The Covenant are a religious alliance initially founded between the Elites (Sangheili) and the Prophets. Formerly at war with one another, the discovery of Forerunner technology solidified a union whereby the Elites would provide protection for the Prophets as they searched for the means by which the god-like Forerunner transcended this reality and found their "salvation". (The exact nature of the Covenant Gods themselves is unknown.) On the way, they have converted (read: subjugated) at least seven, though possibly more, species. These races include, but may or may not be limited to: Grunts (Unggoy), Jackals (Kig-yar), Drones (Yanme'e), Hunters (Lekgolo), Brutes (Jiralhanae), Engineers (Huragok; from the novels), and Drinol Beasts (possibly called the Sharquoi; seen only in concept art).
The Covenant have a relatively high level of technology, mainly accrued from excavated Forerunner installations. The seat of their power, and the only homeworld they seem to have, is the planetoid High Charity, a tremendous semi-spherical habitat and battle station dozens of kilometers across, powered at its center by an actual Forerunner vessel. Most of their weapons are plasma-based, with the exception of their fuel-rod, particle beam, and needle ordnance. Their starships are much faster than Human vessels, and are capable of pinpoint maneuvering while in FTL travel, as is made explicitly clear several times in The Fall of Reach, when Covenant ships materialize right in the middle of a Human battlegroup. Their technological feats seem coupled with what can only be described as a reverent ignorance; they seem unable, unwilling, and vehemently against attempts (by Covenant or Human agents) to improve upon any Forerunner relics they come to acquire. To do so would be blasphemy.
However, this alliance is far from secure. The Covenant ranks have been rife with unrest, and even assassinations within recent years. With the exception of the two founding races, all others have joined the Covenant through force and now exist as part of the caste system with strict rules guiding their upbringing and socialization to prevent any true unity among the conquered peoples. In the times of trouble and insurrection that have inevitably occurred, a chosen Elite has risen to become the Arbiter, "The Will of the Prophets", and has inevitably reestablished the peace.
Even still, though their hatred for those filthy primates called Humans is both harsh and powerful, there remains some confusion over their precise transgression the Human race has inflicted against the Gods. The details of this Holy War appear to be known only by the Prophets; there is confusion among the Elites as to why the Humans, having proven there tenacity and worth in battle countless times, have not been offered the sanctuary of the Covenant alongside the others. From where this hatred springs, how it relates to the Covenant's "Great Journey", and more importantly, how Man may manage to survive them both, has yet to be discovered.
Halo, according to Cortana and the Covenant databanks, holds some deep religious power over the Covenant. They have searched for these seven rings for some time, and it is through them, they believe, their Great Journey is to be accomplished. Needless to say, they are profoundly important to them; so much so that they avoid firing upon the Pillar of Autumn for risk of striking Halo 04. Upon the Human's arrival at Halo 04, the Covenant are already on the ring's surface, following course and scouring the ring for technology they can adapt to their own purposes. What is odd is the discovery of the Flood. They were come across and "released" (whether intentionally or not is unknown) by the Covenant; Human tinkering merely made the problem worse. While terrifying, the Flood is not entirely unexpected to the Covenant. It seems that they have encountered the Flood before, and may have quite a history with them.
Spurned by the heresy of Halo 04's destruction, the Covenant juggernaut resumed their search for the other rings and installations, unwittingly stumbling upon Earth in the process. Not knowing that it was the Human homeworld, but only that it contained some Forerunner relic, the small fleet led by the impetuous Prophet of Regret was repelled relatively easily, but not before a distress signal could be sent to the rest of the armada. By following in the wake of his retreat, yet another ring was discovered, and it became apparent that the Great Journey so desperately sought by the Covenant hierarchs was nothing more than the activation of the Halo network; their Journey would not bring salvation, only death.
As these events unfolded, the ignorant ambition of the Brutes, coupled with some shadowy need of the Prophets to remove the Elites, spilled over into bloodshed. What began with the replacement of the Elite Honour Guard with Brutes (under mysterious circumstances) ended with the murder of the Elite Council members and total civil war. Sides have been drawn, with the religiously disillusioned Elites, Grunts, and Hunters at odds against the Prophets, Brutes, Jackals, and Drones.
Whether this conflict will benefit Humanity as they continue to struggle against the still overwhelming Covenant armada at Earth remains to be seen.
Foe Hammer, 7, and Noah's Ark of the Covenant
Thomas Dow, Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I've been reading, and enjoying, "The Fall of Reach", and the other day I had the opportunity to play Halo for several uninterupted hours at a friends' place ... I too began noticing familiar references throughout both.
Firstly, I knew the name "Foe Hammer" seemed awefully familiar, so doing a quick Google-search, I came up with two things:
1) The main one that I recognized is that "Foe-hammer" is the translated name of Gandalf's Elvish-blade, "Glamdring" (not to muddle things with Tolkien refs, but it's obvious Bungie has borrowed from a lot of sources ...).
2) I found links to "Marathon: Infinity" spoiler-guides, which show that level 14 is called "Foe Hammer".
A little lower in the search-results, I came upon a link to marathon.bungie.org:
Once again, these series of terminals show Bungie's love of the #7 (quote from Durandal): "Battle Group Seven will rue the day their Commanders willed their ships to Lh'owon."
The reason may be that, according to numerology, 7 is the number of completion and perfection. I took this excerpt from http://latter-rain.com/ltrain/numer.htm:
"Seven is the number of completion and symbolizes unity and perfection. Seven was a sacred number of the Jews and was used in religious observances and daily life throughout the history of Israel and in prophetic words concerning the end-times. It symbolizes wholeness, a final completion that is just about to reveal itself and be made manifest."
[ It's interesting that in FoR, they mention that "smart" AIs like Cortana have 7 years before they reach their "end-times" ... ]
The page also notes that there are a lot of significant 7s used throughout the Bible, especially in Revelations ...
Which brings me to my final topic, The Ark. I'm suprised noone else has mentioned this, but there are two Arks talked about in the Bible: Noah's Ark, and [pause for dramatic effect], the "Ark of the Covenant"! (Remember the 1st Indiana Jones 'flick? :).
I think it's very likely that there's a sort of double-reference going on, as the AotC was of extreme religious importance to the Isreallites (as well as having been divinely inspired), and was used as an extrememly powerful weapon. The AotC was supposed to hold the tablets containing "The Ten Commandments", and to basically be God's throne on Earth (if you dig futher into its history and signifigance, of which there is quite a bit, you'll also find that it played a role in holding back God's wrath). Perhaps this is also where Bungie got the idea for calling the alien collective, "The Covenant" ...
"What do ya' think, Sirs?"
†††One wonders if the Marines would have liked Foe Hammer as much if her callsign had been Glamdring....And the number 7 rears its head once more.
†††As for the second half of this submission...well this is interesting. I've never seen Raiders of the Lost Ark (I know, I know), but this connection seems to be something big. If the Ark in question is indeed called the Ark of the Covenant, and indeed serves the functions which Mr. Dow has assigned to it, then that fits Halo too closely to be coincidence, in my humble opinion. "God's throne on Earth" seems to me to be a fitting description of Halo; created by a race of such technical proficiency as to be almost godlike, where they built installations for themselves to sit in and ponder whatever sorts of things a Forerunner might ponder. As for "holding back God's wrath," it seems that Halo also serves this purpose; the Flood can be considered the wrath of the Forerunner, and Halo contains them. But, as with the brief histories of the Ark of the Covenant which I have been able to find, it would seem that Halo has far more sinister purposes within its depths.
†††Also, this is now the third type of arc(k) to be associated with Halo: 1) It is in the shape of an arc, 2) It is a sort of Noah's Ark for the Flood, and 3) It is akin to the Ark of the Covenant of Judaic history. And then of course, there is the Ark Theory. But that's enough about that for now. :)
Also, if you want another Covenant-Forerunner connection, observe the anti-gravity devices on the Shade gun turret and the elevators in the Library (It's easier to see if you uhm...accidentally leave a co-op buddy behind) . The two energy fields look strangly similar....
Gordon Liu checks in with something totally unrelated to the Forerunner! (And an interesting observation, to boot!)
Gordon Liu (email@example.com) writes:
I'm guessing that it would be possible for the hunters and elites and maybe the jackals to live on the same planet, but it would be easier to believe that jackals were on a different planet.
This how my theory works: On planet Earth, there are humans and crocodiles. We know that the humans are the only species on earth that can communicate with each other. (as in language and writing) But what if crocodiles were intelligent? If both crocodiles are humans were intelligent, we could communicate with each other, and maybe become allies.
I'm guessing that the hunters and elites might of lived on the same planet, and both species evolved into an intelligent being; capable of communicating with each other. Then they might of formed an alliance and then conquered species like the grunts or jackals.
The creation of the Covenant as a multi-species conglomerate has not been touched on very much. If you have any thoughts, send 'em in!
Covenant ain't Forerunner; I bet they never done even seen one!
On the "Symbols" on the walls of Halo:
Many people have been using these symbols as proof linking Forerunner to Covenant.
I'm not the first to suggest this, but I feel that the symbols are clearly not part of Halo and were drawn by the Covenant, either religiously or as warnings or signs.
Another explanation may be that the Covenant adopted the Forerunner symbols, after all they do worship them (or at least the structures they built). e.g.: If I wear a cross around my neck, it doesn't mean that I am Jesus.
He does bring up a valid point, however; it's entirely possible (and seems to be the case) that the Covenant have never even met the Forerunner, but have found these massive ring constructs (and ancient relics) scattered about the galaxy. Maybe it's just me, but that would certainly inspire at least some sort of reverence for the Forerunner.
One Man Riot (ITekboyI@aol.com) writes:
What we know: The same(?) sybols appear on the elites backs as the ones that are on the walls. The forerunners built halo.
All the structures in halo are beautifully constructed. Yet all the symbols that are on the walls seem to be scrawled on there in a very graffiti-ish manner. My theory is that the elites wrote these symbols on the walls in their own language for whatever reason. I guess the meaning of the symbols would pretty much help a lot of us out. Maybe they are trying to psych us out. Picture it. Your walking along a dark, silent hallway you see a wierd tribal marking on the wall. The elites could just ambush you and kill you without you ever knowing it. But by putting these symbols on the walls its like them telling you that they are there but you cant see them. Imagine knowing you might die at any second. Now i am reaching a little bit. Oh well just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in. Thanks for listening to my ranting. We'll figure this out sometime I'm sure.
One Man Riot
That the markings might serve some sort of intimidation purpose is interesting. Who knows what the Covenant might think of as a threat?
Luke sends in an observation on the possibility of a genetic link between the Elite and the Hunters.
Luke S. (Allenthar) (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I almost think of the Hunters and the Elites in the same terms as the Master Chief and the Marines. The Hunters could simply be genetically and mechanically enhanced members of the Elite species. With all the genetic mosifications, armor and attachments covering up all easily visible similarities, they could be mistaken for a completely different species. But, try to look at the Master Chief from an alien point of view and as if you had only seen the basic Marine before. He could easily be mistaken for a different species than the rest of us. Much larger, stronger faster, and his armor obscures most of the features that could identify him as human. Perhaps, the Hunters are the Elite's ideals in intimidation and strength, paralleling our view of the Master Chief as the epitome of human strength, but with an alien perspective. The only thing I can't account for here is the difference in blood color, but there is definitely much more similarity between the Hunters and the Elites, than between them and any of the other Covenant species.
We know that the Covenant comprise "different" races, but just how they relate to one another is still to be discovered.
Craig also makes a few religious observations.
On Truth and Reconciliation many Covenant, mainly grunts and jackals, refer to MC as "the devel", and "satan" (I think I've heard that). If this is correct, then it begs questions regarding the nature of the Covenants religious fervor. Do they believe the MC is the devil? Do they believe humans are the devil? Or are they simply stating that we are the devil because they don't like us? If it is the humans they hate, maybe they fear us because we unleashed the flood on halo, which is some sort of sign to them that we are evil. I'd like to hear others comments on this.
It's possible that they hate us because they fear what influence we might someday have on the universe. Or what influence we already have had.
Matt Wright makes a bunch of good observations.
Matt Wright (email@example.com) writes:
I haven't really read into all the Marathon similarities, but I've been reading some of the news archives- even the insane and bizarre ones. But then, the Halo story is a little bizarre. One race [Forerunner] preserves alive a potential threat [Flood], while another [Covenant] is hell-bent on destroying a potential threat [Humans].
For starters, some speculation about the Covenant: As far as technology goes, they seem to be closer to the Forerunner then Humans. They use plasma weapons, while Humans are still in the ballistic stage of weaponry. Their machines also seem to harness energy in a way similar to the Forerunner. On AotCR, that Tank-like thing shoots a glob of something that looks similar to the energy beams of level Halo.
War in the name of God is not a new thing, and apparently the universe is not big enough for both Covenant and Humans. Religions are often self serving, so something deep down drives the Covenant to irradicate Humans. Are they in a quest to claim back what they lost when they had to take measures to contain the Flood? Or do they have a grudge against Humans because of a past experience? One thing is for sure- the Covenant know more about the Forerunner then the Humans. The markings found on Covenant and Halo structures suggests they have been around Halo long enough to either make their mark, or be influenced by it.
Do the Covenant, in fact, worship the Forerunner?
A nose is a nose is a nose. Unless it's not.
Gordon Liu (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
We all know that the hunter's orange spot on back is the most vunerable part of a hunter. But why would the hunter leave that spot open? Why don't they cover it with armor? Why? We don't know, but it must mean they need that orange part to be revealed to air. I looked at these two screen shots:
Here and here.
I looked at these closely and I saw no nose. That means they must have a different part of their body for air. That is why I say that orange part of their body is for air(kind of like gills). And that is why it hurts hunters so much when you shoot that part of the body.
The Evolution of the Hunter Species, part 1.
Simon Graham (email@example.com) writes:
...the Hunters and Elites are wearing armor right? I mean, that isn't supposed to be an insectoid exoskeleton.
Could be. Stranger things exist here, on our own world. ;-)
Ray Linville (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Perhaps this is already been brought up, but what if the Covenant are to the Forerunner like the S'pht are to the Jjaro? Perhaps the Covenant were servants, or perhaps a lower caste that was left behind when the Forerunner vanished.
After centuries of being gone, the Forerunner were elevated to godhood in the eyes of the Covenant. Now that they've acheived spaceflight, they roam the galaxy uncovering establishments left behind, but they recognize them as belonging to their 'gods' because they are familiar with Forerunner architecture and technology. The purpose of the Halo is interpreted as the will of the gods. "Your destruction is the will of the Gods...and we are their instrument."
