Frequently asked questions about Might and Magic IX

This is a place where I collect questions I frequently encounter at message boards, because the answers there tend to move out of sight quickly. The answers to the quest-specific questions are full-blown spoilers; so don't look if you only want a hint.
Note that if I use directions in the answers, they're directions on the map, with the top being North. The compass in the game isn't reliable, and sometimes points to another direction than the maps show.

First a piece of advice fitting any RPG: save a lot, and use different slots (e.g. alternate between 3 slots). If you use town portals and Lloyd's beacons, don't forget that your autosave will be overwritten, and you lose the start of the dungeon, so it's safest to save in yet another slot before entering any area for the first time.






Can the game run in other resolutions than 800x600?
No, not really. There is an undocumented feature of the program to change the resolution it runs in. Good thing it's undocumented, because the game doesn't work properly in other resolutions; but if you want to see that for yourself this is what you can try: You will have to manually edit the file autoexec.cfg in the Might and Magic directory (make a backup for safety!), search for "Screenwidth" and change it to e.g. 1024, and for "Screenheight" and change it to e.g. 768. The program still runs, but a number of things will be placed at the wrong places of the screen. The graphics will be smoother though. After you've come to the conclusion it's not really workable, restore the autoexec.cfg.
But while you're at it, you might change the entry 'bitdepth' from 16 to 32, if your video card can handle 800x600 in 32 bits color. This will make the textures in the game (the surfaces of objects) more sparkling and with smoother colors.
I messed up this dungeon/area, but don't have a savefile before it!
Use this solution at your own risk! It messes with game files at your disk.
First make sure you don't have the game running, or at least are outside the offending dungeon. Now you can go to the Minisaves subfolder below the Might and Magic folder, and delete / move / rename all files that have that dungeon's name. This should reset the entire dungeon.
Note that this does not reset 'quest' parameters, so e.g. if you have killed Yanmir, removing the YanmirFort minisaves will not suddenly undo you having solved that quest. This means that this solution won't work on the missing Writ, nor on out-of-order freezing/killing of Njam.
Where are the cheapest trainers?
The trainers in Sturmford (up to level 15?), the 'hidden' trainer at the Inn in Thjorgard (up to level 25), and the trainer in Frosgard are cheapest.
Quest XXX won't disappear from my log!
There are a few quests that won't disappear, even when you've successfully finished them: Heal Nutty Nurtigan and the Arslegard bathhouse quest.
Then there are a few buggy quests, that can cause persistent quest logs if not done exactly in the right order. This is most noticeable in the dragon quest, where many people couldn't get the training hall quest to disappear (should be better with the patch), and if you already have the saint's relic before the Lindisfarne abbot gives you the quest, that gets stuck too. Luckily the Dragon King will appear no matter what you do ;) The Thjorgard mines quest can suffer similar problems. If you've done Kluso's house in Drangheim while you didn't have the assassin quest, you're stuck with needing to talk to Atli the Quick.
An NPC getting killed before you've finished the quest, might also result in a 'sticky' quest (e.g. the Midwife in Thronheim or the Shepherdess in Yorwick).
But now there's an unofficial patch that solves several of these bugs.
Yell seems not to do anything!
That is because it apparently has no standard key assigned to it currently. Go to Options - Keyboard to assign a key to it (e.g. Y).
What is the mage quest trick?
If you're at Verhoffin's ruins for the diary, you can use stealth and turn-based combat mode to get the diary without almost any fighting. You can even do this the first time you're there, at level 1.
Ribannah writes at the 'Telp's Tavern' forum:
"Note that the Terrors cannot open doors. They are also a little slow to react (but once they do, they're swift!). To get the key is the easy part. Just open the door and use your free steps in TB mode to grab the key. Now quickly press enter twice, ease out and close the door.
The hard part is to get past the Zombies (twice!). Killing them (which is possible) is no good since they immediately respawn. But they are slow. Use the pillars for cover and lure the first one to the far corner of the room, or he will block your way out. The second one has its back to you and won't notice anything wrong until you tiptoe past and open the door to the Book with the key. Step inside, get the Book and slide out, don't forget to close the door. Now it's time to run to the exit. The Zombies will do harm but with some luck Forad Darre will catch most of the blows (that's what he's there for, anyway). I skipped the middle part, which is for you to find out."
