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The StarCraft universe refers to the fictional universe created by Blizzard Entertainment. It began with the release of the game StarCraft in 1998, the franchise having since expanded across various forms of media.


SettingEdit

Main article: StarCraft storyline
Main article: Koprulu Sector

Set approximately 500 years in the future, the StarCraft universe includes three main races; terrans, a group of humans exiled to the Koprulu Sector 200 years ago, the protoss (a race of humanoid religious warriors with advanced technology) and the zerg (vile insect-like aliens who share a hive mind).[1] A war between the latter two led to massive destruction amongst all three races.[2]

Major FactionsEdit

Main article: Terran Organizations

TerransEdit

Supercarriers SC2 Art1

The supercarriers leave Earth.

The humans of Earth fell under the control of the United Powers League in 2229. The new government believed in the "divinity of mankind" and worked to eliminate anyone who had undergone genetic engineering or used non-essential cybernetic equipment. Government forces also cracked down on criminals, religious people, political activists and other "dissidents".

About forty years later, scientist Doran Routhe collected thousands of such prisoners onto four supercarriers as part of a colonization project. The prisoners were cryogenically frozen and supplied with materials needed to found colonies, including ATLAS, a revolutionary new AI. However, the ships sped right past their target planet.

During the journey, ATLAS detected a relatively high rate of mutations leading to psionic powers in the prisoners, sending the information back to Routhe.

The lost ships ended up in the Koprulu Sector after three decades of travel, approximately two hundred years ago. The new terran colonists settled the worlds of Tarsonis, Moria and Umoja. The colonists of Tarsonis had access to ATLAS and would form the most powerful of the three civilizations – the Terran Confederacy.[1]

Terran ConfederacyEdit
TerranConfederacy SC1 Logo1
Main article: Terran Confederacy

The largest and strongest of the three terran factions in the Koprulu Sector, the Confederacy, based on Tarsonis, included several core worlds and numerous fringe colonies.[1]

The Confederacy, equipped with the most advanced military technology, maintained economic domination over its chief rival, the Kel-Morian Combine, based on Moria, by continually stealing their mining claims, usually through creating pretexts for invasion. The Confederacy also oppressed its own people, especially in the downtrodden fringe worlds, leading many to join numerous anti-Confederate rebel groups. The most important was the secret Rebellion of Korhal based on the "crown jewel" colony world of Korhal and led by Angus Mengsk; it had formed an alliance with Umoja.

In 2485 the Guild Wars broke out between the Confederacy and the Combine. It took the Confederacy four years to achieve victory. Immediately afterward, Angus Mengsk declared the independence of Korhal but was swiftly assassinated by ghosts, the Confederacy's corps of psychic special forces. This in turn caused formerly loyal Confederate military officer Arcturus Mengsk, a genius, to take over the leadership of the Rebellion of Korhal and prompted Umoja to found a defensive military, the Umojan Protectorate. Two years later, the Confederacy destroyed the colony of Korhal with massive nuclear weapons, which severely damaged but failed to destroy the rebels. Naming the remnants the Sons of Korhal, Arcturus Mengsk would continue to fight the Confederacy for eight years.[3]

By the outbreak of the Great War, heralded by the protoss purifying the colony of Chau Sara, the Confederacy consisted of thirteen primary worlds and numerous fringe colonies.[4]

During the Great War the Confederacy was invaded by the zerg. The Sons of Korhal took advantage, luring the zerg to Tarsonis with the Confederacy's own psi emitter technology.[5] Mengsk would later form a new government, the Terran Dominion, upon the ashes of the Confederacy.[6]

Remnants of the Confederacy still existed, even after the Brood War. One such group struck an alliance with the United Earth Directorate.[7]

Terran DominionEdit
TerranDominion Logo2
Main article: Terran Dominion

The roots of the Terran Dominion lay in the economic oppression of the colonists of Korhal by the Terran Confederacy. Twenty-one years before the Great War, Angus Mengsk, a senator of Korhal, created a secret revolutionary movement which allied with Umoja in order to attack the Confederacy. However, he could not gain the cooperation of his son, Arcturus Mengsk, who would join the Confederate Marine Corps.[3]