Jeff (email@example.com) writes:
When you kill a hunter in halo their necks contract like a worm going into a hole as if their armour is too big and after death they can finally settle comfortably into their proper size.
So is that armor an actual part of them, or is it 'worn' like the MC's suit?
More Hunter Physiology.
Tristan Wolfe (Xan_117@laracroftmail.zzn.com) writes:
On different levels, if you look at the front or back of a hunters mid-section with the night vision of a sniper rifle, you can see that oval-like sections of the mid-section pulse. I think that it serves as some sort of circulatory/respiritory purpose, possibly breathing (as others have stated). But why does still pulse after they fall? Maybe the hunters don't really die from any known firepower, or maybe it serves as an automattic decomposision of the body after death.
No, dead bodies are dealt with in an entirely different way... ;-)
The Storm Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
On the idea that Simon Graham brought up about the armor of Elites and Hunters being a natural exoskeleton: I don't think that is so. If you look at the Elites turned into Flood, they have no armor. They are all exposed flesh.
Could a Flood infection absorb all that armor? Or has it been discarded? (It'd sure be nice to have one of those shields...) ;-)
"And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh."
Matt Wright (email@example.com) writes:
There is an interesting reference in Genesis 9:15 (the Bible) about the rainbow being a symbol of the covenant between God and man- a covenant that God would never destroy everything (plants, animals, humans) on the earth like he did with Flood. Hmmm...
Bible references, literary symbology, physics, biology, astro-navigation, and poetry. Pretty impressive for a video game, eh? ;-)
Matt Cox (Lord Umoja) (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
343 GS says something along the lines of "I'm so glad I found our lost time. What do you call it? Human History? I will enjoy every moment of it's cataloging." This to me clearly states that human and forerunner history are 2 parts of a story.
343 GS's comment (see above) seems to state that the humans are the Forerunner's descendants. Could it be that in their study of humans the Covenant uncovered the fact that we, the dumb barbaric apes, are the Forerunner descendants?? This could be the motivation needed to kill us off. The Covenant see us as unworthy of being the Forerunner descendants and seek to remove the "tarnish" from their gods' portrayal. In Halo: The Fall of Reach the first message transmitted to humans from the Covenant is "Your destruction is the will of the Gods... and we are their instrument." It was broadcast in English from the covenant,not a translation. Is "the will of the Gods" just a way for the Prophets to sell the destruction to their followers????
Seeing as the Covenant seem to worship the Forerunner, and seeing that we appear to be related to the Forerunner in some, distant way, The Covenant better have a darn good reason for trying to annihilate us... ;-)
Or, then again, it could be something else entirely. :-)
Colin Ferguson (email@example.com) writes:
One thing that had me puzzled ever since I began speculating about Halo's story was why the Covenant would want to wipe out humanity for religious reasons. A group of alien races united by religion would, by nature, be inclined to be tolerant of other alien species when they make first contact. Why then, does the Covenant have a genocidal prejudice against humans? Well, evidence uncovered in the later half of Halo suggests that humans may have been the Forerunner. If the Covenant had contact with the Forerunner (the fact that they knew of the Halo, if not the exact location, and superficial similarities in technology suggests that they did,) and the Forerunner are related to humans in some fashion, then it is understandable why the Covenant could form a judgment against humans before ever encountering any of them. That this prejudice is an extremely hostile one would suggest that the Covenant would have had some hostile relationship with the Forerunner.
343 GS implies that the Fortress-Worlds have been used before to wipe-out all sentient life in the galaxy. I have to wonder if the founders of the Covenant were some kind of a primitive species that had contact with the Forerunner and made some kind of recordings of them (writing, hieroglyphics, etc.) If so, then when the Fortress-Worlds were used, then the founders of the Covenant would have been thrown back a few evolutionary steps to a form of 'pre-sentient' life. If there were said recordings available to inspire such a species, then it could have more easily grown back into a sentient species. If the Covenant founders had somehow figured out what the Forerunners had done, then it is easy to see how the Covenant would come to fear them, and that fear may have worked itself into their religion. Thus, this fear could have been extended to include humanity. "Covenant" means, "sacred agreement," or some sacred agreement between alien species to keep the Forerunners out of power, thus the genocidal prejudice against humans.
It is interesting to note that while the Covenant had knowledge of the Forerunner, humans did not. This makes me wonder how the Forerunner could have become humanity. Assuming that the Fortress-Worlds had been used, then if the Forerunner were indeed humans, they would have been wiped-out too. This makes one wonder why the Fortress-Worlds were used and how the Forerunner managed to survive as humanity. The Flood are the most credible reason as to why the Fortress-Worlds were used. If the Flood epidemic was extreme enough, then there would be no other choice but to fumigate the galaxy in order to stop the spread of the Flood. One must imagine that the Forerunner would have taken steeps to ensure their survival. Let us assume for a moment that we can trust Pvt. Wang's estimation from the E3 2000 trailer that no one had been in Halo for one-hundred-thousand years. Well, one-hundred-thousand years ago is approximately the time that modern Homo sapiens arose on Earth. I believe that the Forerunner seeded Earth to eventually return them to sentience. The Forerunner might have found a planet (Earth) with compatible near-sentient species, and altered that species to become them after they used the Fortress-Worlds. Indeed, if we consider the "Cortana.txt" file included on the Myth Total Codex CDs, then the Forerunner might have done so on many worlds, as the Cortana.txt file mentions several "lost colony" worlds.
It's true that Humans had no knowledge of the Forerunner up until the beginning of the game. It's interesting to note what form out "first contact" of the Forerunner civilization takes...
Addressing the potential concerns raised in his own theory on the Forerunner-Human connection, Masenko adds this about the COvenant:
Now, the only thing to contradict this theory is that the Elites have the symbols of Halo engraved on their backs. I can think of several ways to explain this.
1. The Covenant Elites put the symbols there, sort of to "mark territory."
2. The Elites are similar to humans - height, weight, etc. The major differences are the barbaric aspects of the Elites, and their color/blood variations. Well, they could simply be another heavily evolved version of the Forerunner, just as the humans are, though, according to my theory, we seem to show more physical similarities to the Forerunner. The symbol could have been created by an Elite mind similar to a Forerunner mind. Also, an Elite in great political position may have "psychic" powers, just as humans do (ESP), and have vague emanations of clairvoyance which represent the Forerunner. It may be a symbol to represent their history, or their religion.
Let me also say this... the symbol on the Covenenat backs is NOT skin. I've seen some dead, flood-killed Elites with a PERFECT circle cut into their back that would hold the Forerunner logo, but isn't there. The Flood may eaten it, or something... but, it's not part of the Covenant's molecular structure, I know that.
Where'd that symbol go? ;-)
Definitely worthy of mention (to those who haven't already seen it), in Edge's Halo 2 article, Lead Designer Jaime Griesemer outlines an important aspect of the upcoming story:
"The Covenant is named for the pact binding its two primary races, the Elites and the Prophets. The Elites form the backbone of the Covenant military and the Prophets are the Covenant's political and spiritual leadership. Much of the game will focus on the relationship between these two races and on the hidden motives for their attack against humanity."
Though not directly quoted from Bungie staff, the article goes on to state that although defending Earth itself occupies the first part of the game, eventually the Master Chief must also take the fight back to a (the) Covenant home world.
All alone? Sounds daring :)
Mary Hansen (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
The first two covenant species to exist were the Elites and the Prophets. The Elites provided a military command, while the Prophets are the political and religous figures.
An interesting idea on the origins of the Covenant alliances, and the possibility that the Flood may already be out there somewhere...
Spartan 117 (email@example.com) writes:
There is one possiblity that I haven't seen posted yet, the Flood are loose in the galaxy now. The only reason that the Covenant are still around is that they joined together to stave them off. This is the reason for their holy war, to rid they galaxy of another potential host race for the Flood.
So the Covenant believe that their purpose is to rid the galaxy of Flood host? Kind of like the Halo itself, eh?
Another vote for the theory that the Covenant are annihilating everything in order to stop the Flood.
Brandon Merrell (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
maybe the flood are THE SOLE reason for the covenant... the covenant want to kill the flood by killing all organic life in the galaxy, and they obviously wanted to use halo for their holy war... it would make their job that much easier, rather than killing everyone else off then committing suicide. Glassing planets would kill off everything with sufficient mass to sustain the flood, and maybe thats what theyre doing... killing everything off, then getting ready to kill themselves.
"We are the tools/instruments of the gods" they follow GS? perhaps the prophets are under the influence of someone or something else... someone who is not organic that wants the flood gone, someone who has a way to stop the flood from infecting them, or someone can survive when halo fires.
the cov. think that halo is of immense religious significance. we already know that the cov. use the same symbols as the for. why is this? given that they are a religious army, it makes sense that the best fighters would adorn themselves with religious symbols. religious symbols tend to have been around forever, just look at our own, they predate our entire "advanced" culture. here's my theory.
the forerunners were a widely travelled bunch in their time, they may have deliberately or accidentally left items on many worlds. any early pre-technology cov. races finding these items would take them to be magical or mystical.
"any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke
so these symbols become part of early cov. religion. fast forward, the cov. races explore space. they encounter eachother and what do you know, they share symbols in their religions. this is the glue that binds the races. on their travels they find other examples of forerunner artifacts. they develop aspects of their own technology by reverse engineering forerunner artifacts.
so halo, whether it was found by the covenent before the game starts or whether it was as a result of cortana's "blind" jump, is the ultimate artifact. a complete functioning world full of the technology that has got the cov. where they are today. no wonder they want to access the restricted areas.
This has been theorized before, but it's wrapped up nicely (if still lacking in capitals...).
Ben (Benedictwest@aol.com) writes:
...then it is easy to establish that humans still (assuming Halo is set in the future) use callsigns - Echo 419, Foe Hammer, Fire Team Charlie, etc. The Covenant appear to have no signs on their dropships or Commanders to signify anything like this system humans use. Even the Truth and Reconciliation has no distinguishing features. Meanwhile, Echo 419 has its name blazoned over it in large, block, white letters. Unless the Covenant are active constantly over radio (or whatever they use) then how can they be sure who's who of their army?
Interesting point. They do have a bit of symbology on their bodies and they are usually found in what might be termed "squads", but there isn't much to distinguish one Elite from another. If you're a Grunt or a Jackal you probably don't ask a whole lot of questions, though...
More HBO forum insan- er, speculation! Forum regular opie301 comes up with a really well-done theory on the relationship between the Covenant and the Flood. Check it out!
DoubleMint (email@example.com) writes:
I think the Covies were just after the great food the humans have, such as Turkey, Hamburger Dinner, Cheeseburger Dinner, Hot Dog Dinner, Meat Loaf Dinner, or Chef's Surprise.
Boarding action indeed. Even the Covenant crave the ol' home-style taste of freeze dried rations. I mean, after being raised on a food-nipple, who wouldn't? ;)
In another forum post , JAGUAR2G writes:
I think the Covies boarded the PoA just to get "A" Spartan. I think that the Covies took notice that even though they always won by glassing the planets they always lost the ground battles when they fought Spartans over the last 20 or so years. So I think they a mission to capture a Spartan Alive. And in TFoR they knew they injured Linda and that she was picked up by MC and boarded the PoA.
Just how MC was told to Capture enemy technology when ever possible. because if you notice they never really wanted to blow up the PoA, just disable it.
Now this is a long shot but maybe they knew of Cortana (or maybe the development of a superior AI), and you know how the Covies "TAKE/STEAL" superior technology.
All i know for sure is they WANTED something very very very bad, and I don't think they got it............or did they? (Linda????)
The Covenant don't take prisoners yet they go out of there way to capture a seemingly outdated, fleeing Human vessel? One has to wonder where their Intelligence is coming from...
Humanity is being rejected as the second coming of the Forerunner (or their emissaries):
Here's another post by Ciar·n summarizing an old idea well, and, while we're on the subject of extermination...
Tony DeRuiter (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
It has been speculated many times that the Forerunner are human. Numerous comments by Guilty Spark suggest this but I've wondered, given that, why do the Covenant want to kill the Human race? Perhaps if the cause and effect after the fact make sense, we could deduce that the Forerunner are in fact descendant of humans. I believe the Forerunner disappeared after the use of the Halo. The Covenant came upon this structure, saw great power in it, and modeled a culture after it. This in fact lead to their rise in power, and strengthened their social structure.
Now, I'm not a deeply religious person, but it seems to me that the reaction of the Covenant is similar to the reaction of the Jews when Jesus is born as the apparent "son of god". Just as the Jews/Romans crucify Jesus and continue to search for the true "messiah", the Covenant might not be accepting of the fact that the human race is the second coming of the Forerunner. As such, they must be sure to eliminate this defiler of their religion, a race posing as their "savior".
This is obviously total speculation, but I find the similarity to be something that Bungie would refer to, and it even makes a bit of sense.
Whether the entire hierarchy of the Covenant is aware of this reasoning (read: conspiracy) would remain to be seen ;)
A fantastic Biblical parallel. The Second Coming... hmmm. That reminds me, where is that Stone Roses album... ;)
What is the cause of this genocide inflicted upon humanity? Is it blind zeal? A misunderstanding? A cover-up of some kind? Jealousy? Fear of what we are (or who we could become)? Unfinished business? The list of possibilities is as long as a Flood Warrior's tentacled limb...
Cow (email@example.com) writes:
After reading numerous articles on your site about the relationship between the Flood and the Forerunner, I have developed my own theory. In the Library, 343 Guilty Spark states that the survival of the Forerunner were dependent upon the Flood. So what does an organism require to survive? Could they have used the Flood for food? Perhaps, but very unlikely. They obviously didn't use them for liquid or for air. So what's left? Reproduction? I think this is why they needed them. Guilty Spark also mentioned there had been an outbreak before and that, apparently, the Halo had been activated before. So, I think as a result of this outbreak the Forerunner had somehow lost their ability to reproduce, probably losing the females of their species. I think that the Forerunner were studying the Flood spores in an attempt to infect some organism with their own female Forerunner DNA, making reproduction once again possible. So they either failed or succeeded. If they failed then, their race is extinct, which is why there are none around. If they succeeded, then I would venture a guess to say that the offspring reproduced and their race eventually became known as humans. The Covenant want to kill all humans because they know that they aren't pure Forerunners, but are instead the descendants of this Forerunner procedure.
