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Battle of Korhal (Planetfall)

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"I am the Swarm. Armies will be shattered. Worlds will burn. Now at last, on this world, vengeance shall be mine. For I am the Queen of Blades."

- Kerrigan leading the zerg(src)

Next

Reclamation of Aiur

Battle of Korhal
MarineMutaliskZergling SC2-HotS Phys1
Conflict

Second Great War

Campaign

Heart of the Swarm

Date

Early April, 2505

Place

Augustgrad, Korhal

Result
  • Death of Arcturus Mengsk
  • Zerg withdraw from Terran space
  • Crown Prince Valerian assumes the throne
  • End of the Second Great War
Combatants

Zerg SC2 Icon Zerg Swarm
RaynorsRaiders SC2 Logo1 Raynor's Raiders

TerranDominion Logo2a Terran Dominion

Commanders

Zerg SC2 Icon Sarah Kerrigan
Zerg SC2 Icon Izsha
Zerg SC2 Icon Abathur
Zerg SC2 Icon Dehaka
Zerg SC2 Icon Alexei Stukov
Zerg SC2 Icon Zagara
RaynorsRaiders SC2 Logo1 Jim Raynor
RaynorsRaiders SC2 Logo1 Matt Horner
TerranDominion Logo2a Valerian Mengsk

TerranDominion Logo2a Arcturus Mengsk

Strength

Zerg SC2 Icon Zerg Swarm

RaynorsRaiders SC2 Logo1 Raynor's Raiders

TerranDominion Logo2a Dominion Defense Force

AlphaSquadron SC1 Logo1a Alpha Squadron

TerranDominion Logo2a Elite Guard (Korhal):

Casualties
  • Heavy zerg losses
  • Arcturus Mengsk
  • Odin
  • Very heavy military losses

The Battle of Korhal was the final battle of the Second Great War, that saw Sarah Kerrigan's Zerg Swarm and Jim Raynor's Raiders launch a joint assault on Korhal, with the shared goal of overthrowing Emperor Arcturus Mengsk.[1]

BackgroundEdit

"Inform the broodmothers. The Swarm moves on Korhal. At last, Mengsk will suffer for his crimes."

- Kerrigan prior to moving into the Korhal system(src)

By the time of the battle, the zerg had already inflicted heavy losses on the Dominion, including the defeat of its forces on Char,[2], the destruction of Skygeirr Platform[3] (a Hybrid Breeding Program base),[4][5] and the rescue of Jim Raynor from the Moros,[6] whom Mengsk had hoped to use as a bargaining chip against Kerrigan.[7]

ValerianKerriganHorner SC2-HotS Story1

Kerrigan informing the Raiders of her plan

Before departing to the Korhal system, Kerrigan contacted Raiders members Matt Horner and Valerian Mengsk, informing them of her intentions. She knew that invasion would result in heavy loss of life and collateral damage, and knew that the terrans would need Valerian as a leader in the aftermath. He requested that she make landfall outside the walls of Augustgrad, so that there would be time to evacuate the civilian population. Though it would make the invasion more difficult, but Kerrigan acquiesced to his request. With that settled, the Swarm departed for Korhal.[7][8]

Course of the BattleEdit

Opening MovesEdit

"Dominion forces, this is your emperor, Arcturus Mengsk. Korhal is under attack by the Zerg Swarm. Our special weapons lab has been destroyed, our defenses stripped. Any fleet that can hear my voice, return to Korhal. The seat of human power is under assault. Come, men. Defend your home."

- A transmission sent by Emperor Mengsk to the Dominion Armed Forces(src)

The Swarm arrived in the Korhal system, leviathans taking up positions around Korhal.[7][8] Kerrigan ordered that her forces to, for the time being, stay out of range of the planet's defenses.[9][8] From Korhal Palace, Mengsk sent out a recall order for any Dominion Fleet unit to return to the system.[8][10] His words were heard, and Dominion forces began converging upon the Korhal system from all over the Koprulu sector. In response, Kerrigan ordered Broodmother Kilysa to move her leviathans to form a blockade around the system, and destroy anything coming into it.[8][11]

Thus, that left the issue of actually landing on the planet. Kerrigan knew that Korhal's orbital defenses would kill millions of zerg before any of them made landfall, but as Zagara pointed out, the Swarm was numberless.[9][8] Kerrigan agreed, stating that even if only a fraction got through, it would be more than enough to take out the defenses from the ground.[12] To this end, Kerrigan ordered Abathur to develop a weapon that could take out the defenses. His solution was the bile launcher. He assured her that he could develop it in time.[13][8]

