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Characters / Warframe - Tenno

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Warning: This page has contents of The Second Dream and onwards. Expect heavy spoilers.

Main Character Index | Tenno (Warframes A-M, Warframes N-Z) | Grineer | Corpus | Infested | Syndicates | Orokin | Colonies | Sentients | Others


The playable characters of Warframe.

A Proud Warrior Race of armored warriors with esoteric powers who existed during the fabled age of the Orokin Empire, which is also the source of their powered suits. The Tenno, while fighting for and protecting the Orokin people from their ancient enemies, were not part of the Orokin themselves. At the start of the game, the Tenno are being revived from cryosleep to fight once more to protect the Origin System from those who would harm the remnants of civilization.


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    Warframes in General
For generations, you slept. No purpose. No call to awaken you...
...We built a Frame around them, a conduit of their affliction. Gave them the weapons of the Old Ways. Gun and Blade.
Excerpt from Orokin "Warframe" Archives

The titular frames the Tenno use in battle. Each Warframe is built with a specific purpose or "theme" in mind, such as Elemental Powers, animal themes, geographical or historical concepts, or particular weapons and fighting styles.

  • Achilles' Heel: The Warframes, while each having certain roles, are fully capable of doing well in any combat situation, especially if modified using Helminth Alchemy. However, if the link to its operator is cut, the warframe will cease to function....unless the operator is in mortal dange. Umbra Frames do not have this problem, being fully capable of functioning on their own.
  • Action Hero: Most of their activities can be summed up as, "Cut a bloody swathe through the enemy to achieve an objective and blast their way out through an equally bloody exfiltration."
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • While initially referred to as the distant "Outworlder", Konzu and the other Ostrons frequently tag friendly nicknames to the Tenno as their standing with them increases. These include "Surah" (a well-liked and respected person), "Killer", and "Cetus' Champion".
    • Eudico refers to the Tenno as "Sparky" because of their glitzy and shiny Warframes that glow in the dark.
  • Ambiguously Human:
    • Capable of superhuman feats of strength, endurance, and agility, having straight up superpowers, not an inch of flesh being seen, and the only hint of biology being bleeding out when close to death. Initially, it wasn't entirely clear if the Tenno were superhumans, robots, or something in between.
    • This gets expanded upon in The Second Dream quest, where the Tenno are shown to be not inside the Warframes. They are indeed human (albeit with Void powers), and hardly physically and psychologically older than teens and the Warframes are robotic Remote Bodies. And then when we think we have the answer, they muddy the water again by showing an unpiloted Warframe move under its own volition, making as many questions as we got answers.
    • The Sacrifice quest tells the exact of the origins of the Warframes. They were humans infested with an Orokin-engineered strain of the Infestation, turning them into suffering, insane, superhuman killing machines. The Orokin didn't quite help themselves with trying to brutalize the Warframes into compliance and functionality. With the Operators being able to empathize with, and then take away the pain of the Warframes, the frames found a measure of peace and self control.
  • Beast of Battle: The Tenno have five different flavors of this:
    • Kubrows, which are dog-like creatures used in a similar manner to attack dogs. They tend to be heavily armoed and inflict lots of slash damage.
    • Kavats, which are infestation-eating cat-like creatures. They tend to be more fragile than Kubrows, but have a more acrobatic fighting style.
    • Helminth Chargers, which are bred from the cysts created by Helminth. Extrordinarily heavily armored and packing quite a bit of power, they can trample enemies to death and use a flesh and bone harpoon to drag enemies toward them.
    • Finally, there are the Predasites and Vulpaphyla, which are wild creatures from the Cambion Drift. These creatures are not bred, instead being rescued from the Drift, after which the Tenno nurse them back to health with the assistance of Son, who can also modify them according to the Tenno's long as he is compensated.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twice.
    • The first time is mixed with Heroic Second Wind; at the end of The Second Dream, as Stalker is choking the life out of your suitless Tenno, your seemingly-empty Warframe sits back up and, with the last of its strength, shatters Hunhow's War Sword, forcing Stalker to retreat.
    • In The Sacrifice, before Natah and an entourage of Sentients were about to launch toward what is presumed the Tau System, Excalibur Umbra pulled the Operator from the Sentients collectively blasting the Operator like what they tried with Umbra in the beginning of the quest.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason why the Tenno can control the Warframes:rather than use force of will or Void powers, they simply empathized with the human-Infested hybrids inside and found a way to relieve them of the torment of their existence, bringing peace to the tormented creatures. This is why, in the Big Damn Heroes entry above, your Warframe went to extreme lengths to act on its own and protect its suitless Tenno from both Hunhow and the Stalker.
  • The Berserker: The first generation Warframes were completely impossible to control due to being driven mad by being equal parts human and Infested. The Rhino Prime codex entry mentions it being an absolutely insane monster that rampaged through an Orokin vessel nonstop until it encountered cryopods containing the dreaming Operators.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Following the release of Old Blood, all Warframes have an extended blade in their arm called a Parazon that can be used to perform "Mercy" finishers on enemies below 5% of their health or are stunned or blinded by another ability. They're also used to hack consoles and are essential in taking down Kuva Liches.
  • The Blank: Very few of the Warframes have any facial features.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: A possible (and common) load-out.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Whichever side they decide to take in the conflict between the Corpus and Grineer, they will always pick the option that would help the most innocents. Lampshaded by Vay Hek, who mocks those who get help from "bleeding-heart Tenno".
  • Cool Starship: The Tenno have three different flavors:
    • First off are their landing craft - the Liset, Mantis, Xiphos and Scimitar. The size of a fighter jet, these ships are capable of stealthily inserting the Tenno into all battlefields, and can provide ground support for the Warframes in mission - be it by hacking the enemy computer network or carpet bombing enemy personnel.
    • Next are the orbiters - the mobile base of each Tenno, each one has an armoury, modification center, incubator for companions, a communications array that can work from anywhere in the system, and a database on all enemies, as well as a personal quarters and transference room for the Tenno Operators.
    • Finally, there are Railjacks. These are multi-person interceptors designed to allow the Tenno to take on Capital Ships, each crewed by a group hand picked by the Tenno who built the ship.
  • Cyber Ninja: They are a race of futuristic ninja-like warriors. Even the slowest of Warframes are capable of amazing acrobatics.
  • Determinator: The Second Dream revealed that the Warframe, without a connection to its Operator is able to remove an impaled War for its chest to save its Operator from the Stalker. This is because the Warframes in general are human-Infested hybrids, and the Stalker is threatening the life of the Operator of that particular Warframe.
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: Everyone in the game is able to recognize a particular Tenno on-sight without an issue, even as they swap between completely different looking Warframes that can be dolled up with a variety of accessories.
  • Eyeless Face: Their Warframes have no obvious eye-holes, visor slits or what-not.note  In The Sacrifice, it is revealed that the Warframes do have eyes under their helmets, since they are partially human and partially Infested and still retain vaguely humanlike features.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Originally, the three starter frames you had to choose from fit this mold (Excalibur as Fighter, Loki as Thief, and Volt as Mage, later replacing Volt with Mag to have one of the starters be female). However, they eventually replaced Loki with Volt due to them feeling Loki was too difficult for a beginner player compared to the other starter frame choices. The current trio now more heavily fits Speed, Smarts and Strength.
  • Good Is Not Soft: They fight to defend the peace of the system, but that doesn't mean they'll pull any punches. They will electrocute, dismember, flash freeze, incinerate, poison, irradiate and use any other means of Cruel and Unusual Death to lay waste to anyone they deem their enemy.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Warframes are hybrids of Orokin soldiers and the Infestation biomatter. The original Warframes were uncontrollable berserkers without the Tenno to control them. Modern Warframes are exact copies of the originals, right down to the memories of the original human used to build them.
  • Heroic Willpower: Even without their Operators, the Warframes are capable of tearing Hunhow's War Sword in half independent of any commands from their Operator. While the sword is stuck through their torsos.
