Another little Newbie Guide being done, on request of Nicarco actually. This is about the common place enemies that lurk around Apollo in the wake of the outbreak. Not covering bosses, or quasi-boss like creatures. Just the common rank and file. Ghouls: Ghouls are small, red enemies that look like little imps or perhaps some simian type creature (Least to me). They are fast, and on Nightmare difficulties will charge when they get within about range 5 of a Marine. Their individual attacks are weak and hit quickly, and they often come in large numbers. Having about 30 HP, and zero armor they are easily dispatched. Since they come in tightly packed mobs typically weapons with good splash zones like the Flamethrower and Gauss Rifle are good choices for clearing them out, and due to their low HP a Combat Knife will often make the difference when facing them. Ghouls can appear where larger Zombies have been killed, popping up between 2-5 seconds after you fell the zombie. Zombie: This is the rank and file that fills out a lot of Infested attacks. Zombies are slow moving, have a weak attack, and serve more as cannon fodder than as an actual threat on the field of battle. As long as you are paying attention, a force of Zombies should not be a true threat against you. They are easily picked off by almost any weapon, and due to having anywhere between 35 and 60 HP based on difficulty should die fairly quickly. One thing to beware of is that as the story lines progress, there will be stronger zombies mixed in. These zombies tend to have two or three times as much health and can catch you off guard. There is no visual difference between the weaker and the stronger zombies. So later in a storyline, don't get cocky thinking you can go Knife to Claw necessarily with them if you don't have to. You might take more damage than you would count on. Stalkers: Stalkers are the most common zombie that can be an actual threat to a marine. Outside of Newbie mode they are fast enough to corner a Marine who isn't fully aware of his surroundings. They can walk up 1 elevation cliffs/walls which makes it harder to evade them, and allows them to approach from directions you may no expect during a holdout. Not only that, in harder difficulties when they die, they can spread creep, making it that much harder for you to kite. Stalkers have a decently damaging attack that shouldn't be underestimated, and boast just 1 armor and about 200-300 HP. As such they hit this awkward zone between light targets who are easily dispatched and heavier targets requiring more specialized weapons and firepower, but it does make them prime targets for Direct Damage skills, Precision Shot, Grenades, Burst Fire, etc, as even relatively low damage skills will shave off a large share of their HP. Hulks: If you can compare Ghouls to a rabid attack dog, the Hulks could be compared to a war elephant. They are easily identified from common zombies by the large spiked appendages sprouting from their backs and shoulders. They move slow enough that even an Assault with cripple and a few venom stacks can outpace them, presuming they have room to run. If all else fails, remember that. Hulks carry 11 armor typically, some example have 16 instead. Either way it is more than enough to make them highly resistant to small arms fire. Gauss Rifles, SMGs, and Pistols range from useless to less than optimal against them. Considering how slow they are though, they are easily kited, even with very short range weapons, making the Mk-3 Flamethrower a common choice against them. Failing that, you can also use the M45 to get some damage through their armor at the common weapon level. Remember that Hulks are used to let the horde get closer to you and cut off avenues of escape. They are easily evaded but you have to make sure that you aren't letting them push you into a more dangerous territory. Particular watch out for situations where they are lending their bulk to much more dangerous enemies right behind them. Gargoyles/Wraiths: These enemies are exactly the same, Wraiths are merely cloaked Gargoyles. One of the few flying zombies they pose a serious threat in that the typical terrain camping choices are completely useless against them. They can give other zombies high ground vision. They are fast, have enough HP, 150, that standard weapons typically are a poor choice against them, and instead you go for high damage, single shot attacks, though since they are Light and Biological the SMG and M5 Pulse rifle is also a good choice. Watch out for these enemies on Nightmare, as they will get a flying charge and that can be devastating. They also get ricocheting shots, and have a high chance to inflict venom compared to other enemies. Agrons: They're large, they're slow, and they hit like a ton of bricks. Agrons are the easiest enemy to spot due to their sheer bulk. And thankfully tend to come in fairly low numbers at any one time for the most part. Like a lot of enemies, Agrons, despite their size, will get to Charge on Nightmare