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WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness is a sequel to WarCraft: Orcs & Humans. With the conquest of the kingdom of Azeroth in the first war, the orcs are now preparing for an invasion of Lordaeron and conquer the remaining human, dwarven and elvisch realms. In an effort to counter this invasion the humans, elves and dwarves formed an alliance in the hope to avert the same fate the kingdom of Azeroth met.

The game comes with many new features such as fighting not only over land but also over sea and air, SVGA 640x480 resolution graphics with many newly-rendered buildings and units, multiplayer-support with up to eight players, as well as a Red Book audio soundtrack, and a scenario editor that allows players to design and create their own scenarios. The editor requires Windows 3.1 or greater, even though WarCraft II is a DOS-based game.


WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness Macintosh Main menu
WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness DOS The goblin zeppelin is great for exploring the map and seeing what your enemy is up to
WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness DOS Title screen
WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness DOS After you've completed both the human & orc campaign you can always set up a custom scenario if you want to play some more

Promo Images

WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness Render
WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness Render
WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness Screenshot
WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "WarCraft II: Blood Seas" -- Working title
  • "WarCraft 2" -- Informal name
  • "War2" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

So charming, you’ll overlook all of its flaws. DOS PCGamer77 (3233)
Customs scenarios make this one replayable DOS anton treuenfels (37)
Exploding sheep! (see below on details, details, details) DOS Cyric (50)
Warcraft II has aged well DOS Roedie (5252)
By land, air and water... DOS Depth Lord (1003)
A genre inside of itself DOS Sam Tinianow (116)
The only RTS I ever really enjoyed playing DOS Kalirion (667)
A classic. DOS Tomer Gabel (4646)
Hack 'n' Slash DOS Horny-Bullant (59)
An excellent RTS game, marred by repetitive AI DOS Asher (7)

Critic Reviews

Mac Gamer Macintosh 1996 95 out of 100 95
Game Revolution DOS Feb 06, 2004 A- 91 DOS Apr 14, 2010 18 out of 20 90
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) DOS 1996 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Power Play DOS Jan, 1996 89 out of 100 89
Gamezilla DOS Dec 03, 2000 89 out of 100 89
GameStar (Germany) DOS Feb, 1998 84 out of 100 84
Imperium Gier DOS Apr 19, 1999 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80 DOS Sep 11, 2006 8 out of 10 80
Macworld Macintosh Jan, 1997 7.7 out of 10 77


Topic # Posts Last Post
Still up ? 6 Sciere (529594)
Jul 31, 2008
Permission ? 13 DJP Mom (11388)
Feb 26, 2008


1001 Video Games

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


In the mission objectives screen, the text written in the book on the background is actually English with letters substituted with similar sounding (or, in some cases, not) Cyrillic ones. For example, "орцисч чордес" is definitely "orcish hordes".


At the end of the credits section of the game there is a note:

No pixels were harmed during the making of this game.


You can type in "gilttering prizes" instead of the cheat "glittering prizes" and still have it work. Joke? Glitch? Coincidence? We will never know...


  • Blizzard originally wanted to include more than two races with the game. However, memory constrictions forced them to stay with two. As a compromise, they included Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, Ogres, Goblins, and Gnomes as part of the two official races, Orcs and Humans.
  • At one point in development, Blizzard planed to have Catapults and Balistas manned. This means that you would need a unit to move and fire the catapult. If this unit was killed, the enemy could then capture your catapult. For whatever reason, this idea was taken out of the final version, however evidence of its existence can still be seen in the cutscene of a footman stealing an Orcish Catapult.


  • If you repetitively click on any of the critters in the game, they'll eventually explode.
  • As is typical of all of Blizzard's RTS games, repeatedly clicking on any unit will trigger humorous dialogue.


All of the buildings and units for Warcraft II were originally created from 3d models. Then, after the frames of animation were set, these were given to artists to draw over, giving the game an animated look rather than a 3-D look.

Lumber bug

In games that began with only one peon (no townhall), you could click on a tree and then build your townhall. This would result in 100 extra lumber even though the tree was never completely chopped down. This was known as the "lumber bug" and came in very handy in low resource multiplayer games. However, this only worked in the DOS version of the game and was fixed in the BattleNet version.


  • A common nickname for Warcraft II is "Warcrack", a reference to how addictive -- like crack cocaine -- this game can be.
  • Rumor has it that Civilization designer Sid Meier remained skeptical of multiplayer gaming until he saw how much fun his daughter had beating him at Warcraft II.


If you select a sheep four times (keep clicking it with the left mouse button), the sheep will say: bo-ram-u (that's what it sounds like). This is the sheep password from the 1995 movie Babe.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • June 1996 (Issue #143) – Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #28 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
    • June 1998 (Issue #278) - Introduced into the Hall of Fame
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #3 Top Game of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #9 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #4 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games" poll
    • April 2005 - #5 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1997 – Best Game in 1996
Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Chentzilla, KSlayer, Maw, PCGamer77, Roedie, Toadstool; Trixter and Warlock

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Contributed to by Accatone (5342) and Terok Nor (27144)