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Nothing lasts forever.
—Malver

Malver is the hero of the Scorpion Cell.

Official description

A man who conquered the dunes by himself and lived out most of his life in solitude in the Western Sahara. A man most people speak of only in whispers and whose enemies dare not name at all. Malver's existence has only been recently uncovered due to past encounters with him almost never leaving any survivors behind. He is believed to have been affiliated with the first leader of the Scorpion Cell, Rashidi, from the beginning, as well as being introduced to Yuri through him after the Cell was included into the Epsilon Army. Since then, Malver follows the orders of Yuri's proselytes, but he is not afraid to remind them that, given Scorpion Cell is ever betrayed, their lives would be forfeit.

Malver has retained a special place among Yuri's ranks as he is one of the few people in the world to have mastered psychic abilities completely on his own through intense meditation. He spent years trying to learn how to move objects with his mind, which resulted in him creating a weapon made purely with psychokinesis. He perfected the psychic movement of matter down to the molecular level with this power manifesting itself as a blade. This blade is so thin, it can cut through even the thickest of armor like cloth.

Additionally, Malver specializes in dampening and even suppressing the cognitive abilities of others, allowing Malver to physically and mentally compromise his opponents, making them slower, weaker and more susceptible to damage. To further augment his abilities as an assassin, Epsilon has granted Malver the exclusive use of a man-portable Chimera Core, permanently rendering him invisible to the naked eye and radar. Naturally, Yuri is not one to leave such a powerful piece of equipment in the hands of a potential enemy and has therefore ordered "failsafes" to be installed in the core in the event of Malver turning against the Epsilon.[1]

Overview

You have my permission to die.
—Malver on the hunt

Malver is a peculiar hero unit to say the least. While the majority of units within the category are geared towards destructive power, range, survivability, and speed, Scorpion Cell's hero has almost none of those strengths and instead chooses a major advantage that none of the other hero units have at their disposal: stealth. With a portable stealth generator, a psychokinetic blade, and his own mind at his disposal, Malver is a hero unit that is easily underestimated by his enemies - but such foolhardy first impressions can come at great costs.

His primary purpose is to wage covert warfare and to cause mass chaos for both the enemy commanders and their troops, as he can go about his handiwork and there would be almost no traces of his presence. Malver's primary method of attack is the usage of his psychokinetic blade to disembowel unsuspecting soldiers instantly and cut vehicles to scrap within seconds. This unorthodox weapon is universally powerful against all targets regardless of their armor type. In order to retain his discreetness, he does not attack enemies automatically.

The weak shall grow weaker.
—Malver suppressing his enemies
MalverDeploy

Malver (bottom-right) suppressing Soviet forces

His special ability is to suppress enemies over a wide radius while inflicting a major penalty to their armor and firepower statistics, making them much easier to eliminate for Scorpion Cell's forces. Since most of the faction's units are rather fragile and will not hold up in a straight-on battle, Malver's presence and usage of this ability can turn the tide of the fight almost instantaneously. In fact, he can even garrison buildings and present himself as a typical Initiate while using his suppression powers from within the structure.

Malver's abilities are terrifying alone, but his greatest asset is his ability to remain unseen. Equipped with a personal Chimera Core, he can remain permanently unseen from the naked eye, even when he is attacking or using his special powers - the only way to neutralize his cloak is to use stealth detection units. What's even worse for the enemies of Scorpion Cell is that EVA units will not announce 'Unit lost!' if Malver inflicts a kill. This gives him the potential to slay entire regiments and enemy commanders would have no idea what happened to them. To further cover up his tracks, Malver does not leave corpses of infantry units that have met an unfortunate end from his psychic blade.

He is particularly effective at harassing harvesters. As EVA units will not announce any activities caused by his actions, he can decimate them without drawing any attention. Since the majority of commanders don't really pay attention to their harvesters unless they come under direct attack, this can be exploited to covertly deny resources to those who don't place great emphasis on stealth detection.

