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Cerebrate

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"Awaken my child, and embrace the glory that is your birthright. Know that I am the Overmind; the eternal will of the Swarm, and that you have been created to serve me."

- The Overmind addresses the newly created cerebrate.(src)

Cerebrate
Cerebrate SC1 Game1
Structure
Race

Zerg

Affiliation

Zerg SC1 Logo Zerg Swarm (formerly)
Renegade Zerg (defunct)
New Swarm (defunct)

Role

Brood commanders

Properties
Size

Large

Detection range

Yes

Production
Control

Generates 30 Control Zerg SC1

Protection
Hit points

1500

Armor

1

Cerebrates were zerg brood leaders. They were originally created by the Overmind as intermediate commanders but were removed from the Swarm's power structure by the Queen of Blades.

Overview

Role in the Swarm

"The Overmind controls its minions through agents called Cerebrates. Strike down the Cerebrates, and the Swarms will surely fall."

Cerebrates were descended from the original zerg parasites of Zerus that existed before the coming of the xel'naga, albeit being much larger and endowed with much greater intelligence. Upon their creation by the Overmind each cerebrate and the brood it led was given a specific role which in turn shaped the cerebrate's personality. Cerebrates further expanded the zerg hierarchy and came to rely on queens to oversee hive activity and overlords to relay commands to and directly control the brood's minions.[1] While the rigid hierarchy ensured efficiency the permanent death of a cerebrate could induce a complete reversal. Broods that lost their cerebrate frequently became uncontrollably destructive.[2] Cerebrates also oversaw the evolution of the Swarm.[3][4]

Externally, cerebrates appeared as giant, bloated slug-larvae with numerous purple limbs protruding from the sides. This was merely their external form, and the true form of a cerebrate (a ball of yellow light with extruding tentacles) would only be revealed once the carapace had been destroyed. That being said, the flesh could be regenerated as long as the Overmind willed it, bar abilities that nullified such an ability.[5]

Psionic Powers

Cerebrates were often (perhaps always) powerful psychics, but these powers are usually limited to a specific area. For instance, one cerebrate may be able to create and reincarnate the powerful Torrasque,[6][7] while another may be able to fill its structures with vital energy.[7] Cerebrates possessed detection abilities similar to those of overlords.[8]

As with the rest of the zerg, cerebrates communicated telepathically, albeit in a manner quite different to terrans or protoss.[5]

Reincarnation

"If ever your flesh should fail, that flesh shall be made anew. That is my covenant with all Cerebrates."

One trait that all cerebrates shared was that of reincarnation. While the Overmind was alive, it could reincarnate a cerebrate through the use of cosmic energy. Slaying a cerebrate with this type of energy prevented reincarnation.[2] Zasz, cerebrate of the Garm Brood, was permanently killed in this way by Zeratul, a Dark Templar. This created a brief mental link between the assassin and the Overmind; Zeratul learned of the Overmind's connection with the xel'naga and its plans for the protoss race,[8] while the Overmind learned the location of Aiur in a form it could use. The Overmind went into some kind of depression following this, and did not recover until the zerg completely destroyed the Garm Brood.[9] Later, the protoss killed other cerebrates in deliberate attempts to "distract" the Overmind.[8]

The psi disrupter also temporarily inhibited reincarnation..[7]

Although their link with the Overmind granted them virtual invulnerability, it was not without its weaknesses. Cerebrates were not designed to exist without the Overmind, and were unable to sustain themselves for long after its death – a vulnerability which drove them to create a new one following the first Overmind's death.[10]

Fate of the Cerebrates

"You dare threaten a Cerebrate? You will be the doom of us all!"

Following the death of the Overmind at the end of the Great War, Daggoth orchestrated the creation of a new Overmind from the fusion of a number of cerebrates. The Renegade Swarm controlled at least half of the zerg[11] in opposition to Kerrigan.[12] This set the stage for the Brood War.[13]

In this conflict, Kerrigan emerged triumphant, albeit through manipulation of those capable of slaying cerebrates. Those on Shakuras were destroyed as the result of an "alliance" between her and the protoss settling on that world.[14][15] The UED Expeditionary Force slew some cerebrates during their conquest of Char, preventing their ability to reincarnate through the psi disrupter.[7] Later, during Kerrigan's reconquest of the planet, the new Overmind was slain by the Dark Templar allied with/manipulated by her.[16] Upon the creature's death, the remaining cerebrates were killed[17] by the Dark Templar.[18] The lack of a controlling force was a partial explanation for their deaths.[10]

