YMMV: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

See also:
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Does Matt Horner represent Incorruptible Pure Pureness in the crew and the best hope for a better future in the sector, or is he a laughably naive Wide-Eyed Idealist who only manages to survive the Crapsack World he lives in by pure luck?
    • Was Ariel Hanson truly an innocent, honest and altruistic woman, or a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Mad Scientist who shows her true colours at the end of Haven's Fall?
    • Donny Vermillion: is he a Dominion stooge, or a jaded news anchor covering for his recklessly idealistic younger co-worker, Kate Lockwell? Either way, the fact that he suffers a nervous breakdown after learning that Mengsk was behind the invasion of Tarsonis and is thus indirectly responsible for the death of his brother (who was living/working there at the time) shows he's more than just a mindless supporter of the establishment.
  • Angst? What Angst?: While Zeratul's certainly got quite a bit to feel bad about, he just keeps on fighting, never letting it slow him down, though some pieces slip through the cracks; one of his unit quotes is "En aru'din Raszagal", or "In Memory of Raszagal".
  • Anvilicious: The UNN clips are very un-subtle Take Thats against certain TV news organizations and personalities.
    • The game script contains this line, said by a freed Dark Templar in "Maw of the Void":
    "Truly you bring freedom to all, friend Ray-nor"
  • Breather Level:
    • "Cutthroat." The first objective is to collect 6,000 minerals before your opponent who has four bases. However, even on Brutal difficulty his defenses around the three auxiliary bases is light so you can steamroll them, all but halting his collection and giving you his mineral fields, in addition to the fact you can just collect scrap scattered around the map to make the money. And once you get that objective you're rewarded a full second base with pretty much every building you could need except Starports, including two Barracks and two Factories, and a full army of mercenary-type units that have increased health and power compared to their normal counterparts.
    • "Maw of the Void" actually encourage you to take your time building up a huge force of nothing but Battlecruisers and then steamroll the opponents from one side of the map to the other one objective at a time. The fact that your base is on an island also ensures that the only assaults you'll face are from enemy air units and transports.
    • Also, "Whispers of Doom." In the midst of some fairly intense Terran missions, you get to play what is essentially a Protoss tutorial level.
    • "Engine of Destruction" gives you Tychus as the most powerful unit in the entire game as the Odin, a proto-type Super Thor. You can't command Tychus directly but he'll try to take out five enemy bases all on his own, and as long as you send a few SCVs and Science Vessels to repair him along the way he can do it too. Later on you'll want to send a squad of anti-air units when he faces Battlecruisers, but overall you can mostly take it easy.
      • Can also double as That One Level on higher difficulties due to the nature of having to rush your base building just to keep up with the Odin.
    • "Media Blitz" is pretty easy, as well. Even on Brutal difficulty, you can use the Odin to singlehandedly wipe out one of the three bases and much of a second during the "surprise attack" phase. Once the regular phase starts, a repaired Odin can singlehandedly wipe out the remaining base with little to no micromanagement. With the bases destroyed, there will be no attacks anywhere until you try to control the beacons to broadcast the signal.
  • Broken Base:
    • Unfortunately, this was expected. The game created this before it was even released. Features such as multiple building select split the fanbase early on on the development cycle, followed by debates over how protoss display team color, if the lurker should have been removed or not, and more. Not to mention the arguments that broke out when it was revealed that Blizzard was changing the voice actress of Kerrigan from Glynnis Talken to Tricia Helfer. And now that the game is actually out, the base has become extremely polarized, nearly to the extent of the Inheritance Cycle over StarCraft II's story.
    • Now that it's out there's a bit of a Broken Base on the Zerg. Some thing they're the weakest race and are helpless before any competent Protoss or Terran, while others think they're fine and the weaker players just have yet to "click" with the race and realize their full potential and versatility. Patch 1.4 was a good example—it nerfed the Infester's Neural Parasite so it no longer affected Massive units (read: Thor, Colossus, Ultralisk), prompting some to complain that with the nerf they'll have an even harder time dealing with the other races, while others applauded the nerf for no longer allowing a handful of Infestors to incapacitate entire armies in seconds. Blizzard responded by nerfing it in a different manner, but the split was still there before they announced their decision.

