Fridge / StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
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- When dealing with the Primal Zerg, you have no difficulty communicating, despite thousands or millions of years apart. At first, this can be shrugged off as the Psychic Link, until we find out that they explicitly do not have any psychic abilities. The brilliance comes when you pay attention to the things they say: Consume, survive, change. Little else. You're only communicating with them on the most basic level, using concepts any zerg can understand. The Ancient One seems to be an exception, able to express complex ideas like the nature of the Dark Voice, but he is very old, and a unique specimen. The fact that Kerrigan is also a massively powerful telepath is likely also a factor: what they can't express in words, she'll pick off from their thoughts.
- Everything that happened with Stukov makes sense when you consider who was holding him captive all those years and their role in Wings of Liberty. For years Narud and the Moebius Foundation could experiment and examine the only person ever to be cured of being Infested, along with re-infesting him too to see if it was possible. All this time except for having the artifact itself, the Foundation and Narud had all they had all they needed to revive Amon, which is where Raynor and company ultimately come in...
- Sarah Kerrigan, as a Queen of Blades who maintains her humanity, looks very subtly different from her previous incarnation. So much so that you have absolutely no problem believing that she has turned over a new leaf. Here's the hint why... look at her eyes. The tiny little twitches of facial expression that save her from the Uncanny Valley response make her more human. Now why can she do that? She's herself again! She is no longer influenced by the Dark Voice, who has no need for such petty things as human emotions. It also helps that in her new form, she does not have glowing eyes by default.
- Everyone knows that Narud and Samir Duran are the same entity, but Kerrigan never mentions that they used to work together for a wile, back in Broodwar with Duran being Kerrigans henchman, making it seem like they just met for the first time. But remember: Kerrigan's memory of her "queenbitch" days was full of holes, so she really may not have remembered him.
- When Kerrigan reaches the Hyperion's bridge in the early part of the campaign, she gets pissed when she realizes Raynor has been left behind. One may think she's overreacting to emphasize how much she cares about Raynor, but remember what happened to her on Tarsonis. She was captured by Zerg and infested because Mengsk abandoned her, and now Mengsk's son has done the exact same thing to Raynor.
- A long time ago, Jim Raynor promised to kill the Queen of Blades. When he's rescued by a Zergified Sarah Kerrigan, he squibs the chance she freely gives him to put a bullet between her eyes. It seems odd, considering his oath to avenge his friend Fenix, and there's a perfectly reasonable explanation- he knows that she's supposed to save the universe. He can't kill her. There's another more interesting reason; he already has killed the being that killed his friend Fenix. The being in front of him is Sarah Kerrigan, not the Queen of Blades. She died on Char when he used the Xel'Naga device on her, and the Sarah we see in Heart of the Swarm is a Sarah Kerrigan who turned herself into a Zerg, not the unholy Queen of Blades that used her for its own purposes.
- Kerrigan's trolling of Valerian during the first mission seemed like her having a sadistic sense of humor, but remember who she's dealing with; the last Mengsk who tried to control and use the Zerg destroyed a whole planet and was directly responsible for her becoming the Queen of Blades. Evil is not a Toy indeed. It also gives her approval of Valerian a lot more meaning compared to simply that he loves his people.
- Donny Vermillion had a back and forth with Kate Lockwell about a possible Zerg-Human alliance because of the Queen of Blades's human side. Kate understandably tells him otherwise. In the final mission of Heart of the Swarm, it is because of Kerrigan's human side that called Raynor back to help her, forming a Zerg-Human Alliance.
- The Dark Templar Saga series of novels makes a lot more sense now. With Wings of Liberty it seemed like the trilogy was just a cool side-story to introduce a few concepts important to the sequel. Now with the knowledge that Ulrezaj almost certainly worked for Amon, he and Zamara being sealed in a crystal kept on Shakuras, Valerian being friends with Jake and Rosemary, Zeratul being sent off to witness a bunch of energy creatures that we know from other novels absorb psionic energy. The trilogy is pretty much a novelized prequel to the sequel trilogy, its plot elements are weaved into the games much deeper than was apparent from just Wings of Liberty.
