Daniel VS. Childhood: Heroes of Might and Magic

I played a lot of Game Boy games when I was a kid, and I never got any good at them. Fifteen years later, I’m revisiting these games so that I can finally achieve victory. This is Daniel VS. Childhood.


Heroes of Might and Magic was a game that made me face my own mortality. It was difficult in a way that seemed like an anomaly. I would take my character, usually a barbarian named something like Thundraxx or Yog, or Desdemona, the ill-equipped Sorceress, and arm them with peasants and trolls and archers. Then, I’d trot them around the castle, collecting supplies so that I could breed more trolls and archers.

But I’d never stray too far, because if I went outside of the safe zone, I’d run into one of the computer-controlled players, who were also probably named Yog or Thundraxx or Desdemona. And then I’d die. Because while I’d been steadily and comfortably building up my troops, Yog must have instantly recruited every monster and soldier in the territory. My army would be slain in a way that seemed unfair to me as a child. Why would they make a game that was impossible to beat? Where was Yog getting his dozens of dragons from? I felt like I was coming close to begging in order to get just one elf to join my cause.

Oh. Damn.

Oh. Damn.

For years, you’re taught that intelligence will always beat brawn. The people you face might have more muscle than you, but with some quick thinking and a little luck, you’ll soon be wearing a helmet made from the inside of their head. Heroes of Might and Magic doesn’t play by this rule. The game may as well have been called Bullying Middle Earth, because, as I learned when I replayed it yesterday, you don’t really need any of that “magic” part. Instead, you gather supplies from your safe zone and you wait. You expand your platoons and you wait. And only then, when you have an outlandish number in your ranks, do you plunge headfirst into the darkness and conquer everything that is available for you to conquer.

Heroes of Might and Magic is a game about strategy that only has one: Increase your population infinitely, and then mercilessly run down anyone that opposes you. Stay quiet and raise a thousand phoenixes. And then take those phoenixes and exact a scorched earth campaign on the morons that thought that a few centaurs and two dwarves would be enough to go outside with. You give yourself a few weeks of cautious repetition and boredom, and then you crush your realm and claim your right to be king.

Fear me, Heroes of Might and Magic, for you are weak, and I am far too strong.

Daniel: 1

Childhood: 1

Next: Blade

To catch up on Daniel VS. Childhood, click here.


2 responses to “Daniel VS. Childhood: Heroes of Might and Magic

  1. That old game has a nice cover but sounds like a pain in the arse to play. It sounds like a cross between an old PC game by a name I forget (a demo of it came with a Roman Empire simulation game) and that new “app”/online game with the commercials featuring skeletons and “barbarians” charging some castle occupied by a wizard with big hair. Clash of Clans is it?

    Looking back at some of the older games, it’s a wonder why they appealed to us in the first place. I can name a few “fantasy” games that would play easier than this one sounds. Sword of Hope 2 is a good but creepy one.

    I, too, have been going back and beating games I couldn’t over 15 years ago. I have been tuned into this ROM/Emulator business, and it’s been a minor source of relief to my youth and present age. It’s kinda weird, though, first beating a game like Ninja Gaiden for the NES…using every cheat option I can find:P heh In most cases, I don’t have any good “cheats” but make use of the Save State option to the maximum.

  2. Pingback: Daniel VS. Childhood: Blade | Daniel is funny·

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