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Might be magic...
Having watched the awesome Might and Magic 6 speedrun, it made me think about the other games in the series. One game that I think would be great to speedrun due to its ridiculously game-shortening glitches, is Might and Magic 8.

Specifically, these things should make it short work:
See http://telp.org/mm8/analysis/bugss.html for glitches to exploit

Basic plan:
* Start game with any character - it barely matters as you can get hirelings that have the necessary skills / spells
* Cast Renegade Spells - this will make Devlin Arcanus able to cast Fly right at the beginning so you can fly straight to the ship and get to Ravenshore instantly
* In Ravenshore there is a "Tree" that contains a random artifact just West of the Northern bridge - can probably get some overpowered item from this, or at least some cash
* Rescue Cauri Blackthorne ASAP to get the ability to cast Invisibility and Town Portal - from Ravenshore go North to Alvar, get quest to rescue Cauri, Go West to Murmurwoods, rescue using Fly to get straight to her
* Bypass the Alliance - most of the game can be skipped by getting the four Elemental Hearts as soon as possible and attempting to enter the hostel in Ravenshore. Invisibility should make this fairly trivial - possibly using death to teleport back to Ravenshore to use Town Portal due to the fact that you can't cast the spell while monsters are near unless the caster is a Grand Master
* Run through Escaton's Crystal, the Plane between Planes and Escaton's Palace, solve riddles, leave palace and rescue the elemental lords

Haven't tried this all the way through yet but should work in theory. Any thoughts / suggestions?
Thread title:  
Might be magic...
Things are looking positive:

The theory seems sound, the only addition I needed to get to Escaton's palace was the Telekenesis spell to get the Heart of Earth (lots of monsters blocking the path to it, but had line of sight). It's no problem because Cauri can cast it and the reward money for rescuing her is 15k - enough to buy all necessary spells.

Unfortunately Escaton's palace looks a little bit long. Running around pulling levers will probably cause Cauri's invisibility to expire. I'm wondering if there are any shortcuts there. The "Pass Through Doors" exploit seems ideal, except that I couldn't get it to work in my version, probably because today's computers are too fast. I guess that you could always exit the area, recast invis and enter again.

Freeing the elemental lords from their individual prisons seems doable, as long as the party can survive the burning floor in the Water Lord's area. It can be avoided by walking on the edge of the wall, but in practice that is pretty hard.
Might be magic...
Confirmed that it is possible to finish the game using this method.
* Getting through Escaton's Crystal needs a lot of luck to find a path through the monsters at the start of the level. This is no problem for a segmented run though
* Escaton's Palace takes time to complete but there is an optimal route which has only one spot that needs a little tricky (lucky) navigation around monsters. It does need an exit / re-entry to recast invisibility though
* The elemental prisons are fairly easy to do with invisibility - doing the Water Lord's prison last means that you can quickly die to get teleported back to Ravenshore and trigger the endgame
Edit history:
Yagamoth: 2012-07-10 02:35:39 am
Yagamoth: 2012-07-10 02:35:14 am
Yagamoth: 2012-07-10 02:33:41 am
Yagamoth: 2012-07-10 02:33:13 am
Yagamoth: 2012-07-10 02:31:09 am
Awesome Smiley

I've thought about trying for a speedrun on MM8 before, but I didn't get any further than looking for glitches and starting to plan a route ;)... Although I haven't found that site, which may have made it a bit easier oô

I have no suggestions or anything so far, but I hope to see a testrun soon? Tongue

Edit: Just read through the page - interesting, this makes running the game completion so much easier ^^... Do you even need the artifact from the Tree with this method? Most of the run seems to rely on invisibility and a bit luck anyway.

And... Maybe I even have something for you now, thinking about it: Does "Fear" work on the enemies in Escatons Crystal? In my early scrapped plan I'd have gone to get Ithilgore as soon as possible and level him up to Master to be able to fly without costs. Getting him is fairly easy, and his Export ability is Fear - no idea how reliant this though. Also, the Dragon Cave is probably out of the route..

