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StarCraft
250px-StarCraft box artStarCraft's box art depicts a Protoss warrior, flanked by a Zerg creature and a Terran soldier.
Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment

Mass Media(Nintendo 64version)

Publisher(s) Windows, Mac OS

Blizzard Entertainment Nintendo 64 Nintendo

Designer(s) Chris Metzen

James Phinney

Composer(s) Derek Duke

Jason Hayes Glenn Stafford

Series StarCraft
Version 1.161[1](21 January 2009)
Platform(s) Windows, Mac OS,Nintendo 64
Release date(s) Windows

Mac OS

Nintendo 64

  • NA June 13, 2000[3]
  • EU June 13, 2000
  • AUS May 25, 2001
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Media/distribution CD-ROM, download,
Nintendo 64 cartridge
System requirements

StarcraftEdit

StarCraft is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment and released for Microsoft Windows on March 31, 1998.[2] The game later spawned a franchise, and is the first game of the StarCraft series. A Mac OS version was released in 1999, and a Nintendo 64 adaptation co-developed with Mass Media was released on June 13, 2000.[3] Work on the game started shortly after Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness's release in 1995. StarCraft debuted at the 1996 E3, where it was unfavourably compared to Warcraft II; as a result, the project was entirely overhauled and then showcased to public in early 1997, receiving a far more positive response.

Set in a fictitious timeline during the Earths 26th century, the game revolves around three species fighting for dominance in a distant part of the Milky Way galaxy known as the Koprulu Sector: theTerrans, humans exiled from Earth skilled at adapting to any situation; the Zerg, a race of insectoid aliens in pursuit of genetic perfection, obsessed with assimilating other races; and the Protoss, ahumanoid species with advanced technology and psionic abilities, attempting to preserve their civilization and strict philosophical way of living from the Zerg.

Many of the industry's journalists have praised StarCraft as one of the best[4] and most important[5] video games of all time, and for having raised the bar for developing real-time strategy games.[6] With more than 11 million copies sold worldwide as of February 2009, Starcraft is one of the best-selling games for the personal computer.[7] The game has been praised for pioneering the use of unique factions in real-time strategy gameplay[8] and for a compelling story.[9] StarCraft's multiplayer is particularly popular in South Korea, where players and teams participate in professional competitions, earn sponsorships, and compete in televised tournaments.[10] StarCraft has had its storyline adapted and expanded through a series of novels, the expansion pack StarCraft: Brood War and two authorized add-ons. Over 12 years later, a sequel, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, was released in July 2010, with a further expansion pack, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, expected in 2012.[11]

GameplayEdit

Blizzard Entertainment's use of three distinct races in StarCraft is widely credited with revolutionizing the real-time strategy genre.[6] All units are unique to their respective races and while rough comparisons can be drawn between certain types of units in the technology tree, every unit performs differently and requires different tactics for a player to succeed.

The enigmatic Protoss have access to powerful units and machinery and advanced technologies such as energy shields and localized warp capabilities, powered by their psionic traits. However, their forces have lengthy and expensive manufacturing processes, encouraging players to follow a strategy of the quality of their units over the quantity.[12] The insectoid Zerg possess entirely organic units and structures, which can be produced quickly and at a far cheaper cost to resources, but are accordingly weaker, relying on sheer numbers and speed to overwhelm enemies.[13] The Terrans provide a middle ground between the other two races, providing units that are versatile and flexible. They have access to a range of more ballistic military technologies and machinery, such as tanks and nuclear weapons.[14]

Although each race is unique in its composition, no race has an innate advantage over the other. Each species is balanced out so that while they have different strengths, powers, and abilities their overall strength is the same. The balance stays complete via infrequent patches (game updates) provided by Blizzard.[15]

StarCraft features artificial intelligence which scales in difficulty, although the player cannot change the difficulty level in the single-player campaigns. Each campaign starts with enemy factions running easy AI modes, scaling through the course of the campaign to the hardest AI modes. In the level editor provided with the game, a designer has access to four levels of AI difficulties: "easy", "medium", "hard" and "insane", each setting differing in the units and technologies allowed to an AI faction and the extent of the AI's tactical and strategic planning.[16] The single-player campaign consists of thirty missions, split into ten for each race.

