There are four spellcasting units in the game.
Each has access to four spells, regardless of the six round stone places for them.
The spells are unlocked by leveling MP – Magic Points. These points are also a spendable resource required to cast them. The spells have fixed effects and more MP or OP won’t enhance them. VP affects the range of targeted spells, though. Keep in mind that MP is somewhat harder to level up than other stat points.
Magic Points regenerate automatically, and don’t drain food. You can however speed up the process by sleeping („z” key), or using a snack item). From the 5th scenario onwards, legendary items are introduced that multiply the regeneration rate five times, which is a broken lot! Sleeping speeds it up by a mere 1.5, so what would take you 90 seconds to regenerate will take only 60. With the legendary item it will be just 17.5 seconds and with the item and a nap – just 16. Roughly. I counted it with a timer in hand, y’know.
In the later stages of the game, you are able to train spellcasters with better starting stats. There is a bug nevertheless, that blocks them from knowing the advanced spells right away, and you must level Magic Points anyway. One point is enough to trigger the sudden epiphany though.
There are hard thresholds of MP that unlock spells, and they are higher than the cost to cast them. Even the first spell can become uncastable if you somehow lower your max MP below that minimum level.
Generally, magician levels and their starting MP is simple. 1=30, 2=50, 3=70.
The exception here is the Ranger unit, whose second level has 70 MP. The hidden level IV Elf has 90 starting MP.
Here is a table of MP required to learn spells:
|Spellcaster / spell:||1||2||3||4|
Basic magician attacks follow the same range progression with VP as the Arrow items.
Max attack range is 10 tiles.
The maximum spell range is 8 tiles (some spells have less), but they differ in the lower values.
Weapons that perform well against all magicians ordered from most bonus damage to least:
Moonlight Sword, Ax of Darkness, Celestial Sword, Hammer of Darkness, Boomerang, Volcano Spear, Sword, Arrow.
The rest give only a little edge, and the Fire Arrow doesn’t provide any bonus except range at all.
The lore behind it is that the Boomerang can attack the source of mana of magicians, thus dealing tremendous damage, and that the Fire Arrows are not very effective against spellcasting units, since they can deal with fire. I took it from the manual.
Spellcasters in the order of tribes arriving on Jurassic Island, along with their legendary items, training facilities and spells (times measured on the fastest game speed):
Three levels of training:
900 / 1500 / 2300 food cost
1st / 4th / 8th
His spells are targeted with a red crosshair.
The Skull Stick is his legendary item.
Has more base HP than other spellcasters, which is weird, considering he is a bald, old fellow with a walking stick, dabbling in dangerous magic. (His third level has more HP than a wild Rhino :D)
Automatically casts all spells when attacking. Because of this, there is a high chance of losing all magic points on icing one foe multiple times. Wizards with high MP need to be micromanaged for maximum efficiency.
Group attacking or targeting makes all able wizards cast their spells.
The spells inflict flat damage that cannot be avoided.
His base attack is a bloody blob which inflicts serious damage to buildings.
10 HP damage / 30 MP to learn / 18 MP
You get it right away. Minimal range is 4, which helps with fresh, VP-deficient Wizards. Maximum range of Fireball is 7, which is one less than most other spells.
The only spell that flies to its destination (not counting Fire Dance, as it is just multiple Fireballs). It is a homing missile that can turn many times. It is too fast to outrun, but a Ranger can teleport away, which makes the fireball eventually disappear. The Wizard cannot target himself with it.
Two of these can kill a medium difficulty Cur, but must be thrown in quick succession. Otherwise the animal can quickly regenerate a point of health between them and waste your magic points or time. This applies to any close calls with damage and hitpoints.
Mission briefings hint that Water Shields can block fireballs or mitigate their damage. This is not true, unfortunately. Shields and Defence Points are ignored by spells completely. It doesn’t inflict bonus damage to buildings either.
20 HP damage / 50 MP to learn / 25 MP
2nd scenario of Muspel is actually bugged. The mission briefing introduces only Roaring Sound, but all Wizard spells are in fact available there.
Gives the most bang for your buck, which is funny, because it was the opposite in the pre-alpha demo. Kills medium difficulty Curs in one hit.
30 HP damage / 70 MP to learn / 40 MP
Appears in the 3rd scenario if you don’t count the bugged second mission.
It is enough to kill a leopard in one strike.
