The Sentient armada has emerged from the Veil Proxima in shocking numbers.
At their head, Natah, once the trusted guide ‘Lotus’, now seemingly in thrall to Ballas and her brother Erra.
Across worlds and space, the Tenno and their unlikely alliance launch a final assault to take the Sentient mothership… where Natah awaits.
Previous story quest: The Maker
Starting the quest
The New War quest can be started in the Codex. Upon beginning the quest, a short cutscene will play. Names in brackets indicate that the speaker is not identified in the scene, but their identity is revealed or inferred later.
[A red, stormy skyscape is shown, with lightning-like flashes seen behind dark thunderheads. Ballas’ voice is heard narrating in the background. Two figures appear out of the fog; both are Ballas. The Executor in his Orokin garb is shown sitting on an invisible seat, one leg crossed across the other. The half-Sentient chimera Ballas stands behind him, and steps closer to lay both hands on Orokin Ballas’ left shoulder. Both Ballases look forward as they fade away back into the mist.]
Ballas: “We are seasons, all of us.”
[Next, Lotus in her human form appears, floating before the large Sentient Natah. Natah stands over Lotus in an almost protective stance, and Lotus reaches up with her right hand to lay it on her own left shoulder.]
Ballas: “Growing in the light, fading in the dark.”
[Natah and Lotus fade away.]
Ballas: “At once the same, yet…”
[The Tenno’s Operator appears, alone, head down.]
Ballas: “…ever changed.”
[The Operator raises their head and turns to look behind them. As they do so, they fade away, and the entire scene quickly fades into darkness.]
First Mission: For My Brothers (Plains of Eidolon, Earth)
[The previous cutscene transitions seamlessly into a new cutscene. It is dusk in Cetus. On the beach in front of the town, a group of Ostron children are play-acting a battle. Some are wearing crude masks made to look like Grineer, while others are wearing helmets fashioned after various warframes. They shoot at each other with toy guns. A deep rumbling can be heard, and the children stop their play, look into the sky, and flee, dropping their toys. One boy does not run. He looks up, lifting his Excalibur-styled mask from his face to reveal a horrified expression as he witnesses a massive Murex ship descend onto the top of the Unum’s Tower. Pieces of golden detailing and large chunks of marble rain from the sky as explosions erupt from the violent collision. A fragment of the Tower is ejected and the boy watches as its trajectory carries it perilously close. As it impacts the ground some metres away, the boy sees a tall Sentient figure – Erra – standing on a rock nearby. Erra begins to approach the Ostron. The child, visibly terrified, does not run, but instead bravely lowers the Excalibur mask to cover his face again. Erra plucks the mask from the boy’s face and stares into his eyes. Erra’s eyes are filled with glowing red energy, as is the large cavity in his torso.]
Erra: “Don’t be afraid.”
[The boy’s eyes start to glow with the same red energy.]
[The scene fades to the central Plains, where Tusk Grineer are attempting to repel the invaders. A large Condrix near Hek’s Stiletto begins to disgorge Sentient fighters. A Tusk Firbolg flies up to hover in front of the Condrix’s core, while the desant troops on board start shooting at it. A Conculyst flies out from the Condrix and strikes the Firbolg directly, causing an explosion. The ship begins to spin out and descend erratically, with most of the Grineer being flung off in all directions. The Firbolg hits the ground and rolls before coming to rest, consumed with fire. One of the Grineer’s Grakata assault rifles is torn from his grasp and clatters to the earth, where it is picked up by a survivor from the crash. Councillor Vay Hek’s voice can be heard over the radio.]
Vay Hek: “Eight squad! Eight squad! YOU MAGGOTS! REPORT!”
[The Grineer survivor slowly gets to his feet. He is clearly injured. A large gash is torn into the armour on his back left shoulder, and the cybernetic implant in his left eye is broken and dangling from his face. He steadfastly replies to Vay Hek’s barking.]
[Kahl]: “Brothers dead. Only Kahl one-seven-five.”
As Kahl stands up, the perspective moves to an over-the-shoulder third-person view of him, and the name KAHL-175 appears across the screen in large letters. When the name fades out, the player is given control of Kahl as a playable character.
Vay Hek: “BROTHER? Brother. The WORMS have swarmed the sector, but we will prevail. Regroup on my beacon.”
Kahl: “F-for… for the Queens!”
A waypoint appears, and Kahl is directed towards it. Kahl’s movement is limited to slow limping. He is armed with a Grakata and a Machete. The HUD is orange in colour and Grineer-themed, but displays much the same information as a Tenno HUD, and in the same locations: mini-map, health, ammunition, etc. Kahl’s objective is marked as “Get to Hek beacon”.
The environment is hectic. The Plains are under assault. Large sections of the landscape are on fire. Distant explosions can be heard in all directions. Sentient ships fly through the air on some sortie or another. The Grineer infrastructure is heavily damaged in many places. Above all, the Murex-topped Tower of the Unum and the Condrix seen previously loom over the Plains.
Once Kahl arrives at the waypoint, a short cutscene will play.
[A Bolkor-like Grineer ship, flying low, is shot down. It ploughs into the ground and slides up a ridge towards Kahl, stopping before it can crush him. Kahl nevertheless flinches at the near miss. An Ionyx ship swoops around the wreckage, followed by a squadron of Dargyns, which are in turn followed by a group of airborne Sentients. One of the Dargyns flies straight into an exposed segment of a shattered Grineer building, and explodes, the wreckage falling out of sight behind the ridge.]
Kahl: “Dargyn crash. Kahl help pilot. Kahl finish mission.”
Vay Hek: “For the Queens. Now… run, MAGGOT. RUUUUNNN!”
Kahl, energised by Vay Hek’s commands, can now sprint, jump, and roll. His new objective is set as “Help pilot who crash”. Along the way, Kahl encounters several low-level Brachiolysts. At one point, several Brachiolysts are clustered in a tight formation, and the player is prompted to use Kahl’s first ability, which throws an incendiary grenade that leaves behind a patch of burning napalm. If thrown accurately, a single grenade should clear out the group of Brachiolysts.
Shortly afterward, Kahl will arrive at a choke point, beyond which are three Battalysts that will immediately begin launching slow-moving, long-range projectiles at him. The player is prompted to use Kahl’s second ability to deploy a Blunt at the chokepoint, protecting him from incoming fire so that he can shoot down the Battalysts from behind cover. There is also an ammo station at the chokepoint that he can use to replenish his reserve Grakata ammunition and grenades. Just beyond the Battalysts is the crashed Dargyn. When Kahl approaches the Dargyn, another short cutscene will play.
[Kahl closes in on the Dargyn, shooting a Battalyst and then turning to strike another down with his Machete. He reaches the Dargyn and throws his Machete into the ground, getting down on his knees to extract the pilot from the wreckage. The pilot, however, has not survived, and Kahl leans back on his feet and stares at the distant Condrix as he reports in.]
Kahl: “Pilot is dead. What is mission now?”
Vay Hek: “Mission? That Bloated Condrix swats us down like flies. We’re grounded.”
Kahl: “Kahl stop. Tell Kahl.”
Vay Hek: “Impossible. Even if you could get close to that thing, they’d eat you alive.”
As Kahl continues, a Firbolg will approach, carrying Grineer troops. Suddenly a Splintrix ship will fall from the sky, piercing the Firbolg and destroying it instantly. The Splintrix will anchor in the ground and begin disgorging Brachiolysts and Battalysts, before closing, uprooting itself, and launching back into the sky. Kahl will have to deal with the Sentient ground forces.
(upon killing the Sentients) Kahl: “Eat alive? What if food… is bomb.”
Vay Hek: “Hmmm. Brother Kahl… yes! Find something with a high enough yield! Hurry!”
Kahl’s new objective is “Get to miner camp”, and he is waypointed to the Grineer settlement atop Hek’s Stiletto. On the way, he must fight more Sentients, including an Ortholyst artillery unit.
(upon killing another group of Sentients) Kahl: “For the… Queens.”
Once Kahl gets close to the encampment, the large Condrix will begin strafing the area periodically with destructive red beam attacks emitted from its two antenna-like structures. Kahl must avoid these. As Kahl reaches the top of the hill, a short cutscene will play.
[Kahl walks cautiously towards the Grineer camp, taking shelter in a natural ravine. Suddenly, a group of ring-shaped Sentient carrier units arrive and begin patrolling the area from above. Kahl quickly hides behind a large barrel. He watches as one of the carriers, presumably having spotted a threat, stops and discharges two Sentients onto the battlefield before it moves on.]
Kahl: “Searches! Must not see Kahl.”
Kahl must make his way through the camp and find the explosive while avoiding the Sentient carriers. They move in predictable patterns and shine bright spotlights onto the ground, so they are easily avoided. Kahl’s objective is marked as “Sneak past worms and get big bomb”. If Kahl is spotted, the carriers will immediately deploy Sentients to kill him.
(upon arriving at the mining tent) Kahl: “Kahl sneak good. [snickers]“
As Kahl enters the mining tent, a short cutscene will play.
[Kahl kneels down before the bench containing mining tools and picks up a bulbous, cylindrical explosive device. It beeps softly. Kahl looks at it with resignation and sighs, before gritting his teeth with determination.]
Kahl: “For the Queens.”
[He looks out the door of the tent, seeing the Condrix nearby, and stows the bomb in a pouch on his thigh. As he stands up and readies himself, the mechanical sounds of a Thumper approaching can be heard. Kahl cautiously walks out of the tent and witnesses the Thumper, accompanied by a squad of Grineer soldiers, attempt a frontal assault on the Condrix. The Thumper fires at the Condrix a few times with its main turret, then leaps into the air to come crashing down upon it. At the apex of its jump, however, it is deflected by an unseen force, and is thrown backwards, landing upside-down near Kahl. The impact throws Kahl away from the tent, and he tumbles out into the open. He slowly sits up, but is distracted by his broken cybernetic implant, which is now sparking electricity. He tears his face-mask off, removing the offending implant and leaving his left eye socket bloody and gaping. As he takes stock of his surroundings, a Conculyst arrives to the battlefield and begins executing wounded Grineer soldiers using its arm-blades. Seeing this, Kahl frantically drags himself along the ground to a nearby fallen Rhino warframe and desperately tries to take its weapon. Just as the Conculyst approaches him, Kahl flips over and shoots the Sentient point-blank with the Rhino’s Corinth Prime shotgun, destroying it instantly. Kahl slowly stands up, looks at the weapon in his arms with admiration, then spits blood on the ground and defiantly racks the shotgun.]
Kahl: “For the… Queens.”
Kahl is now directed to head directly for the base of the Condrix. His objective is marked as “Feed big worm bomb”.
Vay Hek: “There! You are so close! Detonate near enough, and your brothers shall live to fight another day!”
Kahl: “For the Queens.”
A Splintrix comes down in front of Kahl and summons more Sentients that must be killed, but Kahl’s new Corinth Prime is more than sufficient to do the job.
(upon killing the Sentients) Vay Hek: “That’s it. Detonate at the base of that Bloated Condrix. FOR GLORY!”
The Condrix is protected by one last group of Sentients, consisting of several Brachiolysts, two Ortholysts, and one Symbilyst. Kahl’s objective changes to “Exterminate remaining Sentients”. The Symbilyst is by far the hardest to kill, as it makes liberal use of its protective shield-arm. Once its health is depleted, it enters a stunned state, and Kahl must approach it to issue a finisher kill (it cannot be killed normally). The finisher kill animation shows Kahl bashing the Sentient in the face with the heft of the shotgun, then shooting it point-blank three times in a row, before the force of the Sentient’s core dissipating throws Kahl back a couple steps.
(upon killing the Symbilyst) Vay Hek: “I salute you, One-Seven-Five. For the Queens!”
Kahl has clearly exhausted the last of his fight and willpower, and slowly limps the few remaining paces towards his goal. Once he approaches the base of the Condrix, a final short cutscene plays.
[Kahl’s shotgun clatters to the ground as it slips from his fingers. Kahl collapses against the Condrix, then slides down to a sitting position against the base. He retrieves the bomb and uses the last of his strength to twist it open. A bright green, glowing liquid can be seen within, and the bomb begins to tick with increasing frequency as a high-pitched whine signals the approaching detonation. Kahl finally relaxes and goes limp, looking up at the sky. He begins to repeat the mantra of the Grineer one last time, before pausing and changing his mind with a weary smile.]
Kahl: “For the… heh. For my brothers.”
[Kahl closes his eye and waits for his imminent demise. Some time later, he opens his eye in confusion. He is now bathed in an eerie red light. He looks at the bomb in his hand, which is still in an armed configuration but now seems to be inert, having never detonated. He is quickly distracted by Erra approaching and looming over him. Kahl looks up with terror on his face.]
Erra: “Don’t be afraid.”
Second Mission: Traitor to the Board (Veil Proxima)
The mission starts out with a brief cutscene.
[A Corpus tech is riding an elevator alone within a Pillar-class capital ship. Red strobe lights and blaring alarm tones inform as to the direness of the situation. The tech does his best to steel himself, taking deep breaths, but is still startled when the elevator arrives at its destination and the doors open. He readies the Plinx pistol in his right hand as he surveys the scene before him: parts of the ship are burning and wrecked, and Corpus bodies lie on the ground. Out the massive window opposite can be seen a pitched battle between a fleet of combined Corpus and Grineer ships and an array of Sentient Murex, against the red stormy backdrop of the Veil Proxima. A nearby explosion causes the tech to recoil briefly.]
The perspective moves to over-the-shoulder, and the name VESO appears across the screen in large letters. When the name fades out, the player is given control of Veso as a playable character, similar to Kahl in the mission previous. A transmission comes across from Alad V.
Alad V: “Hold fast to your stations, crews! Our glorious victory is close at hand! Oh, and, uh, any remaining techs aboard, narrow-band me at once!”
Veso takes out a datapad with his left hand and contacts Alad V directly. Alad’s face is shown on the datapad while they converse. While communicating, Veso cannot shoot or take other actions, and his movement is slowed.
Veso: “Confirming tech aboard! Veso-R at your service, most gilded director, most—”
Alad V: “Yes, yes, thank Profit. My command overrides aren’t working. I need to break fire control from the fleet. Can you fix that, Veko?”
Veso: “It’s Veso, most lucrative and sagacious visionary. Yes, I can try. There’s a trace conduit nearby, I can bypass it—”
Alad V: “Great, yes, do your thing. There’s a nice bonus in it if you can.”
Veso’s objective is marked as “Engage command overrides”. Much like Kahl, he has a unique HUD, albeit Corpus-themed, with cyan and orange colour themes and Corpus numerals. He can sprint, roll, and jump. In addition to his Plinx, he has a Prova melee baton. The environment is badly damaged. Parts of the ship are twisted and broken, and many places are on fire. A Domestik drone can be seen running in rapid circles instead of a normal cleaning route. Explosions sound in the distance and the ship groans as it receives incoming fire.
As Veso approaches the next room, the triangular metal portrait of Parvos Granum above the door falls, blocking the doorway and jamming the door.
Veso: “Hmm. A Breacher Moa could clear that debris. Wonder if the robotics dispensers are still functional?”
Veso will be directed to a Robotics Fabricator near the damaged doorway. When standing near a Fabricator, Veso can use his first ability to summon a Breacher Moa. The Breacher Moa will follow Veso around as he walks, and can be commanded to move to designated locations by pressing the ability key again. If it is commanded to move near destructible debris, it will detonate automatically, clearing the debris; it can also be detonated at any time by shooting at it. The Breacher Moa has no weapons other than its suicide attack. There is no limit to the number of Breacher Moas that can be spawned, given that Veso is near a Fabricator, but only one Moa will be active at a time; summoning a new one will cause the old one to detonate. The Moa speaks in an eager robotic voice.
(when spawning, variant) Breacher Moa: “Systems are green!”
(when spawning, variant) Breacher Moa: “Ready.”
(when spawning, variant) Breacher Moa: “Hello!”
(when spawning, variant) Breacher Moa: “Ready to serve.”
(when spawning, variant) Breacher Moa: “Please instruct.”
(when spawning, variant) Breacher Moa: “Unit active.”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “Yup yup!”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “Whee!”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “Here we go.”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “Check.”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “Underway.”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “I have purpose.”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “Oh, happy day!”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “Okay.”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “Can do!”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “For Profit!”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “On it!”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Breacher Moa: “This unit is proud!”
(when detonating, variant) Breacher Moa: “Service is joy!”
(when detonating, variant) Breacher Moa: “Glorious destruction!”
(when detonating, variant) Breacher Moa: “Everybody watch!”
(when detonating, variant) Breacher Moa: “Boom time.”
Veso also has dialogue when commanding robots.
(when issuing a command to move, variant) Veso: “Off you go.”
(when issuing a command to move, variant) Veso: “Go, go!”
(when issuing a command to move, variant) Veso: “Move. Quickly now.”
(when issuing a command to move, variant) Veso: “Move!”
(when issuing a command to move, variant) Veso: “Over there.”
(when issuing a command to move, variant) Veso: “Go there.”
Once the debris is cleared, Veso can move into the next room. There, a Juno Dera Moa will be patrolling. It displays red Sentient energy around its head, and is hostile. Once it sees Veso, it will start shooting at him.
(when shot) Veso: “Aah! Why are you shooting at me?”
Veso will have to defend himself with his Plinx or by using a Breacher Moa’s detonation. Veso’s shields ensure that he can take some damage without fear. Once the Moa is dead, Veso will bring out his datapad and contact Alad V again.
Veso: “Sir! Veso here. Our robotics have gone rogue… the Sentients must have latched the grid!”
Alad V: “Someone has, yes. I’ll pull some meat-crews to cover you. Just get me that override… um?”
Veso (to himself): “Right. I’ve got a datapad, secure robot dispenser access… and a Plinx. [sigh] Right.”