[edit]Resource managementEdit

Each race relies on two resources to sustain their game economies and to build their forces: minerals and vespene gas. Minerals are needed for all units and structures, and are obtained by using a worker unit to harvest the resource directly from mineral nodes scattered around the battlefield. Players require vespene gas to construct advanced units and buildings, and acquire it by building a refinery on top of a geyser and using worker units to extract the gas from it.[17] In addition, players need to regulate the supplies for their forces to ensure that they can construct the number of units they need. Although the nature of the supply differs between the races—Terrans use physical supplies held in depots,[18] Protoss use a psionic power nexus[19] and Zerg are regulated by the number of controlling overlord units present[20]—the supply mechanic works in exactly the same way for each race (with different side effects for each race), allowing players to create new units when there are sufficient resources to sustain them.

[edit]Base constructionEdit

Protoss and Zerg building construction is limited to specific locations: Protoss buildings need to be linked to a power grid[19] while almost every Zerg structure must be placed on a carpet of biomass, called "creep", that is produced by certain structures.[20] Terran buildings are far less limited, with certain primary base structures possessing the ability to take off and fly slowly to a new location.[18] Terran buildings, however, require the worker unit to continue construction on the building until it is completed. Also, once a Terran building has taken a certain amount of damage, it will catch fire and eventually burn to the ground without further enemy action, though this can be prevented by repairs performed by a worker unit. The Protoss, by contrast, only require a worker unit to begin the process of transporting a building to the theater of operations via warp, and their buildings' shields (but not their structure) are regenerative. The Zerg worker unit physically transforms into the structure created, which is capable of slowly healing itself.

[edit]MultiplayerEdit

Multiplayer on StarCraft is powered through Blizzard Entertainment's Battle.net Internet service. Through this, a maximum of eight players can compete in a variety of game modes, including simply destroying all other players on a level (which may be competitive, as in Ladder play, or non-ranked, as in melee play), to king of the hill and capture the flag objective-based games. In addition, the game incorporates a variety of specialized scenarios for different types of game, such as simulating afootball game, using the Terran hoverbike unit to conduct a bike race, or hosting a Zerg hunting competition.[16] StarCraft is also one of the few games that include a spawn installation, which allows for limited multiplayer. It must be installed from a disc, and requires a product key to work just as the full version does. However, one product key can support up to eight spawned installations with access to Battle.net. Limitations of a spawned installation include the inability to play single-player missions, create multiplayer games or use the campaign editor.[21]

[edit]SynopsisEdit

[edit]SettingEdit

See also: Races of StarCraft

StarCraft takes place in a science fiction universe created by Chris Metzen and James Phinney for Blizzard Entertainment. According to the story presented in the game's manual, the overpopulation of Earth in the early 21st century has caused theinternational government to exile undesirable elements of the human race, such as criminals, the cybernetically enhanced and genetic mutants to colonize the far reaches of the galaxy.[22] An attempt to colonize a nearby solar system goes wrong, resulting in humanity's arrival in the Koprulu Sector. In the distant Koprulu Sector of the galaxy, the exiles form several governments, but quickly fall into conflict with each other. One government, the Confederacy of Man, eventually emerges as the strongest faction, but its oppressive nature and brutal methods of suppressing dissidents stir up major rebel opposition in the form of a terrorist group called the Sons of Korhal. Just prior to the beginning of the game, in December 2499, an alien race possessing advanced technology and psionic power, the Protoss, makes first contact with humanity by destroying a Confederate colony world without any prior warning. Soon after this, the Terrans discover that a second alien race, the insectoidZerg, has been stealthily infesting the surface of several of the Terran colonies, and that the Protoss are destroying the planets to prevent the Zerg from spreading. With the Confederacy threatened by two alien races and internal rebellion, it begins to crumble.[23]

[edit]CharactersEdit

Main article: Characters of StarCraft

The player assumes the role of three nameless characters over the course of the game. In the first act, the player acts as the Confederate magistrate of an outlying colony world of Mar Sara, threatened by both the Zerg and the Protoss, and is forced through events to join the rebel Sons of Korhal under its leader Arcturus Mengsk. Mengsk's campaign is accompanied by Jim Raynor, a morally conscious law enforcement officer from Mar Sara, and Sarah Kerrigan, a psychic assassin and Mengsk's second-in-command. The second episode of the game sees the player as a cerebrate, a commander within the Zerg Swarm. The player is ruled over by the Zerg Overmind, the manifestation of the collective consciousness of the Swarm and the game's primary antagonist, and is given advice from other cerebrates of higher rank and status while accomplishing the objectives of the Swarm. In the final part of StarCraft, the player is a newly appointed officer (called Executor) within the Protoss military, reporting to Aldaris, a representative of the Protoss government. Aldaris is at odds with the former occupant of the player's position, Tassadar, over his association with Zeratul, a member of the dark templar, a group considered heretical by the Protoss government.[24]

