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Heroes of Might and Magic III

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the original game. For the 2015 remake, see Heroes of Might and Magic III HD.

Heroes of Might and Magic III
Heroes of Might and Magic III cover
Developers
New World Computing
Linux Loki Software
Publishers
1999-2003 3DO
2003-present Ubisoft
Re-release Sold Out Software
Linux Loki Software
Release dates
Windows March 3, 1999
Mac OS (Classic) December 21, 1999
Linux December 20, 1999
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase, Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Turn-based
Perspectives Bird's-eye view, Isometric
Controls Point and select
Genres TBS
Themes Fantasy
Series Heroes of Might and Magic
Heroes of Might and Magic III on HowLongToBeat
Heroes of Might and Magic III guide on StrategyWiki
Heroes of Might and Magic III on MobyGames
Heroes of Might and Magic III on Wikipedia
Subseries of Might and Magic
Heroes of Might and Magic: A Strategic Quest 1995
Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars 1996
Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia 1999
Heroes Chronicles 2000
Heroes of Might and Magic IV 2002
Heroes of Might and Magic V 2006
Heroes of Might and Magic V: Tribes of the East 2007
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes 2011
Might & Magic Heroes VI 2011
Might & Magic Heroes VI: Shades of Darkness 2013
Heroes of Might and Magic III - HD Edition 2015
Might & Magic Heroes Online 2015
Might & Magic Heroes VII 2015
Might & Magic Heroes VII: Trial by Fire 2016

General information

GOG.com Community Discussions for game series
GOG.com Support Page
HoMM III section on Age of Heroes
Celestial Heavens forums for game series

Availability

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
DRM depends on release location, usually SafeDisc v1.50.020 DRM[Note 1]
Windows
Mac OS
Linux
Epic Games Store
Icon overlay.png
Complete Edition.
Windows
GOG.com
DRM-free
Complete Edition.
Windows
Ubisoft Store
Icon overlay.png
Complete Edition. Included with Ubisoft+.
Windows
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
A free demo version of Restoration of Erathia is available from GameFront: English, German.
A free demo version of the Complete Edition for Mac OS is available from Archive.org.

Mac OS and Linux

The Mac OS and Linux versions of the game are no longer sold, and existing copies of those are hard to run on modern systems. The easiest solution for running the game on Linux or OS X is buying the Windows version and running it under Wine. Further information on how to do that can be found on AppDB. Alternatively, VCMI can be used to run the game.

Monetization

Type Notes
Expansion pack The expansion packs include a new town, new units, campaigns, maps, and artifacts.
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Armageddon's Blade On Mac OS only available in Complete Edition.
Windows
Mac OS
The Shadow of Death On Mac OS only available in Complete Edition. Stand-alone release, but Conflux town is only available if Armageddon's Blade is found installed, or as part of the Complete Edition.
Windows
Mac OS

Essential improvements

Official patches

All official patches include balance changes and bug fixes on par with each other.
  • The latest official version of Restoration of Erathia is 1.4, with mirrors available here.
  • The latest official version of Armageddon's Blade is 2.2, with mirrors available here.
  • The latest official version of The Shadow of Death is 3.2, with mirrors available here. This version is compatible online with the Complete Edition (v4.0), the HD mod, and other modifications.
Unfortunately, the Polish version still uses patch 3.2, instead of 3.3 or 4.0, but there is unofficial patch, that updates it to the newest version.

Skip intro videos

Modify registry settings[3]
  1. Go to the configuration file location.
  2. Change the value of Show Intro from 1 to 0.

HoMM3 High Resolution Project (HD mod)

Requires Shadow of Death patched to v3.2 or the Complete Edition.
Allows higher resolutions along with 32-bit color support, multiple renderers and upscaling methods, bug fixes, new multiplayer lobby, and other features.
Bypasses compatibility issues faced by the unmodified game version.
Includes Verok's GL Wrapper (archive) as one of the renderer options.
Compatible with several mods, most notably Horn of the Abyss for which it has a special multiplayer lobby and shares some developers.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\New World Computing\Heroes of Might and Magic® III\1.0[Note 2]
Mac OS (Classic)
Linux
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Games[Note 3]
Mac OS (Classic)
Linux

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Epic Games Launcher
GOG Galaxy
As of GOG Galaxy version 1.2, and special HoMM III Complete patch 4.0 (CS)
Ubisoft Connect
List of exceptions from Cloud save support on Ubisoft+

Video

In-game settings.
In-game settings.

Graphics feature State Notes
Widescreen resolution
800x600 only. Use the HD mod for resolutions up to 4000x4000.
Multi-monitor
Ultra-widescreen
Use the HD mod
4K Ultra HD
Use the HD mod.
Field of view (FOV)
Windowed
Desktop must be in 16-bit colour mode (press F4) or use the HD mod.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use the HD mod. Fullscreen toggle on launcher = Borderless window.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
High-fidelity upscaling
Use the HD mod.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Use Verok's GL Wrapper (part of newer releases of the HD mod).
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Framerate is capped at 33 FPS.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Input

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Remapping
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support

Audio

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music, Effects
Surround sound
Subtitles
Cutscenes only.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Czech
Retail only.
French
German
Retail only. Armageddon's Blade wasn't localized.
Polish
Retail and GOG.com only. Download for other releases here.
Russian
Retail and GOG.com only. Official localization by Buka Entertainment.
Spanish
Fan translation; download.

Network

Unmodified, the game requires DirectPlay to be enabled for multiplayer to work. The HD mod bypasses this requirement.

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
8 Hot seat
LAN play
8
Online play
8 The official MPlayer.com service has been shut down; the HD mod includes a community lobby.

Connection types

Issues fixed

Game crashes unexpectedly after some time

This is caused by a bug in the game, experienced only on multi-core or hyper-threaded processors. Newer GOG.com versions do not have this issue.
Use the HD mod
Modify exe files[4]
  1. Download ImageCFG.
  2. Go into the installation folder and execute:
imagecfg -u Heroes3.exe
imagecfg -u Heroes3.icd
imagecfg -a 0x1 Heroes3.exe
imagecfg -a 0x1 Heroes3.icd

Notes

Another means of fixing sound can be found here.
Turn off in-game music[citation needed]
Set CPU affinity[4]
  1. Open the task manager.
  2. Set the CPU affinity for the game process to one processor.

Notes

This needs to be repeated every time when running the game.

Other information

API

Technical specs Supported Notes
DirectDraw 5
OpenGL v1, v2 or v3 User selectable only in the HD mod
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bitARM Notes
Windows
Linux
64-bit and ARM require VCMI

Middleware

Middleware Notes
Audio Miles Sound System
Interface SDL Linux only
Cutscenes Smacker Video, Bink Video

Mods

In the Wake of Gods - an unofficial expansion pack adding new units, mechanics, resources and easier modding possibilities.
Horn of the Abyss - popular unofficial expansion pack adding the Cove town, new neutral units, resources, campaign missions and map objects. Use this patch for compatibility with Polish version.
VCMI - an attempt at rewriting the whole engine to make it customizable, portable and fully cross-platform.

System requirements

Windows
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 133 MHz
System memory (RAM) 32 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 425 MB
Video card (GPU) DirectX 7.0a compatible
Mac OS
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 8.1
Processor (CPU) PowerPC 603e 180 MHz
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 425 MB
Linux
Minimum
Operating system (OS) Kernel 2.2.x
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium
System memory (RAM) 32 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 425 MB
Sound (audio device) OSS Compatible

Notes

  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[2]
  2. Applications writing to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE will be redirected to other locations based on various criterias, see the glossary page for more details.
  3. When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).

References