The Myth franchise is a series of PC and Macintosh real-time strategy games popular primarily during the late 90's. Created by Bungie Software, Myth is often referred to as a real-time tactical series due to its focus on squad-level combat over grand strategy. It built a strong following over a relatively short period of time by offering an attractive alternative to the typical base-building and resource-gathering mechanics that dominated real-time strategy games of its day. Its appeal was bolstered by a full 3D graphics engine, something uncommon for strategy games at the time, which employed a detailed physics engine that had a tangible impact on gameplay. Despite the current dormancy of the series, the existing Myth games continue to be played and supported online by the series' dedicated fanbase. With access to tools for creating new content and (eventually) the games' source code as well, the Myth player community has given the series a surprisingly long lifespan that has survived both the shutdown of the original Bungie.net multiplayer servers and Take-Two Interactive's cessation of all active support for the franchise.
Through all three iterations of the series Myth gameplay has focused on direct control of small numbers of units of varying types. Whether it be single-player or multiplayer, the units a player starts with cannot be revived or replaced if killed, and thus the primary imperative of Myth is to use one's given units as effectively as possible in order to overcome all opposition with as few casualties as possible. This involves utilizing appropriate unit formations and tactics in order to flank or surround enemies, recognizing and using advantageous terrain features, and exploiting unit weaknesses whenever possible. Since players will quite often be gravely outnumbered, it is also important to be able to properly gauge when one is at a disadvantage and adjust tactics accordingly either by retreating or manipulating an opponent into a poor position where their advantage can't be fully utilized. Players are notified by voice-over whenever a unit or group of units dies, as casualties usually have a significant impact on the makeup of an army and how the rest of a scenario plays out.
The engine used throughout the series comes with fairly detailed simulated physics for most objects in the environment. This effects everything from the path of projectiles used by ranged units to the speed at which a severed head rolls down an incline. Events governed by the physics engine can often lead to unexpected outcomes as well. An inanimate object accidentally propelled with enough force can harm or kill a unit, or a dwarven molotov may bounce at a bad angle into a friendly formation; it is this kind of unpredictability that, when combined with the persistent blood stains and gore left after battles, colors even the most carefully calculated engagements in Myth with a degree of chaotic uncertainty.
Focusing on the armies of the Light, each game in the series features a lengthy single-player campaign composed of roughly two dozen individual scenarios. The objectives from one mission to the next can vary greatly, but accomplishing the mission at hand almost always involves engaging in battle with the armies of the Dark, with a heavy emphasis on overcoming serious disadvantages, either numerical or otherwise, through sound tactical decisions. Though it is often quite difficult to come away from a mission unscathed, players are rewarded for doing so with the possibility of having veteran units that survived the battle return in later missions, which is quite the boon, as veterans are far more effective in battle than an untested unit.
From its beginning, the main narrative conceit of the Myth franchise has been voiced journal entries, read by an unknown narrator between missions, which set the stage and tone for events to come as well as outlining the demands of the next mission. These are accompanied from time to time by additional exposition by way of cutscenes, and together the two story elements of Myth form a picture of a bleak world in which mankind is beset by hostile forces beyond their ken, where men band together to fight back forces that wish their destruction for unknown reasons.
While single-player and multiplayer Myth share the same basic gameplay, the competitive online component of the series features a wide variety of unique competitive modes and maps. Players still control a finite number of units, though most matches begin with a unit trading phase in which players can mix and match different unit combinations by selling and purchasing units with predetermined point values. Unit selection adds further tactical options to multiplayer, as each player must consider not only the objective of the current game mode but also their general strategy and the units they expect to face when building a squad. In addition to a range of competitive options such as the Body Count (essentially Myth's version of deathmatch) and Capture the Flag variants, cooperative play using single-player maps is possible as well.
At the time of their release the first two iterations of Myth were supported by Bungie's own free multiplayer service known as Bungie.net, which featured chat lobbies and numerous "rooms" in which to participate in both ranked and casual matches. Though Bungie was required to shut down Bungie.net after selling the franchise to Take-Two, fans would set out to emulate the experience of playing Myth through Bungie.net, the most prominent fruits of their efforts being PlayMyth.net, which shut down in 2007, and Mariusnet.com, which continues to host multiplayer for all three games in the Myth series as well as Bungie's earlier Marathon series.
