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The Swarm

"Guys, that sounded like there were dozens of em'. Hundreds. Like a... like a swarm."

A new enemy to humanity that came out of hiding 25 years after the war against the Locust Horde was finally brought to an end. The Locust was thought to have been completely disposed of when Adam Fenix' Neutron Bomb went off when in actuality, this was far from being the case. The corpses left behind by the Locust became wrapped in cocoons that were completely indestructible, which forced the COG to dump said corpses numbering in the thousands off at dumping grounds all across Sera, and locked them away out of sight. As it turns out, the Locust were still very much alive, and used the 25 years that humanity spent in peace evolving into more powerful creatures that Del later dubs as being like a "Swarm." In addition, the areas that were used for dumping grounds end up mutating into large nest-like complexes that become the new staging points for the Swarm. Overall, the Swarm serves as the successors to the Locust Horde as the primary enemies that humanity faces off against starting from Gears of War 4 onward.

  • In-Universe Nickname: Del provides a name for a majority of the Swarm creatures that he and his friends run into.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: At least one of the Locust cocoon dumping grounds was an old osmium mine that was no longer in use. As noted below, Scions empower their fellow Swarm by releasing osmium dust into the air, which reacts with Swarm biology and makes them stronger, implying that being in such close proximity to all that osmium was the reason the Locust evolved into Scions in the first place.
  • Stronger with Age: Some of what makes up the Swarm is a group of stronger Locust that spent the last 25 years evolving in hibernation.
  • Was Once a Man: Swarm Drones and Juvies are humans that were captured and put into pods, causing them to mutate into what they are now.

Swarm Leadership

     The Speaker 

The Speaker
"The path to your mother lies through me!"

A Swarm Scion of some importance that appears in Gears of War 4. The Speaker is the creature personally responsible for leading the attack on Kait's village and kidnapping her mother, Reyna.

  • Advertised Extra: He appears somewhat prominently in the game's trailer, but actually only has one scene (two if you count the village attack where he's always out-of-focus) and is promptly killed off.
  • Climax Boss: He fights you while riding a Swarmak about 4/5ths of the way through the game.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He's only known as the Speaker, and he isn't even named in the game itself. The name is only mentioned in the achievement for defeating him.
  • Filler Villain: He's not at all developed, unlike any of the original Locust Horde leaders, and exists mostly to put an individual face on the Swarm, which otherwise has no individual characters in the entire game.
  • Guttural Growler: Like other Locust. However despite only having a handful of lines and not having anything really important to say, his English is surprisingly good and he's actually the most eloquent Locust character in the series, other than Myrrah (who's actually human).
  • Handicapped Badass: He fairly easily takes out Reyna and Oscar, two legitimate badasses in their own right, all after Reyna already cuts off one of his hands.
  • It's Personal: Kait recognizes him as the leader of the attack on her village, due to his missing hand which Reyna cut off during their fight, which motivates her to fight and kill him.
  • Made of Iron: During the attack on Kait's village, he shrugs off multiple stab wounds as well as two direct shotgun blasts to the back while fighting Reyna and Oscar, all with no lasting effect.
    • Stronger with Age: Like the other Scions, he seems significantly stronger than the old Locust Drones after spending 25 years in hibernation while evolving from the anti-Imulsion pulse.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: The opening attack on Kait's village aside, he's not involved with the plot at all (Chancellor Jinn actually would fit the role of the game's Big Bad much better, aside from the fact she has nothing to do with the whole Swarm plot-line), and is mostly notable solely because he's the only individual Swarm character in the game.

Swarm Creatures


Living Swarm projectiles that Carriers and the Hive Beast tend to throw at enemies. Cankers serve a very similar purpose as the Nemacysts of the Locust where they're shot out of something, and then home in on their target and explode.


The large Big Guy soldier variants of the Swarm. Carriers tend to be slow moving, but are heavily armored to allow them to take a ton of punishment, and cause devastating damage up close. They also come with a type of grenade launcher attack in the form of throwing exploding "Cankers" at enemies.

  • Attack Its Weak Point: It opens its chest to release Cankers, allowing you to shoot at its soft insides.
  • The Big Guy: Serves as the large slow-moving but powerful soldier for the Swarm.
  • The Brute: Their role in the Swarm is to act as the powerful big guy that's tough to bring down.
  • Damage Over Time: The Cankers they shoot act like Incendiary Grenades by leaving behind a pool of fire that will damage you until it dissipates.
  • Giant Mook: Along with the Scions, Carriers serve as a massive enemy variant of the Swarm.
  • Grenade Launcher: Their ranged attack is a form of this where they shoot exploding Cankers out from their stomach.
  • "Instant Death" Radius: Get too close to them and they will crush you into paste with their fist and toss you away like a candy wrapper.

