Codex Gamicus

Warcraft II opening screen

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness is a real-time strategy game released by Blizzard Entertainment in 1995. While the game itself is an MS-DOS application, the Map and Sound Editor supplied with the game require at minimum an operating system in the Windows 3.1x family with both Win32s and WinG installed, or Windows 95.

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness used a slightly offset "view from above" camera angle, with a small viewport from which to conduct battle. The small screen and pixelated effects were improved dramatically with Warcraft II: Edition, which was designed for Microsoft Windows, instead of MS-DOS.

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness' two campaigns last days, not hours in playtime, and continues to be one of the most challenging and well thought out for any RTS. Warcraft II: Edition was later released with multi-player support that would be the start of a new craze that would eventually find form in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.

Blizzard later released Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal as an expansion pack.


The game has two races: The Orcs and the Humans. Each have specific units that parallel each other. Humans have Knights, but Orcs have Ogres. Humans have peasant workers, Orcs have peon workers. There are some very big differences, though, such as human mages have different spells from Ogre mages. Orcs & Humans also have units of other races, such as Dwarves, High Elves, Goblins and the Undead.

Using buttons on the HUD, players select units and tell them where on the map to report. They can also guard specific spots, attack buildings/units, or patrol between two specific points. Your resources are wood, gold, and food. Each can be obtained by making your peasants/peons mine, chop down trees, or build farms. Food is a resource that doesn't run out. For every farm, you get 5 food, which expands your capacity for units.

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