History of Might & Magic (includes Heroes and spinoffs)

The role-playing games (I-X) that started it all and the various spin-offs (including Dark Messiah).

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XEL II
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Postby XEL II » Apr 19 2011, 6:54

Skeletons and zombies do have souls to some degree.
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Postby BMJedi » Apr 21 2011, 15:19

I nominate Dave-O's timeline for a sticky. It is a very useful reference document, and it should be easily available to find and refer to.
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Postby DaveO » Apr 22 2011, 17:30

Thanks for the nomination! I do realize that the Heroes games and the spinoffs are the biggest areas I don't have much knowledge about. If anybody wants to add in additional information, it would make the post more likely to get stickied.
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Postby Kalah » Apr 22 2011, 18:48

Sticky request approved.

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Postby Imryll » Apr 25 2011, 17:37

DaveO wrote:I see very limited use or need for my Web page, there are already many regulars filling in where I could help out, and attempts to branch out with YouTube videos or this history article have not achieved the results I was hoping for.


I bookmarked your web page when looking around for tips after GOG released MM8 and found the character creation guide you linked very helpful. This history is a wonderful resource, as well. With technical barriers to playing the earlier games and not everyone wanting to play both the rpgs and the strategy games, an overview is exceptionally helpful.

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Postby Kalah » Apr 25 2011, 17:48

If you guys have need of somewhere to store information like this, I'd be happy to open up separate pages here on CH - either in the forum like this, or on the main page.
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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 25 2011, 18:22

There's the Wiki for this, actually, and it already contains most of this information.

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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » Apr 27 2011, 9:10

Corlagon wrote:Not necessarily willingly - Finneas Vilmar managed to force King Gryphonheart's spirit back into his body with artifacts and then liched him. I get the impression that that was a complex and unwieldy process though.


What basis do you have to think that King Gryphonheart was a Liche though rather than some other kind of undead creature?

Queen Catherine is able to destroy/release King Gryphonheart by slaying his killer Lord Haart. This suggests that the nature of the special magic used is bound to the unpunished guilt of the murderer, so that when he is avenged the undead form is destroyed.

Perhaps the Necromancers had intended to use Lord Haart as an "off-switch" to eliminate King Gryphonheart once he had fufilled his function; as well as using him as bait to motivate his to attack Erathia.

GreatEmerald wrote:I don't think skeletons and zombies have any spirits attached to them... Maybe there are different kinds of necromancy, though. Besides, in order to trap a soul, wouldn't you need to find it first? And that could be quite difficult when you're trying to reanimate bones of some unknown soldier that died hundreds of years ago.


They definately do have souls as anyone who has played the various campaigns would understand.

However creatures trapped as lesser undead (spectres, zombies, skelatons) may have souls and full consciousness but they have no free will and the process of being trapped in this way causes them to suffer. This is why Necromancers are considered evil.

Greater undead, this is Vampires, Liches and Death Knights MAY have free will, but this may be restricted by their creator if they were created against their will.

Ghosts ALWAYS have free will and indeed are completely beyond everyone's control.
Working on tracking the locations of Heroes IV battles. Stage 6 of campaign map finished, all initial Heroes IV campaigns mapped.

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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 27 2011, 17:18

Gauldoth's very own ghost was quite a bit under his control.

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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » Apr 27 2011, 17:44

GreatEmerald wrote:Gauldoth's very own ghost was quite a bit under his control.


He's a wraith/wight/spectre not a ghost by this definition.

Ghosts is reffering the uncontrollable undead of Enroth that 'recruit' new creatures by killing themand are completely uncontrollable.

The ghosts of Heroes IV :mad: :mad: are also called ghosts and I shall assume that since they are recruitable from slaying enemies they are wraiths/wights/spectres equivilant.

I wonder if someone managed to figure out how to bring the original ghosts under control after Heroes II and bind/create them or whether ghosts are a collective term for the various forms of spiritual undead above mentioned.

