|“|| "And we thought we were alone in the universe! Oh, the hubris!"|
- Garbled transmission from a GDI soldier during the invasion of Munich
The Scrin, or Visitors, are a powerful and technologically advanced alien race, suspected to be related to the origins of the Tacitus. Calling Tiberium "Ichor", the Scrin have a dependence on the substance and will die if they do not receive Tiberium infusion or radiation from a Relay Node.
The Scrin are suspected to have been the ones who originally seeded Earth with Tiberium using a meteor, intending to harvest the mineral after it had reached a sufficient concentration by extracting it with Threshold Towers. However, Kane tricked GDI into causing a premature liquid Tiberium explosion, luring the Scrin mining force to Earth. Commanded by Foreman 371 and his AI assistant, they were unprepared for the military resistance of the native humans, expecting a dying populace in disarray. Eventually, GDI pushed them back and destroyed the Relay Node, killing all their forces, while the Foreman retreated through the last remaining Threshold.
Founded: Unknown. EVA Database notes several references to "Scrin" dating back from the Second Tiberium War and a crashed saucer in the First Tiberium War. First verifiable contact with humanity in 2047, during the later stage of Third Tiberium War.
Base of Operations: Earth-based Operations believed to be coordinated from Scrin Mothership. Location of primary base of operations is unknown. Investigation hinted at a place known only as the "Ichor Hub".
Military Strength: Earth-based forces (TWIII) consists of an alien harvesting fleet consisting of substantial military air and land power. The Scrin possess far larger military forces elsewhere.
Economic Strength: Unknown. Although presumed to be carrying out multiple planetary-scale Tiberium mining operations across interstellar space.
Political Strength: Unknown.
Affiliations: Unknown. Hinted connection to another alien race.
Little is known of the Scrin's actual physical appearance during the Third Tiberium War. From recovered intelligence briefings, the Scrin appear to be glowing illuminated insectoid figures. Even then, it is unknown if these are truly representative of their physiology; if it is a representation, more likely than not that the recovered transmissions are in some form of holographic detail, hence the glowing. Most Scrin infantry are a sophisticated cross of biological and mechanical elements, almost insectoid in appearance. However, it is hard to determine if these are representations of the actual Scrin master race, or mere cyborg drones created for the purpose of combat.
Recently revealed intelligence has shown that the Scrin have a physical form that is possibly wholly organic. They are able to utilise Tiberium infusion, as well as become mutated by the substance. The Scrin appear to be dependent on Tiberium as a life source as seen at the end of the GDI campaign the Scrin died without Tiberium radiation.
|“|| "Oh my God! They're destroying everything!"|
- GDI Soldier witnessing the destructiveness of the Scrin
Little of the Scrin's society is known, excluding that like humanity, they are violent and resource-hungry, only considerably worse. Kane referred to them as a "cult of addiction in the guise of a species", and was not too far off.
The Scrin's society or government appears to be organized in a hierarchy, headed by a single leader. Their culture consists of various castes and sects. These groups are specialized, and provide the Scrin with certain functions. Several subsects have been developed specifically to deal with native populations of Tiberium harvesting worlds. The Cult of Reaper is an enforcer caste, while the Traveler Sect specializes in covert operations. A form of religion apparently exists among the Scrin, as the Reaper cult ideology has strong religious overtones.
The Scrin, in spite of their insect-like appearance use ranks comparable to those of human militaries. Known ranks are:
- The Overlord - The supreme ruler of the Scrin.
- Supervisors - As their name implies, their duty is to oversee the harvesting operations of the Foremen in other planets. They are free to give Foremen orders and answer only to the Overlord.
- Foremen - The leaders in charge of directly leading the Tiberium/Ichor harvesting operations in their respective assigned location. They are the equivalent of battlefield commanders in terrestrial armies.
Note that the primarily "civillian" nomenclature used (e.g. the use of "foreman" instead of "commander") may be a consequence of the Scrin incursion on Earth in 2047 being, primarily a Tiberium/Ichor harvesting operation and not a true military invasion.
Further research into the Scrin has allowed InOps to learn that the Scrin have at least two sub-factions, in addition to the main faction that was most commonly seen on Earth during the Third Tiberium War. Reaper-17 is a faction that focuses on armored tactics and better harvesting operations. Reaper-17 based a huge amount of their military strength on incorporarting Tiberium into their weapons and walkers. The Traveler-59 focus on speed and mind-control, this made them perfect for quick Tiberium extraction in areas. Due to this quickness Traveler-59 were known for hardly any military loses.
