They're random, baby

The Halo Story

Halo Installations

For exactly 101 217 local years, it lay forgotten and derelict in a disused portion of space. Sedentary, save for the unrelenting pull of Basis and Threshold, Halo was a testament to its builders' technological capabilities. It was constructed to withstand innumerable millennia, and this superannuated edifice certainly shows that the Forerunner were very capable at their craft. So Installation 04 sat; a facility left derelict for eons by its makers, yet visited and documented by numerous races throughout its quiescent past. Not till recently, however, was its purpose dredged from its depths.

Upon return to Einsteinian space at the co-ordinates detailed upon the rune-etched rock of Sigma Octanus, Cortana and Jacob Keyes discovered the ring. Roughly 10,000 kilometres in diameter and 22.3 km thick, Halo remains in orbit at a Lagrange point between Basis, the moon, and Threshold, the gas giant (Earth Survey Catalogue Number B1008-AG). With the Pillar of Autumn immutably crippled and their defeat unavoidable, Keyes decided to abandon ship and take flight to Halo.

Halo's geography was much like they had hoped, but far from what they could have expected. It was Earth-like, complete with mountains, hills, plains, seas, rivers, waterfalls, swamps, deserts, and icy canyons, with the only surprise being just how multi-climatic it was, considering that Halo was artificial. At a cursory glance, it seemed to be little more than a large, and habitable, ring-shaped construct; a feat of engineering and will. But, as they delved further into the interiors of Halo, and as they continued to monitor Covenant transmissions, they began to suspect that Halo was more than a mere ecosystem. The almost termitic passageways and arcane machinery of the Forerunner were intricately woven throughout the entire Halo. And although Halo outwardly appeared to be benign, it's seemingly contradictory purpose was soon discovered.

When Cortana uploaded herself into Halo's network, she uncovered Halo's true use, which the Covenant had only had mild inferences of. Halo was designed to study, contain, and, if necessary, prevent the Flood from spreading throughout the galaxy. It was indeed a weapon, and although mysteriously not an all smiting cudgel, seemingly not one that could be accurately wielded by either Covenant, or Human, against each other. With a maximum range of 25,000 light years, Halo would easily destroy them both, and all other life capable of sustaining the Flood. What good it does to kill all life quickly before all life is merely consumed by the Flood eventually is known only to the builders. Susceptible life situated on the ring is also eliminated.

After Master Chief is made aware of Halo's true function, it is decided that this Halo should be destroyed to prevent 343 Guilty Spark from finding someone else to activate Halo at some point in the future. Amidst the Covenant cries of heresy, by blasting the vent core of the Pillar of Autumn, Master Chief and Cortana succeed in ending the threat of Alpha Halo 04. 1 down, 6 to go.

Another piece of the puzzle, Delta Halo 05 is the second of seven ancient ring facilities to be discovered by the Covenant and Humanity alike. Whether the Prophet of Regret retreated to it as an already known location, or recovered its coordinates from a builing/object on Earth is unknown. The ring appears to possess strikingly similar facility types and terrain to that of Halo 04, though the whirlwind tour of both makes the assertion somewhat difficult to confrim. Conjecture, as always, is welcome.

Char ( writes:

Playing through level 5, Assault on the control room I noticed Cortana said something that kind of caught my ear. She called Halo a fortress world. With a little help from Google I learned that a "Fortress world" is also a model for future earth. More info can be found here:

Basically a fortress world is the a world where the rich and poor are extremely segrated and constantly at war. The world is overcrowded, filled with Disease and lacking in the food and natural resources to feed it's ever growing population. In this world a few nations grow excessively rich and territorial, like the US (except for the whole military forced isolation thing ;).

Interesting. One wonders whether Cortana was making a reference to this definition of a fortress world, or whether a fortress world is in fact exactly that; a world which is in itself a fortress. Ahhh, quandries, quandries...

In other news, there's cause for celebration; the Story Page is finally working as it should! Break out those big foam hands and wave 'em around, because now we can finally get back to business. Speculate away.

-Ape Man


Here's something that we all must have walked through, around, and on, many times, but probably never stopped to ponder about.

David Marsh ( writes:

On Halo (the level) there are many structures that shoot big plasma beams into the air. If you look up at them, they seem to be traveling to the opposite side of the ring. Now, these structures don't appear on any other level that takes place on the ring (Silent Cartographer, Assault on the Control Room, etc). What is the purpose of these structures, and what is so special about the part of the ring that we landed on initially? The beams don't seem delicate/precise enough to be exchanging information, and there's no reason for them to be shooting at anything (if the Forerunner wanted to destroy the ships orbiting the Halo, I'm sure they would've done it).

Just what are these structures? If you go down into one of them, you see that the bolt/beam starts from deep down underground. At first, I figured they might be some kind of stabilization for the Halo as a whole. But that leads me to wonder why they would be concentraited into that one area. I assume we would have seem them elsewhere, as we did see a considerable ammount of the Halo. Thoughts, anyone?



Silicon Dream, in an HBO Forum post, makes an interesting observation in regards to the Halo and it's function:

Although that doesn't necessarily mean that the Halo directly kills intelligent creatures. It could be that it kills any creature sufficiently massive to possibly be intelligent (i.e. big enough to have room for a high-class brain). Or, I suppose, it could kill creatures based on some completely different criterion--water content or average current density or something--which is nevertheless met by every organism that's big 'n smart.



Knight Premier, in an HBO forum post, writes:

Yo, Luis. Those are actually two totally separate lines.

Furthermore, 343GS says "...which means that any organism with sufficient mass and cognative capability is a potential factor."

He's referring to the Halo and it's function. The thread has some interesting stuff in it regarding susceptible targets' sentience and biomass. Go check it out!



Aida-kun ( writes:

I was reading the story page and noticed the mention of making a map of Halo... there's already one in the control room to steal, and that reminded me....

Last weekend I replayed Two Betrayals with an eye for exploring the control room with the Banshee. Didn't find too much interesting in the structure of the room itself (the cylindrical cavities at the top and bottom just come to an end before you get too far) but....

The hologram of the Halo has holographic markers separate from the ring itself, including (at least one) that seems to have an undecipherable descriptive sidebar -- maybe a "you are here" that indicates the control room? I suspect they are either concentrations of Flood, Covenant, Forerunner installations (access to Halo's underground transport tunnels?), or maybe even where we've been in the game.

I might head back with a sniper rifle to see what secrets the 10x zoom might reveal. Maybe flying a banshee to the edge of the pit at the bottom and scoping it out from there would give the best perspective (perpindicular to the surface of the hologram) ....

Considering that people have found quite a few interesting things by looking around with the sniper scope, this might be a good idea. Who knows what Bungie has hidden in plain sight?



Those 'blue beams' as either power transferments or communication

Robin Welsh ( writes:

I've seen the energy beam structures on Halo (the level) and I have two ideas as to what they could be...

1. Power. These could be highly advanced power stations that beam energy across space to the opposite side of the ring, where there is a receiver structure of some sort that dissipates the energy and sends it out to the buildings that are hooked up to that part of the energy grid (if one exists). This would certainly save some resources for the transport of energy. Also, since these bursts of energy seem fairly large, the receiver structure at the other side of the ring could take what it needs then split the beam like a prism, sending the remaining halves to other parts of Halo.

2. Communication. They could be bursts of data to the other facilities on the other side of the ring. Again, this would save some resources for the transport of data, and again, the receiver station could copy the instructions that it needs then split it and send it on to the next stations; i.e. they could be command centers of some sort.



Ryan Hoisington uses his l337 math skills to put the pfh34r into us all.

Ryan Hoisington ( writes:

I was sitting in Calc class the other day listening to the teacher describe how to formulate 3-d shapes, when he got to talking about spheres. For some unknown reason, this bored me (draw your own conclusions) and my mind wandered to Halo and how amusing it was to run around on easy using nothing but melee attack. . .

Anywho to make a long story short, I started drawing spheres when I noticed something. Draw 3 circles with the same radius so that each is touching the other and you get a weird little triangle in the middle. Something made me think about 343 GS and how he said he was the caretaker of installation of 004, sooo that means there's at least 3 other Halos out there. Putting my unused math skills to the test, I wanted to determine what the distance would be between each halo with a radius of about 25,000 light years (the maxium effect radius that GS mentions), but since I figured the forerunner would want to "nuke" ALL of space you couldn't have that little triangle in there. And guessing they're efficient sobs, they wouldn't want to have a bunch of halos clustered around each other.

So what does this mean? It means the closest another Halo can be to the one MC blew up is about 43,300 light years in roughly any direction.

Unfortunatly there's some bad news with that. . .in order to close that gap you have to overlap the radius of effect of the halos. If any habited planets were in that little zone they'd still get fried. Looks like MC has his work cut out for him. . .

Ryan Hoisington

Thanks, Ryan! No better thing to do in ANY class than sit there thinking about Halo, and better yet to put that class to work and figure something like this out.

The next phase of this should be clear: if the distance between Halos is at most 43,000 light years, how many Halos would one need to completely wipe out life in the galaxy? You do the math, and don't forget that we're working in three dimensions here. This will became especially prevelant when considered the galactic core.

Armchair astronomers, start your engines.

-Ape Man


Mr. Yun wonders about the nature of the Halo itself.

Mr. Yun ( writes:

One thing's for sure: "It's not a barbarian!"

...I thought that it seemed a little heavy...

But seriously, Cortana is obviously stating that Halo doesn't just kill/destroy everything. It's a "surgical" doomsday device, if you will. There more detailed descriptions theorizing how Halo kills, but I thought Cortana's line summed it up well.



Jordan Edell writes with a theory on the purpose of the blue beams mentioned earlier.

Jordan Edell ( writes:

Atmosphere control.

While reading through the transcript of the Library, this comment caught my attention:

"Your environment suit should serve you well when the Flood begins to alter the atmosphere, you are a good planner."

How exactly would they accomplish this and why? Perhaps they like it a bit more gloomy but GS is inferring that whatever it becomes it won't be hospitable to unprotected Humans. It may be that like plants, the Flood give off some compound that by virtue of there being so many of them the atmosphere would begin to change. It may also be that they know where the controls for the AC are.

It seems to me that an artificial world as complex as HALO would have built into it a mechanism to control the climate. HALO is basically a zoological research facility and as such (like any zoo here on Earth) it is sub-divided into climatically diverse regions. HALO, it seems is particularly diverse considering all of it's topography fits into a neat equatorial band. In other words there is no meaningful change in latitude from one place to another. All of HALO's regions are an equal distance from the sun. On a sphere (planet Earth) the further North or South you go from the equator the colder it gets, because, among other things, you are physically moving further away from the sun.

So to account for the great differences in climate from one level to another I think there must be something manipulating it. It may or may not be those blue beam shooters. There is a fine line between deciphering the meaning of it all and "hey, let's put some weird buildings that shoot blue lasers into the sky on this level."

It does beg the question though: Why is the environment of HALO so much like Earth and are all the HALO's like this one?

Indeed, why?



Origins of Halo: part 21

craZy ( writes:

The Forerunner created the Halos in order to store away the Flood and keep the universe safe. But, without a security system of any type, a younger race found a Halo, got on it, and foolishly releashed the Flood. The Forerunner, not having realised this until the Flood were too spread out to control, activated the Halos.

To make double sure that that sort of thing didn't happen again, the Forerunner created the Covenant. A sort of guard-dog of the Halos. The Forerunner then gave the Covenant advanced technology and built their instructions into the Covenant's religion.

But the religion/rules that were designed to protect the Halos, turned bad. Over time, they degraded and "Protect the Halos from intruders" turned into "Kill all who could possibly go to the Halos" or some such 'death to all' philosophy.

That would explain the Forerunner symbology that some of the Covenant wear. Hmm...



Anthony dredges up an interesting quote.

Anthony DiFoggio ( writes:

...there is VERY good proof that the "Halo" is not alone, and is merely one of many. Tis proof would be the interview with Jason Jones on the Truth and Reconciliation site, where he made many "slips," one being in the question about if the entire covie fleet followed you from Reach. "...believing instead that the Covenant followed the Pillar of Autumn because they had already found the Alpha Halo and wanted to prevent the humans from finding it as well..." Notice how he refered to Halo as "the Alpha Halo." what about the Beta Halo? or Gamma?

The term "Alpha" would also seem to indicate that ours is the primary Halo. Besides housing the Flood, is there anything else about our Halo that we ought to know?



Origins of Halo: part 28

Matt Wright ( writes:

I looked up the word 'fortress'; it means something used for military purposes only, permanently garrisoned. A fortress is used to create a hold in an area that presumably isn't under control yet. in the early days of the Forerunner, maybe they came into our galaxy and used the halos to gain a foothold, much like Spain, France, and England created fortresses in the New World, and area that was not under their control (yet). Many people (including me) have assumed that the Forerunner were not expecting biological lifeforms to be on Halo. This may not be entirely true, since Covenant and Human forces could battle away happily on the surface until the flood were released. Perhaps there were restricted areas that only robots were allowed past, unless there was a breech of security. The fortress world would have been self- supporting, as some fortresses in our history have contained towns or living quarters, food supplies, etc. This might explain the similarities between earth and halo, though it seems that the Covenant experience no adverse effects due to the environment, so maybe their home worlds are the same or similar to earth. So, perhaps the forerunner kept the Flood locked up, and lived their merry lives on the surface trying to gain control of the galaxy. History has a way of getting lost, though, so perhaps once the galaxy was conquered, or in the end wiped clean by the halo's, the Forerunner left the Halo's and inhabited the galaxy as they saw fit. So, perhaps the Forerunner, in some form, are the Covenant now.

Why release the Flood? You can destroy anything and everything in the galaxy anyway. Only if you wanted to inflict pain would you do that.

But as a deterrent, the threat of releasing the Flood might be useful...



The Pillar of Autumn thinks the Covenant followed and eventually beat them to Halo 04. The Covenant think that the Humans followed one of their ships to the Ring.

Truth be told, neither knew that the other had the exact map they did...

Tristan Wolfe ( writes:

After reading The Fall of Reach twice, I became very interested in the patterns on the rock in the museum and the Covenant infrared transmition at the battle of Sigma Octanus. I believe that the Covenant didn't fallow the Pillar of Autumn to halo. I think that after the insodent at Sigma Octanus, the Covenant went to halo and studied its features after scanning the rock's patterns. MC does recognize the slipstream jump coordinates Cortana made before leaving Reach, and Cortana confirms that the coordinates are very much alike the patterns found on the rock, right?

