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Heroes Community > Heroes 7 - Falcon's Last Flight > Thread: The lore thread
Thread: The lore thread This thread is 44 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 ... 10 20 30 ... 40 41 42 43 44 · «PREV / NEXT»
Gryphs
Gryphs


Supreme Hero
The Clever Title
posted April 05, 2017 12:22 AM

Sligneris said:
Did Raelag even realize he had a soulless, amnesiac husk as a partner?
Even if he did I doubt he was well written enough to care.
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"Don't resist the force. Redirect it. Water over rock."-blizzardboy

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Sligneris
Sligneris


Supreme Hero
posted April 05, 2017 01:24 AM
Edited by Sligneris at 01:24, 05 Apr 2017.

Honestly, it would be neat if Ubi revisited H5's story somehow in the form of a comic book or a novel perhaps. It'd allow them to revise it, better account for the current, more developed lore and put its writing somewhere higher than grade school level.

Even though it wouldn't change much, and the storyline would stay pretty much the same, anything would be better than the constant reminders of Asha using all eternal griffins.

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verriker
verriker


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Erwin Data Modeler
posted April 05, 2017 01:51 AM

to be honest better to focus attention on whatever is already good and warrants one's time than to waste talent trying to redeem something that is crap, after all one could rewrite Twilight into a Great American Novel for the Ages if one was bothered but it is a false endeavor as it does not really earn or deserve the energy and resources in the first place lol

plus bear in mind only Heroes 1-4 and Chronicles are canon Heroes games cheers lol
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Avirosb
Avirosb


Promising
Legendary Hero
No longer on vacation
posted April 05, 2017 10:43 AM

Twilight wouldn't be nearly as popular if it was actually good.

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted April 05, 2017 04:00 PM

That's actually a good point. Most of the times I've seen it mentioned were about ridiculing than praising it.
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So you're saying.. the dead are rising from their graves?
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Sligneris
Sligneris


Supreme Hero
posted April 05, 2017 09:47 PM
Edited by Sligneris at 21:50, 05 Apr 2017.

So, another question. How much exactly do we know about Sar-Shazzar? He gets name-dropped a lot, but he's such a strangely mysterious figure. It seems that people in-universe know very well who he was, but we get to know only a few things.

We know he was one of Sar-Elam's disciples, we know that he was Belketh's mentor, we know that he delivered the prophecy of the Demon Messiah, and that he then died in his sleep... and if memory serves, someone in Heroes 7 considered him creepy. But that's very little information to give us any picture of his character.

Has there really been nothing more said about him?

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Avonu
Avonu


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Embracing light and darkness
posted April 05, 2017 10:55 PM

...he wa corrupted by Chaos and it was he, who sabotaged Sar-Elam's ritual to seal demons in Sheogh forever. Oh, and he was a founder of Academy faction.
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"When someone desires information, they come to me."
"Details are everything."
Pipiru piru piru pipiru pi!

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Sligneris
Sligneris


Supreme Hero
posted April 05, 2017 11:41 PM
Edited by Sligneris at 04:27, 06 Apr 2017.

Oh, he did? I did faintly remember something about him sabotaging the ritual, but I wasn't sure if that was really the case. Are there any texts on his betrayal?

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Avonu
Avonu


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Embracing light and darkness
posted April 06, 2017 09:38 AM

Yes, they are.
____________
"When someone desires information, they come to me."
"Details are everything."
Pipiru piru piru pipiru pi!

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Sligneris
Sligneris


Supreme Hero
posted April 06, 2017 10:32 AM
Edited by Sligneris at 10:33, 06 Apr 2017.

I mean, I'd have expected you to tell me where, or post them.

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verriker
verriker


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Erwin Data Modeler
posted September 15, 2017 01:18 PM

we have in the other thread had this discussion and with Galaad requested for future posts to go here, but to accommodate any who suffer a reading impairment (such as my mate Edmund or my dog who reads my posts lol) I have taken it upon my own bat to proactively transfer over the posts cheers lol

fred79 said:
i was never a fan of the original h3 angels; they never looked right, to me. being that the kreegans aren't actually from Hell, it doesn't make sense to have angels in the game(and even moreso, a hatred between the creatures. you would think an angel, of all creatures, would KNOW if a creature was from Hell or not, lol. and thus, logically have a reason to hate them).


Galaad said:
I am still convinced they are cyborgs.


NimoStar said:
Actually aren't angels ancient robots made to fight Kreegans? Thus why they hate them.


pumma said:
Actually they aren't. They are no robots or cyborgs. In fact they are wizards' experiment much like minotaurs, beholders and cockatrices.

The problem is that you have the Ancients' Universe first introduced with Might and Magic RPG's where you have creatures from Dungeon and Dragons RPG System but with different origin and than you have Heroes of Might and Magic games which are Might and Magic Mythology in essence with Earth Mythology as coverage. The result is a bit messy.


verriker said:
actually bear in mind they are probably cyborgs or at least something outlandish enough to give a fantasy genre purist a heart attack (source: NWC interview), bear in mind they only appeared in Erathia mysteriously after the Kreegans fell down in their shooting star (source: Long Live the Queen) so they are actually not a creature of the wizards or an invention of them unless the ancients are a Wizard cheers lol


NimoStar said:
Well considering this: http://mightandmagic.wikia.com/wiki/Guardian I'd say it's pretty sure they are probably an artificial lifeform.

