Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Starcraft Terrans

Go To
"We got tossed to the far end of the galaxy, dropped smack dab between two ugly alien armies, and we're not all dead yet? Tell me that don't say something about us."

In the 23rd century, Earth became united under a single government called the United Powers League. To curb overpopulation and limited resources, they enacted a campaign of genocide against "undesirable" humans, rounding up over 400 million people for extermination. A UPL scientist named Doran Routhe wished to investigate the feasibility of colonizing other planets, and secured 40,000 subjects that were given the slim hope of a new life on another planet. These 40,000 humans were placed in cryogenic sleep, loaded onto four supercarrier spacecraft, and sent towards the Gantris VI system, where a habitable planet had been detected. However, their computer systems malfunctioned and they went past their intended destination to arrive in the Koprulu Sector, some sixty thousand lightyears from Earth on the fringe of the Milky Way galaxy. Three of the ships landed safely on different habitable planets, and their inhabitants began the civilization called the Terrans.


The Terrans founded their own governments and continued to develop their warfare tactics, fighting among themselves as much as against the Zerg and Protoss. For the majority of their history in the sector, power was in the hands of the Terran Confederacy, but in 2500 they were overthrown by Arcturus Mengsk and the Sons of Korhal, who founded the Terran Dominion. Other prominent, separate Terran powers, include the Kel-Morian Combine, the Umojan Protectorate, and the Earth-based United Earth Directorate.

  • Raynor's Raiders note 
  • Terran Dominion note 
  • Advertisement:
  • Ghost Corps note 
  • Other Factions note 
  • Independent Terrans note 

    open/close all folders 

    Race as a whole 
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Raynor speculates that Terrans continue to survive against the worst odds (terrible planets for colonization, lots of in-fighting, being caught between Scary Dogmatic Aliens and The Swarm, etc.) because they're just too dumb to give up or realize that they should've died off a long time ago.
  • A Commander Is You:
    • Numbers: Balanced/Elitist (Mech Builds). Terrans have lesser numbers than Zerg but more than Protoss. To use base units as a key example, Marines cost 50 minerals apiece, take up one supply, and have 40 HP (compare with Zerglings and Zealots).

      However, in Terran mech-focused strategies, they fight in similar numbers to the Protoss with slow-moving but devastating firepower using Siege Tanks supported by anti-personnele scout vehicles and/or anti-air vehicles, plus support craft from the Starport to further round out their capabilities. This became especially the case in StarCraft II with the elite Thor assault mech, and Crucio Siege Tanks being more potent than the previous model but the latter costing an additional supply point. The Battlecruiser also became an interesting mix of brute and guerilla in Legacy Of The Void thanks to their high endurance and good weaponry but gaining the ability to "Tactical Jump" to anywhere on the map, either jumping into enemy territory by surpise note  or sailing over to the enemy base by conventional means and warping out once the defenders arrive and critically damage the Cruiser.
    • Doctrine: Generalist/Ranger/Turtle. Generalist since Terran units tend to be versatile but have less special abilities compared to the other factions. Ranger since every single combat unit is effectively ranged, even though Firebats/Hellbats are technically classified as melee, their flamethrowers reach much further than true melee units like Zealots or Zerglings. Terran Turtling capabilities are top notch, with Siege Tanks providing long-range defense or offense, inexpensive Missile Turrets to protect you from air, and in the sequel, the ability to upgrade a baseline Command Center with a BFG & extra armor, turning it into a Planetary Fortress.
  • Action Survivor: Between the Horde of Alien Locusts and Scary Dogmatic Aliens come a group of humans with little more than their know-how, ingenuity and a handful of psionically-inclined assassins. They can still take on the armies of either race and come out on top.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: The way Terrans avert this is one of the main reasons that the Protoss continue to not trust them. While Zerg and Protoss infighting are not unheard of, the former is rare and requires very specific conditions due to the Zerg's Hive Mind, while the latter is something Protoss consider as intolerable and put great efforts in avoiding whenever they can. Terrans, meanwhile, not only fight each others on regular basis, but also tend to do it more often than facing the two alien races.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: A good portion of the Terran military are recruited convicts and many of the volunteers are ex-criminals like Private Military Contractors that were really good at their previous jobs.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: The use of the term "Reactor" to describe an upgrade that increases energy capacity. A more appropriate term would be either capacitor or cell/battery as those are more appropriate terms for denoting increased capacity. Continued in StarCraft II where a "reactor" is researched to simply allow select units to start with extra energy charged up ahead of time.
  • Badass Normal: They lack the Protoss' mastery of Psychic Powers and the Zerg's mutating abilities. They are the only playable race to have not been involved in the Xel'Naga's experiments. They can still go toe-to-toe with both the Zerg and the Protoss.
  • Base on Wheels: A key advantage Terrans have over the Zerg and Protoss is they can lift off production facilities into the air and (very slowly) move them around, landing them anywhere and going right back to work. This allows players to backdoor enemies by sneaking unit producing facilities into a hidden corner of their base, and to save such structures from an enemy army if they can evacuate fast enough.
  • Civil War: Terrans spend more time fighting each other than the Protoss or Zerg. This is reflected in gameplay.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Terran Upgrades in StarCraft II use colorized icons that progess from green, to blue, to red depending on upgrade level in addition to displaying the upgrade level for an attribute.
  • Death World: Many of the first Terrans ended up worlds wholly inhospitable to humans... and survived anyways. Nowadays the main reasons for voluntarily dwelling on such places are resources that worth a fortune off-world.
  • Dual Mode Unit: Terrans love these. Fighter jets and ATV's that become Mini-Mecha, tanks that unfold into howitzer emplacements, and buildings that can pack up and fly to new resource nodes.
  • Elite Army: The Terran version of this is building mech units out of multiple Factories, as opposed to their biological units from the Barracks. This army is very slow moving compared with the Protoss paradigm, but Siege Tanks supported by mech walkers and/or anti-infantry scouts will be a formidable force for any opponent to battle in a straight fight. StarCraft II further boosted the variety of units available from the Factory and eventually changed vehicle armor upgrades to also effect ships (and vice versa), encouraging Terran players to add Starport units into their compositions.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The humans of the Koprulu sector are descended from the 40,000 prisoners who were originally slated for termination through Project Purity but were saved by Doran Routhe who requisitioned them specifically for a colonization project to Gantris VI but ended up elsewhere due to a computer malfunction, eventually becoming the space rednecks that we know them as today. Sounds very similar to the British Empire when they originally created the United States and Australia as penal colonies.
  • Glass Cannon: Overall, Terran units tend to fall into this.
    • They are all ranged units (with the exception of the Firebat in the first game) and have very high base damage or attack very quickly (especially with Stimpack), but they are only slightly sturdier than the Zerg. That being said, the squishiness of Terran units is compensated by the fact they have much easier access to repairing note  and healingnote , compared to the Zerg (that have a slow Healing Factor, and its only quick healing option is using the Queen's Transfusion ability in the second game) and the Protoss (who get NO healing or repairing at all, entirely relying on Shield Batteries or their regenerating shields).
    • Mech strategies subvert this, especially in the sequel. This composition consists of units that are very costly individually, but in exchange, you have durable units at your disposal like Crucio Siege Tanks, and Thors, and a nice selection of more mobile midrange units like Hellbats/Hellions and Cyclones, and Widow Mines to let you set traps. Factories also cost gas to build, unlike a Barracks army, and repairing units can also cost gas so you'll build fewer units in a match due to your overall gas expenses. In return however, mech offers high combat efficiency, allowing mech units to kill many times their cost in the hands of a skilled player.
  • Gone Horribly Right: They were part of a space colonization project that managed to establish themselves despite not being in their intended location.
  • Humans Are Average: See A Commander Is You and Jack-of-All-Stats for more details.
  • Humans Are Bastards:
    • The Protoss hold this opinion of the Terrans; only a handful of humans have ever been able to forge significant alliances with the Protoss. Justified since all three major governments that have controlled them have been open about how they consider the Protoss their enemies just because they're aliens, and the number of major human characters to be genuinely good and non-hostile to Protoss in the whole franchise can be counted on one hand. In fact, until Starcraft II, Raynor was pretty much the only human to be unambiguously good.
    • The terrans finally shed this image in Legacy of the Void, as Valerian is now emperor and eager to have the Dominion do good for the sector.
  • Humans Are Flawed: The Zerg don't hold a high opinion on humans or their potential. Abathur in particular was relieved when Kerrigan told him to stop experimenting on Terrans, as he considered them to be a mess to work with (save for a few exceptions with high psychic potential).
  • Humans Are Psychic in the Future: While nowhere near advanced in the domain as Protoss (who all are psychic), some Terrans have started developping psychic abilities and working to use them, primarily through the Ghost program. This becomes a major plot point in the first game, where it turns out Zerg are coming for them because their psychic potential makes them a neat Loophole Abuse around their inability to assimilate Protoss.
  • Humans Are Special: A notable aversion; Terrans are the only one of the three species to not have been involved in the Xel'Naga's experiments, and usually have no real significance in the galactic power plays of the Protoss and Zerg, only being used as pawns by one against the other. Wings of Liberty marks the first time the Terrans actually rose to be a positive influence on the sector by doing what the Protoss couldn't: invade Char and de-infest Kerrigan, effectively breaking the strength of the Swarm. But even then, they had to use a Xel'naga artifact to do it, and it was all possible thanks to Narud, a Xel'naga.
  • Humans Are Warriors: According to Word of God, this is the reason they are capable of standing against both Zerg and Protoss; since they have been constantly fighting each others for years, they have got really good at war.
  • Humans by Any Other Name: All humans in the game are referred as "Terran", even though the humans that the Starcraft universe concerns itself with are completely separate from the Terran empire based around planet Earth.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes:
    • To the Protoss, Terrans are a (largely) psionic-less and relatively primitive race that wouldn't be worth their attention... except for the fact that our numbers and our war-like nature make us a threat. Notably, they resist attempts at co-operation due to great mistrust (and not without reason) though they are curious as to how much potential Terrans have, seeing how far they've come in a short period of time and whether Terrans have the capacity to evolve into a psionic race.
    • To the Zerg, Terrans are a scrambling mess of a race note  that are useful only as pawns to be used against the Protoss. As of Starcraft II they seem to regard Terrans as not even worth that, due to their sentience and psionic potential either not surviving infestation or being too weakened by the process to make them effective. By now, the only reasons the Zerg fight the Terrans is because Kerrigan is leading them and hates the Dominion.
  • Informed Attribute: In story, the Protoss and Zerg are not shy about noting the Terrans' inferriority in technical advancement and genetic perfection respectively, but in gameplay Terran military is very capable of giving either race a run for their money.
    • The Terran's repair technology is even compatible with Protoss vehicles in gameplay as of Starcraft II suggesting the Terrans are closing the gap.
    • Protoss Plasma Shields are even replicated via Defensive Matrix tech, so it's at least possible for future itterations of the Terran Battlecruisers to come standard with Deflector Shields.
    • Inexplicably, Protoss cloaking technology is more restricted, being limited to Dark Templar using their psionic powers to bend light around themselves, or requiring an Arbiter or Mothership to provide a universal cloaking field (making it obvious there's a cloaked force nearby). The Protoss generally don't apply smaller-scale cloaking fields to any individual units who could benefit from them like the Terrans have done with the surgical-strike Banshee. Justified as in story, the Terrans are known for their adaptability and being able to perform surprising feats such us rigging a Xel'naga Keystone into an anti-Zerg weapon (Albeit, with some support from the enigmatic Narud).
  • Irony: The Terrans are often noted at being the only playable race in the game that was not influenced by the Xel'Naga in any way. That is what the Xel'Naga are actually supposed to do with other species - nothing.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Terrans are more expensive than the Zerg but less expensive than the Protoss, while their units are stronger than the Zerg but not as powerful as the Protoss. Between the Zerg Rush and the Protoss Elite Army, the Terrans take their strength from their versatility. The Terrans also have an alternate Elite Army playstyle in the form of mech play with their Factory units, trading mobility for heavy firepower and largely exclude Barracks production except for support units.
    • This is exemplified by their linear tech tree; while the Zerg need to build numerous different structures to mutate their units and the Protoss tech tree splits into three off the Cybernetics Core, the Terran chain of production goes Barracks-Factory-Starport. Some build orders for them have the player tech to a Starport, and from there they can build anything they want, every unit is either available for construction or the building needed to make that unit is. The sequel further gives these three production facilities interchangeable add-ons, letting a Terran player switch up their build order in seconds by moving their buildings around.
    • StarCraft II tweaks their biological army by making it much more viable against all three races and having balanced mobility somewhere between the Zerg and the Protoss thanks to Stimpacks boosting infantry speed as well as attack haste temporarily on use. Their main healer, the Medivac, is also their new dropship, allowing for easy drop play without having to go out of your way to obtain it.
    • The Terrans are also the only faction with two different upgrade paths for their ground forces; Infantry and Factory units do NOT have shared upgrades, unlike the other three factions. This encourages Terran players to choose beween Barracks and Factory play, with the former having more mobility and the later having greater durability and firepower but moving around the map much more slowly than even the Protoss.
  • Long-Range Fighter: in terms of gameplay, this is one of the Terrans' hats. While the Tempest took from them the title of "Longest-ranged attack in the game," for most of the franchise's existence it belonged to the Siege Tank; and the Terrans overall have the largest preponderance of ranged attackers in the game; in fact, they're the only race to have a unit with an Arbitrary Minimum Range!
  • Magitek: While Terrans' understanding of Psychic Powers is lacking compared to that of the Protoss, they do have some technology that uses psy energy. The best known examples would be Hostile environment suits and other wargear used by ghosts.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: The only faction who starts out with a ranged attacker and techs up to a CQC unit, the only spellcaster with a basic attack, and the only faction with no build radius requirements for their structures. They are also the only faction with two distinct ground armies; Barracks and Factory units. Unlike the other two factions, these two ground forces don't share any upgrades so the Barracks is mainly used for support units when performing Factory build orders and each build plays very differently from one another. They're also unique in that they have a "super weapon" of sorts in the form of a Nuclear Strike that no other faction can quite match for its raw instantaneous damage in gameplay; although Protoss orbital strike capabilities outclass Terran nukes in lore, these abilities can NOT be utilized in competitive melee matches.
  • Meet the New Boss: Ownership of individual planets and the government controlling them changes all the time. In the space of five years, the Confederacy was overthrown by the Dominion, which was overthrown by the UED, which was then defeated by the Zerg and control of their assets taken back by a weakened Dominion, and as of Heart the capital world has been besieged and the emperor killed, to be replaced with his heir.
  • More Dakka: They are the only faction to use conventional firearms, and the sound of their collective gunfire approaches this.
  • No-Sell: Downplayed; while they are not immune to being corrupted by Amon, their lack of a unifying link of conscience (akin to the Protoss' Khala) or a Hive Mind (akin to the Zerg) means that Amon has to directly corrupt Terrans individual/group-at-a-time, unlike the Protoss or Zerg who are vulnerable to being corrupted as a whole should one be corrupted.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Compared to the two other races; Terrans have plenty of quirky, eccentric characters, and tend to have the most wacky antics and lines compared to the more disciplined, patriotic Protoss or the mostly non-individual, non-speaking Zerg. Their extermination by the Hybrids in the Bad Future is used as a sign of how desperate the situation is.
  • Screw Destiny: Terrans in general prove themselves to be a cosmic wild card. One that the Xel'Naga prophecies never really saw coming.
  • Stone Wall: While their combat style compared to the Zerg and Protoss is the balance between their extremes, when looked at on their own, Terrans are very defense oriented, and they're good at it. Between both games they keep their trademark trio of Bunkers, Missile Turrets, and Siege Tanks; in the first game they have Spider Mines, while in the sequel they get Widow Mines, and the option to upgrade building armor. The campaign further gives them Perdition Turrets and an assortment of building upgrades to make their Missile Turrets and Bunkers even better. However, as good as their static defenses are, they are indeed stasic: offensive Bunkers is generally considered a cheese strategy and slow to execute due to build times and the resource cost demanded.
  • Theme Naming: Their cloaking units are all named after supernatural spirits — Ghost, Spectre, Wraith, and Banshee. The exception is the Liberator, who can be equipped with cloaking in the Covert Ops campaign, but this is an optional add-on for it.

Defensive Structures

"We can take cover in these Bunkers if things get a bit too dicey."
An enclosure designed to protect infantry from retaliation and let them fire their weapons out of ports in the walls. The Bunkers normally have no weapons of their own but outside of Melee matches, may be equipped with Shrike Turrets or reinfored further with a Zerg Carapace. Unlike other defenses, the Bunkers in Starcraft II may be disassembled for at least a partial refund, and may have their capacity & armor improved with a Neosteel Frame in Melee matches. However, Bunkers have no True Sight capability so you may want to build a Missile Turret(s) to support them.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Justified for game balance. Occupants are able to instantly change positions to fire on a new target on the opposite side of a Bunker, with no need to have infantry already at the correct firing ports.
  • Anti-Air: Primarily from loading Marines, but Ghosts and Spectres may be used too.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Units inside gain extra range to their attacks. The Projectile Accelerator upgrade would Hand Wave this, but it's not standard equipment on all Bunkers.
  • Balance Buff: In the second game, Marines and Marauders can use their Stimpacks while inside the Bunker. Outside of Melee, if Medics are available, this ability becomes incredibly powerful as the Medic can heal them while inside the Bunker, providing effectively unlimited uses of the ability as long as the Bunker survives.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Nobody inside of a bunker will take harm from weapons fire, the structure must be depleted of Hit Points before the units inside may be harmed.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: A Bunker's capabilities can be customized by mixing and matching infantry. In the Wings of Liberty campaign, this can give Ghosts a nice boost, giving them siege range if the Bunkers are upgraded with Projectile Accelerators & the Ghosts with Ocular Implants.
  • Easy Logistics: Again, infantry are able to immediately fire upon a target without accounting for where they are inside the Bunker.
  • Splash Damage: Capable of it in StarCraft I using Firebats and in the Wings of Liberty campaign using them as well. This was no longer possible in StarCraft II Melee matches due to the loss of the Firebat and Hellbats being unable to enter bunkers.