In the next room is a group of Juno Dera Moas and a Juno Disc Moa, all hostile. They are clustered together and are easy to take out with a single Breacher Moa. Once they are taken out, Veso can head to the room’s central console, which has the first command override. However, the door to access the console is partially jammed shut, and Veso cannot fit in the opening to access the console. Veso is directed to use a Breacher Moa, which can fit in the opening, to access the console. The Breacher Moa has the ability to interface with the console on Veso’s behalf.
(when hacking a console, variant) Breacher Moa: “Oh, I love puzzles!”
(when hacking a console, variant) Breacher Moa: “Can’t keep me out.”
(when hacking a console, variant) Breacher Moa: “Breaching the grid.”
When the first command override is engaged, large sections of the ship can be heard shutting down and losing power. Veso is directed to the next command override. After defeating some more Sentient Moas, Veso will be stopped by an impassable laser grid. A Breacher Moa, which can bypass the lasers, must be commanded to hack a console on the other side to lower the grid. On the other side is a Shield Drone dispenser. Veso can use his second ability when standing near a dispenser to summon a Shield Drone, which will boost his shields and those of nearby allies. Shield Drones can also be commanded to move to designated locations, though they cannot detonate on command. While they do respond audibly to commands, they emit only electronic chirps and beeps, not intelligible speech.
Veso: “A functioning shield drone dispenser? Oh, thank Profit!”
Just past the Shield Drone dispenser, two Crewmen can be seen fleeing, only to get gunned down by a hostile ceiling-mounted Senta Turret. The Senta Turret cannot be killed, as its shields regenerate faster than Veso’s Plinx can fire. Veso must run past the Turret, using the Shield Drone to keep his shields up long enough to get past it.
(upon spawning the Shield drone, variant) Veso: “My shields should hold up, if I’m fast.”
(upon spawning the Shield drone, variant) Veso: “There is no shame in maximising my shields and just running.”
(if the player shoots at the Turret, variant) Veso: “No point trying to shoot my way through this.”
(if the player shoots at the Turret, variant) Veso: “Their shields are too strong to shoot through! Maybe if I boosted mine somehow….”
Two more hostile Moas are in the next room.
(upon killing the Moas) Veso: “How many hostiles ahead? I can’t do this! [gasp] Unless… I get a Striker Moa.”
Another fabricator is nearby, and Veso can use his third ability to summon a Striker Moa. Striker Moa fabricators look similar to Breacher Moa fabricators, but they are not interchangeable. Striker Moas have a powerful Dera rifle and are more durable than Breacher Moas. They speak in a deeper, slower voice than Breacher Moas.
(when spawning, variant) Striker Moa: “How may I help?”
(when spawning, variant) Striker Moa: “What can I do for you?”
(when spawning, variant) Striker Moa: “Thank you for choosing me.”
(when spawning, variant) Striker Moa: “Reporting.”
(when spawning, variant) Striker Moa: “Online.”
(when spawning, variant) Striker Moa: “Present.”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Striker Moa: “Please enjoy.”
(when moving to a designated location, variant) Striker Moa: “Please hold.”
(when engaging an enemy, variant) Striker Moa: “Enjoy this complimentary service.”
(when engaging an enemy, variant) Striker Moa: “Initiating customer service.”
(when engaging an enemy, variant) Striker Moa: “I am sorry to hear you are having trouble.”
(when engaging an enemy, variant) Striker Moa: “One moment.”
(when engaging an enemy, variant) Striker Moa: “This section may be recorded for quality assurance.”
(after killing an enemy, variant) Striker Moa: “Your feedback is important to us.”
(after killing an enemy, variant) Striker Moa: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
(after killing an enemy, variant) Striker Moa: “Apologies.”
(after killing an enemy, variant) Striker Moa: “Does this resolve your issue?”
(after killing an enemy, variant) Striker Moa: “Please rate this experience.”
(after killing an enemy, variant) Striker Moa: “Datamass says no.”
The next room has many hostile Dera Moas, Disc Moas, Geminex Moas, and Oxium Ospreys, along with some allied Crewmen. Past that, in the next room, is another Senta Turret, but the Striker Moa is easily able to deal with it.
(variant) Veso: “Turrets look a little less scary now that I’ve got a Striker Moa.”
(variant) Veso: “Hello again, turrets. I’ve brought a friend this time.”
Another doorway is blocked by debris and must be cleared using a Breacher Moa. The next room has a ceiling appliance that has been damaged and is heavily electrified. Sections of wiring emerging from the fixture electrify nearby surfaces, damaging anything that touches them. As Veso enters the room, Alad will contact him on his datapad.
Alad V: “If I don’t stand down fire control soon, we’ll all be sucking vacuum! Teko! What’s taking so long?”
Veso: “Sir? You want to disengage fire control from the fleet? I… I don’t understand.”
Alad V: “Look outside! We’re all about to be under new management! Now do your part, or I’ll find a more forward-thinking replacement.”
The second command override is in a small cubicle of the main room. The door does not open, but there is a Breacher Moa dispenser inside the cubicle. However, the floor of the cubicle is electrified by a wire running from the damaged ceiling fixture, so summoning a Breacher Moa and commanding it to hack the console will result in it being stunned and killed. Veso must command a Shield Osprey to enter the room via a broken window and boost the Breacher Moa’s shields long enough for it to hack the command override.
Once the second command override is hacked, electricity will be shut off to the damaged ceiling fixture, and it will stop creating hazards. The last command override will be waypointed, and a ship-wide transmission from Alad V will sound.
Alad V: “Our… uh… victory is ever nearer, crew! Your service and sacrifice will be richly rewarded, yes!”
More hostile Moas must be defeated.
The next room features a long hallway that is blocked by burning debris. Only a cargo mover can safely traverse the corridor, but the panel to activate the mover is by the door, and cannot be reached while on board the mover. Veso must board the cargo mover and command a Breacher Moa to interface with the console and send it down the hallway.
The next room features more hostile robotics that must be killed. After that, the final command override is within a Jackal holding chamber. Upon entering the room, the doors will seal, and Alad V will communicate using Veso’s datapad.
Alad V: “You see. This is why we need that command override back. The Board just can’t face reality. So, what’s your plan, Teso?”
Veso: “Plan!? You mean, I have to… [exhales] okay. I guess… hit him in the knees? Trigger his a-attack routine? That should leave his shields vulnerable. In theory….”
Alad V: “Clever. Get to it.”
Veso: “Am… am I a traitor to the Board?”
Alad V: [clears throat]
Veso: “Yes sir.”
As Veso puts away his datapad, the Jackal will come online (with red Sentient energy around the head, like other hostile robotics). Unlike the Jackal faced during Assassination missions, this one only has two health bars. The general procedure is mostly the same. Veso must shoot the limbs to damage them. Once a limb has had its health depleted, the Jackal will fold up and hover in the air, emitting a rotating lucent grid wall. While in this mode, the Jackal’s shields can be damaged, though care must be taken to avoid the beams. Once the shields are down, the Jackal will fall to the ground in a stunned state, and Veso must command a Breacher Moa to detonate near or under the Jackal. Doing so will deplete the first health bar segment.
(when the Jackal initiates his lucent grid wall attack, variant) Veso: “All his power is going to his attack. Shields: vulnerable. Beams: incredibly dangerous.”
(when the Jackal initiates his lucent grid wall attack, variant) Veso: “Gotta blast those shields while I can.”
(when the Jackal initiates his lucent grid wall attack, variant) Veso: “Drain those shields and that will force his self-repair routine.”
After the first health bar segment is depleted, the entire process must be repeated. Additional hostile Moas will spawn, and the floor of the main Jackal holding chamber will be electrified. When the Jackal’s shields are depleted for the second time, Veso must use a Shield Osprey to protect the Breacher Moa from the electrified ground long enough for it to detonate, as he did earlier with the second command override. There are robotics fabricators of all three types around the room, as the Jackal’s attacks are likely to wantonly destroy Veso’s companions.
Once the Jackal is dead, a loud droning sound can be heard, and Alad V will contact Veso again.
Alad V: “Just in time, too! Our new management is about to pay a personal visit. Be quick; I’ve got to stand down fire when they dock with us! Well done, Viko!”
The final command override is in a small room just past the fallen Jackal. The console is in front of a window that looks out at the prow of the ship, with a view of the Murex fleet and the massive Sentient Devourer behind them. One of the Murex is positioned directly in front of Veso’s ship. The console must be hacked to disengage firing sync. Once Veso does so, a cutscene will play.
[The Murex shoots out two probes that hit the Pillar, one at the bow, one amidships, and connect it to the Murex with tethers of red energy. Alad V sends out a ship-wide transmission. Veso stands at the console, looking out at the Murex. He looks down with disappointment and regret. As Alad talks, Veso gets angrier and angrier.]
Alad V: “Attention crew, stand down, all stations. You’ll be pleased to know that I, Alad V, have negotiated a peaceful… and profitable… transfer of power to our new—”
[Veso hits a switch on the console, re-establishing fire control and cutting off Alad’s transmission. He addresses the fleet.]
Veso: “Fleet control: Firing sync reengaged. Authorisation: Corpus Tech First Class Veso-R. Take your shot. For Profit.”
[The Pillar ship crackles with electricity as the Murex attempts to overload it via the pre-established tethers, but it manages to charge up and fire a railgun-like projectile directly into the heart of the Murex as other surrounding ships do the same. A wave of energy, possibly from the Murex’s destruction, ripples out from the Sentient ship and washes over the Corpus fleet, and Veso’s Pillar ship is consumed with explosions from bow to stern. The Tenno’s Railjack swoops around the exploding Corpus ship and deftly weaves through the chaotic battle front, and the cinematic smoothly transitions into the next mission.]
Third Mission: Too Easy (Veil Proxima)
The Tenno starts piloting their Railjack, with their hired crew and Teshin on board. They must fly towards the great Sentient Devourer, while shooting down the smaller Sentient fighters. All around them, Sentient Murex face off against Grineer Galleons and Corpus Pillars, Obelisks, and Stanchions.
Teshin: “The enemy’s eye turns upon our allies. Quickly. Press onward.”
(as the Railjack clears the allied front) Operator: “We’re through the perimeter. You’re sure about this? It should be me.”
Teshin: “No, Tenno. Your warframe will be useless until I clear the Orphix fields. Then we will meet inside.”
Operator: “Teshin. What if the Lotus won’t….”
Teshin: “If I must… I can make the harder choice.”
Erra: “How tediously human. A slapdash alliance making a feeble last stand. If you all crave death in a final flash of glory, I am more than happy to oblige.”
A Sentient boarding party will enter the ship near the Archwing slingshot, and need to be repelled. Teshin is very effective at defeating the Sentients. The Tenno has their Paracesis, replacing whatever melee weapon they had in their loadout.
Operator: “Cy, charge the slingshot.”
Cephalon Cy: “You will need to get closer to your mother’s ship.”
Operator: “Huh? Did you just—”
Cephalon Cy: “Squadron incoming. The enemy is wise to our diversions.”
Cephalon Cy: “If hull integrity continues to drop, this will be a one-way trip.”
(when near the Devourer) Cephalon Cy: “Mothership in range. Problem: Slingshot damaged. Crew, hold position while I route a bypass.”
The Tenno will have to wait while the slingshot is repaired, a process that takes 100 seconds and is shown on the HUD as a meter going from 0 to 100%. The Tenno must avoid the Devourer’s ‘mouth’, as it pulls everything near it within to be consumed.
Erra: “Do you think there’s a shred of Lotus left in Natah? All this time, it’s been dying. A tumour scorched from its rotting hole.”
(when the slingshot is ready) Cephalon Cy: “Slingshot patched. Ready for launch.”
Operator: “Teshin… I’ll be awaiting your signal… so I can bring her home.”
Teshin: “I’ll clear the Orphix, and we’ll do it together.”
Teshin will enter the slingshot, and the Tenno will have to pilot their ship and aim at the prow of the Devourer for a continuous 5 seconds (measured by a “Locking On” percentage meter) before Teshin is fired into the Sentient ship. A short cutscene will play.
[An Aerolyst patrols a hallway within the Sentient Devourer. It hears several distant explosions and pauses, extending its neck to look at the ceiling. Teshin breaks through the ceiling and lands on the Aerolyst, taking it to the ground and burying his blade in its head. Teshin straightens up and withdraws his nikana with a flourish.]
The perspective moves to over-the-shoulder, and the name TESHIN appears across the screen in large letters. When the name fades out, the player is given control of Teshin as a playable character. Teshin wields two nikanas (one noticeably smaller than the other) and is capable of sprinting, rolling, sliding, double jumping, aim gliding, and wall hopping. Bullet jumping is the only parkour move he is unable to perform. Teshin can also throw his Orvius glaive, and can rappel to the Orvius’ position at any point in its flight, allowing him to traverse long distances. Teshin’s three abilities imbue his nikanas with Heat, Cold, or Electricity damage, and change his melee stance to Carving Mantis, Crossing Snakes, or Swirling Tiger, respectively. He has a custom HUD that is very elegant and tasteful.
Teshin: “Orphix fields will be scattered—”
Ordis: “The Orphix fields will be scattered deep in the ship. Ordis can help you triangulate them—”
Ordis: “I’m only trying to—”
Teshin: “I don’t need your help. Switch off!”
Teshin is waypointed to find the Orphix field generators. Along the way, he encounters many Tyro Battalysts and Tyro Conculysts. The Sentients are protected by elemental shielding and can only be damaged by the element that matches their shield’s colour, so Teshin must switch his elemental attacks in order to eliminate them.
(when Teshin is caught in a proximity mine attack) Ordis: “Ah! Please excuse Ordis.”
Teshin encounters a chasm and is prompted to use his Orvius to cross it. On the other side are red pods made of Sentient energy, containing struggling Grineer of all classes. These trapped Grineer cannot be interacted with or their prisons destroyed.
Ordis: “Grineer! Oh my. Ordis wonders what we are getting into.”
Trapped Grineer will continue to appear throughout the ship. Further on, the path is blocked by a door with a red energy lock.
Ordis: “Observation: a power field requires a power source.”
Teshin must destroy the energy node on the door, then two subsequent energy nodes in the same room, each within 25 seconds of each other, or the entire energy lock will reset. Once all three energy nodes are destroyed, the door will open, revealing the first Orphix field generator. It is protected by an impenetrable shield and a swarm of Brachiolysts, which Teshin must destroy. Unlike the more advanced Sentient units, these do not have elemental shielding.
(upon failing to penetrate the shields after defeating the Orphix defenders) Teshin: “Hmm? [sigh] Ordis….”
Ordis: “Yes? Would you like me to dephase that for you?”
The energy shield protecting the Orphix field generator will fall, and Teshin can now attack it directly.
Ordis: “Swing away, Teshin.”
(upon destroying the Orphix field generator) Ballas: “The Devil sends their relic to do the deed. But then… we’re both relics, aren’t we, old man?”
Teshin is waypointed to the next generator.
Ballas: “The Tenno freed you from your oath, did they? Does that absolve them of their sins?”
There is another energy lock with 4 energy nodes that need to be destroyed. Beyond it is a large circular object, similar to a mirror made of blood (or perhaps kuva). As Teshin nears it, he hears his own voice, admonishing the Tenno during The War Within quest.
Teshin (memory): “You shouldn’t have come here. You have ruined us both.”
Ordis: “Teshin? Are you— LOSING IT— feeling unwell?”
The second Orphix field generator is beyond, and, as before, Teshin must defeat a number of Brachiolysts before Ordis can lower the protective shield.
(when lowering the Orphix shield) Ordis: “Ordis is still happy to help!”
After the Orphix field generator is destroyed, a large Typholyst appears. The Typholyst is a nimble but powerful opponent. Its elemental shielding is Cold-sensitive for the first third of its health, then Heat, then Electricity. Once its health is depleted, Teshin must approach it and perform a finisher move. The finisher animation shows Teshin slashing the Typholyst a couple times before reaching in, seizing the Sentient core, then ripping it out and crushing it with a single hand.
Teshin: “Too easy.”
Ordis: “Just one left, and Ordis will be able to safely signal the Operator to join!”
Teshin: “I will decide when it is safe.”
Ballas: “She and her Void brood toppled a golden age of order and honour. Do you really believe this chaos is freedom?”
There is a third energy lock with 5 energy nodes. The final Orphix field generator is beyond, and this time Teshin must defeat another Typholyst in addition to the Brachiolysts.
(upon killing the Typholyst) Ordis: “Almost done, Teshin.”
(upon destroying the Orphix field generator) Ordis: “Orphix fields are disabled. The Operator should be cleared to board.”
Teshin: “No. Too easy. Let me nudge the snares first.”
Ballas: “That’s it. Come to me, old man. I am eager to show you how this war ends. Not with brutality, but with hope. Not with lies, but truth. A truth for all who are strong enough to believe. Even you.”
Further within the ship is a large open space where the detritus consumed by the Devourer can be seen. Asteroid fragments hang in the air. Grineer Gokstad Crewships and Corpus Aquila fighters lie entangled in red Sentient energy. An Ionyx tows an immobile Grineer Flak to an unknown destination. A Sentient warp tunnel at the edge of the platform unfolds before Teshin as he approaches it. When Teshin enters the warp tunnel and travels to another part of the ship, the view goes black.
Ballas: “Wake up, sleepyhead.”
The player has a perspective of someone opening their eyes, seeing Teshin and Erra in the central platform of the Sentient mothership. The player’s perspective is through Natah’s eyes, though this is not made clear until later. Ballas, sitting nearby, leans into Natah’s field of view to address her directly, before turning his head to look at Teshin while beckoning her to do the same.
Ballas: “You’re going to want to see this. Watch the veil do its work.”
Teshin kneels on the ground, struggling to remove a strange device affixed to his face. The device emits a cloud of red smoke or dust around his head.
Erra: “Call out, Dax.”
Teshin (mantra): “Cool water flows. The moon, behind a cloud….”
Teshin stands up and Erra begins to attack him. The player has the ability to control Teshin, to let him strike at Erra and parry his attacks, but it is not necessary. Ballas turns to face Natah again.
