War Wind



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With the phenomenal success encountered by the Warcraft series, it was only a question of time before the competition brought a similar product to the market. Developed by Dreamforge Intertainment, War Wind is the first title that is in many ways comparable to Warcraft II, but considering this game just as a simple clone would be a great mistake!

Tha' Roon
The story behind War Wind takes place on the alien world of Yavaun. For centuries, four distinct races coexisted on the planet in a fragile social order dictated by the omnipotent serpent-like Tha' Roon species. Their once powerful empire, built on the allegiance of the mighty Obblinox and the servitude of the plant-like Eaggra, is now on the brink of chaos. No longer willing to serve the military purposes of their overlords, the Obblinox revolted against their ancient masters. Therefore deprived of the crushing force of the Obblinox troops, the Tha' Roon were powerless to preventing the Eaggra insurrection. After centuries of slavery, the Eaggra race was finally freed from the yoke of the Tha' Roon tyrants. Witnesses of the changing wind that was sweeping their planet, the pacific Shama' Li were preparing to defend themselves in the imminent conflict that would soon scorched the entire planet. Each race of course had its own goal. The Tha' Roon were struggling to keep what was remaining of their crumbling empire; the Obblinox were eager to end their vassal relationship with the Tha' Roon, and the Eaggra were ready to sacrifice their lives to avoid bondage again. The Shama' Li, aware that the four races had split from one single form, had no other goals than to re-unify them, so that NagaRom, the Original One could return.

Thus, choosing one of the four races at the beginning of the game will embark you on a campaign where each of the different missions contributes to the final goal. Like Warcraft II, War Wind features a total of 28 scenarios, but because of the four story lines, each campaign will only be seven scenarios long. However, don't believe you will finish a campaign in a matter of hours. While the progressive difficulty of Warcraft II permitted a relatively rapid progression in the game, this is no longer true in War Wind. Because there is a tutorial with which you can learn the basics of the game, you will be at once confronted by your enemies as soon as you start your first mission. The smaller number of scenarios in one campaign also constrained the developers to immediately plunge the players into action, instead of having them learn about the game through one or two scenarios, which would have evidently reduced the length of the campaign. Speaking of length, the average duration of a mission compared to Warcraft II, is slightly longer, not that the goals are more difficult to attain, but simply because it takes more time.

Shama' Li
Indeed, there are a few elements in War Wind that increase the time necessary to complete a scenario, and the map complexity is among the firsts. Many times in War Wind, your movements will be blocked either by natural formations (crystal rocks, chasms and cliffs) or by walls in ruins forming large labyrinths. This will force you to follow certain paths that are sure to walk you all over the map. Combined with enemy forces scattered about, it definitely adds to the difficulty and the time you need to reach the goal. But that's not all! At the contrary of Warcraft II where animals were of no danger to your troops, in War Wind they represent a real threat for both buildings and units. Of course, among the twelve beasts on Yavaun, there are some that are more dangerous than others, and even the docile Bonca, usually preoccupied with feeding than anything else, can become a redoubtable adversary if any harm is done to its young. There are also two phenomenas that you can't really classify as beasts, known as the Ruin Smoke and the Retch Cloud. The first one is a red acid cloud that will damage buildings and vehicles, and the second, a green poisonous gas that destroys organic tissues. You can't really get rid of them, but it's fortunately not too difficult to avoid them as you can always move your troops when they get too close. To top all this, and unless you have the cheat code that turns it off, the Fog of War will prevent you from seeing beyond the visual range of your units, covering the land back with darkness should you move your units.

The missions objectives won't be very different than those in Warcraft II. You will have to escort special characters, attack enemy bases, defend your positions, recover objects, etc., with campaigns varying by the proportion of each of these scenario types. To give an example, the Shama' Li campaign will consist more in searching for ancient ruins and escorting characters of other races, than purely battling for territorial conquests like the Tha' Roon.

War Wind features about the same number of units per race as in Warcraft II, including workers, builders, warriors and mages, as well as mechanized vehicles. The controls remained the same; you can select one unit individually or group them together, then give your orders. Right-click on one unit will display a series of icons corresponding to different actions next to the unit. Then, if you select to build something, another series of icons representing what you want to construct will appear below the first series. If it seems practical at first sight, it rapidly becomes laborious when there are too many icons on the screen and you have to scroll on the left or right to select the proper icon. Except for this and the succession of left and right click on the mouse, the interface is still easy to use.

