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They will never cross the river.
—A Gharial keeping enemies at bay

The Gharial is a heavy assault infantry fighting vehicle used by the Last Bastion.

Official description

Last Bastion's Gharial is an excellent companion to the Mastodon. It's been designed to fill in for all the roles, that the Bastion's heaviest tank cannot take, with the exception of engaging enemy aircraft. Striking a balance between armor and speed, the Gharial is equipped with two weapons to use against ground targets: a powerful dual integrated imploder-penetrator cannon, the same the Kingsframes use, and a set of HE grenade launchers, both of which make short work of enemy defenses and other structures.

Gharial's hull design allows its to swim, while additional space within its body works as a transport for the Foehn troops. The Last Bastion's military doctrine dictates that each new Gharial that arrives on the battlefield must arrive with 3 Knightframes already inside and awaiting orders.

All of these features are still not all that makes the Gharial special. This tank's chassis is its most valuable element, which took decades to design and perfect. With a plethora of microdevices and special materials used to construct it, Gharials are immune to all sorts of battlefield hazards and interfering devices. Among many others, the Gharial is immune to EMP, radiation, poison, freezing, confusion and even mind control.[1]

Overview

Last Bastion's Gharial, as its official description puts it as, is the polar opposite of the Mastodon. While the super heavy plasma railgun-armed tank excels at reducing vehicles into charred scrap, it cannot do much against infantry and structures. This is where the Gharial comes in to use - its weapons are very effective against both infantry and structures. They are also amphibious, meaning a wily commander can slip them behind defense lines and inflict some serious damage where the enemy might not expect a waterborne assault from. It is also preloaded with three Knightframes straight out of the War Factory in order to provide it with some infantry backup if needed.

While they are already formidably armored in their own right, Gharials are also immune to almost every known battlefield hazard (radiation, mind control, poisoning, electromagnetic pulses, etc.) meaning they are often an ideal unit that can effectively remove specialized threats without too much fear of retaliation, such as Desolators.

Gharials cannot attack aircraft and even with their heavy armor, will likely suffer heavy casualties if forced to deal with heavy base defense lines. It does not help either that Last Bastion lacks a Tier 3 dedicated anti-aircraft vehicle and artillery unit, meaning the Gharial must rely on large numbers to break through defenses while anticipating costly casualties.

In conclusion, the Gharial is an important complement to any Last Bastion armored column - especially if the commander in question plans to use Mastodons to their full potential.

Weapon stages

The Gharial uses a weapon cycle that allows it to fire different weapons on the same target. It always starts at the power cannon once it switches targets.

  • Stage 1: Lasts until 200 frames (13.3 in-game seconds). In other words, the Gharial will attack thrice with the power cannon.
  • Stage 2-3: Lasts until 340 frames (22.7 in-game seconds). In other words, the Gharial will rapidly launch 28 instances of HE grenades at its target. Once Stage 3 ends, the cycle repeats. For more details, Stage 2 lasts until 300 frames (20 in-game seconds) while Stage 3 lasts until 340 frames (22.7 in-game seconds).

Appearances

Unused Gharial prototype cameo

In the campaign Gharials appear as prototypes bearing the Soviet unit color scheme, does not come with passengers onboard and uses Gyrocopter's machine gun as primary weapon.

Act Two

  • Gharial prototypes appear in Heartwork at the start of the mission. There are also two of them in the Chinese base, but they are unarmed.
  • Gharial prototypes can be found among Yunru's forces in Machinehead. These Gharial prototypes do not fire on the player's units and cannot be mind-controlled or hijacked, which means that they are unmanned and/or unarmed.

Origins

  • In The Great Beyond, if the player uses the Chinese arsenal, eight fully functional Gharial prototypes will be sent as reinforcements during the mission, although they are not yet buildable. Two more Gharials can also be seen guarding the Nanocentrifuge.
  • Several Gharial prototypes accompany the main armored taskforce in Vanishing Point, and a limited number of them can be called in via a reinforcement support power.
  • Two Gharial prototypes are available to the player's main army in The Remnant, but are otherwise unavailable for construction.

Assessment

+
  • Effective against infantry and structures.
  • Can transport infantry.
  • Quite durable.
  • Amphibious.
  • Immune to many battlefield hazards (poison, mind control radiation, freezing, EMP)
  • Immune to depiloting, confusion rays, and omnicrush.
  • Can crush infantry and fire on the move.
  • Decent attack range.
  • Weapon deals minor splash damage.
  • Comes with 3 Knightframes.
  • Can self-repair.
  • High passenger survivability rate.
  • Cannot sink if disabled while waterborne.
-
  • Not very effective against armored vehicles.
  • Cannot attack aircraft.
  • Vulnerable to magnetic weapons and fire hazards.
  • Infantry cannot fire from inside.
  • Weak against anti-armor threats.
  • Cannot outrange advanced base defenses.

Unused content

The internal code reveals that the Gharial was supposed to have the ability to engage aerial targets, via a weapon known as "AirhackWeapon". This weapon is still declared as one of the Gharial's weapons, but unused in-game.

  • For this reason, while Gharials cannot attack air units, they still have unique lines when ordered to attack them.
  • This "air hack" weapon would function by firing a confusion weapon against aircraft, but according to the code, the appearance of this weapon's effect would look similar to disabling done by the Raccoon, Blackout Missile and Ramwagon (see example). In fact, this weapon's effect is named "AIRHACK", implying that the Gharial was the first unit to hack enemies but was ultimately cut in the final release only to have the visual effect reused by the aforementioned Foehn disablers.
  • In addition, a "ground hack" weapon can also be found, but it's not used by any unit. The code states that the weapon would disable enemy weapons similar to the Raccoon's. However, the difference is that the ground hack has a slow firing rate but has a long duration (the catch is that the cooldown between attacks and the disable duration last at the same time).

Trivia

  • The gharial is a species of crocodilian native to Northern India notable for its long thin snout and mainly feeds on fish.
  • Prior to the release of 3.3, the Gharial was first revealed as an "unidentified Chinese unit".[2]

References

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