    Missile Turret
An inexpensive yet effective surface-to-air missile tower. They are the least expensive anti-air structures compared to the Protoss and Zerg equivalents. Like all Terran structures, you can build them in any buildable space without any preplaced requirements, making it easy to build them out in the field to support your army.
  • Anti-Air: Their primary role aside from their detection ability.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: The Hellstorm Batteries upgrade gives the Missile Turret the ability to fire eight missiles at once, but they only deal 1 point of damage. It's useful for handling multiple units at once, but it's unlikely to kill on their own.
  • Glass Cannon: Zig-Zagged, they're low on health by structure standards, but a light air target(s) will usually be shredded quickly by the structure(s) before they can be razed. Mutalisks were problematic in StarCraft I due to the turret's damage typing dealing 1/2 damage, letting a swarm quickly scrap turrets 1-by-1. The turrets got buffed in the sequel, dealing full damage to all targets with a marginal nerf from being changed to fire two missiles in an attack instead of just one, making them even more deadly to general fliers. They require support against heavy siege fliers, however, who can quickly destroy the turrets with impunity, so be ready to reinforce with your army.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: They already have a rapid cycling rate with the stock armaments, but may be upgraded in the Wings of Liberty campaign with the Hellstorm Batteries to unleash a secondary cluster of missiles that can devastate light fliers.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: They're very efficient anti-air for their cost and inexpensive enough to consider out in the field as anti-air support for Siege Tanks. StarCraft II gave them a boost, making them more expensive but much more dangerous to all fliers, in return. They're not as necessary on the battlefield in the sequel due to the Terran's now extensive anti-air capabilities, but back at the base, they're still key to repelling air raids. Plus, watching a Macross Missile Massacre shoo away an air attack can be satisfying to watch.
  • True Sight: Their relatively low cost makes them easy to afford when the enemy is attacking with cloaked units. Just be sure to have troops nearby for cloaked ground targets.

    Perdition Turret
Exclusive to the Wings of Liberty Campaign, these turrets have the ability to burrow and become invisible without enemy detection. They're best suited against melee infantry but can pop up and surprise units that normally out-range them. They are an alternative to the Planetary Fortress and you may only unlock one or the other.
  • Ascended Extra: They had earlier versions that existed in installation maps, and became buildable in the sequel.
  • Kill It with Fire: Equipped with an enhanced version of Perdition Flamethrowers, scaled up for static defense use.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: They only require minerals to construct and are a welcome addition alongside Missile Turrets and Bunkers, covering against melee charges. They are also very small and easy to cram into smaller spaces and their flame jets can be so satisfying to watch.
  • Splash Damage: Their flames deal damage to all units in a short straight line.

    Planetary Fortress
The Ares Planetary Fortress was added in StarCraft II as an upgrade for the Command Center, mutually exclusive from the Oribital Command. A BFG is mounted on top of the Command Center to allow it to defend a base, but the sheer weight of this configuration means the structure can not lift off anymore. The Fortress has additional armor over the regular Command Center making it even more resilent. In the campaign, unlocking this prevents you from unlocking Perdition Turrets.
  • BFG: Their signature Twin-Ibex Cannons, dealing Splash Damage as well. The BFG appears to be nearly the same size as an entire Siege Tank!
  • Friendly Fire Proof: Contrary to the Terran's history of using Splash Damage that can harm your own units, this structure does not harm friendlies. Justified as it would make the Fortress a liability if it could be tricked into harming your own workers.
  • Logical Weakness: It makes sense that the sheer weight of Fortress would render its Atlas Boosters unable to lift-off the Fortress. This was partly implemented to avert broken cheese tactics that might surface from having a colossal defense structure that can relocate.
  • Splash Damage: In Melee matches, they have the distinction of being the only defensive structure that deals splash damage, making them especially effective against small melee attackers who cluster around the Fortress, and poorly-spread-out small ranged units; Hellbats aren't eligible to enter bunkers, unlike the cut Firebat unit they are a successor to in StarCraft II, so the Bunker isn't capable of of splash damage in the sequel.
  • Stone Wall: Exaggerated, their Splash Damage cannons are decent enough to hold off a small attacking force, but the rate of fire is relatively slow. They also have the extreme Hit Points of a Command Center and armor rivaling a Battlecruiser plus their armor increases with the Neosteel Frame (3+2). They're intended to be supported, as a proper army composition can overwhelm/outrange a lone Fortress, but they can buy you time to reinforce a mining base thanks to their armor and SCVs stopping harvesting to repair it. Outside of Melee maps, they can be incredibly effective walls, thanks to their immense hit points and high armor giving it great durability even when SCVs can't repair fast enough, and the Fortress's weapon means enemy units often target it, instead of the units behind it (more often than not Siege Tanks). As a bonus, they can build SCVs if you need more to fix them up, and like all structures, they can auto-repair-for-free to 50% with Fire Suppression System installed via the Hyperion Armory.

    Sensor Tower

An innovation added in Starcraft II, the sensor tower does not have any weapons of its own, but provides an Enemy-Detecting Radar on your minimap that displays approaching enemies within a significant radius, even through the Fog of War. However, the opponent can also see the effective radius on their own map and adjust accordingly. Unlike the Missile Turret, the Sensor Tower does not reveal cloaked units

  • Artificial Stupidity: Not for the tower itself, but computer opponents won't plan their attacks around the presence of a sensor tower even though the detection radius is visible to opponents. In the Wings of Liberty campaign, this makes the Sensor Tower a very reliable early warning for enemy attacks.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: A double-edged sword, enemies within a large radius appear on your minimap, even through the Fog of War, but the opponent is also aware that they're being detected and can plan around this.

Infantry units

"SCV good to go, Sir!"

The workhorse of the Terrans, they're used to gather resources and construct buildings, as well as repairing damaged structures and mechanical units.

  • Action Survivor: They're not designed for combat, but can still protect themselves despite their weak attack. They're notably the most durable of the worker units, 60 HP in the original game and 45 in the sequel to 40 HP Drones and 20/20 HP and Shield Probes. As a result, with maybe a couple marines to help out and/or conditional micro, it's possible for SCVs to fend off a Zergling rush.
  • Boring, but Practical: Like every Worker Unit. You're not getting anything done without them, so get used to spending plenty of minerals on them.
  • Captain Ersatz: They're basically enlarged versions of the Power-Loaders from Aliens.
  • Combat Medic: In the mechanical sense, they can repair vehicles and are often brought along for the steady HP restoration mid-combat (though it's not enough to save something under heavy fire).
  • Deadpan Snarker: The SCV is one of the sassiest Terran units, especially in the sequel. “My cow died last night, so I don’t NEED your bull.
  • Easy Logistics: Who needs things like resupply and repair pauses when you can have SCVs follow your army around and repair everything mechanical mid-combat? Even Thors and Battlecruisers. While said Battlecruisers are midair. They can even repair any mechical unit from the Protoss without concern of compatibility with their particular alloys, metals or unique electronics.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Space Construction Vehicle.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Their drill can cut through hard minerals, and yet it does less damage than a marine's Gauss rifle.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A possible response to commanding them to attack anything in StarCraft II is "What, you run out of marines?"
  • Magic Tool: Their drill can do anything, including cutting apart minerals, constructing buildings, and repairing units. In the sequel in allied games they can repair Protoss units too. About the only thing it can't do is serve as decent weapon.
  • Mini-Mecha: Despite appearing as tall as a Marine; that little glass window isn't the faceplate of the armor — it's the cockpit of the mecha. It's still dwarfed by the Thor though.
  • Mr Fix It: They're able to fix anything mechanical, even Battlecruisers while they're in flight and later became capable of fixing Protoss technology too.
  • Plugn Play Technology: SCV fusion welders are capable of servicing a wide variety of mechanical units, including Protoss vehicles. This even includes ancient machines like the Colossus and Mothership!
  • Red Shirt: Whichever unlucky SCV gets sent out to do some early scouting is liable to wind up as one of these if they encounter the enemy.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: A single SCV can build huge buildings in usually little more than a minute, two minutes tops with the largest, the Command Center. Partially justified in both games since the animation implies the use of pre-fabricated parts, and in the sequel construction animations show a crane rig aiding the SCV in the work, but the little guy still builds structures much larger than it in lightning speed.
  • This Is a Drill: Although their weapon is listed as "Fusion cutter", it is quite clearly this trope.
  • Token Minority: in the original, the only black fellow in the entire Confederate Marine corps.
  • Units Not to Scale: The design of the SCV's in-game sprites and models makes them about the same size as other Terran infantry, which may lead one to think the SCV is a bulky suit of construction-themed Powered Armor and that glass panel in the front is the viewscreen. Actually, SCVs are Mini-Mecha much bigger than infantry, and that glass panel is the cockpit — this is their actual size.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: All of the SCV’s quotes when ordered to attack in the sequel are a mix of this trope, This Is Gonna Suck, and "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner. “THIS is your plan!?”
  • Worker Unit: In Starcraft, there is no such thing as "just a worker unit". Their sheer necessity for mining, constructing, and repairing makes them prime targets for harass or for back-line attacks.

"You want a piece of me, boy?"

The main force of the Terran squad, they're not very impressive in the HP or power department but make up for it with good versatility for their cost. A comparatively small squad of Marines with Stimpacks and Medic support is a serious threat if the opponent isn't prepared for it.

  • Abnormal Ammo: Their guns can be upgraded to fire depleted uranium slugs instead of steel spikes. This only increases their range, which is odd considering how very nasty depleted uranium shells are.
  • Anti-Air: Not as specialised towards it as post-Brood War Goliaths, but as the only basic infantry unit with ranged attacks (the Zerg Zergling and Protoss Zealot both being melee fighters), they are also the only ones who can attack air units.
  • BFG: Their main weapon the Gauss Impaler rifle, which looks big even with their huge armor. It's as big as an unarmoured human being.
  • Badass Normal: Just like the Terran as a whole, the Marines embody this trope. Facing two alien armies that are either genetically or technologically superior with nothing but their combat armor and their rifles, Marines will face down whatever comes their way and if need be, die pulling the trigger.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Their Combat Shield upgrade from Starcraft II doesn't actually function as a shield in any way, instead giving them 10 more hit points.
  • Boring Yet Practical: Not very exciting or impressive a unit on paper, but they form a necessary part of most mainstream strategies thanks to their low cost and build time, which makes them both easy to amass on short notice and an efficient way of defending or escorting other units which are more powerful but also more specialised.
  • Boxed Crook: Standard procedure is to conscript criminals into the ranks and resocialize them into being obedient.
  • Cannon Fodder: Played for Laughs, even — flavor text for the Medic in the Brood War manual mentions that with the Medic's support, the average life expectancy of a frontline Marine has risen to nine seconds. Players can attest that in large late-game battles, that statistic is not an exaggeration.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Stimpack, which costs 10 HP but doubles their movement and attack rates for a period of time. However, if Medics are around, you can regenerate these hit points ala energy, with the number/energy of Medics as the only limit.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: They're treated as a Red Shirt Army not long for the world once they get sent out, but in actual gameplay, a small group of Marines with good micro can be very dangerous in spite of their fragility. On the most famous professional Starcraft players, SlayerS_BoxeR, is legendary for what he can do with marines, and got the Fan Nickname "Terran Emperor" for it.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Marines use a grenade launcher attachment on their assault rifles in cutscenes. In gameplay, it's not even a special ability (it was cut in Beta for being imbalanced). Similarly, SCII marines use a cutscene-only bayonet, also cut for being imbalanced.
  • Discard and Draw: Between StarCraft I and StarCraft II, Stim-Packs went from doubling attack speed to a 1.5x multiplier. In exchange, Marines Hit Points increased to 45 up from 40 and they can further boost their HP to 55 with Combat Shields. This was beneficial in making Marines much more viable in all three match-ups. Marines used to be used against Zerg almost exclusively due to being very fragile and thus easy to counter by opposing Protoss and Terrans using their devastating Splash Damage.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Zigzagged. Terran Marines are programmed to play this trope straight: they either move or shoot, and never do both. However, by exploiting very rapid control inputs, Marines can engage in "stutter-stepping" — ordering the Marines to shoot (at which point they do all of their damage, even if the animation of their muzzle flares hasn't stopped), immediately ordering them to move in the desired drection, and then ordering them to shoot again when their refire cooldown has ended. Marines fire about 5 times every 3 seconds, meaning that you're issuing those commands — "Attack over here, move over there" — on an 0.6-second cycle. Mastering this technique is a key step in developing professional levels of skill.
  • Elite Mooks: Starcraft II has the Elite Marines, which have 150 HP and deal 9 damage, compared to the normal Marine's 45 HP and 6 damage. In addition to better armor and weapons, they also have Super Stimpacks, which not only further increases their move speed and rate of fire, but heals them for 2 HP per second. Each Elite Marine has an individual name upon selection, helping to make them stand out moreso than their less experienced counterparts.
  • Glass Cannon: Give them Stimpacks and get a decent sized group and they'll destroy anything in seconds, and are the only basic ground unit that can attack air units. But they only have 40 HP (45 in the sequel) so even with Medics they'll die if you so much as sneeze on them. The Combat Shield upgrade in the sequel downplays this weakness makes it easier to pull them back from dying, in exchange for weaker Stimpacks. They're still more effective with Firebats/Marauders tanking blows for them, however.
  • Lampshade Hanging: One of their Stop Poking Me! quotes:
    Marine: You ever notice that nobody ever comes back to the barracks?
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Combat Shield in Starcraft II, which gives them 10 extra hit points.
  • Magnetic Weapons: Their rifles are coilguns, which is how they can fire in space.
  • Mascot Mook: Used to represent the Terran faction.
  • More Dakka: Their rifles fire on full automatic. Expect to hear plenty of dakka when a sufficiently !large group of them are in combat.
  • Power Armor: Like all Terran infantry, the Power Armor is designed to survive space vacuum first, miniature prison second, and actual protection third. The result is that Marines' gauss rifles will tear straight through the glorified space suits and they don't fare any better against heavier weapons, though they work quite well against civilian weapons.
  • Production Nickname: In the Alpha, they were called "Marauders."
  • Restraining Bolt: Because most Marines are conscripted criminals, they undergo neural resocializing to erase their memories and former personalities, giving them nice Fake Memories and rendering them completely obedient. Their suits are, basically, motile prison cells that gives them the strength to carry an assault rifle the size of a motorcycle, with protection being a complete afterthought. According to the novels, their emergency cutoff switch shuts the suit down without ejecting the marine, rendering them immobile. Hell, they can't even get up from a fall by themselves.
  • Space Marine: Provide the page picture.
  • Took a Level in Badass: From Wings of Libery on, Marines got their Stimpacks nerfed to a 50% attack haste down from 100% but in exchange, their got their base health increased from 40 to 45, and the player was able to purchase the Combat Shields upgrade to further boost this to 55. The net result was a boost to their viability in all matchups and considerable increase to their lifespan that more than made up for the Stimpack nerf. The addition of Marauders and Hellbats gave them the meat-shield support they needed too. In the hands of a skilled player, Marines can defeat more enemies than their mineral cost would suggest.

"Need a light?"

A bulkier infantry unit armed with wrist-mounted flamethrowers, they excel at fighting lightly armored small units, making them ideal for fending off rushes of zerglings and zealots, but are helpless against armored enemies and air units.