This brings up a point: Why would the Forerunner leave Halo's coordinates on Sigma Octanus? They must have wanted somebody to find it...



A lot of food for thought, here.

Pfhoenix ( writes:

In the third Cortana letter, it mentions "you seem to be their devil". If you accept that the Covenant's religion is worshiping the Forerunner (taking their relics as holy ones), MC being their devil sort of makes sense. Since Satan was indeed an angel before his fall, MC running around with a Covenant (or is it Forerunner?) shield incorporated into nearly inhuman armor, wouldn't MC look like a fallen angel extracting revenge of sorts against the 'righteous'? 343 Guilty Spark's comments on lost history in The Maw, along with it's other comments, such as calling MC the reclaimer, its line about "Why would you hesitate to do what you have already done" clearly shows that 1) 343GS recognizes in form at the very least MC as someone it's dealt with before and 2) Halo 04 (if not the others as well) have been activated in the past. Now, how could 343GS mistake MC for the previous Reclaimer? Could it be that the MJOLNIR armor has roots in Forerunner (Jjarro?) technology beyond just the shields? That would go to explain the Covenant's Devil/Satan references (by the Grunts when they run away). It might even shed a little light on why the flood were not wiped out - maybe the Forerunner had even more advanced MJOLNIR suits (aka 343GS' comment about upgrading to class 12 from your current class 2) that protected them from the Flood entirely (since mutated forms clearly weren't taken into account by the design of the sentinels). This would mean that the Forerunner didn't fear the Flood directly, only realized their potential in spreading. Thus, Halo would be akin to a petri dish of sorts - we provide bacteria we wish to study a suitable place to live and grow yet we contain it at the same time. We also destroy the protein and the bacteria when we're done.

Now. =) It's pretty well established that the Halo(s) have been activated before. No time frame is given, and to conjecture on one is pretty much without any grounds in hints even. But we can extrapolate a couple things - activating the Halo(s) clearly succeeded in preventing Flood expansion beyond the Halo, the Forerunner may have been human-like bipedals (not saying they were human), and humans were clearly not around at the time of the Halo(s) activation. We do have one sign though - mass extinctions on Earth (potentially as a result of the activation). Dinosaurs, anyone? Huge biomass with brains (some with two even), and as far as we can discern, no sentient life for a period of time afterwards, either. Not sure about the timing. On a final note - it may be that the Covenant hate Humanity with all their religious zeal for the simple fact that the Covenant may know a lot more about the Forerunner.. and know that Humans resemble them in some fashion. Does not the bible preach against the worship of false idols? What do you do to a false idol that seems to offend the very core of your religion?

Somebody's been thinking, I see... ;-)



Halo Geology

Daniel makes a few insightful observations about the underlying geology of Halo.

Daniel (7hr33) ( ) writes:

It came to my attention while playing The Silent Cartographer that the entire level is built to endure a much higher water table. The Map Building itself brought this to mind as I looked at the pillars under the outside landing and pondered again what the large shields on each were for. "Well, to buffer waves, of course!" The landing itself would also seem to work exceptionally well as a dock.

Examining the level with this aspect in mind shows that all buildings are well above a 'high tide' line and also produces several moments of 'yeah! that makes sense' as you see, for example, the cave leading up to the Cartographer's building and the overhead arc as those created by waves. The broken off section of the cliff face, revealing the metal structure beneath, as well as the several old, rather driftwood like fallen trees are also of particular interest. The beginning room of 'Assault on the Control Room' with it's super water splashing force field dome at the top, as well as general level design are also curious. Sure, large cliffs dropping off to reveal distant and lowly lands is a convenient way to define an area's boundaries without making the player feel as though they are in a box, but if it is not only a utility based choice, why do these especially high areas exist at all?

Whether the water level was once consistently higher, the ring once had rather large tides (not recently as one can see by all the vegetation on SC), or the installations were built to be prepared for a massive upheaval in certain special circumstances (the ring changing locations, nearby celestial objects creating massive tides, or the ring actually being activated) is up for discussion.

We've all known that Bungie provides a wealth of incidental, historical, and related information in their games, for those that know to look for it.

The question is: Why has the water level on Halo gone down?



It's been assumed that, when 343 GS says, "Why would you hesitate to do what you have already done?" he's referring to a previous firing of the Halo as a weapon. It has also been assumed that the reason for this firing was the Flood. What if there had been other species that had been studied on Halo? And what if one of them had been the reason for the previous firing? Hmm?

Ender ( ) writes:

...also how it said you asked him once if he'd do the same and he still says yes. that means the area where the last flood speciments where held, could have held a race of people...



A recent post on the forum has put forth some very astute research and observations in a nice, discussable bundle.

barkbat writes:

Official Halo backstory:
'Now the name of the gas giant is Threshold... whoops... the name of the moon is Basis, and right in the middle between this big-ass gas giant and this little tiny moon is this foreign object (halo).'

The 'whoops' means threshold is important. Janus is the god of thresholds. quotes:
'Janus was represented with two faces, originally one face was bearded while the other was not (probably a symbol of the sun and the moon).'

This rings bells what with halo positioned between a moon and a sun. The following is Janus's story - brackets are me speculating.

'Janus, as the first king of Latium, brought the people a time of peace and welfare; the Golden Age. He introduced money, cultivation of the fields, and the laws. After his death he was deified (forerunner) and became the protector of Rome (galaxy). When Romulus and his associates stole the Sabine Virgins, the Sabines attacked the city. The daughter (Cortana) of one of the guards on the Capitolian Hill betrayed her fellow countrymen and guided the enemy into the city (earth). They attempted to climb the hill but Janus made a hot spring erupt from the ground (used halo), and the would-be attackers fled from the city (covenant fucked). Ever since, the gates of his temple were kept open in times of war so the god would be ready to intervene when necessary. In times of peace the gates were closed.'

Janus appears to symbolise the Forerunner, Halo the 'threshold' door symbol tied to his diefication.

Other similarities
Covenant elites appear to scream 'Romulon'(Romulous?) in-game when they see you - could this stealing of virgins be an analogy to why the covenant have waged war on humanity? If the Sabines are Covenant, and Rome the city earth, then could cortana not be the traitor, explaining earths desolate state, the cryptic and dark Cortana poems that started all this, and all the other tenuous evidence that Cortana is a bit naughty deep down?

'His (Janus) most famous sanctuary was a portal on the Forum Romanum through which the Roman legionaries went to war. He also had a temple on the Forum Olitorium, and in the first century another temple was built on the Forum of Nerva.'

This might imply there are three Halo's.

CARNA: A nymph who lived at the site where in later times the city of Rome would be built. The god Janus fell in love with her and gave her power over door-handles.

If Halo is the door, the index is the door handle, and CORTANA (v.similar to CARNA) does indeed gain control of the metaphorical door handle.

Interesting no?

Thresholds, founts, and shifty A.I.'s; There's a lot of metaphorical meat here and there is sure to be more in the discussion to follow. Again, this is the type of well conceived proposal that we love here at the HSP :)

Head on over to the forum to discuss and refine...



Does Halo actually kill organisms on its own surface?

Joe Shmoe ( writes:

Scott Meyers†claims "that if any organism (e.g. master chief) activates Halo, they would be immediately destroyed by it. Therefore he knows that if master chief ever activated it in the past he would be dead." Says who? Who knows anything about Halo? Who says†Halo would kill the person that activates it? That's dumb, what kind of stupid machine kills its user?†Obviously it doesn't or Guilty Spark wouldn't have said that. Halo probably won't kill any of it's occupants, just everything else in the galaxy.

"This installation's research facilities are most impressive! Perhaps we'll have time to see them later."

With "later" involved, one could assume that John will NOT be affected by the ring's pulse. He seems shocked at the calibre of the ring's facilities; perhaps he is ignorant of its effectiveness as well? Hmmm...

"Why do you continue to fight us, Reclaimer? You cannot win! Give us the construct, and I will endeavor to make your death relatively painless and..."

If the Halo doesn't kill life on its surface, then why would John have to die at all? He can obviously defend himself against the Flood. Is Guilty Spark that vengeful? If the Halo does destroy any sentient races atop it, why the remarkable habitat? Curiouser and curiouser...



Faster than the speed of light?

Claire Bloom ( writes:

Why would 343 GS care if the Flood escaped, is he trying to protect sentient life, ERH, wrong, because Halo, when activated, destroys sentient life, so why would our floating blue ball/box need to worry? It doesn't make sense.

There is something that has been on my mind for the past while. Let me give a quick synopsis of a movie called Supernova (at least, I think that is what its called). Now, I wouldn't go rushing out to rent it; your money is better spent on "Halo: The Flood". I saw it on a plane, which makes it alright, I suppose, because it was free. This hot, young cast of space voyagers finds this alien artifact that contains 5-D space (or something equally as awe inspiring), which makes it a bomb that can obliterate the known galaxy (or more). No explanation of what it is really for or any other good story elements to speak of.

The ending, however, very much impressed me. The antagonist killed, this "weapon" detonates. However the ship our young hero and heroine are on is far enough away to enter Slipspace moments before the blast reaches them. They arrive at Earth where the ship's computer informs them that the Earth will be destroyed in sixty-some years when the wave finally reaches it, travelling at almost the speed of light.

All in all, pretty stupid. But a tragic ending I found somewhat refreshing. To apply this, it is interesting to imagine the Halo's pulse travelling at only the speed of light, or some power of it. Now if the Flood could commandeer a ship equipped with a FTL drive, they would easily be able to avoid the ring's effective radius. Therefore, it would be of the greatest importance that Guilty Spark fire the Halo as soon as possible in order to remove the immediate food supply, get a head start, and trigger the other Installations.

But a more tantalizing repercussion is this: Would that mean that somewhere in the galaxy, the pulse from the Halo's last firing is still rippling outwards? Possibly still affecting other civilizations?

UPDATE: Also, check out this post by Heretic which speaks directly to this discussion.



Next, Ciar·n wonders what a more thorough reading of the rocks on Sigma Octanus may have yielded:

What if the rocks contain not just the location of Halo, but also warnings about the Flood, and instructions on where the Halo is, what it does, and how to use it. Any race that can work out the symbols in full would understand what the implications are of firing Halo.



Jonathan Latkowcer ( writes:

Just because the Halo you're on was fired, doesn't necessarily mean that all the other Halo's went off. There might be a deactivation switch on them, just in case something went wrong and one was set off accidentally. Also, perhaps the other Halo's weren't built yet. It seems possible that only a few Halos were used against the Flood, and then the Forerunners decided to build more as an afterthought.

An intriguing possibility, though building several Halos is a pretty big afterthought ;)



Frank "Arsynic" Rivers" ( writes:

The point of Halo is two-fold: To study the flood virus and if their is an outbreak, to destroy their hosts. See, the Forerunners did not know how to kill the Flood virus. What you see in the game is the EFFECT of the Flood virus, not the CAUSE. What you shoot and kill in the game is the EFFECT of the virus.

This is an important point: The Forerunners didn't know how to kill the Flood virus much like we don't know the cure for AIDS today. Now using the AIDS analogy, while we're trying to discover a cure for it, we also have measures in place to deal with outbreaks. Halo serves both functions: To find a cure for the virus and if another outbreak occurred, to kill the food source of the Flood. Sadly the Forerunners never got the chance to find the cure for the virus. Thus the conundrum: They were willing to sacrifice the lives in one galaxy for the benefit of other galaxies. Halo's purpose is for others to continue the work that the Forerunners started and to find a cure for the virus.

"Whoever controls†Halo controls the fate of the universe..."

That makes sense. Whoever controls Halo†has access to its research facilities†which can be used to study and find a†cure for the cause, the Flood virus. The fate of the universe depends on finding a cure for this deadly†disease.

However, what remains a mystery is the fact that 343 Guilty Spark didn't use a member of the Covenant to†do his dirty work. Why weren't they†qualified to reunify the index with the core?

More Human-Forerunner evidence (either as a direct link or showing the Humans to be a client race or "favourite child" of the Forerunner), or were Mobuto and John-117 merely at the right place at the right time? What exactly, are the criteria to qualify as a Reclaimer? Ability? Uniform? Rank? Humanoid? A "combat-skin" of some sorts? Or is simply enough to be Human (whatever that entails)?



The Library: A test, or some time to think?

Sean Durkin ( writes:

And another thing::

GS was able to transport the chief to the Library........why not put him right up to the index? Why make him fight his way through?

A limitation of GS? or a test?

Perhaps something hindered him transporting the chief closer?

This has been touched on before, but is worth bringing up again. While it may be a test (albeit a rather superfluous and sadistic one) the most likely answer seems to be that Halo's teleportation grid does not allow incoming bodies within a certain proximity to the Index's resting place as a security feature, or in like manner, that all the security doors must be properly bypassed in order to enable its release. This would prevent the theft of the Index through manipulation of the teleportation system, and give you plenty of time to think about what you are about to do, preventing rash or hasty reactions to a possibly recoverable situation.



Islands and Versions

Responding from the confines of his restraints, er... retirement,

Astro the Space Duck ( writes:

Interesting thing to bring up... Two things... First of all, [Island] 4 might not mean 4th best, it could also refer to revision #. ie a Mark V battleroid is better than a Mark I.

Also, just because Halo is installation 004, doesn't mean it's the 4th. Forerunners may standardly use 0-based numbering, so Halo would be 5th.



Island, Platform, Facility, Planet...

Would a ring in any other shape seem so neat?

Joel Edstrom ( writes:

I noticed that 343GS calls Halo installation 04 and so everyone is assuming that it is the 4th ring world. Or at least the 4th Forerunner installation (Island 4). Well, who knows really? Maybe the screwed up the first 3 times in making a Halo, or maybe the first 3 installations aren't even ring worlds. It is possible that the Forerunner built more than one thing in their time. Maybe their first 3 creations are other geographical shapes (square, pyramid, rectangle for example). We know that there are other Halos because GS says so, so they are probably #s 5 and up. It just makes more sense to me that the Halo that the Master Chief destroys is the first one because why else would they put something as important as the flood on their 4th best installation? If you had something that could kill every living thing wouldn't you put it on your best kept fortress?



