|“||"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.
- 1 Physiology
- 2 Culture
- 3 History
- 4 Military
- 5 Technology
- 6 Units within the Scrin
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Gallery of insignia variations
- 10 Gallery of loading screens
- 11 References
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
The Scrin arrived in the solar system many centuries ago, concealed behind an asteroid beyond the orbit of Neptune, their ships dormant and their crews in suspended animation ever since humanity was still in the Dark Ages. They were apparently responsible for the Tiberium-infested meteorite that brought the alien substance to Earth in 1995, after which they continued waiting for the radiation signal of a liquid Tiberium detonation, which, in all previous cases, signaled the collapse or near-collapse of indigenous civilizations and the maturation of planet-wide Tiberium deposits.
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.
Shortly after the ion cannon strike on Temple Prime and the resulting liquid Tiberium detonation, the Scrin detected the signal they had been waiting for. Shortly afterwards, Scrin AIs awoke the Foremen of the harvesting fleet from stasis and began approaching Earth at sublight speeds.
The Scrin ships, which consisted of six large transport ships, were first detected by GDI's JPL Deep Space Network at the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune. As the vessels approached Earth, Director Redmond Boyle ordered all ion cannons in the Southern Hemisphere to be fired at the alien vessels. This prompted the six vessels to activate defensive dispersal functions, causing them to disperse into thirty-nine drone ships, which then crashed into Red zones on every continent, suffering only minor damage in the process.
After their drone ships landed on Earth, the Scrin quickly realized that the deployment of harvesting forces appear to be premature, as the indigenous population - humans - are still dangerously viable, an unprecedented event. One of the Scrin AIs suggested aborting the mission, but the Scrin Supervisor ordered the Scrin forces to proceed with harvesting as planned. The Scrin AI objected, noting that the harvesting operation was intended for Threshold defense, and was unsuitable for prolonged resistance to organized forces, but the Supervisor dimissed the objection, instead ordering the Foremen to divert human forces from Relay Nodes construction sites by targeting major population centers.
The unexpected arrival of the Scrin caught both GDI and Nod completely off guard, as major population centers in Blue zones and Yellow zones alike were attacked by the aliens, including London, Munich, and Kampala. Even cities that were previously thought to be safe because of their low strategic value, such as Cologne, were attacked and destroyed by alien forces. The city of Berne was hit especially hard, having being reduced to a wasteland by an alien Mothership.
Since most major population centers were in Blue zones, Nod was spared the worst of the attacks, but the Brotherhood's situation was still desperate enough that General Kilian Qatar, Nod's acting commander at the time, was forced to ally with a GDI commander in order to defend Australia from the Scrin. Though she secretly planned to steal GDI's nuclear launch codes and delivery systems during the chaos.
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 base. Due to GDI's experiments rendering the Tacitus unstable, Kane inserted into LEGION's console immediately, allowing LEGION to interface with it. After accessing the device, LEGION apparently accesses the Scrin warp link and intercepts a transmission.
|“||EARTH WARP GATE STATUS ACTIVE
COMMENCING PHASE II
- Scrin transmission
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.
Since the Scrin did not expect the possibility of indigenous resistance, the Scrin forces were unable to sustain a prolonged campaign against both GDI and Nod forces. Therefore, they resulted to diversion tactics, attacking major population centers and military bases in order to divert human forces from their true objectives: Threshold construction sites, and later, intelligence gathering operations. This worked for a time, but human forces quickly reorganized and launched a counterattack, eventually forcing the Scrin to retreat.
Though it should be noted that the Scrin fleet seen during the Third Tiberium War was only a harvesting operation, and the actual military doctrine of Scrin forces is completely unknown.
Being an advanced alien species, the Scrin employed many strange and unusual technologies during their brief war with the humans, most of which human scientists could not even begin to understand, much less replicate.
- Space technology: as expected from an advanced alien civilization, the Scrin possess advanced spacecraft capable of interstellar travel. These spacecraft are also capable of atmospheric flight, though they are apparently incapable of faster-than-light travel, and require their occupants to remain in stasis until arrival at their destination.
- Wormholes: the Scrin utilize structures that project wormholes to teleport forces onto the battlefield. Wormholes can also be created without a structure to sustain them, though only temporarily. The Rift generator, the Scrin superweapon, works by opening a destructive wormhole and ejecting everything around it into deep space.
- Teleportation: in addition to wormholes, certain Scrin units are equipped with "Blink packs", allowing them to teleport short distances. Masterminds and Prodigies can teleport friendly units using Blink packs.
