Flying Strogg cyborgs. They are a common enemy that can be found in many areas of the Quake II video game. Fliers serve as airborne scouts/fighters and also provide air support for terrestrial Strogg soldiers.
1. Like many FPS (First Person Shooter) enemies that employ both long (missile) and short (melee) range attacks, a Flier can be fought more effectively by taking advantage of the AI (artificial intelligence) that dictates which attack it will use. This is accomplished by rushing a Flyer to get in close proximity with it so that the cyborg will respond by employing its close-range, slashing assault, rather than its long-range lasers. Then, whilst it tries to slice and dice you, scoot out of range of the blades, and then close in once more to induce it to attack with its wings yet again instead of its guns. Repeat, while dousing it with gunfire heat, until the Flyer explodes in defeat. The basic idea behind this strategy is that staying close keeps the Flyer using slower, short-range, melee attacks, which are relatively easy to avoid, instead of faster, laser fire, which can strike at any distance, and is harder to evade. Of course, as Flyers can, ahem, fly, getting in close is not always possible or practical. In such situations, you'll need to evade their laser fire to the best of your ability, while responding with your own projectiles.
2. The Strogg are a nasty, quarrelsome bunch. During a battle, if you can maneuver yourself so that incoming, unfriendly fire strikes another Strogg, rather than you, the injured and enraged cyborg will often turn on its marksmanship-challenged comrade(s) and forget about you. Let 'em go at it and than take out any Strogg left standing after the brawl.
3. Most Strogg have two texture sets, a normal one, and a battle damaged one. Hurt a Strogg badly, but not enough to kill it, and its normal texture will be replaced by its bloody, damaged texture.
The Strogg empire is made up of a strange assortment of violent cyborg warriors. This diversity stems from (A) the Strogg's long practice of incorporating conquered civilizations into their ranks and (B) the creativity, or perhaps insanity, of the technicians who constantly design new--and revise old--cyborg body types. Because of this, it is unknown what a 'pure' Strogg would look like, or if such a thing ever existed in the first place. Male Strogg outnumber females by a very large margin, but this causes no problems in the population department because the Strogg have all but discarded sexual reproduction in favor of mechanical bio-processing (The Quake 3: Arena 'Tank Jr.' character, who was created the 'natural' way--if one finds mating with a Strogg Iron Maiden natural--is an example of a rare exception to this practice). Even the dead are simply recycled into material for new units. The Strogg view all other creatures as inferior--if a given organism can't be processed into more Strogg, or eaten as food, it has no value and is beneath their notice. Stroggos is their home world; the planet is somewhat comparable to Earth, but the environment is much harsher. The sprawling capital city of Cerberon, located within the giant Crater Majoris, is the center of the Strogg civilization. The Strogg are more technologically advanced than humans, particularly in the field of cybernetics. Politically, the Strogg are organized into numerous clans, ruled by warlords, who are in turn subservient to their supreme leader, the 'Makron'. When a Makron dies, the warlords fight amongst each other, in bloody civil war, until one emerges victorious and becomes the next Makron. The primary energy source of the Strogg is a crystalline substance known as Steedium; these crystals can be found in abundant supply both above and below the surface of Stroggos. The Strogg typically use 'death from the sky' symbolism in their battle standards, a winged skull or a bird of prey are the two most common examples.
Fliers are equipped with twin laser blasters on their wings. These can be fired singly or in tandem. The beams these guns emit are powerful enough to burn through a 2-inch-thick steel plate. Fliers always elevate their wings, and drop their bodies, when firing these weapons; this position provides a more stable hovering condition which, in turn, increases their accuracy. Both of the cyborg's wings also house retractable blades. Fliers extend these sharp barbs in close quarters and use them to slash their enemies to bloody ribbons. These airborne Strogg achieve flight through an antigravity drive mounted on their undersides. A five pound Steedium crystal provides sufficient power for one week of operation under normal operating conditions.
For the purposes of keeping their weight as low as possible and increasing their airborne mobility, Fliers aren't well armored. What little protection they do have can only weather a handful of direct hits. The recessed area that houses a Flyer's head serves to protect its organic components, but it also limits the cyborg's range of sight--much like a horse wearing blinders, Fliers have tunnel vision. While these Strogg enjoy the advantage of airborne mobility, this is offset by their very slow top flight speed (approximately 10 mph). A Flyer's antigravity drive constantly emits a loud humming sound while it is in use; this noise often alerts its enemies of the cyborg's approach and/or position.
Cardboard, tissue paper, newsprint, white glue, hot glue, wire twist ties, electrical wires, duct tape, a cord from a Sega Saturn controller, plastic Q-tip sticks, acrylic paint, latex paint, and watercolor paint.
(*Wings in 'neutral' position.)
5.8 cm/2.3 in. x 15.5 cm/6.1 in. (highest point x widest point)
Two points. The wings are jointed where they connect to the body. They can rotate completely around and have some limited movement inward and outward.
Six days. Construction ran through January 18-21 and 23-24, 2007.
[Mid-construction photos of my Flyer figure]
(A) This photo was taken the morning of 1/19/07. Here we have a side view of the basic head sculpt complete, painted, and with the wire 'hair' attached. I later (1/21/07) added: More material to the faceplate/breathing apparatus, ears, and additional paint operations, most notably 'blood' to the back of the head and wires. (B-C) These photos are from 1/20/07. The majority of the body has been completed, but remains unpainted. I later added flesh 'knobs', where the wings attach, and additional details before painting it on 1/21/07. Also pictured is my first wing design--it was too thick and simplistic, so I decided not to use it. (D) Here are some more wing designs, in various states of completion. The first, on the left, is the same one pictured in photos B & C. The second is a design for the long, narrow end of the wings. While better than my first attempt, it still wasn't to my liking. The third, and last, example is another narrow wing end prototype. This one isn't assembled and you see how it looks after I cut it from the cardboard. This one didn't meet my expectations either. (E-F) These were taken on 1/21/07. The body is complete and painted. The wires and cables underneath were attached and inserted after painting. (G-H) These were taken 1/24/07. Here we have the final wing/blaster designs. It took a lot of trial and error, but I feel the end result was worth it. They still need to be dirtied/bloodied up a bit with paint, and attached to the body, but other than that, they're complete.
For comparison purposes, below is an image of a Flyer taken from the PC video game Quake II. Its wing blades are extended.
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