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Cyborg Assassin (SS2)

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Cyborg Assassin
CyborgAssassin SS2
Enemy Stats
Hit Points 60
Damage Output 10
Speed Fast
Weakness Half-Mechanical
Stun
Stasis Field Generator
Imposed Neural Restructuring
Loot 5 Nanites (20%)
20 Nanites (5%)
[Source]
The UM/433p Assassins are a modified version of one of the more tenacious types of cyborg aboard Citadel Station. They were secretly brought on board the Von Braun by TriOptimum as "insurance" against the UNN forces on the UNN Rickenbacker, should any conflict develop.

While Cyborg Assassins aren't quite as deadly as their name suggests, they are still one of the most dangerous enemies you'll fight in System Shock 2. Equipped with a ranged laser attack and a melee strike, the Cyborg Assassin's biggest threat is in its speed, as it can be hard to hit and tends to employ hit-and-run tactics. The player will fight three special versions of these called Red Assassins on the Operations Deck in order to restore the Simulation Units.

Cyborg Assassins are first encountered on Operations Deck and this remains the deck on which they are the most common, frequently respawning. There are a couple on Recreations Deck after that but they rarely respawn there; similarly there are a few on the Rickenbacker but they won't respawn there, and they don't appear in the Body of the Many at all.

Strategy

A fast-moving, stealthy human/robot construct, these cyborgs toss deadly energy stars at their prey. As a mix of man and machine, some part of them will be affected by almost any kind of weaponry.

Dealing with Cyborg Assassins can be difficult. While an individual doesn't pose an extreme threat, with two or more to manage, their fast movement speed and reliance on hit-and-run tactics means you'll be spending as much time chasing them as you will shooting at them. Their raw damage output isn't the highest, but when combined with their quick attack speed, it's easy to be overwhelmed. Engaging them in melee can sometimes be effective, but if you're able to fire off a few quick rounds with your more powerful weapons, they should go down before they're able to respond to you.

Despite allegedly having a melee attack, Cyborg Assassins almost never use it. The best tactic when dealing with them is actually to rush right up to them, which will make them quickly retreat. Watch out, though: they're basically the complete opposite of shotgun hybrids, in that they are physically fast, fire very accurately, and have a very fast reaction time. They will quickly run away about ten to fifteen steps and them immediately start pelting you with a very damaging barrage of energy stars.

Cyborg Assassins can be very difficult if you choose to engage them with ranged attacks: they're fairly tough and it can take a burst or two of expensive Armor Piercing rounds to take them out. Moreover, relative to this cost of killing them, they don't drop a lot of loot in general, usually just 5-10 nanites (less than the average Hybrid!) It is surprising how comparatively easy it is to engage them if you shift tactics to simply rushing them and melee attacking them with your wrench (which is free!) - they even flinch when they're melee hit, leaving them open for another blow until dead.

Due to their speed and fast reaction time, try not to engage them out in the open - they'll run away from melee range and throw energy stars at you from a distance. Instead, try to lure them into tight quarters where you can melee them easily.

It doesn't help that compared to the Annelid Hybrids, Cyborg Assassins are relatively quiet. If you listen carefully, though, you can hear their distinctive electronic warbling sounds (though this can be difficult to hear in noisy parts of the ship near heavy machinery).

Trivia

  • Cyborg Assassins have a disturbing tendency to ambush you when you least expect it. Expect it.
  • The energy stars are aimed so that if the player continues their current trajectory, they will be hit. Thus once the star is thrown, the player should move out the way.

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