Oddities, Theories, and Unused Content


The NES version of Might and Magic is a stellar port of a classic PC title that included updated graphics, a fantastic soundtrack by Masaharu "REZON" Iwata, and a more user-friendly interface, especially for the battles. It also appears to have a plethora of unused content, some of which would have been exclusive to the NES release had it actually made it into the final cut. This page will explore the unused content in the ROM, differences between the US and Japanese versions, and some oddities and weirdness that can be found during normal gameplay.


Sheltem - Excised Boss Fight

Throughout the course of the entire game, there is a border along the top of the view window depicting an unidentified creature looking down on the action. Since there is no mention of this odd character anywhere, it's reasonable to assume that it's just fancy decoration. However, as it turns out, there is undeniable evidence that this is, in fact, Sheltem. Sheltem is a reoccurring villain in the Might and Magic game series who first appeared (appropriately enough) in this game, Book 1: Secret of the Inner Sanctum, although you never actually see him due to the game's first-person perspective nature that often limits showing you what you're looking at or who you're interacting with.

Stored in the ROM with the enemy graphics, at the end of the bosses and before the normal enemies start, is this unused monster that looks nearly identical to the view window border image. Due to its shear size, it's clear it was meant to be a boss. Its resemblance to the border suggests it was probably important. But is it Sheltem?

MIGHT AND MAGIC NES COMPLETE TEXT DUMP

Here is a complete text dump from the US NES Might and Magic ROM. Notice at the very end of the list of enemies is "SHELTEM". Seems like it's pretty much 100% certain that Sheltem was planned to be a boss in the NES version of this game. But it gets even better...

SHELTEM'S THEME IN MP3 FORMAT

Not only are there graphics and text for the Sheltem boss fight, there is battle music stored in the ROM for it, too! This track is not heard anywhere in the actual game, but it did appear on the official, arranged soundtrack CD, where it was explicitly called, "Sheltem's Theme".


(Sheltem reassembled to the best of my ability)

If Sheltem had made the final cut, it would have been exclusive to the NES version, since he is not fought in the original PC version of Might and Magic, or any other version that I'm aware of. One can only speculate as to why this idea was proposed, extensively worked on, and then ultimately dropped. My best guess is that since Sheltem appears in the sequels, someone may not have thought it appropriate for him to be defeated in the first game - not that being bested in battle ever stops any other reoccurring game villains. Or maybe he was just never finished. I have no idea if it's possible to hack the game in such a way as to actually activate the fight with Sheltem, or if just his graphics, music, and name are all that exist, since my ROM-hacking skills are far too limited to find out.


More Unused Enemy Graphics

Unlike Sheltem, these are more likely to be earlier versions of existing enemies or placeholders than actual unused enemies, since there are no other extra monster names in the ROM's list.

This headless cloak is definitely not used for any monsters that exist in the game. However, since the Arch Mage/Warlock/Wizard enemies are also represented by a headless cloak casting a magic spell from one hand, it is likely this is an earlier design for those enemies that was scrapped. (See the Might and Magic Bestiary for the Arch Mage/Warlock/Wizard.)

This enemy design definitely doesn't exist in the actual game, but I'm not 100% sure of its origins. SethraShnoo suggested that it looked like an earlier version of the Flesh Eater/Gremlin/Kobold/Rabid Leper design, and I can definitely see where this would be appropriate for those types of enemies, but it also looks like it could've been a swamp monster of some kind.

Another unused enemy design that could have any number of possible origins. It could have been an early version of the Hag/Witch, or one of the Wizard or Mage types of enemies, but there's no real way to tell for sure. It reminds me a lot of the Shaman from StarTropics.

These concentric rings appear twice in the list of enemies. That and their awfully simplistic design suggest they are probably just placeholders.


Unused Player Character Profile Graphics

Here's something incredibly interesting - it may have been originally planned for your characters to have profile pictures! As you may know, you never can see your characters in Might and Magic since the entire game is viewed from a first-person perspective. But perhaps they would have had profile shots on their status and/or inventory screens.

