The Self-Destruct Device is a powerful Yautja explosive device built into a Predator's Wrist Gauntlet. This weapon of last resort is used by Yautja both as a means by which to commit honorable suicide in the face of an imminent defeat, and also to remove any evidence of their existence and prevent their technology from falling into the hands of another species. As such, it is an indispensable piece of their equipment, and a Yautja would never venture on a hunt without it.
When a Yautja is on the verge of death or defeat, he will activate the self-destruct device built into his Wrist Gauntlet. When activated, the Self-Destruct Device takes several seconds time to charge, and it begins a relatively short countdown, indicated on the digitized display. It is not clear whether the process is irreversible once started, although destroying the device while it is counting down has been known to prevent detonation.
The detonation of the bomb results in an explosion of unclear composition and chemistry — while the blast often creates a sizeable mushroom cloud, the explosion itself is not thought to be nuclear in nature. However, exposure to such a blast has been known to create ailments comparable to radiation sickness in humans. The explosion from a Self-Destruct Device is often blue-tinted in color, indicating it may not be the result of a combustion reaction at all, and likely bears some relation to Yautja Plasmacaster technology. In some cases, a floating sphere-like mass of energy is seen to rise from the device immediately prior to detonation, often creating electrical discharges around it. This may be to give the explosion the destructive benefits inherent with an air-burst detonation.
Whatever the mechanism of the explosion, like many contemporary nuclear weapons the device features a variable yield that can be increased or decreased by the individual Yautja as they see fit; the explosion has been known to level an area of rainforest that would cover up to 300 city blocks, or conversely merely vaporize an individual Predator with minimal damage to the surroundings.
The self-destruct component of the Wrist Gauntlet can be quickly and easily removed, allowing it to be used offensively without resulting in the death of the Predator wielding it. However, this is apparently rare and reserved exclusively for occasions where the need for large-scale destructive power outweighs the humiliation and dishonor of the individual's potential capture as a result of the loss of the device. Similar Self-Destruct Devices are found on Predator starships, although often significantly more powerful — one such device almost completely obliterated New Way City in 1930. There are two different known versions of ship Self-Destruct Devices, one that implodes the ship, removing all traces of its existence, and one that detonates in a massive thermonuclear explosion.
- The explosion at the end of Predator is later said by Peter Keyes to have covered 300 city blocks, equivalent to around 30 kilometres, yet Dutch was apparently able to run a safe distance from the blast in a few seconds.
- Fans sometimes refer to the device as a "Wrist-Nuke". However, it has never been clarified whether the device is actually nuclear in nature. This nickname more likely refers to the size and nature of the explosion itself, not necessarily its atomic effects.
- As demonstrated by Mike Harrigan, if the Self-destruct device is damaged (or, in his case, cut in half), before the countdown finishes, the expected explosion will not occur.
- Predator 2
- Aliens versus Predator 2/Primal Hunt
- Aliens versus Predator: Extinction
- Alien vs. Predator/novel
- Predator: Concrete Jungle (video game)
- Aliens vs. Predator (video game)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers), Stephen Hopkins (director). Predator 2 (1990), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ Simon Hawke. Predator 2, p. 137 (1990), Jove Books.
- ↑ Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers), John McTiernan (director). Predator (1987), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Aliens vs. Predator (2010), Rebellion, SEGA [Microsoft Windows].
- ↑ Paul W. S. Anderson (writer and director). Alien vs. Predator (2004), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005), Eurocom, Sierra Entertainment, Vivendi Universal Games [PlayStation 2, Xbox].