Seeker ammunition, also known as ‘Missile Launcher’, is the 4th weapon in Jazz Jackrabbit 2 (‘seekers’, as well as ‘seeker’, is commonly used in a singular context). It is one of only 2 missile weapons in the game, the other being Really Fast missiles.
The seekers have a lot of things in common with other weapons in Jazz Jackrabbit 2, but it has also specific features which make it very powerful, especially in multiplayer.
Like all weapons in the game, seekers detonate automatically when a target is not hit for a set amount of time. Its range is limited because of a short detonation time and a slow speed. This is only true when the player fires while stationary. If the player fires at maximum running speed, the seeker’s speed, and range, is increased dramatically.
Normal seekers travel slightly faster, and therefore farther, than powered-up seekers. However, the payload of the powered-up version, described in the JJ2 manual as ‘devastating’, more than makes up for the disadvantage in speed.
Seekers do just as their name suggests. They are the only weapon in the game that seek and destroy enemies. The JJ2 manual describes the seeker as ‘heat-seeking’, but this term was more likely used to add a technical feel rather than to be taken literally, because the seeker easily detects cold-blooded creatures, such as Norm Turtles and Lizards, in the game.
Rather than being heat-seeking, a seeker missile can, if an initial target is lost or non-existent, easily change its direction in mid-air if a target appears close to it. At a basic level, field of detection is an invisible circle that completely surrounds the missile, so anything can be detected, no matter what its angle of approach is, within approximately 8 tiles. Once a target is detected, the seeker will head towards the target’s direction, making the necessary orientation changes, until either the target is hit, or the seeker detonates by itself.
In single player, a normal seeker does damage equivalent to two blaster shots, while the powered-up version does 3 blaster shots worth of damage. Any non-boss enemy, apart from the Tuf Turt, the Witch and the Caterpillar can be killed by a single powered-up seeker missile. A powered-up seeker is also an excellent way to deal with lesser bosses, such as the Schwartzenguard and Devan’s Robot Boss. In multiplayer, seekers normally cause a 1 heart damage and 2 hearts when powered-up.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.