When the Confederacy achieved victory in the Guild Wars, Angus Mengsk declared the independence of Korhal. The Confederacy assassinated him with ghosts, and an angry Arcturus became the new leader. The Umojans created a new military body, the Umojan Protectorate, to protect themselves from the Confederacy and continued to cooperate with the rebel movement. Arcturus Mengsk was a more effective leader than his father, and two years after the elder's death, the Confederacy retaliated by destroying Korhal with nuclear weapons.[3] Arcturus Mengsk was at Umoja at the time and so survived. Calling the remnants of the group the Sons of Korhal, he immediately recruited troops at Umoja and soon struck back against the Confederacy. In his first such mission, he recruited former ghost Sarah Kerrigan.[8]

After eight years of hit-and-run attacks,[3] the Great War broke out. The Sons fought on the behalf of fringe world colonists against the zerg invaders, gaining the support of colonists such as Jim Raynor. Mengsk eventually co-opted Confederate general Edmund Duke and stole the psi emitter technology, using it to lure massive waves of zerg to the Confederate home planet of Tarsonis. While sealing victory, Mengsk lost the support of both Kerrigan and Raynor. The former he abandoned to the zerg, and the latter became his foe.[6]

The Terran Dominion, the successor to the Sons of Korhal, is now led by Emperor Arcturus Mengsk I and his secret heir, Valerian,[9] became the most powerful terran government in the Koprulu Sector when it was founded about four years ago on the ashes of the Confederacy.[6][9]

Raynor's RaidersEdit
RaynorsRaiders SC2 Logo1
Main article: Raynor's Raiders

The roots of Raynor's Raiders lay with Jim Raynor, a marshal of Mar Sara, a Confederate fringe world. During the zerg invasion early in the Great War, Raynor became disgusted with Confederate disregard for the civilian population and their politics (including arresting him). Raynor joined the rebel Sons of Korhal movement when they rescued civilians and freed him from Confederate imprisonment.

He became a valuable officer in the Sons of Korhal and eventually formed a strong relationship with the second-in-command, Sarah Kerrigan. Raynor severed his relations with the Sons when Arcturus Mengsk used unethical tactics to destroy Tarsonis, homeworld of the Confederacy, and abandoned Kerrigan to the zerg.[10]

Raynor's Raiders became a small anti-Dominion rebel movement.[11] In addition, it has undertaken numerous operations to rescue terrans from zerg forces.[12]

The Raiders are unique among the terran factions for having made long-term peaceful contact with the protoss, even fighting beside them on their homeworld.[6]

United Earth DirectorateEdit
UnitedEarthDirectorate SC1 Logo1

The UED are the descendants of the United Powers League government of Earth, which banished the terran colonists two hundred years ago. They secretly watched the Koprulu Sector for two centuries, making no attempt to interfere until the Confederacy made disastrous first contact with the protoss.[2]

The UED dispatched a fleet to the Sector, led by its most decorated officer, Gerard DuGalle, with orders to conquer the Terran Dominion, take control of the zerg Overmind and conquer the protoss.[2] However, they failed to maintain control over the terrans and zerg. The UED fleet was weakened by Infested Kerrigan's clever manipulations and finally defeated in a massive battle over her home planet, Char.[13]

Since then, the UED has lost interest in the Koprulu Sector, leaving the scattered remnants of their forces in the Sector to themselves.[14]

Zerg SwarmEdit

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The zerg

Main article: Zerg Swarm

The zerg have been described as a "genetic whirlwind", traveling the galaxy and absorbing dangerous strains into itself, transforming them into combat breeds. The zerg can regenerate their health quickly. The zerg do not use technology, instead growing what they need. Entire colonies consist of living structures which grow upon a living carpet called the creep.

