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Cyborg Elite Guard
Enemy Stats
First Encounter Level 9 - Bridge
Most Common Level 9 - Bridge
Preferred Weapon MARK III Assault Rifle
SB-20 Mag-Pulse Rifle
LG-XX Plasma Rifle
RF-07 Skorpion
Primary Attack Hitscan Projectile (85%)
Secondary Attack Projectile (15%)
(moderate speed)
Damage (per Hit) 70 (Primary)
75 (Secondary)
Attack Range 8 (Primary)
9 (Secondary)
Hit Points 380
400 (1 @ SWS of Core)
Armor Value 50
Defense Value 6
Disruptability 5%
Perception Medium
Loot 2 of the following:
Heavy Slug 2100 Clip (20%)
MM Rail Clip (15%)
RF Large Slag Clip (20%)
Mark3 Penetrators (5%)
Medipatch (11%)
First Aid Kit (2%)
nothing (27%)
[Source]

The Cyborg Elite Guard is an adversary encountered in System Shock.
It is one of the most powerful and dangerous foes in the game.

Overview

The Cyborg Elite Guards are SHODAN's personal bodyguards. They are met exclusively on the Bridge, where they guard SHODAN's Throne of God.
Their task is to protect the Mainframe Computer and its only access in the form of a Cyberspace Terminal. These Cyborgs are deployed at the level's core en masse, making the final room a tough challenge.

Description

These Cyborgs are generally very heavily muscled and toned. Elite Guards wear grey-blue stabilizing boots with wide base and frames encompassing the top part of the calf, that allow them to handle various surfaces. They also wear a harness at their crotch and waist, connected to the black backpack that they wear. Around the chest is an energy belt that is also connected to it. The backpack itself serves as a power source, allowing for different type of attacks, actively scanning the area, a powerful shield and more. It takes up most of the space on their back, with additional mount at the neck. The iconic black helmet with red glowing visors is a direct part of the power pack. Beige transmission/power cable connects a hardware attachement located on their torso near the heart to the left side of the helmet.

An enormous cannon with several stabilizing wires occupies most of the Elite Guard's right arm, while the left one is free. This is their weapon of choice (85% chance of use) at most ranges. As it's shot, it lights up in white, and a brown halo along with green flashes momentarily surround it.
This weapon fires a hitscan (instant-hitting) energy projectile that deals serious damage, taking down more than ¼ of the Hacker's health when he's not protected by any level of Energy/Projectile Shield.

On rare occasions (15% chance) or at longer range (100% chance at 8 to 9 squares of distance) the upper part of their pyramid helmet (along with the power/transmission cable) lights up in red and generates a moderately fast projectile (called Elite Mutant Fire) of similar colour. These missiles can be deflected when shot at, to the point of flying backwards (though they cannot hurt the Elites) and disappear when they hit any surface.

During a pain frame in which they are stunned (officially they have only 5% of Disruptability) these Cyborgs either tilt their head back, splashing blood, or receive a momentarily shock to their power source, causing a light violet flash and sparks running across their system.

When eliminated, they receive a fatal torso wound on the right side with a chunk blown out of it, lose balance as they fall to their knees and finally collapse face down.

Strategy

Cyborg Elites Guards are easily one of the most formidable opponents the Hacker has to face. The combination of their high amount of Hit Points, super resistant Armor/shield, extreme Defense Value (meaning no critical hits unless playing on Combat setting 1) and super low Disruptability (stun chance), along with good weapon range and very high damage (without any Shield on, the Hacker will die after just 4 shots) is simply deadly. SHODAN's Node is protected by ten of them, so they also have strength in numbers.

It is thus strongly advised to kill them before they have any chance to retaliate. Engaging in a wide open fight is not recommended, in favour of a more stealthy approach (leaning around corners and keeping distance).

Wild mêlée fight is, however, not destined to fail. One must mandatorily use the TS-04 Laser Rapier combined with Berserk Combat Booster, act fast (preferably using Turbo Motion Booster System (on Turbo setting if possible to handle) at best, Staminup Stimulant at worst) or/and slow down the action with Reflex Reaction Aid, have First Aid Kits handy, turn on the Energy/Projectile Shield and still be prepared for a world of hurt.

Fighting at a distance, one will also want to use the most powerful weapons and ammunition available on the Citadel:

  • The armor piercing capabilities and awesome damage of the famously rare Penetrator Rounds make the MARK III Assault Rifle the weapon to use against them, even counting in its fire rate.
  • Considering the projectile-shooting armament, the MM-76 Accelerator Rail Gun is a good option because of the sheer amount of damage it causes and splash damage it deals to any enemies unlucky enough to stick together.
  • SB-20 Mag-Pulse Rifle and EMP Grenades are also recommended, as both of them bypass the armor completely and use the Magnetic type of attack that deals double damage to all Cyborgs. This is Elites' only true vulnerability.
  • While being way harder to handle, the RF-07 Skorpion, if supplied with enough ammunition (Large Slags are recommended) could be the most destructive weapon around, since it has an insane damage output because of its rate of fire.
  • Cyborg Elite Guards could actually be the best enemies worth the risk of breaking out the unpredicable, experimental LG-XX Plasma Rifle for. Its Highest settings are to be feared of... by both sides. Just make sure to have a lot of spare Illudium-Cadmium Batteries...
  • Also, there's the RW-45 Ion Pulse Rifle. When set on High, it deals immense damage if used properly.
  • There's always explosives. Even non-dedicated ones (Frag and Gas Grenades) will do a good deal of damage (especially if operated swiftly), but the real treat are the Concussion Bombs with their outstanding destructive power and wide blast radius. It is also possible to combine various types of explosives (non-live if shot at, timed and proximity) to set traps. Hint: don't die.
  • As a last resort, a Magnum 2100 Pistol loaded with Heavy Slugs can be used.

Trivia

  • The Cyborg Elite Guard is the enemy pictured on the front cover of the System Shock game box.
  • According to the official hint book (the I.C.E. Breaker), three of them should appear on the Security Level when Combat difficulty is set to 3. Furthermore, raw map data shows four locations of Cyborg Elite Guards on Level 8: one in the area with control button for the Force Bridge to the central core, and three appearing just after Diego Cyborg is defeated. However, upon entering the level for the first time, these 4 enemies are replaced by a mix of Mutated and Enforcer Cyborgs (or only Mutated on Combat setting 3) because of the level entry trigger.
    • It is worth noting that in the leaked Beta version of System Shock these Elites actually do appear on Level 8.

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