During the past week, a couple of fans submited their personal review after watching the machinima video titled Tales of the Past III, telling a fanfic story of Mograine and the Ashbringer. The video is a 2.2gb file size which you may download here
Tales of the Past III Review
Reviewing this video is rather difficult, as I am torn about how I really feel on the whole thing.
From a technical standpoint, fantastic job. The use of the available in game models was done well, the music for the most part was fitting for each scene, and the action was paced out well enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed with plot yet “underwhelmed” with fight scenes. My only real complaint on this is the use of Outland as the Emerald Dream, though that is absolutely understandable as no one has any sort of authorized access to the Emerald Dream in-game.
Looking at the voice over work and the script, however, ruins what would have been an enjoyable little movie. Mispronunciation of names by not only characters written in by the author, but also by major characters in the Warcraft lore makes anyone involved in the production lose much of the respect garnered by the job done on the visuals. (For example, Archimonde, which you hear spoken several times in the warcraft series pronounced ARC-uh-mond is pronounced here as ar-CHEE-mon-day, Medivh which is pronounced mid-EEV is pronounced med-jee-EV, etc.)
Other details such as Thrall telling the horde to “sound the horns of war” doesn’t fit anywhere in the lore; with very little research you see they use battle drums: to “sound the drums of war” would have made more sense) took more away from the story.
In short, enjoyable visuals but lacking execution by voice talent and poor writing.
Tales of the Past III Review
After releasing a series of machinimas based in the WarCraft universe, Martin Falch has finally completed Tales of the Past III, his third and final World of WarCraft machinima in this series. Without spoiling too much, Tales of the Past III follows several characters as they struggle to unite the Alliance and Horde against the coming Undead Scourge invasion. Meanwhile, the tale’s protagonist ventures in Northrend on a quest for revenge and redemption, to kill the Death Knight Mograine, and claim the legendary sword Ashbringer for himself. In key with the WarCraft lore, Tales of the Past III features characters that many of you will be familiar with including the likes of Thrall, Rexar, Jaina Proudmore, Mograine, Kil’Jaeden, and Arthas himself. For the most part, these characters are represented well, and you can tell that the creator obviously knows his stuff. He knows how the characters would act, and understands them and plays them very well in the machinima.
The one small character issue that I did have, however, was that some of the original characters created for the story don’t really have names that fit in with the rest of the WarCraft universe. For instance, the main character’s name is Blazer… For a World of WarCraft character, that’s not such a bad name, but for a character that’s interacting with the likes of Thrall and Arthas? It doesn’t fit so well. Granted, this is a very minor complaint. This is after all, fan made and one of the best fan made projects that I have ever seen from any universe. Getting back to the story, as I mentioned, Thrall, Jaina Proudmore, and the Dwarves are fighting to unite the Alliance and Horde’s past old hatreds in order to fight the coming Scourge invasion.
At the head of this plot of course is Arthas the Lich King who is attempting to use one of the last Books fo Medivh to summon Kil’Jaeden to Azeroth in order to battle. Kil’Jaeden is one of the only beings left for Arthas to conquer and he plans to do it. It is predicted that the force of this battle will tear Azeroth itself apart and put an end to Azeroth as we know it. I won’t delve any deeper into the story, because I certainly want to leave it to you to watch to find out how the story plays out, but let me say that it is indeed pretty satisfying and worth the time of anyone interested in WarCraft lore. As far as the production of the machinima itself goes, I was pretty hesitant about how cool it would be. World of WarCraft is after all a closed set of animations that anyone who plays WoW has seen. But the creator went to distant lengths using camera angles, and even what looks like his own animations to make sure that the battle scenes are interesting, and they are.
It’s hard to explain in words, but the animations are much better and much more interesting than they would have been simply using animations in the World of WarCraft engine. This way feels much more realistic, and the animations and interaction between characters have more heart to it than in the standard machinima. The biggest factor that sets Tales of the Past III aside from something that Blizzard itself could make is the voice acting. This is after all a fan-made project. Blizzard has voice actors and high tech equipment at their disposal while the creator of this machinima most likely had a microphone himself, and some friends. So it’s understandable that the voices don’t necessarily fit the characters all the time. Certain characters are voiced well, while others … Not so well. It’s also slightly strange to hear some of the characters with an European accent, but the voice actors do a good job hiding it a lot of times. As I said, this is a fan-made project and one that took a huge amount of time on their part. To be able to say that the voices are one of the only things that separates this from something Blizzard would produce is a huge compliment to Tales of the Past III and its creator.
As the story and machinima concludes, it really gets your brain thinking about where Wrath of the Lich King is going. Obviously, Arthas is going to play a huge role, but Blizzard also recently commented that the story of the Ashbringer will be continued in the next World of WarCraft expansion. So then, could Tales of the Past III potentially be predicting some of the story as to how Wrath of the Lich King could end lore-wise? It very well may. But you’ll have to watch the machinima and find out for yourself if you want to get in on the speculation. Overall I highly recommend watching Tales of the Past III to anyone interested in WarCraft lore and the characters of the universe.
While it’s not an official story, it does contain lots of lore elements and retelling of older stories written by Blizzard. The depth and truthfulness to the lore combined with the good animation and a good original tale all come together well and make this 90-minutes machinima well worth your time. Its creator, Martin Falch, spent his time well and has undoubtedly made one of the best WarCraft machinima’s to come along yet; and it’s only right that we thank him by watching it and enjoying it for all his hard work. Enjoy the tale and let the speculation begin!