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                        THE PREDATOR             



Predators are a fictional species and originated as the antagonist in the Predator Sci-Fi horror films, they are vaguely humanoid aliens who hunt the aggressive members of other species for sport.

Predators are depicted as an extraterrestrial race whose civilization seems to focus on individual strength, exemplified in the concept of hunting. They are depicted as excellent warriors, pursuing the most dangerous species in the galaxy. Predators stalk and kill prey utilizing various armaments, ranging from high technology smart weapons to low-tech blades and spears. Once they have defeated an opponent, they collect the skulls as trophies and mark themselves with the symbol of their clan (mark of honor). Predators have a long and involved history with many species they hunt, including Xenomorphs. Although the morals of their race are unknown, they appear to have some consistent form of honor. This is usually depicted as respect and acknowledgement for powerful adversaries as well as an unwillingness to stalk weak, diseased, or unarmed opponents.

Physically, the Predators are remarkably resilient. Physical traumas that might maim or kill a human often result in temporary disablement to a Predator while lesser injuries may yield no noticeable negative effects at all. Predators have demonstrated that they can continue to combat opponents even after suffering the most horrifically disabling of injuries, such as being impaled through the chest. They are highly resistant to small arms fire and stabbing weapons, although it has been shown that such attacks can yield wounds. The species is also adaptable to heat/cold extremes as illustrated in Predator 2when a warrior was attacked with weaponized liquid nitrogen and was not noticeably harmed. This is also demonstrated in AvP, where three Predators land in Antarctica and don't even shiver, despite being barely clothed. In addition to their natural defenses, Predators possess advanced healing technologies that greatly aid in combat.

They possess great physical strength in comparison to humans; they are able to lift massive logs, break down walls, and throw an average-sized human at least 15-20 meters with enough force to incapacitate or kill. Whether this comes naturally or through training is never discovered. They are remarkably agile and athletic for creatures their size, often seen jumping vast distances and surviving drops from high altitudes. They also seem to possess great stamina since they are able to cover great distances and perform continuous activity without needing to rest often. Predators are estimated to be 8-9 feet tall (2.50 m approx.) and weigh 400-700 pounds (180-320 kg approx.).

While Predators are humanoid, many features of their anatomy differ markedly from that of humans. Notably they have four mandibles surrounding their mouths. These mandibles appear to be involved in the production of audible clicks and chirps used in communication, although they can mimic human speech reasonably well and appear to understand it (or have a translator in their mask). They also have a rubbery tube like "hair" usually seen as thick long "dreadlocks" around their heads. Spike like "facial hair" is sometimes seen as well. In addition to their odd exterior, Predators also have notably luminescent green blood.

Predator vision appears to lay in the infr red portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is enhanced by the smart optics embedded in the masks the Predators wear. These optics help by filtering out irrelevant heat sources, improving contrast, and permitting the wearer to focus on movement, potential targets, etc. When this mask is removed, the Predator experiences much-reduced quality of vision and loses thermal source filtering, likely requiring greater concentration for discerning movement and targets.

In Predator 2, after the character Detective Michael Harrigan removed the Predator's mask, it is seen using a breathing apparatus. Specifically what this apparatus was used for is unknown; it is possible that Predators do not thrive in the air readily available on Earth (although it might have been the smog in Los Angeles). Alternatively, this particular Predator may have suffered some respiratory distress from the slaughterhouse environment, and/or from the gunshot wounds inflicted by Harrigan's shotgun earlier in the movie. Another theory supposes that the atmosphere that Predators are adapted to is higher in oxygen, explaining Harrigan's ability to easily breathe within the Predator vessel despite the Predator's obvious distress breathing in Earth's atmosphere.

A Predator will usually hunt on its own, without the assistance of any allies. The only exception to this so far in the Predator movie series was in Alien Versus Predator when the Predators appeared in a group of three, but even so, they seemed to avoid working together as a team using pack hunting tactics.