Ignore the amorphous shackled figure in the upper left, that is used in the game. The other three, however, are not. I strongly suspect these were meant to be mugshots for your various party member classes and races since I can't imagine any other purpose for them and they certainly look the parts. The man and woman are probably meant for you main character, depending if you chose to be male or female. The guy with the horns I'm guessing is a Half-Orc.

The guy on the left looks like he could fit the Robber class, and the one on the right is an elf for any elven party members you may acquire.

The problem with this, as you can probably see, is that there really aren't enough profile images for every possible race and class combination. Maybe some could do double-duty, but there's only one female, no wizard characters, and nothing to represent dwarves or gnomes. I'm guessing after these had been worked on, someone realized it would take far too many for all the different possibilities and thus scrapped the idea before they got any farther...

...except I think one did eventually get used for another purpose...

This is the profile image used in the game for the Cleric of the South. It's so similar in style to the unused mugshots that I'm strongly tempted to believe it was originally intended to represent cleric characters in your party. And speaking of graphic reappropriation...

I'm very suspicious that Lord Kilburn's profile image was not originally intended for him, either. For one thing, it makes little sense as to why he's represented by an evil-looking face and hands looming over what appears to be a knight or king's clothing. There's nothing in the game to explain this. You are only informed that he's living in exile and has knowledge of the desert. One theory I've heard is that he was in exile because he was cursed and turned into a monster, but the game doesn't say that, you have to infer it on your own. The original PC version of Might and Magic had no image at all of Kilburn and the dialogue during the confrontation with him is the same as the NES version (see this blog for a screenshot of it), so you can't even look to there for answers.

I think it's more likely that this scene was meant to be used when you revealed the fake King Alamar's true form. That would not only make much more sense, but it would explain the clothing on the floor. And knowing now what we do about that excised boss fight, it might make even more sense, still...


Unused Cutscenes

Some of these I'm not certain are unused or if it's possible I just don't remember seeing them anywhere. Sometimes in this game, it's possible to miss out on seeing a cutscene depending on the order of which you do things. For example, if you beat the 13 enemy parties in the N-Barrier dungeon before stepping on the square with the crazed wizard who gives you the bronze key, you'll never see the wizard. So, if anyone knows if these are used anywhere, please let me know.

I don't recall seeing this sword anywhere, nor is there any dialogue for finding a particularly special sword.

I totally don't recognize this well-dressed fellow, and I have to wonder where on earth is there a room in this game that could possibly match this one's decor? It looks like a library or schoolroom or something...

Um, yeah. I don't recall any trees so important that they got their own profile picture and there seems to be no dialogue for important trees, either. The only thing I can guess is that maybe this was meant for the trees you can climb in Guire Grove, but perhaps having this pop up for every one of them got tedious, so it was taken out. Otherwise, your guess is as good as mine.

There is also an extra copy of the owl from the opening cinema in with the cutscene graphics, now with three feathers popping off of him. Perhaps the owl was to have a more important role ?


Unused Text and More

Here are some of the more interesting things I found as a result of my complete Might and Magic text dump:

High court sentence: Years

This is in with all the other dialogue for Erliquin, and there is probably supposed to be a number that goes before "Years" that would be determined either randomly or conditionally. Was it possible that an idea during development was that you could go to jail for stealing the town treasures in Erliquin? I can't imagine how this would really work, so no wonder it's unused.

"You must bring the experimental substance! Begone!"

This is right after all the dialogue for Guire Grove, and I have no idea what it means or who it was intended for. I'm pretty sure it's not used anywhere.

ME RIGEL SAGE SONJA LILAC VYRANA AZALEA KIRIE FLINT JHARED BULZAI ZORA THORAK TIKRA CHAROB HAMMER

These are all the default names of the characters you can recruit into your party at various towns throughout the game. Before you begin a new game, you are told to name your main party member. It appears that character's default name is actually "ME", though you would never know this since you name him/her before you'd see it otherwise.

