StarCraft® II

Thoughts on SC1 vs SC2

It depends on your conception of 'good' I suppose. For the individual, I suppose trying to keep power can be construed as a good thing. In general, the idea of being corrupted is in terms of morality, which is usually based on social values as a whole. Killing someone is usually seen as an immoral act.

An example I would give is that of a dictator. Few people become dictators because they love power and want to oppress people, but rather that they want to create a better society/country. It is only when they realize that people are not going to just follow what they say that they get oppressive and violent. It is the threat to their power that leads them to order arrests or killing political opponents and squashing unrest. Another good line is "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

So is this good or bad? From the perspective of the dictator as an individual I guess you could say that it is 'good' he behaved that way, but for the rest of society it would be said he has been corrupted by the power. He is no longer following the ideals he initially wanted to implement, instead doing whatever is necessary to maintain the power, even if it means doing the exact opposite of his initial intentions.


Going to have to trim this one down, dat 5k character limit. Your description of a dictator makes it sound like at some point this guy decided he would take a "by any means necessary" approach. It's true, that without having that power, he probably wouldn't have thought to go that route, but I don't think that's because power had a corrupting effect, I think that's just because it wasn't a viable option before. If it was, he would have, because that's the kind of person he is.

Sometimes though, breaking free of your morality is a good thing. I'm normally not one to agree with Mark Twain, but The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn makes a very interesting point about the idea of morality vs. conscience. A forced pattern of behavior from without, vs. a a desire toward certain behavior that comes from within. Power is the necessary element in breaking free from morality and relying on conscience.

Let me ask you something. if you had power, what would you do with it?


04/01/2013 10:48 AMPosted by LovelyMines
Power comes in many shapes and sizes. You would have to be more specific. Are we talking being rich? Being the leader of a democratic country? Being a dictator of a poor country? Being a dictator of a rich country? Being the head of a household? Being big and buff?...being a white male?


Let me rephrase. If no one could stop you, would you follow your own desires independent from moral considerations like duty, virtuous ideals, or the greater good? And if you did, what do you think that would end up looking like?

04/01/2013 01:12 AMPosted by Joshua
This honestly makes a lot more sense to me than her randomly turning so malevolent after being such a caring person, because a simple increase in strength and ability does not turn people malevolent. At absolute best, it exposes something nasty that was already there to begin with. Tell me, does Kerrigan strike you as the type?


To be honest, yes. She was bred as a cold hearted assassin. She showed that she had some hesitation with large scale mass murder...but she still went along with it. I don't know how a person can be described as caring when they accept a plan that kills billions of people. It is not a stretch to say that once she gained more power, it was not all that hard to go from "ok, I've been involved in mass murder" to "What's a few more deaths to get/keep my power?".


That's because her handlers tried their damnedest to make her not care. She was in what I like to call full-blown Apollo mode. Reason, logic, light, measures, no desire, no drunkenness, no revelry, no feeling of any kind. Dionysus was stuffed into a basement and locked up. A better example would be King Minos locking away the minotaur in the confusing maze. This actually goes back to something that was discussed at Blizzcon once, "Who is Sarah Kerrigan? See, her whole life she's always been someone's tool/weapon, and has never been allowed to feel, except for when she was forced to, which shoved all rationality from her.

*Clipped.*

There was no evidence that they would have done anything to stop her. It was only after she interfered with them that they struck at her. Sure, they might have, but there's so little evidence that her actions fall into the realm of paranoia. As for Raynor, I don't think she was capable of love, and once she became the QoB, she didn't seemed to look fondly back on what she was.
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Ok, here I have to make a distinction. I agree that biologically we can make arguments for why she was not completely free or what not in BW. I will not try to say that argument does not work, because it does.

However, what I am arguing is from a literary perspective. As I tried to point out using dialogue from SC1/BW, the literary perspective being taken in BW was that Kerrigan=QoB. BW explored many of the same things HotS explores.

- What will Kerrigan do now that she is free
- Can Kerrigan be trusted
- Will Kerrigan seek revenge against Mengsk?
- Does Kerrigan still care about Raynor?

All of these questions were asked in BW and we got answers to all of them. BW was the story of a free Kerrigan and all of these plot points were ended with BW.


I never got that at all. I still always thought she was warped from her transformation. Free, sure, but warped.

