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Creep is a living zerg superorganism. It has a purple coloration and is a viscous substance that feels thick and slimy. Creep is psionically-sensitive and may be influenced and controlled by psionic entities. It is used to nourish zerg structures, larvae, and other strains.
Creep may be deposited in a number of ways. Some zerg structures, such as hatcheries, serve as loci for creep growth. Hive spores may also be used in the initial stages of infestation. Post-Great War evolution has seen zerg creatures gain the ability to spread creep as well; overlords by direct secretion, and indirectly by queens through laid creep tumors. If left unchecked, creep can consume an entire planet within days.
Creep has a cellular structure. Zerg ground strains can move faster over creep than normal ground due to a collection of microscopic filaments that allow them to 'skate' across creep rather than breaking through it. Creep binds every zerg colony located on it; creep can be considered an organism unto itself, with zerg structures its organs.
Creep spreads rapidly if left unchecked. This proliferation may be observed in real time. Creep helps to sustain itself and other zerg organisms by processing minerals extracted from the ground via deep tendrils.
Creep is notably averse to extremely high temperatures and will not grow in unsuitably hot places. While it may be set alight by high explosive or incendiary ordnance, its remarkable regenerative properties makes complete extermination by brute force a difficult proposition. Removal may only be guaranteed by destroying the structures serving as growth loci. It may be difficult to tell when creep is truly dead.
Most zerg structures are effectively giant organs and draw sustenance from creep. A notable exception is the extractor. A zerg colony forms a single living creature through the interconnectivity of creep, Zerg gain nourishment from the creep, and without it resort to consuming other organisms, even one another, to survive.
The Terran Confederacy conducted experiments with creep, after discovering xenomorphs on a number of fringe worlds. In secret facilities such as the Fujita Facility on Vyctor 5 and the Ghost Academy on Tarsonis, they discovered they could grow it from spores and control its growth with heat. Using ghost subjects such as Sarah Kerrigan, they found it could be controlled psionically. The Vyctor 5 and Ghost Academy experiments were destroyed by the Sons of Korhal.
The PAX ExperimentEdit
In 2502, a protoss scientific organization, the Protoss Advance/Experimental Facility (PAX), conducted their own experiments with creep. They infected it with a virus, hoping to destroy all creep and thus commit xenocide against the zerg.
The mutated creep proved infectious, was even able to engulf two zealots assigned to their facility, "infesting" one of them – Ruom. It became a "psionic predator", and could "impede" the Khala and cause madness among the nearby Khalai. Ruom went on a rampage, killing the other protoss.
Most zerg structures can only be built upon the creep. Terrans and protoss cannot build structures on creep. Terran buildings may not land on the creep, however they may lift-off. The creep will expand to fill the vacated space over the course of a few seconds.
Most zerg units move 30% faster on creep. Drones are an exception along with air units. Spine and spore crawlers, as well as hydralisks and queens, move much faster on creep. Primal zerg units do not gain a movement bonus.
Creep does not "climb" or "fall" down cliffs, but does flow down ramps. If a carefully positioned overlord drops creep on the edge of a cliff, it will expand on the hill and the lower ground simultaneously. Creep can also be poured onto ramps.
Creep only dies if the nearby generator dies and it is on the edge of a patch. Creep inside a large patch, but deprived of generators, will not die. A ring-shaped patch will not automatically expand to cover the "empty" center without the normal assistance of generators.
There are several ways of creating creep. The overlord can generate creep. Creep tumors generate their own creep and make it easy to spread creep over the map. Creep can also be created by hatcheries, and when a nydus worm is created, creep is spawned around it.
Zerg structures not in the boundaries of the creep will slowly degenerate and eventually die, taking 2 damage per second.
Structures other than zerg cannot be built on the creep although can be surrounded by it.
In StarCraft II, when creep spreads across the terrain and touches objects such as trees, the trees wither, making the effect of the creep on the environment more realistic.
In Warcraft III, Scourge buildings spread (and can only be built upon) blight, which functions almost identically to creep, except for it does not dissipate over time.