[edit]PlotEdit

The story of StarCraft is presented through its instruction manual, the briefings to each mission and conversations within the missions themselves, along with the use of cinematic cutscenes at key points. The game itself is split into three episodes, one for the player to command each race. In the first segment of the game, the player and Jim Raynor are attempting to control the colony of Mar Sara in the wake of the Zerg attacks on other Terran worlds. After the Confederacy arrests Raynor for destroying Confederate property, despite the fact that it had been infested by the Zerg, the player joins Arcturus Mengsk and the Sons of Korhal.[25] Raynor, who is freed by Mengsk's troops, also joins and frequently accompanies the player on missions. Mengsk then begins to use Confederate technology captured on Mar Sara to lure the Zerg to Confederate installations and further his own goals.[26] After forcing Confederate general Edmund Duke to join him, Mengsk sacrifices his own second-in-command, Sarah Kerrigan, to ensure the destruction of the Confederacy by luring the Zerg to the Confederate capital Tarsonis.[27] Raynor is outraged by Mengsk's true aims of obtaining power at any cost and deserts, taking with him a small army of the former colonial militia of Mar Sara. Mengsk reorganizes what remains of the Terran population into the Terran Dominion, crowning himself as emperor.[28]

The second campaign reveals that Kerrigan was not killed by the Zerg, but rather is captured and infested in an effort to incorporate her psionic traits into the Zerg gene pool. She emerges with far more psionic powers and physical strength, her DNA completely altered.[29] Meanwhile, the Protoss commander Tassadar discovers that the Zerg's cerebrates cannot be killed by conventional means, but that they can be harmed by the powers wielded by the heretical dark templar. Tassadar allies himself with the dark templar prelate Zeratul, who assassinates Zasz, one of the Zerg's cerebrates in their hive clusters on Char.[30] The cerebrate's death results in its forces running amok through the Zerg hives, but briefly links the minds of Zeratul and the Zerg Overmind, allowing the Overmind to finally learn the location of the Protoss homeworld Aiur, which the Overmind has been seeking for millennia. The main Zerg swarm promptly invades Aiur while Kerrigan is dispatched to deal with Tassadar and despite heavy Protoss resistance, the Overmind is able to embed itself into the crust of the planet.[31]

The final episode of the game sees Aldaris and the Protoss government branding Tassadar a traitor and a heretic for conspiring with the dark templar. The player initially serves Aldaris in defending Aiur from the Zerg invasion, but while on a mission to arrest Tassadar, the player joins him instead.[32] A Protoss civil war erupts, pitting Tassadar, Zeratul, and their allies against the Protoss establishment. The dark templar prove their worth when they use their energies to slay two more of the Zerg cerebrates on Aiur, and the Conclave reconciles with them.[33] Aided by Raynor's forces—who sided with Tassadar back on Char—the Protoss break through the Overmind's weakened defenses and destroy the Overmind's outer shell, but take heavy casualties in the process. Tassadar channels his own psionic energies in combination with those of the dark templar through the hull of his command ship and crashes it into the Overmind, sacrificing himself in order to destroy it.[34]

StarCraft: Brood War
250px-Brood War box art (StarCraft)

Box art displays Sarah Kerrigan, the series' antagonist.

Developer(s) Saffire

Blizzard Entertainment

Publisher(s)
Designer(s) Chris Metzen

Rob Pardo

Artist(s) Samwise Didier

Duane Stinnett

Composer(s) Jason Hayes

Glenn Stafford

Series StarCraft
Version 1.16.1
(21 January 2009)
Platform(s) Windows, Mac OS
Release date(s)
  • NA 30 November 1998
  • PAL March 1999
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Media/distribution CD-ROM, download
System requirements

Windows: Windows 95 or better
90 MHz Pentium 16 MB RAM DirectX-compatible
2x CD-ROM drive
640x480 8-bit display
full version of StarCraft Mac OS: System 7.6 or better PowerPC 601 or better
16 MB RAM
full version of StarCraft

Starcraft: Brood War

StarCraft: Brood War is the expansion pack for the award winning military science fiction, real-time strategy video game StarCraft. Released in 1998 for Windows and Mac OS, it was co-developed bySaffire and Blizzard Entertainment. The expansion pack introduced new campaigns, map tilesets, music, extra units for each race, and upgrade advancements. The campaigns continue the story from where the original StarCraft ended,[1] with the sequel StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty continuing from the conclusion of Brood War. The expansion was released in the United States on 30 November 1998.[2]

