The Onos is the largest and most physically powerful Kharaa lifeform. It is a gargantuan alien lifeform with a sharp rhinoceros-like horn and thick carapace plating on its head, while possessing a sparsely-armored and muscular gorilla-like body.
This monstrosity serves as a living engine of destruction, and it is known to rampage through Frontiersmen forward operations and heavy fortifications alike. Using its sharp horn to gore Marines and forelegs to pummel metallic structures or robotics, the Onos can withstand substantial damage while it demolishes Frontiersmen establishments. When confronted by strong resistance, the Onos can unleash a seismic shock-wave by stomping the ground, causing Marines to lose their footing temporarily.
The dreadnaughts of the Kharaa, the Onos are tanks – highly armored and very powerful. They are so large they cannot use crawlspaces and many of the narrow passages found on human ships and bases. This does not limit their effectiveness very much – the Onos is the highest level response to any threat, requiring large amounts of resources to gestate, but paying off with truly awe-inspiring strength.
Though it can seem like a joke (and one in poor taste, considering the devastation this species has caused), the name "Onos" does actually come from the phrase "Oh no." Early on in the conflict with the Kharaa, a Frontiersmen squad was fighting to regain control of a solar array in the Eleme system. Sporadic audio contact had been maintained with the squad by an experimental broadcasting spike, driven through the station's hull. In the besieged marine base, heavy turret placement and reinforcements had allowed them to hold off wave after wave of attack. Time stamp 65.05.43: Through the sound of gunfire and grenades, the screech of leaping Skulks and swoosh of acid rockets, a faint roar is heard. The alien weapons fall conspicuously silent. The turrets stop. The roar is heard again, much closer, much louder. Then four marines, almost in unison … "Oh no". All hell breaks loose, contact is lost. These "Oh no"s mark the first contact with this species.
Like the Fade, the Onos' natural strength and armor are the core of its deadliness. It is the most powerful species of the Kharaa. It can soak up incredible amounts of damage, and single-handedly destroy all but the best outfitted bases or squads. The Onos' primary melee attack consists of ramming its long tusks, backed by its considerable bulk, tearing through metal, flesh, and armor with ease.
As Onos you are the Kharaa's battering ram against marine fortified positions. The heavy investment into evolving an Onos however, means that when playing Onos it is important to play cautiously as staying in a fight too long is the difference between having an Onos for a few minutes and the remainder of the round. Never be greedy as an Onos and never charge into a fortified area without backup as these will certainly lead to an early death. In an ideal situation a dedicated Gorge healer should back up a charging Onos.
When attacking a marine's position (command station, resource node position, etc) it is usually the best option to smash the power node first rather than focus on marines. Destroying a power node can nullify a large groups of structures simultaneously while providing the side benefit of removing marine visibility. Other structures of importance are phase gates and observatories which can bring unexpected reinforcements to a position. Phase gates can be easier to deal with than the latter since a few skulks camping the gate can quickly kill any marines phasing in. Observatories can be very dangerous to Onos because of their special ability, the distress beacon. Always be on the alert for the distress beacon's siren-like noise and be prepared to escape or quickly disable the observatory before a massive group of reinforcements warp in.
- Alien Vision
- Default Key: F
- Description: Alien Vision grants Kharaa lifeforms enhanced visual sensitivity, allowing them to quickly distinguish Frontiersmen and the terrain even in complete darkness.
- Default Key: Shift (hold)
- Energy Cost: 40 per second
- Damage Multiplier: 2
- Description: The Onos roars and gains momentum as it charges forward, increasing its velocity over time but also reducing its ability to turn. On reaching maximum speed, Gore/Smash will do twice the damage. Charge can be interrupted by moving into a player, building, or obstacle.
- Function: Inflicts damage on targeted player at melee range.
- Damage: 95
- Damage Type: Puncture
- Energy Cost: 12
- Description: A melee attack where the Onos slams his horn into a target. If a Gore attack kills a marine, the corpse is flung in the air. Gore is merged with the Smash ability; Gore triggers when a player is the target.
- Function: Inflicts damage on targeted structure at melee range.
- Damage: 100
- Damage Type: Door
- Fire Delay: 1.9
- Energy Cost: 13
- Description: The Onos lunges forward with his armored forelegs to smash a Frontiersmen structure, dealing powerful structural damage to buildings. Smash is merged with the Gore ability; Smash triggers when a structure is the target.
- Function: Creates a shock-wave in front of the Onos, knocking players onto the ground within the area of effect. Stomp can also disrupt Sentry targeting.
- Knockdown Duration: 2
- Range: 12
- Fire Delay: 0.7
- Energy Cost: 40
- Prerequisite: Evolve Stomp (Hive)
- Description: The alternate attack for Onos, it stomps its massive forelegs, sending out a shockwave that temporarily knocks Marines over and disrupts Sentry accuracy. Stomp becomes available when Evolve Stomp is researched from a Hive.