Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven

aka: MM6, Might and Magic VI : Le Mandat Celeste, Might and Magic VI: Boskie Prawo
Moby ID: 812
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Description official descriptions

After the corrupt Guardian Sheltem was defeated, the seemingly never-ending war between the Ancients and the alien Kreegans entered a new phase. Meteor-like spaceships populated by the Kreegans fell onto the technologically less advanced planet Enroth. The local king, Roland Ironfist, plans to attack the demonic-looking aliens, but is betrayed by a mage named Sulman and gone missing. Xenofex, the king of the Kreegans, establishes a cult teaching people that the Ironfist dynasty has lost its Mandate of Heaven to rule the realm. Meanwhile, the town of Sweet Water is invaded by the Kreegans, and four adventurers become involved in the battle and the search for the missing king.

The Mandate of Heaven is the sixth installment in the Might and Magic series, and the first one with the playing area done with a real 3D engine, allowing free exploration of the terrain (as opposed to the grid-based movement of the previous games) and camera rotation. Characters and many objects are represented by 2D sprites. The gameplay follows the formula of the predecessors with several changes, the most notable of which is the option to fight in real time. Real-time combat allows free movement, while the traditional turn-based one is stationary.

Character creation is somewhat more restricted: there are no other races but humans to choose from, and the party contains only four adventurers. Six classes are available: Knight, Druid, Paladin, Cleric, Sorcerer and Archer. A new skill system has been introduced, allowing the player to manually raise character skills (e.g. proficiency in specific weapon types) when the character levels up. Characters also gain access to skills of most classes, regardless of their original class designation.

Spellings

  • Меч и Магия: Благословение небес - 2003 Russian spelling
  • 魔法門VI ─ 奉天承運 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 魔法门VI:天堂之令 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

83 People (74 developers, 9 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 23 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 70 ratings with 5 reviews)

Only 7230896741 enemies between you and everlasting fame

The Good
At the time when the design philosophy of role-playing games was being re-evaluated, with games such as Fallout and Baldur's Gate placing more emphasis on character interaction and meaningful in-game decisions at the expense of sheer complexity of world structure and difficulty, Might and Magic VI appeared as a staunch defender of the more conservative line of thought. It is a very "old-school" RPG in the sense that it focuses primarily on exploration of a vast world, party-building, dungeon crawling, and combat. It is a great successor of classic role-playing games of late 1980's, invigorated by the more fluent option of real-time combat and 3D graphics.

The real-time combat removes a lot of the tedium invariably present in earlier Might and Magic games, where the player was required to trudge even through battles with outmatched enemies. In this installment, you can elegantly avoid those pesky fireballs and find good spots to snipe unsuspecting enemies or even incinerate dragons from afar. The gameplay is therefore noticeably smoother and more realistic, sometimes almost turning into a shooter with its fast pace. Naturally, tougher enemies still require turn-based combat, and it's present in the game in all its ancient glory.

Might and Magic VI is the quintessence of RPG design that places character growth and party-building above everything else. Yes, there are "only" four characters to control, and they can only be human; but you won't notice this simplification, for which the game more than makes up with its excellent skill system. Basically, every ability, combat-related or otherwise (merchant, repair, disarm traps, etc.) can be learned and increased by investing skill points gained when leveling up. Nothing is learned automatically, and the development of the character is fully entrusted to the player. You can train a tank clad in plate armor and wielding a sword in each hand; a wizard specializing in one of the many school of magic, each with different spells; an expert in archery who also identifies items; and so on. This skill system is not as intricate as the one in Fallout, but it more than does the job, particularly because it applies to all four characters, and building a balanced party is the key to winning the game. The basic classes of knight, sorcerer, archer, etc., can be promoted twice each, by completing unique quests, gaining significant bonuses to their attributes.

Might and Magic VI is a huge game. It has a dozen or so towns, each full of stores, trainers, and NPCs that can be hired to bestow bonuses to your party; a vast overworld with different scenery - fields, mountains, snowy landscape, desert, etc.; a highly generous amount of dungeons, most of them by no means small and simple, full of enemies to defeat and treasure to hunt for; secrets, shortcuts, and a plethora of sub-quests, which can be ignored. It is possible to complete the game without visiting about half of its dungeons - and that's saying a lot, since the main quest is very long and will take time to complete even if you skip all the other stuff. In short, Might and Magic VI is what you call "value for your buck" - it's just brimming with things to do, bursting with content, it's like an all-you-can-eat buffet of role-playing.

