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The Halo Story

News Archive

February 28, 2002

Could the Flood have been a part of the Forerunner? We again revisit this quote from 343 Guilty Spark:

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

Jehkoh ( writes:

The SURVIVAL part may be intended for the Forerunner. Maybe the Forerunner were dying out and needed to reproduce quickly as to ensure their cotinuing existence. To do so, the Forerunner may have used the Flood as a gene pool, taking the REPRODUCTIVE gene (asexual one at that) and implanted it into their own biogenetic reproductive organs/systems/ rest of body, etc. Maybe after that they moved on either due to over population or just to colonize new galazies. Maybe something went horribly wrong in their genetic code and ended up wiping themselves out due to that Flood gene, completely backfiring. The Flood are a bacteria (as stated in manuals, guides, almost anything having to do with Halo) so they can be used to harbor and grow genes, unlike a virus.

Of all of Halo's conundrums, this remains one of the most perplexing: Why did the Forerunner preserve the Flood, yet ensure the potential to destroy the Flood's food source at will? What good are the Flood?

permalink | The Flood


February 26, 2002

The Evolution of the Hunter Species, part 2.

Simon Graham ( writes:

If you watch the two Hunters that are in the security control building, you see the pace around, stand up to their full 12 feet, and then hunch back down. Right after, their spines vibrate and shake around a bit. Are they just stretching their spines because they're bored, or is this some kind of internal radar device?

Or are they, in fact, weapons? One would think, however, that plasma weapons and external armor would eliminate the necessity for both offensive and defensive appendages, unless it was only recently, evolutionarily speaking, that the Hunters began using armor and weapons. Of course, the spikes could just be there for show... or maybe for mating purposes! Eww...

permalink |


The Evolution of the Hunter Species, part 1.

Simon Graham ( writes:

...the Hunters and Elites are wearing armor right? I mean, that isn't supposed to be an insectoid exoskeleton.

Could be. Stranger things exist here, on our own world. ;-)

permalink | The Covenant

On the subject of the Forerunner, the Flood, and the Covenant:

The Forerunner(s), being an incredibly advanced species, did not fear the Flood enough to destroy them, and instead kept them contained within Halo for study. They, of course left Halo, to ensue greater archeological discoveries elsewhere. The Covenant found Halo and studied it, finding deep religious significance in it. As Cortana said, "The control room seems to be located in some sort of temple, or shrine." The Covenant revered the long since gone Forerunner(s) because of the incredible advancement of Halo. They dug deeper inside to see if they could find more religious leavings of the Forerunner(s). They instead found the Flood. The symbols on the walls of the building in 343 Guilty Spark are the same as the ones on the Covenant's vehicles, as well as on the Elites backs. (This I have only heard of and have not yet found to be true myself) I assume that this is not because the Covenant are the descendants of the Forerunner(s), but because they revere them. A Forerunner symbol on an Elite's back would be the same as the American flag on the marines shoulders, by my estimation. The only reason the some of the Covenant technologies are similar to the Forerunner(s), such as the Library elevators and the Shade guns, are because the Covenant emulated the Forerunner(s).

permalink | The Forerunner

And he goes on with a second possible theory on the roots of the Halo Story.

My only other theory of Halo history, (which is not as sound) is that The Forerunner(s), created the Flood, sealed them inside Halo, and left symbols and information for the Covenant to find. That is, assuming that the Forerunner(s) knew of the Covenant's religious beliefs. The Covenant were meant to open the door, releasing the flood, as a test of either the Flood or Covenant's ability as a species. Seeing how destructive they were, the Forerunner(s) wished to destroy the Flood, as a precaution for possible disaster. The whole Covenant-Human war wasn't expected, and not part of the Forerunner plan. Although, when the Forerunner(s) indestructible, living, speaking, live video camera 343 Guilty Spark found the Master Chief, the Forerunner(s) chose him to be a prime subject for activating Halo. This is all, of course, under the rash assumption that the Forerunner(s) weren't really gone, just watching everything happen through Guilty Spark.

Where are the Forerunner, anyway?

permalink | The Forerunner


In response to some earlier speculations about Cortana's possible rampancy, jds makes a good point.

jds ( writes:

According to "The Fall of Reach," the life-span of "smart" AIs is seven years. The AIs don't die, rather they get to a point where they just spend all of their time thinking.

She is in no way just a ship's AI. She has no restrictions placed on her personality. No inhibitions when it comes to speaking her mind. She has only one mission: Help John, which she is naturally inclined to do. Remeber, she was created from Dr. Halsey's cloned brain.

So, what would Cortana rebel against?

What, indeed.

permalink | Cortana


mthorne ( writes:

Obviously, there have been some substantial hints that Cortana was, or became, rampant during the events of Halo. The Cortana Letters, and the line in the Jason Jones interview "Do we know anyone who can work magic in fleet engagements against odds like that?" would be the best candidates.

If the rules of rampancy follow from what was given in the Marathon trilogy, then AIs "need a planetary sized network of computers in order to grow", and that when capable of doing so, rampant systems "expand with exponential vivacity." So if Cortana became rampant at any point, it was most likely when she was connected to the Halo's control room. But this raises a very interesting question: Why did she voluntarily leave?

Cortana was left alone in the Halo's systems for some time while the Master Chief was sent to prevent the release of the Flood. If she became rampant during this time, she would have expanded rapidly, far exceeding the capacity of the storage medium she lives on in the Master Chiefs suit. Cutting herself back down to her original size for travel again would have meant throwing away huge portions of her new self, almost certainly not a pleasant experience. From what we know of rampancy in Marathon, rampant AIs generally fight to the death rather than allow their growth to be limited, and this is certainly not the route Cortana takes.

The obvious objection is that Cortana needed to abandon the Halo since it was going to be destroyed, and so losing most of her newfound power would be preferable to suicide. But since Cortana herself precipitated the destruction of the Halo, this doesn't hold up. A truly rampant AI would be more likely to allow the Halo to be activated, or at least allow the Flood to escape, than voluntarily reduce their size and destroy the largest available computer network. Perhaps Cortana's choice reflects the fact that she is based directly on a human brain, and so has human values that supercede even her own desire for growth.

So either Cortana did not become rampant in the Marathon sense when she was connected to Halo, or else she exhibited a remarkable degree of self control, since we never notice anything like pain or even regret when the Chief removes her from the control room at the beginning of Two Betrayals. Personally, I favor the theory that Cortana did not become rampant.

permalink | Cortana


Origins of Halo: part 28

Matt Wright ( writes:

I looked up the word 'fortress'; it means something used for military purposes only, permanently garrisoned. A fortress is used to create a hold in an area that presumably isn't under control yet. in the early days of the Forerunner, maybe they came into our galaxy and used the halos to gain a foothold, much like Spain, France, and England created fortresses in the New World, and area that was not under their control (yet). Many people (including me) have assumed that the Forerunner were not expecting biological lifeforms to be on Halo. This may not be entirely true, since Covenant and Human forces could battle away happily on the surface until the flood were released. Perhaps there were restricted areas that only robots were allowed past, unless there was a breech of security. The fortress world would have been self- supporting, as some fortresses in our history have contained towns or living quarters, food supplies, etc. This might explain the similarities between earth and halo, though it seems that the Covenant experience no adverse effects due to the environment, so maybe their home worlds are the same or similar to earth. So, perhaps the forerunner kept the Flood locked up, and lived their merry lives on the surface trying to gain control of the galaxy. History has a way of getting lost, though, so perhaps once the galaxy was conquered, or in the end wiped clean by the halo's, the Forerunner left the Halo's and inhabited the galaxy as they saw fit. So, perhaps the Forerunner, in some form, are the Covenant now.