- A lot of the points that were first posited in the original Starcraft make a lot more sense under the lens of Starcraft 2. For example, why would the Overmind go through the effort of infesting Kerrigan using the best methods at its disposal and giving her free will when he is trying to assimilate the protoss to achieve perfection? To free the zerg of Amonís influence. Duranís reference to a far greater power that has slept for many millennia is elaborated upon by Kerrigan referring to Amon as "dead", for which the word "sleep" can allude to.
- "Sleep" can also mean how Amon is forced to remain in the Void until he is ready to once again venture beyond it.
- Indeed, all of the Overmind's actions in SC1 make a lot of sense now where they did not before. Consider:
- The Overmind went through a great deal of trouble to find, isolate, capture, assimilate, and then train Kerrigan. He did this supposedly because assimilating her psionic potential into the Swarm would allow them to be able to fight the Protoss. Yet, when the time came to invade Aiur... he left her behind. This seems nonsensical, until we discover the Overmind wants her to live, and it doesn't plan on surviving Aiur. Because:
- The Overmind was the Eternal Will of the Swarm. A being with a purity of essence, without corporeal form. Then, after creating Kerrigan and watching her fight for a while, he suddenly decides to build himself a body. A mortal body. A completely immobile, mortal body. One he places on a planet full of people who have the potential to kill him. That sounds really stupid unless the plan is to get himself killed ASAP after creating Kerrigan.
- All of the Primal Zerg leaders are recognizably older, larger, more evolved versions of the regular Primal Zerg types - Brakk is an ultralisk, Slivan is a swarm host, et cetera. And Zurvan? Well, the first, oldest, most badass Primal Zerg ever to exist is, of course, the world's largest, angriest, most evolved Zergling.
- With the revelation that Narud was in charge of the Tal'darim and the implication that he was Duran, the Excuse Plot of the Protoss missions in Wings of Liberty becomes more clear. As the campaign progresses and Jim finishes more of the Artifact missions, the crew of the Hyperion becomes weary of them, to the point that even Tychus starts having second thoughts about doing them, even going as far as calling the last one a suicide mission, the thing is, they are. Jim is regarded as one of the most cunning commanders in the StarCraft universe, to the point that even the Queen of Blades acknowledged it. Duran knew this as well, so, by making him fight with the Tal'darim, he was in a win-win situation: if Jim survived all of the Artifact missions, then, he could still use him to deinfest Kerrigan, use Tychus to kill her and still pose as Narud without problem; if he died, then he would no longer had to deal with him, he could still assemble the Artifact offscreen and the Dominion expedition to Char would have failed, leaving the Terrans with less defenses against the Zerg. This is somewhat reinforced by Word of God which states that there were various agents to get the job done, Tychus was simply the one that was the closest to accomplish the deed.
- Towards the end of the game, Arcturus presents himself as a selfless leader and emphasizes his protection of humanity, even in private communications. Could be Alternate Character Interpretation. Or it could be that after the disaster in Media Blitz, Mengsk knows that anything he says, even in private, might come back to bite him.
- Mengsk was in possession of the Xel'Naga artifact all along, which obviously raises the question of why he didn't used it to defend Augustgrad from the Zerg. Simple: he didn't care. For him, it didn't matter if Valerian died, Warfield was killed or Korhal was overrun and many innocents died, all that mattered to him was that Kerrigan died.
- The Heart campaign was shorter and a fair bit easier than the one in Wings. Then, you remember the situation at the end of Brood Wars: Arcturus was granted Cruel Mercy by the Queen Bitch. The Heart campaign was a reminder to the players just how easily the Dominion can be crushed by the Swarm. Kerrigan just has to give the order.
