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The Quetzal is a drone carrier aircraft used by Foehn, which carries a Quetzal Eyes drone that marks enemy targets for a powerful orbital strike.

Official description

The Quetzal is a drone control airship, there is no simpler way to explain what it is. Underneath its body, three spherical drones, its Eyes, will continuously scan the area nearby for enemy threats, giving the Quetzal quite an impressive line of sight, that exceeds most of the vehicles or aircraft currently in service. Additionally, these drones will conceal the Quetzal's presence on the enemy radars.

The real purpose of the Quetzal's drone however, is target marking. The airship can send its drones at great ranges to scout and mark the spot where an orbital strike will follow shortly afterwards. These attacks, especially effective against enemy structures, involve hybrid bombs, which are released at high velocity and explode violently upon impact. The drones can be destroyed with anti-aircraft weapons, however, the Quetzal keeps spares and is capable of producing new ones - it will replace them in no time after the currently used set of its Eyes is no longer functional.[1]

Overview

Quetzal is Foehn's Tier 3 siege aircraft. It is known for being the anti-structure aircraft with the greatest range, making it a grand substitute for terrestrial siege units. Each Quetzal is armed with a Quetzal Eyes drone that is easily replaced. The released Eyes can mark its target for an orbital strike. Once the Eyes mark it, the orbital strike can't be prevented. A single orbital strike can damage buildings quite effectively. Groups of Quetzals can flatten bases quickly. The Eyes also divert the attention of anti-aircraft defenses away from Quetzals, therefore allowing them to safely siege defenses from a distance most of the time. Left unattended, a squadron of Quetzals can flatten bases quickly.

Quetzals use stealth based technology similar to the Allied Barracuda, making them invisible on enemy radar. With their stealth, Quetzals are capable of leading surprise attacks even if the opponent is sharp in using the minimap.

However, Quetzals are not without weaknesses. If the Eyes failed to mark its target, the attack will never happen. If the Eyes get destroyed, it would take some time to get a replacement. Alert enemy commanders will manually order their anti-air defenses to fire at the Quetzal itself instead of its Eyes, reducing the Quetzal's effectiveness against human opponents. Bombardments also have a delay, making them ineffective against fast, mobile units. Last but not least, they are expensive to build as well (its price is second only to the Kirov Airship).

AI behavior

Quetzals controlled by the AI has the following attack patterns:

All difficulties

  • 2x targeting the closest structure/defense

Medium/Hard

Hard

  • 4x targeting offensive superweapons (including Fake Psychic Dominator)

Assessment

+
  • Very effective against structures.
  • Flying drone ship can safely siege base defenses except anti-aircraft defenses.
  • Long attack range.
  • Invisible on radar.
  • Fairly durable.
  • Quetzal Eyes can distract anti-air defenses.
  • After a target is successfully marked, the consequent orbital strike is impossible to stop.
  • Can self-repair.
-
  • Slow-moving.
  • Cannot attack air units.
  • Quetzal Eyes can be destroyed by anti-air weapons.
  • Bombardment has a long delay, commences only after the Eyes have successfully marked the target's coordinates.
  • Every attack requires a successfully acquired target.
  • Fast-moving units can evade its bombardments.
  • Vulnerable to anti-air fire.
  • Very expensive.

Trivia

  • The Quetzal's name and some of its quotes draw references to the Nahua feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl, who is also known as the god of the morning star.
    • The Quetzal's internal name is also called Quetzalcoatl.
  • The Quetzal bears resemblances to the Hammerhead in Tiberian Twilight.
  • According to unused quotes (see Quotes), the Quetzal originally had an ability to drop mines.
  • The Quetzal's sound when locking onto a target is actually a higher pitched version of the GDI Orbital Strike support power when the latter's target is selected from Tiberium Wars.

External links

References

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