From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
"GRD helmet" and "GRD armor" redirect here. For the GRD attachment, see GRD.
The armor set includes at least a helmet and a chest piece. Its helmet is quite blocky in shape, with the top and each of the sides being mostly flat. Its visor features a horizontal strip at the user's eye line which is set slightly deeper than the rest, leading to two parallel ridges in the glass. Two armored strips adorn the sides of the helmet, running along the sides of the helmet at the bottom of the visor, but stopping just before they meet, creating a 'V' shape by the user's mouth. There is a cylindrical protrusion on either side of the helmet made of grey metal, just behind where the wearer's ears would be located.
When the CBRN module is equipped, some form of breathing equipment is placed in front of the user's mouth, and some new armored plating obscures the lower part of the visor, up to around where the user's nose would be. Meanwhile, the GRD attachment replaces the traditional visor with a grey metal plate set into the helmet, and adds a large circular lens-like apparatus in front of the wearer's right eye.
The AKIS helmet was developed to employ a wide arrange of targeting and surveillance features to maximise range-finding capabilities for both groundside operatives and aircraft such as the F-99 Wombat and S-14 Baselard, among others. The helmet was developed parallel to several modular attachments including a specialised CBRN module for operations in noxious or irradiated areas, and the P237-THEIATEK optical suite, which integrates with aerial reconnaissance platforms to provide the user with reliable intelligence from UAV and satellite imagery. These provide significant tactical advantages over the base helmet.
AKIS and its associated components were highly classified, leading some operatives to doubt that it existed at all.
AKIS first appeared in promotional material for Halo: Reach's Defiant Map Pack in 2011, where it was worn by a player in three screenshots of the map Condemned. The player wore it, with the CBRN and GRD attachments, in combination with the EXO/TSCS chest piece. In the absence of an official name, the Halo community took to calling the helmet "GRD", a nickname that stuck and eventually became the official name for one of the helmet's attachments.
A lack of official communication about or acknowledgement of the helmet from Bungie or 343 Industries led to a great deal of speculation about how it might be released, with some even suggesting that it could already be unlocked through some esoteric method. Eventually, these rumours were proven false when, on February 11th, 2012, 343 Industries employee David Ellis confirmed that 343 had intended to release it alongside the Anniversary Map Pack, but that it had been cut due to time and resource constraints. Ultimately, neither the AKIS helmet nor the EXO/TSCS chest piece were ever released for Reach on the Xbox 360.
The Spartan dolls Easter egg in the Anniversary Map Pack features dolls of Spartans wearing the same armor configuration as the player in the Defiant Map Pack screenshots, including the AKIS helmet. This was a deliberate acknowledgement of the armor on 343 Industries' part. This doll object was later made available as a placeable object in Halo 5: Guardians' Forge mode, in which it is known as the "5th Spartan" doll.
In 2019, it was announced that Halo: Reach would be added to Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and that The Master Chief Collection would be ported to PC, with Reach being the first of the games in the collection to release on the platform. This brought with it renewed interest in the unreleased helmet, with many requesting that it be included in the game's re-release. 343 Industries would officially address these requests in a development update in July of that year, saying that they "[were] currently investigating it but [could not] commit to it being in the game at [that] time" and also noting that they were interested in expanding the pool of customization items in each game, potentially even including new armors.
Later the same year, a modder by the name of Gamecheat13 discovered customisation renders for two cut armour sets in the game files of the second Halo Insider flight (dubbed the "FireFlight") of Halo: The Master Chief Collection's PC port of Halo: Reach, and also unearthed the internal codenames for both sets:
Eventually, in September 2020, it was confirmed in an MCC Development Update that these two armour sets would be making their way into Halo: The Master Chief Collection as part of Season 4: Reclaimer. This update also revealed the final name for the so-called "GRD" helmet: AKIS.
Defiant Map Pack promotional images
Halo: The Master Chief Collection datamined models
Halo: The Master Chief Collection menu images
List of apperances