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Heart of the Swarm
Dominion Attacks while Prince Valerian is With Raynor
- Okay, it was stated that Arcturus Mengsk would kill even his own son as long as Kerrigan goes down. However, Valerian was fighting alongside the Raiders, but his father did not brand him a traitor or strip him of his "Crown Prince" title. That being said, he should still have authority over the Dominion Military.
- For example, Nova led an attack on the lab in the Umojan Protectorate, why couldn't Valerian, the Crown Prince of the Dominion just try to have Nova to call off her attack? Nova wasn't even aware or did not expect that Valerian was with Raynor and Kerrigan.
- Or, when the Dominion Fleet was attacking the Hyperion. Sure, the fleet wouldn't listen to Matt Horner even if he said that Crown Prince Valerian was aboard, but what about if Valerian himself tried to call off the fleet?
- Because Valarian doesn't outrank his father so he can't overrule his orders. Anyone else's or someone following vague directions, sure. But a direct order from the Emperor? Nothing he can do.
- But that means that the Dominion soldiers that attacked the facility were technically under Nova's orders, therefore Valerian outranks Nova and could order her to halt her attacks so that all personnel could evacuate. Also Valerian could also tell Nova to cease the lockdown, because Arcturus did not necessarily order Nova to put the facility on lockdown. His father and Nova could care less about the civilians evacuating, because Nova's only concern is getting Kerrigan.
- You're making assumptions on what their orders were. Kerrigan was the primary target, but that doesn't mean she was the only one, Nova has no problems taking out Raynor as soon as she finds him. There's a chain of command, if Mengsk puts Nova in charge and orders her to take out Kerrigan (and likely the Raiders if possible) then the order still comes from the Emperor and Valerian is still powerless to stop it. Liek Valerian himself says, Arcturus will sacrifice anything to kill Kerrigan, so his standing order is to kill Kerrigan regardless of what else must be sacrificed.
- You also don't get how an army works. People in the army take orders from whoever they are supposed to take orders from (usually a few select people), regardless of whether someone else of a higher rank thinks disagrees. Otherwise you're suggesting that if you don't like your orders, you just pick someone else to take orders from - which goes against the very definition of a professional army, even if it's a fictional professional army in space with ludicrous ship designs.
- ...But there's nothing suggesting that Valerian can't reason with Nova, let alone try.
- Why do you assume Arcturus would send an attack squad to eliminate the greatest threat to his reign that could be stopped with a word from someone he knows will be there. Valarians pressence didn't stop the attack on the Hyperion and it wouldn't have stopped the invasion force either. Nova does not answer to Valarian, she only answers to the Emperor and Ghosts are mentally conditioned to not rebel via neural inhibitors, mental conditioning and regular mindwipes. You'll notice Valarian never even tries to call off the attackers, despite him attempting to talk his way out of every other situation during the game, he knows it's pointless to try.
- No, that's the thing I wonder about. I notice that Valerian doesn't even try to call off Nova, so why doesn't he even try? Also, I said REASON with Nova, that's different from stopping the attacks on the lab. What makes you think that the Emperor or Nova knows that Valerian was even at the lab prior to Horner announcing his presence? Valerian may as well negotiate with Nova to minimize unnecessary casualties and allow all civilian personnel evacuate. Or, Valerian could buy Raynor some time by diverting Nova and her attackers with disinformation into a trap. You're also forgetting that Nova overcame her memory wipes by being exposed to terrazine, so she now serves Mengsk willingly. What would Nova try to do if Valerian tried to negotiate with her, kill him?
- The previous poster has already told you: There's no point in trying to reason with someone you know won't listen to you. Valerian had his hands full with getting to a safe place, moreover there is no indication he knew who was in command. Even if he contacted Nova, or his father, Valerian has no leverage - he has nothing strategically important to offer his father, short of betraying Raynor's Raiders. You could argue that he could say, "Hey dad, I'm like, your son!" or say something emotionally significant and hope his father comes around. This would not succeed because 1. Like Valerian himself said, his father will sacrifice any piece on the chessboard to kill Kerrigan and 2. Arcturus orders the attack KNOWING that his son is allied with Raynor and Kerrigan (this was shown in WOL), so therefore, Arcturus has already evaluated the situation and decided that an offensive on the facility is acceptable, even if his son is there while he shoots the place up. As for Nova, you're right about there being nothing to definitively prevent him from convincing Nova to cease fire, but there's also nothing to suggest that Valerian has ANYTHING except his parentage to use to convince Nova into any sort of compromise. Using your logic, I can also say that since that there is no evidence that conclusively contradicts that Raynor is an infested terran, or that Zeratul is moonlighting as a taxi driver, or that Duran killed Prince Valerian halfway into Wings of Liberty and assumed his likeness, or that you can do a barrel roll with the Hyperion, therefore all those things are reasonable possibilities. Something can be technically possible but at the same time be exceedingly unlikely, even if you really want it to happen. Do you see a lot of people go up to the hottest celebrities they have huge boners for and ask them if they'd like to have sex? NO, because even though it is technically possible, and maybe if you "reasoned" hard enough you'd get some, and you'd really really like it to happen, there is probably no reason they would agree. Same story with Nova. Valerian has no hand to play besides "Don't shoot, I'm the Prince lol!"
- Alternatively, Valerian has decided to go all the way: depose his father by allying with Raynor's Raiders (and potentially, the Swarm). It's a huge gamble, but judging from his style of gambling in Wings, Valerian goes for a big win or broke. And both times, he won big.
- Is it ever explained why the Protoss had all those animals on their ship?
- They were colonists. It would make sense that you would carry a lot of different animals with you when you go to an icy planet with plans to terraform (Auir-form? Shakuras-form?) it.
- Something about the mission "In the body of the enemy". Aren't Protoss supposed to be immune to Zerg corruption?
- Abathur explains this after. He congratulates Kerrigan for finding a loophole: Protoss can't be infested, but they can be host to foreign organisms—parasites like the one Kerrigan used. It wasn't actually controlling its host, it was just using her to get on the ship.
- It's basically the same thing as broodlings. No protoss genetics were integrated into the Brood Mother.
- Why does Jim have a gun in prison?
- Perhaps Sarah gave it to him. How does this theory hold? First, Jim's is momentarily stunned and dizzy from Sarah blowing up the door so he may not see things as they should, like her holding a gun. Two, we see Sarah walk in from Jim's not-so-reliable perspective. Three, Sarah told Izsha it wouldn't end well referring to how Jim would react to her transformation into Primal Queen of Blades and so reasoned that he may want to end it there violently, and she'd be fine with that. And four, when we see the gun, it's already in Jim's hands with Sarah's on it too, which makes the whole theory possible. She would have done it between 0:50 and 0:55 of the cinematic, where there is a movement of her right arm with her hand off camera.
- Or Mengsk let him keep it. A pistol isn't going to do much good against an entire prison full of guards (who he has already proven he doesn't care about in the least), and he would consider it absolutely delicious if Raynor committed suicide before she got there.
- Or even better, if he shot her which he very nearly did. Mengsk might be suffering from Bond Villain Stupidity, but he knows his failsafes.
- Still doesn't explain the cigarettes he's carrying.
Kerrigan's 1v 1 confrontations
- Why does Kerrigan continue to jump into 1 on 1 confrontations despite the fact that almost every one puts her in highly dangerous situations (In particular, thinking Duran and Mengsk, where she was expecting ahead of time to face some very dangerous situations.) Seems a lot less risky top just send in a few units, while controlling from the outside to ensure less collateral damage, and if something goes wrong she still has a large swarm outside to handle things. (I guess blizzard really likes dramatic confrontations.)
- It may be a matter of concentration. Kerrigan seems to display far greater battle prowess when her attention isn't divided trying to coordinate the swarm. (This may explain her superior performance during cinematics.) Trying to herd a pack of zerglings while fending off an Eldritch Abomination would be like fighting with one hand tied behind your back.
- Keep in mind also that for dealing with Mengsk, it was personal and considering how she killed him, she probably wouldn't have settled for just letting some Zergling maul him to death. Plus it wouldn't matter how many Zerg she would've brought; the artifact would've incapacitated them too. As for Narud, Kerrigan knew how dangerous he was and probably assumed she was the only thing in the Swarm that could stand up to him.
- Putting oneself into dangerous situations that could kill you is simply the Zerg way, it forces evolution, adapt or die. Plus she had a backup just in case she died, her life/death was part of the gamble, Zagara had specific instructions if she died. In addition to that there's also the fact that, when fighting Narud, bringing an army to fight a shapeshifter that can block your ability to read his mind is a VERY bad idea.
- In Wings of Liberty Stetmann is researching both Protoss and Zerg specimens, and here's one thing I noticed about the Zerg sample: "I noticed earlier that zerg alpha amino acids have unique R groups. I've run a full regimen on some. Results are stunning. Zerg aminos are able to combine dead cell matter with normal proteins to biosynthesize new cells. They don't suffer generational cell degradation. Simply put, a zerg will never die of old age. They can constantly renew themselves, albeit with radically changing cell structure." Fast forward to Heart of the Swarm and Izsha and Kerrigan are amazed that the Primal Zerg don't age. Did I miss something, or is this just another case of Chris Metzen writing lore and then forgetting about it, like what he did with the Draenei from Warcraft?
- I don't believe they were surprised the Primals don't age, they were just noting that anything that survives thousands or millions of years on a dog-eat-dog Death World is going to be unspeakably powerful.
- Normal Zerg don't suffer the effects of aging, but it's possible there's some visual cues that build up over time.
- It might also actually be possible that, being mostly a race of nigh-unintelligent animals, the Zerg simply don't know much about their own biology. They excel at manipulating it, but it's all instinctive. Like how a Zen master might be able to pull off amazing feats of body control without "truly" understanding the physiological mechanisms behind. The only member of the Swarm who likely knows his way around genetics beyond "I will, therefore it lives" (like Kerrigen) is Abathur, and it's completely in-character for him to not tell Kerrigen until she specifically asks ("Initiating conversation inefficient. Information deemed unnecessary. Calories wasted.")
- Actually brought up in story-apparently something about zerg mutation cures the effects of aging. Presumably the cells are recycled.
- "Not dying of old age" and "not aging" aren't quite the same thing. One means you don't keel over from heart failure, the other means you never look like you're about to keel over from heart failure. It's also worth noting that the Primal Zerg pack leaders (save Dehaka) tended to be utterly massive; maybe they just never stop evolving and growing more powerful, unlike vanilla Zerg who tend to stick to their assigned roles, size and power included.
- Who said Stetmann's analysis was complete and accurate?
- Alternatively, both Kerrigan and Izsha were Terran entities that were incorporated into the Zerg Swarm. They were never part of the original command structure (Overmind and Cerebrates), who were responsible for managing Zerg biology. Not to mention that de-infested Kerrigan had no memories of her time as the Queen of Blades. It's likely that they both simply had no idea that Zerg could live so long, as they were accustomed to Terran (or other non-Zerg) lifecycles.
Odds during Korhal Invasion
- More of a question than a plothole, but who was more likely to win the final battle from the outset? In the Terran's favor, the minced remains of leviathans are raining from the sky all throughout the first mission, and Kerrigan herself claimed that "Korhal will be the toughest battle of my life". She was also reluctant to accept a tactical disadvantage, implying that victory wasn't assured. On the other hand, the Zerg have attacked hard targets like Korhal before (i.e. Tarsonus and Auir) without concern, Zagara dismissed their casualties as being inconsequential, and the Zerg seemed to be winning handily during the cinematic intro. I felt that the (otherwise good) narrative lost considerable urgency and tension by not clearly establishing which side had the clear advantage.
- Part of Kerrigan's problem was in avoiding civilian casualties (really, if she didn't care who got killed she could have just dropped a Leviathan on the palace), something the rest of the Swarm would dismiss, and her personal survival. Every weapon Mengsk had was pointed straight at her, it's the hardest battle of her life, not the hardest battle the Swarm has ever faced. Also it was raining the remains of drop pods, not Leviathans. Plus Kerrigan knows Mengsk will have a few anti-Zerg tricks up his sleeve, something the rest of the Swarm didn't know or factor in, complex thinking isn't really something the Swarm is capable of, or bothers with if they are (as shown with Zagara's development).
