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The Overmind was created by Amon and his followers on Zerus to bring order to the zerg and guide them into merging with the protoss. At first it was only a semi-sentient entity created from the instincts and collective sentience of the zerg, but it quickly developed intellect and personality. The Overmind was created with intelligence and the ability to reason, but its free will was undermined by an overriding directive to perfect the Swarm by any means necessary. This was part of a greater plan by Amon to remold creation in his own image, and have the zerg assimilate the protoss to create beings that satisfied both purity of essence and purity of form. The Overmind learned of Amon's plan through scattered and confused images that he was exposed to, during the process of the creation of its conscience, which the Overmind ultimately formed into a more coherent narrative. The Overmind disagreed with its directive because it knew the zerg would be destroyed once the protoss were, but could do little to resist.
The Overmind was not an automaton, and had broad latitudes in its thinking. However, "iron-clad" compulsions prevented it from considering rebellion. The Overmind used "cracks" in these controls to support the goals of the zerg over Amon's.
Development and Rebellion
- The Overmind to a Cerebrate(src)
The Overmind did not directly relay orders to its minions. As new species were added to the Swarm, it began to relay orders telepathically through cerebrates, giant versions of the larvae. Direct orders were relayed through overlords. Over a matter of centuries, the zerg consumed or eradicated Zerus's biosphere. The Overmind knew that if it were to extend the Swarm, it would have to depart the world. The arrival of behemoths in the Zerus system provided the opportunity the Overmind sought–lured to Zerus, the creatures were assimilated into the Swarm, allowing the zerg to survive in space.
Before Amon could complete his work on Zerus, his fellow xel'naga learned of his plans and attempted to stop him. Amon retaliated by making the Overmind aware of the xel'naga worldships in orbit. Driven by its need to consume, the Overmind commenced its attack, catching the xel'naga completely off guard. Within a matter of hours, the zerg overran their defenses and laid waste to the xel'naga fleet.
The Overmind absorbed thousands of xel'naga into itself, gaining their knowledge and insights and causing it to grow much more powerful. It learned the secrets of the sacred khaydarin crystals, and began to incorporate the energies of these crystals into its own. Through the knowledge gained from the xel'naga, the Overmind was able to increase the level of sentience in many of the higher zerg strains, while still keeping them fully under its control.
Despite Amon's defeat, the Overmind remained bound by its directive to perfect the Swarm and assimilate the protoss. The zerg devoted their energies to seeking out the protoss in the hope of absorbing them into the Swarm, uniting purity of form and purity of essence, to create a totally "perfect" being.
The Swarm traveled in the direction of the protoss homeworld, though they did not know its specific location. As they traveled, the zerg wreaked havoc upon the galaxy, destroying or assimilating countless numbers of species they encountered and laid waste to hundreds of planets. As the Swarm added ever new strains to its formidable army, the Overmind was uneasy. The protoss possessed formidable psionic powers, an advantage the zerg could not offset. It sought a way to counter this advantage, but found no answer among the strains it devoured. On another front, the Overmind came to increasingly rely on its cerebrates, which took a greater role in directing the Swarm.
All changed when one of its deep-space probes encountered humanity, a frail race that lived under the very shadow of the protoss. Humanity had a great psionic potential and the Overmind ordered the assimilation of the terran worlds to gain the ability to fight the protoss on its own terms. It took the Overmind sixty years to reach the series of worlds inhabited by the terrans, sending out a scouting brood to determine the locations of their worlds.
The Overmind subtly infected the terran world of Chau Sara with spores as a prelude to invasion. The zerg infested or killed most of the populace and had sent minions to other terran worlds by the time the protoss discovered what had happened and responded. The Overmind, anxious to learn all it could about the protoss, held its minions back and let the protoss hamper the initial infestation process. The protoss destroyed all life on the surface of Chau Sara. The decisive action of the protoss pleased the Overmind, which marveled at how the protoss could bring about such devastation. The Overmind pulled its forces back to see how humanity and the protoss would react next.
