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Myth (computer game series)

Myth is a series of real-time tactics (not to be confused with real-time strategy) computer games. The games are:

  • Myth: The Fallen Lords
  • Myth II: Soulblighter
  • Myth III: The Wolf Age

Myth and Myth II were developed and self-published by Bungie Software between 1997 and 1999. As a result of Bungie's sale to Microsoft in 2000 the company lost the franchise rights to Take 2 Interactive . Take Two would release Myth III: The Wolf Age in 2001. The game, developed by MumboJumbo, was met with good reviews, many of which cited a number of bugs in the initial release. .

The Myth games were a departure from established standards laid down by titles such as Warcraft and Command & Conquer in that resource retrieval and unit construction were entirely removed; in their places were squad- and soldier-level tactics. Some have argued that this has given the game a far greater sense of realism than its contemporaries. . Reviewers have cited the series' (at the time) revolutionary use of 3D environments, its use of weather effects, and its realistic physics engines as reasons for this. To many, Myth set the standard for the type of strategy that the Total War series of games made popular.

The games were also remarkable for depth of free multiplayer support, intense and continuing fan activity on the web (including a wide range of fan-created mods), and simultaneous Macintosh and Windows development and release.

Release dates

  • Myth: The Fallen Lords - 1997
  • Myth II: Soulblighter - 1998
  • Myth II: Chimera - 1999
  • Myth: The Total Codex - 1999 !
  • Myth II: Worlds - 2001 !
  • Green Berets - Powered by Myth II - 2001 !
  • Myth III: The Wolf Age - December 2001

! = The above marked were not new titles in the Myth series, but rather releases of user created content bundled with the games.

Gameplay

General

Players control small forces made up of a number of different units possessing their own strengths and weaknesses. In the single player game, these were limited to units representing 'The Light'; but multiplayer allowed players to control units from both sides of the conflict.

Unlike many other strategy games available at the time of its release, Myth's combat does not focus on the collection of resources and the building of armies. In contrast to the "meat grinder" style of some games - it is possible for a skilled player to defeat a much larger force with few or no casualties. This is, largely, due to the advanced physics engine the game employs. Physically modelled environments, unit interactions, and diverse unit behaviours combine to create a gameplay experience in which realistic battlefield interactions can and do occur.

Myth employs a sophisticated physics engine which greatly affects gamplay. Nearly all objects on the map, even the remains of dead units, are potential projectiles. These objects react with one another, units on the map, and terrain with nearly all expected physical behaviour; including rolling, bouncing, and crashing. Projectiles, including those fired by ranged units, have no guarantee of hitting any target; they are merely propelled in the directions instructed by the physics engine, based on the actions of the players. Arrows may miss their targets due to a randomly small degree of simulated aiming error that becomes significant at long range; or the target may simply move out of the way if the arrow’s flight time is particularly long. This aiming error may cause the arrow to hit the attacker’s own melee unit instead, causing the same amount of damage as friendly fire is a permanent aspect of the game at all times.

Formations of units are tactically important in Myth because individual units occupy physical space, and thus no two units can occupy or cross the same physical space at the same time. When placed together in formation, units can provide an effective defensive front; block an enemy force’s escape route; or exploit bad positioning of an enemy force by surrounding it. Since healing is a rare ability; units do not regenerate health; and there is no way to construct new units, hit and run skirmishes are effective and unit conservation is essential. In light of this, each point of damage can be significant.

Terrain and environmental factors are also important. Rain or standing water will put out some fire or explosive based attacks. Archers on the high ground are able to shoot farther than those on level ground. Most units will flinch when damaged, interrupting actions such as movement and attacks. This has many strategic implications: for example, if two or three melee units gang up to attack one enemy melee unit, it may flinch too frequently to have the chance to attack or escape.

Each unit has a name and gains individual experience for each kill it makes, with some monstrous units being worth more experience than smaller units. Experience increases attack rate and accuracy, as well as (for units with shields) the probability of blocking an attack. All else being equal, an experienced army will destroy a comparable force of fresh units.

Blood permanently stains the terrain and bodies do not decay. This blood-ground-smear gives battles in Myth a gritty, gory, unsanitized feel. The events of battles can be deduced from battlefield detritus, which is important in multiplayer free-for-all games and some single-player missions. Explosions and fire also scorch the landscape, and any blast may launch any debris outward, possible causing damage to nearby units.

