From the game manual:
"Imagine falling through time and space. You land in a world called Arcanus, a world something like medieval earth, yet one where the practiced arts of alchemy and magic are true and powerful. The creatures of fantasy (Elves, Orcs, Klackons and such) that in our world have so far been dismissed as the products of fertile imagination, are reality on Arcanus. Here, these creatures are intelligent beings who, along with species unknown to Earth even in fantasy, form the myriad races that populate Arcanus.
Beyond Arcanus there lies a mysterious second world, Myrror. Accessible only through ancient Towers of Wizardry or through the careful practice of some obscure forms of magic, Myrror is in all senses an alien world full of powerful magic, danger and creatures of the most fantastic ilk. The saying among Wizards is that no one can truly rule Arcanus until they’ve cracked the Myrror.
Into these worlds you emerge as a fledgling wizard. Sparsely equipped with but a spell or two, you begin as the ruler of a tiny hamlet and its people. With these raw materials, you must build a thriving city, explore the two worlds of Arcanus and Myrror, expand your empire and learn new spells. In time, you will meet other wizards, each rising from equally humble beginnings, each having the same goal as you, namely conquering the worlds. How well you allocate resources, make use of your races’ potentials, seize opportunities and negotiate with other wizards determines your eventual success.
In the end, though, there can be only one Master of Magic!"
Microprose published the game Master of Magic, a number of other well-known video games such as Pirates! and other Sid Meier games like Civilization, as well as the first two games of the very popular Master of Orion series; they also published X-COM: UFO Defense (known in Europe as UFO: Enemy Unknown), as well as X-COM: Terror from the Deep.
Master of Magic had certain problems, when it was first released in September 1994. Patches overhauled gameplay, improved stability and fixed bugs. Latest official version is 1.31. A fan made patch, known as Insecticide or version 1.40, improved the computer AI and did further bugfixing. Currently (stand January 2016), another fan made patch, known as Raid or version 1.50, is in the works.
It is recommended to use version 1.31 or higher. MoMWiki is written as if playing version 1.31. You can see your version at the bottom of the Load/Save screen.
Obtaining & DOSBox Edit
Master of Magic requires expanded memory, an outdated memory system that modern computers lack. MoM wouldn't run on modern operating systems anyway (Windows XP supports MoM though). You can still play Master of Magic on any Windows system by using a program called DOSBox. Just drag and drop Magic.exe over a DOSBox shortcut and use Control + F12 and Control + F11 to regulate emulation speed.
Alternatively, Master of Magic can be purchased from GOG.com. This version has DOSBox already integrated and runs fine on modern Windows (up to and including Windows 10) as well as on Linux (Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17).
There are several fan made programs that let you edit save games. With these tools you can edit your mana and gold reserve, give spellbooks and retorts to your wizard, change your researchable and known spells, summon and edit units, and sometimes even edit the world map. The most useful tools are listed below.
There are some Mods for a different gameplay or a better in-game help.
- Main article: Game Magazine Coverage
Back in the old days, Master of Magic usually scored between 80% and 90% in gaming magazines. It's been praised as the possibly best strategy game at that time if it wasn't for gamebreaking bugs, low graphics and repetitive sounds.