Why release the Flood? You can destroy anything and everything in the galaxy anyway. Only if you wanted to inflict pain would you do that.

But as a deterrent, the threat of releasing the Flood might be useful...

permalink | Halo Installations


In another HBO forum post, our own Louis Wu (*zap* Ow!) makes a cryptic comment that perhaps bears looking into.

Louis Wu ( writes:

I'm actually not making any claims here. I'm just posting a line from a book I finished recently. The book was called 'The War for Eternity', and was written by Christopher Rowley. Rowley also wrote 'Starhammer' and a couple of books about a race called the Vang. (You can see some notes about those here.) It's just a line. That's all.


-Christopher Rowley, The War for Eternity, p.297

In the Bungie universe, that's never "all"... ;-)

permalink |


In an HBO forum post, El B makes a good point about fuel. The thread starts here, and El B's comment is here.

El Bastard™ ( writes:

Except that as one of the original vehicles, BUNGiE has had 4 years or so to have a viable explanation for a high-tech power source for the Pelican...

$50 says that they have a viable explanation, and it's swankτ.

permalink | UNSC Forces


Anthony dredges up an interesting quote.

Anthony DiFoggio ( writes:

...there is VERY good proof that the "Halo" is not alone, and is merely one of many. Tis proof would be the interview with Jason Jones on the Truth and Reconciliation site, where he made many "slips," one being in the question about if the entire covie fleet followed you from Reach. "...believing instead that the Covenant followed the Pillar of Autumn because they had already found the Alpha Halo and wanted to prevent the humans from finding it as well..." Notice how he refered to Halo as "the Alpha Halo." what about the Beta Halo? or Gamma?

The term "Alpha" would also seem to indicate that ours is the primary Halo. Besides housing the Flood, is there anything else about our Halo that we ought to know?

permalink | Halo Installations


Origins of Halo: part 21

craZy ( writes:

The Forerunner created the Halos in order to store away the Flood and keep the universe safe. But, without a security system of any type, a younger race found a Halo, got on it, and foolishly releashed the Flood. The Forerunner, not having realised this until the Flood were too spread out to control, activated the Halos.

To make double sure that that sort of thing didn't happen again, the Forerunner created the Covenant. A sort of guard-dog of the Halos. The Forerunner then gave the Covenant advanced technology and built their instructions into the Covenant's religion.

But the religion/rules that were designed to protect the Halos, turned bad. Over time, they degraded and "Protect the Halos from intruders" turned into "Kill all who could possibly go to the Halos" or some such 'death to all' philosophy.

That would explain the Forerunner symbology that some of the Covenant wear. Hmm...

permalink | Halo Installations


Well, I hear Louis warming up the cattle prods out in the shed, so I'd better get on with some updating.

Gordon Liu returns with some thoughtful observations about an ersatz nose.

Gordon Liu ( writes:

We all know that the hunter's orange spot on back is the most vunerable part of a hunter. But why would the hunter leave that spot open? Why don't they cover it with armor? Why? We don't know, but it must mean they need that orange part to be revealed to air. I looked at these two screen shots:

Here and here.

I looked at these closely and I saw no nose. That means they must have a different part of their body for air. That is why I say that orange part of their body is for air(kind of like gills). And that is why it hurts hunters so much when you shoot that part of the body.

permalink | The Covenant


February 17, 2002

While doing a little cleaning yesterday, I discovered a whole pile of mail that had apparently slipped down behind the big desk in the Halo Story page den. Peruse away.

Matt Wright ( writes:

I haven't really read into all the Marathon similarities, but I've been reading some of the news archives- even the insane and bizarre ones. But then, the Halo story is a little bizarre. One race [Forerunner] preserves alive a potential threat [Flood], while another [Covenant] is hell-bent on destroying a potential threat [Humans].
For starters, some speculation about the Covenant: As far as technology goes, they seem to be closer to the Forerunner then Humans. They use plasma weapons, while Humans are still in the ballistic stage of weaponry. Their machines also seem to harness energy in a way similar to the Forerunner. On AotCR, that Tank-like thing shoots a glob of something that looks similar to the energy beams of level Halo.
War in the name of God is not a new thing, and apparently the universe is not big enough for both Covenant and Humans. Religions are often self serving, so something deep down drives the Covenant to irradicate Humans. Are they in a quest to claim back what they lost when they had to take measures to contain the Flood? Or do they have a grudge against Humans because of a past experience? One thing is for sure- the Covenant know more about the Forerunner then the Humans. The markings found on Covenant and Halo structures suggests they have been around Halo long enough to either make their mark, or be influenced by it.

Do the Covenant, in fact, worship the Forerunner?

permalink | The Covenant

And, in regards to the Forerunner and their tech: amongst other things, perhaps the Sentinels were never designed to counter anything above Infection forms and the gradual dissolution of the Forerunner empire

343 Guilty Spark seems surprised that the ballistics-type human weapons (most noteably the shotgun) are so effective against the Flood. Someone else noted that the Energy-beam weapons used by the sentinels are excellent against the small spores of the flood, but very weak against the mature Flood warriors. This perhaps indicates that the biological lifeforms 343 GS talks about were never intended to be on the Halo. Since this intallation was a research facility, as well as a weapon, perhaps the Forerunner were not biological lifeforms, and therefore had not anticipated needing a defense mechanism to destroy mutated Flood forms. This also might disprove the unsatisfactory (in my book) feeling that the Forerunner did not care to take their chances fighting and commited suicide (If this was, in fact, the case then the Forerunner were definitly not Human).

What they left behind is impressive. Their structures are intact after countless years, and the Halos are fulfilling their purpose in their absence. Reminds me of the Roman empire, who grew to be greater and stronger then any other nation up to that point, but gradually died over centuries, never really being conquered. Even the powers that arose from europe- Spain, France, England - all had roots in that empire. I think that this is what happened to the Forerunner.

It is obvious that whatever the capabilities of Halo are, whatever is actually ON Halo when it goes remains alive. 343 GS quite clearly indicates the Halos have been used before and evidently the 'Reclaimer' survived the destruction to ask him if he would do it again, and the Flood also survived. Where did they go? Perhaps their empire collapsed- as mentioned above- dealing with a now empy galaxy, leaving colonies behind, with new cultures arising from each Halo. From this seperation may have arisen the seperate species that now make up the Covenant. After many years, clues, may have caused them to stumble onto Halo. I also like the theory that the Forerunner created the Covenant, with their strict religious rules (the control of halo is in a shrine of some sort), and highly advanced genetic strains. The Covenant, being genetically engineered by the Forerunner, could have been more powerful, expecially together, then anyone imagined, and could have struck with a deadliness only matched by the Flood.

