In the 23rd century, Earth became united under a single government called the United Powers League, and they enacted a campaign of genocide against "undesirable" human specimens to curb overpopulation and limited resources, rounding up over 400 million humans for extermination. Wishing to investigate the feasibility of colonizing other planets, the scientist Doran Routhe had 40,000 humans spared from death for the slim hope of a new life on another planet. These 40,000 humans were loaded onto supercarriers and sent to Tau Ceti, but their navigational systems malfunctioned and sent them shooting past their intended destination to arrive in the Koprulu Sector, where they began the civilization called the Terrans.Of the four supercarriers, one crashed and killed all its inhabitants, while the other three each landed on different planets and grew into the three major powers of the Terran civilization. The carrier that landed on Tarsonis had their ship computers remain intact and operational, and with it founded the Terran Confederacy, and were able to quickly re-establish space travel to colonize other worlds. The Confederacy was eventually deposed by Arcturus Mengsk and the Sons of Korhal, who galvanized the Confederate remnants into the Terran Dominion. The other two major powers, which remain independent of both the Dominion and Confederacy, are the Umojan Protectorate militia of Umoja, and the Kel-Morian Combine mining conglomeration of Moria. Meanwhile back on Earth, the United Powers League eventually reformed as the United Earth Directorate, and send a failed expedition to the Koprulu Sector with intent to reign in the rogue Terrans and pacify the Zerg and Protoss.
Base on Wheels: A key advantage Terrans have over the Zerg and Protoss is they can lift off production facilities into the air and move them around, landing them anywhere and going right back to work. This allows players to backdoor enemies by sneaking unit producing facilities into a hidden corner of their base, and to save such structures from an enemy army if they can evacuate fast enough.
Glass Cannon: Individually, terran units tend to have lower hit points for their cost than protoss and zerg units, making it up through range, sometimes damage and/or special abilities.
Gone Horribly Right: They were part of a space colonization project that managed to establish themselves despite not being in their intended location.
Humans Are Bastards: The Protoss hold this opinion of the Terrans, only a handful of humans have ever been able to forge significant alliances with the Protoss. Justified since all three major governments that have controlled them have been open in their consideration of the Protoss as enemies. Plus, the number of human characters to be genuinely good in the whole franchise can be counted on one hand (in fact, until Starcraft II, Raynor pretty much was the only human to be unambiguously good).
Humans Are Warriors: According to Word of God, this is the reason they are capable of standing against both Zerg and Protoss; since they have been constantly fighting each others for years, they have got really good at war.
Jack of All Stats: The Terrans are more expensive than the Zerg but less expensive than the Protoss, while their units are stronger than the Zerg but not as powerful as the Protoss. Between the Zerg Rush and the Protoss Elite Army, the Terrans take their strength from their versatility. This is exemplified by their linear tech tree; while the Zerg need to build numerous different structures to mutate their units and the Protoss tech tree splits into three off the Cybernetics Core, the Terran chain of production goes Barracks-Factory-Starport. Some build orders for them have the player tech to a Starport, and from there they can build anything they want, every unit is either available for construction or the building needed to make that unit is. The sequel further gives these three production facilities interchangeable add-ons, letting a Terran player switch up their build over in seconds by moving their buildings around.
Meet the New Boss: Ownership of individual planets and the government controlling them changes all the time. In the space of five years, the Confederacy was overthrown by the Dominion, which was overthrown by the UED, which was then defeated by the Zerg and control of their assets taken back by a weakened Dominion, and as of the sequel the capital world has been besieged and the emperor killed to be replaced with his heir.
More Dakka: They are the only faction to use conventional firearms.
Stone Wall: Generally, Terrans are very defense oriented, and they're good at it. A wall of Bunkers and Missile Turrets with a couple of Siege Tanks behind them can stop all but a full-frontal assault by the entire enemy army, especially if they're on high ground.
Eons ago, an alien race called the Xel'naga genetically modified the Protoss to possess "purity of form". Departing the Protoss homeworld Aiur when the experiment was done, the rejected Protoss turned to civil war, each blaming the other tribes for the Xel'naga leaving them. A great philosopher named Khas discovered the race's hidden telepathic link that they had forgotten how to access, which bestowed profound empathy and understanding of each other. Khas founded a belief system called the Khala, using it to teach the then-barbaric Protoss to be one with each other and to control their powers.The Protoss reformed into a great and glorious society that explored the stars and colonized the sector...until the Zerg and the Terrans came. Fearful of the Zerg also being experiments of the Xel'naga, the Protoss began purging the infested Terran worlds, beginning a three-way war. The Zerg in turn invaded Aiur, forcing the Protoss to flee the planet. The "Khali" Protoss, as they came to be known, took refuge on Shakuras, homeworld of the Dark Templar, outcasts that had been banished from Aiur for rejecting the Khala's teachings. The Tal'darim not withstanding, the fractured race is reunited, if weakened, but tensions between tribes still linger.
Provides examples of:
Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Protoss once used lethal force to pacify a race locked in a civil war, and, ashamed of themselves, they made a law vowing to never interfere with the matters of other races unless they pose a threat. This is why the Terrans were left alone when they arrived, until the Zerg arrived on the scene.
Important Haircut: In a sense. While the Protoss do not have "hair", their psionic appendages are tentacle-like protrusions extending from the backs of their head in the same manner. The severing of these appendages cuts them off from the Khala forever, and is a symbol of the Dark Templar's rejection of it.
Magic from Technology: Their technology is so advanced and so deeply related to their psychic powers that it appears like magic to humans.
Meaningful Name: They are often called the "first born" of the Xel'naga — "protos" is Greek for first.
No Mouth: They communicate telepathically, and absorb light through their skin for nutrients.
No Sell: Their DNA is so drastically opposed to Zerg's that the Swarm cannot possibly assimilate or infest them.
Not So Different: Ironically, with the Zerg; both were made into what they are by the Xel'Naga, both have their own form of a Psychic Link (The Zerg's being a Hive Mind), and both have two dissident factions representing the conflict between unity (the Swarm / the Khalai Protoss) and individuality (the Primal Zerg / the Dark Templar) that are eventually united into one race. Furhter, the Zerg operate in Broods and packs, while the Protoss never fully abandoned their tribal origins and developed a caste system on top of it.
One-Man Army/Elite Army: While the Zerg rely on swarms of little units, the Protoss have big beefy units with lots of HP and power, but high resource and supply costs. A group of Zealots for example can shred more than twice their number in Marines and Zerglings in a straight-up fight, and the likes of the High Templar, Archon, and in the sequel the Colossus, can single-handedly rack up dozens of kills.
Proud Warrior Race Guy: Many Protoss are proud of their victories in battle and love to fight. Aldaris remarks in the first game when Fenix dies that he died fighting as a Templar, the greatest glory a warrior could hope for.
Psychic Link: The Khala, which connects all Protoss. Novels emphasize that when Protoss connect through the Khala, they almost become each other, their thoughts, memories and personalities become so closely intertwined for the duration.
Power Echoes: All Protoss have a form of reverberation to their voice.
Regenerating Shield, Static Health: All Protoss units are protected by a shield that regenerates over time, even if the shields are depleted, but they have no method to restore HP damage once those shields fall. The exact ratio of HP-to-Shield is a major balance factor in the race.
Shiny-Looking Spaceships: Protoss craft are universally sleek and beautiful, and are usually gold and silver in coloration.
Space Elves: Protoss and their architecture are emphasized to be beautiful and graceful, their race is long-lived and wise, and psionics are so prevalent in their lives that their technology is almost magic to some.
The Evils of Free Will: Played with in the backstory and the first game, and eventually subverted. The Protoss are very untrustworthy of the Dark Templar for rejecting the Khala, fearing dissension could lead to another war. The Dark Templar tried to channel the Power of the Void instead of the Khala to use as a source of psionic power, but it caused devastating psionic storms across Aiur, which only made the Khalai Protoss more paranoid. But when the two sides of the race reunite, most of the Dark Templar have no animosity for their Khalai brethren, understanding their actions in the past, and in the centuries since their exile they have gained the discipline and skill to use the Void's power safely. Thus they are able to come to an understanding and co-exist as one race with two differing ideologies among the people.
After the Xel'naga left the Protoss, they found the planet Zerus, where they found a race of small insectoid aliens that could parasitically control their hosts, and assimilated genetic data from them to evolve and grow stronger. The Xel'naga chose this race to continue their experiments, believing they possessed "purity of essence", and created the Zerg Swarm. As part of their experiment, the Xel'naga created the Overmind, in charge of a Hive Mind that reigned in the Zerg.Under the Xel'naga the Zerg grew and diversified. However, the Overmind turned on its creators and consumed the Xel'naga, the Zerg taking to the stars. Their mission is evolution itself — find new worlds and new species, conquer those worlds and assimilate those species, and continue on. The ultimate prize of this goal is the Protoss, the Overmind believing that the assimilation of their race to be the destiny of the Swarm. While the Swarm took to the stars, the Zerg not controlled by the Overmind's Hive Mind remained and Zerus and evolved into intelligent, independent beings with a pack mentality.
Provides examples of:
Alien Invasion: In their earliest days, they infiltrated the Terran fringe worlds with spores that birth Zerg on the surface to overwhelm the planet. They soon turned to simply unleashing millions and millions of Zerg on them from orbit instead.
Arch-Enemy: To the Protoss. At this point it's almost inconceivable that the two races could ever co-exist without trying to exterminate each other. Word of God has even said that their DNA is "antiethical" to each other, and thus it is impossible for the Zerg to infest a Protoss, or for natural hybridization to occur between them. This is why Duran had to resort to genetic splicing to artificially create his hybrids.
Blue and Orange Morality: With the exception of Brood War-InfestedKerrigan, the Zerg are not malicious or evil in their invasion and infestation of countless worlds, they just don't have any concept of morality beyond "everything that is not Zerg is to be assimilated or killed". For example, Zagara in Heart of the Swarm muses that Terrans must live lonely, isolated lives with no hive mind and no higher purpose to guide them, and not only suggests assimilating the race into the Swarm will alleviate these problems for them, but does so in a completely innocuous manner.
Cannibalism Superpower: They can assimilate DNA sequences from whichever species they consume or infests, and use the best sequences and characteristics to improve themselves. Protoss are immune to it, though. Primal Zerg take it Up to Eleven, each individual directly using the gene of those he has just eaten to evolve in a matter of seconds. Some have been so far in this that they have ended up becoming Eldritch Abominations.
Order vs. Chaos: To the Protoss. They also have an internal example, in the Hive Mind zerg versus the individualistic Primal Zerg.
In Heart of the Swarm's campaign, players can permanently upgrade a Zerg unit into one of two advanced forms in the single-player campaign, either form emphasizing different aspects of the base strain.
The campaign also reveals that the Swarm is only part of the Zerg species, the other part remained on Zerus and continued to evolve separately all these years, and quite a different species from the Swarm now. They assimmilate some of the Swarm's breeds into their own ranks, and they come out barely recognizable for it.
Fangs Are Evil: A recurring physical trait of Zerg breeds is a fragmented mandible covered in fangs for a lower mouth, with a particularly large pair of fangs on the end. Among other units, the Queen, Hydralisk, Roach and Swarm Host all have this trait.
Fast Tunnelling: Their Burrow skill, though the Lurker and Ultralisk take a second or two longer to get underground than others.
Hive Mind: First controlled by the Overmind, then by Kerrigan. The Zerg are further divided into Broods that can be controlled by intermediaries. The Overmind used Cerebrates, Kerrigan uses Brood Mothers.
It Can Think: The Zerg are much more intelligent and cunning than their appearances would have you believe, particularly due to their hive mind allowing Kerrigan or the Overmind to control individual Zerg directly if needed. In novelizations characters often remark at the glimmer of a higher intelligence in the eyes of what seems to be a feral beast.
Mix-and-Match Critters: The Zerg mostly resemble reptiles and/or insects, but many units combine aspects of both.
Organic Technology: Zerg have no concept of technology in the way Terrans and Protoss do; instead, they use evolution and mutation to create biological weaponry, down to mutating their own drones into organic buildings and using giant flying Zerg as spaceships.
Gradual Regeneration: The HP recovery is very slow though, usually only effective for hit-and-run units like the Mutalisk who can attack, then retreat to lick their wounds before striking again.
Healing Factor: Even at 1 HP, the Zerg will eventually restore themselves to full health and be ready to fight again.
The Social Darwinist: The Primal Zerg operate on this principle. Zerg fights Zerg, the victor consumes the loser's essence and assimilates any worthwhile biological traits they had to grow stronger. Rinse and repeat on a planet-wide scale for centuries; welcome to Zerus.
The Unintelligible: All Zerg units except the Infested Terran only speak in growls, snarls and grunts.
The Virus: How they assimilate species; they can propagate a virus that will gradually mutate said species into Zerg-like hybrids under the control of the Swarm. The processus is referred to as "infestation". While Protoss are immune to it, due to their genetical code being too drastically different than the Zerg's to be assimilated, Terrans aren't so lucky...
You Will Be Assimilated: Any species they find that could be of use to them are consumed by the Swarm. Some are recreated directly to be used as new Zerg breeds, others have choice genetic traits analyzed and integrated into existing breeds.
Zerg Rush: They're the Trope Namers for a reason. As a whole the Zerg are not as durable as the Terran or Protoss units, but they have lower resource costs so they can produce more units. Their Hatcheries also function differently, creating larva that mutate into units at the same time, rather than having a training queue that trains units one at a time like the Terrans and Protoss, so with several Hatcheries stored with larvae, a Zerg player can mutate an army to serve them much quicker than the other two races.
A race of near god-like beings, they travelled the stars cultivating the growth and evolution of species in the interest of creating a "perfect" lifeform. The Protoss and Zerg are their creations, as are any number of other beings not yet revealed. The Overmind is believed to have killed them all long before the start of the series — any surviving Xel'naga, if there are any at all, have remained well-hidden.
Provides examples of:
Bigger Bad: One of them, Amon, is the Bigger Bad of the sequel and the franchise as a whole. It's unknown, however, if the Xel'Naga were benevolent or evil, though it's implied the former.