    Drones (Swarm)

The basic front-line soldiers of the Swarm that serve the same exact purpose as the Locust and Lambent variants that came before them. The Swarm Drones are seen in different ranks depending on what they're skilled at, such as being a Grenadier, Hunter, or Sniper. Drones that recently evolved from Juvies have a fresh look to them known as Imagos, and some Swarm Drones can appear as an elite variant.

  • Brainwashed: Their memory as a human was wiped after going through the nest pod mutation.
  • Elite Mooks: Occasionally, some Swarm Drones will appear more armored and better geared than others, which make for tougher fights.
    • Elite Drones and Swarm Hunters are the real Elite Mooks. The former comes equipped with a Lancer, Gnasher and Frags and has much smarter AI than other enemies while the latter carries a Torque Bow to deliver a One-Hit Kill.
  • Evolutionary Levels: The Swarm version of the Drones are humans that were forced to go through mutation within nest pods. Those that hatch out too early appear as immature beings known as Juvies.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Imagos are completely naked. Not that they have anything to cover up.
  • Mooks: Swarm Drones continue to serve as the enemies primary basic fighters.
  • Weapon of Choice: Like their predecessors, Drones wield Hammerbursts, Snipers wield Longshots, Grenadiers wield Gnashers and Frags. In addition, Hunters wield Torque Bows and Drone Elites pack a full loadout of Lancer, Gnasher, and Frags.

     Hive Beast

A massive Swarm creature that guards the entrance of the Swarm nest at Tollen Dam. With qualities of a Swarm Carrier and Swarm Pouncer on a much grander scale, the Hive Beast served as the Final Boss of Gears of War 4 where it fought against JD's group to keep them from reaching Reyna, who the Swarm took hostage.

  • Eldritch Abomination: A massive monster creature that comes with 4 giant tentacles. One could argue that it looks a tad similar to a Leviathan.
  • Final Boss: Served as this for Gears of War 4.
  • Sequential Boss: The fight against the Hive Beast requires the player to defeat each of its 4 tentacles first until its defenses are low enough to get a shot at the Hive Beast's main body.
  • Stationary Boss: The Hive Beast never leaves the spot it's at during the Final Boss fight.
  • Unique Enemy: The Hive Beast only ever appears once in Gears of War 4 for a final Boss Battle.


The result of a human's first stage of transformation into creatures for the Swarm. Humans that are captured by Snatchers are put into nest pods where their bodies are forced to go through mutations to eventually become Swarm Drones. However, those that pop out early show themselves off as Juvies, which are immature zombie-like creatures that rush towards their enemy in groups. The function of the Juvies are basically what the Wretches were for the Locust.

  • Brainwashed: Their memory as a human was wiped after going through the nest pod mutation.
  • Expy: Basically the Swarm’s version of Wretches. However, they are much more agile than Wretches ever were.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Juvies are humans that were forced to go through mutation within nest pods, but hatched out early before fully transforming into a Swarm Drone.
  • Le Parkour: They move in a way similar to Wretches where they jump along obstacles in their way to reach their opponent.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Juvies are basically the Swarm's version of a zombie army that happen to be a bit more agile.
  • Zerg Rush: Juvies usually appear in packs as they charge towards the enemy.


Medium-sized 4-legged creatures that are usually seen hunting in packs of three. While already being tough to take down, the Pouncer's primary means of combat is to jump around the battlefield to try to "pounce" onto the enemy, and use their tails to fire off quills as their ranged attack.

  • Attack Its Weak Point: They take more damage if shot in their underbellies, although this is very difficult since they’re usually sitting on a piece of scenery that keeps it concealed.
  • Le Parkour: Pouncers jump around the battlefield to either keep their distance so that they can fire their quills at enemies, or to get in closer to perform their pounce.
  • Personal Space Invader: Their pounce attack. When close enough, the Pouncer will jump onto the enemy and knock them down to begin ripping their target to shreds.
  • Press X to Not Die: If they pounce on you, you have to mash the melee button to kick them off, or they’ll rip your head off like a hungry wolf. Fortunately, this can be averted if a teammate shoots them, which will throw them off of you immediately.
  • Spike Shooter: Their ranged attack is firing off deadly quills from their tails.
  • Technopath: The last Act of Gears of War 4 reveals that the quills the Pouncers fire off actually have the ability to control machinery, such as the DeeBees.


Former Locust that have awakened from their slumber after being incapacitated by Adam Fenix' countermeasure. Unlike the lower-tier Drones and Juvies who were former humans caught by the Snatchers to mutate into new beings for the Swarm, Scions are the evolved forms of the corpses left behind by the Locust. Upon awakening, Scions serve as the commanders of the Swarm army, and lead the Drones and other Swarm creatures in their quest to capture humans and continue repopulating the horde.

