At this point, I’m practically tasting the end game of Might and Magic Book One. Well, I think I’m tasting it. The reality is, I could be anywhere in the game right now and not know how far I got, since these ancient games really take an alien approach to design and storytelling.
King Alamar’s Castle
As I already said in my previous posting, the southwestern part of King Alamar’s Castle contained the prisoner. One thing I didn’t say was that I managed to botch up the quest line. I accidentally sold the item King Alamar gave me at Castle Doom. Basically, this means I had to go back to Sorpigal and redo the whole quest line all over again.
Luckily, not having the quest didn’t stop me from exploring the castle. The room on the opposite side, to the northwest, had the same layout as the prisoner room, except there wasn’t anything good at the end of this encounter series. Instead, I got a catapult which ejected me into the wilderness. What’s worse, after so many encounters, the catapult threw me straight into an encounter, where I then accidentally pushed S on my keyboard, which causes my party to surrender. This almost never works, but when it does, you go to a safe spot in the area and lose all of your money. Basically, I had to reload. I got the exploration, but I lost all the experience and loot.
Similarly, there’s a chute like the one in Castles Blackridge which also takes you outside, but at least I didn’t lose any experience with that one.
Outside of that and the fake King Alamar, there wasn’t anything else in the castle. As I said, I had to redo the entire quest line to get the golden key, so that’s exactly what I did. By trying to rush through it with Teleport and Etherealize, I discovered a few things. Apparently, through the use of anti-magic fields and similar special tiles, there are some measures put in place so you can’t just straight rush through some parts.
For instance, there are anti-magic fields in castle Doom which force you to do two things:
- You need to enter the castle through the secret entrance to reach the prison area.
- You need to have the Gold Key if you want to get to the imprisoned King Alamar.
So I guess you simply must do the main quest line to advance in the game and there’s no way past that.
Anyway, confronting the fake king revealed his true identity and I was thrown into the Soul Maze.
The Soul Maze
The goal of the Soul Maze is to find my captors name hidden within the walls. The problem was, using the location spell simply returned ”Unknown” instead of any coordinates. I decided to take the bait and map it anyway. For a while, it was extremely confusing, but then I figured out the level simply wraps around on itself. Leaving it from the top tile in the first column puts you in the bottom tile of the first column, and so on. With that realization, I kept mapping, hoping to find a note of some sort. I didn’t.
Eventually, I mapped it all and then two things became obvious:
- I was mapping it upside down, switching north for south.
- The name was Sheltem.
How did I realize that? Well, when the map was drawn, some of the walls spelled Help directly on the map. Help doesn’t really work as a name, so I abandoned my excel graph paper sheet and redrew it on a piece of actual paper. Rotating it upside down spelled out a pretty obvious hint:
My name is Sheltem.
I used this name and I got the following:
Agent Orango Seventeen Reporting: Imposter XX21A7-3 Voided! Starphase 5281.6 at 120-Varn-161 Pod #41, you are now rank 1 and eligible for transfer. Find inner sanctum for new assignment. The walls begin to fade…
I was back in Sorpigal.
Back in King Alamar’s Castle, the real king was sitting on the throne and he told me I should go to the Inner Sanctum. I’m not sure if this is just an item in my inventory doing it or something else, but if it isn’t, this might be the first persistence in Might and Magic Book One. I left the game and got back in and the true Alamar was still on the throne.
Clerics of the South
The clerics of the south are at the lowest level of castle Dragadune. Their finding you worthy means that you get to reuse all of the permanent stat increase locations within the game. I’m not sure how far you can increase your stats this way, but the action of gaining worth definitely is repeatable and I already got a few stats above 30 this way.
It can be a bit confusing, but to make them find you worthy, you don’t need to ring all the gongs, or you might need to ring them several times. The key is to keep hitting gongs until you hear all three of the tones – sharp, mellow and loud. You can’t ring the same gong twice in a row, but you can keep alternating between two gongs until you hear all three sounds.
Just for future reference for myself and everyone else, here’s a little something…
Might and Magic Book One, Permanent Stat Increase Locations
- Might – The dungeon below Portsmith, B-3, 0-12
- Intellect – E-2, 3-13
- Wisdom – D-2, 12-12
- Luck – Ruins of Castle Dragadune, E-1, 1-1
- Accuracy – The cave below Dusk, E-1, 15-15
- Speed – The cave below Dusk, E-1, 14-5
- Endurance – A-1, 12-1
I actually completely forgot about endurance, so now it’s lagging behind the rest of my stats a bit.
The Six Prisoners
The Clerics of the South task (not exactly a quest) is awesome and provides an awesome reward. The six prisoners task, on the other hand, does almost nothing. You need to treat the six prisoners in the six castles according to your alignment and then you go to the scale statue in E-1. Based on how well you did, you get more or less experience. The amount is pretty high, but nothing you can’t get otherwise. Honestly, it’s not worth the trouble.