Structure and designation: Is each Halo an improved version?

Wade Yamauchi ( writes:

Did Bungie keep the 04 just as a tribute to Nathan? Or did they also keep it because it was an "Island 4"?

If 04 means the fourth generation of artificial "worlds" then the other installations (1 through 3) would be of a lesser technology, following the other installations (if they do exist) backwards to Installation 01 might bring us to the Forerunner Homeworld.

Anyway, I just came up with a new theory (well new to me at least): We won't see installations 1-3, at least not with any life on them. I say Halo (Installation 04) is the first (Alpha) of the next generation of artificial worlds. The Forerunners may have left it to go to Installation 05 (Beta). Installation 05 might be a huge Niven Ringworld sized place, or at least much larger than Installation 04.

Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta... Tiers of power, purpose, or control... hmm. We'll see.



Trying to get a better look at the background images from the Halo Soundtrack...

vze4t8t8 ( writes:

I have just recently gotten the Halo Soundtrack, and I couldn't help but notice that on the back cover, there is a large diagram of Halo, distinguishing the unique features of Halo. These included labels such as:

1) Silent Cartographer
Map Room
(followed by illegible text)

2) Halo's control room and main activation terminal

3) The Library
where resides Halo's index

I noticed that the labels did not include the location of the PoA and the Truth and Reconciliation because these were not original features of Halo. I also noticed that it did not include the swampy area of Guilty Spark 343, where the Flood was released. I wondered to myself why this location was not listed, and I came to the only conclusion I could find: there must have been†more installations that the Flood were contained. How many there are cannot be precisely determined, but there must be quite a number of Flood installations if they were to spread so quickly.

I also noticed that according to the diagram, the Silent Cartographer and Control Room were on opposite sides of Halo. That means that Foe Hammer must have flown roughly 15,700 km just to get†MC from the level SC to AotCR.

Quite a journey. Now if we could acquire a higher quality version of this image or learn of more of its veracity.



Brian "Berry Boy ( writes:

Earlier Ryan Hoisington showed that due to the Halo's having a certain firing radius, there would be a small area of space where the fields of fire would miss, unless they were overlapped. He speculates that the Forerunners wouldn't want that space to exist, and as such would move the Halo rings into a slightly closer position to overlap their area of affect...BUT!! what if the Forerunners (being the intelligent species they are) specifically LEFT that small pocket of space out of the area of affect...? They obviously knew what the Halo weapons would do, having designed it, so why intentionally leave an area untouched...maybe because that is where they knew that they would go to in the event of a Halo activation.

Think of it: the Flood get out of control, the Forerunners agree that the Halo weapons must be activated, and the galaxy purged. They board up, lock up, and leave the Halo weapons en masse (hopefully with no flood onboard) and retreat to their little "safety pocket" of space where the field of effect does not hit. Once there, the weapons activate, and the galaxy is wiped clean. Maybe they stayed there, after that, or maybe, the flood DID follow them or catch them, and in that unaffected area, consumed and destroyed the Forerunners. But then, seeing as the rest of the universe lacked any sufficient biomass to sustain them, the still withered and died...



Sigma Octanus, the messages its rocks have preserved, and the similar signals in a Black Hole that confound us...

James  ( writes:

I've been working on a theory about Halo and the Forerruners I started forming after another read through of Fall of Reach, where a part in page 234 caught my attention (The part where Cortana is talking about the crystal from Sigma Octanus IV):

"I have also, um...coordinated with UNSC's astro-physics department and discovered some interesting bits archived in their long-range observational databases. There is a black hole located approximately forty thousand light-years from the Sigma Octanus System. An extremely powerful pulse-laser transmission back-scattered the matter in the accretion disk- essentially trapped this signal as this matter accelerated toward the speed of light. From our perspective, according to special relativity, this essentially froze the residue of this information on the event horizon."

"I'll take your word for it," Dr. Halsey said.

This 'frozen signal' contains information that matches the sample from Sigma Octanus Four." Cortana sighed and her shoulders slumped. "Unfortunately, all my attempts at translating the code have far."

Now for a while, I thought that Cortana was referring to the infra-red beam that the Covenant were using. However, on my last read through, I realized two things-

1. No matter how powerful that infrared beam was, it wasn't possible for that beam to reach a black hole 40 thousand light-years away- that infrared beam must've taken up a huge amount of power to get to the Covenant receiver ship- heck, my remote can barely turn the TV on from 20 feet!

2. Even if the infrared beam somehow reached the black-hole, it couldn't have been frozen in time for around 40,000 years.

Not to mention that the signal from the Covenant's analysis of the rock would have taken 40 000 years just to reach the black hole. Have we discovered another bit of incorrect information in the novel, or does this indicate someone else released such a pulse in millennia past?

For now I too will leave the exact physics of the beam's preservation to Cortana :)



Alvin Cheung ( writes:

Beside the fact that Bungie had to make the game harder by making all these installations on Halo all big and advanced, why is†it so hard to get around. For example, in the Silent Cartographer, what are all those lifts for? One would think that a race as advance as the Forerunner would make a map more...well, public. Why would they go to all that trouble to hide it underground? My guess is that the Forerunner anticipated that someone would eventually stumble across ol' Installation 004, so in order to protect the ring world's secrets, they thought they should hide a map room underground. Yet, if they anticipated the fact that foreigners would arrive on Halo, why didn't the Forerunner make the Sentinels more adapt at fighting Flood warriors?



Those 'blue beams' as waste heat ventilation

Matt Cannon ( writes:

On HALO (the level) those big blue pulse thing could actually be waste from Halo's weapon. I mean with the plasma†rifle†when it over heats all the waste comes out. Maybe Halo's weapon produces so much power (25,000 light years, come on now) that the waste is disposed through those things and is vented into space.

Could be, could be...



William discusses the fact that the Sigma Octanus rock sample everyone's been dying to get their hands on was really only one of several that had been discovered by Humans over the years...

William Daniels ( writes:

We (humans in 2552) may already know where other Halos, or other forerunner stuff, is:

-Cortana's jump was "blind" and based on previously known coordinates, although they weren't considered coordinates at the time. They were based on the rock that the Master Chief recovered from the museum in Cote d'Azur.
Now as for other locations, my theory*...

-That wasn't the only rock of it's kind. Right before the section "Mjolnir" in the book, Dr. Halsey asks for Cortana's analysis of "the classified data brought back from Sigma Octanus Four." On the last chapter of the page we read: "Forty years ago a geological survey team found several igneous rocks with similar- though not identical- anomalous compositions." Now, okay, so they're similar, big deal. Right? Wrong. Read on: "UNSC geologists believe that these samples were introduced onto the planet via meteorite impacts- they are typically found in long eroded impact craters on the planet surface." Now, I theorize that these were "introduced" not by accident, but on purpose. My three possibilities:

-1: A space battle brought down spacecraft. These were onboard. After time the ships(just like cars)would have disintegrated, leaving behind "these samples" or to the aliens: our maps to lead us home. Evidence against this: Why would only these 'rocks' be left behind? Maybe there's more to be found or the geologists just didn't dig deep enough.

-2: Markers to lead lost aliens home. The aliens just dropped these rocks via large drop shells(it's just an idea) and since other species wouldn't know what they were even if they did stumble onto them (the covenant had the imaging beam box scanner). For instance, we humans had that one as a geological oddity in a museum. Evidence against this theory: impact craters. Why not just land, set up the outpost and leave. Of course my theory of 'drop shells' could stand true if the craters weren't to big.

-3: It's all a test. Step one, find a planet that mimics your own environment and would probably draw settlers who lived in a similar environment. Step two, leave some bread crumbs to help the settlers find you or a testing grounds to see if you would want to meet them. Step three, wait. Of course they'd choose a planet without 'intelligent' life so the bread crumbs couldn't get lost or stolen. And also since it was an abandoned planet, that would mean a space-faring, hopefully technologically advanced enough, species would have to find it. As for why it was in impact craters, what do xenologists (studiers of aliens, or whatever they call themselves) look at? Grasslands, or impact craters that could have meteors that hold/held alien organisms. Evidence against, I'm sure there are plenty other than the fact that the aliens sure did have a complicated test.

Also, why would the aliens drop several different directions to stuff on the same planet? Was only one real? Were they just from a common meteor grouping?

Or, as you mentioned earlier, do they each lead to a different installation? Will these other samples return later in our tale?



Michael Zarzour ( writes:

I've had a few thoughts about the reasoning behind containing the flood, the weather patterns on Halo, and the ability of Halo to destroy such a large volume of space. It is perhaps that the Forerunners realized that it was futile to try and destroy the flood (just as it is very hard to rid anything completely of viruses or bacteria) and resorted to destroying any possibility of their spreading. The constantly varying and harshe weather conditions of Halo gives us insight at an attempt to make Halo hard to live on (for any possible hosts). The vegetation, oceans, and atmosphere would all contribute to making Halo a turbulent place, and the lack of animal life (or the removal of animal life from the origional concepts of the game) leads me to believe that although it is "possible" to live on Halo, it was designed to halt any attempt of a permanent colonization. If infact, a species of "flood-worthy" biomass were to stumble upon the planet, the self destruction would be sort of a "damn, now look what I have to do because of you" reaction; taking out the potential hosts, severely weakening the flood, and removing almost all possibilities for the remaining flood to find any nearby hope for furthur reproduction.

That would be a pretty severe reaction. ;-) But, an interesting idea nevertheless. I don't think we've seen a completely satisfactory explanation of the "inclement weather," although I feel that such an explanation would somehow have to include the mention of the Flood and their efforts to alter the atmosphere. Any thoughts? ;-)



Thomas Cranor ( writes:

Isn't it possible that the Halos were designed to destroy the food source for the flood, thereby keeping the flood from being able to go to other galaxies? certainly the forerunners wouldn't concentrate merely on one galaxy if they were so intelligent and advanced! they may have encountered the flood and decided that it was necessary to sacrifice one galaxy to save the rest of the universe. They wouldn't want to end all of the other races unless it was necessary, so they would need to contain the flood as best they could. The Halos were therefor probably just in case the flood did escape.

Neat idea. We have the misfortune to live in the wrong galaxy, home to the Flood and the mass-sterilization protocols which they necessitate. Dang!

If so, however, then the possibility exists that the Forerunner reside in another galaxy.
"Somewhere in the heavens... They are waiting..."



Insert Index to restart...

Madscientist ( writes:

If the Forerunners did start experiments to find the perfect species/being then they may have realised that there may be a number of failures when the Flood escaped or the other species wiped each other out or something else happened. So it would make sense that they would create the ability to restart the experiment so to speak. Halo is capable of stopping the Flood without completely destroying life, as only life big enough to support the Flood is destroyed. This would also act as a reset for the other species in the galaxy. If the experiment was reset in this way it also makes sense that the Forerunners would have ensured that there was enough left behind to continue the experiment. It may also explain why the Flood has been around for so long but Humanity (and possibly the Covenant) has not. It may also explain why the MC is recognised by GS although it doesn't really explain why he is called Reclaimer or why GS doesn't like the Covenant.


Finally (at last) this begs the question if the Forerunners designed the Halo rings as a restart if the Flood escaped what other situations would be considered a failure and require a restart.

While the notion of the Forerunner creating the Flood has been discussed, and in many cases consequently dismissed, the idea of a galaxy-wide "reset button" is deceptively intriguing. We know that there are other "installations" that would presumably fire if Halo 04 does, so would there be other circumstances, specific to those locations, that would necessitate a "reset?"



We had some recent speculation on the relative merits of hot and cold weather in relation to the health and well-being of the Flood. There's been a little bit of a response to that, not the least of which is this observation of DNA and optimum environments.

James Kinsella ( writes:

I have just read all of the stuff on how the cold could be a defense against the Flood, and how it could be to gain a slight battle advantage for the Sentinels. Personally I disagree. The Flood take bodies and mutate them, which degrades DNA. the hotter you get the more degraded the DNA becomes. and the worse off the host body is. This means that areas like the AOTCR level are perfect for Flood.



Do this, don't do that...

Wyatt Mustful ( writes:

Crystals. What if the crystal found, that had Halo's Coordinates, was really a warning beacon, saying that this installation has been quarantined, or something similar to that. :Shrugs: Just wondering.

"Oh, those Covenant/Human fools...they must've know, there must have been signs!"

Now, if only we could read them :(



And with an entirely reasonable, though somewhat dampening, assertion,

Matt Cannon ( writes:

In Halo the Flood, captain Keyes see's a hurricane forming over on ocean. Maybe the inclement weather is just part of halo's normal environmental function.

Hah! But what abou... I bet you didn't think of... You're forgettin... aww, shucks.




Keepin' things super cool...

Roy Miller ( writes:

The reason why the area around the control room is cold is quite simple. Machinery and computers work better when in a cold climate. You can notice this when laptops and/or video game systems start humming. Their fans are moving to cool them down. With the cold climate around the control room, Halo can operate more efficiently. The weather also helps the sentinels operate better as well, because they are machines. The climate†probably doesn't have much to do with the flood at all.

Efficiency at its finest, my friend :)



More Rowley references!? Whatever will we do?!

Kareem Ramos ( writes:

I want to comment on the email sent in by Chris Davies, which I liked. I can definitely imagine that canyon†which holds the Control Room as being underwater for security reasons. It reminds me of a certain book called Starhammer. In that book, the main control room for the†star destroying weapon (the Starhammer) was placed at the bottom of a deep ocean, so that the parasitic Vang couldn't interfere. The planet eventually dried up and became forgotten, but was inhabited by a crew of humans who ran into it by chance (hint hint). The Forerunner probably did this same thing. --

This seems to have have been a definite inspiration, and in this case would explain quite a bit to boot.



Breathe in, breath out... Five more, come on work those parasitic flagella!

Otto Mossberg ( writes:

I was thinking about the Flood needing modifying the atmosphere. But then I realized, who said anything about them NEEDING to do it? I'm guessing they didn't come together to build some kind of machine to change the air. Practically every type of life on Earth changes the air. Whether it's bacteria, producing waste gas from the food they consume, animals breathing changing O2 into CO2, or plants vice versa. I'm betting the Flood alter the air in some way simply as a bi-product of their existence.