Debuting in 1997 for the PC and Mac, Myth: TFL received generous praise from most gaming publications of the time for its intense yet tactical gameplay, attractive graphics, gripping story, and addictive multiplayer. This came with some significant caveats, however, as it was criticized by many for prohibitive difficulty, claustrophobic camera angles, and a clunky interface. Bungie seemed to take these comments to heart, as most of the major points of contention players had with the game were addressed through patches, and Myth II would adopt most of these changes as well as going even further to make Myth a more user-friendly and intuitive experience. While TFL certainly enjoyed its success, most fans would make the switch to Myth II the following year, which made significant strides in not only fostering the creation of user-generated content, but also making it more easy to access in-game.
The successful follow-up to Myth: TFL, Myth II picks up narratively sixty years after the previous game as Soulbighter emerges to threaten the world once more. Very little was changed by Bungie in gameplay terms, however it received a significant graphical boost over its predecessor with support for Direct3D, higher resolutions, and various new engine enhancements like fog and destructible objects. It was met with a high amount of praise from fans and critics upon its release, though it was ironically also subject to one of the worst bugs in gaming history, which could potentially delete the entire contents of a user's hard drive. Thankfully this bug was caught before the game actually went on sale, and to date only one person (the one who discovered the bug) was known to have been affected by it. Myth II went on to become even more popular than TFL, and is without a doubt the most heavily played and modified game in the franchise.
Coming out shortly after the Take-Two acquisition of the franchise, Myth III takes place 1,000 years before the events of the first two games and follows the deeds of Connacht the Wolf, a famous personage in the Myth world mentioned only in passing in previous games. While this iteration of Myth is wildly divergent from previous ones visually, with fully polygonal rather than sprite-based unit models among other things, it is in fact based on the same engine. Though it was generally well received at the time of its release, it was also the subject of a minor controversy due to the fact that the PC and Mac versions were not released simultaneously, which angered many Macintosh Myth fans. The game was released with numerous bugs and stability issues as well, which was compounded by the fact that support for the product was ceased almost immediately after it shipped. With the later source code release, however, fans were able to continue updating the game where the developers left off.
Fan Content & Development
The Myth games (especially the first two) enjoyed a significant online following for many years after their respective releases, and the diversity of user-created content available for Myth can attest to this fact. Many well-received maps and modifications were created for the original game, though the release of Myth II and its associated Fear & Loathing map/tagset editors ushered in a boom in user-created Myth content, much of which dramatically altered the source material. Additional maps for the game's multiplayer were far and away the most common type of user content, but the months following Myth II's release would also see many wildly ambitious fan projects. This included efforts like Blue & Grey, the WWII series of maps, and Green Berets (released as a full retail product), which each completely replaced the game's original units, thus drastically altering its gameplay. Several elaborate single-player plugins emerged as well (such as Jinn and Chimera, the latter of which had its story canonized by Bungie) which rivaled the quality of the official campaigns. Even more than a decade after Myth's debut, plugins continue to be developed for Myth stalwarts to enjoy, thought the flow of new releases has understandable reduced to a trickle.
This fan dedication to the franchise would be taken a step further in 2001 when Take-Two effectively ceased all support for Myth games. In a highly unusual move that was facilitated by Myth III developer Andrew Meggs, Take-Two bequeathed the Myth source code to the community, essentially allowing them to be stewards of the franchise in their stead. What followed was the creation of a group known as the Myth Developers, a group of Myth fans whose purpose was to continue to update all three games in the series. The Myth Devs and other later groups have released several patches for all three games which, among other things, fix various bugs and keep the games compatible with current operating systems. Fan patches at present are developed and released by Project Magma.
