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Thread: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

  1. #11

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    If she is so supposed to be so powerful as to be the Overmind's true successor as ruler of the Zerg, then how can she possibly be not in control the Zerg on Aiur? Seems like a case of convenient (read: contrived) blindness on the part of Kerrigan if you ask me...
    Distance from Char? Comparatively less psionic ability? Competing broods that even after the Brood War were able to operate independently (e.g. the New Swarm?) The Aiur zerg aren't unique in this regard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    Even so, if she had no control over the Zerg on Aiur, wouldn't Kerrigan want to take the responsibility of wanting to help them out being a "Zerg lover" and all? I'd doubt she'd want the Protoss to exterminate them given that she's supposed to free them. As I said before, the only way the Protoss can conceivably retake Aiur is if they're thrown a bone, ie: by Kerrigan gifting it back to them out of kindess.
    You're assuming that there's significant reason for her to keep her hold on Aiur in the first place. If you're suggesting Kerrigan goes full "zerg lover," then the kindest thing to do would be to take them off Aiur so no protoss come trying to kill them. Everyone's happy that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    Just because Duke isn't likeable doesn't make him any less interesting as a character.

    Any human government is boring really. What sells them, if at all, are the characters that inhabit it. Dugalle and Stukov are way more interesting than WoL's Mengsk and Warfield.
    I never said his likeability had anything to do with it. And again...well, of the other characters listed, I'd go Mengsk - Stukov - Duke - DuGalle - Warfield in terms of most to least interesting personally.

    (Edit: I feel obliged to explain the edit here. In theory, I'd rate Warfield above DuGalle and Duke because his backstory shows more development/change/intrigue than both of them. However, little of it is actually shown. So while DuGalle has less character development overall, we at least have the benefit of seeing it in BW, such as when Stukov dies or his final letter and suicide. And while Duke's character remains constant, we at least got to see Duke in EU fiction, and his strained relationship with the Old Families and Confederate military as a whole does leave the door open for some character questions.)

    Also have to agree on your government statements. It's part of the terran dynamic that their governments work in different ways and have different 'essences' to them. So ranking them from most interesting to least interesting to me personally, it would go Terran Confederacy - Umojan Protectorate - Terran Dominion - Kel-Morian Combine - United Powers League - United Earth Directorate.
    Last edited by Hawki; 03-09-2013 at 08:28 AM.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Psionics is a pseudo-science, so any application of it is at the whim of the fiction.
    Doesn't matter. The underlying assumption in sci-fi is that it's real science. This is why Blizzard gives us answers to questions like "how do mutas or banshees fly in space". Marine suits and the zerg species are pseudoscience too, but nobody complains about that.

    Am I the only one here that enjoys science-fiction instead of easy-to-digest fantasy packaged in a futuristic setting? :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    If one's going for awe and mystery, it's usually best to have a viewpoint we can relate to. The DTS is a good example - we learn about the protoss, but through a human's eyes, so we learn with the character, the knowledge remains relevant to the plot, and it doesn't become bogged down.
    The DTS is pretty much the opposite of what I'm looking for. All the mystery in that series is stripped away, and Zamara tells Jake that he knows the protoss more intimately than even most other protoss. So it's just kind of like "meh, so this is it. we've uncovered all there is to the protoss race. yawn". =/

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Not sure how Duke would ever qualify as an interesting character, and the UED is easily the least interesting human government in the setting to me, but to each their own I guess.
    Duke pretty much personifies the rag-tag galactic fringe feel of the Koprulu Sector terrans. And I like the UED because they are competent, formal, and professional. Watching them launch their methodical and systematic invasion of Korhal was one of the most enjoyable things from Brood War.
    Last edited by Gradius; 03-09-2013 at 08:53 AM.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    Doesn't matter. The underlying assumption in sci-fi is that it's real science. This is why Blizzard gives us answers to questions like "how do mutas or banshees fly in space". Marine suits and the zerg species are pseudoscience too, but nobody complains about that.

