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Overview

The eighth entry of the Might and Magic series continues to use the same engine pioneered with Might and Magic VI. The basic goals would remain the same as a party-based, open world RPG. Players would continue to seek out out quests, fight terrible creatures, and explore another vast world laid at their feet. At this point, however, the aging engine and the similarity of its gameplay to that of its predecessors would take its toll among critics if not the fans of the series. Recycled elements of the plot and the relatively inferior nature of its design in comparison to its peers at the time were also cited as detriments.

In this game, players would take on a party of adventurers tasked with restoring the balance of four elemental points before they converge upon a mysterious crystal summoned by the Planeswalker Escaton. If they fail, the elemental storms sweeping the land of Jadame will become great enough to destroy the entire world. The game would also feature ties to previous titles with its characters and story threads, including those related to the franchise's Heroes series.

The Manual was particularly noteworthy for continuing the tradition of providing plenty of expanded fiction encompassing the world of Might and Magic.

As was a tradition of the series, a color map showing the land of Jadame was also provided.

Story

Previous games in the series held back the sci-fi aspect of the game until close to the very end when everything would be revealed, but with Mandate of Heaven, this was introduced somewhat from the start. Players unfamiliar with the extensive backstory of the series, however, could ignore the introductory cutscene and dive into the game suspecting nothing and focus only on the introduction provided by the manual.

Unlike many of the previous games, however, the plot of Day of the Destroyer was heavily intertwined with the previous titles as well as the Heroes series. Although a deep understanding of each of the games was not necessary to enjoy this chapter, a small element of backstory was required in order to earn a better appreciation for what the story entailed.

The game takes place in Jadame, a continent on the world of Enroth which also serves as the "catch-all" setting for Heroes of Might and Magic. According to the backstory of the series, a terrible interstellar war was waged between the Ancients and the Kreegan thousands of years before the start of the game. This war was hinted upon throughout the series, especially from Might and Magic VI onwards. The Kreegan appeared as demonic creatures giving rise to their reputation as devils that would mark the legends of those colony worlds that the Ancients had been forced from during the war.

As the Ancients left their descendants upon the colony worlds that they had seeded the void with, the Ancients and their war passed into legend and were soon forgotten. However, unbeknownst to their primitive cousins thousands of years later, they had enacted a policy of destroying those worlds that may be under threat of Kreegan domination which is what brings us to Day of the Destroyer. Although the Kreegans were soundly defeated in Might and Magic VI, Heroes of Might and Magic III and its expansions, and Might and Magic VII, it did not deactivate this program of annihilation that had started when they first invaded.

The world of Enroth has fallen out of balance with the rest of the cosmos and as a result, the gateways to the raw energies of the elemental planes course throughout the world threatening its destruction. As a novice mercenary hired to guard Dark Elven merchants, the player's first concern will be to escape the Dagger Wound Islands and make their way to the continent of Jadame.

But this had all begun with a visit to the monsterous town of Ravenshore by a mysterious, humanoid figure whose appearance stood in stark contrast to the creatures that surrounded him. He was attacked by those eager for blood only to find themselves thrown back by an invisible and mysterious field of power that surrounded him. When he reached the center square, he inscribed a circle onto the ground and a titanic crystal erupted from it engulfing him. Creatures approached the crystal and were thrown back, but almost as if in response, a wave of power erupted from the relic searching out the corners of the continent of Jadame. Four elemental gateways were torn open.

Near the Dagger Wound Islands, a gate to the elemental plane of Earth exploded open with billowing clouds of searing volcanic ash and molten rock raining down upon them. At the opposite corner of Jadame, a great deluge erupted from the Water gateway that sent a Minotaur lair under water. Minotaur society was broken by the event leaving one of their most important homes underwater.

In another corner of Jadame, a wall of terrible fire exploded from the gateway that tore itself open there, burning the desert itself and sending the nearby Trolls fleeing in terror from the storm. And above an ancient forest, a gateway to Air was opened tearing old trees from their very roots and flinging them into the sky, swallowing them whole. The elemental powers were unshackled as the forces from all four gates soon made their way towards the mysterious crystal.

A long forgotten Dark Elven prophecy had predicted this cycle of destruction, saying:

"A tyme of stryfe and woe shall follow the 'Aege of Shefar' and in this Aege, all shall fall to naught as the gates of chaos are opened unto Enroth. And this shall be a sygn unto ye- when the elemental forces of the Earth, the Wind, and Fyre, and the Water shall freely roam your lands to usher death and destruction upon theyr wings, ye shall have entered the fynale Aege, 'the Aege of Purification.' Once this Aege hath begun, there shalt be no recourse. For lo' the lords of the Earth, the Wind, the Fyre, and the Water both giveth lyfe unto thee and stryketh lyfe from thee. In tymes of stryfe the cycle of destruction cannot be avoided and thyne only repose shall be death. However, in tymes of harmony those that gather in allyance shall stand the possibility of surviving the purification and warding off the end of the 'Aege of Shefar' to enjoy a prolonged era of peace."

