The Thargoids

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The Thargoids

Codex, Xeno-Technology

The Return of the Thargoids

Introduction

The Thargoid Ship is an alien vessel of confirmed origin. Examples of this alien ship were first encountered on January 5, 3303; Commanders were interdicted by Thargoid Ships while travelling through hyperspace and pulled into deep space with their systems disabled by an EMP burst, after which they were scanned and the Thargoid Ships jumped away.

 

Video by ObsidianAnt on the Live encounters

WHAT DO WE KNOW?

We are learning more about the Thargoids through each encounter, but so far we have encountered 4 (technically 5, more on that later) different variants of Thargoid Interceptors, and 4 variants of the Thargoid Scout class. The 4 main Interceptor variants are as follows: Cyclops, Basilisks, Medusas, and Hydra. Each contain properties that make them unique and easily identifiable, and each with an increasing level of lethality. The 5th variant has currently only been seen visiting certain ground locations and has since disappeared for unknown reasons, this 5th variant was known as ‘Orthorus’ and shared visual similarities to that of the Cyclops variant.

To understand more about Thargoids as a whole, we have to know a little bit about their history.

Officially, the first encounters with Thargoids occurred around an ammonia-based world in 3125. Accounts surfaced from independent pilots who claimed that they had been pulled out of hyperspace and attacked by agile, octagonal starships of unknown design and origin. Those who survived the experience were convinced they had encountered an alien species, and named the aliens “Thargoids”.

The events surrounding the first contact with the Thargoids were mostly suppressed and forgotten, and by the 3300’s the Thargoids themselves were generally regarded as fiction. According to Alliance Prime Minister Edmund Mahon, who is one of the few individuals with access to surviving records,

the Intergalactic Naval Reserve Arm, or INRA, fought a war against the Thargoids and eventually secured victory by deploying a bio-weapon against the aliens (check the INRA settlement logs for more details). The Thargoids retreated, and for many years it was believed they had been driven to extinction or even never truly existed at all. Thargoids are also often referred to as organic insect-like creatures.

Thargoids can all Interdict you during a Hyperspace transition across and outside the Pleiades ( Believed to be influenced by carrying Thargoid Objects ) This has become know as Hyperdiction. If this happens it is possible to be Hyperdicted by up to 4 Thargoids in the same instance, it will pull you out of Hyperspace and cause your ship in be inoperable while the ships scan you (unless you use the experimental anti-EMP device).

There are now many types of limpet available to the intrepid commander, and these have been tested on the interceptors with some interesting results – check the report for details.

Old Thargoid Ship

CYCLOPS VARIANT

The Cyclops variant was the first variant found. It can be located within Threat 5 Non-Human Signal Sources across the Pleiades Sector (within 149.2 LY of Merope), as well as seen at destroyed Megaships. When entered, they contain a wrecked convoy, Federal/Imperial, surrounded by a green smog. The Cyclops should be somewhere near the centre of the wreckage.

Destoryed Megaship

Destroyed Megaship

When you enter the instance the Thargoid vessel should come to scan you. If you have any Thargoid objects in your hold, such as the Thargoid Sensor or Meta Alloys it will wait a few seconds after scanning. This is your window to release them into space (jettison them) and allow the Thargoid to collect them. If you decide to keep them, the Thargoid will turn hostile towards you and will deploy 24 Thargons from its rear. Thargons are small drone-like ships that the Thargoid can use for combat purposes.

If you drop 5 or more Meta Alloys, then you have a chance to see a second Thargoid enter the instance. It will jump in, and usually deploys an EMP shutdown field which takes your ship systems offline making your ship inoperable.

Equally Cyclops, and Basilisk Variants can be seen at Barnacles, and Barnacle Forests performing some form of extraction, or thought it’s exact actions cannot be confirmed. The Thargoid vessel will appear the float down to the barnacle, before releasing an EMP burst, disabling ships in the area. It will then flip over, and activate a beam that connects with the Barnacle. Debris and any close by SRVs are lifted into the air towards the rear of the Thargoid ship. The ship after a while will stop releasing the beam, and fly away. The purpose of this demonstration is unknown but is heavily thought to be an extraction/repair process.

