Update (9-3-2013): dpershonock is taking video of this panel for Blizzplanet. Stay tuned to watch the video.
Blizzard Entertainment: Project Blackstone: The Great Transmedia Experiment
September 14 at 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Designed By: Micky Neilson, Cameron Dayton
The ambitious goal of Project Blackstone was to weave a narrative across multiple media, draw traffic to the StarCraft website, raise awareness of StarCraft short stories, and build hype for Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm video game. The experiment was a success on many fronts, and Project Blackstone: the Great Transmedia Experiment will be an opportunity for the creators of Project Blackstone to share their insights, war stories and opinions on what transmedia really means, and where it’s headed in the future.
Izsha: The protoss have launched a vessel from the dark side of Kaldir. We are still able to sense its presence but time is running short.
MAIN OBJECTIVES REWARD
Roach Evolution Mission
BONUS OBJECTIVES REWARD
+1 Kerrigan Level
Kerrigan: One of your ships escaped.
Lasarra: Then you need only await the Golden Armada. Your death will be swift.
Kerrigan: I’m sorry.
Lasarra: For what? Slaughtering my people?
Kerrigan: For what I must do to you. Your friends on that ship can sense you. They know they left one behind.
Note: Kerrigan’s hand opens to reveal a zerg larva. She throws it into Lasarra’s torso and infests her.
Kerrigan: But they can’t warp you to their ship, because I’m blocking them.
Lasarra: No, no!
Kerrigan: But if I drop the veil…
Lasarra: Do not warp me in, Templar! Do not-
Izsha: You let the other protoss take her?
Kerrigan: She will be their death.
Lasarra: The Templar must be warned…
Note: Lasarra groans in agony, and explodes. The larva spawns from Lasarra’s remains.
Kerrigan: Listen carefully. This ship contains many dangers. Follow my commands and hide in the shadows. You will consume and grow. Infest this ship and kill every last protoss onboard. Now go, and spawn your brood.
Kerrigan: A zealot! Use your parasitic invasion to hide within that creature.
Note: The larva gains a new ability – Parasitic Invasion [Q]: Causes the Larva to leap toward the targeted creature, infest it, and take control.
Zealot: What was that noise?
Kerrigan: Alright, he’s gone. Consume your host and move on.
Note: The larva gains a new ability – Consume Host [W]: Devours the creature from within, giving biomass to the zerg.
Kerrigan: A sentry! Hide in the steam vents until it passes.
Sentry: Creep detected. Priority One: Established. All other priorities rescinded. Patrolling.
Kerrigan: There’s no way around those zealots. Invade the ursadon and crush them.
Zealot: The zerg have infested the ursadon!
Kerrigan: So the protoss think they have a few infested animals… They have no idea what they’re up against.
Kerrigan: The time has come for you to grow into a broodmother. Stop here. This area is safe from prying eyes. Evolve. Grow.
Note: Niadra gains a new ability – Birth Zergling [W]: Fast melee unit. Leaps over obstacles and onto targets from range. Deals increased damage. Can morph into a Baneling. (Raptor Strain)
Kerrigan: You are Niadra. This is your purpose: spawn a brood and destroy the protoss.
Niadra: I live to serve. Kill these creatures. I can consume their biomass and use it to grow our brood.
Expedition Leader: The zerg have infiltrated our vessel! Warriors, destroy them!
Niadra: Tear down their defenses! Nothing stops the Swarm!
Niadra: This vent is our only way forward! Go!
Niadra: There! That structure powers this shield!
Niadra: The shield no longer blocks my path. Let us move forward. A strong energy emanates from this part of the ship. What is its purpose?
Niadra: The energy… it is overwhelming.
Kerrigan: You’ve found their warp drive! Destroy it and this vessel will never reach Shakuras!
Niadra: The shield is down! I’ll destroy the warp drive myself!
Protoss Vessel: Warning. A warp drive breach has occurred. Evacuate immediately.
Expedition Leader: contain them! The zerg must not reach the stasis chambers!
Niadra: You will not hold back the Swarm!
Note: A cutscene plays: The Warp Drive explodes.
Niadra: The explosions have stopped.
Kerrigan: Wait, there is a disturbance in the chamber ahead.
Protoss vessel: Emergency. Power failure detected. Awakening protoss warriors from stasis.
Kerrigan: It’s time to evolve, and expand your control over your brood, Niadra.
Expedition Leader: Exterminate the specimens! Do not allow the zerg to consume them!
Niadra: Kill their warriors! I must have that biomass!
Kerrigan: You must evolve, grow stronger. The final battle approaches.
Niadra: Do not let them kill the ursadon! The Ursadon is mine. Come beast, we have protoss to destroy.
Kerrigan: The protoss are fortifying the bridge. Prepare your forces.
Expedition Leader: The ship has taken us as far as it can! Prepare the escape pods!
Kerrigan: Destroy the pods before they launch! The protoss must not reach Shakuras!