What none know is that the mysterious figure is a being called the Planeswalker Escaton and he has come to fulfill the Ancients' plans to purge the world so that it may never fall into the hands of the Kreegan.

The adventure starts in the Dagger Wound Islands as the party of characters, with the leader acknowledged as the "Champion of Jadame", protect merchants and fend off pirates. They eventually make their way to Ravenshore, the capital of Jadame, informing the Merchant Guild of the coming cataclysm. But more evidence is required so the party is asked convince the smuggling ring in the city to help gather information for them.

Eventually, they are led to the Ironsand Desert where, after several quests, return to the city of Alvar where the doomsday prophecy is discovered and explained. The factions of Jadame must stand together against this threat. Unfortunately for the party, many of the factions are at war with each other. After many more adventures, the party manage to unite many of the factions together and go forth to defeat a pirate fleet preventing the return of King Roland and his wife, Catherine, who have pledged their assistance. Xanthor, the sage that has come with them, fashioned a key allowing the party to enter Escaton's crystal but must use Heartstones within each of the four elemental planes.

Once they have done this, Xanthor completes the key allowing them to enter the crystal wherein they battle creatures formed from its magic. It is a place of utter chaos with many party members falling prey to the insanity that being there entails, but they persevere and discover that Escaton has imprisoned the four lords of the elemental planes. The party must answer three riddles to gain the keys to their cells and when they do so, free the imprisoned lords and rebalance the elements as they go to soothe their subjects. The four elemental lords then turn their attentions against the crystal and destroy it.

Ravenshore, and all of Jadame, are saved, but Escaton's defeat at the end leaves a mysterious thread open as he lies dying. A small pod on his chest opens up and turns into a mechanical spider and Escaton turns his half ravaged face at it, the torn open flesh revealing torn electronics and glowing pathways beneath his skin revealing that he may be but a mechanism created by the Ancients. He tells the spider to "Tell them I have failed."

Gameplay

MM8 continues to use the engine developed with MM6 ( Mandate of Heaven) which allows for a free roaming movement system providing complete 360° range of maneuverability similar to that found in titles such as Elder Scrolls: Arena or Daggerfall. It would also use 3D graphics to render the environment of its world although it would also use them in conjunction with animated 2D sprites representing monsters and special effects among other assets. It would also use an extensive number of cut-scenes utilizing rendered FMVs utilizing 3D graphics.

Players were called upon to create a five character party and depending on which class is chosen, they will start with two preset skills with the player free to pick two extra starting skills alongside the available options depending on the character's class. Though each character only starts with four skills, they can always learn any other skills allowed by their class from teachers spread throughout the land.

MM8 had overhauled its classes in an attempt to refresh the design. The seven classes available are Knight, Cleric, Necromancer, Dark Elf, Troll, Vampire, and Minotaur, with each being able to eventually perform epic quests to be promoted to greater versions of their starting class. For example, a Knight can earn a quest promotion to become a Champion. Unlike its predecessor, Might and Magic VII, alignment-based classes were thrown out leaving only one promotable direction for each class.

The first set of skills is weapon skills, including Staff, Sword, Dagger, Axe, Spear, Bow, Mace, and Unarmed. Next there are the armor skills, consisting of Leather, Chain, Plate, and Shield. The various schools of magic are Fire Air, Water, Earth, Spirit, Body, Mind, Light, and Dark. The promotion system also establishes the level of expertise that each character has with each spell and proceeds from Novice, Expert, Master, and finally to Grand Master.

Finally there are the miscellaneous skills, denoting all skills which do not fit into any other category: Identify, Merchant, Repair, Bodybuilding, Meditation, Perception, Diplomacy, Disarm Trap, and Learning among others. With all skills, characters may eventually find teachers who can teach an upgrade to Expert, Master, and then ultimately, to Grandmaster although this last is far more specific to certain classes. For example, a Knight cannot become a Dodging Grandmaster.

Party members could also be dismissed, hired, or re-hired at any time.

The game is open-ended meaning that upon completing the main quest, the party is free to explore the rest of the continent for anything else that they may have missed. They can meet with the key figures of the land, such as King Roland and the Merchant's Guild, and receive their adulation for helping to save the world.

Graphics

Might and Magic VIII uses the same engine as its predecessor but with support for 3D acceleration which improves the graphical effects in the environment. Such effects are primitive by today's standards but are better than the 2D sprites used in Might and Magic VI.

Time

Time is also an important consideration in the game as day and night cycles pass offering new opportunities or in making things more difficult depending on where they are. Several quests in the game are also tied to their own schedule meaning that when an NPC says that they are giving a month to complete a quest, they mean it. This can also determine when the safest time might be for the party to rest and recoup their strength if they are out in the wilderness.

Statistics

The statistics for each character are limited only by the number of levels that they may earn, among other factors such as magical effects, allowing for tremendously high numbers that break the typical "18" cap. However, if any statistic drops to 0, it will result in immediate death for that character.

