Might and Magic (universe)

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The Might and Magic logo from 1988-1999.

Might and Magic is a fantasy universe developed by New World Computing which began with the release of the first game in 1986. It uses a standard fantasy model, but incorporates some science fiction elements, and a fair amount of silly humor. The main series expanded to 10 games, and it also spun off the hugely popular Heroes of Might and Magic series, as well as a number of other games set in the same universe. The title was no doubt influenced by Dungeons & Dragons, as was the fantasy setting, however, the series grew into its own as additional games were released, and the setting has a unique feel to it.


The first game I played from the series was Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra, which my brother borrowed from a friend of his. I was extremely impressed by the game as it was far more impressive of an RPG than anything I had seen on my NES at the time. I ended up getting bored with the game, and my brother gave it to a friend, and I never played it again for many years. I also remember seeing Clouds of Xeen and Darkside of Xeen on shelves at game stores, but I never bought them then. Later, my friend Kevin bought the CD version of World of Xeen and I watched him play the game a lot. Years later, I bought a compilation software title which included World of Xeen. I beat Clouds and played a fair amount of Darkside before getting bored. I saw The Mandate of Heaven briefly at my brother's friend's house and thought it looked amazing, but never played it. I watched my friend Eric playing Heroes of Might and Magic and thinking it looked pretty cool as well, but never played it. Later, while trying out old games, I played King's Bounty and noticed that it seemed an awful lot like Heroes, and later discovered it was the basis of Heroes. After it had been sent to the discount rack, I bought Ultimate Might and Magic Archives which had games 1-5. I only briefly booted up games 1 and 2, but I was thrilled to see 3 again after so many years without it. I made another attempt to finish the game, and made it much further than my earlier attempt, but I still couldn't stay interested enough to beat it. Although I still enjoy the MM3 game engine, the game's graphics, and cheesy voice-acting from 4 and 5, it's hard for me to sink the necessary time into these games anymore. Looking at more recent games, it appears the series has gone the Blizzard route and tried to make the universe "cool" to accommodate more players, so I doubt I'd find them enjoyable.

One thing that always bothered me with the games was the terrible attempt at humor which rarely made me laugh and always hurt immersion.


I own the Ultimate Might and Magic Archives which contains the first five games in the series, as well as The Ultimate RPG Archives which contains games 4 and 5.


Core Games

Released Title Platforms
1986-??-?? Might and Magic, Book One: Secret of the Inner Sanctum Apple II, Commodore 64, FM-7, Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, PC-8800, PC-9800, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000
1988-12-?? Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64, FM-7, Genesis, Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX, PC-8800, PC-9800, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, SNES
1991-??-?? Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra Amiga, FM Towns, Macintosh, MS-DOS, PC-9800, SEGA CD, SNES, Super CD-ROM
1992-??-?? Might and Magic: Clouds of Xeen FM Towns, MS-DOS, PC-9800
1993-??-?? Might and Magic: Darkside of Xeen FM Towns, MS-DOS, PC-9800
1998-04-03 Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven Windows
1999-06-08 Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor Windows
2000-03-07 Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer PlayStation 2, Windows
2002-03-29 Might and Magic IX Windows
2014-01-23 Might & Magic X: Legacy Macintosh, Windows

Other Games



The logos used in the series help show how the game's style went from being historic with fantasy elements, to hardcore, almost cartoonish, fantasy. The second logo is the only one I saw when I was actively playing games from the series, and is also my favorite.


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