When an ethereal dies, there is an animation where it is consumed by purple light. Does this do any damage to surrounding units?

I had always assumed that it was purely a visual effect. However, an experience today made me wonder about that.

A single ethereal was the last remaining enemy on a mission. One of my squad (let's call her A) was immediately adjacent to it and on 1HP. A different squad member (B) fired the shot that killed the ethereal. Messages appeared stating that,

  • Soldier A had died
  • Soldier B had killed the ethereal

I think the messages were in that order.

Then the mission-end screen appeared. On the mission end screen, the number of squad deaths was given as 0/6. However, after returning to base, A was indeed KIA.

The contradiction in summary screens is presumably a bug related to a soldier dying as the game is won. But, I do not know what killed her.

  • She was not the one firing at the ethereal, so it cannot have been reflected damage.
  • She was not mind controlled. (she was hit earlier in the turn by the ethereal's plain damage attack - but I'm not aware of any lasting effect from that?)

The only possibility that I can think of is that ethereals do have a (perhaps weak) 1-square AOE damage radius as they die. But in that case I am surprised that nobody has mentioned this before.

Can anybody shed any light on what might have happened?

1 Answer 1


The short answer is yes, Ethereals do explode upon death, and deal a small amount of AoE to the surrounding area.

According to the information in this forum post, both Ethereals and Uber-Ethereals have a death explosion radius of just over 2 tiles and do 4 damage.

  • Wow, I never knew that drones exploded so violently. Mystery solved, thank you!
    – Flyto
    Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 21:34

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