Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Hard Mode Achievement Guide - danielbradburry
would you recommend this guide? 
: : : : Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Hard Mode Achievement Guide

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Hard Mode Achievement Guide

by danielbradburry   Updated on
Starcraft II - Wings Of Liberty
Hard Mode Achievement Guide

Written by: Daniel Bradburry

About this document

This guide was written to assist the casual gamer obtain all of the hard mode
achievements in the game.  These are (almost) all above and beyond the call of
duty, compared to the normal mode achievements that can all be done just by
blowing through the campaign casually.

For my campaign, I destroyed their Nydus network, and endured a hell of a
beating from the sky in All In.

About me

I've been playing games now for 33 years, the first of which I 'beat' was
Pitfall II for the Atari 2600.  My god that was a long time ago.  By now, I 
have completed hundreds, if not thousands of titles on dozens of systems.  

I own an onsite IT support company here in McKinney, TX where I live with my

Table of Contents

What Is Hard Mode?  .................[01]
Preparing  ..........................[02]
The Missions  .......................[03]

	Liberation Day  .............[M01]
	The Outlaws  ................[M02]
	Zero Hour  ..................[M03]

	The Evacuation  .............[M04]
	Outbreak  ...................[M05]
	Safe Haven  .................[M06]
	Haven's Fall  ...............[M07]

	The Devil's Playground  .....[M08]
	Welcome To The Jungle  ......[M09]
	Breakout  ...................[M10]
	Ghost Of A Chance  ..........[M11]

	The Great Train Robbery  ....[M12]
	Cutthroat  ..................[M13]
	Engine Of Destruction  ......[M14]
	Media Blitz  ................[M15]
	Piercing The Veil  ..........[M16]

	Smash And Grab  .............[M17]
	The Dig  ....................[M18]
	Supernova  ..................[M19]
	The Mobius Factor  ..........[M20]
	Maw Of The Void  ............[M21]

	Whispers Of Doom  ...........[M22]
	A Sinister Turn  ............[M23]
	Echoes Of The Future  .......[M24]
	In Utter Darkness  ..........[M25]

	Gates Of Hell  ..............[M26]
	Belly Of The Beast  .........[M27]
	Shatter The Sky  ............[M28]
	All In  .....................[M29]

Credits  ............................[04]

[01] What Is Hard Mode?

Hard mode is not brutal, but I knew immediately that something was different
in the first mission when the AI slaughtered all of my units but Raynor and
one marine.  Not only are the units tougher overall, but throughout the
campaign you will see a ton of new units and structures threatening you that
weren't there on normal.

[02] Preparing

Start a new campaign on casual, and obtain all of your technologies and
upgrades that you will want in the hard mode missions.  Plan accordingly -
I am not going to advise you on what to take, as the choice is yours.  Also,
decide whether for the final mission you will sink the caverns or take out
their aerial support, as this will determine your experience for All In (as
I mentioned earlier, I took out the canals).

Doing it this way allows you to replay each mission on Hard with your current
status at the time on casual, and completing the mission still counts toward
your goal.  This keeps you focused on surviving the mission and gaining the
achievement, and saves you from losing resources chasing down unnecessary
targets across the map.

You must complete all 29 missions to unlock the achievement.

[03] The Missions:

These descriptions will be very detailed and thorough accounts of how I
obtained each achievement, and how I survived the rest of the mission as a

	[M01] Liberation Day - Kill every unit:

Keep Jim in front, force your entire squad to target a single unit at a time.
I did lose every marine in the orbital drop by not paying attention, which
woke me up.

	[M02] The Outlaws - 10 minute time limit

Perform some basic maintenance on the base such as SCVs, second barracks,
and then get moving.  Getting your men into the field earns some resources
for additional marines.  Save the base under attack, and then hotkey all
barracks together.  Advance on the final base to the north fairly quickly.
I took it out with 1:30 to go.

	[M03] Zero Hour - Take out 4 hatcheries

Frustrating if you don't know what to do.  Salvage the two bunkers at the
outer end, and create a single chokepoint with four bunkers and lots and
lots of dead zerg on the large ramp at your doorstep.  Turrets need to be
deployed all around, including to your west and to your east, as mutalisks
attack from these directions.  The zerg will heavily control the ground,
making leaving the base a dangerous proposition.  Feel free to write
letters to the families of all 3 groups of stragglers out there - they are
all going to die.  Do NOT try to save them.

