With Leadheads in possession of their own grenade supply, one might think it'd make Nitro Splicers obsolete. Indeed, 2K phased out Nitros entirely in BioShock 2 for that same reason. However, whereas Leadheads are stuck with one weapon, Nitros could have a much more varied arsenal, which would justify their existence once more. With a large array of explosives and the like the Nitro could support other Splicers by denying the players cover and terrain, and the splash damage of its attacks already makes it one of the rare enemies capable of harming two players at once. Without further ado, onto the interesting stuff:
Awarded at random:
- +Damage Against Nitro Splicers
- Increased Dud Chance (some enemy explosives turn into duds)
- Enticing Explosives (your explosives attract nearby enemies towards them)
Changes: Stage One
Nitro Splicers already used two grenade types at the start of BioShock. By giving them the ability to situationally deploy Proximity Mines, they'd be able to stand out as unique and versatile Splicers without instantly overwhelming the players. This'd mean they'd start out with three grenade types:
Frag Grenades: Unlike the Leadheads' version of these, the Nitro's Frag Grenades explode on impact. These are already in the games, so there ain't much more to elaborate upon here.
Proximity Mines: These would work identically to yours, only they'd glow a different color to avoid confusion (the same could apply to the Rosie's Proxy Mines). Nitros could use them defensively, throwing them down when retreating or even laying one or two as a trap before coaxing you towards them.
Smoke Bombs: Also an existing explosive, Nitros drop these at their feet if approached at melee range before making a run for it (that is, if they're not too low on health, otherwise they commit suicide via Frag Grenade), upon which the bomb releases a cloud of smoke. They also have the hilarious side-effect of setting them on fire on certain occasions.
Tier One Mutations
- Cluster Explosives: Elite Nitro's projectiles explode into smaller versions of themselves upon detonation.
- Ferrite Gunpowder: Elite Nitro Splicer's projectiles temporarily disable the weapons of any targets within the explosion radius.
- Containment Spheres: Upon detonation, the Elite Nitro Splicer's projectiles create a temporary sphere at the surface of its explosion radius, preventing anyone from passing through save for the Elite Nitro itself. Bullets, projectiles and Plasmids can still pass through the spheres.
Evolution: Stage Two
Once the players familiarize themselves with the Nitro's fighting style, the latter could evolve a whole new range of ordnance. Cosmetically, this could be represented by them wielding Grenade Launchers to show they mean business. In addition to developing more powerful versions of their previous explosives, Nitro Splicers could start using new ones as well:
Frag Grenades get upgraded to Molotov Cocktails: Explode upon impact, but instead of dealing instant damage these cover everything in its radius in flames for the next few seconds. Getting caught in the explosion or stepping into the flames would set the victim on fire.
Proximity Mines get upgraded to Rolling Mines: As with their predecessors, these explode if you step too close, but if you're in their vicinity they'd also roll towards you. This would also direct nearby enemies towards your location if you're hiding.
Smoke Bombs get upgraded to Flash Grenades: Although these would still work as a retreat weapon, Flash Grenades would also momentarily blind anyone nearby. They could still ignite unlucky Nitro Splicers, though.
And the new projectiles:
Heat-Seeking RPGs: In contrast with the more up-close Molotov Cocktails, these'd come in handy for Nitros if their target is either far away or escaping. Though the smoke trail these'd leave would direct every enemy in the area towards you, it'd also tell you where the offending Nitro fired the shot.
Sticky Bombs: Stick to the scenery (and people) and are detonated manually by the Nitro Splicer. They'd take some time to blow up after being set off, during which they'd beep and flash maniacally, and so would mainly be used to blow the players out of cover and block parts of the scenery.
Nitrogen Canisters: Explode upon impact, dealing no damage. However, anything caught in the explosion would be frozen. In your case, you'd move slower and would take extra damage from attacks.
Tier Two Mutations
- Tinkerer: Elite Nitro Splicer fires two different explosives at once, strapped together. The net result is a projectile with the combined abilities of its two components.
- Impact Absorber: Elite Nitro absorbs the kinetic energy from any hits it receives. After absorbing enough energy, the Nitro runs towards its target (or targets) and releases it in the form of a potent explosion, damaging and staggering anyone within while knocking back objects with extreme force. This doesn't damage the Nitro.
