The Aluminium Hydra is one of the twisted creations of the mad scientist Herzog Schlange, a forbidden alchemical weapon hidden in an underground cavern beneath Fortress Wahnen. This giant, multi-headed mechanical creature stands in the center of a circular stone walkway in the midst of a lake, protected by a group of Light Armored Guards.
Hiryu confronts and destroys the Hydra during his infiltration of Fortress Wahnen.
The Hydra is a giant machine with a small circular body that's mostly submerged in water and six long serpetine heads with unique forms that resemble different reptiles. The Aluminium Hydra is an autonomous entity, moving on its own at the commands of its creator and lunging at Hiryu whenever he comes close to one of its heads.
During battle the heads stand idle as they twirl around, only springing into action if Hiryu comes close enough to any one of them. The moment Hiryu comes close enough the heads about to attack start flashing red, signaling they are about to lunge at him. Hiryu can attack the heads and destroy them after enough damage, though the battle will not end until Herzog Schlange is defeated. Destroying all heads before Schlange will cause his hover platform to malfunction and drift aimlessly, making him easier to hit.
The six head forms are the following:
- Bite: An attack shared by all heads, it consists of a simple lunge forward trying to bite Hiryu. The attacking head will be stuck after hitting the platofrm, leaving it open and vulnerable to attacks for a brief moment.
- Laser Beam: An attack from the Dragon Head. A beam of energy shot from the mouth that travels from left to right. It leaves a trail of energy that can also harm Hiryu if touched.
- Swipe: An attack used by the Crocodile Head. A quick horizontal swipe in an attempt to bite Hiryu.
- Fire Breath: Used by the Snake Head. A stream of fire released in three waves by strafing back and forth.
- Tongue Lash: Used by the Chameleon Head. The head starts swinging left and right while camouflaged (it becomes transparent and difficult to discern) for a moment before suddenly lashing out at Hiryu with its long tongue.
- Chomp: Another attack from the Chameleon Head. While following Hiryu, the head does several small bites aimed at his direction.
- Triple Fireballs: Used by the Lizard Head. Shoots three fireballs from its mouth, which explode when they hit the ground. The first is aimed behind Hiryu, the second at his position and the last in front of him.
- Triple Bite: Another attack of the Lizard Head. The head will lunge forward three times.
The Aluminium Hydra is designed and inspired by the Japanese mythological 8-headed serpent known as "Yamata no Orochi", to the point it was actually known by this name in concept sketches, albeit misspelled as "Yomata no Orochi" (ヨマタノオロチ).
In early builds of the game, the Aluminium Hydra had a slightly different appearance, displaying a more generic body with a silver-metallic texture and dark blue glass panels in the lower region.
- Depending on whether the player finishes the Hydra or Schlange first, the Hydra's defeat animation will be different: If Schlange is defeated first, all the Hydra heads will freeze in place and instantly fall apart into the lake; while destroying all heads before dealing with Schlange will instead show its body being engulfed in several explosions.
- Staff (Autumn 1999). "Strider Hiryû 2". CFC Style Fan-Book CAP! (11). Pg. 4
- Capcom (February 22, 2014). Strider Hiryu Visual Chronicle (Japanese). Pg. 42