Flood ranged form
The Flood ranged form is a permutation of Flood pure form. Ranged Forms serve to provide suppressing fire, assaulting potential hosts from a distance with a hail of deadly spikes and allowing other Flood forms to attack at close range.
The Ranged Form is formed when a Flood stalker form chooses to mount itself in a stationary position either on the walls, ceiling, or ground. The Stalker's body reconfigures itself into a tripodal configuration, and the abdomen morphs into a living missile platform of regenerating spikes. These spikes, constructed from scavenged bone and biomatter, can be shot out of the abdomen with extreme force and accuracy, relentlessly pelting targets from afar. They are also distinctive because of their eyespots on both sides.
When harassed, Ranged Forms will curl up to shield their heads, their weak point. In this state, they are far more resistant to damage, but are unable to fire. When a Pure Form is killed on a wall or ceiling, they will fall off.
Ranged form is the only Flood form that cannot move. Once the Stalker mutates into it, it will get stuck on that spot until it dies or mutates again.
Ranged Forms will also occasionally mutate to/from Tank Forms.
Tips and Tactics
Ranged Forms are an extremely powerful Flood form on the battlefield and thus are very difficult to dispatch, without first exposing yourself to fire. Your first goal should be to close the distance as normally you can, only tell which direction they are firing from—they blend in quite well in the dark places they inhabit and are hard to see. When you are within sighting range, any weapon with any sort of range will do, the Plasma Rifle and the Brute Spiker used in short bursts (long bursts with the Plasma Rifle causes it to overheat, not good on the level Cortana) seem to do just as well as more accurate weapons like the Carbine and the Battle Rifle, and are more common on a Flood infested battlefield so they may be your only choice. Note that Plasma Rifles and Brute Spikers are found easily therefore, one should be kept as a precaution. The Ranged Form is an anomaly in the mostly melee-based Flood combat and are normally hard to kill due to the simple fact that you do not normally have the ranged weapons required to take one out. In this case, well-placed Plasma Grenades and/or Spike Grenades work well, and so does a Firebomb, which requires much less accuracy as it explodes on impact next to the enemy. Ultimately, if you get within melee distance of a Ranged Form they are just as easily destroyed as any other combat form with close ranged weapons like the Brute Mauler, Shotgun, Gravity Hammer, Energy Sword or a melee attack with any weapon. As true with all Pure forms the Flamethrower is an excellent weapon, as do dual-wielding Spikers and Sentinel Beam. One good idea when dealing with Ranged Forms is to continually advance towards them, dodging their projectiles, and melee them though make sure this is only done 1 to 1, especially on higher difficulties. The Needler is very effective when attacking at medium to medium-long range. Another tactic which works 1-1 is the Unggoy method of, "shoot enough bullets and at least some of them will hit.", which can apply to the more primitive weapons like plasma pistols.
The Brute Shot is a good choice for these Pure Forms as one or two grenades will, while not killing them out right (on Normal, it is possible to kill a Ranged Form with 2 well placed shots), knock them off the wall they tend to be stuck to allowing you to get close enough to kill them effectively. The Brute Shot's higher melee attack damage should kill them in one hit after knocking them off. A very helpful strategy is dropping Deployable Cover because the shield cannot be weakened or penetrated by the needles they shoot. There are many deployable covers on the levels Cortana and Floodgate for just this purpose.
Like many Flood Forms, Ranged Forms possess a small cluster of sensory appendages emitting from their "mouths". These are located at the base of the abdomen, below the rows of projectile spines. One of the simplest ways to dispatch a Ranged Form is to target this sensory cluster while it is in a dormant state. On the level Cortana, dual-wielding Plasma Rifles are very effective due to the combined rate of fire and their weakness to Plasma. While Ranged Forms can absorb impressive volumes of damage while dormant, a few well-placed shots to the "mouth" area will kill them. It should be noted that on higher difficulties, killing a Ranged Form with the Flamethrower will sometimes result in a Spike Grenade explosion. Meleeing ranged forms is an instant kill on any difficulty. Two ways of noticing a dead ranged form, one, they tip over and two, they will always drop a spike grenade. The player also needs to take into account when stuck by a plasma grenade or spike grenade, a ranged form may survive by mutating into another form, causing the grenade to disappear without exploding, essentially "eating" the grenade. If this does not happen, the grenade will kill it.
List of appearances