    Am I the only one here that enjoys science-fiction instead of easy-to-digest fantasy packaged in a futuristic setting? :P
    There's a difference though. If mutalisks fly through space through farting, and Banshees fly through space through specially equipped engines, I can draw a line from point a (current understanding) to potential future understanding. Likewise, the suits and zerg still have roots in technology and biology. Very far fetched of course, but power armour is a real-world concept, and we know for a fact that organisms change over time. Not that we have any Overmind equivalents, but it's still got its basis in biology somewhere.

    Psionics are different. The day psychic powers are established to be real, or established to be potentially real, then psionics gets to stop being pseudo-science. But it's just as much the 'essence' of the protoss in my mind. Anyone can have a laser sword in sci-fi. Having blades that are the manifestation of your own abilities, reflecting them, it fits with the protoss psionic 'essence,' and makes them more unique overall. If lightsabers stayed as Stormtrooper weapons rather than the tools of the Jedi to use another example, chances are they wouldn't be as iconic. Reducing the protoss psionic trait/manifestation aspect of psi-blades to just another gizmo cheapens the overall effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    The DTS is pretty much the opposite of what I'm looking for. All the mystery in that series is stripped away, and Zamara tells Jake that he knows the protoss more intimately than even most other protoss. So it's just kind of like "meh, so this is it. we've uncovered all there is to the protoss race. yawn". =/
    ...

    ...

    ...I thought The Fall was the best campaign of SC1 and BW too. I guess that's something we have in common...

    ...right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    Duke pretty much personifies the rag-tag galactic fringe feel of the Koprulu Sector terrans. And I like the UED because they are competent, formal, and professional. Watching them launch their methodical and systematic invasion of Korhal was one of the most enjoyable things from Brood War.
    Felt that belonged more to Raynor. If anything, Duke symbolized the Confederacy to me - self-interested, indifferent to others, causes harm through neglect more than direct malice, etc. While the Confederacy was pretty much faceless in the games (and still is in overall lore in a sense), Duke was the closest thing to a 'face' for it.

    As for the UED...hmm...well, I don't deny that their M.O. is a bit more professional than other factions. Yet it makes them all the more 'cookie cutter' to me. Concerning the mission itself, I found it more of a relief to get past Korhal to get back to fighting the zerg, and if only for one mission in its campaign, protoss.
    Last edited by Hawki; 03-09-2013 at 09:08 AM.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    I'm wondering at a few things in the story. Was it ever made clear why the Protoss were not allowed to teleport back at point of death? The story mentions their "warp stones" were removed. It just seems stupid to me, but I guess the author wanted a more desperate feeling and tone.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Distance from Char? Comparatively less psionic ability? Competing broods that even after the Brood War were able to operate independently (e.g. the New Swarm?) The Aiur zerg aren't unique in this regard.
    You've just proven what I said about contrived coincidences/blindness on Kerrigan's behalf. Is Kerrigan supposed to be powerful enough to be the true successor of the Overmind (and all the implications that that entails; least of all would be the ultimate control of all Zerg forces) or isn't she? These limitations you've expressed just compounds the problem and makes it unnecessarily wishy washy, much like how the Overmind "retcon" confuses the nature of free will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    You're assuming that there's significant reason for her to keep her hold on Aiur in the first place. If you're suggesting Kerrigan goes full "zerg lover," then the kindest thing to do would be to take them off Aiur so no protoss come trying to kill them. Everyone's happy that way.
    *Sigh* When you put it like that, you might as well ask why there is any significant reason for Kerrigan to hold any territory for the Zerg at all. When we start going down that path, that can only lead to the gutting of what the Zerg are truly about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    I feel obliged to explain the edit here. In theory, I'd rate Warfield above DuGalle and Duke because his backstory shows more development/change/intrigue than both of them. However, little of it is actually shown. So while DuGalle has less character development overall, we at least have the benefit of seeing it in BW, such as when Stukov dies or his final letter and suicide. And while Duke's character remains constant, we at least got to see Duke in EU fiction, and his strained relationship with the Old Families and Confederate military as a whole does leave the door open for some character questions.
    I guess that makes sense. I, however, form my opinions based solely on what the games show me about their individual characters. DuGalle and Duke work quite well as characters without knowing any of their backstory - indeed, you can extrapolate from their displays in the game. Warfield, as presented in WoL, feels more like a cypher to me. He seems like your typical cool black guy who does cool stuff and we're told he's a good general when we're a shown that he's the complete opposite. There doesn't seem to be much more than that to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    Was it ever made clear why the Protoss were not allowed to teleport back at point of death? The story mentions their "warp stones" were removed. It just seems stupid to me, but I guess the author wanted a more desperate feeling and tone.
    Got in one. I, too, felt it a bit stupid. One would think "life preservation" would be part of their cultural identity by now considering how Blizz harps on about how crippled the Protoss are. Then again, "revealing" that the Protoss aren't really that crippled (even when contrary to all the lore that indicates that they are) is just a mere retcon away...
    Last edited by Turalyon; 03-10-2013 at 07:32 AM.
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  6. #16