Bungie.net & Beyond
The popularity of Myth in its heyday was due in no small part to Bungie.net, Bungie Software's free multiplayer service. Akin to Blizzard's Battle.net, which offered players a quick and easy way to jump into multiplayer StarCraft skirmishes, Bungie.net was intended to allow Myth players an intuitive and user-friendly means of approaching the game's multiplayer. Many active multiplayer clans sprouted and flourished within Bungie.net, and frequent tournaments (both official and otherwise) in addition to a complete player ranking system fostered a competitive atmosphere, while a number of casually-oriented unranked lobbies were also available for the less competitively inclined. So crucial was Bungie.net to the success of Myth's community, that many foresaw that the online community would not survive the Take-Two acquisition of the franchise without the presence of Bungie's servers.
This prediction proved to be both true and untrue. The Myth multiplayer community did survive, though it would be through the recreation of the Bungie.net experience that it would do so. Much like the source code for the games themselves, Bungie.net's server source code was released to fans so that the community could continue. The two most prominent alternatives to Bungie.net to arise after the Take-Two acquisition were PlayMyth.net (now defunct) and Mariusnet.com. PlayMyth's servers went down in 2007 after server administrator Blades admitted he no longer had the time nor inclination to continue maintaining them, though MariusNet continues to the present day, and has even added support for Marathon.
History of the Myth Universe
The Creation of the World
While the particulars of Myth's genesis are understandably somewhat vague, the prevailing theory posits that the world was born out of the clash of two supremely powerful beings: Wyrd and Nyx. The landscape of the world was first conjured in a dream by Wyrd, which came into being once he awoke. This act supposedly angered Nyx greatly, and the two would spar in a fierce confrontation that could be felt to the very foundation of the world. Certain landmarks, such as the great volcano of Tharsis, are seen by many as evidence of the scars of this battle. Though she fought with rage and ferocity, Nyx would not ultimately succeed in undoing the work of Wyrd. Wyrd would not come away from the fight unscathed, however, as his power, known as the One Dream, was shattered into forty-nine dream fragments which were tossed to the far corners of the world. To this day the fragments of Wyrd's dream are highly sought after by powerful mages, as they allow for the casting of "dream" spells which are among the most powerful abilities known to man.
The Golden Age of the Trow
All history in Myth before the advent of reliable historical recordkeeping is referred to as the Axe Age. The predominant power at this point in time was the Trow, who claim to have been created by Nyx herself at the dawn of the world, thus predating all other species. This early period was the height of their civilization, which they refer to as the Golden Age, and the Trow built many colossal temples and monuments in honor of their patron goddess Nyx in this era. Though it is hard to believe in light of their later actions, in the beginning the Trow were peaceful, and did not concern themselves with other races. Though primitive in the eyes of the Trow, other races were allowed to eke out their own existence unmolested.
The Trow's accepting attitude toward outsiders would unfortunately undergo an abrupt change when a race known as the Sileh'hei, who mistook their pacifism for weakness, attacked the Trow in a bid to acquire their land. Seeing members of their race die for the first time, the Trow beseeched Nyx for aid, and in response she granted them the gift of iron with which to forge weapons and armor. The Sileh'hei could not have predicted the fury with which the once-passive Trow would retaliate against them. Clad in iron and wielding massive weapons, the Trow pursued their attackers into the bowels of their earthen homes, erasing them from existence. From this point on, the Trow began using iron in their construction to the exclusion of all other materials, building huge smelting forges and deforesting large areas in order to fuel them, which drove many Forest Giants from their homes. Having experienced victory in battle for the first time, the Trow would soon turn their aggression toward other racess.
