Mutated and enlarged in the laboratories of Big MT, cazadores are the offshoot of DNA experiments, performed by Dr. Borous (allegedly in 2003), on tarantula hawk wasps. Formerly, cazadores were confined to the Z-14 Pepsinae DNA splicing lab in Big MT, but groups of cazadores had escaped the Big MT crater and moved to neighboring areas, such as the Mojave Wasteland and Zion Canyon, in recent years. Doctor Borous denies that they have escaped from Big MT or have the ability to breed, which is shown to be false.
Cazadores have distinctive amber-orange wings, a blue-black carapace and blood-red eyes. They have a quick and rather erratic flight pattern, making them difficult to hit without V.A.T.S. assistance. They are most often encountered in swarms of four or more, with the occasional strays flying in the outlying area. Their venomous attacks can lead to a quick death if they succeed in poisoning their target. The spikes on their back rise and fall, both when idle and when attacking.
Cazadores are more common in mountainous regions of the Mojave Wasteland, although some swarms can be found near lakes in lower areas. They chew wood fiber and mold it into a paper pulp in order to create large basket-shaped nests, many of which can be seen at places such as Bonnie Springs, cazador nest, west of the Brewer's beer bootlegging, the road heading towards Jacobstown, north of Goodsprings, inside various tents in the tribal village and the boathouse at Callville Bay. The cazadores' original breeding ground is the Z-14 Pepsinae DNA splicing lab in Big MT. They compete with night stalkers for prey.
While a sting from a young cazador isn't highly damaging, the sting of an adult is. A sting will do more physical damage than a giant radscorpion and cause three times more poison damage over a longer time. They are extremely fast and hard to escape unless their wings have been crippled. They attack in large swarms while also covering a large area. Crippling a wing via V.A.T.S. greatly slows them down and also temporarily disables their ability to fly. However, they will continue to sputter towards their enemy at a fast rate. Crippling their antennae will frenzy them. They do not take extra damage from shots to the head.
Cazadores are large insects with distinctive orange wings, a blue-black carapace, blood-red eyes, a spiky upper abdomen, a fast flight speed and a rather erratic flight pattern. They are common in mountainous regions in the Mojave Desert and move in groups of two to five.
Young cazadores are often found near other cazadores in mountainous regions. They are identical in appearance to regular cazadores but are about 1/2 to 3/4 the size. Though their poison is weaker than that of adults, their small size makes them more agile and difficult to hit than mature cazadores.
They can also prove to be quite a hassle due to their tendency to swarm. Entire groups will swarm their target in an attempt to overwhelm it via numerical strength.
The only one of its kind, the legendary cazador has twice as many Hit Points and significantly more attack power than a normal adult cazador. The legendary cazador is one of the five legendary creatures found in the Mojave Wasteland. It is encountered at the end of the cazador-infested Silver Peak Mine. Sometimes it will show up after the player character clears out all the other cazadores or after reaching the second floor of the cave. It spawns from an overhead tunnel on the second floor.
Giant cazadores are encountered all over Zion Canyon as part of the Honest Heartsadd-on. They are one of the most vicious creatures in the add-on, and can be found in various locations outside of Eastern Virgin and the Sorrows camp. They are usually found in groups of two or three, but it is not uncommon to see groups of other sizes. As their name implies, they are much larger than a normal cazador.
“-Oh, and the tarantula hawk. Can't splice enough, I always say, especially if you can make a magnificent Cazador!-”— Dr. Borous
This unique cazador is found in the Z-14 Pepsinae DNA splicing lab guarding a variety of loot, including the Auto-Doc Upgrade: Implant M-5 behind the double doors at the end of the corridor. Judging by its name, it was probably some sort of experiment. It is a stronger and more powerful version of a regular cazador and has even more Hit Points than the legendary cazador, but its main advantage is its incredible speed.
Cazadores are generally found in packs, numbering between two to five.
Companions are vulnerable to cazador attacks, as they cannot use antivenom. Stimpaks must be administered via the companion wheel. Companions will, however, use datura antivenom if they have any in their inventory.
Idle cazadores will dart back and forth erratically, making them easy to identify on a compass once detected. This makes it difficult to hit them with ranged weapons without the aid of V.A.T.S., however.
Patch 18.104.22.1685 changed the cazadores' poison effect on normal mode. The duration is now shorter, but the damage is higher.
