Gears of War

Locust Runes

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The Locusts Runes represent the writing of the Locust Horde. They consist of symbols which represent individual letters (ex: the letter "t" in Tyran is represented as a flattened 'x'), and ideograms that represent full words (ex: Explosive is one symbol). It is unknown if the Locust pronounce these letters/symbols in any way related to English, or if the symbols representing words are interchangeable with the spelling of the same word. There is also a computer version of the Locust alphabet, examples of which can be found on the prisoner screens.

Word DepictionsEdit

Some words in the Locust language are spelled out while others are depicted with a single glyph. Some of these glyphs are pictograms in which the symbol resembles the word it expresses. One example of this is the symbol for FIRE which looks like flames. Other symbols are lexigrams where the meaning of the symbol is not obvious, such as the symbol for DANGER.

Seemingly common words in the Locust culture are depicted as single glyphs. Some of these words relate to Locust religion, such as QUEEN and NEXUS. Others are meant merely for the sake of brevity, such as HIGHWAY and DANGER, especially in regards to maps and diagrams where spelling out these words would take up too much space.

Spelled out words mimic human spelling and, to an extent, grammar. Examples of such words include PISTOL and BOAT, which can be found in the GoW 2 instruction booklet. Examples of concatenation can be found on the Kantus Scrolls[1] and the Rulers of Nexis Plates[2] (both of which combine spelled out words and ideograms), and the Trinity of Worms[3] (which contains only ideograms). Sometimes, when two ideograms are placed side by side there are assumed modifiers which are not represented. On the Trinity of Worms amulet, the string of symbols for QUEEN, STRONG, and DRONES translates as "The Queen makes strong Drones" with the word "makes" not being represented by any symbols. There are also a few examples of compound words in which two ideograms are depicted closely together, often with one symbol much smaller than the other. The best examples of compound words can be found on the Locust Jailer Schedule[4] (the second, fourth, and fifth headers).

Gallery of Confirmed IdeogramsEdit

Computer AlphabetEdit


The Locust alphabet.

The Locust also have a computerized version of their language. These characters are cleaner and less calligraphic than the handwritten alphabet. Many of the symbols remain similar to the handwritten versions, although some letters differ greatly to the point of being unrecognizable when compared to the handwritten counterpart.

The primary examples of the computer alphabet are found on the prisoner screens[5][6] and the Locust Invasion map.[7]

The chart above depicts the Locust computer alphabet. The symbols were created by modifying the handwritten Locust alphabet[8] and using the prisoner screens as a reference.

Known Locust Books and ScrollsEdit

For other uses, see Religion on Sera.

The Kantus Scrolls explain how to communicate with worms, namely Rockworms and Riftworms. The Rulers of Nexus Plates, also known as the Locust Tablets, was the main religious tome of the Locust Horde. Translations of a part of the Rulers of Nexus Plates tell that the Lightmass Bomb had awoken one of the Riftworms. The Trinity of Worms was the title and symbol for the Locust Horde's religion. The actual artifact of the Trinity of Worms contains a verse telling how the Queen makes strong drones, how the drones secure Nexus, and how Nexus covers the Queen. It also tells the story of how the Lightmass Bomb awoke one of the Riftworms, which was used to destroy the cities of TollenMontevado and Ilima.


Sources from Chris Bartlett's flickr account. Chris is a Sr. Artist at Epic Games, doing texture work, motion graphics, and HUD/UI design. He also designed the Locust alphabet. Linkedin

  1. Source: Kantus Scrolls
  2. Source: Rulers of Nexis
  3. Source: Trinity of the Worms
  4. Source: Locust Jailer Schedule
  5. Source: Prisoner Screen (Male 409)
  6. Source: Prisoner Screen (Female 620)
  7. Source: Locust Invasion Map
  8. Source: Locust Alphabet

Additional References: Locust Calendar Collectible Journal Locust Invasion Map 2 Locust Defensive Plans

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