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Might and Magic
The logo for Might and Magic.
Developer(s)New World Computing, Limbic Entertainment, Arkane Studios
Publisher(s)The 3DO Company, Ubisoft
Year introduced1986
Genre(s)Role-Playing, Strategy

Might and Magic (MM) is a series of computer dungeon crawls (a sub-genre of role-playing games) from New World Computing, which in 1996 became a subsidiary of The 3DO Company. The producer of the series was Jon Van Caneghem.

The earliest Might and Magic games are heavily based on the Wizardry series; unlike The Bard's Tale series, though, Might and Magic introduced several more innovations to the Wizardry gameplay, so that it became the most successful and prolific of the three series.

The original Might and Magic series officially ended after the 5th title, with the closure of the 3DO Company. The rights to the Might and Magic name were purchased by Ubisoft, who "rebooted" the franchise with a new series with unconnected to the previous continuity, starting with Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven; they also published many spin-offs, e.g. Heroes of Might and Magic and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic.


In the earlier games the gameplay is almost identical to that of the Wizardry series and the interface is very similar to The Bard's Tale series (that, in turn, is based on Wizardry, too). Starting from Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven onward, the interface features a scrolling three-dimensional environment similar to that of Doom.

The majority of the gameplay takes place in a medieval fantasy setting. 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. 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 hoardes and zombies, 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 series has something of a science fiction background. The series is set in an alternate universe where planets are overseen by powerful beings 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. References to Star Trek (some quite overt) could indicate that the "Ancients" may in fact be humanity in the far future.

The first five games in the series concern a renegade planetary guardian named Sheltem who has a penchant for throwing planets into their suns. Sheltem establishes himself on a series of flat worlds (which are implied to be giant spaceships) and Corak, thought to be a representative of the Ancients, with the assistance of the player characters, sees him off each time. Eventually both Corak and Sheltem are destroyed in a climactic battle on Xeen.

The sixth, seventh and eighth games take place on a single planet ruled by the Ironfist dynasty, and chronicle the events and aftermath of an invasion of the Kreegan, the arch-enemies of the Ancients. It is also revealed that the destruction wrought by the Ancients' wars with the Kreegan may be why the worlds of Might & Magic exist as medieval fantasy settings despite being created by futuristic technology: the worlds have been 'cut off' from the Ancients and descended into barbarism. The Heroes of Might and Magic series traces the fortunes of the Ironfists in more detail, though none of the sci-fi elements appear in the Heroes series.


Main series[edit]


Heroes of Might and Magic[edit]

Heroes of Might and Magic is a series of strategy games that began in 1995.

Action / Role-playing games[edit]

Other games[edit]