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Infested

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/infested.png
We are countless. Consume us. Be reborn.
"Infestation" describes both a disease and its victims - a metamorphic affliction without cure."
Lore Entry on the Infestation
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A Hive Mind swarm created by a synthetic disease called the Technocyte Plague, which converts organic material and machinery into deformed monstrosities. The Infested spawn in much greater numbers than other factions, and swarm their enemies with powerful beasts created from the corpses of humans, Grineer, and Corpus personnel, as well as Corpus robots, and massive beasts no longer recognizable as whatever they once were.


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    General 
  • 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: The Infested forcibly convert and transform creatures and machines to make more of themselves. 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.
  • Creepy Centipedes: The Deimos Carnis and its Rex variant.
  • Evil Laugh: The 'runner' family of enemies let loose a rather nasty sounding chuckle now and then.
  • Grey Goo: The Technocyte combines aspects of traditional biology with some form of nanotechnology. The Infestation can change matter at the molecular level, bending both living and mechanical subjects into new forms, and some of the resources we get from them contain nanites.
  • Hive Mind: The infested tend to be motivated by a single gestalt consciousness. Individual extensions of the Infestation have their own minds and wills, but all are united behind the goal of expanding and consuming.
    • The unity they share is put into question by the worms Fass and Vome in the Cambion Drift, which regularly fight with each other. Daughter, in particular, wants to examine this to see if it could help her family remain free of the Infested Hive Mind.
  • 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 betrayed by the Tenno and the Infestation were sealed away... until Dr. Tengus accidentally unleashed them anew.
  • Kill It with Fire: All infested are weak against Heat damage, which makes Ember the perfect Warframe to combat them.
  • Meat Moss: The Infestation coats whatever it occupies in a disgusting mass of flesh, with spasming organ entities swaying on their own power being a common sight at Infestation Outbreaks.
  • Organic Technology: With heavy emphasis on the 'organic' side, but it's surely not called the Technocyte Virus for giggles either. Taken further 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.
    • Straight for the Commander: In Update 14.0, Ancient Healers were reworked to be less straightforward as medics: instead of healing other Infested, the Ancient provides an aura of 90% damage reduction to nearby allies (except other Ancients), and heals itself whenever an affected unit receives damage. Elemental status effects inflicted on affected units are also redirected to the Ancient, rendering most Infested immune to common forms of crowd control. Sufficed to say, you're highly incentivized to take out the Healers first...
      • Hoist by His Own Petard: ... though the status redirection can also make killing any Healers in the room as easy as just sprinkling damage-over-time procs over a large crowd, causing them to converge on the Healer first!
  • Shout-Out: With its ability to mutate both lifeforms and machines to horrifying extent, incredibly fast rate of spreading, status as a former Sealed Evil, and origin as bioweapons made by Abusive Precursors, the Infestation would stack up very nicely against the likes of The Flood from Halo.
  • 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.
  • The Virus: The Infestation converts whatever it comes into contact with, including spacecraft, as viny growths and blooms appear on floors and walls where the 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: Virtually every Infested was at one point a human or machine that became infected. The Infested Ancients are implied to be original Orokin civilians who were taken over centuries ago.
  • We Can Rule Together: Because the Warframes house some form of Infested flesh, they consider the Tenno to be their own flesh and want them to join the Infested. Alad V even managed to animate his own Warframe using his knowledge of Infested flesh.
  • Womb Level: The Cambion Drift is this - it is an entire planet covered in Infested Tissue, where everything from the plants, to the terrestrial fauna and even the fish are infected.
  • 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.
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    Grey Strain 
An advanced strain of Infestation that has totally subsumed Deimos, they act as the primary enemies of the Cambion Drift, while also being present in the native wildlife and fish.
  • Alien Blood: Well, something like it - the "water" of the Cambion Drift is actually a non-Newtonian fluid produced by the Infestation known as Exocrine, and is home to the Drift's fish. Unlike with the Orb Vallis and Plains of Eidolon, normal fishing spears cannot pass through Exocrine - only those sold by Daughter can do so. To make up for this, most of the fish in the Cambion drift can hover above water, allowing them to be caught without specialized spears.
  • Ancient Egypt: The two macro-predators of the Cambion Drift, the Predasyte and Vulpaphyla, carry distinctly Egyptian themes - the Predasyte variants are Vizier, Medjai, and Pharaoh, all positions of great importance in Ancient Egypt, while the Vulpaphyla, with its long ears and tail, appears to be designed after the Set Animal.
  • Bizarre Alien Locomotion: Most of the fish in the Cambion Drift can both swim and hover, due to being infested.
  • Creepy Centipedes: Deimos Carnis are purple-colored Infested centipedes that can either bite you or launch projectiles from their abdomens.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: For the first time regarding the Infested, Averted - the Sun and Moon worms, Vome and Fass, do not like each other, and regularly attack one another for dominion of the Cambion Drift. Their dominance cycles determine whether it is day or night on the Drift. Additioanlly, despite being infested, the wildlife of the Drift still fights with the normal Grey Strain Infested.
  • Tentacled Terror: "Normal" infested found in the Cambion Drift have antennae like tentacles on them to differentiate them from their kin on Eris and the Derelicts.
  • The Worf Effect: Deimos is home to Infested Juggernaughts, and they are just as challenging as they are elsewhere. The final portion of "Heart of Deimos", however, gives you a Necramech, which will totally demolish the Juggernauts, to the point that you might not even know you killed them until you pick up Pherliac Pod components.
    Lephantis 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/golemfullavatar_6.png
(We embrace you. Why do you defile us?)
"(Why do you destroy us? We are your flesh.)"

