A drone control airship, the Quetzal carries three eye-shaped drones under its main body, continuously assessing the battlefield for threats; this grants the Quetzal far better line of sight that exceeds most other vehicles and aircraft. Additionally, the drones also help to mask the Quetzal’s radar profile.
The real purpose of the drones, however, is marking targets for orbital strikes. The drones can be deployed from the Quetzal over considerable distances, keeping the drone ship away from harm. Once a drone has designated a target, hybrid bombs launched from space will descend at extreme velocities before impacting the target and detonating with great force. Drones can be shot down by anti-aircraft weapons, but as long as the Quetzal remains operational, it can replace destroyed drones and continue raining orbital death with impunity.
Quetzal is Foehn's Tier 3 siege aircraft. It is known for being the anti-structure aircraft with the greatest range, making it a grand substitute for terrestrial siege units. Each Quetzal is armed with a beacon drone that is easily replaced. The released drone can mark its target for an orbital strike. Once the drone marks it, the orbital strike can't be prevented. A single orbital strike can damage buildings quite effectively. Groups of Quetzals can flatten bases quickly. These drones also divert the attention of anti-aircraft defenses away from Quetzals, therefore allowing them to safely siege defenses from a distance most of the time. Left unattended, a squadron of Quetzals can flatten bases quickly.
Quetzals use stealth based technology similar to the Allied Barracuda, making them invisible on enemy radar. With their stealth, Quetzals are capable of leading surprise attacks even if the opponent is sharp in using the minimap. In addition, Wings of Coronia has the ability to temporarily boost all Quetzals' armor by using Quetzal Shield, which makes them much tougher to bring down, encouraging Coronian commanders to send their Quetzals to bombard important structures that are heavily defended.
However, Quetzals are not without weaknesses. If the drone failed to mark its target, the attack will never happen. If the drone gets destroyed, it would take some time to get a replacement. Alert enemy commanders will manually order their anti-air defenses to fire at the Quetzal itself instead of its drones, reducing the Quetzal's effectiveness against human opponents. Bombardments also have a delay, making them ineffective against fast, mobile units. Last but not least, they are expensive to build as well (its price is second only to the Kirov Airship).
The Quetzal is voiced by Kii "ComradeCrimson" McKenzie.
- I am the morning star.
- Our drones are ready.
- We can kill from anywhere.
- The feathered serpent is ready.
- Graciously, I come unto earth.
When ordered to move
- Transcendent boundaries.
- Between earth and sky.
- Change is in the air.
- As you command.
- On course.
When ordered to attack
- We'll sweep them away!
- Marked for destruction!
- With urgency.
- Releasing the drones.
- They're within our range.
- They will be sorry!
When shot down
- This is not over!
- You can not end me!
- I shall return!
- The Quetzal's name and some of its quotes draw references to the Nahua feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl, who is also known as the god of the morning star.
- The Quetzal bears resemblances to the Hammerhead in Tiberian Twilight.
- The Quetzal's sound when locking onto a target is actually a higher pitched version of the GDI Orbital Strike support power when the latter's target is selected from Tiberium Wars.