History VideoGame / Starcraft

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[[Franchise/StarCraft]]

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%% Game-specific tropes should go in either Videogame/Starcraft (for SC1 & BW tropes) or Videogame/StarcraftII
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%% Character-specific tropes should go in Characters/Starcraft or Characters/StarcraftII.
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%% Unit-specific tropes should go in Characters/StarcraftUnits or Character/StarcraftIIUnits.
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%% References to other works should go in ShoutOut/Starcraft.
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->''"[[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial This is not]] {{Warcraft}} [[RecycledInSpace in space]]! I-it's much more sophisticated!"''
-->--'''Artanis'''

A RealTimeStrategy franchise by BlizzardEntertainment. It's composed of two games...

* ''VideoGame/StarcraftI'' (including the ExpansionPack ''Brood War'')
* ''VideoGame/{{StarCraft II}}''

...and several tie-in novels and books. There's also a board game, which was released October 2007.

Set in the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koprulu_Sector Koprulu]] Sector" of space, tens of thousands of light years distant from Earth, the story unfolds between three playable races. The Terrans, human beings descended from outcasts, criminals and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_States_of_America political dissidents]] who were exiled from the Sol system centuries earlier, boast a UsedFuture society with a military based around cybernetics, heavy artillery, and "Ghosts" - covert operatives with latent [[PsychicPowers psychic abilities]]. Their principal adversaries are the Zerg, an [[BigCreepyCrawlies insectoid race]] with the ability to "[[TheVirus infest]]" creatures of other species and assimilate their genetic properties for their own benefit. The majority of the Zerg are drones lacking free will, controlled by {{Hive Mind}}s called Cerebrates which [[TheManBehindTheMan in turn]] are controlled by an entity called [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast the Overmind]], which sees its sole ''raison d'etre'' as [[YouWillBeAssimilated the assumption of all life]] into the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts zerg swarm]]. In between the two are the Protoss, a race of [[WarriorPoet warrior philosophers]] whose advanced [[PsychicPowers psionic capabilities]] are as important on the battlefield as their advanced weaponry or [[MechaMooks robots]].

''[=StarCraft=]'' was one of the first games to become popularly used in professional gaming competitions, [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff particularly in South Korea]], where ''[=StarCraft=]'' matches are played out ''in sports arenas (occasionally jumbo jet hangers), with [[SeriousBusiness giant televisions displaying the action and simulcast on nationwide networks!]]'' And let's not even talk about the ''two'' cable-television channels devoted to it. Yes, two.

There was also ''[=StarCraft=]: Ghost'', a ThirdPersonShooter set [[GaidenGame a few years after Brood War]] (but some before ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'') and announced in 2001. After five years in development and several postponed releases, it was put [[{{Vaporware}} on hold indefinitely]] in 2006.

