|"Lil' Gorge-riding bugs!"|
10 (Babbler), 300 (Egg)
|Spawns From:||Babbler Egg|
|Air Speed:||6 (min), 15 (max)|
|Abilities and Upgrades|
Babbler Bite, Cling, Hardened Carapace
Phantom (stays silent, cloaks with host)
Biomass level 1, Upgrade Gorge (Hive)
|Build Time:||27.2 (auto-build), 8 (Grow) seconds|
|Buy From:||Build Menu|
|Limit:||3 Eggs, 9 Babblers per player|
When regurgitated by a Gorge, a Babbler Egg will quickly grow and hatch into three Babblers. Each Babbler is symbiotically bound to the Gorge, which leaves a genetic imprint that dictates the Babbler's life expectancy; the Gorge itself can only produce nine Babblers at most (3 per egg), and should it attempt to surpass this limit, the oldest three existing Babblers will burst and die. Also, due to their unstable body metabolism, Babblers have a limited life span of five minutes.
Once hatched, Babblers will crawl and jump around, look at glowing things such as Cysts, and follow the parent Gorge wherever it goes. However, their curious demeanor hides the predator instincts prevalent in all Kharaa lifeforms.
Babblers are social but territorial and aggressive creatures that will attack any non-Kharaa lifeform in sight. Using their snapping jaws lined with sharp teeth, Babblers will lunge at their prey viciously. Because Babblers are simple-minded, the Gorge has evolved a special pheromone called Babbler Bait to attract and direct Babblers. With the bait in the Gorge's mouth, all Babblers will stop moving, turn towards the parent Gorge, and obediently wag their pointy shells in anticipation.
Once thrown, the bait will produce an irresistible pheromone that causes Babblers to leap at the bait. Any Marines that stray near will find themselves as potential meals for a feeding frenzy. In absence of organic sustenance, Babblers will instead attack Frontiersmen structures carrying human scent.
Babblers also exhibit a bizarre behavior when higher Kharaa lifeforms are covered in bait pheromone; they will ecstatically climb onto a lifeform and cling tightly until the pheromone appears elsewhere. Kharaa lifeforms under Babblers' protection are recently seen entering combat, significantly increasing lifeform durability as well as unleashing swarms of Babblers if the host lifeform is killed.
|With its snapping jaws, the Babbler bites a target rapidly.
|Fire Rate||0.37 seconds|
|Targets||Marines, Robots, Structures|
|Babblers will cling onto a friendly Kharaa lifeform hit by the owner Gorge's Babbler Bait.
|Max Amount||6 Babblers per player|
|Reduces damage taken to a set amount, if damage exceeds the threshold in one instance.|
|Damage||Damage > 5|
|Targets||Bullets, Explosives, Flames, Railgun|
- Babblers were originally a Gorge ability in NS1, using a smaller Skulk model and Half-Life 1's Snark code.
- In early development for NS2, Babblers were planned to be unleashed from Mature Crags by the Alien Commander.
- Babblers will stop babbling when their parent Gorge has evolved the Phantom evolution, but only when hatched after Phantom is evolved.
- Babbers will cloak if their host lifeform is invisible, but will not cloak when unattached.