Multiplayer

In multiplayer, the player starts with an army and may usually customize it by trading units, using point values that approximate the value of the units. Proper selection of units is an enormous strategy itself, given the goal of each multi-player game. For example: if the goal of the game is to stand guard a flag as long as possible (as it is with King of the Hill), customizing your army with only ranged units would not be wise because there would be no melee to guard the flag. Such considerations make Myth all the more realistic because of the constant amount of strategic choices.

Games generally are either "free-for-all" or FFA, where each player has his own army and competes with everyone else, or "Team," where each army is controlled by a group of players with a captain who disperses units for his teammates to control. There are many different kinds of multiplayer games, ranging from simple "Body Count" to more complicated games involving flags, balls, or animals.

The number and variety of multiplayer game types and multiplayer players are one reason why Myth has remained so popular online. For each game type, different strategies are employed.

  • Body Count: The player or team that deals the most points of damage within the time limit wins.
  • Capture the Flag: Each player or team has a flag at their starting location. If the flag is ever lost, even for a second, the player is eliminated.
  • Last Man on the Hill: A flag is in the middle of the map. The winner is the player who controls the flag when time runs out. If multiple players contest the flag, the game goes into sudden death, and the first player to get uncontested control of the flag for five seconds wins.
  • King of the Hill: A flag is in the middle of the map. The player is credited for every second that he controls or contests the flag. The winner is the one with the most time when the game ends.
  • Territories: Several flags are scattered across the map. The winner is the one who controls the most flags when time runs out. If any flag is contested, the game goes into sudden death.
  • Flag Rally: Several flags are scattered across the map. The winner is the one who tags all the flags first (where "tagging" means taking uncontested control.)
  • Steal the Bacon: A ball is in the center of the map. Any unit can move the ball by running into it, and clicking directly on the ball will cause the unit to follow it and bump it roughly in the direction the unit is running. The ball can also be blasted around with explosives. The winner is the player who controls the ball when time runs out. If the ball is contested, the game goes into sudden death.
  • Captures: Like Territories, but with balls instead of flags.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Like Flag Rally, but with balls instead of flags.
  • Balls On Parade: Like Capture the Flag, but with a ball instead of a flag.
  • Assassin: Each player gets an assassin target, usually a helpless Baron but sometimes more powerful units. If the assassin target dies, the player is eliminated.
  • Stampede: Each team has one or more flags and a herd of animals or peasants. For each animal that reaches an enemy flag, the animal is teleported away and a point is gained. The winner is the team with the most points when all the animals are dead or safe, or when time runs out.
  • Hunting: Dozens of computer-controlled wildlife units such as deer and hawks are placed on the map. For each animal killed, a point is scored. The winner is the one with the most points when time runs out.

Solo

In the single player campaign, the player starts the mission with an army and must use it to accomplish specific goals. These goals range from defending a location, reaching a certain point on the map, escorting a unit safely, or destroying an object of strategic significance. In rare cases it is possible for the player to acquire new units to bolster his forces, although this is the exception rather than the rule.

The focus of the Myth series' solo campaigns is on a smaller force out-maneuvering and out-thinking a much larger enemy force. For this reason, the importance of terrain and unit formation is particularly important. Using high ground to further the range of archers; creating bottle necks; and whittling down an enemy with hit and run tactics all become crucial strategies in the single player game.

Units in the solo campaign acquire 'experience' with each kill they make. As they acquire experience, units become more resilient, attack faster, and deal more damage. In Myth: The Fallen Lords units would retain this experience until killed or until a unit of their type did not appear in a given scenario. In Myth II: Soulblighter and Myth III: The Wolf Age, units would retain experience until killed. Therefore, with careful management, it becomes possible for a player to create an army of heroes from the inexperienced soldiers they began play with.

Units

What follows is a listing of unit types, divided into Light or Dark based on their nature. Light units get shields next to their name to denote kills, while Dark units get skulls. Light and Dark does not necessarily denote their alignment; sometimes in the campaign the player will control Dark units or face off against Light units. In multiplayer, this distinction is irrelevant, and a player almost always controls mixed armies of both types of units. "Light" and "Dark" have another meaning in multiplayer: Most maps have "Light" and "Dark" variants, where the Dark variant allows control of very powerful units. It's important to note the only difference between a "light" and "dark" map is the unit selection; the actual terrain of the maps are identical. For example: the map "I'll Dance on your Grave" and "I'll Dance on your Spiderweb" are completely identical in terrain, but the latter allows access to much stronger, more potent, more damage-inflicting units. As a result, very different strategies exist for each "light" and "dark" maps. The difference in gameplay between the two maps is so great that many players were often termed "dark mappers" or "light mappers" regarding with which unit types they worked best. Furthermore, a player could have an excellent "map strategy" for a dark map, but perform poorly on a the same light version map.

