The Ceph, short for Cephalopods, are a group of highly advanced beings whose technology seems to be centered around coldness. They are hostile towards humans and they speak with electronic voices very similar to English language. They have probably evolved in the Triangulum Galaxy or M33, located in the constellation Triangulum, 4 million light years from Earth, as they sent a distress signal there during awakening. They have been in Earth 2 million years in some kind of sleep or stasis until Dr. Jacob Hargreave in 2020 somehow managed to wake them up using the Korean People's Army.
The aliens in Crysis 2, which still relate to the aliens from the original games, have adapted along with the humans in order to dominate the intense warzones of Earth, going so far as to mimic their foes and commence an extreme overhaul of their technology. They have replaced their hovering Trooper automatons with trained Alien warriors in the flesh, equipped with minimalized, 7-foot high humanoid on-foot Exosuits that grant them incredible strength, speed and agility, making them more lethal than ever before. Troopers come in two varieties: Common Soldiers and larger, tougher and more powerful Brutes. Their standard weapons technology features some new additions in the form of fission-energy, among others, but most of their original technology has been kept and tweaked. They also use a killer plague as a branch of bio-warfare. They still utilize cryo-electrical energies in their weaponry, but it has been enhanced to a degree. Their Hunters and Scouts have been replaced with huge, heavily-armed tripod tanks known as Pingers, and aerial vehicles armed with energy missiles and charged drop-bombs that mimic human military bicopters. and make use of specialized dropships to transport troops and equipment by means of pods. However, it is not just their technobionics and equipment that they have overhauled; the Aliens have somehow been able to induce an extreme biological adaption in their own bodies as well.
The Ceph somewhat resemble the Naked Aliens from the first game and appear to in fact be them. It would seem that they have begun to adapt to the gravity of Earth through the use of armoured exoskeleton suits. This allows the 'leg-less' alien to move about freely in an environment they are not adapted to. They wear a sort of mask, or helmet, that covers their face. Their weaponry is seemingly built into the exoskeleton as it cannot be picked up by the player. Other types of Ceph also have some kind of sharp claw mounted on one of their arms. There are at least three types of Ceph, which the Crytek staff has nicknamed:
Naked Alienis the term given to the actual Alien beings, as they are not machines. They live in an extremely cold zero-gravity environment and are fast, highly maneueverable and skilled at avoiding gunfire. They are the builders of all of their weapons of war, such as Troopers, and pilot several varieties of technobionic Exosuits, like Scouts and Hunters. It is not known whether they are capable of surviving in a heated, high-gravity environment.
Trooper: A levitating robotic unit that, unlike the Scout, is designed for ground operations. They are small and very tricky and maneuverable, capable of attaching to ceilings and walls and leaping onto platforms. They are relatively easy to take down. Troopers have four clawed tentacles for melee combat, which are instantly lethal if they are allowed to execute a leap attack without a nanosuited operative having Armor engaged, and two hands for interacting with objects. They can compact themselves and be atttached to pods the tentacles of Scouts and dropped to the ground when desired, allowing the rapid deployment of Troops.
Ceph Scouts are one of the most common Alien vehicles found in the Crysis series, piloted by biological Aliens. They are seen prominently in the later levels of Crysis. The head is approximately the size of an LTV with six mechanical tentacles following behind it. Their tentacles can hold pods for Alien Troopers, allowing the Scout to carry up to four at a time. The Scout self-destructs when it is damaged beyond immediate repair and has a scanner beam that it uses when it cannot find enemies. The front armoring of the scout is designed to handle high-impact shocks; this allows the Scout to ram enemy units— even vehicles —as a last resort. In Warhead, all Scouts are armed with beam weapons. These beam weapons possess the damage of a MOAC and accuracy of a MOAR.
The Leader Troopers have the same design as a generic Trooper, but has a different,crown-like attachment on their head and different color. Its behavior is still the same as any other generic Troopers, but these aliens generally lead squads of Troopers and are very rare. Its weapons are a MOAR and tentacles for melee combat and shattering its prey.
The Guardian Troopers have the same design as the Leader Trooper, but with grey color base and green color theme, unlike the black base and blue theme of other Troopers. The basic weapons are a MOAC and its tentacles, as well as its shield generator.
