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Introduced in Starcraft
"I knew I should have stayed in bed this morning."
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.
- Alliterative Name: Well not him, but his rebel unit is called Raynor's Raiders.
- 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.
- Almost Dead Guy: Karol Raynor, Jim's mother, died of an unknown form of cancer brought on by industrial chemicals contaminating wartime rations provided by the Confederacy during the Guild Wars. She held on just long enough to watch her son see his father's recording to him which he made the day before he died.
- A Million Is a Statistic: Inverted; Raynor mourned all eight billion of Kerrigan's victims, not just Fenix.
- And This Is for...: Says this to Vanderspool in Devil's Due.
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 Bandolier: Wear a belt of ammo over his shoulder in Starcraft II.
- Badass Beard: While he grew his hair out from his Bald of Awesome between the two games, Jim has always had a beard.
- Badass Biker: His trademark Vulture.
- 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.
- Bald of Awesome: In the first game.
- Better The Devil You Know:
- 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: The game ends and begins with similar cinematics; he reaches for his revolver as a Marine 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.
- The Captain: His rank and standing under Mengsk.
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker
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.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Often.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: James Eugene Raynor. When Matt lampshades it, Jim bashes him.
- Enemy Mine:
- In Brood War, he teams up with Kerrigan and Mengsk to defeat the UED.
- In Wings Of Liberty he teams up with Valerian Mengsk, and part of the Dominion, again to defeat Kerrigan.
- In Heart Of The Swarm he does this with Kerrigan and the Zerg against Mengsk.
- Of course, the latter two alliances have very much become permanent.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: While he never truly was a "bad man", James has an extensive rap sheet that he isn't proud of from the time after the Heaven's Devils were falsely accused of going AWOL. This period lasted until Finley was captured and Raynor decided to follow an old family friend, Myles Hammond, to Mar Sara where he became a local sheriff. During this time, he still loved his parents and risked life and limb to visit his mother when she was dying. He is driven to tears when he sees his mother Karol.
- Fingerless Gloves: In Starcraft II.
- 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.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: One of the multiplayer maps in Starcraft 64 has Raynor and Duke competing in a friendly game of "Zergling Round-Up"
- Good Ol' Boy: Tychus calls him this in a trailer.
- 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.
- Heroes Want Redheads: He wants Kerrigan.
- Horrible Judge of Character:
- 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.
- 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.
- I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: He tried this with Kerrigan. It didn't work until after the events of Wings of Liberty.
- He gets his own miniature version with Matt through out the campaign as he is slowly losing faith in his revolution, especially with Kerrigan back on the scene.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: Jim started as a farmer under his parents, Trace and Karol. He later became a soldier and when his unit was disgraced, he became a criminal. After Tychus was captured, he moved to Mar Sara with a family friend and one time mayor of James' home town, Myles Hammond, who wanted to become a magistrate there since their home planet, Shiloh, became too corrupted under the Confederacy. There Myles made him a Marshall. Soon after that the zerg attacked and he became a rebel leader and stayed as such after Mengsk betrayed him. In terms of military rank, he started off as a private of a elite unit, the Heaven's Devils, became a Captain to Mengsk, and finally received the slightly unofficial title of Commander after that. His humble background is what makes him such a down-to-earth kind of guy.
- Knight in Shining Armor -> Knight in Sour Armor: Kerrigan even joked about the former trope in one mission.
- La Résistance: Twice, even.
- The Lost Lenore: Twice, first his wife, then Kerrigan.
- Magnetic Hero:
- Mike Liberty describes him as one:
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".
- Non-Entity General: This time around in the campaign, the player is supposed to be his Controller. But then, who's him talking to whenever you click on him in a mission? "Sell me."
- One-Man Army: In the Hyperion.
- Only Sane Man: Not as much "sane" as "good", Raynor is pretty much the only truly noble and selfless human in the sector with the will to try and change things for the better.
- Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Robert Clotworthy voices him in the two games. Initially, Blizzard wanted someone else voicing him. Internet Counterattacks ran rampant, and Blizzard announced the voices weren't final in response. Some time later, Clotworthy returned.
- Player Character: Is the Terran PC during Starcraft II. So he's Talking to Himself all along. It's lampshaded when you click on him a few times between missions:
"Standing around talking to my damn self..."
