2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Computer & Video games

Front cover of the StarCraft installation CD
Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher(s) (Win), (Mac)
United States Blizzard Entertainment
European Union Sierra Entertainment
United States Australia Nintendo
Designer(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Latest version 1.14 ( 2006- 07-31)
Release date(s) (Win)
United States European Union April 1, 1998
United States 1999
United States Australia 2000
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: T (Teen)
USK: 12+
OFLC: M15+
ELSPA: 15+
PEGI: 16+
Platform(s) Windows, Mac OS, Mac OS X, Nintendo 64
Media CD-ROM, Nintendo 64 Cartridge
System requirements Win: Windows 95 or better, 90 MHz Pentium, 16 MB RAM, DirectX-compatible, 2x CD-ROM drive, 640x480 8-bit display. Mac: System 7.6 or better, PowerPC 601 or better, 16 MB RAM.

StarCraft is a real-time strategy computer game by Blizzard Entertainment. It was initially released for the PC platform in 1998; a Macintosh version of the game was released in 1999. Starcraft was also later ported to the Nintendo 64.

The main storyline follows a war among three galactic species: the strong, stable human Terrans, the hive mind arthropodic Zerg, and the psychic humanoid Protoss warriors.

It was the best-selling computer game of 1998 and won the Origins Award for Best Strategy Computer Game of that year. Nine million copies of StarCraft and its expansion pack, StarCraft: Brood War have been sold since its release. It is especially popular in South Korea, where professional players and teams participate in matches, earn sponsorships, and compete in televised matches.


Starcraft's gameplay centers on the acquisition and control of two resources, minerals and Vespene gas, which are necessary to construct combat units and buildings. Minerals, which are required for all normal units, appear as blue crystalline formations protruding from the ground. They are 'harvested' or 'mined' by worker units ( SCV for Terran, Drone for Zerg, Probe for Protoss). Vespene gas, which is required for advanced units and upgrades, appears as a geyser with green clouds erupting from it. A particular structure (Refinery for Terrans, Extractor for Zerg, Assimilator for Protoss) must be constructed before worker units can harvest the Vespene gas.

Players can have only a limited number of units at a time, each of which has a "supply/support" rating roughly correlated with that unit's combat strength. Players must maintain enough unit-supporters (Supply Depots for Terrans, Pylons for the Protoss, and Overlords for the Zerg) to support their forces.

Players use their resources to construct buildings. Some buildings morph, train, or "warp in" units, while others upgrade the players' forces or allow more advanced units or structures. Resource management, expansion to control resource locations, and effective offensive and defensive combat tactics are key to victory. The unit types available to each species define its racial identity. Protoss marshal powerful and expensive warriors and machinery, while Zerg rely on sheer numbers and speed to overwhelm their opponents. Terrans are the versatile and flexible alternative to both races, providing a compromise between specialization and combined arms. No species has a net advantage over the others.


Blizzard's Internet service granted online multiplayer gaming at no additional charge. Many fans, especially casual players, enjoy playing in groups against computer-controlled opponents in skirmish games called "comp stomp". Since experienced players generally do not find the artificial intelligence of the game challenging, fans have also created maps that are advantageous to the computer and can be extremely hard to win. Up to eight spots can be filled in a game when played on, 4 with Direct Cable Connection, and 2 players with Modem connections. In cooperative play, several people can play on the same team, controlling the same units, or on different teams that are "allied" so they do not harm each other. Clans gather groups of people for competitive team play. Players usually attach a "tag" to their online name to indicate their clan allegiance, so that the name [XYZ]JohnSmith shows that JohnSmith belongs to Clan XYZ. Clan involvement ranges from casual friendship to mandatory meetings and tournaments. In multiplayer gameplay, some players use modified or "hacked" versions of the StarCraft client to gain an unfair advantage. People also use programs called "bots" to gain other unfair advantages. Some "bots" allow you to cheat in ways such as: invulnerability, no fog of war, infinite resources, and other unfair ways of winning. The infamous MapHack allows the player to see the whole map, ignoring the " fog of war". Blizzard attempts to detect and ban "hackers," and several third-party "anti-hack" programs are under constant development to prevent these hacks. In 2003, banned over 400,000 accounts for cheating and hacking.

