Monitors: 343 Guilty Spark and 2401 Penitent Tangent
The floating blue orb better known as 343 Guilty Spark is the AI Monitor, caretaker, and historian apparently left to keep watch over Alpha Halo Installation 04 and its contents when the Forerunner departed. In a similar fashion as most human AIs, he has several blocks on him which do not allow certain behaviour- for example, he cannot retrieve the Index from the Library or unify it with the Core. He needs the Master Chief, Mobuto, Miranda Keyes, Sgt. Johnson, or another being fitting the requirements of "Reclaimer" (seemingly just a member of the Human race) to do this for him.
343 is quirky and good humoured, though at the same time detached and by-the-book. Protocol is king; the slight emotion shown for those who die along the way seems only to truly mourn the inconvenience of finding another to assist him. "Having had considerable time" to check and recheck the systems of Halo in his masters' absence, the possibility has grown exponentially that his isolation has given more than slight opportunity for an unusual quirkiness to bubble to the surface.
Free from his commitments on Installation 04 (and floating aimlessly in space), the Monitor was happily retrieved by a group of "Heretics": an Elite and his followers preaching open rebellion against the Prophets and their lies of the supposed salvation The Great Journey has to offer. With the slaying of the Heretic leader, 343 was summarily captured and interrogated by the Prophets (referred to as "The Oracle") before eventually falling in alongside the newly united forces of the Arbiter, Miranda Keyes, and Sgt. Johnson. Now if everyone could just stop fighting long enough to hear what he's got to say...
2401 Penitent Tangent is the red-tinged Monitor left with the similar charge of maintaining Delta Halo 05. Little is known about him, or how long he had been in the custody of Gravemind, but he appears to be no less concerned with the strict adherence to protocol. Although, after all these years, he seems to be a tad less worse for wear emotionally than 343. His present fate is unknown.
The Cortana Letters and an early 343 reference
Dave C (Shpydir@daintyrhino.com) writes:
I went to the Marathon Story page to reread the speculation on the Cortana letters and I found that on March 23, 1999 Jonathan Andrews dug up something in the email headers. He found that the subject changes to be "Re: Mail consternation request (MR-343)". Hmmm...343? Same number as Guilty Spark.
Coincidence? I think not. It makes you wonder how long Bungie had the story for Halo written out, even to the point of quasi-sub-characters like 343 Guilty Spark.
††††Apologies for the lack of updates over the past week or so; I've been out of town, we're still getting pounded by technical problems, and to top it all off, my cat just bit me. Ow.
Martin Thorne (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Dave C observes that 343 appears in the early Cortana letters, and points out that this is the same number as Guilty Spark. However, I don't think there is a direct correlation or reference between this number and 343 Guilty Spark. 343 = 7*7*7, so 343 was bound to crop up somewhere, and the fact that it does so at more than one point in Halo's development is more likely evidence of Bungie's continuing obsession with the number 7 then evidence of far-reaching early character development.
Then again, the a character like 343 Guilty Spark may have been around for quite some time, since before the game was announced (and likely before the Cortana letters). In the Truth and Reconciliation Jason Jones Q & A, he mentions that at some point in development, "the fortress worlds were planets and not rings." Since Guilty Spark is the guardian of a fortress world a similar character might have appeared in the embryonic, planet-based Halo story, and would definitely have preceded the Cortana letters, which clearly imply a ring.
Just a few thoughts.
Perhaps 343 Guilty Spark also played a much larger role in later versions of the game; we learn most of the story of Halo through 343 Guilty Spark and Cortana, bantering back and forth, and as such it seems quite possible that whatever gaps exist in Halo's story due to time constraints would likely have been filled in with much of the same banter. Also, 343 Guilty Spark's comments in The Library seem to be in reference to something much larger, about which 343 GS assumes we have some prior knowledge. Of course, this could merely be even more evidence to show that 343 GS thinks he has met us before, somewhere, somehow.
More to ponder.
More forum mining from the early days following Halo's release.
This thread starts an interesting discussion on the intended function of the Halo. As has been observed in the game and sent in to us here, the Halo was built by the Forerunners to contain and study the Flood, as well as fight it if it ever spreads. Kanen Faud'r makes an interesting observation in this post:
Kanen Faud'r writes:
...If the Flood doesn't exist in the rest of the galaxy obviously it was either created on Halo or contained there. Clearly they therefore had the technology at the time to have destroyed it. I'm back to the library tomorrow in hopes of finding my precious Spark quote, but we're still lacking a logical explanation for Halo's massive destructive capability... I think the only thing that makes sense is to "contain" the Flood if it leaves Halo, and that only makes sense if there is a reason to keep the Flood around.
A reason to keep the Flood around? 343 Guilty Spark hints at this with this quote:
The installation was specifically built to study and contain the Flood - their survival as a race was dependant on it. I am grateful to see that some of them have survived to reproduce.
Survival of which race? Forerunner or Flood? Does Guilty Spark think that the MC is a Forerunner and is thus glad that they have reproduced? Or, upon seeing the Flood, is he somehow glad that they still exist (even though they, or rather, their food, must be destroyed)?
Rob Miller (B5RobMan@aol.com) writes:
Just something I noticed while playing through Halo again..In the Library level, 343 Guilty Spark mentions that the Flood are repairing your vessel. Now, I've always taken this to mean that the Flood are repairing the PoA, but, doesn't it seem like the Flood seem more prepared to steal the Truth and Reconciliation? It's in better shape, the Keyes-Flood is on the bridge, and they seem to be more..Er..Possessive, of it. This seems to point more and more towards 343GS thinking of you as a Covenant, which points to the Covenant being Forerunner.
Once again, Who does 343 Guilty Spark think you are?
Young Kim (email@example.com) writes:
On the last level, 343 GS is reading the information on the Pillar of Autumn. ... At the very end of the credits, it shows 343 GS floating away into space. On the ship he might have stumbled across the location of Earth. If he did, he might go to Earth or maybe even "sell" the location to the Covenant.
Interesting thought. If 343 GS were "alive", and he knew where Earth was, what do you suppose would happen? ;-)
Ryan Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
The installation was specifically built to study and contain the Flood - their survival as a race was dependent on it. I am grateful to see that some of them have survived to reproduce.
When I heard this the first time in game, and read it again on your site, which I, by the way, love, it was a clear and concise statement with a definite meaning. That meaning? I'll show you.
The installation (Halo) was built specifically to study and contain the Flood - their (forerunner) survival as a race was dependant on it (the containment of the flood). I am grateful to see that some of them (forerunner) have survived to reproduce.
Guilty Spark has already called Master Chief the 'reclaimer', and it should be obvious that he has confused him for a returning forerunner.
I don't know. Maybe it's just me.
It's not just you. ;-) The prevailing theory is that 343 Guilty Spark does indeed think that the MC is of the Forerunner species, possibly because the Chief's suit resembles something the Monitor has seen before. When had he seen it before? Who was in it at the time?
