Monday, December 13, 2010

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm Ending? (SPOILERS)

Found this online today.  Supposedly it's the cinematic ending for the Heart of the Swarm.  I can't copy the embed HTML to post the video here and in any event, given how Activision has yanked it from elsewhere due to copyright, they'd make me take it down sooner or later anyway.

If it's genuine, it must be an early version due to how crude the graphics are.  It does correspond with the information released early on about how Kerrigan, de-infested at the climax of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, rebuilds her power over the Zerg Swarm via mutations, since she is essentially back to being the Queen of Blades.  She sounds like Tricia Helfer, who voiced her in both her human and Zerg incarnations in Wings of Liberty, only without the scary buzzing aspect to her voice.

I'd rather this not be the ending, or at least the final ending. 

For starters, Kerrigan is infested once again, which isn't really necessary for her to control the Zerg.  In some of the canonical material taking place earlier, she was able to control individual Zerg telepathically while a Confederate Ghost.  Her removing the last of the psionic inhibitors the Confederates installed in her during the first game should be enough for her to control great numbers of them without turning her back into a bug.

Her leaving human space, and thus Raynor, behind, is also rather sad.  There's enough sadness in this world as it is.

Furthermore, what exactly is going on with the naked Kerrigan clone in the tank?  Unless whatever is being done to her causes her to psionically attack Kerrigan, cloning doesn't work that way.  If someone cloned somebody, they'd be identical genetically but a lot younger and attacking them wouldn't hurt the original genetic donor a la stabbing a voodoo doll.

Of course, she could be a "Chekhov's Gun" if Blizzard ultimately wants a happy ending for Raynor and Kerrigan.  Bug-Kerrigan could be killed or mortally wounded in, say, the final battle with the Dark Voice (which would be in the Protoss campaign, which takes place after Heart of the Swarm) and telepathically transfers her consciousness into the clone, which given her circumstances, might not have a mind of her own and could serve as a nice backup body.

Good to see Arcturus gets his, although I figured given his cunning and selfishness, he'd flee his crumbling empire with his hard-core loyalists and ally with the Dark Voice for revenge, the promise of supernatural powers, etc. and wouldn't be punished for his many crimes until the absolute end of the game.  Still, this is a fairly cool death--Arcturus cursing his enemies ("choke on the ashes") and Kerrigan gets a really nice "THIS IS JUSTICE!" death-scream coupled with (I assume) some kind of psionic attack to finish him off.

I'm wondering if this is a fake designed to mislead people, though, as some people seem to think.  Blizzard could release an abandoned ending or even cook up something entirely new to generate buzz and keep people talking during the long wait until Heart of the Swarm is released.  Some people on seem to think it's an older ending for Wings of Liberty that got scrapped due to the whole "Kerrigan must save the universe from the Dark Voice" story element, which does not appear to be accounted for in this video.  One person even claimed it dated back to August of 2009, close to a year before Wings of Liberty was released, which if true, would be a strong argument in favor of it being an abandoned ending for the first game.

I did post some video here a few months back from Blizzcon 2010.  There's a piece of production art depicting Kerrigan as a human (wearing Ghost armor no less) summoning an Ultralisk with what looks like a swarm of Zerglings underneath it.  If I remember right, Ultralisks are fairly high on the tech tree, so she'd be well on her way to regaining control of the Swarm if she was able to control them.  And she isn't a bug again, at least superficially.

Another Blizzard leak seems to indicate Heart of the Swarm's release date will be during the "holiday" period (I'm assuming Christmas-ish) in 2011, which makes commercial sense.  I guess we'll have to wait until then to find out.


  1. Could the 'Kerrigan in a tank' scenes be a flashback to Kerrigan's original time with Arcturus?
    I agree that the fact that the lack of the Dark Voice element - much as I dislike that element - would seem to be a rather serious blow against this this movie's credibility as the actual (if unfinished) ending cinematic. That there is Blizzard involvement seems clear - Kerrigan's voice does sound like Tricia Helfer, and Chris Metzen provides the other two voices - but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is what it is purported to mean.
    Of course... if it was from August of 2009 and was an early version of a scrapped WoL ending, that means that less than a year before Starcraft II came out (and the last delay was stated to be for balance reasons), they heavily rewrote the storyline. Considering that the campaign was supposed to one-third complete in June 2008... I certainly hope this was not a scrapped WoL ending if the dating is accurate.

  2. Kerrigan having some kind of "tase-me chip" installed in her brain when Arcturus first got his hands on her would make more sense than some clone in a jar somewhere.

    However, I don't know if there's anything in "Uprising" (the novel about how she joined the Sons of Korhal) that would indicate she ever got naked in a tank at any point, plus Mengsk had every reason to use the fail-safe in "Brood War" but did not.

    (It's true he might not have been in close proximity to She Herself when she betrays him on Korhal or when he attacks her over Char, but he could easily amplify the signal to get it done.)

    I just hope they don't go with the ending depicted here--however good it is to see Mengsk get his, Kerrigan turning back into the Queen of Blades (albeit an apparently non-evil one) and leaving Raynor behind forever would be too sad.

    To put it in TVTropes terms, the earlier installments were Glass Half-Empty and GrimDark enough. I think Raynor at least has Earned His Happy Ending.