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The Dig is a StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty mission. It requires Raynor's Raiders to retrieve another piece of the Keystone.



A Moebius Foundation expedition detected a fragment within a xel'naga temple. They informed the Foundation and set up a Drakken laser drill to break through the temple's door. However, the expedition was detected by the Tal'darim, the self-appointed guardians of xel'naga relics. The protoss wiped out the terrans but left their base mostly intact.

The Foundation became concerned with the lack of further updates from the expedition, and brought in Raynor's Raiders to investigate and help complete the excavation.[1]

The Mission[]

The laser drill

The Raiders landed to find the debris of the ill-fated expedition. Crucio siege tanks cleared the way for reactivating the abandoned Foundation base and the laser drill. Although the reconnaissance force had encountered Tal'darim patrols, the full extent of the protoss presence became apparent only after the drill began working on the temple door. Executor Nyon ordered his forces to assault the Raiders, and became ever more vehement as the Raiders refused to be dislodged.

As the protoss response intensified with heavy units and aircraft, Captain Matt Horner transferred manual control of the laser drill to Commander Jim Raynor; the terrans had realized it was an effective weapon as well as a tool. Despite the Tal'darim's interference, the Raiders broke into the temple and retrieved the artifact.

The Tal'darim Executor vowed not to forget Raynor's desecration, threatening that the day of reckoning was coming. For his part, Raynor was unnerved by the number of powerful and militant groups interested in the components. Tychus Findlay, however, brushed off the concerns: only the paycheck mattered to him.[1]

Zeratul's Warning[]


ZeratulsWarning SC2-WoL VCine1

Zeratul's warning

Dark Prelate Zeratul put the memories of his investigation since Ulaan into an Ihan crystal. During the Second Great War, he covertly boarded Hyperion and met briefly with Raynor. Raynor received the crystal and was urged to review it. Zeratul cryptically alluded to the coming struggle with the hybrids, but made clear that Raynor was not to kill Sarah Kerrigan.[2]


Main article: campaign quotations

The Tal'darim now knew of the Raiders interest in the components. They reinforced the guard on Typhon XI in anticipation of the terrans arrival.[3]


Cover the approaches to the base with siege tanks atop the cliffs, and block the ramps with bunkers. Marauders with Jackhammer Concussive Shells may help to slow enemy pushes up the ramps; keep them in the bunkers or close to the blockades. There is an expansion to the south; it's defensible by bunkers on the low ground covered by tanks within the main base. Anti-air defenses are also needed, especially around the drill itself.

The laser drill becomes controllable later as a manually aimed weapon. Use it to destroy high-value targets quickly. It may hit anything uncovered from the fog of war. Queue targets by selecting the first target normally, then selecting subsequent targets while pressing the Shift key. The drill automatically returns to attacking the temple when it runs out of queued targets.

Minimap pings forewarn of attack waves by immortals and archons, and later colossi and high templar. Destroy the colossi quickly since they provide line of sight to higher ground. As in the late game siege tanks will be clumped up, high templar are also priority targets to prevent losing a number of tanks to psionic storm. Air attack waves include warp prisms, scouts, void rays, and (on higher difficulties) carriers.

The optional research objectives are in three xel'naga temples; one is to the west and two are to the south-east. The temples must be destroyed by the laser drill, after which the relics within can be picked up.

If Breakout or Ghost of a Chance is completed before this mission, and spectres or ghosts are upgraded with permanent cloaking, they can wall the base's choke points, as the protoss don't use observers, not even on Brutal difficulty. Only colossi and the air attack waves can bypass the cloaked wall, so make sure the drill destroys the carriers and colossi, and train a sizable force of marines and medics to deal with any other unit. It is not recommended to use siege tanks in siege mode with this strategy to avoid killing the cloaked spectres or ghosts and creating gaps in the wall. Instead, change them to tank mode or position them in a way they cannot target units that are too close to the wall.

Destroying all protoss forces will also result in victory, but no achievement is awarded, although on Hard mode the player will win the "Yippee-ki-yay" achievement after destroying 50 Protoss buildings. This achievement is one of the toughest of all the Hard mode achievements in the game, as the player is getting nearly continually attacked by groups of Protoss including Archons, and later Colossi, and the occasional air attack, while at the same time having to put together an army that is strong enough to destroy the Protoss bases. To make things even more difficult, the Protoss keep their bases well defended with many tough units, including Archons, Colossi, and Void Rays. In case the player wishes to do so, it is most recommended to have access to spectres or ghosts and the orbital command, as well as nukes for clearing out enemy structures. Each protoss base has an observer in each entry, so use the orbital command's scanner sweep to spot the observers and destroy them. After that, use more scanner sweeps to nuke the photon cannons from afar so that cloaked units can attack without fear of retaliation. If the orbital command is unavailable, the player can lift off a building to provide vision.


The next article in this series is The Moebius Factor.

The next article in this series is Whispers of Doom.


The achievements for this mission are references to the film Die Hard.

TheDig SC2 Icon1.jpg The Dig

15 (Artifact Mission) Achievement SC2 Game1.JPEG


Complete all mission objectives

DrillHard SC2 Icon1.jpg Drill Hard

10 (Artifact Mission) Achievement SC2 Game1.JPEG


Kill 20 enemy units with the Laser Drill on Normal difficulty


The achievement is a reference to the film Die Hard.

Yippee-ki-yay SC2 Icon1.jpg Yippee-ki-yay...

10 (Artifact Mission) Achievement SC2 Game1.JPEG


Destroy 50 Protoss structures on Hard difficulty.


The achievement is a reference to a line from the film Die Hard.

10tAnniversary SC2Portrait.jpg Thanks for the Advice

10 Achievement SC2 Game1.JPEG


Complete "The Dig" mission without killing an enemy unit or structure with the Laser Drill on Normal difficulty.



The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II which is no longer valid.

Dug Out[4]

Destroy all the protoss on the map


This achievement was removed during development


  1. 1.0 1.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, The Dig (in English). 2010-07-27.
  2. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Zeratul's Warning. (in English). 2010.
  3. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Supernova (in English). 2010-07-27.
  4. StarCraft Legacy staff. 2010-04-22. April 19 Single Player Campaign Info and Press Event. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2010-04-23.