Kerrigan's Motives

#1 Posted by ExplodingTuba (93 posts) -

***SPOILERS***  IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED STARCRAFT II: WINGS OF LIBERTY, THE ENDING WILL BE DISCUSSED. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
 
After having just pulled a "Vinny" where I replayed through Starcraft, Starcraft: Brood War and Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty over the course of May I am a bit confused about the story of Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, at least what I have heard and read about it so far. I've always assumed that the reason Kerrigan joined the Zerg faction was because of her mutation into a Zerg/Human hybrid. Yet, after listening to Brad on this week's Bombcast it appears as though Kerrigan will retain her allegiance to the Zerg, despite having the "Zerg" seemingly removed from her body at the end of the Wings of Liberty. Obviously not all of the "Zerg" was removed due to her hair retaining its look when she was the "Queen of Blades" and also Brad's mention of her combining and choosing between Zerg and Ghost powers.  If all of the news about Heart of the Swarm is true, and I have accurately described the actions of the first three Starcraft games, then I pose a question which is twofold 1) Why has Karrigan seemingly retained her allegiance to the Zerg? Is there plot information that I seemingly overlooked, a key piece of dialogue that explains her motive, or something that will likely be addressed in the Heart of the Swarm? 2) How much of her allegiance to the Zerg in all three games was a result of the "Infestation", how much was due to the betrayal she experienced by the Terran forces and how much is just good old fashion game developer BS? 
 
All of this is just some food for thought and my hope that a healthy discussion of one of the best game franchises of all time can take place. I hope you all can school me in your fact checking and your infinite encyclopedia  of useless Starcraft trivia.

#2 Edited by Donos (1197 posts) -

The way I see it, Kerrigan does not, and arguably never has had any "allegiance" to the Zerg. Rather, she has some goals and they're her best tool for achieving it. Considering she's trying to destroy an empire and is universally hated, it seems like a reasonable choice.
 
Edit: Thinking back over the canon, here's what I'm fairly sure happened. Starcraft 1, kerrigan might as well be a zombie. Then the overmind dies, Kerrigan regains control of herself and starts setting some goals. Brood War ensues with Kerrigan just building up power for... some reason. Going into Wings of Liberty, it seems the reason was base need to kill stuff the Zerg have forced on them (see all the Zeratul flashback stuff), including Kerrigan.  I'm guessing that now that she's been de-zergified she doesn't have that problem any more. Now she just wants to kill the shit out of Mengsk for fairly good reasons, and her Zerg are the best way of doing it.

#3 Posted by siaynoq (86 posts) -

I think it's lame that Kerrigan is so hellbent on getting revenge on Mengsk. Wasn't it Kerrigan who told Zeratul to stop being so petty because the whole universe was now at stake?

Mengsk was a great guy when you think about it. Terran governments in Starcraft never seemed exactly stable. But it did seem that Mengsk had created one. And he was protecting people, wasn't he? I hated Jim Raynor cause all he wanted to do was stick it to Mengsk (and maybe free Kerrigan I guess), but that just seemed totally selfish. All he did was weaken the Terrans. And Mengsk was furthermore a great guy cause he told his son how he really shouldn't invade the Zerg homeworld. But his son did anyway, and look how many people died cause of that. I don't know. I guess you can always gather more minerals and build more guys though. With how much people SEEM to be dying in Starcraft, it's amazing that they can replenish their populations so fast to keep going to war like they do.

#4 Posted by Turambar (6892 posts) -
@siaynoq said:

I think it's lame that Kerrigan is so hellbent on getting revenge on Mengsk. Wasn't it Kerrigan who told Zeratul to stop being so petty because the whole universe was now at stake?

Mengsk was a great guy when you think about it. Terran governments in Starcraft never seemed exactly stable. But it did seem that Mengsk had created one. And he was protecting people, wasn't he? I hated Jim Raynor cause all he wanted to do was stick it to Mengsk (and maybe free Kerrigan I guess), but that just seemed totally selfish. All he did was weaken the Terrans. And Mengsk was furthermore a great guy cause he told his son how he really shouldn't invade the Zerg homeworld. But his son did anyway, and look how many people died cause of that. I don't know. I guess you can always gather more minerals and build more guys though. With how much people SEEM to be dying in Starcraft, it's amazing that they can replenish their populations so fast to keep going to war like they do.

