The Unggoy (Latin, Monachus frigus, meaning "cold monk") are a species of small, squat bipedal arthropods in the unified races of the Covenant. They are the lowest rank in the hierarchy, and are frequently mistreated by higher-ranking races like the Sangheili and Jiralhanae,so much so that killing Unggoy is not even considered a crime in the Covenant homeworlds.[verification needed] Unggoy are primarily used as laborers or, in combat situations, cannon fodder. They are one of the later races to be introduced into the Covenant. They were the third Covenant species to be encountered by humans. They are referred to as Grunts by humans, both because they are weaker than their superiors and because they perform the majority of the labor required by the Covenant.While they are essentially a slave race, the Unggoy have managed to largely retain their cultural identities, and have rebelled in the past more than once. Being the lowest-ranked species of the Covenant, they are bitter rivals with the Kig-yar, who are also one of the lowest species. The higher-ranking races of the Covenant have often ignored this rivalry. The breaking point came when the Minister of Fortitude discovered evidence that the Kig-yar were planning to poison recreational narcotics the Unggoy enjoyed, which would have left them sterile, but the High Council refused to investigate the matter. The rising tensions with the Jackals and the general disinterest from the other Covenant races led to an Unggoy Rebellion in 2462. During this rebellion, the Unggoy proved to the rest of the Covenant that the Grunts are surprisingly strong in numbers and can be deadly when sufficiently motivated. During this rebellion, the Unggoy homeworld was nearly glassed. After the uprising's conclusion, as was their tradition, the Sangheili forgave the surviving Unggoy and allowed them to enter the Covenant Military as armed infantry units, rather than the totally unarmed cannon fodder as which they had previously served.
Despite the low place they have in the Covenant Hierarchy, the true irony is that the Unggoy's entry into the Covenant has ensured their species' survival. Membership in the Covenant means that the Unggoy are no longer at risk of extinction during Balaho's two winters, as they now have access to sufficient supplies of food. Infant mortality has decreased to below fifty percent, and geronticide is no longer a necessity for survival. The average life expectancy for non-combatant Unggoy has doubled.
The Great SchismEdit
The Unggoy obey other Covenant races out of fear more than religious faith. They have next to no political power in the Covenant; the highest political rank available to an Unggoy is Deacon. However, within the Grunt community there is a strong resentment of other species, especially Jackals. At one point in the Covenant's history, in the 39th Age of Conflict, there was a Grunt Rebellion, where the conflict between the Grunts and Jackals escalated. Eventually, the conflict quelled, thanks in part to an unknown Arbiter, who was called upon during that period for that purpose. Even though losses were great for the Unggoy, this dissent meant that the Grunts remained at the lowest echelon of the Covenant. The low rank of the Unggoy, as well as the aforementioned war, also led to a lack of political loyalty during the Great Schism, as the Grunts did not ally with a particular side, and stayed with whoever commanded them, most likely out of subservient fear to their current masters. However, many of those serving under the Jiralhanae still held support for the Sangheili and revered the Arbiter, pointing out to their comrades that they once served under him.
Unggoy are typically poor warriors, being quite cowardly, physically weak and tactically inept. When their commanders are eliminated during battle, they almost always go into a panic and scatter in random directions. However, what they lack in ability they make up for with sheer numbers, as they breed relatively quickly and, if they are focused, are actually quite accurate with their weapon. In some cases, squads of Grunts have been known to overpower careless marines. The conflict on Harvest, and thus the Human-Covenant War, was in part started by an Unggoy named Yull tearing apart Private Osmo. Special Operations Grunts, who wear black armor, are far more tenacious than the lower tiered ones, and have even been known to carry Fuel Rod Guns, which makes them extremely dangerous foes.
They are unusual in the sense that they breathe methane rather than oxygen. Their combat armor/harness has an integrated methane re-breather system, as Grunts appear to be unable to survive long without methane due to asphyxiation much like humans without oxygen, yet in Halo 3, knocking the methane tank off of them by forcefully assassinating will still cause them to linger around for a long period of time.