Also, if you really need some equip for an SS run, you may want to visit the dragon cave anyway - with the save/reload you can bypass the dragon guards without getting attacked and get to the stuff there. But I've got no clue how far out of the way this is ^^
Might be magic...
Yep, will try to get a single-segment test run up on youtube, with saving / reloading soon Smiley

On my trial run I didn't get anything useful from the tree and now that you mention it the only useful thing that would possibly come from it is something "of Air Magic" to make invis last longer. Looking at artifact lists, the only one having that enchantment is a staff, which Cauri can't use anyway.

The "Fear" idea is interesting! Not necessary for multi-segment runs but could make a single-segment run possible. Dragon cave would also be hugely useful for that. Are there any other overpowered / glitchy spells that can be used?

With invis it's possible to complete the game without attacking a single monster. I've been using death by combat as a method of quickly teleporting to Ravenshore though.
I loved playing this game, good luck speedrunning it!
I didn't even know you can skip building the alliances...
Edit history:
gammadragon: 2012-07-10 03:48:28 am
gammadragon: 2012-07-10 03:47:13 am
Might be magic...
Me too! Skipping the alliance is a big glitch - Xanthor does not even appear in the Hostel until after the alliance but he appears in the cut-scene regardless. It's funny to watch for the first time though, after you've just spent days/weeks of your life carefully completing every quest Tongue

Here's the route - some things haven't been optimised yet like travel between areas. I'm sure there are probably some horse and ship travel routes that can speed things up a bit along the way.

* Start game, go to adventurer's guild, recruit Devlin Arcanus, assign all skill points to Air Magic
* Use "Cast Renegade Spells" glitch to cast Fly with Devlin Arcanus, fly over to boat (North)and go to Ravenshore
* Fly to stables, get horseshoes (optional), sleep one day and one hour, take horse to Alvar
* Get horseshoes (optional), fly west to Murmurwoods, visit Dantillion to get the scroll of Stone to Flesh
* Fly to Cauri Blackthorne (near 15000, 15000) and free her - make sure you select her conversation options before exiting or you can't get the reward money!
* Get killed by Basilisks to respawn at Ravenshore, fly to fountain close by and use to get 200 gold
* Fly to adventurer's guild to get Cauri, give her 4 horseshoes to increase Air Magic skill (optional, gives an extra 10 minutes of invis time)
* Fly over to stables and go to Alvar, fly to the Blackthorne Estate and get reward money for rescuing Cauri (15k)
* Fly over to the Elemental Guild and buy Invisibility, Town Portal and Telekinesis (save before entering to make sure that all books are stocked)
* From here, go to each elemental plane and obtain the four elemental hearts (whatever is the fastest order) using Invisibility and Telekinesis
* Die / town portal to Ravenshore and enter the hostel (next to the crystal) - cut scene triggers and you get the Conflux Key
* Go to door in crystal, cast invisibility, save and keep trying to get through Escaton's Crystal area until success (end code is 1, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, 3, 1)
* Recast invisibility, head to centre of Plane Between Planes and enter Escaton's Palace
* This map has a good layout: http://www.angelfire.com/games2/drak113spage/mm8/modules/raven/palace.html
* Follow this route through: "d", use door, D, E, F, H, A, leave and recast invis, J, M, K, 7
* Answer Escaton's riddles (prison, inside, egg) to get keys to elemental prisons
* Leave, recast invis, free elemental lords doing Water Lord last (South-West, burning floor) because its hard to leave that one without dying
* After freeing the last elemental lord, die to respawn at Ravenshore and trigger endgame
Edit history:
Yagamoth: 2012-07-10 04:27:41 am
I don't think other Renegade spells would be useful... Unless you would want to quickly level up a character and need some quick kill possibilities. Keep in mind, that the spells do cost the original amount. Also, probably they are basically only "level 1", which makes them rather weak.

Why would you want to level up? Not sure - but it could be useful in a SS run to lower the actual luck required to get through certain parts.

Further - I had an idea for a segmented run at one point, to simply "wait" instead of "sleep/rest" for the correct day for travel. The idea would be, that some characterse could get "insane", which boosts certain stats (not sure which ones anymore)... Also, since it would be a segmented run, this may be unneccessary Wink

Also, probably segmented: Does any scroll "Stone to Flesh" actually work? I'm not sure how fast it would be to get the scroll at Dantillion instead of a simple shop. (no idea anymore where he is located or whether any shops potentially sell this scroll)

Last, but not least: Why don't you simply start with a character who has water magic, instead of getting Devlin?