Out of range

I do not believe this battle dialogue is used. If an enemy is out of range when you try to attack it, the game just doesn't let you select it.

advances!

Some monsters are destroyed

I don't believe these are used either.

AS BL SI DI PO PA FA ST DE AS

PA ST HE AS MI SI BL AF

These are abbreviations for party member status ailments. The first row are for the following:

  • AS = ASLEEP
  • BL = BLIND
  • SI = SILENCE
  • DI = DISEASED
  • PO = POISONED
  • PA = PARALYZED
  • FA = FAINTED
  • ST = STONE
  • DE = DEAD
  • AS = ASH

    All of these are used, except I don't ever remenmber getting Silenced. Maybe that's possible and it just hasn't happened to me in so long I don't remember it.

    The second row is a complete mystery. PA, ST, AS, SI, and BL are repeated from the first row, and judging by the text seen elsewhere in the ROM, it looks like HE = Held, MI = Mindless, and AF = Afraid, but I do not believe it's possible to receive any of these ailments, despite even having a P-FEAR spell to protect against "Afraid".

    Alignment slips

    While your alignment can change throughout the course of the game depending on your actions, I don't remember the game ever telling me when it happened.


    Japanese vs. American Versions

    Graphical Changes

       

    The Japanese version starts with two screens of text that I'm incapable of translating.

       

    Although this was (not surprisingly) removed from the American version, the graphics for the Japanese characters are still stored in the ROM.

    The Japanese version's title screen contains a different "New Game" and "Continue" font.

    Weirdly enough, the font is in the US version's ROM, but not actually used. The same font is used for "New Game" and "Continue" that's used for all the game's dialogue. Either someone wanted it to be consistent, or this was changed for reasons unknown.

       

    The Snake/Slither Beast enemies on the Japanese version are represented by a single serpent. On the US version, this sprite (with a slightly different palette) has been tripled. The same is true of the Vampire Bat enemy. Incidentally, the inactive enemies are darkened blue on the Japanese version, but darkened brown on the NES version.

       

    The Gnome/Sprite's palette has been altered from the Japanese version.

    Sorpigal Gallery

    The Sorpigal Gallery has some significant changes from the Japanese version. But first of all, these are the plaques that are the same on both versions:

       

    The Chessboard Plaque exists on both versions, although it is located in a different spot. In the US version, it's hidden behind a wall in the NE part of town. On the Japanese version, it's in the gallery with all the other plaques.

       

    The Gala Plaque looks the same on both versions.

       

    The Wheel of Luck Plaque exists on both versions, but the halos were removed from the angels on the US version, lending credibility to the idea that some of the other dialogue changes were censorship and not artistic choice or mistranslations.

       

    The Castle Doom plaque exists on both versions, but good luck getting into the room with it on the Japanese one. It's much harder to get the lock open and I had to reload a save state about 30 times before I finally got in there.

    The following plaques are exclusive to the US version:

       

    The Astral Brothers Plaque and Corak Plaque don't exist in the Japanese version.

       

    The Dragon Plaque and the One By Land/Air/Etc Plaque are unique to the US version.

    The following plaques are exclusive to the Japanese version:

       

    This rather generic looking stone tablet (left) is only in the Japanese version. The blank picture frame with the minotaur's head on top (right) is also Japan-exclusive, and it's in the hidden spot in the NE part of town where the Chessboard Plaque is on the US version. While I can't read the text, I suspect it might contain the Minotaur dialogue from the statue that was in the PC version, but excised from the US NES version, considering the minotaur head adorning it.

       

    An Hourglass Plaque and an Owl Plaque!! Again, I can't read the text, but I highly suspect the hourglass one is talking about the Land That Time Forgot, which indeed does have an hourglass in the middle of it like the picture shows. No idea on the owl statue.

    Go Ahead...Babies?

    For most of the game, the dialogue window displays, "GO AHEAD FIGHTERS!", which could eventually change to "GO AHEAD HEROES!" depending on what you do. A long time ago, I saw screenshots of the Japanese version of Might and Magic in Nintendo Power magazine that showed the text, "GO AHEAD BABIES!" in this window.

