Might and Magic III – p.1 – User article

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Might and Magic is considered one of the great classic role-playing series – at least since the third part presented here.

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Might and Magic III: The Isles of Terra Like its predecessors, Jon Van Caneghem and his company New World Computing. It is considered one of the best RPGs of its time. Compared to its predecessors, it was much more accessible without losing much of its complexity. The RPG epic was developed for MS-DOS and released in 1991; in the following years, versions were released for a number of other platforms, namely Amiga, Macintosh, PC-98, FM Towns, Turbografx CD, Mega CD and Super NES, but probably only some of them made it to Germany. I only played the DOS version and briefly the SNES version, which I would advise against based on my first impression.

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The story once again revolves around the two arch enemies Corak and Sheltem. After terrorizing several other worlds, Sheltem has now returned to his homeland of Terra (for whatever reason this world is called the same as the real one) and has hidden himself in the strange areas beneath the pyramids of the ancients. Corak has already followed him, but it is your job to track them down and prevent Sheltem from completely taking over Terra and causing even more damage. Unfortunately, the plot is extremely sparse this time, but more on that later.

Who suits our style of playing? The main values ​​are determined by rolling dice, but can be increased significantly over the course of the adventure.

New nature heroes, scaled-back enemies

As is usual in old-school role-playing games, you explore the land with a few adventurers that you can completely customize. You start with a predefined party, but it is not exactly balanced – creating your own is more fun anyway! The transfer of your characters from the direct predecessor has been eliminated; nevertheless, all hero types from Might and Magic II are available again, as are the new classes Druid and Ranger, so that you now have a total of ten classes to choose from. Knights and Barbarians are, as usual, pure fighters, while Clerics, Wizards and Druids specialize in different, sometimes overlapping types of magic.

Alternatively, there are also mixed characters to choose from that can both fight and cast spells. A thief or ninja is particularly important, because without a lockpicker you will often be stuck. Each hero also belongs to one of the five known races: half-orcs are particularly resilient, but get significantly fewer spell points than humans, dwarves are very talented thieves, and so on.

Your party can have a maximum of six regular heroes. If that's not enough for you, you can increase it to eight with the mercenaries you meet from time to time. Except in the SNES version, which kept the hired hands but stupidly didn't have the extra space for them. However, the guys want to be paid daily, and more and more as their experience level increases. You can create a larger number of your own protagonists and then swap them out in inns, but you don't usually need to do that and can really limit yourself to six heroes – well, since everyone has an individual and limited inventory, another character can be useful as a pure “inn pack mule”. Or maybe you actually find it efficient to change the group composition from time to time, even if the newcomers lack experience at first.

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Locusts and hydras are just two of the local monster species.

Might and Magic III again uses the first-person perspective and is turn-based. The evil orcs, cultists, iron mages and so on now visibly move from field to field; you no longer have to worry about sudden random battles, or being attacked by a hundred ogres at once. However, some people missed the larger battles that resulted from this, with the tactics that they required.

As soon as you are on the same tile as an enemy troop, the game switches to a simple melee mode. Before that, however, you can attack the enemies with long-range weapons or magic spells. But be careful, some enemies can also attack from a distance with weapons and magic. As already mentioned, there is an ever-increasing number of spells available – there are many different ones for attacking (different number of targets, different elements that characters can resist), but also ones to heal or strengthen your own people, travel back to a city more quickly, and so on. You only have a limited amount of energy, and some spells also use up gems, although unlike in the previous games, there is now a common supply of these for the whole party. Some enemies can poison you, paralyze you, petrify you, and the like. Most of these special conditions can be cured with magic, but in some cases you still have to go to the city for them.

Your heroes can rest in any (not too unsafe) place to reset their energy, as long as they don't run out of food. They will occasionally come across teachers or altars where they can learn talents. These are no longer limited to two per character. The talent system is actually quite simple: only the theft skill has a variable value, and it mainly improves with experience level; all other skills are either something you have or something you don't. They have very different functions: some give you small bonuses in battle, some are informative; you will then be shown whether the wall in front of you can be kicked through, for example. Others are necessary in the wilderness, so you first have to train two mountain climbers to be able to enter mountain fields. This is relatively expensive, but maybe there are great treasures there…

For that corridor back there, you'd better conjure up protection from electricity.

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