14 seconds freeze / 90 MP to learn / 60 MP
Ice freezes a unit or building. It halts actions and regeneration. Useful for getting rid of very strong units, particularly enemy spellcasters. Also good for testing, as it prevents regeneration, which is everywhere in this game.
Sometimes Ice bugs on the mortal blow, and lets the target escape while the would-be killer gains experience anyway.
Can freeze weeds!
A demonic spellcaster summoned by dark arts… I guess. Warlocksâ€™ origin is not really explained anywhere. The training facility for Warlocks looks like a horned skull holding two smaller skulls. Combined with the Mayan/Sumer pyramid vibe that Muspel Sanctuary and Barracks give off makes me think that their Commoners are pretty much a sacrificial resource. Makes sense, you can even gain stat points this way. Warlock has the hardest spells to learn in terms of minimum MP. High base VP and an expendable, suicidal nature make them good scouts and hunters, to be used solitary or in small groups of Warlocks.
Three levels available, but the last one (called Warlick3) appears very late, and only in the penultimate Muspel (and Masai) mission, and is not present in the last mission, most other clansâ€™ 11th missions, multiplayer, nor it is gifted by the units cheat.
It is also the most expensive unit in the game.
2000 / 3000 / 3750 food cost
4th / 8th / 11th
His spells are targeted with a red crosshair.
The Rock Crystal is his legendary item.
AI casts all spells during fights, starting with the most expensive. Even suicides, so beware. Player-controlled Warlocks cast Fire Dance and Poison Cloud.
His attack is a rotating gray and white vesica-piscis-shaped projectile which inflicts additional damage to animals (but not dinos), and magic users (but not other Warlocks). Also hits buildings quite hard, but not as hard as the Wizard.
The fact that the Muspel tribe has literally not a single mission with lava terrain is a sin. I had to stitch together many images to create this Warlock card.
70 HP damage / 8 seconds / max 9 units / 30 MP to learn / 18 MP
This spell gets cast most often by hunting Warlocks. It damages your units, so don’t mix Warlocks with other troops.
No damage to any Warlocks or Rhamphorhynchuses though, which makes them good hunting partners and bad combat targets.
Despite being a cloud of „poison”, it effectively damages buildings and weeds. Death and decay from Warcraft II vibe.
Three are enough to demolish a food storage. Four can kill anything, no need to cast more in one place unless opponent has some means of healing themselves.
The cloud may look like it’s overlapping some units, but the real range is determined by the tile your cursor clicked. In this example it was the lower right corner of the middle elf (health bars are actually a part of the higher tile):
10 HP damage / group attack – many targets / 50 MP to learn / 32 MP
This throws regular fireballs to any target in a flat 4 tile range radius, regardless of VP.
Looks more useful than a single fireball, but is lackluster compared to other Warlock spells. Easily countered by Elven Group Healing anyway.
The only Warlock spell that is safe to use among other units.
lots of random damage / 9×9 square / 110 MP to learn / 5 MP
Can spam. Kills all. Hail Perox. Just keep on clicking for that overkill mayhem.
Can take care of Elven Invulnerability spell, if damage exceeds max HP of a target.
A female sorceress created from cavemen via a magical ritual.
Canus is a clan which branched from Kumba in hopes of overcoming laziness and establishing their own magic against the harmful spells of the Muspel tribe.
Has three levels:
900 / 1300 / 1700 / 2300 food cost
1st / 4th / 8th
The hidden fourth level is accessible by the fast hands trick. She has 90 starting MP, which is enough to learn all four spells!
Her spells are targeted with a blue crosshair.
The Mystical Liquor is her legendary item.
Casts spells 1, 3 and 4 automatically, when a fighting ally has low hp.
Her basic attack is a golden sunwheel which is deadly against Wizards, Dilophosauruses, Shrooms & Weeds.
The Elves take no bonus damage from Poison Arrow attacks, but take some more from regular Arrows in exchange.
20 HP healed / 30 MP to learn / 15 MP
The basic healing spell. Two casts fills a single color bar of health, and is all a fresh level one Elf can afford.
15 HP healed / 22 units max, tear shaped area / 50 MP to learn / 20 MP
Doesn’t include Rhamphorhynchuses, if not specifically targeted. Which is a shame, as it would effectively double the max amount of potential targets and open way for an unorthodox tactic.
200 HP healed / 9,5s / 70 MP to learn / 40 MP
One of these can hold off two poison clouds and still heal!
Can be cast on buildings to heal them, build them quicker and generally cheat more hitpoints for them. Just be careful to not overdo it.
