Heroes of Might and Magic

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A turn-based strategy/RPG game that is currently published by UbiSoft and previously published by New World Computing and 3DO.

About the series itself[edit]

The popularity of the series (alongside its RPG-only counterpart, Might and Magic) is because of the fact that most 30-something Neckbeards in /tg/ grew up with it, and that its' influence on the current generation of (Western) roleplaying culture along with Dungeons and Dragons, and its' "pulp" trivial details concerning science fiction elements like the first five worlds being actually flat, world sized research vessels about culture in literally Star Trek universe. Of course, the neckbeard forefathers of first nerd culture are bound to be Trekkies, so it was bound to happen.

Unfortunately, after the new generation came along and autistically screeched about these details, and not realizing the science-fiction elements are a homage to the ancestral, primordial "general fiction" culture, the series was made into another generic run-of-the-mill fantasy yawnfest with dragons, "grey morality" (I.E. "let's imitate GoT and see how much rape, murder and other sickening shit we can inject without sounding like a sociopath", or, in this game's case "Hey let's not make all sides pure Light and Dark, and simply make every side sympathetic with shades of evil, sort of even though Inferno town wants the world to burn and die") and other such shit.

King's Bounty[edit]

Once upon a time, there was this game called King's Bounty (NO, NOT THAT MODERN KING'S BOUNTY, THE OTHER ONE THAT WAS MADE IN THE 90'S AND RUN ON MS-DOS) made by New World Computing in 1990 which had some awesome things that were unique for it back then. Namely, combining things like leading an army and typical RPG elements that made your Hero stronger (four whooping classes were available: Barbarian, Knight, Paladin and Sorceress) the more battles he and his soldiers managed to win. All of this packed into a non-linear game where you could explore a map and go from city to city, fighting enemy parties and quest-a-lot.

Heroes I - A Strategic Quest[edit]

The game was really sweet back then, so New World Computing decided to take it a step further. They made a game in 1995 that differed in certain aspects from King's Bounty. First they made cities manageable to the point where you could build structures and recruit creatures from there. Heroes were divided between two types: MIGHT (which were warriors and powerful leaders) and MAGIC (who were magic users that could zap people with destructive spells). Another was that said game was turn based when compared to King's Bounty. Apart of picking up various things, you also took over sites that produced resources for you to spend on building and recruitment. What's more important, you could control more than one Hero at a time, and recruit additional ones. In that game you played a king escaping from another world to take over this one for humanity.

Thus Heroes of Might and Magic were born, and the series would be known as one of the most favourite games liked by many.

Heroes II[edit]

A year passed since and Heroes of Might and Magic: A Strategic Quest got, with the help of 3DO, itself a sequel in 1996 titled Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars, which introduced new elements such as Talents that gave your Heroes new abilities as opposed to simple stat improvements presented in A Strategic Quest. Not to mention the element that would be implemented into every (except one) single Heroes game, and that would be the ability to upgrade buildings from which you recruited your soldiers in order to upgrade them into more powerful beings. The king from the first game dies and his sons, one good, another evil, start a civil war.

Yet another year passed and in 1997, Heroes II got a expansion pack called the Price of Loyalty, which was simply a campaign and scenario pack with extra stuff thrown in. In 1998 the game was re-released as Heroes of Might and Magic II: Gold and included both vanilla game and expansion pack. Still despite this, no game in the series would become as popular as the one that would appear in 1999...

Heroes III - THE GAME. THE LEGEND. (/v/ has a hardon for it, so do we)[edit]

Three years have passed since Heroes II, and after this another sequel appeared, in conjunction with the RPG Might and Magic 7 which takes place a few years after the game ended. (In a similar way, Might and Magic 6 happens a few years after Heroes II ends and Heroes III begins.)

Thus appeared Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia, and hit the store shelves with the power of a cyclonic torpedo. Not only eight cities were present in the game with two types of Heroes for each (one of MIGHT like the Knight or Barbarian, and one of MAGIC like Necromancer or Wizard), it also ran extremely fast on any PC and still had beautiful graphics. It took all the best elements from the two previous games, refurbished them and added things such as Undergrounds for exploration and places that would give out for free certain Talents such as Witch Huts and Learning Stones that would give free experience, as well as buildings that allowed to be interacted with like Academies or Hill Forts that respectfully could raise the MIGHT capabilities of a Hero and upgrade units without the need to upgrade structures in the cities. Fun fact: one of the available Necromancers (Necropolis Magic hero) is named Nagash.

"The Devils" from Might and Magic 6 are revealed to be alien invaders named Klingons Kreegan whose ships are meteor-shaped colony bases and slam into the world. So the second game's winner, Roland has a warrior wife named Catherine who gets shit done and starts to fight back. The war is cut short when the Necromancers of Deyja try to have their slice of the cake and get their teeth kicked in as Kreegans retreat to northeast.

