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Old 02-27-2018, 11:42 AM
BoxCrayonTales BoxCrayonTales is offline

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Originally Posted by Aldrius View Post
I just mean that's a lot to write for something that's not being produced. I don't even understand things like writing Kerrigan out and replacing her with... generic units? Kerrigan's kind of a central focal point of the story for a reason. In hindsight it's easy to be unhappy with the way Brood War is written, but certainly in the original StarCraft's Overmind campaign she's pretty integral.

I didn't read it in that much detail, but it just seems overtly ambitious.
Ambitious? Perhaps. I think it was made as a fanfic bible so a bunch of different mappers could work on their own campaigns and still pretend to take place in the same universe without having to write around Blizzard's bland epic fantasy heroes. The dozen page timeline is pretty simple and explains all of the major plot points. The full hundred page document is just a bunch of ideas for tech and culture the author made up for the races, but isn't necessary to understand the timeline. A lot of the ideas are stuff I've seen bandied before by other people, but to see all the best ideas in one timeline is very helpful.

Also, the deviantart links have expired so I copied the pdfs to google:
I don't understand the complaint about Kerry being fridged. I thought Overmind campaign was lackluster and meandering. It did not have the cohesive narrative that Rebel Yell did and felt more like a lame spin-off of that campaign.

I had several problems with it, actually.
  • Kerry was not particularly integral to the narrative we got. While the Overmind talked about her role a lot, the PC did all of the actual work. When time came to invade Aiur, Kerry was left behind even though that was the role she was intended for. She was not created to fight the dark templar. Her presence in the campaign feels forced and incongruous, like they took a previous script and then shoehorned her into it.
  • Kerry actively defies key Zerg qualities. The Zerg have cerebrates and overlords and queens to oversee the management of units and hive clusters, but they do not endow warriors with intellect. They do not have heroes on the field of battle, they build armies of engineered monsters. It's all very specialized and efficient.
  • Kerry serves little purpose besides a cameo. The original manual makes a big deal about how humanity was the determinant in the war against the Protoss. The Zerg were all set up to abduct countless psychics and spawn an army of new psychic warrior breeds. This never happened in the actual game and the concept of the determinant is quickly forgotten after being alluded to in the early missions. I know a lot of people have tried to make ad hoc rationalizations, but taken at face value it feels like the campaign was partly rewritten and not proofread for consistency. According to an interview at polygon, Metzen said he originally intended her to die but added her because he liked her so much; this despite QoB being a completely different character from Kerry, defeating the point of bringing her back.
  • The script was clearly rewritten multiple times. It feels like they originally wrote a story line about the Zerg building an army of psychic terran-derived creatures, and then halfway through someone decided to throw all that away in favor of introducing Kerry. They didn't even do anything interesting with her: her Terran story line is never resolved, she contributes nothing to the narrative, and the writing of the campaign feels really weak overall. The Zerg feel like they were demoted into playing second fiddle to the Terran cameos from Rebel Yell.

I really have no problem with letting Kerry die on Tarsonis. If we need a bloodthirsty Zerg character we can just make a new Zerg character rather than shoehorning a Terran cameo. An army of assimilated terrans just makes sense for the Zerg to do. The determinant was added specifically to justify including Terrans in the story, so removing it makes their presence feel forced.

Here I segue into a discussion of the timeline's overall structure
The timeline itself is pretty simple. It takes the original lore from the SC1 manual as its basis, takes the events from the expansions and sequels, then forces the latter to follow the former. The games recycle the same basic plot repeatedly so nothing of value is lost.

