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Skulk

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Skulk
Skulk taunt.gif

Normal

Shadow skulk.gif

Shadow

"They're crawling all over the walls!"
Kharaa.png Kharaa
Personal Resources
Icon personal resource neutral.png 0
Health
70 (+3 per Biomass)
Armor
10 (17 / 23 / 30)
Energy
Icon resources energy neutral.gif 100 (110 / 120 / 130)
Respawns In: 10 seconds
Respawns From: Egg
Air Speed: 11 (Leap)
Ground Speed: 7.0 (7.5 / 8.0 / 8.5)
Crouch Speed: 3.5
Wall Speed: 7.25 (run), 8.0 to 11 (jump)
Abilities and Upgrades
Abilities:
Alien Vision, Evolve Menu, Hive Sight, Sneak, Wall Walking (Wall Jumping), Bite, Parasite, Leap, Xenocide
Evolutions:
Carapace, Regeneration, Aura, Phantom, Adrenaline, Celerity
Upgrades:
Leap at biomass 4, Xenocide at biomass 9
Miscellaneous
Buy From: Evolve Menu
Purchase By: Player
Gestation Time: 3 seconds


Introduction

The Skulk is the primary Kharaa lifeform, which all alien players will spawn as from Eggs. It is an agile canine-like quadruped, that possesses razor-sharp teeth on a multi-hinged jaw and spiked claws used to climb on any surfaces.

Although fragile, the Skulk excels at melee combat by moving on walls to ambush Marines and delivering powerful Bites. It can spit a Parasite over a long distance, infecting any Frontiersmen players and structures hit to track their positions anywhere (even through walls). Once the Alien Commander evolves new abilities for lifeforms, the Skulk can Leap into the air or even explode using Xenocide to wreak havoc amongst Marine squads.

Background

The Skulk is the most common Kharaa sub-species encountered. Capable of blurring speed and leaps of near limitless height, the Skulk is a light, wiry creature around the size of a large canine. Lacking any significant projectile attacks, it specializes in ambushing its prey in melee range. The Skulk is a quadruped (moves on all fours) – each leg terminates in a long, sharp, bladed bone. Despite having dagger-like leg bones, the Skulk's powerful jaws are its most lethal weapon; if it cannot be stopped before reaching its target, its target has only a slim chance of survival.

Commanders were constantly reporting something "skulking" at the edges of sensor range, or through the shadows, and the name stuck.

Strategy

As the lowest of the alien life forms the skulk is most expendable and takes on myriad roles from stealthy, fast harasser to suicidal hive defender. Living up to their namesake, Skulks are very effective when using stealth to ambush parties of marines, yet many situations call for more direct actions, i.e assaulting a marine position or defending the hive from invaders. In these times the primary defense and offense of the Skulk is the incredible speed at which they move.

Controlling a Skulk is far different from that of a conventional first person shooter, noticeably the Skulk has a very low profile and moves at what can be an unwieldy speed. A Skulk is also limited to primarily melee ranged attacks which do varying damage based on how well aimed they are. The basics of controlling a Skulk in a fight involve using vertical and high surfaces to your advantage while never moving in predictable patterns. It is always best to try and be stealthy as a Skulk, using vents and crawling on unexpected surfaces. Even if you are unseen however, the distinctive footstep sound of the Skulk can signal a group of alert marines immediately. In those situations holding shift eliminates all footstep noise at the cost of speed. When marines are alerted to your presence it is usually best to retreat or use your speed to move around and attack from an unexpected angle. Break line of sight whenever possible up until the time to commit to an assault.

When the time comes for a direct assault wait for a pack of Skulks or some form of backup to appear. It is never advisable to trickle in one at a time into a heavy marine position. Once the charge begins remember that moving head on towards an aware marine is rewarded with near instant evisceration. Jump often and utilize leap sparingly to reduce their ability to track you. It is also important to note that moving your aim as a Skulk swings your very long body around, so moving your aim constantly from side to side can also confuse enemies.

Controls


Player Abilities

Alien Vision

Alien Vision highlighting everything in the Frontiersmen base

All Kharaa lifeforms possess hypersensitive retinas that allow Alien Vision (or Dark Vision), which changes the lifeform's perspective in order to distinguish between organisms, structures, and the terrain.


Alien Vision
Aura icon.gif
Toggle Alien Vision mode to highlight all units and structures in white, and the terrain in orange.
  • Brightness is affected by lighting in the room.
  • Red emergency lighting and complete darkness are considered as the same brightness level.
Hotkey F
Targets Players, Units, Structures, Terrain

Evolve Menu

Selecting a lifeform to evolve while inside a vent

The Evolve Menu allows Kharaa players to select different lifeforms and unlocked Traits to evolve using Personal Resources. It contains information about each lifeform, such as name, cost, Health, Armor, abilities, effects of each Trait, and more.


Evolve Menu
Evolve menu icon.gif
Opens the Evolve Menu to purchase different Kharaa lifeforms and available Traits using Personal Resources.
Hotkey B
Targets Lifeforms
Requires Valid ground to spawn player Egg

Hive Sight

Kharaa lifeforms behind a wall

Hive Sight is an innate passive ability for all Kharaa lifeforms. All nearby visible players, units and structures will be highlighted in an orange glow at all times. Friendly players will also be visible through walls, allowing players to coordinate and position themselves against incoming Frontiersmen forces.