Thargoid firing beam

Thargoid firing beam

Killing a Cyclops

The Cyclops Variant also has 4 hearts, which you are required to take out in order to kill it. To be able to select these you will need a Xeno Scanner utility module.  Firing on an Interceptor causes the Thargoid to immediately return fire by sending the Thargons after its attacker. While the Thargons are extremely fast and fire projectiles that penetrate shields and directly damage the hull, the Interceptor itself will also fire fast and seemingly unavoidable red projectiles. It’s believed that the max speed of these ships is around 450m/s.

After one of an Interceptor’s Thargoid Hearts are destroyed, the Interceptor will respond by unleashing a powerful secondary attack in the form of lightning-like energy beams. The attack is preceded by flashing yellow lights on the ship’s hull and has a very short range, allowing it to be avoided by skilful piloting. This weapon inflicts heat damage, drains shields, causes a random module malfunction, reboots Shield Boosters, and disrupts Thrusters.

Some Interceptors will also give chase to any CMDRs trying to flee. They may launch Caustic Missiles that will home in on their targets and explode in a cloud of caustic, hull-eating substance. Aegis Research Group have produced weapons, modules and ships capable of opposing Thargoids in combat.

A Cyclops Variant

A Cyclops Variant

BASILISK VARIANT

The Basilisk Variant was found a few weeks after ‘the return’ of the Thargoids after a listening post in the Celaeno system was found talking about ships being attacked in the Electra system. This time, the Basilisk was found within Threat 6 Non-Human Signal Sources around Electra (within 41.3 LY of Merope) and is very similar to the Cyclops, one notable difference is its appearance as it has a metallic purple base tone followed by orange and yellow patterns on each of the ‘petals’. When entered, they contain a wrecked convoy, Federal/Imperial, surrounded by a green smog. The Basilisk should be somewhere near the centre of the wreckage.

When you enter the instance the Thargoid vessel should come to scan you, similar to the behaviour of the Cyclops, if you have any Thargoid objects in your hold, such as the Thargoid Sensor, or Meta Alloys it will wait a few seconds after scanning.  This is your window to release them into space (jettison them) and allow the Thargoid to collect them. If you decide to keep them, the Thargoid will turn hostile towards you and will deploy 64 Thargons from its rear. Thargons are small drone-like ships that the Thargoid can use for combat purposes.

If you drop 5 or more Meta Alloys, then you have a chance to see a second Thargoid enter the instance. It will jump in, and usually deploys an EMP shutdown field which takes your ship systems offline making your ship inoperable.

Killing a Basilisk

The Basilisk Variant has 5 hearts, which you are required to take out in order to kill it. To be able to select these you will need a Xeno Scanner utility module.  Firing on an Interceptor causes the Thargoid to immediately return fire by sending the Thargons after its attacker. While the Thargons are extremely fast and fire projectiles that penetrate shields and directly damage the hull, the Interceptor itself will also fire fast and seemingly unavoidable red projectiles. It’s believed that the max speed of these ships is around 450m/s.

After one of an Interceptor’s Thargoid Hearts are destroyed, the Interceptor will respond by unleashing a powerful secondary attack in the form of lightning-like energy beams. The attack is preceded by flashing yellow lights on the ship’s hull and has a very short range, allowing it to be avoided by skilful piloting. This weapon inflicts heat damage, drains shields, causes a random module malfunction, reboots Shield Boosters, and disrupts Thrusters.

However Basilisk Variant Interceptors display an additional defensive behaviour. After a Basilisk Variant loses a Thargoid Heart, if another Heart is not destroyed within seven minutes, the ship will enter an “enraged” state that dramatically increases its lethality. It will instantly respawn its Thargon Swarms, increase the frequency of its Caustic Missile attacks, and fire more Caustic Missiles in each volley.

