Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic

Platform

zScore

71%

Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic

Developer:Charybdis Genre:Strategy Release Date: Download Games Free Now!

About The Game

The Art of Magic is an interesting game whose every strength seems to be hurt by a related weakness.
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Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic

Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic Review

By Roxanne Distefano |

When you play a fantasy game, it can be great fun to bash heads as an ax-wielding barbarian, but when you think of the fantasy genre, you probably first think of magic. If anything symbolizes the escape from the ordinary into a wondrous world of high adventure, it's a wizard or sorceress bending natural laws to summon strange creatures or harness the elements. If that's true, then Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic taps directly into the core appeal of the fantasy genre by letting you play as a wizard whose chief goal is combating fellow spellcasters. The Art of Magic is a sequel to Magic & Mayhem (1999), designed by Mythos Games of X-COM fame. This time around, developers Charybdis and later Climax were at the helm, creating a real-time strategy/role-playing hybrid. The Art of Magic takes many of the core concepts of its predecessor, adds a new 3D engine, and comes up with an interesting game whose every strength seems to be hurt by a related weakness.

The Art of Magic combines elements of role-playing and strategy...

In The Art of Magic, you play as Aurax, a young man who has just woken up after a long night of celebrating his coming of age with fellow villagers. He's also awakened to troubled times. In years past, three magic orbs created by a great wizard kept the world's three realms of law, chaos, and neutrality in balance. With the mysterious death of the neutral druid leader and the destruction of the orb he guarded, the forces of chaos begin a campaign of aggression. When the game opens, they're on the rampage in Aurax's homeland, the druids' neutral realm. Against this backdrop of warfare, Aurax has a more personal problem: His sister, Nadia, has recently disappeared. To Aurax's surprise, it turns out that she's skilled in the ways of magic, and now it's Aurax's turn to learn these arcane secrets and rescue his sister.

In real time, you lead Aurax across this fantasy landscape, dueling other wizards and their followers. You'll have the aid of NPC companions, as well as magical minions you learn to summon, such as eagles, dragons, and boulder-hurling giants. Aurax's quest unfolds as part of a branching campaign with more than 30 reasonably diverse missions. Some play like big strategic battles, while stealth missions give the game some puzzlelike elements, as in Pyro Studios' Commandos games. In addition to the campaign, you can play a highly configurable "battle" (skirmish) mode on 25 different maps with up to seven competing wizards. These can be controlled by the computer, which plays with welcome aggression, or by other humans online or over a LAN.

Akin to a character from an RPG, Aurax has three stats that you boost with experience gained from completing each of the campaign's levels. Health determines the damage that Aurax can sustain. Control limit determines the number of creatures you can command at once. Mana, the fantasy genre's sloppy catchall term for some sort of mysterious magical power, determines the power and number of spells you can cast in a short span. Also like in an RPG, you pick up items scattered across the landscape, including spell ingredients, "mana sprites" to boost your mana reserves, and food to replenish health. It can be pretty funny to see two powerful sorcerers furiously munching apples and fish during a magic duel.

...with mixed results, despite an interesting spell-making system.

The Art of Magic's spell system is the game's most interesting element and features more than 50 different spells. The game emphasizes strategic and creative forethought in its magic system. Between levels of the campaign or before you begin a skirmish, you access a portmanteau (spell book) to ready the spells you think you'll need in the coming level. Your portmanteau has talismans aligned in columns according to law, chaos, and neutrality. Into these talismans you place spell ingredients--like deadly nightshade, brimstone, or psilocybin--that you find during missions, thereby creating new spells. Depending on the alignment of the chosen talisman, the same ingredient can create totally different spells. So, psilocybin (from "magic mushrooms," no less) can be used to create spells that summon zombies, eagles, or fairies. Other spells can heal units, call down meteors, morph a wizard into another creature, and more. You really see the full possibilities of the spell system much more readily in battle mode than in the campaign, where you're stuck with very limited powers for quite a while.

