Other Starcraft heartwarming moments:
- Artanis and Zeratul were Those Two Guys from the Protoss faction during the Brood War, and it's evident that their friendship is still as strong as it was four years ago.Artanis: En'Taro Tassadar, old friend.Zeratul: En'Taro Artanis, brother.
- Crosses over into a Tear Jerker when you realize that this was their last exchange before Zeratul died by his hand.
- Another proof of their strong friendship: just before Artanis launch his invasion, Zeratul appears on Artanis' ship with his warning and Selendis quickly orders Zeratul's arrest. Artanis' reaction: he orders his Zealots and especially Selendis to stop before they shred Zeratul to pieces, and he is even willingly to hear the Nerazim out. But as many lives has been sacrificed already for the hope to reclaim Aiur, the Hierarch carries on with the invasion. Nevertheless, Zeratul is free to stay with the Daelaam unharmed, thanks to Artanis' intervention.
- Zeratul's final act. Of all the major Protoss characters in the series, probably none has been more put upon than Zeratul. It was him killing a cerebrate that briefly linked his mind with the Overmind's, betraying the location of Aiur, leading to the world being overrun. Then, after being tricked into working with the Qo B and playing a part in the murder of Aldaris, he would be forced to kill his beloved Matriarch Razsagal in order to keep her from the Qo B's clutches. That's a lot of guilt to carry for one person. And that's not to mention how reviled he is by other Protoss, Nerazim and Khalai alike, for the all the harm he has wrought. But in saving Artanis, he single-handedly ensured his people would be free. In saving his friend, he is able to play a crucial role in fixing all the damage from his past mistakes and failures, and ushering the Protoss into a new age of unity, which is what he wanted all along.
- The determination and sorrow with which Zeratul utters "My life for Aiur" can't be understated either. For most players, the line was, in real life, a decades-old meme, but that exchange showed just how much that battle cry really means to the Protoss, even those that had been exiled for centuries.
- Rohana is quick to remind Artanis that messing with an "inferior species" is strictly forbidden by the statutes of Protoss law, and questions his decision to aid the Terrans. Artanis replies by firmly insisting that the Terrans are not inferior.
- This is especially gratifying to fans who remember his attitude from Brood War, where he was quick to dismiss the Terrans as inconsequential before Zeratul advised otherwise. He apparently took that advice to heart. It also shows his character development from a rash, young protoss shooting off his mouth without due thinking (as he had prior experience with the Terrans in the original Starcraft, being the Executor in that campaign), to a calm, young leader who weighs his decisions carefully, as they concern the fate of his people.
- Rohana's characterization is heartwarming in itself. She is initially intolerant and bigoted toward the Terrans and the other Protoss factions, reflecting the mindset of the time period she was born in. Yet as the campaign continues and Artanis repeatedly reminds her that times have changed, she makes a noticeable effort to adapt to the more tolerant viewpoint the Protoss have developed since she was put into stasis. Furthermore, it's clear that she adapts this new attitude not because she's forced to, but because she wants to. Artanis didn't need to twist her arm to make her change; she had the maturity to embrace this now outlook on her own.
- Raynor's simple exchange with Artanis when he requests the Keystone.Raynor: If Zeratul wanted you to have it, then take it. It's yours.
- "It is your custom to shake the hand of a friend. Is it not?" Artanis then turns his hand over to reveal Zeratul's warp blade sheath.
Artanis: Death is the fate of all warriors. A fate we too may soon embrace.Raynor: Fate ain't written, Artanis. Way I see it, if Zeratul believed you could make a difference in all this, then this fight's just begun.
- This cannot be understated. Zeratul is gone, but by extending his hand, he's allowing Raynor to show his respect to Zeratul as well.
- Just the fact that Artanis is being respectful to terran customs is heartwarming in itself. Even if Raynor had to subtly turn his hand the right way, as his was palm up.
- Artanis also openly refers to the fallen marines Raynor is paying final respects to as "warriors", showing that he realizes the Terrans and Protoss really are Not So Different.
- The fact that Artanis is even there at all. At this point in the campaign, the Protoss are in a pretty damn big rush. Amon's minions are running amok throughout the sector, most of their people have been enslaved, and depending on your choices, the Nerazim may still need rescuing from Shakuras. One wouldn't blame Artanis for wanting to show up, grab the keystone, and book it. But instead, he takes time out of his cause to descend to the surface of Korhal and stand alongside Raynor as they both pay the fallen Terran soldiers respects.
- Raynor giving Artanis a subtle Dare to Be Badass. Not just the line itself, but the fact that he believes in Artanis because Zeratul did.
- In the cutscene after the Korhal missions, Raynor comments that not even the zerg did as much damage to the city, referring to Kerrigan's invasion at the end of Heart of the Swarm. Kerrigan limited the destruction her swarm inflicted, keeping her promise to Valerian despite her bad blood with his father and showing how she was regaining her humanity and empathy, a sharp contrast to how heartless and backstabbing she was in Brood War.