Quote:
"Guardian" is an umbrella term used to refer to several variants of the Ancients' servants. Generally, their only universally common features are their sentience and technological origin (...) were built to facilitate physical defence aside from other tasks - they resemble mortal races, and appear to scar and bleed when harmed.


And here http://mightandmagic.wikia.com/wiki/Escaton it specifies "He was sent to Jadame to destroy the world because of a rumored Kreegan attack." -
The name itself is a reference to christian mythology of the End Times so the association with angels is not a longshot at all: www.miapic.com/diccionario-escaton-eschaton
Not to mention the "Sword of Judgement" and all that, which is know to be ancient's technology...


pumma said:
Edit: They are experiment of the Wizards of Bracada and if I'm not mistaken, the source of the information for there origin is Might and Magic 7. Also the Shooting Star is in Enroth and not in Antagarich (this is the story of Might and Magic 6). Maybe the Kreegans landed also in Antagarich or they moved there from Enroth (most probably the later but in both cases its not clear how they missed the continent of Jadame). Most of the Guardians are actually cyborgs with maybe the only exception for which I know of The Oracle of Enroth.

PS: Now I will try to find the source information for Angels origin and then post it here but it will take some time.


verriker said:
hey mate that's great albeit bear in mind I have all of the text of MM7 in a folder here and it has zero lore of the angels that I can find, the only bit of any lore about angels in those games is in MM8 with the angelfeather cloak lol

also bear in mind that what is most probable is that the shooting stars also fell in Antagarich, the text hints there were multiple shooting stars, one which fell in Blackwoode and the other one fell in Eeofol (source: Nether Gods and Armageddon Blade) cheers lol

sorry for offtop btw, to not distract Nephretes amazing work let us go to the lore thread cheers lol

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pumma
pumma


Hired Hero
posted January 21, 2018 07:00 PM

verriker said:
we have in the other thread had this discussion and with Galaad requested for future posts to go here, but to accommodate any who suffer a reading impairment (such as my mate Edmund or my dog who reads my posts lol) I have taken it upon my own bat to proactively transfer over the posts cheers lol

fred79 said:
i was never a fan of the original h3 angels; they never looked right, to me. being that the kreegans aren't actually from Hell, it doesn't make sense to have angels in the game(and even moreso, a hatred between the creatures. you would think an angel, of all creatures, would KNOW if a creature was from Hell or not, lol. and thus, logically have a reason to hate them).


Galaad said:
I am still convinced they are cyborgs.


NimoStar said:
Actually aren't angels ancient robots made to fight Kreegans? Thus why they hate them.


pumma said:
Actually they aren't. They are no robots or cyborgs. In fact they are wizards' experiment much like minotaurs, beholders and cockatrices.

The problem is that you have the Ancients' Universe first introduced with Might and Magic RPG's where you have creatures from Dungeon and Dragons RPG System but with different origin and than you have Heroes of Might and Magic games which are Might and Magic Mythology in essence with Earth Mythology as coverage. The result is a bit messy.


verriker said:
actually bear in mind they are probably cyborgs or at least something outlandish enough to give a fantasy genre purist a heart attack (source: NWC interview), bear in mind they only appeared in Erathia mysteriously after the Kreegans fell down in their shooting star (source: Long Live the Queen) so they are actually not a creature of the wizards or an invention of them unless the ancients are a Wizard cheers lol


NimoStar said:
Well considering this: http://mightandmagic.wikia.com/wiki/Guardian I'd say it's pretty sure they are probably an artificial lifeform.

Quote:
"Guardian" is an umbrella term used to refer to several variants of the Ancients' servants. Generally, their only universally common features are their sentience and technological origin (...) were built to facilitate physical defence aside from other tasks - they resemble mortal races, and appear to scar and bleed when harmed.


And here http://mightandmagic.wikia.com/wiki/Escaton it specifies "He was sent to Jadame to destroy the world because of a rumored Kreegan attack." -
The name itself is a reference to christian mythology of the End Times so the association with angels is not a longshot at all: www.miapic.com/diccionario-escaton-eschaton
Not to mention the "Sword of Judgement" and all that, which is know to be ancient's technology...


pumma said:
Edit: They are experiment of the Wizards of Bracada and if I'm not mistaken, the source of the information for there origin is Might and Magic 7. Also the Shooting Star is in Enroth and not in Antagarich (this is the story of Might and Magic 6). Maybe the Kreegans landed also in Antagarich or they moved there from Enroth (most probably the later but in both cases its not clear how they missed the continent of Jadame). Most of the Guardians are actually cyborgs with maybe the only exception for which I know of The Oracle of Enroth.

PS: Now I will try to find the source information for Angels origin and then post it here but it will take some time.


verriker said:
hey mate that's great albeit bear in mind I have all of the text of MM7 in a folder here and it has zero lore of the angels that I can find, the only bit of any lore about angels in those games is in MM8 with the angelfeather cloak lol

also bear in mind that what is most probable is that the shooting stars also fell in Antagarich, the text hints there were multiple shooting stars, one which fell in Blackwoode and the other one fell in Eeofol (source: Nether Gods and Armageddon Blade) cheers lol

sorry for offtop btw, to not distract Nephretes amazing work let us go to the lore thread cheers lol



It took me some time to check MM7 but unfortunately MM7 is not like MM6 and in MM7 the information is too scarce and now it seems to me that MM7 is a little bit unfinished. Meanwhile I have managed to remember that I red the information about Angels origin somewhere in the Net more than 10 years ago. Ever since I am trying to locate it but to no avail for now. Most probably the site is long gone or changed or google is playing tricks. The latter is quiet possible because of the changes in google. In fact a couple of years ago I found a site with all Heroes names in HMM 2 beta which are different from the Heroes names of the final version (I mean about all 6 fractions) and now I can not find it anymore. I will be very grateful if someone could provide the complete list of Heroes names in HMM 2 beta instead of the half which I have found through google nowadays.