Even today, TWO decades after, the game is regularly played and enjoyed by its old fans, and there is a whole Russian remake mod called Wake of the Gods...(but then those filthy commies are making a push for every fantasy strategy game in existence). Heroes III was a step up not only in graphics, but also in scale and generosity. Towns gave more income, more creatures, events and opportunities. Resources are much more plentiful, making the start of every game a beautiful adventure with meadows, glittering treasures, mysteries to unlock and beautiful adventures. I'm not crying, it's just dust in my eye.

Of course, the sequel brought signs of a future decay of the series, but we'll get to that: You see, the interlude RPG game named Might and Magic 7 was planned to have the Dark Side Ending as canon where the adventurers repair a Heavenly Forge (Star Trek replicator, yes, the whole series was officially in Star Trek universe, surprise!), and start conquering the world with a new Town called Forge, armed with modern guns. A bunch of autistic screeching faggotrons threatened 3DO with death (yes, they literally did), and the company scrapped every reference to Ancients and technology from now on. Might and Magic 8 would only have ONE retarded reference, a cyborg that tries to destroy worlds infected by Kreegans and completely ruining the plot. Ever since that day, we are looking for the responsible ones to kill for ruining an entire franchise.

The same year saw Armageddon's Blade, the first expansion to Heroes III, that added the ninth city, Conflux with its elementals along with the Planeswalkers and Elementalists. Canonically, Good Ending of M&M7 happened, making the heroes fuck off to space and back to a space station, somehow leaving the Ancient's Gate to the stars, their own world behind and forgetting to leave a bunch of Ancient Weapons for the human kingdom, the ungrateful faggots. The surviving demons were retconned into terrestrial elemental horrors rather than aliens and attempted another unholy crusade the turn the world into lava.

Enter new neutral creatures that some campaign exclusive Heroes could upgrade certain creatures into (like Elves into Sharpshooters, or Mages into Enchanters), or new artefacts and campaigns. Reactions were mixed, and disappointed, more to come. Elementalist towns are often banned from Multiplayer due to CHEESE grade units that can faceroll even the Necropolis.

2000 was the year where Shadows of Death, the second expansion to Heroes III, appeared. It didn't give anything new except for new artefacts and campaigns, though as a little grace had Sandro's tale for a treat (and his CHEEEEESE ability to create POWER LICHES from DEAD LITTLE GOBLINS WHAT THE FUCK). The same year was when Heroes III was re-release along with the expansions as Heroes of Might and Magic III: Complete, as well New World Computing and 3DO released Heroes Chronicles to attract a younger audience to the Heroes series. Chronicles was...how to say it...casual. It was in fact Heroes III: Light and Redundant Edition. A mockery to fans as custom scenarios and multiplayer was not included, not to mention that the level difficulties were low, but the number of bugs were high. Still, despite that the franchise prospered...until that happened.

Anyone who finished the campaign would know the Blade of Frost, and Armageddon's Blade would know the world would...

Heroes IV - Dark Times Have Come[edit]

...destroy the world. Boom, Antagarich is gone because a sword hit another sword. Including the fleet of colony ships in Dragonsand somehow, the world is blown to smithereens. To think someone forgot to get the data crystals and get in the VARN Nacelle Ship and escape... Anyway. Long story short, Angels open portals when the world starts to go boom and people escape to another world with magic. That is the moment where every reference to Ancient technology is axed abruptly, even the crossing is made with "Heaven's help", even though angels in Might and Magic Universe were just superior alien golems a few games ago, confirmed by the developers themselves...

Consumed by the success of Heroes III and its expansions, New World Computing and 3DO released Heroes of Might and Magic IV in 2002. Fans were happy because there was a new game, but when they did play... turned out that it was RADICAL. Radical in that the game had a massive overhaul of the Heroes development system (making your based Heroes evolve into one of the forty classes) and you could choose between two structures when you wanted to get a certain unit (thus no upgrading units), or making Heroes as units instead of spectators, removing Portals (seriously, what!?) and making sieges too easy. Not to mention a lot of other overhauls (like making some spells exclusive to each city) and a derpy pseudo isometric 3D combined with a pants-on-head retarded plot that phased out every reference to Ancients and killed off a lot of good characters. This sparked enormous RAGE in the hearts and minds of older fans. Though controversial, the game got two expansions in the following year (The Gathering Storm) and 2003 (Winds of War). Although the amount of changes were shots in the foot, some (like flaggable Wind/Watermills and Caravans) actually hit the jackpot. Although extremely changed, the gigantic hailstorm of flak was undeserved, as it actually is fun to play and once the dust settled, the campaigns are considered very good and engaging, though one creature warbands were the Cheese of undiscovered treasure grabs. Sadly, around the release of the fourth game, 3DO bankrupted hard, taking down with itself New World Computing. Everyone thought that the franchise was dead and that they would never again become the titular Heroes of Might and Magic...

