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InfestedA nonpolitical faction spawned out of a synthetic disease called the Technocyte Plague, which turns its victims into deformed monstrosities.The Infested spawn in much greater numbers than other factions, and swarm their enemies with powerful Chargers that can take out a Warframe lower level than them in a few strikes, and Runners that explode in proximity to enemies to stagger them. There are also Giant Mooks called Ancients that are much slower than regular Infested but can absorb much more damage and drain energy, health, or heal their allies.
- Action Bomb: Volatile Runners. They charge at you, then explode. They also explode on death, sans death by melee weapons. Depending on the level you're playing in, melee may be tricky, as they'll either be unaffected by the knockback or explode faster than you can swing.
- Body Horror: Hammered home by their encyclopedia entry showing a Corpus crewman who has been painfully transformed.
- If you look very closely at Chargers, you will see that they still have vestigial Grineer heads fused into their undersides, turned all the way around to face the front. Those colored shells on their arms and back? Ferrite armor. And where the back of a Grineer's neck would be? A skeletal, almost-canine face.
- Call Back: The Technocyte virus was the source of the zombie-like enemies in darkSector.
- Can't Catch Up: A gameplay variant - while they are fairly even with the other factions in terms of difficult in regular gameplay, in Sorties, their overall difficulty scales rather poorly compared to the Grineer and the Corpus, and not because of stats, but because of their main gimmick. The other two factions simply rely on the Boring but Practical tactic of simply shooting you, and both Grineer and Corpus in Sorties can do a lot of damage in just a few shots, if not more than enough to take down a Tenno. The Infested, on the other hand can only rely on melee attacks, which only works if the Tenno doesn't simply move out of the way or kill them before they even get in range. The mindless Zerg Rush also makes them an extremely easy target, and also makes them easy to wipe out in groups with area of effect abilites or explosive weapons such as the popular Tonkor. This can be compared to how a Zombie Apocalypse would actually fare in real life.
- Evil Laugh: The 'runner' family of enemies let loose a rather nasty sounding chuckle now and then.
- Hive Mind: Heavily implied, since they show degrees of coordination on the greater scale, despite individual members being animalistic.
- Human Weapon: Their intended purpose, Gone Horribly Right. The Orokin developed the unique underlying technology to help them fight the Sentients; clearly something went right - but then the Orokin were seemingly betrayed by the Tenno. Since then, the Infestation has run rampant across the solar system.
- It would appear that they are once again controlled in Update 14, this time under the guidance of a very much alive Alad V.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Understood as a parasite faction, they evolve whenever the situation forces them to do so, especially when they managed to infest Alad V which leads to...
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: As of Update 14, and especially Update 15.5, we have a zombie plague that can zombify robots, Up to Eleven when you see a walking infested Mesa Warframe shooting your face.
- Organic Technology: With heavy emphasis on the 'organic' side, but it's surely not called the Technocyte Virus for giggles either. Presumably the heavy emphasis on the organic side was to foil the Sentients, who seemed to be able to turn the Orokin's 'conventional' high-tech weapons against them with terrifying ease.
- Taken Up to Eleven with Alad V's experiments, which appear to involve letting Virus-ridden stalks harvested from the Orokin Derelicts infest Corpus robotics as well as crewmen.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Infested originally hadn't been seen since the Sentient War... until Dr. Tengus dug them up and let them escape into the system.
- Shoot the Medic First: The Ancient Healer is Exactly What It Says on the Tin and deserves the same treatment as other Medics.
- Taking You with Me: The Noxious Crawler releases a poison cloud on death, and the Runner is a straight-up suicide unit.
- Technically Living Zombie: Since they technically never died, and otherwise act like a highly-mutated and aggressive animal.
- Took a Level in Badass: As of Update 10, Crawler-type Infested move much faster.
- Originally a reskinned Runner, the former boss of Jupiter J3-Golem has been redesigned as an enormous behemoth of metal and flesh floating in space, so big that you're forced to fight your way into its innards via Archwing, then destroy it from the inside out on foot. It was originally planned as a normal Solar Map boss, but the dev team decided the scale of the battle warranted an entire raid to itself.
- The Virus: The Technocyte virus, of course. Infestation also appears to be lifeform of some kind in its own right, as viny growths and blooms appear on floors and walls where they Infestation is present. Orokin derelict vessels, where the Technocyte has had plenty of time to fester, are overgrown with huge, rootlike tendrils.
- Was Once a Man: All of them.
- With the Infested Moa and Ospreys and revamped J3-Golem, dilute that down to "most of them".
- We Can Rule Together: Following a plot thread from darkSector, they consider the Tenno to be their own flesh and want them to join the Infested.
- Zerg Rush: On its own, any Infested enemy is little threat. A swarm of Chargers, exploding Runners, persistent-poison-cloud Noxious Crawlers, energy and shield-draining Ancient Disruptors, and shield-piercing Toxic Ancients, however - and they always attack in numbers - can stunlock a Tenno to death before you can get a counterattack or ability off.
LephantisIntroduced in Update 10, this is the boss of the Orokin Derelicts. Drops parts for Nekros.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Lephantis is gigantic; before the J3 Golem revamp was released it was easily the largest boss in the game, and is still the largest thing you fight on foot. Seriously, not even the Jackal even comes close to its titanic size.
- Flunky Boss: In both battle phases, Lephantis can create pods, from which regular infested units come out.
- Poisonous Person: Even moreso than the original J3.
- Shockwave Stomp
- Sinister Scythe: The Grineer Head wields a massive one.
"(We are the vessel through which immortality is achieved. Assimilate, <player name>.)"The former boss of Eris, now appearing whenever there is an Infestation outbreak in place of the system's usual boss. A gigantic red Infested Charger with several deadly psychic powers. Drops blueprints for Nyx.
