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The comments in Overviews of Aliens (TFTD)#Hallucinoid - Terror Unit say that this unit just attacks

"with its tentacles which do precicely [sic] nothing, while completely ignoring its built-in Thermal Shok Launcher"

I did some testing on this and I could not reproduce that result. My results were:

  1. The Hallucinoid does seem to have a preference to close for short range attacks
  2. Its melee attack seems to be lethal against unarmoured Aquanauts
  3. Its long range attack is definitely used (though perhaps melee is preferred if there are targets nearby)
  4. The long range attack is also lethal against unarmoured Aquanauts
  5. Neither of these attacks do stun damage - or if they do, they still contain enough lethal damage to be fatal

Does anyone know the basis for these comments in the Overview? If not I propose to remove them. Spike 14:13, 15 November 2008 (CST)

It should be Melee type damage. The freeze bit is just fluff text in the ufopaedia, otherwise your units will just be knocked out rather than killed outright. To confirm if it's got a ranged attack, it's probably worth making a savegame with a hallucinoid present and check the unitref.dat entry to see if it has an associated turret attached to it. Otherwise it's effectively no more than a flying Reaper - a brutal one at that if it manages to catch you, plus it has fairly good protection to round it off. -NKF 14:36, 15 November 2008 (CST)

Thanks for your help NKF. It definitely has a ranged attack, I saw the 'freeze bolt' or whatever it is travelling six squares to hit and kill my (previously uninjured) Aquanaut. I'm not quite sure if its definitely using the tentacles at melee range, or just firing its ranged weapon at point blank. I don't believe the ranged attack is an area effect (as implied by "Built in Thermal Shok Launcher) but I'll check that by offering it multiple targets at once. Spike 14:56, 15 November 2008 (CST)

The ranged attack is definitely not area effect. It uses an icon that looks similar to a plasma bolt from XCOM-EU. It looks like it has autofire capability - either that or it just likes to fire at corpses. I'm not sure if anyone knows where these alien built in weapon definitions are located in TFTD? Spike 15:32, 15 November 2008 (CST)

I've changed the Overview article to remove the claims about ineffectiveness. It's still possible that this alien is ineffective, IF your Aquanauts armour levels are sufficiently high. I was only testing with unarmoured Aquanauts and the Hallucinoid had no difficulty killing them at long range, at melee range, and pursuing them to attack them and finish them off. Spike 06:12, 14 December 2008 (CST)

UPDATE - as per Zombie's investigations, the ranged attack only works on land and not underwater. This is probably a programming error and was meant to be the other way round. Spike 15:49, 25 February 2009 (CST)

Is it really not working at all or just as effective as the Bio-Drohne melee attack?--Tauon 22:52, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
It's "not working", as in, "it won't attempt to fire it". -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 00:03, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Is it possible to fix the unit that the ranged attack works as intended? That would make alien colony missions much more challenging - especially the first part. And artefact, battleship and dreadnought missions as well - right now the difference to gillman for the later is not too big for the two uso missions. --Tauon 23:05, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Clearing this up

Okay, so there's been an edit removing the reference to a land-only attack citing the Hallucinoid's lack of appearance on land in unhacked games.

As far as I know, we've got one set of "investigations" by Zombie saying the Hallucinoid has a ranged attack which doesn't work underwater, and IIRC another set by Morgan525 saying that the Hallucinoid doesn't have a ranged attack at all. This has left me, and presumably others, rather confused.

I do know that the question of whether the Hallucinoid has a land-only weapon is NOT related to whether it ordinarily appears on land (if it has a land-only weapon and never appears on land, then that's a bug, but the weapon still exists), but since I have no clue whether it actually has such a weapon I'm not going to revert the edit at this time. If someone could shed some light on this matter, it would be much appreciated. Magic9mushroom (talk) 22:01, 5 August 2015 (EDT)

Yeah, ‎Warboy1982 is one of the lead dev coders for OpenXCOM/OpenTFTD... so I'd say the only other person more "knowledgeable"/qualified would be to ask one of the original designers/coders/programmers. And considering the in-depth work the OpenXCOM/TFTD dev team does, it's really really really difficult to dispute Warboy's findings. See: His relevant post --DracoGriffin (talk) 23:28, 5 August 2015 (EDT)

In the subroutine that writes each alien unit's data in the UNITREF.DAT file, the section that sets the turret weapon and ammo (starting at 0x457EC0 for the windows version) has no provision for Halluciniods: its starts by writing 0 in bytes 0x6F, 0x71, 0x72, 0x73, 0x74, and 0x76 and 0xFF in byte 0x75. Then it checks to see if the unit type is 9, 10, 12, or 14 and sets bytes 0x75 (turret type) and 0x76 (ammo amount) as appropriate - Tycho (talk) 23:38, 5 August 2015 (EDT)

Which unit type corresponds to Hallucinoids? Also, how do you explain Spike's results; would replacing other terrorists with Hallucinoids using XComUtil fail to remove the turret? Magic9mushroom (talk) 01:08, 6 August 2015 (EDT)
A lot of my past misconceptions about the aliens in TFTD were due to old releases of XComutil, so I wouldn't rule it out. One other possible cause is a glitch turret caused by a bit of junk data that didn't get cleared properly. Otherwise, I agree that Hallucinoids do not get initialised with an innate weapon.
I'm not agreeing based on the extensive reverse engineering work that arrived at these findings. Rather, my source of information is a bit more rudimentary and predates it. I can't provide a citation of the exact text just yet, but it is incredibly reliable. If that sounds dubious - then I don't blame you in the least. NKF (talk) 04:51, 6 August 2015 (EDT)

