Myth is a series of real-time tactics computer games.
Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter were developed and self-published by Bungie Software between 1997 and 1999. As a result of Bungie's sale to Microsoft in 2000, the company lost the franchise rights to Take-Two Interactive. Myth III: The Wolf Age was developed by MumboJumbo and released by Take-Two on October 31, 2001; it received generally good reviews, though many cited a number of bugs in the initial release.
The Myth games are categorized as real time tactics, representing a departure from established real time strategy titles such as Warcraft and Command & Conquer; resource retrieval and unit construction were entirely removed to focus on squad- and soldier-level tactics. Some have argued that this has given the game a far greater sense of realism than its contemporaries. Reviewers have cited the series' (at the time) revolutionary use of 3D environments, its use of weather effects, and its realistic physics engines as reasons for this. To many, Myth set the standard for the type of strategy that the Total War series of games made popular.
The games were also remarkable for depth of free multiplayer support, intense and continuing fan activity on the web (including a wide range of fan-created mods), and simultaneous Macintosh and Windows development and release.
- 1 Release Dates
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Storyline
- 4 The Myth Community
- 5 Post-Bungie Myth
- 6 References
- 7 External Links
- Myth: The Fallen Lords - October 31, 1997
- Myth II: Soulblighter - November 30, 1998
- Myth II: Chimera - November 15, 1999
- Myth: The Total Codex - November 15, 1999 †
- Green Berets - Powered by Myth II - July 30, 2001 †
- Myth II: Worlds - October 2, 2001 †
- Myth III: The Wolf Age - October 31, 2001
- Myth: Antologia - May 19, 2006 (Poland only) †
† The above marked were not new titles in the Myth series, but rather releases of user created content bundled with the games.
Players control small forces made up of a number of different units possessing their own strengths and weaknesses. In the single player game, these were limited to units representing 'The Light', but multiplayer allowed players to control units from both sides of the conflict.
Unlike many other strategy games available at the time of its release, Myth's combat does not focus on the collection of resources and the building of armies. In contrast to the "meat grinder" style of some games, it is possible for a skilled player to defeat a much larger force with few or no casualties. This is largely due to the advanced physics engine the game employs. Physically modeled environments, unit interactions, and diverse unit behaviors combine to create a gameplay experience in which realistic battlefield interactions can and do occur.
Myth employs a sophisticated physics engine which greatly affects gamplay. Nearly all objects on the map, even the remains of dead units, are potential projectiles. These objects react with one another, units on the map, and terrain with nearly all expected physical behavior, including rolling, bouncing, and crashing. Projectiles, including those fired by ranged units, have no guarantee of hitting any target; they are merely propelled in the directions instructed by the physics engine, based on the actions of the players. Arrows may miss their targets due to a small degree of simulated aiming error that becomes significant at long range, or the target may simply move out of the way before the arrow reaches them. This aiming error may cause the arrow to hit the attacker’s own melee unit instead, causing the same amount of damage as friendly fire is a permanent aspect of the game at all times.
Unit formations are tactically important in Myth, since the game simulates a real battlefield accurately enough for maneuvers such as flanking and encirclement to be effective. When placed together in formation, units can provide an effective defensive front, block an enemy force’s escape route, or exploit bad positioning of an enemy force by surrounding it. Since healing is a rare ability, units do not regenerate health, and there is no way to construct new units, hit and run skirmishes are effective and unit conservation is essential. In light of this, each point of damage can be significant.
Terrain and environmental factors are also important. Rain or standing water will put out some fire- and explosive-based attacks. Archers on high ground are able to shoot farther than those on level ground. Most units will flinch when damaged, interrupting actions such as movement and attacks. This has many strategic implications: for example, if two or three melee units gang up to attack one enemy melee unit, it may flinch too frequently to have a chance to attack or escape.
Each unit has a name and gains individual experience for each kill it makes, with some monstrous units being worth more experience than smaller units. Experience increases attack rate and accuracy, as well as (for units with shields) the probability of blocking an attack. All else being equal, an experienced army will destroy a comparable force of fresh units.
Blood permanently stains the terrain and bodies do not decay. This blood-ground-smear gives battles in Myth a gritty, gory, unsanitized feel. The events of battles can be deduced from battlefield detritus, which is important in multiplayer free-for-all games and some single-player missions. Explosions and fire also scorch the landscape, and any blast may launch any debris outward, damaging any units it hits.
In multiplayer, the player starts with an army and may usually customize it by trading units, using point values that approximate the value of the units. Proper selection of units is an enormous strategy itself, given the goal of each multi-player game. For example: if the goal of the game is to stand guard a flag as long as possible (as it is with King of the Hill), customizing your army with only ranged units would not be wise because there would be no melee to guard the flag. Such considerations make Myth all the more realistic because of the constant amount of strategic choices.
