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Raptor Guide by Elemental Emeralds

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 05/05/2006

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                      Copyright 2005-2006 Brian Cirnitski


[0100] I. Contents


I.    [0100] Contents
II.   [0200] Introduction
III.  [0300] Raptor vs. Infantry
IV.   [0400] Raptor vs. Ground Vehicles
         a. [0401] Scorpion
         b. [0402] SPMA
         c. [0403] Hellbender
         d. [0404] Energy Turret
         e. [0405] Paladin
         f. [0406] Manta
         g. [0407] Goliath
         h. [0408] Leviathan
V.    [0500] Raptor vs. Aerial Vehicles
         a. [0501] Cicada
         b. [0502] Raptor
VI.   [0600] Credits
VII.  [0700] Version History
VIII. [0800] Contact Information
IX.   [0900] Predictable Legal Stuff


[0200] II. Introduction


This guide is split into three sections; it covers how to take on infantry, 
ground vehicles, and other aerial vehicles while in a Raptor. I'm sure some 
of you are wondering how I can write so much on a single vehicle, so very 
simply, it's an obsession of mine, and I just can't resist flying in ONS. But 
in my own defense, I suppose that Raptor pilots and non-Raptor pilots alike 
could use this guide to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of every 
vehicle. Now, the Raptor is unique because it's the only flyer in the entire 
game besides the Cicada, which simply makes a mockery of the Raptor's agility 
and drives like a freakin' boat. Here is the imagination behind this vehicle, 
taken directly from the Unreal Tournament 2004 instruction manual:

The Raptor maintains a stranglehold on combat air superiority. Constructed of 
tritanium-ceramic alloys, the airframe allows fast response and high 
durability. A grid array of magneto-conducting cells covers its wings, 
powered by dual phase-induction plasma turbines. The grid array vectors 
gravity away from whichever direction the pilot chooses, allowing the Raptor 
to accelerate. Armed with two solid-state plasma projectors and a homing 
missile mount, the Raptor can decimate specific targets very quickly, 
although Raptor pilots must be cautious of guided rockets or Stationary 
Turret attacks from the ground.

Mouse: Steering
Forward/Backward: Accelerate/Reverse
Strafe Left/Strafe Right: Strafe
Jump: Ascend
Crouch: Descend
Fire: Fire Plasma Projector
Alt-Fire: Fire Homing Missile (Locks on to Mantas and Raptors only)


[0300] III. Raptor vs. Infantry


This section is fairly straightforward, but there are still some troubling 
elements to assaulting ground troops. The best example it the mighty AVRiL, a 
weapon designed specifically to give infantry a fighting chance against 
vehicles. A good Raptor pilot must always be aware of when he or she can take 
a missile; a Raptor's will do a decent 150 damage, whereas an AVRiL will 
inflict a whopping 200. The Raptor only has 300 health, meaning that any 
back-to-back combination of just two missiles will kill you. Flying low may 
help to avoid detection, but if you're discovered, try to take cover. If you 
think you won't be able to make it in time, there are several ways you can 
react, depending upon your proximity to the player. If you're shot and are 
far enough away to land without being repeatedly fired upon, do so, and heal 
your Raptor with the Link Gun (make sure you have one on hand at all times). 
Also, keep in mind that an AVRiL will seek your Raptor only as long as you 
remain inside it, unlike a Raptor's missile. You can dive down to the ground, 
hop out with the Shieldgun, and get back in once the danger has passed.

If you are rather close to the enemy, and you can withstand a missile, use 
the AVRiL's slow firing rate to your advantage and try to kill the assailant 
with the Raptor's primary fire or by running him or her over. On the other 
hand, you could simply continue as you were. As soon as your opponent gets 
off a second AVRiL, however, immediately dive, jump out, and finish the fight 
on foot. Hopefully, your Raptor will be close by and with enough health left. 
In addition, just because you don't receive the missile lock-on warning, it 
doesn't mean that you aren't in someone's sights with an AVRiL zooming 
towards you. Be careful of those that don't bother with the lock-on or use it 
too late for you to dodge.

Other hand-held weapons that are effective against a Raptor are the Shock 
Rifle, the Lightning Gun, and to a much lesser extent, the Sniper Rifle. The 
Minigun's secondary fire will also whittle away at your health and the Flak 
Cannon and Link Gun are both dangerous up close, as always. None of these 
compare to an AVRiL, however, so you don't have to be as tense. Just don't 
underestimate their stopping power and let yourself get shot at. To make this 
simple, the basic methods used against infantrymen wielding AVRiLs can be 
used against those brandishing these weapons as well, such as skirting around 
under cover, healing your Raptor when damaged, and concentrating on return 
fire. Beware of the Shock Rifle, though. It can knock you around with enough 
force to make counterattacking difficult. You may want to try disappearing 
and reappearing from a different direction to startle your opponent and throw 
him or her off balance.

