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Thread: Lore additions from Gradius’ “Origins”?

  1. #11

    Default Re: Lore additions from Gradius’ “Origins”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Would this have resulted in the same inconsistent disjointed effect as in canon? Or was the campaign more of an anthology of casually connected by otherwise distinct narratives?
    From what I can recall, the barebones of the narrative could be broken down into 3 parts: the first was about the Zerg exploring new worlds and acquiring new specimens to expand the ranks and capabilities, the second was discovering an alien civilisation and learning how to fight them, and the third, introducing the Protoss (and Terrans to a lesser degree) culminating in a Zerg victory but at heavy cost and essentially setting up the Overminds position prior to the beginning of Sc1. Within that basic structure, some characters (like the cerebrate Nargil and that Queen character) would have arcs of their own within that narrative. That was the intent anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Or that the determinant is never assimilated within the timeframe of the first contact war.
    Given that "the determinant" plot device is the only reason for a three-way battle to even exist/be maintained, the problem is that "the determinant" should never be resolved lest it undermine the basic premise of the thing. Another issue is that is that the framing device of "the determinant" is reliant/dependant on the Zerg's, or rather the Overmind's, motivations. It's quite tenuous because it's based more on the Overmind's insecurity about fighting the Protoss and not being an actual roadblock preventing them from engaging the Protoss. Also, the Overmind's ultimate intent is it's focus on the Protoss with the Terrans only just being a sidequest to assist that primary goal. So in a way, "the determinant" is a flimsy mechanic for propping up the premise of a three-way conflict because it's not really supposed to be about maintaining a three-way conflict, but about maintaining a two-way conflict (Zerg and Protoss)!

    In order to keep the premise of the three-way conflict going, the Zerg would have to forevermore make "false progress" in seeking the determinant, because otherwise the Terrans would be made irrelevent/there'd be no meaningful way to maintain a three-way conflict. The Overmind dying (as much as I like the Overmind character and consider it as "the Zerg") relieves some of this pressure since it frees up the Zerg to do whatever they want but something else has to change to make the Terrans more relevant - like making them a threat to the other two. Mengsk would've been the go-to after the events of Sc1 but it lacks verisimilitude (it's sort of a joke now that the K-sector Terrans a more like Zerg than the actual Zerg due to their ability to comeback 10x better than before after crushing defeats in short order) due to how the setup in the manual heavily disfavours the K-Sector Terrans and that the events of Sc1 pretty much goes on to prove how ineffective they actually are, it needs to come from somewhere else. This is why something like the idea of the UED isn't technically bad. In this particular context, it's rather something that was needed. It provided another dynamic/angle in which to maintain this three-way conflict rather than just relying on tenuous conditional one (the determinant/Zerg angle).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    I tried not to. I imagined that the zerg’s R&D stretched back to the moment they learned of the protoss’ capabilities. Most of desired applications would probably have been hypothesized millennia ago and simply remained infeasible in practice until sufficiently powerful psychic mutations were acquired. Not only that, but I imagine that the zerg would need to process many billions or tens or hundreds of billions of terrans to find useful mutations and even then there would be many different psychic mutations with different capabilities rather than a “one size fits all” solution.
    Thing with this is, is that Terran psionics was conceived as only in it's nascent phase, was extremely rare and nowhere near the capabilities of a single basic Protoss. Is it worth the effort to capture and process billions of something that is rare and hope that it's close enough to be on a level playing field with the Protoss whilst hoping the Protoss, who are nearby, not catch wind of all this and starting their conflict earlier than what the Overmind was ostensibly doing this in preparation for? It's kinda weird that the Overmind would ever put that much stock in trying to get them in the first place really when it could, you know, just try to fight the Protoss and nab one of them instead. Then again, the Overmind was on the "verge of despair" at the time, so it probably wasn't thinking straight to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    One of the bits I found interesting in the original manual’s draft of lore, back when the purities were not complementary but successive, was that it was never explicitly stated the zerg intended to assimilate the protoss. Implied, sure, because that’s their shtick. But the focus of the text was squarely on them surviving an apocalyptic war.
    I guess this is one of those "read between the lines" moments. I mean, what else do the Zerg value and think about beyond assimilating other lifeforms to become stronger? Not much, I'd say.