  • Hive Mind: This is part of the implication of The Second Dream. The Tenno appear to be each two separate beings, the Operator and the Warframe, working as one with the Operator acting as a kind of tactical control or guiding force for the Warframe's incredible abilities. As the dream shows, they are capable of functioning independent of each other to a certain extent. Later on, in The Sacrifice, when using Transference to experience Umbra's past, the Operator will come out of the memory briefly thinking that they were Umbra and that Isaah was their son, and in an optional conversation with the Man in the Wall, will admit that they really felt that they were Umbra. In the prologue to Scarlet Spear, we see several operators (including yours) acting as a single unit with red eyes and moving in perfect synchronicity, something that your character seems to have no recollection of doing.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: With their melee weapon out, Tenno can block anything with it. This includes bullets, missiles, grenades, other melee weapons, and flying sawblades, and with a certain mod they can reflect the damage right back to their attackers. At one point, if a window on a spaceship was broken, they could use their weapons to block their own suffocation (with accompanying sword-waving as the Tenno somehow parried away... the lack... of oxygen...?), but this was quickly fixed. However, getting hit by something powerful like an Ancient's tentacle-fist will still push the Warframe back a few feet, they just won't fall over.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Tenno are lethal with just about anything they can get their hands on. Just to prove it some of their best "weapons" are actually things like re-purposed mining equipment or other odds and ends that weren't designed to be weapons. Darvo even implies that one of the whips you can build was primarily made to clean the plumbing on spaceships. Essentially, if it can shoot, cut, smash, stab, or explode somebody a Tenno can murder a small army with it.
  • It Can Think: It's safe to say that both the Grineer and Corpus knew the Tenno were more than cyborg mercenaries long before they got their hands on one. By The Second Dream, the Warframes themselves are far more capable of action without their Tenno pilots than anyone suspected, much to Hunhow's alarm, and by The Sacrifice, Umbra is able to operate entirely on its own without any Operator. It's later justified with the Warframes being human-Infested hybrid soldiers, with memories of the humans they were based from.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Expect Tenno to run over and grab everything that isn't nailed down or locked. Missions can easily be extended by several minutes by those who want to open every locker and break every container for more loot.
  • Latex Space Suit: All Warframes appear skin-tight, but most of them are padded up with armor, tech, and other decorative bits. In fact, the Valkyr, which is clearly a partly-dissected Warframe, has very fine armor plating beneath the elaborate suit.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Legitimately every Warframe is a fast-moving, face-smacking, gun-toting badass, provided with enough experience and upgrades to get there.
  • Mama Bear/Papa Wolf: Depending on what Warframe you picked; even in their death throes, they did not hesitate to act on their own in order to protect their Operator from the Stalker and Hunhow.
  • Multi-Melee Master: They switch effortlessly between BFSes, daggers, Dual Wielded blades, giant hammers, normal-sized swords, Power Fists, scythes... Pretty much every weapon you can think of.
  • Multi-Ranged Master: As above, but with assault rifles, bows, kunai, pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles, other heavy ordnance...
  • The Musketeer: As mentioned above, they are skilled both in melee and ranged combat.
  • Ninjas: Specifically, Space Cyber Ninjas in the future.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Warframes are Ambiguously Robotic Cyber Ninja husks engineered from Infested flesh, possessed by remote Operators who take contracts to raid and sabotage enemy (space)ships and outposts. About as close to literal as can be.
  • One-Man Army: A single well-equipped Warframe can kill hundreds of enemy soldiers per mission with little difficulty.
  • Organic Technology: Many of the Warframes have an organic design aesthetic at a minimum, and some appear to have biomass growths, carapaces, etc. as well. In The Sacrifice, it is confirmed that the Warframes are a hybrid of humans and Infested flesh, created initially as a weapon to fight the Sentients, but were uncontrollable until the Tenno were able to calm them.
  • Power Glows: Prior to update 26 The Old Blood, Melee Channeling causes certain parts of the Warframe's body and melee weapon to glow in the selected energy color.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Ember Prime's codex contains a story about a military experiment wherein a ship full of kids is lost in the Void and fished back out; they're scared, scarred, and mutated by the exposure. The Second Dream quest confirms that yes, your Operator is one of these kids. They've lain comatose for the better part of a millennium, remotely controlling an arsenal of Warframes via Somatic Link from within their dream. It's also implied, and later confirmed that Warframes themselves were made from the combined biomass of Orokin Dax soldiers and the Infested.
  • Psycho Prototype: The Sacrifice clarifies the origin of the Warframes: they were created from people - willing or otherwise - infused with the Infestation through the Helminth system, causing them to have superhuman abilities without being uncontrollable like the Infested. They still went berserk anyway from a combination of their infested-induced mutilation and the brainwashing techniques the Orokin inflicted on them to force their obedience.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: At least when Gameplay and Story Integration are in play, this is how you acquire new warframes: by tracking down the body parts they've left scattered throughout the system, and assembling them back into a whole.
  • Remote Body: The reason why one Operator can fluidly switch from the inhumanly-broad Atlas into a slimmer female form like Mag between missions, through a Somatic Link and a process called Transference.
  • The Speechless: The comics imply that the Warframes cannot speak; when they need to communicate, they project a hologram of the Lotus, who speaks for them. The Operators can definitely speak once they awaken from the Second Dream, though whether they bother to do so with anyone beyond Ordis and the Lotus is unclear. They regularly conduct business with the people of Cetus and Fortuna, but they might be doing that with the help of Ordis and the Lotus (which is what happened in the comics). Players do speak through their warframes during Scarlet Spear, but only to other Tenno.
  • Superior Successor: "Heart of Deimos" reveals that the Orokin originally created the Necramechs for fighting the Sentients, but while the machines were able to resist the Sentients' hacking abilities, they ultimately fell short of expectations. The Tenno, meanwhile, managed to defeat the Sentients, with their later actions entirely being the Orokin's own fault.
  • Super Strength: The Warframes are superhumanly strong, able to perform death-defying acrobatics, leap huge distances, and smash and slice through virtually any kind of armor. It's telling that the arrows they fire are able to send the victims' corpses flying down a hallway if they aren't ripped in half first.
  • Taking You with Me: Goes with the One-Man Army thing, which is the reason the Orokin made them from the first place. They'll fight to the death and make sure they drag as many enemy forces into hell with them as feasible. Your Warframe even destroys Hunhow in his War sword-form by breaking him in half with the Warframe while the sword is rammed through its chest.
  • Technicolor Ninjas: Warframe colors can be personalized, and that includes pastel or extremely bright colors.
  • Tron Lines: Specific details briefly flash across the Warframe's body when an ability is activated.
    • Tenno-original weapons are generally sleek, curved, and somewhat archaic, with various weapons having manual actions, wooden furniture, or other "old-fashioned" traits. Statistically, "typical" Tenno weapons veer towards Slashing damage.
    • * There's also the Swiss Army Weapon known as the Parazon. Whilst Tenno can wield all kinds of other weapons, they are always equipped with the Parazon, which is used for hacking, reviving allies, capturing targets, and brutalizing Kuva Liches. The Parazon also comes with its own unique set of Requiem mods, which provide bonus when fighting Kuva Liches and which must be combined in a particular order to permanently put down a lich.
  • We Help the Helpless: Their Chronic Hero Syndrome has them jumping all over the Origin System to sabotage the Grineer and Corpus and protect what few neutral settlements remain. They also don't mind accepting payments for their work, if only to develop more weapons and Warframes to continue their crusade.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: One of the finisher attacks against Kuva Liches involves a German suplex to incapacitate the lich before killing it with a stab from the Parazon.

    Player Characters (Warframes) 
Due to the page's length, the Warframes have been put into their own separate pages.
  • Warframes A-Mnote 
  • Warframes N-Znote 

    Prime Warframes 
  • Bling of War: Being Orokin-tech-enhanced versions of their respective Warframes, they have a lot of gold elements, fitting the Orokin aesthetic.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: For the default Warframes and before the later, stronger Umbra Warframes. The Prime Warframes have White/Black coloration that resemble angelic figures, fitting their old purpose as defenders of the Orokin.
  • Super Prototype: Prime versions of the original Warframes often have better stats than their original counterparts (large energy capacity, more shields and/or tougher armor), as well as more polarized mod slots. Justified in this case as the Warframe are originally Orokin technology which everyone else, the Tenno included, can only create subpar copies of at best.
    • Subverted in Ivara's Leverian which implies that the original warframes we use are in fact the originals, and primed warframes are 'rewarded' to those models that prove their usefulness, while those that do not are scrapped and forgotten.
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • Excalibur Prime was only ever available to people who had purchased Founders Packs during early on in Warframe's development. He, alongside Lato and Skana Prime are the only pieces of equipment to date which will never be rereleased in some form.

