A cancelled World of Warcraft adventure game from the 1990’s makes a surprise appearance on the internet!
In August 2012, I started a series of articles entitled, “What Could Have Been…”, which detailed the way some of our favourite films could have played out if different decisions had been made during the production process. Now I’m also turning my attention to cancelled video games that will never see the light of day.
Set for release in the last quarter of 1997, Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans was set to be a “point and click” adventure set within the Warcraft universe created by Blizzard Entertainment.
During the latter half of the 1990’s, “point and click” adventures were the staple diet of many a gamer including myself.
Lucasarts produced a many great “point and click” adventure games including the Monkey Island series, the Maniac Mansion games and The Dig produced in collaboration with Steven Spielberg.
Their biggest rival were Sierra Games who created Leisure Suit Larry, Kings Quest, Space Quest and Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers and that is just the tip of their iceberg.
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans was to feature twenty-two minutes of classic 2D animation for the games cut scenes which help propel the story along. These were created by the Russian company, Animation Magic, who also provided the animation for the terrible Zelda games that appeared on the Philips CD-i console (yeah, the Nintendo Zelda!).
It was this animation that was solely used for the game’s promotional trailer.
However, Blizzard announced the game’s cancellation mere days before the 1998 Electronic Entertainment Expo aka E3. Producer Bill Roper felt that the game looked dated, especially as Lucasarts were to release their next “point and click” adventure that used a 3D game engine, Grim Fandango.
Roper said in an interview,
“I think that one of the big problems with Warcraft Adventures was that we were actually creating a traditional adventure game, and what people expected from an adventure game, and very honestly what we expected from an adventure game, changed over the course of the project. And when we got to the point where we cancelled it, it was just because we looked at where we were and said, you know, this would have been great three years ago.”
From all the promotional materials released,the game looked quite good despite looking rather dated for its age.
The main character, an Orc called Thrall was voiced by actor Clancy Brown (Highlander, The Shawshank Redemption and Warcraft). Peter Cullen, best known as the voice of Autobot Transformer, Optimus Prime, voiced Orgrim Doomhammer.
In the last six years, several videos have appeared online demonstrating both the cut scenes and the gameplay. This proved that someone outside of Blizzard had a copy of the game. This was proven further when in September of 2016, the game was uploaded to a file-sharing site.
The game is said to be practically complete with no apparent game breaking bugs, although the voice soundtrack is out of sync on the cut scenes.
For obvious legal reasons, I won’t be linking the download location here and I’m sure Blizzard won’t be too happy about this either.
Instead here is one of the many play through videos that have gone online since the game’s unofficial release.