The number in parenthesis below is the multiplayer point cost, which gives an idea of the relative value of the unit. For the sake of brevity, some uncommon units are not listed.

The Light

  • Warriors (2 points): Warriors are basic ground units, moderately fast and tough, and fight with sword and shield. They have a chance to block melee attacks with their shields. The shield, when utilized with experience, is highly under-rated because in possessing a shield the chances of a Warrior's attack being interrupted is decreased.
  • Bowmen (3 points): Bowmen are basic ranged units, slower and weaker than Warriors, but may attack from afar. In Myth II, Bowmen were given the ability to fire one flaming arrow each. Flaming arrows spawn off an enormous amount of strategic bullet-points because they can ignite explosive satchel charges, trap opponent units in flames (dealing quite a bit of damage), amongst other uses. Bowmen also have a weak melee attack in the form of a small knife, though they will flee a melee attacker or reposition for another shot if a the attacker comes too near if not ordered to use the knife. Although weak, many Bowmen can be used together to kill a unit that has come too close to be shot or to kill a Stygian Knight. On average six unexperienced Bowmen can melee a Stygian Knight with high casualties.
  • Berserks (3 points): kilt-wearing barbarians with huge claymores, Berserks, unlike Warriors, wear no armor and thus they suffer more with damage taken from enemies. However, they are faster in both movement and attack than Warriors -- in other words, given a Berserk (deemed "Zerk" by the online community for short) versus Warrior encounter, the Warrior will be able to block some of Berserk's attacks, but the frequency of those attacks will cause a high number of movement-interruption flinches in the Warrior, almost certainly resulting in a Berserk victory. When experienced, a group of them are amongst the most effective melee Light units in both Myth and Myth II.
  • Dwarves (6 points) and Dwarven Mortars (8 points, Myth II only): diminutive explosive-lobbers, Dwarves are favored units for their ability to single-handedly demolish whole armies with molotov cocktails in spectacular explosions -- if they aren't extinguished by rain, standing water, or bad luck. Their special ability is to lay explosive satchel charges. Dwarves are slow, weak, and helpless in a melee, with a minimum range for throwing cocktails. When killed, a dwarf will drop his remaining satchel charges where he falls, which can be potentially disastrous to any nearby units. In Myth II, Dwarven explosive technology advances in the form of the Dwarven Mortar, a unit that lobs ballistic rounds over a much longer range, but with a correspondingly greater minimum range and significant reload time. Mortar rounds explode even underwater, and the units do not carry satchel charges. "Minimum range" is a major factor for ranged units. With the exception of Bowmen, who have a special "knife attack", which -- considering its paltry amount of damage -- is practically a useless defense in 1-on-1 battles, if a melee unit enters into the "minimum range" of a ranged unit's attack, the ranged unit has no defense unless the player control-clicks to attack the ground behind the attacker past the minimum range of the missile attack.
  • Journeymen (6 points): tough and resilient healer units. Often considered to be "too expensive" given their capabilities, Journeymen can be quite effective units if used correctly. Each Journeyman carries only a shovel, and wears a thick fur coat and heavy gold plates which provide great protection. They carry six mandrake roots, each of which may be used to heal a living unit almost to full health, or to cause damage to an undead unit. While the Journeymen can only hold nine roots at any given time, they can pick up extra mandrake roots (see subsequent Note), found in "weed clumps" around the maps, making the amount of units a Journeyman can heal limited only to the accessibility to mandrake roots (and of course the presence of damaged units). Journeymen are immune to the paralyzing effects of wights, though they are still damaged by the explosion, making them the preferred melee defense unit for Wights by far. Note: the previously mentioned feature of replaceability of mandrake roots is similar to Dwarven satchel charges, who have, depending on the Dwarven unit type, a limit of 4 or 8 or 12 satchels, which can be replaced if the Dwarf finds undetonated satchels around the map. Heron Guards' roots can also be replaced. Unused Bowman flame arrows can only be found near the corpses of Bowmen who did not use them in combat. This is the only way to replenish a Bowman's supply of flame arrows.
  • Warlocks (8 points, Myth II only): black-robed sorcerers, Warlocks open their robes to project a guided fireball, or to summon a ring of fire from the ground for protection. Warlocks may damage underwater units with their fireballs. Warlock attacks are all powered by mana bars, and when out of mana, a Warlock can not attack until the mana recharges. A weakness to the Warlock is that their projectile is the easiest to intercept in the game of Myth II of any ranged unit. Unlike Dwarven "lobbed" explosives, the Warlock explosive fireball travels along the ground, "seeking" the target. This means that low-level obstructions between the target will block the Warlock attack. The lobbing versus ground-seeking movement differentiation between the Dwarven and Warlock explosives, consequently, respectively results in different strategies for each unit. For example, if there is a Warrior between a Warlock and the Warlock's target, the Warlock won't be able to hit the target without hitting the friendly unit, but a Dwarf, on the other hand, in the same situation could potentially lob his explosive over the friendly Warrior to hit the enemy unit. Note: throughout most of Myth II, Warlocks fight on the side of the Light, but they are wrongfully considered Dark units.
  • Heron Guards (3 points, Myth II only): the Heron Guards are the Journeymen reborn, each wearing samurai-like armor and wielding a small sword in each hand. Swift movement, rapid attacks, and effective armor make them powerful assets of the Light. Each one carries a single (but up to 3) mandrake root for healing. Like Journeymen, they are immune to wight paralysis while still vulnerable to the explosion itself. These units are essentially a hybrid of Warriors and Berserks as they are not nearly as fragile as a Berserk but attack with the effectiveness of one. Notably, the Heron Guard also does not flinch when attacked which allows it to take on multiple units at one time.
  • Forest Giants (24 points, Myth: TFL only): 12-foot behemoths capable of taking extreme damage and killing most units in one deadly swat. They can only be healed to half health. The "dark version" of Forest Giants is the Trow however in one-on-one combat with units of equal experience the Trow will always lose.
  • Avataras: the only Avatara used in either Myth or Myth II is Alric, and he is not available in standard multiplayer because he is too powerful for game balance. An Avatara named Sardonac is available in Myth III but can only be used in one level. Sorcerer-warriors, Avataras are very good melee fighters and have high resistance to elemental attacks. Alric's special attack is the Dispersal Dream, which he can use three times and which causes a chain of explosions to ripple through enemy troops. The Dispersal Dream is limited to the proximity of enemy troops to each other. If the enemy troops are close enough to each previous explosion, the subsequent units will continue to explode, usually killing all of them. The Dispersal Dream does not differentiate between friend and foe. At one point in Myth II, Alric wields the lightning sword Balmung, which imbues his normal attack with spectacular power and enables him to single-handedly take on obscene numbers of enemy forces.

