YMMV: StarCraft I

Subjective tropes applicable specifically to StarCraft I and its expansions only, please. For the series as a whole, see YMMV.StarCraft. SC2 subjectives go here.


  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Samir Duran was manipulating DuGalle's mind. Despite being an Admiral in the UED, DuGalle repeatedly shows himself as an incompetent tactician who only succeeds with the aid of his Hypercompetent Sidekick Stukov, and makes terrible decisions and proves himself a Horrible Judge of Character. The only explanation other than DuGalle being just that gullible and pathetic a leader is Duran influencing his mind. This theory is so widespread that some of the fanbase consider it as good as canon.
  • Anticlimax Boss: In mission five of the sixth campaign, you've got two superpowered boss units to fight, each with thousands of HP and powerful attacks. One is a biological ground units, fodder for the Queen's Spawn Broodling which kills it instantly, and the other is an air unit rendered helpless against the Defiler's Dark Swarm.
  • Breather Level: "The Reckoning" Comes between To Slay The Beast and Omega, both incredibly difficult levels. All you have to do is build up an army strong enough to destroy the Protoss base (which, compared to what you've dealt with up to this point, is tiny) within half an hour, which is easier than it sounds. You start at the top of the tech tree, have two hatcheries to pump out units, enough space to make a third if you want, and the attacks from the UED are so pathetic that you could leave a hydralisk at each entrance and not have to worry about losing a single structure, while the protoss won't counter attack you at all. The only real threat is a carrier and the occasional mind controlling dark archon, which are easily countered.
  • Cliché Storm: While there is a fair amount of Lampshade Hanging, the whole formula still is formulaic/cheesy enough to qualify as one.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Many players only play Lost Temple, Big Game Hunters, Python and/or Destination. From the user-created side of things, we have Fastest Map Ever, which was designed initially to speed up the beginning game by stacking minerals directly next to the beginning buildings making mining for resource instantaneous. To say that there are several variations of the map would be an Understatement.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Terran 1". The second part in particular is spectacular.
  • Ear Worm: Radio Free Zerg.
    Serve the hive... feel the groove...
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The zerg Cerebrates have a surprisingly strong fandom for giving the mindless swarm a lot of personality.
    • Even now that StarCraft II is out and they're on to developing the expansions, there's still fans hoping Fenix will be revived a second time, or even infested, and come back for another showing.
    • Zerutal's badassery and ninja traits make him arguably the most popular character in the franchies.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Anything at all concerning Duran. The fans have had more than decade to speculate and some very strange, exotic theories have been put forth.
    • Some insist that the factions are expies of the Imperium of Man, Tyranids, and Eldar, and StarCraft is based on 40k. (With 40k being based on numerous Sci-Fi works, it isn't really a surprise.) And the reverse was guessed as well, some claim the Tyranids were changed in appearance to match the Zerg better and that the Tau were based off the Protoss.
  • Even Better Sequel: While the first game was perfectly fine in terms of story and gameplay, it had problems on both fronts. Brood War upped the stakes with a more complex and involving story, as well as more creative and fun missions, and refined the multiplayer gameplay into the titan of RTS gameplay the series is now known for.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: They don't call it the "national sport of South Korea" for nothing.
  • Idiot Plot: Brood War's story boils down to "everyone except Kerrigan acts stupid or short-sighted, and she takes advantage of that to betray and destroy all of them and take control of the Zerg." If the cast had been less trusting of her and Duran, and more trusting of their own established allies and friends, the end of the expansion would be very different.
  • Lady Mondegreen: Not the names in particular, but the quotes units (Mostly Protoss) say get misinterpreted, especially the Khalai language ones.
    • Terran Units
      • Marines: "You want a piece of meat, boy"!
    • Zerg Units
      • Zerg Guardians might sound like they're saying "Brood War!" once they finish mutating.
      • When Zerg upgrades and research are done, it says "Evolution complete!", but for some, it may sound like "Caboose incomplete!"
      • When Zerg hive clusters are under attack, it could be interpreted as "Die Cloyster is under attack!"
    • Protoss Units
      • Zealot: "My life for hire!", "My wife for hire!", and "I am a fryer/friar!" (My Life for Aiur)
      • Probes and Reavers sound like they're saying "Protoss!" One Probe line sounds like "long ago."
      • One quote the Dragoon says sounds like it's saying "Stop killing us!" (Khalai language), "Galactois" (Khalai Language), and "Thank you something" (Make use of me)
      • Dark Templars sound like they're saying "Yeah squeal!" and "Give voy!"
      • Dark Archons might sound like they're saying "Must inflame us!" (Thoughts in Chaos) and "Old Navy in the way!" (Oblivion awaits)
      • High Templars might have sounded like they say "It's one hell of a party!" (Khassar de Templari),
      • And one of the Archon's select quotes may sound like it's saying "Oh shit!"
      • One of the "attack" quotes of the Scouts sound like it's saying "Lucas sectionized" (Locus acknowledged).