Also, [[RuleOfCool sheer awesomeness]] demands that we mention here two [[FanFilm fan animations]] of ''[[AwesomeAnimation very]]'' [[VisualEffectsOfAwesome high quality]]: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOxfIapsrJs StarCraft: First Contact]], released in 2009, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kAJSswZPvI&ob=av3e StarCraft: Final Metamorphosis]], released in 2011.
----
! The Starcraft series is the TropeNamer for:
* ConstructAdditionalPylons
* SpawnBroodling
* YouRequireMoreVespeneGas
* ZergRush
----
!Tropes found across the series include:
* AliensSpeakingEnglish:
** The protoss are telepaths, presumably the listener hears in whatever language they know.
*** Note, however, that they ''do'' have a language of sorts, that can be both written and telepathically "vocalized".
** The zerg, being a hive-mind, has no need for language.
*** Only the rare sentient Infested Terrans have been known to occasionally communicate with other species.
* AmericanAccents
* AnyoneCanDie: Several major characters bite the dust over the series.
* ApocalypseHow:
** Protoss do Class 6 type to get rid of the zerg. The planet is covered with plasma and magma when they're done. Nothing gonna be living in that mess.
** Terrans also demonstrated a capacity to do this, by launching numerous nukes from orbit and reducing the surface of the planet to a black glassy substance. This led to the outlawing the manufacturing of full-size nukes to prevent such an event occurring again, leading to the multiplayer usage of "mini-nukes" that inflict underwhelming damage at relatively cheap cost.
* ArmyOfThievesAndWhores: About fifty percent of the Terran armed forces are criminals who have undergone biochemical resocialization (read: brainwashing). These criminals range from the usual suspects (murderers, thieves, rapists, etc.) to the occasional political prisoner.
* AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: The Protoss often believe that they ascend into the Khala when they die.
** [[spoiler: Executor Tassadar may have actually done this after destroying the zerg overmind in a void-channeled/infused kamikaze attack, quoted stating that "I have not tasted death, nor shall I"]].
* AsYouKnow: During the Terran 7 mission briefing, Kerrigan explains the origin of Terran Ghosts to Raynor and Mengsk, even though both characters have had quite a bit of experience with them already (Raynor [[spoiler:losing a son to the Ghost program]], and Mengsk having Kerrigan, a Ghost herself, as his second-in-command [[spoiler:and the one who killed his father]]).
* TheBadGuyWins: It happens quite often in the Starcraft universe, mainly because [[CrapsackWorld they represent the vast majority of characters]] and because "the bad guy" is usually ''playable'' in that race's campaign, so the bad guy wins [[NiceJobBreakingItHero because the player wins]].
* BaseOnWheels: One of the major Terran advantages. Their command base and primary production facilities are all capable of being lifted up off the ground and moved to other locations, either if there's an imminent enemy attack or if they just need to move to an area with better resources. Technically they don't roll on the ground as per standard for this trope, but they're not able to be used as bases until they touch down, and their movement speed is pretty slow.
* BizarreAlienBiology: Protoss and Zerg can survive in hard vacuum unprotected, apparently.
** Protoss are photosynthetic, their skin color changes based on their mood. No mouths, noses, or visible ears and three hearts.
* BittersweetEnding: The ending of the original VideoGame/{{StarCraft|I}}. ''Brood War'' on the other hand, is a DownerEnding.
* BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: The Zerg were forcibly changed from a race of peaceful worms low on their world's food chain to the AssimilationPlot driven HordeOfAlienLocusts with PsychicPowers we all know and love by the Xel'naga [[spoiler: and the Dark Voice]].
** Note that some strains of Zerg are actually derived from various species that the Swarm encountered and consumed throughout the Galaxy. The Hydralisks were once the herbivorous Slothien herd animals, the Mutalisks were Mantis Screamers, and the Leviathans used to be peaceful {{Space Whale}}s.
* BugWar
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Magma tiles in the [[LethalLavaLand Ashworld tileset]] (e.g. Char) act exactly like water tiles on any other tileset, and no units take damage from being nearby. This may be justified though: the Terrans are all either in vehicles or wearing PoweredArmor (which we know can survive hard vacuum, so being heat-resistant isn't much of a stretch), the Protoss have shields and probably other applicable phlebotinum, and the Zerg originally evolved on a similar planet.
* [[CrapsackWorld Crapsack Universe]]: The individual factions all suck one way or the other, the only genuinely nice, trustworthy people are the individuals with no real power.
** Terrans act somewhat like locusts, moving from world to world to drain the resources and most of their standing military consists of mind-controlled convicts. Of their governments, the Confederacy was corrupt to its core, the Dominion is slightly better but compensates with its Emperor's extreme narcissism, and the UED are [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Space Nazis]].
*** The lesser governments are the Kel-Morian Combine and the Umojan Protectorate. The Kel-Morian Combine has been compared to massive criminal organization, and is said to practice slavery. The Umojan Protecorate is apparently the only good government, but it is generally weaker and less populous than either the Combine or the Confederacy/Dominion, but evens the odds with extremely potent technology and a huge spy network.
** The Protoss are fairly nice, but they're ScaryDogmaticAliens and have enough trouble keeping peace among their own tribes without involving the other races. [[ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure And Lord help you if the Zerg have seeded your planet]].
** The Zerg want to achieve perfection... by absorbing every other being they encounter, until they're the only race left.
* CriticalExistenceFailure
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: The Protoss are a near-literal example. Khaydarin crystals are featured heavily in their architecture due to them acting as a conduit for psionic energy, and out of battle the Protoss wear simple cloth garments like loincloths, cloaks and capes.
* {{Cutscene}}: of the Blizzard cinematic variety. They've only gotten [[VisualEffectsOfAwesome better and better]] over the years.
** ''Starcraft II'' also uses the game engine for some pretty high-end cutscenes, that are only inches below the actual cinematics.
* DamageIsFire: Terran and Protoss buildings burn. Zerg buildings bleed. Terran buildings on fire take further damage from it until it's destroyed or sufficently repaired. The heaviest the damage, the more widespread the fire/blood.
* DataCrystal: The Protoss use these.
* DeflectorShields: Personal type. Every protoss unit has them. In some of the games, some Terran units can create a Defensive Matrix for friendly units or create their own.
* DoomedByCanon: One of the [[ExpandedUniverse novels]] "I, Mengsk," goes into the details of Arcturus Mengsk's past, including his homeworld of Korhal and his family. People who are familar with the story of the games know what happens to Korhal and the Mengsk clan.
* DuringTheWar
* EarthShatteringKaboom: The Protoss doctrine for dealing with a Zerg-infested world goes something like "[[KillItWithFire burn it from orbit until everything on the surface is dead]]." This is how the Terrans first found out that aliens existed: a Protoss fleet appeared near the planet Chau Sara and blasted it without warning or explanation.
* EasyCommunication
* EldritchAbomination: If Zamara is right, Duran's hybrids are these.
** Also, Ulrezaj in his archon form and their [[BigBad boss]], [[spoiler: The Dark Voice]].
* EnergyBall: Numerous units can fire these out, most notably the Protoss phase disruptors, used by photon cannons and most of their vehicles.
* EvilCounterpart: The Zerg were deliberately engineered by the Xel'Naga to be an opposite of the Protoss as part of their experiments. The Protoss have "purity of form" while the Zerg have "purity of essence." The Protoss use a telepathic link that connects all of them, the Zerg are a HiveMind. The Protoss are graceful and intelligent, the Zerg are bestial and driven by instinct. Even in battle they use opposite techniques, the Protoss army consisting of [[OneManArmy singular elite soldiers]] who have spent years [[TrainingFromHell training for]] [[TheSpartanWay war]], against the Zerg army consisting of [[ZergRush lots and lots of expendible units]] evolved to be killing machines.\\
\\
Of course, this is only a superficial interpretation. The ''Dark Templar'' novels reveal that [[spoiler: the "TurnedAgainstTheirMasters" gig is a Protoss fabrication. The Zerg and Protoss were created in order to unite with each other and create a new iteration of the Xel'Naga ([[BlueAndOrangeMorality it's just how those guys worked]]) as part of their life-cycle. The Zerg got corrupted by an EldritchAbomination before that could happen, however, and were made to attack their makers and the Protoss]].
* EvilIsVisceral: Aspects of the Zerg that do not fit neatly into other tropes: the way that buildings pulsate when they are being constructed, their sound effects (especially if liquids are involved), the Overmind's influence is represented by a big eye. Then there's the growing tissue sample in ''VideoGame/StarcraftII''...
* EvilVersusEvil: Most of the conflicts that Arcturus Mengsk is evolved in - he starts in a kind of BlackAndGreyMorality situation against the Confederacy, and once he gains power falls into a neat EvilOverlord niche, but the fact that genocidal aliens and imperialistic Earthlings are a greater threat means he's constantly able to fight them and portray himself and the Dominion as heroes.
* ExpandedUniverse: In the form of paperback novels and graphic novels.
* ExplosiveBreeder: The Zerg seems to be this.
* FactionCalculus: One of the most famous examples (as measured in "[[FollowTheLeader games that copy it]]"), providing a huge amount of depth to the game.
** Terrans are Balanced. They have all the {{Long Range Fighter}}s, with only one melee unit (the Firebat) and the unit with the longest firing range (the Siege Tank), but their units tend to be {{Glass Cannon}}s in compensation. They have the best standing defenses in the form of Bunkers, which [[GarrisonableStructures you can hide infantry in]], and some of their buildings can take off and fly to other locations, but at the cost of subverted CriticalExistenceFailure: DamageIsFire, and if a Terran building's LifeMeter is reduced far enough, it will burn down of their own accord unless repaired. Terrans have the hardest time applying upgrades to their units, categorizing their upgrades by infantry, vehicles and planes where the other two races just have Air and Ground. Finally, the Terran military is less mobile as a whole; their units are MasterOfNone, they need to rely on each other for support, and they have to either [[NeverSplitTheParty leave some units at home]] or leave their base undefended.
** Zerg are Subversive, with lots of small, fast, weak units suitable for a ZergRush, all the {{Suicide Attack}}ers, and lots of BodyHorror, HollywoodAcid and CombatTentacles. Their {{Worker Unit}}s don't so much build structures as mutate into them (consuming the Worker in the process), and many of their powerful units have to mutate out of a pre-existing lower-tier unit. Their structures must be built on "[[MeatMoss Creep]]," which is generated naturally from their central Hatcheries and blocks the other two races from placing building. Zerg have RegeneratingHealth and will heal FromASingleCell. Where a few Terran and Protoss units have {{Invisibility Cloak}}s, almost ''all'' Zerg ground units can [[WallMaster "burrow" underground]], allowing them to ambush, recon and heal. Finally, because of the way Zerg build units[[hottip:*:The other two races can only build one unit at a time from their production facilities, and each facility is limited to a single style of unit: barracks can't make airplanes, for instance, and airports can't make soldiers. The Zerg Hatchery can build ''any'' type of unit currently available, ''three at a time'']], they can generate new armies at an instant, in case there's been a TotalPartyKill or you've found some TacticalRockPaperScissors to exploit. Of course, because of the immense resource cost of all this building, you may frequently discover that YouRequireMoreVespeneGas.
** Protoss are Powerhouse, focusing on an EliteArmy of expensive-but-powerful soldiers. They have impressive [[PsychicPowers psionic powers]] which they have [[{{Magitech}} combined with technology]], the best {{Squishy Wizard}}s, units which are completely robotic, and the most tigh-tier units, making them strongest in the late game. They have {{Deflector Shield}}s which regenerate over time, supplementing their already-high HitPoints. All Protoss buildings must be built near a Pylon, and stop functioning if all nearby Pylons are destroyed. Pylons also raise your ArbitraryHeadcountLimit. [[WeaksauceWeakness They are the Protoss' least-durable building.]] Having said that, the Protoss WorkerUnit simply opens a PortalDoor (through which the building teleports) and then can wander off to do other things, instead of having to stay temporarily (Terran) or permanently (Zerg), so it's relatively easy to ConstructAdditionalPylons if things go south.
** It's also interesting to compare each faction's basic units. Terrans have the Marine, who has has the lowest HitPoints of the lot[[hottip:*:40 in SC1, 45 in SC2 with an upgrade to give them 10 more]], but [[GunsVsSwords carries a gun against the other units' melee attacks]]. The Zergling is a four-legged beast, with the fastest movespeed of the three units and an upgrade to make it faster, and is so cheap that Zerg players get ''two'' of them for the cost of one Marine[[hottip:*:with 35 HP each, for a total of 70]]. Finally, Protoss have the Zealot, who has the most HP[[hottip:*:100 HP, 60 shields]] and does the most damage per attack, but costs twice the resources, twice the [[ArbitraryHeadcountLimit Supply points]], and takes up twice the room aboard a {{dropship}}.
* FantasticRankSystem: The Protoss have a different rank structure, though only three ranks are ever mentioned in the original game:
** Praetor: Probably close to an Army Captain, Fenix held this rank.
** Executor: Probably close to a Brigadier (1-star) General; Tassadar, Artanis, and Selendis held this rank.
** Judicator: A high-ranking government official, Aldaris held this rank.
** Prelate: The Dark Templar equivalent of either Praetor or Executor. Zeratul was addressed as such in ''Brood War''.
** ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'' introduces cosmetic ranks for any standard unit based on number of kills. For Protoss, 0-4 kills is a Disciple, 5-9 is a Mentor, 10-14 an Instructor, 15-19 a Master, and 20+ an Executor. Zerg equivalents are Predator, Slayer, Ravager Assassin and Metamorph, and while hardly fantastic, for the sake of completion, Terran get Recruit, Corporal, Sergeant, Captain, Commander.
* FasterThanLightTravel:
** The Protoss and Terrans have FTL Warp drives, while the Zerg Overmind can use its ''massive'' PsychicPowers to tear [[OurWormholesAreDifferent warp rifts]] in spacetime.
** Protoss have near-instantaneous precision warps, to the point that their buildings, infantry and ships are not "built" but are warped in from their homeworld or automated factories. Protoss soldiers even have armor that teleports them out when they are gravely wounded in battle.
** The arrival of the Terrans in Koprulu was actually a navigational accident. The flight computers on their sleeper FTL ships malfunctioned, and overshot their destination, travelling at FTL speeds for about 30 years (adding up to some 60,000 light-years from Earth)
*** Over time, the Earth Directorate has managed to advance {{FTL}} technology to allow them to get to the Koprulu Sector from Earth in a matter of months.
* FogOfWar
* FreudianTrio: Zerg are the Id, Terran are the Ego and Protoss are the Superego.
* [[FromASingleCell From A Single HP]]: '''All''' Zerg units and buildings will recover, if not killed, eventually.