- 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.
- Revolvers Are Just Better:
- 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.
- Token Human: he's this during the protoss campaigns.
- 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
Provides examples of:
General Edmund Duke
"Y'all need some good ol' fashioned discipline."
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:
- 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:
"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: Unknown
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
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...
- Jurisdiction Friction: With the Cerberus Commander. He can do little to stop him though.
- Last Name Basis: His first name is never given.
- 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: Unknown
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.
Provides examples of:
- Un-Person: Heavily implied to happen to anyone who might get a little too talkative about their operations.
Magistrate of Mar Sara/Commander
The Terran Non-Entity General
of the first game. He helps Raynor and the other Mar Sara colonists escape from the zerg, and joins Mengsk against the Confederacy. May be Myles Hammond from the novel Devil's Due.
Provides examples of:
- Defector from Decadence: Twice, first the Confederacy then Mengsk.
- 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. In a novel 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. If it was Myles, then advanced age was probably a factor. He was graying before they moved to Mar Sara and Jimmy had time to have a two-year-old-ish son indoctrinated into the ghost program.
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.
- Big Bad: Of the Enslavers campaign.
- 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.
- Pirate: Well, smuggler.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: In the mentioned path where he betrays Ulrezaj, he's promptly killed by a strike force of Dark Templar.
The Greatest Protoss hero.
"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.
Provides examples of:
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: He has apparently become functionally immortal.
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.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He manages to kill the Overmind by charging his carrier with light and dark templar energies and ramming the thing.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: He successfully kills the friggin' Overmind.
- 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."
- Horrible Judge of Character: Thanks to his alliance with the Dark Templar in the original Protoss campaign, he's painted as "everything the Conclave isn't" by Aldaris. This is really just the Conclave's perspective though. He's actually a good judge of character. Aldaris even acknowledges both his and the Dark Templar's efforts:
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!
- Messianic Archetype: 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.
- One-Man Army: His Gantrithor carrier.
- Psychic Powers: Other than the Overmind and Kerrigan, he's probably the strongest psychic in the game.
- Ramming Always Works: He kills the Overmind by ramming it with his carrier imbued with Dark Templar energy.
- Rousing Speech: His quote above.
- Spirit Advisor: In Wings of Liberty, Zeratul is surprised to find his spirit still intact on Aiur, and gets some advice.
- Yin-Yang Bomb:
- 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.
- Does Not Like Shoes: He has none in the cutscenes he is in, nor does his in-game sprite.
- Figure It Out Yourself: Though he shows little sign of it in the game, he is viciously this in the novels.
- Flash Step: Other Dark Templar don't have such ability. It must be a Prelate thing.
- 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.
- Frontline General: Prelate is something like the dark templar equivalent, and his in-game unit is a One-Man Army.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Zeratul is seen in a cutscene one-hit killing hydralisks. He can one hit kill hydralisk in both games as well.
- 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.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the Overmind's vision, "In Utter Darkness".
- 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 NOT be 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.
- Mundane Utility: he uses his warp blade as a lantern in a cutscene.
- 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.
- That said, looking carefully at his new armor on the game's webpage, one can still see a loincloth on his front, over the armor. Possibly a hint of his old clothing style.
- 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. In Legacy of the Void, he takes command of a the Protoss Arkship, the "Spear of Adun".
- 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.
- Foil: He and Valerian Mengsk are both young men (Artanis, being a couple centuries old, is still young by Protoss standards), idealistic to a fault, and are working to unite their species behind their leadership.
- The Hero: Basically the Protoss version of Jim Raynor, in the first game at least. Zeratul takes up the mantle afterwards. He takes the spot as the main character of Legacy.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the Overmind's vision, "In Utter Darkness".
- 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.
- Previous Player-Character Cameo: According to the novels, he was the player character in Episode III.
- 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.
- Rank Up: Becomes Hierarch of the Protoss in SCII. The Bling of War is a visual cue.
- 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.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Artanis is the only surviving character on the idealism side by the start of Starcraft II.
- The Strategist: Played this role in the first game as the Player Character.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: Is shown wielding both psi and warp blades in the LoTV trailer
- Young and in Charge: By Protoss standards, he's only a young man and already the nominal leader of their people.
