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StarCraft Logo

StarCraft series

StarCraft 2 Logo

StarCraft II series

StarCraft is a military science fiction franchise owned by Blizzard Entertainment. It is most notable for the real-time strategy games StarCraft and StarCraft II.

Historically, there has been overlap between the StarCraft and Warcraft playerbases—a player might start with one IP, then shift to the next as the next RTS was released.[1]

Parallels to Warcraft III[]

Several gaming elements first introduced in StarCraft were later adapted for use in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

Plot progression[]

Previous Warcraft games offered two campaigns, orc and human, which essentially dealt with the same events through different eyes. With three races, Blizzard decided to stack the campaigns to deal with different events, told in chronological order in one combined story arc. Essentially, the player was dissuaded from playing the zerg or the protoss out of order, because they didn't learn the plot details of the terrans. This was adapted for Warcraft III with a minor difference: the player no longer had option to defy the chronology. Additionally, the campaigns for both games proceeded similarly (for the original game, the Human campaign went first, then the Evil campaign second, and finally, the "Neutral" party third. For their expansions, the "Neutral" party went first, then the Human campaign second, and the Evil force third).

Specific influences[]

In the final mission of the game, the player commanded two armies, one protoss and one terran, in a last-ditch effort to save the galaxy by defeating the insidious Overmind of the zerg, which was hell-bent on assimilating the protoss in order to combine their purity of form with the zerg's purity of essence to become a "perfect" species. Similarly, in the final mission of Reign of Chaos, the user commands the Sentinel army reinforced by the forces of the Alliance and Horde to stop Archimonde from ascending Mount Hyjal. The two Antagonist/Anti-Hero characters, Arthas Menethil and Sarah Kerrigan, are similar to one another. Kerrigan's transformation from human to zerg, and her subsequent embracing of the darkness, also closely parallels the tale of Sylvanas Windrunner.

Unequal units[]

Warcraft I and Warcraft II were completely balanced: for each human unit or building, there was a corresponding orc unit or building with similar damage, armor, and requirements. The only differences occurred with spells. In StarCraft, no such perfect equality existed.

The four races have different advantages, most of them similar to the racial attributes of the terrans, zerg, and protoss from StarCraft. The different strategically significant traits of the races in StarCraft have been combined in new ways to form the Warcraft III races. The Warcraft III night elves, for instance, resemble the terrans in that their buildings can move and their base fighting unit has a missile attack, but like the zerg, their worker units are consumed when they create most buildings. The Scourge have the protoss's ability to summon buildings rather than constructing them, so a worker unit is not tied up in construction; also like the protoss, they have a dedicated invisible spy unit, but their buildings have to be constructed upon dedicated infested terrain called Blight (like zerg creep), and their army line-up is strategically similar to that of the zerg.


The basic terran combat unit, the marine, is a fairly durable ranged unit, capable of attacking both ground and space units. By contrast, the first fighter unit available to the zerg was the tiny, brittle zergling who could only attack ground units and whose usefulness came mostly from its low cost, speed, and that two spawned from one larva. Finally, the protoss zealot, though only attacking ground units, is extremely durable, in addition to shields. Similarly, the central zerg building, the hatchery, evolves into a lair and later into a hive, while the terran command center and protoss nexus do not evolve.

In Warcraft III, the races are balanced from the perspective that they all have infantry, ranged, cavalry and spellcasters, with similar-type production facilities, but feature different specific abilities and traits.


References to StarCraft[]

