- "UL-119-2 remains our most physically dominant and remarkable specimen, surviving longer than any hybrid developed with embryonic stem cells. I remain baffled as to why this is so. The bond she seemed to have developed with EV-184-9 continues to intrigue me. All at once, this mighty, matriarchal beast can be calmed into quiescence by no more than a glance! Dr. Torres has developed a containment module for UL-119-2. He believes that by suspending her in cryptochromic fluid, the pyschomagnetic bond she and EV-194-9 appear to share could be amplified. I am skeptical but willing to entertain his flight of theoretical fancy."
- —Dr. Niles Samson on the Matriarch.
The Matriarch, or Subject UL-119-2, was the first Locust Drone created at Mount Kadar Laboratory, and was the original Berserker, the female species of the Locust Horde. It was created by Dr. Niles Samson and his team of scientists by combing the embryonic stem-cells of Myrrah, a human with a natural immunity to Imulsion, and Sire DNA in order to create a new race of human hybrids that would be immune to Imulsion and be used as a strong military force. The Matriarch was the "mother" of the Locust Horde and reproduced the first generation of Drones. The Matriarch had an innate ability to integrate her mind into the Hivemind and allowed Myrrah complete control over the Locust. She was what connected Myrrah's daughter, Reyna Diaz, and her granddaughter, Kait Diaz, to the Swarm. Only one has been known to exist.
As the scientists at Mount Kadar Laboratory continued to study the mutagenic effects of Imulsion on humans, seeking the means to create an evolutionary leap for humans under the direction of Dr. Niles Samson, they discovered that Myrrah, their most promising human subject, had a telepathic connection with the Locust. To nurture and enhance this ability, Samson had the Matriarch created using the DNA of Myrrah and a Sire. The Matriarch was permanently housed within a stasis tank and connected to a mind-machine interface, through which Myrrah was able to attune with the Matriarch and use it as focus, strengthening her connection to and control of the Locust for the sake of turning the Locusts into COGs's obedient powerful soldiers.
After Dr. Torres became disillusioned with the lab's work and fled, taking his and Myrrah's daughter, Reyna, with him, Samson lied and told Myrrah that Reyna had been killed. Instead of settling the matter, Myrrah was enraged and directed the Locust to rebel against the lab's staff and guards. Myrrah and the Locust broke free and traveled to Mount Kadar, where they eventually created the Locust Horde, while the remaining personnel variously succumbed to their wounds or were frozen solid by a cryogenic purge of the facility that Niles had initiated before he bled out. The Matriarch remained alive and preserved within its stasis tank, which was maintained by an AI construct of Samson's personality over the following decades.
In 42 A.E., Kait Diaz and Delmont Walker entered the lab in search of information about Kait's family and her connection to the Swarm. There, the Niles AI explained how the Locust were created, why Myrrah rebelled and hated humanity, and how Kait had developed the same telepathic ability as her grandmother. In order to sever that telepathic connection, Kait used the interface with the Matriarch, which was connected to the Swarm Hivemind. Inside the Hivemind, Kait encountered the Matriarch who grabbed her and brought Kait to her mother. Kait inadvertently awakened her mother, now the Swarm Queen before Del severed the link. The Niles AI betrayed Kait and Del and turned the lab's defenses against them, and the Matriarch was freed in the process.
The Matriarch rampaged through the facility, observed by Kait and Del who were able to avoid detection for the most part. Near the exit, the Matriarch burst into a frozen cavern and destroyed the AI, killing Niles once and for all. Kait and Del attacked the Matriarch with old weapons left over from the Mount Kadar Laboratory Uprising, discovering that by dropping it into freezing water, they could freeze the Matriarch long enough to mount short attacks on its own weak spot. During the battle, Reyna telepathically attacked her daughter, distorting her vision and making it harder for her to kill the creature, particularly as the Matriarch neared death. Kait realized that the Matriarch served as her link to the Hivemind and that by killing it, she would finally be able to sever that link. Despite Reyna distorting her vision completely, Kait and Del managed to kill the Matriarch and sever Kait's link to the Hivemind.
When First Minister Mina Jinn later suggested reconnecting Kait to the Hivemind in order to locate the Swarm's central Hive, Kait told her that they'd killed the creature that served as her link to the Hivemind and sarcastically told the First Minster that "you're welcome, by the way" for having done that.
The Matriarch is a powerful, heavily armored enemy. Like Berserkers, she is blind and relies on her sense of smell and hearing to locate her prey, which she usually attempts to kill by bludgeoning with her fists. The Matriarch has other weapons at its disposal than its overwhelming brute strength, however. Its scream is loud enough that it can temporarily incapacitate anyone within its range, and it can attack at range by flinging the spikes on its back. These spikes are explosive, and if not removed quickly, will detonate and kill anyone that they impale.
The Matriarch's weakness is a large, glowing blister on its back. This can be difficult to shoot since the Matriarch will quickly turn its attention toward anyone who lands a hit. The best way to fight the Matriarch in-game is to shoot the ice out from under it and drop the creature into the freezing water. The Matriarch will freeze solid for a short period of time, giving the player the opportunity to shoot it in the back before it breaks free. Repeating this process several times will kill it.
In addition to the freezing water the beneath the Matriarch, one can bring a Cryo Cannon into the encounter room, or use JACK's fully upgraded Flash Freeze ability for more portable options of immobilizing it. The former option presents a hindrance to the player's movement and a slower freezing speed, while the latter has a long cooldown and short duration, so both are best used sparingly, and only when the traditional method is unavailable, such as when the Matriarch enters its projectile phase on solid/unbreakable terrain. Flash Freeze can be especially useful in the later half of the boss fight, as Kait's disorienting visions may allow the Matriarch to get the drop on the player- a quickly timed assist from JACK can allow you to regain your footing and finish it off.
When encountered in Horde 3.0, the Matriarch can be fought from multiple vantage points, with longer ranged classes targeting its exposed backside from afar while flankers, skirmishers and assault classes attract its attention and manipulate its positioning to more favorable firing angles. Its weakness to frost is exploitable in this mode as well. While JACK's instant freeze effect is not available, players can purchase the Cryo Cannon via the Fabricator, or equip it to the Pilot's Silverback with the Quick Ice Cannon card, and then mark the Matriarch's weak spot for the squad to focus fire on when it is fully immobilized. The frozen lake of Icebound can also be used in a method identical to the Campaign battle in the Kadar lab, though users of this strategy must take special care not to strand themselves on the ice or cut off a squadmate's escape by eliminating the floor, especially if other enemies are stil in play.
- Gears 5 (First appearance)