BRD-01 Automated Infantry "Spectres" are a type of Minion, a non-playable character in Titanfall and Titanfall 2. They are easily more powerful than Grunts, but they do not pose a threat to Pilots unless in large numbers. They are produced by Hammond Robotics and are highly upgraded and weaponized versions of MRVN Automated Assistants.
Defence contractor subsidiaries of the IMC developed the Spectre - a robotic anthropomorphic combat system derived from the MRVN project. The Spectre is officially classified in IMC manifests as a form of automated infantry. Their main use is urban pacification and occupation. Due to the corporate and military politics that plagued their development, Spectres inherited a data-port vulnerability from their Marvin predecessors. When a Pilot reprograms a Spectre (See 'Data Knife'), the Spectre immediately begins to seek out and engage enemy combatants, both human and artificial, with extreme prejudice. The introduction and development of the Spectre by Doctor Hammond reportedly started an arms race, though who else was developing Spectre-like robotics is unknown.
There are two basic models of Spectre belonging to both factions - the Militia model is identified by a wedge-shaped head and a black/tan colour scheme while the IMC model is identified by a flat snout and a white/green colour scheme. The wedge-head design can also be seen employed in the Sniper Spectre, Suicide Spectre, Stalker and Reaper, alongside the models being manufactured in the Hammond Robotics Corporate HQ and Zone 18. These models are likely First-Generation Spectres, and reliant with older hardware and software than their contemporary counterparts.
The box-head model of Spectre is the Second Generation Spectre, employed by the IMC in Titanfall and both IMC and Militia in Titanfall 2. Their first recorded combat deployment was the massacre of Colony G21 on planet Troy, and subsequent engagements with the 1st Militia Fleet. They have since become a mainstay of IMC military forces, and have also been added to the ranks of the Militia in the wake of the Battle of Demeter. Due to IMC personnel defections to the Militia, the Remnant Fleet has bolstered its numbers with ever-increasing quantities of Spectre. As part of this, Spectre models received a firmware upgrade allowing them to Rodeo Titans.
Aside from the Spectre, the IMC have also developed a number of "Super-Spectres", heavily armed and heavily armoured upgrades of the Spectre chassis, designed for going toe-to-toe with Pilots and Titans. Respectively, they are the Stalker and Reaper. An additional model of the Spectre, itself based on the older MRVN Automated Assistants, is Spyglass - remote uplinks and bodies for the AI of the same name.
As a rule of thumb, in both games, enemy Spectres can be hacked with the Data Knife by approaching them and holding the action button which will cause that Spectre, as well as any other Spectres in a small radius around you, to fight for your side and follow you to the best of their abilities - note that while Spectres move at a slow running pace compared to pilots, they are capable of leaping vertically to almost any height.
Players can also disguise themselves as a Spectre for one lifetime by using the rare Spectre Camo burn card - this completely camouflages the player as their faction's default Spectre model complete with different sound effects and a smaller display size for the player's name, however obvious use of abilities that only pilots can perform (sprinting, wall-running, wall-hanging, double-jumping etc.) will quickly betray the camouflage to observant opponents. Spectres are also slightly harder to kill since they have the same health as a Pilot which will require a player to waste slightly more ammo in killing them. In Frontier Defense, new variations of Spectre models were introduced, most receiving upgraded firmware allowing them to perform Rodeo attacks on Titans (as there are no enemy Pilots in Frontier Defense). These models include the Sniper Spectre and Suicide Spectre.
Spectres serve one purpose: to kill whoever or whatever they have been programmed to, with efficiency and speed. This programming can easily be overwritten by approaching a Spectre from behind and using your data knife when prompted by holding the action button, turning the Spectre and any others nearby against the opposing faction (note that hacking Spectres will also gain you Attrition points). Unlike their Grunt counterparts, they don't engage in conversation of any form or help their teammates in the heat of battle but instead focus purely on eliminating the other team's infantry. Spectres have been known to single-handedly take out Grunt squads and can do high amounts of damage to Titans.
In Titanfall, Spectres have random animations that may play once a Pilot stumbles upon them, similar to Grunts. Some of these include:
- A Spectre killing a grunt by one of the following methods: holding the Grunt up by the neck and then choking him, slamming the Grunt to the ground, punching the Grunt in the abdominals, or tossing the Grunt backward and then firing backward without looking.
- A Spectre holding a Grunt hostage while two other Grunts engage, it will then gun down the two grunts and snap the hostage's neck before scanning the area and moving on.
- A Spectre with malfunctioning legs will crawl towards a Grunt, grab the Grunt's legs and get smashed by the Grunt.
Base-model Spectres are equipped with either an R-97 Compact Submachine Gun or an R-101 Compact Carbine as a primary firearm, and they use a variant of the Archer Heavy Rocket identified as a "Titanhammer." They do not aim down sights, so their accuracy is the same as hipfire accuracy and in addition they do not use the Archer's lock-on function. Base-model Spectres in the Frontier Defence game mode utilise CAR SMGs over the R-97. Sniper Spectres utilise the Longbow-DMR Sniper and Charge Rifle while Suicide Spectres possess no firearms or attacks of any kind other than self-detonation.
