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"Don't let them 'Cysts hit Betty!"
Dizzy Wallin

Nemacysts were flying organic mortars used by the Locust Horde. They were released by a Seeder's secondary "mouth" and would make a beeline for the nearest enemy unit. It was deadly against COG Gear squads or King Ravens. They also seem to be affected by radio frequences, even homing into JACKs.

When not used as an anti-air or mortar shell, Nemacysts could hover in mid-air, dispersing noxious ink into the air to scramble radio transmissions, deny air-space for King Ravens, or to hamper targeting data transmissions to Hammer of Dawn satellites, preventing their use.

However, Nemacyst have minimal armor. Small arms fire seems to be the quickest solution when quelling these from the air.


Destruction of Halvo Bay[]

"Our bot was already pretty dinged up. We didn't know it yet, but a lot of Nemacyst were about to arrive. We were gonna have to give our all to protect it."
Sofia Hendrik, describing how her squad fought the Nemacyst

Nemacyst took part in the attack over Halvo Bay, led by General Karn. While defending the Great Hall of the Museum of Military GloryKilo Squad noticed that several Nemacyst broke inside the Hall and gave aerial support to the Locust forces on the ground, Kilo managed to take down the Nemacyst and the rest of the Locust before they headed to the East Wing.

Later at Monroe Commons (inside the Halvo Bay Academy), several Nemacyst tracked Troy due to a signal they could target. Kilo had to deal with several swarms of Nemacyst before they stopped targeting Troy.

In its last stand at the Plaza for the Tyran Dead, the Shibboleth launched several Nemacyst, like a Seeder would, so that they could aid it against Kilo Squad and Col. Ezra P. Loomis. However, the Gears managed to destroy the Nemacyst and kill the Shibboleth.

Fall of Landown[]

When the Locust Horde took over the city of Landown, they used several Nemacyst Mortars to attack the city and its citizens. Locust forces arrived at the city, captured it and turned it into a Locust stronghold for several years.

Evacuation of Ilima[]

"Once the Nemacyst have darkened the skies, the city shall be ours."
—Queen Myrrah, after she orders RAAM to summon the last of the Seeders so that their Nemacyst would completely cover Ilima for the Kryll to arrive

Nemacyst were used by General RAAM during his assault on Ilima city. They played a pivotal role during the assault, inking the skies above the city so that it could be cleared from its human populance by a Kryllstorm. This was accomplished by RAAM summoning his Elite troops, comprised of a Theron Elite, two Mauler Elites and a Tremor, who could summon Seeders with its Thumper. After summoning three Seeders at different locations, a Gear Squad identified the Nemacyst and managed to locate them. They proceeded to collapse the building behind them to kill the Seeders and their Nemacyst.

When the Elites re-emerged at Alpha Squad's Evacuation Outpost, they escorted the Tremor to another location so it could summon another Seeder. The Tremor then proceeded to summon other seeders near Ilima City Hall. However, Queen Myrrah stated that the sky wasn't dark enough and sent her troops to the last emergence point. The Nemacyst eventually filled the sky with ink and completely covered the city of Ilima, but it was too late to stop the Gears from escaping, along with the civilians located at Dr. Gregory Wisen's Children's School of Hope.

Lightmass Offensive[]

When Minh Young Kim asked for air support from Col. Victor Hoffman, he stated that they could not send air support because of Nemacysts flying over the area which kept the Ravens out of the air. Delta Squad encountered a Seeder near a bridge of a lake and attacked it with a Hammer of Dawn, though Nemacyst tried to protect it they were easily defeated by the humans, another Seeder was encountered by Delta at an open part of the building and again tried to use Nemacyst to attack the Gears but they were defeated alongside the Seeder. The last Seeder again used the Nemacyst to defend itself but they were all struck down and the skies were almost clear. More Nemacyst attacked Alpha Squad from above, giving a tactical advantage to the Locust, but Delta One managed to destroy them using rooftop Troikas. Despite having destroyed most of them, two managed to take down the newly arrived Raven sent to evacuate both Delta and Alpha, leaving the Squads to fend themselves against the horde of Locust behind them and General RAAM.

As Delta Squad was heading towards East Barricade Academy via King Raven, Nemacyst took down one of the Ravens and forced the other to open fire on the Nemacyst and to land immediately. Soon they found more Nemacyst and the Seeders that had summoned them, they quickly dispatched them all with the Hammer of Dawn. More Nemacyst gave support to a Theron stationed in a rooftop but were quickly finished. More Seeders at East Timgad launched Nemacyst over the air and Delta found a rooftop full of Nemacyst but finished them quickly. When a Berserker boarded the Tyro Pillar, Marcus tried to use the Hammer of Dawn but Anya denied it, as there were Nemacyst inking the sky near their position. Delta had to go to "Plan B"; detaching the rear cable car while the Berserker was still on it.

