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The History of Starcraft

Updated on August 9, 2016

From the Beginning

There are so many games in the gaming industry that have been with us for decades. These games have become a part of our lives and have lead us through countless adventures as they develop complex and intricate storylines that immerse the players within the depths of the screen. Everyone has their different stories that they fell in love with and continue to go back to time and time again. Every gamer has their failsafe game they rely on. For me that game has been Starcraft. I was introduced to this game by a few of my friends and I immediately fell in love with the storyline and couldn’t get enough of it. Blizzard actually had science fiction writers help with the creation and maintenance of the Starcraft storyline.

(As a warning, I do leave out some of the back story and side story because I don’t believe them to be pertinent to the main storyline and I don’t want to lose you in side stories.)

Xel'Naga
Xel'Naga

The Creation

The story of Starcraft is based around three playable races and one all mighty race of creators. Throughout the game each race will have their own victories that put them above the others but no one race wins outright at any point. The game is a constant struggle for power between the human based Terran, the insect based Zerg, and the advanced alien race Protoss.

To begin it all there was a super advanced alien race named the Xel’Naga. This advanced race of psychic aliens traveled through the universe searching for sentient life. The Xel’Naga were nearing the end of their life cycle and they seeked a new species that could take over where they left off, not having any of their own offspring to continue their race. They looked for a species that was pure in form that would use their power the right way. Trying to play God, they traveled to a planet named Aiur where they found a race of pure psychic species called Protoss. Manipulating their growth, the Xel’Naga watched over them as they pushed the alien race into evolution. The Xel’Naga pushed the Protoss too far and forced them to lose their psychic abilities. The Protoss spiraled into madness and lost their pure essence when the Xel’Naga abandoned them.

The Xel’Naga then moved to another planet named Zerus where they found an insect like species of pure intent named the Zerg. The Xel’Naga created a hivemind for the Zerg called the Overmind where they stored their sentient desires. With time though, the Overmind grew aware of the presence of the Xel’Naga. The Overmind evolved and grew a breed of flying Zerg that were sent to attack the Xel’Naga in their Mothership, wiping out the entire race.

The inevitable goal of the Xel’Naga was for the two races they had created to one day combine into one force, a force that was pure and would take over their power. This is probably why the Protoss are higher beings that are most like their “Gods” (containing purity of form) while the Zerg are given the ability to mutate and change their DNA to match their victims (purity of essence). The Xel’Naga wanted the Zerg to consume the Protoss to become a higher being, more than they ever were.

Aiur, Protoss home world
Aiur, Protoss home world
Zeratul, the Dark Templar
Zeratul, the Dark Templar

Protoss before The Great War

With the absence of their Gods, the Protoss fell into a massive civil war, fueled by their insanity. Generations of their species were killed through constant battle. The battle only came to an end when a Protoss named Khas found a Xel’Naga artifact that he used to restore their races psionic link, curing their insanity. With their insanity cured the Protoss broke up into three distinct casts - the Judicator Caste, sacred religious leaders; the Templar Caste, warriors that protected the Protoss; and the Khalai Caste, the lowest class of laborers.

After their civil war and with the cure of their insanity the Protoss created a religion called Khala that governed their behavior, preventing another civil war. One group of Protoss, called the Rogues, didn’t believe in the Khala and they tried to hide themselves from the rest of the Protoss. The Judicator Caste, intending to destroy the Rogues, employed Executor Adun of the Templar Caste to hunt down the Rogues and defeat them. Adun betrayed the Judicator Caste instead and taught the Rogues how to cloak themselves to truly hide from the rest of Protoss. Without the Khala though the Rogues weren’t able to control their power and their failure was shown through massive psionic storms that ravaged all of Aiur. The Protoss race banished the Rogues to the distant world of Shakuras where they are ruled by Matriarch Raszagal. Since then they have become known as The Dark Templar because of their habit of removing their psionic appendages to maintain Khala.

Picking up what the Xel’Naga left them, the Protoss expanded and settled on many other worlds that were once inhabited by the Xel’Naga. The Protoss looked over many young races and manipulated them much like the Xel’Naga had done to them. One of the younger races the Protoss secretly looked over was the Terran when they eventually ventured into the Koprulu Sector.

Shortly before the Great War, the Protoss become aware of the Zerg, another race that was manipulated by the Xel’Naga. The Protoss became aware of the Zerg when they discovered that the race had infected some of the Terran’s home worlds. Calling on the warrior caste of the Templar, the Protoss sent Executor Tassadar to purify the Zerg infested Terran world of Chau Sara. The Terran Confederacy was in a state of rambles, both at the discovery of an alien race that was taking over their planets and at the discovery of a second alien race that was destroying their worlds. When Tassadar was ordered to destroy the next planet, Mar Sara, he refused because he believed in the Terran race and their ability to defend themselves from the Zerg Overmind.

