|“||Awaken my child, and embrace the glory that is your birthright. Know that I am the Overmind; the eternal will of the Swarm, and that you have been created to serve me.||„|
|~ The Overmind to one of its Cerebrates.|
The Overmind is the original leader of the Zerg Swarm and the primary antagonist of the real time strategy video game StarCraft. It is a huge super-evolved brained form of life that controls all the Zerg in the universe and contains within itself every collective intelligence of the species. It is one of the most ancient, most evolved and most psychically powerful Zerg unit and the one who triggered the conflict of the first Great War. It is one of the main antagonists of the StarCraft franchise alongside Sarah Kerrigan and Arcturus Mengsk.
It was voiced by Paul Eiding in StarCraft II.
Birth of the Swarm
The Overmind was created as part of the experiments of the race of extraterrestrial scientists Xel'naga on the planet Zerus, several millennia before the start of Starcraft.
The Xel'naga sought to create the perfect life form, of which his first major experiment was the creation of the Protoss species on the planet Aiur . But the Protoss embarked on an endless civil war, which were taken by the Xel'naga as a failure, so they abandoned Aiur and recommenced their experiments with creating the Zerg in Zerus.
To avoid repeating the failure of the Protoss, which were created with the Purity of Form, the Zerg, created by Purity of Essence, must have a unique awareness and willingness to guide and control them, so the Xel'Naga the Overmind.
Endowed with telepathic powers as the Protoss, the Overmind exercised direct control over all Zerg larvae on Zerus, controlling the evolutionary process of assimilation of the Zerus' endemic species, being the only type of Zerg with consciousness, personality and intelligence, driving the Zerg offspring to develop the expansion of hives to convert the Zerg in the dominant life form on the planet.
Rebellion and Expansion
After assimilating all Zerus' dwelling species, the Zerg eradicated the entire biosphere of the planet. After replacing the parasitic assimilation by the mutation by metamorphosis to store within their hive mind of the genetic well information of races assimilated with utility for the swarm, the Overmind was prepared to continue its expansion beyond Zerus. Secretly, the renegade Xel'naga Amon corrupted the programming of The Overmind, aggravating the voracity of the Swarm.
After assimilating a nomadic alien species with the ability to survive in the vacuum of space, which temporarily settled on Zerus, the Overmind executed a mass exodus of the Swarm into space, where it became aware of the existence of its creators Xel'naga, which until then studied the behavior of Zerg at a distance. When the benevolent Xel'Naga who did not follow Amon's rule learned of his action, he sent the Zerg to devastat and destroy their fleets, leading them to near extinction.
To consume and assimilate Xel'naga's intelligence, the Overmind took over much of their knowledge of both itself and the existence and nature of the Protoss. Instigated by the machinations of Amon, the Overmind was driven by an urgent need to assimilate the Protoss, hoping that the enormous power of the species evolved Zerg to the level of perfection, which fulfill the doctrine for which it was created.
After killing the benevolent Xel'naga, the Overmind's Swarm began an endless process of expansion and colonization of new planetary territories, consuming and assimilating species were discovered on invading planets, using dimensional portals created for its psychic powers to teleport its forces to distant star systems from each other.
When the Swarm's broods became too numerous to be directly controlled by the Overmind, it created a new type of Zerg unit with intelligence and conscience, The Cerebrates, intelligent agents directly linked to its conscience and totally devoted to its will, which through the intermediation with the Overlords for kept under obedience the broods of the Swarm.
By the time when the Zerg reached the Koprulu sector they had consumed countless species in the universe, and their forces numbered an army of apocalyptic proportions.
Invasion of the Terran Sector
After the endless process of expansion of the Swarm, the Overmind was able to discover the first race with intelligence with the potential to develop psionic powers, which were to the Overmind essential to confront and destroy the Protoss. The Overmind studied the Terrans, human space colonists descendants of exiles from Earth, almost 60 years before they were aware of the existence of the Zerg.
Planetary systems dominated by Terrans were in the Koprulu sector, without themselves knowing it was originally dominated by the Protoss, which imitating their creators Xel'naga studying human without intervening in their civilization. When the Terrans made their first contacts with the Zerg, the Terran sector was ruled by a brutal military dictatorship, the Terran Confederacy, and were on the verge of a civil war.
While the Confederates studying Zerg, believing them only non-thinking creatures, and keeping their existence secret from the public, the Overmind began the process of conquest of the bordering planets of the Terran sector to do experiments to assimilate Terrans with the Zerg physiology. But not all Terrans possessed psychic powers, and none of them had a genetic idiosyncrasies consistent with the Zerg, so it could only create explorers mentally possessed by Zerg parasitic forms attached to their bodies.