Ballas: “He’ll give in soon. They all will… and this war will be over before it even begins. Not with bombs and blood… but with truth. They programmed you and your kind. Now it is our turn to program them.”
Throughout the scene, Teshin’s grunts of aggression are mixed with Natah’s panicked breathing and her pounding heartbeat.
Erra: “Summon your devil. It’s time.”
Teshin: “Why? No! No! Valeria!”
Erra jumps up and strikes Teshin from above, making him fall to his knees again. As Ballas turns and speaks to Natah again, Erra picks up Teshin by his helmet and holds him in the air for a bit before dropping him.
Ballas: “See the veil work. Turning his memories inside out. Making him see the things he’s lost. Putting pain where it serves us. A lost love, perhaps… her life, cut short by the very Tenno he had sworn to protect.”
Erra: “Call out, old man. Give her justice, give her peace!”
Teshin: “I-I can… see her… Tenno… why???”
Erra knocks Teshin down again, which triggers a cutscene.
[Teshin falls to his knees. Panting and grunting, he grasps the veil device on his face with both hands and rips it off. The circular device, still emitting its red mist, clatters across the ground. Teshin, exhausted, leans back on his ankles, but before he can recover, Erra seizes him by his helmet and lifts him into the air.]
Erra: [sigh] “One for the reject pile, then.”
[Erra shakes his hand violently. It is not clear if he crushes Teshin’s head or snaps his neck, but nevertheless the Dax goes limp. Erra is immediately smote by a blast of blue energy, causing him to drop Teshin. Erra falls to his hands and knees next to the body, and looks over his shoulder to see the Tenno’s Operator, hand outstretched and still glowing slightly. The Operator looks over at the seated Ballas and reaches out their hand again, charging up Void energy to strike him. Ballas smiles, stands, and slowly steps aside to reveal Natah. She is hunched over, on her knees. Her body is now more clearly segmented into a large Sentient shell enclosing a human-shaped form; however, her human face is still divided into individual plates, like a broken mask. The material making up her human body, including her face, is cracked and brittle-looking, and flakes of it are constantly breaking off and flying away in the wind. Her movements are slow and her breathing is laborious. She is clearly dying, being slowly unmade on some metaphysical level. She raises her head slightly to look at the Tenno, who drops their outstretched arm and looks on in horror and concern.]
[Ballas observes the Operator’s distress with satisfaction, then kneels down next to Natah. He takes her face with his right hand, causing her to wince, and leans in to gently kiss her. As he does, a green light leaves Natah and passes into Ballas, causing his body to glow briefly. When Ballas releases her and stands up, Natah goes completely limp.]
Ballas: “Goodbye, my love.”
[The Operator angrily moves again to attack Ballas, but is stopped as the ship rumbles and shakes. The large, throne-like structure behind Natah, seen earlier in the Erra and The Maker cinematics, changes configuration, folding downwards to reveal an empty space. In that space, a glowing maelstrom-like portal sparks open, and begins dragging her in. The Sentient shell detaches from her and tumbles into the Void, while Natah herself is able to get a handhold on the uneven floor. The portal continues its relentless pull, and Natah’s body dangles horizontally behind her as she struggles to hold on. The Operator jumps forward, Transferencing into their warframe and bullet jumping to grab her hand just as Natah lets go. Natah’s hand slowly slips out of the warframe’s grasp under the pull of the wormhole, but as she flies away, the Operator slides out of their warframe, taking her hand yet again while holding on to their warframe with their other arm. The Operator uses all their strength to hang on to Natah. She slowly twists her head to look at the Tenno.]
Natah: “Let me go, child. Let me go.”
[The Operator redoubles their efforts to pull Natah to safety, even as they themself are pulled closer to the edge.]
Operator: “I can’t! I won’t.”
[Ballas steps up next to the Operator, having stolen the Tenno’s Paracesis from the inoperative warframe. With a mighty downward swing, he severs the Lotus’ hand, and she falls backwards into the portal. The Operator falls to their knees in shock and looks out at the Void. Ballas looks down menacingly at the Tenno as he stalks behind them.]
Ballas: “You cannot kill the devil, Tenno!”
[With both hands, Ballas drives the Paracesis through the Operator’s torso, the blade emerging from their chest. Ballas leans down to speak directly into the Tenno’s ear.]
Ballas: “…but you can send it back to hell!”
[Ballas rips the Paracesis out, and the Operator collapses to the ground. Static begins to occlude the view as the Operator is dragged by an unseen force across the ground, up in the air, and into the portal, before it goes dark.]
Fourth Mission: The Rise of Narmer (Earth)
After the last cutscene, the player is logged out of the game, and they must log back in. When they do, another cutscene will play.
[Ballas sits languidly on a throne, designed with both Sentient and Orokin themes. Ballas is now wearing a tall, mitre-like hat with ribbon-like tassels on the sides, and a similar-themed waistband. Behind him is a massive blood-mirror, like the one Teshin saw in the Sentient mothership. An unseen crowd before him chants “Narmer!” repeatedly. Ballas smiles and rises from his throne, to thunderous applause. He picks up a golden staff, hooked on both ends, and steps forward before raising his other hand. The chanting stops.]
Ballas: “All… as one.”
[Ballas digs the sharp, golden fingernails of his raised right hand into his own palm and opens his fist to release a fine mist of his own blood. The crowd cheers. The view then changes to zoom through a stylised Origin System, showing Murex surrounding each planet and blanketing them in the red glow of Sentient influence, as Ballas monologues about his victory.]
Ballas: “I stand before you… last of my kind. An orphan of Tenno massacres. But their violence did not end with me, did it? It carried on… to all of you. Grineer languished in their torture-plexes. Ostron clades starved for Tenno tithe. Corpus pupils weeping Tenno praise under blade. Solaris souls blackened the skies of Tenno foundries.”
[The journey through the solar system ends at Earth, encircled by Murex ships in orbit. The view transitions to follow a Bolkor ship landing at what used to be a Grineer outpost in the central forests, now under the control of Ballas’ Narmer empire. The Grineer infrastructure has been partially replaced with Narmer architecture, featuring dark stone inlaid with golden details. Towers topped with blood-mirrors dot the landscape, along with floating propaganda platforms with holograms of Ballas, extolling the virtues of Narmer.]
Ballas: “But now is our time. An era of peace and security. The devils have been cast out. And by the Void… the Tenno shall never return!”
[The Bolkor hovers by a landing pad and the loading gate opens. A cloaked and hooded figure steps out onto the ground. They turn and look at the Bolkor as it departs, then ready a Sentient-looking pistol and face towards the rest of the outpost.]
The perspective moves to over-the-shoulder, and the player is given control of the hooded figure as a playable character. This character, later identified as “the Drifter”, wears brown robes, with their face obscured by a balaclava and dark goggles. The mission takes place in a Narmer version of the Grineer Forest tileset. The Drifter will receive a heavily distorted transmission from a party identified as “???” (later shown to be Ordis).
[Ordis]: “Spire due south. Full detachment, veils on.”
[Drifter]: “Comms are bad tonight. How many prisoners, you think?”
[Ordis]: “Too deep to know for sure… but what if there’s an Archon down there?”
[Drifter]: “Don’t do that.”
The Drifter is directed to “Neutralise the Narmer outpost”. Their Sirocco pistol fires silent bolts of green energy, and can be overcharged by tapping the reload button at a specific time during a reload animation, which will significantly increase the damage of the next shot fired. They also possess a shock-prod melee weapon called the Rumblejack, which excels at stealth kills. The Drifter has three abilities: Restorative, which is a healing injection that restores a small amount of health and clears status effects; Smoke Screen, which deploys a smoke grenade that grants invisibility within a radius and duration of effect; and Target Radar, which reveals nearby enemies and allies. All the abilities have cooldown timers before they can be used again. The Drifter can sprint, slide, and roll, but cannot double jump or aim glide.
A propaganda drone floats near the Drifter’s initial location. It projects a red hologram of Ballas from the waist up, and will periodically broadcast a message (animating the hologram to speak it).
(variant) Ballas: “All… as one.”
(variant) Ballas: “The nightmare is over. Finally, we see clearly. Finally, we speak freely. Savour the taste of liberty, my friends. But never relax your vigilance. All as one.”
(variant) Ballas: “Future generations will not remember the Tenno oppression. But we do. We bear the scars. We mourn the dead. And we must never allow ourselves to forget. All as one.”
(variant) Ballas: “To those few who have yet to embrace Narmer, hear this: we understand. We see your fear, your hesitation, and we say: come into the warm. Do not imagine that any shall be rejected. All have a place. There is room for you too, in this better world. But come sooner rather than later, for our pity will last only so long. All as one.”
(variant) Ballas: “They breed in the midnight places. A pestilence. You have known them of old, told tales of their evil. Stand strong. Stand together. One cord alone may snap, but a rope woven of many cords may bind. All must do their part. All as one.”
(variant) Ballas: “I saw a System divided, and I brought unity. I wept over the orphans’ war, and I brought peace. My ears rang with the cacophony of chaos, and I said ‘Be still.’ This bounty I give to you freely. Not the spoils of conquest, nor the profit of trade, but the gift of a loving father. All as one.”
(variant) Ballas: “Just as a crystal lens first brought the heavenly bodies within the sight of man, so do the veils show us the world as it truly is. Seek out those who still walk amid the smoke of confusion and cry aloud for comfort. Take their hands and guide them into the light. All as one.”
(variant) Ballas: “There are those who hate and fear the truth, and well they might. For the truth is a surgeon’s scalpel. It has no mercy for what is foul and diseased. Purge, and purge again, until only the truth remains. All as one.”
The drone can be shot and destroyed. They will be found throughout this and other Narmer missions.
As the Drifter moves deeper within the outpost, they will encounter Narmer enemies. These are standard Grineer troops, wearing Narmer veil devices like the one used on Teshin. They are equipped with upgraded Narmer weaponry. The Drifter must kill or evade them. They also have an optional objective to rescue 10 Ostron prisoners from cages scattered throughout the outpost; there is no reward or consequence for doing so.
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “Help the others. Kruna metta!”
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “Dah-dap. Sho-la.”
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “Kruna metta, my family – I must find them.”
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “Ai yo.”
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “Never will I submit to Narmer.”
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “The Unum. Did she send you? Does she live?”
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “Dah-dap, surah. Dah-dap.”
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “Dah-dap.”
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “Release me, utz!”
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “Do not concern yourself with me, surah. Rescue the others.”
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “Do not succumb to the masks, surah. She gives, we live.”
(when freed, variant) Ostron prisoner: “You will rescue the others, yes?”
The Drifter will arrive at a security gate that blocks the path with red Sentient energy. They will have to dispel the gate by hacking a security console, featuring a new kind of hacking minigame. There is no consequence for failing the hack.
The next gate must be deactivated by hacking three separate security consoles located around the tile. After that, the next gate is controlled by security nodes carried by three Narmer Heavy Gunners; killing the enemies will deactivate the security nodes and lower the gate.
The final gate is patrolled by several soldiers and two laser-guided turrets.
(when the Drifter arrives at the security console) [Ordis]: “Patch in, and I’ll release the door….”
(upon hacking the door) [Ordis]: “Looks clear… but maybe an Archon—”
[Drifter]: “Stay cool.”
[Ordis]: “I have no idea what that means.”
The gate opens, granting access to a large facility. The path follows a tunnel deep into the earth. A final security gate at the bottom opens up into a large chamber of Sentient construction.
(upon hacking the door) [Ordis]: “Let’s hope you’re not too late.”
As the Drifter enters the room, a cutscene plays.
[An Ostron is being held on a high platform, guarded by Narmer Grineer troopers. A Sentient Deacon holds up a Narmer veil as the Ostron struggles.]
Ostron: “No! No! Kruna metta! Please!”
[The Deacon puts the veil in front of the Ostron’s head, and it snaps onto his face. The Ostron immediately stops struggling as the veil begins to indoctrinate him, and Ballas’ voice can be heard faintly speaking to him from within the device.]
Ballas: “Ostron clades starved for Tenno tithe.”
[The Ostron slowly stands with a blank expression and begins reciting the Narmer mantra.]
Ostron: “All as—”
[The Ostron suddenly turns and points to the Drifter.]
Ostron: “There! APOSTASY!”
[The Deacon and Narmer Grineer Lancers turn to face the Drifter. The Drifter turns to flee, but a Tyro Conculyst appears in their path. As the Drifter looks about, another Conculyst and a Battalyst appear to cut off other escape routes.]
The cutscene ends and drops the player directly into gameplay. The Drifter must fight off the Sentients and the Narmer Grineer (the Deacon disappears and the Ostron is not hostile). Once all the enemies are dead, another cutscene plays.
[The Ostron wanders the chamber floor aimlessly, repeating the mantra.]
Ostron: “All as one.”
[The Ostron stumbles to his knees. The Drifter slowly approaches him, taking care to appear unthreatening.]
Drifter: “Easy now. I’m not going to hurt you… let me get that thing off your face….”
Ostron: “All as one. All as one. All as—”
[As the Drifter goes to remove the veil, it detonates in a burst of orange light, killing the Ostron and throwing the Drifter back. A floating figure drops from the ceiling: a lithe, feminine form with a long, ophidian neck and a Sentient snake head, complete with bared fangs and glowing eyes. She sways her body and head from side to side in a cobra-like movement, and wields a Sentient whip in her right hand. The Drifter immediately scrambles to their feet and runs for the exit.]
[Ordis]: “I told you! I told you! An Archon!”
[Drifter]: “Call the ship, smart ass!”
[Ordis]: “It’ll be there! Just run!”
The Archon begins pursuing the Drifter, casting bolts of orange energy with her whip. The Drifter cannot damage the Archon and will immediately die if hit by the Archon’s attacks. The Drifter can only flee the area as quickly as possible. Many of the Archon’s attacks will not hit the Drifter and are instead scripted to hit the Narmer complex and cause it to collapse. The Drifter must dodge falling debris and disintegrating infrastructure, and their escape will be complicated as doors close and side avenues are blocked off. The Narmer Grineer will attack the Drifter, but will often be crushed by the Archon’s collateral damage, and they do not need to be engaged directly. The Archon will continuously pursue the Drifter. As the Drifter exits the facility, a final cutscene will play.
[The door slams shut just as the Drifter stumbles through it, and the Drifter pauses to take a breath. Their Bolkor ship is waiting for them, and the cargo gate opens behind them. Suddenly, the building’s door is rent and then obliterated by successive bursts of energy from within. The Drifter is knocked backwards, landing inside the Bolkor, which immediately departs. The Drifter slowly sits up, looking out the still-open cargo door at the Archon, which stands in the flaming doorway of the Narmer facility, watching the Drifter escape. This is the first good look at the Archon, and it is shown to be a Mag Prime warframe body with a Sentient head, neck, and tail assembly, with a large orange crystal embedded in the flesh at the juncture between warframe and Sentient. The long neck uncoils to its greatest extent, nearly doubling the height of the Archon, and the snake head screeches as the Bolkor flies out of view.]
After a loading screen, the Bolkor drops the Drifter off at a secluded camp hidden deep within Earth’s forests.
Nora Night: “How long’s it been, since the Tenno left without sayin’ goodbye? Since Narmer and the masks? Since truth became a luxury few can lay their hands on? Whoever’s picked up the mantle the Tenno dropped, driftin’ wild, poppin’ masks and loosin’ bonds, whoever you may be, we salute you. Drifter.”
This is the Drifter’s base of operations, situated at the edge of a river that runs through a verdant canyon within a thick forest. A waterfall pours over a rocky outcrop, landing in a stream that meanders through the camp before emptying out into the river. By the stream is a small campfire, and nearby are two crude tables. One table holds foodstuffs salvaged from the Plains of Eidolon or Fortuna, and the other holds tools, documents, and datapads. Beneath the rocky outcrop is a large cavern filled with water. Sitting within the water is the Tenno’s Orbiter – never before seen in its entirety. The Tenno’s Landing Craft is detached from the front of the Orbiter and is secured to the roof of the cave, hanging over its attachment point (the “cockpit” area of the Orbiter, although the Landing Craft serves as the cockpit when attached). The Drifter can cross a metal bridge to enter the Orbiter, and either go down the ramp to Orbiter stations of the Arsenal, Foundry, et cetera, or stand at the front of the ship, where a teleport pad will take them up into the Landing Craft to access the Navigation console, Codex, et cetera. However, all functions of the Orbiter and Landing Craft are offline. Outside, Lua can be seen in the sky (during nighttime), and a giant Sentient Murex dominates the view. Occasionally, loud groanings and rumblings can be heard, presumably from the Murex.
The Drifter is waypointed to the Orbiter and into the Somatic Link chamber. As they enter it, a cutscene plays.
[The Drifter walks up to the Somatic Link. As they do, a robotic claw reaches down from above and takes the Drifter’s Sirocco sidearm, but the Drifter grabs it back.]
Drifter: “Hey! Gimme that.”
[The claw then grasps the Drifter’s hood and removes it – mask, goggles, and all – revealing the Drifter’s face.]
Drifter: “Alright… alright. Good to see you too.”
[The Drifter looks somewhat like the Tenno’s Operator, now grown to middle age or so and battle-weary (due to issues with face customisation options, this might not always function as intended). The Drifter finishes approaching the Somatic Link, and kneels before it. Seated in the chair is a barely visible spirit of green energy, with a large ghostly lotus flower in its lap. The spirit is not responsive and it is difficult even to see clearly. Spectral energy emanates from it and dissipates.]
Drifter: “What do you think, Ordis?”
[A floating, Sentinel-like robot of Orokin design hovers into view over the Drifter’s shoulder, with mechanically animated eyes and mouth.]
Ordis: “What do I think? I think— FINISH HER— this is torture. What’s left of her is just… just wasting away. We’ve tried everything. I have no ‘care and feeding of Eidolons’ in my data arrays. We don’t know what we’re dealing with.”
[Both the Drifter and Ordis look at the Lotus’ spirit with concern. The Drifter rises to their feet.]
Drifter: “No, we don’t. But you know someone that does.”