I saw something about maybe the Flood changed the atmosphere near the control room, making it colder, but I don't think they had been loose long enough to make changes that significant. The snow there looks like it's been there for awhile. It is possible they caused the change during the "previous outbreak", but that was a few thousand years ago, so the air probably would have changed back to normal in that time.



"A great, great deal has been said about the weather, but very little has ever been done about it."

Steve Fowler ( writes:

Cortana says that it seems odd that the weather in a certain area seemed natural, not artificial, and that the climate controls may be malfunctioning. Well, if the flood were changing the atmosphere or climate, it probably would be malfunctioning then, wouldn't it?



Phaedrus ( writes:

In Two Betrayals [and AotCR], the giant Halo-gram is hard to miss, but why the flashy patches? Is it just a cool lighting effect, or do the red highlighted regions indicate something, like the presence of Flood outbreaks? It only appears on land masses, and is also present around Map room markers etc.

Could very well be. In Halo: The Flood we see that the Covenant are attempting, and failing, to contain the Flood long before Humans stumble in and make things even worse (p.178). Besides, what else would it be reporting on?



There's another thing that keeps bothering me about Halo. When Cortana was in Halo its self, as in the main computer system, did she discover any escape vehicles, or other transportation devices? Were there loading bays, docking bays, or any thing of the sort on Halo? Was Halo designed to let things get put there, but rendering every escape vehicle useless, to prevent Flood infection out side of it's study zone? Well, the end of Halo kind of voids the part where escape vehicles are rendered useless, but still, the point of "were there any vehicles for the flood to take over and escape halo with?" Just a brain teaser for yah.

Another interesting observation. The "back" side of Halo has a lot of what look like portals, but we might have to wait for Halo 2 to get any insight on this.



Wyatt's got a lot on his mind. There's a lot to chew on here, folks, so get chew- er, reading!

Wyatt Mustful ( writes:

Well, to set Arthur Wellesly strait about how close halo is to human territory, most (Human) ships do a blind jump after a covenant encounter, that is if I'm correct. Seeing how the Fujikara Space travel is a lill sketchy, you can't be sure where you turn out, as stated in the book. I remmember reading precisely, the convorsation between a few officers in the FoR book about how Covenant were pin-point precise in "jumping," and how the humans were years behind that kind of accuracy. Well, theoretically, Halo could be trillions and trillions of miles away from any territory at all, and doing a blind jump (With a little help from cortana, which aimed them in the general direction) could put them any where near or far from the point. That's my statement.

Now, for the Halo issue its self, I have a different theory on that then what I've seen so far on your web site. I think, though Halo was built to study the Flood, that it was not only a weapon and a lab, but a living space for the forerunners. Since we've not seen all of Halo, we do not know if there are Citys or not. It hasn't been discussed, so I can pretty much assume my theory is incorrect, but there is always that chance. So if the facility is built to study them, where is all the information going any how? Is it being transmitted to the Forerunners? Or were the Forerunners stationed there, like an outpost? In either case, what were they studying in the flood?

343 Guilty Spark's line in Halo: The Flood about having been there for the last 101,217 years (local years, thank you Brannon Boren :P) kind of puts a damper on the possibility that the Forerunner were still on Halo, but somewhere we hadn't seen, but the point about the information on the continuing study of the Flood being transmitted somewhere is interesting. I'd imagine that that would be something that Cortana would notice while she was in the core. If there was anyhting worth noticing in there, think she'll clue us in at some point? Like maybe on a long, interstellar Longsword ride?



Those 'blue beams' and the tide lines they mark ( writes: mentioned before, many people have made observations as to what those beam - shooting towers are on Halo (the level). I have also noted how everyone mentions the deep canyons such as AotCR, etc. And last but not least, those huge tides that seem to plague the ring world. I think that these water floods, with the CR being underwater at some time, are quite possible. That would explain why (even in a banshee) the tops of these cliffs cannot be reached. Now think back to Halo (the level). aren't you at the TOP of a massive cliff? And there are massive waterfalls similar to the frozen ones outside the CR. Isn't it possible that Halo (the level) is the high - tide line for the ring world? that would explain why these beam shooting towers are found only in this area (but i must say i like the idea of them expelling waste). However, this doesn't explain such areas of the game a Truth and Reconciliation, Keyes, and the Maw, but i'll leave you to decide that.

This idea has been posed before, but consider the effect such an arrangement would have on the Silent Cartographer island. That shaft we fly into at the end of the level might be able to be flooded with sea water if the cliffs on Halo and Truth and Reconciliation were an indication of the tide line. And what a tide! Take that, Bay of Fundy!



Halo was fired once before... at least we're pretty sure.

Simpsons Rule ( writes:

You have said that more evidence points to Halo being already fired before. The reunification is one thing. I say, that maybe the index was built into Halo's weapon, like it was a part of it. It was then removed and given to the Monitor. To activate Halo, you would have to reunify the index with the core. Also, the word reclaimer. If the index was given to the Monitor by the Forerunners, then someone would have to reclaim it to activate Halo. Just my thoughts :)

Good point. There are a few other things the Monitor says that indicate an earlier firing of the weapon, but we must remember that 343 Guilty Spark might not be the most reliable of sources. ;-)



Bruce Hollowell-Geddes ( writes:

In other speculations the question of why the flood are on installation 4 rather then anything else, especially as 004 is often suggested to be the '4th best' halo. I have come up with the following suggestions:

1) The flood outbreak started on a habited planet near 004, and so the forerunners promptly gathered up the flood and locked them up in the nearest halo. This would be for saftey purposes so as not to fly a vessel with the flood on 50 000 light years and risk another infection. After quarantining the flood on halo it may have been activated to 'mop up' any survivors, as it would not nessecerily infect the rings inhabitents. This would also kill life on all nearby planets explaining why here is no known life near halo. The collection of the flood could have been for research into methods of reversing the process.

2) The flood outbreak happened somewhere else, but 004 was the only halo with adequate research facilities to observe the flood and try to develop 'cures'.

3) Halo is a weapon, and presumably the Forerunners will have had some kind of military organisation to control its use. It could be a military research centre, much like area 51. The flood could be from a system unkown t the forerunners, and upon capturing specimins they were taken to the installation for research. This research could be either for stopping the flood or as a weapon if the forerunners had enimies (presumably they did or had as they developed weaponary eg on sentinals). The weapon on halo could have always been there, pehaps to protect the installation- it doesnt have to be fired 25000 light years (343GS says the pulses maximum range is 25000) or developed as the forerunners believed that it was the only way to stop the flood. The military installation theory might explain two things others have speculated on: The pulses on Halo (the level) bear an uncanny resemblance to Cov. pistols and could be large anti ship versions. Secondly a lot of structures on halo-the map room, control room phase pulse generators etc are hidden in the sides of mountains and underground, in the same way military bunkers are.

Interesting observation on the term "'maximum' range." After all, we're told the Halo is not a cudgel, so perhaps it's not too outrageous to imagine that it could be fired with a (possibly significant) degree of precision. Remember, we're only following 343 Guilty Spark's "containment protocols." There might be other protocols that we haven't been informed of. ;-)

Good stuff!



On the subject of the "blue beam towers".

LordCanofPain ( writes:

No one has said what might be the most obvious reason for them. To wipe out a large portion of the galaxy you would need tremedous amounts of energy. Now to get this large amount of energy you are going to need a very large reactor, one that has enough umf to get the job done and you cant just turn one like that on and off at will. When it would be needed it would have to be ready to fire on a minutes notice and that means running the reactor 24/7. Now the problem is you got alot of energy building up in the core and no where to put it. Solution, shoot the excess energy, the stuff thats not going to power the ring worlds enviromental facilities and labratories, into space. So its sort of a to much of a good thing idea.

But I thought you can't have too much of a good thing?



Fury Three ( writes:

Earlier today I was wandering around the swamp and hills of 343 Guilty Spark, intrigued by the Flood's early appearances near the complex entrance. After riding the Pelican onto the ridge, I found some interest in the strange glowing trees in the area. The color of the glowing spots reminded me (Rather hauntingly) of something, as it does everyone: Flood.

The plant life's resemblance to Flood gave me an idea--What if the Flood evolved on their own within Halo, in this swampland particularly? Most theories say the Flood were found/created/etc., then the Halos were built to contain them. What if the Forerunner created Halo as an experiment, to see what kind of life would develop in the ring's evironment, and kept a significant population on it to do the research? There's any number of reasons they undertook this experiment--To learn to develop anything from exotic plants to real estate to biological weapons. Anwyay, something did evolve, consuming the Forerunners--The Flood. After a number of infections, the Forerunner contain some Flood infections for study, exterminate the rest, and the Flood become top research priority. Again, there's any number of reasons they did this: For the sake of science as part of an effort to better understand life, to determine what went wrong in their giant ring-farm's evolutionary fast lane, or perhaps even to utilize the Flood as a weapon.

By now the Forerunner were well aware of how dangerous the Flood are, and built a weapon into Halo, so that if the Flood escaped they could be destroyed before getting anywhere. The key to this weapon was placed in tight security, to keep the Flood from getting to it. After some time the Forerunner complete or abandon the Flood project, put the Flood in permanent containment in case they need to do more with them later, and leave Halo, apparently forever. Before leaving, they set up a network of AI constructs--Sentinels, led by the Monitor, 343 Guilty Spark. Perhaps the Monitor's role lives up to it's namesake, and he was supposed to call home if the Flood escaped by some chance, while the Sentinels held them off as best they could. But as we all know, in the 100,000-plus years that follow, GS goes insane.

The Forerunner's long scientific presence may explain why there are no signs warning of the Flood in the compound on 343 GS (And presumably elsewhere, as Cortana brings up in AotCR), because anyone working there would be there to study the Flood, and the facility/ies the Flood were located in were probably sealed up to the point where you'd have to use a good deal of force to get in--why put a warning sign up for the contents on the other side of some 50 inches of tempered glass, locked airtight blast doors, and metal?

Why, indeed? Who would have expected a cyborg warrior to show up bristling with weapons and grenades? ;-)

The mention of the Monitor's possible "call home" intrigues me. What if he did call home? What if his masters sent someone or something out to him? We weren't there much longer after the Flood got out, could it be that the alarm has been raised? Are the Forerunner on their way? Time will tell...



Those 'blue beams' as orbital stabilizers or thrusters, and the ring's weather as a fail-safe

Jonathan Pratt ( writes:

There's a lot of theories floating around regarding the blue plasma being fired seemlingly pointlessly up into the "sky" on the "Halo" level (number two). I propose another: gravitational stabilization.

A structure requiring a precise balance among other sources of gravity (Basis, Threshold, etc) in space would require constant correction if it were to stand for long periods of time, as the Halo rings must have if they have been activated before. Meteors and such striking Halo, although they wouldn't damage the structure, would damage it's balance. Even a modest rock in space could send Halo tumbling into Threshold after a few thousand years. That would certainly be a waste of resources.

Perhaps the blue material shooting up is some sort of venting system for Halo to stabilize it gravitationally when such corrections are necessary. Surely something as massive as the Pillar of Autumn (consider the hull and whatever mass powers its massive engines and reactors) would have an effect on Halo's balance as it plowed forcefully into its surface (as indicated by the scene at the beginning of the Maw, quite an impact). That in conjunction with other landing craft, human and Covenant, not to mention the Truth and Reconciliation, would create chaos if left uncompensated. The most fundamental laws of physics demand an equal and opposite reaction if Halo is to maintain in gravitational equilibrium.

Like the derigibles and zeppelins of old venting ballast water, maybe Halo has a gravitational system that vents superdense matter when necessary. This theory is supported by the rapid frequency of the blue "plasma" bursts in Halo if you consider the circumstances outlined in my previous paragraph (interference in the gravitational equilibrium from spacecraft and whatnot)...there would be a lot of venting activity (as there is in the game) if there was a sudden arrival of aliens to Halo's surface. Whether or not these are recycleable or rechargeable is something someone else can contemplate and discuss...surely Halo could recharge it's ballast over time by collecting space dust. But I digress from pure speculating.

It's been noted that the water level on Halo has dropped (erosion on Silent Cartographer) since some earlier time...perhaps the water on Halo's surface is a reservoir of mass which is later converted into superdense material for venting? However, I am skeptical of this as a rotating ring near a gravitational body (or two) would have tidal effects, so using water and leaving less on the surface to slosh around would itself upset the gravitational balance of Halo, requiring more stablization. Seems like a snowball effect. Maybe a better explanation for lower water levels is still out there...

Some have wondered about why so few of those blue plasma structures exist in such a concentration at only one point on Halo...but this is an assumption. I'm sure someone out there is capable of calculating the environmental (inner) surface area of the Halo ring based on some Greek mathematics, and that they could also calculate the surface area of the levels in the game. Compared to the surface area of Halo, the levels are minute and practically insignificant. Now, factor in that not all of these levels are on the surface of Halo and that even the some which are on the surface are in unsuitable locations (the Assault on the Control Room is unsuitable due to the fact that it's in a big canyon, for example), and you'll see we really didn't see all that much of Halo, especially the parts likely to have these vents firing into the "sky". So it stands to reason that more of these structure could be scattered about, as well as other things we have yet to discover. My belief is that they exist all over the ring, not just on the inside, but along the outside edges as well, acting as directional thrusters for stablization.

The second part of this rant is in regards to the snow around the control room, although it's a bit sketchier than my previous theory. It struck me as odd that it is constantly snowing near the control room and yet the snow seems to be at convenient heights and nothing important is "snowed-in", as it obviously should be after a blizzard spanning millenia. Perhaps this snow is a recent automatic attempt by the Halo environmental systems to bury in the control center in a snow-packed canyon, quarantining it from undesireable life forms (eg flood, humans, Covenant) and preventing them access to something important? It seems like if the Forerunners would take the time to build all of these massive installations, they'd also find every possible way of protecting them, even if it is such an oddly creative one as using the environment as a safeguard.



"They came to search through the devastation of the ancient war in which they had been enslaved, to find a weapon or some piece of knowledge with which they could fight back against their oppressors."