  • All There in the Manual: How exactly are they able to buff their fellow Swarm troops? According to the Gears of War 4 Collector's Guide, they are releasing clouds of osmium dust when they perform their Status Buff, which presumably interacts with the drones' cells to make them stronger.
  • The Brute: They fit this to a T, being menacing Giant Mooks for the Swarm army.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Much like the Boomers of the past, Scions will each shout an attack related word prior to attacking, although they don't do it as often as Boomers used to, so you can't rely on just sound to know when to Take Cover!. "Firing!" for Boomshot-wielders, "Launching!" for Dropshot-wielders, "Shredding!" for Buzzkill-wielders and "Suppressing!" for Mulcher-wielders.
  • Came Back Strong: As stated above, they are former Locust that were crystallized by the Anti-Imulsion Counterweapon. Instead of being killed, the weapon made them taller and more durable, making them significantly stronger than the Locust they were in the past.
  • Dash Attack: If you get too close to them, they will charge straight at you and hit you with a vicious melee strike. This will often down someone in one hit.
  • Giant Mook: They are significantly taller than the standard Swarm troops. Naturally, this also makes them more threatening and durable.
  • Handicapped Badass: The Scion Buzzkills have crystals over their right eyes that would seemingly obscure their sight. This condition doesn't make them any less dangerous than the other Scions. Although when your weapon spams dozens of Pinball Projectiles everywhere, you don't really need good eyesight.
  • Large and in Charge: They are the largest infantry among the Swarm army and seem to be the de-facto leaders of them, seeing as the Speaker, a Scion Elite, personally led their drones and Snatchers in an attack on the Outsider village.
  • Meaningful Name: Scion is another word for "descendant". They are basically Neo-Locust, having descended from the original horde.
  • Mighty Glacier: They never move faster than a slow, lumbering walk towards humans, but they wield devastating power weapons like the Dropshot and Mulcher. They also have great endurance levels and can soak up a lot of damage before falling.
  • Neck Lift: They will do this to helpless humans that are downed near them, popping their heads from the pressure of their grip around the poor humans' necks.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: They seem to be Dumb Muscle at first glance, sitting in open areas on the battlefield and not even bothering to protect themselves with cover on top of being very slow as well. However, this seems to be a ploy to goad overconfident humans into approaching them, at which point they will perform a Dash Attack comboed into a Megaton Punch that will down a player in one hit, revealing their intelligence to be higher than it seems.
  • Roar Before Beating: They will let out a bellowing roar before using their Dash Attack and will do another epic one before buffing other Swarm.
  • Shoot the Medic First: While they are incapable of healing Swarm troops per se, they are able to perform a Status Buff stance and strengthen regular Swarm troops. Any drone within their range Turns Red and deals increased damage and can take more damage in return. This buff will remain active until the Scion is killed, so this trope still applies to them.


Large 4-legged creatures that got their name from their ability to "snatch" up humans that they then hold within their large pouch-like stomach. Snatchers are what allow the Swarm to increase their numbers by storing the humans they capture into nest pods that turns them into Juvies, and eventually into Swarm Drones. Along with being incredibly tough to take down, Snatchers usually appear in packs of two.

  • Attack Its Weak Point: Like Pouncers, they take more damage if you shoot their undercarriages. Unlike the Pouncers, they’re weak spots are much easier to hit due to their massive size.
  • Boss Battle: Acts as a Final Boss for Act III of Gears of War 4. The player faces off against the Snatcher protecting the nest pod that Marcus was put into.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: Fights with the Snatchers are tough enough to be considered boss fights, especially when the player has to face off against two at once.
  • Interface Screw: If one manages to pull you into it’s body, the sides of the screen turn red and fleshy and pulsate a bit, simulating what it would be like to be trapped in a Swarm pod.
  • Plot Device: For a good portion of Gears of War 4, the player chases after the Snatcher through Fort Reval that swallowed up Marcus.
  • Swallowed Whole: Snatchers have a giant stomach that can open up to store the humans they capture inside. Some of the humans Snatchers managed to swallow up at some point include Oscar Diaz and Marcus Fenix.


The Swarm's version of the Locust Brumak where they continue to serve as the force's Walking Tank variant. Only the Swarmak now comes with a highly disfigured appearance after going through Swarm mutation. In addition, one of the Swarmaks serves as a mount for the Speaker.

  • All There in the Manual: No character ever refers it it as a "Swarmak", only the UI does. Even spotting one in Horde will just have your character say "Swarm!"
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Bursting the large boils that cover its body is how you deal significant damage to it.
  • Beast of Battle: The Speaker rides a Swarmak as his mount.
  • The Grotesque: A Swarmak is basically taking a Brumak, and designing it to look more grotesque with a body structure similar to other creatures that make up the Swarm.
  • Walking Tank: Just like the Brumaks that came before it, Swarmaks are basically giant walking tanks that require a lot of firepower to bring down.


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