The basic statistics used in the game seem derived from the Dungeons and Dragons model of statistics, although carry different names so as to differentiate themselves. They are:

  • Intellect - General knowledge. Important to sorcerers as it can affect spell points. Important to archers later on at higher levels as they begin learning sorcerer spells.
  • Might - Raw strength. Important to any fighting class such as Knights and Paladins. Affects the damage a character can inflict in melee combat.
  • Personality - A character's general degree of appeal to others. Particularly important to clerics as it affects their pool of spell points. Important to paladins when, at higher levels, they begin learning cleric spells.
  • Endurance - Stamina. Affects how many hit points a character initially has to start with and will gain every time they level. Particularly important to fighters.
  • Speed - Agility and general quickness affecting initiative. A faster character improves (increases) their Armor Class rating making them harder to hit.
  • Accuracy - A character's ability to land hits during combat. This is particularly important to archers.
  • Luck - Measures the general chances of a character succeeding when all else seems to have failed. Random and unpredictable.

Classes

Classes had undergone several changes by including race oriented ones such as "Troll" and eliminating others such as Sorcerer and Monk. Race is not a choice the player can make in creating their character. This is determined by what class they select for them.

  • Knights are the workhorses of the fighting class, coming onto the scene with the largest selection of weapons and armor; in fact, they are able to eventually learn any and all weapon and armor skills. Knights begin with the greatest number of hit points of any class and gain the most hit points when they advance in level. Knights can be promoted to Cavalier status (gaining two hit points per level) and again to become an all-out Champion (gaining another two hit points per level). Being the quintessential warriors, knights have no mind for magic, and so may never learn spells or the Meditation skill.
  • Clerics are adventurous, spell-casting holy men who are mediocre fighters. Their magic is most powerful in the areas of healing and defense. Clerics can learn from the mirrored paths of the Light and Dark magics, and the awesome spells available in those realms. For weapons, however, Clerics can only choose the mace, staff, or bow, though they are able to learn all armor skills except for Plate. With much diligence and study, Clerics can ascend to Priest (gaining one hit point and spell point per level), and eventually Priest of the Sun (gaining another spell point and an extra hit point).
  • Necromancers are the closest thing to a pure spellcaster on the continent of Jadame. They have succumbed to the temptations of the dark arts making them a specialist in the Dark art as well as a master of the undead. They are also poor physical fighters and are heavily restricted in what armor and weaponry they are allowed to wield. But to make up for it, they can also command Air, Water, Earth, and Fire to do their bidding. With much spell casting experience, Necromancers can be transformed into undead Liches at the highest levels of mastery.
  • Trolls are brute fighters of exceptional endurance and are the most physically tough of all classes. They can also regenerate wounds. They can also use all weapons (although they can gain grandmastery with blunt weeapons such as macess) but are limited to light armors such as leather. They cannot learn any spellcasting abilities. Trolls that survive many battles can eventually graduate to become War Trolls which are truly feared on the battlefield.
  • Minotaurs have descended from magically attuned guardians. Like the Troll, they are powerful warriors but do not have the ability to regenerate their damage. Despite not being able to match the Troll's extreme endurance, they can make up for that lack with strength, cunning, and a limited ability to use magic. All weapons are available to their expertise along with every armor type aside from helmets and shields. With experience and valor, they may even find themselves worthy of promotion to Minotaur Lord.
  • Dark Elf are a race of elves that had long ago decided to follow the darker paths of enlightenment, ability, and magical power. The race is as equally adept at the warring arts as they are with arcane secrets; capable swordsmen and archers as well as wielders of elemental power. Given their darker natures, they also excel at Disarm Traps and Merchant skills, though they cannot use Dark magic. They can only wield spears and axes and are limited to chain armor. Should they pass the required tests, they may even find themselves promoted to Patriarch.
  • Vampires are those that have chosen to revel in the powers granted to them with this class. In addition to their racial abilities, Vampires become powerful workers of Body, Mind, and Spirit magic and can grain great skill with bladed weapons. They are, however, limited in their choice of weapons and armor and being undead creatures, suffer the same penalties that others such things do. With enough power at their command, they can become Nosferatu and earn the ability to even turn into mist.
  • Dragon is not available to a starting character, but once one joins the party, reveals itself as the most powerful of beasts. They can breathe fire, fight with their massive claws and fangs, fly, and even repel most weapons with their scales. They don't use armor and weapons for obvious reasons. With greater experience, wisdom, and cunning, Dragons can become deadly Great Wyrms of devastating power and prestige.

Skills

Each character starts out with a set of four skills and can learn whatever else they wish throughout the game as long as they can pay for the lessons. Skill levels can be improved through a combination of of promotions to their class and then finding the appropriate teacher to earn a higher skill level. In addition, the skill system has been altered from the previous game so that certain classes can only learn certain levels of skills and a new level of Mastery (Grandmaster) for each skill. A similar thing also changed with the magic system where a character could only learn a spell if they had the mastery. For example, only a character with an appropriately promoted Thief class (such as an Assassin) could become Grandmasters of the Dagger.

