- "The Oracle calls them "Reclaimers". But what do they reclaim? These machines? These cities? These worlds? Or, as I fear, are they to reclaim the Mantle we so terribly squandered?"
- —Minister of Discovery
"Reclaimer" is a Forerunner term used to refer to a species (or member of said species) chosen to be the inheritor of the Mantle, the stewardship over all life originally held by the Precursors. In more recent Forerunner usage, this refers to human individuals, as the Forerunners left the Mantle for humans to reclaim. The Forerunners left behind an abundance of their technology, some of which will only activate when used by a Reclaimer. For most of their history, however, the Forerunners considered themselves Reclaimers, believing to have inherited the Mantle from the Precursors, who had originally intended to pass the Mantle down to humanity.[note 1]
 Term use
Chronologically, the title of Reclaimer is first used by Mendicant Bias, as described in Halo: Contact Harvest. The Reclaimer glyph was both one of the holiest of Covenant religious icons and the source of one of the major flaws in the Covenant religion: While correcting the Covenant's misinterpretation of the Luminary's readings, Mendicant Bias applies the term to the human population on Harvest; the Covenant had consistently mistranslated the glyph as "Reclamation" (by reading it upside down, no less.) This is later put to use by the Prophet of Truth, in realization that the Luminary's reading of the humans as Reclaimers would help him scour the galaxy for any other human colonies. Mendicant also claims that the humans are his makers, which corroborates what 343 Guilty Spark says to the Master Chief in Halo 3: "You are the child of my makers. Inheritor of all they left behind. You are Forerunner."[note 1]
After Mendicant, the next known bestowal of the title is when Guilty Spark addressed Sergeant Marvin Mobuto in Halo: The Flood. Following Mobuto's death and Spark's first meeting with SPARTAN-117, the title is laid upon the Master Chief. 2401 Penitent Tangent also instantly recognized the Chief as a Reclaimer. In addition to the Master Chief, both Commander Keyes and Sergeant Johnson are referred to as Reclaimers, and 343 Guilty Spark seems to show them the same respectful attitude that he shows the Chief. Mendicant Bias also refers to the Chief as a Reclaimer through the Terminals in Halo 3, and the Librarian likewise applies the term to the Spartan in Halo 4.
It is also important to note when the term "Reclaimer" is not applied. All Covenant species are referred to as "intruders" or "meddlers" by 343 Guilty Spark. Non-Reclaimers are unable to access or fully utilize Forerunner weapon systems on Forerunner constructs, most notably the Halo rings, the Ark, and shield worlds. Because of this, the Prophet of Truth had to force Sergeant Johnson to activate the rings in Halo 3 and the Prophet of Regret had to force Ellen Anders to activate the Apex Site in Halo Wars.
In Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, the Onyx Sentinels actually revoke the Reclaimer status of the humans on Onyx upon contact with the SPARTAN-IIIs, Ash-G099. The Sentinel announces that the "ring offensive system" is active and that the "shield" is in countdown mode, then demands the Spartan to "exchange the proper counterresponse". Upon Ash's failure to provide said response, the Sentinel deems his reply as a non sequitur and immediately reclassifies the humans as "non-Reclaimers" and an "aboriginal subspecies" to be collected for analysis and otherwise neutralized as a potential vector for Flood infection.
It is apparent that the Sentinels only possess limited analytical intelligence while apart from a controlling Monitor. It is safe to speculate that the Monitors, with their more sophisticated intelligence, play an important role in helping local Sentinels determine who is friendly and who is not. It should also be noted that Ash-G099, the first human a Sentinel tried to identify on Onyx, was from the SPARTAN-III Gamma Company. All Spartans of Gamma Company possessed special augmentations not found in other Spartans, most notably a drug called 009762-OO, which is designed to affect the brain's frontal lobe to enhance certain traits in combat. This may have been reason enough for the Sentinel to identify him as something other than human or Reclaimer, and after that the Sentinels may have simply assumed that all humans on Onyx were of the same classification. Logically, by the term "subspecies", and by the aboriginal notation therein, the Sentinels could easily, by conjecture, be making the notice that the chemical changes in the brain caused by their augmentations cause the SPARTAN-IIIs to represent an earlier, more animalistic breed of humanity to their scanners.