With preparations made, the Swarm engaged Korhal's orbital defenses. Leviathans moved forward, and sacs were sent towards the surface. The battle had begun.[12]

PlanetfallEdit

Main article: Planetfall
Sac SC2-HotS Game1

Descending sacs

Kerrigan had underestimated Korhal's planetary defenses however. Millions of zerg were killed in orbit before they even made contact, and any zerg that did reach the surface were finished off by Dominion forces not long after. Because of this, the Primal Queen of Blades personally landed upon Korhal to secure a foothold for the bile launchers.[12]

After establishing a base and building up her forces, Kerrigan secured ground for the Swarm to plant the bile launchers. She then held off the Dominion counterattacks long enough for the bile launchers to destroy the planetary cannons, thereby allowing the zerg to land troops freely. During the battle, Kerrigan also destroyed the gates of Augustgrad, so that Zagara could lead her brood into the city. After mopping up the remaining Dominion forces, Kerrigan led her forces into the city as well, beginning one of the most savage fights in the Second Great War.[12]

Battle of AugustgradEdit

MutaliskBattlecruiser SC2-HotS Art1

Battlecruiser crashing into Augustgrad

Heavy fighting took place in the Augustgrad as Dominion forces tried to hold off the endless waves of zerg which came streaming down in sacs from the Leviathans. As more zerg landed, the Dominion set up a siege tank line to hold back the zerg ground forces, while vikings and battlecruisers tried to intercept the airborne zerg. Their efforts proved to be futile as ultralisks and nydus worms tore their ways through the defenses, in the process knocking down Mengsk's massive statue; the symbol of his reign. Mengsk's air defenses didn't do much better, as the Swarm's fliers shot down as scores of vikings and battlecruisers. The downed ships crashed all over the city, causing massive damage.[14]

Plot branch : Kerrigan attacks Metis

Meanwhile, Kerrigan, aided by Abathur, destroyed two key facilities on the outskirts of Augustgrad: the Metis xeno-research facility, and an experimental nuclear weapons production facility. Not only did this further cripple Korhal's defenses, but enabled Abathur to evolve two new potential strains for the ultralisk. [15]

Plot branch ends here

Secret Weapons UnleashedEdit

Main article: Death From Above

Mengsk, realizing that his forces could not defeat the Swarm through conventional means, activated his secret weapon: the Psi-destroyer which destroyed any zerg that came into contact with its field. The Psi-destroyer began annihilating the outlying zerg broods, forcing the Swarm to pull back. At the same time, a Dominion force launched a counterattack as a distraction to prevent the zerg from dealing with the Psi-destroyer. [16]

PsiDestroyer SC2-HotS Game1

The Psi Destroyer

Kerrigan, however, had anticipated that Mengsk would use the zerg's hive mind against them, and unleashed her own secret weapon: the Primal Zerg of Zerus. Since they lacked a psionic-connection in the first place, the primals were unaffected by the Psi-destroyer's field. Dehaka and his pack infiltrated the orbital platform housing the destroyer and destroyed the device's power couplings, thus disabling the field from the inside. With the field down, Kerrigan personally led her forces through the Dominion forces protecting the Psi-destroyer and destroyed its central hub. Meanwhile, Zagara and Stukov succeeded in defeating the Dominion counterattack and pushed the enemy forces into the Imperial sector of the city.[17]

Attack on Korhal PalaceEdit

"Izsha, Zagara, Stukov, Dehaka, all my broodmothers, all my queens, hear me: The time for planning and deliberation is past. Now we tear them down. Attack, and do not stop until they are all dead!"

- Sarah Kerrigan(src)

KorhalPalace SC2-HotS Game1

The final target

With the Psi Destroyer destroyed, only Mengsk's palace itself remained. After consulting with her lieutenants for one last time,[18] Kerrigan and her forces arrived in the Imperial Sector, hellbent on reaching Mengsk's palace, which was protected by his elite troops. After exchanging barbs with Mengsk, Kerrigan ordered the final attack to commence.