Brood War was critically well-received, with reviewers praising it for being developed with the care of a full game rather than as an uninspired extra.[3][4][5] As of 31 May 2007, StarCraft and Brood Warhave sold almost ten million copies combined.[6] The game is especially popular in South Korea, where professional players and teams participate in matches, earn sponsorships, and compete in televised matches.[7]

GameplayEdit

See also: Gameplay of StarCraft

StarCraft focuses around three distinct interstellar species: the psionic Protoss, the adaptable Terrans, and the insectoid Zerg. The game revolves around players collecting resources to construct a base, upgrade their militaries, and ultimately conquer opponents. Brood War's gameplay remains fundamentally unchanged from that of StarCraft, although it introduces fine-tuning to unit costs and some abilities for strategic and balance purposes. These changes makerushing tactics—a factor that gained some criticism in the original StarCraft—less practical.[4] The single-player campaign has an increased difficulty; missions are no longer entirely linear, and a greater focus on strategy is needed to complete missions.[5] In addition, the game's artificial intelligence (AI) has been augmented so that AI-controlled players are more intelligent and tends to use tactics more effectively.[3]

Brood War introduces seven new units. Each race is given access to a unique ground unit: the Zerg can create a defensive unit that can attack from the concealment of its burrow,[8] while the Terrans can train combat medics.[9] The Protoss are able to produce dark templar units, a powerful cloaked melee unit only given to the player in special missions of StarCraft. Protoss players can merge two of these units to create a special spellcaster unit.[10] Each race is also given access to a dedicated air-to-air attack unit.

[edit]SynopsisEdit

[edit]SettingEdit

See also: Races of StarCraft

Brood War takes place in Chris Metzen's StarCraft universe, set around the early 26th century. Terran exiles from Earth have colonized a distant area of the Milky Way galaxy called the Koprulu Sector, having established several governments. Eventually, a civil war breaks out and ends with the formation of the Terran Dominion. However, humanity soon becomes caught in a war between the Protoss and the Zerg, which culminates at the end of StarCraft with the death of the Zerg leader, the Overmind, on the Protoss homeworld of Aiur. Without the Overmind to command, the Zerg rampage mindlessly across Aiur, while the cerebrates—the secondary commanders of the Swarm—attempt to regain control. After the discovery of alien life in the Koprulu Sector, the United Earth Directorate(UED)—the international body governing Earth—decides to send an expeditionary force to secure the sector and prevent the aliens from finding Earth. Brood War begins two days after the conclusion ofStarCraft

[edit]CharactersEdit

Main article: Characters of StarCraft

The player assumes the roles of three anonymous characters over the course of the game. In the first campaign, the player resumes the role of the Protoss fleet commander in the third campaign ofStarCraft. The player's character is commanded by Zeratul and Aldaris, two adversaries from StarCraft who have since reconciled their differences to lead their people in the face of the rampaging Zerg. They are joined by Jim Raynor, a Terran rebel on the run from the Dominion, Artanis, a young and enthusiastic commander who has recently been promoted, and Raszagal, the matriarch of the dissident dark templar faction in Protoss society. The second campaign sees the player as a captain in the UED expeditionary force, reporting to the fleet's admiral Gerard DuGalle and his vice-admiral Alexei Stukov. To secure the sector, the UED plans to overthrow the Terran Dominion and its emperor Arcturus Mengsk, and are assisted in this by Samir Duran, a mysterious psionic ghost espionage agent, and his group of anti-Dominion rebels. The final campaign has the player assume the position of a Zerg cerebrate, a commander within the Zerg Swarm. The player is put under the control of Sarah Kerrigan, a Terran who was infested by the Zerg in StarCraft.

[edit]PlotEdit

The story of Brood War is presented through its instruction manual, the briefings to each mission, and conversations within the missions themselves, along with the use of cinematic cut scenes at the end of each campaign.[1] The game itself is split into three episodes, one for the player to command each race. In the first episode, Aldaris, Zeratul, and the newly promoted Artanis work to evacuate the surviving Protoss from their devastated homeworld through a warp gate to a dark templar colony on Shakuras, where they meet the matriarch of the dark templar, Raszagal. Although the Zerg are able to follow the Protoss to Shakuras, Raszagal informs the survivors of a Xel'Naga temple on the surface of the planet with the power to scour the Zerg from the surface if activated. Reluctantly partnering with Sarah Kerrigan, who informs them of a new Overmind growing on Char, the player joins Zeratul and Artanis in an operation to recover two key crystals necessary to operate the temple. Upon their return, it is revealed that Aldaris has begun an uprising against the dark templar over their alliance with Kerrigan. The uprising is crushed, and Aldaris is killed by Kerrigan, who reveals that her motives are to ensure the destruction of the Zerg cerebrates on Shakuras so she can gain control of the Zerg herself before departing the planet. Despite knowing that activating the temple will accomplish Kerrigan's objectives, Zeratul and Artanis proceed with little other choice, wiping the Zerg off Shakuras' surface.