- It should be pointed out that the Swarm has been greatly weakened since starting those battles and has not fully recovered. They probably rebuilt their losses from Tarsonis, but a substantial number of zerg were left on-planet and destroyed by the UED. Aiur cost the zerg heavily, and the loss of all sentient controllers on-planet meant that they went into a sort of inactive defense mode instead of replacing their losses. Then a bunch were wiped out by the Xel'Naga temple. Kerrigan rebuilt the swarm substantially afterwards, but her largest single force was sent to Bhelkar Rho and devoured by a Hybrid. During Wings Of Liberty, things weren't going all her own way during the Dominion invasion; while the Dominion were forced back they apparently were still holding the core worlds. Then the Char invasion got a bunch more destroyed even before the primary Hive Cluster was obliterated by the Xel'Naga artifact. With the loss of central control, the Dominion cleaned up with relative ease.
- Further contributing to the Swarm’s weakened state are the internecine wars that took place whenever the Zerg lost a central intelligence; as seen when Zasz died in the original game, any brood that loses its leader will attack anything near it, including other broods. The death of the original Overmind, the Brood War, and the de-infestation of Kerrigan all triggered massive internal conflicts throughout the Swarm.
- In any case however, Mengsk would not underestimate the Swarm a second time, meaning he learned from his own mistakes from being victim to the swarm other times.
- I'd like to point out that the Zerg have never been stated to be low on numbers, after Aiur, Broodwar, or anything. We get a rough idea of Terran numbers and Protoss numbers but it is much more fuzzy with Zerg. For all you know there are enough Zerg forces lying around to conquer half the galaxy that the Overmind was keeping in reserve. Maybe Kerrigan went into the final battle ridiculously overpowered (they do make a point of stating that ALL the brood mothers returned to serve the Swarm) and overestimated Mengsk's preperations.
- There is also a possibility that Arcturus was fighting on a second front, so he could not pull his entire army back to Korhal and hence was not as strong as it could be. If you recall his actions in the second mission, he effectively declared war on the Umojan Protectorate, given that he violated their sovereign territory, killed members of their security forces and attempted to kill three people who had been granted asylum. Who knows what was going on with the Dominion while Kerrigan was busy elsewhere.
- The Umojan Protectorate spans only three worlds. The Dominion spans dozens of worlds, any conflict between the two factions would be finished very quickly, long before Kerrigan would notice a difference and without making a noticeable dent in the Dominion's resources. The Umojans would have to be suicidal to declare war on the Dominion. That the Swarm could destroy the Dominion with relative ease has always been a simple fact of the StarCraft universe, the Dominion only lasted as long as it did because the Queen of Blades 1) liked to watch Mengsk squirm and 2) had more pressing matters than a using up resources on so minor a threat.
Narud's plans make no sense
- So between Heart of the Swarm and Flashpoint (the novel that bridges Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm), we know that Narud (and his Moebius Foundation) reports to, and has the complete support of, Mengsk (while pretending to work for Valerian), and controls the Tal'Darim as the prophet and harbinger of their god. We also know that his primary goal in Wings of Liberty is to assemble the artefact, use it to dezergify Kerrigan, and use the energy to resurrect Amon while disposing of his greatest enemy in the process. With this in mind, let's look at the Artefact missions: In "The Outlaws", Narud hires Raynor to kill the Dominion excavation team which would have sent the artefact piece to Moebius. In "Smash and Grab", he hires Raynor to attack his Tal'Darim servants and steal the artefact piece, thereby weakening them at a crucial moment and increasing the chances of the zerg nabbing the artefact piece instead. In "The Dig", he has his Tal'Darim massacre his Moebius excavation team and sends Raynor in afterwards. In "Supernova", he has his Tal'Darim fight to keep the artefact piece on a planet about to be destroyed by a supernova. In "Maw of the Void", he forces Raynor's Raiders to burn precious resources (which they'll need for the invasion of Char) in the rip tide generators in order to take the artefact piece from his Tal'Darim. In more general points, consider a) the general stupidity of keeping the pieces on a single battlecruiser which keeps being sent into terrible danger - and is under constant threat of being blown up by Mengsk's forces if they find it - and b) the fact that all but one of the artefact pieces start out under Tal'Darim control, and he could just demand for them to be handed over, especially given what he intends to use them for.
- Maybe the Tal'Darim are mere pawns in Narud's grand plan, viz. the revival (and return) of Amon, just as that dark future Tassadar (and by extension, the Overmind) warned Zeratul about, with the Zerg as Amon's pawns.
- Ultimately, EVERYTHING is expendable to Narud (even himself, to some extent). As long as Amon gets revived, anyone/anything can go to hell. It is also likely that the Tal'Darim fell under Narud's sway in between Wings and Heart. In Wings, we see them worshipping the Xel'naga. Narud, once knowing that they exist, chatted them up or mind controlled the lot, and they fell in line.
- Most likely the former; Amon is, after all, Xel'naga—the object of the Tal'Darim's worship.
- It's very likely the Tal'Darim were operating on their own during Wings of Liberty and were only recruited by Narud during the time gap between Wings and Heart of the Swarm.
- Also, an ancient and cunning entity like Narud would naturally be playing all factions against each other, even the ones under his control, in order to weaken them and guarantee that they won't pose a threat to his or Amon's plans.
- I got the impression that the Tal'Darim still have their free will, and are not being mind controlled; this would require Narud to play along with their beliefs to maintain their loyalty, and the loyalty of a fanatically zealous cult is tenuous at best. If Narud had ordered them to deliver their sacred relics into the hands of a smelly drunk Terran, they would have started to question if Narud really is their holy prophet. Thus, by having Raynor take the artifacts by force, Narud lost only a fraction of the Tal’Darim while maintaining the loyalty of the greater whole.
- Confirmed; the Tal'darim are immune to Narud's/Amon's influence, and their loyalty is still conditional in spite of it's intensity. This becomes plot point in Legacy of the Void, where they actually do turn against Amon for "betraying" them, and actually provide crucial support in his defeat. If Narud had ordered them to turn over their sacred relics, they would have refused and likely turned on him.
- Turns out according Alarak that the Tal'darim that Raynor encountered were once part of Amon's Tal'darim. However, since Nyon went insane, he ended up going a different direction, which would explain why he attacked Moebius, which is led by Amon's servant Dr. Narud. Nyon as a result, was a rogue Tal'darim executor.
- As for the dominion forces sacrificed, he needed to sell the deception. The Terrans are all going to die out once Amon takes over, so their isn't much point in trying to maintain them. If the forces in question find out they're being sacrificed, blame it on Mengsk.
- Maybe the Artifact could only be used by terrans. After all, we know they are immune to its effects, but where is the guarantee protoss are?
- The protoss are almost certainly not immune. If you click on the Artifact after the first Prophecy mission, and Dr. Hanson is there, she'll mention that the Artifact was drawing in power from the Ihan crystal nearby. She mentions that the Artifact's tendency to pull energy from the environment around it won't affect terrans, but it might suck the life right out of a protoss. This effect from an artifact that, for most people at this point, isn't even complete.
- Although everything in Wings of Liberty confirm the above, this detail is dismissed in Legacy of the Void, when Protoss scientists inspect the artifact, and declare the theory false.
- So, can anyone think of an in-story reason for why Kerrigan abandonned Niadra and her brood? Sure, it's obviously setting up some stuff for Legacy of the Void but Kerrigan's goal is to bring all the broods back together so she can use the Swarm to crush Mengsk. So why abandon a loyal Brood?
- One speculation I heard was that Kerrigan felt guilty about what was done to the protoss ship. She had to do it to keep the Golden Armada from chasing her, but she's not proud of it, and so once it was done she just discarded the tool she had used and tried to forget about it.
- I think the ship went out of range of Kerrigan's telepathy.
- That's what it seemed like to me as well, since Kerrigan was continuously sending directions until the end of the mission.
- But in the broodmother cutscenes she sends telepathic commands to broodmothers who're light years away...
- The ship's destination was out of telepathic communication range of the planet it launched from, and by the end of the battle it was within escape pod range of communicating. Shakuras is much further away from Kerrigan's location at the time than anywhere but possibly Zerus is from literally anywhere else Kerrigan would be communicating with.
- That's the way of the Zerg. Create a tool for the purpose and then discard it when you're done. We Have Reserves, after all.
- I figured either Kerrigan's ability to communicate with Niadra got screwed somehow, or she just decided to leave her in place for a future operation. At that point, Niadra's brood was still in its infancy, so its potential contribution to the battle of Korhal would have been minimal - besides which they still would have had to actually get the ship out of hyperspace and turned around.
- As the Zerg Hive Mind has shown no limits in range or ability in the past, there seems only one reason for Niadra to go silent. Amon has to get his army from somewhere.
- I think Niadra and her brood are already doomed. The Protoss vessel is heading for Shakuras, if I remember correctly. The Golden Army will probably bomb/shoot that ship and everything onboard to hell once a long-range scanner or something similar picks up the Zerg signatures inside.
- Niadra destroyed the ship's engine, it's either floating in space or has crashed. It's likely pretty close to Shakuras but not on their immediate radar. Close enough to be a threat but far enough away to go undetected. The Golden Armada was only being called in to deal with Kerrigan, not every zerg they come across.
- Before he dies, Mengsk's last words are, "I made you a monster, Kerrigan." Why did he say this? What was this supposed to accomplish? Reminding the victim of your crimes against them doesn't seem like a very effective survival tactic.
- One last spit in the face of a hated enemy. Mengsk is brutally pragmatic most of the time, but when push comes to shove he's just brutal. See also his abandoning Kerrigan in the first place.
- An Ironic Echo of something Kerrigan told him way back in Brood War. Just as how Kerrigan herself borrowed a phrase from Tassadar to taunt Fenix in his final moments in the very same mission.
Abathur's worries of smart Brood Mothers
- Abathur is worried about giving brood mothers too much intelligence, since they may decide to rebel/stage a coup/etc. However, cerebrates (At least in their descriptions) were designed to be clever and skilled at fighting, without threatening the overmind, and Abathur was also involved in creating Kerrigan, who is somewhat independent herself. Shouldn't he have no trouble creating smarter but still loyal broodmothers?
- Cerebrates were also directly subordinate to the Overmind, to the point where they all died shortly after the first Overmind was slain. Objective of broodmother system was to decentralize Swarm in case of Swarm head being destroyed; making broodmothers dependent on head in such a fashion would be contrary to the point of their existence.
- Cerebrates were helpless, incapable of doing anything except controlling their broods. Broodmothers can actually fight back, they can grow and adapt like any other member of the Swarm and therefore pose an legitimate threat to Kerrigan. Kerrigan altered the system when she took over, instead of immortal yet helpless Cerebrates, she created mortal yet powerful Broodmothers. This made the Swarm more independent and less vulnerable to losing broods if their leader should be eradicated. Plus it means if a brood does manage to rebel she won't have to go looking for Dark Templar to eliminate the problem. It's unclear if Abathur could make the Broodmothers both independant AND mindlessly loyal, Kerrigan isn't the Overmind and the Swarm isn't bound to her in the same way.
Future of Raynor's Raiders and Dominion after Korhal
- Ok, the Raiders pretty much accomplished their goal of overthrowing Mengsk by helping Kerrigan enter the palace to kill him herself. So now that they have succeeded in this endeavor, what's next in store for them? They can continue doing mercenary work, which is what they have done to make money. However, the only enemy left is Amon, and I guess they will eventually join Kerrigan and the Protoss against this threat.
- There are more enemies besides Amon and his followers. Remember how remnants of the UED kept being a pain in the pass in BW? The Terran Dominion's remnants may become a problem as well, depending on whether Valerian's rule is accepted. Nova and the Shakuras Protoss may still be gunning for Kerrigan (which means Raynor may be involved) as well.
- Since the next game is centered around the Protoss, they will eventually realize how important it is to keep Kerrigan alive, considering how the Big Bad of the next game will be Amon. That being said, the Protoss may not try to hunt down Kerrigan. Nova, however, might still be a threat to Kerrigan since it was confirmed she will return in the next game; doubtful that Nova will recognize Valerian as the new emperor. Nova may still pose a threat to Raynor, since Raynor has to make sure Kerrigan lives. Also, let's not forget that there are still branches of Tal'darim out there that can get in the way.
