"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 are a race of creatures created and led by the surviving members of the Locust Horde. They appeared on Sera in 42 A.E., twenty-five years after the end of the Locust War. The creator of the Locust, Dr. Niles Samson, genetically designed the Locust to survive generational conflict by engineering the ability for the Locust to evolve in order to adapt. 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 sought to continue the previous war to conquer the surface of Sera. Needing an army, the Scions somehow created the Swarm as a bio-organism capable of transforming any organic life into a new species of creature that would follow their commands. They also sought to restore Queen Myrrah as their leader by capturing her daughter Reyna Diaz and having Myrrah's mind take control. Unlike the Locust, who primarily waged war on humanity in order to escape the Lambent, the Swarm intended to finish what their predecessors started on Emergence Day and aimed to kill all humans and colonize the surface of Sera.[1] The Swarm outbreak initiated another globe-spanning conflict between the Locust and humanity as the Swarm Invasion.

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 are considerably taller, larger, and stronger. While maintaining their grey skin color, the scales of the Locust Scions are noticeably absent. The scales that were not absent, instead, were fragments of the Imulsion crystal shell from which they emerged from.

Swarm Drones are somewhat similar to the average Locust Drone. However, while the Locust had a reptilian appearance with grey skin and scales, the Swarm Drones had a more crustaceous appearance, with red husks and shells. A noticeable difference between the Locust Drones and Swarm Drones was their sexual dimorphism. Male and female Swarm Drones were physiologically similar and had reduced sexual dimorphism compared to the male Locust Drones and their female counterpart, the Berserker. Female Swarm Drones have a higher intelligence and vision than the Berserkers, but are drastically smaller in size and strength. They also serve as soldiers in the battlefield, known as Hunters. It is unknown if male and female Swarm Drones sexually reproduce like the Locust Drones and Berserkers. However, the initial process of Swarm Drone creation is podding by a Snatcher, which transforms the human into a Juvie. Juvies are actually more similar in appearance to Locust Drones, with white skin and grey scales. Juvies can either naturally grow into a Drone or can accelerate the process by entering a Nest, becoming an Imago in seconds.

Unlike the Locust Horde, the creatures are also part of the Swarm species and not enslaved creatures from the Hollow. Among the first creatures created in the Swarm, by unknown means, was the Snatcher. In their juvenile state, they are known as Pouncers. Carriers and Hive Beasts were created by unknown means to protect the Hive, and both are able to launch bio-defenses called Cankers. Swarm Leeches, believed to have evolved from Heart Leeches, form what is known as a Flock and are used to devour humans, disable machinery, and hijack artificial intelligence such as the DeeBees. 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. They all bear a similar appearance to the Swarm Drones, which is a red, crustaceous or aquatic creature.

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 for growth and guidance. By unknown means, the Scions figured out a way to use biological masses produced in the burial sites to connect living creatures into a neural biological network and transform them into a whole new species that would follow their commands. These burial sites would become strongholds known as Hives. Snatchers were created to capture humans and put them in pods within a Hive where they would undergo the transformation process. Myrrah, with her consciousness still alive within the Hivemind, was able to somewhat lead the Swarm, but relied on the Speaker to lead the army and find her long-lost daughter, Reyna Diaz, in order to inhabit her body and become Queen again for the Swarm. The Swarm then began to kidnap Outsiders, patrolling Gears, and other survivors outside the Settlements. The Coalition of Ordered Governments accused the Outsiders, a group of humans formed from the Stranded who refused to live in COG jurisdiction, of stealing their people.

Swarm Invasion[edit | edit source]

Reemergence[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

Gears 5 Swarm Banner.png

The Outsider Village known as Fort Umson was one of the first Outsider Villages to be raided. The Swarm, led by Myrrah's consciousness in the Hivemind, located her daughter, Reyna Diaz, as the leader of the village. Desperate for the next in line to become Queen - the Swarm raided the village and captured Reyna alive. Reyna was placed within the Hive at the Tollen Dam as the rest of the village was podded and transformed into the Swarm. Only a few members survived the raid: Reyna's daughter, Kait Diaz, Reyna's brother-in-law, Oscar Diaz, and villagers James Dominic Fenix, Delmont Walker, Mackenzie, and Eli. During the raid, Reyna managed to cut the hand off the Speaker. James observed that the hand and the Imulsion crystals on it resembled a Locust within its shell. Delmont, believing it to also be Locust, convince the group to take it to JD's father and Locust War veteran, Sgt. Marcus Fenix. Traveling to the Stroud Estate, Marcus recognizes the crystal and accompanies the group to the osmium mine below Fort Reval to confirm his suspicions.

