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Zerg Swarm (?—2500)
Master of the Zerg Swarm (?—2500)
The Zerg Overmind – or simply the Overmind – and after the Brood War also known as the first Overmind, was the leader of the Zerg Swarm. It was created on the zerg homeworld of Zerus by the xel'naga to bring order to the zerg.
The Overmind was a brain-like entity of indeterminate age. It was created by the xel'naga on the zerg homeworld of Zerus to bring order to the zerg and guide them into merging with the protoss. At first it was only a semi-sentient entity created from the instincts and collective sentience of the zerg, but it quickly developed intellect and personality. The Overmind was created with intelligence and the ability to reason, but its free will was undermined by an overriding directive to destroy the protoss. This was part of a greater plan by Amon to remould creation in his own image. The Overmind learned of Amon's plan through scattered and confused images, which the Overmind ultimately formed into a more coherent narrative. The Overmind disagreed with its directive because it knew the zerg would be destroyed once the protoss were, but could do little to resist.
The Overmind was not an automaton, and had broad latitudes in its thinking. However, "iron-clad" compulsions prevented it from considering rebellion. The Overmind used "cracks" in these controls to support the goals of the zerg over Amon's.
Development and RebellionEdit
- The Overmind to a Cerebrate.(src)
The Overmind did not directly relay orders to its minions. As new species were added to the Swarm, it began to relay orders telepathically through cerebrates, giant versions of the larvae. Direct orders were relayed through overlords. Over a matter of centuries, the zerg consumed or eradicated Zerus's biosphere. The Overmind knew that if it were to extend the Swarm, it would have to depart the world. The arrival of behemoths in the Zerus System provided the opportunity the Overmind sought—lured to Zerus, the creatures were assimilated into the Swarm, allowing the zerg to survive in space.
As the Overmind extended its senses into space, it detected the xel'naga worldships in orbit. Cutting off its psionic link to the xel'naga, it prevented them from knowing what it was doing. It then commenced its attack, catching the xel'naga completely off guard. Within a matter of hours, the zerg overran their defenses and laid waste to the xel'naga fleet.
The Overmind absorbed thousands of xel'naga into itself, gaining their knowledge and insights and causing it to grow much more powerful. It learned the secrets of the sacred khaydarin crystals, and began to incorporate the energies of these crystals into its own. Through the knowledge gained from the xel'naga, the Overmind was able to increase the level of sentience in many of the higher zerg strains, while still keeping them fully under its control.
The Overmind dissected the memories of the xel'naga experiments with the protoss. The zerg then devoted their energies to seeking out the powerful protoss in the hope of absorbing them into the Swarm, uniting purity of form and of essence, to create a totally "perfect" being.
The swarms traveled in the direction of the protoss homeworld. For thousands of years, the zerg wreaked havoc upon the galaxy, destroying or assimilating countless numbers of species it encountered and laid hundreds of planets into smoking ruin. As the Swarm added ever new strains to its formidable army, the Overmind was uneasy. The protoss possessed formidable psionic powers, an advantage the zerg could not offset. It sought a way to counter the awesome might of the protoss psionics, but found no answer among the strains it devoured.
All changed when one of its deep-space probes encountered humanity, a frail race that lived under the very shadow of the protoss. Humanity had a great psionic potential and the Overmind ordered the assimilation of the terran worlds to gain the ability to fight the protoss on its own terms. It took the Overmind sixty years to reach the series of worlds inhabited by the terrans, sending out a scouting brood to determine the locations of their worlds.
The Overmind subtly infected the terran world of Chau Sara with spores as a prelude to invasion. The zerg infested or killed most of the populace and had sent minions to other terran worlds by the time the protoss discovered what had happened and responded. The Overmind, anxious to learn all it could about the protoss, held its minions back and let the protoss hamper the initial infestation process. The protoss destroyed all life on the surface of Chau Sara. The decisive action of the protoss pleased the Overmind, which marveled at how the protoss could bring about such devastation. The Overmind pulled its forces back to see how humanity and the protoss would react next.
The terran terrorist leader Arcturus Mengsk sought to use the zerg as a weapon of war against his enemies, the Terran Confederacy. To this end he acquired psi emitters, a device which amplifies the powers of a telepath, enabling them to attract zerg from a considerable distance.
Agent of the SwarmEdit
The zerg had not yet reached Tarsonis, capital world of the Confederacy, when they were drawn there by the emitters. The protoss arrived, intending to destroy all life on Tarsonis, but Arcturus Mengsk had his own plans. His Sons of Korhal, under the leadership of the increasingly politically unreliable ghost Sarah Kerrigan, would attack the protoss, preventing them from destroying the zerg. In turn, the zerg would destroy the Confederacy. The plan was successful, but Mengsk abandoned Kerrigan to the zerg. Kerrigan was not killed by the zerg, only captured and infested.
In Kerrigan, the Overmind finally found a weapon to combat the protoss. More importantly, though, it had found a way to free itself and the zerg from the insidious influence it had fallen under on Zerus. The Overmind had no concern over the other races, and was only trying to save the zerg.
The Overmind created a new cerebrate with only one purpose in mind; to protect the chrysalis which now held Kerrigan. The Overmind told the cerebrate that as long as the chrysalis and the creature inside survived, the cerebrate would also continue to live.