    Indeed, the Japanese version says, "GO AHEAD BABIES!" when you start the game. Perhaps it had more than just one level of class changes?

    Miscellaneous Changes

    The Japanese version of Might and Magic is significantly harder (at least in the beginning phases) than the US version:

  • It's very difficult to win fights because the characters have a high miss rate. The encounter rate is much higher, too.

  • Characters don't start with any weapons or food. They start with Clubs and full food on the US version.

  • Unlocking locked doors is almost impossible. It could take many tries and even if it does happen, you're likely to spring a trap.

  • There is no animation of your characters attacking enemies in battle, whereas on the US version the sword strikes and projectiles are shown. In the Japanese version, the enemies flash and make the same noise of a trap going off (rather annoying, actually).

  • When you run from a battle in Sorpigal, you don't end up in front of the Inn as you do on the US version. You end up in a locked room in the NW part of town, which essentially screws you over since opening the lock safely is not likely to happen.

    Due to the higher difficulty rating and the fact that I couldn't read the text, I didn't get past the first town on the Japanese version, so I do not know how else the US version was changed.


    Oddities and Weirdness

    Uncensored Nudity?

       

    I've talked about random uncensored nudity in NES games on this site before. The Water Elemental and Medusa enemies in Might and Magic also seem to be pushing the envelope a bit in that area.

    Devil vs. Incubus

    Some enemy names had been changed from the original PC version of Might and Magic. One of the most prominent examples was many instances of "Devil" being changed to "Incubus". I have no idea if this was an artistic choice or because of NOA's censorship policies in the NES era, but if it's the latter, I find it hilariously ironic that "Devil" would be censored and "Incubus" would be allowed, considering what an Incubus is.

    Kiss the Girl?

    When you find the shackled maiden in the Volcano, the options regarding her are "kiss", "free", and "leave". "Kiss" seems weird enough as it is, but what if you're playing as an all-female party? Was Might and Magic ahead of its time in having two characters of the same sex make out?

    Other Dialogue Changes

    The "small pixy" prisoner that you find in Castle Doom was a "small child" on the PC version. I'm not sure why this was changed, other than perhaps fears that implied child abuse would be too disturbing for some audiences.

    The clues for the chessboard idols are more blatant on the NES version than they were on the PC version. The NES version tells you exactly what you need to input as the answer to Og's questions, whereas the PC version only told you vague clues such as, "The first part is female" and "The second part is more valuable".

    Club Dead in the City of Gold was changed to Club Doom.

    Lara is described as the Innkeeper's "voluptuous" daughter on the PC version. On the NES version, she is described as "beautiful".

    On Trivia Island, one of the questions was changed from "Where's the very latest?" to "How many pits are in Korin Bluffs?"

    In Dusk, Casper's Fine Spirits was changed to Casper's Fine Potables. (Spirits actually had a double-meaning there, as both an alcoholic reference and because Dusk is a ghost town.)

    In the Soul Maze, the "Agent Orango Seventeen reporting:" part of the dialogue has been removed.

    In the Astral Plane, the riddle "My dream leads me, your dream leads you", was added to the NES version. As far as I can tell, this puzzle did not exist on the PC version.

    The ending dialogue was significantly changed on the NES version. A large part that reveals the true nature of the world of Varn was taken out. Strangely enough, a tavern clue that foreshadows this was left in the NES game, "Varn is not what it appears to be." Since the ending was changed, this line pretty much has no meaning for this version.

    Sorpigal Gallery Dialogue Changes

    I'm making a separate subsection for this because there are a lot of changes here. The PC version of the Sorpigal Gallery had Statues instead of Plaques. This change is actually evident even in the NES version when one of the tavernfolk tells you "Sorpigal has 8 statues". In addition to this, some changes were made to the statues:

    The PC version has a statue referencing the Maze of the Minotaur, "This beast once roamed the Enchanted Forest and now rules a great fortress there." This is not in the NES version.

