Let's talk about obscure video games for a while.
There once used to be a series of free-roam dungeon crawler games called Might & Magic. And no, I'm not talking about Heroes of Might & Magic or anything that is OF Might & Magic - it's just "Might & Magic (number)". And out of the whole 9 of them that were made before Ubisoft acquired the rights, the ones that seemed to gain the biggest fanbase were 6, 7 and 8. And my personal favourite is Might & Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer.
Basically, what you do in the game is walking around and defeating monsters, for the most part. The game's plot is that an unexpected cataclysm is started by the mysterious Destroyer; he creates a magical crystal in the middle of the biggest city of the continent of Jadame, which results in 4 portals being opened that lead to the elemental realms of fire, water, earth and air, from which armies of insane elementals start emerging.
The thing about this game is that Might & Magic 6, 7 and 8 all have the same mechanics and gameplay, yet 8 is considered the weakest out of the three. And yet, I cannot help but love this one the most, even though I am aware that at least 7 is a much more complex game. This is for a few reasons.
Firstly, the plot of the game resonates with me the most. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because the game is based on the theme of the four elements, which for one reason or another is a cliche that I just like. I also like the theme of necromancers, dragons and sun priests, which are the basis for some of the secondary conflicts. Secondly, this game is the easiest out of them all, and I personally like easy games. Thirdly, this is the game where you are given the biggest range of possible playable races, including minotaurs, trolls, vampires and even dragons. Fourthly, I just like the aesthetics of the game; looking at some of the graphics and detailed designs that you can see when entering buildings really makes me wish this game got an Elder Scrolls style remake.
Also, one more reason is that, for one reason or another, I really like the villain of the game - Escaton the Destroyer. I love his design, I like the mystery surrounding him, and I like the fact that he is not evil, but merely someone who has to follow the orders of his unseen masters, and doesn't even want the cataclysm to actually reach its completion (which would bring the end of the world). The sad thing about him is that he's barely even in the game; we only see him in the intro, the outro, and during our brief interaction with him during the endgame. I really wish the game could incorporate him more into the plot.
I completed this game probably 15 times or more by this point, and I usually end up replaying it once every 1-2 years. This is despite the fact that I know it almost inside and out by now and I am fully aware of its flaws; like the dungeons being very short, half of the plot being centered around creating an alliance that ultimately doesn't serve any purpose, weird bugs and oversights, the plot being rather linear and cliche, many of the spells being pretty pointless, et cetera...
And yet, I love it.
And I love Escaton. I wish I could find someone who could remake at least the model of his armor, if not the whole game.
--------------- Inkscape SVG file: sta.sh/02a0pmz5c20j
This vector was created from scratch in Inkscape, using only a mouse and no sketches of any kind.
--------------- Based on "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" by Lauren Faust and on "Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer" by New World Computing.