Released in 2000 by developer 3DO, Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer stays true to the formula that saw the series through the previous seven installments. Players assemble a band of heroes of various classes that must solve puzzles, navigate dungeons, collect items, and defeat an assortment of monsters to save the world from the denizens of the four elemental planes.
Best time with deaths: 0:17:12 by 'gammadragon' on 2012-09-23, done in 16 segments appended to one file.
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Forum thread discussing the planning for this speedrun here: http://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/post/might_and_magic_8_day_of_the_destroyer.html
Credits: Big thanks to Yagamoth who came up with many good ideas throughout the planning and initial attempts. Thanks also to Mr. Nevoli for the idea to buy an scroll of Invisibility from Ravenshore and also for the faster route in the Earth plane, and good luck with your single-segment run!
There are a few glitches abused in this speedrun:
* Cast Renegade Spells - Here's a collection of quotes from the TELP MM8 website ( http://telp.org/mm8/ ) explaining this:
This bug allows a character to cast certain Spells regardless of whether they have them in their Spellbooks. The bug here is in the way the Quickspell works. Strider explains how to use it this way: Open your spell book and click once on any spell. Now deselect that spell without clicking on another spell and then hit the Set Quickspell icon. The easiest way I've found to do this is outlined below.
1) First click once on any Spell in any type of magic.
2) Next click on the tab key for another school of magic; this school will determine which Spell you get.
3) Now click on the Set Quickspell icon.
4) You can right click on the character to see the Quickspell set.
The most useful application of this is being able to cast the Fly spell right from the beginning, as long as the character has both the Air Magic and Water Magic skills.
* Bypass the Alliance - This glitch allows you to skip a huge part of the main plot. Normally the aim of the game is to build an alliance between four factions in the world, triggering the arrival of Queen Catherine and her advisors, who then tell you to obtain the four elemental hearts. Once you obtain the hearts, Xanthor creates a "conflux key" from them which allows you to enter Escaton's Crystal. However, the script that makes Xanthor give you the conflux key does not check whether you have forged the alliance, or even if Xanthor is in the building - the cutscene is still triggered and the conflux key appears. Essentially you don't need to complete the alliance part of the game - only the four elemental hearts are needed.
* Turn-based extra turns - Sometimes when entering turn-based combat mode, you can cause monster attacks which are halfway through to be cancelled, giving your party the first opportunity to attack. This is not hugely useful in our speedrun since we don't kill a single monster, but there is one point where it comes in handy.
Character Creation - A Necromancer is used as the main character to get access to Water and Air Magic, which allows us to use the Cast Renegade Spells glitch to set Fly as our quickspell
Thanks to Yagamoth for the idea to start with a Necromancer
Segment 1 - We use Cast Renegade Spells to cast Fly, head straight towards the ship to Ravenshore and set sail. On landing, we fly directly to the magic shop and save outside it.
Segment 2 - This segment is very short and is entirely a shop spamming / luck manipulation exercise. The chance that a Stone to Flesh scroll and an Invisibility scroll (both needed later) spawn in the same shop inventory are fairly slim. While in the shop we also sell enough stuff to be able to buy both scrolls and pay our way to Alvar.
Thanks to Yagamoth for the idea of buying a Stone to Flesh scroll instead of flying over to get one from the quest giver and thanks to Mr. Nevoli for the idea to buy an Invisibility scroll to get through the Air Castle easily.
Segment 3 - We fly straight to the stables, rest until dawn plus one hour and take the coach to Alvar. From here we fly West to the Murmurwoods and use the Stone to Flesh scroll to rescue Cauri Blackthorne the Dark Elf, who will be joining us later so we can make use of her awesome spellcasting abilities. Continuing on, we fly to the Air portal which leads to the Plane of Air, but before entering we use the Scroll of Invisibility to allow us to walk through uninhibited. Once inside the Plane of Air we head straight towards the Castle of Air (which contains the Air Heart) and save outside the door.
Segment 4 - This is just an exercise in running and dodging through Air Elementals to get to the Air Heart. In the last room, the monsters manage to get close enough to dispel the invisibility but luckily we can use the turn-based mode to buy enough time for the secret door to finish opening and quickly grab the Air Heart. We need to get back to Ravenshore and the easiest way to do that is to die and respawn on the docks.
Segment 5 - Because we died all of our cash has disappeared, but luckily there's a fountain in Ravenshore which throws out 200 gold if you are poor (only twice per game from my experiments). This gives us enough to pay for the coach to Garrote Gorge, after waiting a day and an hour for it to arrive. Once in Garrote Gorge, we fly straight South to Ravage Roaming and make a beeline for the Water Portal. Once in the Water Plane, we just go as fast as possible to the Water Heart and grab it before we are killed by the Water Elementals, respawning once more at Ravenshore.
Segment 6 - Stopping off at the money fountain for the last time, we head to the Adventurer's Inn so Cauri can join our party. We want her to cast Fly from now on but unfortunately she doesn't have the spell in her book, so we use the Cast Renegade Spells glitch. Heading to Alvar (after waiting until dawn plus one hour for the coach to arrive), we fly straight to Cauri's house to get some reward money for rescuing her. This will come in handy for buying Cauri some more useful spells, so we head to the Elemental Guild and save outside the door.
