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Thread: Who likes to write fanfiction?

  1. #51

    Default Re: Who likes to write fanfiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    ^ Needs more Space Marines.
    Terran marines are already space marines. They stole the power armor design and everything. Don't worry, there's billions of them in the terran war machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    You give Dehaka a pass but not Kerry?
    Dehaka has the zerg motive of consuming desirable species to improve itself. The primal zerg were actually mentioned in the original manual and Dehaka fits the bill:

    Quote Originally Posted by StarCraft Manual
    As the Zerg incorporated more and more host creatures into their fold, they began to assimilate their various genetic strains and processes. Zerg chemistry began to mutate and adapt according to the volume of new genetic material being processed. However, as diverse as the range of host creatures became, there was always the undeviating drive to consume only the most evolutionarily advanced species encountered. The Zerg were innately selective as to which species they consumed, ensuring that at every stage of their development they were at the top of the proverbial food chain. Any race that the Zerg came across that was deemed unworthy of assimilation was eradicated to further purify the strains.
    The only incongruity is that Dehaka should be telepathic, since the primal zerg were telepathic:

    Quote Originally Posted by StarCraft Manual
    The closest creatures to the original Zerg insectoids are the Zerg Larvae. Although their size and toughness were greatly boosted by the Xel’Naga during their experiments, they still possess the two traits that originally intrigued the ancient masters: genetic versatility and psychic sensitivity.
    Kerry, on the other hand, embodies everything stupid about Metzen.

    • She was added simply because Metzen liked her too much too kill her off. He sabotages his own intention by turning her personality into the exact opposite.
    • Despite the zerg being established as consuming species to produce armies of doom, Metzen ignores that in order to present Kerry as a messianic hero figure.
    • In SC1 it was established that feral zerg could not be reclaimed; they were homicidal and insane. In BW this is ignored and feral zerg default to the control of the nearest higher intelligence; feral zerg display vastly more docile behavior and had enough intelligence to defeat the protoss. This leads into the next point:
    • In SC1 it was established that only brain bugs like cerebrates, overlords, etc are able to produce control (the resource used to manage zerg minions). In BW Kerry exerts infinite amounts of control out of nowhere despite having never been designed for this and having a physically tiny brain in comparison to the giant creatures that produce control.
    • Metzen killed off the zerg hierarchy before even giving their hinted personalities a chance to be explored, using deus ex machinas that never show up again, and replaced it bland idiots like Zagara and Niadra who mindlessly follow their last orders with no self-awareness.
    • Kerry is a boring and psychotic character whose motivations make no sense on their own and serve nothing more than to drive the plot forward.

  2. #52

    Default Re: Who likes to write fanfiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    You give Dehaka a pass but not Kerry?
    Dehaka wouldn't have been so bad if Blizzard had given his character a bit less obsession with essence

  3. #53
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    Default Re: Who likes to write fanfiction?

    The primal zerg were explicitly all assimilated into the hive mind and Zerus left barren and lifeless; their existence is a retcon. Dehaka is a gimmick character with grating voice acting and a motivation that just boils down to basic survival, which puts him somewhere between plot device and actual character. He's redundant and can be excised from any zerg narrative because literally every zerg character wants change and to assimilate other species too. That's why he dropped off the face of the Earth after his sole narrative purpose of destroying the psi destroyer was fulfilled. It was hard for the writers to do anything else with him.

  4. #54

    Default Re: Who likes to write fanfiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    The primal zerg were explicitly all assimilated into the hive mind and Zerus left barren and lifeless; their existence is a retcon. Dehaka is a gimmick character with grating voice acting and a motivation that just boils down to basic survival, which puts him somewhere between plot device and actual character. He's redundant and can be excised from any zerg narrative because literally every zerg character wants change and to assimilate other species too. That's why he dropped off the face of the Earth after his sole narrative purpose of destroying the psi destroyer was fulfilled. It was hard for the writers to do anything else with him.
    I personally tried to look at it another way in that after the Overmind's actions in assimilating life on Zerus, the planet was left lifeless from his POV. Now granted they retconned quite a bit via the SC2 lore, but I still try to see if there's a way to tie the lores together.