Weapon Skills

These are required to wield particular weapons. Without the appropriate skill, a character cannot equip specific weapons.

  • Staffs are two-handed poles equally good for offense and defense. Expert ranking with the staff will increase the character's armor class and Master ranking will allow them to occasionally stun their opponents. Grandmasters can use a staff in conjunction with their Unarmed skill becoming even deadlier in battle.
  • Sword skill covers most types of blades longer than a knife. Expert swordsmen gain a quicker attack while Master swordsmen may wield any one-handed sword in their left hand and another weapon in their right. Grandmasters add their skill level to their armor class.
  • Daggers don't do the kind of damage that a sword or an axe can deliver, but their quick attacks can sometimes let a character get in two slices for every one move made by a slower opponent. Expert dagger fighters can wield a dagger in their left hand while using another weapon in their right. Master dagger fighters have a chance of killing a surprised opponent with a single blow. Grandmasters add 1 point of skill to the damage done.
  • Axes are rather slow on the attack, but do a lot of damage when they hit. Expert axe fighters gain more speed in their attacks while Master axe fighters can deliver tremendous damage. Grand Masters can even halve the armor class of their opponents inflicting even worse damage to their foes.
  • Spears make their point by including all pole weapons with blades attached to the business end. Versatile, they can be used one- or two-handed, but they work better with two hands. Expert ranking with the spear will increase a character's armor class, and Master ranking will boost damage caused. Grandmasters can also use their level to add to their defensive bonus.
  • Bow skill targets both bows and crossbows. Expert marksmen gain a speed increase with their weapon, while Masters fire two arrows with every attack with Grandmasters adding their level of skill to the damage caused.
  • Mace skill covers all blunt trauma weapons: batons, flails, the general whack-in-the-head arsenal. Expert mace swingers do extra damage with their weapons, while Masters and Grandmasters can stun opponents.
  • Unarmed is applied when a character has no equipped weapon and have only their fists to defend themselves with. At the normal level of expertise, the skill level is added to the attack bonus. Experts can then add it to their attack damage. As a Master, it will affect the attack bonus and the damage inflicted. And Grandmasters gain a percentage based on their skill level to completely avoid attacks.

Armor Skills

Note: all armor types (not counting shield) carry a penalty by slowing down a character; Master and Expert kill in armor reduces this drag while the Grandmaster levels add powerful bonuses to their use.

  • Leather armor is the lightest armor available. Providing less protection than chain or plate armor, it also slows a character down the least.
  • Chain armor provides more protection than leather and less than plate; thus, it also slows a character down more than leather.
  • Plate armor delivers the most gong for your gold: it affords the most protection, it also the greatest reduction in speed.
  • Shield skill directly improves a character's armor class while a shield is equipped. Expert and Master shield ranking increase this defensive bonus.

Magic Skills

Note: Expert and Master ranks in the various Magic skills have different effects for each individual spell of that Magic school and Grandmaster levels of these spell schools grant devastating bonuses.

  • Fire magic is a good way to burn a bad guy, and also includes sells having to do with speed and pain.
  • Air magic tends to be defensive and informational in nature, and includes spells of accuracy and flight.
  • Water magic is equally useful for defense and offense, and concentrates on spells that move or change things.
  • Earth magic is defensive and includes spells that protect, bind, and strengthen.
  • Spirit magic concentrates on spells of life and death. Live forever, bring back the dead, slow or accelerate aging.
  • Body magic cures disease, dissolves poisons, and generally heals and enchants.
  • Mind magic chars and confuses.
  • Light magic includes some of the strongest spells in the land. Light magic cannot be chosen by beginning characters; it must be learned and mastered during your travels.
  • Dark magic comprises some of the most powerful magic in Enroth. Spells of darkness can have spectacular results, but generally carry a price. Dark magic cannot be chosen by beginning characters; it must be coveted and invoked during your travels.

Miscellaneous Skills

  • Identify Item gives meaning to items and equipment; you can't use something until you know what it is! This skill will automatically identify an item if your character's skill level is high enough. Special items may need an Expert or Master in this skill to properly identify them. Grandmasters have seen everything and can deduce what an item is blindfolded.
  • Identify Monster allows a character to correctly assess just what it is they are fighting. At higher levels, they will learn more about their quarry such as how many hit points they have and, at Grandmaster, can determine a monster's spell ability, resistances, and attack qualities at a glance.
  • Merchant skill helps adjust prices in your favor, whether buying or selling. Remember: buy low, sell high.
  • Repair skill allows your characters to fix broken equipment. The higher the skill level, the better the quality of item your character can play handyman on. Expert and master rankings allow characters to repair complex items and artifacts.
  • Bodybuilding skill pumps your character up, adding hit points directly to totals.
  • Meditation adds spell points directly to your relaxed character's totals.
  • Perception sharpens your character's chance of noticing a trap: catch it in time, and the damage it causes can be reduced or even avoided. A higher perception skill equals a chance to escape stronger escapes; Expert and Master rankings allow a character to notice and escape different types of traps.
  • Armsmaster increases a character's skill across their weapon abilities. Normal level reduces the time it takes to strike again, Experts and Masters add their skill levels to their damage, and Grand Masters double their previous bonuses.
  • Disarm Trap skill is the perfect thing for when you can't remember where you left your keys: all chests will open automatically, but you may get hit by a trap. The more skill you have, the better your chance to disarm any trap before it goes off.
  • Learning skill increases the experience your character receives. Every rank of skill increases the experience bonus your character receives. Experts double and Masters triple this bonus; learn enough to do the math and you'll see how this can add to your advantage.