  • Anti-Infantry: Always best used against large numbers of lightly-armoured units such as Zerglings.
  • Arm Cannon: Their flamethrowers fire from their wrists.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • In StarCraft I, Firebats did almost three times as much damage as Marines and also dealt splash damage, and had higher HP and armor. However their melee range and terrible damage penalty against large units meant they were mostly useless against anything not a Zergling or Zealot. The sequel averted this thanks to rebalancing.
    • They're seen as this in-universe due to the pyromania that tends to end up afflicting even sane people, making them crazy and unstable as well as potentially a criminal with a violent history.
  • Balance Buff: In the sequel, they have much higher HP and an upgrade for their armor, making them more effective meatshields to defend Marines than they were before.
  • Badass Baritone: The Firebat has a pretty deep voice.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the latin american spanish translation of the second game, the Firebat is called Camazot. Camazotz was the mayan bat god, and when adopted as a god by the K'iche' tribe, it became equivalent to their fire god. Combine both mythologies, and you get the fire bat god.
  • Boxed Crook: Just like the Marine.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: Shares the Marine's Stimpack.
  • Cigar Chomper: Had a great big one in the first game, due to the helmet being more like a Marine's.
  • Divergent Character Evolution:
    • With the introduction of Marauders, which are a better heavy damage unit all-around thanks to their Armor-Piercing Attack and Concussive Shells upgrade, the Firebat's armory upgrades develop them as tanks instead of damage-dealers — their flamethrowers gain a 40% broader area-of-effect while their armour benefits from the appropriately-named Juggernaut Plating, which upgrades their armor rating to 3, giving them the same base armour as a Battlecruiser. Tellingly, during the mission 'Outbreak' which positions your initial troops near two choke points, the Firebats are in the front guarding the Marines and Medics.
    • They get one with the Hellion in the sequel. The Hellion is a Fragile Speedster, being quick and capable of dealing high damage in a straight line and run away before they are (easily destroyed); their Armory upgrades are exclusively oriented to dealing more damage or damaging on a wider area. The Firebat, on the other hand, is a Mighty Glacier, meant to tank attacks from light units while the units they are protecting kill everything else; their Armory upgrades involve attacking on a wider area, or giving them much more base armor. The introduction of the Hellbat in Heart of the Swarm muddled waters a bit, however.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: Their death animation in the first game is the "disappears in a fireball with a despairing sceam" variant.
  • Glass Cannon: In the first game. They have decent movement speed and deal a lot of damage against small units (further aided by their access to Stimpacks), but they attack at nearly melee range and they only have 10 more HP and 1 more base Armor than Marines.
  • Kill It with Fire: Hint: they're called Firebats.
  • Mighty Glacier: In the sequel. Their armor upgrades and higher HP makes them much more effective meat shields for Marines and Medics, the role they were intended for in the first game. They further trade in their damage penalty against large units for a damage buff to light ones, and in tandem with an upgrade for the range and radius of their flamethrowers, they're now effective melee troops. Still stuck being slow melee fighters, though.
  • Mini-Mecha: In the sequel, they take up two bunker slots each, the same as Marauders, and were originally going to be built from the Factory to represent the sheer bulk of their armor.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Lorewise, their leaky pilot's compartment makes their operator high on fuel fumes. This isn't just an occupational hazard, but also makes the soldiers loose cannons to fellow infantry from the negative health effects. Apparently, the engineers didn't think to make the fuel tanks & delivery systems more outboard from the armor. Their successor, the Hellbat corrected this design flaw.
  • Plasma Cannon: Their flamethrowers are plasma based, and act like you think a plasma gun would-it disperses after a few feet, making it necessary they get really close. Anything within that couple feet is in for a Bad Day(TM).
  • Power Armor: Unlike Marine armor, Firebat suits have very thick plating designed for withstanding sustained fire — useful for getting into melee range.
  • Psycho for Hire: Even though both Marines and Firebats are mostly conscripted convicts, the majority of Firebats were convicted murderers, with most of the rest being pyromaniacs.
  • Pyromaniac: According to flavor text, the operator compartment isn't properly sealed against the various gases and compounds used in their flamethrowers. Consequently, these gases leak into the compartment, and affect the Firebat's mind. Even sane conscripts tend to end up a little fire-happy after prolonged service.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Verges into this in the sequel since they are lower in the tier rank, can be healed without cost unlike the Hellion or Predatornote  and can be garrisoned in a bunker, something incredibly useful given that most of the campaign is played defensively. Their short range also works to your advantage since this allows them to draw fire away from your fragile Marines while the latter deals the real damage.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: In the sequel.
    Firebat: They do not know who they are (FWOOSH!)-ing with!
  • Splash Damage: A useful trait for facing Zerg.
  • Support Party Member: In all their incarnations, they're meant to be supported by Marines and Medics/Medivacs, helping absorb damage and barbecuing light melee units with their flames.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the campaign, went from a niche (50 HP) anti-melee unit to an effective (100 HP) meat shield that could be fitted with Juggernaught Plating (1+2 armor). Their flamethrowers wern't as effective as before but their considerable new durability would let them stay in battle much longer. In PvP, they were replaced with the Hellbat who could transform to and from their Fragile Speedster 4-wheeled Hellion mode.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Theirs have low-range and a terrible damage penalty against larger enemies, in exchange for splash damage. This makes them terrible at fighting anything above Tier 1 units and workers.

"Prepped and ready!"

Introduced in Starcraft: Brood War, Medics can heal biological units, making the Terran infantry infinitely more useful by extending their longevity dramatically.

  • Crippling Overspecialization: In Brood War, Medics could use two other abilities besides healing — Restore, which saved the targeted unit from status debuffs such as the normally crippling Plague deployed by the Zerg Defiler, and Optic Flare, which blinded the targeted unit and removed the ability (if they had it) to detect cloaked or burrowed units. In Starcraft II, their only function is healing the nearest infantry unit to require medical attention. They can get armory upgrades to increase the speed and cost efficiency of their healing and allow them to be trained without the use of a Tech Lab, though, so it's not exactly a bad thing; it just greatly reduces their need and utility around machines. (Mechanical units could still get Plague and there was also the Terran Ghost's Lockdown ability...)
  • Deadly Doctor: Not actually, but Medic attack quotes do exist and can be played if you attack a unit while selecting the Medic(s) from among a group of unts who are able to attack it. Presumably, if one were to give them an attack using the Map Editor, one could say they would be a more clear-cut example of this.
  • Easy Logistics: Medics are equipped to heal any biological unit, including Zerg and Protoss, just as easily as Terrans. Medics Lampshade this humorously with one of their Stop Poking Me! quotes in StarCraft II.
    Medic: There's a Protoss here that needs mouth-to-m... uh. Well, mouth-to-something.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: For how allegedly inferior the Terrans are to the Zerg and Protoss, their medical technology appears to be very advanced as it can even heal non-Terrans with relative ease.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: The Medic has noticeable blonde hair in her Starcraft II portrait and is generally the nicest unit (in terms of quotes) in the Terran arsenal.
  • The Intern: In the sequel, particularly in her Stop Poking Me! quotes.
    Medic: Congratulations, you're my first patient — ever!
  • The Medic: The name is a hint — Medics specialize in healing other units.
  • Nanomachines: The official explanation for how their abilities work.
  • Non-Action Guy: Sort of — she doesn't have a basic attack for self-defence, but can still wade into the same situations Marines, Firebats and Ghosts can without trouble to lend aid to units who need it.
  • Plucky Girl: Cheerful, intrepid and eager to help.
  • Power Armor: Wears the CMC-405 light combat suit.
  • Serpent of Immortality: In Brood War, one of her unique upgrades was the Caduceus Reactor (+12 to starting Energy and +50 to overall Energy), which is an Ancient Greek symbol consisting of a staff with two serpents coiled around it viewed as a medicinal symbol. This symbol is also painted on her armour, as seen in the Medic portrait. The Medivac shares this symbol (largely because their portraits are basically the same apart from the red and blue lighting in either) and used the same upgrade prior to Legacy of the Void.
  • Shoot the Medic First: In StarCraft II a new value assigned to units determines what targets the AI gives priority to killing. Medics get higher priority than other infantry, meaning the AI will try to kill them first if it sees them.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: In the first game, Medics are highly effective Support Party Members who can heal infantry, remove debuffs and remove the threat posed by mobile detectors. In the second their healing is their only selling point, but they're even more of a staple in any army becasue they're cheaper and more affordable than Medivacs.
  • Squishy Wizard: Averted, comparatively speaking — with 1 armor and 60 HP they're tied with the Firebat for having the best durability of the Terran infantry. Played straight in the sequel where they keep the same stats while everyone else got an HP boost, making only the Marine weaker than them, and only by 5 HP.
  • The Tease: In the first game she's quite the flirt, playfully offering to give the player a "physical" and a "sponge-bath" and asking the normally innocuous question, "Where does it hurt?" in the most not-so-innocuous manner possible. And in case you think she's an Innocent Fanservice Girl, her portrait's idle animation consists of her looking right at the player and winking.

"Somebody call for an exterminator?"

The Ghost's role in the Terran military depends on if you refer to the gameplay or the story. In the story they're the elite troops of the Terrans, covert assassins that demonstrate near-supernatural powers due to their incredible psychic abilities. In the game they're support troops that specialize in calling down nuclear bombardments and disabling enemies.

  • Achilles' Heel: Ironically enough, they are very vulnerable to having their Energy drained.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Snipe is effective at devastating single heavily-armored biological targets. Steady Aim is even more devastating, but requires time for the Ghost the steady their sights.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: The Nuclear Missile delivers its payload with the rocket thrusters included, even in cases where the extra thrust would be unnecessary and terminal velocity or momentum would do the rest of the work delivering the ICBM. Also, there's little reason NOT to launch a nuke without the Ghost; while this is to prevent "outside tampering" with the missile, this is just here for balance restrictions as being able to nuke anywhere on the map would be harder to balance.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In the first game, they're at the very top of the Terran tech tree, they require expensive upgrades to reach their full potential, and if you want to Nuke, you need to build a Nuclear Silo once the Ghost is enabled and then build a Nuke at it. By the time you have Ghosts properly prepared to go on missions, any half-decent opponent will have scouted your tech, seen the Covert Ops or Nuclear Silo letting them know exactly what's coming, and they'll be ready with detectors. The sequel averts this by making them much lower on the tech tree and only needing one upgrade (Cloak), but until it's ready they can still support your army with their other abilities. The Ghost Academy replaced the Covert Ops and was made a stand-alone building with a built-in missile silo. Additional Academys allows you to ready additional missiles.
  • Ax-Crazy: Ghosts aren't exactly the most mentally stable Terran units, if certain quotes of theirs in II are any indication.
  • Badass Baritone: Liam O'Brien provides the Ghosts with his signature low, dry voice in II.
  • Badass Boast:
    Ghost: You called down the thunder, now reap the whirlwind.
  • Balance Buff: The sequel gave them much lower tech requirements and gave them EMP shot out the door instead of needing it to be researched. This makes them much cheaper to train and easier to deploy.
  • Blood Knight: Their typical response to being given an attack order in Starcraft II?
    Ghost: Well, colour me happy!
  • Boom, Headshot!: Their Snipe ability, especially if you kill a unit with it.
  • Cold Sniper: Soft-spoken, grim and subtly unstable.
  • Crosshair Aware: Beware the blinking red dot if you see it in your base and find the source immediately!note 
  • Death from Above: Their Nukes.
  • Dodge the Bullet: According to Expanded Universe materials (Starcraft Ghost: Spectres to be exact), they are capable of pulling this off. This may be the reason why in the second game they have twice the hit points of a marine while using lighter armour.
  • The Dreaded: It's notable that both the Protoss and Zerg can specifically detect the launch of nuclear weapons. This acute awareness of nuclear launches is a plot point in a Heart of the Swarm mission where Kerrigan is evicting General Warfield from Char and he desperately spams nukes. In PvP, nuke alerts are a balance restriction, because nukes can One-Hit Kill a wide variety of units with just a single missile. Indeed, one missile can annihilate a player's mineral line if they don't suspect a Ghost is targeting there.
  • Electronic Eyes: One of their upgrades in the original game involved removing their organic eyes with "superior" replacements, allowing them to call down nukes from out of its range. Though fairly common by the sequel, in the original the surgery was noted to be extremely painful.
  • EMP: Their Lockdown ability is explained as this, short-circuiting mechanical units to stun them. In the sequel they swap it out for the Science Vessel's EMP, draining the shields and energy of units in a radius.
  • Faceless Goons: To emphasize the fact that they have almost no humanity left, since they're subject to very heavy doses of brainwashing and implants.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: In StarCraft II, nukes were reworked, to always deal 500 points of damage to structures, and 300 to mobile units, ignoring armor. This makes them weaker overall but each nuke costs half as much and no longer requires supply points to build. They're called Tactical Nukes in this incarnation. Likewise, their Snipe and Steady Targeting completely bypass armor values and will always deal their full damage.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Ghost suits are represented in the lore as tight Spy Catsuits, which is why Ghosts have no armor rating.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: As told above, according to the lore Ghosts are elite assassins capable of a variety of psychic abilities including mind-reading, super-speed and reflexes, Hyper-Awareness, and more. None of these abilities come into play in any game thus far, though Ghost would have included them in various capacities.
  • Glass Cannon: They move decently fast and pack a decent punch offensively, but are easily killed. This is downplayed in the sequel where they now have 100 Hit Points instead of 45. In both games, their ability to call in nukes allows them to deal more damage to an enemy base than any other non-campaign unit, but the Ghost is highly vulnerable until it lands as they can not use their rifle to attack enemies (it's busy painting the nuke target).
  • Invisibility Cloak: Courtesy of their Personal Cloaking Device, which is psionically-powered.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: The result of giving psychologically unstable special ops access to nuclear missiles.
    Ghost: Whenever I see a world untouched by war, a world of innocence, a world of lush forests and clear rivers... I really just wanna nuke the crap out of it!
    Ghost: Today's forecast is... extra bomby, slight chance of mushroom clouds.
  • Magic Knight: The only non-hero spellcaster that can directly attack
  • Mana Burn: EMP does this to Energy, effectively stopping special units from using their abilities.
  • Mundane Utility: In Starcraft II, the Tactical Nuke can fill this role thanks their price getting slashed in half in exchange for a smaller payload. One of their uses is zoning, where nukes are targeted out in the battlefield to discourage an opponent from advancing, and another is using a nuclear strike to target an opponent's workers at a mineral line. In short, nukes can make a nice diversion due to retaining the ability to annihilate an entire group of units.
  • No Ontological Inertia: If you kill a Ghost targeting a Nuclear Launch, the missile strike doesn't happen. Doesn't matter if it's within the last possible second and the nuke was visibly about to reach the ground, if the Ghost dies it'll just vanish.
  • Percent Damage Attack: Played With, in StarCraft I, a nuke deals a minimum of 500 points of damage or an amount equal to 66% of a unit's total health, whichever is greater in value. Armor points affect the final value, which is why an undamaged Battlecruiser will survive with at least 3 Hit Points.
  • Psychic Powers: Ghost candidates are born with them and they're honed to a deadly edge during training.
  • Psycho Serum: It's noted that the drugs that enhance Ghosts' psychic abilities are not... very good for their mental stability, though that's dealt with using brainwashing.
  • Restraining Bolt: Unlike the Marine theirs isn't just to keep them obedient, it's to keep their powers in check.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: The nuke they summon has a relatively small area of effect. However, it will destroy most units outright. It's much weaker in the sequel, but still can cause havoc if used correctly. In the original sense of the trope, the area that gets nuked is still usable and non-radioactive soon afterwards. Justified in universe as a measure to lower collateral damage.
  • Simple, yet Awesome:
    • In-Universe, but only in comparison to the experimental spectres. They may not have the raw power of Spectres, but they don't need to "cheat" by dosing on Terrazine and thus won't need Jorium to curb dangerous side-effects. The Ghosts' training ended up being an asset in Legacy of the Void when Amon's return swayed a large number of Spectres over to his cause due to Terrazine rendering Spectres vulnerable to Amon's influence. Plus, Nova became one of the most powerful Ghosts in history and had an array of formidable powers in her own right.
    • In the Wings of Liberty campaign, Ghosts (as well as the mutually-exclusive Spectres) can become equipped to remain permanently cloaked once you engage their field. It might seem mundane, but makes Ghosts much less risky to use, and you have a permantely-cloaked scout to send out for exploration and/or nuking targets.
  • Spiritual Successor: In Legacy Of The Void, Snipe is replaced with Steady Targeting, giving Ghosts what is like a biological-only version of the Spectres' Psionic Lash. Not many bio units can withstand more the one shot from this ability, but it still costs 50/200 mana to encourage players to use it against priority targets.
  • The Sneaky Guy/Stealth Expert: Thanks to said cloak. Unless an enemy has True Sight, they stay cloaked as long as their Energy meter lets them.
  • Support Party Member: They're elites, but they're not killing very much on their own in direct combat.
  • Telepathic Spacemen: A special division of the Terrans with psychic powers.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In II, the Ghost became a much more versatile unit, trading their weapon's weakness against any armor stronger than light for passable damage against all targets but with bonus damage against light armor. (A baseline of 10 (+10 VS Light). ) On top of that, their sniping skills were brought front and center, allowing them to spend energy perform Steady Targeting and deliver a whopping 170 unresistable damage to a Biological target. They also traded their Mechanical-only Lockdown for a more versatile EMP Round that removes up to 100 shields and energy on any target, and got an increase of hitpoints to 100 from 45. They now require more resources and twice the supply but are generally well worth it if you use their abilities well.
  • You Nuke 'Em: Ghosts aren't known for their subtlety in dealing with larger problems.
  • Your Head Asplode: The typical result of a Ghost using Snipe on a target and presuably Steady Targeting as well.

"Let's have a blast!"

Adapted from the Firebat suit, Marauders act as support troops for infantry. Their armament is a pair of wrist-mounted grenade launchers that slow down enemies on impact.

  • Arm Cannon: They attack with wrist-mounted grenade launchers.
  • Anti-Armor: Their grenade launchers do extra damage against armored enemies and structures, at the cost of reduced effectiveness against lightly armored units.
  • Badass Baritone: Have a deep, flavorful voice.
  • The Big Guy: Among the Terran infantry units, the Marauder is the biggest and the loudest troop type.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Big, loud, and always ready to fight. You can really hear it in their lines.
    "Ka-BOOM, baby!"
    "Let's have a BLAST!"
  • Boxed Crook: Flavor text happily lets you know that 47% of Marauders have not served jail time, and only 23% have been accused of murder! The joke is they're a comparative improvement to Marines, Reapers and Firebats, who are a definite vast majority of Boxed Crooks with the latter also adding a likelihood of pyromania into the mix.
  • Casanova Wannabe: The Marauder’s Stop Poking Me! lines point to him being a compulsive flirt.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: Stimpacks grant a burst of movement speed and fire rate, but they cause 10 points of damage because Drugs Are Bad.
  • Development Gag: Marauder was a working title for the Marine unit in the original StarCraft.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: After the Firebat got the axe from multiplayer during development of Wings of Liberty, their unit model was modified to use for the Marauder. World lore for them explains that the Marauders use a suit of Powered Armor that is the same basic suit of armor as what Firebats use, but has been heavily modified.
  • Gentle Giant: Downplayed. The armor marauders use makes them bigger than other infantry and flavor text for them in Wings of Liberty says that only 53% of them have served jail time and most haven't even been accused of murder, in comparison to most terran infantry being BoxedCrooks.
  • Glowing Mechanical Eyes: Thanks to their Powered Armor.
  • Grenade Launcher: What's mounted on each Arm Cannon.
  • Grenade Spam: Pretty much what they're meant to do. Build a few Marauders, pop Stimpacks, and watch things explode.
  • Guns Akimbo: Alternates between grenade launchers in Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm, fires both simultaneously in Legacy of the Void.
  • Handicapped Badass: Played for laughs.
    "Yeah, I got all five fingers! Three on this hand, two on the other one!"
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Unlike Marines, Reapers, and Ghosts, Marauder armor is built to withstand damage on the frontline. In-game, this is reflected in their armor type, allowing them to soak up light attacks but be vulnerable to Anti-Armor.
  • Incoming Ham: When he exits the Barracks, he sometimes shouts, "KABOOM baby!"
  • Lightning Bruiser: They move fairly fast, pack a punch, and have a good amount of HP. Then, you get them their Stimpacks and Concussive Shells, increasing their movement and firing rates and giving any unit they attack a penalty to movement and firing rates.
  • Magnetic Weapons: The "Magrail Munitions" upgrade in the Covert Ops DLC gives them a railgun as a Secondary Fire.
  • Mobile Factory: The K12 autoloader assembly acts as one, efficiently granting Marauder Bottomless Magazines.
  • Mook Commander: During the Wings of Liberty campaign one can be observed — in "Piercing the Shroud" — ordering his troops to not let Raynor's Raiders into the lab they've arrived at to infiltrate.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The reason Kinetic Foam was introduced for the suit was because soldiers were sustaining injuries or dying from the kinetic impacts on their suits, almost defeating the point of the armor. With this innovation, their Hit Points are boosted to 125, the same as a Goliath.
  • Palette Swap: After the Firebat got the cut, the Marauder was given a recolored and modified texture of their model.
  • Powered Armor: Wear modified Firebat armor with grenade launchers in place of flamethrowers. Like Firebats before them, they can take a much harder beating than Marine armor and still survive.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: They produce almost as quickly as Marines, and move as fast as them too. A simple force of Marines and Marauders is easy to set up and all set against most air and armor threats.
  • Shout-Out: They're named for the Mobile Infantry's Powered Armor from Starship Troopers.
  • Soul Brotha: Talks with a deep baritone voice and tosses a lot of slang and enthusiastic boasting.
  • Standard Status Effects: Concussive Shells slow non-massive units.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: What tends to happen when Marauders get busy. The units themselves are plenty happy with their work.
  • Support Party Member: In the single-player campaign of Wings of Liberty, they can't use Stimpacks like they can in melee play, shuffling them into this role — they can't move as fast as Marines and have overall inferior DPS, but can absorb a lot more punishment, can better focus down armored enemies, and the slowing effect of their grenades is still here and is area-of-effect now. You'll still want several Marauders accompanying your infantry, but they aren't the powerhouses they are in melee.