Queen Eriu explains some more:
"When getting the book from the ruins, don't even try to fight the terrors. The only monsters you need to engage are the two skeletons (master and warrior) that you'll encounter in the room just north of where the key is found. Get their attention, run and jump back on the ledge, and hack at them until they die (twice). They stay in the water and they don't have ranged weapons, so you can hit them but they can't hit you.
Go to the door of the room that has the key and go into turn-base mode. You can usually sneak in and out without the terrors evem noticing you. Save and reload as often as you need to. (I set aside two or three save slots for this little adventure, so I always have a couple of saves to go back to if things don't go well.) There are safe areas where your light will be green; use these to your advantage. Sneak over to the room with the zombie and the four pillars. Use turn base whenever there are monsters nearby; watch your jewel closely. (If it turns red, you're dead, reload and try again - unless you've got the book and are lined up with the exit - then you've still got a pretty good shot at getting out alive). The zombie in the room just before the study is the one to watch out for. If you have a turn undead scroll, this is a good place to use it. It's really not that hard once you learn these tricks. Good luck!"
I messed up a promotion quest. Can I do it again?
No. Once you've received the reward for a promotion quest, it's gone, whether any character did indeed get promoted or not. There is no in-game solution to get that promotion at a later time, apart from restoring to before finishing the quest.
Luckily for players duped by this, Donovan Hawkins made a tool to alter your promotion quests, so you can recover from a mistake. No guarantees from me that it will always work, but with a backup of your files, you can at least try.
What does artifact attribute XXX do?
There are a number of attributes on artifacts that also appear on normal items; those you can find in the item attribute page. But there are also several that are unique to artifacts, and are documented nowhere. Note that there are also several artifacts that seem to function differently from their description; the artifacts page lists observed differences in stat or skill bonuses in the 'notes' column.
This is the list of unknown artifact attributes, including guesses about their function:
How do I know in which order I need to do the dungeons?
You don't, unless you get a walkthrough and follow the path outlined to you there. It's just walking in and see if you survive. But a good rule of thumb is that if you hear equipment break, the opponents probably are out of your league yet. (A few exceptions: Winged Abberations and Ancient Trellborgs still often break things while you can cope already. But the first time you can meet them, they're probably still too hard.)
What's the best schedule for a speed game?
This is only for people who have played the game around at least once, and want to try for the fastest possible completion of the game. Even then part of that challenge is to figure such a schedule out for yourself.
This text is copied directly from Telp's Tavern, from a post by Nobody:
" Don't read this if you want to figure out your own best schedule. This is mine, it requires you to find 3 beacon scrolls in the first 19 days:
Raven - Isle (set a beacon) (optionally steal diary)
Sturm days 10,11 (side quests & training)
Drang day 12 (side quest - rescue) (optionally hire banker and get gold)
Guber day 14 (healer, magic experts) (set a beacon in the temple)
Lindi days 18,19 (quests, monestary stuff, hire priest) (set third beacon)
Thron day 21,22 (quests and training) (take passage to Frostgard)
Frost day 28 (abandoned temple, talk to guy about consecration)
Still day 28 - Use another beacon scroll to return to Guber temple. Become priest, raise magic levles to Master. You now have global TP.
Still day 28 - Get to the mountain pass in Thronheim.
Pass day 31 - You must make it through here to the end before midnight. It's a lot of running and hard fighting. When you hear the chime, TP back to Thronheim to take the boat. It's a 2 day boat ride instead of a three day walk from the end of the tunnel.
Thjor - day 33. Now you have visited all major cities and have access to any of them. More quests, mostly running in and out and killing only what blocks my path.
Chasm - day 34. Drop in with FF. Get crown, clear the room, TP out.
War room - day 34. Bikki - 12:15 AM of day 35. Connecting tunnel.
Yorwick - day 36 about 2 AM. Run to Wizards lab. Set beacon outside. Find relic and black orb. Return to beacon. Run to Lich Lab. Set beacon outside. Become a lich (I did two lichs). Return to beacon. Run to town, rescue sheep, set beacon in case you need to come back for some GM training. Trot off the somewhere to train and master skills. I did Frostgard, Sturmford, Yorwick(GM) and ended in Lindisfarn(GM). Then the long watery walk.
Dark Pass - day 36 afternoon. Run through dodging monsters mostly. Get out by evening. Get capstone. Use the beacon you set way back in the beginning at the Isle. Run in, set stone, get writ. Open black chest. Let Frights and zombies kill you.
