This is Zeratul, the leader of the Dark Templar - heretics thrown out of Protoss society for no greater sin than refusing to embrace the Khala, the newfound religion of the Protoss people. Still viewed as corrupt and evil throwbacks to a day when the Protoss were savage participants in civil war, the Dark Templar nevertheless arrive on Aiur to rescue the Protoss in their greatest hour of need. Led by the brave and resolute Zeratul, they ignore the hated vitriol from the ruling council of the Protoss and steel themselves for the task ahead: cleansing the universe of the Zerg scourge that has robbed the Humans of peace and the Protoss of their beloved homeworld.
To be honest, much of Zeratul's nobility and character come across through the wonderful voice acting of Jack Ritschel, although another measure of credit must go to Chris Metzen for writing such good dialogue. All the characters in Blizzard's StarCraft are three-dimensional, full of personality and complexity. Yet even among this star-studded cast, it is Zeratul who stands out as the most noble of heroes, although he is shrouded in a cloak of mystery and aloofness.
Later, in StarCraft: Brood War, Zeratul takes on a more active role in the restoration of his people, moving from being a trusted and elite aide of the late executor Tassadar to becoming the steward of both the Dark Templar and the Protoss. He tries to steer the two peoples to reconciliation, and becomes the leader of the forces of good that are fighting against not only the misguided Terrans of Mother Earth, but also the Zerg hordes controlled by Infested Kerrigan. Even in the face of such evil, Zeratul maintains the composure and restraint that mark him as a great leader. Perhaps he is too slow and too trusting, and thus delivers the Protoss leader Aldaris into Kerrigan's traitorous claws, but when mobilized into action, Zeratul remains as overwhelmingly powerful and unstoppable a force as any.
Zeratul is almost like a Darth Vader who fights on the side of the Rebels. For StarCraft players, he conjures similar emotions. A dark warrior who champions the light, Zeratul is indeed one of the greatest heroes of any computer game.
Listen to Zeratul:
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