Back to Angels origin. Now I believe that the possibility of their origin to be a result of Wizard experiment is no less than 90%. Also I have remembered another piece of information which could explain the risk of possible heart attack among the fantasy genre purists especially the religious ones. So I am not going to make the above mentioned piece of information public but I could send it to Verriker for example who seems to be interested in the topic. Finally I will give some arguments why I think this information is true. First of all in Might & Magic Universe, the one which was practically erased with the canceling of the Forge faction in AB you don't have Gods in the original sense. There role is taken by the Ancients. So you have these planets created by the Ancients and populated by all sort of living creatures created by Ancients magic. You also have 5 elemental planes and possibly 2 more (Plane of Light and Plane of Darkness). You don't have Hell or Heaven (forget about the nonsense in HMM4  - there are only result by the Forge fiasco). Also have the Creators which are somehow related to the Kreegans. So all in all you have living creatures created by the Ancients and by wizards experiments (Warlocks or Bracada wizards alike), Guardians created by the ancients which are cyborgs or machines and creatures from the 7 Planes). The Angels are living creatures so they are no Guardians and as I know they appeared some time AS. And in MM8 the Ancients sent Escaton and not Angels. The second option is that they are from one of the 7 Planes, most probably Plane of Light which I don't think is possible because of the already mentioned heart attack. So they were created on Planet of Enroth AS or came from the Void as the Kreegans. I highly doubt that Angels are aliens like the Kreegans. So most probably their origin is Planet of Enroth and they are result of some experiment. Also King Magnus II (most probably Gavin Magnus) found Celeste 499 AS.

And here comes my own speculations. Angels are created for the purpose to be Celeste guardians probably by Gavin Magnus himself who is immortal. The only other living creatures which are immortal in MM Universe are the Ancients (at least I don't know to be any other). So Gavin Magnus could be an Ancient one who lost his memory or a half breed. And in the light of that one could say that Angels are Ancients doing. Of course the last paragraph is a pure speculation.

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted January 21, 2018 07:29 PM

pumma said:
Back to Angels origin. Now I believe that the possibility of their origin to be a result of Wizard experiment is no less than 90%. Also I have remembered another piece of information which could explain the risk of possible heart attack among the fantasy genre purists especially the religious ones. So I am not going to make the above mentioned piece of information public but I could send it to Verriker for example who seems to be interested in the topic.

I have not seen verriker for some time but fire away, I'm curious.
____________
So you're saying.. the dead are rising from their graves?
Excellent! I need some target practice!

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frostymuaddib
frostymuaddib


Promising
Supreme Hero
育碧是白痴
posted January 21, 2018 09:09 PM

@pumma

Tarnum is also immortal, and he was born human. Maybe Gavin Magnus obtained his immortality, as Tarnum did (maybe not the exact way, as Tarnum's was a curse)?
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"Occam's shuriken: when the answer is elusive, never rule out ninjas." -- Dr. Gordon Freeman (Freeman's Mind)
"lol" -- VERRIKER VON ERWINSSEN

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pumma
pumma


Hired Hero
posted January 21, 2018 10:13 PM
Edited by pumma at 22:14, 21 Jan 2018.

frostymuaddib said:
@pumma

Tarnum is also immortal, and he was born human. Maybe Gavin Magnus obtained his immortality, as Tarnum did (maybe not the exact way, as Tarnum's was a curse)?


Yes, Tarnum. Gavin Magnus was slain for the first time and came back to life for his own surprise at the Battle of Steelhorn. But these information is from Heroes Chronicles and I am not sure how it fits the Original Universe which was changed more or less after the Heavenly Forge cancellation.

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted January 31, 2018 11:56 PM

Gavin Magnus died again during the Reckoning, but due to his immortal state he survived that as well. Short description from his bio in the Bullard files. Although I don't recall any mentioning about HOW he became an immortal. Just that it puzzles him and he believes the God has intentions for him (this also lead to his plans in H4). Can find exact text is you want.

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XEL
XEL

Tavern Dweller
posted July 02, 2018 12:30 PM bonus applied by Maurice on 02 Jul 2018.
Edited by XEL at 00:23, 20 Jul 2018.

I have been able to talk to Gregory Fulton, the lead designer of HoMM3. I did so on behalf of a Russian fan community called Tavern of Might and Magic that I am a part of.

Conversing with Greg was a great pleasure and an interesting, nostalgic experience. I asked him numerous questions regarding his work at New World Computing, particularly about the lore of the Might and Magic universe. Below is the summary of those answers to my questions regarding MM and HoMM that Greg was able to give. Huge thanks to Marzhin and David Mullich for providing his e-mail address.

Like a phoenix, Might and Magic rises from the ashes thanks to the support from its fans, as well as from the Ancients who created it.



Hey, Xel.

