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"Lets go! Into the Grindlifts two-by-two!"
—Marcus Fenix

The Grindlift was a drilling capsule used to dig underground to attack Locust tunnels during Operation: Hollow Storm.


The Grindlift was a drilling capsule employed by the COG army that give Gears the ability to drill down into the Hollows beneath Sera's surface. It was fitted with a diamond tipped drill with a built-in laser beam emitter. It is possible that the Grindlift was a modification of some type of mining vehicle which has been attached to an Assault Derrick.

Diagram showing how Grindlifts are deployed from an Assault Derrick.

It is usually required for the launching rig to get in a pre-designated launch position so the Grindlift can be deployed exactly where it is required. Once in position, the rig raises a long arm and the Grindlift capsule is raised to the top. A door opens, and two Gears enter and secure themselves with a shoulder bar. The doors then close and the bottom of the capsule, which appears to be some form of drill, starts to spin. Once up to speed, an energy beam that is highly resemblant of a Hammer of Dawn beam starts to fire into the rock below.

Once the rock directly below the capsule is molten, the capsule is launched into the ground. While travelling, the laser continues to fire, seemingly assisting the drill in the displacement of the surrounding rock. Once the Grindlift capsule arrives at its location, it appears to lodge itself into the ground with tremendous force, indicating the speed the capsules can reach. Grindlifts were successfully deployed during Operation: Hollow Storm.

A Grindlift burrowing through the ground.

Operation: Hollow Storm[]

"Watch the ceiling Delta. Grindlifts could be dropping down all around you."
Anya Stroud to Delta Squad

After successfully reaching the drill zone at the Pendulum Wars Cemetery in South Landown, the Grindlifts were successfully deployed despite coming under attack by the Locust High Priest Skorge. Alpha-One, Two and Seven, Delta-One, Gamma-Three, Omega-One, and Sigma-One were some of the COG Gear units that were successfully deployed into the Locust Hollows by Grindlift.

After Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago successfully infiltrated Nexus and set the Beacon, Grindlift reinforcements, including Augustus Cole and Damon Baird, began dropping down around the Queen's Palace.

Returning to the Surface[]

"This is such crap. Operation Lifeboat, my ass. More like Operation Death Wish. Damn COG, always manipulating everything...."Sign here, your wife will be taken care of. Sure, you'll see some action, but you'll always be back in Jacinto to see your wife after a patrol." Yeah, right. Didn't tell me I was gonna get a ride on an oversized drill right into the ass of the enemy, did you? You gotta be kidding me. This is a suicide mission. How the hell do we get back out of here anyway? They say the Grindlifts can go back up, but they sure as hell didn't train me how to do that... Should of deserted these fascist bastards when I had the chance."
—Pvt. Hank Bissell writing on the Grindlifts and lack of training on how to use them[1]

The Grindlift was able to dig underground, however, according to many Gears (Private Hank Bissell[2] and Sgt. Jonathan Harper[3]), none of the troops ever received training on how to return to the surface in the capsules. During the Evacuation of Jacinto, Anya Stroud told Sgt. Fenix that the COG was still pulling troops out of the Hollows, indicating a possible use of the Grindlifts.[4] However, it is never mentioned if they escaped via the Ilima sinkhole or if the Grindlifts were able to dig back up.


Grindlift cooling and heating schematics.

Grindlift Notice[]


Failure to keep hands, feet, and/or body inside of the Grindlift pod during use could lead to injury, bodily trauma, dismemberment, decapitation, and in extreme cases, disembowelment.[5]

Behind the scenes[]

"Now the Locust are back and they're meaner than ever. And they've brought with them a force that can essentially sink entire cities. So humanity's back is against the wall, and we need to strike back against these guys. So the way that we do that is by taking these trucks called Derricks and we tow these devices called Grindlifts into Locust-occupied cities. The COG Guys get in the Grindlifts, they barrel down into the depths of the Underground and fight back against these bad guys."
Cliff Bleszinski



  1. Gears of War 2: Act 2: Denizens: Sinking Feeling
  2. Gears of War 2 Collectible
  3. Gears of War: Harper's Story
  4. Gears of War 2: Act 5: Aftermath
  5. Gears of War 2 Collectible
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