  • In World of Warcraft, zerging is a term that now means attacking a player or mob (or a group composed of them) with a far bigger group. The word is derived from the "zergling rush" strategy in StarCraft.
  • Zerg drones mutate into structures, the player using the Drone unit. In Warcraft III, night elf wisps morph into structures, the wisp likewise being lost.
  • All zerg structures must be built on creep. The undead in Warcraft III must build all their structures on a substance known as blight, which possesses similar properties.
  • The protoss summon their structures onto the battlefield. The undead do so likewise in Warcraft III.
  • Many terran structures are mobile. The same applies for many night elf structures in Warcraft III, which are able to "uproot" themselves.
  • The protoss stalker possesses an ability known as "Spell arcane blink [Blink]". An identical ability is possessed by the night elf warden in Warcraft III and the mage character class in World of Warcraft (although the latter can only teleport a short distance in front of them).
  • Marine, zergling, hydralisk and Space Fel Orc (based on the firebat unit) models can be found in Warcraft III.
  • If the player zoom's in very close and stand under a goblin shredder in World of Warcraft, they will see that there is a miniature duplicate of the Brood War box art (the picture of Kerrigan as the "Queen of Blades") on the monitor. The Ability mount shreddermount [Sky Golem] mount also has a picture of Kerrigan, but as the "Primal Queen of Blades" from Heart of the Swarm.
  • Lord Marshal Raynor was found during the portal event in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. His name is a reference to the terran hero, Jim Raynor (a former Confederate marshal).
  • Inv staff 59 [Zhar'doom, Greatstaff of the Devourer] is an epic DPS-caster staff that drops from Illidan Stormrage in the Black Temple. The staff looks like a zergling. Alternatively, this may be a reference to a Devouring One (an upgraded zergling NPC unit).
  • Inv egg 03 [Heavy Murloc Egg]: Grunty, the 2009 BlizzCon Murloc, looks like the Marine unit from StarCraft. The Zergling Leash pet will kill Grunty. The battle pet has the themed abilities Peticon-humanoid Inv musket 02 [Gauss Rifle], Peticon-magical Inv gizmo runicmanainjector [Stimpack], and Peticon-mechanical Inv gizmo felironshell [U-238 Rounds].
  • Spell shadow summonfelhunter [Zergling Leash]: Zergling, from the original Collector's Edition, is based off the Zergling unit. The Zergling is weak, but can easily swarm the enemy in larger numbers for a quick victory. The battle pet has the themed abilities Peticon-magical Ability rogue sprint [Metabolic Boost] and Peticon-magical Spell shadow summonfelhunter [Zergling Rush].
  • Ability pet baneling [Baneling]: Baneling, the Heart of the Swarm Collector's Edition reward, is based off the Baneling unit, known for dealing heavy damage when exploding. The battle pet has the themed abilities Peticon-magical Inv misc monsterclaw 07 [Centrifugal Hooks] andPeticon-magical Ability pet baneling [Baneling Burst].
  • T roboticon [Mini Thor]: Mini Thor, the Wings of Liberty Collector's Edition reward, is based off the Terran unit.
  • Ability felarakkoa eyeofterrok [Pro Toss] is a reference to the Protoss race in StarCraft.
  • N [20-40] We Must Construct Additional Pylons and N [62-65] Deconstruct Additional Pylons are references to the phrase uttered when a player attempts to construct units without sufficient supplies in the StarCraft games.

References to Warcraft[]

  • In StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, an achievement called World of Warpcraft is an obvious reference to World of Warcraft. To earn this achievement, you had to destroy 6 Terran units as they are warped in during the "Dark Whispers" mission on at least Normal difficulty.
  • On top of the merc haven in StarCraft II, a holographic woman can be seen doing the night elf dance (each gender of each race having their own dance in World of Warcraft).

War3 Asset Mod[]

Over three thousand original Warcraft III material assets have been released for use in the map editor of StarCraft II in patch 2.1.9 in 2015, as well as the addiction of new hero models for the 4 primary races and some other new models. Original models including neutral creatures and their sounds as well as doodads, structures, spell effects, ambient sounds, music and custom user interfaces for each race.[2] In StarCraft II with patch 5.0.0 in 2020. An official War3 Asset Mod includes a whole set of working data that includes races, units, buildings, and abilities.[3]




  • StarCraft possess the Argus Stone, Argus crystals, Argus talismans, etc. The homeworld of the draenei is a world called Argus.
  • The capital of the island nation of Kul Tiras in Warcraft is Boralus. In StarCraft, the capital of the planet of Braxis is Boralis.
  • Demon fel hunters in Warcraft bear great similarity to zerglings.
  • The titans, a race of supreme beings which seed life on various worlds in the Warcraft universe, could be taken from the xel'naga, a similar god-like race in StarCraft.


  • Acolyte: My life for I mean Ner'zhul! (a quote of the zealot taking precedence over an acolyte's worship of the Lich King)
  • Artanis: This is not Warcraft in space! (a reference to the phrase used to coin the StarCraft alpha, which bore great resemblance to Warcraft II)
  • Artanis: What do I look like, an orc? (Warcraft orcs, if clicked on enough times, will exclaim "stop poking me!")
  • Mortar Team: Tassadar has failed us. You must not. (a gag quote in Warcraft III and a repeat of Aldaris in the first mission briefing of Episode III)

Arcade Workshop[]

Arcade (also known as Arcade Workshop) offers the StarCraft community an exciting new way to discover, rate, and play a wide array of community and Blizzard created games. Arcade is available within the StarCraft II client, located in the main menu at the left of the screen after you log in.

Experience thousands of games
  • Discover and play new games created by players like you using Blizzard’s own, official developer tools.
Arcade is free
  • Arcade is free. Download the free StarCraft II Starter Edition, log in, and start playing!
A community of builders & players
  • Rate games, talk shop with other players via the Arcade forums, and provide your design feedback directly to the games’ creators.


  • StarCraft started development as a "orcs in space version" based off of Warcraft II.[4]

See also[]


  1. ^ 2023-06-12, The Perfect Mix of Warcraft & Starcraft? Stormgate Developers Deep Dive. YouTube, retrieved on 2023-06-14
  2. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Traysent 2015-02-02. Warcraft III Assets Now Available on the PTR. Blizzard Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2015-03-08.
  3. ^ StarCraft II 5.0 Patch Notes. Blizzard Entertainment (2020-07-27).
  4. ^ Blizzard Retrospective (33min40sec), Blizzard Entertainment, 08.03.2011.

External links[]