Mente Materia

by Arad

34 -- Supplemental Files, Enemy Dossier (Revised, 12/16/2015)



This document is intended to supplement the previous guides that have been dispersed regarding the descriptions and tactics of the aliens that have deployed against us. Several new developments have happened over the last month and a half that render the original document incomplete. Study what is recorded here. At best, it could save your life. At worst, it’s a sign of what will happen to us all in the end should we fail.

--Captain Tower Shield


Threat Assessment: (See notes)

Description: Squid-like in appearance, with no living components.

Armament: A short-range plasma weapon is housed in its hull but its primary means of attack appears to be strangulation via tentacles.

Tactics: The Seekers were confirmed as initially encountered on Earth, but only once, likely due to their skittish nature. They are capable of visual stealth for significant periods of time, and rarely reveal themselves. It is speculated that they only reveal themselves when a target has become isolated enough for them to safely engage and drag the target away. I say speculated because only six of the creatures have ever been officially recorded as encountered. These six were all defeated by Princess Luna shortly before the second Battle of Canterlot. It is believed that these six were responsible for nearly two dozen murdered ponies found in the bowels of the castle.

It is recommended going forward that all guardponies on patrol be placed in pairs, and emphasis should be placed on regular check-ins. The strongest weapon we have against Seekers is vigilance.



Threat Assessment: (See notes)

Description: The appearance at a glance is strikingly similar to an earth pony, but any prolonged inspection reveals the coat is composed of tiny scales rather than fur, and the mane/tail are actually appendages. Eyes with vertical pupils are also present.

Armament: Sheathed claws in the forelegs, fangs, and the same poisonous spit that makes the ‘Thin Man’ so deadly.

Tactics: Initially encountered by Lt. Zhang (and named after a mythical figure from his culture), it is suspected that these creatures were designed with the same purpose as the ‘Thin Man’ from earth: infiltration of civilian populations for the purpose of spreading distrust and panic. It should be noted that these imposters have not been nearly as successful as their counterparts on Earth.

The obvious reason for this is that their appearance simply does not hold up to more than a cursory inspection, much like the Thin Men. While the Thin Men could hide the majority of their differences behind clothing and glasses, it seems that Equestrian differences in both of those accessories limits their options. Sightings since the second battle of Canterlot have been few and far between, and we suspect that the aliens might have given up on this particular strain of infiltrator.

When compromised, these creatures can and will lash out with a poisonous spit as well as with claws and fangs. Anypony with experience in the Badlands or near the borders of Everfree should have ample experience with this, and should share their experiences accordingly.


Minotaur ‘Toy’

Threat Assessment: High

Description: The standard model is a rough approximation of a Minotaur’s shape, eight feet tall and composed entirely of metal. Their appearance may vary wildly based on battlefield adaptations and repairs.

Armament: Manifold and variable, from projectile weapons that rival the humans’ to edged and blunt force weapons for melee range.

Tactics: The minotaur Toys are a menace from over a century in the past. Originally dubbed ‘the Final Invention’, the prototype was intended to be a machine apparatus that could self-replicate and evolve to fill any need in minotaur society. Some malfunction occurred upon activation and the prototype killed its creator before replicating itself enough to become a local, then regional, then national threat. No records exist from the fighting other than Princess Celestia and a contingent of griffons intervening to prevent the extinction of the minotaur race.

The Toys that have been encountered more recently are just as deadly as their forefathers, and far more advanced. Every Toy encountered on the battlefield thus far has been equipped with a gunpowder projectile weapon that is superior to current combat arms fielded by the minotaur Peltast infantry, and approximately equivalent to a human weapon called a ‘Bushmaster.’ This is merely a default, as the units encountered in Applewood were capable of altering their chassis to mount hoplon shields, melee weapons of every stripe, and on the fly combinations with staggering speed.

The greatest weakness of the Toys is their core. Destroying the core disables the Toy, and prior to engaging these enemies in Applewood it was believed that this core resided in the center of the torso. After-battle salvage discovered something startling: As the humans have weapons that can damage or penetrate the central armor of the Toys, it was discovered that the cores of units destroyed towards the end of the engagement had moved away from the center. Cores have been reported in the salvage as residing in the head, the upper back, and even in the limbs.

Consensus has been reached in that the ‘Toybox’, the source of the Toys being produced, must be eliminated as soon as possible. I don’t want to think about how much one of those Toys might turn into if given too much time.



Threat Assessment: Unknown

Description: An armored casket levitating upright above the ground

Armament: No visible weapon systems or attacks can be directly attributed to this enemy.

Tactics: The Windigo was first encountered at the same time as the Damocles Ethereal (see below), during a battle in the town of Shoe Falls. It is with some reluctance that the entry is created, as there is some debate about this enemy being an autonomous being, or some kind of equipment or amplifier for the Damocles Ethereal itself.

The prevailing basis for this theory is based upon the witness accounts from the survivors of Shoe Falls, and how they differ from previously recorded encounters with Ethereals. Survivors of previous encounters with Ethereals have reported a voice speaking in their minds, picking at their darkest secrets and doubts to wear down their wills to the breaking point.

