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Carriers glassing a world

Glassing,[1][2][3] also known as planet cracking[4] or purification,[5][3] is a protoss war technique used to destroy all life on planetary surfaces, usually to eradicate the presence of zerg.

A purification attack is carried out by ships firing massive energy beams to sterilize planetary surfaces.[6][7][8] Carriers are equipped for this purpose,[7] and can project energy from their bows.[8][9] Motherships,[10][11] and possibly other large ships[6][12] such as void rays[13] may also be used to purify planets.

Glassing may disperse most of a planet's atmosphere, and release magma onto the surface by burning through the crust.[7] Minerals on glassed worlds acquire unique properties.[14]


Pre-Great War[]

Before the Great War, a disgraced executor seized a Protoss Empire facility known as The Rock. The Empire began to make preparations to purify the instillation, but Praetor Fenix subdued the rebels before the base was purified.[15]

Great War[]

"Mr. Liberty, let me make myself perfectly clear. We have made first contact with another alien civilization. This contact consisted of them vaporizing the colony of Chau Sara. They burned it to the ground, and then burned the ground beneath it."

The protoss burn Chau Sara

When the protoss discovered the extent of the zerg infestation of Chau Sara, Executor Tassadar reluctantly ordered his expedition's ships to power up their weapons, destroying the planet,[16] firing at both terran settlements and other points.[7] At least two ships, firing massive energy beams, obliterated most or all life. A small number of marines, including Andre Madrid, survived the attack by hiding underground.[6] Shortly after Chau Sara, the protoss fleet purified the planet of Gystt.[17]

Carriers glassing a world

Tassadar avoided attacking the next infested world, Mar Sara, until after the terrans had evacuated. Several hours after the escape, Tassadar's forces again sterilized a planet.[18]

Antiga Prime bombarded

A large battle between the zerg, Terran Confederacy and Sons of Korhal broke out on Antiga Prime. After a particularly devastating zerg attack on the Confederacy (guided by a Sons of Korhal psi emitter), Tassadar's forces attacked Antiga Prime, purifying it.[19]

Tassadar's fleet arrived at the Confederate capital world of Tarsonis, which had been besieged by zerg due to the Sons of Korhal's use of psi emitters. Lieutenant Sarah Kerrigan, a ghost, believed that the protoss arrived with the intention of destroying the planet. Forces under her command defeated the protoss.[20] The protoss did not purify Tarsonis. Protoss and zerg continued to fight on the planet's core continent.[21][22]


Carriers glassing Urona Sigma

An attack took place under mysterious circumstances on the ice world of Braxis sometime after the Brood War.[6] The planet refroze since the incident.[23]

The protoss also partially purified the world of Urona Sigma in 2502.[24]

Second Great War[]


This article or section contains information from the optional Colonist Missions in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.

"The only cure for infestation is purification by fire!"

Taurus IV is glassed

During or before the Second Great War, the zerg established a presence on Taurus IV, infesting the Dominion force sent to investigate. A protoss executor intercepted the distress call the terrans had sent out, and requested the aid of the Golden Armada. Protoss on the surface held the zerg at bay long enough for the Armada to arrive, which eradicated the zerg forces from orbit.[25]

During the conflict proper, Doctor Ariel Hanson intended to relocate several hundred colonists to a world called Haven, a world ideal in all aspects aside from that it was very close to protoss space. After supporting Jim Raynor's campaign for a few weeks, she returned to Haven to find that the zerg had infested the world and several protoss warships had entered orbit to purify the planet. The protoss, recognizing the Hyperion, asked for Raynor to help in the purification, while Hanson asked for time to complete a cure for the infestation.

Plot branch : Raynor's Raiders protect. (A canon)

The Purifier attacking Haven

Raynor chose to help Hanson defend the colony. This angered Executor Selendis, and she sent the powerful Purifier, a mothership, to purify the terran colonies.

Raynor managed to save most of the colonists by evacuating them before his forces destroyed the mothership.[10] Hanson departed the Hyperion to join the colonists.[26][27]

Plot option ends here

End War[]

During the End War, the corrupted Golden Armada were sent by Amon to purify all worlds within the Koprulu Sector. They were opposed by the Terran Dominion, which could only slow their advance.[28]

After Hierarch Artanis activated the Purifiers in Cybros, Executor Clolarion activated the purifier cannon on the warship, and purified the surface of Endion of all life, removing the threat of Amon's brood.[29]

Defenders of Man Insurgency[]

Tal'darim void rays opening fire on the zerg from orbit

During the Defenders of Man Insurgency, the Death Fleet, led by First Ascendant Ji'nara, moved on Tyrador IX to destroy Defenders of Man. Upon coming out of warp space, the Death Fleet´s void rays began to purify the hive clusters on the surface of the planet.[13]

Tenuous Peace[]

By 2511, the Terran Dominion began constructing bunkers that were buried beneath the reach of protoss incineration. Overqueen Zagara set about regrowing worlds previously destroyed by protoss purification using the adostra.[17]


If the prophecy imparted to the Church of Besainted Pelagius is to be believed, a "cauterization" of the universe is what awaited Creation in Armageddon. Such a technique would have been similar to purification.[12] This future was apparently averted with the conclusion of the End War.[30]

Purified Worlds[]

Glassing as seen from a planet's surface

Main article: Purified worlds



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