For a game about space ninjas, there sure are a large amount of scares to be had in here. And when we say scares, boy do we mean scares...
Spoilers Off applies to all moments pages, so beware of unmarked spoilers.
- The Infested are made up of Grineer and Corpus alike who were unlucky enough to get infected. The Infested Runners◊ have a their right arm and fused to their face and helmets like it was grasping at their skulls, the former Corpus now mutated into eyeless things with no purpose but to get close to an enemy, either to leap on them or explode. Others have been reduced to just a legless torso, called Crawlers, pulling itself along with its flailing arms. The Infested Chargers◊, once Grineer marines, have been twisted into quadrupeds in the grossest way possible, their chests pointing up in the air with their limbs bent backward and joints inverted, a new "head" forming over their heart while their old skull hangs below their body. As for the Ancients◊, whatever they were before, they have no resemblance to it at all now. Pray that nothing of the original mind remains.
- Then there is Lephantis, a bio-engineered Infested monstrosity that was created for the Old War and survived by hiding in a derelict Orokin ship. It consumed and absorbed everything and everyone that discovered it, and so when you reach its chamber, it attacks you with giant, twisted versions of all three enemy factions. The Corpus head is especially horrifying, as the infested Crewman's helmet has fused with his skull and become a mouth that opens to attack you (compare a normal Crewman◊ to the mutated version◊), and the Grineer head has not only has a three pronged mouth, but also a deformed Grineer face on its upper chest. When you defeat the heads, the floor beneath you breaks, and you fall down to see Lephantis's main body, a building-sized monster with all three of the heads growing out of it. Only then does the boss subtitle appear. Doesn't help that all the while, Lephantis is sending you messages like "We are countless. Consume us. Be reborn." and "We embrace you. Why do you defile us?".
- A lot of the horror around the Infestation gets worse when you're familiar with the lore and realize that Warframes are likely based on the same technology as Infested. This is supported by the Excalibur Proto-Armor Skin for Excalibur which has the description, "Discovering the precise nature of this recently uncovered armored prototype has proved elusive. Initial attempts at dating point to ancient origins, perhaps even predating Orokin Empire.". This is a direct reference to DE's previous game darkSector, which had a very familiar threat called the "Technocyte Virus" that would take over hosts and warp their bodies, almost exactly as Infested do. In the darkSector universe it is nicknamed "The Great Plague" and an infested weapon in Warframe called the Mire also references a "Great Plague", hinting that these are one and the same, and Warframe technology was based off of the technocyte virus, and further supported by both dialogue in The War Within calling the Warframe your Operator's "Infested Puppet" and the assertions of Cephalon Jordas in the J-3 Golem mission:Jordas: "Tenno, it senses you are of like flesh, it is confused. Why do you defile us?"
Jordas: "I see it now, you are the same. They fear themselves."
- One only has to look at their behavior during an Infested rescue mission to see how smart they are.
- At the first day of Warframe, planet Eris was described as the location of a far-flung Corpus outpost. Now, every single mission node there are controlled by Infested. The Cephalon Fragments for the planet describe it as being devoid of all life except the Infestation, which is slowly digesting the mutated ruins of Grineer and Corpus ships.
- Occasionally you will find a lone Corpus Crewman stuck in the Infested Meat Moss, struggling feebly to try to get out. You can either kill them yourself or leave them to there to be turned or torn apart by the Infested...
- Infested ships are claustrophic, full of deadly hazards that get worse as you kill more hive nodes, near-insta-kill poison enemies can trap you at close range, and there are so many infested in your face that you will start drowning in them if you don't have a decent piercing or crowd-control ability. All that's missing is the M41A Pulse Rifle. To top it all off this music plays throughout. Sometimes an Infested Charger can burst out of a vent next to you, Dead Space style, even if you're on an Exterminate and have killed all the enemies. What's even worse are the Parasitic Eximi that constantly drain your energy and the Mutalist Ospreys which spew toxin fumes that directly damage your health. If you aren't prepared, hive missions can suddenly become Survival Horror.
- Infested Juggernauts. When they spawn, the lights flicker, similar to assassins, but they also let out a terrifying roar which buffs all Infested around you.
- On some maps, in missions on planets where there is no Infested invasion, you can find in some innocuous corner somewhere a small patch of technocyte Meat Moss hidden and growing. No planet is truly clean; the Infested have footholds everywhere and will always, always return. The Origin System will never be free of them.
- As of March 2016, players can find Infested tumors inside their orbiter. What's actually behind the door where the tumors are growing is a little unsettling, too: only Nidus can open it, where a chair with a device full of needles awaits. If you choose to sit in it, Nidus becomes infected with an Infested cyst. Which can then spread to any other Warframe, causing them to visibly shrivel for a bit before growing the cyst as well. The cyst then begins to grow for one week, getting nastier and larger before sprouting hairs as some real human cysts do. Thankfully, it's harmless, and can be drained once the week is over to create the Helminth Charger, the strongest companion in the game. The cysts initially shifted player alignment towards the Moon for infected individuals. Given the choices related to it, players started running from the cysts as if they were an actual disease.
- There's more to the Infested room on the Orbiter than just the chair and cysts. Something named Helminth resides down there, and it apparently serves Nidus. It wants Nidus to consume with it (fitting, given his territorial abilities.) As disturbing as it is, there's no getting rid of it since Ordis says it controls the biological functions of the Orbiter, but even he's disgusted by its existence.
- The Infested Salvage mission (and one stage of The Jordas Verdict) involves activating vaporizers to clear out Infested biomass and neutralizing the otherwise corrosive atmosphere. If your Warframe isn't inside a vaporizer bubble, your armor starts to corrode, and if it reaches 0%, you start to lose health, the edges of your screen turn red, and the Infestation starts speaking to you. Even worse, the voices aren't coming from a proxy such as Jordas; the Infested Hive Mind is speaking to you directly.
- As of the Pacifism Defect event, we get to see in real time what it looks like when someone succumbs to the Infestation, courtesy of the Grineer defectors in the Infested ship. First, they collapse like anyone does when they're out of health. Then, if no Tenno revives them in time, they're consumed by an Infested spawn pod, which creates a Charger. This is treated unambiguously as being a form of death for the Grineer.