Char, Zerg home world
Char, Zerg home world

Zerg before The Great War

The Zerg, before the Xel’Naga, were just a simple race of worms that could change their DNA by absorbing the DNA of their victims. Once the Xel’Naga created the Overmind, they became aware of their “creators” and they killed them for their knowledge. The Zerg, like the Protoss, broke into a caste system ruled by the Overmind, a series of Cerebrates underneath it, and then the Overlords under that. The Zergs ultimate goal was to assimilate the Protoss into their DNA. After assimilating the Xel’Naga into their DNA they continued having a hunger for knowledge that would only be quelled with the assimilation of the Xel’Nagas first creation, the Protoss. Until they assimilated the Protoss they wouldn’t be truly “perfect”. Along the way they came across the Terran, a young race of psionic capable humans. On the path of their ultimate goal they intended to assimilate the Terran into their race to help them conquer the Protoss easier.

Arcturus Mengsk
Arcturus Mengsk
Sarah Kerrigan
Sarah Kerrigan

Terran before The Great War

The Terrans hail from our planet of Earth. In 2229 Earth came under the control of the United Powers League. This governing power went on a power trip to purify their world by riding themselves of criminals and augmented people. As a part of a colonist effort, they collected thousands of these people and sent them out in carriers across the universe. Speeding past their destination, the carrier eventually settled in the Koprulu Sector after 3 decades of travel. Along their way, the humans were augmented somehow and showed unusual high levels of psionic powers. The humans broke up into three different casts as well and formed three colonies on the planets of Tarsonis, Moria and Umoja. The civilization that settled on Tarsonis remained in control of the carrier that brought them there and with it the supercomputer “Atlas” that ran it. Because of this, the civilization on Tarsonis was more advanced than the others and they eventually became the Terrans.

Through constant battle the Terrans eventually took over all the other colonies. The colonies rebelled under the Terran Confederacy tyrannical control, but they quickly quelled the rebellion. One particular rebellion of the planet Korthal IV turned into much more though. The Korthal IV leader Angus Mengsk was eventually murdered by the Confederacy putting his son Arcturus in charge. Using guerilla tactics Mengsk took his small force all across Confederate space, attacking different planets and assassinating political leaders. Arcturus renamed his father’s movement The Sons of Korthal. Raiding a secret Ghost Instillation he rescued a ghost named Sarah Kerrigan. After this raid, with Sarah’s help, Arcturus became aware of experiments with Xenomorphs.

Chau Sara
Chau Sara
The Overmind
The Overmind

The Great War

The Zerg Swarm, known as the Xenomorphs by the Terran, began the Great War with an assault on the Terran world of Chau Sara. To try and keep their testing of the Zerg under wraps the Confederation sent Terran forces to suppress the knowledge of the Zerg infestation.

The Protoss took a more liberal approach to the attack on Chau Sara. In the Zerg they noticed the second offspring of their creators, the Xel’Naga. After witnessing the destruction of the Zerg on Chau Sara they feared their potential and cleansed the planet, burning the entire face of the planet. They were too late though, the Zerg had already spread to many other Terran inhabited planets.

To protect their existence from the seemingly God-like threat of the Protoss, the Confederacy throws its forces between the Protoss and its last colonies. They didn’t even understand that they had now entered into a battle with two alien races pent on their destruction.

The next planet to be hit by the Zerg is Mar Sara. The Confederacy on this planet did the same thing they had done on Chau Sara, immediately trying to hide the Zerg attack from the colony. The Magistrate of Mar Sara and the Marshal Jim Raynor rebelled against the Confederacy and tried to help the people fight the Zerg. The Confederacy, lead by Edmund Duke on Mar Sara, arrested the two men. They were later freed by The Sons of Korthal. The Mar Sara colony joined forces with Arcturus and together they were able to prove that the Confederacy was drawing Zerg forces to un-loyal Terran home worlds through the use of psi-emitters.

Mar Sara, of course, was lost to the Zerg infestation and later the Protoss cleansing. Arcturus forcefully brought Edmund Duke on his side, and he traveled to Antiga Prime with his forces to stage a battle against the Confederacy. On this planet Sarah Kerrigan became friends with Arcturus and Jim, and together they used the psi-emitters to launch an attack on the Confederacy. The Zerg destroyed the Confederacy blockade around Antiga Prime and eventually overtook the planet. The Protoss soon followed and cleaned Antiga Prime as well.

The next target of the Sons of Korthal was the Confederate home planet of Tarsonis. While the Confederacy tried to defend from both Arcturus and the Protoss the Sons of Korthal launched an attack on Tarsonis using the psi-emitters. To ensure his victory over the planet and the Confederacy Arcturus sent Sarah Kerrigan to Tarsonis to fight off the Protoss while the Zerg destroyed the planet. Once the planet was overrun Arcturus left Kerrigan and her forces on the planet’s surface. Kerrigan was taken by the Zerg along with the rest of the planet. Jim Raynor with his men, Raynor’s Rangers, forsake the Sons of Korthal with Arcturus’ betrayal of Kerrigan, forming Raynor’s Raiders. Raynor realized that what he had been fighting for was gone when the Sons of Korthal turned into the Terran Dominion, ruled by Arcturus after the fall of the Confederacy.

