Heroes of Might and Magic II
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|Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars|
|Developer(s)||New World Computing
Cyberlore Studios (expansion)
|Publisher(s)||The 3DO Company|
|Designer(s)||Jon Van Caneghem
Jim DuBois (expansion)
|Series||Heroes of Might and Magic|
|Release date(s)||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.
There are six different classes of heroes and castles, each with their own units and strengths/weaknesses.
- Knight – This alignment is one of two "might" alignments. "Might" aligned heroes gain skill points in attack or defense more often than in spell power or knowledge as they gain experience. Their troops, listed in ascending order of strength are as follows: Peasants, Archers, Pikemen, Swordsmen, Cavalry, and Paladins.
- Barbarian – This is the second "might" alignment. Barbarian troops in ascending order of strength are as follows: Goblins, Orcs, Wolves, Ogres, Trolls, and Cyclopses.
- Sorceress – This is one of the four "magic" alignments. "Magic" aligned heroes gain skill points in spell power or knowledge more often than in attack or defense as they gain experience. Sorceress troops, listed in ascending order of strength are as follows: Sprites, Dwarves, Elves, Druids, Unicorns, and Phoenix.
- Warlock – This is the second "magic" alignment. Warlock units are as follows in ascending order of strength: Centaurs, Gargoyles, Griffins, Minotaurs, Hydras, and Dragons.
- Wizards – This is the third "magic" alignment. Wizards units are as follows in ascending order of strength: Halflings, Boars, Iron golems, Steel golems, Rocs, Mages, Archmages, Giants, and Titan.
- Necromancer – This is the fourth "magic" alignment. Necromancer units are as follows in ascending order of strength: Skeletons, Zombies, Mummies, Vampires, Liches, and Bone Dragons.
There is also a neutral, "wandering" class of troops, including Rogues, Nomads, Ghosts (the only one that can not be hired), Genies, Medusas, Air elemental, Earth elemental, Fire elemental and Water elemental.
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, with Archibald eventually freed of the spell.
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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 in 1997. Development of the expansion was contracted to Cyberlore Studios. 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.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2008)|
- "Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars". Retrieved 2012-04-27.
- Soete, Tim (1996-11-26). "Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars Review". Retrieved 2012-04-27.