difficulties. They also have a short ranged Detection, and ability to see up to high ground on cliffs. If counting on cloaking or high ground to protect you from various threats, you must focus down Agrons before they get close. Agron attacks have a very high chance of inflicting an Open Wound, and due to the large size of the blades they use have a splash effect that can rip apart several marines in close proximity. On high squad ratings, three Parasites will appear after an Agron dies, usually 5-10 seconds afterwards. Having relatively mid ranged armor (3), and a lot of HP (700-1000 based on Difficulty), hitting them with high damage skills or high DPS weapons is the name of the game. Parasites: These are small little worm looking bastards, who are one of the most insidious threats that a Marine will face. These little bastards have a very low threat priority on your automatic targeting system, meaning they will often get ignored unless you focus your fire upon them. In Nightmare difficulties they also gain the power to Charge, which can be particularly devastating as they often appear where creep is, either from small Nydus Worms, dead Infestors, or heavy mobs which often spread creep when they die. The Parasites have a high amount of armor, but only about as much health as the average zombie. The insidious part is that while Parasites don't do a lot of damage per attack, they attack quickly, and every bite they inflict on you is guaranteed to give you venom. Flamethrowers will make easy work of them, as will decent Area of Effect ability like the Rifleman's Grenades or Psi Ops's Mindblast. Devourers: These infested look very similar to Stalkers in general shape, but are easily identified by the mass of red and green glowing growth upon their backs. Devourers, like their Stalker cousins will walk up 1 elevation walls/cliffs in order to get at you, and hit quite hard in melee. But that's not the real reason you don't let Devourers close with you. When they die they will spawn a Baneling and a Blindling. After taking a hit or two from the Devourer this combination is likely to ensure your death, and if not will leave you in a very serious condition. Thankfully they have less health than a Stalker, and are relatively easily dispatched with HP closer to 175-200. Banelings: Small, round, fat little things filled with explosive acid. They can be relatively easily outrun and have almost no HP to speak of, making them fairly easy to dispatch if you are not otherwise occupied. Unfortunately you will almost never see Banelings alone. Banelings explode for heavy damage, and this damage can bypass the Lives system, killing you outright even if you still have some left. This explosion is done around a 2.5 radius, and will hit you even if you are cloaked, so don't count on it for protection. As well the Baneling explosion will go off when they die. So they don't necessarily have to touch you in order to go off and kill you. Gun them down from range. Blindlings: Visually similar to their Baneling cousins, blindlings have a dark red tint to them, but are most notably distinguished by the fact that their fat asses move by rolling around instead of crawling on stubby little legs. This also makes them a bit faster than Banelings. Blindlings in and of themselves are not truly deadly to Marines. They are incapable of dealing damage themselves, however when they touch a marine (They do not get an AoE Blast or Death blast like the Baneling), they will blind you for several seconds, during which time your ability to defend yourself is almost nonexistent. Blindlings will often appear in large siege trains, unburrowing randomly around the map and charging at the marines. These are basically free XP for the team in most situations. Though in Nightmare mode they will appear with Ghoul and Baneling support. Slashers: Slashers are one of the biggest threats you will find among the hordes of the damned. Large, blood red, they have two large claws and slither across the ground. Like Parasites they have a very low priority on your autotargeting, so you need to manually attack these things before they get close. And I cannot stress the importance of killing them before they get close too much. Slashers deal 125 damage per attack, and get to attack you twice at once. This means that anything but the beefiest marines with high armor will get instantly killed by a Slasher. This is mitigated in part by the fact that Slashers have a high armor reduction, dealing 10 less damage per point of armor a marine has. Slashers though aren't easy to take down. They have 400-500 HP, and 12 armor making small arms almost entirely ineffective against them. The only good news here is that Slashers will never appear as a random spawn. They are all part of set piece assaults by large Infested groups, and typically appear in small number. Hit them with high damage abilities or power weapons quickly, and during the times they appear avoid any blind corners or choke points. Immortals: Green colored