An Unusual Campaign
The single player campaign of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty follows the adventures of the rebel Jim Raynor, who is caught between the fight for the freedom of his people and several major cosmic events. Although the game has three major races, the Wings of Liberty campaign focuses mostly on the Terran race. The two expansion packs, Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void will add similar Zerg and Protoss campaigns.
The Wings of Liberty campaign is different from how the game plays in multi-player. It still retains some of the basic principles of the Terran race, but with several major differences:
- The credit system: Instead of researching the same unit or base upgrades over and over again in every mission, you can now purchase the upgrades using credits gained every time you complete a mission. Once the upgrades have been purchased, units will automatically gain their bonuses every mission. There is a catch, however; you will never have enough credits to buy all the available upgrades, so choose carefully.
- The research system: In most missions you will find Protoss relics or Zerg DNA samples. These will give you research points. The research points can be used to purchase powerful units and upgrades for your army. Every 5 Zerg or Protoss research points will give you a choice of two upgrades. When an upgrade is chosen, the other becomes unavailable. Both Protoss and Zerg research points have their own ladder and set of upgrades.
- Mercenaries: In every mission you gain new units. Some of these units will have an improved mercenary version. During game-play, you can build a special structure used to train these mercenaries. Before using them, they need to be hired using credits. Once hired, you will have a limited amount of each mercenary type to employ every mission. They usually come in bands, and usually cost less than the equal number of the ordinary version of the unit.
- Star map and story lines: There are several story lines inside the campaign. You can play these story lines in any order you wish by using the star map. If you wish, you could play only the main thread of the story, but the secondary ones reward you credits, research points and units. So completing them makes the main missions a lot easier.
- Achievements: Completing achievements by fulfilling special objectives rewards you though achievement points and special portraits for your profile. The campaign provides a grand total of 1590 achievement points and several portraits.
- Hyperion and characters: The main base of operations will be the old battle cruiser “The Hyperion”. You can move around the ship and interact with characters at will. Every time you complete a mission, those characters will interact with you in different ways.
Mission and Achievement Completion Guide
Mar Sara Missions
This is an easy mission. Simply kill every unit you come across. Keep your injured marines in the back. They are far more useful with 1 hp left than dead. Destroy all Mengsk Statues to gain extra credits.
Be sure to rescue the rebel base. They will draw enemy attacks away from the main base. If you attack at the 7th minute mark, with decent micromanagement and focus fire, you should be able to complete the mission in less than 10 minutes for the “Be Quick or Be Dead” achievement.
You will have to survive for a while against relentless enemy attacks. This should be easy, but the achievements are a little tougher. Creating a mass of marines backed up by lots of medics is the key. Watch out for hydralisks, they can kill your units very fast with their quick, high-damage attacks.
- Hold The Line: You need to task 3-4 SCVs to repair your bunkers on the front line. Using your units to soak the damage instead of the bunkers may also pay off, but using repair is best.
- The Best Defense…: This one is a little tougher. You need to attack early in the game, before the AI gets the chance to build too many fortifications. Use a lot of medics for this. Watch out for Spine Crawlers, they are very resilient to marine fire and will kill a marine in 2 hits. The best hatcheries to destroy are the ones directly to the north of your base. There will be two Hatcheries in there. Destroy them, but leave the rest of the base intact. Retreat just outside of the base, wait a minute or two, then attack again. The Drones will be rebuilding the Hatcheries.
Create a sizable force to escort the trucks. The best way to do this is by assembling two escorts, one to go with the trucks and one to wait in the main base. Once the first has reached the star port, keep it there until the next truck is ready, which will be escorted by the second force. When the second escort sets off, task the first to attack move back to the base.
You will find one Zerg crystalis near the star port, the other two are just off the main road; first to the left and second to the right, when going to the port from your main base.
- Handled with Care: Task SCVs to repair the escorts.
- Sacrifice Nothing: Task SCV to repair the bunkers; once the first wave of Zerg is fend off, build more Bunkers and load Marines or Marauders (if available), while keeping SCVs to repair.