Arslegard - day 36 - 10:30 PM. Feb 8th. "

Quest specific

I can't enter Anskram Keep!
You need to enter the keep from the back: there is a weak section in the wall of the north-west corner, west side. You can see it outlined in red if you have the perception skill at least at level 2. Then you attack that spot with your weapons, until the blocks have cleared away. The red will stay though. You will have to manoeuver a bit, and use 'c'rouch to get through.
When you return later, it might look like the entrance is closed again, because the red is still there, but the opening stays free, so wiggle ahead!
Where do I need to ship the Thronheim Honkies to?
It doesn't seem to matter at all; as long as they're gone.
How do I kill the Desert Terror in Thronheim?
That doesn't seem possible; any damage your party inflicts on him doesn't seem to register (with high perception his hitpoints stay constant/regenerate immediately).
Just sit back and watch the guards kill him.
I did read somewhere that you can kill him if you damage him before he kills the (first) civilian; but I haven't verified that.
How do I get through the Dungeon of Secrets?
There is a link to an extensive description of the D.O.S. in the links section.
Most important thing to remember is no trap is supposed to be triggered by you; not being hit by a trap is not good enough. Experiment with fleet foot on and off.
Klaravoyia has a description at her page too (see links section).
And finally there is the Lloyd's Beacon work-around: go all through the dungeon, setting off as many traps as you like (you might want to stay alive though :) ), and just after you've passed the last trapped door, set a Lloyd's Beacon. (Before the gate at the end opens.) Then talk to the keeper again, start the dungeon by pressing the button, and go through the first door (avoiding it's trap). Now recall to your Lloyd's Beacon, go back to the door of the last room until you hear the ringing for finishing successfully and see the exit door open. Get the confirmation from the keeper.
I had 7 Orbs of Linking, and now they're gone after I have done only 5 banks!
There seems to be a bug with the bank in Frosgard. It seems to me every time you talk to the bank guy, he takes another orb. Someone else claims talking to him once already 'uses up' 3 orbs. Anyway; it's safest to give an orb to the Frosgard bank last, and not talk to any banker more than once during the quest.
If it's already too late: just wait until the monsters respawn in the Inventa Storca dungeon; there should be new orbs then too. (You could also delete the minisaves of the dungeon, as is explained in the 'messed up dungeon' question in the general section. That will 'respawn' the orbs immediately.)
Where is the black chest in the Chasm of the Dead?
I have nothing to add to the following text I found at the 'Telp's Tavern' forum.
(Thanks to the writer; I can't find the post anymore at the forum, so I don't know who it is.)
"There's a flipping trap in Anskram Keep and the hall along the Chasm of the Dead where you are getting the Crona Kiga.
To get to the chests, simply run through the trap quickly. Make a save first in front of the flipping trap. In Anskram Keep, to see the traps you need 2 skill points in perception. Quickly run through the flipping trap in front of you. When you run by touching/activating the trap, jump out of it. then it will flip. NOW walk to that trap, you will not get hurt, don't worry. Then wait for 2 seconds you will be flipped by the trap to the other side. then the chest (Black Chest in Chasm, Normal Chest in Anskram) is just in front of you. walk 2-3 steps in front and hit the spacebar and it will open a cove to reveal the chest. SO how do you get out after you get the chest? Turn to the left and hit your spacebar again to flip you outside. The button is hard to see in the leftside but it's there."
Can you kill Yanmir or Njam?
It is reported to be possible to kill Yanmir, albeit very hard. Njam can't be killed until you have imprisoned him. But if you do kill Yanmir, you won't be able to complete the story, so you need to find other ways to deal with him.
How can I win at the fair?
There are two fairs: one in Guberland (called the Gathering) and one in Thjorgard (called the Thing).
To play, you need to buy 1 ticket per game from the games master, found near the middle. He'll also (silently) give you a scroll with game instructions.
For the Capstone of Order you need to go the Gathering, and talk to the guy north of the north-west tent. He'll give it to you for the 6 different prizes you can win at the fair. There are only 5 of the 6 games here, but that does not matter, since which prize you win is random. So you can just as well pick one of the games, and continue until you have all 6 prizes.
Bikki's doll must be won at the Thing, and here you must win each of the 6 games once. After winning the 6 games, you'll hear a pling, and the dragon doll will be added to your inventory. (It looks the same as those on display at the Guberland Jarl's house.)
A few tips on the individual games:
The ducks you have to 'use' (spacebar), not hit. Trick: stand on a long side and keep hitting the spacebar.