"The Grim Reaper has arrived..."

Reapers are speedy base raiders armed with handguns and explosives, and equipped with jetpacks that let them leap up and down cliffs to quickly infiltrate enemy lines.

"Oh yeah, baby..."
  • Balance Buff: In Heart of the Swarm, they got Combat Drugs that let them regenerate health when not under fire. In Legacy of the Void they gained KD8 charges, that explode after a short delay, dealing damage and knocking back nearby units. They can also be built without the need of a Tech Lab, giving them a clearer niche as a very early-game worker line harasser.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the latin american spanish translation, the Reaper is called Yum-Kimil, which was the mayan god of death - keeping with the "god of death" Theme Naming.
  • Boxed Crook: The Dominion's Reapers are one of the few units that are entirely composed of convicted murderers. They are promised freedom after two years of service. Thus far, none have lasted more than six months.
  • Cannon Fodder: In-universe, the convicts that become Reapers are even more of this than Marines, since they're murderers deliberately being given suicide missions. In practice, they're more fragile than marines, but they're used for hit-and-run more than frontline units.
  • Crutch Character: As heavy harass units, most of their value is found earlier on by hampering the enemy's economy. Hit-and-Run Tactics only work so many times before smart opponents will just build rear-line defenses, making such tactics suicidal. They also tend to not find their way into Terran ground armies due to Marines having better damage and the ability to shoot up.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Given their Fragile Speedster and Glass Cannon traits, a player must be very good at micromanaging hit-and-run attacks for Reapers to be worth using. Their campaign variant is also this to a lesser extent, since they can outrun your Marines, Marauders and Medics but can have their range boosted to let them hang back behind Marines slightly, and deal extra damage to light armor (excellent for anti-Zerg levels). They can optionally be upgraded with D8 delayed explosives to act similar to a support spell caster of sorts.
  • Demolitions Expert: Prior to Heart of the Swarm, Reapers chucked D8 charges at things, which made for surprisingly devastating damage to buildings. Legacy of the Void gave them KD8 charges, an activated ability that damages and knocks back everything caught in the blast.
  • Dual Wielding: They use double-pistols.
  • Dungeon Bypass: The whole point of the jetpack is to let them jump up and down cliffs, letting them bypass the bottleneck that each base uses as its entry point.
  • Emoticon: Their demo charges are named "D8 Charges", which looks like a horrified face. They were upgraded to "KD8 Cluster Bombs" after being Un-Cancelled in LotV, which is that same upset face plus an explosion.
  • Expressive Mask: It’s very subtle, but if you look at the Reaper’s animated portrait, his goggles actually change shape like eyebrows or eyelids.
  • Fragile Speedster: Besides the fact they're innately quick, their ability to jump up and down cliffs lets them escape pursuers that way as well. However, they're very fragile. Since Heart of the Swarm, their damage rate was nerfed and they lost their structure bombs, but they could heal themselves outside of combat, and push away attackers with their KD8 charges.
  • Glass Cannon: In the Wings of Liberty campaign, The damage and rate of fire of their bombs makes them on par with the Siege Tank at building demolition. They also get two armory upgrades, one to raise their damage output against light armor, the other to plant time bombs on the ground that hit very hard in a certain radius. They eventually lost this status and become only a Fragile Speedster, but no longer required a Tech Lab to produce, which gave them a clear early-game-scouting and harassment niche.
  • Gradual Regeneration: How their self-healing works.
  • Grenade Spam: Their KD8 charges have a short cooldown and don't require energy.
  • Guns Akimbo: Wield dual pistols.
  • Heal Thyself: As of Heart of the Swarm, their combat drugs let them regenerate health when not under fire.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: The only effective way to use Reapers is this way, quickly jumping cliffs, harassing the enemy's mineral line, then getting the hell out once they draw attention (being rather poor at head-on fights). Rinse and repeat.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bomb: Blinking lights? Check. Beeping noise? Check.
  • Insanity Immunity: Reapers tend to be made up of the criminals who are so crazy that even neural resocialization doesn't fix them.
  • Jet Pack: What lets them move so fast for infantry and hop ledges at will.
  • Mad Bomber: While not all the time, Reapers tend to be equipped with some form of explosives; Wings of Liberty has G-4 Cluster Bombs, Legacy of the Void gives them KD8 charges, and Nova Covert Ops introduces them equipped with Spider Mines. The unnamed Marine in the Starcraft Field Manual lampshades this:
    Marine's Footnotes: "They don't let them carry the bombs much these days. Something about how giving bombs to the guys too crazy to resoc was a bad idea."
  • Meaningful Name: KD8 bombs take down buildings very fast. D8 is also an emoticon for shock or dismay, with the "K" providing a bomb blast.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The Reaper struggled to stand out in Wings of Liberty due to its cost and it competing with Marines and Marauders. In Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void Reapers got some abilities that improve their Hit-and-Run Tactics capabilities, giving Reapers a more clear niche.
  • Nerf: Used to do huge damage against buildings in Wings of Liberty.
  • Recursive Ammo: G-4 Clusterbomb they use in campaign.
  • Secondary Fire: How D8 charges work in Wings of Liberty.
  • Splash Damage: G-4 Clusterbomb in campaign and KD8 charges in Legacy of the Void
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: D8 charges in Wings of Liberty, KD8 charges in Legacy of the Void.
  • Uriah Gambit: While not outright stated, Reapers tend to be sent on suicidal missions so the Dominion doesn't have to deal with them anymore. They technically have a mandatory service of 2 years, but very few live past 6 months, let alone survive long enough to be discharged.

"I have awakened..."

Advanced Ghosts, Spectres are even deadlier assassins than their counterparts, but are also more unstable. At least, that's the Dominion propaganda; they can potentially be crazier, but the real problem is that they can't be controlled the way Ghosts can.

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Unlike the Ghost, who has a bonus damage against light units; this is also highlighted by their upgradeable ability Psionic Lash, which is essentially an infantry version of the Yamato Cannon.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Seen as this by Nova In-Universe. Their powers are impressive with the ability to unleash a devastating burst like a mini-Yamato blast, and they are arguably on par with Protoss psionics. However, exposure to Terrazine has unpleasant side effects that require regular Jorium doses to regulate or else they go psychotic. Worse, it is later found out that they are vulnerable to Amon's sway and many fight for the fallen Xel'naga against the protagonists, while Ghosts presumably are more resilient.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Some of their unit quotes certainly leave this impression, even if they're no more likely than anyone else to become psychotic and murderous. In fairness, the Ghost has some quotes that leave a similar impression.
    • Although they may not be so prone to violence as to invoke Always Chaotic Evil, it should be noted that the terrazine used to grant them their increased psionic powers is highly addictive if not taken with proper doses of a mineral called jorium to temper its less pleasant side-effects.
    • Their reliance on terrazine make them play this trope straight come Legacy of the Void, where Amon uses that to enslave a good number of Spectres in the Moebius Corps.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Ghosts turn their psionic powers towards stealth, infiltration and sabotage. Spectres are what Ghosts would be if they utilised more obvious and visible abilities.
  • Dodge the Bullet: According to Expanded Universe materials(Starcraft Ghost: Spectres to be exact), they are capable of pulling this off
  • Elite Mooks: They are this compared to Ghosts, and even serve as elite members of Moebius.
  • Faceless Goons: Played with. They wear fully concealing masks, like the Ghosts... but only when they activate their Invisibility Cloak. Otherwise, the superior half of their face is unconcealed and visible.
  • Foil: To the Ghost, naturally. They occupy the same position on the tech tree, and are both cloaked operatives that can call down nuclear strikes. But Ghosts have a damage bonus against Light units, while Spectres have a bonus against Armored, and the Ghost's Snipe casts quickly and for low energy to do mediocre damage, while the Spectre's Psionic Lash requires a lot of energy and takes a few seconds to charge up but does heavy damage. While the Ghost lacks its EMP Round ability in the campaign, the Spectre's Ultra Sonic Pulse acts as a parallel to it, being an ability to disable enemies in an area of effect. On the non-playable front, the Ghosts are mostly fought against under the Dominion's employ in Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm, while the Spectres replace them in the Moebius Corps in Legacy of the Void.
  • Glass Cannon: They can also call down Nuclear Missiles like Ghosts, but have the unique Psionic Lash that can hit a unit for 200 points of unresistable damage. However, they are weaker than Ghosts, and will be killed even faster if detected. Their basic attack has shorter range than an upgraded Ghost so they're more likely to be in danger if they must use it.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Like the Ghost, they have psionically-powered personal cloaking devices.
  • Magic Knight: An Anti-Armor armed spell caster with the devastating Psionic Lash spell. They can also stun a cluster of units.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Zig-Zagged; in a regular campaign playthrough, there aren't pressing situations that call for the uses of Ghosts or Spectres with your typical army. However, insertion of Spectres at key points via Oribital Strike can be a cornerstone of Speedrunning competitions, thanks to their ability to nuke key targets as well as soften them up with Psionic Lashes. Ultrasonic Pulse can also come in handy for stunning a group of enemies to lock them out of a fight for a moment.
  • Psychic Powers: Even stronger than the Ghost's thanks to the more intense experiments.
  • Psycho Prototype: They're not: they don't have implants or brainwashing, and little details (look Faceless Goons above) show they're more human than the Ghosts. Played straight with the Spectres in the Moebius Corps.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Their visors are red to the Ghost's green, and they're far more dangerous.
  • Super Soldier: Even compared to the Ghosts, who are also this.
  • Support Party Member: While useful on their own, they have an ability called Ultrasonic Pulse, which is an AOE stun with a respectable radius, making them really useful against Melee units, like the zealot, and fragile or slow attacking ranged units like the Void Ray (in fact, if you chain it right, you can keep a group of Void rays from ever getting their rays charged).
  • Telepathic Spacemen: Like the Ghost, but more emphasis on stun attacks and a single, high-damaging attack.
  • Toxic Phlebotinum: Why are there Spectres in the ranks of the Moebius Corps? Because terrazine is connected to the Void, leaving them extra vulnerable to Amon and the Hybrid's influence.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
    • According to the novelizations, specters must regularly consume terrazine to keep their heightened powers. It can cause hallucinations, visions, fits of rage, and other assorted problems, such as it being as addicting as a typical drug and thus you can take too much of it regularly and these problems intensify. Taking the terrazine with jorium helps dull the side-effects a bit though.
    • Their abuse of terrazine bites them back in Legacy of the Void campaign, where they are turned into Amon's thralls. Not all of them have succumbed, however, as the Dominion makes use of them in the Epilogue campaign.
  • You Nuke 'Em: Since they replace the Ghost in the campaign if you choose them, they have their ability to call down nuclear strikes.


Lightly armored soldiers serving as the backbone of the Defenders of Man forces.

  • Anti-Air: Similarly to the Marines, Troopers are basic soldiers who can attack flying targets
  • BFG: Their carbines are smaller than the Marine's C-14 rifles, but still very big.
  • Cannon Fodder: Even worse than Marines, as the Troopers fulfill the same function, but use lighter gear that's implied to be less advanced. They clearly are not going to last long.
  • Evil Counterpart: To the Marines. While there is nothing inherently evil in the concept of Troopers, the only faction shown to be using them so far are the Defenders of Man, whereas Marines serve as a symbol of the Dominion militia.
  • Faceless Goons: While parts of their faces are visible, the majority (including eyes, mouth and nose) is covered by a combination of a visor and a gasmask, qualifying them for this trope.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Lorewise they are using light armor and carbines compared to Marines wearing Power Armor and wielding heavy rifles, and thus they should be weaker then Marines. In the gameplay, however, they both have exactly the same stats. The only difference is the Trooper lacks the Marine's shield and Stimpack upgrades.
  • More Dakka: Carbines their weapons may be, but they are still fully capable of shooting full auto.
  • Name's the Same: Arcturus Mengsk fields Troopers in Co-op Missions, but they have a different portrait and model. They have the same stats at least, though their weapons are given different identification.
  • Power Armour: Notably averted. They are the first Terran combat unit to not be equipped with one.

"Let's get cracking."

Terran infantry units equipped for space drilling and construction, deployed as improvised troops against the Zerg. Their heavy welding armor makes them immune to the acidic explosions of Banelings.

  • A Day in the Limelight: They get their time to shine in Covert Ops.
  • Demoted to Extra: They were intended to be a new unit in multiplayer for Legacy of the Void, but got the axe. They return in Covert Ops where they can be built in one mission.
  • Development Gag: They're built from a unique structure, the Herc Compound. Way back in development for Wings of Liberty, this is how the Reaper would be trained. The Herc Compound even uses the same model as the development Merc Compound the Reaper trained from.
  • Grappling-Hook Gun: They can latch onto enemy units and pull themselves towards it.
  • No-Sell: Thanks to their heavy duty armor, the acidic explosions of Banelings has no effect on them.
  • Support Party Member: They're not your main damage dealers, but are made to tank the explosive bursts of Banelings and Infested Terrans that would otherwise liquefy your much squishier infantry.
  • This Is a Drill: Their main weapon is a combination drill-arm/welding gun.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Their main purpose is to be a melee infantry unit that can tank Baneling explosions and be a meatshield for Zergling rushes, but they aren't good for much else.

Mechanical forces

"Alright, bring it on!"

Speedy hoverbike units, they're armed with grenade launchers and make excellent scouts due to their low cost and very high speed. They can also lay Spider Mines to surprise and ambush unsuspecting armies.

  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: Not as much as the typical portrayal, but the pilot does quote stock biker phrases in Starcraft II.
    Vulture: Born to be wild.
    Vulture: Live fast and die young!
  • The Alleged Car: Seen as this In-Universe. Jim Raynor views the Vulture bike as a classic piece of engineering, but Rory Swann counters that it explodes when the Anti-Gravity fails and its battery secretes radioactive waste when it leaks.
  • Badass Biker: The pilot is surly, speedy and ready for a fight any time.
  • Cool Bike: Zigzagged. As noted above, while Raynor thinks it's this trope, the Vulture has a history of mechanical failures and sloppy design that make them hazardous to operate.
    Swann: But hey, who cares if it's a "classic", right?
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • The bike's Fragmentation Grenades are very damaging against light targets, but most other units (such as heavily-armored units) will take only mild damage from the grenades. Albeit, in StarCraft I they still deal full damage to Protoss Shields and Defensive Matrices, making them a cheap counter to the high-shields Archons.
    • In contrast to the Grenades, the original Spider Mines are extremely potent against heavy armor and still respectable against light units, but the mines are completely unable to damage structures, even with their Splash Damage.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Possibly even a Sour Supporter.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: As gameplay units they tend to be almost nonexistant without micromanagement or a nightmare in the hands of an experienced player; they're super fast, but their attack damage per unit isn't all that good and making use of Spider Mines to their fullest potential takes a bit of practise. Still, good micro allows them to be used for effective Hit-and-Run Tactics, and Spider Mines can be useful defences for early expansions into enemy territory before you set up Bunkers and Missile Turrets. Used right, they're a massive annoyance for the enemy, who must sweep well-traveled roads for mines or suffer terrible losses.
  • Fragile Speedster: They can outrun almost every other unit, and remove the "almost" from the sentence once you upgrade their speed. Good thing, because most of those other units will kill them in a straight-up fight.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Played With. In-Universe, Marines are untrustworthy of the Spider Mines' target detection systems, fearing they are not able to reliably recognize a friend or foe. While in terms of gameplay this is not the case (Spider Mines will never pursue friendly targets), the Splash Damage from their explosion can damage friendly units. Zealots or Zerglings can easily draw attention from a Spider Mine and make it blow up in the middle of Terran lines, causing more damage to them than to their intended target.
  • Glass Cannon: Exaggerated with their Spider Mines. They are units in and of themselves that can not move once you plant them. The mine deals a catastrophic 125 damage to large (armored essentially) targets, is still servicable against lightly armored targets, and has a good Splash Damage range. However the mine is destroyed by its own payload, and if detected, the mines have a paltry 20 Hit Points and can be destroyed with ease by ranged attackers.
  • Grenade Launcher: Their weaponry is a pair of grenade launches mounted on their bikes.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Spider mines are notorious among marines for their poor tracking systems. If close range units attack you, the mines will blow them up as well as your units. The lore says there has been several movies in universe about Spider Mines gaining sentience and going on a rampage.
  • Military Maverick: Goes with the Badass Biker persona.
  • Mook Maker: One of their upgrades in the sequel allows them to create more Spider mines; of course, you pay 15 minerals for each new mine, but it enables you to create a true mine field without having to create too many vultures.
  • Necessary Drawback: The Spider Mines' inability to harm structures was implemented because of how broken it would be for a group of 75-minerals-each Vultures to each lay down three mines that each deal 125 damage each. This is enough damage to kill a Protoss Nexus in 13 quick consecutive mines and would be devastating for a unit that only requires minerals to build. Worker units are also unable to directly set off mines for similar balance reasons, nor are any of the Protoss Archons (they hover instead to walking).
  • No OSHA Compliance: When a major system fails on a Vulture, the results can be fatal for the rider. If not that, then a toxic waste leak might give the operator radiation poisoning.
  • Parenthetical Swearing:
    Vulture rider: I read you, sir.
  • See the Invisible: Their Spider Mines can target cloaked ground units without the aid of a Detector, but it does not reveal them. As a result, they can act as an extra defense against cloaked unit infiltration.
  • Splash Damage: Their Spider Mines, in the sequel, one of the upgrades gives them a higher damage output and a bigger range.
  • Super-Persistent Missile: Once a Spider Mine locks onto a target that comes in range, it'll leap up and chase it until it can explode on them.