Spells

Each of the various schools of magic have their own unique spells. Spells can have all types of wildly varying effects, from simply lighting a dark hallway to calling down a cataclysmic storm of meteors on everybody in the vicinity! Here is a list of all the spells arranged by school, with descriptions of their effects and the bonus gained from Expert and Master ranking in the relevant Magic skill.

With the improvements made to the skill levels of the classes involved, spells have also been divided into sections available only to those expert enough to gain access to them.

Fire Spells

Normal Level Spells

  • Torch Light produces a sphere of light around your party. It only works indoors. Use it for those dark caverns where something might be waiting!
  • Fire Resistance increases all your characters' resistance to fire
  • Fire Bolt launches a burst of fire at a single target. Costing 4 points, it takes a while to rebuild strength and use it again.
  • Fire Aura Causes a weapon with no special abilities to burn with magic fire.

Expert Level Spells

  • Haste reduces recovery time for party actions. Beware, for characters will be weak for six hours after this spell wears off. it costs 5 points to cast, and requires recovery.
  • Fireball targets a single monster, but explodes to hurt anyone else caught in the blast. What a show! But keep your party at a distance; if they stand too close, they will be hurt as well. This one costs 8 spell points, and takes some time to recover.
  • Fire Spike creates a dropped fire spike on the ground that detonates when a monster passes nearby. A Maximum of five of these can be active at any time until the party leaves the map area. It causes 6 points of damage plus 1 additional damage point for every skill rank. Masters can drop seven spikes and increase the damage they do while Grand Masters can use nine of these with even more damaging effects.

Master Level Spells

  • Meteor Shower summons 8 flaming rocks from the sky in a 10-foot radius surrounding your target. Unless you're eager to visit a healer yourself, try not to be near the victim when using this spell. Cost is 20, with a period necessary to recoup energy. It happens instantly, and each rock delivers 8 points of damage plus 1 additional for every skill rank. Masters are ready again more quickly with 16 rocks. Grand Masters bring 20 rocks to the party. This spell cannot be used indoors. Obviously.
  • Immolation surrounds the party in fire that only hurts anyone else that comes too close with damage equal to the caster's skill level. Experts' recovery time is cut somewhat, while Masters take just a quick breather between spells.

Grand Master Level Spell

  • Incinerate is one of the strongest direct damage spells you may acquire, inflicting massive damage on a single target. Only the strongest of monsters can expect to survive this spell. (But if one does, then it's you who has to survive!) Spell point cost is 30, recovery is necessary. It happens instantly, searing 15 points of damage, plus 1 - 15 points extra for each rank of the caster's skill.

Air Spells

Normal Level Spells

  • Wizard Eye reveals the locations of monsters and characters on your group's automap. It lasts for 1 hour and it costs one spell point to cast. Experts and Masters will learn more on casting this spell than an Apprentice. Grand Masters pay nothing in spell points to cast this.
  • Sparks fires three small balls of lightning that bounce around until they hit something or dissipate. Experts recover more quickly, and fire 5 balls. Masters are ready to go again even faster, with 7 shots. Grand Masters bring nine sparks to the fight.
  • Feather Fall slows the speed of a fall and prevents your party from being hurt when falling more than ten feet. The cost for this spell is 5 points, and recovery takes time. It lasts for 5 minutes for every Air magic skill rank. Experts get the duration up to 10 minutes per skill rank, while Masters rate 1 hour per skill rank. Grand Masters recover the fastest.
  • Air Resistance increases all character's resistance to air magic per skill point (also affecting duration).

Expert Level Spells

  • Shield slows missile attacks (such as rocks and arrows) and cuts their potential damage by half. A Shield costs 8 spell points, and be careful where you use it, as it takes time to recover. It lasts 5 minutes for every skill rank. Experts' Shields last 15 minutes per skill rank, while a Master's version affects the entire party.
  • Lightning Bolt discharges electricity from the caster's hand to a single target. It always hits and does solid damage. It costs 10 spell points. It fires instantly, doing 1 - 8 points of damage for each skill rank. Experts recover more quickly, Masters faster still.
  • Jump launches your party into the air at a forty-five degree angle, landing them without damage a set distance away. It costs the caster only 15 spell points and higher skill will reduce recovery time. Experts and Masters recover more quickly.

