They're random, baby

The Halo Story

News Search the Story Page Archive

Any All Exact 

March 20, 2002

We've recieved a bunch of your thoughts here at the HSP, and I finally got kicked hard enough to take on the daunting task of cataloguing some more of them (GS had a lot of free time, I guess ;-). Keep those thoughts coming!

Colin Ferguson ( writes:

One thing that had me puzzled ever since I began speculating about Halo's story was why the Covenant would want to wipe out humanity for religious reasons. A group of alien races united by religion would, by nature, be inclined to be tolerant of other alien species when they make first contact. Why then, does the Covenant have a genocidal prejudice against humans? Well, evidence uncovered in the later half of Halo suggests that humans may have been the Forerunner. If the Covenant had contact with the Forerunner (the fact that they knew of the Halo, if not the exact location, and superficial similarities in technology suggests that they did,) and the Forerunner are related to humans in some fashion, then it is understandable why the Covenant could form a judgment against humans before ever encountering any of them. That this prejudice is an extremely hostile one would suggest that the Covenant would have had some hostile relationship with the Forerunner.

343 GS implies that the Fortress-Worlds have been used before to wipe-out all sentient life in the galaxy. I have to wonder if the founders of the Covenant were some kind of a primitive species that had contact with the Forerunner and made some kind of recordings of them (writing, hieroglyphics, etc.) If so, then when the Fortress-Worlds were used, then the founders of the Covenant would have been thrown back a few evolutionary steps to a form of 'pre-sentient' life. If there were said recordings available to inspire such a species, then it could have more easily grown back into a sentient species. If the Covenant founders had somehow figured out what the Forerunners had done, then it is easy to see how the Covenant would come to fear them, and that fear may have worked itself into their religion. Thus, this fear could have been extended to include humanity. "Covenant" means, "sacred agreement," or some sacred agreement between alien species to keep the Forerunners out of power, thus the genocidal prejudice against humans.

It is interesting to note that while the Covenant had knowledge of the Forerunner, humans did not. This makes me wonder how the Forerunner could have become humanity. Assuming that the Fortress-Worlds had been used, then if the Forerunner were indeed humans, they would have been wiped-out too. This makes one wonder why the Fortress-Worlds were used and how the Forerunner managed to survive as humanity. The Flood are the most credible reason as to why the Fortress-Worlds were used. If the Flood epidemic was extreme enough, then there would be no other choice but to fumigate the galaxy in order to stop the spread of the Flood. One must imagine that the Forerunner would have taken steeps to ensure their survival. Let us assume for a moment that we can trust Pvt. Wang's estimation from the E3 2000 trailer that no one had been in Halo for one-hundred-thousand years. Well, one-hundred-thousand years ago is approximately the time that modern Homo sapiens arose on Earth. I believe that the Forerunner seeded Earth to eventually return them to sentience. The Forerunner might have found a planet (Earth) with compatible near-sentient species, and altered that species to become them after they used the Fortress-Worlds. Indeed, if we consider the "Cortana.txt" file included on the Myth Total Codex CDs, then the Forerunner might have done so on many worlds, as the Cortana.txt file mentions several "lost colony" worlds.

It's true that Humans had no knowledge of the Forerunner up until the beginning of the game. It's interesting to note what form out "first contact" of the Forerunner civilization takes...

permalink | The Covenant