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The Wakaatu is giant bird-like beast native to the island of Pahanu. All children in the island must face the bird in the rite of passage. The bird spits out extremely toxic and corrosive venom that can destroy all organic matter, causing it to dissolve into goo.

The creature was worshiped as a god by Lahni's people who used it as part of a rite of passage called the Awakening for centuries.


Worshipped by the Weilehan[]

For centuries, the Weilehan people worshipped the Wakaatu, using it in a rite of passage called the Awakening even after they moved from Pahanu to the nearby island of Weilehi. Whenever the rite began, there would be a festival of ritual animal sacrifice put in honor of the Wakaatu under the Wakaatu temple [1]. In the rite, a Weilehan would follow a path through the temple ruins through the island to the Wakaatu Nest. There, they would face the creature and if they survived, would take a feather from the Wakaatu as a symbol of their success.

This practice was eventually discontinued for decades and the Weilehan came to consider the creature to be a myth. Lahni Kaliso's grandmother would tell her stories of the Wakaatu and of the Awakening, but considered the creature to be a myth as well.[2]

Swarm Invasion[]

When the Swarm Invasion started, the Swarm Hive on Pahanu became active. Unhappy with the vicious creatures invading its territory, the Wakaatu began attacking them, its venom being highly effective at destroying all forms of the Swarm.

Arrival of Team Scorpio[]

In 42 AE, Team Scorpio's Condor crashed on Pahanu due to an attack by a Swarm Flock. Corporal Jeremiah Keegan encountered a patch of the Wakaatu's acid and as a result, experienced hallucination. Later, as Scorpio was extracted by a King Raven Mark 2 piloted by Tak, they witnessed the Wakaatu, hidden in the trees, destroying the Swarm forces on the beach with its venom, although they weren't sure what was responsible.

After the failed Hivebust of Sanctum, Mac sarcastically suggested using the "nightmare acid" from the beach to enhance Doctor Hana Cole's Venom Bombs. Hana realized that combining the "nightmare acid" with the deadly gas from the New Hope Research Facility could in fact make a effective weapon and Lahni Kaliso recalled her grandmother's stories about the Wakaatu. In order to find out more about the creature, Scorpio and Hana decided to visit Weilhei to ask the Weilehans about it.

Arriving on the island, the group found it overrun by Swarm forces. However, Lahni discovered a carving of the Wakaatu and translated the text describing the Awakening. Continuing further, Scorpio and Hana encountered a tree with the Wakaatu's feathers taken from people who had undergone the Awakening with the feathers releasing the Wakaatu's acid but which was held at bay by an incense.

After following a Snatcher through a lava tube back to Pahanu and rescuing Hana from its clutches, Scorpio was extracted by Tak, only to have the Wakaatu attack the King Raven. The Gears were forced to cut themselves free while Tak lost the creature. Making their way through the Wakaatu's territory, Scorpio discovered melted Swarm remains from the Wakaatu's acidic venom. On a cliff, the Wakaatu cornered Scorpio, firing acid at them until Tak's King Raven returned. Hana was able to drive the creature off using the helicopter's chain gun and Scorpio escaped the island.[2]

Mission to the Wakaatu Nest[]

The Wakaatu, wounded and exhausted.

Still needing the Wakaatu's venom to perfect their weapon against the Swarm, Scorpio returned to Pahanu and embarked upon a mission to the Wakaatu Nest. Following the path that Lahni's ancestors had taken during the Awakening, Scorpio fought off both Swarm forces and DeeBees from a crashed Vulture before boarding a boat that took them to the nest.

At the Wakaatu nest, Team Scorpio were confronted by the creature which they decided not to kill as they liked the idea of it continuing to battle the Swarm. Using weapons scattered about the nest, Scorpio fought the Wakaatu which repeatedly dove underground upon being injured. Eventually, despite the Wakaatu's attempts to kill them, Scorpio succeeded in injuring and exhausting the creature to the point that it collapsed.

Approaching the Wakaatu, Lahni recited the words of the Awakening and told Mac that she believed that it would survive its wounds. As per Weilehan tradition, Team Scorpio each took one of the Wakaatu's feathers to symbolize their victory over it before Mac drew some of its venom using a syringe from one of the Wakaatu's venom glands. Using the Wakaatu's venom, Hana was then able to perfect her Venom Bombs for use against the Swarm.[2]


The Wakaatu shooting its venom.

An incredibly territorial avian, the Wakaatu is an incredibly powerful and formidable bird and is one of the many megafaunas and apex superpredators inhabiting the island of Pahanu. So dangerous is this beast that even Swarm creatures such as the indomitable Carriers have fallen prey to its vicious streak. To the Wakaatu, they view all non-Wakaatus within its territory as a potential threat, whether it is Human, Locust or Swarm.

Unlike most conventional birds, the Wakaatu is unique in that it has six wings rather than two, it is unknown how or why the bird evolved to be an octapod, but the most plausible answer is that it allows the large bulk of the bird to maintain lift. This is supported by its rapid wing flaps - synonymous with hummingbirds - suggesting that the Wakaatu has an immense metabolic rate and must eat constantly to retain its energy.

Other unique features of the bird includes the addition of six facial 'winglets' which contains the notorious venom sacs of the bird. While the bird's head is armored from small-arms fire, the winglets are not. Shooting them off weakens the bird considerably although it is not enough to kill it. The Wakaatu's lower mandible and tongue is bifurcated, possibly to allow the ease of shooting its venom. It has a horn which may or may not be used as a weapon or for mating purposes. Moreover, it has three tails, possibly to aid in either flight or arboreal activity as the bird's feet is like that of a parrot. Despite not suggesting any features, the Wakaatu is an excellent burrower, how it digs is unknown.

The Wakaatu's most powerful weapon is its acidic venom which is kept in glands on the creature's neck. The venom is capable of melting Swarm of any type and is referred to as "nightmare acid" by Leslie Macallister. The glands become visible as the creature prepares to fire and are vulnerable to attack during this time which causes injury to the Wakaatu. The Wakaatu can spew it in a continuous stream or, as seen in the Wakaatu's attack on the Swarm forces on the beach, in the form of an acidic bomb. Diluted samples of the venom, usually extracted from the feathers, were known to cause strong psychological hallucinations.[3]

When fighting against the creature, care must be taken to avoid the venom as it leaves an area of noxious and corrosive gas that damages over time and ignores cover. On the ground the Wakaatu would attempt to bite the player or crush them via their weight. Weapons needed to deal with them includes weapons with high rate of fire, explosives or a mixture of both. Short-ranged weapons should be discouraged due to the bird's ability to fly like the Kestrel. Many weapons are scattered about the Wakaatu Nest to help in this particular fight.



Wakaatu Ritual Temple[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • The Wakaatu is a mixture of various avian species both real and mythical. It has the beak and claws of a parrot, the wings of a hummingbird, the screams of a bird of prey, the tails of a phoenix and the size of a roc.
    • The venom may be a reference to the hooded pitohui, one of the only venomous avians in the real world, albeit far less exaggerated than the Wakaatu's.
  • Despite having the beak of the largely herbivorous parrot (i.e. cracking nuts and seeds like those of a parrot), the number of skeletons and corpses of various creatures around its nest indicates that it is one of the apex superpredators at the top of the food chain.
    • It is unknown why the bird's mandibles are split.
  • This is the first DLC boss to be added in Gears 5's Horde mode.
  • A Ritual Temple in honor to the Wakaatu was used as a multiplayer map under the name Ritual. The temple was used to house sacrifices to appease the Wakaatu. Art of the map is done by Boyd McKenzie [4].



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