The Target Painter is the fifth and final new weapon in UT2004 and the only new superweapon. It looks like a green rifle with a big scope and acts almost exactly like the Ion Painter in terms of operation. Its effect is dubious and its impact easy to see and get away from, so most people tend to not even bother. However, when used right this weapon deals more damage than even the almighty Redeemer. As with all superweapons, the Target Painter’s Secondary Fire Mode is a special function and as such has no statistics or tactics of its own. Something that is worth mentioning is that the Target Painter and Ion Painter both occupy the same slot in your inventory and you will only be able to use the one you picked up first.
Target Painter – Primary Fire Mode
It fires a thin red beam that does no damage. You must stand still and not move your crosshair for 2 seconds for the Target Painter to call in an airstrike. After it does, a Phoenix Bomber will appear out of the blue behind your back and drop 15 bombs in a line in the direction you were facing when you called it in. Each bomb does separate damage and has limited splash damage – around a third of a Redeemer’s in terms of range. If at any time throughout those 2 seconds of charging you move either your body or your view, the timer will reset. A good way to tell if the timer has reset is to listen for the “beep” that will sound after 1 second of charging. If you’re not hearing that then you’re moving. Stop and take aim.
Finally, the Phoenix Bomber can be shot down by enemy fire before it has finished dropping all of its bombs. However, it flies higher than any Raptor can reach, so ground fire is the only option. Additionally, AVRiL missiles will not lock on to the bomber. Also, whenever you call in an airstrike, everyone in the game will receive a “Warning! Incoming airstirke!” message from the announcer. Take note that you can only call in an airstrike on a patch of ground which does not have geometry over it. That means you can’t call in an airstrike in enclosed spaces or on walls. And be warned: if a bomb lands on or near you, you’re dead meat no matter how much health or shield you have.
Damage vs. People: terminal
Damage vs. Vehicles: 15×800
Rate of Fire: N/A
Ammo per Shot: 1
Max. Ammo: 1
Charge Time: 2s
Special Features: special*; chargeable**; scoped; powerful knockback; can be shot down***; splash damage; superweapon
*It’s difficult to put in a few words, so see the “Introduction” for an explanation. **Charge time here applies to the time it takes the Target Painter to call in an attack. ***The bombs can’t, but the bomber can.
Target Painter – Secondary Fire Mode
It operates the scope. The scope is exactly the same thing as the scope on both the Lightning Gun and the Classic Sniper Rifle, so see their Secondary Fire Modes for details on how it works.
Some people believe that this weapon is next to worthless and can’t hit anything. That, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, it does take quite a while to call in the airstrike, for the bomber to arrive, for the bombs to fall down and all that with an early warning. I know. I realize that once you look up and see the bombs it’s a cinch to get away. I know. You can’t kill people, you can’t destroy vehicles and it does not have enough kick to destroy nodes. But what if you can get in 2 or possibly even 3 bombs? Scroll back up and do the math. And there’s only one thing that’s big enough to take 2 or 3 bombs. You guessed it – the Leviathan. Just stay out of sight and wait for it to deploy the Ion Cannon.
Once it’s charging for a shot, break cover and call in an airstrike somewhere below the Leviathan. Even with advanced warning and a long time to react, that thing takes so much time to pack the cannon and move away, that it has little chance to escape. No matter how you do it, you will be able to score at least 2 hits. That’s 1600 – more than a Redeemer missile. But if you really want to do some damage, sneak up behind the Leviathan’s back and call in your airstrike from there. That way the bombs will fall along the length of the vehicle, scoring 3 or possibly even 4 hits. Add the fact that few people pay attention to the airstrike warning and see it when the bombs start exploding, and you have a sweet, sweet answer to the allegedly “invincible” Leviathan. Sadly, that’s about all you can use the Target Painter for.