Some cerebrates survived the Char holocaust, at least for a time. The New Swarm led by Kaloth was one such example, but its power base was destroyed by Raynor's Raiders and protoss forces.[19] Kerrigan also retained at least one cerebrate which aided her in her infested terran project.[3] Still, it wasn't to last. Following the Brood War, all the remaining cerebrates were hunted down and exterminated by Kerrigan's forces and to best knowledge, there are none left.[20] Kerrigan's vision for the Swarm was quite different from that of the Overmind[21] and she had no use or desire to use the cerebrates,[10] not to mention the risk that they might once again try to form a new Overmind.[21] Instead, she replaced them with other intelligent minions—an advanced infested terran, Ethan Stewart,[22] (now deceased)[23] as well as brood mothers, powerful brood leaders.[24]

Known Cerebrates

Cerebrate Sc1 HeadAnim1

A cerebrate's visage

Some cerebrates were named, others weren't—only after extended service to the Swarm did cerebrates gain the right to a name. Possession of a name was seen as a sign of prestige.[5]

Named

Unnamed/Name Unknown

Notes

The lack of cerebrates in StarCraft II was due to a creative directive from Blizzard, as per it "playing nice" with Games Workshop.[26]

References

  1. Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  2. 2.0 2.1 StarCraft. Vivendi Games. Mission: The Culling (in English). 1998.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Neilson, Micky. "StarCraft: Hybrid." Amazing Stories 601 (Spring 2000): 70-75.
  4. Dayton, Cameron. "Broken Wide." (March 5, 2010). Blizzard Entertainment. Broken Wide Accessed 2010-03-05.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Rosenberg, Aaron (June 1, 2006). StarCraft: Queen of Blades. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-7434-7133-4.
  6. StarCraft. Vivendi Games. Mission: Enslavers bonus campaign, mission 3B: "The Final Blow" (in English). 1998.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: To Chain the Beast (in English). 1998.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft. Vivendi Games. Mission: Shadow Hunters (in English). 1998.
  9. StarCraft. Vivendi Games. Mission: Eye for an Eye (in English). 1998.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Chris Metzen, StarCraft Legacy staff. 2009-04-03. SC:L Metzen Interview - Lore Exclusive. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2009-05-18
  11. Kerrigan: "Apparently, many of the renegade Cerebrates, commanded by Daggoth, have merged into a new Overmind. Fortunately, the creature is still in its infant stages. It can't control the Swarm yet, but Daggoth and the others still have control over most of the Broods." StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: The Quest for Uraj (in English). 1998.
  12. Kerrigan: Queen of Blades. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-10-13.
  13. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft: Brood War. (Blizzard Entertainment) (in English). November 30, 1998
  14. 14.0 14.1 StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: Legacy of the Xel'Naga (in English). 1998.
  15. Blizzard Entertainment staff. 2008-04-16. The Story so Far... Part 2: The Brood War. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2008-04-16.
  16. StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: To Slay the Beast (in English). 1998.
  17. Infested Duran: My Queen, with the Overmind and its cerebrates destroyed, all of the Zerg in this sector have reverted to your direct control. StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Level/area: The Reckoning (in English). 1998.
  18. 2008-03-10. Zerg. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2008-03-10.
  19. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft 64. Nintendo of America, Inc. Mission: Resurrection IV (in English). 2000-06-12.
  20. Metzen, Chris; Chambers, Andy; StarCraft Legacy staff. 2009-04-03. BlizzCon 2007 StarCraft Lore Panel Editorial. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2009-05-18.
  21. 21.0 21.1 2011-05-31, May 2011 HoTS Fansite Interview. StarCraft Legacy, accessed on 2011-05-31
  22. Golden, Christie (November 27, 2007). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #2: Shadow Hunters. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0-7434-7126-8.
  23. Golden, Christie (June 30, 2009). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #3: Twilight. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0-7434-7129-9.
  24. StarCraft Legacy staff. 2011-05-30. May 2011 HoTS Gameplay Info. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2011-05-31.
  25. StarCraft. Vivendi Games. Mission: Enslavers bonus campaign, mission 3B: "The Final Blow" (in English). 1998.
  26. 2013, Zerg Queen Za Gara. Deviantart, accessed on 2013-12-25

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