This StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty mission guide will cover ‘Media Blitz’ providing the objectives, achievements (Piercing the Shroud, Not So Brutalisk, Lock and Load) and a walkthrough of how I beat this mission on hard difficulty during my own play through to satisfy all these achievements, including the special Feat of Strength ‘Monster Mash’. Piercing the shroud is the secret mission in StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty and is also the final mission in the Rebellion chain, taking place after Media Blitz if the player has found the secret documents hidden in the Science Facility. Piercing the shroud takes place on an orbital facility in Castanar, registered as a simple storage warehouse.
Piercing the Shroud in StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty begins with a squad of 5 Marines, 2 Medics and Jim Raynor in Marine armor being dropped on the orbital platform. I plane the blasting charge to open the front door and make my way in. A squad of one Firebat and 3 Marines guard this first room, where a beacon lays ahead of me. There a several beacons scattered throughout Piercing the Shroud that will give various forms of help to my progress.
The first beacon in Piercing the Shroud operates a security camera in the next room where 6 turrets 7 Marines and 3 Firebats reside. I’m given the option to hack either the right or left group of 3 floor turrets and turn them against the Dominion soldiers while the opposite 3 are disabled. I choose the right 3, as the Firebats are out of range of them, while the Marines and Firebats are both in range of the left 3, meaning they will be destroyed slightly faster. The 3 Firebats are all that remains, allowing me to wipe them up with my troops and proceed to the first laboratory, where an in-game cut scene plays showing hybrid creatures in test tubes.
After the cut-scene, a holding pen begins releasing Zerg a few at a time, and needs to be destroyed to stem the flow of Zerg from it. I choose to kill the restrained Ultralisk, in case it might cause problems later somehow. A blasting charge on the door and I proceed to a hallway guarded by 3 Marines with a grenade weapon pick-up (1/13) by some crates. Past another lone Marine is a large squad of Dominion soldiers, which is the best testing ground for the grenades. A single one thrown eliminates almost the whole squad, the rest falling to gunfire.
Next up, a room with 5 Marines and 2 Marauders which I use a second grenade on and activate the beacon. This controls a camera in the next room, which allows me to release enemy units upon the Dominion troops there. I choose Zealots which overwhelm the entire Dominion force, having to be finished off by my own soldiers. This laboratory gives a second cut scene showing how the creature has been cloned multiple times. Once the cut scene is over, I destroy the holding pen to retrieve the first of four Protoss relics here.
Leaving the laboratory, I go right to a sealed door, laying a blasting charge to blow it open and retrieve the plasma gun rounds (2/13) that are inside. These are very effective against single powerful targets. Heading back to the left path I encounter a Viking with some Marines, Medics and a Siege Tank in mobile mode with another set of plasma gun rounds behind them (3/13). I skip activating the A.R.E.S. that is controlled by the beacon here for now, as I want it for the Feat of Strength achievement requiring the Brutalisk die at its hands.
In the next room I face a series of Vikings and mobile Siege Tanks supported by Marines and Medics. I focus on using the plasma gun rounds on the Siege tanks first, and then on the Vikings when there are more than just one. A grenade pick-up (4/14) lies in the first vehicle filled room, all the way towards the back right corner. The explosive barrels here can be used to destroy Dominion units if any of them are standing nearby them for long enough.
The next room contains a Thor, which I pull from the rest of the units here before laying into it with 3 plasma rounds to drop it. Unfortunately it rips through my squad down to Jim and a Medic before falling, but a beacon that controls another video camera in the Brutalisk room that lies ahead allows me to call down my choice of reinforcements. I pick 8 marines and regroup my fighting force to carry onwards. Putting a blasting charge on the sealed door opens the way to the next task at hand.
I use a grenade on the units clustered in the front of the lab with the restrained Brutalisk, then working my way around the room mopping up the rest of the Dominion Ghosts and Marines, picking up the second relic, a grenade pickup (5/14) in the bottom part of this room, and a plasma gun pickup (6/14) in the north part of the room.
Once the Brutalisk room is cleared, I send my entire force except for one marine back to the A.R.E.S. beacon. Once they’ve arrived, I release the Brutalisk with my marine left in the room and use stim packs to have him run like hell back towards my other troops, who step on the beacon and arm the A.R.E.S. with all-purpose cannons. Once he is ready to go, I send the bot straight for the Brutalisk, who turns to meet the mechanized foe. I use the Marines to follow the robot, and support his attack one it’s engaged with the Brutalisk. The A.R.E.S. is incredibly tough, able to survive the attacks that rip apart Marines. I pull my troops away from the battle once the Brutalisk is down to 10% health to make sure the robot gets the kill, which it does unlocking Monster Mash and Not So Brutalisk in game.
