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Gears of War Wiki

"This is what's sinking the cities. This is our chance to stop it."
"And how the hell are we supposed to do that?!"
"Rip its goddamn heart out.
—Sgt. Fenix and Cpl. Baird on killing the Riftworm.

The Destruction of the Riftworm was a mission undertaken by Delta-One to kill the gargantuan Riftworm from the inside in order to stop it from sinking other cities, including Jacinto, after being swallowed whole. Navigating the perils of its digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and immune systems; Delta-One killed the Riftworm by destroying its three hearts and draining the Riftworm of its blood. The mission was a success as the Locust Horde lost their greatest weapon against the humans of Sera as well as their deity, however, Jacinto City was sunk the following day but by the COG in order to flood the Locust Horde in the Hollow.


Shortly after the Lightmass Offensive, in which the Lightmass Bomb detonated in the Outer Hollow, the heat and explosion awoke a gargantuan, prehistoric, subterranean creature known as the Riftworm - which was revered by the Locust Horde as their God. Ketor Skorge, gifted in the vocals to control the worms and in possession of the Kantus Scrolls, was able to fulfill the Locust Horde's plan, as advised by Professor Adam Fenix, to sink Jacinto City in order to flood the Hollow and kill the Lambent. However, due to Jacinto City's granite bedrock, the Jacinto Plateau, they were still unable to dig through.

However, by collapsing cities on the plateau that had natural fissures, the Locust would be able to weaken Jacinto City's base and sink the city. Ketor Skorge had used the Riftworm to sink the nearby cities on the plateau: Tollen and Montevado, but the Coalition of Ordered Governments soon understood their plan and initiated Operation: Hollow Storm - which involved invading the Inner Hollow and destroying the Locust Horde before they could sink any more cities. However, shortly after the Assault on the Inner Hollow, Ketor Skorge was able to sink Ilima City.

During the battle inside the Ilima sinkhole, Delta-One, comprised of Sgt. Marcus Fenix, Cpl. Dominic Santiago, Cpl. Damon Baird, Pvt. Augustus Cole, and Pvt. Benjamin Carmine; were given new orders to evacuate the Ilima sinkhole and were picked up by KR One-Nine during a firefight. However, the Riftworm then began to devour the city's remains. A piece of rubble hit the King Raven, causing a tail-spin and resulting in Pvt. Carmine falling into the throat of the Riftworm. The remaining Gears on One-Nine were then swallowed whole by the Riftworm. It then closed its mouth and continued to burrow through the Jacinto Plateau, now on a course to sink Jacinto City.

Order of Battle[]

Escaping the Digestive Tract[]

"C'mon man! Let's just cut our way out this bitch."
"No. First we kill it. Then we cut our way out.
—Pvt. Cole and Sgt. Fenix after awakening in the Riftworm's large intestines

Sgt. Fenix, Cpl. Baird, and Pvt. Cole survived being devoured and awoke within the large intestine of the Riftworm, surrounded by rubble and debris from Ilima. They later found Cpl. Santiago who had been unconscious but later awoke. Pvt. Cole suggested cutting their way out of the Riftworm, but Sgt. Fenix advised they first kill it by destroying the heart and then escape, as it was their only chance of stopping the worm from sinking further cities. Traversing the large intestine, the Gears were forced to navigate a series of massive grinding teeth that were capable of instantly crushing them. After dodging through the digestive teeth, the Gears arrived to the small intestine, where large spikes covered in stomach acid protruded from.

Sgt. Fenix discovering a partially-devoured Pvt. Carmine in the Riftworm's small intestine.

The Gears were then swarmed by a pack of Nemacytes that protect the Riftworm by devouring potentially life-threatening living organisms. Delta then discovered several Nemacytes devouring Pvt. Benjamin Carmine and dragged him into a pool of stomach acid as Delta shot at them. After Pvt. Carmine's death, Pvt. Cole retaliated by shooting the large uvula hanging in the small intestine, causing the Riftworm to vomit a wall of debris it had eaten. Delta then escaped the remainder of the small intestine by avoiding and crossing over the acidic spikes, shooting numerous sphincters to open and allowing them through, fighting off more Nemacytes, and then finally cutting open the membrane that connected the small intestine to the stomach. The stomach became a narrow bridge with either side filled with pools of deadly stomach acid. The bridge was then also covered in stomach acid by the stomach's acid pumps. Delta Squad was able to navigate the bridge by shooting at the tip of the stomach pumps, temporarily stopping them from spraying stomach acid as they passed through.

Destroying the Three Hearts[]

"Son of a bitch! Another heartbeat?"
"It doesn't matter - we'll cut 'em all! It's getting faster. We can put this thing down.
—Cpl. Santiago and Sgt. Fenix hearing a third heartbeat after destroying two hearts

Sgt. Fenix cutting through the membrane.

