The closest thing Starcraft has to a central protagonist, Jim Raynor is the first named character in the series. He was a marshal on a backwater planet where he was forced to destroy the Confederate outpost (called, appropriately enough, Backwater Station) after it got Zerg-infested, earning the ire of Edmund Duke and a stay in prison. After being rescued by Arcturus Mengsk, he joined the Sons of Korhal, helping his new leader to destroy the Confederacy while it was occupied with the Zerg and Protoss, seduce Edmund Duke to their side, and be on the side of justice. Raynor realizes the mistake he's made too late: Mengsk is a power-hungry madman who cares only for his own gain; even revenge for his slain parents doesn't particularly matter to him. Mengsk sacrifices Kerrigan to the Zerg and Raynor finally leaves. He encounters Infested Kerrigan, and despite his pleas, she won't come back to the good side. He instead joins Tassadar, and ultimately has a direct hand in the destruction of the Overmind.Of course, his role didn't end there: the UED invades, and while Raynor is initially unimportant, the now-freed Kerrigan enlists his and Zeratul's help in defeating the forces of Earth and a new, burgeoning Overmind that will enslave her again. He helps, knowing it's a bad idea, and indeed it was: Kerrigan becomes the undisputed queen of the Zerg, Raynor swears to be the one to kill her, and now the only major forces that don't have Raynor on the hit list are factions of Protoss belonging to Zeratul and Selendis.He returns in Starcraft II, leading Raynor's Raiders, a resistance group fighting the Dominion. He has become cynical and bitter in the intervening four years since the Brood War, partly as a result of Mengsk and the Dominion painting Raynor as a terrorist.
Provides examples of:
The Alcoholic: When Raynor isn't fighting, he's usually drinking whiskey. Tychus even refers to him as "that drunk Raynor" at one point.
Word Of God states that went he was with the Sons of Korhal, his men were called Raynor's Rangers.
All There in the Manual: More or less Raynor's entire backstory. Originally charged with manslaughter, he was given clemency by the magistrate of Mar Sara in exchange for becoming its marshal. In the novels, it is revealed that he once had a wife and a son, but both died in tragic circumstances.
Raynor: This isn't about revenge. This is about justice. About restoring the balance. About taking something dark and ugly out of the galaxy once and for all, so that something—something decent and good—can grow instead. This is for the Heaven's Devils. For everyone who was their friend. And for everyone whose life you have ruined along your way to this moment.
Atonement Detective: He became a marshal on Mar Sara as part of a deal to have his criminal record erased and be able to live a normal life. Then the Zerg came...
Badass 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.
Comes into play in Wings of Liberty when he finds out about Amon, and Kerrigan has to stay alive or they're will be nothing to stop him.
BFG: His sniper rifle, with its "Mark 12 Penetrator round", which he uses to great effect on Char.
Book Dumb: He's not exactly stupid, but he does defer to the expertise of others on many occasions.
Book Ends: He reaches for his revolver as Tychus looms up behind him...
Butt Monkey: Even before the Zerg invasion, Raynor had already lost countless friends and loved ones, often to circumstances beyond his control. Nearly all of his former military comrades ended up either being killed in combat or in the manhunt that followed after their unit was disbanded. Both his parents die in poverty, refusing to accept the ill-gotten earnings that he sent to them. His son was taken away by the Confederacy for having psionic powers and later said to have been "killed in a shuttle accident"; hearing the news caused his wife's health to decline until she eventually succumbed to illness. Now he lives with the guilt of having inadvertently helped Arcturus Mengsk to power by killing millions of innocent people, as well as failing to save Kerrigan from being turned into the Queen of Blades.
He gets somewhat better by the end of Heart of the Swarm. Arcturus is killed and Kerrigan regained her human heart.
Chivalrous Pervert: Of course, it's hard to be chivalrous around a telepath. It can be argued that he's actually normal since All Men Are Perverts, especially in the novels. Oddly enough, the novels completely change the meaning of the exchange between him and Kerrigan that imply this, turning it instead into a reflection of his dead son.
Clear My Name: Subverted. He's branded a terrorist and outlaw by Mengsk, he realizes that there's no real way to clear his name, so he focuses on bringing Mengsk down to his own level instead.
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.
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.
Hot Dad: While it's only mentioned in the novels, Raynor was actually married and a father before the events of the first game. Unfortunately, little Johnny Raynor was a psychic, so he was taken away for Ghost training when he came of age — and apparently didn't survive. Raynor's wife died of heartbreak after they got the letter.
Mike Liberty: James Raynor was the most decent man I ever encountered during the fall of the Confederacy. Everyone else, I can safely say, was either a victim or a villain or quite often both. At first glance, Raynor seems like a backwoods cowboy, one of those good old boys swapping lies about the days gone by. There's a cocksureness, an overconfidence about him that makes you bridle initially. Yet over time you come to see him as a valuable ally and — dare I say it? — a friend. It all comes from belief. Jim Raynor believed in himself and believed in those around him. And from that strength came the strength that allowed him and those who followed him to survive everything else the universe threw at him. Jim Raynor was a most decent and honorable man. I suppose that's why his is the greatest tragedy in this godforsaken war.
When he first leads the rebellion on Mengsk this is bordering on 100% Adoration Rating, which he's really uncomfortable with. This has lessened somewhat in Wings of Liberty, due to him becoming cynical and bitter and a lack of success or funds, a few of the crew very briefly consider mutiny. This is put to an end though, and his crew are soon completely behind him again.
Morality Chain: In one of the novels Kerrigan implies that thinking about Raynor is the one thing that can awaken the humanity she lost.
This becomes more clear in Heart of the Swarm. She starts descending into darkness again after she learns of Raynor's death, then starts reversing course after she learns that he's still alive.
The Nicknamer: Inverted, he's on the receiving end. Gabriel Tosh calls him "Brother" and Rory Swann calls him "Hotshot" and "Cowboy".
Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Raynor had dreams about Kerrigan where he visualized what was happening to her mentally as she was infested. In the novelizations of the game, Kerrigan torments Raynor with dreams of them together happily as humans, both to Mind Screw him and to work out her own lingering frustrations left over from her infestation.
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.