The zerg are a biologically engineered species and the second (after the protoss) to be created by the last incarnation of the xel'naga. Possessing a purity of essence, the zerg were originally a race of worm-like parasites which over time could "absorb" the genetics of their victims. They were controlled by the Overmind, which broke contact with the xel'naga and eventually spurred the Swarm into destroying its masters, stealing their knowledge. The Zerg Swarm took on a hierarchy, led by the immortal Overmind, the immortal cerebrates underneath it, and the overlords. The modern Zerg Swarm emerged as a collection of breeds, capable of living in harsh conditions and most were adapted for combat.

The Overmind became aware of the protoss and determined to assimilate them into its own species. Upon discovering the terrans, it intended to assimilate their psionic potential to help it in its conquest of the protoss. When the zerg overwhelmed Chau Sara, the protoss responded by destroying all life on the planet's surface.[1]

A three-sided war broke out amongst the zerg, protoss and terrans. The zerg finally gained what they wanted at Tarsonis in the midst of a terran civil war – the powerful psychic who would become the new Infested Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades.[6]

After the death of the Overmind Kerrigan fought in the Brood War broke out between the factions, with Kerrigan and her pawn Samir Duran manipulating the protoss and other factions in order to give her the edge, but the plans were hampered by the arrival of the United Earth Directorate. Kerrigan defeated all her opponents in a massive battle over her home base of Char, but Duran meanwhile disappeared.[13]

The Zerg Swarm has been "too quiet" for four years.[13]

ProtossEdit

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The protoss

Main article: Protoss

The protoss, a race of powerful long-lived psychics originally found on Aiur, were the first successful creation of the prior incarnation of the xel'naga. They possess purity of form and are larger, stronger and tougher than terrans. They also have more advanced technology partially powered by psionics. The protoss of Aiur, called the Khalai, are linked by a psychic bond now called the Khala.

The xel'naga modified the protoss for thousands of years before they descended to the surface. The protoss worshipped them as gods and learned much from them. However, as individual psionic and scientific achievements became more important, the protoss tribes began to separate themselves from each other as the protoss psychic bond vanished. The xel'naga now felt they had pushed the evolution of the protoss too quickly and abandoned their first creation.

The protoss tribes, feeling betrayed by their gods, fell into a massive civil war called the Aeon of Strife which lasted countless protoss generations, causing their technology to fall to a Stone Age level. The Strife finally ended when the mystic Khas recreated the bond, calling it the Khala, pacifying the tribes and teaching them some of what he learned from the xel'naga.

The protoss religion centers around the Khala, and it is the center of all their psionic power. In order to maintain its purity, protoss culture, led by the Conclave following the Aeon of Strife, became very conservative, leading to philosophical differences between the Khalai and the Dark Templar – the latter being a group who refused to join the Khala.[1]

The Dark Templar were exiled a thousand years ago, and the Khalai watched over much of the universe, establishing colonies, engaging in wars with some of the alien races and avoiding contact with the lesser species. They did not interfere when the terrans arrived in the Koprulu Sector, virtually in their shadow, until the zerg entered the Sector and began attacking the terrans. In an effort to stem the infestation, the Conclave ordered the executor, Tassadar, to destroy the tainted worlds, starting with Chau Sara.[1]

Tassadar eventually failed to save heavily populated Tarsonis from the zerg, and then did the unthinkable – striking an alliance with the Dark Templar prelate, Zeratul, to fight the zerg. The two had to defeat the Conclave in a civil war before they could destroy the zerg Overmind. Even then, the Khalai were forced to flee to the Dark Templar world of Shakuras and live in unease amongst their new hosts.[6]

The protoss suffered heavy losses during the Brood War and are being forced to rebuild their civilization, but are protected from the zerg by a xel'naga temple on Shakuras.[13]

The Dark TemplarEdit

DarkTemplarCivilWar SC2 Art1

The Dark Templar

Main article: Dark Templar

The Dark Templar, now calling themselves Nerazim, are a group of protoss who existed on Aiur after the Aeon of Strife. Their presence was hidden from the other protoss by the Conclave, which monitored their location.

