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- "Guys, that sounded like there were dozens of em'. Hundreds. Like a... like a Swarm."
- —Delmont Walker dubbing the name of the Swarm of the ambush on Fort Umson.
The Swarm were a race of creatures that appeared on Sera in 42 A.E., twenty-five years after the end of the Locust War and Lambent Pandemic. The Swarm were the evolutionary successors to the Locust Horde. The creator of the Locust, Dr. Niles Samson, genetically designed the Locust to survive generational conflict by engineering the ability for the Locust to adapt and evolve by hibernation and metamorphosis. After exposure to the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon, the Imulsion residing in the DNA of the Locust expelled from their bodies and crystallized to form an impenetrable cocoon shell - evolving the Locust into the Scions. The Scions emerged twenty-five years after their hibernation and created the Swarm as a bio-organism capable of transforming any organic life into part of their army. The Swarm outbreak initiated another globe-spanning conflict between the Locust and humanity: the Swarm War.
Physiology[edit | edit source]
According to the words of the Niles Samson, the Locust Horde was genetically designed to withstand generational conflict, to be able to hibernate, adapt, and evolve. Due to Imulsion being used to create the ancestors of the the Locust, the Sires, the Locust were affected by the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon in 17 A.E. However, instead of disintegrating like the Lambent, the Imulsion within the genetics of the Locust Horde and all enslaved creatures began to crystallize and erupt from the flesh and encasing their bodies - similar to a cocoon.
The Locust then spent twenty-five years hibernating and evolving within their Imulsion crystal cocoons until they erupted in 42 A.E. as the Scions. The Scions were considerably taller, larger, and stronger. While maintaining their grey skin color, the scales of the Locust Drones were noticeably absent. The scales that were not absent, instead, were fragments of the Imulsion crystal shell.
Swarm Drones are significantly different compared to Locust Drones. Locust Drones were fairly the same in physical appearance, but Swarm Drones were vastly different, due to their growth. Whereas a Locust Sniper was simply a Drone fitted with sniping gear, Swarm Snipers had asymmetrical heads and an unusual growth on their left side. Most if not all of a Swarm Drone's carapace was red rather than the usual white-grey by the Locust Drones and Scions.
Swarm Drones also demonstrated a key difference from Locust Drones. Male and female Swarm Drones were physiologically similar and had reduced sexual dimorphism compared a male Locust Drone and his female counterpart, the Berserker. Female Swarm Drones were especially cunning and served as Hunters, crack troops sent to stalk and eliminate exceptional threats to the Swarm.
Juvies are created in pods from humans' remains, who then enter nests to become a type of Drone known as Imago. These Imago eventually harden up and turn into different classes of a Swarm Drone. Such a pace is rather incredible for nesting speeds. Excluding Drones, the exact formation process of the species such as Pouncers, Snatchers, Carriers, the Hive Beast or the Kraken are not known. It is possible that these creatures undergo a different type of process to achieve their formation or of similar to that of a human's.
History[edit | edit source]
Origins[edit | edit source]
Prelude[edit | edit source]
The Locust Horde were genetically engineered hybrids by geneticist Dr. Niles Samson. His work previously began at the New Hope Research Facility during the early Pendulum-era to cure children of Imulsion miners from Rustlung, a fatal lung condition brought on by the exposure and inhalation of Imulsion fumes. Originally the cure was based off of Myrrah, a child born with a genetic immunity to Rustlung and physically benefited from Imulsion exposure.However, it was impossible to replicate Myrrah's genetic immunity. Niles Samson then began to mutate the children with the DNA of the indigenous creatures of the Hollow in order to develop a cure by cross-species genetics. The children were transformed into Sires - genetically unstable hybrids who were distempered, sterile, and highly aggressive. Due to the unethical experimentation, Chairman Monroe ordered the facility shut down and all involved to be indicted.
