History of Might & Magic (includes Heroes and spinoffs)

The role-playing games (I-X) that started it all and the various spin-offs (including Dark Messiah).

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History of Might & Magic (includes Heroes and spinoffs)

Postby DaveO » Feb 27 2011, 11:58

I wrote this around a year ago for a different site, but multiple attempts to contact them to see where they are at for editing it returned no replies. Instead of letting my efforts go to waste, I thought I'd share this with you. Please bear in mind that some entries are reliant on Wikipedia as a source since I've not played every single entry.


A history of Might & Magic


Might & Magic as a series began in 1986, and ended in 2002. During the 16 year span, a number of spinoff products were produced. Multiple re-releases of the series occurred with the more memorable relesase editions called: Limited Edition(MM1 thru MM6), Interplay's Ultimate Archives(MM1 thru MM5 plus Swords of Xeen), the Millenium Edition(MM7, MM6, and the Xeen games including Swords of Xeen). Jon Van Caneghem has the following games credited to him.

King's Bounty: Armored Princess (2009), 1C Company
King's Bounty: The Legend (2008), 1C Company
Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War (2003), 3DO Company, The
Heroes of Might and Magic IV (2002), 3DO Europe, Ltd.
Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Gathering Storm (2002), 3DO Company, The
Might and Magic IX (2002), 3DO Europe, Ltd.
Heroes Chronicles: The Final Chapters (2001), 3DO Company, The
Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the DragonBone Staff (2001), 3DO Company, The
Legends of Might and Magic (2001), 3DO Company, The
Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons (2000), 3DO Company, The
Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld (2000), 3DO Company, The
Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements (2000), 3DO Company, The
Heroes Chronicles: Warlords of the Wastelands (2000), 3DO Company, The
Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete (Collector's Edition) (2000), 3DO Company, The
Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer (2000), 3DO Company, The
Crusaders of Might and Magic (1999), 3DO Company, The
Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia (1999), 3DO Company, The
Heroes of Might and Magic (Millennium Edition) (1999), 3DO Company, The
Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor (1999), 3DO Company, The, Ubi Soft Entertainment Software
Heroes of Might and Magic II Gold (1998), 3DO Company, The
Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven (1998), 3DO Company, The
Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Price of Loyalty (1997), New World Computing, Inc.
Empire II: The Art of War (1996), New World Computing, Inc.
Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars (1996), 3DO Company, The
Spaceward Ho! IV for Windows (1996), New World Computing, Inc.
Anvil of Dawn (1995), New World Computing, Inc.
Heroes of Might and Magic (1995), Softgold Computerspiele GmbH
Multimedia Celebrity Poker (1995), New World Computing, Inc.
Swords of Xeen (1995), New World Computing, Inc.
Wetlands (1995), New World Computing, Inc.
Hammer of the Gods (1994), Softgold Computerspiele GmbH
Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb (1994), New World Computing, Inc.
Might and Magic: World of Xeen (1994), New World Computing, Inc.
Zephyr (1994), New World Computing, Inc.
Might and Magic: Darkside of Xeen (1993), New World Computing, Inc.
Might and Magic: Clouds of Xeen (1992), New World Computing, Inc.
Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra (1991), New World Computing, Inc.
Planet's Edge: The Point of no Return (1991), New World Computing, Inc.
King's Bounty (1990), New World Computing, Inc.
Tunnels & Trolls: Crusaders of Khazan (1990), New World Computing, Inc.
Nuclear War (1989), U.S. Gold Ltd.
Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World (1988), New World Computing, Inc.
Might and Magic: Book I (1987), New World Computing, Inc.


Might & Magic I: Secret of the Inner Sanctum was initially released on the Apple II platform. MM1 was mainly programmed by Jon Van Caneghem, and he was self-distribuiting the game until a deal was made with Activision. MM1 was ported to other platforms including the PC, Commodore 64, Mac, and the Nintendo Entertainment System. MM1 introduces the player to classes and races that would last until the first simulated real-time entry of the series with MM6. The available classes in MM1 were Knight, Robber, Cleric, Sorcerer, Paladin, and Archer. Humans, Elves, Half-Orcs, Gnomes and Dwarves could be selected as races and each race provided specific resistances. MM1 has the following character statistics which would be used until the end of the series: Might, Endurance, Accuracy, Personality, Intellect and Luck. MM1 also introduces the player to what would be the most common component of each entry
to the series: Science fiction mixed with fantasy. In MM1, the game is taking place on the Vehicular Astropod Research Nacelle(known by the locals as VARN). VARN has the player travel through the outdoors, within castles, inside caves, deep in the world to underground cities, and along the Astral Plane. MM1 brings us two memorable characters that remain with the series until MM6: The Guardians Corak and Sheltem.
Most of MM1 concerns the efforts of a player-created party to find the secret of the Inner Sanctum. Along the way, the player uncovers that Sheltem has been masquerading as King Alamar. The player-created party goes thru the Gates to Another World and head to the world of Central Research Observational Nacelle(CRON).


