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The Grappler Drone was the Locust shock trooper used in boarding actions during the Assault on Landown and the Siege of Jacinto. They appear to be like normal Drones with the exception of a unique helmet and grappling hook. This helmet may be used to help the Grappler adjust to the rapid change of light from their home in the Hollow to the surface, as they are only seen whenever they come out of openings. Though it could also possess distance measuring equipment, needed to judge how far to throw their grappling hooks.
Evacuation of Ilima
When the COG sent Zeta-Six and other Gear squads to try to evacuate Ilima City to prevent it from being taken over by the Kryllstorm, General RAAM led a personal attack on the city so the Kryll could devour the city's human population. Many Locust Drones, including Grapplers, helped assist the General carry out his attacks given out by Queen Myrrah. Zeta first encountered Grapplers who attacked them while they tried to figure out how to take out the Seeders inking the city. Another one appeared trying to kill Zeta-Six with a One-Shot as they were trying to reach Dr. Gregory Wisen's office. The Gears managed to take him down and continued their search for survivors.
More Grapplers would later guard the area around Ilima City Hall trying to prevent Zeta from reaching the Hammer of Dawn Outpost located inside the building. At the end of the evacuation, they laid siege to Dr. Wisen's School of Hope from the North and East angles and would also give support to both their Theron Elite commander and General RAAM himself, though they failed to protect both of their superiors.
Assault on Landown
Grapplers were later encountered during Operation: Hollow Storm, where they attacked the Assault Derrick convoys on the main route to south Landown. When the convoy was ambushed by multiple emerging E-Holes, scores of Grapplers poured out of the holes heading for the Derricks. Sgt. Marcus Fenix was able to cut down many of the Grapplers with the Chain Gun on board Rig 314, but was unable to stop them hijacking Rig G53, as Fenix and the rest of Delta were distracted by several Grapplers attempting to board their Rig.
The COG Convoy successfully navigated to the Drill-Zone located in the Pendulum Wars Graveyard south of Landown. While preparing for the drop, the convoy was attacked again, and Grapplers tried one more time to board 'Betty', but were again beaten back by Delta Squad.
Siege of Jacinto
24 hours after the failed attack on the Inner Hollows, Grapplers assaulted the city of Jacinto, from both the giant sinkhole and the coastal sections of the city. They first assaulted the COG CIC building in the city, attacking the South platform, and other King Raven landing pads with assistance from Reavers. They killed many Gears, until Delta-One including the defiant Colonel Victor Hoffman, with close air-support from KR Three-Six, recaptured the platforms.
Later in the defense of the city, Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago counterattacked the Locust forces on the rooftops of Jacinto City as they fought their way back into the Hollows. At one point, they were attacked by multiple Grappler squads on a tower block. The only let up in the attacks happened when the building collapsed, killing the remaining Grapplers.
Grapplers are deployed in small strike teams and often used for quick insertions on enemy positions or ambushes. Heavily fortified positions such as the deck of the Assault Derrick or the roof of multi-story buildings are not enough to stop their onslaught. They can quickly scale vertical surfaces with their grappling hooks. This also allows them to be used as very effective snipers, being able get to the highest pounts on the battlefield. They even carry the One-Shot on occasion.
Behind the scenes
- Based on the picture of the Grappler with the Boomshot (shown at the very top), which is a pre-release screenshot from Gears of War 2, the Grappler was going to be a usable multiplayer character but is not available in the retail version because Grapplers don't wield Boomshot Grenade Launchers in campaign, and the screenshot is taken from the multiplayer map River.
- Destroying the grappling hook the Grappler uses will strangely kill the Grappler, even if they have just begun to climb up their hooks.
- The Grappler has been released as a figure, in Series Three of the NECA range. They have also featured in the Locust Hive Figure Set and in a double pack with the Cyclops.
- The Grappler's helmet looks somewhat like the Spotter's.