Journey to Montevado[]

When Delta Squad was heading via King Raven to Montevado, they came under heavy fire by several Nemacyst launched from Seeders stationed in the Dorado Hills. The pilot died from the impact of one of them and Jace Stratton took control of the aircraft but soon another Nemacyst hit the landing gear of the Raven. However, Jace managed to crash-land the Raven and escape the Nemacyst.

Operation: Hollow Storm[]

"Delta, KR Five-One is reporting Nemacyst occupying your local airspace, can you confirm?"
"Nothing in sight yet, Control, but we'll keep an eye out.
Anya Stroud and Marcus Fenix, reporting about the Nemacyst presence above Landown

During the Assault on Landown, Seeders used Nemacyst to take down several King Ravens (including KR Four-One), Assault Derricks and Centaurs. Despite taking initial high casualties, Delta Squad was able to fend off most of the incoming Nemacyst Mortars with the Chain Gun mounted on their Rig. The Seeders were eventually killed, clearing the skies for the remaining King Ravens.

After reaching Landown, it was revealed that Nemacyst had inked up the sky over the town, preventing any air support from assisting Delta. Delta was then tasked with clearing the Nemacysts so a Raven could assist them.

On the road to Mount Kadar, Delta encountered Seeders launching Nemacysts at them. They tried to break the frozen lakes that Delta had to pass through but failed. A few shots fom the cannon on their Centaur dislodged the beasts, sending them plummeting to the valley floor.

While riding a Brumak in the Hollow under Jacinto, Marcus and Dom encountered countless Nemacyst hovering in the airspace of the chasm. They used the Brumak's weapons to clear the air and kill the Seeders spawning them.

Lambent Pandemic[]

The projectiles used by Siegebeasts are based on Nemacyst artillery, however it remains unknown if it is the same creature the Seeders use. During the attack at Anvil Gate, Seeders used Nemacyst to try to break into the fort's walls but were unable to destroy the main gates.

Locust launching a Nemacyst.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Their name is similar to the word Nematocyst, which are a defense mechanism for real-world cnidarian animals. Cnidarians include animals like jellyfish, and Nemacysts are similar in appearance to jellyfish, which could mean that Nematocyst inspired the name Nemacyst.
  • The Nemacyst can be chainsawed in RAAM's Shadow. There will be no actual animation, though if in Arcade mode, you will still get the points for the kill. The Nemacyst will also continue on its same path with no ill effect to itself.
  • Also in RAAM's Shadow, while playing as a Locust, some Nemacyst might give you assistance against COG forces once the Seeders are summoned.
  • The Ink Grenade is a Nemacyst infant. Adult Nemacyst have not shown the ability to kill opponents by poisoning them though.
  • The Siegebeast projectiles are similar to Nemacyst.


