The Raiders recovered secret Dominion documents during a raid on Korhal. The documents contained the location of a bio-weapons research installation orbiting Castanar, and an order to liquidate its personnel. The Raiders became suspicious of why Mengsk would give such an order, and decided to investigate.
Raynor and a marine team infiltrated the facility using breaching charges to blast their way in and security codes within the documents to hack the security systems. Upon reaching the science lab they discovered a hybrid cloned several times, and other experiments being conducted on captive protoss and zerg. Raynor decided to destroy the facility by blowing up the reactor. However, the explosion released a very powerful hybrid reaver and the rebels were forced to flee as the facility began to collapse. The Raiders barely managed to escape by stealing a Dominion Hercules dropship.
- Main article: campaign quotations
Jim Raynor suspected that Arcturus Mengsk had a hand in the "end of the universe." Since the technology used was too complex for terrans, Matt Horner suggested that the Dominion had help.
Beacon Options and Items
The mission is divided into two parts. The first is to destroy the fusion reactor and release a powerful hybrid, and the second part is fleeing from it. In the first part, beacons give options to help surmount obstacles. These are good places to save and try out the different options.
There are four types of items throughout the mission.
- Hand grenades - Deals 100 damage to all units in the area of effect and instantly clears barricades. Best used against groups of enemies and on barricades when escaping.
- Plasma gun ammo - Deals 150 damage to a single target. Best used against powerful enemies.
- Chrono-rift device - Creates a field that slows the attack and movement rates of units inside. Use it to slow down the pursuing hybrid when it gets close during the second part of the mission.
- Health and energy restores - Restores health and energy of all units. Best used only when needed.
The hand grenades, plasma gun ammo and chrono-rift devices each give Raynor a new ability when acquired. Each ability has limited ammunition; additional pick ups give additional ammunition. Save the weapon abilities for the second part.
Part 1: Heading In
The initial force consists of Raynor, five marines, and two medics. Use Raynor's blasting charge on the door, but stand back since they deal splash damage. The first beacon gives a view of the next room with enemy and the option to activate gun turrets on either side of the room to fight the Dominion troops inside. The lab accessed afterwards has a holding pen that will regularly spawn zerglings to attack, the pen can be destroyed normally or with Raynor's breaching charge. The hallway to the next lab contains several enemies and a grenade pick-up. The next beacon unleashes a mass of zerglings, zealots or ultralisks on the Dominion defenders in the next room. Enemy strength and releasable units change with difficulty. The released units will also be hostile. Destroy the pen they emerge from to find the first protoss artifact. A small chamber in the next room contains a plasma gun weapon and a health pick-up.
Down the ramp outside is another plasma gun pick-up and a beacon. The beacon shows Dominion forces in the cargo bay beyond and allows the activation of an allied A.R.E.S. warbot; the warbot may be armed with anti-infantry napalm, all-purpose cannons or anti-armor missile pods. The missiles are good for the vikings and siege tanks, and possibly a thor, in the cargo bay. The warbot benefits from health pick-ups. Saving it for the brutalisk however will make the bonus objective much easier and will grant the player a secret Feat of Strength achievement. A grenade pick-up is also in the next stretch.
The next beacon shows a restrained brutalisk in the next room, and gives options for reinforcements: eight marines, three marines and three medics, three marauders, or four firebats. The room has several ghosts. Releasing and fighting the brutalisk is optional. The brutalisk may be killed for zerg research points. Use Raynor to absorb the brutalisk's attacks and use the plasma gun. A "feat of strength" achievement may be unlocked by killing the brutalisk with the warbot; clear the cargo bay without activating the warbot, then activate it and bring it to the brutalisk chamber. There is another health and plasma gun pick-up as well as a protoss relic in the room.
Destroy the plasma reactor in the final room to continue.
