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Title screen from the game
Game No. 433
Voting 8.29 points, 21 votes
Developer Alan Pavlish, Brian Fargo,
Michael A. Stackpole, Mike Quarles,
Todd J. Camasta
Company Interplay Productions
Publisher Electronic Arts
Release 1988
Platform C64, Apple II, MS-DOS-PC, Macintosh
Genre RPG 2D
Gamemode Single player
Operation Icon Port2.pngJoystick Keyboard
Media Diskette
Language Language:english

Description[edit | edit source]

You start at the Ranger Center...

Middle of the 21st century...
An atomic war between the USA and the Sovjet Union has turned big parts of the Earth into radioactive wastelands. In these Wastelands only survival counts. The heroes of the game are a group of so-called Desert Rangers. These are the followers of the US Forces. They come from the southwest of the USA and can therefore cope better with the rough conditions in the Wastelands.
After having created a group of Desert Rangers, you wander through a deserted solitude after the nuclear holocaust that the Third World War brought. The land is dried out and many mutants and other more or less humanoid creatures destabilise it...

Aim of the game

The group has the mission to examine different incidents in the Wastelands. You move from town to town and gradually uncover a conspiracy that threatens the rest of the human civilisation. The journey leads you to the last human enclaves of the Wastelands, including the post-nuclear Las Vegas...

Design[edit | edit source]

The first fight for the group is imminent...

The role play game Wasteland comes from the same game manufacturer than the equally well-known The Bard's Tale. You steer a party that initially consists of four soldiers through a post-apocalyptic surrounding. During this, you mainly move on a map from the birds view that is shown in tile graphics. In the course of the game the party can grow to up to seven members. The possibility to hire an enemy during a dialogue or a fight is unique. Revolutionary was the own behaviour of the soldiers; some commands are disobeyed and some tasks simply are beyond the character's know-how. By this, they got an own personality which created an until now totally new feeling in the game. The atmosphere of the game world puts over a gloomy and tough end time mood, Seen objectively, the graphics are only mediorce though, and the C64 version has no sound effects or music.
If there is a fight, they view is switched to the one already known from Bard's Tale, you enter the actions for the upcoming fighting round and then look at the effect this has. Depending on the attributes, equipment and fighting skills the soldiers eke out a living more or less valiantly in the Wasteland. E.g. bad swimmers need a long time to cross a river and lose life energy during this. Such a detailled skill system did not exist in any game before. The characters get experience points that serve for raising these skills.
Concerning the plot, you can mainly go along as you like, you have an enormous number of possibilites for decisions and taking influence. There are different solutions for many situations in the game, that can lead to different results. A big part of the texts in the game were sourced out to a booklet due to reasons of memory capacity, and if needed the game refers to the corresponding paragraphs (locations in the book). This technique is also known from the game Dragon Wars. The extensive accessories was as a side effect also a deterrence for software pirates.
As all the progess in the course of the game is saved on the disk, it is advised to create a copy of the original disk before starting to play.
The movement screen with the map is for the movement of the group. This way you get from town to town. The party is shown as a figure of a manikin which is bigger than houses or mountains. In the towns you can enter dungeons. For this you need to answer a (Y/N) questions. In the dungeons the map is a bit more realistic concerning the proportions.
The game death of a character is final, there is no possibility of reanimation. However, the selections for a follower in this emerging gap in the party is enormous, you can try with quasi every NPC in the game to hire it.


The fighting menu...
The first town...
A shop...

Hints[edit | edit source]


The mutant gehts his knuckles rapped...
  • Not being in a fight, you move with the following keys:
J  to the west
L  to the east
K  to the south
I  to the north
  • At the bottom there is a window with the names and the health of the group.
  • The Use command opens another window that shows these commands: Heal, Skills and Attributes. The skill screen shows the different skills that you can use.
  • After a skill has been chosen, the game switches back to the map where you need to choose a direction into which you want to use the skill.
  • Heal heals a player and Attributes shows the attributes of all members of the group.
  • If there is a fight, an image of the enemy appears next to the list of the fight commands.
  • After having chosen an action for each player, a scroll text is shown that reports the result of the fight.
  • If the fight is won, you will get experience points and gold.

Solution[edit | edit source]

Tips[edit | edit source]

You can purchase equipment in the shop...
  • Do not waste any ammunition on attackers that you can also eliminate with knife or club.
  • If you carry a canteen, you won't get damage from desert heat.
  • You find shops and doctors in the towns.
  • At the Desert Nomads you meet the Brakeman in the back part of the train. He gives you the mission to bring a Visa Card to Headcrusher in Quartz. He runs a bar in the southeast of the town: His favourite meal is Visa Card with peanut butter. If you dangle this speciality in front of him, you will get the password "Caterpillar". This opens the door into the tents.
  • In Downtown Needles the password is "Acapulco", the one for the launching code is "Motekim".
  • Save the Guardian Citadel for the end. If you want to have a chance against the hostile inhabitants, you necessarily need energy weapons (Laser Carbine, Ion Beamer, etc.). These super weapons are loaded with the Powerpacks - so do not throw them away!
  • The Bloodstaff lies well-guarded below the "Temple of Blood". To enter there, you play the "holy game": From the game field you need to go into the following directions: N W W W W N N E E E E E S E N N N N W W S W W W W N N E E. Then you tell the guard the number of steps (30): He will then allow you to enter the island. Beware: You will face next to a malicious sniper also some laser weapons. The Bloodstaff now needs to be brought to the temple of the "Servants of the Mushroom Clowd".
  • Beware of Las Vegas, bandits lure behind each corner here. Before you dare to go there, you should first tidy up thoroughly in Quartz and Needles.
  • Ugly's gang has the mayor and his daughter captive - of course you need to free both of them. The gangsters entrench themselves in the Courthouse (northeast of the bar). With sufficient ammunition you can reach a lot of points in the inevitable conflict. Furthermore you will find Ace in the den of thieves.

