The Bentusi are a race of space-faring technology traders, who helped the Kushan fleet in their quest to find Hiigara. They play a lesser role in Homeworld: Cataclysm and appear in only 2 missions of Homeworld 2. The Bentusi in all games are voiced by Campbell Lane.
The earliest known event in Bentusi history was when the Bentusi discovered the First Hyperspace Core in a massive Progenitor ship, becoming the first known race to acquire hyperspace technology. Fortunately, the Bentusi used this new-found technology to keep order and peace in the galaxy.
Calling themselves the Unbound, the Bentusi are a very ancient, wise race who do not claim any planet for themselves, instead opting to live exclusively among the stars. The Bentusi are one of the three races to possess far jump cores, along with the Vaygr and Kushan/Hiigarans.
Although the Bentusi are one of the most technologically advanced races in the Homeworld universe, they choose to remain peaceful unless they are attacked first. This does not stop them from selling and trading powerful weapon technology with other races, though.
It is revealed in Homeworld 2 that 3000 years before the events of Homeworld, the Hiigaran Empire became distraught from political pressure between them and the Taiidan. After a series of events, the Hiigarans faced off against Bentus, in an attempt to acquire a second core and thus an upper hand in power. As a consequence they were soundly beaten by the Bentusi, enabling the vengeful Taiidan to conquer Hiigara which later resulted in the Exile, with some of them ultimately finding their way to the desert planet of Kharak. As such, the Bentusi are indirectly responsible for the Hiigaran exile, but felt guilty for the death of innocent Hiigarans due to the vengance of the Taiidan, and were compelled to help the Kushan in their quest to reach their Homeworld.
Fall of The Bentusi
In Homeworld 2, Karan S'jet commented that Bentus is "the last of the Bentusi." It is suggestive that the Bentusi race is in decline for some unexplained reason. It's not clear if this meant that Bentus is all that's left of the Bentusi in the known galaxy or the last of their species, because in Homeworld: Cataclysm, most of the Bentusi ships escape the galaxy because of their fear of The Beast, an ancient sentient virus capable of taking control over other life forms. Towards the final moments of the destruction of Bentus, the Bentusi also hinted that they are the last as they said "this is our legacy to you," before their demise. While it's still debatable if the Bentusi have been wiped out of existence, it's evident that the Bentusi no longer have the powerful influence amongst the stars which they once wielded. It is suggested in Homeworld that the Taiidan attacked the Bentusi for assisting the Kushan, or maybe the Vaygr hunted the Bentusi for their hyperspace core, despite the fact that the Bentusi are much more technologically advanced, making it impossible for the Vaygr to hunt them effectively. They may be hiding in a nearby galaxy, to avoid being infected by the Beast.
- "No, WE WILL NOT BE BOUND!" — Bentusi
This is the title the Bentusi give to themselves, indicating a sense of pride in their lack of a home planet, or perhaps some other aspect. In Homeworld: Cataclysm, it is hinted that Unbound may actually refer to freedom from organic restraints, perhaps contributing to a higher sense of being. They refer quite obviously (though out of context) to Karan S'jet being Unbound. Because of this, many fans believe that the term Unbound may possess more than one meaning and may mean more than the 'mere' ability to travel through space at faster-than-light speeds. It may also refer to how she was physically integrated into the Mothership, much like the Bentusi are with their ships, thus making the physical body one with the ship. When The Beast entity attempts to consume a Bentusi vessel in Homeworld: Cataclysm, the Bentusi self-destruct. They are completely disgusted and repulsed by the Beast's infection, refusing to be "bound". The Beast's infection, on how it affects the Bentusi is referred to as a fate worse than death. They 'die' yet they are not 'dead', and are slowly corrupted by the Beast organism, leaving them trapped and used against their own will (their body used by the Beast without their will, and their minds watched in horror). This is possibly different to how the Beast infects normal races as they are used as biomass in all Beast ships.