    I don't think that particular text you refer to ("The Overmind knew then that the Protoss and the Zerg would eventually be caught in an inevitable, apocalyptic conflict") is necessarily about the Zerg wanting to fight Protoss as an end to itself, but rather that the Overmind knows that assimilating the Protoss isn't going to be easy and that they're most likely going to have to fight damn bloody hard to get what they want. Context matters.
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  2. #12
    Zoar's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: Lore additions from Gradius’ “Origins”?

    http://media.blizzard.com/sc2/lore/j...n-overlord.pdf
    If you want to know how Zerg think of one another this short story contains one of the few examples of dialogue by one of the lower strains.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Lore additions from Gradius’ “Origins”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoar View Post
    http://media.blizzard.com/sc2/lore/j...n-overlord.pdf
    If you want to know how Zerg think of one another this short story contains one of the few examples of dialogue by one of the lower strains.
    We've known that since the 2006 Queen of Blades book. Wasn't a good story, but at least it delivered some lore info.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Lore additions from Gradius’ “Origins”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    From what I can recall, the barebones of the narrative could be broken down into 3 parts: the first was about the Zerg exploring new worlds and acquiring new specimens to expand the ranks and capabilities, the second was discovering an alien civilisation and learning how to fight them, and the third, introducing the Protoss (and Terrans to a lesser degree) culminating in a Zerg victory but at heavy cost and essentially setting up the Overminds position prior to the beginning of Sc1. Within that basic structure, some characters (like the cerebrate Nargil and that Queen character) would have arcs of their own within that narrative. That was the intent anyway.
    Fascinating. I would have liked to see the Zerg genuinely come into their own as a cast and a culture. Have you guys considered adapting the project to prose instead? There is a dearth of good Starcraft fanfiction in general, much less anything that creative.



    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Given that "the determinant" plot device is the only reason for a three-way battle to even exist/be maintained, the problem is that "the determinant" should never be resolved lest it undermine the basic premise of the thing. Another issue is that is that the framing device of "the determinant" is reliant/dependant on the Zerg's, or rather the Overmind's, motivations. It's quite tenuous because it's based more on the Overmind's insecurity about fighting the Protoss and not being an actual roadblock preventing them from engaging the Protoss. Also, the Overmind's ultimate intent is it's focus on the Protoss with the Terrans only just being a sidequest to assist that primary goal. So in a way, "the determinant" is a flimsy mechanic for propping up the premise of a three-way conflict because it's not really supposed to be about maintaining a three-way conflict, but about maintaining a two-way conflict (Zerg and Protoss)!

    In order to keep the premise of the three-way conflict going, the Zerg would have to forevermore make "false progress" in seeking the determinant, because otherwise the Terrans would be made irrelevent/there'd be no meaningful way to maintain a three-way conflict. The Overmind dying (as much as I like the Overmind character and consider it as "the Zerg") relieves some of this pressure since it frees up the Zerg to do whatever they want but something else has to change to make the Terrans more relevant - like making them a threat to the other two. Mengsk would've been the go-to after the events of Sc1 but it lacks verisimilitude (it's sort of a joke now that the K-sector Terrans a more like Zerg than the actual Zerg due to their ability to comeback 10x better than before after crushing defeats in short order) due to how the setup in the manual heavily disfavours the K-Sector Terrans and that the events of Sc1 pretty much goes on to prove how ineffective they actually are, it needs to come from somewhere else. This is why something like the idea of the UED isn't technically bad. In this particular context, it's rather something that was needed. It provided another dynamic/angle in which to maintain this three-way conflict rather than just relying on tenuous conditional one (the determinant/Zerg angle).
    Yes, the determinant is a plot contrivance designed to force the Terrans into a conflict in which they would otherwise be irrelevant. Yes, the UED was an attempt force the Terrans into relevance.