Kevin ( writes:

Here's an interesting idea for y'all. Throughout the game on Halo, we see loads of different environments. What we don't see is anything that could be considered as 'living areas', where the Forerunner would sleep (if they need to sleep), and generally hang around when they're not experimenting with the Flood or whatever else they do. So, were they on the Halo at all?

It is true that only a very small portion of the ring was explored during our time there. What other clefts and nooks may have held secrets and curious gadgetry? What other answers could have been found, what new questions uncovered?

We may yet see. Word is that a piece of Installation 04 will be revisited in the sequel. But to what end...



Why wouldn't it simply be easier to...

Mike Kakias ( writes:

This is less a theory than a quandary.. but if the Master Chief, and Cortana's plan to destroy the flood (destroy Halo) was seemingly a better plan than 343 GS's plan to destroy all life. Then why was Halo's Final weapon not just a self destruct sequence... or better yet why didn't the forerunners just put the flood on, then blow it up.

Well, because that would be easy, and with the ring gone, make studying the Flood rather difficult (better to let them at least attempt to escape first ;). Still, the point is well taken: a galaxy wide extermination as a result of what is for the time being at least, a local outbreak does seem a little excessive.

Questions, questions.



"We're just going to keep them around and do experiments for a while."

"But, what if someone stops by, or they get outside to frolic? How will we get them back downstairs?"

"No problem. We'll just wipe out all life within a radius of 25 000 light years. And once the others follow suit..."

"Seems at little bit... drastic, don't you think?"

Tursas ( writes:

During the library, 343 Guilty Spark comments that, "The Flood must not escape the installation. They would consume all."

At the end of 343 Guilty Spark (the level), he states, "Greetings. I am the Monitor of installation 04. I am 343 Guilty Spark. Someone has released the Flood. My function is to prevent it from leaving this installation. But I require your assistance. Come. This way."

Now I don't know what you think about this comment, but it seems to me that if we are assuming that Halo is installation 04, then the measures taken to prevent the flood from leaving it do not exist. The Monitor leads us all the way through the Library to do what other than destroy all Flood-sufficient life in the galaxy. Never did I hear mention of containing the Flood on Halo itself. Certainly, the Monitor may have been working in the shadows to prevent the Flood from leaving Halo, but he was with us so consistently throughout the levels that I have a hard time believing it, especially after Cortana's assertion that Halo's primary weapon was galaxy-sterilization.

This is where I see an error. Is 343 GS's function to prevent the Flood from leaving the installation, or to help us destroy all life in the galaxy? Could it possibly be both?

In light of recent remarks, specifically one regarding the idea that the Forerunner inhabit other galaxies as well (Thomas Cranor, April 30), perhaps it would be more suitable to expand the definition of 'installation' to include the whole Milky Way, as opposed to only Halo. In this way, 343 Guilty Spark's assertion that his function is to prevent the Flood from leaving the 'installation' stand.

However, at the beginning of Two Betrayals, 343 Guilty Spark states, "More or less. Technically, this installation's pulse has a maximum effective radius of twenty-five thousand light years. But, once the others follow suit, this galaxy will be quite devoid of life, or at least any life with sufficient biomass to sustain the flood. (pause) But you already knew that. I mean, how couldn't you?" The whole theory gets sticky here.

Can you see my point? How can 343 Guilty Spark prevent the flood from leaving the 'installation' while the only way to do that is to cleanse the entire galaxy?

The Sentinels, who at least mean well, appear to be the only real attempt to contain the Flood on the surface, though even they can only be used for a short time. And as was also brought up recently, besides 'containment', what other protocols are we not privy to?



Thoughts on an ONI conspiracy, Flood diet and hibernation, events leading up to a sucessful firing of the Halo, and Guilty Spark seemingly jumping the gun...

Socrates ( writes:

First off, a little bit about the meaning of Cortanas body and eye color in the opening scene of Two Betrayals. If I recall correctly, theres been some speculation that either or both are indications that Cortana had gone rampant after being inside Halos computer core for so long; this theory has been effectively shot down by others, but I wish to add another nail in that particular coffin. On page 233 of The Fall of Reach, Mr. Nylund writes The hue of her skin varied from navy blue to lavender, depending on her mood and the ambient lighting. Granted, it says nothing about Cortanas eyes, but I see no reason why that information on Cortanas mood (or perhaps emotional state) could not be extended to cover her eyes, as well (no pun intended).

Then there is Mr. Nylunds writing on page 241, which directly deals with the speculation that ONI had been in contact or had observed the Covenant for a great deal of time before the known opening of hostilities. From the mouth of Dr. Halsey and the writing of Mr. Nylund comes the evidence. Near the bottom of the page, in her speech to the Spartans, Halsey says, Our own attempts to decipher Covenant computer systems have only been partially successful, despite our best efforts and decades of time. (Emphasis mine) Earlier on that same page, it is revealed that John-117 has been in combat for at ten years, and fighting the covenant for that amount of time, or less (after a decade of fighting, his instincts were to kill first and get the details later.). John fought against rebels and the like before he joined the fight against the Covenant, and he was fighting the rebels before the first Covenant attack. Thus, we may deduct that the first known conflict with the Covenant began ten or fewer years before 2552, and when Nylund writes of Dr. Halsey speaking about ONIs attempts at deciphering Covenant computer networks, he is leaving in plain sight the information that the Covenant were under Human study (and perhaps vice-versa) many, many years before the public knew about it.

Now, on to The Flood and Installation 04.

In the past, Ive stated my belief that the Ranger forms of The Flood are the original forms, that they take over a hosts body to create the other three (known) forms. Ive done a bit more thinking, and Id like to add a bit ot my original theory. The Flood, I believe, are extremely advanced parasites. Once they incapacitate a host, they inject a chemical which both paralyzes the hosts control of its body and allows for Flood to essentially telepathically take over the hosts mind as well as its body; this I think Ive said, before. What Id like to add is that I do not believe that the host body is decomposing, though thats what it looks like. Rather, I believe that the Flood embedded in the host is consuming it, much in the same manner that a spider consumes a fly. The Flood injects a chemical which breaks down protein bonds, and then uses the hosts own lymphatic system to move the food slush up to where the Ranger can feed on it.

This could explain why The Flood go dormant when theres not a being of sufficient size and mental capacity around; perhaps The Flood need a LOT of food to remain in an active state, and perhaps they need a certain level of mental capacity to make that telepathic link which allows them to control the host. Without the presence of a being with both of those qualifications, The Flood remain in a dormant state, perhaps not unlike the hibernation of a bear.

That leads me directly into my next piece of speculation. I believe that Halo, and all its sister installations, was designed to be an unmanned research facility. Nowhere in the either game or books is there a mention of the Forerunner actually being present on/in the installations when the research facilities were active. Perhaps The Flood, by their nature, are too dangerous to be dealt with when theres a potential host nearby. This would explain the control panels well above the floor in the Library, the Sentinels not being equipped to handle the larger Flood, Halos ability to eliminate every potential food source for The Flood, and even the blue beams seen in the level Halo.

Before I go further, let me explain those last two. First, The Flood food elimination part. As suggested by another, Halos firing effect may not by necessity destroy every living being of sufficient mass within its maximum area of effect (and perhaps the other rings have to be able to detect another rings destructive wave(?) in order for them to fire and thereby wipe the galaxy clean of Flood food). If such as the case, Halos ability to eliminate potential hosts for the Flood could be seen not, as Cortana put it, as a cudgel, but as a last-chance fail-safe. If someone gives The Flood a means of escape (a ship), and The Flood manage to take over the vessel, make it space-worthy, and launch it, Halos systems would detect this and fire, so as to keep the Flood from finding another host before they starve to death. Though its entirely too possible that the rings would wipe all living things of sufficient mass (I dont know how a pulse from a Halo could distinguish between a species with sufficient mental capacity to be Flood food and another species of similar size, but without that mental capacity) from the galaxy just to be safe, whatever Halo was breached might also be able to simply wipe out all life of a certain size within the Flood-seized ships maximum range, plus a few dozen light-years, just to be safe. Halo may not be a club to beat a specific target over the head with, but it could be something more along the lines of a neutron bomb, which eliminates life but leaves everything else mostly intact.

Additionally, this would explain why Guilty Spark needs John to retrieve the Index before he can fire the ring; the ring would automatically fire once The Flood escape Halo, but Guilty Spark, having gone more than just a little insane, decides he wants to fire Halo before The Flood even have a chance of escaping. Since he is not allowed by protocol (his programming and/or abilities) to do this by himself, he gets John to bring the Index to the control center for him and then, not trusting John to insert the Index himself, takes the Index and inserts it before John could chicken out or start asking questions. Guilty Spark, it seems, is more than just a little paranoid, and perhaps delusional as well.

Second, I believe that the blue beams seen in the level Halo are part of Halos defense system; Halo, built to study and observe The Flood, would not need to have surface-to-space weaponry except to prevent any ship from landing and thereby creating a means of escape for The Flood. Covenant troops hit the ground on Halo first (as evidenced in Halo: The Flood through Covenant ghost patrols already being set up before the Pillar of Autumns escape pods even land), and thereby activated The Flood. This fits in with Cortanas line about how the Covenant should have known, and that there must have been signs; I dont know about anyone else, but huge security doors everywhere, automated anti-spacecraft fire, etc. would tell me that poking around, no less landing, would be a Very Bad Idea.

And this brings me to the Library, which I believe to be another part of Halos security system. For whatever reason, its obvious that one cannot simply teleport right next to the Index and grab it. Therefore, anything which wanted to grab the index would need to get through all those huge security doors, which require something like Guilty Spark to open them, in order to get to the Index, which is the equivalent of a submarine commanders key; it needs to be present in the Control Center before the ring will fire without a Flood escape. The Index being needed in order to fire the ring would explain the Flood presence (all those flood are actually trying to help guard it, so that someone cant simply grab it and activate Halo, thereby spoiling The Floods spread and survival.

Seeing that I've now written two pages of speculation, Im going to cut it short here, with only the addition that Guilty Spark, as a tool of the research system, is genuinely glad to see that The Flood survived.

Good job on the ONI info from The Fall of Reach, and I especially like the thoughts on 343 Guilty Spark's delusional paranoia. Nice!



Not so long ago, in a forum fairly close at hand, Simpsons Rule inquired as to the meaning of a particular passage from The Fall of Reach. Among the responses, Wado SG checked in with some rather simple, though revealing mathematics and hypotheses connecting the stones of Sigma Octanus, back-scattered matter, and Halo's previous firing. His summarized submission is as follows:

The pulse-laser is mentioned (in Halo: The Fall of Reach on page 234) by Cortana who says that an extremely powerful†pulse-laser struck the accretion disk of the black hole causing matter to backscatter at near the speed of light. The signal was trapped in the event horizon of the black hole where it was found by UNSC scientists. The signal matched what was found at the 60,000 year old meteor impact site on Sigma Octanus Four, so I conclude that the rocks at the meteor site were from the black hole [or a related incident or location]. The black hole is 40,000 light years from the Sigma Octanus system†which means that†the rocks traveled a†little more than 40,000 years to reach there.

60,000 + 40,000 = 100,000 years.

In Halo: The Flood page 242 it is stated that with no food the Flood lay dormant for more than 100,000 years on Halo.†We know from 343 Guilty Spark that the Flood specimens were placed on Halo after the last catastrophic outbreak.†If Halo was used to end the Flood threat during the last catastrophic outbreak, then that means Halo's superweapon was fired sometime just more than 100,000 years ago. About the same time that the pulse-laser struck the black hole.

Halo's pulse-laser is fired at a black hole, striking the event horizon and the result is a massive release of lethal radiation. I'm speculating that it would be Unruh Radiation and possibly with the radiation a thermal wave would strike the planets, boiling†surface life and burning atmosphere much like the effect of glassing a planet with plasma.

Of course there's no guarantee that Halo's superweapon is a pulse-laser, but the timing of the pulse-laser and of the last firing of Halo did appear to happen at approximately the same time. What more do we need to know? Pulse generators on Halo amplify the signal. Need I say more?

In light of this, it would seem that 343 Guilty Spark's 101 217 local years of isolation and the over one hundred thousand years of Flood dormancy (mentioned on page 241 of The Flood) are somewhat equivalent; a "local year" may be very similar to the standard terrestrial. Has the ambiguity been solved? If this riddle has been laid bare, is Brannon out of secrets? Out of a job? Time will tell... ;)

Another cause of furrowing brows could be the method of delivery for the rocks found at Sigma Octanus, If an asteroid turned meteorite travelling near the speed of light were to collide with a planet... well, it would make the results of a more common, extinction level impact look quite tame. A ship then? Is there another possible chain of events? There is definitely more to dig up and put in order here. Join the forum post or let us know :)



Grady speaks out on the apparent drop in Halo's H20 levels as seen on The Silent Cartographer.

Most theories don't hold much water; this one, fortunately, just can't hold hydrogen :)



Socrates ( writes:

Earlier, Eric Nice made the interesting correlation between the description of Halo as a "fortress world" and the mainstream conception of a fortress. While I see how Halo could be a fortress in defense of a region in space, I feel I must mention that Halo could be a fortress in the sense that, after containing the Flood in those small regions, the Halos protect the rest of the galaxy from the flood and in that manner act as fortresses. Another explanation can be derived from the US fortresses built during the early westward expansion; these fortresses were not necessarily built at strategic places (especially in relation to geography), but served as military strongholds that an expedition could retreat to in case of defeat. Along that same line, there's the whole idea that the Forerunners preconstructed the Halos and simply towed them into our galaxy (if they ever existed outside the Milky Way in the first place); after all, why go in search of a cabin in the forest when camping, when you can just bring a tent? That is, why go in search of planets which are habitable to you, when you can build your own habitable planet and drag it to wherever you want?

Interestingly, another feature of the Fortress World, as it applies to Halo (and not, consequently, to "worlds" as we might think of them, i.e.: planets), is that the entire environment is engineered and controlled by its creators. Everything has a purpose. "A place for everything, and everything in its place," as my grandmother used to say.



Ari Finkelman ( writes:

I have just started playing Halo... yes its been out for a while, but I just decided to get an xbox.† So Ive been looking through the forums and such theorizing about the back story.† But nowhere did I see any reference by anyone to Larry Niven's Ringworld.† It looks like much of Halo comes from his stories which was written in the 60s I believe.† Just wondering if you knew about this.

