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The Halo Story


News Archive


January 31, 2002

More speculation! Keep it coming! :)

Christian Miller (locucious@mac.com) writes:

As we all well know, 343 Guilty Spark says the most consequential lines in the game in terms of story. Of particular interest is how he refers to the MC as "Reclaimer," how he makes suggestions about your technology (lv. 2 cyber suit, etc.), and especially how he once slips out something about the last time you activated the Halo.

He is obviously mistaking you for somebody else (watch, this will be proved wrong in a few years :P), more specifically, a similar cyber suit who has the capability, and perhaps even the responsibility, to activate the Halo when needed. Assumedly, he'll find the nearest one to his location if the flood was released and press the button, or reunite the index with the core if you prefer. He's so important, he even has an official name, the "Reclaimer." The MC has no such designation or purpose to the best of his knowledge, and we assume it's GS's mistake.

Now, GS mentions the last time the MC was on Halo. This means that it must have been activated before by the true "Reclaimer," and subsequently destroyed all life in the universe. I have a hunch that this last activation was what destroyed the forerunner, which is why the he seemed so pensive about it according to GS. This wiped slate means the forerunner could have been anything, and that all current life must have either evolved (from bacteria) since that last activation or made by the forerunner to survive the annihilation as robots or something. The Covenant could possibly meet the last qualification, as well as the grunts and everything, which would explain why they seem so engineered and precise. Heck, humans could have even been the forerunner.

If there was a "Reclaimer" at some point in the past, was it a member of the Forerunner, or possibly a construct of theirs? Why does 343 Guilty Spark mistake you for someone else?

The Tru7h is out there...

permalink |

-mnemesis


January 30, 2002

More forum mining from the early days following Halo's release.

This thread starts an interesting discussion on the intended function of the Halo. As has been observed in the game and sent in to us here, the Halo was built by the Forerunners to contain and study the Flood, as well as fight it if it ever spreads. Kanen Faud'r makes an interesting observation in this post:

Kanen Faud'r writes:

...If the Flood doesn't exist in the rest of the galaxy obviously it was either created on Halo or contained there. Clearly they therefore had the technology at the time to have destroyed it. I'm back to the library tomorrow in hopes of finding my precious Spark quote, but we're still lacking a logical explanation for Halo's massive destructive capability... I think the only thing that makes sense is to "contain" the Flood if it leaves Halo, and that only makes sense if there is a reason to keep the Flood around.

A reason to keep the Flood around? 343 Guilty Spark hints at this with this quote:

The installation was specifically built to study and contain the Flood - their survival as a race was dependant on it. I am grateful to see that some of them have survived to reproduce.

Survival of which race? Forerunner or Flood? Does Guilty Spark think that the MC is a Forerunner and is thus glad that they have reproduced? Or, upon seeing the Flood, is he somehow glad that they still exist (even though they, or rather, their food, must be destroyed)?

permalink | Monitors

-mnemesis


Ripped from the Forum!

Mr. Yun starts the discussion in this post.

An HBO Forum poster writes:

But the Monitor says, at the end of the Library/begining of Two Betrayals, something to the effect of, "The Halo will destroy any life with enough biomass to support the Flood."

Biomass refers only to the size/density (mass) of a living thing...not its intelligence.

permalink |

Some crackpot tries to correct him, but luckily Knight Premier comes along and straightens the crackpot out:

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!

permalink | Halo Installations

Mark Levin muddies up the whole thing with this comment:

I know he says this, but don't the huge plants on 343GS sort of look like they've been infected? Their bulges flash the same way Infections do. Maybe the Forerunners were superintelligent trees?

Cheeky.

permalink | The Forerunner

Thankfully, Silicon Dream brings us back to reality with an interesting idea:

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.

So what exactly does the Halo do? Would the Forerunner build it knowing they might be destroyed? Or are the somehow immune to it?

Go check out the thread and then get thinking.

permalink | Halo Installations

-mnemesis


Jesse Cook (cool_jess@hotmail.com) writes:

I stumbled across your site the other day and read through your collections of data. After reading through the various sections I noticed that everybody keeps saying "The Forerunner", and wondering whether it is plural, for a race of beings, or singular, as in one being. Anyways, I was playing Halo and I started playing at "The Two Betrayals" and I noticed that when Cortana is informing the master chief of what he was about to do, she says, "The Forerunners" with an "s", as in plural. I think it's in the spot where she says something to the effect of, "Do you have any idea why the Forerunners built this place?". I haven't played it again to verify yet, just remembered and thought I'd submit this piece of data for discussion.

There's always room for more discussion. And Jello. :)

permalink | The Forerunner

-mnemesis


Alan Wu strikes again:

Alan Wu (ti_programs@yahoo.com) writes:

It is interesting to note that the Flood can infect Elites, but not Master Chief. The Flood infection forms explode when they touch a shield, which is why Master Chief is not affected. However, Elites also have shields. Furhtermore, Master Chief's MJOLNIR Mark V armor uses stolen Covenant shielding technology. Therefore, it would be similar to the Elite's shield. Yet, Elites can be infected while Master Chief can't. Also, when his shield goes down, Master Chief should be open to infection just like a Marine, since he has no shield protection left. (It is possible that Master Chief's suit provides some protection from the Flood.)

So just what is it that makes that Master Chief so special, hmm? ;)

permalink |

He also addresses the Hunters:

And what about Hunters? Are they affected by the Flood infection forms? We know that Elites are turned into warriors while Grunts and Jackals become carriers. But what happens to the Hunters? (Maybe it's a good thing they don't get infected: imagine an 8' tall Flood warrior with a fuel rod gun, nearly impervious armor, and a huge shield/melee weapon, combined with the dexterity and strength of a normal Flood warrior. Not a happy thought).

