The armor set includes at least a helmet and a chest piece. Its helmet features a mostly rounded top, bisected by an extra piece of plating that curves over the top of the wearer's head and stops just shy of the helmet's eyepiece. The eyepiece itself is a rounded, goggle-like apparatus that sits where the visor would be on a traditional helmet. In front of the left eye, the eyepiece module features a large lens jutting out from its front. Meanwhile, in front of the right eye, it features two smaller circular protrusions above and below the user's eyeline. At the bottom of the helmet's front, there sits what appears to be breathing equipment of some form. Either side of the helmet, there is an additional layer of armor that follows the wearer's jawbone up to their ear and the side of their head
The chest piece consists predominantly of a dark grey metal collar encircling the user's neck, set upon a thicker armored base that connects to existing the Mjolnir Mark V chest piece upon which it is layered. The two sides of the collar are cut off beneath the user's chin, and therefore do not meet to create full circle. Instead, the armored base on each side extends downward along the user's chest, forming two parallel strips which are joined at sternum by a small connecting segment.
The CONDEMNED-class armor first appeared in promotional material for the Defiant Map Pack, where its chest piece, paired with the PRESERVE-class helmet, was worn by a player in three screenshots of the map Condemned. Due to the fact that the PRESERVE-class chest piece and CONDEMNED-class helmet were not shown, it was incorrectly assumed by many that the PRESERVE-class helmet and the CONDEMNED-class chest plate were part of the same set. As a result of the lack of an official name, the Halo community took to calling this mistakenly-identified armor set "GRD", a nickname that has stuck (although mostly in relation to the PRESERVE helmet), with even 343 Industries themselves using it.
A lack of official communication about or acknowledgement of the armor 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.
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. 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 so-called "GRD" armor, 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 of these two cut armours 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 in the process, confirmed for the first time that the chest piece and helmet seen in the Defiant Map Pack promotional materials were from two separate armor sets. He also unearthed the first known official names for both sets,
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Halo 5: Guardians
List of appearances