Though Hardtop has no super-human powers to speak of, it's often easy for his fellow Joes to assume otherwise. A genius engineer and electronicist, the man can perform feats of Science that are not only astounding, but seem downright impossible!
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Crawler Gantry (i): his primary equipment, Hardtop makes use of this massive vehicle while helping the GI Joe team launch its space shuttles - whether the Defiant or the Crusader. This heavy, and heavily armed vehicle, is described fully in its own vehicular entry.
Helmet (s): Hardtop usually wears this sturdy headgear at work - safety is everyone's job, after all! It provides Hardtop intensity 8, or +2, protection against physical attacks striking him in the cranium, and has a communications headset linked to his crawler gantry as well.
Knife (s): sometimes, the best tool is a sharp edge. Carried in a boot sheath for easy access, Hardtop's blade is made from m.s. 14 materials, can be used to cut through items of up to like m.s. with enough time, and lets him inflict +2 slashing damage in melee.
Sidearm (a): Hardtop can either discharge a single round with this weapon to inflict his Agility +4 in damage, or several to inflict his Agility +5 in damage. He rarely has the need to utilize this firearm, but you never know when you'll be attacked while out fixing something!
Boxing (s): an ability that everyone learns during basic training, Hardtop can easily defend himself should he find himself without weapons. He may divide his pre-card play action score between two unarmed melee attacks, the last of which occurs as a contingent action.
Electronics (i): an area that he loves to research in addition to his main work, Hardtop has also become an effective electronics expert as well. He should receive a reduced difficulty on any ation required while building, designing, or repairing any electronic devices.
Engineering 3 (i): his true claim to fame, Hardtop is a top-shelf engineer. World-class in skill, he can build just about anything, and receives the benefit of an autotrump when creating things, whether they be roads or buildings or vehicles or even booby traps!
Guns (a): a skill everyone picks up in the military these days, Hardtop can easily operate most conventional firearms. Whether he's handling a standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifle or pistol, Hardtop may do so at a reduced difficulty level.
Military / United States (w): serving as an origin of sorts for Hardtop, this talent is the source of almost all his other skills. It describes how he knows the SOP like the back of his hand, and how he can effortlessly function in a military environment.
As a highly skilled member of the GI Joe team, Hardtop can naturally rely upon his fellows for assistance in a pinch - they may not need him often, but when they do he's usually the only one who can come through for 'em. He also has additional contacts in engineering circles.
Soldier, with a secondary calling of Explorer: Hardtop loves to build things. He's so 'into' both the theoretical and the practical side of engineering work that he doesn't really spare a lot of time for those pesky 'people' who will use his creations.
Hardtop wears a simple, effective uniform while on the job. It consists of a light blue collared, short sleeved shirt, a light blue pair of loose-fitting trousers, white leather boots, white belts and web gear to hold various tools, and a white construction helmet.
Hardtop is the strong and silent type... with an emphasis on 'silent'. He hardly talks at all, but then he's got so many other things going on in his head regarding the building and operation of his creations that 'other people' don't really register to him at all.
Real Name: Nicholas D. Klas, Grade E-5
Occupation: heavy equipment operator, engineer
Legal Status: citizen of the United States with no known criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: GI Joe
Height: 6' 1"
Hair: light brown
Weight: 210 lbs
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: none.
Hardtop loves to create things and solve problems. Whether he's planning or building anything from a skyscraper to an Interstate exchange, the man is simply not happy unless he's working out the kinks in a challenging project of any variety.
He's been doing this sort of thing all his life, and has become one of the world's single greatest engineers in the process. He joined the military to make a difference with his skills, and has mastered several others in the process. And that's before you consider his greatest work.
You see, the military needed a combat-ready space shuttle for the GI Joe team, as their foes in Cobra were working on much the same. They assigned Hardtop the job of building the crawler gantry for said shuttle, a vehicle that could move it into launch position - and then help it take off.
Jumping at the chance to work on this, Hardtop threw everything he had into it. Soon enough, the vehicle was ready, even before the spacecraft that were designed to work with it. The GI Joe team was so impressed by this that they recruited Hardtop on the spot.
His official job with the Joes is to operate the crawler gantry when the team has to launch one of its shuttles - whether the Defiant or a later model, the Crusader. Of course, with something so advanced, somebody's got to fix the thing when it breaks down.
Which Hardtop is always happy to do. It's usually a challenge, after all, to fix a gantry on the move with a space shuttle loaded on already. Usually, he won't see combat while preparing for a launch, but when he does Hardtop tends to look at it as another challenge.
He did arm his crawler gantry to the teeth, you know. When the Joes were dismantled for a time in '94, Hardtop went to work for the National Space Agency, applying everything he'd learned with the Joes to civilian work... and making the 'regular' space program better as a result.
Once the team was reassembled, Hardtop made himself available for additional work when required, though he's no longer a full-time Joe. But whenever they need to launch one of their shuttles for specialized anti-terror missions, Hardtop always answers the call!
Hardtop's Tiger Force ensemble is a variation on his first. It includes a collared orange, short sleeved shirt with black tiger stripes dyed on, similarly hued, loose-fitting trousers, gray leather boots, white belts to hold various tools, black web gear, and a black construction helmet.
Hardtop's third uniform is almost identical to his first. It is comprised of a light blue collared, short sleeved shirt over a gray turtleneck, a light blue pair of loose-fitting trousers, white leather boots, white belts and web gear to hold various tools, and a white construction helmet.
GI Joe directories featuring a version of Hardtop:
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