- When the opening cinematic for Heart of the Swarm was released, a lot of people were having fun with the viking landing to fight the ultralisk, and the zerg winning by attacking through choke points using lots of zerglings and ultralisks just seemed a Gameplay and Story Segregation for the cutscene. Cue the Korhal missions, where landed vikings are one of the more common enemies, the need to build a fast army leads to ultralisk based armies often, and it is common to attack over bridges and through streets.
- In the end, Kerrigan finishes off Arcturus for good, cursing him for having "turned us all into monsters". The "us" she is referring to is actually the entire Terran faction. Because of Mengsk's Dominion, the Terrans had been pushed into a villain role for all the games. Things may finally get better now.
- Confirmed in Legacy of the Void. The Dominion under Valerian opts in to help destroy Amon in the Void.
- As an expansion, in the ending cinematic of Heart, we see Kerrigan lifting off from the palace while Jim watches. The thing is, if you look closely, the debris of Mengsk's explosion is behind Jim, meaning that the Xel'Naga artifact is still in one piece in the intact part of the room.
- The artifact plays an important role in Legacy of the Void as well.
- Why were the Primal Zerg so against waking Zurvan? Because the pack leaders knew that as the strongest, they're the ones he's most likely to devour in hopes of evolving further.
- The interaction between the Zerg Swarm and Primal Zerg mirror, to an extent, the original reactions of the Khalai Protoss to the Dark Templar in the first game. By becoming Primal, Kerrigan became the Zerg equivalent of Tassadar.
- Throughout the Heart of the Swarm story and trailers, Kerrigan refers to herself as the "Heart of the Swarm". At first, it seems like a generic usage of I Am the Noun. However the Heart of the Swarm story-mode reveals that Kerrigan is actually right. When Kerrigan was the Queen of Blades, she united the Swarm and almost made an empire out of it, but she had no true freewill thanks to Amon. When Kerrigan is de-infested, the Swarm breaks into smaller groups of Brood Mothers who even fight each other. Once Kerrigan returns, she starts gathering them up. By the end, most, if not all, of the Swarm rejoins her willingly. Simply put, Kerrigan gave the Swarm its heart, the one thing it never had. By almost humanizing it (as in showing that it had individuals and people among it), Kerrigan has effectively become the heart of the swarm as in what connects it, and what gives it a actual empathy. This is why Jim forms an alliance to take down Mengsk, because the Swarm is like a actual group now, making them Not So Different!
- Psy disruptor:
- When the Swarm attacks the Psi Destroyer, Kerrigan mentions that, since he doesn't share the psychic hive mind, this is Dehaka's chance to shine. But Dehaka isn't the only one that lacks that psychic link - Stukov doesn't have it either. So why doesn't she send him? When Gerard Dugalle sent a team to destroy the Psi Disruptor in Brood Wars, on Duran's advice, and Stukov tried to stop him, Duran shot him for almost ruining the plan. That led to all his torture and suffering at Duran/Narud's hands for the last several years, as well as the death of Stukov's best friend Dugalle. Kerrigan is showing considerable empathy by not sending him into the exact same situation again.
- Another possibility: Stukov has been implied to have psionic powers of some kind, which, hive mind or no, Kerrigan could have considered vulnerable to the Psi Destroyer, leaving Dehaka as her best and surest option.
- Stukov's unit class in Brood War is a Ghost, implying above-average psionic potential, so the latter theory has credence to it.
- In the final mission, most of Raynor's men consist of elite mercenaries rather than regular troops. While this is clearly done for balance purposes, why would they so willingly jump into a meat-grinder of a battle in such numbers? Well, if you paid close attention in Wings of Liberty, you'd remember almost all of them are former Confederates and UED, which means they all have a massive score to settle with Mengsk themselves.
- Kerrigan's speech at the end is a direct mirror to her speech in Brood War. At first, it just seems like an ending, but when compared to the speech in Brood War, Kerrigan's evolution is much more pronounced. Where she was a monster who was alone, now she's a hero surrounded by loved ones, even if they are creepy monsters.