Might & Magic II: Gates to Another World continues the saga from the first game. Six characters and two hirelings are now available to the player and two new classes of Barbarian and Ninja are added. The Barbarian was a fighter-oriented character, but the amount of weapons and armor they could use was more limited. Ninjas did not have the same thieving capabilities of robbers, but they did have an ability to assassinate enemies. MM2 allowed people who had completed MM1 to import the characters into MM2. MM2 also had two secondary skills that could be obtained, and the gameplay was expanded by making class upgrade quests available and more quests could be taken. The graphics got an improvement from the first entry, and the player was expected to stop the latest shenanigans of Sheltem. The party makes its path through CRON, four elemental planes and even time travel to stop Sheltem from sending CRON into its sun. With time travel, the party had nine different time periods they could go to. MM2 had up to 255 monsters with hit points ranging from 5 to 64000, and the party could fight up to 255 enemies.


King's Bounty was released in 1990 before Might & Magic III, and Jon Van Caneghem is credited with King's Bounty: The Legend and King's Bounty: Armored Princess. I don't know what similarities(if any) there are between the 1990 release and the new entries released in 2008 and 2009. I do know that King's Bounty was a game fairly similar to the first Hereos of Might & Magic entry. The goal in King's Bounty was to find 25 map pieces to find the Sceptre of Order. The player had a hero with an army that could travel across four continents. The hero could be either a Barbarian, Knight, Paladin or Sorceress. The classes had specific magical ability, starting troops, leadership, and income per week. The army could be comprised of different units that had a specific feeling towards other units. The more units that disliked another unit, the less effective the army would be in combat. Each unit type had statistics like hit points, attack power, and movement. Some units had special capabilities. Orcs, Archers, Elves, Giants, Druids and Archmages have ranged attacks. Sprites, Dragons, Demons, Vampires and Archmages could fly on the battle field. Dragons are immune to magic and can't be hurt by Peasants. Demons could occasionally slay half of an enemy stack number in a single attack. Ghosts increase their numbers when killing enemies, and it is possible for the number of Ghosts to increase beyond the player's
leadership value which would cause the Ghosts to become out of control. Vampires can regenerate their numbers by attacking enemies, but can't increase their numbers beyond the original number of Vampires. Trolls regenerate to full health at the end of each turn of battle. The level of difficulty determined how long you had to find the Sceptre before the King died which ended the game in defeat. Each week, a commission was provided by the King to find 17 villains. Defeating a villain allowed claiming the King's bounty on that villain and obtaining a piece of the map to find the Sceptre's location. Treasures could be found that increased the abilities of the hero, or provide one of eight different artifacts.


Might & Magic III: Isles of Terra was my first M&M game. The secondary skills have been increased, and automapping was added. Status effects(blessings, curses, and broken items) on characters and items are possible. While exploring the Isles of Terra, the player-created party discovers different journals by Corak. The player could also add hirelings to the party, but maintaining the hirelings had a fixed cost per level. Alignments of good, neutral, and evil could be chosen. These alignments offered specific bonuses for finding items and whichever king received 11 Ultimate Power Orbs determined which castle is left standing. The Ultimate Power Orbs were located in different areas, and retrieval could mean having to solve a specific puzzle. The condition of a character was represented different ways, and the conditions included poisoned, stoned, dead or eradicated. Enemies could be seen at a distance, and the player party could use bows to soften up or kill some enemies. An improved save system was implemented, where the player could save the game almost anywhere. Key cards allowed access to the Pyramids, and different keys would allow the party to enter specific dungeons. The sci-fi setting comes into play again when the party enters the Pyramids of the Ancients where robots try to stop the player from reaching the Main Control Center. The player's party must obtain the award of Ultimate Adventurer from within the Maze From Hell before they could enter the Main Control Center. Hologram Sequencing Cards are also needed by the party in the Main Control Center. At the end of the game, Sheltem leaves the Isles of Terra in an escape pod. Corak pursues, and the party boards the Lincoln in an attempt to alsopursue Sheltem. The characters would be seen again in the plot of Might & Magic VII: For Blood and Honor.


Might & Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen
Xeen stands for Xylonite Experimental Environment Nacelle, and a new party of adventurers undertaken a task to rid the land of the self-proclaimed Lord Xeen. MM4 is the first entry of the series released on CD. It is also the only entry of the series that can be combined with the next entry to make the compilation known as Worlds of Xeen. The party will need to obtain the Crusader skill in order to enter Castle Burlock. If the party does not have a Paladin, finding the Alacorn of Falista and returning it to Valia will give the Crusader skill. Find Mirabeth the Mermaid to gain entry to the Temple of Yak. The party should find at least five King's Megacredits from the Temple. The party will need to obtain Newcastle and use the King's Megacredits to improve it. Each improvement to Newcastle can be purchased with the Megacredits within Castle Burlock. Additional improvements to Newcastle will allow entry to the Tomb of Terror and the Golem dungeon. The party will then need to locate the key to the Tower of High Magic. Within the Tower you then need the key to Darzog's Tower. The party must free Crodo from Darzog's clutches, and obtain the Xeen Slaying Sword after more improvements to Newcastle. The party will climb to the clouds from
Darzog's Tower. The party will need to play carnival games in the clouds to obtain a Lord Xeen Cupie Doll. The Doll is the only item that will allow entry to Lord Xeen's Castle, and the party must use the Teleport spell to reach the Castle. After saving the Clouds of Xeen from Lord Xeen, it is revealed that Sheltem was the puppet master pulling Lord Xeen's strings.