Games generally are either "free-for-all" or FFA, where each player has his own army and competes with everyone else, or "Team," where each army is controlled by a group of players with a captain who disperses units for his teammates to control. There are many different kinds of multiplayer games, ranging from simple "Body Count" to more complicated games involving flags, balls, or animals.
The number and variety of multiplayer game types and multiplayer players are one reason why Myth has remained so popular online. For each game type, different strategies are employed.
In the single player campaign, the player starts the mission with an army and must use it to accomplish specific goals. These goals range from defending a location, reaching a certain point on the map, escorting a unit safely, or destroying an object of strategic significance. In rare cases it is possible for the player to acquire new units to bolster his forces, although this is the exception rather than the rule.
The focus of the Myth series' solo campaigns is on a smaller force out-maneuvering and out-thinking a much larger enemy force. For this reason, the importance of terrain and unit formation is particularly important. Using high ground to further the range of archers; creating bottle necks; and whittling down an enemy with hit and run tactics all become crucial strategies in the single player game.
Units in the solo campaign acquire 'experience' with each kill they make. As they acquire experience, units become more resilient, attack faster, and deal more damage. In Myth: The Fallen Lords units would retain this experience until killed or until a unit of their type did not appear in a given scenario. In Myth II: Soulblighter and Myth III: The Wolf Age, units would retain experience until killed. Therefore, with careful management, it becomes possible for a player to create an army of heroes from the inexperienced soldiers they began play with.
In the World of Myth, the forces of Light and Dark rule the world successively in a thousand-year cycle which has repeated since before recorded history. Every cycle climaxes in the arrival of The Leveler, whose approach (and fall) is heralded by an ominous comet that appears in the sky every thousand years. The Leveler inhabits the body of the hero who defeated him in the previous cycle—thus the hero who saves the civilization is doomed to destroy it.
A thousand years before the events of Myth, the world of Myth was plagued by the Myrkridia, a savage race of wolf-like beings. They devoured entire armies and erased cities from the face of the world. So many died at their hands that the Myrkridia created enormous platforms crafted of skulls as monuments to their massacres. After keeping the world in fear for hundreds of years, most of the Myrkridia were imprisoned in an artifact called the Tain by a great hero, Connacht, who then hunted the survivors to extinction. Not stopping there, Connacht turned his eyes to the Trow civilization. These ancient giants had, since the dawn of time, terrorized neighboring races. The Trow enslaved their lesser brethren, the Oghres, and forced them to build their iron citadels. Around the time of Connacht, the Oghres rebelled against the Trow, and the rebellion ended with the extermination of the Oghres and the decline of the Trow civilization. Connacht, knowing the threat the Trow would eventually pose to humanity, took advantage of their weakened state and melted the iron cities of the Trow into the ice of the north, entombing the giants in molten metal. During this time, he also imprisoned the Watcher, an evil and powerful necromancer, beneath the Cloudspine mountain range. Most importantly, he defeated Mjarin, the incarnation of the Leveler, and thus ushered in a new age of peace and prosperity. Connacht eventually became the emperor of the Cath Bruig Empire, the greatest of the human civilizations.
Connacht ruled the Cath Bruig Empire at the start of its golden age. During this time, he systematically destroyed or hid every major magical artifact he could get his hands on. At the end of his reign, Connacht vanished. No one knew for certain what happened to him - whether he had died, or lived on through magical means. What is certain, though, is that at some point, Connacht was possessed by the spirit of the Leveler. Thus, Connacht became Balor. With the knowledge of Connacht in his possession, Balor freed The Watcher from his prison and enslaved him. He then enslaved Damas, who had once been a lieutenant of Connacht, but had since become a corrupt and evil immortal. Damas became known as Soulblighter. Sometime in this time frame, Balor also enslaved Myrdred the The Deceiver, as well as the sorceress Shiver, previously known as Ravanna. Balor then freed the Trow from their iron prisons, and forced them into his service. The Ghôls, subservient to the Trow, also rallied to his side. Balor then bade his time, slowly gathering his forces, waiting until the end of the cycle to strike. Three hundred years before the events of Myth, Balor turned the Myrmidon race away from the light with a promise of immortality. Around 200 years later, he finally struck against the Cath Bruig Empire. Balor's strength was so overwhelming that the current cycle looked to be the final one. The only race powerful enough to stand up to the embodiment of the Leveler, the Trow, was now in his service. Combining these forces with the undead armies he could raise, the final victory of Balor seemed imminent. He would finally succeed in scouring all life from the face of the world.
