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- "This! This whole goddamned hive. All the people they've podded -- I could feel them. The Locust never died, James."
- —Marcus Fenix, explaining how the Swarm works to JD, Del and Kait, moments after being freed from a Pod.
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. They are the evolution of and successor to the Locust Horde. The Swarm outbreak initiated another globe-spanning conflict between the Locust and humanity: the Swarm War.
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 Locust Horde and all enslaved creatures collapsed and began to form an impenetrable, crystalline shell - similar to a cocoon.
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.
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-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.
Post Lambent PandemicEdit
After the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon was deployed at the end of the Second Battle of Azura, it was thought that members of the Locust Horde were wiped out, 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 'corpses' were quickly encased in an incredibly dense yellow colored crystalline structure, unlike the Lambents that were disintegrated into dust. This crystalline shell proved to be impenetrable and harder than diamond. Being unable to burn or otherwise dispose of the Locust dead because of the Locust Shells, the newly reformed Coalition of Ordered Governments decided to do the next best thing: dump them all deep underground in mass graves.
Over the next twenty-five years, Sera was at peace and life began to cover the surface of the war-ravaged planet once again. The newly reformed COG was successfully rebuilding human civilization and constructing new cities, while former Stranded camps and other members of the surviving populace that chose not to join the new COG formed peaceful communities on the fringe of the COG's territory, becoming known as Outsiders. However, this peace was soon disrupted as COG citizens went missing in large numbers. In actuality, the Swarm evolved and some of the Locust Shells began cracking open, releasing the Scions held within. The Scions, who were leaderless, became interim leaders and began growing a new horde by sending Snatchers to capture humans and return them to their Hives to turn them into Juvies.
With no other explanation available, COG First Minister Jinn blamed the disappearances on the Outsider community, and began a large scale mobilization, starting with the attempted capture of Marcus Fenix's son JD Fenix during an Outsider raid on the unpopulated and still under construction Settlement 5, where it was guarded by DeeBees and a new DeeBee was encountered: the DR-1. Despite this, the Outsiders managed to escape with a Fabricator. Undeterred, Jinn sent a large DeeBee force at the Outsider village, but were repulsed.
- "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.
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. 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.
- Hive Beast
Behind the scenesEdit
- 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.
- ↑ 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