The Orange Scout is a variation of the Scouts. It has a distinctive Orange theme, unlike a generic Scout. The Orange version does not carry typical weapons like MOAC, MOAR or Alien Beam like the normal Scouts do. Instead, the Orange kind uses the Gravity Bomb Launcher. It also has less health than its generic counterpart, taken down with two direct hits from the Gauss Rifle. They are also much rarer, only making two appearances in Crysis Warhead.
Ceph Ticks are the smallest Ceph and pose no threat to the player. Ceph Ticks are small aliens roughly the size of a house cat. They resemble a combination of scarabs and mosquitoes. Ticks have the standard grey with red visor color scheme as Ceph Stalkers. They use a small proboscis to gather samples of biomass from dead civilians and store it in a large sack located at their tail. When killed they drop 20 Nano Catalysts. They are also known to attack live targets, providing the target is either outnumbered or weak enough to kill. This can be seen when a CELL Operative stumbles into a nest in the Underground station. Ticks are completely harmless to the player, and will flee if the player attacks them. A single bullet is usually enough to destroy them, although their speed and small size make them difficult targets to hit. They can be killed with an uncharged melee so it is not advised to shoot them. Interestingly, the player possess a unique Stealth Kill against Ticks, labeled on the visor as "Squash" instead of "Stealth Kill".
Ceph Grunts are the most common type of alien enemies in Crysis 2. Ceph Combat Units or Grunts are basic alien infantry units. They are similar in appearence to Ceph Stalkers, with a bipedal exoskeleton adapted to earth gravity, that leaves the jelly-like substance they are made from exposed around the neck, however, unlike the stalkers, their tentacles are protected. They are Less mobile than the stalkers, and tougher to kill.Grunts are armed with automatic weaponry integrated to their suits that shoot ice/energy projectiles and consequently look like tweaked MOACS. This is their primary weapon. At close quarters they will use arm-mounted blades to melee. They can emit an EMP burst to instantly drain the players energy when they are cloaked, and occasionally use timed grenades.
The Ceph Stalker is the third alien enemy encountered in-game in Crysis 2 The Ceph Organism (Nicknamed Stalker) is first encountered in the mission Sudden Impact. The Stalker is more agile than the Ceph Gruntand will easily jump between cover and buildings in combat to evade fire. They have a highly exposed Jelly around their neck and upper back that vulnerable to sustained fire. The Stalker is equipped with an arm-mounted assault rifle similar to the Grunt's. When in close range it will attack with its claws. The stalker is easily taken out by fire to the exposed "Jelly" around its neck and upper back. When they come in close for a melee attack, power punch them for an instant kill on normal difficulty or activate armor and aim for the jelly. When cloaked, and if they are unaware of your presence, they can be taken out instantly with a stealth kill from behind.
Ceph Devastator Units, nicknamed Heavies, are powerfully armed and armored Ceph ground forces. They are much larger than the standard alien soldier, though still about three meters high. Heavies are armed with a more powerful, heavy version of the weapon used by Grunts and a MOAC-like missile launcher with which they can block incoming fire. They are also physically strong and not afraid to charge their enemies. Because of their lack of mobility Heavies are easy to deal with as long as you have heavy weaponry at hand, as attacking them with anything weaker than the MK60 Mod 0 is a pointless task. They require five grenades from the L-TAG or two C4s to bring down on Soldier difficulty. Experimental weapons are also effective against them, but do note that X-43 MIKE's short range can get you in trouble if you're not careful. Their launcher can be destroyed, making them easier targets. Heavies cannot be stealth-killed.
