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Arcturus Mengsk. There's a name that is synonymous with terror, betrayal and violence. A living example of the ends justifying the means. The assassin of the Confederacy of Man. The hero of the blasted world of Korhal IV. King of the universe. A savage barbarian who never let anything or anyone get in his way. And yet, he is charming, erudite and intelligent. When you're in his presence you feel that he's really listening to you, that your opinions matter, that you're someone important if you agree with him. It's amazing. I have often wondered if men like Mengsk don't carry around their own reality-warping bubbles, and all who fall in are suddenly transported to another dimension where the hellish things he says and does suddenly make sense. At least, that's the effect he always had on me.
~ Michael Liberty describing who Arcturus Mengsk is.
I will not be stopped. Not by you, or the Confederates, or the Protoss or anyone! I will rule this sector or see it burnt to ashes around me.
~ Emperor Mengsk's most infamous quote.

Arcturus Mengsk is a prominent antagonist in the StarCraft real-time strategy PC game series by Blizzard, serving as one of the main antagonists of the franchise alongside the Overmind and Sarah Kerrigan. He is a Terran born on the planet Korhal IV who lead a rebel faction known as The Sons of Korhal with his fellow Korhalians against the oppressive Confederacy of Man who dominated the Koprulu sector. However, after overthrowing the Confederacy Mengsk forms the totalitarian Terran Dominion and reveals himself to be a power mad dictator, only concerned with maintaining his own power and crushing anyone who defies him.

He serves as a major antagonist in the first StarCraft game, the secondary antagonist in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and the main antagonist of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.


Arcturus ultimately succeeded in overthrowing the Confederacy using genocidal tactics and treason and was responsible for abandoning former Confederate assassin and Sons of Korhal member Sarah Kerrigan, on Tarsonis, which resulted in her transformation into the Queen of Blades.

Disgusted by this, fellow rebel Jim Raynor cut ties with Mengsk and established his own group of rebels entitled Raynor's Raiders.

Upon the fall of the Confederacy, Mengsk established the Terran Dominion, where he crowned himself Emperor. However, he was not much different from the people that he had sought to replace and continued to rule via manipulation and terror. Raynor's Raiders constantly have tussles on with the Dominion on many worlds in their quest to overthrow Mengsk.

Soon after his establishment, the Koprulu Sector was invaded by the United Earth Directorate, which that the intention of defeating the Zerg and Protoss and reclaiming the old Terran colonies. The UED had successfully invaded Korhal and overthrew the Terran Dominion. They then captured Arcturus with the intention of executing him and his officers. However, Raynor's Raiders suddenly interfered and saved Arcturus. Though Mengsk was surprised at Raynor's actions, the rebel reassured him that he wasn't doing this for kindness, but because a mutual acquaintance of theirs (Kerrigan), needed him alive. With the help of the Protoss, the fugitives escaped.

Mengsk was put into cold sleep and later awakened to speak with Kerrigan. Mengsk demanded to know why Kerrigan wanted him around. Kerrigan stated that she needed his Psi-Emitters to gather the Zerg minions to destroy the Psi Disruptor that the UED had taken control of. In return for his help, Kerrigan promised to help retake Korhal from the UED. Mengsk agreed to the deal.

Raynor and Fenix were unwilling to trust Kerrigan, knowing that she will soon betray them. Mengsk agreed that she was untrustworthy but would work with her if it helped him regain Korhal. Raynor responded by angrily reminding Mengsk that he was the reason Kerrigan became the monster she was to begin with.

Kerrigan followed through on her promise and helped liberate Korhal from the UED, however Kerrigan then promptly terminated the alliance and destroyed the Dominion and Protoss bases, killing General Duke and Praetor Fenix in the attack. Mengsk was outraged by Kerrigan's betrayal, but Kerrigan reminded him of his actions on Korhal. She stated that she would let him live to see her rise to power and remember what he had done.

Later on, Mengsk led the remainder of his Dominion fleet along with the Protoss fleet led by Artanis, and the remnants of the UED fleet led by Admiral Dugalle. Kerrigan promptly defeated all three fleets. Mengsk would later return to Korhal to rebuild the Dominion.

He had a son named Valerian Mengsk, who eventually led Dominion forces along with Raynor on a full-scale assault on planet Char in order to de-infest Kerrigan.

In 2505, he finally met his demise at the hands of a vengeance-thirsty Kerrigan on his home world of Korhal.


Mengsk used to be a brave and righteous man, until years of suffering under the Confederacy turned him bitter and hostile. The loss of his mother and sister was the last straw for him, finally made him into the ruthless and manipulative warlord known today. His exccessive use of recruited media for his advantage shows that he's highly charismatic and intelligent, but also opressive and unforgiving to his foes and subjects alike.


           StarCraft Logo.pngVillains

Terran Confederacy
Edmund Duke | Magistrate Collins | Samir Duran | Lieutenant Rumm

Terran Dominion
Arcturus Mengsk | Edmund Duke | Nova | Emil Narud | Carolina Davis | Defenders of Man

United Earth Directorate
Gerard DuGalle | Alexei Stukov | Samir Duran

Overmind | Sarah Kerrigan | Daggoth | Zasz | Zagara | Abathur | Alexei Stukov

Ma'lash | Alarak | Nyon

Forces of Amon
Amon | Samir Duran | Hybrids | Maar

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