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"You called down the thunder, now reap the whirlwind."

- Terran ghost(src)

Ghost SC1 Art1.jpg
Race(s) Terran
Professional information
Skills Advanced special forces training
Mental attributes Psionic abilities
Special equipment Cloaking device

Ghosts are feared terran covert operatives. Originally created by the Terran Confederacy, the majority of ghosts are currently trained by and operates primarily under the authority of the Terran Dominion. They are known for their assassination skills, psionic powers and ability to cloak[1] using a personal cloaking device.[2]


"The Ghost on the other hand, will often leave an enemy never knowing what hit ‘em. Able to cloak into the shadows in ways even I don’t understand, the Ghost packs a powerful arsenal of offensive capabilities including Snipe, EMP, and even a fearsome nuclear missile deployment."

A ghost


The official statement from the Terran Dominion government was that ghosts and the Ghost Program did not exist.[3] Many terrans dismissed ghosts and the existence of psionically gifted terrans in general as lies and propaganda.[4] However, the existence and operations of ghosts were common knowledge among much of the civilian and military population, even being reported on venues such as UNN.[5]

During the Great War, ghost operations were seen as so essential that the Confederate Armed Forces regularly claimed they were the only reason the Terran Confederacy was able to stand against the protoss and zerg.[6]

Ghosts are frequently tasked with locating targets and providing targeting for tactical nuclear strikes. Their reconnaissance role is aided by cybernetic enhancements to their eyes.[1]

A ghost

Ghosts have short life expectancies;[7] few survive service long enough to be considered veterans.[8]

By 2505, Dominion Intelligence Section had conducted a psyops assessment, concluding that no single unit induces more anxiety disorders in military personnel than ghosts.[9]


"Ghost's are no joke, buddy. I hear the government messes with their genetics and such. Makes 'em more efficient killers."

- Jack(src)

Main article: Ghost Program

Ghosts were chosen from psychically-gifted individuals who were quarantined by the Terran Confederacy (and later Terran Dominion) and trained from infancy to channel their psionic energies to augment their natural physical strength and endurance. Conscripts who successfully completed the Ghost Program's rigorous training and augmentations then served as commandos and assassins.[1] Ghosts are unrivaled in their ability to infiltrate and assassinate.[10]

Ghosts are trained in target shooting, close-quarters combat (martial arts and possibly other techniques) and vehicular expertise.[6] Ghosts are also trained to move quickly and are desensitized to combat; an example would be Sarah Kerrigan's training, who had a gun placed to her head by a guard and was ordered to kill the guard before he killed her. Kerrigan was subjected to this training at age twelve.[11]

During the reign of Emperor Valerian Mengsk, vast changes were brought to the Ghost Program, resulting in better, more committed recruits who serve of their own free will.[10]


"Don't matter if it's the Confederacy or the Dominion: they're all the same. They squeeze and punch and kick you into a shape they can mold and then wipe it all and start again. You're just a machine to them. They use you, baby, use you up until there's nothing left."
Main article: Ghost controls

A young Nova about to undergo a memory wipe

Ghosts are usually silent[12] and are generally loners. This can be attributed to other terrans being wary of their psionic abilities, as well as the mental conditioning and alterations underwent in the Ghost Program, which would entail erasing their memories of past events. This serves their masters well—the harder it is for ghosts to form relationships, the fewer distractions they have to deal with. Ghosts are expected to remain impassive and forbidden to use their mind-reading powers, but they sometimes accidentally pick up surface thoughts.[7] Most of the ghosts who pass through the Ghost Academy emerge with a grim outlook on life.[13] Among Dominion Marine Corps, ghosts had more of a reputation for crazed outburst than even reapers.[14]

During the Terran Confederacy and early Terran Dominion, all science vessels possessed Ghost Program files, stored in a secure room at the bottom of the vessel, in case a ghost required "repair" (what amounted to medical aid in the program).[15]


For the most part, ghosts are simply numbers or names. Under the Confederacy, all ghosts, regardless of whether they "graduated" or not, were assigned a standard number[16] and/or agent number (an alpha-numeric code). The Dominion has retained this system. Few ghosts under the program have any memories of their former lives especially after memory wipes became standard operating procedure.[6] Under the Confederacy, ghosts were unaware of their true names[16] and while most ghosts retain knowledge of their names under the Dominion, their training emphasises that they should address each other by their alpha-numerics—a trait followed by Dominion soldiers as well.[7]

All ghosts possess a personal file, though the contents are restricted.[17]

Psionic Powers[]

"A ghost’s first and best weapon is her mind. Everything else is supplemental."

