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The Halo Story

News Archive

January 30, 2003

More HBO forum insan- er, speculation! Forum regular opie301 comes up with a really well-done theory on the relationship between the Covenant and the Flood. Check it out!

permalink | The Covenant


Over on the HBO forum, a very lively discussion erupted over Cortana and her dialogue with Foe Hammer. It's a pretty big thread but give as much of it as you can a look. If you've got any ideas, post 'em! Thanks to Mark Simmons for the initial thread. Oh, yeah, and Louis Wu for putting it in the news and ensuring that it would grow and mutate. ;-)

permalink | Cortana


Okay, so you've got your intelligent, adaptive parasite locked up, ready to be studied. Now what, Mr. Smarty Pants?

Matt Motea ( writes:

...I also don't see how they were studied, or where they were studied from, and unless the Forerunners were/are(hmmm...) immune to the Flood, it would be, er, fatal to observe them properly.

Good point. We know, for instance that the Sentinels have some weaponry (of a dubious effectiveness), but perhaps they performed other functions? Is there any evidence on 343 Guilty Spark (or elsewhere) that there are any other automated units that might have been used for the observation and study of the Flood?

permalink | The Flood


So, the Halo kills the Flood's food when it is activated, but how resilient are the Flood themselves? A faithful observer wonders the same thing.

Joseph Holewka ( writes:

...Is it also possible that the explosion on Halo killed all of the Flood?

If one had read the Vang books, as one has been admonished to many times by now, one might suggest that the ranger form of the species in those books could survive for unbelievably long times in deep space or encased in a planetary crust. As much as we go on about it, however, the Flood are not the Vang (inspired by the Vang, definitely). But can our Flood survive the vaccuum of space? Time will tell. ;-)

permalink | The Flood


If it doesn't say Aztec on the rocks, it isn't Aztec in the rocks...

Ian C. Jefferys ( writes:

Throughout FOR, it refers to many objects as being "Aztec-looking." From the symbols on the rock retrieved by the MC on Sigma Octanus to the architecture of some ruins found on the same planet to navigation symbols seen on Covenant ships, the description of being Aztec-looking in either design or language is used often. At the end of FOR, Cortana discovers that the symbols and patterns on the rock from Sigma Octanus, when looked at a certain way, resemble star charts. She plotted a course for the autumn that eventually led them to Halo using this cart. She did however, "account for thousands of years of stellar drift" to get a match. Simple math: 2552 (date Halo:CE takes place) - 1000 (a few thousand years taken to mean 1000-3000 years) = 1552 In 1552 (or just in the 1500s) the Aztec civilization was at its height, and then was destroyed by the Spanish explorer/conqueror Cortez. It is now my belief that the Aztecs were somehow involved with the Forerunner, either as a seeded race or something else. Unlike most rash theories, to my knowledge, there is no contradicting evidence to this theory. Also, if we accept that the forerunner were around 1000 years before game time (500 years before now) then it is easy to imagine them being around at the time of Halo CE as well as Halo 2. I cant remember where, but I do remember Bungie hinting somewhere that the Forerunner will be revealed, or at least their presence known in Halo 2. just some food for thought... red meat in my opinion...

Very nicely put. Of course, Bungie has always been interested in Central American culture, but it'll be especially interesting to see how this pans out in Halo 2.

permalink | Rampant Speculation


January 20, 2003

Are we all eagerly awaiting the upcoming Halo novel?

Are there still great new insights into the Halo story being revealed?

Is the HSP mailbag still taking up the better part of my hard drive?

Though all may be answered with a resounding 'Yes', a recent post on the forum has emphasized the second, and put forth some very astute research and observations in a nice, discussable bundle.

barkbat writes:

Official Halo backstory:
'Now the name of the gas giant is Threshold... whoops... the name of the moon is Basis, and right in the middle between this big-ass gas giant and this little tiny moon is this foreign object (halo).'

The 'whoops' means threshold is important. Janus is the god of thresholds. quotes:
'Janus was represented with two faces, originally one face was bearded while the other was not (probably a symbol of the sun and the moon).'

This rings bells what with halo positioned between a moon and a sun. The following is Janus's story - brackets are me speculating.