* FullCircleRevolution: From the Confederacy to the Dominion...
* FutureSlang: The novels introduce "fekk" as a curse word.
** Of course, 'feck' is contemporary British slang.
* GambitPileup: The entire storyline. Every major character in this game, human or otherwise, seems to have some sort of hidden agenda and it's nigh-impossible to tell who's getting the upper hand. Mostly, it doesn't work out well for anybody.
* GarrisonableStructure: Terran Bunkers.
* GenocideBackfire: The Terrans in the Koprulu sector were descendants of unwanted people on Earth who were sent on hardly inhabitable places to test if they could survive. They can.
** It should be noted that the genocide might not have backfired if the sleeper ships hadn't ''missed their destinations''.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: All Protoss and some Zerg have them.
* GunshipRescue: Subverted in the opening cinematic to ''Brood War'', wherein the UED flagship is seen hovering overhead... and then leaves without firing a shot, [[KickTheDog abandoning the marines below to the fury of the Zerg Swarm.]]
* {{Hammerspace}}: Terrans have building components appear and snap themselves together out of thin air.
* HiveMind: The zerg Swarm, obviously. The Khala of the protoss is also somewhat like this, only the protoss in the Khala retain their individuality and free will, and can choose not to share all of their thoughts and feelings with others.
* HollywoodAcid: Often used as a weapon by the Zerg.
* HomingBoulders
* HordeOfAlienLocusts: Zerg
* HumansAreSpecial: Deconstructed. The Terrans of the Koprulu Sector are only a few generations away from becoming a psionic species. Instead of indicating that humanity is on the verge of becoming something greater, this just means they drew the attention of the [[YouWillBeAssimilated Zerg]], who view their psionic potential as the key to fighting their ''real'' target, the Protoss, on equal grounds.
** Interestingly, Humans are the only major race that was not created/uplifted by the [[{{Precursors}} Xel'Naga]].
* HumansByAnyOtherName: For all intents and purposes the term "Terran" is used as a substitute, both by humans and by non-humans, for the word human. This is particularly odd since Earth (except for in the expansion) is practically a non-factor and the word Protoss has nothing at all to do with the name of the protoss homeworld (Aiur). As for the Zerg, it's unclear if they're named after Zerus (given the unusual spelling) or whether Zerus is named after ''them''.
* HufflepuffHouse: Both the Kel-Morian Combine and the Umojan Protectorate get no screentime in the original game, beyond a blurb in the manual. The Combine was later elaborated on in Brood War, but Umoja still has yet to make an appearance.
* InstantWinCondition: In the multiplayer; you win the game if you destroy every building the enemy player controls, even if your own base is in shambles and you're on your last unit. There is a reason for this: During the beta for the first game, a very common dirty trick was for a losing player to hide a very difficult to spot unit such as a burrowed zergling in an obscure part of the map in hopes that the opponent would give up and cede the game in frustration.
* ISOStandardHumanSpaceship: The whole Terran Navy.
* [[FromBadToWorse ItGotWorse]]: Repeatedly in the original. It never gets better in ''Brood War.''
* KillItWithFire: The Protoss burn Zerg from orbit.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: Woe to any who has no existing knowledge of the series, as Sarah Kerrigan becoming the Queen of Blades ''was'' a major spoiler in the middle of the original game's campaign, but it is now common knowledge since the game in question was released in 1998.
* LegoGenetics: The HandWave for how the Zerg can have unit upgrades.
* MagiTek: Protoss vehicles and structures, as well as Ghost cloaking devices, are powered by psychic energy.
* MagicByAnyOtherName: Psionics.
* ManaMeter: Energy is used for both technological and psi abilities, and also for units with a limited lifespan such as Hallucinations.
* MeaningfulName:
** Planet "Char" didn't earn its name by being a planet of rainforests and crystal blue oceans.
** Protoss means "first born" in the language of the Xel'naga, and is derived from the Greek word πρωτος, which is pronounced the same way and means "first".
* MeatMoss: Zerg Creep.
* MentalFusion: The Khala, the basis of the Protoss religion and integral part of their identity, is a form of this. Protoss are universally psychic, and evolved a super-powerful collective consciousness that manifests as magic-like abilities. Communion with this "Khala" is actually touching all the minds, thoughts, and emotions of the Protoss race at large. Unlike some forms of fusion, however, the communion with the Khala is expected rather than completely voluntary, and opponents are seen as heretics: there is a small group of protoss who fear that this will, one day, completely subsume their personalities, and take steps to sever themselves from it permanently (they evolved their own culture).
* MessianicArchetype: Khas, Adun, and Tassadar.
* MobileFactory: All Terran structures capable of producing units are mobile.
* MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness: The psi blades, psychic powers, and LegoGenetics push it toward the softer end of the scale.
* MonsterProtectionRacket: The main reason the Confederacy was experimenting on the Zerg.
* {{Mordor}}: Char.
* NeglectfulPrecursor: Early on, it's revealed that the Xel'Naga were trying to create a perfect race: The Protoss were a failed experiment, but they succeeded with the Zerg, up until the point where [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters they got eaten]].\\
\\
In the ''Dark Templar'' novels, however, it's revealed that the Xel'Naga were [[spoiler:''done'' with the Protoss]]; they had completed their work and left to create the Zerg as [[spoiler:a complementary species, which would have, in time, joined with the Protoss to create the Xel'Naga's descendants. [[EldritchAbomination Someone]] screwed that gig up]], though.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: ''Repeatedly''. To their credit though, they are usually aware of it and are appropriately horrified.
** Raynor, and the PlayerCharacter, help Mengsk defeat the Confederacy; only for Mengsk to prove himself to be just as bad as the Confederacy and proclaim himself Emperor.
** In the end of the Protoss campaign in ''Brood War'', the Protoss acknowledge that by using that Xel'Naga temple to destroy the Zerg on Shakuras they will greatly weaken Daggoth's forces, which in turn will help Kerrigan. They also state though that doing so is the only way that they will survive.
** Zeratul's killing of Zasz was the first time a Cerebrate actually died, but it also linked his mind with the Overmind and revealed the location of Auir. [[spoiler: Zeratul later killed the second Overmind ending the UED's control of the Zerg, which meant that Kerrigan then had complete control of all the Zerg]].
** The UED just made ''everything'' worse.
* NoMouth: The Protoss.
* NotPlayingFairWithResources: The AI, on harder difficulty levels.
* OldSchoolDogfighting: Happens during some cutscenes in space.
* OrganicTechnology: Zerg buildings are grown out of a certain kind of Zerg.
* OrphanedPunchline:
--> ''"Answer that and stay fashionable!"''
* PlanetTerra: Humans are called Terrans, but strangely, the planet is still called Earth every single time it's mentioned.
* PowerEchoes: The Protoss units have this in varying degrees.
* PowerGlows: Anything, unit or building, built by the Protoss.
* PrecursorKillers: The Zerg
* {{Precursors}}: The Xel'naga.
* PsychicPowers: The protoss have them, and the potential for them is why the Zerg are interested in humanity.
* PuppeteerParasite: The Zerg.
* PuttingOnTheReich:
** The uniforms worn by United Earth Directorate officers resemble Nazi uniforms, right down to the grey overcoats and hats. Oddly, their bosses are a Frenchman and a Russian.
** The UED gets bonus points for using the same interior decorators as Nazi Germany. Both have red flags with similar symbolism; the UED shows an eagle atop the Earth, echoing the Third Reich's eagle atop the swastika.
** How about their predecessor, the United Powers League, who rounded up all cyborgs, mutants, punks and "undesirables" from Earth and either killed them of shot them off into space?
* RecycledInSpace: Many elements from the {{Warcraft}} games before it were recycled. This is {{lampshade}}d by Artanis's "[[StopPokingMe annoyed]]" dialog in ''Brood War''.
-->'''Artanis:''' This is not Warcraft in space!\\
'''Artanis:''' It is, much more sophisticated!\\
'''Artanis:''' I KNOW it's not 3-d!\\
'''Artanis:''' What do I look like, an orc?
** Many of the elements were reused in ''WarCraft III'' [[RuleOfThree and then re-used]] in ''VideoGame/StarcraftII''.
* RealRobot: Goliaths, Thors you name em'.
* RealTimeStrategy
* RegeneratingShieldStaticHealth: The Protoss faction. In contrast the Zerg regenerate health slowly while the Terrans have units that can restore the health of others, and neither faction has shields.
* TheRemnant: The Confederacy just won't seem to go away after being defeated by Mengsk. The UED still has pockets of forces left behind in the sector. Groups of both go to work as mercenaries. The novels also mention other rebel groups that fought the Confederacy separately...and then went right on to fight the Dominion, since it wasn't any improvement.
* TheRepublic: The Umojan Protectorate, which of all the major Terran states seems to be the only one that's consistently "good".
* RidiculouslyFastConstruction:
** Justified for the Protoss, who warp in their structures and units already constructed from somewhere else.
** Justified for the Terrans; all their buildings are prefabricated, and Starcraft II's better animations show that the SCV is operating an assembly armature that is included in the building kit, rather than welding the whole thing together by hand.
* ScheduleSlip: Anytime Blizzard issues a release date for a full game.
** The novel ''Starcraft: Ghost: Spectres'' has been delayed so long and for so many times, it's aping the VaporWare game it's based on.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: When the Terrans first arrived to the Koprulu sector, they only numbered approximately 32,000. According to Blizzard's website, there are at least twelve ''billion'' Terrans in the Koprulu sector at the beginning of ''Starcraft II'', and Raynor mentions Kerrigan killing eight billion people during the first game. He might have been including the Protoss but that still means you're looking at more than twelve billion humans living in the sector. [[http://sclegacy.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6756 As mentioned here,]] to have this many people after only 240 years would require the population to at ''least'' double every decade, for 24 decades, not taking into account the deaths that occur from any number of natural and unnatural causes, because the Terrans have a history of civil wars.
* SequelHook: Dark Origin. Which is notable due to the level being a unlockable secret. Unless you finished the previous mission within a certain amount of time, the player would never learn about the plot.
* ShootTheShaggyDogStory: By the end of ''Brood War'', [[spoiler: the Confederacy was replaced by the equally rotten Terran Dominion, which was then devastated by the UED and the Kerrigan. The Zerg invaded Auir, were stopped, but killed virtually the whole population first. The Protoss evacuated to Shakuras, but were still devastated and lost their leaders. The UED conquered the sector, but were defeated and wiped out by Kerrigan. The Zerg created a second Overmind (virtually undoing Tassadar's sacrifice), which was then killed. In the end, Kerrigan is the ruler of the sector, and the heroes have been defeated in virtually every way]].
* ShoutOut: With its [[ShoutOut/{{Starcraft}} own page]]
* ShowsDamage: Type 2 example to buildings.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: Quickly veers to the cynical side and keeps going until it becomes downright depressing.
* SomeKindOfForceField: The Protoss shields are invisible until struck forcibly.
* SpaceCossacks
* SpaceWestern: The general feel of the story from the Terran point of view.
* StandardSciFiSetting
* StatusBuff
* StayFrosty
* StopPokingMe
* StuffBlowingUp: Everything explodes. This is most obvious with the Zerg, in that killing their living buildings results in the building splattering spectacularly in a shower of blood.
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien: The Xel'Naga in the BackStory. Also, the Protoss ''appear'' to be this at first.
* SuperCellReception: Whatever communications systems are used by Terrans work perfectly, no matter the terrain or distance. The closest it comes to CanYouHearMeNow is in Brood War, where [[ObviouslyEvil Duran]] claims Admiral Stukov's signal is breaking up, and that he can't see the Zerg swarms supposedly attacking the base, possibly due to a sensor malfunction. He is, of course, lying, as the player sees the Zerg attacking.
** Another example is in the first mission to Char in WIngs of Liberty. When General Warfield's battlecruiser crashes, his transmission for help is full of background static.
* SurprisinglySuddenDeath: The Zerg. 5 out of 13 unit types can invoke this at will.
* SuspiciouslySmallArmy: Rampant, in quite a few missions your enemies have very small armies, or at least small armies that you see. The later missions have larger bases with more troops, but you're still not going to be seeing enemy forces number in the thousands like you would expect from an actual army.
* SweetHomeAlabama: The Terrans. To the point where a cover of said song appears in ''VideoGame/StarcraftII''.
* TacticalRockPaperScissors: {{Exaggerated}}. In addition to some units only being able to hit airborne or ground-going enemies, attack damage gets boosted or blunted depending on the opposing unit's physical size (small vs large); the sequel also added bonuses against unit composition (biological vs armored); and, always, [[ZergRush lots of small cheap units]] can easily gang up on a large expensive one. The end result is a tangled web of counters, with each unit being specifically strong against several others and being weak to several more.
* ThemedCursor: A sonar-like thing whose color changes depending on the alignment of whatever you're hovering it over. Green, yellow and red are friendly, neutral and enemies.
* TheyLookLikeUsNow
* [[TouchedByVorlons Touched By Xel'naga]]: The Protoss and Zerg have been this.
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: Both the Protoss and the Zerg, against the Xel'Naga; the Protoss merely shooed them away from their world, while the Zerg killed most of them. The Protoss rebellion was just as violent as the Zerg's was. The only difference is the Zerg were all working towards assimilation of the Xel'Naga, and the Protoss were just killing anything that moved, including themselves. A good number of Xel'Naga were killed during the Protoss uprising.
* {{Unobtainium}}: Neosteel, Khaydarin crystals and both Vespene Gas and "minerals".
* UsedFuture
* {{Vaporware}}: ''Starcraft: Ghost''.
* VestigialEmpire: The Protoss empire, apparently even before the invasion of Aiur. It's implied this is because they've been fighting the Zerg for many years and are losing.
* AVillainNamedZrg: To quote that page, "What four tropers out of five thought when seeing the title."
* WalkItOff: Any Zerg unit or building slowly regenerates health. Protoss also slowly recharge their shields over time, which can make up between half to about ninty percent of their total effective health.
* WeakTurretGun: Encountered frequently in installation missions.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Tends to happen to humans with high psi levels if not restrained quickly. The novels also provide this in device form, which blocks any attempts at mind reading at the cost of the user going slowly mental if it's used for more than a couple of hours. Which happens to both characters that had been using them for selfish reasons.
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->''"[[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial This is not]] {{Warcraft}} [[RecycledInSpace in space]]! I-it's much more sophisticated!"''
-->--'''Artanis'''