Before long the Trow would begin to covet the young Callieach race, whose magical accomplishments were without equal during the Axe Age. In hopes of claiming the powers and artifacts of the Callieach for themselves, the Trow began what would become a long and brutal siege of the Callieach's territory, raiding their cities and claiming their knowledge in the name of Nyx. The Callieach did not allow the Trow to encroach without penalty, however, and after repeated unheeded warnings to decist they used their magics to plunge the great Trow city of Si'anwon deep into the earth and submerged it under the water of the Western Ocean. Their attack did not have the intended effect on the Trow, who over the years had grown arrogant and contemptuous of the "lesser" races. Furious that the Callieach would think to harm them, they redoubled their assault, and in a matter of years the race of mages were brough to the brink of ruin. Despite possessing the power to move mountains, the Callieach could not withstand the might of the Trow. Realizing the end of their civilization was at hand, the Callieach gathered their most powerful magics for one final act of defiance against their aggressors. In their final stand they cast a spell which tore the very fabric of the world asunder. The powerful dream magic they unleashed destroyed the remnants of their race along with countless Trow, transforming the mountainside in the process into a permanent gaping chasm known afterwards as the Great Devoid.
The First Leveler
Though the burgeoning human population had thus far avoided drawing the attention of the Trow, and struggled only amongst themselves for power and dominance, humanity would soon come to face its own hardships. The Leveler, a mysterious and powerful being motivated only to conquer and destroy, made his first documented appearance near the start of the Age of Reason some three thousand years before the common era. Though it is often conjectured that The Leveler has beset the world since its very creation, only four incarnations are known by name. The first, Sorangath the Flayed, arose to threaten the fledgling human tribes of early history at a time when they were still scattered and disorganized. Though the threat was dire, it would be a single man, Tireces the Immortal, who would prevent Sorangath from achieving his goal of eradicating mankind. Rallying humanity for the first time into a unified force, Tireces clashed with Sorengath's army, beheaded the fiend in combat while he was magically immobilized, and dispersed his army, later burning his body at the stake. Sorangath's defeat in 570 H.C. is considered the beginning of the Age of Reason, a time of unparalleled prosperity for mankind that would last nearly a millennium. A few years after his battle with The Leveler, Tireces founded the city of Llancarfan (present-day Muirthemne), which in time became the seat of the powerful Cath Bruig Empire.
The Golden Age of Man
A few years after his battle with The Leveler, Tireces founded the city of Llancarfan (present-day Muirthemne), which before long became the seat of the powerful Cath Bruig Empire. With The Leveler defeated and the Trow so far showing little interest in their activities, the fortunes of humanity increased many times over during this period. Their population grew, their influence increased, and knowledge of the magic arts spread rapidly, becoming commonplace by the end of the age. It was at this time that the term Avatara was coined to denote only the most skilled of sorcerers, and Mazzarin, the most powerful being to bear the title, was chief among the mages of this period. Many other advancements occurred at this time, such as the creation of a standard calendar (the Acit El, or "Golden Age" Calendar).
While it was primarily a time of advancements, humans would face several trials during their Golden Age as well. Since they expanded greatly over a short period of time, men sometimes came into direct conflict with other races. In one of the most notable instances, the fir'Bolg, who fled their homes to escape the Trow much like the Forest Giants had before them, clashed with humans for many years before finally settling in the forests of the Ermine. The pursuit of magic was not without its pitfalls either. As human gained more knowledge of the arcane, conflict soon brewed between those who shunned the dark arts and those who wished to access its secrets. Perhaps the most persistent threat from dark magic came from a necromancer known as Bahl'al (or "The Watcher"), who periodically attacked the Cath Bruig throughout the age, returning after long absences with new armies of undead. This eventually led to a violent backlash against magic users, resulting in a dramatic decrease in the number of magi.
While humans would take great pains to avoid drawing the attention of the Trow, successfully avoiding notice throughout the Age of Reason, another humanoid race, the Oghres, would not be so lucky. After ridiculing the Trow's reverence of the goddess Nyx, the Oghres would pay dearly, learning just how callous and cruel their neighbors were as they were systematically conquered and enslaved for the insult. Forced to toil in the Trow's mines and erect the giant edifices they had once scorned, the Oghres became little more than a race of slaves commanded by the Trow. This event is commonly seen as the end of the Trow's Golden Age, as their race began thereafter to rely increasingly on slave labor and less so on their own accomplishments.
