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Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia

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Title Screen

Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia

Developer: New World Computing[1]
Publisher: 3DO Company[1]
Platform: Windows
Released internationally: February 28, 1999[1]

AnimationsIcon.png This game has unused animations.
CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MovieIcon.png This game has unused cinematics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
Sgf2-unusedicon1.png This game has unused abilities.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia is a turn-based strategy game with RPG elements released for Microsoft Windows in 1999. Despite its age, it still has a cult following and a huge playerbase, especially in Slavic countries.


Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info
HoMM3 sprite AVXMKTT0.gif
Unused Graphics & Animations
Watch out for shooting Centaurs!

Fear Spell

In the game's files, one can find a description for an unused 4th level spell, Fear:

HoMM3RoE-UnusedSpell-Fear.pngH3abspr SB56Fear.pngHoMM3RoE-UnusedSpell-Fear2.pngUnusedSpell-Fear3.png

It shares animation with Gorgons' Death Stare ability.

Strikes an enemy unit with such fear that it becomes unable to attack and nearly unable to move.
Cost: 16 mana points
Movement penalty: 25%

{Basic Fear}
Strikes an enemy unit with such fear that it becomes unable to attack and nearly unable to move.
Spell Point cost is half that of Normal Fear.

{Advanced Fear}
Strikes an enemy unit with such fear that it becomes unable to attack and nearly unable to move.
Penalty to movement is twice that of Basic Fear.

{Expert Fear}
Strikes an enemy unit with such fear that it becomes unable to attack and nearly unable to move.
Penalty to movement is three times that of Basic Fear. 

It's impossible to receive this spell by any means, although in unpatched versions of the game it could be randomly found in Pyramids. It's fully coded and works as intended. According to Greg Fulton, one of the devs[2]:

"The Fear spell was ‘cut’ because it was little more than ‘bad morale’ in another form.  Later, I thought it was better to convert the mechanic into the Fear ability for the Azure Dragon."

The name would later be reused for an ability of the Azure Dragon creature added in the Armageddon's Blade expansion, though that version of the ability has a different animation and effect (it makes the enemy randomly skip their turn).

Badge of Courage gives an interesting bonus, that is not present in its description. According to Gus Smedstad[3]:

The Badge of Courage has an interesting history;
originally it made you immune to the Fear spell. The Fear spell, as you
may know, got dropped as being unbalancing. The Badge of Courage then
got changed to "+1 Morale and immunity to all Mind spells". Berserk is
a mind spell. Unfortunately, the help text wasn't updated.

- Gus

Unused Sounds

Unused Creature Sounds

War Unicorn's spellcasting sound
Minotaur King's spellcasting sound
Manticore's spellcasting sound
Scorpicore's spellcasting sound
Harpy Hag's spellcasting sound
Dragon Fly spellcasting sound
Alternative Evil Eye's and Beholder's death sound
Efreet Sultan's spellcasting sound
Devil's and Archdevil's moving sound
Unused sound of Magog's Fireball
Centaur's unused shooting sound (HoMM2 placeholder)
Alternative Lich's melee attack sound (HoMM2 placeholder)
Shooting turret sound from HoMM2

HoMM2 Spellcasting Sounds Leftovers

There are many sounds that were imported straight from the previous game, Heroes of Might and Magic II, only to be replaced with new sounds anyway. Perhaps they were used as placeholders during development?

Armageddon sound
Cold Ray sound
Cold Ring sound
Dragon Slayer sound
Fireball sound
Death Ripple sound
Magic Arrow sound
Mirror Image sound
Elemental Storm sound
Haste sound
Unused also in HoMM2
Leftover sound of an end of creature teleportation from HoMM1, also present in HoMM2 but unused

Unused "Bad Luck" Sound

In the unpatched versions of the game, there were a lot of references to negative luck, even though in the final release having negative luck does nothing. However, there is still a sound file related to negative luck.

Alternative Fire Shield Sound

Alternative In-Game

Placeholder Sound

For whatever reason, the "Uh-oh!" notification sound from earlier versions of ICQ, an Internet chat client from 1996, can be found in the game's sound files. It plays when a sound event fired, but the requested sound file is missing.


Hidden Map Content

Myth and Legend

Although three players (red, blue and brown) can't be controlled by human by default, blue and brown have in their starting towns a few background events, pointing that there were plans to give these players a broader plot and make them playable.

These are blue player events as seen in map editor:

Day 1 - An Intro
You are Hera, the Queen of the Gods.  The only reason you decided to join in this little party was to keep your husband, Zeus under some relative control.  The little pervert loves the ladies, and this is just another excuse to go carousing.  Maybe you'll do a little of your own.

Day 1 - Heroes
You were able to easily recruit Hephaestus, your son and his friend, Prometheus.  Unlike Zeus you understand the meaning of fidelity and don't have gads of offspring running around Mt. Olympus.