The Dark

  • Thrall (1 point): mindless animated corpses with axes. Thrall are cannon fodder, too slow to really do much good on the battlefield, but reasonably effective in a melee if they manage to avoid getting blown up before they reach the line. If Myth did not have the realistic combat engine that it does, Thrall would be nearly identical to the Warrior light melee unit. However, the lack of a shield makes the Thrall more susceptible to movement-intervention flinching and, therefore, far inferior to the Warrior in one-on-one all-else-being-equal attack scenarios. Thrall can go underwater, which allows them to lay in wait and ambush opponents. In multiplayer games however, many players use Thrall as a guard for their flag in the 'capture the flag' gametype. The high health and low cost of the Thrall buys time for a player to react and reinforce the flag before the enemy can completely capture it.
  • Cave Spiders (1 point): possessing the smallest health bars and no defensive armor of any kind, they are among the easiest of units to kill in the game. However, they are amongst the easiest units to be "killed by" given a flanking scenario and their extremely fast speed; they are among the fastest units in the game. Capable of traversing any terrain except deep water. Extremely effective against ranged and artillery units in numbers because of their ability to close the distance between the ranged units with their speed.
  • Brigands (2 points, Myth II only) and Dark Archers (3 points, Myth II only): like Warriors and Bowmen, but evil and slightly slower. They are not available in multiplayer.
  • Ghols (2 points): the ape-like Ghols are weak, cleaver-wielding fast melee units that are excellent at raiding lines of Bowmen or running down Dwarves. Ghols may pick up, carry, and throw most items on the battlefield -- including Dwarven satchel charges, unexploded cocktails and mortar shells, and the explosive body parts of Wights. Unlike other units and their respective items, they can only handle one object at a time though.
  • Wolves (3 points, Myth II only): Wolves are reasonably fast with a decent attack, but very low health. They appear only once in the single-player game, and sporadically appear in multiplayer.
  • Stygian Knights (3 points, Myth II only): magically animated suits of armour that are tough melee fighters. They are completely immune to shrapnel, fire and non-explosive missile attacks, but take double damage from explosives. Though undead, they cannot go underwater. Stygian Knights offer some of the most interesting strategies of the game because of their uniquely susceptible vulnerability to explosives but hardened defense against other ranged attacks. They can be easily destroyed with an explosive attack, comparable to units having much lower health such as the Ghols, Bowman or Wights, but put up quite a defense against melee and/or ranged (arrow) attacks. Along with Ghols, Stygian Knights are one of the most common units for attacking Bowmen as their speed and invulnerability to arrows makes them extremely effective. It should be noted that though they do not take damage from an enemy's arrow, they will still flinch.
  • Soulless (3 points): basic ranged unit of the undead, the Soulless is a ghostly floating torso that throws javelins. Soulless can traverse any terrain, even steep cliffs and deep water. Instead of traversing a lake's floor however, they glide over the surface and are still visible and vulnerable to missile attacks. Flanking a Soulless line can be very effective, as missiles will go right through them, each dealing full damage to multiple Soulless; the only unit whereby a single arrow (or spear) can do multiple-unit damage is the Soulless. Effective ranged unit strategy against soulless involves targeting the farthest unit away in a pack of soulless, so your ranged projectile hits the anterior en route to the targeted enemy unit. Soulless are slow; coupled with their medium range they are easy prey to Bowmen.
  • Myrmidons (2 points, Myth: TFL only): warriors granted "immortality" in exchange for their service in the armies of Balor. They very closely resemble mummies. Because they carry two curved Gridaksma-styled metal blades, their attacks have a higher likelihood of causing movement-intervention flinches. Myrmidons can also block melee attacks like the shield-using Warriors of the Light. Their dual-weapon attack and the high speed of attacking makes them stronger attackers than Warriors. The closest thing to a Myrmidon in the Light army would be a Berserk. However, Myrmidons are not as strong as Berserks, making them somewhat in between Warriors and Berserks in their melee ability. They are not "technically" undead, only tricked by Balor into a hellish eternal life, which delivers a subtle homage to the Greek mythological origin of Myrmidons, which means "ant".