04/01/2013 10:50 AMPosted by LovelyMines
There seems to be two main ways to view this personality change. One is that she was biologically changed resulting in a changed personality. Essentially that there was a break in the continuity of the character in that you can point to a 'pre-infested' Kerrigan and a 'post-infested' Kerrigan. What I am attempting to demonstrate is that if we take the perspective that there was no jump in personality, but rather an accumulation of experiences that resulted in a natural change of her personality, BW makes sense in terms of Kerrigan being free and in her right mind (as the literary purpose made clear was the case).


I'm with you so far.

The basis of this argument lies in power, and how once she experienced true, free, power it altered her goals and perceptions. She went from servant to master. From a damsel in distress to the queen !@#$% of the universe. Once she was free she did not want to give it up. She wanted to gain control of the swarm for herself and to hell with anyone who stood in her way.


Not sure I follow. Kerrigan knew power before. Sure, not power on that level, but she knew enough to where she could have been a massive threat to anyone that she wanted. She wasn't a damsel in distress for quite a long time before Rebel Yell. A puppet, a living weapon, sure, but a damsel in distress? Not unless damsels in distress can suddenly tear through steel with their bare hands and make world-class high-powered rifle shots. :)

She already had quite a bit of power, and she was starting to care for people outside of her master. Assuming what you're saying about power is true, it would only have to be enough power to the point where other options open up, apart from a position of powerlessness. I still think the physical changes to her brain explain the rather sudden change in her personality. She hatched a completely different person. Assuming she was changed by power, she would need time to process for that change to occur, time she didn't have.
Edited by Joshua on 4/3/2013 9:43 PM PDT
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Gentlemen, this isn't criticism. This is throwing elements of fiction on the table, each of which WILL result in stalemate deadlock once we are through discussing them. In the end, it's going to be a matter of subjective opinion of how much of what makes a better mixture.

You should consider on the other hand that no independent-from setting subject drives the character arcs and defines the central conflicts of SC1 and Brood War since those are entirely carved and constructed by the fictional setting and the plot. SC2 actually covers relevant issues of choice as a moral standpoint, emotion capacity and identity through the central conflict (and also determine the character arcs). When all topics are reached to subjective stalemate, this still remains.

Let me know if you want me to elaborate.
Edited by Rasofe on 4/3/2013 10:43 PM PDT
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Gentlemen, this isn't criticism. This is throwing elements of fiction on the table, each of which WILL result in stalemate deadlock once we are through discussing them. In the end, it's going to be a matter of subjective opinion of how much of what makes a better mixture.

You should consider on the other hand that no independent-from setting subject drives the character arcs and defines the central conflicts of SC1 and Brood War since those are entirely carved and constructed by the fictional setting and the plot. SC2 actually covers relevant issues of choice as a moral standpoint, emotion capacity and identity through the central conflict (and also determine the character arcs). When all topics are reached to subjective stalemate, this still remains.

Let me know if you want me to elaborate.


Careful Rasofe, you're wading into deep, brackish waters, and on these forums that's likely to get you shot. Or at least yelled at by a couple self-important jackasses. But you're covering in a nutshell the current pedagogy of fiction writing.
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I already had to put up with crucifiction in Europe. Can't imagine how being shot is worse.
Also, I think pedagogy has to do with teaching - what with my mother being a pedagogue - so I reckon what I'm covering is just why SC2 is better than SC1.
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04/03/2013 11:34 PMPosted by Rasofe
I already had to put up with crucifiction in Europe.


You're gonna have to tell me what you mean with that enticing little play on words. Because if that means what I think it means, I'm going to start using it, with your permission of course.

Also, I think pedagogy has to do with teaching - what with my mother being a pedagogue - so I reckon what I'm covering is just why SC2 is better than SC1.


I like them both a lot, and to be honest, I'm pretty sure they'd come up near to each other if you did a close-reading (Close-playing?) of both of them side-by-side.
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You're gonna have to tell me what you mean with that enticing little play on words. Because if that means what I think it means, I'm going to start using it, with your permission of course.


I started criticising the proponents of SC2 for "defending" SC2 and using subjectivism as an argument when what they should've been doing is postulating what was good about the current trilogy instead, like myself. They sort of ignored me, and though the balance was really even between whiner and proponent in the first week after release, when I posted the thematic analysis of SC2 HotS and reiterated my thematic analysis of WoL I got the impression that for once it was possible to achieve an objective victory. Even if it is something as simple as a fundamental element missing in SC1 and BW, once the other elements are put under a very close stalemate that single factor topples the debate in favour of SC2.

The problem was that I found myself to be the only one who used this argument. Now, the proponents of HotS seem to be on vacation while I've had to single handedly deal with people who either don't accept the significance of theme in literature, state plot devices from SC1 and call them themes without evidence or make up completely void and nonexistent versions of SC2 story to refute (this is the Straw Man argument). That's three nails, one crucifix.