Despite the emphasis on sorcery, The Art of Magic feels much like a traditional RTS too, with simple point-and-click attacks, green/red health bars over characters' heads, control-click unit grouping, and so forth. You'll fight to control vital resources, but instead of the usual RTS crystals or ore, you try to find mana-generating "places of power" and then hold them by placing at least one of your units on it. The more places of power you control at once, the greater your mana recharge rate, which is a key to winning battles. Fighting for and holding these mana sources forms the core strategic concern of the game, and it nicely balances and works in concert with the game's tactical-level combat. Fighting for places of power can proceed at a slow pace, though, regardless of the game speed setting you choose. It can sometimes feel like a dull war of attrition.

Fighting for places of power, waging spell battles, or just making a character move around can be a chore because of the game's awkward interface. Your wizards can't run without the aid of a spell; they only trudge about casually as enemies assault them. Dodging attacks is more difficult than it needs to be, thanks to that languid pace and the time it takes for a unit to change direction. Other interface problems can cause difficulties in combat too. After casting a spell, it's too easy to make your wizard cast it again when you want to make the character move. Also, some commands lack hotkeys, and you can't reconfigure the ones you do get. On the bright side, you can alter the game speed and issue commands while paused.

The interface and graphics can be awkward.

The Art of Magic's camera also proves to be a hindrance. As you zoom in and out, the view automatically tilts. With the camera zoomed all the way out, you get a top-down view, and with it zoomed all the way in, you get an intimate view akin to a third-person shooter. It's a shame you can't alter the angle independently of the zoom to provide the best view for each situation. Also, the camera rotates very slowly, particularly if you use the mouse to control it instead of the keyboard. A more serious problem with the camera arises from buildings, trees, and other scenery blocking your view. You have to manually toggle roofs and other obstructions on and off. It would be better if they temporarily faded away on their own when units moved under or behind them, as in games like Diablo II.

Even beyond the camera, the Art of Magic's new 3D engine isn't quite as magical as it could be. More than anything, the game looks remarkably like a tabletop fantasy miniatures game come to life. The levels can look eerily like photos of finely detailed model dioramas. It's a strange and memorable effect, but at the same time, the game lacks the sort of original artistic vision you find in games like Sacrifice. Still, some of the detailed terrain textures and spell effects are impressive in their own right, particularly the vicious "dragon's breath" fireballs you can cast. Their sooty smoke trails look remarkably lifelike. Some textures, like rippling water, start to look pixelated when viewed up close, though. The fog of war creates an awkward effect too. Areas where your units stand look as if they're illuminated by spotlights, while the unexplored areas seem to be shrouded by pitch-black night. The effect looks very artificial and awkward.

The 3D models used for trees, huts, and so forth look blocky, and the low-polygon characters tend to look horribly puppetlike with their stilted animations. These can render humorous those scenes that should be heartbreaking, like when an important character keeps jerking his foot mechanically as he dies. The subpar animations also make combat scenes appear lifeless. It's too bad more effort wasn't placed into character models and animation instead of gee-whiz particle effects.

The Art of Magic can be frustrating.

The game's sound leaves you with the overwhelming impression of...not much, actually. It's functional but ultimately bland and forgettable, outside of a couple of interesting music tracks. The voice acting is usually competent at best. When Nadia tells Aurax that the living dead are attacking their family's village, she doesn't evince a drop of emotion. She may as well have been asking Aurax to pass the saltshaker at dinner. It doesn't help that the dialogue itself so often sounds like it was taken from a poorly written children's cartoon.

The Art of Magic's uneven presentation is indicative of the game as a whole. The RPG elements don't get as much attention as they deserve, and the gameworld and characters are a mishmash of hackneyed, third-rate Tolkienesque fantasy. The RTS elements aren't particularly novel or sophisticated either. The spell system is interesting in theory but can be a bit dull in practice in the campaign, yet much more fun in the battle mode. The campaign levels aren't balanced particularly well, with some too easy and others tediously long or frustratingly hard. The interface works passably, but it often gets in the way of itself. The visuals offer some really flashy effects but are let down by the character models, animations, and camera. The interesting features of Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic's don't gel into a truly satisfying game design, but they're entertaining as long as you don't set your sights too high.

Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic Game Walkthrough

MAGIC & MAYHEM
The Art Of Magic

Bethesda Softworks Inc.


