Sarah Kerrigan. The Ultimate Mary Sue in the history of fiction. SPOILERS.

THIS THREAD CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

All this debate about whether recent charcaters in fiction like Rey from Star Wars or Bella from Twilight have me at odds and I have to say that Rey is NOTHING compared to Sarah Kerrigan of Starcraft when it comes to being a Mary Sue.

Where to begin with this charcater? Well best start with the first game to showcase how she ended up the way she was.

Basically Sarah Kerrigan began as a highly trained Ghost of the Terran Confederacy, (Ghosts being the guys that are stealthy snipers and markers of Nuclear attack) she was saved by Arcturus Mengsk of the rebel Sons of Korhal faction who stands against the Confederacy.

To make a long story short. Sarah was abandoned by Mengsk and left to die on a planet that has been overwhelmed by the hostile alien Zerg. And this was portrayed as a very decisive moment in the entire franchise that they even remade that event into a high quality cinematic in Starcraft 2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V1PwpoDqzM

As shown ordinarily she would have been killed and devoured by the Zerg like they did so many others, but the Zerg had other plans for you see the Zerg actually "captured" Kerrigan under the strict guidence of their Overmind since the Overmind has been searching for "subjects" that has powerful psionic (Psychic) capabilities and many Ghosts were trained to fully utilized these psionic abilities. And Kerrigan unfortunately happened to be the unlucky one to get caught by the Zerg.

So what happens is that the Zerg tortured and mutated her into an infested Zerg/human hybrid herself forever turning her into the Queen of Blades. A series of events played out that soon resulted in the Overmind being destroyed by the Terran and Protoss, leaving Kerrigan in an opportunity to now persue her own ambitions and inevitably assume completely mastery over all Zerg, and this was done through manipulation and betrayal. Such horrible backstabbing that even Jim Raynor vowed to kill her for this:

https://youtu.be/laW2DSheEdM?t=2303

So at the conclusion of Brood War Sarah is now the ruler of all Zerg and her words "The Queen Bitch of the Universe". Basically at this point she was the Lich King of the franchise (or Arthas was the Kerrigan of his franchise but still) she fully solidified herself as the ultimate villain of the franchise that you are meant to hate after what she has done.

So what the fuck did they do to her in Starcraft 2? Long story short, they turned her into a literal Chosen One hero that LITERALLY transforms and ascends herself into an Angel made of Light, Fire, and Lawful Goodness to defeat that great evil Cosmic Alien God that wanted to snuff out all life in the universe, nevermind all the evil shit she has done in the past. And that is the tl;dr version. Starcraft 2's story is so large I don't know where to begin.

But the point still stands. You can argue that she was already Mary Sue-ish in her time as a villain in Starcraft 1, but at least she followed through with her established role of being a villain, a villain mind you was created out of betrayal and abandoned to the wolves. But did anyone wanted THIS for Kerrigan?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TGJ5wa69ZI

How did we go to that after seeing this!?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA5nOOSRS4c

And if this was because of her being a female, I think I would have that same reaction if this happened to Arthas the Lich King. Darth Vader is more redeemable then Kerrigan or the Lich King combined.

So now that I made my claim of Kerrigan being the Ultimate Mary Sue in fictional history. Explain to me why she is not with counter arguements.

Nah, I won't. Let's just say that the fairly ordinary sci-fi three way in StarCraft and Brood War was told competently and with a certain fingerspitzgefuhl, which allowed it to earn some pathos. SC2 then decided that it should tell a much grander, much more involved story... and the writers were definitely not up to the task. Kerrigan is just a symptom of the increasingly shoddy writing in the SC franchise.

Gethsemani:
Nah, I won't. Let's just say that the fairly ordinary sci-fi three way in StarCraft and Brood War was told competently and with a certain fingerspitzgefuhl, which allowed it to earn some pathos. SC2 then decided that it should tell a much grander, much more involved story... and the writers were definitely not up to the task. Kerrigan is just a symptom of the increasingly shoddy writing in the SC franchise.

Is it egotistical of me to say I can even salvage the plot that we ended up getting in Starcraft 2?

Because if they were gonna have Kerrigan be redeemed, all they had to do was this.

Just make back to normal and STOP THERE. No need to make her this Chosen One that is the most important charcater ever.

If the point was to have the 3 races band together to face the ultimate and common foe, just have Kerrigan still be in her human form, but still has great psionic influence over the Zerg. Essentially she leads the Zerg to help with Raynor's Terrans and the Protoss against Amon, but again she is just one of many people to band together. She must not be a Chosen One, Heck don't even have her turn into the Zerg-y Queen of Blades again because then the whole thing we did in Wings of Liberty was all for naught.

So here I have just made the climax roughly similar to the Warcraft 3 Reign of Chaos' climax where Humans, Night Elves, AND Orcs all band together against a common foe. So the story could be salvaged.

Why lately is the term Mary Sue being misused so frequently? It's like the chosen term of the month for bad writing. Are the protagonists overwhelmed with admiration for Kerrigan's wit, courage and other virtues, and are quick to adopt her as one of their true companions, even characters who are usually antisocial and untrusting? And if any character doesn't love her, that character gets an extremely unsympathetic portrayal...

...oh! Nevermind.

Samtemdo8:
Snip

I'm pretty sure Superman still takes the cake, but I'm a bit too lazy to put as much effort into that as you have :P

I think before any more discussion can be had on which characters are and are not Mary Sues we need to sit down and work out what exactly makes a character a Mary Sue. To that end I submit OSP's Trope Talk on the subject:

Avnger:

Samtemdo8:
Snip

I'm pretty sure Superman still takes the cake, but I'm a bit too lazy to put as much effort into that as you have :P

Eh. That's more Batman than Superman. In multiple universes where Gods regularly interact with reality, there are beings that regularly puts Superman on his Ass. He has weaknesses. Whatever.