[The Drifter turns and begins walking away as the cutscene ends.]
Ordis: “I know someone that—?! Wait. Operator, you can’t be serious!”
Drifter: “I told you. Don’t call me that.”
Ordis: “Sorry, Op— sorry. If you want to get to the outer systems past Narmer, we’ll need a Corpus shuttle.”
There is an option next to the Somatic Link for the player to customise the Drifter’s appearance, including clothing options and face. When idling in the camp, the Drifter is prone to whistling a short tune.
The Drifter is waypointed to the Navigation console, which is now active. The Starchart shows the Origin System completely dominated by the Sentients. Every planet is surrounded by Murex and every mission node is represented by orange Narmer icons. None of the missions or locations can be selected, however, except for the next quest mission, on Fortuna.
Fifth Mission: Stolen Plates (Fortuna, Venus)
The mission starts with a cutscene of the Drifter riding an elevator down to Fortuna.
[Fortuna is much changed under Narmer. The entire subterranean chamber is bathed in red-orange light, instead of the purple and blue Corpus aesthetic. The first thing to come into view is a massive blood-mirror erected high on the wall, on the elevator shaft leading up to the Orb Vallis. As the Drifter sees it, they raise a hand to shield their eyes. The elevator passes through the upper floors of the Fortuna habs, and Solaris workers can be seen with Narmer veils on their cybernetic heads. Every Solaris is standing, motionless, facing the blood-mirror, arms spread, singing in unison. As the elevator completes its descent, it can be seen that Narmer architecture has completely taken over the colony: golden filigree designs, orange holograms of the Narmer symbol, and snaking cables of red Sentient energy. As the Drifter steps off the elevator, they can see Sentient Deacons patrolling the area, examining each and every veiled Solaris for signs of disloyalty.]
The song sung by the veiled Solaris is a distorted version of Fortuna’s “We All Lift Together”, with the lyrics rewritten to praise Ballas and his Narmer empire. In the cutscene, only the first half of the song is heard, but the second verse and chorus is found on the full song uploaded to YouTube, and the complete lyrics are provided here:
Healed, the pain of independence
Strong, our wise and trusted friend
We, united in one vision
Rise to sing of sorrow’s end
He, the bringer of the vision
Bids you answer to his call
Praise the wise and mighty Ballas
Heed the ruler of us all
For we’re all One
And the work’s begun
And we all run
To our golden son
Here today we sing our story
With Ballas we have found our home
Virtue once was work together
But virtue now is lift alone
Free we are now from each other
Brothers, sisters, daughters, sons
Where once we dreamt of independence
Now we stand and dream alone
We were all for One
Now the work’s begun
And we all run
To the golden son
Ordis: “Vox Solaris collapsed under Narmer. You’re on your own here. Keep your head down and get topside as quick as you can.”
The Drifter is waypointed to the Orb Vallis elevator on the other side of the colony.
Ordis: “Wait. Deacons. They’ll sense if you’re not veiled. Give them a wide berth, or you’ll be sucking black ooze before long.”
There are many Deacons patrolling or standing guard. If they see the Drifter, they will release a bolt of energy that will stun the Drifter, and then a Deacon will come near to place a veil on their face, and the game will restart from the last save point (there are several save points as the Drifter makes their way through Fortuna). When a Deacon is initially alerted to the Drifter’s presence, they can be evaded if the Drifter hides quickly, but an alerted Deacon is much harder to avoid, and will actively search for suspicious activity for a short time. The Drifter has access to all their abilities, but not their weapons, so the Deacons cannot be attacked, only avoided. The Deacons’ cone of vision is outlined with yellow beams.
The various Solaris residents will not react to the Drifter, and when approached will only chant “All as one.”
(when the Drifter passes The Business’ stall) Ordis: “Avoid the Deacons, or they’ll seal you in!”
As the Drifter progresses through the colony, they may notice that all the notable figures from the Vox Solaris resistance are gone. Rude Zuud and Eudico are missing from their posts. The Business’s stall is smashed up, with servofish tanks leaking and Conservation equipment scattered everywhere. Smokefinger’s mining cart is closed up, and Legs’ stall is completely bare. When the Drifter reaches the large coolant conveyor platform near Eudico’s bounty board, they may notice a Ventkid graffito on a grate that was previously inaccessible. This grate can be entered, dropping the Drifter into a vent-space clearly inhabited by Ventkids, now only populated by skittish Pobbers. After hacking a security gate, the Drifter finds the prior Ventkid inhabitants, now veiled and chanting “All as one.” Their graffiti on the walls have been covered by a large, spray-painted Narmer symbol, and the Ventkids all stand before it and chant, hands raised. Past the Ventkids is another grate that leads back to the main room of Fortuna, near the elevator. The Drifter must still sneak past several Deacons to reach their objective.
Little Duck: “Allo allo – missing your brain-buster, then?”
Ordis: “Ignore her. We can’t risk it.”
Little Duck: “Hah! Can’t risk what? Jank-ciphered comms? Already blew it. But listen, if you’re here to muck with Narmer, I’m keen to lift with ya.”
The Drifter must enter the elevator and ascend it to the Orb Vallis. The Vallis is almost unrecognisable. The coolant towers are upgraded with Narmer architecture, and are no longer in operation. Without their influence on the climate, the Vallis is now considerably less frigid, and much of the ground is covered by grass and other greenery. The Corpus crewmen now wear Narmer veils, and there seems to be a higher level of industrial activity, with shipping containers and ground vehicles common throughout the landscape. As usual, propaganda drones, Narmer banners, and blood-mirrors are scattered throughout, and a giant Murex can be seen in the sky.
Drifter: “Need a ship, Corpus tags.”
Little Duck: “Then you’ll be wanting to pay a visit to that bleeding brain-buster factory. I know a shortcut. Might grab yourself a K-drive if you’ve got the legs for it.”
There is a basic K-drive located among the shipping containers south of the Fortuna elevator, near the K-drive race “The Hard Way”. After boarding it, the Drifter is waypointed to the Corpus facility previously known as the Spaceport.
Little Duck: “Name’s Little Duck. And you… you must be that stick in the spokes I’ve heard about. You weren’t in with the Tenno back in the day, were ya?”
Drifter: “Something like that.”
(upon reaching the Spaceport) Little Duck: “Fresh shipment of brain-busters… and there’s one with your name on it. See… security’s lax on account of how the only way inside is wearing one of those sticky things.”
Ordis: “What? Op— you-you don’t know what effect it will have on you. There’s got to be a better way.”
Little Duck: “‘Fraid not.”
The Drifter must kill all the Narmer Corpus in the exterior courtyards.
(upon killing the guards) Little Duck: “Pops my plugs to think that some people take the veil by choice! Warm lies are more comfort than cold, hard truths, eh?”
Picking up a veil from an open crate will trigger a short cutscene.
[The Drifter reluctantly holds the veil up in front of their head, and the device snaps onto their face, seemingly attracted like a magnet. The Drifter shakes their head a few times, disoriented.]
Little Duck: “Ready? Veil up, and I’ll mark the shuttle uplink once you’re inside. Think happy thoughts, yeah?”
The Drifter is waypointed into the facility, but is momentarily stunned as a large apparition of the Lotus’ face appears in their vision. The Drifter groans and holds their hands to their face before partially recovering, but while the Lotus is speaking, the Drifter cannot sprint or perform any manoeuvres and can only walk slowly.
Lotus: “My child… so beautiful to behold. How do you feel?”
The visions of the Lotus will continue to occur periodically as the Drifter enters and moves throughout the facility. Each time the Lotus begins talking, the Drifter will be stunned, and will remain partially incapacitated for the duration of each apparition.
Lotus: “We found you within the derelict Zariman. Feral. Evil. Void in your heart… but Ballas… he saw a lost child in need of a father. As you recovered, he noticed me less and less. What good was I to him if you weren’t sick?”
Lotus: “I loved him, but he only loved you. The stasis dreams were the only choice I had. Your Zariman dreams of mother, father… I made them nightmares.”
With the veil on, the Drifter does not have access to their weapons or abilities. The Narmer Corpus will not react to the Drifter’s presence, seeing them as a fellow Narmer subject. Deeper into the facility, Deacons will appear, patrolling or standing guard as they were in Fortuna.
(variant) Little Duck: “Blending in nice, but I’d still give those Deacons a wide berth. Did you know they can detonate those veils if they smell a rat? Take your whole face off, that.”
(variant) Little Duck: “Ya shammin’ brainless real nice, but I’d give those Deacons a wide berth. They smell a rat, your veil detonates. Take your whole face off an’ no mistake.”
Ordis: “Are you serious?! It didn’t occur to you that you might want to mention that before we put one ON?!”
Little Duck: “It did. And I didn’t. Needed you focused.”
The Drifter needs to access a security console within a central room, avoiding the Deacons and deactivating security barriers.
Lotus: “But he could not be deceived for long. He saw through my deception, and my judgement was swift and true. He cradled you in his arms, saying: ‘Child—'”
Ballas: “Child, my child, forgive me. Wake from this horrid dream of hers. The world outside is waiting for you. These horrors of Zariman… are lies only to hold you ill. I… love you.”
When the Drifter finally reaches the security console, a short cutscene plays.
[The Drifter hunches over and grips the veil device with both hands.]
Drifter: “I can’t….”
A quick-time event triggers wherein the player must repeatedly tap a button (or hold it down, depending on their Accessibility settings) within a short time frame to enable the Drifter to rip the veil off their face.
(upon removing the veil) Little Duck: “Oi! Focus! Jab that console, quick!”
The Drifter must hack the security console to allow Little Duck to infiltrate the system. Upon doing so, however, the alarms will sound, and the Narmer Corpus in the factory will turn hostile and be alerted.
Little Duck: “Ah, guts! You’ve been rumbled! Right, leg it out the back before ya mumblin’ with the rest! I’ve sorted your ship… and a little nugget for myself while I was there.”
The Drifter is waypointed to an escape route that leads through a vent and out the rear of the facility.
(upon exiting the vent) Little Duck: “Ah… takes me back to the good old Tenno days… expect those brain-busters might be on backorder for a while. Been a pleasure lifting with you, Drifter.”
A Narmer Condor dropship is hovering on the loading dock (with some hostile Narmer Corpus crewmen nearby). The Drifter must reach the Condor for extraction.
[at Drifter’s Camp]
Nora Night: “Lovers… hold-outs… I just got word on the wave: Narmhead factory got hit. No doubt the handiwork of that Drifter we’ve been hearing about. Feels good to have a little bit of truth in the world.”
The Condor dropship is now parked at the Drifter’s Camp where the Bolkor was previously, and will serve as the Drifter’s primary transport moving forward.
Ordis: “Navigation is marked… but I hope you change your mind.”
Sixth Mission: Enemy of Enemies (Umbriel, Uranus)
The Condor drops the Drifter off on a landing pad in the Grineer Sealabs tileset. Like the rest of the Origin System, it has been converted into a Narmer outpost, with Narmer Grineer soldiers patrolling the area.
Ordis: “This confirms that you are clearly insane.”
Drifter: “Peas in a filo-pod, Ordis. Stay close… in case I come to my senses.”
The Drifter is directed to descend deep within the Sealab, killing or evading the Narmer Grineer enemies. Along the way, they will overhear transmissions from the Narmer Grineer disciple in charge of the area, commanding her subordinates.
Disciple Ka-Nuteru: “Exalted: the dissident remains entrenched in the shadows below. The sea runs crimson with the blood of our faithful. But… I will prevail. In Narmer’s name. All as one.”
As the Drifter descends, a shadowy figure will sporadically appear near them, sometimes killing the patrolling Narmer enemies. Often, Narmer Grineer can be seen inspecting a corpse that had been killed in a violent and bloody manner.
Disciple Ka-Nuteru: “The unclean spirit thins our herd from the shadows. It will not matter. My faith is too strong. The light of Narmer will bring it the truth. All as one.”
Disciple Ka-Nuteru (panting): “Only… only I remain. A test of my faith in trembling light. But! I am not afraid. Ballas will save me. His love is within me! All as One. All… as….”
The path eventually leads into the cave systems, with many bloody Grineer corpses scattered about. Venturing deeper into the caves causes the view to go dark and a cutscene to play.
[The Drifter is roughly thrown onto their hands and knees. A scythe reaches around to encircle their neck, and it pulls the Drifter up into a kneeling position. The Stalker – the shadowy figure seen earlier – keeps the Drifter immobilised with pressure at the neck and tension with the scythe. The Stalker looks out the pressure-glass window that shows a view of the Uranian ocean. Within the ocean, filling the foreground, is the great Sentient, Hunhow.]
Hunhow: “Even the Golden Lord of Lies cannot kill you, Tenno.”
[The Stalker pulls back sharply with the scythe, causing the Drifter to wince.]
Drifter: “She lives, Hunhow.”
[The Stalker looks to Hunhow and releases the pressure on the Drifter’s neck slightly.]
Hunhow: “No. She only lingers… and without her kind, not for long. Their search for her remains has long since begun. The Shadow can dispatch you swiftly. A mercy. The Archons will not….”
Drifter: “What do they want?”
Hunhow: “The same as you… to raise the dead. Only they have the power to do it… unlike you.”
[The Stalker releases the Drifter and steps away to the side. The Drifter gets to their feet, rubbing their neck.]
Hunhow: “You are just as incomplete as she is. No metal beasts. No Void fury. They will snap you in half and plant a veil on your face.”
Drifter: “Not if you help me.”
[The Stalker snaps his head around to look at the Drifter in surprise. Hunhow chuckles.]
Hunhow: “Help you? Of course. What are friends for? Let me explain what you are up against, ‘friend’. You see, the Archons were made by my son, Erra. Hybrid abominations of the Old War… raised from the blighted battlefields where Sentient and warframe fell.”
Three Archons are shown, including the snake-like Mag Prime seen on Earth. Like her, the other Archons are all hybrids, with animalistic Sentient forms grafted onto the heads of Prime warframes. The Drifter has options to ask about each one, and can do so in any order.
(if the Drifter asks “Is that an Owl?”) Hunhow: “The Owl is named Boreal. His trident strikes from a great distance… deadly, chaotic arcs. One might avoid them with a keen eye if you can anticipate their faint threads before. Even the very ground you walk upon will become Boreal’s weapon. He may have a weakness at this moment, but it is not obvious. Worst of all is the paralysing screech. Terrifying, yet this moment is your only chance to close in, unseen, and strike.”
(if the Drifter asks “What do they call the Wolf?”) Hunhow: “Amar. He will gnash his fang-blade, filling the air with deadly coils of flame. Survive the flame, and you might see frenzy. A relentless fury of slashes. Only the greatest of force will subdue him in this. Should he howl, the pack will appear. Mirrors of himself, meant to confuse. Only the true eye can distinguish the alpha among them.”
(if the Drifter asks “I’ve seen the Snake before.”) Hunhow: “You know Nira. The eldest. Her whip cracks with an Eidolon’s wrath… bone-shattered shockwaves unleashed by every unfurling of its tip. Her whip is more than pain; it is protection. And more… for if you stand in awe of its spiral, the great thunderclap that follows will knock you senseless. Though… she may be diminished somewhat by this exertion. And her gaze. To meet her gaze is certain death. Only by turning away would you hope to survive.”
[The Drifter turns and walks away.]
Hunhow: “Vainglorious whelp. That’s it? Off you go to die? You have nothing to fight these beasts with! I cannot guess how many lives a Tenno has, but you seem eager to lose another.”
[The Drifter turns and addresses Hunhow scornfully.]
Drifter: “I’ve got work to do. You can lie here all you want, doing nothing, wallowing in ancient grudges. She chose the Tenno. But Ballas and your grovelling son… they used her. They’ll do it again and again. Burning her up for whatever suits them and tossing the ashes when they’re done. They cannot have her.”
[The Drifter turns away again.]
Hunhow: “Tenno. Wait.”
[The Stalker looks back at Hunhow in surprise. The Drifter stops, but does not turn around.]
Hunhow: “I have wallowed here, it is true. Fading in this deep hole, waiting to die… but without release. Held here by a purpose I cannot abandon. That she… is free. So no. They cannot have her. But hear me – even if I help you, even if by some miracle you succeed… she will not be the same. Even for us… death leaves a mark. Do you understand?”
[The Drifter slowly turns around.]
Drifter: “I understand.”
[The Stalker reaches behind his back and retrieves a mote of glowing orange. He extends his hand to the Drifter, and the light resolves into a curved staff, wrought of Sentient flesh and glimmering with orange lines of spectral energy. It floats over to the Drifter, who takes it.]
Hunhow: “A weapon as old as those you hunt. Nataruk.”
[The Drifter grips the weapon with intent, and its light flares, tracing out patterns. It is now apparent that it is a bow, generating its own arrows out of Sentient energy and propelling them with arcane force. The Drifter looks at Hunhow with silent thanks and determination.]
The Drifter is then waypointed out into an open area. They now wield Nataruk as their primary weapon, with the Sirocco pistol still available as a sidearm.
Hunhow: “If you are worthy of Nataruk, you won’t mind a little test, will you?”
A handful of Brachiolysts will spawn, and the Drifter is directed to kill them with Nataruk’s quick-fire.
Hunhow: “Archons will raise the dead to swarm you. But Nira is not the only one to call thunder.”
The dead Brachiolysts will reanimate and attack the Drifter again. After killing them, the Drifter will be waypointed to a different chamber, where Ortholysts will spawn.
Hunhow: “Nataruk can fire fast and true… but you will need to time your release with the weapon’s rhythm if you hope to pierce the blighted skin of an Archon.”
The Drifter is prompted to use Nataruk’s “perfect shot” mechanic to kill the Ortholysts, releasing the bowshot within a narrow window of time for maximum effect.
(upon killing the Ortholysts) Hunhow: “You are quick to it. But facing the Archon will not be as easy. You must study and prepare.”