No, not a happy thought at all...

permalink | The Flood

-mnemesis


Up till now, the stuff we've received has been relatively docile and laid-back. Theories, Master Chief identity proofs, stories of glory in the face of iminent death. But this is truly bizzare. Someone calling themselves "RevelationEightTwelve" sent this in last night, under the title, "The Great Day of Wrath."

RevelationEightTwelve (fourthtrumpet@hotmail.com) writes:

.
.
.
.
.
<CONNECTION INIT><223.34.520.61>(process owner unspecified - security breach nodes 214 - 304)
.
.
<TRANSALL>


I looked when he opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
</TRANSALL>
.
.
.
<CONNECTION TERMINATED>

Now, maybe it's just me...but this sounds something like the Cortana Letters, and it also sounds like another Biblical reference. Break out your Bibles, folks...crack them open and turn to Revelation, 8:12. I'd do it myself, but...no bible. The thing making me sceptical is the e-mail addy: "FourthTrumpet@hotmail.com." Do AIs use Hotmail? Let's hope so.

permalink |

-Ape Man


January 29, 2002

This message brought to you by the b.org PR department:

walll (walll@cox.net) writes:

I came upon your site and I was thrilled to find a dialogue of everything that happened in the game. As a hearing-impaired gamer, I was more than disappointed that Halo (and other games on the XBox) did not incorportate subtitles or closed captioning into the game. I was even more frustrated when I got the chance to ask one of Bungie's developers why they didn't incorporate subtitles into the game, and his answer was basically along the lines of "not enough time." That's it. No apology, no "Hey, we made a mistake in leaving that out," or "We forgot." Very responsible of them huh?

Yes it is a great game, but until I read your Halo Story section though, I had no way of really following the storyline. So again, I thank ya'll for doing such a great job with that, and I can't wait til' the rest of it is finished.

Just wanted to know it's very much appreciated.

Take care!

-Chaser
"I'm a Duppy, Duppy Conqueror!"

Just doing our part for the good of humanity...

permalink |

-mnemesis


More fodder for the Halo-in-the-Marathon-universe contingent...

Joe Broni (joe_broni@excite.com) writes:

For a long time I felt that the connections between Halo and Marathon were tenuous at best. I kind of gave up on it all until I re-read the Jason Jones interview at Tru7h and Reconciliation and stumbled upon him talking about how the name the "Pillar of Autum" came to be:

"But forget the name, isn't it kind of suspicious that a single human
corvette had any success at all against the Covenant navy, when in
every previous battle the humans mostly just got sawed in half by
particle beams when they tried to stand up to the aliens? (much less
disabling four of their capital ships!) Do we know anyone who can
work magic in fleet engagements against odds like that?"


That made me think of this message from Durandal in Marathon 2, Bob's Big Date, Terminal 4, 2nd Message (thanks Marathon Story Page!):

"Battle has been joined in orbit and Boomer is taking heavy damage. I
cannot hold out for long, but the Pfhor will not soon
forget the day that a lone corvette obliterated half of Battle Group
Seven, Western Arm."


And again, from Durandal in Marathon 2, Fatum Iustum Stultorum, Termainal 1:

"I have subverted the largest Pfhor ship in the system, the battleship
Khfiva, and I am making the rest of their fleet drink
vacuum."


Obviously Jason Jones was drawing some parallel between Cortana (who was running the show on the PoA) and Durandal. Couple this with the Cortana Letters where she alludes to being present with Durandal, Tycho and Leela (the fourth AI, the one we couldn't have known about) and the link seems more solid.

Now if we could just straighten the timeline out....

da5id

BTW - I _LOVE_ 343GS, I think he's cool (cowers in fear of repercussions )

Jason Jones, keeping the Marathon-Halo connection alive? Now, why would he do that? ;)

permalink |

-mnemesis


From the "Things You're Not Supposed to Do, but Some Do Anyway" files:

Sfiera (Caalaklael@aol.com) writes:

The first time I played Legendary mode, I was having a tough time (stands to reason). I'm not sure what I was thinking, but for some reason, I decided to shoot Keyes in the head (stupid, I know, bt I was frustrated).

But what I found out from that little debacle is that the Master Chief can go Rampant - Cortana tells the Security team that "The Master Chief has gone Rampant." A great little Marathon connection, but what does it mean about our Master Chief? Do those Cybernetic Implants do more than just interface him with the Mjolnir V Armor?

That's the problem with implants: They can have unforseen side effects. ;)

permalink |

-mnemesis


TI Programs (Alan Wu) (ti_programs@yahoo.com) writes:

The issue of whether or not Cortana is rampant was brought up on a few occasions. In Marathon, on Level 13, Colony Ship for Sale, Cheap, Durandal says, "Bypassing my thought control circuitry made me Rampant." However, Cortana does not have any thought control of any kind. Therefore, she is a) Already rampant b) Unable to become rampant Which one she is is open to interpretation, although I tend to believe that she is unable to become rampant.

Or, rampancy is possible only after having had thought control circuitry, and then having it removed. Cortana never had any, so she never gets that "thrill".

permalink | Cortana

Alan goes on to take a stab at the Covenant-Forerunner connection...

As for the Forerunner, it is interesting to note that the Covenant have symbols similar to those found on Halo. It is possible that the Covenant may be the Forerunner that built Halo. As to why they are foolish enough to release the Flood, it is possible that though they are the Forerunner, they had "forgotten" about the Flood. Furthermore, the energy field that goes between the two "projections" on their dropships looks a little like the Forerunner energy bridges.

An interesting idea. The Covenant are obviously interested in the Halo, but that they might be reclaiming their own lost heritage puts a different spin on it.

permalink | The Forerunner

-mnemesis


January 25, 2002

Talk about your Blasts from the Past!