The Wind Age
A thousand years after his greatest triumph, the hero Tireces returned to the world under the Mantle of the Leveler, known thereafter as Moagim the Faceless Terror. Being as black-hearted and savage as Tireces was valiant, Moagim brought vast armies of undead to bear against the Cath Bruig Empire. Though this was the greatest single threat faced by mankind since the appearance of Sorangath the Flayed, the combined magical and martial might humanity had amassed during the Age of Reason allowed them to eventually turn back Moagim's army. Hunted down and captured shortly thereafter, Moagim was drawn and quartered, and his remains were dragged to the four corners of the world, though he laughed maniacally even in the face of his own death.
Some claim that Moagim was merely responsible for teaching the Myrkridia how to fight, while others say that in his last moments he gazed into a realm of infinite darkness and summoned them into the world. Whatever the case may be, he was responsible for unleashing them upon man, and thus the nightmare of Moagim endured long after his death as the Myrkridia plagued mankind for nearly one thousand years. Attacking tirelessly and mercilessly under the cover of night, the Myrkridian hordes slowly decimated the human territories, forcing them to cede their lands gradually until only the fortified city of Llancarfan stood as a bastion against their terrible ferocity. In spite of all the advancements made in the previous era, the Myrkridia threatened to erase mankind like so many other civilizations before them, and the Cath Bruig Empire had all but ceased to be.
The Wolf Age
In the year 1431 A.E., as the Myrkridia continued to ravage the world, a comet reappeared in the western sky, signalling the return of The Leveler. At the same time, rumors spread of a man from Gower by the name of Connacht the Wolf, a man so fierce in combat that even the Myrkridia feared him. Despite meager defenses, under Connacht's leadership Gower successfully resisted the attacks of the Myrkridia, which brought the barbarian to the attention of Emperor Leitrim. On the strength of these stories as well as the witness of his lieutenant, Damas, the Emperor appointed Connacht the commander of his army in hopes that the Myrkridia might finally be defeated.
He would go on to accomplish this and more. Connacht turned first to the plight of the Dwarves, who languished under the attack of the Ghôls, aiding them in return for a magical artifact known as the Tain, which he intended to use as a prison for the Myrkridia. The Tain worked as intended, sealing away scores of Myrkridia and effectively ending their millennial reign. There would be no time to celebreate however, as Moagim the Faceless Terror, progenitor of the Myrkridian scourge, returned mysteriously and immediately fell upon Llancarfan with a new and equally deadly ally: the Trow. After scarcely diverting the destruction of the Imperial city, Connacht traveled deep into the Trow homelands, first inciting their workforce, the Oghres, to rebel against them, and eventually melting their iron cities with an artifact known as the Sun Hammer. The majority of the Trow were trapped in their cities as they were melted into the northern ice, which effectively ended their alliance with Moagim. This came at heavy cost, as the Trow had killed the Oghres to a man, and for the third time an entire race had died at their hands.
The only obstacle left between Connacht and Moagim was The Watcher himself, the necromancer of the Age of Reason who had killed the great Avatara Mazzarin. Taking up the challenge, the most powerful living sorcerer of the Cath Bruig, Myrdred, defeated Bahl'al and forced him to retreat to the south. This gave Connacht the opportunity he needed to finally face Moagim in single combat, and even the Faceless Terror was not able to withstand him. While it was initially assumed that The Leveler of the Wolf Age was Moagim Reborn, in the aftermath of the final battle it was uncovered that Mjarin, Emperor Leitrim's advisor, had been manipulating events from the shadows, and Connacht was forced to confront and kill him as well. Moagim's body was burned, mixed with salt, and buried under the Mountains of Kor, while the fate of Mjarin's head, which still lived after being separated from its body, is unknown.
With Leitrim being among those who had died during Moagim's campaign, Connacht the Wolf was crowned the new Emperor of the Cath Bruig, and the remainder of the age was a time of relative calm and prosperity. The Emperor was troubled, however, by the cycle of Light and Dark which was doomed to repeat itself. Fearing that he would return to the world to wreak destruction on those he sought to protect, it was recorded that his later years were spent pursuing and destroying magical artifacts with the aid of his lieutenant Damas. In his final days, it is said that he disappeared into the unknown lands of the east, his final fate a mystery.
