aka: SC
Moby ID: 378
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

In the distant future, a small group of human exiles have been doomed to fight for survival on the edge of the galaxy. Through military strength, espionage, and deceit, a unified Terran government has maintained an uneasy peace. But a previously unknown species, the Zerg, has started overrunning their colonies. Furthermore, a second alien species, the enigmatic Protoss, became intent on stopping the Zerg. The Protoss solution, however, is to extinguish all life on Zerg-infested planets, including many surviving resident Terrans. At the same time, rebel factions within the Terran government are gaining popular support during the Zerg crisis. The time for war has come!

Gameplay in StarCraft has clear similarities to Blizzard's earlier WarCraft II. Building units requires credits and a power source, and once completed you can direct them into combat against foes. You only know the layout of terrain you have visited, and only the exact whereabouts of enemy units which are range for one of your units, due to the Fog of War.

Each of the three races has a distinct range of units and general strengths: Zerg units are quick to build, Terran units cost the least, and Protoss units are the most powerful individually. In a change from many strategy games, the base style for each race also varies significantly, resulting in a very different playing experience with each. Missions vary from destruction to infiltration. Realistic line-of-sight calculations make the correct result more likely. A full map editor is provided, with many user-created maps available online.


  • 星海爭霸 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 星际争霸 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

314 People (161 developers, 153 thanks) · View all

Game Design
  • Blizzard Entertainment
Executive Producer
Lead Design
Lead Programming
Additional Programming
Campaign Editor Programming
Installer Programming
[ full credits ]



Average score: 89% (based on 40 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 319 ratings with 16 reviews)

An amazing game by all standards.

The Good
Ah, finally! The most noteworthy RTS in years!

This game has some of the most spectacular graphics in an RTS to date. The movies are clearly directed by a professional and (unlike the C&C series) add to the game so much it seems almost lacking without them. The music is simply marvellous, and the AI is much better than in most games too. The storyline is very good and so are the campaigns, and the game itself is really good - the only game I consider better, in fast, is Dune II.

Oh, and the internet play is very good (no 3rd party plugins and crap).

The Bad
Well, the music is kindof repetitive (although very good) and the Protoss campaign is kind of annoying. And the ending movie really sucks :-)

The Bottom Line
The best RTS since Dune II. Get it, play it and love it.

Windows · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 1999

Those wizzards at Blizzard have done it again; Starcraft breaks all the bad habits that the real-time strategy genre had gotten into and looks good doing it too!

The Good
Starcraft is set in the furture in a sector far, far away. Here a conglomerate of human criminals, sentenced to colonize a planet near the Solar System by the United Powers League, found themselves after the navigation computers of their sleep ships malfunctioned. After finally reaching the technological standards of Earth they found themselves caught in a war between the benevolent Protoss and the ravaging Zerg. That sums up the premise of Starcraft which, in my opinion, is fairly unique and avoids most of the rts cliches. The plotline, although starting slow (with an average rebel vs. empire Human campaign), is driven by roundtable briefings and excellent cutscenes and ends in an involving story with a grand finale. Moving on from the plot to the gameplay; Starcraft has an incredible variety of units with three very unique races. Unlike most rts games with multiple races, Starcraft's races does not have any equivelant units. In fact, the very method of base-building and wageing war is completely different for each race. Although you would never win a war of attrition with the Protoss, the Terrans, wielding long-range and hit-and-run weapons, can easily prevail in trench warfare. The units are varied and even your basic Terran marine is usefull to the last mission; there is no "ultimate unit". For the most part the mission maps and goals, while nothing spectacular, are good and clear, but it's the base design that really shines. Each base has multiple possible entrences with sometimes the addition of outposts;furthermore, the bases adhere to the objectives, mentality, and A.I. that is unique to each race. Since there are many ways to achieve your objectives, Starcraft allows many gameplay styles; you can really decide which area is the most open to your attack style and which units you will send there.

The Bad
There are a few problems that need to be addressed, but nothing that would effect the enjoyment of the game. First of all, although there are three of them, the campaigns are so short (10 missions) that you can never get enough missions with your favorite races; I was seperated from my Terran marines and their depleted uranium bullet firing machine guns (ha,ha,ha :}) too soon! Second of all, most of the Protoss vs. Protoss missions were so mind-numbingly hard that I almost gave up several times on each one before finally beating them. Finally, as an extention of my first complaint, the game is too short! I can't get enough of it! MORE, MORE, I MUST HAVE MORRREEEEE!! Now I must conclude this review while I go on a rampage to Blizzard's office and demand a sequal (Brood War wasn't enough either).

The Bottom Line
If you only play one rts, play Starcraft. A derfinite must for all serious gamers.

Windows · by Wanderer48 (3) · 2001

The world needs another Starcraft review...