Cannibal Harry, in an old HBO forum post, writes:

...Realizing the situation's gotten much worse, the captain of the PoA decides discretion is the better part of valor and gets the hell out of dodge. The Covs, of course, pursue. The next day, the PoA starts talking back, maybe.

? SCS Pillar of Autumn (?)

o CCS Sacred Promise (DE H c-3)

SENT 04.9.7.0600
via x-process 04087.2.32.742573
(process owner Cortana)

"... He says I came not to send Peace but a Sword ..."


I came not to send Peace but a Sword is definitely a Cortana reference. Note that the sender is Cortana. This transmission angers the Covs, up till now they've been doing all the talking.

The PoA continues to run."

Written over two years ago, Cannibal Harry did an incredible job of consolidating and analyzing what are known as the Halo Transmissions. The Transmissions appeared on the halo.bungie.com page back in 1999, right after Bungie had announced Halo at Macworld on July 21st, 1999. While the Transmissions were not the first we ever heard of this game (that honor goes to the Cortana Letters), they do provide an insight into the kind of details that Bungie concerns themselves with and CH's analysis brings up some interesting questions. Go check it out!

permalink | Rampant Speculation

-mnemesis


January 24, 2002

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

David Marsh (silentstorm32@hotmail.com) 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? This also brings up another ponderment I had... Just how much do we explore? Perhaps someone should go through the outdoor levels, and see if they can piece together a map of the whole Halo, by splicing together the background images of the Halo that you see outside, (that rise up and over you), or possibly the texture on the inside of the Halo seen in the background of the titlescreen, and then we could use the views seen in the levels to determine where exactly on the Halo each level takes place

permalink | Halo Installations

-?stro


Sorting through the mail bag...

Stu (stu.smith@shaw.ca) writes:

Sorry to nitpick, but I was reading through the scripts and I noticed what seems to be an error in Cortana's last line in Flawless Cowboy, right before Reunion Tour. When she says "A lot more crew made it off the Pillar of Autumn than I had expected." I remember her saying something along the lines of: "The Captain really gave them hell," but this is not in your script.

This brings up a good point; we make mistakes. One of the more interesting examples is a glitch on Truth and Reconciliation, zapped moments before we finally went live, which had Captain Keyes screaming at the Master Chief, "SHUT UP AND GET BEHIND ME...SIR."

If you spot an error or omission in the transcripts, let us know so we can fix it, and the Halo Story Page will be that much cooler.

permalink |

-Ape Man


Apologies for the down time. Here we go.

Char (georgec2@union.edu) 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: http://www.hf.caltech.edu/whichworld/explore/scenarios/scenfw_top.html

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.

permalink | Halo Installations

-Ape Man


January 21, 2002

The Flood were created by the Forerunner in a vain attempt to control populations...

Charles George (georgec2@union.edu) 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:
http://www.hf.caltech.edu/whichworld/explore/scenarios/scenfw_top.html

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 ;).

My Bungie anylisis skills arent that great, but I'll give it a shot. Halo is a fortress world, a world where the rich forced themselves into fortress areas and try to keep out the poor of the world looking for the respite. In order to control the poor they released the flood virus into their population, perhaps to make them subservient (notice how the flood seem to serve a central intelligence). But when the experiment went horribly wrong the Fore runnner converted the Halo's into the giant bombs that we play on. They built the libraries on each Halo in an attempt to contain the flood through research, but they failed and eventually the flood won the day.

Just some rampant musings.

That the Flood might have been created by the Forerunner would certainly be an interesting twist...

permalink | The Flood

-mnemesis


January 18, 2002

Thomas Dow, Jr. strikes again (twice):

Thomas Dow, Jr. (briareos@q3arena.com) writes:

I did a little more research on the Ark of the Covenant, and found a nice and fairly extensive history at The Learning Channel/Discovery.com:

http://tlc.discovery.com/tlcpages/ark/ark.html

I found this part particularly interesting, as it again seems to go along with the story of Halo:

''The Bible mentions the Ark for the last time in Jeremiah 3:16, when it is noted that "when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The Ark of the covenant of the Lord neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more."''

[http://tlc.discovery.com/tlcpages/ark/sacred3.html]

This goes along with "The Ark Theory", in that if the Forerunner really were humans, they could have forgotten all about the Halo(s) as they expanded into the Galaxy.

That darned Ark of the Covenant returns like that insistent beeping of low shields on Legendary.

permalink | Ark

And also, Tom muses about dates in Halo and Marathon:

I also wanted to comment on Justin Graham's musings about Halo/Marathon connections. It's true that "A.D." is never used in Halo or "The Fall or Reach". In fact, all the dates in FoR are followed by "(Military Calendar)", which makes one wonder how this differs from the non-Military one. Perhaps the UNSC began using a calendar of their own, starting from some significant date. Again, this is a convenient loop-hole Bungie can use. :)

Even if we assume that the "Military Calendar" does not differ that much from the one used in Marathon, there are ways we can rectify the two timelines (as long as we allow for some other assumptions :). The Marathon story states the the Marathon ship-moon took ~300 years to reach Tau Ceti; it left Mars in 2472 and arrived in 2772. During that time, they were presumably cut off from direct contact with Sol-space, and thus could not benefit from advances made during their travel (such as Slipspace engines). In this case, they would have remained at basically the same tech-level as when they left (which helps explain why in the game you are able to use ammo left over from a coup 300 years earlier :). We do know that the 10 Mark IVs were in stasis during the entire voyage.

