Feb 242016


Ten years before it became an MMO sensation, Warcraft was one of the most revered strategy series on the market. Part of its appeal was its thunderous yet listenable war tunes that mixed orchestral grandeur with videogamey toe-tapping goodness.

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0:00:00 – Orc Theme 2 (Tides of Darkness)

0:13:46 – Angelfire (Orcs and Humans)

0:17:26 – Of Battle and Ancient Warcraft (Orcs and Humans)

0:21:16 – Retrobution (Orcs and Humans MIDI)

0:33:21 – Orc Theme 1 (Tides of Darkness)

0:36:49 – Orc Theme 4 (Tides of Darkness)

0:40:14 – Orc Theme 5 (Tides of Darkness)

0:49:55 – Human Theme 1 (Tides of Darkness)

0:53:29 – Human Theme 5 (Tides of Darkness)

1:08:14 – Blackrock and Roll (Reign of Chaos)

1:12:39 – Arcane Echoes (Reign of Chaos)

1:17:43 – Night Elf Theme 1 (Reign of Chaos)

1:29:26 – Last Days of the Alliance (Frozen Throne)

1:34:08 – Night Elf Theme (Frozen Throne)

1:44:55 – I’m a Medieval Man (Beyond the Dark Portal)

  14 Responses to “VGMpire 112 – Warcraft before WoW”

  1. Now we’re talking, Brett! Some of the greatest music in gaming history.

  2. I completely agree with Lord Zarlon, such great music. Part of the reason I love playing game after game after game of Warcraft 2 and 3 (and Starcraft, please do a Starcraft only episode soon!) was because the music was so good and addicting to listen to. Really loved this episode!

  3. This was a great episode, Guys! I can’t wait for the WoW episode!

  4. I’m so glad it was formatted this way, I love Warcraft 1-3 so much. For me WoW was like when your girlfriend suddenly starts smoking, dressing differently, hanging out with new people, and changes so much that you’re not even upset when you break up. I’d really like to see a Warcraft 4 or something that plays through all the plot points of WoW in RTS format though.

  5. Great episode!!! This is one of my favorite game series/soundtracks ever. Brett describing the way the tracks build along with your base totally brought me back to the way the same track played every time the juggernauts and turtles showed up to burn down my shipyards on the “kill gul’dan mission.” I swear Warcraft 1 and 2 “knew” when you were winning or losing and would play appropriately themed music…or it’s just that good. I loved Henry’s connection to the LoTR soundtrack and totally agree, this episode brought me back to a golden age of fantasy: playing Warcraft 3, MTG with the LoTR soundtrack, and drawing balrogs and orcs in my school notebooks. In other words, like Brett’s Warcraft strategy, I built and impenetrable guantlet of defenses around my virginity. Great Episode. I’m a long time listener but your forums/comments frustrate me TO NO END. So I’m leaving this a visitor. It’s that good!!!

  6. Yes! I used to love this series SO MUCH… then WoW came along and ruined everything, but still had the balls to have amazing music. THE NERVE.

    Anyway, great episode, and keep up the great work – I look forward to this show every time it pops up in itunes!

    (also… any chance of a Starcraft episode? It’s music is criminally underrated.)

  7. Great episode!

    The music in World of Warcraft is my all-time favorite, and so since you said you haven’t played the game, I was moved to make a few suggestions, if you don’t mind.

    It was hard to pick just a few songs. I figured I’d try to pick only one from each expansion and also try to mix up the tempo.

    https://youtu.be/BPjeNWDsszw – Stormwind. Little else can compare to this epic introduction to the big, bustling city, making you feel small as you pass by the heroic statues flanking the wide, stone drawbridge, the battlements towering over you, its banners flapping in the cool breeze. What a cool place!

    https://youtu.be/KZy4x7sewwY – Hellfire. Going back beyond The Dark Portal and discovering the broken world of Draenor was quite a sight. An army of massive demons assaulted the gate, trying to break into our world, but held back at the steps by both the Horde and Alliance in an uneasy truce to defend Azeroth. Ribbons of free-flowing energy rip through the sky, the land itself torn asunder and floating above a bottomless rift in the space-time continuum, demons surrounding you. Welcome to Outland.

