Starcraft's story was bad even BEFORE SC2

Upon reflection I think the problems with Starcraft’s story happened long before WOL even came out. Much like how the Star Wars prequels overshadowed how bad Return of the Jedi’s ewok stuff was (Wood logs thrown against a military titanium tank (ATATs) by furry primitive beasts somehow causes said tanks to explode??? Military grade stormtrooper armor that can’t even stop small sticks and stones from knocking out their users? Yeah right!) the cringy Amon/Xel-Naga/quasi-religious mythology/Raynor-Kerrigan romance/primal zerg/etc. stuff overshadowed the problems that had developed even before SC2.

I’m talking about Brood War. Yes, BW, the game everyone loves for being dark and gritty and supposedly the antithesis of the hollywood-lite cheesy marvel superhero story SC2 devolved into. Except that’s not really true, since 95% of Brood War’s plot hinges upon everyone holding the idiot ball and allowing Kerrigan to become undisputed ruler of the sector.

The Terran campaign was mostly fine. It introduced us to the UED, the Earth government that had been secretly keeping tabs on the Koprulu sector, where they had watched with growing unease as alien forces grew ever more powerful than their wayward colonists, until their ruling council and analysts finally had enough and decided to say: “You know what SCREW YOU XENO SCUM time to FACE THE MIGHT OF HUMANITY!” and sent out an expeditionary force (not even a full fleet!) to scout out and then beat the stuffing out of everyone threatening humanity, including the dumb egotistical humans and governments like Mengsk and the Dominion who had proven very ineffective in holding the alien threat back. As for as introductions to factions goes, nothing beats this in all of starcraft media. Just one problem: Stukov, who DuGalle knew for literally decades, was killed over the most BS reasons. As if DuGalle would believe the word of a Confederate turncoat (Duran) over the word of his best friend, as if they wouldn’t TALK OUT wtf was really going on rather than let mutual suspicion morph into actual betrayal. If Stukov was suspicious of Duran and the reasons for disabling the Psi-Disrupter he would have just contacted DuGalle via a private channel, laid out his suspicions and evidence, and they would have both tested the Psi-Disrupter in a safe zone and found out that it works, which would have probably been enough to hand out an execution order on Duran as a revealed traitor sabotaging their military. Like I said: idiot ball. DuGalle was a tactical genius until the story dictated that Stukov had to die to make the UED lose something and thus made DuGalle retarded.

Likewise in the Protoss campaign. Alright, fine, Aiur fell, and the Protoss had to manage the problems of a vast exodus and factional conflict as their civilization was on the verge of being totally wiped out. Totally fair and the story beats revolving around Dark Templar and Khalai distrust after years of segregation and mutual loathing are mostly fine. Except no one detected the Dark Templar Matriarch was infested? Protoss have been fighting the zerg for YEARS - if they were truly so incompetent and had not managed to come up with a way to detect infestation and set up regular system of medical and psionic checks, they should have lost even FASTER than they actually did. So the Protoss were retconned into idiots who couldn’t even detect that one of their highest government officials was a zombie zerg puppet; wow that’s amazing. Not to mention that the Dark Templar have always been smarter and less arrogant than the mainline Khalai Protoss, so if any Protoss faction was the LEAST likely to fall for the infestation ploy, it would be the Nerazim.

And boy oh boy the worst offender has to be the Kerrigan/Zerg campaign, where all of the idiocy comes to a head and people repeatedly hold idiot balls just so the story can move to the end state of the Zerg being dominant over Koprulu.

First off: Raynor. Yeah, he’s a freedom fighter. But he’s not so idealistic that he is unwilling to think of the bigger picture. Remember that Raynor started as a CONFEDERATE OFFICIAL. He was willing to work for a visibly oppressive government because he thought it was the best option, until that government broke his trust by experimenting on their own people with the zerg, ignoring cries for help, and preventing their own military from responding to the new alien threat.

