Dark Origin is in need of cleanup for the following reason(s):
Lore and gameplay needs to be separated
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Dark Origin is a secret mission located near the end of StarCraft Episode VI. To find it, a player must defeat zerg mission 9, entitled The Reckoning, in less than 25 minutes. A message indicates that a bonus mission has been activated. It cannot be accessed directly with the level skipping cheat.
Zeratul himself, with only a small force, had been forced to flee from Char. Because of the confusion, he was unable to locate Artanis, Praetor of the protoss forces, whom he brought with him to Char.
During his flight, one of Zeratul's allies, a high templar, detected protoss energy signatures on a nearby uncharted moon. Records did not indicate that any protoss settlements have ever been founded on that moon. Zeratul believed it may be Artanis or other protoss survivors, and directed his course towards the "dark moon".
The Dark MoonEdit
Zeratul took a small force with him: a pair of dragoons and four dark archons. They were transported to the surface of the icy moon via Arbiter Recall. The high templar warned Zeratul that a terran compound had been detected nearby. Zeratul acknowledged this and decided to investigate.
Test Subject Twenty-ThreeEdit
Zeratul tapped into the computer, and noticed a protoss within the cell. The computer announces that "test subject twenty-three" was suffering from psychic feedback. The pylons approached critical and the stasis cell melted down, killing the protoss within. Zeratul speculated at the terrans' ability to control a pylon's energies.
Theft of TechnologyEdit
As Zeratul and his band continued their exploration, they encountered a row of photon cannons, powered by more pylons, which attacked his forces. Shutting down the defense system summoned a battlecruiser.
Test Subject Twenty-FiveEdit
As Zeratul and his band cautiously moved through the terran base, they encountered another stasis cell surrounded by pylons. (There was a protoss in this cell as well.) As Zeratul accessed the computer, it informs him that "test subject twenty-five" was in perfect cryo-hibernation, with minimal psionic emanations. The computer was compiling its DNA. Zeratul was outraged, and exclaimed that if the terrans sought to know more about protoss warriors, then he would give them a first hand lesson.
- The player has the option to destroy the neutral stasis cell. If so, a high templar emerges.
Further in the base, Zeratul's band encountered a barracks and a stasis cell, which had no computer terminal.
- If Zeratul's band kills all the nearby mercenaries, the stasis cell explodes, releasing an infested terran.
- On a raised block of land to the north, Zeratul's band may discover a science facility, crewed by genetic engineers, and another stasis cell. This one has pylons, but no computer system. If the stasis cell is destroyed, an archon is released from it.
Test Subject Twenty-SevenEdit
Creeping westwards, Zeratul encountered a well-defended stasis cell with a computer and pylons. He noticed a zergling within the cell. The computer informed him that "test subject twenty-seven" was in perfect cryo-hibernation and its DNA had been compiled. Furthermore, gene splicing between test subjects twenty-five and twenty-seven had been completed, and Experiment 2273 was progressing. Zeratul could hardly believe what was happening.
- Zeratul's band may choose to destroy the stasis cell. Within are three zerglings and a high templar.
Test Subject Twenty-NineEdit
To the south, there was a large, heavily-defended terran base. The protoss broke through the defenses and Zeratul came before test subject twenty nine's stasis cell surrounded by pylons. The creature within was unlike anything the prelate had seen before, and he was horrified when the computer declared it was a protoss/zerg hybrid. The hybrid was in perfect cryo-hibernation and its psionic emanations were minimal.
Samir Duran appeared to elaborate.
- Duran: "Magnificent, isn't it?"
- Zeratul: "What? Who are you?"
- Duran: "I've had many names throughout the millennia, young prodigal. You would know me best as Samir Duran."
- Zeratul: "Kerrigan's consort! Is this part of her twisted schemes?"
- Duran: "No. Young Kerrigan could not have engineered this grand experiment. Although her rebirth into the Zerg Swarm has sped up my progress, I can assure you that this endeavor is quite beyond her narrow understanding."
- Zeratul: "If you are not her pawn, then what are you?"
- Duran: "I am a servant of a far greater power. A power that has slept for countless ages. And is reflected in the creature within that cell."
- Zeratul: "Have you any conception of what you've created here? Do you have any idea what this... this Hybrid is capable of?!"
- Duran: "Of course I do. This creature is the completion of a cycle. Its role in the cosmic order was preordained when the stars were young. Behold the culmination of your history!"
- Zeratul: "All I behold is an abomination."
- Duran: "Your violence, young prodigal, is typical. As is your inability to comprehend the greater scheme of things. You can destroy all of the specimens here. It will do you no good. For I have seeded the Hybrid on many, many worlds. You will never find them all before they awaken... And when they do... your universe will be changed... forever."
The events of Dark Origin merited a mention at BlizzCon 2007's StarCraft Lore discussion. Dark Origin has been confirmed as part of the storyline since BlizzCon 2007, and was designed as both an Easter egg for StarCraft: Brood War as well as to foreshadow StarCraft II. It has been confirmed as canon by Rob Pardo.
There are three ursadons, creatures native to Braxis, roaming the map. If you kill all three of them, the last contains a broodling in its stomach. This may have been part of an experiment by terrans to breed zerg with a simple life-cycle that can be easily controlled.
Broodlings normally die after about two minutes of life, but this broodling sticks around. It tries to attack Zeratul's warband, but Zeratul's dark archons can mind control it (and it will still not run out of energy). This is likely because there is currently no way to set the broodling's self-destruct property using the StarCraft editor function used to spawn it in this mission. Only broodlings created specifically with the queen's "Spawn Broodling" ability die when they run out of energy.
Comments are contained in a disabled transmission in the game map. When Zeratul reached Test Subject Twenty-Three, he was amazed that the terrans were able to craft pylons or construct a makeshift stasis cell. He believed no normal terran mind could comprehend the energies running through a pylon. They could refer to Duran not being a normal human. However, Alan Schezar and his Scavengers were able to control zerg using protoss technology, khaydarin crystals and terran ghosts without using more exotic alien abilities. The comments may have been removed for a valid reason.
There is a hidden sound file within the map (which can only be accessed by extracting the map). In it, Fenix says "how do you terrans say it? Getting jiggy with it", a reference to a similar remark he made to Jim Raynor while on Moria.
StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: Dark Origin (in English). 1998.
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