Niadra: They prepare more escape pods! Destroy them!
Expedition Leader: We will never be defeated. We give our lives for the Khala!
Niadra: Yes… you will.
Niadra: The protoss are no more, my queen. My queen, can you hear me? We are alone. The Queen of Blades has given us one purpose: to destroy the protoss. We will be prepared… We will serve again.
These scenes take place within the Zerg Leviathan’s Bridge, Evolution Pit, and Kerrigan Chamber. This intermission takes place between the missions: Harvest of Screams and Shooting the Messenger.
Izsha: We captured a prisoner in the wastes and subdued her, my queen. She says she is a researcher.
Kerrigan: I didn’t order you to take prisoners.
Izsha: Abathur requested it. He wants to dissect her.
Kerrigan: What’s the point? He won’t be able to use protoss genetic material.
Izsha: He likes to try.
Kerrigan: Actually, keep her alive for now. I might find a use for her.
Izsha: My queen, your chamber is now available. Within, you can alter your abilities.
Evolution Pit – Conversation
Kerrigan: What is that sound?
Abathur: Failed experiments. Reverting to biomass. Slow process.
Kerrigan: At least put them out of their misery first.
Abathur: Wasted effort. Creatures will die soon. Pain irrelevant.
Kerrigan: When you say things like that, Abathur … I almost remember you and I feel … anger.
Abathur: Anger product of adrenaline, stress-response, imminent threat. No threat to you. No anger.
Kerrigan: I’ll be the judge of that.
Kerrigan Chamber – Conversation
Izsha: This is your personal chamber. From here you can focus your neural pathways, and alter your active abilities. As you grow in power, newer and stronger abilities will awaken. You can alter your active abilities here, whenever you wish.
Kerrigan: What are your people doing here?
Lasarra: We study this moon to see if its rotation can be altered, its climate improved. Do you understand? We are only colonists, and you are killing us.
Kerrigan: Yes. And if I let you live, you’ll call your Golden Armada, and they will kill me.
Lasarra: Kill thousands to save yourself? Is that how you justify this?
Kerrigan: I justify nothing. There is no moral high ground here. Your people have killed billions of zerg. We are all covered in blood. There may be more on my hands than yours, but in the end we are both killers.
Izsha – Conversation
Izsha: The hunt goes well, my queen?
Kerrigan: It’s bloody.
Izsha: Those protoss would kill you if they could. They are not zerg, that means they are the enemy.
Kerrigan: Is it that simple?
Izsha: For zerg, it is. Whatever my queen has lost, think what she has gained: Purity of essence. You are the will of the Swarm.
Hatchery – Conversation
Kerrigan: Nafash’s brood lives again within the Swarm.
Izsha: When the protoss struck, she fell back to prepared positions in the ice valleys. The protoss had to hunt her down.
Kerrigan: She was intelligent, careful and tenacious. But she made one mistake. She ran away.
A few days ago, Cameron Dayton mentioned in Twitter Project Blackstone is coming to an end very soon. Today there was a wave of Twitter activity among the Project Blackstone characters.
This has been by far the longest episode with the crew coming together for survival as the zerg experiments have been set loose by Held. ex-Ghost Academy cadet Dr. Winlaleah Martine and Dr. Talise Cogan have gone missing. All protoss specimens but one have been killed by Held.
Cameron Dayton: Final chapters of #ProjectBlackstone just sent off to copy-edit. My fingertips are bruised, but this campaign is starting to look finito. — twitter
I want fans to know that Senior Story developer Cameron Dayton will depart Blizzard Entertainment for personal matters. He’s moving to Arizona. However, he will do some freelancing for Blizzard Entertainment, which makes me happy. At least we will continue to see new work from him in the future from time to time. Please, send your appreciation and good wishes at @CameronDayton for his contribution to the lore community.
Sorry for the radio silence. I took a sabbatical for a few days. Got a few Glory of the Hero achievements, and had a Marvel Digital Comics marathon. Ok … a geeky sabbatical.
Cracks knuckles — back to business. The Project Blackstone website was updated recently with Log # 11.
This new entry has some interesting revelations. Some subliminal.
Dr. Rothfuss’s secret allegiance
First, Dr. Daniel Rothfuss reveals to Dr. Talen Ayers that he is a sort of spy. He’s not serving the Terran Dominion and Emperor Mengsk. He is not a spy of the Kel-Morian Combine nor a spy of the Umojan. Dr. Daniel Rothfuss is serving the best interests of humanity.
Now this is intriguing. From the beginning of Project Blackstone, we know that all communications are filtered and read by the security staff. Recently, Dr. Rothfuss provided Dr. Talen Ayers a scrambler to communicate safely away from prying eyes — a highly advanced encryption technology to bypass the Project Blackstone security.
Who does Rothfuss serve? How comes he has better technology than the Terran Dominion — and yet Rothfuss doesn’t work for the Kel-Morian nor the Umojans? Yet he serves humanity.