A RealTimeStrategy franchise by BlizzardEntertainment. It's composed of two games...

* ''VideoGame/StarcraftI'' (including the ExpansionPack ''Brood War'')
* ''VideoGame/{{StarCraft II}}''

...and several tie-in novels and books. There's also a board game, which was released October 2007.

Set in the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koprulu_Sector Koprulu]] Sector" of space, tens of thousands of light years distant from Earth, the story unfolds between three playable races. The Terrans, human beings descended from outcasts, criminals and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_States_of_America political dissidents]] who were exiled from the Sol system centuries earlier, boast a UsedFuture society with a military based around cybernetics, heavy artillery, and "Ghosts" - covert operatives with latent [[PsychicPowers psychic abilities]]. Their principal adversaries are the Zerg, an [[BigCreepyCrawlies insectoid race]] with the ability to "[[TheVirus infest]]" creatures of other species and assimilate their genetic properties for their own benefit. The majority of the Zerg are drones lacking free will, controlled by {{Hive Mind}}s called Cerebrates which [[TheManBehindTheMan in turn]] are controlled by an entity called [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast the Overmind]], which sees its sole ''raison d'etre'' as [[YouWillBeAssimilated the assumption of all life]] into the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts zerg swarm]]. In between the two are the Protoss, a race of [[WarriorPoet warrior philosophers]] whose advanced [[PsychicPowers psionic capabilities]] are as important on the battlefield as their advanced weaponry or [[MechaMooks robots]].

''[=StarCraft=]'' was one of the first games to become popularly used in professional gaming competitions, [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff particularly in South Korea]], where ''[=StarCraft=]'' matches are played out ''in sports arenas (occasionally jumbo jet hangers), with [[SeriousBusiness giant televisions displaying the action and simulcast on nationwide networks!]]'' And let's not even talk about the ''two'' cable-television channels devoted to it. Yes, two.

There was also ''[=StarCraft=]: Ghost'', a ThirdPersonShooter set [[GaidenGame a few years after Brood War]] (but some before ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'') and announced in 2001. After five years in development and several postponed releases, it was put [[{{Vaporware}} on hold indefinitely]] in 2006.