In general, the dungeons are a true highlight of the game, offering so much exploration, dangers, and puzzles; they are uniquely rewarding to complete, especially when you're brave enough to tackle them before you're "supposed to". I finished the game at level 60 and I was told that it was very low; I know that I missed lots of quests and hadn't even scratched the surface of the game's magic system, having just one caster devoted to only one elemental school.

The 3D visuals of the game can't hold a candle to contemporary shooters, but they are certainly functional enough to create unique atmosphere, whether in a peaceful town appearing through a fog covering a sleepy valley, or an ominous dungeon with imposing claustrophobic passages. Eerie sound effects and beautiful orchestral music complement the picture. I also liked the silly photographs of real people representing your party and NPCs. Particularly the visual representation of status ailments is quite hilarious.

The Bad
You've probably heard it before: Might and Magic VI is full of enemies. Now, think of the largest number of enemies you've encountered in an RPG, and multiply it by ten. There are simply so, so many enemies in this game. They are everywhere. There are just loads upon loads of them. Enemies... they are, so to say, ubiquitous in Might and Magic VI. This game is filled with very significant quantities of enemies of various sorts. Oh, and by the way - have I mentioned the sheer amount of enemies present in the game?

Yes, cutting your way through incredible numbers of enemies can get as tedious as reading the above paragraph. Luckily, they don't respawn (they do, but not right away - a cleared area or dungeon stay so for quite a while); and yet, I think this should have been one of those "less is more" cases.

Might and Magic VI is also a very long game. The world is huge, and the main quest will send you pretty much to every corner of it. You can skip a lot of quests, but the remaining bulk is still highly time-consuming. At some point, you might find yourself closing your eyes and seeing countless Devil Captains, Cuisinarts, Warlocks, Royal Leather Armors that give +10 to your statistics, piles of gold, the dreaded Egyptian-style interior of the megalomaniac Tomb of Varn dungeon, and trainers with goofy faces that laugh maliciously, telling you that you lack 234987 experience points to reach level 97.

The Bottom Line
If you like your RPGs huge and packed with content, then Might and Magic VI is going to be that one relic you've been coveting all along. It is an uncompromisingly gigantic game that provides hours upon hours of gameplay value. I do think they went overboard with the amount of enemies and perhaps with the entire length of the game; but other than that, this beast of an RPG is just begging to be tamed.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (181794) · 2018

It started out a ton of fun, but it's the first time I ever bought a strategy guide.

The Good
The story line was engrossing. This game really hit home with me and helped me break my addiction to an on-line text RPG. Well-picked background music really helped set the tone, and this was one of the first games where I closed my door to drown out other sounds.

The interface was fairly well done, though I used turn-based almost exclusively in battle. The few times I didn't I was launching ranged weapons at the enemy and strafing side to side to dodge the return fire. It worked fantastically, but it felt cheap. It wasn't hard to confuse or screw up the AI.

Gameplay was also balanced. There were good and bad things about pretty much every character.

The backgrounds changed with the weather.

The Bad
Considering how good I think the game is, a lot. Maybe I'm just more of a story line/gameplay type guy.

Graphics were shoddy. The box said something about 3D acceleration, but I'm still looking for it. Backgrounds looked like they came from a cartoon, and didn't move much.

Sound effects were definitely not high on the priority list in development. They're there, and they are useful to know when someone is dying or being attacked, but if a ball of lightning goes whizzing past you, it doesn't make a sound.

The AI was really dumb. Sometimes it helped because enemies had so many HPs it was ridiculous, but often I felt I was taking advantage of it.

There was really very little in terms of AD&D rules. Stats could be jacked way up (over 100, I think), and getting another +1 to Strength just got old.

There were far too many ways to improve your character, and the story line was so un-linear, it was like Baldur's Gate where you wonder what will happen if you finish something out of order. While it was nice to have side-quests and such, I often felt swamped with too many to complete, and not sure which one to do first. There was also no real clue about where to go next. I found myself fighting level 3 monsters at level 20, then thinking it would have been a lot easier to have fought that before doing whatever it was I did.