Day 2 - Leda
Zeus is up to his old tricks again.  He turns himself into a swan so he can go visit some pretty peasant girl.  Enraged you decide to get him good.  Since he used the swan form you decide it's fitting that she lays eggs.  Giggling, you enjoy the look on his face when he figures it out.

Day 3 - The Eggs
You ensure that the rumor mill knows that Leda gave birth to eggs and it's probably Zeus's fault.  The entire circle is buzzing about the news.  How extremely strange, and what will Hera do?  You figure this could be good to get something out of the cheating Hubby of yours.

Day 5 - Hatched
Leda's eggs hatched.  Two boys and a girl.  You smile secretively and go visit the girl.  You place a special little curse on her and sneak off again.  She'll be nothing but trouble for the mortal society.  Eventually women will reject Zeus because it'll be too much trouble.

Day 6 - Trouble!
You storm over to Zeus's castle and publicly humiliate him.  He doesn't dare do anything because he fears that you'll do something nasty to the kids.  You carry on for a while until he bribes you with some crystal.  Since you have that castle to build you accept his bribe.

Day 8 - Theseus
It seems that Theseus is wandering about doing good stuff again.  You hate it when he does that.  He keeps mucking about in your plans to make some mortals life more interesting.  Today he spoiled a perfect plan for vengeance on that mouthy peasant in the village. 

Day 10 - Vengeance
Deciding that it would be better if he was more occupied with something else you send a horde of barbarians his way.  He spends the entire day fighting them off.  He does succeed, but won't be bothering you for a while.  His town got burned and he's going to spend his time and resources rebuilding.

Brown player events:

Day 1 - An Intro
Is it not obvious that you are Hades?  You are the God of the Underworld, and have a distinct advantage over the rest of the Gods.  You're better than they are.  Not to mention so distracted by the constant squabbling that occurs.  More than likely they'll quarrel while you look for the Cuirass.

Day 1 - Heroes
You take a quick stock your loyal followers.  First, there is Erebus, the God of Darkness.  He is always willing to have some fun.  And then there is Rhadamanthus, a judge within your realm.  Since you gave him the post he's willing to take time out of his busy schedule to search for you.

There is also an empty island with an empty event at 121:141:0.


Executable provides information about race of every hero. This unused trait was ditched in AB where every Planeswalker and campaign hero have assigned a placeholder "human" race, only Gelu is described as "Elf" for some reason. The collection of races was:

Human Dwarf Elf Genie Efreet Demon Vampire Lich Troglodite Minotaur Goblin Ogre Gnoll Lizardman

Leftovers from Previous Games

Stat Modifiers Titles

"ArrayTxt.txt" that has the following morale and luck titles that were present in HoMM2, but for some reason can't be found in HoMM3:


-3 = Cursed
-2 = Awful
-1 = Bad
0 = Normal
+1 = Good
+2 = Great
+3 = Irish


-3 = Treason
-2 = Awful
-1 = Poor
0 = Normal
+1 = Good
+2 = Great
+3 = Blood!

Revisional Differences

Artifacts Events

In RoE 1.0 player could quite often run into one of four events randomly assigned to an artifacts with unedited properties:

Buy an Artifact from Leprechaun

Defeat Guards

Learn Right Skill

Cerberi Atack

There is also one more completely unused event that could bring immediate attack of Cerberi; it's probably leftover from HoMM2, where there is risk of being attacked by Rogues when lifting artifact off. In RoE 1.0 there were no Rogues, thus it was dead and buried:

You come upon an ancient artifact. As you reach for it, a pack of Rogues leap out of the brush to guard their stolen loot. You come upon an ancient artifact. As you reach for it, a pack of Cerberi leap out of the brush to attack, not willing to give up their treasure without a fight.

Queen Catherine

Queen Catherine's portrait underwent a slight lifting between RoE and AB:

HoMM3 Bitmaps HPL128QC AB.png HoMM3 Bitmaps HPL128QC RoE.png


As the reigning queen of Erathia, Catherine continues to wage war to secure her homeland's borders and reestablished the peace built by her father. However, support for her position is faltering as the country grows weary of war. Queen Catharine Ironfist of Enroth is the eldest and only surviving daughter of the late King Gryphonheart. She returned to Erathia upon learning of her father's death, discovering only then that the nation of her birth was being torn apart by its enemies.

Gremlin Rush and Instant Army Tactics

In RoE 1.0 and 1.1 hireable heroes in Tavern always had full set of starting units, not only the first two available in the beginning of the week. Moreover retreating hero was returning to Tavern with new units and restored movement points. It lead to abuses, most notable example was when Tower player after spending not that big amount of money could hire 1-2 Wizards/Alchemists and after stacking and upgrading their Gremlins, send them to fight with only one unit. After retreating, they could be rehired with more Gremlins, easily letting the player to build armies of 300-400 Master Gremlins on the first day.