- King Mook: It's a charger, except really big and red.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Has a devastating scream attack which saps your shields. It hits everything in the map regardless of distance, so you just have to tank it.
- One-Hit Kill: Something the Lotus calls a Spine-strike. Using similar mechanics as Nyx's Psychic Bolts, it shoots four fast homing projectiles that deal some 600+ toxin damage, bypassing shields and tearing apart any player unfortunate to not have cover to hide behind.
- Resurrective Immortality: Flavor text from sorties reveals Phorid regrows from larvae, typically incubating in the ship graveyard around Erisnote .
Mutalist Alad V
"Inhabitants of the Origin System! It is my singular pleasure to announce that today is the first day of a new empire. An empire populated not by Corpus, not by Grineer and certainly not by the Tenno. No, the Mutalist Empire will be populated by you. A glorious new you, baptized by Mutalist flesh. You’ve called this a disease, an infestation? I call it Unity. One army under me. Welcome to your new species."On the run from the Corpus for bringing General Sargas Ruk's forces upon them, and the Tenno for his Project Zanuka experiments on their fellow members, the mad scientist Alad V has decided to a different force for power, the Infested, and working on Mutalist technology. Now filled with further delusions of grandeur inspired by the corruption of the Infested hive mind, Alad V cares not for any lines crossed in his pursuit of ruling the stars. Tenno will have to complete the "Patient Zero" quest to find and fight him, putting an end to his mad desires.
- Mercy Kill: Lotus remarks to the Tenno that not only will Alad's assassination put an end to his plans, it will also be granting him the mercy of freedom from Infested control.
- Hazy Feel Turn: Post-Tubemen, it's hard to tell whether Alad V still counts as Infested (and whether he still counts as "truly evil" or just "asshole"). More information on his personality and loyalty can be found on the Corpus page.
- Hoist By Your Petard: He can catches you with his infested collar and take control of your Warframe. If you are using something like 4 Forma Amprex...
- Played both ways: Mutalist Alad is immune to damage except when his collar is off his body. "Attached to your teammate" counts as "off his body".
- Worth noting is that if you're playing solo, his collar will just bounce off you (dealing moderate damage).
- Sanity Slippage: So, in never-ending warfare between Space Ninjas, Conquering Empire, and Greedy Business Mega-Corp, you suddenly encounter a hideous biomechanical plague. The universal response to these Infested is to stop fighting each other and begin pointing weapons at them. Ever the innovator, Alad instead decided that getting himself infected and joining up with them was the best response. Not slippage, as such. More like a vertical plummet.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: Mutalist Alad's collar makes him impervious to damage. So, naturally, he takes it off at regular intervals.
- Villainous Breakdown: His tone gives this away when you destroy the hives in one of his ships during Operation: Breeding Grounds.
- Villains Never Lie: In the Tubemen of Regor event, he begged the Tenno to bring him important genetic research data to help him cure himself of the Infested. To the surprise of basically everyone, it wasn't a trap — the Tenno were paid as promised and he went about minding his own business.
- And as of the Second Dream quest, he appears to have actually cured himself. Somehow.
J3-GolemA Corpus frigate taken over by the Infestation. Originally controlled by a Cephalon named Jordas, who watched helplessly as the vessel and parts of his psyche were assimilated. Fought as the boss of Eris, and drops parts for Atlas. It turns out the Jordas Golem attacking Eris was a clone, and the fully-realized J3 Jordas Golem is creeping outside the Outer Terminus near Pluto.
- Actually a Doombot: The Jordas Golem fought over Eris was a copy. The J3 Jordas Golem uses copies of Jordas as a glorified Trojan virus to subvert Corpus ships, so more Golems could manifest.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: The crew aboard the ship Jordas controlled were working in anti-Infested technology. Needless to say, their work wasn't enough to save them or Jordas.
- Burning Rubber: In space. J3 will try to roast you with it, after which it turns into toxic clouds. Which sounds strangely familiar.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: starts the battle with no less than 350,000 health, and this can skyrocket past 500,000 if a full squad brings their best gear. Plus he has typical boss levels of armor, enough to reduce all incoming damage to less than 30% (unless you bring corrosive damage). Considering Archwing weapons are typically vehicle-mounted heavy machine guns, he needs it.
- Death Seeker: Once Jordas Golem is down to about half health, infested!Jordas will wail at you to stop attacking, and corpus!Jordas will beg you to keep up the punishment. Finish the beast off, and Jordas will thank you in his dyng moments.
- Decomposite Character: The original J3-Golem boss fight was just an infested Corpus crewman that was 25% taller and could throw toxic grenades; Lotus played him up as "a centuries-old bioweapon" created by the Orokin. That backstory, the toxic grenades, and all of the Boss Banter was ported over to Lephantis, while the J3-Golem was radically redesigned to be an entire frigate's worth of infested Corpus crewmen merged into a single Sapient Ship.
- Dying as Yourself: Jordas.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: One of the things he says to you during his "regular" assassination mission is: "You came for the parts, just like all the others, greedy scavengers! You do not care about Jordas!" May not be true the first time you complete the mission as a part of the quest, but definitely true in subsequent runs, since you will most likely come there to get parts for the Atlas warframe. May count as a Player Punch.
- Lightning Bruiser: Once J3 gets moving it has the highest top speed of everything in the entire game (well, of everything that has a health bar). Even Itzal, which can teleport, has trouble keeping up with J3's afterburners.
- Jekyll & Hyde: The Jordas Golem underwent significant infestation yet still retains solid sociability makes it a terrifying moment to see, especially to Cephalons.
- Meaningful Name: Jordas seems to be a mashup of Ordis and Judas Iscarot. Jordas is almost entirely under the sway of the Infestation, and once this is revealed Ordis fears that Jordas represents some sort of Shadow Archtype or Foil for Ordis.