Intelligence will continue their research into studying these subfactions in the future.
|“|| "What the Hell is that?!"|
"I don't know, soldier. But I know that they're big... and mean."
- GDI Soldiers, observing the destructive power of an Annihilator Tripod
Little is known of the Scrin's history prior to humanity's first contact. Intel suggest that the Visitors have been operating their intergalactic harvesting operations for eons. From recovered data from their Warp link, what is known is that the Invaders have traveled through space at sublight speeds and arrived in the Solar system centuries ago. They took over 1,959 "cycles" to arrive in the solar system. After arriving, the Scrin continued to wait in suspended animation for a further 9,210 cycles, until their artificial intelligence awakened them. It is unknown what exactly a "cycle" is; perhaps it is a unit of time, or a process that their race must undergo regularly. It is believed that the Scrin hid themselves close to an asteroid somewhere beyond Neptune's orbit. What the aliens were waiting for was the radiation signal from a liquid Tiberium explosion.
There is some speculation that the Scrin, being reliant on Tiberium, are responsible for the existence of Tiberium on Earth. One theory is that they launch Ichor-laced meteorites into planets, such as Earth. The Ichor spreads, whilst a Harvester fleet waits in suspended animation for the Ichor to fully cover the planet.
Evidence of Alien Life
Prior to the Scrin invasion during the Third Tiberium War there were already signs of extraterrestrial life. A crashed UFO was found within a Nod complex near Cairo during the First Tiberium War. A Nod ship was based on alien technology. The Tacitus itself was not only believed to be of extraterrestrial origin, but GDI decoding between the Second and Third Tiberium War found a warning about a future alien invasion.
|“|| "Commander! You're not gonna believe this! GDI just activated all their Ion Cannons in the southern hemisphere! Man, I thought they were gonna wipe us off the face of the map in Australia, but they're firing at something in space - check it out!"|
Shortly after the destruction of Temple Prime, the Scrin detected the radiation consistent with the detonation of Liquid Tiberium, the signal they had been waiting for. Shortly afterwards, the Scrin AI awoke the Scrin fleet and began their approach to Earth. The Scrin's approach was first detected by GDI deep space relays as six large unidentified ships headed for Earth's orbit. Their initial purpose was unknown and in a state of panic the acting director of GDI Redmond Boyle ordered that all the entire GDI ion cannon network in the southern hemisphere to be activated and unleashed on the unidentified craft. The ion cannons caused the ships to dissolve into 39 Drone Ships that crashed into Red Zones on every continent. The Scrin, who expected a planet devoid of indigenous population and rich in mature "Ichor" deposits, were surprised by the resistance and the destruction of several of their landing forces. In response they began diversionary operations to provide cover for their Relay Node assembly. They carried these out by launching attacks on population centers such as the cities of London and Munich. During this time, the 'Foreman 371' of the Scrin forces began to suspect that the signal that called them to Earth was a trap. Indeed, it was Kane who assembled the liquid Tiberium device and manipulated GDI into detonating the Liquid Tiberium with its ion cannon network to lure the Scrin to Earth. Nod's enigmatic leader quickly became of great interest to the Scrin, who noted that, while they had encountered him before, his "genetic derivatives" were unknown.
The Tide Turns
|“|| "Get the hell off my planet, alien scum!"|
- GDI Soldier, during the anti-Scrin campaign
Soon the situation turned dire for the Scrin as they encountered increased use of sonic emitters by GDI to contain and break down Tiberium. Since the Scrin are Tiberium-based life it was only logical that the sonic emitters and catalyst missiles developed by GDI and Kane respectively had a destructive effect on them. Both Nod and GDI began pushing into the Red Zones, GDI intending to destroy the massive Towers under construction, and Nod hoping to claim one for themselves. As this occurred, an alien AI decided to deny an order to continue the Earth operation and complete construction of the 19 towers it called "Thresholds" in order to protect the Foreman partnered with it. The Foreman's Mothership managed to use the Threshold 19 in time to escape Earth prior to the destruction of the majority of the towers and the Relay Node, an event that rendered all remaining Scrin forces useless and ended the Third Tiberium War.
