Marauders can range pylons and other units from afar in this Monlyth mission.

Monlyth was abandoned centuries ago – and little is known about the few protoss who chose to remain there.  These Tal’darim and their ancient shrines still remain a mystery to Terran researchers.

Mission Objectives: Seize the alien artifact

Bonus Objectives: Find protoss relics

Reward: $80,000

New Tech: Marauder – Heavy infantry.  Slows down targets that are hit.

One of the protoss relics for the Xeno Research Project

This map is really awesome for reasons I will explain shortly.  The immediate geographical view of the map shows it is U-turn shaped.  On the upper row you can see the Zerg advancing against the Tal’drim protoss.  On the bottom row, your units must advance through the Tal’drim’s defenses.  Your goal is to reach the alien artifact before the Zerg does.

You will encounter some plasma cannons along your way.  These can be easily destroyed by attacking the pylons first.  Suddenly you will see what looks like protoss stalkers approaching.  The Armory Room’s Chief Engineer Swann will show up onscreen to let you know he has created a new batch of units based on fallen Firebat salvaged equipment: The Marauder.  You are given a few of them to help you combat the protoss stalkers. They are very effective.

Once you reach the alien artifact, I suggest you start building many units before entering this area, and rallying them to a nearby spot.  When you reach the alien artifact, a defensive mechanism is triggered.  The artifact is surrounded by walls that emerge from the ground, and the four gargantuan zealot statues located in each corner of this plaza will come to life.  You have to fight four massive Zealot statues !!!!!  They have the Colossus lasers.  If you aren’t careful or do not have enough units to counter them, you will be overrun and decimated until you get more units out.

It would be a good idea to move all your troops to the north side of the plaza, rather than on the center of the plaza.  That way you fight only two at a time, while the other two statues slowly walk toward your units. They need to be at a certain distance to be able to laser you.  Since they are slow-walkers, veteran Starcraft players could probably micro and kite them, while other marines and marauders hit them from behind. Their lasers seem to do splash damage, which means your medics won’t last long.

Once you have secured the crystal for a short time, the campaign ends.  However, you should consider the bonus objective, which is to find protoss relics.  That probably means skipping the alien artifact for a while and to engage the Tal’drim and the zerg to explore the map in search of these relics.

The Xel’Naga artifact at the Monlyth shrine world is heavily protected by four giant zealot statues.


Now that this is out of the way, I want to highlight something about this map.  As explained earlier, Blizzard is implementing a lot of lore from the manga, pocket books and comic book licensed products based on the Starcraft universe.  They are integrating it smoothly, and you can see that effort right away in these initial missions.

The Tal’drim is the protoss tribe mentioned in Starcraft: The Dark Templar, Shadow Hunters by Christie Golden.  This tribe is among those that were stranded and left behind when the Protoss escaped Aiur through the warp gate in that mission where Raynor and Fenix defended it long enough.  That warp gate was shut down to prevent any further Zerg invasion to Shakuras.

The Tal’drim tribe felt the horror … the feeling of being left behind.  These protoss devolved to a mental state similar to that of the time before the Aeon of Strife after the Xel’Naga abandoned them.  They departed the other protoss that continued to find strength in the Khala to continue fighting the Zerg in Aiur, and who continue to survive.

The Tal’drim of Aiur are now known as “The Forged”—they use a drug named Sundrop.  It makes them individual by severing their psi-connection to the Khala without mutilating their head-appendages. These Tal’drim (The Forged) have a secret patron who has helped them keep the Zerg at bay in Aiur … Dark Archon Ulrezaj (the one and only you met in the Enslavers: Dark Vengeance bonus campaign in the original Starcraft: Brood War).

I asked Chris Metzen during our interview if these Tal’drim in the planet Monlyth also serve Ulrezaj.  It is unclear at this point, so we have to wait and see how this story evolves and plays out throughout the three episodes.

Nevertheless, I’m very intrigued. If Blizzard didn’t want to spoil this, they made a mistake inviting me.  Aiur Protoss use Immortals or older-Dragoon survivors right?  My sharp-eye inquires … Why do these Tal’drim Protoss, who are not dark templars, have access to … dark templar Stalker technology? Hmm … did I just answer my Ulrezaj question? (grins)