  • Wights (3 points) and Ghasts (1 point, Myth II only): Wights are bloated, infested, gas-filled corpses that explode with an erupting roar upon death or after detonating themselves, dealing heavy damage and stunning friend and foe alike in the surrounding area. They are the kamikaze units; their only attack is to stab themselves with a dagger and blow up. Wights are the only unit in the game that can attack only once. Wights die very easily, and are very slow, but they can hide underwater. An ideal strategy is to hide Wights in the deep water next to a shallow water crossing, and wait for unsuspecting enemies to attempt to ford the stream. Wights which have not yet fully "ripened" are called Ghasts. They move relatively quickly and do not explode, but have a paralyzing attack. Ghasts appear only in the first two levels of the game and rarely in multiplayer.
  • Bre' Unor (4 points, Myth II only): fast, weak, bone-wielding primitives. Their high multiplayer cost is because they have both an effective ranged attack and an effective melee attack, making them unique in that aspect. Bre' Unor are rarely used in multiplayer, and appear only once in the single-player game.
  • Myrkridia (4 points, Myth II only) and Myrkridian Giants (32 points, Myth II only): vicious, werewolf-like creatures that tear enemies to pieces. They are stronger than, but similar to, the Light unit Berserk in their speed of attack and lack of any armor whatsoever. Like the Berserk who were also given a nickname, the online community has dubbed Myrkridia "myrks" for short. Myrkridia run fast and attack very quickly. Like any unit, if their strengths are utilized, they can be a very powerful melee unit in Myth II. A major weakness is that they go berserk when nearly dead (extremely low health bar), attacking the unit closest to them, friend or foe. In multiplayer, the player actually loses control of them when their health gets too low. Myrkridian Giants (24 points) are enormous, very strong variants with the special ability to lob handfuls of explosive heads. This special ability can be used when enough mana is available for the unit. Myrkridian Giants do not go berserk, attack quickly, move quickly, and do considerable damage per strike. Myrkridian Giants, Trow and Forest giants are in the same category of giant units.
  • Mauls (4 points, Myth II only): large anthropomorphic pig/boar-like beasts who carry a large spiked club. Mauls have an average speed, and can both dish out and receive high amounts of damage. A Maul's attack cannot be blocked by a Warrior's shield, and Mauls do not easily flinch. Because of their high amount of health they can take much abuse of all kinds before dying from their wounds.
  • Fetch (6 points): priestesses from another dimension, inhabiting the skins of their victims, the dangerous Fetch fire bolts of lightning that do area damage. Their range is greater than that of a Dwarf, but less than that of a Bowman. Their attack helps defend them, as it deflects any incoming projectiles. Their health is very low and they move and attack rather slowly. Fetch are highly resistant to lightning.
  • Trow (24 points): hulking, loincloth-clad giants, Trow wade into the melee, kicking to pieces smaller units that get in their way, and punching other large units. Similar to Forest Giants and Myrkridian Giants in potential damage, size, and attack style, they are faster, making them the fastest usable unit in the game. They are resistant to elemental damage. Significantly, they are the only melee unit (very nearly) invulnerable to Wights. Trow turn to stone at low health and can only be healed to about 60% health. Their weakness is their height, which can be exploited by having Bowmen units target them amongst a melee fray. Typically, once a melee skirmish commences your Bowmen have to cease firing or risk damaging your own units as much as the enemy's units (friendly fire). However, because the Trow is so abnormally tall, it can be easily targeted by Bowmen while amongst other units. In Myth III, some Trow called Trow iron warriors (TIW) are clad in iron armor and equipped with large war hammers. One of the best ways to kill an enemy Trow if no Bowmen or Soulless are around, is to heal it with a Journeyman or Heron Guard making the Trow freeze for about 2 seconds while being healed, giving you a chance to surround or trap the unlucky giant and hit him with many melee attacks in fast succession.
  • Shades (16 points): Shades are undead Avataras, and only appear in the single-player game and some custom maps because of their immense power. They cannot cross water. Shades are also armed with 3 Dispersal Dreams, which they drop when slain. Though undead, they are not slain by healing.
  • Mahir (4 points, Myth II only): When not engaged in combat, these ghostly undead souls float across the landscape as mere black pools that blend in with the surrounding landscape. Mahir cannot be targeted by a melee attack when not themselves engaged in a fight. They can, however, be damaged by radius attacks such as those of Dwarvan cocktails or Fetch lightning strikes. Mahir are also invisible on the overhead map. Despite their many unique attributes they are extremely weak units whose health is most comparable to that of a Cave Spider.