This guide was written by snap on 1 Mar 2001. You can contact him at 
pastures@hotmail.com. Thanks to all people/creatures who went into making 
both M&M games.
I will probably not be making a revision since this game has been out a 
while and there doesn't seem to be much interest in it. Let me know if you 
need more help though. Sorry, but i don't play multiplayer, so if that's 
what you wanted to find, you won't find it here, though my general 
strategies should help you quite a bit.


Single Player Guide Ver 1.1

Due to limited time, this guide will contain minimal information to help you 
through. Moreover, I am by no means the M&M whizz kid who knows every little 
secret, though i must admit that i got almost all items in the game and got 
all experience. However, my score at the end of the game was zero. I do not 
know why this is so and have no inclination to find out. If you have 
anything to contribute, just send me an email to pastures@hotmail.com. By 
the way, this is my first game guide. I spent a lot of time changing all my 
Tab spacing to regular spacing bcos gamefaqs wants it that way. I wrote this 
guide cos i got pissed that gamefaqs had nothing on it. So this should be 
the first. I have not seen any faq/guide about this game so there is 
definitely NO plagiarism.


About the game:

This game is the sequel to the most excellent Magic & Mayhem. I am sad to 
say that a lot of the fun factor of the original has been lost in the 
sequel. Maybe it's the fact that the map doesn't loop back on itself. Maybe 
it's the slow 3-D animation (I'm using a GeForce2 MX400).
The spell system is still basically the same as the original. You have spell 
items which you can slot into spell talismans. There are 3 kinds of 
talismans: Law, Chaos and Neutral. The spell you get depends on which 
talisman you put your spell item into. eg. the spell item Deadly Nightshade 
can be put into either Chaos, Law or Neutral talismans. If put into Chaos, 
you get the spell Skeleton, into Law you get the spell Bury and into Neutral 
talisman you get Fireball. You will only have one of each spell item, so you 
will always have to choose which spell you want and forsake the other two 
ie. you will only be using one-third of your total spell arsenal. You can 
access your Portmanteu (your spell screen) at the start of each level. There 
are not many, if any, puzzles in the game as in the original. Basically, 
this is a kill-the-enemy-wizard game.


Quick tips:
1. Plan your spell repertoire properly. If you have friendly wizards that 
already have these spells then do not waste the slot by having those same 
spells. Ideally, you should have these spell types:
a) cheap, mass-castable creature to surround an enemy. These have the 
advantage of quickly reducing the enemy's Health since there are many 
creatures hitting it while it can only target one creature at a time. If you 
play RTS games you should know what i mean.
b) powerful creature to guard a Place (of Power, usually).
c) creature enhancement eg. Excalibur, Stygian Bow, Invisibility, Haste.
d) attacking spell eg. Fireball, Lightning, Dragon's Breath
e) Cure spell, if possible.
f) Bury spell if there are lots of undead creatures in that level.
g) Totem of Resurrection spell when you get it.
h) Pestilence spell to weaken those hard to kill creatures and fast-moving 
enemies (esp. wizards)

2. Ranged attacks are better than melee attacks. Elves, Stygian Bow, 
Mountain Giants and Dragons are all very good spells. An Elvish Horde is 
almost always better than a horde of zombies. Especially since they can 
target creatures from far away and get that extra shot in. Sometimes, a weak 
creature with a longer attack range than the enemy creature's sight can kill 
off the enemy since the enemy creature will not even budge to find out what 
is attacking it, especially if it is guarding a place.

3. Centaurs are excellent creatures. They are fast, have "hands" (ie. they 
can pick up items) and have good attacking power. However, the only food 
item that has noticeable effect on them is apples. All other food items are 
useless. Guess this proves centaurs are vegetarian.

4. Fire spreads. For example, if you are suddenly swarmed by a group of 
Dryads, use Fireball on them. If you hit them enough times, they will catch 
fire and start to burn. You will actually see the health going down pretty 
fast. If they are standing in a group, they will slowly all catch fire. All 
you need to do is run around if you're short of mana and watch them 
BUURRNN!!

5. Explore everywhere. You never know what you might find. Items that cast 
spells are especially useful in the last few stages and in stages where 
there is no mana readily available. Save them all if possible except where 
you're facing the big bosses like the Necromagus.

6. Certain levels have areas which trigger enemy wizards to attack you. 
Explore and find out where the "hot zones" are, then just fortify all Places 
of Power (POPs) until you've maxed out your Control. After getting your army 
together, then go find the enemy wizard(s). The most notable level with a 
"hot zone" is the Palace of Azoria.


