Strap yourselves in, folks. Today, we're taking a deep dive into the lore of one of the most iconic real-time strategy franchises ever made: StarCraft.
There are, as many have pointed out before me, other plot holes too. Wings of Liberty was great. In the meantime, they released a spiritual sequel WarCraft 3 as well what would become their most popular game World of WarCraft. Starcraft I agree that Kerrigan and the Queen of Blades have never been the same person the change in personality in Episode II is too strong and abrupt for thatthere is something deeply troubling with Blizzard not only forgetting how stories Kerrigan have killed, but also that one of them Fenix was a dear friend to Raynor.
Now, it should be mentioned there is nothing inherently superior about cynicism than idealism. However, there is an inherent flaw in this de, which is that, while events in one part of the story is happening, other events are happening in the background. Giving proper hints without intruding on the focus is difficult, and explaining stuff that has already happened often just ends up being clunky, and with the pacing practically dying in the process as the player is bogged down in exposition.
In Episode I, we are told these devices have the power to attract Zerg, something Mengsk exploits for his own gain. Even before Kerrigan wins at the end of the game, the UED—another foe—gets to have their victory too. However, there are hints that this is not quite a precise explanation.
ificant, indeed. There are other examples in the story that shows how the changed worldview has dire consequences the Protoss being more united than ever is one of thembut this is the most ificant. Both of them explain the many retcons. It is possible to create a story that starts out dark and then becomes lighter. After all, this sort of flexibility is one of the reasons LOTV is the best part of the trilogy.
It's not good storytelling either. On the surface, this looks to be a superficial detail, seemingly existing only to give Kerrigan some enemies to fight on Char. Hardly anyone seems that willing to defend the story. Hanson is an exception, though her becoming infested is obviously not very idealistic. It is, after all, the standard recipe for storytelling.
In the Protoss campaign, we get a retroactive explanation of Episode I: Tassadar was sent to burn the Terran worlds not because of the Terrans themselves, but because of the Zerg. Games particularly ones where you control entire races, and not just single characters require a different kind of immersion, one where the focus is sharper. Once they gain control of Kerrigan, the Zerg leave the Terran worlds for Char, as their mission is complete.
Now, that could have been a great source of dramatic tension. But the change from cynicism to idealism is too abrupt in StarCraft to be believable, having only occurred because the writers wanted it, and not because the characters achieved it. It took even longer—a whopping 12 years—for Blizzard to follow up Brood War with a sequel. Lastly, it forced Tassadar to go to Char, as well as splitting story the Conclave. Already from the get-go, SC2 was a different beast than its predecessor. After all, changing perspectives mid-story has a serious impact on the gameplay, as we have to begin to learn a new race just as we started to get the hang of another essentially creating the longest training arc Starcraft, instead of splitting them into pieces.
By essentially wanting the story to be idealistic, Blizzard has to ignore common logic, meaning Raynor not only goes from wanting to kill Kerrigan to kiss her, but casually forgets the death of his friend in the process.
Whereas we in Episode I think the psi emitters are a device to attract Zerg, we learn in Episode II that the truth is more complex. On the other, it ensured Kerrigan's infestation. Despite that, there is no point denying that Blizzard took their shot at the story and missed.
The second is that Kerrigan is now destined to be a savior. It is telling that the change occurs between the first and second game too. There is nothing wrong with changing past errors. Even killing Kerrigan and creating new Overmind is better idea. Overall, the complexity of SC2 is a shadow of the original game, with Blizzard not seeming to have much of a plan for the full story, nor a solution of what to do with the Protoss until they arrived in LOTV.
More on that after the jump. How could Tychus be the pilot in the Thor while also being a mole for Mengsk?
The story of StarCraft is deeply cynical, and the story of its sequel is not. Chris Metzen has claimed he was an angrier man back in the 90s than he is now, which explains why the worldview of the story changed, though not why it had to.
In other words: doing one race at the time is probably the optimal choice. The whitewashing of Kerrigan ripples out throughout the rest of the story, with HOTS becoming her redemption arc, and LOTV becoming what we were essentially promised in the first place: the three races uniting together against a common enemy to defeat Amon, with Kerrigan dealing the final blow. First, there must be a conflict, and only after can the heroes succeed. Both of these alternatives are fickle.
