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War Wind is a 1996 real-time strategy game in the vein of Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. It was developed by DreamForge Intertainment and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc.. It runs on Microsoft Windows and used DirectX 2.0. A sequel to War Wind, titled War Wind II: Human Onslaught, was released by DreamForge and SSI in 1997.
Story and background
War Wind takes place on the world of Yavaun, where four races have co-existed for millennia. The Tha'Roon are the thinkers, leaders and overlords of the planet. They have dominated the other races on the globe. In particular, the Tha'Roon have enslaved the tree-like Eaggra, forcing them to act as their builders and engineers. The Tha'Roon accomplish this through their bullying and domination of the Obblinox, slow-moving but extremely strong silicon lifeforms specialized in cyborgs. Lastly are the reclusive Shama'Li, monk-like practitioners of magic, who desire to unify the four races.
War Wind is strongly focused on single player play. The player can choose one of four campaigns (one for each race). Each campaign has seven battles, and advances the story through cut-scenes and in-game dialog. Each race has a notably different goal.
Each race also has different units, structures they can build and radically different abilities. While this became standard for the genre after StarCraft (released two years later), in 1996 this was something of an innovation. Earlier games (such as Dune II) had different sides with different attributes, but not to the dramatic extent found in War Wind.
Units for each race
Tha'Roon: Minister(Clan Leader), Servant, Architect, Rover, Executioner, Jump Troop, Rogue, Assassin, Destroyer, Psychic, Psionic
Obblinox: War general(clan leader), Worker, Engineer, Biker, Veteran, Captain, Colossus, Sorcerer, Warlock, Agent, Spy
Eaggra: Prime Maker(clan leader), Scrub, Artisan, Squire, Knight, Grenadier, Weed, Scout, Ranger, Druid, Arch Druid
Shama'Li: Shadow Dancer(clan leader), Initiate, Designer, Cavalier, Disciple, Grand Master, Guru, Elemental, Mage, Shaman, Defender, Templar
War Wind has unique monsters (sometimes referred to as "critters") that have no affiliation with any of the 4 selectable races. Generally, monsters will only attack when they are attacked first or they are "touched" by an adjacent unit controlled by the computer or the player.
Bonca: perhaps the most seen monster in the game. Boncas are rhino-like, bright-peach colored, plump, six legged monsters with a stubby horn. They only attack when they are hurt. Shama' Li mercenaries are seen wielding spears riding on Boncas.
Fledgling: Bonca fledglings are mischievous creatures that may deliberately attack your structures. They have low hit points, but if they are hit, they start squeling and calling for adult boncas in the vicinity to protect them. Upon their call, nearby Boncas will charge at the offending armies.
Dire Vermin: This hidden monster resembles a furry wolf. Vermins occasionally come to a race's main structure to steal resources. They flee with the loot.
Rubble Fiend: Disguised as a yellow rock, the Fiend stays stationary until a unit adjacently passes it. In a few seconds it will transform into a hulk of limping, animated rubble. Rubble fiends' speed is slow.
Snipethorn: A small, white, anteater like creature with long range firing capabilities. The Snipethorn may approach you, and attack unprovoked using his long, snout. However, the Snipethorn will flee when you attack it, but will resume attacking when you stop.
Slink Weed: A dark green, slimy lizard like monster. The Slink Weed uses its three tongues, and a fat tail for attack. They usually attack unprovoked. It can easy be mistaken for a tree. The 'Weed' unit, of the Eaggra race is seen riding these. The Weed units are hired as Mercenaries from the Watering Hole (Inn).
Ionic Brakus: A small, bipedal creature that is able to disable mechanical vehicles and buildings with its ion pulse. More of a hindrance than anything. They have a remarkably durable carapace and are therefore tough to kill.
Foul Fess: A tentacled, shapeless monstrosity created by pollution. Highly dangerous, as they are able to siphon the lifeforce of units that they kill. Only appear in highly industrialized areas.
Mondra'Heath: A colossal dragon-like creature with six limbs and many horns and tusks adorning its head. They only make their lairs around sites of great spiritual importance (such as those revered by the Shama'Li).
The Countenance: More of a natural disaster than an actual living creature, the Countenance is an enormous face that randomly forms and rises from the planet causing obstruction or, worse, destruction to anything that happened to be standing on it or near it. Effectively indestructible, though purportedly there are ways of getting rid of it.
One common criticism of War Wind is that the levels are excessively "puzzle-like": in some cases there is one and only one "correct" way to win a level, and the only way to discover it is to experiment and die many times. On the other hand, this does present a type of challenge that is missing from some other real-time strategy games.
There is a "skirmish" mode found under multiplayer; it is called "single player," but the amount of maps that can be used for it is limited.