At around ten minutes, take every marine and medic outside of a bunker
(which should be a lot), and run them up the northwest road.  You will
encounter a ton of ground resistance, and several spine crawlers.  You will
arrive at a crossroad where you can continue northwest into an enemy base,
southwest into an enemy base (and save some marines), and northeast.
Southwest will get every unit killed quickly - this territory is heavily
overrun by the zerg.  Run northwest instead, and here you will find
moderate resistance and two hatcheries.  Take everything out, and retreat
down the hill, off the road and just out of sight.

FYI - you cannot resupply these men.  By now, the zerg have retaken the
road, and these troops are cut off.  At about 2-3 minutes, run back up
the hill and the zerg will have rebuilt these two.  Level them again,
and then go in hiding once more.  Focus on base defense to survive.

	[M04] The Evacuation - Cannot salvage / no structures lost

You will have five convoys to cover, and they drive past three attack points.
The first point is a bunker on the left, the second is halfway down on the
right, and the third is another bunker near the end on the left.

The first convoy meets little resistance - follow it with what you have,
and don't worry about manning the bunkers.  

The second needs to have a fully manned bunker with an SCV, a moderate 
defense for the second attack point, and another fully manned bunker and SCV 
for the third.  To make things easier, unload the first bunker and bring 
these marines and the SCV to the third attack point, running them past the
second fight on the road.  Make sure that you have a separate force to handle 
the second fight, however.

For the third convoy, make sure you have a full bunker, SCV and turret at
the first and third location before leaving.  I leave a squad on the road
with multiple medics at attack point two.

For the last two convoys, I aim for 2 full bunkers, 2 SCVs, and a turret at
one and three.  2 SCVs are mandatory as the incoming damage becomes too
severe, so be prepared for this.

	[M05] Outbreak - Destroy 15 structures at night

On the first day, take everything you have and destroy as much as you can.
This lessens their numbers, and makes things easier.  Aim to start working on
the achievement on the night after the second day.  Deploy bunkers at the
southwest of your base for when they break through on the third night.  Put
several reapers *on hold* up on the building above the southwest killzone.

On the second day, bring a swarm of reapers and begin devastating everything
you can find.  Hide them in a cleared section of the city, and when night
falls, begin systematically advancing into infected sections.  A couple of
medics will go a long way towards maximizing their damage.  Advance the
reapers slowly, placing them on hold as you move them, so that they will
target enemies first and not die trying to blow something up.  The
achievement comes pretty quick.

	[M06] Safe Haven - Save 2 colonies

For this, I used a combination of siege tanks and vikings.  Be quick and
methodical, advancing on each nexus, wiping it out with tanks and covering
their advance with vikings from the air.  Have a couple of SCVs in this
roving death squad, and never stop growing your numbers.

Occasionally, a fleet of protoss air units will advance towards a colony.
Break off your vikings to intercept and destroy them, recover the minerals
left behind, and then regroup with your ground team.  Moving fast enough,
you should have the mothership's shields down by the time it is advancing on
the second to last colony.

Strike it with vikings from the rear, which keeps you just out of range.
Alternatively, you can move in to kill it while it is charging the main
weapon.  In this case, go all in with every AA weapon you have.

FYI - you will have random attacks on your main base, including stalkers,
immortals and air units.

	[M07] Haven's Fall - Keep 5 settlements alive

Again, vikings and siege tanks.  For the first virophage, bring in your
initial set of vikings, wipe out the air and then drop down near the edge of
the settlement.  Wipe it out, and then work towards clearing out the
remaining infected areas.

You will eventually want two operational groups - one group of vikings, and
a second group of vikings and tanks.  The former is for advancing towards and
clearing out settlements that come under attack, and the latter is your
attack group for existing infected.

Keep them seperate, otherwise you will have to break off your air support to
stop an invasion, leaving your ground forces exposed.  No time limit, so go
at your own pace.

	[M08] The Devil's Playground - Find all the hidden reapers

Locate all of the hidden reapers - they are all on top of elevated structures.

