Wizards & Warriors X: The Fortress of Fear is a 1990 side-scrolling platform video game developed by UK-based company Rare and published by Acclaim Entertainment for the Game Boy handheld game console. The game takes place after the events in Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II and shows the knight warrior Kuros. He makes his way to the Fortress of Fear to defeat the evil wizard Malkil who, after 17 years of calm, captured Princess Elaine and imprisoned it there. Wizards & Warriors X consists of five “chapters” with 18 levels. Unlike the previous games in the series, the gameplay is more linear. Reviews were mostly negative, focused on the slow gameplay, lack of sequels, and the blurring caused by scrolling on the Game Boy. In response to the title of the game (Chapter X), some game magazines asked what happened to the intermediate chapters in the Wizards & Warriors series.
Wizards & Warriors X: The Fortress of Fear is an action platform game in which players take on the role of Kuros as he battles through the Fortress of Fear to defeat the evil wizard Malkil. The gameplay is more of a hack-and-slash type and linear, unlike the previous games in the series. The game consists of five "chapters" that comprise a total of 18 levels. Players can use the D-Pad to move Kuros and press the other buttons to make him jump and attack enemies. The main objectives in each level are to increase the score by defeating enemies and collecting gems, maintaining the life force of Kuros by collecting food and beer, and gaining magical powers by collecting various spells. To achieve these objectives, players must find keys and open treasure chests, collect all items, avoid dangerous items and defeat all enemies that stand in the way. During the game, players can collect various spells to help Kuros on their way. These spells are mostly in locked chests and include the "Shield of Protection", the "Potion of Healing", the "Spell of Invincibility" and the "Boots of Jumping". At the end of each “chapter” there is a boss who has to be defeated before moving to later levels.
Kuros' life force, made up of a series of hearts located at the top of the screen, decreases every time he takes damage from enemies and dangerous objects, or if he falls too far. The player loses a life when Kuros' life force is depleted or when he falls off the screen. The game ends when all lives are lost. However, players can collect food and beer to replenish Kuros' life force, and they can collect miniature versions of Kuros for extra lives. When the game ends and a sufficiently high score is achieved, players can register their initials and high score in "The Scroll of Honor," where, according to the game manual, "the scores of the greatest warriors who have ever entered the fortress of" will be scared recorded ". However, the high scores of the players are deleted as soon as the device is switched off. The game does not offer a sequel, so players will have to restart the game from the beginning each time the game ends.
The events in Wizards & Warriors X: The Fortress of Fear take place after the events in Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II. The game shows the knight warrior Kuros, "one of the bravest warriors who ever wielded the iron sword" and the only person who defeated the evil wizard Malkil. After Malkil's defeat in Ironsword, he fell into seclusion for more than 17 years, during which time no one was heard from him. Then Princess Elaine disappears without a trace, in the Kuros believes that Malkil has captured her and locked her in the dreaded Fortress of Fear in the forests of Zanifer. Kuros then ventures into the Fortress of Fear to stop Malkil from pursuing his evil plans. However, many people went to the Fortress of Fear, but none of them survived.
Wizards & Warriors X: The Fortress of Fear was developed by the UK-based video game company Rare and published in North America by Acclaim Entertainment in January 1990. It was briefly covered in the May-June 1990 issue of Nintendo Power magazine. There, the staff asked why Acclaim called the game Chapter X and said, "If we find out what happened to Chapters III through IX, we'll let you know." It was also discussed in UK gaming magazine Mean Machines, where they praised the game overall, but criticized the amount of blurring caused by scrolling on the Game Boy. Reviewer Julian Rignall: "It's a shame this has such blurry scrolling because it's a great game." In a retrospective of the entire Wizards & Warriors franchise, UK-based retrogaming magazine Retro Gamer asked the same question , which Nintendo Power had asked 20 years ago, and asked what happened to the fourth through ninth chapters in the series. They noticed the more linear hack and slash gameplay that set it apart from its NES counterparts. The game has been criticized by the magazine mainly for its slow gameplay, high level of difficulty (in which they claim it is harder than Ironsword) and lack of sequel. They mistakenly suspected that the game was never released in Europe, saying that it "may have been a blessing in disguise".