To quote Mengsk: "I will rule the Terran Dominion or see it burned down around me."  He doesn't care about the Terran race.  He is just an egomaniac.  That's pretty much it.
#5 Posted by Zolfe (262 posts) -

@siaynoq said:

I think it's lame that Kerrigan is so hellbent on getting revenge on Mengsk. Wasn't it Kerrigan who told Zeratul to stop being so petty because the whole universe was now at stake?

Mengsk was a great guy when you think about it. Terran governments in Starcraft never seemed exactly stable. But it did seem that Mengsk had created one. And he was protecting people, wasn't he? I hated Jim Raynor cause all he wanted to do was stick it to Mengsk (and maybe free Kerrigan I guess), but that just seemed totally selfish. All he did was weaken the Terrans. And Mengsk was furthermore a great guy cause he told his son how he really shouldn't invade the Zerg homeworld. But his son did anyway, and look how many people died cause of that. I don't know. I guess you can always gather more minerals and build more guys though. With how much people SEEM to be dying in Starcraft, it's amazing that they can replenish their populations so fast to keep going to war like they do.

this is what Mengsk will probably say right before Kerrigan kills him lol

#6 Edited by Spoonman671 (4769 posts) -

If you could telepathically control a race of killer alien bug-things, you would probably use them to achieve whatever goal you wanted to go for.

#7 Posted by Irvandus (2881 posts) -

She wants to kill Mengsks because he's an ass.

#8 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19388 posts) -

I don't understand why she seeks revenge against Mengsk. I thought her transformation into a Zerg made her have no interest in her past self, yet the fact that she seeks revenge for what she became is kind of an indication that she still clings to humanity, isn't it? Man, I don't really like Kerrigan. The Zerg should rebel and kill her or something. Have Za'gara deliver the final blow. I want the Overmind back.

#9 Posted by Shirogane (3581 posts) -

Mengsk is pretty pure evil. He's even messing around with the hybrid stuff. For all we know, he could be totally involved with them.

#10 Posted by Unmada (68 posts) -

Yeah, I have the feeling that petty revenge won't be the primary reason for Kerrigan to go after Mengsk. I expect we'll learn much more about his role in the main conflict. After all, Blizzard isn't about to give us the crux of Kerrigan's arc in a teaser trailer, right? I fully anticipate being led to sympathize with Kerrigan's motives once we all get swept up in the game's story.

#11 Edited by Thule (692 posts) -

@Unmada said:

Yeah, I have the feeling that petty revenge won't be the primary reason for Kerrigan to go after Mengsk. I expect we'll learn much more about his role in the main conflict. After all, Blizzard isn't about to give us the crux of Kerrigan's arc in a teaser trailer, right? I fully anticipate being led to sympathize with Kerrigan's motives once we all get swept up in the game's story.

I wouldn't exactly call Kerrigan's motive for revenge 'petty'. Mengsk deliberately left her to die on Tarsonis which led to her capture and enslavement to the Zerg Overmind. I also don't think she needs more motivation than revenge, that's motive enough. Revenge stories also tend to be the best stories, so can't say I'm dissapointed about that.

#12 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19388 posts) -
@Thule said: 

I wouldn't exactly call Kerrigan's motive for revenge 'petty'. Mengsk deliberately left her to die on Tarsonis which led to her capture and enslavement to the Zerg Overmind. I also don't think she needs more motivation than revenge, that's motive enough. Revenge stories also tend to be the best stories, so can't say I'm dissapointed about that.