Of course the other thing to note is that in Marathon, "Mjolnir Mark IV" refers to a class of cyborg (and, presumably, the armor they wore), while in Halo, "Mjolnir" refers only to the armor used by the Spartan IIs. Thus, these could be two completely distinct projects. In fact, according to FoR, the Mjolnir armor was not necessarily meant for the Spartans. Also, in FoR, the phrase "Mark V" is never used to refer to either the Spartans or thier armor, which leads me to believe the statement, "Look, a Mark V!", was:

a) supposed to be an error on the part of the Marines (they think you are a further extension of the pre-Marathon-era Mjolnir project; seems unlikely, given the Spartan's mass media-exposure in FoR)

b) a remnant of an old attempt at making the two story-lines jive (which is why it is absent from FoR)

c) simply an "Easter Egg" put in by Bungie for the sake of Marathon fans (which seems all too likely ;)

Of course, it's also possible that the Mjolnir project of Halo is supposed to be a continuation of the Marathon one, and therefore the "Mark V" designation is correct (but still only refers to your armor). Since the use of "battleroids" was outlawed in 2194, they could have restarted the project with live humans in mind.

Tom Dow

In my own opinion, the "Mark V" is simply a reference to the fact that the Master Chief is wearing a Mjolnir Mark V suit (as detailed in the Fall of Reach and the Halo Manual).
As for the part about the Marathon being out-of-contact for over three hundred years, one wonders why the Marathon received no radio transmissions of any sort from the human worlds; Tau Ceti is less than twenty light years from Earth, so it would not take long at all for a signal from Earth to reach the Marathon mid-flight and inform them of whatever advances have been made in human civilization.
More likely in my mind is that Halo takes place thousands of years later. My primary evidence for this is the reference to the "lost colony worlds" which were recontacted at some point by the UNSC. Unfortunately, I've completely forgot the source of this information, but I'm certain it's out there. Anyone care to give it a go?

permalink | Marathon Connections

-Ape Man


craZy (Drow780@aol.com) writes:

I'd hate to disagree with anybody, but I have to in this instance. When Mr. Yun said that Cortana could control the Master Chief, he was somewhat incorrect.

In the Fall of Reach, page 252, third paragraph from the end. The Master Chief was being introduced to his new battle armor, which had two major updates from the last one. The first was shields. The second was the spot for Cortana. The Master Chief was worried that Cortana would be able to control the armor, and Dr. Hasley said "No."

So even if Cortana was rampant, the very worst was a voice in the Master Chief's head telling him to KILL KILL KILL.

-craZy

During all of our ponderings, it's important to keep in mind the Fall of Reach. This latest submission is a reflection of that. Halo is the story; Fall of Reach is the framework. At least, that's the way it falls out for US: we've got to interpret away, completely unknowing what Bungie put into Fall of Reach and what Eric Nylund did. But that's the fun part. :)

permalink | Cortana

-Ape Man


January 16, 2002

More beef to the historical feeding frenzy:

Charles George (georgec2@union.edu) writes:


Just to contribute to the thermopolye thread, the spartans were never "overwhelmed" at Thermopolye, instead they were betrayed, and the Persians were presented with a secret route around the pass. The Spartans ended up out flanked and outnumbered. The theme of betrayal seems to go along well with Halo.

Char


Indeed, it would seem that the Ten Thousand Immortals (so-called because whenever their numbers were depleted in battle, they would be replaced as soon as possible, thus forming an immortal army made of mortal men), Xerxes' own personal guard, were led through the mountains above Thermopylae by a Greek traitor, and they were able to assault the Spartans and their Theban allies from the rear, completely surrounding and killing all of the men from Lakedaimon.

The Covenant can be seen as the Persian army, and the Flood as the Ten Thousand Immortals; unstoppable, innumerable, building their armies from the bodies of their conquered. Here we have yet another metaphor for the ring shape of Halo; the Spartans were encircled, and that was their defeat. Only one of Reach's Spartan II's made it to Halo. But is the battle truly won? The Master Chief certainly feels that there is more fighting to be done.

permalink | SPARTAN

-Ape Man


Foe Hammer, 7, and Noah's Ark of the Covenant

Thomas Dow, Jr. (briareos@q3arena.com) writes:

I've been reading, and enjoying, "The Fall of Reach", and the other day I had the opportunity to play Halo for several uninterupted hours at a friends' place ... I too began noticing familiar references throughout both.

Firstly, I knew the name "Foe Hammer" seemed awefully familiar, so doing a quick Google-search, I came up with two things:

1) The main one that I recognized is that "Foe-hammer" is the translated name of Gandalf's Elvish-blade, "Glamdring" (not to muddle things with Tolkien refs, but it's obvious Bungie has borrowed from a lot of sources ...).

2) I found links to "Marathon: Infinity" spoiler-guides, which show that level 14 is called "Foe Hammer".

A little lower in the search-results, I came upon a link to marathon.bungie.org:

http://marathon.bungie.org/story/foehammer.html

Once again, these series of terminals show Bungie's love of the #7 (quote from Durandal): "Battle Group Seven will rue the day their Commanders willed their ships to Lh'owon."

The reason may be that, according to numerology, 7 is the number of completion and perfection. I took this excerpt from http://latter-rain.com/ltrain/numer.htm:

"Seven is the number of completion and symbolizes unity and perfection. Seven was a sacred number of the Jews and was used in religious observances and daily life throughout the history of Israel and in prophetic words concerning the end-times. It symbolizes wholeness, a final completion that is just about to reveal itself and be made manifest."

[ It's interesting that in FoR, they mention that "smart" AIs like Cortana have 7 years before they reach their "end-times" ... ]

The page also notes that there are a lot of significant 7s used throughout the Bible, especially in Revelations ...

Which brings me to my final topic, The Ark. I'm suprised noone else has mentioned this, but there are two Arks talked about in the Bible: Noah's Ark, and [pause for dramatic effect], the "Ark of the Covenant"! (Remember the 1st Indiana Jones 'flick? :).

