- "And now we go and do it all over again. Another pointless battle. Another bereaved family. Another year of war. And the UIR does exactly the same. Someone has to break the cycle. Someone has to create weapons so powerful that if politicians want to wage war, they'll face the same death as the men and women sent to fight it. A deterrent. A damn big deterrent. I can build a deterrent that'll bring governments to their sense. An orbital weapons system. That's my duty now."
- —Captain Fenix envisioning the Hammer of Dawn
The Hammer of Dawn was a COG (part UIR) Imulsion-energized, orbital, satellite-based laser. Its key components were invented by the UIR scientist Mauris Ivo and completed by professor Adam Fenix after it was stolen during Operation: Leveler. Its first test was in the Garadaner Test Ranges when two low yield beams destroyed the mock town on the island test range. Its first real military use was at the Battle of Bonbourg where the Hammer obliterated four large UIR ships in seconds, winning the battle for the COG and forcing Premier Yori Deschenko to the negotiation table.
It was first used as a strategic weapon as a deterrent by forcing politicians to rethink their decisions but would eventually be forced to become a tactical weapon for asset denial and tactical operations in the Locust War, when the Horde was only a few days away from Ephyra city. The Hammer of Dawn Counterattack burned 90% of Sera, killing any Locust or Human that was still on the surface.
- "Orbital weapons platform.. that's what we need. Reliable surveillance. Satellite targeting that can take out a single tank or a whole city."
- —Adam Fenix having the first idea about the Hammer of Dawn
The Hammer of Dawn was first envisioned by the then Captain Adam Fenix after the Battle of Ragani, where Fenix discovered a need to create a deterrent in order to end the Pendulum Wars and force politicians to rethink their decisions. Adam would leave the army and join the Defense Research Agency in 17 B.E. as deputy head of the weapons research division. Adam hoped that he could create an orbital weapon that would end all wars. With his aide, Dr. Nevil Estrom, they worked on the Hammer of Dawn for thirteen years until the UIR scientist, Dr. Mauris Ivo, published an article in Engineering Today, discussing how super-pure crystals could help with satellite accuracy. This made Adam Fenix realize that the UIR were in the weapons race for orbital satellites and winning.
- "We got the Indie research. My dad says it's saved him years of work."
- —Marcus to Dominic
With the fear of the UIR winning the weapons race while the COG's orbital satellite-based lasers were just blueprints and computer models, Chairman Tomas Dalyell ordered General Jolyon Iver and Director of Special Forces Major Hoffman to find a way to steal or destroy the Indie satellite plans. Adam Fenix objected to killing the UIR scientists who couldn't be captured, much to Hoffman's disgust. Hoffman felt that Fenix was too squeamish. The COG Army's 26 RTI Special Tactics Group were able to successfully steal the technology from the UIR and Adam Fenix would continue to reverse-engineer the data and use it to create the Hammer of Dawn.
Ending the Pendulum WarsEdit
In the last year of the Pendulum Wars, the Hammer of Dawn was completed and was being phased into military use; the Garadaner Test Ranges, which was an island off the coast of Tyrus, was picked for the first practice target. The Hammer of Dawn fired two low-intensity beams at a mock town on the island. The COG military command was satisfied with the Hammer of Dawn and ordered it to be used to end the Battle of Bonbourg where the UIR Third Fleet was inflicting losses on the COG Army that were occupying the city. The UIR Third Fleet took up positions off the coast of Orsitin and preventing any COG movement inside the city of Bonbourg. Before being used on the Indie ships, Adam Fenix asked that the Chairman give the Indies one final chance to surrender before the Hammer was used. The UIR refused to surrender and its Third Fleet was targeted. The Hammer of Dawn was used to great effect and destroyed four Indie ships in seconds, forcing the UIR to withdraw from the combat zone.
The Hammer of Dawn sent shockwaves into the UIR leadership and forced Premier Yori Deschenko to the negotiation table. The war ended soon after while some Furlin units believed the ceasefire was a propaganda trick. While the Gorasni High Council vowed to continue fighting, the Pendulum Wars mostly came to an end for the people of Sera. Adam Fenix was awarded the Octus Medal for his works.