"I have been sent by the Conclave to serve and counsel you."
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.
- Defiant to the End: Yes, though he really should have put his final words to better use.
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.
- Irony: In the first game he was the Obstructive Bureaucrat who dismissed the Only Sane Man Tassadar and his friends when they had the only way to stop the villains. In the expansion HE'S the Only Sane Man trying to warn everyone about Kerrigan while the heroes are ignoring him. Karma's funny sometimes.
- 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.
- Master of Illusion: In "The Insurgent", he makes three illusionary versions of himself.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Zealously follows the Conclave's doctrine.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: In the first part of the Protoss campaign in the base game.
- Only Sane Man: In Brood War, he's the only character to see through Kerrigan's lies and refuse from the start to work with her.
- Poor Communication Kills/You Have to Believe Me: There were better ways to handle the secret he discovered than stirring up a rebellion and babbling like a zealot until Kerrigan was right in his face.
- 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.
Voiced by: Bill Roper
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 came back
, 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. At the Blizzcon 2014, it's been stated he'd appear in Legacy of the Void, but no details are known.
Provides examples of:
- Back from the Dead: He is rescued and brought back as a dragoon.
Tassadar: Fenix? It can't be! The Executor told me how you fell before the Zerg! How is that you live and breathe?
- Badass Grandpa: His response to Raynor (30 years old) saying that Fenix is starting to sound like an old man:
Fenix: Do not let the fact that I am 368 years older than you dull your impression of me, young Raynor. I can still - how do you Terrans say it? - 'Throw down with the best of them.'
Raynor: I stand corrected.
- Blood Knight: He was more than happy to be brought back as a Dragoon, as this allowed him to keep fighting for Aiur.
- Drool Hello: In a cutscene, he walks along a hallway when slime drips onto him. He looks up... to see two hydralisks coming after him.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: "The Khala awaits me, Kerrigan. And although I am prepared to face my destiny, you'll not find me easy prey!''
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Raynor.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Played straight, but ultimately subverted. Presumably to avoid Continuity Lock-Out in Starcraft II, Raynor promised to kill Kerrigan as vengeance for his death...
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.
- Jim does call her out on it in Heart of the Swarm, after she's reverted to her Queen of Blades form. And it's one hell of a Tear Jerker. Turns out that her betrayal of Fenix and Raynor's subsequent outrage at that was one of the few things she definitively remembers from her time as the original Queen of Blades.
- Man in the Machine: After being turned into a Dragoon.
- Meaningful Name: Quite possibly the most obvious one in fiction after Hiro Protagonist.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: All the Protoss are this to an extent, but he especially stands out as one.
- Sacrificial Lion: Poor guy gets to be this twice.
- Unwitting Pawn: He was fooled by Kerrigan; and ended up dead.
- We Can Rebuild Him: It only worked once.
- 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. (by Glenn Stafford as a unit)
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...
Click the note to see (spoiler alert) her Primal form. note
"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.
Provides examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Her organic claws and Razor Wings can somehow cut through steel. In her Primal form, a closer examination reveals they are reinforced with small psionic blades at their tips.
- Action Girl: A Dark Action Girl as an Infested Terran.
- 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.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Goes from a Terran fighting the Zerg to a powerful Zerg herself.
- Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain: Heart of the Swarm follows her journey to become one or the other after she's freed from her infestation, with Kerrigan herself unsure where she falls on the "hero/villain" scale. She variably both Kicks and Pets the Dog throughout the campaign, and both does good things for evil motivations or does evil things to good ends. By the end of the campaign she's settled on being an Anti-Hero; now that Mengsk is dead and her vengeance fulfilled, she looks to be taking the fight to Amon to help save the galaxy.
- 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.
- Badass Boast:
- The Bad Guy Wins: By the end of Brood War, she successfully becomes the new leader of the entire Zerg Swarm and is effectively one of the strongest beings in the Sector, with all other factions crippled, exterminated or with their leaders dead.
- 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.
- Breakout Character: Was initially intended to be a minor character, only to end up being one of the most iconic figures in the franchise. See What Could Have Been.
- But Now I Must Go: At the end of Heart of the Swarm, she takes off to her Swarm in order to prepare the fight against Amon, leaving Raynor. At the very least, they go separate ways on amicable terms.