- The initial position of the game towards Kerrigan will change greatly depending if the protagonist is Zeratul or Artanis.
- As for the Dominion, there could be a civil war between Nova and Valerian that Raynor may have to deal with.
- I also imagine Valerian will have to prove himself as a ruler to his people. Many of the more hard-line rebels are probably not going to just happily turn over the reins to a Mengsk, even one who has been working with Raynor so far. (We know how it went the last time this happened...)
- No, last time, Raynor was working under Arcturus, not the other around and Raynor was a nobody at first. At that time, Arcurus ran the show before the fall of the Confederacy. Valerian, however, knows that his father is a terrible man, not to mention shortsighted. He stated that he wants to be a better emperor. That was why Valerian refused to hand over Kerrigan, because Arcturus refused to acknowledge the threat of Amon. As a result, Valerian switched sides and joined the Raiders without being branded a traitor by his father. Raynor was the one who ran the show against the Dominion. In fact, Valerian already proved himself a worthy successor by leading an invasion to Char to defeat Kerrigan. He secured peace alright, yet the only remaining major threat to peace in the Dominion was the Emperor himself, because the people know about Arcturus' war crimes. However, where was Valerian when his father unleashed the Zerg? That's right, he wasn't there.
- But the question remains, was Nova loyal to the Dominion or only to Emperor Mengsk? If she is to pose a threat to Raynor (and probably the Protoss during their designated campaign) then it would mean she would want to avenge the Emperor's death.
- As of Lot V, the Raiders are an official unit in the Dominion military.
Protoss and Zerg
- We know that Protoss cannot be infested by Zerg. However, if I remember correctly, the Xel'Naga created the Zerg as the "Purity of Essence" and the Protoss as the "Purity of Form". Protoss and Zerg were supposed to merge and create the next iteration of the Xel'Naga. How do these facts fit together?
- The xel'naga didn't create the protoss and zerg, they merely found the species fit for their designated roles and uplifted them. "Merge" here doesn't mean infestation, but some ill-defined natural process that we haven't observed before. The closest thing the setting has to infested protoss are hybrids, which are a perversion of the hypothetical natural merge process.
- The Primal Zerg were the ones who supposed merge with the Protoss (by eating them). The corrupted Zerg were designed by Amon and the inability to infest Protoss is likely built in by Amon.
- Actually, as revealed in Legacy of the Void, Amon intended to use the Swarm specifically to assimilate the protoss and create the hybrid. Most likely he just never got around to giving them that ability due to his war with the other xel'naga. The protoss are just naturally immune to zerg infestation. Even the primal zerg can't assimilate them. In fact, if you do the Kaldir mission after Zerus, Kerrigan will tell Dehaka that it's useless to try to take protoss essence.
Zerg Evolution Missions
- Not really a plothole, but a gameplay issue. Isn't the Ultralisk Torrasque strain basically a reskin of the Thor Immortality Protocol from Wings of Liberty?
- Yes. So?
- Technically the Torrasque coming back from the dead was established long before the Thor even existed, but gameplaywise yes they're very similar. The Vile Roach is similar to the Marauder's slow down effect. And both give the option for have double builder units for the price of one, automatic and more efficient Vespene Gas extractors, automatic supply upon build, etc.. Overlap in abilities was inevitable.
What was Mengsk thinking?
- When Mengsk declared that he'd had Raynor executed, I was already a bit confused. Wouldn't it make more sense to keep Jim hostage and use him as leverage against Kerrigan and Raiders to keep them away from him? Oh, wait, that's what he ends up doing anyway?! Well then what was the point in declaring him dead or at least not telling Kerrigan that he was actually alive?! Why wait until Kerrigan had gathered enough power to become a threat? Ok, he apparently didn't realise that Sarah had a way to rezergify herself, but surely he had to understand that the news of Jim's demise would further drive her to revenge, and why would he want that? I would also understand if he used Raynor as a bait to lure her into an ambush, but apparently that wasn't the plan, and the idea of destroying the prison ship came up rather sponteneously, judging by its haphazard execution. So what was his reasoning?
- The part where he announced Jim was dead was for the benefit of his empire. He's a lot of big setbacks recently, from the Odin's attack on Korhal, the media circus when his crimes regarding Tarsonis came to light, and then the crown prince stole half the Dominion fleet, which was decimated over Char. Sure, he ended up in control of Char, but that's still not a lot. He's scrambling for good press right now; "Look, I caught and executed a famous terrorist!" always boosts the polls.
- That's obvious, but what prevented him from doing that AND telling Kerrigan the truth right away?
- Kerrigan was bouncing around distant worlds Terrans have never seen. He probably just couldn't find her until her forces grew to a sufficient size that she didn't really need to hide any more.
- Well, he knew where she was initially, didn't he? On Umoja. His forces encountered her there. You'd think he'd first send her the message that he's got Raynor and that she shouldn't freak out and do anything stupid when he later declares him executed, and then actually declare him executed.
- She escapes from Umoja just as soon as Jim is captured. Raynor's Fleet then heads to the rendezvous point which is supposedly a different planet. The forces there are wiped out by Kerrigan before they can contact anyone, which is odd seeing as how there was a Dominion fleet in the system that just attacked the Hyperion. Supposedly that fleet left to pursue the Hyperion, but it's never mentioned if that's the case, how they could track the Hyperion, or if the Hyperion had to fight off that fleet. Which doesn't matter as the Dominion forces on the planet were wiped before Mengsk could contact Kerrigan through them and Mengsk was just making his announcement that Raynor was dead.
- In addition to the good press for his empire, broadcasting the news of Raynor's 'death' made Kerrigan go berserk. A raging Kerrigan is a lot more reckless and prone to mistakes than a calm, rational Kerrigan. As mentioned above he didn't know where she was exactly and had no way of knowing she could re-infest herself. She wasn't strong enough to control the entire Swarm until she became the Primal Queen of Blades, something he couldn't have seen coming, allying with the Zerg again would have cost her any Terran support, or so he'd think, and he had both the artifact and the Psi Destroyer to deal with whatever forces she could muster against him. If she instead decided to come for him personally he's got his own Ghosts, including Nova, who would stop her if she tried to infiltrate his palace to get to him. Once he learned she'd returned to the Swarm he had his forces hurl communication devices at the Swarm, Kerrigan just doesn't get the message until after her transformation. Keeping Raynor in secret gave him the perfect surprise trump card to play on her, and if Horner hadn't been willing to cooperate with her she'd have been pretty much at his mercy.
- 0) He couldn't know for sure it would make her go berserk rather than simply more determined to tear his head off. 1) Why would he want her to go berserk? While Mengsk got Raynor, she would not dare go against him at all, or so he expected. If he wanted to lure her into a trap, he would've announced Jim's capture and then leaked the information about his location. 2) He DID know where she was, his men fought her and Raynor on Umoja, and at least he could've left a message with Valerian and Raiders - they were the obvious first choice for her to go to, and anyway Mengsk would want them off his back as well, so telling them the truth was also the reasonable thing to do. 3) If he indeed didn't know where she was, what's the rush to declare Jim dead? After all, when a captured terrorist is just one push of a button away from a dead one, I see little difference in PR effect, while the potential for leverage and negotiations with your enemies differs tremendously. Speaking of which...
- 0) Oh yes he can, Mengsk knows Kerrigan, he knows how she thinks (at least when she's human) since she was his second in command for quite some time and is an expert at predicting his opponents reactions. 1)a berserk Kerrigan is dangerous but a poor planner, easier to manipulate and trick into a trap. Just look at how she reacts to Jim being captured, she had no patience and would have pushed Orlan into making a mistake that would alert the Dominion to their plans if Valerian hadn't talked her down. Berserk Kerrigan is irrational which makes her vulnerable. 2) He did NOT know where she was, she took off immediately after his initial attack and was detected back with the Zerg during her attack on the anti-air cannon they were setting up. Then she shows up with the Swarm on Char. He has every reason to believe she has no further connection with the Raiders once she's returned to the Zerg, because nobody in their right mind would work with the Swarm (and they ultimately only do because they want to find Raynor, and later because Kerrigan convinced Raynor she wasn't back to being the monster she used to be). Remember, the Queen of Blades had backstabbed Raynor and Mengsk before, neither side would trust her if she were really back to her old self. 3) Raynor is a charismatic guy, a symbol of the rebellion, and a magnetic hero that draws people to him and his cause. By declaring him dead Mengsk eliminates that influence. Horner's a good guy but people don't flock to him like they do for Jim. Jim has a hell of a reputation, he's buds with the protoss, has saved countless people from the Swarm, even beat Mengsk a few times. So by declaring him dead he takes away the rallying force behind his opposition and by keeping him alive in secret he has a card to play against Kerrigan, one she can't prepare for. He gets to see how strong she is and then use Raynor as a shield to keep her from moving, maybe even blackmail her into making the Swarm his weapon. Basically he figured she'd run back to the zerg, alienating any human allies she had, and then could control the zerg by controlling her.
- 0) Yeah, that's an important reservation, isn't it. She wasn't a human anymore, and to presume that he could still predict her reasoning would be insanely presumptious even for him. 2) "...was detected back with the Zerg during her attack on the anti-air cannon...", "...she shows up with the Swarm on Char...". Yes and that meant he DID know where she was. Both times were perfect opportunities to deliver her the news and demand to fuck off. "...she has no further connection with the Raiders..." And what does this have to do with anything? Revealing the truth to the Raiders was a completely separate matter - he'd want to keep them on the leash rather than craving revenge for their leader as well. 3) He'd already eliminated Jim's influence by capturing him. Raynor couldn't do anything from prison. Moreover, dead he'd become a martyr, and his memory would've served as a rallying force for people craving revenge, while captured he was a valuable hostage and, who knows, could eventually be broken into submitting to Mengsk. So it's stupid even from the point of PR. "...use Raynor as a shield to keep her from moving, maybe even blackmail her into making the Swarm his weapon." Yeah, except that there's a huge chance that once she runs back to the zerg, she no longer would care about Jim and would just laugh into Mengsk's face should he try that.
Killing off prisoner
- Why the hell didn't Mengsk have Raynor killed, when Kerrigan breached the prison ship? He wasn't even going to retrieve him for futher use, so what's the point in keeping him alive?
- He waited until Kerrigan was far enough in and then triggered the ship's self-destruct, that was him trying to kill them both. Ordering a guard to do it diverts forces away from slowing Kerrigan down and opening the cell gives Raynor a chance to escape. Blowing the ship would have killed them all had Kerrigan not had a way to stabilize that section.
- How does one exclude the other? Whether the blast will even kill Kerrigan or not is an open question, but at least Raynor wouldn't pester him anymore. And seriously? Are you honestly trying to claim that killing one unarmed prisoner would've presented a problem whatsoever? Words fail me. You know there are ways to kill people without direct involvement of other people, don't you? Poison gas, bombs, automated turrets, you name it.
- Mengsk is not afraid of Raynor. Jim is a good soldier and a decent tactician but ultimately his only real threat is that he's charismatic and people flock to him. Mengsk keeps Raynor as a means to manipulate Kerrigan. He's her only vulnerable point, his best defense against the Swarm. On his own Raynor was powerless against Mengsk, he spent four years accomplishing nothing and he and Tosh mention the only reason Mengsk hasn't just had him killed yet is because he needs to destroy Raynor's image to avoid creating a martyr. It's not until the zerg show up that Mengsk loses control of the situation—the Swarm takes priority, so because Mengsk focuses solely on Kerrigan it leaves holes in his defenses for Raynor to exploit. Once the Swarm stops attacking the Raiders apparently become useless again.