- Mood-Swinger: Subverted in his early conversations; Jordas switches between a humble, somewhat normal voice and a raspy, partly demonic voice, but both are terrified that the player is dumb/crazy enough to come and attempt a rescue. Played straight once the battle starts, and the demonic voice starts speaking like you would expect an Infested boss to.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Tons, Jordas' early quotes already spoiled the description that he is the Jordas Golem.
- Sapient Ship: Courtesy of the Virus.
- Shock and Awe: His favorite attack are two giant balls of lightning that track your movement at pretty high speed.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The devs have spelled the boss's name as J3-Golem (the original code), J-3 Golem (several forum posts), and Jordas Golem (the game code as of update 17.5). The Jordas Verdict 8-player mission reveals another, more mature Golem with the composite name "J3 Jordas Golem" (or, as the devs spell it on the forums, "J-3 Jordas Golem").
- Trick Boss: As you make your way through the level, you'll enter what looks like a typical, if somewhat small, boss arena, with a big mound of flesh in the center sporting an objective marker. Inside the big mound is a Juggernaut Behemoth; while a boss level foe, it's not what you came there to find. And after you beat it the ship breaks apart and Ordis sends you an Archwing to kill the real J3-Golem!
- Wave Motion Gun: Word to the wise: keep moving.
The Syndicates are organizations that don't have quite as much power as the three big players, but they still make their mark. A complex system of alliances, rivalries, and conflicting ideals prevent them from truly unifying but they do have two things in common: a hatred of the dominant powers of the Origin System and alliances with the Tenno.
- Greyand Gray Morality/Well-Intentioned Extremist: They all have noble goals, but the way they implement them, and the fact that are perfectly willing to send death squads after supporters of their rivals...
- This war's chewin' up the weak and innocent. No one stands up for them but Steel Meridian.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Cressa is one of the more heroic Grineer characters and is comparatively less visibly deformed.
- Defector from Decadence: They deserted the Grineer Empire in order to protect those being hurt by the constant warfare in the Origin System.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Cressa Tal starts off with a pretty negative attitude towards Tenno, but as they climb the ranks of her organisation, she'll warm to them considerably, eventually admitting that she was wrong, and that they are heroes.
- Enemy Mine: During the Rathuum event, they are willing to reach out to enemy Tenno to help them win the Rathuum. Of course, you can always turn the prisoners over to your favored faction.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Cressa Tal, the leader of Steel Meridian is a female Grineer deserter; she's coarse, direct, and devoted to protecting those who can't protect themselves.
- Noodle Incident: The reason why the Perrin Sequence didn't side with them.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Two of their three unique weapon mods are for Grineer shotguns: the Hek and the Sobek. One of their special weapons is the Vaykor Hek, an upgraded version of the original.
- War Is Hell: But so long as they can help divert the battles away from innocents, then they'll take it as a victory.
Arbiters of Hexis
- The Arbiters of Hexis seek truth through trial and discipline. The Tenno will surpass their former masters.
- Nice Hat: Their helmets are... impressive.
- Mythology Upgrade: What they want the Tenno to go through. The whole "Rejecting Tenno's warrior ways" doesn't mean that they reject the Tennos' skill as badass space ninja commando warriors. They just happen to reject the idea that the Tenno are only that, suspecting there is a much higher calling for them that's been lost to history.
- You are curious. So am I. Cephalon Suda could help you unfold this strange map of existence.
- The Computer Is Your Friend: She has zero interest in violence, just observing the world and gathering knowledge. Unless you ally with one of her ideological rivals, then she'll periodically sic swarms of attack drones on you.
- Moral Myopia/Hypocrite/Jerkass Has a Point: Which of those tropes she falls in depends on whether you support her or not, but the overall effect is the same. She detests New Loka and Red Veil for embracing violence in the name of their cause, but she isn't exactly peaceful herself. Not even close.
- Mysterious Employer: We don't actually get a real feel for what Suda wants to be doing, unlike the other five "primary" syndicates. She just promises you a slice of any of the meanings of life she manages to figure out, hands you a series of dirty jobs to do, and pays you with mods and guns if you finish enough of them.
The Perrin Sequence
- The Perrin Sequence reject the Corpus doctrine that conflict is opportunity. We see the numbers differently. A shared prosperity can bring a shared peace.
- Defector from Decadence: They take great issue with the regular Corpus over their war profiteering ways, and instead want to bring prosperity back to all through more peaceful trades.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Straight up honest with the Tenno, as well as pointedly focused on gaining profit through peace instead of conflict.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: These guys are pretty much the Corpus answer to Steel Meridian, having the view that the regular Corpus have it wrong.
- Not So Different: Like Steel Meridian, they want to help the innocent, with only their preferred methods being different (Preferring to do honest business, compared to being La Résistance), that one has to wonder why they don't help each other, and are instead direct enemies. Perhaps old Grineer versus Corpus hatreds die hard?
- The old ways speak of a cleansing fire. We of the Red Veil must burn away this corruption to begin anew.
- Badass Arm-Fold: Their representative. Both during transmissions and in Tenno Relays.
- Badass Normal: No crazy superpowers, no Precursor weapons. Far weaker physically, and far less trained. They are still fighting.
- Even before they were a syndicate, they kicked ass, simply for providing one of the least frustrating escort missions in history! Give them a good secondary weapon and they'd escort you.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Their relay chamber has a few members of the resistance at the back of the room torturing some unfortunate Grineer with a variety of implements.
- Escort Mission: They were introduced to the players as a bunch of hostages in the "Specters of Liberty" event. In what would become Warframe standard, babysitting them isn't really all that annoying, because you can give them your pistol (any pistol) and they have aimbot-level accuracy with them. And you can revive them as many times as you need as long as the bleed-out timer doesn't expire. This carries over to "VIP Defense" missions, though the guy you're defending will wander around aimlessly for some reason instead of taking cover.
