Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
30 March 2007
Hellfire Peninsula is *meant to be* a parallel for Iraq?
Update: This in-game, NPC text makes it a little harder to argue against my guess.

The text in the shot is...
Marshal Isildor says: Do you think that demons will play fair? These beasts are more savage than orcs and more cunning than the undead.
Marshal Isildor says: How many more soldiers need to die before we start paying attention out there?

By itself, perhaps just some off-the-cuff text, but combine with the feeling I was already getting, below, and I think we might have a winner. I'll scour around some more later. Accidentally found the above quote getting ready to log off tonight.

This is something I'll need to think more about before posting again, but after about 90 minutes of WoWing with The Burning Crusade expansion, I'm beginning to think the whole Hellfire Peninsula theme is the Iraq war. Did I fall asleep when everyone else made this horribly obvious connection, or am I onto something?

We've got a portal from the Old World to the New [New Networked] World, so all the Horde and Alliance folk are essentially unwanted invaders. There's a feud between factions [1] that has been going on for some indeterminate amount of time, and for some reason you're going to be put on the front lines to stop it as, well, a sort of unrequested police action. I also very quickly found a quest that asks me to sneak in, CIA in Afghanistan style, and throw up smoke beacons (paralleling those CIA/special forces laser siters) that would tell the Alliance forces where to bomb. Add to that the fire plumes that pop up from the ground, opened oil derrick/oil refinery style, and well, I'm suspicious.

I mean, they've certainly themed areas like mad before based on popular ideas (pop as in pop culture, natch). We've got that insane pod racer themed land just north of the big goblin city one territory over from Un'Goro (can't recall names), and Un'Goro has a sustained theme of parodying Mario/Nintendo. Still, this move to direct politics, if that's what it is, is a new method for Blizzard's enjoyable madness.

(FImp for TBC: Within 90 minutes, I've already replaced my standard weapon and chest piece with quest rewards. They've tossed all semblance of game balance out the window to make people feel their $40 went to good use. This is A Bad Idea.)

Aside: It's a little hard to google the two yields, as both are pretty newsy items. Searching for "burning crusade" and "iraq" give quite a few sites that simply have [separate] stories concerning both listed on their front pages. But as an interesting coincidence, I did dig up this ironic twist of the Iraq/BC connection up on the official WoW forums:

I too am in the US Army and currently deployed to Baghdad Iraq. Tons of our wives went and bought the expansion at midnight at local Wal Marts in their areas and upgraded all our accounts for a kind of surprise, not knowing you'd have to install additional content on top of the recent ridiculous patches.

Now, not only do we not have BC because we don't have the install discs, but we CANNOT EVEN LOG IN because it says "Your account is authorized for an expansion that is newer than the installed version of World of Warcraft. Please download the required data here []" with the options to "Return to Login" or "Exit Game", so we can't even play our existing characters in the existing world!!!!

(This/My post obviously created without the benefit of Firefox's spellchecker.)

[1] This point is probably the source of the most misinterpretation. I'm not talking about the demons, but the Scryers vs. Consortium deal, where you have to choose which side you'll befriend at the price of your reputation with the other. Doesn't matter if you're Horde or Alliance, you can choose either but only one.

Admittedly, I'm not down on my Burning Crusade lore, nor even my Warcraft lore (beyond that there's something screwy about the head druid in Darnassus), but that comment still seems to have been commonly misinterpreted.
--ruffin at 17:26
Comment [ 4 ]

Comments on this post:

If you did, then I don't blame you.

I fall asleep whenever anyone mentions World of ... *snore* ... uh ... *zzzzzzz*

By Blogger Jeremy, at 30 March, 2007 20:26  

So is there a slant to their portrayal? I couldn't tell from your description if you detected anything. As Colbert said, virtual reality has a well-known liberal bias...

By Blogger jvm, at 30 March, 2007 21:01  

It'd be gutsy if they that was their intention, but I'm not so sure Blizzard's balls are big enough. They've always played it safe.

However, I'm prone to crazy theories as well. *shrugs*

By Blogger Mordrak, at 30 March, 2007 22:39  

You know, I pretty much immediately thought of the same thing I read that highlighted text in game the very first time. Isildor's comment about how many man do we have to lose etc. would certainly be at-home in the game without the cultural context of the war, but it seems like too much of a coincidence. One thing Blizzard has always kept in mind with their pop references is that while they may be obvious, they are usually never so ridiculous that it takes away from the game. Similarly, the comment could easily have been intended to fit firmly inside of the world yet still hold true outside of it...

By Blogger Chris, at 02 April, 2007 13:40  

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