A bit of an out of order and a little late one given Stetmann was just dropped out of nowhere, but I certainly can’t complain. Stetmann’s an interesting character in that a lot of his development happened in Co-op itself rather that in the main media, but that’s not to say he doesn’t have lore outside of that. So, there’s still stuff we can dig into!
Link to previous Co-op lore episodes
CHARACTER BIO: EGON STETMANN
Idealist, Scientist, Henius
Stetmann was a bright young scientist of the Terran Dominion, seeking to make the universe a better place in the aftermath of the Brood War. The Dominion, seeing his potential, recruited him and sent to the world of Tyrador III alongside scientist Isabella Yorin with the project to develop a portable iconic forcefield, similar to the protoss’s shield technology but using ionized gas. Stetmann believed the shield would have applications beyond military use and threw himself into the project.
In months, a fully functional prototype was created. His success granted him more trust by his Dominion superiors, and Stetmann was told the full scope of what was developing: the force fields were to be part of a cyborg program using conscripts forcefully taken from New Folsom Prison, who would be painfully augmented into expendable frontline soldiers. Stetmann was appalled, but his colleagues ignored the atrocities they were committing, as they were afraid to sabotage their careers.
But Stetmann refused to do nothing. He stole the prototype shield and released a computer virus on his research base that purged them of any data on the project. Yorrin however found him and tried to seal him in with the facility’s final blast door. Desperate, Stetmann released an EMP that destroyed his force field prototype but allowed him to escape.
Fleeing the Dominion, Stetmann smuggled himself to where the Dominion could not reach him: the criminal haven of Dead Man’s Port. He tried to make a living selling upgrades, but the local crime bosses found him and tried to recruit him into augmenting their followers with tracking devices. Stetmann refused, and tried to flee, but was quickly caught. He was taken out for public execution as an example for all who’d refuse the powers that controlled the Port.
Luckily, as chance would have it, Jim Raynor and his Raynor’s Raiders were resupplying at Dead Man’s port at the time. They refused to see an innocent man die and broke up the execution and saved Stetmann before he could be killed. Stetmann told Raynor of his escape from Tyrador III, and joined up the Raiders as their chief scientific advisor.
The scientist became a valued member of Raynor’s Raiders, doing cutting edge research to keep them ahead of the Dominion. When Kerrigan returned to the sector and began the Second Great War, Stetmann studied zerg and protoss samples, including a massive zerg bioform and protoss crystal matricies, to increase the Raider’s combat efficiency. He also was charged with maintaining a xel’naga artifact named the Keystone, which the Raiders were selling to an independent research group named the Moebius Foundation. When the Raiders were charged with bringing the Keystone to Char to purge Kerrigan of infestation, Stetmann personally served as the squad’s medic when Raynor, Tychus and Swann collapsed the nydus worm tunnels of Char.
The raid on Char was successful, and Kerrigan purged of infestation. However, the sudden shift in genetics nearly killed her. Kerrigan was taken back to the Hyperion, where Raynor tried to convince Stetmann to take care of her due to trusting him more than Valerian Mengsk, who they allied with to use the Keystone, but Stetmann insisted he did not know enough of her biology to properly give her medical care. The Raiders and Valerian fled Emperor Arcturus Mengsk’s counterattack to capture Raynor and Kerrigan, trying to meet up with Moebius Foundation scientist Dr. Emil Narud to help Kerrigan and offload the Keystone. The two groups met at Space Station Promethius, and Stetmann was offered a tour of the facility as a gesture of goodwill.
It was a trap. Narud and Moebius had been working with Arcturus Mengsk. Stetmann was quickly put to gun point and tied up, but quickly managed to escape as the facility was surrounded by Arcturus’s forces. He rendezvoused with a freed and healed Sarah Kerrigan, who was psionically tearing her way through Mengsk’s forces and hybrid, and the two were able to escape the facility. Raynor’s Raiders fled from Mengsk’s forces, and moved to the one place that’d offer them refuge: the Umojan Protectorate, one of the terran nations who opposed the Terran Dominion.