Most likely, however, this reclassification was caused simply by Ash not exchanging the proper response to the Sentinel. The Sentinel's reference to "possible infection vectors" implies that the machines had a directive about preventing any way for the Flood to infiltrate the shield world. It seems entirely possible - given that the Forerunners were ultimately willing to sacrifice themselves in order to halt the Flood's advance across the galaxy - that even an actual Forerunner that did not know the proper response, should an Onyx Sentinel have somehow come into contact with one, would have been treated the same way in order to halt a possible Flood infestation.
- The glyph for the Reclaimer is the Marathon logo symbol, a reference to Bungie's earlier series. Because of legal reasons, the Reclaimer symbol in 343 Industries media has been changed to a much more vague resemblance of the original Marathon symbol.
- The Bestiarum associates the Latin term "Homo sapiens augeous" with its "Reclaimer" entry. This is apparently intended to mean "augmented intelligent man", though augeous is conjugated incorrectly; the proper conjugation is aucto. Given the context of the entry in the Bestiarum, it is apparent that the entry describes John-117 as opposed to all Reclaimers, and that "Homo sapiens augeous" refers only to Spartans.
- Halo Wars is the only Halo game (apart from Halo 3: ODST, which featured no interaction with Forerunner technology) in which no characters are explicitly identified as Reclaimers. However, Ellen Anders could almost certainly be classified as a Reclaimer, as she activated the Forerunner artifact at the Relic site, was kidnapped by Ripa 'Moramee and forced by the Prophet of Regret to activate Forerunner technology on Shield World 0459, precisely the way Miranda Keyes and Sergeant Johnson were used by Tartarus and the Prophet of Truth, respectively in the original trilogy.
- It is possible that 343 Guilty Spark does not recognize Reclaimers as individuals, but instead believes that every Reclaimer is the same being. When talking to Master Chief in Installation 04's Control Room, Spark says, "Last time, you asked me, if it were my choice, would I do it? Having had considerable time to ponder your query, my answer has not changed." It is apparent that Guilty Spark was referring to a question posed to him by the IsoDidact prior to the activation of Installation 04 one hundred thousand years prior. This theory is not entirely solid, however; in the cutscene before Tartarus is fought in Halo 2, Spark warns the Brute Chieftain to "Please be careful; this Reclaimer is delicate.". It could also be that Spark's statement to the Master Chief, and his overall assumption that the Chief was supposed to have been aware of protocol beforehand, could just have been a result of his instability. Another more complex idea is that since all humans seem to be able to be classified as Reclaimers, and Spark when speaking to the Chief (a Reclaimer) on Installation 04B states "You are the child of my makers, inheritor of all they left behind. You are Forerunner." Spark views the Chief as a continuation of the Forerunners, and the "same" as the Didact. Other characters also reference the humans as the same as the Forerunner in some fashion. Spark states humanity holds the Forerunner's duties (Reclamation, etc.), Mendicant Bias holds himself in debt to humanity when he cannot find any Forerunner to redeem himself to, and the Gravemind views the Forerunner as humanity's "Father" and holds humanity responsible for their sins.
- "Reclaimer" is one of the second-highest rank in Halo: Reach.
 List of appearances
- Halo: Combat Evolved (First appearance)
- Halo: The Flood
- Halo 2
- Conversations from the Universe (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Halo 3
- Halo: Contact Harvest
- Halo Wars
- Halo: Helljumper
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
- Halo: Glasslands
- Halo: Primordium
- Halo 4
- ^ a b The term "Reclaimer" has never been used directly in reference to Forerunners. However, in Halo: Primordium, 343 Guilty Spark identifies humans as "the true Reclaimers" which suggests that the Forerunners also held the title; the distinction of humans as "true" Reclaimers corroborates with the Precursors' intent for humans to inherit the Mantle. This also explains why Mendicant Bias assumed the Reclaimers on Harvest to be its creators; the "Reclaimer" glyph would have been originally associated with Forerunners who wrongly considered themselves Reclaimers.