The big difference regarding units between War Wind and Warcraft II is the way you get them into your army. In Warcraft II, you simply had to train either a peon, a knight or a mage, and units able of casting spells could use any of those you had previously researched. In War Wind, you must recruit the unit first, in a place that changes the name according to race (hostel for the Shama' Li, Watering Hole for the Eaggra, etc...), before sending it into the specific building where it will be trained. Then if the unit has magical abilities, it will have to learn each spell before casting it, not mentioning that each new spell needs to be researched. Getting new types of units works nearly the same way, with the difference being that after having researched them, you will need 3, 4 or 5 units (the number depending on the race) in order to train the new one. To give you an idea, you will need 4 Tha' Roon Rogues before you can train one Assassin. Additionally, bio-upgrades will allow you to improve vision, speed, resilience, stealth and strength of your units. Each unit will have to acquire them individually in a technical facility on exchange of resources. The stealth characteristic allows your units to be masked, disguised, hidden and even invisible, the last possibility having the direct advantage that you can approach enemy troops without being spotted or steal resources in enemy bases for example. Last but not least, units can be healed either in a technical facility (but that will cost you resources) or by a mage knowing the healing spell.

There are two other units that can be recruited in War Wind, the Heroes and the Mercenaries, but they will only appear if you have enough influence. The influence is measured by a flag on the portrait of the clan leader, ranging from 0 (flag low) to 5000 (flag high). Not only will it influence research, but also the special abilities of the clan leader. Each time one of your units die, you will lose influence, and in the same way, killing an enemy unit will raise it. Research will also dramatically reduce it every time you research something new, but if you are too low in influence, you can always bless your clan which will convert resources into influence points.

Resources in War Wind consist of trees, crystal rocks, bio-slags and treasures. The first two will be harvested by the equivalent to Warcraft II's peons, whatever the name they have in War Wind, servants, initiates, workers or scrub, while the two others are less common (especially the treasures) and can be picked up by any units. The bio-slags are bio-upgrades left by a dead unit and can be converted into resources like treasures. Concerning the buildings, there isn't much to say about them. Their construction only requires a certain amount of resources and time, and damages can be repaired easily. New to War Wind are the roads and bridges, roads allowing your units to move faster and bridges being indispensable for large units to cross water.

With the use of SVGA graphics, units and buildings are displayed with greater details on the screen, making them easily recognizable although each race has its own graphics set. Both the diversity and the richness of the graphics, will have a strong appeal for Warcraft II fans, looking for some hot action this season. The landscapes are beautifully rendered and feature several terrain types from swamps to frozen lands. The soundtrack and the numerous sound effects will also seduce players, featuring a military-inspired score with alien voices to answer to your commands.

Completing scenarios one after the other will reward you with cinematic sequences, revealing the story line piece by piece. However, after you have finished the whole game and watched every single animation, you might look for some more. You will then have two alternatives, either you build your own scenarios in the editor or find new adversaries. Well you will be lucky with War Wind as it features modem, LAN and Internet (through Mplayer) multi-player possibilities. In other words, you will never be at the end of the game, so many gaming opportunities are offered to you.


With its new features and the same compelling game play as the award-winning Warcraft II, War Wind is the only title that can seriously threaten the hit from Blizzard Entertainment. For real-time strategy aficionados, War Wind is definitely a must buy. Besides an original story, it offers enough challenge and complexity to keep you busy for a long time!

Written by Frederick Claude

System Requirements:

Pentium 60 required (Pentium 120 recommended) or faster processor,
Min 16Mb memory,
Windows 95,
Hard disk required with 5Mb of space required (40 Mb of hard drive space recommended),
50 Mb of hard disk space required for network play,
Uncompressed hard drive required,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
1Mb SVGA Windows 95 compatible video card (PCI recommended),
Microsoft compatible mouse.

MPC compatible sound card.


Dreamforge Intertainment.


S.S.I. Inc.,
675 Almanor Avenue, Suite 201,
Sunnyvale, CA 94086-2901.

Technical Support:1-888-4-477-4669 Monday through Friday 11:00am to 5:00pm PST
Fax Support:408-737-6814 Attn: Technical Support
BBS Support:408-739-6137 (9600 - 33.6K baud modems)
408-739-6623 (2400 - 33.6K baud modems)
BBS in Canada:403-473-9131 or 408-472-0178 (2400 - 14.4K baud modems)

Internet Support: S.S.I. Technical Support
Web site: S.S.I.

For new scenarios, cheat codes, and more, check out War Wind's web site.


In North America:

88 Rowland Way,
Novato, CA 94945.

Technical Support:415-897-9900
Fax Support:415-897-2747

Web site: Mindscape

In Europe:

In UK:

Priority House,
Charles Avenue, Maltings Park,
Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9TQ.

Technical Support:+44-(0)1444-246333
Fax Support:+44-(0)1444-248996

Web site: Mindscape UK

In France:

Mindscape France,
74D Rue de Paris,
36069 Rennes Cedex.

Technical Support:+33-29987-5887
Fax Support:+33-29987-5888

In Germany:

Mindscape Germany,
Zeppelinstrasse 321,
45470 Muelheim A.D. Ruhr.

Technical Support:+49-208-9924100
Fax Support:+49-208-9924129

In Pacific:

In Australia & New Zealand:

Mindscape, Inc.,
5/6 Gladstone Road,
Castle Hill, New South Wales 2154.

Technical Support:02-899-2277
Fax Support:02-899-2348



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