot of the first game’s items are gone. Did the sequel turn out better than the original? I’d hold people in suspense, but I think it’ll be quite obvious that the answer is no.

Description: Kuros has to take on the four elementals. Each of the first four levels is themed after the element. They are also divided into halves. The first half of each area involves finding the golden item that the animal is asking for. Once Kuros finds the item, the animal will allow Kuros to pass. Kuros then has to find and defeat the boss. Once all four elementals are defeated, he will then go find Malkil and fight him.

Positives: All of those “Select” items that were never used have been removed. Instead, the select button now leads into the menu. From there, Kuros has access to whatever spells he has found.

On the other major positive, the low level music is gone. The normal stage music can be heard now regardless of Kuros’ health.

Negatives: While it’s annoying enough to have enemies constantly flying around, the game really steps up the annoyance by making the platforming as obnoxious as possible. The cloud level is especially ridiculous. Kuros bounces on the clouds at all times, even when he isn’t jumping. Kuros also keeps jumping if the button is held down, so I just held it down and bounced around the clouds for a while. Sometimes, in the cloud level, Kuros doesn’t jump the full height; other times he does, but this game, of course, makes sure the platforms are just out of reach. And then there’s this:

Kuros can not go downward through the diagonal lines.

Those diagonal lines are everywhere, but all they’re good for is messing up Kuros’ jumps. Kuros can’t go downward through them, so he slides to the side. Level 2 uses trees in the same way, and in both cases, Kuros will slide down multiple “slides” and often go right to the ground. It is a pain.


Like the first game, there is a rough map of where Kuros is going to go.
Hey, they dropped that old English nonsense! That’s a plus in my book.
I found the Golden Huevo! Let’s just ignore the fact I have no health left…
No! Come back! Don’t leave me here!
This boss just blows me away.
My advice is to just keep jumping. Kuros never knows what he could land on.
I got a frog in my throat. I’ll let the frog do the talking.
The current current leads to the second boss.
Aw yeah first place! I beat the appropriately named UGH by 119 points.
And then there’s whatever this is. I’m amused by it.
Yeah, yeah. Just tell me what item I need to find.

Final Opinion: The platforming is just insufferable in this game. I’m also not sure how limited continues and a password system exist in the same game.

Grade: C

With this, I am finished with the 80s. I miss those times, but I have to move on. As a teaser, three of the games over the next week have a 3 or III at the ends of their titles.

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