StarCraft is an incredibly rich world, with an engaging story, compelling characters, and unique units and gameplay, StarCraft is more than a game - it is a universe unto itself. The events of Brood War rocked the StarCraft world. Yet Brood War answered many questions but left much more unanswered. For almost ten years lovers of the StarCraft world and in particular its lore have puzzled, theorized, and debated the mysteries contained within the story. Today some of those great mysteries are answered and the stage is set for the shattering events promised in StarCraft II. Recently, StarCraft Legacy was given an opportunity to interview the author of StarCraft's lore. SC:L team members composed a list of fifteen questions to ask Chris Metzen, Blizzard Entertainment's Vice President of Creative Development. He is one of the few Blizzard members to pre-date StarCraft, and is creditted as the master behind StarCraft II's lore. We welcome you to our exclusive StarCraft Lore interview. Fifteen questions. Fifteen answers. Metzen all to ourselves.
- SC:L - Can you put more emphasis on this quote: "...her (Kerrigan) rebirth into the Zerg Swarm has sped up my progress..." (Duran, Dark Origins)? Why exactly?
- Metzen - That would be telling... We’ll just have to wait and see what Duran’s motivations are and how Kerrigan’s true role within the Swarm ties into all this galactic-scale maneuvering.
- SC:L - Please tell us more about the new Protoss Executor, Selendis: her history, her new role etc...
- Metzen - Selendis - Protoss Templar Executor: Selendis was a student of Artanis. In the new hierarchy now ruling the Protoss she has been elected executor: overall leader of the combined Protoss military forces. At her command, many new weapons and robotic fighting machines have been developed to help preserve Protoss lives in battle, and she is eager to take the battle to the Zerg and reclaim Aiur. Selendis represents the best and brightest of what the Protoss can be--fiercely loyal to her race's ideals, completely dedicated and focused beyond any mere human capacity.
- SC:L - During the lore panel at BlizzCon - you mentioned that all the Cerebrates had been destroyed by Kerrigan - does this include Daggoth? Many people on our sites are wondering this because he was such an independent and intelligent Zerg character - and they feel if he is dead it's quite the loose end.
- Metzen - Daggoth is dead, along with the rest of the cerebrates. Kerrigan is the sole power behind the Swarm now. It’s possible that Daggoth could not sustain himself without the Overmind and other cerebrates to power him. We’ve suggested before that the Overmind and its cerebrates were symbiotically linked. The cerebrates were not designed to exist without their creator. That’s a partial reason behind the cerebrates’ merging into a new, singular Overmind during the early events of Brood War.
- SC:L - Why did the Protoss abandon Arbiters during the time of StarCraft II and what ships do the Judicators now pilot (as Arbiters were "their" ships)?
- Metzen - After judicators were eliminated from the Protoss power structure, the arbiters quickly fell into disuse. When the Protoss fled to Shakuras, the arbiters were lost along with Aiur.
- SC:L - What is the fate of the Confederacy's Cerberus unit from the StarCraft precursor campaign? Its concept was very interesting.
- Metzen - Since the rise of the Terran Dominion, the Cerberus reconnaissance squadron has vanished from the public eye. Many members of the squad died in battle, defending the Confederacy. However, not all of them have been accounted for as of the present date. It is possible that these missing soldiers are alive to this day.
- SC:L - Was the Protoss Mothership concept based on the giant Protoss ship that fired a wide-"planet-cracker"-like beam in the original StarCraft movie?
- Metzen - Pretty much. The "planet cracker" concept has always been core to the Protoss kit, so now we finally get the chance to show it working in all its glory. Yeah, the ship in the original intro (while being a bit "Close Encounters") was always the conceptual anchor for the Protoss Mothership idea.
- SC:L - Adun, Khas, and Doran Routhe are all very important in Protoss and Terran history, but none of them have their ultimate fates revealed. Did they just die normally, or did they perform any other important actions that we merely are not yet aware of.
- Metzen -
- After tapping into the primordial psychic bond of his race, Khas dedicated his life to teaching other Protoss to access their latent psionic link. Thanks to his efforts, the Protoss people turned more and more to the discipline of the Khala until they had put the Aeon of Strife behind them. Growing to a ripe old age, Khas passed away peacefully, and his spirit became one with the communal Protoss consciousness that he had helped reestablish.
- Adun's fate is one of the most controversial questions in the StarCraft universe. Some say he died a hero, defending his people and blazing like a star. Others say he was a tragic victim of the fear and prejudice that had sprung up between the dark templar and the rest of the Protoss people. Still others say that he burned out, struggling to contain psionic energies far beyond what his body could contain. We do know that some time after his death, a prophecy arose that one day he would return to the Protoss people. If you're interested in further details of Adun's life, you might enjoy the upcoming novel StarCraft: Shadow Hunters by Christie Golden (book 2 of the Dark Templar Saga).