Ghosts – psionic assassins

Main article: Psionic Powers

Ghosts have the ability to read minds[1] but generally do not have the ability to block thoughts; ghosts find each other very easy to read.[11] Ghosts and weaker psychics can detect other sources of psionic power.[16][6][18]

Some ghosts have demonstrated a wider variety of powers. For instance, Sarah Kerrigan[19][16] and Nova have demonstrated the ability to damage opponents' brains to the point of death. Nova can even kill multiple opponents while leaving someone in the midst of the attack unharmed.[6]

A ghost on the battlefield

Devon Starke has demonstrated the ability to project his thoughts, as well as remote viewing and psychometry. He and some other ghosts have also demonstrated the ability to plant suicidal and homicidal urges into an opponent's mind.[20]


Following the Fall of Tarsonis, the Terran Dominion also instituted changes. The Ghost Academy was moved to Ursa.[21][6] Ghosts were portrayed as "superheroes" who served the Dominion.[22] The Academy was "opened up" to make it seem more appealing. Students could even communicate with their parents before their impending memory wipe.[23]

Arcturus Mengsk presided over[20] a purge of former Confederate ghosts,[21] ultimately eliminating half of them.[20]

Ghosts began disappearing in approximately 2503 due to abductions by the spectres, but this conspiracy was dismantled.[7] They again began to disappear some years after the End War, prompting a Kate Lockwell Universal News Network special on the topic.[24] Michael Liberty began doing an investigation into the disappearances. [25] It was later revealed they were assigned to the Defenders by Dominion personnel.[26]


A ghost in combat

In addition to their previous abilities, ghosts were trained to combine psionics and technology to do things such as see through objects with heat vision.[27][28] Ghosts can use their hostile environment suit and psionic powers to greatly increase their speed and reflexes, and channel their psionics through the suit itself.[29]

Ghosts also began using protoss-derived technology such as the psyblade.[30] Some ghosts were outfitted with cybernetic augmentations such as ocular implants during the era of the Terran Confederacy, but as these were prone to destruction due to psionic feedback, this was replaced with a state of the art ghost mask.[31]

Ghost Variants[]


Project Gestalt, lasting from 2502 to 2503, utilized cross-species tissue transplants, specifically implanting protoss tissue into a ghost, converting him into a gestalt. However, the project was terminated by the protoss.[32]


A spectre

Main articles: Project Shadow Blade, Spectres

After the Brood War some ghosts were exposed to terrazine gas and jorium, substances known to drive genetic mutation in psychics. This was part of Project: Shadowblade. The results were "enhanced" ghosts known as spectres.[33][34]


"I think the female ghosts have nicer equipment..."

- A disgruntled male ghost(src)

A ghost with rifle in hand

Ghost gear features some of the most advanced technology ever conceived by humanity.[9] Ghosts channeled their psionic energies through their hostile environment suit, a specialized skinsuit laced with psi-sensitive artificial muscle fiber, to augment their physical capabilities.[2] A personal cloaking device and requisite power supply were frequently issued as well;[1] the device requires psionic energy as a component.[11][35] Ghosts are equipped with ghost visors that keep them appraised of the battlefield around them and of changing mission objectives.[36]


In addition to the hostile environment suit, ghosts have been known to wield the following weapons:

Game Unit[]


For StarCraft gameplay information see: Ghost (StarCraft).
For StarCraft in-game quotations see: StarCraft Ghost Quotations.

StarCraft: Ghost[]

StarCraft Ghost Logo2.jpg

This article or section contains information about StarCraft: Ghost, which has been declared non-canon. Elements may be taken as 'flavor lore' however.
The content may be significantly out of date. Please do not add speculation to this article, and remember to cite a published source for details.

The ghost in StarCraft: Ghost

For StarCraft: Ghost information see: Ghost (StarCraft: Ghost).
For StarCraft: Ghost in-game quotations see: StarCraft Ghost Ghost Quotations.

The player-character in the game was a ghost named Nova. Ghosts were also a playable 'class' in multiplayer.

StarCraft II[]

A ghost walking

For StarCraft II gameplay information see: Ghost (StarCraft II).
For StarCraft II in-game quotations see: StarCraft II Ghost Quotations.

Heroes of the Storm[]

Heroes DevLog2.jpg

The following section contains information from Heroes of the Storm and is not canon to StarCraft continuity

A Heroes of the Storm ghost

Ghosts appear in Heroes of the Storm as the 'caster minion' equivalent, specifically in the Braxis Holdout and Warhead Junction maps.[13]

Known Ghosts[]

"It's fitting that they call us ghosts, you know. After we join, we leave our old lives behind. Families, friends, they all just...disappear."

A female ghost

Main article: List of terran ghosts

The following is a list of important ghosts and trainees grouped by latest affiliation.