Batman can go toe to toe with those same entities because he believes in himself and always has a plan. This is not Hyperbole. With no powers, he's somehow able to hit and affect Beings that would have to be told that a Bus collided into them at a hundred miles per hour because they wouldn't feel it. Deathstroke is noted to say "hits harder than most beings with superhuman strength" (under Powers and Abilities)

Batman is the first known character that is EVERYONE'S Mary Sue, not just the writers.

.. Technically, Gary Stu, but you know what I mean.

ObsidianJones:

Avnger:

Samtemdo8:
Snip

I'm pretty sure Superman still takes the cake, but I'm a bit too lazy to put as much effort into that as you have :P

Eh. That's more Batman than Superman. In multiple universes where Gods regularly interact with reality, there are beings that regularly puts Superman on his Ass. He has weaknesses. Whatever.

Batman can go toe to toe with those same entities because he believes in himself and always has a plan. This is not Hyperbole. With no powers, he's somehow able to hit and affect Beings that would have to be told that a Bus collided into them at a hundred miles per hour because they wouldn't feel it. Deathstroke is noted to say "hits harder than most beings with superhuman strength" (under Powers and Abilities)

Batman is the first known character that is EVERYONE'S Mary Sue, not just the writers.

.. Technically, Gary Stu, but you know what I mean.

Also Batman himself literally ascended to Godhood in the New 52 era.

image

And Superman is DC's greatest Mary Sue again why?

Canadamus Prime:
I think before any more discussion can be had on which characters are and are not Mary Sues we need to sit down and work out what exactly makes a character a Mary Sue. To that end I submit OSP's Trope Talk on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2-GIY9RTqU

tl;dw: According to the video, basically a Mary Sue character is defined less from her traits, and more from how much of the center of the attention she is (how much the narrative artificially hammers you that this is the character you MUST be invested in).

Samtemdo8:

Also Batman himself literally ascended to Godhood in the New 52 era.

And Superman is DC's greatest Mary Sue again why?

Because being all powerful due to birth and happenstance while trying to uphold a clean mortality = sanctimonious in people's mind

Being born, rich, perfect, the pinnacle of humanity, brilliant, able to fight Gods off because of plot armor... while being vicious yet holding onto the same morals as the previous guy? Cool.

I debated a lot as to whether to even engage with this subject, because I've seen it come up so often I can only conclude that I played a different game than everyone else. But fine, I'll play:

Samtemdo8:

As shown ordinarily she would have been killed and devoured by the Zerg like they did so many others, but the Zerg had other plans for you see the Zerg actually "captured" Kerrigan under the strict guidence of their Overmind since the Overmind has been searching for "subjects" that has powerful psionic (Psychic) capabilities and many Ghosts were trained to fully utilized these psionic abilities. And Kerrigan unfortunately happened to be the unlucky one to get caught by the Zerg.

That's misconstruction on your part. The zerg had captured Ghosts prior to Kerrigan, Kerrigan was the one who managed to retain her psionic potential and intellect through the infestation process. The Overmind didn't arbitarily decide that only now would it try to assimilate humanity's psionic potential.

So at the conclusion of Brood War Sarah is now the ruler of all Zerg and her words "The Queen Bitch of the Universe". Basically at this point she was the Lich King of the franchise (or Arthas was the Kerrigan of his franchise but still) she fully solidified herself as the ultimate villain of the franchise that you are meant to hate after what she has done.

Fun as it would be to explain why the whole "Kerrigan = Arthas" analogy is flawed, that isn't the point of your argument, so I'll move on.

So what the fuck did they do to her in Starcraft 2? Long story short, they turned her into a literal Chosen One hero

Okay, where to start with this.

First of all, where is Kerrigan called a "chosen one." The only way I can see people reaching this conclusion is through misconstruction of the storyline, wilfull or otherwise. Is it because of the fact that she's the first IT to successfully retain her intellect through the process? Well, maybe, but I don't think that's evidence of a "chosen one" given that psionic potential in the setting comes down to biology, and she's not the only intelligent IT to have existed.

Is it because of the xel'naga stuff? Well, okay, this was hinted at back in Retribution, and she's the subject of the carvings on Ulaan, but that doesn't really make someone a chosen one. The trope of "chosen one" usually refers to some kind of innate, usually metaphyiscal quality. Kerrigan doesn't have any of the latter, and her abilities in the former aren't unique to her. In WoL, we learn that if she dies, Amon wins, and that makes sense in the realm of how the zerg work - if they lose their controlling force, another one can take over. This is never brought up again in HotS. And in LotV, her getting Ouros's essence isn't down to some inante quality, it's due to circumstance of her having purity of form and essence - at least to the extent that she's alive long enough to do what has to be done. Ouros has one throwaway line of "fulfill your destiny," but that's about it. Kerrigan's role at the end is down to traits that were established well before the event, or obtained over the course of the trilogy. Chosen one tropes on the other tend to follow the path of innate, metaphysical traits.

that LITERALLY transforms and ascends herself into an Angel made of Light, Fire, and Lawful Goodness to defeat that great evil Cosmic Alien God that wanted to snuff out all life in the universe, nevermind all the evil shit she has done in the past.

So...basically what Tassadar does in SC1.