Master Level Spells

  • Implosion is a nasty spell that affects a single target by destroying the air around it. The result is a sudden inrush from the surrounding air, a thunderclap, and 10 points of damage plus an extra 1 - 10 points of damage for every skill rank. It costs 20 points to cast, and rest is required afterwards. Experts are back to readiness more quickly, Masters faster still. Grand Masters sigh before doing it again.
  • Fly grants the power of flight to your characters, 5 minutes airborne for every skill rank! Only available outdoors, Fly initially costs 25 spell points and slowly drains spell points as it remains active. Be careful not to fall from a great height! Experts can stay up for 10 minutes per skill rank, while Masters wing it for an entire hour per skill rank. Grand Masters do it for free.
  • Invisibility makes the party invisible.

Grand Master Level Spell

  • Starburst calls 8 stars from the heavens to smite and burn your enemies in a 20-foot radius. Try not to get caught in the blast! Cost is 30 spell points, recovery is very significant, each stars' damage is 20 points plus an extra 1 point of damage for every skill rank. Experts reduce their recovery somewhat and get 12 stars; Masters turn back their recovery even more, and deliver 16 stars. It only works outdoors.

Water Spells

Normal Level Spells

  • Awaken automatically awakens all of your characters from a normal sleep and dramatically reduces the duration of sleep spells cast on your characters.
  • Protection from Cold increases all your characters' resistance to Cold: 1 point of resistance for every rank the caster has in Water magic. Cost is 3 points, recovery is required. The Protection lasts for 1 hour per skill rank. Experts double the resistance, while Masters triple it.
  • Poison Spray sprays 1 shot of poison at monsters directly in front of your characters. Damage is low, but few monsters have resistance to poison, so it's an easy way to make 'em suffer. Cost in spell points is 4, recovery is required. The effect is 2 points of damage, plus an extra 1 - 2 points of damage for every skill rank. Experts recover more quickly and fire 3 shots. Masters are back at it faster with 5 shots.
  • Ice Bolt fires a single bolt of ice at a single target. Always a hit, it does moderate cold damage: 1 - 7 points of damage per skill rank. Cost is 8. Experts and Masters recover more quickly.

Expert Level Spells

  • Water Walk lets your characters walk along the surface of water without sinking, for 5 minutes for every skill rank. Only useful outdoors, this spell costs 5 spell points initially, but you should never forget that this magic constantly drains spell points while active. Experts stay topside for 10 minutes for every skill rank, Masters are afloat for 1 hour per skill ranking. The spell drain is the same no matter what level the caster is.
  • Recharge Item will attempt to make recharge a magic item. The limit of charges in an item recharged this way will drop a certain percentage depending on mastery and the number of charges restored is based on the same.
  • Acid Burst targets a single monster with an acidic bolt that does 9 points of damage plus 1 - 9 points per kill rank in Water magic.

Master Level Spells

  • Town Portal transports the party to the last town they visited. At Apprentice level it only works outdoors. As a further caution, the chance of Town Portal working is rather small, improved by your rank of Water magic skill. Cost is 25 and recovery is slow. Experts can use this spell indoors, and Masters can choose the town.
  • Ice Blast fires a ball of ice in the direction the caster is facing. The ball will shatter when it hits something, launching 7 shards of ice in all directions except the caster's. Shards will ricochet until they strike a creature doing 12 points of damage plus 1 - 2 points per rank of Water magic skill, or melt. Beware that the ricochet can hit your party, even when the shards don't start out in their direction. It costs 25 points, and requires recovery time, which is less for Experts, Masters, and Grand Masters.
  • Enchant Item enchants a normal item with magical powers. Chance of success it 10% per point of the caster's Water Magic skill.

Grand Master Level Spell

  • Lloyd's Beacon lets you place one marker at a location you want to teleport back to in the future. Just how far in the future depends on your skill and ranking in Water magic; the marker decays in 1 week times a character's skill rank.

Earth Spells

Normal Level Spells

  • Stun slaps a monster with magical force, forcing it to recover from the spell before it can do anything else. It also knocks monsters back a little, giving you a chance to get away while the getting is good.
  • Slow halves the movement speed and doubles recovery time for a single target creature. Duration is 3 minutes per point of the caster's Earth Skill.
  • Earth Resistance increases all your characters' resistance to earthy magic: 1 point of resistance for every rank of the caster's Earth magic skill. Cost is 3 points, recovery is required.
  • Deadly Swarm summons a swarm of biting, stinging insects to bedevil a single target. Moderate in its damage, the swarm nonetheless never misses and the damage is physical, making resistance unlikely.