Grunts are about 5 1/2 feet tall on average and are relatively weak compared to other Covenant species. Although they can easily walk upright on two legs, they are often seen using their arms to move in a quadrupedal fashion. While carrying armaments, they are forced to walk upright so that they may support their weapons with their hands, but while trying to flee, or while patrolling without a weapon drawn, they use their oversized arms as forelegs to add speed or stability to their gait. Grunts have average eyesight and hearing, and seem to have a very well developed sense of smell, sometimes sniffing the air to detect traces of foes or hidden enemies. This is facilitated through the olfactory membranes installed in their masks.
Grunts also have thick, bio-luminescent, light-blue blood, possibly a result of methane-based proteins in the blood to facilitate methane-based respiration. Like Earth's Horseshoe Crabs, it is possible that their blood is blue due to high copper content.
Grunts' forearms are incredibly over-sized, as are their calves, while their upper arms and thighs are incredibly minute. This has allowed them to be quite excellent climbers, as discovered in Halo: Contact Harvest. Spiny protrusions on their elbows help Unggoy scale rocky surfaces and may also be used to add force to their melee attacks. They also have very good finger reflexes, as they can fire a Plasma Pistol at the same rate an Elite can with a Plasma Rifle.
Grunts have flat, three-toed feet, with another toe on the back of their feet. While they are small, stocky, and are not agile, they are quite sturdy; most may be weak, as they seem to be unable to carry a weapon heavier than a Plasma Pistol, although certain Grunts of higher ranks appear to be surprisingly strong, able to carry an undeployed Plasma Cannon or fire a Fuel Rod Gun with one hand and without toppling from the recoil. However, physical strength may not actually go along with rank; the types of weapons available to them may be a part of a "trust" issue with the other Covenant. As rank-and-file Grunts are clumsy and tactically inept, more powerful weapons are likely only issued to those who are more disciplined and experienced.
In Halo 3, Grunts can be seen carrying Fuel Rod Guns and Plasma Cannons with one arm, although they do not use the latter the way Spartans, Brutes and Elites do; instead, they try to find a place to mount these massive weapons. This behavior could be a glitch, as it is unlikely that Grunts are able to lift a Plasma cannon with one arm and run around; a SPARTAN-II must use two hands and slow down.
he Grunt home world of Balaho is a temperate, swampy planet with a methane atmosphere and naturally occurring pillars of fire. The cold season of their planet makes them highly covet any source of warmth and light they can find, mainly due to the blue death. Although not much has been revealed about it, the warm season is likely taken advantage of by Balaho's residents. Since their natural environment has a methane atmosphere, Grunts need to carry methane tanks and breathing apparatus with them whenever they travel into areas without high levels of methane in the air. Since all the other races of the Covenant, and their Human enemies, breathe oxygen instead, the Unggoy find themselves wearing breathing masks more often than not. They have also been seen inhabiting large environment domes that have airlocks and methane filters for them to breathe, while not in armor or restocking their methane reserves at Battlefield Methane Tanks. Grunts also have high-pitched and squeaky voices, possibly due to the different resonating properties of methane gas. The high-pitched voices are commonly regarded as humorous by most other races, since they tend to sound like frightened children trying to sound intimidating.he Grunt home world of Balaho is a temperate, swampy planet with a methane atmosphere and naturally occurring pillars of fire. The cold season of their planet makes them highly covet any source of warmth and light they can find, mainly due to the blue death.Although not much has been revealed about it, the warm season is likely taken advantage of by Balaho's residents. Since their natural environment has a methane atmosphere, Grunts need to carry methane tanks and breathing apparatus with them whenever they travel into areas without high levels of methane in the air. Since all the other races of the Covenant, and their Human enemies, breathe oxygen instead, the Unggoy find themselves wearing breathing masks more often than not. They have also been seen inhabiting large environment domes that have airlocks and methane filters for them to breathe, while not in armor or restocking their methane reserves at Battlefield Methane Tanks. Grunts also have high-pitched and squeaky voices, possibly due to the different resonating properties of methane gas. The high-pitched voices are commonly regarded as humorous by most other races, since they tend to sound like frightened children trying to sound intimidating.
