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Cloaking Device

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A Predator with his Cloaking Device activated.

The Cloaking Device,[citation needed] also known as the Invisibility System[1] and Active Camouflage,[citation needed] is an advanced piece of Yautja technology that is able to render the user invisible, or nearly invisible, to the naked eye, as well as many forms of electronic scanning. The Cloaking Device warps light around the user's body in such a fashion that surfaces behind the creature are visible through the Predator's body. The effect is not perfect, often leaving a visible silhouette similar to heat haze, but in certain environments (and when the Predator remains motionless) it can effectively help a Predator to hide in plain sight.

While the Cloaking Device is very effective when employed against prey that primarily rely on vision, it is notably useless when engaged in a Xenomorph Hunt as the Xenomorphs are still able to "sense" or "see" the Yautja warrior even when the cloak is engaged.[2] Yautja starships have similar cloaking systems capable of giving the entire vessel camouflage. Cloaking Device use is very common during a Hunt, due to stealth being a major concern for Predators.

LimitationsEdit

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The Cloaking Device malfunctions in water.

Despite its advantages, the Cloaking Device is not perfect. When the user moves, there is a man-shaped "bubble" (or simply a distortion) in the air, that, dependant on background conditions, can be quite noticeable.[3] This may explain the Yautja species' apparent preference for jungle hunting grounds, as the dense, non-uniform foliage found there helps to mask this distortion more effectively.[4] Cloaking Devices are also notoriously short-circuited when they come into contact with even a small amount of water,[3] although the effect is not terminal and once the Predator removes himself from the water source the cloak can be re-engaged. Similarly, an electromagnetic pulse will disrupt the cloak, although again it causes no long-term damage to the system and it can be re-engaged once the effect has worn off.[2]

Visible lasers, such as weapon-mounted laser sights, will be refracted by the field and the extra-long Wrist Blades favoured by some Yautja are often not covered by the cloaking effect, leaving them visible. Some models appear to be easier to disrupt than others; the Cloaking Devices issued to Scar, Celtic and Chopper on their first Xenomorph Hunt were deactivated simply by bullet impacts to their armor. Cloaking Devices are also employed on Yautja starships, where they are incredibly effective; owing to the generally featureless nature of space, there are often no major visual references that can be distorted by the field, rendering Predator vessels essentially invisible.

VariantsEdit

Cloaking Field DeviceEdit

These devices shroud large Predators bases. They appear to be large, cuboid objects with an integrated Plasma Caster, much like the one on the Pred-Gun. Immobile, these devices can only be found in three of the Marine levels.

The Cloaking Field Device is mostly used by Elders to hide their hidden Ancient location.

Aliens versus Predator 2 Cloaking DeviceEdit

The Cloaking Device simply makes the user partially transparent, as the game engine was unable to wrap light around the Predator sprite and lets the player see what they are doing.

Aliens vs. Predator Cloaking DeviceEdit

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Yautja tend to flash their eyes while cloaked to intimidate their prey.

The traits of the Cloaking Device have appeared to progress overtime. The Yautja hunter appears almost non existent to the human eye as there are no longer ripples standing out to the same extent as the Jungle Hunter's. This allows the Yautja to have a large advantage than previous Yautja. Despite these advances, the camouflage system still suffers the same weaknesses as it did decades ago.

TriviaEdit

  • The Cloaking Device is among the most commonly copied or reverse-engineered items of Yautja technology — for example, in the video game Aliens vs. Predator, advanced Combat Androids employed by Karl Bishop Weyland are fitted with Cloaking Devices, rendering them invisible when they are not firing their weapons. Humans also use cloaking technology in the game Predator: Concrete Jungle.
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The "INVISIBILITY SYSTEM" in Alien vs Predator: The Last of His Clan.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Alien vs Predator: The Last of His Clan
  2. 2.0 2.1  Aliens vs. Predator [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360]. Rebellion.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers) and Stephen Hopkins (director). Predator 2 [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  4. Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers) and John McTiernan (director). Predator [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.

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