The Flood Ranged Form is a type of Flood Pure Form from Halo 3. It is formed when a Flood Stalker Form is damaged or chooses to mount itself in a stationary position either on the walls, ceiling, or, with less frequency, on the ground. It has a mouth-like protrusion that opens up to reveal a living missile platform of regenerating spikes. These spikes will relentlessly pelt the player if exposed, and are very irritating and oppressive. They also exhibit a behavior unlike any other in the Flood arsenal. When fired upon these forms will curl up to shield their heads, their weak point. To fully disable them the player must stop firing until they reveal their weak point once more, or continue firing until they die, regardless of their defensive posture. When the Pure Form is killed on a wall or ceiling, they will fall off. They can be compared directly with Carbine-carrying Sniper Jackals earlier in the game in regards to range, damage, accuracy and relative annoyance and it is not unreasonable to mistake them for infected drones due to their insectile nature.
Techniques for Killing Ranged FormsEdit
Ranged Forms are very powerful on the battlefield and thus are extremely difficult to dispatch, without first exposing yourself to fire. Your first goal should be to close the distance as normally you can, only tell which direction they are firing from- they blend in quite well in the dark places they inhabit and are hard to see. When you are within sighting range, any weapon with any sort of range will do, the Plasma Rifle and the Brute Spiker used in short bursts (long bursts with the Plasma Rifle causes it to overheat, not good on the level Cortana) seem to do just as well as more accurate weapons like the Carbine and the Battle Rifle, and are more common on a Flood infested battlefield so they may be your only choice. Note that Plasma Rifles and Brute Spikers are found easily therefore, one should be kept as a precaution. The Ranged Form is an anomaly in the mostly melee-based Flood combat and are normally hard to kill due to the simple fact that you do not normally have the ranged weapons required to take one out. In this case, well-placed Plasma Grenades and/or Spike Grenades work well, and so does a Firebomb, which requires much less accuracy as it explodes on impact next to the enemy. Ultimately, if you get within melee distance of a Ranged Form they are just as easily destroyed as any other combat form with close ranged weapons like the Brute Mauler, Shotgun, Gravity Hammer, Energy Sword or a melee attack with any weapon. As true with all Pure forms the Flamethrower is an excellent weapon, as do dual-wielding Spikers and Sentinel Beam.
On the level Cortana, a very helpful strategy is to hide from them and pick them off the wall with the Brute Shot. The reason why the Brute Shot is a good choice for these Pure Forms is because one or two grenades will, while not killing them out right (on Normal, it is possible to kill a Ranged Form with 2 well placed shots), knock them off the wall they tend to be stuck to allowing you to get close enough to kill them effectively. The Brute Shot's higher melee attack damage should kill them in one hit after knocking them off. A good strategy when dealing with Ranged Forms particularly on one-to-one, is to continually advance towards them, dodging their projectiles, and melee them. This is quite effective since it usually takes one melee to dispose of them, and combined with the Brute Shot idea mentioned above is even more useful a strategy.
One very helpful thing to do is dropping Deployable Cover because the shield cannot be weakened or penetrated by the needles they shoot. There are many deployable covers on the levels Cortana and Floodgate for just this purpose. If you are having trouble noticing when a Ranged Form is dead, take note in this fact: They tend to drop to one side when fatally injured and drop two spike grenades. Using plasma, spike and fire bomb grenades is very effective on this species of Flood. When attacking at medium to medium-long range, using the Covenant Needler is very effective even if you just use burst fire (which is good for conserving ammo, rather than spraying it everywhere). On the level Cortana, dual-wielding Plasma Rifles are very effective due to the combined rate of fire, their weakness to Plasma and the fact that they just stand there as they got shot at.
Like many Flood Forms, Ranged Forms possess a small cluster of sensory appendages emitting from their "mouths". These are located at the base of the abdomen, below the rows of projectile spines. One of the simplest ways to dispatch a Ranged Form is to target this sensory cluster while it is in a dormant state. While Ranged Forms can absorb impressive volumes of damage while dormant, a few well-placed shots to the "mouth" will kill them, you can also make them go dormant by shooting them in the "face", located at the front near the bottom. This will cause them to stop shooting, making it easier to kill them.. It should be noted that on higher difficulties, killing a Ranged Form with the Flamethrower will sometimes result in a Spike Grenade explosion. Meleeing ranged forms is an instant kill on any difficulty because they tip over.
- Floodgate (Rare, encountered near the end but not for most of the level).
- The Covenant (Very rare, usually Stalker forms mutate into Tank forms rather than Ranged).
- Cortana (Very common, all over the walls and ceilings)
- Halo (Very common).
- The Ranged Flood Form is universally labeled by most players (along with the Drones) as the "Most Annoying Enemy", due to their extremely high rate of fire, accuracy, and relative resistances to many weapons (such as the Assault Rifle).
- When they transform into another Flood Form, their habit of "eating" a grenade tagged to them and making it disappear has earned them a reputation, as an "even cheaper and more annoying" foe, complying entirely with the last statement.
- They are first seen on Floodgate.
- When it fires its spines, the area around it glows as though it was firing a bullet weapon.
- They are unaffected by the Tough Luck Skull.
- Usually, a Stalker Form will crawl onto the wall or ceiling, and then transform into a Ranged form.
- Ranged Forms create its spikes from combat detritus.
- Ranged Forms fire spikes that look similar to the Brute Spiker.
- They are the only Pure Form that cannot walk. Once the Stalker mutates into it, it is stuck in that spot until it dies or mutates again.
- Although it's not very common, it is possibly to gain Ranged Forms as allies on the Covenant when you team up with the Flood, they are gained as allies sometimes when the jump pack Brutes have not been killed yet.
- Ranged Forms are sometimes incorrectly deemed by players as infected Grunts, though this is wrong because they are a pure form.
- Though Ranged Forms are indeed Pure Forms, they bare a resemblance to Huragok.
- Despite not being developed until late in the Human-Covenant war, Ranged forms can be seen in the Halo: Legends episode Origins.