Experience Points:
*The events are displayed in alphabetical order and do not reflect in-game 
sequential order.

Stage 1
Exp 0/0

Stage 2
discovered summon goblin statue     15
gained 2 neutral talismans         100
gained Deadly Nightshade            25
gained staff                        25
gained Valerian                     25
killed all goblins                  15
spoke with Nadia                    15
warded off goblins                  15
Total                              235

Stage 3
gained lawful talisman              50
rescued villagers                   15
talked with Boden                   10
talked with Eamus                   10
talked with Graymore                10
talked with Jeddon                  30
talked with Magtor                  10
Total                              125

Stage 4
befriended Gaion                    20
defeated all chaos troops           15
gained Psillosibin                  25
talked to Milesius                  20
Total                               80

Stage 5
defeated all chaos forces           80
Total                               80

Stage 6 Mountains of Cader Idris
entered village unnoticed           15
evaded the clutches of Orgon        15
gained Fly Agarric                  25
gained neutral talisman             50
gained the Brim Stone               25
Total                              130

Stage 7 Village of Cissbury
defeated the Goblin King            25
obtained the Cloak of Invisibility  15
protected Urien                     25
spoke to Urien                      15
Total                               80

Stage 8 Abandoned Gold Mine
defeated the Chaos Wizard           25
killed the Chaos Wizard             25
killed the Goblin King              50
obtained the Chaos talisman         50
obtained the Goblin King Head       15
obtained the Iron Pyrite            25
Total                              190

Stage 9 Village of Cissbury
gained neutral talisman             50
Total                               50

Stage 10 Forest of Gorias
defeated Thrall the Dark Witch      50
gained a lawful talisman            50
gained Moon Stone                   25
protected Totem of Healing          10
protected Totem of Healing          10
protected Totem of Healing          10
protected Totem of Healing          10
Total                              165

Stage 11 Village of Lutetia
gained Chaos talisman               50
gained Spindle Tree                 25
overpowered Milesius                25
protected the Cauldron of Plenty    50
Total                              150

Stage 12 Karnac
Exp 0/0

Stage 13 Tavern
befriended Daephus                  15
defeated Brandon                    25
defeated Culann                     25
defeated Tiernon                    25
Total                               90

Stage 14 Karnac
gained neutral talisman             50
gained Obsidian                     25
Total                               75

Stage 15 Port of Karnac
Exp 0/0

Stage 16 The Thieves Guild
befriended Vex                      15
defeated Krish the thief lord       25
Total                               40

Stage 17 Port of Karnac
defeated Gunrock                    25
evaded Krish                        15
acquired passage to Azoria          50
Total                               90

Stage 18 Journey to Azoria
defeated Gorman Dax                 50
gained lawful talisman              50
gained Quicksilver                  25
Total                              125

Stage 19 Azorian Mountains
gained centaur key                  50
gained stormgiant key               50
Total                              100

Stage 20 The Village of Glaval
befriended the people of Glaval     15
defeated Partholon                  50
gained Tourmaline                   25
Total                               90

Stage 21 Chaos Encampment
defeated Atreus                     25
defeated Nemain                     25
rescued elven child four            15
rescued elven child one             15
rescued elven child three           15
rescued elven child two             15
Total                              110

Stage 22 The Village of Glaval
gained Lapis Lazuli                 25
gained lawful talisman              50
Total                               75

Stage 23 Palace of Azoria
Exp 0/0

Stage 24 Initiates Training Chamber
defeated Moogos                     25
evaded the clutches of Moogos       25
gained Diamond                      50
Total                              100

Stage 25 Palace of Azoria
gained lawful orb of power          50
gained Sapphire                     25
Total                               75

Stage 26 Karnac
Exp 0/0

Stage 27 Glanum Mountains
defeated Pentheus                   50
rescued dwarves                     50
Total                              100

Stage 28 Dwarf Mines
gained chaos talisman               50
gained Silver                       25
gained Zircon                       25
Total                              100

Stage 29 Corsic Plains
defeated Carbonek                   50
released Gaion                      25
Total                               75

