I would welcome any feedback and comments to this work.
Might and Magic IX
Walkthrough
BES the Black Dragon
BES the Black Dragon
27th of July, 2002
I welcome you, player of Might and Magic IX, to my walkthrough guide.

This step-by-step guide has been written for a solo game with one magic character Lich, however it could be used both for any magic character and for the whole party as well. The special attention at the beginning was given to the basics necessary for the new players.

These are the notes of the old warrior coaching inexperienced
apprentice adventurer in the dangerous task of saving the world.

Note for the reader:  the following manuscript in no way substitutes your own brains, so use them in the game accordingly! Moreover, try to keep in mind that we are playing games for having fun, not just for killing everything that breaths or not breaths but still moves. :)

Good luck!
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Choosing the Character


Before you enter the game itself, you need to make several choices.
The first one is choosing the playing character from four available races: Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Half-Orc. Most probably, your emotional response to the portraits of the characters will influence your choice; nevertheless, the specific characteristics and advantages of each available race are very important too. Let us consider them.
First Steps
Human

This character will progress at every skill evenly, and might be called the golden middle path among the characters. Human could be good character for both Might Solo game and Magic Solo game. His figures will be sufficient both in hit points and in Mana strength.

Elf

This character is more of the magic than might orientation, though he has the advantage in shooting before any of other characters and has much better score in hitting target with bow. However, Elf will never acquire the same high points as for example dwarf or Half-Orc. At the same time should you choose Elf as your magic solo character, he will certainly have better spell points than other candidates and it is what counts, as his primary weapon would not be an axe or sword but magic.

Dwarf and Half-Orc

These two characters are excellent fighters who will have the best figures in hit points. However, as it may be expected their magical abilities are much diminished in comparison to Elf and even to Human.  Therefore, if you intend to play Magic solo game they are not the choice. Use them only for Might Solo game.

Elf
Human
Dwarf
Half Orc
Proceeding from the above, I chose Elf for the Magic Solo game as it would require substantial amount of Mana strength to pass the game, especially both at the first stages of it and during the final battle. Making this choice, I followed my previous experiences of solo playing of the earlier Might and Magic games.

Should you find the portrait of Human more attractive; you can choose one too, though he will be secondary to the Elf in magical attributes, which are vitally important for your character at the first stages of the game. Nevertheless, Human will be able to handle the challenges at the beginning, it will be just harder for him.
Among the four final classes of the magical character, I would advice you to choose the Lich.  Why?
Well, the first reason is completely subjective. The Lich is the nicest looking character in the game. :)
The second is that it is the toughest promotion; meaning the game will present difficult challenges and will be serious and long, even if you would use this walkthrough. Remember, that this guide is not the remedy to every challenge, task or hard place in the game. It will help for sure, but it can't substitute your wits and skills as the player.
Lich
Actually, with the help of this walkthrough you can play Magic Solo game with any of the other three magic classes, either it is Druid or Mage, or Priest, because it will show you in details how to do the quests for magical classes, how to get extra skill points and finances for your hero. The same applies to the Might Solo game as well.

We proceed to the next step.

Choosing the Character's Skills

Now we need to choose the skills for our hero and divide the skill points we have in the pool between the skills. You can choose not more than 2 extra skills among those offered for you.
We will choose Meditation and Cudgel. Why? Let us see.



Ravensford - First Look inside the Game
Choosing Other Characters of the Party (Luggages)

These characters will not be playing the whole game, just the very beginning of it, as you have solo game with only one playing character. They will be the Luggages. 
On this step, a lot depends on your own judgement and on how good you are in Might and Magic games. I can offer you the following. 

Take one magical hero and two might heroes in your party. Your goal will be to leave the first island of the game as soon as possible and this combination will be helpful. Which race - does not matter at all. Just take whomever you like. The same is valid for the names. I called mine Luggage One, Luggage Two, Luggage Three. :)
Then give them the following skills.

For the magic hero: Meditation and Cudgel
For the might heroes: Bow and Cudgel

Why do they need Cudgel skill also? The answer is simple - for the future sale of the items from your Luggages. The same rule is for the bows.
Now the last step - the Luggages skill points.

Just do whatever you want with them. It does not matter anyway, as these characters are simply needed for starting the solo game. (However, if you intend to play the full party game, pay the same close attention to other characters in the party as well.)