In the second campaign, the player leads the United Earth Directorate's initial incursions against the Terran Dominion. Upon meeting Samir Duran, the fleet's vice-admiral Alexei Stukov conscripts Duran as a special advisor. The UED soon discovers a "psi disrupter"—a device capable of disrupting Zerg communications—on the former Confederate capital Tarsonis. Although Duran persuades admiral Gerard DuGalle to have the anti-Zerg device destroyed, Stukov's forces relieve Duran at the last moment. The UED proceeds to the Dominion throne world Korhal IV where the player defeats Arcturus Mengsk's armies, although Mengsk is rescued when a Protoss fleet commanded by Jim Raynor arrives. The UED tracks Raynor and Mengsk to the Protoss homeworld of Aiur, but the two escape the massive UED assault when Duran inexplicably moves his forces out of position and allows the Zerg to interfere with the operation. Having understood that the UED invasion had caused Mengsk, Raynor, and the Protoss to band together against a common foe, Stukov realizes that Duran's actions and the Zerg attack were too much to be a coincidence—the Zerg were also allied with the Terran Dominion and the Protoss, and Duran had been working to undermine the UED. While Stukov takes a contingent of troops and reconstructs the psi disrupter on Braxis, DuGalle is unaware of his intentions and becomes convinced that he is a traitor. The player helps Duran hunt down Stukov inside the psi disrupter, but before he dies Stukov reveals to DuGalle that Duran is the real enemy. Duran flees after the player foils his attempt to sabotage the psi disrupter. Using the psi disrupter's capabilities, DuGalle and the UED are able to assault the Zerg world Char and take control of the new Overmind growing there.

The final section of Brood War sees the player helping Sarah Kerrigan defeat the UED. With the Overmind falling under the United Earth Directorate's command, all operations amongst native factions in the sector are damaged, including Kerrigan's forces. To begin the campaign against the Directorate forces, Kerrigan and Samir Duran form a reluctant alliance with Jim Raynor, Protoss praetor Fenix, and Arcturus Mengsk to destroy the psi disrupter. After destroying the psi disrupter, the player leads Kerrigan's forces in a full scale assault on Korhal, quickly breaking the UED's hold over the planet. In the aftermath Kerrigan betrays her allies, destroying a large number of Dominion forces and killing both Fenix and Mengsk's right-hand man, Edmund Duke. Kerrigan travels with Duran to Shakuras and abducts Raszagal, who she uses to blackmail Zeratul into killing the Overmind on Char, thus bringing all Zerg forces under Kerrigan's control. Zeratul attempts to rescue Raszagal, but the player prevents their escape, and Zeratul eventually kills Raszagal when it becomes clear she has been irreversibly brainwashed by Kerrigan. At that moment it became clear that Aldaris's uprising in the first episode was an attempt to stop the brainwashed Raszagal from betraying her people any further. Upon leaving Char in search of Artanis, Zeratul stumbles upon a genetics facility run by Duran without Kerrigan's knowledge where a Protoss/Zerg hybrid is being developed. At the same time, Kerrigan is attacked on Char by the Dominion, the UED, and a vengeful fleet commanded by Artanis. Despite being outnumbered, Kerrigan defeats all three fleets and eradicates the surviving UED fleet, leaving her the dominant power in the sector. Before the UED fleet was wiped out, Admiral DuGalle sent a final message back to his family before committing suicide with his pistol.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
StarCraft II - Box Art

StarCraft II cover artwork,
depicting protagonist Jim Raynor

Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Designer(s) Dustin Browder
Artist(s) Samwise Didier
Writer(s) Chris Metzen
Composer(s) Derek Duke, Glenn Stafford, Russell Brower,Neal Acree
Series StarCraft
Version 1.5.2 (August 22, 2012)[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows[2]

OS X[3]

