In part eleven of our continuing series, Brian Kindregan, co-lead writer of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and lead writer of Heart of the Swarm, answers more of the community’s most burning lore questions.
Question: In times of peace, what do templar, judicators, khalai, and Nerazim do?
Answer: Practice, man, practice!
Question: Throughout Wings of Liberty, Kerrigan invaded several planets and systems around the Koprulu sector in search of the artifact pieces. As a result of this, she must have come across several new strains to assimilate into the zerg army. Through this exploration, have there been new zerg strains introduced to the Swarm?
Answer: The Swarm did indeed encounter lots of new genetic material! There was not time to incorporate these strains before the battle on Char, but the Swarm is still aware of the other types of essences out there.
Question: Why haven't the protoss advanced in tech over the course of the games?
Answer: The protoss are an inward-looking race. They feel they achieved the perfect approach to technology and civilization long ago, and now they have little interest in changing. There are certainly protoss innovators, but in general they prefer steady, methodical progress. The protoss basically value stability above all. New tech has a way of changing everything.
Question: Raynor and Zeratul had a vision. We learned it was the Overmind's and that it showed the future (or a possible future). But how and why did the Overmind have this vision in the first place?
Answer: The Overmind's consciousness was molded by the entity referred to here as the Dark Voice. During that process, the Overmind was exposed to some of the Dark Voice's plans for the future. Scattered, confused images, sensations, ideas, concepts. Nothing clear or concrete. That vision was a narrative the Overmind constructed from bits and pieces, and it was about all that the Overmind could glean from the time spent with the Dark Voice.
Question: Is there any chance that the Swarm could manifest some kind of compassion if the zerg stopped being driven by the singular goal of protoss destruction?
Answer: The mandates and operating parameters that kept the Overmind from having complete free will were mostly subverted when the Queen of Blades, an infested terran who retained much of her sapience, took over. (As I've said elsewhere, there was still some influence from the Dark Voice, as she had lots of zerg mutagen floating around in her system, but her non-zerg sapience freed her up a great deal.)
From that point on, the zerg became capable of acting in whatever way their leader was capable of acting. But why would the leader of the Swarm ever want or need to show compassion? Compassion would not serve to grow the Swarm, and it's unlikely any race would ever accept the Swarm as allies or equals.
Question: If the zerg are biological life-forms, how can they survive traveling across the universe without any air, shields, or armor suits?
Answer: They can adapt to handle those environments. The question of how they can do things without tools is a uniquely human way to look at a problem. When we can't do something, we build a tool to do it for us. A race that can evolve and adapt so rapidly and so well simply doesn't think that way. As an example, there are creatures that thrive on the bottom of the ocean here on Earth, in places where our tools and equipment have only recently allowed us to go.
Question: The "new" Jim Raynor seems kind of weak. He seems to have forgotten about Fenix and all the abominations Kerrigan has done, and more than that, he killed his best friend for her. He is no longer the mighty badass warrior from SC1. Why is that?
Answer: When people go through traumatic events, it takes a toll on them. They process it for a long time afterward and try to cope in different ways. The Jim Raynor in Wings is a man who has been to Hell and back many times, and it has certainly changed him.
Who do you think is more heroic: a character who has been through all that pain and suffering, yet manages to overcome his trauma, climb back to his feet, and engage in badassery; or a character who is just always badass? I know which one I think, but opinions may vary. J
Question: Do zerg breathe in space, or do they bring oxygen (or whatever they breathe) with them?
Answer: Most zerg are not adapted for space travel by themselves. They would be aboard larger zerg that are adapted for it, like leviathans. Any zerg that you see in space either has vast stores of oxygen within it or has been adapted to not require oxygen. Depends on the particular adaptation you're talking about!
Question: Why does Tychus Findlay, who always smokes a cigar in his armor, never get choked?
Answer: I'd like to say it's because he's got special air-circulation pumps. But the truth is, he's just that tough.
Question: Is there any history between Tychus Findlay and the girl on his armor?
Answer: The girl is Kyla Velassi, a popular entertainer who is featured in the text crawl at the bottom of the UNN news segments. She has an entire storyline that plays out there, if you can manage to read it.
That decal is already on his armor when he comes out of cold sleep. So either someone put it there while he was out of it, or Kyla has been around a long time and is still going strong. The celebrities of the Koprulu sector may just have their own version of Botox!
If you’re looking for more lore, here’s part 1 of our StarCraft II Creative Development Q&A, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, and part 10. We’ll have many more answers to your burning questions in the weeks to come.