Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal
|Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal|
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal is an expansion pack developed by Cyberlore Studios, released in 1996 by Blizzard Entertainment for their award-winning real-time strategy computer game Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. As with most computer game expansion packs, Beyond the Dark Portal requires a full version of the original game to run.
The plot of Beyond the Dark Portal takes place after the events of Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. The Orcs, now under the leadership of Ner'zhul, staged a new invasion of Azeroth and overwhelmed the citadel of Nethergarde, which guarded the remnants of the portal. The Alliance itself had been splintered after the Second War and Gilneas and Stromgarde had withdrawn their support. The arch-mage Khadgar summoned heroes of Azeroth, Alleria Windrunner, Danath Trollbane, Turalyon and Kurdran Wildhammer to rally the forces of the Alliance. The Horde was beaten back and Khadgar decided to take the initiative to push through the Portal into the Orcs' homeland. Before being pushed back, Ner'zhul managed to steal the spellbook of Medivh which was needed to create new Portals.
The Alliance gained a foothold and made preparations to seal the rift forever while the Orcs reorganized. Khadgar needed the spellbook of Medivh and the Skull of Gul'dan to accomplish it. They razed the Shadowmoon Citadel, seat of Ner'zhul's Shadow Council. While the Alliance army and navy only barely held out, Khadgar managed to acquire the items with help from the Laughing Skull Clan. Ner'zhul managed to open portals to the Twisting Nether and escaped through one of the new Portals. The violent energies began to destroy Draenor and also threatened Azeroth. Khadgar destroyed the Portal on the side of Draenor to prevent harm to Azeroth, trapping the remaining Alliance forces beyond the Dark Portal in the dying land of Draenor. Khadgar and the warriors of Azeroth then entered one of the portals not knowing where it would lead to avoid being killed by the violent rifts tearing the planet apart. With the release of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, it is revealed that the Alliance forces actually remained on Draenor rather than escaping through a portal as said in Beyond the Dark Portal's ending. They are still alive and are currently fighting to prevent another invasion of Azeroth.
The expansion adds two new campaigns and several multiplayer maps. The expansion also adds a new swamp tileset for the world of Draenor.
The new campaigns feature ten new heroes for Warcraft, five for the Alliance and five for the Horde. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness had a few hero units, but these units were only marginally stronger than their basic unit and had no speech of their own. The new heroes have increased unit statistics, making them more powerful than regular units, have their own unit portraits, and their own speech. The Alliance heroes are Alleria (Ranger), Danath (Footman), Turalyon (Paladin), Khadgar (Mage) and Kurdran (Gryphon Rider on his mount Sky'ree). The Horde heroes are Grom Hellscream (Grunt), Kargath Bladefist (Grunt), Dentarg (Ogre-Mage), Teron Gorefiend (Death Knight) and Deathwing (Dragon). While regular units of the two armies are balanced (only the spells wielded by spellcasters differ), the heroes have greater distinctions. The Orcish heroes are more powerful than their human counterparts. The heroes are important to the story and may not be killed during the mission with exception of the final missions in both campaigns, and with the exception of Khadgar in the Human campaign and Teron in Orcish campaign (in 11th mission).
The CD-ROM itself, when put into a CD player, will play the many different musical tracks from the game itself. In addition, there is a special track at the end of the disc that incorporates unit voices as well as lyrics to create a comical song entitled "I'm A Medieval Man". The song is a medieval parody or tribute song of the Command & Conquer song "Mechanical Man", which features voices as well  alluding to the fact that Warcraft served as a primary competitor in real-time strategy games, the expansion being released only a year after Command and Conquer.
In Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos it is learned that Ner'zhul was intercepted by agents of the Burning Legion and transformed into the Lich King. In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne it is learned that parts of Draenor survived and are now called Outland. Remnants of the Alliance expedition appear in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.
- Statements needing citations. "List of pop culture references in Warcraft/W123 - WoWWiki - Your guide to the World of Warcraft". WoWWiki. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
- WarCry's Exclusive Preview of The Burning Crusade (2007-01-15). "WarCry's Exclusive Preview of The Burning Crusade | Previews". WarCry. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
- John Funk. "WoW: Cataclysm Part 1: Old Villains, New Races | The Escapist". Escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved 2014-05-26.