Might and Magic

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Might and Magic
The logo commonly used by New World Computing and The 3DO Company
Genres Role-playing video game
Developers New World Computing (1984-2003)
Arkane Studios (for Dark Messiah)
Limbic Entertainment (for Might & Magic X)
Publishers New World Computing (1984-1996)
The 3DO Company (1996-2003)
Ubisoft (2003-)
Creators Jon Van Caneghem
Platforms Amiga, Apple II, C64, Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX, NEC PC-9801, NES, PlayStation 2, Sega Genesis, SNES, TurboGrafx-16, Windows
First release Might and Magic Book One: The Secret of the Inner Sanctum
Latest release Might & Magic X: Legacy
January 23, 2014
Spin-offs Heroes of Might and Magic
List of spinoffs
Jon Van Caneghem, the creator of the series

Might and Magic is a series of role-playing video games from New World Computing, which in 1996 became a subsidiary of The 3DO Company. The producer of the series was Jon Van Caneghem.[1]

Might and Magic is considered one of the defining examples of early PC role-playing games, along with the The Bard's Tale, Ultima and Wizardry series.[2]

The original Might and Magic series ended with the closure of the 3DO Company. The rights to the Might and Magic name were purchased for USD 1.3 million by Ubisoft,[3] who "rebooted" the franchise with a new series with no apparent connection to the previous continuity, starting with the games Heroes of Might and Magic V and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic.


There are ten games in the series:


  • Might and Magic Trilogy (1993), includes Might and Magic games III, IV, V, and the fanmade Swords of Xeen.
  • Might and Magic I, II, III, IV, V: Collection Classique (1998), contains the games I-V
  • Ultimate Might and Magic Archives (1998), includes the first five Might and Magic games, World of Xeen and the fanmade Swords of Xeen.
  • Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven – Limited Edition (1998), a collector's edition of Might and Magic VI that included the first five games on CD-ROM as well.
  • Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven – Special Edition (1998), included Might and Magic games I, II, III, IV, V and the fanmade Swords of Xeen as well.
  • Might and Magic Sixpack (1998), includes the first six Might and Magic games.
  • Might and Magic Millennium Edition (1999), includes the Might and Magic games IV, V, VI and VII.
  • Might and Magic (Platinum Edition) (2002), includes the Might and Magic games VI, VII, VIII and IX.

There were several spin-offs from the main series, including Heroes of Might and Magic, Crusaders of Might and Magic, Warriors of Might and Magic, Legends of Might and Magic, and the fanmade Swords of Xeen.

In August 2003, Ubisoft acquired the rights to the Might and Magic franchise for US$1.3 million after 3DO filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[3] Ubisoft has since released multiple new projects using the Might and Magic brand, including a fifth installment of the Heroes series, developed by Nival, an action-style game called Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, developed by Arkane Studios and a puzzle RPG called Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, developed by Capybara Games.

In September 2009, the Might and Magic Sixpack was re-released via the digital distribution service, Good Old Games.[4] In March 2011, The seventh[5] and eighth[6] installments of the series were also added to Good Old Games.

In March 2013, Ubisoft confirmed that Limbic Entertainment is developing Might & Magic X Legacy with a release date said to be in early 2014. The game is described as a solo, first-person RPG with turn-based gameplay. It takes place in the same world as Might & Magic Heroes VI.[7]


The majority of the gameplay takes place in a medieval fantasy setting, while later sections of the games are often based on science fiction tropes, the transition often serving as a plot twist. The player controls a party of player characters, which can consist of members of various character classes. The game world is presented to the player in first person perspective. In the earlier games the interface is very similar to that of Bard's Tale, but from Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven onward, the interface features a three-dimensional environment. Combat is turn-based, though the later games allowed the player to choose to conduct combat in real time.

The game worlds in all of the Might and Magic games are quite large, and a player can expect each game to provide several dozen hours of gameplay. It is usually quite combat-intensive and often involves large groups of enemy creatures. Monsters and situations encountered throughout the series tend to be well-known fantasy staples such as giant rats, werewolf curses, dragon flights and zombie hordes, rather than original creations. Isles of Terra and the Xeen games featured a more distinct environment, blending fantasy and science fiction elements in a unique way.


Although most of the gameplay reflects a distinctly fantasy genre, the overarching plot of the first nine games has something of a science fiction background. The series is set in a fictional galaxy as part of an alternative universe, where planets are overseen by a powerful race of space travelers known as Ancients. In each of the games, a party of characters fights monsters and completes quests on one of these planets, until they eventually become involved in the affairs of the Ancients.

Van Caneghem has stated in interview[8] that the Might and Magic setting is inspired by his love for both science fiction and fantasy. He cites The Twilight Zone and the Star Trek episode For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky as having inspired Might and Magic lore.

The first five games in the series concern the renegade guardian of the planet Terra, named Sheltem, who becomes irrevocably corrupted, developing a penchant for throwing planets into their suns. Sheltem establishes himself on a series of flat worlds known as nacelles (which are implied to be giant spaceships) and Corak, a second guardian and creation of the Ancients, with the assistance of the player characters, pursues him across the Void. Eventually both Corak and Sheltem are destroyed in a climactic battle on the nacelle of Xeen.

The sixth, seventh and eighth games take place on Enroth, a single planet partially ruled by the Ironfist dynasty, and chronicle the events and aftermath of an invasion by the Kreegan (colloquially referred to as Devils), the demonlike arch-enemies of the Ancients. It is also revealed that the destruction wrought by the Ancients' wars with the Kreegan is the reason why the worlds of Might & Magic exist as medieval fantasy settings despite once being seeded with futuristic technology – the worlds have been 'cut off' from the Ancients and descended into barbarism. The first through third games in the Heroes of Might and Magic series traces the fortunes of the Ironfists in more detail. None of the science fiction elements appear in the Heroes series besides the appearance of Kreegan characters in Heroes of Might and Magic III.

The Ubisoft release Might & Magic X: Legacy departs from this continuity and is set in the world of Ashan.[9] Ashan is a high fantasy setting with no place for science fiction elements in its lore.[10]


  1. "CGW's Hall of Fame". Computer Gaming World. Retrieved 4 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Matt Barton, "The History of Computer Role-Playing Games Part 2: The Golden Age (1985–1993)", Gamasutra, 2007
  3. 3.0 3.1 Namco, Ubisoft and MS carve up 3DO assets
  4. "Good Old Games – Might & Magic 6 Pack LE Now Available". RPGWatch. Retrieved 27 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Might & Magic VII – Now on GOG". RPGWatch. Retrieved 27 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Might and Magic 8 hits GOG". Shack News. Retrieved 27 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Ubisoft Announces Might & Magic X Legacy". Ubisoft. Retrieved 21 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "RPG Codex Retrospective Interview: Jon Van Caneghem on Might and Magic". RPGCodex. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "RPG Codex Interview: Might and Magic X - Legacy". RPGCodex. Retrieved 1 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Discover World of Ashan". Ubisoft. Retrieved 1 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links