- Kill 'em All: Their method of purging corruption from the system is to target everything nearly indiscriminately. All corruption within the system has to be wiped clean, no matter the cost.
- La Résistance: The first faction of normal humans seen, resisting both Grineer and Corpus. If anyone is even suspected of belonging to the Red Veil, they are roughed-up and their ship is seized. Considering their ideology is built around massive violence against the evils plaguing the world...
- The Unfettered: They will apparently go to any lengths necessary to destroy the corruption they see everywhere, no matter what it costs them. Considering that the wiki says that two of their favorite weapons are the Embolist and Mire, both Infested weapons(!), that should be worrying.
- According to the devs, though, they do not attack civilian targets and try to avoid harming those they call 'innocent,' explaining their alliance with Steel Meridian. They just focus on the destruction of the corrupt rather than protection of the innocent. The Veil is the sword, and the Meridian is the shield.
- New Loka believes true humanity is the only way to cleanse ourselves of this suffering.
- Broken Pedestal: Upon learning that the Silver Grove, the New Loka's "most sacred shrine" that resisted the Orokin terraforming, was not only seeded by an Orokin Archimedian but made conscious by Orokin technology, Amaryn calls it an abomination and tells the Tenno to let it burn and tell no one what they learned.
- Rebuilt Pedestal: However, after a well-deserved calling out from said Orokin, Amaryn realizes that Silvana's reverence of nature was essentially a prototype of New Loka's own teachings. Upon watching the Tenno fight to preserve the forest she nearly allowed destroyed, she remarks she will guide New Loka to drop their Fantastic Racism and become more accepting of the truth.
- Cult Colony: Played with. While they're definitely a cult, their teachings bid them to return to Earth and re-establish civilization there.
- Dark Messiah: Their leader Amaryn gives this vibe, all the way up to standing on water.
- No Transhumanism Allowed: Their entire ideology is built around going back to a pure human form, to the point that they are flat-out enemies with Cephalon Suda.
- Straw Hypocrite: Seen as this by many, since in spite of their obsession with "purity", they're willing to weaponize the Infested. No in-universe justification has been made to this.
- The Unfettered: Like the Red Veil, they have no qualms about how far they have to go to reach their objective, to the point that they're willing to use Ancient Infested as both specters and retaliation squads.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Although they ally themselves with the Tenno, they still consider the Warframes unclean, alongside everything else the Orokin have touched. After the events of The Silver Grove, they're beginning to reconsider this stance.
- A warrior only grows if they face the ultimate enemy. Themselves.
- Elephant in the Living Room: In this case, an entire mountain-dojo background inside the room of the Tenno Relay, complete with gaping ice trenches under it, and neither the players nor the NPCs seemed to care about structural integrity with this design, unlike the Syndicates whose rooms are as small as the player ship.
- A Father to His Men: Knowingly originated from the Orokin era and how would the Tenno put up a decent fight against the Grineer could count.
- He Knows Too Much: The War Within trailer has him at arms to fight the Tenno for this reason.
- Mission Control: Teshin acts as regular mission control during player-vs-player matches, and very briefly during the "Natah" quest.
- Nice Hat: Teshin has an impressively large bowl-shaped hat◊ that covers his eyes (apparently a running theme with the Orokin).
- Really 700 Years Old: As far as we know, Teshin is a leftover from the Orokin Era who survived the fall of the empire and took The Slow Path to where he is now.
- Through synthesis we can rebuild and preserve. Create memory-immortals within this data oasis. Will you become enlightened, Tenno? Will you hunt for me?
- For Science!: His dedication to the Sanctuary which is a digital research collection of pretty much anything and anyone he finds intriguing or something the strikes his fancy, especially if the target is live and sentient.
- Mission Control: If there's a Sanctuary Target nearby, he'll pop in to tell you about it when the Lotus is done talking. He also shares screentime with Lotus during the "New Strange" quest.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Walk into the center of the Sanctuary and he promptly zooms right into your face and stays inches away from you no matter where you walk inside his chamber. Eep.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: Sanctuary Targets appear to get disintegrated, analyzed, and rebuilt in the Sanctuary as digital lifeforms. Of course, the Tenno would probably end up killing them either way.
- Virtual Training Simulation: Gain enough standing with Simaris, and he will allow you into the Simulacrum, where you can face virtual copies of enemies you've scanned with your Codex.
The Orokin EmpireThe previous rulers of the System, now long-vanished. The only living remnants of them seem to be the guardians of the Orokin structures in the Void: strange towers inhabited and defended by "Corrupted". Corrupted are Grineer and Corpus troops, with the occasional Infested Ancient, who have fallen to the tower's AI defenses and been remade into a loyal servant force.
- Abusive Precursors: As more of Cephalon Simaris's archives are unlocked, it's becoming increasingly evident that the Orokin were not the benevolent masters that they at first seemed. The Arid Eviscerator entry talks about an Orokin Executor openly berating and demeaning the Grineer slaves she ordered to stand and defend her and her assistant from an oncoming wave of infested, only to die to the slaves themselves as they rebelled. And that's nothing compared what they're implied to have done to create the Warframes. The Codex entries for Ember Prime and Rhino Prime hint that they experimented on children from a vessel lost in the void to create the Tenno. Long story short, they were brutal, ruthless tyrants with shiny tech. Naturally, it was their creations breaking free of their control that destroyed them.
- Asshole Victim: At this point, it's hard to blame the Tenno for slaughtering them. Or, at the very least, it's hard to feel bad about them having been slaughtered by Tenno.
- Genre Blindness: See Hoist By Their Own Petard, and remember that several of theirc reations mentioned there were build/repurposed to fight some other of their creations.