Segment 7 - We need to buy the Town Portal, Invisibility and Telekinesis spells for Cauri, so this segment is partly a spamfest to get those spells - luckily it's not too rare to get all three. After buying them we head North to the Ironsand Desert (learning the spells on the way) and on arrival head straight for the Fire Portal. Once inside the Plane of Fire we fly over to the Castle of Fire. It can be a bit tricky to navigate as the maximum flying height is not quite high enough to get over some of the ridges, but we fly around those. Once inside the castle we jump over the first lava pool and save.
Segment 8 - There is a sequence of events to trigger in the Fire Castle which lead to the Fire Heart:
* Step on a column to lower the lift
* Take the lift (near the entrance) to the upper floor - note that the lift needs to be fully lowered before you can trigger it to start rising again
* Take the next lift down to the lower floor, or just fall down the side
* Pull the lever in the next room to open the wall behind the lavafall
* Head behind the lavafall and follow the trail of teleporters which lead to the Fire Heart
After following all these steps we try to die quickly to teleport back to Ravenshore, intentionally cancelling invisibility by attacking the air when we get close to the Fire Heart.
Segment 9 - This segment is a stepping stone to get the Earth Heart. We get our main character to cast Fly and Cauri to cast Town Portal to Dagger Wound Isle. On the way to the Earth Portal we cast Invisibility to make the trip through the Earth Plane trouble-free. Once inside we take the shortest route to the elevator and save the game upon reaching the bottom.
Segment 10 - Dodging the monsters, we grab the Earth Heart as quickly as possible and die to quickly get back to Ravenshore. This is a separate segment because the chance of all the monsters moving out of the way at the same time is quite rare.
Segment 11 - This is the last time that Cauri has to cast the Fly spell as it will last the rest of the game. We fly in a straight line towards the entrance to Escaton's Crystal, turn slightly to the left so that we have line-of-sight to Xanthor's hostel (see the "Bypass the Alliance" glitch) and cast Telekinesis to quickly open his door (setting Cauri's quickspell to Invisibility while we have the spellbook open). Skipping the cutscene, we take the Conflux Key and head towards the crystal again. At the door we cast Invisibility and save.
Segment 12 - Taking the fastest route through Escaton's Crystal, we complete the gem puzzle at the end before it has time to finish its sequence. After exiting to the Plane Between Planes, we fly vaguely towards Escaton's Palace in the centre of the map but stopping at a quiet spot along the way to recast Invisibility, allowing it to last long enough for the next segment. On the way there Cauri also casts the Dark Elf spell "Traveller's Boon" (Wizard Eye, Torchlight and Feather Fall wrapped in one - wastes about a half second but will make the next segment nicer) and "Fire Resistance" (which will help a little later with the lava floor). After casting Invisibility we head to Escaton's Palace and save outside the door.
Segment 13 - This is a long boring run through Escaton's Palace pulling levers in order to open a path to reach Escaton himself. We can only go halfway through in this segment as Invisibility does not last long enough to reach the end. We exit, fly to a quiet spot, cast Invisibility again and save again at the entrance to the palace. See the forum thread for more info on the order of levers.
Segment 14 - More lever-pulling. Strangely enough this segment gets a faster time when we jump all the way through (see forum thread for more details). When we reach Escaton, his riddles are answered and he hands us the keys to the Elemental Lord's prisons. We take the fastest way out of the palace and fly to the Water Egg (Fire Lord's prison), casting Invisibility along the way.
Segment 15 - Entering the Water Egg we push the button on the right to open the way to the Fire Lord. Then we run over to his room, rescue him and exit again. Flying to the Fire Egg (Water Lord's prison) we jump straight onto the dirt walls to avoid getting hurt by the lava floor (here's where that "Fire Resistance" spell we cast before comes in handy). Sticking to the walls to avoid damage and the monsters, we make our way to the Water Lord and free him, then exit again (our main character dies along the way but it doesn't matter as we only need Cauri beyond this point). Heading straight towards the Air Egg (Earth Lord's prison) we save before entering.
Segment 16 - The home stretch! There's a bit of fancy footwork in the Air Egg, starting by jumping up several platforms then casting the "Jump" spell to leap onto the main platform. While the spellbook is open we set the quickspell to Telekinesis. Once on the platform, we look upwards towards the prison door and use Telekinesis to open it and rescue the Earth Lord, dropping back to the ground to exit the Air Egg. On our way to the Earth Egg (Air Lord's prison), we find a quiet spot to cast Invisiblility again. The rest is simple: fly to the Earth Egg, Run to the prison door, cast Telekinesis to speedily rescue the Air Lord and die quickly to teleport to Ravenshore and trigger the endgame.
If you have any questions about decisions made during the run, most of them can probably be answered by reading the forum thread located here: http://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/post/might_and_magic_8_day_of_the_destroyer.html
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