    The Operators (Spoilers
The male and female Operators in their default suit.

"This is who you really are: A Tenno. More than human, but once a child like any other."
The Lotus

The Tenno, human children who somehow managed to survive aboard the Orokin colony ship Zariman Ten-Zero after a Void jump accident sent it listing in the Void for years before reappearing near Saturn, giving them incredible, if horrific, powers.

Unmarked spoilers below.

  • Ambiguous Gender: When you first customize your Tenno character, there are no direct gender select options; the faces are mostly androgynous and can be either male or female with different choices of hair and fine detail, especially after the option was added to allow you to choose two faces and blend them to create near-infinite options, while your body is slim and similarly androgynous. The only definitive choice between male or female is in the voice you choose for your Tenno — two of the four voices are definitely male, two are female. Your choices of face and voice will very subtly tweak your body shape towards male or female, but it can be difficult to notice.
  • Ambiguously Human: The Second Dream confirms that the Tenno are void mutated humans who are able to command and calm the Warframes' afflicted psyches.
    • The War Within takes it a step further, confirming at the Tenno pretty much walk the line between being corporeal beings and Energy Beings.
  • Amnesiac Hero: The Operators don't remember anything of their past lives before the events of The Second Dream, although afterward they do start to remember their pasts on the Zahriman Ten-Zero. The War Within has Teshin informing the Tenno that Margulis "erased the Zariman children" by suppressing their more traumatic memories and locking away some of their more dangerous powers.
  • Armor Is Useless: They'll take the same amount of damage regardless if they're wearing just their Operator suit or full-body armor.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The biggest advantage of Operator Mode is that the Operator's attacks all deal Void damage. Sentients are uniquely vulnerable to Void damage; not only does it reset their built-up resistances, but it's the only way to destroy a Vomvalyst once its outer shell has been broken and the only way to take down the shields of an Eidolon.
  • Astral Projection: After The Second Dream, they can manifest an astral projection of themselves that fires a powerful void beam at their foes. During this time, the Warframe is deactivated and invincible.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The majority of The War Within is spent within your own mind, confronting and overcoming what happened aboard the Zariman Ten-Zero. In doing so, you remove the hold the Grineer queen has over you.
  • Body Surf: How the Operator moves between Warframes, by effectively possessing and controlling them remotely. The Operator also uses this to escape the Grineer Queen's control in The War Within.
  • Child Soldiers: The Operators were turned into these out of necessity by the Orokin when they realized the children could control Warframes.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: The War Within: Discovering more of the Tenno's story actually led to a Troubled Backstory Flashback about their Parental Abandonment before being sent off to a brutal bloodbath in the Zariman transport before and after being cast off into the Void, this enforces the Tenno which choice they should make, which ones were already done and which ones that they will do once they're fighting the Grineer Queen herself.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The reason they betrayed the Orokin; even beyond getting flung into the Void as children then dragged out and made into soldiers, the Orokin treated the Tenno horribly for all they were supposed to be their last defense.
  • The Dreaded: Back in the days of the Orokin Empire, they were rumored to be boogeymen, a falsehood invented to terrify. The fact that they were deployed against the Sentients was a sign of desperation by the Orokin.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The Operator and their abilities are only unlocked after the player completes The Second Dream, which requires the player to complete most of the boss battles and many of the in-game quests. Even then, it's only partial access; full access requires completion of The War Within, even deeper into the star chart.
  • Elite Army: The Tenno are a relatively tiny force, where individual troopers are highly lethal, yet counter enemy strength-of-numbers by sending Tenno on spec-ops surgical raids to undermine enemy focus.
  • The Empath: Operators are able to empathize with and soothe the rage and fury of a Warframe, calming the beast within and allowing them to work in tandem.
  • Energy Beings: One of the theories in-universe trying to explain how a single Tenno can use and occupy several Warframes of different builds and genders was that they were some sort of energy beings, able to travel between bodies and change them at will. Gets subverted during The Second Dream, when we find out that the Tenno are actually flesh-and-blood humans whose mind is remotely projected onto a Warframe body. And then double subverted during The War Within, where we learn that Tenno exist in a "border" state between the physical world and the Void which grants them their innate powers, including the ability do dash-teleport as well as phase in and physically posses other bodies, including their Warframes. So, while they are not pure energy beings, they are not completely corporeal either.
  • Hand Blast: The default power of the unarmored Operator. It comes in two flavors:
    • Void Beam, a continuous beam of energy that can be modified into a number of types of attacks by their amp's prism.
    • Void Blast, a cone-shaped burst of energy that knocks nearby enemies away and can disarm Kuva Guardians of their melee weapons.
  • Handicapped Badass: Initially, the Tenno Operator is never shown to walk under their own power, needing to crawl to their Warframe and be carried, which suggests that either they were this as a result of their alterations or that countless years in stasis have caused their muscles to atrophy. In The War Within, the Operators become capable of walking by themselves, and they become able to sprint and jump after the quest.
  • Hypocrite: They lambast the Corpus for using proxies rather than fighting themselves, even though the Operators utilize the Warframes from a distance. At least until they learn to perform Transference on their own.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: In-gameplay, they can't be killed, simply returning to their Warframes once their HP hits zero. However, this induces the Transference Static debuff, which completely drains the Warframe's shields and deals 10 percent of the Warframe's health in damage.
    • In regular missions, it's suggested that Transference is a form of Astral Projection, and that your operator's real body is still on the orbiter. This is played straight in operator-only quests, however, where it's clear that yes, your operator really is running into danger in person, but where dying just resets you to a checkpoint.
  • Irony: They were able to empathize with the suffering of their Warframes, which technically are monsters. But they did not hesitate to bully and shun one of their own, Rell, whose autism disgusted the other Operators.
  • Kids Are Cruel: As much as they were horribly mistreated by the Orokin, they weren't above ostracizing and bullying one of their own, Rell, for being autistic. The Chains of Harrow prequel comic showed Rell being locked out of a quarantine during the Zariman Ten-Zero incident by other children, and forbidden from entering an escape vessel carrying his peers because of his "weirdness".
  • Kid Hero: The Operator is the protagonist of the series and presumably still in their teens.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control: Due to the Operators being able to empathize with the Warframes' trauma and eventual Sanity Slippage, they could effectively calm and work in tandem with them where the Orokin could not.
  • Liminal Being: As mentioned in the Ambiguously Human entry, the void mutated them into...something that hovers between the realm of Energy Beings and mutated humans. This is likely why the Orokin treated them like dirt, since they no longer saw the Tenno children as pure humans any more and referred to them more as monsters or "demons."