Might and Magic Book One, Character Age, Rejuvenation
First of all, I had very little issues with character age in Might and Magic Book One. None of my characters got even close to dying of old age up to now and the oldest one didn’t even reach 50. That being said, you have options for reversing old age, natural or magical.
Firstly, there’s a crater in the southeast of E-1, which you can only access with Etherealize, since it blocks teleportation. In there, you are forced to fight at least two difficult encounters against dinosaurs before reaching the center.
At the center, there’s a device which reverses everyone’s age by a certain number, though I’m not sure how much. Why am I not sure? Because casting Rejuvenate (Cleric, 6-4) is an order of magnitude faster and easier. Sure, there’s a chance you’ll end up aging your character instead, but then you can just cast it a few more times.
By the time you can reach the center of the crater, you’ll easily have access to Rejuvenate, so there really is no point not to use it.
I’ll repeat, the easiest way to reverse old age in Might and Magic Book One is to cast the clerical spell Rejuvenate.
E-4 and the Fabled Building of Gold
With a total of 5 overworld areas left to visit, I decided to start from the east and flew to E-4. The E-4 wilderness is a pretty OK area to train in. Most of it is empty, but there’s an island in the swamp to the south, with a lot of fixed encounters, most of them being against dragons. Dragons provide a lot of experience in Might and Magic Book One, so now that my level is high enough, they seem like a good way to quickly gain levels. However, there’s a downside – I’m hemorrhaging gems like crazy. I’ll probably have to find a place to collect some in the near future.
On the same island, there’s the Fabled Building of Gold and there was a dragon town, which I could decide to attack. Doing this meant taking on one of each dragon type, as well as two high-level demons, able to cast Eradicate. Even with all of my protection spells, I wasn’t able to clear this battle. I might be able to with a few extra items, but for now, I’m not even going to try.
The Fabled Building of Gold
The Fabled Building of Gold is the first dungeon that I’m aware of with non-linear level progression. From the first level, you can get to either level 2, 3 or 4 via one of the three stairways.
Going straight to level 4 takes you to „dungeon under construction“. This level has a lot of walls which aren’t really walls from the opposite direction, or doors which end up being walls from the other direction, etc. The level also contains three rooms with very difficult encounters behind some barrier walls. Two out of these three encounters rewarded me with a black box, but I didn’t get any upgrades, because all of the item drops required evil alignment.
Getting to level 3 directly from level 1 takes you to an isolated area with nothing of importance in there. Level 2 simply contains a lot of rooms with weird encounters against a lot of different, unrelated monsters. It also contains a large maze, which is pretty much completely empty, other than the stairs to the „real“ part of level 3 at one of the dead ends.
Level 3 is just a bunch of teleport traps, all leading to the same spot with an encounter. Either I missed something, or there’s nothing of importance in there. You’d expect there to be something, since there’s to ways to get to the level, but I didn’t find anything.
Overall, I got a huge amount of experience in the Fabled Building of Gold, and I found two checkered rooms, one of them containing the White Queen Idol. Sadly, it turns out I managed to sell or somehow lose the Black Queen Idol, so I’ll have to find it again. Good thing I’m taking notes, so I know where it is. It’s in level 1 of the Wizard’s Lair in the B-1 area.
Lorelei the Knight
Lorelei gained four levels, 51 hit points in total and is now level 18.
Priscilla the Paladin
Priscilla gained two levels, 24 hit points in total and is now level 15.
She got a Belt of Power from the Soul Maze, so she gave her Undead Amulet to Alana.
Rax the Robber
Rax gained three levels, 27 hit points in total and is now level 17.
She got a Blue Ring Mail. This excellent item dropped from a Black Box in one of the trap rooms of castle Alamar. This time, I did the smart thing and immediately teleported outside and to Sorpigal. It increases AC by 9 and probably adds resistance, I’m guessing to either frost or electricity. The Blue Ring Mail replaced her Ring Mail + 1. This was an amazing upgrade.
She also got a brand new pair of Boots of Speed, giving his old Defense Cloak to Robin.
She got an Elec Shield, which replaced her Large Shield + 2, adding one more point of AC and increasing her electrical resistance.
Alana the Cleric
Alana gained three levels, 28 hit points in total and is now level 17. I’ve seen her destroy mummies with Turn Undead now.
She got an Undead Amulet from Priscilla.
Robin the Archer
Robin gained three levels, 26 hit points in total and is now level 15. She gained access to her fourth level sorcerer spells.
Robin got Rax’s Defense Cloak, which was a nice AC bonus.
Aleen the Sorceress
Aleen gained two levels, 14 hit points in total and is now level 16.
I believe I can now safely assume E-4 and E-3, including the Soul Maze, are fully and properly mapped, so I finalized the files related to these two areas. As usual, you can find all of my other files in my Google Drive folder, including the word document files you can edit.