You only delay the inevitable.
—Malver, after being spotted and fired upon

Malver's presence is a great danger to any force that are fighting against Scorpion Cell, but he does have some critical weaknesses. To start, he has no means of attacking structures. Secondly, anti-stealth vehicles can and will eliminate him extremely quickly, as the majority of them (Robot Tank, Borillo/Armadillo, Stinger) are anti-infantry specialists. He is also a poor match against most hero units, and chances are he will be unable to attack them first (considering the short range of his psychic blade) before he is swiftly killed. Malver is not particularity durable either and will perish relatively quickly to anti-infantry weapons, so remaining hidden and knowing when to avoid confrontations will greatly enhance his longevity. Enemy commanders that have good awareness of the battlefield around them will also make him less effective, as he has to rely on the opponent's ignorance and lack of stealth detection to do serious damage.

Appearances

Act One

  • In Singularity, Malver is accompanied by a Virus in order to locate the PsiCorps Trooper and to destroy certain key buildings belonging to China and the Pacific Front. He cannot use his suppression ability and, along with the other two operatives, must survive the mission. Lastly, among the three Epsilon skirmish heroes, Malver is chronologically the first to become controllable in campaigns.

Act Two

  • In Divergence, Malver is sent with Rahn and four Duneriders to the PsiCorps base near an abandoned Chronosphere. Both must survive until they reach the base.
  • In the Covert Ops mission Blood Rage, Malver appears near the southwest Foehn base. When any of the player's units (including Scout Ravens) approaches him, he'll enter a Driller and leave.
  • In Obsidian Sands, where Scorpion Cell betrays Yuri, Malver can be seen traversing the desert and slaying the proselyte's units in his way. His health is increased to 99999, making it impossible to kill him. Evidently the various failsafes that Yuri installed in Malver's portable Chimera Core have failed in their job.
  • In the Covert Ops mission Survivors, Malver leads a small group of Scorpion Cell remnants not under Yuri's control to secure Neurotoxin Vats from the brainwashed Scorpion Cell forces. He and the starting Scout Raven are the only of the player's units capable of entering the range of a Mind Reader without alerting the PsiCorps forces, and he can destroy the Mind Readers with the "aid" of barrels placed near most of them. His suppression ability affects both the invading Allies and the brainwashed Scorpion Cell forces, even before the player's forces are detected (and thus are treated as an "ally" by the latter). He must remain in action until at least one of the two Scorpion Cell bases has been recaptured.

Assessment

+
  • Always stealthed and doesn't reveal himself when attacking.
  • Good against all ground units.
  • Great at harassing unsuspecting enemy units without detection capabilities.
  • Deploy to suppress enemy units in a wide zone, reducing their defence and firepower.
  • Can garrison structures.
  • Any units killed or destroyed by Malver will not trigger the "unit lost" EVA alert.
  • Can detect cloaked and submerged units.
  • Cannot be crushed by normal vehicles.
  • Can self-heal.
  • Immune to poison clouds and radiation.
  • Being a hero, cannot be mind-controlled and abducted, as well as immune to confusion rays.

  • Lightly armored.
  • Weak against stealth detection.
  • Cannot attack structures and aircraft.
  • Cannot attack while garrisoning structures.
  • Cannot attack while suppressing enemy units.
  • Only one may be present at a time.
  • Will not automatically attack enemies unless manually ordered or set to guard mode.
  • Curiously, steathed units are prone to de-cloaking when standing close to, walking, or bumping into enemy units, or if hit by any effect that normally deals zero damage to them (Megalodon with their shield on, Irritator area of confusion breaking stealth even when Malver is immune, etc).
  • Has a very high priority profile; when stealth is broken, all enemy units will try to neutralize him.

Behind the scenes

  • Malver's current, original SHP sprite is available to the public to download and use in their own mods. The link can be found here.
    • It is worth mentioning that this SHP sprite was released only 4 months before v3.3.2, which was the version that first utilized the current sprite.
  • Malver's original SHP sprite (called PsiSpy) in version 3.0 is also a public asset. It can be downloaded here .

See also

References

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