Pingers are a new alien enemy type in Crysis 2. The Pingers are large heavily armored 3-legged robots, roughly 3 times taller than Alcatraz. They have triangular shaped heads with several red lights and have large automatic weapons mounted on their front. The Pinger is the Boss Fight of the level "Terminus", "Corporate Collapse" and "Power Out". Destroyed Pingers leave behind 2,000 Nano Catalyst. Their name was first briefly mentioned in the trailer "The Wall" when a missing poster is shown of James Thomasson. There is a post-it reading "Last seen at Central Park. Pinger Attack." They were first shown in a teaser trailer for E3 2010. In a &feature=player_embedded#! gameplay video for Crysis 2 at E3 2010, a Pinger was fought against and later shown in a cinematic. After Alcatraz joins the Marines fighting the Ceph in Midtown, a Marine can be heard shouting to his squadmates to block their ears to stop the noise. This is assumed to be a Pinger, although it cannot be seen, due to Alcatraz's position in the sewer. The Pinger is armed with the same energy-based Chaingun utilized by other aliens, as well as an EMP projector and a cannon similar to that of a Ceph Devastator. The noise it makes during normal operation and when firing its EMP is implied to cause hearing discomfort or pain, and is inferred to be the source of the name "Pinger." Pingers have an exposed weak point on its back, a red glowing object that's relatively easy to hit from behind it. The Pinger itself will periodically fire EMPs that will completely drain your suit energy if it's close enough, and has the capability to know your position when you're cloaked. If you do cloak, the Pinger will stop shooting at you, but will also stop its patrol and EMP more frequently. It also will look directly at you, somehow knowing where you are, but will never fire its main gun. If you go behind cover, even while cloaked, it will fire an energy blast with a timed explosion behind your cover, and will continue firing them until it successfully flushes you out. Pingers are heavily armored, but can be damaged from anywhere by any weapon. Hits to the weak point can destroy a Pinger very quickly, especially hits from a JAW. Four bricks of C4placed on a Pinger's weak point will destroy it instantly. Pingers can be effectively fought with weapons such as the JAW, the Gauss attachment to the SCAR, and if needed the Mk. 60 or a detached HMG. Sucessfully planting a total of 4 C4 charges on its weak spot and subsequently detonating them can kill one instantly but is a rather difficult feat to accomplish, due to the fact that placing a C4 charge removes your cloak. It will also try to stomp on you if you get under it, even if you are cloaked.
The Ceph Guardian Unit or otherwise known as End Boss is the most powerful of the Ceph. They appear to be the original Ceph, much like the ones at Tunguska, as they possess the cloaking ability, which is not present in other units. They drop 5000 Nano Catalyst upon being killed. The Guardians are an extremely powerful version of the Ceph Stalker. They share the fighting tactics and design. The armor they wear looks similar to the Stalkers', but they are more resistant against ordinance. Their tentacles are black but their blood is still pink, so the tentacles may be covered. This is unlike any other Ceph in the game. They have white visors when passive, which turn red when confronted. Along with the health on par with a Ceph Heavy, they have the ability to cloak, which can be considered their most dangerous feature. However, unlike Heavies they are not immune to stealth kills or grabs. Due to their dangerous stealth ability and high health, the most effective weapons on the Guardians are the Grendel (if used correctly), the HMG, C4, JAW, DSG-1, X-43 MIKE, and the M2014 Gauss. You can use the K-Voltto drain their power and then take them down or use Cloak Tracker to reveal their position. Since they are dangerous even on Easy difficulty, stealth kills and grabs are very useful.
Ceph gunships are small aircraft as big as a human helicopter. Gunships have strong armour and are best to shot down with a HMG or JAW, or with several salvoes from the Swarmer. Its armament consists of a very powerful plasma chaingun and a launch system that can fire multiple energy projectiles, like the Swarmer. They appear in the multiplayer as a killstreak ability.
Ceph Dropships are medium sized aircrafts, as big as two human helicopters. They are capable transporting of six Ceph Pods. They are much bigger than Gunships and have no armament on board. They are very hard to shoot down, and there is no way for the player to shoot down a dropship; the only dropship that was shot down during the game was shot down by A10 Thunderbolt in the end of Out of the Ashes. Whenenver you come in contact with a dropship, they drop only four of the six pods.
The Warrior is the largest military vehicle used by Aliens. It is comparable to a battleship, aircraft carrier and troopship combined. It is encountered on Reckoning after the Blue Hunter is destroyed. Warrior is a large alien ship with two large massive objects attached to its hull that make it look like some kind of animal. The Warrior has two heads, the first one is the MOAR turret, while the second one appears to be its chin. The Warrior has four "legs", which are relatively small, the first two are mounted with a MOAC turret on each one, the rear extend beyond its hull, giving a running four-leg animal pose. Warrior size is about 130 to 140 meters long, 150 to 165 meters wide, and 50 to 65 meters tall from measuring in SandBox Editor, but its mass is never properly given. From the final cutscene of Reckoning, its mass can be roughly measured, as it can break USS Constitution in half. It is armed with 6 MOAC automatic turrets, four on the front while the others are mounted on each foreleg. One MOAR turret on the upper part of the hull. It's biggest weapons are two massive Singularity Cannons on each "arm" or "wing". The other weapons are yet to be shown. One speculation can possibly be a hidden weapon in the final cutscene from All the Fury, where it opens the hatch when it is facing Colonel Lee, and causes an explosion afterward. But it can be a tractor beam or the device that created the aurora to spawn Red Hunter. However the hatch strongly resembles the bottom of an UFO.
