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Forums > Submission Feedback > aschultz's Might & Magic II review

This thread is in response to a review for Might & Magic II on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: CoarseDragon
Posted: December 07, 2009 (03:12 PM)
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Good review not completely spoiler free not I guess that's OK for a game this old. I loved this game by the way. I am pretty sure I have played through this one more than any other game. Some of random battles were a pain but outside Moon Ray really helped. And don't get me started on those Jugglers.


Age is a condition not a state of mind.


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Author: aschultz
Posted: December 08, 2009 (10:51 AM)
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Ooh...the Jugglers. That's when I think MM2 was at its best. Just doing weird, low level stuff that may have been physically impossible but presented interesting puzzles. (Gosh, maybe sentences like this could've succinctified the review!)

Apparently the Apple and PC handle experience very differently, making for different games. But I do love how MM2 has some basic and clear violations of logic--and that for the most part adds to the game.

As for spoilers, I think it's only in retrospect--people find out about the Worthy quests quickly. Maybe I can get rid of the bit about King Kalohn. I'll see.


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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Author: CoarseDragon
Posted: December 08, 2009 (04:01 PM)
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Yeah, perhaps using his name was a bit to revealing but the way-back machine was cool.


Age is a condition not a state of mind.


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Author: aschultz
Posted: December 08, 2009 (04:13 PM)
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I forgot about Moon Ray...that is a good spell. Low level healing and damage, which wakes your unconscious characters up and nails the enemies.

Unfortunately the really neat places below in the castle leave you in a bind. It took me forever to map out the Castle areas. It seems you really have to use the archer's shoot-and-fight capabilities, or waste an NPC slot.

I remember getting mail from other people about the 66 Devil Kings and the Mega Dragon fight if you don't give King Kalohn the orb. I really should try byte editing now that AppleWin has save states, to see if there's anything special.

MM2 is a lot of fun even though the story is a bit silly. It broke a lot of walls that more traditional or, possibly, better games did not. I consider it almost-great but it clearly tackles stuff great games don't. It's perhaps the biggest jump I've seen from one game in a series to the next.


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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Author: CoarseDragon
Posted: December 08, 2009 (04:27 PM)
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The story was a bit silly but it did lead the franchise forward to other games and into a quasi-sci-fi state, which I was Ok with. Many inside jokes puns made the game fun to play. Being able to teleport around and the most essential Lloyd's Beacon made the game a real joy for me. I guess I liked the adventure and danger they put in the game. I can not think of another where the risk/rewards were so interesting.

In the desert area (you may know about) I did find many devils and other nasties while looking for treasure. There were indeed many nasty things in the game. Don't off hand recall the orb incident you mention however. Guess I need to try that out or maybe I just forgot about it.


Age is a condition not a state of mind.


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Author: sashanan
Posted: December 09, 2009 (07:38 AM)
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Apparently the Apple and PC handle experience very differently, making for different games. But I do love how MM2 has some basic and clear violations of logic--and that for the most part adds to the game.

Can't vouch for this, but I *can* confirm that the two versions I own - PC and Sega Genesis - play very differently. PC version has party formations with front row and back row characters, with the back row only able to attack with bows, and some spells not working if you're in the front row (and others only if you are). Only front row characters get struck though. Genesis has no rows and enemies just attack your characters in order, and the point of bows is pretty much lost.

Some monsters have their abilties switched around - dare I say juggled - too. It's funny the Juggler was named as a specific example as he's only annoying in the Genesis version, where he inflicts a bundle of status effects, and completely "are you freaking crazy" deadly in the PC version where a group of Jugglers starts the battle by all juggling all party members for serious damage, leaving you most likely dead before you got to do a damn thing.

M&M2 is odd, it's often fluky, the best fun is to be had in all the ways in which it can be deliciously broken, so your final conclusion that the game breaks all rules except for being interesting is dead on. I do have to wonder how many of the things you refer to in your review - things familiar to me and bringing out the nostalgic knowing smile at least twice a paragraph - are going to be comprehensible to someonw unfamiliar with the game, though. Then again, the audience for a review like this IS people like me, who even if they don't know the specific game do have a grasp of the tropes of RPGs of this era. So I may be worrying too much.


''Yes, yes...but apart from all that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?''


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Author: sashanan
Posted: December 09, 2009 (07:43 AM)
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On the topic of the Orb: approaching the king without the Elemental Orb lets you witness (in text only) how the Mega Dragon kills him and then turns its attention to you. It's largely immune to your attacks although I think there are one or two spells that do cause some damage - but the little guidebook I had for the Genesis version once suggested the beast has 64000 HP. If it's possible to kill it, it's probably only through liberal cheating, and knowing M&M2 I suspect it will just give you a bundle of exp and treasure but not advance the story any so that you still cannot continue until you return to the area WITH the Orb.

I still can't believe that the only way to GET the Orb in the first place is through a trick that feels like a game exploit all the way. Just goes to show how the minds of those developers worked, and how all the other game breakers that are possible are very likely intentional.


''Yes, yes...but apart from all that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?''


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Author: aschultz
Posted: December 09, 2009 (09:21 AM)
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I think the orb puzzle is fair--given that NPCs are a new feature, there's probably some way you -need- to use them.

And the Snowbeast "puzzle" is a cool one early on--the one where guards arrest you if you steal the Emerald Ring and then try to walk back to the inn. (note--an exploit allows you to take 6 NPCs and get 6 Emerald Rings, dismissing them one at a time.) Getting the orb mirrors getting the emerald ring. Although I admit, at first, I just tried to run from the Snowbeasts. Which worked too.

I probably should proofread this review and look at all the stuff that was mentioned. The stories did get better as the series went on.


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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Author: sashanan
Posted: December 10, 2009 (03:18 AM)
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Well see, this is you thinking like a programmer, I'd say (and I know all about thinking like a programmer, being one and all). An item cannot be removed from a dungeon because the exit is sealed for as long as you carry it and all relocation spells are disabled. But putting it on an NPC and dismissing him works because dismissing him is not using a spell or trying to walk through the exit, it warps them back to the nearest inn. Makes total sense from that perspective.

But for an average gamer, I'd say this should feel off. How DOES the NPC leave? It is never stated or implied by the game that in the reality of the game world, they "warp" the way they actually do in terms of programming. Realistically they'd slip out - through the exit that is sealed because they are carrying the Orb. The fact that that doesn't occur always felt to me more like a "heh, they overlooked that possibility" than a case of gameplay and story segregation. In fact, I did discover this fact (or maybe it was spoiled for me, long time ago, not sure anymore) but at the time figured it an exploit, and only learned later that it's the only solution to the puzzle.

Then again, and this is probably how it was intended, eventually it's something you'll try for lack of any better ideas.


''Yes, yes...but apart from all that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?''


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Author: CoarseDragon
Posted: December 10, 2009 (04:05 PM)
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That was rather odd but then again there were so many odd things in the game that seemed normal.


Age is a condition not a state of mind.


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