The Great War
Appearing out of the east in the year 2181 A.E., Balor, the fourth recorded and most recent incarnation of the Leveler, began gearing for war much earlier than most had anticipated, gradually building a sizable army of undead and vile creatures. In part due to the Twenty Years' War, in which the people of The Province fought in order to have their own ruler independent of the Cath Bruig Empire, Balor was left to consolidate his power uncontested for many years. He drew allies from wherever he could, seducing the Myrmidon of the Light with promises of immortality, summoning Fetch priestesses from an unknown dimension, and even releasing the Trow from their prison of iron in return for support. Bolstered by seven powerful sorcerer-generals known as the Fallen Lords, Balor made his presence known in 2431 A.E. when he sacked the Cath Bruig capital of Muirthemne, which had stood for three thousand years, and razed the surrounding farmlands, thereafter known as the Barrier. Around the same time, Ghôls under Balor's command overran the Dwarven cites of Myrgard and Stoneheim, forcing the dwarves into exhile from their own homeland.
Realizing that the overwhelming might of Balor and his Fallen Lords threatened all living existence, the nations of the Light set aside their normal grievances and prejudices, eventually coalescing into a unified army of Dwarves, fir'Bolg, and humans, the most elite of which was known as the Legion. Despite the unprecedented unity of his opponents, Balor was seemingly unstoppable, winning a string of victories until in the year 2480 A.E. only Madrigal still stood in open defiance of him. Desperate for any semblance of an advantage to use against the merciless Balor, the Nine, a group of powerful Avatara and the leaders of the human armies, sought out The Head, an entity who claimed to be one of Balor's oldest enemies. Using his advice, Rabican, one of the Nine, was able to defeat Shiver and halt the siege of Madrigal, which marked the first time a Fallen Lord had been defeated in battle. Encouraged by their recent success, the Avatara soon went in search of the Total Codex at The Head's insistence, and Alric traveled over the Cloudspine mountain range on a quest for a fabled suit of armor.
After finding the Codex, the Legion began to move north toward the mountains. Hoping for whatever brief respite from Balor's tireless onslaught they could manage, they decided to hold the mountain passes of Bagrada and Seven gates until they froze over for the winter, forcing their enemies to turn back until spring. Though they were successful in doing so, the unexpected eruption of Tharsis melted the snowy passes, allowing the Fallen Lords to continue their assault unabated. Only an unexpected feud between The Watcher and The Deciever saved the Legion from annihilation. The following spring, the Legion would return to Forest Heart to plead their case to the Forest Giants, who had helped them against Balor in years past. They succeeding in reenlisting their aid, most likely due to the reappearance of the Trow, whom the Forest Giants despised. Before they could fully capitalize, however, Soulblighter emerged in Forest Heart with the Tain, imprisoning the Legion within it.
The Legion would eventually escape from the Tain, but not without significant losses, the Avatara Cu Roi and Murgen among them. By this time it had also come to light that The Head had been feeding them dubious information for some time, and a civil war erupted as many came to The Head's defense. With the Legion's numbers dwindling and the news of Madrigal's fall fresh in the air, Alric begins leading the remains of the armies of the Light on a suicidal march on Balor's fortress, the ancient Trow city of Rhi'anon, Balor's. Using the Legion's meager 2,200 troops as bait for his gambit, Alric takes a select group of men via World Knot to a place just within Balor's sight and plants a Myrkridian battle standard, hoping that Balor, who was previously Connacht, would be so incensed by this that he would come to personally deal with him. The plan worked, and when Balor confronted him Alric took from his cloak an Eblis Stone which held Balor immobile long enough for Alric's men to sever his head. All that was left to do was throw Balor's head into the Great Devoid so that he could never be resurrected. Though Soulbighter attempted to put a stop to this and save his master, the head was indeed thrown into the Great Devoid, and the armies of the Dark collapsed as the Devoid was consumed in a massive blast.