They are: NE of the CC and 5 SCVs you find that are N of your base, E of the
brutalisk in the south, center of the map and inside the zerg main base in the

	[M09] Welcome To The Jungle - Don't let protoss close a single vent

I really found goliaths useless.  For me, this was an infantry swarm of
marines, marauders and medics.  When the protoss try to close a vent, you
will face 3 or so air units and a stalker.  When you try to collect a
container, a varied collection of units spawn and begin heading towards the
vent - make sure to collect the gas one at a time, or your men could be
overwhelmed with the protoss response.

You have to deal with a lot of attempts by the protoss to close vents, which
tend to happen in the middle area where they are fortified.  Stay away from
their bases, collect initially from vents that are farther away as opposed to
ones that are closer.

After I had four in the bag, I had three SCVs grab gas all at the same time,
and my men were able to hold off their attackers long enough for the SCVs to

For base defense, have 2-3 turrets on the west side, and 2 + ground defense
on the north.  I had air attacks coming from both angles.

	[M10] Breakout - 25 minute time limit

Very fun.  Make sure you know of and make use of the two side passages that
take you behind enemy lines as you progress - you won't make it in 25 minutes
otherwise.  Free both sets of prisoners, as you will need the added firepower.

Once you have the nukes, use them where it makes sense.  Your teammates do a
good job of killing units, so prioritize your destruction on the construction
buildings to stop the flow.

	[M11] Ghost Of A Chance - Kill all units and structures

Be thorough in searching each part of the level.  There are two missle towers
on the far right of the second map that can be hit with siege tanks.  There
also is a random turret at the top of the third map that needs to be hit by
air units.  Everything else can be seen by running around.

	[M12] The Great Train Robbery - Don't miss a single train

Terribly easy.  Get all the Diamondbacks you can find, including a couple of
the hidden ones.  Stay in your base and build nothing but additional
diamondbacks, and a couple of SCVs to follow for comfort.  When a train 
leaves the station, intercept and blow it up.  Target the escort first if it
has one - your overwhelming firepower destroys everything without difficulty.
Collect the resources it drops, and retreat/repair.

I eventually was pinned down by the roving marauder deathsquad, and I
obliterated both it and the final train's escort within seconds of each other.

	[M13] Cutthroat - Don't build another SCV until 6000 minerals obtained

The problem with this achievement is the constant base harassment.  You need
a bunker covering the approach from both the northern and the southern
bridges.  Use the vulture mines to litter both bridges and then begin taking
out the enemy command centers.  Once all of these are down, he cannot collect
anymore resources and you will eventually win the war of attrition.  I cannot
emphasize enough - improper base defense is really the only thing that can
force you to restart.  There are more than enough minerals on the ground to
get you over 6000 if you are patient.

The main command center has a phenomenal defense, one that requires a slow and
methodical uphill (literally) approach.

	[M14] Engine Of Destruction - Odin can't go below 30% (750hp)

Keep 2 SCVs with Odin at all times.  This can be difficult during battle
later when your own forces get damaged, and your SCVs turn their attention to
your other units.  Odin will decimate the first base on his own with no help
from you, and may need a bit of a hand getting started with the second one.
Odin will definitely need reinforcements from the third base on.

I keep a bunker, 2 tanks in siege mode and 2 turrets at the north entrance
to my base, backed up by an SCV.  This deployment completely takes care of
itself, and you can focus on Odin almost completely.

As long as you keep SCVs near him, this is not difficult.

	[M15] Media Blitz - 20 minute time limit

The first stage of this mission needs to be spent destroying construction
buildings and TURRETS in the vehicle and infantry bases.  It is imperative
that the two turrets next to each broadcast tower go down before the surprise
ends.  Keep Odin alive otherwise, and everything else is gravy.

The second stage needs to be a three pronged effort - create base defense, 
create an invasion force of thors (includes Odin and 3-4 SCVs) for the flyer
base, and create four spec ops (ghosts/spectres) and two nuke silos.  Arm the
nukes.  Send all four spec ops to the center of the map where the Odin

Run a team of two spec ops to the vehicle base, and stop one of them a good
distance back.  Have the other trigger the transmission.  At about 40%, the
solider will be killed by a ridiculous swarm of ground and flying units, as
well as a raven which spots him.  Once the soldier is dead, call up the
second, and from a distance nuke the site.  Once all clear, use the second
soldier to finish the transmission.  The raven may not be dead, but all
other units should be.  Perform the same process at the infantry site.

