The Forerunner are shrouded in mystery. Although their cyclopean architecture still remains, they have long been absent from their own creations. What little we know of them is explained vicariously through their machinery and their automatons. Clearly, they were technologically superior to both Humanity and the Covenant. Their empire spanned at least this galaxy, encompassing both Einsteinian reality and Slipspace. They are not the Covenant's gods, but are revered as god-like, having supposedly found the path to salvation.
At one point in the Forerunner's history, they encountered the Flood. They fought, and retreated. When they had at last exhausted every tactical option, the Halo network was activated; as far as 343 Guilty Spark's data shows they, and all other sentient life in the galaxy, were all killed in the process. For whatever reason, they had felt it was necessary to contain and study the Flood, rather than destroy them outright. Their allowance of the Flood's perpetuation and storage in stasis could be considered an inexcusable lack of foresight for such an advanced civilization, though without knowing their precise reasoning, the passing of judgement is problematic.
The Forerunner perished (or fled) some 100 000 years ago, leaving their robotic compatriots behind to defend and monitor their installations. Seeing the Master Chief and Cortana breach protocol and refuse to activate Halo 04 upon the Flood's release, 343 Guilty Spark turned Halo's only known internal defensive system on them: the Sentinels. The Sentinels are floating Mantis-like machines, using what is presumably Forerunner weapon and shield technology. Unlike the the Human and Covenant arsenal, the Sentinels used some sort of controlled stream of energy. Deadly and precise, they appear to be more like surgical cutting tools than offensive weaponry, and while effective against the Flood's lower forms, are easily overcome by the Warrior class. Delta Halo 05 was also home to a series of smaller Repair class robots, as well as to the large Enforcer class guards.
Their relics are not restricted to Halo network. The Aztec-esque stones of C'ort Azur, the arches and weathered inscriptions of Sigma Octanus, the intricate caverns and 3km holographic dome beneath ONI's Reach complex, the ancient stepping-stones of the Grunt's homeworld, the Prophet's own claim to have evolved on an abandoned Forerunner planet, the revelation that their Ark (whatever that entails) exists on Earth, not to mention the countless installations undoubtedly pilfered to allow the Covenant to have achieved their current levels of technology, all give testament to this galaxy's permeation.
But who were these Forerunner; these Truth-Givers? What are the details of their relationship to the Covenant; what are they to Humanity? The Covenant, garbed in their glyphs, pay an eery homage to those symbols depicted in the interiors of Halo's buildings, whereas Humankind seems all too at home and recognized by the ring's Monitors. Much remains to be answered.
As for the Forerunner, it is interesting to note that
the Covenant have symbols similar to those found on
Halo. It is possible that the Covenant may be the
Forerunner that built Halo. As to why they are foolish
enough to release the Flood, it is possible that
though they are the Forerunner, they had "forgotten"
about the Flood. Furthermore, the energy field that
goes between the two "projections" on their dropships
looks a little like the Forerunner energy bridges.
An interesting idea. The Covenant are obviously interested in the Halo, but that they might be reclaiming their own lost heritage puts a different spin on it.
Jesse Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I stumbled across your site the other day and read through your collections of data. After reading through the various sections I noticed that everybody keeps saying "The Forerunner", and wondering whether it is plural, for a race of beings, or singular, as in one being. Anyways, I was playing Halo and I started playing at "The Two Betrayals" and I noticed that when Cortana is informing the master chief of what he was about to do, she says, "The Forerunners" with an "s", as in plural. I think it's in the spot where she says something to the effect of, "Do you have any idea why the Forerunners built this place?". I haven't played it again to verify yet, just remembered and thought I'd submit this piece of data for discussion.
There's always room for more discussion. And Jello. :)
Mark Levin, in an HBO Forum post, comes up with a different idea with regards to the Forerunner:
I know he says this, but don't the huge plants on 343GS sort of look like they've been infected? Their bulges flash the same way Infections do. Maybe the Forerunners were superintelligent trees?
Another possible theory explaining the relationships between the different races on Halo.
Stefan Ludlow (email@example.com) writes:
...what†do all of these have in common?
††† Symbols on Halo buildings
††† Symbols in Control room
††† Symbols on Gold Elite backs
††† "great religious significance to Covenant"
I have deduced (or think I have) why Halo has a deep religious significance to the Covenant, more accurately, the Elites.† The symbols on Halo are the same style as those on the Gold Elites back. I think that the Elites bay be the Forerunner, or the Forerunner are the ancestors of the Elite species.
Who the hell WERE the Forerunner?!?
Craig has some observations about the similarities between Forerunner and Covenant controls.
Craig Hardgrove (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
My method of rampant speculation only involves visuals from the game. I think Bungie has given us a lot to work with if we just pay careful attention to many subtle details of the game.
Control panels on Truth and Reconciliation are same as those on Halo. This is most noted in the Control Room and in the underground complex with the flood. Covenant=Forerunner possibility. The most interesting control panel area on Truth and Reconciliation is an elevated platform above the large flight deck areas that the dropships leave from.
In 343 Guilty Spark, when you are in the underground complex with the flood, I have noticed a few areas (at least one) that consist of an entrance to a square hallway with three locked doors. After the flood have been released, if you go to those areas the doors have been blown off and you can enter the three rooms. These rooms appear to be holding cells for the flood. Also, there is a room in the level with a large glass structure in it, with a control panel similar to that on the Truth and Reconciliation and in the Control Room. When you first encounter the glass structure you notice gross green stuff (flood blood) dripping from the walls (at this point you are below the glass structure). These areas definitely seem like some sort of testing chamber. It also appears to me that the area above where you first enter the locked door and encounter the flood is some kind of observational area for the testing facilities. I say this becaus similar control panels to those in the control and room and on the truth and reconciliation appear there.
Bungie? Subtle details? Nah... ;-)
Matt Wright's observations on the Forerunner and their tech: amongst other things, perhaps the Sentinels were never designed to counter anything above Infection forms and the gradual dissolution of the Forerunner empire
343 Guilty Spark seems surprised that the ballistics-type human weapons (most noteably the shotgun) are so effective against the Flood. Someone else noted that the Energy-beam weapons used by the sentinels are excellent against the small spores of the flood, but very weak against the mature Flood warriors. This perhaps indicates that the biological lifeforms 343 GS talks about were never intended to be on the Halo. Since this intallation was a research facility, as well as a weapon, perhaps the Forerunner were not biological lifeforms, and therefore had not anticipated needing a defense mechanism to destroy mutated Flood forms. This also might disprove the unsatisfactory (in my book) feeling that the Forerunner did not care to take their chances fighting and commited suicide (If this was, in fact, the case then the Forerunner were definitly not Human).
What they left behind is impressive. Their structures are intact after countless years, and the Halos are fulfilling their purpose in their absence. Reminds me of the Roman empire, who grew to be greater and stronger then any other nation up to that point, but gradually died over centuries, never really being conquered. Even the powers that arose from europe- Spain, France, England - all had roots in that empire. I think that this is what happened to the Forerunner.
It is obvious that whatever the capabilities of Halo are, whatever is actually ON Halo when it goes remains alive. 343 GS quite clearly indicates the Halos have been used before and evidently the 'Reclaimer' survived the destruction to ask him if he would do it again, and the Flood also survived. Where did they go? Perhaps their empire collapsed- as mentioned above- dealing with a now empy galaxy, leaving colonies behind, with new cultures arising from each Halo. From this seperation may have arisen the seperate species that now make up the Covenant. After many years, clues, may have caused them to stumble onto Halo. I also like the theory that the Forerunner created the Covenant, with their strict religious rules (the control of halo is in a shrine of some sort), and highly advanced genetic strains. The Covenant, being genetically engineered by the Forerunner, could have been more powerful, expecially together, then anyone imagined, and could have struck with a deadliness only matched by the Flood.
More and more, these conundrums keep popping up. Why not just destroy the Flood outright? Why would the Forerunner have assumed that no biological creatures would ever be on the Halo? Hmm...
Simon goes on with a second possible theory on the roots of the Halo Story.
My only other theory of Halo history, (which is not as sound) is that The Forerunner(s), created the Flood, sealed them inside Halo, and left symbols and information for the Covenant to find. That is, assuming that the Forerunner(s) knew of the Covenant's religious beliefs. The Covenant were meant to open the door, releasing the flood, as a test of either the Flood or Covenant's ability as a species. Seeing how destructive they were, the Forerunner(s) wished to destroy the Flood, as a precaution for possible disaster. The whole Covenant-Human war wasn't expected, and not part of the Forerunner plan. Although, when the Forerunner(s) indestructible, living, speaking, live video camera 343 Guilty Spark found the Master Chief, the Forerunner(s) chose him to be a prime subject for activating Halo. This is all, of course, under the rash assumption that the Forerunner(s) weren't really gone, just watching everything happen through Guilty Spark.
Where are the Forerunner, anyway?
On the subject of the Forerunner, the Flood, and the Covenant:
The Forerunner(s), being an incredibly advanced species, did not fear the Flood enough to destroy them, and instead kept them contained within Halo for study. They, of course left Halo, to ensue greater archeological discoveries elsewhere. The Covenant found Halo and studied it, finding deep religious significance in it. As Cortana said, "The control room seems to be located in some sort of temple, or shrine." The Covenant revered the long since gone Forerunner(s) because of the incredible advancement of Halo. They dug deeper inside to see if they could find more religious leavings of the Forerunner(s). They instead found the Flood. The symbols on the walls of the building in 343 Guilty Spark are the same as the ones on the Covenant's vehicles, as well as on the Elites backs. (This I have only heard of and have not yet found to be true myself) I assume that this is not because the Covenant are the descendants of the Forerunner(s), but because they revere them. A Forerunner symbol on an Elite's back would be the same as the American flag on the marines shoulders, by my estimation. The only reason the some of the Covenant technologies are similar to the Forerunner(s), such as the Library elevators and the Shade guns, are because the Covenant emulated the Forerunner(s).
Liquidex, in this HBO forum post, makes the following observation:
Apparently Human history is 343GS's "lost time". Personally, I can't help but wonder if that's the smoking gun right there-- I mean regardless of the graphical connections of the Covenant in terms of symbols and computer interfaces and what not, can there really be any doubt after he says something like this?
There are a number of good points made by other posters in the same thread.
Jehkoh@aol.com (Jehkoh@aol.com) writes:
Perhaps the Forerunner suffered from a plague of some sort that altered their genetics, resulting in mutations and disfigurations. They realized they were altered beyond help and after some time figured out they would harm fellow Forerunners, and (since they were the master alien race) preserved themselves within Halo or as an act of selfishness, preserved themselves within Halo and waited for someone to destroy their food, so they could exist without harming others personally, (only by killing the others, impersonally. I prefer my first thoery. They preserved themselves within Halo. Perhaps Halo had already been constructed before the Forerunner were plagued, and it's purpose (weapons of mass destruction) was to be for something else.
Sean Hansell (The Majin) (email@example.com) writes:
This is in addition/spin-off to Ryan's theory on the nature of the covenant, so credit him for my revelation.
The Covenant and The Forerunner could've had a relationship somewhere in the past. Perhaps the Forerunner were member race of the Covenant, a race of builders. Somewhere along the line, the Forerunners crossed or defected from the Covenant. (It would help to know here who just the Covenant?s ?gods? were)
The Covenant declared war on the Forerunner, wiping them into extinction. Some of the Forerunner escaped.....to Earth. Only a few, that made it to reproduce and evolve into the human race. Over time the legend of the Covenant disintegrated into memory.
When the Human race started to become technologically evolved, they began to expand into a small empire. Somehow, the Covenant came across the human installation, Harvest. Surprised at the re-emergence of their old partners, the Forerunner, they immediately destroyed the colony. Now they have declared war on the Humans. This would explain a load of different things.
1. Why GS recognizes you as Human/Forerunner.
2. Why the Covenant have such a seemingly non-existent reason for hating your guts.
3. Why Covenant and Halo/Forerunner technology is almost identical.
4. Why the Covenant worship the Halo, the death ground for the Forerunner they destroyed.
5. Why GS is surprised you brought such "ineffective weapons" to combat the Flood.
A very tidy theory. Sean goes on to point out that it doesn't explain the Flood, but it does do a very good job on the other species. Any thoughts? ;-)
This is the thread over on the HBO forum that Sean is referring to. As usual, go check it out!
It has been postulated before that, since 343 Guilty Spark recognizes us, our outward appearance must be similar to that of the Forerunner (assuming that it was a Forerunner who had previously activated Halo). It has also been theorized that our MJOLNIR armor has some connection to the Covenant, but we must remember that in Halo: The Fall of Reach we learned that the MJOLNIR armor is purely a human creation (the Covenant shield technology is added later). Masenko-Ha checks in with some coherent (and well-written!) thoughts:
Masenko-Ha.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I think the Forerunner is an ancient form of the human race, and here's why:
One: Halo 04 has the same atmospherical conditions as those on Earth. Similar weather, similar gravity and similar habitat. The marines can breathe and move like normal on the ring, and this is proof of my theory.
Two: Similar technologies. It is a highly believed theory that 343 Guilty Spark thinks he has seen the Master Chief before, and that is probably because the Forerunner - or the ancient humans - are very similar to the Master Chief. Would the humans, given enough thousands, millions or billions of years evolve in a somewhat relative manner? I think so... and this would mean creation of some of the same devices, specifically noted here: the MJOLNIR armor.
Three: We don't know where the Forerunner came from. They obviously aren't from Halo, but created them, just as humans - once our technology advances - may be able to do. They simply colonized, just as the humans have. I believe that every technology displayed by the Forerunner could be achieved by humans, given we live long enough for our technology to advance.
Four: the Covenant called a "Holy War" on the humans, and thought it incredibly urgent to take control of Halo before the humans. Now... why would any race so technologically advanced, and well-allied just begin the genocide of a race they nothing about?
343 Guilty Spark's babblings prove that the Forerunner have fired Halo before. Perhaps the Covenenant witnessed, or maybe even barely survived the firing of Halo and now believe that the Humans are Forerunner.
As a matter of fact, the Covenant could even know that the Humans are just the descendants of the Forerunner, but with similar technologies and physicallities, would not our mind-sets be overall the same? And then, we'd be just as capable as the Forerunner to fire Halo again, given the right Human gets their hands on the devastating controls of Halo.
So... how did the Human genetics get on Earth? There are a million possibilities... I'm sure you can think of one. Remember: the Forerunner DID colonize, and we DO NOT know the limits of Forerunner technology.
Would something as specific as our armor survive in genetic memory to be created again eons later? "Oddly familiar, as if from an old dream", eh? Make that a really old dream... ;-)
?stro the Space Duck has done a great job of compiling and interpreting the Forerunner symbols found throughout Halo and it's environs. Check it out, now!
Kurt Eskew (email@example.com) writes:
...343 GS interest in human history, the strange symbols, and the covenants religious obsession with Halo. It all points to one thing, the Forerunner are the descendents of the artist formally known as Prince. Just think about it for a second. What else could be the explination. My theory is that Prince, or what ever he is called now, was frozen and launched into space. He landed on an alien world, defrosted, and began cloning himself. He then transmitted his music throughout the galaxy where the Covenant picked it up. They loved it and began to seek out its source. The genetically enhanced Prince then constructed Halo, conceived an entire language with just symbols and duplicated is devout fans, the flood. However the flood soon became disinterested and drove their masters from the Halo, a long time passes and eventually MC comes by.
Warren Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Factual evidence in the Library is abundant and is supplied in brief intervals by 343 GS's random statements. To first take a crack at analyzing the whole mystery, we must ask ourselves the oh so common question of "who does 343 GS think the MC is?" He refers to MC as reclaimer, and talks throughout the entire game as if our hero, John 117, is part of an old, recognizable race with whom the floating monitor is already familiar. Well that's because he is. MC is forerunner, just as all humans once were.
When 343 GS lectures you about bringing ineffective weapons, despite the containment protocols, he talks as if you already knew the protocols. How could you have, unless you are part of the race that originally constructed Halo? He also refers to the other race (the covenant) as being responsible for releasing the Flood. Indeed we know they are, for Cortana informs us of this when she freaks out in Halo's control room back in the fifth board. "The other race" signifies there being two races, one which you must be a part of since he's addressing the statement to you. Once again, this clues you into being forerunner, for it is unlikely that the monitor has been exposed to more races than those who have made it onto halo, and if he is only aware of two, and one is the covenant, then the other must be human/forerunner.
343 GS also identifies your battle suit as being class two, and suggests upgrading to class twelve. If he recognizes your suit, it must be based on a technology that is forerunner and human at the same time. Perhaps this is the shield system, stolen from the covenant, the same system that makes the elites so darn hard to take down. But where did the covenant get it from. Well, talk about loopholes, probably from technology laying around in halo. This would give reason to 343 GS recognizing the model of your armor (despite how inferior he makes it sound).