The Drifter will be waypointed to return to the surface the same way they came in. The elevator shafts will be populated by floating Sentient units called Gravilysts, which will prevent the elevator platforms from ascending, and will slowly move towards the Drifter, detonating when close enough. The Drifter must use Nataruk to kill them at range. They will also have to fight Narmer Grineer as well as Sentients on their way out of the facility. The Gravilysts in the last elevator shaft will cause severe damage to the elevator systems when detonating, and the Drifter will have to platform-hop their way up the shaft, killing Sentients along the way.
(upon reaching the surface) Ordis: “Oper— uh… you. You’re alive! I can hardly believe it. He actually agreed to help?”
Drifter: “Yeah… bastard even gave me homework.”
The Drifter’s Condor will be waiting for them on the landing pad to extract them. However, upon approaching it, the loading screen will not immediately send the player back to the Drifter’s Camp, but will play an interstitial cutscene.
[The memory Ballas’ voice is heard over a black background.]
Ballas: “You cannot kill the devil, Tenno! …but you can send it back to hell!”
[The view resolves into a stunning panorama of Saturn and its rings, seen through the window of a ship. The perspective is through the Tenno Operator’s eyes, on board the Zariman. They gasp as if they have just woken up from a dream. A school bell rings in the background, and chatter from other students can be heard.]
Cephalon Melica: “Quiet down, please. Stand for pledges.”
[The sound of students standing to their feet can be heard, and the Operator looks away from the window as they stand as well. They are in a classroom, with about twenty other children, all dressed identically in Zariman suits. All the students have their right hands raised, and repeat in unison a pledge heard over the speakers.]
Zariman students: “By the glory and wisdom of the Seven I give my life—”
[The Operator is distracted by the student next to them, Mathon, who gets their attention with a “Psst!” noise and then mimics snoring, before laughing. The girl in front of him turns to look at the other two and quietly admonishes them.]
Jenva: “You wanna get detention again?”
[The Operator faces forward, raises their right hand, and joins in the pledge.]
Zariman students: “—To carry the sacred light of our dominion into the deepest dark. In this… we are one.”
[The students sit at their desks and begin talking amongst themselves again. The large screen at the front of the room (previously displaying the Zariman logo) now shows the holographic representation of a cephalon.]
Cephalon Melica: “Save all that chitter chatter for Tau! Our jump schedule has changed again, so we’re moving exams up with it! Everyone has studied their Temporal Axioms unit, I assume?”
Mathon: “T.A.? But we were meant to have Phasics!”
Cephalon Melica: “By my precepts, I’ve never had such an enthusiastic group of students! Now. Eyes on the main screen, and pay close attention!”
[The screen will now display a lecture video, narrated by Euleria Entrati.]
Euleria Entrati: “Temporal Axioms – Unit 6. The Prison of Linear Time.”
[Screen: Temporal Axioms, Unit 6. The Prison of Linear Time.]
Euleria Entrati: “Presentism, the obsolete theory of linear time, posits that now is all that is real.”
Euleria Entrati: “In this frame, the Present Absolute, the now, moves constantly towards the future.”
[Screen: Event: solar genesis; animation of star creation]
Jenva: “When are we ever gonna use this stuff?”
Euleria Entrati: “And leaves the static past behind, discarded, consigned to unreality.”
[Screen: Monotemporal progression = entropic escalation]
Euleria Entrati: “The future remains to be discovered, but is less real than even the past.”
[Screen: Presumed inevitability of decay]
Euleria Entrati: “We see the shadows on the cave wall, but not the hands that cast them.”
[Screen: Event: solar extinction]
Euleria Entrati: “The Void offers humanity the truer telling of Eternalism. That now is merely a facet of a great block.”
[Screen: Eternalism theory of Void travel. Polytemporal nexus (see Chapter 7); animation of a spinning cube]
Mathon: “My head hurts….”
Euleria Entrati: “It is relative… and we can change the frame.”
[Screen: Meta-event: solar totality; animation of star states held within a cube]
Euleria Entrati: “The tyranny of the Present Absolute is overthrown. Tomorrow is now its equal.”
[Screen: Further reading: ‘Beyond the Wall of Lohk’, A. Entrati; ‘The Palimpsest of Spacetime’, A. and E. Entrati]
Cephalon Melica: “Students, eyes on your own screen.”
[The Operator looks down at their desk, and the datapad on it begins to quiz them in Euleria Entrati’s voice.]
Euleria Entrati: “Question One. Which of the following is not one of the Theories of Time?”
(if the Tenno selects “A. Presentism”) Euleria Entrati: “Incorrect. Were you paying attention during the lecture? Try again.”
(if the Tenno selects “B. Futurism”) Euleria Entrati: “Correct. Presentism and Eternalism are the principal Theories of Time.”
(if the Tenno selects “C. Eternalism”) Euleria Entrati: “Incorrect. Were you paying attention during the lecture? Try again.”
Euleria Entrati: “Question Two. What is the principal failing of Presentism?”
(if the Tenno selects “A. It considers the Present to be the only reality.”) Euleria Entrati: “Correct. As the name implies, Presentism considers only the Present to be real.”
(if the Tenno selects “B. It has never been endorsed by an Archimedian of unblemished standing.”) Euleria Entrati: “Incorrect. Prior to the discovery of the Void, many worthy Archimedians of the past endorsed Presentism.”
(if the Tenno selects “C. It lacks elegance.”) Euleria Entrati: “Partially correct. While elegance is a valid measure of worthiness, the primary failing of Presentism is adequacy. Try again.”
(if the Tenno selects “D. It is not true.”) Euleria Entrati: “Incorrect. We are not concerned here with absolute truths. Only with truth at a relative scale. Demerit applied. Try again.”
Euleria Entrati: “Question Three. Lintana’s parents have been captured, but she has a choice. The button that opens her mother’s cell door will flood her father’s cell with deadly radiation, and vice versa. She presses one of the buttons. Under Eternalism, which of the following statements is universally true?”
(if the Tenno selects “A. Only one of her parents will survive.”) Euleria Entrati: “Incorrect. Versions of reality now exist in which each parent dies. Lintana is assigned to one of them, but the other is no less real and is theoretically accessible.”
(if the Tenno selects “B. Only one of her parents will die.”) Euleria Entrati: “Incorrect. Versions of reality now exist in which each parent dies. Lintana is assigned to one of them, but the other is no less real and is theoretically accessible.”
(if the Tenno selects “C. Her parents will survive. Her parents will die.”) Euleria Entrati: “Correct. Versions of reality now exist in which each parent dies. Lintana is assigned to one of them, but the other is no less real and is theoretically accessible.”
[The Operator looks up as a voice is heard on the intercom.]
Zariman announcer: “Pardon the interruption. This is Zariman actual. All decks, all stations, stand by for Reliquary field drill.”
Cephalon Melica: “Students, please direct your attention to the windows. You may find this instructive!”
[The students look at the window, some of them standing up. The cephalon dims the classroom lights for better visibility.]
Zariman announcer: “In ten… nine… eight… seven… six… five… four… three… two….”
[Creaks and groans can be heard throughout the ship as the Zariman begins its Void jump. The view outside the window becomes filled with the cyan light of the Void. As it grows in intensity, a high-pitched ringing can be heard, steadily increasing, along with a static noise. Some students cover their ears with their hands. As the captain completes his countdown, a flare of white light drowns out everything else.]
[in Drifter’s Camp]
The Drifter is waypointed to the Lotus’ Eidolon in the Somatic Link chamber.
(upon approaching the Lotus) Drifter: “How long does she have?”
Hunhow: “Not long. You must hunt Erra’s Archons at once and take from them their power over restoration. Given such a task before you, I suspect you’ll be gone before she.”
Ordis: “Forgive me, but… this would be a lot easier if you could use that old… uh… Tenno… magic. How did you lose it?”
Drifter: “I didn’t. More like… I don’t have it yet.”
Navigation is now updated with three possible missions.
(upon accessing Navigation) Ordis: “I traced Eidolon signatures the best I could. These locations seem most likely.”
There are three locations on the Starchart where the Archons can be found. The Drifter can choose to hunt them in any order. Boreal is found at Mantle, Earth; Amar is found at War, Mars; and Nira is found at Themisto, Jupiter.
Fifth Mission: The Wild Hunt (First Archon)
The Drifter can choose which Archon to hunt first. Each Archon fight is fairly similar to the others. Boreal is found in the Grineer Forest tileset with Narmer Grineer enemies. Amar is found in the Grineer Settlement tileset, also with Narmer Grineer enemies. Nira is found in the Corpus Gas City tileset, with Narmer Corpus enemies.
Ordis: “That interference again! There’s got to be an Archon nearby.”
Drifter: “For once, I hope you’re right.”
Erra: “A curious weapon, Drifter. You seem to have made a powerful friend.”
Hunhow: “They have me, Erra. Until you come to your senses. Ballas is not one of us. He is a parasite, adapting to whatever suits him. He is using you… and our kind. Surely you see that.”
Erra: “See what? A century of your failures? Your betrayal of your own people? Narmer has given our people more than you ever could. Victory. When my Archons have crushed this scant-fly, you’ll be back to rotting in the deep. Alone.”
After a security hack, the Drifter will arrive in an open tile decorated with a large stone sculpture of the Archon’s head. Several Sentients will spawn. After they are killed, the Archon will spawn with a short intro cutscene.
Boreal possesses a long-range beam attack with his trident, Korumm, that is telegraphed beforehand. He can slam Korumm to electrify large sections of the ground, dealing damage and applying status effects (Restorative can clear the Electric status). Boreal can also teleport across the battlefield, often appearing behind the Drifter. When sufficiently injured, he will emit a screech that generates a spherical field around him that slowly expands. While screeching, he will heal himself. The field blocks incoming fire and exerts a pushback force on the Drifter, making it difficult to get inside, but Smoke Screen negates the pushback. The screech (and thus the healing) is interrupted once Boreal takes damage.
Amar can throw fireballs with his Nepheri dual daggers, make short dodging teleports, and perform a leap that ends in a ground slam, inflicting Heat status. He can charge on all fours (actually all six, as he has an extra pair of arms), moving surprisingly fast and dealing damage and knockdown if he makes contact. When sufficiently injured, he will create an army of clones and hide among them, healing as he does so. All the Amar-clones float motionless in place, and pose no threat to the Drifter. The true Amar is the only one without a smoky energy effect, and can also be revealed with Target Radar. Attacking a clone causes it to dispel; attacking the true Amar dispels all the clones and stops Amar’s healing, and he will resume attacking.
Nira hurls toxin projectiles with her whip, Verdilac, as seen before in the fourth mission. Her whip can also be used as a long-range melee weapon. She can use a ripline to swiftly move around the battlefield, clinging to walls, and then leaping to the ground to bite. She can spin Verdilac to generate a circular shield in front of her, blocking incoming damage, before hurling it forward, causing knockdown.
Each of the Archons will become invulnerable periodically and summon Sentients to fight for them, requiring the Drifter to kill the Sentients before engaging with the Archon again. Once the Archon is down to a quarter of their health, a short cutscene will play where the Archon leaps onto the Drifter, the Drifter will hold their gnashing teeth at bay with their hands, and the player is given a quick-time event to thrust off the Archon by mashing or holding a button. Once the Archon is repelled, they will flee.
(when the Archon flees, variant) Hunhow: “Do not let the beast recover!”
(when the Archon flees, variant) Hunhow: “It lies in ambush ahead… but you have no choice.”
(when the Archon flees, variant) Hunhow: “The creature retreats! Wounded. Finish it.”
The Drifter must pursue the Archon further in the map, again coming to an arena-style room with a sculpture of the Archon, guarded by a hackable security door. The Archon will have regenerated a quarter of their health (bringing them back up to half health), and the Drifter must continue the fight.
If the Drifter is downed at any point during the fight, the Stalker will appear once and revive them. Subsequent downings will reload the mission.
(if the Drifter is downed, variant) Hunhow: “We need you, Shadow….”
(if the Drifter is downed, variant) Hunhow: “Shadow… do not let them fail.”
(if the Drifter is downed, variant) Hunhow: “Shadow, lend them your power.”
Once the Archon is defeated, a cutscene will play.
[The Archon kneels on the ground, motionless, head down. The Drifter stumbles nearby, exhausted from the fight. They pause to catch their breath, but are interrupted by the sound of energy swirling around the dead Archon. The corpse begins to glow with a red aura, and it twitches before rising to its feet. It growls and groans as it slowly comes back to life, and it gradually assumes a combat position, facing the Drifter. Suddenly it recoils, throwing its arms out in a stunned position. The crystalline shard embedded in its neck is pulled backwards, out of its body. The glow of energy leaves the Archon and it goes completely limp before falling to the ground. Behind it stands the Stalker, having extracted the Archon shard. He gazes curiously at the object in his hand before stepping forward and offering it to the Drifter.]
[in Drifter’s Camp]
Nora Night: “Well now, children. Well now. One of you out there is slayin’ dragons, and doing it in style. Keep those hits comin’… [chuckles] Drifter.”
The Drifter is waypointed back to the Lotus in the Somatic Link. As they approach her, a cutscene will play.
[The Drifter takes out the crystalline shard from the first Archon and holds it out to the Lotus’ Eidolon. It glitters with chromatic energy. They release the shard, and it floats through the air towards the Lotus. The Lotus stirs – the first movement seen so far from the spirit. The shape of her head turns towards the shard. The Drifter looks on, and Ordis floats up to join them.]
Ordis: “By the stars….”
[The Lotus leans forward, and there is a sound like a deep inhale. The shard disintegrates, and its energy flows into the Lotus. She gasps and falls back again, and she becomes more “real”, with her body turning less transparent and her face fading into existence. The large spectral lotus flower in her lap is now gone. She turns her head to look at the Drifter, her voice weak and haltering.]
Drifter: “Soon. Soon. I promise.”
[The Drifter reaches out with their hand to caress the Lotus’ face (still segmented like Natah’s). The Lotus reacts with tenderness, but quickly gets a feral expression on her face.]
[The Lotus lunges forward, snapping with her teeth, almost taking a bite out of the Drifter. The Drifter recoils, stepping back and raising an arm, but the Lotus falls back from the exertion and goes limp again. The Drifter catches their breath, still shocked from the interaction. Ordis slowly swivels to look at the Drifter.]
The scene immediately transitions into another flashback from the Zariman.
[The classroom is ruined, with broken glass scattered everywhere. All the furniture has been cleared away. The lights are off except for flickering emergency light strips on the ceiling. Screams and howls can be heard in the distance, along with sobs from inside the room. The Tenno’s Operator picks up a lone chair from the ground, and carries it over to the door, where most of the furniture has been piled up in a barricade. They set the chair onto the barricade and look over the entire assembly for structural integrity. A bright red glow from the rest of the ship spills into the room from the crack in the doorway where the door has failed to fully close. The Operator steps away and turns back to the room, taking a handheld globelight from their belt and holding it out. A few of the other students are scattered along the walls of the room, weeping or huddling with each other. Hammocks have been hung up along one wall for sleeping. The large window on the wall opposite is covered by metal shutters, but some are broken and hanging, and the bright cyan light of the Void shines through. Small items from the desks are scattered across the floor. There are crude, childlike drawings of menacing, shadowy figures on the walls, done in soot or some other dark pigment.]
Terolee: “I’m hungry.”
Berryn: “Was that… was that my mom?”
The Operator can now walk around the room. The large screen at the front of the room, now fallen down but still leaning against the wall, is cracked and broken. It flickers to life, and a badly damaged Cephalon Melica appears, glitching.
Cephalon Melica: “Class. C-C-Classssssss. Void jump in fif-fif-fif. Class. Student.”
The Tenno is waypointed to walk over to the cephalon screen and interact with it. Cephalon Melica will repeat her glitched line until the Tenno does so.
Operator (whispering): “Cephalon, kill lights, and switch off.”
Cephalon Melica: “Void jump commencing! How ex—cit—ing.”
All the lights will shut off in the room and the screen will go dark. The only illumination comes from the red glow from the door, the Operator’s globelight, discarded light-bar in the corner, and the cyan light of the Void spilling in from where the massive metal blinds on the large exterior window have been damaged.
Operator: “Quiet, everyone. Keep your voices down.”
The Tenno is waypointed to go around to some of the students and comfort them. First is Terolee, huddled next to another student.
Terolee: “Why is this happening to us? What did we do wrong?”
(Sun: “Something went wrong with the jump…”) Operator: “Something went wrong with the jump. But we’ll survive. Promise.”
(Neutral: “We need to stay quiet…”) Operator: “Just, just try to keep quiet… and don’t let him fall asleep, okay?”
(Moon: “We’re in this together…”) Operator: “I don’t know. But we’re going to figure it out together. Okay?”
The next student is Berryn, who is sitting on the floor alone, looking at a picture of his mother and weeping.
Operator: “Hey. Why don’t you go sit closer to the others until we get environmental back?”
Berryn: “M-M-My mom’s coming to get me soon.”
(Sun: “We’re on our own…”) Operator: “Oh please, would you snap out of it? We’re on our own now.”
(Neutral: “We’ll be your family for awhile…”) Operator: “No. She’s not. We’re going to be your family for a while, okay?”
(Moon: “Your mom will come…”) Operator: “I know. But go on. Just for now.”
Berryn: “N-No. My mom’s coming.”
The third student is sitting cross-legged on top of a desk in the corner of the room, facing away from everyone else and slowly tapping their knuckle against the window. Approaching them will play a cutscene.
[The Operator walks up to the other student, who does not react and simply continues tapping the window. The Operator smiles and holds out their globelight.]
Operator: “Hey, lose your light? Here, you can take mine.”
[The other abruptly stops tapping, and holds still for a second before quickly spinning around. They are identical to the Tenno’s Operator, including face and hair, but their eyes are glowing white. They reply with a disturbing grin in the Operator’s own voice.]
Man in the Wall: “Thanks kiddo. (voice distorted) I think I will.”
[in Drifter’s Camp]
The Drifter must go after another Archon. As before, they can choose any of the remaining ones.
(upon accessing Navigation) Ordis: “Two left. Just a simple choice between the horrible one and the terrifying one.”
