The Let's Play Archive

City of Heroes

by Cleretic

Part 3: Arachnos Troops - S.D.

Hello, everyone! Today I'll be talking about the rank-and-file of the military organization known as Arachnos, the Wolf Spiders and Blood Widows.

The many, the proud... the expendable redshirts of the Arachnos organization. Wolf Spiders are given a uniform, a sidearm, a melee weapon, and told to go fight evil good.

As expected, most of them don't last very long. Fortunately for them, they have a robust health insurance plan. And eventually, they get enough experience points prestige to branch into the more specialized, better-equipped branches of the military, the Crab Spider and Bane Spider solider training.

With their signature spider-arm backpack, Crab Spiders are the heavy infantry/SWAT personnel of Arachnos, assigned to combat high threat level targets using a variety of melee and (mostly) ranged skills. Their heavy armor provides decent protection against blows as they unleash energy blasts from their spider arms. Sadly, those same arms aren't very good for fine motor control (or in fact pick anything up - those are all laser focuses on the tips), but can smack enemies around if they get too close.

The commandos and Special Operations personnel of Arachnos, Bane Spiders focus more in stealth and hitting things very hard with their high-tech maces. Whether it's in hand-to-hand or from range with the venom blaster built into the tip of their mace, Bane Spiders specialize in hitting a single target really hard. (and are arguably not as good at it as their Night Widow counterparts.)


Those who prefer tight spandex and taller helmets can be forcibly drafted sign up as a Blood Widow. With a focus on melee combat, Blood Widows use speed and deadly deadly claw attacks to defeat their foes. Eventually, Blood Widows can specialize their abilities with Night Widow or Fortunata training.

Composed of the psychically gifted, Fortunatas are trained to hone their mental abilities to take down meta-humans and other threats. Their offensive abilties involve channeling psionic power into tangible blasts that can knockdown, stun, or hold their opponents in place. Fortunatas can also train to use their mental powers to briefly link minds with their teammates, coordinating their attacks and both increasing their ability to hit and decreasing their chance to BE hit.

Some say that the highest echelon of Fortunatas can predict the future, and that Arachnos might be using that ability (as well as scores of Fortunatas) to try to take over the world. In case the regular world domination plans don't work, anyway.

Night Widows are the assassins of Arachnos, trained to slip in, eliminate their target with their toxic claws, and get out. Or just murder everything in their path in a flurry of claws and poison darts, whichever they feel like doing. Like Fortunatas, they also have the ability to temporarily link minds with their teammates.


What Origin are Soldiers and Widows considered to be? Do they have a unique ability like the other Archetypes?

Both Soldiers and Widows are considered Natural Origin - ordinary men and women given the bare minimum of training and weapons to deal with outside forces. They also share the same unique ability, Conditioning, which is a passive boost to their health regeneration and endurance recovery base values. It's not a flashy ability, but represents their intense training in boot camp. And is more useful solo than the Kheldian ability.

So what makes Soldiers and Widows dangerous?

Aside from their regular abilities, Soldier and Widows work very well in groups, able to use utilize teamwork and leadership training (assuming they aren't stupid and actually TOOK those powers) to increase their teammates accuracy, damage and defense. These are (numerically) superior leadership abilities compared to what other Archetypes can get, and they all stack with each other. A full team of Soldiers and Widows can be a devastating force against whatever they might face.

I thought all Bane Spiders were male and all Widows & Fortunatas were female.

Up until recently they were. Then the Equal Opportunity proponents finally found people who couldn't be shot on sight who could successfully argue their position. While the majority of the Bane Spider and Widow groups are still of one gender, the more recent recruits (read: player characters) can be either.

Aren't Bane Spiders supposed to be psychic as well?

The older generation of Bane Spiders have some psychic talent - they are linked to each other, and what one knows, the others know. There was an incident recently that illustrated some of the problems a hivemind of elite soldiers can have when new thought patterns are introduced into it, so now the newer Bane Spider recruits do not have this ability. It doesn't really take much mental power to swing a club around, in any case.

So does this mean that a good 1/4th to 1/2 of all Spider and Widow recruits have the potential to unlock major psychic abilities?

... that's a very good point. And a kind of frightening one. One I should probably mention to the proper authorities...

That concludes my time for today! Tune in next time when I'll talk about the 'last' Origin, Incarnates. I'm also opening the floor to any questions people might have about... well, anything at all about Paragon City and the Rogue Isles that's within my ability to answer in a mostly correct manner. And to force me to get things done in a more timely manner.

Also, I'm not sure if I'm presenting the information well. Everything I've posted is at least mostly correct, but is also a mix of both game mechanics and in-game lore and can be kind of confusing. Would people prefer more factual writeups from here on in?

Have a nice day, and please donate generously to the Paragon Police Department's pension fund! Remember, not all heroes wear spandex and a cape.

Special thanks to Arachnos Operative Nega-Ferret for the Fortunata photo. Finally, proof that Arachnos doesn't discriminate by height!