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This page details prerelease information and/or media for StarCraft.

This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.
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WarCraft II E3 1996 Prototype

Early versions revealed at E3 1996 shows that StarCraft was originally based off the WarCraft engine. The game shows graphics similar to WarCraft II: Tides Of Darkness, such as the dashboard on the side, rather than on the bottom like in the final version. According to media, it felt too much like WarCraft II, with fans often calling the game "Orcs in Space" or "Purple WarCraft", among other variations. Due to criticism, Blizzard started reworking on the game, with a new engine.

The game lacked vespene gas at this point, and only minerals were available. The Zerg race was originally known as the "Nightmarish Invaders". The name was changed to "Zurg" shortly. However, a Disney Copyright claim made it finally change to "Zerg".

Original Plot

A late July 1996 teaser of StarCraft came with a WarCraft II rerelease. The slide show explained the game's features and the story. It is often wrongly dated to 1995.

The time is the 28th century. For over six hundred years, humans have controlled the stars. Scattered across more than a dozen worlds these disunited Terran powers control the rim of what was once a great, galactic civilization.
The powerful and enigmatic Protoss have long ignored the Terrans, considering them quarrelsome, petty, and short-sighted. Now, the Protoss have fallen into time of crisis with emergence of the Zurg- a vicious race of biomechanical creatures - which threaten their very survival.
Choose your Alliances carefully each species possesses its own strengths and weaknesses as well as special strategies for you to discover. Manage all aspects of the war, from mining resources and researching new weapons to deploying and controlling a diverse array of futuristic weaponry. The desperate galactic struggle for dominance and survival is in your hands. Beyond land, sea, and air, await the stars...
(Source: CiniCraft, used with permission.)


StarCraft-Prerelease-E3 1996 Zerg.png
This screenshot closely resembles WarCraft II. Notice how the UI and art style are much different from the final game or even WarCraft II.

A battle between Protoss and Zerg air units, such as what seems to be early Carriers and Guardians.

Same as above, but with more units. Notice how minerals are in a floating rock.

Every Zerg unit in the game, and their corresponding portraits. It's highly possible that every unit could fly. Note that the Protoss Carrier and Interceptors are also here.

This seems to be a Terran building. It's also seen in screenshots from 1997 and 1998.

(Source: StarCraft Wiki)

E3 1997

Careful, you'll lose an eye.
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There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.

Later on at E3 1997, Blizzard released a new version of StarCraft and was showcased to the public. This new version looked much more similar to the final. It seems the map was always visible (But this probably was done to showcase the map). The UI bears more resemblance to StarCraft II, rather than the final game. It shows which model the unit is, and what kind of weapon the unit selected can use (if it has one). Vespene gas was added, along with very, very early icons. New, menu and diplomacy buttons are also on the bottom middle of the UI. It's also worth noting that the unit selected has a shiny glow around it, whether red, yellow or green.


SC1 Alpha6.png

The Scouts are a bit bigger than in the final game, but the Siege Tank and Goliath don't look anything like the final. Goliath's model seems to be a Mark 2C, and its wireframe is really different from the final. Lastly, Jem/Jim from the intro in the final game is the portrait for the Goliath (and many other units!).

(Source: StarCraft Wiki, Unseen 64, SClegacy)