When working on HoMM3, I gave Campaign Creators the overall story structure and mission objectives.  As long as they worked within those parameters, I gave them a relatively free hand to expand any needed ‘lore’ details.  Sometimes lore was created with specific meaning and a long term goal.  Sometimes lore was created ‘off the cuff’ with little additional thought.  All of this depended on the individual Map Maker, and some took their ‘lore’ more seriously than others.

For assistance on this subject, I reached out to Jennifer Bullard and Paul Rattner, but they did not respond to my emails.  It  has been years since we last communicated, and I suspect the email addresses I have are woefully out of date.

To this end, I purposely left the deep lore questions unanswered.  I could have given my personal opinions, but no definitive answers, so I thought it best to do nothing.

Take care.

Sincerely,

Greg


P.S. If it is not too much trouble, in your post, I would appreciate it if you could mention that I currently run a small  video game news aggregation website named Aggroholics.com. I am also working on two personal indie video game projects.  The first is not what most people would expect.  The second is exactly what most people would expect.  Within the next 3-5 years, I hope they will reach the market, but as with any entrepreneurial effort, the likelihood for failure is far greater than the chance for success.


= = = = =


Greg Fulton: I will answer these questions to the best of my recollection, but please keep in mind, it has been almost 20 years since HoMM3 and HoMM3: AB were created.”


XEL: Have you followed the games that came out after you quit NWC (like Heroes Chronicles, HoMM4, etc,) to some degree?

GF: I continue to follow the M&M catalog of games.  Specifically, I have all seven HoMM titles, and have played each to varying degrees.



XEL: Did you consider the Price of Loyalty expansion for HoMM2 canon?

GF: Price of Loyalty was not developed in house at New World Computing, but contracted out to Cyberlore Studios.  It was on the shelves before I ever joined NWC, and I do not recall ever having any lore discussions regarding the expansion.

With this in mind, I cannot give an authoritative answer to this question… I can only give you my personal opinion.  Yes, I consider it canon.



XEL: Does Price of Loyalty take place on planet Enroth or just some random world (like HoMM 1-4 scenarios do)?

GF: Succession Wars, Restoration of Erathia, and Armageddon’s Blade all took place on the same planet, but in different locales.  For Price of Loyalty, I had no reason to believe it was not on the same planet, but tucked away in a different region so it would not interfere with NWC’s ongoing work.

Keep in mind, if in some way it did present a ‘creative or continuity issue’, I could easily imagine a quick conversation among the design leads to retcon it to another world.



XEL: How familiar were you with the story and lore of the core Might and Magic series (particularly MM7, as it also takes place in Antagarich) and other Heroes titles?

GF: Prior to becoming an employee at New World Computing, I was like most fans.  I played the games, followed the story, but was not deep into the lore. After becoming an employee, I focused on ‘big picture’ elements affecting what I was doing.

For the gritty details, I relied on Christian Vanover and Jennifer Bullard to notify me of any thorny issues. I had near zero involvement in the development of MM7.



XEL: How far ahead had you planned the storyline for future installments when working on HoMM3?

GF: Officially, there were never any storylines planned beyond the games in production.  If we had any goal, it was to loosely tie one game into the next.  MM6 into HoMM3 into MM7 into HoMM:AB, etc.

Having a ‘grand plan’ typically requires a singular individual, with the desire and power, to enforce such a long term goal over multiple years and multiple teams.  In game development, people come and go, teams come and go, and turnover is high. For example, after HoMM3:AB, 3 of the 5 team leads either left the company or moved on to other projects.



XEL: How much were you involved in the second HoMM3 expansion’s development? The Shadow of Death was released after  you’ve already left NWC, but maybe you know something about its story and lore details (so that we know if it’s appropriate to ask you questions regarding SoD)?

GF: I was not involved in the conception or creation of SoD.  As far as I know, Jennifer Bullard was the project’s Lead Designer, and any questions you have about SoD would best be directed to her.



XEL: In one of pre-release short stories published on the official website prior to the release of HoMM3, the one that serves as a brief introduction to the game’s setting, there’s this part: The History of Erathia is long indeed, and like the Ironfists of Enroth, the Gryphonhearts have been the ruling family since before the Silence.”

However, HoMM1’s manual features letters from Lord Ironfist that established him coming to Enroth from another world and uniting that continent-spanning kingdom under his rule. HoMM2 was stated to take place 25 years after the end of HoMM1 campaign, Roland and Archibald being Lord Ironfist’s sons. That makes Ironfists ruling from around 1126 A.S. (After the Silence).

Was that backstory subtly retconned (and thus, HoMM1 is just Ironfist fighting other lords to succeed the throne that has already belong to his family)? Was it just a mistake? Or something else entirely?

GF: To me, this looks like a simple mistake.


[XEL: Fun fact. The part about the Gryphonhearts ruling Erathia since before the Silence was retconned in Heroes Chonicles: Warlords of the Wasteland. That game clearly takes place after the Silence and the downfall of Colonial Government, with technology already being quasi medieval, the oppresive empire of Bracaduun ruling over most of the continent, and there being a barbarian conquest several generations prior.

Granted, the campaign texts never directly state that WotW takes place after the Silence, but the depiction of the world heavily implies that. Plus, Armageddon’s Blade appears on the final map along with its default text about the hero finding the vault of the Ancients from before the Silence.]



XEL: Near the end of the Armageddon’s Blade campaign Gelu has a dream that involves him uniting Antagarich, doing so with the help of a blade (presumed to be the eponymous sword) and a mysterious stel-haired woman. Who was the woman?