- Operation: Plague Star saw the Ostrons' home of Cetus, as well as the Unum, come under threat from the Infestation thanks to a gigantic Infested Boil crash-landing on the Plains of Eidolon, something Councilor Hek sees as an opportunity to finally be rid of the Ostrons. Asking Konzu about what might happen should the Infested overrun Cetus causes him to give a chilling anecdote about how his uncle, a civilian merchant who sold rare materials in a market near Eris, was consumed by the Infested when they showed up and overran said market. Now, that market is a festering mess and Konzu's uncle's voice broadcasts on a beacon to any ships that happen to come upon the market, that the place they've found is a place of death and that anyone who could hear them should turn back before it was too late. Had the Tenno not intervened and fought off the Infestation, this would have been Cetus' fate. A full Tenno party mixing in Infested Catalysts to kill the boil can result in up to 4 Hemocytes (basically a bunch of Lephantis) and spawn pods appearing which results in an ungodly amount of Infested trying to murder everything as the boil's immune system reacts to the threat...
- Nightwave Series 2 shows that, in addition to bloodthirsty and overwhelming, the Infestation has a capacity for being very insidious. What seemingly starts as a following surrounding a mysterious boy with miraculous healing abilities quickly turns into a fanatical cult of mutants bent on spreading the Infestation through violence and mass murder. Everything about them is disturbing one way or another - from their Body Horror incarnate transformations turning them into living humanoid weapons; to their fanatism with religious overtones as they willingly subject themselves to aforementioned transformations; and to their methods which include weaponising Infested Derelicts by redirecting them to a collision course with population centers across the system, turning them into biological weapons of mass destruction. The picture of Infestation hitting and spreading across major civilian hubs is terrifying enough on its own, but perhaps the most horrifying thing about Arlo's cult is the reason it came to be, with two parts combining and joining forces to bring the aforementioned result.
- One part is Kenga, the first man "saved" by Arlo who did the most work in forming Arlo's cult, cooperating with the Infestation's plan just so he could get his revenge on the rest of humanity after he was exiled when he'd gotten infected. It takes a monstrous man to willingly work toward unleashing horrific plague and a horde of monsters on countless innocents that had nothing to do with his predicament - out of nothing but spite.
- The other part is the Infestation itself, once it is implied that the reason for this whole plan was not destruction but study. It is an It Can Think moment and Fridge Horror of tremendous magnitude - not only does it show that the Infestation is cunning enough to start and successfully implement a subtle scheme that was Arlo's cult, successfully luring in and decieving countless people with a cunning bait of miraculous healing to turn them into an obedient body of infiltrators and terrorists capable of inflicting damage on a massive scale. The fact that rather than that being a purpose in itself it was essentially an experiment, an aimed effort to discover new ways to evolve and spread the infestation shows that the Infestation as a whole possesses an intelligence of much higher order than it seemed before. It shows that it can study, it can plan several steps ahead, it can observe and it can make conclusions. And the one thing that is worse than The Virus creating a Horde of Alien Locusts led by a Hive Mind is when it makes a Horde of Alien Locusts led by a brilliant Hive Mind.
- What's worse than Infested ships? How about an entire Infested moon? That is precisely what Deimos is now, a giant nodule of alien flesh patrolled by bizarre and usually hostile lifeforms, only kept in check by a group of partly infested Orokin who spends most of their time sleeping and sniping at each other, and the fact the two Wyrms who rule it despise each other and constantly waste effort on reconquering Deimos from each other. Small comfort to Mars, though, given how the Deimos Infested are apparently their own ecosystem.
- The Grineer are a near-limitless horde of decaying clones that - aside from a few individuals mentioned below - possess two major psychological traits: Fanatical loyalty and love for their evil queens, and an equally intense hatred of everything that is not Grineer. These traits are inherent to the Grineer as a whole; sympathetic Grineer such as Clem, the Steel Meridian, and the Kavor defectors are all considered by their empire to be mistakes that need purging their functional consciences are explicitly described as a defect in the cloning process because Grineer are designed at the genetic level to be remorseless, psychopathic killing machines.
- They have no rules and restrictions on warfare, targeting anyone who gets in their way - civilian or combatant - same ruthlessness, and anyone they don't murder is rounded up and forced into slavery.
- Several missions (along with Nox troops) have made clear their willingness to use any weapon available to them regardless of the horrific effects it has on the victims. Deadly Gas, Poisoned Weapons, flamethrowers, sawblade launchers, fist-mounted chainsaws, lacerating saw-whips, and a microwave Ray Gun that makes targets inflate and explode (like a Disintegrator Ray instead of causing Ludicrous Gibs, but that may just be game mechanics); all of these were designed by the Grineer to aid in their genocidal conquest, and their scientists are constantly researching newer and ever more effective methods of killing people in various horrible ways.
- Unlike the vast majority of mass-produced armies in fiction, they aren't weak and fragile incompetents that can't hit the broad side of a barn. Each soldier is an extensively-trained professional killer with their bodies genetically engineered for stength, endurance, and durability. Cybernetic implants are used to increase their already formidable capabilities, offset any physical flaws, and link them to their weapons in such a way that it becomes an extension of their own body. Every Grineer soldier is both a crack shot and highly adept with whatever melee weapon they pick up, and most of them wear heavy armor that is most definitely ''not'' useless. The cherry on top of all this is the sheer magnitude of their armies.
- Vor's ominous threats and taunts as his Ascaris slowly takes more and more of you over in Update 14, culminating in this line that replaces the Lotus' standard "Mission complete" dialogue at the end of the Corpus Hijack mission. Running high-level Void missions reveals that after you killed him, he didn't stay dead and is now loyal to something that dwells within the Void.
- Grineer Manics. You're just going about a mission, happily killing your way through the usual assortment of Grineer Mooks until you start hearing this insane laughter and then these things show up. They're basically mini-Stalkers seeing as they can turn invisible and invulnerable, can regenerate their health, can Dispel your abilities, and can easily kill you if you're not cautious. The Grineer Blackout tactical alert. There are no enemies until you reprogram the navigation computer. Then 75 Grineer Manics appear out of nowhere...
- Vay Hek addresses the Tenno directly. The fact that the video appeared exactly at the end of a developer livestream, interrupting it mid-sentence without warning, only increased the effect.