David Bergland (email@example.com) writes:
I believe that 343 GS is called "Guilty" because he killed his creators, the forerunner. In Two Betrayals, reveals his creators "asked me, if it was my choice, would I do it?"
This question was probably a test for GS, to see if he had the guts to destory his creators if nessecary, which he did. This is why he's "guilty". GS was probably designed as a failsafe AI, like the robot in "The Day the Earth Stood Still" which would act in the best interest of the universe and be beyond the control and authority even it's creators.
A spark is all it takes to start a fire or explosion, so his name is really pretty appropriate for a responcible, self aware computer designed to trigger galactic apocolypse.
Very good point. Why else would "The Monitor" have a name like "343 Guilty Spark?"
Oh, and what happens to an AI that has a whole lot of free time and access to a planet-sized network?
Maybe he went rampant?
Wouldn't be Bungie without that possibility out there... ;-)
Guilty Spark. Why would a Monitor be named "Guilty Spark?"
Sippan (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Could it be possible that GS had done something, and as punishment he had to stay on the Halo when the Forerunner(s) left, to monitor it and keep the Flood from being released? (A job he didn't do very well by the way) This would also explain his name.
It would explain the odd name, but more importantly, what other duties does he have while he's waiting for the Reclaimer to show up? Studying the Flood? He must have learned an awful lot about them in the (potential) millenia he's been there. He'd certainly be quite the find, floating out there in space...
Corey White (email@example.com) writes:
However, I don't recall hearing the name "Reclaimer" until after you 'reclaim' the index. Maybe I'm wrong and he does say it beforehand, but even so, that could be becuase 'reclaiming' the index is what your trying to do. And when he says "Why would you hesitate to do what you have already done" I think he just means 'what you have been trying to do.'
"I" to "We": Hitchhikers May Be Escaping Convicts?
Wado SG (firstname.lastname@example.org ) writes:
In Halo: The Fall Of Reach, we learned that the Pillar of Autumn had a shipboard AI named Beowulf. Not much has been said about him, either in the book or in the game, but we've had a few people who wondered about him.
...I think, however, I'm on to something more to support [the idea] that 343GS is not alone when he escapes the destruction of Halo. He could have the AI [Beowulf] with him perhaps.
In Two Betrayals 343 GUILTY SPARK says:
"If you are unwilling to help, I will simply find another. Still, I must have the index. Give your construct to me or I will be forced to take her from you."
The key words are me and I, but in the Maw 343 GUILTY SPARK says:
"Why do you continue to fight us, Reclaimer? You cannot win! Give us the construct, and I will endeavour to make your death relatively painless and - "
Here the key word is us. Notice he does use the I to describe himself only. Could he be referring to his Sentinels when he says us? Perhaps, but the Sentinels were there in Two Betrayals too and 343GS said give me the construct, not us.
Perhaps when 343 GS found "our lost history" he found something else, eh?
Sean (another one) spies a tidbit of solid info over on Bungie's Tru7h and Reconciliation site, in the Two Betrayals Legndary Walkthrough:
sean1 (email@example.com) writes:
...Well, in the [Two Betrayals] walkthrough, it says, and I quote, "We also discover why the Monitor keeps calling you "Reclaimer." Apparently he confuses you with someone who has done this before, and assumes you already knew what the index would do. When Cortana reveals the key vital tidbit of information, you abandon your former allies."
So, it is clear that there was a last outbreak, and that it was contained...
Good eye. But, who is he confusing you with?
On the origins of the name "343 Guilty Spark".
Sean (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
...I think, but don't quote me on it, that it is the name given to some sort of theorized protocol given to a safety mechanism to be built into any A.I. constructs that may be built by people today. Like I said don't quote me on it, and unfortunately whenever I serach for it now on the web I just get halo references of no use in this field.
Yeah, the term "guilty spark" has been thoroughly co-opted by our community here. :-) Anyone have any information on this term with regards to computer AI?
golig 1 (email@example.com) writes:
At the end of the stage 343 Guilty Spark, the Sentinels purposely avoid Master Chief's Marine buddies. This implies that the Monitor knows that you are Human and knows that it was the Covenant who released the Flood, which is contrary to some people's beliefs, particularly when the Monitor says something about another species releasing the Flood and it seems as though it was the Humans.
Good point. If the Monitor were concerned primarily with getting you safely to the Index and he didn't see the Marines as a hindrance to you, he wouldn't have the Sentinels attack them. But if the Marines were seen attacking the MC, as the Flood fighters are, maybe he'd set the Sentinels on everybody. Anyone want to give this a try?
Kevin Frank (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
...the sentinels carry weapons that look like surgical lasers. The sents could have been made to just dissect flood, or to use the lasers as tools to break and repair metals. They did contain the flood for long periods of time, so it would be logical the sents used their lasers to dissect the flood. The forrunners probably didn't plan on fighting the flood, just planned to activate halo. Something else is weird, the Monitor says," you brought such ineffective weapons to combat the flood." Could he have been talking to the sents, or the MC. But the shotgun takes out in one hit! Pistil in like 3 or so! And frag grenades are more useful against flood! Probably was the sents...
So, could 343 Guilty Spark have been talking about the Sentinels with that comment? After all, your basic weaponry is much better for fighting the Flood than the Sentinels'...
"While naturally the Flood is simply too dangerous to release, my mass sterilization protocols may have been in need of being activated. Of course, samples were kept here after the last catastrophic outbreak...for study. It seems that that decision may have been an error."
His mass sterilization protocol? You mean he has something other than the Sentinels up his sleeve? And the fact that he says that samples were kept here seems to imply that Halo was a failsafe facility, not the primary Halo. I'll assume for now that the catastrophic outbreak was when Halo, and the other ring-worlds were fired, after the Flood broke out....and what? Killed the Forerrunner? What descicion?...
The protocols mentioned are most probably the firing of the Halo, but James raises another interesting question. Note the way that 343 Guilty Spark's comment about the sterilization protocols is structured. Why would he say that they "may have been in need of being activated?" Is there any way that the Flood can be released that doesn't require the firing of the Halo and the subsequent sterilization of the galaxy?
James Simone (email@example.com) writes:
...just wanted to start another orund of speculation aobut what the Monitor says about the Flood: "Your environment suit should serve you well when the Flood begins to alter the atmosphere. You are a good planner"
What is he talking about? Other than that one sentence, he never mentions that the Flood need to alter the atmosphere! I mean, they are trying to get off planet, are they not? I've seen the note about the Silent Cartographer ocean levels low, and I'd like to note that this is perhaps a sign that the Flood were releases before 343GS, or even Assualt on the Control Room...
That comment about "altering the atmosphere" fairly screams to be analyzed. Altered for what? As James says, if the Flood just want to get a ship or two in working order so they can get off Halo and out into the galaxy, why mess with the atmosphere? Modifying something as large as the entire atmosphere seems to imply that at least some of the Flood are staying on Halo for some reason. I wonder why? :-)
In a continuation of Ciar·n's "Do AIs lie?" forum post , Wado SG writes :
343 GS is quite vague about who released the Flood. I believe he could be covering up the truth when he says he "gathers the other species released the Flood."
