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"This grub, my army threw all we had at him. They called him Karn."
Garron Paduk describing Karn

Zamil Karn was a vicious Locust General who fought during the Lambent War and at the beginning of the Locust War, working alongside Uzil RAAM and Kantus Skorge to lead the Locust campaign against humanity on Sera's surface.[2] Considered one of the most dangerous Locust the Coalition of Ordered Governments had ever faced, Zamil Karn was the conductor of Emergence Day during the Fall of Gorasnaya. Zamil Karn later led an assault on the city of Halvo Bay six weeks after Emergence Day, where he met his end fighting against Kilo Squad.


Early History[]

Karn was born as a malformed Drone and was considered an outcast. Young and feeble, he explored the Hollow and eventually came upon an injured creature he named Shibboleth, which had suffered a broken leg. Karn saw the creature was just as alone and forgotten as he was and decided to fashion it a new leg, forming a relationship with the beast. Locust Head Scientist Ukkon aided Karn with this, adding weaponry and technology to Shibboleth for him.

Lambent War[]

Karn later began climbing ranks using intelligence instead of physical strength, becoming a Theron Guard.

Promotion to Zamil[]

He became a master strategist for the Horde who would later plan Emergence Day with RAAM and Skorge, the Locust's initial assault against humanity.[3][4]

Locust War[]

Emergence Day[]

Karn personally led an assault on the Republic of Gorasnaya and, in that single campaign, devastated a majority of the Gorasni population. Former Union of Independent Republics Major Garron Paduk and his men fruitlessly fought against the general and, realizing his lethality, dubbed him Karn.

Karn giving his troops orders on top of Shibboleth after killing all the members of Black-Four.

Destruction of Halvo Bay[]

Methodical Destruction[]

Six weeks after Emergence Day, Karn attacked the city of Halvo Bay, located in the leading Coalition of Ordered Governments nation of Tyrus. The city was home to the Halvo Bay Military Academy and several other important military targets that Karn sought to destroy one by one. He targeted the academy first,[5] and personally killed Spc. Alexieff, the last Gear defending the academy.[6] Karn then turned his attention towards the Museum of Military Glory, first destroying a COG convoy heading for the museum.[7] He then led Locust forces in wiping out the Onyx Guard units defending the museum, using Shibboleth to crush several members of Black-Four to death.[8] Karn then targeted the airport, which the COG was using to evacuate civilians. He used Seeders to cut off the COG's communication and quickly overwhelmed the airport's defenses, although he lost one Seeder to Omega-Two.[9] Karn then attacked the Endeavor Naval Shipyard, taking the port to prevent evacuation by sea.[10]

Karn at the Museum of Military Glory.

Return to the Museum[]
" Colonel what if Karn allowed Omega to knock out that Seeder and wanted to lure your men right to him. These Grubs are actually thinking strategically."
— Damon Baird pointing out Karn's superior skills at warfare being underestimated by Col. Loomis

Karn then returned to the Museum of Military Glory, where his Seeders had been destroyed by Omega-Two. He wanted to deal with them personally, but also learned that another Gear squad was causing trouble and had landed at the wharf district. Karn sent some of his best forces to the wharf to deal with them while he focused on Omega-Two.[11] While marshaling his soldiers at the Museum, Karn's position was struck by a Lightmass Missile fired by Kilo Squad. Though thousands of his troops were killed by the Lightmass Missile, Karn and Shibboleth survived, and he sent his elite forces to take out Kilo Squad who had guided the missile from a nearby rooftop. However, they failed and fell to Kilo Squad who believed Karn to have perished in the explosion.[12]

Last Stand[]