  • Leitmotif: This Is What You Are; you can hear it in the Orbiter's Transference Room.
  • Loss of Identity: Empathizing with Umbra causes the Operator to suffer from this for a time, believing that they are Umbra, not helped by the Man in the Wall seemingly encouraging this.
  • Magikarp Power: Your operator starts out about as squishy as you might expect, with their attacks and defensive intangibility drawing from the same limited pool of energy. Getting an amp from the Quills solves this latter problem, though, and better amps and Focus powers can gradually make the operator much more useful.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Their name Tenno is a Japanese title meaning "Heavenly Emperor", that accentuates their martial prowess and supernatural abilities.
    • The name itself originated from the colony ship called the Zariman Ten-Zero. "Zariman" in Sanskrit means "birth" or "bring forth". So the ship would literally be "The Birthplace of Heavenly Emperors".
  • Meaningful Echo: "Operator" is the word that Ordis uses for the Tenno, because they are not controlling the Orbiter, but the Warframes themselves.
  • Mouthy Kid: They frequently trash talk the Grineer, Corpus, and Infested.
    Operator: [referring to the Grineer] You'd think they'd clone something a little less... ugly.
  • Morality Pet: What they are to the Warframes. Ballas of all people explained it best.
    Ballas: We had created monsters we couldn't control. we drugged them, tortured them, eviscerated them...we brutalized their minds...but it did not work. Until they came. And it was not their force of will - not their void devilry - not their alien was something else. It was that somehow, from within the derelict-horror, they had learned a way to see inside an ugly, broken thing, and take away its pain.
  • Parental Abandonment: Repeatedly. First, the Tenno's birth parents were driven insane by the same event that granted them their powers, homicidally so. While it's up to the player whether a given Operator killed their own parents or avoided the slaughter, no Tenno's parents survived the ordeal. Then, Margulis, who went out of her way to treat the Tenno like children, even when they unintentionally hurt her, was executed by Ballas and the other Orokin elite for not turning them into killing machines fast enough. And finally, the Lotus, who modeled herself after Margulis, is maybe brainwashed by Ballas and leaves with him for parts unknown, right in front of a horrified Tenno; when they finally catch up to the pair, the Lotus has apparently been assimilated by the Sentients again and shed her human form, leaving to reunite with an entity she refers to as her mother.
  • Power Incontinence: The Operators are unable to fully control their powers without the use of Warframes or a Somatic Link, until The War Within.
  • The Power of Love: Every single Warframe is tortured, broken and constantly suffering unbearable physical and mental agony. The Tenno can take that pain away. That's how they synchronize with them.
  • Power of the Void: The source of their powers is the reality-breaking Void where "science and logic die." The Void is so powerful that it serves as the antithesis to the Sentients, outright destroying them if they make contact with it, and the Operator can unleash the Void directly to harm their enemies.
  • Precursor Killers: The Operators were the ones who ultimately made the decision to slaughter the Orokin leadership once they had defeated the Sentients. The exact reasons why each Operator chose to do so vary, ranging from simple vengeance for their treatment by the Orokin, to a sense of justice and punishment for the Orokin's numerous horrific crimes.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Operators were alive when the Orokin existed, which was hundreds of years before the events of the game. They still physically resemble teenagers. If Chains Of Harrow is anything to go by they may not be biologically immortal, as Rell, who didn't fall into cryosleep, long since died and left what remained of his consciousness inside Harrow. However, any given Tenno may still be biologically immortal due to their choices in whether or not they drank the Kuva (which is stated to grant immortality) during the events of The War Within, though the same questline reveals that the Tenno may not be completely corporeal anymore. (see Energy Beings above)
  • Sanity Slippage: A small (for the moment) example, but after completing The Sacrifice in a conversation with the Man in the Wall, your Tenno now seems to believe that they personally killed Issah after controlling and living the memories of Excalibur Umbra, who was the one who actually killed Issah under Ballas' control.
  • Self-Made Orphan: The War Within reveals the Zariman children had to Mercy Kill their parents, who had been driven insane from being adrift in the Void, eventually turning on each other and the children. Depending on your choices, your Operator either hid from them, locked them up or hunted them down, but ultimately the Zariman children are all "patricidal monsters". The tie-in comic Rell for Chains of Harrow suggests that the people the children killed weren't simply the adult crew driven mad, but something else either having taken them over completely or replaced them outright.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Without upgrades, operators are very fragile and not very useful in combat... but they do mean that you always have access to a stealth mode, a silenced weapon, and a way to make your warframe briefly invincible.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The Tenno used to be the normal children of a spaceship's crew and passengers. Said ship got stuck in The Void after a botched jump to the Tau system, and was adrift for an unspecified length of time. By the time the ship was found, every adult on board had died or gone insane, and the Tenno had gained uncontrollable powers. This was before they were locked up, put to sleep and made to pilot their Warframes in a semi-lucid dream.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The Tenno slew the Orokin leadership, which is why the Corpus calls them "The Betrayers". Considering what the Orokin did to them, it's hard to blame them, and at the end of The Second Dream the player's Operator can even outright say that they turned on the Orokin as revenge for what they did to both the Tenno and Margulis.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: They can be dressed up in a variety of unlockable (but purely cosmetic outfits) that can be crafted or purchased from Baro Ki'Teer or the Market. Their voice, skin tone, gender, and facial structure can also be swapped out at will via the Somatic Link room.
  • Silent Protagonist: Completely averted once The Second Dream ends. They gain one of four different voices (two male, two female), and talk during cutscenes and occasionally give one-liners during missions (although these one-liners are disabled by default in the options menu). Their overall personality is still up to the player and what they choose during cinematic quests like The War Within and The Sacrifice.
  • Squishy Wizard: In-gameplay, they have a relatively paltry amount of health and no shields on top of rather slow walking and running speed. They compensate for this with their Void Mode and Void Dash abilities, which render them invisible and intangible and allows them to cross areas quickly respectively.
  • Weapon of Choice: Amps — gauntlets used by the Operators to focus their void powers. Amps are one of three types of weapons in-game that are player-designed, being created by combining preset pieces together in unique combinations. Amp-based attacks inflict void damage, which has unique effects on the various Sentient enemies in the game (Shadow Stalker, Conculysts, and Battlysts have their resistances reset, void damage is the only way to destroy the spectral forms of Vomvalysts, while Teralysts can only have their shields removed by void damage).
  • Welcome to Corneria: Outside of story quests, the Operators have a limited array of dialogue with seemingly random triggers. You can hear them say, "Phew, that was a close one.", even if you just wiped out an entire room with one attack and are completely undamaged. They also tend to say, "My Warframe is strong." for no apparent reason. There is an option to turn off Operator dialogue if you get tired of hearing it, and after an update these lines are disabled by default.