Now it seems that the party is ready for the game - one magical hero and three future Luggages. Check again that you didn't forget anything - you like the portrait of your main hero, you like his/her voice, skills and skill points are done, Luggages are ready. Checked? Okay, and then click on the mark at the right bottom corner and we are entering the game.
In general, bow is the good weapon, especially when your character is still weak, but this rule does not apply to Might and Magic IX. Here it will not work as efficiently as you might expect at the beginning of the game because after the first successful shot the whole group of enemies will attack you, not just the monster you shoot at. Moreover, your enemies move with great speed and you will be able to make maximum three shots with average two out of three will be the missed ones and then you will have the melee battle on your lap. To strengthen my case I can add that Lich receives only Basic level of Bow skill.

Now speaking about sword. Here everything is simple - Lich cannot learn this skill at all, as all other magical classes as well (Druid, Mage and Priest).
Choosing the Character's Class

Now you need to choose who will be your character in the game after he will do the quests and promotions. Let us consider the options.

All magical heroes begin from Initiate class, but it is not for long. Already at the first promotion, you will have to do the choosing, either Healer or Scholar class. The final class of your character will depend from this important decision. The final classes of the characters are:
Scholar could become either Mage or Lich; while Healer could become either Druid or Priest.

In fact proceeding from the above, if you have ever played Might and Magic games before, you could guess how hard it will be to promote your hero in the game. The most difficult ones will be Lich and Mage. Promotion quests for Druid and Priest will be significantly easier. This tendency is clear in all Might and Magic games.

Actually, these magical classes are not that different from each other in Might and Magic IX, neither in their strength, nor in the list of spells they are using in battles, as it is nearly the same. The variance you can spot only in the spells of healing and defense. Mage can learn the spell Divine Intervention and heal himself in the battle (or if you are playing with the full party - not only himself but the whole party as well). Lich cannot learn this useful spell. On the other hand, in contrary to Mage Lich has the powerful spell Souldrinker from the old arsenal of Might and Magic games. This spell has two effects - it inflicts substantial damage to an enemy and at the same time, it heals your character by taking hit points from the enemy.

The same picture is with other classes and their abilities of learning different spells. You can analyse this by looking at the spell learning chart.
Therefore, what we are doing here. We choose the portrait of our hero from those few available. Then we change the name of the hero - click on the old name, delete it and insert the one you want to call him during the game. Then choose his voice and choose wisely, as you will have to listen to it all the game and it is many hours!   :)

With this done we proceed to the second, more important and serious choice.
Meditation is the skill that raises your mana strength, meaning the better you in this skill the more spell points you have, consequently more spells you can cast in battles. It is as simple as that.
Cudgel. Here you can wonder why this skill and not any other.

Nevertheless, believe me it is exactly what you need. Despite heavy using of magic in the game, you will need other weapon too and you will need it already on the first stages of the game. Okay, then you can ask why not bow or sword? Here is the reason.
First Conversation

Your party is inside the house and you have the old man in front of you. He is your teacher, so talk with him. You will see the conversation window - use your mouse and click inside the window on the question you want to ask the old man. This is the way of talking with other people in the game. After you have learnt everything, you have wanted, say the old man Good by, but do not leave him yet. He is forgetful and you need to click on him and talk again. Then he will give you two very important items - books with two skills - Identify Item and Disarm Trap. 
By the way, here is the first rule of thumb for the game - you need always to explore the conversation windows till the end and be attentive to the clues and hints; sometimes it is not enough to speak only once with a person. 
Basics of the Game Controls

Now you need to familiarise yourself with the buttons of keyboard that you will be using in the game (keyboard controls). Walk back and forth, try to turn, jump and do other movements. Use both mouse and the keyboard controls.

Pay attention to the speed of mouse pointer. Usually its default sensitivity is too fast for the average player. To change it - go into Options menu and experiment with changing controls of the mouse sensitivity and the speed of characters' turning.

The same operation you do with  gamma correction in video options. It is very important. At the beginning you need to adjust the graphic and video settings that will be most comfortable for your eyes. If you do not have the perfect eye sight, then better put your gamma correction the same way as it is shown here on the picture to the right.
This will help you better see around in the dungeon tunnels and in other dark places of the game.
If your eyes are stll good, then you can move gamma pointer more to the left, this will make the screen brighter.
Now when you feel comfortable with the game controls - look around yourself. There are tables standing around with scrolls on them. Walk to them and take the scrolls (use space bar). These scrolls are the game interface instructions, useful information about the game and some are even spell scrolls. 

All the items you pick up in the game will move from outside world to the inventory of the active character who actually took the item (his/her portrait was active, i.e. with the glowing frame).
To check the inventory of the character - press the button *i*.  Inside you can easily switch to the inventory of another character by clicking on the appropriate portrait.
Inside the inventory, you can see the column to the right - there are all the items this character has. It could be rings, books, weapon, and bottles with potions, scrolls and all other things.