  5. #55

    Default Re: Who likes to write fanfiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Terran marines are already space marines. They stole the power armor design and everything. Don't worry, there's billions of them in the terran war machine.
    Just cos they look like Space Marines doesn't make them Space Marines, if you know what I'm saying. In the lore, WH40k Space Marines are OP and can trash pretty much anything (they obviously had to limit this in the game though). Sc Terrans don't even compare well considering how weak they're setup to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Dehaka has the zerg motive of consuming desirable species to improve itself. The primal zerg were actually mentioned in the original manual and Dehaka fits the bill:
    Abathur typifies this better than Dehaka.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    BW, on the other hand, embodies everything stupid about Metzen.
    I think this fix is a little bit more accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    The primal zerg were explicitly all assimilated into the hive mind and Zerus left barren and lifeless; their existence is a retcon. Dehaka is a gimmick character with grating voice acting and a motivation that just boils down to basic survival, which puts him somewhere between plot device and actual character. He's redundant and can be excised from any zerg narrative because literally every zerg character wants change and to assimilate other species too. That's why he dropped off the face of the Earth after his sole narrative purpose of destroying the psi destroyer was fulfilled. It was hard for the writers to do anything else with him.
    Hah, this is something I would usually say!

    I suppose that Dehaka, at the least, has a purpose in being a plot device when compared to characters like Izsha and Rohana (I actually had to go look up there names for a bit because I forgot lol), who can be removed entirely from the plot and you'd be none the wiser.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  6. #56

    Default Re: Who likes to write fanfiction?

    The primal zerg were explicitly all assimilated into the hive mind and Zerus left barren and lifeless; their existence is a retcon. Dehaka is a gimmick character with grating voice acting and a motivation that just boils down to basic survival, which puts him somewhere between plot device and actual character. He's redundant and can be excised from any zerg narrative because literally every zerg character wants change and to assimilate other species too. That's why he dropped off the face of the Earth after his sole narrative purpose of destroying the psi destroyer was fulfilled. It was hard for the writers to do anything else with him.
    This.

    Dehaka is one of the worst character introduced in SC2. On top of everything Grad said, he's also visually uninteresting. There's absolutely nothing to like about him. Even his name is awful. "Dehaka".. wtf is that crap? I don't understand why you'd keep him.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragnarok View Post
    You're not the only one right now lacking some inspiration
    You were talking to a bot
    Last edited by sandwich_bird; 05-17-2018 at 10:10 AM.

  7. #57

    Default Re: Who likes to write fanfiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    The primal zerg were explicitly all assimilated into the hive mind and Zerus left barren and lifeless; their existence is a retcon. Dehaka is a gimmick character with grating voice acting and a motivation that just boils down to basic survival, which puts him somewhere between plot device and actual character. He's redundant and can be excised from any zerg narrative because literally every zerg character wants change and to assimilate other species too. That's why he dropped off the face of the Earth after his sole narrative purpose of destroying the psi destroyer was fulfilled. It was hard for the writers to do anything else with him.
    I do not disagree with anything you say here.

    If I was writing a campaign involving Nargil, I would use Dehaka's model with Insurrection's voice acting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Just cos they look like Space Marines doesn't make them Space Marines, if you know what I'm saying. In the lore, WH40k Space Marines are OP and can trash pretty much anything (they obviously had to limit this in the game though). Sc Terrans don't even compare well considering how weak they're setup to be.
    Actually, the terrans are capable of really insane feats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    I think this fix is a little bit more accurate.
    The SC1 zerg campaign wasn't exactly good either. It was just Metzen masturbating over Kerry. Honestly, I can't really name many stories or custom campaigns that do the zerg justice. Kerry poisoned their characterization forever.

    Even in stories and campaigns where the zerg are depicted as alien monsters, rather than slaves of Kerry's mad whims, the vast majority of the time they are reacting rather than acting. The campaign about brood mother Az'khar focuses on her fleeing from persecution and Annihilation depicts the zerg only defending themselves from terran aggression.