I like them both a lot, and to be honest, I'm pretty sure they'd come up near to each other if you did a close-reading (Close-playing?) of both of them side-by-side.

On most elements they do. But thematically, both SC2 campaigns are about topics that are independent from the fictional Starcraft setting, while the SC1 campaigns are about these global conflicts and power struggles rather than a specific subject. In terms of literary worth SC1 is actually worse than SC2 as a result of not having theme.
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04/04/2013 04:35 AMPosted by Rasofe
You're gonna have to tell me what you mean with that enticing little play on words. Because if that means what I think it means, I'm going to start using it, with your permission of course.


I started criticising the proponents of SC2 for "defending" SC2 and using subjectivism as an argument when what they should've been doing is postulating what was good about the current trilogy instead, like myself. They sort of ignored me, and though the balance was really even between whiner and proponent in the first week after release, when I posted the thematic analysis of SC2 HotS and reiterated my thematic analysis of WoL I got the impression that for once it was possible to achieve an objective victory. Even if it is something as simple as a fundamental element missing in SC1 and BW, once the other elements are put under a very close stalemate that single factor topples the debate in favour of SC2.

The problem was that I found myself to be the only one who used this argument. Now, the proponents of HotS seem to be on vacation while I've had to single handedly deal with people who either don't accept the significance of theme in literature, state plot devices from SC1 and call them themes without evidence or make up completely void and nonexistent versions of SC2 story to refute (this is the Straw Man argument). That's three nails, one crucifix.

I like them both a lot, and to be honest, I'm pretty sure they'd come up near to each other if you did a close-reading (Close-playing?) of both of them side-by-side.

On most elements they do. But thematically, both SC2 campaigns are about topics that are independent from the fictional Starcraft setting, while the SC1 campaigns are about these global conflicts and power struggles rather than a specific subject. In terms of literary worth SC1 is actually worse than SC2 as a result of not having theme.


Dude....have you seen my thread that I made titled "The Heart of Hero?" It's a full blown essay that covers the monomythical progression Kerrigan has, her Hero's Journey through Heart of the Swarm, and how each point on that journey relates to us today. The three disciplines I employ are deconstructionist criticism, mythological criticism, and formalist criticism. I put a link to it in Gradius flamebait thread about defending the story, specifically in response to your post calling for that kind of discussion. You should check it out, I think you'd get a kick out of it. :) Now, I actually do think SC1 has a couple of interesting themes, but they're only really prominently visible around Raynor, Kerrigan, and Tassadar. And not always even then.

And I thought by crucifiction, you meant critics basically doing what they've been doing here, in the words of Stover, trying to shove everyone into their own little box. He then went on to say that most people who try this seem to be literary critics. :) So it's kind of what I thought. Not entirely, but sort of. I'm going to start using that.
Edited by Joshua on 4/5/2013 3:52 AM PDT
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SC1 was a good story...because I was 12. I think blizz tries with sc2, but it's just beyond their understanding of writing to let the characters and situations established in SC1 dictate the flow of the story in SC2. Kerrigan was a likeable villian protagonist, there was zero reason, perhaps aside from lack of acting talent, to abandon all the character development in BW for the crap we saw in WoL. HotS seems better, but I have no idea if it's only because I expected it to suck as much as WoL did. It's still definitely a story you stop enjoying if you let yourself think about it.
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04/05/2013 03:50 AMPosted by Joshua
Dude....have you seen my thread that I made titled "The Heart of Hero?"


I arrived to the American forums just this week. No I haven't seen your report, I'll take a look at it in due time.

If you'd like to check out my work on Europe, you can see it here -
http://eu.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/6892829691?page=4
The last two pages end up in a discussion between me and a troll about why themes are important in fiction at all.
There's plenty else to look through, but I've decided to take a break from Europe because my own thread got derailed and I think my efforts here:
http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/8568397105
Are more fruitful.

By the way, Gradius just got a serious hole in his armor, he basically admitted he shouldn't be discussing literature because he doesn't care about theme. You can easily use it to your advantage - as a literal critic you probably know why his suggestion of what the theme of SC1 could be is not in fact a theme, you probably even know why SC1 has no themes (because the game was never meant to have any, and the central conflict is one of fictional setting and plot).

By doing so and establishing that the existance of theme in a work is not a subjective matter you will be able to prove effectively that SC2 is superior to SC1. You really don't need to demean yourself in a discussion of property rights involved in a fictional setting, a fictional situation with a slightly shifted morality scale.

