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You know, if it weren't for the packs of flesh eating armadillos, this would be a nice place.

Daxter in reference to Brink Island, The Lost Frontier

Armadillos[1] are enemies in The Lost Frontier. They are among several hostile creatures encountered at successive levels of mutation in and around the Brink and Aeropan facilities, and are commonly typified as "pawns" due to their expendability and low armor.[2]

HistoryEdit

The presence of the armadillos and their hostile behavior are unexplained, though it is presumed they were experimented on by the Aeropans as part of the Dark Warrior Program, and either were released in or escaped to the wild. They are encountered in three missions, each time as different variations related to their environment. The third variation, however, has fully developed into a dark eco mutant, in a way similar to the successive levels of mutation observed in mutant apes, voltaic eels, and ghoul spiders.

The first variation is encountered on a small stretch of Brink Island where the mission "Find green eco fuel" takes place. They appear to be the least mutated, still retaining a natural light brown color and exhibiting no unnatural abilities. Although equally as hostile, they are weaker than their volcano and dark counterparts and possess only a bite and roll attack.

Volcano armadillo render

A volcano armadillo.

The second variation is encountered throughout the Brink volcano, where the mission "Search volcano for eco seeker" takes place. This version has a much darker skin color, and most notably can breathe fire. The shell is humped higher and sits lower to the ground compared to the taller-standing Brink armadillo.

Armored armadillo render.png
An armored armadillo.
Aeropan commandos with armored armadillos screen.png
Aeropan commandos with armored armadillos.

The third variation is encountered in the old Aeropan barracks during the mission "Search the barracks for seeker piece". They are utilized as both premises defense and personal attack dogs by Aeropan commandos. In the former case they are kept in cages until an intruder arrives, at which point the cage doors open and the armadillos roll out. In the latter case, they are leashed on an energy tether before being released to sic the intruder. This variation has a light silver-purple colored shell with dark-colored legs, head, and tail, with a more shallow shell, longer legs, and larger spines. Said spines are used as projectiles which they will occasionally launch toward their target as their special attack.

CharacteristicsEdit

The armadillo has the body mass of a giant armadillo but a body plan familiar to that of the long-nosed armadillo (albeit with only a few bands). However, it also possesses three rows of large spikes strong enough to bust open crates without forceful collision,[3] along with sharp teeth, wide jaws, and red beady eyes. The armor is segmented into two parts, separated by a softer set of bands, and is formed by plates of dermal bone covered in small epidermal warts and scales, giving it a characteristic leathery appearance.

The armadillo is a prolific digger, with very large claws adapted for burrowing underground, an action which it often uses to its advantage in combat. It seems to be insectivore, as when idle can be observed gnawing into the ground to pick out food which it will proceed to chew. However, considering its hostile nature and Daxter referring to the creatures as "flesh eating",[1] it may be carnivorous in general.

When idle before spotting prey, the armadillo will not burrow, indicating it dwells primarily above ground. It is very aggressive once it spots prey, but will quickly burrow underground if said prey moves out of range, and will reemerge when it moves back. While the dark variation is never observed burrowing, as the area in which it inhabits contains no soft terrain, it is presumed it still retains the physical ability.

CombatEdit

Combative and evasive tactics for the Brink armadillos are fairly straightforward. As you will not yet have equipped weapon mods for your Gunstaff (unless you revisit the area), you will have to rely on melee attacks. The spin kick (Circle) works well when flanked, though two are required to finish one off, compared to only one with the punch attack (Square). The only down sides to the punch are its lack of fluidity and undeviating line of attack. Beware of the armadillo's roll maneuver, which is its most dangerous as it is very fast. It will use this attack upon first spotting you, so side-step its line of attack before it reaches you (a task proven sometimes difficult due to poor camera control).

Volcano armadillos are a simpler engagement, as they can easily be shot from a distance with the Blaster, or taken out en masse at short range with the Scatter Gun, each weapon requiring only a couple shots. However, they are still easily taken out with melee attacks in the same fashion as their Brink counterparts. One noticeable caveat to these enemies is their fire breath, which is short-ranged and very quick, only a danger when not paying attention or when flanked.

The armored armadillos, also known as armored hounds, are considerably stronger, requiring up to five punch attacks to defeat. Additionally they are much more of a nuisance, as in combination with their bite and roll attacks, they are capable of clinching their abdomen to discharge their spines, which will thereafter regenerate and are fairly harmful. The best strategy to take on these enemies is to release a barrage of gun fire in combination with successive melee attacks.

Behind the scenesEdit

Brink armadillo concept art.png
Brink armadillo beta.png
Early concept art of the armadillo (top), with gameplay featuring the early version (bottom).

Early concepts (pictured right top) of the Brink armadillo featured purple armor, a furry tail, a bearded chin, armored or mechanical legs, only a single row of spikes down the back, and one large claw on each fore paw (akin to the giant armadillo). This concept made it to beta (pictured right bottom), but was later changed in favor of the current appearance.

ReferencesEdit

Citations
Aeropan faction
Enemies from the Jak and Daxter series

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