Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #4207: Flip's PSX Warcraft II - The Dark Saga "Human Campaign" in 1:17:53.32

Console: Sony PlayStation
Game name: Warcraft II - The Dark Saga
Game version: USA
ROM filename: WarCraft II - The Dark Saga.bin
Branch: Human Campaign
Emulator: PSXjin v2.0.2
Movie length: 1:17:53.32
FrameCount: 280399
Re-record count: 111145
Author's real name: Phil Hutchinson
Author's nickname: Flip
Submitter: Flip
Submitted at: 2014-03-09 23:49:57
Text last edited at: 2014-03-17 22:18:55
Text last edited by: Guga
Download: Download (134745 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: PSXjin v2.0.2
  • Completes Alliance's story
  • Plenty of bloodshed to save time.


In the PSX version of Warcraft II, the game includes both the original and the expansion, and instead just goes under the single title "The Dark Saga". This means up to four potential runs could be made for this game, with this particular one completing the original 14 Human levels. Full details of the game can be found at http://war2.warcraft.org/strategy.shtml, or see the Horde Campaign submission for explanations of tricks.

Level Commentaries

1 Hillsbrad 2:08

Slower than the Horde equivalent, due to differences between the two map structures, particularly the gold mine. Don't be fooled, there's not enough in there to support a 5th peasant and still have enough for the basic base requirements.

2 Ambush at Tarren Mill 0:28

Don't blink, you might miss the action. The tree hugging hippies know as elves for some reason love to take non direct paths, walking along side tree edges as opposed to just moving diagonally. So rather than waste extra time guiding him step by step, you can just deliberately block his path with a footman instead, forcing a more direct approach.

3 Southshore 4:37

Different income rates are needed depending on which buildings or units we're planning on making next, and so to keep ahead of the game we've got keep changing peasants' duties around.

4 Attack on Zul'Dare 5:45

The awkward thing here is that neither ship nor land units can be finished significantly faster than the other, which means that a high degree of efficiency is required for both. Not only that, but when it comes to the matter of destroying coast units, we need both groups to participate. Ideally we would just simply end with the coast units, eliminating any potential problems caused with timing; but with our current strat that is not an option. Our ships need to clear out the coast quite early, but not get tangled up there for so long that they forget the rest of their duties. They'll need to go back for the oil rig at some point, while still remembering to leave just the right amount of work behind for land units to do. Trying to plan ahead like this is always frustrating, taking many versions and tedious calculations to make sure that all sections have a perfectly synchronized ending. Anything short of that, is not optimal.

5 Tol Barad 3:55

Much quicker than the Horde equivalent, due to us already having a full army. But of course, it's not like the game intended for you to win with just your initial units, their base is too well guarded. That is, for a regular player anyway. Evasive manoeuvers will safeguard your sea units, while micromanagement and discipline will guide your land army to victory. Of course, so many things to do at once doesn't exactly make the camera motion a treat for the eyes...

6 Dun Algaz 5:23

Well it seems this time we have barely anybody to attack with; and since their base is fortified with guard towers we really need some extra Ballistas at hand. Ballistas which move so slow you'd think they do it just to annoy me. Ballistas which take ages to train, which is particularly bad when the enemy base happens to be at the opposite corner of the map. That means that a lot of time gets consumed, resulting in the attack being done by a rather petite army. It's so small in fact that there's barely enough to go around, and so the secondary attacks up north needed a helping hand from a brave peasant.

7 Grim Batol 8:45

Only need the oil refineries destroying here, which means we can leave the Horde base relatively undisturbed. Just getting a few of the major buildings out of our way is good enough, then we're free to leave the rest in peace. The remaining buildings here will pose no threat whatsoever, since our quick invasion has left the owner completely bankrupt. Once that's done, it's time to retire our troops. Like so many units before them, their usefulness expires pretty quickly. The main attack is done only with sea units, and so might as well remove anybody hogging our farm spots.

8 Tyr's Hand 6:12

Normally only the Pink base could be destroyed quickly, leaving Blue and Red until later, but lots of evasive manoeuvres will sneak our Knights into the Blue base for a nice early attack, giving us a significant advantage over real time runs.

9 The Battle at Darrowmere 1:03

Very quick escort mission, where sea combat makes very little difference to the main goal, so we're free to be as precise or as sloppy as we choose.

10 The Prisoners 6:25

No time for petty fighting, we need to get those prisoners rescued asap. The best strategy here is a rather suicidal one, just sending in multiple waves of units to their deaths. This'll provide the perfect distraction while we sneak our precious cargo through and back to our base camp.

11 Betrayal and the Destruction of Alterac 3:17

Not much to say here, you must know the drill by now. Send the whole army in for an early invasion, requiring heavy micromanagement in order to succeed.

12 The Battle at Crestfall 2:06

One of the very rare times where RNG manipulation was heavily factored here. You can probably imagine, that when there's 20 units attacking many times a second, trying to manipulate each of them to do maximum damage values is obviously not gonna happen. But on the other hand, with only a few slow ships to control, good RNG can make a far more significant difference. It can reduce the number of hits needed to sink a Destroyer from 2 to 1, highly necessary to get such a good time on this level.

13 Assault on Blackrock Spire 9:39

Outnumbered, but never outclassed. The scripted death of Lord Lother and his men was almost a certainty here, but it neglects the power of tool assistance. Proper management coupled with friendly fire hits allows us to win a battle against a whopping 17 foes. For the rest of the level, split your army up amongst the various islands, making sure as always that each section gets finished at approximately the same time.

14 The Great Portal 10:25

A huge army is only useful if we have enough farm room for more peasants; which we don't. This means we need to sacrifice loads in order to proceed, which is quite easy here. Even when trying to keep them alive, it's still quite a struggle against the combined forces of both the orange and the black clans. No need to destroy their bases fully though, since the only clan who bothers to actually attack us in the future is White, with dragons. But as explained in the previous submission, patrol patterns of flying creatures are too chaotic to control. They basically change after each command given to any unit, and thus create a nightmare when trying to plan ahead, hence the occasional odd positioning of our defence team. How to handle the offense though? Well we need to create a brand new army from scratch, and might as well create one which doesn't require building multiple shipyards and transports to get them to where they're needed. It looks like we need to take to the skies. Traditionally creatures have a Fight or Flight response, but I say why not do both? Sending in a horde of gryphons across the main map ends up being faster, and requires only one sacrifice near the end to keep the last pack of dragons away from the main group.

Staring at the slow destruction of 1 structure isn't a particularly climatic finish I will admit, so instead let's just have some fun playing with the peasants; I hope you enjoy.

Mothrayas: Claiming for judgment.

Mothrayas: Another good and entertaining real-time strategy game TAS. Very good viewer response. Accepting for Moons.

Guga: Processing...

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