Codex Gamicus
Arcturus Mengsk
Arcturus Mengsk.jpg
Arcturus Mengsk with a ghost
Basic Information
Biographical Information
Terran Dominion
Personal Information
Emperor of the Terran Dominion

Arcturus Mengsk is a prominent character in the fictional StarCraft universe. He is a Terran from Korhal IV, leader of the Sons of Korhal and Emperor of the Terran Dominion. During the original StarCraft, he was 38 years old. He has a son, Valerian, the Heir Apparent to the Terran Dominion.

Arcturus Mengsk was a discharged Colonel and a successful prospector of the Terran Confederacy when his father Angus Mengsk (the leader of Korhal) declared war upon the Confederacy and caused the Confederates to withdraw from the planet. Embarrassed by his father's actions, but by no means surprised, he still never suspected the lengths the Confederates would go. In a shocking triple murder, his father, his mother, and his sister were all brutally killed. His father's head was never found. It also may have revealed the Ghost program of the Confederates.

Rallying the militant groups that followed his father he attacked the Confederates and harassed them in any and all ways possible. With rumors circulating that an alliance was to be declared with the Umojan Protectorate the Confederacy settled upon a solution; annihilate life on Korhal. One thousand nuclear missiles were launched at Korhal, killing more than 4,000,000 people.

Sons of Korhal[]


Arcturus Mengsk, hiding out in a secret base within the Umojan Protectorate, heard the news. He was devastated as the once prosperous planet of Korhal became nothing more than a smoldering desert.

He and the survivors of the event pledged to take the fight to the Confederates. Calling themselves the Sons of Korhal, they promised to overthrow the Confederacy. The Sons of Korhal quickly became the most wanted 'terrorist' group in the sector.

In 2498 he performed a raid on a remote Terran outpost when he discovered Sarah Kerrigan, a Terran Ghost. Rescuing her from the Confederate scientists that were performing experiments upon her involving Zerg, which he saw in the holding pins, he convinced her to become second in command of the Sons of Korhal.

Mengsk Against the Zerg[]

Mengsk's Sons of Korhal showed up on Mar Sara as the Confederacy began to arrest the colonial militias and avoid fighting the Zerg. He quickly found himself in demand as the only force there willing to face the Zerg. He endeared himself to Jim Raynor and the former Colonial Magistrate of Mar Sara by assisting in the evacuation of Mar Sara, something the Confederates were not willing to do.

Before leaving, Mengsk rescued Raynor from a Confederate prison ship and used him to lead a strike force against the Jacobs Installation. Within Raynor discovered Zerg being imprisoned, but Mengsk had seen these Zerg before, and was not surprised by the Confederate experiments. Raynor had been sent there to find Confederate technology and retrieved a data disk.

Mengsk's next destination was Antiga Prime, where the colonists wanted to rebel against the Confederacy. However, their military forces were too weak to accomplish anything against Alpha Squadron, which had been sent there to suppress the nascent revolt. Mengsk decided to help. He rescued the rebel base from the Confederates with the aid of Raynor and Kerrigan (the latter sneaking in and assassinating the Confederate officer in charge). The combined Antigan/Sons of Korhal force then defeated the small Alpha Squadron force.

A Gift of a General[]

Alpha Squadron's General Edmund Duke was unable to respond effectively because his vessel, the Norad II, was attacked by the Zerg in orbit over Antiga Prime and crash-landed. This was a huge turning point for the Sons of Korhal as it enabled them to rescue Duke and talk him and his force into joining with the Sons of Korhal. Perhaps even more important than the acquisition of Duke's tactical skill and a large number of elite soldiers was the decryption of that Jacobs Installation data disk, which contained crucial information on the psi-emitter. As the disk was only encrypted after General Duke joined forces with the Sons of Korhal, it is likely that Duke decrypted the disk himself.

Meanwhile, the defection of Alpha Squadron caused the Terran Confederacy to panic. They couldn't risk losing Duke or this valuable colony, so they sent a Delta Squadron strike force to win back the colony.

As a test of this new technology, the psychic Sarah Kerrigan was ordered to bring the psi-emitter to a Delta Squadron base and activate it. She did so very reluctantly, causing vast amounts of Zerg to attack the location. The Sons of Korhal and Alpha Squadron were forced to evacuate. Sometime afterwards the Protoss arrived, wiping out all life on the surface of the planet, including the Zerg.