- Before the Grustrag Three show up, the Lotus contacts you about 'impossible readings' she is picking up nearby, and her transmission is abruptly cut off. She gets out a few more garbled transmissions about how you are 'being hunted' and then suddenly begs the Tenno to abort the mission now before she is cut off totally. There's a few seconds of nothing, then the Three spawn into the level. If you aren't equipped properly, they will beat the snot out of you, trap your Warframe under an orange cage-thing, and fix it with a Restraining Bolt that makes it almost impossible for you to effectively fight other Grineer. The genuine concern you can hear in her voice is what really hammers home what a threat the Grustrag Three present to the Tenno. While the Lotus obviously cares about you, she is nothing but utterly calm or mildly surprised at most, even on the most dangerous missions. Suddenly, she is clearly frightened and confused, frantically warning at the player to abort and run before getting cut off.
- The War Within, while grim, hides its horror more subtly. For example, the Queens know exactly who you are, and about Ordis. The Elder Queen also states the reason why her possession didn't work. She spends the quest slowly but surely corrupting you, culminating in you moving as she does.Elder Queen: I see how you cast me out. Simple really. There's no room for me in that head of yours.
- In the Pacifism Defect event, the Tenno are tasked with escorting Grineer defectors from Sargas Ruk's army (who aren't trying to join the Steel Meridian, but just want to live peacefully) out of ships that have been hit with the Infestation. When most Grineer speak their voices are rough and almost monstrous, distorted by their cybernetics. Not so for these defectors; despite not having their dialogue appear as text on the screen (which makes them feel more like regular Grineer NPCs), they sound like completely normal human beings. Which makes it all the more nightmarish when they start dying to the toxic air in the ship. Their desperate screams are haunting. In the higher-level missions of the Pacifism Defect event, Sargas Ruk begins sending in Grineer Manics just in case the Infested don't kill enough of the defectors. It doesn't matter that the escaping Grineer simply want to live peacefully and will pose no threat to anyone once they're out: their superiors still want them dead. Life as a Grineer subject seems bleaker by the minute.
- The Nox unit is one of the nastiest things in the Grineer army. Its codex entry describes it as being filled with toxins, and their suits have a noticeable cloud inside them, which vents out if their helmets are broken. Their face however, is simply unpleasant to look at. Its almost entirely swollen, and looks as if it's covered in boils and scars. It was even worse when their main weapons had higher status chance - a standard run against Grineer could turn into a nightmare as your shields abruptly became useless as the toxin damage ate away at health.
- If you happen to catch a Nox unaware (likely if you're running a stealth frame such as Ash, Ivara or Loki), tail it for a bit. When it stops, it occasionally makes this horrendous, retching kind of cough, as if choking on its own toxins. There's also the fact that when killed, they don't leave a body behind; they detonate into a cloud of poison that lingers for a long while.
- Noxes that have had their helmets broken can use a rushing charge attack that has very little windup time. It can be very startling if you aren't expecting it.
Konzu: Lok-heb, just before dawn Ghouls took out a hunting party. Not a Grineer in sight, then BAM! Out the ground they came.
- These are special Grineer units deployed as shock troops. What makes them special is that instead of being a fully grown Grineer clone, these guys are quickly gestated in diapause bags, creating near-mindless malformed beasts with an incredible bloodlust.
- The Auger has practically no lips, carries two large drills, and loves to dig underground, leaving you with almost no idea of where it is and when it'll pop up.
- The Expired is a Ghoul who suffered from malnutrition or poisoning while in their bag, leaving it with more deformities than other Ghouls. How much? Its head is more resembling of a skull, even lacking a nose. Its "umbilical cord" is also still attached to it, flailing about as it try to blow you up along with them. It's entirely possible that they are even more pitiful than this—their description uses the phrase 'succumbed to malnutrition or poisoning,' and states that only the 'backup nervous systems continue to drive them forward,' suggesting that they're technically stillbirths.
- The Rictus has an oversized neck and carries a large saw, which it will happily use to carve up any non-Grineer it finds.
- The Devourer is arguably the worst out of the lot. It's an enormous Ghoul with a very large maw, allowing it to consume enemies who are unfortunate enough to get too close. It won't matter if you're not to close either, as the Ghoul will either grab you with its hooks, or charge you down with incredible speed. The Devourer is also implied to only have one eye in its head.
- You wanna know the scariest part about the Ghouls? The Grineer can bury them in the ground from orbit, allowing them to develop while any nearby people remain unwary. They'll have no idea that their nightmares are lying right beneath their feet before it's too late. A miner, fisherman, or scout on the plains could be going about their daily business, oblivious to the monsters lying dormant in the ground. They take one step in the wrong direction, and BOOM, a savage beast leaps out of the ground and barrels toward the one who disturbed it. One can only imagine the terror going through the head of person caught in the sight of a Ghoul.
Konzu: Ghouls are hideous things, ready to kill the moment they take their first breath. Thing is, they're as dumb as the dirt that birthed them.... but now.... now we got a smart one. Leading the pack, coordinating. There's nothing more dangerous than a Ghoul with a brain.
- And the one who created these monsters? Doctor Tengus, the same guy responsible for creating the Grustrag Three, unleashing the Infestation upon the Origin system, and making Vay Hek the way he is now. This goes to show just how twisted Tengus is, and to what extents the Grineer will go to conquer the Origin system.
- Related to the above are the Ghoul Purge events, where vast numbers of Ghouls break ground and threaten to overrun Cetus. Aside from having to use Grokdrul on the Plains to destroy a Ghoul Burial Ground, there are now Ghoul Alphas, that, as Konzu will point out, can lead and coordinate the Ghouls.
Konzu: A Ghoul Defector? Think that's possible, Tenno? Cressa Tal of Steel Meridian seems to. She tells me they were contacted by a Ghoul trying to defect. Grineer intercepted the message and now the Ghoul is being held for dissection.
- Wanna know something even more horrifying? One of the bounty requests during the purge is to rescue a Ghoul Defector. Yes, you read that correctly — much like the Kavor listed further up, these Ghouls want nothing to do with the Grineer. Unfortunately, the Grineer want to tear the Ghoul apart to figure out why it's rejecting its purpose. Even Konzu is surprised by this.
Corpus in General
- The Zanuka Project: various sliced-up Tenno and their warframes formed into a mechanical quadruped controlled by Corpus technology. What the hell this does to the unfortunate Operators on the other side of the Warframes in question is unclear.