      • Arbiters. Yes. "We are fisherman" (We are vigilant), "Goodnight wing", "In chastity", and "Jikakazoid".
  • Padding: Some missions are obviously there just to fill up the quota of 10/8 missions between the base and expansion campaigns, having little plot development that couldn't have been handled in another mission much more simply. Perhaps the most blatant examples are Episode IV Mission 5 and Episode VI Mission 6. The former, your enemy is just a distraction from the actual goal of the campaign and is barring your path, the latter, you get attacked and defend yourself.
    • Ironically, there were two missions cut from Episode I, Biting the Bullet and Operation: Silent Scream because they were seen as this exact reason; especially the former mission. Another reason for the cut was to even out the campaign level totals so that each race was given ten levels.
  • Porting Disaster: Starcraft 64 is generally considered this way, which is unfortunate, because it really was pretty damn good. Being able to control 18 units at a time rather than 12 is a pretty major jump. On the down side, most of the voice acting and FMV were removed, something expected for that console. The cartridges simply didn't have the amount of space needed for all that.
  • Rooting for the Empire: The United Earth Directorate overthrew Mengsk and temporarily dissolved the Dominion, enslaved the Zerg and took control of them, and used their power afterwards to try and take down Kerrigan's Brood. True, they were infesting their own men to use infested terrans as troops against their enemies, were probably planning to exterminate the protoss, and are implied by the lore to be a futuristic version of Nazi Germany. Still, most of their campaign is an eight-mission long bout of "Kick the Son of a Bitch" as they depose Mengsk and kill a lot of zerg, so a lot of fans were on their side and hoped for their return in Starcraft II.
  • That One Level:
    • "To Chain the Beast", due to giving you little breathing room until you take out a specific cerebrate due to his invulnerable sunken colonies being everywhere. Take too long, and you get to deal with the Torrasque, a beefed up Ultralisk who WILL make a dent in your defenses and respawns after its been killed and may be supported by a defiler, making most of your units worthless anytime that damn thing is under the orange clouds. And after all of that? The final cerebrate will start sending Infested Terrans your way. The mission boils down to turtling in one little base and pouring all your resources into a battlecruiser fleet to try and take down that first cerebrate so you can get some breathing room, after that the mission lets up a little, but Torrasque and the Infested Terrans are still coming.
    • "To Slay the Beast" is considered harder than the final level. Like To Chain the Beast, you have little breathing room in the beginning and not a lot of resource income. If you can't take down one of the two bases on your platform early on, it's damn near impossible to catch up. Both enemy factions have Terran AND Zerg at their disposal, meaning having to deal with an 800 supply army at any given time. Along with this, the AI is smart enough here to coordinate their attacks (for once), resulting in some of the hardest hitting strikes in the game. And the worst part? You have to be able to have Dark Templars at all times or you fail the level instantly, so if you lose any of your protoss structures, you need to guard the few Dark Templar you already had trained like precious gemstones... and then comes the final assault where you have to send them into the most heavily defended part of the map to complete the victory objective.
  • The Scrappy: Competitively, the Protoss Scout is seen as this for costing too much minerals and gas for the little that it can accomplish; which only sees little use to take down bulky enemy air units.
  • Scrappy Level: Brood War's "The Insurgent" level which many will agree has some of the worst storytelling seen from the original story campaigns. Aldaris' What an Idiot moment aside, the worst of it is actually that players are supposed to believe that not a single rebel Protoss other than Aldaris knew what they were rebelling for.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: With the release of Starcraft II, several old-school mechanics just don't hold up well for some folk when they return to Starcraft I. Particularly:
    • Only being limited to holding 12 units at a time.
    • Units lining up single-file when they walk long distances
    • Not being able to rally workers to mine minerals/gas when they spawn.
    • Ramps in general, especially the ones for the installation missions, which are just too shallow a choke-point to traverse.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: While still popular, they are definitely areas where the game shows its age, like that most multiplayer matches consist of rushes or unit spams, and most of the campaign missions consist of objectives that always boil down to "destroy the enemy base", which in later missions take up most of the map.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: The original game is frequently called one of, if not the best RTS ever. Hype Backlash and Seinfeld Is Unfunny has come into play over the years, but the game still holds up well up unto the release of the sequel, and probably will continue to do so for some time.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Daggoth, the senior Cerebrate to the player in Episode II, gets no screen-time at all afterwards. Only that he led the formation of the second Overmind in the expansion due to the death of the original Overmind...and yet he doesn't get a single line of dialogue, and takes a Word of God stating that he died to Kerrigan sometime off-screen.
  • Uncanny Valley: The animated portrait for the Protoss Dragoon gets oddly bizarre ... the dead Protoss warrior ...
  • What an Idiot:
    • DuGaulle agrees with Duran's suggestion to blow up the Psi Disrupter rather than use it to cripple the Zerg.
    • Aldaris. Sure...start a revolution. It's not like you can just simply sit down, and talk with Zeratul and company about what you discovered concerning Kerrigan's treachery.