      It doesn't help that the Zerg are the Red Headed Step Child of the franchise, as their reliance on Larvae gives them completely different timings from Protoss and Terran. Even if you know what you're doing as those two races, you might be utterly lost as the Zerg, and at least some players write them off on grounds of being too much work to figure out.
      • Speaking of larva, the Queen's inject larva mechanic is considered by some to be busywork for the sake of busywork. What it does is target a hatchery or its improved forms and after a set period, spawns 4 larva to produce units with. The problem with this is that it is not autocast, meaning that in order to keep up production, you might have to leave the action for a precious few seconds which may lose you the game.
    • On the campaign side of things, you have the Dominion returning at the start of Wings of Liberty as the ruling Terran faction of the sector...despite their numerous defeats that were handed to them throughout episodes V and VI of Brood War. Was it justified that the Dominion, was given four years to rebuild? Or was their faction steamrolled too far to a point that they should have been gone for good, or at least reduced to a much smaller faction, and have someone such as the Kel-Morian-Combine, or the Umojans, come in and take over as the Terran rulers?
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Matt and the Hyperion—specifically His Bridge, which he is very protective of.
    • Tychus really likes the Odin, declaring it "the single greatest invention in the history of mankind," apparently so awesome it almost brought a tear to his eye.
    • Raynor is very attached to his jukebox, the novel "Devils' Due" covering how he risked a train robbery to get it off the train with their booty, and was enraptured by it the second he saw it.
  • Cliché Storm: All of the game. The ability of the characters to endlessly spout clichés in practically every line of dialogue is quite staggering.
    Jim Raynor: Tell me why I shouldn't kill you right now.
    Valerian Mengsk: Because I can offer you... what you've always wanted.

    Jim Raynor: We are who we choose to be, Matt.

    Zeratul: There is always hope.
    • The last few lines of the entire campaign are, to paraphrase, "What have you done," "I made a deal with the devil", "we all got our choices to make," and "It's okay, I got you."
  • Contested Sequel: For the multiplayer, it's really a matter of opinion if the original game or this one is superior. For the singleplayer campaign, most agree the gameplay and presentation are significantly improved, but the writing has taken a downward turn.
  • Crazy Awesome: Tychus Findlay and Gabriel Tosh, brother.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Donny Vermillion is a complete Jerkass; "Up next, a Vermillion commentary: refugees, are they really our responsibility?" However, he's such a complete jerkass that he loops back around to being funny for it, the parody elements notwithstanding.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • Terran Up the Night.
    • The main theme.
    • Not precisely music, but the metal riff that plays when things get serious (the beginning of the The Dig campaign, when Tosh's Specters are released from New Folsom) is pretty dang awesome.
  • Designated Villain: The Tal'darim. They accuse Raynor of invading planets sacred to them and defiling ancient shrines and temple to steal their holy relics, and he is, and is doing so pretty much just to make money be selling them to the Moebius Foundation. The next two parts of the trilogy reveal the Tal'darim are an Apocalypse Cult that worship Amon, justifying their stance as villains much better.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The baneling has quite a following as the "cute" zerg unit, for some reason.
    • Karass. Generally considered to be "like Zeratul, but as a High Templar".
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Similarities in name and nature lead to speculation that the Dark Voice was the same being as "The Voice in the Darkness" in the graphic novels. Blizzard has shot this theory down.
    • Because of Matt Horner's close relationship with Raynor and the fact that they were both part of the Sons of Korhal only to leave following the fall of Tarsonis many have erroneously drawn the conclusion that Horner is the Magistrate from "Rebel Yell." His official backstory, however, contradicts this, though the Magistrate did exist according to The Queen of Blades, where it's stated that he joined the Sons of Korhal prior to the infestation of Mar Sara. Furthermore Raynor briefly mentions the magistrate in conversation. Apparently they parted ways after the events of Broodwar and Jim hasn't heard from them since.