All of this remains unexplained until Episode VI, of course, where we learn that Kerrigan reached out to Raynor and Fenix to help her kidnap Mengsk which happens in V. We later learn that the Protoss have been building up their forces to invade Aiur, but that is not that interesting. The problem is that these errors occur because Blizzard essentially forced a change in worldview in the story. Heart of the Swarm came out indoing little to remedy the damage, while Legacy of the Starcraft came out inand is generally seen Starcraft having the best story. Yeah, that never made much sense to me.
This is, obviously, a gigantic plot hole. The original StarCraft is deeply cynical. The first is that Blizzard decided that Raynor loves Kerrigan and wants to save her instead of killing her, which totally negates their last encounter in Brood War True Colors, to be more specific. Finally, in episode III, we play as the Protoss, who do defeat the Overmind, but not after a bitter civil war that nearly destroys them story.
There are two explanations that, in my eyes, help explain most of the criticism levied at the story. But more importantly, we have that Raynor and Fenix stay behind on Aiur, which means that Kerrigan is able to get a story of them while Zeratul and the rest are busy on Shakurus.
Victory is bittersweet, because while the heroes technically succeed in their mission to destroy the Confederacynothing really seems to have been won. It is really only when the larger story starts to creep in that the problems begin to emerge.
Again, things were happening in the background that become ificant later. Case-in-point: the psi emitters. Despite this, the original SC handles the problems of this structure rather well. Instead of being a necessary evil, Kerrigan is just There are major problems with this.
In WOL, they are tribe that blatantly only exists to give Raynor some Protoss to fight against he is usually their friend, after all. The major issue is still the direction the writers decided to go with Kerrigan. She might have done so even if Raynor and Fenix had come to Shakuras, but there are hints that Kerrigan contacting people separately is a key to her victory.
Its story is more engaging than the last two, and it is a sort-of-fitting coda to the trilogy. In this second part of the article, I will argue that SC2 is a less complex game than its predecessor, not necessarily in terms of thematic depth, but rather in the structure of the story. There is more.
Yes, I could make some points about how the non-linear storytelling all but killed the pacing of the second act, but that is only a minor complaint. What is important to understand here, is that things are happening in the background of one story that have important ramifications in another. HotS had colorful characters on the outside but on the inside they where empty. Originally introduced in the Dark Templar Trilogy, this faction has changed more than probably any other in the story, and not for good.
One of the hardest things about telling a campaign in a Blizzard RTS is their one-race-at-a-time structure. Now, there are two problems here. This same level of subtle complexity can be found in Brood War as well. That is not bad in itself all races should fight each other in all campaigns, in my opinion.
And that is problematic. On one story, Tassadar's intervention essentially helped Mengsk, as he could now sell himself as a protector against both the Zerg and Protoss. And while the arrival of Duke really does just serve that point, the arrival of Raynor is more important. Though Wings of Liberty was met with critical acclaim inthere were few who would defend its story I should know, as I frequented the forums quite a bit in those days, and I rarely saw a positive review. While I do understand that Zeratul can only be at one time in one place, I find it hard to believe Starcraft he chose to contact the Protoss last.
But Blizzard squanders the potential of this opportunity completely, by essentially whitewashing Kerrigan. I argue that Blizzard put a lot of thought into small details in the first game, and less so in the sequel, and that this had an impact on the quality of the story. I liked WoL the most. That is not inificant. The first of this is that Blizzard took a deeply cynical story and forced it to become idealistic.
New short story: one people, one purpose
To pour salt in the wound, the victory turns out to be bittersweet, as the Protoss must flee Aiur from the remaining feral Zerg. He should have made them an active presence much earlier. So there's little reason for why he should have waited until LOTV to contact Artanis the real reason is that Zeratul is contacting people according to the race structure of the story. In Episode I, we play as a group of rebels lead by a man who turns out to be just as bad if not worse than the ones we are trying to overthrow.
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