Bizarre Alien Biology: The Dark Templar novels reveal some interesting things: their attempt at creating the ultimate lifeforms was actually reproduction. It's implied that their life cycle includes creating separate species that would, in time, merge peacefully in order to create a new iteration of the Xel'Naga. They didn't abandon the Protoss (as was initially believed); they were simply done with them. And the Zerg weren't meant to exterminate all life or assimilate the Protoss, at least not until the Dark Voice corrupted them.
Energy Beings: Perhaps; a lot of Xel'naga temples seem to be housing such beings, but there is absolutely zero information on what the Xel'naga actually look like
Fusion Dance: The union of Protoss and Zerg was their intention all along, to allow their species to be reborn through the union.
Shrouded in Myth: Only the Overmind, Preservers, and Duran know more about them than the vague description given above, and even then they likely do not know everything.
Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Terrans are baffled by Protoss technology, considering some aspects of it so advanced it's like magic to human minds. The Protoss largely see Xel'naga technology in the same manner.
Time Abyss: They existed long before the first primate ever walked on Earth, millions of years before recorded history at least.
The closest thing Starcraft has to a central protagonist, Jim Raynor is the first named character in the series. He was a marshal on a backwater planet where he was forced to destroy the Confederate outpost (called, appropriately enough, Backwater Station) after it got Zerg-infested, earning the ire of Edmund Duke and a stay in prison. After being rescued by Arcturus Mengsk, he joined the Sons of Korhal, helping his new leader to destroy the Confederacy while it was occupied with the Zerg and Protoss, seduce Edmund Duke to their side, and be on the side of justice. Raynor realizes the mistake he's made too late: Mengsk is a power-hungry madman who cares only for his own gain; even revenge for his slain parents doesn't particularly matter to him. Mengsk sacrifices Kerrigan to the Zerg and Raynor finally leaves. He encounters Infested Kerrigan, and despite his pleas, she won't come back to the good side. He instead joins Tassadar, and ultimately has a direct hand in the destruction of the Overmind.Of course, his role didn't end there: the UED invades, and while Raynor is initially unimportant, the now-freed Kerrigan enlists his and Zeratul's help in defeating the forces of Earth and a new, burgeoning Overmind that will enslave her again. He helps, knowing it's a bad idea, and indeed it was: Kerrigan becomes the undisputed queen of the Zerg, Raynor swears to be the one to kill her, and now the only major forces that don't have Raynor on the hit list are factions of Protoss belonging to Zeratul and Selendis.He returns in Starcraft II, leading Raynor's Raiders, a resistance group fighting the Dominion. He has become cynical and bitter in the intervening four years since the Brood War, partly as a result of Mengsk and the Dominion painting Raynor as a terrorist.
Provides examples of:
The Alcoholic: When Raynor isn't fighting, he's usually drinking whiskey. Tychus even refers to him as "that drunk Raynor" at one point.
Word of God (the Liberty's Crusade novel) states that when he was with the Sons of Korhal, his men were called Raynor's Rangers.
All There in the Manual: More or less Raynor's entire backstory. Originally charged with manslaughter, he was given clemency by the magistrate of Mar Sara in exchange for becoming its marshal. In the novels, it is revealed that he once had a wife and a son, but both died in tragic circumstances.
Raynor: This isn't about revenge. This is about justice. About restoring the balance. About taking something dark and ugly out of the galaxy once and for all, so that something—something decent and good—can grow instead. This is for the Heaven's Devils. For everyone who was their friend. And for everyone whose life you have ruined along your way to this moment.
Atonement Detective: He became a marshal on Mar Sara as part of a deal to have his criminal record erased and be able to live a normal life. Then the Zerg came...
Badass: He survived multiple wars even before aliens appeared on his colony.
Badass Normal: For a setting where troops in Power Armor are considered basic infantry and can be trained and outfitted for combat in a matter of minutes, Raynor's lack of psionic abilities or any other apparent enhancements makes him seem ridiculously average, especially since he is not particularly intelligent or well-educated. However, he more than makes up for this by the fact that he is a genuinely nice person, which not only attracts friends and followers, but also makes him one of the few humans to be respected by the Protoss as both a friend and an ally. When put together with his several years of combat experience, Raynor is as much a formidable leader of men as a combatant in his own right, the latter of which is most ably demonstrated by him managing to single-handedly beat another battle-hardened veteran in seven-foot-tall Power Armor with no more than the clothes on his back and his bare hands.
His reason for helping Kerrigan against the UED is a combination of this and the Lesser of Two Evils.
Comes into play in Wings of Liberty when he finds out about Amon, and Kerrigan has to stay alive or they're will be nothing to stop him.
BFG: His sniper rifle, with its "Mark 12 Penetrator round", which he uses to great effect on Char.
Book Dumb: He's not exactly stupid, but he does defer to the expertise of others on many occasions.
Book Ends: He reaches for his revolver as Tychus looms up behind him...
Butt Monkey: Even before the Zerg invasion, Raynor had already lost countless friends and loved ones, often to circumstances beyond his control. Nearly all of his former military comrades ended up either being killed in combat or in the manhunt that followed after their unit was disbanded. Both his parents die in poverty, refusing to accept the ill-gotten earnings that he sent to them. His son was taken away by the Confederacy for having psionic powers and later said to have been "killed in a shuttle accident"; hearing the news caused his wife's health to decline until she eventually succumbed to illness. Now he lives with the guilt of having inadvertently helped Arcturus Mengsk to power by killing millions of innocent people, as well as failing to save Kerrigan from being turned into the Queen of Blades.
He gets somewhat better by the end of Heart of the Swarm. Arcturus is killed and Kerrigan regained her human heart.
Chivalrous Pervert: Of course, it's hard to be chivalrous around a telepath. It can be argued that he's actually normal since All Men Are Perverts, especially in the novels. Oddly enough, the novels completely change the meaning of the exchange between him and Kerrigan that imply this, turning it instead into a reflection of his dead son.
Clear My Name: Subverted. He's branded a terrorist and outlaw by Mengsk, he realizes that there's no real way to clear his name, so he focuses on bringing Mengsk down to his own level instead. With Mengsk dead, this is no longer necessary.
Commanding Coolness: Has no formal rank within Raynor's Raiders, but he's occasionally referred to as 'Commander,' and his in-game hero unit's rank is listed as 'Rebel Commander.'
Cool Ship: He hijacked the battlecruiser Hyperion when he parted ways with Arcturus Mengsk, and it's now his flagship.
Cosmic Plaything: It's like the Universe is trying his best to make his life suck.
Dark and Troubled Past: Prior to becoming a marshal, he was a crook and train robber along with Tychus. When they pushed their luck too far, Tychus was caught and he took the fall for their crimes without ratting out Raynor. It's one of the major reasons Raynor trusts Tychus throughout the campaign. Oh yeah, and he's lost both his wife and son; the latter to the Confederacy's Ghost program, the former to grief over their son's death.
Valerian: Everyone wonders if I will be as good an emperor as my father, but I want something more - to prove I will be a better emperor, and a better man. Raynor: That shouldn't be hard.
The Determinator: As one review put it: "It would be difficult not to admire Raynor, if for no other reason than his persistence in the face of abandonment, isolation and betrayal."
Did Not Get the Girl: For all his Herculean efforts, ultimately he doesn't end up with Kerrigan. However, the story is not over, so there is yet to be any resolution to this.
Don't Create a Martyr: The reason Mengsk keeps him alive is because Raynor would have more power as a martyr than he does now, which is why he instead marginalizes Raynor's efforts through the media to ruin his reputation.
Fire-Forged Friends: With the Protoss, Tassadar, Zeratul, and Fenix in particular. Especially Fenix. Also, Tosh in one plot deviation, Valerian, General Warfield... It happens a lot to him.
Forgot About The Mind Reader: Kerrigan's greeting to him when they first meet is interrupted by her exclamation of "you pig!" Raynor protests he hadn't said anything yet, but Kerrigan snickers he was thinking it. If you leaving idle enough in one mission in Heart of the Swarm, it happens again.
Friendly Sniper: His Weapon of Choice in the Belly of the Beast mission is an enormous rifle that comes with the amazing "Penetrator Round" ability, with a range even further than the ghosts' "Snipe."
Genre Savvy: When Hanson locks herself in the lab, he goes in alone to investigate. Before he goes in however, he suits up in Space Marine armor and orders Horner to seal all the access points.
Hannibal Lecture: Viciously tears into Kerrigan with one of these after she kills Fenix.
Jim Raynor: Fenix! No! Kerrigan: What are you worried about, Jim? He died the way all Protoss hope to: in combat. Jim Raynor: He died because you betrayed him. How many more noble souls do you need to consume before you're satisfied? How many more innocent people have to die before you realize what you've become? Kerrigan:(rattled) You don't even know what you're talking about, Jim! Jim Raynor: Don't I? I'll see you dead for this, Kerrigan! For Fenix, and all the others who got caught between you and your mad quest for power! Kerrigan: Tough talk, Jimmy, but I don't think you have what it takes to be a killer. Jim Raynor: It may not be tommorow, darlin', it may not even happen with an army at my back. But rest assured; I'm the man who's gonna kill you one day. I'll be seeing you.
Note that he says, "I'll be seeing you." In the most friendly and unironic way possible which just makes the line even more chilling.
The Hero: Of the entire franchise, really, though obviously this comes up more in Terran missions.
Hero with Bad Publicity: Mengsk uses his control of the media to make Raynor into a vicious terrorist madman. Despite that, people still put their hopes on Raynor when it comes to saving their lives. With Mengsk dead, this is no longer a problem.
Many of Raynor's friends have backstabbed him, and most of those who don't died due to the actions of the backstabbers.
In Wings of Liberty, the player gets to choose which missions Raynor and the Raiders will take. This affects his relationships with other characters and their loyalties. For the most part, his allies make it out alive: Tychus betrays Raynor, but canonically he trusts Tosh, who joins his crew and remains loyal, while Hanson and her colonists were sent off to a safe life on Haven. For all the danger that they put themselves in and however fragile the ties that bring them together, Valerian and Warfield have managed to survive the events on Char. Though Warfield ends up dead during Heart of the Swarm.
Hot Dad: While it's only mentioned in the novels, Raynor was actually married and a father before the events of the first game. Unfortunately, little Johnny Raynor was a psychic, so he was taken away for Ghost training when he came of age — and apparently didn't survive. Raynor's wife died of heartbreak after they got the letter.
Humans Are Bastards: He seems to be the only decent human being in the StarCraft universe willing and able to take a stand against the more powerful corrupt factions. Realizing this wasn't good for his views about the humanity in general. He's probably the only human the Protoss trust.
Mike Liberty: James Raynor was the most decent man I ever encountered during the fall of the Confederacy. Everyone else, I can safely say, was either a victim or a villain or quite often both. At first glance, Raynor seems like a backwoods cowboy, one of those good old boys swapping lies about the days gone by. There's a cocksureness, an overconfidence about him that makes you bridle initially. Yet over time you come to see him as a valuable ally and — dare I say it? — a friend. It all comes from belief. Jim Raynor believed in himself and believed in those around him. And from that strength came the strength that allowed him and those who followed him to survive everything else the universe threw at him. Jim Raynor was a most decent and honorable man. I suppose that's why his is the greatest tragedy in this godforsaken war.
When he first leads the rebellion on Mengsk this is bordering on 100% Adoration Rating, which he's really uncomfortable with. This has lessened somewhat in Wings of Liberty, due to him becoming cynical and bitter and a lack of success or funds, a few of the crew very briefly consider mutiny. This is put to an end though, and his crew are soon completely behind him again.
Morality Chain: In one of the novels Kerrigan implies that thinking about Raynor is the one thing that can awaken the humanity she lost.
This becomes more clear in Heart of the Swarm. She starts descending into darkness again after she learns of Raynor's death, then starts reversing course after she learns that he's still alive.
The Nicknamer: Inverted, he's on the receiving end. Gabriel Tosh calls him "Brother" and Rory Swann calls him "Hotshot" and "Cowboy".
Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Raynor had dreams about Kerrigan where he visualized what was happening to her mentally as she was infested. In the novelizations of the game, Kerrigan torments Raynor with dreams of them together happily as humans, both to Mind Screw him and to work out her own lingering frustrations left over from her infestation.
He carries one around despite having an assault rifle as a default weapon. He even lowers his assault rifle and pulls out the revolver when he approaches Valerian. It's ultimately a symbolic move as the revolver only has one bullet and it's meant for Arcturus, whom Raynor mistakes Valerian for initially. It ends up being destined for Tychus.
Come Heart of the Swarm, he pulls out another revolver in the final showdown with Arcturus. Ultimately, he holds his fire to let Kerrigan finish the job instead—after all, his desire for revenge against Mengsk was mostly because of her.
Rebellious Rebel: Joined Arcturus Mengsk and the Sons of Korhal to fight the corrupt and oppressive Terran Confederacy, but rebelled and formed his own resistance when he realized that Mengsk was even worse than them.
Right Man in the Wrong Place: He was just a humble marshal trying to keep the peace on a backwater colony. Then the Zerg came, and he was roped into fighting wars that span the galaxy.
Rousing Speech: Delivers an epic one before the last mission of Wings of Liberty
"That thing may be the key to stopping the Queen of Blades, but it's our sweat and blood that'll make it happen. After everything we've been through, past all the fire and fury, the one thing I know, is that we can count on each other, to get the job done. Or die trying. If that's what it takes. Because some things are just worth fighting for."
Smoking Is Cool: Be it giant cigar of manliness or cigarettes, this man will make you want to take up smoking.
Squick: In-universe. In the novels when he sees her infested, Raynor thinks that on some level Kerrigan is even more alluring and attractive, and is appropriately disturbed with himself for thinking such.
Token Good Teammate: Raynor was, as of the end of Brood War, the only good human character. Realizing this has not been good for his views on humanity in general.
Unwitting Pawn: He was fooled by Kerrigan: While he knew that there would have been a betrayal once they had defeated the UED, what really makes him a sucker is that he didn't expect the betrayal so soon. As it turns out, the plot was bolder and more daring: the moment they had achieved victory, she went after the Dominion and the protoss at the same time.