- Back in Brood War, the Dark Templar aided the Khala Protoss in spite of years of violence and animosity between the two factions. In Starcraft II, the Dark Templar suffer an even greater calamity when their homeworld is overrun and the majority of their people are slaughtered. But just when they are on the verge of annihilation, the Khala Protoss come charging in aboard the Spear of Adun, and their former oppressors rescue them from certain death, returning the kindness the Dark Templar showed them in their Darkest Hour.
- As the final battle is about to begin, Artanis gives this declaration."En Taro Adun! En Taro Tassadar! En Taro Zeratul!"
- For a bit of context, "En Taro" means "in the name of" and is usually reserved for great fallen heroes of the Protoss:
- Adun is an ancient Protoss warrior who was charged with hunting down the Nerazim, but instead chose a more progressive option and taught them to hide, ensuring they would live to pass on their cerebrate-killing knowledge to Tassadar
- Tassadar is the hero of the original Starcraft who sacrificed himself to obliterate the Overmind.
- Zeratul... freed Artanis from the corrupted khala at the cost of his own life. An act which, in addition to saving his friend, also assured the salvation of the Protoss. Yes, Zeratul truly does deserve to be counted among the greatest.
- The ending of the main campaign: With Amon banished from the Khala, Artanis' places Zeratul's blade on an altar, thanking him for all he had done as the scene depicts the Protoss at last reclaiming and rebuilding Aiur. If you pay attention during the rebuilding of Aiur you'll see several Dark Shrines among the Nexuses, Twilight Councils, Templar Archives, Pylons and Stargates, and it's not just one or two Dark Shrines, they are proportionate to the rest of the buildings. It has been nearly a millennia, But the Dark Templar are once again welcome on Aiur, home of a unified Protoss. It is the Dawn of an Era, indeed.
Selendis: Without the Khala, what will we become?Artanis: Free.Amon: Lies...Artanis: Believe...Selendis cuts her nerve cords and rises to her feet, psi-blade raised.Selendis: EN TARO ARTANIS!
- When the Keystone activates, Selendis and the other Templar are finally freed from Amon.
- That last line cannot be emphasized enough. "En Taro" means "in the name of", and all other instances in lore and game have always been for heroic fallen heroes. Artanis is the first to ever be referred this way while he still lived.
- In the epilogue, all three races combine to assault the Void and finish off Amon for good. After all those conflicts of conquest, power, domination and greed, this fight hides no motives, but a single desire to preserve everything they know and love. Combine that with defeating the still-alive Narud (who, as a Xel'naga, was simply thrust back to the Void after his defeat by Kerrigan), and who better to give the finishing blow than Stukov himself. After all these years of suffering, he not only has a place to belong, but he's also avenged Gerard and his UED companions.
- On the terran side, it's very nice to see Matt doing his part to improve the Dominion as an Admiral. Many players had dismissed his idealism as naive and his survival down to dumb luck. This is a man who led his troops into the Void and lived to tell the tale. Valerian deserves credit himself for allowing the expedition. Fighting battles in an Eldritch Location, which is also the home dimension of a galactic Omnicidal Maniac, is way out of depth for the terrans. But, they pulled their weight.
- As somber and serious as the Korhal cutscene was, it was uplifting to see Valerian out amidst the destruction, doing what he could to help, just like how a good leader should, in sharp contrast to how Mengsk Senior would have handled the situation.
- On the zerg side, Kerrigan declaring Zagara to be the new queen of the zerg and Zagara (previously The Starscream) declares it to have been an honor serving under her and that she shall remember their lessons.
Zagara: The Swarm will aid its queen unto death !
- Also in the beginning of the same mission, Zagara says the following quote, proving her strong loyalty to her queen.
- In spite of The Reveal that the Khala was originally created by Amon as a tool to enslave the Protoss, it casts a new light on a crucial part of the lore. Prior to the event in the games, the Protoss nearly drove themselves to extinction in a bloodbath called the Aeon of Strife. During this time, a scholar named Savassan (later remembered as Khas) discovered a cache of Xel'naga tech (in reality, it was very likely one of Amon's abandoned experiments). With it, he learned how to awaken the Khala in his fellow Protoss, and the resulting empathy ended the bloodshed. He essentially took a weapon made by the devil, for the devil (or any being of its calibre and malice), and used it to unite a war-torn species through compassion, not conquest. Regardless of the Khala's origin, even the most malevolent creations can be used for good.
- The mere existence of the Spear of Adun is this. The Arkship was created at the peak of the Protoss' Golden Age out of foresight that said Golden Age would not last forever. Many of Aiur's best and brightest thus put their best engineering, technologies and themselves into the great vessel in the hopes of giving their descendants a fighting chance and beacon of hope at their darkest hour. And it succeeds in that purpose.
