The Gladiator is a type of Protoss assault walker.
It served as the prototype for the Dragoons long before the Kalath Intercession. At first the Gladiator was one more than a etching drawn up by engineers during their spare time while exploring space. This was due to advances in medical technologies and the general belief that few things could harm a protoss warrior save another protoss warrior after the Aeon of Strife.
There were some interested parties within the Judicator and Templar Castes. All of whom were consumed with hunting down the Heretics still at large. To this end, they commissioned a few Gladiators to be constructed for test and deployment against a suspected hidden base. As for the pilots, the Judicator caste allowed special dispensation to use wounded veterans from the Aeon of Strife still stored in stasis cells. While some were hesitant to use such honored warriors, the head Judicator silenced such opposition to get the project underway.
During both simulation and its first mission, the Gladiator performed well beyond parameters with extreme efficiency. Heavy plasma mortars usually softened up shielded targets while scattering enemies (Ratchet - Deadlocked: Landstalker; Gears of War: Mortar). While pinned down, the Gladiator would finish them off with psionic blades similar to the ones used by Sentinels. Against airborne targets, it fired ionic pulsars that could down a Scout and Shuttle before counterattacks could be done. In terms of mobility, Gladiators could climb vertical walls and run at speeds that rivaled Hoverboards. Their only problem was maneuvering through tight gaps and stairs (Robocop: ED-209).
Gladiators also came equipped with an energy tether to capture any escaping heretics and perform operations that required a level of grace and dexterity (Ratchet & Clank - Future series: Kinetic tether). Some even tried using the tether for romantic acts (Marvel: Spider-Man (2002)). Such acts were disapproved of by the Judicators and punished severely.
One of the prototypes also came with an experimental Neural interface to increase combat performance by augmenting their natural prediction abilities (Gundam Wing: ZERO System). Unfortunately, the interface caused irreparable brain damage to users after prolonged use.
After years of service and lack of any major opposition, the cost to maintain the Gladiators proved too much. They were then gradually phased out in favor of Dragoons and Colossi.
- Detector - reveal hidden enemies
- Break dance - perform a spinning melee attack that deals +800 damage to nearby units and structures
- Tether/Untether/Reel - immobilize and reel in target unit to be hit with +400 damage. Move small friendly structures
- Foresee - unit gains 80% chance of dodging enemy attacks at a cost of 50% health