Tales of the Past is a machinima trilogy directed by Martin Falch (Maquan), originally following the Dunemaul (EU) guild Eden Aurorae. It began as promotional guild video, but eventually took on a storyline of its own, encompassing one of the most complex storylines in machinima, with numerous tie-ins to lore. It is one of the largest scale machinima movies ever created using recordings from World of Warcraft - with multiple large battle-scenes involving hundreds of players participating. The later movies in the series - II and III - follow Blazer, a human rogue, and later a paladin, and member of a fictionalized version of Eden Aurorae, in his battle against The Lich King. While the first movie went relatively unnoticed, II and III gained great popularity, with the third in the series gaining over more than 5.6 million downloads on WCM, making it the most downloaded movie on the site.
The series was preceeded by a film named Eden Aurorae Guild Movie, which was a self promotion movie for the guild Eden Aurorae. After getting some great feedback Maquan started working on the Tales of the Past trilogy. Maquans own words about the series:
- The series originally started out as a guild promotion movie for my guild, Eden Aurorae.
- However, as it got popular, I decided to continue and make my second storyline movie, Tales of the Past, which was indeed a way more serious project than the original guild movie. The original idea of Tales of the Past was to make a movie with arranged events between the Horde and the Alliance - as you've seen, the same thing goes for Tales of the Past II.
- Tales of the Past II was my ambition to make what I did not make in Tales of the Past.
- Voiceacting, camera changes, action, a script, a plot - everything a movie should contain. This ambition turned out to result in quite a ride, spanning over 6 months of hard work, but also tons of fun with all the actors, voiceactors and supporters of the movie! In the end it fulfilled my ambition and I am satisfied with the result, even though I know I can improve in many areas! I have learned tons from this production and I know a lot more than I did when I began.
The story is set after the Third War in an era of relative peace and follows the path of Yimo (a gnome mage and officer of Eden Aurorae) and Blazer (rogue in TotP II but later a paladin in TotP III - member of Eden Aurorae & Yimo's student) as they attempt to re-unite the world of Azeroth in peace. The Eden Aurorae guild's orginial aim is to forfill an oath to kill Ragnaros. Normally this oath has never been affected by the squabble between the Alliance & the Horde - but this changes when the guild is forced to aid the Alliance in a battle against the Horde to repay an old favour.
The battle is but the begining of a new wave of tic-tack-toe attacks on both sides. The long feud threatens to escalate as the two sides prepare for one final battle - one that will shatter any hopes of a peace treaty and plunge the world of Azeroth into war - threatening to kill millions. As Yimo and Blazer rush to prevent the battle: Arthas, the Lich King, has his own plans.
Lurking in the shadows lay one of the greatest threats of all that will call upon Yimo, Blazer and heros, old and new, to rise to the occasion; for the willing adventurers to travel deeper into the unknown; for the world to bear more tragic loses; and - ultimately - the united force of both the Alliance and the Horde to save the world of Azeroth...before it's too late.
TotP Main Characters
- Jubai - A Tauren officer of a group known as 'The Ancients'.
- Ball & Xconzoa - Tauren soldiers sent as guides to aid Yimo & Blazer.
- Serphentos - Leader of Ironforge.
- Monóri - An elf officer of the Alliance.
- Jaina Proudmoore - One of the greatest Alliance sorcerer and leader.
- Conrad Schultz - An overzealous crazed general of the Alliance who later betrays Warchief Gorbag.
- Thrall - The Warchief of the Horde.
- Rexxar - A half-ogre, half-orc beastmaster champion of the Horde.
- Saurfang - High Overlord of the Horde, loyal and trusted friend of Thrall.
- Smorisha - Orc General of the Horde who is opposed to any collaboration with the Alliance.
- Morbid - Undead General of the Horde & leader of the 'Iron Edge' clan / guild.
- Warchief Gorbag - An honorable Warchief of the Horde who was later betrayed by Conrad Schultz.
- Swoog - Brother of Warchief Gorbag who also severs as his second in command.
- Arthas - The Lich King.