    However, I don't think the UED was handled well since their existence was a giant retcon and they ultimately made no difference anyway (indeed, a previous draft had the Zerg destroying Earth). If we want to make the Terrans a credible threat to the alien forces stationed in Koprulu sector, then it is a simple matter of explaining that the Terrans were underestimated. While they might not be able to fight off the full might of a galactic empire like the Zerg or the Protoss, they are hypothetically capable of repelling the alien forces currently in the sector if they got their shit together. Not only that, but the Terrans have developed psychic warfare that is effective against the Zerg, they have reverse-engineered relics of the Protoss Empire left in Koprulu, they have Protoss allies (who disabled the planet busters that would otherwise incinerate all terrans and zerg immediately), and various other factors that can tip the balance of Koprulu in their favor.

    On another note, killing the Overmind shouldn't free up the zerg to act a way that isn't zerg. That's what led to the zerg being ruined in the first place. The zerg's whole appeal is that they are fundamentally alien monsters obsessed with eating everything in their path to advance themselves. Although the primal zerg are inferior in every way without the hive mind, their appeal still relies on this basic fact of the zerg's existence. (Enslavement is a whole different can of worms that I won't explore here.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Thing with this is, is that Terran psionics was conceived as only in it's nascent phase, was extremely rare and nowhere near the capabilities of a single basic Protoss. Is it worth the effort to capture and process billions of something that is rare and hope that it's close enough to be on a level playing field with the Protoss whilst hoping the Protoss, who are nearby, not catch wind of all this and starting their conflict earlier than what the Overmind was ostensibly doing this in preparation for? It's kinda weird that the Overmind would ever put that much stock in trying to get them in the first place really when it could, you know, just try to fight the Protoss and nab one of them instead. Then again, the Overmind was on the "verge of despair" at the time, so it probably wasn't thinking straight to begin with.
    You're confusing different drafts of the lore. The manual's draft had the Protoss vastly overpowered compared to everyone else. The game had the Zerg vastly overpowered compared to everyone else. The two versions were not intended to be part of the same lore, the writer just forgot to go back and edit the backstory.

    According to the manual, when the Overmind discovered humanity it predicted they would be a powerful psionic race within a handful of generations. The invasion of Koprulu starts a handful of generations after this discovery, when the Terran psychics are presumably "powerful." We aren't given qualifiers for how powerful, but it was enough that the Overmind thought they would stand against the protoss (presumably with further mutation iterations under the zerg's R&D process).

    For reference, the zealot lore states than a handful of zealots are sufficient to garrison an entire planet of less advanced species. They are essentially physical gods as far as humans are concerned. The fact that terrans and zerg are not immediately curbstomped by them indicates that the terrans and zerg are extremely advanced militarily and/or that the protoss are so arrogant that they don't make the most effective use of their own capabilities. A comparison for this would be the Vietnam War, in which a vastly less advanced military was able to outmaneuver a much more advanced military.

    As for why the Zerg didn't just nab one protoss and clone it ad nauseum... maybe they tried and it didn't work. We aren't given any explicit details on their xel'naga knowledge, but based on their actions we may assume they couldn't just clone any of the species the xel'naga manipulated and had to harvest them manually. Perhaps they physically couldn't assimilate the protoss' purity of form without having another purity of form to serve as a compatibility layer or some other technobabble explanation.

    I alluded to something like this in some of my zerg fanfiction. When the zerg were first infesting and assimilating humans, the test subjects kept dying in the process and the zerg had to keep adapting their infestation method to reduce the death rate and provide useful research material.

