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Combat androids, also known as combat synthetics, are specially armored and hardened synthetics constructed specifically for combat purposes. Although the equipping of androids with weapons or uninhibited combat abilities was prohibited by the Geneva Convention, combat models have been widely employed by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, who often used illegally manufactured units for security at critical Weyland-Yutani installations. Relaxing of regulations later also led to the use of combat androids by the United States Colonial Marine Corps.
Unlike commercial synthetics (such as the David and Bishop lines), which are designed to integrate seamlessly into human society, combat androids are designed solely for combat, and as such forgo many of the aesthetic niceties of the former models. Some combat androids are not even furbished with a full outer covering of skin, leaving many of their more superficial mechanisms, particularly on the face, exposed. They are rarely programmed with the more finely-tuned social software installed on commercial synthetics, instead operating more basic interaction programs that leave them with access to only limited language, often spoken in mechanical, inhuman tones.
Combat androids are also hardened against typical battlefield damage and hazards, with much sturdier construction including integral armor, often tough enough to largely withstand the light armor piecing ammunition fired by the M41A/2 Pulse Rifle. Although losing a limb will affect a combat android's ability to move, it does not nullify their ability to fight, and it is not uncommon for individual models to continue to fight even once immobilized by the loss of a lower limb; in rarer cases, combat androids have been known to fight on even after losing their head (albeit with significantly reduced weapons accuracy).
Their programming also reflects their primary purpose, with tactical and battlefield management software installed as standard. While combat androids lack the apparent intellect, nuances and personality of commercial systems, they are able to survey and adapt to changing battlefield conditions and plan attacks accordingly. They are also programmed to utilize a range of weaponry with deadly efficiency. Some combat models would also release a small electromagnetic pulse after death, capable of stunning nearby targets and shorting out a Yautja's Cloak. While only moderately damaging, this EMP blast could effectively disorientate anything caught in its radius, hopefully giving any other androids in the vicinity a momentary advantage over their aggressor.
Owing to their higher resistance to damage and greater strength when compared to humans, as well as their ignorance of pain, fear or moral concerns, combat androids are often preferred over live combatants in certain situations. Many are used as obedient, no-questions-asked bodyguards. Their unflinching dedication to their duty, regardless of the odds against them or any wounds received, also carries with it a distinct psychological impact with regards to their opponents. However, even a combat android's advanced tactical software is incapable of matching the human intellect in most instances, and Androids are therefore best employed in menial defensive roles where adaptation and improvisation are not key factors.
In Aliens versus Predator 2, they are seen guarding the Forward Observation Pods as well as serving as Dr. Eisenberg's troops. They are commonly fought in the Alien and the Predator campaigns, although a single one is fought in the final level of the Marine campaign. They are difficult to kill, capable of surviving two headshots. They are sometimes equipped with a shotgun but are most often equipped with a WY-102 Railgun.
In Aliens versus Predator: Extinction, they are simply an upgrade to the normal synthetic unit, equipped with a shotgun. When a combat android loses all of its hitpoints, it will be sometimes disabled, and a CommTech is needed to re-activate it. If not repaired after several moments the disabled synthetic 'dies'.
In Aliens vs. Predator, androids are commonly seen guarding civilians in the later stages of the Alien campaign. In the Predator campaign, a group of combat androids are seen executing three civilians, presumably on Weyland-Yutani orders, saying that their contracts have been terminated. Upgraded android models also appear in the Marine and Predator campaigns. These synthetics are extremely hard to kill, and are equipped with a cloaking device derived from Predator technology. A Combistick, however, will kill them instantly. During the Predator campaign, if you are spotted by an Android the unit will stare at you before saying, "Hunter detected. Switching tactics." This suggests they are programmed with specific software on how to kill Predators.
In AVP: Evolution, combat androids equipped with batons and shields are used by Colonial Marines and Weyland-Yutani.
- In 1998, Kenner Products included a combat android named Integer 3 in their Aliens: Hive Wars toy line.
- The combat androids in Aliens vs. Predator have the Weyland-Yutani logo imprinted on their eyeballs.
- Unlike commercial humanoid synthetics, combat androids have a heavy mechanical voice.
- Some combat androids in Aliens vs. Predator are equipped with armored helmets very similar to those worn by the Weyland-Yutani Commandos in Alien3.
- In Aliens vs. Predator, the upgraded combat androids can reboot even after extreme damage, including the loss of limbs.
- In Aliens vs. Predator, a combat android will instantly be killed if it is decapitated by a Predator's "Trophy kill" finisher move. Oddly enough, however, an android can still continue to function even if it has its head blown off after sustaining extreme damage from gunfire.
- Aliens: Book One (First Appearance)
- Aliens: Earth Hive
- Alien Trilogy
- Aliens versus Predator 2
- Aliens versus Predator: Extinction
- Aliens: Extermination
- Aliens vs. Predator (video game)
- Aliens: Infestation
- AVP: Evolution
- Aliens: Defiance