The Good
First and foremost, Starcraft features three unique, balanced, and interesting races. Whether playing as the human Terrans, organic-alien Zerg, or advanced-alien and somewhat-human Protoss, there are a variety of units, and even more strategies, to be utilized for each specific race. Furthermore the single-player campaigns were well structured and enticing enough to make me want to complete all thirty of the missions. This game uses simple, but effective, 2-D graphics (a godsend for those with older computers). Interspersed between the single player missions were some nice cutscenes which, although not graphically impressive, were a nice bonus. Also the ease of playing Starcraft online was a real treat, as there are no third-party software installations necessary to play online, and Blizzard's own is the means of online play. Finally Starcraft also has a great deal of replay value, as the powerful map editor enables players to create all sorts of maps for online play.

The Bad
As nice as Starcraft is, it's not flawless. My chief complaint is the lack of real in-depth strategy. Starcraft is similar to Warcraft in that both are of the "horde resources and make as many units as possible" type of RTS games. Thus those looking for strategy to parallel games like Sid Meier's Civilization are going to be at a loss. Hence the end result is, to some extent, Warcraft II in space. Also the music is very average and the AI is very, very simple minded.

The Bottom Line
Starcraft is a truly great RTS game, but it is not a flawless one. It's gained a lot of notoriety and has become quite historically important, yet at the time of this review (May, 2004) it's long been outstripped by several other RTS games. Thankfully, because of its age, Starcraft can run on older and low-end systems. I'd recommend getting Starcraft plus its expansion Brood War in the Battle Chest package while its still available.

Windows · by gamefan87 (3) · 2004

[ View all 16 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

StarCraft appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Action figures

The game even spawned a line of action figures from Davidson, including a Terran Marine, Zerg Hydralisk, and Protoss Zealot.

Board game

In 2007, a board game adaptation of this game was released, eventually spawning a Brood War expansion set and small promotional bonuses.

Collector's editions

Blizzard originally released the game in three collector's boxes. Each featured one of the three races in the game: Terran, Protoss, or Zerg. The non-collector's box art now used is the same as the box art for the Protoss box.


  • The Terran Dropship, in beta stages, had to land to pickup/dropoff.

  • Blizzard originally intended to reuse the WarCraft II engine for StarCraft. In fact, they had a nearly completed version with the engine during E3 in 1996. Blizzard has also planned this to be their first game to support, their free multiplayer service. However, due to criticism of the game at E3 (most called it "Orcs in Space"), Blizzard decided to start over and completely redesign the game and engine. It took two years, but StarCraft became one of their biggest sellers.

  • If you extract the StarDat file, you find evidence of units found in Brood War that weren't used in the original game, and some indication that the Terran Marines were supposed to be able to throw grenades as well. This lead to many accusations toward Blizzard that they held back these units so they could release them in an expansion and make more money.

  • The Zerg were referred to as the "Nightmarish Invaders" in the game's alpha build. Later, this was changed to "Zurg", and then altered to "Zerg" to prevent legal issues stemming from Buzz Lightyear's archenemy of the same name from the movie Toy Story 2.


Blizzard released the StarCraft widescreen DVD which consists of cinematics from both StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War, digitally remastered for enhanced picture quality.

The DVD features:

  • 36 minutes of cinema-quality digital animation
  • Exclusive director's commentary
  • Original development artwork and never-before-seen storyboards from the Blizzard Film Department
  • Cinematic trailers for StarCraft, Brood War, Diablo II, the Diablo II Expansion Set, and Warcraft III

As of 2002 you could find it on Blizzard's store for $14.95 only.


StarCraft has become a national phenomenia in Korea. The game has become so popular there, that it is found on bags of food items (such as potato chips), sticker sheets, backpacks, phone cards, and even in Korean music videos! Korea makes up the largest portion of players in the world, surpassing even the United States!


In addition to StarCraft Adventures, a pen-and-paper RPG supplement for Alternity, and some unusual short stories published in Amazing Stories magazine (Revelations (1999), by Chris Metzen and Samuel Moore in issue 596, and Hybrid (2000) by Micky Neilson in issue 601), its rich sci-fi campaign setting has resulted in several StarCraft novels being published through Pocket Books:

  1. Uprising (2000), by Micky Neilson (an e-book prequel);
  2. Liberty's Crusade (2001), by Jeff Grubb;
  3. Shadow of the Xel'Naga (2001), by Gabriel Mesta;
  4. Speed of Darkness (2002), by Tracy Hickman;
  5. Queen of Blades (2006), by Aaron Rosenberg; and
  6. Ghost: Nova (not yet in 2006), by Keith R.A. DeCandido.