Rousing Speech: Delivers an epic one before the last mission of Wings of Liberty
"That thing may be the key to stopping the Queen of Blades, but it's our sweat and blood that'll make it happen. After everything we've been through, past all the fire and fury, the one thing I know, is that we can count on each other, to get the job done. Or die trying. If that's what it takes. Because some things are just worth fighting for."
Smoking Is Cool: Be it giant cigar of manliness or cigarettes, this man will make you want to take up smoking.
Squick: In-universe. In the novels when he sees her infested, Raynor thinks that on some level Kerrigan is even more alluring and attractive, and is appropriately disturbed with himself for thinking such.
Token Good Teammate: Raynor was, as of the end of Brood War, the only good human character. Realizing this has not been good for his views on humanity in general.
Unwitting Pawn: He was fooled by Kerrigan: While he knew that there would have been a betrayal once they had defeated the UED, what really makes him a sucker is that he didn't expect the betrayal so soon. As it turns out, the plot was bolder and more daring: the moment they had achieved victory, she went after the Dominion and the protoss at the same time.
"I'd like to believe she's on the level, but there's a part of me that just knows better. I do believe she's serious about eliminating the UED; my only concern is what happens to us when she does."
What Measure Is a Mook?: He was very pissed off that Arcturus left behind Kerrigan. What about the task force that was also left behind?
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 fight, as the Terran campaign goes, he commits steadily more unforgivable crimes for the legitimately good purpose of overthrowing the Confederacy, until he finally succeeds, sacrifices Kerrigan, alienates Raynor, and crowns himself Emperor. His true colors revealed, he becomes everything the Confederacy was and worse. When the UED invades, he's the first person on their hitlist, and much to Raynor's chagrin he has to save Mengsk's life to help Kerrigan take out the UED, which goes sour for both of them when she backstabs them both. Mengsk ultimately launches a joint Dominion-UED-Protoss attack on Kerrigan's forces that she routs, leaving him with nothing.By the time of Starcraft II, Mengsk's empire is back on its feet, with only Raynor opposing it to any significant degree. Mengsk can't simply have Raynor assassinated because he's desperately afraid of Raynor becoming a martyr, so he uses the media to marginalize Raynor's efforts and paint him as a fanatic terrorist - which is totally different from how the Confederacy treated him.
Animal Motifs: The sequel ties him with the wolf — cunning, savage and powerful, while also tying into his image as a charismatic media darling to mask his true nature. Statues of wolves and Arcturus flanked by wolves are all around Korhal, and images of wolf heads can be found from the Dominion crest outside his palace to an emblem set into the floor of his office.
Big Bad: In Episode V in Brood War — while he's a villain before and after that, he's not the main one save for the very end of Episode I. Wings of Liberty puts him in Big Bad Ensemble territory with Kerrigan, and come Heart of the Swarm he's the primary antagonist.
The Charmer: He honestly is a very gifted orator and is extremely charismatic, to a point where, to put it simply, the only named character who is not at some point on Mengsk's side despite knowing what a horrible person he is is Tassadar, who never met him.
Cosmic Plaything / Laser-Guided Karma: Any involvement he has after the original game's campaign is this. He overthrows the Confederacy just for the UED to knock him off his throne, he allys with the two people that hate him the most to take back his homeworld just for Kerrigan to backstab him, and fails an attempt at revenge. Wing of Liberty has him take a gamble with letting Raynor live to deal with Kerrigan, and Raynor proves to be an even bigger thorn in his side than before and lets Kerrigan live, allowing her to get back to the Swarm and everything he tries to stop her fails and she marches right onto his doorstep before finally killing him.
Cruel Mercy: After his defeat at the end of Brood Wars, it was this from Kerrigan which ensured that he continued to live (and rule as Emperor). The moment Kerrigan decided to go on the warpath against him, he didn't last very long.
Death by Irony: Kerrigan unleashed the Zerg on Korhal to get to him, (this was how Mengsk defeated the Confederacy and Abandoned Kerrigan) and not to mention that fittingly, Mengsk is killed by the same person who killed his father.
Enemy Mine: Worked with Raynor, who made it clear he still wanted to kill him, and Kerrigan during the Brood War against the UED, and later worked with the UED and Protoss against Kerrigan. Neither end well.
Ermine Cape Effect: Averted. Mengsk does wear some fairly ornate outfits, but they are far more reminiscent of military uniforms (with a lot of Badass Longcoat/Cape thrown in). Notably, his outfits are quite a bit less ostentatious than his son's, who is objectively a much better person (if Wings of Liberty is any indication).
Faux Affably Evil/Affably Evil: He's charismatic, friendly, cultured, and well-spoken. But try to rebel against him and you'll see just how cruel and dangerous he really is. This is a guy who said "I will rule this sector, or see it burnt to ashes around me!" If it's Faux or not varies Depending on the Writer.
A direct quote from Michael Liberty: "Arcturus Mengsk. There's a name that is synonymous with terror, betrayal and violence. A living example of the ends justifying the means. The assassin of the Confederacy of Man. The hero of the blasted world of Korhal IV. King of the universe. A savage barbarian who never let anything or anyone get in his way. And yet, he is charming, erudite and intelligent. When you're in his presence you feel that he's really listening to you, that your opinions matter, that you're someone important if you agree with him. It's amazing. I have often wondered if men like Mengsk don't carry around their own reality-warping bubbles, and all who fall in are suddenly transported to another dimension where the hellish things he says and does suddenly make sense. At least, that's the effect he always had on me."
Hero with Bad Publicity: During his days as a rebel he was pretty heroic, saving colonies left for dead by the Confederacy, but they painted him as an insane terrorist to try and keep people from realizing this. After the first Terran campaign, however...
Humans Are Bastards: He's an ordinary human and the only character in the original game that could be considered completely evil, when one considers Kerrigan is the way she was because of her infestation.
Just the First Citizen: Subverted. He's always referred to as 'Emperor' after the foundation of the Dominion, but he never wears a crown or an ermine cape (see above), and, of course, 'Empire' is not in the Dominion's name. He also doesn't seem to stand much on ceremony in the interviews he gives to the media, nor does he seem to demand much supplication (the reporters address him more or less as equals). All of which is almost certainly carefully orchestrated to mask Mengsk's ludicrously dictatorial rule, and revealing a preference for a cult of personality over forcing people to constantly submit to his power (especially if doing so would endanger his rule and/or popularity).
