|“|| Tall, ominous towers of doom. Does wonders for morale|
- Anonymous GDI soldier, describing the structure
Born out of the need for a powerful defensive mechanism for Brotherhood military bases, the Obelisk is quite possibly the most powerful laser weapon in recorded history, result of Project Obelisk WDTA2411 5. Its mode of operation remains basically the same throughout the wars - massive capacitors underneath the structure amass power, which is then used to create a powerful laser beam, directed against enemies via a system of advanced optical and focusing systems. Obviously, it requires massive amounts of power to function. In Tiberian Dawn, the Obelisk of Light is a sloped back obelisk that ends in a large focusing crystal that projects the laser. It's under complete computer control, with humans only needed to oversee that it works properly.
An interesting offshoot of Nod research was the development of portable Obelisk modules, codenamed Firefly and Tarantula respectively, which utilized a similar technology, though much less powerful. These weapons never made it outside limited field testing and did not have a major effect on the resolution of the conflict.
Obelisks were always a prominent part of Nod bases, especially around important Nod structures. For example, the bases defending Sarajevo featured nearly a half dozen of these powerful base defenses, including one that was specifically assigned to defend the Temple of Nod itself.
After the war, the Forgotten seem to have acquired a single Obelisk of this type and used it to defend their main headquarters in the Second Tiberium War. Nod built a more advanced version of the Obelisk in the Second Tiberium War.
This powerful emplacement suffers from a severe lack of armour plating, making delicate internal mechanisms vulnerable to damage and outright destruction. Its not a major drawback, however, since very few enemies are able to fire at it from outside its effective range. As they could only target one unit at a time and had significant recharge times, swarming tactics can easily neutralize them. Air unit can freely engage them as the Obelisk alone cannot target aircraft, can be overcome by infantry.
The laser beam is powerful enough to reduce a human target or light vehicle, such as a Humvee, to ash instantly, and to do serious damage to heavier vehicles. Furthermore, its long range allows it to engage enemy targets before they can retaliate; an Obelisk of Light has longer range than almost any GDI unit. To take care of an Obelisk, opposing commander may outflank it and concentrate the firepower to destroy or capture power plants. A GDI APC may survive one direct hit but will suffer critical damage. Ion Cannon can also be used to destroy any Obelisks in an instant.
- Highly effective against infantry and light vehicles.
- Has longer range than almost any GDI unit.
- Destroys harvesters and mammoth tanks in 3 shots.
- Weak against masses of infantry.
- Defenseless against air units.
- Shuts down with insufficient power, leaving the base defenseless.
- Expensive (costs $1500).
- SSM launchers can destroy the obelisk without taking any damage from it.
- Can only target one unit at a time.
- Ion Cannon can be used to destroy any Obelisks in an instant.
- ↑ Tiberian Dawn EVA Installation Sequence