Quickly advance towards the flying base and level it.  Start the final
transmission, and hold it until it completes.  The SCVs repairing Odin should
make this easy enough.

	[M16] Piercing The Veil - Find all weapons and tech

For the first section, they are: grenades in the path after first lab, plasma
behind a destroyable door after second lab (you can go north or south, go 
north), plasma next to the ARES console, grenades in the room with all the 
hostile vehicles, and grenade and plasma both in the brutalisk room.

For the second section, they are: plasma at the end of the first room,
chrono in sw corner of the next room just before the chase starts, grenade in
room where chase starts, chrono behind destroyable wall after ARES (throw
grenade at it to dissolve the wall), heading south out of this room you will
make a 'U' and cut back north (go ALL the way north into a small room for
another chrono), grenade in the path before hybrid disappears, chrono in
your path by two enemies just before exit.

13 in all.

	[M17] Smash And Grab - 15 minute time limit

Bunkers on both sides of the ramp leading into your base, and a turret.  
Bunkers need to be filled with marines.  Mass up only marauders (7-8) and 
medics (1-2), and get moving.  This will take several minutes time, so expect 
it.  You will be attacked 3-4 times by the zerg, and I tend to leave the base
after the second wave.

Focus only on the more important of pylons/cannons, and units.  Ignore all
else, and walk through the enemy base.  Resistance is very light with all of
your power.  Maintain a constant supply of reinforcements, and when you engage
the stone guardians, you should have 10-12 marauders on the ground.

I finished again with about 1:30 to spare.

	[M18] The Dig - Destroy 50 enemy buildings

The challenge is that you cannot get any structure in LOS (line of sight)
without your unit being immediately decimated.  If you are like me and don't 
have aerial units by the time you got here, don't worry.  

As soon as you can, build a command center in the middle of your base and lift
off.  Fly it as far west as it will go, and then start edging north towards
the base.  As soon as you can see an enemy unit/structure, blast it with the
cannon.  Keep moving it SLOWLY north, revealing more structures to blast.

The protoss will rebuild each structure 2 or 3 times, and then give up.  Going
about it this way actually lessens the amount of enemies sent against you, 
making the mission a whole lot easier (and faster).

FYI - I tried this with a barracks, but I think it's range of sight is too
short.  I finally christened the barracks the USS Napoleon Blownapart, and did
it with a command center instead.

	[M19] Supernova - 75 kills with cloaked banshees

Not too hard at all.  Take out every target of opportunity, including the 
units in the first base just north of your main at the beginning.  I obtained
the achievement while assaulting the protoss position in the middle of the

	[M20] The Mobius Factor - Finish before Kerrigan destroys 8 buildings

Again, this is hard if you don't have a good strategy.  Credit to this one
goes to Robert Herman's guide, which I used and adapted.

Immediately fly all marines to the first data core, and use them and the
stranded units to blow it up.  Airlift them all into the two medivacs you
were supplied with, and then fly northwest along the street.  There is an
ultralisk on the ground that you want to avoid.  Deploy them all at the base
of the ramp leading up to the second data core.

There will be more stragglers at the top, including a couple of marauders.
Fold them into your group, and edge northeast to destroy the second core.
This should all happen very quickly.

Once destroyed, begin making your way southwest, walking along the street
next to the water.  Resistance is very minimal, with some zerglings and
hydralisks.  Your medivacs will most likely be destroyed near this point, but
it doesn't matter.  Continue along to the third data core, and once your team
is in proximity, run to the southwest corner where the three spore crawlers
reside.  Group your team together in range of the data core, and put them on
hold.  They will destroy it in short order, standing their ground while
killing any units that approach first.

	[M21] Maw Of The Void - Don't lose a unit within the rip-fields

Terribly easy.  Battlecruisers only, 5 yamato blasts to level a generator.
Retreat and repair.  Repeat.