Also, [[RuleOfCool sheer awesomeness]] demands that we mention here two [[FanFilm fan animations]] of ''[[AwesomeAnimation very]]'' [[VisualEffectsOfAwesome high quality]]: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOxfIapsrJs StarCraft: First Contact]], released in 2009, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kAJSswZPvI&ob=av3e StarCraft: Final Metamorphosis]], released in 2011.
----
! The Starcraft series is the TropeNamer for:
* ConstructAdditionalPylons
* SpawnBroodling
* YouRequireMoreVespeneGas
* ZergRush
----
!Tropes found across the series include:
* AliensSpeakingEnglish:
** The protoss are telepaths, presumably the listener hears in whatever language they know.
*** Note, however, that they ''do'' have a language of sorts, that can be both written and telepathically "vocalized".
** The zerg, being a hive-mind, has no need for language.
*** Only the rare sentient Infested Terrans have been known to occasionally communicate with other species.
* AmericanAccents
* AnyoneCanDie: Several major characters bite the dust over the series.
* ApocalypseHow:
** Protoss do Class 6 type to get rid of the zerg. The planet is covered with plasma and magma when they're done. Nothing gonna be living in that mess.
** Terrans also demonstrated a capacity to do this, by launching numerous nukes from orbit and reducing the surface of the planet to a black glassy substance. This led to the outlawing the manufacturing of full-size nukes to prevent such an event occurring again, leading to the multiplayer usage of "mini-nukes" that inflict underwhelming damage at relatively cheap cost.
* ArmyOfThievesAndWhores: About fifty percent of the Terran armed forces are criminals who have undergone biochemical resocialization (read: brainwashing). These criminals range from the usual suspects (murderers, thieves, rapists, etc.) to the occasional political prisoner.
* AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: The Protoss often believe that they ascend into the Khala when they die.
** [[spoiler: Executor Tassadar may have actually done this after destroying the zerg overmind in a void-channeled/infused kamikaze attack, quoted stating that "I have not tasted death, nor shall I"]].
* AsYouKnow: During the Terran 7 mission briefing, Kerrigan explains the origin of Terran Ghosts to Raynor and Mengsk, even though both characters have had quite a bit of experience with them already (Raynor [[spoiler:losing a son to the Ghost program]], and Mengsk having Kerrigan, a Ghost herself, as his second-in-command [[spoiler:and the one who killed his father]]).
* TheBadGuyWins: It happens quite often in the Starcraft universe, mainly because [[CrapsackWorld they represent the vast majority of characters]] and because "the bad guy" is usually ''playable'' in that race's campaign, so the bad guy wins [[NiceJobBreakingItHero because the player wins]].
* BaseOnWheels: One of the major Terran advantages. Their command base and primary production facilities are all capable of being lifted up off the ground and moved to other locations, either if there's an imminent enemy attack or if they just need to move to an area with better resources. Technically they don't roll on the ground as per standard for this trope, but they're not able to be used as bases until they touch down, and their movement speed is pretty slow.
* BizarreAlienBiology: Protoss and Zerg can survive in hard vacuum unprotected, apparently.
** Protoss are photosynthetic, their skin color changes based on their mood. No mouths, noses, or visible ears and three hearts.
* BittersweetEnding: The ending of the original VideoGame/{{StarCraft|I}}. ''Brood War'' on the other hand, is a DownerEnding.
* BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: The Zerg were forcibly changed from a race of peaceful worms low on their world's food chain to the AssimilationPlot driven HordeOfAlienLocusts with PsychicPowers we all know and love by the Xel'naga [[spoiler: and the Dark Voice]].
** Note that some strains of Zerg are actually derived from various species that the Swarm encountered and consumed throughout the Galaxy. The Hydralisks were once the herbivorous Slothien herd animals, the Mutalisks were Mantis Screamers, and the Leviathans used to be peaceful {{Space Whale}}s.
* BugWar
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Magma tiles in the [[LethalLavaLand Ashworld tileset]] (e.g. Char) act exactly like water tiles on any other tileset, and no units take damage from being nearby. This may be justified though: the Terrans are all either in vehicles or wearing PoweredArmor (which we know can survive hard vacuum, so being heat-resistant isn't much of a stretch), the Protoss have shields and probably other applicable phlebotinum, and the Zerg originally evolved on a similar planet.
* [[CrapsackWorld Crapsack Universe]]: The individual factions all suck one way or the other, the only genuinely nice, trustworthy people are the individuals with no real power.
** Terrans act somewhat like locusts, moving from world to world to drain the resources and most of their standing military consists of mind-controlled convicts. Of their governments, the Confederacy was corrupt to its core, the Dominion is slightly better but compensates with its Emperor's extreme narcissism, and the UED are [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Space Nazis]].
*** The lesser governments are the Kel-Morian Combine and the Umojan Protectorate. The Kel-Morian Combine has been compared to massive criminal organization, and is said to practice slavery. The Umojan Protecorate is apparently the only good government, but it is generally weaker and less populous than either the Combine or the Confederacy/Dominion, but evens the odds with extremely potent technology and a huge spy network.
** The Protoss are fairly nice, but they're ScaryDogmaticAliens and have enough trouble keeping peace among their own tribes without involving the other races. [[ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure And Lord help you if the Zerg have seeded your planet]].
** The Zerg want to achieve perfection... by absorbing every other being they encounter, until they're the only race left.
* CriticalExistenceFailure
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: The Protoss are a near-literal example. Khaydarin crystals are featured heavily in their architecture due to them acting as a conduit for psionic energy, and out of battle the Protoss wear simple cloth garments like loincloths, cloaks and capes.
* {{Cutscene}}: of the Blizzard cinematic variety. They've only gotten [[VisualEffectsOfAwesome better and better]] over the years.
** ''Starcraft II'' also uses the game engine for some pretty high-end cutscenes, that are only inches below the actual cinematics.
* DamageIsFire: Terran and Protoss buildings burn. Zerg buildings bleed. Terran buildings on fire take further damage from it until it's destroyed or sufficently repaired. The heaviest the damage, the more widespread the fire/blood.
* DataCrystal: The Protoss use these.
* DeflectorShields: Personal type. Every protoss unit has them. In some of the games, some Terran units can create a Defensive Matrix for friendly units or create their own.
* DoomedByCanon: One of the [[ExpandedUniverse novels]] "I, Mengsk," goes into the details of Arcturus Mengsk's past, including his homeworld of Korhal and his family. People who are familar with the story of the games know what happens to Korhal and the Mengsk clan.
* DuringTheWar
* EarthShatteringKaboom: The Protoss doctrine for dealing with a Zerg-infested world goes something like "[[KillItWithFire burn it from orbit until everything on the surface is dead]]." This is how the Terrans first found out that aliens existed: a Protoss fleet appeared near the planet Chau Sara and blasted it without warning or explanation.
* EasyCommunication
* EldritchAbomination: If Zamara is right, Duran's hybrids are these.
** Also, Ulrezaj in his archon form and their [[BigBad boss]], [[spoiler: The Dark Voice]].
* EnergyBall: Numerous units can fire these out, most notably the Protoss phase disruptors, used by photon cannons and most of their vehicles.
* EvilCounterpart: The Zerg were deliberately engineered by the Xel'Naga to be an opposite of the Protoss as part of their experiments. The Protoss have "purity of form" while the Zerg have "purity of essence." The Protoss use a telepathic link that connects all of them, the Zerg are a HiveMind. The Protoss are graceful and intelligent, the Zerg are bestial and driven by instinct. Even in battle they use opposite techniques, the Protoss army consisting of [[OneManArmy singular elite soldiers]] who have spent years [[TrainingFromHell training for]] [[TheSpartanWay war]], against the Zerg army consisting of [[ZergRush lots and lots of expendible units]] evolved to be killing machines.\\
\\
Of course, this is only a superficial interpretation. The ''Dark Templar'' novels reveal that [[spoiler: the "TurnedAgainstTheirMasters" gig is a Protoss fabrication. The Zerg and Protoss were created in order to unite with each other and create a new iteration of the Xel'Naga ([[BlueAndOrangeMorality it's just how those guys worked]]) as part of their life-cycle. The Zerg got corrupted by an EldritchAbomination before that could happen, however, and were made to attack their makers and the Protoss]].
* EvilIsVisceral: Aspects of the Zerg that do not fit neatly into other tropes: the way that buildings pulsate when they are being constructed, their sound effects (especially if liquids are involved), the Overmind's influence is represented by a big eye. Then there's the growing tissue sample in ''VideoGame/StarcraftII''...
* EvilVersusEvil: Most of the conflicts that Arcturus Mengsk is evolved in - he starts in a kind of BlackAndGreyMorality situation against the Confederacy, and once he gains power falls into a neat EvilOverlord niche, but the fact that genocidal aliens and imperialistic Earthlings are a greater threat means he's constantly able to fight them and portray himself and the Dominion as heroes.
* ExpandedUniverse: In the form of paperback novels and graphic novels.
* ExplosiveBreeder: The Zerg seems to be this.
* FactionCalculus: One of the most famous examples (as measured in "[[FollowTheLeader games that copy it]]"), providing a huge amount of depth to the game.