- At that point it seems the crew wasn't listening to him anymore. One of the Medics though noted that there were no escape pods in the prison level; they were expected to die if the ship blew up. Mengsk had no idea Kerrigan could stabilize that section of the ship and he no longer had anyone aboard that would listen to him (none of them saw his betrayal coming and what remained were either trying to take down as many zerg as possible before they died OR trying to blast a hole in the wall to find some way of escaping). As for why he didn't have Raynor executed before he decided to blow up the ship: Matt noted that they had to get to the Moro before anyone knew about their rescue attempt or the Moro would prematurely take off, warping to a random location. It's likely that Mengsk ordered the ship scuttled the moment he actually found out what was happening aboard.
How did the Dominion figure out that Kerrigan was in Umoja?
- The Lab that Valerian took Kerrigan to was supposed to be a secret location. I don't get how the Dominion figured out that Kerrigan was there. The only explanation I can think of is that Narud tipped them off. Think back to Flashpoint, Narud betrayed Raynor, and the Raiders fired at Narud's transport, but Narud escaped unbeknownst to them. So the question is, did Narud tip off the Dominion as to the Raiders' next location after the Flashpoint Conflict?
- I get the impression that Kerrigan was at the lab for awhile. The dominion probably used standard spying methods/intelligence work to figure out the Kerrigan was alive and at the lab.
- The opening text says outright that Mengsk has sent his forces to search everywhere for her and it's only a matter of time before they find her. That's why they were leaving when they did, they were just a little too slow.
Kerrigan retaining her personality
- The Ancient One warned Kerrigan that by reinfesting herself, she would have to sacrifice her identity, and later Kerrigan says that she's now tangled with the Swarm much tighter then before, that she has "become the Swarm". So how come she still retains her feelings to Raynor and is much more humane in general? Where does the supposed loss of identity feature in?
- Kerrigan sacrificed her Terran identity. She's pure zerg now, for better or worse. The life she could have had as Sarah Kerrigan is over, forever. Sure, she still retains the name but that's it, now she is the Swarm, they are as one. Think of her as the Overmind, one with the Swarm, but retaining her own identity, as Zagara and Izsha do.
- Well, that's the point. Neither of those (or Dehaka, or Abathur) gave a damn about terran casualties, so it puzzles me that Kerrigan would. It is even more puzzling why she would still care about Raynor in her new state.
- Because the only thing that changed was her body, her mind remained Terran since there was nobody to actively reprogram it this time. She's just Sarah with a massive power boost. She loves Jim, feels empathy and compassion for other living beings, regrets the need to be ruthless and show no mercy. It's the whole point of the story.
- I think both Kerrigan and The Ancient One misunderstand what being a zerg means, considering Always Chaotic Evil is the only path for them. But zerg are about evolution after all, and Kerrigan has chosen to evolve by merging human and zerg moralities, rather than replacing one with the other. It's worth noting that Kerrigan and the Overmind are objectively better people than a great number of the human characters.
- Ok, forget Kerrigan's high heels - stupid as it is, I can at least understand the motive. But why in Amon's name would Dahaka - an 8-feet tall bipedal dinosaur with otherwise no human features - have a beard? What evolutionaty purpose did that serve?!
- No purpose. Swarm evolves zerg in specific ways for specific purposes. Clean, efficient, always with purpose. Dehaka is Primal zerg. Primals mutate randomly, constantly changing. Random, messy, produces useless mutations.
- Along similar lines of thinking, it's also possible that it's vestigal—part of something useful that Dehaka used to have, but no longer does.
- Maybe it's an anemone-like symbiote that filters nutrients from the air (one of the critters on Zerus is mentioned as doing that).
- Another question is why Zerg can get handicapped, the most obvious being Dahaka missing two arms. Can't the Zerg regrow lost limbs? Or at least the Primal Zerg get healed if they absorb enough Essence.
- That's lampshaded in Dahaka's Stop Poking Me! quotes. He is bemused that he hasn't evolved a new arm yet. As for an official explanation, there is none. Maybe they just didn't want to make another model of him which would bring up the question WHY did they have his arm cut off, leave the arm in a map as an Easter Egg (it's a place his pack meets up with Kerrigan(, say the arm was still bleeding profusely, and never have him mention how or why his arm was cut off? Well, we know can infer the "why" any ways, but it's still odd.
Poor Communication Kills
- Why is it that at no point Kerrigan at least attempts to tell Raynor she went back to Zerg because Zeratul said it was necessary? You know, Zeratul, the guy who drops in, convinces you that Kerrigan was needed alive to defeat the Greater Scope Villain, and then leaves without explaining further? He'd still be angry, but it wouldn't be as much of an All for Nothing moment undoing all of Wo L's campaign.
- Perhaps she did feel guilty for betraying his trust and undoing his efforts, even if it was necessary, so it didn't feel right to her to seek excuses and shift blame (the last thing they needed was Jim falling out with his other ally). So she left him to think it out for himself and also comitted to prove in action that her reversion was in body but not in mind. If Jim could find it in himself to forgive her, then fine; if not, well, he was alive and that was the important part.
- Simple, because she didn't. Kerrigan makes it clear she doesn't believe his prophecy and refuses to allow anyone to tell her what to do. She chose to return to the Swarm to get her revenge, she chose to go to Zerus because she wanted to get stronger, she chose to re-infest herself to regain the powers of the Queen of Blades. Each step of the way it was her choice and she's not going to push responsibility onto someone else. Hell, her own minions told her not to do it!
- But she didn't even know where Zerus was until Zeratul showed up. Choice or not, it wouldn't have happened if he hadn't told her about it.
Kerrigan surprised at the artifact
- While on Char, she stated that the artifact isn't on the planet, or she would have sensed it. How come she didn't know it was on Korhal when she was a few steps away?
- I don't recall her saying she'd be able to sense it, she knows it's not on Char anymore because the Raiders knew it wasn't there. It's in the opening text. But even if she could sense it normally she wouldn't be able to since Mengsk was using it differently than the others had, keeping it powered down until he flipped his switch.
Flash freeze storms
- Why do the freeze storms stop happening in the second Kaldir mission? You rescue frozen Hydralisks so it's not like the region is never affected by them.
- Simple: the storm system moved on. This is weather we're talking about, after all.
Legacy of the Void
Why does Zeratul have nipples?
- The females seem to have breasts too. The existence of nipples on either sex of protoss would imply that protoss suckle, but they don't have mouths. Do protoss have a larval form that possesses a mouth?
- Could simply be a left over trait from earlier in their development when they did have mouths. Those kind of things can persist a very long time as you don't just lose organs once they're no longer necessary. Or they could be some alien organ we're not familiar with that simply appears where we expect breasts to be.
Why Retake Auir?
- I can understand why your species's homeworld would carry significant cultural and spiritual importance, but it's been made pretty clear in previous games and by the scenery in this one that the infrastructure, capital, and urban centers have all been trashed to the point where it would be less of a hassle to just settle down elsewhere (The Brood War manual states that over seventy percent of Auir's population was lost, to give an indication as to how thorough the destruction was). Given how the Protoss were teetering on extinction prior to the start of the game, why would they waste thousands of lives, not to mention enormous sums of time, effort, and material to retake a target of such little practical value?
- You underestimate the extent of Aiur's significance to the protoss. The Nerazim, even settling on Shakuras soon after their exile, never saw Shakuras as their new homeworld. They have always wanted to return to Aiur. If exiles hold such loyalty to their homeworld, I can hardly expect any less for the custodians of the homeworld themselves.
- True, but they have shown that such devotion has its limits. The Dark Templar were willing to accept exile over annihilation, as were the Khala Protoss in regards to the Zerg. Although the Protoss clearly value the power of legacy and symbolism, they have been shown to value survival more, yet they still committed to an extremely costly undertaking while their future remained uncertain.
- The Nerazim's scenario was not that simple. If they chose to fight to stay on Aiur, they would very likely have to kill their fellow protoss. To them, that was the thing they wanted to avoid. The Khalai protoss left Aiur only under extreme duress. Even so, they promised that they would return and rebuild. Artanis himself did weigh the costs in the backstory. Like Eisenhower for D-Day, he gave the greenlight as their commander-in-chief, and the Khalai protoss went along, all the while knowing the turmoil Artanis went through due to the Khala.
- Another factor in their calculations is that the zerg on Aiur are thought to be leaderless and feral, thus posing less of a threat. By the time they realised that was not the case, they were already on Aiur.
- Upon replaying Hot S, the Protoss were indeed trying to settle down elsewhere, as they going to great lengths to terraform planets as inhospitable as Kalder. If they were willing to colonize such a nasty, dangerous planet, then the number of worlds that could host their civilization must have been few and far between. Note that in Shakuras's official description it clearly states that only a small portion of the planet was habitable, and the Dark Templar only settled there with extreme difficulty. There just weren't that many suitable worlds to choose from. Just because the Protoss can fight on a wide spectrum of worlds dosn't mean they can live there for an extended period of time.
- If you're looking for a habitable world for your species to settle down on, what better environment could there be than the one you evolved in? The temperature, radiation levels, atmosphere, resources, air-pressure, gravity, and countless other factors are all tailor-made to suit your species's needs (or rather, your species was tailor-made for to fit in via evolution). On other planets, any number of criterion could be completely off or barely within tolerance.
How did Artanis muster so many troops?
- The Protoss evacuated Auir in the first place because they were completely outmatched by the Zerg... so how are they able to field enough troops to retake it less than four years later? They never had a large population to begin with, and with such long lifespans, four years would be nowhere near enough time to raise a second generation. (Artanis is considered young at more than two hundred years, while Fenix was well into his six-hundreds during the Brood War). How were they able replenish their numbers or otherwise shift the odds in their favor this time around?
- Fenix is not old by protoss standards. He's less than 400 years old when he died. Next, the game made it very clear that Artanis was reviving every single type of protoss construct ever developed. The mechanization helped immensely.
- He was also most likely spending those years rallying every offworld Protoss faction he could find. While Auir was the center of the Protoss Empire, it didn't represent the Protoss' total holdings.
- The zerg have had several years to become disorganized, cerebrates leading them have been killed, etc. The Zeratul missions in Wings of Liberty implied that the zerg on Aiur were feral/wild. It is likely that after the protoss evacuated, the zerg on Aiur had no leadershp and nothing to attack, so lost the organization or reason to defend Aiur effectively. (The Protoss have also had some time to develope new technologies, which helps a little.)
- The Protoss have had plenty of time to rebuild their ships and war machines and train former civilians to operate them.
- In regards to training former civilians, wouldn't the caste system have prevented that? (It was disbanded during the campaign, not before.) While many Protoss war machines are automated, a good number of them still need a pilot to operate, and almost all of their ships require a crew of some sort.
Why aren't the Tal'darim affected by Amon's mind control?
- Alarak still has his nerve cords, as do the rest of his faction. Yet, Amon seems to have no hold on them. Did huffing all that Terrazine cut them off from the Khala?
- Well, they certainly aren't linked to the Aiur protoss. A Klingon Promotion society probably isn't easy to implement with a Khala like network. So, the Tal'darim either have no cords, or are living without the Khala like the pre-Khas protoss did.
- Alarak mentions in the cutscene after the first Slayne mission that the Tal'darim have no Khala for Amon to exploit. How they managed this is not elaborated on however.
- Reading up on it, what happened was that in canon, the dark archon Ulrezaj got the Tal'darim to take a terrazine-like drug called Sundrop. Sundrop cuts you off from the Khala while keeping your cords intact. So basically, the above guess was correct after all: huffing Terrazine does cut you off from the Khala.
- In addition to the Sundrop and Terrazine, Rohanna mentions that the Tal'darim vanished shortly after the Aeon of Strife began. If so, then they were founded as a faction of Protoss who never encountered the Khala to begin with.
Isn't that a strange way to imprison the Purifiers?
- Aboard a starship with a planet sterilizing Wave Motion Gun, one their leader managed to get control of as soon as he awoke?
- There was a large contingent of protoss on the planet below the starship. Amon's zerg wiped them out. Vorazun did mention that for their sakes, she hoped that their deaths were swift.
- Quite possibly they froze the Purifiers in a stasis field while the warship was operational, and couldn't take them elsewhere without deactivating the stasis field.
