Credit: Luke 'Duke' Newcombe

StarCraft and StarCraft 2 are two RTS games created by Blizzard. The games are set in the distant future where three races collide in an epic struggle for survival.  The Protoss, Zerg and Terran are those races.  The story includes two characters with similar end goals: the resurrection of the Xel'naga Amon.  These two individuals are so similar but are unfortunately, never directly linked.  The characters are Samir Duran and Emil Narud.  

Samir Duran

Samir Duran

In StarCraft’s expansion, Brood War, a character known as Lieutenant Samir Duran is a central character who betrays the United Earth Directorate and the Queen of Blades.  In the game, Duran is used by both Terran and Zerg forces and creates a foreshadowing of the Zerg and Protoss hybrid.  He’s a character that brings a lot of emotion to the game through his multiple betrayals.  He assassinates the UED Vice Admiral Stukov and leaves Kerrigan to fight three armies alone in the last Zerg mission.  Duran escapes to a world where he creates the hybrid.  Zeratul tracks Duran down and discovers Duran’s dirty secret.  Duran is in fact a shape shifter who has been alive for millennia.   The game ends and a few years later in the story, StarCraft 2 begins and James Raynor meets a man named Emil Narud. 

Emil Narud

Emil Narud

Emil Narud is the leader of the mysterious Mobius Foundation.  You meet him during the data core level and help him destroy the appropriate buildings before Kerrigan finds the location of Xel'naga artifacts.  He has a short roll in the game and his part fades in favor of Valarian Mengsk and effectively ending Narud’s story until the Heart of the Swarm.  In the expansion, Kerrigan meets Emil Narud in a Dominion Top Secret Science Lab where Narud is creating Hybrid for Emperor Arcturus Mengsk.  Kerrigan wipes out the Hybrid and eventually Narud with a little help from the former UED ghost Alexi Stukov – an infested Terran brought back to life by Narud.  Narud is killed by Kerrigan but he reveals the rebirth of Amon, the Xel'naga.

The main basis for the conspiracies drawn derive from Duran never being mentioned in either Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm.   Blizzard owns the rights to the character and since he played such a central role in the expansion it would be a waste for him to just disappear.   Narud’s story is too shallow with a quick and unsatisfying completion. Let's look at similarities between Duran and Narud and most likely endings for the former Confederate commando.   

The Duran Conspiracies Theories

1- Narud is Duran Spelled Backwards

The biggest teaser of the game is the palindrome of Narud and Duran.  Narud is a shapeshifter like Duran and there are several other similarities to the characters.  Narud and Duran both  created hybrid.  Narud and Duran both tried to kill Kerrigan, albeit Narud more directly.  Stukov's resurface in the Heart of the Swarm expansion is a clear connection to Duran – Stukov’s assassination and comment about Narud creating him shows an immediate connection.  However, Narud is not a ghost.  Duran was always a ghost, even as a Zerg.   

2- Narud Could be Duran

This is by far the most disappointing of the options.  Narud never became a true character to hate.  Kerrigan simply finds Narud inside the Terran facility in the Heart of the Swarm expansion and kills him mano a mano.  Stukov nor Kerrigan showed any real hate towards him nor mentioned the name “Duran.”  Since Duran was such a turncoat in the original, revenge should have played a more central role in his role in StarCraft 2.

3- Narud is Duran's Brother

This idea makes the most sense from the way the story is written in the game.  Kerrigan doesn’t know who the character Narud is – maybe amnesia?  She does forget a lot of her Zerg past when she is transformed back into Sara Kerrigan the Terran.  However the idea of such an evil character going to waste in the form of Narud is disappointing.  So the most likely event will be Duran ushering the way for Amon to come forth and destroy all of life.  

4- Duran is the Xel'naga Amon

This option seems less likely as Duran was never very powerful.  Could Duran have combined other beings like himself into one Protoss Archon type demi-god?  

5- Duran is one of the crew members of James Raynor's Raiders

The most exciting and gut wrenching possibility is that Duran has been watching from the sidelines the whole time and has manipulated James Raynor into doing his bidding.  This fits in more with his betraying nature.  Once Amon is in sight Duran assassinates Jim Raynor to hurt Kerrigan and distract her from her main goal in defeating Amon.  Some possible candidates are:  Matt Horner, Gabriel Tosh, and Valarian Mengsk. However, Nova Terra, the Dominion ghost could be the wild card.  Her story is never told and she seems like an add-in character from the failed StarCraft Ghost game.  So why wouldn’t she join forces with Raynor  after Mengsk’s death and then betray him at the opportune moment.

Has Duran’s future been cut short by Kerrigan?  Hopefully not, but we will find out in Legacy of the Void.

Legacy of the Void