Magic Carpet 2/Game Mechanics and Glitches

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  • Pausing the game (with ingame pause, P), does not stop the timer.
  • Quickloading reloads the time played for the map to what it was at the point saved.
  • F3 does not speed up the timer, even though the game runs faster. Using F3 should be an independent category.

Mana mechanics

On any given time, the all the mana in a map are in one of these forms:

  • Monster-bound (that is, inside any living monster)
  • Freeform, these are all the balls of mana everywhere
  • Balloon-bound
  • Castle-bound
  • Building-bound
  • Finally, each wizard has a global 1000 mana (which is immediately bound by any castle as soon as one is built.)

The castle meter

  • The full length of the meter is all the mana that exists on the map. As the mana on a map increases over time (because of spawning monsters and freeform mana), the "density" of mana per pixel in the meter increases. In other words, there is no fixed length in the meter for "a level 6 castle filled with mana", because it varies depending on the current total mana of the level.
  • The non-greyed amount is how much mana you have from buildings+your global 1000+mana stored in the castle.
  • The greyed amount is how much additional mana that your castle currently can hold.
  • Each new level of the castle increases it's holding maximum.

If you somehow gain more mana beyond the maximum (a balloon dropping too much, or possessing buildings when full), this mana is thrown out in possessed freeform around your castle. The last castle level has no maximum capacity.

  • It is the absolute amount of mana that is in your castle (not it's level) that determines whether a spell is enabled or not. Note that mana from buildings does not count in, they affect the castle mana meter and your personal mana meter, but are not technically in your castle!
  • It is the relative amount of mana, compared to all the mana in the level, that determines whether you pass a mana mission or not. Because of this, the mission indicator never moves even if new monsters are spawned (and the absolute amount required just increased).

The balloons meter

When a balloon meter is filled, the balloon heads back to the castle, and never before that (unless there is no more mana to pick up). The balloon has no limit in it's storage however, and can carry well over when it's meter has been filled. But this additional amount will always come from a large ball of mana which is the last thing it picks up before heading home. The balloons soft limit is 10.000 mana.

The player’s meter

The player's mana meter (not the spell meters) shows the player's mana pool, consisting of unspent (white) and spent (grey) mana. The meter shows the relation between how much mana the player has and all the mana on the map. (So when the player has possessed all mana on the map, the meter is full.)

The spell meter

A spell's mana meter show how many times it can be used given the current amount of unspent mana. 1 white pixel is one usage.

The Experience system

Experience works such that each spell’s level has a fix number of experience points that you need in order to unlock that level. Every successful use of that spell increase the experience for that spell by 1. For most attack spells, “successful” means that you need to hit something, but for a lot of spells just using the spells is sufficient. So repeatedly casting Speed Up is smart, it will level up the spell quicker.

  • The experience scrolls that you can find give all of your spells 4 more experience points.
  • The castle spell is unique in the way that it can only gain 7 experience points per level.
  • The cheat for gaining experience gives you 100 experience for every spell every time you use it.
  • If you revisit a level, all experience scrolls will be gone, and the game will not save the experience that you will gain.

The spells

Casting mana magnet too frequently causes the magnet function to bug out and freeze. If you’re very patient and calm, (cast it only on one mana ball in a group), it will work and gather them all to one big ball. This allows your balloon to pick it up much faster, and sometimes, massively overload it’s soft 10.000 limit.
The spell gains experience at every successful usage (building or upgraded). Razing does not diminish or take back this, so you can alternate building and razing to gain exp. However, total experience that can be gained is capped at 7 points per game-level.
Speed Up
Have never found that it has any effect
Much much more mana efficient at level 1
It protects less on level 3
  • Lightning 1 seems to gains about 30-40 experience per second
  • Lightning 1 seems to miss a lot, more than 50% against moving targets
  • Level 2 and 3 are excellent against castles (also good panic use against crabs)
Beyond sight
Steal Mana 
Never found it to work
Excellent against crabs
Crater can be used to destroy impenetrable walls, but it’s not great at it. It doesn't seem to destroy them enough to let mana worms pass
Land dwelling creatures are killed if they fall to the bottom water/lava, thus the spell is good in places where the ground is “low” (close to the water) like in level 16 and 21
Is better at destroying impenetrable walls than Crater and gravity well, because it also removes the wall’s “impenetrable” status.
Bee Army 
The wyverns are hilarious
Gravity Well
  • Gravity Well instantly destroys (non-wizard) buildings.
  • Gravity Well is great at destroying impenetrable walls.
Can be useful in small chambers
Fool’s Mana 
Does not work against the AI(?)
Magic Mine 
Level 1 seems way too inefficient.
Excellent against wyverns
Cave in

The player

The player has 10.000 hp

The enemy wizards

Once an enemy wizard has unlocked a spell, they can use it for the rest of the game (even if their castle is lowered or destroyed). The enemy wizards have no mana use limitation, which means that they can cast all spells endlessly.

