|"Hmm, I don't remember that one. It mustn't be that important." |
This article is about a subject from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]
A Grad (Ukrainian: "hail"), technically "Hrad", was a Ukrainian Unmanned Gear in use during 2018. Although technically modern, it was made by the L.I. Wisniowiecki Machine Works Design Bureau in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, which was an old Soviet-era firm.
Doktor described the Grad as dual-mode vehicle designed to function as either a bunker or a mobile combat vehicle. Much like Metal Gear REX, the Grad consisted of a head and rear unit both attached to the lower body with pivots, and a lower body linked directly to the legs. The Grad had four arm-like actuators with armor panels mounted on them, and wheels on the backs of its feet which allowed it to move at high speed. There were blueprints in existence that indicated that pillbox weapons were meant to directly aid infantry in combat, although it was unknown whether the Grad's bunker mode was intended to be the final result.
In bunker mode, the Grad was semi-mobile, with the head lowered and the armor panels bought forward to act as a barricade, the rear unit raised to allow the deployment of the Grad's weapons. The Grad was heavily armed, with a massive chin-mounted cannon, a Kord heavy machine gun on the rear hatch, and a pair of missile launchers which could deploy either micro-missiles or larger anti-tank homing missiles. The bulldozer-like array of armor plates allowed it to swat close-ranged attackers away by thrusting the plates sharply towards them. According to Doktor, the Grad also possessed a self-learning AI that was powerful enough to be unpredictable on the battlefield, although it wasn't nearly as powerful as the LQ-84i's AI. The magnetostrictive actuators, a creation made by Doktor back when East Germany still existed, were also utilized on the Grads, which gave him some shame.
Shifting out of this mode allowed the Grad increased mobility at the expense of focused firepower and protection. Rather than the armor plates being used to protect the head, they were used as melee weapons, the Grad spinning around or charging and clapping them together to injure foes.
The presence of a hatch with a mounted machine gun implies that the Grad could be manually controlled, and the side cross-section of the Grad shows a tiny cockpit with a seat and a monitor is beneath the hatch. However, all Grads encountered by Raiden mounted a standard UG power core at this location.
Regularly, Grads were colored green, although they could also be given customized colors.
- See also: Raid at World Marshal, Ambush in Africa, Abkhazian Coup, Investigation in Guadalajara, Raid in Denver, and Operation Tecumseh
The Grads were later utilized by Desperado in 2018. Grads were originally dispatched to Abkhazia to aid in the Abkhazian Coup, although they were all destroyed by the renegade UG weapon LQ-84i, due to Mistral's manipulations. Ironically, this also resulted in Maverick Security Consulting, Inc.'s job to repel the coup being made a lot easier. Raiden later encountered one Grad while attempting to track down any surviving abducted children in a Desperado-owned research lab in Guadalajara, Mexico. Doktor also implied that the weapon's deployment in Mexico was due to drug cartels usage of eastern and Russian weaponry, and that the Arms Trade Treaty allowed for it to pass due to Desperado and its backers' influence. It initially fought in its bunker mode, but eventually utilized its bipedal mode when Raiden forced it back, resulting in Raiden destroying it.
Several were later encountered in Denver, Colorado by Raiden, while attempting to undergo a corporate raid on the PMC World Marshal's headquarters, which was discovered to have been allied with Desperado in turning kids into cybernetic child soldiers. One of which ambushed Raiden while the latter was nearing the top half of the building.
Behind the scenes
The Grad (グラ) first appears in Chapter R-02 of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, where it acts as the boss of the level. It later made reappearances in the Colorado levels as either an enemy or, in the case of Chapter R-04, a sub-boss. During the mandatory encounters with it in Chapters R-02 and R-03, the musical theme for the Grads is "Rules of Nature", the same boss theme previously used for the RAY fight in the prologue.
The first Grad is a super-tough variant which seems to ignore damage to most locations; the Fox Blade and Armor Breaker are ineffective against it as they only deal their standard damage, respectively the same as that of the normal HF Blade and the HF Machete. For some reason it is also impossible to perform Zandatsu on the first Grad as it has no red weak point box to strike at. Later Grads are vulnerable to armor-destroying weapons, a single slash with the Fox Blade capable of cutting through both legs as with a Gekko.
It is possible while performing an Execution on a Grad to cut the front into so many pieces that cuts no longer appear in the rear section during the second part of the animation where Raiden flips over it; this can make getting Zandatsu on a Grad difficult as the weak point is the hatch on the rear section.
A cross-section for a Grad appeared in a PlatinumGames Blog regarding the cross sections for Metal Gear Rising prior to release, although it was not identified at the time.
A Grad appeared in Versus Battle on the official series website.
- "STRENGTHS: Tank-Like Monster, Deadly Cannon
WEAKNESSES: Semi-Vulnerable When Standing
FEATURED FACT: You do not want to meet one of these in a dark alley. Or anywhere for that matter.
FEATURED GAME: METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE"
- -Grad description from Versus Battle.
The first Grad is ranked battle 8 of file R-02, and the battle occurs in two phases. To begin with the Grad is in bunker mode and blocking the route forward; it will fire all of its weapons at Raiden, with the best option to use the Ninja Run to zigzag between the walls to avoid the shots from the Grad's cannon. Approaching close to the Grad will make it perform a physical attack with its armor panels which knocks Raiden back, and it will continue to fire the whole time.
The support team will tell Raiden to push the Grad back, but do not really explain how to do this; pushing at it with sword slashes will do this eventually, but a far quicker method is to slide kick the machine. Once the Grad is pushed back out of the passageway it will back up and change modes.