Manipulative Bastard: In the novel Mengsk, I, Arcturus gives the opinion that normal people are naturally confused, disoriented and disorganized without authority to show them the way. He makes himself that authority and points them the way he wants.
Never My Fault: Kerrigan and Raynor both call him out and point that he's indirectly responsible for all of Kerrigan's atrocities, but far the most part all he does is simply blame Kerrigan for them.
He does acknowledges that Kerrigan is his biggest mistake at the end of Heart of the Swarm, but it sounds more like he is aware that it bites him in the ass than like he actually feels any remorse.
Non-Action Big Bad: He is not a fighter, being an older man with no combat skills. However, he did at one time serve as a soldier, so he's not inept.
One Last Smoke: When Kerrigan comes for him in Heart of the Swarm, he takes an ornate lighter and cigar out of an equally ornate box. Subverted however, as the lighter is secretly the trigger for a weapon.
Villainous Breakdown: He experiences a mild one when confronted by the press after Raynor broadcasted his recordings to the Dominion.
He has a more gradual one over the course of Heart of the Swarm, resorting to increasingly drastic measures to try and kill Kerrigan, and eventually starts blowing up his bases with his men still inside to try and stop her. His self-control is pretty much gone by the time the Zerg are putting down hatcheries on his palace doorstep.
Villain with Good Publicity: He's the ruler of the Terran Dominion, got most of the Dominion eating out of his hand, and branded genuine good guy Jim Raynor a terrorist and a real and present threat to terran society, with even managing to maintain his hold over the Dominion by pretending to save them from the Zerg onslaught which destroyed Tarsonis, as well as violently suppressing or slandering anybody who would challenge his rule. Most people like him, however, and are loyal to the Dominion, and he's widely considered a media darling and doesn't shy away from interviews with the press. And then Raynor goes and blows Mengsk's real motivation of self-aggrandizement and ever more power, resulting in a mild villainous breakdown.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Especially in the novels. At the very least, Mengsk started off this way, if the novels and the backstory in the manual are to be believed. Mengsk himself portrays himself as this after he crosses over into outright villainy and it's largely left up to the player's interpretation whether he's purely in it for his own personal gain or if he really believes he's doing the right thing. More and more, it seems he's slipping further into selfishness as time passes.
Wicked Cultured: The man loves his liquor, his classical music, his cigars, and plays a mean game of chess, even during his days as a terrorist rebel. His former command ship, a massive Battlecruiser named Hyperion, differs greatly from normal design standards to accommodate his tastes. To name one such variation, it has wider-than-normal hallways lined with carpets and paintings and lit by wall sconces. Raynor thinks it seems more like a fancy mansion than a warship. This is even truer of his new battleship, the Bucephalus (Alexander the Great's horse; legend had it that he who rode Bucephalus would conquer the world, so it's a logical choice), which is (somewhat hilariously) stolen or hijacked or commandeered by Valerian Mengsk. Bucephalus' bridge looks more like baroque palace's great hall or ballroom◊ than the command center of a warship.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He does this to Kerrigan by leaving her on Tarsonis. It didn't work out like he thought. It may also revenge for both her questioning his actions and over the fact that she is the Ghost who killed his father.
You Killed My Father: His original motive for rebelling against the Confederacy before his desire for power consumed him. It's also one of the reasons he abandoned Kerrigan to the Zerg on Tarsonis. She was the Ghost that killed and decapitated his father.
Edmund Duke was the Confederacy's greatest general, and the leader of Alpha Squadron, their greatest force. He starts off as a fairly generic villain, opposing Raynor and insulting backwater worlds, until Mengsk and Raynor save his life from the Zerg and demand his loyalty in return. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Confederacy prove key to Mengsk's victory, but surprisingly, Duke proves completely loyal to him, enough so that when Raynor rebels when Mengsk's evil intentions become clear, Duke stays with Mengsk.Ultimately, Kerrigan convinced Mengsk (and Duke, though not seen) and Fenix to assist her, and while they honored their part of the bargain, Kerrigan did not, and murdered Duke to cripple Mengsk's military.
Provides examples of:
Anti-Villain: He's a Jerkass all the way, but Duke never acts in a way that could be considered flat evil. He's a Punch Clock Villain in a sense, though the player rarely comes across him at a time when he isn't clocked in.
Informed Attribute: He's supposed to be one of the finest generals of the Confederacy. Between the games and in the novels though, you can count on one hand how many battles he wins, one of which in the novels is a Pyrrhic Victory that costs him a lot of men and the Norad II. Most of the time, be it Mengsk, Raynor, the UED, protoss or zerg, Duke is left defeated and humiliated.
Jerkass: Though its quite obvious the second you hear him talk for the first time, the novelizations turns it up worse - after Raynor defects, his men are being overrun by Zerg and he can't save them. Raynor begs Duke to help them, offering to turn himself in if he does. Duke laughs in his face.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: In the early missions of Episode I. When Jim Raynor helps saving the Backwater Station from a Zerg attack, Duke has him arrested for property damage.
One-Man Army: In the Norad II. In the mission where you take control of Duke, you can win the entire mission by having him solo the enemy bases, as long as you're keen to repair him and target the strong anti-air units first.
Reliable Traitor: He joined the Sons of Korhal rebellion grudgingly, basically at gunpoint, and made his contempt of Mengsk, Raynor and the rebels very clear at every opportunity he got. Mengsk however counted on that pandering to Duke's ambition, greed and lust for power would turn him into a useful ally. He was right.
Save the Villain: Despite hating his guts, Jim Raynor saved his life twice. First for the Zerg on Antiga Prime and later from the UED during their assault on Korhal.
"There are to be no arrests, Lieutenant. I hope you understand what I mean. I want this problem solved once and for all. Good hunting."
Voiced by: Glenn Stafford
Magistrate of the Chau Sara colony and the player's mission giver in the Precursor demo/prequel campaign. Calls in Alpha Squadron to help deal with the Sons of Korhal rebellion on his planet. It went From Bad to Worse quickly.
Provides examples of:
Butt Monkey: He is constantly talked down to and having his authority undermined by the Cerberus Commander. Whenever he tries to speak up or offer advice to the player, he is bluntly interrupted by the commander.