Though the UIR had several ready-to-go Hammer of Dawn satellites by this time, along with targeting beacons, the UIR politicians desired an end to the war and decided against setting up their satellites as it would just prolong the war even further. The UIR military branch greatly disagreed with the politicians cowardice and the Gorasni High Council tasked Major Garron Paduk to capture the satellites. Though Paduk was close to their goal, the UIR commander stationed at OZP-11 inserted a semi-sentient virus to prevent the rebels from using them and the COG launched a Lightmass Missile at the site, clearing most of the rebels out.
- Main article: First Battle of Ephyra
During the defense of Ephyra on Emergence Day, Lieutenant Anya Stroud directed Corporal Minh Young Kim's Gears squad to retrieve a Hammer of Dawn targeting laser from the back of a van in Colonel Victor Hoffman's convoy. The Gears were able to use the Hammer of Dawn to kill a Corpser outside the House of Sovereigns and then defended against multiple waves of Locust soldiers. However, the Hammer of Dawn eventually went off-line, allowing the squad to be killed by a Reaver.
The Destruction of Halvo BayEdit
- Main article: Destruction of Halvo Bay
After the surprise attack from the Locust on E-Day, the Hammer of Dawn was used to help defend COG held cities like Halvo Bay. During the Destruction of Halvo Bay, many small scale hammer strikes occurred over Old Town in an attempt to quell the heavy Locust presence around the area. The sky was alive with bright red laser beams. At one point, Kilo Squad was at risk of being hit by one of the strikes; they had just over 5 minutes to clear the area and get out of range.
- Main article: Hammer of Dawn Strikes
A year after the Locust invasion of Sera, newly elected Chairman Richard Prescott was elected after Tomas passed away from a heart attack. Chairman Prescott acting out on information that the main Locust forces was based in southern Tyrus would overrun the heartland of the COG in a month, tried organizing one final offensive to rid the Locust Horde. But several heads of states including former UIR leader Yori Deschenko refused to lend any soldiers to the offensive stating no troops could be spared from their home nations defenses. Only the South Islands offered military aid.
So Prescott fell onto his last option; using the Fortification Act as a legal argument, Chairman Prescott decided that the Hammer of Dawn must be used to stop and deny the Locust Horde any military assist. Prescott announced his decision to a small group of COG military elite and professor Adam Fenix. After the Chairman "won" the debate on using the Hammer of Dawn he gave into the idea of allowing three days for all civilians to retreat into the safe zone on Jacinto Plateau before unleashing the Hammer of Dawn. Several COG heads of state condemned him for abandoning the member states of the Coalition for Tyrus. After the three day wait, the Hammer of Dawn was unleashed on all of Locust occupied Sera. The Hammer burned 90% of Sera, killed billions of Humans and an untold number of Locust on the surface, leveled thousands of cities, and decimated scores of plant and animal life. The attack did not stop the Locust but instead prolonged the war for another fourteen years. The survivors of the Hammer strikes abandoned the COG and began to call themselves "Stranded", thinking they had been abandoned and left for dead. The entire planet fell into severe environmental degradation in the aftermath of the attack, due to the firestorms that swept across the landscape.
Evacuation of IlimaEdit
- Main article: Evacuation of Ilima
- "You grubs are gonna love this..."
- —Michael Barrick, as he's about to use the Hammer of Dawn's command center to take down the Locust attacking their evacuation outpost.
When Ilima city came under attack by Locust forces led by General RAAM, they began overrunning several COG outposts, including the one guarded by Zeta-Six. After several failed attempts to stop the Locust, Lt. Minh Young Kim requested permission to use the Hammer of Dawn. After being allowed to do so, Cpl. Michael Barrick headed for the command center of the Hammer and used it to kill waves of Reavers, Boomers, Grinders and Drones. The Hammer of Dawn was used against a Brumak that Zeta spotted but it failed to kill the creature and destroyed the nearby buildings instead in a trigger happy frenzy.
Later, during the evacuation, Lt. Kim came up with a plan to clear up communications by using the command center inside Ilima City Hall. After killing all enemy forces outside the building, they entered the command center and used it to destroy the three Seeders outside. Contact was reestablished with Walker who questioned if Zeta had been responsible for the unauthorized Hammer strikes. Though Kim hoped killing the Seeders with the Hammer of Dawn would buy the evacuation more time, they were informed that the evacuation was over and Zeta was the only COG forces left in the city.