Tal'darim squandering warriors
- Although the You Have Failed Me, Bad Boss, and You Have Outlived Your Usefulness tropes are well suited for the Tal'Darim in general and Alarak in particular, those tropes are only really practical if said villain has a large pool of manpowerto draw from. The Protoss are repeatedly stated to be dwindling, and the Tal'darim are only a minority of an already endangered species. Yet, in spite of such low numbers, their commanders and society are extremely frivolous with their lives. The unit lore states that they hunt down those considered "weak" among their ranks, failure is harshly punished, their ceremonial rites of ascension are fatal for the loser, and involve pitched battles which result in hundreds of casualties, and they are perfectly willing to chuck dozens of warriors into a raging firestorm in the slim hope that they might slaughter a few Terrans along the way. This would all make sense if they were a crazed death-cult who felt they had no stake in the future, but since the reveal that they have a stable society that has lasted for generations, attrition suddenly becomes an issue. Although the characterization and personality upgrades that the Tal'darim received were a very welcome addition, this one detail remains pretty glaring.
- Remember that not only were the Tal'darim around for generations, but for almost all of that time, their only enemies were themselves. Both the Light and Dark Templar were unaware of their existence. That means that with just a bit of intelligence, they could keep their numbers from dwindling. Say you're not considered a full adult (and thus allowed to participate in all the death duels and suicide attacks) until you produce at least three children. Combined with long Protoss lives and the addiction to the terrazine drug keeping anyone from defecting, and it wouldn't be too hard to have some very impressive numbers by the time Amon started using them up like cannon fodder.
- Also, when were the Tal'darim noted to be a minority? They had not been in contact with the mainstream Protoss faction for millennia before Wings of Liberty, and their extent was a mystery until Legacy of the Void, so any statement that the Protoss were dwindling would not apply to them.
Zerg on Auir after climax
- The last time the Protoss destroyed the central intelligence controlling the Zerg, the feral broods were still aggressive enough to force them off Auir. After Amon is banished into the void, the Zerg remaining on Auir aren't even mentioned. Why did they continue fighting after their own Overmind was destroyed, but fall apart after they lost Amon's influence?
- Amon only had any presence in the material realm through the Khala, so once he was cut off from that (since there weren't any Protoss that still had the Khala at all), he couldn't control the zerg. Then they were just feral, and between the loss of their guiding intelligence and the damage taken during the final battle, they were easy prey for the combined Daelaam, Dark Templar, Purifiers, Tal'darim, and freed Aiur Protoss.
- Didn't the zerg also become feral after the original Overmind was destroyed? They also took severe casualties during the last battle (enough to "thin the swarm" for Zeratul to sneak in and slaughter some cerebrates) and they were still enough of a threat afterward to force the surviving protoss off the planet. What was different this time around?
- There's a couple of factors. First, the Zerg weren't merely feral, but were rampaging en masse because they had all gotten a huge shock when they lost their hive mind. Remember that when Zasz died, his brood became so vicious that it even became a threat to other Zerg. In comparison, by the time of Legacy of the Void, the Zerg on Aiur seemed to be almost lethargic when there was no one to kill; for example, some of the drones in the first mission aren't even mining available mineral patches right next to them. Second, when they were forced to escape, the Protoss had just barely beaten the Overmind after expending their resources fighting each other, and their military was shattered. In Legacy of the Void, the Protoss had had years since Brood War to regroup, get their military back up and running, replenish their population with reinforcements from Shakuras (I sincerely doubt the Brood War killed more Protoss than there were on Shakuras), and get their morale up with a crusade to retake Aiur. The Zerg on Aiur, on the other hand, were lethargic, and possibly even reduced in number from before from killing each other in their rampage in the weeks/months after the Protoss fled. Once they got a foothold on the planet, it would have been relatively simple (had Amon not been waiting) to slowly push out amd eventually wipe the Zerg from the planet.
Why did Amon keep Ouros alive in the first place?
- Really, why not just kill him? It would have solved most if not ALL of his problems. Did he need Ouros alive for some reason? Was he incapable of killing Ouros? Did Amon just want an audience to gloat to?
- Maybe Amon wasn't as powerful as Ouros (Narud was far weaker than Amon, so the Xel'naga do have a hierarchy in terms of power and ability). Maybe different Xel'Naga had special abilities or talents that made them unique. Maybe Amon compromised some of his abilities when he went rogue, or maybe there were tasks that just one Xel,naga couldn't handle alone. Or maybe Amon just wanted to gloat; he was hinted to be insane by that point. In any case, being a god was reason enough for him to do whatever he damn well pleased.
- For all we know, by Legacy of the Void, there were only three Xel'Naga - Amon, "Duran" and Ouros. "Duran" was busy getting all he needed to resurrect Amon and produce the hybrids, and Amon was... well.. awaiting his resurrection. It's possible they simply didn't have enough free Xel'Naga to ensure Ouros would not intervene - after all, when "Narud" is sent back to the Void by Kerrigan and Amon's back to life, the former almost immediately becomes Ouros's jailer.
How sympathetic are the Dominion Marines?
- Although the Red Shirt Army trope is a time honored tradition in an epic space opera, Blizzard seems to be a bit bi-polar in how we are supposed to react to it. In the very first mission in WoL we are encouraged to wipe them out, and in half a dozen missions after that you're tasked with assaulting them without provocation. In the final missions however, the massive losses they suffer on Char are treated as a tragedy. Then in HotS, we go from slaughtering them reluctantly (along with Warfield) to slaughtering them while they are panicked and afraid (on the prison ship) to slaughtering them with wild abandon on Korhal. Then in LotV, the casualties they suffer are viewed with great sympathy, as Raynor, Valarian, and Artanis mourn the horrid cost of war, even though we've been fighting and killing those same men throughout the previous two campaigns. Although I understand the importance of having Terran enemies from a game-play perspective, the lack of consistency over whether they're bad guys or not makes it difficult to gauge the emotional impact of the scenes the're in.
- It mostly just depends on whether they're trying to kill you or not, with rare exceptions such as the Char missions in HotS - and that's because their leader, General Warfield, was portrayed in a sympathetic fashion.
- There was actually a Dominion civil war at the end of Hearts. Arcturus used his half of the military to crush Valerian's half. Warfield somehow received amnesty and returned to Arcturus's fold. Once Valerian is fully in charge of the Dominion, he obviously began reversing the rot within the Dominion. I guess the sympathy's for the marines under Valerian's charge, who are fighting for a better future. Arcturus' marines get mainly pity, for serving a master who treats them like cannon fodder.
- Well it's classic dissonance. Most of the marines are criminals, and most likely scum with no other option... but so was Raynor once. It's easy to dismiss their lives when placed against galactic events, but the game has always taken time to show things from their perspective and how this universe is really quite horrible to them. Basically... yes, you are a bad person for killing all those people, as even the bad guys likely consisted mostly of conscripts. But did it need to be done? For the most part... also yes.
- Context is everything in these situations. Ordinarily nobody likes to kill and a war is always a waste of life. Unfortunately, to remove a power hungry dictator from power you have to fight your way through his troops. Those troops are often blameless, simply doing what they've been told is right but killing them is necessary. Wiping them out to the last is not, which is what the bigger villains tend to try and do and why the Queen of Blades' massacre of the UED forces is viewed as a such a Kick the Dog moment even though the UED is basically space Nazis. The attack in LOTV is so tragic because it was devastating, merciless, mass slaughter that those men and women fought desperately to protect their world against.
Warhammer 40k parallels.
- We (presumably) all know the story of how a fallout between Games Workshop and Bllizard led to the creation of the Warcraft/Starcraft franchises. However, one would think after all these years there would be more of a divergence from the original W H40k aesthetics. To this day one cans still identify practically every single SC unit with their W H40k counterpart, but it was the introduction of the Tal'darim as a visually and thematically different faction that really draws the parallels: They are the Dark Eldar down to a T! There are a lot of others too in Lot V (void=warp, xel'naga=Old Ones, Amon is a Chaos God, the hybrids are demons (especially blatant with the Void Trasher), the Spear of Adun is a Craftworld, etc.) but arguably the Tal'darim are the most blatant. The question: Is this a conscious effort on Blizzard's part in order to poke at GW, an unconscious effect of sticking to the original design decisions or just a symptom of lack of creativity?
- It's a true story, but the tellers got the wrong series. Blizzard was commissioned to make a Games Workshop video game, but the series was the original Warhammer, with the corresponding series being Warcraft.
- Probably a combination of all the above. But here's a better question: Does anyone really care?
- Blizzard has a thing for Cliché Storm stories, so it's probably that.
- I always saw the Tal'darim as the Sith, not Dark Eldar.
- I personally think Starcraft II was a Take That, in the sense that the WH 40k series would never be able to have an inspiring ending like we did in Legacy, due to the grim darkness.
- I've always heard that story, but I've never found any substantial claims, or citations, as to any sort of falling out between Blizzard and Games Workshop. It seems like a perpetuated 'you are similar, therefore, you ripped me off' ad hominem circulated again and again by Warhammer's fanbase.
- Starting off by comparing Zerg <-> Tyranids, the Tyranids did not gain obvious insectoid characteristics until 3rd edition (2001), which was after Starcraft I came out (1997). Before then, they were like a flamboyant version of Xenomorphs. Secondly, the concept of a hive-minded insectoid species (who happen to be at war with "space marines") was first popularized in the novel Starship Troopers (1959). If anything, StarCraft pays obvious homage to:
— Starship Troopers. (e.g. Terran marines were called Marauders in the SC-1 beta).
— and Aliens (1986). (e.g. One of the marine's unit responses is "How the hell do we get out of this chickenshit outfit?" a quote from the Aliens movie).
There is, on the other hand, no clear reference to WH40K. It's doubtful whether the guys at Blizzard were even aware of a niche British table-top game at the time they were making StarCraft 1. As the idea of a parasitic species that assimilates the traits of creatures it has infested was also already present in the Xenomorphs from Aliens, as well as the eponymous organism from The Thing (1982). Again, given all these sources of inspiration, why do we need to connect them to another fictional alien species, from a table-top game originating in another country, which wasn't even that fully fleshed out at the time Starcraft I was published?
Finally, the Tyranids don't seem to have any goal besides satisfying their collective hunger, whereas the Zerg, on the other hand, have more nuanced goals. The Overmind wanted the Zerg to become the ultimate life form by assimilating the Protoss (as much as a sentient but slave-bound creature can want anything). Kerrigan enjoyed dominating the Koprulu Sector through her control of the Swarm and later leads the Swarm to fight an evil god-like being. Abathur takes pride in his bio-tinkering, and Dehaka along with the primal Zerg sees constant evolution as vital to survival. All these Zerg leaders are not driven by the kind of insatiable hunger that pushes the Tyranids to keep consuming. This is reflected in their physiology as well. The Zerg thrive just fine in an originally barren habitat (e.g. Char, various space platforms etc), but the Tyranids starve if they cannot find a lush world to devour.
- With the Zerg out of the way, let's turn our attention to the Protoss <-> Eldar comparison. An ancient race of enigmatic, humanoid, psychic, advanced, aliens, that have a long and tumultuous history, and eventually are split into several factions, these factions having very different ideals? I've just described:
— The Vulcans from Star Trek. The Romulan Star Empire was introduced in the episode The Balance of Terror (1966), hence fulfilling the 'split into several factions with very different ideas criteria',
— Or the Eldren from Michael Moorcock's Multiverse (e.g. the Eternal Champion in 1970).
On the other hand, in terms of appearance, the Protoss clearly do not follow the "space elf" trend that the Eldar, Eldren, Vulcans and many other "ancient sophisticated psychic humanoid" fictional aliens tend to follow. Even the minds of the Protoss work differently from the Eldar, being naturally calm, rather than having to suppress their emotions through a Path system. The Protoss are thus a relatively original concept if you want to compare them with the above trend. And while particular Eldar factions ally temporarily for particular campaigns or battles, which is a trivial occurrence in a military sci-fi, we've yet to see them pull off a unification of the scale that Artanis was capable of.
- Next, we turn our attention to the Terrans comparison <-> Imperium Of Man. WH40K and StarCraft are clearly not the only sci-fi universes featuring humanity "at war with itself". Other notable examples include the novel Dune (1965) and the game series BattleTech (1984). If you look hard enough, almost every space opera sci-fi has similar themes. Human readers relate more closely to humans (and to human affairs, including a war between humans) than to aliens. Hence, sci-fi writers like to include humans.