  • Fan Dumb:
  • Fan Hater: Both the WoL and HotS campaigns spawned a large group of haters who don't just hate the story itself, but go berserk on anyone who dares say anything good about it. Some of them even justify it by saying that they want Blizzard to suffer for making such a crappy story (which, they often say, is not an opinion, but fact), and in order to do so they need to ruin others' enjoyment of it so that they won't buy the next installment.
  • Foe Yay: Between Tosh and Nova. According to the graphic novels, she and Tosh shared their first kiss with each other, and both of them enjoyed it. In StarCraft II, Tosh has slid down the cynicism side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism while Nova completed her Ghost training and was resocialized.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: This 2008 video and its derivatives splice the Marine suit construction sequence from the teaser with the mundane outer workings of the barracks before showing the Marine being rapidly slaughtered by zerg. Funny in its execution, but come retail release, it turns out Tychus, the Marine from the cutscene, does get killed, except by Raynor's hands.
  • Game Breaker:
    • Although you'll need such upgrades for the final missions of the campaign on the harder difficulties, it isn't hard to see why some of the campaign upgrades and abilities are exclusive to the campaign, and why some of them used to be in the multiplayer but were scrapped.
      • Firebats can be upgraded with Juggernaut Plating, a permanent buff that gives them +2 armor. In tandem with normal upgrades and Medic support, not to mention their HP has been doubled since the original game, and Firebats can hold off an almost infinite number of Zerg. Add in the other upgrade, which boosts the area of effect of their attack, and they become Zergling mulchers that are nearly impossible to kill. The amount of Game Breaker inherent in this is best summed up by the fact that a handful of Firebats, with one or two Medics per squad and perhaps a single Siege Tank or Bunker as backup, can hold the line against a numberless horde of Zerg units indefinitely during the "Outbreak" campaign mission, to the point where even attacking during the Night phases of the mission, which provokes even larger hordes to spawn, cannot break the line.
      • One of the Terran upgrades gives all units with energy +100 max energy and +100 starting energy. Battlecruisers now spawn with Yamato Cannon fully charged, at max energy can fire two blasts without waiting, Banshees and Wraiths can go on cloaking missions right away, and Medics and Medivacs can support troops out the door.
      • Science Vessels. You have to give up the Raven to unlock it from the Laboratory terminal, but it's not really a hard decision — after all, what's the loss of micro-heavy shuttles suffering from Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable which rely on auto-turrets to fight for them when you can mass-produce shuttles which can repair mechanical units and structures using nano-technology as if they were medivacs healing marines, removing the cost of resources for repair work?
      • Reapers are hilariously broken against the Zerg, thanks to their very high mobility and high damage against small units and buildings. Using Reapers to out-Zerg Rush the Zerg is intensely satisfying. Oh yes, and one of their campaign-exclusive upgrades gives them a damage and range bonus.
      • Goliaths start out Overshadowed by Awesome when you first get them, only being useful for Anti-Air, which is still a niche use. However, their campaign upgrades not only boost the range of their Anti-Air attacks, but allow them to attack ground and air units at the same time. Combine this with boosts to their attack and armor from the Armory and a small army of goliaths can wade into mixed-unit enemy war-parties and usually come out on top, though especially if they have SCVs on hand to repair the damage. Once you unlock their mercenary counterparts, Spartan Company, there's little reason on lower difficulties not to just amass an army of goliaths and send them into the fray.
      • For a less obivous, yet still massive Game Breaker, there's Tech Reactors. Combine the mass-production of reactors with the unlocks of Tech Labs in one addon. This lets you churn out 2 of any unit at a time, allowing you to mass-produce top-end units like thors and battlecruisers at the same rate as marines.
      • As for mercenaries, the Siege Breakers. When compared to regular siege tanks, they have 33% more hp and 66% more damage. This translates to doing 100 damage per shot unupgraded. The only other mercenaries that come close to this level of improvement are the War Pigs, who are still a very limited number of Marines. They even come at a gas discount along with the mineral penalty compared to simply building regular siege tanks.