       

    The PC version has one statue that reads, "One by water, one by land, one by air, one by sand. The wheel of luck will favorably pay, the more of these menacing beasts you slay! Although wishes may come true, all the beasts will come anew!" However, on the NES version, this was split into two plaques so that one reads, "One by water, one by land, one by air, one by sand," and the rest is on another plaque. In addition, "slay" was changed to "destroy" on the NES version, which totally ruins the rhyme scheme.

       

    The Chessboard Statue's text was changed significantly, though the meaning generally remains the same. The PC version reads: "There are many dungeons like me, find the right pair and you`ll discover the key. The ancient seer has but his sight. The idols will help to end his plight." The NES version says: "There are many dungeons painted in a black and white checkered motif. Find the right pair, and you'll discover the Key. The ancient seer Og has lost his sight. The Idols will help to end his plight." Generally, it's less vague and more straightforward.

       

    The dialogue for the Astral Brothers Statue was incorrectly parsed on the NES version. The PC version reads, "Services rendered, secrets unfold the brothers together leads to treasures untold. Five towns you must travel for this quest to unravel." The NES version is nearly identical, except "for this quest to unravel" was mistakenly left off (once again ruining the rhyme scheme) and placed at the beginning of the Castle Doom Plaque, instead.

    Other Enemy Name Changes

    The Strangling Vine enemy was renamed Mangoradra.

    The Barbarian and Barbarian Chief enemies were renamed Cave Man and Cave Man Chief.

    Volcano God was changed to Volcano Giant.

    The Greater Devil was renamed Demon King (one of the few instances in which Devil didn't become Incubus).

    The Man Eating Mare enemy was changed to Mononoke (Japanese for "Ghost").

    Invisible Thing was changed to Invisible Eyes.

    Some enemy names were shortened, such as Guardian Spirit to Guardian, Great Sea Beast to Sea Beast, and Giant Centipede to Centipede.

    The PC version has an enemy called "Werephase Mummy". Although this nomenclature does not appear in the NES version, Mummy is on the list of enemies twice, and in fact, there are two different kinds with varying HP and abilities. The stronger version is likely the Werephase Mummy.

    Unsolved Mysteries

    The Quivering Forest dungeon contains this strange bit of dialogue:

    Inset in the wall, a stone face speaks: "I would pay highly for a green handled, pearl encrusted abelnuski."

    It is unknown what this is referring to. There is no such item as an "abelnuski" in the game anywhere, but it's an even greater mystery as to what it's even supposed to be. Searching "abelnuski" on the internet only brings up results related to Might and Magic and nothing else. Perhaps it's an in-joke only Jon Van Caneghen knows the answer to.

    The 10 FOOT POLE is an item that has its origins in Dungeons & Dragons, but has no known use in this game, despite that you can even buy them in shops.

    The BAG OF SAND and BAG OF GARBAGE appear to be booby-prize items you sometimes win in fights that have no known use. The BAG OF GARBAGE is always cursed, too.

    The JADE AMULET can only be worn by the Robber class and its benefits are unknown.

    Switched at Birth?

       

    The Gala Plaque bears a striking resemblance to one of the opening scenes from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past that depicts a group of sages sealing the entrance to the Golden Land.

          

    Several enemy designs in NES Might and Magic resemble the H.R. Giger Xenomorph from the Alien movies. Particularly, the Algae Beast/Electric Eel and Giant Scorpion enemies.

    Random Weirdness

    Am I the only one who finds the Chimera sprite disturbing? It looks like two lions mating.

    Why is the Killer Cadaver enemy a giant silkworm?


    Various Glitches and Errors

    Item Change Glitch - This one I learned about in Nintendo Power magazine, but I didn't actually bother to intentionally try it out. However, the funny thing is, it happened to me one day through normal play just from fiddling with the menus too much. Fill up your lead character's backpack and make sure the sixth item is anything but a Club. Select the Use command, select Equip, choose any blank spot in the menu and press B. The screen will flash and the last item in the leader's backpack will change into something else. (If you did put a Club there, it will vanish.) You can repeat the code to change it to something else. The game cycles through these items in a definite order, but once it reaches the Club, it will always vanish on the next try.