About one thousand years ago, the Conclave leader, Kortanul asked executor Adun to locate and execute them, for fear their "irrational" desire to avoid entering the Khala could create a new Aeon of Strife. Adun was not convinced of their willful hatred, however, and decided to spare them by faking the executions and teaching them how to hide themselves. The Dark Templar could not always control their new powers, causing psionic storms to spiral out of control over Aiur, revealing Adun's deception.

Adun and the Conclave eventually agreed to exile the dissidents. They were forced onto a xel'naga vessel, but not before last minute squabbling almost sparked a new war. Adun, using his powers to protect the Dark Templar, vanished into mist as the Dark Templar flew away.[15]

The Dark Templar, traveling through space, began to expand their powers. They settled a moon, Ehlna, for hundreds of years due to the legacies of the xel'naga they found upon it, as well as its properties for storing memories in specially modified khaydarin crystals.

Eventually most of the Dark Templar settled upon the twilight world of Shakuras, due to its xel'naga legacies, and made Raszagal their leader.[16]

Dark Templar roamed the galaxy, looking for xel'naga relics. During the Great War, bands traveled to Char, home of the zerg, testing themselves in combat.[17] One such band, led by Zeratul, even made (eventually) friendly contact with Khalai forces led by former executor Tassadar and discovered their unique powers made potent anti-zerg weapons.[18]

Xel'NagaEdit

Main article: Xel'naga
XelNagaTemple SC1 CineFuryXelNaga3

Legacies of the xel'naga

The xel'naga were an ancient race with a complex life cycle. Possessing purity of form and purity of essence, they were extremely long-lived but did not reproduce as other species. As each incarnation reached old age, they would modify two species, one with each characteristic, intending for them to naturally merge over time to create a new incarnation of the xel'naga.

The last xel'naga incarnation created first the protoss, and then the zerg. However, their last creation destroyed them, absorbing their knowledge. This act, according to those in the know, would prevent the xel'naga from arising again. Almost nothing is left of the xel'naga, except legacies.

Zeratul began a search for evidence of their return.[16]

HistoryEdit

Main article: StarCraft storyline
Main article: Prelude to the Great War
Main article: Chau Sara campaign

The zerg secretly infested the Terran Confederacy colony of Chau Sara before moving on to other worlds.[1]

During an operation by Alpha Squadron against a Sons of Korhal insurgency, the zerg (termed "xenomorphs") revealed themselves, attacking the Alpha Squadron forces. Cerberus Recon Squad, a secretive military unit, assisted Alpha Squadron in further battles against the zerg.[19] The xenomorphs, which had been the subject of Confederate research,[20] attacked the capital, Los Andares, but were defeated.[21] Cerberus oversaw the "final" defeat of the zerg, then abandoned the colony, preventing it from communicating its predicament.[22]

The zerg reemerged and overwhelmed the colony. Tassadar's expeditionary force discovered the colony and, noting the massive infestation, exterminated all life there.[1]

The Great WarEdit

Main article: Great War

The Great War was a massive battle between the Terran Confederacy, Sons of Korhal (later Terran Dominion), protoss and zerg. It ended with the destruction of the Overmind at the hands of the protoss commander Tassadar.[6]

Main article: Rebel Yell

Even as Chau Sara was being put to the protoss torch, the zerg had already arrived on neighboring Mar Sara and begun infesting that planet as well. The Magistrate of Mar Sara was charged with protecting the local colonists, but as on Chau Sara the Confederacy was more interested in suppressing knowledge of the zerg than helping the colonists secure their homes. The Magistrate and Marshal Jim Raynor were arrested by the Confederacy after taking a proactive stance against the zerg. They were freed by the Sons of Korhal, an anti-Confederate group led by Arcturus Mengsk; the colonials needed little persuading to join the rebels after their treatment by the Confederacy. With Mar Sara falling to the zerg and the Confederacy evacuating the rebels managed to acquire data showing that the Confederacy was purposely attracting zerg to disloyal colonies with psi-emitters.