Karn led the attack on a courthouse where Col. Ezra Loomis was trying Kilo Squad for disobeying orders. Karn emerged atop Shibboleth and destroyed a King Raven that the five Gears were attempting to board and engaged them in a battle across the Plaza for the Tyran Dead. Karn then personally attacked the squad and the Colonel. After they disabled his chainguns, Karn attacked with an incendiary launcher, but retreated to the top of a nearby roof and called for reinforcements after being injured. During the fight between the squad and the reinforcements, Karn came down off the building and tried to trample the squad as well as launching incendiary bombs from Shibboleth's mechanical leg until it was destroyed, causing him to retreat again and call for more reinforcements. He also launched Nemacyst from Shibboleth. Finally, Karn attacked again with his chainguns and once they were disabled again, Shibboleth exposed its mouth and Kilo and Loomis focused fire on this weakspot. Karn tried to take them down with his Boltok Pistol as the Shibboleth grew weaker but he wasn't able to aim. The Gears and some King Ravens continued to attack, killing Shibboleth.

Karn in agonizing pain due to the injuries he suffered from the battle with Kilo Squad.


"War is cruelty. And this one's not over."
—Col. Loomis after executing Karn

Karn was thrown from his mount and, though he survived the explosion and fall, he was severely injured and unable to stand. As Kilo wondered what to do with him, Loomis executed Karn with a shot to the head from his Boltok Pistol.[13] However, the Locust Horde didn't stop their attack over Halvo Bay even with their General's death and ultimately killed Col. Loomis and almost all of the Gears defending the city. Karn's commander, High General RAAM, would lead the Horde's forces in the onslaught of humanity from Emergence Day to 14 A.E., where he too perished.

A sketch of Karn drawn by Baird in his journal.

Personality and Traits[]

"Imagine a man turned inside out and then snapped into pieces. Then stitch that guy back together with alternating strands of barbed wire and dental floss. Top things off with the head of a beady-eyed, fang-baring sea serpent. And if you really want to get it right, imagine that little amalgamation sporting a piece of headgear that's half showgirl, half bombardier."
Damon Baird describing Karn in his journal[14]

Karn was supposedly one of the most powerful members of the Locust hierarchy but was one of the few who didn't focus on personal combat. Instead, he was considered a master planner and a superb commander when it came to leading the charge on the battlefield. This combined with the underestimating attitude of Col. Loomis towards the Locust left Karn with an easy task to destroy Halvo Bay. However, Karn did seem to recognize foes who would prove a nuisance to him, as seen when he personally led the onslaught at the Halvo Bay Military Academy and when he launched a full attack at both Omega Two and Kilo Squad for messing up his plans. Like RAAM and Skorge, Karn, while fiercely loyal to Myrrah, was not above attempting to manipulate her to realize that the war with the Lambent was lost. He also seemed to have a rivalry with fellow Vold, RAAM, as they disliked each others approach to their troops and battle. Though the two did seem to hold a degree of respect for one another, as Karn went along with RAAM's plan while the latter promoted Karn to Zamil afterwards, knowing how great of a strategist he was. They also seem to have some sort of mastery over a creature or several creatures; Karn had Shibboleth and RAAM had the Kryll.

Karn developed a symbiotic relationship with the creature Shibboleth some time prior to Emergence Day. The two were always seen together, which made them a formidable force.

Appearance Gallery[]

Behind the scenes[]

Crimson Omen.jpg
Gearspedia has 20 images related to Karn.
  • It is unknown who did the voice acting for Karn.
  • When choosing names for Karn, the writers originally were either going to have it be a made up word that sounded cool or have it based on ancient gods of yore.
  • Karn and Ukkon's deaths were similar: both had their mounts killed in battle which they themselves survived though badly injured. They were then executed with a pistol shot to the head.
  • Karn's multiplayer model was modified in Gears 5 to have reduced back spikes.


  • Gears 5 marks the first game for Karn to debut as a multiplayer character. He made his debut in Operation 4.



Locust Leaders
Queen Myrrah · High General RAAM · High General Sraak · General Karn · High Priest Skorge · High Priest Vrol · High Priest Droak · Scientist Ukkon