StarCraft is very well known for its amazing UMS (Use Maps Settings) maps and their great quality. Over the years, one map has taken a 'cult' status and is being played daily on Battlenet by a huge amount of people. "Observer Madness", a fairly simple concept, but extremely hard to master! The "dodgers" as they call themselves, are all gathering in 2 Battlenet channels, one "Observer" on US-East server and one "a2848" on Asia server. They even made a shrine for the map here: There are said to be over 50 known versions to Observer Madness! and more are being made on regular basis.

Operation C.W.A.L.

A group named Operation C.W.A.L.(Can't Wait Any Longer) emerged on the Starcraft Pilot's Lounge Forum in Late 1997. This group filled the forum with stories of the fight between Blizzard and themselves to gain the release of StarCraft. Blizzard enjoyed the fan interaction so much then thanked Operation C.W.A.L. in the manual and used their name in a cheat.


The original rating given to StarCraft was a Mature rating. This was shown on the three collector's edition boxes. However, the game's rating was later moved down to Teen, which is what is now found on all the normal boxes.


  • The dropship pilot's responses are modeled after the lines from the dropship pilot in the movie Aliens.

  • The cheat code "there is no cow level" actually refers to the Diablo rumour which stated that you could access a secret level through a cow, the inclusion of this code was the most explicit claim made by Blizzard in deny of this rumour (though to this day there are people that claim such level exists).

  • Even through its way too garbled, upon repeated selection the terran Goliath pilot says some lines from Robocop's ED-209 (which points the similarities in the unit's design and Robocop's ED) .

  • The "Medieval Man" cheat code found in StarCraft is an obvious homage to WarCraft II, where a song named "I'm a Medieval Man" was composed to celebrate the game's release.

  • Every unit in game has some secret speeches. They are activated by clicking on this unit several times. They are usually trivial and funny yet some of them are particularly interesting. Protoss Observer transmits the voice of Adria the Witch and Griswold the Blacksmith from Diablo.

  • StarCraft contains many references to popular movies or books. For example, in the map editor players can choose a Terran Wraith hero called Tom Kazansky. Lt Tom Kazansky played by Val Kilmer is one of main characters in the movie Top Gun. There is also a Terran Firebat called Guy Montag. It is a reference to Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451. Zerg hero Yggdrasil is named after a computer in the Japanese anime movie Oh My Goddess.


As of 2000 StarCraft still sold in the top 10, 2 years after its release.


StarCraft is one of the first computer games to have ever physically made it into space. It was sent aboard Shuttle mission STS-96 on May 27, 1999 by Mission Specialist Daniel T. Barry, who is also a StarCraft fan. Another game that made an early voyage into into space was Twigger.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 1999 (Issue #177) – Best Strategy Game of the Year
    • June 2000 (Issue #191) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • March 2001 (Issue #200) - #4 Best Game of All Time (Editors' Choice)
    • March 2001 (Issue #200) - "#6 Best Game of All Time (Readers' Choice)
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #98 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" Poll
  • GameSpot
    • 2010 - "All-Time Greatest Game Villain" (for Kerrigan; users' voting). She defeated Darth Vader in the Final, with 60% of the votes. After being selected by the GameSpot staff as one of the 54 villains to make it directly into the First Round, her other "victims" were Gruntilda (with 77.9%) in the First Round, the Pac-Man Ghosts (57.8%) in the Second Round, Sweet Tooth (67.1%) in the Last Sixteen, Bowser (51.8%) in the Quarterfinals, and The Joker (55.2%) in the Semifinals.
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #9 Top Game of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/2008 - One of the "10 Coolest Levels" (for "New Gettysburg" because a plot point within this level proves how StarCraft uses a simple concept and script attacks to be more dramatic than other strategy games with FMV video sequences.)
  • IGN
    • 2009 - #16 in the "Top 25 PC Games" list
    • 2010 - #17 in the "Top 10 Videogame Villains" classification (for Kerrigan)
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #2 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games" Poll
    • October 2001 - #6 on the "Top 50 Games of All Time" List
    • April 2005 - #7 on the "50 Best Games of All Time" List
    • February 2011 - #86 in the "Top 100 Best PC Games of All Time" list
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 11/2005 - #1 Game Which Absolutely Needs A Sequel (it eventually got one in 2010)
  • Origin Award
    • 1998 - Best Strategy Computer Game
  • The Strong National Museum of Play
    • 2021 – Introduced into the World Video Game Hall of Fame

Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Ajan, CaptainCanuck, Cavalary, Chris Martin, enigma, Entorphane, kbmb, Itay Shahar, MAT, Maw, Michael Reznick, PCGamer77, Pseudo_Intellectual, Warlock, WildKard and Zovni.


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MajorDad.

Macintosh added by Belboz.

Additional contributors: Blackhandjr, Andrew Hartnett, Unicorn Lynx, Attila, Jony Shahar, Alaka, Carl Ratcliff, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, lilalurl, MrFlibble, FatherJack, Brian Lin, SoMuchChaotix.

Game added November 4, 1999. Last modified January 25, 2024.