Deep South: Has a mild but noticable southern accent.
Doomed by Canon: In Episode I, we learn that Chau Sara was one of the first planets to be "purified" by the protoss. Doesn't bode well for poor Collins. Or so it seems...
Leave No Survivors: As seen in his quote above, this is how he'll prefer that the rebels are dealt with.
"Lieutenant. By edict of Confederate High Command, all matters regarding these xenomorphs are under Class 7 Seal. Do not speak of the existence of the xenomorphs or in any way relay the events surrounding their appearance on Chau Sara. Failure to comply with these orders will result in immediate termination. This conversation never took place. We were never here."
Voiced by: Matthew Samia
Mysterious commander of the black-ops Cerberus Squad sent to deal with the Zerg infestation on Chau Sara in the Precursor demo/prequel campaign. Quickly supersedes Collins as the primary mission giver.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Maybe. Word Of God is that he left the Raiders shortly after helping them take the Hyperion. Whether this was out of guilt at helping Mengsk, irritation at now being a fugitive, or just being tired of fighting is unknown.
A Terran smuggler operating in the early days of the Dominion. There's not a whisper of him in the main campaign, but he's central to the Enslavers mini-campaign and its sequel campaign Dark Vengeance.
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.
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.
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 Templars 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).
"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 Templars, 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 Templars being accepted by the other Protoss.
From a Certain Point of View: Zeratul claims to have served Raszagal for many millennia, an impressive feat, considering he's "only" 635 years old, and Raszagal is barely over 1,000. Depending on the revolutionary period of Shakuras compared to Aiur, he could possibly have served Raszagal for many Shakuras-millennia while still being only 635 Aiur-years old. Or vice-versa.
Heroic BSOD: As shown in the Dark Templar Saga, he's still shouldering a lot of guilt for killing Raszagal and handing the Zerg to Kerrigan on a platter four years after the fact. In said novel he's been in seclusion for most of the four-year gap, traveling the stars to try and make sense of things and come to terms with himself.
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 Protess will NOTbe pleased upon hearing that he helped their most hated enemy. That is also not going into the special hatred he must have for her brainwashing his beloved matriarch and forcing him to kill her to free her from it.
Invisibility: Standard for Dark Templar, he's permanently cloaked.
Killed Off for Real: In the Overmind's vision; this is what will happen to him if Kerrigan dies.
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.
"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 templars' help to defeat the Zerg, with the help of Jim Raynor.
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 what 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.
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.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Tassadar is said to have both High and Dark Templar abilities. However, unless you count his Psi Blast ability (a default attack which no other High Templar has in the final product, though it did exist in beta), he only displays High Templar abilities in-game.
Good Is Not Dumb: Fools Kerrigan into chasing him around while Zeratul kills Zasz. Kerrigan even admits she learned her lesson after he had fooled her so easily.
Heroic Sacrifice: Probably subverted. As he puts it, "I have never tasted death."
Aldaris: Executor. Tassadar. This comes too late to you. But the Conclave has witnessed your defeat of the Cerebrates. They know now that they cannot deny the necessity or the valiancy of your actions. We sought to punish you, while it was we who were in error. Now you represent what is greatest in us all, and all our hopes go with you. EN TARO ADUN, brave Sons of Aiur!
The Messiah: After he dies, even his former enemies elevate him to messianic levels, using the battle cry "En Taro Tassadar!" in place of "En Taro Adun", who is worshipped as a demigod more or less. Considering that the Protoss campaign in Starcraft I bears an uncanny resemblance to the Gospels, with Tassadar as Jesus (Crucified Hero Shot and all), the Conclave as the Pharisees, etc, it makes sense.
He even fulfills the Dark Templar prophecy of the Twilight Deliverer, a title held by Adun up to that point.
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 Templars, 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.
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 revealed to have been in Starcraft I by way of the nameless player character; he was the one who allied with Tassadar and joined the two warring Protoss tribes together. Young (262 years old is considered "young" by Protoss standards), 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.
Provides examples of:
Bling of War: Vastly contrasts his appearance in Brood War, when he wore nothing but a shoulder pad and a loincloth.
Cool Starship: He is a Scout pilot in the events of the first game and in the sequel, he pilots a Mothership in the Protoss mini-campaign, the Shield of Aiur.
Fanboy: Of Tassadar's. He hopes to be as great a leader as he was someday.
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.
Remember the New Guy: When he first appears in Brood War no explanation is given to his presence, and the other characters act like they know him and barely trust you. This was later explained as him being the first game's PC and the player is controlling a different general in Brood War.
Rousing Speech: He gives one. Even his incidental lines sound like they could be from one.
Aldaris was Artanis' original commander during Starcraft until he allied with Tassadar. Aldaris, too set in his ways to accept that the dark templar could be anything except the most absolute of corrupting evils, refused to help them and indeed kidnapped Tassadar to stand trial for treason. In the end of Starcraft I, as Tassadar, Raynor, Zeratul, and Fenix prepared for their attack on the Overmind, Aldaris wished them luck. In Brood War, Aldaris is the only surviving member of the Protoss Conclave, the rest having been om-nom-nommed by the Zerg. He opposes everything having to do with allying with Kerrigan, and then stages an unsuccessful coup in the Protoss ranks when he realizes he was actually right instead of just whiny. He was the only Protoss to realize Kerrigan was mind-controlling Raszagal until she revealed it herself. She struck him down before he could tell Zeratul ("helped" by the fact that Aldaris babbled like a deranged zealot instead of coming out with the truth right away).
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.
Idiot Ball: Just like Stukov, he went about telling the others what he knew in the stupidest way possible.
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.
Master of Illusion: In "The Insurgent", he makes three illusionary versions of himself...well, they look more like Tassadar, to be honest, but still.
Rousing Speech: At the start of the final mission, he sends a transmission to Tassadar's forces, admitting that he and the Conclave were in error, their efforts against the Zerg have indeed proven more effective than the Conclave's, and all of Aiur wishes them luck in their final stand.
Thanatos Gambit: Though unintentional, Kerrigan killing him disgusts Zeratul and earns her banishment from Shakuras, potentially avoiding a much more disastrous reveal of her true nature if she had stayed.