    Even in the stories and campaigns where the zerg are acting on their own initiative, they don't receive nearly as much characterization as terrans or protoss and thus come across as bland. On the other end of the spectrum, they may receive too many and too silly characters like talking ultralisks, mutalisks and defilers, or characters may not be utilized effectively or efficiently.

    One of the reasons why even zerg campaigns that correctly characterize them as alien monsters often come off as bland is because the zerg are not really depicted as having interpersonal relationships, flaws or arcs. The SC1 manual stated that Zasz's character flaw was being whiny and argumentative, but this is never actually shown in the game: when he chastises the psychotic Kerry, it comes across as a virtue (especially with the benefit of hindsight). The Overmind constantly refers to the zerg as its children, but there is no real sense of the zerg characters being a family of any sort. None of the zerg characters have arcs or development: their long-term perspectives and modes of behavior do not visibly change in response to their experiences, despite adaptability being the zerg's highest virtue.

    The single most memorable moment for me in Gradius' Origins was when Abathur and Nargil disagreed over how to deal with Eldersthine, and then the Overmind decided their course based on factors neither was aware of. The interplay between the three characters felt organic and immediately showcased how they rely on the diversity each brings to the table. I really wish there had been more moments like that in the campaign, or in any zerg story period. That's probably the single best characterization moment of the zerg I've ever read in the last twenty years.

  8. #58

    Default Re: Who likes to write fanfiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Actually, the terrans are capable of really insane feats.
    Which is odd considering most of these are post-Sc1 retcons and the original Sc1 sets them up as being piss-weak compared to the other two. Just sayin....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    It was just Metzen masturbating over Kerry.
    More like the Overmind was jerking-off over having obtained its determinant and then having it not being useful in actuality as it fantasised it would be. In Sc1, Infested Kerrigan is only idealised subjectively by the Overmind. Taking Sc1 altogether (not including BW that is), she and the idea of the "determinant" remain as nothing more than idealisation because they are abject failures, objectively speaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    One of the reasons why even zerg campaigns that correctly characterize them as alien monsters often come off as bland is because the zerg are not really depicted as having interpersonal relationships, flaws or arcs.
    In a way, that's kinda the point. Part of the appeal of the Zerg (like the Tyranid and the Necron before their lore retcon - which I don't mind, funnily enough) is because they're not supposed to be analogous to humans in any way. They're your typical alien "no-nonsense" race.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The SC1 manual stated that Zasz's character flaw was being whiny and argumentative, but this is never actually shown in the game: when he chastises the psychotic Kerry, it comes across as a virtue (especially with the benefit of hindsight).
    So... you don't like how Zasz is consistent with his manual description? He's being all snively about Kerrigan and that somehow isn't him being represented in the game as "whiny and argumentative"? Intriguing....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The Overmind constantly refers to the zerg as its children, but there is no real sense of the zerg characters being a family of any sort.
    That's just flavour, dude, not it being literal. The Overmind's rhetoric and manner of speech is part of its characterisation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The single most memorable moment for me in Gradius' Origins was when Abathur and Nargil disagreed over how to deal with Eldersthine, and then the Overmind decided their course based on factors neither was aware of. The interplay between the three characters felt organic and immediately showcased how they rely on the diversity each brings to the table. I really wish there had been more moments like that in the campaign, or in any zerg story period. That's probably the single best characterization moment of the zerg I've ever read in the last twenty years.
    Interesting tid-bit for you: VoK, FanaticTemplar and I consulted with Gradius in regard to how some of Origins' story turned out. We developed an arc for Nargil partly to justify why his Brood was part of the Command Wing and how that ties into how Gorn and the Baelrog Brood became part of the Command Wing, too. I remember that we wanted to have a bit of conflict within the Swarm that was not overt but due in part to the narrow-minded perspective of each cerebrates primary focus/role in making the Swarm great; the Overmind being the one with the "vision" to put them altogether.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  9. #59

    Default Re: Who likes to write fanfiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Which is odd considering most of these are post-Sc1 retcons and the original Sc1 sets them up as being piss-weak compared to the other two. Just sayin....
    That's nothing really new in a too many sci-fi stories to portray the human race as too OP

