|For the similarly named Tiberian Twilight unit, see Reaper (Tiberian Twilight).|
The Cyborg Reaper's existence was considered merely a rumour by the time of the Second Tiberium War. Nod secretly designed the Reapers, with very few people aware of the project. When CABAL started a rebellion against Nod and GDI during the Firestorm Crisis, all cyborgs, including the never before used Reapers, pledged their allegiance to CABAL, ignoring Nod authority completely.
CABAL used Reapers to abduct humans, so that they could be turned into more cyborgs to fuel its war machine. Reapers were ideally suited to the task as they had net launchers that could capture humans for processing into cyborgs, while also possessing missile launchers that allowed Reapers to defend themselves against any type of threat, land or air.
The Reaper is a four-legged spider-like all-terrain walker, with a Tiberium-mutated human as its operator. It is armed with a pair of multiple missile launchers effective against slow moving enemy vehicles and aircraft. These missile launchers fire a barrage of four missiles, which, though independently targeting and possessing reasonable firepower, have poor tracking capabilities and move relatively slowly.
Its main role, however, is engaging infantry. The Reaper uses a net launcher to stop them in their tracks. The nets are laced with a highly sticky substance, making it difficult for infantry to clear them. While they are incapacitated, regular cyborgs can disarm and haul away the unfortunate soldiers to be converted into cyborgs, or simply kill soldiers considered too dangerous or too weak to make proper cyborgs.
After the Firestorm Crisis, many Reapers were decommissioned and disassembled by Nod and GDI. CABAL's rebellion made Nod think twice about conducting cybernetic research and abandoned the venture. However, Kane authorized the redevelopment of the Reaper, along with cybernetic research, after the Third Tiberium War. Taking data collected from the Firestorm Crisis, the next-generation Reaper became part of Nod's defense class arsenal by the time of the Ascension Conflict.
The rockets are very powerful against both ground and air units, but they are inaccurate: if a friendly unit is near the targeted enemy unit, one of the rockets may hit the friendly unit instead. The anti-infantry weapon makes infantry immobile and vulnerable to any attack for a short period of time. This makes Reapers useful in combination with regular cyborgs. Additionally, while the Reaper has strong firepower, its armour leaves a lot to be desired.
The Reaper, unlike the cyborg, does not have "top appendage separation procedures". This means that they will simply go out of commission for a short period of time when damage is beyond tolerated level, but will return to normal functionality shortly. However, when disabled, the Reaper releases a small amount of Tiberium around itself to endorse self-repair. Like the regular cyborgs, Reapers are vulnerable from EMP attacks.
Due to a glitch, a Cyborg Reaper can continue to be attacked even during its death animation. Since the death animation is relatively long compared to other units in Tiberian Sun which die instantly, it's possible for units to attack the Reaper even during the animation, with each hit counting as a "kill" which contributes towards unit veterancy. This is most noticeable with the GDI Disruptor which fires continuously and can score many "kills" against the Reaper during its death animation and therefore rank up very rapidly. Killing the Reaper in this fashion also releases much more Tiberium than usual, since the game counts it as multiple Reaper deaths.
Cyborg Reapers controlled by the AI have the following attack patterns:
- 1x targeting production structures, base defenses, power plants, Construction yards, Tiberium refineries, Missile Silo or Upgrade Center
- 1x guarding center of base
- 3x targeting production structures, base defenses, power plants, Construction yards, Tiberium refineries, Missile Silo or Upgrade Center
- 3x guarding center of base
- System ready.
- Awaiting navcom.
- Receiving course.
- As ordered.
When ordered to attack
- Target locked.
- Weapons armed.
- The Reaper's head is noticeably more skull-like than that of the standard Cyborg. This could be the result of extreme mutations or an intentional cosmetic modification designed for psychological warfare. It could also be a reference to the Grim Reaper, who is commonly portrayed as a skeleton.
Render from removed cutscene, with standard cyborgs
- Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm manual