- Godzilla Threshold: Creating the Tenno.
- Golden Age: What their age was built up to be. Given that the galaxy is caught between a fascistic empire of decaying clones, and a Mega Corp. that worships the concept of profit, it certainly was... by comparison. However, it has been established that the Orokin were Abusive Precursors, and the lore for the Mara Detron suggests that there was a lot of crime outside their jurisdiction. Considering their dictatorial and tyrannical nature, it wouldn't be surprising if they eliminated disorder in ways other than ruling well...
- Hoist By Their Own Petard: It seems they were crushed between the Technocyte virus, a Grineer slave revolt, and most importantly the Tenno. All of which they created. To make matters worse, two of the three were meant to stop the Sentients, whom it's implied they also created.
- Immortality: The Orokin were known to recover from decidedly mortal wounds with no ill effects. It was not a Complete Immortality though, as Grinner and Tenno found some way to kill them off for good.
- Light Is Not Good: The Orokin color-scheme is bright white and gold, but they were heavily amoral and prone to disturbing scientific progress.
- Meaningful Name: Verging on Department of Redundancy Department. "Oro" and "Kin" are Spanish and Japanese respectively for gold, which their tilesets are in no lack of.
- Mind-Control Device: The Corrupted have a visible Orokin crest on their heads, which is how they're kept controlled, and possibly as a means of communication.
- Psycho Rangers: The Corrupted are this to Corpus, Grineer, and even the Infested. They are essentially intruders mind-controlled by Orokin defenses.
- Redshirt Army: The Zero-Techs, who wielded percussion rifles, in a universe full of far more advanced tech. Every time a Sentient Worm-Ship blasted an Orokin Splinter Ship, it was nearly guaranteed that all Zero-Techs aboard would die instantly. In fairness, given how badly the Sentients were subverting Orokin technology and advances, going low-tech was the only option the Orokin had.
- Artificial Stupidity: The Stalker flat out ignores any other Tenno aside from his chosen target, allowing other Tenno in the squad to beat him down without retaliation. The only real way to be killed by the Stalker when he's focused on someone else is to either stand in the line of fire or the path of his slash dash. Shadow Stalker is even worse, blindly rushing at his target whenever his grenades are on cooldown, and with almost no ability to lead his shots.
- Avenging the Villain: The Stalker attacks the player because the player has killed a boss. That all of them are assholes does not give him a moment's pause. Players tend to first meet him at the time they reach a high enough rank and power level to farm said bosses. He's meant to give players pause in between them mindlessly stomping the likes of Vor for blueprints and materials.
- BFS: During and after the Second Dream quest he wields a big... freaky thing called War. After the quest, you get a broken version of the sword and the Stalker will drop the full version.
- Big Bad: Shaping up to take this office from Hunhow. In Operation: Shadow Debt, Stalker trains six acolytes of his own, armed and deadly with custom weapons and power sets, with the implication that he could easily create more if left unchecked.
- Clipped Wing Angel: Shadow Stalker, the "upgraded" version of Stalker after The Second Dream, is less threatening than his original form in almost every way. All of his weapons have been traded in for War, but War's Sword Beams are much slower and brightly visible compared to Dread and Despair, and War's blade isn't really an improvement over Hate. His Teleport Spam is dialed back tremendously, and he doesn't seem to use Shuriken or Absorb. He can throw grenades, but his throwing arc is slow and he's terrible at leading his shots. His only advantage over his previous form is his Sentient-type hit points, wherein he slowly gains a 90% damage reduction throughout the fight if you don't bring a varied arsenal of elemental damage types (and if you do, he goes down almost as quickly as before).
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The Stalker tends to be quite high level, so if he ambushes you when you're in a lower-level frame with weaker weapons... it's not pretty. To make it worse, the Stalker only shows up after you kill a boss, but never in boss missions. Suppose you just did one repeatedly to get the parts for a new Warframe, made it, and are now taking your fresh, level zero, toy for a spin. On the other hand, this can be turned 180° when he tries to attack a team of four high-level Warframes. Even at level 70, he can go down rather quickly, making his mysterious appearance and quick disappearance more of a joke. Due to a few bugs that occurred with update 11 the Stalker can now one hit kill a full tank-built Rhino (the tankiest of the Tennos) while being invincible if it uses Nyx's Absorb ability - making a scenario where the Stalker kills most if not the entire team in seconds while hardly taking any damage entirely plausible.
- Enemy Civil War: The Stalker is flagged as enemy for any faction you are currently fighting against. Appearing in a crowd of enemies causes them to attack him as much as the player. This can be manipulated to your advantage if you have a Shade with Ghost, allowing you to sit back and watch him be worn down by your enemies.
- Enemy Mine: As of The Second Dream, he's buddied up with Hunhow the Sentient.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Though he avenges corporate tools and expansionist xenophobic fascists, he draws the line at Captain Vor, the first boss you have to fight, because that would just be unfair to the player. In the past he would also ignore the death of Alad V, who dissects Tenno for twisted experiments.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Yet he will gladly avenge the Phorid, a Body Horror monster of the Technocyte Plague.
- During the Second Dream quest he hesitates to strike upon first finding the Tenno on the Moon, and Hunhow says that as deeply as he hates the Tenno, he doesn't hate them quite enough to remorselessly kill a child.
- Evil Counterpart: Resembles and acts like a Tenno; he appears to be wearing a black and red Excalibur-class Warframe with a unique helmet. He also has dark versions of Slash Dash, Teleport, Pull and Absorb.
- Flash Step: Has Ash's ability to Teleport and Excalibur's ability to Slash Dash.