Might & Magic V: Darkside of Xeen
The story line of the Guardians comes to a close for both Corak and Sheltem. Multiple quests across both the Clouds of Xeen and the Darkside take place. One quest series involves retrieval of Energy Disks from multiple locations in order to reach different levels of Castle Kalindra. Sheltem has undertaken the guise of Alamar again, and the party goes through a number of quests in order to reach the Dragon Pharoah. The party works with the Dragon Pharoah to make things right. The adventurers find Corak and he wants to get inside Castle Alamar so that he can completely end Sheltem's threat. In order to help Corak confront Sheltem, the party finds a Soul Box and fights its way to Sheltem's throne room. Corak is released from the Soul Box, and battles his nemesis. Corak and Sheltem are both destroyed in the conflict and the best ending of the entire series is shown. After the end of Sheltem's threat, a few additional quests can be taken to literally transform both the Clouds of Xeen and the Darkside. Along the way, the player can cross the Sky Road and even confront one of the most difficult foes: The Megadragon. The final cinematic of the game involves uniting the two sides of Xeen into a single world.


Might & Magic: Swords of Xeen
This entry to the series was released by New World Computing, but they did not create it. The game is what could be considered a modification to the Xeen games. For the fan, I would highly recommend playing this game before MM3 or the Xeen series since it's a letdown in terms of quality. The game does have its share of bugs, and the game difficulty is in my opinion harder. An entity known as 'The Source' is attacking the lands of Havoc. The party created for this game starts out at level 8 or 9, and will likely finish the game around level 30-35. For the most part, this entry stays true to the fantasy genre until the final confrontation with The Source. The party travels on the land, under the ground, and in the sky on its mission. They then enter the sci-fi setting of The Source and fight its way thru multiple levels. The party pulls the plug on The Source, and a very brief cinematic ending is shown.


Heroes of Might & Magic
This strategy spinoff to the M&M series was created by Jon Van Caneghem in the same year Swords of Xeen was released in 1995. HoMM had multiple scenarios with specific winning conditions. It also allowed multiplayer competition between players. Lord Ironfist flees his homeland due to his cousin Ragnar. Ironfist finds himself in the lands of Enroth, which will be the setting for the next M&M game. Defeating the three warlords on Enroth allows Lord Ironfist to make a new kingdom. The story of Lord Ironfist in the HoMM series would be tied into the 3D entries of the M&M releases.
HoMM is like King's Bounty in that you can pick four different hero types of Knight, Barbarian, Sorceress or Warlock to command specific units. Knight troops could consist of Peasants, Archers, Pikemen, Swordsmen, Cavalry and Paladins. Barbarian troops could use Goblins, Orcs, Wolves, Ogres, Trolls and Cyclops. The Sorceress has Sprites, Dwarves, Elves, Druids, Unicorns and Phoenix at her disposal. The Warlock could command Centaurs, Gargoyles, Griffins, Minotaurs, Hydras, and Dragons. Regardless of hero class, neutral units of Rogues, Nomads, Genies and Ghosts could be added to a hero's army.


Heroes of Might & Magic II
A sequel to the successful strategy spinoff, and the campaigns for this entry and its expansion is the story setup for Might & Magic VI. Lord Ironfist from the first HoMM has died, and his two sons are battling for the crown. Roland Ironfist has to battle against Archibald, and the ending to Roland's campaign leads to a story element that is expanded upon in Might & Magic VI.
HoMM2 added the capability of a hero to learn up to eight skills that could be quite valuable to the campaign. The skills could be increased from Basic to Expert levels. The spell system used a point system for casting magic. Units could be upgraded, which provided better statistics or special abilities.
The Price of Loyalty expansion was developed by Cyberlord Studios. Four campaigns were added, new artifacts could be found, new creatures could be recruited into the player's army, more scenario maps were included, more buildings were added on the map, and a map editor was improved. The expansion had some controversy with the Barrow Mounds that allowed players to recruit Ghosts. Any units killed by ghosts became ghosts, and thus a large and eventually invincible army could be created.
HoMM2 was a huge success for the HoMM franchise. It became a best-selling game for many months in overseas markets(primarily Europe and Russia), and it did receive some critic accolades as well.


3DO purchase of New World Computing
This occurred in the same year that HoMM II was released in 1996. Before the acquisition, 3DO only had a handful of successful games. One of the products that 3DO was behind around this time was its console system. I actually have a fully functional 3DO console at home for the Star Control 2 game(best SC2 port in my opinion). The 3DO era spanned from 1996 to 2003, and brought multiple sequels to both the Might & Magic and Heroes of M&M series. 3DO also brought spinoffs from the Might & Magic series.


Might & Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven
The first 3D entry of the series, and a revamp of all the characters as well as skills available. Only humans could be selected for character creation, and the available classes were Knight, Druid, Cleric, Paladin, Archer, and Sorcerer. While the thief classes from the first five M&M games were gone for this game, a character could learn the Disarm Traps skill. There were no limits to skill training for this game, so all characters could master whatever skills they could learn.
One word of caution that I can say is to be aware of which version of this game you are playing. MM6 before the Good Old Games release required either an executable workaround or Mok's unofficial workaround patch. The GoG release requires patching the game with one of the GrayFace patches in order to get past two dungeon bugs. My limited support of the newer entries in the series is still active on multiple forums. Perhaps one day, this minotaur can retire and pass the torch to somebody willing and able to assist.
The player could travel wherever they wanted, and travel and exploration was essential in order for the player to improve skills to Expert and Master levels. MM6 introduced areas that would repopulate with monsters after a specific amount of time. The player could also toggle between real time and phased combat. In MM6, the party of four characters that the player create investigates the activities of the Baa cult. Along the way, the group learns that the Baa cult is being manipulated by an enemy of the Ancients called the Kreegan. The Ancients are the ones behind seeding the places of the first five M&M games. While revealing the conspiracy of the Baa plot, the party discovers that the Oracle they need to consult is a computer. More sci-fi stuff shows up as the party recovers memory crystals to repair the computer.
The adventurers then learn about the Ancient-Kreegan war from the computer and are directed to the Kreegan Hive to stop the invasion of the 'devils'. The party has to get the assistance of Archibald from the HoMM II series in order to be successful in destroying the Hive without destroying Enroth. Saving Enroth from the Kreegans shows the player a cinematic setting up a story to be continued in HoMM3.