I think it's very likely that there's a sort of double-reference going on, as the AotC was of extreme religious importance to the Isreallites (as well as having been divinely inspired), and was used as an extrememly powerful weapon. The AotC was supposed to hold the tablets containing "The Ten Commandments", and to basically be God's throne on Earth (if you dig futher into its history and signifigance, of which there is quite a bit, you'll also find that it played a role in holding back God's wrath). Perhaps this is also where Bungie got the idea for calling the alien collective, "The Covenant" ...


"What do ya' think, Sirs?"


Tom Dow


†††One wonders if the Marines would have liked Foe Hammer as much if her callsign had been Glamdring....And the number 7 rears its head once more.
†††As for the second half of this submission...well this is interesting. I've never seen Raiders of the Lost Ark (I know, I know), but this connection seems to be something big. If the Ark in question is indeed called the Ark of the Covenant, and indeed serves the functions which Mr. Dow has assigned to it, then that fits Halo too closely to be coincidence, in my humble opinion. "God's throne on Earth" seems to me to be a fitting description of Halo; created by a race of such technical proficiency as to be almost godlike, where they built installations for themselves to sit in and ponder whatever sorts of things a Forerunner might ponder. As for "holding back God's wrath," it seems that Halo also serves this purpose; the Flood can be considered the wrath of the Forerunner, and Halo contains them. But, as with the brief histories of the Ark of the Covenant which I have been able to find, it would seem that Halo has far more sinister purposes within its depths.
†††Also, this is now the third type of arc(k) to be associated with Halo: 1) It is in the shape of an arc, 2) It is a sort of Noah's Ark for the Flood, and 3) It is akin to the Ark of the Covenant of Judaic history. And then of course, there is the Ark Theory. But that's enough about that for now. :)

permalink | The Covenant

-Ape Man


Martin Thorne (mthorne@maildrop.srv.ualberta.ca) writes:

Dave C observes that 343 appears in the early Cortana letters, and points out that this is the same number as Guilty Spark. However, I don't think there is a direct correlation or reference between this number and 343 Guilty Spark. 343 = 7*7*7, so 343 was bound to crop up somewhere, and the fact that it does so at more than one point in Halo's development is more likely evidence of Bungie's continuing obsession with the number 7 then evidence of far-reaching early character development.

Then again, the a character like 343 Guilty Spark may have been around for quite some time, since before the game was announced (and likely before the Cortana letters). In the Truth and Reconciliation Jason Jones Q & A, he mentions that at some point in development, "the fortress worlds were planets and not rings." Since Guilty Spark is the guardian of a fortress world a similar character might have appeared in the embryonic, planet-based Halo story, and would definitely have preceded the Cortana letters, which clearly imply a ring.

Just a few thoughts.

-Martin Thorne

Perhaps 343 Guilty Spark also played a much larger role in later versions of the game; we learn most of the story of Halo through 343 Guilty Spark and Cortana, bantering back and forth, and as such it seems quite possible that whatever gaps exist in Halo's story due to time constraints would likely have been filled in with much of the same banter. Also, 343 Guilty Spark's comments in The Library seem to be in reference to something much larger, about which 343 GS assumes we have some prior knowledge. Of course, this could merely be even more evidence to show that 343 GS thinks he has met us before, somewhere, somehow.
   More to ponder.

permalink | Monitors

-Ape Man


Justin Graham (lazar13@earthlink.net) writes:

Hey all-
When I beat Halo the first time, something odd struck me about 343 Guilty Spark's speech. When Cortana points out its manipulation of the Master Chief into nearly destroying the sentient population of the galaxy, 343 says something to the effect of "When you did it the last time, you asked me if I would do it if I were in your position. I have had many years to think on this question, and my answer is still yes." (I'm sorry that I don't have the exact quote, but I am sure many of you will know what I am talking about.) This may mean that 343 has seen a Mjolnir suit before, possibly tying in with Durandal's exploits with his pet super-soldier, who incidentally also wears a suit of Mjolnir armor...
On that note, do we even know the extent of Durandal's exploration? I know this is a Halo page, but seriously, give it some thought. When you hear the word Forerunner mentioned in the game, is it plural, as in reference to a forerunner race of sentient beings, or is it singular, a title of awe and power for a single entity? From what I have read of the Marathon lore, I have come to believe that Durandal made it to the end of the Universe, reaching some kind of Omega Point, where all information, time, space, matter, etc., became one. Should this be the case, and should Durandal have survived partially intact, he might have launched himself to the beginning of time, and continued with his mischief. At the end of Marathon Infinity, I believe, Durandal ordered his pet soldier to destroy a sun, causing mass destruction. He has an affinity for mass destruction as far as solving large problems. I suppose the cleansing of an entire galaxy of sentient life wouldn't be too large a moral stretch for him.
Aside from that, the precursor race to the S'Pht seem to have had some serious technology as far as manipulating energy and space. I suppose that their leaving the S'Pht world might have taken them to a place where they would eventually be able to create a device such as Halo. Due to the nature of the device, however, I believe that it would have taken extreme personal peril to cause such a race to create and eventually use the weapon. Perhaps it was that they were at first immune, or had caused the creation of the Flood, so that they felt responsible for its release. Perhaps they were ready to leave the galaxy and move off into a far space to pursue their own agendas, and the Flood have been a tool of theirs which could not have been allowed to run unchecked, but they were unable to effectively cleanse the worlds it had touched, but still left their amassed data and the samples of Flood behind in order to perhaps return to them one day. On a more sinister note, if the Forerunners, assuming they are a race, had planned on returning, would they really want company in what could potentially be their own private galaxy? The Halo-like devices would be an effective tool for freeing up some realeastate for their return...
Anyway, that is enough speculation for one night. Write back if you feel so inclined. Before I get to sleep, though, one thing does bother me: If the soldier of Durandal was using Mjolnir body armor, and the Pfor boarded the Marathon while she was in sub-light speed due to the fact that FTL capabilities hadn't been reached yet (according to the Marathon stories), then how can Project Mjolnir have been started just after the first Covenant contact, when the UNSC was using FTL drives? Oh well, time for sleep.