- Thainor - A human warlock living in the underground Stormwind, secretly allied with the Scourge.
- Mograine - A death knight of the Scourge and the original bearer of the Ashbringer.
- Gwaar - The wisest Tauren druid in the world found in Feralas.
Tales of the Past I
Tales of the Past I (TotP I) is the first movie of the series and was first released on the 2nd of November 2005. As such, it lacks many of the features found in later movies - especially to do with the script and the lack of voice overs. But despite this, it was one of the greatest movies of it's time with one of the biggest battle scence at it's time.
The movie starts in the Broken Back Inn in Ironforge where a group of adventurers are gathered drinking beer. One of the dwarfs begins telling a tale told to him by his grandfarther - a story that took place many years ago:
The story begins in Stormwind Keep where Yimo, a gnome mage and officer of Eden Aurorae guild, is talking with Simon, a noble of Stormwind and an old ally from the Third War. The nobles of Stormwind are currently incharge along with the five year old king: Anduin Wrynn. The Eden Aurorae guild is a group of Alliance adventurers brought together by an oath to defeat Ragnaros - an occurrence that is attempt once a year. The nobles of Stormwind force Yimo and Eden Aurorae to join with Conrad Schultz, an overzealous Alliance officer aligned with the Scarlet Crusade, and his 'defence' against the Horde to repay an old favour. After much debating and thought, Yimo is forced to reluctantly agree to the demands and the members of Eden Aurorae are gathered.
The Eden Aurorae members meet up with Conrad Schultz and his Alliance army. On route to fight the Horde army, Schultz orders an attack on a defenceless village - to which Yimo protest against. However, Yimo is ignored by Schultz and the attack begins. All the Horde - men, women and children - are killed. Later Schultz hears reports from Alliance scouts that the Horde army is building up in Durotar and quickly orders his army to head towards them.
On arrival, the Horde army is being lead by Warchief Gorbag; with his brother Swoog as second in command. The Alliance and Horde armies line up and the commanders on both sides address their troops before proceeding into the mid-ground. There, Gorbag talks with Schultz - remembering him from the Third War and how he has changed since then. He suggests, instead of a full battle that would result in much bloodshed, to settle things in the way of a duel. Schultz agrees and the duel starts. During the duel, Schultz then surrenders to Gorbag - but as Gorbag heads back to his troop, he kills him yelling 'Only a fool trusts in honor!'. Swoog rushs to Gorbag who's dieing words are orders to Swoog to begining the attack on the Alliance. Swoog relives memoires of their childhood before killing Schultz. The Horde army then charges towards the Alliance army and a full battle ensues.
By the end of the battle, the Horde have won and many Alliance soldiers have perished - although only a few Eden Aurorae members actally lost their lives. Swoog debates with the leaders of the other clans and agrees to let the Eden Aurorae go - beliving as his brother did that Schultz had changed. He suggested that maybe something had infected the nobles of Stormwind and permits the Eden Aurorae to investigate further. Knowing that this would bring 'dishonor with their fraction', he offers the shelter of his own clan as well as the help from 'The Ancients' guild. However, Swoog warns that some of the other clans will not believe in the 'infection' and thus will begin launching their own attacks.
For the next three years, massive attacks are launched on all the major cities of the Alliance. Dispite constant appeals by Swoog, it seems like an impossible task to convince the warchiefs stop. Rumors begin circulating that Morbid of the Iron Edge clan is gathering the Horde clans together for an even greater attack - one that will shatter any hope of a peace treaty. The Eden Aurorae have little time to reveal the truth before another full scale war.
Tales of the Past II
Tales of the Past II (TotP II) is the second movie of the series and was first released on the 16th of June 2006. The film, with a total run time of 41 minutes, it was arguably one of the best and largest scale machinima movie from World of Warcraft at the time. Production of the movie took place over approximately six months to complete and included more than 1000 extras in the form of other World of Warcraft players providing support for epic battle scenes.
