Back in 1984, Julian Gollop (later known for ''VideoGame/XCom'') created ''Chaos'' for the UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum: a turn-based game in which up to eight wizards, controlled by humans or computers, battled against each other by summoning creatures and casting spells. In 1990, this was followed by ''Lords of Chaos'', which added maps, independent monsters, and the ability to choose what set of spells the player took into battle.

In 1998, the next game in the series was released: ''Magic and Mayhem''. Many of the spells and game mechanics are recognisable from the earlier games, but the move to the 32-bit PC platform brought substantial improvements to all areas of the game. These included, for the first time, a single-player campaign with a scripted storyline: rookie wizard Cornelius arrives home from university to find his uncle Lucan missing, and goes in search of him. It becomes apparent that much more than Lucan's life is at stake.

A {{prequel}}, ''Magic and Mayhem: The Art of Magic'' was released in 2002, with similar game mechanics but using 3D polygon graphics rather than the isometric graphics of its predecessor.

!!''Magic and Mayhem'' contains examples of the following tropes:
* ActionBomb: The ''Lucifer's Farewell'' spell transforms any creature into one.
* AllMythsAreTrue: The three Arcane Realms are based on Celtic, Greek and Arthurian myths.
* TheBattleDidntCount: Bosses frequently portal away when defeated, rather than dying. Amusingly, the second time you meet Ariadne, the developers forgot to do this, and it's possible to kill her. She still shows up a few levels later to do her HeelFaceTurn, though.
* CastFromLifespan: As the single-player game progresses, it is revealed that use of magic in the Arcane Realms causes its owner to age prematurely. The Overlord is attempting to retrieve various [[PlotToken plot tokens]] to reverse the process.
* {{Claymation}}: Used for the cutscenes.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Ariadne's character arc.
* EscortMission: In the Valley of Owain you have to keep a slow, weak Brownie alive for long enough to open the castle gate and let you escape. Other levels tend to become this when your allies insist on wandering into danger.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Percival]]'s obsession with the Grail leads him to turn on Cornelius.
* {{Familiar}}: Hermes the raven, the game's method of feeding useful information to the player.
* GlassCannon: The Skeleton is one of the best-armed low-end units, but can't take very much damage before collapsing. The same applies to the Basilisk: its bite attack is one of the most deadly in the game, but it's very easily killed.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: Zombies attack by pulling their own left arm off and using it as a club.
* HerdHittingAttack: The ''Chain Lighting'' spell leaps from one target to another, the ''Judgement'' spell destroys all creatures in a given radius, and the ''Totem of Pestilence'' infects creatures near it with plague (and they, in turn, can infect other creatures...)
* HopelessBossFight: From time to time the Overlord shows up, menaces Cornelius and portals away. In these encounters, it is (theoretically) possible to defeat him -- but it isn't possible to [[spoiler:stop him killing Lucan on Salisbury Plain]].
* IBrokeANail: When allies' health reaches 50%, they call for assistance. On the level where Ariadne first becomes the player's ally, the message has her complaining of having broken a nail.
* LiquidCourage: In one set of levels, Cornelius has to recruit King Arthur's surviving knights to his cause. In the case of Kay, this involves finding a flask of wine to give him courage.
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:Delivered by the Overlord to Cornelius before their final confrontation. And promptly repeated a few seconds later when Lucan's ghost shows up to reveal that no, actually, ''Lucan'' is Cornelius's father.]]
* {{Mana}}: Mana is used up when casting spells, and recharges when a wizard, or creatures under their control, stand on a Place of Power. Gaining control over Places of Power is usually the main objective for the combatants.
* MentorOccupationalHazard: [[spoiler:Lucan]] gets offed by the Overlord.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: They're pinkish-purple humanoids with wings and pointy ears, that can transform into pinkish-purple bats, and replenish their life force by draining that of others. They avert MagicPants by not wearing any clothes, in either form.
* RealTimeWithPause: In contrast to the turn-based system of the earlier games.
* TheScrappy: Invoked in the last level, if played on the highest difficulty: [[spoiler:During the game the player has had to keep Twigkindle the Brownie King safe on various occasions, no doubt got annoyed at his habit of straying into danger, and breathed a sigh of relief when he was killed fighting the Overlord in the final battle. On the highest difficulty level, the game resurrects him; the characters promptly decide he's 'nauseating' and ally to kill him again.]]
* ShapedLikeItself: One artefact is called the Campaniform Bell. 'Campaniform' means 'bell-shaped'.
* ShoutOut: The effect used for the portals looks very similar to a ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' ring teleporter.
* TakenForGranite: The effect of the ''Gorgon Stare'' spell.
* TakingYouWithMe: The Phoenix bursts into flames when killed, and the Hellhound explodes.
* {{Teleportation}}: Provided by the ''Teleport'' spell.

!!''Magic and Mayhem: The Art of Magic'' also contains examples of:
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Aurax and Daephus must traverse one to reach the Thieves' Guild.
* ArtShift: Not only are the game graphics polygon-based rather than isometric, but the user interface graphics have a more cartoonish look to them.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: [[spoiler:Nadia, when Aurax finds her in Sassari.]]
* CaptainObvious: {{Lampshaded}} by Orgon.
-->"Walking into a dungeon containing the ruler of all Chaos makes you sense danger? Your magic powers ''amaze'' me, Aurax."
* DeathOfTheHypotenuse: Aurax has two possible love interests: Gaion, his mentor, and Vex, an elf warrior. [[spoiler:Gaion doesn't survive.]]
* TheDragon: Milesius, the wizard Aurax first meets, turns out to be the Necromagus's right-hand man.
* EvilSoundsDeep: [[spoiler:Numinon after his FaceHeelTurn]].
* FanService: The female characters tend to be young, pretty, buxom and scantily clad. Special mention to the [[http://garote.bdmonkeys.net/art_of_magic/ Totem of Healing]], which manifests itself as a curvaceous water nymph (as opposed to a static fountain in the earlier game).
* FanServicePack: When Nadia is kidnapped by the forces of Chaos, she's wearing reasonably sensible clothes. By the time Aurax finally reaches her in the Hell-Pits of Sassari, she's changed into the bikini-and-cloak combination favoured by most of the game's witches.
* AGodAmI: [[spoiler:The conclusion of Numinon's speech after revealing his true nature: "People of Karnak, I am no longer your leader. From this day forth, I am your God: Demonuminon! ''[EvilLaugh]'' "]]
* ForDoomTheBellTolls: The death of a wizard is marked by a tolling bell.
* HornsOfVillainy: Milesius has a prominent pair on his helmet; so does his boss, the Necromagus.
* IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace: The Necromagus brings Aurax to the Hell-Pits of Sassari. It's just as nasty a place as it sounds.
* LargeHam: The voice acting for the two Chaos wizards in the encampment level on Azoria, who would like nothing more than to hear some elves squueeeeal in paiiiin.
* MercyKill: After Aurax defeats [[spoiler:vampire!Gaion]] in battle, a cutscene shows [[spoiler:her begging him to stake her so she can [[DyingAsYourself die as herself]]. He does.]]
* PillarOfLight: The "Judgement" spell appears as a column of light.
* ReforgedIntoAMinion: [[spoiler:Poor Gaion.]].
* SpiritAdvisor: [[spoiler: Gaion puts in a final appearance as one, after her death.]]
* TortureTechnician: Glut, the warder of Karnak Prison.
* TrueFinalBoss: [[spoiler: After finally defeating the Necromagus, Aurax returns in triumph to Numinon, the BigGood... who turns out not to be as good as everyone thought.]]