zombies. Immortals earn their name for their remarkable ability to regenerate from wounds that would normally kill any other zombie. Immortals have around 200 HP, 5 armor, an average move speed and relatively light damage. They will revive themselves anywhere from 5-10 times, based in part on the difficulty rating of the game. Their revival occurs about 5 seconds after you put them down. Suffice to say this can make holding the line very difficult. Certain skills, if used to kill Immortals, will guarantee that they die for good. This includes the Marksman's One Shot, One Kill, the Rifleman's Precision Shot, the Forward Observer's Napalm, the Commando's Nuclear Strike, the Flamethrower's Shatter, and any kills inflicted by the Crowbar. Huggers: Huggers appear as a smaller, perhaps infant version of the Infestor. They are more or less harmless by themselves, having no ability to inflict damage against marines by themselves. As such they also have a lower targeting priority by the auto attack, requiring you to focus fire on them if you want to put them down. Huggers have but one ability. The ability to "hug" a marine. Throwing out a tentacle at a single marine which wraps around them and prevents the marine from doing anything. Stunning the hugger will break the hug. And staying close to your teammates will "confuse" huggers and make them take additional time to pick out a target. It's worth noting that using an ability to try and mindjack a Hugger will result in the Hugger suiciding instantly. Stranglers: Flying beasts which look like little pods dragging tentacles in behind them. Stranglers can be considered the flying relative of Huggers, however are a little harder to deal with. Stranglers have 20 armor and around 100 HP, making them hard to deal with with mere Gauss Rifles and other weapons which suffer badly from Armor Reduction. Like huggers they will also use a tentacle to pin a marine down, preventing him from acting at all. They don't suffer from confusion as much as Huggers and will quickly acquire targets. Stunning also breaks the Strangle hold they gain on your marine, just like the hugger. Unlike the Hugger they aren't completely defenseless. Stranglers have an Air to Air attack that can do quite a number on any flying allies you may have. Like huggers, any attempt to mindjack a Strangler will cause it to self destruct. Don't waste your time with it. Seekers: Seekers are the wolves of the Zombie hordes. They appear similar to a standard zombie, but with a dark red coloration. However they are much more deadly than their rank and file cousins. Seekers have about 100 HP, and move fast enough that they can outpace most marines unless they are using skills such as Sprint or Shadowstep. Their attacks hurt quite a bit, and thus are a serious threat to lone marines. Due to the speed that they close with you, using short ranged weapons with high damage outputs like the Mk-3 Flamethrower and Combat Shotgun is a perfectly good idea. If you need to kite them due to danger, you MUST use your knife as you need the slow to be able to outpace them. Seekers typically come in pairs, just adding to their threat. Watch out, as sometimes Seekers will be cloaked, particularly at the end of Alpha Company. Infested Marines: Your brothers in arms that have succumbed to the madness of Apollo and given in to mutation and insanity. Infested Marines are thankfully, a somewhat uncommon enemy as they can be particularly dangerous. Infested Marines are the only Infested with a ranged attack. They still use their combat rifles, which out range most weapons that have good bonuses against them (Shotgun, Flamethrower, SMG). Since they are Psychic units, your Gauss Rifle is fairly poor against them (Though the Gauss Rifle does out range them). The M5 Pulse Rifle, or M45 Marksmanship Rifle are quite effective at them if you cannot find high ground to exploit against them. Infested marines tend to be fairly slow, and thus easily kiteable presuming you see them coming and don't get caught around a blind corner. However the rifles Infested marines use are corrupted, and they have a very high chance to inflict Venom on you, not only getting extra damage, but reducing your ability to escape them. One thing to keep in mind is that Infested marines do not do very much damage per shot, however they attack VERY quickly. The combination means that they can shred apart unarmored marines quite quickly, and that heavily armored marines will get venom stacked very quickly, and those venom stacks are the primary source of danger for them. Due to having a ranged attack, Infested marines will always be at the tail end of the mobs coming after you, and this requires you to focus them down with manual attacks or abilities. The worst situation you can find yourself in is when you are constantly attacking and killing melee based zombies, and allowing the Infested Marines to constantly shoot at you and build up into a massive death ball that will shred almost anyone in less than a second.