The survivors of Shoe Falls have all reported the same experience: Without warning, the entirety of their consciousness was replaced with an overwhelming sense of fear, with no undermining voice or build up. Because of this effect, this enemy has been titled ‘Windigo.’

If spotted, extreme caution is recommended, as it’s full capacities are not yet known.

(In pencil: Given that the aliens are willing to draw forces from Equestria, both willing and unwilling, I worry that the creature inside this casket just might actually be a Windigo of the ancient past, somehow coerced or converted to the aliens cause. Intel is trying to find out more, but all we have is speculation right now. -FC)


Revenant [rev-uh-nuh nt] (Still searching for proper translation. -TS)

Threat Assessment: High

Description: Similar to that of Heavy Floaters, with the most notable differences being the pinion-mounted rockets instead of torso mounted, and the unmistakable griffon beak as one of the few traits left behind.

Armament: Plasma rifle mounted onto the left arm, sharpened metal talons on the right arm.

Tactics: The ‘Revenants’, as coined by the griffons, are among the most deadly units fielded by the aliens to date, and with good reason. Video capture of our first encounter with them shows a radical deviation from the suicidal tactics of the Floaters. They remain at an altitude that is high enough to spot most ground-bound threats but low enough to retaliate against anything that challenges them, and anyone familiar with griffon flight tactics will instantly recognize their maneuvers.

It is also worth mentioning that when Captain Matthew Harris (XCOM) drew a Skysteel sword and issued a verbal challenge, every single Revenant halted their engagement with civilians to charge at him. One can only speculate as to the reasons: That they saw Harris as the greater threat, that they recognized the Skysteel blade, or that they were responding to the challenge of a warrior. But almost everyone agrees on one thing: Some part of the griffon’s mind remains inside these horrid constructs, influencing its tactics and actions.

(An additional page is included afterward, written in pencil.)

High Talon Alvar was the first to ‘name’ these creatures, and the term he used was not translated by the devices we’re using in the capital. After the battle was resolved, I asked the High Talon what the term meant, and he replied, “We do not speak of them.” I could not ask any further as the Myrmidon gave what could only be a threatening stare, presumably for even mentioning them. The situation room floor still bears the marks from where the Myrmidon was standing when the Revenants appeared on screen.

I spoke with Lieutenant Zhang afterward to see if he had any insight on the subject. He stated that he had no information as to the cultural significance, but he was able to provide an explanation for the name. The term ‘Revenant’ refers to a ghost of a warrior returning to haunt and torment the living. It’s speculated that the translators failed for us because Equestrians don’t have anything similar in concept within our culture.

Considering how the griffons reacted to just the mention of the word despite the mental assault they endured, there must be some deep-seated cultural legends regarding the creatures. Firecracker, for all her expertise on other cultures, didn’t have anything to share.

-Cpt. Shining Armor


Ethereal (Damocles)

Threat Assessment: DO NOT ENGAGE

Description: The helmet and robe that is typical of the Ethereals previously encountered are present, though both are black and the latter having highlights in gold.

Armament: While not wielded directly, video recordings seem to indicate that it possesses at least five ‘autonomous weapon platforms’ that immediately retaliated with plasma fire when attacked. This is in addition to the staggering magical abilities that all Ethereals encountered thus far have shown.

Tactics: Information on this Ethereal is somewhat limited, and recent revelations have necessitated giving this particular enemy its own specific entry.

This enemy was encountered during the assault on the small city of Shoe Falls by XCOM member Lt. Zhang, and is speculated to be the primary cause of the panic that struck the town’s entire population. Unlike the alien types previously encountered who appeared to be virtually identical (or in the Muton’s case, physically identical save for their equipment which changed based on their roles), the Damocles Ethereal appears to add proof to the idea that these creatures are the only ones who have any individuality within the alien host.

The first Ethereal (Codename: Overseer) encountered by Twilight Sparkle had a silver helmet with a red robe, and was theorized as the ‘theater overseer’ of the alien assault on XCOM’s base. Unfortunately, no video exists of the first Ethereal encountered by XCOM’s strike teams, but the second (this one in a gray robe and helmet, codename: Gandalf) is clearly visible in the gun camera video of a Skyranger shortly before its death.

The Ethereal encountered in the first battle of Canterlot (Codename: Wight) had a white robe and helmet, and it wore an armored chestplate and style of that was less aesthetic than ablative for combat. It also wore four emitters on its arms, which we speculate boosted its magic enough to contend with Celestia. The Ethereal encountered by the Changeling hive has no description, as Queen Chrysalis reports that all memory of the creature has been stricken from the hive’s memory for the survivors sake.

The last Ethereal has been dubbed ‘Damocles’, after a story in human history of a human king who hung a sword (point down) over his own throne to illustrate the peril that the ruler experienced every day. The name was likely chosen as a first-reaction towards the weapon systems used by the Ethereal, but I like to think that the metaphone is double-edged. (In pencil: Military documents are no place for puns! -SA)