My reasoning is he has a motive: If he really considers the MC a superior (the Reclaimer) then he might not want to admit if HE (343 GS) actually released the Flood.
He has demonstrated a liking to or fascination with the Flood: He is "glad to see some of them have survived to reproduce" or something like that. Just whose side is he really on?
He might be trying to kill off the MC (Reclaimer): In the Library, why not keep a Sentinel escort with the MC at all times or why not just teleport the MC to the Index? What if 343 GS is secretly hoping the Reclaimer will get killed by the Flood -- this way he has not explaining to do. His programming very likely prevents him from outright killing the Reclaimer so that is out of the question (you don't program an AI monitor to kill you or your own people).
He tries to explain how "we" followed containment protocol which means what? I mean if someone asks me to pay $1.00, I could give them a $1 bill or 100 pennies or 4 quarters... etc. There are just many ways an AI could interpret the protocols and twist them to other means.
In summary, 343 GS might have released the Flood on purpose or because of mismanagement. I'm thinking that 343 GS just doesn't want to admit to his own inability to do his job (maybe he was surfing the galactic web while the Flood made their escape). 343 GS knows that there will be hell to pay for his incompetence, to save his own ass, he has to pin the blame on someone else and in the end look like the hero. If this doesn't look like it will work, the Reclaimer must have a little "accident", I mean it's the Reclaimer's fault he didn't come prepared to fight the Flood, 343 GS tried to warn him.
Guilty, eh? He seems honest enough, and yet...
In addition, Guilty Sparks's apparent enthusiasm and infatuation can be interpreted in at least 3 different ways:
1) He is, despite his recent comments questioning the decision to keep samples of the Flood for study, happy to see this plague continue to multiply.
2) He is happy to see that YOUR species (he believes YOU to be Forerunner, whether he thinks you to be Human, Covenant, or "Else" on the ring) has managed to continue to reproduce.
3) He is happy to see that the Forerunner have continued to reproduce and recognizes you as distinct from them. For example (feel free to swap the races between Humanity, Covenant, and "Else"), he believes you to be Covenant and sees Humanity (the Forerunner) as the race you are trying to help, as though you are a client race.
I'd pay a lot for just 5 minutes inside that Mote's head, but then, I'm not sure if I'd ever get the humming out of mine ;)
Nate Stilgoe (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
And how come Guilty Spark 343 can speak English anyway?
Possibilities could include:
1) The language used in the story is irrelevant and serves only to facilitate communication between characters.
2) Guilty Spark intuitively knows or has the capability to translate all languages.
3) Guilty Spark has analyzed human language while monitoring them remotely, previous to their landing on Halo..
4) Guilty Spark has analyzed human language since they arrived on Halo.
5) English is a tongue of the ancients.
Sephlock (email@example.com) writes:
In reference to the theory posted by Ryan Murray...
The installation was specifically built to study and contain the Flood - their survival as a race was dependent on it. I am grateful to see that some of them have survived to reproduce.
Question; if the monitor thinks that you are part of the forerunner race -which I believe is the case,- then why would he refer to your race that way?
If he was in fact referring to the forerunner race, of which you are asummed to be a part, wouldn't he say something like:
"As you know, this†installation was specifically built to study and contain the Flood -†your survival as a race was/is dependent on it. I am grateful to see that some of†you have survived to reproduce."
Besides that,†wouldn't he assume you would already know what your race's survival is dependant upon? Thats not exactly the sort of thing you'd forget to tell your children.
Really, an alternate interpretation to that paragraph never even occured to me, to me it seemed pretty obvious that 343 was referring to the flood. After all, why would he say
"The installation was specifically built to study and contain the Flood -"
And then say
"their survival as a race was dependent on it."
If he was referring to the forerunners in that second bit, why wouldn't he use a word other than THEIR, immediately after the first bit? It makes no sense; this guy ain't†Yoda, his grammar is fine. In the context, it seems quite clear that he is referring to the flood.
The battle rages on...
Playing to lose
Aida-kun (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Maybe 343 Guilty Spark had some agenda he wanted to pursue away from the Halo, but was forced to watch over it as Monitor by directives programmed by the Forerunners. He couldn't directly go against his preprogrammed directives, but he COULD play to lose -- make "mistakes" at certain junctures, such as failing to activate the mass sterilization protocols until the Covenant freed the Flood.
If you've read The Ringworld Engineers, you'll know what I mean with [SPOILER if you haven't] Teela's inability to allow them to succeed -- so she fails, to achieve a more important goal than immediate victory. [END SPOILER] With the Halo and (hopefully!) Flood destroyed beyond salvaging, 343 GS cannot continue his duties as Monitor, therefore is free to do whatever he wants, within any other limitations he has. I think the assumption that he's angry about the destruction of Halo is not one we can safely make...
Speaking of programming, Darryl Henderson comments,
Could GS 343's insanity have been caused by a programming conflict? (Think of HAL-9000 in 2001: A Space Odysey and the resulting diagnosis found in the sequel 2010: The Year We make Contact.) GS could have unknowingly comitted an act that was in conflict with his programming, and it snowballed into insanity.
Finally! An age old homework assignment finds its way to our desk.
Roy Vandewater (email@example.com) writes:
I looked up some references on Google with it set so the word Halo was excluded. I got some interesting results. The phrase 'guilty spark' is used to describe the actions that fathers take when a tragedy occurs. A tragedy of a lost child, causing the father to become insane and kill people. Perhaps the forerunners were wiped out for some unknown reason and GS has become insane. GS want's to kill everyone because it thinks that it was the cause of the forerunner's extinction. That would explain his great want to set off Halo.
And again from Jonathan Latkowcer:
Finally, "Guilty Spark"? Sounds like what you might name something that would fix an error by lighting a bomb, wouldn't you say?
Elessedil 111 (Elessedil111@aol.com) writes:
Puzzling. You brought such ineffective weapons to fight the Flood, despite the containment protocols.
Human weaponry? GS is so surprised with it because the forerunners, and most likely the covenant, gave up on high-velocity projectile weaponry because they believed it inferior to energy weaponry. if the flood were created or at least contained by the forerunner, they probably would have believed wholeheartedly in linear progression and never designed or tried to use high-velocity projectile weaponry against them because they were so sure of their superior energy weapons, or that any race powerful enough to reach halo in the middle of space would have energy weapons, like the covenant.
Otto Mossberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I don't think Spark "survived" the explosion in the way some would think. My guess is that he teleported himself to the far side of the ring once he knew there was no stopping the explosion, putting him a nice 10,000 Km distant to stat with, then heading off ring in the oppisite direction of the PoA (Ie, toward the "outside" of the ring). That would give him a good 15 minutes of travel time, so depending on his maximum speed, he should be easily far enough away to survive the blast.
