They're random, baby

The Halo Story

News Search the Story Page Archive

Any All Exact 

July 5, 2005

You didn't see this one coming.

Nami Seyfollahi ( writes:

Halo in itself is a story with very distinct similarities to the ever so popular book, "Ring World," and, "The Ring World Engineers" written by Author Larry Niven. In the Bungie story, The Forerunner are thought to be the singular creators of these Installations who had been destroyed many a centuries ago for the sole purpose of containing the Flood "Infection Host."

Now to reflect back on the novel, Ring World also creates a similar predicament where an infection was introduced into the fragile environment of the Ring and had resulted in chaos on a tremendous scale. I would like to think that the game is designed in very much the same way. That essentially the Flood had been a plague beset upon the advanced and unsuspecting Halo inhabitants. Just as in the novel, seeing that the pioneers of the ring could no longer fight off the alien virus began a slow "devoluting" process that ultimately resulted in their demise. Nonetheless, a very few survived in Niven's tale, who through decades of corruption under the virus had very little intelligence or memory of the early bliss of Ring World.

This is where Halo becomes a very separate story from its written counterpart.
I do not believe that the Covenant forgot the existence of the Flood so much as they were unaware of it. I do agree however that Covenant and man are indeed very closely related to the Forerunner(s) origins, even though their knowledge of Halo's inner-working is minute. Moreover, the Covenant architecture differs immensely from what is found in the world of Halo. From the glossy and luminescent finish of the covenant ships to the cobble stone and Aztec reminiscence of the Forerunner creations, the two are certainly of opposite ends of the spectrum.

Nevertheless, the Covenant armada constantly refers to Halo as a symbolic and religious guide to salvation. They go to unimaginable feats to ensure the activation of Halo in order to free themselves just as their Gods ( the Forerunner ) had done. I must say, that this is a very feeble ideology for a seemingly advanced life-form. Yet in Halo 2, Mercy clearly states during a cut-scene that: "to finish what we started...and this time none of you will be left behind."

It almost seems like the Prophet is referring to a secondary battle. Does this mean that the earlier battle that led to the destruction of all sentient life on a galactic scale was ultimately caused by the undying hatred between Humanity and Covenant? and to say that: "...and this time none of you will be left behind." in my understanding, means that the earlier attempt of destroying Humanity had indeed failed. I should also add the fact that in Halo: Combat Evolved, during the introductory scene with 343 Guilty Spark, the monitor openly states that it is certainly glad to see humanity survived. Although it does not go on to say what it is that we survived I can only assume that it is referring to the first Halo Activation which coincidentally, the Flood and Covenant also survived.

In the end however, I do not believe that all seven Halo Installations of Halo had been created for the sole purpose of containing the Flood. In fact, I whole-heartedly believe that the Flood, the Monitors etc. were at one point ( somehow ) created by the Prophets in order to mask the TRUE purpose of their quest, which is the destruction of Humanity, rather than salvation for all. But certainly, no figure in the Covenant entourage would stand to defend this purpose, so the Prophets have thought up this entire scheme and propaganda to mask their motives.

So the Covenant are the Forerunner, except with a bit of amnesia. Told you, you didn't see it coming.

permalink | Rampant Speculation