Starcraft: A Serral Story
Chapter One: World Champion
The situation was grim. The Protoss commander, Stats, was holed into his base, swarms of roaches and ravagers breaking down the walls of the Protoss fortifications. The waves of Zerg locusts, roaches, zerglings and ravagers were endless. Stats was left with a meager force of a few High Templar, Zealots and Probes.
“We will fight until the end!”
“No,” Stats responded. “We must prepare for Cerulean Falls, for that is where we will make our stand.
Serral was sitting down on the grass, picking berries from the bushes. He had one look at the garden and had mapped out and optimized the perfect path and order to pick the berries in. His hands moved rapidly from one berry to the next. He had started to sweat from the intense sunlight, shining across his face. But he did not have the time to brush the sweat off his face. He was efficiently picking berries out of the bushes, not wanting to miss one single action.
What a great day it was. Serral had lived in a small town of Portainen in Finland, living a simple life with his family. Day after day, he would do chores, cook meals with his family and tend to his studies. There was no better way to spend an afternoon than with his beloved family. Serral looked up at his older brother, Protosser. He paused from his berry-picking to look up at his brother. He studied his brother, seeing if there was anything that he could learn. Any way to more efficiently pick berries out of the bushes.
Protosser simply looked out into the distance, neglecting the berries in the garden. “Serral...”
“Brother?” Serral had always looked up to his older brother. Protosser was a role model, a hero to him.
“What do you want in life? What do you want to accomplish?”
“Um... brother? What's this all of a sudden?”
“Answer me, Serral.”
“Well... of course... I want to live a happy life. With you, with mom and dad. And maybe eventually raise a happy family of my own.”
“Ah, of course. But... don't you feel that we can accomplish far more? The world is large and vast.” Protosser looks at his own hands. “These hands can do much more. I want to test myself. I want to test my skills. I am grateful, of course, for everything this village has given to us. All of the support, the love, the compassion. But I want to explore, to discover, to push myself. I want to expand myself beyond the limits of this town.”
Serral sat in the booth, up 1-0. He was playing in the finals of the World Championships in Starcraft 2. He had faced the very best players in the world. Through hard work and perseverance, he was here. Only Stats was standing in his way to his ultimate goal.
He looked into the crowd and saw them cheering him on. Were they cheering him on? Or were they cheering for Stats? He couldn't tell. All he could see were their wild reactions. All he could do was show the fans a great series of games. He was in a soundproof booth. On top of that, he was wearing noise canceling headphones. And by the way, this fanfic is brought to you by -insert headphone sponsor spot here- If you want to play games as well as Serral does, buy our headphones. Anyway, back to the story.
“Three more wins. Brother... I pushed myself, just as you would have. And I finally made it. Please... watch how far I've come.”
Once again, Serral stared at the loss screen. He was in his room, playing Starcraft 2 with his brother. He looked up at the whiteboard in his room. He got up from his chair, grabbed a marker and put a mark on the whiteboard.
0-172. That was his record against Protosser. He sat back down on his chair and typed the familiar words.
His brother was an obstacle for him. One that he could never overcome. However, the more they played, the more he learned. He would make adjustment after adjustment, gained edge after edge, got better and better. Yet, it was still not enough.
He looked up at his board, 172 red marks, reminding him of every loss. Yet, every time, he was getting closer and closer. He began seeing the light of day, the path to victory. “This time... This time I'll do it.”
He was in the lobby of the game with his brother. He stared at the screen as the game countdown started ticking down. Serral was determined not to see the defeat screen this time.
Zerg units were all over the map. Inside Stats' main, inside his expansions. Back at home to defend. Stats only had one move remaining. A last ditch offense, one that would throw absolute chaos into the game. A base trade.
Immortals pushed through the map in a frontal assault. Serral had units ready on three fronts.
“I won't lose. I can't lose,” Serral thought to himself. This situation, it was exactly the same as that fateful day. Game 172 against Protosser. He had his brother up against the ropes. He was about to secure his first ever victory against the obstacle that had always stood in his way. Yet, there was one critical mistake he made. A miscalculation. “This battle... I absolutely must win this battle. No matter what.”
Serral brought his entire army to the fight. Not just his hydralisks, but also his drones. From his third, from his natural, drones and hydralisks surrounded the Immortal army of Stats. This was it. This was the victory condition that had eluded Serral so many years ago.