** Terrans are Balanced. They have all the {{Long Range Fighter}}s, with only one melee unit (the Firebat) and the unit with the longest firing range (the Siege Tank), but their units tend to be {{Glass Cannon}}s in compensation. They have the best standing defenses in the form of Bunkers, which [[GarrisonableStructures you can hide infantry in]], and some of their buildings can take off and fly to other locations, but at the cost of subverted CriticalExistenceFailure: DamageIsFire, and if a Terran building's LifeMeter is reduced far enough, it will burn down of their own accord unless repaired. Terrans have the hardest time applying upgrades to their units, categorizing their upgrades by infantry, vehicles and planes where the other two races just have Air and Ground. Finally, the Terran military is less mobile as a whole; their units are MasterOfNone, they need to rely on each other for support, and they have to either [[NeverSplitTheParty leave some units at home]] or leave their base undefended.
** Zerg are Subversive, with lots of small, fast, weak units suitable for a ZergRush, all the {{Suicide Attack}}ers, and lots of BodyHorror, HollywoodAcid and CombatTentacles. Their {{Worker Unit}}s don't so much build structures as mutate into them (consuming the Worker in the process), and many of their powerful units have to mutate out of a pre-existing lower-tier unit. Their structures must be built on "[[MeatMoss Creep]]," which is generated naturally from their central Hatcheries and blocks the other two races from placing building. Zerg have RegeneratingHealth and will heal FromASingleCell. Where a few Terran and Protoss units have {{Invisibility Cloak}}s, almost ''all'' Zerg ground units can [[WallMaster "burrow" underground]], allowing them to ambush, recon and heal. Finally, because of the way Zerg build units[[hottip:*:The other two races can only build one unit at a time from their production facilities, and each facility is limited to a single style of unit: barracks can't make airplanes, for instance, and airports can't make soldiers. The Zerg Hatchery can build ''any'' type of unit currently available, ''three at a time'']], they can generate new armies at an instant, in case there's been a TotalPartyKill or you've found some TacticalRockPaperScissors to exploit. Of course, because of the immense resource cost of all this building, you may frequently discover that YouRequireMoreVespeneGas.
** Protoss are Powerhouse, focusing on an EliteArmy of expensive-but-powerful soldiers. They have impressive [[PsychicPowers psionic powers]] which they have [[{{Magitech}} combined with technology]], the best {{Squishy Wizard}}s, units which are completely robotic, and the most tigh-tier units, making them strongest in the late game. They have {{Deflector Shield}}s which regenerate over time, supplementing their already-high HitPoints. All Protoss buildings must be built near a Pylon, and stop functioning if all nearby Pylons are destroyed. Pylons also raise your ArbitraryHeadcountLimit. [[WeaksauceWeakness They are the Protoss' least-durable building.]] Having said that, the Protoss WorkerUnit simply opens a PortalDoor (through which the building teleports) and then can wander off to do other things, instead of having to stay temporarily (Terran) or permanently (Zerg), so it's relatively easy to ConstructAdditionalPylons if things go south.
** It's also interesting to compare each faction's basic units. Terrans have the Marine, who has has the lowest HitPoints of the lot[[hottip:*:40 in SC1, 45 in SC2 with an upgrade to give them 10 more]], but [[GunsVsSwords carries a gun against the other units' melee attacks]]. The Zergling is a four-legged beast, with the fastest movespeed of the three units and an upgrade to make it faster, and is so cheap that Zerg players get ''two'' of them for the cost of one Marine[[hottip:*:with 35 HP each, for a total of 70]]. Finally, Protoss have the Zealot, who has the most HP[[hottip:*:100 HP, 60 shields]] and does the most damage per attack, but costs twice the resources, twice the [[ArbitraryHeadcountLimit Supply points]], and takes up twice the room aboard a {{dropship}}.
* FantasticRankSystem: The Protoss have a different rank structure, though only three ranks are ever mentioned in the original game:
** Praetor: Probably close to an Army Captain, Fenix held this rank.
** Executor: Probably close to a Brigadier (1-star) General; Tassadar, Artanis, and Selendis held this rank.
** Judicator: A high-ranking government official, Aldaris held this rank.
** Prelate: The Dark Templar equivalent of either Praetor or Executor. Zeratul was addressed as such in ''Brood War''.
** ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'' introduces cosmetic ranks for any standard unit based on number of kills. For Protoss, 0-4 kills is a Disciple, 5-9 is a Mentor, 10-14 an Instructor, 15-19 a Master, and 20+ an Executor. Zerg equivalents are Predator, Slayer, Ravager Assassin and Metamorph, and while hardly fantastic, for the sake of completion, Terran get Recruit, Corporal, Sergeant, Captain, Commander.
* FasterThanLightTravel:
** The Protoss and Terrans have FTL Warp drives, while the Zerg Overmind can use its ''massive'' PsychicPowers to tear [[OurWormholesAreDifferent warp rifts]] in spacetime.
** Protoss have near-instantaneous precision warps, to the point that their buildings, infantry and ships are not "built" but are warped in from their homeworld or automated factories. Protoss soldiers even have armor that teleports them out when they are gravely wounded in battle.
** The arrival of the Terrans in Koprulu was actually a navigational accident. The flight computers on their sleeper FTL ships malfunctioned, and overshot their destination, travelling at FTL speeds for about 30 years (adding up to some 60,000 light-years from Earth)
*** Over time, the Earth Directorate has managed to advance {{FTL}} technology to allow them to get to the Koprulu Sector from Earth in a matter of months.
* FogOfWar
* FreudianTrio: Zerg are the Id, Terran are the Ego and Protoss are the Superego.
* [[FromASingleCell From A Single HP]]: '''All''' Zerg units and buildings will recover, if not killed, eventually.
* FullCircleRevolution: From the Confederacy to the Dominion...
* FutureSlang: The novels introduce "fekk" as a curse word.
** Of course, 'feck' is contemporary British slang.
* GambitPileup: The entire storyline. Every major character in this game, human or otherwise, seems to have some sort of hidden agenda and it's nigh-impossible to tell who's getting the upper hand. Mostly, it doesn't work out well for anybody.
* GarrisonableStructure: Terran Bunkers.
* GenocideBackfire: The Terrans in the Koprulu sector were descendants of unwanted people on Earth who were sent on hardly inhabitable places to test if they could survive. They can.
** It should be noted that the genocide might not have backfired if the sleeper ships hadn't ''missed their destinations''.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: All Protoss and some Zerg have them.
* GunshipRescue: Subverted in the opening cinematic to ''Brood War'', wherein the UED flagship is seen hovering overhead... and then leaves without firing a shot, [[KickTheDog abandoning the marines below to the fury of the Zerg Swarm.]]
* {{Hammerspace}}: Terrans have building components appear and snap themselves together out of thin air.
* HiveMind: The zerg Swarm, obviously. The Khala of the protoss is also somewhat like this, only the protoss in the Khala retain their individuality and free will, and can choose not to share all of their thoughts and feelings with others.
* HollywoodAcid: Often used as a weapon by the Zerg.
* HomingBoulders
* HordeOfAlienLocusts: Zerg
* HumansAreSpecial: Deconstructed. The Terrans of the Koprulu Sector are only a few generations away from becoming a psionic species. Instead of indicating that humanity is on the verge of becoming something greater, this just means they drew the attention of the [[YouWillBeAssimilated Zerg]], who view their psionic potential as the key to fighting their ''real'' target, the Protoss, on equal grounds.
** Interestingly, Humans are the only major race that was not created/uplifted by the [[{{Precursors}} Xel'Naga]].
* HumansByAnyOtherName: For all intents and purposes the term "Terran" is used as a substitute, both by humans and by non-humans, for the word human. This is particularly odd since Earth (except for in the expansion) is practically a non-factor and the word Protoss has nothing at all to do with the name of the protoss homeworld (Aiur). As for the Zerg, it's unclear if they're named after Zerus (given the unusual spelling) or whether Zerus is named after ''them''.
* HufflepuffHouse: Both the Kel-Morian Combine and the Umojan Protectorate get no screentime in the original game, beyond a blurb in the manual. The Combine was later elaborated on in Brood War, but Umoja still has yet to make an appearance.
* InstantWinCondition: In the multiplayer; you win the game if you destroy every building the enemy player controls, even if your own base is in shambles and you're on your last unit. There is a reason for this: During the beta for the first game, a very common dirty trick was for a losing player to hide a very difficult to spot unit such as a burrowed zergling in an obscure part of the map in hopes that the opponent would give up and cede the game in frustration.
* ISOStandardHumanSpaceship: The whole Terran Navy.
* [[FromBadToWorse ItGotWorse]]: Repeatedly in the original. It never gets better in ''Brood War.''
* KillItWithFire: The Protoss burn Zerg from orbit.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: Woe to any who has no existing knowledge of the series, as Sarah Kerrigan becoming the Queen of Blades ''was'' a major spoiler in the middle of the original game's campaign, but it is now common knowledge since the game in question was released in 1998.
* LegoGenetics: The HandWave for how the Zerg can have unit upgrades.
* MagiTek: Protoss vehicles and structures, as well as Ghost cloaking devices, are powered by psychic energy.
* MagicByAnyOtherName: Psionics.
* ManaMeter: Energy is used for both technological and psi abilities, and also for units with a limited lifespan such as Hallucinations.
* MeaningfulName:
** Planet "Char" didn't earn its name by being a planet of rainforests and crystal blue oceans.
** Protoss means "first born" in the language of the Xel'naga, and is derived from the Greek word πρωτος, which is pronounced the same way and means "first".
* MeatMoss: Zerg Creep.
* MentalFusion: The Khala, the basis of the Protoss religion and integral part of their identity, is a form of this. Protoss are universally psychic, and evolved a super-powerful collective consciousness that manifests as magic-like abilities. Communion with this "Khala" is actually touching all the minds, thoughts, and emotions of the Protoss race at large. Unlike some forms of fusion, however, the communion with the Khala is expected rather than completely voluntary, and opponents are seen as heretics: there is a small group of protoss who fear that this will, one day, completely subsume their personalities, and take steps to sever themselves from it permanently (they evolved their own culture).
* MessianicArchetype: Khas, Adun, and Tassadar.
* MobileFactory: All Terran structures capable of producing units are mobile.
* MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness: The psi blades, psychic powers, and LegoGenetics push it toward the softer end of the scale.
* MonsterProtectionRacket: The main reason the Confederacy was experimenting on the Zerg.
* {{Mordor}}: Char.
