The Ancestors control the Cryptids and are the main antagonists of the Extinction storyline. They are also responsible for the construction of the Arks, the Obelisks, and other technologies such as gravimetric systems and forcefields.
The Ancestors' head is elongated and has two glowing eyes which sit over a large group of tentacle-like tendrils, which gives the head a resemblance to a squid. When the Ancestors are inactive they enter a cryogenic slumber device which resembles a tall cylindrical stone monument with Cryptid engravings carved into it. The Ancestors' head is visible along with the very upper torso, as both are covered with some form of dome (presumably made of ice due to said cryogenic slumber). The Ancestor first appears in the epilogue for Mayday, where one is focused on, but in reality, there are dozens of Ancestors in the same room. In Awakening, this is proven when the players enter the Ancestors' hibernation chamber within the Ark, the same room as shown in the Mayday cutscene, and there are multiple rows of Ancestors beginning to awaken from their cryogenic slumber.
The Ancestors are capable of telepathic abilities, including but not limited to sending commands to creatures that are capable of receiving them and seeing the world through the minds of humans who can be used by Ancestors. (It is worth noting that the Ancestors have commanded the Cryptids even while in cryogenic sleep.) In Awakening, one of the Ancestors is killed by David Archer, who then proceeded to remove an organ similar to the human pineal gland and is the source of the Ancestors' telepathic powers. Dubbed "the Cortex", it is powered by the death of living organisms. When the Cortex is fully charged it is capable of creating a shockwave that can kill all Cryptids in the area, however it is unknown if the Ancestors themselves can produce this effect. In the epilogue for Awakening, the Ancestors have awakened and have commanded every Cryptid on the planet to emerge, and have already wiped out most of humanity.
In Exodus, CIF Team 1 fights Ancestors directly. A small health gauge will be present above every Ancestor's head detailing how close the Ancestor is to death.
An Ancestor will always appear at the second Generator being activated in the car garage area, as well as the second Generator being activated in the gas station area. These Ancestors do not need to be killed, although it is generally seen as advantageous to do so due to the threat they pose and the reward for killing them, as well as the fact that their projectile attacks can damage Generators. If one of these Ancestors are still alive when the Generator has been booted up, the Ancestor will retreat.
Three Ancestors, one by one, will appear while CIF Team 1 defends the Cortex in preparation for its detonation. The Ancestors that appear in this sequence intend to attack and destroy the Cortex, and as such, must be killed in order for the mission to be successful.
Should CIF Team 1 delay the detonation of the Cortex for long enough, up to three additional Ancestors will arrive simultaneously to assault the base. Although this is meant to deter stalling, CIF Team 1 can kill these Ancestors as well, although the fact that multiple Ancestors can appear at once makes this more difficult than normal, and these Ancestors do not have any challenges associated with them.
In total, up to eight Ancestors can be fought and killed on Exodus.
The Ancestor is capable of performing the following attacks:
- Throwing a slow-moving projectile that will cause a large amount of damage to generators and players. This attack is considered a projectile, so the Trophy System and Engineer Upgrade can intercept these. However, these countermeasures will not prevent the west side Generator in the base from being taken offline, even if it appears that the projectile was intercepted. The Ancestor can and will aim these attacks at Generators and the Cortex. This attack will home in on a player. If it hits the player, it will do a sizable amount of damage and blur the victim's screen for a brief moment.
- Using a blue beam to hoist up close-by players into the air for about eight seconds, making them unable to move and vulnerable to other Cryptids, as well as depriving them the ability to use their weapon, and damaging them every two to three seconds. Ancestors will not use this attack until they are close enough to a player, and the attack can miss if the player runs out of the blue beam quickly enough. The attack also cannot be initiated unless the Ancestor is looking in the player's direction, so it can't use this attack against a player right behind it, for instance. This attack can hit multiple players simultaneously and will usually deal damage sufficient enough to almost fully deplete a player's health or armor bar (but not both).
- Summoning a blue, protective force field around them at timed intervals or after certain damage thresholds have past, making them immune to all kinds of damage. The player can destroy this force field prematurely using a charged NX-1 Disruptor round, or its grenade counterpart. The Ancestor will voluntarily drop this shield after several moments. This shield cannot deal any damage to the player and is merely a protective measure.
- Summoning two Hunters out of the ground.
- When applicable, the Ancestor can destroy the gate blocking it from entering the base. Godfather will alert players if the Ancestor is about to do this. It is possible to kill an Ancestor before it reaches the gate. This attack does not deal any damage to players, but it will allow the Ancestor to physically enter the base, as well as allow Cryptids to file into the base through that opening instead of just entering the base through scaling the base's walls. If an Ancestor destroys the north gate, this will make the area immediately outside the parking garage available, re-enabling access to a Tac 12, a Tesla Anti-Air Defense System, and potentially some Search Piles.
When an ancestor is killed, they will glow brightly for a few seconds and will then explode whilst screeching. The base money reward for killing an Ancestor is $3500, and is given to every player. All Ancestors killed will also give a Skill Point upon death.
The first three Ancestors fought during the activation and detonation of the Cortex will all have a challenge associated with them. Although an Ancestor in this phase can only provide one of these three challenges, each challenge is assigned to a different Ancestor every game, and the order in which these three Ancestors are fought is also random. The challenges associated with the Ancestors are thus:
- Defeat the Ancestor in 3 minutes (180 seconds) or less.
- Deal x damage to the Ancestor's weak points (5000 damage solo)
- Do not take damage from the ancestor for 2 minutes (120 seconds). (90 seconds solo)
The third challenge of not taking damage from the Ancestor for a set amount of time can be completed by simply killing the Ancestor well before the challenge is over.
Their weak point is the head, allowing for consecutive headshots from high-capacity or high-damage weapons to deal significant damage. The Venom Grenade can also deal great damage if it hits the said weak spot multiple times. Provided the player is well protected and has enough health/armour to endure the attacks, an extremely effective method of quickly dispatching Ancestors is using point-blank, fully-charged blasts aimed at it's head from the NX-1 Disruptor. Doing this a handful of times will easily kill it, and also quickly finish the Deal x damage challenge. Vulture drones and Sentry Guns will also target Ancestors, but the Ancestor will ignore the Vulture, potentially allowing for several players to combine the firepower of several Vultures onto it without risking them getting destroyed.
The shield of the Ancestor can be prematurely brought down by the charge shot of an NX-1 Disruptor or an NX-1 Grenade that hits. If either of these hit the Ancestor while its shield is active, the shield will be dropped immediately, allowing players to continue damaging the Ancestor.
Ancestors are also much less dangerous at longer ranges, as they cannot use their grab attack, and the projectile attack is slow-moving, giving players ample time to dodge it. Protective measures like Trophy Systems and the Engineer Upgrade can allow players
- According to the end cutscene of Mayday, the main chamber of the Ancestors is 1224 feet below sea level.