Stage 30 Chaos Tower
killed the Vampire Lord             50
gained chaos talisman               60
obtained Blood Stone                25
reached the Inner Sanctum           15
Total                              150

Stage 31 The Village of Nuoro
defeated Gatekeeper                 50
gained chaos key                    25
Total                               75

Stage 32 Nuoro Palace
defeated Milesius                   50
gained chaos orb of power           50
overpowered the Necromagus          25
Total                              125

Stage 33 Hell Pits of Sassari
defeated chaos priests              30
gained chaos talisman               50
gained the Brim Stone               25
gained Phosphorus                   25
Total                              130

Stage 34 Castle of Medos
gained Diamond                      50
rescued Nadia                       25
warded off the Necromagus           25
Total                              100

Stage 35 Castle of Medos
defeated the Necromagus             50
gained chaos orb of power           50
gained lawful orb of power          50
Total                              150

Stage 36 Karnac
Exp 0/0

Stage 37 Karnac Prison
defeated Glut                       50
escaped                             50
gained neutral talisman             50
released Krish                      15
released Nadia                      15
released Vex                        15
Total                              195

Stage 38 Karnac
end

Total experience in whole game: 3455



My favourite spells:

Zombie (cast a horde around enemy wizard and watch him crumple under their 
assault. This is my most used spell in the whole game. I rather use this 
than Fireball. With this, you can trap the enemies, whereas using Fireball 
allows the enemies to run away.)

Pestilence (to use when wizards run away too fast or when you meet a strong 
enemy)

Stygian Bow (if possible, cast on all creatures. Immediately ups attack 
power. If Vex is around, do not waste slot on this spell)

Centaur (fast, has hands, good attack power)

Elf (cheap to cast and has range attack. Effective against dragons! Mix 
these with zombies to guard a Place of Power. Add a Totem of Resurrection 
and the POP will be yours forever.)
Dryad (I think I've seen them cast Cure on friendly units but I can't 
confirm this. I usually cast one on a POP and just leave it there alone.)

Cure or Bury (depends on stage)

Totem of Resurrection (easily the most useful spell in the game. Just cast 
one of these near a Place of Power and you can raise a HUMONGOUS army-- one 
that even exceeds your Control Limit)

Vampire (can suck blood and regain health from enemy units. I don't know if 
the vampire can resurrect dead units. In my experience, that seems to be the 
case. But this game is weird and may have more than a few bugs in it. Its 
like the Dryad, i can't confirm if they heal friendly units.)

Other spells would be to your own preference. It's interesting to note that 
some of the key spells i used in the original M&M, i do not use at all in 
AoM.



Game Hints:

There isn't enough experience points to max out all stats, so use them 
wisely. (You need 5000. They only give you 3455) I recommend maxing Mana and 
getting your Control to as high as you are comfortable with. Health is not 
really important if you are a "summoning" wizard as your creatures will take 
the hits for you. Just don't wander too close to an enemy wizard who has 
powerful attack spells.

In the Mountains of Cader Idris, just make sure you go slow. You might have 
to go through this stage a few times just to get the general layout.

Another tough stage is the Azorian Mountains. It's possible to do it the 
easy way and the hard way. Remember your key objectives (forgive the pun). 
Get the keys and get out. Killing everyone is not an objective. In fact, the 
storm giants and centaurs respawn constantly. However, if you opt for the 
easy way, you'll miss a lot of good items. I did it the hard way first time 
round ie. I fortified all POPs. VERY TOUGH. But it was worth it, in my 
opinion.

If you're wondering how to open that last chest in the Initiates Training 
Chamber, my hint is to make sure you explore EVERY SINGLE BIT OF AREA. Get 
rid of every single bit of fog. If you still can't get it, just ask me. By 
the way, it's not worth your while to actually open the chest. You'll only 
get a feeling of satisfaction and annoyance at the whole thing.

Using the strategies i've given you, you should be able to ace the game. In 
fact, you should be able to complete the game without any help. HA! That's 
probably why no FAQ has been written. :)


Acknowledgments:

Thanks again to all who made this game possible.
Thanks to gamefaqs.
Thanks to you, the reader of this FAQ for actually bothering about this game 
and reading my FAQ.
Any comments or qns, pls mail snap at pastures@hotmail.com.

 
                    

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