Since it appears clear from artifact analysis and Tacitus data that the "invasion" force sent to Earth wasn't an invasion force at all, but merely a misguided harvesting operation; considering the task force sent to Earth was led by a Foreman and his forces were unsuitable for prolonged war this could be true. An actual invasion - if it occurs - may be mammoth in proportion.
In 2052, Nod forces led by LEGION were able to retrieve the Tacitus from GDI's Rocky Mountains Complex. Due to GDI's experiments rendering the Tacitus unstable, Kane made one final decision: he merged the Tacitus with LEGION just before it exploded, linking LEGION to the Scrin Ichor Hub.
The last transmission from LEGION contained the following words (Scrin-English translation):
|“|| EARTH WARP GATE STATUS ACTIVE'|
'COMMENCING PHASE 2'
- Transmission from Scrin AI
As of 2077, no activity from the Scrin has been observed, but it is unlikely that GDI will rest on its laurels in regards to a potential second Scrin Invasion.
|“|| Aliens! Jesus, look at those things!|
- GDI Soldier, witnessing the extent of Scrin military capabilities
The Scrin are as versatile as GDI. On the ground, Buzzers can rapidly tear any infantry squad that they encounter to pieces, while Disintegrators explode if vehicles attempt to run them down, and the durable Shock Troopers are able to take on all enemies, even aircraft. The rarest Scrin 'infantry' unit, the Mastermind, is able to mind-control not only entire tank crews, but personnel inside production buildings to convert them to serve the Scrin. Corrupters can heal other units, turn infantry into Visceroids and flood garrisoned buildings to clear them, via a Tiberium-based sludge. The more advanced Scrin vehicles can prove a serious threat to even GDI armor, with speedy Devourer Tanks able to absorb Tiberium to enhance their firepower, while their Annihilator Tripod is a true rival to Mammoth Tanks. While their ground troops are very capable, air power seems to be their true strength. Their main construction vehicle are Drone Ships, which are literally flying MCVs. Maneuverable Stormriders are the aerial rivals of Firehawks but with the added bonus of infinite munitions, while Devastator Warships have ravaged nearly all of the Blue Zones with deadly plasma artillery weapons and enormous Planetary Assault Carriers - flying aircraft carriers - are able to project massive amounts of firepower via small drone fighters and miniature Ion storms. Their rarely-encountered Motherships can level cities in a single shot of their main weapon, and are responsible for the destruction of Berne, Switzerland.
Base defenses rival those of the Brotherhood. Their Buzzer Hives are capable of unleashing swarms of sentient razor blades upon vulnerable infantry units. Photon Cannons deal significant plasma damage to vehicles on the ground, while Plasma Missile Batteries pummel all airborne enemies. Storm Columns generate localized ion storms and are capable of attacking all enemies in the air and on the ground with frightening efficiency. They are often used to protect the towers and the Relay Nodes. Rift Generators utilize advanced teleportation technology that warps space, creating a wormhole into deep space that most buildings and units are ejected through.
The worst part is the gigantic, six-legged bug like Eradicator which rivals even the MARVs and Redeemers in terms of firepower and armor. It also has the ability to quickly make money, using its recycling system that dissembles and converts enemy units into raw materials for Scrin.
Unlike GDI and Nod, the Scrin do not have aircraft capable of transporting ground infantry and light vehicles, but instead have the more deadly ability to teleport units into the enemy base, without the fear of having them intercepted as would occur if they used conventional transportation, though this requires a high tech-level to utilize.
Despite the devastation caused by the aliens, many believe that humanity did not witness the full extent of the Scrin military capabilities during the Third Tiberium War. It should be noted that the Scrin encountered were part of a mere harvesting operation which thought there would be no resistance at all when they arrived. The destruction of the Earth operation caused Overlord to plan a full-scale invasion. It can be inferred that a true military assault will be massive in comparison to the harvesting operation.
The Scrin forces largely rely on their aerial power. Their vehicles are well armored and versatile, although not as powerful as GDI's. Infantry are effective in closer quarters combat. Economically, the Scrin have an advantage, since they can gather Tiberium quickly, as well as have unlimited stores. Another advantage is the ability to (apparently) psychologically manipulate enemy forces.
One problem the Scrin face is their lack of transport. Unlike the Brotherhood of Nod and GDI, the Scrin have no equivalent Carryall or V-35 Ox transport to move their forces across impassable or tall terrain. While the Mastermind's teleport solves some of the problems a Scrin commander faces, the Masterminds themselves are unable to move across the terrain and as such are at a disadvantage. This can be in part remedied by the Drone Ship's flying abilities or the Wormhole support power to instantly move around the battlefield.