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    You've just proven what I said about contrived coincidences/blindness on Kerrigan's behalf.
    Wait, what?

    Feral zerg on Aiur - established in Brood War.

    Independent zerg post-Brood War: Established in DLC and StarCraft 64

    -Comparatively less psionic ability: Established in the first game (as in, Kerrigan never had the respawn ability of the Overmind)

    -Distance and psionics - established in Heart of the Swarm.

    So, out of the four points I raised, three of them were established over a decade before HotS was released. I don't think contrivance can be applied to things that were established over a decade ago and works within those limits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    Is Kerrigan supposed to be powerful enough to be the true successor of the Overmind (and all the implications that that entails; least of all would be the ultimate control of all Zerg forces) or isn't she?
    Successor, yes. All powerful? There's no indication of her being as powerful, and even the Overmind lost control of an entire brood when it lost its cerebrate. Zerg operating outside the Swarm proper goes all the way back to the first game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    *Sigh* When you put it like that, you might as well ask why there is any significant reason for Kerrigan to hold any territory for the Zerg at all. When we start going down that path, that can only lead to the gutting of what the Zerg are truly about.
    The zerg aren't obliged to "be about" anything. Not when their essence has shifted over the course of the overall series. I'd rather go down "that path" than instead go down a stagnant one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    Got in one. I, too, felt it a bit stupid. One would think "life preservation" would be part of their cultural identity by now considering how Blizz harps on about how crippled the Protoss are. Then again, "revealing" that the Protoss aren't really that crippled (even when contrary to all the lore that indicates that they are) it's just a mere retcon away...
    Wait, what reveal? If the protoss can't even retake Aiur's moon, let alone Aiur itself, they're still in the "crippled" territory by my reckoning. Still, it's been constantly hinted in recent lore how the protoss are rebuilding, so while they may be out of "crippled" status by LotV, they're not completely there yet.
    Last edited by Hawki; 03-10-2013 at 01:05 AM.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    So, out of the four points I raised, three of them were established over a decade before HotS was released. I don't think contrivance can be applied to things that were established over a decade ago and works within those limits.