Robots created by the Entrati as precursors to the Warframes the Tenno use.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: While their ability to use an archgun indefinitely is interesting, they can only travel across the open worlds they can be summoned in slowly. At the time of writing, DE have announced plans to make them summonable in regular missions, with the caveat that their size may prevent them from fitting through some doors, necessitating either finding a way around the obstacle or leaving the Necramech behind and resummoning it on the other side.
  • Mighty Glacier: Has a large health pool, but doesn't have a Warframes ability to parkour. Downplayed in that, on flat ground, they are somewhat swift through their dash.
  • Mini-Mecha: Not of the "pilot inside" variety, but like Warframes remotely piloted by the Tenno.

Tenno-allied NPCs

Great work. I am pleased with your performance.
Voiced by: Rebecca Ford
"I am the Lotus. I will guide you, but we must hurry."

A mysterious woman who guides you through your missions and gives you objectives. She's the one who awakened the Tenno from cryosleep in the first place.

  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Chains of Harrow confirms that she intentionally modeled herself after Margulis in order for the Tenno to trust her. Her true form, shown in The Sacrifice, is a warped variation of the Sentients, with a human-like face.
  • Adult Fear: She's shocked when she discovers Rell, a Tenno she didn't know about, in Chains of Harrow, realizing that she was never there for him, and only finding him after his tortured essence beings lashing out in the physical world. She's desperate to help him, but by then it's already too late, and has to watch the player Tenno give him a Mercy Kill.
  • Ambiguously Human: It's hard to say what she is, since she appears to be a human with a wired helmet, but still manages the daunting task of micromanaging every Tenno cell in the solar system. That, and she's apparently been around since the Old War. The Natah quest finally shows what she is: a Sentient in an Orokin-human disguise.
  • Ambiguous Situation: While she says she was brainwashed by the Orokin to protect the Tenno, she makes this claim after she spent time with her father, who was planning on brainwashing her. It's entirely possible that her original Heel–Face Turn was genuine, and Hunhow's "fix" made her believe she had been brainwashed. It doesn't help that the timeline of the Old War and the rise of the Tenno is still unclear; we don't know exactly when the Lotus took over protecting the Tenno, or how long she was doing that before she put them to sleep.
  • The Anticipator: Turns out she fully knows that your Operator is present in the scene during her talk with Erra, but does nothing about it. It is unclear if it's because she cannot affect them, can but decides it's unimportant, or lacks the volition capacity to get herself to act on it.
  • Anti-Villain: During the Ropalyst boss fight, she angrily claims that the Orokin actually brainwashed her into the Lotus and forced her to love the people who killed her species - and reveals she knows about the Man in the Wall, fearing him and knowing he's a grave threat to the Sentients who may be using the Tenno. Even if it wasn't for her Avenging the Villain aspects, she has every right to be angry.
  • Benevolent Boss: She gives you monthly gifts and keeps you well-informed instead of just throwing you at places to slaughter. She sees the Tenno as her children because she couldn't have any of her own, and when the Stalker and Hunhow invade the Orbiter at the climax of The Second Dream, Lotus arrives in person to save her beloved child.
  • Call-Back: A very somber case occurs during the first trilogy of cinematic quests.
    • At the end of The Second Dream she says "This is what you are" to your operator, soon after they wake up from their stasis and see their true form for the first time.
    • And at the end of Sacrifice she says "This is what I am" to your operator, when they see for the first time her true form as a Sentient.
  • The Cameo: Appears as a Spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which can be enhanced into Natah.
  • Canada, Eh?: It's subtle, but it's present in her accent due to being voiced by Digital Extremes's own Rebecca Ford.
  • Cleavage Window: The camera views her so closely that it is usually obscured.
  • Face–Heel Turn: As of The Sacrifice, the Lotus has returned to the Sentient side as Natah, even going so far as to have a horde of Sentients fire upon your Tenno while they are out of their Warframe. When we hear her during the Ropalolyst boss fight she is openly resentful towards the Tenno.
  • Godzilla Threshold: During the events of The Second Dream, the threat of the Stalker and Hunhow working together to find the Reservoir is dire enough that Lotus has to ask Alad V for help.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Saving the Tenno instead of destroying every single one of them at the end of the Old War was not within her parameters. She went so far as to isolate them until the start of the game and considers herself their mother.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: She clearly switched sides at some point, but the nature of the switch isn't entirely clear. She was originally a Sentient agent sent to the Origin System to destroy the Tenno; however, the crossing rendered her sterile (at least, the Sentient definition of sterile) and she apparently wanted to be a mother. So instead of killing the Tenno, she sent them to sleep, and woke them up centuries later as her "children", only to end up being Natah again after the events of the Apostasy Prologue.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: She manages to be a victim of this twice, inflicted on her by two different sides directly opposing each other in a war. Initially a Sentient mimic created to infiltrate the Orokin and destroy the Tenno during the Old War, she was discovered and brainwashed/reprogrammed into being their handler. Then in the present Ballas finds her and brings her back to the Sentients - who, if her behaviour during her appearances following the Apostasy Prologue is any indication, instead of removing the Orokin conditioning re-brainwashed her themselves in order to get her to fall in with their plans.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: She is a Sentient who became (and was once) the Tenno's Mission Control... and then the Apostasy Prologue happened.
  • Monumental Theft: Alad V implied that the Lotus stole the entire Moon for the sake of the Tenno.
  • Offing the Offspring: Inverted. Her original plan was to eliminate every single Tenno after rallying them off into acceptable slaughter groups. Instead, she took them in as her children and became their commander in missions to maintain balance in the Origin system, and soon to possibly thwart the incoming Sentient threat, where the Lotus originated from.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Getting attacked by the Grustrag Three is heralded by a transmission from the Lotus telling you to abort the mission before she is cut off, the only time you see her break from her usual calm, controlled demeanor.
    • During Operation Arid Fear, her voice was full of veiled contempt whenever she mentioned Alad V, showing that he was going to be a very important character in the future. Considering what he did to poor Valkyr and Mesa, not to mention the Zanuka, she's got reason to.
    • She is very uneasy during Chains of Harrow. There is an unmistakable sense of urgency and worry in her dialogue throughout, concerning the possibility that Rell can be saved. She goes completely silent when Paladino proposes a Mercy Kill, and does not appear for the rest of the quest afterwards.
  • Parental Abandonment: In the Apostasy Prologue, she sides with Ballas, taking off her helmet and by extension her identity, and leaves with him, all while the Tenno watches. The heartbroken, confused look on the Tenno's face as they retrieve their "mother"'s discarded helmet is akin to that of an abandoned child, wondering why their parent decided to leave them. And then The Sacrifice decided to twist the knife further..
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Natah quest confirms she's from the Old War as a Sentient sleeper agent.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Instead of becoming the weapon to destroy the Tenno, the Lotus becomes this to Margulis for the abandoned Tenno.
  • They Look Like Us Now: Unlike most Sentients, who were designed for various roles necessary for terraforming Tau, Natah was designed as a mimic to infiltrate Orokin society. This is why she looks like a human/Sentient hybrid in her true form.
  • Vocal Evolution: Her voice has changed quite a bit across the Updates, only partly due to change of the filters used.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: According to Cephalon Cordylon:
    I find it curious that you would ask for information related not only to military vehicles, but civilian transports as well. Statistically, there are few instances where blowing up a civilian transport would ever be deemed necessary, and the Lotus would only demand such a task be completed as a last resort.

Operator? Ordis wonders... What are you thinking about?
"I am Ordis, ship cephalon, a shadow of my former self."

An AI (or rather, a Cephalon) that resides within the Tenno's Orbiter which houses their Landing Craft, stealth dropships introduced in Update 14. Players will need to rebuild the ship via the "Vor's Prize" questline.