Before he could be punished, a fringe political party within the Monroe Administration believed in Niles Samson's work and believed that it could not only cure Rustlung, but could also create an army of super soldiers that could end the Pendulum Wars. They then relocated Niles Samson, his subjects, and his remaining loyal staff to another facility in the caverns of Mount Kadar. In the facility, Niles continued his work. He then fertilized the embryonic stem-cells of Myrrah with the DNA of the Sires to create the Locust Horde. Due to using her stem-cells to create the Locust, a Hivemind was established between all Locust and Myrrah, in which she was in control and acted as their Queen - allowing them to learn and grow. In order to protect the Locust, Niles Samson engineered them at the genetic level to be able to adapt and evolve in order to survive generational conflict.
Myrrah later conceived a human child with scientist Dr. Torres, named Reyna. Reyna had inherited Myrrah's gifts, including a connection to the Locust Hivemind. But Dr. Torres feared for Reyna's future as a test subject and escaped the facility with her. Unable to recapture Reyna, Niles Samson returned to Myrrah and lied that Reyna had died during the escape attempt. Myrrah then blamed the scientists and human species overall for the death of her daughter and the imprisonment and torture she and the Locust have had to endure - compelling her to use her powers to lead a rebellion. The Locust Horde broke out of the facility and killed all of the scientists there. Myrrah then assumed her role as Queen of the Locust Horde and led them deeper into the caverns of Mount Kadar to establish their own civilization: Nexus.
Several decades later, the Locust began becoming infected with Lambency and spreading the disease in the Hollow. Queen Myrrah led her people to emerge on the surface of Sera and commence a genocidal war to destroy all humans in order to colonize the surface and escape the Lambent threat. Professor Adam Fenix originally met with the Locust beforehand and agreed to assist Queen Myrrah in curing the Lambent. However, the Lambent would evolve against any biological countermeasures - and physical countermeasures would harm the Locust as well considering they contained Imulsion genetics from their Imulsion-poisoned ancestors. Despite this, Adam Fenix constructed the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon - a targeted radiation device that was aimed at destroying Imulsion-occupied cells. The device was triggered in Bloom of 17 A.E. The Lambent organisms disintegrated while the Locust collapsed into hibernation.
Evolution[edit | edit source]
After the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon was deployed, it was thought that the Locust Horde were finally killed, thus freeing Sera from the grips of apocalyptic war and allowing it to slowly blossom back to life. However, shortly after the Countermeasure was deployed, all of the Locust bodies were quickly encased in an incredibly dense crystalline structure. This crystalline shell was composed of Imulsion and proved to be impenetrable. Being unable to burn or otherwise dispose of the Locust because of the shells, the newly reformed Coalition of Ordered Governments decided to dispose of them in underground mass burial sites. Unknown to the humans, Niles Samson's genetic engineering was a success. The Locust Horde managed to survive the Imulsion Countermeasure by going into hibernation and evolved in order to prevent death. The crystalline shell acted as a cocoon for the Locust to evolve over the next twenty-five years.
In 42 A.E., the Locust finally reemerged and hatched from their cocoons. The Locust Drones grew in strength and size and outgrew their original scales. Other Hollow Creatures began to reemerge as well, such as the newly evolved Brumak. However, the Locust realized they were still low in numbers and were still missing a Queen - as one is needed to help them grow and be guided. By unknown means, a biological mass was produced in the burial sites, now known as Hives, to rebuild their army. Creatures such as the Snatchers were created to capture humans, bring them into the Hive, and pod them - where their bodies were transformed and connected to the Hivemind to create soldiers for the Locust, now calling themselves Scions.
Over time, humans on the surface began going missing. The Coalition of Ordered Governments accused the Outsiders, a group of humans formed from the Stranded who refused to live in Coalition jurisdiction, of stealing their people. However, many Outsider villages became overrun and captured by the Locust as well.
Swarm War[edit | edit source]
First Contact[edit | edit source]
- "Guys, that sounded like there were dozens of em'. Hundreds. Like a... like a swarm."
- —Delmont Walker to Kait Diaz and JD Fenix, after an attack on their village
However, that night, mysterious creatures raided the village and abducted everyone except James, Delmont and Kait, who were in the generator room and locked inside by Kait's mother, Reyna, for their safety. James noticed a hand that Reyna had cut off from one of the mysterious creatures and ripped a chunk of crystal off, while Delmont suggests they go to Marcus, JD's estranged father, for help. The three made their way to the Stroud Estate, where JD shows him the crystal. Marcus recognizes the crystal and accompanies the group to the osmium mine below Fort Reval to confirm his suspicions.