Build 2-3 Bunkers for each entrance, including the one at your back initially covered by debries. Keep the bunkers repaired with SCVs. Build two factories with reactors for constant Hellion production. Killing a few buildings before the first night is pretty useful, as the raids will become weaker. The achievements are easy to complete. Just mass Hellions and wreck some zombies.
You will need to build a mixed force of Vikings, Marines, Marauders and Medics. Once you have a decent force of ground units, start massing Vikings and attack the enemy nexuses. When these are dead, attack the Purifier. Be careful, every time the Purifier burns one village, it will send air units to attack the next. Use your Vikings to intercept.
Mass Vikings and attack the virofages. Once the initial ones are gone, you will need a sizable ground force to attack the Zerg main bases. Being quick with your Vikings will ensure all achievements completion.
Smash and Grab
Massing Marauders is the key in this mission. Adding a couple of Marines to help against Zealots is advised, and of course, Medics. Fortify your base with 2-3 Bunkers and a few Missile Turrets to defend against any attack. Move fast. The Zerg attacking waves will become stronger and stronger as time passes, and the Protoss will not be able to hold them forever. Remember to snipe Protoss Pylons to render their fortifications disabled.
Use the Laser Drill to kill Archons and Colossi. Your units are very vulnerable to them. To gain the Protoss research points, you will have to break several vaults using the Laser Drill.
You will need to gain line of sight on the Protoss bases to attack their structures with the laser drill for “Yippee-ki-yay” achievement.
The Moebius Factor
Use Medivacs to fly around on high ground and attack the enemy forces without taking damage. Ghosts/Specters are pretty useful in this scenario, so use them if you have them already. Their long range and the ability to call in a nuke makes them very powerful when attacking from high ground.
This is by far the most boring and annoying mission in the game. Attacking the Protoss bases directly is pure suicide. Train a mix of Banshees and Vikings, and then move your buildings in the bottom right corner of the map, where you wait until the fire wave cleaned the entire protoss base. When it is safe, simply attack move with your flyers to the artifact shrine and destroy it.
Maw of the Void
Careful with the Rip Fields; they kill low hit point units very fast. If you intend to move in those fields, use Battle Cruisers or Dark Templars.
Another thing to look out for is the mother ship. It can cloak and warp in units when needed. Use the Battle Cruiser Yamato Cannon ability to quickly snipe it before it deals too much damage.
This is a Protoss mini-campaign. You will have all unit abilities already researched. All you will need to do is create a rounded mass of units and attack. Completing all the achievements in this mini-campaign will grant you the Zeratul portrait for your Battle.net profile.
Whispers of Doom
Use your Stalkers to attack Mutalisks and Banelings from afar; Banelings deal damage upon their death, regardless of whether your stalkers killed them or not.
Zeratul’s Void Prison can be used to incapacitate powerful units or buildings for a short time. If there are no detectors nearby, you should use Zeratul alone to deal damage. Blink over as many obstacles as possible.
Note that you have no detection available in this mission. There are a few ambushes waiting for you with burrowed units. A very dangerous one (involving Ultralisks) lies just after you found the second prophecy fragment.
- Stalker Delight: Be sure to bring your stalkers on the beacon at the end of the mission, else they won’t be counted towards this achievement.
A Sinister Turn
After you powered the starting buildings, some other tech structures will appear around the map. Powering them up will give you access to new technologies. You will gain Dark Templars, Immortals and High Templars. All of them will make this mission a lot easier.
The longer you wait, the stronger the Hybrid becomes. Immortals and latter on, High Templars (for feedback) are the best units to counter the hybrid. Archons are awesome damage tankers and very potent against Zealots (the enemy will love attack you with Zealots) and Void Rays.
Attack at around the 18th minute mark if you wish to complete the mission in less than 25 minutes for achievement.
Echoes of the Future
You gain Warp Gates when you power up any of the obelisks scattered across the map for Protoss research points. Use Colossi on high ground and a lot of Photon Cannons to hold off the frenzy of attacks. The longer you stick on this mission, the stronger the frenzy attacks become.