Well, we know he can teleport around Halo, and he's pretty indestructible, but just how does he move around in deep space?
In response to an earlier post by Young Kim, Sagar notes the observation that 343 Guilty Spark might have "stumbled across the location of Earth," and observes that that shouldn't be possible.
Sagar Patel (email@example.com) writes:
Keyes initiated the Cole Protocol, and it's even stated clearly in the book that every UNSC ship has to follow Cole Protocol if under capture/ abandonment, those type of threats. 343GS couldn't have found Earth b/c all of the PoA's mem banks on locations should have been erased.
This raises what I think is a big question. When 343 Guilty Spark browses "all our lost time," what is he reading? The location of Earth has supposedly been deleted, but has anyone modified the remaining information? Cortana, maybe? Or someone else?
Sean has a pretty good question.
Sean Durkin (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Where is GS actually going after Halo 04 is destroyed??
To earth? Unlikely. Why would he go there? He would powerless...no sentinels, nothing. Sure he can interface with human technology, but why bother when u would have hundreds of AI's working against u? Plus he wouldnt want to destroy earth because he says he was so glad to see 'some of them survive and reproduce'.
So where is he going?
Well, there are those other Halos he alluded to...
Corey "manic" White (email@example.com) writes:
One thing that always stunned me was the neutron bomb. It's along the lines of the Atom bomb, but instead of a massive explosion that vaporises everything, it emits radiation that only effects living things. For example, drop a neutron bomb on a city, kill it's occupants, but keep all the building and all the goodies instead of having to rebuild everything. Doesn't this sound a little like "this galaxy will be quite devoid of life, or at least any life with sufficient biomass to sustain the flood." Maybe the Halo is like a giant neutron bomb explosion.
Now if this were the case then anyone still on the installation at the time of the detonation would die (which has been a point in question for some time), and I would specualte that the flood warriors and carriers would be susceptible to the radiation caused by the explosion, but the spores themselves may have some sort of natural resistance.
Whilst there may have been immense amounts of radiation throughout the galaxy, there has been many millenia since the detonation, and thus this may no longer me an issue. And whose to say if the radiation would necessarily have any adverse effects on any evolving micro-organisms. It might affect their evolution, but you could not really be sure how.
The enigmatic utterances of 343 Guilty Spark perplex another unsuspecting victim, yet another case is made for our indestructible little lunatic being but one of many.
Damien Kellis (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I have just obtained a copy of Halo, and I've been playing it fairly religiously for the past week or so.
What interested me greatly were the actions and words of the Monitor, 343 Guilty Spark. I'll have to use your level transcriptions for reference, as 343 GS is rather inaudible in my game.
343 Guilty Spark is supposedly the Monitor of Installation 04, and, as he says, "My function is to prevent it from leaving this installation." (end of the 343 Guilty Spark level).
Later, in the Library level, he says a lot of other interesting things. Namely:
"Pardon me. A plasma conduit breach in section 5-5-2-4 has disrupted power flow to a gravitic maintenance assembly."
"Flood activity has caused a failure in a drone control subsystem. I must reset the backup unit. Continue on. I will rejoin you when I have completed my task."
Apart from wondering what is this drone control system that must be reset, one may also speculate on 343 GS's job scope. Is his duty simply to prevent the Flood from escaping (in which case, where was he when the Flood were first released?), or is he the odd-job AI of Halo?
When you journey through the corridors of the Library (why is it called a Library, when there are no records of any sort?), very often 343 Guilty Spark either proceeds on a course that you cannot possibly follow, or he asks you to wait in one place while he fiddles with the security overrides. Why would an AI supposedly in charge of the entire Halo installation require any overrides? Where does he go when you cannot see him?
Not counting the obvious superweapon, does 343 Guilty Spark actually have full control of Halo's systems in the first place?
One more quote may shed some light onto this speculation.
"The installation was specifically built to study and contain the Flood. Their survival as a race was dependent upon it. I am grateful to see that some of them survived to reproduce."
I understand that 343 GS may not be talking about the Flood when he speaks of reproducing, but let us assume (for the sake of this argument) that he is.
Which leads us to a problem: the way he phrases it ("I am" as opposed to "I was") would indicate that he did not know before a recent accounting whether or not the Flood had actually survived.
Either the Monitor is remiss in his Monitoring duties, or he was not the one specifically in charge of scrutinizing the Flood.
Leela, Durandal and Tycho, perhaps?
Is it possible that 343 Guilty Spark is not the only AI left behind by the Forerunners? Could there be some others that we just haven't met? If so, what could their fates post-Halo-destruction have been?
Tikiman (email@example.com) writes:
In the beginning of Two Betrayals, 343 GS mentions that MC must insert the index into the master control panel, because units of his classification do not have the priority to reunite the index with the core. Is he hinting that other Forerunner robots, obviously more important than he, exist(ed)? Definetly so!
Where are they? Can we look forward to multiple Sparks in Halo 2? It is our fervent hope and desire that, if so, not all of them have spent the last 101,217 years going slowly insane.
Colin "kojimyuu" Burch (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
It's my speculation that he is actually hacking into Cortana (she is in the PoA's computers by that point, trying to activate the countdown to the engine detonation). She does say, after all, that, "He's in my data arrays --- a local tap."
Cortana could easily hold information like the location of Earth, plus much, much more. She holds tactical information for use in battle. Maybe she holds records of age-old battles for later use in modern battles? Don't forget the quote, "History repeats itself."
Theoretically, Cortana would purge the location of Earth from her own data banks, as per the Cole Protocol. However, as we all know, one can never be to sure when it comes to shipboard AIs.
Sagar Patel (email@example.com) writes:
Why keep the bloody bastards [flood]?
In the 343GS discussions someone mentioned 343 killing the forerunner. Maybe 343 decided that for some reason (either by example or reasoning of future possibilities) the Forerunner were planning on/ or were destroying the Flood. So in order to keep them, he killed the Forerunner to preserver the Flood.
Why kill them and then keep the Flood?
The "research",†whatever it is.
Research so important that though the monitor may not entirely understand its full potential or nature, it exterminates its organic partners in order to preserve it.
Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true, I'm half crazy all for the love of you...
In refference to a post by Colin "kojimyuu" Burch about the Monitor hacking into Cortana, why would he hack her for the information about where earth is located? Seriously. I'd think the only reason why he'd be trying to hack into her, is to recover the index, and on top of that, disable her. Then again, when she says that, he might just be tapping in to speak over the loudspeaker. ::Shrugs:: Never know.
Well, if he is just a maintenance drone of sorts, he might not think to scrutinize Cortana for information, but then there's the whole insanity thing. Because, you know, the little guy's completely off his nut. He might think he's on a mission from God, which makes me wonder: If we run into him in Halo 2, what will he be up to?
Sam K. (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Saying "our lost time" makes me think that Human and Forerunner history were at one time one in the same (the same race, or like a mother country-colony relationship). He also said that Halo was used before, and that's why I think it's "lost time". If Halo was fired, that could have wiped out, or nearly wiped out the Forerunner and blasted us back into the stone age.†With all the records destroyed by Halo,†humans wouldn't have any recollection of their Forerunner origins.