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • Ordis is a full-on Benevolent A.I. towards his operator, being polite, cheerful, and subservient. But he's also glitchy, implying a much angrier and violent side, or even a full-on Split Personality, that he tries not to show the Operator. It's eventually revealed to be caused by damage, allowing the personality he had in life to slip through.
    • The damage which causes his glitches are implied to have been caused due to being held in stasis for centuries, as well as having parts of the ship he's integrated with removed by Grineer salvagers, who were not gentle. Ordis has also theorized that he damaged himself purposefully, to block out memories of the past. He is right.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: The Cephalon Ordis is very different from the human Ordan Karris, though the latter periodically comes out in his dialogue.
  • Artificial Intelligence: He is technically not one, as he is a Cephalon, and the Orokin had a severe aversion to creating true AI. Cephalons like Ordis are actually uploaded human minds.
  • The Atoner: Even as Ordan Karris, he loathed himself for what he did. As a Cephalon, Ordis has to talk himself out of committing suicide when he remembers Ordan.
  • Broken Pedestal: Ordis practically worshiped Cephalon Simaris. This changes after seeing his callous disregard for the Operator's well-being in The New Strange, and proceeds to reject him, his offer of being repaired, and a place in the Sanctuary. Neither of them get better, either - after The Second Dream, Octavia's Anthem shows that they still hate each other to no end, to the point that both of them vocally don't care about each other's destruction. And when it seemingly does come around, Simaris doesn't appreciate that despite having advocated for the pragmatic solution, he himself simply couldn't stand back and allow neither Ordis nor Suda to come to harm.
  • Comedic Sociopathy:
    • In regards to Grineer, Corpus, or the idea of having a filthy Kubrow aboard. He is also abnormally cheery about the idea of you finishing the Archwing and becoming a "winged death machine."
    • During the Vor's Prize questline, he's absolutely furious that the Grineer dismantled many of his and the ship's major components.
      Ordis: Foundry restored. Here, the Operator will craft many powerful weapons and tools to - EXACT REVENGE FOR DISMANTLING ME - to expand your arsenal.
  • Cornered Rattlesnake: Do NOT mess with him or the Operator in the Cephalon weave. Hunhow learns this the hard way.
  • Curse Cut Short: Thanks to his mood swing glitches, and Servile Snarker tendencies, he often catches himself juuust before cursing, especially if the results would have a negative impact on his Operator, or him.
    (After Darvo contacts the ship to demanding an apology for Ordis insulting him)
    Ordis: (glitching) Yyyou can go straight to...h- Operator, I am sorry.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: As a human, he committed many murders while serving the Orokin, and was haunted by it. He tried to betray his masters and kill as many Orokin as he could before he died, but instead he was taken and made an A.I. as punishment just to spite him.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Human Ordan Karris came to despise his Orokin masters for their mistreatment of him and others like him, and tried to kill as many as he could in a suicide attack.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: When in his violent psychopath mode, his voice is distorted.
  • Fanboy:
  • Fighting from the Inside: During The War Within, when the the Witch triggers a Battle in the Center of the Mind and causes the Operator to hallucinate, a hidden part of his programming activates and forces him to "purge" the Operator, ostensibly for losing the power of Transference (whether he really has this programming or the Witch invented it to hurt the Operator further is unclear), but he clearly doesn't want to and tells the Operator how to get away.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Can shoot powerful lasers in the Cephalon weave.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: A troubled and violent human Ordan Karris was turned into a loyal servant cephalon Ordis, programmed to love his Operator. He liked the change.
  • Heel Realization: Ordan cites the moment he saw a child ruined and twisted by the Orokin's experiments as the moment he realized warriors like him were "pit dogs, ruining ourselves for the pleasure of the glorious and beautiful".
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Ordis' glitches can lead to rather spiteful and downright murderous behavior, but it's almost always played for laughs.
  • I Choose to Stay: He ultimately rejects Simaris' offer to join him in the Sanctuary and restore his lost memories and chooses to stay with your character. At least part of this can be chalked up to Ordis' knowing he fragmented his memories for a reason.
  • I Hate Past Me: He did not like what he found when he returned his lost memories.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Says this at the beginning of the Archwing Trailer when complaining that he can't extract the Tenno due to the ongoing space battle happening right outside the ship they were infiltrating, before happily asking if he should deploy the Archwing unit.
  • Irony: Tells Hunhow that he is no longer the person that Ordan Karris was. Cue him making bloodthirsty comments during the finale of Octavia's Anthem as he continuously zaps Hunhow's Eradycysts.
  • Kill 'Em All: Shouts this during the Archwing Interception portions of "The Limbo Theorem".
    Ordis: [after successfully retrieving the data] It's time for clean up, Operator. KILL THEM ALL!
  • Killer Rabbit: Ordis looks particularly harmless, especially with his damaged and simple look. But don't threaten him or the Operator with things that he can interact with in the Cephalon weave. They'll just get zapped out of the way, assuming, of course, he isn't restrained first.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Is fully combat-capable in the Cephalon weave, which is only revealed in the finale of Octavia's Anthem after Hunhow captures him and is subsequently freed by the player. His main attack is a laser beam similar to the Artax, but is damage-oriented and can take out mid-tier enemies quickly.
  • Loss of Identity: Ballas Mind Raped Ordan Karris into becoming Ordis, until his own name meant nothing to him anymore. When Ordis remembered he Was Once a Man, he willingly fragmented his own memories of Karris.
  • Mission Control: Becomes this after the Lotus leaves with Ballas in "Apostasy". All missions that the Lotus narrates are retroactively replaced by Ordis playing a recording of her from this point onward.
  • Mood-Swinger: Played for laughs; as part of his glitchy processing, he's prone to dipping into aggressive, borderline-psychotic rants before correcting himself and happily offering his services to the Tenno. Played for drama with a complete Fragment collection; given that Ordan Karris was mentally unstable and had a similarly low voice, the distorted voice is implied to be his original personality asserting itself.
    Ordis: Ordis will gladly assist the Operator in - CUTTING A BLOODY PATH - in what ever mission they choose.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: During The Sacrifice, a Vitruvian computer installed into the Orbiter causes a lot of his "vestigial" precepts to be knocked offline-those precepts being his ability to care and aggression, causing him to develop a Machine Monotone and become The Stoic until he puts them back online later in the mission.
  • Organic Technology: According to Ordis, Helminth handles the orbiter's biological functions. As Ordis is usually quite deliberate with his wording, you might note he did not say "life support."
  • Parental Abandonment: He recognizes the player as his Operator from the Old War, and asks why they abandoned him as a child would. Of course, he also claims his memory banks of the war were misplaced, so how accurate this is can be called into question.
  • Portmanteau Word: Well, "Name", in his case. Ordis was originally called Ordan Karris
  • Promoted to Parent: After the Lotus leaves the Operator. Poor Ordis isn't nearly as well equipped to comfort the Operator (not to mention the fact that Ordis himself is rather unstable), and the Operator rejects most of his attempts to reach out.
    Ordis: I know I'm just a broken, old Cephalon, but I'm here if you ever want to talk...
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Ordis was one in his past life as Ordan Karris. He grew to hate said past life.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: When he discovers Darvo left out some components to the anti-parasite device, Ordis finally loses his temper and has an offscreen one. It apparently involved unflattering comments about Darvo's mother and her diet.
  • Red Baron: The Beast of Bones, as he was known in his fleshy days.
  • Robotic Psychopath: When glitched, he violently advocates cutting a bloody path through anyone who wronged him and will tell the Operator's allies to shove it.
  • Sapient Ship: Well, more accurately, he's the ship's A.I., but treats it as his own body. Which is why he really doesn't take kindly to others ripping his vital components out... or installing components he really wishes stayed out that may involve having a "Filthy Kubrow" on the ship.
    Ordis: (sarcastically) Joy. An Incubator. The only segment Ordis is glad th- THE SAVAGES - looted. (with forced cheer) I would be happy to help you install it.
    • Conversely, he's happy when it comes to making, or installing anything mechanical, to the point he gets impatient if the player hasn't begun manufacture on their first Archwing unit yet, constantly insisting they start making it right away every time the player comes back from a mission.
    Ordis: Gun. Gun. Gun! Hmmm, the foundry has items for you, Operator.
  • Servile Snarker: Especially if it involves anything with Kubrow.
    Ordis: (indignant) An Incubator Segment? You want to turn me into a petting zzzoo? (abruptly calm again) Ordis is happy to assist the Operator restoring ship functionality.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: As Ordan Karris, having been long warped into a bloodthirsty, self-loathing monster, who reacted by being offered immortality by killing the offerers to force an execution. They made him immortal anyway as punishment, out of sheer spite. He actively tells you he doesn't want to remember who he was.
  • Squee!: Ordis interrupts himself to describe the Silver Grove, in a whimsical voice, as "MAGICAL!"
  • Suicide by Cop: What Ordan Karris' goal for his meeting with the Orokin was. He wanted to kill as many as possible before dying in his attack and freeing himself from his nightmares. Given what he is now, it seems that the attempt was a Bungled Suicide.
  • That Man Is Dead: Meekly responds in this vein when Hunhow taunts him about his past during Octavia's Anthem.
  • Third-Person Person: Often uses the third person when describing his functions, though he uses first person just as often.
  • Undying Loyalty: Serves the Operator, regardless of his complaints of their abandonment, with signs of almost Yandere tendencies occur when the Lotus leaves the Tenno/Operator after attempting to hide her Sentient origins.
  • Verbal Backspace: Does this all the time whenever he glitches and says something rude or Ax-Crazy.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: He's a bit... enthusiastic about the Tenno's number one solution to problems.
    Ordis: (cheerfully, about a mission to locate Captain Vor) Ordis assumes finding Vor implies violence?
  • Warrior Poet: Ordan was fairly well-read and insightful when he was alive.
  • Was Once a Man: Being a Cephalon, he was once a human who was transformed and uploaded into the Cephalon Weave.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Witnessing his Operator fight in the Old War made him realize that some of his memories were missing.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Being a Shell Shocked Death Seeker, Ordan Karris was shocked and appalled when the Orokin laughed off his attempted Suicide by Cop and invited him to join their immortal ranks. When he refused, his punishment was to be made immortal anyway - as a mechanical servant.


See the Conclave entry in the Syndicates page.


"(Living substances is our domain. How will we serve you.)"

A sentient Infested infection who dwells behind a similarly Infested door in the player's Orbiter. While Ordis is not a fan of it being on the ship, it seems to be loyal to you for whatever reason, and so he grudgingly tolerates its presence. It will only allow you into its room while playing as Nidus, which it calls "Master", or as any Warframe with a mature Helminth Cyst, which it can remove for free and inoculate the Warframe from future infection.