--Justin

Marathon connections abound...and these are some good ones. 343 Guilty Spark's seeming past knowledge of the Master Chief brings up many questions, but when you get right down to it, who looked the most like the Master Chief that we've met? I'm not sure about you, but it's my personal opinion that there's quite a resemblance between our friendly Chief and the 10th Military Mjolnir Mark IV Cyborg (http://marathon.bungie.org/story/mjolnir.html). Just a hint. :)
As for the Forerunner, they certainly do bear hints of Jjaro-ness; strange symbols, sweepingly large structures, mysterious backgrounds only hinted at in their still-living computer guardians.
And as for the final question, there is one thing to note. Though it may seem nitpicky, there is never an "A.D." on a date associated with Halo. This seems to me the sort of trick Bungie would be liable to pull. Halo could take place before Marathon, if they use the same date system, or hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions of years later. Which brings us right back to the Ark Theory and all of its offshoots (which, once again, will be explored fully in a special article forthcoming from the Halo Story Page staff).

permalink | The Master Chief

-Ape Man


January 15, 2002

The other, other species on the ring...

somerandomuser (somerandomuser@proaxis.com) writes:

In Manoflaslomas's post about guilty spark addressing you as "reclaimer" he says "...Guilty Spark thinks (knows?) the master chief is a Reclaimer rather than a member of the covenant or another human (Keys for instance)... this is not quite true on the Library level 343 comments "I would conjecture that the other species currently on the instillation is responsible for releasing the Flood. They seem most persistent in their attempts to access restricted areas." It is assumed from this that he knows that you are indeed human, or thinks the other humans on halo are forerunner.This would fit in with Mr. Yun's theorie that the forerunner are ancient humans.

This made me think... When 343 says that he would conjecture that the other species currently on the installation is responsible for releasing the Flood, was he actually refer to the Covenant, as it would be assumed? Perhaps he is refering, in fact, to the Humans? Humans have been persistant in accessing restricted areas...

permalink | Humans

-?stro


January 14, 2002

Manoflaslomas (manoflaslomas@yahoo.com) writes:

Guilty spark behaves very familiarly with the chief, and never refers to him as human. He refers to the chief's armor as "Level two combat skin" and suggests he upgrade to a "level 12" as if that would be an option.

GS also acts surprised when it is revealed that MC didn't know that Halo is designed to wipe out sentient life. This suggests that GS was under the impresion (delusion?) that the cheif was some kind of representative of the forerunner. A "Reclaimer" sent here to reclaim control of the ring and restore it to order.

Before the sentinels start attacking you, GS also asks MC why he would try to undo what he has already done, suggesting that the forerunners have used Halo in the past, an action that probably wiped them out when the human race was still monkeys (and thus safe from the anti sentient life attack from Halo).

As for why the Guilty Spark thinks (knows?) the master chief is a Reclaimer rather than a member of the covenant or another human (Keys for instance) is probably his armor. Parts of the armor was built from stolen Covenant technology, which was probably derived from forerunner technology (like the Pfhor derived theirs from the Jjaro).

manoflaslomas

Guilty Spark in fact ONLY refers to you as Reclaimer (as you'll find out soon when we gradually put up the rest of our scripts), even on the last level as you're trying to blow the whole place, including 343 Guilty Spark, to hell and back. There are some other, even more radical theories floating around out there involving the Master Chief and his title as "Reclaimer". Who is the Reclaimer? How does 343 Guilty Spark know them, or know OF them? I suspect more questions will arise as 343 GS's levels come up, especially The Library and The Maw (watch the cinematics in The Maw closely, and pay close attention to 343 GS's exact wordage, and you'll catch what I'm talking about).

permalink |

-Ape Man


Mr Yun breaks out the Bible and strikes again!

Mr Yun writes:

I found this passage when searching for keywords "Truth and Reconciliation" Only 2 passages "Hit" for the words.

Book of Daniel 9
The Prophecy concerning the Seventy Weeks

[First paragraph omitted (it deals with how the prophesy came to Daniel), this is the second paragraph]

24 ? Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

-------------

The passage reads like a Prophecy out of a Covenant holy book:
A commandment to make "an end of sins" and bring righteousness (Covenant motivation to kill humans?)
References to a war in which a flood would come at the end; covenant, and a Sanctuary/City (Halo?) that would be destroyed by men of the "Prince" (MC?). The Prince would stop "the overspreading of abominations" (Flood?).

-Mr Yun

Very interesting; the connections between the Master Chief and biblical figures draw closer and closer.
††††Of course, the "flood" occurs AFTER the "sanctuary" has been destroyed. Perhaps the destruction of Halo had some adverse effects neither the Master Chief nor Cortana foresaw. Did the Forerunner get so angry that they just up and released the Flood into the galaxy? Did some Flood survive the destruction of Halo 04? Did Guilty Spark zip off with a few viral spores to Earth? Whatever, happened, one thing is for sure.
††††The Master Chief was right. The destruction of Halo seems to be just the beginning.

permalink | The Master Chief

-Ape Man


The Cortana Letters and an early 343 reference

Dave C (Shpydir@daintyrhino.com) writes:

I went to the Marathon Story page to reread the speculation on the Cortana letters and I found that on March 23, 1999 Jonathan Andrews dug up something in the email headers. He found that the subject changes to be "Re: Mail consternation request (MR-343)". Hmmm...343? Same number as Guilty Spark.