    Siege Tank
"Ready to roll out!"

One of the iconic units of the series, these are normal tanks complete with treads and turrets...until they switch into Siege Mode, clamping down retractable legs and raising their turrets to the sky to bombard enemies from range with powerful cannon blasts.

  • Achilles' Heel: Capable of blowing most things on the grounds to smithereens before they get close... but send some air units and watch those Siege Tanks go back to tread mode and haul ass. Or exploit their Arbitrary Minimum Range with melee units.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In the sequel, improved AI prevents groups of Siege Tanks from overkilling units — that is to say, all 10 of your tanks won't fire to kill one Zergling, only one will (making it harder to exploit the reload time).
  • Arbitrary Minimum Range: Of 2, which is the same range as the Firebat's flamethrower, for reference.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: The man loves his job.
    Siege Tank pilot: This'll be a blast!
    Siege Tank pilot: It's BOOM time!
  • Dual Mode Unit: Can switch between a stationary artillery unit and a mobile battle tank. While Siege Mode has splash damage and a massive attack range, Tank Mode has a much faster fire rate and thus better single-target DPS.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted. Your units can and will get caught in the splash damage if they're standing too close to the impact. One of the upgrades in the sequel reduces damage to friendly units by 75%. In story, Marines don't get along with Siege Tank crews well due to friendly fire incidents from their trigger-happiness, so when on leave, crews tend to stick together away from Marines.
  • Glass Cannon: They can kill pretty much any non-air force, but being unable to move and unable to fire at targets too close means they're very easy to kill. Ironically, they can be their own worst enemies when enemies exploit their ability to take friendly fire. They don't have that much HP and Armor either, so if you manage to get past their Arbitrary Minimum Range, they are pretty much dead. This was Downplayed in Legacy Of The Void where they got a boost to their defenses and their damage rate became even better than their Starcraft I settings to encourage more frequent Factory play from Terrans.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Their high power and Splash Damage can be turned back on an opponent through the use of melee units, thereby ensuring their units will take just as much damage as yours, if not more. In the sequel, the campaign allows an upgrade that makes the shells more guided in order to steer them away from allied units.
  • "Instant Death" Radius: You do not want to wander into its Siege Mode's firing range. If you're a Zealot, however, you can charge into it to exploit the Arbitrary Minimum Range.
  • Irony: "Got no patience for sittin' around!" *switches to Siege Mode where he does exactly that*
  • Lampshade Hanging: One of its Stop Poking Me! quotes addresses its minimum range issues in Siege Mode:
    Siege Tank: Why don't you walk about thirty yards out and stand still for me?
  • Large Ham: One of the hammiest in the game.
  • Mascot Mook: They're an emblem of Terran's ground forces, and one of the most immediately recognizable units of the Terrans. It helps that they once boasted the longest range in the entire game, and there was rarely a matchup where they were not built.
  • No Indoor Voice: The Siege Tank driver tries his darndest to make sure he's heard over the engine roar.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The Siege Tank is a perfectly serviceable anti-armor assault unit in Tank Mode, but it's their Siege Mode that makes them so effective and beloved. Acknowledged in Heart of the Swarm, where Siege Mode does not have to be researched beforehand.
  • Pimped-Out Car: According to lore, an early operator of the Crucio Siege Tank series (The one in Starcraft II) managed to install a surround-sound system to his tank. Then reality hit hard: the operator didn't hear the "fall back" order, and got surrounded by enemy forces.
  • Pun: The pilot has a few good ones.
    Siege Tank Pilot: I never tread lightly!
    Siege Tank Pilot: I'll give it my best shot!
  • Ride of the Valkyries: Sings it as a Stop Poking Me! quote.
  • Siege Engine: A Siege Tank's real strength comes from its ability to either bombard static defenses from well outside retaliatory range or to act as static defenses themselves. Park a group of them outside an enemy base to deny ground unit movement, just watch out for inevitable aerial attacks.
  • Splash Damage: Combined with their massive range, its what makes them so deadly. When given the order to move units tend to bunch up and don't spread out to fight until they see an enemy, and few are the units with attack ranges equal to their sight range. Thus odds are they'll still be bunched up and moving in when the Siege Tank opens fire on them, and that splash damage will do more than enough damage to make up for the slow rate of fire.
  • Tank Goodness: Big heavy tanks with the power to blast small armies of infantry units to bits.
  • Transforming Mecha: Not quite a mecha, but the way it transitions from vehicle to stationary turret has the transformation part.
  • Violation of Common Sense: A Siege Tank in Tank Mode occupies four slots in a Medivac. In Siege Mode, they are visibly carried underneath the Medivac, occupying all eight slots. This one can be rationalized by Siege Mode being less space-efficient than Tank Mode due to all the gear it has sticking out.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Marines tend to have low opinions of Siege Tank crews to the point that crews make a point of avoiding shore leave near Marines since they'd likely want likely want piece of them.
  • The Worf Effect: In campaign modes, the easiest way to show how powerful a unit is seems to be to effortlessly destroy a Siege Tank.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The cutscene The Ambush shows them as jerry-rigged tractors with cannons mounted over the cabins.

"Goliath on-line."

Combat walkers, they're all-around solid units specializing in anti-air support.

  • Anti-Air: From Brood War onwards, the Goliath's air attack is much more powerful than its ground attack, and it gained a unique upgrade that greatly boosted its air attack range.
  • Balance Buff:
    • From the base game to Brood War, they got an upgrade to boost the range of their air attack, and a buff to their damage.
    • In the sequel, they get an upgrade to attack ground and air units simultaneously, making them good all-around troops.
  • Badass Baritone: The pilot in I has a very cool voice that blends well with his serious personality
  • Bald of Awesome: The pilot.
  • Chicken Walker: As per Expy, it has these legs.
  • The Comically Serious: The pilot carries a sense of professionalism while regularly saying several acronyms with a straight face.
  • Creator Cameo: In the sequel, the pilot's portrait is based on Blizzard artist Brian Sousa, Spartan Company's portrait on Dustin Browder.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The cutscene goliath has a chin-mounted Plasma Cannon.
  • David Versus Goliath: In the first game, Goliaths deal the most damage to large-sized air units; in the second game they deal double damage to armoured units. Either way, this allows a team of Goliaths to take on such giants as Battlecruisers and Carriers and come out on top. Their name just adds a layer of irony to this.
  • Expy: Of the ED-209. It even name drops ED in a Stop Poking Me! quote.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Likes to list off several as Stop Poking Me! quotes.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: In StarCraft I the pilot's helmet greatly resembles a gas mask.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats/Master of None: In the original game. The Goliath has all-around decent HP, cost and damage output. However, it's outclassed by most other units; Siege Tanks have siege capabilities and did high single-hit burst damage, Marines have superior DPS due to their Stimpacks, and Wraiths have comparable anti-air capabilities coupled with cloaking and flight for greater speed and mobility. This is why Brood War gave the Goliath's air attack a damage buff and a researchable range increase, to gave the Goliath a niche use — long-range anti-air — that another unit wasn't already better at.
  • Lightning Bruiser: In the Wings Of Liberty single-player campaign. In tandem with buffs to their damage on both fronts, the Goliath's armory upgrades provide an increase to the range of both their ground and air attacks — their air attacks can now go even further than before — and allow them to attack ground and air enemies simultaneously, making them very effective against mixed armies. In tandem with their relatively low position on the tech tree and early availability in the game, Goliaths can be very useful units. The main drawback is that they don't do too well against lightly armoured units so a Mutalisk Swarm or a crowd of light infantry could fight them at an advantage.
  • Mo Cap Mecha/Mecha Expansion Pack: According to the fluff, it's a bigger, badder suit of combat armor that plugs into a marine's power suit, and he walks normally to pilot it.
  • More Dakka: Their primary armament is a brace of automatic cannons, and a missile launcher similar to the one on Turrets. In the sequel, merc goliaths have miniguns.
  • Phallic Weapon: Cutscenes in the original Starcraft depict them with a single oversized gatling cannon mounted in their crotch. Their in-game model looks considerably different, though, with their autocannons mounted on their upper torso together with their missile racks.
  • Simple, yet Awesome. A formula for success: build a mixed army of Siege Tanks and Goliaths; deploy Siege Tanks in Siege Mode and place Goliaths nearby; watch the fireworks as they dominate both the land and the air.
  • What Could Have Been: Originally, they could launch their missiles at ground targets, and had a nose-mounted flamethrower in addition to the autocannons. This was decided to be too much dakka for one unit to carry on its own, so the flamethrower became the Firebat.

"Ready to raise some hell!"

Fast-moving land rovers armed with flamethrowers, they deal damage to clumps of enemies and excel at fighting light units. Heart of the Swarm turns them into Transforming Mecha; "Hellbat" mode makes them a walking unit with higher HP and a slightly-stronger, shorter-ranged flamethrower. They can switch back and forth at any time.

  • Aerosol Flamethrower: This effect is especially noticible with Hellion where the flame behaves in a similar fashion to a Slow Laser. The flamable material burns up quickly without leaving behind a fire hazard for units.
  • Balance Buff: Hellions in Heart of the Swarm became Transforming Mecha, letting them become Hellbats. While Hellions are Fragile Speedster units meant for base raiding, Hellbats are Mighty Glacier units better for prolonged combat, giving the Terrans an answer to Zergling and Zealot hordes.
  • Boring, but Practical: The addition of Hellbat transformation gives these units a longer lifespan: Hellbats are still useful long past the point where the Hellion form would have been phased out. (Of course, this removes them from the list of throwaway units, making it a bigger deal to lose one.)
  • Composite Character: Of the vulture and firebat from the first game, both of which are absent from SC2's multiplayer.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: If the Hellion or Hellbat is emitting a blue flame, they are equipped with the Infernal Preignitier technology. In the Wings of Liberty campaign, this upgrade is in the Hyperion Armory as Thermite Fillaments.
  • Crutch Character: Hellions used to be this before Hellbats were introduced, since they were used for Hit-and-Run Tactics until enemy bases were walled off, which is when Reaper or Medivac/Marine Hit-and-Run Tactics can bypass the base entrance. Since they can't break through fortification themselves, they needed Marauder/Siege Tank help and by that point, you don't even need Hellions anymore.
  • Divergent Character Evolution:
    • While the Hellion is basically a replacement for the Vulture and Firebat, in the single-player campaign the Hellion's upgrades focus on enhancing its splash damage capabilities, while the Vulture's focus on enhancing its Spider Mines and Firebats focus on being meatshields for your infantry.
    • As for the Hellion itself, it's a Fragile Speedster normally with low HP but high speed, becomes a Glass Cannon as well with Infernal Pre-Igniter to boost its damage, and in Heart of the Swarm can transform into the Hellbat, which has higher HP but low speed.
  • Dual Mode Unit: A scout and base raider, or a short-ranged frontline walker.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Of the Aerosol Flamethrower type.
  • Fragile Speedster: As far as vehicles go, Hellions are much faster than Siege Tanks or Thors but more fragile.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: How to harass with Hellions: drive into enemy base as fast as possible, torch worker units, then get out before heavy opposition comes. Repeat until base defenses make this no longer feasible.
  • Kill It with Fire: And very good at it too.
  • Mighty Glacier: Hellbats lose a lot of the speed of a Hellion and it attacks at nearly melee range, but it gains 45 HP from the transformation, gains the Biological trait (enabling Hellbats to be healed by Medivacs), and gains significantly more damage.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Word of God admitted they fell victim to this trope via the Firebat in the single-player campaigns. The Firebat is a slow but bulky unit with greater durability, while the Hellion is a fast but fragile hit-and-run raider. They're balanced on paper, but much of the campaign focuses on defense instead of offense, so the Hellion's strengths weren't of much use when compared to the superior tanking abilities of the Firebat.
  • Spiritual Successor: Hellions were added to be a Kill It with Fire unit that wasn't as limited as the Firebat, basically being Firebats that shed their carapace armor and hopped into a speed buggy to gain mobility (at the cost of durability). Hellbats take this even further and basically are Firebats with the huge bonus of being able to switch forms, and are built from Factories like the new Firebat was originally going to be.
  • Splash Damage: Linear splash in Hellion form, and a wide cone splash in Hellbat form.
  • Transforming Mecha: Added in Heart of the Swarm, from a rapid-moving car to a slower-moving but more durable combat walker.
  • Unusual Weapon Mounting: Well, unusual for a Mecha. The Hellbat's flamer is mounted in a turret on top of it.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: The reason they replace the Firebat both in a meta sense and in-universe is because they avert this trope. They still only get the full damage bonus benefits of their flamethrowers when attacking smaller units and thus are not optimal for larger enemies, but their high speed, the range of their attack, and their ability to kite enemies make them very dangerous hit-and-run raiders, especially if a couple get into your base and head for your worker lines.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Hellbats can be healed by Medivacs. Hellions cannot. Odd because the Hellion is more fragile than a Marauder and the latter is a healable Mini-Mecha, so you'd expect healing to be no problem.
    • Hellbats take 4 slots in a transport, Hellions take 2. This one makes marginally more sense given how much bigger the Hellbat is when unfolded, but it can still be annoying when loading troops.

"Thor is here!"

A massive heavy artillery walker, it specializes in anti-air missile barrages but has enough firepower to hold its own against ground forces as well. Memorably speaks like a certain Austrian bodybuilder who became Governor of California.

  • Achilles' Heel: They're tough for a Terran unit, have powerful backpack cannons that can switch modes for multiple Anti-Air types, but their anti-ground attack may only target one target at a time and has no Splash Damage to dealing with swarms. If a Thor is caught on its own, then they are ironically weak to a being swarmed by basic infantry who aren't impaired by their low armor values. Sure, the Thor will likely kill a few of said units but they're much less costly than the Thor (300M/200V).
  • A God Am I: Played for Laughs — whoever is piloting it is definitely having fun with the unit's name.
    "I am a thunder god!"
    "Hammer of the gods!"
  • The Ahnold: Complete with many Shout Outs to his famous lines, including "I'll be back", "Stick around", and "Sue me, dickhead". It's Stop Poking Me! quotes list off longer quotes from Conan The Barbarian and True Lies.
  • Anti-Air: Javelin missile launchers excel at shredding clusters of light air units. Heart of the Swarm gave them a "High-Impact Mode" suitable for heavy armor, like Battlecruisers or Carriers.
  • Arm Cannon: Literally. His arms are outfitted with four 220 mm cannons.
  • Armored But Frail: Inverted, they have a respectable health pool for soaking up heavy hits, but have minimal armor values so Scratch Damage attacks will pose a major threat if they get swarmed by basic infantry (Marine, Zealot, Zergling). They have less emphasis on pure survival, and more on damage throughput and a little mobility.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Totally subverted, they're alright by their lonesome, but they truly shine with proper support while they spearhead an attack. Combine them with Siege Tanks and Hellbats to provide cover against melee charges and you have what's called the Terran death ball. Their anti-air payloads give them comprehensive coverage against priority aerial targets.
  • Backpack Cannon: Four of them. In Wings of Liberty they can swing forward to become Shoulder Cannons during its artillery barrage.
  • BFGs: The four 250mm cannons on its back and the "Thor's Hammer" cannons on its arms.
  • Bring It: One of the "under attack" quotes.
    "Ya, come and fight me! Hahahahahahaaaa!
  • Death from Above: In Wings of Liberty he can use its back-mounted 250mm cannons to rain down a heavy artillery barrage.
  • Drop the Hammer: Not literally, but its quotes include references to this trope, and as said above, it's cannons are actually classified as "Thor's Hammer" class in-game.
  • Dual Mode Unit: From Heart of the Swarm onwards it can switch between two Anti-Air modes - one deals Splash Damage and is to be used against clusters of frail air units, and the second one is a strong single-target attack to be used against armored fliers.
  • Guns Akimbo: How he uses his arm cannons
  • Humongous Mecha: At one point in development it was built by the SCV out in the field because it was too big to be built in a Factory. When the Thor was moved into the Factory its model was scaled down a bit, but it's still huge.
  • Idiosyncratic Mecha Storage: When picked up by a Medivac, the Thor folds up into a cube and is transported underneath.
  • Incoming Ham: "Thor is here!"
  • Irony: The Thor is meant to be an anti-air unit. In the campaign, the Thor's Super Prototype Odin is specifically stated to have weak anti-air capabilities. Justified because the Thor is a heavily modified Odin chassis by Raynor's Raiders.
  • Large Ham: When you're impersonating Ahnold, what can you expect?
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    "Hurry up and fix me, you idiot!" (when under attack)

    "I am here! Click me!" (Stop Poking Me!)
  • Meaningful Name: In Norse Mythology, Thor is the son of Odin. In the campaign, the Thor was designed as a scaled down version of the Odin.
  • Metalhead: "I am heavy metal!" Indeed. Pretty awesome if you imagine him blazing it at 11 volume as he lays waste to all before him.
  • Mighty Glacier: Huge offensive power, not very impressive movement.
  • Military Mashup Machine: A Goliath crossed with a Siege Tank, scaled up and built out of the same neosteel found on Battlecruisers. Their Anti-Air High-Impact Payload added in Heart Of The Swarm further boosts their similarities to the Goliath.
  • More Dakka: Its special ability in Wings of Liberty is to call down an artillery barrage in the form of its backpack cannons bombarding enemies. It deals a whopping 500 damage, nothing short of the toughest units will survive that. And in the campaign, its 250mm cannons can be upgraded into 330mm cannons, giving its artillery barrage area-of-effect damage.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: The Thor is a walking mass of Continuity Snarls in this department.
    • In the lore it is said that the Umojan Protectorate discovered it in development on Korhal, while the campaign says the Odin, the Thor's Super Prototype, was built by the Dominion on Valhalla. When asked a question in regards to this Blizzard admitted they goofed on that one. It's since been given a Hand Wave that the mech the Umojans saw was the Odin, which was moved from Korhal to Valhalla after the Dominion found out the Korhal facility had been compromised.
    • However this does not explain the Frontline graphic novels showing a Thor used for field work in 2502, two years before Starcraft II in 2504 and one year before the Umojan infiltration in 2503; once again Blizzard admitted they messed up and blamed poor communication between the Frontline writers and the game developers.
    • Finally, in the campaign Swann reverse-engineers the Thor from the Odin, but that leaves one wondering how the Dominion developed the exact same unit independently. After playing "Media Blitz" where you unlock the Thor, you encounter a Dominion Thor in the mission "Piercing the Shroud" as if the Thor was already about to enter into mass production.
  • Ray Gun: The Thor's main guns are the Thor's Hammer particle beams built into its arms, in gameplay though the Thor's arm cannons appear no different than the cannons on other Terran vehicles. Regardless, these weapons can definitely hit hard against ground units.
  • Splash Damage: With its anti-air barrage, which is designed to chew up clumped light units like Mutalisks.