She wasn't enslaved by the Overmind; she became one of them and even an equal. In fact, she became a powerful Zerg. I don't see why she would seek revenge if she was perfectly fine identifying herself as the 'Queen of Blades' and master of the Zerg. She became that way because of Mengsk so, if anything, she should be thankful to him for becoming the Queen, not seek revenge because she lost her humanity. Unless the end of WoL made her regain some of that humanity and in turn reject part of what she became. But then, why would the Zerg ever accept for her to regain her position as Queen?
#13 Posted by RollingZeppelin (2107 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@Thule said:

I wouldn't exactly call Kerrigan's motive for revenge 'petty'. Mengsk deliberately left her to die on Tarsonis which led to her capture and enslavement to the Zerg Overmind. I also don't think she needs more motivation than revenge, that's motive enough. Revenge stories also tend to be the best stories, so can't say I'm dissapointed about that.

She wasn't enslaved by the Overmind; she became one of them and even an equal. In fact, she became a powerful Zerg. I don't see why she would seek revenge if she was perfectly fine identifying herself as the 'Queen of Blades' and master of the Zerg. She became that way because of Mengsk so, if anything, she should be thankful to him for becoming the Queen, not seek revenge because she lost her humanity. Unless the end of WoL made her regain some of that humanity and in turn reject part of what she became. But then, why would the Zerg ever accept for her to regain her position as Queen?

It's possible to resent someone for making you a monster, and at the same time embrace the power that your new identity gives you.

#14 Posted by RollingZeppelin (2107 posts) -

@siaynoq said:

I think it's lame that Kerrigan is so hellbent on getting revenge on Mengsk. Wasn't it Kerrigan who told Zeratul to stop being so petty because the whole universe was now at stake?

Mengsk was a great guy when you think about it. Terran governments in Starcraft never seemed exactly stable. But it did seem that Mengsk had created one. And he was protecting people, wasn't he? I hated Jim Raynor cause all he wanted to do was stick it to Mengsk (and maybe free Kerrigan I guess), but that just seemed totally selfish. All he did was weaken the Terrans. And Mengsk was furthermore a great guy cause he told his son how he really shouldn't invade the Zerg homeworld. But his son did anyway, and look how many people died cause of that. I don't know. I guess you can always gather more minerals and build more guys though. With how much people SEEM to be dying in Starcraft, it's amazing that they can replenish their populations so fast to keep going to war like they do.

You hated Jim because he wanted to oust a brutal dictator who was clearly oppressing his people (did you not even play the 1st mission of SC2?).

Hey guys, I think that guy they shot in Libya was a body double, Gaddaffi is clearly hiding somewhere in Giantbomb's interwebs!!

#15 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19388 posts) -
@RollingZeppelin said: 

It's possible to resent someone for making you a monster, and at the same time embrace the power that your new identity gives you.

I never thought Kerrigan identified herself as a monster after her transformation into a Zerg. The only time she says something like that is when she tries to convince Tassadar and Raynor to ally themselves with her, and she was only lying there.
#16 Edited by Thule (692 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

She wasn't enslaved by the Overmind; she became one of them and even an equal. In fact, she became a powerful Zerg. I don't see why she would seek revenge if she was perfectly fine identifying herself as the 'Queen of Blades' and master of the Zerg. She became that way because of Mengsk so, if anything, she should be thankful to him for becoming the Queen, not seek revenge because she lost her humanity. Unless the end of WoL made her regain some of that humanity and in turn reject part of what she became. But then, why would the Zerg ever accept for her to regain her position as Queen?

She wasn't enslaved? I don't know what you would call being captured and transformed into a some human-zerg hybrid by the Overmind. I also don't think you can say she became an equal in the Zerg swarm. The Zerg have no concept of equality. They're a race of living weapons, wielded by a single entity, the Overmind. Neither Kerrigan nor the cerebrates were able to overrule the Overmind on anything. Kerrigan might have been retconned into being some special weapon designed by the Overmind, but she certainly had no choice in the matter.

Kerrigan should be thankful to Mengsk? How would you like it if some alien species transformed you into something no longer human and forced you to fight against your own beliefs and species? Wouldn't you want to take revenge on the man responsible for that happening to you? Sure, all the Zerg powers are cool and all, but try putting yourself in Kerrigan's shoes for a bit. It's only now that the Queen of Blades is dead and Kerrigan realizes what she's done and what she's lost that she's trying to take revenge upon the person ultimately responsible for it, Mengsk.