    The exact explanation isn't important. What's important is that the zerg have to jump through a bunch of narrative hoops to get what they want. A very basic rule of writing is that stories aren't satisfying if the characters don't have to work hard to achieve their goals, because a story is a journey and not just an end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoar View Post
    http://media.blizzard.com/sc2/lore/j...n-overlord.pdf
    If you want to know how Zerg think of one another this short story contains one of the few examples of dialogue by one of the lower strains.
    Quote Originally Posted by ragnarok View Post
    We've known that since the 2006 Queen of Blades book. Wasn't a good story, but at least it delivered some lore info.
    It's part of the lore that queens, overlords and infestors are of at least human-level intelligence and are capable of holding the equivalent of conversations; although the details vary since the lore is generally inconsistent. You could write zerg fanfiction from their perspective.

    I've gone a step further and given the minion zerg a swarm intelligence similar to the Geth from Mass Effect. I've got this whole idea for a hierarchy of hive minds that compose the zerg swarm as a whole. The closest human equivalent would be a multiple personality that works together to control multiple bodies. This also helps to make feral zerg more dangerous: if a feral hive isn't destroyed, it will eventually spawn a brain bug and become a full-fledged brood.

    Not only that, but I've made the change that brain bugs aren't special entities. They're a breed like any other that may be spawned from larvae. By extension, they aren't magically immortal, but they can be replaced if lost (with difficulty, meaning killing them is a valid tactic in the short-term) and their successors will inherit their genetic memories. In fact, the zerg's genetic memory means that it's impossible to kill any zerg personality without annihilating every zerg cell in the universe a la the Flood from Halo. So it's impossible for the zerg to become peaceful hippies because their genetic imperative is to conquer the universe.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Lore additions from Gradius’ “Origins”?

    I never really tried to look too hard via the lore for zerg communications via Overlords and such. Hell even after WoL I didn't look at it that way. You can argue the broodmothers weren't a good idea, but I found it at least a viable option to communicate via the zerg command chain. Having the swarm being ENTIRELY mindless seemed too far-fetched, even via the SC2 lore.

  6. #16

    Default Re: Lore additions from Gradius’ “Origins”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Have you guys considered adapting the project to prose instead?
    It was ultimately Grad's work/story, so it's up to him. Maybe if you ask nicely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    However, I don't think the UED was handled well since their existence was a giant retcon and they ultimately made no difference anyway (indeed, a previous draft had the Zerg destroying Earth).
    Yep, you won't get any disagreement from me about that. I think the idea/concept of the UED would've been better served as antagonists in a proper sequel, rather than shoehorned as they were in an expansion pack story.