- Valkyr, the Warframe produced as a byproduct of the Zanuka Project. All subsequent Valkyr frames are based off of the template of the original. It's impossible to tell what frame Valkyr used to be, or if we've even seen it yet, but that's not even the scariest part. Given that Warframes draw their power from the Void in a manner that is suggested to be intrinsic to their psychology and outlook on life, it suggests that whatever Alad V did to Valkyr caused her psychology to change so drastically it altered her Void imprint; and knowing what we do now, the implication seems to be that Valkyr's original Operator was linked to it during the entire procedure, which seriously starts to approach Asuka Soryu levels of character horror.
- Valkyr's original (non-Prime) form is demonstrated by her Gersemi skin. With it on, she looks like a fairly normal Warframe. There's just one little detail: The Gersemi skin bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Zanuka. Now we know where Zanuka's outer layer came from.
- "The Profit" Trailer begins with Alad V cutting up an Excalibur, then preparing to do the same to a Mag. It's unsettling enough that Alad maintains a friendly, affable veneer throughout the whole thing and it's unsettling enough that he treats it like an auction (with prospective buyers!), but knowing that the Excalibur he cut up is still connected to his Operator - and knowing that that is true for every Warframe he cuts up for the Zanuka Project - adds a horror to the scene that puts it up there with what happened to Valkyr.
- Ever wonder why there are so few female Corpus mooks? Corpus crewmen are described as 'purpose-bred'.
- Fortuna introduces us to what is literally called a "Debt-Internment Colony". These are regular people who have been cybernetically augmented to basically be slave labor for the Corpus... Oh, and if you couldn't somehow tell, that "augmentation" involves mandatory outright head replacement for every adult worker, and these "replacements" are crude and robotic-looking. These poor souls have had all sorts of replacements over the years either forcefully or due to harsh working conditions necessitating them.
- Further speculation indicates that this is not only a deliberate attempt to dehumanize these people, but also that body parts, including heads, are used as debt collateral, taken away as incentive for the debt slaves to keep working. As it turns out, the heads aren't taken away; those massive barrel torsos the Solaris have? They're that large because their real heads are inside them. The Solaris will only show their true heads to the Tenno if they reach a high enough rank with them.
- An ARG leading up to Fortuna reveals what exactly can happen to those who miss a debt payment: the Corpus send a repossession squad to literally rip the cybernetics out of your body. As if that wasn't bad enough, if you don't have augments, they'll rip out your body parts. there's a more severe punishment called "brain-shelving." The Corpus will take your brain and keep it in a storage facility deprived from sensory input until your family can pay off your debt. But only until they can also pay for a new Rig to house your brain will you "return to a functional, conscious life." If this happens to a worker who has no family or relatives to pay off the debt than they will never get their brain back. Somehow, Ticker makes brain-shelving even more disturbing. She gave everything to spare a former lover from brain-shelving, and they suffered an apparent Death of Personality when they came back.
- Several of the intel files unlocked in the ARG reference a night on Deck 12. So far very little is known about the event, aside from the fact that several Solaris characters each lost multiple family members, and NPCs in Fortuna speak of it with the utmost horror.
Rude Zuud: "Some debts can never be paid. Some debts... we are too small to collect."
- We finally learn what exactly happened to Deck 12 during Operation Buried Debts: Nef sicced the Exploiter Orb on the deck in order to wipe out Solaris United. It was a massacre.
- As if this wasn't bad enough, you eventually find a near-duplicate of the current Fortuna laid out beneath Deck 12... and in the spot where The Business would usually stand, you instead find the corpses of Rude Zuud's sisters, charred and twisted in agony, clearly having been pinned down and burned to death by the Exploiter Orb. The whole experience is narrated by a heartbroken and sobbing Rude Zuud, only making it worse.
- The Despair Event Horizon that so many Solaris characters have hit. Why, you ask? Because Nef has proven himself time and time again as a frighteningly capricious, sociopathic overlord to Fortuna. During the introductory quest, a friendly Solaris looking to make extra cash has his limbs ripped out on Nef's orders, and - after foolishly ignoring Solaris warnings that the Orokin terraforming tower isn't ready - Nef orders Eudico to line 50 Solaris up, so Nef can remove the cybernetics from inefficient Solaris and then brain-shelve them. He will then give the cybernetics to the "better" workers. There's also the implication that, if not for Eudico taking up the mantle of Vox Solaris once more, things would get even worse. The Business says as much himself:
- Hell, even the song used in the trailer for the Fortuna update, We All Lift Together, is existentially horrifying when you pay attention to the lyrics. These people are so broken down by the weight of their crushing debt to the Corpus that it is immortalized in their anthem; they "push to keep the dark from coming" (avoid brain shelving by hard work), and "hide the heart of who we are" (since whatever culture the Solaris had has been completely subsumed by their enslavement to the Corpus). Even the little children in the video have cybernetic parts, even they have to work for the rest of their sorry lives. The Corpus have taken everything from the Solaris, and even their music shows how far they've fallen.
- Talking of the children of Fortuna, it's hard to notice, but their heads actually aren't attached to their bodies.note The implication is that the Corpus have already prepared them for their eventual life of perpetual debt and having to buy and sell their own body parts before they've reached the age of ten.
- The Orb Mothers. These are immense, techno-organic creations that, if their arachnid-like appearance didn't already make you squeamish, have Sentient technology built into them. Looks like Ergo Glast's concern that the Corpus will meet the same fate as the Orokin isn't far off...
Profit Taker:"Squishy pretties come out to play. My two friends, it's you they'll slay."Profit-Taker:"I am patient, I am still. When I descend, it's you I'll kill."
- To make matters worse, these things not only have Sentient Adaptation, but also armor plating from Corpus warships and reinforcement from an orbital satellite, requiring a lengthy Heist to take them down. Part way through the heist to kill the Profit-Taker Orb Mother, you learn these things have quite the mind to them when it starts taunting you in rhyme, with something of a strange whisper to its voice.
Profit-Taker: THIEFLINGS! THIEFLINGS! GIVE IT BACK! FIND YOU! CATCH YOU! CRACK, CRACK, CRACK!"Profit-Taker:"Stones on bones hurt not me. Stingers fly nastily. Damn you, damn you dollies, cry. Catch you, crush you, die, die, die."Profit-Taker: "A hundred soldiers hi, a hundred soldiers ho. I'm having fun, your days are done, run little dollies, run."