Great Power... and Betrayal[]

Arcturus Mengsk was now firmly on the path to victory. With a powerful army and the psi-emitter he was nearly unstoppable, but in order to win he had to defeat the Confederacy in a decisive battle at Tarsonis. While Tarsonis had been invaded in the past, it had never fallen. Fortunately for Mengsk, General Edmund Duke had taken part in many battles there and understood its defenses thoroughly.

Duke's plan was to create a ruckus to enable a small force to slip break through the planetary defenses and use the psi-emitters to summon the Zerg. Knowing that by luring the Zerg to Tarsonis would cause the indiscriminate slaughter of Tarsonis' entire population, Mengsk sidestepped his more high-minded lieutenants Kerrigan and Raynor to carry out his vengeance against the Confederacy.

However, Sarah Kerrigan remained loyal and followed her next set of orders... to protect the Zerg from the coming Protoss fleet, under the command of Executor Tassadar. Kerrigan believed the Protoss were there to exterminate all life on Tarsonis, not just the Zerg, so of course she would fight them. She defeated the Protoss fleet but was abandoned to the Zerg, after Mengsk ordered his fleet to leave the Tarsonis system. Raynor's attempts to rescue her failed, and he too was forced to flee to a relatively safe part of Tarsonis' space platform. However he did take the Hyperion with him, and convinced the Mar Sara Magistrate (now a commander) to join him.

Mengsk returned to deal with the Commander and Raynor's "treachery". General Duke revealed his startling knowledge of Confederacy defenses by reactivating the Ion Cannon, a powerful piece of technology which would shoot down Raynor's forces if they attempted to leave. Raynor was forced to destroy the Ion Cannon in order to escape.

Nonplussed, Mengsk had crowned himself Emperor of the Terran Dominion and made Korhal IV his new throne world. With Duke by his side, Mengsk was unopposed by any of the major Terran Militias in the Koprulu Sector. All of the Terran colonies were united under one sovereign rule for the first time.

The New Dominion[]

Mengsk received a psychic message from Sarah Kerrigan on Char. He sent General Duke's Alpha Squadron there to retrieve her, but his forces were destroyed by the Zerg.

As the titanic battle between the Protoss and the Zerg reached the boiling point on the planted Auir, Mengsk took steps to consolidate his own power within the Dominion. Having reinforced the armies of the Dominion by forcefully conscripting the remaining warriors of the defunct Terran Confederacy, he set out to fortify the various worlds under his care. He rebuilt Korhal's capital city of Augustgrad, which became the most heavily fortified city in all of Dominion space, and employed multiple battlecruisers for his planetary defense. He also set up a large cluster of missile silos on Augustgrad's outskirts. Furthermore, Mengsk turned the previously uninhabited planet of Braxis into a Dominion stronghold, and reclaimed the abandoned planet Dylar IV, establishing it's orbital shipyards as a fueling and repair station. In addition, Mengsk had the Terran Dominion Armada, which was led by General Duke. All of these bases were overseen by the ranking officers, including Duke, which made up Mengsk's Cabinet, also known as Dominion Command, on Korhal.

The United Earth Directorate[]

Mengsk and Duke built a powerful defense over Korhal, but when the United Earth Directorate (UED) arrived and attacked, it was able to neutralize most of his defenses and attack his palace. Mengsk tried to escape in the Norad III, but the UED cut off his escape. Admiral DuGalle threatened him with execution, along with his Cabinet, but Raynor suddenly appeared in the Hyperion and rescued his enemy, leaving DuGalle dumbfounded.

Mengsk and Raynor fled to Aiur, where Raynor had continued his alliance with the Protoss Praetor Fenix and hid in a command center near the Warp Gate. Making matters more complicated, there were large numbers of Zerg near the Warp Gate, which remained quiet until the Warp Gate was activated. In their efforts to capture these men, the UED task force attacked Raynor's command center. Raynor and Mengsk fled in a dropship through the Warp Gate, which then exploded. It is unknown where the ship flew to. Worse for the UED, the Zerg suddenly attacked and DuGalle had to face possible treachery from two of his subordinates. DuGalle had to leave.