    When you compare the role they played in the narrative of BW with the Zerg's antagonist role in Sc1, they're similar in that they "come out of nowhere to those in the K-sector" and are "defeated in the end". The reason why the Zerg in Sc1 aren't considered as superfluous like the UED were in BW was because, for the former, there was adequate backstory and that there was a lingering consequence of their passing despite being ultimately defeated. In a dedicated sequel with enough time to build-up the UED as a proper antagonist, you wouldn't have to include such egregious retcons to explain their sudden appearance and why they looked the same as K-sector Terrans in BW.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    If we want to make the Terrans a credible threat to the alien forces stationed in Koprulu sector, then it is a simple matter of explaining that the Terrans were underestimated. While they might not be able to fight off the full might of a galactic empire like the Zerg or the Protoss, they are hypothetically capable of repelling the alien forces currently in the sector if they got their shit together. Not only that, but the Terrans have developed psychic warfare that is effective against the Zerg, they have reverse-engineered relics of the Protoss Empire left in Koprulu, they have Protoss allies (who disabled the planet busters that would otherwise incinerate all terrans and zerg immediately), and various other factors that can tip the balance of Koprulu in their favor.
    This would require retconning the established feeling that the Terrans are just unprepared for and inherently weaker than the other two, that they're on their own and have no means to reinforce themselves/fall back or practically recover quickly - not too mention disregarding the damage they took in Sc1 (9 of 13 core worlds laid to waste by the Zerg alone).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    On another note, killing the Overmind shouldn't free up the zerg to act a way that isn't zerg.
    The Overmind's death won't stop them from being Zerg but it does free the Zerg from behaving in a particular way (ie: being forced to uphold the Overminds will and faith in a determinant, in which finding and taking it was partly why the Zerg lost in Sc1).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The game had the Zerg vastly overpowered compared to everyone else.
    I'm not sure whether Sc1 game story necessarily makes the Zerg OP as such (BW on the otherhand...). The Zerg's success in Overmind can be seen as being due to a surprise attack and that all it was, was just forming a beachhead. Likewise, the Protoss are handling the Zerg invasion well enough to shift their attention to other matters like chasing down renegade commanders. The Protoss are only potentially losing their battle against the Zerg when they have a civil war that undermines their defence of Aiur.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    According to the manual, when the Overmind discovered humanity it predicted they would be a powerful psionic race within a handful of generations. The invasion of Koprulu starts a handful of generations after this discovery, when the Terran psychics are presumably "powerful." We aren't given qualifiers for how powerful, but it was enough that the Overmind thought they would stand against the protoss (presumably with further mutation iterations under the zerg's R&D process).
    I suppose that could be a reasonable justification, but the point I was trying to make was that it's kinda funny that the Zerg were actually kept at bay more by the Protoss' technological prowess rather than their psionics and that the Overmind didn't foresee/concentrate on that as the bigger problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    For reference, the zealot lore states than a handful of zealots are sufficient to garrison an entire planet of less advanced species.
    Really now? If that is supposed to represent their actual capability, it sounds like hyperbole to me. Then again, it could mean that the Protoss didn't have many and/or powerful enemies so they could afford just to put minimal defenses.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  7. #17

    Default Re: Lore additions from Gradius’ “Origins”?

    Quote Originally Posted by ragnarok View Post
    I never really tried to look too hard via the lore for zerg communications via Overlords and such. Hell even after WoL I didn't look at it that way. You can argue the broodmothers weren't a good idea, but I found it at least a viable option to communicate via the zerg command chain. Having the swarm being ENTIRELY mindless seemed too far-fetched, even via the SC2 lore.
    The zerg's master/slave dynamic appears to be a result of changes during the drafting process. I suspect it was intended to make the zerg easier to write around, but I feel that it wrote the zerg into an entirely different corner.

    The manual described the Overmind as literally being the unification of the zerg's collective minds, not a giant brain bug that controls them like puppets. the beta website described the zerg as behaving in a similar manner to a swarm intelligence like the Geth, individually animals but behaving intelligently in groups.


    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Yep, you won't get any disagreement from me about that. I think the idea/concept of the UED would've been better served as antagonists in a proper sequel, rather than shoehorned as they were in an expansion pack story.
    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    When you compare the role they played in the narrative of BW with the Zerg's antagonist role in Sc1, they're similar in that they "come out of nowhere to those in the K-sector" and are "defeated in the end". The reason why the Zerg in Sc1 aren't considered as superfluous like the UED were in BW was because, for the former, there was adequate backstory and that there was a lingering consequence of their passing despite being ultimately defeated. In a dedicated sequel with enough time to build-up the UED as a proper antagonist, you wouldn't have to include such egregious retcons to explain their sudden appearance and why they looked the same as K-sector Terrans in BW.
    The problem here is Earth's involvement changed over the course of drafting, and which ever option you stick with will have other massive ramifications.

    Circa 1996, Koprulu was a border sector of the Earthling empire. The Protoss invaded to get intel on the zerg from ancient ruins in the sector. (It's stated that the Protoss considered a measly 5000 templars sufficient to hold the sector.)

    Then the manual shows a different draft in which Koprulu is completely isolated from Earth, probably forever. At the point this was written, I doubt it was intended for the Confederacy to be devastated like in the games. The setup suggests that the three races will fight indefinitely.

