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MMX - continually aggravated
07/28/2021, 04:25:29

    Ossie writes:

    I recognise that I'm one of the few active players for MMX on the Boards, so I feel obligated to maintain content.

    After many playthroughs, I remain convinced that the single biggest issue with MMX is that only a single class is able to learn Dark Magic at all.

    There are a few useful Dark Magic spells, and I'll list them below in increasing usefulness:

    Dark Vision: improves visibility in darkness. Nice, but other spells can replicate

    Shadow Cloak: next attack from any enemy will miss. Useful, but can live without, and after a certain point you'll no longer bother to throw it up

    Darkness Ward: resistance to Dark Magic. Always useful, but once you get to the point where you really need it, can be replicated with other spells (although not as strongly)

    Whispering Shadows: the only way to detect secret doors. Some of these are necessary for completing dungeons/quests, but can be replicated by scrolls, although this is only really possible for playthroughs where you already know the location & can trigger the scroll at the right point. Otherwise, you'll waste all your money buying scrolls for this - if you can find them at all. The ability is granted as a latent ability a little more than halfway through the game, which renders the spell redundant from that point, and it can be replicated by a specific NPC before then, although it's almost impossible to obtain this NPC at lower levels. Overall, not fatal, but makes for a far less enjoyable game having to go back to previous dungeons to complete once you finally obtain the skill via other means

    Sleep: this is, without question, by far, THE most important crowd-controlling ability in the entire game, to the point where you will be wasting plenty of time reloading without it. Unless you're attempting a very specific playthrough, you need this spell, or you need plenty of scrolls to replicate it, which are hard to find. In short, the vanilla game is virtually unplayable without this ability, which means it's virtually unplayable without a character able to learn Dark Magic, which means it's virtually unplayable with a Freemage (the only class able to learn it)

    And THIS is the single biggest factor that significantly reduces the enjoyability and replayability of MMX. One of your four characters pretty much always needs to be a Freemage, unless you want to plan out a very specific playthrough. And it's such a shame, because virtually all the other classes allow you to put together a range of interesting and varied parties. But once you select your Freemage, that virtually automatically selects all your other classes, based entirely on what you still need after selecting the Freemage.

    If even ONE other class had the ability to learn Dark Magic - even just to Expert Level (what you need for Sleep) - the entire game would have so many more options. Worse, because of the engine, promotion quests aren't even available unless you actually have one of the necessary classes in your party. So if you keep playing the same party, you're even restricted to the same quests, and the others are unplayable. So until someone mods a class to learn Dark Magic to Expert level, this game is pretty much the same playthrough every time.

    And THAT is ultimately the tragedy of MMX





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Hey, Ossie! Aren't you forgetting. . .
07/28/2021, 11:51:19

    The Elf writes:

    . . . the dog, which you can get quite early on? I always depended on him when I used Light Magic parties. (I don't remember his name, and I can't go find him because of my stubbornness in refusing to pay for MMX yet a third time.) He's being held by a gang of thugs in the woods one map down (or thereabouts) from New Sorpigal or whatever the starting town is. (Again, senior moment. I am 84, after all.) Instead of taking him back to his kennel/lair, just add him to the party.

    I've completed MMX with every possible class as main character, both Light and Dark. So unless the game has been re-patched, it should be possible to win it every time.





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Slight correction
07/28/2021, 14:12:11

    The Elf writes:

    (Should have drawn a map, dagnabbit!) That woods isn't in the first map down from the first town--it's the one below that. IIRC, the woods-y area is in that maze of paths and shrubbery that you enter going east(?) from the main road south(?) [Question marks because I don't have the exact cardinal directions memorized. Assuming that the first castle is south and east of New Sorpigal, the road is also south and east, but below that.] The bandits strike; the trick is to kill them without harming their dog, who casts a constant Show Secrets spell just like Rosalie did. I don't quite remember, but I think he's trapped in a cage that you have to free him from. (It's been a few years since I played the game.)




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Yeah, that's the NPC I mentioned
07/28/2021, 23:23:38

    Ossie writes:

    You can't get him until at least Act 2 when you get access to Seahaven, and even then rescuing him has always been well beyond my ability when I first get access. By this time you have missed several secret doors in Act 1.

    But Sleep is still the big one for me. Without it, the game would just seem an unnecessarily difficult grind. Plus, when has MM ever had a school of magic that only a single class can use!





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The first act
07/29/2021, 12:27:47

    The Elf writes:

    I always used Rosalie for the first act. Just make sure you don't get rid of her until after the Bandit Cave!

    I never did like the Light-Dark-choose-one system. (I think I was the only TELPer never to have been able to finish MM7 or MM9 as Dark. Even though I'm pretty ornery (ask Papa or Baby Elf!) I never could play Dark in either of those games. MMX I could, but it went against the grain.) I think I loved MM8 because I could be a Dark Elf and still have a Paladin by my side.





