The bluffer's guide to StarCraft II lore

The Zerg are an alien race somewhere between insects and the Tyranids of Warhammer 40,000. While most people know them by the snake-like Hydralisks, they’re actually created out of larvae, and controlled by the Overmind (a booming voice in their heads) and Cerebrates (slightly less booming voices in their heads that are controlled by the Overmind).

Above: Definitely RAWR

Zerg infest, spawn and multiply at frightening rates, allowing them to overwhelm countless human colonies before the Confederacy can react. Now, with the Overmind dead and its two attempts to regenerate failed, Sarah Kerrigan leads the Zerg from their new-found home on the planet Char in the Koprulu sector, the stage on which StarCraft was set and StarCraft II is launched.

Sarah Kerrigan
Kerrigan was a talented Ghost, gifted psychic and crack shot trained by the Confederacy. Eventually she defected, joining the Sons of Korhal with Mengsk and seeking the eradication of the aforementioned tyrants. When Mengsk used her to prime a psi-emitter to lure the Zerg upon Tarsonis, Kerrigan was left for dead, but she wasn’t killed. Instead the Overmind, sensing a delicious psychic, put her in a chrysalis and turned her into a Zerg Queen. Possibly due to the huge spindly arms coming out of her back, Kerrigan then took the name ‘The Queen of Blades’.

Above:Imagine the mess in her lair - you know those Hydralisks aren't house-trained

Atthe Overmind’s death she was freed and helped the Dark Templars and Jim Raynor to fight the Dominion and the attempted rebirths of the Overmind. Several backstabs and murdered bit-part-characters later, Kerrigan turned on the Protoss and Raynor, uniting the Zerg into a formidable swarm once more. Kerrigan beat the UED, Protoss and Raynor when they attacked her on Char, but let them escape for no apparent reason. In StarCraft II, Kerrigan has gained insight into the future, and has seen the coming of the Xel’Naga.

The Voice in the Darkness
The void – a cold, dark and unholy place – holds many mysteries, including the source of the Dark Templars’ power and the creature that the Xel’Naga imprisoned on the dead star KL-2. Before StarCraft II, a Moebius research team led by a talented psychic accidentally unleashed the Voice. Most of the team was killed before the Voice went head-to-head with the Protoss Dark Templar Xy’Tal, who sacrificed himself to destroy it. However, rumor has it that the Voice still exists.

Samir Duran
Samir Duran appeared during the Brood War expansion as an advisor to the UED’s Admiral DuValle, but eventually tricked him into killing his old friend Alexei Stukov and revealed himself as a Zerg spy. However, in one of the last missions of the game, Zeratul found Duran on an uncharted planet splicing Zerg and Protoss DNA. On questioning, he revealed that he was millennia old, that Samir wasn’t his real name, and that all of this time he had fooled Kerrigan into believing he was a loyal servant.

Above: Sure looks pretty harmless...

Ominously, and leading into StarCraft II, he referred to the hybrids as a “completion of a cycle... preordained when the stars were young.” More ominous still, he revealed that he had planted many thousands of his hybrids across the universe, and that Zeratul has no way to get to them before they all hatch.

The Xel’Naga
While Blizzard hasn’t revealed much about what these things are, what they’re doing, or why they’re coming back, it’s apparent that they won’t be friendly. Through a process of trial and error the Xel’Naga created the Protoss and the Zerg – known as the Purity of Form and Purity of Essence respectively, and what the Overmind referred to as “opposite facets of a greater whole.” Samir Duran’s experiments with Zerg-Protoss hybrids at the end of StarCraft could be leading to the rebirth of the Xel’Naga.

Jul 26, 2010

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