When we first encounter Raynor in-game, he is a 29-year-old marshal on Mar Sara and part of its colonial militias. Under the orders of the Terran Confederacy, he escorts colonists of Mar Sara to the wastelands, in preparation for their eventual abandonment of the planet.
While safeguarding these colonists, he receives a distress signal from a Confederate outpost named Backwater Station. Alpha Squadron General Edmund Duke tells the colonial magistrate not to interfere, as he will send help, but Raynor, who despises the Confederacy, believes Duke will take too long. He takes the local militia fight against the Zerg, defeating them and destroying their Infested Command Center. The Confederacy arrests him, ostensibly for destroying Confederate property.
Agent of the Sons of Korhal
Arcturus Mengsk and the Sons of Korhal free him from the Confederate prison ship, however, and Raynor decides to work with them. He persuades the colonial magistrate to ally with them as well. Raynor takes part in many battles with the Sons of Korhal against the Zerg and the Terran Confederacy. The Terran Confederacy is defeated at their homeworld of Tarsonis by the Sons of Korhal.
Betrayals and Failures
Towards the end of Episode I, however, Mengsk leaves Sarah Kerrigan to her death at the hands of the Zerg on a space platform over Tarsonis, and Raynor severs his ties with Mengsk for this act of betrayal. Mengsk and Edmund Duke tried to prevent him from fleeing from Tarsonis by using their Ion Cannon. Raynor's Raiders destroyed the cannon and escaped. Having lost his homeworld and now alienated by the leader of the remaining Terrans, he strikes out on his own.
In Episode II, Jim Raynor is drawn to the planet Char by the psionic emanations of Sarah Kerrigan, but his base is overrun by the Zerg under the command of Infested Kerrigan. Raynor is shocked to see her alive ... and in this condition. Kerrigan defeats his forces, but allows Jim and any survivors to leave. We know little of Raynor's whereabouts or activites afterwards.
Alliance with the Protoss
Tassadar is also in a weak position, and needs the help from Protoss reinforcements from Aiur (who actually came to arrest him) in order to rescue Zeratul and the Dark Templar. The Dark Templar were imprisoned by Infested Kerrigan in an abandoned Terran facility because the Zerg feared their ability to slay Cerebrates. Raynor and Tassadar debate an attack on the facility. While Raynor still has feelings for Kerrigan, Tassadar says he will kill her if he finds her there. Raynor did not personally take part in the mission, and Tassadar did not encounter Kerrigan there. After rescuing the Dark Templar, Aldaris, the Executor, Tassadar, Raynor, Zeratul and the Dark Templar all return to Aiur, where they meet Fenix. The Protoss Conclave wants nothing to do with the Dark Templar, and tells Tassadar that teaching Templar warriors to use their powers in tandem with Dark Templar is treason and heresy. Tassadar is forced to rebel against the Conclave, but later surrenders, though the Executor, Raynor and Fenix escape. Zeratul and the Dark Templar disappear, and Raynor, commanding the Hyperion, helps Fenix and the Executor to get Tassadar out of the Conclave's custody.
At the end of Episode III, Raynor is present at the final attack on the Zerg Overmind. His forces are instrumental in its final defeat, which resulted in the death of the Overmind, along with Tassadar.
The Brood War
The temporarily leaderless Zerg rampaged over Aiur, killing 70% of the Protoss. The Protoss make the decision to evacuate Aiur through a Warp Gate, which can take them to Shakuras, homeworld of the Dark Templar. Raynor and Fenix stay behind on Aiur to guard the Aiur side of the Warp Gate, so that the surviving Protoss can escape to Shakuras. This is the beginning of Raynor's friendship with Fenix. This unlikely bond between a Terran and a Protoss is one of the strongest and most enduring in the entire storyline of StarCraft.
During Episode V, Raynor makes only a brief appearance when he rescues Arcturus Mengsk from being captured by the United Earth Directorate and later escapes Aiur with him through the Warp Gate. At the beginning of Episode VI, Kerrigan asks him and Fenix to bring Arcturus Mengsk to her. Kerrigan deceives all three into thinking they are allied against a common enemy - the UED. Kerrigan uses them to help her destroy the UED's Psi Disrupter, as well as retaking Korhal for Mengsk. Then, when Kerrigan has no more use for them, she has Fenix killed. Raynor finally realizes Kerrigan's treacherous nature, swears to kill her, and strikes out on his own again. For the rest of Brood War we see no more of Raynor, and after the final mission we are told that "James Raynor and Zeratul went their separate ways, and have not been heard from since their departure."
Raynor made an appearance in the StarCraft 64 map, Resurrection IV, which takes place after the end of Brood War. Here he works with Artanis and other Protoss to right a grievous wrong on the world Braxis.
Creative director Andy Chambers said of Raynor in StarCraft II: "Raynor has been having some adventures for sure," but declined to comment further. Some fans claim to have seen Raynor in a cinematic trailer for StarCraft II.
Appearances in non-video game products
- Main article: StarCraft: Liberty's Crusade
- Main article: StarCraft: Queen of Blades
The Queen of Blades, presents a slightly different account as to the whereabouts of Raynor during StarCraft Episode II. Rather than building a base that gets attacked, Raynor leads an expedition down into the caverns beneath the surface of Char, where he comes face to face with Kerrigan as she emerges from the chrysalis. The Zerg then massacre his troops, with Kerrigan sparing him alone as she does in the game. She then steals his shuttles and uses them for the boarding attack on the Amerigo, as well on the ships of both Raynor and Duke's fleets. Raynor is only able to save the Hyperion and a handful of troops on the ground as Tassadar's fleet arrives and wipes the infested ships out.
Through the course of the story, Raynor finds that Kerrigan has linked her mind to his, this allows him to understand the Zerg's communications and other psionic speech, allowing him to personally witness many important events of Episode II, such as the death of the Cerebrate Zasz, as he tracks the Zerg, Protoss, and Dark Templar across Char. In addition, he also ends up sharing dreams with Kerrigan of the two of them living a normal life together.
The novel also goes into detail of his time with the Protoss and Dark Templar, showing how he earned the respect of both Tassadar and Zeratul.
- Main article: StarCraft Adventures
He also makes appearances in StarCraft Adventures, an Alternity-based tabletop RPG.
- Main article: Lord Marshal Raynor
A character similar to Raynor appears in World of Warcraft.
Raynor is one of the very few major Terran characters in StarCraft to be fundamentally good throughout the game. Even when he assisted Infested Kerrigan, it was to overthrow the UED, which he suspected would enslave or kill all three races in the sector (in essence, he chose what appeared to be the lesser of two evils). Raynor is also the only major Terran leader closely associated with, and trusted by, the Protoss.
A Call for Help
As of October 9th 2005 the Battle.net Web Site contained a hidden image of Infested Kerrigan saying "Help me Jim Raynor...you're my only hope!". The animated GIF image and the text can be found at the bottom of the main page. In order to reveal them the user has to click the round object above the Blizzard image.
Jim Raynor appears in StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War in three separate units. We first see him piloting a Vulture hover cycle. He raids the Jacobs Installation as a Marine, and he commands the Hyperion, a battlecruiser, during StarCraft Episode III as he fights alongside the Protoss. Although he appears throughout the Brood War (in all three forms), he is not a playable hero during those episodes. The only exception is a brief moments during the first mission of Episode IV, when he helps Zeratul and the Khalai escape from Aiur. This is also notably the only time players can command an invincible hero.
Raynor's Marine form appears to be the most popular version.