Dave C

Coincidence? I think not. It makes you wonder how long Bungie had the story for Halo written out, even to the point of quasi-sub-characters like 343 Guilty Spark.
††††Bungie..."They're everywhere!"
††††Apologies for the lack of updates over the past week or so; I've been out of town, we're still getting pounded by technical problems, and to top it all off, my cat just bit me. Ow.

permalink | Monitors

-Ape Man


January 8, 2002

Jacob ?berg writes:

In 2552 Commander Keyes destroys 3 medium-tonnage Covenant craft. 3042 years earlier, another army was defeated in 3-to-1 odds through strategy.

http://history.boisestate.edu/westciv/persian/08.htm

Reading on, we find that Spartans also played a big part in Thermopylae, where Spartans held of the Persian army to, in the words of another Story page, "to allow the Greek troops to withdraw to their respective city-states to prepare for defence". Seems familiar... "The Fall of Thermopylae"... That would make a good book title.

Jacob ?berg

Historical connections everywhere...
Another good book title: Gates of Fire. That's the title of Steven Pressfield's excellent novel about, of all things, the Battle of Thermopylae. If Halo is based on this battle, it's a good bet that the Bungie gang have read it (along with Banks, which Halo blatantly draws from-everyone should go and read Consider Phlebas RIGHT NOW :) ). Gates of Fire is really interesting, but not so interesting that it's boring. An all-around good read, especially for someone interested in the Persian Wars. And there's a character in it from whom the Master Chief seems to draw heavily...

permalink |

-Ape Man


Nick Yacono (nyacono@whidbey.com) writes:

The first thing that I noticed, that really brought me back to the good old days, is hearing the Covenant grunts screaming "THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!" just like the Bob's did in Marathon.

--Nick Yacono

Short but sweet. While we normally don't post submissions of combat dialogue (though plot-specific dialogue is certainly welcomed, and continue to send in any combat dialogue you find noteworthy, as at some point in the future we'll be compiling a list of everything the Marines and the Grunts say), this Marathon connection is just too good to pass up. They even SOUND like the old Marathon Bobs.
And on the note of Bobs...our very own Astro the Space Duck has a challenge...it is physically possible, though very difficult, to FRoG Blast the Vent Core in Halo. Make of that what you will-and if you think you know what we're talking about, let us know, and don't hesitate to give it a try. We'll give you a prize if you can pull it off and take pictures. A BIG prize.

permalink | Marathon Connections

-Ape Man


Mr Yun writes:

Master Chief Notes---

John-117

It should be noted that John wrote of the se7en signs that point to Jesus as the son of God.

-----------------

permalink | The Master Chief

Cortana Theories:

Wouldnt it make sense that when she was interfaced with the Halo mainframe, Cortana became rampant (or maybe just bitchy)?

The Halo Mainframe definitely is a huge opportunity for Rampancy. And despite the fact that she continues helping you through the game...AI's do not always display signs of Rampancy, sometimes for years

(My references)

Two phrases from; James B. Miller, 2320, "Life and Death of Intelligence".
(Actually: Marathon Story page, "Defend This! Terminal 2)

"Rampancy is accelerated by outside stimuli"

"Rampant AIs need a planetary sized network of computers in order to grow"

(Again from Marathon story page)

AI's can be "Rampant for years" as Tycho says in "Marathon":

Durandal showed no signs until the Phor attacked. So if thats true, Halo 2 will be VERY interesting indeed. Especially considering that she can control your suit. (The MJOLNIR suit's architecture "Is very similar to the Autumn's"...."Don't get any funny ideas")

----------------

permalink | Cortana

Flood/Halo Theories.

The Ark Theory

This theory assumes that the Forerunners are our ancient, technologically advanced, human ancestors. Like our legends of Atlantis, or maybe they existed before earth living on many different planets INCLUDING earth.

Human civilization has waxed and waned many times on earth. Why not in the galaxy.

it seems logical that humans (Forerunners) ages ago encountered the Flood, and created the Halo in a last ditch effort to save themselves...and succeded, and only a pocket of humans were spared, on earth...the others constructed the Halo sacrificing themselves to stop the Flood. Making the Halo a kind of reverse "Ark"!

Instead of building an Ark to hold the humans/animals...they built an Ark (Halo) to hold the Flood...Ironic (in a Bungie kind of way).

-------------------

Lots of stuff here. Mmmm...
Cortana certainly seemed to be a bit more..."eccentric"...when she was connected to the Halo computer networks. And she also got that red glow in her eyes, which is just plain creepy. Rampant? Perhaps. The world may never know....
The "Ark Theory" in particular is interesting: it seems to be appearing everywhere, including from quasi-"official" sources. Because of the high number of instances of this theory, and its high-profile beginnings, expect more on it soon: we're planning an entire feature on it!
For now, keep coming up with interesting connections/theories (no matter how outlandish). I'm sure there are more out there. :)

permalink | Ark

Marathon Cross references

During the first level of Halo sometimes a marine will say "Look a Mark-Five". An apparent reference to your MJOLNIR armor.

In Marathon Leela mentions Mark IV soldiers (Spartan I's?):
(From Leela)

"There is surprisingly good news planetside: nine military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborgs were covertly living among the colonists, and acting together they were able to single-handedly turn back the latter stages of the Pfhor assault. Casualties on the colony were nowhere near as high as those we experienced here on the Marathon."

------------------

permalink | Marathon Connections

-Ape Man


Martin Thorne (mthorne@maildrop.srv.ualberta.ca) writes:

It shouldn't have escaped anyone's attention that both the word Marathon and the SPARTAN II commandos are references to ancient Greek history.

Marathon takes its title from the battle of the plains of Marathon, between the armies of Greece under Multiades and an invading Persian force under king Darius I in 490 BC. The Greeks were victorious despite overwhelming odds, and sent the Greek soldier Phidippides to run the 26.2 miles to Athens to announce the victory, which he reportedly did before dying of exhaustion.