Either that, or the lost time spoken of could merely refer to the joy of finding a record, any record, spanning the time of 343's solitary duties, independent of species or point of view.
Need more input!
Zap_98 (email@example.com) writes:
I don't believe that the Forerunner are genetically related to us. I believe that the Forerunner†were watching us, that they observed us evolving. They kept records of our advancements. Then, they disappeared. Because of that, they could no longer observe us. "Lost time" refers to what they missed of our development. So now, they get to catch upon the history they missed.
Lost Time, Schmost Time
Freedin (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
"You can't imagine how exciting this is! To have a record of all of our lost time! Human history, is it? Fascinating."
I think Guilty Spark when he†said "our" is he is referring to him and the Forerunner; that he and the Forerunner had actually missed the development of mankind.
And continuing on the subject of Guilty Spark/Human relations:
AOClaus ( AOClaus@msn.com) writes:
Something else I find a rather large coincidence if it is one, is that 343 GS specifically refers to the Chief as human in The Library. It could be argued that†he learned of the name through some sort of database, but if the Cole Protocol was properly executed then he would have no way of obtaining such information prior to his tapping Cortana's database. He may also have heard it from†a marine, but GS is only ever written as having been seen by another human being other than the Chief in the persons of Foe Hammer and her co-pilot just as he was about to meet the Chief (he stared at Foe Hammer through the cockpit window while she was in the dropship. The only other possibility would be that the other "reclaimer" [Mobuto]. Even if the first reclaimer [Mobuto] was to have told GS the name of his race GS would still have no reference by which to gauge the Chief's behavior when he tells him to "stop being human" etc.
Considering the selective nature of the Cole Protocol, there a more than a few possible explanations of 343's knowledge of Humanity:
2) 343 has monitored Human activity prior to their landing on Halo: Hmmm...
2) 343 has monitored Human activity since their landing on Halo: ?
3) 343 has learned about Humanity through a reading of Human computer systems: True, but as mentioned by Ryan, he is in the know before his pilfering on The Maw.
4) 343 has been informed of Humanity through a reading of various Covenant databases, perhaps on a downed ship or as Covenant Engineers scoured Halo's systems: ??
5) Humanity is old school. We may not know it, but whether we are Forerunner, a client race, or an old arch rival we have been around for a long, long time.
Inexhaustive I'm sure :)
Ryan (email@example.com) writes:
Somebody else noted that the GS 343ěs Sentinels were pretty damn weak compared to what it was actually facing, but consider this?He wasnět allowed to handle the Index and maybe he wasnět allowed access to the bigger toys either without, um, Forerunner intervention. After all, you donět give the Marine Private free reign of the armory, nor did Cortana have certain access codes to make a certain ship go boom. Then again, Halo seems to have only one purpose. To stop a galaxy-wide flood infestation. Otherwise you figure itěd be equipped with heavier local weaponry. †
On that note, I tend to disagree that GS343 is as devious as popular opinion seems to dictate. GS343 assumed one highly flawed fact?That MC was THE Reclaimer, someone or something it had known in the past. And with that assumption goes an entire line of logic; That the Reclaimer should be given access to the vital systems (the Index) and he knows what heěs doing. He should even know what heěs about to do will not only wipe out the flood, but all life as well. After all? Heěs done it once before. GS343 even suffers a certain amount of disillusionment once his buddy the Reclaimer starts acting funny. Nothing necessarily sinister or tricky here, just a massive misunderstanding.
But it goes deeper than that. Even as youěre attempting to detonate the PoA, GS343 is running rampant through the human data banks, enjoying every moment of itěs assimilation that will fill in their lost time. So consider the facts now? GS343 has access to a large store of human data. He has made the correlation between the MC and this Data. And he STILL thinks the MC is his Reclaimer, albeit a malfunctioning one. I would venture that GS343 knows what a human is and has seen them before. It knew that the MCs armor was merely armor with a self contained environmental unit, not the body itself. Somehow, I donět think GS343 is making any mistakes as to MCěs race, simply his identity and role on Halo. Could Humanities separation from Halo have to do with the last Flood outbreak? Inquiring minds want to know.
Indeed they do. Desperately so. Alright, obsessively.
Zack Stambo (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I've always been interested in your site since i first stumbled upon it but i've never wanted to get too complex with my thought on the halo storyline future, but now im turning over a new leaf with this idea being submitted to you. So, 343 Guilty Spark is an Artificial and/or Actual Intelligence based creation, but he does not seem to resemble any of the artistic signatures of forerunner or covenant creations: 1) he is just a plain metal and has no other present colors on him such as the usual purple and dark blue. 2) he does not seem to be powered by any unusual alien power source and seems to rely on an electrical field to both float and interact which is obvious on the Maw when he is accessing the computer information from remote ports.3) not as important of a point but his language seems to be based on english seeing as he does not communicate with the flood(who could though) or the covenant. And if he is an artificial intelligence based creation then he would have advanced scanning/formula based recognition techniques and he would recognize the master chief as not wielding any forerunner/ covenant symbols and he would recognize him as a seperate life form. My opinion from all of these facts are that 343 Guilty spark was brought to Halo from a past incident in which the humans were overrun and killed and 343 Guilty Spark was left to float around in Halo and absorb it's information, developing his behavioural blocks from accessing the Halo information, probably a failsafe created by the Forerunner.
Forced insanity as a fail-safe? Deucedly clever!
Nick Regnier (email@example.com) writes:
I've been wondering just what Guilty Spark's relation to Halo and the Forerunner are. After pondering on it for some time, a thought struck me:
What if Guilty Spark isn't the Forerunner-designated monitor of Halo? What if another race put him there to study, or fire the ring?
Whoa. Though not the most likely situation, that would certainly put a strange spin on things... Who would such a system of surveillance or control advantage?
Over on the forum, Mark Simmons has posted what is, so far, the definitive analysis of 343 Guilty Spark's highly ambiguous dialogue. Enjoy a careful read or two, take note of the clear and concise format, and if you feel so led, qualify or add to the discussion. Go to it folk .
John Hanan (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Considering that this is around the time that GS begins using the "we" to refer to himself ("Give us the index"), is it possible that somehow someone else (Cortana, Beowulf, Wellsley, another AI?) is hitching a ride and is reviewing records of of the time they missed while disconnected?† Hmmm...
Well, he has demonstrated a severe disdain for those he refers to as "constructs," but could there be some other entity (or entities) that might be monitoring his duties?
Diego Pezua (email@example.com) writes:
Guilty sparks to me is just a rampant AI that is out of place in halo, like he was left behind and abandoned. I doubt the forerunners would make such a perfect intallation knowing that their AI in charge would go insane in a couple of thousand of years. he treats the Forerunner as distantly as he does the human and the covenant when he refers to them.