A Predator spacecraft, entering from the reaches of outer-space, will covertly land within hostile territory where it intends to hunt. Such a territory for example may be a guerilla war zone as seen in the film Predator, or perhaps a crime ridden suburb as seen in Predator 2. A lone Predator then, while cloaked, will spy on and analyze any potential targets for hunting which it deems as being threatening enough to be worthy of hunting. For instance, in Predator, the Predator does not attack anything for the first 40 minutes of the film while it is deciding whom to stalk, eventually coming to the conclusion to hunt the military squad.

Once a Predator has decided whom it deems worthy of hunting, the creature stalks its prey. The Predator waits for the optimum moment to strike swiftly and efficiently with what can be compared to a guerilla attack. The Predator prefers to attack from afar with its projectile weapons, striking at lone targets whenever possible. This does not mean however, that the Predator will never attack an enemy who is in numbers, as the Predator often does throughout the series when the situation requires for it. The Predator will also attack with melee weapons if it feels the situation necessitate it.

The Predator will then, if possible, capture its defeated opponent’s corpse and drag it away into hiding. If the opponent's body can not be acquired such as in the first film, Predator, the Predator will go back into hiding and wait for another chance to take the corpse. When the Predator has the corpse, it will then perform either of the following acts. The Predator will either take the corpses skull and/or spine to keep as a trophy of its hunt, or if the kill was deemed unrewarding, skin the body and hang it by cord by its feet upside down. After this, the Predator will proceed onto its next target until the hunt is over.

The Predators are a highly technologically advanced species, evident through their capacity for interstellar travel and their vast array of weapons and equipment. One example of this technology is the mask that they routinely wear during a hunt. This helmet/mask contains a gas mask, respirator, possible translator and/or a scuba mask, multiple vision modes and some diagnostic capabilities, as well as serving as protection for their heads. Various mask types are used by the Predators; the variation in design seems to result from individual preference rather than necessity.

The Predator's mask has many different vision modes available to its user. The most notable of these is an enhanced thermal vision that greatly increases the contrast between objects from the Predator's natural sight (See Vision), as seen in the first movie when the Predator removes its mask. In the second movie, the Predator switches between multiple spectral modes when it finds itself under attack from opponents who are wearing thermal camouflage. In AVP, the Predator again has multiple vision modes, the two it uses primarily are the thermal vision for tracking humans and an "alien vision" it uses to detect Xenomorphs (in the film Aliens it was established that Xenomorphs are not visible using thermal vision). Additional vision modes are available to determine the health condition of targets, suggesting that the Predators have a thorough understanding of human anatomy. Another reason for the heat vision may be their cloaking device, as it bends light away from the user. This would also bend light away from the eye, stopping it from reflecting on the retina. Predators may also use it when hunting in groups so they don't attack each other by mistake. The mask also includes a laser target designator for the shoulder mounted Plasma caster which is comprised of three dots or a triangle, and is also capable of zooming in so the Predator can see and aim over great distances. The mask possibly has the ability to provide protection from an Alien facehugger as well, though there is no protection given in the Aliens versus Predator PC games (considering that Kane was face-hugged in the first Alien movie despite his head being inside an oxygen dome). The mask also seems to affect hearing as well; in Predator, when the Predator took its mask off, it heard things at a much higher pitch than before and slightly more distorted. The helmet has its weakness: large EMP signatures interfere with the vision modes.

Most predators wear a breastplate which does not cover the midsection. It is made of a very durable unknown metal able to stop bullets as well as delay the melting effect of Xenomorph blood long enough for it to be taken off. In Alien vs. Predator when Xenomorph blood is splashed onto the plate, the predator simply rips it off suggesting that the plate is held together by clips attached to the backpack which release when pulled. The plate also appears to be made of several layers of metal resulting in better durability. Shoulder plates and armored tassets are also featured on a predator as well as shin and foot armor made of the same unknown alloy. Though very light and strong, most types of predator armor will dent if hit with a strong enough blow and can be pierced by a Xenomorph tail blade.

Almost all predators wear what seems to be a mesh jumpsuit made of an unknown wire. It appears to warm the predator body by means of electrically generated warmth. Besides this it has also been suggested that the mesh is a part of the camouflage system. However when neither camouflage nor warmth is needed the mesh suit serves as a jumpsuit during the hunt.