Hive Sight
Hive sight icon.gif
Hive Sight highlights all players and structures in an orange glow. When nearby, Kharaa players can see each other through walls.
  • Parasited targets are visible through walls and glow more brightly.
Range 30
Targets Players, Units, Structures


Lifeform Abilities

Sneak

Sneaking behind a Marine and Sentry turrets

Being sneaky is what the Skulk is all about. The metallic clinging sounds created by the Skulk will alert attentive Marines of its presence. By moving slowly and silently, Skulks can close the distance to go for the kill when Marines have to rely on their eyes alone.


Sneak
Sneak slot.gif
The Skulk can crawl silently by halving its move speed. While sneaking, Skulk has increased grip on surfaces.
Hotkey Shift
Speed Base speed / 2
Targets Ground, Walls, Props, Structures

Wall Walking

Hanging onto a crate above Docking's Landing Pad
Wall-jumping using pillars in Docking's Ball Court

Using its sharp claws, the Skulk can crawl onto walls, props, and even structures with relative ease. Wall Walking allows Skulks to navigate any landscape and creates opportunities to ambush Frontiersmen forces. Crouching will disable Wall Walking and drop the Skulk to the ground.

Wall Jumping is the Skulk's unique movement mechanic. By brushing against a wall, prop, or structure, then jumping away from it, Skulk can accelerate itself. However, the move speed bonus is only temporary, and staying on the ground will negate its effect. The Skulk must jump as it touches the ground to preserve momentum and retain the speed bonus.


Wall Walking
Skulk can crawl on any surface, allowing it to ambush prey. While Wall Walking, the Skulk gains a move speed bonus.
Speed Base speed + 0.25
Targets Walls, Props, Structures
Wall Jumping
How to Wall Jump:
  • Move toward and jump off a surface to increase move speed.
  • Continue to jump after touching the ground to retain momentum.
  • Additional Wall Jumps will further increase move speed.
  • The Skulk will snarl when jumping at high speed.
Hotkey W (forward) + Space (jump)
Speed Base speed + (1 x Number of Wall Jumps)
Targets Walls, Props, Structures

Slot Abilities

Bite

Chewing on an Extractor

Bite is the Skulk's primary attack that deals high damage quickly to both players and structures alike. Because the Skulk sees through its mouth, each bite will rapidly close and open the mouth. A successful bite to a Marine will cause blood to appear inside the mouth.


Bite
Bite slot.gif
The Skulk's powerful Bite can rip through both flesh and metal with frightening speed.
Hotkey 1 (slot), Mouse1 (attack)
Energy Icon resources energy neutral.gif 5.85
Damage 75
Type Normal
Range Melee
Fire Rate 0.45 seconds
Targets Marines, Robots, Structures


Parasite

Spitting a parasite at a Marine

Parasite is the Skulk's only ranged attack that deals very little damage, but is perfectly accurate and tags valid enemy targets to reveal them through walls to all nearby Kharaa players. Using Parasite on Marines prior to engaging them provides a tactical advantage to your team. While its damage is negligible, spitting a Parasite onto a Marine without Armor 1/2/3 upgrades allows the Skulk to kill the Marine in two Bites instead of three.


Parasite
Parasite slot.gif
Infects an enemy target with small Parasites, allowing all Kharaa players to track the target's position through walls using Hive Sight.
  • Parasite projectile travels in a straight line.
  • Parasited targets will also appear on the Mini-Map as icons.
Hotkey 2 (slot), Mouse1 (attack)
Energy Icon resources energy neutral.gif 30
Damage 10
Type Normal
Range 1000
Fire Rate 0.5 seconds
Duration 44 seconds
Targets Marines, Robots, Structures

Leap

Leaping down a hallway

Leap is the Skulk's secondary ability that allows it to jump quickly toward its current direction.


Leap
Leap slot.gif
Leaps toward the Skulk's current direction while on the ground or in mid-air. While leaping, the Skulk gains a move speed bonus.
Hotkey Mouse2
Energy Icon resources energy neutral.gif 45
Speed Base speed + 4
Requires Biomass level 4, Upgrade Skulk (Whip)

Xenocide

Ready to explode next to unsuspecting Marines

Xenocide is the Skulk's suicide ability that deals massive damage to every Frontiersmen unit and structure around itself. Although using Xenocide removes the Skulk from the field, an effective explosion will weaken the Frontiersmen, allowing other Kharaa lifeforms to turn the tide of battle.


Xenocide
Xenocide slot.gif
Explodes the Skulk after a short delay to damage all nearby Frontiersmen units and structures.
  • Xenocide cannot be cancelled once activated.
  • Changes to Bite attack after activation.
  • Player will respawn in 6 seconds instead of default spawn time.
Hotkey 3 (slot), Mouse1 (attack)
Energy Icon resources energy neutral.gif 30
Damage 200
Type Normal
Radius 14
Delay 2 seconds
Uses 1
Targets Marines, Robots, Structures
Requires Biomass level 9, Research Xenocide (Hive)

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