The Ilwrath Avenger is the result of technology that the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za bestowed upon the once newly conquered, technologically simple Ilwrath.1 Above all, the Ilwrath delight in tormenting their victims and this cruelty has carried over to how they wage war. Stealth technology is employed so widely by the Ilwrath armed forces that it has become synonymous with their species. Due to the ship's stealth capabilities, combat involving an Avenger will more often than not play out like a game of cat and mouse. It is because of this stealth capability that, according to Commander Hayes, the Avenger was as deadly a threat as the Androsynth Guardian to the Alliance deep-space patrols.
The Avenger turns and accelerates swiftly, but its top speed is fairly low. This limitation is considered the ship's Achilles' heel.
The primary weapon of the Avenger is a short range flamethrower which has been dubbed the "Hellfire Spout". The Avenger's rapid rate of energy recovery allows it to maintain a nearly constant stream of flame over a length of time. Each individual puff of flame inflicts a single point of damage.
All Avenger craft come equipped with a cloaking device. Homing weapon systems and subsidiary craft of all shapes and sizes are unable to follow a cloaked Avenger. However, the Ilwrath cloak is not perfect — some of the Avenger's own scanning instruments do not function properly while the cloaking device is active.2 In addition to that, hostile craft will retain some awareness of the Avenger's approximate position. In Super-Melee, the game's camera remains centered between the Avenger and its opponent regardless of whether the cloak is active. The Hellfire Spout and cloaking device cannot function at the same time. The Avenger's cloak will shut off automatically when the weapon is activated. If stealth is broken in this way, the Avenger will also orient itself towards the enemy ship's position regardless of where the Avenger was facing before.
- When up against an opponent that is too fast for the Avenger to catch, the best solution is to find a planet. The Avenger's top speed is no longer restricted while the ship is within a gravity well's area of effect. This can be capitalized upon by lurking around a planet's immediate vicinity until the opponent moves in to engage or by performing a Leyland Gravity Whip towards the enemy, hopefully overtaking them.
- The cloaking device may not be very helpful for sneaking up on an opponent, but the ability to negate the homing function of most weapons is no small thing. This can buy an Avenger the time needed to find a planet or force a short-ranged enemy ship to travel straight towards the Avenger (and hopefully its Hellfire Spout) to attack.
- It is difficult to figure out what direction the Avenger is facing while cloaked. When in doubt, especially near planetary bodies, the cloak should be turned off to reorient the ship.
- When fighting against an Avenger, the best approach is to keep one's distance and gradually pick the ship apart from outside of its range. A direct shoot-out against an Avenger is not recommended with anything less than overwhelming firepower.
Notes and references
- 1According to the Star Control II manual, pg. 69 (PC) or pg. 34 (3DO), the Ur-Quan gave the Ilwrath modern weaponry and drive systems which they previously lacked. Additionally, the Ilwrath captain dialog indicates that the Ur-Quan improved the Ilwrath's starships and weapons 29 years prior to the events of Star Control II.
- 2From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
- 23:21 <@Meep-Eep> < Shiver-> I've been kicking this around a while: Was the Ilwrath Avenger ever meant to be visible to the player controlling it while cloaked? With online play this feature could enhance the ship a good deal.
- 23:42 <@fOSSiL> So, not to press the question, but was the Ilwrath Avenger ever meant to be visible while cloaked to the player controlling it?
- 23:43 <@fOSSiL> re Avenger; Now with netplay it could be done pretty well.
- 23:43 <+PR3> We meant for the Ilwrath's cloak to somewhat affect that ship's captain as well, though it was not a huge issue.