2-0. Serral gave one huge sigh of relief.
Protosser had just finished cleaning the dishes after having dinner with his family. He started walking toward the front entrance of the house and put his shoes on.
“Hey, where are you going?” his mother asked him.
“Umm...” Protosser had talked to his dad about his plans, but didn't have the heart to tell his mom or his brother. “Sorry...” He unlocked the door and started to walk out.
“Hey!” his mother started running after him, but dad put his hands on her shoulders.
“He's going on a journey. To see the world and to discover himself.”
“No! No! I can't accept this. Come back here!”
His dad shook his head. “I don't want to see him go either, but he's set his mind to it. You know how stubborn he is. Nothing can stop him from pursuing his dreams.” He looked at Serral, tears welling up in his eyes as he realizes what's going on. Dad nods at him. Serral dashes out the door.
“Brother!” Serral is running to meet Protosser. “Brother! Why?”
Protosser slowly turns around and smiles. He puts his hands over Serral's shoulders. “Serral, there's so much more to this world than this little town. I want to see it. I want to push myself to the limit. I want to see what I can achieve. Serral... You have to pursue your dreams with all your heart. Life is short. Don't be complacent. Always push yourself to achieve the most you possibly can.”
“But... but... we were HAPPY! Together! As a family. We had food. We had shelter. We had a loving family and a loving community. We had Starc...” All of the memories Serral had playing Starcraft with his brother flooded back to him. He fell to his knees, tears rolling down his eyes. He didn't want to see his brother leave him, but he understood.
The two of them embraced. Protosser turned around and started leaving.
Stagnation. That was what Protosser was afraid of. That was why he left his home to pursue his dreams to play Starcraft. Sitting around and waiting for opportunity to come to you is the perfect recipe for regret. And for defeat.
That was what was awaiting Stats in the third game of the series. Stats had sat back, building up his economy and gathering up his ideal army. Serral was not going to allow him that chance. Time after time, Zerg locusts rained down on Stats' bases, slowly but surely eating away at Stats' defenses. This is what happens to complacent people. People who have dreams but are too scared to pursue them. They slowly, but surely get eaten up.
Atleast I played a good game. Atleast I gave them a run for their money. Hey, I came close.
Many would be happy to play a good game against Serral. Many would be proud to almost beat the best player in the world.
Stats is not that person. Every single person witnessing this finals knew what situation Stats was in. Down 3-0 against the greatest Zerg player in the world. This was not a deficit that was possible to overcome.
Stats did not see it this way. In his mind, he just had to prove that he was the best. He just had to win 4 games against Serral.
A feeling started to sweep across the audience. This was going to be a sweep. Serral is too good. The odds are stacked against Stats. This was going to be a short night. However, the two men setting in the booths knew that a long night was ahead of them. Through the many games Serral and Stats played, they began to understand each other. This is what a game of Starcraft does to people. It forges bonds, it forges understanding. And Serral understood well that Stats was not going down without a fight.
As Serral left the booth, he was greeted with the deafening roar of the crowd. He walked over to the championship trophy and hoisted it high above his head.
(For all the talk about how this was going to be a long night, not a single word was mentioned in this story about the remainder of the series. Refer to the fan non-fic to witness the rest of the series)
The Voice of WCS, Smix, approached Serral, mic in hand, ready to do a post-match interview with the world champion. Smix's stunning beauty was enough to get anyone's heart racing.
Well, ALMOST anyone. Not Serral, for the only thing that could send his heart racing was the spirit of competition; the friendships and camaraderie that a game of Starcraft 2 could bring.
“Congratulations on winning WCS and becoming the world champion. How does that feel?”
It just hit him. Serral pushed himself to his limit and achieved his dreams. No, not only his dreams, but...
“It feels great. This moment is great for me. But, this moment is not just for me. I'd like to thank my brother, Protosser. Hey, brother, where are you?” He looked into the crowd and saw Protosser. He pointed to his brother. “Hey! Come on stage with me.”
Protosser was smiling ear to ear. He walked toward the stage, stood face to face with his brother. The two of them embraced. Serral put the trophy on Protosser's hand.
“Becoming the world champion was always my dream. Not just my dream, but our dream. I wanted to thank my brother. I always looked up to him and he always made sure to push me to my limit. To become the best that I can be. I'd also like to thank my practice partners, Lam... AGGGHHH!!”