Introduced in Update 10, this is the boss of the Deimos. Originally intended as a bio-weapon to be deployed by the Orokin to fight the Sentients during the Old War, but then the Infested Turned Against Their Masters and the rest is history. Since then, it's been absorbing and assimilating anything/anyone that stumbled upon it up until it becomes the monstrosity that you have to face in the game proper. 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 one of the largest things you fight on foot, surpassed only by the Eidolons and Orb Mothers.
  • Flunky Boss: In both battle phases, Lephantis can create pods, from which regular infested units come out.
  • Multiple Head Case: Lephantis has a Corpus head, a Grineer head, and an Ancient head (made from Orokin).
  • Palette Swap: The Hemocyte fought during "Operation: Plague Star" is a recolored version of Lephantis. As it can be foguth by all players, it counts as a Warm-Up Boss because the open area it is fought in eliminates much of the challenge the original has, where there is limited room to dodge.
  • Poisonous Person: The Infested spawning pods that the Corpus head produces explode into clouds of toxic gas if they're destroyed.
  • Shockwave Stomp: It's big enough that every single time it takes a step it can knock over a Tenno that's strayed too close to its feet. It can also drop its body to produce an even bigger shockwave.
  • Sinister Scythe: The Grineer Head wields a massive one. It's fused to the head's "forearms", and getting hit by it can inflict a One-Hit Kill on an unwary Tenno.
    Phorid 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/phoridde2.png
(Revoke the frailties of flesh. Let us in.)
"(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.


  • The Artifact: Just like the sergeant, he's a throwback to the time when bosses were just recolored versions of normal enemies with some unique powers.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Phorid's level scales with the level of the node it occupies, meaning it can go from being able to be shredded with basic gear to tanking shots from a primed weapon with maximized damage like they're nothing.
  • King Mook: It's a charger, except really big and red.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Lotus makes the claim of the Phorid being "incredibly agile for a deformed quadraped", and indeed, its size belies its great speed, allowing it to charge down the Tenno in seconds flat while firing its incredibly powerful psychic bolts. It also has the highest base health of all Infested enemies, and it's one of the few Infested that possesses armor, which greatly increases its effective health on higher levels.
  • 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 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/infestedaladv2.png
Look at me, Tenno. Don't you want this? Can't you see what a gift this is?
"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 turn 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. Drops parts for Mesa.


  • Continuity Snarl: With the release of the new solar map in Spectres Of The Rail, it's hard to tell where Alad V's infestation fits into the new revised timeline. Eris, and the Patient Zero quest that comes with it, is now strictly an end-game planet only reachable post-Pluto, and the events of Natah and The Second Dream where Alad V has supposedly been cured take place when the player is at Uranus and Neptune. Finishing The Second Dream is actually mandatory for reaching Pluto. This could mean that the faint purple glow on his face isn't a scar left-over from infestation so much as said infestation beginning to manifest...
  • 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 His Own Petard:
    • Invoked by him - he can catch 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, and "attached to your teammate" counts as "off his body". If you're playing solo, his collar will just bounce off you, dealing moderate damage.
  • 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.
  • 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 begs the Tenno to bring him important genetic research data to help him cure himself of the Infested. To the surprise of everyone, it wasn't a trap, as the Tenno were paid as promised and he went about minding his own business.

    J3-Golem / Cephalon Jordas 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/golem2.png
You have no idea what I am. JOIN US, AND YOU WILL.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cephalonjordasicon.png
Hello? Is this real? Did someone get my message? I hope not.
"I never wanted this! I wanted to be somewhere else! - TASTE SOMEONE ELSE!"
Cephalon Jordas + The Infested Hive Mind

A 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.


  • 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.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: The Jordas Golem underwent significant infestation yet still retains solid sociability makes it a terrifying moment to see, especially to Cephalons.
  • 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 is the fastest of the Archwings, and using the Archwing teleport has trouble keeping up with J3's afterburners.
  • 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 Archetype 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.
  • 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").
  • Tragic Monster: He clearly hates what he does, but due to Infestation controlling both his "body" and mind he can do nothing about it. By the time players come to kill him he is well past Despair Event Horizon and just goes with the flow.
  • 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: The beak-like "head" it has fires a massive one that can rip your Archwing to shreds in seconds. Word to the wise: keep moving.
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     Arlo and his devotees 

Arlo is a seemingly human child who lives in the orbit of Eris, surrounded by teeming Infestation and even appearing to have some control over it. He and his devotees serve as a focus for the Nightwave Series 2.


