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Hand of Darkness

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Phantoms of the Void

Hand of Darkness
HandofDarkness SC2-HotS Story

Second Great War


Heart of the Swarm


Early 2505


Skygeirr Station


Swarm secures Skygeirr upper levels


Zerg SC2 Icon Zerg Swarm

TerranDominion Logo2a Terran Dominion

HybridHonors SC2 Decal1 Amon's Forces


Zerg SC2 Icon Queen Sarah Kerrigan
Zerg SC2 Icon Alexei Stukov

HybridHonors SC2 Decal1 Emil Narud


Dominion Armed Forces

8 hybrid dominators


All hybrids

  • Destroy all eight Hybrids
  • Kerrigan's life must not be drained
Optional Objective(s)

Liberate captive Brutalisks




Mutalisk Evolution mission

  • +2 bonus Kerrigan levels

Hand of Darkness is the second Skygeirr Station mission in Heart of the Swarm.


Having broken through Skygeirr Station's outer defenses, the Swarm invaded the installation's interior and laboratories. Dominion forces continued to resist.

Emil Narud unleashed eight hybrid dominators (enhanced versions of the hybrid destroyer) against Sarah Kerrigan. The dominators began psionically draining Kerrigan's life, but were destroyed by the Swarm before they could finish. The dominators had force wave, mirror image and psionic storm powers.

Once the hybrids were dead, Kerrigan ordered the Swarm to scour the station's lower levels in pursuit of Narud.


As the level begins, a hybrid awakens from stasis and psionically attacks Kerrigan. The player must destroy it within a time limit or else the mission is lost. The player should refrain from moving out immediately, as their starting forces are sparse and they will be attacked by the Dominion forces in the area, so taking the time to build up a larger army before moving out is preferable. As the level continues, hybrids will continue to awaken on a regular basis. Their powers increase with each new one releases, including creating copies of themselves, creating a shockwave to knock units back, and a blink-like teleportation. The player has the option to destroy the holding cells to awaken hybrids ahead of time, if they wish to speed up the mission. As the hybrids are hostile to both the zerg and the Dominion, another strategy is to lure the hybrid towards the Dominion forces and have the Dominion fight it instead. This is quite helpful at trying to earn the mastery achievement. Another possible option is to use the infestor to mind control strong damage units like thors or siege tanks to kill it when you use zerg units to weaken its health low enough.

There is a comparatively small Dominion base to the west of the player's starting position that should be cleared out early in the mission to acquire additional resources and halt Dominion attacks from it, letting the player focus their defense on the eastern edge of their base. A third mineral patch is just north-east of this base, north of the player's own base. Further north from here the player will find a brutalisk in stasis, approaching it will earn a bonus Kerrigan level and add it to the player's forces. The Dominion guard in this area is light, and the player should consider liberating the brutalisk early in the level, as it is a very powerful unit. A second brutalisk is guarded directly south of the player's base.

With the two brutalisks and Kerrigan leading their forces, the player should easily be able to push their way through the Dominion guards to hunt down the hybrids. With only two hybrids left, Narud will awaken them both at once, forcing the player to fight them together. When this last obstacle is overcome, the level is over.

Starcraft 2 Hand Of Darkness Brutal All Achievements HOTS Campaign Skygeirr 222:01

Starcraft 2 Hand Of Darkness Brutal All Achievements HOTS Campaign Skygeirr 2


HandofDarkness SC2-HotS Icon
Hand of Darkness

10 Achievement SC2 Game1


Complete the “Hand of Darkness” mission in the Heart of the Swarm campaign.

Shattered Command

10 Achievement SC2 Game1


Destroy 2 Command Centers in the “Hand of Darkness” mission.

PowerUnderwhelming SC2-HotS Icon
Power Underwhelming

10 Achievement SC2 Game1


Destroy 3 Hybrid Holding Cells before the Hybrid are released in “Hand of Darkness” on Normal difficulty.

DominionDomination SC2-HotS Icon
Dominion Domination

10 Achievement SC2 Game1


Kill 3 Hybrid Dominators with Terran units in the “Hand of Darkness” mission on Hard difficulty.



An earlier version of the mission had hybrids merging and collecting focus crystals that amplified Kerrigan's powers. If three hybrids merged, a psionic vortex would be created that would destroy the planet.[1] There was also to be a point where the Dominion soldiers abandoned Narud and attempted to flee the facility; this caused Tal'darim warriors to appear to fight Kerrigan, and the Dominion became hostile to both Kerrigan, and Narud's hybrid and Tal'darim. Another cut element was the presence of ultralisks in the lab that could be taken control of.[2]


Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Hand of Darkness (in English). 2013-03-12.

  1. 2014-08-20, Unused HoTS Story Elements. StarCraft Legacy, accessed on 2014-08-29
  2. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Map Editor. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). March 12, 2013