Margulis, or Archimedean Margulis, was an elite scholar of the Orokin Era and the former lover of Ballas. Acting as the adoptive mother of the Zariman Ten Zero children, her actions served as the catalyst to the birth of Tenno and ultimately the development of Warframes, only to be executed by the Orokin judges out of fear of the children's mysterious Void powers.
After destroying the Pendula that used to keep the Moon within the Void, a number of conversations between Margulis and several Orokin figures (most of whom, with the exception of an individual named Ballas, remain nameless) are heard, most likely a recollection of memories. In these conversations, Margulis argues to the rest of the Orokin regarding the orphaned children of the Zariman Ten Zero, as they have been under her care, despite the rest of the Orokin's wishes that they should be killed out of fear of their power. Margulis, as indicated by Lotus, contributed to a process known as 'Transference' in which a Tenno's consciousness and power could be channeled through a vessel strong enough to contain it, leading to the creation of the Warframe.
It is heavily hinted by the dialogue, and by the Lotus, that Margulis was executed for defending the Tenno, and disobeying some not entirely disclosed Orokin laws. The sentence was carried out by The Seven (the council of Orokin judges) to which Margulis states that the Orokin, for all their perfect appearances are "rotted through and through".
Margulis was mentioned to recruit researchers to help with Transference therapy, presumably to build surrogate bodies for the children of Zariman Ten-Zero. As Silvana, the researcher involved in the creation of The Silver Grove, puts it "she needed the best Infestation biologist". But later, it seemed the project was turned into the creation of Warframes and Margulis was removed from the project for her objection.
In the final confrontation with Ballas, the Lotus mocks him, stating Margulis chose death over being controlled by him. After a long battle, the Tenno finally subdues Ballas with a Narmer Veil, deluding him into kissing "Margulis" and allowing the Lotus to steal her powers back from him and end him once and for all.
In the aftermath, the Lotus is conflicted with her personalities meshing between herself, Natah, and Margulis. The player can choose for her to become Margulis in her honor, a woman devoted to restoring the Origin System with compassion and healing.
- The name Margulis is most likely a reference to Lynn Margulis, an American evolutionary theorist who was a key proponent for the significance of symbiosis in biological evolution.
- Margulis was briefly alluded to in Update 17.0 (2015-07-31) through a cryptic Orokin message that would occasionally appear at the start of a mission. In the said message, one of the lines mentions "Margulis implantation intact". The majority of the message suggests some relation to the Reservoir as well. A full translation of the message can be viewed below:
- "You were so brave - but the Orokin were afraid of you. The Void had changed you and you couldn't control it, no one could. They were about to destroy the orphans of Ten-Zero but Margulis... she loved you, she found a way..." - Lotus during The Second Dream
- Ballas: "...What they need, Margulis, is to be destroyed! They're devils from that hell, not human anymore."
Margulis: "No, Ballas, no more destruction. We could heal them. Maybe they're meant to save us."
- Dialogue during The Second Dream
- "The Orokin murdered Margulis - used her work to create 'Transference'. Your mind - projected into a surrogate, strong enough to withstand your power. It felt like waking up, but it was just a lucid - second dream" - Lotus during The Second Dream
- "Honored seven, we have gathered here today to carry out the sentencing of Archimedean Margulis... You face the Jade light, recant, and we will grant a merciful death." - Ballas during Apostasy Prologue
- "My bags are packed, I'm all set to leave! I can't believe I'll be working with one of my childhood heroes, Archimedean Margulis! On comms, she said she needed the best Infestation biologist there was... I think my knees almost gave out!" - Silvana during The Silver Grove
- "My childhood dream has become a nightmare. I don't blame Margulis, she's as much a victim as the children we're working with. At first, the project seemed therapeutic and nurturing. I was myself. But now... Transference therapy is being turned into a weapon. Now I build these vile weapons called "Warframes" all for one purpose: death. I've become everything I hate." - Silvana during The Silver Grove