THAT’S why Raynor then threw in with Mengsk. His hatred of Mengsk is a PERSONAL one based on the betrayal of Kerrigan and everything they went through, not an IDEOLOGICAL one based on the merits of a free and open government, no matter how much SC2 tried to retcon this. The UED, as far as Raynor is concerned, just strolled in, beat the stuffing out of the Dominion and Mengsk’s empire, thus indirectly avenging Raynor, and then proceeded to beat the stuffing out of the Zerg and GUARANTEE HUMAN SAFETY IN THE ENTIRE SECTOR. Raynor would NEVER in a million years GIVE UP that sanctuary just because he might have some quibbles over how authoritarian the UED may or may not have been. At the VERY LEAST he would have been willing to give the UED a chance and time to stabilize their regime and to see how things played out, because none of those people are associated with what Mengsk did, and they seemed to be proud patriots bent solely on protecting humanity and not concerned with personal power and wealth like Mengsk or the old Confederacy were. And yet a single talk with Kerrigan is enough to make Raynor think they are so bad that they have to be brought down? LOL NO.

Likewise, WTF is the Fenix and the Protoss angle for helping Kerrigan overthrow the UED? At least humans can be reasoned with! Even if the Protoss don’t like the UED the worst they would ever resort to is a policy of self-isolation. They have no quarrel with the UED. Why would they be mad that the UED just ended the Protoss-Zerg war decisively in the favor of all civilized species? That would give the Protoss the time needed for their civilization to get back on their feet and rebuild. Fenix and the rest would gladly take said time to lick their wounds and rest rather than immediately go on a crusade with Kerrigan to take out the only power that has proven capable in the past few years of outright dominating the zerg? Whaaattttt?

None of Kerrigan’s rise to power makes any logical or lore-based sense. Thus, I can state with 100% conviction that the bad writing started in Brood War, not anywhere else, and not with SC2. SC2 was just the nail in the coffin.

Welcome to 1999. This is all old stuff but you’ve also got some blatant misconceptions I’ll let others address. For example:

There’s no evidence it was infestation. Could have just as easily been mental domination, which was alluded to in the BW manual.

And no, dark templar had not been fighting zerg “for years”. The dark Templar on Shakuras had literally never seen zerg in their life. If you’re talking about the Khalai, it still isn’t years, let alone 1 year.

And why would they install infestation checkpoints on a world that’s never seen zerg when no protoss have ever been infested yet in those games? This is a silly idea that reeks of hindsight bias. If zerg are in the city at that point then you’ve got a bigger problem lmao.

The bigger problem is all this mental domination garbage happened off screen and shouldn’t even be possible.

Did you skip the part of the game where the UED were blatant xenophobes? No, they would not have let the protoss live in peace after they won. That’s literally the opposite of their agenda, to use the Overmind against the protoss in the K sector. Like…siding with the UED wouldn’t even defeat the Zerg, which the UED would still keep as slaves.

They went with Kerrigan because they thought she could be reasoned with far better than the UED and they were probably less scared of her than the UED, who easily swept the sector. They’re the bigger threat.

That being said, they did side against her but not until it was too late.

Too bad SC2 is still 10x worse. BW still feels like a story for adults and SC2 feels like it was made for 5 year olds.

BW was good enough to make people care about SC2 and post constant theories for its plot on the forums. On the other hand, SC2 was so bad that SC3 is never talked about here and at this point I’m sure nobody even wants a SC3. :man_shrugging:

But the reason the BW expansion sucks is because it lost SC1’s lead writer: James Phinney. SC1 was fine, especially for a 90s video game.

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haha bi they not talk because the story is already over there are no more loose ends, but people keep asking for mini campaign
for each one who is allergic to romance, mythicism and screams inwardly because the world is not dark and dreadful there are possibly 10 who were satisfied:

Imho SC2 still makes the universe dreadful.

You just have to realize how many people died.

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  1. Don’t really remember SC1 but wasn’t Tassadar’s expeditionary fleet in Koprulu because the Protoss were expecting Zerg? That’s why they were able to react so quickly by torching planets, and the very fact that they initially torched humans as well before Tass grew a conscience suggests they were well aware of the potential for infestation and how the zerg operated. Regardless it seems to be very implicit that the Protoss had encountered zerg before the zerg ever attacked terrans.