Their decision to keep samples of the Flood may have been in error; may their trust also have been misplaced when they selected/constructed their Monitor for the Installation?
To focus more on Diego's particular angle here, is it possible that 343 Guilty Spark's role as Monitor is a fabrication of his own mind? What if he was... just another Forerunner construct, abandoned in the Forerunner exodus/extermination. Is his assumed role a way to deal with the stress of being left on the Halo 04 by those he trusted? Hmm...
Rob "GuiltySpark" Berwick (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
This is just speculation, but the alpha-numeric equivalent of 343 is CDC. Could this be representative of the Flood's parasitic nature and CDC†as a reference to the Centers for Disease Control?
The 7x7x7 always seemed to be enough, but why not? Good eye :)
343 Guilty Spark: manipulative historian or benign observer?
Cam Cowles (email@example.com) and Dylan "elfum" Crawford (firstname.lastname@example.org) write:
I noticed 343GS values records of history and past events very valuable. He says so on occasion in the game. He gabbles about how valuable the information on human history he aquired from the PoA was. Perhaps he sees these records more valuable if the subjects are terminated. Now my story tieing theory has a few assumptions.
1. There was a†somewhat small population of Forerunner†on Halo. I am also guess machines they made did the labor of building "Halo" for them.
2. 343GS betrayed the Forerunner population on Halo. Perhaps the Forerunner used sentiels or weather controls or the alike to kill the Forerunner.
I believe that perhaps 343 eliminated the Forerunner on Halo†so his records of their existance become much more valuable. He seems to brag about what he knows all the time in the game, but never goes very in depth into what he knows. He just points out FYI's here and there. He doesn't want to give away his precious records ;) Perhaps nothing interesting has come out of the Flood and he wants them to create a story for themselves then eliminate them as well (activating Halo) and then making another valuable history of an event.
343 Guilty Spark seems to me to be very similiar to Superman's "real" archrival, Brainiac. Brainiac was a computer/AI i believe created by Supermans father on Krypton. When people began to think that Krypton would eventally blow up because of a bunch of earthquakes and volcanoes, Brainiac said that it would not (even though he knew it would). Therefore, everyone died on krypton except for superman and brainiac (whose escape is simliar to 343 gs's after the credits). He also shares 343 gs's love for knowledge and how valuable it was; he would find out everything he could about a culture by befriending it and acting as a god, then destroy it so the information he found would increase in value. I guess you could call brainiac a "rampant" enitity. Maybe this means that 343 gs lied to the forerunner about how dangerous the flood really were, and then they were wiped out by the flood.
The Forerunner, wiped out through the deceit of 343 and his quest to manipulate further events to categorize and document? Possible, but I ask you, is his the voice of a murderer?
îExactly 101,217 local years,ë the Monitor replied cheerfully, îmany of which were quite boring. But not anymore! Hee, hee, hee.ë
Amidst the hectic arrival of his new "guests" he certainly seems to be up to something. However, like a cat, it is difficult to tell if 343 has us right where he wants us, or is simply full of complacent, ignorant bliss ;)
Dylan Oldenburg (email@example.com) writes:
At the end of Halo, 343 Guilty Spark is shown to be alive, in space. There has been speculation about what he will do now. After realizing that your plan to neutralize the Flood was successful, he would hold no grudge against you, being an AI. It may be against protocol, but the objective was accomplished, and he would quite possibly be grateful for avoiding what is an admittedly messy sacrifice: wiping out all life in the galaxy along with the Flood. My evidence for 343 traveling to Earth is this.Look at the third sound file. It speaks of an easter egg that didn't make it into the game, of 343 paying a visit to the Marine's medical tents, which are, of course, on Earth. Admittedly, it's just an egg, not a major story event, but do you really think that Bungie would put in an egg that contradicted what actually happened in Halo history?
Could be a subtle hint, or just plain tomfoolery. Either way, there is little doubt that 343 Guilty Spark will be showing up again in the near future, but just what his standpoint will be on the whole "you blew up my installation" point, considering that the objective of neutralizing the Flood was theoretically still accomplished, could be quite interesting.
Stop Cyborg Exploitation Now! Fair Wages! Union Equity!
Nick Yacono (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
"Dylan Oldenburg once wrote:
At the end of Halo, 343 Guilty Spark is shown to be alive, in space. There has been speculation about what he will do now. After realizing that your plan to neutralize the Flood was successful, he would hold no grudge against you, being an AI."
Even though this goes back into Marathon history, I think my point is still quite relevant to the Halo story line since it is about AI constructs.
If you recall poor, Tycho. Betrayed by Durandal, handed over to alien hands, studied, probed and disected; he seemed a little upset after all was said and done. He forged P'fhor military IDs, called in several vessels of the P'fhor navy and sent many, many soldiers to their death all for his revenge on Durandal.
I may be out of step, but it sounds to me like Tycho may have been holding a bit of a grudge.
As for the flood being neutralized...who said that? I saw Halo blow up, but his mission was to assure that they would never escape the installation. It's quite clear how "adaptable" the flood are. And if simply blowing up the ring was enough to finish them, why rig the thing to take out a whole galaxy?
Everyone seems to assume that 343GS left Halo because his mission was complete. I think he failed. And if I was an ancient construct with a failed mission objective and a fervish interest in Human/Forerunner history, I know where I'd go and I know the first person I'd look up when I got there. Bungie's AI's seem to have a nasty habit of abusing cyborgs for their own means.
Plus...343GS is just what the MC needs to get from planet to planet quickly in Halo 2. But that's just me dreaming again.
Not to mention that the Flood may be extant in more than a single location in the galaxy. A disconcerting truth for us, and for 343, one that may require urgent monitoring.
343 can certainly teleport around Halo with ease. Let's see what other tricks he has up his... ahem... sleeves ;)
343's "lost time" and inquisitiveness during The Maw seen in a fascinating new light...
Leigh Thompson (email@example.com) writes:
"Cortana had to finally admit to herself that she didn't have the power to contend with a possible enemy artificial construct. She had absorbed a tremendous volume of data from halos systems: eons' worth of records on halos engineering and maintenance, the xenobiology of the flood and every scrap of information on the mysterious "forerunners" the covenant revered so much. The information would take her a week of non-stop processing to examine, collate, codify? let alone understand." -First Strike P65 lines 24 - 31
Once Cortana downloaded all the data from Halo's core, she stored it for investigation later. This download bloated her, and slowed down her operations. She had not herself however collated this data, which she stored.
When, however, 343GS probed her in The Maw:
343 GUILTY SPARK: "Ridiculous! That you would imbue a warship's AI with such a wealth of knowledge! Weren't you worried it might be captured? Or destroyed?"
CORTANA: "He's in my data arrays, a local tap!"
343 GUILTY SPARK: "You can't imagine how exciting this is! To have a record of all of our lost time! Human history, is it? Fascinating." ... "Oh how I will enjoy every moment of its categorization! And to think that you would destroy this installation. As well as this record. I am shocked. Almost too shocked for words."