    Successor, yes. All powerful? There's no indication of her being as powerful, and even the Overmind lost control of an entire brood when it lost its cerebrate. Zerg operating outside the Swarm proper goes all the way back to the first game.
    I'm not trying to doubt what you're saying, all I'm trying to do is to highlight the confusion about what we're led to believe above Kerrigan's capabilities. As you've established with your examples and given the general feeling that Sc1 gives off, I actually do think that Kerrigan is nowhere near the Overmind in terms of her ability to control the Zerg but somewhere between BW and WoL, I get the feeling that a lot of people (those who know more about SC lore at any rate it seems) think Kerrigan is actually many more times better than the Overmind in every single way. Given that I'm not that heavy into the lore, the stance that "Kerrigan is better than the Overmind" is one I'm co-opting to say why Kerrigan should have control over the Zerg broods on Aiur. Using this stance and going further still, in BW, there seems to be a subtle implication that Kerrigan's removal of the renegade Cerebrates, the neo-Overmind and destruction of the Psi-Disruptor would allow her to control all of the Zerg. Besides, her uniqueness, greater free will (Ugh! Even this becomes an ever more tangled point of contention since in WoL where there is the hint that she wasn't entirely free until the artifact did a number on her let alone the issues about describing/scaling free will in terms of degrees of severity!) access to more psionic potential that the Overmind itself lacked (in addition to the download of it's abilities into her brain upon it's death apparently) plus her ability to grant Zerg independence through her own re-evolution of Zerg Queens tend to point in the direction that she has the potential capability to control all the Zerg Swarms. Lastly, all those limitations never really say she strictly couldn't be in control of all the Zerg either (I don't actually like this line of reasoning nor really put much stock in it - since it's used to justify the Overmind retcon - it's surprising how some see it this way and adopt it to just about anything).

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    The zerg aren't obliged to "be about" anything. Not when their essence has shifted over the course of the overall series. I'd rather go down "that path" than instead go down a stagnant one.
    Aah, but you're wrong there. As I mentioned before, the Zerg have the most complete factional identity since the beginning, simple as it is. The Zerg were "about" something initially and Sc1 establishes that. Indeed, the Zerg should be obliged not to change at all given that they have purity of essence (the manual makes this pretty clear). The changes in their essence, starting from the introduction of this Xel'Naga cycle business, are just artificial plot shenanigans designed to retcon the Zerg nature to make them more "flexible". As for being "stagnant", well, that shouldn't always have to have a negative connotation to it, it just makes it harder to write for since it's more commonly seen to be more easily written lazily/hackeneyedly. A good writer is someone who can work within the confines of limitations though, not just around them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Wait, what reveal? If the protoss can't even retake Aiur's moon, let alone Aiur itself, they're still in the "crippled" territory by my reckoning. Still, it's been constantly hinted in recent lore how the protoss are rebuilding, so while they may be out of "crippled" status by LotV, they're not completely there yet.
    Whoops, realised I made a typo (I meant 'is' not it's'). That last remark was just me joking about Blizz potentially downplaying the seriousness of how crippled the Protoss really are by magically "revealing" (read: retconning) that this wasn't so at all.
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  8. #18

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    So, did a 'proper reading' of the story and...yep. Still the weakest HotS short story for me personally, and probably the weakest of all the StarCraft site short stories as well. Some other thoughts:

    -Why didn't they have warp stones? There was some reason given, but as others have pointed out, it just felt contrived.

    -I'm now in the camp of thinking that it's a brood mother or, for all we know, potentially a cerebrate. Partly because of some HotS info, partly because of how Telenel comments on how the zerg tactics reflect the Overmind's style of command rather than Kerrigan's.

    -So, assuming the executor was Selendis...let's see...she was defeated at Haven...and almost stuffed up on Saalok...why is she the executor again?

    -Psi-blades are a moot point. We get one pion line. One. My psi-blades are still the weapons that remind us that protoss are still badass, wielding blades of psionic energy, not light sticks thank you very much.

    -The writing style is what really kills it for me, and compared to the other protoss short stories, I can see why. It's basically an info-dump, a technique that even now, I get picked up on in writing group sessions. The other protoss stories had some interaction, where the plot was conveyed naturally through conversation. Here, everyone but Telenel dies, so we're left with narrative that goes on...and on...and on...would have been much better to leave a DT alive. Someone to actually have dialogue with to convey the information. Such reliance on narrative can work sometimes, but it's generally regarded as poor writing.

