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"Overlords provide control for your minions. As your forces grow in number, you must hatch more Overlords to control them."
OverlordUltralisk SC2 Game1

An overlord

The overlord is a zerg flyer that provides control for lesser minions.


Overlord SC1 Art1

An overlord during the Great War

Overlords were evolved from the Gargantis proximae, a species of giant space-faring and semi-intelligent creatures[1] which volunteered to be assimilated in order to avoid extinction.[2] Once assimilated, they were used to help cerebrates control and coordinate their broods and scout using their enhanced senses.[1]


The elongated appendages that hung from the underbellies of the Gargantis were evolved into an array of microscopic filaments that gather sensory and spatial information through intermittent pulses, which are then fed into the overlord's central nervous system. All data gathered is processed as fast as it is received, allowing overlords to navigate through any environment and relay tactical data to the Swarm.[3]

Overlords possess a large, bulbous brain which is protected by a heavily armored weave of bone and cartilage. It is a large organ, with millions of nerves and synaptic contacts.[3] The overlord's cerebral structure is complex with neural pathways woven throughout the body;[4] but is heavily concentrated in its lower section and legs. It is through this system that overlords relay commands to the Swarm.[3] The overlord's nerve system makes it a powerful psionic energy transmitter (its ability to broadcast psychic energy is unmatched) and to preserve this capability, the zerg only altered neurologically impotent parts from the Gargantis, including the carapace and pulmonary chambers. As a result, the overlord's core genetic matrix is atypically homogenous: over 90%. The minimal alterations also preserved memories;[4] ancient overlords, essentially assimilated Gargantis, regained their individuality upon becoming feral.[1] Dr. Talen Ayers proposed two theories as to why this was—one, the Gargantis had the properties the zerg desired, and as such, little modification of their genetic code was required. Two, the zerg are unwilling to meddle too deeply with the structural makeup of species that possess great psionic ability, knowing that even the slightest of changes can destroy this ability. He counted on the latter.[5]

Unlike most other zerg breeds, overlords have a greater capacity to act on their own judgement, though their mental flexibility is still severely limited.[6] Overlords typically only relay orders. They are technically capable of directly controlling lesser zerg, but only with extreme difficulty.[2] After Kerrigan's defeat at Char, some overlords attempted to form pockets of organized zerg in the same manner as broodmothers. However, this was a token effort, and most zerg regressed to a feral state.[7]

Overlords are fairly docile. Additional duties include tending to young larvae[8] and monitoring the progress of drones through a type of instinctive telepathy.[9]


Overlord SC-G Game1

An overlord

Overlords retain the thick outer shell of the Gargantis, and it changed little in the assimilation process;[3] Their exoskeletons are strong enough to resist a lightning strike.[10]

Overlords with the correct growth stimuli[1] can carry other zerg within hollows in their hides.[11] In this form they become deep-space transports[8]; the importance of their function is underlined by the sheer number of overlords found accompanying zerg forces.[1] As spacefaring creatures, an overlord's carapace pressurizes and seals whenever the creature flies through vacuum. Two species of unidentified symbiotic organisms seem to regulate these functions, though Dominion scientists have been unable to obtain any living samples—these organisms die within seconds if removed from their host overlord.[3] Due to their need to support many different strains of zerg at once, overlords can sometimes exhibit spontaneous adaptive mutations in order to improve their own efficiency.[12]

Overlords use helium-filled gas sacs and a weak telekinetic psi-ability for lift and motive power.[13] This helium is generated through an efficient respiratory system distributed throughout the overlord's carapace. The excess helium is stored in thick sacs that contract and expand through rudimentary pulses, allowing overlords to regulate altitude and propulsion at will.[3] They move quite slowly however.[14]

By the Second Great War, overlords could disgorge creep to prepare the way for zerg conquests.[1] This creep is produced by the overlord liquifying its internal organs, with the creep being stored in multiple glands near the overlord's head. The process is instantaneous and takes place when space is needed for transportation of zerg ground strains. Overlords can regrow their organs at will, and can modify them to derive substance from inhospitable environments.[3] Also by the Second Great War, overlords could metamorphosize into overseers.[1]

Game UnitEdit


For StarCraft gameplay information see: Overlord (StarCraft).

StarCraft: GhostEdit

StarCraft Ghost Logo2

This article or section contains information about StarCraft: Ghost, which has been declared non-canon. Elements may be taken as 'flavor lore' however.
The content may be significantly out of date. Please do not add speculation to this article, and remember to cite a published source for details.

DoorBreach SC1 CineBattleAmerigo1

This following section contains information from concept art that may not be canonical.

Overlord SC-G Game2

Caged overlord

Overlords make an appearance in StarCraft: Ghost. Some have been locked into tanks or subjected to cybernetic surgery. The latter are known as brain spectres.

StarCraft IIEdit

For StarCraft II gameplay information see: Overlord (StarCraft II).

Known OverlordsEdit

Overlord SC-G Cncpt1

An overlord

Variant StrainsEdit




An overlord antenna topper will be available in the "goodie bag" of BlizzCon 2016.[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Game Unit: Overlord. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2010-09-20
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jurgens-Fyhrie, Gavin. "Just an Overlord." (March 21, 2013). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: Just an Overlord Accessed 2013-03-21.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 2014-07-31, Overlord Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-08-08
  4. 4.0 4.1 Blizzard Entertainment. Overlord Dissection. Project Blackstone. Accessed on 2013-03-25
  5. Dayton, Cameron et al (July 21, 2014). StarCraft II: War Stories. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ASIN B00IWTWTBY.
  6. Blizzard Entertainment. 2012-11-26. StarCraft II Creative Development Q&A - Part 6. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2012-11-26.
  7. 2011-05-31, The Interrogation Room: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. GameSpy, accessed on 2011-7-08
  8. 8.0 8.1 Overlord. StarCraft Compendium. Accessed on 2008-01-19
  9. Drone, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2011-01-19
  10. Mesta, Gabriel (July 1, 2001). StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-671-04149-5.
  11. Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  12. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Collections Tab: Skins. October 17, 2016
  13. Karune. 2007-12-14. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 24. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2007-12-14.
  14. 2014-12-04, More Zerg Science (All Too Easy). Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-06-12
  15. 2016-07-21, BLIZZCON 2016 GOODY BAG. Blizzpro, accessed on 2016-07-22

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