  2. The Protoss shouldn’t logically care about the UED at all. The Protoss are not native to Koprulu and were only there to contain the zerg. Even if the UED wanted to dominate the protoss they literally couldn’t. What human besides Raynor would even know the location of Shakurus? In the only game encounter between the ascendant UED and Protoss forces DuGalle and Stukov try to blockade their ships and arrest the Protoss because they rightfully view their presence in the sector as a violation of Terran sovereignty and because they’re suspicious of the Protoss since they’ve killed Terrans. Fenix and Zera are so supremely unconcerned that they just break the UED blockade and jump away. Terrans can’t chase down the Protoss and force them to submit. The technology and distance gap is too big.

  3. On the issue of trusting the UED vs Kerrigan. The protoss by now are well aware that humanity is splintered into many factions and each individual has different perspectives on their kind. Perhaps due to the emergency scenario the UED is currently majorly xenophobic. But leaders can change and if DuGalle and the rest feel that the pressure is off and humanity is finally safe they would probably be open to at least a truce with the protoss. After all the UED was barely paying any attention to Koprulu before the zerg swarmed in and took out almost every Terran planet.

Meanwhile the zerg answer to one freaking leader and if that leader wants to infest you they’re all going to do their best to fulfill that. You cannot appeal to individual conscience and changes of government like you can with Terrans since all zerg are slaved to Kerrigan or the Overmind and the biological impulse of zerg is to forcibly assimilate everything in their path. Only an idiot would trust in the infallibilty of one person hence why every protoss had to drop 300iq points for Kerrigan to rise to power.

  1. Finally, regarding infestation screening. Generally medical exams are automatically carried out every time you travel to a new place or come out of a major battle. The Fall of Auir and resulting exodus was both. Even if the DT were ignorant (assuming Zeratul was stupid enough to not inform them of how the zerg worked, which is a possibility given how idiotic the protoss become in BW) regardless you don’t even have to take this into account because supposedly the DT matriarch had been turned into Kerri’s slave before the exodus from Aiur even happened! Absolutely ridiculous.

That’s ok because Amon died for everyone’s sins and Kerrigan the new God will allow life to flourish again. Man I just reread that sentence and I hate it. What an awful ending lmao! I think I started skipping SC2 cutscenes 25% of the way through HOTS. LOTV I watched more because of Alarak but it was still really bad.

Nuking Chau Sara was both the first contact between the terrans and the protoss, and the first military action taken against the zerg by the protoss, ever. While the protoss had encountered zerg scouting spores before, the Swarm itself had only just arrived in the sector.

What are you talking about? The protoss are absolutely native to Koprulu, and even if they weren’t, part of the UED’s agenda is specifically to use the zerg to wipe out or subjugate the protoss. Its absolutely something they care about.

The history of earth’s being rules by xenophobic tyrants for hundreds of years is sufficiently well recorded that even Raynor and Kerrigan know the UED are universally fascists and xenophobes. That’s how terrans ended up in the Koprulu Sector to begin with.

The Matriarch was not on Aiur at the time. Even if they had the resources to give medical examinations to the entire population of a planet they had just evacuated, it wouldn’t have caught her, because she wasn’t part of that group, to say nothing of the fact that “is being telepathically dominated” is not a medical condition.

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That’s because those 10 people were either 5 year olds or had the bar set really low. The story is universally mocked in reviews and by its fanbase. That ain’t normal for a video game.

Sure, everyone wants a mission pack with Alarak or something, but at this point it’s purely for gameplay purposes. Kind of like how a porno can have a plot but doesn’t really need one. The fact that Terrazine Stetman is canon now should make that self evident.

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You know, you keep saying this, and I have yet to see any actual statistical evidence from you about this. Obviously people who are dissatisfied are going to be more vocal about it, that’s an extremely well documented phenomenon. The plural of anecdotes isn’t evidence though; being able to find X reviews saying they don’t like the story just means you aren’t literally the only person in the world with an opinion. It makes no statement as to the relative distributions.

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Protoss high command over on Aiur ordered tassadar to kill the humans and became angry when he refused. Even if Chau Sara was first contact it is very clear that Protoss high command understood very quickly how the zerg operated and the threat posed by assimilation, and thus would never have allowed their soldiers or officials to be enslaved by the zerg. The DT are even more paranoid and less arrogant so the fact that no one ever discovered the Matriarch’s oddness besides Aldaris who didn’t even try to bring anyone else on his side (once again holding the idiot ball) is completely illogical.