...until three years later, where the franchise would get a fresh new setting named Ashan, sporting a hardon for dragons. And so, the Heroes of Might and Magic returned as yet another iteration of the same, thousand year old elementalist cookie cutter fantasy fiction shithouse where dragon gods hump the world and stuff happens.

Fuck.

Heroes V - A New Hope[edit]

UbiSoft, today known widely (and sadly only) by people for their Assassin's Creed games, picked up the trademarks for the series and hired Nival Interactive (known at that time for their really awesome Heroes-clone, later turned King's-Bounty-clone-smashed-with-Magic-The-Gathering series, known as Etherlords or Blitzkrieg, Evil Islands and Rage of Mages series) to make a new Heroes game (despite that it was already in production by 3DO and NWC, but after the two bankrupted, Ubi gained the rights and modified it into a game for the current hardware). Thus in 2006, Heroes of Might and Magic V came out.

The fifth entry in the series was a return to what Heroes III took and polished when it combined the best of the first two games. Heroes V was simply a III in 3D with even more diversities between cities (six were playable) and Heroes (sadly, each city now had only one Hero type that a city had was both MIGHT and MAGIC with racial skills they could upgrade, but also with personal skills that made each Hero different from each other). Overall the game was very well received, but stuff that Heroes IV presented (like aforementioned Caravans and flaggable Mills) was thrown out. It also rebooted the lore into a newer, more generic, universe that's best known for being where Dark Messiah, which is awesome, takes place.

2006 and 2007 gave us two expansions. Hammers of Fate and Tribes of The East. The first presented Dwarfs and their unique Rune Magic system that ate up resources, as well as a Random Map Generator (as opposed to the previous games that had Map Editors, Heroes V didn't have one). The second was a standalone game that didn't require the vanilla game and the previous expansion. It presented the Stronghold (Orks) as a playable city along with unique abilities that were resolved around Bloodlust, brought back Caravans from Heroes IV, and gave people things such as alternative upgrades for units.

So far, the game was very popular still, adapting into the fantasy-only setting... But that was not to last.

Heroes VI/VII - The Bleak Future[edit]

With the arrival of Heroes VI and VII, the series is considered dead by own fanbase and managed to instantly alienate any sort of new players. While on the gameplay side barely anything changed from previous two games save for a vague alignment system called Blood or Tears(Being a ruthless killer gives your heroes offensive bonuses-Blood, whereas letting the defeated go gives defensive-Tears), just running the game is an adventure all by itself due to buggy and clearly unfinished state, further botched by tons of DRM. In other words - the game is close to impossible to run, while the content is bland, unbalanced and simply boring with only exaggerated graphics with overly elaborate equipments for every unit that would usually cost an arm and leg concerning their meager position and fees...

If there's anything to be learned, it's that we could do quite well without the mangling of what made older beloved franchises unique as a result of companies trying to cash in on aimless nostalgia without understanding where it came from, its' nuance, and not giving in to quantity of feedback rather than quality, and especially NOT to make three prequels in a row: Heroes of Might and Magic 5 has canonically the final timeline, and no one cares about your Russian-Flavored "How did the human kingdoms come to be diverse, starting with Russia" bullshit duchies.

And that ditching Star Trek brings bad luck.

Gameplay[edit]

Faction distribution
I II III IV V VI VII
Castle X X X X X X X
Rampart X X X X X X
Stronghold X X X X X X X
Dungeon X X X X X X X
Tower X X X X X
Necropolis X X X X X X
Inferno X X X
Fortress X X X
Conflux X
Sanctuary X

The game is turn based, where you lead heroes to accomplish certain missions. Your towns provide you taxes and creatures to recruit, buildings to harness, and heroes to lead.

Heroes[edit]

Your go-getters, tax collectors, doers and fighters. These guys need some military escort to get shit done (except HoMM4). If a hero's army is defeated you will lose them and all the artifacts that they hold. The hero must then be recruited at a tavern to get them back at a pretty penny. In Heroes 4 the hero themselves must be defeated as well as you'd defeat any other unit. Every turn you move armies led by heroes across the world, taking over resource buildings, engaging in RPG-style adventures and fighting neutral creatures (or hiring them if hero is diplomatic). The goal is often complex, but usually culminates in conquering the enemy. The game is turn based.