Crusaders of Might & Magic
This game was an action-oriented release set in the lands of Ardon. An undead army led by the Necromancer faction destroys a small village. A young boy called Drake is the sole survivor of the attack, and is mentored by a blind hermit for the next few years. Drake's adventures on both versions of the game took place in Stronghold, Citadel, Corantha, and on a battleship of the Necromancers.
The story and design differed between the PC and PlayStation versions. For the PC version, Drake gets experience points in order to level up. The PC version allowed Drake to cast spells without mana, but the spell did have a cooldown time. On the PlayStation version, Drake's skills with weapons and magic could also be improved.
The PlayStation version allowed empowering weapons and armor with talismans and runes. The PS version also allowed unlocking all weapons, spells, talismans, runes and items if the game was completed on any difficulty.


Heroes of Might & Magic III
The events of this game as well as its two expansions set up the story for Might & Magic VII. HoMM3 takes place on Antagarich, and the player could choose seven different campaigns. Roland Ironfist is missing, leaving Queen Catherine to rule in his place. The Queen has to rally her people against Nighon and Eeofol, which lay the lands of Erathia to waste. Eventually, the Queen is forced into an alliance with the Necromancers to stop a lich that they created but could not control. A bonus campaign that could be accessed after completion of the main campaigns involved a story set around the border between Erathia and Avlee.
The campaign map added an underground portion for the player to explore. To be successful on a map, specific objectives had to be achieved. There were eight towns that had specific units. The accessible towns were Castle, Tower, Rampart, Inferno, Dungeon, Necropolis,Stronghold and Fortress. The towns also had a Might hero type or a Magic hero type. The first HoMM3 expansion of Armageddon's Blade added the Conflux town. The AB expansion had a proposed Forge faction that was dropped due to fan reaction. Six new campaigns were provided, more creatures and heroes and structures were present, and a random scenario generator was included. The second expansion of Shadow of Death provided seven new campaigns and more artifacts including ones that could be combined.


Might & Magic VII: For Blood and Honor
The story of Archibald and King Roland continues, and the characters from Might & Magic III show up in this game. In my opinion, the decline of the M&M series starts with this game. Humans could still be chosen for the party, but MM7 adds Goblins, Elves, and Dwarves to the races. Rangers, Thieves, and Monks are added as possible class choices along with the standard Knight, Druid, Cleric, Archer, Paladin, and Sorcerer. The skill system was changed to not allow the player to maximize all skills, and this encouraged careful party planning and composition. This game will allow the player to choose between a good ending of opening a gate created by the Ancients or an evil ending of reactivating a Heavenly Forge that will make futuristic blasters.
The game starts on Emerald Isle with the party of characters taking on a scavenger hunt. The party obtains Castle Harmondale, and characters from Might & Magic 3 show up in the story of MM7. These characters have split sides to assist good or evil.
Choosing good or evil opened up quests that were available only for that particular path. MM7 added the minigame of Arcomage that allowed the player to have a card game of Arcomage at any of the taverns. The party will have to rescue King Roland from the Kreegans and obtain the Oscilation Overthruster(Buckaroo Banzai reference) from the sunken Lincoln ship to power either the Ancient's Gate or the Heavenly Forge. Both the good and evil endings to MM7 were intended to be part of the Armageddon's Blade story in HoMM3, but the sci-fi theme of the Forge faction provoked fan outrage which caused the Forge to be dropped.


Between the period from the release of MM7 to MM8, the HoMM series saw the Heroes Chronicles and an additional expansion to HoMM3 called Shadow of Death. Heroes Chronicles had multiple episodes. The first two episodes were Warlords of the Wasteland and Conquest of the Underworld. A few months later, Clash of the Dragons and Master of the Elements were released. The World Tree and the Fiery Moon installments were free downloads that could be installed on a machine with two or three of the retail episodes installed. Two more episodes of The Sword of Frost and Revolt of the Beastmasters were released with The Final Chapters. The Heroes Chronicles was meant for a more casual audience due to a short single-player campaign and lower level of difficulty. None of the Chronicles chapters could play scenario maps or multiplayer games. Each episode of the Chronicles episodes involved the warlord Tarnum. This story line continued in the Might campaign of Heroes of Might & Magic IV.