The Treason of Marcus FenixEdit
- Main article: Fall of Ephyra
- "You dicked around and cost men's lives, Sergeant. You cost us Jacinto. Your father just snapped his fingers, and bang, you leave your men and stroll off with the targeting laser. You think that doesn't make you an asshole, at the very least? You got a buddy like Dom, who'd shit his last drop of blood for you, who put you first even when his wife went missing, and you do that to men depending on you?"
- —Hoffman to Sgt. Fenix, after the Evacuation of North Gate at Wrightman Base
In the tenth year of the War, Ephyra the COG's capital was attacked. The Locust attacked the city with over ten-thousand troops from the underground metro tunnels. COG forces were pushed back all the way to Chancery Bridge. Though Sgt. Marcus Fenix, armed with a Hammer of Dawn targeting laser recovered from the fallen Hammer Team, was ordered to use the recovered laser to destroy the bridge, he heard his father's distress call and rushed off to help him, disobeying orders. Though Marcus left the targeting laser behind, he inadvertently took the targeting optic with him, leaving the targeting laser nearly inoperable. Marcus was unable to save his father and allowed the Locust to overrun the bridge. Colonel Victor Hoffman managed to use the damaged laser to destroy the bridge, but too late to stop the Locust and save the majority of the Gears. Only two Gears survived the battle on Chancery Bridge. Half of Ephyra was captured by the Locust and the Horde was able to get a footing on the Jacinto Plateau.
- Main article: Lightmass Offensive
During the Lightmass Offensive, the recently freed Marcus Fenix took part in a coordinated military operation to deploy the Lightmass Bomb, with the intention of completely destroying the Hollows. While fighting inside the House of Sovereigns, Locust Seeders blocked all communications and inked the sky, thus forcing Lt. Minh Young Kim to deploy the Hammer of Dawn in an effort to eliminate the Seeders and the Drones protecting them.
During the charge through the East Barricade Academy, Delta used it against more Seeders and Locust troops. They later faced a second Berserker in the conservatory. By tempting it to run into the walls and shatter the glass roof, they managed to get a clear enough sky to use the Hammer on the beast.
Last Days of JacintoEdit
- Main article: Sinking of Jacinto
During Operation: Hollow Storm, the COG discovered that the Locust planned to sink Jacinto City, but if they sunk it first, they would drown both the Locust Horde and Lambent threat. Marcus Fenix along with Dominic Santiago was able to clear a way for the COG using the Hammer of Dawn to cut their way through the Locust forces and reach the sinkhole until they came across a Brumak. Utilizing the Brumak, Marcus and Dom cleared an underground path and the COG was able to send in a King Raven with a Lightmass Bomb to destroy the foundations of Jacinto City. However, the exposure of the Brumak to so much Imulsion caused the Brumak to mutate into a Lambent Brumak and destroy the King Raven carrying the Lightmass Bomb. As an alternative, Marcus used multiple blasts from the Hammer of Dawn to kill the Lambent Brumak with the ensuing explosion sinking the city. The sinking caused them to lose humanity's last sanctuary, but it flooded the Hollow and drowned most of the Locust Horde.
In 15 A.E., the Lambent attacked Vectes island after the COG retreated there after Jacinto was lost. The COG and their new UIR allies joined and unified under the COG banner and had to fight the local Stranded population. Three Lambent Leviathans attacked Vectes and the Hammer of Dawn was employed as a last resort to take out the last Leviathan. After a chase involving the Leviathan and the CNV Falconer, Damon Baird fired the Hammer, destroying the Leviathan and 1/3 of New Jacinto.
A few weeks later, another Lambent Leviathan attacked Vectes. The Hammer of Dawn was employed to try to stop it, but failed because there were not enough surviving satellites to target accurately.
When Delta rescued Dizzy Wallin from an overwhelming force of Queen's Guards, Marcus Fenix discovered a Hammer of Dawn targeting laser in the supply bay. He used it to wipe out the Reavers and Guards.