- As of Update 11, he's more likely to Teleport Spam into a melee combo.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: The Lotus reveals during the Second Dream quest that this happened to him when he discovered that the Tenno are the children of the Zariman vessel, experimented on by the Orokin. Their bodies have been sleeping at the center of the moon while they control the Warframes in what is described as a "lucid dream". While it's still not clear what his relationship to the Tenno was during the Old War, it seems more likely than not that he's also controlling his suit mentally rather than physically, which didn't sit well with him.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He attacks Tenno with modified versions of their weapons. However, when he's killed, he drops blueprints for his own gear, and thus can be killed with his own weapons in the next encounter.
- It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Whether Stalker will attack you is decided in the first 4 minutes of a mission, including right at the very beginning. In the latter case, the level won't have any enemies in it, only eerie silence as the game waits for a good moment to taunt you.
- Knife Nut: Despair, his throwing knives, have a mono-filament edge specifically designed to penetrate Warframes.
- Leitmotif: linked above; it plays when he spawns and until he's gone.
- Mage Killer: He can shrug off Tenno-inflicted debuffs, Dispel their defenses, effortlessly dodge or even Absorb their attacks, and somehow manages to track them entirely on his own. His weapons are even noted to be specifically crafted for killing Tenno.
- Mini-Boss: The first of it's kind in Warframe. Much more powerful than most regular enemies, and appears randomly during the mission instead of being an Assassination Target like regular bosses.
- Mirror Match: Against any sufficiently competent stealth-based player. Expect to sneak around the map taking pot-shots at each other for a while before any actual confrontation ensues.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: To those not expecting him. You're a new player casually starting another mission, feeling good after your latest boss kill, when the lights start flickering. You shrug it off as a momentary graphics failure, until a face you've never seen appears on-screen and you get the message, "You can't run from your past." A minute later, you've been killed by an enemy you never got a good glimpse at. After that, the non-stop flickering on Infested ships just becomes constant Paranoia Fuel.
- Even for players expecting him, on rare occasions. Think the flickering is bad? Try having the screen flicker, then turn red, with the silhouette of the Stalker running past you during that red flash.
- Non-Standard Game Over: Normally, being defeated by an enemy will knock the player to the ground, causing them to bleed out and allowing them to continue attacking with their sidearm and reduced mobility, while giving their allies a short window to rescue them before death sets in; being defeated by the Stalker, even in a full party, will instantly kill the player.note
- No Sell:
- If you try to use a debuffing/crowd control power on Stalker, he ignores it. He will, however, take all of any damage the ability deals at the same time.
- If a power only deals damage, like Slash Dash, he'll ignore all of it.
- Initially, Stalker was to not be able to attack cloaked Tenno. After Update 10 this has now been changed. He can nullify invisibility and other buffs like Iron Skin, and his ability to nullify these has infinite range, no cooldown, and also stuns the target, allowing him to get free hits in. No longer can he be cheesed with invincibility or invisibility.
- This has garnered some backlash from players who say that the Stalker's dispel is overkill, and point out that one of the main selling points of the game, the powers, is completely invalidated.
- Power Nullifier: Shortly after introduction he gained the ability to Dispel the beneficial effects of player Warframes with a puff of smoke.
- Really 700 Years Old: According to the Stalker's entry in the Codex once you get 3 scans, he was there when the Orokin fell.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: His color scheme, essentially.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: His portrait/helmet has red markings on the visor.
- Sinister Scythe: Hate, his weapon of choice, is a modified kama. Exceptionally dangerous in that it staggers you on hit, allowing the Stalker to perform highly damaging combos while you can't defend yourself.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The Stalker is programmed to register abilities being activated and will downright spam his dispel ability to deactivate them. Even being 'invisible' won't stop him detecting you. He has unlimited energy being able to endlessly chain his abilities. He can switch between primary and secondary weapon without being hindered by a switch animation (being able to fire his bow and throw throwing knives at virtually the same time).
- He is also extremely accurate, with constant evasion being the only way to avoid being killed immediately. The only reason he might miss is because he tends not to lead targets. That being said, stop moving for even a second and he will kill you.
- He currently registers damage oddly. Normally an advanced player will have a high enough damage output that in a fight between them and the Stalker, who wins depends on who gets the other in his sights first. Sometimes, however, the Stalker will effortlessly shrug off huge amounts of damage for no apparent reason.
- The Straight and Arrow Path: Dread, his bow, fires axe-headed arrows capable of dismembering enemies.
- Voice of the Legion: Has an echo effect upon his voice that causes the lights to flicker.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Before one of the updates, he had difficulty attacking Tenno who were standing on crates.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He hunts you down for the destruction of the Orokin and abuses of its technology. Which begs the question of why he doesn't pursue the Grineer. The Orokin as an empire remained functional for some time after the Tenno disappeared, and it was the Grineer who finished the job.
- You Are What You Hate: Hunhow all but says Stalker is a Tenno himself. Stalker reacts... curiously, but it is unclear whether it's true.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Not only can he Pull Tenno off the high ground, he can also teleport them to him if they leave the room he spawned into.
Stalker's AcolytesA team of hostile beings who have, for whatever reason, thrown their lot in with the Stalker. Possessing Tenno-like powers of their own and copies of the Stalker's helmet, they stalk the Origin system for goals unknown. Well, two goals are pretty well established: killing Alad V, and fighting the Tenno.
- Axe Crazy: Most of the acolytes see themselves as some warped version of "good"; Violence just wants to butcher you.
- Darker and Edgier: Rogue warframes/Tenno who paint themselves black and red, wear copies of Stalker's iconic helmet, brand themselves with names that sound like rejected Stalker weapons, and try and spin Lotus as the villain. It's not hard to see them as a parody of Stalker enthusiasts from the Digital Extremes Forums, or of players who paint their warframes black and glowing red.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Torment and Mania wear armor on one shoulder but not the other. Malice has a big hunk of something on his right shoulder wrapping around his back. Violence subverts it by wearing two matching shoulder plates, then double-subverts it by wielding a rapier in one hand but Wolverine Claws on the other.