'Janus, as the first king of Latium, brought the people a time of peace and welfare; the Golden Age. He introduced money, cultivation of the fields, and the laws. After his death he was deified (forerunner) and became the protector of Rome (galaxy). When Romulus and his associates stole the Sabine Virgins, the Sabines attacked the city. The daughter (Cortana) of one of the guards on the Capitolian Hill betrayed her fellow countrymen and guided the enemy into the city (earth). They attempted to climb the hill but Janus made a hot spring erupt from the ground (used halo), and the would-be attackers fled from the city (covenant fucked). Ever since, the gates of his temple were kept open in times of war so the god would be ready to intervene when necessary. In times of peace the gates were closed.'

Janus appears to symbolise the Forerunner, Halo the 'threshold' door symbol tied to his diefication.

Other similarities
Covenant elites appear to scream 'Romulon'(Romulous?) in-game when they see you - could this stealing of virgins be an analogy to why the covenant have waged war on humanity? If the Sabines are Covenant, and Rome the city earth, then could cortana not be the traitor, explaining earths desolate state, the cryptic and dark Cortana poems that started all this, and all the other tenuous evidence that Cortana is a bit naughty deep down?

'His (Janus) most famous sanctuary was a portal on the Forum Romanum through which the Roman legionaries went to war. He also had a temple on the Forum Olitorium, and in the first century another temple was built on the Forum of Nerva.'

This might imply there are three Halo's.

CARNA: A nymph who lived at the site where in later times the city of Rome would be built. The god Janus fell in love with her and gave her power over door-handles.

If Halo is the door, the index is the door handle, and CORTANA (v.similar to CARNA) does indeed gain control of the metaphorical door handle.

Interesting no?

Thresholds, founts, and shifty A.I.'s; There's a lot of metaphorical meat here and there is sure to be more in the discussion to follow. Again, this is the type of well conceived proposal that we love here at the HSP :)

Head on over to the forum to discuss and refine...

permalink | Halo Installations


January 19, 2003

I return at last! After a long (Long? Ha!) hiatus during which I triumphed over the Mongol hordes, put down an uprising of Highlander Shoats (a shoat is a weasel, you know), read Ulysses, and laid waste to an entire Covenant armada, I finally decided to root through some of the recent submissions piling in my inbox. First up:

Ken ( writes:

I don't know why, but there is one thing about the book that has always bothered me. According to the beginning of the novel, John (Spartan 117) was born in 2511. When the fall of Reach happens in 2552, that would make the Master Chief 41 years old. . .don't you think that would be a little over the hill for a super marine? Rather, the end of the timeline should be in 2542, putting the Master Chief at a healthy 31--considering late in the novel that John reflects on how Dr. Halsey recruited him 25 years prior. 2517 plus 25 would be 2542, not 2552. Can anyone say "reprint"??? Just an observation. . .the book still rocks. Thanks.

While it did strike me as a bit odd for the Master Chief to be over forty the first time I read The Fall of Reach, it really makes a fair amount of sense. For example, almost all modern military pilots are in their mid-to-late thirties (contrary to what Top Gun might make you think), both because of the lengthy training required to operate a jet aircraft, and because they are officers, not enlisted men, and it takes time to work your way up to an officer's position.

Now, the Master Chief is neither a fighter pilot nor an officer. He is, however, both an operator of a very complex battle system, rather like a combat aircraft, and a commander of an elite, very important combat platoon. Maturity and wisdom are required of him, and both of these are generally acquired through age and experience.

Also, men we might today consider to be far too old for ground combat are almost ubiquitous in legend and history, especially in many of the military engagements thematic to Bungie's stories. Roland was at least forty; Miltiades, the Greek general at the front ranks of the Athenian army at Marathon, was exactly sixty at the time; and, specifically to Halo, Leonidas, King of Sparta and leader of the three hundred Spartan heavy infantry to hold the pass at Thermopylae, was fifty five.

However, in my inquires into the Battle of Thermopylae, I have found a very interesting parallel. Dienekes, whom Herodotus claimed to be the chief hero of Thermopylae, was the very same age as the Master Chief, forty one, when he died defending the pass against the Persians. He, like John-117, was not an officer but a platoon leader. In fact, it was Dienekes whose famous quotation is often used to refer to Thermopylae: When told that the Persians had archers so numerous that their arrows would block out the sun, Dienekes replied, "Good. Then we shall have our battle in the shade."

Quandries indeed. Perhaps some digging into this Dienekes character is in order.

permalink | The Master Chief

-Ape Man

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