- When the media back on Earth learned that the supercarriers had passed the Gantris system and kept going, Doran Routhe's reputation was ruined almost overnight. The press portrayed him as a monster, a classic egotistical mad scientist conducting experiments regardless of the cost in human life. Vilified by his peers and a laughingstock amid the higher echelons of the UPL, Routhe tried to drop out of sight. The media, encouraged by Routhe's many enemies, pursued him relentlessly until he was driven away from Earth. Fleeing again from the Centauri colonies when he was identified as the architect of the "Gantris disaster", Routhe took shelter among the comet farms of Tau Ceti and ultimately died in obscurity. Rumors persist that he was working on some new project at the time of his death, but whatever this project might have been, if it existed at all, has remained stubbornly hidden to this day.
- SC:L - In Omega (last Zerg mission in Brood War), Kerrigan sounds like she doesn't have any knowledge about Duran's true nature or whereabouts. Does she have any suspicions or knowledge about him, and how does that and his disappearance factor into her decision to remain quiet on Char after Brood War?
- Metzen - Very good question. Suffice to say, there are few beings in the universe that know who and what Duran really is. Kerrigan didn’t have a clue. Her isolation on Char for these past few years has little to do with Duran. However, as our story begins to unfold, she may be starting to put some pieces together as to what he was trying to accomplish...
- SC:L - The profile for the Colossus mentions the Kalath Intercession, or something along those lines. Could you explain what that was?
- Metzen - Some centuries ago (after the exile of the dark templar) the Protoss of Aiur turned their energies to exploring the Koprulu sector and policing other planets. In the process, the Protoss intervened in the internal disputes of an alien race known as the Kalathi. The Protoss ended up virtually decimating the Kalathi in the process The Kalath Intercession is the Protoss' name for that entire shameful affair (including its disastrous ending for the Kalathi). It swiftly became a cautionary tale to the Protoss about the dangers of getting embroiled in the politics of a civil war. As a result of the Kalath Intercession, the Conclave placed further restrictions upon the Dae'Uhl, or "Great Stewardship". From that point on, the Protoss were never to interfere directly in the affairs of lesser races that were under Protoss protection. Thus, when Terrans arrived in the sector and began draining the natural resources from planet after planet, the Protoss were forbidden to halt the Terrans' reckless behavior.
- SC:L - How were the Uraj and Khalis crystals created, why, and how did they end up where they were in Brood War?
- Metzen -
- How and why were the crystals created? When Xel'naga came down to Aiur, they taught the Protoss many things, including advancements in the technological, biological, and psionic realms. The Protoss' understanding grew, and in their pride the Protoss began to value personal accomplishments more than communal advancement. At first the Xel'naga were intrigued at this turn of affairs and encouraged it. To that end the Xel'naga decided to conduct an experiment of sorts. They cut twin shards out of a monolithic Khaydarin crystal. One shard, named the Uraj by the Xel'naga, was entrusted to the Akilae tribe, many of whose members were mighty warriors. The other shard, named the Khalis by the Xel'naga, was entrusted to the Sargas tribe, many of whose members also excelled at fighting, though their combat style tended more toward stealth and assassination. From that point on, the Xel'naga kept watch over the twin crystals, observing the changes they underwent. Both crystals were venerated as sacred relics by the tribes to which they had been entrusted, but their different environments altered the crystals over time. As the tribes drew further apart from one another, the Uraj and Khalis mirrored this growing divergence, and their energies--even their appearances--became quite different.
- How did the Uraj end up on Braxis? After the Xel'naga departed Aiur, the Protoss turned on one another, and each of the two tribes hid its crystal away until the Aeon of Strife came to an end. For a time the Templar caste kept watch over the Uraj and used it in their meditations. When the Protoss first began exploring space again, they triumphantly carried the Uraj with them to one of the first colony worlds, Khyrador, and installed it in a place of honor in the colony. Later, mysterious and violent psionic storms broke out on Aiur and its colonies, including Khyrador. Protoss on Khyrador hastily fled the planet and returned to Aiur, leaving many treasured items behind, including the Uraj.
- How did the Khalis end up on Char? The Khalis remained with the Sargas tribe until the dark templar were banished from Aiur. Shortly afterward it was discovered that the exiles had stolen the Khalis and taken it with them. Some time after the dark templar settled on Shakuras, they (like the Protoss of Aiur) encountered the probes of the Zerg. Further investigation eventually led the dark templar to Char. The dark templar, like their kin back on Aiur, were greatly concerned about the Zerg and chose to test themselves in battle against small bands of Zerg on Char. The Zerg proved frighteningly resilient and numerous, and so the dark templar brought the Khalis to Char so that they might try to wield its energies against the Zerg. Although the Zerg did take casualties, the Overmind soon launched a massive counterattack, overwhelmed the Protoss, and claimed the Khalis. The crystal was left behind on Char when the Swarm went to invade Aiur.
- SC:L - In the Map of the Month feature of October 2000, you've released a map named Deceptions, where you play a group of pirates called The Kimerans, and infiltrate a secret Confederacy base. The concepts behind the mission are the return of the Confederacy, the Kimeran Pirates, Infested Stukov and the 14 technologies you find which imply on a strong connection between the remains of the Confederacy and Duran). Is there a possibility we'll see some of these technologies take shape in StarCraft II?