Fifty years before the events of Myth, the capital of the Cath Bruig Empire, Muirthemne, was sacked and destroyed by Balor and his lieutenants, now known as the Fallen Lords. The once-fertile farmlands surrounding the city became a desert known as The Barrier. All human civilization east of the Cloudspine mountain range, from the Twelve Duns to Gower, and south to the borders of Forest Heart, was eradicated. Simultaneously, the Dwarven city of Myrgard was captured by the Ghôls (with the assistance of the Fallen Lords) and the Dwarven city of Stoneheim entombed itself rather than face a similar fate. The entire surviving Dwarven population became refugees in the lands west of the Cloudspine, known The Province. With the lone exception of Forest Heart, the entire world east of the Cloudspine was now controlled by Balor. Thirty-three years later, the Fallen Lords crossed the Cloudspine into the Province and began laying waste to the cities therein. Covenant, the capital of the Province, fell two decades later, and the last southern city of Tyr was sacked and destroyed a decade after that, leaving only the Free Cities of the North to stand against Balor.
Myth: The Fallen Lords
The basic storyline of Myth involves a war between the human civilization of the world and entities known as the Fallen Lords, a group of seven Warlord sorcerer-generals that arose to drag civilization into ruins. The game opens in the seventeenth year of the Province's war against the Fallen Lords, a war humanity is losing. The principal western cities, Scales, Covenant and Tyr, were razed during the war, and only the free cities of Madrigal and Tandem still stand against the Fallen Lords. The armies of the west are led by The Nine, a group of nine Avatara sorcerer-generals. The known members of the Nine include the leader Alric (the former King of the Southern Provinces), Cu Roi, Rabican, Murgen and Maeldun. They've recently found a living severed head buried in the Barrier, which they believe can turn the tide of the war with the Fallen Lords. The Fallen Lords are six powerful wizards enslaved by Balor. The known ones include Soulblighter (Damas), The Deceiver (Myrdred), The Watcher (probably Bahl'al), and Shiver (Ravanna) - the names of the other two are not revealed in the series. Their leader is Balor, previously the hero Connacht, now the Leveler. The Head claims to be an ancient enemy of Balor's, and the Nine intend to use the intelligence it provides to their strategic advantage.
The Legion represents the elite within the armies of the west, and the gameplay centers around the actions of the Legion.
Myth II: Soulblighter
60 years after the Great War and the fall of Balor the Leveler, the remaining armies of The Province led by Alric have managed to restore their lands, with the once fallen city of Madrigal now standing as the capital. The forces of the Dark are only a few scattered remnants, however, the fate of Balor's general - Soulblighter, remains unknown.
Myth III: The Wolf Age
Myth III: The Wolf Age is set 1000 years before Myth and tells the tale of Connacht the Wolf, a barbarian warrior from the lands of Gower and his rise to power during the Wind Age, an era of savagery during which the Myrkridia ran freely across the land, almost totally annihilating humanity. No-one who had ever fought the Myrkridia had survived, and with nobody to stop them the Myrkridia spread throughout the land. Only two human civilisations still remained; the isolated, barbarian lands of Gower to the East and the great city of Llancarfan.
The Leveler returns once again, using the body of Tireces the Immortal, the person who killed him a millennium ago and names himself Moagim, The Faceless Terror. Moagim begins to raise an army, including the colossal Trow, as well as Bahl'al, the most adept Necromancer in all the land to crush the last remaining parts of humanity.
The Myth Community
The Myth community encompasses the fanbase of the Myth series of games. Members of this community are especially notable for performing extensive volunteer software development to update and maintain a commercial game over 12 years after its initial release. Since 2002, the game servers have also been donated.
The Myth series of games (collectively: Myth: The Fallen Lords, Myth II: Soulblighter, and Myth III: The Wolf Age) are renowned for their open-ended and extensible gaming engines. As the latter two titles shipped with functioning editors, and the original was quickly reverse-engineered by third-party hackers, most notably by a player known as "pinoys", these games allowed fans to develop maps and scenarios for the game. During the years 1998-2001, widely considered the franchise's zenith, literally thousands of third-party creations were released on community-maintained sites. In addition, many tournaments were organized, most notable the annual Myth World Cup organised by various figures within the community.
Myth Development History
The Myth games have a long and twisting history. Created by one company, bought by another, and finally supported and enhanced by the user community, the story of its 12 year development history (as of 2009) is an anomaly in an environment where the shelf life of most games is measured in months.
The last official releases by Bungie Software for Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter were in 2001. After Myth II was released, and before Microsoft bought Bungie, Take2 traded their Bungie stock for the rights to the Myth franchise from Bungie. Take2 released several Myth related titles including Myth Worlds (including 2 CDs of fan-created add-ons), Green Berets (conversion from medieval setting to a Vietnam era setting), and Myth 3: The Wolf Age.