MAX HP healed / 11s / 90 MP to learn / 60 MP
An Elf with the Mystical Liquor and knowledge of this spell is practically untouchable.
A unit with a small amount of max hitpoints can still be killed in one hit though!
A shielded unit can also be frozen or stunned by poison arrows regardless.
A short, bald, gnome-like scholar. A traveller from the South Pole, with magic based on exploration and journeys.
Absolutely nothing is told in the lore about the Rangers.
His training facility looks like a place of learning. The globe held by golden hands in the middle symbolises wider horizons than petty conflicts. Or perhaps world domination, you never know. Table-looking buildings with scroll-adorned rooftops summarise the Ranger training. Some writing or dynamic/misty speed lines, a map and a stylised hourglass pertain to the spells learnt by these gnomes, spells twisting the space and time. There is also a thorny fern or a plumed decoration, pointing in the four cardinal directions akin to a wind rose. Romeks seem to like stars and spikes.
He only has two levels, but perhaps due to his second and third spellsâ€™ similar cost, his second level’s starting MP is that of a third level spellcaster.
900 / 1400 food cost
1st / 8th
Has the most VP among spellcasters. The second level Ranger is just 6 VP points away from an upgrade in sight, attack range and moving speed (96 threshold).
His spells are targeted with a blue crosshair.
The Dragon’s Eye is his legendary item.
His basic attack is a pulsating pink hexagram which inflicts bonus damage to Commoners and Muscle-Men (so Warriors have an edge here!) and against dinosaurs, especially Rhamphorhynchuses (double damage!).
30 MP to learn / 20 MP
This spell explores the immediate surroundings of the Ranger. Its range is approximately one of a unit with max VP.
Apart from the first few moments of an early mission, it is pretty useless. There is an outright better version of the spell, Rangers have high VP naturally and the map stays explored forever, so yeah.
50 MP to learn / 30 MP
This, on the other hand, is very useful as it covers safely a lot of terrain deep into enemy territory, and saves time spent on early exploration. Paired with the teleport, which is learned at the same time, makes mapping a breeze.
There is no fog of war, so after exploring everything this spell becomes obsolete too, not counting taunting and misguiding a human opponent.
50 MP to learn / 30 MP
AI uses this to group-gank targets and to escape near death situations. Very annoying. AoE spells, Invincibility and Ice are useful counters here. Also Poison Arrows.
Using it to stay out of touch can be a big help in leveling. Just dance around the t-rex and exp away. Bonus dino damage of Rangers comes in handy.
Your Rangers do not cast it automatically to avoid death. They don’t cast anything unless you order them to.
Revives / -20 to all stats of revived unit / 110 MP to learn / 80 MP
8th scenario, the latest spell to unlock.
Also the most expensive spell in the game and the most broken. You can of course revive your own fallen warriors, but what is interesting is that you can resurrect pretty much any unit that is not neutral. At a measly drawback of retracting 20 stat points, the strongest enemy heroes can become your loyal soldiers forever. The fastest way to snowball through missions, skipping Capturers and just reviving chosen units.
Keep in mind that sometimes the lowered MP means a revived sorcerer doesn’t remember all of his or her spells. Muscle-men remain muscly, same with Warriors. Not sure if dinosaurs have any level threshold system. VP speed progression sometimes gets wonky when a unit is resurrected though.
If lower than 20, stats (except MP) are reset to 20 after resurrection. But if you resurrect a poor sod with 21 HP, he will have just one max HP after resurrecting.
Corpses decompose completely after 10 secs (on fastest), so you need to be faster.
Spell prompts, taken from the .exe file:
Framing-Ball target ? Roaring-Sound target ? Lighting target ? Ice magic target ?
Poison-Gas locate ? Fire-Dance Earthquake Self-destruction
Patient ? Patient ? Who protect ? Who protect ? Who resuscitation ?
Small Mapping Magic Grand Mapping Magic Space Shift locate ?
As you may have noticed in game, the elven spells are not displaying prompts correctly. Only the third one displays a „who protect?” message when clicked. Elves initially had five spells and it still happens in some scenarios, notably the Canus mission 5, where you search for the Mystical Liquor. One of the Elves can obtain this spell by training MP to 110.
At least that explains its wonky placement in Ranger’s spellbook, and generally the surplus slots for spells:
I guess TRIC nerfed the Elf moving Resurrection from „healing magic” to „journey magic”, as it …is a journey between worlds so to speak.
Well, now the Ranger is outright broken, with one spell capable of raising an army. Literally.