Damage When Used By Pilot
Damage When Used By Spectre
|R-101C Carbine||Close Range: 50
Long Range: 40
|Close Range: 30
Long Range: 20
|R-97 Compact SMG||Close Range: 40
Long Range: 30
|Close Range: 18
Long Range: 14
|Archer Heavy Rocket||(Against Titans)
In Titanfall 2, Spectres reappear alongside some new automated units such as Reapers and Stalkers - this time only as the "Box head" versions fielded by Militia and IMC forces. These mechanical minions are just as lethal as their previous incarnation and carry a larger variety of weapons, they are seen carrying Flatlines, R-97s, R-201s, Spitfires, Mozambiques, Mag Launchers and Hemloks in the campaign alongside Volts and Mastiffs. They typically aim before firing at enemies.
Hacking is nowhere near as effective in Titanfall 2 due to the prevalence of other infantry units and the relegation of minions to only two gamemodes - Attrition and Bounty Hunt. Of these modes, only Attrition allows hacking at all (Not including the campaign). In Bounty Hunt, Spectres are one of two infantry types (the other being Grunts) that appear in the first wave of drop pods.
In Frontier Defence, Spectres have been relegated to a minor inconvenience that occasionally spawn on the map; Mortar Spectre teams may deploy on the map and advance to a predetermined location, where they deploy their Archers (and Hard Cover, on harder difficulties) and proceed to shell the Harvester from a distance. On Hard difficulty or higher, they will additionally deploy Hard Cover to help shield them from incoming fire. Suicide Spectres have been replaced with Stalkers and Sniper Spectres have been largely replaced by Reapers barraging the Harvester from a distance and Grunts equipped with Charge Rifles on higher difficulties. The basic infantry Spectres capable of rodeo-ing a Titan have been removed entirely.
Spectre squads can be deployed in Titanfall: Assault under several different forms. The most common is the Spectres Burn Card, though Suicide Spectre-equivalents the Blast Spectres can also be deployed. Sniper Spectres can also be deployed, alongside Spectre Depots.
In Fight Night while chasing Maldera and Pathfinder mid flight, the local mob deployed Spectres from their Goblins to board Maldera's own. Unlike Titanfall, they are shown using zip-lines and grapple guns against Pathfinder. They wielded Volt SMGs like in Titanfall 2, and are depicted much more aggressively than in the games - one of them engaged in an extended hand to hand sequence against Pathfinder, showing off various combat manoeuvres with actions like dodging and countering attacks. Notably, they are referred to as "Spectors" in the subtitles (Maldera still pronounces it as "Spectres"), whether this is their upgraded name or a mistake isn't confirmed.
- Spectres are programmed to have a pack mentality and as such rarely mix their numbers with Grunts on the map.
- In Titanfall's second campaign mission, The Colony, Blisk refers to the newly deployed IMC Spectres as "2nd-generation" automated infantry - it is unknown if there is a difference in generation between the two factions' Spectre models, but in gameplay both models of Spectre act identically and the visual difference is most likely for cosmetic and gameplay purposes.
- It is likely that the "Wedge Head" Spectres found in the hands of the Militia (pictured in this article's infobox) are the "First Generation" Spectres, while the "Box Head" Spectres used by the IMC are the Second Generation. Given that the 2nd Generation was still being tested as of the Battle of Troy, it is likely that the production lines seen on Corporate and Zone 18 simply haven't begun manufacturing the new variant yet.
- Supporting this, as of Titanfall 2, all Spectre models including the Militia's now use the 2nd Generation design.
- Spectres have similar coding to Grunts where they would only shoot within a line of sight - for example, X player stares at Spectre Y for about a second or two before the Spectre starts firing. However, being equipped with the Archer Rocket can make them a serious threat in Last Titan Standing.
- Mag Launcher Grenades and Shock Rock Grenades within 2 meters will guide towards Spectres in Titanfall.
- A Militia grunt sent his mother the head of a Spectre for her birthday. He claimed that "She's gonna love it!"
- Upon receiving crippling/fatal damage or killing another enemy unit, Spectres will sometimes emit quick bursts of computerised chittering and warbling sounds that could possibly be interpreted as a form of communication between AI networks or Spyglass (it is unknown what exactly maintains & governs the Spectre's AI routines), or even as interference between communicating Spectres picked up by the Pilot's gear similar to the interference created by speakers and cell phones receiving signals in close proximity.
- Posters advertising the Spectre can be found on Corporate and Complex, and holograms/production lines can additionally be found on Zone 18.
- Titanfall Companion App - Intel section
- Titanfall News - Frontier Defense: "We have confirmed reports that there is a new generation of Spectres with upgraded firmware that can now rodeo attack your Titans. Be careful out there."