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Spectres are terran special forces operatives with psionic powers granted by the psionic reagent terrazine. Many are or were elite ghost agents which have been exposed to terrazine. However, some were neurally resocialized troops who were subjected to the procedure, and would have lesser psionic power. Spectres were created as part of Project Shadowblade.
Scientists consider the side effects of terrazine enhancement to be "unpredictable," but of what is known, its use allows a telepath to regenerate brain cells, overcoming memory wipes and increasing their psionic powers by 1 or more points on the Psi Index. Spectres inhale terrazine like a drug from a bottle.
As a result of an alliance with the Umojan Protectorate and using their advanced technology, plus that stolen from Sector 9, spectres are difficult to detect via detectors or mind-reading (except by other terrans exposed to terrazine). Their hostile environment suits give a greater boost to strength and agility than the standard Dominion version, and they were given sonic-dampening boots for quieter movements.
The results of the spectre procedure affects everyone slightly differently. Many become eccentric, collecting devices such as dolls in an effort to enhance their powers. Terrazine is addictive, and many spectres did not adhere to a strict schedule, instead overdosing. This results in side effects such as hallucinations and even violent outbursts.
Ghost agent Nova Terra claimed that spectres always become psychotic. Doctor Ariel Hanson disagreed, believing that Terra had lied. The former director of the reborn Project: Shadowblade, General Cole Bennett, emphasized the dangers of terrazine without jorium to stabilize its negative effects. Numerous spectres, such as Dylanna Okyl, had seemingly gone insane due to its effects.
In 2501, the Terran Dominion discovered the fringe world of Demon's Fair. Investigators discovered a terrazine-releasing rift there, and upon realizing the gas enhanced psionic power, Emperor Arcturus Mengsk created a secret program, Project Shadowblade. The project was led by General Horace Warfield.
The head of Nova Squadron, Colonel Jackson Hauler, secretly an escapee from the Ghost Program, infiltrated the program under the name Cole Bennett. The gas was tested on several terrans, some of whom were low-level psychics, in order to observe the effects. "Bennett" secretly tested on himself. The project was violently dissolved. Three members were arrested, subject to neural resocialization and thrown into New Folsom Prison. Bennett made an escape.
The duo made an alliance with the Umojan Protectorate and, using a cloaked battle platform, Gehenna Station, along with advanced technology from the Umojans and the secret Dominion project Sector 9, began creating an army of spectres. They were mainly kidnapped ghosts, lured through pretexts into vulnerable positions. They had their neural implants removed to avoid detection and tracking by the Dominion.
In the end, Terra led Dominion forces in a successful attack on Gehenna Station, killing several spectres and destroying the station. Tosh was only able to escape with six resocialized marines in indoctrinators.
During the Second Great War, Tosh sought to hire Raynor's Raiders to rescue the prisoners, and acquire jorium and terrazine to reactivate them. Tosh's plans were discovered by Nova, a Terran Dominion ghost. Nova attempted to dissuade Raynor from raiding New Folsom by claiming spectres were psychotic killers.
Jim Raynor was unwilling to trust a Dominion agent and followed Tosh's plan of action. Though the prison was alerted by Nova, the breakout succeeded. As promised, Tosh and the spectres agreed to help the Raiders in the revolution against the Dominion. As a precaution, Raynor also extracted a promise from Tosh that only volunteers would undergo the spectre creation process.
Nova convinced Raynor that Tosh's ambitions were too dangerous to be allowed to succeed. The Raiders helped the ghost destroy the spectre training facility on Avernus Station. Nova then assassinated Tosh.
By 2506, spectres were being utilized by the Moebius Corps. Spectres in the service of Moebius Corps were seen by Zeratul on an old Moebius Foundation hybrid lab. Later they would be spotted on Sky Shield, the attack on Ulnar, and the defense of Revanscar.
Spectres were present among the ranks of Raynor's Raiders during the joint assault into the Void. While there, they took part in protecting Sarah Kerrigan as Ouros transferred his essence into her.
In the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign, spectres are available as an alternative to ghosts, granted if Jim Raynor sides with Gabriel Tosh. They are superior to ghosts in dealing with massive units due to their psionic lash and bonus damage against armor. On the other hand, they possess less HP than ghosts, and psionic lash is less energy efficient than the ghost's equivalent, snipe. While still not very effective against massed zerg, spectres have the ability to stun a group of units in a small radius, allowing time to either retreat or effectively support other units.
If taking their psionic lash and cloaking abilities into account, spectres are good against siege tanks, thors, diamondbacks, battlecruisers, immortals, archons, colossi, void rays, carriers, ultralisks, and brood lords. They are weak against marines, zerglings, and zealots, and are not cost-effective against marauders, stalkers, or roaches.
These self-replicating ultra capacitors reduce the reload time of weapons and systems. Now each of the weapon upgrades at the armory and engineering bay increases attack speed by 5% in addition to increasing damage.
Armor upgrades increase health of affected units by 5% per level.
We have created a new lightweight alloy called vanadium. Vanadium diffuses weapon impacts much more efficiently than traditional armor plating, and it better preserves the life of our units. Now each of the armor upgrades in the armory and engineering bay increases unit life by 5% in addition to increasing armor.
Enables spectres to cloak indefinitely.
This combat suit comes with a psi enhancer dedicated entirely to maintaining cloak. This allows the spectre to effortlessly maintain a cloaking field and channel his psionic energies elsewhere.
Ghosts and spectres can call down nuclear strikes, dealing 300 damage + 200 vs buildings.
The launching player sees a large red symbol on the target area while the opponent only sees a red dot. When the ghost is aiming the nuke, it will be "frozen", but it can still be given the order to "move away", which it will do the moment it is unfrozen.
Grants spectres the psionic lash ability. Psionic lash deals 200 damage to target unit.
With proper training, spectres can unleash a concentrated blast of psionic fury at a single target. This blast drains the spectre's energy reserves, but it will kill most targets outright. For obvious reasons, Remedius Medical Systems recommends limiting this training to spectres who have an exceptionally high opinion of their superior officers.
Spectres could be upgraded with Impaler Rounds at the Hyperion's armory. Although the button states that it increases damage against light units by 5, the actual upgrade increased damage against armored units instead. Spectres also had a Consumption ability identical to Tosh's, draining HP from allied units to recover their energy.
Heroes of the Storm
Spectre skins for Nova Terra, Tracer and Illidan Stormrage appear in Heroes of the Storm. In addition, spectre iconography appears on the third tint of the game's vulture mount. The phantom is also available as a mount.
- Main article: List of spectres
- In Wings of Liberty, the player has the option of siding with Nova instead of Tosh and consequently, the mission "Ghost of a Chance" is played rather than "Breakout" (this is treated as an alternate storyline by Blizzard Entertainment). Should "Ghost of a Chance" be chosen, the Raiders will have access to ghosts rather than spectres.
- Spectres were part of the background of StarCraft: Ghost, much of said background being ported to its novelization. In background material, they were described as being shadowy superhuman beings bent on executing the will of their "true master" and "subservient super-soldiers". A relationship may have existed between them and cybernetic overlords referred to as brain spectres.
- The symbol of the spectres is available in multiplayer as a reward for winning 1000 1v1 games using a random race.