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Always learning!
07/31/2021, 19:52:52

    Ossie writes:

    So I only just realised that Rosalie actually has the detect secret doors ability! However (and I don't remember), I think she leaves after completing the Bandit Caves, and you can't re-hire her once she leaves, and the Bandit Caves is the first dungeon in the Act I sequence? Completing the Caves leads Maximus to ask you to complete the Lighthouse, and completing the Lighthouse leads to Castle Portwhatever. You can't even enter the Castle until Maximus has given you the quest. So I'm not sure how you can keep Rosalie for the Lighthouse & Castle, because you have to complete the Caves (and lose Rosalie) before you can do either of those dungeons?




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You know, the more I hear about this game, the happier I am that I didn't buy it.
08/01/2021, 04:57:40

    Peter2 writes:

    Does anybody know what JVC is doing these days?




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I don't think it's a horrid little game
08/01/2021, 20:53:01

    The Elf writes:

    It's realistically worth about $10-$15 or 10 euros. It can't really be compared with all the old MM classics, because it sorely needs JVC. I enjoyed it enough to play through about 10 or so times, trying every possible type of character. It just isn't what we'd like it to be, that's all.




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I'm not condemning it to THAT extent!
08/03/2021, 04:54:33

    Peter2 writes:

    I've defended MM9 for its good points, but I still opine that it isn't as good as MM8, never mind MM6 or MM7. And from what I've read, I gather that MM10 doesn't stack up to MM9, so no thanks.




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You're right! However. . .
08/01/2021, 11:49:16

    The Elf writes:

    There are quite a few secret doors in the Bandit Cave. I only remember one in Castle Port-whatever. I think I got a scroll for that one. (If you want to know where it is--which is one thing I do remember--I can tell you. Hint: it's somewhere on the first floor.)




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And if you hate mutual exclusiveness. . .
08/01/2021, 11:58:05

    The Elf writes:

    . . .avoid the "new" Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition like the plague. In this little gem, you have to choose the ethical alignment for each character separately. Choose an alignment despised by the other characters, and you may have a band that refuse to co-operate with each other! (I also don't like selecting characters by random dice-roll. It can take half an hour just to "roll" a decent character! Otherwise the game is okay, but far less "open" than M&Ms.




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I found BGEE fairly "open"
08/04/2021, 04:07:15

    Ossie writes:

    There are certain areas you can't get to until certain times, although that's really no different to MM. Other than that, the available areas are all open, even those that will kill you!




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Why so much hate for mutual exclusiveness?
08/06/2021, 04:48:48

    Ramillies writes:

    Mutual exclusiveness adds some "real choice" into the game, as opposed to "just maxing out", which gets boring quite fast. With "maxing out", there is no real choice: you can either do it right, or do it wrong, but honestly that's not a meaningful choice.

    Rolling a character is horrible, but you can reassign the points, so you just hit the "reroll" button until the sum is good (that takes just a minute) and then you redistribute the points as you see fit (which is a bit silly -- and that's the consequence of using a bit silly rule system).

    Otherwise, I find the BG quite MM-like in nature: you have a lot of connected maps and you can go pretty much wherever, so I wouldn't say it's not open. (And, by the way, the combat in BG is far better than the one in MM, though it has problems of its own.)





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Ah, Ramillies--you must be fairly young
08/11/2021, 13:01:28

    The Elf writes:

    Those of us past a certain age have noticeably slowed reflexes, and all the Forgotten Realms games are real-time. Having been born with slower-than-average reflexes, mine are probably much slower yet nowadays. Some games, mercifully, can be toggled between real-time and turn-based. Not so 99% of all RPG's today. (And some retro turn-based games are still impossible for us slowpokes. I literally cannot get past a certain point in (I forget the exact name--Grimmwald? Grimmway?--something like that,) because it is impossible for me to A) pull down a lever, then B) run to the opposite end of the room before a certain door or hatch or whatever it was closes. This is one reason I've always loved MMs: turn-based all the way.

    Of course, it wasn't always like this. I remember the first real-time RPG, but as usual, can't remember the name. I believe it was by SSI, but was certainly not a Krynne series game. One of the NPCs in it was a women who looked decidedly Asian, wearing (as Asians were wont to do back then,) a white face mask. I think of her every time I see covid-masked people!





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Well, that I am. However...
08/15/2021, 06:04:44

    Ramillies writes:

    in the Forgotten Realms, you have one all-powerful button, which is the spacebar that pauses the game. During the pause, you can assess the situation, give orders to your characters etc. You can also set the game to auto-pause itself on certain occasions. And even us the young people with some reflexes (not that I have fast reflexes by any measure) use the pause all the time, and some (most?) of the battles would actually be pretty insurmountable if you refrained from pausing.

    Plus, the game has a notion of rounds that are converted to the real time somewhat but mostly it actually remains very "turn-based-like" (for instance, your attacks and spells have "Speed Factors" which determine in which tenth of the round you get to do the thing). So if you set auto-pause at the start of each round, you have pretty much a turn-based game, because you give orders for that round and then they just play out.





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Ah, Ramillies--you must be fairly young
09/08/2021, 06:26:18

    St. Germaine writes:

    Are you talking about "the Legend of Grimrock" games?




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