    • In the multiplayer, the Zerg Infestor has become the most despised unit in the entire franchise for its immense versatility and power. However, since they were also the only midgame unit that could stand up in direct battle combat for the Zerg, Blizzard refused to nerf them. They ironically nearly broke the game and kept the Zerg from falling apart at the same time. The unit has been heavily nerfed in the HOTS now that the other Zerg units have been fixed.
      • Another issue in multiplayer is the Terran MULE. It's a Worker Unit that can be summoned by an Orbital Command Center for 50 Energy (of 200), does not take up Supply, and brings back 7 minerals per trip where standard SCVs bring back 5. It only lasts for 90 seconds, but if a Terran player can focus his economy in the midgame, he can build a ton of Orbital Commands and basically replace all his SCVs with MULEs. This is where things start going Off the Rails. In the late game, a Protoss player has probably dedicated about 60 of the 200 Food in his Arbitrary Headcount Limit to Worker Units; Zerg are expected to run more like 80. A Terran player spamming MULEs? He can get by with 20.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Those annoying little broodlings that come out when you destroy a zerg building.
    • Brood Lords, period. They can spam broodlings while remaining outside of turret and goliath coverage. If you go into multiplayer with someone on the map playing Zerg, or if playing a mission where they're present, better amass a group of vikings as soon as you can- they're the only counter cheap enough to mass build on a short notice (and take out brood lords should the other player position the unit over terrains not reachable by land units).
    • The Scourges in the Lost Viking arcade game.
    • The Tal'darim to Raynor. In a couple of the artifact missions, the starting dialogue has the Tal'darim making flowery, over the top threats to Raynor, followed by Raynor being merely annoyed at having to fight them yet another time.
  • Goddamned Boss: No matter how many times you kill Maar or the Dark Voice, he will always come back (and each time stronger)
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • If you're having trouble deciding what to spend credits on in the Armory (because you're right—even if you get every research point and complete every mission in the game, you will not get enough credits to buy everything), then once you've gotten your protoss and zerg research maxed out, go redo any previous mission that gave you zerg or protoss research samples, and then check the research console in the lab. You'll gain extra monetary credit for the surplus samples you've collected so far, including the ones you've already cashed in. Fixed a few months after release as an Obvious Rule Patch, since the intent of limited credits was to force players to pick and choose on upgrades.
    • There's also one in "All In," the Nintendo Hard final mission. Every so often during the mission, Kerrigan will attack your base and is almost guaranteed to do terrible, terrible damage when she does. However, there is a glitch that sometimes occurs (still not sure how it's triggered) that results in her approaching the base halfway and then turning back. If this glitch is triggered she'll do this over and over again for the rest of the mission, thereby making it a lot easier. Other times (if the player chose to do the mission "Shatter the Sky" instead of "Belly of the Beast") Kerrigan will find herself trapped by two or more Nydus Worms and will remain trapped so long as the player refrains from using the artifact to sweep the board. The dark side is that which of the two paths to your base Kerrigan takes doesn't seem to be properly randomized.
    • In the protoss mini-campaign, it is possible for the endlessly-respawning hybrid (Maar) to attack once, then stand harmlessly outside the player's base doing nothing unless attacked. This frees the player to focus on freeing the prisoners in Maar's base without having to worry about protecting his/her own base—even on the highest difficulty level (glitch noted in January 2013).
    • In The Devil's Playground, there is a glitch with the brutalisk that gives the player twice as many research point than normal when the player kills it and doesn't already have any Zerg research points.
  • It's Easy, so It Sucks: Boring but Practical units are derided for their effectiveness (at least in earlier levels of skill, wherein players don't know much strategy beyond attack-moving), with some going so far as to (dismissively) allege that Marine-Marauder-Medivac / mass Mutalisk / mass Void Ray is practically impossible to win against.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: In the ending cutscene, Tychus is ordered by Mengsk to kill the newly-deinfested Kerrigan. We all know it isn't going to work (particularly since he'd have to go through Raynor to do it), but besides that it would also make about half the campaign missions a complete waste of time. And, not to put too fine a point on it, give away the ending of the game as a whole...