Ignoring the existence of the Overmind and the magnitude of the Swarm, the Confederation created issuers of telepathic signals irresistibly attracted invasion Zerg to the planets suspects of plotting rebellion against their government, which began the Zerg invasion to Sara system.
Recognizing the threat of the Zerg, Protoss Empire's Governing Board, the Conclave, ordered the Executor (High Commander of the Protoss Army) Tassadar start massive atomic attacks on planets infested by Zerg, destroying all life forms within those planets, no matter that in the process the Terran inhabitants of those planets were eradicated because they were considered unnecessary and disposable.
Tassadar fulfilled his orders reluctantly, then went against the doctrine of protecting the species studied, and sterilized several of the Terran planets invaded by the Swarm, before starting to question its genocidal implications. However, without the Protoss knew, The Overmind deliberately allowed the destruction of its broods in the Protoss bombardment to study the nature and power of its enemies, preparing to eventually destroy them. In contemplating the power of the Protoss, the Overmind launched an invasion in total mass of the Koprulu sector.
During the civil war against the Confederacy, the insurgent leader Arcturus Mengsk discovered the psi- issuers created by the Confederates and its tactical power to use the Zerg against Confederate forces. Attesting to the gravity of the Zerg invasion, the Confederates created a Psionic Disrupter able to block telepathic communications Zerg as a defense mechanism against the Swarm, but failed to complete on time the experiments with the mechanism, and never even used.
Before it was possible, Mengsk implemented a massive amount of Psi Emitters on the Confederate capital, the planet Tarsonis, causing a massive invasion on the planet. Without humans knowing it at that time, the call was so strong that the entire large Swarm moved to Tarsonis, including the Overmind itself and most of its main Cerebrates.
Disobeying the orders of the Conclave, Tassadar led his fleet to militarily confront the Zerg and in the process save the Terrans of Tarsonis, though by then, Tassadar's attacks had made that the Terrans see the Protoss as enemies. But as the Mengsk's plan was to sacrifice all inhabitants of the planet, including innocent civilians to destroy the Confederacy, he sent his second-in-command Lieutenant Sarah Kerrigan confronted alone for the Protoss to defend the Zerg hives.
After forcing Tassadar to withdraw from Tarsonis, Kerrigan asked to be evacuated from the planet before the wave of Zerg who approached her, but Mengsk (who, from the beginning, planned to get rid of Kerrigan) abandoned her hoping that the zerg had killed her. The collapse of the Confederacy allowed Mengsk replace it by the Terran Dominion, crowning himself as emperor. But opposite of what he expected, the Overmind recognized the enormous potential of Kerrigan's psychic powers and her compatibility with the Zerg genome, being the first Terran that could be turned into a human-Zerg hybrid.
Establishment on Char
Hoping to use Kerrigan as its master weapon to assimilate the Protoss, and secretly save the Swarm from Amon, the Overmind began the process of transforming her into an Agent of the Swarm metamorphosing her within a cocoon of transmutation. Then the Overmind used a teleportation portal to move most of the swarm to the hostile volcanic planet Char, the primary hive cluster planet. This was to keep the cocoon safe from the Swarm's enemies.
Meanwhile, the subconscious Kerrigan's mind sent telepathic distress signals to Mengsk and her former lover Jim Raynor, who was now the leader of the resistance against the Dominion, so the two Terran factions began to invade Char, attacking the hive of the cocoon without knowing its true purpose. However, after completing her metamorphosis, Kerrigan recognized the Overmind as his father and master, and led the counterattack against the Terran invaders, forcing Dominion forces to escape and leaving Raynor and his raiders get caught on the planet.
Because Kerrigan was seen by The Overmind as its master creation her mind was linked to its like a Cerebrate, leading Kerrigan several times to rebel against them. However the mental powers of Kerrigan attracted new enemies to Char, specifically the Executor Tassadar's fleet and an explorer group of Dark Templar, exiled Protoss considered "heretics" by the conclave, led by the Prelate Zeratul. Although they were considered old enemies, Tassadar and Zeratul recognized the common threat of the Zerg and accepted fight together to destroy the Overmind and Cerebrates. As part of their strategy, Tassadar provoked to Kerrigan instigate her to go into a duel against him to distract her, while Zeratul through his stealth skills secretly took the opportunity to kill the cerebrate Zasz.
At death the Cerebrates are reincarnated by the Overmind, but as the psychic powers of the Zerg are very similar to the power of the void that is wielded by the Dark Templar, the powers of the latter destroys the conscience of Cerebrates, killing them permanently and causing their broods to uncontrollably attack each other, becomming Feral Zerg. However, by killing Zasz Zeratul's mind was temporarily connected with the Overmind's mind, so he could discover the history of the origin of the Zerg while the Overmind seized the knowledge of the coordinates of the planet Aiur. Even after switching the Overmind was a brief lethargic, after recovering it proclaimed that Zerg will invade Aiur.