"I'd like to believe she's on the level, but there's a part of me that just knows better. I do believe she's serious about eliminating the UED; my only concern is what happens to us when she does."
What Measure Is a Mook?: He was very pissed off that Arcturus left behind Kerrigan. What about the task force that was also left behind?
Presumably included in the billions that died on Tarsonis that he subsequently started to openly mourn for. Kerrigan just so happens to be the first thing to come up in his mind.
Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Justified in his case. During a conversation, he explains that the reason why Mengsk just doesn't send Nova or another Ghost to just assassinate him is because Mengsk doesn't want him to become a martyr. In order to maintain his PR, Mengsk has to convince the populace that Raynor poses no threat to him.
Younger than They Look: See the picture above? He's thirty-four. It may be because of stress, something he's very familiar with. Certainly, he looks much older than his appearance in Brood War.
"You don't seem to understand my position here. I will not be stopped! Not by you, or the Confederates, or the Protoss, or anyone! I will rule this sector, or see it burned to ashes around me!"
Mengsk's father was murdered by the Confederacy, and his entire planet destroyed, for being a problem. Mengsk's response was to start a resistence faction called the Sons of Korhal, and enlist the aid of Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan, and later Edmund Duke. Though he initially comes off as a benevolent freedom fighter, as the Terran campaign goes, he commits steadily more unforgivable crimes for the legitimately good purpose of overthrowing the Confederacy, until he finally succeeds, sacrifices Kerrigan, alienates Raynor, and crowns himself Emperor. His true colors revealed, he becomes everything the Confederacy was and worse. When the UED invades, he's the first person on their hitlist, and much to Raynor's chagrin he has to save Mengsk's life to help Kerrigan take out the UED, which goes sour for both of them when she backstabs them both. Mengsk ultimately launches a joint Dominion-UED-Protoss attack on Kerrigan's forces that she routs, leaving him with nothing.By the time of Starcraft II, Mengsk's empire is back on its feet, with only Raynor opposing it to any significant degree. Mengsk can't simply have Raynor assassinated because he's desperately afraid of Raynor becoming a martyr, so he uses the media to marginalize Raynor's efforts and paint him as a fanatic terrorist - which is totally different from how the Confederacy treated him.
Animal Motifs: The sequel ties him with the wolf — cunning, savage and powerful, while also tying into his image as a charismatic media darling to mask his true nature. Statues of wolves and Arcturus flanked by wolves are all around Korhal, and images of wolf heads can be found from the Dominion crest outside his palace to an emblem set into the floor of his office.
Beard of Evil: Compared to Raynor's short-cropped beard around the mouth, Arcturus has a large and bushy beard going up the bottom of his face.
Big Brother Is Watching: As with the Confederacy, the Dominion has spies and informants everywhere, and many on their payroll are closely observed — the closer to secrets they are, the tighter the surveillance.
Big Bad: In Episode V in Brood War — while he's a villain before and after that, he's not the main one save for the very end of Episode I. Wings of Liberty puts him in Big Bad Ensemble territory with Kerrigan, and come Heart of the Swarm he's the primary antagonist.
Broken Pedestal: To Raynor after seeing how far Mengsk would go to overthrow the confederacy. Even Valerian felt the same way towards his father afterwards.
The Charmer: He honestly is a very gifted orator and is extremely charismatic, to a point where, to put it simply, the only named character who is not at some point on Mengsk's side despite knowing what a horrible person he is is Tassadar, who never met him.
The Chessmaster: He manipulates Raynor, Kerrigan, Duke, and the Zerg in order to bring down the Confederacy and establish himself as the Dominion Emperor, and does so by playing to their emotional weaknesses so they work for him until they realize what he really is. The novels complete this by having him play chess against Michael Liberty, and Heart of the Swarm offers this line when Mengsk is shooting at the Hyperion and Matt tries to tell his ships that the Crown Prince is with them.
Valerian: My father will sacrifice any piece on the chess board to take the Queen.
Cosmic Plaything / Laser-Guided Karma: Any involvement he has after the original game's campaign is this. He overthrows the Confederacy just for the UED to knock him off his throne, he allys with the two people that hate him the most to take back his homeworld just for Kerrigan to backstab him, and fails an attempt at revenge. Wing of Liberty has him take a gamble with letting Raynor live to deal with Kerrigan, and Raynor proves to be an even bigger thorn in his side than before and lets Kerrigan live, allowing her to get back to the Swarm and everything he tries to stop her fails and she marches right onto his doorstep before finally killing him.
Cruel Mercy: After his defeat at the end of Brood Wars, it was this from Kerrigan which ensured that he continued to live (and rule as Emperor). The moment Kerrigan decided to go on the warpath against him, he didn't last very long.
Death by Irony: Kerrigan unleashed the Zerg on Korhal to get to him, just like how Mengsk defeated the Confederacy and abandoned Kerrigan. Not to mention that Mengsk is killed by the same person who killed his father.
The Emperor: Emperor Mengsk, I, of the Terran Dominion, ruler and oppressor of almost all humanity in the sector and the highest authority for law-abiding Terrans.
Enemy Mine: Worked with Raynor, who made it clear he still wanted to kill him, and Kerrigan during the Brood War against the UED, and later worked with the UED and Protoss against Kerrigan. Neither end well.
Ermine Cape Effect: Averted. Mengsk does wear some fairly ornate outfits, but they are far more reminiscent of military uniforms (with a lot of Badass Longcoat/Cape thrown in). Notably, his outfits are quite a bit less ostentatious than his son's, who is objectively a much better person (if Wings of Liberty is any indication).
Evil Overlord: As the Emperor of the Dominion, he cultivates the image of himself as a benevolent dictator who rules humanity because he is best to protect the people from threats, but in reality he's just as cruel, oppressive and sinister as the Confederacy he overthrew, and outside the core worlds people see him as the tyrant he really is.
Evil Plan: The original one was to become the above trope. His dealings with Tychus Finlay and Moebius Foundation without Valerian's knowledge
Face-Heel Turn: He was the leader of the rebels and your benevolent commander in the original Terran campaign. But then he went too far and Raynor turned on him when it was clear Arcturus was just overthrowing the Confederacy so he could put himself in the middle of the power vacuum.
Fallen Hero: He was implied to be a genuinely good man before his lust for power and revenge consumed what little decency he had. It still depends on the writer. In Mengsk, I, he is shown to have psychotic tendencies while he was in High School. However, he may never have sought power and rebellion if not for his family's assassination, instead preferring to be a humble prospector.
He's charismatic, friendly, cultured, and well-spoken. But try to rebel against him and you'll see just how cruel and dangerous he really is. This is a guy who said "I will rule this sector, or see it burnt to ashes around me!" If it's Faux or not varies Depending on the Writer.
A direct quote from Michael Liberty: "Arcturus Mengsk. There's a name that is synonymous with terror, betrayal and violence. A living example of the ends justifying the means. The assassin of the Confederacy of Man. The hero of the blasted world of Korhal IV. King of the universe. A savage barbarian who never let anything or anyone get in his way. And yet, he is charming, erudite and intelligent. When you're in his presence you feel that he's really listening to you, that your opinions matter, that you're someone important if you agree with him. It's amazing. I have often wondered if men like Mengsk don't carry around their own reality-warping bubbles, and all who fall in are suddenly transported to another dimension where the hellish things he says and does suddenly make sense. At least, that's the effect he always had on me."
Hero with Bad Publicity: During his days as a rebel he was pretty heroic, saving colonies left for dead by the Confederacy, but they painted him as an insane terrorist to try and keep people from realizing this. After the first Terran campaign, however...
Humans Are Bastards: He's an ordinary human and the only character in the original game that could be considered completely evil, when one considers Kerrigan is the way she was because of her infestation.
Just the First Citizen: Subverted. He's always referred to as 'Emperor' after the foundation of the Dominion, but he never wears a crown or an ermine cape (see above), and, of course, 'Empire' is not in the Dominion's name. He also doesn't seem to stand much on ceremony in the interviews he gives to the media, nor does he seem to demand much supplication (the reporters address him more or less as equals). All of which is almost certainly carefully orchestrated to mask Mengsk's ludicrously dictatorial rule, and revealing a preference for a cult of personality over forcing people to constantly submit to his power (especially if doing so would endanger his rule and/or popularity).
Manipulative Bastard: In the novel Mengsk, I, Arcturus gives the opinion that normal people are naturally confused, disoriented and disorganized without authority to show them the way. He makes himself that authority and points them the way he wants.
Motive Decay: His original motive for overthrowing the Terran Confederacy was because they killed his father. However, as the above quote demonstrates, his hatred consumed him and later on, all he wanted was power, and he became just as bad, if not worse than the government he overthrew. He moves to do things such as unleashing the zerg on Tarsonis and abandoning Kerrigan, and later, ordering an attack which had the greatest chance of killing his own son.
Never My Fault: Kerrigan and Raynor both call him out and point that he's indirectly responsible for all of Kerrigan's atrocities, but far the most part all he does is simply blame Kerrigan for them.
Non-Action Big Bad: He is not a fighter, being an older man with no combat skills. However, he did at one time serve as a soldier, so he's not inept.
One Last Smoke: When Kerrigan comes for him in Heart of the Swarm, he takes an ornate lighter and cigar out of an equally ornate box. Subverted however, as the lighter is secretly the trigger for a weapon.
Reign of Terror: Once he replaced the Confederacy with the Dominion, he made short work of any possible dissenters that might be loyal to the old flag. Kerrigan becoming the Queen of Blades also got him on edge about Ghosts, and a novelization has his son Valerian recount that almost half of all Ghosts in service were rounded up and executed.
Revenge: His main motivation to overthrow Confederacy.
Tyrant Takes the Helm: The end of the Terran campaign is his charismatic speech to the people of the newly formed Dominion and to the old Confederate colonists, encouraging unity and strength before the Zerg and Protoss that will otherwise consume the Terran race. Tellingly, a good part of his speech emphasizes the people take orders from and be loyal to a single throne, upon which he will sit to watch over and protect them, in a manner that's almost indoctrination.
He experiences a mild one when confronted by the press after Raynor broadcasted his recordings to the Dominion, snapping at the reporters for questioning him and storming out of the press interview.
He has a more gradual one over the course of Heart of the Swarm, resorting to increasingly drastic measures to try and kill Kerrigan, and eventually starts blowing up his bases with his men still inside to try and stop her. His self-control is pretty much gone by the time the Zerg are putting down hatcheries on his palace doorstep.
Villains Never Lie: Mengsk tells Kerrigan, after she transformed into the Primal Queen of Blades, that Raynor sacrificed everything to restore humanity, yet she threw it away. He later adds that Raynor would be disgusted by her for it. Unfortunately, Mengsk was right in a way that he reemphasized what Raynor said in the beginning about not wanting to see Kerrigan throw away his sacrifices just for revenge. In a manner of speaking, Mengsk was also right about Raynor's reaction to her becoming a monster again.
Villain with Good Publicity: He's the ruler of the Terran Dominion, got most of the Dominion eating out of his hand, and branded genuine good guy Jim Raynor a terrorist and a real and present threat to terran society, with even managing to maintain his hold over the Dominion by pretending to save them from the Zerg onslaught which destroyed Tarsonis, as well as violently suppressing or slandering anybody who would challenge his rule. Most people like him, however, and are loyal to the Dominion, and he's widely considered a media darling and doesn't shy away from interviews with the press. And then Raynor goes and blows Mengsk's real motivation of self-aggrandizement and ever more power, resulting in a mild villainous breakdown.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Especially in the novels. At the very least, Mengsk started off this way, if the novels and the backstory in the manual are to be believed. Mengsk himself portrays himself as this after he crosses over into outright villainy and it's largely left up to the player's interpretation whether he's purely in it for his own personal gain or if he really believes he's doing the right thing. More and more, it seems he's slipping further into selfishness as time passes.
Wicked Cultured: The man loves his liquor, his classical music, his cigars, and plays a mean game of chess, even during his days as a terrorist rebel. His former command ship, a massive Battlecruiser named Hyperion, differs greatly from normal design standards to accommodate his tastes. To name one such variation, it has wider-than-normal hallways lined with carpets and paintings and lit by wall sconces. Raynor thinks it seems more like a fancy mansion than a warship. This is even truer of his new battleship, the Bucephalus (Alexander the Great's horse; legend had it that he who rode Bucephalus would conquer the world, so it's a logical choice), which is (somewhat hilariously) stolen or hijacked or commandeered by Valerian Mengsk. Bucephalus' bridge looks more like baroque palace's great hall or ballroom◊ than the command center of a warship.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He does this to Kerrigan by leaving her on Tarsonis. It didn't work out like he thought. It may also revenge for both her questioning his actions and over the fact that she is the Ghost who killed his father.
You Killed My Father: His original motive for rebelling against the Confederacy before his desire for power consumed him. It's also one of the reasons he abandoned Kerrigan to the Zerg on Tarsonis. She was the Ghost that killed and decapitated his father.
Edmund Duke was the Confederacy's greatest general, and the leader of Alpha Squadron, their greatest force. He starts off as a fairly generic villain, opposing Raynor and insulting backwater worlds, until Mengsk and Raynor save his life from the Zerg and demand his loyalty in return. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Confederacy prove key to Mengsk's victory, but surprisingly, Duke proves completely loyal to him, enough so that when Raynor rebels when Mengsk's evil intentions become clear, Duke stays with Mengsk.Ultimately, Kerrigan convinced Mengsk (and Duke, though not seen) and Fenix to assist her, and while they honored their part of the bargain, Kerrigan did not, and murdered Duke to cripple Mengsk's military.
Provides examples of:
Anti-Villain: He's a Jerkass all the way, but Duke never acts in a way that could be considered flat evil, and is usually a loyal soldier to his superiors and has some shades of A Father to His Men. In a sense, he's a Punch Clock Villain that always happens to be punched in whenever the player meets up with him.
Badass: He's one of the Confederacy's most decorated generals who has seen more than his share of combat, and his in-game units pack a big punch.