- The third part of the heist has you attacking the Profit-Taker to learn about its shielding adaptation. It decides to taunt you further.
Profit-Taker: "Dollies should not move. Dollies should not bound. Bounce. Dollies should...shouldn't. Dollies should... Dollies should DIE, AND BE SMASHED BAGS OF SALT AND FLUID! YOU CANNOT BRING MY RUIN!"
- You need to have Archwing weapons to damage these things, and partway through that fight, it undergoes a rather chilling Villainous Breakdown upon realizing that the Tenno could kill it before it could get its reinforced shielding back.
- Upon finally killing it, it decides to go out in a massive explosion ranging over 300+ meters wide via deliberating overcharging its shielding. The Business puts it best —- RUN!
- Story-wise, what little information we have of the Sentients leans them towards this. These are something so threatening that the Orokin unleashed the Technocyte Plague and the Tenno in order to try and stop it. They pilot "worm-ships" which use heat-bursts to boil their enemies from the inside, are described as having "multi-faceted eyes", and are nearly endless in number.
- The Tenno were chosen to be used in the war because their powers were spawned from the Void — a "hellspace where science and reason failed" — and thus couldn't be subverted by the Sentients, who were getting stronger with every advance the Orokin fielded. Lotus reinforces this in Vor's Prize, pointing out that the presence of the melee weapon was an adaptation to the Sentients' ability to subvert technology.
- Ember Prime's codex entry implies that the Orokin were so desperate that they even threw kids into the Void. It was more an accident, really, but the effect was the same.
- You have read all of the entries here, yes? The Sentients are returning. Unless you've seen the trailer for Tombs of the Sentient, you won't know when Teshin, the Conclave master, references them. All you'll know is he's trying to prepare you for the evils returning from beyond the outer terminus. Need we remind you again that the relic you interact with in The Second Dream quest is the corpse of Lotus' father, Hunhow? Yes, that one gigantic pillar stuck underwater allllll the way up to the surface of Uranus is only a part of it!
- After competing The Second Dream and going back to Lua, you can run into Sentient Oculysts that can then summon either Sentient Battalysts or Conculysts that can adapt to your attacks just like they did in the Old War. The screen flickers blue like as if an Assassin is spawned and a loud metallic screech sounds that signals the appearance of both the Oculysts and their Sentient fighter backup, and while you fight them the Background Music is replaced with a hollow-sounding wind.
- The Shadow Stalker first appears as The Second Dream's main antagonist and takes the Stalker and turns him into a pawn of the Sentient Hunhow, replete with frightening armor attachments and Hunhow's sword, War. His appearance at the Climax of The Second Dream when he confronts the Operator within their Orbiter's Somatic Link, stabs their Warframe with War, and attempts to strangle the Operator is one of the most frightening sequences in the entire quest, and Hunhow's dialogue only ups the tension. After completing The Second Dream he will also replace the regular Stalker and while he's not as much of a threat since he doesn't have his bow, throwing knives, or Sinister Scythe, he still has War and he also has the Sentients' ability to adapt to your attacks.
- The Sentients are capable of subverting all forms of Orokin technology, at least if it's not touched by the Void. This even includes Cephalons from the Orokin Era, namely Cephalon Suda. And then, because these Cephalons are interconnected, they can spread their mind control to other Cephalons. And even better, by controlling only one Cephalon, they could have gained the power and resources of a enitre Syndicate, with only you, Ordis, and Simaris the wiser. And they nearly kill Ordis and the Operator as well.
- In the Plains of Eidolon trailer: a gigantic structure of Sentient origin lies dormant near a civilian colony. Then it moved.
- Sentient Mimics, introduced in The Sacrifice, are Sentient soldiers that can disguise themselves as mundane objects from throughout the Origin System. They don't have nearly as much health as their Conculyst or Battalyst brethren, but they come in much larger numbers. Oh, and the last time anyone saw them prior to The Sacrifice was during the Old War, which hints at just how much worse the Sentients' invasion of Sol is going to be.
- The trailer for the first post-Sacrifice Cinematic Quest is loaded with horror. First is the shot of a massive Sentient army, with thousands of "Conculyst" and "Battalyst"-type Sentients being corralled by Sentients at least the size of the Eidolon Teralyst in a floating Million Mook March. Then, we get a full look of Natah, conversing with her mysterious "Mother". Oh, and the name of this Cinematic Quest? The New War. And the game's iconic "Lotus" logo is inverted and broken for the quest.
- In Chimera, it's revealed that Ballas isn't quite dead. But he's been resurrected with Sentient technology, and it's quite clear he wishes he'd died.
- The Jovian Concord expands on the above. It introduces Amalgams, Corpus forces integrating Sentient technology. While the Amalgam proxies have their own share of disturbing looks and behaviors, the true Body Horror can be witnessed with the crewmen.
- The Amalgam Heqet wears what at first look seems to be a helmet... except the neck is far too thin and flexible for that. Instead the Sentient form attached to it has absorbed the crewman from the shoulders up.
- The Machinists seem tamer, with a helmet large enough too fit human anatomy, but their arms have clearly been replaced.
- Then there's the Alkonost. A large flying larva-like monstrosity, it is capable of grabbing and mind controlling its organic allies. At first it appears to be a pure Sentient; but a second look will reveal the gloves and helmet stuck to its limbs and head. This is the end stage of Amalgam technology, and almost nothing of the human element remains.
- The trailer for the upcoming cinematic quest, The New War, shows just what we're in for; the Sentients are returning to the system in full force, making landfall on the Plains of Eidolon and proceeding to wipe out the Grineer stationed there. If you thought The Second Dream, The Sacrifice, the Eidolons, and the Ropalolyst were bad, just imagine facing an army of creatures more powerful and prepared than any of the Sentients that came before. Prepare yourself, Tenno, for the New War is here.
- Even worse; its not just contained to the Plains. The Sentients are hitting the whole system at the same time, prompting mass evacuations from Mars and Mercury going dark.
- And then, as Erra stands over a slain Grineer, a very familiar voice rings out;
- The Erra quest is yet more forewarning of the horror to come; Natah/Lotus has made contact with her brother, the titular Erra, and they're sending out a signal calling all the other Sentients back to the solar system, while also discussing strategy for the invasion. They know you're listening in as they talk about these plans. They see you as so little of a threat that they genuinely don't care enough to conceal their work. Oh, and according to Ballas, most of the Orokin Empire's anti-Sentient weaponry is long gone which combined with humanity's divided state means that the Tenno are literally the only thing standing between the Sentients and the Origin System.
