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Babbler

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Babbler
Babbler egg.gif

Babbler.gif

Normal

Shadow babbler egg.gif

Shadow babbler.gif

Shadow

"Lil' Gorge-riding bugs!"
Kharaa.png Kharaa
Personal Resources
Icon personal resource neutral.png 1
Health
10 (Babbler), 300 (Egg)
Armor
0
Spawns From: Babbler Egg
Air Speed: 6 (min), 15 (max)
Ground Speed: 7
Abilities and Upgrades
Abilities:
Babbler Bite, Cling, Hardened Carapace
Evolutions:
Phantom (stays silent, cloaks with host)
Miscellaneous
Tech Requirements:
Biomass level 1, Upgrade Gorge (Hive)
Build Time: 27.2 (auto-build), 8 (Grow) seconds
Buy From: Build Menu
Purchase By: Gorge
Hotkey: 3
Limit: 3 Eggs, 9 Babblers per player
Duration: 300 seconds


Introduction

The Babbler is a Kharaa subspecies created by the Gorge. It is a small, crustacean and insect-like creature, which shares a symbiotic relationship with all Kharaa lifeforms.

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.

Behavior

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.

Abilities

Babbler Bite

Babblers biting a Command Station


Babbler Bite
Babbler bite slot.gif
With its snapping jaws, the Babbler bites a target rapidly.
  • Babbler will always try to jump at its target before biting.
Damage 10
Range Melee
Fire Rate 0.37 seconds
Targets Marines, Robots, Structures


Cling

Babblers clinging to a fellow Gorge


Cling
Cling slot.gif
Babblers will cling onto a friendly Kharaa lifeform hit by the owner Gorge's Babbler Bait.
  • Each lifeform has different attach points for Babblers.
  • The number of Babblers attached is displayed as icons beside the Health/Armor circle for the host player.
  • Babblers will detach when the Gorge throws another Babbler Bait.
Duration ∞ seconds
Max Amount 6 Babblers per player
Targets Lifeforms, Owner


Hardened Carapace

Babblers are surprisingly resilient to burst damage


Hardened Carapace
Hardened carapace slot.gif
Reduces damage taken to a set amount, if damage exceeds the threshold in one instance.
Damage Damage > 5
Targets Bullets, Explosives, Flames, Railgun

Trivia

  • 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.

Media