    Then the game uses a bunch of ham-fisted shortcuts to force the plot in a direction that wasn't foreshadowed by the manual at all. Then the BW expansion introduces Earth, but ultimately goes nowhere. The funny thing is that you wouldn't even realize the retcon if you didn't read the manuals; unsurprisingly, most people didn't read the manuals and so you can easily get the impression that Mar Sara, Aiur and Earth are all within a few light years of each other.

    By Heroes of the Storm, the retcons have come full circle and made Koprulu a border sector of the Earthling empire. Because of author fiat, Earth never decided to investigate why the expedition was never heard from again.

    Anyway, either Earth is involved from the start or it never is. Either option has huge ramifications. If Earth is involved from the start, then they can't provide a magic rescue from the author steamrolling the terrans because they'll be steamrolled too. If Earth is gone forever, then they can't rescue either.

    The bigger problem is that you never needed to steamroll the terrans. That was forced in by Metzen to force the plot to go in an unnatural direction he needed it to (i.e. Kerry Sue). In a sandbox setting with smaller scale campaigns this wouldn't be needed. Insurrection and Retribution are examples of big campaigns taking place on single planets, because planets are really huge you know?

    Besides, the massive losses suffered in each game were ignored by the next, so why have them at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    This would require retconning the established feeling that the Terrans are just unprepared for and inherently weaker than the other two, that they're on their own and have no means to reinforce themselves/fall back or practically recover quickly - not too mention disregarding the damage they took in Sc1 (9 of 13 core worlds laid to waste by the Zerg alone).
    The terrans and protoss being steamrolled by the zerg was a change to the story made by the game's script. It isn't foreshadowed at all by any previous iterations of lore or previews that I could find, which leave the war open-ended.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    The Overmind's death won't stop them from being Zerg but it does free the Zerg from behaving in a particular way (ie: being forced to uphold the Overminds will and faith in a determinant, in which finding and taking it was partly why the Zerg lost in Sc1).
    The determinant was originally devised as an explanation for why the terrans would ever be involved in a galactic war between two alien civilizations. The 1998 website previews only mention the zerg invading protoss space and the terrans looking to invade too, which IMO is a bit weak as far as motives for 3-way war go.

    If the determinant is a red herring (and that's only because the writer changed his mind later rather than follow up on it properly, so it wasn't intentionally a red herring), then there's no point in having it. The terran involvement makes absolutely no sense other than the writers being human. The SC2 game adds insult to injury by stating that terrans and protoss are inferior to the zerg and have no value as far as assimilation goes (although even this is contradicted elsewhere in the same game because Blizzard can't keep themselves straight). This isn't a satisfying narrative, it's a mess the writers made up on the fly.

    The development of Starcraft was obviously tumultuous. The lore has gone through countless changes during development. I don't believe that your rationalizations adequately explain any of the bad writing. It's bad writing and doesn't need to be rationalized.

    The zerg's whole shtick is consuming useful species, so i doubt they will stop pursuing the determinant even without the Overmind. The Overmind just prevents them from civil war, it doesn't actually change their basic drives (in fact, the Overmind is a personification of the zerg drives).

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    I'm not sure whether Sc1 game story necessarily makes the Zerg OP as such (BW on the otherhand...). The Zerg's success in Overmind can be seen as being due to a surprise attack and that all it was, was just forming a beachhead. Likewise, the Protoss are handling the Zerg invasion well enough to shift their attention to other matters like chasing down renegade commanders. The Protoss are only potentially losing their battle against the Zerg when they have a civil war that undermines their defence of Aiur.
    Originally the Protoss were a galactic empire that the Zerg were ineffectual against, hence why they need to find another race with purity of form to weaponize. Because of changes during the drafting process (like changing the Protoss to living on a single planet in Koprulu), this was forgotten.


    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    I suppose that could be a reasonable justification, but the point I was trying to make was that it's kinda funny that the Zerg were actually kept at bay more by the Protoss' technological prowess rather than their psionics and that the Overmind didn't foresee/concentrate on that as the bigger problem.
    The protoss utilize psychic technology. Tech like the zealot's suit and the corsair's projector weapon suggest that many of their devices are intended to amplify their existing psychic powers rather than replace them.