A Ceph warship is an unknown type of aerial vehicle, probably more than 50 meters in length and 20 meters in width(assuming from width of the street). It is one of the biggest aerial vehicles in Crysis world. The warship appears at the beginning of mission Sudden Impact, where it is shot down by four CELL helicopters. It has two large thrusters in the back and it bears unknown weaponry.
The Ceph Hunter, also known as an Hunter, is a massive 4-legged Alien machine. The Hunter is the compareble to a VTOL and a Tank combined. It's the most powerful machine used by the aliens, only losing to the Alien Warrior. In its typical stance, its legs span over 100 feet. There are several variants to the Hunters. The Hunter in Reckoning is lighter colored than previous Hunters and has blue theme. A Hunter in Crysis Warheadis red and equipped with more weapons.
The Red Hunter is another, much more powerful variant of the Hunter, it is a four-legged alien war machine and serves as a heavy support unit. The Red Hunter is the final boss of Crysis Warhead, encountered in All the Fury. The Hunter was ultimately destroyed by Psycho. The Red Hunter doesn't differ much from a Hunter. It has a red color theme running around its body instead of white or light cyan colors, as well as additional attachments around its body to make it more recognizable. It is armed with an upgraded Alien Beam replacing the MOAR and Singularity Cannon and is also reinforced by alien beam turrets mounted on both of its horns and the end of its tail. Its horn is also capable of launching Smart Missiles when pitching to perform artillery and standoff attacks.
Almost all Aliens can be easily defeated with the Gauss Rifle. Smaller ones can be cut down in seconds by the Shotgun, SCAR and the FY71 with the Incendiary Ammo. Larger and more powerful aliens like Scouts and Hunters require LAW, Hurricane and the Gauss rifle to take them down. In Crysis 2, the Ceph aliens can be easily taken down with some firepower from almost every weapon, such as the SCAR and the Jackal. The more heavily armored and larger variants are more difficult to take down and require heavy weapons, such as the Mk. 60, the detachable HMG, and the JAW, to be taken down.
Ceph Structures and Technology
The Ceph have probably evolved in the M33 Galaxy. They arrived to Earth two million years ago in a huge ship which crashed on Lingshan Islands, an islands in Pacific Ocean. For unknown reason, they had been in a stasis or some kind of sleep until they had been awakened in 2020 by KPA. Then they have began their invasion. In Crysis 2, they formed a virus (called "Manhattan Virus" to the Humans) and this virus resulted in a large-scale infection of many New Yorkers. After this, the Ceph then invaded.
The Ceph Spaceship is the main vehicle that carried the Aliens to the earth in Crysis. It acts like their main base (and Battleship) producing and releasing aliens out to a global scale to complete their objective in finding more energy for themselves. The Ceph Spaceship is a massive warship that serves as home and warship for the Aliens. At start it was thought to be just a temple but the later story revealed a more interesting thing. The Alien ship appears as a gigantic warship under the earthly skin at the start of the game but is partially revealed throughout the game. The ship is also the cause of the Ice Sphere to form later in the game. In Onslaught, right after Nomad destroys the boxcar the Spaceship starts to break out of the mountains. In the Awakening level the ship breaks out even more. Inside the mine where Nomad finds Kyong and Helena Rosenthal Nomad watches how the Koreans want to use the ship as a giant source of power, but it causes an energy blast that kills all the Nanosuit soldiers and reactivates Nomad's suit. After the fight with Kyong the gate starts to open and Nomad is stuck down inside the cave. The Core level reveals that the Ship is not just a temple as thought by everyone, but a giant alien base. As Nomad travels through it he finds out about an upcoming invasion. In the Paradise Lost level the ship creates the Ice Sphere and releases several Scouts as well as some Troopers. After Nomad makes his way down the mountain exits the Sphere the Ship is blocked afterward by the Ice Sphere. The Ceph Ship is seen after the Sphere forms and Psycho exits the submarine. It can be seen throughout the game until Psycho enters the mine in Frozen Paradise. A large amount of electrical energy is seen building up above the ship, and this increases in intensity as time passes. In Adapt or Perish, multiple large spikes of alien design burst out of the ice when Psycho drives the hovercraft over the field of ice, hinting that the ship may have "roots" or hidden connections to the surrounding area. The Ceph Spaceship is not seen so far in Crysis 2. But it was revealed that the Ceph move around through large networks of mechanized tunnels that cover apparently the entire Earth.