I will take it that given such undead lack the ability to multiply as ghosts do, that Ghost is a category and ghosts in the Heroes II sense fall under the category.

Similar to the way that Lions are a type of Cat, but cats are also. But lions are not called cats. ;| ;|
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Postby Corlagon » Apr 27 2011, 17:52

Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:What basis do you have to think that King Gryphonheart was a Liche though rather than some other kind of undead creature?


To some extent because he's referred to as a Lich countless times in promotional material, story summaries and Might and Magic VII, flimsy as it might sound. Also of some help is the title "Lich King Gryphonheart".

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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 27 2011, 21:37

Looks like the very model of a HoMM3 lich, too.

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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » Apr 27 2011, 22:44

Corlagon wrote:To some extent because he's referred to as a Lich countless times in promotional material, story summaries and Might and Magic VII, flimsy as it might sound. Also of some help is the title "Lich King Gryphonheart".


Not a title I remember being used in Heroes III campaign but then again I never knew I would need to remember it at the time. But anyway the initial problem is this. What exactly is the defining constitutional difference between the various types of undead anyway? As I understand it from what I know of the Heroes games the defining traits are as following.

Skelatons
Basic undead created from long dead corpses or corpses that are sufficiantly damaged that removing their flesh makes them stronger (most battlefield dead). Skelatons are fully sentiant and have souls but no free will except to the limited extent that their masters have not yet prohibited them from doing something. They consider their undead status to be a prison and seek to be released from it as it causes them constant suffering: this is why necromancers are considered evil.

Zombies
More valuable undead created from intact corpses that are not decayed to a very great level and thus usually raised from those killed in a non-mutiliating fashion, that is poisoning, disease or strangled victioms. Seems to take more advanced magic to create than skelatons. More intelligent and show more initiative than skelatons; greater sense of personality allows them to sometimes form relationships with their captors or society at large. Like Skelatons they consider their undead status to be a prison and seek to be released from it as it causes them constant suffering: this is why necromancers are considered evil.

Wraiths
Non-corporal undead created from the remains of cremated or otherwise totally destroyed corpses. Explains why people still insist on being buried rather than burnt in a world with necromancers in it. Use of a building called the tomb of souls suggests that the souls of people lurk around where their bodies were destroyed and can be trapped within creating wraiths, however it is also possible to trap souls if you witness the process of cremation without such a building. Wraiths have no free will like other undead and must always do what their masters tell them.

Ghosts
Non-corporal undead that are utterly uncontrollable and replicate by slaying existing beings. However by controlling their barrow mounds it was is possible to gain a modicum of control of ghosts- in this manner the necromancers eventually managed to bring the ghosts under the kind of control that other undead are subject. Though such creatures proven more powerful than wraiths and replaced them; they lost their old method of replication; now depending on the magic of their necromancers.

Vampires
Undead that resemble the mortals they once were but utterly dependant upon feeding upon the blood of living creatures to survive. It can be surmised that at least some of that blood must be that of sentiant creatures- hence the controversy. Vampires can be created from living creatures by one of two means. Firstly they can be recruited by some as yet unexplained process of being 'bitten' or through a magical spell. Vampires have free will but the means through which they must survive binds them to the undead cause: they relish their undead 'life' and do not seek release from it.

Liches
Physically liches resemble skelatons but possess among other things a strong intelligence and magical potential lacking in their lesser undead brethren. Liches are created by the undergoing of a magical ritual by a living being or perhaps a recently dead one, usually if not necceserily undergone volunterily. The most key difference from skelatons however is that Liches have free will. They are not required to obey their creator unconditionally.

Dread Knights
Dread Knights are undead creatures which while corporal are bound to their wargear, usually the sword and armour they used in life. While these items are sufficiantly intact they cannot be slain, while their spiritual possession imbues this equipment with a dread power. It is unclear whether death knights have free will or not- I would surmise that dread knights can be controlled by necromancers by binding the items upon which they depend to themselves but dread knights have free will otherwise.

