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Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra (DOS)

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Written by  :  DJP Mom (11120)
Written on  :  Apr 19, 2007
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Summary

A monster a minute and a surprising conclusion.

The Good

MM3 seems at first to be nothing more than a wonderful, old-fashioned RPG with the stereotypical medieval/fantasy theme. This was my introductory game in the Might & Magic series, and I was taken by surprise by later elements that are common and recurring in the Might & Magic games; the back story of the space-faring, high-technology culture.

You will begin with a party of six, whom you can keep, or trade in at the nearest inn for characters you "create" by rolling dice. At the inn, you may choose each party member's role, alignment, and name - I'm superstitious and don't like to name my characters after real people because I suffer tremendous guilt when they die ;-) As you travel through the towns and make your way through the dungeons you may pick up additional characters, who can be hired in exchange for your hard-earned gold.

You must start by saving your home town of Fountain Head, gaining experience points as you venture out beyond the town gates to do battle with goblins, orcs, huge spiders, and many more enemies. Most of your adversaries are deadly, but there are a few that are on the edge of silliness; my personal favorite being the candle creeps! Any of these battles can be quite difficult, you must work to level up and train bit by bit, and make use of the various artificial/temporary powerups – might fountains, a well that raises hit points, a crystal ball that raises spell points, etc . These give you some needed enhancements, especially in the earlier parts of the game when preparedness is all.

Some members of your party can learn spells, many many spells, from the various magic guilds you will discover along the way. Some spells are very powerful and useful, like Wizard Eye, which allows you to see where you are on the map; Protection from Elements, which is self-explanatory, and Energy Blast, a good all-around defensive spell, to name just a few.

The makers of the game have provided a Mr. Wizard option for the faint-of-heart; Mr Wizard will extricate you from any fix and return you to your home town at the cost of a level if you so choose. This may actually be necessary in the beginning of the game, at which point you have no levels to lose, anyway!

Isles of Terra is a big map to cover, with lots of dungeons and places to explore, be sure you have Wizard Eye! As you travel around the Isles you will learn more about the world and solve many puzzles, win fortunes, slay dragons and find mystical orbs on your way toward this adventure’s conclusion.

The Bad

You may find the battles to be tedious sometimes, due to the sheer numbers of assailants and the sameness of the fighting - when you are just pounding the "a" key and the "s" key over and over, with an occasional spell thrown in. And the attempt at copy protection is an annoyance; in order to enter the game at all you need to hunt down a page/line/word from the Isles of Terra manual. These are minor irritants in a worthwhile game, however.

The Bottom Line

Play this game with an open mind for the old-fashioned graphics - enjoyment is in the gameplay of this early entrant to the Might & Magic series.