The Vortex Warrior Drones appear to be a type of warrior sub cast of the regular Vortex Drones. They appeared only in Ecco: The Tides of Time. Like all Vortex drones they exist to serve the Vortex Queen.
According to the creator of the Ecco the Dolphin series, they are created by the assimilation of genetic patterns of other species. They are 'designed' to live in high pressure, deep water zones like at the bottom of the ocean and inside Vortex hives. Going to aquatic, light pressure areas is lethal for them as their own bodies are blown apart from the inside. In fact, if the player lures a warrior drone towards the surface, it will explode, saving the player from combat.
They are built for direct physical combat and are faster than their regular drone counterparts. They have large, powerful claws which they use to take hold of their intended victim and slice it apart. Warrior Drones also possess a ranged attack, having a 'turret' in their bodies that can fire poisonous bubbles.
Their absence in Ecco the Dolphin, other than that their conception had not been made up yet, was perhaps because the Warrior Drones were not considered necessary or perhaps not even created yet. They may have been Vortex creatures specifically made for the Vortex Queen's invasion of Earth. Another reason for their absence could be that the warrior drones have limited capabilities compared to their more regular brethern.
Like the regular Vortex drones, the Warrior Drones are absent in the Vortex future levels. However, since it is two future warrior drones that bring Ecco to the Vortex future in the first place, it is assumed they exist somewhere outside the floating Vortex facilities navigated by Ecco.
- Like the regular Vortex drones, the Warriors Drones are inspired by the art of the Swiss surrealist artist H.R. Giger, in specific his necronomicon work which also inspired the titular creature of the science fiction movie "Alien". Perhaps even more so than the regular drones.
- If Ecco is captured by a warrior drone, or is consumed by the Vortex Queen, the player will be forced to play a small mini-level as a warrior drone. The player's charge is replaced with toxic bubbles (though enemy warrior drones will never use these bubbles on Ecco.) The level is determined by which level Ecco was captured on:
- Lunar Bay - Inter
- Dark Sea - Innuendo
- New Machine - Trans
- Vortex Queen - Inside