However, one of the more important clues is in what 343 GS says towards the end of the Library, when he comments "The installation was specifically built to study and contain the Flood. Their survival as a race was dependent upon it. I am grateful to see that some of them survived to reproduce." Whose survival as a race, the Flood? Certainly not, that would be inconsistent with what he'd been saying all along. Most likely he's referring to the Forerunner. Granted, we don't know anything about why the flood was necessary for the survival of the forerunner, and why there was a previous outbreak. Heck, it might even be possible that the forerunner created the flood for some perverse reason. What we do know is that he's referring to you, MC, as being that offspring, and if the race he's talking about is the forerunner, which it most undoubtedly is, then he is identifying you as forerunner as well.
Drew van Vliet (email@example.com) writes:
I belief (like many others) that the Humans are the Forerunner. To me this is very obvious. I mean from the comments that 343 Guilty Spark makes, I gathered that he believes the Humans and the Forerunner are one in the same. An obvious one was when he said; "I would conjecture that the other species currently on the installation is responsible for releasing the Flood. They seem most persistent in their attempts to access restricted areas." I am assuming that by the other species he means the Covenant (they were the first to release the flood). Another is when he said; "You can't imagine how exciting this is! To have a record of all of our lost time! Human history, is it? Fascinating." This is implying that Human history is the piece of the timeline lost after the Halos were used. How do I know the Halos were used before? From yet another quote "Last time, you asked me, if it was my choice, would I do it? Having considerable time to ponder your query, my answer has not changed." Considering that he still wants you to activate Halo's defences you can say that his original answer was "yes."
Acerdude17 (Acerdude17@aol.com) writes:
The Forerunner is/was evidentally far superior to any other race discovered at the time. To me the answer is blatantly obvious. The Forerunner consists of a fleet artificial intellegences (including centinals and and monitors, like 343 GS). I come to the conclusion based on the simple fact that Halo was designed to wipe life-forms away clean, the only reasonable reason somebody would build such a device is because they aren't organic life-forms. Really, why would you wipe yourself out with all that technology, or even create the capability for doing so? Anyway, the Forerunner built Halo to function as a life-form research center, that explains why it was built so as to sustain life, but also have the capabilities of wiping it away. They began by starting with simple things such as the trees, flowers, shrubs, and grass. Then the set of robotic "species" began to make infectious spores, later to become known as the flood. The Forerunner dis! covered how parasitic life was able to conquer all the simple life forms. Evidence of that particular experiment can be found in the level "343 Guilty Spark" (with all the infected trees/swamp areas).
Mr. Elliotto (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
People before have theorized that perhaps the Forerunners were mechanical beings, not biological. Well after reading through people's thoughts, I had one of my own. The most prodominant being: Why wasn't the flood destroyed outright if it were so dangerious? This, and possibly the creation of Halo are answered if you assume the Forerunners were machines.
My theory is that perhaps the entire Halo itself was created as a research facility. And I don't mean just for the flood--I mean all the biological life found on the surface of Halo's inner ring was a result of the Forerunners dabbling in biology.
D'Vane Polhill (DaPhatPhantom@msn.com) writes:
There might have been a single specie in the beginning. They were all peaceful. Soon, three groups formed and all of them had different ideas. One group could possibly be the Forerunner. They moved and settled elsewhere. The Covenant remain at their original spot, and what would later become the Flood, moved elsewhere as well. The Forerunner advanced in technology fast.
Matthew Braithwaite (email@example.com) writes:
I, personally, think that the forerunner(s) are some sort of god-like species, who created lots of races through their many tests and experiments. The first time they used the halo(s) must have been like the "flood" in the bible where god destroyed the earth in order to start a fresh. Maybe the forerunner(s) saved some of the races from the destructive force of the halo(s). Then to help them re-establish themselves, they must have given them help with new technologies (hence both humans and covenant having MJOLNIR armor).
Dustin M. (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I would figure that the Forerunners were either the first or one of the first sentient beings in the universe and that they saw that their species was coming to an end. I would speculate that the Flood is the cause. As a last ditch effort to keep the species alive, they plant their DNA in every possible alien species evolving into what they think will be sentient. This DNA is routed so that their achievements and developments will evolve with the species. (Hence the same symbols with the covenant that are seen on Halo and when 343GS remarks about seeing the Mjolnir armor on the MC before.)
They construct the Halos and 343 GS and kill off themselves and any other sentient beings at the time to stop the flood spread. The species they implanted the DNA in were not affected as they weren't sentient yet. The species evolved and discovered Halo.
Wimoo Wiimsly (email@example.com) writes:
Maybe the covenant used to be the Forerunners' semi-satient 'slave' helpers. They evolved self-awareness after the Forerunners (died out?), and retained the forerunner symbols, not knowing what they mean. THIS is why they are occupying halo- to discover the truth about their origins!
Arthur Wellesly (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
It is important to note that that in the FoR, Dr. Halsey said the Covenant assimilate other technologies to their own. This not only explains why the symbols are the same, but aslo why the plasma beam on Level two looks just like Covenant weapons on Level one.
Andrew Hovey (email@example.com) writes:
...The covenant hold halo as some kind of realigious symbol, which is why they did everything they could to stop the PoA and her crew from landing on it, which includes launching boarding parties, and destroying life boats... ...The covenant obviously know there way around halo, or at least it seems that way. This may be explained by how the covenant always seem to be one step ahead of the Masterchief and Cortana... ...The technology on Halo and inside the covenant ships are very similiar. Aside from all the holographic control pannels, a good example of this is located in the Silent Cartograher level. Around the first two levels while desending toward the location of the control room, there is a large pillar which gives off purple light, and a hovering-like sound. This sound is exactly the same as the grav lift on the Truth and Reconcilliation.
Jonathan Steed (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I think that the forerunners were actually covenant. I think that why they abandon the halo is because the flood killed high numbers of them, and they had to evacuate. The forerunners settled on a planet that later became the covenant homeworld.
Ry Kuntze (email@example.com) writes:
...the Forerunner genetically created the Covenant to serve as a militaristic race that would defend the various Halo installations from invasion. To further the Covenant's success, the Forerunner imbued a certain amount of 'holiness' to the Halo structures and fed such truths to the Covenant as a form of religion: if the Covenant believe that the Halo installations are holy, they'll defend them much better.
SAMPO Man (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
My thoery has the Covenant being and not being the Forerunner at the same time... ...but maybe the ones reffered to as the Forerunner are now dead. Maybe the Forerunner are other alien species and just more of one army, that possibily died because of a Flood outbreak on another installation... ...Maybe the aliens on Halo are the Covenant, but their fallen comrades are now referred to (respectfully) as the Forerunner.
Dolores Beaulieu (email@example.com) writes:
You see, the Covanent and Forerunner are very much alike. They have the same control pannels, the installations on Halo shoot plasmma just like the Covanent weapons, and the Forerunner robots and the Covanent both speak English.
An update? Don't be silly, its only a small one. There will hopefully be more shortly. But to show that there is more alive at the Story Page than just hair and fingernails...
DJ France (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
If the Flood are a virus, that can be kept in a fairly small space, then why go to the trouble to build Halo(s) in the first place? Isn't there a better way to destroy the Flood than by killing it's food?
A superior race like the Forerunner would want to keep their budget and spending limits nice and tidy I would think. I couldn't begin to imagine the building cost of even one Halo! But the possibility of 4 or more Halos in the galaxy, or even more in the universe? You're in the big $$$$$$$ there.
Why build only one when you can have seven for 7 times the price :)
The forum never lets up. An interesting point from a recent post by Wado SG:
First a disclaimer, maybe I watched too much Starblazers when I was a kid or watched the movie Starship Troopers too much...
Now is it possible for people to live in Slipstream Space? In the Fall of Reach there certainly are ships traveling through it and other objects are in there. I recall the UNSC finding an asteroid in Slipstream Space (oh wait, that was a Covenant ship I think).
Anyway, I think the answer is yes. In that case, could it be possible that the Forerunners found a way to live in Slipstream Space?
A good question. If any of the Forerunner were to survive the previous Halo firing, did they do so by entering Slipspace? Have they returned, or do they still call it home?
Perhaps they have been unable to leave. The 3rd Cortana Letter asserts that "whoever made such a place [Halo] must now live in chains; there is no other explanation for their absence".
In the Heechee Saga by Frederik Pohl, an ancient race known as the Heechee escaped a danger too great to confront by bottling up dozens of stars, entire worlds, and finally themselves within the safety and seclusion of a black hole. If the Forerunner are "trapped" in Slipspace (or somewhere similar) is the gate latched from the inside?
Spencer Ruport (email@example.com) writes:
Maybe the forerunner are still monitoring the Halo's from afar and maybe... this is exactly the kind of experiment they had hoped for...
Hmmm. Those super-sentient races of antiquity always seem to pop up at the most unlikely times, leaving notes and telling you what to do. "Sleeping God" this, and "Tau Ceti" that...
Bartman778@aol.com (Bartman778@aol.com) writes:
Recently, a good gaming buddy of mine, Matt, and I were discussing our D&D campaign world that I run. He is constantly trying to get me to use gunpowder in it, which I will never do, but his arguments got us both thinking. A society that did not develop gunpowder/explosives would tend to develop technology remarkably similar to Covenant technology. Instead of focusing on how to build a bigger bomb (nuke), they would instead focus on building a bigger battery. Their energy efficiency would blow ours through the roof. However, they would not have to be any more advanced than human beings. Just as they have very few forms of explosive technology- the plasma grenade and needler being the only two examples- humans have limited forms of energy efficiency near covenant levels. The meaning of all of this? Humans and covenant could actually be about the same age, but have developed radically different technologies. Perhaps, if the Forerunner did create humans/covenant, they gave them each 1/2 of the puzzle. Or is it 1/2? Could each have been given 1/3 and the remainder kept or given to ANOTHER race?
A third race? Time will tell. ;-)
Unless the Flood find no delight in the Forerunner themselves...
Lord Can of Pain (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Could it be that the reason the Forerunners contained them instead of wiping them out was that they where only a threat to others? The Forerunners might have been immune, be it that their bodies could fight off the Flood or they might not have even been made of biomass. They could have been a race of living crystals or rock or just something not based on the usual living cells. To get to the stage that they†are at would have taken thousands of generations and remarkable advancements. The usual Forerunner might have lived for millions of years and so the repopulation of a galaxy wouldn't seem that long to them. They might have felt the same of taking this galaxy out as we would of fumigating a bunch of harmful termites and a colony of ants got in the way.
While throwing a wrench into most Human/Forerunner theorizing, the idea does still have merit.
Chris "Spartan-776" Luksic (Fretburner5138@aol.com) writes:
I've taken to note the similarities between the game and the Ancient Period (Greece in particular). First off, there's this mysterious civilization (the forerunner) who just up and disappear. This is like the story of Atlantis. As Plato said, in one day and one night, a city disappeared (that's not the exact quote, but damn close).
And was swallowed by the sea on which it stood...
Crystals. What if the crystal found, that had Halo's Coordinates, was really a warning beacon, saying that this installation has been quarinteened, or something similar to that. :Shrugs: Just wondering.
Interesting point. And here we are, racing off across the galaxy to go there, the Covenant chasing/preceding us, totally ignoring the warning. The Forerunner must be shaking their heads in disbelief somewhere, rubbing their elongated, pulsating temples, watching us and wondering just how stupid are they?!?
Kodos (Tyrant343@aol.com) writes:
Now onto WHY would the Forerunner deem it necessary to kill all life in the universe to spare them infection...maybe they found it mercifull.
Why let a race serve as horrible slaves semi-sentient and infected when they can be euthinized instead? Wouldent be the first time one civilization had imposed its sense of morality and justice on another...
Well, Keyes' and Jenkins' descriptions of the receiving end of a Flood infection from Halo: The Flood certainly seem horrible enough, but that'd be some harsh mercy. ;-)
Over on the HBO Forum, there's an interesting post you might want to check out. It's got quite a lot of what we have referred to in the past as "crack-pipe" speculation, so be prepared for some far-reaching stuff, but it's got a certain sense of continuity. It's addressed to me, but, what the heck, you can all go read it. ;-)
Sympathy for the Devil
It seems that in the midst of all the aura and mystery surrounding the Forerunner, there is a feeling of animosity often hanging overhead; a few hard feelings. What gave/gives them the right to sacrifice the lives of all sentient life in this galaxy? With all their technology, couldn't they find another way? Why is extermination the only answer? Bob offers us a slightly more sympathetic perspective:
Bob Dole (email@example.com) writes:
First of think of the flood as an advanced stage of cancer. Cancer with a conscious and malicious nature. Image this cancer as sentient and able to travel from one solar system to the other. Now imagine if you are one of the Forerunners? There is a sentient and highly contagious contagion running throughout the stars. All the lesser races are infected or already mutated by this highly evolving race. What do you do? Simple kill everything that's not you. It would be impractical to kill every flood spore and warrior drone, since there are probably trillions of them. The Forerunners were probably losing, or already infected, so what did they have to loose. No more "us", or the Forerunners, but no more "food" for the spore dudes. The last guardians of these ring worlds contained what flood they could for experimentation before they fell to old age or infection themselves.
Merely hastening the inevitable; euthanasia on a galactic scale...
Edward Shinai Purugganan (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Now, there has been much speculation on the weather being used to protect Halo's systems either from the Flood itself, or maybe intruders, such as the Humans and the Covenant, and I believe they're correct. Yet I think there's more to just burying canyons in snow. Jonathan Pratt (July 5,2003) made some serious speculation about the blue streaks and the weather using snow to bury the control center in AotCR and other people in the past have also mentioned the tubes/pipes/ducts seen in AotCR. Now the snow may not be as effective as a deterrent against technologically advanced forces, but maybe for the Flood, but the pipes seem to decend farther than the ground, which might leave one to wonder: just how deep does this canyon go, and also, what exactly is filled up in the canyon? We know that parts of Halo have an extreme elevation like "Halo" and T&R, so we know its possible that these canyons are extremely deep. I speculate tha! t the tubes/pipes/ducts transport water and also possibly a substance that might generate a deep freeze on that water to create ice. Another consideration should be that the Flood were kept deep inside Halo, and the Forerunner made Halo to have their systems on higher levels and their experimental labs(which are most dangerous) on the extreme lower levels. Along with this, they created accessways to send constructs, such as Sentinels, down below to protect themselves from the Flood, effectively contain the Flood, and observe/experiment on them at the same time. Now back to the ducts with water, maybe their measure to contain the Flood, in case of an outbreak, was to fill the canyons with water and possible other areas, and freeze that water in order to hinder the Flood from expanding to higher levels. Since we know that the Flood would attempt to change the atmosphere (thanks to 343GS) the ice could probably isolate the lower levels for the Forerunner to figure out a solutio! n and take care of the problem, maybe send Sentinels through accessways which they didn't freeze. Ice seems to be more reasonable as a defensive measure and it seems likely that this is true, since 343GS said that Halo has been used before and while going to the control room in AotCR you find that the there is still a considerable amount of ice still present, possibly because they used the "ice isolation" measure before to contain the Flood. Halo is supposed to wipe out all life in a radius or something(I forgot) light years, but that doesn't mean that it would destroy life on Halo. Those portals on the outside edges of Halo, I believe, are the firing mechanisms which obliterate life, and maybe access-ports for ships or containment vechiles. To sum it all up: yes, the weather is a fail-safe measure, and that measure is to freeze out the Flood from higher levels, and to prevent life being assimilated by the Flood.
It's been long, but this is the short, expansion-part, conspiracy theory of the weather. It's not know whether Forerunner had a "civilian" population on Halo, or that they have one at all. However, if they did have a society that has different structures like our own, they might have wanted to keep experiments a secret. Thus, they hide them in lower levels and use weather as a fail-safe, instead of weapons. Sentinels could have been robotic assistants for anything, and be adapted to be used as containment robots, or anything else. So, the secret of the Flood is kept. For what reason? That's open to plenty of speculation by the masses... :) A note to everyone: just don't think the weather we have is some secret government control system to keep things in order and hide us from the truth.. or maybe we should... ;)
I don't know about that. That weather here has been pretty weird lately.
"Lesser" classes of Forerunner, eh? Interesting... ;-)
Bob Cringle (email@example.com) writes:
Hey I was reading some of the other post on the story page and what if the Forerunner were actually water breathers. Think about it! The control is in a canyon that seems to be snowing all of the time. What if there was a malfunction in the environmental systems and really the snow is supposed to be water so that the Forerunner can breath. And also the Silent Cartographer is a piec of tall rock n the middle of an ocean. If that doesn't sound relistic then what about if the flood were origninally supposed to be allergic to water ie. if the went in it they would die. That would explain my earlier comments. That would also explain why the flood containment facility is a swamp (possibly a recently dried lake) Also that would explain why the entrances to all the major centres are underground and have well sealed doors. Another thing that I think goes along with my theory is that there is an opening in the top of the Silent Cartographer that an aircraft is able to fly into. Coincidence? I think not. Anyways thats just my 2 cents.