Different wizards seem to have different spell preferences, both offensively and defensively.

The monsters

  • When a monster dies, it creates an explosion that damages all other monsters and structures around it. A level of your castle can be destroyed if you kill a monster near it, even if the monster itself does not/cannot attack your castle.
  • Monsters can get angry and attack each other, even if they are of the same kind. This is rarely seen however, as it seems that they usually prioritize the player.

Sentinel (stone face)

Sentinels typically only fire at you when they've been angered. It seems that they fire two volleys if you are close to them, but three volleys if you are far away. (This is a difference in lethalness, 8000 damage vs 12000.) The shots are homing, but has a limited range. Note that you can anger a Sentinel with it’s own rebounded damage.


If you hold the wyvern at the exact right distance (barely visible), you can attack it without it attacking you back.


The heads need to be taken out in a specific order. It was either 53124 or 42135, you’ll notice. (Reconfirm this!) It seems that the heads are easier to take out once they have been down before. I’ve never managed to beat a hydra on the first “session” (before heading back to heal up and reload mana, and before the heads grow back up again), but consistently beaten them on the second session (because, even if all heads are up again, they have been “soften up”). Hydras can be easier to beat if you fight them right next to your castle. Your castle will help you attack and you will heal quicker. Don’t use Meteor 1, it’s dps is too low. Meteor 2 seems about just right, it’s aoe covers the heads precisely, and yet it has a higher firing rate than Meteor 3 and lower mana usage. Volcano spell can also be very successful, but the results can a bit more random.



When you have completed all missions and is asked to fly to the exit, you can just press esc, hit confirm and leave it immediately. The game will consider you to have beaten the level. This is probably not a bug.

Mana mission skip

Mana gathering missions are set up so that you need to gather a certain % of the level’s current max mana in your castle. How far the castle’s mana meter is from it’s maximum is an indication of this. Usually when you start such a mission, the game spawns monsters, which raises the total amount of mana on the level, and by consequence, raise the total amount of mana you need to pass the mission. However, it spawns these monsters after checking your mana. So if you have more % mana then required when you start the mission, you’ll not only pass it immediately, but the total amount of mana you needed was less than if you had met it. Not entirely sure this is a bug (the first Cymmerian level talks about it explicitly).

Quicksave / quickload

Aren’t free of weird effects. In particular it seems that mana missions can be skipped by playing through the map normally, and then quickloading back to an earlier point when the mana mission just got available. Even if you don’t have enough mana, the mission can be passed (observed once). Abusing this bug and using the in-game timer, should be considered its own category, if it should be allowed at all. (There would be no real-time restrictions on such a run.)

Castle razing

By building your castle next to other buildings, and then, with some trickery, upgrading it, you can raze the other buildings instantly. Noted to be useful on level 2, 10, 11 and 16.

Castle digging

By being super smurfy, you can get your castle to raze indestructible walls. This seems to work best when building a completely new castle (level 1) and somehow tricking the collision detection (hit something!) for the castle projectile to still build instead of being prevented. This is useful on level 12 and possible on 25.

Diagonal movement

As in a lot of other old games, moving diagonally has higher speed than just moving straight forward. Because there is a maximum turning velocity (mouse control in mc2 is not like in regular fps:s) this is hard to utilize perfectly while still doing other tasks. The speed up spell seems to affect only forward and backwards movement, so when using it it’s sufficient to cast it first while going straight forward, and then add a strafe key and a slight counter angle with the mouse.


(of the bad variety.) The game is more unstable on high resolution, and will frequently crash in certain situations.

Research tips

Using the cursor to measure mana mission progress

Since mana mission completion is based on a relative amount of mana, and not a fixed amount, simply checking the mana status (go to the map screen and press ALT) might not be enough (unless you have all the monsters spawns and mana worms in check). A way of checking it simply reading the castle mana meter, you can measure with the mouse cursor how many pixels that are remaining. For low resolution: The “arrow” part is 5 pixels wide in total, will the arrow + the ball is 12 pixels.

All the main bars are 32 pixels wide. (Castle, balloons, player). The two spell bars are 27 pixels wide. The spell experience bar is 27 pixels wide.


When running mc2 in dosbox, many addresses (like player health) seems to move around with each new map.

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