Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and every once in awhile, something in this game brings me back to my first days of playing this game. For alot of us, this was the first game that we ever played multi-player. And even moreso, it was the first time alot of us played a game online. Can you remember back to the early days of Warcraft 2?
I was a huge Warcraft 1 player. I played that game on my 386 33 and an incredibly slow speed. At the time, I didn't even realize how slow the game was. It was simply so much fun, that I would play it for hours at a time. I never did play it multi-player back then though. I just played the missions that are built into the game, or the custom scenarios you could do. The coolest part is, that I still have a whole bunch of saves on that old computer. It's really quite amazing at how much I sucked. On the last human mission, I had a total of 8 peons. I would just sit back and camp in my defensive line (as Warcraft 1 was played) until I had enough Water Elementals to do some damage. Man, I blew :).
I knew Warcraft 2 was out, but I never did buy it right away. However, my good friend Kith-Kanin was all over it as soon as it was on the shelves. Eventually I got over to his house to check the game out. Can any of you remember the absolute first time you saw the game? I walked into the room where his computer was. He loaded up a save he had from a mission he had already completed, that he thought was fun. He started off in the bottom-right corner of the map with a bunch of knights. As they quickly move up the path, I see a little village come into view. What the...a whole bunch of peons attacking the village. They following skirmish occurs, and is over in a matter of seconds. I was in awe. The graphics, the speed, and the fluidity of the game were so impressive, that I knew this game was going to own.
Finally, I got the game and installed it. I played the single player missions religiously trying to learn the game. Eventually, I knew Kith would ask me to play a modem game...and so came the day. I was playing on a 386 33, and Kith was on a 486 33. I had a 14.4 modem in my computer at that time. You can see that this was going to be one fast game (note: sarcasm). Unfortunately, I don't recall what my first game was against him. I can recall certain games early in my 'career', but I'm not sure which one was the first. It's safe to say that it was an easy victory for me, however. In fact, I believe I beat Kith dozens of times in a row with my superior strategy and speed. OH WAIT...I forgot about reality. No multi-player experience means you suck. I got beat-down like there was no tomorrow. I didn't understand the game, nor did I understand how the hell I got beat so bad. Here's an example for you: about 10 modem games later, Kith said something that revolutionized my game. At the beginning of 1 game he said "I have 5 buildings, building right now." Wow, I had never even thought of that. I had a couple peons with 1 farm, and a barrakcs building. I never even thought to build all the buildings I needed right away. I just built them one at a time. It kept things so much simpler. You can all see that I was a Warcraft 2 prodigy (note: sarcasm).
Who cared though? The game was so fun to play that it made me feel sick to my stomach, every time I had a chance to play multi-player. I could of got beat down playing that game 24 hours a day and I was still having the gaming experience of my life. I remember the first time I got mages in a multi-player game. I was so pumped. It was the first time I had gotten up to castle. I snuck a mage over to Kiths base and unleashed, probably the most useless casts of Blizzard in the history of war2. But it was more fun than any other game could be (note: I lost the game where I had the mages..and about the next 30 games).
My first multi-player win was about my 50th modem game. The map was High Seas Combat / High resources. I got an early transport and expanded to another mine. I had quite a few peons for that time of War2s life, and was able to stick up 2 yards on each island. This was actually a pretty agressive strategy for the time...I guess I was sick of losing. I actually won the sea war (everyone went sea back then).. and was able to contain Kith to 2 islands, and was eventually able to take out one of them. The game lasted a god-awful long time, and I'm sure my kill ratio was terrible. I had no idea how to attack efficiently (note: F U Kith).
I won't bore you with my entire War2 history (right now), but I do hope that this helps you recall some of your early memories of this game. When I got my pentium 200, the cd music never worked right in the game. For years I played the game without listening to the music. When I got my newest computer, will into War2BNE's life, I could once again listen to the music. Hearing the old human songs after years brought me all the way back to my early memories. I find it amazing that a dumb little computer game has the power that it does. So if you are ever bored one day, go listen to some old Warcraft midis (check my files page), that's why they are there. Or use a search engine to check out some old web pages. It's amazing how many really really old and really really crappy web pages are out there. As time goes on I always find it harder to recapture the feeling of excitement that I get from this game, but it is still there.
Edit (April 25th, 2002) - I was just updating my credits page...adding new names, and reading over some of the old names. Some of the players on there I haven't seen online for years now. It's always a strange feeling, thinking back to such good times. Try recalling some of the first few players you played with or against. They were fun times indeed.