The first attacks will be way too powerful for your to defend without suffering heavy losses. A good strategy is to build lots of Photon Cannons areound your base (on all three entrances) and build up your army behind them. Keeping a few colossi behind the cannons will also help.
Once you get the Warp Gate tech, you will be able to move around the map much easier.
In Utter Darkness
This is considered by many the most difficult mission in the entire campaign. On lower difficulties, it is pretty similar to Zero Hour. On hard or brutal difficulty, it
becomes much harder. You are unlikely to be able to hold the first waves; therefore a more cunning approach is necessary.
Train a lot of Dark Templars in the first minutes and block all the three entrances with them to keep the archive protected for 25 minutes. During the first 5 minutes or so, the enemy will have no detection, so your Dark Templars will make short work of everything. Keep them in a line, blocking the entire entrance using “hold position” command. Once they bring detectors, you should have enough units to hold the waves. Morph your Dark Templars into Archons. When you gain access to Carriers, create a mix of Void Rays and Carriers, and a few ground units. When the first 25 minutes are elapsed, and the objective for protecting the archive is completed, retreat to the high ground and make your stand there. Use the Mothership wisely; you will not be able to hold your buildings forever, and once those are gone, the Mothership will keep your units alive longer.
The Devil’s Playground
The trick of this mission is the lava flow. Keep building on high ground, and only move your command centers around the map. When lava is about to rise, evacuate low ground. You will need a mixed force to protect your workers from Zerg waves, which are quite strong on high difficulties and will always ignore your main base and go for the mining operations.
Your SCV can be loaded into Command Centers in case of emergency, and the COmmand Centers can take off with the SCV inside. Use this to avoid losing workers early on, when your forces will be thin. Mercenaries are quite effective on this map.
If you destroy all Zerg buildings on this map, you will be rewarded a Feat of Strength.
Welcome to the Jungle
You will need two forces for this mission. One to escort your SCV while they gather terrazine, and one to prevent the Protoss from closing the altars.
The enemy will attack you with large numbers of Colossi, Void Rays and Scouts. Although the Goliath is a "recommended" unit for this mission, you should pay attention to Stalkers and Scouts. They can take out Goliaths really fast.
- It’s so Easy: You will need Reapers for this one early in the game. Use them to quickly move around the map and snipe the Probes. Keep doing this until you have enough forces to directly attack the mining operations.
- Appetite for Destruction: While this is pretty straightforward to complete, remember that any SCV loss will disqualify you for this achievement.
Breakout/Ghost of a Chance
This are RPG-like missions. All you will have to do is control your heroes and protect them from detectors. Using abilities correctly is the key to victory.
The Advantages of Ghosts
Ghosts are powerful snipers with bonus damage against light units. Their attacks are long ranged are their nukes deal more damage. With research, they can stay invisible forever, without draining their energy. Garissoned inside bunkers, they will gain enough range to shoot at Brood Lords and Colossi, making them very useful in missions with lots of zergs. If you plan on doing the air version of All-in, then choose Ghost.
The advantages of Specters
Specters are the assault versions of Ghosts. They have a little shorter range (1 range less), but they are also have more hit points, and posses a powerful area of effect spell and a stun spell. Like their ghostly counterparts, they can stay invisible forever provided you buy the research. Very potent against protoss, as they deal bonus damage against armored units.
The Great Train Robbery
Create a mix of Marines, Marauders, Diamondbacks and Medics. Remember, Diamondbacks can attack the trains on the move, while your other units must stay still to fire.
- Bully the Bullies: Create a mass of Marines and attack. Remember, other Marauders or Diamondbacks will be at a disadvantage, as the enemy Marauders are upgraded beyond your maximum obtainable level for this mission.
Play aggressively with your early units. Create 2-3 Medics and attack the enemy bases around the map with whatever forces are available. Destroy the Command Centers to slow down Orlin.
The trick in this mission is to gather the scrap metal. They give you extra minerals.
Once you hired Mira, you simply attack the enemy base.