Storyline

The Myth series is set in a fantasy world that was inspired in many ways by Glen Cook's Black Company novels, as it is narrated via a common soldier's journal that tells the tale of life itself coming under attack by an undead horde and its masters, the Fallen Lords. Certain Lovecraftian themes also appear throughout, and there are numerous borrowings from Celtic mythology

The Myth community

The Myth community encompasses the fanbase of the Myth series of games. Members of this community are especially notable for performing extensive volunteer software development to update and maintain a commercial game over seven years after its initial release. Since 2002, the game servers have also been donated.

The Myth series of games (collectively: Myth: The Fallen Lords, Myth II: Soulblighter, and Myth III: The Wolf Age) are renowned for their open-ended and extensible gaming engines. As the latter two titles shipped with functioning editors, and the original was quickly reverse-engineered by third-party hackers, most notably by a player known as "pinoys", these games allowed fans to develop maps and scenarios for the game. During the years 1998-2001, widely considered the franchise's zenith, literally thousands of third-party creations were released on community-maintained sites. In addition, many tournaments were organized, most notable the annual Myth World Cup organised by various figures within the community.

Myth development history

The Myth games have a long and twisting history. Created by one company, bought by another, and finally supported and enhanced by the user community, the story of its 10 year development history (as of 2007) is an anomaly in an environment where the shelf life of most games is measured in months.

