Home Featured Making Magic – Press Start
Making Magic – Press Start

Making Magic – Press Start


Magic is a major part of many RPGs. And of course, how it’s used and acquired is hugely important. Although most games work on the same system of ‘acquire spell, press to cast’, there are a few games that come to mind where spells can be crafted, or edited as per the player’s preferences. Of course, the same can be oft said of enchantments.

Arx Fatalis

I wrote quite a bit about Arx‘s magic system in my Replay piece on the game, so I won’t go too in depth here, but it warrants mentioning. To cast a spell you’d need to draw the component runes, such as something like ‘great’ followed by ‘move’ for a speed buff. It’s a cool system!


If you’re familiar with Skyrim, you should know that Oblivion is a bit different with its magic. The game didn’t have dual wielding and you didn’t wield spells like in Skyrim. Instead you can cast with a button regardless of what you have equipped, or even if your weapons are sheathed. It’s handy, to say the least.

You can buy spells from a number of sources, with each of the mages’ guild halls in each major town also focusing on different schools of magic. When you gain access to the Imperial City hub of the guild, you gain access to spell construction and enchantments, the main limit on your power generally being your magicka pool. And then if you want the top tier enchantments you’ll need grand or, nine forbid… black soul gems. Doesn’t help that black soul gems are the easiest to fill.

You could use the effects of existing spells, altering their values, their damage, time, whether they were cast on self, touch, or projectile. It’s mostly the same with the enchantments. If you want to have real fun though, you should go for the chameleon enchantment. This effect renders you partially invisible, until you bring the value over 100%, then you are completely invisible for as long as you keep that gear equipped. I recall that attacking guards would cause them to flee in terror from the unseen threat.


Right, so there’s no real spell customisation in this but there is the enchanting skill…  Max that out and you’ll be able to cast certain spells free of charge. Mess around with alchemy and you’ll be able to do far more. 10000% health regen? Not a problem. Or you can buff your smithing skill to a ridiculous degree; it lets you hit some dragons with an iron dagger! Likewise, these buffs can be done with alchemy, but hey, permanence is what you’d want.


Though I don’t have much first hand experience with the franchise (I know it’s not Elder Scrolls related at least), this game’s systems have you combining different types of magics into a large variety of spells. As I said, I’ve little experience and can’t really remember all I have played of it, but I do remember being able to freeze water, summon meteors, create beams of healing …or death.

What are some other interesting magic or enchanting mechanics in video games you can think of? Be sure to let us know in the comments!