- Metzen - In the Deception map, the notorious Kimeran pirates decided to... ahem, liberate whatever data files they could hack from the main computer of a Confederate science facility. The pirates retrieved a number of files--14 in all--and then got out of there. The files actually didn't reference specific technologies so much as specific topics of research and/or experimentation. No doubt some of this work (e.g., "Utilizing Dragoon Technology For Human Reconstruction") had concrete and promising applications, but some of it clearly wouldn't. For instance, "Offspring of Infested Humans"... there's a scary thought: what sort of experiments would you need for that topic? Doubtful that such experiments could have lasted long or gone anywhere: members of the Swarm make dangerous captives, and any offspring--if they could be produced at all--would be irredeemably unbiddable. Other data files had vague and overly ambitious titles that an academic might use in the hopes of bluffing somebody into providing a grant for research... without specifying precisely what he's going to be studying (e.g., "The Origin Of The Species"). In short, we might see references to one or two of these topics in the future, but I wouldn't necessarily count on it. The Kimeran pirates probably turned a tidy profit from selling the data files off and that was that. Who knows where those files are now?
- SC:L - Are Resurrection IV and the events that occurred within it canon (Existence of Taldarin, Raynor helping Artanis, De-infestation of Stukov and purification of Braxis especially)?
- Metzen -
- Taldarin is indeed canon. He is one of the greatest warriors of the Protoss. He fought alongside the mighty Adun. Wounded in battle, his body was kept in stasis until the dragoon exoskeleton was created. He was one of the first Protoss to become a dragoon. That said, we have begun to nail down the StarCraft timeline since this map was made, so disregard Taldarin's assertion that he fought alongside Adun three millennia before the events of the Resurrection map. Also, Taldarin's body didn't stay in stasis for several thousand years. Both time periods were significantly shorter than that. We'd rather not get more specific right now lest it interfere with the development of StarCraft II, but rest assured that having a fully fleshed out timeline is definitely our goal. <:
- Jim Raynor did indeed work with the Protoss, including Artanis and Taldarin, and Alexei Stukov was indeed freed from the Swarm (thanks to the serum devised by Protoss scientists) long enough for Raynor, Taldarin, and Stukov to get off the planet. At that point, Artanis gave the order to purify (yes, meaning "incinerate" :) the planet of Braxis. That said, Braxis is an ice planet, and so it has since frozen back over.
- SC:L - Are the 2 Enslavers campaigns canon in the StarCraft universe, or you've just released them as a fun add-on and sort of an example for what StarEdit was capable of?
- Metzen - They are canon. That said, as you'll recall, the plot branched in "Enslavers: Dark Vengeance", and the rest of the story was based on the decision that players made there. We have since decided which branch is considered canonical. In case you're curious, the Protoss chose to reclaim the stolen Khaydarin crystal, and in the process they discovered that Ulrezaj had created 5 twisted copies of it. The Protoss destroyed these warped crystals, but by then, Allen Schezar and the archon Ulrezaj had positioned an orbital space station with an EMP device over Shakuras. Although Zeratul tried to persuade Ulrezaj to set aside his bitterness, Ulrezaj would not be swayed: he was determined to drive the Protoss of Aiur from Shakuras. At Zeratul's command, Protoss forces destroyed the EMP generator and killed Schezar for his crimes against the Protoss race. Ulrezaj, however, escaped Protoss justice... and seething with hatred, he vowed that one day he would yet have vengeance against the Protoss of Aiur. (Note by SC:L - According to the StarCraft: Shadow Hunters' book description, Ulrezaj is alive and sealed underground on Aiur).
- SC:L - What order will the campaigns be played in SCII and why?
- Metzen - Can’t answer that one. That would give away the flow of the story. :)
- SC:L - And last, for our own curiosity - you referred to Tassadar as a "twilight messiah" during the lore panel on BlizzCon - is there ever a chance of seeing his return in some form or another?
- Metzen - What goes around comes around. You know our Blizzard heroes: they roll back from the brink of death more often than the original X-Men. Seriously, though – given what the Khala is, and some of the other upcoming themes we’ve devised – it’s probable that Tassadar’s spirit is out there somewhere. However, I wouldn’t count on his pulling a "Medivh" any time soon... (if ever).
Metzen has revealed an amazing amount of canon lore through this exclusive Q&A. Some who have already read the feature have called it as informative and important to the story as the manual itself. One thing is certain - these answers set the scene for the secret and spectacular events of StarCraft II. We have learned much but once again where there are answers - even more questions arise. It is a distinct possibility that official novels will continue to exercise the demons of lore, but Blizzard has always been legendary for its secretive disposition. StarCraft Legacy hopes to continue its excellent working relationship with Blizzard, including Metzen, to bring you the all the revelations within our favorite universe.
The SC:L Staff would like to thank Chris Metzen and his entire team for allowing us both the opprotunity to ask our questions but for answering them so fully for a fansite. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him.
This is a StarCraft: Legacy (http://sclegacy.com/) exclusive.