Starcraft 2 Piercing the Shroud Brutal & Achievements Guide

Starcraft 2 Campaign Walkthrough --> Starcraft 2 Piercing the Shroud guide (you are here)

Click Here to Get The Osiris MethodPiercing the Shroud is a secret mission unlocked by picking up the secret during the Media Blitz mission. This is a hero-oriented dungeon crawl and is one of the most micro-intensive missions that you will have complete in Starcraft 2.

Fortunately, there are a few tricks that you can use in order to make this mission significantly easier, which will be unveiled in this guide.

As you are working through the mission, you can make your time significantly easier by continuously saving the game. Each time you take down a pack of enemy units, save the game. If you mess up, load to your most recent save and keep trying. This makes the mission significantly easier.

Piercing the Shroud Brutal + Lock and Load Video Guide

Piercing the Shroud is tough. You may want to consider using this video guide side by side if you are really struggling with this mission. What I mean by this is you can watch the video as I take out the first pack of units, go into Starcraft 2, copy what you just saw, and then save the game. You can then go to the video and watch me clear the next obstacle, and then repeat it in the game, saving each time. You can slowly crawl through this mission towards a guaranteed win by taking this deliberate approach:

Piercing the Shroud Part 1

Piercing the Shroud Part 2

Piercing the Shroud Brutal Strategy & Tips

Save your game regularly when working through this mission. You need to get through every obstacle without losing any Marines if possible, because you will want them during the escape. Here are the main strategies:

On the Way to the Escape

  • In the first room on the way to the terminal, be sure to use Raynor only to kill the flame turret that busts out of the ground. Marines take too much damage.
  • At the first security camera, activate the right side turrets, and then use Raynor to attack the Firebats while the turrets kill the enemy Marines. Do not sit there while the turrets do their work.
  • The second you move up into the ramp into the lab room, use your planting charge to destroy the tank before the movie plays.
  • Just past the lab, use a grenade to blow upthe pack of Marines, Firebats, and Medics.
  • As you approach the ramp, use Raynor and a Medic alone to take out the pack. Use Throw Grenade to kill the Marines and Medic on the right. Raynor will then slowly kill off the Marines and Mauraders without exposing your Marines to the enemy.
  • At the second security camera, release the Zealots. When you do this, make sure Raynor attacks the Zealots as the Zealots are killing the Terran, because the Zealots will otherwise overwhelm the computer's forces.
  • The building that the Zealots came out of can be destroyed. Inside will be the first Protoss relic.
  • In the next room, you will see a door to the right. Destroy it to get the Plasma Gun inside it.
  • As you approach the next ramp, you need to use Raynor alone to kill the Siege Tank hero that patrols this room. Raynor can then clear out the remaining Marines and Medics (focus the Medic). Hide your Marines here until you kill the flame turret.
  • Do not summon the ARES, but instead use Raynor to pick apart the room. This is shown in the video. Save your game here as a lot can go wrong. You can use the Plasma Gun if you are playing through on Brutal mode and are ignoring the Brutalisk.
  • Once you clear out about half the room, you can use the warbot. Pick the anti-armor missiles.
  • Summon the bot and use your units to kill off the Infantry. Let the bot kill any remaining tanks or vikings.
  • Grab the grenade power-up in the top right of the room.
  • Do not let any Infantry units near the Thor, this is what the ARES is for. The Thor will destroy your Marines in 1 shot.
  • For reinforcements, the video guide shows Marauders, but I actually think the Medic/Marines is a better combo, particularly if this is not on brutal mode (strategy discussed below).
  • Clear out the room where the Brutalisk is. Feel free to leave enemy medics alive as they will tank the Brutalisk for a hit before dying, letting you get some extra shots off.
  • If you want to kill the Brutalisk, check the video (part 2, about 2 minutes in). You can kite the Brutalisk with Jim Raynor alone, using the Plasma Gun to kill the Brutalisk. This can be done on brutal mode even and makes sure you lose no units to the Brutalisk
  • Another strategy for beating the Brutalisk if you are having trouble with kiting is to place some of your offensive units behind the machinery in the left corner of the room. Put these units on Hold position. Release the Brutalisk and allow Raynor to kite it near the area where those units are positioned. The Brutalisk is unable to reach these units due to the small space and will focus on trying to catch Jim. Just kite over and over again with Raynor and the Brutalisk will ultimately die to damage from the hidden units. Thanks to Rich W. for this strategy.
  • The second Protoss relic appears in the Brutalisk room. Sometimes the way the relic falls, you automatically pick it up and may not notice it, so if you think you are missing a relic, be sure to check your total.

The Escape Strategy & Walkthrough

The escape is actually the easiest part of the mission if you know the strategy to use. There are a few tricks that makes it so much easier than it seems when you first do it.

The first thing to know is that during your initial portion of the escape, the Hybrid is not chasing you. You can take as long as you want to clear out all the enemy units (and you want to do this) while picking up any power-ups.

The Hybrid does not start chasing you until you see it working through the destructible debris. Here is the trick: clear out this area of enemy units, and then place two Medics on hold position near this debris. When the Hybrid comes out, it will attack your Medics, but they will heal each other. They can tank the Hybrid the entire time while you clear through the enemy units and take your time! There are also some enemy medics on brutal mode you can leave alive to do this exact same thing. However, the medics do not exist on lower difficulties.

Slowly clear the area out. When you get a message that the Hybrid goes underground, this means that it is no longer chasing you. You can pull the two Medics you had back to your army. They should be low on energy but there is a restorative charge you can pick up that will take them to full.