    So, back to the response...oh Turalyon, don't you know that paragraphs are your friend?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    As you've established with your examples and given the general feeling that Sc1 gives off, I actually do think that Kerrigan is nowhere near the Overmind in terms of her ability to control the Zerg but somewhere between BW and WoL, I get the feeling that a lot of people (those who know more about SC lore at any rate it seems) think Kerrigan is actually many more times better than the Overmind in every single way. Given that I'm not that heavy into the lore, the stance that "Kerrigan is better than the Overmind" is one I'm co-opting to say why Kerrigan should have control over the Zerg broods on Aiur. Using this stance and going further still, in BW, there seems to be a subtle implication that Kerrigan's removal of the renegade Cerebrates, the neo-Overmind and destruction of the Psi-Disruptor would allow her to control all of the Zerg.
    I've never seen anyone say that "Kerrigan is better than the Overmind," as in, more powerful/formiddable, etc. The day Kerrigan reincarnates or opens warp portals with her mind, I'll consider it, but for now, she's certainly less powerful.

    As for post-BW, with Kerrigan gaining total and sole control...I can see how the conception could arise, but it was rendered null within two years of real-world time at the very latest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    Aah, but you're wrong there. As I mentioned before, the Zerg have the most complete factional identity since the beginning, simple as it is. The Zerg were "about" something initially and Sc1 establishes that. Indeed, the Zerg should be obliged not to change at all given that they have purity of essence (the manual makes this pretty clear).
    This may come down to matters of perception (sort of, more on that later), but the zerg 'essence' of BW is very different to the 'essence' of SC1, whereas in the latter we're dealing with the Overmind and cerebrates, and in the former with Kerrigan, whose motivations, while the same in some areas, are different in others. Even the short story this thread is based on highlights the different 'feeling' of Overmind/cererbrate/brood queen/whatever zerg, as opposed to Kerrigan's 'essence.' Ideally, HotS should introduce something new (whatever Kerrigan does/becomes) while not entirely writing out the old (brood mothers, etc.). The zerg ceased to be hemogenous since BW. More hemogenous than terrans or protoss admittedly, but when the Brood War itself is basically a zerg civil war, you can't say the zerg are incapable of change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    Whoops, realised I made a typo (I meant 'is' not it's'). That last remark was just me joking about Blizz potentially downplaying the seriousness of how crippled the Protoss really are by magically "revealing" (read: retconning) that this wasn't so at all.
    People seem to have different definitions of what a retcon actually is, so I won't go there. However, given the amount of foreshadowing as to the protoss's rebuilding status (HotS unit lore entries, this story), a rebuilt protoss force isn't exactly off the cards at this point in time. On the other, we spent most of WoL encountering the Tal'darim, and in HotS, Daelaam protoss only appear in three missions as far as I'm aware (and get defeated by the zerg in them, so...I dunno. Retcon? Not really, because there's a line from point a (Brood War) to point b (Legacy of the Void). But b might take some people to w, then to t, then to f, if not done right.

    ...metaphors are fun...

  9. #19

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    The writing style is what really kills it for me, and compared to the other protoss short stories, I can see why. It's basically an info-dump, a technique that even now, I get picked up on in writing group sessions. The other protoss stories had some interaction, where the plot was conveyed naturally through conversation. Here, everyone but Telenel dies, so we're left with narrative that goes on...and on...and on...would have been much better to leave a DT alive. Someone to actually have dialogue with to convey the information. Such reliance on narrative can work sometimes, but it's generally regarded as poor writing.
    It's not so much that there's no interaction with the main character since there are plenty of well-written stories that are solely from the singular perspective of the protagonist but that the writing is largely rote and has this "one thing after another" vibe going to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    oh Turalyon, don't you know that paragraphs are your friend?
    Yeah, I should of used footnotes for my asides.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    I've never seen anyone say that "Kerrigan is better than the Overmind," as in, more powerful/formiddable, etc. The day Kerrigan reincarnates or opens warp portals with her mind, I'll consider it, but for now, she's certainly less powerful.
    It's hard to get a solid grasp of the state of things and I will doubt that anyone will say it outright but the general ideation that "Kerrigan is better than the Overmind" (the term "better" does not necessarily have to equate to having/not having a particular skill) is what the games, up to this point at any rate, would seem to indicate to most casual fans of the lore.