TotP II occurs four years after the events of TotP I. During those four years, continuous attacks and counter-attacks by the Horde and Alliance have taken place - lead on the Horde side by Morbid of the Iron Edge clan. Any peace treaty has been rejected by the Alliance, namely the nobles of Stormwind. Due to their actions in the battle covered in TotP I, the Eden Aurorae guild has been thrown out of Stormwind as traitors - therefore the guild is unable to gain any information as to any infection or corruption within Stormwind. To make matters worse, the Horde and the Alliance are preparing for one final battle - one that will shatter any chance of future peace and will lead to another full scale war.
Yimo and Blazer, a human rogue, take the opportunity to sneak into Stormwind during a celebration party for a recent Alliance victory against the Horde in Searing Gorge. In Stormwind, they meet up with Thainor, a human warlock living in the underground of Stormwind. He tells them about Diary of Conrad Schultz, which may contain the clues to the corruption within Conrad Schultz and the rest of Alliance that could prevent the upcoming war. After successfully retrieving the book, they teleport out to their camp in Tanaris - but accidentally end up at tower of Karazhan instead.
At Karazhan, Yimo and Blazer face an ambush from undead members of the Scourge army. Blazer is quickly polymorph leaving just Yimo to fight an undead mage. A long fight scene occurs and Yimo eventually wins - although the fight drains much of his strength and giving him a sense of 'emptiness'. Luckily, as more undead Scourge arrive, members of a group of warriors known as 'The Ancient' save the heroes and transport them back to the safety of their camp.
Initially, no one can understand the strange language written in the Diary of Conrad Schultz - but upon the suggestion of Jubai, a officer of The Ancient, the heroes travel to Feralas to seek the wisest Tauren Druid: Gwaar. Accompanied by two Tauren companions - Ball and Xconzoa - Yimo and Blazer travel to the Twin Colossals in Feralas to find Gwaar. Gwaar informs Yimo that the diary is not written by Conrad Schultz - but is in fact a ritual summoning of some sort - mentioning a place called Darkwhisper Gorge in southern Winterspring multiple times. He also hands to Yimo an Orb of Vision - a rare artifact that will store the memories of its carrier. Along the way to Darkwhisper Gorge, the heroes set up camp for the night during which Yimo is visited by the Arthas, the Lich King, in his dream. Arthas reveals the true purpose of giving the book to Yimo and sending him on this adventure - to drain his purity, his soul, to fill in the missing piece of the book so that he, the Lich King, may use it. He also reveals that there never was any corruption - just the evil in all souls of all the races in Azeroth.
Blazer, Ball & Xconzoa awake to find Yimo missing. When they follow Yimo's trail to Darkwhisper Gorge, they are confronted by the Scourge army lead by Arthas himself. Blazer leaves Ball & Xconzoa, on their insistence, to save Yimo from a Scourge patrol. Yimo refuses his friend's help and gives him the book and the orb - mentioning how he cannot live and asks Blazer to 'stop them' (referring to the Alliance and the Horde) and to 'stop him' (referring to Arthas) before teleporting Blazer to safety.
Meanwhile, the armies of the Alliance and the Horde gather near Ironforge for the final battle - the battle that would end all hopes of peace between the two factions. Monóri, a night elf officer, tries to reason with Serphentos, leader of Ironforge - however Serphentos has no sympathy and wants revenge for his murdered family, the pain they cause. He address his Alliance army:
Today...Were not only here to defend the mighty capital of Ironforge, were not only here to show the world what the Alliance is made of - No! Today we shall claim our revenge for those who have fallen...And I'll tell you...Do not fear death...For your name shall live in eternity! So I'll ask you...Will you...Follow me...Into legend?! Then follow me!
At the same time, the Horde general address his troops:
Fellow warriors! For too long; we have been slaves to the false treaties of the Alliance! For too long; have our blades thirsted, for revenge! I have held the innocent children...Dying...In my arms, and I shall accept it no more! No! Today will be the day...When we end...This insolence! And bring justice...Back...To the Horde!