I personally think that regardless of how you take it morally or ethically or legally, Raynor stealing Terazine from the Tal'Darim was one of his more *%*!@!#% moves, but in no way do I let that derail me into a judgement of character to the extremes some do.

You'll never be able to convince Gradius he's wrong. But at least you can make an example that the sod is completely nutcase.
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I think SC's theme is that sometimes your best efforts amount to naught in the end. Raynor helped to take down the Confederacy, only to have another tyrant take their place. The Overmind finally found the hated homeworld of Aiur, only to die. The protoss finally defeated the Overmind, only to have their homeworld destroyed, with the Conclave dead.


Really, Josh? You gave this credit as being "well supported" and possible themes?
Far too open-minded about the subject matter. You agreed to my definition, remember?

How does this cause the central conflicts at all? The gigantic war betwen the Zerg and the Protoss was not caused by their best efforts being for naught. This supposed subject can be attached to some climaxes of the original campaigns, but it cannot be integrated into the whole "red lining" of the story. The fact that it was not at all for naught completely invalidates it as a suggestion and instead assures the possible subject as being overcoming futility. However - for this to be the case - the story would have to on many, many times present you with a case of defeat. Characters would have to exposit and develop along the lines of hopelessness, which isn't present due to the lack of dynamicism in many of SC1's characters. A theme is not something that only pops up at the critical moments, or just at the end, or only at the beginning. It must RECURSIVELY define the central conflict. Every step is caused by and causes the subject matter.

Theme is not a case of moral interpretation. Theme is something that is woven into the work by the author and can be found by the reader. If there's no reason or evidence to suggest that a theme was woven into the work, there are no possible finds that the reader can make. There's no reason to suspect that the original SC1 and BW were about something or that they were saying something about real life issues independent from setting. It was TvZ, TvT, ZvT, ZvP, PvP and PvZ again.

I'd say this to the bloke personally but I can't take him seriously since he responded to my completely devoid of Blizzard or Starcraft assesment of his.. ahem... technique, by calling me a fanboy.
Edited by Rasofe on 4/5/2013 11:16 AM PDT
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04/03/2013 09:31 PMPosted by Joshua
Going to have to trim this one down, dat 5k character limit. Your description of a dictator makes it sound like at some point this guy decided he would take a "by any means necessary" approach. It's true, that without having that power, he probably wouldn't have thought to go that route, but I don't think that's because power had a corrupting effect, I think that's just because it wasn't a viable option before. If it was, he would have, because that's the kind of person he is.


I'm going to leave this one to the wayside for the moment. Hopefully my answers to the rest will shed some light on this as well. I think we have a more fundamental disagreement.

04/03/2013 09:31 PMPosted by Joshua
Sometimes though, breaking free of your morality is a good thing. I'm normally not one to agree with Mark Twain, but The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn makes a very interesting point about the idea of morality vs. conscience. A forced pattern of behavior from without, vs. a a desire toward certain behavior that comes from within. Power is the necessary element in breaking free from morality and relying on conscience.


May I ask what your conception of morality and conscience are? In general, morality is usually depicted as the beliefs that one holds (usually coming from society, but not always) while conscience is the internal feelings associated with those beliefs. Conscience is the biological response we have when faced with a choice that is contrary to the beliefs (morals) we hold. (I.E. my conscience is telling me not to steal this bread. Why? Because my beliefs are that stealing is wrong)

Let me rephrase. If no one could stop you, would you follow your own desires independent from moral considerations like duty, virtuous ideals, or the greater good? And if you did, what do you think that would end up looking like?


This is a very difficult question to ask, because nobody really knows what they would do until the situation arises. And I am probably the worst person to ask this. I've had professors ask this sort of question in psychology and philosophy classes before and I am always in the tiny minority who says they would continue to act in moral ways.

Most people who answer that question will admit that they would indeed act in immoral ways, and those who answer differently (like me) would most likely act immorally as well.