In the aftermath of the Great War, Alric took up the throne of the Province in Madrigal, and the whole of the world began the task of restoring some sense of normalcy after countless years of war. Unbeknownst to all, Soulblighter, who had been assumed dead after Balor's defeat, was in fact alive, and was furthermore spending his time scheming and growing in power in order to bring ruination to the lands of men. In the year 2540 A.E., some sixty years after Balor's head was thrown into the Great Devoid, undead began to be reported in the area surrounding Forest Heart, and not long after it was revealed that Soulbighter was behind these recent appearances. Upon being informed of this, Alric immediately realized that Soulbighter sought to resurrect the Myrkridia as was foretold by the Total Codex. Hoping to prevent him from doing so, Alric immediately sends a contingent to retrieve the book. Though they were successful, retrieving the Codex did not prevent Soulbighter from finding a means to unleash the Myrkridia, and soon Alric's army was forced to retreat to Tandem in the north as Tyr, Covenant, and Scales quickly succumb to forces of Soulblighter and the recently resurrected Shiver..
Though the situation was dire, through a series of bold moves King Alric was able to reverse the fortunes of the armies of the Light, first seeking out and reviving The Deceiver, and then retrieving the Ibis Crown from Muirthemne. Upon being resurrected, The Deceiver agrees to aid Alric, travelling to the heart of the Tain where he finds and kills the Summoner, the man who allowed Soulblighter to build his army of Myrkridia. Alric himself retakes Muirthemne, and is crowned the Emperor of the Cath Bruig, thus gaining the allegiance of the Heron Guard. With Soulblighter lacking Myrkridian reinforcements and Alric now aided by the Heron Guard as the new Cath Bruig Emperor, the tables have quickly turned. Soulblighter is soon pinned down near the Cloudspine for a final confrontation, and as it becomes apparent that he is on the losing end, he retreats into the Eye of Tharsis, planning to shatter the Cloudspine mountains, which would cause incalculable damage. He is thwarted in this as well, as Alric pursues and defeats him before he has time to finish his spell.
An Uncertain Future
In the wake of Soulblighter's defeat, it is theorized by many that the cycle of Light and Dark has ended, and that men will no longer be subjected to the caprice of The Leveler. If the nature of the cycle was to be believed, Balor was meant to have ushered in a thousand years of darkness, and his failure to do so leaves the cycle itself in question. Though there are many theories on the topic, it will likely be another nine hundred years before anyone truly knowns what lasting impact, if any, the victory of the Light during the Sword Age will have over the cycle.
In addition to the general debt it owes to Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy setting, the Myth narrative seems to draw more specific inspiration from the Black Company series by Glen Cook. Both works not only make significant use of the first person, but are also told from the perspective of a competent if unspectacular soldier within an elite military unit. A sense of dread likewise permeates both worlds, which is brought on as mortal men are frequently forced into the close proximity of powerful evil entities far beyond their understanding. Many of the groups represented in Cook's novels have some manner of analogue within Myth. The Legion, for instance, can be seen as a replacement for the Black Company itself, while The Fallen Lords and The Nine stand in for The Ten Who Were Taken and The Circle of Eighteen respectively. One of the six Fallen Lords mentioned prior to TFL's release (The Faceless One) even shared his name with one of the Taken, further cementing the comparison.
Though the similarities of the two are heavy, the contributions of The Black Company to the Myth franchise are primarily one of tone, as the actual stories told within each are quite divergent. An oppressive atmosphere is present in both, though the Black Company itself is a mercenary unit which is not opposed to fighting alongside ancient evils when the situation demands, whereas the The Legion of Myth is composed of the most valiant of men who stand staunchly aligned against The Fallen Lords and any other evil force that may threaten man.
- MariusNet.com - The current multiplayer portal for all Myth games
- Myth@Bungie.org - A surprisingly extensive archive for Myth lore and fan speculation
- Mythjournals.com - The entire story line of Myth and Myth II presented in a slick online format
- ProjectMagma.net - An accomplished mapmaking group and the current stewards of the Myth source code
- The Tain - A repository for Myth files of all types, from films and patches, to maps and total conversions