Gears of War


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Former GOW 3
Biographical information
Physical description and equipment


Eye color


  • Claws
Chronological and political information
Notable Facts
  • Humans Turned Lambent
  • Very agile; able to jump very high and move fast
"She's Lambent! It's spread to humans!"
Samantha Byrne, upon first seeing a Former[1]

Formers were Lambent Humans encountered during the Lambent Pandemic. Delta-One recorded the first sightings of these mutated humans in the seemingly uninhabited town of Mercy while looking for fuel to reach Azura. They later began to appear in many cities with large concentrations of Imulsion.[2][3]


Lambent Pandemic

"It's, it's, it's-it's some-some kinda fever. People started burnin' up, screamin' and fightin', turnin' crazy. And I'm damned if I'm gonna turn up like that, like some rabid dog, not even human no more!"
Crazy old man[1]

Formers were the first example of Lambency in humans witnessed since the Sires almost a century earlier.[4] Cities such as Mercy, Char and Halvo Bay began seeing the first signs of an epidemic with a fever. Soon, humans began turning into Lambent creatures, attacking everyone around them. While the infection was an advanced form of Rustlung, the Stranded believed it was something else since Imulsion was not known to be a parasitic life form at the time.[5]

Mission to Mercy

Delta-One first met Formers in Mercy while looking for Imulsion to use as fuel to get to Azura, where Adam Jonathon Fenix was being held. The existence of Lambent humans was first implied when Delta-One met a crazy old man in the town of Mercy who had rigged the town's pipeline of Imulsion to explode. Extremely paranoid and unable to provide Delta-One with a clear answer as to why he had done this, he instead vaguely suggested that Mercy was suffering from some kind of epidemic before fleeing.

Former's face

Delta-One would later come across the crazy old man's corpse in the sewers, with few clues as to how he died. In the same sewers, they would first meet Formers; Marcus Fenix originally mistook the Former for a crying female Stranded, and Delta-One were forced to fire upon and kill it when it started to attack. Delta-One was later ambushed by more Formers in the sewers and believed that the Formers were just in Mercy and wanted to stop them from spreading all over Sera. Delta-One later met with a Stranded survivor. After dealing with another Former horde outside Mercy's Town Hall, Delta-One, the Stranded survivor, and his near-infected friend were attacked inside by two Formers, who killed the Stranded. The group later fought more Formers while getting to the pump and more attacked while the squad was dealing with Locust from an airport they had passed through. All the attacking Formers, along with the Locust and other Lambent life forms that attacked, were killed when Dominic Santiago sacrificed himself to save his friends.[1]

Mission to Char

When Delta-One activated the elevators in Griffin's Imulsion Tower, they believed that Formers were non-existent in the tower and were just in Mercy. They were proven wrong when a swarm attacked the group from the shafts and elevators, but were repulsed by them. This prompted Jace to wonder if everyone would turn into Formers, but Marcus reassured him that only those who worked with Imulsion would turn into them. As the squad fought to disable the safety cable, they encountered more Formers, all slain by Delta-One.[6]

Return to Halvo Bay

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Formers were again encountered in the ruins of Halvo Bay when Damon Baird returned to the city with Augustus Cole and Clayton Carmine. They were also reunited with their old comrade Garron Paduk. As Paduk led them to a beached Imulsion rig, which his people lived in during the time Paduk went to meet up with the squad, his people turned into Formers and attacked them throughout the buildings and the rig. When a flare was set off, after the squad fought some Locust who were alerted by the flare, Formers started joining the fight by jumping on the rig. After Damon and his squad were picked up by a Raven, the Formers fought against the Locust, although it is unknown who won the battle.

When Adam Fenix activated his weapon, all Formers died, along with all other kinds of Lambent, Imulsion, and the Locust Horde.[7]


Formers will always attack in swarms. Unlike the majority of the Lambent Horde, which move at regular or very slow speeds, these move extremely fast, but are quite weak; they have almost the same health and speed as Tickers. Formers can prove to be a potent foe in groups however, as they can "Trap" the player in a circle-like formation. Formers also attack the fastest out of all the Lambent, easily taking down a player on Insane difficulty. Formers are extremely frail, easily being killed with a few shots from moderately powered weapons to one shot from more powerful weapons like the Gnasher Shotgun or Longshot. If you have a Retro Lancer, this weapon is helpful in thinning their numbers because of their frailty. Using the charge instantly kills them, and the execution is skipped, so if put on a very long line, you can kill many Formers this way. Avoid using slow weapons like the Torque Bow as the reloading time is slow, and you will get surrounded very easily by them.

  • A regular Lancer will also work but in a different way. Using this method will probably give you a lot of badges for its efficiency.
  1. Acquire the lancer.
  2. Find out the approximate location where the Formers are going to spawn.
  3. Stand right next to that location. (Make sure you get there before they spawn.)
  4. Equip the lancer. (Before they spawn.)
  5. Press and hold the "B" Button, thus triggering the Lancer's Chainsaw.

When they spawn, if you did these steps right, they're going to jump right into your Lancer's Chainsaw, and since they "Dissolve", and when they do, you can still use your chainsaw without restarting it, and since they run right towards you, you can kill all of them with the chainsaw using no bullets whatsoever!

Behind the scenes

Crimson Omen
Gearspedia has 2 images related to Former.
  • Formers appear as enemies in Horde 2.0, although in much smaller numbers, usually in groups of eight. If you see them the boss wave will usually be a lambent berserker.
  • Dizzy Wallin remarked that Mercy had been "busier than a fiddler's elbow" just a few months before Delta-One arrived, suggesting Lambency affected humans fairly quickly.[1]
  • The human population of Mercy marking their doors in red to save themselves from "the plague" references the tenth plague of Egypt, where all first-borns of those who did not mark their doorposts with lamb's blood were killed.
  • Some Formers seem to have control of themselves, as if a player listens carefully in Campaign, one can hear a Former saying "Kill me!", however this tends to come from a female Former, not a male one.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Gears of War 3: Act III: Ghost Town
  2. Gears of War 3
  3. Gears of War: Judgment
  4. Gears of War: The Slab
  5. Gears of War 3: Act III: Brothers to the End
  6. Gears of War 3: Act IV
  7. Gears of War 3: Act V: Reckoning
Locust Horde
Berserker · Boomer (Butcher, Flame Boomer, Grinder, Mauler, Mauler Elite, Savage Boomer, Tremor) · Drone (Beast Rider, Bolter, Cleaver Theron, Cyclops, Flame Drone, Flame Grenadier, Grappler, Grenadier, Grenadier Elite, Gunner, Hunter, Hunter Elite, Miner, Palace Guard, Rager, Savage Drone, Savage Grenadier, Savage Grenadier Elite, Savage Hunter, Savage Marauder, Savage Theron, Sniper, Spotter, Theron Elite, Theron Guard, Theron Sentinel) · Kantus (Armored Kantus, Savage Kantus)
Hollow Creatures
Bloodmount · Brumak · Corpser (Shibboleth) · Digger · Gas Barge · Heart Leech · Kryll · Leviathan · Mangler · Nemacyst · Nemacyte · Reaver (Hydra) · Riftworm · Rock Worm · Seeder · Serapede · Shrieker · Siegebeast · Tempest · Ticker · Torture Barge · Wretch
Former · Lambent Berserker · Lambent Brumak · Lambent Drone · Lambent Drudge · Lambent Gunker · Lambent Leviathan · Lambent Polyp · Lambent Stalk · Lambent Wretch
Carrier · Drone (Grenadier · Hunter · Imago · Sniper) · Juvie (Screamer) · Pouncer · Scion · Snatcher

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