- Energy weapons: nearly all Scrin forces use some form of energy weapon, from the proton cannons used by Devourer tanks and Annihilator tripods, to the plasma weapons used by Seekers and plasma missile batteries. The most devastating, however, was the Mothership's catalyst cannon, which can cause a deadly chain reaction that can wipe out an entire city with a single shot.
- Tiberium technology: being a species that thrives on Tiberium, the Scrin naturally developed many ways to interact with it and exploit it. They could deploy growth accelerators that somehow increase Tiberium growth, detect it using a "vibration scan" technique, heal their forces with a Tiberium-based slime, agitate Tiberium stores to sabotage enemy economy, and weaponize it in multiple ways, from Tiberium-based beams to Tiberium shards. Scrin extractors have unlimited Tiberium storage capacity. Their structures, such as the Thresholds, were made of a type of Tiberium composite, and Tiberium also fueled their units and craft (though this also meant that they were vulnerable against anti-Tiberium weapons, such as sonic emitters and catalyst missiles).
- Ion storm manipulation: perhaps due to their connection to Tiberium, Scrin forces can harness the power of ion storms. Storm columns and planetary assault carriers can create localized ion storms, and most Scrin spacecraft can harness the power of ion storms to augment their capabilities.
- Bioengineering technology: 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 appears to have mastered this technology, capable of creating a wide range of units, each suited for a specific role.
- Mind control: Scrin Masterminds and Prodigies are capable of mind controlling enemy units and even structures. Traveler-17 also deploys Cultists, human abductees implanted with the spawns of a Prodigy, granting them mind control abilities and making them completely subservient to the Scrin.
- Forcefield technology: certain Scrin units can be upgraded with forcefield generators, granting them extra protection. The forcefields can also absorb an EMP blast before collapsing.
- Phasing technology: the Scrin can somehow phase objects out of sync with reality, making them nearly indestructible (but unable to attack). This is the technology behind the phase field. On a larger scale, Thresholds, upon completion, are rendered completely invulnerable using phase generators.
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 Tiberian Twilight 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.
- 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.
- Scrin repair drones can repair not only vehicles, but infantry units as well, including human infantry from the other two factions.
- 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 the aliens never refer to themselves as Scrin in the Scrin campaign. Also, in the cutscene before the first Scrin mission, the in-game subtitles, which can be activated through patches, has the Supervisor state that "Species must be Scrin." after saying that "No precedent exists for viable indigenous resistance after Ichor LQ detonation event." This suggests that the Scrin are actually the aliens' enemies, and that they mistook the humans for the Scrin.
- During the 2006 Community Summit, it was revealed that the Scrin campaign was going to have 8 missions. The final game only had 4 Scrin missions, implying that the Scrin campaign was vastly simplified, most likely due to time constraints.
Gallery of insignia variations
Presumed Scrin faction logo from the cancelled Command & Conquer 3: Incursion
Gallery of loading screens
Mission loading screen in Tiberium Wars
- Verdu, Michael. 2007-02-02. Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars Designer Diary #5 - Introducing the Scrin. GameSpot.
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Scrin mission 1: "London". "Mothership AI: Ichor-LQ detonation on previously seeded planet."
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Scrin mission 1: "London". "Supervisor: No precedent exists for viable indigenous resistance after Ichor-LQ detonation event. Overlord will be intrigued."
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Scrin mission 2: "Munich". "Mothership interface: Ichor-LQ concentrations 77.3 below expected levels... 18.6 of surface Ichor in reaping condition... Only 5.3 of deposits suitable for offload to Ichor Hub."
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. GDI mission 12: "Munich".
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Nod mission 10: "Outback". Ajay: "Commander! You're not gonna believe this. GDI just activated all their ion cannons in the Southern Hemisphere! Thought they were gonna wipe us off the map in Australia, but they are firing at something in space."
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Scrin mission 1: "London". Mothership AI: "Defensive dispersal functions initiated. Minor transporter damage, proceeding as targeted."
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Scrin mission 1: "London". Mothership AI: "Supervisor, registering objection. Harvesting operations rated for Threshold defense. It is unsuitable for prolonged resistance to organized forces." Supervisor: "Disorganize them! Divert indigenous forces away from Relay Nodes during construction. Objection dismissed."
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. GDI mission 12: "Munich". Sandra Telfair: "It's not just Blue Zones bearing the brunt, several prominent Yellow Zones are also under attack, and Nod's being unable to mount a defense."
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Scrin mission 1: "London".
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Scrin mission 2: "Munich".
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod mission 10: "Hearts and Minds".
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. GDI Eyewitness Accounts, "GDI Field Recon - the Fall of Cologne".
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. GDI Eyewitness Accounts, "GDI Field Recon - the Fall of Berne".
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Nod Field Intelligence, "An Invasion Global in Scope".
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Nod mission 11: "Sydney City Wall".