In Nightfall, it is a static object added for story purposes. The story behind it is that it was recovered from an undisclosed location by David Archer. Made of ancient volcanic glass, the inscriptions on its sides were carved while it was still cooling. With his team in the Alaskan wilderness unable to translate the text themselves, Archer was forced to hire Dr. Samantha Cross, a paleolinguistics expert. As time wore on, however, a mimetic virus caused by her exposure to the obelisk resulted in her acting in favor of the Cryptids.
In Awakening, it is a substitution for the Hives seen in previous maps. The obelisks must first be scanned using the modified Laser Drill. After the obelisks have been scanned, the player must then destroy them using the Vanguard. Like the hives, there are many Challenges associated with completion before the obelisk is scanned.