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Video Game / Horn of the Abyss

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Horn of the Abyss is a mod for Heroes of Might and Magic III aiming to act as a third expansion pack, with high quality and a feel of consistency with the main game, and has been developed since 2008. As of June 2019, its current headline features are the piratical-themed Cove town and three campaigns focused on the eponymous artefact, but both mechanics and content have seen other additions, and more towns and campaigns are planned, such as the wasteland-dwelling Factory.

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This video game provides examples of:

  • Artifact of Doom: There are increasing hints as the campaigns progress that the eponymous Horn of the Abyss has a deleterious effect on the morals and perhaps sanity of its wielder. Beyond that its mechanical power (it is indicated to have more not represented in gameplay) is supremely creepy, allowing strange tentacled beings with powerful mental abilities called Fangarms to rise from the corpses of slain beings.
  • Cattle Punk: A major part of the aesthetic of the Factory, with a Jules Verne lean.
  • Continuity Nod: Quite a few. Many map objects are inspired by Heroes II, up to the Wasteland terrain being a planned addition and a design aspect of Factory being carrying over things and themes lost from the Heroes II Wizard town in the transition to the Heroes III Tower (a bit like Conflux did for Sorceress/Rampart), and the campaigns are littered with references to places and things from the roleplaying games and events from the Heroes III campaigns (the three campaigns take place roughly concurrently with the Armageddon's Blade campaigns). The Cove itself is contextualized as a town associated with Regna, a nation referred to multiple times throughout Heroes and Might & Magic and seen in Might & Magic VIII.
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  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted. Cannons (already established in Heroes through cinematics and battle map details) are present as a new kind of war machine, the Cove has pistol-wielding pirates, and the Factory has riflemen.
  • Lizard Folk: The Nixes found in the Cove appear to be a sea-dwelling relative of the Lizardmen found in the Tatalian Fortress, although their origins are never explained except in being mentioned to have been thought extinct for a long time.
  • Sea Monster: The Cove's level 7 creature, the Sea Serpent/Haspid, is a classic example, a giant serpentine sea-dwelling being, based on the Sea Monsters (by that exact name for one of the variants) seen in Might & Magic VI.
  • Sword and Gun: The Pirate unit (and its upgraded forms) wields this, reflected in that they have the special ability of no hand-to-hand penalty.
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  • Treacherous Questgiver: The protagonists Jeremy, Bidley and Casmetra spend most of the second campaign searching for the Horn of the Abyss, soon joined by the Nix hero Tark. When they reach the Horn, Casmetra, the one who had pushed the most for the hunt and provided the most information (some leading to quests in their own rights, other allowing the hunt to proceed), claims the Horn for herself and backstabs the others.

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