Magic Carpet 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Magic Carpet 2: The Netherworlds
Magiccarpet2cover.jpg
Windows cover art for Magic Carpet 2
Developer(s) Bullfrog Productions
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Designer(s) Peter Molyneux
Series Magic Carpet
Engine enhanced Magic Carpet engine
Platform(s) DOS
Release date(s)
  • NA September 8, 1996
  • EU 1996
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Multiplayer
Distribution 1 CD-ROM

Magic Carpet 2: The Netherworlds is a 1995 computer game, the sequel to the Magic Carpet. It was developed by Bullfrog and published by Electronic Arts (EA).

Story[edit]

The apprentice's master, who died after unleashing his deadly spell, was being spied upon by the Netherworld's ruler, Vissiluth, who is now intent on conquering the world of the living. It's once again up to this apprentice to stop him, by battling this demon.

The NPC wizards are now considered to be Vissiluth's lackeys. They are all based in a city just before Vissiluth's seat of power. After the enemy wizards are vanquished, the apprentice takes an underground passage to reach Vissiluth's citadel. After the apprentice destroys the citadel, Vissiluth emerges and the two do battle. Upon emerging victorious, a volcano spews out mana in all different colours.

New features[edit]

Magic Carpet 2 fixed many of the design complaints present in the first Magic Carpet. The basic concept of the game remains the same as Magic Carpet, with the player being able to build a castle, collect mana, destroy creatures for their mana and battle rival sorcerers.

It featured the addition of night-time levels, and underground levels, which not only helped alleviate the repetitiveness of the preceding game, but also accompanied the storyline progression, which was mapped out before each level. Underground levels, however, do not have rival wizards. There are also several secret entrances to reach hidden levels, where the player can gain more spells and experience.

Also unlike its predecessor, the game proceeded by completing various missions such as reaching checkpoints and destroying specific buildings/monsters, rather than just simple accumulation of mana.

The implementation of mid-level saves received mostly a positive response, although some hard-core fans of the first Magic Carpet questioned the need for such a feature, as the difficulty of Magic Carpet 2's levels was generally lower.

Spells[edit]

Magic Carpet 2 added 15 new spells. Most notable was that each spell had three "levels" and the player could upgrade them either by using them frequently or picking up experience scrolls. For instance, instead of having separate fireball and rapid fireball spells, the latter was just an upgrade of the former. The third level fireball, known as the firestorm, is extremely powerful against single targets. The same applies as well to lightning bolts and lightning storm. Having spell levels allowed the game designers to tone down extremely powerful spells from the original, such as crater, volcano, earthquake, and meteor.

However, quite a few of the new spells were criticized for playing little or no practical use. The whirlwind was entertaining but had little tactical value. Spells that were buggy or never worked properly included the ability to "morph" into a monster to avoid being under attack, and the spell to command creatures to attack wizards.

Like the original, Magic Carpet 2 had "mana vampires", which removed key accumulated spells from the player in order to balance out the level. However, MC2's mana vampire handicap was never as severe as its predecessor, as in many levels the player retained a large majority of spells, which partially explained the reason why MC2 was significantly less difficult.

Monsters[edit]

Magic Carpet 2 added 20 new monsters. This significantly increased variety as they brought special abilities. For instance, some could stun the player (Spider and Manticore) or drain mana and steal spells (Zombie). The Leviathan could lurk below the surface of the sea to ambush the player, while the Moon Dwellers often stayed at high altitudes just out of reach of the player.

The most difficult to kill was the seven-headed Hydra; the player had to reduce all of its heads to zero hitpoints within a short time before it regenerated them. As this was a long and tedious task, rather than relying upon skill or tactics, some players criticized the addition for such a monster.

Several monsters were retained from the original, abeit with new graphics, such as worms, dragons, bees, and skeletons. The wyvern remained the most deadly monster.

Potential expansion[edit]

It had twenty five levels plus five secret levels for a total of thirty, compared with Magic Carpet's fifty and the additional twenty-five from Magic Carpet Plus. Since the main executable file for Magic Carpet 2 was named netherw.exe instead of the expected carpet2.exe (following the precedent set by Magic Carpet's carpet.exe), it led many to speculate that Netherworlds was but one of a series of standalone Magic Carpet expansions.

Reception[edit]

Magic Carpet 2 was praised for its storyline, the progression which was mapped out before each level. Tied into the player's journey was night-time levels, and underground levels, which alleviated the repetitiveness of its predecessor. Beyond the simple accumulation of mana, the game proceeded by completing various missions such as reaching checkpoints and destroying specific buildings/monsters.

Magic Carpet 2 was rushed to completion by EA in order to make the holiday season and the release shipped with many bugs including a fatal bug that often caused the game to crash. As a result of lack of playtesting, certain spells never worked properly or had little usefulness. The inclusion of monsters such as the hydra was also criticized because it was unbalanced, requiring a long and tedious effort rather than creative tactics to kill.

As its predecessor was not a commercial success, this also did not bode well for Magic Carpet 2. The fallout over the game's early release and sales prompted Bullfrog designer Peter Molyneux to part ways with EA.

External links[edit]