“You're not supposed to be in here! You're going to ruin the surprise!”This article contains spoilers about the game's lore.
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- Not to be confused with Sentinels.
The Sentients are a race of machines, coming from the Tau System that were the chief enemies of the Orokin during the Old War. Originally suspected to be a truly alien race (whereas the Orokin, Grineer, Corpus and Tenno all seem to be human or trans-human variations originating from Earth), memory imprints revealed by Cephalon Simaris seem to indicate they were originally created as terraforming drones bound for the Tau System. As their name suggests, they inadvertently gained Sentience, which coupled with their own innate abilities made them a dangerous threat to the Orokin Empire.
The Detron Crewman's memory imprint seems to suggest that the Sentients (or their ancestors) were originally developed as terraforming tools bound for the Tau system. To survive, they were given the ability to adapt to any sort of damage that they would encounter as well as the ability to replicate from damaged components. This came with its costs however; the Void was "poison" to them and they could not travel through it safely. Thus, once the drones reached their destination they were effectively stranded there, with no safe means of returning to the Origin System.
At some point the Sentients returned, and waged war on their former masters. With their ability to adapt, the Sentients quickly became resilient to the most advanced weaponry the Orokin threw at them. As the Orokin developed more powerful means to combat against them, the stronger the Sentients became. In desperation the Orokin utilized the survivors of the Zariman Ten Zero incident, who had gained immense power from the Void, as warriors. They were trained in the old ways of battle and a conduit that could withstand and channel their power was created for them. Thus, the first Tenno were created. With their new soldiers ready for combat, the Orokin managed to turn the tide of battle.
With the odds stacked against them, the Sentient Hunhow planned to destroy the Tenno. His youngest child, Natah, was disguised as a human to serve as a mole within the Origin system, with the intent of destroying the Orokin empire and exterminating the Tenno. Though Natah succeeded in accomplishing the former, she decided to spare the Tenno, choosing to adopt them instead, as the journey to the Origin system had rendered her sterile. Natah decided to transfer the Tenno to the Reservoir and hide the Reservoir in the Void, keeping it safe from Sentient retaliation. Discarding her old identity, Natah became the Lotus, watching over the Tenno and awakening them when the time was right.
- Main article: Oculyst
Oculysts are mysterious drones that can randomly appear in missions, analyzing and scanning their surroundings. Players will first encounter them in any Uranus mission using Grineer Sealab tileset, but only when a player has a Mastery Rank 3 or above. Scanning an Oculyst for the first time triggers the Natah quest.
- Main article: Battalyst
Battalysts are Sentient combat drones. Capable of firing explosive projectiles and unleashing large clusters of omnidirectional lasers, Battalysts specialize in ranged combat. They spawn in pairs after an Oculyst scans a Tenno on the Orokin Moon tileset.
- Main article: Conculyst
Conculysts are Sentient combat drones specialized for melee combat, capable of performing agile, heavy strikes, and forming an offensive whirlwind with their baton-arms alone. Conculysts are first encountered in the Follow the Stalker mission in the Second Dream quest. They spawn in pairs after an Oculyst scans a Tenno at the Orokin Moon tileset.
- Although the Sentients were mentioned occasionally in earlier builds of the game, it wasn't until Update 17.0 where more detailed information about them was revealed.
- While it's never specified which Tau system that the Sentients were destined to go, the most likely candidate would be the Tau Ceti system, as it is a major candidate for extraterrestrial life to develop and possibly thrive, making it a reasonable choice for colonization.
- One of the earlier Sentinel Cosmetics is called the "Hunhow Sentinel Mask" and not only does it share Hunhow's name, but its overall design is similar to the faces of the Battalyst and the Conculyst. It remains to be seen if this was a deliberate piece of foreshadowing however.
- Hunhow refers to the Sentient enemies as his "Fragments", implying they, like the sword War, used to be part of Hunhow himself.