Sixth Mission: The Wild Hunt (Second Archon)
The mission proceeds in identical fashion to the previous one, according to whatever Archon the Drifter decides to kill.
Ordis: “Archon in the vicinity, Operat— sorry. Old habit.”
Drifter: “Don’t sweat it.”
Ordis: “Hmm. A new one. I don’t think I get it either.”
Erra: “I know you. I feel it. Itching in my mind. You’re not just some lucky Drifter, are you? Well, my Archon will be prepared for you and your friend. I’m afraid that luck of yours is all spent.”
Hunhow: “Erra. Call off these aberrations. Give your sister a second chance at freedom. Are you so blind to the truth? You haven’t won. You are a Dax in every way but name. A servant to the old Golden Lord.”
Erra: “A second chance? I see. You’re not just trying to stop my Archons from finding her… you’re trying to bring her back yourself. Either way, she’ll soon be returned to us and this time… as Natah. Purged of Tenno lies and human weakness.”
As before, if the Archon downs the Drifter, the Stalker will appear to revive them once.
Once the Archon’s health has been depleted to a quarter, it will grapple the Drifter, with a similar cutscene and quick-time event.
(upon forcing the Archon to flee) Erra: “Why do you conspire against me, father? There is peace and dominion now. The first in centuries. Our people will finally flourish as we were meant to, atop the pyramid of living things. All of us… as one.”
Hunhow: “Are you trying to convince me… or yourself, son?”
Hunhow: “Shadow… do not let them fail.”
Once the Archon is defeated, it will kneel to the ground, and the Drifter must execute it from behind. Doing so will trigger a cutscene.
[The Drifter strikes the Archon once more to subdue it, and it lets out a growl. The Drifter reaches with both hands and wrestles the crystal shard from the Archon’s flesh, ripping it out. The Archon screeches and topples over.]
[in Drifter’s Camp]
Nora Night: “Fairy stories ain’t ever just about how monsters are real. They’re lessons in how monsters can be killed. Here’s to you, Drifter Drifter Archon-killer, and closing the book on this particular fever dream.”
Ordis: “I’m a little unsure about this. Last time she snapped at you. What will it be this time?”
Drifter: “Unless she sprouts fangs, I’m sure it’s fine. Besides… there’s still another Archon after this.”
The Drifter is again waypointed to deliver the shard to the Lotus.
[The Drifter takes out the shard and offers it to the Lotus, getting down on one knee.]
Drifter: “No biting this time, okay?”
[The Lotus turns to look at the shard and immediately absorbs it. Once again she becomes more corporeal. She opens her eyes and rises from her chair to hover above the Drifter, who stands and steps back in awe. The Lotus’ body is now composed of dark fragments (no longer translucent), like a statue that has been shattered, connected by an internal skeleton of flowing green energy that also hangs from her head and waist, giving the impression of long hair and a skirt, respectively. A green aura also radiates from her body. Her face, as before, is composed of independent segments for her eyes, nose, and lower jaw. She lifts up her hand and examines it. As she does so, the hand floats farther away from her wrist, suspended by a thread of the energy keeping her body together. The energy colour turns from green to blue, then abruptly back to green as she turns to the Drifter with a hostile expression. The components of her body separate and stretch out along the energy skeleton as her hand just did, making her seem much larger than before.]
Lotus: “Who are you?”
[The Drifter stammers before pleading earnestly.]
Drifter: “I’m… well… I’m not… I’m Tenno! Zariman. All that!”
[The Lotus looks around with confusion, struggling to remember. Her energy colour gradually turns from green to blue, then to Lotus purple.]
[Once again the energy colour turns abruptly back to green as she turns to the Drifter. As she shouts, her detached lower jaw causes her mouth to open far wider than a human’s would, in unsettling fashion.]
The cutscene immediately transitions back to the Zariman, continuing the last flashback.
[The Tenno’s Operator reacts to the Man in the Wall doppelganger, and a variety of emotions cross their face: surprise, confusion, determination.]
Man in the Wall: “Time’s up, kiddo. I can save them, all of them. (voice distorted) But you have to want it. (normal voice) [gasp] Let’s say we shake on it.”
[The Man in the Wall offers out a hand to the Tenno, but it is not the Operator’s normal hand; it is the Eidolon Lotus’ hand: stone-like flesh, smoking with wisps of green energy, with the characteristic data-port on the back. The Operator leans back in surprise, then considers the offer, but is interrupted by a thud at the barricaded door. They whirl around to look, and the cutscene transitions back to the Drifter’s Camp.]
[The Drifter dodges a blast of green energy and ducks behind a tree. Ordis dashes up to hover beside.]
Ordis: “She’s full-on Sentient… she doesn’t know who you are!”
Drifter: “No shit!”
Ordis: “What do we do?”
[The Drifter looks around the tree, and sees the Lotus appear and fire at the tree. The Drifter jumps away as the tree is obliterated.]
The player is dropped into gameplay. The Drifter must run away from the Lotus, who can fly and teleport, and attacks with beams of green energy from her head. She is invulnerable to all damage. The Drifter can only frantically run around the camp, trying to avoid her.
Ordis: “Operator, run!”
Lotus: “Lies!” (repeated sporadically thenceforth)
Ordis: “Get away from her!”
Eventually a cutscene will play.
[The Drifter unslings Nataruk from their back as they run. They turn around and draw the bow, aiming it down the path. As the Lotus flies into view, they release the arrow, and the shot flies towards her. The Drifter turns around to see the Lotus dash into view in front of them. They drop Nataruk to the ground and raise their hands in surrender. Lotus floats up into the air, framed by the red Murex in the sky behind her, and fires a beam of energy from her mouth. The Drifter throws their arms over their face and braces themself, but are unharmed. They lower their arms to see Ordis’ floating robot body, facing them, taking the direct force of the Lotus’ attack.]
Drifter: “Ordis!? No!”
[Ordis’ body turns molten orange as he absorbs more and more energy.]
Ordis: “D-D-Don’t s-s-sweat it!”
[There is a brief charge-up whine, and Ordis detonates, throwing the Drifter to the ground. When they get back to their feet, the Lotus is still there. She throws out a translucent energy tentacle with a claw on the end, and grabs the Drifter by the throat. The Drifter grabs the claw with both hands, struggling to breathe. The Lotus comes closer to float in front of the Drifter, keeping her hold on their neck. As the Drifter weakens, their hands fall away, limp. The Lotus opens her mouth in preparation to attack, distending her jaw again. The Drifter loses consciousness, and the cutscene returns to the Zariman.]
[The Tenno’s Operator turns away from the door and faces the Man in the Wall again, considering his offer. The Man in the Wall waggles his outstretched hand again in invitation. The Operator, with a look of determination, reaches out and shakes the hand. Immediately the background turns to the bright cyan of the Void. They gasp and recoil, and several copies of the Operator seem to fold out behind them in a queue as an echoing memory of the Lotus’ voice is heard.]
Lotus: “My child….”
[Another queue of identical Operators extends to the side of the last one, a dozen versions of the same person standing side by side. The memory of Ballas’ voice rings out.]
Ballas: “Devils from that other hell.”
[Suddenly, one of the Operators holds their hand to their mouth and convulses, falling backwards and dying. The other Operators die in quick succession, going down the line: one holding their throat, another their head, one simply collapsing, each one dying a quick and violent death, until the last one remains, locked in a handshake with the Drifter. A swirl of blue energy comes from the union of their two hands as they regard one another.]
[The cutscene transitions back to the Drifter’s Camp. The Drifter gasps as they regain consciousness, and they look at the Lotus, who opens her mouth and emits another beam of green energy. The Drifter throws up their hand and channels Void Beam, meeting the Lotus’ attack with a bright collision of light between them. Both intensify their efforts until there is a bright explosion, and both are thrown backwards. The Lotus recovers quickly, having only been pushed back in the air a few metres. As she looks on, the hostile expression on her face fades, and her body parts snap back together, giving her human proportions once again. The Tenno’s Operator steps forward out of the smoke where the Drifter once stood. They look around, confused about the environment, then look up at the Lotus in surprise. They tentatively step closer.]
Operator: “You’re… alive?”
[The Lotus looks down at her body and hands.]
Lotus: “I don’t know what I am… but I know what I must do.”
[The Lotus looks up and takes off like a rocket, ascending with a shower of green sparks. The Operator looks up at her with amazement.]
Seventh Mission: Zariman
The mission begins automatically from the last cutscene and begins with another cutscene.
[Ballas stands before his throne, looking down at a hologram of Earth that hovers before him with an intensely displeased look on his face. He holds his elongated right arm up near his head, curling and uncurling his fingers before settling in a loose fist. Erra stands behind him, off to the side.]
Erra: “It is her, I am certain.”
[Ballas adopts a nonchalant expression and tone.]
Ballas: “But of course your Archons have her.”
[Ballas cannot hide his anger any longer and grunts before exclaiming.]
Ballas: “Tenno?! Even hell was not hot enough to split them!”
[The two Deacons standing beside Ballas’ throne start quaking at Ballas’ outburst. Their staffs clatter to the ground as they grab their heads in anguish.]
Erra: “What does it matter? We— you have won. Narmer spreads across the System. Monuments rise to your glory. All who live, bios and not, kneel before you—”
[Ballas whirls to Erra and pounds his fists in the air.]
Ballas: “But not THEM!”
[The Deacons screech and collapse to the ground, dead. Erra takes a step back and looks down at them. The Narmer veils on their faces are incandescent, emitting sparks and smoke before gradually cooling to lifelessness.]
Ballas: “You see some great triumph here? That this dullard herd worships me? Wailing ‘freedom’ from their rotten gobs when the truth is… they all thirst for that piss-warm comfort of being told what to think. They wanted to kneel!”
[Ballas returns to ponder the hologram of Earth.]
Erra: “…But not them…. Then what is your command?”
[The cutscene goes to black, then shows the Tenno’s Landing Craft flying towards the Zariman 10-0. It hangs in space between the real world and the Void, the stern of the ship enveloped in a roiling Void rift as if it were perpetually emerging.]
Ballas: “Gather the fleet. She is coming to us – what’s left of her. She will kneel before me and, by my word, slaughter the only thing she has ever loved. And then? We feast.”
The cutscene ends with the modern Tenno Operator aboard the derelict Zariman ship. They are in a small hallway, with Zariman suits hanging on hooks on the wall. The lights are flickering. The Tenno proceeds into the rest of the ship. There is no HUD, and the Tenno is unarmed.
The Zariman largely conforms to the white and gray, non-ostentatious, Tenno aesthetic (seen in the Dojos and Relays), but possesses elements of Orokin design. Many design features are entirely new, including doors, furniture, and room layouts. The ship is completely derelict. Almost nothing is still functioning. Much of the furniture or other appliances have been moved, sometimes haphazardly. Pieces of wall panelling have been torn off or are hanging. There is little illumination save for the rooms that have massive overhead windows letting in reflected starlight. Some of the walls have disturbing drawings done in crude materials, as seen in the earlier Zariman classroom scenes. Most unsettling is the strange corruption that has manifested throughout much of the ship: a strange, black, almost metallic substance growing in spiralling patterns along the walls, seeping in from unseen sources. Where it has managed to build up, it constructs eerie growths with circular motifs, coalescing into forms that resemble giant humanoid figures with no faces. Its entire surface flows with twisting, shimmering patterns, almost like an oil slick. Sometimes it curls in on itself, creating a cyan glow. A blue ethereal fog emanates from the substance.
The Tenno walks past a golden statue depicting a man and a woman standing together in front of a model of the Zariman ship, clearly an inspirational monument meant to symbolise the Zariman community. Elsewhere in the room are golden statues sitting in the traditional Tenno seiza position. The next room contains a notable drawing of a menacing figure with four arms, drawn in dark ink on an overturned table. The room is adjacent to two classrooms; one is largely undisturbed, while the other is the Tenno’s classroom seen previously. When the Tenno enters it, they will see a hole in the large wall window, with a coil of the corrupting substance snaking in through the hole and and forming what seems like a large winged figure, occupying much of the wall and ceiling. At the back of the classroom, next to where the Man in the Wall had been sitting in previous flashbacks, is the Tenno’s discarded globelight. The Tenno is prompted to pick it back up.
(upon picking up globelight) Operator: “Huh, still works?”
The Operator examines and taps the globelight a couple times before wielding it in their left hand. Suddenly the Drifter’s distant whistling can be heard echoing throughout the ship.
As the Tenno leaves the classroom, they will briefly see the Drifter in the hallway before they quickly step away into the next room. As the Tenno chases them, the Drifter will be seen in the distance, at the end of hallways or around corners, always in the shadows and always moving away as soon as they are spotted.
The next room the Tenno traverses is an expansive arboretum with a massive domed glass ceiling. In the centre of the room is a massive statue of Albrecht Entrati, now overgrown with vines and moss. A silver, expressionless face mask hangs by a rope from one of the trees.
The next room has a drawing of a bearded man with bared teeth. A doorway off to the side is cracked open, and through the doorway emerge four tendrils of the corrupting material, looking like fingers from a giant hand reaching around the door. As the Tenno passes by a cracked screen projecting the Zariman logo, a distorted recording of the captain reciting the Zariman pledge plays.
“By the glory and wisdom of the Seven I give my life. To uphold the sanctity of the thousand legems evermore. To carry the sacred light of our dominion into the deepest dark. In this… we are one.”
After playing the pledge, the screen goes dark.
Finally, the Tenno arrives at a hallway of habitation rooms. One of the doors is open, and a warm light spills out. As the Tenno approaches, they see that the habitation is completely intact and undespoiled. Upon crossing the threshold, there is a flash, and the modern Operator (with all their cosmetic customisations and apparel) is replaced with the Operator wearing the original Zariman suit.
A portrait is displayed within a shelf, directly in front of the doorway. The Tenno is waypointed to examine it.
A man and a woman stand together. The painting is cracked, partially obscuring their faces, but their skin tone (and the woman’s hair colour) matches the Operator. The woman holds a baby in her arms.
A voice is heard from another room.
[Drifter]: “Have a seat. It’s almost ready.”
The Tenno is waypointed to a kitchen area next to the doorway. An induction stovetop runs along the counter, with some pots and pans on it. Other pans are affixed to a magnetic strip running along the wall above the counter. Plates, utensils, and cooking appliances of minimalist design also line the counter and kitchen shelves. In the centre of the room is a small, square table with two chairs. A wooden tray of colourful, cubed food sits on the table, along with two cups. The Tenno is waypointed to sit at the table. Doing so will trigger a cutscene.
[The Operator cautiously approaches the table, still not sure what to expect. Whistling echoes from the other room. The Tenno gingerly places their globelight on the table, then sits down. They adjust their seat uncomfortably, looking around. A person comes in from the next room, and picks up another tray of food shaped into colourful cubes. They place the tray on the table and sit down opposite the Operator, shimmering slightly as they do. It is the Drifter. They lean back in their chair, looking at the Operator with a small smile. The Operator leans forward in confusion, waiting to hear an explanation, but the Drifter only sits there in silence. The Operator sits back and throws up their hands.]
Operator: “What the hell—”
[The Drifter readies a set of chopsticks and motions to the Operator.]
Operator: “Uh. Yeah.”
[The Drifter uses the chopsticks to eat one of the food cubes. The Operator picks up their own set of chopsticks.]
Drifter: “Ordis okay?”
Operator: “Yeah. But, what are—”
Drifter: “Got all your warframes back?”
Operator: “Yeah. Why did you—”
Drifter: “So, where’s she at now?”
[The Operator sets down their chopsticks on the table and gesticulates with frustration.]
Operator: “I don’t know.”
Drifter: [chuckles] “Yeah. Still missing a few from the deck. Hunting that golden freak, I figure… what’s his name?”
[The Operator reacts with incredulous surprise.]
Operator: “Ballas? Wait, so you don’t know—”
Drifter: “Ballas, right. You ought to be more careful. I might not be around next time.”
[The Operator looks around.]
Operator: “Around? Okay, so what is this, then? Are you from the—”
Drifter: [chuckles] “Future? Naw… but that’d be a lot easier to get, now wouldn’t it? As far as I can make out: You’re the me that got rescued from this shit. And I’m the you that did not. Not sure which of us got it worse.”
[The Operator puts their hands to their temples and leans down, as if concentrating deeply.]
Operator: “So… you’ve been stuck here this whole time?”
Drifter: “Not here exactly… but yeah, stuck. You got bigger problems right now at least.”
[The Drifter puts down their chopsticks and picks up their cup, gesturing with it at the Operator. The Operator picks up their cup as well, and the Drifter tilts their cup to toast.]
Drifter: “To freedom.”
[The Operator nods, and both drink. The Operator quickly coughs and gags on whatever liquid was in the cup.]
Drifter: “Yeah. It’s great—”
[The Drifter begins to shimmer again, as they did when they sat down. They look at their hand, noticing the shimmer.]
Drifter: “Ah. That’s my cue, I think. Would love to give you a hand and all, but… the way this works… seems like finishing this is either: you-you or… me-you. So, what do we think?”
The player is now given a choice between Drifter and Operator. Whoever they choose will be the player’s avatar for the rest of the quest.
(if the player chooses Operator) Drifter: “Ya know, she saved you. It’s your turn. Bring her back safe, kid.”
(if the player chooses Drifter) Operator: “You saved her. Nursed her back to health. It has to be you.”
A short cutscene will play that shows the Tenno’s Somatic Link opening, revealing the Operator or Drifter, depending on which choice was made.
Ordis: “Exodus protocols reversed. Orbiter frontal section reattached. Running diagnostics… corrosion minimal. Ah. All seals holding.”
(if the player chose Operator) Ordis: “Stasis protocols lifted. Systems coming back online. Cephalon refit complete! Ready for operational crosscheck, Op— uh….”
Operator: “It’s good to be back, Ordis.”
Ordis: “Good to have you back, Operator. Systems crosscheck when you’re ready. Looking forward to— tearing Ballas in half— finding the Lotus.”
