2 meters (6 ft 7 in)
Continuous fire or single bolts
|“||The Mgalekgolo opened fire with their assault cannons, the weapons making a sound that was like the bellowing of some gigantic primordial beast.||”|
The assault cannon is a powerful weapon used by the Covenant. Similar to the fuel rod gun, it is most commonly utilized by Mgalekgolo, although the Hierarchs' gravity thrones are equipped with a variant of the weapon. The weapon has two primary firing modes, one of which fires the incendiary gel in globes similar to the standard fuel rod gun while the other fires a continuous stream of the gel.
The standard version of the weapon is incredibly heavy, making it suitable only for Mgalekgolo. The weapon is integrated into the right "arm" of the Mgalekgolo's armor. In most models, the nozzle is surrounded by three metal "fingers", which may serve as manipulators or assist in the guiding of the projectile. Several translucent tubes project from the cannon, containing the glowing green fuel used in the weapon's firing. The Hierarchs' gravity thrones are also equipped with a form of the weapon that is fully integrated to the throne's armrests.
The weapon uses tubes of radioactive incendiary gel, very similar to those fired by the standard fuel rod gun, as ammunition. The gel can be fired in globs, as seen in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo Wars, Halo: Reach, and Halo 3: ODST, which detonate on impact and have an arcing trajectory. The weapon can also fire the gel in a "beam", as seen in Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo Wars, and Halo 3: ODST. In both cases, the weapon must charge before firing. The sound and light emitted during charging provides early warning to opponents that the Mgalekgolo is about to fire.
The gel used in the Mgalekgolo's assault cannons is exclusively radioactive green in color, while that used by the Hierarchs' gravity thrones is golden yellow.
Variations between the games
In terms of gameplay, the assault cannon has changed with each installment, in terms of operation and aesthetics, mostly to balance gameplay.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, it was only able to fire single shots that were similar to fuel rod gun shots, and appeared to contain its gel supply in a "drum" mounted underneath the arm. Also, it fired in a more parabolic arch than any other variant, increasing range, but decreasing accuracy.
- In Halo 2, there were minor changes to its appearance but the weapon fired a continuous stream rather than individual blasts while the "drum" reloaded and fired. Because it is a continuous beam this makes it possible to survive a hit from it on Legendary difficulty by only being hit by the beam for a small amount of time. Halo 2 also marks the only appearance of the variant used by the Hierarchs' gravity thrones, which is the Prophet of Regret's primary offensive ability in the level Regret.
- In Halo 3, the assault cannon is aesthetically very different, but operates much the same as it does in Halo 2. The cannon in Halo 3 can be cut off instantaneously if the target has gone to cover, which stops it from wasting ammunition. Also, the "claws" seem to have hinges, although they are never seen moving in gameplay. Plus, the beam is a bit faster, a lot more damaging, and can blow away movable cover, such as supply crates.
- In Halo Wars, the Hunters start with the mortar version of the assault cannon. Later in the game, the Hunters can be equipped with the beam version for extra damage.
- In Halo 3: ODST, the Hunters appeared in two different forms in two different colors. This first is the traditional blue-armored Hunter, armed with an assault cannon that fires a continuous stream of radioactive incendiary gel. The other wears gold-colored armor and is armed with an assault cannon that fires a single bolt of radioactive incendiary gel which is similar to the weapon model featured in Halo: Combat Evolved.
- Halo: Reach features a full return to the Halo: CE -era assault cannon, which fires single blobs of bright green gel much like a Type-33 fuel rod gun. The blast radius is greatly increased and the splash damage can even hurt enemies that are behind thin cover.
- In Halo 4, the Hunters' assault cannon is very similar to the one in Halo: Reach.
- In Halo 5: Guardians, the assault cannon now fires in two different modes. The first of which is two quick shots that do large ammounts of damage. The other mode is several small projectiles that track players but do noticeably less damage. The small projectiles are fast and meant to target players at ranges where the main attack would not be effective. Halo 5 also introduces the assault cannon as a usable weapon in multiplayer, though each version appears to have only one firing mode as opposed to the hunter's dual-firing version.
- Wicked Grasp: The Lekgolo that remain in this stolen limb retain a feral vestige of their once-expansive composite mind. The Wicked Grasp fires bursts of tracking plasma shots.
- Berserker's Claw: Spartans are well-versed at sourcing weapons from the remains of their enemies. The Berserker's Claw fires a devastating fuel rod shot after a short charging cycle. This fuel rod will track aerial targets.
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- When using the Bump Possession cheat in Halo: Combat Evolved to control a Hunter, holding left click down and repeatedly right clicking allows the controlled Hunter to rapidly fire its Assault Cannon without overheating. Whether this accelerated manner of attack is actually utilized at all in AI controlled opponents' behavioral patterns is unknown.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, Hunters will not continue to track you once the cannon has started to charge, making the Hunters inaccurate with moving targets. Strangely, Hunters will never hit a stationary target, meaning that the original assault cannon's recoil severely lowers the accuracy of said cannon. The player can use this to his/her advantage to avoid being injured by standing completely still and firing from that position.
- In Halo 3, green electricity protrudes from the three parts jutting out of the weapon and they form together to make the beam of energy when the weapon is charging. It is also possible this would create a type of small plasma mortar, and that something in the back of the weapon produces a type of gas to project it, similar to how a flamethrower works where a small flame is projected by gas.
- The Halo 3 variant doesn't contain the "drum" like the previous assault cannons. Instead it has six tubes on the side of the gun which appear to house the incendiary liquid projectile.
- Some of the novels refer to the assault cannon as a fuel rod gun/cannon, while it is officially named in Halo: Contact Harvest.
Mgalekgolo firing the assault cannon in Halo: Combat Evolved.
An assault cannon primes to fire at Thomas Lasky in Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.
A Mythic Mgalekgolo prepares to fire its assault cannon on March on Stormbreak in Halo 5: Guardians.
List of appearances