Smix backed off and screamed. Serral was on the ground. Protosser was standing over his brother's body. He had just hit his brother over the back of his head with the trophy. The trophy that his brother won.
“This was MY dream. MY DREAM. And YOU! You took it from me.” Protosser lifted his foot up. He stomped his foot onto Serral's hand. Well, his foot was clearly atleast 20 cm away from Serral's hand, but we, the audience is supposed to believe that Serral got his hand stomped on.
“AHH!” Serral grasped onto his hand as though it's hurt.
“Oh COME ON! That man has a family!” the commentator known as Dan exclaimed. “That's the hand that Serral micros with. Don't do it!”
Protosser continues to stomp on Serral's hand.
“How is this even fair? So many stomps,” Dan got up on his feet and started yelling.
Dan was an incredible handsome man. He had a face of perfection and broad shoulders. He wore a suit which made him look very professional. However, not even the suit could contain his incredible biceps, muscular chest and perfect abs. His dress shirt practically tore off his body from his well defined muscles.
As he stood up, the rest of the crew began getting nervous. There was a reason he had to stay behind the desk. The truth is, he wasn't wearing pants. The reason is that it was physically impossible for a man of that stature to wear pants. There were no pants large enough to contain his...
“HOLD THAT THOUGHT!” his co-caster, Nick, interjected. Nick was also a very handsome man. However, despite the fact that he played the correct race, he was nowhere near as handsome as his brother, Sean, let alone his co-caster Dan. “Serral might have to tap out. This might be the beginning of the end for our Zerg hero.”
Protosser lifted his foot up one last time. And one last time, he stomped on Serral's hand, shattering every bone in his hand.
Chapter 2: Starcraft 3
The people's voices were heard. A rain of deafening boos showered the arena as Mr. WC took the stage. Mr. WC was dumbfounded. How could the fans... no, his fans reject the notion of Starcraft 3? The sense of entitlement that some fans had perplexed Mr. WC. Booing us, after the epic trailer that they were just fed? The teaser trailer featured:
1. Zeratul narrating a bunch of non-sense regarding legacy, destiny and the Khala
2. Bullet time action sequences with lasers and explosions
3. Zeratul finding his one last hope. The trailer ends with a crashed Battle Cruiser on a desert planet. Then we hear a voice saying “This is Jimmy.” That is immediately followed by the words “Starcraft 3. Coming soon on iOS and Android.
4. Beautifully ray-traced cinematics. This story is brought to you by nVidia. Buy our products, no matter how inflated prices are. I mean, what are you going to do? Buy from our competitor? LOL
And yet, we were getting booed. The audacity. But no matter, the show must go on. Over the course of the presentation, we will surely turn the crowd to our favour.
“Welcome. My name is Mr. WC and I am the lead designer for Starcraft 3. In our increasingly interconnected world, mobile devices have become a daily part of our lives. And for us, gamers, that means interacting with friends and family through our smart phones. What that means is gaming with our loved ones through our mobile devices. With Starcraft 3, you can experience the joy of mining minerals and sieging up tanks at the comfort of your cellular devices.”
“WHAT?” The crowd yelled in unison.
“We, Blizzard, are proud to present to you the next fully-fledged Starcraft experience that you can experience with your friends and family. We are happy to announce our partnership with this special man... Give it up for PROTOSSER!”
Protosser walked up to the stage, phone in hand.
“We partnered with Protosser because he truly understands how to extract mon... ahem, I mean deliver engaging and immersive experiences to YOU, the gamer. As an experienced Starcraft player, Protosser understands what it means to have fulfilling experiences. So...”
Protosser starts to fiddle with his phone. Suddenly, the projector on the screen shows the main menu for Starcraft 3. We see a bunch of gems, a store, a find game button. Basically, the entire interface screams “Hand over your money.”
“So, you can see all of these interesting features. We will get into that later, but I'm sure you're all dying to get into the gameplay. So... let's find a game and start playing.”
Protosser presses the “find game” button and is immediately thrown into a game. We hear the familiar sounds of probes mining minerals.
“So... are you guys sick of loading up a new map and spending hours trying to figure out how to place buildings? Don't worry. In this game, there are pre-set locations for where you can place buildings. Press the “Build Pylon” button and the game automatically places the pylon for you. Press the “Build Gateway” button and the game automatically places the Gateway for you. No more spending hours learning how to wall off your base, or figure out the optimal configuration of how to place your macro buildings.