    As explained by the "Discord" in the lore, any protoss is capable of exploding into literally apocalyptic psionic storms if they lose control of their powers. The zealot lore further explains that protoss have extremely strong emotions that need to be kept in check with training (and presumably the khala). (All of this is liberally ripped from the eldar lore in 40K, BTW.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Really now? If that is supposed to represent their actual capability, it sounds like hyperbole to me. Then again, it could mean that the Protoss didn't have many and/or powerful enemies so they could afford just to put minimal defenses.
    Or it could mean that the protoss were physical gods before they were worthless wimps due to writing changes. If individuals have the power to create apocalyptic psionic storms without control, then just imagine what they can do when they train that power.

    If you want an exact quantity, then the 1996 beta site claims that 5000 "templars" (no unit specified) are sufficient to assault the entire Koprulu sector. The manual states that a fleet of 50 carriers is sufficient to assault the entire sector, too.

    The lore for space marines in Warhammer 40K describes them in similar terms. Since Starcraft is apparently a rip-off of 40K, it makes perfect sense to use space marines and eldar as yardsticks for what the protoss should be capable of given that they are a combination of the Imperium and the eldar.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Lore additions from Gradius’ “Origins”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Then the manual shows a different draft in which Koprulu is completely isolated from Earth, probably forever. At the point this was written, I doubt it was intended for the Confederacy to be devastated like in the games. The setup suggests that the three races will fight indefinitely.
    I disagree. That the manual says the Terrans are isolated (as well as being unprepared and much more comparatively weaker than the other two) is a contributing factor to why the setup of an indefinite three-way is bunk though, regardless of what eventuated in the game. That the Terrans do get smashed in the game story is therefore not a surprising outcome. If anything, the manual sets-up a potential indefinite two-way between the Zerg and Protoss more than an indefinite three-way of Zerg, Terran and Protoss.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Anyway, either Earth is involved from the start or it never is. Either option has huge ramifications. If Earth is involved from the start, then they can't provide a magic rescue from the author steamrolling the terrans because they'll be steamrolled too. If Earth is gone forever, then they can't rescue either.
    There's more room to wiggle if Earth isn't involved from the start since, as you said, it requires too much retconning to justify it. However, just because the K-sector Terrans lost contact oh-so-many years ago, it doesn't mean it has to stay that way forever. Afterall, there's nothing really to prevent Earth from being able to find the K-Sector Terrans again. Sure, you can deem that as being "convenient" or a "contrived coincidence" if they show up, but that doesn't make it any less convenient or contrived that the initial premise of the K-sector Terrans just so happening to be where the Zerg wanted them to be in their quest to confront and defeat the Protoss being convenient/contrived either. Having Earth not being involved from the start would help reduce the issue of the timing of their arrival since in BW, the UED following up immediately after Sc1 because they were always there observing and being opportunistic has too much stacking contrivance compared to say, Earth just showing up one day.

