Jul 21, 2010

Starcraft 2: Ghosts of the Past - A shot by shot breakdown

(0:11- 0:54) The ruined highway sign is a direct call back to the original Starcraft. Specifically the 9th Mission of the first campaign. This seems to be a glimpse of a direct cinematic retelling of those events from the perspective of Jim Raynor for those who might have forgotten it. To give you a quick little skim through, there was once the Confederacy and a group of rebels who eventually over took the throne that goes by The Dominion. The Dominion, which at the time was called The Sons of Korhal, lead by Arcturus Mengsk, was using a Psionic Emitter to lure the Zerg to the planet Tarsonis with the intent of destroying the Confederacy. He accomplished these goals by using various agents, including formal Confederate Marshal James Raynor and Ghost Sarah Kerrigan. The plan was to get the Zerg to destroy the planet without the Protoss stepping in and eliminating the Zerg. To do this Mengsk ordered Raynor and Kerrigan to defend key orbital platforms and then escape before the Zerg overran the platforms. Mengsk said it was too risky to extract Kerrigan and Raynor has been blaming himself ever since. He even went as far as defecting from the Sons of Korhal. This is a rare glimpse into that moment.

(0:25) We see a glimpse of the interior of what is assumed to be the flagship of Raynor's Rebels, the Hyperion, who are currently evading the Dominion. This is also the first shot we see of Matt Horner, the pilot of the ship. Matt Horner is a new character to the game world of Starcraft, but he was actually introduced in the novel Starcraft: Queen of Blades.

(0:29) Mengsk looks down on Tarsonis as the Zerg destroy the Confederacy.

(0:32) Raynor flips out at Mengsk. This event is followed shortly by his resignation from the Sons of Korhal.

(0:40) Matt Horner slides Raynor's old badge from when he was a Marshal on the Confederate world of Mar Sara to him, reminding him of the solider he used to be.

(0:59) Here is where things start to get interesting. The planet in the background looks like it is being BUILT. Given the general non-descript look of the battlecruisers surrounding the planet it is hard to say by who, but the galactic terran power's with these kind of resources are limited to the Dominion or the far flung from the Korpulu sector UED (United Earth Directorate). The only reason I am leaning more towards the planet being built instead of being destroyed is because of the visible wire frame nature under the crust and what looks to be an atmosphere generator surrounding the planet.

(1:00-1:06) Matt Horner, Raynor and new-comer Tycus Findlay, who was introduced in the Starcraft 2 announcement trailer, look over a holographic of 3 battlecruisers with a voice over of Horner stating that the ships do belong to the Dominion. Raynor claims that he is kicking his rebellion "into overdrive"

(1:07) No clue what make or model this Terran ship is. Guessing it is the Terran Grizzly unit from the forgotten and sadly canceled Starcraft: Ghost

(1:08 - 1:11) James Raynor kicking in his old jumpsuit from his old Confederate unit Heaven's Devils. He is seen shooting marine's of unknown affiliation, although it is assumed they are Dominion, with Tycus body slamming one as well. It can be assumed that Raynor and Tycus boarded the ships shown on holographics.

(1:12-1:14) Raynor toasts to "old times". This scene is taken from the beginning of Starcraft 2, where Tycus seeks out Raynor because of a price on Raynor's head. However when Tycus finds him, he doesn't turn him over to the Dominion. This is because Tycus and Raynor used to be in Heaven's Devils together.

(1:14) Tycus is laughing. What is interesting here is the screen to his right, showing a picture of Kerrigan as the Queen of Blades. I am guessing this is taken from a later part of the game and then edited together with Raynor in the bar to make it seem like it is a conversation.

(1:15-1:16) Marines in the same red armor are fighting Zerg on what looks to be the Zerg 'home planet' of Char. This is very important later on in the trailer, assuming the red armored marine's are a part of the Dominion.

(1:17-1:18) We see the Dark Templar Zeratul on the steps of what looks to be an ancient Xel'Naga temple. The Xel'naga are the godlike race that created both the Zerg and the Protoss.

(1:19-1:20) Raynor is looking over what seems to be a strange alien artifact that projects an image of who knows what. I am guessing that it is some form of Khaydarin crystal, a resource of immense power that the Xel'naga used to create the Protoss and the Zerg.