What if thats the reason Earth is covered in so much water? Mabye the forerunner dropped us here because they thought we would evolve into water breathers as well. Also mabye thats why the covenant (who might also be decendents from the Forerunner) look so different from us. Mabye the originall Covenant are actually water breathers.
The 'Forerunner seeding the galaxy' concept fits in nicely with this.
Robert Corregan (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Ever consider the possibility that the Flood are the Forerunner? Think of it. The Flood built the Halos as places they could hibernate in without being discovered. Then they built the Monitor and Sentinals to guard the facilities. (Now hear me out.) The Flood then try to take over the galaxy and failed because there were more advanced civilizations(human and covenant ancestors). They started loosing and retreated to the Halos and started to hibernate. The few remaining ones, with the Monitors assitance, activated the weapons. The advanced life in the galaxy was destroyed. They all hibernated because of lack of food. The Monitor became rampant and then started to hate his masters. The humans and Covenant became dominant again and found Halo. It could also be that is way the Monitor says "I'm so happy to see that some of them reproduced."
Well, 343 Guilty Spark is insane, no doubt about it. He's certainly had a loooong time to twist his original purpose into its polar opposite.
Does Forerunner tech door size matter, really?
Lori (email@example.com) writes:
We can tell by 343GS's behavior in relation to the flood's outbreak that the Forerunner have (or had) very different views on the disaster. While humans and covenant panicked and treated the situation as one of the direst of emergencies, 343 simply followed protocol and lead MC to the solution. I don't believe that a species that feared for its own existence would create an AI that could act in such a leisurely manner during this emergency, nor do I think that they would be willing to construct a weapon that would wipe themselves out in order to control a single outbreak (In quoting 343, "...this galaxy will be quite devoid of life, or at least any life with sufficient biomass to sustain the flood...") thus, I believe that the Forerunner: A.) Dwell outside of our galaxy, where they would not be vulnerable to their own "security mechanism" B.) (This may be a little stupid) Do not have sufficient biomass to sustain the flood. It is (barely) possible that the Forerunner are simply too small to interest the flood, and are thus impervious to Halo's mechanism. which is why they were able to so easily study them and, through their studies, discovered the threats that a massive outbreak could pose (perhaps infected lifeforms would be hostile towards the Forerunner in the event that they left the ring and infected entire planets). But this theory can easily be struck down by observing the Forerunner architecture. Doorways and hallways are constructed needlessly large to accommodate tiny beings. Control panels are positioned in such a way as to be convenient for humanoid creatures, roughly 5'6 or higher. On the other hand, note the absence of large stairs. Overall, most of the evidence points to theory "A," so I'm simply going to stop rampantly speculating and shut up.
We've had a number of submissions that mentioned the size of the hallways as evidence of the Forerunner's size, but remember, there are a few small doorways, too. The elevators on AotCR spring to mind, as do some of the doors on Silent Cartographer. Regardless, I think the "dwelling outside the galaxy" idea is much more intriguing. Wouldn't it be easier to contain a rampantly virulent organism inside of one (or more) manufactured facilites, rather than monitor an entire galaxy?
Rob Schultz (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Regarding Eryk B Nice's speculations on Halo-04 being a fortress to guard some sort of doorway..
Lest we forget, the gas giant's apparently named "Threshold".. The threshold of a door, perhaps?
Indeed. And what of the moon, Basis? Who names a moon "Basis" and a planet "Threshold?" And why?
Jason Watson (email@example.com) writes:
I have been reading some of the recent speculation concerning the Forerunner, and thought I should put in my own two cents. Now, if the firing of Halo is such a drastic measure that it wipes out all life of sufficient bio-mass, which, presumably, includes the Forerunner (maybe they are non-biological in nature- hmmm) within the galaxy, then this last resort weapon is in reality of no use. Assuming that the Flood infection has reached such a point that it is unstoppable save for the firing of Halo, then the benefit of firing Halo is really nil, since it will not benefit the Forerunner (they will be dead). If all it can do is kill the food of the Flood, (which, if it kills things of sufficient bio-mass for the Flood, wouldn't that include the Flood as well?...but that's another matter all together) thereby starving all the Flood, then all Halo is good for is a "if we are going down, we are going to take them down with us" kind of a weapon. In regards to the previous firing of Halo, contrary to a recent post, the most natural interpretation of G.S.' statement about the others following suit is that once one is fired all will be fired, because if only one is fired, then the Flood can still eventually infect other areas of the galaxy. So, presuming that previously all Halos were fired, how could any 'seeding' of the Humans and Covenant take place? Assuming biological life of insufficient bio mass survived, that leaves only 100,000 years for both the Covenant and Human races to evolve, which seems like too short of a period of time. Now, there seems to be, assuming the aforementioned presuppositions are correct, (which is not necessarily the case) one possibility, involving three huge presuppositions. 1.Halo is spoken of as a Fortress world. 2.The Flood do not seem to be an original part of Halo. 3.A single Halo, let alone many, would take an enormous amount of time to build.
I will start with the last consideration. GS says that when the Halos are fired, "this galaxy will be quite devoid of life." Why the use of the word 'this'? Why not just say 'the galaxy'? It seems to me that if GS thinks MC is a Forerunner, then the word 'this' has great significance. To anyone else, once could just say 'the galaxy', because there would be no confusion regarding which galaxy one was talking about. Therefore, it seems likely that the Forerunner are not native to this galaxy, but came here in trying to escape the Flood. It is not a stretch, considering the technology of the Forerunner, that they may be capable of inter-galactic travel. So, perhaps while other galaxies were being overrun they sent a group to this galaxy to begin the construction of Halos, as I will now elaborate upon. This would go along quite well with the Flood not originally being a part of Halo. (The facility, Library, whatever, not Halo itself, is spoken of as being built to study the Flood.) Therefore, after the completion of Halo, structures were built to study the Flood, perhaps after the Halos were fired. But more about that later. Why is Halo a Fortress world? When GS is talking to MC, he mentions the firing of Halo rather casually, as if it will have no immediate effects on MC. This is important, and why Halo would be a Fortress world. The simple conclusion is that the effects of the firing of Halo do not affect the Halos themselves! Perhaps that is the purpose of the mysterious blue beams...who knows. The point is that the Halos are fortress worlds because they are the only safe place for the Forerunner to be when the Halos are fired. Having said all that, here is the scenario that I find most likely. The Flood is probably some naturally occurring parasite that came into contact with the Forerunner in some other galaxy. To avoid being completely destroyed, some Forerunner came to this galaxy to construct the Halos. Having done this, eventually the Flood caught up with them. Therefore, the Forerunners fired the Halos, wiping this galaxy clean, destroying the Flood, although perhaps they still remain in other galaxies, but without a way of leaving those galaxies now. That doesn't matter. What matters is that now this galaxy is free from the Flood. The Forerunner, with such a reprieve, decide to capture some of the Flood before they all die so they can study them to find a different way of killing them, or, perhaps, to find a way to use them for their own ends. Who knows? With this complete, the Forerunner civilization advances, populations grow, and eventually colonization begins to happen. However, after the firing of the Halos, there are only a few planets that haven't been ecologically devastated- and these happen to be Earth and the Covenant homeworld. A lot can happen in 100,000 years.
Those galaxy-hopping Forerunner. What will we do about them? ;-)
There is a certain amount of resistance to the notion of this galaxy, our galaxy, not having pride of place in the minds of the Forerunner. We would like to think that we would be protected from some galactic cataclysm, or at least left alone to deal with things our own way. After all, if we had never run up against the Covenant, yet some mishap on installation 04 led to the proper "containment protocols," it'd sure be a nasty (and very final) surprise to look up at the sky one day, *FOOM*, and humanity is history.
In contemplating the potential benefits of firing (a) Halo vs. the potential harm though, it may behoove us to consider a little bit larger picture than we might have before. Take a look at this image (almost 9 years old now ;-)). There are approximately 1,500 galaxies in that image alone. That image represents the area of the sky that would be covered by a dime (about 3/4", or a little under 2 centimeters), if you held it 75 feet awat from you. Imagine that. All those galaxies, just waiting out there. An intelligent and forward-thinking race might have a hard time resisting the urge to head out and really take a look around. ;-)
When it comes to behemoth feats of engineering and intra-galactic security, everyone is a critic. As if the Forerunner haven't been cut down enough for their apparent short-sightedness in building a Fortress World that annihilates everything it would seem to protect and keeping samples of the Flood for further study, deadnail pipes in with another quip regarding the way things should have been done. Well they should have asked you, shouldn't they ;)
deadnail (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
If your suit is a class 2 in Forerunner terms, and you are recommended to upgrade to a class 12... what's the top class available?
Did GS343 mean, hey, if you wanna get a class 38 go right the hell ahead, just don't trip and blow up the spacering... I believe he said you should have at least a 12.
They can build hundreds (???) of fekkin humongous spacerings with a 25,000 lightyear blast radius but they couldn't just make a suit for everyone so the Flood couldn't gain advantage in combat?
But a galactic suicide bomb with 10x the mass it would take to make suits for everyone? What would a class 47 pistol do, probably just leave a smoking crater where a combat form was standing. And even if they took major losses in the first fights, the Flood couldn't take control of their dead bodies in those suits.
So what the hell?
The only reason people would act that damn strange is guilt, like they wanted to take themselves all out as well... suicide to keep honor, like maybe admitting that their experiment went out of control and wiped out a few hundred allied species or something.
So maybe the Covenant realize we are the second coming of the Forerunner species. We wiped the Galaxy once, maybe all the Prophets just said, "To hell with it, let's just off the monkies and not worry about them doing it again."
Hell yeah! Er, wait... no. Geesh, I got caught up in the moment there ;)
Scott Porter (email@example.com) writes:
Some people are mentioning the fact that 343 is very calm despite the emergency going on around him is a sign of rampancy or dillusion, but in TFOR on page 338 it says:
She knew they could see the countdown timer, but Cortana noticed that the crew responded well to her calm voice in stressful situations. Thier reactions times generally improved by as much as 15 percent--give or take. Sometimes, human imperfections made calculations maddeningly impercise.
It might just be that 343 has found this working with Marvin Mobuto, or has he been told this, or is it just dillusion and insanity?
Do note aswell on page 337 it says:
Cortana ran a self-diagnostic. Her Alpha-level commands were intact. She had not jeoparfized her primary mission by following this vector.
This means that she is free to do what ever she likes, and then afterwards check to see if it was okay.
Interesting possibility for 343 GS, and consistent with the idea of the Forerunner as an advanced, forward-thinking, big-brain civilization. If you think about it, the little guy got the MC, probably the most determined, focused human alive, to obey his orders (up until a point, that is), so his detached demeanor may be due to more than just his own, personal eccentricities.
As far as Cortana goes, I think the more significant point is that she felt that following the suggestion made by the strange symbols found on Sigma Octanus IV (which led them to Halo) might not be in line with the supposed primary mission (that of securing a Covenant Prophet and returning it to ONI), so much so that she ran a diagnostic on herself to verify. Anyone want to take a stab at deciphering Forerunner symbols with regard to star formations?
The scintillating sounds of soothsayer Sippan:
Sippan (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
...won't we be enemies of the (if any) remaining Forerunner now? Ever read the hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy? The Forerunner have spend a lot of time (I assume) on building Halo, and its sole purpose seems to be to study (and contain) the Flood. Maybe they were only hours away from reaching the purpose of these studies, when! Some idiot from an obscure planet billions of light years away pops up from nowhere to use the installation as his personal battle arena, and he *blows it up*! WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!! Arghhh! It's like you have been building a life-size copy of the Master Chief using matches, and just when you are going to add the final match to the creation, the neighbor kid smashes a football into it. I know I would want to kill, imagine the Forerunner.... =)
Another idea is that the Forerunner had predicted this, but the MC went his own way about things and it didn't turn out the way they thought. I mean, to fire the Halo needed assistance from someone who could make it through The Library and recover the index, and then back to the control room. When the Forerunner built this they must have thought about the fact that if someone wants to activate Halo, that means the Flood have been released, and that means the place will be crawling with Flood. A normal human would be assimilated almost immediately. Guilty Spark can't do it himself. What are the odds of a Spartan ¸bersoldier popping up from nowhere to do the job? So, I think there was some kind of prophecy about this, and that everything was destined to happen up until when Cortana convinced the MC to blow everything up instead.
The mice are going to be right ticked ;)
Prophecy, huh? As in, one that they strayed from, or perhaps, even with Cortana and John's free choices, one they still took part in? Events organized to someone else's liking? Past actions set in motion and orchestrated to converge, allowing John to be there at that exact time? Stranger things have happened...
Such talk of "zones" and how they can be used to "buffer" has been circulating the forum recently. And while intriguing, they could not be justly mentioned without clearing this piece of mail from the queue.
Ross Taylor (email@example.com) writes:
I've just been reading the ideas sparked by 343's use of the term "this galaxy". Perhaps the Forerunner are intergalactic voyagers, but they do not hold this particular galaxy in high regard. During their travels, they came across a problem that could not easily be solved: the Flood, and rather than fight a losing battle they chose to flee. But recognising the ability of the flood to utilise the host's knowledge, they realised the possibility of the Flood travelling to galaxies the Forerunner inhabited.
Rather than travel the universe trying to eradicate all of the Flood, thereby risking making the situation worse by leaving themselves open to exposure, they decided instead to set up 'buffer zones', consisiting of entire galaxies between those of the Forerunnners, and those in which they had encountered the Flood. Using the fortress worlds they would ensure the Flood had no chance of traversing across a galaxy once they had reached it-by killing off their food source and means of mobility. So the Halos are the tools Forerunner use to ensure the flood will not spread to areas important to them.
Hmmm... like keeping the porch clean. Just a thought... but with the Forerunner's vast knowledge and mastery (possibly of space both real and Slip), what if this "buffer zone" happened to be superimposed over one of the areas they wished to protect? What if this galaxy as we know it is merely the "first floor" of the house. If I knew the Flood were downstairs, I don't think I would leave MY room ;)
Peter R., concerned this time with the Forerunner's title, or lack of it.
Forerunner(s). That's no name for a race. It's a term used by later generations of intelligent life, who have first forgotten all about the existence of another form of sentient existence that came before, and then rediscovered the existence of something that came before, but haven't quite figured out everything about it. No live species would cale itself 'forrunner(s)'. That term would be reserved for whom/whatever came before them. Since not even GS seems to know what they're called. one could argue he's from a different timeframe altothether.
Or, no name was thought to have been required, by either 343 Guilty Spark or by the Forerunner themselves. As the Elites so steadfastly hold, a name implies legitimacy; in another sense, it also implies that there is something else that the named object is being contrasted with and discerned from. If the Forerunner were possibly the only sentient/sapient race at one point in history, perhaps naming themselves seemed entirely superfluous?
Although it is unlikely that Cortana's labelling them as such is entirely arbitrary and unfounded...
The Forerunner seeded the galaxy like it was going out of style.
Gabriel Erickson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Hi Eye (email@example.com) write:
In away I see the Forerunner like a race in a old Star Trek Next Gen episode. In the Star Trek episode the Humans, Klingons, Romulans, and I forget who else, discover an ancient artifact that they assume is a super powerful weapon. They without trust work together to uncover the artifacts mystery and eventually come to a key planet. There they discover that the artifact isnt a weapon but a piece of Ancient(in the cosmic scale) History. A hologram of sorts appears and tells the assorted species the tale of its race; how they had lived so long as the only sentient species in the galaxy that they eventually started to die, as though the species had become genetically stagnant. They then created all the sentient races in the galaxy before they disappeared forever.
Chris Barrett (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
After thoroughly reading the story section, I was somewhat surprised by the belief that the Forerunner were a benevolent race that maintained a living Flood culture, possibly out of regret for nearly eradicating them. However, the very nature of everything we are presented whilst treading on Halo depicts a frighteningly contradictory image.
First off, we have the Sentinels and 343 GS. Why would a race so intent on the survival of the Flood (GS: "...their survival as a race was dependent on it. I am glad some of them have survived to reproduce", assuming that's the stance you take) focus on producing defense systems optimized for the purging of Flood Rangers, the most defenseless Flood form? This seems somewhat against commonly accepted Forerunner ethos. While I accept they probably used only in the event of an outbreak, aren't the Flood supposed to be maintained in a stasis-like state? The only possible cause of an outbreak would be the introduction of foreign vectors into the environment, something that was clearly not intended to happen (furthermore, the Sentinels are all but worthless against other forms of Flood. Why combat the Flood with weapons that are ineffective against their dangerous forms?). Furthermore, the Forerunner submit the complete authority and control over Halo and the Sentinels to an unstable and psychotic AI. Surely the Forerunner with their god-like technologies had experience with AIs, and could have anticipated 343 GS' erratic and dangerous behavior. Why allow a 'rampant' AI such a degree of control? What is concerning is if 343 Guilty Spark is in fact based on a Forerunner behavioral pattern, much like how Cortana et al are procured from human brains. A perplexing race indeed, particularly if most have a similar disposition to insanity as 343 GS.
An entire race of 343 Guilty Sparks. The mind reels.