As the fighting ensues, a Horde hunter unleashes a dragon upon the battle. Monóri quickly heads over to deal with the Horde hunter whist her archers deal with the dragon. Blazer arrives mid-battle and runs, with the Orb of Vision, into the dragon's flame - breaking the orb and spilling Yimo's memories into those around the orb for miles and revealing the Lich King's plan. In the coming days, a memorial service is held for Yimo back in Winterspring, attended by all parties: Eden Aurorae, The Ancients, Alliance, Horde. During the service, Blazer makes a pledge to retrieve Yimo's soul – stating he’ll do 'whatever it takes'.
The scene then moves onto Blazer filling Gwaar upon the events. The Horde and the Alliance are now united against the Lich King, the Eden Aurorae guild has been reinstated into the Alliance and has been given the task of finding a way to defeat Arthas. Blazer asks Gwaar about how to kill someone who is invincible. Gwaar answers by asking Blazer if he has heard of the Ashbringer - sparking everyone else around them to laugh. However, Blazer replies simply with 'Tell me.'
Below is the list of music used in TotP II, found from www.edenaurorae.com:
You can also view the data on another page.
- Yimo's Eyes
- Throughout the movie Yimo's eyes change colours: Green/Purple/Brown. This is because there are three actors for Yimo since the 'real' Yimo stopped playing during production.
- Red Tauren
- At 30:24, when the undead patrol is chasing Yimo a Tauren with red shoulders can be seen on the right behind the hill in Winterspring. The tauren seen is a guy who should have hidden behind a rock when his Noggenfogger Elixir didn't work - but accidentally he hid the wrong place and got into the shot.
- Drinking Undead
- At 31:17, when Yimo says "Please stop them Blazer...", the high angle shot revealed an undead infront of the crowd sitting down and drinking. At 31:31, when the undead patrol charges at Yimo, the same undead was still drinking while everyone else moved. The drinking undead and the group of undeads had just been attacked by a dragon, so he felt he had to regain some health.
- Red Dress Tauren
- In the attack on Stormwind Sequence, the Tauren Xconzoa is wearing a pretty red dress.
- Two Blazers
- At 36:37, there is a rogue in the middle that looked exactly like Blazer who walked up with the army and stealthed. Then at 37:38 it seemed that Blazer had just arrived to the battlefield. (The rogue seen at the battle is actually Blazer, though he's supposed to just fill in a spot - the reason he was there was simply that the scene lacked rogues so he might as well fill out a spot if he used his hood and some other weapons.)
Tales of the Past III
Tales of the Past III (TotP III) is the third and final installment of the series and was first released on the 12th of December 2007. A trailer was released eight months after the first release of TotP II on 12th February 2007 - marking the start of filming. Just under an hour and a half long, it is a full feature-length movie. It involed 75 pages of script and took eight months to plan.
Tales of the Past III out of the series has the links to lore, including figures such as Mograine, Arthas, The Ashbringer, and even a Naaru. The movie is devised in such a way to leave the ending open for other opportunists to expand on the story.
The hour of judgment has come. The time for all to show their valor, and their courage... or their weakness.
Within Orgrimmar, many orcs publicly announce that the pending negotiations with the Alliance are worthless, that the Humans will betray them once again. Thrall himself believes they will take too much time. While Saurfang does all in his not-inconsiderable power to quell such uprisings, these sentiments seem to be shared by many. Their fortunes change, however, when a lone Mok'Nathal appears at the gates, and Rexxar is ordered to watch the Alliance and determine what they are doing in the war against the Scourge.
Meanwhile, within the Alliance, discord is ever present. Monóri and Serphentos do all in their power to help smooth relations between the Alliance and the Horde, but in addition to their angry followers, their own prejudices present a barrier as well. Only the theft of an important artifact, and a mage's quest to recover it, can convince the Alliance that this is necessary.
And while the war rages on Azeroth and Kalimdor, Blazer follows the trail of the Ashbringer, and it's wielder, the dreaded Death Knight, Mograine himself. From Azeroth, to Northrend, to lands unreachable by normal means, Blazer's trail follows, and unless his enemy can help him... he will fall to the darkness that took Arthas.
