In the second part of our continuing series, Brian Kindregan, co-lead writer of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and lead writer of Heart of the Swarm, answers some of the community’s most burning lore questions.
Question: Jim had a family before he met Kerrigan — a son and wife. How does that play a role in his "one true love" vibe with Sarah?
Answer: We've never said Kerrigan was Jim's one true love.
Jim had a wonderful life for a few short years, and he lost it all. He entered a new phase of his life — or returned to an older one — as a soldier, where the days burn quicker and hotter. Emotions run high. Jim had strong feelings for Sarah, even loved her, but none of that is betrayed his feelings for his family. People grieve, and they move on...eventually.
Question: At the end of Wings of Liberty, Mengsk's empire was collapsing. The zerg had overrun most of the fringe worlds and were encroaching on the core worlds. Raynor had revealed Mengsk's genocide of Tarsonis to all the people of the Dominion, and they were in open revolt and rioting out in the streets of the major cities, including Augustgrad. His son had then commandeered half the fleet in a desperate move to kill the Queen of Blades. How has Mengsk maintained control of the Terran Dominion with all this war and conflict?
Answer: With a mix of brutality, incredible intrigue, and old-fashioned cunning. Mengsk's empire at the time of Heart of the Swarm is by no means secure, but he is crafty and has many mechanisms to hold on to power. If the Swarm had been out to dismantle his empire, that would have been too much to withstand...or if the Kel-Morians had still been a viable enemy at that time, that could have been the tipping point. But remember, the Swarm was taking planets only to search for the artifact, and the Swarm fractured when the Queen of Blades disappeared. And the Kel-Morians were barely holding it together at that time.
Question: Why did Jim Raynor turn his back on everything that happened in the original StarCraft and Brood War, in that instead of killing Kerrigan (he watched her do some BAD stuff), he fell in love with her?
Answer: The first thing to consider is how Jim perceived Kerrigan. Certainly Horner, Tychus, and the Hyperion crew all viewed her as an evil being who should pay for her crimes. They didn't see a distinction between Kerrigan and the Queen of Blades, and for a long time Jim probably didn't either. But the moment Valerian uttered those words about saving Sarah, a door opened in Jim's mind. Could there truly be the "old" Sarah — cold-eyed assassin, but not a mass murderer — somewhere inside the ruthless alien queen? Was it possible? Jim didn’t know the answer to that for sure. He'd seen the Queen of Blades deceive everyone before, and he wouldn’t put all his trust in Valerian's judgment. So for Jim, it came down to his gut, as it always does. Jim had a choice: hold on to his hatred for Mengsk and the Queen of Blades, or grasp the hope that perhaps he could fix this. And his gut told him to take that chance.
Jim has lost so much in his life — more than most people — and that made the idea of redeeming Kerrigan all the more powerful in his mind. He'd lost family, friends, worlds, ideals...and he thought he'd lost Kerrigan, too. Then he learned there was hope of redeeming her. This was the first time he'd had a chance to regain something he'd thought lost, his only opportunity to make things better rather than stop them from getting worse.
Question: How do units like the mutalisk and banshee fly in space if there is no air?
Answer: Another great question that has been the subject of internal debate, hair pulling, and furniture throwing. Basically, mutas produce a gas that pushes against their own mass as it’s excreted. Even in a vacuum, this causes propulsion, because the gas is pushing against the muta as it’s expelled. Maneuvering is difficult for a muta, but it can release the gas in a range of directions.
When mutas are in an atmosphere, they simply use their wings. The gas is reserved for space travel. And if anyone's wondering why they flap their wings in space? Instinct. Just like a dog pumping its hind leg when you scratch its belly.
For any terran or protoss unit, the answer is even simpler: it’s outfitted with standard propulsion equipment only for use when traveling in space.
If you’re looking for more lore, here’s the first part of our StarCraft II Creative Development Q&A. We’ll have many more questions and answers for you in the weeks to come.