  10. #60

    Default Re: Who likes to write fanfiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Which is odd considering most of these are post-Sc1 retcons and the original Sc1 sets them up as being piss-weak compared to the other two. Just sayin....
    The plot of the games was not planned when the manual backstory was finished. While the manual sets up a status quo involving a Koprulu war with an open-ended outcome, as learned in various interviews the major events like the fall of the Confederacy, the invasion of Aiur, the infestation of Kerry, etc were devised much later. The Terrans were ostensibly on equal footing with the token forces sent by the zerg and protoss due to various circumstances; also, in three-race dynamics the terrestrials somehow counter advanced celestial capabilities with immaterial qualities like hope and stubbornness. I don't know the original source, but according to TVtropes at one point the terrans were intended to be the remnants of a decaying empire (opening the possibly of recovering advanced tech lying around somewhere).

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    In a way, that's kinda the point. Part of the appeal of the Zerg (like the Tyranid and the Necron before their lore retcon - which I don't mind, funnily enough) is because they're not supposed to be analogous to humans in any way. They're your typical alien "no-nonsense" race.
    That isn't a strength. There's a reason why very few people even remember (or care to learn about) the zerg prior to the SC2 retcons, and why discussions and fanfics always focus around Kerry or incredibly silly original characters like the lovechild of Kerry and Raynor or Zagara's half-human clone baby.

    If it is possible for the Necrons to receive memorable characterization and still remain horrific monsters (like everyone else in 40k), then the same should be possible for the Zerg. The only obstacle is the lack of writers who actually care to go to that effort. The zerg "characters" in SC2 still amount to barely sentient plot devices that are immediately forgotten after they served their narrative purpose.

    Heck, Zasz's death isn't mourned at all! The zerg are forced to murder one of their own broods, and the narrative doesn't expect them (or the player) to care one bit. The only purpose this plot point served was to contrive a zerg versus zerg conflict (because the plot was written around mandates like that, which explains why the zerg and protoss campaigns were much more meandering than the terran campaign) and to foreshadow a deus ex machina that would be used to kill the Overmind at the end of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    So... you don't like how Zasz is consistent with his manual description? He's being all snively about Kerrigan and that somehow isn't him being represented in the game as "whiny and argumentative"? Intriguing....
    His behavior toward Kerry is understandable considering her psychotic behavior and the unfair preferential treatment she receives. The manual stated that other cerebrates found him unstable, when in the game he seems quite reasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    That's just flavour, dude, not it being literal. The Overmind's rhetoric and manner of speech is part of its characterisation.
    As I said before, there's a reason why the zerg are generally unmemorable. They aren't given any desires, quirks or arcs to make players actually care about them beyond the obvious "embrace your destructive side in an RTS." The SC1 manual hinted that the zerg had weird quirks like the hydralisk's sadism, gorn's terror tactics, zasz's annoying second guessing or kagg's uncontrollable bloodthirstiness, but these were never explored outside of discussions by a few people on the internet like myself or Unhappy Anchovy over at spacebattles.

    Giving the zerg actual personalities is the only thing that makes them stand out from all the other alien locusts in scifi (a subversion of the standard genre conventions, in the same way that originally the terrans were cyborg mutant criminals and the protoss were in the middle of a golden age). If those personalities are just bland window dressing, there's no point to include them in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Interesting tid-bit for you: VoK, FanaticTemplar and I consulted with Gradius in regard to how some of Origins' story turned out. We developed an arc for Nargil partly to justify why his Brood was part of the Command Wing and how that ties into how Gorn and the Baelrog Brood became part of the Command Wing, too. I remember that we wanted to have a bit of conflict within the Swarm that was not overt but due in part to the narrow-minded perspective of each cerebrates primary focus/role in making the Swarm great; the Overmind being the one with the "vision" to put them altogether.
    Fascinating. I really wish you guys could share all this stuff in an interview article or something, since I was really disappointed that Origins went on hiatus. I put a lot of thought into how the zerg hierarchy and politics could work but I am always happy to get other opinions. Something I always wanted was some kind of fluff bible that writers could use to guide themselves while writing zerg-centric narratives without falling into the trap of being bland or too similar to humans and protoss.

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