- The Sentients in appearance are just kind of creepy. They have a thin, insect-like appearance to them, with movements that seem a bit too human. Erra, for example, has a mantid-like body with spindly limbs, but he's still able to casually pick up a Dax soldier one-handed. This isn't even mentioning their "faces", which ride the line between Lovecraftian monstrosity and animal skeleton. Their voices are also quite odd, with an unchanging vocal tone and occasional clicks and distortion that never seems consistent. Even the Lotus' voice is unnerving in this regard, especially when you hear it spouting anti-Tenno propaganda in the Ropalolyst fight.
- The Tenno themselves. Almost completely silent killers, who can strike almost anywhere and at any time. Their nature is largely unrevealed as well. All we know is that those who made it back from the void came back wrong. High ranking Tenno can and will single-handedly wipe out entire armies, from lowly grunts to the elite of the elite. The only enemy who regularly gives a well equipped Tenno pause is the Stalker.
- What happened to the original Limbo. Specifically, the way it's described to us.Ordis: Oh, wait, Limbo, no that's a mistake, you don't want to go there. It's too big a jump. You can't rift walk... ohh. Oh no. Operator, I think I know why we're finding Limbo parts scattered throughout the system.
- The Tenno are Mook Horror Show incarnate if you think about it. They're terrifying and unstoppable One Man Armies, each with their own personal style of slaughter. From Volt's Shock and Awe, Ember Playing with Fire, and Saryn being a Poisonous Person they're all uniquely terrifying. They fly around in stealth ships and can show up anywhere. From the most isolated outposts to secure fortresses, at any time. And they are nigh-impossible to stop. With just a competent 4 man team, each Tenno can rack up 300 kills each, in less than 20 minutes against an army of trained killers. In half an hour, a Tenno can kill close to a thousand Grineer during a survival mission.
- Let's talk about Hydroid. His 3rd ability, Undertow, allows him to become a puddle of water and move around in it. While it sounds useless, this puddle is somehow as deep as the ocean itself despite being able to see the bottom of it, and anyone unfortunate enough to step into it will be plunged underneath. And unless someone/something is able to disrupt Hydroid channeling the spell, Nothing can ever get you out before you drown. Hydroid's water form can look like ANY other gathering of water, and is completely silent, with little in the way of visual/audio cues, meaning you can step straight into your slow, painful death before you even begin to figure out what happened. Even if you see the puddle, Hydroid is completely invulnerable while in this form, and can summon tentacles to pull you into the puddle from a distance.
- You know how the Warframes have no face? Evidently, at least Rhino does, and he's pretty fond of snacking on his victims.
- The War Within gives us details that definitely fall into this category:
Elder Queen: Paranoia gripped your father's mind. What was it he said - as he stared out into the starless black?
- The Zariman Ten-Zero incident.
Operator: Something's out there kiddo... watching us.
(Later in the quest)
Elder Queen: You remember then, how the howling stopped - they had broken through.
Operator: (Moon) They were nothing but animals... so I hunted them.
- The trials your Operator has to go through to unlock all of their Void powers. You have to use your powers to navigate underground fields of bones patrolled by ravenous Orokin Maws, which are mechanical Sand Worms. Get caught by one of the Maws, and you get treated to the sight of one grabbing your Operator in its prongs, then dragging them under the bones so that the Maw can eat.
- After defeating the Grineer Queens and unlocking all of your Operator's Void powers, you meet Master Teshin on the same snowy peak where you fought your Battle in the Center of the Mind against the Elder Queen, still in possession of the Kuva Scepter you stole from her. After conversing with Teshin about what to do with the Kuva within the scepter, you get a choice: Destroy the Kuva (Sun Alignment), let Teshin Control it (Neutral Alignment), or Consume it (Moon Alignment). Whichever choice you go with, your Operator is suddenly controlled by an entity called "The Man in the Wall", who is implied to be connected to the Void and the Tenno's powers. Their eyes turn deathly black and the background darkens while they deliver an utterly chilling line:
- The revelation as to what the Operators actually are can be both this and Tear Jerker. You thought they were just remarkably-capable psychic kids who only use the Warframes as a conduit so their own powers don't kill them? If only it were that simple. No, their time in the Void changed them into...something else. Neither human no Energy Being, they exist between the planes of Void and matter, forever twisted and forced to survive on the Zariman Ten-Zero for years before it was finally recovered—despite only ten days passing in Sol's reality, and judging by the somatic scarring you can apply to the Operator, the transformation was anything but a painless process. When they came out of the Void, their powers were so volatile that even attempting to touch them could completely disfigure you if not kill you outright. Imagine the viewpoint of the Tenno as they're forced to experience all this, finding themselves changed into something no longer completely human and possessing powers they just don't understand, let alone control. And just when you thought you were finally saved, your rescuers instead treat you as monsters and want you destroyed as quickly as possible and almost succeed if not for the intervention of one woman and a convenient threat that makes you the perfect candidate to combat it.
- Rap. Tap. Tap. Chains of Harrow is, to put it scientifically, creepy as fuck.
The Man in the Wall: Hey, kiddo.
- It starts with a playback of a Steel Meridian transmission, during which the screen subtly turns blood red, then fades to black, and an electronic groan is heard before the screen returns to normal.
- After the end of the quest your Operator will be happily sitting in the cockpit to greet you after freeing Rell. But then you realize that you can still control your Warframe...meaning that isn't you. If you walk up to it, you hear something you never would have wanted to hear a second time:
- After that happens, the being disappears as soon as you turn away from it. And after the first encounter, there's a chance that the Man in the Wall will randomly appear in your Orbiter after completing a mission, delivering its line and summarily vanishing. There's no way to tell where or when it's going to appear.
- If Palladino and Rell are to be believed, The Man in the Wall is an avatar of the Void itself. The implications of this are chilling.
- Everything you've been doing, gaining your strength to fight the Queens, releasing Rell... It's only making The Man in the Wall stronger. As the Tenno grow stronger, so does he.
- Despite the Lotus's insistence that it's just a delusion, The Man in the Wall seems to be becoming more active.
- Once you complete The Sacrifice, it talks with you about what happened.
