Warcraft: Orcs & Humans is the first in a long series of real time strategy games by Blizzard Entertainment, released in 1994 for the MS-DOS and Macintosh platforms. The game shares many fantasy elements with other similar narrative universes such as J.R.R Tolkien's: The Lord of the Rings and the Warhammer franchise.
Warcraft takes place during the period known as The Great War in Warcraft lore, when a human mage named Medivh offers the world of Azeroth to the Orcish Horde in trade for infinite power and loyalty. This is manifested in the form of support from a dead spirit named Sargeras. During the invasion, Medivh is killed and during a retreat by the Orcish Horde, Llane, king of the humans, is assassinated. Consequently, Stormwind, the human capital of Azeroth is raided and pillaged. Fearing their demise, the humans head north to Lordaeron, a sub-continent of Azeroth, where the story from Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness begins.
As one of the first real time strategy games in the mold of the modern RTS, Warcraft follows the rhythm now known as resource gathering and base building. Lumber and gold have to be constantly collected in order to maintain a base, from which units and structures can be constructed and/or trained for battle as well as support functions. Tiers also play an important role in Warcraft's game play: as structures evolve, so does the capacity, variety, and quality of units available for use, as well as the possibility of primary unit upgrades. Attack units can also be divided between melee and ranged, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Spellcasters can also function as healers for the armies being built, with both factions having their own type of casters. Although very different visually, the Humans and the Orcs share identical unit functions with only two exceptions: Elementals, created by Human Conjures, and Daemons, demons called forth by Orcish Shamans. Both are later tiered units and are very powerful in the end game. Structures also vary in name, but the basic function remained the same.
Warcraft was also one of the first RTS's to use the right mouse button for unit movement. Instead of the established left mouse button setup in the later released Command and Conquer, Warcraft differentiated itself by using the right mouse button for unit movement and the left one for selections and menu treatment. This made the inputs less cluttered, but added an extra layer of complexity to the gameplay.
Warcraft: Orcs & Humans is often referenced in future games in the Warcraft series in the form of characters and locations. In Warcraft II, Sir Lothar is one of the main story arches. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans also introduced the concept of 'creeps', neutral characters that could be slain for more resources in the single player campaign maps, a feature later seen (and improved upon) in both of its sequels. One of the city hubs of the Alliance faction in World of WarCraft is Stormwind, with Stormwind Keep, and the opening of the Dark Portal event is one of WoW's dungeon instances presented in the Caverns of Time, where players relive the events of Orcs and Humans along with Medvih, who acts as a non playable character. Medvih's also referenced in the raid instance of Karazhan, in two different occasions - in the chess event, where his spirit plays chess with the players in the raid, often cheating, and in the form of a boss encounter, who is none other than the ghostly form of his disturbed father, Aran.
PC Requirements (Sold-Out Software)
- 386 - 20 Mhz or higher;
- Windows 95/98/Me;
- 4 MB RAM;
- VGA Graphics Card;
- 100% compatible Soundblaster sound card;
- Mouse and Keyboard.