In Fort Reval, the group encounters the Swarm biomass and pods, realizing they are harvesting humans to create an army. Sgt. Fenix is suddenly captured by a Snatcher as JD, Kait and Del find themselves in a frantic battle against the Swarm. Navigating Fort Reval and combating the Drones of the Swarm, the three arrive in the osmium mine and discover that the Swarm were created and led by the Locust, that the Locust survived, evolved, and emerged from their shells to become the Scions. They also manage to locate Sgt. Fenix's pod and rescue him before he was killed and transformed. Sgt. Fenix was able to provide intel that Reyna was being held at the Tollen Dam Hive when he was placed within the Hivemind. Needing reinforcements, Sgt. Fenix sent a message to his old friends for help, requesting that they meet at the abandoned town of Speyer. Kait then encounters the Speaker and kills him in battle. Damon Baird, Samantha Byrne, and Augustus Cole arrive to assist in storming the Hive and killing the Hive Beast. The group finds Reyna, but discover she is connected physically to the Hive and will die if disconnected. By her mother's request, Kait disconnects and supposedly euthanizes her.

Unknown to the group, Reyna had survived. However, her mind was too weak as it was disconnected from the Hivemind, preventing Myrrah to possess it. Myrrah then planned to either possess the next in line, her granddaughter Kait, or have Kait awaken Reyna in order to possess her daughter. Kait then began experiencing hallucinations and nightmares as her connection to the Hivemind grew. The Swarm then continued to grow in their army, taking more outsiders and transforming them. The surviving Outsiders then join the COG army to help assist in the fight against the Swarm. While Delta Squad and First Minister Mina Jinn debate the reactivation and use of the Hammer of Dawn against the Swarm - the Swarm begin their invasion of Settlement 2. Many are killed and captured, but the majority of Settlement 2 is evacuated. During the last round of evacuations, the Hammer of Dawn was used against an oncoming blight of Swarm. However, the Hammer of Dawn began to malfunction and fire wildly, killing and wounding many humans. The rest were able to evacuate while the Hammer and the Swarm destroyed what was left of Settlement 2.

Escalation[edit | edit source]

Needing to reunite humanity to fight against the Swarm, the COG began to recruit Outsider Villages to evacuate in COG Settlements, join the army, and fight the Swarm. Cpl. Kait Diaz was sent on the recruiting missions due to her former status as Outsider and her parents being the founders. Within the next four months, nearly all the Outsider Villages were rescued by the COG. However, Cpl. Kait Diaz's connection to the Hivemind grew even further, tormenting her with horrific visions and images. Among the last Outsider Villages to recruit was Riftworm Village, led by her uncle, Oscar Diaz. Upon arriving, the Swarm began to siege the village. Cpl. Diaz was captured by a Snatcher and finally connected to the Hivemind. Myrrah then guided Cpl. Diaz to control the Swarm army to kill all the humans, resulting in the death of Oscar Diaz. Reinforcements of the COG managed to arrive and defend the village, but Cpl. Diaz's grief finally caused her to admit her visions and possible connection to the Locust Horde. Sgt. Marcus Fenix then offered to help by helping her find the truth and guided her and Lt. Delmont Walker to the New Hope Research Facility.

Cpl. Diaz and Lt. Walker found the New Hope Research Facility and learned its secrets within, as well as intel locating a second facility inside Mount Kadar. Cpl. Diaz and Lt. Walker then navigated the Kadar Valley, activating radio towers to locate the facility. After triangulating a signal from the Mount Kadar facility, they managed to find the lab under the frozen lake. Entering the Mount Kadar Laboratory, they were greeted by Niles Samson in the form of an artificial intelligence robot. Dr. Niles Samson revealed to Kait Diaz that her grandmother was Queen Myrrah and her stem-cells were used to create the Locust Horde, which were genetically designed by Niles to survive by evolving and hibernating to endure generational conflict, explaining why the Locust evolved into the Swarm instead of dying. Realizing she was next in line to be Queen of the Swarm and could be used to strengthen the Swarm, Cpl. Diaz demanded that she be severed from the Hivemind. Niles Samson instead used her link to awaken Reyna, whose body was then possessed by Myrrah - finally giving the Swarm their Queen. Cpl. Diaz was then able to sever her link to the Hivemind by killing the Matriarch, the first Locust Drone that amplified her connection.

With the Swarm now with a Queen, they became more organized, intelligent, and methodical. They grew in greater numbers and in strength and become to industrialize their own weapons and armor. In order to now fight the stronger Swarm, Delta becomes more convinced to reactivate the Hammer of Dawn. Damon Baird then directs Delta Squad to the desert of Vasgar, where an old space facility, OZP-11, contained satellites for the Hammer of Dawn and targeting beacons created by the Union of Independent Republics. Led by former UIR soldier, Garron Paduk, Delta Squad was able to launch the new Hammer of Dawn satellites. With the COG now in possession of the Hammer of Dawn, Queen Reyna pushed to New Ephyra by invading the ruins of Old Ephyra. The COG planted the targeting beacons and began to use the Hammer of Dawn, but all three were destroyed by the Kraken, a massive Swarm beast. As the Swarm neared New Ephyra, JACK used its own targeting beacon to destroy the Kraken, which then destroyed Old Ephyra and the surrounding Swarm army - saving New Ephyra.

Hivebuster Offensive[edit | edit source]

Known Types[edit | edit source]

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.[2]
  • 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.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

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) · 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 Gunker · Lambent Leviathan · Lambent Polyp · Lambent Stalk · 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)
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