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Sentients

Excalibur facing an army of Conculysts and Battalysts in the 'Tombs of the Sentient' trailer.

The Sentients had won. They had turned our weapons, our technology, against us. The more advanced we became, the greater our losses.

—Orokin 'Warframe' Archive (from Excalibur Codex)
Not to be confused with Sentinels.

The Sentients are an artificial race 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. For this purpose, and against the misgivings of certain Orokin Executors, they were gifted with an extreme degree of adaptability and resilience, bordering on true self-determination. As the name Sentient suggests, they inadvertently gained Sentience. Coupled with their own innate abilities, they proved to be a formidable threat for the Orokin Empire.

History

Sentient wreckage on Gaia Earth.

Sentient remains on Earth, as shown during the Natah quest

The Detron Crewman's memory imprint seems to suggest that the Sentients were originally developed as terraforming tools bound for the Tau system. The Orokin crafted them with the ability to adapt to any sort of damage that they would encounter as well as the ability to replicate from damaged components, however the Void was "poison" to them, later revealed to interfere with their adaptation and replication. Theoretically, this would have left them stranded in the Tau system once they had finished their purpose.

However, the sentience they had gained also caused them to realize that their creators would lay waste to the Tau system as they did with Earth[1], and thus they returned to the Origin system to wage war with the Orokin. With their advanced adaptability they were taking over the most sophisticated Orokin technology, and gradually gaining powerful resistances even to the most advanced of Orokin weaponry. In desperation the Orokin utilized the survivors of the Zariman Ten-Zero incident, to whom the Void had gifted immense power, to fight back against the Sentient threat. They were trained in the old ways of battle and given conduits that could withstand, channel and amplify their power were created. With the use of the Tenno, the Orokin managed to turn the tide of battle.

Hunhow face

Hunhow's ancient body, destroyed and submerged in the depths of Uranus' oceans

However, the Orokin were betrayed by Ballas, who had grown vengeful over the death of his beloved Margulis. Using information provided to him by Ballas, Hunhow sent his daughter Natah, under a human appearance, to serve as a mole within the Origin System. She would destroy the Empire from within and exterminate the Tenno.

Natah completed Hunhow's main objective with the purge of the Orokin but she could not bring herself to kill the Tenno. Instead, Natah chose to adopt them as her own children, as her human predecessor, Margulis, had done before. She hid the Reservoir, the Tenno's only weakness, in the Void, keeping it safe from the retaliation of the Sentient. Denying her old identity, Natah took the name of the flower most beloved by Margulis, the Lotus, and became the Tenno's custodian.

Although the majority of Sentient forces were driven back in what is now called the Old War, the Glass Shards encountered during Saya's Vigil tell of one massive Sentient that managed to land on Earth. This powerful being laid waste to all but one of the cities and Towers: the Tower of the Unum. The tower's defenses held firm with the help of its people and Gara, who stayed to help defend the tower while other Tenno had scattered. The Sentient, with its power waxing and waning with the dusk and dawn, would besiege the Unum's Tower by nightfall and retreat by morning. Gara would search for the Sentient's resting place during the daylight as the Unum had forbidden her from fighting the Sentient when it was at the height of its power. To aid Gara's search, the Unum gave her refined Temple Kuva to her followers, and instructed them to feed it to the local wildlife, connecting their consciousnesses to her own and allowing the Unum to discover the Sentient's refuge as the animals roamed.

The Unum's plan had unintended consequences however, as when the Sentient captured one of the infused animals for study, it discovered that Kuva could restore its lost ability to replicate. Emboldened by the hope of rebirth, it escalated its nightly attacks as a result. As the Sentient besieged the Unum, Gara chose to confront the threat, carrying a bomb to its core and falling in battle. As the vile Sentient descended upon the mortally wounded Gara, the bomb detonated, devastating the Sentient in the process and ending its threat on the Unum once and for all.

As testament of this final, climactic battle, the Sentient's fossilized wreckage is littered across the Plains of Eidolon, a peculiar landscape with potent and unique resources. The being's dark power still stains the ground, waxing with the fall of darkness and waning at the crack of dawn, altering the environment each night as the Eidolons, its now-mindless fragments, wander the land in an endless search for completeness.

After Gara's sacrifice, the very site of her decisive battle with the Sentient left what the Ostrons now call Gara Toht Lake, but unknown to all but the Unum and her most loyal followers The Quills, the Sentient's main consciousness lay submerged somewhere in the lake, and it would attempt to make itself whole once more when night fell. However, a Warframe known solely as the Warden would arrive, driving the Sentient night after night. This trial would continue until one fateful evening, where the Warden foolishly tried to make contact with the Sentient and was overwhelmed. Discovering that the Sentient was using him as a means to reform itself, the Warden cast himself into the lake to seal it. The time spent as an "anchor" to the Sentient would infuse the Warden with its eldritch energies, transforming him into the Revenant.