Defending Anvil GateEdit
During the defense of Anvil Gate, Damon Baird was tasked with repairing the fort's built-in Hammer of Dawn targeting system. He repaired the system just in time for it to be used on an increasing Lambent presence, including a Lambent Berserker. The Lambent Drones and Drudges were destroyed, but the Berserker survived a direct hit.
At the Endeavour Naval Shipyard, Marcus Fenix came across another targeting laser at a control room while searching for some Imulsion to fuel the CNV Adamant. After loading the fuel, he used it to fend off several Reavers, Bloodmounts and Guards.
- "She's down! Drop the Hammer!"
- —Anya Stroud during the battle with Queen Myrrah
During the Battle of Pinnacle Tower, the Hammer was employed to kill the Tempest and defeat Queen Myrrah. The Tempest was powerful enough that it took several hits to take it down, but it was finally killed. It was indicated that the Hammer of Dawn was the only weapon powerful enough to kill the creature.
Following the end of the Locust War and Lambent Pandemic, the Hammer of Dawn went permanently offline, impossible to access. As one of her goals as First Minister, Anya Stroud forbid the re-activation of the weapon as she didn't want the tragedy of the Hammer of Dawn Counterattack to ever happen again. After Anya stepped down, her protege Jinn carried on her wish. In 42 A.E., during the first days of the Swarm War, JD Fenix asked First Minister Mina Jinn if he and Delmont Walker will be able to use the Hammer of Dawn during their mission to Orzabal Crater. She categorically refused. Once Damon Baird became aware of the dire situation in the crater, he offered Jinn fixing the system and deploying it in the Orzabal Crater in order to save the trapped Gears and contain the Swarm forces emerging from the Locust burial site located there - his suggestion was also rejected.
One week later, the two met again in a DB Industries factory, where Baird, once again, urged Jinn to use the Hammer while discussing the COG's strategy for the struggle against the Swarm. Jinn refused again, explaining the current status of the system and her will to keep it offline. After returning to his estate that day, Baird entered his hidden lab and together with his AI assistant, IRIS, browsed the files of the disc Adam Fenix gave him 25 years earlier, looking for information regarding the Hammer of Dawn. During the search, Baird found something he had either missed or overlooked before connected to the Hammer, something that he didn't understand the meaning of: Azura.
The reformed Delta Squad travels to an Abandoned Research Facility on Azura to reactivate the Hammer of Dawn by launching a satellite still on the island. However, the Hammer of Dawn malfunctioned when it was fired. Later, the team travels to Vasgar to launch Hammer of Dawn satellites prepared by the now-defunct UIR to restore the system, and manage to launch it despite being attacked by a Kraken who attempted to stop the launch.
Battle of Old EphyraEdit
During the Battle of Old Ephyra, the COG attempts to use the restored Hammer of Dawn to defeat the Swarm forces, in particular, the Kraken. However, the Hammer of Dawn targeting beacons are destroyed and the weapon can't be fired without potentially destroying half the city. JACK hijacks control of the Hammer of Dawn from Damon Baird and flies himself into the Kraken's mouth to act as a targeting beacon. JACK fires the Hammer, destroying the Kraken and himself and saving the city.
Drawbacks and UsesEdit
- "You still got Hammer of Dawn control, Colonel? You know, the big dangerous one?"
"I do, but the targeting system's screwed. Can't risk it."
- —Baird and Victor Hoffman during the defense of Anvil Gate
The Hammer of Dawn could only be used if a targeting laser or a Hammer of Dawn Mobile Command Center was able to paint a target with clear skies overhead. A larger version of this targeting system was also built into the command center at Anvil Gate. Though the targeting laser simply provides coordinates to a controller elsewhere, the Mobile Command Centers directly fire the Hammer of Dawn onto their targets. The command centers appear to link with the satellites overhead as the targeting on the command centers appears to be from the perspective of the Hammer of Dawn satellite that is about to be fired.
The Locust could successfully stop the Hammer from being used with their Seeders by having the Nemacyst ink the skies. The design of the Hammer of Dawn was originally meant for strategic warfare but later became a tactical weapon. By 15 A.E., the COG Hammer of Dawn satellites began breaking down and malfunctioning due to a lack of maintenance, for obvious reasons, noticeably eroding accuracy and the overall reliability of the system.