I've got to say, it's with a great reluctance that I will condone the labelling of the Covenant cruiser on "Keyes" as also the Truth and Reconciliation. For one, Cortana is just too ambiguous ("The Flood overwhelmed this cruiser..."). And another thing...
David Nannery (Red Loser) (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
From the Jason Jones interview at Tru7h and Reconciliation:
îSure, we stopped the Covenant from making off with any good bits of the ring, cut short the Flood's galactic joyride in the Truth and Reconciliation and knocked the gun pointed at the head of the universe out of the Monitor's hands, but the people of Earth still watch the sky every night, waiting for the hammer to fall.ë
Tada! An official statement by Jason Jones confirms the identity of the ship in the level Keyes! Now I will answer Hedgemonyìs concerns:
Cortana probably says that the Flood disabled the ship because it was probably fixed by the time that the Flood had got to it. Besides, if it were out in space, how could the Flood attack it without having a large, powerful ship of their own? It seems to me that the Truth and Reconciliation had been repaired and was ready for departure, but was then disabled by the Flood.
Cortana was correct when she said that a shuttle bay should be îhereë?after saying îhere,ë she places a way-point, which you follow to a shuttle bay. Her records are accurate, because they are the records for the Truth and Reconciliation, which is the same ship in both levels.
All right, all right. I concede... for now ;)
Paul Hobson (Paul.Hobson@afp.gov.au) writes:
The Pillar of Autumn:† There is a large corridor just before you follow the nav point and go through the heating/cooling vents on the ship.† In this corridor are 3 grunts right down the end.† Every time I get to this bit I pull out my pistol and WHACK!† Splat them..............makes sense right?† However, has anybody else noticed a creature (another Spartan?) in camouflage????
What makes me wonder is that I had not been able to hit this 'thing' ever.† And it makes me wonder where the thing goes to................does it beat you into the air vents?????
Simpsons Rule (Simpsonsrule17@aol.com) writes:
I was reading about the nature of the flood and something struck me as familiar. It said that the flood adapt to there host by acquiring their technology. This can be readily seen when the flood take over a human or elite as they control the weapons with perfect precision. Now I read in the Fall of Reach that the Covenant go from species to species taking the technology of "useful" species and killing off others. Why does this sound like the Flood?
A "long history" together indeed...
Longtime HSP patron Ryan7 ponders the poignant possibility of potential Covenant survivors.
Dallon ! (email@example.com) writes:
Did some of the Covenant on Halo escape? And is that the key to how they found earth?
Recently it occurred to me that it is possible that some of the Covenant on Halo could have escaped alive. We know that the Longswords are very fast - they must be or Cortana and the Master Chief wouldn't have got far enough away from Halo before it's destruction. However, in the intro sequence of the first level Cortana specifically states that the Covenant ships are faster than human ones. Of course it is possible that Cortana did not mean that all Covenant ships are faster than all human ones but even so it seems possible that at least a few of the them could have escaped alive.
This brings up another point. We know that in Halo 2 the Covenant have found and are attacking earth. The Covenant in that dropship were probably on the Pillar of Autumn before they took off and may have examined the ship's systems, as 343 Guilty Spark did. It is possible that they did this while Cortana was in there (when she and the Chief visit the bridge he puts her back into the POA's systems for a short time) and learned the location of earth (Cortana stores this information - this is why Captain Keyes gave her to the Chief to protect). If they did this and then escaped they could have then informed the rest of the Covenant and then they would have launched an invasion of earth, which would explain how they found it.
Well, they didn't leave on the Pillar of Autumnm or the Truth and Reconciliation, that much is clear. Cortana seems to indicate that no one else was present in the Threshold system after the ring's destruction, and we know that the "[Covenant] leadership ordered all ships to abandon Halo when they found the Flood", but one would assume that at least a single ship would have needed to remain to launch the strike teams from...
Shane (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Anyone who's read Halo: The Flood, knows that the Covenant 'Prophets' come from an abandoned Forerunner world. We also know that most Covenant technology comes from the Forerunner. This is confirmed at least twice in book. When Keyes talks to an ODST shortly after is rescue from the The Truth and Reconciliation and during a conversation between a prophet and the Elite 'Zamamee, "The technology underlying the armor you wear came straight from the Forerunners."
This would reinforces what Keyes states later in the book, "The essence of the matter is that while the races which comprise the Covenant seem to possess a high level of technology, most if not all of it may have been looted from the beings they refer to as the 'Forerunners,' an ancient race which left ruins on dozens of planets, and presumably was responsible for constructing Halo. In the long run, the fact that they are adaptive, rather than innovative, may prove to be their undoing."
I believe that what he means by this is that the Covenant are quite slow in their own technological development.
Interesting. The Covenant might have little or no inclination to continue developing their own technologies, considering the variety of sources they must have encountered in their relentless crusade across the galaxy. Always remember: Loot before you pillage.
Spacer (email@example.com) writes:
About the covenant, why is such a technologically advanced (compared to humans) worried about religion? ... Technologically advanced people see science instead of religion, so why would the covenant (highly advanced, remember?) be waging a religious war?
It would seem that those whom the Covenant worship are also the creators of some highly advanced technologies. The Covenant may not see their weapons, armor, ships, etc. as tools, or scientific objects, but as religious artifacts. After all, they must have some way of justifying all of this mass slaughter, what better reason than "The Will of the Gods?"
Cortana, Beowulf, Wellsley... Humanity seems to have the A.I. market cornered. In a forum post, Simpsons Rule asks the question that no one else has yet had the courage to: "Where are the Covenant A.I.'s?". Not only a thought provoking idea, but one worthy of comment by Halo Story Bible thumper, Brannon Boren. Check out the thread and help flesh out the concept!
Otto Mossberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I think Ryan7 was on to something with his theory on how the Covenant found Earth. Remember on the bridge when Cortana says "I'm detecting taps throughout the ship, Sentinels most likely". That last part really seems to say something. I had never given it much thought until I read that theory, but now... It seems to point to someone ELSE being on the ship, not just Spark and company.
343, Sentinels, Covenant Engineers, ?
Colin "kojimyuu" Burch (email@example.com) writes:
In answer to Spacer's (firstname.lastname@example.org) question: "About the covenant, why is such a technologically advanced society (compared to humans) worried about religion?..."
There have been many technologically advanced, war-like societies on Earth.
Take the Mongols, for example. They were actually quite technologically advanced for their time (although not as advanced as those of Europe's).
Not to mention the plethora of lamentable contemporary examples...
Indeed, the Mongols are only one of many Earth cultures that have placed a premium on both technology and religion (and to a lesser degree, theology). Arguably, there would be no internal conflict in a society seeking to further their mechanical understanding of the universe while simultaneously inquiring into the purpose based (teleological) system of how and why it is what it is.
Socrates continues on the Covenant comprehension of their "borrowed" tech.
Now, one final thing. The 'Engineer' mentioned in The Fall or Reach leads me to believe that the Covenant do not simply steal another race's technology, but absorb it. In one part, the Engineer disassembles and reassembles a vehicle. This would and could not be done unless the Engineer wanted to do so for purposes of analysis.
Also, think about it: to arm the entire Covenant army, the Covenant would have to have discovered a incredibly huge arms cache somewhere. And then, after that cache was depleted, they were S.O.L. But this isn't the case; with the help of the Engineers, the Covenant absorb the technology instead of steal it, and use the knowledge gained from that absorption to manufacture their weapons.
In short, the Covenant, while not necessarily being a technological parasite, acquire and analyze the technology... indeed, they understand it.
A good point to clarify. While the Covenant are primarily adaptive rather than innovative, they certainly didn't just fall off the turnip truck. They may not have achieved such levels of technology on their own, but they seem to understand their ill gotten gains quite well.
Covenant Social Dynamics and Internal Power Structure
Socrates (email@example.com) writes:
On the issue of the Covenant, specifically the religious and social hierarchy of the Covenant: I don't believe that this is a religious war at all. In fact, I think it's something much more power-oriented. I believe that, based on information present in the Fall or Reach, the "Prophets" long ago set themselves up as the leaders of the Elites, ruling over them through the then important religious aspects of both societies. However, all the Prophets were interested in power, and eventually, many years/decades/centuries later, the Prophets ruled through fiat simply because they were the most closely connected with the Gods (Forerunner).
Thus, it was not the "will of the gods" which necessitated the attempt for the destruction of the Human race, but the will of the Prophets, as political leaders. The Elites believed the Prophets were oracles, the mouthpieces of the Gods (Forerunners), speaking the words that the Forerunners communicated to them from The Beyond. The Elites, in turn, then provided the military power to keep the rest of the Covenant in line, using the religious belief system as a tool to keep loyalty and discipline.
J. Ross "Ebola" Keverne (Jkeverne@hotmail.com) writes:
Prophets are lying to the Elites... probably...
"Like all the members of his caste, 'Fulsamee knew that the
Prophets had evolved on a planet which the mysterious truthgivers
had previously inhabited, and then, for reasons known
only to the ancients themselves, subsequently abandoned."
As well as indicating the Caste structure of the Elites it makes me wonder if even they don't know where the Prophets are truly†from. The implication is that lower Caste Elites don't know about the Prophets original homeplanet, and that further implies that a Higher Caste Elite might know more than 'Fulsamee. Especially about WHY the mysterious "truth-givers" had disappeared.
The Prophet aboard the T&R seems to have almost expected the Flood to be present on Halo (Page 178), so what if the Flood were responsible for the "truth-givers" leaving the Prophets homeplanet.
Are certain high ranking Elites actually above some lowly Prophets, or does race alone firmly divide the two castes? If the Prophets are not being entirely open about their background and knowledge, would this not fan the already smoldering embers of discontent between these two Covenant founders? Time will tell.
Murder! Death! Conspiracy! An extremely old and oft mentioned idea is dragged kicking and screaming into the light.
Fallout921 (Fallout921@aol.com) writes:
well this is what i think i could be wrong. the covenant holds the forerunners as their "gods" and most probably their creators the covenant prophets/priests have taught them this for centuries but they have found out something about the forerunners that would literally destroy their power and control over their own people... the forerunners are HUMAN and if the normal covenant races find out all they have been taught would have been a fake a lie and would surely cause havoc against their own races but most importantly the priests themselves. that's why they have ordered the complete genocide of all the human race in order to silence the real truth that one day would eventually be found if their plans are not carried out.
So, Humans are either related to the Forerunner directly, or have had a special relationship with them in the past.
But surely the Elites and Prophets have built their covenant upon a foundation of trust, where they share everything. Why, if word of this plot was to get out...
The plan has been skewed, but can be remedied yet...
AlphaBravo343 (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Firstly, i think that the forerunners were the only sentient life in the galaxy, and they seeded other planets with life to grow individually. Elites, grunts, jackals, brutes, hunters, prophets, and humans. (this theory is not mine, i found it in a fanfiction). The forerunners left special technology for each race to find once they had matured and discovered interstellar travel. The prophets were the first ones to develop interstellar travel, and found their technology, the discovered the elites. And from there, they recruited the other races within the covenant.
When the united races found each other, they realized that there was one race missing from the complete caste the forerunners had intended for there to be.....the humans. When finally discovered, the Covenant found that we had slipstream space travel (one of the technologies left by the forerunners) and saw we were advanced and intelligent. And then they discovered that we had developed our technology on our own. Then they realized the potential threat we posed and saw we would not succumb to their regime; that we would not accept a position of reverence for the prophets and we would not accept their beliefs with open arms.†
Seeing our armies and weapons, they decided within themselves that the "gods" saw us as an abomination (the prophets most likely tell the Covenant what to believe to better suits themselves), and the humans must be destroyed. Thus the holy war between humans and Covenant begins.†
However, this opens further speculation. The Covenant, if they succeeded in their endeavor to destroy us, would have defied the forerunners. Assuming the forerunners aren't extinct, they would be angry, to say the least. And perhaps, if the forerunners returned before the holy war was over, they would ally with the humans and wipe out the covenant. I'm sure that the forerunners planned for us to live in peace with one another, and seeing the malevolent agenda of the Covenant, would want to "correct" the error.
Big Brother is watching, with any luck.
TankRamp (Bigbadzon@aol.com) writes:
Reading through the Halo Transmissions, I noticed one part that stuck out:
CCS Truth and Reconciliation (DE H c-1) o SCS Pillar of Autumn RECEIVED (trans) 04.11.7.0000 via x-process 04188.8.131.525603 (process owner BW - AI - Class III)
You have brought nothing to this world, and we will ensure you bring nothing out.
I think this has more to it than its resemblance to Bill Cosby comedy (I brought you into this world, I'll take you out. Make another one that looks just like you.), but actual significance on the story.
The general consensus of Covenant technology is that they "absorb" superior technologies and use them to their own benefit. Since the Prophets--whom I've come to theorize are power-hungry politicians pulling the strings and pulling wool over the eyes of other Covenantt--decided that the humans have inferior technology, they destroy them. Why? Because sentient beings are a potential threat, and these particular sentient beings have nothing to add to the Covenant arsenal, and won't conform to Covie ideals; living under the Prophets' power and religion.
But, because humans are sentient and rapidly growing, the Prophets see this "infection" as being adverse to their power which they hold over all else. So, they used whatever handy religious doctrine they invented to urge the rest of the Covenant to go to war against the human scum.
Bill Cosby, power-hungry politicians, and oppressive religious doctrine. Halo's got it all!
You'll remember the earlier calls to read Starhammer, right? Well, Kareem Ramos remembers.
Kareem Ramos (email@example.com) writes:
I'd like to follow up on my last email, in which I theorized about the Forerunner and underwater buildings. If you haven't noticed, I always mention the Rowley novels when I speculate about Halo's story. Here's another juicy connection.
Here's part of my last email:
"The planet [the extinct race's homeworld] eventually dried up and became forgotten, but was inhabited by a crew of humans who ran into it by chance (hint hint)."
Now, those humans established themselves on that world and populated it. They eventually discovered the ancient weapon, the Starhammer, and then the word got out. The word spread across the entire galaxy, but many thought that the Starhammer and the Vang were just rumors. A religious clan in the book really believed that it existed, and only two of their members knew the exact coordinates for the Starhammer. The alien slavers, the Laowon, knew about it, also, but they kept it a secret (the fact that they glassed one of their own planets because of the parasitic Vang was also kept secret).
Once the Laowon heard that the cultists were searching for the Starhammer, a huge chase ensued. The Laowon knew that he who posessed the Starhammer, posessed the fate of the universe. Kinda like what Keyes said:
"Whoever controls Halo controls the fate of the universe."
