In part twelve 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 burning lore questions.
Question: Why did Mengsk abandon Kerrigan on Tarsonis? The rationale behind that wasn’t really clear.
Answer: As always, Mengsk plays a deep game. He usually has several reasons for the things he does.
First, Kerrigan had started to question his orders. He knew that if she was feeling squeamish about what he was doing on Tarsonis, she would become progressively more troublesome as the rebellion went on, because he was not going to pull any punches. So it seemed like a good time to get rid of her.
Second, it sent a chilling message to the rest of the Sons of Korhal. They had all been with Mengsk willingly because they believed in his cause. He was essentially telling his own army that the cause was now an established idea and their belief was no longer required—only their obedience. It was the moment Mengsk went from being a revolutionary to a tyrant.
Finally, Mengsk's family had been butchered by a Confederate ghost team in the past. He had uncovered evidence that Kerrigan had led that team and personally slaughtered his family. So this was the moment of revenge.
Question: How is it that, with Tychus under the employ of Arcturus Mengsk, he never knew of his son's plot?
Answer: Well, Tychus and Jim didn't find out about Valerian's plot until quite late—too late for Mengsk to stop it, really. But the truth is, Mengsk did know about Valerian's plot. Remember, Arcturus wanted Tychus Findlay on the scene when Kerrigan's humanity was restored. That was the ideal outcome Mengsk was hoping for, but even if that didn't happen, the plan still had lots of positives. It let him combine the tactical brilliance of Jim Raynor with the steadiness of General Warfield to affect an invasion of Char. If the invasion succeeded, then the Dominion fleet would have just taken Char and deposed the Queen of Blades—a victory for Mengsk. If the invasion failed, then the Swarm would still have taken a lot of damage, but the failure wouldn't be Mengsk's; it would be laid at the feet of the traitorous Prince Valerian and his crony Jim Raynor. In that case, Mengsk could use the entire fiasco as a rallying cry to win the people over: “we're now in great danger, with our military damaged by Raynor!”
Am I saying Mengsk would sacrifice Valerian if it suited his purposes? Yep! I don't think he would do that lightly, but in the end, he'd do anything to survive.
Question: If Protoss don't have mouths, why do they need Aiur Chef?
Answer: They don't have mouths, but they can still appreciate quality gameshows, can't they?
In seriousness, mods of that kind are not canon, even when they come from Blizzard. Those are one-of-a-kind maps that are not part of the SC canon.
Question: Do overlords move at the speed of light? How exactly do the Zerg travel throughout the galaxy?
Answer: In the past the Overmind created wormholes that the Swarm could use to move rapidly about the galaxy. After its death, Kerrigan was able to do the same thing. At some point between the events of BW and Wings, she added leviathans to the Swarm, huge spacefaring creatures able to carry countless Zerg within them and bend space, creating wormholes that let them travel immense distances quickly.
Question: Despite numerous interactions with the Protoss, how come the Zerg have never successfully assimilated a single one of them? The artificially created hybrid of Narud’s invention does not count.
Answer: I agree, the hybrid don't count, as the technology to create hybrid is a merging of Zerg and Protoss, not an infestation of a Protoss host. The fact is, Zerg are unable to infest Protoss because of the incredible strength of Protoss psionics. The Zerg hive mind is a crucial part of infestation, and the Protoss have either the Khala or the Void to keep the hive mind out.
Beyond that, Protoss genetic material (or as the Zerg call it, essence) is simply antithetical to the Swarm. They just cannot use it.
There was an experimental form of creep that could cut a Protoss off from the Khala, and it did lead to a Protoss being briefly infested. However, the creep was an isolated sample.
Question: Is the fringe world where the Terran Confederacy actually made first contact with the Zerg "xenomorphs" (before the more widely known purification/infestation of the Sara system) up for disclosure?
Answer: Interesting question! We have never disclosed which world this was, only that it was a fringe world. As that was classified at the Confederacy's highest levels, I fear that information may have been lost in the chaos that ensued. . . .
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, part 10, and part 11. We’ll have more answers to your burning questions next week.