04/03/2013 09:42 PMPosted by Joshua
Not sure I follow. Kerrigan knew power before. Sure, not power on that level, but she knew enough to where she could have been a massive threat to anyone that she wanted. She wasn't a damsel in distress for quite a long time before Rebel Yell. A puppet, a living weapon, sure, but a damsel in distress? Not unless damsels in distress can suddenly tear through steel with their bare hands and make world-class high-powered rifle shots. :)


I said damsel in distress because of Raynor acting like Kerrigan needed to be saved and Kerrigan asking him to drop the white knight routine (which he was ultimately justified in having considering what wound up happening to Kerrigan). Perhaps 'damsel in distress' brings up the wrong comparisons, but the basic idea is there.
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She already had quite a bit of power, and she was starting to care for people outside of her master. Assuming what you're saying about power is true, it would only have to be enough power to the point where other options open up, apart from a position of powerlessness. I still think the physical changes to her brain explain the rather sudden change in her personality. She hatched a completely different person. Assuming she was changed by power, she would need time to process for that change to occur, time she didn't have.


Just to reiterate, I am arguing from the standpoint that SC1/BW makes sense without outside material and that from a literary perspective Kerrigan=QoB (the argument is outlined in page 1 of the thread). I am not arguing that if we ignore the literary purposes of BW that the natural personality change argument is still the best. As I have said, the biological argument works just fine. It just ignores one of the literary purposes of BW.

Ok, so now about the change through power. When I talk about power, I am not just talking about physical power (like the DBZ fight scenes in HotS). She also gained power in terms of (limited) freedom and in terms of being a leader of the swarm.

A change in personality can occur quite quickly when a giant shock occurs in ones life. Think of a perfect, straight-A student who loses their entire family to a car accident. It would not at all be out of place for that person to spiral downward quite quickly. Kerrigan went from a trusting servant, to being betrayed (on tarsonis), to being scared for her life (reaching out in the chrysalis), to realizing she was not actually being 'harmed' and that she was actually granted power and 'freedom'. After having her life completely turned upside down through betrayal, it is not a stretch for her to become more violent and less trusting.

Being tied to the overmind most likely made this process a little easier. But once she became freed from the overmind, she was able to look at everything from a clear perspective and once again chose power (physical, freedom, leadership of the zerg) over the alternatives of helping the other races because it is the right thing to do and trying to smooth things over with them.
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How does this cause the central conflicts at all? The gigantic war betwen the Zerg and the Protoss was not caused by their best efforts being for naught. This supposed subject can be attached to some climaxes of the original campaigns, but it cannot be integrated into the whole "red lining" of the story. The fact that it was not at all for naught completely invalidates it as a suggestion and instead assures the possible subject as being overcoming futility. However - for this to be the case - the story would have to on many, many times present you with a case of defeat. Characters would have to exposit and develop along the lines of hopelessness, which isn't present due to the lack of dynamicism in many of SC1's characters. A theme is not something that only pops up at the critical moments, or just at the end, or only at the beginning. It must RECURSIVELY define the central conflict. Every step is caused by and causes the subject matter.

Theme is not a case of moral interpretation. Theme is something that is woven into the work by the author and can be found by the reader. If there's no reason or evidence to suggest that a theme was woven into the work, there are no possible finds that the reader can make. There's no reason to suspect that the original SC1 and BW were about something or that they were saying something about real life issues independent from setting. It was TvZ, TvT, ZvT, ZvP, PvP and PvZ again.


I think you are overestimating certain aspects of theme, along with its importance (Note I am NOT saying that theme is not important at all). In any work, there can be multiple themes and sometimes it is not until a person is finished writing that they are even aware of the themes present in their work. This idea that it is something very specially crafted is only an accurate conception of theme when the author is specifically creating a theme-based work.

We can look at SC1 in different ways. For example, we can break it down by campaign.

Terran: Trust and Betrayal - First Raynor is betrayed by the confederacy who he trusted, and later he was betrayed by Mengsk. (who also betrayed Kerrigan)

Zerg: Power - Kerrigan and the Overmind both strove for power and got trapped in the pitfalls of power such as overconfidence (Kerrigan being tricked by Tassadar and the Overmind losing a cerebrate, a previously 'immortal' being)

Protoss: Tradition and change - the importance of being able to change and overcome constraining traditions.
Edited by LovelyMines on 4/5/2013 1:04 PM PDT
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04/05/2013 12:39 PMPosted by LovelyMines
Going to have to trim this one down, dat 5k character limit. Your description of a dictator makes it sound like at some point this guy decided he would take a "by any means necessary" approach. It's true, that without having that power, he probably wouldn't have thought to go that route, but I don't think that's because power had a corrupting effect, I think that's just because it wasn't a viable option before. If it was, he would have, because that's the kind of person he is.


04/05/2013 12:39 PMPosted by LovelyMines
I'm going to leave this one to the wayside for the moment. Hopefully my answers to the rest will shed some light on this as well. I think we have a more fundamental disagreement.


It's possible.