The last official releases by Bungie Software for Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter were in 2001. After Myth II was released, and before Microsoft bought Bungie, Take2 traded their Bungie stock for the rights to the Myth franchise from Bungie. Take2 released several Myth related titles including Myth Worlds (including 2 CDs of fan-created add-ons), Green Berets (conversion from medieval setting to a Vietnam era setting), and Myth 3: The Wolf Age.

Myth 3: The Wolf Age was widely seen as an incomplete product rushed to market so not to miss out on December sales. This perception was supported by the fact that the development team had a total of 11 months to complete the project with not much support from Bungie, GoDGames or Take2. After severely updating the preexisting Myth 2 engine into an almost completely new Myth 3D engine, toolset, new assets, and storyline, Take2 laid off most of the Mumbo Jumbo development team during the finaling phase of development. During this time, the Dev team was also responsible for all marketing work and budget, press and general PR. The Dev team shipped the game and remained on board unpaid to release 2 patches to fix outstanding problems, the final one being v1.0.2. After Myth III was rushed into going gold, Take2 stopped all development and support for all three Myth games.

A group of Myth fans who called themselves "Myth Developers" provided updates to the games when the games were neglected by the original developers. This group, and successor groups under other names, have continued to support and develop all three games without compensation. These groups have updated the software for the latest operating systems, fixed various bugs, and added various enhancements and awesome features to both the games themselves and the mapmaking tools. Included is the port of the Myth: The Fallen Lords single player campaign to the Myth 2 engine.

Third-party projects for Myth II

Due to the robust (and free) mapmaking tools released to the public by Bungie and additional tools created by fans - new maps, units, 3d objects, and other plugins were created for Myth II by the thousands. These projects converted Myth II from the medieval fantasy world of Myth to one of Feudal Japan, to a Lego world, to the US Civil War, to World War II, to various sci-fi inspired worlds, to the American Wild West, to a Tolkien inspired world, to one where giant mechanized robots battled, and many other projects.

Tournaments and Online Servers

Myth II servers allow players to compete online. Bungie.net was the original Myth series server. The Myth: The Fallen Lords server closed in November 2001, and the Myth II: Soulblighter's server closed in March 2002. Bungie.net supported all versions of the first 2 Myth games. Shortly before Bungie.net went dark, some Myth fans reverse engineered the bungie.net game server and started their own server | mariusnet (named after one of the two developers, Marius. (the other being Connor)). A few months after bungie.net went down, Playmyth; a server based on the bungie.net server code which Bungie made available for free started up. PlayMyth was the most popular server and community hub until 2007 when it was shut down.

Current Myth Game Servers

  • MariusNet is the oldest of the 3rd party Myth game servers and is currently the only game server still running (other than GameRanger and Gametap which aren't compatible with other versions of myth 2 online). Mariusnet supports all 3 Myth games as well as an earlier online game by Bungie; Marathon. A related website provides news, forums, downloads, player stats, team/order lists and much more.
  • GameRanger supports Myth II but has a much smaller userbase.

While players on multiple servers make counting the community size hard, some details are available. A good way of measuring changes to the size of the community over time is by looking at participation in large yearly tournaments which involve a substantial portion of the Myth community. The 2007 Myth World Cup most recently fielded 24 teams, down from a historic high of 96. Additionally, at its multi-player online peak, when the online community still operated from Bungie.net, 10-20 of the online rooms would be full, each containing anywhere from 1-30+ players. Currently, the third-party servers have only a few rooms containing players, generally considerably less than 100 players online at any given point in time.

Community Hubs

The Tain, is a slick full-featured Myth file download site, containing maps and plugins and other files of interest to players and mapmakers.

Project Magma's forums are one of the most popular community gathering sites for map-makers and players.

Mariusnet's new site is a merger of the original mariusnet site with the mythforums site. It is still fairly new (Fall 2007) but with its forums, news, player and order stats, large file download repository, and status as the home of the only remaining myth game server, mariusnet is the most important Myth community site.

During tournament season (summer), the Myth World Cup forums are also a popular place for Mythers to hang out (for the most recent MWC site see Myth World Cup 2007). Myth World Cup 2008 www.mwc08.com is currently in session! as of July 10, 2008 no teams have been eliminated YET in the double elimination round-robin styled tourney.

The Galleria Mythica is a collection of photos and profiles of over 300 former and current Myth players.

Historical Sites

For many years during and after Bungie.net's existence, The Mill (a large Myth related file repository with forums) was the place to go for news, discussions and the latest maps or plugins for all three of the Myth games.