- Card-Carrying Villain: She happily admits she's a monster and the "Queen Bitch of the Universe" after her Face-Heel Turn.
- The Chessmaster: She plays all her enemies against each other in Brood War to the end result of all of them being weakened and demoralized while she controls the Swarm and rules the galaxy.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Eventually turns on everyone she allies with in Brood War, from the Protoss, to fellow Zerg commanders, to her own former Terran friends.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: As the Big Bad, Kerrigan had yellow Volcanic Veins and Glowing Eyes of Doom. After her Heel-Face Turn in Heart of the Swarm, she gets Volcanic Veins and Glowing Eyes of Doom colored purple.
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: Generally has a very dry, caustic wit.
Kerrigan: At this point... I'm pretty much the Queen Bitch of the Universe.
- Determinator: When Kerrigan wants something done, it gets done, and anything that tries to stop her is in for an unpleasant experience.
- 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.
- Dragon Ascendant: Rises to ruler of all Zerg over the course of Brood War.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Even before her ascension, she made it quite clear she had her own plans aside from being a servant of the Overmind, leading her to frequently be in conflict with Zasz. In a twist, however, the Overmind didn't mind. Becomes Fridge Brilliance in Starcraft II, where we find out her having more liberty than the other leaders of the Swarm was a major part in his Thanatos Gambit to save the Zerg.
- The Dreaded: Almost everyone in the setting is absolutely terrified by the Queen of Blade, and with good reasons, considering she is essentially the biggest mass-murderer in Koprulu's history. Until Amon entered the picture, she was considered the most powerful antagonist force in the setting.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Her reasons for fighting Amon despite him having "power beyond imagining"?
Kerrigan: Because the only other option is to lay down and die.
- Dummied Out: Kerrigan isn't a controllable player character in the campaign mode of Wings of Liberty, but the map editor still has voice quotes for a playable Kerrigan unit.
Kerrigan: Guess what? I'm still the Queen Bitch of the Universe.
- Evil Feels Good: When confronting Raynor right after her infestation, she informs him she genuinely feels better as a Zerg. It appeared to have been a side effect of her being brainwashed however; in Brood War, she makes it quite clear she didn't enjoy being the Swarm's slave at all.
- Evil Overlord: Ascend to this by the end of Brood War when she becomes the Swarm's single ruler.
- Face Monster Turn: Turns into a monstorous terran zerg hybrid after going evil in Starcraft.
- 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.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Goes from a Terran foot soldier to the Evil Overlord of all Zerg.
- Genre Savvy:
Kerrigan: You're your own worst enemy.
Fenix: How ironic. I remember Tassadar teaching you a similar lesson back on Char.
Kerrigan: I took that lesson to heart.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: As a powerful psychic, her eyes glow every time she's about to unleash a wave of destruction with her mental superpowers.
- In Wings, she has the glow on by default.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: She's the Evil Overlord "Queen of Blades" who rules over all Zerg in Brood War and Wings of Liberty. Downplayed and eventually subverted in Heart of the Swarm, where she gradually gets better over the course of the campaign.
- 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-Hero Noble Demon but until then edging on Villain Protagonist in her darker moments.
- Heel Realization: It's when Raynor expresses disgust at what she's become that she finally realizes how selfish and myopic her quest for revenge is, and what ultimately motivates her to spare the citizens of Korhal despite it being impractical.
- 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.
- Humanoid Abomination: As the Queen of Blade, she is essentially a Zerg-Terran hybrid with insanely powerful psychic powers who gets more and more like a human-shaped Overmind as the story goes on. By Heart of the Swarm, she has essentially become a Physical Goddess who hunts down and devours Eldritch Abominations to power up.
- I Am a Monster: Struggles with this.
- I Am the Noun: Fond of "I am the Swarm", particularly in Heart of the Swarm.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Gives this as her reason for re-infesting herself in Heart of the Swarm.
Raynor: What have you done?
Kerrigan: What I had to...
- I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: The climax of Wings of Liberty has Raynor trying to free Kerrigan of Amon's influence using a Xel'Naga artifact.
Human Kerrigan: Don't give up.
