How Dark Could A Wizard101 World Be?
In the spiral of Wizard101, and it’s vast selection of worlds, most have vibrant color palettes, and positive up-lifting story themes. After all, it is a game centered around the protagonist (the player) defying the odds time after time to save the spiral from impending doom. Only in a few cases has the story of the world or the theme really taken a dark turn, which begs the question - how “dark” could the story/theme of a Wizard101 world get? To answer that, let’s first go over our examples in the game already!
The first example I always go to is Azteca, specifically the ending of the story in this world. To recap shortly the story in this world, players will find themselves trying to outrun a meteor - and Morganthe - as we try to stop her on her conquest of resurrecting the Lords of Night, with the help of a familiar foe, and ram the meteor right into Azteca. Unfortunately, we are too late in stopping the meteor, and it crashes into the world of Azteca, drastically changing the look of the world.
This is the first big case of the player not being successful in our goal upon entering the world from a story point. WIth most worlds, we as players come to a mostly positive outcome in the story - whether it be resolving a conflict or stopping a big enemy from wreaking havoc on a world. Azteca flips the script, and leaves us with defeat, and more problems than when we started the world. A nice addition to this feeling is the matching world change, with mini meteors falling down constantly and a very dark color palette that the sky has transformed into. Moving onto more darker concepts, let’s look at the next world in the storyline - Khrysalis!
While the first half of Khrysalis isn’t particularly dark from a visual standpoint, the second half of this world really starts to crank that up, and the story follows in suit. From spider lairs, to a literal shadow tree - the visuals in this world are incredible. It becomes abundantly clear we are crawling deeper and deeper into the central lair of Morganthe as we progress on the story. From spider webs, to a heavy red and black color palette in most areas, the dark themed visual ending to Khrysalis is one of my favorites in the game to date.
From a story point, Khrysalis also delivers on the more dark themes - but in a different way than the previous world. Part 1 of Khrysalis doesn’t have too many revelations - but Part 2 is where things start to get spicy. In this part, players actually get to witness visions of Morganthe back when she was in Ravenwood - and see her first tastes of Shadow Magic. Unfortunately, this ends up getting her expelled by Merle, and starts her on the path of exploring Shadow Magic dangerously. Some of the bosses dialogue in the second part can be quite explosive as well - which compliments the dark theme quite well, too.
Now that we’ve dissected it from a visual stance, and also a story stance, let’s jump back to my original question. With the game being out now for over a decade, much of the player base has grown along-side the game. With later worlds starting to explore darker themed plot lines or world environments, we’ve gotten a taste of darker and more mature content to the game. I believe this can still be developed on for future world expansions, whether it be a major character death in the plot line, or the world itself taking on more of a creepy/dark theme to it. That isn’t to say the lighter themed worlds aren’t spectacular in themselves, but I do believe Wizard101 could use a good shake-up from it’s usual recipe of a world!
Let me know your thoughts, ideas, or comments regarding how “dark” a future world/expansion to Wizard101 could be!