Delta-One then arrived at the lungs of the Riftworm, which were full of toxic and blinding gas. The Gears quickly had to navigate the already darkened lungs, as the toxic gas increasingly weakened their vision. Before suffocating to death, Sgt. Fenix was then able to locate the exit and cut through the membrane to the sternum of the Riftworm. Arriving at the sternum, as Cpl. Baird theorized, the Gears found the first Riftworm heart and cut two of its arteries with the Chainsaw Bayonet, killing the heart and causing chamber to flood with blood.

After escaping the chamber, the Gears began to hear another heartbeat, realizing there were two hearts in the Riftworm. Arriving at the second heart, Delta-One was attacked by another swarm of Nemacytes as they cut all three of its arteries, which then filled the chamber with blood also. However, the squad began to hear another heartbeat. Determined to kill the Riftworm, Sgt. Fenix ordered to destroy as many hearts as it will take. Arriving at the third and final heart in a massive chamber, multiple swarms of Nemacytes attacked the squad. While holding off the Nemacytes, the Gears had to cut each of the four arteries at a time. After each artery was cut, the chamber continued to flood with Riftworm blood as more Nemacytes attacked the Gears. Sgt. Fenix was finally able to cut the last artery. After cutting the last artery, the last heart of the Riftworm was destroyed. The chamber began to flood with its blood, nearly drowning Delta-One.

Death of the Riftworm and Escape[]

"Oh, this is just wrong... I'm coughing up blood that ain't mine."
—Cpl. Baird after escaping the Riftworm and nearly drowning in its blood

Delta-One escaping the Riftworm's corpse.

The Riftworm, in its last moments, emerged from the Hollow and out on the surface of Northern Tyrus, writhing in agony and pain before falling over - finally dying. Nearly drowning, each member of Delta-One chainsawed into the side of the Riftworm from within, causing a large part of its chest to burst open - freeing the Gears in a massive blood fall. All members, except for Pvt. Carmine, survived. Sgt. Fenix then requested a pick up from the Riftworm's remains while they cleaned themselves of the Riftworm's blood. Shortly after, a King Raven arrived to drop off a Centaur.

Sgt. Fenix being briefed.

Colonel Victor Hoffman then informed Delta-One that while Operation: Hollow Storm continued, he admits that COG High Command had insufficient intel on the location of the Locust stronghold. Desperate to find the Locust stronghold and to take out their leader, Queen Myrrah, Chairman Richard Prescott just declassified an intel file that revealed a decomissioned COG outpost near Delta-One's location in the Kadar Valley. This decomossioned COG outpost once performed genetic experiments on children and were mysteriously relocated by the scientist, Doctor Niles Samson, and the experiments later led to the creation of the Locust Horde. The facility was believed to have answers inside on the location of the subjects, which later became the Locust, stronghold, as well as information on Queen Myrrah, she was once a test subject there. Delta-One then boarded the Centaur and drove to the COG outpost in Kadar Valley.


"Yes... though you destroyed the Riftworm, there are still ways for us to sink Jacinto."
—Queen Myrrah to Sgt. Marcus Fenix during the Siege of Nexus.

Killing the Riftworm was a victory for the COG, if only for another day. Had the Riftworm survived, Jacinto City would have been sunk that very night and without proper evacuation - allowing the Locust complete victory. However, the death of the Riftworm temporarily halted the Locust's plans, enough for the COG to locate and invade Nexus, kill many of the Locust Horde, and discover their intentions on sinking Jacinto in order to kill the Lambent. Ilima being sunk weakened Jacinto's base enough for Jacinto City to be sunk by the Locust on their own by striking at certain cave pillars. However, Sgt. Marcus Fenix discovered an old intel file from his father, Professor Adam Fenix, on advising they sink Jacinto City in order to have the surrounding seawater flood the Hollow and Nexus, thus drowning and killing the Locust and Lambent before the Locust could evacuate. The COG were then given these plans and went forward with sinking Jacinto themselves before the Locust leave. The Locust began to sink Jacinto City by sinking a large portion of the city, but Sgt. Fenix and Cpl. Santiago were able to infiltrate the sinkhole and sink the rest of the city - killing the Locust in the Hollow.

The carcass of the Riftworm then became a site of observation for years to come. Tyran historian and author, Lenard Shiff, attended the site and studied it for his book, Seran Colossus, in which he writes about the gargantuan creatures of Sera such as the Riftworm and Kraken. Lenard theorized that the remains and bones will flourish the land for centuries to come.

