Sarah Kerrigan, by Peter Balogh

sarah1Sarah vs Hydralisk, by Peter Balogh

“Jimmy, drop the knight-in-shining-armor routine. It suits you sometimes. Just not… not now. I don’t need to be rescued. I know what I’m doing.” —Sarah Kerrigan

Not sure why people get so surprised when I admit that I didn’t play Blizzard’s StarCraft games extensively. I never even tried StarCraft II, but I did try out a borrowed copy of the original StarCraft for a while. I preferred the heavy ordinance tactics of the Terran Coalition over the Zerg’s swarm tactics, and I never really got the hang of the Protoss at all. On the whole I thought it was a decent game, but I’ve generally leaned more toward Medieval hack-and-slash as far as my real-time-strategy games go.

SarahKerriganOne of the aspects I particularly liked in the game’s story was the strong, smart, interesting fallen heroine in Ghost Operative Sarah Kerrigan. Before being captured by the Zerg Swarm, Sarah was a scout, sniper, and infiltrator for the Terran Coalition during the wars against Terran rebels and later against the Protoss and Zerg invasions. In Sarah I found a likable, professional character more focused on getting the job done and getting her teammates out alive than on showing off or proving she’s tougher than all the guys. She worked effectively as a solo operative or as part of a squad and formed an effective team with love interest Jimmy Raynor. But in one of the most tragic betrayals in videogame cinema, Sarah gets abandoned by her boss, Mengsk, and left to die on a planet overrun by the hive-like Zerg.

As a Ghost, Sarah functions as a covert operative for the Terran military. Ghosts are “psychically-gifted” individuals who serve as spotters, scouts, and snipers, working alone or in squads as infiltrators or as advance combatants for the main army. As such, Sarah is well trained in marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat, and vehicle handling. Additionally, Ghost power armor has built-in cloaking devices for deep-cover missions. As well as being able to snipe from stealth, they can call in tactical nuke strikes on enemy armies and fortifications.

sarah6Ghosts’ standard armor is the Hostile Environment Suit for protection during combat and on missions. These bodysuits are of a flexible, advanced polymer woven with advanced circuitry designed to control the suit’s temperature, enhance natural strength, and offer basic protection from small-arms fire. The suit also houses a limited-duration personal cloaking device, rendering the Ghost invisible, while a cooling system keeps her hidden from infrared sensors. Meanwhile, Ghosts are also equipped with a helmet, eyepiece, or ocular implant containing a HUD, comm system, and various vision/sensory enhancing apparatuses.

Despite all this protection, it’s important to note that Ghosts are primarily support units, unable to stand for long against ordinance from rival Terrans, nor from Zergling claws or Protoss psyonic weapons.

Though gear will likely depend on mission profile, Ghost arsenal may include a wide assortment of sniper and assault rifles, shotgun, combat knife, psyblade, tactical warhead launcher, and/or lockdown device for disabling enemy vehicles. As well as psychic abilities, most Ghosts have various cybernetic enhancements for detection or vehicle/computer interfacing.

I remember being intrigued years ago, hearing about the development of a StarCraft: Ghost tactical action game for various consoles (and I’m not even that much of a console gamer). I liked the idea of using it as a stealth-based shooter and was curious about the story and heroine, Nova. I was disappointed, but not particularly surprised, that Blizzard shelved production in favor of StarCraft II and World of Warcraft-related projects.

Thanks once again to Peter for letting me borrow Kerrigan for the write up. As always, thanks so much for reading, folks. Take care, and stay awesome!

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