The Zerg don't really have a choice in the matter. Like I said, they're a race of living weapons bred to do one thing: obey. The Queen of Blades may be dead, but Kerrigan still has the power to control the Zerg, so I see no reason for her to deny using the zerg as they're meant to: a weapon. In this case a weapon against Mengsk. As you point out, why would the Zerg accept her? They don't, That's why the HotS campaign is about Kerrigan killing the other Queens to regain her position as sole ruler of the Swarm.

#17 Posted by SSully (4319 posts) -

@siaynoq: Mengsk is a text book tyrant with how he rules. Sure from some perspectives he may look good, he does have a structured government in place, but he oppresses his people. Just replay the first mission of SC2 and you will get a good idea how he operates.

#18 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19388 posts) -
@Thule: The Overmind didn't control Kerrigan when she became a Zerg; she served the Swarm willingly. The definition of being enslaved is to forcefully serve someone unwillingly, but that was never Kerrigan's status as the Queen. She got captured as a human, yes, but was not enslaved as a Zerg. I'm disregarding her previous status as a human because she no longer was once the Zerg took possession of her; she became one of them. She became even better than the minions because she was in a position of dominance, just like the cerebrates you mentioned (except they actually were forceful servants of the Overmind, unlike Kerrigan). She doesn't have a choice of becoming a Zerg, but when she is, she definitely doesn't hate who she is. 
 
And that's why as a Zerg she should be thankful to Mengsk; because she obviously enjoyed being the Queen of Blades. But as I mentioned before, if we are to take that the ending of Wings of Liberty means she's become more human than Zerg, that would obviously give motive to why she actively seeks revenge. However, I did not know that it was actually known that Kerrigan would be using the Zerg as a weapon against the other Queens during the campaign, which makes sense. 
 
Though I'm not sure I'm too happy about that plot point. Like I said before, I'd enjoy it if Kerrigan got killed.
#19 Posted by Thule (692 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@Thule: The Overmind didn't control Kerrigan when she became a Zerg; she served the Swarm willingly. The definition of being enslaved is to forcefully serve someone unwillingly, but that was never Kerrigan's status as the Queen. She got captured as a human, yes, but was not enslaved as a Zerg. I'm disregarding her previous status as a human because she no longer was once the Zerg took possession of her; she became one of them. She became even better than the minions because she was in a position of dominance, just like the cerebrates you mentioned (except they actually were forceful servants of the Overmind, unlike Kerrigan). She doesn't have a choice of becoming a Zerg, but when she is, she definitely doesn't hate who she is.

I don't think you understand the point I'm trying to make, nor do you understand what the Zerg are as a race. You use the word 'willingly' describing Kerrigan serving the Overmind, but you don't understand that 'will' has nothing to do with it. After her transformation, Kerrigan and the Queen of Blades are kind of like two different persons, trapped in the same body, with one being dominant over the other. The human side of Kerrigan enslaved to the alien zerg side of the Queen of Blades. This is made clear if you play the SC1 campaign, where the Queen of Blades is clearly influenced by her human side, with her sparing Jim Raynor's life when she could've killed him, however it's still the alien side of her that's in overall control.

Perhaps her zerg side does not hate herself, but I think the human side does. Especially considering all that she's done. The people she betrayed(Brood War) and the millions she's killed(WoL).

After the ending of WoL, it appears that the human side of Kerrigan is once again in control, however some parts of the Queen of Blades remain with her still being able to control the swarm.It remains to be seen whether the actual personality of the Queen of Blades remains, most likely not considering the ending of WoL, but we're not gonna know for sure once the expansion comes out.

I think that Raynor's suddenly treating Kerrigan as a lost love in WoL is a little ridiculous, considering the events of Brood War, her betrayals, and Raynor's vow to kill her. They were flirty with one another in SC1, but they were never real love interests. I'm not sure whether I'd like her to get killed, especially considering Blizzard is currently trying to redeem Kerrigan. I'm guessing we might see her die as a self-sacrifice against the Xel'naga, similar to how Tassadar died in SC1.

I just hope we're not gonna get a sappy Raynor and Kerrigan live happily ever after ending, but we'll see.