Mar Sara was lost to the zerg and then to the protoss cleansing. The rebels moved on to Antiga Prime where they hoped to foment open rebellion against the Confederacy and gain additional support. Here Sarah Kerrigan, a telepath and former covert agent, became friends with Raynor. The colony was liberated before the arrival of the Confederate counter-attack. The Sons of Korhal used psi-emitters to unleash the zerg on the Confederate blockade and the rebels escaped.The protoss followed on the heels of the zerg and cleaned Antiga Prime as well.

The road to Tarsonis was clear. The Sons of Korhal attacked the capital as the Confederacy scrambled to meet the threat posed by the aliens. Nonetheless Mengsk was not confident he had the strength to fatally cripple the enemy alone. Therefore he again, above the protests of subordinates, ordered the use of psi-emitters. The converging zerg crushed the defenses and began devastating the cities. Mengsk sent Kerrigan to defend the zerg from the pursuing protoss so the zerg could complete their work. Kerrigan succeeded but was subsequently overrun by the zerg; despite pleas for evacuation Mengsk abandoned her. This betrayal led Jim Raynor and his troops, Raynor's Rangers, to forsake the Sons of Korhal and form Raynor's Raiders.

With Tarsonis in ruins, the power of the Confederacy was broken. The Sons of Korhal transformed into the Terran Dominion, a new hegemony based on Korhal, with Mengsk as its Emperor. Raynor bitterly realized that the ideals he had been fighting for had been betrayed.

Main article: The Overmind

The zerg were the second "perfect creation" of the ancient xel'naga, and gifted with the "purity of essence". The zerg continuously assimilated new species into the hive mind. Control and the collective sentience of the Swarm was invested in the Overmind. The zerg trek from their coreward homeworld to the Koprulu Sector was driven by knowledge forcibly assimilated from the xel'naga; the protoss were the xel'naga's first creation and the Overmind wished to assimilate the protoss such that the zerg might become "perfect". Unfortunately the exact location of the protoss homeworld, Aiur, remained unknown; in addition the zerg sought a counter to the protoss' immense psionic powers. A solution for the latter seemed within reach when the Swarm stumbled upon the Koprulu Sector terrans, a species with immense, but as yet mostly dormant, psionic potential.

The zerg captured Sarah Kerrigan on Tarsonis and began transforming her into a zerg/terran hybrid. The Overmind created a new cerebrate, a brood-level control creature, to oversee and safeguard Kerrigan's gestation. Infested Kerrigan was instrumental in unlocking the secrets of how to assimilate the protoss. The zerg withdrew from Tarsonis to Char. They fending off attacks from terrans and protoss inadvertently lured by a gestating Kerrigan's psionic calls. Forces led by protoss Executor Tassadar, protoss Dark Templar Prelate Zeratul, and terran Jim Raynor were stranded on Char and formed a three-way alliance to survive. Ironically it was one of the alliance's major victories that revealed the location of Aiur to the Overmind.

Cerebrates were nominally reincarnated by the Overmind upon death. It was a shock to the Swarm when the Zeratul managed to permanently kill the cerebrate Zasz; only the Dark Templar wielded the energies needed to perform such a feat. However, when Zeratul killed Zasz the protoss' mind briefly touched that of the Overmind, allowing both to read the other's mind. The Overmind extracted the location of Aiur from Zeratul.

Aiur was invaded in short order and the zerg established themselves on the surface. The Overmind relocated from Char to Aiur.

Main article: The Fall

Tassadar refused the Conclave's summons to return to Aiur after the fall of Tarsonis; he journeyed to Char without the knowledge of his superiors and was stranded there. While there he became allies with the Dark Templar Zeratul and Raynor's Raiders. From Zeratul, he learned the ways of the Dark Templar, something forbidden to the Khalai, the protoss of Aiur, by the Conclave. Tassadar was still out of contact when the zerg invaded Aiur and the Conclave opted to promote Artanis to executor in Tassadar's place.