How does this all fit into the Halo story? Easy. Humans came across another Halo in the past. They first met the Covenant there. The Covenant didn't like them intruding, and started a war to destroy all humans. Why? They believed that the humans actually knew how to activate the Halos and maybe fire them, and because of this, were a serious threat. As the Covenant invaded human planets, they found Forerunner items, as they did in 'The Fall of Reach'.
This is what the Laowon wanted to do: destroy anybody that knew about the all-powerful Starhammer, and maybe even have it for themselves. This is what the Covenant want to do: destroy all of humanity because some human somewhere may know the secrets of the ancient Forerunner fortress worlds!
I think it may go a bit deeper than that with the Covenant. Their actions seem to have a lot of political/religious significance. They also seem to have some racial issues they have yet to address. ;-)
Shane Meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
The Covenant, haven't advanced their technology much, throughout the twenty-five Human-Covenant War. Then, what should be made of the strange energy "sniper" weapon on board the unknown Covenant Flagship at the battle of Reach. The Covenant, I'll use a saying that's been used a lot, are adaptive rather than innovative. Then, could this weapon be based after a piece of technology they found, maybe Forerunner? This, actually isn't to unreasonable, because most of the Covenant's technology is based off that of the Forerunner. Therefore, one of the reasons that this weapon was introduced so late in the war, is that there are still Forerunner planets, outposts, and weapons caches that have not yet been discovered, Halo itself for example. Then that means humanity has a chance if they can find and control another caches out there. Another Halo for example?
Yeah! We need our own cool Forerunner stuff. Damn Covenant stealing all the good tech...
email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Can the hunters be genetic monster versions of the elite aliens? Or could the grunts some how have a type of control over the elites? I mean do the elite aliens REALLY NEED the grunts, (well, besides cannon fodder ) Another question that bugs me is the color system on the aliens. (gold elite, red grunt, ect....) Well are they ranking systems or what. and if so, are gold the best elite type or do they just want to look pretty? On a final note, could there be any covenant that are NOT hostile to humans? You know, a rebel faction or something?
Interesting idea, that there might be sympathizers within the ranks of the Covenant. Something to watch for in Halo 2?
He continues with another thought.
Perhaps the Prophets are not intent on destroying us. Maybe they want to dwindle our numbers, low enough to "manage", but high enough to have genetic variability. That might be how they absorb a species. Almost wipe them out, then capture the rest. When they reproduce, the Prophets, or other Covenant, take the young, and raise them to belive the religeon of the Prophets. Of course, this would not explain why the Prophets would go to the trouble of fabricating this holy war. It seems clear that the rest of the Covenant belive Humans are "vermin", and want us dead. Or maybe they want US dead, so they could "create" a new Human race, one that would belive what they do.
The holy war idea might not be as far-fetched as all that. The Elites, after all, clearly disdain both the Jackals and the Grunts. Throw us in there as more cannon fodder and we'd fit right in. The mighty and noble human race, enslaved? Shackled to the Covenant Empire, forever at the mercy of their hateful, alien masters? Never!
Otto Mossberg (email@example.com) writes:
We know the Covenant absorb technology, in a large part from the Forerunner. What about the new weapon first seen at Reach? Some sort of precise laser type weapon. Sounds to me like the weapons the Sentinels use. Perhaps the Covenant have just recently discovered this Halo, about, lets say a month before Reach. They could found the Sentinels on Halo, and reverse enginered them to create that weapon. It could be that the Covenant have not come across other Halos yet, or maybe the Sentinel were the type of gaurds chosen by the Forerunner for this particular Halo (or this Installation, assuming the others are not neccacarily Rings.)
We know now that the Covenant were there before us, but not how long before. Otto might have a point, here.
Well, that's that.
TreyGri3@cs.com (TreyGri3@cs.com) writes:
All right if you have read the book "Halo: The Flood" then you have read that the Covenant have simple copied the technology of the forerunners so I think that by going with the book that the elites or any other Covenant are not the forerunners.
I guess we can scratch that off the list... or can we? ;)
Zoidberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Ok so here it is.
As we all know the covenant are adaptive. They can take someone else's technology and back engineer it to work with their existing equipment. As much as this process has helped them in the past, I believe it to be the covenants Achilles heel.
Going ship for ship, man for "man", bullet for bullet just isn't working. All we get from that are spectacular failures.
Now in the real world, war has always brought upon technological advancement. I'm willing to believe that to be true here as well. Some agency, somewhere has been hard at work creating a doomsday device (it shall be codenamed: Giant Rabbit) or something like that. Well whatever it is, it'll be the most technologically advanced piece of equipment that we humans have. This would be appealing to the covenant.
But we shall have built in a subtle yet deadly flaw, or Trojan horse of some kind.
As they'll be fighting all over the planet they wont have time for detailed analysis of the device. The flaw would be over looked. Because it is of importance to the covenant they'd probably move it to their 'mother' ship, the one co-ordinating the attack. Then when they bring it aboard their ship or try to use it, the flaw kicks in and BOOM go the covenant.
That would take out the immediate threat to earth. And with the preliminary reports and schematics for this new device having been sent back to their central command, they start production, then soon all ships could be equipped with the device, and all we have to do is wait for them to press that big red button 'FIRE'.
That's plausible isn't it? Because surely they'll inherit any flaws that exist in technology they steal? Simply because they won't know how to fix it.
And if that doesn't work...we could always build a giant badger.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. Though, other consequences of name calling may include far reaching genocide...
Tweedy (email@example.com) writes:
In The Fall of Reach, Admiral Stanforth states "We had hoped that contact with a new race would be peaceful. Obviously this was not the case--the alien vessel did not open fire until our task force attempted to initiate communications." In The Flood, the prologue indicates the significance of names, and/or language to the Covenant, stating "Names implied legitimacy, and the vermin deserved only extermination." Is it possible that the Covenant only glassed Harvest, the Argo, and the rest of the UNSC task force because they attempted to identify themselves?
What's in a name? Just how much weight do the Covenant place on semantics and linguistic formality? I guess sarcasm and jest should be avoided in any future conversations :
Spartan027@aol.com (Spartan027) writes:
It seems reasonable that the reason the Covenant wishes the human's destruction is because the humans live on places visited or once inhabited by the Forerunner, but do not respect such places.
These strange, endlessly multiplying mammals...
The Covenant invasion mimics the Crusades' great journey to a land central to faith...
Shane Meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I have theory about the start of the huge inter-stellar war between Humanity and the Covenant. The ancient crusades began when the "Christian" kings of Europe, went to war to repel the Arabs from the Holy Land. Could it be then, that if Humanity expanded into Forerunner space and the Covenant, who view the Forerunner as gods, saw it as sacrilege and viewed it as their duty to protect the realm of their gods?
Locality and spatial infringement as the cause of war; to keep the heathens from possessing sacred lands and relics. Another interesting possibility.
Spelling out the allusion,
Tyrant343@aol.com (Tyrant343) writes:
Noah's ark: the FLOOD destroyed the world, and God made a COVENANT with Noah, never to FLOOD the world again.
Perhaps the Covenant were created to guard the Halos and ensure that the Flood never again purges the world. Now perhaps Humanity was getting too close to these worlds, and the Covenant, acting in what's best for the universe, decided to cleanse us.
Makes you wonder who's the villain in Halo.
Rose Shiflett (email@example.com) writes:
Yesterday, while playing through Assault on the Control Room on the normal difficulty setting, I had reached the control room's outermost entrance. And was attacked by the two Hunters, however, instead of using my pistol, I used the assult rifle and fired at their exposed backs. What happened was shocking, after having downed the two hunters, I saw the telltale sign of Flood presence, however there were no flood. Instead I discovered that when shot in the back with the assult rifle, the Hunters spout their own orange blood, and the green flood blood. Glitch? or is that telling us something?
Well, there has been some speculation as to why the Hunters aren't represented among the Flood's warrior class. There's also the fact that the Hunters remain aloof from their Covenant counterparts in areas such as the last valley in Two Betrayals. Might be a connection. Or, might be a limited number of blood decals available in-game. ;-)
As we all know, many aspects of Halo had to be trimmed to produce a smooth, balanced game for release. The gravity rifle, ambient life, etc. Counted among the axed was another member of the Covenant, previously seen only in this early screen and mentioned in The Fall of Reach. In the words of Jason Jones (EGM #54):
We called him "The Engineer". Imagine a huge, long slug with pouches of gas bubbles bulging out of his back. He would float everywhere, he had these six manipulator tentacles, and he was the guy the Covenant sent down to Halo to suck all the secrets out of the machines. His role in combat was basically to add a shield to the Covenant around him. He was a total coward; he'd hide from everything, so he was kind of hard to kill. It definitely made the fighting interesting and different...
Well, the hacking shenanigans of BOLL have recently unearthed, amongst other things posted to the forum, a model of this new caste, left buried on the Halo DVD. They float, wiggle, and look darn cool, though without an AI, they're about as sharp as a sack of wet mice. (A movie of the Engineer "in action" can be seen here.)
Are there any other models or details scattered about the disc? Louis isn't the only one scraping brains off of the wall...
Karlos Garcia (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I want to point out something that I think is interesting and that fits in very nicely with the whole 'covenant are a collection of conquered species' theory. Every weapon the Covenat uses is plasma based except for one....the needler. Why would the Covenant issue this gun to infantry units if it is projectile based? Why do they use this weapon and how and where did they get it? the Covenant obviously view such weapons as inferior, as is evidenced in the book, The Flood. Early in the book when Captain Keyes is barely being captured, an elite says "Projectiles. How primitive." or something along those lines. His comment is in regards to a human pistol he procures from a dead UNSC guy. Besides all that, the needler is not a very effective weapon. Its difficult to think the needler being very useful against elites, humans, hunters, or even jackals or brutes. But what about grunts? They are very slow and don't have a whole lot of athleticism at their disposal. Plus, they don't have the kind of armor that hunters have or the shields that jackals posses. Maybe the weapon was originally used by one of the Covenant species against grunts. Or perhaps, the grunts themselves used the weapon against themselves...like different grunt tribes or clans competing against each other. Perhaps the armor that the hunters use and the shields that jackals have were developed to defend against this weapon. Elites may not have as much need for these kind of countermeasures because of their high level of speed and athleticism. As far as the needler coming from the Forerunner, that doesn't seem to make sense since the needler seems so different than everything else the Covenant have and anything that's found on Halo. Its also interesting to note that at least some of the grunts don't seem to be too thrilled with their low position within the covenant caste. If you've read The Flood, you'll know what I mean. It makes more sense that at least some of the different races that compose the Covenant were absored into it against their own will. If that's the case, then it would also make sense that those races would also bring some of their cultural baggage into the Covenant, and that includes weapons technology. It is said that everything the Covenant posses they have aquired from other species....so isn't possible that some of that stuff coud've come some races within the Covenant, not just the Forerunner? I'm not sure, but this could also bring up some interesting ideas about the fuel rod gun the hunters use.
I think it's especially interesting that both the needler "needles" and the plasma pistol overcharge have the ability to track a target. It's not the weapon itself that maintains the lock, the projectiles (or plasma charge) seem to do it themselves. Any thoughts on this, people?
Joshua brings us a nice possibility for the early history of the Covenant. The word of the day is apparently "xenophobe." ;-)
Joshua Baecker (email@example.com) writes:
My feeling is that the ?Covenant? was made only by several species in the actual Covenant. This religious agreement seems to be where the Elite class of warriors (and perhaps the Brutes and Hunters as well) have elevated the Prophets as bringing the gods to earth. Its like having Christ?s apostles walking the earth every day telling you what you are and aren?t doing right, according to Christ?s vision. In some ways it?s a perfect form of voluntary slavery. My feeling is that the Prophets cemented their control of this confederation by demonstrating the technology of Halo for the other species currently in the Covenant, and telling them that they were bringing them this technology, as a gift of the Gods. If they did this at a time point where it possibly saved the Covenant from some other enemy that would explain their xenophobic nature towards humans, as well as how the religious fervor of the Covenant began. (For any who don?t like this I refer you to Frank Herbert?s Dune which gives you a phenomenal view of how a person can manipulate religion and politics to become a god among men.)
While it's often the case that the kind of speculating we do around here gets dismissed as far too complicated for the backstory of a video game, remember that this is a Bungie game. What Joshua's got here is just the kind of stuff we'd be likely to find in the Halo Story Bible (curse its mocking, sheltered existence!).
Apparently, the Covenant are making a mistake that, in their own culture, is about as bad as it gets.
It is, I think, quite clear that humanity is, or once was, Forerunner. This is evidenced by the fact that Covenant technology is stolen Forerunner tech ("They own nothing which they have not stolen", i think was the quote from the Cortana letters)-alluded to heavily in "the Flood". Assuming that this is true, and the Covenant have not improved upon Forerunner technology, then that would explain how the MJOLNIR project actually DID improve upon Covenant shield technology (see "the Fall of Reach").
Assuming that the Covenant worship the Forerunner, and assuming that Humanity is descended from the Forerunner, and assuming that this is developed in Halo 2, who thinks that the Covenant are in for one hell of a guilt trip, eh? ;-)
In pondering the conundrum of the Flood, the Forerunner, and the Covenant, CJ has come up with an interesting theory. Imagine that the Covenant come from (or believe that they come from) a world that was "seeded" by the Forerunner, after the time of the "last catastrophic outbreak" of the Flood and the resultant firing of the Halo system. Discovering, at some point, that their history was due to the benevolence of the Forerunner, they develop a fanatical xenophobia, thinking they were the only ones that were "saved" this way by the Forerunner.
CJ Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
The covenant view humanity as an "affront to the gods" because of their apparent survival DESPITE the firing of the Halo, not knowing that we were once Forerunner.
How would we do against the Flood without shields? Ever think about that? Al has.
al -Ghost- moraleta (email@example.com) writes:
I was playing Keyes and I wondered why the majority of scripted Elite corpses are the Stealth Elites. You'd think you see them the least, considering that they are invisible in combat.
So, I conducted an experiment. I set the difficulty on Easy and selected Two Betrayals as my mission. After that, I kept as many Flood alive as possible at the final Flood VS Covenant battle to see if they would engage the Stealth Elites. So, after everyone was dead except the Flood I had protected (Ya don't hear THAT phrase everyday...) and the Stealth Elites, I observed in a Banshee. The Flood easily engaged the Stealth Elites while they were invisible.
Then I selected Keyes. At the beginning of the mission, I picked up the Active Camo power-up. I danced around the Flood, and they didn't respond. They only attacked me if physically made contact with them.