  • The Beastmaster: Downplayed. Arlo's not actually seen ordering the Infested around but they leave him alone, and he can also pass this trait to others. It turns out that he's not so much the beastmaster, just the beast itself.
  • Best Served Cold: The whole story about healing was fabricated by Arlo and Kenga to attract as many followers as possible and make an obedient army out of them, secretly controlled through Infestation - and use them to pay back those who exiled them.
  • Body Horror:
    • Arlo's below-mentioned neck augmentation is misaligned - his head is moved too far back at the place where it's cut from his body, so the two sections don't actually match. One can see that his head and his body are now connected by strands of Infested tissue instead.
    • Once his devotees start "taking the spore" they mutate, becoming covered with fleshy armour and organic weapons on their body, such as an arm blade or toxic spores growing out of their backs that they use as grenades.
    • Reaches its climax during the ceremony where Arlo breaks his silence - starting with Arlo's "tongue" and culminating with using Infestation within devotees' bodies to turn them into actual monsters .
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The true effect of what happens to those Arlo has "cured". Instead of healing them, he inflicted a form of Infestation that remained hidden and cured any other diseases they may have had. The same Devotees who had been running around healing players just as eagerly try to kill them later on, and gleefully welcome the transformation into full Infested.
  • Colony Drop: Late in the series Arlo's cult starts rerouting Infested Derelicts and directing them on a collision course with various population centers.
  • Cowardly Boss: Zealoid Prelates are a downplayed example. After you down their health to a half during their first phase they retreat, and during the second phase they are fully content with harrassing you from afar unless you force them into melee.
  • Creepy Child: He is a child who has some control over Infested monsters and seems to have a cult following him, so that's a given.
  • Cyborg: Arlo's head is disconnected from his body and reattached using mechanical augmentations. This is the same type of augmentation that children on Fortuna are seen to have, placing his origins there.
  • Flash Step: Zealoid Bastions like dashing around to avoid you.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Inverted. The last we see of Arlo in the Nightwave cinematics is in a slow pan up a scene of a group of Ostron colonists desperately trying to flee the Infested, ending on a shot of Arlo's feet as he stands looking over the devastation. We never get to see anything else, leaving it vague whether his mutation has spread or if he still looks human... and it's up in the air which is the worse possibility.
  • Foil: Arlo appears to be a dark foil to Neewa as the Triuna.
  • Healing Hands: Arlo has an inexplicable ability to heal any kind of disease with but a touch. When people get word of this they start flocking towards him from all across the system, feeding his cult.
  • Humanoid Abomination:
    • Arlo himself. Whatever he actually is now, he only looks like a human boy.
    • Prelates and Bastions, so far gone from humans they once were that the game stops applying human labels (such as Zealot) to them anymore - their new title Zealoid sounds more like a taxonomy classification.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: During the Zealoid Prelate boss fight Zealoid Bastions make all Infested units on the level invincible.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Literally and figuratively. As Arlo's cult expands his devotees' fanaticsm grows, causing them to willingly infest themselves (which they accomplish by plunging themselves into some sort of Infested womb as we can see in the series diorama) to spread his word by force. Once this happens, instead of offering assistance his mutated devotees start spawning in missions to attack everyone in sight.
  • Karma Houdini: Players never get the chance to fight either Arlo or Kenga, only facing various members of their cult. Meaning, Arlo and Kenga remain unaccounted for and get away with their atrocities scot free.
  • Knight Templar: Once they gain enough numbers they go bad, and start spreading Arlo's word by force.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Ironically, it's Arlo's Flame, the lamp that Bastions carry that serves as the cult's holy symbol, that can dispel the invincibility of Prelates and other infested during their fight.
  • Life Drain: When wounded enough during the second phase of his boss fight, the Zealoid Prelate will start draining health from surrounding Infested to heal himself. Killing them quickly enough will negate this.
  • Mysterious Protector: During earlier stages of their series, each time a player was downed in a mission there was a chance a devotee would appear to try and revive them, then stay and assist with the mission.
  • Number Two: Kenga, the first man saved by Arlo, who starts spreading the word of him and occupies this position within his cult once it forms. He serves as Arlo's voice, relaying his word and will to other members.
  • Obviously Evil: Arlo was standing in the middle of an Infested derelict and appeared perfectly healthy, but most players' suspicion fell squarely on Kenga for his diabolical smirking whenever we saw him in the dioramas. Turns out both of them were evil - when offered revenge for his exile, Kenga gleefully bought in to the Infestation's plans.
  • Puzzle Boss: The Zealoid Prelate. After he realises he can't beat you in a straight fight he resorts to Bastions to make himself (and other Infested) invincible. You'll need to find a way to dispel it before you can finish him off.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Arlo'd been thought dead for three years prior to his series's start.
  • The Speechless: He can't talk. Justified with how his neck is misaligned with no connection between his mouth and his throat and the fact that an Infested tendril has completely replaced his tongue.

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