Weaponry

SentAmpSet1GripC
Main article: Category:Sentient

By the present day, the Sentients are considered a distant memory by most of the Origin System's population, and even though there are Sentients that survived the Old War and remain dormant in the Origin System, they are few and far in between. Despite this, some Sentient weapons have made their way to the hands of other parties, such as longswords with energy-based blades and plasma-spewing firearms. The reclusive Quills in particular, with the assistance of the Unum who witnessed Gara's final battle, have utilized resources from the Plains of Eidolon to develop modular components for a hand-mounted blaster, which allows select individuals to channel the energies of the Void into more coherent forms for combat.

Sentient technology as a whole is organic in appearance, emphasizing the use of curves, arches, and (with some exceptions) symmetry. The average Sentient is formed around a central core of energy which, coupled with their independent development from the rest of the Orokin Empire and its descendants, gives them a suitably "alien" appearance compared to the native technologies of the Origin System. This design philosophy has its drawbacks, as any force capable of ripping a Sentient's "torso" and exposing the core to damage will kill the Sentient easily. Although their ability to replicate from broken components is stunted due to the Void's properties, there's at least one example of a functional weapon created from the remains of a damaged one.

As knowledge of the Sentients is limited, as well as their natural ability to subvert advanced techology, very little progress has been made of developing Sentient-based technology that isn't based on salvaging Sentient remains; Cephalon Simaris has found a means to create artificial copies of Eidolon Shards, though they're nowhere near as potent as actual Shards when it comes to the power they contain. Surprisingly, the Grineer have developed a crude means of containing Sentient energy, which is deployed to troops stationed on the outskirts of Cetus as a means of fending off smaller Eidolons at night. Regardless, the Grineer still err on the side of caution and position their base camps and outposts away from the path of larger Eidolons.

Enemies

Scout
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.

SentientTrooper
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.


SentientMeleeTrooper
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.


MimicSentient
Main article: Mimic

Mimics are Sentient units which are first encountered in The Sacrifice quest. They take the form of normal environmental objects to catch enemies off guard.


Eidolon Vomvalista
Main article: Vomvalyst

Vomvalysts are spectral Sentient creatures found roaming in the Plains of Eidolon at night. They possess 2 forms: a default physical form and a ghostly energy form to which they switch when they have taken too much damage.


Teralyst
Main article: Teralyst

Eidolon Teralysts are gigantic spectral Sentient creatures found on the Plains of Eidolon at night. They are remnants of a Sentient that was defeated in a battle against the Tenno during the Old War, whose remains now wander the plains perpetually searching for their lost components. These fragments are, however, still formidable creatures armed with powerful attacks and near-impenetrable defenses, and are hostile to both Tenno and Grineer alike.


TeralystBig
Main article: Gantulyst

The Gantulyst is an enormous spectral Sentient creature that can be summoned on the Plains of Eidolon at night. Much larger than the more common Teralyst Eidolon, it has replaced its right arm with an elongated boulder, and its massive weight creates shockwaves with every step.

All Eidolons are remnants of a Sentient that was defeated in a battle against the Tenno during the Old War, whose remains now wander the plains perpetually searching for their lost components. These fragments are, however, still formidable creatures armed with powerful attacks and near-impenetrable defenses, and are hostile to both Tenno and Grineer alike.


TeralystRain
Main article: Hydrolyst

The Hydrolyst is a titanic spectral Sentient creature. This mythical Eidolon is a rare sight on the Plains of Eidolon at night, appearing only when it is ritualistically summoned. It is large enough to wield the landing strut of an ancient spacecraft as a weapon, and its arcane energies create localized storm systems wherever it surfaces.

All Eidolons are remnants of a Sentient that was defeated in a battle against the Tenno during the Old War, whose remains now wander the plains perpetually searching for their lost components. These fragments are, however, still formidable creatures armed with powerful attacks and near-impenetrable defenses, and are hostile to both Tenno and Grineer alike.


Trivia

  • The spectral form of an upcoming flying Eidolon make an appearance in Mask of the Lost One quest, likely hinting what would become of the fallen Sentient after it finally escape its submerging grave.
  • Across the various sources and legends mentioning them, the Sentients are, in multiple cases, referred to as having multiple bodies, heads, voices and pairs of eyes. This suggests that a singular "Sentient" is best understood as a single consciousness or guiding mind, inhabiting and controlling multitudes of bodies and platforms with limited independence. This could explain how, even though Hunhow's body was destroyed in the Old War, fragments of him remain, housing his mind so that he is not truly dead.
  • Likewise, in the case of the Sentient of the Eidolon Plains, the destruction of the central consciousness lay wastes to it's mind, as the main consciousness submerged in the lake, other remaining fragments, the Eidolons, are little more than mindless animals.
  • 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.
  • Update 22 released the new Sentient type of Eidolons, which consists of the Vomvalysts and the Teralysts.

References

  1. "But when you arrived at that distant world, you knew that in time we would bring ruin to it as well. As we had to Earth." - Ballas, according to the Vitruvian in The Sacrifice