This does bring up an interesting point about the Forerunner, though. The Covenant obviously worship them, and there is a perception that Forerunner technology is far superior, but GS is not the most stellar of examples, is he? Or, is he?
The Flood, and the Forerunner's own susceptibility.
NRW380 (NRW380@aol.com) writes:
On p. 241 of The Flood, it tells that the flood were kept for future research, and were known as well for their ability to take over other life forms, "even advanced life forms", which implies that the Forerunner(s) could be affected by the Flood which must mean that the Forerunner(s) were a living species, not some robotic creature(s) like some theories have told.
What is included in the phrase "advanced lifeforms" that is not covered by merely the descriptive phrase "life forms"? The Flood can only utilize organisms of sufficient mass and cognitive capability (the minimum necessary): Grunts, Humans, Elites, etc.; life forms. But what is the nature of the possible creatures implied under the expanding adjective "advanced", and do the Forerunner fit into this category? Does this entail cybernetic enhancement or silicon based life, or is it merely a means of distinguishing between Carrier-worthy hosts like the Grunts and Jackals, and more intelligent, viable Warrior/Worker species such as the Elites and Humans?
Otto Mossberg (email@example.com), this time about Slipstream's nasty undertow:
Awhile back, someone noted that it didn't seem to take long, according to H:TF, to get to the Halo system, in relation to the ammount of time it took to get from Sigma Octanus to Reach. I noticed this in the Halo storyline (found originally on the Microsoft Halo site, I believe):
"Scientists noted an odd "flexibility" to temporal flow while inside the Slipstream. Though no human scientist is sure why travel time between stars is not constant, many theorize that there are "eddies" or "currents" within the Slipstream-there is generally a five to ten percent variance in travel times between stars."
Whether or not that 5-10% is enough to put the Halo system outside of UNSC space, and beyond ONIs prying eyes, I don't know.
Maybe not... Does the Forerunner crystal from Reach merely exploit these currents or winds in some way? Adjust the sails, so to speak?
Shane Meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
In "Halo: First Strike", Cortana, after studying the Covenant plasma weaponry aboard the flagship Ascendant Justice improves it.
Instead of using the standard method by selecting the charged plasma atoms with proper trajectory necessary to it a target and shunting them into a magnetic bubble and then discharging it and using subsequent pulse charges to herd the plasma to the target.
Cortana instead used EM pulses a priori to align the stochastic motions of the plasma atoms, herding their trajectories and eleven degrees of electron freedom into a laser-fine columnated beam within a microsecond.
To me, this new firing system, which is described as red laser-like beams, sounds awfully like the weapons used by the Sentinels. This would reinforce the fact that the Covies don't understand the technology that they have attained and since Cortana, as a human AI and using human knowledge, made an innovation through human technology, suggests a human-forerunner connection
Yet another Human-Forerunner connection suggested. It may be simply that Humans, exemplified by Cortana, are more innovative, more intelligent than the Covenant, though. Nevertheless, those connections keep adding up...
Stuart Glass (Stuart.Glass@macquarie.com) writes:
On the use of "forerunner" symbols on covenant equipment and armour and on certain halo structures; could there be several classes of script?
I have been wondering why the same forerunner symbols don't appear all over halo's control panels, subsystem panels, lift and door buttons. If they were the forerunner's written form of language they'd be everywhere, rather than a few key symbols in specific locations. Could these symbols be a form of lesser pictographic language used by the forerunners in the same way the ancient Egyptians used Heiroglyphics for the masses on their monuments and Demotic script for writing business, legal, scientific, literary and religious documents?
This could explain why the Covenant only have and use the pictographic symbols of the forerunner, and why they mistranslated halo's forerunner symbols that were used to warn against the flood.
(As a counterpoint, who is to say that the symbols were not put there by the Covenant after their arrival on halo to mark certain structures in a way that the troops would know their purpose?)
Mentioned and entirely possible... Whether the Covenant marked areas themselves, or merely misinterpreted those left behind by the Forerunner, this idea of multiple scripts or dialects is fascinating indeed.
He also makes a point resurrecting an old Forerunner idea...
Further in the Maw, while you are cracking engine shields, 343 GS also says (which is, funny enough, not in your list of transcripts)
"hand over the construct, or I will be forced to turn you offline"
Think about that. If he knows you are human, how could he turn you offline? Perhaps the foreruners are not another race or species...but a race of AI.
If they were a race of AI, and I'm not saying they are, mind you, just, you know, pondering, then is it possible that they might have...
Boxer [subnova] (email@example.com) writes:
This theory is based on the idea that The Forerunner could be infected by The Flood.
"The installation was well conceived. It is surely the only way to end The Flood threat."
"The installation was specifically built to study and contain the Flood. Their survival as a race was dependent upon it."
It appears that Halo was designed to destroy The Flood while at the same time it was designed to study and contain them. Quite a paradox we have here.
"While naturally the Flood is simply too dangerous to release, my mass sterilization protocols may have been in need of being activated. Of course, samples were kept here after the last catastrophic outbreak...for study. It seems that that decision may have been an error."
?I am grateful to see that some of them survived to reproduce."
It seems that 343 GS can?t keep his thoughts straight. The Flood are too dangerous to release so they must be exterminated yet he is glad to see that some have survived. Perplexing indeed.
Alright, here?s the theory.
I believe that The Flood were at war with The Forerunners. How this started and the origins of The Flood are irrelevant at this point. The fact of the matter is that The Forerunner were fighting The Flood.
It is apparent that destroying all life in the galaxy was the only way The Forerunner could destroy The Flood. This has led me to the conclusion that Halo was conceived with two purposes: 1) Destroy all Flood. 2) Imprison X amount of Flood (possibly for interrogation?).
If this is the case than Halo was designed with the ability to protect The Flood imprisoned within, but not exclusive to, the facility in the swamp on 343GS. Perhaps The Forerunners did this because they wanted to keep Flood specimens alive in order to find out what the cause of the original Flood "outbreak". This could be misinterpreted as wanting to keep The Flood from becoming extinct.
So, if my theory holds, it would seem that Halo is both a Galactic Prison of sorts while at the same time being the Executioner.
If 343 Guilty Spark has actually gone the Monitor's equivalent of insane (and there's not much evidence to the contrary), then it'd be easy to imagine him "misinterpreting" things to ensure the Flood's survival at all costs. Intriguing!
IdenTheBox (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
It seems to me no one is ever going to be give the poor Forerunners a break about keeping the flood around. I would like to point out that even we humans are guilty about taking something that was once incredibly dangerous and killed hundreds of thousands, and then instead of eradicating it we merely contained and studied it. Small pox. And while not on the same plane of deadliness that the flood exists on, if small pox was released there would of been a huge epademic as it would of taken months to make enough vaccines for everyone. So give the poor forerunners a break, it's something intelligent species do, study, even at their own risk.
See, it's not that they kept the Flood around. We've had more than a few submissions that pointed out that many human countries stockpile nasty, virulent things. No, the big question with regards to the Forerunner is why destroy the entire galaxy in case the Flood get out? If the Forerunner don't occupy this galaxy anymore, then why not just let the Flood have the whole thing as a playground? If they do occupy this galaxy (or did, at some point in the past), what is so flipping special about the Flood that they'd destroy all, but still keep 'em around? So, no! No break for them!!
email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Well, I saw Lori's post, and I think his second idea IS possible (Forerunners are small). Heck, Maybe they are some flying brains (ok this sounds stupid) and wears Robotic suits? Maybe the highest evolution is to ditch the body and leave the vital part-- the Brain (Maybe the heart is with the brain).
That could explain the big and small doorways, maybe the small ones are emergency entrance for the forerunner to enter or exit the area when something went wrong.
Ah stupid idea. :P And it's been 101,217 years from now. What could Flying Brains evolve into? ; )
Maybe not so stupid after all. ;-)
Yeah, I know that's an Engineer. But where do you suppose the Engineers came from, hmm? Hmm?
The Forerunner: Just a bunch of guys, checking stuff out. Did they know that anyone would eventually live in this backwater galaxy? Maybe so, maybe not...
Nic_Arrington@Dell.com (Nic_Arrington@Dell.com) writes:
I think things are being over analyzed.
Who is to say that forerunner ever cared for anything in this universe to begin with?
What makes us think that GS343 is working towards forerunner goals.
Who is to say if anything surrounding covenant and human decent has anything to do with forerunner ether way?
First I propose that our universe/Realm of existence was in the time of the forerunner nothing more than a quarantined universe used for study and experimentation on the Flood. Halo was designed to contain flood and keep it manageable within this realm. In a lab environment you dont want your specimens to be eating the table or running down the hall, even if you dont care about the dean, it just makes since to keep it under the lenses in the Petri dish! This is essentially what Halo is!
Architecture: Halo's design layout appears to be two fold. Scientific and strategic planning. It is NOT military in design, I site that every structure and access point to halo is an airlock (two doors for every access point) blast doors for inter access locations (tunnels that connect between what appear to be maintenance halls) every entrance is angular meaning you make a turn before and after every door you go through (this indicates internal desire failsafe in case of blast scenarios) These indicate that Halo was designed for strategic defense. Next: in the level GS343 the underground structure is mainly built for scientific research and quarantine lockdown. There are two levels here, The lower level is closed and constrained. There is little to NO intended access to the upper level. This indicates whatever is on the low level needs to stay there. this is maintained by the energy bridge leading to tee exits and the blast doors at every entrance. Also note the airlocks upper deck has a glass floor! No doubt for observation of what is running around downstairs. Also not the double blast doors and the containment barrier and observation deck outside the Flood containment aria and the blast doors covering what appears to be containment cells. And the air/fluid fonts on the floors. (these are similar to what is used in containment in CDC SAC rooms) these rooms were built to house gaseous pathogens and possible infected specimens. The lack of a decent lab table indicates that large specimens were studied here, possibly the macro lab? Only issue here is the fact the blast doors are so darn week! Call it a design flaw, call it old (100,000 years or more) equipment, whatever it is, the flood just beat the doors open. Anyway moving on. The control room. Ok this is just interesting. The building was designed to be DIFFICULT TO ATTACK, not impenetrable. This is for strategic defense, if the flood does become unmanageable on halo well they cant get control OF halo!
SIDE NOTE: notice all the airlocks? Well this tells me one thing. Halo can be vented into space! This indicates flood may not be able to survive in a vacuumed! It makes since, most microorganisms tend to "pop" in a vacuumed. I can and probably will repost a complete analysis of the structure of halo but right now I dont have time. suffice it to say Hal is not a military installation "halo is not a cudgel, you barbarian" it is a scientific installation. Its design is to this end. I note the lack of ANY forerunner weapons! Save halo itself. Halo was used to study flood or some other similar micro/macro organism and halo's varied environments only support this. It probably is mobile, and possibly inter dimensional travel capable. In my educated opinion it was brought here to study what was deemed dangerous research and our galaxy/universe is the test chamber, if forerunner was so advanced, why would they study flood in their own universe and risk infection? They wouldnt! when they were done OR when things got out of hand, or when their funding got pulled, they left and left halo (and her sister rings) here. "let those pesky covenant fools deal with it." sounds right. they might have fired it just to "tidy up" a little. Before leavening. Like I said who says they cared?
New light has been shed on the Covenant-Forerunner relationship that may indicate a greater likelihood of the above-mentioned view. Both the human race and the Covenant client races may have been only gleams in the respective eyes of various single-celled creatures scattered across this galaxy when the Forerunner(s) passed on.
Harbinger: the title of First Strike's epilogue, and so much more...
Paul (email@example.com) writes:
firstly, I just wanted to say that you guys rock and that as a huge bungie.org fan and halo fan that you're work on keeping all us loonies informed is not without great thanks and kudo's.
Ok - I have been doing a bit of dictionary and thesaurus work of late on Halo names and one that got me quite excited was when I plugged in "Forerunner" into dictionary.com (not plug intended) and heres what a got:
a. One that precedes, as in time; a predecessor. b. An ancestor; a forebear.
a. One that comes before and indicates the approach of another; a harbinger. b. A warning sign or symptom.
Ok - so most of us are like "duh" about the first result, as in #1. But #2 has some major implications on who the Forerunner are. And I doubt seriously that Bungie would have chosen the word and its meanings by chance.
No, never by chance. There has been mention lately of the possibility of a new race and/or species in Halo 2. Could this be the "harbingee" Paul's theory would allude to? If so, the Forerunner link would have to indicate that the Forerunner themselves knew this possible "other" was to come. Intriguing!
dcburt (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Is the index holographic or solid? it seems to change to switch around. The chief holds it, and then the moniter zaps it into data, and then cortana's hologram hand tosses it away. What actually is it?
Excellent question, really great. This is one of the things that I imagine one would find in the pages of the famed Halo Story Bible, right there for anyone to read. Anyone who gets past the Webmaster, that is. Which all goes to say that we might never know. Damn. But, again, good question. ;-)
(Which is not to say that the subject hasn't been toyed with...)
Matt Forbes (MATTHEW.FORBES@rwe.com) writes:
The following theory was posted a few months ago on the Forum, but was done so in reply to a dying thread, (there were reasons for this which I won't bore you with), and as such was hardly read by anyone. (Here's a newer thread that looks at the same stuff, which currently can be replied to. -Ed.)
I was playing through the Library last night, when something 343 said struck me as odd, and made me question whether he really knows who or what he is talking to. He refers to your armour as a "Combat Skin" in the comments he makes about your need to upgrade it, but when he mentions the Flood changing the atmosphere, he says "Your Environment Suit should serve you well..." This differing nomenclature made me wonder whether the two items he refers to are different - i.e. your armour is what he refers to as the 'Environment Suit', and your 'Combat Skin' is the Chief's body?
Sounds bonkers, but bear with me. We don't really know anything about the Forerunner, and have no physical evidence of their form - could they be so advanced that they no longer have their own bodies, but have the ability to control other being's physical forms? The Chief certainly seems to know how to use Forerunner tech even though he's not supposed to have come across it before, and 343 GS could recognise something in the Chief's brainwaves, rather than in his physical form. A Forerunner may be piggybacking his way across Halo in the Chief's brain! GS could be berating the Forerunner's choice of body to secure the Index - he came in a crappy Human combat skin, rather than another one. Perhaps the last time Halo was set off, the Forerunner were forced to occupy Flood beings, as the rest of the Galaxy was "quite devoid of life", and this is why GS says that "their [Forerunner?] survival as a race was dependent on it" - meaning the enduring of the Flood. Why don't the Forerunner have full control over their human vehicle? I don't know, but possibly they've been used to sitting in a Flood's knackered cerebral cortex for too long and are out of practice, or maybe John 117's intense military training and monolithic sense of duty makes him immune.
It could also explain why all the doors on Halo are different sizes, because depending on which being the Forerunners were inhabiting, different sized portals may have been necessary. The idea that GS isn't actually talking to the Chief could account for the perception that GS thinks the Chief has set off Halo before - he doesn't think the Chief has at all, as he is actually addressing the Forerunner in John 117's head, who have/has set Halo off before, and having done so were forced to inhabit the forms of the very creatures they sought to contain.
Indeed, we don't know much about the Forerunner. Their creation was all around us throughout the game, yet we've never had the slightest inkling that something was watching from the shadows. Or, have we? And, which shadows, eh?
I've got one last thing - I'm starting to believe that the symbols at Sigma Octanis and Reach were created by Humans, rather than Forerunners. Why would a race trying to study or contain a species - in what I would assume to be seclusion - point the way to its cage? Instead, I think the Humans put those symbols there to make sure that if the Flood were ever released again (is "broken covenant" of any Biblical significance?) they would know where to go in order to kill them. I just can't reconcile this with the fact that the Covenant knew where to look for the stones, though.
Perhaps such a hypothetical earlier human civilization had a secondary purpose in putting those symbols where they might be found. After all, might there be some of us who would realize that we had left those for ourselves? Would our previous selves trust us that much? Are we worthy of such trust? Hypothetically speaking, of course? ;-)
email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I'm not sure if anybody's suggested this before, but it seems everybody thinks that the Forerunners were human. What if they were, instead, our overlords?
I can't help but wonder if maybe the humans were at one point enslaved or created by the Forerunners - in the Bible, God made a "Covenant" with Noah (or just humanity in general, but I can't remember, nor can I find my Bible at the moment) that he would never unleash a "Flood" again. Now, the Flood part is obvious. And I'm sure that it's been postulated before that the Covenant may have been created or commanded (or something) by the Forerunner to guard the Halo installations.
Now, there are obviously some problems with this idea, but I've got a few answers to those questions, too. Since the Spartans seem to be eerily familiar with Forerunner stuff - the light bridge comes to mind, as does the Reach underground with the symbols and everything - it seems to suggest that at some point in our far past, the humans were created by the Forerunners and would, subsequently, gain an intimate knowledge of their constructs and language and all that. Now, have there been any people aside from Spartans that have been oddly familiar with Forerunner things? It a long shot, but maybe it has to do with the augmentations Dr. Halsey made to them - a side effect of the reaction speeding, perhaps. IIRC, it increased the speed of information inside their brains? It isn't impossible that such an unexplored surgical procedure could enhance other abilities, like increased capacity to access genetic memory.