In Old World Blues, Doctor Borous reveals that he created cazadores, but denies that they have escaped from Big MT or have the ability to breed. While Borous states that he created them in 2003, he is not a reliable source, as Doctor Mobius altered his chronometer, among other things. Borous, however, is absolutely sure it was a Tuesday, and that it was before the Great Static.
The cazadores found inside Big MT are tougher and drop significantly more poison glands than their Mojave counterparts.
Unlike radscorpion stinger attacks, which will always poison the player character, getting poisoned by cazadores appears to be random, i.e., getting hit by their stingers does not guarantee being poisoned. Cazador poison is more lethal than a radscorpion's, however, which more than makes up for this.
Cazadores have one of the highest base Perception of any creature, being higher than that of the common deathclaw. This, coupled with their erratic movement behavior while idling, makes them nearly impossible to sneak past.
Josh Sawyer is responsible for the design of cazadores.
“Lesson I learned while working on New Vegas: Throby bits are the friend to any artist looking to create a nasty disgusting giant insect. You'll notice the Cazador's Butt and back throb like it's full of some type of deadly goo. You'll also notice that all the little hairs on his back and head twitch and wiggle. So much fun to put little details into a rig and animate it! I've included the rig in this video because it's pretty neat to see what is driving the 3D model.”— Shon Stewart
“No, because I love cazadores and how they mess with players. I felt like Fallout needed a serious mutated insect enemy and came up with the basic idea for the cazador after seeing a picture of a tarantula hawk. From the first time I saw player responses to Brian’s concept art on the Bethesda forums, I knew people were going to dramatically underestimate them as enemies.”— Josh Sawyer
PCPlaystation 3Xbox 360 It seems to be possible for cazadores to fall through the map and fly about under it. This will drive companions crazy, since they will target them but be unable to hit them. Affected cazadores cannot sting non-player characters or the Courier, but will continue to fly back and forth attempting to attack. If the player is above an affected cazador its name and health bar will be visible, but the cazador itself will be invisible. This is a clear indicator that the cazador is bugged in this manner. Attacking with the Ranger Takedown maneuver may fix this bug.[verified]
PCPlaystation 3Xbox 360 Poison does not appear to wear off companions in the 22.214.171.124x patch after combat. Dismissing the companion and re-hiring them at their home location or the Lucky 38 seems to bypass this. It will wear off after 30 seconds, administering stimpaks to companions will cause the whole damage-over-time to be applied at once which could bring them to negative HP.[verified]
Xbox 360 Sometimes (or all the time, if your system is affected), if cazadores are in the area, even if you can't see them, you will hear the poison hissing sound loud and close as if you had been poisoned by them. Essentially, you will hear the sound when a cazador anywhere in your active cell poisons something - the attack might not be on the player character or a companion, since even a distant cazador battle will trigger the sound.[verified]
Playstation 3Xbox 360 If you use the flamer against them, they sometimes freeze in the air while on fire.[verified]
Playstation 3Xbox 360 Rare occurrences of cazadores being able to poison you when they are in no way close enough to do so, seems to only happen in V.A.T.S.[verified]
PCXbox 360 Sometimes, the legendary cazador just wanders around the cave without attacking the player. [verified]
Xbox 360 In Silver Peak Mine, cazadores may not show up as red blips on your heads-up display even though they can be targeted using V.A.T.S.[verified]
Xbox 360 Due to their incredible speed and relatively small size, cazadores can easily embed themselves into rock formations to make themselves harder to hit, lure melee focused couriers towards them and unlike most enemies even slow the framerate of the game to a crawl, making their fellow cazadores even harder to hit. This effect appears to stack depending on how many cazadores there are inside any number of rocks at one time and is hit and miss on whether looking away from the cazadores helps the framerate or not. Standing around appears to make them leave the rocks and attack the courier directly.[verified]
↑J.E. Sawyer's formspring - ""Cazador" is the Spanish word for "hunter". Since cazadores are based on tarantula hawk wasps and they are more common in Arizona and New Mexico (the Sonoran Desert, especially), I thought they may have originally been named "in the wild" by Spanish-speakers."
↑The Courier: "You are responsible for Cazadores?" Borous: "Indeed. Docile. Curious. Safe. Sterile. They are contained here at Big MT to preserve DNA and for observation." The Courier: "Contained at Big Mountain? Those things are all over the Mojave!" Borous: "No, such creatures are found only here, for research purposes. They would no more be capable of escape than breeding." The Courier: "What makes you think they haven't escaped?" Borous: "Because Big MT's safety measures are far more sophisticated than their primitive animal instincts. WE are their lords and masters." (NVDLC03DoctorBorous.txt)