Part 2: Heading Out
Destroying the reactor releases the hybrid. The remainder of the mission is a race through the facility to the extraction point, fighting through Dominion troops and released zerg and protoss, all the while being pursued by the hybrid. All are hostile. The hybrid cannot be killed; it may be slowed using chrono-rift device pick-ups, and it will stop to fight enemy troops in its path. Use grenades to clear barricades quickly.
Move northwest into the only open route. Pick up the plasma gun and chrono-rift device en route, and break through the first barricade. The hybrid gives chase starting in the next room; it is temporarily detained by a barricade. There is a grenade pick-up in the lower corner. Running south-west there is a beacon to activate a warbot; use it to distract the hybrid. Turning south-east, there is a chrono-rift pick-up behind a barricade guarded by enemy marines; the escape path to the south-west has a health pick-up and is blocked by another barricade.
Beyond the barricade is a battle between zerg and protoss, with a protoss relic nearby. Grab the relic and leave the aliens to fight each other and distract the hybrid. In the next room is another chrono-rift pick-up, and a protoss relic at the lower end. In the hallway after this chamber the Hybrid will temporarily vanish and stop its pursuit. Grab the health pick-up and head into the next room, which is full of pygalisk cocoons, pygalisks (miniature ultralisks) and feederlings (unselectable units). Move quickly to avoid them, and be wary of an ultralisk that may spawn. Down the next ramp is a chrono-rift pick-up; moving beyond triggers the Hybrid to reappear. Ignore everything and run straight to the Hercules dropship to escape.
To earn the "Not so Brutalisk" achievement, have Raynor take up a tanking position in front of the rest of your forces, with maruaders behind him. Do not place any marines near him, as they will die in one hit from the brutalisk. Use Raynor's plasma gun pick-ups to rapidly deplete the brutalisk's health, and have a unit near the health pick-up in the room to heal him when he grows weak.
To earn the "Monster Mash" Feat of Strength, skip activating the A.R.E.S. to clear out the cargo bay without it, then after radioing Horner to call in reinforcements, go back and activate it. The timed life of the A.R.E.S. is not long enough to fight through the cargo bay and defeat the brutalisk, so the cargo bay must be cleared without it. This strategy can easily be combined with "Not so Brutalisk," as the A.R.E.S. is plenty strong enough to defeat the brutalisk on its own.
|Piercing the Shroud|
Complete all Mission Objectives on any Difficulty
|Not so Brutalisk|
Kill the brutalisk without losing a unit to it on Normal difficulty
|Lock and Load|
Collect all 13 weapon pickups on Hard difficulty
|Count to Three, No More, No Less|
Kill 40 enemy units with weapon pickups in the "Piercing the Shroud" mission on Normal difficulty.
A reference to the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch" scene from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
In Piercing the Shroud, kill the brutalisk with the A.R.E.S on Normal Difficulty or higher.
- During the first part of the mission in the "brutalisk room", the vats contain a Metroid and a tauren marine. Outside is Grunty on an asteroid and a flying outhouse. To find Grunty, explore the external area which is used to drop reinforcements.
- When the hybrid begins its rampage, if one goes into the room where it has to destroy rubble to enter, there is a screen which requires the map viewing angle to be changed using the insert key. It displays people moving furniture, most likely at Blizzard headquarters. In the background is a Queen of Blades statue. It seems to be taken by a security camera.
- If one goes down on the map one can find another monitor with another video loop. It seems to be outside some type of convention with a lot of people and some people with passes leaving a building cheering. This video seems to be filmed with a larger camera. It is one of the last rooms before the Hercules dropship.
- There is also someone's face in the floor when you blow up the entrance doorway. It disappears after a few seconds.
- Security camera feeds scattered throughout the level displaying the text "Stardate 282-5837-73", and a scientist wearing VISOR-like head gear are references to Star Trek.
- This mission is very similar to Dark Origin, the secret mission in Starcraft: Brood War, except with an added twist in that a hybrid actually comes and threatens the team, and that it involves James Raynor rather than Zeratul.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Media Blitz (in English). 2010-07-27.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Piercing the Shroud (in English). 2010-07-27.