When you enter the room full of Zerg eggs, slowly clear it out. Kill everything. When the Ultralisk surprises you, make sure Raynor is in front and your Marines are hidden in the back. Two shots with the Plasma Gun will nearly take out the Ultralisk, so if you are careful here you will lose no units.

As you are leaving the Zerg area, you will see a ramp down to the lower ground and a lot of spider webs. As soon as you go down the ramp, the Hybrid will appear and attack you. It is related to this position, not time. You can place 2 medics at the spot where he spawns, and it will once again attack those medics while you take your time clearing to the exit!

Clear out everything on the way to the shuttle and you can make your escape with no losses.

Piercing the Shroud Achievements Guide

There are three achievements and one hidden Feat of Strength available during the Piercing the Shroud mission:

Monster Mash: This is a hidden feat of strength and involves using the ARES to kill the Brutalisk on normal mode. What you do is never summon the Brutalisk and instead use Jim Raynor's abilities to clear all the way up to the Brutalisk, defeating all enemies. Then, send a Marine down to summon the ARES while another sits by the Brutalisk. Use anti-armor missiles. Immediately run the ARES to the Brutalisk, then release the Brutalisk. They will fight, the ARES will win, and you will get the Monster Mash feat of strength. 

Piercing the Shroud: Complete all mission objectives on Piercing the Shroud on normal difficulty or higher.

Not So Brutalisk: Kill the Brutalisk on normal difficulty or higher without losing a unit. This is covered in the video where it is done on brutal mode. You can use Raynor to kite the Brutalisk as you kill it with the Plasma Gun.

Lock and Load: Find all weapon pickups on Hard difficulty. There are 13 total. This is the toughest achievement, especially during the chase scene. Fortunately, you can get them all pretty easily if you use the medic technique, as it gives you plenty of time to scour every corner of the map. Additionally, when the Hybrid goes underground, you can go back and check for any weapon power-ups that you missed.

Weapon pick-ups #7-13 are found during the escape. The first 6 are found on the way to the reactor core.

Here are the 13 locations of the pick-up (shown in the video):

#1: There is a set of grenades right after the lab where you destroy the building the Zerglings are coming out of. You cannot miss it.

#2: When you get past the room where you can release Zealots, Zerglings, or Ultralisks, you will see a door on the right by the restorative charge. You can easily miss this because going left at the fork here is the way to continue the mission. Blow up the door and inside is a Plasma Gun. You need this gun not just for the achievement but to take out the Siege Tank in the next room.

#3: On the way to the ARES, there is a plasma gun sitting out in the open. You cannot miss this one.

#4: In the room full of tanks and enemy units that you clear out with the ARES, there is a set of grenades in the top right corner. This one is easy to miss, as the map guides you to the top left corner to exit the room. This was honestly the only one that took me awhile to find, because it is really wedged in the corner and off your field of vision.

#5 & 6: There is a grenade and plasma rifle in the research room with the Brutalisk. Just explore the whole room and you cannot miss either of these.

#7: There is a plasma gun in the room you start in after the explosion. It is just to the right of the exit from the room - hard to miss.

#8: In the next room, there is a chrono rift pick-up in the left corner. This one is slightly out of the way, so be sure to scour the room.

#9: In the room where the Hybrid first appears as it is breaking through the destructible barrier, there is a grenade pick-up at the bottom of the room. You can miss this in your hurry to escape from the hybrid. If you use the medic trick, you can take your time to look through this room. If you do not, you can always come back and look for this pick-up after the hybrid goes underground.

#10: About halfway through the escape, you will see some destructible debris blocking a Chrono Rift. This is easy to see, but many players rush past it thinking they do not have the time since the hybrid is chasing them. Remember, once the Hybrid goes underground, you can always return to get this.

#11: This is probably the easiest one to miss, since there is a lot of destructible debris and a fork in the path that lets you go north or east. This Chrono Rift is behind the northern debris, whereas the final Protoss relic is behind the southern debris. The trick is to not worry about either, then after the Hybrid disappears, you can turn around and grab the relic and the chrono rift without being rushed.

#12: The 12th pick-up is a grenade and is right out in the open. This spot marks the approximate location where the Hybrid goes underground. During this time you can return to grab anything that you missed.

#13: After the first Zerg room, the Hybrid re-emerges out of the western corner by the ramp. The Chrono Rift is in the southern corner of that small room. It is right out in the open but it is easy to miss in the panic you may experience at the Hybrid's emergence. Medics can of course tank the Hybrid though while you pick up this last power-up. 

Piercing the Shroud Research & Protoss Relic Locations

There is a lot of research available during Piercing the Shroud - 3 Zerg points and 4 Protoss points. The Zerg research is unlocked simply by killing the Brutalisk. See the video guide and Not So Brutalisk achievement.

For the Protoss research, all locations are covered in the video, but just in case, two can be found on the way to the reactor and two can be found during the escape:

  • Relic #1: After you access the second security camera where you have a choice to release Zealots, Zerglings, or Ultralisks, the building that these units were released from can be destroyed by attacking it. The first relic is found inside.
  • Relic #2: This falls out in the room with the Brutalisk. It seems to frequently get picked up without you noticing it, so if you think you cannot find it, be sure to check your relic count.
  • Relic #3: This is found near where the ARES was prior to the escape. It is sitting out in the open and hard to miss.
  • Relic #4: When you have the fork where there are two paths behind destructible debris (one containing Zerglings and the other Zealots), the southern one has the final Protoss relic. This is easy to miss, but once the Hybrid goes underground, yuo can always backtrack and pick up the final relic here. 

Click Here to Get The Osiris Method