Kimeran Pirates[]

Terran Confederacy[]

Terran Dominion[]

A ghost

A ghost


A ghost

Known Ghost Specialists[]

Psionic Soldiers in Other Factions[]

The Umojan Protectorate utilizes psionic covert operatives, called shadowguards. They have more personal freedom than those of the Terran Dominion, and are often part of intelligence and espionage operations in order to keep the secrets of the Umojan Protectorate safe.[37]

A small number of ghosts were recruited into Mira's Marauders, but Mira had trouble keeping them on as part of her crew.[10] Schezar's Scavengers utilized a number of ghosts augmented with protoss technology to control zerg cerebrates.[38] Many others have been used for private security firms for VIPs on resorts such as Tyrador IX, though many have had to remove their visors as they scared the guests.[10]

The United Earth Directorate deployed its own psionic covert agents in their invasion of the sector, and utilized them to aid in controlling the Second Overmind.[39]


Ghost hoodie

  • The ghost unit was first conceived by Chris Metzen.[40] During development of StarCraft, the initial conception of the ghosts were that they were government-made, genetically engineered soldiers, possibly grown in vats.[41]
  • According to Bob Fitch, the ghost ability to guide nuclear missiles was based off the smart missile scene from the 1994 film Clear and Present Danger.[42]
  • When designing StarCraft: Ghost, many elements of the ghost's look and armor had not been nailed down by StarCraft. As such, their design, weapons and equipment were largely created and cemented over the development of Ghost.[43]
  • A ghost hoodie was available through It has since been discontinued.[44]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ghost. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2009-02-08 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "SC2" defined multiple times with different content
  3. Gerrold, David. "“In the Dark”." (May 2, 2013). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: In the Dark Accessed 2013-05-02.
  4. Golden, Christie (May 22, 2007). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #1: Firstborn. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0-7434-7125-1.
  5. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. UNN newscast after "The Devil's Playground." (in English). 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 DeCandido, Keith R. A. (November 28, 2006). StarCraft: Ghost: Nova. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0743-47134-3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "SC:G:Nova" defined multiple times with different content
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Kenyon, Nate. (September 27, 2011). StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-1439-10938-0.
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  9. 9.0 9.1 Barba, Rick. StarCraft Field Manual (hardcover). Insight Editions, November 17, 2015.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Collections Tab: Skins. July 19, 2017
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Grubb, Jeff (February 27, 2001). StarCraft: Liberty's Crusade. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-671-04148-7.
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  13. 13.0 13.1 Blizzard Entertainment. Heroes of the Storm (Blizzard Entertainment) (in English). June 2, 2015
  14. Zahn, Timothy (November 8, 2016). StarCraft: Evolution. Del Rey Books. ISBN 0425284735.
  15. Rosenberg, Aaron (June 1, 2006). StarCraft: Queen of Blades. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-7434-7133-4.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Neilson, Micky (December 18, 2000). StarCraft: Uprising. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-7434-1898-0 (eBook).
  17. Mesta, Gabriel. StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga. Pocket Books, 2001. ISBN 0-671-04149-5.
  18. Karune. 2008-03-26. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 33: ScreenCraft. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-03-26.
  19. Neilson, Micky. "StarCraft: Hybrid." Amazing Stories 601 (Spring 2000): 70-75.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Golden, Christie (November 27, 2007). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #2: Shadow Hunters. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-7434-7126-1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "SC:DkTempSaga2" defined multiple times with different content
  21. 21.0 21.1 April 6, 2010. "Timeline." StarCraft II: Heaven's Devils. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). pp. 311 - 323. ISBN 978-1416-55084-6.
  22. Benjamin, Paul and Dave Shramek (w), Mel joy San Juan (p). "Orientation." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 4 (paperback binding), pp. 114-161. Tokyopop, October 1, 2009. ISBN 978-1427-81698-6.
  23. DeCandido, Keith R. A. (w), Fernando Heinz Furukawa (p, i). StarCraft: Ghost Academy: Volume 1 (paperback binding). Tokyopop, December 29, 2009. ISBN 978-1427-81612-2.
  24. Kate Lockwell Twitter. Kate Lockwell's Twitter, accessed on 2016-03-22
  25. Radio Liberty Response. Radio Liberty Response, accessed on 2016-03-22
  26. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Flashpoint (in English). 2016-08-02.
  27. Source: BlizzCon 2005 StarCraft: Ghost information. Terran Infantry. Artist: Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  28. 2006-02-06. Psi Powers. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-09-01.
  29. 2014-18-12, Ghost Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-19-12
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  31. 2014-18-12, Ghost Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-19-12
  32. Elder, Josh (w), Ramanda Kamarga (p), Angie Nathalia (i), Junadi (i). "Do No Harm." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 3 (paperback binding), pp. 48-89. Tokyopop, July 14, 2009. ISBN 978-1427-80832-5.
  33. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Welcome to the Jungle (in English). 2010-07-27.
  34. 2006-02-15. Story. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-09-01.
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  44. 2012-12-22, New Ghost and Spectre Hoodies., accessed on 2017-07-08