Post-Bungie Myth

Development of the Myth Series was halted by Bungie, but fan groups have been given access to the source code and have taken it upon themselves to keep the series up to date. Also, after a long period of slow decline in membership, Bungie.net shut down its Myth servers. Bungie.net went down in 2001, and Bungie.net II in February 2002. Fortunately for players, multiplayer for the game was continued through such fan-based public servers as MariusNet and Playmyth.net (Playmyth.net has since ceased operation). Such servers are maintained by volunteers and funded by donations from the players.

Players should visit the links below to get updates and demos of the games for Windows, Mac OS and Mac OS X. Myth II was ported to Linux by Loki Studios, but only to update 1.3.1, and is not compatible with current versions of Myth II.

On March 22 2007, Myth II: Soulblighter version 1.5.1c and Myth III: The Wolf Age version 1.1 were made available on GameTap. Players can connect to fan-run multiplayer servers but cannot patch the game or add any custom content, which may limit the number of people they are able to connect to.

Awards

The first of the Myth series, The Fallen Lords was very acclaimed for its time, Myth II followed with larger sale success and popularity.

Myth: The Fallen Lords, 1997

  • PC Gamer Best Real Time Strategy Game of the Year
  • Computer Gaming World Strategy Game of the Year
  • Computer Games Strategy Plus Game of the Year
  • Macworld Magazine Game of the Year
  • GameSpot have included the Myth series in the "Greatest Games of All Time" hall of fame.
  • Myth I was listed in the Best of 1997 and Myth II in 98 at Games Revolution.com

Myth World Cup

Myth World Cup is an annual online, double-elimination, 2-team tournament. "TFL98: Myth World Cup" was the first incarnation, played on Myth TFL. All MWCs since have been played on Myth II. A large community rallying point, MWC tournaments gather the most teams, have the most active forums, and are known for their funny articles and reviews.

Myth II installer bug

The original version of the Myth II: Soulblighter contained a serious bug. The bug was that the CD contained an uninstaller which would remove Myth from a computer by deleting the directory in which it had been installed. If the user had overridden the default and installed Myth to the root level of his hard drive, the uninstaller would delete the entire contents of the user's hard drive.

This bug was caught after Myth II CDs had been sent out and also duplicated and boxed to ship to stores. Bungie employees went to the factory, tore open the boxes, and replaced the faulty CDs with new CDs on which the uninstaller bug had been fixed. Luckily, only the marketing person who discovered the bug had her hard drive wiped. Martin O' Donnell confirmed all this data in an episode of the Bungie Podcast.

Graphics rendering

Myth: The Fallen Lords originally supported both software rendering and 3Dfx Glide hardware-acceleration upon its release. A final v1.3 upgrade patch added support for RRedline, the native rendering API of the Rendition Verite line of graphic cards. With Myth II, Bungie introduced larger screen resolutions and Direct3D (Windows) & RAVE (Mac OS) rendering. Thanks to volunteers, an unofficial v1.5 patch has been created which adds OpenGL support, thus allowing modern GPUs to run the game in hardware-mode.

References

External links

  • Bungie Studios- Original creators of Myth series.
  • Mariusnet - free online multiplayer server for Myth: The Fallen Lords, Myth II, Myth III' and Marathon
  • ProjectMagma - Myth modding group, as well as being the current maintainers of Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II.
  • Myth@Bungie.org - Contains level guides, background information, and many other resources and articles about the first two Myth games. Home of The Asylum forums and MythMaster Central.
  • Myth Journals - Journal entries from Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II
  • The Wargamer's Myth III site - old promotional Myth III site, only place really to detail the MumboJumbo version of the game.
  • Myth 2 Brasil - Brazilians site dedicated to Myth series. Available on three languages (Portuguese, English and Spanish).
  • Mything.org Extensive library of myth articles covering mapmaking, strategy, unit guides, and more for all 3 Myth games. Home of the Myth Dictionary, the Myth Map Atlas, and much more.
  • The Tain - The Tain, 3rd party plugin and file archive for the Myth series.
  • Myth4 The Wind Age Project - A Very ambitious project for what the next myth game could be like. With some of the best and most prolific modders the myth community has to offer

game resources

  • Onyx Warlords - A Myth game development group
  • hl.udogs.net - A Myth file host with beta versions of maps within individual map-maker folders

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