Might & Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer
I'm actually a part of this game for the Lord Brinne Tribute. I was contacted by one of the developers of the game and thru email interaction, the Tribute was planned and created. Yes, you can kill me and everyone else in the room but I'd like to believe that with all of the positive things I have done few will choose that path. 2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the release of MM8.
In MM8, the party system was changed again. The races had fixed classes, so Knights and Clerics and Necromancers and Vampires were human. Dark Elves, Trolls, and Minotaurs could be added to a party. You could even have Dragons in your party, but adding Dragons unbalanced the game since the Dragon's basic attack was ranged and did significant unresistable damage that never missed. Necromancers are the equivalent to Sorcerers and Vampires are a bit more offensive in terms of combat compared to Clerics. Clerics had access to Light magic though, and no other race did. Minotaurs are almost the same as Paladins with the exception of horns and hooves, and not being able to use shields or boots or helms(for hopefully obvious reasons).
Due to the recruiting system for adding or dropping characters, a party may consist of 1-5 characters. Escaton the Destroyer is initiated as a failsafe plan to rid the entire world of the Kreegan by completely destroying the planet. It's up to the party members to stop Escaton's threat. Along the way, the player has to forge alliances and take on quests and promotions of their choosing. The party has to drive the Regnan pirates away from Dagger Wound Islands and travel Elemental Planes in order to talk to Escaton and get the keys to the prisons holding the Lords of the Elemental Planes. Once all of the Lords are free, the player will witness the destruction of a Crystal Escaton created to begin the process of destroying the planet.


After MM8, a spinoff was created under the name of Warriors of Might & Magic. This game was primarily a console release for the PlayStation and Game Boy systems. The PS2 version has the lowest player rating scores, while the Game Boy version has the highest player rating scores. Each of the versions involves a soldier called Alleron, but the levels and monsters and stories differed depending on the version. WoMM had Alleron travel thru the 3D environment to fight monsters, solve puzzles, and complete quests. Depending on the version, Alleron could fight dragons, a demon like the Kreegans or bosses. New weapons, armor, potions, spells and items could be found or bought along the way.


Another attempted spinoff was made with Legends of Might & Magic, and it was called a clone of Counter-Strike. Initially, LoMM was not planned this way and was changed from an action RPG game to one that was only centered on deathmatch. The gameplay for LoMM was primarily for online multiplayer, and players could choose the evil side with Heretics, Archers, and Warriors or the good side with a Paladin, Druid, or Sorceress. A player could choose a map and select one of four game types. Sword in the Stone mode was equivalent to a Capture the Flag mode. Rescue the Princess mode required players on a good team to save a princess guarded by an evil team. Warlord Escape set a specific player as a warlord who must be escorted by other members of the team to safety. Slay the Dragon mode had both the good and evil teams competing to kill a dragon which won the match. Monsters could be encountered on the map, and treasure chests could be found to allow players to buy equipment. Unfortunately, any equipment obtained did not carry over between matches.


Heroes of Might & Magic IV and Might & Magic IX were both released in 2002. 2002 is the last year that Jon Van Caneghem was with 3DO. In 2004, JVC joined NCSoft but left in 2005. He created a new company called Trion World Network in 2006 and departed in 2009. In 2009, he was involved with the new King's Bounty game and its expansion.


Heroes of Might & Magic IV
The story from the Heroes Chronicles continues with all of Enroth destroyed by a meeting of the Armageddon's Blade and the Sword of Frost. A number of the people from Enroth make it to the new lands of Axeoth by travelling thru portals. There are six campaigns, and each of them tells a story centered around a leader of the different factions.
The gameplay of HoMM4 changed with heroes now being on the battlefield with troops. The battle map between conflicting armies was changed from hexagonal to square. Armies could also have more than one hero commanding them. Skills for heroes were changed, and they could choose up to 36 skills with five levels of improvement for the skills. A hero could become one of up to 40 different classes. Movement options for the troops have been reduced by taking out the Dimension Door spell and air flight capabilities. Units for the army can no longer be upgraded, and a town can have only one creature habitat out of two for the four town levels. There are nine units that are not available in towns, but they could be found somewhere on the map.
HoMM4 was successful enough to get two expansion packs. The Gathering Storm added six more campaigns, additional artifacts, a few new creatures, a new musical score, and a specialized hero in five of the six campaigns. The Winds of War expansion added another six campaigns that tell a story of an invasion by nearby kingdoms.


Might & Magic IX: Writ of Fate(unofficial title)
I could come up with a handful of uncomplimentary alternative titles, and the fact that the TELP forums came up with an unofficial patch pretty much tells you this game was released before it was ready. MM9 had a new graphics engine, but there was minimal mention of the story line tying into HoMM. It had only Fighters or Initiates as the base class. Fighters could be promoted to Gladiators, Assassins, Rangers or Paladins. Initiates could be promoted to Mages, Liches, Priests, or Druids. Dwarves, Elves, and Half-Orcs could be chosen as a race. There is a story and a number of quests in MM9, but in all honesty I can suggest MM9 only to completists who want to go thru the entire series.


Might & Magic: The Ubisoft Era
The only M&M games in title that I've known to be released are Dark Messiah of M&M and the M&M Clash of Heroes title. DMoMM is an action oriented game where you can assign skills for your character. I have no idea if the setting or any of the elements of the story would carry to a true RPG M&M title. Ubisoft developed and released Heroes of Might & Magic 5, with two expansions. Due to the success of HoMM5, it is likely there will be another entry to this series.