- Flammable Edemas: Upon death, Elite Nitro Splicer releases a cloud of gas that fills the area. Any flame effect or explosion in contact with the gas cloud ignites it, setting everything within on fire and causing serious damage over time. Elite Nitro's body spontaneously ignites as well after a certain amount of time.
Evolution: Final Stage
To respond to the players' vast and powerful arsenal Nitro Splicers would have to have equally powerful abilities of their own, in addition to an upgraded toolset. In the end, this'd mean they'd have a total of nine different abilities to choose from:
Molotov Cocktails get upgraded to Uranium Slugs: These'd explode upon impact as well, and would irradiate the target area for the next few seconds. Though they wouldn't set you on fire, you'd take continuous damage by staying in the affected area.
Rolling Mines get upgraded to Net Mines: Upon deployment, these'd throw wires around them which'd stick to the scenery. Breaking a wire would cause said wire to explode for moderate damage. Breaking two or more would cause all wires to explode and the central mine to start rolling towards the nearest target. Shooting the mine at the center would detonate it along with its wires.
Flash Grenades get upgraded to Hallucinogen Canisters: Still a retreat weapon, these explosives would have an even more potent effect, distorting your vision for a short while. As with its predecessors, laying one of these could set the unfortunate Nitro Splicer on fire.
Even the weapons acquired previously could get an upgrade:
Heat-Seeking RPGs get upgraded to Meta-Rockets: These rockets could split into two mid-air and thus attack two different targets at once (namely, you and your partner), each mini-rocket dealing as much damage as would a main one.
Sticky Bombs get upgraded to Sticky Bolas: Instead of being fired out individually, Sticky Bolas would connect three Sticky Bombs together via rope, allowing the projectile to cover a wider area. Furthermore, the string itself would be sticky, and getting caught in it would cause the Bola to latch onto you. Since Sticky Bolas would still have to be manually detonated by the Nitro Splicer, that means the latter could throw one at you, wait for you to approach your partner and set the Bola off.
Nitrogen Canisters get upgraded to Deep-Freeze Tanks: In addition to freezing anyone within, Deep-Freeze Tanks could also chill the explosion area, causing everyone within to be slowed down and take increased damage. Moreover, if you or your partner get hit by one of these you'd be momentarily rooted to the ground, and would have only limited turning capacity.
And the newest abilities in the arsenal:
Pheromone Canisters: These explosives wouldn't be directed towards you, but rather towards other Splicers. Upon impact, these'd release a cloud of pheromones in the air, heightening every nearby Splicer's combat capabilities. Get caught in the explosion, and Splicers would be able to locate you from a much larger distance, even if under the effect of a Plasmid or Gene Tonic which'd usually cause them to lose your trail (save for possession, in which case the Splicer you'd control would also have their abilities augmented even further).
Phaser Grenades: These'd work like Phase in weapon form. With the help of ADAM-based technology, these things would explode after a set amount of time, dealing no damage but phasing everything in their radius, including the scenery, for a certain amount of time. Basically, the phased stuff would turn semi-transparent, and so enemies could see and shoot through it (as could you). Effectively, this means your cover could completely disappear for a short while.
Nitro Plasmid: If low on health, an irate Nitro Splicer could use this as a last resort. After charging the Plasmid for some time, remaining stationary and defenseless all the while, the Nitro could create a singularity which'd suck every object in the area towards it. After a few seconds every object caught in the singularity would ignite and be violently ejected outwards, dealing huge amounts of damage. Though this could seriously injure both you and your partner, it could also clear the room of other enemies, namely the weakened Nitro.
Tier Three Mutations
- Infested: Each explosive thrown by the Elite Nitro Splicer also releases a swarm of bees which'd infest the nearest target. Bees can be shooed away by meleeing or quick-meleeing repeatedly. Upon death, instead of releasing a grenade the Elite Nitro would leave behind another Insect Swarm.
- Trapster: Elite Nitro Splicer can deploy Cyclone Traps, either for self-propulsion or as a trap with a Net Mine on the receiving end, but never offensively. Shooting these Cyclone Traps sets them off prematurely.
- Telekinetic: Nitro Splicer can telekinetically pull objects towards itself, place an explosive on them and then throw them at the player(s). Alternatively, they can also flick objects at their target without having to pull them in first.
Aaaaand... done! This took a few days to fully type out. Did you know that the Nitro Plasmid thing in this post, though similar to Gravity Well, was originally from its singleplayer version, and predated the release of Minerva's Den by eleven days? How's that for coincidences? Also, comments and criticism are welcome as usual.