Tassadar finally managed to contact Aiur and explain his recent activities. The former executor's admission of cooperating with the Dark Templar sparked outrage in the conservative Conclave. Ultimately, the Conclave ordered Artanis and the Fleet of the Executor to arrest Tassadar at Char. It was a division of force the defenders could ill afford; contrary to the Conclave's beliefs the zerg were winning the war. Tassadar was dismayed that an entire fleet was sent from the beleaguered homeworld just to arrest him because of an ideological issue.

Tassadar was willing to return to Aiur and face judgement but not without first finding the Dark Templar, whom he believed were invaluable in the fight against the zerg. Artanis was sympathetic. The Fleet of the Executor returned to Aiur with Tassadar and his allies, the recovered Dark Templar and Raynor's Raiders. The war with the zerg was faring as badly no better under the Conclave's inept leadership. Tassadar caused a civil war by attempting to remove the Conclave from power; this failed when Tassadar surrendered rather than continue to witness protoss fight protoss. He was saved from execution by the Dark Templar. Once free Tassadar turned his allies against the Overmind. The assault broke through the defenses but began faltering after severely damaging the Overmind. To make matters worse the creature began opening a warp portal in a bid to escape. Tassadar brought the battle to a decisive end by channeling the combined energies of the Dark Templar and high templar through his ship, Gantrithor, and rammed the carrier into the target. The Overmind and Tassadar were annihilated.

The Brood WarEdit

Main article: Brood War

The Brood War was a civil war between zerg factions led by Daggoth and Infested Kerrigan, interrupted by an invasion at the hands of the United Earth Directorate. Forces such as the protoss and Raynor's Raiders were dragged into the conflict, and many factions were manipulated at the hands of Kerrigan and her lieutenant, Samir Duran.[13]

Main article: The Stand

Following Tassadar's sacrifice, the zerg on the protoss homeworld were overwhelmingly numerous but in disarray. Protoss refugees retreated to the homeworld of the Dark Templar, Shakuras, despite protests from Aldaris. The zerg followed them to Shakuras. The protoss and Dark Templar reluctantly joined forces with Infested Kerrigan's zerg forces, after she explained she was free from the Overmind's control, and she needed help with a new Overmind that was growing on Char. Kerrigan asked for their help to kill it before it reached maturity and took control of Kerrigan's mind again. She promised them a favor in return: two ancient crystals, fused with the powers of the dark and light templar, had to be recovered and put in the xel'naga temple to defeat the zerg on Shakuras, and Kerrigan would assist in this quest. Aldaris strongly opposed this alliance, but was overruled by the Dark Templar Matriarch, Raszagal.

During the quest, a massive terran fleet from the distant United Earth Directorate intervened. However, the protoss recovered both crystals.

Aldaris, troubled by their relations with the "traitorous" Dark Templar, split off and declared resistance on Artanis and the Dark Templar. This was a result of Kerrigan's manipulations, influencing Raszagal's mind. After Aldaris had been defeated, Zeratul and Artanis activated the xel'naga temple by placing two crystals inside. These energies spread across the planet, wiping the zerg from the face of Shakuras.

Main article: The Iron Fist

A captain joined the United Earth Directorate Expeditionary Fleet, assigned to subdue the terran worlds in this sector, but their high-handed actions quickly made enemies of all the various zerg and protoss factions as well. Mengsk's Dominion was the first to fall. Infested Kerrigan convinced Jim Raynor to rescue Mengsk. Though divided by a zerg-infested human-seeming spy, the UED succeeded in capturing and enslaving the new Overmind and control of zerg swarms.

Main article: Dark Vengeance

During the UED invasion of the Koprulu Sector, Ulrezaj, leader of the Dark Templar terrorist movement, the Fist of Ulrezaj, hatched a plot to annihilate the protoss refugees taking shelter on Shakuras. However, his forces were defeated by Zeratul.

