Introduced in Halo 4, the HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark IX Mantis was one of humanity’s greatest feats of engineering, post-war. At twenty feet tall and five metric tons, the Mantis was the best embodiment of a walking tank since the SPARTAN program. Armed with a machine gun, a missile launcher and an energy shield, the Mantis was the perfect vehicle for sending enemy Spartans, Covenant and Prometheans alike back to whatever hell they crawled out of and into a fit of rage. It was this very property that made 343 Industries make the Mantis boardable from the front and unable to fire its missiles one-by-one in Halo 5: Guardians. This also caused many organizations, including ONI and Liang-Dortmund, to adopt the Mantis for their own uses.
So what does this have to do with the Warhound from StarCraft 2? To find out, we must first understand what the Warhound is. A 22-feet tall terran mechanical walker, the Warhound is designed for anti-vehicle and anti-armor use. Armed with a railgun and Haywire missile launchers, the Warhound is perfectly suited for the fast-paced battlefield that is Blizzard Entertainment’s military science fiction real-time strategy video game. Unfortunately, however, the Warhound was cut from the multiplayer mode that StarCraft is most well-known for, although it continued to appear in its campaign.
So, how does all this useless and unreadable information help connect the dots between the Mantis and the Warhound?
- Firstly and most obviously, both the Mantis and Warhound are bipedal mechanical walkers with two ‘toes’ on their ‘feet’.
- Both the Mantis and the Warhound are approximately 20 feet tall.
- The Warhound has the ability to fire Haywire missiles which can do devastating damage to mechanical units. Similarly, the Mantis has the ability to fire missiles which can also do devastating damage to literally everything.
- Both the Mantis and the Warhound are able to send enemies back to whatever hell they crawled out of.
- Both the Mantis and the Warhound created massive outrage in their respective communities when they were first announced.
- Speaking of being announced, the Warhound was removed from StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm multiplayer on 14 September 2012. About 2 weeks later, on 1 October 2012, 343 Industries announced the Mantis in Halo 4. Coincidence? I think not.
- The Warhound has legs which are designed to move over tough terrain. Similarly, the Mantis is able to function effectively on all kinds of terrain, including Woodland, Tundra, Urban and Banshee.
That said, no amount of speculation is as good as information straight from the horse’s mouth, which is why HaloSwallower attempted to break into the Materials Group’s Damascus Materials Testing Facility to interview staff members, only to encounter a holographic sign on an electric fence stating “Your theories are all bullshit and this one on the Mantis/Warhound is no exception.”