Sparkling gems and new releases from the world of Free and Open Source Software

Heroes of Might and Magic


Heroes of Might and Magic was a brilliant series of games that were developed from the mid-1990s into the modern era. They were turn-based-strategy games with mission-based objectives. Depending on the character you started as, you'd get an assortment of artifacts, spells, and capabilities that shaped your approach to the game as you fought, developed resources, and adventured across the landscape in the hope of fulfilling your prophecy. The early games in particular are steeped in the pixelated minimalism and uncompromising gameplay that has become popular recently, especially when the teenagers who grew up playing the originals are now fully fledged software developers. Which of course makes them perfect targets for open source reinvention.

Open source reinvention has happened twice with Heroes of Might and Magic, and there was even a native Linux version of Heroes of Might and Magic III developed by Loki. This game can now be played with a modern open source engine called VCMI, although you'll need the original data files from the original Heroes of Might and Magic III: Shadow of Death or Heroes of Might and Magic Complete Edition, and not the files from the Loki version. Heroes III is a good place to start because it adds gameplay elements such as "waiting" and a more refined user interface, but its precursor, Heroes of Might and Magic II has its own open source engine too, called fheroes2. This is a great place to start if you've played Heroes before and intend to revisit Heroes III later. As with later titles, the game is split into strategy, exploration, and a combat mode that's similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, albeit across a hexagonal chess board. Thanks to this, it's still a lot of fun and definitely worth playing today.

Project Website

To play Heroes of Might and Magic II, you'll need access to the original game files, which can still be purchased through GOG.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • FOSSPicks

    This month Graham looks at wallabag, Read It Later, killport, F3D, Tenacity, Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead, botany, and more!

  • Free Software Projects

    Even admins get bitten by the gaming bug. Frets on Fire lets you train for an air guitar competition. Or try the free business simulation clones Transport Tycoon, Simutrans, or OpenTTD.

  • Setting Up a Quake Server

    You don’t have to be an expert to set up your own Quake 3 game server.

  • 0 A.D.

    Steer the fortunes of ancient civilizations in the real-time strategy game 0 A.D. and revive history.

  • Retro Gaming

    Many computer games from the 1980s and 1990s enjoy cult status. Graphics and sound were not very advanced back then, which forced the producers to impress gamers with good ideas and a convincing level of design. Emulators let you run those classic games on a Linux PC.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More