Yet Stetmann would take a separate path. He would be assigned to the planet of Bel’Shir to research terrazine gas, a mysterious substance that could enhance psionic potential, but caused hallucinations and insanity. It had been used before to create super-ghosts named spectres, who nearly overthrew Mengsk after they turned on him. However, soon the sector was thrown into chaos: Raynor was captured by Arcturus, Kerrigan returned leading the Swarm, Arcturus Mengsk was killed, and Valerian Mengsk took over the Dominion. In the chaos of a total government change, Stetmann was forgotten.
On Bel’Shir, he continued to be influenced by the terrazine gas he collected, making him unstable and insane, prone to outbursts and hallucinations. He believed Bel’Shir to be a living god he communicated with, and believed his harvesting bots were his close friends, particularly his favorite, Gary. Yet over a year later, the sector would again be thrown into chaos when the fallen xel’naga Amon returned, seeking to purge the universe of all life. His sights fell on Bel’Shir, as the terrazine gas was connected to his home dimension of the Void, and his forces sought to destroy Stetmann’s operation. With the help of two commanders, Stetmann gathered the last of the terrazine he needed, and destroyed Amon’s forces.
But this was not enough for Stetmann, who knew Bel’Shir needed to be defended from future threats. Alone, he created a legion of robotic zerg-like creatures, the Mecha Swarm, which were powered by a special form of energy named egonergy. This egonergy would be channeled through a network of stetallites to keep his forces running. These would be supported by his harvesting bot Gary, which was upgraded for combat. With a new Swarm under his command, Stetmann would protect his love Bel’Shir, and face Armageddon with nothing but a box of scraps, a legion of mechanical abominations, and the drive of a mad terrazine augmented scientist.
A History of the Mecha Zerg
Stetmann’s particular breed of Mecha Zerg are a new bit of lore, as they were made by Stetmann, but we have a long and storied history for robotic zerg.
After the dust settled in from the Brood War, the Dominion needed to prepare their soldiers to combat the looming zerg threat. While live zerg were used for combat exercises, capture, care, and use of them proved to be a massive risk for the handler and the trainees. New approaches were needed, and the Dominion turned to robotics.
The Ghost Academy created robots to emulate the zerg, particularly the hydralisk, zergling and defiler strains, which could be psionically controlled by the ghost running the training operation. These had the added bonus of being able to tone down their lethality as to not kill valuable ghost trainees while still scaling them to be difficult. Other robotic zerg were used, some less lethal, such as robotic mutalisks used in promotional material for the Warhound walker, and some more lethal, such as robotic hydralisks used to test conscripts of the reaper training program in their base of Icehouse.
But from these training bots came a new line of research. While trying to make combat accurate drones, a terran research group named Project Simulant began to get funding to create an entire line of near-perfect zerg robots. The project used new technologies to create fully accurate replicas of zerg bioforms, adapting older terran materials such as battlecruiser technology, as well as creating flexible plastics to contain many of the chemicals needed. All the while, the project was funded by an unknown and wealthy group of benefactors.
But the project quickly took a strange turn. Soon the Simulants began to show signs of intelligence, replication, and self-repair outside of the project parameters. Scientists began to vanish in the late stages of the project. The benefactor who funded the mission suddenly cut contact with the scientists as strangeness began to be reported with the simulant. Then, all hell broke loose when an ultralisk, which the project promised they would not create, broke lose in the facility. All contact was lost with the Project Simulant base, and when scans were done, all they found was a network of robotic nydus worm tunnels running through the base itself.
Stetmann’s robots, in spite of looking the same, are not Simulants, but rather robotic zerg created by him named the Mecha Swarm. They contain advanced upgrades utilizing Stetmann’s research on zerg biology and protoss technology in the Second Great War, with a healthy amount of terran ingenuity and explosives thrown into the mix.
UNITS AND UPGRADES
To clarify a little bit, in the lore Stetmann’s units are something completely new that we haven’t seen before, so I can’t speak much to them. Instead I’ll just talk about the history of their mechanical counterparts. Most of these will be from the Simulant skinset, and for upgrades most of them are puns on old zerg upgrades, so I’ll only go into ones with some backstory.
