PRESERVE-class Mjolnir[Note 1] also nicknamed GRD by the community, was a cut armor set that had been intended to release for Halo: Reach alongside the CONDEMNED-class Mjolnir set as part of the Anniversary Map Pack.
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. It lacks a traditional visor, instead featuring a grey metal plate set into the helmet, with a large circular lens-like apparatus in front of the wearer's right eye. Beneath this, the helmet appears to include some form of breathing equipment around the user's mouth. There is a cylindrical protrusion on either side of the helmet made of grey metal, at roughly where the wearer's ears would be located.
The PRESERVE-class chest piece features two large armour plates which curve downward from the user's shoulders, towards the centre of their chest. At the join between these two plates, there is a wedge-shaped protrusion pointing downwards, directly beneath the user's head. Additionally, below the left and right plates, there is an additional piece of armor on either side, just above where the wearer's ribcage would end. These meet beneath the wedge-shaped protrusion, at the user's solar plexus, where there is a piece of unidentified apparatus jutting out of the front of the armor.
The PRESERVE-class armor first appeared in promotional material for the Defiant Map Pack, where its helmet, paired with the CONDEMNED-class chest piece, was worn by a player in three screenshots of the map Condemned. The armor reportedly also appeared in the Armory of a Bungie employee on Bungie Day 2011. As a result of the lack of an official name, the Halo community took to calling the armor "GRD", a nickname that has stuck, with even 343 Industries themselves using it. 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 CONDEMNED-class chest plate was in fact part of the "GRD" set.
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 helmet and chest piece 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