- Nekros: The Death Themed Warframe and Nightmare Fuel Personified, with all the textbook Necromancer abilities, such as resurrecting fallen enemies from the dead, disintegrating their bodies just for a chance of additional loot, or ripping still-living enemies' souls out of their bodies. The effect is somewhat lessened by the fact that Nekros' powers are explained as basically being Necromancy From Technology done using Nanobots, but the usual Mook Horror Show elements are arguably made even worse even with that in mind.
- If Nekros doesn't count as Nightmare Fuel, then Nidus certainly does - this frame isn't merely created from Infestation, it is Infestation in a barely humanoid shape, and all its attacks command the Infestation itself. As it kills with abilities it becomes stronger and more powerful, shown by parts of its body opening up and extending tendrils into the air. Its powers start off with merely sending out a wave of damaging tendrils, then the next one unlocked forms a mass of tentacles that pull enemies into one location, and eventually ends with its ultimate ability creating a wide arena full of independent grubs that will attack anything hostile that wanders into it, healing Nidus with every attack. The Phryke skin manages to, somehow, top the base skin. Despite looking considerably more streamlined and its "evolved" form merely materializing golden armor plates instead of revealing its innards, the fact that it has two extra translucent arms folded uselessly across the torso, and six eyes in each shoulder that will independently look around makes it so much worse. At least we know where all the eyes for the other frames went.
- Garuda definitely earns some points given that all of her powers are blood themed, including , "ripping the life force from an enemy", impaling them on spikes to use their blood as health, using her own health as a mana source, and launching seeking talons that can go through walls and cause anyone hit with them to receive wounds that can open even further if they take more damage.
- Railjacks seemed like a pretty harmless addition to the setting! Oh, how wrong we were. The back of the ship has a "Reliquary Drive" that required a key for the ship to be powered... and looked suspiciously like a Void-themed coffin thanks to the bluish haze inside it. Players report hearing faint thumps, like something is beating on it from the inside... and then when the key is inserted and it powers up? The mist clears. It's not a coffin and there's not a person inside it. Instead there's a giant, mummified finger. That moves as the drive first powers up, and thankfully only then. And then the Man in the Wall shows up, sitting atop the drive, waving at the player mockingly, one finger folded down... Any time after that, should a player walk past it(not recommended) audio clips from Wally will occasionally play. Even worse, sometimes it's Wally's lines, in the Lotus' voice.The Man in the Wall, as the Lotus: You mad at me, kiddo? Did you forget? You owe me.
- The Orokin. Each new bit of lore focusing on them reveals a new, incredibly disturbing level of dehumanization, scientists with Morally Ambiguous Doctorates, and incredibly unethical experimentation; which gets even worse when it's revealed that the Tenno are Child Soldiers who haven't aged a day since they entered cryostasis centuries ago. The Orokin considered it acceptable to take casualties from a horrific hyperdrive accident and indoctrinate them into soldiers just to make use of the destructive powers the Void gave them; to the point where they killed their Parental Substitute to make them even more efficient. These silent masters of warfare, capable of slaughtering absolutely anything in their path, are less than seventeen years old when they finally wake from stasis. And they've experienced all those battles as if they were there in person, thanks to their Warframe proxy units. In The Sacrifice it's revealed that the Tenno can use warframes because they have something the Orokin lack and don't understand, which is stated in a record created by an Orokin. What is it, you ask? Basic empathy.
- The Void. Pristine. Beautiful. Transcendent. Utterly empty except for "corrupted," versions of enemies you face in normal levels turned into mindless drones by dying in the Orokin Towers they invaded and being turned by these Towers' Neural Sentries. The music that plays here is simultaneously serene and unsettling. Look out a window and all you'll see is black dots in an endless white expanse. It begs two questions when you first set foot in them - who were the Orokin, and where did they go?
- In Specters of the Rail, we finally learn of Ordis' origins. He was originally a soldier/mercenary named Ordan Karris, who fought for the Orokin for so long and so viciously that he became known as the Beast of Bones. When he was brought before them to honour his service, he used the opportunity to kill as many of them as he could. Unfortunately, they had planned for this, and his assassination attempt failed. As punishment for his treason, they subjected him to a process that converted his mind into a Cephalon. All parts of his mind that weren't needed were locked away, and any thought of rebellion was suppressed by what is implied to be a neural sentry. After the fall of the Orokin, the sentry broke down, leaving Ordis free to remember. He ended up locked in a loop of trying to recall his past, then wiping his memory in horror when he did. Of note is the weapon he uses to carry out his plan. Known as "Bone plugs", they are hooked fragments of bone that are embedded in the wielder's neck, wrapped around the superior vein. When used, the wielder pulls them out to use as daggers, so they only have a few seconds before they succumb to blood loss.
- The nature of Orokin immortality. Orokin reaching a point where their bodies are on the verge of death go to Yuvan theaters where the young and exotic - often no more than children - are paraded and sold like slaves, to be used as those Orokin's new bodies in the "Continuity" ritual. How do they do this? By Mind Raping these kids until they're little more than an Empty Shell that the Orokin can freely insert their minds and souls into. And you learn this during The War Within, while you're fighting a Battle in the Center of the Mind to stop one of the Grineer Queens from doing exactly that!
- Mild one in Plains of Eidolon trailer, where the villagers going about their daily lives, dismantling what seems to be... flesh... from an abandoned Orokin structure... Just what did they use to build it is anybody's guess. Which also raises the question: Is it possible that other Orokin structures and machines are like this? Are the Orokin Towers made of this? Your sculptures? Your ships? Your weaponry?
- Ballas, the creator of the Warframes and by far one of the most influential of the Orokin, is still alive. We get to see a true Orokin in all of their glory and it is nothing short of terrifying. His skin is a pale blue, his eyes have pale golden irises, and his right arm is extremely elongated. If the Orokin considered this to be beauty, just imagine what an ugly orokin looks like.
- Ballas' in-game appearance is horrifying enough, but the concept art is on a whole new level of dread. His eyes are much brighter, but his irises can still be made out and they are staring right at the viewer. His expression is uncanny at best and a serial killer's portrait at worst. His clenched teeth are hard to notice at first, but somehow add a new layer to the picture. The skin on his right arm is cracked, almost scaly, and his fingers are even thinner than in his definitive appearance. Add to all this that he is standing in the brightly lit halls of an Orokin Tower, giving an implication of otherworldliness, perhaps even sacredness.