Good point. The uncanny abilities that the SPARTANs have with certain Forerunner elements has always pointed to some kind of relationship between the two, but, as always, the specific definition eludes us. Perhaps we have found a way to tap into our "inner Forerunner."
Daen Musick (email@example.com) writes:
Just a few thoughts I felt like pointing a finger or two at.
My thought is on the Forerunners. Simply put - I don't think that the Forerunners mentioned so frequently as if they were theorigins of so many relics on so many planets were, in fact, organic. I've been kicking back and forth the idea that they were/are themselves constructs.
 Reason for keeping the flood.
- The construct-Forerunners ultimate goal was for themselves to not be machines, but organic. They wanted to contain and study the flood so as to better understand how they could, themselves, become organic entities. Suppose that this happened, initially, very long ago. Proir to the original developement of the dinosaurs or something. Give us a big time frame.
 Construct-Forerunner creation 'myths' and deification.
- Suppose after oh-so-many millions of years the construct-Forerunners get good at what they do, but are unsatisfied with the results. Sprouting from a conversation with a friend some time ago I had these thoughts, which lend to the 'failed experiment idea' I'm about to pose.
- Grunts are slow, and fairly weak as individuals. Fire absorbtion detail. Seems like what humans in reality produce with mechanical systems. Something that fills a niche.
- Jackals, while faster than grunts and more nimble, seem to be a deal more frail. Scouting detail.So now we have a robot that has more functioanlity, but is prone to mechanical failure.
- Hunters are by no means bright, but they make well with heavy lifting. Shock/seige troops. Now you have a 'bot capable of motion, but with a processor speed of your grandma's computer.
- Engineers seem fairly gear headed, and one track minded. Repair duties. Something that thinks a lot, but isn't as sturdy in form as the dumb guy upstairs.
- Brutes. I don't know terribly much at all about them, but they seem to be a mix between tactical and fire power. While still slightly out of balance, they're getting closer to multi-function.
- Elites are athletic, fairly intelligent, and all around quite capable. They are the scalpel force. They pilot the vehicles. They're the top of the food chain, but they can't do all the repairing, heavy lifting, scouting, fire absorbtion, etc.
- Prophets are brains that float. They have the least balance of all of the covenant. Seeing their creators and knowing them, they form the spiritual backbone of the Covenant. Deifying the construct-Forerunners.
- Humans. Simply put, and not to be egotistical and all, we are natures problem solvers. I we are what the construct-Forerunners would enter into the science fair. For every separate race the covenant has any human -can- accomodate. While not quite as well, they can do it. All of it.
 Failed experiments and jealous older 'brothers' abound.
- So, if all of the covenant we've seen so far has been a handful of failed construct-Forerunner attempts at making themselves organic forms, then I suppose they wouldn't care much for the successes. Namely humans. Prophets being the bright alien buggers they are know what humans are, and that is why they've declared spiritual war on all of humanity in the name of their creators. Why? They feel envy.
 Possible holes in this idea.
- Where are the construct-Forerunners now? It's not like they'd die if they were, as they are mechanical.
- Why would all the races be on separate planets?
- Why wouldn't the Prophets know where Earth was in the first place?
 Possible solution to possible holes.
- The construct-Forerunners were nomadic. Traveling from planet to planet, system to system. Constantly looking to make their creations 'better' and more functional. As humans were their 'perfect children' and 'last' to be made it's very possible that the construct-Forerunners had simply travelled far enough away from the prophets for the humans to go unnoticed. They've also travelled farther off, in hopes of finding more to study.
- The Halo rings were not left with the express purpose of killing the food source of the flood. While it was one purpose, they would also be able to destroy any experiments that went so wrong as to be dangerous. The flood were allowed to continueexisting because they were always being studied for how they interact with other organisms. Another possibility would be missed destruction of all flood on Halo, and the rings left active in case the need arose to kill off the newly created food source.
 Odds and ends.
- 343GS is a construct-Forerunner, as are all of the sentinels. Left behind to maintain the ring, defend it when needed. Any reference by 343GS to the Forerunners is his creators. As I would expect they also made other mechanical 'life' along side themselves for menial tasks. This lends the cyclops idea a little more go for myself, with wall patterns, etc. Sentinels also only have one eye.
- John was assumed to be the reclaimer for his armor. The large faceplate resembling a single eye. Machine skin. 343GS, if he were a construct-Forerunner 'worker drone' of sorts would know the goal of creating a singular, self dependant race. John would epitomize this goal.
- 343GS also assumed John knew what he was supposed to do, his duty, because all construct-Forerunners would know. It would be in their databanks to opperate Halo when need be.
- An alternate/additional flood thought is that they were the initial 'accident' of the construct-Foreunners, and they were kept so that they could learn from their mistakes.
- The last time Halo was 'blown' was what killed the dinosaurs, but enough small mammals survived that when the construct-Forerunners arrived they had a basis to build off of, as I would expect is what happened with all the other races in the Halo universe that I've posed as possibly beign made by these 'construct-Forerunners.'
A lot of intriguing possibilities in there. Nomadic Forerunner, galaxy-seeding, explanations of the Sentinels and 343 Guilty Spark, a decent explanation for the usefullness of the Flood, all definitely worthy of further exploration.
A very short submission to end the updating day with -
Alan Mitchell (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
It seems to me that everyone has assumed the Forerunners to be a single species, but what if they were a collective of different species, possibly with a religious underpinning like the Covenant. This might help explain the religious connotations of some of the names they use (eg. Flood, Ark, Reclaimer). It could also be possible that the Forerunners used Humans and Prophets as servants before they became sentient, hence they survived the Halo's firing.
Poor abandoned Prophets
Sometimes, when reading a theory - you just gotta shout 'yes' several times.
Mike Happel (email@example.com) writes:
The single biggest idea supporting the theory of Forerunners being complex machines, is the nature of the Halos' ultimate weapons. When one really considers what the weapon would fire, that is, an extremely long-range and high-energy blast of
electro-magnetic radiation (i.e. pure energy), and one
also considers what large amounts of energy, and more
specifically, radiation, does to biological systems,
it seems somewhat silly to assume that a weapon as
highly advanced as the Halo charge can discriminate
between intelligent and possibly intelligent creatures
and those that pose no possibility of being infected
by the Flood. While the Halos' weapons are in fact
advanced, as they can fire across interstellar
distances and still retain enough energy to destroy
life in whatever form, the weapon is more akin to a
high-energy bomb, than a precision weapon. And bombs
do not discriminate between targets. Nor does
radiation, which I assume is what would necessarilly
be killing off the "potential hosts." From a
biological standpoint, radiation kills EVERYTHING. To
date, only bacteria have been known to survive high
doses of radiation.
The point I'm trying to make is that if the Halos were
fired once only 100,000 years ago, and were fired
across the entire galaxy as suggested in Halo 2's
final video and throughout several points in the game,
then the galaxy would not have had enough time for
higher biological forms to evolve. Not in a span of
one hundred thousand years.
However, if one considers what the detonation of a
nuke does on a greater scale than the base destruction
by fire and energy in a certain area, that is, the
electro-magnetic pulse created in that time, which
fries unshielded machinery and renders it useless, or
if the theory on Forerunner being intelligent machines
is correct, rendering the vessels which support
Forerunner "life" useless and lifeless (a body, any
body biological or mechanical, is but a shell without
the mind or program which operates it). Thus, I'm
suggesting that if it fact the Forerunner were
highly-evolved MACHINES, the Halos could have fired
something akin to an electro-magnetic pulse on a
galactic scale, destroying or making useless all
unshielded machinery (i.e. Forerunner bodies).
It might be argued that this is ridiculous, as
intelligent machines should work towards protecting
themselves in all conditions and against all damages.
But think of the way humans utilize both computers,
and more recently, biological life. We try to create
software and hardware that work together to emulate
biological life, while we also are attempting to use
biological life as machines and for industrial
purposes, replacing machines with engineered animals
that are essentially biological machines. And consider
the probes that we send into space or to other
planets. Inately, those probes and the hardware and
software within them are perfectly suited for the
environment that they originated in. Only when they
are sent somewhere else do they require protection.
Humans are exactly the same. We have minimal
biological defenses to allow us to thrive within
certain conditions until we can change our environment
to better suit the way we live. Is it so ridiculous to
assume that intelligent machines would behave in
exactly the same way, finding a specific set of
environmental parameters that they could thrive
within, and then changing, in the case of the
Forerunner, any and all environments to properly suit
their specific niche, leaving them vulnerable (but not
necessarilly aware of it) to certain dangers. Such as
an electro-magnetic pulse. Life on earth is synonymous
to this. We like to think that we're really safe here,
but how fragile is our ecosystem in reality?
It also seems likely that a highly-evolved artificial
life-form (especially if intelligent) would behave
exactly as a highly-evolved biological life-form would
in the same situations. If the only difference is in
the stuff inside, the machines which keep us alive and
what they are made of, then it is quite feasible that
life made of machines could think and act exactly like
life as humans know it.
The counter-argument here is the second piece in the
Halo puzzle, the Flood. Why would machines be afraid
of infection? Why should machines even fear biological
life at all, especially something like the Flood which
acts as a virus on biological systems?
Consider what we do know of the Flood:
-Guilty spark says that they do, in fact, have a very
high understanding of mechanical systems...Does this
stem from being able to infect the machine-like
-Think of the pelicans in Halo 2 which are controlled
by the Flood. Large blobs of Flood flesh that can
interface with an electronic system. A biological
entity that can infect a computer!
-They're highly adaptive, and their hosts must have a
sufficient nervous system (who says it can't be
electronic?) and material deposits to facilitate
growth of Flood bodies on the host.
So, what if the Flood is in fact the ultimate weapon
or life-form because it can utilize and infect both
intelligent biologicals and highly-evolved machine
Some more thoughts:
Notice how biological life and mechanical systems
resemble each other. For each ability that one
possesses, an alternative which serves the same
function can be found on the other. And if given
possibility to evolve (what says machines cannot?
Humans do not know what makes US evolve) it seems
likely that either side would move towards the perfect
system, which could be either mechanical, biological,
or both. If complex enough, the Flood could utilize
either. Someone might argue, that the Flood only use
machines as tools to further their feast on the
galaxy, but let's think then, about why they use
intelligent beings in the first place. As TOOLS. The
Flood is more of the perfect weapon, being able to
interface with anything it chooses given, enough
complexity in the host.
Which would make humans a perfectly acceptable loss, if they are only incubators for the virus that can affect machines . . .
There was going to be an entirely different entry here, but Number 777 deserved something more interesting. Thusly, I give you: nanobots! It was the closest to time travel I could find.
Andrew McAllister (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I was recently reading an article on how an advanced civilization would escape the slowly collapsing universe. Then something hit me. What if the Forerunner are from another universe, but are not yet here? This may seem a bit odd, but one of the ways to escape a universe which is heading towards the "Big Crunch", involves sending a nanobot to the new universe instead of an actual being from the civilization. To put it briefly, the civilization makes a very small wormhole and sends one nanobot into this new universe. This nanobot is packed with DNA and many other things needed to remake the civilization on the other side. The nanobot travels at light speed into the new universe and lands on a habitable planet or moon. It then slowly builds a chemical factory that would make millions of copies of the nanobot. These bots travel to even more planets and moons, making even more factories, making even more nanobots. Soon trillions of these bots are expanding at the speed of light and colonizing an entire galaxy. At some point, the bots would create a laboratory that would allow them to inject the DNA of the original civilization and clone the species. If the scientists could encode memories and personalities into the nanobots, the civilization would essentially be cloned into the new universe.
Now put a Halo twist on it. What if the Forerunner were in the middle of this process? The Halos may be giant factories preparing for the Forerunner to be reincarnated. The Halos are giant worlds where a civilization could live. They have structures, factories, even the power to wipe out the galaxy of all sentient life. Maybe the Forerunner wanted a fresh, clean galaxy to start with when they woke up in their new galaxy. What if they did come to the galaxy, but instead woke up to the Flood. The Flood could be like an infestation of the Halo and 343 Guilty Spark and the Sentinels are trying to kill off the Flood to allow their masters to come back to the new galaxy. This theory may be stretching it a bit but I thought I would add something of my own for us to think about.
Out there like Pluto, man. Still, "preserved structures" on Delta Halo, the countless machines left behind . . . every theory has its merits.
"These fragments I have shored against my ruins..."
HeLL_Penguin (email@example.com) writes:
I remember first playing through Regret and such, looking around and wondering about the ruins. I mean, it simply just didn't add up that the Forerunner technology was given such a sleek & shiny apearance in Halo, only to be reworked as ancient inhabitants the next [though staff interviews have mentioned that the uniform, tidy appearance of buildings in the first game was a regret]. But on reading the Weekly What's Update for 3/28/05, in the description for the new map "Warlock" (Wizard) it is said that the ruined building "predates Halo itself, and that it must've been moved [there], brick by brick, with obvious reverence by the Forerunner themselves".
This sounds to me as if the ruins weren't actually integral parts of Forerunner technology or even design at the moment but more... decoration. Ditto the birds and trees. Either this or, seeing as Halo is apparently a testing facility as well as a containment facility, the environment could've been provided as a testing grounds for the flood? If so, were they at war with another faction in their race? or are the ruins and atmosphere from another race?
Hmmm. So, is this a sign of yet another race that the Forerunner once looked up to, or as Cortana hinted at when analyzing the Halo 05 craters and protected structures, are these ruins a monument to Forerunner destroyed in some earlier cataclysm? Or are they the last remnants of a world they abandoned, tokens taken with them? Hmm. Hmmm.
Analysis of the Sigma Octanus 4 Artifacts and Related Information
As you may have noticed, I don't usually post the huge submissions we sometimes get (I leave that to my cohorts ;). Every so often though, the length is required simply to span the breadth of the point being made. At least, I think there's a point ;)
Anton P. Nym (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I've been spending some (far too much, probably) time mulling over the artifacts mentioned in the Halo novel "The Fall of Reach". There are some interesting conclusions in my maundering which may open up some new areas of speculation.
There's a lot to cover, so for ease of reference I've made them bullet points. The bullets indicate what kind of point applies each is; a dash (-) is a fact I can back up with references from Bungie sources, an asterisk (*) is a general observation that I can't cite a Bungie reference for, a pound sign (#) is a conclusion related to prior points, and the question mark (?) shows The Big Question all this leads to.
(References are abbreviated; CE refers to Halo:Combat Evolved (the game), FoR to "The Fall of Reach" novel, tF to "The Flood" novel, and FS to "First Strike" novel.)
I don't think it's vapour, but maybe someone else can show me the holes...
- Several similar artifacts were found on Sigma Octanus 4, "typically... in long eroded impact craters on the planet surface [made] at present minus sixty thousand years" according to Cortana. (FoR, p. 233-4)
- Sigma Octanus is 40,000 light years away from a black hole showing evidence of matter trapped in its accretion disk with similar encoding to these artifacts (FoR, p.234)
* Placing both references on the same page, in the same block of dialog, implies that these two are connected. The sly reference to human error also implies that the authour is giving himself a fudge factor in case the arithmetic is off. (Hah! I've been behind the authorial curtain too, Mr. Nylund! I'm wise in the ways of the wriggle-room...)
- Halo has been in existance for "[e]xactly 101,217 local years" according to 343 Guilty Spark (tF, p.238)
- The exact length of a "local year" is firmly and decisively evaded in interviews. (http://nikon.bungie.org/misc/nylund_interview.020204.html)
* 40,000 ly away + 60,000 years ago = 100,000 years, implying a connection between the founding of Installation 04 and the event at this black hole. Or it could be a coincidence... (In a Bungie product? Yah, right.)
# The artifacts travelled from the black hole to Sigma Octanus.
# This would mean that the artifacts could be transported from system to system.
# If the dates are to line up, then the artifacts had to travel at roughly light speed from the black hole to Sigma Octanus
- Covenant ships have their control rooms "buried deep within heavily-armoured hulls, making them impervious to anything less than a mortal blow." (tF, p.4)
- Cortana comments that she thought that the Covenenant were "looking for the bridge of the ship I damaged during the battle above the ring" (tF, p.117, which is dialog from CE scripting from cinematic leading to "Shut up and get behind me - Sir." on T&R) This shows that Cortana belives that control rooms can be separated from the rest of the ship by catastrophic damage... finding a crashed starship should be fairly simple if it's intact, but finding all the pieces of a shattered one would be more difficult.
* The Covenant borrow heavily from Forerunner designs and architecture, but are not yet as good.
* The Forerunners built to last... Halo must be made of extremely durable materials to survive spinning for over 100,000 years. (not as strong as Niven's Ringworld, but pretty mighty anyway.)
- Even small artifacts of the Forerunner are difficult to damage or destroy when built to protect the contents... in The Flood they make intense efforts to just cut through ventilation grilles (tF p.295, they "depleted at least a hundred energy pistols and rifles") without breaching it.
