WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos – “Lordaeron Fall” (Glenn Stafford)February 22, 2010
While “Lordaeron Fall” is not the best Humans track on WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002; I think this title goes to “Blackrock & Roll”), the piece contains a special standing for me as it is a remix of the “Humans 2” track from WarCraft II (1996), probably the most recognizable theme from that game. Whereas in WarCraft II the theme represents an kingdom growing to the height of its power to ruthlessly repel an invader, the theme is reprised in “Lordaeron Fall” after Prince Arthas returns to the kingdom and, cursed by the sword Frostmourne, slays the king and pillages the city, leaving it in ruins. It is important to note that Glenn Stafford composed both the original version of this theme and its remix.
“Lordaeron Fall” begins with a low blare of trumpets that begin playing the opening notes of the Humans theme from WarCraft II. 30 seconds in, the main melody begins with “Humans 2” played low on the clarinet, supported by strings and trumpets, building to a height with trumpets at 0:55. However, the notes never resolve into the main theme and instead die down at 1:10-1:30 into a dirge where the kingdom in ruins is surveyed. The theme is reprised again at 2:40 in minor key with strings, ending with the low tolling of bells at 3:40.
The theme first plays as the survivors fight their way out of the burning city that is now filled with the undead, and in subsequent missions thereof. If “Humans 2” is an army at the height of its power, then “Lordaeron Fall” is a kingdom that has suffered a grave defeat and fall from glory. Recovering from its wounds, its soldiers march onward to regain honor and security. “Lordaeron Fall” thus probably gains more of its impact through its history and references to the original track than as a standalone piece; I think I enjoy it more for its familiarity.
The WarCraft III soundtrack came packaged with the collector’s edition. Being a huge WarCraft fan at the time, I picked up that version, and so have a copy of the album (I was fairly disappointed with the game though). However, the soundtrack is available on iTunes for $9.99, which isn’t bad as there are a few good tracks here. In Europe, a special two-disc album was created with music ‘inspired by’ the game.