Heroes of Might & Magic V
This game was the first release by Ubisoft after its acquisition of rights to both the HoMM and M&M franchises. It has six selectable factions with the Academy, Dungeon, Haven, Inferno, Necropolis and Sylvan towns. Each faction had a specific racial skill and hero type that was available. HoMM5 took place in the new setting of Ashan. Troops for the Academy included Gremlins, Gargoyles, Golems, Mages, Djinn, Rakshasa and Titans. Troops for the Dungeon included Scouts, Blood Maidens, Minotaurs, Dark Raiders, Hydras, Shadow Witches and Shadow Dragons. Troops for the Haven consisted of Peasants, Archers, Footmen, Griffins, Priests, Cavaliers and Angels. Troops from the Inferno could be Imps, Horned Demons, Hell Hounds, Succubi, Hell Chargers, Pit Fiends and Devils. The Necropolis troops available are Skeletons, Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Liches, Wights and Bone Dragons. Sylvan troops available could be Pixies, Blade Dancers, Hunters, Druids, Unicorns, Treants and Green Dragons. The amount of skills that a hero could learn was reduced to five. Events from the Haven campaign filtered down to the Inferno, Necropolis, Dungeon, Sylvan and Academy campaigns. Homm5 has so far seen two expansions. The Hammers of Fate expansion added Dwarves, a random map creator, and the Fortress faction. The Tribes of the East expansion added the Stronghold faction, allowed upgrades to all troops, and provided additional artifacts and spells.


Dark Messiah of Might & Magic
This is an action-oriented game developed by Arkane Studios and released by Ubisoft. The player could control Sareth in his efforts to retrieve the Skull of Shadows. A number of attacks or techniques could be used to deal with enemies. Stealth allows sneaking up behind enemies to backstab them, bows could be used to pick off enemies at a distance, and players could even use a kick to send their foes into traps or off edges. Going thru the game provides opportunities to earn experience points that could be used to improve Combat, Magic, and Miscellaneous skills. DMoMM also has a multiplayer mode where five separate classes could be chosen for opposing teams. There are multiple possible endings based off the actions that Sareth chooses during the game. There is also a story tie-in to Heroes V: Tribes of the East. DMoMM is the first game with Might & Magic in the title to receive a mature rating. DMoMM's expansion called Elements added more levels to the single player experience, a number of bug fixes, and work to make the multiplayer experience enhanced.


Might & Magic - Clash of Heroes
This game is a console release that took pieces from HoMM, Japanese role playing games, and puzzle games. The player took part in story-driven and secondary quests along with recruiting an army and managing resources. The player could use forces from the Haven, Inferno, Sylvan, Academy, and Necropolis factions from Heroes of Might & Magic V. Unlimited faction troops could be used, although there are limits to the amount of elite troops. The story of the game is set approximately 40 years before the events in HoMM5. The five heroes that lead the troops could find artifacts to improve the hero or troop abilities.


Heroes of Might & Magic Online
At the moment, this release is limited to the Chinese market although there is a good possibility of an English release some time in 2010. There are plans to provide beta testing keys in mid-to-late April and for beta testing to begin in May. HoMMO is meant as a browser game to allow a player to select heroes from eight available factions and 56 different unit types. HoMMO could be played with a random setting where the players could move in real time. A strategic element let the heroes move within a set time, and combat uses a turn-based 3D mode with a tactical grid. Planned classes include Human, Arcane, Undead, Barbarian, Marshland, Subterranean, Sylvan, and Infernal. HoMMO is introducing Star Levels to upgrade units to a higher level, and gain specific unit skills.


Might & Magic: The future?
At the current writing of this history piece, I see Diablo 3, The Witcher 2, and likely sequels to Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2. That means the market is going to be competitive for the next 3-5 years for RPGs. I do realize that good RPGs as a genre are getting fewer and further between(especially ones that I can enjoy).
The real question is whether M&M deserves a new future as a series. For the console market, I certainly see opportunities there but for the PC platform I believe that an M&M RPG should stay dead. The potential audience that I see for M&M on the PC is small, and it's far too risky to gamble on trying to revive a fallen RPG franchise.


Might & Magic: My future?
At my current age, it is highly likely that there are fewer days ahead then there are behind me. Due to lack of sustainable interest in M&M, I'll likely make a decision by 2015 at the latest on where I want go in terms of M&M. That includes the possibility of deleting my personal Web page devoted to some entries of the series as well as ceasing any posts or replies related to M&M. Five years is certainly enough time for some sort of change to take place. Despite my pessimistic outlook in terms of M&M, I do foresee at minimum a continued commitment to the franchise to the end of this year. Regardless of the future, I'd like to express my thanks to many of the people I've encountered online. The world is too small for me to not encounter some of you again soon. May the future for you, your family and your friends be full of many good memories to come!
I'd rather be part bull than a complete sheep.

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Postby MMXAlamar » Feb 27 2011, 21:34

Nice compilation! This must have taken really, really long to write, lol.

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Postby Talin_Trollbane » Mar 7 2011, 22:37

Might & Magic: My future?
At my current age, it is highly likely that there are fewer days ahead then there are behind me. Due to lack of sustainable interest in M&M, I'll likely make a decision by 2015 at the latest on where I want go in terms of M&M. That includes the possibility of deleting my personal Web page devoted to some entries of the series as well as ceasing any posts or replies related to M&M. Five years is certainly enough time for some sort of change to take place. Despite my pessimistic outlook in terms of M&M, I do foresee at minimum a continued commitment to the franchise to the end of this year. Regardless of the future, I'd like to express my thanks to many of the people I've encountered online. The world is too small for me to not encounter some of you again soon. May the future for you, your family and your friends be full of many good memories to come!


why suddenly stop liking M&M like that? sure i dont know how the future will turn out but i know for myself i will prob not stop playing old games or collecting them as long as i live..
Ultima, Elder Scrolls and Might and Magic Veteran.