Too Dumb to Live: He takes this when he considers the arrestation a single (supposely) rogue protoss templar of greater priority than, say, dealing with a race of man-eating aliens:
Tassadar: I cannot believe they would go so far. In the face of total annihilation, they're still claiming for their failing traditions.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: As stated above, he clings to the old traditions to the point of foolishness, but really does it to prevent the Protoss from falling apart, something he has been raised to believe would happen should the Dark Templar return.
Fenix was a Blood Knight warrior who loved the honor and rush of battle, and advocated an alliance with the now-rogue Tassadar, having been his best friend. However, once the initial attack on the Cerebrates failed due to a lack of information, the Protoss high council turned against Tassadar. Not that it mattered for Fenix, because he was shortly thereafter killed by pack of Hydralisks...OR WAS HE? He cameback, his mortally wounded body encased in a Dragoon exo-skeleton walker, helping in the assault against the Zerg when Tassadar returned to Aiur.In Brood War he hung out a lot with Raynor, and the two allied with Kerrigan against the UED. Kerrigan eventually betrayed them and killed Fenix.
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. She is de-infested at the end of Wings of Liberty, but over the course of Heart of the Swarm re-infests herself, this time keeping her own personality and her reformed sense of honor and morals.
And I Must Scream: What her the process of her infestation was described as. Heart of the Swarm mentions that she was conscious during the entire time, saying she felt her body right down to her bones being taken apart and rebuilt. No wonder she hates Mengsk for leaving her to that.
Anti-Hero: Gradually evolves toward this over the course of Heart of the Swarm.
The Atoner: In Heart of the Swarm, she mentions a few times she will answer for what she's done, after she's finished with Mengsk. She also shows regret for many of her actions, both before the game and the ones she commits during it.
Badass: She was a ghost and a dangerous soldier even before she was infested. Her infestation only made her more dangerous.
Kerrigan: I am the Queen of Blades, and my stare alone would reduce you to ash! Kerrigan: I don't think so, Admiral. You see, at this point... I'm pretty much the Queen Bitch of the Universe. And not even all of your little soldiers or spaceships will stand in my way again.
In Heart of the Swarm trailer.
Kerrigan: I am the swarm. Vengeance shall be mine!
Another one in the ending when talking about the threat of Amon.
But I will not face this enemy alone. I am the Swarm.
The Bad Guy Wins: Ends up the one in control of the entire Zerg swarm at the end of Brood War.
Battle Couple: With Raynor whenever they're on the same side. When they suit up together in Heart of the Swarm, there's some banter about it being "just like old times".
The Beastmaster: Now that the Zerg is no longer the tool of Amon and she has become a Primal Zerg herself this side of her has become more emphasized.
Being Evil Sucks: After the Overmind's death, she comments her infestation is a "hell."
Berserk Button: In Heart of the Swarm, if you're from the Dominion, don't even think of bringing up the topic of Jim Raynor, EVER.
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, is was because he had been forced to kill his matriarch, Mengsk, she wanted him to be able to reclaim his power so her eventual bringing about his fall would be that much worse for him.
Cute Monster Girl: Her monstrous infested form emphasizes her breasts and curves, and her face continues to look like that of an attractive, human woman. In fact, many characters comment she's good-looking in spite or because of her infestation.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: She always learns from her mistakes. And she always kills any competent general first before sending her troops to battle.
Dark Messiah: The Overmind created her to save the Zerg from Bigger Bad Amon, a role Kerrigan embraces in Heart of the Swarm.
Kerrigan: At this point... I'm pretty much the Queen Bitch of the Universe.
Determinator: Duran impales her with a Laser Blade, and despite the injuries, she stabs him back. Right through herself.
Did Not Get The Guy: Despite all the sacrifices she does to save Raynor, ultimately Kerrigan doesn't end up with him, and through little faults of her own. The universe is cruel to this woman.
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.
Healing Factor: Common place amongst the Zerg, she can lose one of her "wings" and it will grow back. Being stabbed in her vital areas is more of an issue though given that she took multiple blows from a psionic Laser Blade and her own Razor Wings, there might have been some other factors that caused that.
I Am the Noun: Fond of "I am the Swarm", particularly in Heart of the Swarm.
I Lied: To Mengsk in Brood War when she tells she didn't hold a grudge against him, she in fact hates him more than anything else in the universe because him abandoning her led to her infestation, which she describes as agonizing.
Jerkass: When she reveals her true colors in Brood War, oh GOD is she ever, pretty much making an effort to Troll nearly everyone she meets.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In Heart of the Swarm after being turned back to her original personnality; she is bitter to get revenge on Mensgk, tends to act aggressive on both Terrans and her own Zerg minions, and still occasionally trolls people. However, unlike her Brood War, she displays a softer side, tries to avoid useless casualties when she can and is more well-intentioned in the end.
Kick the Dog: Turning on the Protoss in Brood War and also killing the retreating UED that were just injured soldiers.
Knife Nut: She's damn good with knives. After her transformation, they even become part of her body. She's not called the "Queen of Blades" for nothing.
Life Imitates Art: Her voice actress has written several novels under the pen name... Sarah Kerrigan.
Meaningful Name: "Sarah" means princess or noblewoman, and "Kerrigan" means dusky or dark. Purely coincidental, as the creators named her after ice skater Nancy Kerrigan on a whim.
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.
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 Woman Army: In the original game and Wings of Liberty, her infested form moves quickly, does massive damage, and has a variety of spells to handle enemies with. Her spells in Heart of the Swarm, used correctly, allow her to solo some parts of the level, and she will rack up dozens upon dozens of kills. One of her unit's move/attack quotes (human form only) references this trope verbatim.
There's even an achievement during one mission for having Kerrigan rack up 500 kills.
Orcus on His Throne: She pretty much keeps quiet after Brood War, as evidenced in some of the novels. Although part of what she does is look for ways to make the Swarm stronger.
For the most part she averts this as she actively leads the Swarm from the front line.
Pet the Dog: In Heart of the Swarm she gets some such as allowing the wounded Dominion soldiers that don't pose a threat to her to escape and holding back on assaulting Mengsk' palace to allow the civilians to escape.
The Power of Hate: Heavilly implied to be the only thing keeping her from being consumed during her evolution into the Primal Queen of Blades. Abathur, the guy who spins DNA for a job is going through all the reasons why Kerrigan isn't strong enough to survive. Her reply is that her hate is strong enough.