Ten years later in 480 BC, the Persian empire once again amassed another force for the invasion of Greece, this time commanded by Darius's heir, king Xerxes. Faced with this threat, the normally hostile Greek and Spartan armies joined forces under Spartan command. The decisive battle occurred near the village of Thermopylae, a name which appears in the Marathon story, and lasted for three days. The Spartans were superior warriors, even against the elite Persian division known as the 'Ten Thousand Immortals', but the combined Spartan/Greek forces were eventually overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Persian army (However, the Greeks where victorious against the Persian army and navy a year later, and soon became the dominant power on the Aegian)

Comparisons could be drawn between the Persian empire and the Covenant, although they would be tenuous at best. The Persian armies employed troops from nations throughout the empire, not unlike the many races that form the Covenant. The Greeks had been facing Persian attacks on their ports and cities for years, and had been largly defeated, not unlike the human empire which is being inexorably devastated by the Covenant navy . The Persians were religious, but with one of the most peaceful religions of the time (Zorastranism: its notable tenets included the forbidding of animal sacrifices and a strict injunction against attempting to convert others), so finding a parallel there would be difficult.

Given that Jason Jones has a well-known love of accounts of historical battles, the references shouldn't be surprising. I'm curious whether or not the name SPARTAN II was picked in order to draw attention to some aspect of Halo's story.

Anyway, I hope most of my history was relatively accurate.

-Martin Thorne

Both historical and Marathon connections are peppered liberally throughout Halo, and I think it fitting that just as Halo is somewhat of a "next generation" of Marathon (in gameplay, anyway-the actual link between the two stories is clouded, but grows clearer every day), the Battle of Thermopylae, discussed heavily in The Fall of Reach and hinted at in Halo, was the "next generation" of the Battle of Marathon.
   On an entirely different note, all apologies for the lack of updates yesterday; we're experiencing some pretty big technical difficulties; we can still update the site, just in a much longer, disjointed way (sort of like going from San Francisco to New York by way of Anchorage). Don't worry though-everything should be worked out soon. Until then...postulate away.

permalink | Marathon Connections

-Ape Man


January 7, 2002

Check it out: our first submission. Send us more, everyone. We're not nearly crushed enough under the horrible horrible weight of all of your collective ponderings.

Mike Steder (steder@prodigy.net) writes:

I'm only submitting this for review by larger brains.

I was reading through the halo story page, not being lucky enough to be playing the game on an xbox, and I found it semi-interesting that " 'Master Chief' had his name changed to John-117". It sounded suspiciously like John 1:17, so I dug around in the Bible.

In "The Revelation of St. John the Divine": Chapter 1: Verse 17: (revelation 1:17) -> "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
(verse 18 - 20 also seemed applicable)
-> 18: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
-> 19: Write the things which thou hast seen and things which are, and things which shall be hereafter; (well maybe not 19, :-))
-> 20: The myster of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

I know I'm reaching, but I still thought the 17 and 18 verse powerful and seemed to appeal to the spirit of the character.

Postscript: I'm by no means a scholar of religion so hopefully you will understand if I seem clueless.

Mike Steder

Halo abounds with religious connections (particularly to the Bible), and while this is certainly not the first to be noticed, it's a rather large one. Often, when authors REALLY want to thump something into you, they'll use character's name's as a way of doing it-not only is "John" in itself biblical, these references to certain verses in the Bible draw an even closer correlation.
†††It will be very interesting to see what other ties Halo has to various religious texts. Send your thoughts on Mr. Steder's connections, and send in any other religious connections you've caught (be they in the game, the book, the poem, the Cortana letters, the transmissions, or any other medium in which the story of Halo has appeared).
†††Of course...this does put a damper on my Master Chief=Elvis theory...oh well. It was bound to happen sooner or later, I supposed. It doesn't bother me, really. I swear. No, really.
†††Sniff.

permalink | The Master Chief

-Ape Man


January 6, 2002

'Tis a good day.
   Finally, after months of "soon™" and Louis Wu's constant banter about "where's that damn story site," we've gone live. Welcome to the first edition of bungie.org's Halo Story Page. As you can see, we're nowhere near finished. Expect the page to continue evolving constantly, as we add more content, and, more importantly, you pitch your thoughts and theories, and we make you famous.
   Anyone who has been to Hamish Sinclair's excellent Marathon's Story Page (to which and to whom we owe prodigious amounts of thanks, as without Hamish the concept of a Story Page would be completely foreign, and the execution of one would be even moreso) knows the concept: you send us e-mail containing your thoughts, ideas, connections, brilliant illuminations of perfect knowledge, and theories on the Master Chief's TRUE identity (he's obviously Elvis...just look at him), and we post it here, in whatever section it belongs in. In no time at all, the theories all begin to fit together, and suddenly we understand just what the heck the Forerunner were thinking when they decided to build a bunch of things to destroy the galaxy.
   To submit a theory, e-mail us at halostory@bungie.org, and we'll either put it up straight away, or, at the very least, send you a response thanking you for your submission. While we won't be able to use every submission, we'll certainly try, and if we fail horribly, we'll be kind enough to thank you for supporting the Halo Story Page.
   If you notice any errors or additions in the level scripts, don't hesitate to send them in (though naturally we'll have to try and verify them before we can make any changes). Halo is a rather dynamic game, and you can play it fifty times and never hear the same lines of dialogue (especially since many of them are lost in the wonderful, though often rather disturbing, sounds of the Master Chief at work ;p ).
   And another big round of thanks to Hamish Sinclair, mitb (our "MTHL? LMTH? What do you call it again?" guy), Funky J (our "superannuated edifice" as it were), Astro the Space Duck (our "Don't worry about it, I'll tell you what to do tomorrow" guy), and of course, Louis Wu, the master of all things Halo.bungie.org.
   That's it for now - but more is on the way. So have fun poking around, reading the scripts, and, most of all, letting us know what you think!

permalink |

-Ape Man



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