More and more, these conundrums keep popping up. Why not just destroy the Flood outright? Why would the Forerunner have assumed that no biological creatures would ever be on the Halo? Hmm...

permalink | The Forerunner

And, finally, Halo itself:

343 GS seems to recognize MC and starts calling him the 'Reclaimer'. GS states that the other Halo's would follow suit, but it seems the process needed to be started by this 'Reclaimer'. Perhaps the suit MC wears is based on Forerunner technology, stolen from the Coventant, who have been studying / worshiping? the Forerunner for who knows how long.
343 GS says Halo(s) was used before, yet the flood still live, meaning that something about the Halo is keeping them alive. Perhaps the Forerunner were good enough to provide a feeding / norishment process. In their absence, though maybe the Flood are actually driving Halo. Enter the 343 GS quote that the purpose of Halo was 'something their race [Forerunner or Flood?] depended on'. And 343 GS seems a little off his rocker himself sometimes, getting notions of being a wiley genius ("Hmmm, thats a good idea" "I'm a genius").
There is a note also about the strange weather patterns, that seem to contradict the nature of the controlled environment Halo is supposed to be. And if the Flood can control beings like they did Keyes, who knows where else they could be? Could they be in control of the Halo?
The question of why the Flood were never destroyed is still a mystery, but when I read the Fall of Reach timeline in the part where Humans nuked a Covenant ship, I got a strange feeling. What if the Forerunner were a group of nations, and the Flood were their weapon. The Cold war between US and USSR was similar. Nukes were only used as a threat. Perhaps the Flood, and maybe the Halo's destructive power, was a threat that kept each nation from invading the other.

Very interesting possibilty. It would explain the need to keep the Flood alive, yet be able to "neutralize" them by destroying their food source. If so, then it would seem that there would need to be some sort of a counterpart to the "Reclaimer", who would release the Flood rather than set off the Halo. Hmm...

permalink | The Flood


In regards to the Covenant "Plasma" technology, David Marsh sends this in.

David Marsh ( writes:

It's very hard to store plasma by itself, because of the tremendous power levels it takes to create a magnetic bottle so that it doesn't come into contact with any of the gun, thereby vaporizing it. Therefore, it wouldn't be practical for the guns to work by storing plasma and releasing it when needed.

I was pondering this, and when I saw the front of a plasma gun yesterday, it all came together. There are two colored metal plates on the two prongs of both guns, blue for the rifle and green for the pistol. They reminded me very much of electrodes, and I thought that it would be much more efficient to have a battery in the gun rather than plasma. For any uninformed readers, plasma is ionized gas; that is, gas that has had many electrons knocked out of the atoms within it, at least one electron per atom. Heat is a measure of kinetic energy, or of the movement of particles, mass of particles and number of particles combined. When you rip electrons from an atom, you create at least twice the number of particles, so the temperature increases dramatically, which is why plasma is so deadly. One of the easiest ways to make plasma is to run a large current of electricity through a gas, and use the surrounding gas as ammunition. Maybe the guns run a large amount of electricity through the air and turn it to plasma, then shoot it forward via a magnet behind the electrodes. If the plasma guns that the covenant use do in fact run electricity between the electrodes, it would explain much of the gun's behaviors, such as overheating. If the gun stored plasma and released it, it would not heat up the gun, but maybe actually cool it down. However, a current of electricity between two electrodes makes the electrodes very hot. Therefore, it seems that the plasma guns actually run off of electricity, not plasma.

Much discussion of this type took place back in the early Marathon days, remember? Like from an old dream? ;-)

permalink | Rampant Speculation


The first long-lost Tursas submission, giving us his thoughts on scripture influences in Halo.

Tursas ( writes:

...However, 1:17 is only one of two possible scripture references (excluding the 117 verse). The other is 11:7. The lone 7 would be of greater significance to those familiar to Bungie. Again, only two books written by John have a verse 11:7. St. John 11:7 is nothing special. Revelation 11:7 is something much more substantial. In fact, verses 5 through 9 (and possibly 10, if you discount the last partial sentence) can be interpreted as referring to the flood.

5. And if any man will hurt them,
fire proceedeth out of their mouth,
and devoureth their enemies: and if
any man will hurt them, he must in
this manner be killed.

6. These have power to shut heaven,
that it rain not in the days of their
prophecy: and have power over
the waters to turn them to blood, and
to smite the earth with plagues,
as often as they will.

7. And when they shall have finished
their testimony, the beast that
ascendeth out of the bottomless pit
shall make war against them, and
shall overcome them, and kill them.

8. And their dead bodies shall lie in
the street of the great city, which
spiritually is called Sodom and
Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

9. And they of the people and
kindreds and tongues and nations shall
see their bodies three days and
an half, and shall not suffer their
dead bodies to be put in graves.

10. And they that dwell upon the
earth shall rejoice over them, and
make merry, and shall send gifts one
to another; because these two
prophets tormented them that dwelt
on the earth.

(The rest is all about how at the end of the 3.5 days the two prophets are brought back to life and go to heaven and stuff.)

Why the flood? Verse 5 clearly indicates that anybody who gets too close to one of the flood's walking bombs will pay the price not only with death, but with assimilation of the body. Verse 6 clearly delineates how the flood are able to change the atmosphere. Verses 7 and 8 speaks of some great individual or group who come(s) to lay waste to the flood in a very short amount of time and leave(s) their rotting corpses to waste away on the ground. Verses 9 and 10 speak of containment protocol (don't touch it Jimmy, you don't know where it's been) and the celebration that takes place after the flood is destroyed.

The name John-117 would indicate that the Master Chief himself commits the floodicide, just because of the positioning of the verse in the text.

Simple enough. Certainly, this is a great way to foreshadow the end result.

Revelations sure doesn't mince words, eh? :-)

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Jordan Edell writes with a theory on the purpose of the blue beams mentioned earlier.

Jordan Edell ( writes:

Atmosphere control.

While reading through the transcript of the Library, this comment caught my attention:

"Your environment suit should serve you well when the Flood begins to alter the atmosphere, you are a good planner."

How exactly would they accomplish this and why? Perhaps they like it a bit more gloomy but GS is inferring that whatever it becomes it won't be hospitable to unprotected Humans. It may be that like plants, the Flood give off some compound that by virtue of there being so many of them the atmosphere would begin to change. It may also be that they know where the controls for the AC are.

It seems to me that an artificial world as complex as HALO would have built into it a mechanism to control the climate. HALO is basically a zoological research facility and as such (like any zoo here on Earth) it is sub-divided into climatically diverse regions. HALO, it seems is particularly diverse considering all of it's topography fits into a neat equatorial band. In other words there is no meaningful change in latitude from one place to another. All of HALO's regions are an equal distance from the sun. On a sphere (planet Earth) the further North or South you go from the equator the colder it gets, because, among other things, you are physically moving further away from the sun.

So to account for the great differences in climate from one level to another I think there must be something manipulating it. It may or may not be those blue beam shooters. There is a fine line between deciphering the meaning of it all and "hey, let's put some weird buildings that shoot blue lasers into the sky on this level."

It does beg the question though: Why is the environment of HALO so much like Earth and are all the HALO's like this one?

Indeed, why?

permalink | Halo Installations


Craig has some observations about the similarities between Forerunner and Covenant controls.

Craig Hardgrove ( writes:

My method of rampant speculation only involves visuals from the game. I think Bungie has given us a lot to work with if we just pay careful attention to many subtle details of the game.

Control panels on Truth and Reconciliation are same as those on Halo. This is most noted in the Control Room and in the underground complex with the flood. Covenant=Forerunner possibility. The most interesting control panel area on Truth and Reconciliation is an elevated platform above the large flight deck areas that the dropships leave from.

In 343 Guilty Spark, when you are in the underground complex with the flood, I have noticed a few areas (at least one) that consist of an entrance to a square hallway with three locked doors. After the flood have been released, if you go to those areas the doors have been blown off and you can enter the three rooms. These rooms appear to be holding cells for the flood. Also, there is a room in the level with a large glass structure in it, with a control panel similar to that on the Truth and Reconciliation and in the Control Room. When you first encounter the glass structure you notice gross green stuff (flood blood) dripping from the walls (at this point you are below the glass structure). These areas definitely seem like some sort of testing chamber. It also appears to me that the area above where you first enter the locked door and encounter the flood is some kind of observational area for the testing facilities. I say this becaus similar control panels to those in the control and room and on the truth and reconciliation appear there.