- 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 (Valerian being a noteworthy example in the first mission). 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. Specifically, she coordinates with Valerian during the invasion to minimize civilian casualties and ensure a relatively clean succession of rule over the Dominion to Valerian.
- 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.
- Large Ham: As the Queen of Blades.
- Life Imitates Art: Her voice actress has written several novels under the pen name... Sarah Kerrigan.
- Locked into Strangeness: even after being deinfested, her hair still stays zerg-like.
- 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.
- My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That:
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: You probably don't wanna mess with someone named the "Queen of Blades".
- 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.
- Averted for the most part in the sequel; she personally leads the Swarm in the search of the Xel'Naga artifacts in Wings of Liberty, and the only missions in Heart of the Swarm to not involve her on the field are ones where her presence would go against the objectives or where she is unavailable.
- The Other Darrin: Her voice actor goes from Glynnis Talken-Campbell in Starcraft to Tricia Helfer in Starcraft II.
- 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.
- Power Echoes: After becoming the powerful Queen of Blades, she speaks and uses telepathy at the same time, making it appear her voice is echoing.
- 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.
- Pragmatic Villainy: In Brood War, she keeps her word to Arcturus and does help him free Korhal from the UED... because this allows her to weaken the UED's graps on the sector. As soon as the planet is freed, she promptly turns on him.
- Psychic Powers: Rates a 12 out of 10 on the PI scale, giving her a wide range of mental superpowers.
- Telepathy: Like all Ghosts, she can read and project her own thoughts into others minds.
- Invisibility: After being infested, she uses her psychic powers instead of a Spy Catsuit cloaking device to disappear. This power no longer is available in Starcraft II, not that she still needs it at this point.
- Mind over Matter: Can levitate objects and people. In-game, this power manifest through various abilities, including telekinetically crushing things, or paralyze enemy squads while making them levitate in the air.
- Mind Rape: It's implied she was subjected to this while in the chrysalis.
- Power Floats: She displays the ability to fly in a cutscene of Heart of the Swarm.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Used them to contact Raynor and Mengsk for help while in the chrysalis.
- 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 Eyes: As the Primal Queen of Blades.
- 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 Locusts Hive 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.
- Spy Catsuit: Her Ghost uniforms in Starcraft and Heart of the Swarm are skintight Future Spandex made for stealth missions.
- 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.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Goes from a friend to the backstabbing "Queen Bitch of the Universe" in Starcraft.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Goes from a Manipulative Bastard to a Noble Demon over the course of Starcraft II, going from massacring a civilian Protoss research colony to the last in the beginning of the campaign to actively working alongside Valerian to minimize civilian casualties during the invasion of Korhal as much as possible and ensuring a smooth transition of power to Valerian to avoid unnecessary chaos. This is what persuades Raynor that despite being reinfested, Kerrigan is more human inside than she had ever been even as a Ghost all the way back in the original Starcraft.
- Tron Lines: Her futuristic Spy Catsuit in Heart of the Swarm features glowing yellow lines running up and down it.
- Turned Against Their Masters: Twice. First, by Mengsk, against the Confederation; then, by the Overmind, against Mengsk and humanity in general.
- The Vamp: She convinces Jim Raynor to rescue Mengsk from standing trial with the UED, and then has both Jim and Fenix help her and Mengsk defeat the UED as well.
- Villainous Breakdown: During the final mission of Wings of Liberty, "All In", she goes from smug taunts to screaming she'll annihilate everyone as the Power Nullifier you've acquired gets closer to crushing her.
- 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.
- Wham Episode: Her coming Back from the Dead as a Zerg in Starcraft.
- From her perspective, the scene on the prison ship. When she gives Raynor the opportunity to kill her, Raynor instead spares her, but it turns out it was only due to the Prophecy he learned from Zeratul. The wham comes when she realizes Raynor sees her as a Broken Pedestal.
- Winged Humanoid: Her Infested form sports Absurdly Sharp Razor Wings.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
- 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 thanks to her transformation into a Primal Zerg removing Amon's influence, 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.
- You Fool!: She says that a few times.
- You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness:
- 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.