GF: Marcus Pregent was responsible for putting together the fine details of the Armageddon’s Blade Campaign.  If  I remember correctly, he was simply laying the groundwork for potential storylines he was hoping to develop in later expansions.  Officially, there were no plans for the steel-haired woman.



XEL: Also, Gelu’s dream is revealed to be prophetic, as one possible course of events. The other being that a great destruction befalls the worlds if Gelu’s destiny is disrupted. Was the Reckoning (the destruction of the world depicted in HoMM4) planned way back then, or was it just a potential story branch you guys considered, and the team decided to make it happen later?

GF: Again, this was Marcus laying the groundwork for potential storylines in later expansions.  At the time, this ‘story hook’ was unrelated to HoMM4.  Lore work for HoMM4, and the idea for ‘the Reckoning’, did not begin until long after I had left NWC.



XEL: Can you tell us more about the original version of AB with the Forge?  What was the story and its key characters?

GF: Conceptually, the story went something like this…

Following M&M7, Archibald's former 'Advisors' restored production to an ancient wonder called the 'Heavenly Forge'. Using the Heavenly Forge, these Advisors could fashion any manner of artifact or technology. Creating a futuristic city (Forge) and an army composed of cybernetically enhanced creatures armed with high tech weaponry, the Advisors set out to conquer the world.  
Ground zero was Erathia.

Following the Restoration of Erathia, Catherine musters the nation’s remaining forces to halt the techno-hordes of the Forge cities. If the line breaks, Erathia will be lost. With Catherine and Roland commanding the front lines, another hero is needed to search for Erathia's last hope for survival; the fabled Armageddon’s Blade.

For this sacred quest, Catherine chooses Gelu, the half-human, half-elf commander of the Erathia's elite guerilla warriors: Forestguard.  Gelu understands the importance of  his quest. What he does not know is the truth of his origins.

A campaign structure was in place, with Marcus responsible for putting it all together.  To the best of my knowledge, the campaign story went something like this…

1. Deyja soldiers with ‘strange equipment’ invade Erathia’s northern border.  Catherine leads the charge to stop them.
2. Gelu is enlisted to fight a shadow war on the Deyja-Erathian border.
3. Roland leads an army to assist and reinforce Catherine’s position.
4. Gelu is tasked with locating the pieces to construct Armageddon’s Blade.
5. Gelu is tasked with finding a Grand Smith to fashion Armageddon’s Blade.
6. Gelu, Catherine, and Roland lead the final push to destroy the Heavenly Forge.

There was supposed to be an ending cinematic where Gelu drives Armageddon’s Blade into the Heavenly Forge, creating a blast wave destroying only the Forge towns and troops, leaving the land and its people cleansed of its influence.

There were additional branch missions involving a Forge hero (so players could experience the Forge town), but I cannot recall specifically the story or mission details.

I also had plans to divulge information proving Catherine and Gelu were related by blood.  Ever notice both have red hair?



XEL: Were the five side campaigns and their protagonists different, and to what degree?

GF: No, the five side campaigns were conceived completely separate from the main Armageddon’s Blade campaign, but there were adjustments after the Forge was cut.



XEL: What was the creature line-up of the Forge?

GF: Concerning the Forge, this webpage…

…gets almost everything right.  What is missing are details for the Tier 7 troop, which was supposed to be dragon-like Mech.

Personally, I got a kick out of Ubisoft’s April Fool’s concept art for the Pyro, Jump Soldier, and Tank.



XEL: Since the rise of an entire technological faction in Deyja is a very significant event, what was supposed to happen with the world later?  What happens to the Heavenly Forge itself after Kastore and his allies are defeated?

GF: As you can determine from the original story synopsis, in the end, Armageddon’s Blade was supposed to wipe the world clean of all Forge influence.  Basically, the world was restored to its pre-Forge state.



XEL: Is there a chance that the original maps for the campaign or their texts remain somewhere?  It’d be interesting to know the actual plans and progress made by the team head as well as your personal thoughts on the matter.

GF: Possible, but unlikely. Someone at Ubisoft, with access to the original game assets from the 3D0 auction, might be able to turn up something, but keep in mind, the working AB campaign maps were effectively ‘converted’.  There was little reason to hold onto the old material, and if the original working AB campaign maps do exist, I suspect they are in an unfinished form.

As for my personal thoughts… I think the cancellation of the Forge content, and its subsequent replacement by the Conflux content… was a blessing in disguise.  My answers to subsequent questions reveal my reasons as to why.



XEL: David Mullich has mentioned different versions of the Forge town being pitched during the development:

"We did have some debate about what visual form this technology would take. I advocated more of a Jules Verne glass-and-brass look; others wanted a WWII look."

Can you provide more information on these?

GF: I vaguely remember the initial conversation I had with David Mullich as to the competing visual styles.  At the time, year 1999, when David dropped the name Jules Verne, I immediately thought of 20K Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the  Center of the Earth, H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, etc.

What was being proposed was art deco, and I had envisioned the Forge being a horrifying, corrupting, evil faction.  To me, the WW2 option made more sense. Later, Phelan Sykes (HoMM3’s Lead Artist) showed to me a number of different books with ‘oppressive’ art deco architecture. Where David pointed to Jules Verne, Phelan pointed to the movie Metropolis.  Phelan wanted a very gritty, very grungy, very squalid conception of what we today commonly call  ‘steampunk’.  After my conversations with her, I was sold on the direction.

