Aparoids (アパロイド, Aparoido) are a race of insect-like creatures that combine biological and mechanical traits. They serve as the main antagonists in Star Fox: Assault.
The Aparoids are insectoid creatures with a cybernetic appearance that come in an immense variety. They are all connected by a hive mind ruled by their queen.
Society and Culture
The Aparoids bear heavy similarities to ant or bee colonies; innumerable "drones" act as soldiers while the Aparoid Queen serves as a source of reproduction and direction. Their technology and bases tend to bear hexagon patterns reminiscent of honeycombs in a beehive. They travel across the galaxy in search of new planets to add to their territory, assimilating the most powerful lifeforms and advanced technology they encounter along the way.
Aparoids have the ability to control other technology and lifeforms in a viral manner called Aparoidedation; this makes them extremely lethal to anything that gets in their way. Their individual abilities vary greatly, depending on their form and function, but they generally possess strength, armor, and weaponry that matches or exceeds conventional military equipment of comparable scale.
Aparoids were also capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and climate environments, particularly severe blizzards. This was especially evident by their being active on Fichina after Pigma deactivated the climate control center, which prevented blizzards that otherwise rendered the planet uninhabitable. Aparoids can also survive in the vacuum of space; coupled with the constant stream of reinforcements from their Queen, they can overwhelm virtually any enemy fleet through sheer force of numbers. It takes the destruction (called "apoptosis" by Slippy's father Beltino Toad) of the Aparoid Queen to eliminate them once and for all.
- The most basic Aparoid unit, dubbed the Aparoid Crawler by fans, is only slightly larger than Fox McCloud. They attack by charging at him and can be disposed of with one shot from a blaster. They tend to appear in large numbers, which may explain as to why they were able to take so many planets within a short time-span, it appears they are used to overwhelm the enemy before the more powerful Aparoids take to the field.
- A slightly bigger and deadlier Aparoid, dubbed the Aparoid Dragoon by fans, acts like a mortar and is protected against basic blaster shots and machine-gun fire, but not charged shots. A missile-firing variant, the Advanced Aparoid Dragoon, can be seen on the Aparoid Homeworld. These are usually flanked by Aparoid Crawlers, and fire relatively quickly (about one shot per second), making them a threat when their target is distracted by other units.
- The Aparoid Light Assault Tank is a small Aparoid tank that acts as a scout. Its dual laser turrets fire fast, but do not deal out much damage, taking many volleys to do any considerable damage to the player or their vehicle. Much like the Crawlers, they are mainly a threat when in large groups or as support for more powerful Aparoids. They are easily eliminated with the Landmaster, particularly the boost ability.
- The Aparoid Laser Turret is a small stationary Aparoid that fires lasers. Another weak unit, it mainly serves to distract its enemies or wear them down over time (especially in large numbers). It is particularly ineffective against flying targets.
- The Aparoid Mortar is a blue Aparoid that stays in one place, and fires glowing orbs as mortars. These fire very slowly, having to charge their shots, but one should not take them lightly, as they usually are in difficult areas guarded by a horde of other Aparoids.
- The Aparoid Missile Launchers are another form of the Aparoid Mortar that is green; as the name suggests, they fire missiles instead of energy balls. These are usually geared toward anti-fighter duties, something they do better than their laser turret variations.
- The Aparoid Roller is a larger unit that normally fires missiles from the safety of its spherical shell. If a target gets close enough, it reveals its vulnerable head to charge towards you. These are only dangerous if one gets cornered or fails to remember they charge toward players. They can also bring down the health of a groundside ally to critical, but due to their importance to the story, the ally will not die, but they will have their health down significantly. These are easily dispatched with heavy artillery or a Landmaster.
- The Aparoid Mini Rollers are small rolling units present on Sauria and the surface of the Aparoid Homeworld. More of an annoyance than a serious threat, they fight and defend themselves like the Sentry Bots on Fichina.
- The Aparoid Fighters are the backbone of the Aparoids' space fleet. They come in large numbers, and are specifically geared to attacking and intercepting enemy fighters. They are best dealt with from a distance, as they chase after the player on later levels, and sometimes will follow them despite any evasive maneuvers.
- The Aparoid Bomber, as its fan-name suggests, attacks by dropping bombs below it. Found both in space and on planets in groups of one or two, they do not fire frequently, but are still dangerous should the player get caught under the blast they make.
- The Aparoid Razor is an upgraded variant of the Aparoid Fighter. Faster and more powerful, it appears with increasing frequency in later levels, eventually replacing the standard Aparoid Fighter completely.