The second strategy allowed on middle stages of the game to hire a heroes, stack their troops in a castle, dismiss them and hire more of them in a never-ending loop, limited only by amount of possessed Gold. It was easy method to prevent weak and moderate enemy heroes from taking over castles.

These tactics were cut back in 1.2 patch thanks to these changes:

  • only the first two heroes per week come with a full set of monsters, consecutives have only one unit
  • retreating heroes don't restore their movement points and have only one unit after rehiring

Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade

The first expansion to base HoMM3. It included six new campaigns, added a new alignment, Conflux (which was originally meant for Shadow of Death, but was added instead of the Forge alignment due to negative reactions towards it from fans), and introduced new creatures, artifacts, and map objects.

Unused Sounds

Unused Rogue Sounds

Two neutral creatures introduced in Armageddon's Blade use the same soundbanks as existing creatures: the Rogues sound like Gremlins, and Sharpshooters sound like Archers. Strangely, the Rogues do have their own soundbank in the files, but it goes unused. The Sharpshooters have nothing, however.

Unused Faerie Dragon spellcasting sound

The reason why it wasn't used is unknown.

Hidden Developers Credits

In "Hurry Up and Wait" scenario, the last scenario of hidden AB campaign, on the day 120 (day of fulfilment of victory conditions) player receives this timed event:

Day 120 - 120B Gilligan's Island Spoof

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
a tale of a sci-fi trip,

that started in Agoura Hills,

aboard the New World ship.

Big Mike was a mighty tired dad,

and Ryan made us stuffed.

Five others worked upon the game

for five long months. (for five long months.)

Thunder Clap!!!!

The fans they started getting rough,

the Forge Town it was tossed,

if not for the courage of the design crew

the Expansion would be lost. (the Expansion would be lost)

The expansion got setup to ship

in August summer time,

with Ryan Den,

and Michael too,

the miser Dave,

and old Walt.

The designer, Greg,

Marcus and,

Jen's tough hand,

It's Armageddon's Blade!


Professor..................................Greg Fulton

Mr. Howell................................David Botan

Mrs. Howell (a.k.a. Lovey)........Walter Johnson

Ginger.......................................Marcus Pregent

Mary Ann..................................Jennifer Bullard

Skipper.....................................Michael Wolf

Gilligan......................................Ryan Den


Creature Portrait Placeholder

HoMM3AB H3sprite TWCRPORT.png

H3abspr Cprsmall CPrS122E.png

Town Miniature for Adventure Map List Placeholders

Unused for AB Unused and with broken palette for RoE
HoMM3AB ITPA H3sprite itprand.png HoMM3 ITPA H3sprite itprand.png

Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death

The second, standalone expansion to HoMM3. It added seven new campaigns, new terrain types, and combination artifacts.

Unused Artifacts

There are three unused combination artifacts: Diplomat's Suit (worn as a cloak), Ironfist of the Ogre (worn in the right hand), and Mired in Neutrality (worn on the torso). They all have placeholder icons and overworld sprites, and a description of "This is a kick-ass artifact". Wearing them does nothing.

Favorable Winds battlefield

Developers were planning to add a special sea battlefield for a favorable winds, just like it would be a new terrain. It uses Magical Plains graphic as a background.

HoMM3 bitmaps CmBkFW.png

Armageddon's Blade Features in The Shadow of Death

The Shadow of Death was meant to require installation of Armageddon's Blade to play the first expansion's content. It was discovered, however, that AB's new features are actually present in SoD files out of the box but are designed to remain hidden, and that they can be enabled by creating a few dummy files in the correct folders. In the game's main directory:


in DATA directory:


Blocked slot

When playing the game with installed SoD, but with AB CD-ROM, the game can use features from SoD such like combining artifacts, but blocked slot icon appears as a placeholder:

Placeholder for AB Icon used in SoD
HoMM3AB H3sprite ARTIfact HrArtNOT.png HoMM3SoD H3sprite ARTIfact HrArtNOT.png

Heroes Chronicles

Eight campaigns sold as eight standalone games with slightly different main menus and loading screens, and a new hero - Tarnum.

Hero Placeholder

Tarnum occurs in six variants: Barbarian, Knight, Beastmaster, Ranger, Wizard and Overlord. However, there is also a placeholder graphic, suggesting that there were plans for a seventh class.

Larger portrait placeholder Miniature for a heroes list

Unused Cinematic

Similar scene can be seen in Warlords of the Wastelands intro, but the Ancients faces are very blurred there and scene is fading really quickly. Also a spaceship is a bit different. Exactly the same, but empty spaceship can be seen in the Fiery Moon cinematic.