Release date(s) July 27, 2010[4][5][6]
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Media/distribution DVD-DL, download
System requirements
  • 2.6 GHz processor or equivalent
  • 1 GB RAM for XP, 1.5 GB for Vista and 7;
    2 GB RAM for Mac OS X
  • 128 MB video card (minimum, Mac/Windows)
    512 MB video card (recommended, Mac/Windows)
  • DirectX version 9.0c or better
  • 12 GB hard disk space
  • Internet connection[7]

Starcraft II: Wings of LibertyEdit

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and released by Blizzard Entertainment for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. A sequel to the award-winning 1998 video game StarCraft and its expansion set, the game was released worldwide on July 27, 2010.[8] It is split into three installments: the base game with the subtitle Wings of Liberty, and two upcoming expansion packs, Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void.[9]

Set in the 26th century in a distant part of the Milky Way galaxy, the game revolves around three species: the Terrans, human exiles from Earth; the Zerg, a super-species of assimilated life forms;[10]and the Protoss, a technologically advanced species with vast mental powers. Wings of Liberty focuses on the Terrans, while the expansions Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void will focus on the Zerg and Protoss, respectively. The game is set four years after the events of 1998's StarCraft: Brood War, and follows the exploits of Jim Raynor as he leads an insurgent group against the autocratic Terran Dominion. The game includes both new and returning characters and locations from the original game.

The game was met with very positive reviews from critics, receiving an aggregated score of 93% from Metacritic. Similar to its predecessor, StarCraft II was praised for its engaging gameplay, as well as its introduction of new features and improved storytelling. The game was criticized for lacking features that existed in the original StarCraft game including LAN play and the ability to switch between multiplayer regions. At the time of its release, Starcraft II became the fastest selling real-time strategy game of all time, with over three million copies sold worldwide in the first month.[11]

GameplayEdit

StarCraft II features the return of the three species from the original game: Protoss, Terran, and Zerg.[2] In the Terran campaign, the original StarCraft briefing room is replaced with an interactive version of the battlecruiser Hyperion, with Jim Raynor, now a bitter and hard-drinking mercenary captain, as the central character. In a departure from previous Blizzard games, the campaign is non-linear, with Raynor taking jobs for money and using that money to buy additional units and upgrades. Although each playthrough will vary, the end result remains consistent, keeping the storyline linear. Vice President Rob Pardo stressed that each campaign will function very differently.[12] The Terran campaign, Wings of Liberty, places players in a mercenary-style campaign, as Terran rebel Jim Raynor performs missions for cash. The second release, the Zerg campaign Heart of the Swarm, will have role-playing elements. The player will level up the Queen of Blades, Kerrigan, throughout the missions. In the last expansion, the Protoss campaign Legacy of the Void, the dark templar Zeratul will have to employ diplomacy between Protoss tribes to acquire units and technologies for each mission. Wings of Liberty has 29 playable campaign missions, but only 26 of them are playable in a single playthrough since three missions are choice-related alternates. There is one secret mission named "Piercing the Shroud", which can be unlocked on the "Media Blitz" mission, by destroying a Science Facility in a corner of the map.[13][14]

Several unique missions are included in the Wings of Liberty campaign. In one level, lava floods the battlefield every five minutes, forcing the player to move their units to high ground or watch them get destroyed. In another mission, enemy units will only attack the player at night. Finally, in one mission, the player tries to influence the tide of an AI-controlled battle with only a single unit, a Spectre. The single player missions are highly customizable and are featured in the StarCraft II Community Zone. Between missions, players can choose units, buildings, and upgrades that are not available in the multiplayer missions.[15] A major new addition to the map-making community will be the StarCraft II Marketplace, where high quality maps will be sold for a small fee as "premium maps" over Battle.net. The mode of payment has not yet been announced. Lead Designer Dustin Browder has mentioned that even maps like player-created Defense of the Ancients in Warcraft III would not meet the quality requirements to be branded as a premium map.[16]

Wings of Liberty features approximately the same number of units as the original StarCraft.[17] Some units from the original game have returned, some featuring new upgrades and abilities. For example, the Protoss Zealot, a melee unit from the original game, now has the researchable ability to dash forward and quickly reach nearby enemies as a refinement of its speed upgrade from the original. Other units have been replaced or removed entirely.[18][19] Other changes to unit design have been inspired by story events in StarCraft and its expansion, StarCraft: Brood War, replacing old units with new or renamed versions which sport different attributes and abilities.[18] Units in StarCraft II have new abilities, compared to the original, that encourage more complex interaction with the game environment. Among these are the inclusion of units that can traverse varying levels of terrain,[20] or have the ability to teleport short distances.[18] Some Protoss units can be warped into pylon-powered areas using the Warp Gate, a slight modification of an existing building called the Gateway.[18][21] StarCraft II's campaign also has exclusive units which are only playable in the campaign and not in the regular multiplayer mode, though they are available for custom maps. These mostly consist of units which have been scrapped from development such as the Terran Diamondback as well as various returning units from the original StarCraft such as the Terran Wraith and Vulture.[22]

