: Industrial Complex, Garbage Wastes, Chimney Canopy, Sky Islands, Farm Arrays, Pipeyard
: Submerged Superstructure
: Submerged Superstructure, Outer Expanse
: Outskirts, Waterfront Facility, Metropolis
: Outskirts, Shoreline
: Outskirts, The Exterior, Waterfront Facility
: Outskirts, Silent Construct
Vultures are large, winged predators, capable of diving into any room with an open ceiling. Characterised by their skull-like masks and large wings that expel pink gas, they present a persistent threat throughout the game, appearing throughout many regions.
Three differently colored Vultures attempting to grab Slugcat
Vultures have sizeable oval-like bodies, featuring prominent, bony-grey shoulder blades and a slender neck. They have small pink gas-expelling vents near their shoulder blades on their undersides marked by the fleshy protrusions of varying lengths in place of their lower limbs. Their two large wings are lined with tubular 'feathers'. Adorning their faces are mandibles and a mask, underneath which their beady eyes can be seen. When flying, the caps on their feathers and their shoulder blades lift and, along with their vents, emit a pinkish-purple gas - used to adjust their buoyancy and to telegraph movements - which dissipates shortly after release. When walking, their feathers turn black and curl up at the ends of their wings, presumably to help provide better grip on the terrain. Vultures can come in a range of colors, spanning purple, blue, teal, green, pale yellow, red and pink.
Though intimidating, Vultures are somewhat cowardly and often retreat after taking only 2 or 3 spear hits, and they typically require 9-11 Spear
hits to kill. Therefore, if intending to kill one, the most efficient method is to stockpile a few spears in an enclosed space that they cannot easily get out of, luring a Vulture there, and spamming spears. This stun-locks them, so they are unable to escape. Move fast and circle around the Vulture, using the environment to block them from getting a bite and spearing them when possible. Attempt to hit the head or neck as these areas take double damage, and avoid hitting its wings as it deals almost no damage. Warding off a Vulture is significantly easier than killing one.
A Vulture successfully blocking Slugcat
Vultures are able to watch from off-screen before diving in to chase their prey, making stealth ineffective when in open spaces. It is easier and more effective to simply retreat into tunnels or under cover where possible.
Vultures are quicker than a running Slugcat when flying, but are slower when walking, making evading them a matter of deciding whether to try outrun them or circle around. Using their size and the terrain against them to force them to take longer routes can buy valuable time. Alternatively, retreating to another room and waiting for them to leave is a viable option - Vultures often follow up until the pipe connection, which they cannot move through, and typically stay there for a few moments before leaving - you can monitor whether or not they're in front of the pipe connection by how much it flashes white. Additionally, distracting Vultures with other creatures can provide enough time to slip by.
Vultures are very aggressive and mobile, pursuing their target until they can no longer follow it (e.g. the target goes through a creature tunnel or pipe). They often use their bodies to physically block prey from running off. Their arrival is signaled by the shadow they cast descending over the background. When attacking, an audio cue plays and they perform a short wind-up, during which their head and neck shake and their tusks retract, before lunging in to bite at their prey. If they catch something, it becomes incapacitated and the Vulture flies back off-screen with it. They are able to see prey even whilst off-screen, but cannot enter pipes, shortcuts or tunnels, though they often attempt to stick their heads into these.
Vultures have two modes of movement: flying and walking. When flying, Vultures move quickly through the air, honing in on their targets. Once they are close enough to solid ground, or their prey has retreated into a more enclosed space, they release a large amount of gas and grab onto the nearest terrain, signaling a transition to 'walking' mode, which allows them to stiltedly move around on their wings. Wings can shift modes independently of each other. Vultures give chase into any space so long as they can physically fit into it.
Vulture shadows on the background walls signalling their arrival
gripping the pole with its wings as it switches from flight to walking
Moving through narrower spaces
It is possible to demask Vultures with a spear, either live or dead, by hitting them in the base of their head; spears that hit the mask directly are deflected. It is only possible to demask a Vulture with spear hits that deal over 0.95 damage, meaning that Monk (who can at most only deal 0.9 damage) is unable to access Vulture Masks by their own means. Vultures that are demasked but alive are targeted by other, masked Vultures, and attempt to hunt down the creature that demasked it. The target is always prioritized by the Vulture, as its Eats relationship with other creatures is reduced to 10%. While Vultures bites typically only incapacitate their prey, maskless Vultures always bite to kill. The maskless state persists even when the region the individual is located in is no longer loaded.
Vulture Masks can be picked up and used to ward off most varieties of Lizard for 17.5 seconds (per individual, once a cycle), or in trade with Scavengers
Infighting between a masked and maskless Vulture
Hunting the Slugcat that demasked it
Rare rainbow albino variation
- King Vultures are the hard-mode variant of Vultures.
- While they are high-level predators feared by most, it is possible for Vultures to be killed by several other threats, such as Pole Plants, Monster Kelp, Scavengers, Leviathians, Red Centipedes, and Red Lizards.
- Vultures and Green Lizards ignore each other, unless the latter has been tamed by the player.
- Vultures can appear in rooms affected by nearby Echoes, where other creatures are not usually present.
- This can be easily exploited on the bridge to the left of the Chimney Canopy Echo, leading into Sky Islands. Using a Vulture Grub calls vultures to the room, but they instantly fall asleep once they enter, making it trivial to kill and claim a mask from them.
- Very rarely, Vultures can travel through pipes, though this is an unintended behavior.
- While this did not make the final cut, this was an intended feature present in alpha builds. Additionally, if the player manages to carries a dead Vulture through pipe connection, they may gain a burst of speed until they travel through another connection.
- Vultures may sometimes accidentally bite one-another even if neither is demasked. This does not appear to cause infighting.
- Vulture Grubs are seemingly related to Vultures in some way given their unique interaction, though exactly how is unclear.
- Vulture Masks are stated to be made of a composite material interwoven with bone.
- As masked Vultures attack those without, Vulture Masks appear to carry some kind of societal status that is lost when demasked.
- Alternatively, Vultures may not be able to recognize other Vultures without their masks, though this seems unlikely as they still attack Slugcat when masked.
- Though not observable in game, official art depicts Vultures as having slimy skin.
- The mandibles on Vultures' faces are called "tusks" in the files.
- The shadow cast on a Vulture's arrival is created by shifting the Vulture's geometry down from where it is off-screen, making its sprites invisible and letting that cast the shadow that can be observed. After they travel a sufficient distance down (but still off-screen) the geometry is snapped back to the correct place.
- Elite Scavengers wear modified Vulture Masks.
- Rarely, albino versions of Vultures can be seen. This is exclusive to Downpour, and do not appear unless the More Slugcats mod is enabled.
- Similarly, even rarer versions of the albino Vulture can spawn, which have bright multicolor wings rather than the pink or red seen on other albino creatures.