    Also, I thought Kerrigan can open warp portals now. I don't remember the source of this info (was it in one of those Q&As?) but I didn't knew she could do that either until then. As to reincarnation - we never got a chance to physically kill her in the Queen of Blades form and now that she's deinfested (or whatever you want to call this nebulous state she's in now) we'll never know...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    As for post-BW, with Kerrigan gaining total and sole control...I can see how the conception could arise, but it was rendered null within two years of real-world time at the very latest.
    And that was made clear where now? See where people can easily get confused with this stuff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    This may come down to matters of perception (sort of, more on that later), but the zerg 'essence' of BW is very different to the 'essence' of SC1, whereas in the latter we're dealing with the Overmind and cerebrates, and in the former with Kerrigan, whose motivations, while the same in some areas, are different in others.
    It should not be down to matter of perception or misinterpretation (which is the fault of the reader really) since the manual is clear enough that Zerg purity of essence is a fundamental aspect of their species that is not changeable (unlike the Protoss) nor is it tied down to who is controlling them at any given moment in time. The Zerg, by their own initial conception, are stagnant in this quality for better or worse! What that fundamental aspect is exactly ties into their originating species: a race of voracious parasites that adapt themselves to their environments by hijacking and steering the evolution of their victims in order to promote their own species. That most of these adapted species have a similar set of physical characteristics and a mentality resembling their originating species is the manifestation of this essence - after all the changes that have been incorporated into the Swarm, the fundamental nature of the Swarm itself has not been changed.

    If it were so easily changeable as you suggest, then they cannot be deemed as pure of essence would they? What you're saying here now is that the Zerg are not pure in essence when that is supposed to be their schtick - this could be construed as a retcon. Either way, confusion reigns...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    People seem to have different definitions of what a retcon actually is, so I won't go there. However, given the amount of foreshadowing as to the protoss's rebuilding status (HotS unit lore entries, this story), a rebuilt protoss force isn't exactly off the cards at this point in time. On the other, we spent most of WoL encountering the Tal'darim, and in HotS, Daelaam protoss only appear in three missions as far as I'm aware (and get defeated by the zerg in them, so...I dunno. Retcon? Not really, because there's a line from point a (Brood War) to point b (Legacy of the Void). But b might take some people to w, then to t, then to f, if not done right.
    I usually place speech marks when I use the term "retcon" because of its potential for broad associations.

    What is clear about the Protoss is that they are no match against the Zerg even when they were at their strongest and are crippled severely. This is never in dispute especially given the loss of Aiur and the near total destruction of Shakuras, two homeworlds that one would think would be the most heavily defended planets of all Protoss planets. Following this train of thought, any conceivable force the Protoss can muster soon after such a catastrophe would be at a strength less than what they were able to achieve even before they were almost wiped out by the Zerg during the events of SC1/BW. To say otherwise, let alone think the Protoss have a realistic chance of winning, would be more tantamount to a "retcon" than anything that has been a labelled a "retcon" before.
    Last edited by Turalyon; 03-11-2013 at 03:40 AM.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  10. #20

    Default Re: Short Story - Cold Symmetry

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    Also, I thought Kerrigan can open warp portals now. I don't remember the source of this info (was it in one of those Q&As?) but I didn't knew she could do that either until then.
    Actually, you're correct - a Q&A did confirm that Kerrigan could open warp portals as well. It was iffy for a long time, because while the zerg never lost their FTL abilities due to behemoths (and leviathans, technically), it was ambiguous as to whether warp portals were still involved post-Overmind death.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    As to reincarnation - we never got a chance to physically kill her in the Queen of Blades form and now that she's deinfested (or whatever you want to call this nebulous state she's in now) we'll never know...
    I dunno. Every time Kerrigan "dies" in WoL, there's always a line to the effect of her being wounded/retreating. If she did indeed possess reincarnation abilities, they'd have presumably been mentioned. Apparently HotS may feature reincarnation of a sort due to game mechanics, but IMO, it would be better to go with the wounded analogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    And that was made clear where now?
    The DLC maps that followed the release of Brood War along with StarCraft 64, dating back to 1999 at the earliest, 2000 at the latest depending on what you consider canon. And reinforced multiple times since, such as the mutalisk hive on Choss or the feral zerg on Aiur. Kerrigan has near total control over the zerg, but it was clear from the outset that "near total" isn't the same as "complete."

