War Chest 4 Building Skins – Lore and Trivia

starcraft 2 - War Chest 4 Building Skins - Lore and Trivia

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Hey folks, Subsourian again.

So with another War Chest comes a ton of trivia and cool references packed into the little skin descriptions. I figured I'd go through them all. While I've already gone over the different factions this expansion, I'll give a little TL;DR of what they are and their meaning with a link to the full writeups I did a while ago.

Also, since this introduces the lore blurbs for the base building skins too, I'll be including them in these. So lets dig in!

Dominion Special Forces

Full lore here

The Dominion Special Forces are the best of the best of the Terran Dominion's forces, put on the most dangerous and important missions for their Emperor. While we did not see much of them during the reign of Arcturus, they largely appeared under Valerian's reign. One division of them assigned to Nova (named simply the Covert Ops Crew) helped her uncover a conspiracy in the Dominion military orchestrated by Carolina Davis, who was using psi emitters and a paramilitary group the Defenders of Man to discredit Valerian. Nova killed Davis against orders, and she and her branch of the special forces went AWOL. So far the bulk of the Special Forces haven't shown up anywhere else, but I expect we'll see them in the future.

  • The Special Forces armory references the fact that they took part in an operation to recover xel'naga constructs after the End War. This may be a reference to the book StarCraft: Evolution, where Valerian offhandedly mentions they had salvaged xel'naga corpses for study from Ulnar, and likely was a similar operation.

  • The default bunker references the fact marines call bunkers “battlefield coffins.” This is a reference to the very first short story (and expanded piece of work) written for StarCraft named Revelations by Chris Metzen, where the marine Andre Madrid mentions that fact.

  • The Special Forces bunker mentions the marine's delight for the new bunkers finally having chairs. This is a reference to the StarCraft Field Manual, where in the bunker section regarding their “spacious interiors” a marine scribbles “Now we could use some chairs. Please. Pretty please.”

  • The default engineering bay references the fact that they are no longer cleared for liftoff, lampshading the fact that in SC1 engineering bays could lift off and move around.

  • The default factory references the fact that latrines were taken out of factories, allowing more room for equipment from the tech lab that allowed siege tanks to be rolled off the line with siege mode. This is a reference to Project Blackstone Log 14, where the idea is proposed by Dominion scientist Redell Quinton. This was used to explain why siege mode was made default for tanks in Heart of the Swarm.

  • The Special Forces “R36-series factory” references the numbers on the side of the factory and a number of other Special Forces buildings.

  • The Ghost Academy skins reference Mengsk's reforms, where he purged half of the ghost program in order to ensure their loyalty. They also mention the addition of nuclear missile silos, where in SC1 silos were a separate addon for command centers.

  • The default missile turret skin references how often they break down. This is a callback to the StarCraft Field Manual, where in spite of the missile turret designed to operate independently for fourty years, a marine remarks “but they break down every two months.”

  • The default reactor references Stetmann's log in Wings of Liberty, where he uses protoss containment fields to further enhance reactors into tech reactors.

  • The Starport's description talks about the Dominion Marine Corps handbook, which is in-universe what the StarCraft Field Manual is. The quote it has is verbatim taken from the book's starport section.

  • The Special Forces starport references the ability for it to lift off and function as a space station. In early SCII there were plans for the starport to transform into a floating structure named a star base, and in the Heart of the Swarm mission “With Friends Like These…” we see Mira Han and Valerian use a number of space starports.

  • The Special Forces tech lab reference pilfered protoss nanomachines being used in their design. These nanomachines first appeared in the StarCraft 64 level “Resurrection IV,” where a nanite serium was used to deinfest Alexei Stukov (though the cure failed eventually), and was again referenced in the immortals using a nanite solution to keep their pilots alive.

Read:  The Izsha Issue

Full lore here

The simulants spawned off of training bots used by the Reaper Corps and Ghost Program for the training of their forces, though these were much less advanced. The Simulant Program sought to create a nearly 1-to-1 replication of the Swarm in a controlled environment, and was very quickly succeeding. New technologies were developed as well as old ones repurposed for use. However, the simulants began to display strange behavior, and the shadowy investors began to stop contacting the researchers, or perhaps causing some to vanish. Soon the simulants broke out, overrunning their labs and destroying their creators. Nobody knows what became of them, or what their appearance means for the sector.

  • The Simulant baneling nest references antigravity technology used in battlecruisers, something first introduced in the enovella Uprising to explain gravity on battlecruisers. Mengsk utilized this tech later in the novella to keep a siege tank stable in a massive planetary storm.

