Might and Magic IX

aka: MM9, Might and Magic 9, Might and Magic IX: Writ of Fate
Moby ID: 6136
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Description official description

The world of Axeoth seems to be in grave peril. The region of Chedian is threatened by an invasion of the Beldonian Horde, led by the warlord Tamur Leng. A party of rangers from Ravensford are shipwrecked on the Isle of Ashes, where they encounter a mysterious troll who announces to them that their fate lies in liberating Chedian and opposing the Beldonian leader.

The ninth installment of the Might and Magic series takes place in a different world, following the destruction of the planet Enroth, which served as a setting for the three previous games. Its story is not directly connected to its predecessors, though there are a few references to them. It is also the first game in the series rendered fully in 3D and with full screen navigation.

As opposed to its immediate predecessor, the game features a traditional party creation system with four races to choose from: human, elf, dwarf, and half-orc. There are only two character classes available during character creation: Fighter or Initiate. Both can, however, be promoted to other, more powerful classes during the course of the game, with two class development branches each. In order to achieve promotion, characters need to complete specific quests given to them.

Other aspects of the character-building system remain largely unchanged. Each character can train in a variety of skills, ranging from weapon proficiencies and magic disciplines to bartering, perception, identifying items, etc. Some skills bestow greater benefits on the character if he or she has been promoted to a specific class, and mastery in certain skills can only be attained following a specific promotion. As in the the three previous games in the series, default real-time combat can be paused at any time to switch to turn-based mode. Party formation options are also available.

Outdoor areas in the game are mostly limited to immediate environment of the towns, resulting in a reduced amount of outdoor exploration. Much of the game, however, takes place in the large cities as well as in dungeon-like areas. The player must complete the quests of the main story in order to finish the game, but may freely travel between any of the game's cities and surrounding areas, tackling main and sub-quests in any order.

Spellings

  • Меч и Магия IX - Russian spelling
  • 魔法門九 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Windows version)

92 People (79 developers, 13 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 60% (based on 22 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 41 ratings with 5 reviews)

Everything went better than expected.

The Good
First and most important thing: IT IS still a Might and Magic RPG, so if you are familiar with the game mechanics, you will be overwhelmed by the game in no time. There is a small change in character build, but skills and mastery levels are almost unchanged. I used the latest TELP patch and haven't encountered a single bug (apart from occasional crash exit, which was more likely caused by Win7 than the game itself). I also only bought the game recently, so prize is no longer a problem. Graphics are not as appealing as more recent games, but still a huge improvement over previous games in the series. OK, the graphics really sucks sometimes, but polygons still work better than sprites and this is an RPG, not FPS, strong emphasis is on character development, not pretty graphics. Dungeon design is great - every dungeon has its own unique look and many has some architectonic "wonders" (unlike generic dungeons in Oblivion, for example - when in Chasm of the Dead, you will know what I mean). Apart from dungeon layout, maps are not much of a brainteaser, just your standard dungeon crawling experience - but hey, you don't get stuck and frustrated by missing some unimportant hint, and who does build a tower or a lab as a maze anyway.. Story may not seem like much, but is on par with other open-world RPGs and has some interesting and even funny twists. This of course is not something you will see in first five hours of game, but near the end story climaxes rather swiftly. Or from different perspective - MM6 had better background story (but ingame story was nigh null), MM7 had better ingame story (with more and faster twists and with background story "provided" in Heroes of M&M3), but MM9 story is on par with them and much better than that in MM8.

The Bad
GUI is a mess. Spellbook is really wrong - with added spell older spells move on next page. Finding anything quickly is hard. I didn't like the drawn graphics in MM8 and I do not like it here either. Even worse is the map - you cannot zoom it, you can not move it and you are not allowed to make notes in it(!). Game also doesn't show you many important statistics - for example I was unable to find what day of week it is unless I looked at save game dialog. Also active spells that are not party-targeted are not shown, so you have no control whether they already dissipated or not. You cannot change the resolution of the game and if you do, GUI is even more messed up. Some promotional quests are unreachable until later in the game, and even then they can be incredibly hard and somewhat unrewarding. This also makes some spells and skills hard to learn or use properly and spoils the fun. While dungeon maps are great, outside areas are just "connected corridors with open sky instead of the ceiling". One thing I missed was the exploring of the whole region and finding secret stashes and shrines.