Weeks later, I began to realize, what Phelan had envisioned, and what the NWC art staff could deliver, were two very different things.  Initial work on the Forge was not promising.  After the Forge was cancelled, I told David I had doubts about the ability of the NWC art staff to deliver on what Phelan had in mind.  David thought, as it was with HoMM3, it would take a lot of effort and numerous revisions to get what we wanted, but he thought it could be done.



XEL: What is your opinion: would Forge work in HoMM3?

GF: I believe so, but it would not be a trivial task.  The Forge can work as a high power, high maintenance, low population, steampunk faction, but artistic execution is absolutely critical and the troop line-up could use conceptual revision.  Provided the town and troops were visually exciting and inventive, and fit within the existing HoMM3 art style, I would hope most people would put aside any ‘cross genre’ reservations and simply enjoy the outrageousness.



XEL: Looking back on it after all these years, was it a concept that could have been realized well?

GF: In hindsight, was NWC capable of realizing the Forge concept?  I have my doubts.  I could have easily revised the troop line-up to deliver something more traditional, but in the end, my biggest concern was art.

Phelan Sykes gets nowhere near enough credit for the work she did as Lead Artist.  With David Mullich’s assistance, she, Scott White, Adam McCarthy, and George Almond, carried the NWC art staff to a level of quality they simply hadn’t reached before.  With HoMM3, the NWC art staff overachieved.  Unfortunately, when it came to the Forge, I think we simply asked of them something they simply could not deliver.



XEL: And can it still potentially be done well by modders?

GF: A small dedicated team with a clearly defined vision could certainly pull it off.

My suggestion? Embrace the basic concept, but don’t be afraid to deviate from the original idea, or play around with the troop types.  For artistic inspiration, I would point to Ubisoft’s April Fool’s concept art and the miniatures game Warmachine.



XEL: Conflux was originally supposed to be the new town in the second expansion. What was the original idea for Conflux’s backstory and the expansion itself?

GF: Originally, the Conflux was little more than a high concept; Elemental troops in an Elemental town.  Prior to Armageddon’s Blade, there was never any unique lore developed for it.

Like the Forge, the Conflux was supposed to be a relatively self-contained endeavor, and I did not expect to address it until after the first expansion was finished.  After the Forge was cancelled, the work on the Conflux was simply moved forward.



XEL: The released version of AB establishes the Great Conflux as the union of armies from the four Elemental Planes  (plus the fifth and sixth element -- thought and magic) that was sent by the Elemental Lords (called the elemental gods by  Roland in the campaign) to help stop Lucifer Kreegan from using Armageddon’s Blade to burn the world of Enroth.

The Conflux itself is shown to be composed of elementals who respect mortals, but the reasons why the four Elemental Lords sent them to Erathia’s aid are not made clear (which is highlighted by characters), only hinted at in AB and MM8 (the latter revealing that the Elemental Lords created the planet long ago, and that it’s destruction would victimize their planes),  Roland wondering about it and slightly distrusting the Conflux heroes.

Can you tell us more about the forming of the Conflux and it aiding Erathia against the Kreegans?

GF: My conception of the Conflux was relatively straightforward.

Conflux Heroes and the associated Elemental troops  were defenders of the natural world.  When there is a threat to its continued existence, they make their presence known,  assert themselves, and attempt to eliminate the threat. They have no allegiance to anyone or anything, other than the  preservation of the world.

Anything beyond this was developed after I departed NWC.



XEL: A key leader of the Conflux is Tamar the Wanderer, one of the Elemental Lords of Air, who seeks to gain knowledge and help those in need. He and his compatriots aid Erathia against the Kreegans, and Tamar uses his gift of premonition to warn her about important things regarding Roland, Gelu and Armageddon’s Blade.

However, Tamar’s face is described as hidden, only his beard being visible, and it isn’t clarified whether he’s an air elemental, a human, a genie or something else. Can you tell us more about him?

GF: Human.  This page gets the essentials correct.


XEL: In your FAQ on the Forge’s cancellation you highlighted the fact that the Inferno town is populated by aliens who look like demons -- those being Kreegans and the demon-like creatures they breed and summon: pit fiends, demons, efreeti, imps etc.

Jennifer Bullard has mentioned in an interview that the Kreegan are the original demons faced in MM worlds, and you viewed them as such. That means the demons in MM 1-5 and MM9 are Kreegans and their creatures, like in the case of the Inferno line-up. Inferno creatures are also present in the Underworld, a deep and vast network of cavern below Erathia, nearly a millennium before HoMM3 (and they are mostly exterminated in Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld).

In MM2 Devil Kings are even seen guarding an Ancient installation, which has an interesting implication of it being possible to “tame” Kreegans and/or their creatures in some way. Kreegans and their creatures present in those games are probably remnants of past invasion and/or agents that has arrived on a particular world (which fits well with demons being summoned in MM3).

Can you provide insight into how you viewed demons present in different games when developing the game?

GF: When developing HoMM3, my view of demons in MM was defined by Paul Rattner (Lead Designer of MM6).  He established their lore in MM6.  In doing this, as far as I was concerned, he laid the foundation for their story going forward.

As to ‘demons in MM1-5 and MM9 being Kreegans’, I think it is safe to assume all demons in the Jon Van Caneghem era are Kreegans, until a different developer or another game effectively explains otherwise.