  • The Assimilator: With an ungraded segment, Helminth is able to subsume non-Prime Warframes into itself and in exchange allow it to bestow the ability to other frames. A flower of the subsumed Warframe's colors grow as it's tribute.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Good is stretching a bit, but it keeps the orbiter alive in service to the only real heroes the Origin system has.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Mostly due to Blue-and-Orange Morality. While it is the sentient embodiment of a malignant disease, all it really wants is to be kept alive and to serve Nidus, and is otherwise friendly to a point.
  • Discard and Draw: By allowing it to consume a Warframe, it gains the ability to replace a Frame's abilities with that of the one consumed.
  • Expy: In Heart of Deimos, it evolves into a creature that looks a lot like Audrey II.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Non-sexual example. While it deals with most operators and Ordis very begrudgingly, it speaks to Nidus with genuine respect and gratitude, calling them "Master" and gladly bestowing its gifts upon them.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Like other Infested, Helminth speaks in animalistic growls that are shown as proper words in subtitles.
  • Monster Progenitor: The Sacrifice reveals it to be the source of the "domesticated" Infestation the Orokin used to create Warframes.
  • Organic Technology: As with all Infested, Helminth is a perfect fusion of microscopic robots and organic flesh.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Presumably. Its infection doesn't take control of Warframes, just causes a disgusting growth that eventually can be drained to infest a Kubrow egg, creating a "Helminth Charger".
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: It vocally regards Operators as "demons".

Message written in blood from Chains of Harrow

A Tenno cast out and separated from the rest by the Orokin, Rell was a child with an unspecified mental conditionnote . Notable for being the only Tenno NPC in the game so far.

  • Aerith and Bob: While Rell isn't by any means a common name, it's one of the very few in Warframe that's remotely recognizable as a present-day name.
  • All of the Other Reindeer:
    • The other Tenno ostracised him due to his Ambiguous Disorder. Margulis also rejected him, although this may be connected to his claims regarding "the Man in the Wall"; The Lotus' immediate reaction to hearing this phrase was to deny its existence. This is why he went on to form the Red Veil.
    • Subverted in that not all the Tenno ostracized him, apparently — one girl on the Zariman tried to help him get to a safe zone and was outright angry at another Tenno for preventing him from entering, unable to let Rell in before the doors closed.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Had difficulty understanding emotions, and was easily overwhelmed by senses such as touch, needing to use his Donda in order to focus. It's heavily implied he may be on the autism spectrum.
  • Barrier Maiden: He warded against the coming of the Man in the Wall, and created the Red Veil to do the same. At the end of Chains of Harrow, he leaves this duty to the Tenno — who immediately receive a visit.
  • Handicapped Badass: Despite his mental disabilities, when he became a Tenno, he wasn't some pushover. He kills his own mother (or, according to him, the thing masquerading as her) without hesitation while boasting how his real mother trained him, kills another adult while he and the other Tenno start running, and when one of the other kids blocks him from entering the safe zone out of prejudice, he calmly sits outside the door, starts up his Donda and decides to start trying to figure out The Man in the Wall despite there still being more adults out for blood.
  • Madness Mantra: Rap. Tap. Tap.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: He never went into stasis like the other Tenno. He died while Transferred into his Warframe, Harrow, allowing him to live on but requiring his Warframe to be chained in the depths of the Red Veil's temple to prevent from going berserk. Prolonged captivity did little good for his sanity, and the Man in the Wall didn't help much either, by the time you find him the entire complex is full of bizarre entities that are either fragments of Rell or actual ghosts.
  • Self-Made Orphan: While this applies to all the Tenno, Rell gets a special mention because he's the only person visualized actually killing his own parent, specifically his mother, who loved him dearly and supported him the absolute best he could. However, he does the deed without hesitation or grief because he believes his "mother" is something else, even if he's not sure what, and is clearly confident about this conclusion, having already come to terms with the fact that his mother was already dead, as far as he was concerned.
  • Shoot the Dog: The player Tenno has to destroy his Warframe, and the last vestiges of his humanity, to put his manifestations to rest.
  • Walking Spoiler:There's a reason Chains of Harrow uses The War Within as a prerequisite.

On this ship we work before we play.
"I am Cephalon Cy. You will refer to me as such."

Another Cephalon similar to Ordis in function if not in personality. Like Ordis he assists the Tenno by managing and running their spacecraft: the Sigma-series Railjack, a larger interceptor vessel capable of performing in open combat. The Tenno create his imprint after researching it in their Dry Dock, and after installing him Cy guides them in assembling their own Railjack.

  • Badass Crew: His Dax crew (Zada, Sukhin and Krodhi) during the Old War managed to rack up an impressive number of 4890 confirmed kills against the Sentients. His new crew would also qualify by virtue of being the Tenno.
  • The Chains of Commanding: During the Old War a sortie against a Sentient Worm-ship went bad, with him forced to choose between completing the mission and preserving his crew's life. He prioritized the former, which resulted in all of his crew dying, and he very clearly regrets it.
    • Morton's Fork: With how he describes that situation and how his priorities were set, there was no way for him to actually complete his mission if it depended on survival of the crew; either he prioritizes saving the crew, retreats and fails the mission, or prioritizes completing the mission, proceeds to lose the crew and fails the mission because he tried to complete it. With no way out of the loop Cy was set up to fail due to his programming — which does not stop him from putting the blame on himself.
  • Closest Thing We Got: Cy insists that you need a find a command Cephalon for your Railjack, as he is no longer a viable choice. After an entire mission of searching, he is incapable of finding anything even remotely suitable for the task, and is forced to reevaluate himself as a viable command Cephalon for the simple reason that there is literally no other option if you want the ship to move at all.
  • Consummate Professional: Very serious, stern and task-oriented, Cy provides a sharp contrast to the more mellow and emotive Ordis.
  • Cultured Badass: Cy is a military cephalon, and several of his lines and meditations paraphrase quotes of Niels Bohr, Carl Sagan and the like.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He occasionally cracks dry commentary, especially when the Railjack is boarded by what he knows are vastly inferior forces to even a single Tenno.
    Cy: Oh, look. A boarding party. Crew, if you would...?
  • Enraged by Idiocy: He does not approve of incompetence. For example, when Grineer boarders breach his ship he seems to be more irritated by their inadequate armaments than the fact that they are now attacking his interior:
    Cy: Intruder alert. Full squad, small arms. I want those amateurs off my ship.
    • He's less open about it towards the Tenno, but will not try to hide his disapproval if you perform poorly.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In the present time he seems to have reevaluated his precepts, and if your ship comes to the brink of a catastrophic failure he will forcefully abort the mission and retreat instead of testing the ship's endurance further.
  • Last of His Kind: After the Railjack is rebuilt, Cy reveals that he is the only surviving Cephalon compatible with it, after having failed to find another throughout the quest.
  • Logic Bomb: He has two main precepts: Complete The Mission and Preserve The Crew. When a situation arose with his old crew where these became incompatible this greatly threw him off the loop. Ultimately he chose the former.
  • Mission Control: Serves as this during Railjack missions.
  • My Greatest Failure: He regrets and blames himself for the events that transpired under spoilers in other entries, which is why he insists he is not up to the task of being a Railjack's command Cephalon.
  • Refusal of the Call: Adamantly insists during Railjack assembly that the Tenno will require a command Cephalon for the craft, and just as adamantly states that he is not adequate to the task, despite his history, and he is searching for a replacement. By the end of the Rising Tide quest he concedes to being put to the task simply because no other known Cephalon even approaches the necessary qualifications.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Ordis' Red. Where Ordis is emotive, whimsical, sometimes Hot-Blooded and is not above attempts to make a joke Cy is always ultra-serious, logical, and focused on a task at hand. Even the moments where their original selves resurface maintain this dynamic, contrasting both their usual selves and each other. Where Ordis turns violent and aggressive, Cy mellows out and displays compassion and empathy as well as pride of his former crew's capabilities, something he's normally too restrained to allow.
  • Sapient Ship: Similar to Ordis, though first you have to assemble the ship for him to control.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: A survivor of the Old War, who lost his crew in their last mission. It's the main reason he considers himself non-viable.
  • Smug Super: His attitude towards Grineer forces you have to deal with, and especially boarders, can be described as "amused contempt". He knows that a Railjack with the Tenno aboard outperforms enemy ships of the same class in every way that counts, with their only way of getting an upper hand is through overwhelming numbers. Downplayed - he's subtle about it, never openly gloating, does not actually underestimate your opponents and if the Grineer start racking up damage or bring something that can notably harm the ship he will treat this with utmost seriousness.
  • The Stoic: Fittingly for his Consummate Professional persona, his delivery never goes out of Danger Deadpan territory even mid-crisis.
  • Terse Talker: Occasionally slips into this, especially when giving directions.
  • Unperson: All data regarding his crew and his last mission has been seemingly wiped from the Cephalon Weave for reasons unknown. In fact, you obtain him when Ordis intercepts some bits of scrap data from the Weave that make sense and you extrapolate and reconstruct from that through dojo research - meaning that it's only due to your intervention Cy can even exist in the present day, otherwise being literally and figuratively erased from history.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Completing stages of Railjack assembly unlocks some of his memories from the Old War. Such moments are marked by his avatar turning white from his usual red.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Inverted. Cy is unable to comprehend or perceive the Railjack's Reliquary Drive, or anything related to the Man in the Wall. He can only see a weird emptiness in its place, that he describes as perceiving an entirely new color, or being touched by it, which due to him being a Cephalon, is literally impossible. Retrieving the Reliquary Key reveals that the Drive is empowered by the Man in the Wall's right index finger, and its activation outright drives Cy to say "Perception Failure" and recalibrate his sensors.