    Also, there's no reason why Earth couldn't eventually be involved since if the K-sector Terrans could develop themselves into a space-faring nation starting from scratch over 200 years, imagine the developments of Earth in that time where they comparatively had more stability and established foundation. Rather than co-opting existing K-sector Terrans and their tech like it was in BW, having Earth developed as a different faction for a bonafide sequel rather than an expansion pack would've sold the idea of Earth a lot better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The bigger problem is that you never needed to steamroll the terrans.
    Sure, but it's heavily suggested that this is a high likelihood from the manual alone. The problem is that the K-sector Terrans have always been described as weaksauce compared to the other two, that their presence is due only to unlucky happenstance and that their importance to the overall premise of the three-way war is as a plot device (the determinant for the Zerg).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Besides, the massive losses suffered in each game were ignored by the next, so why have them at all?
    Well, this is a problem (which stems from the original problem of the K-sector Terrans being initially weak/always on the backfoot) that I and others have discussed before. Now the Terrans are more like Zerg in their capacity to shrug off immense damage and comeback as if nothing happened. If one was really keeping with the implications of the manual and the outcome of the Sc1/BW game story, the Terrans would've been smoked by now. But oh noes, the premise of the thing is about the three-way war, so we have to justify it by making sure the Terrans keep on existing, right? Hence their unexplainable and seemingly inexhaustible capability of miraculous recovery. It would've had more verisimilitude if Earth came along to replace and represent the Terrans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The determinant was originally devised as an explanation for why the terrans would ever be involved in a galactic war between two alien civilizations. The 1998 website previews only mention the zerg invading protoss space and the terrans looking to invade too, which IMO is a bit weak as far as motives for 3-way war go.
    The latter is a bland but much more flexible explanation for maintaining a three-way war though since a) it gives more agency to each of the three in maintaining the three-way on their own steam and b) the determinant angle puts all the weight/responsbility of maintaining this three-way war on one race and forces more unnatural plotting to maintain the premise (ie: the Zerg will never ever truly get the determinant since this will undermine the premise). The Protoss teaming up with the Terrans already undermines the three-way premise (due to their collective goal of achieving Zerg dominance) such that in Sc2, they had to create "evil Protoss" or concoct a nonsensical reason (for honour!!) to justify TVP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    If the determinant is a red herring (and that's only because the writer changed his mind later rather than follow up on it properly, so it wasn't intentionally a red herring), then there's no point in having it. The terran involvement makes absolutely no sense other than the writers being human.
    I've come to interpret the determinant as indeed being a red herring, insofar as how the Overmind's pursuit and preoccupation of it could arguably be the thing that led to its death. The determinant has more value (to me at any rate) as a means to explore the hubris and weakness of the Overmind character than its overt value in plotting and narrative. As an overt plot device, it actually devalues the Terrans and reduces their agency (which they have little of given how weak and inadequate compared to the other two they're setup as). The Terrans would've been better served as being more powerful and numerous from the get-go or like a sleeping giant in the way the Trader Emergency Coalition are in Sins of a Solar Empire, since this would give them agency to dictate things and actually maintain the three-way war rather than it relying on the author fiat of a macguffin that one of the three races is looking for to maintain it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The zerg's whole shtick is consuming useful species, so i doubt they will stop pursuing the determinant even without the Overmind. The Overmind just prevents them from civil war, it doesn't actually change their basic drives (in fact, the Overmind is a personification of the zerg drives).
    The issue is not just about pursuing the determinant per se, but what the expectations and thoughts of obtaining it are. The Overmind is obsessed and invests everything into this determinant and all its (and the Zerg by extension) actions are defined more or less by it. Would the Overmind have the motivation to invade Aiur had it not obtained earlier what it thought it wanted or the wherewithal if it didn't have faith that this determinant would destroy the very one thing that could do it harm (which it failed to do, mind you)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The protoss utilize psychic technology. Tech like the zealot's suit and the corsair's projector weapon suggest that many of their devices are intended to amplify their existing psychic powers rather than replace them.
    You don't need to convince me, you need to convince the Overmind!

    The Protoss don't seem to engage much in "melee" combat where psionic power would have more actual utility in such a battlefield, since they rely on their tech (ships and stuff) for distance killing. Given that Zerg don't use tech, how is obtaining psionic power really going to help them fight the Protoss if the Protoss won't engage them in melee and where these supposed psionic powers obtained by the Zerg would be best utilised? Unless the Overmind intends to develop tech fueled by such psionics, shouldn't the Overmind rather be fearing the tech more than the psionics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    Or it could mean that the protoss were physical gods before they were worthless wimps due to writing changes. If individuals have the power to create apocalyptic psionic storms without control, then just imagine what they can do when they train that power.
    Yeah, well, Zealots aren't trained to do psionic storms. Besides, it's an argument from ignorance, the answer could be anything really.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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