The GOLEM defense units are cyborg humans that were altered by the Neo Ark shadow government. They were changed in many ways for close combat or ranged fighting. It is noted that these units were most likely failed ANMC humans or just picked up compatible humans for their program. Their main role was the defense of the shelter and securing escaped ANMC from their pens and to initiate clean-up procedures in the event of a catastrophic failure of the Shelter's systems. The GOLEM defense units were stationed in the first floor of the shelter on the cryo freeze lab where they would remain frozen till needed. The GOLEMs could quickly move around the shelter due to high speed transport trains. They are the toughest regular enemies in the game, armed with high-tech weaponry, with some versions sporting heavy armor or cloaking devices, working in squads to bring opponents down. For that reason, they have the highest BP scores.
In battle the GOLEM were slow and predictable, from raising their hands slowly to show where they were striking with their energy swords or raising their long ranged launcher to the player. To make up for these facts they where heavily armored to the point the it would take three magazines from a standard M16 rifle to do any serious amount of damage, also there are three varieties of GOLEM divided into two types each: a long range and melee version, with the exceptions being the KNIGHT and BISHOP GOLEM. When GOLEMs are destroyed, they do not melt.
- Main article: No. 9 GOLEM
No. 9 was the first human/ANMC created to help keep the ANMC under control and to hunt down escaped ones or staff in the case of Fred Bowman. No. 9 was previously a human who requested Neo Ark to transform him into a NMC, but unlike other test subjects, he paid the scientists to retain most of his human intelligence and memories. The transformation still leaves him slightly mad, however, evidenced by his insane laughter and actions.
His uniform resembles the Standard Close Combat GOLEM. He also could have served as a commander role of the brainless GOLEM defense units stationed in the shelter and Neo Ark.
No. 9 claims to be a "Hunter" like Aya for Neo Ark. He uses two types of blades, a machete that he occasionally ignites in flame by first rubbing some sort of flammable liquid on it, and a Gunblade, which can be obtained by the player. He also wears two different kinds of outfits, one with a black kevlar vest and the other with a yellow tactical vest. He rides a large motorcycle 1600ccs or larger.
- Main article: Pawn GOLEM
The Patrol Model Pawn GOLEM are the lowest "ranked", weakest and most common of the GOLEM types. These are lightly armored, wearing green uniforms with light combat armor and helmets. They typically form squads of two to three and may sometimes be seen with Rook-type GOLEM. Pawn-types are armed with either a close-range energy sword or a long-range grenade launcher firing in four-round bursts. One can tell when they are being aimed at with the launcher, as it uses a laser sight to target enemies (similar to Watchers). Though they are tough enemies in comparison to ANMC's, Pawns fall from a few bursts of 5.56mm or a few grenades. Grenades fired by Pawn or Rook GOLEMs do not discriminate either, causing damage to friend and foe alike.
- Main article: Rook GOLEM
The Close Quarters Battle (CQB) Model Rook GOLEM are the next step up from Pawns. They are covered head-to-toe in ballistic armor and are equipped with a ballistic shield and either an energy sword or a grenade launcher similar to the Pawns, but firing three shots in a burst as opposed to six (a full "magazine"). Typically, energy-sword wielding Rooks operate in pairs. Grenade-launching Rooks either work in concert with sword-wielding Pawns or another Rook with an energy blade. Because of their rough nature, grenades and the Javelin laser weapon work well to attack their heavily armored fronts. Their backs however are not as well armored. PE powers aren't very effective to the front but may cause more harm from the back as well. Weapons that can pack a lot of firepower in a single shot, like the Mongoose or a shotgun armed with Firefly or R.Slug ammunition work well, as do rapid fire weapons.
- Main article: Knight GOLEM
The Night Operations Model Knight GOLEM are vastly different from both Pawn or Rook GOLEM. Knight GOLEMs wear blue jumpsuits, light armor and sport low-light image intensifying goggles (similar in design to the AN/PVS7 Goggles). Their most remarkable feature is a built-in active camouflage system similar to that of the stalker ANMC. The Knight GOLEM always ambushes their victim by grabbing them from behind and attacking them with a toxin which inflicts poison status. Because of the nature of their camouflage system, their attacks are strictly hand-to-hand, as any weapons would not be covered by their active camouflage field. Because of this, they have a long reach and are extremely strong. Unlike the Pawn and Rook GOLEM, Knight and Bishop GOLEM were designed to be stealthy, most likely intended for information gathering and assassinations, rather than as an infantry unit. They primarily attack by shifting in and out of cloak, swiping at Aya, grabbing her from behind and injecting her with their toxin, or by running from a full cloak and swiping at Aya with both arms. This last attack is signaled by a goggle-mounted laser sight aimed at the player. The best tactic is to cast Metabolism or have Penicillin, put Lipstick in an item slot, or wear an armor that negates status effects. Back up against a wall, as the attack from behind causes a lot of damage as it is almost unavoidable. Heavy weapons are recommended to kill them quickly, as their ability to phase in and out of the visible spectrum can make a protracted battle problematic.