Prior to the Exile, the Bentusi were a prominent military force in the Homeworld universe. They had emerged early on the galactic stage, and were the first race to discover a far-jumper, a powerful hyperspace core capable of hurling ships over incredible distances. Using the power of the far-jumper, the Bentusi quickly established the Old Trade Routes, and spread their influence across the galaxy. Soon after the establishment of the Trade Routes, the Bentusi took upon themselves the mantle of "Galactic Peacekeepers". Using the far-jumper housed in their mothership, Bentus, the Bentusi could send their entire fleet to quell interplanetary wars with their superior technology. However, many systems did not like being little more than protectorates of the Bentusi, and began conspiring with other planets to bring an end to the Bentusi's "tyranny". Almost overnight, dozens of wars broke out across the galaxy. The Bentusi fleet, though indisputably powerful, could not tend to every incident at once. As the dust settled, several new Empires had been created, and the Galactic Council was formed. The Bentusi supremacy had ended.
Perhaps the most drastic example of Bentusi military doctrine can be seen in the depiction of the historical standoff between Hiigaran and Bentusi forces. The Bentus, after having taken significant but phaseless fire from Hiigaran ships, activated its far-jumper, wrenching the Bentusi fleet from nearby staging grounds. As the fight went on, the Bentus made use of its far-jumper to make tactical jumps purely to pursue "Sajuuk's Wrath" around the battlefield. The Hiigarans also utilized a far-jumper, but in their inexperience, and the sheer technological superiority of the Bentusi one-to-one, led to their defeat.
After the Hiigaran exile, the Bentusi "demilitarized" their fleets, however their ships still retain formidable firepower. Homeworld: Cataclysm introduced the Super Acolyte fighter, a swift assault craft sporting smaller Ion Cannons. If one assumes continuity between Homeworld and Homeworld 2 (an assumption debated over by fans of the series), then the power of the original Bentusi fleet must have been unparalleled. Bentusi ships have only been seen armed with only beam weaponry.
The Bentusi also have a unparalleled array of information at their disposal, and in the original Homeworld sold a wide variety of technologies, such as the ion cannon to the Kushan. They require resources (RUs) in return for this technology. What the Bentusi do with the resources is unknown.
The information that the Bentusi have could also extend to that of a Progenitor level, repairing the Progenitor Dreadnaught's phase cannon array after it was used successfully against a Vaygr attack fleet, but becoming irreparably damaged. In Homeworld: Cataclysm, the Bentusi successfully repaired the Kuun-Lan's Siege Cannon by installing superconducting heat-sinks, which enabled the cannon to fire repeatedly. The Bentusi also complimented Kiith Somtaaw for finding such a weapon, being impressed by the skill in how the lesser races created it. However, Kiith Somtaaw did not create the weapon, it was salvaged in a sector of space where a battle was supposedly fought by another race, in an area surrounded by mines.
Planet Killers/Orbital Surface Bombardment Platform (unconfirmed): At the end of Homeworld 2, the Hiigaran fleet led by Karan S'jet (now inside Sajuuk) encounters three of these ancient giant star-shaped machines as they are fending off the last Vaygr forces battling the beleaguered Hiigaran Defense Fleet. It is not known where in the Galaxy the Vaygr Warlord Makaan has unearthed these machines, but obviously these ships serve as the game's final "bosses." They all appear simultaneously during the middle of the mission, and Fleet Intelligence notes that they have Bentusi technological hallmarks on them. Fleet Intelligence then orders to destroy the Planet Killers with Sajuuk itself as the Planet Killers are impervious to conventional weaponry. Players must hurry to destroy these machines as the Planet Killers are launching a constant barrage of Low Orbit Atmosphere Deprivation Weapons, the same ones used by the Taiidan in the first Homeworld game to incinerate much of Kharak. If the population meter drops to zero the player fails the mission, but thankfully, the missiles are weak and were easily destroyed by squadrons of interceptors.
Originally, the Homeworld team meant for these ships to be a part of the "Tiamat" or "T-MAT" (or maybe +mat) race in the first game, but due to graphical and technical limitations at the time they could not include the Planet Killer model.
- The Bentusi seem to be similar to the ancient traders in the Mediterranean known as the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians were a strong force to be dealt with, in comparison with the Bentusi. The Port of Carthage, (also known as Qart'hadast, meaning "New City" in the Phoenician language) is more of a horse shoe shaped structure for holding more Triremes as well as others, the Great Harbor Ship of Bentus looks strikingly the same as well as it's main purpose to trade.