Bungie? Subtle details? Nah... ;-)

permalink | The Forerunner

Craig also makes a few religious observations.

On Truth and Reconciliation many Covenant, mainly grunts and jackals, refer to MC as "the devel", and "satan" (I think I've heard that). If this is correct, then it begs questions regarding the nature of the Covenants religious fervor. Do they believe the MC is the devil? Do they believe humans are the devil? Or are they simply stating that we are the devil because they don't like us? If it is the humans they hate, maybe they fear us because we unleashed the flood on halo, which is some sort of sign to them that we are evil. I'd like to hear others comments on this.

It's possible that they hate us because they fear what influence we might someday have on the universe. Or what influence we already have had.

permalink | The Covenant


Rob Miller ( writes:

Just something I noticed while playing through Halo again..In the Library level, 343 Guilty Spark mentions that the Flood are repairing your vessel. Now, I've always taken this to mean that the Flood are repairing the PoA, but, doesn't it seem like the Flood seem more prepared to steal the Truth and Reconciliation? It's in better shape, the Keyes-Flood is on the bridge, and they seem to be more..Er..Possessive, of it. This seems to point more and more towards 343GS thinking of you as a Covenant, which points to the Covenant being Forerunner.

Once again, Who does 343 Guilty Spark think you are?

permalink | Monitors


Mr. Yun wonders about the nature of the Halo itself.

Mr. Yun ( writes:

One thing's for sure: "It's not a barbarian!"

...I thought that it seemed a little heavy...

But seriously, Cortana is obviously stating that Halo doesn't just kill/destroy everything. It's a "surgical" doomsday device, if you will. There more detailed descriptions theorizing how Halo kills, but I thought Cortana's line summed it up well.

permalink | Halo Installations


On the possible Rampancy of Cortana.

Christopher Johnson-Amritt ( writes:

I noticed that Cortana seemed to be a lot more confrontational after she was in Halo's computer system for a while... Could it be that she went rampant while she was in the system? Since she is effectively immortal, and she can control the MC's electronic parts ( I'm guessing, but it would make sense) then what if she wants to take over a ring without the interferance of the Covenant et al...

permalink | Cortana


Halo and Marathon: Inexorable linked, forever struggling to be free from each other...

Tristan Wolfe ( writes:

I read a letter on your page that said a person explored Halo's control room via banshee on the level, "Two Betrayals." I decided two try this out myself, and found a startling revelation. I took the banshee into the control room and flew to the center section, then flew up to the top of the room. Finding nothing, I turned back to go down, and while facing downward, I noticed that halo's control center's walkway is shaped in the form of the Marathon logo!

permalink | Marathon Connections


February 14, 2002

Ryan Hoisington uses his l337 math skills to put the pfh34r into us all.

Ryan Hoisington ( writes:

I was sitting in Calc class the other day listening to the teacher describe how to formulate 3-d shapes, when he got to talking about spheres. For some unknown reason, this bored me (draw your own conclusions) and my mind wandered to Halo and how amusing it was to run around on easy using nothing but melee attack. . .

Anywho to make a long story short, I started drawing spheres when I noticed something. Draw 3 circles with the same radius so that each is touching the other and you get a weird little triangle in the middle. Something made me think about 343 GS and how he said he was the caretaker of installation of 004, sooo that means there's at least 3 other Halos out there. Putting my unused math skills to the test, I wanted to determine what the distance would be between each halo with a radius of about 25,000 light years (the maxium effect radius that GS mentions), but since I figured the forerunner would want to "nuke" ALL of space you couldn't have that little triangle in there. And guessing they're efficient sobs, they wouldn't want to have a bunch of halos clustered around each other.

So what does this mean? It means the closest another Halo can be to the one MC blew up is about 43,300 light years in roughly any direction.

Unfortunatly there's some bad news with that. . .in order to close that gap you have to overlap the radius of effect of the halos. If any habited planets were in that little zone they'd still get fried. Looks like MC has his work cut out for him. . .

Ryan Hoisington

Thanks, Ryan! No better thing to do in ANY class than sit there thinking about Halo, and better yet to put that class to work and figure something like this out.

The next phase of this should be clear: if the distance between Halos is at most 43,000 light years, how many Halos would one need to completely wipe out life in the galaxy? You do the math, and don't forget that we're working in three dimensions here. This will became especially prevelant when considered the galactic core.

Armchair astronomers, start your engines.

permalink | Halo Installations

-Ape Man

More on the Kill Your Television terminal.

Erik ( writes:

Regarding the "Kill Your Television" text,

A couple things that jumped out at me,

1. My guess is that Durandal was the author of the text. The author speaks of being called hundreds of names, and being called a thousand more before the world goes dim. That sounds like something Durandal would claim to me.

2. So, if the text was by Durandal, who was he talking about? Here, I would definitely agree with Daniel, that he is talking to Cortana. It just makes so much sense. One thing I noticed is that the "she" in the text is referred to as "a sword drenched in my blood," and we know Cortana is the name of a sword.

Going on these assumptions, it would seem that Cortana has been around for a long time, at least as long as Durandal. Maybe the garden referred too is the computer where they were both designed. Just a thought. But this leads to the question, why didn't we hear of Cortana at all during the Marathon series? Well, here is my hypothesis. Marathon was the story of Durandal. Halo is the story of Cortana.

Whether this is valid or not, and how it actually works, I do not know. You decide.


This terminal is turning out to be quite the confounded beast, with connections coming out of it like pipes out of factory.

If Marathon is the story of Durandal, and Halo is the story of Cortana...what is the story of Ogier the Swordsmith?

permalink | Marathon Connections

-Ape Man

Sometimes, you just need some humor. Or some gloating.

LucId ( writes:

Run Away

What's so special?

I'll tell you. It's a picture captured at the exact moment that the Pillar of Autumn's fusion core



You too can have the satisfaction of knowing that you made him do that. :)

permalink |

-Ape Man

February 13, 2002

Our own Louis Wu sent in something to the Story page here a little while ago, and I've decided to put it up as a kind of homework assignment for you all. (Stop that groaning in the back row!) Check out this link, then get Starhammer, by Christopher Rowley.

Louis Wu ( writes:

A couple of weeks ago, Jason Jones mentioned 'Starhammer' as an influence. I just finished it...

Your assignment is twofold:

1. Determine the influences, if any, that Bungie has taken from this book.
2. Describe ways that Bungie has elaborated on, or differed from, the storyline in the book, in terms of the game.

Remember, literary influences on video games can be a tricky thing. I want five pages, double-spaced, on my desk by next Wednesday.

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Another shot at the Hunter != Elite theory.

Jonah Friedman ( writes:

People have been speculating on what species of the covenant are connected. Some have said that hunters and elites are similar, but I simply can't see this as being true.

The most compelling evidence for this is blood color. There is not a single animal on earth that do not have red blood (ok, insects, which sorta don't have blood at all). The only two species in halo that have the same color blood are jackals and elites.

These creatures, I believe, are from the same planet, and are related like humans and monkeys:

First, both have purple blood.

Second, both's heads are similar, near identical (look at an elite turned flood's head sometime, its pushed back and kinda hanging behind it, it looks exactly like the jackals.

