On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the game a 23 out of 40. GamePro applauded the game for avoiding the usual Sega CD downfall of heavy cinematics and limited gameplay, calling it "an essential CD game of substance and depth, detail and nuance, beauty and beasts that looks, sounds, and (most importantly) plays great. " They especially praised the amount of side content accessible by sending characters into towns and village. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it a 7 out of 10, commenting that "excellent cinemas and battle sequences will please Sega CD fans wanting more of this type of game for the system. " A review by Sega Visions described it as "one of the most massive, all-encompassing role-playing experiences a gamer can get" with "some of the best-executed and animated intros ever seen. " Commenting on the game's possible over 300 hours of play, the magazine declared: "In the enchanted and enthralling universe of role-playing games, Sega's Dark Wizard is an entire galaxy unto itself. "