Main article: The Queen of Blades

Infested Kerrigan was severely threatened by the growing control the massive UED fleet had over the zerg swarms. By painting herself as a victim and arguing that the combined UED and zerg forces were the greater enemy, Kerrigan gained the reluctant assistance of the scattered terran, protoss and Dark Templar forces. As the UED was beaten back, however, she turned on each of her "allies." The new Overmind was killed, and Kerrigan gained control of all the zerg. Kerrigan's might was so strong, her zerg simultaneously crushed three powerful forces: Arcturus Mengsk and his "special interest" groups, Artanis and his vengeful protoss brethren, and the remnants of the UED Expeditionary Fleet. With the UED's fleet destruction, Kerrigan allowed Mengsk and the protoss to live, although she could have destroyed their forces as well. Since then, Kerrigan and the zerg have become the most powerful force in the sector, while Artanis and Mengsk began to rebuild their respective empires.

Main article: Dark Origin

Meanwhile, Zeratul discovered a hidden plot behind the scenes of the story: a secret project of combining zerg and protoss genes. When Zeratul approached the last stasis cell containing the zerg/protoss hybrid creature, the voice of Samir Duran was heard.

He explained he was not Kerrigan's servant and that he has served a greater power. He told Zeratul that destroying the cell will not hinder the project, as there are other cells in locations across the universe and Zeratul would not be able to find them all before it's too late.[13]

After the WarEdit

PsionicsEdit

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The protoss are masters of psionics

Main article: Psionics

Psionics are mysterious powers which can be utilized by the primary three races in varying ways.

The terrans of the Koprulu Sector are more likely than those of Earth to have psionic potential, and are mere generations from expressing it.[1] However, most terrans presently have no powers. Most psychic terrans can sense the use of psionics around them, and those of middling power are usually telepaths.[23] These psychics are usually conscripted into the Ghost Program as children or teenagers and controlled through the use of cybernetics or memory wiping. More powerful psychics are extremely rare, and may have access to telekinesis.[23]

All protoss have psionic powers. Those from Aiur are connected by a psychic bond, the Khala, which forms the basis of their powers. The most powerful Khalai are high templar, who can wield abilities such as the powerful psionic storm which can devastate their enemies. Another branch of the protoss, the Dark Templar, cut themselves off from the Khala and access the power of the Void instead. This gave them access to powers such as cloaking.[1]

The zerg are sensitive to the use of psionic powers, and are connected by a pseudopsionic bond, but individually seem to possess little if any power.[1] Some breeds, such as the Overmind and its cerebrates possessed unique and powerful abilities,[24] but they are all now dead. They are currently led by the Queen of Blades, formerly a powerful terran psychic.[25]

TechnologyEdit

Main article: Technology

Faster than Light TravelEdit

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The Hyperion leaps into warp space

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Zerg warp rift

Main article: Warp space

Warp space is used by the terrans, protoss and zerg as the primary method of faster than light travel.

The humans of Earth developed faster-than-light travel and cryogenic freezing techniques, which they used to exile the ancestors of the Koprulu Sector terrans. The colonists of Tarsonis redeveloped the technology, which they called subwarp, and used it to discover the inhabitants of Moria and Umoja.[1] Ships "skip" through warp space[15] although interaction is still possible.[8] Warp jumps take time to plan, but the calculations can be skipped (although doing so is generally regarded as suicide).[18]

Through tapping in to the psionic matrix provided by a nexus, protoss are able to warp structures, constructs, warships and even infantry onto a planetary body[1][26][27] and can even transport bases through dimensional recall.[28]

The Dark Templar are an exception to the majority of protoss in that they rely on travel through the void for FTL travel rather than warp space.[29]

The zerg are able to open rifts into warp space through which minions travel.[30][31][29] Large numbers of zerg, including their overlord transports, can be carried by behemoths.[29]

Protoss TechnologyEdit

Main article: Protoss Technology

Protoss technology blends psionic and technological aspects.[32] Some technology requires vespene gas as a catalyst.[1]