Expert Level Skills

  • Stone Skin increases the armor class of a character by 5 for 4 minutes, plus an extra five minutes for every skill rank. Cost to cast is 5.
  • Blades fires a rotating, razor-thin metal blade at a single monster. This spell can miss: the chance it'll even hit relies heavily on the caster's rank of Earth magic skill. Cost is 8 spell points and requires recovery. Damage is 1 - 5 points for every skill rank.
  • Stone to Flesh, if cast in time, removes tthe curse of being turned to stone from a character. The caster's skill and rank in Earth magic determine how long the dire condition can be present before the spell loses effectiveness. After that, the only way to remove the condition short of Divine Intervention is to visit a temple.

Master Level Spells

  • Rock Blast releases a magical stone into the world, a stone that will explode either when it comes into contact with a creature or when enough time passes, causing damage in a radius of 20 feet. The rock will bounce and roll until it finds a resting spot. Be careful; anyone can be caught in the blast.
  • Telekinesis allows the caster to manipulate objects at a distance.
  • Death Blossom fires a magical stone far into the air, causing a very powerful explosion with a radius of 40 feet when it lands. This spell can only be used outdoors, costs 25 points, and requires time to recover. Damage is 20 points, with an extra 1 point for every skill rank.

Grand Master Level Spell

  • Mass Distortion increases the weight of a single target enormously for an instant, causing significant internal damage equal to 25% of the monster's hit points plus another 2% per rank of Earth magic skill. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Spell point cost is 30, and is very tiring.

Spirit Spells

Normal Level Spells

  • Detect Life you to see the health points of opponents.
  • Bless characters to increase their chance of hitting monsters in hand-to-hand combat and with missile weapons.
  • Turn Undead forces all undead monsters in sight of the spellcaster to flee. They'll be back when the spell runs out: 3 minutes, plus an extra 3 minutes for every skill rank. Cost for this scattering is 15. Experts and Masters will recover faster.
  • Fate improves a character's chance to hit.

Expert Level Spells

  • Remove Curse, if cast in time, removes a curse from a character. The caster's skill and rank in Spirit magic determine how long the dread condition can be present before the point of no return. After that, the only way to remove the condition short of Divine Intervention is to visit a temple.
  • Heroism increases by 5 the damage that a character does with a successful attack. This costs 10 spell points, and the caster must rest; it lasts for 4 minutes, with an extra 5 minutes for every skill rank. Experts get an extra 15 minutes for every skill rank, Masters affect all the characters in your party.
  • Preservation protects a character's soul by binding it tightly to their body in the hope of providing complete protection against instant death and eradication abilities.

Master Level Spells

  • Raise Dead, if cast in time, restores a character to life. the caster's skill and rank in Spirit magic determine how long the character can be worm food before the point of no return. After that, the only way to revive the corpse short of Divine Intervention is to visit a temple. Raised characters will be weak unless treated or sufficiently rested.
  • Shared Life combines the life force of your characters and redistributes it between them as evenly as possible. All current hit points are totaled, and 1 extra hit point is added for every skill rank.
  • Spirit Lash damages a creature by attempting to sever its link between body and soul.

Grand Master Level Spell

  • Resurrection, if cast in time, removes the eradicated condition from a character. The caster's skill and rank in Spirit magic determine how long the character can be dead before the point of no return.

Mind Spells

Normal Level Spells

  • Remove Fear removes the fearful condition from a character if this spell is cast in time. The caster's skill and rank in Mind magic determine how long the character can be paralyzed by fear before the point of no return.
  • Mind Blast fires a bolt of mental force guaranteed to hit any target and damage that monster's nervous system. Expect 5 points of damage, with an extra 1 - 2 points for every skill rank. Cost is 3 spell points, recovery time is moderate. Experts and Masters are progressively faster to recover.
  • Mind Resistance improves a character's resistance to mind altering spells.
  • Telepathy reads a target's mind to find out just what they have in their pockets.

Expert Level Spells

  • Berserk causes the targeted creature to completely nuts and attack the nearest target, whether they are friend or foe.
  • Cure Paralysis, if cast in time, removes paralysis from a character. The casters skill and rank in Mind magic determine how long a character can be immobile before the point of no return.
  • Charm calms a single targeted creature and removes any hostile feelings it has towards your characters, an effect that lasts 3 minutes for every skill rank.

Master Level Spells

  • Mass Fear causes all creatures in the spellcaster's line of sight to flee in fear, a cowardly condition lasting 3 minutes for every skill rank.
  • Cure Insanity removes the taint of insanity from a character if this spell is cast in time. The caster's skill and rank in Mind magic determine how long a character can be whacko before the point of no return.
  • Psychic Shock targets a single creature with mind-damaging magic: 12 points of damage, plus an extra 1 - 12 points for every skill rank. Recovery time depends on your level of expertise; Experts and Masters have the advantage.

Grand Master Spell

  • Enslave attempts to take control of the target creature for ten minutes per the caster's Mind Magic skill. Very useful in crowded situations.

