The Grunts cannot speak properly, owing to their inability to move what is left of their lower jaw and their apparent lack of a tongue. However, they are still capable of emitting a range of guttural growls, hisses and noises. Upon paying close attention, their growls sound like an attempt at normal speech, for if it notices the player, it may make a garbled attempt to say "I see you." Their visual and auditory perception appears to be unimpaired though, as they can easily notice Daniel if he is within viewing or hearing range. Staring at them will reduce sanity.
Sometimes while idle, Grunts can be seen and heard scratching themselves or whimpering, as if crying. Their initial growl is the signal that they hear Daniel and are coming to investigate. Daniel can withstand a couple of blows from a Grunt, and while they are difficult to outrun when they see Daniel fully, they do get confused fairly easily and thrown off the chase. Laudanum should be taken if a Grunt hits Daniel.
The intelligence of the Grunts is questionable, as they are rather inefficient at searching areas. They will also not notice Daniel if he is standing still and his head is not in view, unless there is a nearby light source such as a candle. They can even be thrown off if Daniel hides behind a door or other object, even if it is obvious (to a functioning human) that Daniel is there. It does seem that Grunts have some intelligence, though, and perhaps emotions; if Daniel makes a loud noise, the Grunt may turn to look in fright with its hands to its mouth before searching.
AppearanceGrunts are repulsive, humanoid beings with seemingly pieced together bodies. Stitches and open scar-like wounds cover their pasty and stained skin, with bandages wound tightly around their feet and other parts of their torso. Their "skin" also functions as their clothing, as shown by the skirt-like protrusion around their waist and the sound of rubbing skin made when they walk. Their heads are malformed, with a distended jaw that hangs over their torso, stretched to an absurd length. There are clumps of hair still attached to their head. Their eyes are large, bulging and reptilian. The Grunts are missing their fingers on the left hand (though the concept art displays another set of digits); they are instead replaced by crude blades, which serve as the creature's primary weapon, and are stained with blood; this indicates that the grunt has either attacked another person or animal before, or that the blades were attached in such a way that it caused the grunt to bleed.
Servant Grunts are found in the following locations:
- Archives (hallucination)
- Wine Cellar (visual)
- Refinery (visual)
- Guest Room
- Prison (both Southern and Northern Blocks)
- Cells (visual)
These encounters get truly dangerous from the Guest Room on. In the Archives, Wine Cellar, and Refinery, the Grunts are not a threat unless you deliberately run towards them. The appearances in the Archives, Wine Cellar, and Cells are purely visual. In the Sewer there is one dead Servant Grunt torn in three by The Shadow. In the demo the Servant Grunt in the Refinery will not attack you. Even if you stand right next to it regardless if your Lantern is on or if you are near a torch it won't be alarmed. If Daniel's sanity is low enough, an illusion of a Grunt chasing the player may be conjured, disappearing once close enough.
- Grunts are slow moving enemies, as opposed to the Brutes. When a Servant Grunt is chasing Daniel and the distance between them is large enough, a Grunt may charge to hit Daniel in the back. A Grunt will not charge as long as the distance is minimal, so sometimes it is better to not run too far ahead if there is no safe place to hide nearby.
- The first Servant Grunt you encounter in the Prison doesn't seem to attack you as long as you run away. It will not give chase either.
- Developer commentary in the Wine Cellar heavily implies that the Grunts, at least, were once soldiers who drank the bad wine in one of the side rooms and ended up malformed by the reaction they had to it. Thomas Grip states that the "strange creatures that lurk around Brennenburg" already glimpsed in the Archives and soon to be glimpsed in the Wine Cellar have their origins told in flashbacks in the level. The flashbacks, coupled with the rough stitching and scars around the bodies of the Grunts, add further weight to this.