The Ringworld books are quite an interesting lot, but you might find that the ideas garnered therein lie slightly off-Halo. Something a little closer to at least part of the actual storyline might be the oft-touted Starhammer. ;-)



I've wondered when this letter was going to arrive :)

Leon Belmont ( writes:

When 343 GS tells MC that the flood are repairing his ship, since it's pretty much agreed that 343 GS thinks MC is a Forerunner, what if 343 GS it talking about a ship that has not been found yet that is Forerunner? We all know that most of Halo was not explored, so there could have been a Forerunner ship wrecked somewhere on Halo, right?

Forces behind the scenes?

While it is not, as you say, totally agreed upon that 343 is mistaking John for a Forerunner per se (what if the Reclaimers were from a client race, another form/class of Forerunner, etc.), the thought of an additional ship on the ring from yet another race is fascinating.

It is a sad fact that so little of the ring's surface, let alone its depth, was traversed in the game. Who knows what other artifacts we may have found? Living quarters, more research facilities, snack kiosks? "Perhaps you will have time to see them later..."



Some great points concerning Halo's girth, those dastardly blue beams, and the Manufacturer's Recommended Operator Size for Installation 04.

Peter R. ( writes:

Some things bother me about all this.

The first one is mass. Consider the size of Halo. Halo has to be made from incredibly dense material, or it would not survive out there. Multiplied by the sheer size, where did all this mass come from ? There have to be enormous patches of space out there devoid of mass. Since the area where Halo is located still contains plenty of it (a gas giant and a moon for starters), all this mass would have been transported to the construction site (not nessecarily phisical transport, may have been through an energy conversion cycle or whatever).

Secondly, energy. The construction energy balance alone would be mindboggling. This energy did not come from mining the gas giant. It would have been depleted many times over. The basic idea of a ringworld is for it to be constructed AROUND a sun (which would make it WAY bigger). Since Halo is not, it would have to rotate to be able to have a day/night cycle thus periodically exposing evrey area to sunlight, gathering energy (the large beams could be used to transfer energy from the 'day' side to the 'night' side. just a thought).

Internal size. All service tunnels are 'human' sized. Flood as well as Covenant are essentially human sized. Bipeds. All creatures are bipedal, walking upright. The whole control panel layout is tailored for manipulation by human sized bipeds with 'hands'. Does this tell us anything about whoever constructed this?

The blue energy pulses as an energy equalization or distribution system is unique, perhaps for both other systems as well as climatic control.

And for human-sized bipeds nonetheless... well, now that we've narrowed that down ;)



Socrates ( writes:

I was playing through Two Betrayals yet again when I noticed something suspicious. Right after you destroy the Sentinals in the Control Room, Cortana says that we have to hurry and destroy the pulse generators, before the Monitor activates "Halo's final weapon."

Wait... final weapon? That implies that Halo has other weapon(s), as well. So what the heck is it/are they, and why isn't Cortana telling us about them? (Is she pursuing her own agenda, now, after she's been inside Halo's computer system and possibly figuring something out? Maybe something she finds to be so dangerous that she can't let even the Master Chief know what it is?)

Its true. Besides the Sentinels, there seems to be nothing to stop the Flood from leaving Halo, demanding that the final weapon be used; not a very proactive "containment system". If 343 Guilty Spark truly is showing some symptoms of insanity, is he drunkenly grasping for the Howitzer when his bare hands would do? What could these other containment tools be? We never did get that tour of the facilities we were promised... ::sigh::



This ring isn't a cudgel you barbarian...

Ankalon ( writes:

343 Guilty Spark says: "a maximum range of...", and this (coming from a program) would mean a variable range, and would explain why he wants you to hurry. The faster you activate Halo, the smaller Halo's weapon's (whatever that is) blast range is. Therefore, less animals (and plant species;) ) are killed.

Destroying all sentient life within a variable range surrounding the Halo, depending on the amount of time since the Flood escaped... A far more tactful plan of action.



So many similarities, so little time.

Akbaralli Kapasi ( writes:

The forerunner seem very similar to a race in Iain M. Banks' book, Consider Phlebas. The race is called the Culture and is made up of many different human sub-species. They, like the forerunner seem to, rely on advanced sentient A.I.s to support their civilization. In the book, they live on a vast amount of orbitals (in other words halos) spread all over the galaxy as well as on asteroids and small moons. When threatened, they just shifted the populations and the orbitals. This may be the reason why installation 04 took the shape of a ring, and why a sentient monitor was left in charge of the installation. The Culture's main objective was to keep its residents occupied. It might be that the forerunner kept the flood just so they could give themselves something to do.

Maybe the flood escaped in a different galaxy that was occupied by forerunner and because of the outbreak the installations were placed in a galaxy that showed no signs of intelligent life;- our galaxy. Maybe we just managed to evolve in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Again, while the thought of our galaxy as a mere buffer zone may initially offend, keep in mind that we, or any other intelligent species, may have not existed to dissuade its use as such.

Studying the Flood... a hobby for the whole family! What else is an enlightened, galaxy spanning race to do with their time? ;)



Book 'em.

EaGLesAllThEwaY ( and Naim Kingston (, respectively, write:

Doesn't anyone find it weird that when Keyes first finds Halo, Cortana knows its called Halo and the planet's name is Threshold with a moon, Basis? This means that Humans have either been there, or seen it through a telescope. And it's kinda hard to miss a gigantic ring between a planet and it's moon.

...On The Pillar of Autumn, when you get to the bridge and see the captain, after talking to him you can look at the screen behind him. And if you look carefully, you can see a schematic of a section of the ring, or maybe its the whole ring, but it definitely is there, and in the small box the schematic is in, the name "Halo" is visible. Now, to memory, the first time we find that the ring is named halo is when we rescue Captain Keyes in T+R.

The Halo Story Bible has this to say about Halo 04 (as recorded in the PC Strategy Guide):

The name "Halo" is derived from Covenant battlefield transmissions, translated by Cortana. A more literal translation would be "Ring of Heaven" or "Ring of the Gods." Halo orbits a large gas giant (Earth Survey Catalogue Number B1008-AG, nicknamed "Threshold"), suspended at the Lagrange point between the planet and its largest moon, Basis."

Apparently the info Keyes overheard in captivity is slightly redundant. Hmmm...

This, however, may possibly aggravate speculation regarding the practical meanings of the name "Threshold"; that it is/contains a "gate", door, portal, etc. What could the Humans have known about this planet and moon before visiting, and without a more extensive knowledge of the system's contents and operations?

::sniff, sniff:: The scent of an ONI coverup?



One of a Kind

God_Holocaust ( writes:

i had a bit of a brainwave a little while ago. why is the monitor so obsessed with recovering the index? and what is the significance of the 'alpha halo', which a bungie employee (i forget who) let slip? it hit me like a shotgun blast. its called the alpha halo because its the leader - like the alpha male in a pack of wolves - it's the first one to fire, which triggers the rest of them. and do you know WHY it is the first one to fire? because IT IS THE ONLY ONE WITH AN INDEX. that's why the monitor is so obsessed with getting it back. there is no beta halo, or delta etc. there is alpha halo, and the followers. trigger one, and the rest will follow suit.

Hmmm... The individual(s) in command of the Ascendant Justice had the title of "Guardian of the Luminous Key", not "Keys", after all...

But a key to what? Why must the Index not fall into the Flood's hands? Is it useful for far more than activating the Installation? All that trouble for the Crystal and it is referred to as a "trinket" (certainly it is not the Key, is it)?

A real bucket of worms, I tell ya ;)



The Biological Beacon Basis

M. Vee ( writes:

The other day I plugged in "basis" and "threshold" into Google to see what would come up. Of the many hits that came back, the following link was really interesting.

Now, it might just be coincidence, but as you can see "BASIS" is the name of a General Dynamics/DARPA program that the US†government uses to monitor possible bioagent attacks. Obviously, talking about bioagents in terms of the flood and Halo as a containment/detection facility makes a lot of sense,†especially when you read this paragraph from the website:

"If today's count exceeds a calculated threshold, BASIS issues an alarm calling for attention by a public health specialist or other designated authority. The class of medical encounters monitored by a MEM consists of sentinel cases accepted by a user-defined filter. The primary thrust for medical surveillance against a biological attack consists of defining the sentinal case filters focused on bioagent-induced symptomatology."

Threshold? Alarms? Basis? Sentinel cases? Monitors?††Bioagents? Isn't this just too much of a coincidence not to have anything to do with Halo and the Flood?

Truly. Not to mention that the logo on the left side of the page seems spookily applicable.



I believe in preserving the environment for our children, but not our children's children, because I don' think children should be...

celo ( writes:

If Halo kills any organism with sufficient biomass and cognitive ability then what happens to organisms that have insufficient biomass and don't have cognitive ability. When Halo was fired long time ago it killed all life of sufficient biomass but it spared the insufficient biomass life forms (kids, baby's etc.), because flood would not mutate life forms that are weak and small. If my theory is true then it might explain why 343 GS says "I am grateful to see that some of them survived to reproduce".

A fantastic idea, mentioned first by Warbow in the murky depths of forum history, and now born anew. This possibility seemingly removes the need for a species to "re-evolve" after a Halo firing. The adolescent and adult population of a race is removed, but their young are left with at least a small chance of survival, albeit without any knowledge of how to use the civilization they have been bequeathed. Although, the rather long effective dormancy of the Flood does still seem to be of some concern...



Thoughts on the ring's effectiveness and the Sentinel's roles during containment and mop-up

Grab your partner do-se-do... Wes Foutch ( and Brandon ( and robbie corregan ( and Tim Bowman ( write:

While some have speculated that even if Halo installation 04 is fired that it will not prevent the flood from escaping. I, however, beg to differ. If Halo kills life of sufficient bio-mass, then I believe it will. Even when the flood takes over a Human/Covenant, the taken over form is still there to count as the sufficient mass (e.g. {from The Flood} Captain Keyes, Private Wallace Jenkins). So if Halo fires, it would wipe out the combat forms of the flood, leaving only the flood Infection forms, which are incapable of trying to escape (piloting a space cruiser).


Obviously, the flood ranger forms(the small blobs) can live a few hours without a host and then indefinitely in hibernation. But they still need to feed on the host's body as they use it (see Socrates thoughts on the flood ingesting the bodies they inhabit). If the weapon destroyed the hosts bodies, the flood, without food, would start hibernating again. This would for easy collection of specimans, as well as easy destruction of unwanted subjects.

However, if something of a larger Biomass landed or if existing creatures evolved or grew to a useful size, then the flood could become an active threat once again.


The sentinal's weapons do very little damage, but mabye this is a design purpose. Although the weapon has little punch, it could be used to destroy the host's legs, arms, etc. without damaging the flood inside.


they also wonder why the sentinals are so ineffective against the big flood. the forerunners never made the sentinals to deal with them because the REAL ORIGINAL flood are the spores. the big forms are just human and covenant and they didnt have those untilt we and the covenant invaded halo.

An excellent summary; amazing what can happen when we put our heads together ;)



The Old Broken Halo

PC Gamer UK has granted a great boon to many a Halo player by releasing a high quality version of the "Evolution of Halo" video (shown at the Bungie Fanfest 2002, never to be released to the public) on its most recent game disc. Great, if only to see early Control Room layouts and have a good laugh.

Most interesting is the scene at 3:59 and comments made thereafter. The scene depicts the ring rising into the background sky per usual, but this time there is a break in its continuity; the ring is broken or incomplete, held together only by two pieces of material. Many knowing "Ahhhh"s are exchanged and we are informed that "That's a little prelude to what happens in the future..."

Well, that's one clip from that DVD down and who knows how many to go. I knew someone should have just knocked Matt out and made a run for the door with it. ;)



Blue Beam buildings popping up in Halo 2?

Spartan2 ( writes:

Hi. I think that in the new halo 2 multiplayer picture, the destroyed buildings are components of the blue beam towers from halo: combat evolved.

Those towers do seem to pop up in the strangest places... A scene from the XO3 video certainly depicts something of the sort.

As for the images in question, the "ribs" and the blue beam buildings' components do share more than a few angles and similarities. Hmmm...



Are the Blue Beams opposite Halo's pulse generators?

D-Mercenary ( writes:

I think everyone who has played halo has seen the beams on the level halo and on the level Two Betrayals, the three pulse generators that you destroy. (This is a long shot which someone can check out.) I think if someone made a detailed map of both levels that the three buildings on halo would in fact line up with the three pulse generators in the Two Betrayals. Remember you went underground to get to the control room so who says that you couldn't be below the level Halo, or on the opposite side perhaps. When you think about it, it really starts to make sense.

Or as Jarvis Badgley ( suggests, perhaps they are the firing mechanism (though they do seem a bit packed together given the space available). Good ideas.



Is Cortana trying to hit 343 where it counts?

God_Holocaust ( writes:

something that's been bothering me about halo is that cortana has you destroy the three phase pulse generators. and then, she teleports you to the covenant ship (truth and reconciliation?) to rescue captain keyes. she does this by hacking into the halo's network and accessing the teleportation program - BUT, she has to use energy from your suit. and that's what's getting at me. why? why does she have to do that? it's been previously discussed that maybe cortana had 'other goals' in mind when having you destroy the generators, so maybe those generators were providing the energy used for the teleportation grid? this may sound a little far-fetched, BUT, here's a big point. i don't remember Guilty Spark EVER teleporting after the generators are destroyed. yeah, i just looked at the cutscenes in the Maw again, and GS never teleports. So, maybe cortana wanted GS to be caught in the Pillar's explosion?

Trying to restrict his movement, eh? Was it merely an added bonus of disabling Halo, an intentional deception on her part, or a case of just plain misinformation?



The Blue Beams as a failsafe

Cameron Hassler ( writes:

In response to the speculation as to the purpose of the beams on the level "Halo", I have come up with†an idea. I believe that the beams are the "trigger mechanism" to halo,†a sort of fail safe. If the beams are not sent (as in the flood destroys a tower or if they are deactivated by the index) the installation will fire.



Are there perhaps both Alpha and Beta facilities? Primary and secondary coverage?

Just how many are there?

