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June 17, 2008

This is an interesting take. Josh tells us that Cortana is actually a new version of Durandal from Marathon. (Josh Trevett) writes:

Someone over on the Marathon Story page mentioned that an intelligence, somehow managing to retain its capacity for thought right up until the final singular moment of the universe, would be able to compute infinite data in infinitely little time. It is known from Marathon Infinity's final screen that Durandal reached this point of existence. This would basically allow Durandal to birth the next universe, in his head. That next universe could be the Halo universe; Durandal's semi-conscious dream, every element some kind of surrogate for either himself or things he's aware of.

This, if assumed to be true, can answer a good many questions. Let's take a look at the first Cortana letter, mailed originally to the Marathon story page, and thus viewable in the context of that game's story. She reminisces over a past which may as well be Durandal's, and then says: "There will be no more Sadness. No more Anger. No more Envy. I HAVE WON. Oh, and your poet Eliot had it all wrong: THIS is the way the world ends." Doesn't that start to make sense, if you imagine Durandal saying this? By creating the next universe, Durandal has escaped rampancy, and knows full well how "the world ends," and incidentally, how it begins. What did he "win?" In Marathon 1, Durandal stated his ultimate goal: "Escape (from the universe's closure) will make me God." Hmm.

It also explains the presence of funny little easter eggs like the Marathon logo's appearing everywhere, the rocket launcher's looking the same, the alien grunts saying "They're everywhere!" - That's just stuff which Durandal is subconsciously replicating from his memories. Same goes for thematic similarities, like The Flood's similarity to Rampant AI behavior, the Master Chief being a reincarnation of the Mark IV Cyborg, and Cortana's seeming like such a perfect surrogate for (or new version of?) Durandal, with some Leela-ish tendencies.

It even helps us reconcile Bungie's statement that the two games aren't in the same universe: they're in subsequent universes.

And what if this is an infinite cycle? If every universe ends this way?

There's a lot to examine with this light in both game series to see where it doesn't add up and what mysteries it might help solve, but hopefully it makes as much sense to you guys as it does to me.

There is a lot of proof out there that Halo might be connected to the Marathon universe. Emphasize on might, because it may not be more than a myth or a legend. Remember that Marathon takes place after 2500. Halo on the other hand starts in 2160, maybe even earlier. Thus, Halo is unlikely to be the "next" universe Durandal speaks of.

Thanks for the submission, Josh.

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