    Widow Mine
A new HotS unit in the Terran arsenal, the Widow Mine is manufactured from the Factory, ordered out to a new location and told to bury itself and await prey. They act as tiny missile factories, shooting their explosive payload at whatever swings by whilst remaining in hiding.
  • Artifact Title: As noted below, they used to be mines. They are now a missile-launching Area Denial Weapon.
  • Glass Cannon: Less extreme than Spider Mines. Their missiles pack a colossal punch but they're rendered immobile like with Siege Tanks if you want to arm them. If detected, they're even more fragile than Siege tanks and once their missiles are fired, they have a lengthy cooldown and the mine is helpless in terms of fighting back.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: You only have a second and a half to aim Widow Mines, so many times you have to let the Widow Mine pick a target by itself. A melee unit can be sent in as Schmuck Bait and activate the mine prematurely, even drawing the explosion onto the owner's army. Watch this Bronze-League Heroes cast by Husky Starcraft to see a Protoss player use his enemy's mines against him.
  • Mecha-Mooks: It's a little robot dude that shoots missiles up your enemy's taints.
  • Mobile Factory: It creates its missiles on site.
  • Non-Indicative Name: They're effectively turrets, or to be pedantic, an Area Denial Weapons System, which are slightly different from mines. (They used to be actual self-destructing mines until the current balance changes.)
  • Properly Paranoid: Zerg players beware; you are no longer the only army that can keep buried units potentially anywhere that are ready to ambush!
  • Sentry Gun: Sentry Missile Launchers, to be more precise.
  • Spiritual Successor: They're an evolution of the Spider Mine, only they're now a unit unto themselves and can be reusued as long as they survive their first fight. As a bonus, they can now attack air too.
  • Splash Damage: Their missiles can blow up a small area of units, though this can be worked around by sending a few sacrificial decoys in then charging the real attack force through before the Widow Mine can re-arm.
  • Taking You with Me: They used to be self-destructing bombs before this was changed.

"Optics online, let's go kill something!"

A mobile mini-tank unit, it fires missiles to attack while on the move.

  • Anti-Armor: Mag-Field Accelerator doubles its damage against armored targets.
  • Balance Buff: Like the unit it replaces in multiplayer, the Diamondback, the Cyclone had the issue of not having anything to make it stand out other than its gimmick, as it's far too expensive and fragile to be useful past early game anti-air and harassment. Patch 3.8 reworked the Cyclone completely, made it more durable, and reduced its cost, to give it a more defined niche as a frontline anti-armor unit for mech compositions.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: The first Terran unit in the whole multiplayer game that averted this trope as a selling point; then the Battlecruiser gained this aversion too.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Cyclone somewhat replaces the Goliath as the mid-grade attack-everything unit from the Factory. Their stats are well balanced with good Hit Points and a missile system that can engage both ground and air targets. However, micromanagement is what really brings out their potential; their lock-on ability lets them Lock-On outside of their regular range and fire upon a target up to a very long range, while an upgrade doubles their damage when locking onto armored targets. Lock-On is necessary to get the most out of them due to their mediocre performance when you attack-move with them. Their moderate resource cost (150M/100V) also discourages just throwing them away.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: It lives and breathes this trope. Especially after the rework, which gave them an attack rate of ten attacks per second.
  • Military Mashup Machine: A miniture tank with a form of Missile Turret on board and fitted with advanced Lock On missile systems to allow it to keep firing upon a target up 14 squares away which is even further than a Siege Tank. In skilled hands, they can be even more devastating than the Goliath thanks to their Mag-Field Accelerator doubling their damage to armored targets including fliers.
  • Spiritual Successor: To a Diamondback, as a unit whose primary strength is the ability to attack on the move.
  • Tank Goodness: A small, mobile tank.

"What needs killing?"

Originally developed by the Confederacy, they can attack on the move with railgun turrets. They were discovered inactive in the ruins of Tarsonis and pressed into service by the Dominion and Raynor's Raiders.

  • Always Someone Better: With Hyperion Armory upgrades, they are more durable than the average Terran unit and have a respectable attack range but their role generalist anti-armor unit gets overshadowed by other units. Siege Tanks have superior range and cost and use one less supply point; Thors are more costly but also much more durable, provide powerful anti-ground support that isn't negated by armor types and provide anti-air support as well; finally, Marauders can perform their anti-armor role at a significantly lower price. Their "fire on the move" feature comes into play for chasing the train on their debut mission, but isn't a huge factor in the overall campaign.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: They deal double damage against armored enemies.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: The Diamondback is fast, has the ability to fire on the move, has good hitpoints, and has a strong anti-armor attack. The only real drawback is that Blizzard seem to have had a hard time deciding exactly what they wanted the Diamondback to be outside of its debut level. It has no obvious weaknesses to speak of, but no obvious strengths either, and is rather costly at 150/150 and 4 supply. Presumably the Cyclone modelled after it was designed with this in mind, since Blizzard seemingly took the Diamondback's potential for kiting and ran with it.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Its entire purpose is to avert this trope.
  • Lightning Bruiser: High attack, respectable defences and it moves at a fair clip. Can't attack air units, though, so bear that in mind when designating it a task.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: The Diamondback Pilot isn't particularly hammy, but it's clear he enjoys his job far too much.
    Diamondback Pilot: [upon being given an attack order] Bring a shovel... for the burial!
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: All units in the campaign are introduced in missions tailored to their strengths, and the Diamondback is the same; it moves fast, can attack while moving, and deals double damage to armored units, and it features in a mission where you have to chase down and destroy fast-moving, armored trains. However, most campaign missions are geared towards playing defensively while using small strike forces to hit objectives, two things the Diamondback is not so good at, so it'll probably see little use after it's introduction.


A robotic fighter, it unleashes a field of electricity whenever it attacks, heavily damaging nearby units.

  • Animal Mecha: They're robotic panthers that use auras of electricity to fight.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: It rips apart melee ground units with ease thanks to its electric splash damage ability, but is otherwise fairly forgettable since the Terrans already have the Firebat and Perdition Turret for dealing with Zergling swarms. Plus, it costs 100M/100V, which is steep for its niche role. It does at least have the ability to accompany mech armies and Shield against melee if you're focusing solely on Factory & Starport forces thanks to being repairable by Science Vessels, and they can even enter bunkers but that's about it.
  • Panthera Awesome: Designed after the big cat.
  • Shock and Awe: They use bursts of electrical energy to kill.
  • Splash Damage: They deal it with their electrical fields.

"Tin can's ready to roll!"

A medium assault mech, the Warhound was originally intended to become one of the terrans’ new units in Heart of The Swarm multiplayer. However, it was ultimately banned from multiplayer due to balance issues, and remained only in the campaign. However, Legacy of the Void revived the Warhound's Anti-Vehicle concept and passed the idea onto the Viking's ground mode to give it a clear niche that it lacked before.

Aerial forces

"Wraith awaiting launch orders."

The standard Terran starfighter, armed with missiles and lasers and protected by a personal cloaking field.

  • Cool Starship: Fast and maneuverable armed with lasers and missiles.
  • Danger Deadpan: In StarCraft II, they remain remarkably calm even when they come under attack while you're focusing on another part of the map.
    Wraith pilot: (under attack) Whoa, they're all over me!
  • Fragile Speedster: Very quick but quickly blasted out of the sky when the opponent can fire on them. This is why their Cloaking Field is so vital to getting good usage out of them. The sequel notices this and offers two unique upgrades to enhance their cloaking, one of which allows them to potentially dodge incoming fire while cloaked.
  • Energy Weapon: Their ground attack is a short laser blast.
  • Invisibility Cloak: They have cloaking just like the ghost.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: In Starcraft II, it serves this role between the Banshee (dedicated air-to-ground) and the Viking (dedicated air-to-air), since the Wraith can attack both ground and aerial targets. While these two are better than the Wraith in their dedicated roles, the Wraith still has a niche for its versatility, and the potential to accompany Banshees instead of Vikings as air superiority in circumstances where you'd want an entirely cloaked air force.
  • Space Fighter: They're perfectly able to operate in space or on the ground.

    Science Vessel
"Explorer reporting!"

A Terran support vessel equipped with technology to study the Zerg and Protoss and weaponry to deal with them.

  • Badass Labcoat: In the sequel their pilots wear one in their unit portrait.
  • Boring Yet Practical: In the sequel, this is why they're generally chosen over Ravens. Although you fight Zerg most of the time, It's not really about Irradiate, and the Detector function is kind of standard. Nano-repair is the real draw — it's that useful to have Nano-repair, which heals mechanical units the same way Medics heal biological units for no mineral or vespene cost, that alone is reason enough to pick the Science Vessel over the Raven.
  • Deflector Shields: Their Defensive Matrix.
  • EMP: One of their abilities in the first game, which was given to the Ghost in the sequel.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Science Vessels are basically space stations and are appropriately huge, and an entire mission takes place inside of one. In-game they're not much bigger than any other mechanical unit and smaller than most buildings.
    • In the unreleased Starcraft: Ghost game this was to be averted: Nova wouldn't be able to see the Science Vessel, but could call upon it to irradiate an enemy, lauch an EMP or scan an enemy to display its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: Irradiate covers a unit in a cloud of radiological fog that damages any biological units. Since all zerg units are biological, Irradiate is very powerful against them, especially if the zerg has left all their Overlords in a small cluster.
  • Mythology Gag/Shout-Out: The Science Vessel's pilot/representative is voiced by Harry Shearer, who voiced Mr Burns on The Simpsons. As such, references to this fact were slipped into the unit's quotations — yes, including his signature, "Excellent!" He is now voiced over by Robin Atkin Downes for a more sinister voice.
  • Nanomachines: Their Nano-Repair in the sequel.
  • Non-Action Guy: No attack to defend itself, and its abilities only do so much.
    • Subverted with the "Eraser" strategy. Have two science vessels cast Defensive Matrix and Irradiate on each other. Then drive them into the middle of a Zerg or Terran mineral line. Fun ensues.
  • Race Lift: Has a black guy portrait in SC:Remastered.
  • Support Party Member: They are not frontline fighters and are best used by firing off the appropriate abilities and then retreating to safety.
  • True Sight: They can detect cloaked and burrowed units.
  • Units Not to Scale: See above under Gameplay and Story Segregation. To add to it, a Battlecruiser is bigger than the science vessel in gameplay, even though the Science Vessel is bigger in Lore.

"Can I take your order?"

Flying personal carriers used to ferry troops around.

  • Balance Buff: The reason the Medivac exists; it made Dropships more useful and made Medics more mobile and durable at the same time.
  • Boring, but Practical: Like all transports, all it does is move units around, but it's an invaluable part of strategy.
  • Drop Ship: Taken straight after the Alien Trope Namer; they carry troops around the map.
  • Flat Character: Function-wise, they are one of the most bare-bones transport units compared with the faster (upgraded) Protoss Shuttle, and the Zerg Overlord with their True Sight and durability. They were replaced by Medivac Dropships in the sequel who have the same drop capabilities, but also take over the Medics' healing duties, and have Afterburners for a temporary burst of speed.
  • Non-Action Guy: No attack and weak armor.
  • The Smurfette Principle: They were the only female standard unit in the pre-Brood War Terran roster and indeed the entire original game — Kerrigan also existed, but she was a Hero unit whenever she appeared. Brood War subverted this by adding the Medic and Valkyrie units.

"Valkyrie prepared!"

A Terran frigate introduced into the sector by the UED. Piloted by women with thick German accents, they fire clusters of missiles are airborne enemies to decimate opposing fleets.

  • Crippling Overspecialization: Their method of attack is to do 6 damage a shot while also doing splash damage at a rapid-fire pace over a large area. Unfortunately, Terran and Protoss ships typically had armor that made the Valkyrie's attacks deal much less damage. Even against the Zerg, the Wraith and Goliath were almost as effective due to their lower cost and tech tree placement, and more versatile since the Valkyrie couldn't attack ground units. Still, they were a much-needed solution for countering Mutalisk swarms, and are ideally suited for chasing down transports since they move quickly and transports generally have very weak armour.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: They only do 6 damage a shot, but they fire so many rockets out at a time that it adds up quickly.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The first game has a bug in which certain units would not fire projectiles if there are too many objects in the map. The Valkyrie is greatly affected by this bug because they fire several missiles at once and because they were intended to be used to counter massed Mutalisks. Thus, Valkyries are prone to not being nearly as effective as they should be.
  • Gratuitous German: "Of course, mein Herr!"/"Achtung!"
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Their missiles turn and weave through the air to impact. It's implied this is deliberate by design, to give them their splash damage by having the missiles hit over a large area.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: For countering mass Mutalisk. Once the ability to stack air units was discovered by players, a large number of mutas would be downright unstoppable since the opponent couldn't target any one mutalisk to focus down. Thus, the Terrans received this unit as a way to counter such strategies. Starcraft II made the marine cost-effective against mutas, as well as adding an anti-air splash attack to the new Thor unit, eliminating much of the need for the Valkyrie unit to exist, which is why they only appear in Brood War. Even in Brood War the Valkyrie still saw limited in pro gaming due to Science Vessels' Irradiate damaging stacked mutalisks and being usable against ground targets too, but the unit saw a resurgence for use in mech play against the Zerg.
  • Put on a Bus: They put in no appearance in Starcraft II. Air units named Valkyries appear in a single Heart of the Swarm mission, but they look and behave totally different and appear to be a separate unit.
  • Splash Damage: Their key strength — they tear up clumped units.
  • The Tease: Towards the player, albeit to a much lesser extent than the Medic.
  • The Worf Effect: Their introduction in the campaign in Brood War is to pit seven of them against a Mutalisk swarm that outnumbers them more than 2:1. The Valkyries win with usually five or six ships still flying.

"Ready to plunder."

An air-superiority assault fighter that can change into a ground-based walker to help out its allies in the dirt.

