It's January 99, I finished the first "world" of "Magic and Mayhem" and
started looking on the net for more information about the game. Sad news,
there is not much. The best up to now are the official hints on the
www.mythosgames.com site. Other than that there are only a few desperate
cries for help as the game is tough even on the lowest difficulty level.
Okay, so I'll write a little strategy guide for beginners to get everybody
started. You might also call it a FAQ or even a review.
1) What game am I talking about?
I'm talking of the latest game from Mythos Games (developers of X-COM). What
is its name? Difficult question! Depending on where you live it might be:
Magic & Mayhem (UK)
Duel - The Mage Wars (US)
Mana - Der Weg der schwarzen Macht (Germany)
or some other name in some other country.
What were the marketing guys from Mythos Games smoking? Games sell a lot by
word of mouth which is nowadays via Internet newsgroups, chat rooms and game
sites. If the name of the game changes in every country that won't help.
Also it makes finding information about the game (or multi-player opponents)
on the net rather difficult.
I'm playing the German version, the UK version is already out but the US
version is not yet released. You can download a demo from the Mythos Games
2) What kind of a game is it?
Magic and Mayhem is a kind of "Diablo meets Command&Conquer". You have a
single hero, a mage. If you play the campaign this mage will develop from
humble beginnings to a powerful Archmage in true role-playing fashion. But
unlike Diablo it is unwise to use your mage for fighting. Instead you summon
a number of creatures (up to 15 at the start, probably never more than 30)
and fight real-time strategy battles with them. Your mage is used as some
sort of special unit to open doors, collect things and give "artillery" or
3) Is it good?
Yes, I like the game a lot. Like Diablo this game crosses a genre border.
This time it is RPG/Real-time strategy. If you like either one and you are
not a purist you will most likely like Magic and Mayhem. The campaign is
interesting and neither too easy nor impossible difficult. Graphics, sound
and game controls are up to 1999 standards.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a good multiplayer real-time
strategy game, I can't recommend this one. Your mage is just too damn
vulnerable and your army isn't well suited to protect him. You can well be
in control of the battlefield and die of a sneak attack.
4) What is new and different?
Magic and Mayhem has a very innovative spell system. You have amulets of
three different kinds, chaos, neutral and order. You also have different
spell components, three at the start of the campaign but you will find more
of them later. Before you enter a level you combine your spell components
with your amulets. One spell component can produce three different spells
depending on whether you combine it with a chaos, a neutral or a order
amulet. So even at the very start you have 6 different combinations to chose
from. This number rapidly increases with the number of spell components you
find. If you lose a level you can retry with a different combination.
5) How do I survive the first levels of the campaign?
Simple. Remember that you are not playing Diablo. Mana is limited. Don't use
your fireballs unless you have way too much mana. Instead summon yourself a
little army of different creatures. With those you conquer a POP (point of
power). Occupying such a POP with your mage or a creature slowly refills
your mana. Then you cast more creatures and conquer the next POP. The more
POPs you keep occupied the faster your mana refills. When you have the
maximum number of creatures you use your mana for fireballs and other
If you play at the lowest difficulty level your raven familiar will give you
advice on what to do. Try it, the game is not too easy even at this level.
6) What general strategy should I use in the campaign?
On some levels you have to move away from your starting position quickly
because you are being attacked by creatures or spells. Search for a quiet
place first. If you are not attacked at the start, just stay put for a
while. First you cast a single fast creature to use as scout. Bats excel in
this function as they are ultra-fast and they can fly. With this scout you
explore the map. If you happen upon an undefended POP, take it with the
scout and cast a new one to explore the rest of the map.
While the scout is exploring, summon yourself a nice army. I recommend a mix
of close combat troops with archers 50:50. Mark all of this army by dragging
your mouse and press CTRL-1 to give this army the number 1. You can later
easily select this whole troop by pressing on 1. Don't include your mage in
this troop, either give him a different number or use the special key for
Next you advance with your army. Keep your mage close to your army. This is
more for the protection of the mage but also to be able to cast spells into
In some levels you first have to talk to somebody or go somewhere with your
mage to advance the story. If not, your first target is the closest POP.
Conquer the POP and defend it with one or two newly cast creatures. Heal
your army if possible, wait until you are full with mana and move to the
Continue conquering POPs until you see the enemy mage somewhere (usually
attacking one of your POPs). Then hunt him down and kill him while defending
If you pass food or mana clouds, collect them. But don't waste too much time
on that, they are not always absolutely necessary. If you have healing
spells you only need mana and that you can get from the POPs. On the other
hand doors, chests, artefacts and spell components can only be collected by
your mage and are usually necessary.
When you kill the enemy mage you get experience points. You will also be
told how many of how many possible experience points you have. At the same
time a portal will open. This is shown on your overview map as a pulsating
blue circle. Don't leave unless you have all possible experience points. If
you are missing experience points you might have overlooked a spell
component or artefact and you will need them in future levels.
If you lose a level, try it again with a different combination of spells.
7) Which creatures should I use?
At the start you can only summon weak creatures that cost little mana. The
spell components you find later allow you to summon stronger creatures but
of course cost more mana. You need creatures for different tasks:
- Hand-to-hand combat: In this category you have the widest choice. I like
Skeletons in the first world, but I recommend experimenting until you find
your personal favourite.
- Archers: In the first world there are only Redcaps and Elves. The Elves
are easier to kill but are better archers.
- Scouts: For this you better use fast, flying creatures. Bats are very good
and cheap, later you could try Phoenix. Note that you can (and should)
capture undefended POPs with a single Bat and get some mana before the enemy
- Defenders: Once you capture a POP you will need to defend it against
counterattacks. Tough and slow monsters are good for that.
- Mage killers: When you kill the enemy mage the level is more or less won.
Controlling more POPs than the enemy helps a lot, especially if you want
your mage to battle the enemy mage with spells at close range. But you could
also use the sneak attack approach. Large groups of weak but fast monsters
can take down a mage! I killed Bertilak, the mage of the last level of the
first world with a stack of 10 Bats before even entering the castle (which
then became rather easy). Other good mage killers are Phoenix because they
tend to "grill" the enemy and Basilisk because they poison him.
8) Which other spells should I use?
Usually I cast non-summon spells only after I have a good army. I prefer
healing spells over damage spells. You can heal with food, but healing a
creature that way is cumbersome and you can't find food everywhere. If you
heal your creatures instead of letting them die and casting new ones, they
will achieve first "Lord" status (a halo), then "King" status (a crown)
which makes them fight better. According to the Mythos game website
creatures with "King" status can even control enemy creatures of the same
Damage spells are often a waste of mana, unless you have tons of that. But
if you already control the maximum amount of creatures you could use your
mage as artillery support for your army. That needs a bit of practice
because several of the damage spell could damage your army as well as the
There are also a group of nice spells that improve your creatures. Those are
best when they negate the weak point of one of your creatures. For example
Elves are good archers but die easily. You cast an armor on them and they
are much improved. Casting the same armor on a crocodile will not be that
For the defence of strategically important points I recommend totems. They
are expensive and immobile, but still useful. A healing totem (fountain)
next to a POP will greatly aid in defending it. And you can later save a lot
of mana by refilling the health of your army at this healing fountain
instead of using the healing spell. The pestilence totem combines well with
This FAQ was written by Kai Hortmann. I'm not working for Mythos Games so my
opinions are unofficial and private. Permission is given to redistribute or
add to this FAQ provided you leave my name on it (and add yours if you add