Mecha Drone: The humble drone was what started the terran curiosity into replicating the Zerg Swarm fully. Initially, Project Simulant had the goal of making drones that acted just like a regular drone, as to help with target practice exercises. After their success with that, more funding to replicate other broods flooded in.Загрузка...
Mecha Overlord: Similar to the regular overlord, the mechanical replicant relays commands to the various members of the Mecha Swarm’s network. In Project Simulant, the overlords were a critical safety point, as they were under the direct control of a lab scientist.
Mecha Overseer: The full organic nature of the Overseer’s ocular structure, designed to detect the slightest movements in enemy positions, proved impossible to replicate. Instead, the mechanical Simulant version was outfitted with detection sensors that fulfilled virtually the same purpose.
Mecha Zergling: Mechanical zerglings take their root back to the initial wave of mechanical zerg in the Ghost Academy, where they were used to train the first ghosts of the reformed Terran Dominion to combat future zerg threats. These were psionically controlled by a ghost operator, in order to simulate being under a singular hive mind. During Project Simulant, zerglings were created that were purely electric in their power source, unable to replicate the DNA absorption of zerglings.
- Hardened Egonergy Shield: This technology takes itself from the protoss immortal, which was equipped with a plasma shield that was set up with intertwining spectrums and intensities of energy made to resist hard impacts.
Mecha Baneling: The extreme acidity of the baneling’s payload, augmented from the corrosive Soronan Mold, proved a problem during Project Simulant, as it could eat through most metal. However, creative engineering formed a vessel that could house and disperse their payload.
Mecha Hydralisk: Mechanical hydralisks are the most replicated of the zerg broods. As with the zergling, mechanical hydralisks were used to train ghosts of the Terran Dominion, but many were also used as part of the Reaper Program in order to train reapers in the enemy they’d face. In Project Simulant, the hydralisks were considered a high risk to their creators, so their claws were outfitted with blades that could be easily dulled. Stetmann, insane as he was, equipped his mechanical hydralisks with Erudition Missiles Launchers for greater use against air targets. Interestingly, the mecha hydralisk dens of Project Simulant had its blades made from vanadium, a metal Stetmann invented on theHyperion, though it’s unclear how much Stetmann made use of that material.
Mecha Lurker: In Project Simulant’s tests to replicate the subterranean combat of the zerg, they designed a mechanized lurker that could function better when faced with blunt force impact.
Mecha Infestor: In Project Simulant, the AI needed to replicate the infestor’s neural parasite proved too difficult to create. However, just before they were going to cancel their infestor wing, the AI mysteriously began to function perfectly. In Stetmann’s Mecha Swarm, the infestors lack a neural parasite, instead focusing on the infestor’s role as a living hive of eggs and microscopic machines, and a UMI-C Charging Protocol cord was installed to heal and recharge allied units.
- Roach-nites: The core genius of the infestor, the borbu matriarch (misspelled on the skin page as borboru matriarch) was a colony organism, with millions of beings making up the whole of itself. Similarly, the mecha infestor replicates this by housing nanites that can be launched at buildings, consume its metal or biomass, and create mecha roaches from it.
Mecha Roach: The biological roach’s enhanced healing was essential to it to prevent the acid it stores in its body from eating it away. Project Simulant saw the value in this and designed an advanced self repair system to prevent the acid from the destroying their creation. Stetmann meanwhile created a temporary replicant of the roach, which would be stored in mecha infestors until they were able to be “spawned.”
Mecha Ravager: The extreme heat of the ravager’s payload necessitated some modifications to their design in the Simulant ravager, and heat-absorbent panels were installed instead of spikes to prevent their payload from damaging the model. For Stetmann’s Mecha Swarm, ravagers were spawned alongside batches of roaches as temporary units.
Mecha Corruptor: Project Simulant replicated the spores used by the corruptor with self-replicating nanomachines, which functioned much the same. They used gas stored in the mechanical spires in order to propel themselves, though it’s unclear how they replicated the electromagnetic fields of the biological corruptors that create the pocket of antigravity that allow corruptors flight. Stetmann, either having figured out or untroubled with such questions, strapped Cluster Buster missiles and a powerful acid named terraclean solvent to his corruptors.