* NeglectfulPrecursor: Early on, it's revealed that the Xel'Naga were trying to create a perfect race: The Protoss were a failed experiment, but they succeeded with the Zerg, up until the point where [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters they got eaten]].\\
\\
In the ''Dark Templar'' novels, however, it's revealed that the Xel'Naga were [[spoiler:''done'' with the Protoss]]; they had completed their work and left to create the Zerg as [[spoiler:a complementary species, which would have, in time, joined with the Protoss to create the Xel'Naga's descendants. [[EldritchAbomination Someone]] screwed that gig up]], though.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: ''Repeatedly''. To their credit though, they are usually aware of it and are appropriately horrified.
** Raynor, and the PlayerCharacter, help Mengsk defeat the Confederacy; only for Mengsk to prove himself to be just as bad as the Confederacy and proclaim himself Emperor.
** In the end of the Protoss campaign in ''Brood War'', the Protoss acknowledge that by using that Xel'Naga temple to destroy the Zerg on Shakuras they will greatly weaken Daggoth's forces, which in turn will help Kerrigan. They also state though that doing so is the only way that they will survive.
** Zeratul's killing of Zasz was the first time a Cerebrate actually died, but it also linked his mind with the Overmind and revealed the location of Auir. [[spoiler: Zeratul later killed the second Overmind ending the UED's control of the Zerg, which meant that Kerrigan then had complete control of all the Zerg]].
** The UED just made ''everything'' worse.
* NoMouth: The Protoss.
* NotPlayingFairWithResources: The AI, on harder difficulty levels.
* OldSchoolDogfighting: Happens during some cutscenes in space.
* OrganicTechnology: Zerg buildings are grown out of a certain kind of Zerg.
* OrphanedPunchline:
--> ''"Answer that and stay fashionable!"''
* PlanetTerra: Humans are called Terrans, but strangely, the planet is still called Earth every single time it's mentioned.
* PowerEchoes: The Protoss units have this in varying degrees.
* PowerGlows: Anything, unit or building, built by the Protoss.
* PrecursorKillers: The Zerg
* {{Precursors}}: The Xel'naga.
* PsychicPowers: The protoss have them, and the potential for them is why the Zerg are interested in humanity.
* PuppeteerParasite: The Zerg.
* PuttingOnTheReich:
** The uniforms worn by United Earth Directorate officers resemble Nazi uniforms, right down to the grey overcoats and hats. Oddly, their bosses are a Frenchman and a Russian.
** The UED gets bonus points for using the same interior decorators as Nazi Germany. Both have red flags with similar symbolism; the UED shows an eagle atop the Earth, echoing the Third Reich's eagle atop the swastika.
** How about their predecessor, the United Powers League, who rounded up all cyborgs, mutants, punks and "undesirables" from Earth and either killed them of shot them off into space?
* RecycledInSpace: Many elements from the {{Warcraft}} games before it were recycled. This is {{lampshade}}d by Artanis's "[[StopPokingMe annoyed]]" dialog in ''Brood War''.
-->'''Artanis:''' This is not Warcraft in space!\\
'''Artanis:''' It is, much more sophisticated!\\
'''Artanis:''' I KNOW it's not 3-d!\\
'''Artanis:''' What do I look like, an orc?
** Many of the elements were reused in ''WarCraft III'' [[RuleOfThree and then re-used]] in ''VideoGame/StarcraftII''.
* RealRobot: Goliaths, Thors you name em'.
* RealTimeStrategy
* RegeneratingShieldStaticHealth: The Protoss faction. In contrast the Zerg regenerate health slowly while the Terrans have units that can restore the health of others, and neither faction has shields.
* TheRemnant: The Confederacy just won't seem to go away after being defeated by Mengsk. The UED still has pockets of forces left behind in the sector. Groups of both go to work as mercenaries. The novels also mention other rebel groups that fought the Confederacy separately...and then went right on to fight the Dominion, since it wasn't any improvement.
* TheRepublic: The Umojan Protectorate, which of all the major Terran states seems to be the only one that's consistently "good".
* RidiculouslyFastConstruction:
** Justified for the Protoss, who warp in their structures and units already constructed from somewhere else.
** Justified for the Terrans; all their buildings are prefabricated, and Starcraft II's better animations show that the SCV is operating an assembly armature that is included in the building kit, rather than welding the whole thing together by hand.
* ScheduleSlip: Anytime Blizzard issues a release date for a full game.
** The novel ''Starcraft: Ghost: Spectres'' has been delayed so long and for so many times, it's aping the VaporWare game it's based on.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: When the Terrans first arrived to the Koprulu sector, they only numbered approximately 32,000. According to Blizzard's website, there are at least twelve ''billion'' Terrans in the Koprulu sector at the beginning of ''Starcraft II'', and Raynor mentions Kerrigan killing eight billion people during the first game. He might have been including the Protoss but that still means you're looking at more than twelve billion humans living in the sector. [[http://sclegacy.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6756 As mentioned here,]] to have this many people after only 240 years would require the population to at ''least'' double every decade, for 24 decades, not taking into account the deaths that occur from any number of natural and unnatural causes, because the Terrans have a history of civil wars.
* SequelHook: Dark Origin. Which is notable due to the level being a unlockable secret. Unless you finished the previous mission within a certain amount of time, the player would never learn about the plot.
* ShootTheShaggyDogStory: By the end of ''Brood War'', [[spoiler: the Confederacy was replaced by the equally rotten Terran Dominion, which was then devastated by the UED and the Kerrigan. The Zerg invaded Auir, were stopped, but killed virtually the whole population first. The Protoss evacuated to Shakuras, but were still devastated and lost their leaders. The UED conquered the sector, but were defeated and wiped out by Kerrigan. The Zerg created a second Overmind (virtually undoing Tassadar's sacrifice), which was then killed. In the end, Kerrigan is the ruler of the sector, and the heroes have been defeated in virtually every way]].
* ShoutOut: With its [[ShoutOut/{{Starcraft}} own page]]
* ShowsDamage: Type 2 example to buildings.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: Quickly veers to the cynical side and keeps going until it becomes downright depressing.
* SomeKindOfForceField: The Protoss shields are invisible until struck forcibly.
* SpaceCossacks
* SpaceWestern: The general feel of the story from the Terran point of view.
* StandardSciFiSetting
* StatusBuff
* StayFrosty
* StopPokingMe
* StuffBlowingUp: Everything explodes. This is most obvious with the Zerg, in that killing their living buildings results in the building splattering spectacularly in a shower of blood.
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien: The Xel'Naga in the BackStory. Also, the Protoss ''appear'' to be this at first.
* SuperCellReception: Whatever communications systems are used by Terrans work perfectly, no matter the terrain or distance. The closest it comes to CanYouHearMeNow is in Brood War, where [[ObviouslyEvil Duran]] claims Admiral Stukov's signal is breaking up, and that he can't see the Zerg swarms supposedly attacking the base, possibly due to a sensor malfunction. He is, of course, lying, as the player sees the Zerg attacking.
** Another example is in the first mission to Char in WIngs of Liberty. When General Warfield's battlecruiser crashes, his transmission for help is full of background static.
* SurprisinglySuddenDeath: The Zerg. 5 out of 13 unit types can invoke this at will.
* SuspiciouslySmallArmy: Rampant, in quite a few missions your enemies have very small armies, or at least small armies that you see. The later missions have larger bases with more troops, but you're still not going to be seeing enemy forces number in the thousands like you would expect from an actual army.
* SweetHomeAlabama: The Terrans. To the point where a cover of said song appears in ''VideoGame/StarcraftII''.
* TacticalRockPaperScissors: {{Exaggerated}}. In addition to some units only being able to hit airborne or ground-going enemies, attack damage gets boosted or blunted depending on the opposing unit's physical size (small vs large); the sequel also added bonuses against unit composition (biological vs armored); and, always, [[ZergRush lots of small cheap units]] can easily gang up on a large expensive one. The end result is a tangled web of counters, with each unit being specifically strong against several others and being weak to several more.
* ThemedCursor: A sonar-like thing whose color changes depending on the alignment of whatever you're hovering it over. Green, yellow and red are friendly, neutral and enemies.
* TheyLookLikeUsNow
* [[TouchedByVorlons Touched By Xel'naga]]: The Protoss and Zerg have been this.
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: Both the Protoss and the Zerg, against the Xel'Naga; the Protoss merely shooed them away from their world, while the Zerg killed most of them. The Protoss rebellion was just as violent as the Zerg's was. The only difference is the Zerg were all working towards assimilation of the Xel'Naga, and the Protoss were just killing anything that moved, including themselves. A good number of Xel'Naga were killed during the Protoss uprising.
* {{Unobtainium}}: Neosteel, Khaydarin crystals and both Vespene Gas and "minerals".
* UsedFuture
* {{Vaporware}}: ''Starcraft: Ghost''.
* VestigialEmpire: The Protoss empire, apparently even before the invasion of Aiur. It's implied this is because they've been fighting the Zerg for many years and are losing.
* AVillainNamedZrg: To quote that page, "What four tropers out of five thought when seeing the title."
* WalkItOff: Any Zerg unit or building slowly regenerates health. Protoss also slowly recharge their shields over time, which can make up between half to about ninty percent of their total effective health.
* WeakTurretGun: Encountered frequently in installation missions.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Tends to happen to humans with high psi levels if not restrained quickly. The novels also provide this in device form, which blocks any attempts at mind reading at the cost of the user going slowly mental if it's used for more than a couple of hours. Which happens to both characters that had been using them for selfish reasons.
----
[[Franchise/StarCraft]]
26th Feb '13 8:07:19 PM MetalKing1417
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** Interestingly, Humans are the only known race to have developed FTL technology completely independantly. Both the Protoss and the Zerg had help from the [[{{Precursors}} Xel'Naga]].