The UIR satellites were still in good shape due to not being used for numerous years, but required its users to plant a beacon in the nearby area in order for the laser to be reasonably accurate. Without having a target to lock onto, the laser's accuracy would decrease significantly as Baird told Kait that he couldn't fire the system without killing them and destroying half of the city in the process.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- In the first two games, when the Hammer of Dawn is available, the player has unlimited fire as long as they have satellite coverage. In Gears of War 3, the Hammer of Dawn has to be reloaded after two sustained bursts, particularly while fighting the Tempest.
- Gears of War 4 is the only game in which the Hammer of Dawn only appears in flashbacks and does not have an in-game role while Gears of War: Judgment is the only game the Hammer appears in and cannot be controlled by the player.
- The Hammer of Dawn is used to kill the final bosses of Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 and Gears 5: the Lambent Brumak, the Tempest and the Kraken. However, in Gears 5 it is done under the control of JACK, not the player.
- The fact that the Hammer of Dawn was originally a strategic weapon rather than a tactical one as mentioned in Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant suggests that the targeting laser was a later innovation to enable its usage on the battlefield on a tactical level.
- Hammer Team having the targeting laser in Gears of War: The Slab and no one else suggests that at least in the beginning, only specialized teams used the Hammer of Dawn instead of everyone having access to and use of it. In RAAM's Shadow, Zeta-Six needed authorization from CIC Controller Walker to use the Hammer of Dawn despite having a Mobile Commander Center inside of their base. Later, after they used the Mobile Command Center inside Ilima City Hall to fire the Hammer of Dawn, Walker commented that the Hammer strikes had been unauthorized though she wasn't sure who used it until Zeta-Six made contact with her.
- RAAM's Shadow is the only game where the player directly takes control of the Hammer of Dawn through use of the Mobile Commander Centers rather than using the targeting laser to paint a target for the weapon.
- In RAAM's Shadow Chapter 1, the Hammer of Dawn Mobile Command Center can be seen and visited during the battle, but won't be unlocked for the player's usage until Walker authorizes Zeta to use the Hammer of Dawn on the attacking Locust forces. As the command center in Ilima City Hall worked as soon as it was reached, the first command center being locked was just to keep the player from using the Hammer of Dawn too early rather than it being something that required remote authorization for someone to access.
- While the Hammer of Dawn originally required three command keys as seen in Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant and mentioned in Gears of War 3, this limitation was presumably later removed from the system given the relative ease of its use as a tactical weapon. Along with developing the targeting lasers and Mobile Command Centers, this was likely a modification when the Hammer of Dawn was changed from a strategic weapon to a tactical one. However, it is likely the targeting laser was made as early as Emergence Day,in prototype, as the player uses one during the prologue in Gears of War 4.
- The Hammer of Dawn is referenced in Rick and Morty season 3's final episode The Rickchurian Mortydate.
- Promise Me
- Gears of War: Judgment
- RAAM's Shadow
- The Slab
- Gears of War (First appearance)
- Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
- Aspho Fields
- Gears of War 2
- Dirty Little Secrets
- Jacinto's Remnant
- Anvil Gate
- Coalition's End
- Gears of War 3
- Gears of War 4 (Appears in flashback(s))
- Ascendance (Mentioned only)
- Gears 5
- ↑ http://planetgearsofwar.gamespy.com/screenshots/full_res.php?ss=61
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Gears of War: Unsaid
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Gears of War: Promise Me
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant
- ↑ Gears of War: They Also Serve
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Gears of War: Aspho Fields
- ↑ Gears of War 3
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Gears 5
- ↑ Gears of War 4: Act I: Remembrance
- ↑ Gears of War: Judgment
- ↑ Gears of War 3: RAAM's Shadow
- ↑ Gears of War: The Slab
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Gears of War
- ↑ Gears of War 2
- ↑ Gears of War: Anvil Gate
- ↑ Gears of War: Coalition's End
- ↑ Gears of War 3: Act II: Airborne
- ↑ Gears of War 3: Act III: Rescue
- ↑ Gears of War 3: Act IV: Bon Voyage
- ↑ Gears of War 3: Act V: Reckoning
- ↑ Gears of War: Ascendance