You can check, move and sort these items.
Choose the item from your inventory you want to give to your character, say a weapon. This means that the character takes the weapon from his/her backpack (inventory) where it was stored and actually has the weapon where it can be used immediately.

There are two ways of doing this.
You can wonder why Cudgel and not Perception, for example. Because it is much harder to find Cudgel skill in the shops later in the game, then the Perception skill; while for surviving in the battle Cudgel is far more important, then Perception, which is not that vital at the beginning of the game. Moreover, assuming you will spend all your spell points, which are pitifully few at the beginning, and then you will be defenceless without any primary non-magical attacking weapon. Therefore, believe me; you will be safer if you stick with the cudgel.

Therefore, we have Cudgel and Meditation as two additional skills. Now we need to distribute skill points between the skills.  Use + and put them all in the magic section. This way you will increase your spell points.
Now your main hero is ready, but do not rush into the game - you have one more step to finish. 
First way. Point your mouse to the item (bow for example) and left click; without releasing the left click drag the item to the place around your character full-length portrait where you want to place it (for example, for the bow it would be the place with arbalest image). This way you will equip your character by dragging one item after another (except books, spell scrolls and potions) and dropping them where they belong.

Second way. Point your mouse to the item you need and left click twice. The item will automatically drop to the place it is supposed to be on your character (if the place is not already occupied by something else, in this case take away the old item and put the new one).

Should you want to give your character skill book or spell book - repeat the same procedure. This way your character will automatically learn this spell or skill. The appropriate book will disappear from the inventory.
The same procedure you will do in the future when you will need to use some spell scrolls and potions for healing and protection of your character.

Pay attention that if you want to use a spell scroll, you simply go inside the inventory and click on the appropriate scroll twice - from there everything is automatic. 

Now when we have finished with the basic controls, let us check what your characters have in their inventories.

Inventory

Every character in your party has some things in his/her inventory. Check everything and do equipping of your main hero beginning from the primary things - weapons.

Second step - find the skill books for Disarm Trap and Identify Item. Give these skills to your main character. Then click twice on these books and on all other skill books, he/she has in the inventory to learn these skills.
Now go to the spell menu. Click once on the image of the spell Elemental Bolt (it is the first spell you learn in the game) and then on the button "set spell". This will set the automatic using of this spell every time your will do right mouse click in the game.

Now repeat the same procedure with the next magical hero and two other mighty characters in your party.
Then check the inventories of the whole party again and collect all the items left (rings, bottles and other stuff) in the inventory of your main hero (the one who is on the top of the portraits column). This is your initial capital you will invest later in the game.
Read the game instruction scrolls (if you did not do this already) by pointing mouse on a scroll and clicking twice.
If you do not need any scroll (but be sure about this!) you can throw it away. Do it this way. Select an item by clicking with your mouse, press *Del* and confirm deletion. 

Now you are ready to explore the outside world.
First Glimpse Outside

Walk to the big doors and press space bar on the keyboard (further on you will open all doors in the game this way). You will find yourself outside in a small village. For the new players of the game it is necessary to visit the house to the right  - Training Hall. Inside you will see different levers and buttons  the same things you will encounter further in the game. To operate levers and buttons - you press space bar. This is the demonstration how everything works.
Training Hall in Ravensford
Then walk through the back door to the courtyard with a pool and a wooden structure in the middle. It is the place you need to explore.

Before you begin, make the first save of the game; just in case if you will make bad jump or will be carried away diving in the pool.
This is the second and probably the most important rule of thumb for the game - do not forget to make saves. Do saves before every important moves, missions, quests and locations. You will save a lot of time and nerves this way if something will go wrong and you will have to redo your moves.
Practice a little in managing moving of your party - jumping, climbing, running, going up and down ladder.  Pay attention to this. You must be comfortable in manipulating the party, as in the game it is very important.
When you climb up the wooden structure, do not forget to pick up the scroll that lies on the very top.

Pool is important - you can swim and dive, so try this too; just go in the water and use the same movement buttons. For diving you use button *C*; or the mouse and forward arrow. To re-emerge from underwater you just point mouse courser up and use forward arrow.

When diving and swimming underwater do not forget to check air supply. The air bar will appear at the right bottom corner of the screen and initially will be blue, then it diminishes while you will be swimming; if it were empty, then even Baywatch would hardly help you.   :)
Air bar at the right bottom corner of the screen
Well, while you are practising in the pool and the yard and getting used to the game, I will make myself a coffee, okay?  :)
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I would welcome any feedback and comments to this work.