IntroductionMight and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven
(Cover by Larry Elmore, best known, at least to me, for doing a bunch of Dragonlance art, just in case any of it looked familiar)
Welcome to my next idiot project.
What Is Might and Magic VI?
Right, so, it might have occurred to some that there's a venerable series of RPG's called Might and Magic, perhaps because they've read Thuryl's extremely excellent LP's of the first five games. For those unfamiliar, the M&M series has always been a unique mix of sci-fi and fantasy. For instance, M&M 1 and 2 were set on colony pod spaceships, travelling through space for long enough to develop their own fantasy civilizations and backgrounds, that were in trouble, M&M3 was set on a world-to-be-colonized and M&M4+5 were set on another artificial world. The connecting plot for all five was that these worlds were projects of the Ancients, but one of their agents, an android known as Sheltem, had gone rogue and set off to destroy some of their projects and become overlord of others.
He was countered by a loyal agent, Corak, whom the players assisted and were assisted by, culminating in M&M5 where Corak and Sheltem finally came to blows and destroyed each other.
Then the series took a nap.
In the meantime, it became a turn-based strategy series, the Heroes of Might and Magic series, which has relatively little connection to the RPG's except for sharing some named characters. The Heroes series is almost purely fantasy, with the sci-fi elements extremely toned down(compared to the RPG's where end-game enemies are almost always robots and droids and laser rifles and phasers are equippable gear). The first one seemed almost purely a stand-alone project, but then the second one started to, gasp, actually have some plot, being set on the civil war riven continent of Enroth, as Roland and Archibald Ironfist fought for the throne(the good and evil brother repsectively). Canonically, Roland won and turned Archibald into a statue to decorate his library.
Then M&M6 happened.
Now, the old M&M's were turn-based, square-based, kind of like old Wizardry games except there wasn't a sub-screen for combat, it all happened in the world. M&M6...
Oh shit, it's 3D!
Oh shit, it's free movement, no squares!
Oh shit, we've got actual rag-dolls to slap a bunch of gear on so they look like clowns!
Oh shit it's... real... time?
Now anyone who followed my W&W LP might start frothing a little bit at the thought of a turn-based series going real-time, having flashbacks to the jank-ass implementation there, but in M&M6 it's, thankfully, different. It's full real-time, no weird-ass combination, but you can flip it over to turn-based at any time. Generally in the overworld and open areas you want real-time(since it lets you dodge projectiles and move faster), and in enclosed dungeon squabbles you want turn-based so you can actually think about what to do, and you can't really do much dodging in a corridor anyway.
It's worth noting that this was a 1998 release, so two years earlier than Wizards & Warriors and three years earlier than Wizardry 8. They seem to have made some smart technological choices about it, though, going for better draw distance by not going for HYPER GRAPHICS. It's probably easily noticeable that everyone moving around is a sprite rather than a 3D model, with 3D models used only for structures and terrain.
It takes a bit of getting used to, but it works, and I'd rather have an ugly game that works than a pretty game that's... whatever W&W was.
Speaking of the technology of this game, I'd like to share a short tale about getting this LP up and running. Running the game itself, no probalo, GOG has it, runs smooth. BUT, it only accepts full display capture from OBS, which gives me a fucking postage stamp of a recording area. So, google google google, turns out it should have a windowed mode if I just press F4! Ah-hah! Except it refuses to run the windowed mode if I'm not in fucking, uh, 32-bit colour mode, and I don't exactly have a Windows 98SE PC lying around. Google "M&M 6 windowed mode halp" and it turns out that one Russian comes to my rescue.
This guy, a fucking mad lad, has patched M&M6, 7 and 8 to have... functioning quicksaves. Functioning mouselook and strafing(fucking hallelujah!). And functioning windowed mode on modern machines. In addition to fixing a number of bugs that the official patches missed including one where you could corrupt your saves by trying to recharge the wrong wand.
As far as I'm aware, outside of bug fixes and QoL stuff, these patches don't fuck with the gameplay at all, so I intend to use them. And yes, I said them, I'm doing all three of these games, fuckerrrrrrs, get in for the ride.
Also, since I've mentioned GOG, I would like everyone to have a laugh at their expense. Now, quite reasonably, they scanned a bunch of the things that followed with the original game, like the manual and such, as .PDF's. And the original map.
