These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
In earlier drafts, he was revealed to be a robot. This idea was discarded and replaced with a mental breakdown (probably because in a world where you can just "resocialize" people into mindless propaganda drones, going through the extra effort of building a life-like android newscaster makes absolutely no sense), but hidden model files of a robot Donny are still accessible.
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, instead finding minor ways to let his grief out; one of his "response" quotes in StarCraft II is "En aru'din Raszagal", which means "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":
"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.
"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.
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. It's either a story of equal merit that steps forward in presentation and storytelling, or the final proof that Blizzard has jumped the shark and is ruined.
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.
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 have some elements of this in the game, due to the fact that Raynor really is stealing their sacred artifacts. In the novels, it's made more clear that they're Knight TemplarScary Dogmatic Aliens, but in the game most of their villainy is offscreen.
Make no mistake, the first game was great, but the campaigns were repetitive and unoriginal, with 80% of the missions being nothing but "destroy the enemy base" (which was HUGE). Now, there are about four of twenty-nine missions like that (and of those, three are optional), and the rest of the WoL missions are much more original and funny—a Train Job, a race against the zerg, a race against awall of fire, a scavenging mission, a Zombie Apocalypse, and many others. Although others believe that it would have been better with fewer such creative missions.
Most people agree that the missions are a definite improvement over the first game. The point where it becomes lacking is the story presentation, dialog, and delivery.
Fan Dumb: Some fans actually criticized Raynor in this version, claiming he was turned from an actually heroic character to a guy who ended up killing his bestfriend to save his now evil Love Interest. Even though it's clearly explained in the game that Kerrigan must survive for the Universe to be saved and that Raynor, being aware of this, had very good reasons to do so. Word Of God admitted that they handledcharacterizationbadly in the case of Raynor's apparent "reversal," as well. The writers wanted to show that Jim Raynor changed from his previous stance of wanting to kill Kerrigan, but did not, by their own admission, show it very well. This led to the current fan annoyance/confusion.
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.
To give an example for the above, Firebats, a campaign-exclusive unit in this game, can be upgraded with JuggernautPlating, a permanent buff to all Firebats that the player creates for the rest of the campaign. This gives them +2 armor, forever, rendering them Nigh Invulnerable to the point where a handful of Firebats with Medic support can hold off an almost infinite number of Zerg, especially if you've purchased the other upgrade, which increases the area of effect for each Firebat's flamethrower effect, effectively turning them into walking Zerg mulchers that will. Not. Die. 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.
The Zerg Infestor has become the most despised unit in the entire franchise for its immense versatility and power during the last six months of the wings of liberty e-sport scene. 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.
In the campaign, 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.
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)
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, terribledamage 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).
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.
Manly Tears: These were shed by some when Raynor finally succeeded in freeing Kerrigan. Especially true for players that were hoping for this in the Brood War expansion to StarCraft I but, instead, had to wait 12 years for it.
Pylo the Pylon. Appeared in a game between WhiteRa (DuckloadRa) and BratOk. Created by Husky Starcraft to name a Pylon near the front lines, Pylo has become a sensation in the SC2 community, recently spawing his own SONG. Pylo appears at around 9:03 here.
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.
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.
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)
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.
While the quality of the missions have improved, some question the changing of voice actors, especially for Kerrigan. Many players also feel that Brood War had a far better multiplayer 1 on 1 than the sequel.
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.
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....
"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.
"In Utter Darkness" is an amusing example, as it's technically impossible to lose because it's impossible to win in terms of story—your only objective is to hold out as long as you can, even if you get overwhelmed in the first five minutes you win. The bonus research objectives however require you to defend a key building for 25 minutes, and kill a certain number of enemy units, and waves of Elite Mooks force you to micromanage your forces to deal with them. The Difficulty Spike is also more noticeable in this mission, because not only do your enemies become stronger as you would expect, but the number of kills for the bonus objective increases, effectively making the mission last longer.
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.
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.