Hallucinoids are unit type 13 so there isn't a provision for turret weapons on a Hallucinoid. I don't know the inner workings of XComUtil but I agree with NKF that the confusion probably has something to do with early versions of it. It's impossible for the game to spawn a Hallucinoid on land: If the site depth is 0 (surface) and the subroutine that generates the alien data determines that it should create an entry for a Hallucinoid, it uses a Calcinite instead.-Tycho (talk) 09:58, 6 August 2015 (EDT)
NKF and Tycho's findings are consistent with my own, and if NKF's source on this is what i think it is, then you should really, really listen when he speaks.
But to elaborate on what i've managed to interpret, hacking in a hallucinoid on a land mission wouldn't necessarily overwrite any object data for the unit it was replacing. Assuming (for the sake of argument) the hallucinoid replaced a deep one, it may indeed have a ranged weapon residing in its inventory that may even be visible if the unit is mind controlled. However, the AI wouldn't be capable of making use of it, because many of the relevent checks actually compare the unit type as described above. As it is not possible for this unit to spawn on land with an unmodified executable, meaning the unit cannot pass through the default constructor - which, even if it did, doesn't specify a ranged weapon. Coupled with the fact that there is no such concept as a "land only weapon" because all of the relevant checks only test for underwater weapons being used on land. This seems like a highly dubious piece of information.(Sorry for so many edits here but text aligning is hard and i'm bad at hitting the preview button at 5am)--Warboy1982 (talk) 17:23, 6 August 2015 (EDT)
I don't know what NKF is using for his source but I always doubt second-hand information until it can be verified by facts from the actual game code or direct testing with verified unmodified game files. (I am not doubting NKF's reputation.) Most of what Warboy says is correct. However, if someone has hacked the game file or game code to allow a unit to be replaced by a Hallucinoid, then the AI can indeed make use of it: When attacking the Alien AI code doesn't check by unit type to see if a unit can fire a turret. Instead it checks to see if a particular unit has a turret weapon and if that weapon has enough ammo to fire. In the case of the celatid/Deep One, it also checks to see if the target is within range of it weapon.
I suspect that what is happening is that some modification is replacing a Triscene with a Hallucinoid. It would have to replace another large unit or there would be an obvious glitch because the whole unit would not be displayed. From the description of the range attack that this "hallucinoid" has been reported to use, it can't be replacing a Xarquid because its range attack is different from what is described.
I did a test where I changed the race type of a port attack so that Triscene could be generated: by changing the craft race type to 4 (mixed Tasolth). After starting the mission and saving, I changed the Triscenes to Hallucinoids (by just changing the first byte of each entry from 12 to 13.) These "Hallucinoids" were indeed able to use their range weapons. In a further test, I made each one mind controlled and was able to use their range attack.
It would be nice if someone had a saved file where Hallucinoids have appeared on land to see what the stats are for them and weather or not they have most of the Hallucinoid's proper stats or only the unit type has been changed. -Tycho (talk) 22:59, 6 August 2015 (EDT)

This discussion can probably be concluded. It seems that by group consensus:

  • Hallucinoids cannot appear on land.
  • Hallucinoids do not receive a turret weapon.
  • Any other reported deviations can be attributed to modifications of the game code, game files, or possible data corruption.
Would everyone agree with this summary? -Tycho (talk) 00:20, 7 August 2015 (EDT)
Seems reasonable to me. I just wanted to get the whole mess straightened out in the open. I still think Warboy's edit summary is bad, but that's no real issue. My only remaining question is what NKF's super secret source is. Developer notes? Magic9mushroom (talk) 01:40, 7 August 2015 (EDT)
Close - it certainly does have notes and comments from the TFTD dev team that has so far backed up all the findings from the reverse engineering that has been done up until now. Incidentally, I'll give credit to Zombie for finding it in his epic quest of obtaining all sorts of rare X-Com related materials and paraphernalia. I'm only assessing it.
Unfortunately, unless we can get permission, we can't really publish it. To be honest, I'm finding it quite frustrating as I'd really like to see this go into the public domain. Both for its informative nature and historic significance. NKF (talk) 03:33, 7 August 2015 (EDT)

It seems pretty clear that the Hallucinoids were intended to have a ranged weapon: their description specifically mentions they posses a ranged, freezing blast but either the developers overlooked this or never got around to including it, as it would have required modifying one of the turret entries to a stun weapon (or, they wanted to have a ranged stun weapon without the default explosion but didn't have time to change the various areas of code which that would have required.) Heck, the developers never added the code to allow the proper management of Tank/Gauss ammo. -Tycho (talk) 02:22, 7 August 2015 (EDT)
yeah, i guess a deep one was a bad example, and i should have used looser wording regarding the AI, like "might not be able to" instead of "wouldn't be capable" since not ALL relevant checks are unit-type related, but if you've seen the AI, you can see where i was coming from on this. in any case, i agree completely with Tycho's summary. as for my edit summary being bad - if you've seen my code commit notes on openxcom, this would seem like an extremely detailed explanation by comparison. i've had to explain this to people so many times, that i got fed up and decided removing the section from the article would benefit everyone, by saving their time and my sanity. and curse you NKF for tantalizing me with these details, if what you're talking about is what i think it is, then you know what it represents to me, and how frustrating it is knowing that i can't have it--Warboy1982 (talk) 03:34, 7 August 2015 (EDT)

Yes, sorry, I know. It is very likely what you think I'm trying to hint at. Fingers crossed.
By the way, not to draw this out more than it needs to, but I do have this small feeling at the back of my mind that I recently watched a TFTD Let's Play on Youtube where a Hallucinoid did spawn on the first part of a mixed crew shipping lane mission. It might have been in Neptunenook's TFTD LP. I'll see if I can track it down. I still have my doubts that it would have caused a Hallucinoid to magically evolve a turret. NKF (talk) 03:58, 7 August 2015 (EDT)