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View Full Version : [POSSIBLY HUGE SPOILERS] Duran/Narud, Xel'Naga, Hybrids and Dark Voice theorycrafting



Alex06
09-11-2012, 04:12 PM
We've had many questions on the subject of the Dark Voice, Duran, Narud, the Xel'Naga, the Hybrids, their origins, motivations, place in the universe and what not.

With the apparent information found within the HotS beta language files, it seems that most, if not all of the pieces from this puzzle are finally coming together.

So, we've had it confirmed at last year's BlizzCon event that Duran and Narud are indeed one and the same. But what's disturbing is this new campaign unit in Heart of the Swarm, called "Narud Xel'Naga". It seems to imply that Duran/Narud is a Xel'Naga. But, isn't Duran trying to accomplish a perversion of the Xel'Naga's cycle, you might ask? And isn't Duran serving a "Far greater power, one that has slept through countless ages?" How could he even be a Xel'Naga? What could be greated than a Xel'Naga, and why make him appear so ominous and not reference "The Gods" or "The Xel'Naga" even once?

Well, to that, I say, where was it said any of this goes against the established lore? Perhaps this was the point, to confuse us and distract us from the truth, to create a larger sense of mystery, and I believe this is exactly what happened. We are led to assume that the Xel'Naga are good, pure, and the Hybrids are imperfect. But remember how Zeratul has said that "The Xel'Naga return. The Cycle nears its end." in the old script?

Well, here's something crazy, the cycle IS ending, but completely, not approaching an end to which a new cycle will rise. What greater power than a Xel'Naga could have slept through countless ages, you might ask? Why, a Xel'Naga from an older cycle! Yes, it seems we could have indeed another case of Mass Effect here. Why would a Xel'Naga sleep for so long? Why would it need to?

In comes a certain tileset named the "Immortal Forge". No, this is not a Protoss Forge where Immortals are created, as the language files mention it is a Terran Hybrid lab. Isn't such a name ominous for a Terran installation? One could understand such a grand name for an old Protoss or Xel'Naga laboratory, but this is a Terran installation. Does this lab serve as a basis for researching and creating some sort of "Immortal"?

As we know, the Xel'Naga were not immortal. They were long-lived, but never immortal, requiring them to recreate the very cycle that brought them to existence to reproduce. Thus, they would seek 2 races that had their attributes and control their evolution to eventually merge and turn into a new Xel'Naga species. By becoming immortal, the Xel'Naga would cause the cycle to end. So, it would seem logical that if a Xel'Naga becomes immortal, it becomes a "Hybrid", a perversion of the cycle. Hybrids and Xel'Naga are otherwise the same. This also makes things simpler on Blizzard's end; If there would be a 4th race, it wouldn't need to be either or, seeing as how those two are one and the same, minus a minor difference. This also explains why, in the beta files, the Hybrid Destroyer was aptly named "Xel'Naga Destroyer" - The Hybrids and Xel'Naga really are the same thing, the former only lacking the mortality of the latter. But how can the Xel'Naga become immortal, you ask?

As you might know, a Zerg will never die of old age (It is literally written as such in Wings). So perhaps this is what Kerrigan needs to undo in Heart of the Swarm? She needs to make the Zerg mortal and not ageless. Rumor has spread that Kerrigan mentions in the campaign she wishes to create a Metamorph, a Zerg that can fuel its own evolution. This works well if you plug in the fact that the Zerg evolve through choosing from different mutations which to keep and which to scrap (as we will do in HotS ourselves). They depend on this random mutation process to evolve, but a Zerg creature that does not require this nor to steal DNA from other creatures will not need to consume to evolve, nor will it require to have random mutations, as it will be able to mutate itself in whichever direction it wishes. Thusly, Zerg no longer require the characteristic that make each individual Zerg creature immortal, and thus, the Zerg can merge with the Protoss to form an aging Xel'Naga instead of an ageless Hybrid abomination that will consume everything in its path to survive. But woah, let's explain that last bit. And why are Hybrids everyone's enemy, anyways? Why can't we all just live in peace with them?

You know how Archons and Dark Archons rely on absorbing the energy of things around them, living beings included, as shown in the Dark Templar trilogy, to survive? Yes, this is how the twisted Dark Archon, Ulrezaj, managed to survive 3 to 4 additional years. And yet, he was also creating Hybrids of his own. So it seems they must share something to be on the same side of one coin. What do Hybrids and Ulrezaj have in common? The Dark Voice, or Fallen One. Yes, that is apparently the name of their master, but it is also an old Xel'Naga. It seems obvious from Wings of Liberty that this strangely ominous enemy is the "dormant power" Duran spoke of, as he is the orchestrator behind the creation of the Hybrids. As seen within the last Protoss Wings Of Liberty mission, the Dark Voice "expends the light", as he so well says. One could take this metaphorically; He has finished the Protoss, but it doesn't help that we are shown a star going dark, and that during the Preservers' reading of the Prophecy, it is mentioned that everything will end "In Utter Darkness" (Which is also the last mission's name), and we are, in the same vein, shown a solar system's star exploding and everything going dark. The Hybrids also consume all the Zerg. So it seems obvious that the Hybrids require to feed off energy. This is why the Dark Voice appears similar to a Dark Archon; it is an energy being that requires to feed off its surroundings to survive. If such a creature were immortal, it would feed off everything that exists, bringing an end to the entire universe. Thus, by being mortal, the Xel'Naga cannot expand beyond the galaxy's capacity to recover, allowing life to come again. Perhaps this is why the Xel'Naga apparently came from another galaxy, because they had expended everything there was over there. I will have to admit that this entire Fallen One/eating stars concept sounds very similar to a certain Transformers film.

