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Started to play MM1 a couple of days ago. Still grinding in Sorpigal but I'm starting to wonder how the aging mechanic works in this game. As far as the manual goes, your stats will decrease when you are getting older.

Is resting or visiting an inn for saving purposes going to hurt my party in the long run (mid to endgame?) if I do it too frequently? How much time passes when you move around or fight battles, if at all? Do characters age additionally when they get knocked out in battle?
It really shouldn't be a problem, it's not really meant to function as a hard time limit, like there is in, say, Fallout 1. Not 100% sure about in the first game, but in the series there are generally things that can artificially age your characters - that's something to be more wary of. Again, not sure how it is in this game, but in other games in the series you can also de-age yourself.
In some MM games (like MM3) your characters can die in their sleep if getting too old. Not sure if this was implemented in MM1, though.
After double checking the books... there is no aging mechanic in MM1. That came later in other games. Plus none of the monsters have that attack, so you are safe, no dying from old age! 8)

Resting at the Inn has no harmful effects on your party. Actually, in the beginning, if you succeed in killing a monster group, I usually immediately turn around and run back to the Inn! All it costs you is a food, but food's cheap, so save very often. Because you never know when you'll run into a pack of Sprites!!!

In MM1, time really has no meaning, so don't worry about it. 8)
OK, ok, ok. I did some further checking... You can be "aged" (I was looking at the wrong column), but it looks like the Ghost is the only one who has that "named" attack. If you get caught stealing from towns, the punishment is aging. I don't remember having any problems with aging too fast, but as mentioned before, the Cleric's Rejuvenation Spell can fix that.
MM1 definitely has aging, but there's no reason to worry about it. Characters will age by one year each time they level up. They can also be aged by special attacks from certain enemies, notably ghosts. But the most common form of aging is from the more powerful cleric spells, which age the caster when cast.

Of course, by the time you have those powerful cleric spells, you will also have the Rejuvenation spell, which will reduce the age of a character it is cast on. Sometimes it fails and increases age instead, but usually repeated castings will result in a net reduction in age.

Very old characters may suffer reduced stats and can die when resting, so keep an eye on your ages and cast Rejuvenation when needed. I didn't need to worry about age until very late in the game though.

There is also another way to reduce age in the game, which I will not spoil.

Later games in the series made a distinction between "natural" and "unnatural" aging, i.e. your characters had a "true" age, but some enemies could artificially age them. In those games, there were various ways to remove unnatural aging and return your characters to their "true" age. But MM1 and MM2 do not make any distinciton. Age is age, so you can use Rejuvenation to make your characters even younger than they were at the start of the game, if you want.
Thanks for the helpful information. While I try to maximize the time I can play without making camp or saving the game (because I guess some areas won't allow you to rest or the way to an inn is long), I feel more comfortable now. I try to save after I found some cool item or a nice amount of money though. The game likes to throw packs of Sprites at me when it's most inconvenient. Well, 4+ Sprites are always very dangerous even when fully rested because I just can't hit them. Their curses aren't improving my situation, either :)
Post edited November 15, 2012 by Dragonfly2012
There is also a location in the game with an hourglass that you turn and it de-ages your characters back to 18 or so. It is in the same outdoor zone as Dusk, but you need the Etherealize spell to reach it.