And if you seriously believe that Space Marines of Warhammer 40K have anything in common with Terran marines of Starcraft, then, frankly, you don't know Warhammer 40K. Space Marines can't even be called human any longer because of all their implanted organs and the effects those organs have. They're genetically engineered superhuman badasses that spit acid and can tank anti-armor shells with their face. Pit a Space marine against Dominion marines, and he'd barely flinch as he began to purge the unbelieving heretics. On top of this noteworthy difference, Terran machinery are not horrendously designed nor pour out more smoke than the industrial era combined, The Terrans are not expansionist in the imperialistic sense, they are mostly colonists and prospectors, looking for new places to settle and new resources to exploit. More importantly, there is no central policy that most Terrans are fanatically loyal to, in the way that the Imperium is in WH40K. The UED might fulfil this role in a sense, but they're not a central part of the SC storyline at the moment, and a conversation in Project Blackstone (a series of fictional laboratory logs set in the SC universe) implies that compared to the Koprulu Terrans, the UED actually have less fearsome military hardware, developing more advanced information technology instead. This is in contrast to the theme of the Imperium.
- Finally, we can start to look at your comparisons, starting with:
The Void <-> The Warp: If you seriously believe the Void is anywhere near the Warp, then you are grasping at straws. The Warp started out as The Realm of Souls, which got fucked over by the sheer mass of conflicting emotions that the galaxy experienced. The Void, on the other hand, is just another plane of existence between multiverses, something that Greek Philosophers were thinking about back in the times of Socrates - it's not even inherently hostile unless turned that way, and the fact that Amon can create what he wishes from the void is entirely because he has pulled a Harbinger and ASSUMED DIRECT CONTROL of it. You don't see void units spawned by the other characters being there, whereas literally every living thing in Warhammer has its own, very real, personal daemon. Finally, the Warp is a Necessary Evil for the Imperium, as it is the only way to have FTL travel that's worth a damn. No such thing with the Void - we didn't know it existed before Wings Of Liberty, and Terran/Protoss/Zerg have all utilized faster-than-light transportation before that.
- Xel'naga <-> Old Ones: If you mean as a 'god-like race that seeded life in times immemorial?', then I'm afraid you're wrong. The Old Ones were a race like any other until they evolved so hard they became spiritual entities. The Xel'naga, from what we know, has just always been there. to seed life on planets and then buggering off to Ulnar to sleep out eternities until two races, one pure of form, and one pure of essence, brought their alarm clock with them (The Keystone/Xel'Naga artifact), awoke them, and they would then uplift both to become new Xel'naga at the cost of their own life to repeat the process of creating life in a new universe. The Xel'naga doing this is essentially their means of reproduction. The old ones only created life (specifically, the Orks) as a way to combat the Necrontyr, not because they needed to in order to survive.
- Amon <-> Chaos God: If you mean as a Greater Scope Villain, then you only need to look at that trope's page for countless other examples. That aside, they really are nothing alike beyond inhabiting a plane outside normal existence, which, as we have established in point number 4, are vastly different between franchises. Amon doesn't feed on emotion, can actually be killed, as seen, and most of the Chaos Gods really do not wish for life to cease in the Realspace of Warhammer: If life ceases, Nurgle wins their great game - the other three really don't want that and thus won't allow it. Tzeentch, in particular, absolutely hates the idea of stagnancy - his countless schemes will ensure that life continues being as horrible as possible in the Warhammer universe.
- The hybrids <-> Daemons: Except Amon clearly cannot create them at whim, they aren't tied to the actions of the Protoss or Zerg, and they are sentient, separate entities which harbor an intense hate for all other life, whereas daemons are shards of their respective gods like cells making up an organism. If you mean as 'minions of a great evil', then welcome to the Mook trope. The closest thing to a daemon which we get is the Void Thrasher, and it is given little explanation - we don't know if Amon is creating these, and throughout they are never lumped in the same category as the Hybrid, The Void Thrashers, as such, could be ordinary feral void-creatures that Amon/Narud is simply pointing at what he wishes destroyed. We simply do not know.
- The Spear of Adun <-> Craftworld: I assume you mean in more than the shape of the ships, or we'd have to draw parallels to every other arrow-shaped ship, in which case Star Wars (1977) would like a word at the very least. That being said, Battlestar Galactica (1978) did the whole 'the remaining part of a species is now ship-bound' way before Warhammer, Mass Effect, or Starcraft did it. We also lack anything even resembling an infinity circuit in the Spear of Adun.
- Starting off by comparing Zerg <-> Tyranids, the Tyranids did not gain obvious insectoid characteristics until 3rd edition (2001), which was after Starcraft I came out (1997). Before then, they were like a flamboyant version of Xenomorphs. Secondly, the concept of a hive-minded insectoid species (who happen to be at war with "space marines") was first popularized in the novel Starship Troopers (1959). If anything, StarCraft pays obvious homage to:
The Moebius Corps
- Why can the Moebius Corps use Spectres? In Wings, Breakout is the canon choice of James Raynor (it is confirmed by Nova herself in Heart that Raynor didn't choose Ghost of a Chance). Considering Raynor is now allied with Valerian, the Dominion should have both Ghosts and Spectres back under their control, unless Tosh betrayed Raynor offscreen at some point and chose to serve Amon.
- Most Spectres were Ghosts that increased their psionic power through terrazine. Now, who happens to use terrazine? The Tal'darim, which were on the same side. Amon also takes advantage of terrazine to create Shadows of the Void. As a result, there was plenty of terrazine for the Moebius Corps to use (And they did - I would not be surprised if that were what turned them Brainwashed and Crazy in the first place), so there were plenty of chances to have their Ghosts (Or Marines... ever noticed they hardly used them?) turned into a Spectre.
- Ma'lash's helmet covers his eyes, as seen in his model and his portrait. Was there some way in which he could still see despite that?
- Probably has something to do with all that terrazine.
- Or it could give him a HUD of sorts *Shrug*
- The same way anyone else with a helmet sees through it.
Xel'Naga temple on Shakuras
- On "Last Stand" Artanis says that the control crystals Uraj and Khalis for the temple are missing. What happened to them?
- They were moved, either for study or merely safe keeping. The zerg had overrun Shakuras to the point where retrieving them would have been impossible even if they were close by.
- Huh, you'd think a temple that can obliterate entire armies would be as safe as they get, and that removing its "on" switch in time of such peril would be a colossaly unwise move.
- After Shakuras was cleansed of the Zerg, would it really be wise to have a doomsday weapon ready to go? It only takes one crazy Protoss with the right access to blow the entire planet apart. Without those crystals, the Protoss would at least have time to stop it - and presumably, the Zenith stones you destroy were created to give even more leeway before disaster.
Oh, no! The feral zerg on Aiur do coordinated attacks! How is this possible? This can't be good...
- ... except they did that in Wings of Liberty, my dear Zeratul, and you were there to witness it! I'd even say they were more coordinated back in that one mission on Aiur as they even tried sneak attacks with Nydus Worms... why did it take you so long to be surprised? At least Artanis can be excused by not witnessing that battle.
- No. The zerg in WOL were feral and acted like idiots. They were only a threat at first because of their numbers. They were stirred into aggression by sensing a 'threat' to the dead Overmind but their tactics were to just sit in their base and periodically send small attack waves at the protoss. There's a reason Zeratul can finish that mission in under three minutes, the zerg are feral, uncoordinated and just acting on instinct.
Aiur's Warp Gate
- How could the zerg and hybrids use the warp gate on Aiur to get to Shakuras when it blew up after Raynor, Mengsk and Fenix used it to escape the UED in Brood War?
- It's unlikely that it's the same warp gate. Remember that this takes place after Kerrigan was banished from Shakuras for killing Aldaris, and Raynor/Fenix/Mengsk were going to meet up with her.
- Zeratul called it "our last functioning warp gate" when they decided to use it in the protoss campaign, so there shouldn't be any other.
- Functioning can mean a lot of things - could mean it's the only one that was powered at the time. This is not the first time that a warp gate linking Shakuras and Auir is mentioned post-SC 1 either, the Dark Templar trilogy of books has it play a rather vital role.
Discussion from Nightmare Fuel
- Although getting rid of the Khala spared the Protoss from Amon's control, one could only speculate at the social effects of getting rid of such a unifying force in Protoss culture. Prior to the Khala, the Protoss were little more than savage tribes all slaughtering each other over tribal feuds. The Khalai Protoss were formed from the backbone of these warring tribes. Without the unifying influence of the Khala, what would these tribes fall back on as a cultural and ancestral influence? THEIR TRIBES! Which means that the removal of the Khala from Protoss society can potentially lead to the resurfacing of the tribal differences among the Protoss and the possibility of the Protoss society being once again divided by these tribes. At best, Artanis would be ruling a Protoss Empire akin to the Holy Roman Empire where every dukedom, nation, and principality was off doing its own thing. At worst, it could lead to a future civil war if the tribes begin disagreeing over jurisdiction, territory, or resources within the Protoss Empire. Without the common threat of Amon or the Zerg looming over their heads, and without the Khala to unite them, some of the tribes might indeed decide to slip back to their violent and savage ways during the Aeon of Strife, if they feel shafted by whatever decisions Artanis or the Daelaam government makes.
- The issues mentioned above may be mitigated by the fact that the protoss, after so long, are learning to adapt to changing circumstances. More important is the fact that many protoss, particularly Artanis, realised that their egos and pride in the past nearly led the protoss to ruin, as the protoss thought that they knew all there is to know about the universe. With this humility and willingness to change and adapt, freedom will be exercised with caution. In the worst situation, do not forget that even with their civil wars, the terrans are now in a golden age of their own. As for external threats, this leads to another horror. While Kerrigan has a truce with the protoss, Zagara may not see the need to continue upholding it now that she is the leader of the Swarm.
- Somewhat mitigated when you consider that the Nerazim have lived their society without the Khala and they are doing just fine, and are more peaceful than the Protoss of Aiur. And now, they are united under Artanis who will run things under a strong leadership, having experienced both paths.
- Most of the Dark Templar came from the Sargas tribe, and the rest were disowned by their own tribes, so there wasn't much space for cultural conflict amongst the Dark Templar. But the tribal system was older than the Khala, given how some tribes date back to when Protoss sailed on boats instead of starships. The Terrans kept changing from government to government, so they don't have much attachments for their governments like the Protoss do with their tribes. Now that the Khala is gone, what if the tribes begin asking for greater freedoms or independence? The price for freedom is unity, and the price for unity is freedom. It's either subjugate all the Protoss to Artanis' crown, or Artanis letting the Protoss do as they desire. Now that they're free of the Khala, and there is no more Zerg Brood or Amon to scare them all into cooperation, the tribes will reassert themselves in Protoss society, since they're the only governmental system the Protoss ever knew aside from the Khala. At best, Artanis would be similar to a constitutional monarch like the Holy Roman Emperor where he has to take into account each tribe's request. At worst, there will be a new Aeon of Strife, and Amon will be laughing in his grave as the Protoss slaughter each other. At first the Protoss tribes would work together to make their civilization prosperous. Then, they will have disagreements over which tribe gets more resources or worlds, which tribe gets the larger slice of the pie. The tribes will have polite disagreements. Then arguments. Then condemnations of each other. Then they'll take their debates to the battlefield to vie for Protoss resources and worlds for themselves to govern. It'll be funny to see how Alarak, Valerian, and Zagara will deal with these tribes. Some of the tribes might even ally with these factions and drag them into the conflict ala Thirty Years' War. Some tribes would swear allegiance to Alarak and become Tal'Darim in exchange for his support for their claims. Other tribes might join Zagara's Zerg broods and work with her and help her seize new worlds to help expand the Swarm, while she works with them to create new versions of Protoss-Zerg hybrids for them to use in the fight. Then, this power imbalance would force the remaining unaligned tribes and Valerian Mengsk to join forces in exchange for the Terrans receiving Protoss technology while the tribes get Terran battlecruisers and nukes. Then, it'll be war all over again, which makes getting rid of the Khala a prelude to a new galactic war, and a good send-up to Starcraft 3, if Blizzard decides to continue the story and go for a sequel.
