Armored Core Analogs: Hydra Multi-missiles

Much like the mythical creature from where it takes its name, the Multi-missile pack is one weapon most people dread. While it doesn’t have the phenomenal stopping power of the other back mounts, the Hydra’s strength lies in its surprise – four missiles erupting from the main body to engulf the enemy, and cut off their attempts at escape.

Hydra - it's like getting stabbed in the face three times plus one, simultaneously

The swarm was nearly difficult to dodge especially in its Another Age incarnation, and while it’s been dumbed down somewhat in the later AC games, the Hydra was still dangerous. It doesn’t have the raw damage output of the other weapons, but who ever said it was the missile that’s going to kill you?

In one moment you’re distracted with trying to dodge the missiles, the next you’re getting sucker-punched with a faceful of grenade. The Hydra wasn’t dangerous because it hurt, it was dangerous it kept you distracted. But then again, there’s always that nasty blind spot in the center which a somewhat confused enemy might take advantage of.

Ironically, today’s analog to the Hydra’s MIRV technology wasn’t just some annoying little distraction meant to make it easier for another weapon to blow your AC away. In fact, it was probably enough to vaporize your AC…along with everything else within a hundred square miles.

First manufactured by the Russians in the 70s, the SS-18 is quite literally one of the biggest, baddest ways mankind has ever dreamed up to blast us back to the stone age. The missile towers above at 121 feet, weighs 216 tons, and has an estimated range of 10,000 nautical miles.

In fact, when it first appeared, the SS-18 gave NATO such a scare they named it after the only other big, bad mofo they knew: Satan

Um, no, let’s try that again…
Russia and huge missiles...ever wonder if they were compensating for something?

While the Satan missile (don’t you just love that name?) first launched with a single 25-megaton warhead, it was eventually upgraded with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) technology, enabling it to carry 10 independent warheads, rated at up to 750 kilotons each.

So in short, instead of having to deal with one big warhead, defenders on the US’ side had to worry about a missile that could launch up to ten nukes. And that’s just one Satan – did we mention that on last count, Russia had 308 Satan missiles?

Ten razed cities for the price of one. Now that’s a bargain!

So the next time you’re facing down a Hydra, be happy From Software decided not take a cue from the Russians, and decide to equip your enemy’s AC with a portable version of Armageddon.

…at least not yet.