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Just looking at This Wiki shows how popular General Warfield is, even though his one appearance in the story essentially amounts to getting his ass kicked, although in an admittedly stylish way.
    • Very strangely, the Terran MULE mining robot.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Mis-blamed: Early in the game's development EVERYTHING that the fans didn't like was blamed on Dustin Browder, to the point some accused him of trying to ruin the game on purpose because he used to work on the Command & Conquer series and saw StarCraft as a rival franchise. Fan Dumb indeed.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Units now give a unique warning to players when they are being attacked offscreen, and it's always the same. Marines will cry for help, zealots will insist they "cannot hold," and so forth. They do this every time they enter battle; even if they're winning they'll call for help, and every unit does it, except for the zerg who don't talk. It gets very annoying very fast.
      Adjutant: Base is under attack.
      Player: I KNOW!! SHUT UP!!!!!
      • The worst ones, however, are definitely the ones you end up hearing more than usual during the campaign.
        "Mmm... better send some body bags!"
        "M-mah goose is gettin' cooked!"
        "Can't hold 'em alone..."
      • Battlecruiser commanders shout "Abandon ship!" as soon as the bullets start flying. Even if they are part of a nigh-unstoppable twenty-unit group and the offending unit is a single wimpy hydralisk. Annoyingly justified by how Battlecruiser commanders follow the stereotype of the cowardly Russian submarine commander, and would understandably overreact to the slightest threat. They also yell "It's a trap!" every once in a while too.
    • And then there's the classic trope namer: You Require More Vespene Gas, "Not enough minerals", "You must construct additional pylons" and "Not enough energy" (and their Terran and Zerg equivalents)
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • That guitar riff that plays whenever Swann announces a new unit for you, usually with a few free samples. For that matter, the "schwoom!" sound of getting a new Achievement.
    • Arguably, the siege tank's *shbooom* noise is this for terran players. What it says is "group of enemy units just got their teeth kicked in".
    • "Nuclear Launch Detected." That's assuming you were the one that launched it, otherwise it's another trope.
    • The sound that plays whenever you complete a mission objective in the campaign or challenge modes, especially if it was in one of the harder levels.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The infested terran in general. The portraits are far more detailed and thus far more disturbing than the original game.
      • Zoom in on their death animation. Once their meter expires, they put their guns in their mouths and shoot themselves.
    • The mission "Piercing The Shroud" is terrifying. It starts off rather leisurely, with even the stronger zerg units fairly easy to kill, often due to being chained up. Then you cut the power, and the rest of the mission consists of a mad dash for the exit as you try to escape from the invincible Hybrid.
    • The entirety of the Ariel Hanson missions. At first you have to defend the colonists and evacuate them from the zerg. Then you spend a mission where every night (several minutes in-game) you have to retreat to your base as hundreds of infested terrans bear down on you. And depending on your choice in the final mission, you may see Hanson infested and crawling around the ceiling taunting Raynor to kill her.
    • The normally stoic, deadpan and fearless Tosh is clearly wigged out from the Hybrid's psychic "scream" after the raid on the Dominion laboratory. invoked
    Blinding. Searing. Like the sun burning in your face with your eyes squeezed shut. I have never felt such a thing before. I hope I never do again.
  • One-Scene Wonder: High Templar Karass; He has glowing orange eyes that no other protoss has, he has his own speech set even though he's never playable, his only role in the campaign is to lead a charge of Zealots through a Zerg barricade so that Zeratul can get the last piece of the Prophecy, and then pulls a Heroic Sacrifice by duelling with the Queen of Blades so that Zeratul can escape with the prophecy. He is seen in only one sixth of one mission in the campaign, but his actions may have saved the Universe.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Between Duran, Raszagal, and that one short story about the zerg changelings, you'd be justified in going into the game suspecting everyone and anyone of being a sleeper agent for the Swarm. Just about the only people not worthy of freaking out over are Tychus because it's obvious who he's going to betray you to and Hanson. ...Oops.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: TV Tropes is probably the most you'll ever hear about the actual story of ''StarCraft II. A huge number of people picked up the game and went straight to the multiplayer.