343GS appeared to have collated some of this data contained within Cortana. What is interesting is that maybe Guilty Spark have never had the pleasure of perusing the Halo's vast database: "Protocol does not allow units with my classification to? perform a task as important as the reunification of the index with the core."
After all, he is disgusted when he discovers Cortana in the core: "A construct?! In the core?! That is absolutely unacceptable!"
This was his first time he could put all of the pieces together. He is shocked. Why? Has he realised that Humans are indeed somehow related to the Forerunner in some way, he understands the Chiefs apparent irrational behaviour; i.e. why he has poor weapons to combat the flood and only has a class 2 battle skin, and to top it off; that the reclaimer is about to destroy the installation along with the original record of the lost time.
By the end of Halo the only person to fully understand what's going on is indeed 343 Guilty Spark.
A truly impressive interpretation of these events; that the data 343 was viewing were the very Forerunner records he was not able to access in all his years of monitoring Installation 04 and its shrouded and ever revered Core. What other conclusions has he come to I wonder? Excellent thinking :)
343: In Latin and Hebrew
Fraser Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org) and g_cool2002 (email@example.com) write:
I too have often wondered why 343GS is indeed called 343 Guilty Spark. What exactly is he guilty of? I ran a few shearches for biblical references involving chapters with the combinations 343 (ie 3:43 or 34:3), since Master Chief's own name is perhaps derived from the same source. I found one quotation that stood out, in the book Lamentations "3:43 Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: 'thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied." It seemed rather appropriate, both the quote itself, and the title of the particular book.
On a whim I also translated 'guilty spark' into Latin, and got 'redarguo scintilla,' as my answer. I know very little of Latin, so i'm not sure if this is relevant at all, but interestingly, when i translated back into English i got: "I refute the spark." Again this seems either very tantalising, or just another dead end.
Also, I just had a thought about GS 343. What if the numbers were a reference to a biblical book, chapter, and verse? The thrid book is leviticus, chapter 4, verse 3 . . .
Lev 4:3 " 'If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the LORD a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed.
Priests were keepers of the law in ancient times and responsible for the religious state of the people. In Halo: FoR, someone mentions that the children chosen for the Spartan II project were as close to being geneticly pure as humanly possible. Seems convienient that a "bull without defect" just happens to show up and is willing led to an "altar." Only thing is I havn't figured out what GS is guilty of. What do you think?
An AI fail-safe, emotional trigger, simple numerology, Latin derivative, scriptural allusion... As always, the origins of 343 Guilty Spark demand further analysis.
Wade Yamauchi (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Could 343 Guilty Spark have never actually met a reclaimer personally. What if he had just gone through simulations of firing Halo. The simulations of course are not real, however, perhaps 343 GS is a bit confused and thinks the simulations were real.
Even if Halo's superweapon was actually fired before for real, there is no positive evidence to support that 343 GS was the one in charge of Halo when it was fired. He could have been put in charge after the last time Halo was fired. Simulations would have been part of his training protocols.
Oh, he's "confused," all right. Interesting possibility that there might have been another Monitor around, one who would have theoretically been 343's superior. Now, would that be 342, or 344? ;-)
HÂkan Alvner (email@example.com) writes:
When you read Halo: The Flood, it mentions Sarge Mobuto, who made it quite far in The Library.
Apparently, the Monitor thought as him as a possible Reclaimer too. I find that very, very odd. Take this into the equation: "But you already knew that. I mean, how couldn't you?" and we have trouble.
In my opinion, it doesn't really matter what he was supposed to know, the important things are:
1: Both John-117 and Sergeant Mobuto were candiates for being a (The?) Reclaimer. (Instead of what many believe, that John was, in Sparks eyes, destined to be a Reclaimer based upon one of 343GS's previous meetings, and that he confuses John with that Reclaimer.)
2: 343GS just assumes that the Reclaimer know. How could that be if multiple persons are candidates for being a (The?) Reclaimer? Does he assume that everyone who comes to "Installation 04" knows everything about its purpose, or that the one who manages to pass the test of The Library must be in possession of that knowledge?
Title by proximity, eh? Interesting concept. I don't know if the Library would be considered a "test", unless that were the only place that the Flood could go, once they were released. I suppose it could be a test of your following skills, maybe. ;-)
Monitor Naming, by the Numbers
From William of Normandy:
I noticed a pattern in the 2 monitor names and have concluded the naming scheme:
7^(installation# - 1): (Synonym for Mournful/Guiltridden) (Synonym for Change)
01 - 1
02 - 7
03 - 49
04 - 343 Guilty Spark
05 - 2401 Penitent Tangent
06 - 16807
07 - 117649
Mama always said I was going to Hell in a handbasket.
kiodane (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
"Penitent" in my copy of The New American Webster Handy College Dictionary eventually leads in circular definitions to mean describing something that is self punishing for it's sins. I believe that after the Forerunner's downfall (possibly the first outbreak of the flood), 2401 Penitent Tangent committed at least one form of digital suicide. And since the flood are thought of as being very capable of repairing technology as well as operating host's machines, then Gravemind with the analogy of the fallen angels post in the news section would revive this fallen, yet regretful servant to the "lords".
But the quote I post at the top I mean to insight the possibility that 343 Guilty Spark was the one to release the Flood, perhaps with the intention to follow his original order to study the parasite and it's interactions with various life forms, including the Forerunner. Guilty knows what he did, perhaps even referencing his previous determination (the answer he's pondered to reiterate to the MC that if he could do it again, he would).
Guilty Spark is not a living organism and kept far enough away from Halo 04's gravemind to avoid capture and exploitation. That means that the release of the flood is hardly a concern to this being and therefore cannot be reasoned with to disobey it's orders.
I was just considering that perhaps the "level" of the Halos is similar to levels of hell, heaven, and purgatory that Dante brings up in The Divine Comedy.
If 04 is considered the middle of purgatory, then Guilty Spark would be unsaved, yet unrepentant. If you believe that the numbers of the monitors relates to a function of their Halo installation number, then an end-cap to the middle of 04 would be 01's monitor would be 1 (7^(Halo # - 1) = monitor #). Penitent Tangent is in the hands of a devil icon and perhaps committed an ultimate sin (suicide, by my theory).
Would that make monitor #1 the king, or the Metatron (closest angel to God with his own throne) of the Halo Monitors? Perhaps it's the reverse and 01's monitor is Satan for being so devoid of the number seven (Is more or less powers of seven evil or good?).
I also think that the secondary terms "spark" and "tangent" could either refer to their respective game's story line or the technology that is employed in the background of the story. "Spark" could refer to the ignition of the story with "tangent" meaning the distant and off-topic elements that inevitably weave into the heart of the plot. "Spark" could also refer to the intended firing of Halo 04 that isn't seen until Halo 05, and leaving "tangent' to refer to the teleportation system that both a recent HPS news post and the in-atmosphere slipspace jumping concept that is introduced midway in First Strike.