Gentry geissler ( writes:

First, the galaxy is 16,000 lightyears thick at its core, and has a radius of 50,000 lightyears. there are a few different ways you can divide the galaxy into Halo radii, but i chose 7 Alpha Halos, the size of the one in the game. The thicknes of the galaxy is taken care of, at its thickest point it is not even the radius of Halo blast radius. Think of one in the center of the galaxy, and 6 ringing around it like the rasberry Trix ceral piece.but there is space left over, which are filled with Beta Halos. the number of these are a little wonky, be cause i dont have a 3D modeler to look at it with, just MSPaint and imagination. But it would take 12-15 Betas to take up all the extra space, providing an efficient, galaxy vaporizing system.

MSPaint has served you well :)

Will we see an order of varying Halo facilities (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, etc.)? Time will tell.

Also, some lively discussion broke out on the forum pertaining to just how many Installations there are. 4 would do it, but seven does have that certain je ne sais quoi...



T Steeves was playing through The Maw, listening to 343 Guilty Spark and scrutinizing his dialogue, and has come up with a few keen observations.

T Steeves ( writes:

I was playing the level Maw recently and listened for anything intereting that he may say. That said, I picked up a couple key points to ponder.

When going through the data banks, he says

"Oh how I will enjoy every moment of its categorization! And to think that you would destroy this installation. As well as this record. I am shocked. Almost too shocked for words."

He refers to the ship as an installation... Meanwhile, 343 GS calls Halo installation 04. Now, what do Halo and the PoA have in comon? Is it possible that they are both vehicals or transports of some kind? Or is there another reason he calls the PoA an installation?

As well 343 GS says

"You would destroy this installation, as well as this amazing record?"

This means, he is not refering to the records when he says the installation.

Transports, eh? Halo as a colony ship of some sort sure has a familiar ring to it...

However, it would seem more likely that the manufactured nature of both the Pillar of Autumn and Halo would be the common element that our little caretaker perceives. As usual, this analysis is open for debate and subject to change at any time. ;-)






Wado SG has started an interesting forum conversation on the possible origins of the word "Halo", specifically the Greek root which can mean, of all things, "threshing floor".

(I mean, it's no grand "MC Plumber analogy", but it's good nonetheless ;)

Some great ideas. Others have joined in and so should you; help separate the wheat from the chaff!


permalink ( writes:

The scene of the Longsword and the galaxy at the end of Halo has got me thinking about the location of Halo in our galaxy. I think that Halo could be in a globular cluster located on the Halo, the sparsely populated region extending above and beyond the spiral arms of the disk of the galaxy. Or it could be located at the end of one of the spiral arms of the galaxy. I prefer to think it is located in a globular cluster because this would provide the clear view of the galaxy shown. I also think that the galaxy shown could be the Andromeda galaxy, our nearest neighboring galaxy. Could this be were the Forerunner now reside?

Also Halo 04 cannot be located within any human territory because the Sol system is located on the inner edge of the Orion arm which is one of the center arms of the disk of our galaxy. So any star system for tens of thousands of light-years around would not be able to have a clear view because of interstellar dust and gas clouds that would obscure the clear view of the galaxy.

We've always wondered if the stars and galaxies visible throughout the game could be identified. Perhaps...




Those blue pulses really mesmorise people -

Master-Chief ( writes:

In regards to the discussion about the blue pulse-laser things on the second level of Halo. At the end of Halo 2, right before the ring is stopped from activating, you see lots of little blue pulse blobs coming from all surfaces of the ring. They gather in the center of the ring and glow. I believe this is Halo charging up to fire. Then of course it is aborted by the yellow one from the control center.

I think that these pulse-laser blue things are the capacitors of Halo, they have generators deep underground at the location of the beam emitters. These charge up capacitors, or Halo's equivalent of it. However, these generators are eternally operating, so the capacitors get full. When this happens, they discharge. When the ring is called to activate, the thousands, or tens of thousand of these emitters release the beam things which gather at the center of the ring, therefore giving it the power to fire.

It's always been thought, but it's nice to see the pretty blue lines operating outside of the asthetic factor.



One bright spark leads to another tangent, I suppose. By the last Halo game, we'll definitely have an operating theory for the way these rings work.

irshDBV ( writes:

When Pentinent Tangent, the monitor of Installation 05, is speaking with the Prophet of Regret, he mentions that the rings are able to fire at any given moment, having succesfully completed 1.2 trillion simulations and one actual firing.
I figured that those simulations might have some relation to those beams from the second level of the first Halo and their ever elusive purpose. What if all the beams, seemingly shooting to the other side of the ring were, in fact simulations?

On Installation 04, the beams are blue, as are the Covenant plasma rifles, which means, due to the newer architecture of Halo 04 compared to Halo 05, and possible newer technology, the Halos seem a lot different. Perhaps this is where some human and Covenant technology derived from. Also, the Covenant knew of Installation 04, and only that one, so that stands as a reasonable source for their advanced technology.

I admit, the thought of the different levels of technology in each Halo intrigues me. How long does it take to build a Halo, and how many technological advancements can a race make in that time?



It has to be something in the water . . .

On this forum thread, we have yet more speculation. Below is the part that caught my attention.

Ain Soph Aur writes:

Either the Halos are only placed in locations near planets either supporting or likely to one day support sentient life, or their signals somehow amplify when they meet each other. If this magnification works on a wave-like principle, then we're talking about a maximum of double the orignal energy. However, this would only affect waves that met head-on, and would still not extend the blast radius. Remember, 343 Guilty Spark said "this installation has a maximum effective radius of 25,000 light-years", and he then says "but when the others follow suit", but doesn't give an upped figure for his own installation, which I take to mean that the installations don't enhance each other.

I would consider this evidence for my "positioned as needed" theory, but that leaves the problem of just how close Installation 05 and 04 are from Earth. In theory, they should be at least 30 to 40,000 light-years apart (allowing for some overlap), but we know they're not. Here's some math for you: Reach was initially attacked on August 30. Wagner gave his report September 4th. That allows for a maximum of five days' Slipspace travel between Earth and Reach. Now, instead, I'll assume it's a shorter trip, say, half a day, and this is likely giving human drives a little too much credit. Earth to Reach is 10 light-years, we know this. So, at 20 light-years a day, Halo 04 is still only about 420 light-years from Reach, making for a maximum of 430 light-years from Earth. Halo 05 was maybe a half-day's jump. I'll again give a little leeway, and make it 3 days. So, that's a maximum of 490 to 500 light-years from Halo 04. There can be no need for two installations to be that close together. This brings up a new idea: The Halos can move. High Charity has a Slipspace drive. Is it too much to assume that Halo does? If that's the case, then Halo 05 could have been stationed pretty much anywhere, and when 04 went offline, the Halos realigned in order to cover as much of the sentient-suitable region as they could, and Halo 05 was transferred from its former posting to the general area once covered by Halo 04.

Arashi90 seems to agree, and brings up a good point.



We're one step closer to our comprehensive Halo schematics. Phantsmagorium wondered:
How do we know that Halo's weapon is energy based? What if it is some type of Flood based weapon that was developed from the early research done?
And coincidentally, this theory popped up on our forum.

Doctor_Nightfall ( writes:

It says in First Strike (Which, as has been mentioned many times before is Canon) that the Flood take over victims by 'hacking' their nervous system. Johnson's PNS and CNS are a bit scrambled by his Boren's syndrome, and so they were unable to 'hack' him.

This suggests that the Halo systems work by transmitting a signal that causes a catastrophic reaction in the nervous system. It would follow on that a Sentient being has a nervous system arranged in a specific way, or at least has a pattern to it that makes this Halo effect lethal. This same arrangement is what allows the Flood to Hack them.

Meltdown, not a pretty way to die.



Our Halo weapon analysis is so good - we only need to number crunch. This theory's pretty convenient then.

Jamaican Jim ( writes:

I was looking at these pages and noticed the suggestion that the blue beams from the towers could be simulations of Halo firing. This makes sense because in the level Halo not all of the towers fire at the same time. However, in Halo 2 when the rings primary weapon is about to be fired you see a large amount of blue beams fired at the same time.

This is speculated through Pentinent Tangent stating that the Halos had succesfully completed around 1.2 trillion sucessful simulation firings. Taking the amount of time it takes one of the blue beam towers on Halo (the level) to fire a blue beam, 3 times per minute, you get 180 simulations per hour. You then multiply by 24 to get 4320 simulations per day. Then multiply by 365 days a year, assuming this is the number of days in a local year at a Halo, to get 1,576,800 simulations per year. Then I took the 101,217 Halo lay forgoten as a time period to get 159,598,965,600 simulations in that time frame. Now this is short of 1.2 trillion simulations. However, if multiplied by seven, the number of assumed Halos in the galaxy, you get 1,117,192,759,200 simulations for all Halos which is only 82,807,240,800 simulations away from 1.2 trillion. But when you figure in that the Halos simulated firing before they were actually, while others were being created, and the fact that some simulations would be unsuccessful you can presume that the blue beam towers are Halos weapon and between periods of firing are constantly simulating them to leave little area for a malfuction or unsuccessful firing.

1,117,192,759,200. Not that we're like, obsessed . . .



Before you start shouting about In Amber Clad carrying Gravemind off Delta Halo, give this theory some thought. It may just surprise you.

Jake Lanatti ( writes:

I was watching the Gravemind when I noticed how Gravemind teleported the Chief and the Arbiter. When they dissapeared it looked like the same type of energy left behind by Halo's teleportation grid. This got me thinking, and I think I came up with how the Flood got off of Halo.

I think that Gravemind was on Halo 04, but we just didn't get a chance to meet him. Now if Gravemind can tap into Halo 05's teleportation grid, who's to say he didn't do the same thing to Halo 04's? If he did do this, then there's a high probability he started transporting his Flood offworld as soon he could. That would be why Spark doesn't consider blowing the ring up, it wouldn't do any good if the infection has already spread. Of course he would have also teleported himself off once the ring started to fall apart.

Now there's the question of how far does Halo's teleport grid expand? We'll we know that it at least reaches as far as the immediate space surrounding the Halos. We know this because Gravemind is able to teleport the Chief to High Charity, which is hovering over Halo 05 in space. Halo 04's grid may even extend all the way to Threshold, or more specifically the facility we find in that planet. But then what? The infection would still be easy to contain if it were only on the three installations in that system (the hanging facility, the space station it hangs from, and the Halo) and wouldn't require Halo's firing.

This is where I go off on a limb. I think that there may be teleportation 'highways' throughout the galaxy leading from one Forerunner faciltiy to another. If this is the case then the Flood might have already spread too far for anything but Halo's main weapon. I know these seems like it came out of nowhere, but it explains the very scarce amount of Forerunner ships we see. They wouldn't really need that many because they could just teleport peoples and objects from one established point to another. However they would also still need some ships (like the Prophet of Truths Forerunner ship) if they wanted expand. They would need ships to go to new planets and 'anchor' new points on the teleportation highway, or to carry loads to big for the teleporation grids to handle, either way it would require ships but no a whole lot of them. It also explains how Gravemind and his minions got from Halo 04 to Halo 05, since it's unreasonable to assume that the Covenant woke up the Flood again on Halo 05, since they've only been there as long as we have, about a day.



Wado SG has offered up some forum speculation regarding the importance of the Reclaimer being organic (versus a robot), Flood AI/construct/computer infiltration, and the safeguards put in place to at least delay further Flood infestation:

In hisco scopea's post on the HSP, it is speculated that those that built the facilities on Reach are not the same as those that built Halo.

Regardless of that being true or not, it appears that the same conclusions were reached in the context of a catastrophic Flood outbreak. Now from the books and game we know that the Flood can infect organic life AND steal the memories from those infected. We also know that the Flood can infiltrate electronic/computer systems. Given it might be the knowledge stolen from the infected hosts that gives the Flood the ability to infiltrate the computer systems, there is still evidence of further "adaptive" abilities of the Flood such as the Keye's Blob and Gravemind to interface with electronics/computer systems.

Now Halo has some safeguards against the Flood taking over purely on their ability to interface with electronics. Protocols did not allow constructs to be in the core and important tasks such as the re-unification of the Index with the Core are reserved for only the Reclaimer(s), who happen to seem to only be humans. Humans, of course are organic, making them subject to Flood infection.

So what is to keep an infected human from being a Reclaimer? Well conversely, what good would a security system be if all you needed was "body parts" to get by it?

To keep the Flood from gaining control, I believe the creators of Halo and the creators of the facilities on Reach came to the same conclusions. First, limit the access of computers/constructs/AI's. And second, encode the security protocols to something that cannot be used if altered by the Flood.

The first limit is demonstrated by the role of constructs on Halo, and in the facilities on Reach there were no holographic projectors or access points for constructs. Imagine the fear the creators must have had to cause them to cast away their own technology and live on dirt floors (underground on Reach) knowing the Flood was out there and that their own constructs could be used against them.

The second limit is evidenced in the controls of Halo, how the Reclaimer could just intuitively use the controls and how a Reclaimer must unify the Index with the Core (other organic creatures tried but it did not work for them). Also the mechanisms for opening the secured doors in the Reach facilities had something to do with blood which seems to tie into a genetic encoded system as the key. Any presence of Flood alteration would likely set off alerts and keep the doors locked down.

Sound off in the forum post here.



Starting to sound like a seperatist . . .

Titus 117 ( writes:

In the cut scene in Halo 2, Uncomfortable Silence, the Prophet on the right says something to the effect of:

"Halo, its divine wind will rush through the stars, propelling all who are worth along the path, to salvation."

So, when the Forerunners activated the rings, were they just propelled to another area of space effectively starving the Flood by moving away without ships big enough to hold more than on person (Forerunner?). So if the Covenant activated the rings would they be propelled "along the path to salvation" and meet the Forerunners? This would certainly explain the lack of bodies (other than the Covenant) on Halo, even if their bodies decayed or buried they would still be there. Maybe the Forerunners acctully desined the rings to wipe all sentient life from the galaxy but they messed up and they were flung to another galaxy.

I say we cut our losses now and join their hokey old religion.



Bet you never saw this one coming.

D ( writes:

The Halos destroy all sentient life within a certain radius.
The Halos work by starving the Flood.
Flood feed off sentient life.

In order for the Halos to be activated, a Reclaimer has to land on the ring. Coincidentally, the ring contains Flood forms.