Now, one of my favorite things to do is running people over. Players on foot 
can sometimes be even more dangerous than those in vehicles, so if you spot 
prey dashing across open ground or doing something similarly distracting like 
attempting to speed up the construction process of a Power Node, take the 
time to pick a spot and intercept your opponent at that point, crushing him 
or her flat. Again, be sure to come in low, but not too low so that you're 
already scraping the ground. You might create enough noise to alert your 
target, or you might catch on a sudden protrusion and toss yourself off 
course entirely. Pull back hard and plop down on your enemy at the last 
moment, then simply lift off and proceed onwards (or if the land really is 
flat enough, race across the ground for the final few seconds and don't even 
bother slowing down). If you don't want to risk missing, however, then just 
close in and quickly fill your opponent with plasma. Either way, don't do 
something stupid like make yourself vulnerable to an AVRiL attack by passing 
directly overhead. If you still want to leave your enemy stranded in the 
middle of nowhere, and therefore effectively useless to the rest of his or 
her team, then circle around and keep yourself out of sight.


[0400] IV. Raptor vs. Ground Vehicles


[0401] a. Scorpion

The Scorpion is one of several perfectly shaped ground targets, although it's 
by far the smallest. Just keep your lasers on target and it'll be scrap metal 
in no time. As with all other enemy vehicles, you don't want to get too close 
to a Scorpion, either on foot or in a Raptor. The plasma ribbon can be 
deceptively dangerous to vehicles and infantrymen alike, and the twin sling 
arms will cut any player down to size with terrible efficiency, although 
their range isn't nearly as impressive.

[0402] b. SPMA

This vehicle's primary fire resembles that of a Goliath's in the sense that 
it will tear through your Raptor with ease. It's even more inaccurate than 
the Goliath's, however, and so you shouldn't be afraid to approach an SPMA. 
It presents just as great a victim, and it may as well be just as slow. Pound 
it with your primary fire, or knock it over and kill the driver (and 
passenger, if there is one). Just make sure you know when the Side Turret is 
manned, which is identical to that of the Hellbender's.

The SPMA's secondary fire also deploys a hovering camera used to coordinate 
bombardments from a distance, and this is where the SPMA really shines on 
open maps. Thankfully, you don't need a Raptor to take care of such a threat; 
all you have to do is fire an AVRiL at the camera. Just before reaching it, 
the missile will veer off in the direction of the SPMA itself, undoubtedly 
catching the driver off guard. If you don't have an AVRiL, then any weapon 
could still be used to shoot the camera down. This doesn't guarantee that the 
driver won't simply deploy another one, but it's still distracting.

[0403] c. Hellbender

The Hellbender is almost as large as the SPMA, while retaining the Scorpion's 
decent maneuverability. All this really translates to is yet another moving 
target, so have fun tearing it apart with your Plasma Projectors or 
bulldozing into it. Watching a Hellbender driver struggling to maintain 
control with no way of retaliating is always amusing, but not when he or she 
has the help of a few passengers. The driver could also stop and switch to 
the Side or Rear Turrets by pressing the Assault Rifle or Bio-Rifle keybinds, 
so don't get too confident while taking on a single person in one of these.

Now, on to the true power behind this vehicle. The Side Turret's primary fire 
releases a flurry of shock balls, and the secondary fire detonates them in a 
domino effect. This can be absolutely devastating to infantry and other 
ground vehicles, but not so much to nimble flyers. The secondary fire also 
acts like a regular shock beam when used in the absence of shock balls, 
although it's much slower and less effective. Desperation is usually apparent 
when the operator resorts to this.

The Rear Turret is an all-around threat, capable of charging and unleashing 
twin laser beams. A couple of shots will destroy a Raptor, so this isn't some 
petty Shock Rifle. Dodge like hell, rain down your own laser blasts, and hope 
that the turret operator has poor aim. This is where plowing into something 
isn't just fun - it's a useful tactic. Force out the riders and you have a 
far better chance of surviving than they do. It's also a sign of weakness 
when the turret operator doesn't fully charge his or her shots, and the 
almost nonexistent knockback effect here will surely guarantee you a kill if 
the operator doesn't fix that mistake before you can take advantage of it.

[0404] d. Energy Turret

These tend to tick me off far more than any Hellbender's Rear Turret. This 
stationary vehicle is a really spammy version of the Shock Rifle, and it will 
toss you around mercilessly. The alternating beams don't feel nearly as 
solid, however, and the operator may become slightly disoriented without 
being able to determine whether his or her shots are hitting their mark. The 
zoom scope might help, but all you have to do is keep yourself balanced out 
between the misses and get enough shots in, and if you can stay on target, 
fly a good distance away to where the beams can't reach. You could also land 
behind cover, fire AVRiLs overhead, and direct them at the Energy Turret by 
quickly sidestepping the obstruction. Needless to say, an actual lock-on 
isn't necessary, and other than that, you can use similar strategies to the 
ones you would for a normal Shock Rifle.