XEL: Did you have some ideas on the origin of the Kreegan? One tavern rumor says: "when a devil travels, it journeys to its  plane before returning to our world". This implies that Kreegans control or at least have access to another plane of existence. Can you tell us more?

GF: This really is a question for Paul Rattner, as I did not create the Kreegans, I merely inherited them. Nevertheless, I understood the Kreegans to be alien invaders from another plane of existence.  Folklore would call them Demons from Hell.



XEL: What is the origin of angels and archangels? Don’t worry, we won't have a heart attack

GF: Over the course of my time at New World, on occasion, typically when taking a break, I would wander into Paul Rattner’s office.  Even though MM6 was in mid production, Paul was already thinking about MM7, so I made sure to update him on what was happening with HoMM3.

When I told him about the changes to the factions, I specifically mentioned the Angels.  At that point in time, Paul was essentially the lore master for the MM universe.  On the topic of the Angels and Arch Angels, he proposed they be sophisticated robots created by the Ancients to hunt down and eradicate the Kreegans.  I agreed, and we ran with it.

Later, after the Forge was shelved, I remember thinking to myself, “If people have a problem with the whole ‘goblins are aliens’ idea, I can only imagine what they will think if they figure out the true origins of the Angels.



XEL: Giants and titans are made of some rock-like material (which is especially evident in the titan’s HoMM2 and MM 6-7 death animation), but appear to be something more than just a golem. Moreover, their HoMM4 variation is clearly made of flesh?

Also a notable thing is that both angels and some giants and titans are allied with Bracada. Did you have any ideas about titan lore?

GF: Starting with HoMM4, I can tell you, I was only on the project for the first two weeks of its existence.  Why did the Titans shed their apparent inorganic appearance?  I honestly do not know.  It is possible the HoMM4 team, by setting the game on a completely new world, chose to reinvent the Titans as flesh and blood giants in the Greek tradition.  It is also possible a ‘lack of communication led to creative inconsistency’.

In terms of game mechanics, what Jon and I wanted to avoid, was having yet another group of troops immune to Mind Spells.  To  this end, I considered Naga, Giants, and Titans to be conceptually similar to Dendroids, but there was never any specific lore explanation crafted to elaborate on this idea.



XEL: Was Rionpoint named after Rion Gryphonheart, the founder of Erathia? Was it the region from which he hailed or the one from which he started to unite the humans or something else?

GF: To my knowledge, this was never specified, but it is logical to assume Rionpoint was named after Rion Gyrphonheart.



XEL: Edric’s bio says: “Edric's great grandfather was the first man in Erathia to domesticate and train a wild Griffin. Now, Edric continues what his father started by setting up Erathia's largest Griffin breeding grounds for use in the King's armies.”

However, the Long Live the Queen campaign says that the aforementioned first King Gryphonheart tamed the griffins and trained them for war, eventually uniting the divergent human colonies into Erathia. I guess it is a mistake in Edric’s bio and it was instead an ancestor of his who was the first man to tame a griffin, is that correct?

GF: This appears to be a continuity error created by a lack of research or simple miscommunication.  It happens.  Were I to correct it, your solution, specifying an ‘ancestor’ would be appropriate.



XEL: Sephinroth is introduced in The Restoration of Erathia and described in her bio as the only known woman ever to  bear the title of warlock. In MM7, which takes place after RoE, there are female warlocks in Nighon. From the lore standpoint, it means that by the time of MM7, the warlocks have admitted more female members into their ranks. Can you tell us more about this development?

GF: I cannot.  This is really a question for the designers of MM7.



XEL: Did you have ideas on what Vokial’s kingdom was, where it's located and what is its current status?

GF: In the course of production, assistant designers routinely create dangling ‘story hooks’.  These ‘hooks’ are purposely laid down to later be picked up by the creator of the hook, or someone else.  Vokial’s biography was written by Christian Vanover.  After HoMM3 shipped, Christian moved onto Legends of Might and Magic, and Vokial’s story was left untold.




XEL: The Forest Guard is described as having been Erathia's eyes and ears for centuries. It is also distinct from the  rest of Erathian military in that it has worked together with the forces of AvLee numerous, even admitting Avleeans into their ranks. Was the Forest Guard formed before, during or after the Timber Wars?

GF: This is a tough one.  I remember creating the Forest Guard, but do not remember at what point in the timeline they were conceived.  Do not hold me to this, but if I recall correctly, they were created during the Timber Wars, specifically to counter the elves of AvLee.  Later, after the Timber Wars, Forest Guard evolved and became a general purpose ‘special forces’ group.



XEL: There is a scenario map in SoD called Adventures of Jared Haret. In it, the eponymous explorer, Jared Haret the Knight, return from an expedition into subterranean tunnels under a lake to find his castle in the highlands (snowy landscape on the map) captured by the neighboring wizard.  Scenarios in Heroes, with only a few exceptions, usually depict some 'random' world without any connection to the main setting.  Is this the case with AoJH, or could it take place in the game's world? On the Erathian-Bracadan border, for instance.

GF: I did not work on SoD, and cannot speak specifically to AoJH, but in general, individual single player scenarios were considered isolated creations.  However, as you point out, there are exceptions. Typically, these exceptions had to do with individual Map Makers and the unique storylines they created and pursued.  In these instances, as long as what they created did not interface with the over arching story goals, it was permitted.