- You Said You Would Let Them Go:
- 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. Formed by the merging of several Cerebrates, it had the power to control the Swarm, but it didn't fully mature and so could not control them as efficiently as the original. The UED was able to take control of the Overmind using a combination of medical treatments and psychics, and used their control to enslave the Zerg to fight for them. With the reluctant aid of Zeratul, Kerrigan destroyed the second Overmind and seized full control of the Swarm.
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.
- Big Bad: In the first game.
- 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.
- Evil Sounds Deep/Evil Is Hammy: From his very first spoken line, you know he is your god and you will kneel before him.
- Final Boss: For a given value of such. Destroying the Overmind is the final mission objective of the original campaign, but it's just a unique building and has no ability to defend itself beyond the massive amounts of Zerg nesting around it.
- Giant Eye Of Doom: Its menu portrait. The novels and concept art reveals this to be a separate creature that it sees through, but in StarCraft II, the brain in the center of its body was made into a giant eye.
- Go Out with a Smile: When Zeratul examines the Overmind's final thoughts, he notices that one of his final emotions was a feeling of peace and satisfaction.
- Hive Queen: The original force to control the Zerg Hive Mind.
- 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. This is why Kerrigan is such a distinctly separate entity among their ranks, because she has her own personality and is fully independent. Turns out this is precisely the idea, since the Overmind created her so she could free the Swarm from Amon's influence that had corrupted the Overmind.
- 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.
- Power Echoes: His voice has a deep reverberation to it.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Surprisingly enough; even though he technically is the Big Bad in the first game, one of the main reasons he is such a fearsome foe is because his decisions, when seen from the Zerg's point of view, actually are logical and good for the sake of the Swarm as a whole. A stark contrast with the corrupt Confederacy, Arturus Mengsk or the Protoss Conclave.
- Take Over the World: The Protoss homeworld of Aiur. And any other world it pleases, really.
- Time Abyss: His age is never given, he's implied to be thousands of years old at the very least.
- Turned Against Their Masters: It was forced to by Amon.
- Villainous Valor: Despite being an Eldritch Abomination trying to take over the Universe, he was genuinely Benevolent Boss toward his Zerg, and eventually had enough courage to defy the Dark Voice.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Genuinely believes he's doing the other "misguided" races (and the universe in general) a favor by assimilating them.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Was forcibly enslaved by the Dark Voice into trying to commit genocide against the Protoss with the full knowledge that he and his Zerg would be wiped out once they did their job. Kerrigan was meant to be the one hope they had of breaking the Dark Voice's hold.
"My brood shall aid you, Cerebrate, should you require assistance."
Voiced by: Unknown
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.
Provides examples of:
- The Dragon: The Overmind's right-hand Cerebrate.
- Dragon Ascendant: What he became in Brood War.
- 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.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Brood War never explained what happened to him, so Blizzard had to clarify he was killed by Kerrigan after the Brood War.
Voiced by: Bill Roper
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.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Died off-screen by the hand of Zeratul.
- 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.
Provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The novels reveal that it stayed on Char with Kerrigan and was killed by Zeratul.
- 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.
- Killed Off for Real: Is slain 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 enormous 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 radiation from one of Arcturus' experimental nuclear weapons 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 faze it, and the few that can get to enjoy whittling down its monstrous 800 HP which, as with all Zerg, regenerates.
- King Mook: To the Ultralisk.
- Lightning Bruiser: You thought the normal Ultralisk was this trope? This one is even stronger with 800 HP, a 50 damage attack, and base 6 armor.
- Recurring Boss: See Death Is a Slap on the Wrist.
- 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.
- Ballistic Bone: Its attack, as with the original Hydralisk.
- Elite Mook: For the Hydralisk, the Hunter Killers are never deployed in numbers as great as normal Zerg but are far more dangerous without the numerical advantage.
- King Mook: To the Hydralisk.
- 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: Jack Ritschel
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:
- 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.
- Final Speech: To his wife, via e-mail:
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.
- My God, What Have I Done?
- 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."
Castulo Guerra in Starcraft
and Victor Brandt in Starcraft II
Alexi Stukov (occasionally spelled "Alexei", which is correct Russian spelling) 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
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.
- Back from the Dead: Via infestation.
- Came Back Wrong: Again, via infestation. Heart of the Swarm goes for full Body Horror with his infested form properly represented.
- Badass Beard: Wears a beard very similar to Raynor's, closely trimmed around the mouth.