Yeah, I've never understood this criticism...mostly. I'll get to the "mostly" caveat later, but this whole idea that the event is out of place...how, exactly? This is a setting that even if we cast aside the EU, had Tassadar turning the Gantrithor into pure energy as he channeled Void and Khala energies to desroy, quote "comsic alien god that wanted to consume all life in the universe" (never understood why people love the Overmind but dislike Amon, but whatever). This is also a setting where archons exist - y'know, living energy creatures that are maelstroms of psychic energy.

There's also the imagery. Again, really don't get the problem here. Kerrigan's xel'naga form is harkening back to a cross between a phoenix and angel, which are taken from Egyptian and Abrahamic mythology respectively. If you want to argue that these things should never be referenced in StarCraft, that's your prerogative, but I have to question why Greek mythology is fine with Kerrigan's Queen of Blades form. The gaze, the snake-like hair...hello? Medusa? I'm open to the idea that I'm somehow the only person who noticed this, and if so, that might explain a lot. But if not, and in the knowledge that fiction rarely operates in cultural vacuum, I have to question why one realm of inspiration is acceptable, and the other is not. FFS, Tassadar casts his arms out like a crucifix in his final moments, but now, suddenly, this kind of imagery is out of place? Even the wings themselves are taken from Kerrigan's actual 'blades.'

But we get to "mostly." I can at least entertain the argument that it's over the top, and okay, sure. But when I played through the epilogue, my impression was that if people were going to complain about it, it would be too similar to SC1. Instead, I got the opposite.

Samtemdo8:
T

So now that I made my claim of Kerrigan being the Ultimate Mary Sue in fictional history. Explain to me why she is not with counter arguements.

A Mary Sue is broadly defined as having the following traits:

-Perfect, never makes any mistakes.

-Is able to accomplish tasks with little to no prior experience in their respective realms of expertise

-Self-insertion, subject of author wish fulfillment

-Undue and/or contrived presence within the plot

Point the first, Kerrigan makes mistakes. Lots of them. In WoL, she's beaten. In HotS, she reguarly requires on aid from those around her to accomplish her goals. In LotV, she would have flat out been killed if not for Artanis. In the epilogue, for all your claims of "chosen one," she's only able to accomplish what she does with the aid of three armies at her back.

Point the second, um, where? Kerrigan became a Ghost at the age of 8. She's 26 when we first meet here, after being rescued by Mengsk at the age of 18. She didn't become a Ghost overnight. When she becomes the Queen of Blades, sure, maybe, but what exactly is our framework for dealing with biological and psionic powers beyond any human effort?

Point the third, Kerrigan isn't self-insertion. Like, at all. You might be able to argue that she's a form of wish fulfillment, but given Metzen's personal history and how he translated his past negative experiences into Kerrigan, that's a form I can identify with, at least on the personal level of writing to let out negative emotions/experiences. When we talk about "wish fulfillment" it's usually in a juvenile sense of getting fulfillment for the sake of fulfillment.

Point the fourth, no, not really. This is the hardest to discuss because what counts as "undue" or "contrived" will vary from person to person. But Kerrigan's a major player in the setting. Arguably THE major player up to the end of HotS. She's been there from day 1. Usually, a mark of Sues in this area is that they come into a pre-established plot and twist it and/or its characters to suit their needs. The whole "girl ends up in Middle-earth, joins the Fellowship, stuff happens" meme.

So, while I'd argue that Kerrigan has Sue-ish qualities, I wouldn't call her a Mary Sue. Since you brought her up, Rey is a much better (or worse) example of a Mary Sue in that:

-She has skills and abilities that don't require honing

-Barely makes any mistakes

-Comes into the plot late in the game

-Can be read as a form of wish fulfillment (girl out of nowhere that is better than everyone around her)

Bear in mind that this is mostly in TFA - Rey "desuifies" in TLJ.

Samtemdo8:

Is it egotistical of me to say I can even salvage the plot that we ended up getting in Starcraft 2?

Because if they were gonna have Kerrigan be redeemed, all they had to do was this.

Just make back to normal and STOP THERE. No need to make her this Chosen One that is the most important charcater ever.

If the point was to have the 3 races band together to face the ultimate and common foe, just have Kerrigan still be in her human form, but still has great psionic influence over the Zerg. Essentially she leads the Zerg to help with Raynor's Terrans and the Protoss against Amon, but again she is just one of many people to band together.

That's...pretty much what happens.

You're writing this as if everything in the epilogue is Kerrigan, and Kerrigan alone. It isn't. Everything she does is with the aid of the zerg, protoss, and terrans. The lion's share of everything in LotV is at the hands of the protoss, with Kerrigan playing a role on the sidelines.

Heck don't even have her turn into the Zerg-y Queen of Blades again because then the whole thing we did in Wings of Liberty was all for naught.

Except that clearly isn't the case because Kerrigan in HotS is a different person from Kerrigan in WoL. And as for her becoming the QoB again, you've missed the point entirely.

Kerrigan becoming the original QoB wasn't a choice. Kerrigan becoming the QoB in HotS "is" a choice. The entire point of Kerrigan's character is that up to this point, she's never had true agency. Not under the Sons of Korhal. Her agency in SC1/BW was the result of physical and psychological mutilation. While she technically has agency ex post facto in this sense, the Kerrigan of BW isn't the same as terran Kerrigan. It's why I mentioned that Arthas = Kerrigan is a flawed analogy, because the changes Arthas undergoes in his campaign follow the path of tragedy (in the literary context), whereas Kerrigan's circumstances are "tragic" rather than "tragedy" (in literary terms, these are very separate things). I'm not even projecting here, this angle of storytelling was stated prior to HotS, and is spelled out for the player in LotV.

Geth mentioned SC getting "increasingly shoddy writing," and if I take the point of decline post-LotV, then sure - not fond of NCO. But while SC1 and BW are still good, SC2 still outpaces them in my mind.

Avnger:

I'm pretty sure Superman still takes the cake, but I'm a bit too lazy to put as much effort into that as you have :P

Gary Stu, technically.

But yes, Supes is a Stu in every sense of the world. He's like the definitive form of the Gary Stu in everything but insertion into a pre-existing story.

CaitSeith:
Why lately is the term Mary Sue being misused so frequently? It's like the chosen term of the month for bad writing. Are the protagonists overwhelmed with admiration for Kerrigan's wit, courage and other virtues, and are quick to adopt her as one of their true companions, even characters who are usually antisocial and untrusting? And if any character doesn't love her, that character gets an extremely unsympathetic portrayal...

Well, luckily that doesn't happen.

No, seriously, where does this happen? Kerrigan is never admired in the games, like, ever. She's never adopted as a "true companion," either as a human or as a zerg. Every non-zerg character keeps her at arm's length except arguably Raynor, and that's due to a host of factors such as their prior relationship, plus a chunk of HotS learning to trust her again. Artanis only lets her live at Ulnar because of necessity. Right up to the end, Selendis still hates her. Zeratul, who urges Raynor to spare her, only does so out of necessity.

Anyway, that's about all I have to say. And that's probably all I will say because I've seen these arguments come up before, so unless anyone has anything new, don't see the need to say much more.

Personally I've always felt Sherlock Holmes was a massive Sue.

Hawki:

Avnger:

I'm pretty sure Superman still takes the cake, but I'm a bit too lazy to put as much effort into that as you have :P

Gary Stu, technically.

But yes, Supes is a Stu in every sense of the world. He's like the definitive form of the Gary Stu in everything but insertion into a pre-existing story.

As taken from TvTropes

Marty Stu will be the personification of action, action and more action. Or, if he is of an intellectual bent, he thinks his way through problems, inventing whole new branches of science and technology in the process, and in some cases, the character is often portrayed as the personification of both, completing missions as both the brains and the brawn, taking up the roles usually shared between the main character and a team or a partner. He's an unstoppable fighter, a rogue agent, a fearless freedom fighter, a master of disguise. But whether he is a Blood Knight or a Omnidisciplinary Scientist, Marty Stu will be devastatingly handsome (or if not, possessed of a strange, saturnine magnetism) and desired by all significant women, although as the works involved are usually aimed at a male audience, romance is not likely to be the main dish.

... That sounds more like Batman than Superman to me. Superman is all powerful on paper. But a five year old can hold a piece of rock in his hands and bring him to his knees. And I'm not sure, but I think you can just learn Magic in the DC world. So most people can be a problem to him with his weaknesses.

But going back to the description, I don't see how TvTropes can describe that character to be any more Batm... wait.

Marty also generally doesn't have the sort of purity common in Mary (although it's not unheard of). Instead, he tends more towards the Darker and Edgier path, with a tragic and very personal backstory being the order of the day. Whereas Mary would use this to show that she's a brave survivor, Marty uses it for the sake of prolonged brooding. No doubt much of the recent popularity of this character trait owes credit to tragic superheroes like Batman and Wolverine (who often provide examples of Marty Stu themselves in the hands of certain writers), but there's no indication that it only started with those characters.

Obviously, neither of these traits are exclusive to Marty. There exist plenty of God Mode and Sympathetic Stus, but in sheer percentage, it's more common on Marty. Since All Girls Want Bad Boys, after all, increasing the badass potential of a character has the secondary effect of making him more attractive to women without having to sacrifice any capability. Sometimes, this attitude goes just a little too far and creates Jerk Sue.

No, I was wrong. They just called him out by name.

CaitSeith:

Canadamus Prime:
I think before any more discussion can be had on which characters are and are not Mary Sues we need to sit down and work out what exactly makes a character a Mary Sue. To that end I submit OSP's Trope Talk on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2-GIY9RTqU

tl;dw: According to the video, basically a Mary Sue character is defined less from her traits, and more from how much of the center of the attention she is (how much the narrative artificially hammers you that this is the character you MUST be invested in).

More or less, yeah.

So to that end I would ask, since I haven't played SCII, is the plot of the story distorted to force us to be invested in Kerrigan? Are all the other characters shoved to the side in favour of Kerrigan? 'Cause if not then she's not a Sue. She could still be poorly written however.

Samtemdo8:

ObsidianJones:

Avnger:

I'm pretty sure Superman still takes the cake, but I'm a bit too lazy to put as much effort into that as you have :P

Eh. That's more Batman than Superman. In multiple universes where Gods regularly interact with reality, there are beings that regularly puts Superman on his Ass. He has weaknesses. Whatever.

Batman can go toe to toe with those same entities because he believes in himself and always has a plan. This is not Hyperbole. With no powers, he's somehow able to hit and affect Beings that would have to be told that a Bus collided into them at a hundred miles per hour because they wouldn't feel it. Deathstroke is noted to say "hits harder than most beings with superhuman strength" (under Powers and Abilities)

Batman is the first known character that is EVERYONE'S Mary Sue, not just the writers.

.. Technically, Gary Stu, but you know what I mean.

Also Batman himself literally ascended to Godhood in the New 52 era.

image

And Superman is DC's greatest Mary Sue again why?

...You say that as if happened to just him. As if the same storyline didn't see Superman become the God of Strength, Green Lantern the God of Light, Flash the Avatar of Death, Lex Luthor the new god of Apokolips, Shazam the God of Gods...and I think Wonder Woman became the Goddess of War, but I might be remembering a different storyline on that one...

Asita:

Samtemdo8:

ObsidianJones:

Eh. That's more Batman than Superman. In multiple universes where Gods regularly interact with reality, there are beings that regularly puts Superman on his Ass. He has weaknesses. Whatever.

Batman can go toe to toe with those same entities because he believes in himself and always has a plan. This is not Hyperbole. With no powers, he's somehow able to hit and affect Beings that would have to be told that a Bus collided into them at a hundred miles per hour because they wouldn't feel it. Deathstroke is noted to say "hits harder than most beings with superhuman strength" (under Powers and Abilities)

Batman is the first known character that is EVERYONE'S Mary Sue, not just the writers.

.. Technically, Gary Stu, but you know what I mean.

Also Batman himself literally ascended to Godhood in the New 52 era.

image

And Superman is DC's greatest Mary Sue again why?

...You say that as if happened to just him. As if the same storyline didn't see Superman become the God of Strength, Green Lantern the God of Light, Flash the Avatar of Death, Lex Luthor the new god of Apokolips, Shazam the God of Gods...and I think Wonder Woman became the Goddess of War, but I might be remembering a different storyline on that one...

Well sorry for not being well verse in the comic book themselves since the barrier to entry is high.

Samtemdo8:

Asita:

...You say that as if happened to just him. As if the same storyline didn't see Superman become the God of Strength, Green Lantern the God of Light, Flash the Avatar of Death, Lex Luthor the new god of Apokolips, Shazam the God of Gods...and I think Wonder Woman became the Goddess of War, but I might be remembering a different storyline on that one...

Well sorry for not being well verse in the comic book themselves since the barrier to entry is high.

Well, first of all I would remind you that it was you who invoked the example in the first place. That you didn't do your due diligence is on you. Second, I find that comment mildly amusing, as I'm not a comic patron. I know about this because I remember people talking about this arc when it happened and took the time to check my assumptions before posting.

Canadamus Prime:
More or less, yeah.

So to that end I would ask, since I haven't played SCII, is the plot of the story distorted to force us to be invested in Kerrigan? Are all the other characters shoved to the side in favour of Kerrigan? 'Cause if not then she's not a Sue. She could still be poorly written however.

Eh...sorta yes, sorta no. Starting in a series of sidequests in Wings of Liberty, Kerrigan was presented as the most singularly important character in the galaxy (if not universe). Zeratul shows Raynor a possible future wherein the villain (Amon) is able to wipe out everyone because Kerrigan was killed in that timeline. And I don't mean that in the sense of "they needed to rally their forces", I mean that her existence is presented as the only possible point of failure for the villain. The overmind infesting her was recast from it creating an ultimate weapon to a desperate and heroic act of defiance against the true big bad of the franchise. In the final sidemission, we even have this spelled out to us by the villain himself. To quote: "Foolish, prideful children...There was one among you who could have jeopardized my great plan... but in your recklessness ? you mistook her for the true threat!" Ultimately this culminates in Legacy of the Void where she ascends to become Xel'Naga and defeat Amon.

It's a bit of a curveball, to say the least, when the games start telling you that the self-styled "queen bitch of the universe" is in actuality Space-Jesus who will save us all from destruction and eternal darkness, and that most of her bad things she did were really because the bad guy (Amon, not the Zerg unleashing her Id) was subtly influencing her behind the scenes.

On the other hand, however, if you take away the "Kerrigan our Messiah, who will be Xel'Naga" part, I'd say that she's at least a reasonably well realized character.

Samtemdo8:
THIS THREAD CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

All this debate about whether recent charcaters in fiction like Rey from Star Wars or Bella from Twilight have me at odds and I have to say that Rey is NOTHING compared to Sarah Kerrigan of Starcraft when it comes to being a Mary Sue.

Where to begin with this charcater? Well best start with the first game to showcase how she ended up the way she was.

Basically Sarah Kerrigan began as a highly trained Ghost of the Terran Confederacy, (Ghosts being the guys that are stealthy snipers and markers of Nuclear attack) she was saved by Arcturus Mengsk of the rebel Sons of Korhal faction who stands against the Confederacy.

To make a long story short. Sarah was abandoned by Mengsk and left to die on a planet that has been overwhelmed by the hostile alien Zerg. And this was portrayed as a very decisive moment in the entire franchise that they even remade that event into a high quality cinematic in Starcraft 2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V1PwpoDqzM

As shown ordinarily she would have been killed and devoured by the Zerg like they did so many others, but the Zerg had other plans for you see the Zerg actually "captured" Kerrigan under the strict guidence of their Overmind since the Overmind has been searching for "subjects" that has powerful psionic (Psychic) capabilities and many Ghosts were trained to fully utilized these psionic abilities. And Kerrigan unfortunately happened to be the unlucky one to get caught by the Zerg.

So what happens is that the Zerg tortured and mutated her into an infested Zerg/human hybrid herself forever turning her into the Queen of Blades. A series of events played out that soon resulted in the Overmind being destroyed by the Terran and Protoss, leaving Kerrigan in an opportunity to now persue her own ambitions and inevitably assume completely mastery over all Zerg, and this was done through manipulation and betrayal. Such horrible backstabbing that even Jim Raynor vowed to kill her for this:

https://youtu.be/laW2DSheEdM?t=2303

So at the conclusion of Brood War Sarah is now the ruler of all Zerg and her words "The Queen Bitch of the Universe". Basically at this point she was the Lich King of the franchise (or Arthas was the Kerrigan of his franchise but still) she fully solidified herself as the ultimate villain of the franchise that you are meant to hate after what she has done.

So what the fuck did they do to her in Starcraft 2? Long story short, they turned her into a literal Chosen One hero that LITERALLY transforms and ascends herself into an Angel made of Light, Fire, and Lawful Goodness to defeat that great evil Cosmic Alien God that wanted to snuff out all life in the universe, nevermind all the evil shit she has done in the past. And that is the tl;dr version. Starcraft 2's story is so large I don't know where to begin.

But the point still stands. You can argue that she was already Mary Sue-ish in her time as a villain in Starcraft 1, but at least she followed through with her established role of being a villain, a villain mind you was created out of betrayal and abandoned to the wolves. But did anyone wanted THIS for Kerrigan?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TGJ5wa69ZI

How did we go to that after seeing this!?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA5nOOSRS4c

And if this was because of her being a female, I think I would have that same reaction if this happened to Arthas the Lich King. Darth Vader is more redeemable then Kerrigan or the Lich King combined.

So now that I made my claim of Kerrigan being the Ultimate Mary Sue in fictional history. Explain to me why she is not with counter arguements.

Oh please, wait until you see Sasuke Uchia or Hao Asakura; especially the latter. Though Hao more so counts as a Villain Sue. Those tend to be the worst. From your description, villain sute suits her very well.

Gethsemani:
Nah, I won't. Let's just say that the fairly ordinary sci-fi three way in StarCraft and Brood War was told competently and with a certain fingerspitzgefuhl, which allowed it to earn some pathos. SC2 then decided that it should tell a much grander, much more involved story... and the writers were definitely not up to the task. Kerrigan is just a symptom of the increasingly shoddy writing in the SC franchise.

People who are great at making computer games tend to be pretty awful at writing stories. The best that can normally be expected is cliche carried off not too inadequately.

The issue with things like Starcraft (and can also be found in Warhammer) is that the narrative has to be designed to make everyone fight each other in all possible permutations, whether or not it makes any sense. Sometimes it might just about make sense, but collapses into an amorphous, structureless mess. I'm often also fairly downbeat about sandbox-style RPGs (e.g. Elder Scrolls), which likewise often are forced to sacrifice narrative to provide available options. Linear path RPGs are usually superior.

Ultimately, I think it's just best to mentally switch off consideration of that sort of thing and get on with what there is.

Agema:

Gethsemani:
Nah, I won't. Let's just say that the fairly ordinary sci-fi three way in StarCraft and Brood War was told competently and with a certain fingerspitzgefuhl, which allowed it to earn some pathos. SC2 then decided that it should tell a much grander, much more involved story... and the writers were definitely not up to the task. Kerrigan is just a symptom of the increasingly shoddy writing in the SC franchise.

People who are great at making computer games tend to be pretty awful at writing stories. The best that can normally be expected is cliche carried off not too inadequately.

That is quite a claim considering a lot of PC games in the good old days were lauded for thier story telling.

I mena Planescape Torment was a thing.

Samtemdo8:

That is quite a claim considering a lot of PC games in the good old days were lauded for thier story telling.

I mena Planescape Torment was a thing.

Yes, there's Planescape: Torment and a few others. And then you stop to think about... almost anything else.

A million narratively garbage FPSs, strategy games, or even the hundreds of RPGs and adventure games that have cut & pasted the most hackneyed high fantasy plots imaginable. I don't think it's necessarily that bad, you must understand, we're mostly playing them for gameplay: I couldn't care less that Return to Castle Wolfenstein barely has a plot when I'm busy shooting freakish Nazi supersoldiers.

Ah, RtCW... in gameplay terms, maybe the most satisfying FPS yet made. Sure, it wasn't original and it's not deep, but it was so technically polished. The simple circle-strafe tactic to scrub the end boss was maybe a little weak, mind.

Asita:

Canadamus Prime:
More or less, yeah.

So to that end I would ask, since I haven't played SCII, is the plot of the story distorted to force us to be invested in Kerrigan? Are all the other characters shoved to the side in favour of Kerrigan? 'Cause if not then she's not a Sue. She could still be poorly written however.

Eh...sorta yes, sorta no. Starting in a series of sidequests in Wings of Liberty, Kerrigan was presented as the most singularly important character in the galaxy (if not universe). Zeratul shows Raynor a possible future wherein the villain (Amon) is able to wipe out everyone because Kerrigan was killed in that timeline. And I don't mean that in the sense of "they needed to rally their forces", I mean that her existence is presented as the only possible point of failure for the villain. The overmind infesting her was recast from it creating an ultimate weapon to a desperate and heroic act of defiance against the true big bad of the franchise. In the final sidemission, we even have this spelled out to us by the villain himself. To quote: "Foolish, prideful children...There was one among you who could have jeopardized my great plan... but in your recklessness ? you mistook her for the true threat!" Ultimately this culminates in Legacy of the Void where she ascends to become Xel'Naga and defeat Amon.

It's a bit of a curveball, to say the least, when the games start telling you that the self-styled "queen bitch of the universe" is in actuality Space-Jesus who will save us all from destruction and eternal darkness, and that most of her bad things she did were really because the bad guy (Amon, not the Zerg unleashing her Id) was subtly influencing her behind the scenes.

On the other hand, however, if you take away the "Kerrigan our Messiah, who will be Xel'Naga" part, I'd say that she's at least a reasonably well realized character.

Well I do kinda see where people can get a "Mary Sue" impression from that. Wow that all sounds awful.

Canadamus Prime:

Asita:

Canadamus Prime:
More or less, yeah.

So to that end I would ask, since I haven't played SCII, is the plot of the story distorted to force us to be invested in Kerrigan? Are all the other characters shoved to the side in favour of Kerrigan? 'Cause if not then she's not a Sue. She could still be poorly written however.

Eh...sorta yes, sorta no. Starting in a series of sidequests in Wings of Liberty, Kerrigan was presented as the most singularly important character in the galaxy (if not universe). Zeratul shows Raynor a possible future wherein the villain (Amon) is able to wipe out everyone because Kerrigan was killed in that timeline. And I don't mean that in the sense of "they needed to rally their forces", I mean that her existence is presented as the only possible point of failure for the villain. The overmind infesting her was recast from it creating an ultimate weapon to a desperate and heroic act of defiance against the true big bad of the franchise. In the final sidemission, we even have this spelled out to us by the villain himself. To quote: "Foolish, prideful children...There was one among you who could have jeopardized my great plan... but in your recklessness ? you mistook her for the true threat!" Ultimately this culminates in Legacy of the Void where she ascends to become Xel'Naga and defeat Amon.

It's a bit of a curveball, to say the least, when the games start telling you that the self-styled "queen bitch of the universe" is in actuality Space-Jesus who will save us all from destruction and eternal darkness, and that most of her bad things she did were really because the bad guy (Amon, not the Zerg unleashing her Id) was subtly influencing her behind the scenes.

On the other hand, however, if you take away the "Kerrigan our Messiah, who will be Xel'Naga" part, I'd say that she's at least a reasonably well realized character.

Well I do kinda see where people can get a "Mary Sue" impression from that. Wow that all sounds awful.

It sounds awful, until you actually stop and think.

If Kerrigan is a MS by the standards of the WoL vision, then she must be one by Brood War as well, because it's how the zerg work. If you cut off the head, the zerg will go feral unless controlled by another source. Kerrigan being dead allows Amon to take control of all of the zerg. In LotV, we see that Amon gets control of some of the zerg, while Kerrigan retains a large amount of control of the other half (don't know if it's 50/50, but you get the idea). In LotV itself, it's Artanis that's just as responsible for sealing Amon in the main arc, it's just Kerrigan that delivers the final blow, and even that's with the support of three forces at her back.

Second of all, the game never claims that all the bad stuff Kerrigan did was because of Amon. She outright refutes this in HotS. The only evidence for this is the confirmation that lingering influence from Amon started worming into her post-BW, and that resulted in a more fatalistic approach as she believed that the zerg were doomed, but nontheless wanted to recover the Keystone to give them the best chance possible.

Hawki:

Canadamus Prime:

Asita:

Eh...sorta yes, sorta no. Starting in a series of sidequests in Wings of Liberty, Kerrigan was presented as the most singularly important character in the galaxy (if not universe). Zeratul shows Raynor a possible future wherein the villain (Amon) is able to wipe out everyone because Kerrigan was killed in that timeline. And I don't mean that in the sense of "they needed to rally their forces", I mean that her existence is presented as the only possible point of failure for the villain. The overmind infesting her was recast from it creating an ultimate weapon to a desperate and heroic act of defiance against the true big bad of the franchise. In the final sidemission, we even have this spelled out to us by the villain himself. To quote: "Foolish, prideful children...There was one among you who could have jeopardized my great plan... but in your recklessness ? you mistook her for the true threat!" Ultimately this culminates in Legacy of the Void where she ascends to become Xel'Naga and defeat Amon.

It's a bit of a curveball, to say the least, when the games start telling you that the self-styled "queen bitch of the universe" is in actuality Space-Jesus who will save us all from destruction and eternal darkness, and that most of her bad things she did were really because the bad guy (Amon, not the Zerg unleashing her Id) was subtly influencing her behind the scenes.

On the other hand, however, if you take away the "Kerrigan our Messiah, who will be Xel'Naga" part, I'd say that she's at least a reasonably well realized character.

Well I do kinda see where people can get a "Mary Sue" impression from that. Wow that all sounds awful.

It sounds awful, until you actually stop and think.

If Kerrigan is a MS by the standards of the WoL vision, then she must be one by Brood War as well, because it's how the zerg work. If you cut off the head, the zerg will go feral unless controlled by another source. Kerrigan being dead allows Amon to take control of all of the zerg. In LotV, we see that Amon gets control of some of the zerg, while Kerrigan retains a large amount of control of the other half (don't know if it's 50/50, but you get the idea). In LotV itself, it's Artanis that's just as responsible for sealing Amon in the main arc, it's just Kerrigan that delivers the final blow, and even that's with the support of three forces at her back.

Second of all, the game never claims that all the bad stuff Kerrigan did was because of Amon. She outright refutes this in HotS. The only evidence for this is the confirmation that lingering influence from Amon started worming into her post-BW, and that resulted in a more fatalistic approach as she believed that the zerg were doomed, but nontheless wanted to recover the Keystone to give them the best chance possible.

Eh, again, yes and no. Towards the former point it's worth noting that A) Brood War hadn't started on the path wherein Kerrigan was the lynchpin, B) Amon had explicitly arranged for Kerrigan's death after she was de-infested, suggesting that she was a threat outside of the Swarm, and C) in the final act of LotV, it was revealed that Kerrigan was important because she was the only one who could become Xel'Naga. And I quote: "The Cycle must not be broken. The merging of purity of essence and purity of form must continue. You, the one called Kerrigan, can merge with my essence. Now, fulfill your destiny. Ascend as Xel'Naga. Continue the Infinite Cycle." "Only a Xel'Naga can defeat the Fallen One."

As to Amon's influence on Kerrigan: Granted it doesn't say it in as many words. On the other hand, we also have a very interesting contrast between the Queen of Blades through Wings of Liberty and the re-infested "Primal" Queen of Blades starting in Heart of the Swarm. HotS Kerrigan is ruthless, but her first infestation is almost gleefully cruel and genocidal. Even the simple remorse for her actions starting in HotS are difficult to reconcile with her prior characterization without some external influence on her personality.

This influence is also hinted during the final mission of Wings of Liberty, as you occasionally get messages of encouragement from "Sarah" Kerrigan that are at odds with those of the Queen of Blades. You get back to back messages where the Queen of Blades threatens you, saying "You will pay for your treachery" followed by Sarah Kerrigan begging you "Don't give up!" And while she said that Amon never controlled her, she admits to feeling his residual influence, concluding that Amon must have been killed before she was infested. Ie, he didn't directly command her like he did the Overmind, but he still influenced the first Queen of Blades. The differences between the two incarnations ("Worst mass murderer in history" vs anti-hero) thus reflect on Amon's influence. Put a different way: The Queen of Blades up to the end of Wings of Liberty reflects her under Amon's influence. The Primal Queen of Blades starting in Heart of the Swarm is her without Amon's influence. And the latter makes it clear that the former repulses her, so that's not an insignificant difference.

With that said, I would like to reemphasize that I like Kerrigan as a character. By my own admission I'm a sucker for stories about fallen and redeemed heroes and Kerrigan's story incorporates both reasonably well. However, I do think they went a bit heavy handed on the messianic angle.

Hawki:

Canadamus Prime:

Asita:

Eh...sorta yes, sorta no. Starting in a series of sidequests in Wings of Liberty, Kerrigan was presented as the most singularly important character in the galaxy (if not universe). Zeratul shows Raynor a possible future wherein the villain (Amon) is able to wipe out everyone because Kerrigan was killed in that timeline. And I don't mean that in the sense of "they needed to rally their forces", I mean that her existence is presented as the only possible point of failure for the villain. The overmind infesting her was recast from it creating an ultimate weapon to a desperate and heroic act of defiance against the true big bad of the franchise. In the final sidemission, we even have this spelled out to us by the villain himself. To quote: "Foolish, prideful children...There was one among you who could have jeopardized my great plan... but in your recklessness ? you mistook her for the true threat!" Ultimately this culminates in Legacy of the Void where she ascends to become Xel'Naga and defeat Amon.

It's a bit of a curveball, to say the least, when the games start telling you that the self-styled "queen bitch of the universe" is in actuality Space-Jesus who will save us all from destruction and eternal darkness, and that most of her bad things she did were really because the bad guy (Amon, not the Zerg unleashing her Id) was subtly influencing her behind the scenes.

On the other hand, however, if you take away the "Kerrigan our Messiah, who will be Xel'Naga" part, I'd say that she's at least a reasonably well realized character.

Well I do kinda see where people can get a "Mary Sue" impression from that. Wow that all sounds awful.

It sounds awful, until you actually stop and think.

If Kerrigan is a MS by the standards of the WoL vision, then she must be one by Brood War as well, because it's how the zerg work. If you cut off the head, the zerg will go feral unless controlled by another source. Kerrigan being dead allows Amon to take control of all of the zerg. In LotV, we see that Amon gets control of some of the zerg, while Kerrigan retains a large amount of control of the other half (don't know if it's 50/50, but you get the idea). In LotV itself, it's Artanis that's just as responsible for sealing Amon in the main arc, it's just Kerrigan that delivers the final blow, and even that's with the support of three forces at her back.

Second of all, the game never claims that all the bad stuff Kerrigan did was because of Amon. She outright refutes this in HotS. The only evidence for this is the confirmation that lingering influence from Amon started worming into her post-BW, and that resulted in a more fatalistic approach as she believed that the zerg were doomed, but nontheless wanted to recover the Keystone to give them the best chance possible.

Ok I've not played the game (as I stated before) so I have no idea what an "MS" is. It still sounds to me like they ruined her character because I liked her as a cunning ruthless villain like she was at the end of BW.

Canadamus Prime:

Ok I've not played the game (as I stated before) so I have no idea what an "MS" is. It still sounds to me like they ruined her character because I liked her as a cunning ruthless villain like she was at the end of BW.

Err... Mary Sue. :)

Now that's a pretty lousy redeemed villain arc to say the least. I completed Starcraft 1, and most of Blood War (I stopped in the mission where Kerrigan betrays everyone). I didn't finish Starcraft 2, but with that heel-face turn, I'm almost glad I didn't.

CaitSeith:

Canadamus Prime:

Ok I've not played the game (as I stated before) so I have no idea what an "MS" is. It still sounds to me like they ruined her character because I liked her as a cunning ruthless villain like she was at the end of BW.

Err... Mary Sue. :)

Now that's a pretty lousy redeemed villain arc to say the least. I completed Starcraft 1, and most of Blood War (I stopped in the mission where Kerrigan betrays everyone). I didn't finish Starcraft 2, but with that heel-face turn, I'm almost glad I didn't.

Oh duh, how stupid of me. *facepalm*

I'm all for a redeemed villain, but it sure doesn't sound like it was handled very well; but I've not played the game so I'm just going by the descriptions I'm getting here.

We have have a thread about Mary Sue characters already, thank you.

https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.1056301-Mary-Rey-Sue

 

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