The Bottom Line
While my opinion is a biased one of a long time fan of the series, I just can't ignore great deal of hard work and imagination that can be seen behind the game. While game has its flaws, don't get fooled by first four hours of gameplay, go on and wait for the real Might and Magic experience. It is here, I promise.

Windows · by Dan Mokosh (56) · 2011

It's bad... unless you are a huge fan of this series, do not buy this game.

The Good
If you know this series, then you'll find much is reassuring familiar. While there are subtle differences, it's pretty much the same as before: 4 characters, 6 stats (say bye-bye to Personality), usual skills, a revised magic system using on 4 skills rather than 9, and so on.

The story-line is typical RPG fare as well. You control four novice characters who have been inexplicably asked to save the world as we know it, or in this case the region of Cheldian. It's a fairly linear story with enough sideline minor quests to make it feel that you're not being shepherded along the way.

And it's fairly compulsive playing too. Like many RPG games, you feel this urge to do just a little bit more, to get your level up, to see what's round the next corner, and so on.

The Bad
Where to start....

Graphics. First let me read to you from the box: "All-new stunning 3D game engine creates a whole-new realistic gaming experience!" Now take a look at the screenshots on the box (or indeed on this website). The only thing that "stuns" me about these graphics is how bad they look. Seriously, have a look. This has got be a joke! Please? These would look poor 5 years ago. This is 2002....

To be honest the towns look pretty good, but that's about all. The people are funny (funny-bad that is). The landscapes look poor too - think Daggerfall and you're there. They look no better than the graphics in previous versions of this game, and in some ways they look worse.

Moving swiftly on, things can only get better, right? Wrong! In previous incarnations of this game you had the freedom to roam the lands in search of interesting things to kill. In M&M6 you had 15 map areas - each area would hold 3 or 4 dungeons to explore, loot, pillage, etc., plus a wide variety of local fauna to slice and dice. In M&M9 you can forget about roaming the lands. Most of the (badly drawn) landscape is inaccessible, forcing you to remain in the pre-determined paths and areas (check the screenshots). I have been playing this game for about 10 hours now, and I have already visited every one of the 7 cities and covered almost every blade of badly drawn grass. It took weeks to achieve the same in M&M6. As for monsters - they are few and far between, and are all fairly easy to kill. The good news is that they seem to be worth far more XP each, so you need to kill less.

I could go on... and I will. So many little annoyances... let's see what I can remember. Firstly, in towns. Day or night, the roaming population remains the same, wandering aimlessly around, standing in corners, walking in circles. The temples are always empty (even on Sundays) as are the town squares. The shop-keepers are always in, but will tell you they're closed if you try to buy/sell at night. If they're closed - why are they still there? Most of the doors won't open. You can knock on them, but no-one ever answers. Those doors you can go through are outlined in green. Yeah, that's realistic! Experts and masters can be found wandering the streets, and are a motley crew at best - old grannies will teach you how to master armour.

They've taken out some cool features too. For example, there's no way to see what spells have been cast on your band of jolly travelers. There seems to be less information available as well.

Most of the quests are pretty dumb too. They are a little too easy for the most part, offering no real challenge. There's one where you have to save this guy called Nutty Nurtigen from an insanity curse. a) it's too damn easy! and b) when you give him the potion, he just sits in his cell. "You're free!" you cry, but he just sits there. Like all the characters in this game, they have no idea what to do with themselves (in other words - crap AI).

I could on, but my fingers are getting tired!

The Bottom Line
I paid $70 (plus tax) for this game. I feel robbed. I feel like standing outside Electronics Boutique with a board telling folk not to buy this game.

If someone told me it was written by a few 14 year olds for a school project, I'd say "B+ good effort!" The fact that it was produced by group of two dozen professional game developers surprises and sickens me.

Did they think we wouldn't notice? Did they think that we, the dedicated M&M players wouldn't care? Did they honestly believe they could release this crap? It doesn't matter what is good about this game (and there are some good points), the bad points are so many and so bad it's impossible to recover.