With the capture of Sarah Kerrigan the Overmind began trying to tap into the Terrans psionic capabilities. The Overmind created a new Brood that was put over Kerrigan’s “gestation”. The Zerg believed that through Kerrigan they could unlock the psionic powers needed to assimilate the Protoss. The Zerg fled to Char where eventually Executor Tassadar, Prelate Zeratul, and Jim Raynor found them because of Kerrigan’s “psionic calls”. The three forces had to form an alliance to ensure their survival.

The Cerebrates that served under the Overmind were immortal; reincarnated by the Overmind upon death. It came as a great shock to the Overmind when the Dark Templar Zeratul was able to permanently kill a Cerebrate with his psionic powers. During this interaction when Zeratul killed the Cerebrate Zasz, the Overmind briefly infiltrated Zeratul’s mind and was able to retrieve the location of the Protoss home world Aiur. The Overmind immediately moved his forces from Char to Aiur. During this time Tassadar refused to return home after the fall of Tarsonis and instead ventured to Char. On Char he united with the small Protoss-Terran alliance and learned the ways of the Dark Templar from Zeratul. When the Zerg invaded Aiur the Protoss were forced to promote Artanis to Executor in Tassadar’s place.

During the attack on Aiur, Tassadar finally contacted his home planet and informed them of what he had been doing. An outrage broke out with the telling of his learning from the Dark Templar Zeratul. Though they were in the middle of a war to defend their homeland, the Protoss sent out a force lead by Artanis to bring Tassadar back to Aiur to face judgment for his betrayal. Tassadar agreed to return to Aiur only if they first found the Dark Templar’s home world. Artanis agreed and he returned to Aiur with the Dark Templar, Tassadar and Jim Raynor. When Tassadar returns he tries to take over control of Aiur because the Judicator Caste is not defending the city well enough from the Zerg. This brings a civil war between the Protoss that is eventually ended with Tassadar’s surrender on the premise that he doesn’t want to see Protoss fighting Protoss. He is saved from being executed by the Dark Templar. After his rescue he immediately launches his forces against the Zerg Overmind. They were able to break through the Zerg forces and injure the Overmind but everything went poorly after that. The Overmind began opening a portal in an attempt to escape Aiur. Tassadar combined his forces with the Dark Templar and the High Templar, and using his carrier he rammed into the Overmind, killing it and himself.

The Queen of Blades
The Queen of Blades

The Brood War

Following the fall of the Confederacy on Tarsonis, Earth’s government reformed, callings itself the United Earth Directorate (UED). Led by Admiral Gerard DuGalle and Vice-Admiral Alexei Stukoy, their plan was to retake the colonies in the Koprulu Sector, control the Zerg, and push back the Protoss. Meanwhile an infested Kerrigan arises and begins taking control of the Zerg, fighting off Daggoth.

Trying to recover from their massive losses the Protoss flee to the Dark Templar’s home world of Shakuras. The Zerg follow them to Shakuras and the Protoss are forced to join sides with Kerrigan and her attempt to destroy the new Zerg Overmind on Char. They must destroy the new Overmind before it reaches maturity and regains control over Kerrigan’s mind. In return for her help she would help with the recovery of two dark crystals that would help with the defeat of the Zerg Swarm on Shakuras. Through much deceit and betrayal, they are able to retrieve the crystals and remove the Zerg from Shakuras.

Around this time the UED tried to subdue the Dominion control in the Koprulu sector. They ended up capturing a powerful anti-Zerg weapon but they were still not successful and ended up making Zerg and Protoss enemies across the sector. The UED was successful in capturing the Zerg Overmind, gaining control over Zerg forces. Combining forces, Kerrigan convinced everyone that the UED was their main threat. Through the use of a secret minion, Kerrigan was able to kill the Zerg Overmind and take control of the Zerg forces. Zeratul ends up uncovering a hidden back story when he finds Kerrigan’s minion in a stasis cell. The Zerg minion contains Zerg and Protoss DNA. The minion tells Zeratul that he had never truly served Kerrigan. He had a much higher plan that no one could stop, even with his death there were more cells all across the universe containing his same DNA.

Up to The Wings of Liberty

After the brood war four years goes by before we pick back up with Wings of Liberty. During this time the Zerg have retreated back to Char where Kerrigan waits. Nothing is known about them during this time, and they aren’t seen. Even though she owned the sector at the end of Brood Wars she still chooses to retreat back to Char for unknown reasons. She could attack at any moment. Arcturus and Raynor continue to gain their own forces. Arcturus still has control over the Terran. Raynor bides his time, reverting back to the state of a mercenary and teams up with the Moebius Foundation, a foundation set on collecting Xel’Naga artifacts. Protoss continues their recovery from the war on the Dark Templar home planet of Shakuras. Artanis spends his time trying to unite the two Protoss forces while Zeratul tries to get to the bottom of the Zerg/Protoss hybrid he found in the stasis cell.

A Funny One Before You Go

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    • Eric Mikols profile image

      Eric Mikols 4 years ago from New England

      Wow, you did your research. I thought I knew most of Starcraft's history but you humbled me good. Awesome Hub!

    • BraidedZero profile image
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      James Robertson 4 years ago from Texas

      Thanks, I learned a lot while I did the research too. I though I knew a lot, but I didn't in comparison to what I found out.

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