What is this?
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans is a point 'n' click adventure game that was developed in 1996 by Blizzard Entertainment and Animation Magic until its cancellation in 1998. The game takes place after the events of Warcraft II: Beyond The Dark Portal, where the Orc Horde has been defeated by the Human Alliance and have been taken as slaves or confined to reservations. We play as an Orc called Thrall, who was captured as an infant by Lieutenant Blackmoore on a battleground during the events of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blackmoore kept Thrall as a slave and purposefully stopped him from encountering other Orcs, intending to make him a pawn to unite the Orc population into becoming Blackmoore's personal army. Blackmoore has some very high hopes for himself, he probably would have had better luck if he wasn't a sadistic maniac.
Development and cancellation
The announcement of this game came out of nowhere, Blizzard were adventure game fans and had considered making one for a number of years but they just didn't have the resources available to do it. That was until one of their sister companies, Capitol Multimedia, approached them with a proposal and with the resources to be able to do it. The animation studio brought in to work on Warcraft Adventures, Animation Magic, had previously worked on games such as Hotel Mario, Kings Quest VII and the CD-i Zelda series.
The game was conceived towards the end of 1996 with a release date set for some time in 1997. But the development started to falter as Blizzard struggled with the development process of an adventure title and with the animation company being located in Russia it made things more difficult to co-ordinate with the different time-zones. The language barrier also made communications slightly difficult at times and concerns were raised about the quality of the animations that were being produced. They weren't up to Blizzard's standards and they decided to fly a team out to the Russian office to help bring the quality up to their own standards. Ultimately though, it wasn't enough. The Curse Of Monkey Island was released in 1997 which was visually superior and became a direct competition with Warcraft Adventures. They made a decision to push the release date back by six months to redesign the game and brought in a South Korean studio, called Toon-Us-In, to produce full-motion video animated cutscenes.
At the beginning of 1998, Warcraft Adventures was in alpha stage and was almost complete. The game could be played from start to finish, most of the voice recordings were complete and most of the visuals were in place. But the team working on the game felt that the game was "good, but not great." A decision was made to hire Steve Meretzky as a consultant, Blizzard considered him to be an expert in the adventure genre due to his work with Infocom and had recently released The Space Bar. Meetings were held and it was decided that a heavy redesign was needed. Meretzky worked with Blizzard to rewrite sections of the dialogue, make changes to the gameplay and also to construct a new user-interface. With Meretzky's help, Blizzard had transformed the game into a much better state.
The team decided not to go forward with Meretzky's redesign as they felt like they would essentially have to start over again and that it would push the release date back by another year. They also didn't feel like the game, in its current state, was up to their own standards. Blizzard pulled Warcraft Adventures from E3 in 1998 as LucasArts had begun showing off their new 3D adventure title, Grim Fandango. Meetings were held and on May 22, 1998, Warcraft Adventures was publicly cancelled.
I'll link to the Wikipedia article as it gives a much longer summary, there are more sites out there that go into detail. If anyone knows of any specific articles that would be of interest then I can link them here too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warcr...rd_of_the_Clans
Footage from a leaked version of the game was uploaded to Youtube in 2010 by a Russian fan called "MAN-Biker". It was deleted some time afterwards but he decided to upload a complete longplay of the game, from beginning to end, in 2014. He claims that a Russian games developer, not one who was affiliated with Animation Magic, had sent him this version. This version of the game lacked cutscenes
It wasn't until 2016 when another Russian fan called "reidor" leaked a different version of the game online. This version contained cutscenes and was sent by an unnamed third party. Soon after this version leaked, "MAN-Biker"s decided to circulate his version of the game too. Blizzard sent out cease and desist notices, but by then it was too late.
Let's Play details
Please do not post any download links for this game in this thread.
I will be playing the more complete version of the game which includes cutscenes. It will be a video LP and I will do commentary as I play. I plan to upload at least one video a week on Sundays, if time allows I may post a midweek video too. I believe that there is extra footage of the game that are included with this release, I will try to access and show off in a seperate video or videos.
There is a restoration project that is currently ongoing and the team has made efforts to synch the voice acting, add more of the missing cutscenes and improve some of the compression in the graphics. They've also added music and sound effects from previous Warcraft games as well as replacing some of the original artwork with their own. As much as I appreciate the efforts, for better or worse I will be intending to show off the game in it's original alpha state.
Let's Play - Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
The first is an alternative introduction video that was included with this version. The audio suffers from horrendous desynchronisation so I've used the "Warcraft Adventures - Cutscenes Remaster Project" to (kind of) fix it. The original missed a lot of dialogue, the WACRP replaces the missing audio with robotic voices.
The second video is a missing cutscene that belongs at the end of the fourth chapter. It seems like it was cut from this version because of changes to gameplay and they hadn't replaced the animation with the graphics that we have seen in previous cutscenes. It does set things up for chapter five though. This cutscene was missing from a debug menu, the WACRP restored the cutscene and made it accessible via the menu.