Shock and Awe: She has Psionic Storm in the base game, and attacks with psionic bolts in Heart of the Swarm.
Your Head A Splode: What her unrestricted psionic power did to her mother when she was a child. She later does this, willingly, to Mengsk at the climax of Heart of the Swarm. It managed to blow out the entire office
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.
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.
Self Fanservice: Looked much more attractive in fan art than in Starcraft and Brood War due to graphical limitations at the time. The creators eventually embraced the fanservice elements of Kerrigan as well with her Starcraft II designs.
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.
The Starscream: Never seemed entirely loyal during her enslavement to the Overmind, which concerned the other cerebrates.
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.
She is one of the most powerful forces in the galaxy after her infestation...doesn't do much for her sense of morality though. Word Of God mentions that while the Queen of Blades and Sarah Kerrigan are most definitely the same person, while she was infested Kerrigan was heavily influenced by massive amounts of psionic energy and zerg mutagen affecting her at the cellular level.
Even when returned to human form, she still remains dangerously unstable, requiring Raynor to act as her MoralityChain.
Subverted by the end of Heart. Her powers reached new heights compared to her Queen Bitch days, but she is generally quite sane.
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 to turn 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 and 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.
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.
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.
"Awaken my child, and embrace the glory that is your birthright. Know that I am the Overmind; the eternal will of the Swarm, and that you have been created to serve me."
The Overmind was the Hive Mind of the Zerg, directing their actions. It created Cerebrates who acted as its generals, and they in turn created overlords, who control the Zerg directly. Designed by the Xel'Naga to be the perfect creation of the Zerg, the Overmind rebelled against them and nearly succeeded in wiping out their race. It then turned to space, ravaging worlds and stealing the DNA of the native inhabitants and collecting them into the swarm. The Overmind eventually discovered the Protoss, and desperately wanted them in its fold because they, too, were creations of the Xel'Naga, and it believed that taking to Protoss into the swarm would make the Zerg "perfect". Between Tassadar, Zeratul, Fenix, and Raynor, the Overmind was destroyed, leaving the zerg in disarray.A second Overmind was formed in Brood War, but it was an Overmind, not the Overmind, and was an entirely different entity who was treated more like a MacGuffin than an actual character.
Provides examples of:
A God Am I: He never claims to be a god, but his manner of speech is very Old Testament, as shown in his above quote, and this is helped by his booming, echoing voice. He definitely considers himself this for the Zerg, constantly referring to them as "my creations/creatures" and "a testament to my glory."
And I Must Scream: Starcraft II reveals that it was sentient but did not have free will, and was unable to rebel against its corrupted biological programming. Tassadar described it as screaming in the prison of its own mind.
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.
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.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He treats the Cerebrates like his children, congratulating them when they succeed, expressing satisfaction to see them grow up stronger and even giving Kerrigan some amount of liberty in her decisions. He also seems infuriated when Zeratul killed Zasz. According to Word Of God, his plan to defeat the Hybrids was solely because they would destroy all of his Zerg.
Made of Iron: He has the most HP of anything in the original Starcraft.
My Death Is Just the Beginning: Starcraft II strongly suggests that Kerrigan was made into the Queen of Blades as part of his plan to to prevent the Zerg from being destroyed. Reason for this being is that it was specifically created to serve the Xel'Naga, but the Voice in the Darkness is suggested to have control of the Zerg by some unknown method. The Overmind offs itself by invading Aiur and letting the Queen of Blades control the Zerg and stop the Voice in the Darkness.
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.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Genuinely believes he's doing the other "misguided" races (and the universe in general) a favor by assimilating them.
"My brood shall aid you, Cerebrate, should you require assistance."
Voiced by: Mickey Neilson
The right hand of the Overmind and one of its greatest Cerebrates, having control of the Tiamat Brood. Daggoth was a formidable opponent, as he commanded his swarm with valor and ferocity, and was powerful enough to give orders to the other Cerebrates. After the death of the First Overmind, Daggoth gained control over approximately half of the Zerg Swarm. He rallied several other Cerebrates to form a new Overmind, and helped gain control over many Broods to oppose the rogue Kerrigan, but they quickly fell under the control of the United Earth Directorate.
Dragon Their Feet: He's one of the few cerebrates to survive the death of the two overminds. His brood was trying to protect the first one, but no one thought of killing him directly. He apparently died of his own before StarCraft II.
Elite Mooks: The Hunter Killers. The only time you even get them is when he gives them to you, but they are far and away some of the best units in the campaign. Hydralisks are strong enough already, the Hunter Killers are Hydralisks with all of the Hydralisk's upgrades, as well as increased HP, armor and damage.
Cerebrate of the Garm Brood and one of the Overmind's trusted lieutenants. Sniveling and distrustful, he had an intense dislike for Kerrigan and urged the Overmind not to let her influence them too much. He was killed by Zeratul, being the first cerebrate to ever be truly killed.
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.
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:
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.
The Juggernaut: It already had one of the best armor ratings in the game at 4 in the base game, but with Brood War it got the Ultralisk's armor upgrade for an extra 2. That's a total of 6 base armor, 9 when fully upgraded. At that level of power most units won't even phase it, and the ones that can hurt it can enjoy whittling down its monstrous 800 HP.
Weaksauce Weakness: In the end, for all its power, it is still unable to attack air units. The simplest way to defend against it in the missions where you fight it is to wall your base off and stick ranged units behind it where it can't get to them and the Artificial Stupidity stops it from simply breaking down the obstructing buildings.
Cerebrate, take these, the deadliest of my minions.
The elite strains of the Hydralisk, they are the finest creations of Daggoth and are only used a handful of times. They return in a couple missions in Starcraft II, though harder to notice without their unique coloring as in the original game.
Provides examples of:
Badass: The base Hydralisk is already plenty effective, these guys simply add more HP, power and armor to it.
Lightning Bruiser: As listed under Badass — the same basic Hydralisk with more armor and double the HP and attack power.
Praetorian Guard: They're Kerrigan's guardians in both the original game and sequel, accompanying her in almost all their depictions and defending her base from enemies.
"The Zerg Swarm came as was foretold. And the Protoss, firstborn of the gods, rose to fight them. Now, the Xel'Naga that forged us all are returning. But do they come to save... or to destroy?"