    Wrong Enemy Death Animation - When an enemy is killed with a weapon, it fades away, but when it's killed with magic, it explodes in either red balls or blue lines, depending on the spell. Choose an attack spell in battle, but cancel it before it's used. Then, with the same character, attack an enemy with his/her standard weapon. If they deal enough damage to kill the enemy, it will explode as though it was killed by magic instead of fading away like it should since you killed it with a weapon.

    Wrong Enemy Palette - If a spell fails in battle, sometimes it severely messes up the monsters' palettes for a turn. Then if you kill the monster with a normal weapon after a spell fails, it will explode as though it was killed by magic, similar to the above glitch.

    Useless Spells? - Sometimes monsters cast spells in battle and you get the message of whether or not your party members are affected by them. But even if it says a character was affected, the spells don't seem to do anything as far as I can tell. Seems like either an attack was dummied out or never implemented.

    Orc Chieftain vs. Chieftain Ogre - The PC version of Might and Magic has an enemy called the "Orc Chieftain" which has much higher HP and strength than the normal Orcs. The NES version has these same enemies, but they are strangely just called "Orc". So, essentially, the NES version has two different "Orc" enemies, one type much stronger than the other.

    At the same time, the enemies in the NES version called "Chieftain Ogre" were just "Ogre" on the PC version. The answer to this strange renaming conundrum becomes clear when you look at the list of enemies in the ROM. Orc Chieftain and Ogre are right alongside each other, so it looks like, "ORC CHIEFTAIN OGRE", and the names were parsed incorrectly, causing the discrepancy.

    What this also means is that the NES version has both a Chieftain Ogre and an Ogre Chief. Confusing, isn't it?

    Boar or Bear? - The Wild Boar enemy utilizes a sprite that looks way more like a bear than a boar (same sprite as the Giant Sloth and Werebear).

    Fear and P-Fear - One of the spells, P-FEAR, is supposed to protect against Fear and there is a Fear protection stat in the menus. However, it appears that this has no effect since your party members since you can't get the "Afraid" status.

    Misspellings - Varn was rather unfortunately misspelled as "Barn" on the location indicator when roaming about the overworld. Perilous Peak was abbreviated to "P-PEEK" instead of "P-PEAK" on the location indicator inside its dungeon.

    Missing Dialogue - When you enter Castle Alamar without the King's Pass, a guard will stop you and throw you out. The dialogue says, "Castle guards exclaim", but it doesn't say what they exclaim. There was probably supposed to be a line about the King's Pass here, but there isn't anything. The PC version actually did have the guards ask for the King's Pass, but this dialogue is not present in the NES version's ROM.

    Briefly Dark Trees - Sometimes when walking between overworld areas onto squares with visible trees, the trees will be dark briefly, like they are when you enter a dark area (such as A1). This seems to especially happen a lot when walking between Areas D3 and E3.

    Overworld Object Discrepancies - Sometimes when you approach the boundary of an overworld area, you will see either trees or mountains in front of you that won't actually be there once you cross the border into the next area.

    No Cure2? - There are two Cure1 spells and a Cure3 spell, but no Cure2. Judging by the amount of HP it restores, the Cure1 in the Level 2 Cleric Spell Set is actually Cure2, but was misnamed.

    Corrupted Save File? - This blurry screenshot was taken from my actual NES cartridge file with a capture card several years ago. AZALEA's name has somehow been corrupted, with the AL getting replaced with two Japanese characters. I have no idea how this happened. While Japanese lettering exists in the ROM, there is no way to input it in the American version.


    Cameos and References

    Star Trek

      

    Might and Magic contains two very blatant references to Star Trek. The message in the above left picture can be found in Doom Castle. It is the title of an episode of the original Star Trek series. The second picture contains a certain very famous Vulcan quote. Perhaps Jon Van Caneghen, the game's original creator, is a Trekkie?