Engine of Destruction
The Odin is very powerful against ground targets but weak against flyers. Task 5-6 SCVs to repair him, and create a force of Vikings to protect The Odin from enemy battle cruisers.
- Kicking Asgard: There is a “Loki” Battle Cruiser hidden right between the last two enemy bases. Use Vikings to take it out.
Massing Thors should be enough to complete this mission. The achievements, on the other hand, require special tactics.
- Blitzkrieg: Use The Odin to inflict as much damage as possible on at least two bases (avoid the one to the left). Once the surprise attack is finished, train squads of Marines and Marauders and attack the towers. Remember to use The Odin’s barrage ability to deal with masses of enemy troops.
- Seek and Destroy: Simply attack each of the enemy bases and destroy one of the production facilities. You don’t need to destroy the entire enemy presence, just a few buildings and units.
- To the right of your starting base you will notice a small enemy camp. Behind it, there is a small path leading to the bottom right corner of the map. You will find a Science Facility (yellow-ish). Destroy it and pick up the item dropped with any unit to unlock a special mission.
Piercing the Shroud (secret level)
Use the power ups around the map to ease your way through the enemy installation.
Remember to slow down the Hybrid as often as possible and kite it around the installation to kill it for achievement.
The Gates of Hell
You will have limited resources so use them wisely. The Zerg force is capable of throwing its entire arsenal at you, so create a balanced force. Use your mercenaries; they are much more cost effective than your ordinary units.
- Dominion Roundup: Use Vikings to fly pass Zerg fortifications and rescue the drop pods.
Shatter the Sky
Massing Battle Cruisers should do the trick. Build fortifications, as the Zerg will send powerful attack waves. Choose this mission if you want to remove the enemy air units from the last mission.
Belly of the Beast
This is a RPG-like mission. Use your heroes’ abilities as often as possible. Although not mandatory, it is advised to rescue the other friendly forces inside the tunnels. They make a good addition to your existing firepower.
- One shot, Fifty kills: There are several places where this shot can be fired. Just keep watching the mini map. When everything turns red, then it’s time to use it.
There are two variations of this mission, but the core tactic remains the same.
- Wall off the artifact on high ground using Supply Depots.
- Build a couple of Missile Turrets around your base.
- Place Siege Tanks in Key positions at each entrance.
- Wall off all entrances with Bunkers and Flame Turrets or Planetary Fortresses.
- Create a mass of units (either Marine-Marauder-Medics or mechanical units such as Thors-Goliaths-Siege Tanks) to defend against Kerrigan’s attacks.
- When you are overrun, use the artifact novae to clean the base.
All in: Nydus; In this version of the mission you destroyed the enemy air force but the Nydus Network in intact. This is the easier version of the mission, and can be played to complete all the achievements. Build around 12 Banshees and snipe Nydus Worms as they pop up.
All in: Air; In this version of the mission you destroyed the Nydus Network but the air force in intact. Even if the Nydus is gone, you will still be attacked on the ground. Instead of building Banshees, train Vikings and intercept the waves of hostile flyers. if you have Ghosts, use them in bunkers to kill Brood Lords.
Order of Completion
Once the Mar Sara missions (the first three) have been completed, the player gains access to the star map and may complete the missions in any way he deems appropriate. However, gaining key units from missions quickly will make the campaign a lot easier to complete. I recommend this approach.
- Mar Sara Missions
- Smash and Grab (artifact mission) to unlock Marauders
- The Evacuation & Outbreak (colonist missions) to unlock Hellions and Firebats
- The Devil’s Playground (covert missions) to unlock Reapers
- The Dig (artifact mission) to unlock Siege Tanks and Prophecy Missions
- Complete the colonist missions to unlock Vikings
- The Prophecy mission to gain lots of research points.
- Complete the rest of the covert missions
- Complete the Rebellion missions
- Compete the rest of the artifact missions
- Move on to the final missions
- Screenshots on the first page taken from official Starcraft 2 Website
- Teamliquid campaign overview
- Screenshots on the second page are provided by the writer