I propose that the rings destroy all sentient life by teleporting the Flood onto every planet within a certain radius of the ring itself.

Firstly, the ball of energy at the end-game cutscene looks like a teleportation field. At the very least, it's the correct colour. Secondly, a Reclaimer has to land on the ring to activate it, putting it at risk of infection. To land on the ring, assumedly, requires at least FTL drives, which means that the Flood can easily hijack a ship or two. At any rate, Threshold was a gas giant, incapable of supporting life as we know it. The Halos obviously contained laboratories built to study the Flood, but the containers seen in the Arbiter missions seem more suited for interstellar transport to me...

I think the rings work by forcing the Flood to consume their food sources (sentient life) so fast that their inflated population cannot survive in the end- just like a red tide. It would work, by me- once the Flood finish feeding off their available food sources, they would either enter dormancy or die off. Given that sentient life takes forever or longer to evolve (metaphorically), the Flood would have ample time to die off.

Wouldn't put it past the Forerunner



Quick - get the arguments in before we the day ends! Ciaran disagrees with our last theory, and here's why




Just how important are your primary systems, anyway? oBlade wonders about it in this forum thread. It didn't get a very positive reaction on the forum, but how intelligent can you be if you design your seven Halo super-weapon, without realising it can be rendered useless by one little explosion?




I've never been a great believer in the humans-are-Forerunner theory, or the one about Earth escaping the Halos field, and I tend to prefer entries I don't have to go through and add little things like grammar and the English language . . .

Denise Schnurr ( writes:

In the finale of Halo 2, the monitor says that all sentient life within three radii of the galactic center died when the halos were activated before. What about the life outside of the three radii?

My theory is that the Halos do not 'kill' sentient life. The Halos would destroy the motor function, cognital function, and memory centers of any brain of any sentient life-form the pulse reaches, effectively rendering the potential flood hosts within the 'three radii' dead. But what about the life on the very edge of the pulse's range? Earth is considered to be on the outside edge of the galaxy. Maybe the pulse reached earth, but was so diluted from its galactic journey that it only erased the forerunner's memory banks, sending them back to before the stone age, and the start of humanity as we know it.

But everything needs representation.



I have to say, Cortana. Killing all sentient life if pretty cudgely to me.

 ( writes:

I've been listening in on 343 Guilty Spark's conversation (Delusions and Grandeur) with the Arbiter and I had a little trouble with the lack of a transcript for that level [Yes, yes, we know - Ed.]. But there are certain facts that stand out from that conversation.

I've searched the Halo Story Transcripts. Nowhere does 343 Guilty Spark mention the Forerunner, except that once. And it's still a classic 343 conversation-twisted and ambiguous, with huge holes in it.

1. Inside the library in Halo 1, 343 tells Master Chief that the installation (04) was built specifically to study and contain the Flood. He later acknowledges its vast destructive power-the ability to destroy sentient life in a 25,000 light-year radius.

In Halo 2, 343 tells the Arbiter that the Halos are weapons of last resort, built by the Forerunner.

The Halos are not specifically weapons - "This isn't a cudgel, you barbarian!" - They're multifaceted facilities for Flood eradication. They're meant to get rid of the Flood by whatever method it takes. Killing all sentient life is merely the last resort. They're not weapons, why does 343 present only the ring's destructive aspect? What about the constructive aspects of the ring-their intent to eradicate the Flood with the minimum possible trouble?

The answer: The Chief is a Reclaimer, and the Arbiter is not. The Arbiter doesn't need to know most things about the ring-he's not authorized. Under pressure from the likes of Tartarus and Sarge and all the others present in that room, 343 gave a half-true answer instead of blabbing everything.

2. Three radii from the galactic center? Radii of what?? The blast radius of a single ring, of course! Seven rings put together can probably add up their blast and direct it inwards so that everything within a 75,000 light-year radius is destroyed. This radius includes that of the earth and perhaps the covenant homeworlds as well. There was a way to spare them- again, something a non-reclaimer need not know. 343 Guilty Spark would probably have told MC a lot more if he was in the Arbiter's place.

3. 343 implies that getting rid of all sentient life would render the Flood harmless. That's absurd. It's like saying that malaria/anopheles mosquitos will become harmless if all the humans on earth are nuked.

Following that theory, I would say you had more evidence to the human/Forerunner connection.



Dave Candland's UI Demo

Here's the interview; here's the demo.

Stop tape. What's this?



"Alpha Moon"?

So, was the Heretic level orginally to be played on Basis rather than the Mining/Lab Facility? Or is this one of the further levels cut from the game (to be visited by the Arbiter on his way back to Earth for the Ark level)? This at least explains the several mentions of a low gravity level and playing amongst "the ruins of the first Halo", showing the corresponding campaign level for the MP map Burial Mounds.

(As well, it removes one of the implications that the Ark is on Earth's moon rather than Earth itself... which saddens me in a way, because it diminishes the importance of the fade from Truth's headdress to Earth's moon, but I'm willing to let that go and just enjoy the beauty of the transition :)




The forum has been a feersum beast: falling over itself, creating things, devouring them, regurgitating, and devouring anew. Don't get me wrong: this isn't bad, just kind of gross. Ah well; in times like this it's to be expected, I suppose. ;)

Louis Wu has already summarized several tantalizing items that have surfaced. To rehash...

This Is What We Came For

Rachda ( looks back on the (otherwise fruitless :( ) flash from to officially put his finger on the continent the Ark inhabits.

Old news, honestly. But with the secure knowledge of the Ark's location, GLuebben ( has taken the time to speculate on the Forerunner (or quite possibly Covenant) glyphs and symbols seen so far, which installations they point to, and what they might all mean.

You can see his pdf here and speculate in this thread, here.

For reference, here is the image "This Is What We Came For" (pointing to Africa) and another image of the galaxy showing the same symbols (taken from the old However, because there are only six markings instead of the eight plus that could be expected (seven installations plus at least one Ark), the overall accuracy of these pictures is questionable.

Great stuff though!



Bronzite has come up with a special little something. The information has been around before, but I've never seen it as nicely presented like this. His forum post has a link to the PDF detailing the possible positions of the Halos and the effect of knocking out Halo 04 onto the system. You'll like it. You'll like it a lot. (The PDF is also viewable in HTML format, online.)




Sir Blunt sent us a theory along. I've picked out a few bits that really stuck out.

Sir Blunt ( writes:

I don't think the Halos shoot out a searing plasma wave of death for 25,000 light years in all directions. We know from 343 that we don't need to wipe out all life; just those with a critical biomass and intelligence. With this in mind, what would make more sense is a targeted burst of energy. Now since it's targeted, you need targets. The only thing big enough to target from 25,000 light years away are stars. So, I think that halo shoots out some laser or energy burst that has a frequency in resonance with what ever star it is targeting. I think most stars that can support life are roughly the same so it could probably get by with just one frequency. If you excite something at its resonant frequency you can get a huge response with relatively little energy input. Like an army marching across a bridge. If they march at the right tempo, the wave energy builds up and amplifies and the bridge can collapse from the vibration. You can do this with anything. Everything has a resonant frequency. I'm thinking if this was done to a star it could cause a period of increased solar output or solar flares that would overwhelm even those planets protected by a magnetic field. This would effectively irradiate all life in the system.

Intelligent life is rare, so not very many stars would have to be targeted. Assuming the forerunner had complete control over the galaxy with highly advanced slip space and teleportation capabilities, they probably had a good idea of where most, if not all, advanced life was. They may have even recorded all the places life was. Maybe even made an INDEX of all life, and stored it in a LIBRARY. This index would have a list of all intelligent and non intelligent life and their locations. The halo would need this index to target the right stars, so it couldn't fire with out the index.

I don't think its that important that there could still be intelligent beings flying around in ships or on space stations. With out a habitable home planet, they would eventually die or be consumed by flood, who would then starve anyway. Its probably just important that the vast majority of consumable life is eliminated.

For halo to be effective, the index has to be undated every few millennia, or it has to make assumptions about the non intelligent life evolving over the years.
Also, you don't need full galaxy coverage with a targeted system. Since the core of the galaxy is a quagmire of death, radiation, antimatter and unstable orbits, you don't really need halos there or anywhere else there is no intelligent life. So all this halo coverage talk is needless.

Given that the rates of evolution are pretty unpredictable, I'd imagine you'd need to update the index more often than every few millenia. Alien abductions, anyone? Now we know why Finn glows at night . . .



Since we can never escape from the Halos . . .

Phoenix42 ( writes:

I noticed that the greek letters and numbers assigned to each Halo don't match up so far. For example, Alpha Halo (the equivalent of 'A' in English, the first letter in the alphabet) is 4, and Delta Halo (the equivalent of 'D' in English, the fourth letter in the alphabet) is number 5. I wonder if this indicates importance, rank, origin, lethality, etc.....

It's not OCD if we can prove it.



That Ever-Elusive Local Year

Nogard asks,

"Is 343 Guilty Spark's idea of years based on Threshold orbiting its star? No weird Lagrange point concept of years?"

Frankie responds,

"Technically a year could mean either the time it takes Earth specifically to revolve around Sol, specifically or some other rhythmic celestial phenomenon. The concept might not have much meaning if you're from a planet whose orbit is stable enough to have no seasons, right? So the question is; Does Guilty Spark's translation into a language understandable by Chief and company simply refer to some rotational indicator - either the Halo itself, Threshold or the closest star? Or does his translation include knowledge of their solar system? Or did I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND, MAN?"

How coy. All things considered, such as the rather casual, non-cagey response from Joe Staten on the same point, as well as the need for at least some semblance of standards in a sci-fi story (like Gravemind or the UNSC speaking English) our (my?) money is on a Halo 04 Local Year equalling an Earth Year as simply a matter of convenience.

And that's final! (Give or take... ;)



From the October 13th Weekly Update: Alpha, Delta...

opogjijijp asks:

Why are the Halos we've encountered been named Alpha Halo and Delta Halo?


You will find out soon enough.

That ONI has known about them for some tim... oh, I mean, I can't wait ;)



A locked door must be opened - and sometimes things need to be stated explicitly. Yes I know that link made no sense.

wcfin8 ( writes:

We don't hear or see any mention of the flood until AFTER Cortana and MC disable the security systems on the installation after being locked out while looking for the silent cartographer:

CORTANA: "we can't proceed unless we can disable this installation's security system"

Later we hear a marine say that the covenant worked hard to lock the door where Keyes and his squad were overwhelmed by the flood. So maybe the covenant were already in there when the flood was released, unbeknownst to them, and all they could do was lock the door and run. Backing this up is the fact that the humans find out that the covenant already has a name for these new enemies "the flood", which lends credence to the idea that the covenant already knew they were there. If they knew they were there and knew what the flood was capable of, I find it unlikely that they would release them.

In Assault on the Control Room, Cortana says something that most people, including myself, assumed meant that the covenant released the flood:

Cortana : Oh, those Covenant fools...they must've known, there must have been signs!

But maybe she didn't mean that they should have known they would release the flood (because she did that herself) maybe she means that the covenant should have known that Halo isn't the Forerunner weapon, The Flood are.

Also in AOTCR, Cortana says: The weapons cache he's looking for, it's not really-we can't let him get inside!

If you follow that sentence and finish it logically, the only solution is that the weapon isn't halo. Why else would she say the weapons cache he's looking for is "not really-". The Humans think the weapon is Halo so That is the only thing he can be incorrect about. So maybe the Flood was a forerunner weapon, a sort of biological warfare. And just like any biological weapon, it has to be stored and locked up with ridiculous amounts of security, until someone or some A.I. decides to override those securities. Also note the word cache, by definition that does not fit in a description of Halo.



This one relies on your belief that the Forerunners were rational beings.

Binks ( writes:

Just throwing and idea out there. I've heard it said that the Index in Halo is an index of all life-forms capable of hosting the flood and so when inserted into Halo's weapon it destroys all life in the Index. What if, however, the Index was an index of all planets within range? Sort of a "Aim here, here, here, and here" type order for the computer. It would seem incredibly wasteful for Halo to fire off in all directions as the odds of hitting a planet would be minuscule, even with a 25,000 light year range. One would think that a highly advanced race would be a little more surgical in their firing of a giant weapon. In that case the Ark could simply be a marker, a sort of "If you see this pattern delete this planet from the Index" type thing that protects a planet by having the Halos not fire at it. In addition that blue beam everyone speculates about could easily be a scanning device to compensate for stellar drift, perhaps it's fired from one side and then amplified and accelerated to super luminous velocities when it hits the other side, acting as a sort of cosmic radar. It seems to me that the Forerunners wouldn't be the type of people to make a device that simply sends out a huge pulse in all directions, it's extremely wasteful at the distances we're talking and, unless it's a really high energy pulse/neutrino or similar particle based beam there would be large blind spots behind planets.



Someone oughtta tell the new kid that the HSP isn't actually meant to be updated. It just sits there! Like a monument! To my sins . . .

[AMS]GreyThor questions the 1.2 trillion simulations which leads to some rehashing of the maths.

One of my favourite people in the whole wide world gives us some facts on the blue beam towers. I've also summarised what's on the HSP relating to the blue beams. We ain't finished yet, kiddies. Until we've got this sorted, our Q-tip and paperclip fully functioning Halo model in the back yard is just going to be an object of ridicule. Do we want them to fear us? Then we need our cudgel!




The Halo Arrays.


There's a pretty broad discussion sparked by Kanbo taking place on our forum regarding the "tactical usage" of the Halo arrays.

Apparently, the Halos might also be capable of destroying the Flood. However, as suggested by Billhead, the Halos might have been designed for only one purpose; the destruction of all sentient life in the Galaxy.

Our fellow crew member Jillybean has also posted an interesting theory which was submitted to the site a long while ago. According to this theory, due to the strong vibration caused by one of the Halos being fired, the nerve systems of all living beings could be affected, and ultimately destroyed.

We'll be watching this topic closely.


-UNSC Trooper


Facts about the Halos and the Flood.

Elpolloguapo has written an extensive analysis about the Halos, the Flood, and the consequences of the firing of the Halos. He's put a lot of work into explaining all the details of the Halo mechanisms. I must say that this was the most worthy post for adding to the News page.

Go read, and give Elpolloguapo some feedback!


-UNSC Trooper