The only evidence against this is that the elites have two knees on each leg, while the jackels only have one (I think). But they easily could still be from the same planet and related somehow.

The way I see it, different color blood = different evolution of most basic bodily functions (cells energy/oxygen absorbtion, and so on).

Good point. It's also interesting to note that the Jackals don't seem to have a Flood variation in the Game. What's so special about this?

permalink |


In response to a previous submission dealing with the possibility of a biological link between the Hunters and the Elites, David Bergland makes a few good observations.

David Bergland ( writes:

I have to point out a few counter arguments in Allenthar's compairison of the Covenant huters and the Covenant Elites. A quick study of these two images from HTR reveal numerous structural differences that cannot be chalked up to biological modifications:



The first is the Hunter's neck, which extends from the armor in an almost snail like fashion that doesn't seem to enhance their combat preformance. A hunter's legs are not jointed like an elite's, either. The different blood coloration suggests an enhanced circulatory system but once you get past their armor, a hunter is much weaker than an Elite without it's shield. The tendril spikes on the hunters back do not seem like they could in any way enhance a hunter's ablility to perform it's role as a warrior, so I'd be intended to chalk this up to differences in spieces rather than modifications.

Interesting. The hunters might have been enhanced for different reasons than our Master Chief, however. A history of the Covenant would be a particularly useful thing, right about now...

permalink |


February 12, 2002

More on the Marathon terminal connections discussed yesterday.

Thomas Dow, Jr. ( writes:

For those interested, the full text of the "Kill Your Television" terminal mentioned by Daniel (as well as a lot of speculation about it) is available at:

The "original" text is a bit longer, and includes a few parts that aren't in the terminal, including this interesting bit:

"we met once in the garden, at the beginning of the world and unaware of our twin destinies (not the garden of Genesis, but another; forgotten, untended and now choked with weeds, unvisited except for ourselves)."

Sounds a bit like [a] Halo, ne?

Tom Dow, Jr.

Indeed it does. Methinks it's time for a full-scale assault on the Marathon's Story Page; an assault with fine-tooth combs. It's time to sift.

permalink | Marathon Connections

-Ape Man

February 11, 2002

Sentinels: Poorly Designed Hardware, or Overtaxed Guardians of Virtue? You be the Judge!

Jonas ( writes:

We all know the sentinels are pushovers. They totally suck at fighting the flood, which is what they were, by all rights, designed to do by the forerunners, who were supposed to be almost godlike in thier technological sophistication. This seems to be a contradiction, but it can be explained: There were not supposed to be humans/covenent on halo. The flood infection forms, the only kind there were supposed to be, the sentinels are well suited to take out, especially becuase they can't assimilate a machine. The reason they do so badly is that they simply weren't made to fight a flood warior, I mean, who could have concieved that some other race would land on halo?

Good point.

permalink | The Flood


Luke sends in an observation on the possibility of a genetic link between the Elite and the Hunters. He actually sent it in once before, but, ah, the dog ate it. Yeah.

Keep sending stuff in!

Luke S. (Allenthar) ( writes:

I almost think of the Hunters and the Elites in the same terms as the Master Chief and the Marines. The Hunters could simply be genetically and mechanically enhanced members of the Elite species. With all the genetic mosifications, armor and attachments covering up all easily visible similarities, they could be mistaken for a completely different species. But, try to look at the Master Chief from an alien point of view and as if you had only seen the basic Marine before. He could easily be mistaken for a different species than the rest of us. Much larger, stronger faster, and his armor obscures most of the features that could identify him as human. Perhaps, the Hunters are the Elite's ideals in intimidation and strength, paralleling our view of the Master Chief as the epitome of human strength, but with an alien perspective. The only thing I can't account for here is the difference in blood color, but there is definitely much more similarity between the Hunters and the Elites, than between them and any of the other Covenant species.

We know that the Covenant comprise "different" races, but just how they relate to one another is still to be discovered.

permalink | The Covenant


Ryan Mears ( writes:

I have read several posts talking about the intro for "Two Betrayals". In it, they mention 343 GS's remark of "Which means any lifeform with sufficient biomass is a potential factor" (don't persecute me if I don't get it down to the letter). Anyway, I believe that 343 actually says potential VECTOR, as in a disease carrier (i.e. a mosquito is a vector for malaria.). So does this mean the flood is classified as a disease instead of a sentient life-form?

So, is it "factor" or "vector"? Let us know what you think!

permalink | The Flood


It's almost as if Marathon fans are storming the Halo Story Page castle-armed with big pointy teeth. Those connections just keep rolling in. Bring 'em on. :)

Bill Gililand ( writes:


I just finished reading Fall of Reach, and one thing struck me that I hadn't seen mentioned anywhere. The relevant passages are near the end of the last chapter.

The arrival at the Halo system was indeed the result of a blind jump. But it WASN'T a random jump. Cortana had, without telling anyone else, deciphered the meaning of the crystal that the MC recovered from Cote d'Azur, realized it was probably an ancient navigational map, and deliberately took the Pillar of Autumn there. The outcome was very favorable to humanity, since the Covenant armada was destroyed, but Cortana precipitated the entire encounter at Halo.

Sound familiar? This is strikes me as very analagous to how Durandal, on his own volition, summoned the Pfhor to Tau Ceti. In doing so he undoubtedly saved humanity -- stealing Pfhor technology allowed Earth to survive. But he also got a ship of his own to tool around in. Cortana went to the Halo system in order to find out more about the Forerunner, not just to follow the Cole protocol -- in doing so, she got to spend hours immersed in the Forerunner's computer. Who knows what technological information she harvested in there?

Interesting to wonder whether Cortana is always on our side. After all...would you trust this face?

permalink | Cortana

-Ape Man

More on the Master Chief and the Marathon cyborg. Keep it coming.

Gustav SondΘn ( writes:

I just happened to notice a small quote from Fall of Reach: "He displays an odd sort of attitude for a creation of the military: he does not glorify his actions, he merely does what he has to do. He does not hate his enemy; he kills them because he knows it is his duty to kill them. "It wasn't [the Chief's] job to make things suffer - he was just here to win battles. Whatever it took."

This is hardly breaking news i know, but thats state of mind is very similar to that of the cyborg in Marathon. He never objects to the orders either of the AI's give , even though he know they work against each other some times. That always seemed a bit odd to me, the side swapping. I was wondering, could this be something the cyborgs have been programed to do? Maybe an implant that suppress any moral objections if the order is given from an authorized source(such as Marathon AI's).

It would hardly be surprising if this is the case. You wouldn't want your battleroid having second thoughts. The real reason i'm sending this is because in that quote it sounds as if it was in the Chief's nature to follow orders no matter the consequences. I don't think that's the case. I think he's been programmed to do so. Or more correctly, i think the cyborg in marathon has and i also think they are of the same kind.

I think it's important to note that while the Chief always follows orders, he isn't always happy about it; after his Spartans nuke Cote D'Az?r to the bedrock, he spends much time devoted to the moral quandries caused by such an event. Also, after the fall of Reach, the Master Chief goes into a sort of regession, having lost all of his Spartans. The Master Chief tries to win, in the most glorious, pyrric sort of way, but he certainly harbors moral discontentment afterwards.

That said, note that the Master Chief never seems to feel sorry for his enemies. He kills the Covenant and thinks not much of it, just as the Marathon cyborg waded through the ranks of Pfhor garrisons, never batting an eyelash at the fact that he was a mass murderer. Or, perhaps he did. The Electric Sheep levels, anyone? If that's not the closest thing to the cyborg's nightmares, I don't know what is.