- The Aeon first arises due to madness and suspicions regarding the xel'naga. An account of the origins goes like this:
The protoss began to shy from their xel'naga teachers as they grew suspicious of their interests and cultivated unsubstantiated rumors about them. The tribes began to lose the connection to their psychic link. The xel'naga, saddened at the lost opportunity, made ready to leave Aiur. Seeing this as a betrayal, some protoss attacked them, killing many hundreds of them, even attacking their ships as they left. The xel'naga abandoned many artifacts, including an underground city and khaydarin crystals. The Shelak Tribe safeguarded many more portable artifacts.The protoss then fell into a state of madness in which they raged and whimpered. Each protoss felt great self-hatred over their abandonment by the xel'naga, and the madness was a symptom of this.
- Now, given what is revealed in Legacy of the Void, the suspicions and rumors about the xel'naga may not be that unsubstantiated after all. The "madness" which the protoss felt might even have been engineered by Amon, as a final spite against the protoss.
- The protoss-zerg relationship has never been shown to be that good, even while Kerrigan was around. To think that they might work together requires a few leaps of logic at this point. Besides, you forget that the hybrid is impossible to reproduce without Narud's level of knowledge. Abathur can't even figure out how to replicate Stukov's infestation. Also, you forget that Artanis governs only with the consent of the tribes that make up the Daelaam. He is already a constitutional sovereign. It is also because that he was the only acceptable candidate to all tribes that he became Hierarch. Valerian is also more likely to remain neutral as compared to taking sides in a protoss civil war. His successors, on the other hand....
- The Aeon of Strife was caused by the Xel'Naga departure, but was fueled by tribal differences and pride, two things that can't be destroyed, not unless you brainwash all the Protoss to forget their tribal roots and to never be proud. The fact that Artanis is a compromise candidate makes it all the more likely that the Protoss won't be a united nation. It means that the different factions have the final pull and say within the Empire, and that Artanis cannot do something without them knowing. What if he does something to please one tribe which infuriates another? What if the tribes get angry at each other and he's powerless to stop it? And as for the Zerg, they did attack several labs where the Hybrids were being developed, which means that the data specifying how to create Hybrids might be in Zerg hands by now, or at least, in a place where they know to look. And recently, the Protoss have worked with the Zerg to defeat Amon, so an alliance might not be so far-fetched, especially since hunger for power is something of a universal trait for sentients in the Starcraft universe, particularly if their leader is a compromise candidate who can easily be undermined or controlled. The Khalai Conclave leaders were hungry for power, some Nerazim, such as Ulrezaj succumbed to the hunger for power, and the Tal'Darim are obviously power-hungry. What's to stop that from causing another war, especially when Artanis isn't as much an absolute monarch as he is a compromise candidate to keep everyone happy?
- Universal trait, yes. But, remember: Artanis was clearly stated to be unwilling to become Hierarch, only doing so when the alternative was a break in protoss society. More importantly, there is so far no alternate candidate with the same level of prestige. Given his experiences in Legacy, I do not doubt Artanis's ability to make tough decisions, and be backed up by the majority of the tribes. There are also individuals who do not hunger for unlimitless power. Valerian is another leader of the same calibre, along with Matt Horner. Also, holding onto the data is one thing; being able to act on it is another. On another note, without the Khala, Artanis actually can do deals behind a particular tribe's back. As mentioned earlier, the protoss are becoming terran-like in that aspect. If the terrans can thrive under the correct leadership, so can the protoss. Thriving without the Khala would be seen as a worthy challenge which most protoss are likely to meet head-on, as they know now the true origins of the Khala.
- That's exactly the point. They're becoming more like the Terrans, and how many times have we seen in human history a reign that starts off with hope and goodwill crash and burn because of rivalries and divisions? And while Artanis can do things behind the backs of the tribes, if they discover it and get unhappy with it, they can punish Artanis, especially since he's not that powerful as a government figure because he needs the consent of the tribes to rule. And the power-hungry people almost always find their way to governing in the Starcraft universe. The fact that Arcturus wasn't lynched by his own military after everyone found out that he caused the destruction of Tarsonis shows how corrupt the human government was before Kerrigan and Valerian solved that problem. As Terran politicians go, Valerian and Horner seem to be the exceptions to the rule. And these Protoss tribes date all the way back before the Khala and the Protoss Empire, so waiting for them to fade is like watching paint dry. Artanis had better work overtime to keep them all happy and satisfied, and he'd better pray to Ouros that the tribes won't develop rivalries in the future that might spill into blood. There is the possibility that the tribes would just all get along happily, but in the same vein, there is also the possibility of the tribes turning against one another because they want a bigger piece of the Daelaam's proverbial pie, thinking that they should own more of the worlds/resources within Protoss space, just as the original Terran colonists became mistrustful of each other and began wars with each other as they consolidated power.
- By the time the campaign ends, Artanis will have successfully led a campaign to reclaim Aiur and banish the Koprulu Sector's very own Satan back to the Void, then went into the Void to help kill him. Honestly, in the new Protoss society, Artanis would probably be accorded more respect than any living Protoss, Khalai or Nerazim. What's more, he's in his prime, a young man, a powerful warrior, and a progressive political mind. You're determined to find a downside to the ending, but there really is none. The Khala made the Protoss ultraconservative and hidebound, nothing more.
- It is unknown territory, yes. But, the protoss can adapt. Also, why would Arcturus be lynched by his own military? He didn't put the psi beacon there alone. The purge of Confederates within his reign would have been rather complete. In conclusion, there is both promise and peril. But, only emphasizing the perils does not provide the full picture.
- The Protoss can adapt, yes. They can also have appetites and desires like the Terrans do. The Terran colonists were once all exiles from Earth, united in the fact that they had to eke out a living in an uncharted part of space. But as they grew stronger and consolidated, they developed rivalries over resources and worlds. And Arcturus should've been lynched by his own military after the revelation of Tarsonis' fall because it proves that he used the Zerg to kill billions of innocent people. A good general would rebel on the basis that he wouldn't want to serve such an evildoer, while a self-serving commander would rebel because it's an opportunity to remove a disgraced monarch from power and climb up the ladder. The fact that they didn't shows how corrupt the Dominion military is. Just as the potential for goodness exists for the Protoss, so too does the potential for evil, now that they've removed the Khala and are becoming more like the Terrans, who themselves vacillate between good and evil leaders throughout history.
- There are many reasons why Mengsk remained in power; he had refined the systematic oppression of the Dominion for the last four years, had an entire cadre Ghost Assassins ready to slaughter dissenters, an entire army of "neurologicly resocialized" criminals programed to be loyal to him and him alone, and was probably smart enough to tailor his government to be entirely dependent on his leadership. Just because someone isn't willing to take on a dictator doesn't mean they're corrupt or a coward. After all, Warfield didn't rebel, and he was the epitome of integrity.
- Actually, Mengsk built up his Empire from a coalition of "special interest groups" which tried to help him take out Kerrigan in Brood War's finale. And half the fleet openly deserted him to join Valerian to attack Kerrigan in Wings of Liberty, which shows that for all the brainwashing and Ghost Ops, Mengsk isn't in full control of the Dominion military. The fact that Warfield didn't rebel when Raynor was "executed" actually does hurt his image of integrity: his genocidal master "killed" a hero who saved the Dominion forces fighting the Queen of Blades. The fact that they all helped Mengsk instead of turning on him after he was revealed to have massacred millions of innocents shows how they're okay with Mengsk's corruption so long as they stay in power, because they are afraid of change. And the Protoss are becoming more like the Terrans, in a transitional phase, so the tribes will be fearful of change after the Khala's loss and be more assertive in keeping whatever power or pull they can hold on. If the Terrans did it, so can the Protoss.
- I don't think the idea is "afraid of change"; it's more "losing what they have once Valerian starts cleaning house". The money obtained via illegal means would most certainly be confiscated, and they would obviously lose their positions. Incidentally, that is how all monarchs have ruled throughout history, even the so-called "absolute" ones. If they do not concentrate all power in themselves (which then leads to other issues), this ruling through the elites involves the monarch placating them through means, usually involving money. Arcturus turns a blind eye as he needs people to administer the empire. Also, in Hearts, it was clear that Arcturus had the upper hand: with Valerian's men exhausted after the Char expedition, Arcturus used his half of the military to crush Valerian's forces. He also granted amnesty for Warfield (and very likely his men as well), an offer Warfield could hardly refuse.
Fading into light
- Why did Zeratul and his clothing sans mask and warp-blade become dust when he died?
The Shadows of the Void
- So basically Amon can create Evil Knockoffs of each of the three races' units as if they were nothing, as many times as he wants. If that's the case... then why does he not create hybrids that way? His defenses on Aiur and the Void would have not ended that badly had he created some of those Hybrid Behemoths or Dominators to support the other shadows, I mean...
- Possibly the more complex the thing being mimicked is, the harder it is to replicate. In this case, the hybrid may just be too complicated to replicate effectively. Also, notice how there aren't any Shadow Motherships either?
- A couple guesses:
- Void entities might not be directly "designed" by Amon, they may simply be randomly created to resemble whatever is in the area and being fought at the time. Hybrids would be rare as a result.
- The resemblence is a game covention. In "reality", something else is created by void crystals, which in game is represented by units of the three species for simplicity reasons.
- Void entities may be mimicking recently fought enemies, which do not include hybrids.
- We do know that protoss usually have bony crests over the top of their heads, but I don't think we've ever seen one who has it on the bottom. That's like a dude who has, what? Teeth growing out of his forehead? Is that anywhere remotely normal? Is Karax considered some kind of handicapped freak among the protoss? Nobody comments on that so it's presumably either not that unusual, something you "don't talk about", or Karax is such a brilliant phasesmith nobody wants to insult him by mocking his disability.
- This piece of concept art◊ has Zeratul with the protoss equivalent of a chin strip. The protoss might just shave because most of who we see are either military or female, but Karax, being outside the military isn't obligated.
- It might be a normal, but uncommon, protoss facial feature. (Or not enough protoss characters have been created to use that feature again.)
- Why didn't the Protoss grab a bunch of Slayn Elementals when they realized those things poop starship fuel?
- They did. What do you think that whole side mission was all about?
- I meant more. Like not just from that mission. Keep an entire zoo of the things.
- The Spear of Adun is not equipped to act as any form of long-term containment for wild animals of that size. Even taking Units Not to Scale into consideration, the things are big. Not to mention we have no idea what they eat in the first place. Maybe they can already process Solarite more efficiently, it's just that since they were there, they may as well take it.
- Not to mention, how are they going to feed them? The Spear of Adun doesn't have any food production abilities outside the Solar Core, and that only works because the Protoss eat sunlight for nourishment which, presumably, these things don't.
- Maybe they do capture some and we just don't see it.
- The zealots in stasis on the Spear of Adun wouldn't have fought alongside the Nerazim like the modern Daelaam and should have had the same prejudices and attitudes Rohana held towards them. But as far as we can tell they get along just fine, and neither do they object to having their nerve cords cut off.
- Presumably they are simply obeying orders (We never here their opinions one way or another, so minor stasis's characters may have their own opinions without us hearing them.) They are also not as in tune with the history and politics of the protoss as Rohana, so may not have as hard of a time adjusting.
- Maybe they share the same prejudices, but remember that Karax says he severs their nerve cords before waking them up. Presumably, they would be told why this is, and when hearing the dire straits of their race as a whole, and the fact that the Nerazim is the only reason they aren't being converted to Hybrid by Amon.. well. it wouldn't be far fetched that despite their differences, they can be convinced to an Enemy Mine, at least.
- If Amon's host body was destroyed, that means he only existed through the Khalai Protoss who still have their nerve cords and are submitted to the Khala. However, it is established that Amon desires no allies but his hybrid and thus will get rid of his Protoss, Zerg, and Terran servants once he devours his enemies. If he got rid of the Khala-adherent Protoss carrying his consciousness, he'd only be destroying himself. What would his end plan be for them if his enemies are destroyed?
