Headscratchers: Heroes of Might and Magic

  • What the heck is with two Isabels in Hammers of Fate? The ending of the Heroes V campaign just doesn't mesh with the ending cinematic and the plot of the expansion. If the "Isabel" that Kha-Beleth gave to the heroes was really Biara, and he managed to deceive all of them, where did the real Isabel come from — and why were she and Raelag merrymaking away from civilization, having unheard of the chaos in the Griffin Empire sown by the false Isabel?
    • This troper assumed that Raeleg held the real Isabel back, so that once the Biara-Isabel had mucked things up, there would be absolutely no mistakes or confusions as to which one was the real one.
    • So he (and the real Isabel) knew all along that there was an impostor Isabel screwing up the Empire? And did nothing until Ylaya came on their doorstep telling Raelag that his united country was falling apart again without him?
    • On that subject, there's a Word of God for this: "It may not have come through in the final cutscene, but Raelag was the only one who realized the switch that Biara had pulled. He stayed in Sheogh to free Isabel, and together they fought their way out of the demon world. Exits from Sheogh are neither stable nor predictable, and getting out and making it to the Griffin Empire was a long and challenging process."
  • What's wrong with the elven Blade/War Dancers from HoMM 5? They look male, there is no mistake, with them being topless, but their voice patterns are definitely female! Not even boyish high-pitch but exactly female! And you can't write it off as an "elven thing", because Hunters and Druids all have quite normal male voices. So, what's the deal? I have some vague speculations about the terrible ordeals of training in Battle Dance Arenas (all those huge swords they are swinging...) or even about some pagan ritual aimed at sublimating warrior's inner energy and channelling it into combat skills and, simultaneously, imbuing him with bitter hate for the enemies of the forests (well, for the whole world, more precisely, but enemies are legit to hack) but they are to horrendous for me to usher. Any ideas?
    • Sinus congestion?
    • I think the idea is, while you're debating whether the Dancers are male or female, they will have already reached your position and attacked first. It is absolute genius.
    • It's not like it's impossible to have a female voice with a male body. [coughtransgendercough]
      • While that may be true, are you suggesting the elves breed entire armies of Transgender Blade Dancers? Presumably to confuse their enemy into submission...
  • How come a Blindness curse is lifted when the cursed stack is attacked? It makes no sense! It would've made if the spell put them to sleep like Dreadlords in Warcraft 3 do. I know that I'd definitely snapped out even from induced slumber if I was poked with a sharp object, but how is it supposed to clear one's vision?
    • I guess NWC and Nival realized it too, but retained the names of classic spells through all five parts for the sake of tradition or not confusing older players. And they probably just didn't give much thought to it in the H1 era, given that it was a pretty schematic game with subpar graphics.
      • Can't be, not given the number of other spells they renamed 3-5 (Weakness > Suffering, Disrupting Ray > Vulnerability, Forgetfulness > Confusion, Berzerk > Frenzy, Blind > Blindness, Hypnotise > Puppet Master, and that's just the dark spells).
      • Here's even more of a Mind Screw: somehow, attacking a creature breaks petrification.
    • Magic, guys. Perhaps being hit help the victim to remember who he is, what's going on, and feel what to do to break the spell (maybe simply sheer strength of will).
  • What's the point of having a floating city if it still can be sieged by a grounded army?
    • A siege from the ground still blocks the food supply.
    • One can read the question as 'what's the point of a floating city if it doesn't actually give them an advantage?'. The answer to that is likely that they're wizards, they like showing off (consider that the only game the Wizards/Tower/Academy doesn't have something impractical about their towns and homes is IV — II's Wizards lived in wastelands, III's Tower were high towers on mountains, and V's Academy floats).
  • While it's perfectly understandable from the point of game mechanics and balance, isn't it weird that creatures like Beholders whose ranged attack is shooting Frickin' Laser Beams out of their eyes, are affected by availability of Ammo Cart? What could there possibly be in it for them? The same goes for Monks and Wizards (fire balls) and Titans (lightning bolts). It could be explained that said creatures use mana for their attacks but in this case it should be useful for spell-casters as well.
    • I see no reason why you couldn't store souls of the innocent, mana potions, and a jiggawatt capacitor for making lightning in an ammo cart. Though it would be kind of cool if each ammo cart varied depending on the type of creatures in the hero's army.
    • Since it's supposed to be a large number of units represented by one actual unit for the game (For example, 142 beholders represented by one single beholder you can move around) I'd like to think that through coordination, all 142 beholders concentrate their fire on the unit the crowd (unit) of your choosing, and eventually they get exhausted to the point where they "run" out of ammo.
      • Well, ranged attacks that don't involve actual material projectiles are probably fairly exhausting if used repeatedly, and there would be the need for special high-energy food supplements or outright drugs to keep those shooters going. Especially beholders/evil eyes, though liches for example clearly use magic in their normal attacks (including the melee one in V). The closest real life example are laser weapons, which are impractical due to the enormous amounts of energy needed to repeatedly produce a beam that is both powerful and long-lasting enough to cause damage. If, for example, you could manipulate air, dust and heat to emulate Dragon Ball style ki-blasts, even on a small scale, it would probably come with the unpleasant Required Secondary Powers of a massive stomach, visible to the outside world as am Akebono paunch and the matching appetite to fill it, at least after using up all that energy.
  • The Orkish faction in Tribes of the East has apparently recently freed itself from a long period of slavery, and they're constantly yammering about freedom and how nobody will enslave them again. And then I enter their town and I check their special building and what do I see? A slave market. Where you can sell your own troops. What. The. Fuck.
    • Nobody said the orcs were nice. Or that they were not hypocritical.
    • Though admittedly, this is probably a holdover from the Freelancer's guild of HoMM 3.
    • On that note, Heroes VI reveals that there are orc chieftains who put their own people into slavery. He Who Fights Monsters, indeed.
  • At the end of The Price of Peace campaign in Heroes IV, when Emilia Nighthaven is paralyzed, why can't the healers just heal her? They have healing spells, regeneration spells, even resurrection spells! And yet the healers say that she will never walk again. Heck, with the very common Monk skill build, she could even cast every single healing spell herself.
    • Interesting question (and the short answer is that the writers wanted a Diabolus ex Machina), but I think it all boils down to how much healing magic can or cannot heal. It's not going to fix a scratch or broken nail or something equally minor, it's designed for getting injured soldiers and heroes back into battle — and the injury, while crippling, doesn't prevent Emilia from casting spells. Besides, the text makes it clear that the best healers in the kingdom worked on her, and saving her life was already considered a miraculous enough achievement — considering she was struck in the stomach by a magical sword designed to kill gods. And if you accept Legends of the Ancients as canon, she does eventually get better. Resurrection magic, by the way, seems to only exist as a game mechanic: it's never mentioned in the story, and they don't resurrect Tharj after the failed assassination attempt.
      • If the writers wanted a Diabolus ex Machina, why didn't they just kill her?
      • Maybe because that would be too cliche, or because it would make her too much of a martyr for their tastes (and/or create too many parallels with Joan of Arc). Or because they planned to continue the Great Arcan storyline in their version of Heroes V, before 3DO went bankrupt. Hard to tell now.