Finally, this is me just speculating heavily, but I'll add that it seems that the last missions in Heart of the Swarm take place on Zerus. After resolving her issues with Mengsk and the Terrans, Kerrigan leaves Humanity to its own, and takes to the stars, and most likely, to Zerus, to find a creature capable of becoming a Metamorph. Remember the giant lizard we've seen at BlizzCon of last year? Well, adding to the fact that we will fight Primal Zerg on Zerus, it seems logical to assume that this giant lizard is a Primal Zerg creature that was left long ago on its own when the Fallen One altered the Zerg, most likely to make them immortal. On Zerus, we will likely find Zerg that are mortal, and that will help the Swarm become what it must be for the Hybrids not to be born out of the Protoss/Zerg merge that may occur in LotV. Perhaps in LotV, the Protoss will disunite out of the issue that Xel'Naga consume stars to survive and that part of the Protoss race wish to partake in no such thing, and perhaps Zeratul's quest will be to find a way to allow the Protoss to understand the Xel'Naga's role in the universe and to perhaps remove their need for consuming such large quantities of energy to survive. Perhaps in the same way Kerrigan altered the Zerg, Zeratul will alter the Protoss.

Hawki
09-11-2012, 05:16 PM
General response time:

-Duran is likely referring to the Dark Voice as a "far greater power." However, that doesn't have to reflect on species divide. It's not the best example in the world, but suppose I'm supposedly working for the Allies in WWII, only to be revealed as serving the Axis. Early on in the war, I could refer to them as a "far greater power" when asked why I betrayed my country.

Poor example I know, but point is, the power doesn't need to be based on species.

-The immortal idea is quite a niffy one. If the xel'naga truly became immortal, indeed, the cycle would have no reason to continue.

-Concerning Kerrigan's metamorph goals, I'm not sure if immortality is really on her list of concerns, more that of creating a creature that's independent (psychological aspect rather than physical and all that).

-I'm not sure about the Dark Voice's energy expenditure thing. Based on what we've seen of it, it seems to be a physical being-not like (dark) archons. I generally assumed the star going out in In Utter Darkness was more symbolic than anything else.

-I doubt there's a protoss/zerg merge coming up, or if such a thing is even possible. The merge was meant to take place over an extended period of time, and even if they stopped being at each other's throats, I think it would really bog down the series if it started showing the process, and if it jumped to when the process was complete...well, the terrans would have to change as well, technologically speaking, to represent the passage of time. Not much fun IMO.

-I also doubt Zeratul will alter the protoss per se, considering that the campaign is about reuniting them. Granted, that's what Kerrigan was doing with the zerg in her campaign as well, and wants to change them as well seemingly. But the zerg, being the genetically diverse, fast reproducing species that they are, that's easy to do. The protoss? Not so much.

-In conclusion, I think you have a good idea at heart. The idea that hybrids are immortal, so that the cycle just stops. It could also explain why the Dark Voice wants to eliminate the zerg and protoss, to prevent 'true' xel'naga from being born and continuing the cycle. Yet he doesn't come off as some benevolant evil because it's established in In Utter Darkness that he's dragged the whole galaxy down in the process (extinction of humanity as well). There's also Zeratul's line "the xel'naga return, do they come to save or destroy, etc.) Either way, I think the cycle will end. Dark Voice wants it to end via his hybrids, xel'naga know they're a doomed species because the zerg and protoss can't join now, and in what time they have left, have to decide whether to allow their creations to live seperately (to save) or to wipe the board clean and spare the galaxy their mistakes (to destroy).

Or they return in their new form via the energy creatures providing genetic material. I don't see them serving the Dark Voice somehow.

Alex06
09-11-2012, 05:19 PM
Or they return in their new form via the energy creatures providing genetic material. I don't see them serving the Dark Voice somehow.
I recall them helping Zeratul by creating a portal for him to go through or something of the sort...

Hawki
09-11-2012, 05:26 PM
They did, but it's never specified where to. I'm guessing that whatever he saw set him on the 'prophecy hunt' that led him to Ulaan.

Shadow Archon
09-11-2012, 07:21 PM
What about the fact that there are two hybrid types?

One that is more animalistic and more dominant with Zerg features.

Another that makes plans, has dialog, and has more dominant Protoss features.

How does that equate with each other?

I kinda of disagree with metamorphs becoming mortal, but besides that, generally what I had in mind.