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Monday, 9 May 2016

Starcraft Legacy of the void ending. SPOILER.

So, yes. This is a spoiler warning. The game came out months ago the franchise is niche and enthusiasts that would care already know, but there it is :P

So, the end of SC2. Tying up loose ends, giving us a climax for the conflict.
Honestly, I have mixed feelings.
The game is solid. Each expansion has had an enjoyable campaign, well worth the price even discounting the multiplayer.
The best of the three remains Wing of Liberty, which was somewhat inferior to the original and Brood War, but the series has not been without merit.

While I feel too much was added to the Protoss to flesh them out, I cant really fault Blizzard. They are addicted to retcon, but that's not always a bad thing.

The Tal'Darim as a third faction with an entirely different culture was a bit of a miss for me (I preferred the inferences of them as religious zealots within the wider Protoss society, rather than Dark Templar MKII)
Alarak was probably the best addition to the cast though. I just wish that moral ambiguity and the reality of Protoss being both noble and savage, tolerant yet xenophobic, peaceful yet absolutely deadly had been preserved.

Much of the "new" diversity of the race felt shoehorned in, rather than built from the existing lore, and that is a missed opportunity.
It did however allow the devs to explore some cool themes with Fenix and the nature of sentience or the exploration of Protoss heritage, the Khala and even themes of racism through the preservers with Rohana.

I even found the end satisfying.
Redemption, sacrifice and yet room for growth of the story.
Many people were unhappy with it, and not entirely without cause. It was all too convenient, the ending too happy and the consequences for the series primary antagonist (Kerrigan) nil, with the reunion at the end after her ascension.
Personally my own interpretation was a little more bittersweet.

Kerrigan ascended into what amounts to godhood, the sector is at peace and the factions are separated.

The Brood still lives though, and with a new, decidedly less empathetic Queen.
The zerg are likely not to remain united either. The Overmind and Kerrigan could not dominate the swarm completely. What hope another? Add in the other Zerg characters and we have a recipe for some mayhem.

The Terran are united under a new, improved Emperor. I personally want to see that treated with some optimism.
That said, Koprulu is hardly a tame place and the survivor's of the war are likely the most tough, independent sons of bitches possible.
The UED is also out there, and what could such an empire have accomplished while the Terran we know from the Dominion have been so isolated.
So much to explore.

And the Protoss themselves?
The end of the Khala, the new beginning as a unified race and the awakening of the purifiers, a machine intelligence.
Blizzard added so much that the campaign really only introduced these elements.
With so much possible tension I cant help but to think how many stories could be told.

So while loose ends were tied perhaps too quickly and too neatly, I don't think the doors are closed on building the franchise further.

The one element that caused the most argument though was Jim's final sequence.
In the bar on Mar Sara once more, throwing down his badge and disappearing. Presumably with Kerrigan.
Personally, my interpretation is probably a little too bitter for most, though not without hope.

Kerrigan's ascension left Jim in a world he didn't belong.
A bad man that has done bad things being given a chance to build a new, better world from the ashes. Just as he'd told Horner, this just isn't his fight.
So, after decades of fighting what had he left? He fought the law as a criminal. Fought the criminals as the law. Fought the government as a rebel. Fought the Zerg as a saviour. Fought the Dominion as a traitor.
He fought for love, for revenge and for redemption, and he saved the world.
But he lost Kerrigan.
What's a man to do?

Kerrigan is a Godess, and Raynor has nothing left to live for.
So yup. The vision at the end and the disappearance of Jim?
I think he killed himself to join the woman he loved.

Does death mean the end though, or would it just be a new beginning?
Bitter sweet, dear reader.
Bitter sweet and a question humans have asked for the lifetime of civilisation and will continue to ask as there can be no answer.

Was Raynor's vision the dream of a dying man as he faded into the abyss? Was it just hope manifest only in the mind?
Or has he finally joined the woman he loved, hated, forgave and redeemed?
A worthy ending. Whatever its imperfections.