[edit]EditorEdit

The StarCraft II Editor is a campaign, map, and mod editor. It is more sophisticated than StarCraft's StarEdit and Warcraft III's World Editor for creating custom maps and campaigns, and it is the first editor by Blizzard to feature built-in mod creation and usage support. Updated art and data from the original StarCraft that were not used, along with models and data that were scrapped during the development process (including those made as April Fools jokes) will be available in the editor.[23]Unlike previous editors made by Blizzard, it is the first to have Internet connectivity features such as map publishing, retrieval, and online activation of the editor client. Lead Producer Chris Sigaty has stated that the editor gives players the ability to create RPG, Hero-type units and structures resembling those from WarCraft III.[24] At BlizzCon 2009, Blizzard demonstrated a build of the Starcraft II Editor showcasing its capabilities, such as the ability to customize the user interface to include features such as the Item system from Warcraft III. The final build includes a third-person style perspective for missions.[25]

The editor was available for the first time during the phase 1 beta testing of StarCraft II, when it came with a patch. With the start of phase 2, the editor was updated. At present, there is a large map-making community using the editor, creating first-person shooter games, RPGs, tower defense and AoS-type games. The map database is constantly being updated as more map makers create mods for the community. Blizzard has also changed the way that custom maps are distributed. Rather than hosting games using local map files, users now create and join games using maps that have been published to Battle.net. Users publishing maps or mods to Battle.net are limited to a total of 50 MB of storage, divided between ten files at most, with no file being larger than 10 MB. Although the Starcraft II Editor offers more features than the original StarCraft Editor in terms of gameplay customization, there are concerns that the publishing limitations of Battle.net will not allow for large-scale custom maps or extensive map availability unless there is an external map publishing tool.[26][27]

The editor has a sensitive-word censor system. For example, the editor prevents the word like 'God', 'Blizzard', 'Suicide', 'Warcraft' or something sensitive word in the description when the users save or publish the map on the Battle.net.[28]

[edit]SynopsisEdit

[edit]BackgroundEdit

The campaign storyline of StarCraft II takes place four years after StarCraft: Brood War,[29] and features the return of characters from the original series that include Zeratul, Arcturus Mengsk, Artanis, Sarah Kerrigan, and Jim Raynor. It also features new characters such as Rory Swann and Tychus Findlay. In StarCraft II, players revisit the original series' worlds, like Char, Mar Sara, and Tarsonis, as well as new worlds, such as the jungle planet Bel'Shir and New Folsom. The Xel'Naga, ancient space-faring race responsible for creating the Protoss and the Zerg, also play a major role in the story.[12]

At the conclusion of Brood War, Kerrigan and her Zerg forces became the dominant faction in the Koprulu Sector, having annihilated the United Earth Directorate's Expeditionary Force, defeated the Terran Dominion, and invaded the Protoss homeworld of Aiur. However, after the conclusion of Brood War, Kerrigan retreats to Char, despite having more than enough power to crush all remaining resistance in the Koprulu Sector. In the four years leading up to the events of StarCraft II, she has not been seen or heard from by any of the other characters, although her ultimate attack may come at any moment.[30]

Arcturus Mengsk has been left to rebuild the Dominion, and is consolidating his power while fending off harassment from rival Terran groups. Valerian Mengsk, a character introduced in the novel Firstborn, will play an important role in Dominion politics, due to his position as heir apparent to the throne. Meanwhile, Jim Raynor, whose role in the events of StarCraft and Brood War has been marginalized by the media under the Dominion's control, has been reduced to mercenary status, and has been shown to be doing business with the "Moebius Foundation", a new faction which is interested in ancient Xel'Naga artifacts. Chris Metzen, Vice President of Creative Development at Blizzard, has emphasized that by the events of StarCraft II, Raynor has become jaded and embittered by the way he was used and betrayed by Arcturus Mengsk. Other new characters to the series include Tychus Findlay, first introduced in the StarCraft II teaser cinematic, a marine who becomes a member of Raynor's crew, and Matt Horner, Raynor's second in command, a character originally featured in the novel Queen of Blades.[30]