Factions[edit]

Also known as towns. Over the course of the series there have been many factions that you could play as, determining what heroes and armies you can use, as well as a number of other bonuses you gain. A common objective in missions is to conquer the towns of the other factions, allowing you to gain access to their units and bonuses. The first game started off with a modest four, growing to a massive nine in the third game with the expansion. Three factions appear in all games, the rest appearing anywhere from eight times to only once. Consult the table for more information. The names are all taken from Heroes III except for Sanctuary because of how well-known the game is.

Fantastic creatures, human and other humanoid fighters and war machinery led by the hero. The hero's attack and defense skills directly add to said units, so tactics and strategy go hand in hand in war. Units can be in stacks up to a million, killing and dying in combat in a vertical fashion, meaning, the damage the stack receives kills the first dude up to his hit-point, then the next one, and so on. Example: 50 damage will kill 8 creatures with 6 hitpoints, and injure the seventh for 2 damage. Most creatures have abilities, and spells can be cast by leading heroes to change the tide.

Knight's Town/Castle/Haven[edit]

The primary human faction, consisting of soldiers and knights backed up by griffins and angels. The average faction with an emphasis on survivability, and healing its own troops.

Heroes[edit]
Units[edit]
  • Angel: Introduced in Heroes 3 along with is upgrade the Archangel this became the town's strongest creature. It was the strongest creature in the base game but expansions introduced creatures that knocked it off its thrown. Later appearances saw its power knocked down a peg but it's still a strong creature. The Archangel (or just Angel in Heroes 4) can revive dead allies in addition to being a stronger fighter.
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Sorceress' Town/Rampart/Preserve/Sylvan[edit]

Nature lovers of all kinds. The primary source of elves, nature spirits, unicorns and the like. Had dwarves in it in Heroes II and III.

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Barbarian's Town/Stronghold[edit]

The home of those to whom best in life is the crushing of enemies, the driving before of them and hearing the lamentations of the women. Fields monsters of all sorts, including the Rancor-like Behemoth. Units are often sturdy enough but need to close in for fighting.

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Warlock's Town/Dungeon/Asylum[edit]

Evil spellcasters and monsters can be found here. Field beholders and powerful dragons. The Elitist faction throughout the series, most units are expensive, few in number but powerful, necessitating keeping them alive.

Heroes[edit]
Units[edit]
  • Black Dragon: The dragons this town were a silly pink in their debut. Heroes 2 introduced multiple colors depending on the upgrade, with the Black Dragon being the strongest and the town's signature creature. Said dragon is typically the strongest creature in any town's line up (except in Heroes 3) and comes with immunity to spells. Yours and the opponent's so that means while it can't be hurt by offensive spells or debuffs, you can't heal or buff it either. On the upside the immunity to damage from spells allows for a famous combo with the Armageddon spell (which hits everything) since the Black Dragons are immune to it.
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Wizard's Town/Tower/Academy[edit]

Wizard and stuff. Armies of cannon fodder backed up by various constructs. Fluff starts with generic high fantasy wizard towers in a forest, advances to Hogwarts-Winterhold-styled frozen castles on mountains, and gets to a a sweet Indian/Thousand Nights aesthetic in the later games. Ranged powerhouse faction, most units shoot or have weird spell abilities.

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Necromancer's Town/Necropolis[edit]

Welcome to the BONE ZONE, drink your milk and thank Mr Spoopy Skeltal! Undead of all sorts that will throw thousands of skeletons at you to take you out. Develop a spider fetish in the later games. Starts as a generic spooky scary elitist melee faction, becomes a horribly zerg-rush faction at the third game due to dead enemies made into skeletons if Mr Skeltal wins.

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Inferno[edit]

Demon-like aliens from space who want to conquer at first, then terrestrial elemental horrors who want to destroy the world, and finally becoming demons from the core of the planet who want to run wild and have butt sex with each other; canon is retarded like that. Can teleport units around to make up for their shitty stats. Possess a few units whose fire-proof status can be cheesed.

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Fortress[edit]

The faction that changed the most between games. In Heroes III they were lizardfolk and gnolls backed up by a few monsters, but in Heroes V and VII became the Dwarven faction. Expect runes to show up a lot.

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Conflux[edit]

Wizards, but also masters of all four elements. In the lore they awoke because of the shenanigans going on during Heroes III. Overpowered as shit, Fluff and Crunch breaker at the same time, luckily died out by fourth game.

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Sanctuary[edit]

Replacing Rampart in Heroes VI, they have a similar pro-nature thing going on except with more water. Oh, and they're also weebs. Despite being nagas only one of their unit looks like one, the rest are spirits, dragons and MOTHERFUCKING SHARKMEN.

Heroes[edit]
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