I've been a fan of StarCraft for like 20 years now and I've always wondered "how do those Lurker spines work anyway??"
While creature design is not my strongest suit, I really wanted to try and give it a shot.
StarCraft, original Lurker concept © Blizzard Entertainment
art, additional concepts © 47ness
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Heh. With such a vague statement, one's imagination tends to run wild.
This one caught the eye of some of the former Blizzard designers (now working at Frost Giant). Their answer was just maybe/maybe not.
Give this man a PhD in zerg biology! By the way, there is an artwork of Impaler, the closest thing to Lurker Shoot it tentacles from it back so I guest you,re correct about Lurker Spine-firing mechanic.
I've thought about this so often as well, but always imagined each spike to be on their own tentacle - like a Spine Crawler as you said (well, or more like a Sunken Colony from Broodwar, which actually digs through the ground). But that just didn't work out as that would be far too complicated. I've never had the idea there could be several spikes on one tentacle. So I gave up and said there is no way Lurkers actually attack like they do ingame, just like the ingame Hydralisk attack looks a bit different from the cinematic one. You must made my day, finally an explanation for how Lurkers could work!
I just had to watch some videos to know what you mean since I only play SC2 (just played the Remastered campaign once) haha
I don't think it's supposed to look centipede-like, the animation is just kinda hard to make out since Blizz didn't have a lot of frames to work with. And it wouldn't make sense for them to change how the hydralisk moves, it has always been snake-like.
Great job, after watching your analysis my guess is that they indeed have a tentacle behind their head carapace, that is moved by the same high pressure launcher they used when they still were hydralisks, or they shoot a symbiote that quickly digs and spike ahead...
But by watching game renders, i see a great emphasis on their head horn on all of their skins (except the impaler strain), maybe it's also that they shoot their horn somehow or that it acts like a tentacle,since their unit portrait is way different if comapred to their in-game model.
All Lurker's in-game renders until now (WoL, Impaler, Lurker Campaign, Lotv, Leviathan, Portrait, Hologram, Primal, Mecha, Cerberus)