[0405] e. Paladin

The Shieldgun is a very useful weapon for both deflecting enemy fire and 
lessening fall damage, but to make a vehicle out of such a gun? Well, it's 
worked with the Shock Rifle, so why not? This thing is incredible; the 
Paladin's shield barrier can even withstand a full Redeemer blast. It does 
have some major weaknesses, however. First, the shield's energy depletes with 
every shot, leaving the driver vulnerable after it's gone. Second, the shield 
only covers a portion of the tank, and the turret, which rotates rather 
slowly, directs it. Finally, larger objects such as infantry and vehicles can 
pass right through it. Dance around the shield and fire on the exposed 
portions, and don't be afraid to eat away at the shield when you don't have a 
clear shot. Or, if the shield ticks you off too much, approach from the side, 
breach it, and knock the whole thing over!

Now, that's merely the secondary fire; the primary fire launches an odd ball 
of purple energy. It sinks slightly as it flies through the air, and the rate 
of fire isn't great, but the impact is certainly heard and felt by its 
victims. The main turret also controls this, however, and it can be evaded 
rather easily. But this unique vehicle still has one more trick up its sleeve 
- the primary fire can be used in conjunction with the secondary fire. The 
result is an energy ball exploding inside of the shield and generating a 
shock wave that radiates outward. The effects are limited in range, but it 
will kill off nearby infantry in the blink of an eye, and even obliterate 
pesky Mantas with careful timing. Or, if you choose to dive at it, Raptors. 
Be careful with this, as a Paladin tank is still hard to overturn.

[0406] f. Manta

This one is going to be hard to describe. The Manta almost seems like the 
Raptor's land counterpart in how fluid its movements can be, and the unique 
ability to jump. This makes a competent Manta pilot very difficult to strike 
down with a Raptor's missile. To make it easier on yourself, always damage 
unoccupied enemy Mantas. Then you only need one more shot if an opponent 
doesn't heal it up afterwards, and even then, you force him or her to waste 
precious time and ammo in what could be a frantic fight to the finish. You 
should also do this with enemy Raptors whenever you can.

Now, the Manta experiences the same sort of lag that a Raptor does in abrupt 
turns, so try to predict when your opponent will change directions and fire. 
This is when he or she will try to jump and avoid the missile, so if you're 
directly overhead or far enough away for the missile to curve upwards, it's 
over. Other than that, the Manta doesn't have anything in the way of 
armaments that will seriously threaten an airborne Raptor. Being crushed by 
one isn't pleasant, though, so be careful while on foot. Make sure you always 
have an AVRiL to accompany that Link Gun, and travel through the brush if you 
can. Quietly stalk these speedy vehicles and launch missiles without locking-
on so that they'll have no warning of an attack beforehand.

[0407] g. Goliath

If you want to go on a Killing Spree, get in a Goliath. I look at it as a 
mini-me version of the Leviathan, sort of like the Scorpion is to the 
Hellbender. This vehicle's main cannon will tear apart either, though. The 
only three vehicles that have a chance against an experienced tank driver are 
the Cicada, the Raptor, and of course, the Leviathan. The Leviathan simply 
has so much health and firepower, whereas the two flyers can exploit the 
Goliath's biggest weakness - a blind spot directly above it, where the turret 
cannot reach. Be sure to stay in this dead zone, use your primary fire, and 
take into account when your opponent is traversing inclines.

The passenger is still in control of the tank's minigun, though, which can 
fire where the main gun cannot. It's just as hard to distinguish between hits 
and misses as with the Energy Turret, minus the knockback effect. You should 
be able to take out the tank before the tank can take you out in this way, so 
concentrate fire and try to avoid the minigun. The minigun also has a blind 
spot directly above it, although it's far smaller than the main cannon's. Try 
to stay within it, but realize that it will might not be worth the effort. If 
the driver abandons the tank, and it's not heavily damaged, hop in. As with 
the Leviathan, a Goliath can make a lot of difference in a power struggle.

[0408] h. Leviathan

If there's one thing I love more than running people over, it's pissing off 
Leviathans! I know I've still got it if I can take one down single-handedly 
and not need to desperately heal my Raptor afterwards. This really is a test 
of how much rhythm you have in one of the most graceful vehicles around, and 
there's no substitute like it. You'll largely have to feel it out for 
yourself; all I can tell you is how seriously you need to master orbiting a 
target for the Leviathan. And that's as slowly as you can so that you stay 
just out of the rockets' reach (the driver's a moron if he or she deploys 
solely to take you on), and yet keep from spinning yourself out. The idea is 
to maintain control and tease the driver at the same time while avoiding any 
hits. One or two is fine, as they each do only 50 damage a pop. Just be sure 
to get back into the swing of things before you take considerable damage.