As a first pre-invasion guideline, the Overmind ordered the annihilation of the Dark Templar staying on Char so they could not threaten it again. Using Kerrigan as vanguard the Zerg used their psychic powers to attract and detect Dark Templar to ambush and destroy them. Kerrigan's advance forced Tassadar and Zeratul to flee and hide within Char, caught in the Zerg siege. Amid the withdrawal of Protoss they met the Raynor's Raiders, also pursued by the Zerg broods, and once again the old enemies were forced by circumstances to fight together to survive.
Conquest of Aiur
Leaving Kerrigan on Char to complete the hunt for the Dark Templar, The Overmind opened a wormhole to guide the bulk of its forces to besiege Aiur. Determined to personally command the invasion, the Overmind ordered its Cerebrates steal the Protoss's Khaydarin crystals (mineral used by them to channel their psionic powers) and place them in the location of a Protoss sacred temple, which was the first landing site of the Xel'naga on Aiur, the Zerg destroyed it before implementing the stolen crystals. With its installation site ready, The Overmind struck down like a meteor on the planet and implanted on its surface, considering its direct presence in Aiur as a guarantee of victory.
With the Zerg advanced on the planet, the Conclave appointed Judicator Aldaris, Executor Artanis and Praetor Fenix to defend Aiur. Since Artanis and Fenix had a series of fast victories over the Zerg hives in some Protoss outlying provinces, the Conclave mistakenly believe that the war was already in a position favorable enough to dispense with a small force led by Artanis and Aldaris, they sent them to arrest Tassadar in Char, punishment him for siding with the Dark Templar, sworn enemies of the Conclave. Artanis' mobilization allowed the Zerg to reconquer the provinces that he had just liberated.
On Char, Tassadar convinced Artanis that Dark Templar were the key to defeating the Zerg, so Artanis' forces escorted Tassadar, Zeratul and Raynor back to Aiur, where Fenix received them as an ally. Disobedience of Artanis and the entrance to the Dark Templar and Terran soldiers to Aiur unleashed a civil war between the forces of Tassadar and the Conclave, during which the Protoss rebels stormed the Conclave central palace, reducing their number and power. The Civil War weakened the strength of the Protoss empire so badly that the Zerg could easily destroy the Great Fleet of Aiur, and bring the infestation of the planet to the point that eventually proved to be irreversible.
After appeasing the Conclave's forces, Tassadar forces turned their strategy to destroy the Overmind, thus sending a distraction force against the outer ring of the central Zerg hive and using the power of the Dark Templar to destroy two Cerebrates whose broods were protecting the premises of the Overmind. The success of their strategy allowed Tassadar, Zeratul and Raynor attack the central hive and the Overmind, protected by its fiercest broods.
After a bloody battle in which the Protoss and Terrans lost many of their fighters, the allies' weapons combined succeeded in destroying the protective shell of the Overmind, and seeing itself threatened of death, the Overmind opened a portal to escape from Aiur. Fearing the failure of his mission, Tassadar led his flagship the Gantrithor on collision course with the Overmind, charging into the bow of the ship the maximum amount of combined energy of Khala and void energy, knowing that he would die in the process, the Executor achieved his goal of destroying the Overmind before it could escape.
Unfortunately for the Protoss, at the time of the destruction of the Overmind the swarm had already taken over most of Aiur, and at the destruction of their master, the survivors Cerebrates led a fierce revenge annihilating most of the Protoss inhabitants of Aiur. Unable to contain the onslaught, the Protoss survivors of Aiur escaped through a teleportation portal to the planet Shakuras, homeworld of the Dark Templar, who welcomed them as refugees. Aiur was under control of the Swarm. And the Zerg, despite the loss of their master, were victorious.
Unable to assimilate the existence of Swarm without the Overmind that rule over it, a group of Cerebrates began a process of metamorphosis together to generate a second Overmind. But because of the complexity of biological design of Original Overmind, the process of full maturity of the Young Overmind was too slow, so the Cerebrate Daggoth took temporary control of the Zerg.
Due to the death of the first Overmind, Sarah Kerrigan regained her free will, but because her mind was corrupted by the effects of her transformation more the natural traumatic effect of her forced metamorphosis and servitude to swarm, Kerrigan's personality has been perverted to incomprehensible levels, and deciding to unleash her wrath on everyone in the Koprulu sector, Kerrigan began plotting to take over the Zerg Swarm, and use it to complete the conquest of the Koprulu sector by herself.
