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Escape from Aiur is the first protoss mission of Episode IV of StarCraft: Brood War. As such, it is the first mission of the expansion.



After Tassadar's sacrifice to destroy the Overmind, the zerg invasion of Aiur was halted. However, it was too late to save the planet; the zerg were without a leader but still rampaged unchecked, the Conclave was destroyed,[1] and a great deal of protoss had been slain.

Dark Prelate Zeratul and Judicator Aldaris agreed that the protoss' position was too weak to survive on Aiur with so many zerg still alive, and Zeratul suggested the protoss flee to Shakuras, the homeworld of Zeratul's people, the dark templar. Aldaris was skeptical that Khalai refugees would be welcome among the dark templar, and of abandoning Aiur to the zerg, but Zeratul convinced him this was for the best. Aldaris accepted, and told the Executor that Zeratul would bring the refugees to the warp gate to warp to Shakuras. Praetor Artanis, Fenix, and Commander Jim Raynor also participated in the evacuation.

Though Zeratul successfully rallied the Khalai survivors and made it to the warp gate, a wave of zerg descended on their location. Raynor and Fenix elected to remain behind on Aiur and hold off the zerg as the protoss evacuated. Zeratul, Artanis, Aldaris, the Executor, and a large number of Khalai survivors escaped successfully.[2] However, some time after their evacuation, the zerg took control of the gate and sent a number of their forces through after the protoss.[3]


The player has command of Zeratul and a large force of zealots and dragoons. Throughout the mission the player will come across nydus canals, which will disembark zerg to attack the player in a continuous stream. The player will also encounter friendly protoss forces scattered throughout the level, most of which join the player upon being approached. These protoss are often found engaging zerg forces; by pulling them back as soon as they are under control, the player can preserve most of them and then engage the zerg on safer terms. The dragoons and zealots should focus on holding off the zerg while Zeratul destroys the canals. To the south the player will find some sunken colonies, and beyond them a pair of zealots moving into a battle between a large number of zealots and zerg before a cluster of nydus canals. With the player's aid the zealots can hold off the zerg, and the player should focus Zeratul on destroying the canals to end the battle quicker. Any surviving zealots are the player's to control, and beyond the site to the east are a pair of dragoons.

Moving north the player will find more canals and sunken colonies, and will encounter several ultralisks. A few more zealots will also be encountered at various points. At the northern end of the passage the player will rescue several more protoss forces, including two high templar and an archon, and two shield batteries. Rescuing them reveals the location of the warp gate to the south. The path there consists of heavily entrenched zerg defenders; the player should move Zeratul or their archon in first to draw enemy fire, then let the zealots attack to destroy the enemies. Zeratul or the archon can then retreat to the shield batteries to recover.

When the first cluster of static defenses fall, the path to the warp gate is lightly defended. Once the player reaches the base, the mission is won.


Starcraft Brood War - Protoss Mission 1 Escape from Aiur


  • At the various points in the map where the player rescues zealots, the triggers that cause this to happen do so by creating a burrowed zergling near the zealots under the player's control, which rescues the zealots for the player. The zerglings are then removed from the map. If the player looks near the zealots they encounter during the mission, they can see this burrowed zergling before the triggers remove it.
  • Zeratul, Raynor and Fenix without hit points and being ignored by the zerg

    This is the only campaign mission in StarCraft: Brood War where the player can control an invulnerable hero, which occurs when Jim Raynor and Fenix drop in after the player reaches the warp gate. Zeratul also becomes invulnerable during this part of the mission, and will disappear when he moves close to the warp gate. The only other mission where this occurs is "New Gettysburg (mission)," in the original Starcraft, when Sarah Kerrigan becomes an invulnerable hero after the protoss bases are destroyed.


  1. Aldaris: "Without the Conclave to lead us, or the protection of our great fleets, it seems we must fend for ourselves." StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Level/area: Escape from Aiur (in English). 1998.
  2. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: Escape from Aiur (in English). 1998.
  3. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: Dunes of Shakuras (in English). 1998.