04/03/2013 09:31 PMPosted by Joshua
Sometimes though, breaking free of your morality is a good thing. I'm normally not one to agree with Mark Twain, but The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn makes a very interesting point about the idea of morality vs. conscience. A forced pattern of behavior from without, vs. a a desire toward certain behavior that comes from within. Power is the necessary element in breaking free from morality and relying on conscience.


May I ask what your conception of morality and conscience are? In general, morality is usually depicted as the beliefs that one holds (usually coming from society, but not always) while conscience is the internal feelings associated with those beliefs. Conscience is the biological response we have when faced with a choice that is contrary to the beliefs (morals) we hold. (I.E. my conscience is telling me not to steal this bread. Why? Because my beliefs are that stealing is wrong)


To people who spend any length of time around me in real life, or look at a decent amount of my posts,it probably won't come as a huge shock when I say I agree with Nietzsche when he said, "Morality is the herd-instinct of humanity." Conscience is the thing inside of us that encourages us to live free and be who we are. It's the voice we heed when we're honest with ourselves. It's what enables the hero to break through the threshold guardian at the gates of the tribe's village. What's interesting about Huck Finn, is his morality vs. his conscience. He's a simple person, not a deep thinker, and from a very early age, right and wrong are drilled into him. You'd probably disagree with the rules for right and wrong that he grew up with, as they promoted classism and slavery.

Well, Huck always had internal, conscience-based misgivings whenever he saw these rules in action. He struggled with feelings of guilt because on the inside, he disagreed with what he believed was morally right. He thought he was just an inherently bad person, and was wracked by guilt over it. Huck comes away from all this believing it better to be "evil and unsivilized" than it is to be moral and civilized. What's potent about this story is that no one taught Huck to be the way he was. There was something inside him that transcended morality that said, "No, I don't care if this is "right," I'm still going to fight against this because it's so contrary to my tastes." This makes for a very interesting comparison with the character Drizzt Do'Urden in the Dark Elf trilogy.

This really makes true the phrase, "Being ashamed of one's immorality is the first step in being ashamed of one's morality." -Nietzsche

This is a very difficult question to ask, because nobody really knows what they would do until the situation arises. And I am probably the worst person to ask this. I've had professors ask this sort of question in psychology and philosophy classes before and I am always in the tiny minority who says they would continue to act in moral ways.

Most people who answer that question will admit that they would indeed act in immoral ways, and those who answer differently (like me) would most likely act immorally as well.


It's an easy question, one that I ask myself every time I encounter a situation that warrants a little thinking. Though, I boil it down to much simpler terms; what do you want? That question serves as a guidepost for living a fulfilling life, if one is honest in the answering. Others have phrased it more eloquently; "in the story of your life, what is your greatest ending?"

I said damsel in distress because of Raynor acting like Kerrigan needed to be saved and Kerrigan asking him to drop the white knight routine (which he was ultimately justified in having considering what wound up happening to Kerrigan). Perhaps 'damsel in distress' brings up the wrong comparisons, but the basic idea is there.


Point taken, but I'm still having a hard time seeing how she didn't have power before. You could certainly argue for an unwillingness to use it, or even a lack of knowledge of that power's existence, but she had power.
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A change in personality can occur quite quickly when a giant shock occurs in ones life. Think of a perfect, straight-A student who loses their entire family to a car accident. It would not at all be out of place for that person to spiral downward quite quickly. Kerrigan went from a trusting servant, to being betrayed (on tarsonis), to being scared for her life (reaching out in the chrysalis), to realizing she was not actually being 'harmed' and that she was actually granted power and 'freedom'. After having her life completely turned upside down through betrayal, it is not a stretch for her to become more violent and less trusting.

Being tied to the overmind most likely made this process a little easier. But once she became freed from the overmind, she was able to look at everything from a clear perspective and once again chose power (physical, freedom, leadership of the zerg) over the alternatives of helping the other races because it is the right thing to do and trying to smooth things over with them.


Not bad. I would question the nature of the straight-A student though, because really bad things like what you described above do happen to really good people, and they don't, at least as a rule, spiral out of control like that. I would go so far as to say people act that way (Drinking heavily, thinking about suicide, or taking their pain out on others.) when they feel desperate or hopeless. After her emergence from the cocoon, I didn't get desperate or hopeless from Kerrigan.