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Postby DaveO » Mar 8 2011, 16:48

Before the Mok's and GreyFace patches, I briefly filled a need with the 1.1 executable file for MM6. While this forum is focused on M&M, I can honestly say that many of the other forums might have a handful of questions each year. I see very limited use or need for my Web page, there are already many regulars filling in where I could help out, and attempts to branch out with YouTube videos or this history article have not achieved the results I was hoping for.
I'd rather be part bull than a complete sheep.

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Postby manoose47 » Apr 15 2011, 15:59

That was an excellent and informative post, it saddens me to think that your dis heartened with might and magic. I have faith in the fan community to provide a worthy successor, I certainly agree that there's no way a modern day might and magic could ever be made by a developer, because it "requires imagination" and the majority of game developers are moving towards showing gamers everything obsessing over the unecessary aspects of realism (ahem fully voiced dialogues... what's the point?)

anyways I'm ranting, All I can say is, if current projects fail and nothing comes of might and magic in the next few years then I'm going to learn how to develop my own

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Postby XEL II » Apr 16 2011, 6:14

Very nice compilation, but a few things: SoD was released almost simulteanously with MM8 (it was shipped only a couple months later), and Heroes Chronicles were actually released after MM8, in the time between it and HoMM IV.

The thing is that due to financial problems growing in 3DO, the had to release as many games as possibly, practically one every year. So, after MM8 JVC (who was working on the initial build of HoMM IV at the time) had very limited involvement with the games which were being made. He had a limited role in development of HoMM IV and essentialy wasn't involved with Chronicles (which obviously affected the storyline and continuity of these campaigns) and MM IX. Warriors of MM and Shifters were also released in this time period.

However, in 2003 JVC was once again going to be the lead designer working on MM X and Heroes V.
Make you strong places to dwell and practice the evil of your arts. Build great monuments to stand through the ages and remind your followers of the task with which you have been charged. Use these halls of iniquity to perpetrate your schemes against the infestation that has taken the fields and lakes of this land from you, their rightful masters. Never forget the hatred that must finally overcome and consume mankind. Dwell in your dungeons and brood. - Sheltem the Dark

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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 16 2011, 6:23

XEL II wrote:He had a limited role in development of HoMM IV and essentialy wasn't involved with Chronicles (which obviously affected the storyline and continuity of these campaigns)

I don't know, I've enjoyed the HoMM4 campaigns and am enjoying HC campaigns. I don't see many continuity problems either.

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Postby Avonu » Apr 16 2011, 8:54

How about Vial of thr Dragoon Blood which in AB has blood of Dragon Father and ind CotD has blood of Dragon Mother? How about Mutare's campaign which according to AB is in same time as four others but according to CotD it seems to be earlier? How about Kreegans killed by the times of MM8 but in HIV Gauldoth mention they were live till Reconing? How about Kreegans behaviour in HIV (ruthless inviders turning into harmful species)? How about Sandro character appeareance in CotU? How about Demons from Fiery Moon which suppose to be Kreegans (but they first arrived on Enroth during Night of the Shooting Stars)? Etc., etc.
HC and HIV stories are good but they are often against its world and its universe general lore.

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Postby XEL II » Apr 16 2011, 14:12

Actually, Infernos under Mutare command in CotD appear to be Underworld Demons (as well as other non-Kreegan Inferno creatures, like Pit Lords, Imps, Cerebri, etc.). Underworld is also underground (like Nighon) and was established as part of Enroth in one of the previous HC installments (there were single Demons in HoMM I-II as well), after all.

Very few Kreegans actually survived AB. Barely a dozen of them. Calh, Nymus, Ash, Grok, Hexx and Gargareen were among those. They weren't any real force, however, and weren't seen since the fall of Eeofol. As Gauldoth said, they managed to survive on Enroth until Reckoning, when they fled to the Fiery Realm (Nymus apparently also had some contact with Ardon, and Daria entrusted her with her son Praz, whom Nymus raised on Axeoth), one of Kreegan-infested planets.

There aren't any problems with the Vial storyline. After all, Aspen was talking about legends surrounding it. As for Sandro in CotU, this is most obviously a different Sandro. This Necromancer had no real storyline with him. The Fiery Moon demons are Kreegan, but very little number of actual Kreegans made it to Enroth in The Fiery Moon campaign. Tarnum mainly fought with other Inferno creatures.
Avonu wrote:HC and HIV stories are good but they are often against its world and its universe general lore.

I totally agree with you on this one, though, outright contradictions are thankfully very rare.
Avonu wrote:Mutare's campaign which according to AB is in same time as four others but according to CotD it seems to be earlier?