- How warframes were originally made. While now the Tenno have Helminth to harvest for the creation of their frames, the first frames were made by pumping people full of Infestation until they transformed into an armored, berserk combatant.
- The Sacrifice finally reveal why the Sentients, Big Bad of the game and your character's greatest enemy, declared War on the Orokin: The Sentients realised that, if they terraformed the Tau systems, the Orokin could then spread beyond the Origin system and bring ruin to other worlds. Not only is the idea of the galaxy being destroyed through sheer apathy concerning in its own right, but the Sentients, the ones responsible for a lot of the game's Nightmare Fuel, directly or in-directly, being horrified by their creators' way of life is yet another take on the "AI attacking Humanity" genre done to a terrifying degree: a fine example of Create Your Own Villain.
- If the Orokin disliked you enough, they wouldn't bother with the instantaneous death inflicted by the Jade Light. Instead they had a punishment known as "The Glass" where the victim would have their body transmuted into the material and their souls trapped within. Forever. Worse, the judge who did this to them, Nihil the Glassmaker, is still alive and has gone on a rampage throughout the system, turning countless people into mindless glass golems, that attack friend and foe and explode on death.
- The Orokin considered Halloween, or "Naberus" as they called it, the most important of all celebrations as it reminded them of their now-lost mortality. They also mutilated people and used Transference to take their bodies and use them as the equivalent of Halloween costumes.
- Let's just say that you don't want to fail a Rescue mission by tripping an alarm and failing to get the hostage out. The fact that it was audio only doesn't help. In a similar vein, the way capture targets howl as you capture them. Were it not for the Stolen Dreams quest, you could be forgiven for thinking you were subjecting them to torture or a Fate Worse than Death.
- The Stalker, if you aren't expecting him. You're out, minding your own business, celebrating a boss' defeat, when suddenly, the lights flicker. Then:Stalker: [Player], you cannot run from your past.
- During the Second Dream quest when the Stalker put his War greatsword through your Warframe, he was looking at the Operator the entire time. Then there's the fact that the Warframe that was just described as a mindless machine, takes War, the current source of the Stalker's power, and breaks it.
- The premise of The Second Dream. You spend quality time with your nice and cozy Warframe then you get decked back out into your unfamiliar body, dazed and confused, while a dozen Sentients are out for your blood...
- Reaching the lowest reputation possible with New Loka makes them suddenly dial the creepy-factor up to eleven if you then visit their syndicate menu. Given their flavor text and some of the rather unnerving statements New Loka's leader says even when she likes you might point to a much darker intention. Some players even wonder if New Loka might target the 'impure' Zariman children once the war is over if they ever found out what the Tenno really are.Amaryn: You're just like the rest. Tainted and ruined beyond salvation.
- On the relays, some of the Red Veil are preparing to vivisect a captured Grineer. Also, they have several infested in a cage, for unknown purpose. Said infested, which is used by the Red Veil as a hit squad, is a Charger, a horribly mangled Grineer corpse. Now, what could they want with a Grineer captive?
- Desert Skates, at least once you see their underside, are pure Body Horror. Seriously, that is not the face of mercy.◊ It's easy to think that the average Desert Skate Was Once a Man, even though skates are real animals related to rays and sharks and their undersides are quite normal looking...◊ compared to other rays and skates.
- The cryptic message you find in the Orokin Derelict at the end of the Stolen Dreams questline. It comes from the Popol Vuh, a real-life Mayan text that details their creation myth.All-All is silent- Hushed-hushed and empty is-is-is the womb of the sky.All is silent and calm. Hushed and empty is the womb of the sky.note
- This video on Warframe's Official Youtube channel for Chains Of Harrow has a mysterious figure◊ in an orokin room. It looks absolutely nothing like Harrow◊, and from what we know, it hasn't appeared in the quest at all. Everything else in the video was accounted for except for this figure. If it's not Harrow, nor is it one of Rell's emotional manifestations....Who or what in the hell is it?
- The Apostasy Prologue. Ballas has returned. Margulis has abandoned us. The Lotus is gone.
- The hidden quest leads the player through the Moon, following a trail of light and sound recounting the final moments between Ballas and Margulis prior to the latter's execution. You finally get to meet the Lotus expecting a heartfelt moment between mother and child, only for Ballas himself to appear and she willingly followed him to a mysterious portal. All the Tenno now has is her discarded helmet, and the player is left with an extremely unsettling mix of confusion and abandonment.
- After the Apostasy Prologue is completed, a holographic copy of the Lotus (or more accurately, Ordis posing himself as the Lotus) takes over the role as the Tenno's Mission Control until Ordis can discern the original's location. The replacement Lotus looks, talks, and acts exactly like the original... except she glows an ominous purple and her dialogue is often interrupted by static. Any player who has played the game long enough will almost definitely find this incredibly jarring after being used to the original's voice for so long. A constant reminder that Nothing Is the Same Anymore.
- The Sacrifice. You get to be Excalibur Umbra, immobilized and unable to speak, only wheeze in rising panic and anger, as it's transformed into a warframe from an invalid Orokin, watching four IV bags slowly draining into your body, all while having two conversations with Ballas - one audible one where he's having a pleasant chat about how you're going to be "healed" soon and would you like to play a game of Go? It's your favorite. The other, psychic one has him casually threaten you for interfering with him, announces that the IV bags are full of Infestation, and tells you that for every piece he wins, he's going to kill one of your children. All while one of your Dax sons is sitting next to the two of you. Then, once the transformation is completed, Ballas has Umbra kill your Dax child for him! On top of that is the very end - you finally see your surrogate mother again. She's transformed back into her Sentient form. The Lotus is gone; there is only Natah.
- The Chimera, aka Ballas. He has survived the end of the Sacrifice, but he really wishes he wouldn't have, as he's been turned into a half-Orokin half-Sentient hybrid - a twisted, warped and disfigured creature, mixing parts of both species erratically blending with each other, the eponymous Chimera. He's broken both in body and mind, seemingly tortured by the unseen presence of someone, who is implied to be Lotus' mother. And while it's not enough to redeem the things he had done nor is it enough to make him truly sympathetic (as we can see he hasn't drawn the right conclusions from his misfortune), but this fate is horrific enough to make even him pitiable.