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    It should not be down to matter of perception or misinterpretation (which is the fault of the reader really) since the manual is clear enough that Zerg purity of essence is a fundamental aspect of their species that is not changeable (unlike the Protoss) nor is it tied down to who is controlling them at any given moment in time. The Zerg, by their own initial conception, are stagnant in this quality for better or worse! What that fundamental aspect is exactly ties into their originating species: a race of voracious parasites that adapt themselves to their environments by hijacking and steering the evolution of their victims in order to promote their own species. That most of these adapted species have a similar set of physical characteristics and a mentality resembling their originating species is the manifestation of this essence - after all the changes that have been incorporated into the Swarm, the fundamental nature of the Swarm itself has not been changed.

    If it were so easily changeable as you suggest, then they cannot be deemed as pure of essence would they? What you're saying here now is that the Zerg are not pure in essence when that is supposed to be their schtick - this could be construed as a retcon. Either way, confusion reigns...
    I think there's two ideas about what "essence" means in the context. In-universe, purity of essence refers to the zerg's ability to adapt, to keep improving themselves, the goal being a form that could adapt to any situation, negating the need for such improvement. This isn't speculation, this was spelled out two years ago. In this, they've never changed. Since the xel'naga interfered, they've always been improving. That is purity of essence. What hasn't changed.

    In contrast, there's "essence" in a contextual/fictional context, of how the creatures are percieved. I percieve the zerg differently in SC1 to BW, because the nature of their leaders change (Overmind to Kerrigan). I'd expect the zerg to change as well in HotS because Kerrigan isn't the same person she once was. I'm not expecting the zerg to cast away purity of essence, but when their contextual essence has changed before, I don't see any reason to stop. Certainly the terrans and protoss have had that luxury as the lore/story has marched on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    What is clear about the Protoss is that they are no match against the Zerg even when they were at their strongest and are crippled severely. This is never in dispute especially given the loss of Aiur and the near total destruction of Shakuras, two homeworlds that one would think would be the most heavily defended planets of all Protoss planets. Following this train of thought, any conceivable force the Protoss can muster soon after such a catastrophe would be at a strength less than what they were able to achieve even before they were almost wiped out by the Zerg during the events of SC1/BW. To say otherwise, let alone think the Protoss have a realistic chance of winning, would be more tantamount to a "retcon" than anything that has been a labelled a "retcon" before.
    I think you're selling the protoss a bit short in the SC1 context, but that's beside the point. But I disagree with your retcon analogy. A retcon would be retroactively altering the protoss state at the time that status was established. E.g., end text in BW was that (paraphrased) "Artanis returned to Shakuras to rebuild their shattered civilization." Shattered, as in, in a poor state, etc. Retconning that would be along the lines of "actually, it wasn't shattered, deal with it."

    What isn't a retcon is going from the former status quo to a new status one. We know the protoss have rebuilt at least partially (as in, would have more hardware now than what BW left them), know that they've made new advances (new units), and know that the zerg on Aiur at the least are not operating in tandem with Kerrigan. Now whether the protoss are at a state to beat isolated zerg at their own game is a matter of semantics, but in contrast to SC1 and BW, the Daelaam protoss didn't really suffer much in WoL, or as far as I can tell, HotS either (as in, Kerrigan never does a number on Shakuras or any other major colony world besides Kaldir). So when the protoss have been rebuilding over 4-plus years and didn't really go through anything too traumatic over that period of time as opposed to the Great War and Brood War, I think there's some leverage for them to operate in force. How much is the right ammount however, is of course, subjective.

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