Kerrigan, now the Queen of Blades, emerged from her chrysalis during an attack by Raynor's Raiders. The Overmind referred to her as "the undoing" of its enemies and ordered the deaths of all the invading terrans. However, Kerrigan allowed Raynor to leave with his life.
Kerrigan's mind had been damaged by the Ghost Program during her training, and she wished to undo the damage and access her entire range of powers. She intended to raid the Terran Dominion science vessel Amerigo to learn how to undo this damage. Cerebrate Zasz took issue with this plan, however, reminding her that she was just a servant, and that her wishes did not take precedence over the Overmind's mission. Kerrigan reacted badly to this pronouncement, but the Overmind allowed her to carry out her desire – while she had retained most of her spirit, she could not stray from the Overmind's will.
A New WeaponEdit
- The Overmind to a cerebrate.(src)
The Dark Templar leader, Zeratul, and high templar Tassadar conspired to perform a "weapons test" against the zerg. They had discovered the purpose of the cerebrates and believed that only Dark Templar energy could permanently destroy one. Tassadar distracted Infested Kerrigan while Zeratul slew Cerebrate Zasz of the Garm Brood. This created a psionic link between the Overmind and Zeratul. Each learned the other's secrets, but the Overmind's mental defenses kept Zeratul from learning everything.
The shock of permanently losing a cerebrate threw the Overmind into a state of mental shock. It did not emerge until the remnants of the Garm Brood had been destroyed. Senior Cerebrate Daggoth commanded the Zerg Swarm while the Overmind was unable to communicate.
The Overmind changed its plans. It would travel to Aiur, whose precise location it had drawn from Zeratul's memory, but leave Kerrigan behind on Char in order to fight the protoss remaining there.
Upon reaching Aiur, the Overmind told its new cerebrate the purpose of the invasion: it intended to assimilate the protoss thus making the Swarm "perfect".
The Overmind ordered its forces to clear the "hallowed ground" upon which stood the original protoss temple on Aiur (site of where the xel'naga first set foot on Aiur) and place the khaydarin crystal in its place. Only there could it be made manifest. The crystal was placed, after which the Overmind dove upon Aiur like a bomb and implanted itself on the surface.
Kerrigan had some success in hunting down the Dark Templar, capturing Zeratul and many others in a terran installation. However, Tassadar was able to recruit a protoss task force and rescue them. These Dark Templar were transported to Aiur.
The protoss response coalesced following a short-lived civil war. Tassadar, with Dark Templar led by Zeratul, and Raynor's Raiders, made the final assault. Fenix and Zeratul staged a preliminary assault by permanently killing two cerebrates. With the defenses weakened, the allies struck directly at the Overmind, but only managed to destroy the Overmind's outer shell at the cost of heavy casualties. The Overmind prepared to escape through a warp rift and the attack verged on failure. Tassadar channelled the energies of the Khala and the Void into a gigantic ball of energy that destroyed the Overmind and his physical self. Some of the corpse was sucked into the closing rift.
Some of Tassadar's higher psionic functions merged with those of the dying Overmind. This rendered any future manifestations of Tassadar unclear.
For many years afterwards, the gigantic rotting corpse remained a site of zerg activity, with creatures both feeding on and defending it.
- The spirit of Tassadar to Zeratul.(src)
On the eve of the Second Great War, Zeratul returned to Aiur to extract memories, first from the Overmind's tendrils, and later from its cortex. The dark templar sought information to clarify a prophecy he found on Ulaan. When he tried to commune with the cortex he was met by Tassadar's spirit who not only revealed an apocalyptic vision of the future, but also explained the Overmind's motivations during the Great War and its interest in Infested Kerrigan. The Overmind stated that Kerrigan was the key to save the universe from Amon.
Powers of the OvermindEdit
- The Overmind to Zasz.(src)
It was biologically impossible for the zerg to oppose the Overmind's directives. Although the Overmind was technically a living being, it was really a bodiless entity that embodied the whole will of the zerg species. It was also capable of opening warp rifts for transport of itself and its broods.
The Overmind had the ability to create warp rifts.
In-game, if the Overmind is destroyed, appears on its place an unselectable unshelled Overmind that lasts for approximately 5 seconds.
The corpse of the Overmind seen in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the largest zerg structure created by the design team. It underwent a redesign from its appearance in the previous game, the rationale being that it was to feature the most distinct SC1 features while allowing enough areas for the textures to be shown off and compared to the new zerg buildings. The giant eyeball was another liberty taken with the new art. The thought was it seemed more responsive and alive than a giant exposed brain.
In StarCraft II there's two Overmind models: an alive (a structure) and a dead overmind (a doodad). The tendrils are a separate structure. During the "Echoes of the Future" mission, Zeratul visits the dead one, and after the mission is concluded, the alive one appears on a flashback in the ending cinematic.
The concept of the Overmind and its hivemind control was examined in The Real Science of StarCraft II. It was concluded that it was a reasonable concept, as similar behavior has been observed in Earth insects.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Characters of StarCraft#The Overmind.
Wikipedia content was licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License prior to June 15, 2009 is. Wikipedia content from June 15, 2009, and StarCraft Wiki content, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported).
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