Mecha Battlecarrier Lord: The unit with the best name in the game. Not much is known on the brood lord simulant prototype, other than when the prototype was made, the scientists who created it mysteriously vanished when they went on a retreat to celebrate the successful design. Stetmann, not one to be outdone by “conventional science,” added elements of the protoss carrier and terran battlecruiser to the massive zerg flier, creating a horrid amalgamation of all three.
- Mecha Locusceptors: Designed after the interceptors of the carrier, locusceptors function mostly the same as their protoss counterparts, as interceptors too are remote controlled drones that swarm a target. However, Stetmann seemed to not be able to add an anti-air function to these replicants.
- Stetmato Cannon: The Yamato Cannon of the battlecruiser fires a condensed bolt of plasma into a controlled nuclear reaction, devastating anything caught in its blast. Stetmann outfitted his own variant onto his Battlecarrier Lords, which cause, as the upgrade tooltip states, “300 damage and delusions of grandeur.”
Mecha Ultralisk: When Project Simulant first started, they made a solemn vow that they would never replicate the zerg ultralisk in mechanical form. When the project fell apart, and they heard the roaring of an ultralisk down their halls, the scientists knew someone had gone too far. This is not the first time we’ve seen a mechanical ultralisk, Heroes of the Storm presents an alternate timeline for “Queen of Ghosts” Kerrigan where she is fully purified by the xel’naga artifact, and is given a “Robolisk,” a mechanical ultralisk created by the Umojans Protectorate, in order to help her against Mengsk. Stetmann meanwhile created his own designed to take down mechanical enemies of Bel’Shir.
Gary: Not much is known about this semi-sentient AI, other than that Stetmann designed him to be his “best friend.” Gary himself started as a terrazine harvesting bot for his operation on Bel’Shir, and Stetmann grew attached to him, giving him the best oil. After Bel’Shir, Stetmann made drastic enhancements to him (or Gary did it to himself, Stetmann seems shocked he has the abilities) where he could interact with egonergy fields, shoot energy balls, and (semi reliably) teleport him and allies to a target location. Gary can be upgraded to Super Gary, a much more advanced variant. Stetmann has at least 10 iterations of Gary stored up and ready, though he insists he’s “revived” every time Gary dies in battle.
The hand print on Super Gary, and likely the painted face we see on both the mechanical ball Gary and on the unit model, are likely references to the Tom Hanks film Castaway, where Tom Hanks is stranded on a deserted island and makes best friends with a ball with a hand printed face on it named Wilson.
When Gary dies, one of his quotes is “All these moments, lost in time, like tears in the rain.” This is a quote from the fantastic 1982 film Bladerunner, when the replicant Roy Batty finishes his dying speech with the same line.
Stetmann’s backstory on creating robotic soldiers was likely a throwback to a unit named the Prison Infantry Guard (PIG), which in the early stages of SCII’s development were a proposed replacement for the marine as the main terran infantry. These were cybernetically augmented prisoners that were designed to be expendable frontline soldiers.
The Iconic Force Field Nova gets in Nova Covert Ops (and that she uses in her assault mode in Co-op) was the same force field Stetmann developed then sabotaged, albeit remade years later with less horrific applications. The image in his trailer of the Defenders of Man wrangler on a console when he says “whistleblower” is likely a reference to that period of his life, and the computer virus he released to destroy the iconic force field.
One of Stetmann’s responses to Gary dying is “Huh? What was that Gary? I was watching a holovid.” Holovids, or holos, are the terran equivalent of movies and shows. While flat screen TVs exist, usually they watch holographic 3D pictures. This is something much more prevent in the books than in the games.
One of Stetmann’s “hybrid detected” quotes is “I made a hybrid named Sherman! But Gary got jealous and ate him.” There is no lore for this. I just love this quote.
A bit of jumping out of order given the current release, but next week we’ll dig into Alarak, Highlord of the Tal’darim. See you all next week!
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