Map[edit | edit source]

Wasteland map.jpg

A map of Wasteland

Cheats[edit | edit source]

  • If you want to empty the ammunition bunker or Ugly's safe more than once, you need to create a new character disk. When the query "ENTER NEW LOCATION (Y/N)" appears you put the new disk into the drive and press Y  and help yourself to what your heart desires. However, you need to save again on the original character disk.
  • If an especially skilled ranger dies, it can be kept alive in case of need by a Reset.
  • At C64Games.de - Game No. 2801 you can download a party and character editor and create yourself the ultimative elite troop.

Voting[edit | edit source]

Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
8.29 points at 21 votes (rank 57).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 9 16th November 2013 - "top" - 19020 downs
Lemon64 9 16th November 2013 - 8,9 out of 10 points - 125 votes
Kultboy.com 9 16th November 2013 - 9,11 out of 10 points - 19 votes
TheLegacy 9 16th November 2013 - "excellent" - 16 votes
C64.COM 9 6th July 2014 - 9 out of 10 points - 6568 downs
Ready64 10 13th July 2014 - 9,67 out of 10 points - 3 votes
ASM 8 Issue September 1988 - 10 out of 12 points
Amiga Joker 8 Special No.3 1992 - 78% - p.60
ACE 9 Issue September 1988 - 921 points - p.74
Issue October 1988 - 915 points - p.71
Commodore User 8 Issue August 1988 - 8 out of 10 points - p.33
Games Machine 8 Issue October 1988 - 81% - p.75
Zzap! 10 Issue September 1988 - 95% - p.56

Reviews[edit | edit source]

ASM 09/1988 (Graphics: 9/12 Sound: 0/12 Evaluation: 10/12): "Wasteland is an excellent role play game that can fascinate, frustrate and appeal for many hours. The graphics are altogether rather good, although much too achromatic. So if you do not shy at Wasteland due to asthetic reasons, you will get something very recommendable." (Geman original by Ulrich Mühl)

Computer Gaming World praised amongst others the plot, the character system, the numerous solution possibilities and the graphical display. Wasteland was nominated as the Adventure of the Year by the American magazine (October 1988, Issue 52) and came in ninth in the list of the best-voted games of the magazine (November 1996, 15-year issue). The game was also taken into the Hall of Fame of the magazine (February 1993, issuee 103), same as into the list of unforgettable games, also here ninth (November 1996, 15-year issue).

Shmendric: "If you like The Bard's Tale and can adapt to an end time story that is enthralling and gets under your skin instead of fantasy, you will probably take a shine to Wasteland. In my opinion this is the most coherent role play game that the bread box has to offer. The mostly spare graphics, especially of the maps, has disturbed me just as little as the missing sound."

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Wasteland is one of the first post-apocalyptic computer role play games.
  • According to specification by Brian Fargo from 2012 the game sold approx. 100.000 times for Apple II and Commodore 64.
  • Wasteland is technically seen as the follower of The Bard's Tale. It was also developed by Brian Fargo. The round based fighting system and the party mode were adopted, the simple 3D view however became and horizontal 2D view from the type of the first Ultima games.
  • The first inofficial follower of Wasteland was the game Fountains of Dreams (only released for MS-DOS), which however disappointed both the press and the player communities.
  • The game was later a model for the Fallout games series on PC and Xbox.
  • Wasteland 2 is a 3-million dollar project that was financed by crowdfunding, i.e. there was a funding campaign on the internet prior to the start of the development. The game was to collect up to 900.000$ within 35 days, this was already excelled after 42 hours. The game was released in 2014 and received good to very good critics. The project was lead again by Brian Fargo.

Emulator settings[edit | edit source]

True-Drive-Emu = ON
Virtual-Traps = OFF
True-Drive-Emu = ON
_AD flag = ON

Video[edit | edit source]

First part of a possibly record-breaking 16 minute speedrun (DOS) by chaos5482...

Disks[edit | edit source]

The first disk
The second disk

Cover[edit | edit source]

The cover
The back cover

The package from the inside

Wasteland cover pbook.jpg

The cover of the paragraph book

[edit | edit source]

Advertisement for Wasteland
Enclosed advertisement sheet for the clue book to the game

Highscore[edit | edit source]

Experience points are needed to raise the skills but there is no highscore list.

Links[edit | edit source]

WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Wasteland
WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Wasteland_(video_game)