Unless you are a huge (and I mean really huge) fan of this series, then do not buy this game. You will regret it. And even if you are a really huge fan, I'd think twice. I only wish someone else had told me this before I spent my money.

Windows · by Steve Hall (329) · 2002

Horrible in every sense of the world - An insult to the series

The Good
Second update. Not much change, should've insulted it more but I censored some sensitive material, regardless.

Hmm....should've changed the one line summary to !#!$!@# but I'm not sure if that's allowed. Hahahaha.

Well, what's good about the game? Uh...besides the graphics which is good is some areas but awful in others, I have to honestly say there is nothing worth mentioning. Considering I played this game only for a couple of hours before throwing it to the nearest trash disposal bin, should generally explain the finer aspects of the game...uh...

The only other good thing I can say is the PATIENCE the other guy who reviewed this game had, to ACTUALLY PLAY the game! Hahaha.

The Bad
Here's the good part. The bad. Yes, its bad. Very.

Well the game is similar to its Might and Magic predecessors but if there was a game to show you what it looks like, I would say a seriously bad version of Daggerfall. But, I'll have to start from the beginning to tell the tale of this horrible game.

First, character creation. Alley Cat would be more of an RPG than this game and Alley Cat isn't even an RPG! Oh, my God! This has got to be one of the lamest ideas of character creation in the great hall of idiot games. There are only 2 main character classes (although later specified in more specialized classes):
The fighter type and the magic user type. Now, it is a degradation in 2 aspects in my opinion: First, it is in violation of the Might and Magic tradition. They had your standard character classes of Ranger, Mage, Cleric, Barbarian, Paladin, etc. Well, eventually your can reach those classes but it looked kinda lame. Secondly, it is surprising to find such standards of character classes in this modern age. Seriously, you would find something like this in DOS games. Not in the 21st century. HELLO, DO YOU DEVELOPERS ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT AN RPG IS? Apparently not.

Second, graphics. Oddly extremely bright though. Not bad. Until you meet the people and monsters. The first time you play, you meet this bloke with a horrific 3D face. The first monsters you meet later one are irritating half sized skeletons that look like rejected products from a Halloween party. That in itself ultimately ruined any attempt for me to move on (seriously, it was THAT BAD). No taste. YES THAT'S IT! THIS GAME HAS NO TASTE!

Third, storyline? What storyline? This game doesn't have one. Your a bunch of adventurers who want to get out of your village. What kinda intro is that?

(Sigh). It's amazing anyone would actually create a stupid game like this. And from such a series like Might and Magic. A bad sequel is one thing, blasphemy is another.

The Bottom Line
Quoting from MC Hammer: You can't touch this. Seriously, please don't.

Windows · by Indra was here (20768) · 2006

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

Development

According to a development team member, this was the first Might and Magic title where New World Computing had a deadline forced upon them by 3DO management.

Lore

Might and Magic IX has the weakest connection to the Might and Magic universe. For the first time in the series, there is no mention of the Ancients, and the only connection to the previous games is a single character who appeared in Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven.

Title

This is the first game in the Might and Magic series that does not have a sub-title. All previous games had one (from "Secret of the Inner Sanctum" for MM1 to "Day of the Destroyer" for MM8). Among the fan base, the game is called "Writ of Fate".

The subtitle "Writ of Fate" first appeared in a story by Norwegian website gibme.com. This story revealed the existence of Might and Magic IX before there was an official announcement. When asked for comment, a 3DO representative stated that the details mentioned in the article were subject to change, and specifically denied that "Writ of Fate" was the title. It is unknown whether "Writ of Fate" was a working title, but no officially released material from 3DO/New World Computing has ever used it.

Awards

Information also contributed by Terok Nor

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Related Sites +

  • Hints for M and M 9
    Instead of using a walkthrough, which can spoil parts of the game for you, try using this question and answer system.
  • MM Worlds
    Probably the best resource for tips, tricks and maps for this game.
  • MM9 FAQ
    A simple FAQ covering all quests and manual omissions.
  • Might and Magic IX official site
    Offers several screenshots and extra information about the game.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 6136
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Steve Hall.

Additional contributors: NetDanzr, Jeanne, Kabushi, Klaster_1, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, ZeTomes.

Game added April 6, 2002. Last modified February 13, 2024.