A Basilisk Variant

A Basilisk Variant

Medusa Variant

The Medusa Variant was first found, after stations in the Pleiades were attacked. First, and most notably the Oracle. After Galnet published the following:

Recent reports indicate that several starports in the Pleiades have been attacked by Thargoids. The attacks have resulted in significant damage and hundreds – possibly thousands – of deaths. Galactic authorities have confirmed that the affected starports are Titan’s Daughter in the Taygeta system, Liman Legacy in HIP 16753 and the Oracle in the Pleiades Sector IR-W D1-55.

It is understood that the attacks were executed by a previously unseen class of Thargoid craft classified as an Interceptor Medusa. Footage from starport security feeds indicate that the Thargoid ships used their shutdown fields to neutralise station defences before targeting the main reactor.

One eyewitness said, “It’s like they wanted to cripple us rather than destroy us outright”.

Authorities in the affected systems have responded with appeals for foods, water, basic medicines and natural fabrics. They have also implored independent pilots to support relief operations by evacuating civilians from the starports.

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An Attacked Station

The stations that have been attacked are extremely hard to land. They will go into an emergency state, and only authorized emergency landings can take place for Commanders to rescue trapped inhabitants. Entering a station in this state is dangerous, you will gain heat extremely fast which may cause internal damage to modules, malfunctions, and hull damage. Explosions from surroundings may push you back, and you may crash into floating debris.

Following this, Medusa Variants can be found within Threat 7 Non-Human Signal Sources within 34.0 LY from Merope. They are very different in appearance to the other variants. For a start, it consists of black and red textures giving it a chilling, and demonic feel. It is also considerably more ‘spiky’ in appearance. With the central eye have several inward bound spikes which bears a close resemblance to the Unknown Structures that are all around the Pleiades. It has several points around its ‘petals’ which add to the overall appearance.

When the signal source is entered, they contain a wrecked Federal/Imperial convoy surrounded by a green smog. The Medusa should be somewhere near the centre of the wreckage.

When you enter the Thargoid vessel should come to scan you, if you have any Thargoid objects in your hold, such as the Thargoid Sensor or Meta Alloys it will wait a few seconds after scanning. This is your window to release them into space (jettison them) and allow the Thargoid to collect them. If you persist on keeping them, the Thargoid will turn hostile and will deploy 96, yes you read right, 96 Thargons from its rear. Thargons are small drone-like ships that the Thargoid can use in combat.

If you drop 5 or more Meta Alloys, then you have a chance to see a second Thargoid enter the instance. It will jump in, and usually deploys an EMP shutdown field which takes your ship systems offline making your ship inoperable.

Killing a Medusa

The Medusa Variant has 6 hearts, which you are required to take out in order to kill it. To be able to select these you will need a Xeno Scanner utility module. Firing on an Interceptor causes the Thargoid to immediately return fire by sending the Thargons after its attacker. While the Thargons are extremely fast and fire projectiles that penetrate shields and directly damage the hull, the Interceptor itself will also fire fast and seemingly unavoidable red projectiles. It’s believed that the max speed of these ships is around 450m/s.

After one of an Interceptor’s Thargoid Hearts are destroyed, the Interceptor will respond by unleashing a powerful secondary attack in the form of lightning-like energy beams. The attack is preceded by flashing red light lasers unlike the previously seen yellow on the ship’s hull and has a very short range, allowing it to be avoided by skilful piloting. This weapon inflicts heat damage, drains shields, causes a random module malfunction, reboots Shield Boosters, and disrupts Thrusters.

From reports, the Medusa shares the same additional defensive behaviour as the Basilisk. After a Medusa Variant loses a Thargoid Heart, if another Heart is not destroyed within seven minutes, the ship will enter an “enraged” state that dramatically increases its lethality. It will instantly respawn its Thargon Swarms, increase the frequency of its Caustic Missile attacks, and fire more Caustic Missiles in each volley.