As one might expect of a race able to launch invasions across the vastness of space, the Scrin possess a level of technology far superior to the GDI and Nod. While little is yet known about the full extent of how more advanced Scrin hardware works, there is a certain amount known for certain. While Nod may have been able to construct devastating laser and particle beam weapons based on technology gleaned from the Tacitus, the Scrin deploy advanced energy weapons across all of their forces, having apparently completely abandoned conventional ballistics (except for the use of Tiberium shards). Furthermore, Scrin infantry and vehicles appear to be bioengineered mechanical constructs, a combination of living creature and machine far more advanced than the comparatively crude cyborgs that Nod and CABAL have managed in the past. The Scrin have even mastered teleportation and one of their superweapons, the Rift Generator, is an artificially created portal that leads into deep space. Despite their superior technology, both GDI and Nod have been able to withstand the Scrin onslaught, thanks to weapons that are designed to interact with Tiberium, namely, sonic emitter, or catalyst missile, technology respectively. Both react violently with Tiberium, and are therefore devastating against the Tiberium based Scrin. This vulnerability to sonics is also shared by Scrin mechanical units, as the alloy employed in 99% of Scrin machinery is at least partially derived from Tiberium.
Naturally, the Scrin's knowledge of Tiberium and its uses is far superior to that of humans - unbelievably they are able to generate and control localized ion storms as a method of defending themselves. Many Scrin units appear to repair or heal in Tiberium fields. The Scrin also have the ability to detect all forms of Tiberium on the battlefield via a so-called "vibration scan." Furthermore, they have infinite reserve credits while GDI and Nod need to expand the maximum number of credits by creating Tiberium Silos, making the Scrin economy very overwhelming.
It should be noted that much of the advanced technology used by humans in 2077, such as forcefields and Tiberium Control technology, was probably reverse-engineered from Scrin hardware captured during the Third Tiberium War. As such, the technology gap between the two species is probably significantly smaller than it was in 2047.
Units within the Scrin
Behind the scenes
EA originally confirmed that the Scrin were to appear as a non-playable faction in Command and Conquer 4. Prior to even this, however, the Scrin were initially planned to once again be a playable faction in the pre-production phase. Regardless of intent, the only trace of the Scrin that appeared in C&C 4 was the Threshold Tower. It is unknown if this is disinformation or if EA officials consider the Tower itself to be part of a 'non playable faction,' but it is generally surmised among fans that the inclusion of the Scrin - to any great degree - fell victim to the budget and staff cuts that plagued C&C 4 during its production.
- Due to their only appearance being in Command & Conquer 3, and their relatively short Campaign, some players are not as familiar with them as they are with GDI or Nod, which can give an advantage to an experienced Scrin player in multiplayer.
- The Scrin resembles the Ceph aliens from Crysis series, but only when the Ceph had not yet adapted to earth's environment. The purpose of the early Ceph and the Scrin are similar; the Ceph harvest energy to birth a central intelligence The Alpha Ceph whilst the Scrin harvest Tiberium as a resource.
- For gameplay purposes, the Scrin AI announcer uses the human term for Tiberium instead of their own, "Ichor" (e.g. "Tiberium field depleted").
- Compared to its adversaries, the Scrin's production buildings (except the Drone Platform and Foundry) visibly shows whenever it is training a unit or not (especially the Warp Chasm when producing an Eradicator Hexapod), by means of the orb growing larger. Additionally, the orbs pull the remaining materials whenever its respective structure is destroyed, as a neat graphical effect.
- Scrin vehicles seem to bleed green "blood" (possibly Tiberium) when under fire, hinting at their technorganic nature.
- An entry in the Intelligence Database mentions that the aliens refer to another alien species they previously encountered as "brother", "ascended", "enemy", and "Scrin". This implies that the aliens that invaded Earth may not be the "true" Scrin after all, but rather a related or derivative species.
- This is supported by the fact that in the cutscene before the first Scrin mission, certain localizations, such as the Traditional Chinese version, shows the line "The Scrin are the only species allowed to exist in the universe" before "Overlord will be intrigued". This line is not present in the English version, suggesting that it was cut for contradicting the story, but the localization team was not informed.