Your job will become vastly more challenging with even just one or two 
passengers; the lasers travel fast and quickly become your main threat. But 
again, you have to learn that rhythm yourself. Go ahead and have some fun on 
Instant Action, as bots will always jump in the Leviathan at the start of 
ONS-RedPlanet. Immediately fly to the other base and raise hell! Other than 
that, if your opponent hops out of a Leviathan and it isn't even smoking yet, 
jump in, jump in, jump in! A Leviathan on your team's side can make all the 
difference in the final rush.


[0500] V. Raptor vs. Aerial Vehicles


[0501] a. Cicada

You're kidding, right? The Cicada is quick only in its vertical movements. 
This may be ideal for ducking behind cover, as I sometimes wish was the case 
with the Raptor, but I prefer decent horizontal propulsion much more. I also 
prefer being able to lock-on, as all the Cicada can do is highlight a 
specific area and release a volley of rocket fire. It can launch pairs of 
these potentially damaging rockets very quickly, however, and the passenger-
manned lower laser turret can swat the Raptor around like only an Energy 
Turret could. To avoid both threats, simply climb above the Cicada and 
release your own volley of rocket fire. Just be sure not to bail out in sight 
of one, as the Cicada is still particularly effective against infantry with 
its higher health capacity, ability to throw off AVRiLs, and of course, 
spammy rocket fire.

[0502] b. Raptor

A Raptor's missile is shaken off far more effortlessly than an AVRiL. It's 
easier to shoot down another Raptor if you close ranks, but distance isn't 
the most important factor here. It's all revolves around the angle, as a 
matter of fact. The Raptor experiences some lag while turning abruptly, and 
it's most vulnerable during this time. Try to predict when your opponent will 
attempt to change directions and fire. If your opponent is distracted, 
however, then take advantage of this opportunity and attack him or her from 
directly above, below, or behind. These are the common directions in which 
one will dodge to escape an incoming missile. Then previous or upcoming rules 
apply, depending upon how the enemy Raptor reacts.

If you get into a ring-around-the-rosie missile fight, things become a lot 
more complicated, assuming that your adversary is at least competent. Now 
it's all about how patient you are. Wait for your opponent to spin him or 
herself out and hit an obstruction, while making sure you don't make the same 
mistake yourself. Keep a constant barrage of missiles underway, even if you 
think they won't hit, and never resort to the Raptor's primary fire. Try to 
maneuver yourself and disrupt the never-ending circle so that you'll have a 
better shot, and be sure never to get frustrated and leave the fight. There 
are better ways to commit suicide, as your opponent will undoubtedly hunt you 
down and kill you, unless you bail out under sufficient cover and/or have an 
AVRiL tucked away and ready for use.


[0600] VI. Credits


- GameFAQs and any other websites that may accept my guide. Thanks!
- MrShotgun, for inspiration on the new numbering system and Version History 
  formatting, based on his Metroid Prime: Hunters FAQ/Walkthrough.
- Epic, for creating such a great game in the first place.
- And, as lame as it will sound, you, the reader!


[0700] VII. Version History


Version 1.0
May 28th, 2005
I reformatted this guide to GameFAQs requirements once I had spent a week 
writing it up for clanmates. I've gone over it thoroughly one last time, and 
it should hopefully be ready for submission.

Version 1.1
May 5th, 2006
Wow, about a year later. I had posted this and put it from mind, but every 
once in a while certain things would pop into memory and start bothering me, 
so I finally tweaked those items. See the newly entitled copyright section
(Predictable Legal Stuff) for some elaboration.


[0800] VIII. Contact Information


If you would like to submit any comments or suggestions via e-mail, then my 
address is spykid1@optonline.net. There's a good chance that I won't respond 
directly, but if you help me out in any way, such as identifying mistakes or 
submitting hints and tips, I'll add your name to the credits (please include 
it), as well as your contribution to my guide. Thank you!


[0900] IX. Predictable Legal Stuff


Yeah, I had here before the default GameFAQs copyright information, and what 
a weak way to end the guide. So here's the new deal: I honestly don't care 
what you do with this. Just please give credit where it's due, and perhaps 
even send me an e-mail if you intend to post it on another site, m'kay?

Anyway, see you all in Unreal Tournament 2007; I may even create an updated 
guide for the new Raptor (it's looking pretty badass so far), but who knows. 
First I wouldn't mind doing another proofread here and cleaning up some of 
the corny stuff. Meh, whatever, I'll get to it eventually. ;)

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