  • The backstory of the hydralisk den expands on the SC1 manual's story of the hydralisk, where they were taken from the docile “caterpillar cows” named the sloithen.

  • The Simulant hydralisk den references vanadium. This was a substance created by Egon Stetmann after research into protoss matrix structures during Wings of Liberty, and serves as the armor option of the first protoss research tier.

  • The nydus network default skin confirms that nydus networks were evolved from nydus canals, the means which zerg could move between hive clusters in SC1.

  • The default roach warren skin references the fact the roach warren was made to be cool and damp to get the right conditions to generate roaches. This was only ever mentioned in the Prima Strategy Guide for Heart of the Swarm, and references the fact that the roaches came from the zantar slugs of Garrxax. The story of the roaches was shown in the short story Acid Burns.

  • The spire references the SC1 manual on the structure's backstory, coming from the nest of mantis screamers, which were the species that became the mutalisk.

  • The default spore crawler references the failure of spore colonies to defend the Overmind. This is a callback to the final SC1 protoss level “Eye of the Storm”, where the Overmind is surrounded by spore colonies in the final approach, but still dies Tassadar's carrier.


Full lore here

The Tal'darim, or the Forged, were ancient servants of the xel'naga who showed themselves on Aiur, forsaking their former clans and lives to serve who they saw as gods. Amon and his followers took them in, and when the rest of protoss society turned on them, they allowed the Tal'darim to come with them to the stars. Amon then told them he would return for them for the Day of Ascension where he would uplift them, and laid the structure for their warlike government, the Chain of Ascension. After Amon did return thousands of years later the brutal Tal'darim came to his side and the side of his servant Samir Duran, yet soon discovered Amon would discard and destroy them when he was done with his conquest. Seizing on this, First Ascendant Alarak worked with Artanis to overthrow Highlord Ma'lash and become ruler of the Tal'darim. Together, they defeated Amon, and Alarak went to his own corner of space, seeking a new future for his people.

  • The Forged assimilator destroying the environment around them is a callback to the Tal'darim probe, which had its environmental restrictions disabled for more optimal mining.

  • The cybernetics core talks about how it is used to bind wounded protoss warriors into robotic bodies. This is the case for the dragoon and the immortal, but according to prior sources Stalkers (and Slayers in the case of the Tal'darim) are the consciousnesses of healthy Nerazim/Tal'darim transferred to a robotic shell. It's unclear whether this is saying they use wounded warriors too or not.

  • The Forged dark shrine references the Blood Hunters. These are an order of Tal'darim devoted to culling the weak who are beyond the Chain of Ascension from the society, keeping them strong. Here it also mentions they serve almost as a secret hand for the Highlord.

  • The Forged fleet beacon's overcharged matrix references the Nova Covert Ops mission “Trouble in Paradise,” where recovering the technology of a dangerously overcharged Tal'darim fleet beacon the bonus objective that gives Nova access to the Apollo Suit.

  • The Tal'darim forge references the fact the Tal'darim do not design technologies of their own, rather steal from other protoss factions. The torture of a Khalai Caste worker is made to explain how they're still able to “upgrade.”

  • The default gateway is a callback to the explanation as to why warp gate technology was developed. After the Brood War, the protoss reverse engineered the xel'naga warp gates they used to evacuate Aiur and incorporated their technology into their gateways.

  • The default photon cannon talks about failed attempts to integrate photon cannons with the warp network. This is a callback to the Wings of Liberty alpha version of the photon cannon named the phase cannon, which could redeploy itself within a power field.

  • The Tal'darim photon cannon of course references the popular cannon rush strategy, Alarak apparently being a regular cheeser.

  • The Tal'darim pylon says that it can power sixteen gateways, which is the maximum number of gateways you can fit in one pylon.

  • The shield battery talks about how it was dropped after the Brood War due to shield advancements. This is a reference to their absence in SCII after being a defensive structure in SC1, and it later goes on to explain that the shield battery's enhancements brought it back into service, referencing it being added back into multiplayer mid-Legacy of the Void.

  • The stargate glow that can be seen from long distances may be a reference to the fact the stargate is one of the only structures where you can see what's being built inside it.

  • The twilight council being a meeting place for the Daelaam representatives is a reference to the Daelaam's government itself, the Hierarchy, also being named the Twilight Council.

  • They're finally using “Khalai” to describe the entirely of the Aiur protoss and not “Templar” or “Firstborn” and I'm happy. Though I'm not sure whether this means they've started just taking from the wiki or not.

I think I got them all, but let me know if you caught any references I didn't. Hope you enjoyed this look into the new structures, and I'll see you all next lore content drop!

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