Bone Dragons
Bone Dragons are undead dragons. Presumably they require extremely powerful magic to create and presumably have no free will like skelatons. But also appears to be the case that they have no desire for release from their undead state and indeed are quite capable of acting independantly of the necromancer's will should for some reason they end up released from it.

King Gryphonheart
Now King Gryphonheart actually doesn't fit ANY of the categories above described. The reason is that King Gryphonheart is created against his will (like a skelaton) using the spirit of oppression . But once created he apparantly has free will enough to overthrow Finneas Vilmar and then to try and conquer Erathia (like a Liche). But once Lord Haart is killed he is released from his undead form. One thing is very clear.

King Gryphonheart is bound to Lord Haart is a similar way that a Death Knight is bound to his equipment, if Lord Haart is killed then King Gryphonheart 'dies'. This tells us about what the Spirit of Oppression does; what it's role is.

It functions to 'oppress' the dead king's soul to that of his 'oppressor', Lord Haart. This creates a powerful connection that forms the basis for creating an undead Lord Haart. If Lord Haart dies then so does the undead Gryphonheart.

And if one could control Lord Haart then one would control King Gryphonheart. So perhaps Lord Haart was already in captivity at the time of the resurrection and magically bound to Finneas Vilmar but an enemy of Finneas Vilmar (or friend of Haart's) broke the spell and released Lord Haart from prison. This meant that Finneas Vilmar accidentally ended up facing an entirely free King Gryphonheart over which he had no control.
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Postby StoneCold » Aug 16 2011, 17:50

SO it's DaveO's fault...Mmmmmm...

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Postby Talin_Trollbane » Aug 19 2011, 16:01

Skeleton, not Skelaton.

More intelligent and show more initiative than skelatons; greater sense of personality allows them to sometimes form relationships with their captors or society at large.


uh, how do you know this? is it from the manual? Zombies are on the same level of intelligence as Skeletons, simply undead servants with no free will at all, controlled by magic.
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Postby Shyranis » Sep 1 2011, 23:32

Talin_Trollbane wrote:uh, how do you know this? is it from the manual? Zombies are on the same level of intelligence as Skeletons, simply undead servants with no free will at all, controlled by magic.


With the exception of Necromancers who became Zombies of course. They just keep their same spirit in the body after it has died.
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Postby DaveO » Dec 16 2012, 1:44

With the release of HoMM6, I'll leave it up to the best of you on how to ammend or rewrite this history piece.
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Postby Talin_Trollbane » Dec 22 2012, 23:34

Shyranis wrote:
Talin_Trollbane wrote:uh, how do you know this? is it from the manual? Zombies are on the same level of intelligence as Skeletons, simply undead servants with no free will at all, controlled by magic.


With the exception of Necromancers who became Zombies of course. They just keep their same spirit in the body after it has died.


then they are Revenants, or Liches, not Zombies.
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Postby Lunar » Feb 14 2014, 23:29

I have one strange question and didn't know where to ask it ^^

I watched Supernaturals some time ago an episode named "Faith" (1 season).
One dialogue sentence seemed very familiar to my mind for a few days.
Then I realised it is probably from Cheroes Chronicles that I used to translate into my own polish language (last 4 chronicles ;) ).

I would like to ask (player's who played a lot and remember such things as these event well written stories ;) ) a dialogue between Tarnum and Ancestors.
In which one (if ever, but I guess it's from here) there is talk like Tarnum at the end says:
"I still think it is wrong."
commenting something necessary, but ethically doubtful.. and Ancestors, in their wisdom, said sadly only one thing:
"As it should be."

Is it from HoMM? :)

This sentence is one of the best&simple quotes that can be used in any fantasy setting, where fighting good over evil is still morally doubful.

That's just my curiosity ;)


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