gspawn (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
The Battle Rifle is inscribed with what rumor says is the line "Monkey King".
Maybe Bungie just gave away the plot to Halo2, right there on the Battle Rifle. The Monkey King was Part of the sory "the Journey West", potentially the greatest epic of Asian literature. It follows the Monkey King, a fairly average Joe Schmoe guy, who happens to be King of Monkeys, with his monkey tail (he did have one?) and superhuman strength (MC: Average guy, cybernetic parts, leader of the SPARTANs). Monkey King traveled the land, and was troubled by all the corruption in the land. So, he sought out those who were corrupting the people. Ultimately, he decided it was the gods themselves who had to be destroyed to save the people. (Covenant: "You destruction is the will of the gods").
So Monkey King traveled the land, eliminating corruption wherever it confronted him, until one day he traveled to see the God of the Sea to get the ultimate weapon. Monkey King eventually, I think, killed the God of the sea and took a staff, the heaviest and greatest weapon that had ever been constructed. (Only the Reclaimer may handle the Index), and proceeded to use that staff to destroy the gods, in order to free the people. (Cortana never did release the Index, you know. She still has it.)
Monkey King also never sought out conflict. He only pummeled the Gods as he saw was necessary in order to achieve good in the world. Note that MC doesn't seek out conflict, his training ensures he only follows orders as necessary to achieve his directives.
So in Halo2, does MC fight the Covenant only to find a higher problem? Do the Gods need to be punished in order to end the battlecries of the Covenant? Perhaps, in the end, destroying the Covenant homeworld isn't enough. There are too many races, too many other worlds. Maybe the only way to get the Covies to stop is to confront the Gods (Forerunners? Or maybe whatever the Prophets commune with? the thing the Covenent refer to as "the gods").
Regardless, this reference to the Monkey King makes one thing absolutely certain: the destruction of the Covenant, the ending of this conflict, will rest solely on Master Chief. There will be no players in the shadows, there will be no greater resolution caused by a defunct AI, there will be no "MC! We have to escape before (event X) happens!". In the end, it will be Master Chief alone who can end this. Lock and load, people. Lock and load.
An excellent write up incorporating a great deal of past speculation and inquiry.