- In Wings of Liberty and early in Heart of the Swarm, Mengsk is shown as having slightly greying black hair. Yet, during the final cinematic, his hair is completely grey. What caused his hair to grey completely in just a matter of months? Why, the Swarm reviving and Kerrigan coming for him, of course!
- Across the whole lore, Amon had accounted for everything. Every plan, every counter-plan, every counter-counter-plan. No matter what anyone ever did the pieces were always in a way such that they would come out ahead. Who ultimately screwed this up and introduced a variable that caused everything to fall apart? Not Mengsk. Not the Overmind. Not Zeratul. Not Kerrigan. Not Raynor. Not Artanis. Stukov! Because Amon assumed Narud had Stukov under control when he didn't and Narud assumed Stukov was not a threat when he was, Stukov was the only one able to interfere with their plans. Even with all the prophecies, all the victories, all the help from Ouros, Narud still had Kerrigan dead to rights until Stukov - that one forgotten variable - helped Kerrigan win. Had Stukov not been there Amon still would have won in the end because Kerrigan would be dead and the whole of the Zerg would have been his.
- So Amon is long dead until just before Heart of the Swarm. The question is what killed him, because it implied he didn't just die of old age.
- Maybe it has something to do with the fact that apparently there are no longer any living Xel'Naga in the universe.
- Legacy of the Void clarifies that his "death" is merely banishment back to the Void. For him to stay dead, he has to be killed within the Void.
- When Stukov assists in the final mission, his entire army consists of aberrations and infested terrans of all kinds. This seemed like to just play to his type (Dehaka uses Primal Zerg while Zegara uses standard Zerg fare) until you realized that they probably still had the virophages on Skygeirr Station. Especially since the guy in charge of the defense noted how they should put the infected out of their misery, implying he saw it as a fate worse than death. Stukov is probably using this to get his revenge for being imprisoned for 4 years as a lab rat.
- If you spoke to Ariel Hansen about the Artifact in Wings of Liberty, she notes how the Artifact is only a few thousand years old, as opposed to the millions of most Xel'Naga artifacts. It can de-infest infested Terrans, and cause severe damage to other zerg. It can also siphon energy from one being into another. Seems pretty convenient, that it just so happened to be able to destroy Kerrigan's control of the swarm and channel energy into Hybrids for Amon. But if Amon found out about the Overmind's plot to create an independent leader for the Swarm, the artifacts might have been created by Amon in the event of his death, as well as a failsafe in case Kerrigan was not completely under his control. It would explain why the Tal'Darim were guarding the pieces; they already knew why they are important and why they must not be stolen. They just had no idea Raynor was working for Narud at the time.
- In Legacy of the Void, when the protoss examined the artifact, they verified that the artifact was indeed millions of years old. Terran analysis had failed to detect that the artifact can actually self-repair/renew. Also, its true capability is to convert various forms of energy into one another seamlessly.
- Dark Origins showed that Terrans somehow had access to Protoss Tech and genetic data for making Hybrids. Wings of Liberty showed the Dominion, who are not exactly on good terms with any protoss faction, having access to protoss genetic data. Granted, they could have been scavenging battlefields and possibly kidnapping protoss for this expressed purpose, but it would make more sense that Narud was manipulating the Tal'Darim to hand over "volunteers" for experimentation. Given their subsequent connection, this might be where all the protoss genetics came from for their Hybrids. Who the "volunteers" are is also pretty obvious: the Tal'Darim have been shown, on several occasions, kidnapping their Shakuras kin for no other explicit purpose.
- A minor one, but given the Dominion's actions in the second mission, Arcturus Mengsk effectively declared war on the Umojan Protectorate. Who knows what kind of Terran vs. Terran war was occurring while Kerrigan was away on Zerus. It might also explain why Korhal is not more heavily defended by the time Kerrigan arrives.
- A small one spanning the entire lore of the franchise. Arcturus's father, Augustus Mengsk, was so brutally murdered by Kerrigan that they never found his head. While possibly unintentional, when Kerrigan killed Arcturus, she also blew up his head, making him die in the same way his father did.