No, the Protoss are not native to Koprulu at the time of the games. Their old empire used to control it but it is strictly Terran territory at the start of SC. After all Tass was controlling an expeditionary fleet and had no planetary support from anywhere in the sector, and was getting orders far out from Auir, basically like the situation of the UED fleet in BW except the Protoss could at least contact Auir regularly since they had better technology. Koprulu is unimportant in any Protoss eyes save for observing humans or beating up zerg. If the UED controls it they can just go back home to Shakurus and their own territory and wait until a friendlier government comes in. It’s no big loss since they have no stake in it.

Finally, the UED control of the Overmind was driven by sheer tactical necessity. They knew they were a small fleet up against 2 alien species and the stupidity of their own fellow humans via The Dominion. Killing off the zerg would only buy them temporary time since they would eventually breed more and come back, and it would also leave them vulnerable (in their view) to any Protoss attack. Thus they kill two birds with one stone: neutralize zerg threat permanently by capturing overmind and keeping the zerg as insurance to throw against the protoss in case they start blowing up planets again. The idea that the UED would chase the Protoss past the Koprulu sector when the whole purpose of their expedition was to make Koprulu safe is ridiculous. Even if they wanted to, they A) Would have no idea where to even find the Protoss and B) Lack the resources to pursue further.

They literally just had their entire civilization smashed, and the Dark Templar at large were completely unaware of the existence of the zerg until the Khalai came to Shakuras. Are they supposed to be on watch for a threat they don’t know exists?

Yes, they are native to the Koprulu Sector. It includes far more than just terran space. Not that it matters, because again, the UED IS ACTIVELY ATTEMPTING TO SUBJUGATE OR EXTERMINATE THE PROTOSS.

They cant let that lie. Period. Full Stop. End of Story.

It is literally the specific purpose of the expedition to subjugate the zerg and eliminate or enslave the protoss. That is their entire reason for being there. I don’t care how implausible you think it is, that is their explicit goal.

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  • UED wants EXTERMINATION
    Literally zero proof. The first reaction of the UED was to try to arrest the Protoss not kill them on sight.
  • Koprulu big!
    No protoss planet is actually located within the Koprulu sector. Auir, Shakurus, none of these places were in Koprulu. Even the Zerg came from outside of Koprulu. Koprulu is TERRAN SPACE I don’t know what’s so hard to understand about that.

It is literally their stated agenda. They outright come in and say theyre there to conquer everybody. I don’t know why you don’t understand this.

And yes, the Koprulu sector is big. Theres no evidence Aiur or Shakuras are outside of it.

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Yeah, conquer everyone IN THE SECTOR. The claim for the UED being fascist rests on lore from the original manual, the same manual that pegs all of Koprulu as being “the Terran patch of space that came to be known as the Koprulu sector” aka NOT PROTOSS TERRITORY.

The UED are called out as being fascists IN GAME by Kerrigan and Raynor. Its literally the in-game stated reason for their alliance against the UED. Pay more attention and your questions are answered already.

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No it’s not. Kerrigan mentions some vaguely threatening thing about “the history” of the UED and Raynor goes: “lol idk” but trusts her anyways because he’s the designated idiot ball holder for the mission.

Sure, ok, Kerrigan just literally imagines the fact that theyre fascists who, in their own campaign announce their intention to subjugate any potential threat to Earth and are a danger to them all, and Fenix just agrees with this because he’s an idiot and not because theres merit to her argument.

Note my sarcasm.

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Raynor is very uncertain as to Kerrigan’s characterization and Fenix doesn’t even respond to it since Duran interrupts. Yeah that’s bad writing when characters don’t buy into what Kerri is saying but do her bidding for x amount of missions anyways. The fascist word was never mentioned once in the entire game only the manual uses it.

No, Raynor is uncertain as to whether or not to trust Kerrigan. Normally he wouldn’t have anything to do with her, except for her very good point of the UED being a threat to them all.

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His direct response to Kerri mentioning the UED’s history is: “Maybe…I don’t know”. Also how in the blazes was the UED ever a threat to Raynor? To Kerri sure because she lost all her power and has to go begging for allies coughthe writercough to make her strong. The protoss? Again Fenix and Zera punched through a UED fleet blockade like it was nothing. Raynor? What’s there to look forward to but retirement now that he doesn’t have to worry about bloody zerg?