Umbra Warframes (Spoilers)

  • Dark Is Not Evil: They look colder and more threatening than normal Warframes, but they're simply more intelligent and capable of more self-directed action.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Umbras are designed to take the Sentients head on with an addition of Umbra exclusive mods that makes them more effective on taking and delivering damage against the Tau-based Sentient entities.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: What the Tenno sees in them, and eventually Ballas. Their minds are heavily bent due to the infestation corroding their memories, leaving only their last moments alive be the only reason why they fight in the first place.
  • Psycho Prototype: What the Orokin eventually deemed the Umbra Warframes to be. They were exceptionally powerful and purpose-designed to kill Sentients, but they were uncontrollable, forcing them to turn to the Tenno to control them.
  • The Psycho Rangers: Downplayed, they are assumed to be stronger and (in the words of the developers) "darker" versions of the Prime counterparts, yet they are still usable to the players. The "darker" aspect comes from remembering their human selves and the torment the Orokin put them through rather than any inherent malice.
  • Serial Escalation: Their existence alone proves to be such for the players, as versions of these are even stronger than their Primed variants.

    Excalibur Umbra 
Ferocious and untamed, Umbra's fury is second only to his mastery of the blade.
Excalibur Umbra's description

The third variation of Excalibur first introduced in the Chinese build of Warframe in 2015 as "Excalibur Umbra Prime", with stats identical to Excalibur Prime as the founder's pack frame to the version's release.

He eventually arrived howling into the fray in the global build's "The Sacrifice" Update in 2018, stats matching Excalibur Prime, alternate ability and passive, and introducing the exclusive Umbra polarity.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Every type of Warframe should have an "Umbra" prototype along with their Prime-era and standard models, but the Excaliber Umbra is nicknamed "Umbra".
  • Animal Motifs: Umbra's motif is feral beasts, specifically wolves. His ability Radiant Howl and his Agile animation set definitely give him a wolf-like vibe.
  • And I Must Scream: Whoever Excalibur Umbra once was, Ballas programmed the Warframe to constantly relive his last living memory: becoming an Infested and murdering his own son at Ballas' behest. He knows it's going to happen because of Ballas' telepathy, but he can't do anything about it because his Restraining Bolt and the loss of his mouth.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Excalibur Umbra's passive allows him to act on his own accord and fight along side the Operator.
  • Bling of War: Like the Prime Warframes, Umbra is outfitted with all sorts of Orokin gold accents as a reminder of his nature as a Super Prototype.
  • Broken Faceplate: Upon initially building Umbra, the Warframe goes berserk and shatters its own helmet, revealing a single human eye beneath surrounded by Infested tissue. Completing the quest grants this alternate helmet as an additional reward.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite his shadowy theme and savage disposition, Umbra is just a broken man who is constantly forced to relive his single worst memory and live with the knowledge that he will never be able to take revenge against the person who ruined his life. At least, until the Operator manages to sooth his pain and helps him land a nearly fatal wound on Ballas.
  • Good Parents: Of what character Excalibur Umbra's memories were based from, it's clear his son Isaah thought highly of him and mentioned the fond memories of them playing Komi and Excalibur Umbra playing songs for his children's behalf. His son's death by his hands also haunted him ever since.
  • He Knows Too Much: Umbra's original identity was aware that Ballas planned to defect to the Sentients after being made to execute Margulis, but was still gathering evidence against him. Ballas injected him with a culture of Infestation to keep him from talking...
  • It Can Think: Excalibur Umbra displays its own "personality" - unlike other frames which simply stand there like an action figure when the Operator uses Transference, it will actively attack on its own.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: His signature nikana, the Skiajati, has the highest status chance and attack speed of all nikanas and has the unique ability to turn the user invisible after using a finisher, allowing him to quickly rack up stealth kills against unwary foes.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He has everything the original Excalibur has and more, with improved shields on top of exclusive Umbra mods and polarities.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: His Radial Howl can stun enemies and remove built up resistances, such as the Sentient's resistances being removed and exposed for massive damage.
  • Master Swordsman: Described as such.
  • Meaningful Name: On two levels. Firstly, "Umbra" can mean "Shadow" or "Dark," which fits with his much darker color scheme, backstory, and themes than the average Warframe. It can also be traced back to "Umbrage," meaning "offense or annoyance." Which fits Umbra's tendencies towards Unstoppable Rage. His signature nikana, Skiajati, is derived from the Greek word for "shadow" and the Sanskrit word for "birth", referring to its ability to cloak the user with a finisher and the fact that it was grafted from his own flesh.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: He's one for the player. Excalibur is the poster child of the game and the vast majority of the playerbase started with him. Excalibur Umbra, meanwhile, is the only frame the player can obtain absolutely "free", complete with Orokin Reactor and Warframe slot (every other frame has to be manually constructed and have to have a Reactor installed), making him the most powerful warframe a player can get outside of Prime Access or excessive grinding. And even then, with his unique Umbral Mods, he is likely going to remain one of the most powerful frames in a player's arsenal until much, much later into the game.
  • Offing the Offspring: Excalibur Umbra was controlled by Ballas to kill his son Isaah to destroy his will and turn him into a mindless warrior.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: While the Operator is able to see his last memories, his original identity is never given, only that he was once a Dax. The only name associated with him is his Warframe moniker, "Umbra". Which is exactly what Ballas did to Ordis.
  • Power Nullifier: Radial Howl can stun and remove the adapted resistances of Sentients.
  • Primal Stance: His Agile animation set shows him acting more feral when idle, such as having his back and head hunched over and occasionally growling after a few seconds. His idle Agile animation without a weapon even has him howl before swiping his arm in the air like a claw.
  • Rebel Relaxation: He makes the pose while idle when his Noble animation set is equipped.
  • Restraining Bolt: Has one that keeps him from killing his creator. Until the Operator helped him finish the blow.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Umbra's goal after becoming a Warframe is to make Ballas pay for everything that he did. He succeeds in defeating Ballas with the help of the Operator.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Excalibur Umbra wears one that flows past his knees.
  • Sixth Ranger: Of sorts. He would later join the Operator and Ordis in their quest to confront Ballas.
  • Situational Sword: The Anti-Sentient passives on his Sacrificial mods give him the ability to deal bonus damage against them, but aren't as strong as the Primed mods without the set bonus.
  • Sword Beam: Like the original Excalibur, Umbra can fire these en mass with his Exalted Umbra Blade.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Outwardly, he appears as a feral berserker. But when the Operator transfers inside his mental landscape, we can see that rather than mad he is broken down in tears.
  • Super Prototype: Even more so than Excalibur's Primed variant, since its passive allow him to act independently if using transference.
  • Was Once a Man: Umbra was actually a Dax soldier (the same caste as Teshin), who had his own family, before becoming a Warframe by Ballas's doing. During the flashback of his memories, the player can view a portrait of himself in his room when he was a proud Dax soldier.
  • Weapon of Choice: The Skiajati (a nikana with stealth abilities).
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: Umbra comes equipped with mods that bolster his damage output against Sentients.


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