The colored stones: this is like mastermind: you need to guess the random combination of colors; a color may appear more than once. First you enter your guess using the originally gray stones, then pull the lever. Flames will appear on the color that is right and on the right place. To select your colors: 'Use' one colored stone, then 'use' the gray stone you want to fill with that color. Trick: fill all stones first with one color, then change the ones that weren't right to the next color, and so on. This will give you a fair chance of success. Note that you can save in between, and restore when a new color gives no improvements. (Thanks to Jim Young for this tip.)
The boat race (only at the Thing): just keep shooting at your (black) boat.
I can't get the bridges all up in the Dark Passageway!
When you arrive at the Dark Passageway, you can find a scroll with a text about undead on it. The names of the undead on it are capitalized, and they are in the order you need to touch the statues on the bridges below. The demon statue at this level resets the puzzle, so that if you made a mistake, you can start over again.
There are 5 parts of the bridge, and they all need to be raised before the gate at the end will open. The first four parts have a statue of an undead on them, and the statues are: skeleton, zombie, lich, banshee (from start to end).
I can't seem to get the mirrors aligned correctly in the Dark Passageway!
This takes a lot of fiddling, but it helps if you know that the mirror should aim directly at the target, not halfway between source and target as you would expect if you know a bit about physics. The way that worked best for me is to stand so that the mirror you're trying to aim, is blocking your sight to it's target. Then you should turn the mirror until the top and bottom are parallel to your screen. It still takes a lot of running to and fro, and trying to figure out if the beam hit the mirror or not. Use the sparks that stay a while after the impact to see where the beam has struck.
If you really want to give up puzzling, this is how often to turn them: 33, 1, 34, 5 times, in the order the light beam travels. (thanks to Nobody)
I can't get through the hole in the Dark Passageway!
This is a problem some people seem to have; I never had it myself, but seen messages about it at Telp's Tavern. At a certain point in the dark passageway there is a small hole that you need to crouch through and plunge into a pool with a sea monster. On some computers people can't seem to crawl through the hole, even with crouching.
There are a few tips I've heard that might help:
* Try switching to a lower video resolution
* Turn off head bob. Turn off detailed textures. Use the keyboard instead of the mouse. Press 'C' and the forward arrow key.
* Sometimes you can get into places by going backwards and crouching combined.
* I've had one report of someone who only succeeded getting through the hole after resting off the party's weak status. (contribution from Klaas van Aarsen)
If you've found one of these tips worked for you, please let me know.
The game says I have the writ, but I can't get into Arslegard anyway!
There are several bugs involved with this problem. First the game says you have the writ when placing the capstone, but the writ will only appear on the table behind you; you'll still need to pick it up. In the unofficial patch the message is adjusted, to be less misleading.
Secondly, if you leave the dungeon and come back later, the writ is gone. If you die inside the dungeon, you won't get into Arslegard, and the autosave will be restored, putting you back at the beginning of the dungeon, with capstone. Then you can do it again, with picking up the writ this time. If you left the dungeon any other way, it's gone, leaving you unable to complete the game. Luckily for you, Klaravoyia made a fix for this situation, that you can read about, and download here. It's also available at the patch page of this site, but be sure you read the instructions first.
My game freezes in the Arslegard bathhouse!
This seems to be a common problem; the advice I've heard is to either finish the concubines off further away from the room, where there's no fog, and don't use spells at all (didn't work for me), or to kill Ebora before the last concubine (did work for me, but no 'movie' then), or not to use turn-based combat with the concubines (worked for a friend; with 'movie').
How do I get open the puzzle doors in the Dungeon of a 1000 Terrors?
The doors start with the 4x4 squares towards you; the purpose is to get them all depressed. Pressing one toggles all the others neighboring it. You can reset the puzzle by pulling the handle to the right. There are many solutions; for the shortest 2 you need to depress these 4 squares in any order:
- - + -   OR   - + - -
+ - - -        - - - +
- - - +        + - - -
- + - -        - - + -
My game freezes in the Dungeon of a 1000 Terrors!
This problem occurs either when fighting demons, or if you enter the dungeon before getting the quest from Krohn for it.
For fighting demons: don't use turn-based combat and you'd be fine.
If you enter too soon, that might be a problem. Several parts of the story get messed up then, and later on lock-ups will occur. Klaravoyia has made a patch that should help solve the problem then.