    (I apologize for the screenshot quality, I took these a long time ago with a capture card from my actual NES cartridge file.)

    Robin Hood

    The food shop in Portsmith is called "MAID MARION'S MARKET", most assuredly named after the heroine, Maid Marian, from the tales of Robin Hood.

    Another reference to Robin Hood comes in the form of the boss Lord Archer, whose pre-fight dialogue indicates he is a "Robin Hood" type: "I am Lord Archer, the Raven. I take from those who have and give to those who have not!"

    Monty Python

    There is a part in Might and Magic where you must cross a bridge, but a hooded figure tells you that your party members must first each answer a question to pass, and the question is "What is your aura color?" This seems very heavily inspired by the Bridge of Death scene in the 1975 British comedy movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in which two characters were asked what their favorite color was so they could cross the bridge.

    The Lord of the Rings

    The wizard boss character, Okrim, seems to have borrowed some inspiration from Lord Sauron, the main villain of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. A message in his lair, the Quivering Forest dungeon, proclaims, "Okrim is watching. He studies your weaknesses!", much like Sauron's all-seeing eye. And the prize for beating Okrim? His ring, a possible reference to the One Ring that Sauron created.

    Some enemies, like Orcs and Kobolds, are also named after monsters from Tolkien's books. Mt. Doom, where you find Castle Doom, is also probably a reference to the Middle Earth location of the same name.

    Classic Cartoons

    The tavern in Dusk is called "CASPER'S FINE POTABLES". Since Dusk is a "friendly" ghost town, it's likely this name was borrowed in jest from Casper the Friendly Ghost.

    This is possibly just a really big coincidence, but the Thundranium item may have been named after substance from the 1980's cartoon series, Thundercats. While it seems like a longshot, consider all the friggin' cartoon references in Might and Magic 2, and it's suddenly not so farfetched. (Strangely enough, this game also contains an item called Unobtainium, which would eventually also be the name of the MacGuffin du jour in the 2009 James Cameron movie, Avatar.)

    Might and Magic 2

    The game's ending quite blatantly tells you to, "Get Might and Magic Book 2 on the SNES!", even though it would not appear on the SNES in the US. However, there were two different versions of it made for the Super NES/Famicom, Might and Magic Book Two in Japan, which appears to have been made by the same company that made the NES game, and Might & Magic II in Europe. I have no idea why there are two SNES versions of it. Other versions of Might and Magic 2 (PC, Sega Genesis) are subtitled "Gates to Another World", which comes directly from that object in Book 1. Confused yet? I don't blame you.

    (There is also another, more "secret" reference to Might and Magic 2 hidden within the game's dialogue, but I won't reveal how to find it here.)

    Other Myths, Legends, and Fables

    The Fabled Building of Gold, aka Perilous Peak, that can be found in the swamp area of the game is likely based on the legend of El Dorado, a supposed city of gold that many Spanish Conquistadors attempted to find, but never did since it most likely didn't exist.

    The Stronghold in the Enchanted Forest is based on the Greek legend of the Minotaur's Maze, a Labyrinth on the island of Crete built by the architect, Daedalus, to contain a half-man, half-bull creature. Not surprisingly, this dungeon contains a lot of Minotaur enemies and a Gray Minotaur boss.

    Og the Blind Seer is likely named after the Biblical King Og. In Might and Magic, Og is described as "a large being", and King Og was supposedly a giant.

    Programmer Cameo

    One of the secret messages you can find in the game reads: Etched in gold, message 7 reads: "THESE-AND-THAT- MUST-CAN-DIFFERENT- SHALL-HAVE-FROM-A- JVC"

    JVC are the initials of Jon Van Caneghen, the creator of Might and Magic.


    Miscellaneous Stuff

    COMPLETE OVERWORLD MAP (UNMARKED)

    I pieced this together with screenshots from the game. It's the entire overworld, although nothing is marked on it.

    And finally, some music in MP3 format:

    ASTRAL WORLD AND SOUL MAZE

    DUNGEON

    SURFACE OF THE GROUND


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