(if the player chose Drifter) Ordis: “Stasis protocols lifted. Systems coming back online. Cephalon refit complete— Excuse me, but where is my Operator?”
Drifter: “Looks like I’m your Operator for now. Don’t worry… they’ll be fine. You wanna tell me how this works?”
Ordis: “Scanning… indeed. You are my Operator! You can help me run through the crosscheck if you like. Then we can— annihilate Narmer— find the Lotus.”
The Tenno is waypointed to their Arsenal, where their warframe will be prepared for them.
(upon arriving at the Arsenal, Operator) Ordis: “Warframe vitals, strong. Warming up nicely. I’ve taken the liberty of rebuilding the Paracesis. Transference signal strong.”
(upon arriving at the Arsenal, Drifter) Ordis: “Warframe vitals, strong. Warming up nicely. I’ve taken the liberty of rebuilding the Paracesis. Surprising, but your Transference signal is clear. This might be an odd sensation for you.”
Drifter: “Can’t be harder than riding a horse, can it?”
The Tenno is prompted to Transference into their warframe. The Operator will perform a satisfied emote with their warframe, while the Drifter will stumble upon using Transference for the first time.
(when stumbling) Drifter: “Woah. Easy now.”
The Tenno is waypointed to the Helminth.
(upon arriving at the Helminth) Ordis: “Oh joy. This… thing… seems to have survived stasis.”
Operator: “Hungry, no doubt.”
Drifter: “Hmm. It’s almost cute… almost.”
Ordis: “The Narmer fleet seems to be redeploying. Sensors show Murex clustering past Mercury. What is Ballas up to?”
The Tenno is waypointed to the Lotus’ helmet in their Personal Quarters. Interacting with it will display a diorama of the Lotus, with the Unum’s Tower and its Murex in the background.
(Operator) Operator: “Cetus. She’s going to Cetus. She wants that Murex!”
Ordis: “Going after Ballas, then? Some kind of vengeance precept? Ordis had no idea she was strong enough for such a confrontation—”
Operator: “She isn’t. Not even close. We have to stop her, Ordis.”
(Drifter) Drifter: “She’s going to jack one of their Murex. I pity anyone who stands in her way.”
Ordis: “If the Lotus does manage to break through the fleet and face him… in her current condition….”
Drifter: “Ballas will get inside her head just like he always has. [sigh] And he’ll rip out her nervous system by the roots. We gotta stop her.”
The Tenno must have Paracesis equipped as their melee weapon to start the next mission. If the Tenno has not constructed the Paracesis, an unlevelled, unmoddable copy of it will appear in their inventory and must be equipped (it will be removed at the end of the quest).
If the player chose to be the Drifter, the Drifter will now take the place of their Operator when performing Transference. The Drifter loses the ability to use weapons like the Nataruk and Rumblejack, and loses their special abilities, and instead uses their Amp (but with the Sirocco skin equipped, no matter what Amp the Tenno uses). The Drifter can also use the Operator’s Void abilities. The Drifter is functionally identical to the Operator, except that they retain their roll manoeuvre instead of the Operator’s slide.
Eighth Mission: She Gives, We Live (Cetus, Earth)
The mission takes place in the town of Cetus, on Earth. The Tenno is dropped off on the outskirts, behind a rock formation.
Ordis: “Alright, the only way to reach that Murex undetected is… up through the Tower! We must speak with Konzu.”
The only way to proceed is a tunnel in the rocks that leads to a rear entrance of Onkko’s hut. To enter Onkko’s hut, the Tenno must leave their warframe behind and continue in Operator/Drifter form, since Cetus is blanketed in an Orphix field that disables warframes.
Cetus is patrolled by Deacons, as well as the floating Sentient carrier ships seen in Kahl’s mission. The Deacons are still invulnerable and will attempt to veil the Tenno if they spot them, but the Tenno’s Void abilities makes it much easier to elude them.
(upon arriving at Konzu) Ordis: “Oh no. Konzu’s been afflicted with one of those wretched Narmer veils! Tear off the lying mask.”
The Tenno can remove Konzu’s Narmer veil by Void Dashing into him, which triggers a cutscene and quick-time event where the player has to repeatedly tap or hold a key in order to remove the veil.
(upon being freed) Konzu: “Ai yo. Has it been so long?”
Operator: “Konzu, run and hide!”
Drifter: “Get to cover, old man!”
Konzu will run away to an unknown location.
Konzu: “We must pull that oversized Sentient leech from atop the Tower of Unum! Help the others as you helped me, surah. I shall find a way!”
The Tenno must also rescue Hok, Fisher Hai-Luk, and Master Teasonai in the same way. They also have an optional objective to find and free 10 other unnamed Ostrons, though there is no reward for doing so. Hok and Hai-Luk are near their normal market stalls, while Teasonai is by the shoreline. The named Ostrons will run away like Konzu after being freed, while the unnamed Ostrons will simply cower in place.
(upon being freed) Hok: “Pedlek? PEDLEK!”
(upon being freed) Hai-Luk: “Lok heb, surah!”
(upon being freed) Teasonai: “Master Teasonai is forever at your service.”
(upon freeing all three) Konzu: “Surah, quickly now, come to the air dock. Hurry, utz!”
The Tenno is waypointed to a hot air balloon near the outskirts of Cetus. Konzu will be standing next to it.
Konzu: “Fly, my friend. Stay out of their gaze.”
The Tenno must board the balloon and fly it to the Unum’s Tower. As they fly past some Sentient drones, Ballas’ voice can be heard, being broadcast throughout the area.
Ballas: “My people. Today we begin a great ascension. For as long as I have lived, a chain has dragged behind me. Keeping Tau always beyond grasp. We made our sacrifices… but always with one foot lingering on the shore. Never willing to leave it all behind. Never willing to burn the boats and commit, completely, to that opposite shore. That is why these worlds must die.”
The Tenno is directed to fly the balloon to a dock of sorts near the base of the Tower. Once the Tenno lands on the Tower, they will be outside the range of the Orphix field and can summon their warframe again (though this is not necessary).
(upon landing at the Tower) Ordis: “The locals believe this Tower to be inhabited by a great spirit they call ‘The Unum’.”
Operator: “…and that she sees time all at once. I think it’s just a metaphor….”
Drifter: “Haunted, huh? Nice trick to ward off would-be thieves….”
The Tenno must go inside.
(upon entering the Tower) Konzu: “Surah, do not harm any whom you could save, kruna metta.”
The interior of the Tower is an Orokin facility, with many Ostron huts and scaffolds to facilitate the exploration and harvest of the Tower. The Orokin architecture clearly shows the passage of time, unlike the pristine Void Towers, but it is not defiled by invasion and active decay like other Orokin ruins.
Once the Tenno reaches the centre of the Tower, they will see a massive central shaft with a conduit of red energy running through it, flowing downwards. It frequently emits a low groaning or rumbling.
Operator: “Uh… Ordis… you picking up anything strange?”
Drifter: “Ordis, you hear that?”
Ordis: “Nothing on my sensors… keep in mind, Operator, this was your idea.”
The Tenno is directed to activate a Reactive Crystal with Void energy from their Amp. As they move through the Tower, they will encounter Sentient enemies, including Mimics. The Tenno also has the option to free 7 veiled Ostron civilians working the Tower interior, though there is no reward for doing so.
(upon seeing the Reactive Crystal) Konzu: “The Unum. They plunder her Temple Kuva! Surah. Konzu begs you. Find a way to reinvigorate her. Before it is too late. Kruna metta!”
(upon activating the Reactive Crystal) Konzu: “She lives, surah. She lives!”
Once the Reactive Crystal is activated, the energy conduit in the central shaft will turn blue, and the direction of flow will change upwards. The Tenno is directed to enter the conduit, which will propel them upwards, until the energy once again turns red and the Tenno is ejected into the next section of the Tower. Once again they must reactivate a Reactive Crystal, while also having the option to free 5 additional veiled Ostrons. After ascending the conduit, the Tenno must activate a third Reactive Crystal. This last stage has no veiled Ostrons. Upon ascending the conduit for the third time, a very short cutscene will play.
[The Tenno rises through the conduit, past the damaged top floor of the Tower and into the Murex itself. Suddenly, the Murex starts moving upwards, away from the Tower. The energy in the conduit turns red and starts flowing downwards again, and the Tenno is ejected from the conduit onto the top floor of the Tower.]
Ordis: “Murex powering for orbital launch! Ballas must be recalling it to the fleet as well!”
The Tenno has 60 seconds to reactivate two Reactive Crystals on opposite sides of the chamber, while fighting a large number of Sentients. Once both Crystals are activated, even more Sentients will appear, including a Typholyst. Suddenly, a soft, echoing female voice is heard.
Unum: “Dreamer… let them defile no more.”
Time will stop. The Sentients will pause in place, fragments of the crumbling upper floor of the Tower will freeze in midair, and the Murex will halt its ascent. The colour will leach out of the world. Only the Tenno can move and act.
Ordis: “Operator? I may be detecting something unusual… should I focus scans?”
Operator: “Uh… won’t be necessary, Ordis.”
Drifter: “Don’t. Might just piss it off more.”
The Tenno is waypointed to enter the conduit, which will create a path of pure light that flows directly into the departing Murex ship.
(upon boarding the Murex) Ordis: “Murex trajectory increasing on vector heading zero by zero by zero. Right toward the main Narmer fleet passing Mercury. One against so many… there’s no way she’ll get through.”
As the Tenno travels through the Murex, looking for the Lotus, they will encounter the bodies of dead Sentients. Eventually, they will see the Lotus, standing amidst several corpses, but she will fly away when approached.
Lotus: “This is not your fight, Tenno. Ballas is mine.”
Operator: “You’re not ready! He’s manipulated you for so long… he’ll just own you, like he owns every other Narmer!”
Drifter: “He put hooks in you that go deep. And you are not back to your fighting weight, lady.”
Lotus: “You are warned. Keep to your place.”
The Tenno will pass through a warp tunnel and see the Lotus reanimating several dead Sentients before departing. The Sentients glow with Eidolon Lotus’ green energy and will attack the Tenno, in order to stop them pursuing the Lotus.
Ordis: “Contact! Contact! Narmer blockade ahead. She’s completely outnumbered… outgunned…. What? By stars, they’re lowering shields! She still has some command of the fleet!”
Lotus: “But not the one ship Ballas now controls. The great Sentient weapon of the Old War. Do you know what she was called? Praghasa. The Devourer.”
Ordis: “Yes, we know it. The ship that feeds on debris and derelicts to rebuild itself.”
The Tenno will come to an energy lock, like the ones seen in Teshin’s mission. They will have to disrupt 3 energy nodes to continue.
Operator: “Please. You’re not thinking straight. You need more time to heal….”
Drifter: “Look. You’re not yourself. Not yet. We can find the last Archon together….”
Lotus: “There is no time, no mercy for Narmer. Praghasa must be stopped before Ballas can fulfil her original purpose. Praghasa cannot be allowed to feed.”
The Tenno will come to another lock with 4 energy nodes. Eventually, the Tenno will exit a warp tunnel only to be immediately attacked by Natah, who floats before them, emitting a beam of green energy from her mouth. The Tenno is immediately knocked into Operator/Drifter mode and will automatically fire a Void Beam to counter the attack. The two will thus be locked in combat, but the Tenno can deflect the Lotus’ beam off to an angle by aiming. The Tenno must deflect the attack onto the two Battalysts by her side. Once they are killed, a cutscene and quick-time event triggers, and the player must repeatedly tap or hold a button in order to continue blocking Lotus’ attack.
Operator/Drifter: “What do you mean? Feed on what?”
Lotus: “The Sun.”
The quick-time event cannot actually be successfully completed, and the Lotus will knock the Operator/Drifter back to the ground, next to their inoperative warframe. The Lotus will depart again, and the Tenno’s warframe will be pulled into another warp tunnel. Just before it gets sucked away, the Operator/Drifter will leap towards it and Transference into it. However, the warp tunnel leads out into space, and a cutscene will play.
[The Tenno’s warframe floats in the vacuum of space. Mercury can be seen in the background. As they turn around, they can see the Sun, looming nearby. Many Murex ships can be seen in the vicinity, almost forming a wall against the Sun’s incandescent glow. Most of the Murex are damaged and breaking apart, with debris scattered everywhere.]
Cephalon Cy: “Tenno. On your six.”
[Upon hearing Cephalon Cy, the warframe turns around to see the Tenno’s Railjack pulling up behind them.]
The cutscene ends, and the Tenno is placed into their Railjack. None of their hired crew are aboard.
Cephalon Cy: “Well met, Tenno, but no time for reminiscing. We are under attack. Target-rich environment. Get on those guns!”
The Tenno is directed to fly towards the Sun, through and past all the Murex, while dealing with Ionyx and Gyrix fighters. All around them, Murex will fly towards the Sun before being destroyed by its heat. One Murex in particular will block the Railjack’s path forward.
Cephalon Cy: “Murex shields down. She still has fangs. Time for the big gun. Get on it.”
The Tenno must use their forward artillery. A single shot will obliterate the Murex.
(upon hitting the Murex) Cephalon Cy: “Great shot, kid. That was one in a million.”
Once the Murex is destroyed, the Railjack will immediately transition into Void travel.
Ninth Mission: Approach Praghasa (The Sun)
(while in Void transit) Cephalon Cy: “Gravimetrics are chaotic. At current rate, this Railjack will burn on approach.”
The Railjack arrives at the Sun. The massive ship Praghasa is facing the Sun, and is siphoning off a stream of orange gases and energy directly into her massive maw.
(upon loading into mission) Cephalon Cy: “Weird: that thing appears to be eating the Sun.”
Operator: “We’ve got to stop it. What if we approach using the wrecked ships as cover?”
Drifter: “Shoulda stayed in Duviri… hmm… could we tuck into the shadows of the wrecked ships for approach?”
Cephalon Cy: “Priority: get close enough to execute slingshot manoeuvre. Time transitions with solar flare events for maximum cover.”
There are also many Murex ships in the area, facing the Sun. Many of them are damaged or destroyed. The Tenno must fly towards Praghasa. Engine boosting is disabled, and they can only fly at standard speeds. Periodically, the Sun will erupt in a solar flare, dealing massive damage over time unless the Tenno hides the Railjack behind one of the many large chunks of Murex debris.
(if the Railjack is caught in a solar flare, variant) Cephalon Cy: “Shields burning away. Watch your vectors.”
(if the Railjack is caught in a solar flare, variant) Cephalon Cy: “Crew: spaceframe integrity critical. This Railjack is cooking. Hug the shadows, or we are done.”
(if the Railjack is caught in a solar flare, variant) Cephalon Cy: “Crew: they do not make sunblock strong enough to save us from this. Get us out of the oven.”
(if the Railjack stays behind cover for too long) Cephalon Cy: “This wreckage is burning up. We will not be shielded for much longer. Keep moving.”
Ballas: “My people. Long have you waited for the sign. I have delivered it! Look to the sky! It grows darker by the moment. That darkness gathers strength. Strength enough to open the Void and bear me onward to sacred Tau!”
Cephalon Cy: “Gravitational waves increasing. Helm will feel sloppy.”
Ballas: “What will become of you, my people, my flock? You will join me there, of course… but by another path. The path of sacrifice. The path of oblivion. Cleansed of all doubt, for you will peer into pitch of day and find the SUN is gone. Its heart rent, beating in my hand… the cost of my passage! WE ARE—”
The Lotus’ Murex will crash into the side of the mothership, interrupting Ballas’ speech and causing a shockwave that will spread throughout the map.
Cephalon Cy: “Crew: brace for shockwave.”
When the shockwave hits the Railjack, it will send the ship spinning and cause an immediate catastrophic breach that must be repaired.
(when the Railjack gets near enough) Cephalon Cy: “Entering slingshot range. Orphix pulse fields detected aboard. Get a Necramech in the barrel. You will need it.”
Operator: “Alright, Cy. Get clear after launch.”
Drifter: “Right. Get outta here once I’m aboard, okay?”
Entering the slingshot will trigger a cutscene.
[The Tenno’s Necramech will plough headfirst into the Murex, smashing several support columns as it lands. It is immediately attacked by a Typholyst, but before the Necramech can retaliate, the Typholyst will be struck by a red bolt of energy. Erra will march forward, firing from his hand, until the Typholyst falls off a ledge and disappears. Erra will then face the Necramech and raise his hands over his head in surrender as the Necramech levels its Archgun at him.]
Erra: “My father was right… but it’s too late. I cannot stop Ballas… no one can. Soon my people… and yours too… will all be destroyed for the pride of one man.”
[The Necramech will slowly lower its Archgun.]
Erra: “Follow me.”
Erra will lead the Tenno through the Sentient ship. They will occasionally be obliged to clear Sentient resistance before continuing. Erra can fire red energy bolts from his hand, while the Tenno’s Necramech will have its full suite of weapons and abilities. Due to the Orphix field, the Tenno cannot exit their Necramech. The prisons of red energy seen earlier in the quest will also appear on some tiles. When destroyed, their inhabitants will be released as hostile Narmer Grineer or Corpus.
As they progress through the ship, the Sun’s heat will occasionally blast holes through the landscape with increasing intensity and frequency. Sometimes Erra will have to destroy Sun-damaged debris blocking the path.
(upon clearing a group of enemies) Erra: “When the Lotus reaches him, he will make her his puppet. Together, they will annihilate the Sun. And so. My sister must…. [sigh]“
Operator: “I know. Maybe if she was stronger, we wouldn’t have to.”
Drifter: “Listen. I never finished rebuilding her. It might have made the difference.”
As the two pass through another tunnel, the Sun’s heat will burst through the tunnel’s roof, and a cutscene will play.
[The Tenno’s Necramech, overwhelmed by the fighting and the harsh environmental conditions, will fail, falling to its knees underneath. Erra notices this and runs ahead to brace himself against the collapsing tunnel roof, holding it up with both arms to protect the Necramech as a jet of heat and light from the Sun bores into the tunnel and causes the architecture to crumble.]