Most competitive, high-level gaming outside of the Korean professional scene takes place on "private" ladders such as "PGTour" (Pro Gamers Tour) or " WGTour" (World Gamers Tour). These ladders use specific sets of maps (mostly taken from Korean pro leagues like MSL and OSL), hack-preventing third-party programs, teams of administrators, and sometimes even a private server (such as the PGTour's Bnet-X) to enforce fair play. Since the end of July 2006, with the release of patch 1.14, Blizzard has removed the Ladder option on all gateways, save the European gateway, whose Ladder is now held in cooperation with "WGTour".

Beginning with version 1.08, StarCraft enables the player to record a game and save it as a replay, which can then be viewed with any other copy of StarCraft, displaying the entire course of gameplay. Replays allow for the studying of game players tactics, and thus pro-level replays are rarely released to protect team secrecy and to comply with the policies of pro leagues. Fans have developed applications such as BWChart and Lasgo's Observer Pack to analyze replays in detail and compute statistics such as the number of actions per minute ( APM). Some replays are accompanied by an audio commentary recorded by the player or an experienced observer in real time or during later viewing. When the audio files are produced using third-party recording and playback tools, the viewer must manually synchronize the audio with the replay. Alternatively, auxiliary applications such as RWA can ensure synchronization. VODs (from "Video On Demand") are videos showing a commentator or player during a pro-level game. They are sometimes illegally ripped from Korean television or Internet streams. They usually come in the ASF video file format for Windows Media Player or in the WMV format. Because they are compressed with an MPEG-4 codec into a small file, their video quality is poorer than replays.

StarCraft Campaign Editor

The game is packaged with the StarCraft Campaign Editor (also known as StarEdit). The editor's trigger system allows users to change maps radically and create custom map scenarios. The StarCraft community has constructed new editors and functionalities that grant users even more power to modify the game. The company Microstar sold a CD with new levels created with the StarEdit feature, but was forced to stop when Blizzard won their court case against its distribution.

Scenarios are generally either melee or Use Map Settings (UMS) games. Melee games start all players at a random location with only their main base building (command centre, hatchery, or nexus) and four mining units. This is the most popular type of game, used in tournaments and ladder games. Most casual melee games are played on "money" maps, maps with extremely large amounts of immediately available resources. Initial mineral and gas deposits are often set to cap of 50,000 or more units to eliminate the need for expansion sites. "Money maps" have been criticized for failing to challenge players to develop key skills such as order-building and expansion-taking, favoring weaker players. Defenders of money maps claim that the game still requires strategy and skill.

Use Map Settings games are less structured and often incorporate liberal use of specialized triggers and setups to change gameplay. Scenarios based on 'genres' have surfaced, including Defense maps, StarCraft Diplomacy, RPG's, and Maddness. Single-player "campaigns," long scenarios played out over several maps that have been edited together with StarEdit, have gained prominence. Following the lead of the Antioch Chronicles, many campaigns include modifications that add new "heroes." Mapmakers create new art files, creating completely new units and characters, which StarEdit can't do. Popular campaigns include Campaign Creations' The Fenix, Legacy of the Confederation, Life of a Marine, and's official campaigns, The Shifters and Fields of Ash.

More powerful, third-party editors, including the StarCraft X-tra Editor, StarForge, and SCMDraft, allow users to "stack" multiple mineral fields and buildings on top of each other, change player colors, use hidden AI scripts, protect maps from common theft, run size-less sounds directly from the StarCraft disc, change the colour of text, and compress their map. In more advanced areas, users can place raw sprites, sprite-units and disabled units. Some custom maps and campaigns, including StarCraft: Insurrection and StarCraft: Retribution, were released commercially via third parties. These add-ons were criticized for poor mission designs and did not sell well.

Plot and setting


In the distant future, human exiles fight for survival on the edge of the galaxy, and a unified Terran government has formed through espionage, deceit and military might. Their resources have begun to run out, and they begin to look toward the worlds of their mysterious neighbors, the Protoss. In the midst of these events, the Zerg have begun a total war against Protoss planets, destroying everything in their path.


The plot of the original StarCraft game revolves around the Terran civilization in the Koprulu Sector, which was founded by former prisoners exiled from Earth. The most powerful Terran faction is the Terran Confederacy. It is opposed by other factions, such as the terrorist organization " Sons of Korhal". The arrival of the Zerg, led by the Overmind and its Cerebrates, greatly complicates matters for the Terrans. The Zerg Swarm is itself closely followed by a Protoss fleet, led by High Templar Executor Tassadar, which burns all worlds the Zerg infest.

