The Orokin, also known as the Golden Lords by the Sentient and Golden Skymen by a now extinct colony on Mars, was an ancient civilization that ruled over the Origin System in the distant past. During what was known as the Orokin Era, they built technological masterpieces that surpass even present day technology while exercising complete dominion over the known world. Although details about the Orokin are scarce, they are almost entirely responsible for the current state of the Origin System.
Details about Orokin culture are scarce, but it is evident from their architecture and relics that they were obsessed with splendor, luxury, beauty and excess. The Orokin favored white, gold, black and blue in their aesthetics, and tended to construct massive structures adorned with innumerable golden ornaments complemented by long hallways and extremely high ceilings. Orokin-made items all share this luxurious design, from tea sets and clothing to even their most basic infantry rifles, and their distinctive relics have continued to influence cultures all the way up to the present day. Some high-ranking Orokin even modified their own bodies to obtain a more aesthetically wild and beautiful appearance than would ever be naturally possible.
Despite their futuristic splendor, much of Orokin culture was heavily influenced by ancient cultures, with much emphasis placed on honor, propriety, loyalty to one's superiors and acceptance of the status quo. The Orokin in particular held seven virtues to be of utmost importance, namely speed, power, cunning, agility, endurance, cooperation, and stealth. In addition, the Orokin practiced many ancient pastimes, such as the playing of komi Lunaro and use of a musical instrument known as a shawzin.
Orokin society was highly stratified, with only those at the very top being regarded as actual Orokin. The Orokin constructed a caste of genetically engineered slaves to serve their most basic industrial and military needs, while the rest of the empire was made up of less wealthy and advanced populations performing technological and economic services which would eventually congeal into the Corpus. A small conclave of warriors known as the Dax served as the Orokin's most elite soldiers. The Dax were enhanced with technology to be more lethal and agile in combat, while also made mentally unable to disobey their masters.
The Orokin represented and continue to represent the height of technological achievement in the Origin System. Of particular note is their mastery of biological engineering, allowing them to modify their own bodies, construct armies of cloned slave labor, invent a living weapon that proved to be nigh-uncontrollable, produce terraforming drones that could adapt to any obstacle they encountered, convert invaders into unwavering allies and create almost indestructible humanoid warriors for the Tenno to command. On a larger scale, the Orokin constructed massive solar rails enabling fast interplanetary and even interstellar travel, terraformed some of the most inhospitable planets in the system, and learned how to navigate the alien dimension known as the Void.
Orokin obsession with luxury and domination often combined with their unparalleled technology to form highly disturbing results. The Orokin ruined much of the Origin System in their search for resources to feed their addiction to excess, which was ultimately the cause for the Sentients' war against them. Of particular note is the ritual known as Continuity, which the Orokin would use to obtain effective immortality. The ritual allows an individual to transfer their consciousness to another's body by filling them with torment and despair until the host is nothing more than an empty husk. This is likely the process through which the Grineer Queens survived as long as they did, although they were eventually forced to practice the ritual upon defective Grineer bodies.
- Main article: Orokin Language
The Orokin Language is largely based upon English but with a coarser, often more phonetic spelling. The characters are diagonally slanted and are usually written left to right when on flat surfaces. Vowels take the form of polarity symbols written above the regular characters. The direction of writing frequently varies when it is found on both the left and right of an object, presumably because it was copied and flipped from one side to the other.
Although there are no live excerpts of the Orokin Language to demonstrate how it is spoken, the Lotus, Ordis, Tenno and the Red Veil presumably understand and can speak Orokin as their local language. However, given that the Stalker was also once part of the Orokin Empire and presumably spoke their language, it can safely be assumed that it is spoken in a hissing, sibilant fashion.
- The Corpus, according to the Lore, are hellbent on gathering Orokin technology and relevant findings in order to harness their power and sell them on the market. Their goals were the primary cause of certain events, namely The Gradivus Dilemma and Operation Oxium Espionage.
- Several characters in the game are suggested to either be Orokin or have direct descendance from their bloodlines. Members of the Corpus leadership claim to be of pure Orokin lineage, Alad V is addressed as an Orokin by the Sentient Hunhow during The Second Dream, and the Grineer Elder Queen is able to command the unwilling obedience of Teshin by virtue of "her Orokin blood".
- So far, the only boss shown to explicitly harness Orokin technology is Captain Vor.
- The Corpus Fusion MOA and Oxium Osprey are the direct result of the Corpus utilizing advanced Orokin technology, as a rare (due to cost and rarity of Orokin materials) upgrade to normal MOA and Ospreys respectively.
- The word "Orokin" may be a portmanteau of the Spanish/Italian word "Oro", and the Japanese word "Kin" (金), both words meaning "Gold" which fits the Orokin's aesthetic, who predominantly use gold in their architecture and design, although the literal "gold gold" meaning makes this possibly less plausible. An alternative to "kin" is the English word referring to family or close relations, indicating a "golden family".
- With the existence of Oro as an in-universe force the "Oro" in Orokin may be in reference to that, rather than any real-world counterpart.
- In Solar Rail Conflict non-corrupt Orokin MOAs and Tenno Specter can be found.