  • Stop Helping Me!: In-universe example. Egon Stetmann keeps giving advice in "Belly of the Beast" that you really should know by now, considering it's the second to last mission (Don't let Banelings get too close. Their acid splash is really nasty). Tychus promptly tells him to shut up.
  • Strangled by the Red String: People who have only played the games and not read the books will be somewhat surprised by how much Jim Raynor wants to save Kerrigan, as the last time they met Raynor was swearing revenge on her for Fenix's death.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The Tal'darim are presented as fanatics attacking Raynor the moment he sets foot on their world. The game glosses over the fact, however, that Raynor is invading their colony worlds to steal artifacts of their faith, often desecrating sacred ground to do so, and sells those artifacts for money. Turns out the relics combine into a valuable Phlebotinum Bomb, but Raynor doesn't know at the time, he's Only in It for the Money.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: An almost note-for-note rendition of a common Firefly theme appears as Raynor stands victorious over Tychus after their bar-fight.
  • That One Achievement: "Aces High". All In the final mission is made much more bearable by the fact that every so often you can just use a superweapon to take out all the zerg either attacking your base, or on the way to attack your base. Except that to get this award you need to beat it while only using that item once....
  • That One Level:
    • "In Utter Darkness". You must kill a certain number of enemies to win, and have bonus objectives that require defending a key building for 25 minutes. Not too bad on Normal, but the Difficulty Spike is more noticeable in this mission on Hard and Brutal; not only are your enemies much stronger as you would expect, but the number of kills for the main objective increases, effectively making the mission last longer.
    • "All In" pits you against waves of Zerg on two choke points, you have to defend the MacGuffin for the entirety of the mission, and you have to deal with regular attacks by either swarms of mutalisks or nydus worms. By far the worst part though is the Goddamned Boss that attacks every few minutes, and uses a One-Hit Kill ability and a Herd Hitting Attack as spells in addition to a powerful normal attack. You can put four bunkers, three siege tanks and perdition turrets at a choke, and the boss will still break down the door. Once you chase it off for a few minutes, you then have to rebuild your defenses because the normal Zerg are still coming.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Broken Base aside, there were a lot of complaints about the Siege Tank's acknowledgement and Stop Poking Me phrases not being equal as the ones of its StarCraft I counterpart.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: It's hinted at (and blatantly obvious early on) that Tychus is being threatened by Mengsk into eventually betraying Raynor. When he finally does, it occurs during the last cut scene of the game and the only thing it changes is that Tychus is now dead.
  • True Art Is Angsty: While there are many constructive criticisms of the game's story, one of the common fan complaints is that the sequel is not as "dark" as its predecessors.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Mira Han. That larger red right eye of her's alone makes her into Nightmare Fuel, inspite of her amusing personality.
    • Portraits in conversations are advanced anough to look angry, sad, etc. However, they have an annoying tendency to "reset" to the default face for just a second after they finish their lines, leading to it looking like a bunch of robots simulating emotion.
  • The Untwist: Tychus betrays Raynor. The hints are so obvious you'd have to be blind to not see them, and they're so obvious you'd think they're red herrings.
  • Villain Decay: Mengsk and Kerrigan get outsmarted a few too many times given that the both of them were Magnificent Bastards in the original game. Even when the Raiders are operating directly on Korhal, on the outskirts of the Dominion capital, Mengsk and Warfield are entirely ineffective, and Kerrigan is equally inept even when the Raiders and Dominion are invading Char. The latter, though, is given a Hand Wave that most of the Zerg were away from Char at the time, but the rest of the campaign has no such justification for Kerrigan's incompetence.
    • Mengsk case is probably justified in the sense that he wanted Raynor alive in hopes that he would assemble the Xel'Naga artifact in deal with Kerrigan, while hoping he could whether any damage he caused in the mean time. Kerrigan goes fulls swing back her old threat in Heart of the Swarm.