    https://youtu.be/isyVlRHsNGo – Invincible. The end of Arthas. An emotionally-charged, epic farewell to an amazing character. This track made me very verklempt the first time I heard it, and it still gets me. The hard-fought battle against The Lich King was won, but the victory was bittersweet.

    https://youtu.be/HIcZz2Vp1TM – Castaways. In the days leading up to the Cataclysm, the silly little goblins of Kezan were going about their ridiculous lives, oblivious to the world-shattering devastation that would soon be unleashed upon the world.

    https://youtu.be/oL7zV8KRm50 – Serpent Riders. In Pandaria, you’re given the opportunity to raise your own Cloud Serpent from an egg and, over time, train it to become the fastest dragon to ever compete in the dragon racing tournament. Taking to the skies for the first time with your little buddy is a triumphant moment punctuated perfectly with this exciting track.

    https://youtu.be/5rIjnTWhgUk – The Homeworld Beckons. Travel back in time (and to an alternate reality) to see Draenor as the unbroken, beautiful, but savage world it once was. Meet the storied Warlords who wrote the history of two worlds, and stand against their endless lust for conquest.

    The game has so much music, and there are so many more great tracks out there, so I’m looking forward to seeing what catches your ear. The best place to start would probably be by listening to the music in the login screens for the various expansions; they’re medleys of each expansion’s new themes. Heck, you could fill a whole show with just the music from the login screens, come to think of it.

    Anyway, yeah, thanks for your time. 🙂

  8. I languished during a VideoGamesLive event where they played two whole tracks from Warcraft (1 from the RTS era, 1 the MMO) and lamented the time that could have been spent on “real” VGM, but this episode as changed my mind ever so slightly.

    So Thanks for That!

  9. The music played here from Warcraft III reaaaaaalllllllllly took me back! I played countless hours of WCIII back in the day, finished *almost* all the campaigns (I remember Arthas’ story arc being very interesting) and played a crapton online, even if I was never any good at it.

    “Last Days of the Alliance” from Frozen Throne really struck a chord with me. As soon as I heard that male choir I felt like I was transported back to 2003, which was filled with a summer interspersed with long Frozen Throne play sessions with friends on the old Dell family computer and subsequent D&D sessions. Thanks for reminding me that there’s more to Warcraft than the WoW craze it got swept up in afterwards.

    I know you guys were kinda eye-rolling the movie and pop culture quotes that the units say when you click on them multiple times, but I love that stuff! One of my favorites is the Human Race’s Mortar group, which screams “MORTAAAAARRRR KOMBAAAAAAAT” when they’re created. Too funny.

    Another favorite: Turning the Human peasant into a militia man and ordering him to attack an enemy results in him going “That’s it, I’m dead.”

    I think StarCraft 1 & 2’s unit quotes are even more memorable and hilarious.

    Also, I really dig Warcraft II’s music, too. I need it!

  10. Wow, lots of great music here! Never played the series(I think the only PC game I ever really got into was Unreal), but I really enjoyed the tracks. Good stuff.

    You guys brought up Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”. Brett, do yourself a favor and check out that album. So many movie and video game composers have either paid homage to it, or straight ripped it off. “Mars, the Bringer of War” directly influenced Danny Elfman’s original Batman theme, for example. And Howard Shore all but copied “Jupiter” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu77Vtja30c&index=4&list=PLE6996668EC37137C) for the hobbit theme (just replace those strings with a flute). My favorite piece is “Uranus the Magician”(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDFGmiXnLjU&list=PLE6996668EC37137C&index=6), which sounds fantastic on a good stereo or a good pair of headphones.

  11. Only recently discovered the podcast (through a Retronauts appearance), but what a time I have had catching up on the series. Just wished to post my compliments for this episode in particular, which brought back a lot of memories (and has prompted me to reacquire Warcraft 2 for another playthrough). Excellent selections throughout – and the unit quotes was just the cherry on top.

  12. Def one of my favorites, aside from C&C. Any chance of an impending C&C episode(s)!? There’s so much to pick from 😛

    Recon (C&C)

    On the Prowl (C&C)

    No Mercy (C&C)

    Smash (C&C: Red Alert)

    Hell March (C&C: Red Alert)

    All hail Frank Klepacki!

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