Next up, a massive room with a full Hybrid trapped within a containment field sits guarded by a small group of marines whom I eliminate, before killing another restrained Ultralisk then moving to the right to take out the Marauders guarding the Fusion Reactor.
This action seems to have a slightly different effect than anticipated, as it unleashes the indestructible Hybrid upon the Dominion base, while the base begins to explode around it. The map is hidden again after the cut scene, having changed drastically due to the damage it suffered, and enemies now litter the entire base all over again, although scattered and fighting amongst each other most often. I pick up a plasma gun (7/13) in the containment room. The next room has some Protoss fighting Dominion and a chrono rift weapon (8/13). Debris needs to be cleared to move to the next areas, and often again throughout this final part of the mission.
The next room triggers a conversation where Matt Horner informs me of the indestructibility of the Hybrid. This room contains the next weapons pick up, being grenade ammo (9/13) which I retrieve while trying to run past as many aggressors as possible without my troops being lost as a result. Up ahead lies another A.R.E.S. although badly damaged, that can be activated by beacon to buy some time in fighting the Hybrid on its own. Using a grenade in the next room with Dominion soldiers, allows me to reach another chrono rift pickup (10/13).
After picking up the restoration charge and blowing my way past a line of debris blocking the path, I encounter Zealots fighting Zerg. I throw a grenade to take out some Zealots and pick up the 3rd relic that is to the left of them. Placing chrono rifts at choke points like doorways allows me to stem any trailing attackers. After the relic room and past a doorway, I head straight across the room to another somewhat out of the way mini room containing a chrono rift pickup (11/13). Back out of the room and south east past some debris leads me to the 4th relic, guarded by Zealots who I dodge and use a chrono rift to avoid. By the time I’ve picked the relic up, it’s down to Raynor himself.
Further down a curving hallway past a Hydralisk and Zergling lays another grenade pickup (12/13) with a restoration charge nearby that refreshes Jim’s life points as he continues his lone mad dash. Matt Horner informs me of the Hybrids sudden disappearance as I reach the next room, containing mini Ultralisks that pop out of pods. These go down quick with grenades and I stick to the inside wall to avoid most of them, and an Ultralisk that is towards the back of the room. Once down the ramp leaving the pod filled room, is two Dominion Marines next to another chrono rift (13/13). Picking up the final weapon unlocks the Lock and Load achievement in-game.
The final stretch I mad dash through, laying down chrono rifts around groups of enemies. It takes me only seconds to reach the beacon by the Dominion Hercules that Jim Raynor commandeers and uses to fly of the platform, bringing Piercing the Shroud to a disturbing end.
Click here to see the video of this play-through.
StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty ‘Piercing the Shroud’ Objectives
Destroy the Fusion Reactor: Make your waythrough the platform to the reactor marked on the map. Destroying it begins a second phase for the mission, unleashing the Hybrid and slowly destroying the base, so make sure you do whatever you need to in the first half before hand.
Escape From the Facility: After releasing the Hybrid it’s time for a balls-out dash to the south to have Jim reach the beacon by the Hercules. Doing this ends the mission.
Raynor Must Survive: Don’t let him suffer too much damage and keep the Medics alive as long as possible so he stays healed. You can also choose to pick up the healing power ups scattered about. Keeping him away from the Hybrid once it’s on the loose is also a good idea.
Find Protoss Relics (4, Bonus): There are 2 relics in each phase of the mission, and can be seen in the video linked above. Each relic gives a Protoss research point.
Kill the Brutalisk (Bonus): Using the A.R.E.S. to kill the Brutalisk actually seemed much easier than it would have been by approaching it with troops alone, so I would suggest saving the A.R.E.S. for this task regardless if going for the related achievements or not. Doing this grants 3 Zerg research points.
StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty ‘Piercing the Shroud’ Achievements
Piercing the Shroud: Complete all mission objectives on any difficulty to unlock this 10 point achievement.
Not So Brutalisk: Kill the Brutalisk without losing a single unit to it on normal or higher difficulty for this 10 point achievement. I got this achievement while getting Monster Mash, since the A.R.E.S. is great for tanking damage, even on hard difficulty.
Lock and Load: Locate all 13 weapon pickups on hard difficulty or higher for this 10 point achievement. I have discussed the locations of all of these throughout the guide as I approached them, however they can be seen in the video linked above as well.
Monster Mash: Use the A.R.E.S. to kill the Brutalisk on normal or higher difficulty to unlock this secret feat of strength achievement.
Click here to see a continually updated mission order and tech tree guide that shows what I have done so far, to explain how I have unlocked certain tech and units.