- The Aparoid Stinger is a flying unit that spins and fires a powerful plasma blast. These only appear in the fifth and final missions of the game.
- The radar jammers are encountered on Corneria, playing a crucial role to the mission and its gameplay. They are defenseless on their own, but compensate by hiding within the smoke and behind the multiple buildings in the ruins of Corneria City.
- Meteo and the Homeworld Core feature large, unnamed Aparoids that release several smaller Aparoids when destroyed. Slow but durable, they are relatively easy (if tedious) targets.
- The Aparoid Spinner is a large Aparoid variant that serves as the Aparoid Queen's last line of defense at the core. They can charge up a dark energy ball similar to that of the infected General Pepper. They are are almost impossible to destroy, taking ludicrous amounts of damage. There is not enough time to destroy all of them, which explains why Star Wolf distracted them.
- Aparoid hatchers are strange Aparoids whose sole purpose is to spawn more of their kind. They have the ability to cling to walls, though they lack any defensive measures and do not attack Fox when he approaches. However, if Fox touches them, he suffers some damage. These come in large numbers, and if the player gets close to them, they will spawn a squad of regular Aparoids to protect themselves.
- When Fox was in the Fichina climate control center, he suddenly encountered dozens of Aparoid-infected Sentry Bots. They travel in packs and use swiping talons to eliminate their targets. They can absorb any weapon, but are vulnerable when they attack.
- There are also large Aparoids that stay in one spot and act as living structures such as turrets or entire bases.
These Aparoids are tougher than normal Aparoids. These Aparoids often carry Core Memories which reveal valuable information about the Aparoids (such as their ultimate weakness: apoptosis). Once a boss Aparoid is destroyed, any weaker Aparoids surrounding them usually die as well.
- The fan-dubbed Aparoid Moth is the first Aparoid encountered in Star Fox: Assault. It attacks with lasers on its wings and abdomen, and is capable of space flight. It is formidable against the player, but can be easily destroyed if one persists; two to three bombs will also destroy all of it's wings and make things much easier should the player have a hard time destroying it.
- The Aparoid boss encountered on Katina (called Aparoid Walker or Aparoid Scarab) is a large four-legged monster that has a multitude of attacks. It also has anti-aircraft miniguns of some type, these are only used against the player's allies, never the player themselves.
- The Infected Shield Generator is an Aparoid boss fought on Fichina. It was originally just a generator for the climate control center, but Pigma transformed it with a Core Memory. It shoots unique Aparoid enemies out of its mouth, flies when its legs are damaged, and threatens to render the entire planet uninhabitable unless it is disabled. It is one of the two Aparoid bosses that doesn't carry a Core Memory. It is also the only boss aside from the Aparoid Queen that has a specific weakness that must be exploited, in the form of the reactor core.
- The Aparoid Missile is a giant Aparoid that functions as a missile. There are three different types: The first is a regular missile that goes fast, but is relatively weak. The second is one similar to the first one, but has a large bulbous area, and goes slower. The third is the largest, and most powerful missile. It is composed of three parts, and accelerates as it loses each one. This Aparoid is one of the two Aparoid bosses to not have a Core Memory. Falco, Wolf, and Leon will all destroy one missile, therefore allowing the player to focus on the other missiles.
The Aparoid Queen
Aparoids can also infect other machines and organisms to add to their ranks through a process called Aparoidedation, the end result being a fusion of sorts between the technology, the Cornerian, and the Aparoid.
The infection doesn't appear to be a fast process, but that perhaps depends on the individual. Initially, the victim exhibits minor disfiguration resembling bluish-green cybernetic code/cracks. As Aparoidedation progresses, the greenish-blue fracture code spreads over more of the body, with the remainder becoming dark and discolored. The victim also begins acting in support of the Aparoids, aiding their invasion forces and repeating their assimilation rhetoric.
In the final stages of Aparoidedation, the victim appears to be able to survive in the vacuum of space, and their voice becomes heavily distorted. The eyes turn red, and parts of the body begin to dissolve, exposing internal organs and creating a puddle-like growth around the lower body that can merge with nearby beings or technology.
Both Peppy and Pigma's Aparoidedation started on their right side. It is unclear if this is characteristic of the infection, or simply a coincidence. The process appears to be reversible, as it is later revealed that General Pepper survived the experience, but it may also be fatal as shown when a ThornTail that was infected with Aparoidedation, was lying on its side as if it was dead.