Following the fall of Aiur and the death of the dark templar matriarch Raszagal, the Protoss have retreated to the dark templar homeworld of Shakuras. There, Artanis, a former student of Tassadar, is trying to unify the Khalai Protoss and the dark templar, who have nearly separated into a tribal mindset as a result of centuries of distrust. Zeratul, tormented over the murder of his matriarch, has disappeared to search for clues to the meaning of Samir Duran's cryptic statements regarding the Protoss/Zerg hybrids in Brood War's secret mission "Dark Origin".[30]

[edit]PlotEdit

Four years after the Brood War, the Dominion is once again the dominant Terran power in the Koprulu sector. News reports reveal that in the four years since the end of the Brood Wars the standing Dominion military forces have been reduced and trillions have been spent hunting down rebel forces that operate against the Dominion. For reasons unknown, Kerrigan gathered the swarm at Char and then vanished from sight. With the Zerg gone, the Protoss have once again taken a passive role in the galaxy. Jim Raynor has formed a revolutionary group named Raynor's Raiders in order to overthrow Dominion Emperor Arcturus Mengsk. On Mar Sara, Raynor meets with an old comrade, Tychus Findlay. Together, they liberate the local population from Dominion control and also discover a component of a mysterious Xel'Naga artifact. As the Zerg begin to overrun Mar Sara, Raynor arranges an evacuation to his battlecruiser, the Hyperion, captained by Matt Horner.

The Raiders embark on a series of missions to find the remaining pieces of the Xel'Naga artifact, which they sell to the enigmatic Moebius Foundation in order to fund their revolution. Along the way, they meet with Gabriel Tosh, a rogue Dominion psychic assassin known as a Spectre, and Ariel Hanson, a researcher on the Zerg and leader of a small farming colony. The Raiders perform missions to help Tosh procure the raw materials to train new Spectres. They also aid Hanson as she attempts to secure her colonists who are caught between the Zerg infesting their planets and the Protoss attempting to eradicate the infestation. Horner also arranges a series of missions to undermine Mengsk, recovering intelligence information about his war crimes and broadcasting them to the Dominion. Finally, Zeratul sneaks aboard the Hyperion to deliver a psychic crystal which allows Raynor to share visions involving a prophecy regarding the future of the Zerg and Protoss, as well as a mysterious hybrid of the two, the ultimate revelation being that only Kerrigan has the power to prevent the eradication of all life in the sector and beyond.

After collecting more artifact pieces, Raynor's forces encounter Dominion battleships at the pre-agreed Moebius Foundation rendezvous point. The Moebius Foundation is revealed to be under the control of Valerian Mengsk, Arcturus' son. Valerian, intending to show himself as a worthy successor to his father, asks Raynor to help him invade Char and use the artifact to restore Kerrigan's humanity, thus weakening the Zerg. To the initial dismay of the crew, Raynor agrees. With Valerian's aid Raynor recovers the final artifact piece and the Raiders and Dominion invade Char. The Dominion fleet is severely damaged by the heavy Zerg defenses, but Raynor secures a foothold on Char and rendezvous with Dominion forces led by Horace Warfield. Warfield is injured and appoints Raynor commander of the Dominion survivors. The combined forces push towards the main Hive Cluster of the planet, protecting the artifact while it charges energy, and the artifact eventually destroys all Zerg within its blast radius. Raynor's team finds Kerrigan restored to human form; however, Tychus reveals that he made a deal with Arcturus Mengsk, trading Kerrigan's life for his own freedom. Raynor defends Kerrigan from Tychus' attempt to kill her, shooting Tychus in the process. The closing scene shows Raynor carrying Sarah Kerrigan across the battlefield in his arms.[31]

[edit]CastEdit

The English language version of StarCraft II has Robert Clotworthy and James Harper reprising their roles from StarCraft as the voices of Jim Raynor and Arcturus Mengsk. The rest of the cast including other returning characters are voiced by new actors. The voice director for the game was Andrea Romano.[32] Over 58 voice actors were hired for the game, some of whom voiced multiple characters.[33]

CreditsEdit

Starcraft Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarCraft

Starcraft - Brood War Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarCraft:_Brood_War

Starcraft II - Wings of Liberty Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarCraft_II:_Wings_of_Liberty

Starcraft Wikia: http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/StarCraft_Wiki

All infomration, citation, and reference can be found on these Wiki's.

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