Yes, you're right, visceral events like that have been known to elicit personality changes, or at the very least draw up elements from a person that would have been hidden otherwise, but I don't think the kind of changes Kerrigan went through would engender the kinds of feelings that cause such negative behaviors. i can see her being really angry at Mengsk, but going so fast from being what she was to being hyper-aggressive and paranoid, when she was elevated instead of made to feel powerless? Again, unless she was already like that and she just wasn't letting it on, I don't see it.

About the literary purpose of Kerrigan's Brood War arc, I could only say you were right about that purpose if you were right about the nature of her change, and the nature of the effect that new power had on her. That's not something I'm convinced of yet.
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04/05/2013 11:09 AMPosted by Rasofe
I think SC's theme is that sometimes your best efforts amount to naught in the end. Raynor helped to take down the Confederacy, only to have another tyrant take their place. The Overmind finally found the hated homeworld of Aiur, only to die. The protoss finally defeated the Overmind, only to have their homeworld destroyed, with the Conclave dead.


Really, Josh? You gave this credit as being "well supported" and possible themes?
Far too open-minded about the subject matter. You agreed to my definition, remember?

How does this cause the central conflicts at all? The gigantic war betwen the Zerg and the Protoss was not caused by their best efforts being for naught. This supposed subject can be attached to some climaxes of the original campaigns, but it cannot be integrated into the whole "red lining" of the story. The fact that it was not at all for naught completely invalidates it as a suggestion and instead assures the possible subject as being overcoming futility. However - for this to be the case - the story would have to on many, many times present you with a case of defeat. Characters would have to exposit and develop along the lines of hopelessness, which isn't present due to the lack of dynamicism in many of SC1's characters. A theme is not something that only pops up at the critical moments, or just at the end, or only at the beginning. It must RECURSIVELY define the central conflict. Every step is caused by and causes the subject matter.

Theme is not a case of moral interpretation. Theme is something that is woven into the work by the author and can be found by the reader. If there's no reason or evidence to suggest that a theme was woven into the work, there are no possible finds that the reader can make. There's no reason to suspect that the original SC1 and BW were about something or that they were saying something about real life issues independent from setting. It was TvZ, TvT, ZvT, ZvP, PvP and PvZ again.

I'd say this to the bloke personally but I can't take him seriously since he responded to my completely devoid of Blizzard or Starcraft assesment of his.. ahem... technique, by calling me a fanboy.


I said it was decently supported, and it was. I didn't say it was well-supported. Let me put it this way. It's definitely better-supported than a lot of other interpretations for a lot of other story elements that I've heard people talk about in real life. For someone who isn't super-experienced in interpreting literature in that way, I try to encourage rather than poke at any holes that may or may not be there. I'm not going to treat anyone's lack of experience in that area as a flaw to be exploited, but as an opportunity for growth. It wasn't like it was an in-depth analysis anyway. It was kind of off-the-cuff. Give a person time to think, they may surprise you.
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I actually liked the original SC1 campaign/story vs the SC1 BW campaign/story.

The original was so fun...it was often tongue in cheek and blatantly copied from a number of science fiction movies. It was not supposed to make complete sense or be completely serious. It was meant to be a great experience that just happened to have great characters/dialogue/story.

This is the key when writing for science fiction. If you write literal character development and conflict stories, your stories will become soulless and will lose their magic. Science fiction in inherently symbolic...and a way of communicating inherently un-sci-fi concepts cloaked sci-fi clothing. Whether it is Lucas admitting Star Wars was an abstraction for the Vietnam War or Gene Roddenberry admitting one of his secrets was for story development was to model almost all his ideas on complex/creative ideas that he couldn't get away with writing about conventionally.

HOTS was too anthropomorphic and literal. There was no depth to the story...it was point A to point B...Kerrigan is evil and kills things...and the only variety is Kerrigan occasional showing signs that she is not evil. Very one-dimensional and lacking in symbolism and metaphors.

Original SC was great though... It examined the ideas of dogmatic tradition (protoss), red-neckness (terran), transformation (Kerrigan/Mengsk all go through surprising changes) and evolution/collective consciousness (zerg).
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To people who spend any length of time around me in real life, or look at a decent amount of my posts,it probably won't come as a huge shock when I say I agree with Nietzsche when he said, "Morality is the herd-instinct of humanity." Conscience is the thing inside of us that encourages us to live free and be who we are. It's the voice we heed when we're honest with ourselves. It's what enables the hero to break through the threshold guardian at the gates of the tribe's village. What's interesting about Huck Finn, is his morality vs. his conscience. He's a simple person, not a deep thinker, and from a very early age, right and wrong are drilled into him. You'd probably disagree with the rules for right and wrong that he grew up with, as they promoted classism and slavery.