Unknown to the inhabitants of the Koprulu sector, while the Second Overmind was brewing the government of the earth, represented as the United Earth Directorate (UED) sent a massive fleet led by Admiral Gerard DuGalle and Vice Admiral Alexei Stukov to take control of Terran colonies of the Koprulu sector and take over the Zerg Swarm whether for snatch human colonists from their independence as to destroy the dangerous Protoss. The earthlings research had shown that it was technologically possible take control The Overmind and through it to enslave the Zerg to use them as weapons, and incubation of a still immature Overmind was the perfect opportunity to carry out their ambitions.
While the UED began a war against the Arcturus Mengsk's Terran Dominion, Kerrigan offered to personally help Protoss of Shakuras fend off the Zerg invasion of the planet, although her real intention was simply to use them as allies to weaken forces loyalists to Cerebrate Daggoth, so that she helped them to gather the Uraj and Khalis crystals, the latter located very near The Overmind, so the allies were ready to attack it to leave their broods temporarily stunned. Meanwhile, the UED discovered the abandoned Psionic Disrupter of Confederation, and although DuGalle ordered its destruction, Stukov saw in it the key weapon to conquer the Zerg.
After being banished from Shakuras, Kerrigan went to Aiur to convince Fenix and Raynor to support her in her fight to stop the invasion of UED (with whom competed for control of the Swarm), so after the UED captured the capital of the Dominion Korhal, Raynor and Fenix went to rescue Mengsk, linking him to their coalition to confront the UED. After conquering Korhal, the UED used the Psionic Disrupter to block control of Cerebrates on Char from their broods, allowing their forces into on Char and install systems of biochemical and psionic control to enslave the Overmind, which allowed to UED control the Zerg controlled by Cerebrates of Daggoth without they could oppose receiving human orders.
After conquering Char, the UED used the Psi Disrupter to prevent Kerrigan control her own Zerg, so she and her allies attacked and destroyed the Disrupter on Braxis, thereupon they sent an offensive to liberate Korhal, allowing Mengsk resume control of the Dominion, but immediately after having weakened the UED, Kerrigan betrayed her allies, attacking them by surprise. She then turned to Shakuras to kidnap Raszagal, matriarch of the Dark Templar (who actually was already under her control by through brainwashing), whom she used as a deterrent to convince Zeratul to support her to bring an attack on Char, where she hoped to use the powers of the Dark Templar to destroy the Second Overmind.
As Kerrigan wanted, Zeratul agreed to fight beside her to destroy the Overmind, and although this was defended by large forces Zerg and the main contingent survivor UED, whom still had it under their control, the forces of Kerrigan and Zeratul pierced their defenses until it was unprotected, so Zeratul upon himself to kill it, and without the Overmind by reincarnate them, Kerrigan ordered her Zerg exterminate all Cerebrates who refused to obey her, so the destruction of the Second Overmind meant the definitive disappearance of such an entity, making Kerrigan the only sovereign of all Zerg in the universe.
While searching for answers to stop a prophecy that foretold the destruction of the universe at the hands of Amon, Zeratul peered into the remains of the Overmind on Aiur and read the final thoughts and emotions the Overmind felt. Much to Zeratul's surprise, the Overmind's final thoughts and emotions were peace and satisfaction. Zeratul then encountered Tassadar's spirit (secretly Ouros, the last benevolent Xel'Naga) who revealed that the Overmind has WANTED to die on Aiur, and had infested Sarah so that she could free the Swarm from Amon's influence. For the Overmind had forseen a future where Amon would destroy the Swarm after his final victory, and the death of Sarah. So in order to ensure the survival of the Swarm, the Overmind knew it had to die so that the Swarm could defeat Amon.
When the End War began, Amon infintrated the Khala and used it like a hive mind for the Khalai protoss. In conjunction with sending the Golden Armada to wipe out all life in the Koprulu Sector and eventually the whole galaxy, he kept many enthralled protoss back on Aiur and used their bodies and the Overmind's corpse to forge a host body for him to inhabit. In the war's final stages, Artanis and his allies took the fight to Aiur and destroyed the host body, reducing most of the remnants of the corpse to a charred crater.
Later, Amon would be destroyed once and for all by the combined forces of the Terrans, Protoss, and Zerg, and Kerrigan would become Xel'Naga herself. The Overmind had been avenged and it's work completed.
- Alongside the infested Sarah Kerrigan, the Overmind was voted by PC World as #8 of the top 47 "most diabolical video game villains of all time.".
- The Overmind is very similar to God Bug from Starship Troopers.
- It seems very likely that Omega, leader of the mimics in Edge of Tomorrow, is inspired by the Overmind.