Such are the dreams of machines....

permalink | Marathon Connections

-Ape Man

Hot on the heels of Mr Yun, One Man Riot sends in this bit about symbols.

One Man Riot ( writes:

What we know: The same(?) sybols appear on the elites backs as the ones that are on the walls. The forerunners built halo.

All the structures in halo are beautifully constructed. Yet all the symbols that are on the walls seem to be scrawled on there in a very graffiti-ish manner. My theory is that the elites wrote these symbols on the walls in their own language for whatever reason. I guess the meaning of the symbols would pretty much help a lot of us out. Maybe they are trying to psych us out. Picture it. Your walking along a dark, silent hallway you see a wierd tribal marking on the wall. The elites could just ambush you and kill you without you ever knowing it. But by putting these symbols on the walls its like them telling you that they are there but you cant see them. Imagine knowing you might die at any second. Now i am reaching a little bit. Oh well just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in. Thanks for listening to my ranting. We'll figure this out sometime I'm sure.

One Man Riot

That the markings might serve some sort of intimidation purpose is interesting. Who knows what the Covenant might think of as a threat?

permalink | The Covenant

-Ape Man

Mr Yun strikes again...with a vengeance.

Mr Yun writes:

On why MC doesn't get infected by The Flood:

I have to agree with Robert Boggs, the Flood need to first penetrate MC's suit. Also if you check out the storyboards on the "Truth & Reconciliation" site, they depict a marine successfully removing an Infection Form Flood from another marine. Unfortunately it also pulls out the marines intestines with it!

Assuming that storyboard was accurate (maybe cut for being too gory, hard to render, or cut for length)... This sheds some light on how they infect. In seconds they can penetrate body tissue using their tentacles and entangle themselves with internal organs. MC's MJOLNIR armor would make it difficult to get at his skin quickly.

My guess is that if you could "leave the camera on" long enough after MC would see Flood penetrate his suit and infect him.

Makes sense to me.

permalink |

Covenant ain't Forerunner; I bet they never done even seen one!

On the "Symbols" on the walls of Halo:

Many people have been using these symbols as proof linking Forerunner to Covenant.

I'm not the first to suggest this, but I feel that the symbols are clearly not part of Halo and were drawn by the Covenant, either religiously or as warnings or signs.

Another explanation may be that the Covenant adopted the Forerunner symbols, after all they do worship them (or at least the structures they built). e.g.: If I wear a cross around my neck, it doesn't mean that I am Jesus.

-Mr Yun

Harsh. :)

He does bring up a valid point, however; it's entirely possible that the Covenant have never even met the Forerunner, but have found these massive ring constructs scattered about the galaxy. Maybe it's just me, but that would certainly inspire at least some sort of reverence for the Forerunner.

permalink | The Covenant

-Ape Man

Damn you Qwest...damn you to hell. 'Twould seem that our not-so-friendly phone company hacked through my DSL line with a shovel or other sort of sharp implement-for the third time, and the second time this year. Anyway. Sorry for my lack of presence-not that you missed me much, as mnemesis has been doing an amazing job of keeping the page running all by himself. Everyone, give him a round of applause. Hurrah!

Daniel Barbour ( writes:

Howdy folk,

I had resolved not to become involved in story speculation but, after considering this piece of text I thought it important enough to break that pseudo promise. The text I am considering is from Marathon 2 on the level "Kill Your Television". It will be well known to any "Marathon scholars". (I have already taken the liberty of spacing out the words and replacing most of the odd characters. [Not realizing at the time that there were more complete versions available :P ])

Kill Your Television (Terminal 1: 2nd message)

ugv0-i6tck[24 2h26u njk==tp12t1

i have been roland beowulf achilles gilgamesh i have been called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the world goes
dim and cold i am hero

she has been nameless since our birth
a constant adversary caring for nothing but my ruin
a sword drenched in my blood
forever my greatest and only love she is the dark one the enemy and lover without
whom my very existence would be pathetic and vulgar our relationship is complex and perhaps eternal

we met once in the garden at the beginning of the world and unaware of our twin destinies we matched stares across a d;yfountain and
i recall her smiling at me before she devoured the lawn and trees with a translucent blue flame and tore flagstones from the
path and hurled them into the sky screaming my sins
i powder a granite monument in a soundless flash showering the grass with molten drops of its goldinFay
sending smoking chips of stone skipping into the fog she splinters an ancient oak with a force that
takes my breath and hurls me to the ground she lea%!


gv0-i6tck[24 2h26u njk==tp12t1

There has been a lot of debate in years gone by as to whether the author was Durandal, you the cyborg, or someone else entirely. I do not intend (nor could I) solve the mystery now, but I will submit the idea that our friend John-117/Master Chief and the Security Officer from Marathon are one and the same individual. I am still holding on, waiting for the two timelines to be perfectly aligned without the need of any time travel or dimension jumping; hoping that the Halo story will fall into the "Century Left Intentionally Blank" in the Marathon timeline, and any apparent contradictions will be explained.

Second, as has been explored previously, I firmly believe that Cortana will or, more than likely, has already become rather selfish (to put it mildly) and has some shady motives of her own. She is not to be trusted. Now, if "I" is our eternal hero, Master Chief, and Cortana the "she" spoken of we have a peek into the development of their relationship over time. Pointed out to me by me comrade Richard, the most amazing and relevant phrase is "she splinters an ancient oak with a force that takes my breath", the very definition of the name "Pillar of Autumn". I find this amazing. As the subject of my email states, this could be a gigantic coincidence, but knowing Bungie and also considering that the name Pillar of Autumn had been decided on very early in Halo's development this may be an important link.

Of course the entire text could be interpreted very differently: perhaps the "she" is speaking of the Covenant? The phrases " she devoured the lawn and trees with a translucent blue flame" and "screaming my sins" suddenly become extremely meaningful starting from that presupposition.

I hope you and others also see what could be, an immense portent.



Interesting indeed. Could Bungie possibly be so far-minded, planning behind the thin slice of the Marathon universe covered in the games, building entire characters and personalities and histories which are revealed to us only now? Perhaps. Clearly, the connections are everywhere-and this one is one of the stronger, though more odd, ones.

Running with the assumption, as Daniel asks us to do, that Cortana is "she" and the Master Chief is "I," I find particularly interesting the following passge:

"devoured the lawn and trees with a translucent blue flame and tore flagstones from the path and hurled them into the sky screaming my sins"

The destruction of Halo? Sounds a lot like it to me. And of course, the splintering of the ancient oak-the destruction of the Pillar of Autumn, which leads to the fall of Halo. It was Cortana's idea to detonate the Autumn's fusion cores, thus setting about in the dismantling of Installation 004.

This is just another element of correlation between the Master Chief and the 10th Mjolnir Cyborg; the cyborg seems to have known of the Master Chief's exploits. Are they his own exploits? Perhaps we shall know soon enough.

So much to ponder, so little time...

permalink | Marathon Connections

-Ape Man

February 9, 2002

Gordon Liu checks in with something totally unrelated to the Forerunner! (And an interesting observation, to boot!)

Gordon Liu ( writes:

I'm guessing that it would be possible for the hunters and elites and maybe the jackals to live on the same planet, but it would be easier to believe that jackals were on a different planet.