The timeline divides itself into a few distinct eras.
  1. Precursor: the era preceding the Great War, but after the Guild Wars. The Zerg vanguard arrives in Koprulu and the Terrans begin studying them in secret. Meanwhile, some Protoss watching the sector (e.g. Executor Andinunn from the beta) send token forces to deal with the Zerg but eventually realize that conventional tactics don't work.
  2. Great War: the era where the Zerg, Terrans and Protoss are in open conflict. This is actually much more complex compared to canon, since it takes place across multiple theaters. It is easiest to describe it as sub-eras by time and place.
  3. Great War (Koprulu sector): In K-sec, the great war starts off with the Terrans defending themselves from Zerg invaders and Protoss purifiers. This comes to a peak at Tarsonis, when the planet is lost and the Protoss seemingly abandon the sector (the timeline doesn't go into much detail on the Protoss POV). While most of the Zerg flee with abducted psychics, some broods continue to maintain a presence in the sector with the ultimate intent of exterminating the surviving Terrans (this is standard practice for the Zerg). The Dominion takes the KMC and Umojans as clients, and they work together to fight the Zerg. However, Umoja secretly was to overthrow Mengsk and institute democracy, so they secretly finance rebels like Raynor.
  4. Great War (hive worlds): After abducting enough psychics, the Zerg settle on a series of hive worlds to experiment. They produce numerous horrifying monstrosities that produce massive psychic signals. These signals attract Protoss to the hive worlds, including the dark templar. When Zeratul unwittingly kills Zasz, the Zerg acquire all his military intel about the Protoss Empire and the Nerazim, giving them a massive head start. The Zerg expel the Protoss forces and launch an invasion of the Protoss empire.
  5. Great War (Protoss Empire): The Protoss empire consists of hundreds of worlds, both khala and nerazim. The Zerg assault them all at once. They deploy assimilated terrans as soldiers and defenses, hunt nerazim to keep them from interfering, harvest khaydarin crystals for electronic warfare, investigate ancient ruins containing lost technology, etc. The Zerg are stated to attack the Psi Matrix and Khala using assimilated terrans and khaydarin crystals, loosely mimicking Amon in SC2. The scale is much, much grander than in canon.
  6. Brood War: The Overmind is killed as in canon, but since it is a gestalt of the Zerg, they will eventually resurrect it. In the interim, the Zerg broods go crazy and turn on one another, giving the Protoss and Terrans greater chances to fight back. Various Zerg broods are enslaved by the Protoss, Nerazim, and Terrans alike. The Umojans unleash their enslaved Zerg against the Dominion, mimicking the UED in canon.
  7. End: The timeline ends with the revival of the Overmind, mimicking the Amon arc from SC2, unifying the Zerg and giving them a modified directive to survive rather than seek perfection. In the full document, it is also suggested that the Terrans and Protoss will come into conflict at this time (the Protoss glassed Terran worlds, after all).

I think that is a much more fertile ground for stories than what we got in canon. A lot of existing custom campaigns already follow some variation of this overall plot, since they have to write around Kerry and all to tell any other kind of story.

What follows is my criticism on the franchise future
The franchise as it stands has no future that I can discern. SC2 went out of its way to force a happy ending where everyone makes peace. There is no logical reason for any of the races to ever fight each other. Any reasons for war would be obviously contrived and fake. This is in clear contrast to SC1, or at least the manual backstory, where the Zerg were responsible for the conflict and all three sides had compelling reasons to fight basically forever.

Originally, the Zerg need to eat the Terrans in order to get the strength needed to eat the Protoss. The expansions and sequels did everything they could to retcon the Zerg into good guys, even though their original portrayal was what made them popular in the first place.

After Starcraft 2 there is basically no reason for anyone to fight. The Zerg are already perfect and having nothing left to do but sit around. The Terrans became a benevolent dictatorship under Valerian, and only crazies like the Defenders of Man dislike him. The Protoss have all become goth hippies ranting about crystals.

If there is ever a Starcraft 3 or other continuation, I expect that it will be a reboot of some kind. Blizzard cannot keep their lore straight, so even if it is supposed to be a sequel the retcons will render it a soft reboot. If Blizzard does a hard reboot, then either they will recover the conflict from the original manual or make up something else.

The original conflict set up in the manual about the Zerg creating armies of assimilated Terrans was never explored in the games (infested and aberrations don't count), and I think that's a shame. It would certainly have been more interesting than the bland epic fantasy in space that we got.
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