Upon reaching a victory condition or loss, the game is over. After an appropriate finale sequence, the program reports the Score.
- The victory points derived from spells, townsfolk, eliminated rivals, fame, and game difficulty count towards the score even if the game is lost. In theory it is possible to lose a game in a "checkmate" fashion while still getting thousands of points and a competitive rank in one's personal Hall of Fame. The Time bonus does not trigger on a loss, and clearly the Spell of Mastery bonus cannot be obtained, either, in that situation.
- The score is rated in the Hall of Fame as a percentage, rounded down to the nearest whole percentage point, of 8000, a benchmark reckoned by the game's developers as a resounding victory.
Victory and Loss Conditions Edit
There are two victory conditions. You win a game of Master of Magic if either one of these happen:
- The player captures all Cities belonging to all rival Wizards.
- The player successfully casts the Spell of Mastery.
A victory through conquest involves more than just capturing the rival Fortresses. As long as a Wizard's banner still waves over any town on either Arcanus or Myrror, that Wizard has not been eliminated (in fact he might be casting the Spell of Return). This applies to the human player, as well; he only loses the game when one of the following happens:
- The player's last remaining City is captured.
- The player's Fortress is captured, and he chooses to resign the game.
- A rival successfully casts the Spell of Mastery.
A victory by way of the Spell of Mastery automatically causes all rivals to be considered "eliminated." Full credit is awarded regardless of whether the player even made contact with the rival at all.
- Sudden Death Zero-Mana
- When a rival's fortress is captured and he has 0 Mana Crystals in the treasury, he doesn't see a feasible way to cast the Spell of Return, despite the fact that he could transmute his Gold income easily enough. That wizard chooses to resign, and all of his remaining cities go under the Neutral banner. This counts in the score table as eliminating the rival wizard, as normal.
The Maximum Score? Edit
While Score can be a good measure of how skillfully you managed to play a round of Master of Magic, trying to achieve *the* maximum score is probably better-described as a exercise of precision and inhuman patience. The theoretical maximum score is simply the highest 2-byte value— FF FF — exactly 65,535 Points. It is obtainable on the Normal and Impossible difficulty settings, since it's an odd multiple of 3 (but on Hard you could still get up to within 1 Point of this, 65,534).
Such a game might involve a great deal of reloading to optimize Treasure and various other acquisitions, always followed by an extremely long slog of wiping out enemy armies of 4 or more units to acquire Fame. It would not be entertaining at all to play.
The maximum levels in the various fields that contribute points are:
- There are 214 spells: 14 Arcane and 40 in each of the five realms. It is impossible to obtain both Life and Death spells, yet still possible to acquire the entire repertoires of 4 realms through trading and looting. All spells count, including Magic Spirit, the Spell of Return, and realm spells taken at the start.
- 2450 Townsfolk (1225 Points)
- The maximum number of Cities in Master of Magic is 99. You cannot capture the final one if you wish to cast the Spell of Mastery. But you can get up to 25 Townsfolk in the other 98.
- 4 Rivals (200 Points)
- Make sure to designate 4 rivals when generating a map. They need not be defeated entirely to pick up the full bonus, if you cast the Spell of Mastery.
- Fame has, by far, the highest potential value, because it is stored in a 2-byte memory space like Score and is not otherwise limited by the rules. The ceiling is immense— a solid two orders of magnitude higher than what might be expected in a violent campaign. "Farming fame" towards this figure requires an unusual, and tiresome, strategy: leave enemy wizards' cities alone and endlessly engage the armies they muster in the open.
- 1 Turn (1998 Points)
- Winning in the first turn is not likely. Fight against the decay of this bonus by using time wisely, gathering more townsfolk, spells, and fame as quickly as possible. After the ingame date of April, 1483 (zero bonus), this stat continues to decrement and will penalize the final score.
- Spell of Mastery (250 Points)
- Generally one can defeat the rival wizards long before casting this spell. However, in terms of game score this "Space Race" victory is easily worth the time penalty, thanks to all the other assets picked up along the way.
- Impossible Setting (x3 Points)