Mengsk was put into cold storage, and when he awoke he was in the power of Infested Kerrigan, who had struck an alliance with Jim Raynor and Fenix. Mengsk was very angry at Infested Kerrigan, who reminded him of his own treachery. Kerrigan needed Mengsk for a favor - she would help Mengsk and Raynor (the latter showing a great hatred for the United Earth Directorate, not to mention Mengsk) to clear out Earth's influence on the Koprulu Sector in return for their aid in destroying the Psi Disruptor. Mengsk agreed in exchange for Kerrigan's help in retaking control over Korhal. Mengsk's role was to give Kerrigan a psi-emitter so she could recruit renegade Zerg on Braxis, where the Psi Disruptor was located. The ploy worked, and the Psi Disruptor was permanently destroyed. This became the death knell for the United Earth Directorate's expeditionary force in the Koprulu Sector, though it would take time for Admiral DuGalle to realize this.

Another Betrayal[]

Mengsk, Duke, Fenix, and Jim Raynor joined forces with Kerrigan, the "Queen of Blades" in order to attack the UED forces on Korhal. After the successful attack, Mengsk sent Duke to establish his base of operations in Augustgrad, where they rested. However, Kerrigan launched a devastating surprise attack, destroying both Duke's and Fenix's bases. In the attack, General Edmund Duke and Fenix were both assassinated, leaving Mengsk and especially Raynor very bitter. The Zerg left, leaving Mengsk and Korhal alone.

Recent Actions[]

Mengsk set about creating an army of "special interest groups" interested in killing Sarah Kerrigan and attacked her when she was in a vulnerable position on Char. His forces failed, but Mengsk threatened Kerrigan with eventual death (as did Raynor). He returned to Korhal to rebuild his empire.

Starcraft II[]

While presumably still alive, it is unclear as to whether Mengsk will appear in Starcraft II. However, interestingly, in the recent Starcraft II gameplay demo, Mengsk's name, in the form of a billboard-like sign, can clearly be seen on a wall doodad. Additionally, an updated but still recognizable likeness of Mengsk is shown briefly at the end of the game's Artwork Trailer.

Coronation of Emperor Arcturus Mengsk[]

Transcribed by UNN Broadcast:

"Fellow Terrans, I come to you in the wake of recent events to issue a call to reason. Let no human deny the perils of our time. While we battle one another, divided by the petty strife of our common history, the tide of a greater conflict is turning against us, threatening to destroy all that we have accomplished. It is time for us as nations and as individuals to set aside our long-standing feuds and unite! The tides of an unwinnable war are upon us, and we must seek refuge upon higher ground, lest we be swept away by the flood.

The Confederacy is no more. Whatever semblance of unity and protection it once provided is a phantom; a memory. With our enemies left unchecked, who will you turn to for protection? The devastation wrought by the alien invaders is self-evident. We have seen our homes and communities destroyed by the calculated blows of the Protoss. We have seen firsthand our friends and loved ones consumed by the nightmarish Zerg. Unprecedented and unimaginable though they may be, these are the signs of our time.

The time has come, my fellow Terrans, to rally to a new banner. In unity lies strength; already many of the dissident factions have joined us. Out of the many, we shall forge an indivisible whole, capitulating only to a single throne! And from that throne, I shall watch over you.

From this day forward, let no human make war upon any other human. Let no Terran agency conspire against this new beginning. And let no man consort with alien powers. And to all the enemies of humanity, seek not to bar our way, for we shall win through, no matter the cost!"

Note: As Mengsk makes his speech about Terrans setting aside their differences and the unity of Terrans into a more powerful state, images on screen show (to the player only) video clips of Dominion ships brutally destroying Confederate ships (one clip shows a severed arm holding a cigarette floating through space, with Protoss Interceptors and Zerg Guardians flying in the background), revealing the hypocrisy of his words.


  1. Golden, Christie, StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga, Simon & Schuster Pocket Books, 2007. ISBN 0-7434-7125-3
  2. Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  3. Neilson, Micky. StarCraft: Uprising. New York and Toronto, Ontario: Simon & Schuster Pocket Books, 2000. ISBN B00005AS12 (eBook only)

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