XEL: Can you tell us some additional details on Gelu's background and potential eventual fate you and/or Marcus Pregent created?

GF: Unfortunately, there really is nothing more to tell.  What few ideas I had in mind were thrown away and never developed when the Forge was cut, and there was no long term plan beyond the second expansion.  Marcus may have had some ideas, but we never discussed them.




XEL: Did you have any lore and story ideas about characters that weren't realized or properly reflected in the game?

GF: Not really.  HoMM story was basically created on-the-fly, very similar to comic book storytelling and continuity.  
Long term, game-to-game plans are rare and something of a luxury.




XEL: Was there any ideas on the future of Deyja and Archibald's advisors (who became its new rulers in MM7) in the light of Forge's cancellation?

GF: Paul Rattner may have had some ideas pertaining to the subject, but we never discussed any such subject.




XEL: What is your personal opinion on the advisors' (and, by extension, the Forge faction they created) actions and  motivations? Do you think they were driven more by their desire to lead the world to a better future (with them as leaders) or their lust for power? Or were those motivations roughly equally present?

GF: Simple lust for power and domination, but I am sure there were plenty of rationalizations.




XEL: Can you tell us more about Forge's 7th lvl creature. Was that a cyborg dragon or something more akin to a golem (like in HoMM4)? Was it flying?

GF “It was not flying and definitely not a cyborg.  If my memory is correct, it was supposed to be robotic, so more golem-like in origin.”




XEL: What is your vision of the perfect MM game and the perfect HoMM game? We realize that this is a very broad subject, but it's be nice if you list your key thoughts on both.

GF: “Yes, this is a very broad subject and well beyond the scope of this interview.  It is also an extremely tough question to answer because there is no objectively right answer.  Video game design is one big ‘judgement call’.  You create what you find exciting and appealing.  In the end, when the final product reaches the retail market, you hope there will be plenty of people who agree with your vision.  Nevertheless…

As to my idea of a perfect HoMM game… I would respectfully decline to answer.  I am currently working on two personal indie projects, both in early pre-production.  One of them is a HoMM style game.  In any conversation pertaining to an ‘ideal HoMM’ game, I would be effectively talking about what I am currently attempting, and at this time, I would prefer to keeps all details private.  Within the next 3-5 years, I hope both games will be published, but as with any entrepreneurial effort, the likelihood for failure is far greater than the chance for success.

As to my idea of a perfect MM game… this one gives me pause.  With a finite scope and limited ambition, one part of me desires a high quality, traditional, single player, turn based, tile based, RPG, with a party of six adventurers.  With a larger scope and unlimited ambition, another part of me wants a real time, first person, 1 to 4 player, co-operative, action-adventure game with a moderate story, heavy RPG elements, and a reactive world.  With these basic concepts as a starting point, the next step would be 6 to 12 months of franchise research and current market examinations.  Along the way, I would expect there to be mild, major, or wholesale alterations.  

In the end, I would hope for something unique, honoring the franchise’s traditional foundations, with one foot in the past and another in the future.




XEL: Did NWC have plans or rather ideas for any town types other than Forge and Conflux? If yes, do you remember some details about them?

GF: At the time, there were no such plans for additional town types.




XEL: Was there a specific reason (or several reason) for the exclusion of halflings from the Tower faction?

GF: I wanted something more creative and more visually interesting than a halfling.  For a replacement candidate, it was a toss up between Gremlins and Red Caps.  Gremlins were more familiar, so they made the cut.  When the Halflings were removed, there was always an intention to use one of the expansions as an opportunity to reinsert them as a neutral troop.




XEL: The intro cinematic for Armageddon's Blade is apparently a remnant of the original version of the story with the Forge, or at least inspired by it. The most notable difference is that the Blade is found rather that Forge. Can you tell us more about the intro's conception and inclusion?

GF: Originally, the intro cinematic was a teaser trailer made specifically for E3, with the intention to eventually use it for the final game.  At the end of the cinematic, instead of finding Armageddon’s Blade, there was supposed to be something akin to high tech ‘Predator vision’ scanning Gelu, Roland, and Catherine.  This implication was to set the stage for the Forge as a sci-fi town.  After the Forge was cancelled, Armageddon’s Blade was inserted as the replacement.


XEL: What can you say to Might and Magic fans? Any wishes, advices, etc.

GF: When you think of the ‘old school’ RPG’s from the 1980’s (Ultima, Bard’s Tale, Dungeon Master, and Wizardry), all of them are essentially gone.  Surprisingly, M&M is still here in one form or another.  When I watch Twitch.tv, it still amazes me to see an moderately active HoMM3 community.  On behalf of JVC and everyone who worked at NWC, thank you for continuing to play Might & Magic.

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Galaad
Galaad

Hero of Order
Li mort as morz, li vif as vis
posted July 02, 2018 01:45 PM

Historical! Thanks a lot for this XEL!!

I will add it to OP a bit later.

Muchas QP Muchos
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He JVC taught us how to use skeletons. -Ghost

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verriker
verriker


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Erwin Data Modeler
posted July 02, 2018 02:22 PM

hey that is really incredible stuff XEL mate, great findings and thanks to Greg, I never thought we would hear from that guy, awesome lol

by the way did you receive my private message from a while back man, I am not sure if it reached you cheers lol
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AncientDruids
AncientDruids


Known Hero
BEware THe DRuids
posted July 02, 2018 03:51 PM

He'll be back ... in 3-5 years.


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