- Burial in Space: His funeral.
- Characterization Marches On: His Heart of the Swarm appearance has little in common personality-wise with the Episode V Stukov. Completely justified by the unspeakable Trauma Conga Line he went through.
- 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.
- Final Speech: After being shot by Duran:
...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!
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: In Heart of the Swarm.
- 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.
- Red Right Hand: Left Infested Claw in Heart of the Swarm.
- 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.
- Trauma Conga Line: His death in Brood War was just the start of one. See Russian Guy Suffers Most for a quick rundown.
- 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.
- Vodka Drunkenski: Implied by Du Galle in the intro. "Your vodka can wait Alexei." One of his Stop Poking Me quotes in the sequel is "Some days, I miss vodka. Like today, for examples".
- We Will Meet Again: Invokes it on behalf of the UED, telling Kerrigan in Heart of the Swarm they will return to the sector someday.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: A rare example where it actually plays in his favour. In Heart of the Swarm, he is well-aware of the Queen of Blade's treacherous nature, and fully expects Kerrigan to execute him once Narud is dead, something which he accepts for the sake of revenge. Fortunately for him, Kerrigan has already gone through Character Development and become a Noble Demon at this point; as a result, she feels empathy for him, spares him and offers him a place in the Swarm when he admits he has nowhere to go
- 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. Kerrigan says she won't stop him from leaving, but would recommend against him doing so, 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.
- Mind Rape: On the receiving end from Kerrigan.
- Out-of-Character Alert: Zeratul starts suspecting something is not right with her when the usually peaceful and reasonable Razsalgal coldly orders them to eliminate Aldaris. This is the first sign indicating she is under Kerrigan's influence.
- Psychic Powers: She was one of the most powerful protoss minds during her prime, but as time passed and she grew old, her powers waned and she fell victim to Kerrigan's mind control.
- Really 700 Years Old: True in general for the protoss, but Raszagal was 1,045 years old at the time of her death, and since her death was of unnatural causes she likely could've lived longer.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite the Conclave banishing her people and treating them like heretics for centuries, she welcomes the Khalai survivors to Shakuras with open arms, saying she doesn't consider them responsible for the Conclave's sins. Zeratul, who has been serving her for a very long time, states she has always been "a wise and benevolent soul", hence why her aggressive behaviour makes him suspect something is wrong with her.
- Sacrificial Lion: Her death sends Zeratul fleeing into exile in shame, leaving the Protoss down two of their most valuable leaders and establishing Kerrigan's power over them.
- The Smurfette Principle: In Starcraft I/Brood War, she is the only female Protoss seen.
- Unwitting Pawn: To Kerrigan, from the beginning.
"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.
- Big Bad: Of Dark Vengeance.
- Big Bad Ensemble: With Kerrigan in the Dark Templar Saga, while Kerrigan is the larger overall threat, Ulrezaj is much more pertinent and confronts the antagonists directly.
- Characterization Marches On: His motivations and characterization in Dark Vengeance are a far cry from his actions in the Dark Templar Saga. As described under Took a Level in Badass, this is not a bad thing.
- 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.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: With other names like Zeratul, Tassadar and Artanis, does "Ulrezaj" sound like a hero's name?
- 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.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Implied by the Dark Templar Saga — at the least, he's got six other Protoss in his mind as a result of their Fusion Dance.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Again — Ulrezaj.
A member of the Swarm serving Daggoth after the death of the Overmind, it was seized by Kerrigan to aid in controlling her forces. It serves as the Player Character
of Episode VI.
Provides examples of:
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Technically speaking; Kerrigan took control of its mind by force because she needed or wanted aid in keeping her Zerg in line.
- Co-Dragons: To Kerrigan with Duran.
- Player Character: Though a very marginalized one, it's made clear that it serves Kerrigan and if it defies her (if it even can) she will put it down.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Word of God is that when Kerrigan wiped out the Cerebrates because she didn't need them anymore after seizing full control of the Zerg, this one was not spared.
Voiced by: Paul Ainsley
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.
According to Word of God
, Duran has somehow appeared in Heart of the Swarm
. How has not yet been directly confirmed, though it is heavily implied, and if true is a massive Walking Spoiler
Provides examples of: