Cortex Reaver


CortexReaver Icon

Enemy Stats
First Encounter Flight Deck
Executive (Cyberspace)
Most Common Flight Deck
Preferred Weapon Assault Rifle
(Penetrator Rounds)
Primary Attack Projectiles
Secondary Attack Concussion Bombs
Damage (per Hit) 80 (Primary)
325 (Secondary)
Attack Range 4 (Primary)
6 (Secondary)
Hit Points 580
Perception Medium
Disruptability 10%
Armor Value 40
Defense Value 2
Loot nothing

The Cortex Reaver is a cyborg enemy encountered in System Shock, both within Citadel Station and Cyberspace.


Unlike most Cyberspace watchdogs, the Cortex Reaver is not a security program. Instead, it is a Net-active cyborg whose awareness is constantly split between the physical realm and Cyberspace. Reaver's intelligence is driven by the brain of an involuntary human puppet, using their dead body. Cortex Reavers are capable of quickly frying a user’s link integrity and withstand numerous attacks before crashing. In Cyberspace, they appear as red, fragmented faces.

The Hacker first encounters one on the Flight Deck, after attempting to rescue a small squad of survivors.


Unsurprisingly, it can be killed fairly easily with the Laser Rapier.



  • If the Hacker is killed and doesn't have access to a Restoration Bay, his fate is revealed in the "Game Over" cutscene. In it, the Hacker's head is inserted into a Cortex Reaver's chamber and brainwashed to serve SHODAN.
    • This also happens if the time limit runs out on the maximum Mission difficulty.
      However, in this case the background music doesn't stop playing until the game quits to main menu.
  • In the System Shock 3 Pre-Alpha teaser released by OtherSide Entertainment, the Cortex Reaver can be noticeably seen a few times briefly throughout the video.

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