Medusa Variant

Medusa Variant

Hydra Variant

This is a tougher Interceptor variant than the previously seen Medusa. It was first seen around the time of the aborted Gnosis trip to the Cone Sector in September 3304. Several were seen around the human bubble, but then a large concentration were attributed with the failure of The Gnosis jump into the Cone Sector in Galnet.

Killing a Hydra

Hydra can usually be found in Non-Human Signal Sources with threat levels of 8 or above. If they are found alone they will not be aggressive (dependant on CMDR’s actions), but if they are found with Scouts they are invariable aggressive. They have 8 hearts and are protected by a swarm of a whopping 128 Thargons, and feature more powerful weaponry and attacks than the Medusa. It is advised to tackle this vessel with other CMDRs or a skilled pilot with heavy Guardian weaponry and engineering.

Hydra Interceptor by CMDR Node_

Hydra Interceptor by CMDR Node_

Orthrus Variant

EDIT: Currently removed from the game.

This is an Interceptor variant about which little is known. It was first reported by CMDR Hastur near Professor Palin’s abandoned research facility on Maia A 3 A in late August 3305, and was first scanned by CMDRs Aranionros Stormrage & Blake of AXI. When encountered it will run at speed and jump out above the base – often accompanied by a swarm of Scouts. It has not been found elsewhere. Orthrus have a distinctive livery – close in appearance to a cyclops but with yellow highlights.

Killing an Orthrus

As these are only found in one location, and they do not engage like a normal Interceptor there is little information gathered about fighting them. They can be forced back away from their jump point and attacked until they die, but it is expected that this will change once they are found in more normal circumstances.

MARAUDER VARIANT

A Thargoid Scout. Image courtesy of CMDR LCU No Fools Like One

This is a Scout class ship, smaller than the interceptors, and they tend to come in groups. They look closely related to the original Thargoid ships from previous games, and tissue samples indicate they are older then than the Interceptors. Several crashed scouts have been found.

Killing a Marauder

Marauders are much easier to kill than the Interceptor variants, though need different tactics as they appear in multiples and are much more manoeuvrable. They can be found in small numbers in Non-Human Signal Source (NHSS) Threat 3, in larger groups in NHSS Threat 4 (along with NPC ships that will help distract the Marauders from attacking you). They also appear in NHSS Threat 8 – in this case, there will be a group of Marauders initially and expect an Interceptor variant to drop in after the fight has started – it will attempt to disable you so an Anti-EMP device is useful.

BERZERKER VARIANT

This is a Scout class ship, first seen in June 3304. These Scout variants can be found alongside side Marauder variants depending on the Non-Human Signal Source threat level. Berzerkers are more dangerous than the Marauder variants as they have a higher damage output, and in its default state can release a pulse which can increase the damage output of other nearby Scouts. The method of killing is very similar to that of a Marauder.

REGENERATOR VARIANT

This is a Scout class ship, first seen in June 3304. These Scout variants can be found alongside side Marauder variants depending on the Non-Human Signal Source threat level. Regenerators as the name suggests, have the ability to release a pulse that heals other nearby Scouts. The method of killing is very similar to that of a Marauder.

INCITER VARIANT

This is a Scout class ship, first seen in June 3304. These Scout variants can be found alongside side Marauder variants depending on the Non-Human Signal Source threat level. Inciters have the ability to drastically buff the performance of other Scouts in the instance. They can release a white pulse which will buff other Scouts damage (stacks with berzerker rage state) and causes other Scouts to synchronize their attacks, much like the Thargon swarm released by the Interceptor. This pulse also makes the Scouts more manoeuvrable and have a slight increase in speed. The method of killing is very similar to that of a Marauder.

An Image of the Marauder Variant

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