It was very long.

The Bottom Line
It's a great game. I never played any of the other M&M's before this one, but I didn't really feel that I missed anything. After getting part way through the game I went back and read some of the history, and it's actually quite interesting.

I wouldn't try to finish the game without a strategy guide (personally), but it's a lot of fun even if you don't finish it.

As inspiration, you may want to watch the intro a few times. It really sets the tone.

Windows · by Cyric (50) · 2001

MM6: The mandate of perpetual repetitions

The Good
The character creation system was good, and the freedom of movement and non-linearity of the quests are all to my liking. You are free to explore whatever you want whenever you want.

I also like how the game is real-time for most of the game, but you can change it to turn-based when there is action.

The Bad
The "free" exploration isn't really free, is it? Heading out from town, you are attacked by a horde of enemies. So you switch to turn-based combat, and "fight" the enemies. This pretty much means clicking the enemies one after the other until they are dead. There is very little skill involved, as (at least in the early game) each character will have pretty much only one usable spell, or you will use whatever weapon is equipped. So you click and click and click. There will be a horde of enemies, so after a while you will need to run back to the inn and spend a night in order to regain health points. Then head out of town again, and keep clicking away. Run back to the inn, back out, click-click-click. Then you may find a dungeon, where you explore the different rooms and corridors until you meet another horde. Click-click-click. Run back out of dungeon. Run back to town. Sleep. Run back to dungeon. Run back to room full of enemies. Click-click-click. Get bitten by a bat/spider/rat and get poisoned. Go to temple and pay money to get healed. Go back to the rats. Click-click-click. Get poisoned again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

I don't understand what the makers of this game were thinking and I cannot understand what the people rating this game highly are looking for in a game. I guess the storyline might improve, I gave up after hours upon hours of click-click-clicking, after which I had finished some mildly interesting dungeons. When I headed to the next map screen and was overrun by ten trillion skeletons, and it turned out I had to travel for five days, click-click-click, travel back for five days, go buy 10 days of rations, travel for five days, click-click-click, I gave up.

I don't understand why they made combat this way: rather have fewer, perhaps more challenging encounters? There is never a chance that you will die, as you can simply turn heels and run back to the inn and heal up. There is no way in which you can use skill in the combat in any way, unless you count getting a river between yourself and enemies with no missile weapons and then click-click-clicking for fifteen minutes.

The non-player characters are also completely dead. They pretty much have 2 constant comments each: a general tip, and then you can hire them. Another annoying detail is that all shops/town halls/etc. follow their opening hours very strictly, but the NPC's are running around equally busy whether night or day. So you come into a bustling town full of people, but everything is closed because its 3am.

The Bottom Line
What could conceivably have been an interesting (if lacking in character depth) game becomes a very pointless exercise in left button mouse clicking because the designers chose to create "difficulties" by swarming you with identical monsters and then compensating this by giving you a lightening fast dash which allows you to outrun everyone. Also, a night's sleep and two apples heal all damage.

Windows · by Dr_Bab (7) · 2011

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
MM6 guide Rain Ungert (1) Jan 18, 2014

Trivia

Hidden dungeon

There is a hidden easter egg dungeon in the game. More information can be found in the tips & tricks section.

References

In the town of Ironfist there is a not-so-subtle reference to Star Trek; the Original Series - when you leave the temple you are told to "Live long and prosper", a common Vulcan greeting. In the Tomb of Varn there is another original Star Trek reference; unfortunately it would be a major spoiler to reveal it here!

Awards

Might and Magic 6 was voted #39 overall (tied with Curse of Monkey Island) in PCGamer Magazine's Readers All-Time Top 50 Games Poll (April 2000 issue). * Computer Gaming World + April 1999 (Issue #177) – Runner-up as Best RPG of the Year * PC Gamer + April 2000 - #39 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games Poll" (together with The Curse of Monkey Island * Power Play + Issue 02/1999 – Best First-Person RPG in 1998

Information also contributed by DJP Mom and Zovni

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by DarkTalon.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jeanne, anneso, lord of daedra, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Igor Pokrovsky, Tom Chen, R3dn3ck3r.

Game added January 31, 2000. Last modified February 13, 2024.