Badass Grandpa: He is old and crusty, but he's still willing to enter the front lines to fight.
Continuity Snarl: Blizzard has trouble keeping the history of Duke's ships in line. The game depicts the Norad II being repaired and used to attack Tarsonis, but the novel Liberty's Crusade says the Sons of Korhal set the ship to self-destruct to destroy the Zerg in the area. Then another novel Shadow of the Xel'Naga retconned it back to surviving, and further said that the Norad II was retrofitted into the Norad III. Then the same novel has the Norad III be destroyed along with the rest of Duke's fleet, and since the novel takes place before Brood War, this messes up the ship's appearance in the expansion. The the novel Firtborn gave a Hand Wave that only most of Duke's fleet was destroyed, the Norad III was either spared or recovered and repaired, but Liberty's Crusade is a straight retcon.
Cool Starship: His flagship, the Norad II, is a pumped-up Battlecruiser and one of the best hero units in the original game. In Brood War he commands the new, upgraded Norad III.
Deep South: He has the most pronounced accent of any character in the game save Stukov.
Double Take: The normally unflappable Duke has one in Episode V when meeting Stukov, who tells Duke they're the United Earth Directorate. Duke's reaction is to sputter and respond to the effect of "wait, what?"
Duke: Do your worst then, little girl! You ain't takin' Edmund Duke without a fight!
Frontline General: Fully capable of soloing the mission you get to use him in, too. Unfortunately leading from the front puts him in a position to be killed in Brood War.
General Failure: Has the misfortune of almost always being on the opposite side from the player character, to the point where the only battle he wins onscreen is Tarsonis, a planet whose defenses he knows inside and out.
Informed Attribute: He's supposed to be one of the finest generals of the Confederacy. Between the games and in the novels though, you can count on one hand how many battles he wins, one of which in the novels is a Pyrrhic Victory that costs him a lot of men and the Norad II. Most of the time, be it Mengsk, Raynor, the UED, protoss or zerg, Duke is left defeated and humiliated.
Jerkass: Though its quite obvious the second you hear him talk for the first time, the novelizations turns it up worse - after Raynor defects, his men are being overrun by Zerg and he can't save them. Raynor begs Duke to help them, offering to turn himself in if he does. Duke laughs in his face.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: In the early missions of Episode I. When Jim Raynor helps saving the Backwater Station from a Zerg attack, Duke has him arrested for property damage.
One-Man Army: In the Norad II. In the mission where you take control of Duke, you can win the entire mission by having him solo the enemy bases, as long as you're keen to repair him and target the strong anti-air units first.
Reliable Traitor: He joined the Sons of Korhal rebellion grudgingly, basically at gunpoint, and made his contempt of Mengsk, Raynor and the rebels very clear at every opportunity he got. Mengsk however counted on that pandering to Duke's ambition, greed and lust for power would turn him into a useful ally. He was right.
Save the Villain: Despite hating his guts, Jim Raynor saved his life twice. First for the Zerg on Antiga Prime and later from the UED during their assault on Korhal.
Tank Goodness: He commands his personal Siege Tank in the Precursor campaign and the unused mission "Biting the Bullet"
We Have Reserves: The "Damn fringe world yokel" colonial militias are fully expendable in his eyes.
Lester & Sarge
"I love you, Sarge."
Voiced by: Harley D. Huggins II (Lester) and Duane Stinnett (Sarge)
Two dumb Confederate soldiers stationed on Mar Sara right during the Zerg invasion. Appear in a cutscene and get eaten by hydralisks in their only appearance.
Provides examples of:
Cutscene Incompetence: Disembarking from your vehicle, unarmed, in the middle of nowhere right during an alien invasion must be a very good idea...
Deep South: As part of the very stereotypical nature of Terrans as hicks in the early days of the series.
Dying Declaration of Love: Lester declares his love for Sarge right as they are about to be eaten by a group of Zerg, much to the latters disgust.
Redshirt: They're introduced only to be killed off.
Too Dumb to Live: They're out in the middle of nowhere when they disembark their vehicle, unarmed, to investigate Zerg.
"There are to be no arrests, Lieutenant. I hope you understand what I mean. I want this problem solved once and for all. Good hunting."
Voiced by: Glenn Stafford
Magistrate of the Chau Sara colony and the player's mission giver in the Precursor demo/prequel campaign. Calls in Alpha Squadron to help deal with the Sons of Korhal rebellion on his planet. It went From Bad to Worse quickly.
Provides examples of:
Butt Monkey: He is constantly talked down to and having his authority undermined by the Cerberus Commander. Whenever he tries to speak up or offer advice to the player, he is bluntly interrupted by the commander.
Deep South: Has a mild but noticable southern accent.
Doomed by Canon: In Episode I, we learn that Chau Sara was one of the first planets to be "purified" by the protoss. Doesn't bode well for poor Collins. Or so it seems...
Leave No Survivors: As seen in his quote above, this is how he'll prefer that the rebels are dealt with.
"Lieutenant. By edict of Confederate High Command, all matters regarding these xenomorphs are under Class 7 Seal. Do not speak of the existence of the xenomorphs or in any way relay the events surrounding their appearance on Chau Sara. Failure to comply with these orders will result in immediate termination. This conversation never took place. We were never here."
Voiced by: Matthew Samia
Mysterious commander of the black-ops Cerberus Squad sent to deal with the Zerg infestation on Chau Sara in the Precursor demo/prequel campaign. Quickly supersedes Collins as the primary mission giver.
Mission Control: For the field units and heroes, who will communicate with them about what objectives should be taken on next.
Non-Entity General: The player's character and leader of the army, who is never seen in any fashion and has no character development.
Player Character: In a sense. While the player is given the role of the Magistrate, the Magistrate doesn't actually do anything as a person in the campaign, the player controls field units directly. For all intents and purposes, if the Magistrate character didn't exist, the game and the player's influence would be unchanged.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Maybe. Word of God is that he left the Raiders shortly after helping them take the Hyperion. Whether this was out of guilt at helping Mengsk, irritation at now being a fugitive, or just being tired of fighting is unknown.
A Terran smuggler operating in the early days of the Dominion. There's not a whisper of him in the main campaign, but he's central to the Enslavers mini-campaign and its sequel campaign Dark Vengeance.
Provides examples of:
Badass: He's got a beefed-up Goliath with the HP and armor of a battlecruiser and even more firepower. And his forces are potent enough to capture Protoss, and he enslaves a Cerebrate to use its Brood as his own. Said Brood includes a reincarnating Torrasque.
Cutting Off The Branches: Word of God has clarified that the canon path of the two campaigns is Alpha Squadron working with the Protoss, and Schezar staying allies with Ulrezaj and being killed by Zeratul's forces.
Enemy Mine: In one mission path in Dark Vengeance, he turns on Ulrzaj in order to save his own skin, since he's realized the Dark Archon has gone off the deep end and he's no longer safe working for him.
The Ghost: He's unseen in Enslavers, but takes the field in Dark Vengeance.
Killed Off for Real: Whether he sides with you or not depending on the missions played, he doesn't survive the climax of Dark Vengeance.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: Yes, he is referred to as a smuggler and is the villain of an inconsequential side-campaign. But most smugglers don't imprison Protoss commanders, find a way to command Zerg Cerebrates to have their own Brood, or ally with renegade Protoss to plan planetary invasions.
"My friends, this is our final hour. Not all of us may survive the coming conflict. Yet, death may be a blessing should we fail here. We seek now to destroy a foe that has ravaged its way across the universe consuming all in its path. And now it has reached the end of its long journey. The Overmind has come to destroy all that we hold dear and assimilate us into itself. And I say to thee, this shall not come to pass! Aiur shall not fall! Executor, I stand ready!"
The Executor (Protoss military commander) of Starcraft I, Tassadar was ordered to raze a bunch of Terran planets infested with Zerg. He tried to kill the Zerg while sparing the Terrans, but while his actions were largely successful (though he left alive one person he'd later regret) he fell in with the dark templar, who contrary to their names were not at all evil. Tassadar realized this, and being about the only person in existence to realize the true threat the Zerg posed, enlisted the dark templar's help to defeat the Zerg, with the help of Jim Raynor.
Tassadar:I have not tasted death, nor shall I ever.
Badass: One of the most famous and powerful Protoss in recent recorded history, to the point that "En Taru Adun" has become "En Taru Tassadar" in some circles.
Beware the Nice Ones: He gladly lays down his life for his own kind and spared Terrans on the infested worlds, but don't go testing his patience. Just listen to this exchange with Duke:
Duke: Protoss Commander, this is General Edmund Duke of the Terran Dominion Armada. You are in violation of our air-space and have endangered human lives in your reckless attack against the Zerg. I order you to withdraw your ships immediately. If you fail to comply, I will not hesitate to open fire upon your vessels.
Tassadar: General Duke, I am Tassadar, and you are well known to me. Whatever leniency I extended to you and your comrades before, may have been in error. If you persist in halting our course, we will burn your pathetic fleet down to the last man.
Big Damn Heroes: In the hidden mission "Biting the Bullet," he saved a lot of Terrans, including Raynor and Duke, from a Zerg onslaught.
Big Good: In the first game. Zeratul is later inspired by his example to take his place.
Cool Starship: the Ganthritor carrier, which the player is able to control in the final mission (though sadly unlike the battlecruiser hero units, it's just a carrier with more HP and shields). It seems that every executor (sans Artanis, he gets a Mothership) gets one.
Crucified Hero Shot: He explodes from the massive energy he is channeling with his arms held out to the side.
Defector from Decadence: Played with — while he never betrayed the Conclave, he defies their commands because he didn't agree with them, but was always loyal to Aiur and the Protoss. When the Conclave attacks him when he returns to Aiur and he realizes their zealotry is driving them to civil war when they should be working together against the Zerg, he and his allies fully turn against them.
Frontline General: Executors are the protoss equivalent, and any general with an in-game unit would qualify.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Tassadar is said to have both High and Dark Templar abilities. However, unless you count his Psi Blast ability (a default attack which no other High Templar has in the final product, though it did exist in beta), he only displays High Templar abilities in-game.
Good Is Not Dumb: Fools Kerrigan into chasing him around while Zeratul kills Zasz. Kerrigan even admits she learned her lesson after he had fooled her so easily.
Heroic Sacrifice: Probably subverted. As he puts it, "I have never tasted death."
Aldaris: Executor. Tassadar. This comes too late to you. But the Conclave has witnessed your defeat of the Cerebrates. They know now that they cannot deny the necessity or the valiancy of your actions. We sought to punish you, while it was we who were in error. Now you represent what is greatest in us all, and all our hopes go with you. EN TARO ADUN, brave Sons of Aiur!
The Messiah: After he dies, even his former enemies elevate him to messianic levels, using the battle cry "En Taro Tassadar!" in place of "En Taro Adun", who is worshipped as a demigod more or less. Considering that the Protoss campaign in Starcraft I bears an uncanny resemblance to the Gospels, with Tassadar as Jesus (Crucified Hero Shot and all), the Conclave as the Pharisees, etc, it makes sense.
He even fulfills the Dark Templar prophecy of the Twilight Deliverer, a title held by Adun up to that point.
He is one: as a High Templar (the most powerful psionic warriors of the "Light" Khalai Protoss), he received training from one of the most powerful Dark Templar, his mentor, Zeratul. Combining the different philosophies of the two factions has allowed him to unlock all of the Protoss psionic potential, making him insanely powerful.
At the end of Starcraft he becomes the "Twilight Deliverer", something which, given the nature of how Protoss psionics work, Zeratul claims has only been achieved by one other person in history, that person being Adun himself (you know, as in "En Taro Adun!"). It's how he destroys the Overmind in the end. He, a High Templar, channeled Khala (light) and Void (dark) psionic energy through the hull of his ship, which he then rammed into the Overmind. Once Tassadar finished charging up, anything Zerg was in for a bad day.
Tell me that's not a badass...
"Though we strike at you from the shadows, do not think that we lack the courage to stand in the light."
Zeratul is introduced with a bang: the shadowy Dark Templar achieved the seemingly impossible and murdered a top Cerebrate of the Zerg Overmind. With the knowledge that Dark Templar could permanently harm the Zerg, Tassadar makes a highly-controversial alliance with Zeratul, and the two of them, along with Jim Raynor and Artanis, return to Aiur, where Tassadar uses what he's learned from Zeratul to kill the Overmind. Zeratul then leads the Khalai survivors to the Dark Templar homeworld Shakuras, and eventually forms an uneasy alliance with Kerrigan to fight the rogue Zerg. When she betrays them he banishes her, but she returns later to kidnap Raszagal and blackmail Zeratul into killing the Overmind for her. Zeratul kills Raszagal rather than let Kerrigan control her, and as he leaves he finds Duran's experiments on Hybrids on the dark moon. Canonically, he hasn't been seen since, but resurfaces in Starcraft II, having learned something horrible and omninous.
Provides examples of:
The Atoner: In Starcraft 2. Just to drive the point home, one of his "command response" quotes references Raszagal.
Badass: In One of Starcraft 2 cutscene, he is seen single handedly ripping apart a bunch of hydralisks (one of them using its own claw) and even managed to slice one of Kerrigan's 'wings' (it grows back of course). According to the lore, those were most likely Hunter Killers as well.
"You speak of knowledge, Judicator? You speak of experience? I have journeyed through the darkness between the most distant stars. I have beheld the births of negative-suns, and borne witness to the entropy of entire realities... Unto my experience, Aldaris, all that you've built here on Aiur is but a fleeting dream. A dream from which your precious Conclave shall awaken, finding themselves drowned in a greater nightmare."
Captain Obvious: Justified since newer players won't know these things, but a lot of his dialogue in his mini-campaign in the sequel is this:
"I can use Blink to cross that chasm." "We should build pylons to power our base." "That detector unit can alert its allies to my presence."
Character Development: Between Brood War and the second installment of the series, Zeratul's attitude has completely mellowed out to the extent that the irritability and aloofness that had previously distinguished him is no longer present.