So, because of this, I believe the Flood's sensor stalks can see visually and by tracking thermal signatures. In FoR, it states that the MJOLNIR armor can adjust it's temperature to mask itself from thermal imaging. I think your shields may be involved in this. I know FoR doesn't state that the shields assist in the thermal masking, but bear with me, I'm hypothesizing. Since the Stealth Elites sacrifice their shields for invisibility, they are probably still visible through the Flood's thermal imaging, thus making the Stealth Elites as vulnerable to infection just as Grunts and Jackal's are.
But, since you still have your shields active even while you have the Active Camo power-up, the Flood don't see you.
Evidently, we've improved on existing Covenant technology. Nice work!
Leaving the time-travel-doesn't-HAVE-to-be-cheesy mode behind momentarily, we look at the possibility that everything we thought was wrong, the Covenant were right, and my, don't we have egg on our helmet. Er, face.
Chadwick fugate (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Lets assume that the Forerunners are indeed humans from whatever time period; and Master Chief is an enigma (it seems to me that the Mjolnir warriors always were). And then take into account that the Covenant stated they were "Instruments of God," or whatever. Well, what if the Covenant were symbolically right? I mean right about wanting to exterminate the humans. Its a theory that the Forerunners actually created or caused the whole Flood thing. What if the Covenant (and their little prophet-dudes) somehow know something we don't know, and are trying to prevent the humans from ever releasing the Flood? Perhaps the Covenant were right all along...
The question (or, at least one of the questions) is, "How would they know?" Whether it's a deep form of racial memory, an information altar left for later evolving generations to find, or something entirely different, however, it's not much of a stretch to imagine that the Covenant have been annihilated before, and this current galactic crusade is their attempt to ensure their own survival. It makes their fanaticism that much more... human, if you catch my drift.
And as for connections to the Persian Empire, Alex Ross has got a few words he would like to add.
The Persians, at the time of war with Greece, had nations such as Egypt, Lydia, and Babylonia under their control. This parallels the fact that the Covenant is not a pure race, rather, a collection of subdued races (grunts, jackals, hunters, brutes, anything else we donît know about), under the true races of the empire, the elites and the prophecy.
Also, Persiaîs government is also unlike Greeceîs, with a monarch in control, instead of a democratic council; Darius during the First Persian War, and his son Xerxes during the Second Persian War. The Second Persian War more effectively ties in to the current Halo plot however. The rank of monarch is not too different from the prophecy rank either; the prophecy themselves exercise extreme power when they draft the other nations of the Covenant to duke it out with humanity. Xerxes instituted a draft upon the subverted nations, raising a large army to battle Greece. The elite rank parallels the special Persian army division, known as the Immortals. The Immortals were more than men to Xerxes, they were treasures, symbols of imperial might with their superior battle skill, unmatched by anyone else in the Persian Empire. Unlike the Ancient Spartans, the Immortals were more elaborately dressed for battle, and displayed color and gem to the extreme. This parallels the elites coming in numerous colors, from the ocean blue to the crimson red and the terrifying black and the imposing gold, all designed to reveal power and intimidate the enemy. General Mardonious of the Battle of Plataea, the decisive battle of the 2nd Persian War, is an example of a Persian that parallels a warlord elite. The rest of the army is either lower Persians, or a collective from conquered nations, just like the rest of the Covenant.
The Covenant forces more closely resemble both the colour and the shape of the Persian military as time goes on. The Immortals, though terribly mortal individually, were amassed in numbers great enough to dispel the appearance of any such weakness. The Covenant, short the better part of an armada after the events of Installation 04, are seemingly none the worse, their juggernaut still looming over Earth. What can Humanity muster to defeat a threat seemingly immune to even the greatest of physical losses?
Considering that we received this piece of mail from a young man just leaving for basic training, I find the contemporary parallels stunning.
devin hallsworth (email@example.com) writes:
i seem to be asking more questions than anything here but how do we know that some human ship didnt just stumble on a covenant world and commit a blasphemy or do something that would remind them of a prophecy? imagine this, your the covenant, your whole society is staggering in decay and corruption as the religious bonds that united your races begin to be questioned, then one day this little starship comesby.
inferior technology, just a singlespecies organization and supposedly nowhere near strong enough to repel an invasion by your assembly of peoples, you stage an accident or something say mabye bombarding a peaceful planet back into the stone age and blame it on the humans. this would solve economic problems by using unemployed and illdistributed resources to build a warmachine, it would also solve sociological stress by giving the people a common goal. it would also give a validity to a religous prophecy that you could use to justify your power to wage war.
If religion united your entire empire and was an integral factor in its citizens every day lives then if you could fake evidence pointing to the humans as a devil and then give your citizens the purpose of destroying evil in the universe by destroying humans then you would have all the power you need to save your civilization from stagnation.
either that or mabye the people in the covenant just have their minds programmed from the day they were born either through actuall tampering with brain tissue or possibly just simply pounding religious ideals into their heads every day of their lives and killing those who dont correspond. a good example of this is in one of alan dean fosters series called the damned (just look up alan dean foster on amazon)
Stagnation. With imagination continually being shirked in order to better focus on stealing technology and artifacts, the lack of ingenuity in the Covenant society could become a gangrenous wound. Or at least something we could point at, and then, when they look down at it we could smack them in the nose... Yeah, that would be good :)
Diego Pezua continues on the Covenant's assault on Humanity...
The humans and the war reminds me of the greek persian war and humanities steriotipical tendencies. The persians passed through the greek city states like nothing, with their overwellming navy and infantries they attacked the greeks until arriving at the mainland of the greek state, home to places like athens and sparta. Then, you have the covenants utilizing their starships and pulverizing colonial planets (mind you attacking some far off colony is easier then attacking the heart of humanity, now they are basicly trashing earth in halo 2).
The big turn around the greek matter was that after a serious of victories in the mainland, the greeks pushed the persians off with a movie like comeback. Because they've said that some of the levels will actually be on earth and most would be on the covenant planets, would lead us to believe that humanity will have the same turn around that the greeks did with the persians.
When I saw the halo 2 movies and heared about the story, I'm surprised that the covenants would occupy earth with troops. They've glassed entire planets so that they didn't need confrontation with Infantries. I expect the whole covenant navy to be around earth, the simple idea of sending troops to earth would only lenghten the time of humanity's survival.
Why would the covenant want to send troops to earth, what is it that they want, if anything? maybe there's something that they are looking for?
The various mentions by Bungie staff that the fight will later be taken to the Covenant worlds do imply that the assault on Earth will be repelled eventually, or to some degree. But once again, how? Perhaps Humanity's destruction is not the primary goal, but only an obstacle on the way; even a tertiary objective? Might we find what the Covenant is looking for first...
Ancient stepping stones, weathered arches, and tiny geometric carvings
Martin J. Duffy (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Perhaps the grunts were enslaved because their swampy home world had Forerunner artifacts on it; in îThe Floodë Yayap has a dream where heìs running back to his hut on his methane covered world and he mentions that he climbs across îancientë steps.
"Ancient steppingstones" actually (page 60). Though this may not be enough to conclusively deduce a Forerunner presence on the Grunts homeworld, it is worthy of pause and consideration. What could the lower caste races, and perhaps even Humanity, all have in common?
While recently rereading The Fall of Reach (for absolutely no reason in particular whatsoever) a number of things jumped out, P.166 being one of them. As Corporal Harland from Firebase Bravo on Sigma Octanus was scouting a depression the Covenant were interested in, he noticed that it was no ordinary sink-hole. "Arches had been carved into the wall", very weathered, and on the paving stones scattered about "were tiny geometric carvings"...
Here is my breakdown of the Covenant.
Grunt- One of those kids that your parents make you play with even though no one likes them.
Jackel- Those lonely geeky kids that hang out with each far away from others.
Elite- The cool kid at school that everyone looks up to, and respects.
Hunter- The big kid that protects the "small people" in times of crisis, and pays no attention to them afterwards.
Brute- The kid that always hangs around the cool kid.
Prophet- The old creepy guy that always asks you if you want candy.
When you put it like that, their genocidal campaign almost doesn't seem so threatening :)
An aging post by Brandon questions the nature of the relationship between the Covenant and the Forerunner's good creation. Why can't at least somebody get along with somebody else?
what we have learned about the covenant is that all there technology is based on the Forerunner, 343 gs and the sentianals are part of Halo and it is mentioned that they are part of the Forerunners technology, so if they are forerunner why were the covenant trying to destroy them? i can't figure it out, wouldn't the covenant like surrender to them, or join together?
Indeed. The Prophets would not risk damaging Halo 04 by firing at the Pillar of Autumn, and yet the Covenant readily dispatch the Sentinels. Were the Covenant themselves betrayed somehow or, as mentioned in a later post, are the Sentinels viewed as mere watchdogs; annoyances or tests to be circumvented for the greater good? And they wonder why no Covenant members were apparently trusted as a 'Reclaimer'...
The Covenant Engineers vs. Flood Carriers. Shyobu!
Kevin (email@example.com) writes:
"Imagine a huge, long slug with pouches of gas bubbles bulging out of his back". Sounds like a Flood Carrier form, doesn't it? It looks a lot like one (a Flood carrier) in those screenshots, too.
No kidding. Are the similarities merely coincidental, a design duplication, or some sign of the Covenant's long history with the Flood?
Kevin Lentz (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
as we all know, Bungie connects everything to the number seven. If the "seeding the galaxy" theory were true, and the Forerunner did set up certian paths for each race to follow and then unite, then if you include the "new" races (i.e. Brutes and Prophets) you end up with seven species that the Forefunner made.
The Sevens have it! I guess we have no surprises to look forward to... shucks ;)
Dave Franklin (email@example.com) writes:
Who is to say that they have no, one by one, eliminated every race they have encountered until the last small group of survivors, before converting them to their religion and allowing them to exist again, to fill a new function? Maybe the humans are intended to be technicians, pilots, et cetera. They certainly have a tendency to work well with tools.
As Icechains55 (Icechains55@aol.com) also submitted, these tactics are reminiscent of the ancient Romans' "join or face the sword until you are weak enough to be compelled to place yourself under us" policy. While this has been the case for at least three present races of the Covenant (we know that Grunts, Jackals, and Hunters have been dominated through force), the current genocidal campaign against Humanity appears to have a little more... zeal; "...the vermin deserved only extermination". Still...
Sam "The Running Riot" K. (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
The quills on the hunters back are about as mysterious as anything. Why are they there? When the hunters aren't looking for you they stand at full height and their quills fall back. Then they stand strait up and quiver when the hunter contracts back for a few seconds. I speculate that these could be good for sensory items. Particularly for detecting fine vibrations in the air, like movement or breathing. I think it would be redundant for them to be a defensive mechanism, and I don't think they're for communication (although that is possible).
Halo: The Flood does point out the apparent use of the "razor sharp spines' as weapons, much to the surprise of many. Personally, I think the Hunters could stand to learn how to perform a quick backhand sooner than utilize their 'back-stabbers' :P
Shane Meyer (email@example.com) writes:
We know the Covenant used a small probe attached to the UNSC destroyer Iroquois to find Reach. How then, did they single out Reach, knowing nothing more then its location, was a major military stronghold? The reason this seems odd is that the Covenant sent over a dozen ships to attack Sigma Octanus IV, which was the site of information on the location of Halo. They knew Sigma Ocatanus IV had valuable information, but they only new Reach's location from the probe, so why send a fleet nearly thirty times larger? Could the Covenant have been passed information or did the probe hack into the UNSC computer and communication networks at Reach? Something just doesn't seem right.
Shane, you may be onto something. The FoR specifically states that the probe only takes pictures of stars, and then, via a memory crystal shot through Slipspace, relays the information to the Covenant. How else would they have known about Reach, its defences, or its importance; known that it was anything more than a mere supply station? The Flood (p.95) does give mention of Covenant spies (Covenant, AI, or Human we never discover). Did the Covenant have some other record or tip that lead them to Reach in such great numbers?
EaGLesAllThEwaY2 (EaGLesAllThEwaY2@aol.com) writes:
What if the Covenant are after our pyramids? In the level, "AonCR", and "Two Betrayals", the pyramid you're on houses the control room. What if our pyramids have some secret like that?
Egyptian... or Aztec? Forerunner glyphs and star charts have repeatedly reminded various individuals of Aztec script. Perhaps the Covenant's goal lies deep underground within the Yucatan peninsula; perhaps they are here to take more permanent measures against an old enemy we know little of...
starrima (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Seeing as how the Covenant glass every human world they find. Why don't they just glass Earth like any other human world? Instead of sending a giant ground assault force. I think the Covenant think that Earth has some super secret powerful artifact or relic...
There is the subject of those pesky symbols in the rocks on Sigma Octanus IV. They were significant enough to factor into whatever Cortana did to get them to Halo, who's to say there wasn't something similar which lead the Covenant there in the first place? Or Reach, for that matter? We know they seem to worship the Forerunner and prize Forerunner technology, might there be something else they're after? Time will tell. ;-)
Much as we love the game, and as much as we give credit to the dialogue and its creators, there nevertheless are a few lines in Halo that consistently elicit groans from sharp-eared Story enthusiasts. Stalwart geezer Miguel Chavez checks in with his impressions of one of these lines.
Miguel Chavez (email@example.com) writes:
"I'll try Sir. But it looks like these Covenant worked pretty hard to lock it down."
Can we finally lay this to rest? On the one hand there are the realities of making a 'cinematic game' have a smooth and continuing rhythm. If the marines did encounter a door that was truly locked down with a visual equivalent of everything but the kitchen sink, the whole cutscene would've been much lengthier and tedious. But the whole point of that sequence is to GET YOU inside so you can see the terrible fate that awaits our fellow marines, and scare the bejesus out of you in the process.
Secondly, who's to say Covenant tech is not all that plain to see to the naked eye? The door could have the most massive encryption/krazy glue seals known in the universe. But covered under the nice smooth finish of Covie-Plastic(tm).
And finally... let's go over what he says again. If you break it down to the essentials, and then work it back up again to with a little extra length, it may better read like this:
"I'll try to open this door, but I'm looking at what the Covenant *WORKED* pretty hard to lock it down with, but since I'm saying it in the past tense and the verb is WORK, that doesn't mean they actually SUCCEEDED. But still, it's the most I've ever seen them *TRY* to lock one door down. Shouldn't be a problem with this mini-Cortana-like device I just happen to have here next to my smokes. Have any pancakes, btw?"
