|“|| Activating defense protocol, Defender, now.|
- CABAL, deploying the Core Defender upon the deactivation of its Firestorm walls
The Core Defender was a very large CABAL bipedal walker deployed during the Firestorm Crisis. It was superior to both the Mammoth Mk. II and the Cyborg Commando. The only known example was destroyed defending the CABAL Core in Libya at the end of the Firestorm Crisis. The concept of the single very high value unit would return during the Third Tiberium War.
The towering humanoid walker's primary weapon was a laser producing a distinctive blue beam; the laser could fire twice in rapid succession before requiring a short recharge. The laser outperformed the advanced CABAL Obelisk and could even penetrate the Firestorm barrier.
Coupled with heavy protection the Core Defender could engage and defeat much larger groups of lesser targets.
Other signs of advanced technology were the direct use of Tiberium in components, and incorporated self-repair systems.
When activated the Core Defender transformed from a static sitting position to its walker form.
The walker's design mirrors a gigantic Cyborg Commando due to various similarities in the architecture of the mech (such as the 'scorpion's tail' behind the head and design of the shoulders). The defenders gyro stabilizer system, coupled with layers of armor, powerful motorics, and stabilized fire control system enable the defender to shoot on the move (while taking damage).
Analyzing GDI's Titan flaws and advantages, CABAL designed the Defender with a personally programmed A. I. and made sure all parts of the defender were experimental to the core. Replacing the Titan's "chicken walker" style of legs with a "humanoid" style, CABAL enabled the Core defender to fire its exotic new weapon while on the move. Coupled with an advanced self repairing system and multi-layered armor, the Core Defender required a much more resource intensive effort to construct. As such, only a sole Core Defender was available when the allied GDI and Nod arrived on CABAL's doorstep. CABAL used Reaper's foot design to allow safe navigation through Tiberium Veinhole fields with ease. No other Core Defender prototypes existed at the time, meaning most of the advanced technology was destroyed along with the Defender. The blue cockpit suggests that this unit is actually a cyborg, utilizing a "human" brain and tissue in the cockpit.
The lone Core Defender was used as the last line of defense for the main CABAL Core in Libya at the end of the Firestorm Crisis. GDI and Nod discovered it and the Core's other advanced laser defenses only as their assault pressed home. It was only activated once the Core's Firestorm barrier was disabled. It was too little too late; the Core Defender merely delayed GDI's and Nod's victory. After the war Nod made the Avatar warmech which is based on the Core Defender.
The Core Defender is a super-unit with many special abilities, ranging from Tiberium and self-healing to immunity to EMP and veinhole monsters.
The long range laser approaches the damage inflicted to a single target by the ion cannon with each two-shot burst, and it has an extremely short recharge time; this makes short work of even the Mammoth Mk. II. The Core Defenders vitality is more modest: merely 12.5 times the hit points of the Mammoth Mk. II.
The Core Defender has no air defenses. Nonetheless any conventional assault requires mass. The best way to defeat the Core Defender is to train Jump jet infantry, and since it has no air defense, it will stand in place twitching. A fleet of Bombers also works fairly good. If that is not an option then throw absolutely everything you have at it including titans, artillery, tick tanks and juggernauts.
Unconventional ways of destroying the walker include destroying a bridge from underneath it, or activating the Firestorm barrier as it walks over a Firestorm wall section (care must be taken that the defender will not attack the Firestorm wall before it passes through). You are also able to destroy it by placing 2 laser wall sections on each side of Core Defender just after it becomes active. Depending on the map, it may be possible to lure the Defender onto an island then destroy the bridge to trap it, at which point it can be finished off at your leisure with air units. Alternatively, simply avoid engaging the Defender: hide a strike force near CABAL's core with several Mobile Stealth Generators, then wait for the Defender to march off towards your base. While it is busy on its rampage of destruction, attack CABAL's core to destroy it and end the mission.