Countdown to Extinction
Location Darkspear Islands
Result Horde escapes with the Darkspear Tribe to Kalimdor

Orcish Horde

  Underworld Minions
Commanders and leaders

Orcish Horde


Underworld Minions

Casualties and losses

Orcish Horde


Underworld Minions

Previous The Fires Down Below

The Scourge of Lordaeron

The Defense of Strahnbrad
This article contains lore taken from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the manuals, and/or official bonus maps.

Countdown to Extinction is the final chapter of the Exodus of the Horde campaign.

During the battle, the Darkspear trolls and the Horde managed to escape the Sea Witch and her murlocs.


Loading Screen

Sunlight greets Thrall and his companions as they escape the underground lair and make their way back to the surface.


Main Quests

Hold the Line

  • Objectives:
    • Survive for 20 minutes
  • Description

Optional Quests

Island Trolls

Note: When the quest is completed, this quest is also called "Trolling for Trolls".
  • Objectives:
    • Rescue the Trolls for reinforcements.
  • Description
    • The Trolls who remain scattered across the island will surely perish unless you bring them to safety before time runs out.

Countdown to Extinction Map.jpg

Mission Fails

  • All of your buildings have been destroyed.


New unit acquired


Intro cinematic

IconSmall NagaSeaWitch.gif Sea Witch: "Land-dwellers! You have slaughtered my minions and defiled my sanctuary! Now, you will be drowned by the wrath of the tides!"
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "You'll have no more sacrifices today, witch! Go back to the depths where you belong!"
IconSmall NagaSeaWitch.gif Sea Witch: "Very well, your choice is made! The air you breathe now will be your last!"
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "At last! We've reached our landing site!"
BTNRaider.png Raider: "Warchief! While you were gone, the nearby volcano erupted! This entire island has begun to sink!"
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "How long to repair the ships?"
BTNRaider.png Raider: "The repairs are nearly done, Warchief."
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "Then finish them quickly! We're about to have company! Defend the ships at all costs!"

Optional quest discovered

  • BTNHeadhunter.png Troll Headhunter: "Hey, where the others go? They go with you?"
  • BTNHeadhunter.png Troll Headhunter: "We don't have much time!"
  • BTNHeadhunter.png Troll Headhunter: "You got a way off the island?"
  • BTNHeadhunter.png Troll Headhunter: "This island be sinkin' quick! We come with you, mon!"

Between the battle

  • IconSmall NagaSeaWitch.gif Sea Witch: "Your efforts are futile, land-dwellers! The darkness of the deeps is all that awaits you!"
  • IconSmall NagaSeaWitch.gif Sea Witch: "Soon this land will be consumed by the tides! Prepare for the sea's cold embrace!"
  • IconSmall NagaSeaWitch.gif Sea Witch: "Yes! At last, the end draws near! Your deaths are only the beginning! Soon all land-dwellers will be entombed in a watery grave!"
  • BTNGrunt.png Grunt: "We still need more time to finish the repairs, Warchief!"
  • BTNGrunt.png Grunt: "It won't be much longer now, Warchief. The ships are nearly ready!"
  • IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "Hold the line, my warriors! Our freedom is at hand!"
  • IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "Your witch cannot protect you now!" (when your forces attack the murloc's base - this is however not recommended to do as you'll be quickly overpowered)

Ending cinematic

IconSmall NagaSeaWitch.gif Sea Witch: "Sail on, land-dwellers. Flee! The Dark Tide is coming to swallow you all, and once it begins, there will be nowhere to hide!"
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "I don't know exactly what the witch was talking about, but I do know that our destiny lies elsewhere. For now, we set sail for Kalimdor. That is where our future will unfold."

Unused quotes

  • IconSmall Thrall.gif D05Thrall15: One of the shamans must have found a way to purify this fountain.
  • BTNHeadhunter.png D05Troll13: Hey, you got room for one more mon?




The battle

As Thrall escapes, he is chased by the Sea Witch and her murloc warriors. The repairs to his storm-damaged ships are not done and he must rally his forces to hold the line and protect the ships until they are repaired. Unfortunately, the volcano on the island is also erupting and the whole island appears to to be sinking into the sea. Some imprisoned trolls around the island are rescued to provide reinforcements against the Sea Witch and her warriors.

After defending against different waves of attackers the ships are finally repaired and Thrall's forces continue on to Kalimdor, beginning the Invasion of Kalimdor.

Tips (normal difficulty)

  • As you'll quickly notice, your base will be attacked from three directions; west, east and north. It is possible to arrange and "focus" your units on these locations, as they will be attacked by different enemy forces.
  • The western location will mostly be attacked by the Sea Witch herself, usually accompanied by three or four murlocs which often are healers. Thrall will often be able to fend them off by himself, if he uses his spirit wolves. As such, it is recommended to either begin the mission with or acquire during it spirit wolves at level 3.
  • The northern location will often be attacked by Siege Golems, large and hard-to-kill golems intended for destroying your building. They are however not able to attack movable units other than with their "ground slam" ability. They also take additional damage from Piercing Attacks. As such, you can make a "wall" of troll headhunters between the trees on either side (make sure your nearby peons do not cut them down!) which will protect your guard towers. When a golem arrives, it will run back and forth, trying to reach the towers, occasionally slamming the ground until your headhunters kill it. To make sure your headhunters keep their position, set them on "hold position".
  • The eastern location will often be attacked by large groups of weak murloc, rarely accompanied by a Siege Golem. Protect your towers with headhunters just as on the northern locations, and add orc grunts to absorb the murlocs' attacks (as headhunters are somewhat fragile).
  • During the end of the mission, all three locations will suffer heavy attacks. Even murlocs sorcerers will join in. As such, it is advised to build up both defensive (mainly grunts) and offensive forces (headhunters and guard towers) on all, especially the northern and eastern.
  • Your new units, the troll witch doctors, is your key to success. Their healing ward-spell is a must for sustaining your forces on the northern and eastern location. The western has a Fountain of Health which can be used instead, at least until the final minutes. Upgrade your witch doctors though the Spirit lodge as fast as possible to give them the spell! You'll also need to quickly upgrade your Great Hall into a Stronghold early, to access Witch Doctor Master Training.
  • The optional quest is a good idea to complete, because of the extra trolls it will give you. You can find them a bit up the path leading from the western location, as well as just outside the northern.
  • In order to quickly acquire some gold, have Thrall attack the nearby creeps outside the western location. He can easily manage them by himself by using his spirit wolves and chain lightning. Be sure to keep an eye on the western location in case it's attacked while Thrall is absent.
  • There are several powerful items which Thrall could greatly contribute from in this mission. The wolves in the south-western corner drop a Potion of Greater Mana, the ones in the north-western drop a Talisman of Evasion, a Storm Wyrm in the middle of the map drops some Gloves of Haste. A Kul'Tiras Marine Tent is hidden behind some trees hold a Scroll of Restoration and a Crown of Kings +5, and a Goblin Merchant just outside the eastern locations sells nifty items such as Scroll of Healing (although expensive).


Orcish Horde
Underworld Minions


  • This mission was cut out of the full game with just the tutorial levels left in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. The mission was first seen in the Warcraft III Demo which was made available after the release of the game. In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Blizzard made a custom campaign which included the missions that were exclusive to the demo campaign; however, the voice acting was removed as the demo voice acting had only been recorded in English and Blizzard was unable to localize it for other regions.
  • The scenario name is a reference to the album Countdown to Extinction by Megadeth.



  1. ^ Depending of the skill of the player and the difficulty the amount of deaths, however, they must be less than the enemy in order to win.
  2. ^ More enemy units than owned units have to die in order to win.