- Flunky Boss: Misery. After sending ten waves of shadows to kill Alad V, he takes to the field himself, using his last small team of shadows as a screen to try and take down Alad V personally. As a last ditch move he'll summon shadows of Infested when he gets low on health.
- Knight Templar: Some of them, Angst in particular, believe that Stalker represents the only real virtue in the Origin system. Torment claims she will help the player "find their way", by which she means she'll open fire.
- Made of Iron: They have billions of hitpoints, and even Alad V comments on their "supernatural fortitude". The good news is you're not expected to take them on in one long Marathon Boss; they flee the battle after a mere 50,000 damage, which they don't regenerate afterward. Thus, taking them down for good requires the entire playerbase tracking them down and slowly chipping them away to nothing.
- Misery has a more regular health bar due to the way his encounter works, but goes down like a chump against a properly-modded team. Especially if at least one Frost keeps freezing him in place so he can't actually fight back. Granted, none of the Acolytes compare to their master in terms of actual difficulty.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Angst wears Valkyr, but her Warcry damages her enemies instead of buffing herself.
- Metal Slime: They drop some of the most sought-after Mods in the game, most prominently "Argon Scope" note and "Bladed Rounds" note . However, they only appear for a short time period and said mods aren't always a guaranteed drop.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: They can utilize an odd mix of Warframe powers, some indicated by their warframes, others not so much. Torment, for example, wears a Mesa suit but uses powers from Hydroid.
- Psycho Rangers: In Alad V's words, Stalker recruited them from "others as twisted as himself."
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Much like their master.
- Sixth Ranger: Misery was not revealed alongside the other five acolytes, and was built up in the developer blogs as the mysterious "final challenger".
- Walking Spoiler: Check out Operation: Shadow Debt to find out more for yourself.
- Weapon of Choice: Torment wears Mesa and wields Guns Akimbo. Malice wears Frost and sports a BFG. Mania wears Loki and swings around a hook-whip. Violence wears Limbo and brandishes a rapier (and some Wolverine Claws). Angst wears Valkyr and just uses Valkyr's Hysteria power. Misery wears Nekros and carries an Ether Reaper.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Torment asks why the player is protecting the infamous Alad V from the Stalker, which is about the only good point any of the acolytes make.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Again, much like their master. If you manage to find a spot where they can't reach you, they'll spam Pull until you come on back down to their level, and if you try and just run they'll teleport you back to the room they spawned in. They also have a failsafe wherein they just reappear right next to you, just in case they fall through the map (which happens a lot).
Also known as the "Void Trader," Baro Ki'Teer is a merchant who periodically appears in the various Tenno-controlled Relays around the Origin System, trading in the various Prime components that can be looted from the Void and Orokin Derelicts. He offers extremely rare items from the Void that can't be found anywhere else, assuming Tenno are willing to pay his prices.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: By trade. He loots ruins and trades Orokin treasures. He'll also tell you in the trading tutorial that the reason he deals in Void items is for the thrill of adventure in obtaining them.
- Conspicuous Consumption: He more or less pays the Tenno, the most dangerous warriors in the Origin System, a quite valuable set of items in order for them to go out and battle hordes of Corpus and Grineer and mine a rare, special cooling mineral called Cryotic... to keep a special delicacy of jellyfish properly cooled for transport off-planet. Yes, he quite literally paid the Tenno to deliver him refrigerators.
- Fiction 500: He is stupidly rich, to the point that, according to Darvo, one needs to spend entire crates of Prime blueprints and argon crystals just to get invitations to his parties.
- Finger Tenting: His favoured pose, fingers tip-to-tip rather than interlaced.
- Global Currency Exception: He only accepts Orokin Ducats in exchange for Prime parts and blueprints. Given that most of his items are worth hundreds of ducats, and he offers at most fifty ducats for the best Prime components... you'll be selling him a lot of parts.
- Jerkass: Baro acts like one to the Tenno unless they're wielding Prime equipment or if they're wearing Inaros.
- Last of His Kind: The only surviving Phobos Sand Person, thanks to the Infested and the Grineer.
- Mysterious Backer: He's the man behind the Cryotic Front event, who kept his real identity hidden because he likes being mysterious. At least until Darvo outed him in annoyance because of a long-standing personal grudge and rivalry.
- Nice Hat: His hat is pretty fabulous, nobody can deny that. Though one does have to wonder how he can see anything.
- No Hero Discount: Even if you happen to be in the form of his god, the most you'll get out of him are some words of flattery.
- Rags to Riches: He was born literally dirt poor on Phobos among the Sand People. Today he's probably the richest non-Corpus in all of Warframe.
- Really 700 Years Old: His age is vague, but somewhere in the neighborhood of Darvo's.
- You Are What You Hate: In Sands of Inaros he harbors a cold loathing for the Sand People of Phobos, seemingly glad that they were exterminated by the Grineer and considering them primitive savages. He's one of them. He's just bitter over how bad his youth was, since he lost his parents and all that. The chance to hear his mother's voice one last time brings him to tears.
MarooA female freelance thief always on the look for more treasures to steal. She first came into Tenno attention during the Stolen Dreams quest, where Tenno had to seek her out to learn the location of the Arcane Codices she'd stolen. She is also encountered during the Project Undermine event, and recently she managed to take over an abandoned Tenno relay that she uses as a sort of free trading zone.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Initially wants nothing to do with Tenno and their business with the Codices, but her attitude instantly turns 180 degrees when she hears that they may lead to some sort of treasure.
- Badass Normal: Despite what other tropes in her entry may say, she's good at what she does. Case in point - she managed to sneak into an Orokin Derelict, teeming with Infestation, where whole expeditions of grineer troopers are often lost, salvage the Arcane Codices and make it out alive all on her own, with no Void powers or crazy advanced armour. Quite possibly it wasn't her first time either.