- Amon losing his host body at all was clearly not a part of his plan. Up until then, he only existed outside the void in the Khala, but once he had gotten his host body forged, he would presumably have killed off the Khalai, or converted them into hybrid. By that point, it didn't matter if there wasn't a Khala around for him to inhabit, he'd have a host body that worked just fine without it.
- The fact is, he wasn't prepared for the Protoss destroying his host body, so he lost that. The Khala is his only means of existence in the mortal realm. Since that's what actually happened, how would his plans change for the Khalai Protoss if he doesn't have his host body?
- Most likely plan once his body was destroyed seems to be to kill Artanis's group, then build another body, then proceed as normal.
- Ok, so after Zeratul gets killed, he gets an acknowledgment during Artanis's speeches (especially the one Artanis gave during the final battle for Aiur), as Artanis says "En Taro Zeratul" along with Tassadar and Adun. Why doesn't Artanis ever say "En Taro Raszagal"? I know Zeratul acknowledged her when the player gives him a move command, but still, why isn't she acknowledged in the same manner Artanis does for Zeratul? Artanis acknowledged Zeratul because it was his efforts that led to the Firstborn's salvation. It was Raszagal who inspired Artanis to bring the protoss path to unity after welcoming the Khalai protoss. Fenix, I get why no one says "En Taro Fenix", because he's just a warrior who was slain in battle but Raszagal? She died with an important legacy for the protoss that cannot be overlooked.
- Raszagal inspiring Artanis to unify the protoss isn't something as widely known, and Raszagal may well be remembered for being possessed by Kerrigan. "En Taro" seems reserved also for extraordinary achievements and people, and against killing the overmind (Tassadar), fighting the overmind and finding the prophecy (Zeratul), Raszagal allowing the Khalai to join probably doesn't seem as important.
- Not as important? Protoss unification is a big deal, and it's been an important plot point since the first game. Given the attitudes Protoss factions had towards each other, unification would, in their minds, be something extraordinary.
- These are Templar we're talking about. Glory in battle is what sticks out for them. Plus Artanis is directly responsible (at least in his mind) for killing Zeratul, so he's got reason to want to directly honor his memory.
Amon's corrupted Protoss army
- There's something that it only started to bug me now, long after finishing the campaign. The corrupted Protoss are seen using Dragoons, Reavers and Scouts, even though the Protoss had long phased out those units from their ranks. I may understand their appearance as having regained control of the production facilities (Thanks to the Zerg being on the same side) but... why would Amon bother adding outdated technology to their army? At least he has the excuse he had no choice with the Zerg, but it's not the case with the Protoss. The Dragoon would be reasonable as the Stalker is a Dark Templar unit, but there were Colossi and Phoenixes in the invasion... and if I remember correctly, Amon's Protoss never use Phoenixes.
- The Daelaam had used Dragoons during their invasion of Aiur, and were already using Scouts when seen in Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm. The Reavers may have been recovered during the invasion and put back into service.
- Amon, like Artanis, is throwing literally everything available at his enemies. He doesn't care if it's not the height of modern technology, if it can kill he uses it. Scouts were never discontinued, they're simply not actual warships the Protoss uses them as actual scouts for the army so there's plenty around. Reavers are fully mechanical and easy enough to use simply by corrupting their programming. As for the new units in the final mission, Amon had enslaved the Golden Armada, which was only just now being turned on Artabnis' forces, having been used to attack the rest of the sector throughout the game, that's why they suddenly have Phoenixes.
What do the Purifiers have in common?
- Each of the faction units generally have some sort of Signature Style. The Aiur units are mostly about staying pure and endurance (Immortal shields, Sentinel, Avenger, Carrier, High Templar shield regeneration abilities), the Nerazim are about offensive finesse and use of skills (Stalker blink, Annihilator Shadow Cannon, Dark Archon micro, Corsair Disruption Webs), and the Tal'darim are about brutal all-out offense. Are the Purifiers supposed to be the versatile faction? That's the best guess I've got.
- My best bet would be Victory by Endurance backed by overwhelming firepower, Sentinels get back up after having been knocked down, Instigators (The stalkers seen on Cybros) take blink stalker harassment to a new level, the adepts weaken the opposition, energizers make Lightning Bruisers out of everything, Mirages will keep firing even while untargetable, Colossi scorch the earth, and Tempests ensure siege capabilities.
Easier ways for Alarak to achieve leadership
- For a character who is extremely pragmatic, why doesn't Alarak just have the Daelaam kill Ma'lash instead of declaring Rak'Shir? Alarak rose by having the other Ascendants kill one another, making it easier for him to ascend. With Rak'Shir, there are plenty of rules, and lots of preparation required, and even Artanis points out they don't have time to abide by protocol. By law, a Tal'darim may not kill a superior except in Rak'Shir, but what if said superior dies in battle at the hand of the Tal'darim's ''enemies'', or is assassinated? Khalai Protoss are outside the laws of the Tal'darim, so that gives Alarak an extra advantage. That would still allow Alarak to become Highlord, because he's next in line. Plus, Alarak kept his involvement with the Daelaam quiet until he officially declared Rak'Shir on Ma'lash. If the Tal'darim's enemies show up on their doorstep, there's no way Alarak's involvement would be proven. All this would've saved a lot of time and energy, and still achieve the same result.
- He did very clearly not keep his involvement with the Daelaam quiet. One of the four ascentdants you kill during the first mission on the planet says, word for word, 'You know very little of Alarak, or you would not aid him'. Secondly, why not just have Malash assassinated? Pride - he wants all the Taldarim to see him throw Malash into the pit of sacrifice, to know he's no weakling.
- But he manipulated the ascendants into killing each other in Rak'Shir, and wasn't it established that Alarak sees the Chain of Ascension as a game? Therefore, it wouldn't seem like he cared how those above him died, not to mention that he was too lazy to kill the Ascendants himself. Even if Alarak didn't keep his involvement quiet, he didn't get punished for having Artanis's Warriors kill four of Ma'lash's guardians, and the rules of attacking a superior outside of Rak'Shir only affect Tal'darim, not the Daelaam or other races who do so.
- Challenging Ma'lash to Rak'shir seems like a simpler plan than arranging to have Ma'lash killed, or some other tricky method. Rak'shir's advantages: Other Tal'darim are less likely to challenge Alarak (He's demonstrated how strong he is openly, rather than sliding into the position.). Alarak is going to greatly change how the Tal'darim operate by turning against Amon and siding with the Daelaam, so might well be challenged for leadership, but Rak'shir ensures he has demonstrated his strength, making this less likely. Rak'shir also likely leads to less enemies for the Daelaam to fight, instead of all Tal'darim unifying against an outside enemy, some will support Alarak or stay out of the fight. Attempting to arrange an accident also provides more opportunity for unexpected events, complications, miscommunication, etc., whereas in Rak'shir the only question is whether the Daelaam and Alarak can win.
- But if one of the Tal'darim's enemies (Terran, Zerg, Dark Templar) kills Ma'lash, Alarak ascends by default. I mean, one can simply have Vorazun or an elite Dark Templar cloak themselves, infiltrate Ma'lash's stronghold, avoid detection, then stick a warp blade right into Ma'lash. No one can prove or believe a Dark Templar killed Ma'lash if the Dark Templar was cloaked and no one can claim Alarak ordered said DT either.
- Why bother to fake it? He's confident he can win and doing so properly gives him official authority over their entire faction. By Tal'darim law he's in charge, to command them as he sees fit and if you have a problem with it you'll have to face him in Rak'shir.
Small nitpicks not big enough for their own section
- Rohana is bothered by working with terrans, saying that working with lesser beings is only allowed "when the empire is under threat". Since the empire is very much under threat, where does the issue with this rule come from?
- She doesn't say 'working with them', she says 'interacting with them'. The Protoss were originally firm believers in the Alien Non-Interference Clause, only allowing themselves to interact with a species if they posed a direct threat to the empire. Be mindful of the wording here: Amon may be a threat to the Empire. The Terran Dominion? Not so much. Under the law Rohanna is used to, it'd thus be justified to engage Amon's forces, but any other alien species should be left alone to fend for themselves.
- The Tal'darim and Mobeius corps probably reached Ulnar through Amon's direction, but how did Kerrigan find out about it?
- Kerrigan is the strongest psionic being in the Koprulu sector. She probably read a random Mook's mind.
- It doesn't even need to be that complicated. Kerrigan's been leading the Swarm on the warpath against Amon's forces since she left Korhol. She likely just followed the hybrid to Ulnar figured out how important the place was and attacked.
- Kerrigan is the strongest psionic being in the Koprulu sector. She probably read a random Mook's mind.
- How is Mobeius corps able to cause so much damage despite appearing to be a relatively small organization?
- Hybrid backing them, having advanced tech, and being suicidal. Plus, we don't really know the size of the organisation, but seeing how it was working with Arcturus Mengsk, I wouldn't call it small, as proven by the fact it has access to numerous current-gen battlecruisers.
How sympathetic are the Conclave?
- Looking back at what we learned of the Conclave's actions and intentions up to and including Legacy of The Void, it's pretty clear beyond shadow of a doubt that there is no reason for them to have any sympathetic treatment: 1). The discord with the Dark Templar, whose fault was that? The Conclave's, because they refused to respect the Dark Templars' desire for individuality, especially when those who rejected the Khala had no ill-will towards their own brethren. It also comes to show a first example of how the Khala did the opposite of promote unity as was intended. 2). The Purifiers' rebellion, whose fault was that? Again, the Conclave's, because they refused to recognize the purifier vessels had the minds of their greatest templar. 3). The fall of Auir, whose fault was that? Again, the Conclave's, because they were obsessed with protecting their so-called "tradition" than that of their own people. Tassadar brought the salvation of his people—the Dark Templar, and they only ruined their homeworld by attacking their own people, so in that regard, the Conclave were the real traitors to their race. I know someone will say that they only wanted to protect their culture, their heritage but that never justified their actions in the least, especially with what they did to the Purifiers. How can anyone sympathize with the Conclave given all that?
- These are 2-3 mistakes or so over thousands of years, where the conclave had a chance to make a lot of other decisions. During their period of rule, the protoss were mostly strong, unthreatened, and successful, which suggests that the conclave, and its traditions, generally handled themselves fine. Most of the examples in this WMG are due to keeping traditions that ended the Aeon of Strife and kept the Aiur protoss together, so the conclave has legitimate reasons for acting the way it does.
- Their belief in feeling strong, unthreatened, and successful was but a false sense of hope and security. Amon aside, the Khala did the very opposite of strengthening unity, and only promoted more division, hence the Discord and the Conclave's treatment of the Dark Templar. If anything, their "keeping traditions" is more out of spite and bigotry with the undertone of Fantastic Racism and not out of selflessness for their race. Their treatment of the DT was outright genocide. If they really wanted unity, they should've respected Dark Templar's desire for individuality and let them remain on Aiur as their equals. Thousands of years later, they still don't see how counterintuitive their treatment of the Dark Templar is to Protoss unity.
Made of Iron except when they aren't
- So, the Arkships are relics from the golden age of protoss civilisation, stuffed with highly advanced technology and manned by thousands of protoss in stasis. We see during Salvation that the Spear of Adun is able to survive battle with the entire Golden Armada (albeit probably assisted by Cybros, the Death Fleet and the Nerazim's ships), with the largest consequence you see being some wrecked pieces falling to Aiur and your activated abilities being disabled. So, if the Spear was able to survive that and be repaired in time to be usable in the epilogue, how exactly did the zerg destroy the other two Arkships?
- Possibly because, unlike the Spear of Adun, the other Arkships never managed to fully energize their solar cores by the time they were sent into battle. The Spear of Adun is at the peak of its power by the time of Salvation, but this is only the case after you've practically scoured the Korprulu Sector for Solarite from the most unlikely of places. Remember how little the Spear of Adun can do at the start; it can create pylons, and shortly thereafter unlocks the ability for sporadic orbital bombardments - that's not a lot of defensive options, and a swarm of contemporary Zerg scourge and devourers seem like they would make short work of an unprepared arkship.
- Was there a story where the arkships were activated against the zerg? (I don't actually know) If not, it is also possible that the zerg destroyed them when they weren't active.