	[M22] Whispers Of Doom - Zeratul can't take life damage

Your stalkers don't matter too much.  Their health and shields are fully
regenerated when you find the second and third prophecies, and if they die
you are provided with new ones to a maximum at certain points.  Ignore
the hatcheries, and when it comes time to escape make it a point to keep
blinking through the remainder of the level.  Make sure to blink past the
destructible rocks, and run for the ship.  I made it out with 5 stalkers on

	[M23] A Sinister Turn - 25 minute time limit

Have sufficient base defense for the hybrid and the protoss attacks
throughout the mission.  Set a pylon for the dark templar structure to
the east, and guard it with 4-5 cannons.  Mass about 9-10 dark templars and
several other units for distraction.  

Attack the protoss base just in front of the mission objectives, and while 
the protoss units are distracted run your dark templars through the fight and
begin attacking the prison structures, starting with the furthest to the 
bottom.  No matter where the hybrid is on the map, once a a prison is 
destroyed he will regenerate next to your DTs.  Once he walks away, destroy 
the furthest east, and then hit the last prison from the south side as your 
DTs can be spotted by a cannon inside the base from any other angle.

	[M24] Echoes Of The Future - 20 minute time limit

As soon as base control is handed over to you, run Zeratul east along the path
and head north towards the southwestern tendril.  Use void prison on the spore
crawler, and touch the tendril.  Use VP again when you regain control, and
then run back to base.  This shaves a lot of time off of the clock.

Decent base defense east and north.  Ignore the temptation to make immortals -
collosi are much better.  You will face a lot of air and ground units in the
mission, so stalkers are really important.

I massed a huge force primarily composed of collosi that took the map, running
east, to north, and back to west.  The last tendril was taken with my forces
creating a distraction while Zeratul snuck in.

Alternatively, you could follow the advice I found in Robert Herman's guide.
Follow this link, and make sure you click on show spoiler.

	[M25] In Utter Darkness - N/A

No achievement on hard.

	[M26] Gates Of Hell - Save all drop pods

For the first 6, it's not really difficult to rescue each pod as it comes in.
Keep making whatever troops you want, as the constant reinforcements dropped
in make for a heck of an invasion force.

Anticipate when the first set of two pods will drop in, and have your troops
standing at the southern drop zone.  Add the reinforcements to your squad,
and push north to rescue the set of banshees.  You will have plenty of time
before they are attacked.

For the last two, have your team standing where at the west point where the
battlecruisers drop in.  This team will be destroyed without your help,
while the thors will be safe for a while.  Roll out with your added firepower
and save the last pod for the achievement.

For base defense, I reinforce both east and west with multiple tanks, turrets
and 2 bunkers.  Once all pods drop, go all in with tanks clearing the path
and air covering the advance to reach the general.

	[M27] Belly Of The Beast - 50 kills with one penetrator round

After the first charge goes off, your team will proceed east, the make a U
turn and head back west to the edge of the map.  Here there will be an
incredible swarm of infected, which you cannot line up to get 50 in one
shot.  Kill them all.

Place Jim in the SW corner of this room, and send Egon east towards another
massive swarm.  A red crystal just north of the wall will create a natural
funnel - have Egon antagonize the swarm, and then bravely stand his ground 
between the crystal and the wall, only to be savagely beaten to death by the
group.  This gives Jim time to line up his shot, which in my case took out 53.

	[M28] Shatter The Sky - 25 minute time limit

Base defense west and south of bunker and turret.  Advance with 3-4 battle
cruisers and take out the expansion to the south.  Begin building a command
center, but most importantly get both gas going.  I began to press westward
towards the first coolant tower at about 10 minutes in.  3-4 cruisers was
enough to destroy it and get out without much damage taken.

Set up defense at your expansion of two turrets, and maybe a bunker.

Almost immediately after taking out the first tower, head to the northwestern
tower and prepare to destroy it.  If you line up several battlecruisers on a
90 degree angle coming in west to the tower, you can hit it with virtually
no resistance, and escape along the same vector to safety.  This one was
gone about 16 minutes in.

By now you should have seen how good your base defense is.  The Leviathan
will now spawn, and generate a ton of mutalisks to defend itself.  Ignore it

Gather your forces in the center of the map, and destroy a small base there
between the two remaing platforms.  Head directly south towards the bottom
edge of the map, and attack the southeast tower heading northeast at a 45 
degree angle.  This platform is heavily guarded against air, but I find this
is the softest and shortest approach vector.  Take it out, and escape the same 
way you came in.  Return to the center of the map.