#20 Posted by Dtat (1630 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

I don't understand why she seeks revenge against Mengsk. I thought her transformation into a Zerg made her have no interest in her past self, yet the fact that she seeks revenge for what she became is kind of an indication that she still clings to humanity, isn't it? Man, I don't really like Kerrigan. The Zerg should rebel and kill her or something. Have Za'gara deliver the final blow. I want the Overmind back.

i assume when she became mostly human again, she regretted all the horrible things she did as the Queen of blades. I'll bet she blames Mengsk for that. Wouldn't you?

#21 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19388 posts) -
@Thule: I don't think you understand my point either. I said " disregarding her previous status as a human". I'm not talking about the human side of Kerrigan, I'm talking about her Zerg side. And her Zerg side, the 'Queen of Blades', willingly serves the Overmind. I don't care if her human side hates herself; I was always talking about the twisted part of her that was a result of her capture and transformation. As the Queen, she had free will, sometimes questioning the Overmind's orders, so that's why I was saying she wasn't enslaved. What I was talking about before was without knowing the plot of Heart of the Swarm, so I wasn't certain on how she remained in control of the Zerg or why she wanted revenge, but now it makes sense. Still, what I was saying was always in reference to the Queen and not the "human trapped inside of the Zerg".
 
And please explain what you mean by I don't understand "what the Zerg are as a race".
#22 Posted by Turambar (6892 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Thule said: 

I wouldn't exactly call Kerrigan's motive for revenge 'petty'. Mengsk deliberately left her to die on Tarsonis which led to her capture and enslavement to the Zerg Overmind. I also don't think she needs more motivation than revenge, that's motive enough. Revenge stories also tend to be the best stories, so can't say I'm dissapointed about that.

She wasn't enslaved by the Overmind; she became one of them and even an equal. In fact, she became a powerful Zerg. I don't see why she would seek revenge if she was perfectly fine identifying herself as the 'Queen of Blades' and master of the Zerg. She became that way because of Mengsk so, if anything, she should be thankful to him for becoming the Queen, not seek revenge because she lost her humanity. Unless the end of WoL made her regain some of that humanity and in turn reject part of what she became. But then, why would the Zerg ever accept for her to regain her position as Queen?
No, Brood Wars makes it very clear that she was in fact enslaved by the Overmind no matter how much autonomy she appeared to have in SC1.
#23 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19388 posts) -
@Turambar said: 

No, Brood Wars makes it very clear that she was in fact enslaved by the Overmind no matter how much autonomy she appeared to have in SC1.

I played Brood Wars and I don't remember this. What made this fact clear? Actually, I thought the fact that she didn't go crazy like all of the Cerbrates was proof that she wasn't under the Overmind's control.
#24 Edited by Turambar (6892 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ said:

@Turambar said: 

No, Brood Wars makes it very clear that she was in fact enslaved by the Overmind no matter how much autonomy she appeared to have in SC1.

I played Brood Wars and I don't remember this. What made this fact clear? Actually, I thought the fact that she didn't go crazy like all of the Cerbrates was proof that she wasn't under the Overmind's control.
She had you kill the newly forming overmind so that she could retain her new found freedom and authority over the Swarm.  She did not serve the swarm willingly in any capacity, but rather enjoyed it serving her.  Also the cerabrates were not crazy after the overmind fell.  The fact that you play as a cerabrate for the zerg campaign of Brood Wars means you are capable of functioning, albeit with a coerced allegiance.  Also, the fact that multiple cerabrates were able to decide to meld together to form a new overmind shows a degree of stability within the Broods in terms of everyday function.
#25 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19388 posts) -
@Turambar said: 
She had you kill the newly forming overmind so that she could retain her new found freedom and authority over the Swarm.  She did not serve the swarm willingly in any capacity, but rather enjoyed it serving her.
I seem to have forgotten that. Thanks, I was partly wrong about Kerrigan's will towards the Swarm, then.
#26 Posted by Flaboere (343 posts) -

I really hope there's more to the plot than just Kerrigan seeking revenge on Mengsk. Wasn't this basically what we did in Wings of Liberty?

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