Well, Huck always had internal, conscience-based misgivings whenever he saw these rules in action. He struggled with feelings of guilt because on the inside, he disagreed with what he believed was morally right. He thought he was just an inherently bad person, and was wracked by guilt over it. Huck comes away from all this believing it better to be "evil and unsivilized" than it is to be moral and civilized. What's potent about this story is that no one taught Huck to be the way he was. There was something inside him that transcended morality that said, "No, I don't care if this is "right," I'm still going to fight against this because it's so contrary to my tastes." This makes for a very interesting comparison with the character Drizzt Do'Urden in the Dark Elf trilogy.

This really makes true the phrase, "Being ashamed of one's immorality is the first step in being ashamed of one's morality." -Nietzsche


Ok so were definitely working off of two different conceptions. I'm working off the conception of morality as the personal values of right and wrong. My reply about our dear friend Mr. Huck would be that his 'conscience' is in fact his true morality. Although he is taught one set of ethics, he rejects that set and has made his own.

So keep in mind that when I discuss morality, and the corruption of said morality, I am talking about the internal representation of right and wrong of an individual. Being corrupted in this case means to either act contrary to ones representation of morality or completely neglecting any sort of representation of morality.

It's an easy question, one that I ask myself every time I encounter a situation that warrants a little thinking. Though, I boil it down to much simpler terms; what do you want? That question serves as a guidepost for living a fulfilling life, if one is honest in the answering. Others have phrased it more eloquently; "in the story of your life, what is your greatest ending?"


lol, again, I'm not the greatest person to ask this question. I'm not worried about any end point for life. My view of life is that it is a journey without a set endpoint. I suppose my main 'goal' would be to live a life I can be proud of in that if I were talk to anyone, whether it is a murderer on death row or god himself [if god exists], I would not be ashamed of disclosing any aspect of my life (whether it is something done in public or private).

Point taken, but I'm still having a hard time seeing how she didn't have power before. You could certainly argue for an unwillingness to use it, or even a lack of knowledge of that power's existence, but she had power.


I don't think I've argued that she ever completely lacked power (everyone has power of some sort), but only that she gained a lot more. She lacked power in some areas (freedom) while had quite a bit in other areas (psionic power). She did, however, gain a significant amount of power post-infestation in both areas.

04/05/2013 04:31 PMPosted by Joshua
Not bad. I would question the nature of the straight-A student though, because really bad things like what you described above do happen to really good people, and they don't, at least as a rule, spiral out of control like that. I would go so far as to say people act that way (Drinking heavily, thinking about suicide, or taking their pain out on others.) when they feel desperate or hopeless. After her emergence from the cocoon, I didn't get desperate or hopeless from Kerrigan.


Indeed. I was not trying to provide a completely accurate analogy, but rather establish that rather abrupt changes in personality can indeed occur when ones life receives an extreme shock.
Edited by LovelyMines on 4/7/2013 11:56 AM PDT
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Yes, you're right, visceral events like that have been known to elicit personality changes, or at the very least draw up elements from a person that would have been hidden otherwise, but I don't think the kind of changes Kerrigan went through would engender the kinds of feelings that cause such negative behaviors. i can see her being really angry at Mengsk, but going so fast from being what she was to being hyper-aggressive and paranoid, when she was elevated instead of made to feel powerless? Again, unless she was already like that and she just wasn't letting it on, I don't see it.


I'd probably argue that she was indeed made to feel powerless, being abandoned, captured, forcibly placed inside of a chrysalis at the hands of seemingly ruthless aliens that just slaughtered millions (billions?), and being physically altered. It was not until she left the chrysalis that she realized that she had nothing to fear.

Here are a few questions that might help a little: What defined Kerrigan pre-infestation? What did her life revolve around? What was its purpose? How did her abandonment and subsequent infestation affect her in relation to the previous questions?

About the literary purpose of Kerrigan's Brood War arc, I could only say you were right about that purpose if you were right about the nature of her change, and the nature of the effect that new power had on her. That's not something I'm convinced of yet.


I see we are working from different fundamental viewpoints again. I'm going from literary observations and assuming that they are correct to infer things about Kerrigan (namely that Kerrigan = QoB and that she was fully in control of her actions in BW).

Would I be correct in saying that you are taking the viewpoint that Kerrigan =/= QoB based on the observation that her personality changed abruptly from the last time we saw her as a human and the first time we saw her infested and thus infer that there is a biological explanation?
Edited by LovelyMines on 4/7/2013 11:57 AM PDT
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