[The Tenno Operator/Drifter will Transference out of their Necramech, looking up at Erra.]
Erra: “The final Archon… it… will be waiting for you. Maybe its power will… make her whole again… give her enough strength to resist.”
[The Tenno nods at Erra.]
[The Tenno runs forward, through the tunnel. They turn to look at Erra as they depart.]
Operator/Drifter: “Thank you.”
[As the Tenno leaves, debris comes crashing down around Erra and the Necramech, and the Tenno loses sight of them.]
Within the next chamber is the final Archon that the Tenno has not yet defeated. The Tenno is no longer armed with the Nataruk bow, but has all their Tenno abilities. However, the Archon is invincible to damage. The Tenno must destroy three Orphix field generators in the room, each protected by three Brachiolysts that must be killed before the Orphix generator is vulnerable. Once the Orphix field is gone, the Tenno automatically Transferences into their warframe, and the Archon is vulnerable. With the full might of the Tenno’s arsenal and warframe abilities, the Archon is unlikely to survive long.
(upon killing the Archon and harvesting its shard) Ballas: “What a glorious reunion! You and Mother dearest both come to send me on my way. I am ready, Tenno… are you?”
A cutscene immediately plays.
[Ballas stands on an exalted platform. Behind him is a massive blood-mirror, the largest yet seen. Behind the mirror is a Void portal like the one that consumed Lotus earlier in the quest. Behind that is the burning surface of the Sun. Ballas is holding a Narmer staff similar to the ones wielded by the Deacons, and his atrophied right leg has been replaced with a metal prosthetic, restoring a semblance of his former symmetry. The Lotus steps forth, and Ballas looks down from his platform with an arrogant smirk.]
Ballas: “Kneel! Kneel, and I will spare these worlds. Beg, and I will make you complete again!”
[As he speaks, Ballas descends the long staircase from his platform, onto the floor of the courtyard.]
Lotus: “I had something different in mind.”
[The Lotus walks forward a few steps, and Ballas completes his descent to stand in front of her.]
Ballas: “I loved you once… you were so like her.”
Lotus: “You dreamed of a Margulis you could control. But she chose death over you.”
[The Tenno’s warframe slowly walks up, wielding the Paracesis in the right hand and the final Archon shard in the left. The Lotus turns around, an intense expression of anger on her face.]
Lotus: “I… said… to… stay… out… of… this….”
[The Lotus rises into the air and separates her body parts as she did before to appear larger and more threatening. Ballas regards the Tenno contemptuously.]
Ballas: “But you can’t, can you? Still desperate to save her from herself. You never truly knew her, did you? What she most needs?”
[Ballas brandishes the Narmer staff, and it crackles with red Sentient energy. The Tenno looks at the Lotus in fear.]
[The Tenno, in their warframe, runs at the Lotus. Ballas fires a bolt of orange energy from his staff, and the Tenno knocks the Lotus back and takes the brunt of the hit. It knocks the Operator/Drifter out of their warframe and to the ground, while the Lotus stumbles back a few steps. The Operator/Drifter sees the Archon shard lying on the ground near them, having been dropped by the warframe. They scramble for it, but an invisible force pulls it out of their grasp and directly into Ballas’ waiting hand. He looks at it, then turns to the Tenno with a grin.]
Ballas: “Why do you make me do these things?”
[Ballas holds the shard aloft, then crushes it with his hand. It dissolves into motes of red energy, which Ballas absorbs. The Operator/Drifter stands up and Transferences back into their warframe. Ballas now shines with a bright orange-red aura. He looks haughtily at the Lotus, who is facing away from him, staring forward, motionless.]
Ballas: “Say ‘I love you, my master.'”
[Lotus speaks, first slowly and struggling, as she fights to control herself, then more evenly and robotic, as her will is dominated by Ballas.]
Lotus: “I… love you. My master.”
Ballas: “Now… kill your child. For me.”
The Lotus will then fight the Tenno, firing beams of green energy from her mouth. The Tenno is armed only with the Paracesis. If the Lotus strikes the Tenno, she will knock the Operator/Drifter out of their warframe. The Operator or Drifter will take constant damage over time due to the Sun’s heat. The Tenno can re-enter their warframe, but they will be instantly knocked out again the next time the Lotus attacks. Ballas is covered in a red shield of energy, and cannot be attacked. The Lotus likewise takes no damage. When the Lotus attacks the Operator or Drifter, they will deflect her attack with Void Beam as seen previously. The Tenno will have to deflect her attack onto one of the five blood-mirrors that will appear around the arena. Once a blood-mirror is destroyed, Lotus will stop attacking, and several Deacons will appear. They must be killed before the Lotus will resume attacking. This is the only time in the quest that Deacons can be destroyed.
(upon destroying the 1st mirror) Ballas: “There’s a good girl. Repair the hurt you have dealt us. Have dealt me.”
Operator: “No. No.”
Drifter: “No! No, dammit, NO!”
(upon destroying the 2nd mirror) Ballas: “You HAD to have a ‘child’ – and with an open heart I gave you… this. And my reward? Being left to watch as all your love – MY LOVE – poured into the bottomless well of this… abominable child.”
(upon destroying the 3rd mirror) Operator/Drifter: “Remember! Remember what he did to you!”
Lotus: “I remember… my old self… dissolving… beneath your fingers. Shaping me. Directing me. Lua.”
(upon destroying the 4th mirror) Ballas: “Yes, let’s discuss ‘what I did’. I, who have endured your torture of me. Your lies. Your betrayals. Without complaint. All for you. And this is my reward.”
Lotus: “You… you…. You lie. You are small.”
(upon destroying the 5th mirror) Ballas: “Pitiful. I am loved.”
Lotus: “You are a mask. With nothing behind it.”
Once the last of the Deacons are dead, the Lotus will attack Ballas with an increasingly powerful beam attack. He will attempt to deflect it with his shield, but eventually she will overload the shield and Ballas will be thrown backwards. The beam will go on to obliterate the platform behind Ballas and the massive blood-mirror will shatter, fragments of stone and gold and red liquid floating away into space. The Void portal behind the platform is now much more noticeable, now that nothing is blocking it. Ballas will stand up and once again shield himself with energy. The Lotus, her energy spent, will fall to her knees, recovering.
Ballas: “Pitiful, broken thing. A puppet accusing her maker of… a lack of substance? Was it?”
Ballas will slowly walk forward while speaking, and then fire a massive beam of orange energy from his Narmer staff at the Tenno, raking along the ground towards them until it makes contact. Like the Lotus’ attack, it will knock the Tenno out of their warframe. Four more blood-mirrors will appear around the arena, and the Tenno must bait Ballas into destroying these with his beam attack. Ballas himself remains shielded from all damage.
(upon destroying the 1st mirror) Ballas: “Very well – she can take your punishment for you.”
Ballas will then fire continuously at the fallen Lotus. Her health and shields are displayed in the Tenno’s HUD. While attacking the Lotus, Ballas’ shield drops, and he is vulnerable to damage from the Tenno’s Amp. They must deplete one of his health bar segments (a quarter of his health) before the Lotus dies from his attack. Once his first health bar segment is gone, Ballas will re-shield himself and resume attacking the Tenno. The Tenno must repeat the process three more times.
(upon depleting a quarter of Ballas’ health) Lotus: “Ballas! Stop! Spare them! Spare them… and I will be whatever you want.”
Ballas: “Shut up. You are making me do this. And when this child is dead, you and I will have words.”
(upon destroying the 2nd mirror) Ballas: “Her kind can’t feel pain. All lies.”
(upon depleting a quarter of Ballas’ health) Ballas: “You never understood me, my vision. My future lies with Tau. Not here. Not with you.”
Lotus: “Stop… stop….”
(upon destroying the 3rd mirror) Ballas: “She has this coming. Do not interfere again.”
(upon depleting a quarter of Ballas’ health) Ballas: “I cast you from my sight, ‘Lotus’.”
When the fourth mirror is destroyed, a cutscene will play.
[Ballas raises his Narmer staff above his head and brings it down, firing a beam of yellow energy at the Lotus. She meets it with her own beam and rises to her feet, pushing his attack back.]
Lotus: “I said STOP!”
[Both are thrown backwards. Lotus falls on the ground, and does not get up. Ballas lands near the base of the broken staircase leading up to the shattered platform. He gets to his feet and starts walking forward, towards the Lotus. He raises his Narmer staff above his head, and the chamber behind him crumbles and falls into the Void portal, including the base of the platform and the remaining staircase. It all breaks into fragments and floats away into the wormhole. Ballas continues walking forward, lowering his staff.]
Ballas: “Very well: I give you my death – and yours as well. The unstoppable annihilation of every… single… last… thing! Pleased? Satisfied? Are you now full up with death?”
The cutscene ends. Ballas once again fires at the Lotus, knocking her to the ground. Ballas is no longer shielded, but remains immune to damage.
Ballas: “My vision was only ever comprehensible to myself. My ambition beyond the grasp of… ‘people’. Thus I have always been alone. Your death changes nothing.”
Ballas will slowly walk towards the fallen Lotus again. If the Tenno tries to attack him, either with their warframe or Operator/Drifter, he will effortlessly repel them with his Narmer staff and knock them backwards without stopping.
Ballas: “People warned me against you, you know. Early on. Before the Jade Light. [short laugh] I should have listened.”
Lotus: “Child… run….”
Ballas is now in front of the Lotus, and he will lean over her as he talks.
Ballas: “‘Run’? Where should they run to? You’ve only destroyed everything!”
Another cutscene will play.
[Ballas once again fires a beam of light at the Tenno from his Narmer staff. The Tenno is knocked out of their warframe and onto the ground. The warframe kneels, inactive. Ballas reaches forward, and pulls the Paracesis into his right hand with telekinesis. He turns to the Lotus, who has gotten to her feet.]
Ballas: “Alone at last.”
[Ballas drives the Paracesis into the Lotus’ abdomen. The blade goes right through her and emerges from the other side as Ballas buries it up to the hilt. The Operator, still on the ground, cries out.]
[Ballas steps up extremely close to the Lotus, towering over her.]
Ballas: “Now. Kneel.”
[Ballas rips the Paracesis out and turns to walk away. The Lotus totters for a second, then falls to her knees. Ballas turns around to look down at her again.]
Ballas: “You monstrous bitch!”
[Ballas raises the Paracesis above his head to strike the final blow. Suddenly, the Tenno’s Operator/Drifter leaps onto his back and claps a Narmer veil on his face. Ballas drops both his staff and the sword, and stumbles around, throwing the Tenno off. He puts his hands to his head, but slowly stops struggling as the veil takes effect. His hands fall and his mouth goes slack-jawed as he hears a voice.]
[Margulis]: “Ballas, my love.”
[Ballas slowly turns to look at the Lotus, still kneeling and clutching her wound. In his eyes, it is the human Margulis kneeling on the floor, looking up at him with a serene smile, her hands clasped in her lap, her hair gently flowing in the wind. Ballas holds out a hand and speaks, his voice trembling.]
[The Lotus looks at the Operator in confusion, before turning back to Ballas.]
Lotus: “Kiss… me….”
[The Lotus takes Ballas’ hand, and he pulls her to her feet. They embrace and kiss. A green light flows out of Ballas into the Lotus, and Ballas begins to cough and choke. He goes limp, but the Lotus continues to drain power out of him. Finally, she lets him go, and he falls to the ground, dead. The Lotus looks down at herself. Her body is now fully restored. She no longer has dead, stonelike flesh and a broken face, but has human skin, her purple robes, and her Lotus helmet, now slightly larger and more ornate. Her robes feature additional detailing and ornamentation as well. She marvels at her hands. Suddenly, a crackle from the Void portal reminds her of the danger. She looks to it in horror, before turning back to the Tenno and reaching out her hand. The portal grows drastically in diameter, releasing a shockwave that causes the Lotus to stumble. With one hand, she generates a protective shield around the Operator (still lying on the ground). She reaches out her other hand, glowing with purple energy, trying to close the portal. She grimaces with the effort. Suddenly, a massive stone square wall emerges from the portal, flying up to face and loom over the Lotus and the Tenno. The wall contains a massive sculpture of a man, embedded in the plane of the wall. The sculpture has four legs and four arms, all outstretched. One of the right hands is missing an index finger. Deep vertical grooves are carved into the top of the sculpture’s face where the eyes should be. As the wall comes closer, all the colour drains out of the world. The sculpture’s face curves into a deep grin. A deep voice, heavily distorted and difficult to distinguish, speaks the Requiem words “Oull Ris Xata Vome”. The Tenno’s face turns from confusion to fear when they notice their doppelganger sitting on the top of the statue’s face, wearing the Lotus’ helmet and laughing. The statue continues, saying “Khra Lohk”. The Lotus redoubles her efforts and steps forward. Some of the colour returns as the intensity of her energy increases. The statue grins wider, and then the wall rushes forward, towards the Lotus, and abruptly vanishes. When it does, there is no more Void portal. The Lotus stumbles, then looks at her hand, which smokes from her exertion. Breathing heavily, she looks at the Sun – now intact again – and turns to the Tenno with a smile. She then collapses to the ground, and the Tenno runs to her side.]
[In the Chamber of the Lotus on Lua, the Drifter carries the Lotus in their arms, in a mirror of the ending of The Second Dream. The Lotus sits on her throne, still exhausted, and looks up at the Drifter, smiling in appreciation.]
A conversation cutscene follows, with the Lotus speaking to both the Operator and the Drifter. As the Tenno transitions from one form to the other, they will shimmer brightly.
Operator: “How do you feel?”
Lotus: “I… I thought I was… Natah… Margulis… Lotus….”
Drifter: “That’s up to you. He’s gone.”
Lotus: “You… thank you….”
Drifter: “At the end. What did you see?”
Lotus: “I saw… nothing. Nothing.”
Operator: “We’ve got work to do. Narmer’s shattered, but they’ve got a martyr now. And the old guard are already eager to fill the vacuum. If you’re ready.”
Lotus: “I… I’m not sure. There are… voices. I am not… one.”
Operator: “I know. But maybe you could choose one voice… to lead the others? It’s your choice.”
The player is given the option to choose the Lotus’ identity: Natah (Sun), Lotus (Neutral), or Margulis (Moon). This choice of identity is permanent, though it only affects the Lotus’ name. Appearance options for the other choices can be purchased later.
Natah: “The times ahead will need decisiveness. Power. I shall be Natah.”
Lotus: “I see violence and suffering in our future. We will need compassion and strength in equal measure… I am the Lotus.”
Margulis: “Narmer has divided the world, leaving a deep wound. We need healing. I am Margulis.”
[on board Orbiter]
The Tenno will receive an inbox message from the Lotus.
An Ending, A Beginning
My child… my friend.
What was done is done. Ballas is no more. We have both woken from that nightmare at last.
New dangers, new choices await us now. Few will be simple. Each moment unfolds into a thousand-petalled bloom of possibilities.
And each one, we will face together.
For now, rest. Dream of who we were, and of who we have become.
Nothing I could give could repay what you have done for me. But these items may assist you on your onward journey.
The inbox message contains the Sirocco Amp, the Rumblejack melee weapon, the Nataruk bow, the Scirocco skin for all Amps, the Drifter Camp Captura scene, and the Orbiter decorations of Ballas’ Narmer staff and the portrait of the Operator’s parents from the Zariman, titled ‘A Lost Time’. The message also contains a 3-day Affinity and Credit booster.
The quest will be marked complete. The new description for the quest now reads:
The Lotus is reborn!
Narmer is all but decimated, its scattered adherents now rallying in the name of their lost martyr.
The tenuous alliance against a common enemy has crumbled, leaving the Origin System struggling to recover.
Now the Tenno face new questions… the paradox of the Drifter’s origins and the threads binding them to a nameless Void entity….
Following the quest, the Tenno can switch between Operator and Drifter forms in the Somatic Link. The two remain functionally identical in gameplay. The Tenno also has the choice to switch their base of operations to the Drifter’s Camp on Earth, or back to the Orbiter at will. The Tenno can customise the Lotus’ appearance (but not her name) by interacting with the Lotus’ helmet in their Personal Quarters.
Cosmetically, the Starchart now displays dead Murex in orbit around all the planets where they were seen during the quest. Cetus, Fortuna, and their associated Landscapes retain many of the changes seen during the quest; most of the Narmer architecture is torn down, but some still remains, and there are many ruins, crashes, wrecks, and debris from the war. The Orb Vallis remains warmer, instead of reverting to the entirely cold and frosty climate. Teshin, having died during the quest, is replaced with a gray hologram in the Relays and in transmissions (eg, Steel Path).
Konzu will offer a Narmer bounty during the day, at the highest level of difficulty, where the Tenno has the opportunity to engage the remnants of the Narmer empire on the Plains of Eidolon. When it is night on the Plains, Eudico will offer a Narmer bounty on the Orb Vallis. These Narmer bounties reward Caliban component blueprints, blueprints for the Archons’ weapons (Korumm, Nepheri, and Verdilac), new set mods based on the Archons, and Narmer Isoplast (a new resource used to construct these Narmer-themed items). Both Konzu and Eudico will have new dialogue lines the first time the Tenno speaks to them after completing the quest:
Konzu: “Ah! The first face I saw on waking from that horrible dream! She gives, we live. Never more true than now, eh, surah? We live. In spite of Narmer. And still the Tower of Unum stands. The Quills are even saying she spoke to you. Ah! Much to do, much to do. Come.”
Eudico: “Sparky. Did I… did they… did I do anything I’d be… ashamed of? There was only… that voice… and I was gone. The messed up part is…? I liked it. I never had to worry… or think… ever again. And I liked it. [sigh] With Ballas dead you’d think Narmer would be dusted. They’re not. Some took the mask willingly and don’t want to let it go. Now someone else is pulling the strings. Narmer’s here. They’re not going away.”
In Fortuna’s backroom, Little Duck will offer the Praghasa Throne Room Captura scene, from the final showdown of the quest, for 130.000 Standing.
Next story quest: Angels of the Zariman