Edit: I generally like the route. Cauri seems to be a good choice, although I can't remember much from the game anymore. Also, I would have totally missed Telekinesis, since I basically brute forced my way through the game with Dragons back when ^^
Might be magic...
Buying a Stone to Flesh scroll from a shop is a good idea - could save some time there, especially since the starting location when travelling to murmurwoods is quite close to Cauri. Would need a little cash though - where's the quickest place to grab some? Maybe selling stuff from adventurer's guild chars? Or one of those "Trees" maybe.

Starting a char with water magic might be an option - just tried it and it seems to work. Fly is expensive though and you would need to start with 25 intellect to make it worthwhile. Also, Devlin can get 5 air magic making his Fly last much longer than a starting char (useful for plane between planes), although that could be helped with horseshoes... definitely worth exploring the idea Smiley

I made a trial run, took less than 30 mins even including a few failed attempts.
Edit history:
Yagamoth: 2012-07-10 06:07:18 am
Yagamoth: 2012-07-10 05:46:25 am
Yagamoth: 2012-07-10 05:45:41 am
Depending on how much such a scroll would cost you could simply grab the money in one of the trapped-chests in Ravenshore town, this should be nearer. Optimally you wouldn't have to sell anything - the gold in the chest could be sufficient. And as mentioned - take everything I say with a grain of salt. I've no idea where/if those scrolls are sold and are actually working ^^

Further - When you get cauri, you don't have to rely on the first characters fly anymore, right? ^^

I'll check the video once I get home from work.. Or maybe earlier - currently it's still encoding though. 30min seems like a good start to me Smiley

Edit: Also don't forget, that you could simply use some blue potions if needed. If I remember correctly, you start with some, or at least the ingredients...

Edit 2: Also, what else would you start as? Is there anything else you could benefit from?

Edit 3: I vaguely remember, that when you don't have Air magic, the Fly spell doesn't have a steady cost after the initial cast... No promises though
Might be magic...
Good point - there is plenty of reward money to buy Fly for Cauri as well. I also ended up using a couple of blue potions at the end when Devlin ran out of spell points for fly - very handy.

Youtube says the video is still 4 hours away (!) I should have lowered the quality a bit.
Edit history:
Yagamoth: 2012-07-10 07:00:32 am
Well, you don't have to buy fly if you have water magic - Simply use the Renegade Spell ^^
Edit history:
Yagamoth: 2012-07-10 03:10:58 pm
So... I'm watching the video right now, and I have a few pointers:

- As already mentioned, why not make use of your first character? Even if it's only to fly and get Devlin if it is required to get him (Maybe later in the vid there is something)
- Cant' you simply go back to Alvar after rescueing Cauri via map-transition, or is that slower?
- Use Blue Potions when out of mana?
- To fly a bit higher in the Fire planes you could simply jump on a higher ledge and fly a little bit down (explained on the page you linked), may help
- Do you really need the Patriarch? I assume the gold would be enough ^^

And... To my idea for "Fear" - unless you can get that spell on Cauri I don't think it's worth getting a dragon only for that.

I like the quality btw ^^

Nice run Smiley

As far as I can tell, not even a SS run would go for dragons. Simply saving/reloading would be faster in tight situations..
Might be magic...
* First character - good point. Will do this next time Smiley
* Alvar after Cauri - we need to get to an adventurer's guild, is there one in Alvar? I can't remember and couldn't find one.
* Flying higher in fire plane - unfortunately that cancels out invisibility so it might be counter productive, I think there's a path through at the normal max height anyway
* Patriarch - Yep we need to select Cauri's conversation options to get the 15k reward when we visit her house - when I tried it without getting the promotion her house acts as though you haven't rescued her yet
There is in fact an adventurers guild - at least that's what I remember... But I've just checked some maps, and I couldn't find one. Well, that explains why you went to ravenshore ^^... I'll check that if I find my game discs

Hm... You could try normal-jumping and see if that gives you enough height to fly down a bit. But if there's a good route with the max height it's probably better anyway

Also, I'm amazed that it's so incredibly hard to find a good database for MM8...
Edit history:
MUGG: 2012-07-11 05:41:29 am
MUGG: 2012-07-11 05:41:16 am
MUGG: 2012-07-11 05:40:23 am
Any stone to flesh scroll should work. As I recall, stone to flesh spell used by a character doesn't work but any scroll should do.
Adventurer's guilds are only in daggerwound isle and ravenshore afaik.