# Forerunner ship control rooms were likely extremely durable.
- Earth AIs are encoded on crystals (many references, such as Halsey's comment on p.128 of FS.)
- Forerunners used crystals for advanced constructs, such as the grav-adapted one in FS (p.148 shows the discovery)
- The Cole Protocol is designed to keep navigational information out of the Covenant's hands. This includes removing ship-board AIs. (tF p.25-6, and CE cinematic leading to "Cyborgs and Ship AIs first!" on PoA)
- Multiple navigation coordinates are found in the Cote d'Azur stone according to Eric Nylund.
* Pathways into Darkness, a prior Bungie game, takes place on the Yucatan... site of the Alvarez asteroid (dino killer) impact crater 65 million years ago. Something survived that impact...
* Bungie likes to carry over themes from prior games. (PiD ancient aliens/Marathon Jjaro -> Halo Forerunners)
* Even very small masses can create large impact craters when travelling at relativistic speeds. The size of the crater is determined by the impact energy, and the kinetic energy of an object travelling at near light speed is huge!
# The Sigma Octanus crystals are remnants of Forerunner shipboard navigation systems, possibly even shipboard AI matrices.
* Relating this to earlier points, this implies that at least one Forerunner vessel was destroyed at the black hole. Probably many more, as dispersion over 40,000 ly would scatter debris very widely even with a narrow exit angle. You need a lot of debris to make multiple collisions with Sigma Octanus 4 plausible.
# There was a major battle, or space-related catastrophe, at that black hole at roughly the same time that Halo 04 was constructed. Since the scale we're using is in thousands of years, "roughly the same time" could be several thousand years apart.
? Did the battle or catastrophe lead to the construction of the Halos? Or did construction of the Halos lead to this event? Only the Bungiegods truly know...
Arthur C. Clarke, suits vs. skins, and the Forerunner
eMCee (email@example.com) writes:
*I think it should be noted that this submission contains spoilers for Clarke's 2001 series.*
I've been reading Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series, and quite a few things reminded me of Halo and Marathon. The most interesting in my opinion was "The First Born." This race reminded me of the Jjaro or Forerunner. The First Born were an extremely advanced race, and valued the Mind above anything else in the universe. They loved it so much, that they went from galaxy to galaxy encouraging its growth in potential intellegent species. They did this with humans, and possibly many other species.
Could the humans and Covenant have been projects of the Forerunner? More evidence in the Odyssey series could point to yes. In 3001: The Final Odyssey, some backstory in the novel revels that an ancient monolith was found in Africa in 2513, around 500 years after the events of 2001. This timeline is eerily close to Halo's, and with the only two publicly demoed levels taking place in Africa, it makes one wonder if there are Forerunner artifacts somewhere in Africa [ie. The Ark].
What about the Forerunner themselves? If they're not human, what are they? The First Born from the Odyssey series started out as organic beings, but as their machines grew better than their bodies, they gradually moved their brains into machines, and eventually became pure energy. If the Forerunner left their bodies behind, they probably wouldn't have much trouble reversing the effect, would they? This may be a possible reason to keep such a terrible thing as the Flood around.
Maybe the Flood were a resource to the Forerunner. The Flood's genetic adaptability might make them act as a kind of "mold" for organic vessels for the Forerunner to run around in. If this is true, then it could explain 343 GS's apparent confusion with the humans as Forerunner. To 343 GS, there is no other species in existence as smart as the Forerunner, so when 343 sees how brilliant Humans are, he automatically assumes that they are Forerunner, albeit in a weaker "skin." There is actually evidence of this in-game.
343 GS says this: Your environment suit should serve you well when the Flood begins to alter the atmosphere. You are a good planner. But he said this earlier: These Sentinels will supplement your combat system. But, I suggest you upgrade to at least a Class Twelve combat skin. Your current model only scans as a Class Two, which is ill suited for this kind of work.
Why the difference between Environment suit, and Combat skin? Master Chief has his armor, and his body. The only other thing I can see the "Combat Skin" as is 117's body, which would make sense if the Forerunner used biological "machines" to do their dirty work.
An interesting distinction, certainly one I wouldn't have thought of. 343 seems to imply that the Forerunner are truly organic (as they all "died" when the ring was activated") but a creative idea nonetheless. :)
Nothing like a bit of humility to start the day with.
Mike Happel (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Browsing the story pages now and then, and of course,
playing Halo, Halo 2 and reading the novels, something
always confused me about the nature of Human's role in
Forerunner plots or eras and the uses of abandoned
First off - the Forerunner seem to leave myriad amounts of technology and installations strewn about this galaxy seemingly at random. With the exception of some intentionally placed and guarded facilities (the Halos, of course, and the Gas-Giant Flood Labs) most of the assumed (by this I mean the tech on which the Covenant base their society and religion, though we have never actually seen it, and other artifacts) Forerunner tech is strewn about in the same fashion that Humans will discard an unwanted candy wrapper or spent battery, or a broken toy. We drop it in the wastebasket, and try to get it away, and of those who care even less, we simply drop it and forget about it. And the Forerunner seemed to have done the same thing, but on a galactic scale. The Covenant have, with some possible exceptions, based
their entire religion and purpose on the search for
what is essentially Forerunner garbage.
Before any of you might start guffawing, consider how
archaeologists go about learning about previous human
cultures: We root through their garbage. I'll link
this a bit later.
Secondly- How "high-up" were other races considered by
the Forerunner? To the Humans and the Covenant in the
Halo universe, the Forerunner are revered as Gods and
demi-Gods. Because they reached an amazingly complex
level of technology and (we assume) society. They are
considered to be, and in some senses were, more civilized. And with our race's natural arrogance, we
assume that Humans of course played an important role
in Forerunner history, or were of some importance to
the Forerunner. But what if we were, simply put, to
the Forerunner what a dog, or even what ants are, to
Humans? A dog is an amazingly complex creature, but
when I see one, I just think "oh, a dog" I hardly ever
even consider the wonder about that animal. The
Covenant, if they had some role in those ancient
times, were probably viewed by the Forerunner in the
Linking the two ideas, consider the Ark on Earth, or
at least in the Sol system. It seems more likely to me
that from a Forerunner perspective, the Ark was placed
on Earth or near it not because of Humans, but because
it was a strategic location. "Build the house on the
property, and damn the ants. Yep, they're annoying
little buggers, but what can they do about it?" Except
the ants in this scenario are the Humans, or
pre-Humans, on Earth.
It seems far too arrogant to me to assume that Humans
played a highly important part in the Forerunner's
intentions. Or at least, if we did it was pure dumb
chance, and not the long-term planning of those
beings. Likewise, a race that is capable of killing,
not just rendering harmless or less of a threat, but
literally DESTROYING all intelligent life, does not
seem to me to be one that would make an exception for
a race like Humanity or any of the Covenant races (if
these species did in fact ever have contact with the
Forerunner). As we have seen, especially from Greek
and Roman myths, that all gods are powerful, but not
all gods have noble intents. Why should we assume that
the Forerunner went out of their way to help humanity,
when their fight with the Flood seemed to be their
single unified goal? This doesn't make them noble, it means they followed the ultimate purpose of life: to Survive.
Forerunner bad! Flood hurt human! Human sad!
Patrick Malone (email@example.com) writes:
I've been thinking a lot about the fact that the first Halo installation that the humans find (and the second, oddly enough), contains not only breathable oxygen, but also an extremely similar living environment with several entirely different eco-systems. All of these eco-systems exist on Earth, and are very familiar to the humans in frightening ways.
So why were the Halos constructed in such a way? Some people would speculate that it is because the humans are indeed the Forerunners, or that they had a close connection to them, but I'd like to suggest a different way of looking at things. What if the Forerunners found the humans to be dangerous? What if, at one time, we existed in much larger numbers and had begun to spread across the galaxy in a way similar to the Flood? The Forerunners were obviously superior and perhaps only thought of the possibility that we might exhaust the resources of all these planets we were on far too quickly. This also reinforces the theory that the Forerunners were not a bio-organic life form; rather a highly advanced and evolved robotic intelligence. But, I digress from my point.
The thing I wish to highlight most is my belief that the Forerunners built the structures in order to attract Humans to their demise. They would obviously have been curious to explore a structure that contained similar conditions to their native planet, and would have explored such a structure extensively. Once they were deep in however, the Flood would be released. This is where Guilty Spark comes in. He comes to the Humans with a solution. It sounds simple enough, activate the Halos and the Flood will magically disappear. But he's not telling the whole truth. The Forerunners WANTED us to activate the Halo in order to destroy humanity itself. Thus the Flood could be effectively contained, and the Humans would be destroyed, fulfilling their agenda.
Another thing that backs this up is the fact that the sentinels on the Halo were obviously never prepared to deal with a threat on that level. Once organic life forms (humans) reached the Halo, they'd have to activate it because the infection would have spread too fast to be contained conventionally.
An interesting email from sniper1101 took a few minutes to decode, but posed a question I'd never thought of (asides from, do we really need punctuation).
He pondered the locked door in the level 343 Guilty Spark, behind which the Flood are concealed. If the Forerunner could happily secure the Flood there, did they have a means of controlling - at least a small number - of spores?
sniper1101 (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Human, Covenant... but what of the Forerunner AI constructs?
MC Vince writes:
We know the Covenant is excellent at replicating technology, so did they replicate some of GS's abilities? After all he looks pretty dormant in the opening cut scene of "Sacred Icon". Very unusual, as he never shuts up normally! More importantly though, is Cortana's statement "There's something inside the ship...a presence that's fighting back! For a Covenant construct, its unusually formidable", well, I'd expect it to be pretty formidable if it was a copy of an ancient Forerunner construct.
With the copy of Cortana, introduced in First Strike and the copy of 343 GS being merged, Covenant constructs could be a force to be reckoned with. If so, humans really are up the creek without a paddle, as A.I technology is one of the few areas humans are superior, but it seems the balance of power has shifted somewhat.
Hmmm. A Forerunner AI? A melding of minds? I've always taken 343's shock at "A Construct?! In the Core?" to imply both the existence and a knowledge of AI constructs (and hence the existence of Forerunner AI's), as well as a distinction between himself and a "construct" (whatever that entails).
Considering the text's lack of Gravemind's usual poetic flare (or 343's quirkiness), perhaps the Whisper in the Storm audio is the voice of another being lost in time, an AI of unknown origin, trapped in High Charity for a Covenant Age or two?
Humans are Forerunner. Covenant are Forerunner. We're all Forerunner!
DD (email@example.com), and his as yet nameless comrade, discuss the rather inclusive idea that all the races encountered thus far were at one point part of the Forerunner conglomerate. At the last firing of the Halos, some got the memories (Prophets), some got the power (Human Reclaimers): a planned fail-safe of sorts.
And multiple Arks, eh?
Not without its holes, but a good read followed by great discussion. Check it out!
The last leg of our update. Stick with this one, it's like the geek at the party trying to feed you probiotics. Damn freaky but at least you won't wake up at your ex's . . .
Aaron Donovan (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
From "First Strike" we find out that the Forerunner had a device that could alter time and space. Upon Master Chief's return to Reach, Doctor Halsey figures out that the events of Halo 1 haven't happened yet. The artefact that they had found had changed the current of time so that Master Chief could be in two places at once, or maybe one place twice. Whatever the case, the Forerunner apparently had mastered time. With that in mind consider this, what if the Forerunner are our descendants. What if they sent back the Halos to aid us in the war to come against the Flood. This story is one that I have composed.
The Forerunner are an extremely well off species, unopposed, and nothing to prevent them from expanding but then the Flood shows up. Planets are in chaos and in no time at all the Forerunner population is devastated. So they make the Halos. They prepare several objects to to help destroy and contain the Flood. The Forerunner decide two things, first, that they would prevent the Flood from terrorizing their present by wiping the galaxy of life. And second, that this might not have happened if they were more prepared and send a small population of the Flood to the past along with sufficient weapons to stop them.
But of course by changing the past you change everything that that follows.
The Forerunner sent back the Flood so that we could become familiar with them, so we knew how to deal with them when the plague returned in the future. If you think about it, it wouldn't be that bad of an idea. Imagine sending small collections of small pox to the Americas a thousand years before the conquestadors brought it across the Atlantic. I doubt as many people would die.
There are of course complications in time travel.
With advanced peices of technology floating around the galaxy, the Covenant are the first to find the artifacts meant to help us. With a burst of technology a once harmless race, is now the super power of the galaxy.
With things now changed that means the future hasn't been written and it is up to Bungie and the Master Chief to set the future.
I have one question though ...The Master Chief was supposed to come back to Reach when he did. Was it because the MC is important to the future or because someone else on the Ascendant Justice was important to the future? Heh the ship's name makes a little more sense now dosn't it? Hmm...Ascendant
To summarise: The Flood and Forerunner are from the future where the Forerunner were forced to annihilate all life. They sent a sample of the 'virus' back in time with Halos to warn their ancestors, but the Covenant got to the message first and completely misinterpreted it! See? Probiotic!
Oooh, now I like this one. I like it a lot.
tony ogmundson (email@example.com) writes:
Why is the ring so empty? At first you're thinking "duh...doomsday, everyone is dead" and yeah you're right, but that's not the empty I'm talking about. Where are the remnants of the lives that these beings had? There is nothing at all to suggest that there was anyone there EVER. No vehicles, no homes, no trash, no personal items, nothing at all. I mean, when the ring was going to be activated either everyone on the ring was informed, no one on the ring was informed, or everyone was busy fighting the outbreak.
With any one of these scenarios things would have been left behind. So why do we see no remnants other than the massive empty structures?
Firstly this brings up the nature of the weapon.
Biological: kills everyone dead but leaves everything else, so we were bound to stumble on something sometime.
Explosive: somehow kills everyone and everything they had, but mysteriously leaves the vegetation, the structures, and lets not forget the rings themselves.
Not really a weapon: Could actually be a tool for "The Great Journey" like the covenant say and all the Forrunner took a bit of a trip.
This leads me to my original theory:
Unmanned structure: Halo rings were left to be tended by the artificial intelligences, in order to keep the flood contained without fear of outbreak, and the obviously liveable terrains for visiting forrunner technitions.
The reason there was an outbreak was because a species such as the covenant begins to explore this seemingly deserted structure, frees the flood and gives them an opportunity to escape. So the forerunner come...tra la la... and kill all life everywhere. The weapon is most likely of the bio-only killing variety hence the "survival" of the monitors and sentinels. The artificial intelligence now has 100 millions years on their hands so they decide to take all the crap the aliens left behind and shoot it into space or something (they're so anal).
Why, you ask, couldn't they have done the housecleaning with the forrunner stuff if they were the last ones there instead? Let's say your parents and siblings die: what would you do with their stuff? The monitors obviously have forms of emotions as expressed buy 343's chuckling and pride and they also have an affinity towards the past and the keeping of records. Therefore the idea of them throwing out all of the Forerunner's things is asinine.
A theory I have been toying with:
This theory plays on the idea of the Great Journey. Scenario: Forerunner build rings to take them on "Great Journey". They build machines capable of making decisions by themselves, and in some cases capable of a small range of emotions. They leave these machines to guard these portals and give them the task of guarding the keys and making sure no one unworthy comes after them.
Now imagine this: you're an intelligent being and your creators say "we're off to enlightenment and paradise, never coming back, you be the bouncer." That would piss me right the hell off if I were them. So you kick around for a hundred millennia or so stewing in anger and two groups of people show up to the party. One of them worthy, one of them not. Toast em both I would say. So you activate the security system: namely the flood.
That's right, they are nothing more than guard dogs. Think about it: turn the unworthy into mindless killing machines with no desire to join the forrunner in the great beyond and sick them on whoever else may want to follow them. Never was there a better plan.
So now for the reclaimers: Humans are indeed worthy of the great journey. Guilty Spark really has no intention of letting them go when he can't. So he makes it seem as unappealing as possible: say...by telling them it will be the end of all life. No I know your thinking: but he tried to turn ON the big old machines.
What would happen to Cortana if all of humanity ascended? Most likely this is a voyage for the living and she would spend all of eternity alone, just like the monitors. So her and the Spark, while she spends the hours in the control room, devise a plan: play both sides of the fence. Get the Humans to prevent the rings from turning on, incite a revolution that will hopefully distract the Covenant: and sick the looming guard dog on anyone else that may want to desert them; keeping them trapped here: just like them.
They are in a prime position to do this, think about it: who is the only member of humanity that knows the slightest thing about the rings, who tells them all what is happening and the consequences of their actions? Cortana. And who do the covenant worship as the oracles: the providers of information: The monitors. They have been given the opportunity to make things happen their way when they want it to.
The Prophets? why they have been READING about the Foreunner for as long as they have known about them so when a floating lightbulb tells them they have "misinterpreted" countless centuries of information they simply ignore them. Usually religious fanatics have a pretty good idea of what they are fanatical about.