He may be a smug little so-and-so, but how much does 343 Guilty Spark actually know?
MC Vince (email@example.com) writes:
In response to the thread, regarding "The importance of organic reclaimers" there was some speculation put forward by Slith; "the fact that 343 Guilty Spark takes the index away from John 117 on Halo Alpha (04) citing the reason 'You are susceptible to infection.', clearly demonstrates that a Forerunner construct is a safer carrier."
While I agree he is a safer carrier, I don't believe that 343 GS is completely immune, to everything. For example in "The Maw", when intercepting Cortana he says "Ridiculous! That you would imbue a warship's AI with such a wealth of knowledge! Weren't you worried it might be captured? Or destroyed?" Interesting use of words don't you think, especially "captured"? After all, it's likely to be "captured" by the enemy, and the only enemy 343 GS has, as far as we know, is the Flood, so therefore we can logically assume that giving A.I's lots of information is not something the Forerunner's do.
It has also been speculated here that 343 Guilty Spark was absorbing Forerunner data, and this would back up that line of thinking. It's no wonder that 343 Guilty Spark can't get access to the core, the Forerunner don't want the Flood to get the information if he is "captured".
Surely this raises the question "How much does 343 Guilty Spark, monitors, or "oracles", as the Covenant call them, actually know?
Truth says "For ages we searched for one who might unlock the secrets of the ring - an Oracle". This suggests that the meeting with 343 Guilty Spark is the first meeting with any oracle.
Even though the Covenant "plied the Oracle with our questions", all they manage to get out of him is: using the index will fire the Halo's. If that's all the information that they have, along with programmes to fix certain parts of Halo, and not of the Forerunner themselves, then no wonder "there are none so worthless as these Oracles", they hardly know anything, due to them only being given abilities to "monitor" Halo.
So to conclude, you could argue that monitors can be infected by Flood, or the information monitors hold can be absorbed, but with so little information, does it really matter?
Also, if capturing monitors doesnힿt give the enemy what they want, for instance Gravemind still had questions even though he had captured 2401 Penitent Tangent; "my mind is not at rest, for questions linger on", itힿs no wonder he went after Cortana to get more info, the question is did she process all the information she obtained from Halo, or did Dr Halsey, (during First Strike) stop her processing that information in time?
Hey, look! You can name Monitors!
Grenadier (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
The numbers, we know - but figuring out the Monitor's names is more challenging. First off, notice the number of letters in their names.
Guilty - 6 Letters
Spark - 5 Letters
Penitent - 8 Letters
Tangent - 7 Letters
The first name has one more letter than the second name, and the second name has one less letter than the first. So, the number of letters in each Monitor's name should be like...
7 _ _ / _
49 _ _ _ _ / _ _ _
343 _ _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _
2401 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ _ _
16807 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
117649 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Let's start with the first names. They all have something in common. Look at the definitions.
Guilty - Responsible for a wrong.
Penitent - Feeling a sorrow for a wrong that one has done.
They each have something to do with a wrong doing or being guilty of something. To do this next part, the word has to mean the same thing as guilty, and it has to fit in the spaces.
7 _ _ /
49 _ _ _ _ /
343 G u i l t y /
2401 P e n i t e n t /
16807 R e m o r s e f u l /
117649 R e p r o a c h a b l e /
The second part of the name is more tricky.
Spark - to cause a function; a very small amount (of interest).
Tangent - a change of subject currently being discussed.
So, a similarity between the two words could be.... impulsive?
7 / _
49 / _ _ _
343 / S p a r k
2401 / T a n g e n t
16807 / I n c e n t i v e
117649 / I n s t i g a t i o n
Put them together, and you get....
7 _ _ /_
49 _ _ _ _ / _ _ _
343 Guilty / Spark
2401 Penitent / Tangent
16807 Remorseful / Incentive
117649 Reproachable / Instigation
Not that we like to overanalayse . . .
Halo's Holiness: Not just for the Covenant?
As Peptuck points out in this post, even Guilty Spark, a mere machine, seems to hold the utmost (almost religious) reverence for the duties, procedures, and icons he has been entrusted with.
I've always had a soft spot for the Continentals.
Geoff Chang (email@example.com) writes concerning a possible dalliance between the writings of Nietzsche and the character of 343 Guilty Spark. Keen.
Rounding it off, Ibeechu gives us this. I like it, it's subtle . . . er.
Incidentally - this would be entry number 1001! Celebrate!
Ibeechu (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Finn states 5 possible reasons why GS can speak English. I have another, and it is based on an idea by Stephen Loftus. Maybe he is speaking the Forerunner's language which isn't English, but it's close enough to the Covenants language that the Master Chief's suit can translate it.
This makes sense in that Prophets probably speak a similar language to the Forerunners, seeing as they evolved on a Forerunner planet. However, if Prophets and Elites speak the same language (which they might not, but just assume), and GS speaks a language similar to that, why can't the MC understand Elites in Halo 1?
There are two possible answers for that... or one, depending on how you look at it. The Master Chief's armor translates Grunt language, so maybe Grunt language is coincidentally similar to GS's language. The second answer could be that Prophets speak a Forerunner language, but Elites don't. The Humans did manage to capture a Prophet in FoR (I think, I may have made it up) so maybe they added translation software for the Prophet's language and it could be a Forerunner language, so GS is inadvertantly translated. This could bring up another idea. Maybe the Prophets are the only ones seen worthy enough to speak the ancients' tongue? Thanks, cheers!
Or the Elites weren't speaking real Elitish, but something else . . . and in the crisis of faith we see happening in Halo 2 - they return to speaking their own language. After all, Sparks and the Heretic understand each other perfectly, and something tells me the Heretic is not one to speak the language of Prophets.
What do you mean I'm shooting long?
Scarab's not silly. His post on the Story Shenanigans thread is very enlightening.
MB had many bodies, the terminals mention that a lost shard was finally returned to the Ark.
So its likely that Offensive Bias did take most of MB back to the Ark but missed the shard on the High Charity keyship.
From terminal 6:
[00:H 19:M 02:S]
The seventh and final wave of container ships, barges, tankers, and military vessels engage my fleet; another 214,320 ships, many in excess of [50,000 tonnes], engage my seemingly disrupted vanguard. I continue to fight just well enough to seem lucky. Mendicant, or the enemy, has been sending a small percentage of its fleet elsewhere. Good. Let them believe they can seize a foothold somewhere inside the sphere.
Maybe the High Charity keyship was one of those ships.
From terminal 6:
[00:H 03:M 00:S]
Mendicant was able to postpone its inevitable annihilation for [106:S] with its attempt to flee. But the last of its core vessels hangs before me now; crippled and defeated but still sensate. I could spare it; carve out what is left of its [personality construct array] and deliver it to [Installation Zero] for study.
Maybe he did it and that's how most of MB came to the Ark.
The lost shard arrived on the High Charity keyship.
From terminal 4:
"I have found the shard that was lost. They brought it back to me. Now my reconstitution cannot be stopped."