Below is the list of music used in TotP III:
You can also view the data on another page.
Contradictions to lore
Despite the fact that TotP III features numerous tie-ins to the game plot, it also has a lot of contradictions:
- The story of the Ashbringer starting with the fight between Mograine and Blazer, as well as the following plot, are fan fabrications and are in no way official lore. However the beginning of the Ashbringer plot had few contradictions until the release of the Ashbringer comic.
- In battle scenes of the Second War at the start: tauren and night elves are seen, though they were not a part of the Alliance and Horde at the covered time.
- There are several missuses of tabards during the movie.
- There is a warlock wearing the Mag'har tabard at the start - which is impossible since the Mag'har are brown skinned, they did not exist at the time (at least not in Azeroth) and neither did they have warlocks in their clan.
- Anduin Lothar is wearing the Honor Hold Tabard in the beginning wich would also be impossible since the Alliance Expediation did not create the Honor Hold stronghold until later when Turalyon explored Draenor now known as Outland,after Lothar's own death.
- There is an orc on a black drake mount (the orcs did not use black dragons as mounts during the second war either) at the beginning with the Frostwolf Battle Tabard, wich again would be impossible since the Frostwolf Clan were hiding and practicing the old traditions under the leadership of Drek'Thar.
- During the charge at the beginning you can see an Orc wearing the Battle Tabard of the Defilers, which did not exist at the time since the Forsaken were not even in existence yet.
- The Scourge minions are also using the Battle Tabard of the Defilers, but would not be possible since the defilers were formed shortly after the Third War, when many undead originally under the Lich King's command broke free under Sylvanas Windrunner to become the Forsaken.
- When the meeting with the dwarves is occuring at Ironforge there is a dwarf with the Aldor Tabard. The dwarves did not know about the draenei at the time so this is also impossible.
- Monóri is using the Arathor Battle Tabard. Although the League of Arathor existed, a Night Elf would be unlikely to have such an alleigance.
- As the Scourge attack Ironforge there is an undead on a nether drake mount. But they did not exist in Azeroth at the time beeing.
- As Blazer is training to become a paladin under the leadership of Alexandros Mograine, they are training in the Emerald Dream. But Blazer is facing a gronn, that is not possible since there are no gronn in the Emerald Dream.
- Mograine tells Blazer the following joke (only the end can be heard) "An orc with a parrot meet a human. The human ask him where did he find it, which the parrot replies: Durotar, they got them all over the place". Mograine could not have known such a joke as he never knew of Durotar while he was alive.
- Ner'Zhul is also mentioned several times as a part of the Lich King. But very few people knew of Ner'zhul's occupation, although some of his more sentient minions (notably Acolytes andLiches in Warcraft III) have refered to the Lich King as Ner'zhul during and after the Third War.
- At the begining of the final battle Thrall calls to Al'Akir, something a shaman could not and would never do as he is not an elemental spirit but rather a simple elelmental (albeit a lord), not to meantion a minion of the Old Gods.
- In the final confrontation with the Blazer and Lich King, both characters make direct references to a singular God. The main faith of paladins resides in the concept of the worship of the Holy Light, not a singular entity named God.
- In the end during the speech of Thrall you can see a draenei. But they did not come to Azeroth until a couple of years later.
- Various models are also different from those seen in WoW.
- Arthas / Lich King wears Dreadnaught armor, different from his actual attire. This is because no Arthas model existed in WoW at the time the movie was created, and the authors simply used lookalike clothes to recreate his image. He also spends the majority of the machinima without wearing the Helm of Domnation, which as we all know is the mantle of the Lich King. Which makes this an inexcusable plot hole and lore error.
- Jaina Proudmoore is different from her WoW model, with brown eyes and Stormwind tabard.
- Kil'jaeden is shown as a normal mana'ri eredar, because Sunwell Plateau was not released at the time the movie was created.
- Thrall's eyes
- When you first see Thrall in orgrimmar during the meeting with Morbid you will see that Thralls eyes are red, but later change to blue, the correct eye colour.