The ancient race of explorers who engineered the Zerg and Protoss in an attempt to create the perfect life-form before they were apparently destroyed. Seems they'll be set to return in Starcraft II which will explore their reasons for engineering the two races the way they did.The Dark Templar novels reveal some interesting things: their attempt at creating the ultimate lifeforms was actually reproduction. It's implied that their life cycle includes creating separate species that would, in time, merge peacefully in order to create a new iteration of the Xel'Naga. They didn't abandon the Protoss (as was initially believed); they were simply done with them. And the Zerg weren't meant to exterminate all life or assimilate the Protoss, at least not until the Dark Voice corrupted them.
Provides examples of:
Bigger Bad: One of them, Amon, is the Bigger Bad of the sequel and the franchise as a whole. It's unknown however if the Xel'Naga were benevolent or evil, though it's implied the former.
Energy Beings: Perhaps; a lot of Xel'naga temples seem to be housing such beings, but there is absolutely zero information on what the Xel'naga actually look like
Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Despite the fact that their legacy is made up entirely of either architecture or obvious genetic engineering, the Protoss worship them as gods—even going so far (in the case of the Tal'darim) to declare gas deposits connected to them too sacred to be harvested.
The fact that Terrazine gas is like crack for psychics might have something to do with it, mind.
Touched by Vorlons: The Protoss, the Zerg, and any unknown number of races they encountered before them.
Turned Against Their Masters: The Protoss and Zerg both rebelled against them. Though latter episodes suggest the Zerg rebellion might have actually been caused by Amon.
Introduced in Starcraft: Brood War
Admiral Gerard Du Galle
How the hell did this guy become Admiral in first place?
"Serve the Directorate. Serve Humanity. All other priorities are secondary to victory!"
Voiced by: James Harper
Gerard DuGalle was the leader of the UED expeditionary force and the best friend of Alexi Stukov. Throughout the campaign, he proved to be staggeringly incompetent by listening to Duran's intelligence over Stukov's, the most prominent example being agreeing to destroy the Psi Disruptor, which laters turns out to be the only reason they succeeded as well as they did. When Stukov went behind DuGalle's back to keep the Disruptor intact, DuGalle had him killed at Duran's suggestion, and quickly regretted it when he realized Duran was a mole. Alone, he went on to successfully enslave the Zerg by controlling the Overmind, but his forces were stretched too thin trying to occupy too many worlds, and the UED fleet got mopped up systematically by an alliance of Kerrigan, Raynor, and Mengsk. After a last-ditch UED-Dominion-Protoss team-up on Kerrigan failed, the fleet fled to return to Earth, and DuGalle, overcome with guilt for how horribly he'd botched the mission and had his best friend killed, commited suicide shortly before the fleet was destroyed by the Zerg.
Provides examples of:
A Father to His Men: Has some shades of this—when defeated he swallows his pride and tries to surrender for their sake.
"Kerrigan, I am prepared to offer terms of surrender. It is my wish that you allow my men to live."
Zerg Are 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 (Grabing Stukov): You have seen nothing! Disecting a dead zerg in a lab is one thing, unleashing them on men is another! You must go into this with both eyes open; once started there is no going back.
"Dearest Helena: By now, the news of our defeat has reached the Earth. The creatures we were sent here to tame are untameable, and the colonies we were sent to reclaim have proven to be stronger than we anticipated. Whatever you may hear about what has happened out here, know this; Alexi did not die gloriously in battle. I killed him. My pride killed him. And now my pride has consumed me as well. You will never see me again, Helena. Tell our children that I love them, and that their father died in defense of their future. Au revoir."
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.
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 here to see Stukov as he appears in Starcraft II (spoiler alert)
"You should know that we represent not one of your ragtag peasant militias, but the combined might of the United Earth Directorate."
Alexi Stukov (occasionally spelled "Alexei") is the second-in-command of the UED fleet. Throughout the campaign he advises DuGalle, and unlike his commander is not taken in by Duran's slick talking and ignores an order to destroy a valuable piece of Confederate equipment Duran tricked DuGalle into having destroyed. He was murdered when Duran tricked DuGalle into thinking Stukov had betrayed him, and his dying words were to beg his friend to finish the job. In a bonus map that was confirmed as canon, he's infested by the Zerg, but Raynor and a Protoss named Taldarin rescue him with experimental nanobots, and the human and revived Stukov was last seen fleeing with Raynor's forces.In Starcraft II, he returns in Heart of the Swarm. At some point after his revival he fell into the hands of Narud and the Moebius Foundation, and has spent the last four years as a lab rat, Narud re-infesting him in the process. He has escaped the lab, and desiring its destruction because he knows what other experiments Narud is keeping in it, he contacts Kerrigan, deciding to bury the hatchet and ally with her to bring down Narud.
Continuity Snarl: The "Infested Stukov Missions" set, which were released by Blizzard as monthly free maps and one for the Nintendo64, is described as "quasi-canonical" for a few reasons. Resurrection IV states that Stukov was freed from the Swarm after the events of the mission, but Heart of the Swarm states that he is still a part of it. According to a Stop Poking Me quote, however, the "cure" there wasn't permanent, so perhaps this is subverted.
Do Not Go Gentle: He thinks fighting Amon to the bitter end sounds like a fantastic idea.
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 now.
"...Gerard... old friend... You do indeed have a traitor in your midst. But it's not me. Duran. He has been playing us both from the start. He convinced you to destroy the Psi Disruptor, even though it was our best chance at defeating the Zerg. And then on Aiur, he allowed the Zerg to overrun us even as we had the fugitives in our grasp. I came here... to activate the one hope we have of defeating them... and you killed me for it (wheezing laugh). Duran is your enemy, Gerard. I suspect (gasp for breath) that he may even be infested, as well. Use the Disruptor, Gerard. (struggling to talk) Finish our operation. Let my death have at least some meaning!"
He Knows Too Much: Lampshaded and invoked, but subverted. Once Narud's based is destroyed in Heart of the Swarm, Stukov assumes Kerrigan will be killing him shortly as a loose end. Kerrigan allows him the option to leave, 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 has nowhere to go.
