The Let's Play Archive

Warcraft II

by Azzur

Part 1: Mission 1: Square One in a Frozen Hell

Act 1: Seas of Blood

Episode 1: Zul'dare or Square One in a Frozen Hell

: Ugh. I swear this had better be a nightmare.

: This is just like it was six years ago. I'm a nether-blasted general! I shouldn't be doing grunt work!

: You call, Chieftain?

: And I'm stuck with you and...

: No need to pull any punches here, Chieftain.

: even seek to ruin my seething anger.

: Chieftain, the faster we get this mission accomplished, the faster we can get to warmer climes.

: Ugh.

Earlier that month, at Blackrock Mountain...

: You, uh, call for me, Doomha- War Chief?

: Yes, Necksmasher. Our allies are in place and it's time that we pressed the humans.

: Ah, and so you finally came around to the idea of me leading this second assault?

: No. We need some farms erected up in the human lands, and since you have the most experience erecting farms on battlefields, I believe that you are perfect for the job.

: What? I constructed those farms to feed my massive, destructive army that I used to destroy the humans.

: And for that, the Horde thanks you. However, you have served your purpose as a pawn in the war. Now, you are a farmer.

: I... I... Yes, War Chief.

Back in the present...

: Basic training here, folks. Vilefeast, I think you know the drill. If something moves and isn't green, make with the choppy-choppy.

: Me so happy to be back! Hey? Where Groinbiter?

: He was put down when he-

: Too chilly.

: Oooh! Human! Long time friend! Me miss!

: *sniff* It bring a tear to eyes. Memories.

Welcome back to the basics of RTS here. Much like the first level of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, the first mission of the act is to build the infrastructure of the siege; and what does that mean?

Also, to state some of the obvious: The graphics have gotten an huge step up from Warcraft: O&H. The UI has gotten a slight overhaul, making things so much easier to pick up and play. You can also select up to nine units to a group, as opposed to four. Coming from O&H, this is like being able to run after crawling. Of course there are a few more interesting little differences that we'll be seeing shortly. You may have noticed a few already.

: Hm? Me hear movement? More human to play with?

: Eh? Archer friend!

For those of you who have followed over from the previous thread, you will recall that the humans had archers at on the first stage. This game is no different with the exception that these archers are elves! Okay, it can essentially be looked at as a mere graphical change at this point, but it quickly becomes something far more than that. However, that's something we can delve into with the human side of the game.

: Oh, well. You arrows sting less than before. Your arms weaker?

: Yup. You weaker. Ooh! White ground red now!

: Chieftain, resources are rather scarce in these lands. It will be difficult to break ground and cultivate the land, much less sustain it.

Here's a good look at our unit screen. This is a massive jump up from Orcs & Humans, which told us nothing. there are a few things to note here, including the pseudo-RPG element of "levels." As awesome as this was as a child, it really is more of a facade, but it's serves it's purpose when discovering the relative strength of enemy units. Again, something we'll talk about more when we get to it. There's something more important here, though: Peons can finally attack! Okay, it's not that great, but at least it's something.

: Do. Not. Care. Slap some twigs together and put a sign on it that reads "Necksmasher's Farm" and we'll call it a day. I'm through with doing Doomhammer's work that's fit for the average knuckledragger.

: It so cold, but me ears burn anyway. Weird.

: We've begun our agricultural project, in hopes that something will survive in this tundra. Our first farm is beginning to come together.

A look at our Great Hall brings us to another new innovation (one that doesn't stick around): resource values. You see when a peon returns with a resource, this here determines how much that resource is worth. Again, a whole lot that we won't deal with until later missions. Wait a minute... oil?

: Alright, get some roads together to connect these farms together. I suppose we'll start draining my coffers early.

: Given the situation, Chieftain, perhaps we can forgo the formalities and construct our town without necessary roads.

: WAIT. We could do that!?

Oh, yeah. Roads and walls are gone! Well, walls are still here, but you can't build them anymore.

: It boring when they by themselves. Me miss human army.

: We're nearing completion of the farming project.

: ...but... without roads. How? How?

: And I have my men setting up a barracks. I think the War Chief should be quite pleased with the outcome here.

: Ooh! Is so roomy!

: I can't believe he's actually going to train soldiers up here. This is like... like... ugh, I can't think of a good simile.

: Like forging a blade in ice water?

: That's nothing at all like what I was thinking!

And as you can probably guess, the barracks is our go to source for all of our soldiering needs. Of course our first tier unit is the grunt, making their return from the original Warcraft.

: Great we're done. Can we go home now?

: I think there's something we need to do for old-time's sake.

And the improved results screen. You can see that the interface has been improved, if that medieval flair is absent from the original. I must say that enjoy this quite a bit because you can plainly see where you did well, and blah, blah, blah. It's a score sheet; what can I really say about it?

: Victory.

: These years have only made me hate you both more.