The player assumes the role of a colonial magistrate of the Terran Confederacy, and soon meets Jim Raynor, a marshal of Mar Sara. After being arrested by the Confederacy for destroying Confederate property (even though it was infested by the Zerg), the player joins the Sons of Korhal, who free Raynor from prison. Raynor also joins the Sons and frequently goes on missions. After the Protoss destroy the Zerg-infested Confederate colony on Chau Sara, the leader of the Sons, Arcturus Mengsk, uses psi-emitters to lure the Zerg to Confederate installations and further his own goals. Mengsk acquires the services of General Edmund Duke, a Confederate general, and sacrifices his right-hand woman, the psychic Sarah Kerrigan, to the Zerg after she objects to his morals and tactics. Raynor, outraged over Mengsk abandoning Kerrigan, flees from Mengsk with a small number of soldiers, accompanied by the player. After the Confederacy falls through the use of psi-emitters on the Confederate homeworld of Tarsonis, Mengsk reorganizes the Terran worlds under his control into the Terran Dominion, crowning himself Emperor.

In the second episode, the player assumes the role of a Zerg Cerebrate and is entrusted to the care of the Chrysalis which contains Kerrigan, who is being infested and prepared for rebirth into the Swarm. She soon awakes, and adds great power to the Zerg, effortlessly destroying her enemies. Meanwhile, Tassadar discovers that the Zerg Cerebrates can be killed permanently (otherwise they are near-immediately reincarnated by the Overmind) by the Dark Templar. He allies with them, and while Tassadar distracts Kerrigan, the Dark Templar Zeratul assassinates the Cerebrate Zasz. This disrupts the Overmind's control over the Garm Brood, but also makes the minds of Zeratul and the Overmind one for a brief second, allowing the Overmind to know the location of the Protoss homeworld of Aiur. The Zerg soon invade, despite heavy Protoss resistance, allowing the Overmind to embed itself into the crust of the planet.

The player then takes the role of the Protoss fleet Executor, who at first serves the Conclave to fight the Zerg on Aiur, but soon rebels and joins Tassadar. This results in a Protoss civil war with Tassadar, Tassadar's unlikely Templar allies, and the Dark Templar, pitted against the Conclave and the Khala. However, Tassadar and the Dark Templar prove themselves to the Conclave by having Zeratul slay two Zerg Cerebrates. The Conclave then ally with Tassadar and the Dark Templar, along with the Terrans led by Jim Raynor, who all launch an offensive against the Overmind, destroying its nearly impervious shell. Tassadar then channels many Dark Templar energies into the hull of his ship, the Gantrithor, before crashing it into the vulnerable form of the Overmind, killing it and sacrificing himself in the process.


  • Sarah Kerrigan voiced by Glynnis Talken Campbell.
  • Tassadar voiced by Michael Gough.
  • Jim Raynor voiced by Robert Clotworthy.
  • Aldaris voiced by Paul Eiding.
  • Zeratul voiced by James Harper.
  • Fenix voiced by Bill Roper.


Warcraft II, an earlier Blizzard production, had been criticized for the similarity between its two races, which had only minor differences in spells and upgrade costs. Following a concept pioneered by the Strategic Simulations game War Wind, StarCraft implemented decisive asymmetries among its races. Further improvements included pre-rendered sprites and backgrounds using 3D Studio Max. An isometric view was used, unlike Warcraft IIs top down perspective. CD quality music and professional voice acting were also utilized.

Operation CWAL (Can't Wait Any Longer) formed in 1997 as a writers' group in the StarCraft Suggestions Forum to try to "liberate" an early, unauthorized final copy of StarCraft, which appeared obviously completed despite numerous delays on the part of Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard Entertainment went so far as to give special thanks to this group in the StarCraft manual and use their name as a cheat code.

The Brood War expansion released by Blizzard in 1998 provided several new units and a new campaign for each race, continuing the original StarCraft storyline and changing the gameplay. Brood War allowed the production of units, such as Dark Templar, which StarCraft had only made available at the beginning of single-player missions, and created exclusive unit upgrades for all three species. Though the three races in StarCraft were slightly unequal in power when the game was first released, the expansion pack and twenty two patches, four of which affected the gameplay are thought by most players to have fixed this.

Versions and sequels

In 2000, StarCraft 64 was released for the Nintendo 64. The game featured all of the maps from the original game and the Brood War expansion, as well as some exclusive missions, such as two different tutorials and StarCraft Resurrection IV. The game also required the use of an Expansion Pak. The game was not as popular as the PC version, perhaps because of the difficulty controlling the cursor compared to a mouse, and the lack of online multiplayer games. (Split-screen games were available, however.) Also, speech during mission briefings was omitted and the cut scenes were shortened. Blizzard had previously considered a PlayStation port of the game, but it was finally decided that the game would be instead released on the Nintendo 64.