Protoss armor contains teleportation technology which whisks the warrior away to safety when they are injured to the point of death.[32] Injured and crippled protoss can be transformed into cybernetic warriors.[1]

Due to their low population, the protoss frequently use robots in their military.[1]

Protoss pilots are an integral part of their ship, and using it drains their energies.[16]

Terran TechnologyEdit

Main article: Terran Technology

The terrans have greatly advanced their technology since the 21st century. The descendants of the Long Sleep have the ability to create space stations,[33] teleportation technology,[34] embark on faster than light travel[1] and transmit communication holograms.[10] They have developed the art of faster-than-light communications, but this is generally considered too expensive to use frivolously; instead, messages are generally sent at such distances.[3]

Terrans have developed advanced weapons of war, such as powered armor, the battlecruiser, siege tank, nuclear weapons,[1] Ion Cannons,[35] effective spacecraft, such as the Wraith,[1] the Viking[36] and the science vessel,[1] and recently the powerful Thor.[37] Some of their combat ships and even troops have access to cloaking devices.[1]

Militarily, terrans have developed the ability to quickly repair their vehicles and structures in the field. The key in terran warfare is their flexibility. Their primary structures are equipped with jet engines which enable flight to other places.[1]

The terrans have developed a number of psychological modification tools, such as neural resocialization (a technique reshaping the victim's memories, transforming them into obedient warriors),[1][38][9] ghost conditioning (which limits psychic power),[39] neural inhibitors (which weaken psychic power and act like resocialization),[15] memory reassignment protocols (which change a ghost's memories and enforce loyalty),[40] and neural interface mnemo-tutors (which teach skills).[3]

Going with some of these tools are the technology used to control and support ghosts, psychic commandos. Ghosts can enhance their natural strength using psi-sensitive artificial muscle fiber in their hostile environment suits.[41] The device is also partially responsible for their cloaking ability.[18]

The psi-screen is a device used to protect against telepaths, but has a downside of inflicting brain damage or insanity if used too long.[23][9][15] The device is extremely expensive.[42]

A particularly devastating psionic device is the psi emitter, whose emanations attract zerg to its location.[38][43][10] It was used as a weapon in the Great War.[6]

In Our UniverseEdit

GamesEdit

Games authorized but not directly created by Blizzard include StarCraft: Insurrection, StarCraft: Retribution, StarCraft Adventures and StarCraft the Board Game.

Official FictionEdit

Main article: StarCraft official fiction

StarCraft has resulted in numerous Blizzard authorized spin-off novels, ebooks, graphic novels and comics, as well as two short stories in Amazing Stories magazine, entitled StarCraft: Hybrid and StarCraft: Revelations. The first four novels are compiled in the StarCraft Archive. The works have been received with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

There was even a StarCraft RPG.

Numerous fan fiction works also take place in the StarCraft universe.

Stylistic InspirationEdit

As is customary with many Blizzard works, many of StarCraft's concepts and artistic elements were inspired by, or were otherwise similar to, those found in existing science fiction. Elements from the movie Aliens recurred frequently in the terrans. Elements from Starship Troopers, both Heinlein's novel and the movie by the same name, and the miniatures war game Warhammer 40,000 may also be found. These may be some of the more prominent examples. The full extent of the inspiring corpus is too large to list or examine here, and the above should merely be indicative of its breadth.

Cultural SignificanceEdit

StarCraft's influence in the computer and video gaming fields was a direct result of its immense popularity. It became one of the measuring benchmarks upon which new real-time strategy games were measured; example, gaming news site Gamespot.com described StarCraft in 2003 as "The Standard by Which All Real-Time Strategy Games Are Judged". The game also introduced or popularized some current gaming terms, such as zerg rush and actions per minute.

The game's popularity also resulted in professional competition circuits.

Several StarCraft quotations (eg. "My life for Aiur!") have become catchphrases and found uses elsewhere in Internet culture.

ReferencesEdit

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