Fuck me, I have never seen a fucking scan this bad in anything resembling a commercial release. What the fuck is this deep-fried crusty shit? For comparison, here's a scan from some rando on Steam:
In any case, the scene is set, so how about we get some plot up in this?
The Cliff's Notes are that Enroth is nice and chill after Roland dunks on Archibald, but then
The writing for M&M6 is certainly better than Wizards & Warriors but the intro really is not a strong part of it.
Alright, so for this game, we need four well-meaning morons. M&M6 is somewhat bare-bones in this regard compared to the following games(everyone is human, for instance), but we still have some choices to make!
First, we gotta pick a name, a gender and a profile image:
Yeah, that's it, those are the fucking options. Hope you like white people half of which thought they were auditioning for a low-budget gimmick porno.
Then, the other choice is a class:
Knights can use all armor/weapons and are the beefiest potential party memebers. They're also the only class without magic, though this frees them up to focus on non-magical skills like disarming traps. Unlike later games, any class that can learn a skill can learn it as well as any other class, so Knights are also likely to end up as sort-of, kind-of rogues and jack-of-all-trades.
Sorcerers are fragile, weedy glass cannons that have access, initially, to the four elemental types of magic. Four kinds of blasting as well as vital utility spells like Lloyd's Beacon and Town Portal. Obviously, they cannot fight for shit and will fall over in a stiff breeze. They also later get access to Dark and Light magic which are muy bueno as they have both some of the strongest combat spells and pack many of the other elements' buff spells into two handy packages called Day of Sorcery and Day of Protection.
Clerics are there to patch everyone up once they're half dead and to prevent them from getting half-dead with buffs. They've got Body, Spirit and Mind magic in addition to later being able to unlock Dark and Light magic like Sorcerers, having access to much the same spells. They're less blasty than Sorcerers, but make up for it by actually being able to wear armor and stave in heads with a stick.
Archers are an odd naming for what's a Knight/Sorcerer Hybrid(though they get no Light/Dark access, that's for Clerics and Sorcerers only). Despite the name they aren't, in VI, better actual archers than anyone else(in fact, everyone can use a Bow and become a Bow Master). Like Knights, they can use all weapons, but they're limited in terms of armor.
Paladins are Knight/Cleric hybrids, obviously, getting Body, Spirit and Mind magic but no Light/Dark casting. Like a Knight, they can use literally all weapons and armor. Ultimately they're probably a smarter choice than Knights, since the game has no front/back row options or other ways to really make your Knight "tank" hits for the rest, and if your Knight is the last survivor, sure, he can drag everyone back to a temple, but if a Paladin is your last survivor he might well be able to just resurrect everyone and keep on going instead.
Druids actually aren't shit now. In the earlier M&M games they appeared in they were Sorcerer/Cleric hybrids that sucked shit since they couldn't use their higher spell tiers and had no unique things of their own. In 6 they still have no spells of their own, but have full access to Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Body, Spirit and Mind magic. Everything but Light and Dark. They have marginally better Armor and Weapon selections than Sorcerers, but only barely.
Submit Some Heroic Idiots
Please and thank you.
Also please do not leave me without any Mind/Body/Spirit casters or casters that have eventual access to Light/Dark magic. But I promise, I'll only use submitted characters, so if you guys fuck me, you guys fuck me.
M&M6 doesn't have a lot to spoil, but I'd like to keep some surprises, so try to keep it under control, also please no spoilers for the following games because they do actually have a few surprises.
Table of Contents
- Update 001: Proper Hydration
- Update 002: Wildlife Conservation
- Update 003: It's A Perfectly Legal Thrill
- Update 004: Clowning Around
- Update 005: Incidental Heroics
- Update 006: A Circu(s)tuitous Route
- Update 007: Promotions
- Update 008: Promotions 2, Promote Harder
- Update 009: Promotions 3: Promote With A Vengeance
- Update 010: Promotions 4: No More Subtitles
- Update 011: Promotions 5: The Edgy 90's remake
- Update 012: Promotions 6: Top Tier
- Update 013: Back On Track
- Update 014: The Eyes Have It
- Update 015: Gharik's Mod
- Update 016: Baahd Vibes
- Update 017: Yes, They're Trekkies
- Update 018: Pyramid Scheme
- Update 019: Kriegspire and Beyond
- Update 020: The Trekkies of VARN
- Update 021: Blastin' Makes Me Feel Good
- Update 022: Fully Automated Space Luxury Gunnunism