Blizzard had been working on a first-person shooter/ third-person shooter, StarCraft: Ghost, originally slated for a 2003 release, but repeatedly postponed through to 2006, and eventually delayed indefinitely. Although some players welcomed the concept, the change in genre from real-time strategy to third-person shooter, and the absence of a PC version aroused protests among fans. In March of 2006, StarCraft: Ghost development was put on hold indefinitely, while the producers considered next-gen consoles.

Blizzard has indicated interest in a sequel. Blizzard officials have posted on the forums, asking for suggestions for such a game. Many Easter eggs can be unlocked during and after completion of Warcraft III which relate to StarCraft, leading many to sequel speculation. There was also a leak about a 2007 release from HanbitSoft, the Korean publisher of StarCraft. Job advertisements on looking for a "Game Balance Designer" with experience in StarCraft and Warcraft III, and the fact that there are several unannounced titles also being developed, suggest that Blizzard is working on another RTS, possibly StarCraft II, although a fourth Warcraft game or a new franchise remain possibilities. Development of a sequel has not yet been officially announced. Over 14,500 players have signed an online petition in support of a sequels creation. A group of fans operating under the name Snowflake Entertainment are creating a mod to make StarCraft using the WarCraft III game engine, titled Project Revolution. Although not a sequel, Project Revolution will transfer the game from two to three dimensions.


StarCraft was the number-one selling PC Game of 1998, selling over 1.5 million copies worldwide. As of 2006, over a third of total sales, or 3.5 million copies, have been sold in South Korea. Blizzard's online gameplaying service grew over 800 percent after StarCraft's release. StarCraft remains one of the most popular online games in the world, with over half a million Koreans alone playing nightly.

StarCraft received a star on the floor of the Metreon as part of the Walk of Game in San Francisco in early 2006. IGN rated the game as the 7th best on its Top Games of All Time in both 2003 and 2005 edition, calling it the "best real time strategy game ever made". It also placed #2 among PC games, behind Sid Meier's Civilization II. Gamespot named StarCraft the greatest game of all time.

Not without criticism, the game suffers from "coarse resolution". It was also noted at release for the problem of " rushing" during multi-player mode, or allowing players to swiftly conquer one another by attacking first instead of allowing time to build up forces, though rushing has since developed as a normal feature of game play and strategy.


In the late 1990s, the game grew popular among South Korean online gamers, establishing a successful professional scene. Most active StarCraft players now come from South Korea, where professional game players are starred on some TV networks. Their games are broadcast over three television channels dedicated to professional computer game matches. A few top players have gained wealth as professional players from television contracts, sponsorships, and tournament prizes allowing the most famous player, Lim Yo-Hwan (known in-game as SlayerS_`BoxeR`) to gain a fanclub of over half a million people. Professional gamers dedicate nearly all their waking hours to playing StarCraft to prepare for the highly competitive leagues. Lee Yunyeol, a Terran player known in game as [RED]NaDa, reported earnings in 2005 of $200,000 USD.

The immense influence that video games including StarCraft have on Korean youths has raised concerns. Lee Seung Seop (known as b0f1000 in StarCraft), a 28-year-old from Daegu, South Korea, died from exhaustion on 10 August 2005 after playing a 49-hour marathon session of StarCraft in an Internet cafe, sparking a new discussion about video game addiction, though StarCraft is notably less dangerous since its matches do not last hours like many popular MMORPGs.


In addition to numerous fan fiction works taking place in the StarCraft universe, it has spawned several official novels and eBooks including StarCraft: Uprising, StarCraft: Liberty's Crusade, StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga, StarCraft: Speed of Darkness, StarCraft: Queen of Blades and the forthcoming StarCraft Ghost: Nova to be released in the fall of 2006.

Blizzard Entertainment authorized two short stories in Amazing Stories magazine, entitled StarCraft: Hybrid and StarCraft: Revelations. Blizzard also licensed Wizards of the Coast to publish StarCraft Adventures, a supplement for the role-playing game Alternity set in the StarCraft universe. Even manga comics and action figures have been done in the StarCraft universe. A CD was also released of 2 game tracks and 11 original works by Korean musicians. A StarCraft board game entitled StarCraft the Board Game is in development.

Retrieved from ""