The Chessmaster: He's manipulated events behind the scenes in order to stop the coming apocalypse, including showing Jim Raynor why Kerrigan had to live, and then sending Kerrigan to Zerus—both to become stronger, and also to cleanse the last remaining bit of Amon's dark influence. Already the results of his efforts are apparent, and the Bad Future envisioned by the Overmind is looking increasingly unlikely (the vision shows the zerg fighting alongside the hybrid; Kerrigan won't allow that while she lives).
Dark Is Not Evil: He constantly hides in the Dark, his powers are based on Darkness and Void, and he is the leader of the Dark Templar, but he is pretty much as heroic as Tassardar or Fenix. Blizzard even stated he was designed with "Darth Vader on the side of the Rebellion" in mind.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: How he's introduced—he permanently kills a Cerebrate, something thought impossible by the Protoss. It's what interests Tassadar and eventually leads to the Dark Templar being accepted by the other Protoss.
From a Certain Point of View: Zeratul claims to have served Raszagal for many millennia, an impressive feat, considering he's "only" 635 years old, and Raszagal is barely over 1,000. Depending on the revolutionary period of Shakuras compared to Aiur, he could possibly have served Raszagal for many Shakuras-millennia while still being only 635 Aiur-years old. Or vice-versa.
Heroic BSOD: As shown in the Dark Templar Saga, he's still shouldering a lot of guilt for killing Raszagal and handing the Zerg to Kerrigan on a platter four years after the fact. In said novel he's been in seclusion for most of the four-year gap, traveling the stars to try and make sense of things and come to terms with himself.
I Did What I Had to Do: Occurs again in Heart of the Swarm when he directs Kerrigan to Zerus, wanting her stronger for the fight against Amon, even though he's fully aware the rest of the Protoss will NOTbe pleased upon hearing that he helped their most hated enemy. That is also not going into the special hatred he must have for her brainwashing his beloved matriarch and forcing him to kill her to free her from it.
Invisibility: Standard for Dark Templar, he's permanently cloaked.
Laser Blade: the Warp Blade, infused with the energy of the Void, the only weapon that can destroy a cerebrate or the Overmind permanently.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Twice. First he killed Zasz and accidentally told the Overmind the location of Aiur, then he killed the second Overmind giving Kerrigan complete control of the Zerg. He later learned that the second of these wasn't as bad a thing as it first appeared. And even the first of these had some long-term benefits.
Ninja: He is a ninja in everything but name (though with his shields in both games he take a ton of damage), and is it surprising that he's one of the most popular characters in the series?
One-Man Army: However, he does the most normal damage of any unit you can control in the game. There's even an achievement in Stacraft 2 invoking the trope's name, where he has to kill 50 enemies.
The Other Darrin: Zeratul's original voice actor, Jack Ritschel, has died since the first game, and a new voice actor, Fred Tatasciore, has been hired for the sequel.
You Are in Command Now: After he slays Raszagal to free her, but really, he'd been the de facto commander all along.
That has to be the coolest uniform ever.
"For even in these dark days, there is still the hope of morning. That is why we fight."
Artanis is a young Protoss Praetor (by their standards; he's 262). Artanis idolizes Tassadar in Brood War and strives to be as good and honest as possible. He ultimately takes part in an unsuccessful joint UED-Dominion-Protoss attack on Kerrigan's holdings, and is forced to retreat. As of the events of Starcraft II, he has become the de-facto leader of the Protoss, but given the tribal disputes and his own youth & inexperience, things aren't going so well for him.Revised continuity for the first game accompanying the development of Starcraft II establishes Artanis as the unnamed Player Character Executor of Episode III, the player's character being retconned out of existence.
Provides examples of:
Bling of War: Vastly contrasts his appearance in Brood War, when he wore nothing but a shoulder pad and a loincloth.
Cool Starship: He is a Scout pilot in the events of the first game and in the sequel, he pilots a Mothership in the Protoss mini-campaign, the Shield of Aiur.
Enemy Mine: Joins forces with the the UED and the Dominion, both cruel and totalitarian regimes, in an effort to contain Kerrigan's resurgent Swarm. They fail.
Fan Boy: Of Tassadar's. He hopes to be as great a leader as he was someday.
Idiot Ball: Aldaris tells everyone that Kerrigan is going to betray them. Artanis was the second most suspicious of the Protoss leaders. Right before Kerrigan kills Aldaris, Artanis is sincerely asserting that she has changed.
Nice Hat: Sure, sure, Artanis only gets one very brief scene in Starcraft II, and sure, it's not even a cinematic, just him talking to Zeratul for about three seconds. But we can all agree his new hat nails the part.
Non-Entity General: Sort of; Artanis is revealed to have been the nameless player character from Starcraft in Brood War.
Properly Paranoid: Isn't quite as enthusiastic about Kerrigan's apparent defection during the Brood War as the Matriarch. This turns out to be very, very well-founded. Ironically, he's the one who ends up trusting Kerrigan the most right before she backstabs the Protoss.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Throughout the first game's Protoss campaign, he works to save the entire sector from the Zerg swarm in the face of his bosses' unreasonable fanaticism. As the new leader of the Protoss, he works to reintegrate the Khalai and the Dark Templar into one people and rebuild their civilization in the face of an onslaught of renewed tribalism and separatism. In some supplementary works, he's seen as a moderate counterbalance to the more-conservative and disdainful members of the Hierarchy.
Remember the New Guy: When he first appears in Brood War no explanation is given to his presence, and the other characters act like they know him and barely trust you. This was later explained as him being the first game's PC and the player is controlling a different general in Brood War.
Rousing Speech: He gives one. Even his incidental lines sound like they could be from one.
Aldaris was Artanis' original commander during Starcraft until he allied with Tassadar. Aldaris, too set in his ways to accept that the dark templar could be anything except the most absolute of corrupting evils, refused to help them and indeed kidnapped Tassadar to stand trial for treason. In the end of Starcraft I, as Tassadar, Raynor, Zeratul, and Fenix prepared for their attack on the Overmind, Aldaris wished them luck. In Brood War, Aldaris is the only surviving member of the Protoss Conclave, the rest having been om-nom-nommed by the Zerg. He opposes everything having to do with allying with Kerrigan, and then stages an unsuccessful coup in the Protoss ranks when he realizes he was actually right instead of just whiny. He was the only Protoss to realize Kerrigan was mind-controlling Raszagal until she revealed it herself. She struck him down before he could tell Zeratul ("helped" by the fact that Aldaris babbled like a deranged zealot instead of coming out with the truth right away).
Provides examples of:
Anti-Villain: In the second half of the Base game's Protoss campaign.
Cassandra Truth: He tells everyone that Kerrigan is a liar and is using them. No one believes him.
Zeratul: It is finished, Judicator. Surrender your remaining forces, and join us in eradicating the Zerg. Aldaris: I would sooner die, dark one, than tarnish the memory of Aiur by joining with you!
Heel-Face Turn: In Brood War, he's seen the error of his ways and joins Artanis and Zeratul in fleeing Aiur. The destruction of the Conclave and the assurance that the planet was pretty much lost to the Zerg likely influenced his decision.
He Knows Too Much: Kerrigan made sure he would shut up before revealing she was manipulating the Protoss.
Holier Than Thou: He is very self-righteous that he will not welcome the Dark Templar on his home world because of their heretical ways. He will not tolerate those who harbor or even involve the Dark Templar, and all of this makes him fail to see the bigger picture.
Idiot Ball: Just like Stukov, he went about telling the others what he knew in the stupidest way possible. Unfortunately, both of them ended up ended up dead either directly or indirectly as a result of Kerrigan's actions. To be fair to him, Kerrigan came out of no where and no one stopped her from getting close to him. In Zeratul's words, it was a protoss matter and no one saw the assassination coming.
Jerkass: Big time in the base game. Not only is he a classic Knight Templar, he considered Tassadar a failure for trying to avoid killing the humans while destroying the Zerg.
Took a Level in Kindness: He's much less of one in Brood War, being quite respectful to Raszagal when they first meet and acquiescing to her and Zeratul's leadership. He reverts back to Jerkass when Kerrigan shows up, and is the only Protoss not to trust her. Turns out he was right.
Killed Mid-Sentence: "While you were securing the crystals, I discovered that your Matriarch has been harboring a dark secret! She has been manipulated by de-"
Knight Templar: Classic example, his strict adherence to the Conclave and their laws blinds him to the idea that Zeratul and the ways of the Dark Templar may have merit. It's a little justified as when the Dark Templar were on Auir, they cut themselves off from the khali and started experimenting with void energy without restraint. That led to psy-storms to grip the planet as in the storms only High Templar can use that thoroughly destroys people's minds.
Rousing Speech: At the start of the final mission, he sends a transmission to Tassadar's forces, admitting that he and the Conclave were in error, their efforts against the Zerg have indeed proven more effective than the Conclave's, and all of Aiur wishes them luck in their final stand.
Thanatos Gambit: Though unintentional, Kerrigan killing him disgusts Zeratul and earns her banishment from Shakuras, potentially avoiding a much more disastrous reveal of her true nature if she had stayed.
Too Dumb to Live: He takes this when he considers the arrestation a single (supposely) rogue protoss templar of greater priority than, say, dealing with a race of man-eating aliens:
Tassadar: I cannot believe they would go so far. In the face of total annihilation, they're still claiming for their failing traditions.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: As stated above, he clings to the old traditions to the point of foolishness, but really does it to prevent the Protoss from falling apart, something he has been raised to believe would happen should the Dark Templar return.
Fenix was a Blood Knight warrior who loved the honor and rush of battle, and advocated an alliance with the now-rogue Tassadar, having been his best friend. However, once the initial attack on the Cerebrates failed due to a lack of information, the Protoss high council turned against Tassadar. Not that it mattered for Fenix, because he was shortly thereafter killed by pack of Hydralisks...OR WAS HE? He cameback, his mortally wounded body encased in a Dragoon exo-skeleton walker, helping in the assault against the Zerg when Tassadar returned to Aiur.In Brood War he hung out a lot with Raynor, and the two allied with Kerrigan against the UED. Kerrigan eventually betrayed them and killed Fenix.
Jim Raynor: I'll see you dead for this, Kerrigan! For Fenix, and all the others who got caught between you and your mad quest for power!
...however, when Zeratul (the only one who wants Kerrigan dead more than Raynor, Mengsk and Fenix together) tells you that she's important for the universe, well... you don't have many choices. So he never brings Fenix up.
Worthy Opponent: Kerrigan decides to kill Duke because it will effectively cripple Mengsk. Fenix on the other hand she recognizes as a genuine threat.
Voiced by: None.
A Protoss Praetor in charge of an expeditionary fleet captured by Alan Schezar, he contacted Alpha Squadron's forces during their pursuit of Schezar to request their aid. Canonically they aided him and Mojo's fleet helped them defeat Schezar's forces.
Provides examples of:
Badass: Piloted a buffed-up Scout and his fleet includes the hero units Danimoth and Warbringer, a powered-up Arbiter and Reaver, respectively.
Demoted to Extra: He was prominent in Enslavers but was only in one mission of Dark Vengeance.
Enemy Mine: With his fleet imprisoned and no other options available, he allies with the Dominion to defeat Schezar.
We Cannot Go On Without You: A pointed aversion — in contrast to the other hero units of the original game and Brood War, the Enslavers missions do not require any hero to survive to win, including Mojo.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Blizzard has made it known which branches of Enslavers and Dark Vengeance are canon, but not if Mojo survived.
Sarah Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades
Not all makeovers are good...
"Every living thing in the universe will bow before the Queen of Blades, or else they will die. Obedience or oblivion. That is why we fight."
Kerrigan was once a Terran Ghost - a skilled covert ops soldier with (inhibited) psychic abilities. Kerrigan in particular has a rather elaborate backstory, in which its explained that her psionics are far more powerful than any other human's. In the events of StarCraft, she begins by fighting alongside Acturus Mengsk and Raynor, until she is betrayed by the former (prompting the latter to leave the newly-founded Dominion) and left to her supposed demise at the hands of the Zerg. Following this, it is revealed that she has been captured by the Zerg and infested, making her an incredibly powerful agent of the Zerg Swarm.In the events of Starcraft: Brood War, following the Overmind's death, Kerrigan takes it upon herself to dispose of the remaining 'leaders' of the Zerg Swarm - the Cerebrates - in order to gain control of it while manipulating and deceiving all the other factions in the process. In the end, she claims control of the entire Zerg species for herself while crippling most other factions, setting herself up as the self-proclaimed "Queen of Blades".In Starcraft II, it has been prophesied that Kerrigan will take part in a grand final battle against the Dark Voice, if she is killed before that time then the galaxy will fall.
And I Must Scream: What her the process of her infestation was described as. Heart of the Swarm mentions that she was conscious during the entire time, saying she felt her body right down to her bones being taken apart and rebuilt. No wonder she hates Mengsk for leaving her to that.
Anti-Hero: Gradually evolves toward this over the course of Heart of the Swarm. She is no longer the backstabbing monster she was in Brood War, has some Pet the Dog moments and occasionally uses the Swarm to heroic ends (such as rescuing Raynor). However, she is still motivated by her intense hate of Mengsk, and is more than willing to Shoot the Dog.
The Atoner: In Heart of the Swarm, she mentions a few times she will answer for what she's done, after she's finished with Mengsk. She also shows regret for many of her actions, both before the game and the ones she commits during it.
Badass: She was a ghost and a dangerous soldier even before she was infested. Her infestation only made her more dangerous.
Kerrigan: I am the Queen of Blades, and my stare alone would reduce you to ash! Kerrigan: I don't think so, Admiral. You see, at this point... I'm pretty much the Queen Bitch of the Universe. And not even all of your little soldiers or spaceships will stand in my way again.
In Heart of the Swarm trailer.
Kerrigan: I am the swarm. Vengeance shall be mine!
Another one in the ending when talking about the threat of Amon.
But I will not face this enemy alone. I am the Swarm.
The Bad Guy Wins: Ends up the one in control of the entire Zerg swarm at the end of Brood War.