Nice Hat: He absolutely puts everyone else in the galaxy to shame hat-wise. He keeps it post-infestation in Heart of the Swarm.
Poor Communication Kills: He could have done a better job explaining the Psi Disruptor situation to Admiral DuGalle. Heck, the whole UED-Dominion conflict could have been avoided if they would only talk to each other, as evident from their ill-fated alliance against Kerrigan at the very end of the game.
Psychic Powers: He is extremely subtly implied to have these, unwittingly. It might even have been why he was infested. Heart of the Swarm shows he definitely has these, though how much is due to infestation is unknown.
Russian Guy Suffers Most: And not just all that happens in the base game and Resurrection IV, Heart of the Swarm shows he's since been re-infested and used as a lab rat by Narud for a few years.
Stukov:Let's recap. I was betrayed and killed, shot into space, captured by the zerg, resurrected and infested, cured, given to Moebius to research the protoss cure, and was instead experimented on as the cure slowly failed. Everyone up to speed? Good.
Senseless Sacrifice: He really didn't need to die to tell DuGalle what Duran was doing, or even go off on his own to make it look like a betrayal—he could have just told him.
The campaign implies he did try to get DuGalle to listen to him, but DuGalle, for some reason (perhaps Mind Control or just a horrible case of Too Dumb to Live) never believed him until he went as far as he did.
Viral Transformation: Like all infested Terrans, it radically altered his personality. In Heart of the Swarm, Abathur notes the degree of Stukov's transformation is so great, it's second only to Kerrigan, and the combination of Zerg and Terran DNA is something even he can't replicate.
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.
You Can't Go Home Again: Acknowledged — even if he could somehow get back to Earth, there's no place there for an infested terran.
"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.
"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. Given that the Tal'Darim turn out to be working for Narud/Duran in Heart of the Swarm, presumably Ulrezaj is a servant of either Duran or Amon as well.
Provides examples of:
Ascended Extra: From a side-campaign meaningless to the overarcing plot to a major antagonist in a trilogy of novels, and it's likely he'll be back in Legacy of the Void.
Dark Is Evil: He's a Dark Templar/Dark Archon. He's evil. Yup.
Dark Messiah: How he's seen by his followers in the novels, at least.
The Dragon: He's stated to have a boss who's much more powerful than him. Likely it's referring to Amon, which would either make him Co-Dragons with Duran, or this trope to Duran himself.
Eldritch Abomination: Described as an enormous cloud of crackling, ''radiant darkness''. It took a whole Terran Exploratory Fleet, uncountable Zerg and several Protoss sacrifices to even slow him down. Not even Kerrigan wanted to mess with him.
Fusion Dance: Most Archons are fused from two Templar. Ulrezaj on the other hand is a fusion of seven Dark Templar with himself as the dominant personality. Exactly how he managed that is unknown, even in-universe. Also, most Archons burn out and expire after some time. His method for continued survival is also unknown, but it likely involves the souls of the living, and drinking them.
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.
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.
Took a Level in Badass: In Dark Vengeance, Ulrezaj was a normal Dark Templar who wanted to 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, and is very likely a servant of the Big Bad of the sequel trilogy. Ulrezaj took several levels in badass.
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.
Voiced by: Paul Ainsley in Starcraft, and Armin Shimerman (human form) and Patrick Seitz (true form) in Starcraft II
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.He appears in Stacraft II as Emil Narud, head of the Moebius Foundation that studies xel'naga relics. He and Valerian work with Raynor to de-infest Kerrigan, but Narud sells them out to Mengsk between games and the foundation becomes an enemy of the heroes. Heart of the Swarm reveals Narud is a shapeshifter serving a fallen xel'naga called Amon, creating the hybrids to gather psionic energy to revive Amon. While it's never directly confirmed that Narud and Duran are the same being, Word Of God and information about Narud given in the games and in the novel Flashpoint all but directly state they are. note Word Of God confirms they are somehow connected and that Duran himself somehow appeared in Wings of Liberty, and Kerrigan mentions in Flashpoint that Narud's psionic signature is familiar.
Provides examples of:
Ascended Extra: Duran might have just been forgotten as Kerrigan's second-in-command if not for that secret mission...
Badass: At the very least, he's a ghost operative (or at least can impersonate one) and has all the associated tricks. Kerrigan mentions in Heart of the Swarm that he's the most powerful being she's ever met, and he lives up to the boasting, showing off a Laser Blade of psionic energy and psionic skills rivaling Kerrigan's and nearly killing her in their fight. He's also apparently able to cloak without technological means as described in Flashpoint.
Beam-O-War: With Kerrigan in one Heart of the Swarm mission. And until Stukov de-powered him, he was slowly winning.
Glowing Eyes of Doom: Has them on and off in Heart of the Swarm. In a mission they're green, but in the following cutscene they're red.
Heel Face Mole: First to the UED, then to the Zerg, and then to the mysterious "greater power" that is mentioned in the quote above. And then to Raynor, Valerian and Kerrigan in Starcraft II—though his ultimate loyalty is still to the "higher power", Amon.
Laser Blade: Wields one in Heart of the Swarm to combat Kerrigan.
Made of Iron: Kerrigan calling a Nydus Worm to slam him through rock doesn't have any visible effect on him.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: It might not have been the best of ideas to brag to Zeratul about the hybrid, and hint at his plans for the future. As a result of this discovery, Zeratul's been looking for a way to stop the future Duran alluded to—and he may have found it.
Really 700 Years Old: He mentions having had "many names throughout the millennia". Given that his master Amon has been dead for thousands of years, and it's implied that he was a personal servant of Amon, this is likely not an exaggeration.
The Remnant: He leads a faction of Confederate loyalists fighting the Dominion when you first meet him on Braxis.
Wham Episode: Dark Origin. He's back to make another wham in Heart of the Swarm.
Wham Line: At the end of Episode V, "Excuse me Admiral, but I'd like to introduce someone to you." Said as he arrives alongside Kerrigan and his voice suddenly takes on an "infested" distortion. Stukov had already hinted that this might be the case, but that line confirms it.
And then in Dark Origin, his appearance at the end of the mission is pretty much a Wham Speech, from the first line where he is revealed to be behind the strange experiments Zeratul has found.
You Are Too Late: When Kerrigan kills him, he lets her know that Amon has already been resurrected.