Body Spells

Normal Level Spells

  • Cure Weakness, if cast in time, removes weakness from a character. The caster's skill and rank in Body magic determine how long a character can be debilitated before the point of no return.
  • Heal restores lost hit points to a single target.
  • Body Resistance increases all of a character's resistance to Body Magic per a degree of time determined by the caster's skill level.
  • Harm slams a single creature with completely reliable magical damage.

Expert Level Spells

  • Cure Poison, if cast in time, removes the toxic condition from a character. The skill and rank in Body magic determine how long a character can be poisoned before the point of no return.
  • Regeneration helps a character heal over time while the spell is active.
  • Hammerhands enhances the skill of an unarmed combatant.

Master Level Spells

  • Cure Disease, if cast in time, removes the diseased condition from a character. The caster's skill and rank in Body magic determine how long a character can be infected before the point of no return.
  • Protection from Magic grants some immunity to attack effects that cause debilitating conditions such as poison, stoning, or paralysis.
  • Flying Fist cannot miss and it pummels an opponent with 30 points of damage, plus an extra 1 - 5 of damage for every skill rank.

Grand Master Level Spell

  • Power Cure restores hit points to all characters in your party at once.

Light Spells

Normal Level Spells

  • Dispel Magic removes all helpful spells on all monsters in sight.
  • Destroy Undead only works on those blasphemies, calling upon the power of the Gods to undo the evil magic that extends their unnatural lives.
  • Light Bolt fires a bolt of light at a target. Wicked good.

Expert Level Spells

  • Day of the Gods boosts all of a character's attributes by 10 along with a bonus of 3x the caster's Light Magic Skill.
  • Summon Elemental brings forth an elemental of light to fight for the party.

Master Level Spells

  • Prismatic Light can only be cast indoors, and inflicts damage on all creatures in sight: 25 points of damage with an extra 1 point for every skill rank.
  • Hour of Power simultaneously casts Haste, Heroism, Shield, Stoneskin, and Bless on all your characters, adding twice the spellcaster's Light magic skill to their statistics.
  • Sunray is the second most devastating spell you may acquire. Harnessing the light of the sun and concentrating it on one pathetic creature.
  • Day of Protection simultaneously casts Protection from Magic, Air, Body, Earth, Fire, Mind, and Water along with Feather Fall and Wizard Eye.

Grand Master Level Spell

  • Divine Intervention calls upon the heavens to heal your characters of all damage, restore your spell points, and remove all adverse conditions. May only be cast three times per day and ages the caster by ten years. Is possible to die from casting this spell too much.

Dark Spells

Normal Level Spells

  • Reanimate will allow the caster to "raise from the dead" any monster or NPC, depending on their original hit points and the caster's skill in Dark magic.
  • Toxic Cloud creates a poisonous cloud of noxious gases in front of the spellcaster and sends it slowly away from your characters.
  • Vampiric weapon enchants a weapon with vampiric ability.
  • Shrinking Ray reduces the size of the target monster.

Expert Level Spells

  • Shrapmetal fires a blast of hot, jagged metal in front of the caster, striking any creature that gets in the way and inflicting serious damage.
  • Control Undead takes control of the undead for a time.
  • Pain Reflection reflects damage inflicted on the target back onto the offending monster.

Master Level Spells

  • Sacrifice slays a single NPC hireling tagging along with the party, restoring the caster to full health and spell power.
  • Dragon Breath is the most powerful damaging spell you may acquire. It empowers the spellcaster to exhale a cloud of toxic vapors that targets a single monster, but also damages all other creatures within a 10-foot radius. Cost is 100, delivering 1 - 25 points of damage for every skill rank. Recovery time is significant, but less for Experts and Masters.
  • Armageddon is the town killer, inflicting 50 points of damage plus 1 point of damage for every rank of Dark skill your character has to every creature on the map, including all your characters. It can only be cast once per day, and only outdoors, without cost in spell points. Quite exhausting, really. Experts can use Armageddon twice per day, while Masters can unleash it 3 times in one 24-hour period

Grand Master Level Spell

  • Souldrinker sucks life from all creatures in sight and transfers them to the party in the form of hit points.

Combat

Battle is in real-time although a turn-based approach to fighting the enemy can also be activated allowing for a pause after every action. Each character moves at their own individual pace. After their initial action, a short amount of time must pass before they are ready to strike the enemy or cast another spell. Various factors can affect their recovery speed such as whether the party is moving onscreen or if they simply inherently slower due to their statistics.

Equipping characters is easily done from the inventory screen showing both what is in their individual pack and their "doll" as represented on the right of the screen, similar to the paper doll system utilized by Ultima VII. Depending on a character's skill set, dual wielding was even possible allowing a Master Swordsman to wield two blades at once.

The use of missile weapons in the game which range from simple bows and arrows to futuristic blasters coupled with the real-time combat system can give the later game the impression of being a crude FPS thanks to the fact that enemies are always visible onscreen.

Trivia

The title was ported by Imagineer to the Japanese market. It is called Might and Magic: Day of the Destroyer and was released for the PlayStation 2.

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