Battle Couple: With Raynor whenever they're on the same side. When they suit up together in Heart of the Swarm, there's some banter about it being "just like old times".
The Beastmaster: Now that the Zerg is no longer the tool of Amon and she has become a Primal Zerg herself this side of her has become more emphasized.
Being Evil Sucks: After the Overmind's death, she comments her infestation is a "hell."
Berserk Button: In Heart of the Swarm, if you're from the Dominion, don't even think of bringing up the topic of Jim Raynor, EVER.
Big Bad: She's the main antagonist out to destroy the other two races in Brood War and Wings of Liberty.
Book Ends: She is infested and later deinfested on the planet Char.
Out of universe, the cutscenes in Heart of the swarm and brood war where Kerrigan's story arc conclude are called "Ascension"; In the first case she was an arrogant monster who had forsaken humanity, in the second she is a Noble Demon who values life and is no longer alone.
Brainwashed and Crazy: Is an Ax-Crazy general under the complete mental control of the Overmind until the end of the Protoss campaign in Starcraft.
Cosmic Plaything: She's been used and manipulated by other people for their own ends her entire life, and it usually ends up going badly for her. Even her actions in Brood War were influenced by Amon.Heart of the Swarm is the first time Kerrigan has fully been in control of her own life and has no superior to answer to or live in fear of.
Creepy Good: Becomes this in Heart of the Swarm... The general rule of thumb is that her primal transformation removed Amon's influence, and as such, she is much more human in character after the reinfestation than she was when she appeared human.
Cruel Mercy: Let Zeratul and Mengsk live on different occasions she had them at her mercy so they could suffer more. In Zeratul's case, it was because he had been forced to kill his matriarch. For Mengsk, she wanted him to be able to reclaim his power so that his eventual downfall at her hands would be that much worse for him.
Cute Monster Girl: Her monstrous infested form emphasizes her breasts and curves, and her face continues to look like that of an attractive, human woman. In fact, many characters comment she's good-looking in spite or because of her infestation.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: She always learns from her mistakes. And she always kills any competent general first before sending her troops to battle.
Dark Messiah: The Overmind created her to save the Zerg from Bigger Bad Amon, a role Kerrigan embraces in Heart of the Swarm.
Kerrigan: At this point... I'm pretty much the Queen Bitch of the Universe.
Determinator: Duran impales her with a Laser Blade, and despite the injuries, she stabs him back. Right through herself.
Did Not Get The Guy: Despite all the sacrifices she does to save Raynor, ultimately Kerrigan doesn't end up with him. The universe is cruel to this woman.
Didn't See That Coming: She didn't know that Mengsk had the Xel'Naga artifact at the end of Heart Of The Swarm.
Disc One Final Boss: She's the final opponent in the first Starcraft II episode, Wings of Liberty.
Discard and Draw: Loses her Ghost abilities after becoming infested only to gain new Zerg abilities. Then loses most of her Zerg abilities but gains new ones after being exposed to the Xel'naga artifact at the end of Wings of Liberty. Finally, after she becomes re-infested during Heart of the Swarm, she picks up some entirely new Zerg abilities (which, for one mission, are required, but she can switch back to her previous abilities afterward, subverting the "discard" part of the trope).
The Dragon: Serves as the Overmind's new second in command in Starcraft.
Co-Dragons: ...Along the Overmind's right-hand Cerebrate, Daggoth.
Fallen Hero: One of the heroes of the Sons of Korhal who aided in the saving of many Terrans from the Zerg and Confederacy, turned into the leader of the Zerg and a mass murderer with a body count in the billions by association.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: She started out an operative of the Confederacy, was freed and sided with Mengsk until the Zerg took her, was revived as Queen of the Zerg, was freed from the Overmind's control and helped the Protoss, was revealed to be using them and took control of the Zerg to dominate the sector, then was freed of her infestation to be mostly human again and aided Valerian and Raynor. Heart of the Swarm shows her still swaying between Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain, finally settling on an Anti-HeroNoble Demon but until then edging on Villain Protagonist in her darker moments.
Healing Factor: Common place amongst the Zerg, she can lose one of her "wings" and it will grow back. Being stabbed in her vital areas is more of an issue though given that she took multiple blows from a psionic Laser Blade and her own Razor Wings, there might have been some other factors that caused that.
I Lied: To Mengsk in Brood War when she tells she didn't hold a grudge against him, she in fact hates him more than anything else in the universe because him abandoning her led to her infestation, which she describes as agonizing.
Jerkass: When she reveals her true colors in Brood War, oh GOD is she ever, pretty much making an effort to Troll nearly everyone she meets.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In Heart of the Swarm after being turned back to her original personnality; she is bitter to get revenge on Mensgk, tends to act aggressive on both Terrans and her own Zerg minions, and still occasionally trolls people. However, unlike her Brood War, she displays a softer side, tries to avoid useless casualties when she can and is more well-intentioned in the end.
Kick the Dog: Turning on the Protoss in Brood War and also killing the retreating UED that were just injured soldiers.
Knife Nut: She's damn good with knives. After her transformation, they even become part of her body. She's not called the "Queen of Blades" for nothing.
Life Imitates Art: Her voice actress has written several novels under the pen name... Sarah Kerrigan.
Meaningful Name: "Sarah" means princess or noblewoman, and "Kerrigan" means dusky or dark. Purely coincidental, as the creators named her after ice skater Nancy Kerrigan on a whim.
Moral Event Horizon: Invoked in Heart of the Swarm. After regaining her humanity and then turning back to the Swarm and using them to destroy the Dominion fortress on Char and killing Warfield, Kerrigan explains to her allies that there's no going back after this, if being restored to human form eased anyone's fears, now they have new reasons to fear her, and they won't give her a second chance now that she's spit on the first one.
More than Mind Control: Amon spent years stubly influencing Kerrigan and the rest of the Swarm into destroying the other races. Kerrigan is eventually freed of this influence after being deinfested at the end of Wings of Liberty.
Ms. Fanservice: As a human she's usually seen in a Spy Catsuit, and in her infested form she's a Cute Monster Girl. Both forms are quite shapely, and though infested her face is still that of a beautiful human, just green.
Noble Demon: In Heart of the Swarm. For all of Kerrigan's talk of giving up her humanity, she ultimately shows herself to be an honorable person after being freed of Bigger Bad Amon's influence.
Not Quite Back To Normal: Even after being deinfested at the end of Wings of Liberty, she retains her hair tendrils and some of her Zerg controlling abilities.
One-Man Army: In the original game and Wings of Liberty, her infested form moves quickly, does massive damage, and has a variety of spells to handle enemies with. Her spells in Heart of the Swarm, used correctly, allow her to solo some parts of the level, and she will rack up dozens upon dozens of kills. One of her unit's move/attack quotes (human form only) references this trope verbatim.
There's even an achievement during one mission for having Kerrigan rack up 500 kills.
Orcus on His Throne: She pretty much keeps quiet after Brood War, as evidenced in some of the novels. Although part of what she does is look for ways to make the Swarm stronger.
For the most part she averts this as she actively leads the Swarm from the front line.
Pet the Dog: In Heart of the Swarm she gets some such as allowing the wounded Dominion soldiers that don't pose a threat to her to escape and holding back on assaulting Mengsk' palace to allow the civilians to escape.
The Power of Hate: Heavilly implied to be the only thing keeping her from being consumed during her evolution into the Primal Queen of Blades. Abathur, the guy who spins DNA for a job is going through all the reasons why Kerrigan isn't strong enough to survive. Her reply is that her hate is strong enough.
Shock and Awe: She has Psionic Storm in the base game, and attacks with psionic bolts in Heart of the Swarm.
Your Head A Splode: What her unrestricted psionic power did to her mother when she was a child. She later does this, willingly, to Mengsk at the climax of Heart of the Swarm. It managed to blow out the entire office
Purple Is Powerful: Her upgraded form in Heart of the Swarm glows purple, to show she's even stronger than before when she glowed orange-yellow.
(after being completely re-infested) I always did look better in purple.
Rebellious Princess: Zasz informs her that she is simply a servant to the Overmind and her personal ambitions meant nothing. Kerrigan wouldn't have any of it.
Readings Are Off the Scale: Her psychic grade is twelve out of ten. the game's creators say that Terran psionic detectors can tell that she's at least an order of magnitude stronger than ten, but that's it. And then once she becomes the Primal Queen of Blades in Heart of the Swarm, the Adjutant just gives up and declares her unclassifiable.
Redemption Promotion: Her being freed of Amon's programming of the zerg and reawakening of her more empathetic qualities also marked her becoming an even more powerful version of the Queen of Blades—whereas before she just controlled the Swarm, now she is the Swarm-a true successor to the Overmind.
Redemption Equals Life: In the last cinematic of Heart Of The Swarm, it's because she truly changed for good that Raynor decides to help her, and eventually saves her from being killed by Mengsk.
Reformed, but Rejected: She re-infests herself in order to save Jim Raynor. The newly re-infested Queen of Blades is a significantly more moral person than the old version, but Raynor leaves her anyway after she saves him.Tear Jerker, that. And then Double Subverted in a bittersweet way: while Raynor eventually decides to help her in annihilating Arcturus Mengsk, he then lets her go, for she is the Heart of the Swarm.
Restraining Bolt: Her Ghost conditioning limited her psychic abilities before it was removed.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Her goal in Heart of the Swarm is to kill Arcturus Mengsk, the man who betrayed her Starcraft, even if she has to go through his entire interstellar empire.
Kerrigan: Armies will shatter, worlds will burn. Now, at last, on this world, vengeance shall be mine.
She's Got Legs: At least that's what Raynor was thinking when the two first met.
Shoot the Dog: In Heart of the Swarm, she infests Lessara with a Chest Burster parasite and uses her to decimate a whole ship of Protoss. She had no choice, however, seeing how said protoss would have warned their planet of her presence, which would have doomed her. Moreover, she clearly doesn't take any pleasure in doing that.
Split Personality Merge: At the end of Heart of the Swarm it's pretty obvious that Sarah has embraced the 'Kerrigan' part of her personality and is able to swap between the warlike Horde of Alien LocustsHive Queen and diplomatic semi-relateable figurehead with said Horde of Alien Locusts as backup at will. Raynor even tells her to "put her warface on" during the assault on Mengsk's palace.
The Starscream: Never seemed entirely loyal during her enslavement to the Overmind, which concerned the other cerebrates.
Super Strength: In the final Heart Of The Swarm cinematic, she uses her claws to push a metal door open.
Took a Level in Badass: To the extreme and still gaining more levels over the course of the story. Currently she is a Physical God who controls the swarm with the power of her personality alone and can blow up a base by looking at it funny. And to think Sarah was a Shrinking Violet as a kid.
Villain Protagonist: In the Zerg campaign of Brood War. Still a bit at the beginning of Heart of the Swarm, but she gets better as the campaign goes on.
Viral Transformation: Textbook example with her infestation creating one of the most powerful entities in the series.
Voice of the Legion: After her transformation into a villainous Zerg, her voice echos when she speaks.
Volcanic Veins: Her Queen of Blades form has glowing veins running along her skin in Starcraft II.
Waif-Fu: Ever since she got her primal form, Kerrigan's fighting style has become incredibly over the top. Including leaps of several stories high that usually end with an entire army exploding.
What Could Have Been: In an early draft of Starcraft, Kerrigan was meant to merely be a minor character in the Terran campaign. In the final version, she ends up becoming The Dragon for the Zerg Overmind and eventually the Big Bad of the series herself.
She is one of the most powerful forces in the galaxy after her infestation...doesn't do much for her sense of morality though. Word of God mentions that while the Queen of Blades and Sarah Kerrigan are most definitely the same person, while she was infested Kerrigan was heavily influenced by massive amounts of psionic energy and zerg mutagen affecting her at the cellular level.
Even when returned to human form, she still remains dangerously unstable, requiring Raynor to act as her MoralityChain.
Subverted by the end of Heart. Her powers reached new heights compared to her Queen Bitch days, but she is generally quite sane.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: As a villain. This woman has been through more hell than any other character in the franchise, most of the people she cared about and trusted either betrayed her or are now dead, and a significant portion of the galaxy hates her and wants her dead. In the novel Flashpoint, Kerrigan despairs that either as a Ghost or as an Infested Terran, "everything I touch dies", showing how utterly broken she is inside when she's not being an antagonistic force. She is firmly this in Heart of the Swarm, her belief that Raynor, the one person she had left and who loved her and had never betrayed her, has been killed by Mengsk, pretty much shatters her humanity and drives her back to full-time villainy until she learns he's still alive.
The moment she has defeated the UED on Korhal with the Dominion's help, she turns on Mengsk, Raynor and Fenix.
Heart of the Swarm has her playing this trope straight when she abandons Niadra, but otherwise defying it; Stukov expects her to kill him once their alliance has reached its goal, but she instead spares him and allows him to stay in the Swarm, and she angrily declines when Zagara suggests turning on Raynor's Raiders.
Zeratul says this to Kerrigan, who responds that the Matriarch is free to do as she pleases (after having mind-controlled her)
Averted in Heart of the Swarm where she grants mercy several times, first allowing the Dominion's soldiers on Char to escape after Warfield's pleading. However, it is only played straight when she just kills Warfield. She later makes the Swarm land outside the capital city of Korhal to give the civilian populace a chance at evacuation. She keeps her word both times.
"Awaken my child, and embrace the glory that is your birthright. Know that I am the Overmind; the eternal will of the Swarm, and that you have been created to serve me."
The Overmind was the Hive Mind of the Zerg, directing their actions. It created Cerebrates who acted as its generals, and they in turn created overlords, who control the Zerg directly. Designed by the Xel'Naga to be the perfect creation of the Zerg, the Overmind rebelled against them and nearly succeeded in wiping out their race. It then turned to space, ravaging worlds and stealing the DNA of the native inhabitants and collecting them into the swarm. The Overmind eventually discovered the Protoss, and desperately wanted them in its fold because they, too, were creations of the Xel'Naga, and it believed that taking to Protoss into the swarm would make the Zerg "perfect". Between Tassadar, Zeratul, Fenix, and Raynor, the Overmind was destroyed, leaving the zerg in disarray.A second Overmind was formed in Brood War, but it was an Overmind, not the Overmind, and was an entirely different entity who was treated more like a MacGuffin than an actual character.