Arcturus Mengsk sought to use the zerg as a weapon of war against the Terran Confederacy. To this end he acquired psi emitters, a device which amplifies the powers of a telepath, enabling them to attract zerg from a considerable distance.
The following section contains information from StarCraft: Insurrection.
In the midst of its invasion, the Overmind turned its attention to the terran planet of Brontes IV, which had resisted the swarm's attempts to conquer it. Using its youngest cerebrate and Nargil of the Fenris Brood, the Overmind captured the protoss Judicator Syndrea and repelled 7th Fleet from orbit, forcing them into their stronghold on the planet. However, it discovered that the cerebrate Auza of the Incubus Brood had been taken over by another intelligence named Atticus Carpenter. While the Overmind saw this as a curious experiment, it sought to destroy this new cerebrate to end its rebellion. Meanwhile, the Overmind ordered a parasite implanted within the dropship of the terran Black Morgan, which led the Swarm to the final outpost of the New Dresdin Outlaws and 7th Fleet. In a final push, both factions were annihilated by the Swarm. The Zerg Swarm then turned it attention to the Carpenter Cerebrate, overwhelming the lesser brood and ending Carpenter's insurrection.
Agent of the Swarm
The zerg had not yet reached Tarsonis, capital world of the Confederacy, when they were drawn there by the emitters. The protoss arrived, intending to destroy all life on Tarsonis, but Mengsk had his own plans. His Sons of Korhal, under the leadership of the increasingly politically unreliable ghost Sarah Kerrigan, would attack the protoss, preventing them from destroying the zerg. In turn, the zerg would destroy the Confederacy. The plan was successful, but Mengsk abandoned Kerrigan to the zerg. Kerrigan was not killed by the zerg, only captured and infested.
In Kerrigan, the Overmind finally found a weapon to combat the protoss. More importantly, though, it had found a way to free itself and the zerg from Amon's insidious influence. Although the Overmind had no concern for the other races, it knew that Amon ultimately intended to exterminate the zerg once they had served their purpose, and the Overmind thus sought to undermine his plans.
The Overmind created a new cerebrate with only one purpose in mind; to protect the chrysalis which now held the captive Kerrigan. The Overmind told the cerebrate that as long as the chrysalis and the creature inside survived, the cerebrate would also continue to live.
The Overmind moved the chrysalis and the rest of the Swarm to Char, whose remote location and convoluted terrain would protect it from its enemies. The Overmind's physical form manifested on Char's surface.
Kerrigan, now the Queen of Blades, emerged from her chrysalis during an attack by Raynor's Raiders. The Overmind referred to her as "the undoing" of its enemies and ordered the deaths of all the invading terrans. However, Kerrigan allowed Raynor to leave with his life.
Kerrigan's mind had been damaged by the Ghost Program during her training, and she wished to undo the damage and access her entire range of powers. She intended to raid the Amerigo to learn how to undo this damage. Zasz took issue with this plan, however, reminding her that she was just a servant, and that her wishes did not take precedence over the Overmind's mission. Kerrigan reacted badly to this pronouncement, but the Overmind allowed her to carry out her desire – while she had retained most of her spirit, she could not stray from the Overmind's will.
A New Weapon
Once she had expanded her mind, Kerrigan could detect the protoss who had been hiding on Char.
Zeratul and High Templar Tassadar conspired to perform a "weapons test" against the zerg. They had discovered the purpose of the cerebrates and believed that only Dark Templar energy could permanently destroy one. Tassadar distracted Kerrigan while Zeratul slew Zasz. This created a psionic link between the Overmind and Zeratul. Each learned the other's secrets, but the Overmind's mental defenses kept Zeratul from learning everything.
Upon reaching Aiur, the Overmind told its new cerebrate the purpose of the invasion: it intended to assimilate the protoss thus making the Swarm "perfect". In order to accomplish this task, the Overmind had to be "made manifest" on Aiur, and it needed the khaydarin crystals to do so. The Swarm acquired a crystal for the Overmind.
