Shadow of the Xel'Naga

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StarCraft II: Shadow of the Xel'Naga

Co-op campaign

StarCraft II: Shadow of the Xel'Naga is a custom campaign for the award-winning Real-Time-Strategy game StarCraft II, created with the StarCraft II Editor. All 7 maps were released on November 27th, 2015. They are available on the StarCraft II Arcade, free for everyone.

In Shadow of the Xel'Naga the focus lies on variety. Each map is unique and based on a different sub-genre of strategy games. These sub-genres include Tower Defense, MOBA, puzzles and more. Additionally the campaign offers co-operative gameplay. All maps can be played alone or with a friend.

The story is based on the StarCraft novel Shadow of the Xel'Naga, written by Gabriel Mesta. The action revolves around a colony planet called Bhekar Ro, where one of the frequent and very violent storms uncovers an ancient Xel'Naga artifact. This temple calls both, the zerg and the protoss, while the colonists call the Terran Dominion for help. All these events cause a great confrontation on the normally placid world. The story acts as an interquel between StarCraft and Brood War.

Key Features

  • Highly varied gameplay: Each of the 7 maps is based on a different genre, and the maps themselves offer varied gameplay with multiple types of objectives, units, and abilities
  • The action revolves around a colony planet called Bhekar Ro, where one of the frequent and very violent storms uncovers an ancient xel'naga artifact. This temple calls both, the zerg and the protoss, while the colonists call the Terran Dominion for help
  • High quality terrain and cinematics, supported by many custom assets: sounds, models, textures, loading screens and more
  • Playable in single-player or two-player co-operative mode on 4 difficulty levels
  • Available in English and German
  • Free to play for everyone on the StarCraft II Arcade

How To Play

Anyone who owns the free StarCraft II Starter Edition can play any map of the campaign. Simply start StarCraft II, go to the Arcade tab, type in "Shadow of the Xel'Naga" or "sotx" in the search tab and you can select any of the 7 maps to create a new game. It is recommended that you start with "Chapter 1: Welcome to Bhekar Ro".


Bhekar Ro was settled around 2460 by colonists seeking to escape from the civil strife of the Confederacy's inner worlds. Five years after settlement contact with the Confederacy was broken off.

Attacks of wild animals, like the widespread bird species Karak, forced the abandonment of most scientific endeavors and many mines that were used to gather precious material. Priority shifted toward survival which now depended on farm work.

After their parents death Octavia Bren and her energetic brother Lars had been taking care of their cultivated land and also looking for more arable farmland. After a long day of hard work they were finally on their way home.

Chapter 1: Welcome to Bhekar Ro

  • Introduction to setting and characters
  • Varied objectives supported by semi-linear level design
  • Two unique heroes with different playstyles and sets of skills
  • Drivable vehicles used to overcome distances and kill enemies

More screenshots...

Chapter 2: Uninvited Guests

  • Point & click adventure gameplay with puzzles instead of combat
  • Custom inventory system: inspect, use, combine, or give items
  • Multiple choice dialogues
  • Fixed camera angles (optional)

More screenshots...

Chapter 3: A Shadow in Between

  • MOBA gameplay with endless enemy waves
  • Two heroes with unique playstyles and sets of abilities
  • Heroes gain experience to upgrade their abilities
  • Inventory and shop systems for usable items

More screenshots...

Chapter 4: Xeno Defense

  • Tower Defense gameplay with strategic positioning of structures
  • Two heroes with different buildable structures and abilities
  • 16 types of defensive structures, 4 areas, and 20 waves
  • Structures gain experience to upgrade their damage or life

More screenshots...

Chapter 5: Twilight

  • Stealth gameplay where players have to avoid or stun enemy units
  • Realistic enemy vision cones reactions based on spotted heroes
  • Multiple types of enemies with varied behaviour
  • Enemies can hear running heroes

More screenshots...

Chapter 6: First In, First Out

  • Dungeon crawler with multiple boss fights
  • Four types of playable units with unique abilities
  • Units gain experience, new abilities and can be promoted to hero units
  • AI-controlled hero unit that follows and protects player units

More screenshots...

Chapter 7: The Phoenix

  • Classic RTS base building mission
  • Very large map with open space that allows many strategies
  • Classic Starcraft 1 tech-tree with many types of units and structures
  • Call down nuclear strikes or summon the terran flagship Norad III

More screenshots...



Gabriel Mesta


Alexandros "OutsiderXE" Delas -

codex lore

custom models

Ghostnova - herdal8 - TaylorMouse - Thrikodias

uses a modified Starcraft: Mass Recall mod

SCMR version 5.4.1 -

german localization

LadyMeow, OutsiderXE


Adrian K. - deltronLive - Devourer - Eaglesight - Elematic - Eredalis - Knallertton - Lightspeed - Malchose - Mietfekatfe - Obatztrara - Observer - Silence - Sumadin - theSixthGate - Sven K. - Tomura - XpPlayer

credits music

"Terran Metal Remix" - Charlie Parra del Riego -

special thanks to

Blizzard Entertainment - Mass Recall team - -

Patch Information

Update 1.2

Update 1.1

More information

Outsider's Blog

Level Design Portfolio

Custom Campaign Initiative


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    Sep 15, 2015
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