There isn't really anything in CotD that would suggest Mutare's campaign was earlier than AB. As for King of Erathia being mentioned, Gen. Kendal was to choose the new King, remember? Logically, this King is the one he chose. It wasn't esablished who this King was. It could even be Gelu (see his prophetic dream in AB), but there's nothing which would prove or disprove that. HoMM IV mainly focuses on the Gryphonheart dynasty (as part of The True Blade) and doesn't deal with the matter of Erathia's ruler in time prior to the Reckoning (Sir Kentaine doesn't say anything about rulers of Erathia, only that he outlived a king and a queen from Gryphonheart dynasty, to which he was the Swordbearer). So, this isn't really a problem.

The real problem with Chronicles is that they didn't explain who the Ancestors were. I assume they were spirits of three ancient (from times shortly after the Silence) noble Barbarian heroes, linked with each other and their people. Paradise appears to be the stuff from Barbarian legends, since Ancestors keep spirits of valiant Barbarians with themselves.
Make you strong places to dwell and practice the evil of your arts. Build great monuments to stand through the ages and remind your followers of the task with which you have been charged. Use these halls of iniquity to perpetrate your schemes against the infestation that has taken the fields and lakes of this land from you, their rightful masters. Never forget the hatred that must finally overcome and consume mankind. Dwell in your dungeons and brood. - Sheltem the Dark

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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 16 2011, 14:47

That is a problem indeed, although my speculation would be that the Ancestors are something like the Q. After all, they seem to be quite omnipotent, watchful, care about select few persons, watching over the development of humanity as a whole, reserve the right to judge what is right and what is wrong and have that heaven of theirs. Very much like Q in The Next Generation (you can see Q's version of heaven in TNG: Tapestry and Q's real intentions in TNG: All Good Things). That would tie the seemingly religious factor to the actual science fantasy world.

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Postby XEL II » Apr 16 2011, 15:06

Ancestors aren't really omnipotent, and can actually be killed (or beaten) by human (see The Fiery Moon). I don't think they are more powerful than Guardians or Ancients. Certainly not something on the level of Q.
Make you strong places to dwell and practice the evil of your arts. Build great monuments to stand through the ages and remind your followers of the task with which you have been charged. Use these halls of iniquity to perpetrate your schemes against the infestation that has taken the fields and lakes of this land from you, their rightful masters. Never forget the hatred that must finally overcome and consume mankind. Dwell in your dungeons and brood. - Sheltem the Dark

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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 16 2011, 16:11

Hmm, I haven't gone that far yet. Though it kinda makes little sense to be able to kill someone that can bring others back from the dead, hmm...

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Postby XEL II » Apr 17 2011, 7:28

Necromancers can bring people back from the dead, as well as (though it is very rare and powerful) resurrecting spells of Light mages, and both these types of wizards can very well be killed :)
Make you strong places to dwell and practice the evil of your arts. Build great monuments to stand through the ages and remind your followers of the task with which you have been charged. Use these halls of iniquity to perpetrate your schemes against the infestation that has taken the fields and lakes of this land from you, their rightful masters. Never forget the hatred that must finally overcome and consume mankind. Dwell in your dungeons and brood. - Sheltem the Dark

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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 17 2011, 21:41

Necromancers don't bring anything from the dead, they just assume control of the bodies. But good point about the light mages and pretty much every temple... So I guess they could be powerful mages as well. With a bunch of rejuvenation potions and such. Eternal life available to everyone skilled enough :D

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Postby XEL II » Apr 18 2011, 6:37

Necromancers actually trap souls of the dead, making them locked to the undead bodies, and some types of the undead (ghosts) are "based" on the souls of the dead.
Last edited by XEL II on Mar 1 2018, 8:41, edited 2 times in total.
Make you strong places to dwell and practice the evil of your arts. Build great monuments to stand through the ages and remind your followers of the task with which you have been charged. Use these halls of iniquity to perpetrate your schemes against the infestation that has taken the fields and lakes of this land from you, their rightful masters. Never forget the hatred that must finally overcome and consume mankind. Dwell in your dungeons and brood. - Sheltem the Dark

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Postby MMXAlamar » Apr 18 2011, 14:31

XEL, does that mean to become a Lich you have to willfully trap your soul? Along with the Lichdom ceremony of course.

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Postby Corlagon » Apr 18 2011, 14:37

Not necessarily willingly - Finneas Vilmar managed to force King Gryphonheart's spirit back into his body with artifacts and then liched him. I get the impression that that was a complex and unwieldy process though.

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Postby MMXAlamar » Apr 18 2011, 15:33

Yep, we're definitely having soul jars all over the place in MM10 :)

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Postby XEL II » Apr 18 2011, 19:15

On Enroth yes, one becomes lich through the Ritual of the Endless Night. The Ritual can also be applied to the dead person, but a special magical item is required to perform it that way. Examples of such artifacts are Spirit of Oppression and Cloak of the Undead King.
Last edited by XEL II on Mar 18 2014, 19:23, edited 1 time in total.
Make you strong places to dwell and practice the evil of your arts. Build great monuments to stand through the ages and remind your followers of the task with which you have been charged. Use these halls of iniquity to perpetrate your schemes against the infestation that has taken the fields and lakes of this land from you, their rightful masters. Never forget the hatred that must finally overcome and consume mankind. Dwell in your dungeons and brood. - Sheltem the Dark

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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 18 2011, 23:29

I don't think skeletons and zombies have any spirits attached to them... Maybe there are different kinds of necromancy, though. Besides, in order to trap a soul, wouldn't you need to find it first? And that could be quite difficult when you're trying to reanimate bones of some unknown soldier that died hundreds of years ago.


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