魔法门:
Might and Magic:
决战星云世界
World of Xeen

New World Computing, 1992
MS-DOS, Mac 和 PC-98

New World Computing, 1992
MS-DOS, Mac and PC-98

魔法门:决战星云世界(Might and Magic: World of Xeen)是由两部独立的游戏组合而成:1992 年的《魔法门 4:星云之谜(Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen)》与 1993 年的《魔法门 5:黑暗魔君大反扑(Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen)》。如果分开玩,两部都是《魔法门》系列代表作,但如果把两部游戏同时装进电脑,游戏会弹出合并提示,玩家就能享受一个颇为连贯的游玩体验。

席恩(Xeen)是一个方形平面行星,在两部游戏里玩家分别探索席恩星的两个面:首先在光界(Light Side)击败臭名昭著的席恩王(Lord Xeen),接着在暗界(Darkside)打败席恩王的主人谢尔特(Sheltem)。通过伫立于席恩星之上的魔法塔,玩家能在两界间自由穿梭,自行探索整个行星。此外,《决战星云世界》还增设一系列支线任务,玩家要直面各大挑战,最终达到游戏的真正结局。

《决战星云世界》是《魔法门》系列最后一部 2D 大作,也是集大成者,此后从《魔法门 6》开始,游戏都以 3D 形式呈现。同时,这也是 New World Computing 最后一部独立开发的游戏,此后该公司被 3DO 收购。对我这样的游戏开发者而言,那些诞生于公司转型关键期的游戏,如《决战星云世界》,有着非同一般的吸引力。

Might and Magic: World of Xeen is actually an adventure composed of two distinct games: Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen (1992) and Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen (1993). Played separately, these games are typical Might and Magic games, but when both are installed in your computer they combine into a continuous experience.

Xeen is a flat, square-shaped world, and on each game you explore one side of the planet – first defeating the infamous Lord Xeen on the Light Side, then battling his master, Sheltem, on the Darkside. Magical pyramids spread across the land allow you to travel between both sides, exploring each at your own pace. Furthermore, World of Xeen adds a new batch of quests, requiring you to face challenges across all of Xeen to reach the game's true ending.

World of Xeen is the ultimate 2D game of the series before the move to 3D in Might and Magic VI and beyond. It was also the last game that New World Computing published independently before being acquired by The 3DO Company. As a game developer, I find the games like Xeen at the cusp of a transition to be particularly interesting.

1994 年,New World Computing 发布本作的 CD 增强版,增添全新语音内容

New World Computing released an enhanced CD version of World of Xeen in 1994 that added new voiced content to the game.

支线任务一般都很简单:找东西、击杀指定敌人。但这些任务都很有创意。

Side-quests usually are very simple, based on finding an object or killing a specific enemy. But they are creative.

席恩星的制作观念反映出,New World Computing 致力于将本作打造成一部鸿篇巨著:《决战星云世界》的艺术质感细腻,内容详尽;从各方面而言,游戏世界堪称宏大;本作还配有带语音的过场动画,在当时实属罕见;两部游戏合并后形成了一个完整的新游戏,这个设定着实与众不同。

就游戏机制而言,《决战星云世界》继承前作衣钵,借鉴大量前作设定,特别是《魔法门 3(Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra, 1991)》。玩家可从大量职业和种族中任意挑选,组建六人团队。可以招募传统的战士、法师,也可以选择身披重甲、能吟唱咒语的复合职业。在短时间内,不同种族的选择会带来不同的增益与负面效果。随着等级提高,角色会不断增强,还会习得诸如寻路、游泳、语言等新技能,这些都会在冒险中派上用场。组合基础物件而成的一些带有随机附加属性的物品,也会增强角色战力。

强劲的战力增幅是《魔法门》系列的标志,这一点在本作更是体现得淋漓尽致。团队成员起初弱小,但魔法物品与各种针对角色数据、生命值、魔法值的短效增益能让团队的战力翻倍。这个设定听上去乏善可陈,但相较于无脑升级带来的战力增幅,这种搭配更能发挥玩家的主观能动性。此外,由于角色战力主要由后期获得的物品道具决定,初始种族对游戏终盘的影响也降到最低。

移动和战斗机制与前作无异,即采用网格站位的第一视角回合制战斗。角色可以使用远程武器、法师也可以施法攻击远处的敌人。不过要注意的是,敌人同样也能从远距离发起攻击。能否通过灵活走位来规避伤害,是决定胜负的关键。

Xeen's production values show that New World Computing wanted a grand game. The art is lush and detailed, the world is massive by any standard, there were voiced cutscenes not often seen, and the fact that the two entire games combined together to form a complete game set it apart from any other RPG.

Gameplay-wise, World of Xeen is a direct descendant of prior Might and Magic games and borrows many mechanics, particularly from the third game. You create a party of six characters of various classes and races. You have a standard selection of weapon users, spell slingers, and hybrid classes that can use heavy gear and spells. Your race choice gives you some benefits and penalties in the short term. Advancement comes from gaining new levels, as well as acquiring skills to help you in your adventures, such as Path-finding, Swimming and Linguistics. Items created by combining base types with random attributes also add to character power.

Power inflation is the hallmark of the Might and Magic games, and you see it clearly here. Your party starts out weak, but magical items and temporary buffs to statistics, hit points, or magic points can make any party's orders of magnitude more powerful. While this seems silly, it allows for the player's knowledge to give advantages that simply grinding levels could not. This power inflation also makes it so that the adjustments you got from your starting character choices have less of an impact at the endgame.

Movement and fighting are the usual grid- and turn-based affairs of first-person RPGs at the time. Characters with ranged weapons and spellcasters can fire at enemies approaching from a distance; but, be warned, enemies can do the same. Knowing how to move and not expose yourself to attacks can be the difference between victory and defeat.

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