- Classy Cat-Burglar: Not exactly "classy", but otherwise fits as thefts, scams, smuggling and salvaging are her specialty.
- Custom Uniform: Has decorative leg guards and a pauldron on her Spy Catsuit.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Highly dismissive of the Tenno, even derisively calling them "tin suits", all after they pull her out of the fire that she got herself into with her own hands. Both times. During the Stolen Dreams quest she actually has to be subdued before you can rescue her.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sassy and disrespectful to everyone and anyone, including Tenno and Lotus.
- Defiant to the End: After you successfully down her during the mission to capture her she will open fire at you when you try to approach - something that no one else in the whole game's ever done, before or after, except for the playable Tenno. If you don't expect it it comes out as a complete shock.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Has an Edo pauldron on her left shoulder, but nothing on her right.
- In-Series Nickname: Refers to the Tenno exclusively as "tin suits", and as "Ordo" to Ordis.
- Let's You and Him Fight: During the Project Undermine event she tries to instigate a localised Grineer/Corpus conflict to steal come valuables in commotion. Only to have the Nightwatch Corps (a crack Grineer combat unit) track her down and lock her up, with Tenno having to rescue her from the prison.
- Loveable Rogue: A complete unscrupulous scoundrel, sarcastic and disdainful, yet loved for these very reasons (by those who don't hate her for these very reasons).
- Master Thief
- Only in It for the Money: Monetary gain and treasure is the only thing she is interested in, completely laughing off notions like "restoring balance" or "preserving ancient history".
- Opportunistic Bastard: Grabs at every opportunity to get something valuable, but not always thinks it through, as both times we meet her she's in danger due to consequences of her schemes.
- Shout-Out: After the Arcane Machine vanishes leaving nothing but a cryptic message in it's vake, she shouts "I was told there would be treasure!" in dissapointment.
- Terrifying Rescuer: Sees Tenno as this at their first meeting. The moment she notices a Tenno approaching she legs it and resists their capture attempts to the very end, not knowing (or not caring) that they come after her to protect her from Tyl Regor's forces hot on her trail.
- Tsundere: After you rescue her during Project Undermine she's as dismissive as ever, but she offers some valuables in return, and even adds something else after Tenno thin lines of the Nightwatch Crops per her request. Even if she says it's only to pay back the favour.
- The Unexpected: We don't learn that it's her who's sending the distress signal during Project Undermine until after we open her prison cell.
- Wild Card: Holds loyalty to absolutely no one, switching sides on the moment's notice because the other side pays better or because she does not like her current employers. Lotus has to go as far as to threaten her to secure her aid, and after the quest she's introduced in is done she leaves on her own, refusing Lotus' offer for permanent shelter.
The SentientsThey were the opponents of the Orokin Empire during the war. They had undulating Worm Ships with fearsome firepower, and could subvert any Orokin technology. According to Excalibur's Codex entry, the Warframes were designed and deployed to fight the Sentients.
- Adaptive Ability: Sentient enemy units such Battlelysts or Shadow Stalker have the ability to adapt to a specific damage type/element after some time, making them immune to that and forcing you to switch up.
- Cool Starship: The dropship. It can transport hundreds of their "drones" packed tight enough to give even the clone-obsessed Grineer pause.
- Disintegrator Ray: Their preferred weapon. The original Mirage was lost to one.
- From Bad to Worse: If the interstellar Civil War wasn't enough of a mess, the Tyl Regor and the Lotus awaken the solidified Sentient Hive Mind via Lotus' defection from the Sentients.
- Godzilla Threshold: The Old War was responsible for introducing the Tenno and Infestation to the Orokin System.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: It's implied that the Orokin created them to colonize the nearby Tau system. It's unclear why they subsequently went to war against the Orokin, though.
- He's Back: Centuries after their defeat, they return to the solar system in Tombs of the Sentient.
- The Unseen: Until Update 17, the only way you'd even know about the Sentients is from Codex entries and Lotus dialogue.
HunhowThe leader of the Sentient spies who was sealed in a tomb on Uranus. Tyl Regor wakes him up during the Natah quest, nearly dooming everyone in the process. Also happens to be Lotus's father.
- Ambiguous Gender and/or Starfish Aliens: Word of God states that he has a male voice actor for a reason, despite making mention of having a "womb". Since he's a Sentient, it's entirely possible that their gender norms don't match up with those of humans.
- Badass Boast: "I am Hunhow, Sentient destroyer of worlds."
- The Dreaded: Lotus panics and briefly goes off the grid when she realizes the Grineer are at risk of waking him up.
- Enemy Mine: In the Second Dream he teams up with the Stalker by offering a way to kill the Tenno once and for all.
- Evil Sounds Deep/Badass Baritone: Has a low reverbating voice that practically seethes with spite. And it drops several octaves down when Hunhow introduces himself with the aforementioned Badass Boast to the Stalker.
- Greater Scope Villain: As revealed in the New York Comic Con 2015 panel, he plays a very, very big role in the upcoming lore.
- Hive Mind: Cutting him up into little pieces does nothing more than let him spawn a litter of eyes, several of which he glued to the Stalker's corporeal form. There is a limit to to his expansion, though. He panics when the player's Warframe is about to break War, which is one of his pieces, and causes the Stalker to flee.
- Not Quite Dead: It spooked Tyl Regor right out of his skull when he realized Hunhow was still kicking.
- Oh Crap!: Has a moment when the player's Warframe is about to break War, freaking out and begging the Stalker to protect him.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Orokin and the Tenno were able to seal him in a tomb in the underwater caves of Uranus. As you can expect, this didn't last forever...
- Walking Spoiler: He's the Lotus' progenitor. Kind of a big deal.