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Proto:Might and Magic V

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Might and Magic V.

In 1993, New World Computing released a non-interactive game demo for their upcoming Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen. Unlike the previous demo, this one's engine was more in-line with that of the final product. However, there were still a handful of changes between the demo and the final game.

Early Textures

Autoplay demo Final game
"View endgame?" Don't mind if I do! Aww, no endgame

The "View Endgame" option on the title screen was exchanged for "Other Options," in the final game. Additionally, the font for the options is a bit different.

Autoplay demo Final game
If you squint your eyes… … everything becomes clear

Distant sprites are rendered a little differently, in the final game.

Clouds of Xeen Darkside demo Darkside final
Hear the clickity-clack of the cobblestones Oh, they used those here, too? I don't feel safe on these roads…

The overworld pathways still use the Clouds of Xeen cobblestones, rather than the shattered-looking dark stone. Additionally, the mini-map icon for said pathway is either miscolored, or has been altered, in the demo.

Early Castleview

Autoplay demo Final game
MM5Demo CastleView.png MM5Final CastleView.png

Early Overworld

Autoplay demo Final game
Quite a barren place, this world Oh, look at all the new neighbors!

The demo takes the player (or viewer) on a path that would later become A4 X14 Y11 to A3 X04 Y09, in the final game. Strangely, it's the only time the Minimap is active in the entire demo. As such, it's also the easiest part of the game to compare to the final version.

Many objects were added to that area of the final game's map:

  • A4 X15 Y12: Tent - Castleview town pass vendor
  • A4 X13 Y15: Shrine - Luna the Druid
  • A3 X11 Y01: Well - no distinct properties
  • A3 X08 Y10: Tent - Dreyfus, High Priest of Mok
  • A3 X13 Y12: Tent - Simon, the Emerald Gemsmith
  • A3 X04 Y09: Tower - Great West Tower
  • A3 X02 Y10: Well - Well of Spells

Additionally, in the final, there is a load point six squares north of town leading from A4 to A3. This is because while the overworld in the demo is one double-sized map, the overworld is split into 24 separate maps organized into a 4-by-8 grid, in the final.

Early Dungeons

Four different locations are highlighted in the demo: a town, a "tower," the overworld, and a "dungeon." All of the locations do end up in the final game, though the dungeons, in particular, received some noteworthy changes.

Town Tower

Autoplay demo Final game
MM5Demo SandcasterSewer.png MM5Final SandcasterSewer.png
Autoplay demo Final game
H-how is THIS inside a tower…? Oh, it was UNDER the tower!

The tower within the town – which would later become Ellinger's tower – leads into what appears to be a… mine. This "tower mine" segment would later become the southwest corner of the Sandcaster Sewers (from X03 Y05) and, as such, gained some water and a sewer grate.

A small taste of things to come (eww)

Here's a map of the relevant segment of the Sandcaster Sewers, from the final.

Distant Dungeon

Autoplay demo Final game
What an inviting place! What a lonely old tower…
Let's go inside! Let's go spread some cheer!

A dungeon sits within a circle of mountains and surrounded by immobile monsters (for demonstration purposes). In the final game, this dungeon is replaced by a tower, instead.

Autoplay demo Final game
Oh, that's very helpful! Like I can't see it from here?

Also of note, the sign on the overworld pointing to the dungeon was also changed to reflect the dungeon becoming a tower.

Autoplay demo Final game
MM5Demo CastleKalindra.png MM5Final CastleKalindra.png
Autoplay demo Final game
I don't like the looks of this! It's pretty peaceful, down here
Run, NOW Hello? Anyone around?

Amusingly, what served as a place to show off more monsters and end the demo became a part of a relatively-peaceful area, in the final game: the Castle Kalindra Dungeon (starting at X13 Y15). As such, its graphic set and music loop was changed from the dungeon set to the castle one. (It makes sense in the context of the game, really!)

A little segment of a MUCH larger area

Here's a map of the relevant segment of the Castle Kalindra Dungeon, from the final.

Other Differences

  • The opening cutscene is missing the conversations between the Dragon Pharaoh and Queen Kalindra, the "monstrous friends" of Xeen, and Ellinger.
  • Alamar uses Lord Xeen's laugh instead of his own, semi-mechanical laugh.
  • The title screen uses "Town Night B" as its theme. In the final, "Newbright" is used instead.
  • The party in this demo is the default party in the final game, unlike the Might and Magic IV demo.
  • For whatever reason, the party's interface is locked in "Combat" mode through the entire demo.
  • The World of Xeen teaser title screen uses "Outdoors: Day 3" as its theme. In the final, "Newbright" is used, instead.
    • "Outdoors: Day 3" would become the Final Score theme, in the final.