(1:21-1:26) Mengsk makes an announcement to the greater Dominion whole, stating that Jim Raynor is a threat. Raynor responds by shooting the television. Just a cool little aside: There is a hydralisk skull hanging on the right side of the television.

(1:27-1:28) Prince Valerian Mengsk. This is one character I cannot wait to see fleshed out in the game. He was first introduced in The Dark Templar Saga: Shadow Hunter's as the secretive son of Arcturus Mengsk. He has a passion for archeology and discovery. He is shown in his battlecruiser over a volcanic planet, presumably Char, as a member of his crew announces that they have a Zerg attack incoming.

(1:29-1:31) I want to bring specific praise to this shot. In game design you want to make things that stand out and are iconic. But that is in the game world. Logically, things fit another puzzle. Look at this gameplay screen shot. Because of in game mechanics like targeting and simple unit recognition, you really don't get a sense of scale for either unit. This shot shows what these character's are really dealing with on a size scale.

(1:32-1:38) Kerrigan got caught on candid camera and Raynor is shocked by this. Sadly, no clue what planet she might be on. Raynor and Horner are trying to figure out what Kerrigan is up to, and Raynor is assuming she is coming to kill Mengsk for what he did to her. We get some really awesome looking shots of the Queen of Blade out of this.

(1:39-1:44) Raynor and Mengsk are talking about... something. Raynor obviously has a plan and Mengsk doesn't like it.

(1:45-1:48) What I like to call "The hero shot". Raynor blows open a door in his armor.

(1:49-1:56) Raynor is in his full combat suit pointing a gun at Valerian's head. Valerian offer's to give Raynor "What you always wanted". If they bring back Sarah Kerrigan as a Terran or try to make her a 'good guy' I am going to be livid.

(1:57-2:08) Raynor gives his call to arm's speech to the Raynor's Rebels and we see some marine's fighting zerglings on Char. It looks like Valerian's white armored marines are giving orders to stand ground, maybe in the same fight. Raynor tells everyone he is going back to Char to stop Kerrigan and get the job done. Marine's are shown helping other marines in different color armor and there are some cool one shots of the Zerg and Protoss.

(2:09) Another new character is shown, this time a ghost by the name of Gabriel Tosh. Tosh is working with Raynor's Rebels to bring down the Dominion and more will be told about him in the new novel Starcraft: Ghost: Spectre. He is also appears in the manga Starcraft: Ghost Academy.

(2:10) We see Zeratul and Kerrigan fighting

(2:11) We see Tosh come out of his cloaking, which is red. This is totally different from Kerrigan's cloaking at the beginning of the trailer which was blue. This is because he is a different bread of Ghost called a Spectre, which was to be explored in the canceled game Starcraft: Ghost.

(2:12-2:13) Kerrigan shoots a blue fire ball... Yeap, still workin that out in my head. Cool one shots of Kerrigan pre-Zerg and a Hydralisk getting nailed with rounds.

(2:14) Raynor and Tycus are obtaining what I am guessing to be a Xel'Naga artifact of some sort. From the amount of ash in the background, it looks as if this is on Char.

(2:15-2:17) Char is getting bombed to high hell.

(2:19-2:20) Raynor, playing hero again.

(2:21) Raynor making out with a new girl. Who knows who this is?

(2:22-2:26) One shot of a marine hitting something in the back, one shot of a mutalisk flying through a canyon, one shot of a hydralisk attacking Zeratul, one shot of marines lining up and firing with a nuke going off in the background, a quick shot of Zeratul charging Kerrigan, a one shot of Raynor firing, a shot of Tycus charging the camera, a really quick shot of Zeratul parrying an attack, closing with Raynor facing a Hyrdralisk.

(2:27-2:29) Logo

(2:30-2:33) Raynor's mask on his armor goes down as he reloads a giant sniper rifle. As the spent round hits the ground, we can see dead Hyrdralisks in the background on what looks to be Char.

So, there you have it, a shot by shot breakdown of the new Starcraft 2 Trailer. Now it just needs to be Tuesday!