Okay, okay, we won't give Pandor... er, Mendoza a hard time about the apparent difficulties with the door anymore. I suppose it would have been nice after all if the Covenant had tried a little harder to lock it down. You know, with the virulent scourge of the galaxy behind it and all. Then again, it's not like the Covenant are known for their sense of galactic responsibility, right?
The Forerunner as the Covenant's Ward
Chadwik05 (Chadwik05@aol.com) writes:
We know that there are many "Halo's" throughout the universe, and that one sets off a chain reaction. We also know that there are similarities between the Covenent and the Forerunners. What if the covenant were "told" by the forerunners to guard and protect Halo and Forerunner tech. This would explain why they are so eager to keep humans out, and maybe why they are trying to eliminate humans in order to protect the halo from us. It makes sense, the covenant learned that we would want to investigate and possibly use halo to our advantage [or accidentally release the Flood] if we found it.
At the time that this theory manifested itself the first time, two things were not known or as widely accepted: 1) That the Covenant had indeed made their own way to Halo 04, entirely independent of Cortana and the Pillar of Autumn (and had been there for some time before the Human's arrival), and 2) that Halo 04 actually lies in a system previously noted and documented by the Human race.
These two items lend a certain amount of credibility to this theory. If it is true however, how would the Covenant have learned that we had catalogued the Halo 04 system in the first place. Did Humanity have a previous contact with the Covenant prior to the events of Harvest? I hope we didn't accidentally... ::gulp:: ...call them names...
The Covenant as Territorial Guardians
Unnamed (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
We know that the Covenant worship Halo with 'deep religious significance.' We also know that Halo is Forerunner technology. Finally, we know that the Covenant want the humans dead because it is the will of their gods. So, if they regard Halo with deep religious significance, doesn't this point towards the Forerunner being thier gods?
Here's where it gets interesting; a possible answer as to why the Covenant's gods are so angry. Typically, the Covenant would get angry if a race happened to inhabit one of their god's creations, wouldn't they? 'But we haven't inhabited any of their creations,' you think. 'We never knew about the Halo ring.'
That's where you're wrong. There is actually very little evidence to support that the other Halos are rings at all. What if... Earth is a "Halo"?
The humans have inhabited Earth. Earth is Forerunner. The Forerunner are the Covenant's gods. So the Covenant would hate us for violating their religious land. That's why they hate us so much, thar's why they want Humanity destroyed. It is a Halo, and we are on it.
Considering that the Covenant were leery of firing at the Pillar of Autumn above Halo for fear of hitting the ring, it seems unlikely that they would scorch the Earth if it was such a facility.
Still, the Earth as a Forerunner installation, fortress world, or "Island" would be a very interesting scenario (and not a little convenient for Humanity either). Even if it turns out to not be as drastic as this, more than a few things can be inferred from the partial bombardment and ground skirmishes seen on Earth thus far.
Guy French (email@example.com) writes:
The Brutes are far too... brutal. So maybe that's why they weren't allowed on the Halo's or on any ships that would spend time around them.
An interesting observation. The Brutes appear to be ceremonial temple guards (FS p.310), at least when they are not smacking the passengers from moving vehicles. As well, the Imperial Elite Protectors were surprised that Tartarus is allowed so close to a High One, especially the High Prophet of Truth (FS p.339). What is the history, and reputation of the Brutes? Do they too closely resemble the "filthy primates", Humans?
Two, count 'em, two notes on Covenant armament and their usefulness against the Flood
Auren (Reiyou) (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
1: Covenant weaponry are based on energy, right? This only seems to have come from fighting against the flood and as the developers have said: "The Flood and the Covenant have a bit of history together." This would seem contradictory becuase as demonstrated time and time again, solid projectiles are more effective then energy. Unless the flood have some toxicicity cauterized by heat we don't know about, why even bother with energy.
2: The origin of the Needler. It had to have been developed for uses against the flood. the projectiles track and, perhaps the flood are running around already and so the Covenant brought in tons of needlers. A peice of evidence to support that theory. The needler crates on 343 Guilty Spark. Why else would they be there?
Perhaps the Covenant's continued use of plasma weaponry against the Flood is yet another demonstration of their inability to improvise and adapt to a situation; their zeal forces the use of their god-sent tools. Or it could be a game limitation...
Hmmm... You're right. Even though it is almost useless against larger Flood, the Needler does track the encroaching Infection swarms quite nicely, and packs just enough punch to set off a chain reaction. Almost as if it was MADE for it. (Could this be an example of the Covenant's "long history" with them? :)
War! What is good for? Absolutely nothin'! Say it again! Hah!
Jon Busse (email@example.com) and Patrick Corkery (firstname.lastname@example.org) write:
The reason, I think, why the Covenant fight is due to the careful manipulations of the Prophets. The Prophets, being as skilled as they are at assuming the role of commanding, and being as extremely intelligent as they appear to be, knew that a civilization with nothing to do is not a stable one. As George Orwell noticed, a population works better and diplays more loyalty in a state of war. During a war, the people are focused only on supporting their side, the youngsters can only think of going off to battle. The war on Humanity satisfies them. Fortunately for the Prophets, the Humans just happened to be a somewhat formidable opponent who is capable of holding its own, or at least for a while.
As Caesar reasoned, having an army with nothing to do is worse than having an army at war. Caesar, after defeating the Britons in 60-50 BC, made his army build a wall stretching from one coast to another, simply to keep the Roman legions occupied. Is it not possible that the Covenant army was/is simply bored?
Or is simply being kept occupied, perhaps while the Prophets continue with their own little agenda? Some trickery is afoot; what further strife will they stir up, and for who?
(And though the title of her post lacks grace of any sort, Jillybean (email@example.com) also offers some historical amendments pertaining to the particular case of Hadrian's wall. ;)
In FOR, we saw a large vessal that sniped ships from a great distance. This craft used a continuos cutting-like beam. Speculation from the board so far is that we have not seen this weapon before or that the Covenant may have invented it. The truth is we have seen this weapon before and so has the Covenant. This beam is a modification of a Sentinal's weapon. The description of it in FOR and the beam that the Sentinals on Halo use are the same with two key differences, power and color, which I feel are related.
You'll notice that plasma pistols issue a green bolt while plasma rifles issue a blue bolt. While I know of no "in-game" evidence to suggest that one is more powerful than the other, the power difference between a pistol and a rifle is implied. The sniper beam used by the large craft is also blue which may indicate that there is a shift in the color spectrum as an energy weapon's power level increases. The Sentinal's beam is red-orange and is fairly weak compared to the plasma rifle and pistol.
Mike Little (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
A previous poster remarked on how the Covenant may view their weapons as religious artifacts as opposed to simple tools of self defense. I believe that is supported in Fall of Reach. The Master Chief recalls an incident where a Jackal fought hand-to-hand instead of picking up the assault rifle that lay near him. I feel that the Covenant may view human weapons as unclean much like they view the race.
But boy, just let a Grunt drop a full needler and I'm all over it, man. Nothing "unclean" about those babies. ;-)
Interestingly, one would think that the Covenant would be awfully constrained by the severity of their religious beliefs. They do seem to get by, though. Often quite painfully for us, too. ;-)
Charles Grey (email@example.com) writes:
hey, I just figured out how the hunters do NOT get infected by flood!!!
It goes like this: the ONLY (known) way of cheating the flood of infecting you, besides not letting them near your spine, is to have Borens Syndrome, like Sarge has.
Now your thinking, " So what?". Fine, be that way. Anyway, the Hunters cannot be infected because...(drum roll) all the Hunters in the game ALL have Borens Syndrome, or something like it!!!!!
But'', you say,'' there is no proof''. Ah , but YOU are wrong. See, reveiwing our knowledge of Borens leads to this info:
(1. It leads to some mental degradation.
(2. It is caused by extra exposure to plasma.
(3. It renders subject immune to Flood.
And HERE is the proof:
(1. Hunters dont seem too bright
(2. Hunters have a huge Fuel Rod Gun strapped to their arm, which would leak a huge amount of plasma.
(3. Hunters are not nfected by Flood
The main proof is the 2nd one, and who can deny the fact that the fuel rod gun is big, glows, is very um... plasma-using, and is strapped to the Hunter???
AND, to prove even more, I have a hunch that the amour of the hunter is also radiating plasma. The only proof of this is the immense stregth of it, but ill try to convince you. Explain: Imagine weapons-grade plasma or similar, and then this plasma is somehow BONDED on the atomic level to a very strong metal. AND after this, you may get something similar to Hunter armour. This all links nicely to my original theory: Hunters have Borens Syndrome.
Nice! While I hesitate to question the Sarge's intelligence, there seems no doubt that the Hunters themselves are a bit, er, simpleminded in their duties. Strong as hell and a nasty backhand, but simple nonetheless. Hmm. I wonder if erstwhile Halo Story creator Brannon Boren has ever harbored any Hunter-like aspirations. ;-)
Curiouser and Curiouser...
There has been some discussion lately over on the HBO forum concerning Grunts. Specifically, Grunts without their masks on. There are a couple of very interesting points made in that thread. It might be worth a look (or worth contributing to ;-)). "Why show the Grunt without a mask?" you might say. Well, only Bungie knows that, and while we normally would look for official word somewhere, sometimes things wash up on a hard drive somewhere that simply can't wait. Take a look. ;-)
Xzilen (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
From the looks of it, the Covenant vastly out number the UNSC in Fleet size, or at least they did.
The Covenant may have higher numbers, and the UNSC may have taken heavy losses in the past, but from reading Fall of Reach, The Flood, and First Strike, I believe that the Covenant may only be able to launch one final offensive, if their first attack on Earth fails, I do not think they will have the forces to launch another.
Here's what I came up with:
172 Covenant Ships lost throughout the Fall of Reach book.
5 CONFIRMED (a covenant armada obliterated sounds to be a bit more though) Covenant ships in Halo: The Flood
And with the Nuke on Reach and other kills Cortona made added to the Vice Admirals destruction of an estimated 488 covenant ships, I would put Covenant losses at 500 in Halo: First Strike.
Over all, thats 682 Covenant Capital ships destroyed that I could come up with. Don't really know if this is important, but I found it intresting.
682 ships, huh? Since we aren't given any clue that this means much to the Covenant and their galactic domination plans, I shudder to imagine how big the rest of the fleet is.
Hold on a sec... 6 + 8 + 2 = 16, and 1 + 6 = 7. Yep. Must be right.
Sam Haverson, by way of the fine folks at the GameFAQs forum (email@example.com) writes:
There's been some speculation as to the purpose of the war. I found this theory extremely plausible: the Humans are Forerunners... and the Prophets know it. The Elites, Brutes, Jackals, Grunts, and Hunters don't. Now see, the Prophets know that the Humans are Forerunners that are rather inferior to the original type. They, being smart creatures, know that if the Elites and other races see that their gods are these inferior beings with low technology, they will inevitably turn against them; their point being something like "You had us worshiping these things?". The Prophets, to make sure this doesn't happen, immediately declare that the gods hate humanity and that they have told them to destroy it.
One of the more intriguing things about the approach of Halo 2 is the possibility of some significant Prophet interactions. They seem to hold most, if not all of the keys in the Covenant empire. After all this time, aren't we entitled to some Tru7h?
Those weak of constitution beware! In an apparent mistake by the subsidiary of a subsidiary, a picture of a new insect-like Covenant race has been posted. It has since been removed, but not before the magic of local copies could be implemented.
This could constitute a story spoiler. You have been warned.
UPDATE: This new enemy is apparently called a Drone (XBN, Nov. 04)
Gamesradar has posted the full text of the previously mentioned Halo 2 article from the October issue of Edge Magazine. A pleasant read, but one particularly eye-catching fragment reads thus:
"How about this for a Halo 2 creature you've never heard of before: a Drinol Beast, a sort of hairless, grey monster with one eye - although there are other drawings of it with two eyes so you can't take for granted that it's going to make the final game."
And though he goes on to remind us that there is the possibility that Bungie's twisted sense of humour has thrown red-herrings about to fuel their own sadistic mirth, the similarities of this creature to a certain Hulk from Marathon are to much to ignore (or perhaps that is what they hoped we'd think ;) :
The Hulk is an enormous and rather slow creature, but it is incredibly strong. The science report indicated that it had no body fat, and therefore had to be fed often to keep it active. One crew member reported seeing one of these creatures pointing to itself and mumbling "Drinniol" right before it "picked Johnny up by the shirt and crushed him against a pillar".
(Update: More several recent speculations on the H2 "Conversations..." booklet have brought up the possibility that the mysterious "Sharquoi" could in fact be the Drinol. This idea has been enforced by staff hints/comments such as it is "Very freaking dangerous", mentions on the Making Of DVD that the Drinol beast was to be a fierce creature kept in chains and released only in frontline situations, and the coinciding revelation of the Covenantís names for themselves.)
Theicewolf (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Many have noticed that the Covanant Elites have two styles of helmet: one with backwards-facing, deadly looking spikes, and one that has a bizzare forward-facing semi-circleon the sides of the helmet(Tina Leyk has demonstraited this very clearly in some of the fan art). Why these different styles?I beleive that they are gender-markers. The spikes are male, and thesemi-circle are females.
My reason for beleiving this that the numberof semi-circles is fewer in number than spikes. This might be because of a mildpredjudice i.e. most females are seen as fit to be in the ArmedForces, they are weaker/slower than the males, makingwhatever tests needed to enter the military tough for them, ormost see fighting as "beneith" them; they don't share the blood-lust of the males.
Female Elites. If ever there were an idea to strike mortal terror into the steely hearts of battle-hardened, cybernetically-enhanced super-soldiers, that's gotta be it.
paulicus (email@example.com) writes:
After much speculation about which covenant species will 'side' with the humans or which covenant will differ from the covenant as a whole, I believe that there is very good piece of evidence right under our noses, that up until now ( I forgive anyone who may have posted this) doesn't seemed to have made as big an impact to our theories.
Towards the end of First strike (the book) - after the masterchief watches admiral stanforth go up in a nuclear inferno along with the Unyeilding Heirophant, MC and the other spartans head to Earth.
In the ship that they return to Earth in are no less than 2,000 COVENANT engineers.....
we all know this right.....
But its when they get back to Earth, and the Engineers give a hand to the ONI technicians that I am wondering what we can expect?
I mean those little dudes would know a helluva lot of Covie secrets and provide the struggling human forces with at least - a technological understanding of Forerunner facilites and weaponry, artificial gravity generation (as seen in the covie ships) ...........
and well, the list would go on I would imagine.
