- Everyone agrees that the Zerg were pretty messed-up. But the Infested Kerrigan may have been pushing it, especially in her introductory cutscene. Similarly, a few cutscenes of Terran characters being killed by the Zerg were like something out of a B-Movie, complete with Southern accents.
- The first major cinematic in the original game has a pair of patrolmen ambushed by a pack of Zerg in the middle of the night. Made even worse when the immediate next mission has the player's base under regular siege by a horde of Zerg, against which they must defend for 30 minutes, in a major Difficulty Spike for a new RTS player.Sarge: Them's a zergling, Lester. Smaller breed o' Zerg. But they wouldn't be out all this way without — aw, shit.
(both soldiers turn around to see a pack of hydralisks swarming around and over their vehicle)
Lester: I love you, Sarge!
(the lead hydralisk roars and charges them)
- The Battle on the Amerigo. It starts off with Nothing Is Scarier as the Dominion squad infiltrates the derelict science vessel to demolish it with a nuclear bomb, in a scene that wouldn't be out of place in Alien. The squad reaches their destination and one of the soldiers comments that they're all safe and cracks open a can of beer — right before his head is abruptly dismantled by a Zerg claw. A pack of hydralisks, presumably left behind by Kerrigan, then swarms into the room and starts administering a Curb-Stomp Battle to the entire squad. One Marine manages to bellow to the squad's Ghost (who has been frozen in place by pure fear) that they're all dead:"We're hosed, man! Blow it! BLOOOOOOOW IT!!!"
- The Paranoia Fuel of the cinematic showing a Protoss attack on a Dominion military encampment on Char. First, a lookout spots a broken Dragoon making its way through a pass near the camp; after waking up his sergeant, the unit's artillery piece obliterates the Dragoon in one shot. The lookout starts whooping and cheering — when a fireball abruptly destroys the lookout and his watch post, and another Dragoon appears (seemingly decloaking) in front of the sergeant, who in turn barely has time to glare as the automaton in front of him burns him to ash with a ball of plasma. And behind this, a dozen or more Dragoons also appear, likely due to an Arbiter that flies overhead, and they casually turn the camp's tents into a burning wreck.
- "Magnificent, isn't it?" Who says this? Samir Duran. He is making Zerg-Protoss hybrids. And he serves a bigger, still unseen master...
- The infested terrans. There's almost nothing left of their humanity, and the do enough damage to kill any unit with their suicide attack. Specifically the point in the campaign where a marine asks, "Do you hear that?" and then one pops up right in front of you.
- The concept art of them. They're so full of alien parasites they're bursting out of their space suits. The sprite is very low-res, so it's not as bad-except for their Unit Profile on the little TV screen at the bottom, where they're shown to be so mutated they can't be recognized as having human faces anymore.
- It gets worse in the sequel. Better graphics mean more opportunities to give the Zerg stuff like sacs and pustules and tentacles and so forth. There's even a series of missions involving helping a group of colonists from a Zerg assault and infestation. The second mission alternates, every five minutes or so, between day and night. During the day, you run around blowing up creepy-looking but inert infested structures. At night, the former colonists come out and try their level best to eat you and your troops. Worse, if you choose the "bad ending" mission, the colonial leader succumbs to an infestation and tries to kill Raynor, in a lovingly-rendered cutscene. Thank you, Blizzard, for that charming image...
- The opening cinematic in Brood War. It takes place in a WWI style trench at night. It starts with a desperate Marine getting ambushed and chopped by a Hydralisk before a Firebat fries them both, with the Marine still alive. It then cuts to another desperate Marine barely rescued by another from two zerglings. The Marine asks the other one where the command is. The older Marine, who has all but given up points at the Battlecruiser above them which abadons them soon after, similar to how Mengsk left Kerrigan behind. The view zooms out as hordes of zerglings are closing in to the trench...
- The Dark Voice and his Hybrids, and what will happen if Kerrigan is killed. Even the Overmind was scared of this thing.
- The Reveal that it's Amon who's behind protoss and zerg' uplifting is even more nightmarish. Khala, the unity so much cherished by protoss? A tool to enslave them... which exactly what happens in Legacy of Void, as Amon made brainwashed protoss kill their brethren and all other life. Overmind, the Highmind of Zerg? It's deprived of freedom of will, and made to serve Amon's genocidal plans. It even knew that after zerg would have exterminated Terran and Protoss Hybrids would destroy it, and hated this. Fortunately, it managed to work around his brainwashing.
- The Hydralisks, in-story. Sure, the main heroes tear through them like nothing, but imagine being a regular marine - or worse, a non-armored person, dealing with these guys. Armed with blades / claws (depending on which game) that are driven by huge shoulder muscles and can punch through heavy armor, and also possessing armor-piercing projectile spikes and a wicked set of jaws. They're ambush predators, so you never know when one is gonna pop up from literally underneath you and rip you apart. And according to official data, Hydralisks are not only smart (by Zerg standards), they're sadistic. StarCraft II cinematics give three more reasons to fear them. First, those projectile spikes can punch through 2 centimeters of reinforced steel and are tipped with a powerful venom; one guy got spiked in the arm, and had to have the arm amputated to survive. Second, they hunt in packs, meaning that where there's one, there's generally at least two more. Lastly, they're huge; at full "height", they stand about 3 meters (around 10 feet) tall. Imagine one of these guys towering over you, ready to ram its claws through your chest and / or skull after it's done toying with you.
- To add some Body Horror or fuel to this, the backstory says that Hydralisks were originally peaceful herbivores before the Zerg Swarm absorbed their DNA and turned them into what they are now.
- Mira Han. While she has some funny moments, her eyes put into absolute Uncanny Valley territory.
- The short story The Education of PFC Shane shows us what it's like to be infested- and, through some zerg-induced flashbacks, to be resocialized. Both involve being forced to relive the most traumatizing, horrific events of your life until you beg to have your mind rewritten. It's even worse for Shane, because some part of him is still resocialized into being a model citizen, and that part is utterly horrified at what he used to be.
- The Voice In The Darkness. It's the unholy spawn of Satan, Nyarlathotep and Bill Cipher
- The opening cinematic for Heart of the Swarm shows just how horrific the prospect of the fighting the Zerg actually is. The pounding music and the waves of Zerg of all species shrugging off every Terran countermeasure and swarming over the city hammers in how immense and unrelenting the Zerg are in battle.
- The Defiler's Plague spell isn't just Hollywood Acid (which would be bad enough), but a weaponized, cancer-inducing virus as well.
Nightmare Fuel / StarCraft