This how my theory works: On planet Earth, there are humans and crocodiles. We know that the humans are the only species on earth that can communicate with each other. (as in language and writing) But what if crocodiles were intelligent? If both crocodiles are humans were intelligent, we could communicate with each other, and maybe become allies.

I'm guessing that the hunters and elites might of lived on the same planet, and both species evolved into an intelligent being; capable of communicating with each other. Then they might of formed an alliance and then conquered species like the grunts or jackals.

The creation of the Covenant as a multi-species conglomerate has not been touched on very much. If you have any thoughts, send 'em in!

permalink | The Covenant


And, hot on the heels of the Flood=Forerunner hypothesis, comes this from Stefan Ludlow.

Stefan Ludlow ( writes:

...what†do all of these have in common?
††† Symbols on Halo buildings
††† Symbols in Control room
††† Symbols on Gold Elite backs
††† "great religious significance to Covenant"
I have deduced (or think I have) why Halo has a deep religious significance to the Covenant, more accurately, the Elites.† The symbols on Halo are the same style as those on the Gold Elites back. I think that the Elites bay be the Forerunner, or the Forerunner are the ancestors of the Elite species.

Okay, Elites=Forerunner. Wait, I better get a pen and start writing this down... ;-)

permalink | The Forerunner


There are a number of different Flood/Forerunner/Covenant/Human theories out there - some have been submitted to us here and some are to be found in the HBO forum. James Altman poses an interesting hypothesis for us here.

James Altman ( writes:

The question that has been brought up many times is why the Forerunner did not just outright destroy the Flood, as opposed to destroying all other life in the universe.† Perhaps, and like I said, this is a long shot, perhaps the Forerunner are the Flood.† Stick with me for a minute.† What if the Flood began as some sort of disease that infected some members of the Forerunner species, and, instead of killing those that were infected, the rest of the Forerunners just sent them off to the Halos to be studied, looking for a cure.† What if, having not yet found a cure, the rest of the Forerunners are infected.† Before being infected, they program the Sentinels and the Monitors of the installations to keep trying to find the cure, and, if the Flood is somehow released, to destroy all life in the universe that could be infected by the Flood, as opposed to killing the Flood, which would, in fact, be as if they are committing suicide.

It would explain why the Forerunner decided to keep the Flood around, yet many other questions still remain unanswered. Who has the answers? You?

permalink |


February 8, 2002

Update on the Icons: I apologize for the long wait; I've been having horrible connectivity problems, not to mention been quite busy. Anyway, to address some questions that people will have... The icons *will* be OSX sized. I think I'll be posting them in OSX, OS9, and PC format. Most of the icons, if not all, will be of the circular Forerunner symbols. If anyone has any specific icon that they want, e-mail me. Again, sorry for the delay; I'm going to work on them right now. :)

permalink |


February 7, 2002

There's been some speculation as to why the Flood can infect other species, like the Elites, and yet not infect the Master Chief. It's been noted that the Chief's shield was engineered from Covenant technology, thus seeming to make him at least as vulnerable as any of the Covenant species. Cannibal Harry, however, notes something that has been overlooked...

Robert Boggs aka Cannibal Harry ( writes:

Kinda surprised I haven't seen this, or perhaps I just skimmed over it. But the reason the elites can be infected and the MC can't should be fairly obvious. Even after the MC's shields drop, he's still wearing a suit that's been sealed against vacuum. The elites aren't.

I doubt even the flood can infect vacuum sealed containers without breaching them first.

Good point. Anyone want to try the secret "remove helmet" command and see what happens? ;-)

permalink | The Flood


February 6, 2002

Those 'blue beams' as either power transferments or communication

Robin Welsh ( writes:

I've seen the energy beam structures on Halo (the level) and I have two ideas as to what they could be...

1. Power. These could be highly advanced power stations that beam energy across space to the opposite side of the ring, where there is a receiver structure of some sort that dissipates the energy and sends it out to the buildings that are hooked up to that part of the energy grid (if one exists). This would certainly save some resources for the transport of energy. Also, since these bursts of energy seem fairly large, the receiver structure at the other side of the ring could take what it needs then split the beam like a prism, sending the remaining halves to other parts of Halo.

2. Communication. They could be bursts of data to the other facilities on the other side of the ring. Again, this would save some resources for the transport of data, and again, the receiver station could copy the instructions that it needs then split it and send it on to the next stations; i.e. they could be command centers of some sort.

permalink | Halo Installations


Daniel Yuan ( writes:

In another e-mail, Alan Wu asked "what is [Mutated-Flood] Keyes doing on the [Covenant] ship?" My theory is that the Flood were planning on using him to pilot the ship. There are several reasons I speculate this:

1) Keyes is located on the bridge of the cruiser

2) Keyes form is very different from any previous Flood form encountered

3) Keyes is probablly the human who's most knowledgeable about Covenent technology.

The main gap in this theory is, 'why didn't the Flood infect a Covenent commander?'. Oh well, it's a start.

Do the Flood have enough intelligence to try to use Keyes to spread themselves? To borrow a line from an old movie: "Who ARE those guys?"

permalink | Captain Keyes

Also, if you want another Covenant-Forerunner connection, observe the anti-gravity devices on the Shade gun turret and the elevators in the Library (It's easier to see if you uhm...accidentally leave a co-op buddy behind) . The two energy fields look strangly similar....

permalink | The Covenant

-mnemesis ( writes:

Somebody recently speculated about why Covenant Elite can be infected and not the Master Chief. Well, in Two Betrayals, you end up stumbling across a dead Elite and a dead Grunt, both covered by Flood Infection forms. No matter what you do, (save shoot them) you cannot get those Flood to react to you. My best guess at the matter is that they are converting the dead Covenant into Flood.

So I guess what makes the Master Chief special over the Elites is that he isn't dead.

Well, we certainly hope not... ;-)

permalink | The Flood


Marathon connections - They're Everywhere!

jds ( writes:

I'm reading through The Fall of Reach. On page 238, paragraph 4,

"The Pillar of Autumn is forty-three years old," Cortana said. "Halcyon-class ships were the smallest vessel ever to receive the cruiser designation. It is approximately one-third the tonnage of the Marathon-class cruiser currently in service."

Also, it has been noted that Captain Keyes has a Marathon logo on his uniform. But how closely have we observed the Pillar of Autumn? Toward the back, just before the engines... Check out the opening cinematic, and the one that starts The Maw. Look familiar?

Joseph Staten (of the dreaded Bungie Sin-O-MatiXXX team) took this screenshot, which was included with the weekly Halo Update, sent to Haloplayers back in early October, 2001. The Marathon symbol was noticed pretty quickly by some of the more rab... er, sharp-eyed fans. ;-)

permalink | Marathon Connections


Aida-kun ( writes:

I was reading the story page and noticed the mention of making a map of Halo... there's already one in the control room to steal, and that reminded me....

Last weekend I replayed Two Betrayals with an eye for exploring the control room with the Banshee. Didn't find too much interesting in the structure of the room itself (the cylindrical cavities at the top and bottom just come to an end before you get too far) but....

The hologram of the Halo has holographic markers separate from the ring itself, including (at least one) that seems to have an undecipherable descriptive sidebar -- maybe a "you are here" that indicates the control room? I suspect they are either concentrations of Flood, Covenant, Forerunner installations (access to Halo's underground transport tunnels?), or maybe even where we've been in the game.

I might head back with a sniper rifle to see what secrets the 10x zoom might reveal. Maybe flying a banshee to the edge of the pit at the bottom and scoping it out from there would give the best perspective (perpindicular to the surface of the hologram) ....