I also understand that there is little, if any, time before the Master Chief arrives to Earth with the Engineers, so perhaps there is still not enough time for the Engineers to give us a hand.: (
Excellent point. We can only hope that there is time to take advantage of the comprehensive knowledge of the "little dudes", not to mention their innate helpfulness.
Abandonment, Conflict, Discovery, Reconciliation...
In our own little dialogue with Joseph Staten, he revealed a number of "Ages"; blocks of time in the Covenant's past. An extended/omitted portion of the Uncomfortable Silence scene on the Making Of DVD shows various murals depicting the history and formation of the Covenant and, almost unwittingly, some have begun to find correspondences between the two.
What exactly is being referred to by the Ninth Age of Reclamation seen in the books and game... ? (for simplicity, let's hope they are just intra-Age division :)
Conversion, Doubt, Reclamation...
It's hard to know yourself when there are just so many selves to know...
Ben Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
After reading the many speculations as to what a Hunter is, and why they are not infected by the Flood, I have found a definite answer in the H2 manual pdf at bungie.net. It clearly states that "These massive creatures appear to be composed of multiple organisms that exist within the Hunter armor, creating a bipedal hive creature".
Nice find. This was also mentioned in the Art of Halo book some time ago, but its worth pointing out for posterity. I'm glad we've finally found an answer to that riddle :)
Are we there yet? If I was going on a journey of great proportions, I wouldn't be taking along an infant race.
Paolo Valentino (email@example.com) writes:
Try to imagine that there was a relationship between the Prophets and Forerunners, "complete devotion to the good masters" and "care for the primitive pupils"
The Forerunners discover this young and inexperienced race, the Prophets, who then worship the Forerunners as Gods. The Forerunners continue with their own affairs, maybe in a portion of space far from Prophets' homeworld, and are forced to fire the Halos, leaving the Prophets behind
In despair, (perhaps the Prophets are not fully mature, or even regarded as sentient) they began to think that their Gods have gone away, leaving them all the technology and knowledge necessary to follow them.
The Prophets are trying to activate the Halos to join their Gods on their Great Journey. Meanwhile, they develop the Covenant, converting the other races to their new religion. With the aid of their Masters' technology they have the same effect on Grunts, Elites that the Forerunners had on the Prophets.
Then, it make sense that "this time, no one will be left behind".
I had to do some editing, since English is not this poster's first language. Interesting theory, hinging on the thought that the Halos only destroy sentient life.
7he One and Walshicus have produced The Hall of Murals from the LE DVD. Speculate away my pretties, because that thread is hot.
Tablets are good, at least they are for the HSP crew. dude1 posts an analysis of the Covenant tablets. What I really like about it, is that he doesn't refer to the Ages, taking the tablets on their own.
Interactive Civilian lends a hand as well. It's good to note that the Covenant writing is another dialect. Ye olde Prophett.
There's plenty more on the forums.
littlebigman (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I just got the Drone toy. On the back it explains that they operate ships and stuff. I was thinking, what other species of the Covenant operates machinery, oh yeah, the Engineers! I went to my Art of Halo book and looked at the engineer page. The title strikes me odd: Covenant Drone Engineers.
This is what leads me to believe that the Engineers are a variant of the Drone.
In the Art of Halo: page 46, "Covenant Drone Engineers: this species can be biomechanically and cybernetically altered to suit specific tasks, other than engineering and maintenance, and that aspect of the creature will be seen in Halo 2, if not the Engineers themselves."
So I think the Engineers are either a variant of the Drone or visa versa. The third tablet of the covenant shows a Drone there, and I think an Engineer should have been there, if that was the orignal species. So this leads me to believe that the pink floaty Engineers are actually varients; biomechanically engineered, of the Drones. And also, by looking at the concept art of the Engineers, it shows that at one point they appeared very similar.
Maybe this explains why the Drones work alone, taking their orders direct from the Prophets perhaps?
Poor Arbiter! I'll protect him.
Jim Bob (email@example.com) writes:
Something struck me recently, the Elites eyes are more to the side of their head then the front, which struck me as a bit confusing, Prey have their eyes to the side of the head so they can see a wider area to better evade the predators who have their eyes on the front of the head to provide them with better [depth perception] so they can kill more effectively.
So the Elites have eyes to the side of their heads, which means they were most likely prey on their home world at one point. Who would be able to stand up to an Elite?
The People's Court
David "Endbringer" McCulley (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
As many Halo fans know, Bungie seems to have a love for slipping the number 7 into the story every chance they get and I believe I have discovered a few more examples. In the Heretic scene we see the Arbiter to be getting interogated by the Covenant Council. The Council is positioned where there is Elite members on one side of the Arbiter and Prophet members on the other side. †Each side seems to be composed of two sections, with 20 Elites on each section of their side and 17 Prophets on each section of their side. Add them up and you get 40 Elites + 34 Prophets + 3 Hierarchs = 77 Council members.
Another 7 example that may have been over looked is that in the begining of The Arbiter/Whisper in the Storm level, the assault team is composed of 4 Elites, 2 Grunts, and The Arbiter (7).
Maleable, squishable, huggable, loveable, adorable, squeezable, playable, and completely biodegradeable what shape is your Hunter?
DuckofDoom makes a good point in his forum thread, here.
Elite: "We burned your planet, primate. Your race is doomed."
Marine: "No... Earth... it's not possible..."
Elite: "Hmm? Earth? I thought it was Reach they called it."
Marine: "Oh, yes, of course, Reach. Earth is what we called it in Spanish."
Elite: "Of course. That makes perfect sense to me!"
Random, and quite pointless. Story of my life.
Spartan-029 (email@example.com) writes:
I was browsing the story section, and came across Devin Hallsworth's comment on Human technology, which mentioned that human weapons need to be reloaded, but Covenant weapons need to be recharged, which is inconvenient because you have to bring a recharge pack. Well, I've found in Halo that when a grunt hops into a shade, his weapon is fully charged when he is shot out of it. Thus, it seems, weapons can be recharged by Forerunner tech. In fact, that may be what those huge cargo boxes are for. Notice how weapons stick out of them in both games, yet they nevr have grenades? And how once the brute plasma rifle was introduced, red bins showed up as well? Perhaps they just stick them there to recharge.
The only race we know to be immune to the Flood . . .
Asmus Neergaard (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
While reading both the transcipts of Halo 2 and the book 'The Art of Halo; Creating a Virtual World', I stumbled upon something odd.
According to 'The Art of Halo', the Hunters are consisting "of a kind of colony of spineless worms..." (page 33.) The same page states that: "The Hunter's relative weakness in its cinsistent "parts" means that it requires generous armour and shielding to maintain the Hunter form." We could, from this text, think up a scenario where the Covenant discovered these worms and their ability to take different forms, give the worms the required armour and hereby assimilate the Hunters in the Covenant collective. However, in the deleted cutscene from Halo 2, where the 'Hall of Murals' appear, something odd appears. The picture with the name 'Age(s) of Conflict' depicts Elites standing on a bunch of Hunters. If we connect this picture with the transcript of the Halo 2 level, 'The Arbiter', the Prophet of Truth tells the Arbiter that Arbiters held important roles in the Covenant history, including "The Taming of the Hunters".
How come the Hunters needed to be tamed and won over, if they're only worms without Covenant armour. Could the Hunters' armour actually be another Forerunner mystery? If the Covenant didn't equip the Hunters for starters, who did then?
So grey hair is an indication of leadership. Wu will be pleased.
Sprtn076 (Sprtn076@aol.com) writes:
I couldn't help but notice, the higher the Brute's rank, the lighter his skin color is, and the more hair has. For example, the first Brute Captain you fight who has a brute shot, is a dark gey color, and has some hair on the back of his head, but if you look at normal brown Brutes, they have no hair, or at least not much, just some sticking up here and there. But back to my point, look at Tartarus, he has a mohawk and the hair on the lower back of his head, but the Captains only have the hair-on-back-of-head, do you see where I'm going? The higher the rank, the more hair they have. And also, they become closer to white, or albino rather, the higher their rank. Just thought this was interesting.
Well no, it wasn't exactly interesting. More like a cheap dig.
Some nice (and from what I know, mostly accurate) observations of the Covenant.
Socrates (email@example.com) writes:
I theorize that, aside from the Hunters, every member species of the Covenant is a carnivore. The basis of my theory is made on the jaw and tooth structure of the individual species. The sharp, inwardly pointing teeth of the Grunts, Jackals, Brutes, and Elites indicate a diet of meat.
These kinds of teeth are used for tearing and holding meat in the jaws. In the Elite, the jaw structure suggests that the Elites or their ancestors favored eating small animals and, like snakes, not waiting to kill their prey before they ingested it. Jackals or their ancestors probably had similar diets. The Brute's jaw structure and tooth arrangements indicate that they (or their ancestors) prefer larger prey, taking chunks of meat out of prey they killed. The same probably goes for the Grunts, though I suspect that the Brute/Brute ancestor likely hunted alone or in small groups, while Grunts/Grunt ancestors likely hunted in larger packs.
[Or could be scavengers considering relative size - editor]
(Interesting, if gruesome, side note about the Grunts--the contents of their "Food Nipples" are likely puree'd protein. I'll leave it to the reader to imagine the source of said protein.)
I haven't been able to get a good look at a Prophet's tooth structure but, from what I have seen, it is composed of densely-packed, sharp-tipped teeth that would also indicate a carnivorous diet.
I have also been unable to get a good look at the mouth structure of the Drones, but it seems to me that their ant-like preference for swarming and their size both indicate a carnivorous diet. The size or the swarming characteristics, taken alone, could indicate an herbivorous diet; however, as the Drones exhibit both, I believe them to be carnivorous in their diet. (Entomologists, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong!)
As for the Hunters... well, anyone's guess as to their diet is as good as my own.
And, so far as we know, the one species which cannot be infected is . . .
Darkest Darkness (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
In the face of all these Covie=Forerunner theories using their similar technology as proof, I would like to point out that the Covenant scavenges Forerunner technology for their own use. It's all so similar because it's THE SAME. I have heard several theories about the Hunter 'race' [ . . .] The halo manuals state that they are a conglomerate of several bacterial, or perhaps just lesser life forms within their metal shell. This raises further questions; If the Covenant didn't put them together in that suit, (thus an Arbiter was required for the Taming of the Hunters) then how did they get that way? I support the theory that the Forerunner was a kind of ruling class over all species; human, Flood, and what became the Covenant, but I do not believe they created the Hunters. This would explain their fuel rod cannons, and use of old school metal shields; their tech and fighting style is very different from anything else in the Covenant, who foraged everything they have from the old Forerunner.
A little theory
Ben Ferrone (TheTruthandReconciliation@msn.com) writes:
Ever since I stayed up for three days in a row playing through, and then taping and re-watching every one of the cutscenes in Halo 2, I was most interested by the "Whisper in the Storm" (when Truth and Mercy anoint the Arbiter). Particularly the history of the Arbiters. Apparently, two of the most notable battles in which an Arbiter fought were the "Grunt Rebellion" and "The Taming of the Hunters." The first one is rather obvious, just look at how those poor little Grunties are treated! But the second, while not at first glance, is much more difficult to explain. At first, I didn't think much of it, but then after I read that Hunters are smaller organisms which make up the larger Hunter form, and than that form mates for life with another 'Hunter Mass', I thought to myself, "So the Covenant must have formed the very Hunter life-form by putting those 'smaller organisms' into that armor." But then, why the need to 'Tame' them with an Arbiter?? I propose that the Covenant didn't form the Hunters, and that they were already a race before they were encountered.
Now, I come to the point where I must ask myself, "Did the Hunters make their own armor?" I highly doubt it, because they seem to lack the necessary intelligence to form something like that. We also should probably assume that the armor helps to hold the Hunters in their bipedal form. So, someone had to put them together (I don't doubt, however, that the Covenant now most likely replicates new armor for them). I propose that the Forerunner 'created' the Hunter as a form of Flood control (My theory requires prolonged Flood/Forerunner war, with Halos coming much later and as a last resort). Think about it. Have you ever seen anything that even resembles a Flood "Hunter Form?" I think that the Hunters were created to be an "infection impervious" warrior. Because Hunters are comprised of smaller, worm-like, organisms, we can assume that they have no spine, or central nervous system. Thus, although the Hunters are very large, their individual pieces are to small to be host material. Thus, the Forerunner attempted to create an army of Flood-resistant warriors.
Here's some more evidence: Hunter shields have a design that is different from normal Covie architecture, and more closely resembles Forerunner design. (Plus, the Covenant prefers purple and red to blue and gray. Excepting "Rookie" class Elites.)
We know that the Covenant stole just about every piece of its technology from the Forerunner, and the Fuel-Rod Cannon was probably one of them. Where'd they get the FRC? Hunters. The Covenant then created a handheld weapon, and placed another on the Banshee.
Finally, more tie-in with the Forerunner: Hunters would have survived Halo's activation because they were made up of small pieces, and thus had (here it comes) "Lack of sufficient biomass and cognitive ability." (Forgive me)
Also, Hunters could have survived the millennia by the following means of re-production: The Hunter mate for life, but how do they 'mate'? I believe that, since Hunters are giant conglomerations of worms, each "worm" mates with another "worm" individually. The openings in the armor around the midriff and neck are used to form an embrace, forming one, single creature (Think Changelings from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). Each "worm" mates with another from the opposite Hunter. When this 'meld' is complete, a certain amount of "worms" in both Hunters has been impregnated. Then, more are born when older ones die. Thus, a pair of Hunters could live indefinitely. This process would also cause the genes of each Hunter to become closer and closer to the genes of the other after each mating process, possibly explaining the deep connection between two Hunters.
So, when the Covenant ran into the Hunters, they met with a bunch of failed attempts at combating the Flood, but decided to 'Tame' them into becoming part of Covenant.
PingZing (email@example.com) writes:
I finished reading Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg's book "Nightfall" recently, and noticed that a "needle gun" or "needler" is mentioned fairly frequently near the end of the book. Apparently, it fires bolts of pinkish red energy that burn/explode when they come into contact with anything. The range can also be adjusted by opening or closing an aperture.
A few quotes from the book that describe this sucker are: "...looked down at his needler, adjusting the aperture to wide beam and maximum distance...a bolt of red light sizzled through the air and struck the ground just in front of the building...an angry charred spot appeared on the lawn, and wisps of smoke came curling up."
And apparently, these needler's overheat. "'Give me your gun,' he said. 'Mine's overheating.'"