Myth 3: The Wolf Age was widely seen as an incomplete product rushed to market so not to miss out on December sales. This perception was supported by the fact that the development team had a total of 11 months to complete the project with not much support from Bungie, GoDGames or Take2. After severely updating the preexisting Myth 2 engine into an almost completely new Myth 3D engine, toolset, new assets, and storyline, Take2 laid off most of the Mumbo Jumbo development team during the final phase of development. During this time, the Dev team was also responsible for all marketing work and budget, press and general PR. The Dev team shipped the game and remained on board unpaid to release 2 patches to fix outstanding problems, the final one being v1.0.2. After Myth III was rushed into going gold, Take2 stopped all development and support for all three Myth games.
A group of Myth fans who called themselves "Myth Developers" provided updates to the games when the games were neglected by the original developers. This group, and successor groups under other names, have continued to support and develop all three games without compensation. These groups have updated the software for the latest operating systems, fixed various bugs, and added various enhancements and features to both the games themselves and the mapmaking tools. Included is the port of the Myth: The Fallen Lords single player campaign to the Myth 2 engine.
Due to the robust (and free) mapmaking tools released to the public by Bungie and additional tools created by fans - new maps, units, 3d objects, and other plugins were created for Myth II by the thousands. These projects converted Myth II from the medieval fantasy world of Myth to one of Feudal Japan, to a Lego world, to the US Civil War, to World War II, to various sci-fi inspired worlds, to the American Wild West, to a Tolkien inspired world, to one where giant mechanized robots battled, and many other projects.
- Main article: Myth World Cup
Myth World Cup is an annual online, double-elimination, 2-team tournament. "TFL98: Myth World Cup" was the first incarnation, played on Myth TFL. All MWCs since have been played on Myth II. A large community rallying point, MWC tournaments gather the most teams, have the most active forums, and are known for their funny articles and reviews.
Myth II servers allow players to compete online. Bungie.net was the original Myth series server that supported all versions of the first two games. Shortly before Bungie.net went dark, some Myth fans reverse engineered the bnet game server and started their own server, Mariusnet. A few months after bnet went down, Playmyth; a server based on the bungie.net server code (which Bungie Software made available for free) started up. PlayMyth was the most popular server and community hub until 2007 when it shutdown. Mariusnet went down for good sometime after early 2014 when the hardware that ran the servers got damaged during a move.
Myth Game Servers
- Gate of Storms is where most people are playing Myth II. An account is needed to play on GoS.
- Crows Bridge is the latest metaserver to pop up for Myth II. The plugin must be downloaded at the Tain before one can sign up for an account.
- GameRanger supports both Myth: TFL & Myth II for Mac users, but has a much smaller userbase.
- If new servers come online, you may learn about them at the Project Magma home page, or by checking their forums.
Development of the Myth Series was halted by Bungie, but fan groups have been given access to the source code and have taken it upon themselves to keep the series up to date. Also, after a long period of slow decline in membership, Bungie.net shut down its Myth servers. Bungie.net went down in 2001, and Bungie.net II in February 2002. Fortunately for players, multiplayer for the game was continued through such fan-based public servers as GateofStorms.net, MariusNet, and Playmyth.net (MariusNet and Playmyth.net has since ceased operations). Such servers are maintained by volunteers and funded by donations from the players.
Players should visit the links below to get updates and demos of the games for Windows, Mac OS and Mac OS X. Myth II was ported to Linux by Loki Software, but only to update 1.3.1, and is not compatible with current versions of Myth II. Software contractor Frank C. Earl claims to hold the porting rights for the entire Myth Series and says he will port it to Linux.
- Myth: The Fallen Lords Patch 1.5 (Project Magma)
- Myth II: Soulblighter Patch 1.8.4 (Project Magma)
- Myth III: The Wolf Age Patch 1.3.1 (FlyingFlip) Mac OSX v1.4 (hl.udogs.net)
- Bungie Studios, the creators of Myths I and II, still active in the video game industry.
- Take-Two Interactive, the current license holder for the Myth franchise.
- Myth Bungie, contains, among other things, old news from 1999-2010, a tour of solo levels & easter eggs, transcriptions of all narrations and dialogue, and a bunch of other miscellaneous tidbits.
- Myth Journals, contains narrations of Myth I and II as well as a small glossary.
- Project Magma, a small active group currently keeping the Myth series alive, updating the games with new patches while also hosting some of their own addons and plugins.
- The Tain, a Myth file download site, containing maps, plugins, patches, and other files of interest to players and mapmakers.
- uDogs Hotline, if a plugin can't be found in The Tain, you'll most likely found it here.
- OoH's Mything Links, a page of interesting links, created by the Order of H'Pak.
- The Tain Forum, a forum for general discussions, map making support, and technical support.
- Myrgard Forum, a forum for GateofStorms.net.