Provides examples of:
A God Am I: He never claims to be a god, but his manner of speech is very Old Testament, as shown in his above quote, and this is helped by his booming, echoing voice. He definitely considers himself this for the Zerg, constantly referring to them as "my creations/creatures" and "a testament to my glory."
And I Must Scream: Starcraft II reveals that it was sentient but did not have free will, and was unable to rebel against its corrupted biological programming. Tassadar described it as screaming in the prison of its own mind.
Benevolent Boss: For all his ego, he's very respectful to his subordinates and states he will revive any of the Cerebrates if they're killed.
The Bad Guy Wins: In the first Zerg campaign. The Swarm successfully invades Aiur and he successfully moves to the planet.
Non-Action Big Bad: For all his talk, he doesn't appear to have any actual means of fighting (when his death was approaching, the most he could do was attempt a Villain Exit Stage Left). In gameplay terms, he's basically just a really durable detector building.
Eldritch Abomination: It's an utterly massive mess of tentacles, chitin plating and pulsing flesh. In Starcraft it's build-sized, but in Starcraft II its corpse takes up a space of the map so big you could build your entire base in it and have room left over.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He treats the Cerebrates like his children, congratulating them when they succeed, expressing satisfaction to see them grow up stronger and even giving Kerrigan some amount of liberty in her decisions. He also seems infuriated when Zeratul killed Zasz. According to Word of God, his plan to defeat the Hybrids was solely because they would destroy all of his Zerg.
Made of Iron: He has the most HP of anything in the original Starcraft.
Mind Hive: In a flip of being in control of the Hive Mind of the Zerg, it's implied that the Cerebrates are different aspects of the Overmind's personality given independence.
My Death Is Just the Beginning: Starcraft II reveals it let itself die so that control of the Swarm would pass to Kerrigan, who would be able to withstand the corruption of Amon on the Swarm and fight back against him, which the Overmind could not.
Thanatos Gambit: It is strongly implied in the Protoss mini-campaign in Wings of Liberty that the Overmind's reason for invading Aiur was this combined with the above.
Papa Wolf: He seems honestly outraged when Zeratul kills Zasz, and this is partially what motivates him into invading Aiur. According to Word of God, his reasons for defying Amon is because he foresaw that the zerg would be enslaved and consumed by the hybrids and he couldn't bear to let them suffer that fate. In Wings of Liberty, he refers to them as "my zerg" in the tone of a mourning father.
"My brood shall aid you, Cerebrate, should you require assistance."
Voiced by: Mickey Neilson
The right hand of the Overmind and one of its greatest Cerebrates, having control of the Tiamat Brood. Daggoth was a formidable opponent, as he commanded his swarm with valor and ferocity, and was powerful enough to give orders to the other Cerebrates. After the death of the First Overmind, Daggoth gained control over approximately half of the Zerg Swarm. He rallied several other Cerebrates to form a new Overmind, and helped gain control over many Broods to oppose the rogue Kerrigan, but they quickly fell under the control of the United Earth Directorate.
Dragon Their Feet: He's one of the few cerebrates to survive the death of the two overminds. His brood was trying to protect the first one, but no one thought of killing him directly. He apparently died of his own before StarCraft II.
Elite Mooks: The Hunter Killers. The only time you even get them is when he gives them to you, but they are far and away some of the best units in the campaign. Hydralisks are strong enough already, the Hunter Killers are Hydralisks with all of the Hydralisk's upgrades, as well as increased HP, armor and damage.
Cerebrate of the Garm Brood and one of the Overmind's trusted lieutenants. Sniveling and distrustful, he had an intense dislike for Kerrigan and urged the Overmind not to let her influence them too much. He was killed by Zeratul, being the first cerebrate to ever be truly killed.
Provides examples of:
The Complainer Is Always Wrong: He wasn't — he was worried Kerrigan was too independent and powerful to be controlled, and when the Overmind died she took control of the Swarm and killed the Cerebrates.
Killed Off for Real: The first Cerebrate to die permanently when previously they could have their personalities reincarnated in new bodies.
Mook Lieutenant: A sniveling and loyal toady who yells at Kerrigan for disobeying orders, contrasting Daggoth's more reserved and reasonable approach.
The Smart Guy: Provides recon data and advice to the player on missions.
Smug Snake: He is absolutely secure in the superiority of the Swarm and that Kerrigan's independence will be punished as disobedience.
Undying Loyalty: Granted, Cerebrates can't betray the Overmind anyway, but he in particular was especially loyal and fervent in serving him. This quickly leads him to distrust Kerrigan for her independance compared to the other agents of the Swarm.
Cerebrate in control of an unidentified Brood, it serves as the player character in Episode II and watches over Kerrigan's rebirth as the Queen of Blades.
The Brute: While Daggoth relays orders to you and Zasz gives you intelligence data, your Cerebrate is stuck doing the muscle work, wiping out the enemy forces on your lonesome.
Cerebus Retcon: In the game, the player accompanies the Overmind to Aiur to spearhead the invasion. Novels retcon that the Cerebrate stayed on Char when the Overmind invaded Aiur and was killed by Zeratul.
Player Character: Though one given a bit more backstory and role than the other Non Entity Generals; this Cerebrate is young at the start of the campaign, and created specifically to watch over Kerrigan and empower her.
Sir, we've just had a whole cargo-ship full of whoop-ass dumped on us! We ran into a new strain of Ultralisk and it took a lot o' pepper to bring it down.
The elite strains of the Ultralisk, featured in only a handful of missions. And in all of them it steals the show as one of the most powerful forces in the campaigns.
Provides examples of:
Ascended Extra: In the base game it was just another of one of many generic hero units that took part in the Enslavers mini-campaign. Brood War saw it worked into normal missions.
Awesome, but Impractical: The reason why it was Put on a Bus in Wings Of Liberty was due to the enourmous amount of energy it required to resurrect, something that the Overmind used to provide, but after Brood Wars, Kerrigan saw little use on the original strand, however...
Badass: Short of the Dummied Out Tassadar/Zeratul Archon and boss units with modified stats, it's the most powerful unit in the entire base game. Depending on some variables, it can take on Kerrigan and probably Zeratul in a one-on-one fight.
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: In the two missions where you face one, they're reincarnated by their Cerebrate when killed and a few minutes later will be back for more.
I Love Nuclear Power: In Heart of the Swarm, Abathur manages to recreate its strand by having Ultralisks drain radiations from one of Arcturus' experimental nuclear weapon and use it to mutate.
The Juggernaut: It already had one of the best armor ratings in the game at 4 in the base game, but with Brood War it got the Ultralisk's armor upgrade for an extra 2. That's a total of 6 base armor, 9 when fully upgraded. At that level of power most units won't even phase it, and the few that can get to enjoy whittling down its monstrous 800 HP, which as with all Zerg, regenerates.
Weaksauce Weakness: In the end, for all its power, it is still unable to attack air units. The simplest way to defend against it in the missions where you fight it is to wall your base off and stick ranged units behind it where it can't get to them and the Artificial Stupidity stops it from simply breaking down the obstructing buildings.
Cerebrate, take these, the deadliest of my minions.
The elite strains of the Hydralisk, they are the finest creations of Daggoth and are only used a handful of times. They return in a couple missions in Starcraft II, though harder to notice without their unique coloring as in the original game.
Provides examples of:
Badass: The base Hydralisk is already plenty effective, these guys simply add more HP, power and armor to it.
Lightning Bruiser: As listed under Badass — the same basic Hydralisk with more armor and double the HP and attack power.
Praetorian Guard: They're Kerrigan's guardians in both the original game and sequel, accompanying her in almost all their depictions and defending her base from enemies.
Introduced in Starcraft: Brood War
Admiral Gerard Du Galle
How the hell did this guy become Admiral in first place?
"Serve the Directorate. Serve Humanity. All other priorities are secondary to victory!"
Voiced by: James Harper
Gerard DuGalle was the leader of the UED expeditionary force and the best friend of Alexi Stukov. Throughout the campaign, he proved to be staggeringly incompetent by listening to Duran's intelligence over Stukov's, the most prominent example being agreeing to destroy the Psi Disruptor, which laters turns out to be the only reason they succeeded as well as they did. When Stukov went behind DuGalle's back to keep the Disruptor intact, DuGalle had him killed at Duran's suggestion, and quickly regretted it when he realized Duran was a mole. Alone, he went on to successfully enslave the Zerg by controlling the Overmind, but his forces were stretched too thin trying to occupy too many worlds, and the UED fleet got mopped up systematically by an alliance of Kerrigan, Raynor, and Mengsk. After a last-ditch UED-Dominion-Protoss team-up on Kerrigan failed, the fleet fled to return to Earth, and DuGalle, overcome with guilt for how horribly he'd botched the mission and had his best friend killed, commited suicide shortly before the fleet was destroyed by the Zerg.
Provides examples of:
A Father to His Men: Has some shades of this—when defeated he swallows his pride and tries to surrender for their sake.
"Kerrigan, I am prepared to offer terms of surrender. It is my wish that you allow my men to live."
Driven to Suicide: In one of the saddest cinematics of the game, he writes a letter to his wife after his final defeat and shoots himself.
Evil Is Not a Toy: For all of his faults, he is the only one who wised up against using the zerg as tools when the UED ordered him to use them in their agenda, arguing that he would prefer a more conventional way of conquest; his dialogue with Stukov in the intro of Brood War shows this.
Du Galle:[to Stukov] Come, stand here. You need to see this. Stukov: I know all about the zerg Gerard; we've all seen the tapes a hundred... Du Galle:[grabbing Stukov] You have seen nothing! Dissecting a dead zerg in a lab is one thing, unleashing them on men is another! You must go into this with both eyes open; once started there is no going back.
Dearest Helena: By now, the news of our defeat has reached the Earth. The creatures we were sent here to tame are untameable, and the colonies we were sent to reclaim have proven to be stronger than we anticipated. Whatever you may hear about what has happened out here, know this; Alexi did not die gloriously in battle. I killed him. My pride killed him. And now my pride has consumed me as well. You will never see me again, Helena. Tell our children that I love them, and that their father died in defense of their future. Au revoir.
Grumpy Old Man: He's not as crusty or surly as Duke, but is still gruff and stern with his men.
Hero Antagonist: It's unclear if his superiors were good or not, but he appeared to be a rather good man himself.
Knight Templar: He and the other UED officers are in the sector to take control of the Zerg, press the Dominion and other Terran colonies into their fold, and "pacify" the Protoss in some manner. Sounds great, but aside from Duran, DuGalle never attempts at diplomacy with anyone, resulting in him making enemies of beings that otherwise might support him if he were more moderate.
The UED's mission to take control of the sector did little more than create chaos for Kerrigan to sweep in from under them and knock all three races to their knees.
Also his reaction to Stukov's death
Outside-Context Villain: No one in the sector ever expected to hear from Earth, much less for them to send a fleet to take control of the sector. Only a handful of Protoss know Earth even exists thanks to Raynor's friendship with them, while the Zerg likely had no idea and the Dominion and other Terrans had written off their homeworld. They're presumed to just be another rebel group by the Dominion, until Duke meets Stukov and does a Double Take at the revelation they're actually from Earth.
Too Dumb to Live: Pretty much every successful mission in the UED campaign is due to Stukov, Duran or the Captain; DuGalle on his own does very little right. This shows in Episode VI, once Stukov and Duran are no longer aiding him, and his forces are spread too thin to properly defend any of their bases, allowing Kerrigan and her allies to sweep the UED up planet by planet until they're forced to flee the sector.
You Can't Go Home Again: During his Rousing Speech in the first UED mission he reminds his troops that if they should fail in their mission, none of them are going back to Earth. They failed, and everyone in the expeditionary force was either killed or stranded in the Koprulu sector forever.
Vice Admiral Alexi Stukov
He was just the vice admiral. Why? Maybe because he's Russian.
Click the note to see (spoiler alert) how he looked in Starcraft II. note
"You should know that we represent not one of your ragtag peasant militias, but the combined might of the United Earth Directorate."
Alexi Stukov (occasionally spelled "Alexei") is the second-in-command of the UED fleet. Throughout the campaign he advises DuGalle, and unlike his commander is not taken in by Duran's slick talking and ignores an order to destroy a valuable piece of Confederate equipment Duran tricked DuGalle into having destroyed. He was murdered when Duran tricked DuGalle into thinking Stukov had betrayed him, and his dying words were to beg his friend to finish the job. In a bonus map that was confirmed as canon, he's infested by the Zerg, but Raynor and a Protoss named Taldarin rescue him with experimental nanobots, and the human and revived Stukov was last seen fleeing with Raynor's forces.Stukov returns in Starcraft II for a surprise appearance, his whereabouts between games being Played for Laughs as a Stop Poking Me quote.
Provides examples of:
And Then John Was a Zombie: He and DuGalle fight the Zerg, only for him to be killed, captured, and infested to become one of their most powerful agents.
Armor-Piercing Attack: His special ability in Heart of the Swarm saps the armor rating of targets and does damage.
Continuity Snarl: The "Infested Stukov Missions" set, which were released by Blizzard as monthly free maps and one for the Nintendo64, is described as "quasi-canonical" for a few reasons. Resurrection IV states that Stukov was freed from the Swarm after the events of the mission, but Heart of the Swarm states that he has been reinfested, albeit independent from the swarm. According to a Stop Poking Me quote, however, the "cure" there wasn't permanent, so perhaps this is subverted.. Seeing as how he returns in Starcraft II as a highly-infested Zerg, but possessing his free will, it seems as though the Infested Stukov Missions are indeed mostly canon.
Do Not Go Gentle: He thinks fighting Amon to the bitter end sounds like a fantastic idea.
Dragon-in-Chief: To DuGalle. Unfortunately, he's the reason why the UED fleet started out successful.
The Lancer: Plays as this in one mission in Heart of the Swarm, helping to de-power Narud and save Kerrigan while she engages Narud in a Beam-O-War.