The Grunts are the lowliest beings for troops before battle, as well as other tasks, indicating there is a small amount of respect for the Unggoy from Prophets and higher ranks and that they are important in keeping Covenant religious views to other members strong. They are also known to be bitter rivals with Jackals as they are both on the bottom of the social hierarchy, and want to earn more respect within the Covenant. From a political and military standpoint, they are expected to obey the commands of Elites or Brutes without hesitation. This unwavering faithfulness is enforced by the threat of punishment, although on the battlefield, such social protocols are often ignored, where as the Grunt will run in fear as to seeing the Master Chief or the Arbiter or when their leader is killed.
Grunts are subdivided into sub-rankings; lower-ranked Grunts are typically poor combatants, while higher-ranked Grunts may be formidable adversaries in combat and even show signs of leadership capability as well as bravery. For example, most Grunts who sleep on duty are Minors. In groups they can be deadly as well as tenacious, depending on the level of difficulty, especially if they have an Elite or Brute commander. The Unggoy are also considered to be somewhat humorous by other species, like Jiralhanae, Humans, and Sangheili for their small stature, squeaky voices, and slightly cute personality. An example is on the The Arbiter (Level), when one grunt says, "where'd my gun go? Oh, here it is! Hahaha." Also, on The Oracle (Level), when crouching in front of a Grunt he might say "Arbiter, tell me a story," or "hard to tell, but me not female."
The only position open to the Grunts in the Ministry of Tranquility. This rank doesn't often involve combat or hard manual labor, though they have been known to carry around Plasma Pistols and Needlers, the former possibly meaning it is the lowest position on the Covenant hierarchy. But as seen in Halo: Contact Harvest, the Deacon ordered around other Unggoy whenever it came to matter of religion. In Halo Wars , Deacons are available as the final upgrade for Grunts. They further bolster and strengthen the abilities of the Grunt squads. Interestingly, these Grunts wear elongated helmets similar of their Sangheili counterparts.
Merchants Though it's never named a rank and only mentioned once, it was said in Contact Harvest, that well respected Grunts in the Hierarchy are merchants. When Truth was sworn into office a Drone Queen, Jackal Ship Masters, and Merchant Grunts were said to be there. It was also said that their combat harness was adorned with large jewels.
Suicide Grunts The suicide grunts appear as a separate rank in Halo Wars. In Halo Wars, they serve as the Arbiter's unique units, coming in squads of four. They resemble standard grunts except for a large, transparent, cylinder-shaped methane tank replacing the standard, triangular tank. These Grunts seem to be one of the lowest ranks considering the facts that they wield Plasma Pistols and that they commit suicide kamikaze-style. Their Y ability consists of lighting their methane tanks and charging the enemy in a similar fashion to some Grunt Minors. Once the Grunts come in contact with the chosen enemy, they violently explode. They also seem to have a higher pitched voice compared to normal Grunts.
These Grunts have different methane tubes than their non-Heretic counterparts. They have just two round tubes, instead of the triangular shape. Another feature of the Heretic Grunt armor is a small mouth-breather that exposes a Grunt's teeth. Unlike the armor of the Heretic Elites, there is only one uniform color for a Grunt's armor, which is a shining, golden-brown. Because of this, there is no hierarchy or ranking system, and Heretic Grunts are inferior only to Heretic Elites. Heretic Grunts are also superior to their Covenant counterparts by their equipment and usage thereof. They almost always use Needlers, or occasionally Fuel Rod Guns, but never the Plasma Pistols that is so often overused by their counterparts. They also try to set up turrets sometimes like Heavy Grunts. Judging by the fact they always wield Needlers or Fuel Rod Guns, it indicates that they are better treated than their Covenant counterparts, and are not used as cannon fodder. It's also worth noting that Heretic Grunts are much harder to kill than normal Grunts. Typical Grunts can be killed with 2 or 3 shots on normal via Carbine, but Heretic Grunts can absorb up to five shots before dying