Proceed towards the final tower at a 45 degree southwestern direction and
smash it with whatever yamato you have left.  Once you engage the tower,
ignore all other units.  You will definitely be close to the time limit when 
you begin the final assault.

	[M29] All In - Only use the artifact ONCE.  What?

As I mentioned in the beginning, I destroyed the nydus network and faced a
constant stream of air units from almost every direction.  If you find
yourself in the same situation, here's what to expect and how I did it.

There is no downtime.  In casual and normal (mostly because of the artifact)
there are periods of 10-15 seconds where nothing's going on.  Not here - you
will have incoming damage popping up all over your base from start to finish.
If you had a second person operating a second console manning your forces, 
I'm still not confident that you could have a firm grasp on what's going to 
hit you - it's that crazy.  And that fun.

I attempted to have 5-6 tanks in both chokepoints around the hill, along with
two bunkers of marines and 2-3 turrets.  I also had the PSI disrupter, which
I spread around to help.  Not so much.  When Hell's Angels came available, I
had a squad hovering over both chokepoints.  Lastly, 2-3 SCVs on hand at each
chokepoint.  This combination served to be self-reliant at the southern
chokepoint, but for some reason I had to manually control the Hell's Angels
at the north end.

I had a wall of turrets along the northwestern edge to deal with the constant
flood of mutalisks against the line.  I also spammed battlecruisers to this
area for defense across the entire front line.

Incoming enemies included ground units advancing towards each chokepoint,
mutalisks (and eventually broodlords) coming in from the north and south
towards the chokepoint, and Kerrigan.  Kerrigan is guaranteed to punch a hole
in your defense, and may outright destroy a chokepoint entirely herself.  The
best defense against her is a flood of yamato, followed up with battlecruiser
fire.  She will no doubt destroy 1-2 of your cruisers, which can be readily

At about 20%, begin building a thin spread wall of turrets at the southeastern
edge near your command center.  The turrets need to be near both sets of your
supply depots, both north and west of the CC.  Get a small squad of marines 
and a medic or two in your base near the CC as well.

At about 40%, you will have overlords flying in to drop infested into your
base, which the turret line you just built should help mitigate, and the
marines will do the rest.

Very shortly, mutalisks and broodlords will begin coming in from the 
southeast towards your command center.  You will need to have a squad of
air units to intercept, or production will begin to suffer hard.  This of
course is going on while all hell is breaking loose on your front line.

An incredible flood of units will pour on to the map at around 50-60%, and
Matt Horner will scream at you to use the artifact.  DO NOT, and hope you
survive the onslaught.

If you are still alive at 70%, it gets worse.  The Leviathan, the aerial
beast from Shattering The Sky, will advance from the northwest and park
itself across the lava field from your base, and will separately deploy
mutalisks and broodlords that constantly wear you down.  On its own, the
Leviathan will overwhelm you.  As soon as the Leviathan enters the map
and settles into position, gather all battlecruisers, wraiths and vikings
you have and bring them to the top of the hill.

Now's your only shot - fire the artifact.

The blast, obviously, will kill every zerg out there.  It will also drop
the Leviathan's health by nearly 50%, and give your team it's only real
shot of taking it out.  Yamato the crap out of it, and open fire with
everything you have.  Once it's dead, return your units to their positions
and continue to hold the line.

There are still two or so more Kerrigan attacks which you have to deal
with.  If you get to 90%, you have a good shot of pulling it off.  The
ensuing swarm that floods you after 90% is so staggering, plus the news that
Kerrigan was coming again, that I abandoned all checkpoints and moved all
units up the hill and guarded the artifact directly.  I also bought every
mercenary I could and raced them up the hill.

The final zerg invasion was so terrible that literally every single unit was 
lost (mostly to the swarm), but my battlecruisers forced Kerrigan to 
retreat.  Do what you can to buy time - as soon as 100% ticks over, the 
cutscene ensues.

I hope your experience goes better than mine did, but in the end a win is a
win.  At least I never have to do that again.

[04] Credits

Feel free to repost anywhere, just please give me credit when doing so.

Any additional advice, suggestions or comments email them to me at:

Copyright 2011 Daniel Bradburry