- It not only succeeded, it played a vital role in finally ending the threat of the protoss' destruction in the hands of their uplifter.
- Artanis welcoming the robotic Purifiers equally as Templar. And the Purifiers, long feared and treated as mere machines, accepting it.
- Speaking of the Purifiers. Fenix manages to turn an otherwise melancholic moment into something inspiring. Upon being told some of the real Fenix's fondest memories are of a place that was destroyed, his reply is one full of certainty and with rising voice, worthy of the real Fenix's creed 'There's no shame in defeat, so long the spirit is unconquered':Artanis: "Those memories you hold, they are of another place. That world is no more."Fenix: "Then we shall build a better one on top of it!"
Artanis: "It must bring you great satisfaction to see Raynor again. To know that he has continued to fight in the face of such adversity."
- This is not the first time that Fenix turns the mood from doubtful to inspiring. If you leave Korhal as the last planet you visit during the first third of the campaign, this conversation ensues:
Fenix: "You speak as if I know this warrior..."
Artanis: "You once called him friend, Fenix."
Fenix: "I have no recollection of this alien."
Artanis: "Ah... your memory must have been encoded before Raynor came to our aid on Aiur."
Fenix: "I have noticed... there are gaps in my memory. Much has changed in the years I was put into stasis. My body is no more, I am as a Dragoon."
Artanis: "Yes, know that you and I once stood shoulder to shoulder with James Raynor in battle, fighting to preserve all that we held dear."
Fenix: "Then I hope we shall do so again!"
- One of the notes in the end cinematic is that Alarak chose to take the Tal'darim to establish themselves elsewhere, but allowed those under his command who disagreed one chance to leave and join the unified Protoss. Keep in mind, Alarak repeatedly emphasizes throughout the game that his underlings will do what he says and he doesn't care if they agree or not. Maybe those discussions with Artanis softened his attitude up a little.
- His motivation to usurp Ma'lash was not for power or influence (though that was a nice bonus) but because Ma'lash is too fanatically devoted to Amon to do anything despite knowing of his plan to invoke You Have Outlived Your Usefulness to the Tal'darim. In other words, he revolts because he cares about his people. How often do you get a straight up Card-Carrying Villain that's also something of a Benevolent Boss?
- This line, during the briefing for the final mission of the epilogue:Kerrigan: I don't know if I deserve redemption for what I've done... but our universe does.
- Researching Kaldalis' AI while playing as Fenix in Co-op mode will sometimes have Fenix calling Kaldalis 'one of the bravest Zealots I know'. In fact, any time you research a champion's personality counts, as Fenix will greet them like an old friend. Given that these characters are all established in canon from as far back as the original Starcraft, the player may very well agree.
Talandar: I am honored to choose my own name. It will be Talandar.
- Another instance related to Fenix: From the moment he was revealed, the fanbase was split over whether he should be called that name or Talandar due to both being perceived as valid (the former name is what he was going by during the Broad Strokes timeframe the missions take place during, the latter reflects the crux of the Purifier's development being the realization that while he shares Fenix's memories and personality, he is his own unique entity). Blizzard's answer was to have him be called Fenix by default, but adding a very inexpensive and quickly-researching upgrade in the Forge that changes his hero unit's name to Talandar, allowing both sides of the debate to have their preferred name. Researching the upgrade in question has Fenix proudly choosing his new name:
- Generally speaking, you wouldn't expect Stop Poking Me! quotes to be heartwarming since they usually go for "funny" instead, but poking Talandar can really tug at the heartstrings:It is in the forge of combat that I feel closest to Fenix's memories. I can see clearly through his eyes.
As he tore through his enemies, Fenix would repeat to himself a code he lived by, that reminded him why he fought.
"I fear no enemy, for the Khala is my strength.
I fear not death, for our strength is eternal."
May his deeds be remembered forever, and his death never forgotten.
- From Reclamation, Kaldalis revealing why he has volunteered for the Suicide Mission of being Akhundelar, part of the first group to return to Aiur's surface and inspiring Artanis to overcome his doubts about the invasion.Kaldalis: Because I know of no higher honor. I volunteered for a chance to give my life for our home, to make a world for all Protoss once more. You made me believe in that.Artanis: A world for all Protoss once more... it will be because of warriors like you.Kaldalis: Come back, Artanis. Lead us home.
- After the final mission of the epilogue, Raynor is sitting alone at the same bar in Mar Sara he was sitting at the beginning of Wings of Liberty quietly mourning the supposed end of Kerrigan, who sacrificed herself to destroy Amon once and for all. In the background, Kate Lockwell is reporting that Valerian's government is doing well, has the full support of Horner's military, and that the peace talks with the protoss are going well. Just then, the door opens, and in strides Kerrigan, in her human form, who reunites with Jim once and for all. In the end, he finally got what he was looking for.Kerrigan: You ready to get out of here, cowboy?"Raynor: *smiles* Hell, it's about time.