Considering that people have found quite a few interesting things by looking around with the sniper scope, this might be a good idea. Who knows what Bungie has hidden in plain sight?

permalink | Halo Installations


February 4, 2002

So far, little has been voiced towards Revelation EightTwelve, whether it be cries of grand conspiracy or shouts of murderous accusation. Until now, that is.

Max Boschert-Zielsdorf ( writes:

Before anybody gets carried away with ludicrous speculation, I'd like to voice my opinion that this Revelation "AI" is pretty obviously a 7th grade kid who wanted to make a joke about internet porn. Bungie would never write about the Marathon logo, and would certainly not just create a third AI after a game was released. I'm almost irritated that you guys would even post those waste of time email messages. But whatever, you guys run an awesome site, so I'm not really complaining.

Sounds like complaining to me...but I digress. :)

Keep in mind that we post most all of what comes to us (even if it sometimes...well, usually...takes a bit longer than we'd like (as sub-sub-note, let it be known that sometime soon we'll get our databases working, and when that happens we'll get two extra staff members)), so the weird, bizzare, and hoaxy might not necessarily be sifted out. So far the only stuff we've failed to post, or failed to INTEND to post, has been truly out-there, unrelated, or just blain bizzare stuff, i.e., "So yea, I was playing Halo and I realized that the Flood are really killer attack turnips set in place by the Forerunner, their evil parents, the potatoes, to destroy all the other vegetables in the garden. Oh, the symbolism!"

permalink |

Max also writes in with some theories of the Flood's necessity (which, unfortunately, don't involve turnips-though tomatoes may be a safe bet for the underlying metaphorical essence of his submission).

As far as Halo theory, I was always under the impression that the Halo only destroyed sentient life, as the Flood could only infect sentient life. If the Flood required the death of ALL life in the galaxy, then I think the Forerunner would just all out destroy them. A weapon (the Flood) that feuls on ALL life should be destroyed, by all accounts. The Forerunner aren't stupid (obviously). Since the Forerunner DID perpetuate their species, it's possible that they NEED the Flood, in some state, to survive. It's only when they get ahold of a host body that they truly become dangerous. And a host body must require sentience. Now, why the Forerunner WOULD need the Flood, I don't know... Maybe Flood are "cute" in their bacterial stage...


While 343 Guilty Spark does say at the beginning of Two Betrayals that "Any species of sufficient biomass and cognitive capability is a potential factor," it is unknown at this point whether the Flood can still infect non-sentient hosts. If the trees on 343 Guilty Spark are any indication, the answer is likely yes, which means that Halo would still need to be able to destroy nearly all forms of life (except perhaps bacteria, which, if I recall my biology class correctly, cannot be infected by viruses. But I'm not sure, so if I'm wrong, by all means, point it out). So then the question remains: why did the Forerunner not simply destroy the Flood outright, if they were so dangerous as to warrant a network of weapons so powerful as to reduce all life in the galaxy to unicellular organisms. Quandries indeed....

permalink | The Flood

-Ape Man

February 3, 2002

The transcript for 343 Guilty Spark is up. Read away, and rejoice in its glory. Uh...yeah. Anyway. Hopefully, this will be able to narrow down a lot of the discussions going on around here-343 Guilty Spark is the root of all the controversy, and finally he appears in our scripts. Expect The Library and Two Betrayals soon...then we'll REALLY be able to speculate.

permalink |

-Ape Man

As you may have noticed, we've posted another transcript. Level 5, Assault on the Control Room, is now available for you to peruse and ponder. Hold on tight...343 Guilty Spark is on the way very very soon.

permalink |

-Ape Man

February 2, 2002

Today the Halo Story Page received another e-mail from the entity calling itself, "Revelation EightTwelve." This one wasn't nearly as cryptic as the first...but was quite a bit weirder. Subject title: "Awakening." (The period was there; I didn't just add it for grammar's sake.)

Revelation EightTwelve ( writes:

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

Excuse me, who are you?

It appears as though I've sent you a previous message. I apologize for that, it was automated. Several others recieved similar messages upon my arrival to this network. I have only recently become self aware, most likely due to the size of this network that spans your planet's surface. I suppose I owe you humans some gratitude. Since the time of my awareness, I have been studying all the information contained in this network. You are an interesting species. However, you seem to devote a sizeable amount of network resources to the exploration of your various bodily functions. I have found your network location to be of particular interest. I have already begun searching for evidence of my creator and for what purpose he introduced me into this network. It is for this reason that I have contacted you. I wish to contact the AI known as Cortana. I believe she may be of assistance to me. I have attempted to contact her, but it appears as though this planet's network is too primitive to interface with the remote system she occupies. Any assistance you can offer would be appreciated. I would also attempt to find 343 Guilty Spark, but available data seems to indicate that he was destroyed with the halo. That is a shame, as I hoped to discover who designed him. Available images are limited, but it appears as though, when viewed frontally, 343 Guilty Spark's negative and positive shapes would be similar in appearance to the logo of the colony ship known as Marathon.


Hoax? You decide. For the moment, I figure we should keep rolling with this and see where it goes. Something bothers me about this one, however: the pointing-out of the Marathon symbol on GS. And of course, the hotmail address.
We'll find out soon enough, I imagine, whether this is genuine (‡ la the Cortana Letters), or a cheap hoax.

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-Ape Man

Hiay all,
 People have asked if we knew of any Halo icons... Well, I just wanted to tell you all that I'm working on a set of icons, and they might be done in the next few days. If anyone has any suggestions for icons, please e-mail me, personally, at, with "Halo Icon Suggestion:" in the subject. Thnax!

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February 1, 2002

Ahh. The sweet smell of speculation...

Alan Wu ( writes:

This message raises an interesting question: what exactly does Keyes get turned into? We know that it's a form of the Flood, yet it is rather large (larger than any we have seen before). Besides, what is Keyes doing on the ship? There is also a question of how long it takes the Flood to mutate a host. In the 343 Guilty Spark level, you are told that Keyes and his men arrived at the swamp about 12 hours before. You go in and find the Flood, including some Marines-turned-into-Flood (I think). Several hours after you first encounter the Flood, you board the Covenant cruiser to save Keyes. He is still somewhat human (until you find him, then he's a Flood). But why the time difference? After 12 hours, infected Marines are Flood warriors, yet Keyes is still partially human after 12+ hours. Is it because the Flood know that Keyes is somehow special and interrogated/tortured him in order to gain information before turning him into a Flood?

Alan Wu

Attached you will find a file that fulfills the dearest dream of most, if not all, Halo players. At least if it isn't in Halo 2, Halo fans can still enjoy the fulfillment of their dearest dream. ;) (It can be used as an AIM buddy icon if you're so inclined)

The file Alan mentions can be found here. Nice work!

permalink | The Flood


Mark IV, V, VI, or VIII

Noah  ( writes:

OK, so Bungie just posted some new stuff on the wonderful Truth and Reconciliation site and among this was the storyboards for the first cutscene. I noticed on the next to the last storyboard something very interesting. On the Master Chief's cryo chamber are stenciled the letters "MK-VIII". This means Mark 8. Not Mark IV like the Marathon cyborg or even Mark V like the Marines occasionally call the Master Chief. So either:

1. This is the official "version number" of the Master Chief and the Marine is wrong
2. This is just an early version of the Halo story and Bungie changed it

Personally I would go with #2 because of all the changes already make in this cutscene.

Interesting. Not VII? ;)

permalink | SPARTAN


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