  • A Day in the Limelight: A Viking takes the center stage as the eponymous unit of Lost Viking, the arcade shooter in the Hyperion's cantina.
  • Anti-Air: Their flier mode is one of the most potent air-to-air forces in game, replacing the aging Wraith and Valkyrie units. Their missiles have considerable range and are especially powerful against armored targets while still useful against lighter ones. As a bonus, unlike the Valkyrie, they may land and engage ground targets, and are especially good against mechanized units (vehicles and robots essentially) .
  • Anti-Vehicle: Legacy Of The Void gave their walker mode a bonus against mechanical units to provide added incentive to use said mode once their Anti-Air is no longer necessary. Essentially, foot soldiers and Zerg don't count as mechanical, but robots and vehicles are fair game.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • A Gatling Good ground-walker might seem like a good idea to bolster your ground units, but they were fragile that you were better off sticking to their fighter-mode unless truly desperate (or certain of victory). One saying amongst the Starcraft community was "It's GG for somebody when a Terran player actually lands his Vikings." This was why they received buffs in an effort of make their ground mode worth using, including an unconditional boost to their Hit Points.
    • Early gameplay videos for the sequel, and their debut mission in Wings of Liberty made a big deal out of the Vikings being base raiders, able to land to slip by an opponent's anti-air defenses and attack, then lift off to flee when losing. In reality, the Viking's transformation was far too slow to reliably avoid anti-air fire, far too slow to escape if being attacked, and they were outclassed as raiders by Banshees, who have higher damage output, can cloak, and don't need to transform to attack and escape. Corrected with a Balance Buff giving them a hefty boost against mechanical units when on the ground, which works well against the Terran and Protoss worker units.
    • According to the lore, it takes a lot of training for most pilots to be able to properly and efficiently control a Viking in both its modes, and a lot of them die trying to master the vehicle.
  • Balance Buff: Again, Legacy Of The Void gave them a significant bonus against mechanical units when on the ground, boosting them from only 12 to "12 (+8 versus mechanical)". Upgrades provide an additional +1 against mechanical units on top of +1 against everything. This makes them dangerous against Terran or Protoss Workers, being able to 2-shot either when fully upgraded (assuming equal upgrades between players). Now they are a decent alternative to Banshees or Liberators if you have nothing else available to harass workers or machines, making them Not Completely Useless once their air superiority is no longer necessary. This Anti-Vehicle specialty makes them a Spiritual Successor of sorts to the cut Warhound unit.
  • Boring, but Practical: The ability to switch between air and ground modes at will makes the Viking perfect for grabbing bonus objectives and resource pickups in the campaign.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Their major weaknesses is that they must change modes based on if you want to engage air or ground targets. Their ground mode is isn't a major strength unless they are battling vehicles.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Lore for the series considers the Viking one of the greatest feats of engineering that humanity has ever produced, with unmatched versatility and the firepower to excel in both ground and aerial engagements. In general, they're talked up as a Master of All One-Man Army. In practice, they're just swift air superiority fighters who, if they don't have anything to shoot in the air, can convert into slow, clunky ground walkers, and they had mediocre stats either way until their ground form was buffed for an Anti-Vehicle niche.
  • Gatling Good: When in ground-walker mode.
  • Is This Thing Still On?:
    "By air or by land, all shall fall by my hand!... Wait, d-did I say that out loud?"
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Much like the unit it replaces, the Goliath, it's best as an anti-air unit but is also an effective ground support unit and does good damage for its cost. It's also a good base raider and has high versatility, given that it can be an air or ground unit and thus can transform to dodge enemy fire and adapt to whatever force the enemy is using. Legacy Of The Void helped give their ground mode a clear Anti-Vehicle niche and made them a more formidable raider against Terran and Protoss wokers.
  • Master of None: However, don't make the mistake of thinking them the answer to all your problems. For one thing, they're not particularly durable. They have only ground-to-ground and air-to-air weapons, forcing them to expose themselves to return firenote  and becoming in the process the second-most-vulnerable unit in the game. And transforming isn't exactly quick, so they can easily be destroyed during the process. This is partly why their walker mode was given a damage boost against mechanical targets in Legacy of the Void, but the Banshee still retains its niche as the dedicated ATG guerilla effective against any type of armor.
  • Military Mashup Machine: When a goliath and a wraith love each other very much, or they get drunk. Being they're called Vikings, they're also a successor of sorts to their relative, the Valkyrie frigate.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: The Hel's Angels give us a Transforming Mecha with a mercenary pirate raider inside.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Stated in lore to be difficult to master due to the possibility of being killed from the transformation systems.
  • Pirate: Again, the Hel's Angels Vikings are pirates for hire.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: They like to allude to this in their quotes.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Its aircraft mode is less flashy than its Mini-Mecha ground form, but a group of Vikings supporting your forces can give you air superiority over air units that a cluster of Marines can't handle.
  • Splash Damage: One of its purchaseable upgrades in the campaign.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Lanzer Torpedos are suspiciously similar in stats to the Protoss Scout's Anti-Matter Missiles making the Viking essentially a more economical and practical version of said Scout thanks to costing nearly half the resources (150M/75V vs 275M/125V for the retired SC1 Scout) and having around twice the missile range. The Wings of Liberty campaign even has a Ripwave Missiles upgrade for them that employs anti-matter to give it Splash Damage.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Averted. Switching from air to ground, or the opposite, takes a few seconds, giving his enemies time to destroy it before transformation is complete.
  • Transforming Mecha: From air-to-air fighter-jet to ground-to-ground combat walker.
  • Violation of Common Sense: For balance reasons, they may not fire their missiles in ground walker mode even though their rocket pods are still exposed. Conversely, their Gattling guns are not usable in flier mode (they're tucked away), when mounting them at a fixed postion would let them contribute to air-to-air firepower (again, for balance sake).
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Their Ripwave Missile enhancements use antimatter to deal Splash Damage around a small radius, making Vikings devastating against clusters of fliers like Mutalisks. Curiously, their Lanzer Torpedos share the same statistics as Protoss Scout Antimatter Missiles against armored targets, but there isn't any canon about a connection between the two.

"Engines screaming."

A Terran bombardment craft equipped with a cloaking field, it fires barrages of missiles at ground targets, but can't attack air units.

  • Achilles' Heel: A Banshee rush or diversionary force can be spotted by anything with True Sight. This goes double for enemy Terran missile turrets, which can spot Banshees and shoot them down.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Despite in-game lore stating explicitly that they can't operate in space (which you'd expect from a rotary-wing aircraft), they can still be deployed on maps using the Space tileset, like Daybreak and Antiga Shipyard. Word of God states that some Banshees were fitted with propulsors for space operations.
  • Crutch Character: Banshees are sometimes rushed as an unusual tactic, but this only works if an opponent hasn't scouted enough to see it coming and has no stealth-detection methods. A player who falls victim to a Banshee rush usually learns their lesson quickly.
  • Death from Above: Banshees are the main Terran air-to-ground attacker.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: One of its Stop Poking Me! quotes:
    "In space, everybody can hear me scream... Get it? 'Cause I'm a Banshee?"
  • Expy: It is very similar to the "Aerospatiale SA-2 Samson" from Avatar as well as many a Future Copter in general.
  • Future Copter: Uses a twin-turbofan design to achieve lift, and acts as the Terran's helicopter gunship for surgical attacks against valuable ground targets.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: One of the pieces of backstory notes that the Banshee was made partly as an economical sucessor to the Wraith (taking an anti-ground-only role) and not fitted for space travel, yet they have the exact same cost as the Brood War Wraith and can still be used on the space platform tileset due to being able to use "propulsors".
  • Glass Cannon: Zigzagged, 140 HP isn't abysmally low, but anti-air specialists are still dangerous for them and they lack native armor points to soften the damage they receive. Hyperflight Rotors help their survival by letting them also be a Fragile Speedster and more easily flee from danger.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Inherits the Wraith's cloaking field. The campaign states the Dominion sends out recovery teams every time a Banshee crashes to prevent it from falling into their enemies' hands.
  • Logical Weakness: A flier who's missile pods are angled for optimum delivery to ground targets will naturally have difficulty engaging other fliers. Also, helicopters are mainly designed for lower-altitude flights so it's natural that ATA units will have an advantage fighting them, considering said units are also worthy of space travel.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: An unusual variant in that the Banshee is an air-to-ground unit, so it fires multiple homing missiles at a point on the ground.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Banshee pilot's quite a looker and wears a skin-tight bodysuit, with particular emphasis on the bust.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Downplayed, as the Banshee was a perfectly viable base harassment chopper in throughout Starcraft II and has a very good attack power against ground and can cloak. It started competing with the Battlecruiser when the latter gained the Tactical Jump ability to enable it to safely retreat from an unfavorable battle or teleport in for a sudden strike. The Battlecruiser's role as a durable but slow base raider rather than a fragile but quick attack chopper led to the Battlecruiser seeing more frequent play. The Battlecruiser is also equipped with weak air-to-air batteries to fend off mild airborne attacks. Additionally, the Viking's ground assault mode was buffed tremendously against Mechanical targets, making it potent against most Protoss and Terrans units as well as their worker units.
  • Splash Damage: Used to deal it at all times, but now it only appears in the single-player campaign.

"Raven on-line."

A support craft piloted by an onboard art equipped with on-board construction facilities that allow it to manufacture machines for various purposes in combat. It replaces the Science Vessel as the Terran's mobile detector/support flier.

  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: To an almost painful extent.
    Raven: This-ve-ssel-will-com-ply.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Subverted, but also parodied. The sophistication of the AI housed inside has prompted a number of people in-universe to raise concerns about this becoming an issue, but so far there have been no recorded incidents to back this up. In its Stop Poking Me! quotes, however, it makes references to HAL-9000 and GLaDOS, two A.I.s who did end up going rogue.
  • Beam-O-War: The Point Defense Drone, deployed by the Raven, uses a small laser blast to shoot down enemy projectiles. This can include other energy projectiles, such as those fired by protoss weaponry.
  • Benevolent A.I.
  • Clever Crows: A spacecraft piloted by an intelligent AI program with functions and combat tools designed for smart and/or cunning combat decisions bearing the name of a crow's cousin. Like the animal family, it has the ability to make tools on the fly, primarily sentry turrets and drones. It even has a unique upgrade called Corvid Reactor.
    • Creepy Crows: An unfortunate effect of the Raven's all too robotic voice.
  • Cool Starship: The most advanced terran spacecrafts ever built.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: The Anti-Armor Missile reduces armor of enemy units in a small radius, increasing the damage they take. It also prevents Protoss units from regenerating their shields.
  • Drone Deployer: His entire MO.
  • EMP: The Interference Matrix ability works on a fairly similar principle to an EMP blast, disabling the target mechanical or psionic unit for 8 seconds. Interestingly, it can pause Archons in the process of merging.
  • Interpretative Character: The Raven seems to get a new ability set in each appearance and major gameplay patch. The only real constant is that it's a Squishy Wizard UAV that can be used for surveillance, and can deploy drones, missiles, and turrets whose exact properties vary on a whim - and even that doesn't apply to Matt Horner's Theia Ravens in Co-op Missions.
  • Mobile Factory: Utilizes Nanotechnology to assemble everything it deploys.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Ironically, the same unit it replaced in multiplayer often winds up replacing it back in the campaign. While the Raven's abilities can be useful, ultimately it's a grab-bag of niche uses that requires precision to use properly and effectively. Meanwhile, the Science Vessel comes with the ability to repair mechanical units the same way a Medic heals biological ones, which is much simpler to use and makes a largely Factory/Starport-based army build viable in ways the Raven just can't.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Interference Matrix works on a similar principle to Lockdown, disabling a mechanical unit's attack and abilities (but not movement this time). As an added bonus, it also works against Psionic units like a Silence spell so it's also useful against Zerg, unlike Lockdown.
  • True Sight: Can detect burrowed and cloaked units.

"Ready for dust-off."

The Dropship of the old armada has been equipped with the Medic's healing abilities to allow it to heal troops on the move more efficiently.

  • Artificial Gravity: Can pick up or deploy units without landing via gravity tube.
  • Berserk Button: A Medivac pilot once killed two Marines due to them repeatedly calling the Medivac a "Heal Bus".
  • Black Comedy: Yup.
    Hurry up! What, are you missing a leg or something? (Beat) Oh.
    Attention passengers, the local time... doesn't matter because you'll all be dead soon anyway.
    Welcome aboard. Are you an organ donor?
  • Composite Character: They're a combination of Medics and Dropships from the first installment.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: With Medics in the campaign. The Medic's armory upgrades a) allow her to heal infantry at a faster rate for less energy, and b) upgrade her to a basic unit so she can be built at a Barracks without a Tech Lab, allowing the player to mass-produce Medics with a Reactor together with Marines. The Medivac is already a basic unit, but her armory upgrades allow her to a) heal two units at once (although each unit drains energy) and b) unload troops at the same speed as the Hercules, see further down the page.
  • Dr. Jerk: The pilot is definitely more sarcastic and irritable than her ground counterpart, even before you reach her Stop Poking Me! point.
  • Drop Ship: In-universe, they used to be called this before being upgraded with on-board medical systems. In game, they act as a combination of this and The Medic.
  • Easy Logistics: Not only can they also easily heal Protoss and Zerg biological units like the Medic, they can do it with a beam while hovering the the air.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Has similar advanced medical technology to the Medic. Again, this tech is advanced enough to easily treat Zerg or Protoss patients in contrast to how allegedly inferior Terran tech is to Protoss tech.
  • In-Series Nickname: They're called "heal buses" by Marines. Some pilots don't take kindly to it — to the point it's mentioned in Wings of Liberty that one Medivac pilot killed several Marines for using the term.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Uh, why are you boys all wearing red shirts anyway?"
  • Magic from Technology: Not reallynote , but the pilot sure has fun with this trope.
    The power of Medivac compels you!
  • The Medic: Takes over this role from the ground unit from the first game.
  • Nitro Boost: Afterburners can provide temporary speed boost.
  • Shoot the Medic First: If an enemy Medivac drops a raiding party of Marines and Marauders, destroy the Medivac first for this reason (and to deny them an easy evac when things get too hot).
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The can't fight, but they're necessary for any kind of tactical insertion of Marines and Marauders and they're extremely useful for keeping infantry balls alive. They also have the added avantage of being able to hover above infantry out of the way, a feature the Medic lacks.
  • Support Party Member: They bring transportation and healing capabilities but zero firepower.
  • Underside Ride: How it transports Thors and Siege tanks in siege mode.
  • Units Not to Scale: In Wings of Liberty they were somehow able to carry Thors, though only one each. HotS added a custom animation where the Thor folds up into a (rough) box and is towed around beneath the Medivac.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Hellbats can be healed but Hellions cannot. This one can cause head-scratching as a Hellion is more fragile than a Marauder so healing would still be useful for the driver due to their presumably infantry-like armor.

"Aye, laddie!"

A massive dropship, it can single-handedly carry an entire army into battle, having enough room to carry more than three times as many troops as a Medivac. In the Wings of Liberty campaign, it's explained they're converted cargo freighters. Like the Battlecruiser, they require a Fusion Core to construct, and are nearly as well protected, but much faster.

  • Balance Buff: Swann gets them in Co-op Mode in Legacy of the Void, and since they're his main dropships, they got a heavy cost reduction from the campaign to make them more practical.
  • Boring Yet Practical: It does nothing except be a very good transport; but, it's a very good transport. A single one can carry a squad into battle, two or three can carry your entire army, and they have huge HP and armor to survive anti-air fire as they disembark their cargo, which they do in moments thanks to their passive ability that greatly speeds up the drop rate of units inside. If not for the fact Medivacs can heal, there'd be little reason to use them over the Hercules.
  • Brave Scot: The pilot has a Scottish accent as thick as a haggis, and is ultimately both of these tropes. He also happens to be a Fiery Redhead.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: They lie at the very top of the tech tree, with the same tech requirements as Battlecruisers, so just getting to them needs a lot of time and resources, at which point building them takes time and resources. However, once they're out they're very effective transports.
  • Escape Pod: Units inside survive to be deployed should the Hercules be destroyed.
  • Stone Wall: 500 HP and 3 armor, and while not among the fastest units, it moves as a decent clip, so unless you run it into a half-dozen anti-air turrets, its cargo units will get to their destination.
  • Teleportation: In Co-op Mode in Legacy of the Void, they can use Warp Jump to teleport anywhere on the map, letting the player's forces reinforce a position instantly.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Played for Laughs, When taking fire off screen, they threaten in a subdued tone to "kill you" if they die.

"Liberation is at hand."

The Terrans' new air unit for Legacy of the Void, the Liberator is an AA splash damage unit that can shifts into an anti-ground mode to deliver powerful single-target payloads to ground targets.

  • Alternate Company Equivalent: In-universe. The Dominion's Liberator gunships were inspired by the UED's Valkyrie frigates, which also specialized in air-to-air splash damage.
  • Artistic License – Physics: A surprising subversion. Unlike most attacking units, it cannot pivot with lightning reflexes and just attack anything without hesitation. It must actually have its shelling zone manually coordinated, like with real-life artillery.
  • Composite Character: Combines the Valkyrie's aerial splash damage with the Siege Tank's siege attacks for ground units, with the ability to switch between anti-air and anti-ground like the Viking.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Its air-to-ground attack is second to none, but it's not able to target structures in Melee and thus toggle the Instant-Win Condition (unless your opponent quits). Also, if one can bypass its killzone the Liberator is as good as dead. Lampshaded in one of the Stop Poking Me! quotes:
    If there's a piece of ground you want secure, my Liberator can handle it. Anywhere around it? You're kind of on you own.
  • Crosshair Aware: Both friends and foes can see the Liberator's killzone as a dotted circle. While deploying its cannon, the killzone is initially marked by a very visible team-colored crosshair that screams "don't stand here".
  • Dual Mode Unit: A mobile missile battery or a stationary artillery platform.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: Their missiles chew up clumped air units.
  • Necessary Drawback: The killzone mechanic from a balance perspective as simply allowing the ship to attack ground targets would make their weaponry way too powerful and even obsolete Siege Tanks. Same thing with allowing them to even attack structures because their DPS is colossal, and buildings can not dodge out of the killzone.
  • Patriotic Fervor: The weapons are named after The American Revolution, delivers freedom through said weapons, quotes Team America: World Police... About as 'Murican as it can get without a stars-and-stripes paint job.
  • Siege Engines: Provides an aerial alternative to the Siege Tank for a long-range ground attacker, as long as you don't mind not being able to hit buildings. They can, however, do the next best thing by aiming their cannons at a mineral line and shutting down the opponent's economy by one-shotting any worker that tries to gather resources.
  • Remember the New Guy?: They were added in Legacy of the Void as gunships developed by Dominion, despite the fact that in previous two games Dominion went through two separate zerg invasions and multiple lesser conflicts, with Liberators nowhere to be seen.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Liberators are not allowed to fire their cannon upon buildings. There is no story explanation for why this is so, aside from their function being to "liberate" an area of ground. (Nova's Liberators in Covert Ops and Co-op Missions can attack buildings, but require an upgrade to do so in the latter.) This isn't a new balance mechanic however. Spider Mines were never allowed to attack buildings, nor were some spells (you may not Irradiate Zerg structures).
  • The Workhorse: It quickly became one of the staples of terran gameplay.

"Battlecruiser operational."

The Terran capital ships, massive flying vessels with a lot of firepower and costing a lot of resources. If there's an important Terran character in the single-player, they're either commanding a Battlecruiser or serve under someone who does.

