StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm – The Cycle of the Xel’Naga Prophecy
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm hits retail stores in a week on March 12th. The collective hearts of millions of fans are pounding with excitement — not only to play the new Terran, Zerg and Protoss units; but to savor the single player campaign’s storyline.
Toward the end of the novel, Sarah and Jim Raynor are brought by Valerian Mengsk to a secret lab on an orbital platform within the Umojan Protectorate.
Something the Heart of the Swarm tie-in novel by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden establishes throughout the story is that this is a very vulnerable and human Sarah Kerrigan. I think the objective of the novel was well written and received by the readers. There is no doubt this is the Jim’s loved Sarah. We even get to see some flashbacks from the point of view of Sarah at Antiga Prime and how her love affair with Jim escalated.
In early screenshots and video clips dating back to BlizzCon 2010-2011, we have seen Sarah wearing a ghost uniform. She is very human except for the tendril-like hair which shows she retains some zerg DNA in her system.
Last week, Blizzard Entertainment teased us with an amazing video trailer titled “Vengeance”.
As detailed in my “Vengeance” analysis article, there are two messages we got across from Blizzard Entertainment. One: Sarah will remain Sarah for a while during the single player campaign. We’ll enjoy her very human emotions in cutscenes, cinematics and as she engages some of her missions.
On the other hand, two: We see Sarah at a Xel’Naga Temple emerging from a crystal-like crysalis or cocoon — during the scene where we see a bright flash followed by an explosion.
Sarah emerges as a new Queen of Blades right in front of Jim Raynor.
I think you have been sharp-eye enough to have noticed her face as the brand-new Queen of Blades looks slightly different than when she was the old Queen of Blades prior to the Wings of Liberty-finale. Her eyes and the sides of her face have a special glow she lacked previously. A radiance of never-before untapped power.
The old Queen of Blades emerged from a zerg crysalis. This new Queen of Blades seems to emerge from Xel’Naga or Protoss technology — as seen in the “Vengeance” trailer. An enhanced Queen of Blades.
We don’t know exactly how Sarah becomes the Queen of Blades again. I can only interpret what I thought I saw. I know some lore fans might not like to see Sarah lose her humanity, especially after all Jim Raynor did to revert her back to human. However, the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty storyline was very specific on what Kerrigan’s role in the three-episode shall be.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – Protoss Campaign in a Nutshell
This quick summary will open up your eyes on why Sarah must be the Queen of Blades again.
Zeratul sought the three fragments of “The Return of the Xel’Naga” prophecy in planet Ulaan. Both, Zeratul and Kerrigan the Queen of Blades were drawn to planet Ulaan. Kerrigan said she heard whisperings from the stars which drew her to the prophecy fragments. A storm is coming.
Kerrigan also knows more about what’s coming and about the prophecy than Zeratul gives credit. He simply refuses to understand the words coming from an abomination like Kerrigan.
She knows there’s a war coming like a tidal wave from where none shall survive. There is no time to fancy a life as a normal human, in love, alongside Jim Raynor. The Fallen One and his minions are bringing about the extinction of the entire universe. It’s to go out in flame, and then eternal utter darkness. Kerrigan knows this. She must prepare to save everyone. It’s her role. This is what the Overmind created her for.
During the “Zeratul’s Warning” cinematic, Zeratul brings tidings of doom and asks Jim Raynor to save Kerrigan the Queen of Blades even if justice demands she is slain.
During his quest to learn what the prophecy fragments said, Zeratul visited the three immortal protoss preservers in the remote planet Zhakul.
The protoss preservers were held captive by a hybrid protoss, who was siphoning their lifeforce to augment his own powers and to gain immortality. Presumably, it was also stealing their sacred archive’s knowledge for his master: The Fallen One.