Jealousy is a sin
Energiser (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I've been going over this for quite some time, and finally believe that I have developed my theory as far as I can, so I'm putting it forward to see what others can add:
Firstly, the Covenant. They worship the Forerunners, use their technology, salvage artefacts, and even attempt to follow them into "the divine beyond" What if they also emulated them in terms of their government, their society? What if "The Covenant" are only copying their "Gods" when they assimilate yet another life form into their society.
Now, this "Forerunner Covenant", according to my idea, this would mean that it were comprised of multiple different species, possibly arranged in a similar fashion to "The Covenant" with one species being Warriors (Elites) one being cannon fodder (Grunts), heavy weapons (Hunters), Technological (Engineers). Now, also assuming that, similar to "The Covenant" the names of each species was practical, describing their position in the society, this would possibly mean that the Forerunner Species was the technologically minded race (similar to the Engineers) in that they designed the weapons, the buildings, the Ships, the Halos, and even the AI Constructs. This would explain why everything is described as having "Forerunner Architecture", and why Guilty spark referred to them as "My Creators".
The next idea has to do with "Reclaimers" and where they fit into this idea of mine, which, surprisingly enough, is right next to the Forerunners, as another member of the "Forerunner Covenant". Their purpose however, is unique among either Covenant, as "The Covenant" has not yet seen a need for ones to undertake this task. The purpose to the Reclaimers, I believe, is to reclaim the galaxy in the event that the Halos had to be fired. They would have spent their time almost exclusively on "The Ark", the only place in the galaxy which is safe from the Halos. I also think there was a second purpose to having them in the ark, and that was to fire the rings remotely (we know that this can be done from the ark) in the case that there was a flood outbreak, and it became impossible to activate the rings on-site.
We know that 343 Guilty Spark recognised both the Master Chief, and Miranda as "Reclaimers" this points to the fact that Humans are in fact, THE Reclaimers. Now that it is fairly obvious that the Ark is in fact on Earth, this stands to reason, since, if the rings were activated, and the Reclaimers survived in the Ark, they would emerge onto the planet, and begin their quest to reclaim the galaxy. Since the rest of the "Forerunner Covenant" was now extinct, the reclaimers basically had to start civilisation from scratch, since, without support from the other races, the old tecnology would have been semi-useless, with the Ark only having the ability to fire the rings, and nothing more.
Since the purpose of the reclaimers was to use the Halos to reclaim the galaxy, and defend it from the Flood, it only stands to reason that their instincts include the knowledge of how to use Forerunner Tech, such as the panels on Halo, since, not being able to understand would inhibit them from their purpose.
By this point I'm sure at least some people would think "But why are "The Covenant" attacking the Humans if we were a part of the purpose of their gods?". My answer, because they feel threatened by us. We were the one's chosen pick up from the "Forerunner Covenant" when it perished, rather than any of the other species which evolved in the Galaxy (such as the Prophets and Elites, etc). "The Covenant" want to activate the Halos, that much is obvious, but as Reclaimers, our purpose would forbid them from doing that, since it would involve the destruction of all sentient life yet again, sending us back to the dark age (or even causing Humans to become extinct in the case that the ark is no longer inhabited). As far as they are concerned, as long as they get to activate the Halos, we can perish, and the flood can claim the galaxy after we are gone.
Please note, this is just the basic backbone of the idea, I have more ideas that go hand-in-hand with this, but are too difficult to explain in such a general manner. I am sure that others will be able to expand upon this even further than I had ever thought possible.
But on another note - the caste system of the Covenant can only remain intact if there is something to fight. How many other species have faded into oblivion before they came to us?
John Hill (email@example.com) writes:
People seem incredulous that the Forerunners could ever create a weapon of last resort that would wipe themselves out.
However, a more highly evolved and advanced species does not necessarily mean one with a greater sense of responsibility. We have shown that ourselves with nuclear weapons and our destruction of the environment for short term profit. Indeed, if th humans and
forerunners are one and the same as many believe, this flawed human facet holds especially true as an indicator of the frailty of the forerunners' sense of responsibility
Also, a more highly advanced race means that it is less likely to be defeated, not that it is less likely to panic when it is on the brink of defeat. In fact, it may be more susceptible to such emotions due to the rarity of such an occurrence.
Got a lot of pictures this week. Check out the thread for the forum discussion.
Wado SG finds something . . . coincidental. Personally, I'd glossed over the image in Joe Staten's interview. Looked to me like a weird, squiggly Flood thing, or like someone had let the artists in at the Mountain Dew again.
Wado found this while playing Silent Cartographer. Make what you will of the image.
The Silent Cartographer
"Analyzing. Halo's control center is located there. That structure appears to be some sort of temple or shrine, if I've interpreted this correctly. (Pause) Interesting. A shrine is an unlikely place to put such a significant installation..."
Would be negligent for a so called "story" page not to post this: seems "a friend of a friend" of spartanerik decided to put together the story of Beowulf using the Halo engine. What it lacks in subtle Old English verse it certainly makes up for with sheer creativity.
Part 1 is here, and part 2 is here.
Heh. Good work guys :)
Pay particular attention to Part A
Nomad (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Thought we don't know anything about how the forerunner found ( or, heaven forbid, created ) the flood: nor how the war was fought ( except maybe how it ended). But, while I was reading the book this passage spawned ( no, flood pawn here) an idea (Apologies before hand). On page 351 quote: " the dark times are upon us . .. unsheathe thy swords and smite . . . The ark will be your guide . . .And bless the Reclaimers that may take refuge behind the sharpened edge of the shield . . . . wonder beyond awaits" the made me wonders about this:
A) Why must the forerunner language be so cryptic, poetic and compartamentized?
B) Why the direct reference to the Ark and halo's are a shield / sword combination?
C) What does the events in GoO mean for future of the Halo universe ? (a non-forerunner question but this part of my analysis)
A) Though we don't know what happen during the Flood forerunner war ( if you could call it that). It can or has been surmised that the war was long enough to construct all the Halo structures. This got me thinking, given the floods ability to learn by absorption. What if the forerunner had to dumb down their whole or part of their population. I know, at first, this sounds crazy but think about it. If the whole population was allowed to keep at their education level, then any flood infection on a planet would soon ( or did it? ) make the flood gain intelligence by leaps and bounds ( and make the Gravemind central hive???). The common sense solution would be to have extreme compartmentalization ( the restriction of information). Especially for the "Reclaimer's" (human's ?) since they would be fighting to the Index's ( or the flood on forerunner worlds). This might explain why the forerunner language is so prose-minded.( the forerunner knew their population could understand the information, but had to keep the key pieces of information of the record and plain, so to speak). ( side note, although the above quote is a Covenant translation, it does show that, if the words quoted above are true, then the forerunner writing's would lend itself to the religious overtures of the prophets. since not many, even the prophets themselves might not fully understand their meaning). This theory of mine could also explain the " bit and pieces" crystal that contain map coordinates of forerunner planets and installations. the more crystal piece you have the more installation you know ( as the Covenant have been doing for millennia and as written in the Fall of Reach (FoR)) This could also explain the markings on the black-onyx city that is found later by Blue team and the Spartan-III's. Simple architecture for a population that escaped from the flood ?
Part B) This was possibly mentioned/answered in separate HBO forum posts, but if the halo are the swords and Onyx( a reclaimer shelter) and the Ark are the shields. It does make me wonder if the line "The Ark will be your guide" give credence to the theories that The Ark is a massive planetary scale shielding mechanism that protects Earth. Also, given the forerunner preparation and detail into the halo' s purpose. I just can't see them not having the Ark or other installations reseeding life in the galaxy. as, obviously happen after the halos were fired the first time. ( and by a long strench "Humans as Reclaimer theory" would need human to be remade.) ( IE The ark as a Guide to reseeding life in our galaxy ??) But who knows, maybe as Dr Halsey said in the epilogue in GoO maybe the forerunner plan for the reclaimed couldn't be met due to the flood intercepting the Reclaimer ships heading for Onyx. A mystery we may never get resolved ( to add to the other unanswered questions).
Part C) As to what does the Dr Halsey, CPO Mendez and the Spartan II and III in Onyx mean for the future of the halovers. Well it certainly open's up for these characters to return in any future incarnations of the Halo World. Yet, what every happens for at the end of the story in Halo 3, it should be interesting.
I guess that explains why there's no sign saying: "This is the Flood. They suck" in nice, easy binary code.
I'm not a huge fan of the 'Forerunner=humans' thought, so I quite liked this one. You'd be forgiven for thinking I use this page simply to further my own pet theories.
Binks (email@example.com) writes:
I have a fairly simple theory that may help discussion of what Guilty Spark means in Halo when he talks about Master Chief's poor choice of class 2 armor. Most of what I've seen thusfar has assumed that Guilty Spark was talking about a more powerful Mjolnir looking armor when he says MC should have upgraded to class 12. However I don't believe that Forerunner armor looked anything like Mjolnir, that, in reality, Forerunner armor looks nothing like human. I mean, 343 is a highly advanced robot obviously capable of interaction with Forerunner technology. Given that why would he use visual analysis to determine the classification of MC's armor? I think it's safe to assume that 343 has a good number of advanced sensor systems and is capable of scanning MC's armor and getting it's specifications quickly.
My theory is, therefore, that 343 determined that the Master Chief's armor had a power source and shield mechanism rated as class 2 and since those are the most important parts of armor (Given the Forerunner's advanced technology I think it's safe to assume their armor was shielded, and that that shielding was their primary defense, similar to how the Elite's use shields) Guilty Spark decided that MC was wearing a class 2 battle skin, no matter that it looks vastly different from the class 2 specifications in his database, it obviously has the same function.
Now the question is why would Mjolnir shielding look anything like Forerunner shielding? That's a pretty obvious question, the Covenant found Forerunner shielding technology and adapted it for their ships and some of their soldiers. (In the process they probably weakened it a good deal, probably cutting it's capabilities down a lot, similar to their inefficient plasma weapons on their ships, perhaps even 1/6 as efficient?) Humanity then gets a hold of these shields from the Covenant and improves them slightly and gives them to MC, who's now wearing Human converted Covenant adapted Forerunner shield technology. The odds aren't bad that MC's shield generation system matched Forerunner, given that the Covenant probably duplicated the Forerunner system perfectly and Humanity, not knowing how shields work very well, would have duplicated the Covenant duplications. A copy of a copy probably won't match the original, but would be close enough for a (semi-insane) Forerunner robot to note the similarities and decide to ignore the differences.
Just thought I'd throw that out there, seems pretty unlikely that we would built armor anything like the Forerunner's without Forerunner specifications (which Section 3 could conceivably have...hmmm) or that the Covenant would build armor nothing like Forerunner armor given their reverence for the Forerunners.
Who knows, next time we may have all the answers, with every little story thread tied up by the impending Halo 3.
BINARYGOD (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I have a small theory to kind-of add onto Mr. Bananas Last Theory. Let's take his theory, ignoring (or not - whichever) the whole 'reseeding process.' If all of what he says is true - that basically Humans ARE forerunners and we are 'Reclaimer's' of our lost technology and history (Halo's, other Forerunner installations, artifacts, etc') perhaps the Prophets actually know this.
This might sound odd - why would the same race you consider god-like and responsible for creating all of that which you find holy now be considered inherently blasphemous and therefore in need of extermination? This is after all the race that defined the path to salvation and created all of this great technology that leads to it, among other advantages.
Well lets think about what the Covenant and the Prophets think that Halo will do. Mercy says 'Halo. Its divine wind will rush through the stars, propelling all who are worthy along the path to salvation.' So the prophets sort of misread what Halo will do. They think it will propel those who are worthy into salvation and leave everyone else behind, or perhaps the know it will kill everything but think that the worthy ones go to 'heaven' and everyone else goes to 'hell' - sort of like judgment day in the new testament of the bible.
So, if humans are forerunner, and the prophets know this - then any humans left over after the last activation of the Halos would be unworthy of the great journey - as anyone who was would not have been left behind. This would make it so that any humans left behind are not worthy and are therefore inherently evil and worthy of annihilation.
This is further backed up by something that Mercy says to MC just before he dies after being attacked by a Flood spore on High Charity: 'Earth. To finish what we started. And this time, none of you will be left behind.' None of 'You' who is he referring to? Since Mercy is only talking to one person and that person is a Human, he must be referring to all Humans when he says that. No one says 'all of you' or 'none of you' to a single person unless they mean every person like that person. Also 'this time' implies there was another time in the past.
To wrap it all up - the Prophets, and perhaps Tartarus (but probably no one else in the Covenant) know that Humans are the forerunner, their gods. They know that humans (forerunner) built everything (Halos, artifacts, etc.) and know the path to salvation, but those who were worthy were taken to salvation by the last activation of the Halos. All those that were not worthy are killed. Obviously something went wrong and some unworthy humans survived therefore any humans that still exists are an abomination and must killed since that is what was supposed to happen in the first place.
This also explains why the covenant allowed other races to join but never gave us a chance and just wanted us eradicated. This is also why they view us handling Forerunner objects or setting foot on the Halos as heresy. This also, while dependant on the idea that Humans are Forerunner, adds more weight right back at that theory. Hmmm, my theory based on someone else's also backs up that theory. Neat.
Like when all your friends leave you lying on the street in a puddle of spilled vodka and irn bru!
[AMS] GreyThor writes:
For whatever reason I can't really get to sleep, so I was thinking. And so I started thinking about the levels in the Halo games that the Master Chief experiences the Flood on, specifically, High Charity. At the end of Halo 2, you witness High Charity becoming a Flood haven, and in Halo 3 you see its complete transformation into more or less a Flood hive.
I played Homeworld: Cataclysm and I remember that storyline, where you run into some derelict probe with a biological oddity on board. It's a common theme in sci-fi literature too - specifically, Christopher Rowley's The Vang.
I think the Flood-Forerunner first contact was the same thing. The Forerunners in the Milky Way found some sort of vessel of extra-galactic origin and somehow were overpowered by the Flood that were in hibernation. It'd fit the common sci-fi theme that I mentioned, and for whatever reason, the Flood repurposed Forerunner technology (ie: ships) to spreading across their worlds as the parasite they are.
But what I really want to know, if Bungie has even thought about it, is what happened at that first contact like we see between the Covenant and Humanity on Harvest? What sort of accident spawned off this 300 year struggle that resulted in the Halo and Ark construction and firing? Was it some derelict vessel that a Forerunner ship encountered or did the Flood suddenly appear with a show of force?
Halo 3 Terminals
We just found out that Ascendant Justice has an interesting article in Halo 3's terminals. There's a lot of examination in there, so don't hesitate to post your comments or suggestions. A nice and informative little find which will help you learn more about the Forerunners' empire and the Ark.
The Forerunner-Flood War
Whoa! This is the longest thread I've ever seen on our forum, the admin even warned us about it. Honestly asks if there was anything the Forerunners might have done change the tide of the war against the Flood. Everyone seems to have responded to that, but this time I'm not suggesting that you post anything. The thread is already filling up almost the entire page.
Go check it out, but be warned, it's a looong read!
It's been quite a while since we've updated the HSP, so prepare to get an earful of Halo Terminal news!
Mendicantbias00 let us know that the Terminal pages over at Ascendant Justice have been updated with visual elements to further increase the rate interaction. It's some really cool stuff, so don't forget to check it out.
If you want a more playful and user-friendly interface to view the various terminals seen throughout Halo 3, I warmly suggest you look into our Forerunner Terminal Archives. Thanks to everyone who made this possible.
It's been some time, but here's another theory on the Forerunners and the Flood.
Rehalo (email@example.com) writes:
I have a theory: Evolution only keeps going when theres competition, when theres an enemy to bang heads with/kill/eat/become better than. If/when a race reaches a point where it no longer is threatened by anything other than itself, it will naturally implode and die. Yes. Die. But in order for a race to reach this point, it has got to be insanely well-developed and ultra-smart, something the Forerunner were. Cause lets face it, they made big rings in space that have the power to destroy big parts of the universe.
Brings me to the flood: The description of the multiplayer map "Warlock" says that this most likely was some sort of forerunner "Arena", that this was a place where battles and fights took place while other watched. (I'm partly guessing this)
Think about it: The Forerunner have discovered everything undiscoverable, done everything one can do with limitless power and knowledge, and basically turned every stone in the universe. Now, boredom is the worst enemy of this great civilization, that and the fact that there is nothing else to discover, reach for, or work with. So they invent a super organism specifically designed for fun and recreation, an "enemy" this super-civilization can kill and have fun with. But of course this goes wrong. The virus becomes too powerful, too resistant to any weapon. So now they have to escape their own creation, creating super-mega weapons that wipe out parts of the galaxy. They create an ark, blah-blah. The uber civilization of the forerunner is lost, killed by their own genious.