Enemy Mine: With Kerrigan in Heart of the Swarm, he acknowledges they were once enemies but now they have a mutual enemy in Narud and the Dominion. He fully expects to be killed after he's done helping her, but Kerrigan allows him to remain and Stukov accepts, since he has nowhere else to go.
...Gerard... old friend... You do indeed have a traitor in your midst. But it's not me. Duran. He has been playing us both from the start. He convinced you to destroy the Psi Disruptor, even though it was our best chance at defeating the Zerg. And then on Aiur, he allowed the Zerg to overrun us even as we had the fugitives in our grasp. I came here... to activate the one hope we have of defeating them... and you killed me for it (wheezing laugh). Duran is your enemy, Gerard. I suspect (gasp for breath) that he may even be infested, as well. Use the Disruptor, Gerard. (struggling to talk) Finish our operation. Let my death have at least some meaning!
He Knows Too Much: Lampshaded and invoked, but subverted. Once Narud's base is destroyed in Heart of the Swarm, Stukov assumes Kerrigan will be killing him shortly as a loose end. Kerrigan allows him to leave anytime he wants, then invites him to remain with the Swarm since he says he has nowhere to go.
Hyper Competent Sidekick: This is actually addressed in the instructions manual, that Stukov is the smarter of the two. And it shows. The UED mission would likely have succeeded if Stukov had been in charge.
Mook Maker: He can create Infested Terrans in Heart of the Swarm.
More than Mind Control: After being freed from the Zerg, he makes he clear that he wanted no such thing, but joins Raynor & co. anyway.
Not So Different: This is how Kerrigan feels toward him in Heart of the Swarm; as a result, she sympathizes with him and offers him a place in the Swarm when he bitterly tells her that he is now "half man, half zerg" and will be welcome nowhere.
Nice Hat: He absolutely puts everyone else in the galaxy to shame hat-wise. He keeps it post-infestation in Heart of the Swarm.
Poor Communication Kills: He could have done a better job explaining the Psi Disruptor situation to Admiral DuGalle. Heck, the whole UED-Dominion conflict could have been avoided if they would only talk to each other, as evident from their ill-fated alliance against Kerrigan at the very end of the game.
Psychic Powers: He is extremely subtly implied to have these, unwittingly. It might even have been why he was infested. Heart of the Swarm shows he definitely has these, though how much is due to infestation is unknown.
Russian Guy Suffers Most: And not just all that happens in the base game and Resurrection IV, Heart of the Swarm shows he's since been re-infested and used as a lab rat by Narud for a few years.
Stukov:Let's recap. I was betrayed and killed, shot into space, captured by the zerg, resurrected and infested, cured, given to Moebius to research the protoss cure, and was instead experimented on as the cure slowly failed. Everyone up to speed? Good.
Senseless Sacrifice: He really didn't need to die to tell DuGalle what Duran was doing, or even go off on his own to make it look like a betrayal—he could have just told him.
The campaign implies he did try to get DuGalle to listen to him, but DuGalle, for some reason (perhaps Mind Control or just a horrible case of Too Dumb to Live) never believed him until he went as far as he did.
Viral Transformation: Like all infested Terrans, it radically altered his personality. In Heart of the Swarm, Abathur notes the degree of Stukov's transformation is so great, it's second only to Kerrigan, and the combination of Zerg and Terran DNA is something even he can't replicate.
You Can't Go Home Again: Acknowledged — even if he could somehow get back to Earth and see his wife and children again, there's no place there for an infested terran. And Kerrigan would kill him first anyway, rather than risk drawing their attention.
The commander of the UED forces, who controls them in missions. The Player Character of Episode V.
Provides examples of:
The Brute: While Duran provides tactical data and Stukov is DuGalle's right hand, the player commands the army.
Player Character: And notably the only ranking UED officer who is left with DuGalle at the end of the episode.
What Happened to the Mouse?: While the Captain was very likely killed with the rest of the UED at the end of Brood War, it hasn't been stated outright, so he may still be out there among the other UED remnants.
"I am Raszagal, and I welcome you and your companions to our world."
The Matriarch of the Dark Templar, one of the oldest Protoss to have lived, and a powerful psychic who led her people for nearly 500 years, long enough to have clearly remembered Aiur from before the exile of the Dark Templar. It is not known when exactly Kerrigan controlled her, but Razsagal was a slave to Kerrigan for most of the events of Brood War. In a last act of mercy, Zeratul killed his matriarch, refusing to let the Queen of Blades control her any longer. Although she is passed now, the Dark Templar still believe their matriarch is watching over them and some have invoked her name to keep peace between the feuding tribes.
Provides examples of:
Dying as Yourself: In her last words, she is freed from Kerrigan's control and thanks Zeratul for killing her, leaving him in charge to save Protoss.
I Die Free: She regains her own mind before she dies.
Mind Control: Kerrigan had taken over her far before she even arrived on Shakuras.
"As far as we are concerned, killing high-born Templar is an act of righteous justice! Let the rulers of Aiur feel what it's like to be hunted and driven from their homes! Let them suffer as we Dark Templar have suffered at their hands!"
Voiced by: None (His appearance in Starcraft had no voice, and he's yet to appear in any other game.)
A Dark Templar assassin who, unlike a majority of their kind, hates the Khalai Protoss. Acts as a minor antagonist in the side campaign Enslavers: Dark Vengeance, where he allies with the Terran smuggler Alan Schezar to attack Shakuras with mutated Zerg. During the campaign, Ulrezaj merges with some of his followers to become a Dark Archon. Zeratul foiled his plans and killed Schezar, but Ulrezaj escaped.Got a big promotion to primary antagonist of the Dark Templar Saga novels, where he acts as a secondary antagonist and lead a tribe of brainwashed Protoss in the ruins of Aiur. He is concerned with hunting down the Preservers as they "know too much", and serves a mysterious, unknown entity.
Provides examples of:
Ascended Extra: From a side-campaign meaningless to the overarcing plot to a major antagonist in a trilogy of novels, and it's likely he'll be back in Legacy of the Void.
Dark Is Evil: He's a Dark Templar/Dark Archon. He's evil. Yup.
Dark Messiah: How he's seen by his followers in the novels, at least.
The Dragon: He's stated to have a boss who's much more powerful than him. Likely it's referring to Amon, which would either make him Co-Dragons with Duran, or this trope to Duran himself.
Eldritch Abomination: Described as an enormous cloud of crackling, ''radiant darkness''. It took a whole Terran Exploratory Fleet, uncountable Zerg and several Protoss sacrifices to even slow him down. Not even Kerrigan wanted to mess with him.
Fusion Dance: Most Archons are fused from two Templar. Ulrezaj on the other hand is a fusion of seven Dark Templar with himself as the dominant personality. Exactly how he managed that is unknown, even in-universe. Also, most Archons burn out and expire after some time. His method for continued survival is also unknown, but it likely involves the souls of the living, and drinking them.
Hunter of His Own Kind: In the Dark Templar Saga, it's revealed that since the Dark Templar cannot access the khala, they do not have preservers, thus they store memories in crystals that must be maintained over centuries. Ulrezaj is one of these Dark Templar, making him this trope to natural preservers.
The Juggernaut: Stopping him in the second book requires dozens of Protoss to unite their powers to create a massive storm of psionic energy; everything up that point doesn't even slow him down. In the third book they don't actually stop him so much as they trap him in a crystal.
From Nobody to Nightmare: He was once not even a warrior, the novels reveal he was a scholar and librarian who preserved memories via khaydarin crystals. These days he's a massively powerful Dark Archon and is probably working for an Eldritch Abomination to destroy the galaxy.
One-Man Army: The climax of book two in the Dark Templar Saga describes three armies working together to fight him...and losing! The passages describe him killing dozens of Mutalisks with one blast, and Zerglings "toppling like dominoes" at his feet. It isn't until the Protoss unite their powers (see above) that he actually takes any significant damage, and even then it doesn't kill him and he's back on his feet by the climax of the third book.
Royal "We": As seen in his quote. Justified, considering that he's actually seven people.
Sealed Evil in a Can: He gets sealed inside a psionic crystal along with the Preserver Zamara at the end of the novels.
These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: He left his companions as a storer of memories when he began infiltrating the Wall of Knowledge, a storehouse of memory-storing crystals containing knowledge that even the leaders of the tribe do not access because they consider those memories this trope. Whatever Ulrezaj learned from those crystals is not revealed, but it's likely how he has managed to become so powerful now.
The Unfought: In Dark Vengeance, he is never fought, though he does appear in the field, and ultimately escapes.
The Voiceless: In a few scenes in the Dark Templar Saga we see his mental processes as he talks to his other personalities, but otherwise is entirely silent when the heroes confront him. Also works on a meta-level, the Enslavers missions were not given voice acting so Ulrezaj had no voice actor. If he returns in Legacy of the Void, it'll be the first time players actually hear him speak rather than just read his dialogue.
Took a Level in Badass: In Dark Vengeance, Ulrezaj was a normal Dark Templar who wanted the Khalai Protoss to suffer for their ancestors banishing the Dark Templar from Aiur, and while his scheme to do so was pretty impressive, he didn't get a lot of character besides the basic idea of revenge and was a minor character in an optional campaign. In the Dark Templar Saga, he's a Dark Messiah leading his own cult in the ruins of Aiur by brainwashing the survivors stranded on the planet, is a One-Man Army able to destroy dozens of forces from all three races, and is very likely a servant of the Big Bad of the sequel trilogy. Ulrezaj took several levels in badass.
During Brood War, Duran appears as the leader of a rebel force opposed to Mengsk's Dominion and allies with the UED. After betraying them and revealing himself to be infested, Duran turns to Kerrigan and helps her take out the UED, then mysteriously vanishes. EVERYTHING you thought you knew about him is turned on its head in the secret mission "Dark Origin", where we learn Duran is working for a mysterious "great power", has engineered a Protoss/Zerg hybrid, and more likely than not isn't even human, much less infested.Duran returns in Stacraft II as a major antagonist, working from the shadows to continue to further his agenda, which is much more clearly explained. How he appears puts him into Walking Spoiler territory.
Provides examples of:
Ascended Extra: Duran might have just been forgotten as Kerrigan's second-in-command if not for that secret mission...
Badass: At the very least, he's a ghost operative (or at least can impersonate one) and has all the associated tricks. Kerrigan mentions in Heart of the Swarm that he's the most powerful being she's ever met, and he lives up to the boasting, showing off a Laser Blade of psionic energy and psionic skills rivaling Kerrigan's and nearly killing her in their fight. He's also apparently able to cloak without technological means as described in Flashpoint.
Beam-O-War: With Kerrigan in one Heart of the Swarm mission. And until Stukov de-powered him, he was slowly winning.
Beard of Evil: It keeps the same style between Duran and Narud, just changing the color.
The Chessmaster: The hybrids, the Tal'darim, the xel'naga artifact — all his work to revive Amon and kill Kerrigan. And he's manipulated pretty much every faction in the game universe to do it.
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: DuGalle first says he's a traitor to the Dominion, then he betrayed the UED to the Zerg, then abandoned Kerrigan to the three-pronged attack by the Dominion, the UED, and the Protoss. And that's just in Brood War.He keeps going during Starcraft II by selling out Raynor, Kerrigan and Valerian to Mengsk, then turning out to have been working behind Mengsk's back on his own agenda.
Enigmatic Minion: It took until Heart of the Swarm to discover his true motive, and even then his backstory and the full extent of his schemes have yet to be revealed. Also some of his methods seem to contradict each other, such as having Raynor battle the Tal'darim to claim the artifact pieces when the Tal'darim are his men, and aiding Kerrigan in taking control of the Zerg when she's his most dangerous enemy. Some of this can possibly be chalked up to him wanting to prolong the conflicts of the major powers to weaken them further.
Equal-Opportunity Evil: His forces consist of members of all three races, and among the Terrans he has Dominion soldiers, mercenaries-for-hire, and likely some former Confederate and UED troops leftover from Brood War.
Glowing Eyes of Doom: Has them on and off in Heart of the Swarm. In a mission they're green, but in the following cutscene they're red.
Heel Face Mole: First to the UED, then to the Zerg, and then to the mysterious "greater power" that is mentioned in the quote above. And then to Raynor, Valerian and Kerrigan in Starcraft II—though his ultimate loyalty is still to the "higher power", Amon.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: It might not have been the best of ideas to brag to Zeratul about the hybrid, and hint at his plans for the future. As a result of this discovery, Zeratul's been looking for a way to stop the future Duran alluded to—and he may have found it.
Really 700 Years Old: He mentions having had "many names throughout the millennia". Given that his master Amon has been dead for thousands of years, and it's implied that he was a personal servant of Amon, this is likely not an exaggeration.
The Remnant: He leads a faction of Confederate loyalists fighting the Dominion when you first meet him on Braxis.
The Reveal: Stukov's reveal that Narud is the one behind the hybrid lab in his mission chain makes it clear that Narud is really Duran. Subsequent dialogue only confirms it further.
Sdrawkcab Alias: Narud = Duran. Dummied dialogue from Heart of the Swarm would have had Narud directly referred to as Duran, and dialogue that made it much more clear who he really was before the fact.
Voice of the Legion: When he reveals himself supposedly as an infested Terran, his voice echoes ominously. Then he takes it Up to Elevenin Dark Origins, such that Zeratul didn't immediately recognize him by voice.
Walking Spoiler: For Starcraft II. Really, it's best to go in not even knowing he's going to show up.
Wham Episode: Dark Origin. He's back to make another wham in Heart of the Swarm.
Wham Line: At the end of Episode V, "Excuse me Admiral, but I'd like to introduce someone to you." Said as he arrives alongside Kerrigan and his voice suddenly takes on an "infested" distortion. Stukov had already hinted that this might be the case, but that line confirms it.
And then in Dark Origin, his appearance at the end of the mission is pretty much a Wham Speech, from the first line where he is revealed to be behind the strange experiments Zeratul has found.
You Are Too Late: When Kerrigan kills him, he lets her know that Amon has already been resurrected.