“Now, we know that ladder anxiety is a problem with many of you. Right? Well, to alleviate that, we decided to implement this button on the side.” He points to a triangle looking symbol on the side of the screen that says “Play” below it. Protosser presses the button and all of a sudden, the “Play” button changes to “Auto.”
“In Starcraft 3, you don't even have to play the game. When you press the Auto button, the game plays for you. No more ladder anxiety, as the computer makes all your decisions for you.”
After a few minutes, Protosser reached 40/40 psi. “Now, we believe in offering players choice and customizability. In this particular game, Protosser is stuck at 40/40 psi. He cannot go above that, even if he were to build more pylons. In order to unlock the ability to go above 40 psi, you must use in-game currency known as Stargems. We believe this gives players choices and different ways to play the game. Either play a fast paced game, or fork over Stargems to raise the psi limit. Now, let's show them what they can do with Stargems.”
Protosser leaves the game and enters the In-Game Store. “Have you ever felt the rush of not knowing the outcome to a game? Worry not. We will bring that same excitement to you. Featuring our Star-Pack system. You can spend Stargems to buy Star-Packs. Star-Packs contain a random pack of 5 items. Now instead of explaining it, why don't we demonstrate it. Let's buy a Star-Pack. And... WHOAA!!!” The pack that was just bought disappears from the screen and we see 5 oddly shaped gems materialize. Mr. WC pretends to be very surprised and excited. “That's a concussive stim upgrade! That is a very powerful upgrade. What are the chances of us getting that?!” Mr. WC looks over to the crowd. “Well, you guys probably don't wanna know. Well anyway... let's see what this baby does.”
This goes on and on. Mr. WC showcases an equipment system that allows you to power-up your units. He showcases different ways you can spend your Stargems. For example, you can buy buckets of paint (randomly generated of course, you can't just choose what paint you want to buy) to customize your army's look. You can buy max supply. And of course, you're only allowed to play a few times every 3 hours. You have to either wait or pay money to play the game more than a few times.
“Starcraft 3, ladies and gentlemen. And you can get it on iOS and Android for FR...”
Suddenly, Mr. WC is interrupted by the sound of glass shattering.
“OH MY GOD!” Dan comes from out of nowhere and starts yelling. “It's... It's STONE COLD SERRAL! I don't believe it!”
Serral starts walking onto the stage to a standing ovation from the crowd. Protosser looks shocked. He gets off his chair. Serral runs onto the stage and the two brothers start brawling. They trade punches in a wild brawl. Protosser tries to clothesline Serral, but Serral ducks underneath it. Protosser turns around, only to be met with a kick in the stomach. He keels over. Serral turns around, grabs Protosser by the neck and drops down. Protosser's neck bounces off of Serral's shoulder. He falls to the ground. As he impacts the floor, he does 10 million flips and starts flailing around on the floor like a magikarp, because that's completely how people react when they get hurt.
Serral turns over to Mr. WC. Terrified, he falls to the ground, dropping his phone onto the ground. Serral slowly walks toward him.
“No! No! Please forgive me! It was HIS idea!” Mr. WC points to Protosser.
Serral bends down to grab the phone. He looks over at the phone. Slowly, he raises it high in the air.
“No! No! That's a $30,000 phone. Please no!”
SMASH. Serral shatters the phone. Mr. WC crawls over to it, crying.
Serral grabs a mic. “Come on now. Don't you have a phone? I guess you don't anymore.” Serral gets a round of cheers. “You may THINK we want this, but we don't. Tell your investors. This ain't gonna make them a dime. And THAT'S the bottom line. Cuz SER-RAL SAID SO.”
We hear the sound of glass shattering again. Out of nowhere, Serral grabs two power-drinks, opens them up and pours the two cans of power-drinks all over himself. He walks off the stage to a loud round of cheers.
“Mike Morhaime, 1967 – 2018” the tombstone read.
Mr. Brack was standing by his grave. He turned around and started to leave.
“He was a talented man. But he was a nuisance. As long as he lived, there was no way he would let us create Starcraft 3. So, there was only one thing to do. One can only hope that our pockets end up deeper than your grave. MWAHAHAHAHAHA, MUUUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
Mr. Brack left. The camera (what? Camera? Wtf?) focuses on the tombsone. Suddenly, the ground starts to shake. From out of Mike Morhaime's grave, a hand pops up!
Credits start rolling.