I know this database for MM8: http://www.mightandmagicworld.de/mm8/Maps.shtml
It's partially in German language, but as I'm German maybe I can translate things if you need me to.
Might be magic...
Thanks Mugg Smiley

Just confirmed that you can do the following:
* Start game as a necromancer (get Water and Air Magic skills and 25 intellect)
* Renegade Spell -> Fly to the magic shop, save, spam shop until Scroll of Stone to Flesh appears (also sell toxic cloud spellbook to get enough cash for the boat to Ravenshore)
* Go to Ravenshore, Alvar, Murmurwoods and fly straight to Cauri to rescue her.

Saves a few seconds Smiley
Thanks Mugg, I knew I had a complete page with information... Didn't remember I found it in german ^^

@gammadragon: Nice... Also I thought about getting gold for stuff: Even if you would get Gold in a different way, you'd probably have to go to Alvar to buy the necessary spells. So, Cauri is most likely the best option to get (at least from what I remember)
Also, can you test something? I seem to remember, that when I didn't have Air magic at all, flying didn't cost anything. But my memory is kinda blurry on that one. May help though, if it is the case (no need to get any intellect or blue pots)

Further... I'm not sure how reasonable it is, but - can you potentially get an elemental plane in between rescueing Cauri and going to get her/going to Alvar? I mean, since you have to go to Ravenshore anyway, you could use the death-teleport to get there after collecting an elemental stone. Earth and Fire are probably impossible - I can't remember the deal about Air, but Water is probably fairly easy to do without Invisibility. But then again, I don't know how fast it would be to go from the Woods to the Water Plane.

Just a few thoughts again ^^
Might be magic...
When a necromancer casts Fly without having Air Magic, it shows the casting effect and plays the sound, but I think it must have a zero hour duration because the winged boot icon doesn't appear in the top left of the screen. Bringing up the spell effects display also shows that Fly is not active.

Water heart would be easy. Fire and Earth would be too hard. Air heart might just be possible with a bit of luck, and very convenient seeing as it's on the same map as Cauri's rescue. For a segmented run it would definitely save a lot of time. Good thinking - I'll test the theory out.
Might be magic...
Confirmed - I managed to grab the Air Heart without Cauri. It was difficult though and I had to get four other hirelings to be able to sustain enough damage to reach the heart - Devlin Arcanus, Elsbeth Lamentia, Arius and Rohani Oscleton. They are all pretty close to the current route anyway.
Might be magic...
I felt it was time to install an official version of MM8 to start recording an official segmented run...

Can you start the game? It worked for me by simply opening the MM8.exe in compatibility mode XP. The information on the installation can be simply ignored

That's impressive, didn't expect the air heart... Is it really pure luck, or can you do some things with clever pathing? Also, how many attempts did you need? Would Air resist help?

Also, I've found my CDs of the game, but they are scratched enough to make the game not install properly... I'll check whether my friend still has his version ^^
Edit history:
gammadragon: 2012-08-28 12:54:22 am
gammadragon: 2012-07-13 07:33:48 am
gammadragon: 2012-07-13 03:01:53 am
Might be magic...
Yep I have no trouble running the game, just funny how outdated the installer is Tongue I also have 8GB RAM - 4GB must be some limit of the installer, haha.

It seems to be pretty much luck based on how many hits the air elementals get in. Air resistance may help, but it's possible to run past with 5 chars so I'm going to try with 4 leaving out Arius - might take a few more attempts but will be a more impressive and slightly faster end result.

Edit: Segment 1 was quick Smiley

Update: Managed to make it through to the Heart of Air!
Awesome - how long/how many attempts did that take you to get there? ^^
Might be magic...
The air castle took sooooo many... lost count at 300 Tongue
I was so happy after making it up the stairs.