- Main article: Bishop GOLEM
The Special Operations Model Bishop GOLEM are almost identical to Knight GOLEM save some critical differences. First, they are colored red rather than blue. They are not only physically stronger and tougher than the Knight but also slightly faster. Lastly, their toxin inflicts a Paralyze status. Bishop GOLEM are the most bountiful enemies in the game in terms of BP, and are also some of the toughest, close enough to be considered a mini-boss. Because of this, only the heaviest of weapons is recommended for taking these tough enemies on. Otherwise, in attack patterns and strategy, Bishops are to be treated similarly.
- Only the Rook GOLEMs shrug off the effects of PE with relative ease, save for their back. Pawns, Knights and Bishops take full damage. Fire PE, especially Pyrokinesis, is very effective. Wind PE has less use since they are immune to the Poison status which Necrosis inflicts but Plasma does a good job stunning Pawns. Apobiosis does stun them.
- All GOLEMs will fall to the floor after taking a certain amount of damage. While you could end them with a couple more shots, consider using PE to take them out if you are low on ammunition. Lifedrain in particular is helpful here as it also restores your health.
- Though heavy firepower is recommended (in the form of an M4A1, M249, MM1 or AS12), it is noteworthy that the PO8 and P229 are very effective as well due to their high critical ratio. The Mongoose with Maeda SP. rounds is also a good choice but the Magnum ammunition is sufficient if you have little or no Maeda rounds. When playing the game in Bounty mode, you will be forced to use a handgun or the MP5A5 to take them down in the Akropolis Tower. While the MP5 looks like it could do the job, it is a very wasteful weapon and you will want to have as much ammunition on you as possible.
- To save ammo when fighting a GOLEM group with at least one grenade launcher-equipped variation, lure the grenade launcher-equipped GOLEM into "aiming" at you with its laser sight in the same trajectory the other GOLEM is located. Once locked-on and the laser sight disappears, quickly run to the side and most of the grenades will instead hit the other GOLEM as this is usually a very effective method of chipping down a GOLEMs' health, even if there's just one grenadier in a group, usually saving both Aya's life and ammunition in harder difficulties such as Bounty or Nightmare difficulties.
- Most effective ammunition for taking down GOLEMs include: R.Slug, Grenade shells, 5.56mm, 9mm Spartan, Maeda SP. Least effective ammunition would be: Buckshot, Riot shells, 9mm Parabellum.
- If you managed to successfully dodge a charging Pawn or Rook (as in, it charged at you and swung but it did not hit you), quickly flank it for a couple shots to its exposed back. This can save your life if you are low on health.
- If you have difficulty defeating Knights and Bishops because of their grabs you should try and position yourself with your back to a wall. As long as they cannot grab you from behind, they will spawn either a hologram or they will appear themselves. You can easily recognize the hologram by its translucent appearance. When the real GOLEM appears, it will emit a "beaming in" noise, you also hear that when it unstealths as it grabs you. If you shoot the GOLEM just as it appears it will be stunned for a short period, allowing you to shoot a few rounds before it disappears again. Don't shoot or run through the holograms, doing so will force the real GOLEM to appear, swiping at you.
- GOLEM is a reference to a Jewish myth where a magician creates a magical servant of clay to defend his town from danger, but due to the Golem's literal take on its orders, it eventually turns on its creators and is destroyed.
- Though it takes several bursts to bring down a Pawn GOLEM in game, during the cutscene that introduces the Marines, Pawn GOLEMs go down with only a few bursts of bullets. (Although overlooked by many players, this was a cutscene mechanic, the Gameplay mechanics differ greatly)
- In the Marine Camp, the Marine Commander has on one of his command center's computers what appears to be a diagram of a GOLEM, which Aya can only get a glimpse at before being chased away by the Commander. This lends further credence to the conclusion that the U.S Government was at least aware of the activities of Neo Ark and the Shelter, or in the short while they were there, they had already drawn up the schematics, whichever the players wants to believe.