Hollow and Enemy Creatures
Locust Horde
Berserker (Matriarch) · Boomer (Butcher, Flame Boomer, Grinder, Mauler, Mauler Elite, Savage Boomer, Tremor) · Drone (Beast Rider, Bolter, Cyclops, Disciple, Flame Drone, Grappler, Gunner, Miner, Savage Drone, Savage Hunter, Savage Marauder, Sniper, Spotter) · Grenadier (Flame Grenadier, Grenadier Elite, Hunter, Hunter Elite, Savage Grenadier, Savage Grenadier Elite, Ravager) · Kantus (Armored Kantus, Savage Kantus, Zealot) · Rager · Sire · Theron (Cleaver Theron, Palace Guard, Savage Theron, Theron Elite, Theron Sentinel)
Hollow Creatures
Bloodmount · Brumak · Corpser (Shibboleth) · Digger · Gas Barge · Heart Leech · Kraken · Kryll · Leviathan · Mangler · Nemacyst (Ink Grenade) · Nemacyte · Reaver (Assault Barque, Hydra) · Riftworm · Rockworm · Rock Shrew · Seeder · Serapede · Siegebeast · Tempest (Shrieker) · Ticker · Torture Barge · Wretch
Former · Lambent Berserker · Lambent Brumak · Lambent Bull · Lambent Dog · Lambent Drone (Lambent Drudge) · Lambent Grenadier · Lambent Gunker · Lambent Leviathan · Lambent Polyp · Lambent Stalk · Lambent Theron · Lambent Wretch
Canker · Carrier · DeeBees (Bastion, Reject, Stump) · Drone (Elite Drone, Grenadier, Elite Grenadier, Hunter, Elite Hunter, Imago, Sniper, Elite Sniper) · Flock (Leech) · Hive Beast · Juvie (Screamer, Popper) · Kraken · Locust (Drone · Matriarch · Sire) · Scion (Armored Scion, Heavy Scion, Scion Elite, Warden) · Snatcher (Pouncer) · Swarmak
DR-1 · Shepherd (Deadeye) · Tracker (Shock Tracker) · Watcher (Guardian, Sentinel)
The Weapons and Equipment of Gears of War
Melee Weapons Chainsaw Bayonet · Combat Knife · Commando Knife · Machete · Powersaw
Rifles Designated Marksman Rifle · EMBAR Railgun · Enforcer Submachine Gun (Shock variant) · GZ18 Markza Sniper Rifle (Marksman variant) · Hunting Rifle · Musket · Longshot Sniper Rifle · Mark 1 Lancer Assault Rifle (Police variant) · Mark 2 Lancer Assault Rifle (Custom variant) · Mark 3 Lancer Assault Rifle (GL variant) · UIR Belt-fed Machine Gun
Shotguns Gnasher Shotgun · Overkill Shotgun · Sawed-Off Shotgun
Sidearms MX8 Snub Pistol · Talon Autopistol · Zapper
Grenades Beacon Grenade · Bolo Grenade · Cytostatic Gas Grenade · Flashbang · Incendiary Grenade · Molotov Cocktail · Shock Grenade · Smoke Grenade · Stim-Gas Grenade
Heavy Weapons Auto-Turret · Booshka Grenade Launcher · Buzzkill · Chain Gun · COG Machine Gun · Cryo Cannon · Dropshot Munitions Launcher · Laser-Guided Rocket Pod · Longspear Rocket Launcher · Mortar · Mulcher · One-Shot · Rocket Launcher · Salvo Rocket Launcher · Scorcher Flamethrower · Silverback Rocket Launcher · Stomper · Tripwire Crossbow · Tri-Shot Chain Gun · Twin-Barrel Turret · UIR Machine Gun · UIR Minigun · Ultra-Violet Turret · Vulcan Gatling Gun
Super-Heavy Weapons Asp SAM Turret · Ball Turrets · Brader · Defence Missile System · High Velocity Main Cannon · Flechette Guns · Fortress Artillery Cannon · Industrial Staple Gun · Kestrel Missile Launcher · Mega Mech Gatling Gun · Naval Gun · Pariah Cannon · Railgun · Torpedo · UIR Artillery Battery · UIR Anti-Air Turret
Weapons of Mass Destruction Hammer of Dawn · Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon · Lightmass Bomb · Lightmass Missile · Nuclear Missile · Venom Bomb
Equipment Adrenaline Injector · Barrier · Blow Torch · COG/UIR Ammo Crates · Cloak · COG Armor · COG Tag · Fire Extinguisher · Gas Mask · Gut-Puncher · Propane Tanks · Pulse · Remote Targeting System · Stim · UIR Armor · UIR Tag
Other Bow · Flash · Hijack · Shock Trap
Melee Weapons Butcher Cleaver · Breaker Mace · Combat Knife · Crystal Tooth Bayonet · Dual Chainsaw Staff · Explosive Flail · Serrated Knife · Staff · Tremor Hammer
Rifles Breechshot · Claw Light Machine Gun · Hammerburst Assault Rifle (Gorgon variant) · Hammerburst II
Shotguns Elite Sawed-Off Shotgun
Sidearms Boltok Pistol · Gorgon Submachine Gun
Grenades Bolo Grenade · Ink Grenade · Kryll Grenade
Heavy Weapons Boomshot Grenade Launcher · Canker · Digger Launcher · Multi-Turret · Nemacyst · Reaver Chain Gun · Torque Bow · Troika Heavy Machine Gun (RAAM's variant)
Super-Heavy Weapons Brumak Rocket Launcher · Wrist-Mounted Chain Gun · Brumak Rocket Mortar · Corpser Mine Layer · Hydra Missile Pod · Hydra Rocket Pod · Locust Defense Tower · Reaver Rocket Launcher · Siegebeast Catapult
Weapons of Mass Destruction Riftworm
Equipment Boom Shield · Imulsion Explosive Canister · Imulsion Injection Harness · Immune System Booster · Locust Ammo Crates · Locust Armor · Locust Emblem · Swarm Armor · Thumper · Torture Pod
Other Ticker
Easter Egg Weapons
Melee Weapons Elemental Cleavers · Fish Stick
Rifles A Real Gun
Shotguns Raging Buccaneer
Sidearms Despicable You · Memento Mori
Grenades Dom's Toms
Heavy Weapons Cluckshot · Trackshot
Other Relic Weapons