Along the way, the group encounter a strange red biomass and pods. After discovering the remains of a COG citizen within one pod, the group quickens their pace, only to shortly be ambushed by a much larger creature that abducts Marcus. Soon after, JD, Kait and Del find themselves in a frantic battle against The Swarm, which initially consists of many small, agile creatures called Juvie which resemble humans, to much larger versions called Drones that are capable of speech, use of fire arms, and coordinated tactics. The battle eventually culminates against large predatory creatures called Pouncer.
Later on, deep within the mine, the group discovers the once long forgotten Locust bodies, still contained within their Locust Shells, and believed that the Swarm were not related to the Locust. However, while investigating more pods, a Scion burst from one of them, causing the three to realize that the Swarm is the Locust Horde's successor. They later rescued Marcus after killing the Snatcher that held him, who tells them that the Locust never died and knew where Reyna was being held, although they needed reinforcements.
The reunited group made their way to Tollen Dam, where they encountered a Carrier and promptly killed it. Marcus was later able to send a message to his old friends for help, requesting that they meet at the abandoned down of Speyer. They also encountered the Speaker, who Kait recognized as the Scion who attacked her village and demanded her mother back. In response, the Speaker told Kait that her mother was "where she belongs". Though he put up a good fight with Swarm reinforcements and a Swarmak, he was defeated and later curb stomped after Kait told the hivemind that they were going to kill them all and rescue her mother. Along the way, they slaughtered more Swarm forces before making their assault on the Tollen Dam Hive, killing a massive Hive Beast in the process. They managed to find Reyna, but she had already been connected and Kait severed it at her request, seemingly killing her.
The Swarm continued to evolve and grow, but desired a Queen in order to properly lead them. Therefore, they took an interest to Myrrah's daughter Reyna Diaz, along with her granddaughter Kait Diaz due to their natural connection to the Swarm hivemind. They were successful in converting Reyna into the hivemind, but were unable to do so with Kait. Despite the success, Myrrah could not fully control Reyna and she remained dormant, prompting Myrrah to shift her attention to Kait.
Escalation[edit | edit source]
As the war escalated between the Swarm and humanity, the Swarm continued to adapt to their new environment. Due to a lack of industry, the Swarm were unable to mass-produce weapons as they did during the Locust era, but despite this they were able to make some technological advances. The Swarm began using the crystal fragments from their shells to create the Claw Light Machine Gun and Breaker Maces, and began making their own armor to protect themselves. Seeking to expand and create more Hives, several Scions began serving as Wardens and began looking for ideal places to begin Hives. The Swarm also began augmenting several Juvies with Bolo Grenades, turning them into Poppers and managed to tame the Kraken.
The Swarm finally gained a leader in the form of Reyna Diaz after her daughter Kait severed her connection with the Swarm, but was tricked by a Niles Samson AI into awakening her mother. As the Swarm Queen, Reyna led an attack on the COG capital, aided by the Kraken. The attack nearly succeeded, overwhelming the COG's defenses. However, the attack was thwarted when JACK used the newly-reactivated Hammer of Dawn to destroy the Kraken at the cost of his own life.
Known Types[edit | edit source]
- Hive Beast
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- The idea of the Swarm existed as early as Epic Games's original version of Gears of War 4; at least one Swarm monster type existed in this version. The Coalition retained the name of "the Swarm," but the nature of the faction itself changed between developers.
- The Swarm have their own race-specific execution in multiplayer, consisting of smashing a COG's face into the ground multiple times before a final head smash that bursts their head.
References[edit | edit source]
- Game Informer: Exclusive Screenshot Gallery
- The Art of Gears 5
- Gears 5: MP character description: "Hunter sightings are most often reported by veteran Gears. This has lead some to believe these cunning foes are sent to eradicate those who have become an exceptional threat to the Swarm."
- Game Informer: Details On Epic’s Abandoned Vision For Gears Of War 4
- DEVELOPER BLOG 4: THE ART OF ANIMATION