The Ice Sphere is sphere of energy created by the Alien mountain in the middle of the island. It is a subzero environment, causing the entire area inside the sphere to be frozen. The Ice Sphere contains 87% nitrogen, 9% methane, and the rest is water vapor and sulpher, which would make the entire habitat colder. Nanosuits wearers survive since the Nanosuits have a built-in heating system. The Ice Sphere is about 10 miles wide and expands if attacked with energy-using weapons. Aliens are known to survive this weather and their technology is based on coldness as evident of their weapons. Several vehicles aren't operational since that Ice Sphere's coldness freezes their engines. Nomad is seen walking out of the Alien mountain after finding an exit out, preparing to go to the VTOL. Suddenly, Alien Scouts fly out, hit the VTOL, and a gush of air from the mountain freezes the area. Nomad is ordered by Major Strickland to recon the area to find any survivors. He finds no survivors due to the temperature. Nomad is then attacked by a squad of Alien Troopers until they were all taken out by Prophet. Prophet was somehow able to integrate the Alien MOAC into his suit. After defeating the remaining hostiles, Prophet's suit malfunctions, forcing him to find heat sources before he would die from the cold. He and Nomad are able to make it out of the Ice Sphere alive and help evacuate people from the island to the U.S.S. Constitution. Admiral Morrison ordered a small nuclear strike on the Sphere, but it fails to damage the Ice Sphere, and instead the Sphere expands a great amount and covers much of the island. The Alien forces then leave the Ice Sphere and attack the USS Constitution. Psycho first went through the storm when Colonel Lee opens the hatch of the submarine when a KPA warns about an ice storm. Psycho takes his mask and ducks. When he woke up, he found everything frozen. Psycho looked out to find Colonel Lee getting away with the Alien container. He pursued him through the area and meets up with Eagle Teamas they fight off hostiles. Psycho pursues the container to a mine and heads in there. It is revealed that most of the KPA retreated to the mines where it is warmer.
The "Manhattan" virus or MV is an engineered virus created by the Ceph. The exact vector of the disease is unclear, however it is likely caused by exposure to nanite spores which are prevalent on Manhattan Island during the time of Crysis 2's main story line. The disease progresses in stages, as evidenced by containment personnel denying containment access to a man trying to reach his apparently healthy wife on the basis that she was infected with "stage 1" of the virus during the first evacuation mission. Accurate laboratory testing does exist to verify MV infection. Medical professionals in game state that Tamoxifen and other antiviral drugs were of limited effect in treating MV. While treatment with antivirals did slow the disease process, the process inevitably resumed. Being an engineered and likely dynamically reprogrammable nano-virus, treatment for such an adaptable disease would be largely ineffective in the long term. Later stage victims can be seen throughout the game in near comatose states, often with strange organic growths erupting from the lower abdomen and pelvis. In one of his first communications with Alcatraz, Jacob Hargreave asserts that the virus is but a part of a sophisticated organic recycling strategy employed by the Ceph to repurpose human biomass. Tiny insectoid Ceph drones called "Ticks" can be seen harvesting Manhattan Virus infected tissue from dead or severely infected virus victims throughout the game. The repurposed tissue is used by the Ceph directly, something which Alcatraz and Nathan Gould both discover when Alcatraz is sent to investigate a downed Ceph ship in search of alien tissue samples only to find that supplemental tissue from the ship was in fact of human origin. The potential applications of MV infected biomass are largely unexplored within the main story line. Whether the Manhattan virus and the nano-spore based bio weapon deployed by the Ceph spires are essentially the same or not is a matter of conjecture. It is possible that both effects are caused by the same nanite agent and that the near instant fatality of spire exposure to unprotected humans is due to the greatly increased concentration immediately surrounding the spires. It is also possible that the same nanite spore is capable of being programmed to behave in many different ways perhaps even in response to changing conditions. Since the Manhattan Virus appears before any Ceph bioweapon spires were deployed, a second vector must exist for the initial infections prior to the first stages of the Ceph invasion. Little direct information about the Manhattan virus is given during the game and what is known is mostly assembled from small snatches of dialogue and direct observation.