The Backlog - Episode 1 - Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete

Heroes of Might and Magic III: Complete - c. 1999 New World Computing
Welcome to the inaugural episode of The Backlog. I'm moving pretty rapidly on this concept - as I have 314 games presently in the game list and we're burning daylight.
Since this is the first episode and honestly I've not quite figured out what I want to do just yet I went ahead and used a random number generator to pick our first title. Much to my delight - that game ended up being one I've spent Hundreds of hours playing alone and with friends. Before I dive into the personal perspective on Heroes III I figure I'll include the historical info on the game, and an embedded link to the twitch stream.
A little warning - the Twitch broadcast is a little dry.

Hopefully we will get some interaction going on these live broadcasts in the future. Right now - its me droning on about the game and my play - nothing too good. Please hang in there if you're interested. I promise it won't always be this dull.

Here is the video and the game info (Courtesy of Wikipedia).. the blog entry follows the jump, click on to read more. Comments and suggestions welcome!

UPDATE: Apparently Twitch removed my broadcast and left only the Highlight.. so this is not working.. I have to revise my thoughts on how to do this.

Developer(s)New World Computing
Loki Software (Linux)
Publisher(s)The 3DO Company
Loki Software (Linux)
Designer(s)Gregory Fulton
Jon Van Caneghem
Composer(s)Paul Romero
Rob King
Steve Baca
SeriesHeroes of Might and Magic
Release date(s)
Genre(s)Turn-based strategy

So I have a long history with the Might and Magic games and as I said during the stream Heroes of Might and Magic is the evolution of an old series called King's Bounty. I can blame my childhood friend David Dean for introducing me to King's Bounty on the Atari ST. Dave and I spent long hours with the game seeking out the sole objective, one that persists (I believe) all the way up through the modern versions of the game.

King's Bounty follows the same design blueprint - the player controls a hero who is tasked with searching the realm, defeating monsters and building an army in search of a hidden (buried) artifact. Visiting obelisks on the map unveils puzzle pieces that show the general location of the artifact on the game map. Players have to unlock enough of the puzzle to head to that location and dig up the artifact. Once you recovered the artifact, King's Bounty ended.

King's Bounty was a pretty successful game for its time, but that was not the era of guaranteed sequels, and New World Computing moved on to their big franchise - one that competed directly with Origin System's Ultima computer RPGs - Might and Magic. I may spend a future Backlog episode describing the interplay (no pun intended) of the classic computer RPGs like The Bard's Tale, Wizardry, Ultima and Might and Magic, but for now just consider that Might and Magic was a third or fourth place fantasy RPG game series in a very crowded market.

When the time came to expand from the traditional RPG format, New World decided to revisit the base game in King's Bounty while leveraging the better known brand - and this Heroes of Might and Magic was born. Heroes updated the formula a bit, brought the game to different platforms and was a commercial success - but was not too different from its King's Bounty progenitor. Heroes II added more factions (6 compared to the 4 in Heroes I) to the game, and Heroes III became a game with lots of playable factions (9) and some interesting campaign scenarios (in multiple stand-alone expansions) that dove into storytelling in a more in-depth form.

Interestingly, a few years ago both King's Bounty and Heroes of Might and Magic were resurrected as new titles from different, completely new teams of programmers. Heroes of Might and Magic VII is about to get released by Ubisoft - the company that presently owns the rights after the death of New World Computing shortly after Heroes of Might and Magic IV in 2003.


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