Shortly after the battle began, Raynor and his Raiders unexpectedly arrived aboard the Hyperion to assist Kerrigan while Horner and Valerian continued to handle the civilian evacuation. After securing a foothold, Raynor and his troops fought alongside Kerrigan and her forces, and together they battled their way through staunch Dominion resistance, gradually pushing ever closer to the palace.[1]

While Kerrigan and Raynor managed to penetrate the city's inner defenses, the other zerg forces didn't have so much luck. Zagara's brood, Stukov's infested terran forces, and Dehaka's pack could not breach the Dominion's entrenched positions, preventing them from assisting their queen. Kerrigan intervened and destroyed the entrenched positions one by one. The combined zerg forces then poured into the sector, annihilating all Dominion units in their paths.[1]

During the battle, Mengsk made several attempts to stop Raynor and his Raiders, first sending in Sky Fury Squadron, and later Alpha Squadron to destroy the Hyperion. Kerrigan and Raynor foiled both attempts. As a last resort, Mengsk unleashed the Odin upon the Raiders. Despite the Odin's tremendous power, it too fell before the combined might of the Raiders and the Swarm .[1]

Finally, with the entire sector cleared of Dominion forces, Kerrigan and Raynor assaulted the palace itself. Dominion drop pods landed right in front of the palace gate and released elite troops who made a desperate last stand to protect their emperor. The zerg and Raiders annihilated these last defenders and destroyed the palace gate. Leaving Zagara in charge of the Swarm, Kerrigan entered the palace alone to deal with the Emperor.[1]

The Queen vs. the EmperorEdit

"I made you into a monster, Kerrigan!"
"You made us all into monsters."

- Kerrigan's final exchange with Mengsk before killing him(src)

While Kerrigan fought her way to the top of the palace and tore her way through Mengsk's bodyguards, Mengsk calmly watched her from his surveillance cameras and casually smoked a cigar.[19]

When the Queen of Blades finally arrived to face off against the Emperor, the two exchanged banter before Mengsk revealed that he still had one more trick up his sleeve: the Xel'naga Artifact. Using a remote disguised as a cigar lighter, Mengsk activated the Artifact, which unleashed torrents of energy, incapacitating Kerrigan. [19]

KerriganDevice SC2-HotS CineAscension1

The artifact revealed

Just as Mengsk gloated at Kerrigan one last time and prepared to finish her off, Raynor appeared fully-armored and knocked Mengsk to the ground, smashing the artifact's controller in the process. He then aimed his pistol at Mengsk but upon seeing Kerrigan stand up, he decided to let her have the kill. Kerrigan impaled Mengsk with her wings and brutally smashed him into the wall. After Mengsk gave his last taunt, Kerrigan infused him with psionic energy and caused him to explode violently, destroying his office and seriously damaging the entire palace.[19]

AftermathEdit

With Mengsk dead, Kerrigan had finally achieved her revenge. She thanked Raynor before departing from Korhal with the Swarm and she set out to find her true enemy; Amon, the fallen xel'naga, and his hybrid army.[19] The city was left heavily damaged by the attack.[20]

Following the death of his father and the departure of the zerg, Valerian assumed the throne and became the new Emperor of the Dominion. He immediately went to work rebuilding the Dominion, and enacted new laws to eliminate the corruption and abuse of power that had occurred during his father's reign. These reforms included abolishing forced military conscription and slave labor. He also reorganized a number of his father's secret projects, such as Project Blackstone.[21]

On the third anniversary of Mengsk's death, celebrations were held on Korhal to commemorate the downfall of his regime.[22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, The Reckoning (in English). 2013-03-12.
  2. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Old Soldiers (in English). 2013-03-12.
  3. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Infested (in English). 2013-03-12.
  4. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Hand of Darkness (in English). 2013-03-12.
  5. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Phantoms of the Void (in English). 2013-03-12.
  6. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Conviction (in English). 2013-03-12.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cutscenes: Leviathan (in English). 2013-03-12.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Conversations before Planetfall. (in English). 2013-03-12.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Zagara (in English). 2013-03-12.
  10. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Relay satellite (in English). 2013-03-12.
  11. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Izsha (in English). 2013-03-12.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Planetfall (in English). 2013-03-12.
  13. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Abathur (in English). 2013-03-12.
  14. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm opening (in English). 2013-03-12.
  15. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Ultralisk Evolution (in English). 2013-03-12.
  16. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Conversations after Planetfall. (in English). 2013-03-12.
  17. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Death from Above (in English). 2013-03-12.
  18. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Conversations after Death from Above (in English). 2013-03-12.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Ascension (in English). 2013-03-12.
  20. 2014-11-07, StarCraft II Legacy of the Void Campaign Overview. YouTube, accessed on 2014-11-12
  21. Dayton, Cameron et al (July 21, 2014). StarCraft II: War Stories. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ASIN B00IWTWTBY.
  22. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Homecoming. (in English). 2015.

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