All that, OR the forerunner realized that there was no point in living and staying alive when there was nothing left to do/invent/whatever. So they make giant rings as a tribute to the holy dance of eternity, (Life and death, summer-easter-winter-spring thing) and kill themselves with it. They have reached a level of intellect and understanding that they no longer fear death, no, they actually embrace it, for it is all part of life, of nature. In the books, in the games you see it; the covenant ships use slipspace "engines" that instead of tears a hole in space, "unlocks" it. In the rock the spartans find in the fall of reach, cortana sees an "artistic" mathematical pattern. It's everywhere, the Forerunner knew nature so well they no longer had to use a hammer to beat the nail into the plank, they just had to think it.
Legendary Ending - a result of time travel?
It does sound Star Trek-like, but Neloms came up with an unprecedented, yet believable, theory on our forum.
Neloms suggests that a possible explanation for the appearance of the planet covered in Forerunner symbols in the Halo 3 Legendary Ending might be caused by a temporal rift once the Portal collapsed - sending the Master Chief and Cortana adrift in the past.
This might also explain Guilty Spark's various remarks throughout Halo: Combat Evolved such as; "Why would you hesitate to do what you have already done?", and "The last time you asked me ..."
Despite the theory's credibility, there are multiple issues that don't add up, one of them being the Chief apparently not recognizing Guilty Spark even though they might have met in the past.
It's a very exciting take on the Halo 3 Legendary Ending and on future Halo stories, so go read and post your thoughts!
Reclaimers ... of the Galaxy?
Mike emailed us a vicious (and by vicious, I mean REALLY vicious - it takes a lot of space on our page ;]) analysis which could easily be converted to a full-length article about a secondary meaning to "Reclaimer", and some speculation on the seeding of the Galaxy after the Forerunners were forever inscribed in the changing sands of history.
Deadguy71 (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Ok, so we know now that Forerunners were humans. This was explicitly explained in Halo 3.
Here's the next piece of the puzzle.. Humans are referred to as "Reclaimers" and the Forerunner locator device used by the Covenant in the novel (and Medicant Bias) "Contact: Harvest", also name them to be reclaimers.
Some speculation has been heard in the past to state that "reclaimers" get their name due to their "job" to reclaim the index from the library and use it to fire-up the rings. I think it's time we relooked at that now.
Why weren't humans simply referred to as "Forerunners" by ANYONE? Even "forerunner-descendants", or simply "humans"? Instead, they carry the name "Reclaimer". We know from Contact Harvest, why the Covenant would have avoided calling them forerunners, by why would the Monitors insist upon the name "Reclaimer"? Indeed, it was important to the Covenant's original "oracle" (Medicant Bias) to point out that it needed to assist the "Reclaimers" in finding the Ark. Not a ring, but the Ark.. this is an important distinction I'll mention again later.
Later, all monitors/oracles encountered in the stories/games were in War-mode where the Flood had been released and it was a time of war. The monitors knew that the only way to fight back, was to have a reclaimer use the index (and therefore use the rings). Perhaps this isn't the only purpose of Humans, and therefore it seems silly to name the species "reclaimers" in a time of peace if it only referred to reclaiming the index. Also odd of the (Medicant Bias) oracle to name them Reclaimers without any flood to
worry about, and with a perceptable urgency to get them to the Ark.
The rings had been fired in the past, with the intent of killing all sentient life in our galaxy to halt the flood. This SHOULD (and possibly did) create a time of peace. This time of peace would have been planned for... think of it, an entire galaxy, devoid of sentient life, ready to be claimed or "RECLAIMED" by the forerunners that had escaped to the ark (which
was proven to be located not on Earth, but outside of our galaxy entirely... all Earth had was a slipspace portal generator to allow passage to the Ark).
Here's the problem though. The forerunners didn't return, and I suggest that they didn't intend to return at all. Instead, they left their artifacts and
advanced technology behind for the "Reclaimers" to find while they themselves DID take a great journey to another galaxy (the one containing the Ark) and presumably stayed there.
This explains why the Covenant's AI (Medicant Bias) told the Prophets the story of the Great Journey, that the entire Covenant religeon is based upon.
The forerunners activated the rings as they left the galaxy, and this is the last thing that Medicant Bias would have known about them.
Part of the Forerunner's focus, prior to the flood outbreak in this galaxy, was to catalog and record lifeforms. The terminals even state that during
the last weeks of the conflict with the flood, some of them continued to catalog them and discovered Earth, even stating that they were stopping to "catalog" the humans they found there, despite knowing that the rings were going to be activated soon and there were too far away to flee to the safety of the Ark.
This tells us a few pertinent things:
Earthlings were within the galaxy as the rings fired, the Forerunners at that location died, unable to race back to the ark. The Earth must not have had the portal to the Ark installed at that time, otherwise those forerunners would have easily left that location with plenty of time to spare. The humans alive at that time would have died as well.
Earthlings were, at that point and time, extinct and indeed all humans within the galaxy died.
As I noted, the forerunners had left quite a bit of stuff behind, including an Ark that would rebuild the rings and somehow reposition them in the galaxy if they were ever destroyed (slipspace travel, I assume). Plus after the blast from the rings, sentinels were dispatched to Earth, to create a portal, perhaps in rememberance of the Forerunners that were there at the
location when the rings had been triggered. In the Halo comic's opening pages of the first issue, early humans witnessed the portal to the ark being
created by sentinels.
So here's the really interesting bit. After the universe was scoured clean of sentient life, it began to repopulate itself right?
Earth itself was chosen as a place to position a portal to the ark, in case humans should ever need it again. How was it known that humans would develop here? There's a significant clue right there on the opening page of the Beastarium. From memory, it states that no one is to create the lifeforms from this index without authorization. Species were catalogued and
apparently able to be recreated from their cataloged entries. (otherwise, why warn against doing just that?)
It's possible that the rings themselves, with their utopian landscapes and suchlike, might have even been designed that way in-order to raise the various species and allow them to form communities until they could be
transferred to planets that were deemed appropriate. This would increase their chances of survival, and might even, describe the "Garden of Eden", with a primative's distant memory of being on the Ring, and cared for until they could repopulate the Earth. Perhaps the bible story of Eden was all that was left of the true story of living on the Ring, and lost quite a bit of the specific story in it's retelling. Could sentinel beams be the "flaming swords" that block passage to Eden?
A little blasphemous, and perhaps an accidental comparison that I made, but interesting nonetheless.
The Forerunners knew the humans would be there in the future because they SEEDED them there. Humans were seeded, according to forerunner plan, to reclaim the galaxy that had also been seeded from the indexes carried by the rings (possibly each ring was responsible for reseeding it's own section of
the galaxy, explaining the need for libaries and indexes at each installation).
Humans are Reclaimers, not of the index, but of the galaxy that had been scoured clean for them.
I suppose the intent was to allow humans to develop on Earth without assistance, and then, when they reached a significant tier of industry, and had learned the lessons they needed to learn in terms of morality, they'd be able to travel the galaxy and reclaim the forerunner technology for themselves. All during a time of peace brought on by the lack of Flood.
Perhaps it was the Medicant Bias AI that was supposed to get them to the Ark, to teach the humans what they needed to know about what had transpired so that they could "set-up shop" in their newly cleaned galaxy... giving them full knowledge of forerunner technology and how/when to use it.
That would explain both, why Medicant Bias wanted to get reclaimers to the Ark prior to the floods release from containment, plus it explains how the installation monitors KNEW the humans were reclaimers, rather than
forerunners, but seemed confused that the reclaimers didn't know anything about protocols or even what the Halos were to be used for, how they worked, why they weren't wearing the proper protective gear, etc.
That part of the forerunner's plan failed, because even as Humans discovered the first ring, (with presumably only one previous artifact on Reach) the flood was released from containment. ONI knew a little about the
forerunners, but not to the level they would have, if the Forerunners plans had worked correctly.
Forerunners had left the monitors to continue study of the flood, with the extra precaution of several layers of containment protocols. Perhaps the initial samples were destroyed by the rings firing, and it was reseeded into containment centers like all the other sentient races were. The idea might have been that the monitor's continued study of the flood might have revealed new ways to deal with the flood threat, in case it ever appeared in this galaxy again. Properly informed reclaimers would, in theory, be ready for any such threat, should it appear, rather than be blind-sided by it as the Forerunners had been.
However, this was not the case.
Mendicant Bias and Greek Mythology
Another real-life element that has something to say about the Halo story just made its first appearance in quite some time: Greek Mythology. That's right: Greek. Not Norse. :P
Charlie Fischer (email@example.com) writes:
I was reading Cicero's "On Friendship" for my Humanities class when I noticed Cicero reference an individual named Bias. This Bias turned out to be Bias of Priene, a greek philospher known for the justice of his verdicts, and the wisest of the Seven Sages of Greece.
I'll be sending a thorough fleshing out of this connection in the near future, once I have time. Here is a rough portrayal based on my current understandings of the Halo story and who Bias is (complements of Wikipedia...)
Keep in mind Mendicant is derived from the Latin Mendicans, which roughly translated equates to begging. It was generally applied to religious ascetics who survived off of the charity of others, but can also be applied to the act of begging.
Perhaps the reason Mendicant Bias failed his creators was because he was designed to find a peaceful solution to the conflict? Bias of Priene was known for his just verdicts, and perhaps Mendicant was seeking to not only distract the Gravemind, but his method of creating a false sense of security for Gravemind before the counter-attack was through an intention strategy of begging for mercy, negotiating a peaceful resolution, aka surviving off of the charity of Gravemind. The only problem was that the Gravemind's logic pushed Mendicant to make a just decision that was not in favor of his makers.
Enter Offensive Bias. After Mendicant sells his makers short with his verdict that the Forerunner subconsiously want to end their own reign of the galaxy, Offensive Bias is created to come to another just verdict, a sort of appeal to Mendicant's previous decision. Except this Bias is designed with a different goal in mind (victory), and his verdict is different: The Forerunner must atone for their sins, but not be destroyed by them.
I haven't been able to take the time to fully flesh out this possible connection between Halo and greek mythology/philosophy, but figured I would give the story page a heads-up in case you guys had seen this already and knew something of it. I'll e-mail again when I have something concrete to give details on. If you have seen this previously, please let me know!
Legendary Planet - A safehaven for Reclaimers?
Matt sends us a theory regarding the planet seen in the Halo 3 Legendary Ending - Did Mendicant Bias intend to send the "Reclaimer" to the Legendary planet in an attempt to keep him "safe"?
Matt Allaire (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Here's something for the Story page... something that has probably already come up already, but either way...
Terminal 7 on Legendary has a bit that reads,
"And so here at the end of my life, I do once again betray a former master. The path ahead is fraught with peril.
But I will do all I can to keep it stable - keep you safe. I'm not so foolish to think this will absolve me of my sins. One life hardly balances billions.
But I would have my masters know that I have changed.
And you shall be my example."
I've always thought that the rebuilt Installation 04 would be sent to its destination through the Portal. Once it's done, the Ark would create a portal to the coordinates of whever the installation was supposed to be, and send it through.
Meaning that the portal's destination can be controlled (of course).
So, what if Mendicant's idea of keeping his newly found Reclaimer "safe" was to send him to the world seen in the Legendary ending? Whatever that world is, Mendicant used the last moments of his existence to redirect the Chief and Cortana to the Forerunner world. (Assuming that he was destroyed or damaged in 04's explosion, but he might not have been)
And that world might not be the happiest place ever, as Mendicant admits. Seeing as he knows about it, it's probable that the Gravemind does too.
Humanity and the Forerunners
Why are they alike? Well, we've received a lot of theories on this subject through the years. Today we've received another one.
Michael Follett (email@example.com) writes:
I've got this crazy theory that seems pretty plausible.
The Flood, I believe was created by the Forerunners. For what? Maybe they were having a fight with another species and it was a bio-weapon that got out of hand? Or a disease that mutated? Who knows but alot of it seems to point towards them creating it. Why else would you go through all the trouble to kill off everything bigger than a rabbit in the galaxy (or is it universe? I can't remember which one is bigger or the definition of each one so if I mix them up, please forgive) to starve off a parasite? Guilt? Maybe wanting to fix your mistakes (A universal mistake) and this being the only way?
The Ark protects against the flood. (See Noah and the Flood in the bible) That being said, I think some of the Forerunners did survive and the (Legendary) ending of the half destroyed ship orbiting the planet makes me believe that after they went through to the Ark, they activated Halo. Knowing that nothing above the size of a rabbit (I can't remember where I read this but the flood need organisms of a certain size or they end up killing the host.) existed on this side of the portal they chose to settle that planet (Which probably had a lot of live stock on it that they transported to their new home) while the flood starved to death.
That's what Halo does, It doesn't kill everything alive, just the life forms with enough bio-mass for the flood to survive.
((Can you even fathom the idea of having to start over again with learning how to walk on land in the evolutionary chain? That would set us back millions of years, not 101,000 years which 343 says was around the time of the last firing of the rings. That and the fact that I know I heard somewhere, in game that the rings just kill off everything with enough bio-mass to be food for the flood, leads me to think maybe the extinction of the dinosaurs wasn't a meteor. Factor in that humanity assigned 24 hours to a day. The Forerunners might have made the length of one week into a day. Our rules of times aren't theirs. Food for thought, mainly. Before you go on about how crocs and sharks are older than the Dino's maybe being in sea water somehow....stops the rings from working? Or maybe the Flood didn't take to sharks because they were in the sea? I really don't know how the flood works. That or maybe the rings don't affect things water? Beats me but it's just a theory because from the size of small animals to humanity in 100,000 years is freaking impressive.))
That being said, if the Ark can open portals anywhere in space ((Because how would Installation 04 get back to where it was blown up in Halo:CE in as little as two weeks from the outskirts of the galaxy)) Why would it matter where the door way to the Ark was kept? If they can just open up a portal to anywhere than what would be the significance of earth? I believe that the earth held a special place in the Forerunners mind and that's where they made their last stand. It had the best place for a new species to flourish and they wanted to leave it and fire the rings as fast as they could so that the Flood never made it there.
With that being said, maybe the reason humanity and the Forerunners are so alike is that before they left Earth to activate the Halo's, they left something on the planet, sort of like their genetic blue print knowing that as time went on, evolution would go the way they wanted and a species extremely similar to them would emerge. Humanity is their child. As you and I both know Earth obviously has the ideal settings for humans to evolve and if we are that close to the Forerunners than Earth would be the ideal place to leave your almost genetically identical children. (The last part I don't know about but I do think that the reason humanity exists is because the Forerunners wanted it too. Maybe a 'Clean Slate' idea hoping that we wouldn't make the same mistakes as our parents did.)) The fact that we're so closely related to the Forerunners in size and looks for 343 to mistake the Chief (And that poor lone solider from "The Flood" whom the Chief found in the Library part) as one makes my really believe that somehow humanity and the Forerunners have a real special relationship and are somehow interlocking.
Going back to what I said before about the time frame of evolution happening from small animals to humanity in 100,000 years, well maybe it is possible. Maybe the rings sort of....hyper accelerated evolution after they were fired leaving radiation around the galaxy, in a way of saying "Sorry for wiping out a lot of species" They leave the right conditions on Earth, leave a little genetic code in the gene's of a few animals that when hit with the rings radiation will start up Evolution so that with the code, all the right gene's will fall into all the right places.
Also before you dismiss any idea or say that controlling evolution is impossible, we're talking about a race that created a machine that can CREATE energy, out of nothing, which according to our laws can't be created or destroyed. Also how do 7 rings wipe a galaxy of life over the size of a rabbit and not kill off everything? The science behind that is completely mind boggling.
Just my theories of course. =)
-Mike A.k.A. The Letter Mike
P.S. You'd think with all their technology somebody would of noticed something that big under New Mambosa before the Covie's dug it up.
Stephen offers an interesting perspective on the Forerunners' final days before firing the Halos.
Stephen Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
After a little reading of the site, I found posts referring to forerunners and humans as being almost completely separate races. This despite 343 Guilty Spark explicitly saying "You are Forerunner!" So I started to think. (Excuse me if someone has already come up with this.) According to the post by Deadguy71, and his extensive research, Humans were long ago cataloged and seeded on Earth after the original detonation of the Halos. Leftover Forerunner AI's like 343 and Bias refer to Humans as "Reclaimers" rather than Forerunners. What I want to know is, how do we know that Forerunners were themselves a race? 343 Guilty Spark refers to us as Reclaimer, yet says we are Forerunner. Is it possible that the Forerunners, like the Covenant, were an alien collective? Although all the Forerunner tech we come across reacts to our human touch, we don't know that it wouldn't react to certain other alien species touch. Maybe humans were very lately added to the Forerunner collective and assigned to be the Reclaimers, the ones who would retake the galaxy. In the terminals, the Forerunner on Earth talks about how great our several hundred thousand year old ancestors are. Perhaps it was that Forerunner's admiration that gained us a spot in a galactic Forerunner will. "You are the child of my makers, Inheritor of all they left behind." Inheritor implies that all this Forerunner tech never belonged to humanity. It was given to us when the Forerunner died. Also, the "child of my makers" line could fit with Deadguy71's theory of Humans being seeded on Earth. If the Forerunner seeded us on Earth, they could be seen as our parents.