Sometime during the Outsider Movement, in which civilians lived outside and rebelled against COG jurisdiction, an Outsider built a village within the bones of the Riftworm, called Riftworm Village. The village became prosperous, using underground steam to power the area. Several of the large bones in the village were decorated as landmarks, while others were stripped for many uses, one being to make musical instruments like flutes or to create jewelry. Due to the fact that it comes from real Riftworm bones, the products are incredibly expensive, even in COG Settlements. In Bloom, 42 A.E., the village became under the control of Chief Oscar Diaz during the beginning of the Swarm Invasion. However, many Outsiders left the village due to Oscar's rules in protecting the villagers from the Swarm - as his home, Fort Umson, was destroyed by the Swarm. In Frost, 42 A.E., Cpl. Kait Diaz and Lt. Delmont Walker came to convince her Uncle Oscar to have the villagers evacuate with them to New Ephyra for their safety. Before they could, Riftworm Village was ambushed by the Swarm. Many were captured and killed, including Chief Oscar Diaz. The remainder of the village were evacuated to New Ephyra.


Locust War
0 A.E. Emergence Day (Emergence in Jannermont · Emergence in Mattino Junction · Emergence in Ilima · Emergence in Porta Ogari · Emergence in Ephyra · Fall of Gorasnaya · Evacuation of Mercy) · Battle of Nordesca · Battle of Kinnerlake · Destruction of Halvo Bay (Destruction of Old Town · Battle of the Museum of Military Glory · Siege of Halvo Bay Military Academy · Evacuation of Seahorse Hills · Battle of Elliott's Mansion · Raid on Onyx Point · Bombing of Downtown Halvo Bay · Ambush on the Halvo Bay Courthouse · Battle of the Plaza)
1 A.E. Battle of Kaia (Battle of Jasper · Battle of Autrin) · Battle of Bonbourg · Second Battle of Jannermont · Fall of Ostri · Battle of Andius · Ambush on Voslov Bridge · Hammer of Dawn Strikes · Assassination of Ukkon (Mission to CIC Aldair · Rescue of Echo-Five · Assault on Industrial District · Mission to Claybourne · Rescue of Alpha-Two · Mission to Nedroma Health Institute · Battle of Imtik Imulsion Rig · Mission to Winlock Outpost · Mission to the Badlands · Mission to Zenic Province · Battle of Ukkon's Laboratory) · Battle of Oblivion · Skirmish in the Live Zone
5 A.E. Fall of Landown
9 A.E. Battle of Noroa · Riverside Skirmish · Evacuation of Ilima (Ambush on Checkpoint Zeta · Assault on Ilima Savings and Trust · Mission to Ilima High School · Battle of Downtown Ilima · Battle of Dr. Wisen's Orphanage)
10 A.E. Battle of Estana · Skirmish at Shenko Falls · Fall of Ephyra
11 A.E. Skirmish Outside the Wire
12 A.E. Raid on Ginnet Drive · Incursions at Endeavor
13 A.E. Battle on the Andius Highway · West Barricade Campaign · Raid on the CIC
14 A.E. Operation: Midnight · Jilane Massacre · Siege of the Slab · Lightmass Offensive (Battle of Embry Square · Mission to House of Sovereigns · Ambush at Tomb of the Unknowns · Mission to Old Ephyra · Assault on Franklin's Outpost · Mission to Lethia Imulsion Facility · Mission to East Barricade Academy · Battle of Haldane Hall · Mission to Timgad · Battle on the Tyro Pillar) · Ambush at Sovereigns Boulevard · Evacuation of North Gate · Mission to Tollen · Battle of the Tollen Dam · Evacuation of Speyer · Evacuation of Fort Reval · Battle Outside of Jacinto · Mission to the Pirnah Badlands · Battle for Fucked · Mission to Montevado · Battle Near Jacinto · Unidentified M.O.U.T. Battle · Liberation of Jilane · Siege of Jacinto City · Operation: Hollow Storm (Battle of Stromson Forest · Assault on Landown · Assault on the Inner Hollow · Battle of Ilima · Destruction of the Riftworm · Mission to New Hope Research Facility · Assault on Mount Kadar · Siege of Nexus · Battle of the Royal Palace · Sinking of Jacinto City) · First Mission to Merrenat Naval Base · Skirmish South of Port Farrall · Second Mission to Merrenat Naval Base · Battle of Port Farrall · Ambush Outside of Port Farrall
15 A.E. Skirmish in the Kashkur Foothills
17 A.E. Skirmish at Endeavor · Siege of Azura · Victory Day (Attack on the Sovereign · Battle of Centennial Bridge · Ambush on Hanover Coast · Battle of the Deadlands · Battle of the Anvegad Plains · Battle of Anvil Gate · Mission to Halvo Bay · Skirmish in Concord · Mission to Mercy · Mission to Char · Battle of Endeavor · Incursions in the Serano Ocean · Battle of Azura)