This makes me ponder. Is Rothfuss a spy of the United Earth Protectorate (UED)?
I remember Chris Metzen commented once the UED were not using their technology in their appearance in StarCraft: Brood War. Basically, the UED used stolen Confederate technology.
In short, we don’t know how advanced Earth-bound technology is in relation to the Koprulu’s Confederate and Dominion technology.
In our recent video aired by the NASL.TV we discuss presicely this. With the re-introduction of Vice-Admiral Stukov in Heart of the Swarm, we wonder whether Blizzard is planning to visit a post-apocalyptic Earth in StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, or another StarCraft video game.
I will leave you with a thought. It took the original supercarriers 28 years to reach the Koprulu sector. That was old technology. How long did it take the UED to reach the Koprulu sector, however? The answer is simple. It is subliminal in StarCraft: Brood War. Admiral Gerard DuGalle sent a message to his wife as the Battlecruisers attempted to escape Kerrigan. The message he sent before he shot himself. Mere months? Weeks? Days?
Admiral Gerard DuGalle: “Dearest Helena, – By now, the news of our defeat has reached the Earth. – The creatures we were sent here to tame are un-tamable. – and the colonies we were sent to reclaim have proven to be stronger than we anticipated. – Whatever you may hear about what has happened out here, know this; – Alexei did not die gloriously in battle. – I killed him. My pride killed him. – And now my pride has consumed me as well. – You will never see me again, Helena. – Tell our children that I love them, – and that their father died in defense of their future. – Au revoir.”
Dominion Technology Flaw
Is the Terran Dominion and Confederate technology safe? This entry makes you question whether the UED presence in the Koprulu sector is still ongoing at large.
Yes, we have seen UED survivors out there. In StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, when you visit the Cantina, you can hire UED mercenaries. Those who remained behind.
Rothfuss says: “Over the past few centuries, Dominion technology has made commendable advances in the blunt science of military strength: better armor, better weapons, and frighteningly obedient soldiers. But there has been surprisingly little progress in the fields of encryption and machine language. Significant portions of the original ATLAS coding and functionality still exist in your adjutants like familiar old dinosaurs. My guess is that dependence on the servile and deliberately limited sapience of these automatons has allowed for intellectual complacency in those fields, especially since the more exciting horizons of extrasolar planets and xenoscience have been within your grasp.”
Little lore background here. Back when the supercarriers left Earth in year 2231, The ATLAS was the artificial intelligence aboard the supercarrier Nagglfar. The other supercarriers had no artificial intelligence. Instead, the Argo, Reagan and Sarengo supercarriers followed the supercarrier Nagglfar’s navigation system signal.
Rothfuss says the current Adjutants still use portions of the original ATLAS artificial intelligence. In short, it’s a very old technology that the UED knows well. This tells me the UED might be able to have a presence in the Koprulu sector keeping themselves stealthed to the eye of the Terran Dominion, and furthermore be able to tap into Terran Dominion computers.
This entry is evidence it was easy for the UED to raid a Confederate outpost or armory by easily infiltrating their computer network. Remember — all those tanks, battlecruisers, wraiths, valkyries, and goliaths the UED used in StarCraft: Brood War … none of those were UED technology. The UED likely defeated a few Confederate outposts, and re-purposed the Confederate weaponry and vessels — keeping Earth technology hidden from the Confederate and Terran Dominion’s reach.
Project Blackstone Secrets
Dr. Rothfuss tells Dr. Talen Ayers he is read in the computer files a lot of the Project Blackstone secrets. Among them:
”Because you are not just building weapons to protect humanity, Talen. You are being used. My exploration through the personnel files opened up some frightening avenues. For instance, did you know that Dr. Vera Langridge (Xenobotanist) has an entire level of the facility dedicated to xenoflora that can control human thought? Not alien thought. That’s right—Mengsk has a section of this facility dedicated to controlling his own subjects. And that is only one of seven isolated levels hidden beneath this one. All are taking your research into dark places that you know nothing about. All are completely off the books.
And your friend Dr. Warren G. Held (Xenobiologist, Senior Protoss Specialist) is still on-site. He has been moved down to a sub-level, along with a handful of psi-blocked protoss.”
Dr. Ariel Hanson (Planet Agria) is the daughter of Dr. Talise Cogan (Project Blackstone Xenobiologist) and Dr. Bernard Hanson — as revealed in Ariel’s bios (Battle.net).
Dr. Maren Ayer — daughter of Dr. Talen Ayer, debuted in the StarCraft II website’s short story: Broken Wide (by Cameron Dayton). The story about the Zerg Banelings.
Go to twitter, and create a new LIST. Title it as “Project Blackstone Crew”. Add all of the Project Blackstone characters to the LIST by visiting their page and clicking the arrow (located left of the “Follow” button) and choosing “Add or Remove from List”. Then check mark “Project Blackstone Crew”.