Zeratul and some allies he met in planet Zhakul rallied together and defeated the hybrid. The protoss preservers revealed the following:
Zeratul determines the Great Hungerer is a reference to The zerg Overmind. Thus, Zeratul embarks into a journey toward his former homeworld … planet Aiur. There, he plans to draw psionic imprints from the tendrils and the cortex off the dead husk of the zerg Overmind.
To Zeratul’s surprise, he got more than he bargained for. Tassadar’s avatar materialized from the beyond. Somehow, Tassadar did not die at all in his final sacrifice plunging the Ganthritor protoss carrier into the zerg Overmind (as seen in the original StarCraft video game, 1998).
In the original StarCraft game, Zeratul was teaching Tassadar the way of the Dark Templar. If you watch the cinematic above, Tassadar channeled the High Templar and Dark Templar energies and became a being of pure light. The Ganthritor is shown to actually desintegrate long before the energy ball hit the Overmind, which means Tassadar trascended his corporeal form to become something else.
Tassadar told Zeratul the Overmind had been programmed unwillingly with an all-consuming directive and assigned with the mission to destroy the Protoss. The Overmind was imprisoned within his own mind with lack of free will.
Tassadar admited he did not know who programmed the Overmind with these directives. It seems as if someone sabotaged the Xel’Naga’s original plans for the Overmind. Maybe a traitor from within?
Before the zerg arrived to the Koprulu Sector, the Overmind had seen a vision of the future. In this vision, the Terrans had fallen. The universe was aflame. Only the protoss remained alive in a distant world holding the last bastion of the protoss civilization. In this future, Zeratul, High Executor Selendis, Hierarch Artanis and other heroes fought to the bitter end in a glorious battle against the Hybrid and the enslaved zerg.
In this future, Kerrigan the Queen of Blades had been killed earlier. It seems Jim Raynor had eventually killed Kerrigan as he originally planned.
The Fallen One whispered into the minds of the Protoss the only one who could have posed a threat to him was the Queen of Blades. The protoss in their arrogance did not see.
The Overmind orchestrated a hope to set itself and the zerg race free. It created the Queen of Blades. She will destroy the hybrids, the harbingers of the Fallen One. This is the role she was created to undo. This is why Sarah must be the Queen of Blades once more in “Heart of the Swarm”.
Wait — but how comes if this is her role, she died in that dark future? Jim Raynor had something to do with her demise. Or maybe Tychus Findlay was meant to shoot her in this alternate timeline. Somehow the prophecy came to the past from the future. I think I can explain that one. The bonus objective in the “Utter Darkness” mission is to protect the “Protoss Archive” vault.
A High Templar says the following:
High Templar: “High Templar: Great one, the vault is prepared. Guard us while we preserve our knowledge for those that may follow. They must not make the mistakes we did.”
It seems the Protoss Preservers managed to send the archive back in time, securing the knowledge of this dark future so that the wisdom could be used to change the outcome. We have seen time manipulation before in the StarCraft lore. In StarCraft II: The Dark Templar trilogy we see Zamara halts her death by placing her dying body in a time bubble. Maybe the protoss are not capable of traveling back in time, but they might be able to send a signal back in time? If that can’t be believed, then let’s just see how Tassadar pulled an Obi-Wan trick and cheated death. For instance.
This vision of the future was given to Zeratul by Tassadar, who saw into the Overmind’s memories as it died. It is then how Zeratul recorded his experience into the Ihan Crystal and gave it to Jim Raynor during the “Zeratul’s Warning” cinematic.
Only Jim Raynor can save Kerrigan. And so he did.
It’s now Kerrigan’s turn to fulfill the role she was created to accomplish. There is no doubt whatever Blizzard’s Creative Team has cooked up for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is going to leave fans hungering for more with an epic storyline.
This is your last chance to pre-order the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Collector’s Edition (while supplies last), or to buy the standard edition.
Play through the single player campaign, and we’ll both discover what the Blizzard creative writers have in store for us.
Read our transcript of the entire Protoss Campaign (StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty) along with screenshots and cutscene videos.
Read the “Vengeance” trailer analysis article.