Heroes of Might and Magic II
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|Heroes of Might and Magic II:|
The Succession Wars
|Developer(s)||New World Computing|
|Publisher(s)||The 3DO Company|
|Director(s)||Jon Van Caneghem|
Jon Van Caneghem|
|Series||Heroes of Might and Magic|
|Platform(s)||DOS, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, RISC OS, GBC|
|Release||October 1, 1996|
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars is a turn-based strategy video game developed by Jon Van Caneghem through New World Computing and published in 1996 by the 3DO Company. The game is the second installment of the Heroes of Might and Magic series and is typically credited as the breakout game for the series. Heroes II was voted the sixth-best PC game of all time by PC Gamer in May 1997.
Heroes II added the Necromancer and Wizard factions, joining the Knight, Barbarian, Sorceress, and Warlock from the first game. Heroes II introduced several new features that have since become standard for the series. First among them is the ability for heroes to gain special abilities. Each hero can possess up to eight different secondary skills out of fourteen available. Once gained, a skill can be developed from Basic to Advanced and Expert levels. For example, the Wisdom skill allows a hero to learn spells of level 3 and higher, while the Logistics skill increases the hero's movement ability over land. In Heroes I, heroes had a single fixed special ability according to their class. The magic system was changed in Heroes II. Heroes I had used a memorization system in which each spell could be cast a certain number of times before being exhausted. Heroes II uses a magic point system that allows the player to apportion spell use as needed, while the varying point cost of different spells maintains balance. Another major feature introduced in Heroes II is the ability to upgrade units, granting them improved statistics and, in some cases, important abilities. For example, upgrading Vampires to Vampire Lords enables them to absorb health and even to resurrect units.
The canonical ending of Heroes I results in Lord Morglin Ironfist's victory. In the following years, he has successfully unified the continent of Enroth and secured his rule as king. Upon the king's death, his two sons, Archibald and Roland, vie for the crown. Archibald orchestrates a series of events that lead to Roland's exile. Archibald is then declared the new king, while Roland organizes a resistance. Each alignment is represented by one of the game's two campaigns. Archibald's campaign features the three "evil" town alignments, while Roland's campaign features the three "good" town alignments.
If Archibald is victorious, Roland's rebellion is crushed, and Roland himself is imprisoned in Castle Ironfist, leaving Archibald the uncontested ruler of Enroth. The canonical ending, however, results in Roland's victory, with Archibald being turned to stone by Roland's court wizard, Tanir. This event is referenced later in Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven, when Archibald is freed of the spell. He goes on to be a significant NPC in Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor.
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Much of the core programming of Heroes II was carried over from the original Heroes, thus the game actually took less time to develop than the original Heroes.
The soundtrack produced primarily by Paul Romero.
The Price of Loyalty is the expansion pack for Heroes II, released on May 16, 1997. Development of the expansion was contracted to Cyberlore Studios and PopTop Software. The expansion adds four new campaigns, new artifacts, new scenario maps, new in-map buildings and an improved map editor. The expansion also added a new structure for the necromancer faction - the shrine that enhances the heroes' ability to raise the dead (Necromancy Skills). Each new campaign had a totally different story that doesn't have any connection to the original game or the other campaigns.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)
The editors of PC Gamer US named Heroes of Might and Magic II 1996's "Best Turn-Based Strategy Game", and called it "clearly a cut above" the rest of its genre that year. The game was a finalist for the Computer Game Developers Conference's 1996 "Best Strategy/War Game" Spotlight Award, which ultimately went to Command & Conquer: Red Alert. It was also nominated for Computer Gaming World's 1996 "Strategy Game of the Year" and Computer Game Entertainment's "Best Strategy Game" prizes, as well as Computer Games Strategy Plus's award for the top turn-based strategy title of 1996, but lost in all of these categories to Civilization II. The editors of Computer Gaming World wrote, "The simplicity of King's Bounty-style tactical combat is the perfect counterpoint to the surprising depth of the strategic game, and unlike Heroes I, the campaign is much more satisfying."
Heroes of Might and Magic II was named the 25th best computer game ever by PC Gamer UK in 1997.
In December 1996, PC Gamer reported that the game was "doing particularly well in retail, with every 3DO retailer reordering the product." By October 1997, overall sales of the Heroes of Might and Magic series, including Heroes II, had surpassed 500,000 copies. This number rose to 1.5 million copies by December 1999.
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