Might and Magic IXMight and Magic IX
Developer(s)New World ComputingPublisher(s) The 3DO CompanyDesigner(s)Jon Van Caneghem(creator)
Keith Francart (director)
Timothy Lang (lead design) EngineLithtech1.5: Talon Version 1.2 (official release)
1.3 (unofficial patch) Platform(s)Microsoft WindowsRelease date 29 March2002
25 April2002Genre(s)Role-playing gameMode(s) Single playerRating(s)ESRB: Teen
ELSPA: 15+ Media2 CD-ROMsSystem requirements Windows
- 400 MHz Intel Pentium II CPU
- 64 MB RAM
- 4X CD-ROM drive
- DirectX 8.0
- 16 MB DirectX-compatible video card
- 1 GB available hard disk space
- Windows 95 or higher
Might and Magic IX is a computer role-playing game developed for Microsoft Windows by New World Computing and released in 2002 by the 3DO Company. It was the first installment of the Might and Magic series to feature a significant game engine overhaul since 1998's Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven. Powered by the Lithtech 1.5 engine, it was also the first game in the series to feature fully three-dimensional graphics. During production, it was known by the working title of Might and Magic IX: Writ of Fate, and it is usually referred to by that title by fans of the series. The game's story takes place following the destruction of the world of Enroth and Erathia, the location of Might and Magic VI through Might and Magic VIII, as depicted in Heroes of Might and Magic IV, and deals with the attempted invasion of the continent of Chedian by the army of the warlord Tamur Leng.
Might and Magic IX features a party of four player characters, each of whom is selected at the start of the game. Each character has six statistical attributes: might, magic, endurance, accuracy, speed, and luck, and the number of points assigned to each attribute is based upon the race of the character: three of the four available races have both a strong attribute, which reduces the cost of advancement in that area by half, and a weak attribute, which doubles the cost of advancement in that area. Dwarves are proficient in endurance, but lacking in magic; elves are proficient in accuracy, but lacking in endurance; half-orcs are proficient in strength, but lacking in speed. The final race, human, has no natural affinity for any particular attribute, but similarly suffers from no penalties in any category. In addition to the six primary statistics, there are a number of secondary statistics which cannot be adjusted manually by the player, but are instead calculated based on other factors. Examples include armor class, which is determined by combining a character's endurance with the protectiveness of whatever armor he or she may be wearing, and hit points, which are directly related to a character's endurance rating.Base class 1st promotion 2nd promotion Fighter Mercenary Gladiator Assassin Crusader Ranger Paladin Initiate Scholar Mage Lich Healer Priest Druid
Additionally, each character is assigned a particular character class. At the start of the game, there are two classes available: the fighter (might-based) and the initiate (magic-based). At various points throughout the game, the player will have the opportunity to complete certain tasks to gain a job promotion. Each character can be promoted up to two times, and there are two possible promotion paths for each class at each level. For example, a fighter can be promoted into either the mercenary class or the crusader class. A crusader can then be promoted into either the ranger class or the paladin class. Consult the chart at left for a complete listing of all possible promotion paths and classes.
There are a total of twenty three unique skills available in the game, divided among four distinct categories. There are six attack skills, such as blade or unarmed combat, that determine what types of weapon a character can use, and how effective that character is when using them. The three defensive skills, armor, dodging, and shield, determine what forms of armor a character can use, as well as his or her ability to parry enemy attacks. The four magic abilities correspond the four schools of magic available in the game (dark, elemental, light, and spirit) and determine a character's ability to cast particularly magic spells in each school. The final category covers miscellaneous skills, such as the ability to disarm traps, or to repair items that have been broken. Each skill comes in four levels of proficiency: normal, expert, master, and grand master, and the class of a character affects the skills that he or she is capable of learning. For instance, the Gladiator class can only attain the expert level of the thrown weapons skill, while the assassin can reach the grand master level.
Criticism and technical problems
Several critics expressed disappointment over the title, which was amplified and highly publicized considering the series's previously acclaimed success. The game was widely lambasted by critics, citing lack of environment interactivity, uninspiring graphics, and a general lack of polish. In addition, a number of potentially serious software bugs were uncovered shortly after its release. 3DO ultimately released a single patch (version 1.2) for the game that addressed some, but not all, of these problems. Shortly after the release of the patch, 3DO declared bankruptcy and was dissolved, eliminating the possibility that remaining problems would ever receive an official fix.
In 2003, a group named The Erathian Liberation Party (TELP) released an unofficial patch to correct some of the issues unaddressed by the official 3DO version 1.2 patch. This patch, produced entirely by fans of the game, is unauthorized by either 3DO or New World Computing. In 2003 TELP announced plans to release a second patch, which would work to extend many of the features left out of the published product, but as of May 2007, it has not yet been released to the public, and the status is unclear. 
Notes and references
- ^ "Rating Systems for Might and Magic IX: The Writ of Fate." MobyGames. Last accessed on 18 January 2006.
- ^ "IGN: Might and Magic IX." IGN.com. Last accessed on 29 January 2006.
- ^ Vox Clamant. "Might and Magic IX → Overview." Celestial Heavens. Last accessed on 18 January 2006.
- ^ Flamestryke. "Flamestryke's MM9." Flamestryke's Home Page. Last accessed on 19 January 2006.
- ^ Barry Brenesal. "Might and Magic IX review." IGN.com. 12 April 2002. Last accessed on 18 January 2006.
- ^ Vox Clamant. "Might and Magic IX → Bugs." Celestial Heavens. Last accessed on 18 January 2006.
- ^ "TELP's MM9." 14 June 2003. The Erathian Liberation Project. Last accessed on 19 January 2006.
- Might and Magic IX at MobyGames
- Might and Magic IX at the Open Directory Project
- Might and Magic IX at GameSpot
- Celestial Heavens, fan site with news, features and discussions about Might and Magic VI-IX (see Celestial Heavens)