to:

** Interestingly, Humans are the only known major race to have developed FTL technology completely independantly. Both the Protoss and the Zerg had help from that was not created/uplifted by the [[{{Precursors}} Xel'Naga]].
23rd Feb '13 12:33:46 PM Tweevle
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* FreudianTrio: Zerg are the Id, Terran are the Ego and Protoss are the Superego.
22nd Feb '13 6:13:35 PM MetalKing1417
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* AVillainNamedZrg: The Zerg.
15th Feb '13 11:33:58 AM StarSword
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* ArmyOfThievesAndWhores: About fifty percent of the Terran armed forces are criminals who have undergone biochemical resocialization (read: brainwashing). These criminals range from the usual suspects (murderers, thieves, rapists, etc.) to the occasional political prisoner.
2nd Feb '13 11:17:53 AM Thecommander236
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** Another example is in the first mission to Char in WIngs of Liberty. When General Warfield's battlecruiser crashes, his transmission for help is full of background static.
2nd Feb '13 6:39:06 AM Telcontar
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* SuperCellReception: Whatever communications systems are used by Terrans work perfectly, no matter the terrain or distance. The closest it comes to CanYouHearMeNow is in Brood War, where [[ObviouslyEvil Duran]] claims Admiral Stukov's signal is breaking up, and that he can't see the Zerg swarms supposedly attacking the base, possibly due to a sensor malfunction. He is, of course, lying, as the player sees the Zerg attacking.
24th Jan '13 1:37:34 AM CobaltHyperMax
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* RealRobot: Goliaths, Thors you name em'.
16th Jan '13 3:08:22 PM StarSword
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* ''VideoGame/StarcraftII''

to:

* ''VideoGame/StarcraftII''
''VideoGame/{{StarCraft II}}''
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