Predator weaponry includes, but is not limited to, Smart Discs, throwing blades, Combi Stick (part axe, part spear), Netgun (for immobilizing and/or killing prey), Wrist blades (for hand-to-hand combat), a shoulder-mounted and a hand held Plasma Caster (energy projection weapon). It is likely that the difference in weapons between the various movies and games is more an indication of preference than anything else. It has never been officially stated that they have specific reasons for using certain weapons.

  • Plasma Cast

The Plasma Caster (also known as the "tri-cannon", "Plasma cannon" and sometimes "shoulder cannon"), is a shoulder-mounted cannon with a targeting system tied directly to the Predator's helmet. A three dot laser sight is used to show the Predator where the shot will go. The Plasma Caster will automatically lock on to a target. It fires a bright blue pulse of energy in a straight line, and the shot can burn through flesh, wood, and metal. The Predator can control how much power is used in each shot from the caster. In the movies, the Predator was able to fire the Plasma Caster while using his cloaking shield generator. The Plasma Caster is internally connected to the helmet, meaning that if the predator moves its head, the Plasma Caster will turn that way as well.

  • Wrist blades

Wrist blades are retractable twin blades built into the gauntlet mounted on the Predator's forearm which consist of a series of backward-pointing barbs. They are primarily used as a stabbing weapon, but also make effective slashing weapons. The blades can be rotated to face away from the user, making a backward slash more effective. A stab from the backwards-facing blades is frequently used as a killing blow. In one graphic novel the blades are seen when a Predator rips through a tank's armor to kill the passengers.

  • Combi Stick

In the movies the Combi Stick closely resembles a spear. It has the ability to cut through many materials such as body armor and steel. The Combi Stick is also telescopic, presumably for easy storage when not in use. Both this and the Smart Disc are made of materials that are somehow resistant to the acidic traits of xenomorph blood.

  • Smart Disc

The Smart Disc (also known as throwing disc or “disc”) is an extremely sharp circular weapon that is thrown like a discus and returns to the user like a boomerang. This weapon is extremely powerful, shown to cut through half a dozen cattle carcasses and a man in Predator 2 without any effort. It also has a hand grip for use as a slashing melee weapon as well.

  • Netgun

There are apparently two versions of the Predator Netgun. The first is seen in Predator 2, where it is a gun-like weapon that fires a man-sized net at its target, who is violently thrown and trapped against the nearest surface. The net then begins to constrict itself and cut apart the trapped individual inside.

A second version of the Netgun was seen in the movie Alien vs. Predator, where it is seen to be a smaller version mounted on the Predator's wrist gauntlet. The net is extremely strong, shown when Max is trapped. Sebastian tries to cut through the net with a knife, but the net cuts the knife's blade from the handle.

  • Self Destruct Device

Each Predator carries a self destruct device mounted on their wrist computer. Once activated, this device starts off a countdown, red LEDs of extraterrestrial numerals, in the Predator's gauntlet serve as a warning. After a short delay, the device sets off a large-scale explosion, and is normally used as a final resort when a Predator's defeat is guaranteed in a desperate attempt to maintain its honor. The self-destruct device appears to be nuclear or anti matter based in nature, capable of destroying anywhere between a few hundred yards (depicted in the movie, Predator, where Dutch narrowly escapes the explosion) to a large kilometric range (depicted in Alien Vs. Predator, where the blast was initiated shortly after their defeat). However, it can be set to more, perhaps in an attempt to destroy the victorious elements while committing honorable suicide and/or to remove any traces of the Predator's existence.

  • Medicomp

The medicomp is not a weapon. It is a small case that contains various medical equipments should the Predator ever be injured. One of the medical gadgets in it resembles a spike with a handle and contains a material similar to plasma. It also contains a burner and a vial of liquid that when mixed with other materials (in Predator 2, the Predator uses broken glass and wall-tile fragments), creates a healing compound that can be used to treat and cauterize almost any wound, from minor to mortal, that a Predator may have.



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