The Overmind ordered its forces to clear the hallowed ground upon which stood the original protoss temple on Aiur (site of where the xel'naga first set foot on Aiur) and place the khaydarin crystal in its place. Only there could it be made manifest. The crystal was placed, after which the Overmind dove upon Aiur like a bomb and implanted itself on the surface.
The protoss response coalesced following a short-lived civil war. Tassadar, with Dark Templar led by Zeratul, and Raynor's Raiders, made the final assault. Praetor Fenix and Zeratul staged a preliminary assault by permanently killing two cerebrates. With the defenses weakened, the allies struck directly at the Overmind, but only managed to destroy the Overmind's outer shell at the cost of heavy casualties.Tassadar channeled the energies of the Khala and the Void into a gigantic ball of energy that destroyed the Overmind and his physical self.
Some of Tassadar's higher psionic functions merged with those of the dying Overmind. This rendered any future manifestations of Tassadar unclear.
For many years afterwards, the Overmind's gigantic rotting corpse remained a site of zerg activity, with creatures both feeding on and defending it.
- Ouros to Zeratul.(src)
On the eve of the Second Great War, Zeratul returned to Aiur to extract its memories, first from the Overmind's tendrils, and later from its cortex. The dark templar sought information to clarify a prophecy he found on Ulaan. When he tried to commune with the cortex he was met by Tassadar's spirit who not only revealed an apocalyptic vision of the future, but also explained the Overmind's motivations during the Great War and its interest in Kerrigan. The Overmind stated that Kerrigan was the key to save the universe from Amon.
The End War
During the End War, Amon corrupted the Khala and took control of Aiur along with the Golden Armada. His forces constructed machinery to create his hybrid host body on top of the Overmind's corpse, using the Overmind's dead flesh during the creation of the host body. Void shards were placed around the site to drain life from Amon's zerg defenders, converting it into void energy to feed the host body to further aid in its creation. Hierarch Artanis and the Daelaam took up assault positions around the Overmind's corpse, and an orbital bombardment obliterated Amon's host body shortly after it awoke, leaving most of the Overmind's corpse a charred crater.
The Overmind exists as an immobile structure in the last mission of StarCraft. If the Overmind is destroyed, an unselectable unshelled Overmind appears on its place and lasts for approximately 5 seconds.
The Overmind serves as the advisor for zerg players.
In StarCraft II, the Overmind's portrait is available as a player profile. There are two Overmind models within the game–an alive (a structure) and a dead Overmind (a doodad). The tendrils are a separate structure. During the "Echoes of the Future" mission, Zeratul visits the dead one, and after the mission is concluded, the alive one appears on a flashback in the ending cinematic.
The corpse of the Overmind seen in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the largest zerg structure created by the design team. It underwent a redesign from its appearance in the previous game, the rationale being that it was to feature the most distinct SC1 features while allowing enough areas for the textures to be shown off and compared to the new zerg buildings. The giant eyeball was another liberty taken with the new art. The thought was it seemed more responsive and alive than a giant exposed brain.
The Overmind appears as a playable faction in StarCraft: The Board Game, commanding the green zerg faction. In the game's Brood War expansion, the Overmind can deploy itself onto a planet as a leadership card option, and serves as an objective for some of the game's scenarios.
Powers of the Overmind
It was biologically impossible for the zerg to oppose the Overmind's directives. Although the Overmind was technically a living being, it was really a bodiless entity that embodied the whole will of the zerg species.
- Alongside the Queen of Blades, the Overmind was voted by PC World as #8 of the top 47 "most diabolical videogame villains of all time."
- The concept of the Overmind and its hivemind control was examined in The Real Science of StarCraft II. It was concluded that it was a reasonable concept, as similar behavior has been observed in Earth insects.
- The Overmind is referenced in the indie title Undertale by the enemy character Migosp. Misgop's battle quotes are also variations of commonly used infested terran quotes.
- Overmind is the name of a canceled hero in Overwatch.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Characters of StarCraft#The Overmind.
Wikipedia content was licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License prior to June 15, 2009 is. Wikipedia content from June 15, 2009, and StarCraft Wiki content, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported).
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