That's about the best description I can find. The gun itself is never described. Just thought I'd toss that out there, that maybe the Covenant Needler in Halo was based off of "Nightfall"'s needler.
And so the Great Journey comes to an end. Or a beginning. Or something. There's a journey and it's progressing at it's own rate.
firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) writes:
Perhaps the most striking thing about the Covenant forces is the morphological similarity between humans and most of the covenant races. Most of the covenant races featured in the video games are bipedal, axially symmetric, and have opposable thumbs. These races are all carbon-based (presumably), and have similarly compatible biochemistries (they cohabitate in a common environment), and use spoken and written language. They also all have two eyes, ears and one mouth.
It seems that two things are almost certainly true:
1. For the humans to be "reclaimers" they are related in some distinguishable way to the forerunners, either because they are the Forerunners (most likely) or because the Forerunners guaranteed their existence for some bizarre unknown reason. If the Ark is on earth, which it almost certainly is, then it is likely that the Arc was built to protect Earth (also note the surprisingly Earth-like environment on the Halos, built to attract Flood) while eliminating all food sources for the Parasite.
2. The Prophet race were probably already galactic conquerors and the first to discover Halo 04 and found the advanced technology inside. Noting that the technology works almost specifically for medium sized bipedal humanoids, they quickly came to believe that the race who built such magnificent technology must
have reached divine enlightenment (Great Journey) by use of the Halo, and that they too, being of same shape and design, could also achieve divinity by the
The Elites were probably the first race to give the Prophets and their new repurposed Forerunner technology a military run for their money, and so instead the Prophets offered truce under the condition that the Elites would become Protectors of the Prophets and follow the guidance of the Prophet High Council to Divine Salvation. This became the Age-old Promise mentioned by Truth, that all who belonged to and served the Prophets'Covenant of Salvation would achieve the divine. Naturally, this ethos evolved into the current
enslave-and-conquer scorched-earth policy we see in the Halo games.
I like that the Prophets have decided they're enlightened because the technology seems to work for them, though there are a few holes in other parts.
Slick. Stephen L. (SoundEffect) (firstname.lastname@example.org) has conjured up a view of the interior corridors of the Covenant ship Truth and Reconciliation. The Black Arts, I tell you; that and a good rendering suite. Check it out!
Translation of Covenant (Species) Names
Apparently, this is old news, but as I was independently thinking about this in the last couple of days I found the timing interesting :)
j41m3z (email@example.com) writes:
I typed the covenant species names into google and three names came up with translations frm other languages.
Unggoy (grunt) is "monkey" in tagalog (phillipines) Lekgolo (hunters) is "one hundred" in Tswana Jiralhanae (brutes) is "retarded lunatic" in korean (I'm not so sure on this one but one site had that; probably slang).
And as Rox points out, Yanmee (Drone) is Japanese for "dragonfly".
Neat. Anyone want to correct or finish the list off?
UPDATE: Our own mnemesis let's us know that " 'Kig-Yar' [Jackal]
means 'chicken'... in Breton! Man, I knew there was a good reason to try and learn that silly language back in the day. ;-)"
UPDATE: It's been suggested by Nogard that 'yanmee' doesn't come up in the Japanese dictionary and that 'tonbo' is in fact the translation for dragonfly. Me, I took German - Jillybean
Hunters: More Than Meets The Eye.
"Did Bungie ever consider having the Heretic as a playable character? Are there other kinds of Hunters that we haven't seen yet? Cool ones with different armor and weapons. Or do they just have the one shape?"
"Bungie did not consider having the Heretic as a playable character. Only Chief and Arbiter. As for the Hunters, we've only seen they're deployed combat type. Hunter society is complex and we have seen but the tiniest fraction of it. There are some fundamental facts about Hunter biology that mean the combat type is just the tip of the iceberg."
Aramaic/Hebrew influence on Elite naming? Well, we always knew they meant something...
UrsusArctos (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I just caught on to something about Rtas 'Vadumee, aka Half-Jaw. Spelled in hebrew, the characters for 'VDM become AVDM- AVD would be the spelling of 'Avada' or "I destroy", which also appears in Harry Potter as a killing curse (Avada Kedavra-"I destroy as I speak").
All the elites have their surnames beginning with a glottal stop (') and ending with 'ee'. That little glottal stop has considerable religious significance.
Don't let the old post keep you from following up. Go to it.
Frankie talks Covenant "Plasma" (or the apparent lack thereof).
The good news is that the use of the word "Plasma" is a semantic employed by 26th century troops to describe the appearance of the weapons rather than their true scientific attribution. The actual technology is not plasma as we know it, but something far more dangerous, arcane and destructive.
Weird but, of course, neat.
Wado steps in with a rather novel theory combining conventional explosives and time manipulating technology (which we know the Forerunner were apprently oh, so enamoured with). A slick idea.
karllos andre (email@example.com) writes:
Hi. I'm here to cite a certain thing that I discovered. I learned that the name of the Grunts in Covenant language is "unggoy". I'm a Filipino, and in our Tagalog dialect, that literally means, well, monkey. Now, I'm wondering, is this on purpose (which means that Bungie is calling the Grunts "stupid monkeys", and also means that Bungie is familiar with the Filipino language) or is this by mere coincidence?
Though my mind may lie in doubt, it still be turned curious by this suggestion type thing
Tristan Rodberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
1) Why Hunters can't be Infected by the Flood.
As the 'Art of Halo' book calls them, essentially, they're giant cans of worms. An absolute crazy load number of worms. Infection form bites a Hunter, and realizes that he ain't gettin' nowhere. He infected one worm in the can, and can't infect anybody else, as the Hunter collective effectively jettisons the infected worm, leaving that worm to his fate as food.
Or, perhaps the infected worm is not ejected, but the Hunter collective is on a different level of consciousness then what the Flood infection form can overwhelm effectively, if at all.
Binks (email@example.com) writes:
Just had an interesting thought, why do the Covenant 'glass' planets? It could be a sound military tactic for them to develop in response to the Spartan II's however it's clearly not from the incident on Harvest in which the planet was destroyed by the first Covenant attack and a "thin gray sunlight reflect[ing] off a glassy crust" was seen, obviously showing that the planet had been glassed long before the Covenant knew of humanities ability at ground combat and the Spartans. I've come up with 3 possible reasons for the development and deployment of this tactic by the Covenant:
1. The Covenant hate humanity so much that they care more about wiping us out that securing new worlds. This is probably the least likely based on the available evidence, despite how possible it may seem. Firstly it would be Horrible tactics, Scorched Earth is a tactic used when retreating from a superior enemy, not destroying an inferior one. Why in the world would you destroy perfectly habitable worlds like that when you could bombard select sites then invade and gain a new planet? We have direct evidence of Covenant forces invading a planet which they felt no qualms about glassing in FoR when Master Chief leads the Spartans in a plan to hurt a large ground force, and is subsequently pulled off the planet that is glassed. I don't think that the Covenant would glass a world with any significance Forerunner artifacts, even if their ground forces evacuated many of the relics, and so I think it's safe to assume that glassing wasn't the Covenant's only policy for dealing with human planets.
2. Humanity was an unknown enemy, in the first engagement the Covenant likely had few troops in their relatively small ship and may have brought no reinforcements for some reason and so glassing Harvest was the best way to deal with the planet and send a message to the humans, sort of a "Your space vessels are weak, it doesn't matter what unknown capabilities you may have on the ground, we can crush you as easily and with as few vessels as this planet was crushed" or something. This would require that the Covenant had developed and implemented glassing before, perhaps as a scare tactic to get other races to join them (which leads to my theory that the Human-Covenant war is nothing more than a misunderstanding, that the Covenant expected Humanity to immediately surrender to them and become another of the Covenant races, perhaps like other races had, and that humanities response, fighting and winning, was heresy to the Covenant, but that's another topic for another time)
3. Glassing a planet was a common tactic for the Covenant because, dun dun dun dun, they had a long history with the Flood. I mean, what better way (besides cleansing the galaxy of life) of dealing with an adaptive absorbing enemy than the wipe them out from orbit by destroying the entire biosphere? ("[Glass] it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure") Glassing seems like a perfect weapon against any Flood incursions, oh they're on this planet? Oh well, goodbye planet. Inefficient? Merciless? Terrible? Effective? All true. Perhaps then the Covenant see humanity as nothing more than another enemy like the Flood, a "vermin" to be wiped out. Since they know they can't cleanse our worlds of all of us (Reach's remaining Spartans in First Strike, the civilians on Sigma Oct. in FoR etc.) they just glass the planet from orbit to make sure none survive, none are "left behind" if you will. (Note that this is slightly different from the hate theory in #1. Treating humanity as a Flood like virus doesn't imply hate, just that they're willing to sacrifice a planet to destroy us)
Or perhaps - in regards to Number 3 - their military methods are based on the tactics the Forerunner used to fight the Flood. The Covenant can scavenge anything.
How hot are the plasma rounds of Covenant weapons?
Just how hot is the Covenant plasma? There's a sweet discussion going on in our forum. All I can say about this, is that Bungie.net's weapons articles can provide you with enough data to clear the matter out.
History of the Sangheili
I have to say this is a pretty damn well-written history article on the Elites (it's better than my UNSC history article), courtesy of vociferous. It spans about four parts, very informative, and very well formatted. Now that's what I call Halo history!
Go read, that's an order!
Canon, schmanon. This comes from the games, doodz.
The 483 (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
A line in the cutscene [Floodgate - ed] at the end of the first invasion of the flood on earth suggests that the elites know more about the flood than they let on. Specifically, right after they watch the message Cortana sent, the elite shipmaster, Half Jaw, say to lord Hood,
"You heard your construct, the flood, a Gravemind, is on it's way
and then later the arbiter remarks
If the construct is correct, then you've already lost."
The way they refer to it as "A" Gravemind, instead of "The" as cortana and the Chief have, seems to say that the elites, or atleast higher ranking Covenant officers have dealt with, or seen materials regarding Graveminds, and have a much deeper understanding of the flood than they have mentioned. This would help us to understand why Half Jaw himself, who is probably in command of the entire covenant portion of their navy, chose to chase the single flood infested ship to earth, and leave the (failed) containment of High Charity to the lower ship masters. Besides the chance to get revenge on "The Bastard Truth!" of course, Knowing earths potential to give the flood sufficient proteins to form another Gravemind.
Following this line of thinking, it's safe to assume that the Covenant (Prophets Hierarchs) knew full well what they were unleashing when they landed on Halo 04. Or, they could have learned when the captured Guilty Spark from the heretic leader from Threshold.
On the forums Vincent does some maths
Since Bungie were obliging enough to give us some numbers (albeit vague ones), I thought I'd try and work out a rough idea of it's deceleration. Fair warning: several assumptions from this point on.
We are given that the dreadnough takes 9 days (777600 seconds) to get to Earth.
It "arrives in the sol system" - I'll assume for now it starts at the edge of the system, which I'll put at just past the kuiper belt, or about 50AU (50 x 149.60 x 109 metres) away.
It then proceeds to Earth at "near relativistic speeds" - call it .99c (0.99 x 3.00 x 108 metres/second) for now, but could be much lower - I'll assume it starts at that speed and decelerates uniformly the whole distance.
----Warning: maths to follow!----
We can work out acceleration with the formula s=ut+½at², where s=distance, u=initial speed, t=time, and a=acceleration. So:
50 x 149.60 x 10^9 = (0.99 x 3.00 x 108 x 777600) + (0.5a x 777600²)
7480000000000 = 230947200000000 + 302330880000a
-223467200000000 = 302330880000a
a = -739ms-2
What this tells us is that, assuming all assumptions are correct, the dreadnought would have had to decelerate at 739ms-2, or 75 times the force of gravity.
You can of course change this number by changing the speed we assume it to start at, the distance it travels, etc. - this is merely an idea of the kind of numbers we're talking about.
Though I do wonder why Truth took almost twice as long getting to Earth as he did travelling from High Charity...
Darren elaborates on one of our older posts referring to the knowledge Elites (Half-Jaw, specifically) hold about the Gravemind.
Darren Ward (email@example.com) writes:
In the Halo Graphic Novel story The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor an Elite of Commander rank boards the Infinite Succor as part of a team sent to recapture the ship after a, presumed to be human, force attacks it. The Commander encounters a Prophet (The Minister of Etiology) who has been observing the attackers and informs the Elite Commander it is a Flood infection (the Commander was previously unaware of what his team were being attacked by, even after establishing it wasn't humans) and that they were "building" a "creature" that he believed "serves as their leader and organizer" (a Gravemind). While escaping the ship the Commander is attacked by an infected Elite armed with two Energy Swords, a duel commences and on the right-hand side of panel four on page fifty-three the Commander has half of his jaw cut off by the Flood Elite. The half-jawed Commander leaves the Infinite Succor as a two minutes to slipspace jump warning is sounded in the second last panel and the story ends with the Commander's Phantom leaving the Inifinite Succor which is intact in the background. The Commander had previously explained to the Prophet it would take fifteen minutes to arrange the Covenant fleet to fire on the Infinite Succor, so it's entirely possible the ship escaped. Though the "Last Voyage" element of the title suggests otherwise*. The story takes place while the Chief is on his way to find the missing Captain Keyes and his team of Marines.
So not only have the Covenant enountered Graveminds in the past, but Half-Jaw himself saw one in the earlier stages of construction and barely escaped. I'd imagine someone would have brought this up in the forums nearer the time but I thought I'd make sure.
*You can elaborate on this by saying that once the ship was completely taken under Flood control it ceased to be the Covenant ship Infinite Succor, in which case the title would fit should the ship have escaped.
You should all have noticed them, but Ragashingo was first on the forum to post about the glowing triangular tags that you can see on VISR mode.
Nidonocu has a theory about them:
Nidonocu (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I believe [the triangle tags] are supposed to be markers left by the Engineers as they work in searching the city. There might be some reference to them in one of the Halo books when it mentioned Engineers and their search of another human city for Forerunner artifacts.
However, there are some interesting ones which are explained by the plot of both the main game and the audio logs as time goes on. There are triangular arrows by a large circle in one room, triangles as you say by the dead Elites and triangles featureing the SuperIntendent's emblem.
My guesses: The arrows by the large circle are ships in orbit of either earth or a Halo ring. the triangles by the Elites are some kind of 'Rest in Peace' style momorial by the Engineers to those that are now also fighting the Covenant. The ones featuring the SI are of course, reference to the one free Engineer who is interfacing with the SI and probably relaying some of that information back to his fellow Engineers.