- First "Thrall"
- At the beginning of the movie you will see a Thrall looking character. But this is really Orgrim Doomhammer leading the battle against the Alliance of Lordaeron during the Second War, eventually killing Anduin Lothar (not seen in the movie). The reasons for the similarities could be put down to the fact that Thrall's weapon, Doomhammer, and his armour both belonged to Orgrim at the time.
SpeculationThere is a likely theory that makes sense of the presence of a naaru at the end of the film. It's plausible that that was not, in fact, intended to be a naaru, but merely a representation of the unbound Lich King, Ner'zhul, who's character model is absent from the World of Warcraft image files. It makes sense that the Lich King, unwilling to suffer utter defeat, would return to once again merge with Arthas, returning Frostmourne to him and following with the quote: "We... had... a... deal...".
Falch never elaborated on this, so it is a mere speculation, but after all, it's the closest he could have come to representing the Lich King using WoW models only, and it's much more fitting to the storyline than a sudden, unexplained appearance of a naaru.
Unfortunate this "theory" falls apart due to the fact that Arthas and the Lich King are now fused as a single entity, as they were at the end of the Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne. However, in the book Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, it would apear that Ner'zhul and the prince are not as fused as it would seem, as three parts of Lich King battle for presidence, a boy, a man and an Orc. Although the period in which the movie was set is several years before the book, it does show that the two souls in the Lich King are not fused entirely. Again, the appearance of a Naaru suggestining that it would willingly assist the Lich King would be extremely unlikely considering the lore of the Naaru in the Warcraft Universe.
Martin Falch eventally commented on the Naaru at the end:
- I was originally intending to merge a little forum fiction with the story at the end. A lot of speculation had been made regarding the Naaru, in particular on their strange and unexplained motivation for "helping us" fight Kil'Jaeden. In the Burning Crusade, the Naaru were portrayed as incredibly powerful, yet entirely "good" beings. I, along with others, found that to be rather strange, considering that no beings in the Warcraft universe tend to be "all that good". At the same time, their goal of destroying the Burning Legion and in particular Kil'Jaeden seemed to match Arthas goals quite well. Thus it occured to me that it might be plausible for the Naaru to make a deal with the Lich King, based on the idea that they're not entirely "good" beings.
- Obviously this is controversial and thus it's not directly explained in the movie, allowing the viewer to make their own interpretation. I like the Ner'Zhul idea, though I would've personally used a ghostly Orc model to portray him if that was my intention :)
The movie was a great succes on www.WarCraftMovies.com with an average rating of 5 out of 5 and almost 200.000 downloads the first three days (1xRecommended + 2xPlatinum). The seeding of the satisfied downloaders on. Today the movie has more than 1.8 million downloads on WCM, making it the most downloaded movie on the site. Additionally, many fanmade music-videos, trailers etc can be found on youtube.
Martin Falch has created a wide array of World of Warcraft machinimas, including the Tales of the past trilogy – see them all at Martinfalch. In total, his view count is 8,000,000+ on warcraftmovies.com alone.
Today, he no longer creates machinimas, but instead works within business strategy and as part of an electronics startup doing vehicle data loggers.
If you have any questions to Martin, you can send him a message on youtube to the profile 'Martin Falch'.
- Fan art
- Tales of the Past Forums
- Tales of the Past mentioned on Denmark radio (included for notability)
- Tales of the Past mentioned in a Danish newspaper (included for notability)
|Movie||Title||Size||Runtime||Release Date||Direct Download||WCMovies||Stream|
|Tales of the Past||This is your story..||401 MB||15min||Nov 02 2005||WCMovies||Stream|
|Tales of the Past II||Revelations||520 MB||41min||Jun 16 2006||WCMovies||Stream|
|Teaser for 'Tales of the Past III'||11 MB||2min||Feb 12 2007||WCMovies||Stream|
|Tales of the Past III||Legendary||2.33 GB||1h 28min||Dec 12 2007||DDL||WCMovies||Stream-|