  • The Alcoholic: The captain, in the sequel.
    Battlecruiser Captain: The Yamato is loaded, and so am I...
    Battlecruiser Captain: I have an announcement: I am drunk!
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In the first game. Battlecruisers attacked at a very slow rate with one shot per attack, so unless you mass-produced them for the use of their Yamato Cannon ability, they didn't live up to their mineral and vespene costs. Averted from Starcraft II onwards; although they are still most useful when produced in numbers for their Yamato Cannons, Battlecruisers now attack with firestorms of attritional lasers, so they can no longer be downed by massed ground units without dedicated Medivac support. Legacy Of The Void further boosted the Cruiser's viability by giving them the "Tactical Jump" to move to virtually any location at will; this made the Battlecruiser into an effective and durable base harassment tool that could teleport away once the enemy responded to the invader.
  • Beam Spam: In the original game, Battlecruisers attacked slowly but did high damage (despite supposedly being armed with a battery of lasers). The sequel takes them the exact opposite direction, giving them low base damage but very high attack speed, resulting in this trope.
  • Cool Old Guy: The captain in the Battlecruiser's portrait has white hair and his share of wrinkles but still kicks ass.
  • Deflector Shields: You can give them the Science Vessel's Defense Matrix ability as an Armory upgrade in the Wings of Liberty Campaign.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Became the second Terran unit to avert this trope when Legacy of the Void arrived, in order to reimagine the unit as a durable base raider with teleportation to appear anywhere on the map.
  • Electronic Eye: The captain has one in Starcraft II, among other enhancements.
  • Expy: The unit portrait is one of Captain Henry Gloval from Robotech, at least for 1 and Brood War.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Among other things, they're staffed by a considerable number of officers and have multiple batteries on board, but the melee Battlecruisers don't have this much firepower for balance sake. The Hyperion averts this in the third mission of Wings of Liberty (Zero Hour) by carpeting entire areas in LASER-fire, but the cruiser isn't under your control and it's a wonder Raynor doesn't call in the Hyperion a bit more often aside from the risk of losing their base of operations.
    • Subverted in terms of Tactical Jump, While Protoss Carriers can't direcly perform a similar maneuver and it may be presumed the Protoss have similar technologies, the Protoss already have Strategic Recall from any Nexus or an Arbiter's/Mothership's offensive Recall to replicate a Tactical Jump and may use them on any unit. Additionally, Tactical Jump allows Battlecruisers to emulate how they're used in cutscene movies, thanks to their the ability to retreat when outmatched and fire upon pursuing units on the move.
  • Gratuitous Russian: Averted, but the pilot still has a definite Russian accent.
  • Hidden Depths: Apparently, the captain plays World of Warcraft.
    Battlecruiser Captain: Let's hurry up and finish this attack. It's raid night.
  • Ineffectual Loner: A single unsupported Battlecruiser isn't accomplishing much on its own (even with its Yamato Cannon). Either bring them in fleet or protect it with a lot of other units as it does it job leveling things.
  • The Juggernaut:
    • The Gorgon-class Battlecruisers encountered in Heart Of The Swarm. They cannot be damaged by any units or abilities (even from Kerrigan) and can only be destroyed by using a Scourge Nest, which releases an entire swarm of Scourges on them. And it's stated the nests have to release everything just to destroy one of them.
    • The Hyperion to a lesser extent. It's a relatively ancient Battlecruiser but Raynor's Raiders modified it extensively, and its inefficiencies were corrected thanks to a Protoss crystal onboad to more than satisfy power demands and correct issues with older hardware (a convenient side effect of Egon studying the crystal).
  • Logical Weakness: If you've read the lore, small, more maneuverable fighters (Wraiths) were created as a countermeasure against capital ships, so it's not a stretch similar units like Vikings, Void Rays, or Corruptors are the main counter to the lumbering Battlecruisers. This is even more apparent in II because their ATA Laser Batteries are weaker against any flying units.
  • Lovable Coward: If they come under attack when they are offscreen, they'll say either "It's a trap!" or "Abandon ship!"
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Missile Pods in StarCraft II.
  • Mascot Mook: In universe, if there's a significant Terran war effort, you can bet a fleet of Battlecruisers will be backing up ground forces and aerial vessels. If there is an important Terran leader on the battlefield, chances are they have a Battlecruiser as their command ship. Ironically in gameplay, it wasn't until Legacy of the Void that they finally shed their Awesome, but Impractical history thanks to Tactical Jump allowing them to teleport to virtually anywhere on a map.
  • Made of Iron: In StarCraft I they're the only unit able to survive a direct hit from a nuclear missile, having exactly as much HP as the missile does damage, along with 3 points of armor. Granted, unless you get them to an SCV quickly they won't last long after that.
  • Mighty Glacier: With their high damage output a fleet of them can level a base and the army defending it... once they get there that is. Tactical Jump helps with that, but also comes with a pretty lengthy cooldown, forcing the player to use it judiciously.
  • Military Mashup Machine: When you cross a heavy WorldWarII bomber with a battleship and give it space-worthiness, you might end up with something like one of the Terran Battlecruiser models.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: A single little marine piddling away at the Battlecruiser with his rifle is enough to get the captain to order "Abandon Ship!"
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: Jackson's Revenge has the lore of being a Pirate-Battlecruiser, the cruiser itself dating back to the Terran Confederacy. It has gatling cannons to further add to its visual flair.
  • Nuke 'em: According to fluff, the Yamato Cannon works by using a specialized reactor to focus a controlled nuclear detonation into a plasma blast.
  • Pirate: Once again, Jackson's Revenge is a space-faring pirate ship.
  • Slow Laser: Their laser batteries fire slower-than-light projectiles, which in turn count as projectile attacks that can be shot down by a point defense drone. Don't ask how that works.
  • Space Plane: Has the feel of a heavy bomber outfitted with Laser Batteries for machine gun nests. They can also be equipped with a Missile Barrage system in the Wings of Liberty campaign, for Anti-Air defense.
  • Splash Damage: Missile Pods deal splash damage to air units.
  • Teleportation: In Legacy of the Void they get a Warp Jump ability to instantly teleport across the map.
  • Units Not to Scale/Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the lore they're basically flying city-sized Battlestars armed with Beam Spam and More Dakka to singlehandedly take on swarms of Zerg. In-game they're certainly one of the largest units, but still not to scale, did weaker damage (in StarCraft I they only fired a slow and single shot with high damage, in StarCraft II they had low base damage but attacking very quickly) and are smaller than some buildings.
  • Violation of Common Sense: For no immediately apparent reason, some incarnations of the Battlecruiser have lower-power ATA Laser Batteries installed compared with their more powerful ATS Laser Batteries. This is implemented for melee-balance reasons primarily, serving as a subtle hint that one of their intended counters is Anti-Armor fliers.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The iconic Yamato Cannon, inspired by the anime that features the original Wave Motion Gun. It's easier to list stuff that it won't kill outright than stuff that it will, and that list goes simply: "Archons, Carriers, Colossi, enemy Battlecruisers, Immortals, Motherships, Ultralisks, Tempests, Void Rays and Thors."

Special Terran units


A warbot operated by Dominion forces, it has variable weapon systems. Raynor activates it to help with some guards during a raid on a Dominion facility.

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The T82 Missile Pods.
  • BFGs: The standard 120mm cannon.
  • Brought Down to Badass: In Co-op mode, Swann can call down a force of them with his Combat Drop, and they're quite nerfed from the campaign where the A.R.E.S. had 2500 HP and higher attack power. But "nerf" is relative; their stats remain high and they're basically Thors with timed life.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Though what the name stands for is unknown.
  • Humongous Mecha: It's just barely smaller than a Thor.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Napalm Burninator is a flamethrower.
  • Mighty Glacier: Very high offensive power but poor movement speed. The only thing stopping it from clearing the rest of the level is its timed life and the Hybrid.
  • One-Man Army: Has huge power and HP and can kill anything you pit it against. There's an objective for killing the Brutalisk with it in the level you find it in, and it's strong enough to do it if it hasn't been too heavily damaged beforehand.
  • Stance System: When activated, Raynor/the player has to choose one of three weapons systems to activate — an anti-personnel flamethrower (deals bonus damage to light enemies), anti-armor missile pods (deals bonus damage to armored enemies), or all-purpose cannons (no damage bonuses, but fires faster than the other two).
  • The Worf Effect: After seeing one of these things clear out a cargo bay full of enemies with no difficulty, the Hybrid takes on another warbot one-on-one and destroys it in under a minute.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: A second one is sent against the Hybrid as the Raiders flee the facility to buy them time to escape.


A Terran gunship employed by the Defenders of Man.

  • Crosshair Aware: Its missile target points are painted with large crosshairs, giving Nova time to avoid them.
  • Desperation Attack: When low on HP in unveils its laser cannon and starts firing it rapidly.
  • Final Boss: Of "The Escape," the first level of the Covert Ops DLC.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Fires missiles in spread patterns as its primary attack.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Boasts a huge, long-range laser cannon on its front.

    The Odin

A prototype Thor, it was built by the Dominion and to be used as a demonstration of their firepower. It worked, when Raynor's Raiders took control of it to raid Korhal.

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: It does bonus damage against buildings and it can gain one for his air attacks if you upgrade the vehicles weapons at the armory.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: This thing makes Thors look puny.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Which is why Thors are used instead of the Odin. The Raiders leave it behind on Korhal since it takes far too many resources to maintain and transport, meaning the Dominion is able to repair it and send it against the Zerg and the Raiders during the invasion of Korhal.
  • BFG: Even bigger than the Thor's.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: You probably forgot about it once you finished Media Blitz. Mengsk did not.
  • The Dragon: It guards the imperial palace on Korhal in Heart of the Swarm, and is Mengsk's final gambit against Raynor and Kerrigan to stop them.
  • Final Boss: In a sense, in Heart of the Swarm. It's Mengsk's final gambit against Raynor and Kerrigan, and the worst is passed once you destroy it.
  • Irony: The prototype of an Anti-Air mecha is much better at dealing with ground units than with air ones. You can tell the designers skimped on this attribute by equipping it with the dated Hellfire Missiles that were standard on Goliaths.
  • More Dakka: Unlike the Thor which strikes a single target, its Barrage hits over an area of effect.
  • Mighty Glacier: Massive power...not so impressive movement speed.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Literally. The generic pilot for the Odin has a large white beard and mustache with an eyepatch over his left eye. In other words, the Odin's pilot looks like, well, Odin.
    • The Odin uses the original Thor model, when it was so large it had to be built by SCVs instead of Factories.
  • Humongous Mecha: It's the size of a Command Center.
  • Nuke 'em: It can carry nuclear missiles, as Tychus finds out in Engine of Destruction.
  • Oh, Crap!: This is Raynor's reaction when it gets deployed against him.
  • One-Man Army: 2500 HP, 80 damage attacks to ground units (With a small Splash Damage radius), 100 to buildings, 60 to air units, its weapons have a higher rate of fire than a Thor's, and it has a 75 energy area-of-effect artillery barrage that's powerful enough to destroy buildings. If you accompany it with Science Vessels and/or SCVs for repairs, it can scour the entire map all on its lonesome. The only other things in the entire trilogy that can rival its power is Xel'naga Kerrigan, who is a Physical God, and the Leviathan, one of the most powerful Zerg breeds in existence. And in both cases it's still a very close fight.
  • Splash Damage: Its ground attack deals it in a small radius.
  • Super Prototype: Justified. The Odin is far more powerful than Thors, its one weakness being heavy anti-air opposition which a handful of escort ships can handle fine. The justification is that the Odin is much more expensive to maintain and quite difficult to transport due to its size, so mass production would be inefficient. As powerful as it is, the Odin is really just a showpiece.
  • Weapon of Choice: The Odin is heavily associated with Tychus, not only by having piloted it in two missions in Wings of Liberty, but by also having both his Co-Op and Heroes of the Storm incarnations have an ability that calls up the Odin.
  • Wham Line: Not from the Odin itself, but from Mengsk.
    "Remember this, Raynor? It was nice of your criminal partner to leave it here for me."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Odin would have come in handy on several missions after Media Blitz, including the final mission of the campaign. Why didn't you have it? Because the Raiders had to abandon it on Korhal, where Mengsk got a hold of it and incorporated it into his army. See Wham Line above.


A huge transforming mech deployed by the Dominion during their siege of the Umojan facility, guarding the shuttle bay to prevent anyone (especially Raynor and Kerrigan) from escaping. Kerrigan is forced to battle it to reach Raynor's ship.

  • Flunky Boss: While it's in the air, it calls down drop-pods of marines to harass you.
  • Gatling Good: Retains the Viking's gatling cannons on the ground.
  • Humongous Mecha: It's roughly the size of the Odin in-game, though Units Not to Scale should be kept in mind.
  • King Mook: To the Viking.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: On the ground, periodically designates an area of the boss arena and blows it sky high. In the air, strafes the arena in a straight line.
  • More Dakka: This thing's guns are a fair bit bigger than the standard.
  • Transforming Mecha: Ground-to-air, like the regular Viking, but designed as a boss mechanic instead of a unit ability.
  • Warm-Up Boss: It's there to get you used to the idea of fighting a boss enemy with Kerrigan, so when you fight the pack leaders on Zerus, you're familiar with the concept.

A class of Terran battlecruiser, Gorgons are substantially larger and more powerful than their predecessors, the Minotaur and Behemoth classes.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: In "Fire in the Sky", a Gorgon will slowly move from Warfield's compound to Kerrigan's hive cluster, crushing anything in its way. The player has to awaken Scourge Nests to destroy the Gorgon, at which point Warfield deploys another and the cycle repeats.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: The ones that appear in "Fire in the Sky" in Heart of the Swarm are invincible to normal attacks, forcing the player to use the Scourge Nests to bring them down.
  • Death from Above: Whenever they appear in missions, they fly high over enemies raining down a barrage of laser fire.
  • Degraded Boss: From completely invincible enemies (except from massive amount of Scourges sent at them) in Heart of the Swarm, to merely a One-Man Army in Covert Ops.
  • Mighty Glacier: They're powerful enough to bring down entire armies and have monstrous HP, but move very, very slowly.
  • One-Man Army: A single Gorgon is enough to eradicate a substantial Zerg presence in the Bone Trench on Char. Kerrigan notes that they're so big, General Warfield would only be able to deploy one into the trench at a time; Zagara glumly notes that one is all he needs. In Covert Ops, a Gorgon can strafe a line of enemies and wipe all of them out, opposition which will include multiple Stalkers, Void Rays, and even Carriers and Wrathwalkers.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In Heart of the Swarm, the otherwise invincible Gorgons are brought down by a few flocks of Scourge.


An experimental Terran mech under development by the Dominion. It is seen in the last mission of Covert Ops where it serves as the Final Boss of the campaign.

  • Anti-Armor: Its railgun deals double damage to armored units.
  • Arm Cannon: Its railgun and flamethrower are mounted on its arms.
  • Final Boss: Of the entire campaign; the subsequent sequence consists of four weakened Troopers, and then a Zero-Effort Boss killed in one attack.
  • Final-Exam Boss: All of its gimmicks are ones used by earlier enemies in the campaign.
  • Flunky Boss: Can deploy attack drones.
  • Kill It with Fire: Wields a flamethrower.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As the mission continues it powers up more systems to be stronger with more weapons.
  • Transforming Mecha: It can transform into a slower but mobile assault form with a thermal laser as its main weapon).

    Tauren Marine
"Milked up and good to go!"

An April Fools joke made by Blizzard during the development of Wings of Liberty. The "lore" is that the Terran Confederacy found Azeroth on an expedition and, impressed by the physical prowess of the Taurens, convinced many of them to enlist in the Marine Corps.

  • Bayonet Ya: Their rifles have curved energy blades mounted on the front.
  • Brick Joke: An early Easter Egg in Wings of Liberty has the Tauren Marine run into an outhouse, which launches into space. In Legacy of the Void, another Easter Egg has the outhouse land, and the Tauren emerges as a controllable unit.
  • BFG: They wield 88mm Impala Rifles.
  • Crossover: With the Warcraft series.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Legacy of the Void has one join you for one mission as an Easter Egg.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Virtually every line they have is a cow pun.
  • Lightning Bruiser: They move fast, have 10 armor, deal 24 damage, and have 250 HP with regeneration. In their release video, five of them effortlessly destroy a Terran base and four times their number in defending forces in under a minute.
  • A Load of Bull: As with the Taurens, they're bovine humanoids.
  • One-Man Army: Again; five of them destroy a base and its defenders in under a minute. With their stats, one could have done the job by itself, just not as quickly.
  • Purposely Overpowered: They're likely as strong as they are to make it clear they're not really going to be in the game, and to make their debut more impressive.

"Beware the Evil Terra-Tron!!! HE DOES NOT LIKE YOU!!!"

An April Fools joke made by Blizzard during the development of Wings of Liberty. The "lore" is that it combines from the player's buildings to defend against enemies if you have no units left. It returned as the Final Boss of the Lost Viking arcade game.

  • Arm Cannon: Made from a Ghost Academy.
  • BFG: And as such, its cannon is huge.
  • Bullet Hell: The' 'Lost Viking'' game as a whole is this, but Terra-Tron takes it to a sadistic new level.
  • Chainsaw Good: Wields a buzzsaw blade on its left arm, formed from a Starport.
  • Combining Mecha: It merges from various buildings to form a giant robot.
  • Deadly Disc: In the Lost Viking game, it flings its saw blade around the arena.
  • Evil Is Petty: The above quote is the only reason given for why the Terra-Tron is trying to destroy your lost little Viking — he doesn't like you.
  • Final Boss: Of Lost Viking.
  • Humongous Mecha: It has Bunkers for feet and a Planetary Fortress for a head.
  • Joke Character: One so obvious that even if it wasn't showcased on April 1st, no one could possibly think it was legit.
  • Speaks in Shout-Outs: Every line it has is a reference to some sort of media involving robots. It quotes Transformers, Short Circuit, Beast Wars, Power Rangers, it has a voice like Optimus Prime, and was designed by Ron Volt, a reference to Voltron.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Its arm cannon fires out a long, continuous laser beam, similar to the laser drill in the mission The Dig.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: