March 31, 2006
Un-freakin-believable! I know what you're thinking: it's an April Fool's gag, hardy-har-har. But no, sometimes the impossible can happen (well, the nigh-impossible at least).
We have just posted (wait for it) the transcript for Sacred Icon. Only one, count it, one level to go (and a million tiny corrections, but who's counting?). Thanks be to Peptuck!
I was going to offer some sort of prize for the first person to submit the transcript for Quarantine Zone complete, error free, and formatted with HTML. But, looking around me now, sifting through the rubble of the bombed-out ruin that is my home, I don't see anything that would really be all that appealing.
::sigh:: How about gratitude? I've got plenty of that kicking around! Yes, the first person to send in the transcript for Quarantine Zone, meeting the above criteria, will have my thanks.
I'm starting the clock... (UPDATE: Time's up!)
March 25, 2006
Terminus Prill (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I've been going over what I know about the Flood, and the recomended reading list, and I've come to a few new conclusions about our virulent friend.
To compare it to Orson Scott Card's Descolada virus, which also re-writes it's victims DNA, the theory that it evolved naturally as some primitive form of life cannot be true, as something so virulent would run it's course, infecting everything around it, run out of food, and die out. Therefore, it must be man(I use the term loosely) -made. As to who made it, I can only speculate, though I think it is safe to say either the Forerunner, or their enemies, created it. From that, we can also assume that since the Flood feed on calcium stores, that the beings who created it were fairly similar to us, especailly since the virus was seemingly familiar with Humanoid genetic particles, having been able to readily infect both Humans and the Elites.
A second though I had relates to a quote of our favorite Floating Christmas Light, 343 Guilty Spark, on the level 'The Library..
"You can see how the body's been transformed by the genetic restructuring of the Flood infection. The small creatures carry spores that cause a host to mutate. The mutated host then produces spores that can pass the Flood to others. It is insidious and elegant. As long as any hosts remain, the Flood is virulent."
As long as any host remains, the flood is virulent. Hm. What happens then? Before the release of Halo 2, I always wondered if there was a planet out there with a form of the Flood that had, in the absence of hosts, developed a society as a sentient species. And they are obviously somewhat sentient
"' The Flood are already hard at work repairing your vessel. Its parasitic nature belies the Flood's intelligence.' -343 Guilty Spark"
Then Halo 2 came along, and, more importantly, Gravemind. He is quite obviously ancient, because he is not only no longer virulent, I assume, becaue he isn't mindlessly killing and reproducing. He is obviously reverting somewhat, because he seemed to have no qualms absorbing His Most Annoyingess, Regret. But he is intelligent, and to a point, brilliant.
A third thing, I'd like to put forth my own rampant speculations on a few things.
Brain Forms. They are not intelligent, nor brains. I think of them more like a keyboard, made in english, to write in chinese. A translator bewteen the flood and machinery, or dedicated wetware, if you will. All they need is a bioform that had the knowlegde to pilot/control the machine, and a little time to develop the approriate apendeges. Gravemind is not, and I stress the word 'not', a product of a brain form, for the reasons above. He is the product of an enviroment that has lacked hosts, I assume, for eons.
 From Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind
 I would assume they would have enemies, or they wouldn't have created a weapon such as the Flood, unless the virus was an experiment gone wrong. Or, like the Descolda, a virus sent across the [galactic] void to prepare our galaxy for habitablility.
 I make no mention of the other species because, as yet, I have seen no Grunt or Jakal combat forms. Regret has also been shown assimilated. Perhaps there is a common ancestor between Elites, Humans, and Prophets?
Extra brownie points for the use of Harvard Style annotations.
permalink | Gravemind
It's a bit far fetched (and as I maintain, 'reduced' does not mean 'nil') but Cassandra intrigues me.
Charles (email@example.com) writes:
Upon reading the earlier post concerning "Cassandra," I read the letter in the "Conversations..." booklet to, I'm assuming, John-117. Her letter seems to be laced with affection beyond the family bond the SPARTANs share, as if she had strong affection for him. In TFoR, one of the augmentations used on the SPARTANs was a "Catalytic Thyroid Implant" that "suppressed sexual drive."
Assuming that the augmentations did perform better than expected in all areas, we could surmise that any sexual desire would be, in fact, next to nil. However, as I mentioned earlier, "Cassandra" apparantly does not have this sexual inhibitor, and could very well not be a lost SPARTAN
permalink | SPARTAN
It's. Because. She's. Evil!
Alex Brooks (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I was reading the transcript for the Pillar of Autumn the other day when I noticed something that caught my attention. When the Chief reaches the ship's bridge, Keyes says
"I'm initiating Cole Protocol Article 2. We're abandoning the Autumn."
This automatically means they are required to wipe the ship's databanks of any crucial information, including the location of Earth. Cortana is sent with the Chief to prevent the Covenant from capturing her. Either Keyes or Cortana would have had to wipe the databanks. If Cortana didn't, Keyes would have to.
However, in The Maw, 343 Guilty Spark scans the ship's databanks and discovers all sorts of info. He says
"And to think that you would destroy this installation. As well as this record". If he had been scanning Cortana's data, he wouldn't have said that. Cortana wouldn't be destroyed, as she is with the Chief, so he was obviously scanning the ship's records.
If Cortana didn't wipe the databanks, why didn't Keyes? If Keyes didn't wipe the databanks, why didn't Cortana? Something is seriously wrong.
permalink | Rampant Speculation
Oooh, now I like this one. I like it a lot.
tony ogmundson (email@example.com) writes:
Why is the ring so empty? At first you're thinking "duh...doomsday, everyone is dead" and yeah you're right, but that's not the empty I'm talking about. Where are the remnants of the lives that these beings had? There is nothing at all to suggest that there was anyone there EVER. No vehicles, no homes, no trash, no personal items, nothing at all. I mean, when the ring was going to be activated either everyone on the ring was informed, no one on the ring was informed, or everyone was busy fighting the outbreak.
With any one of these scenarios things would have been left behind. So why do we see no remnants other than the massive empty structures?
Firstly this brings up the nature of the weapon.
Biological: kills everyone dead but leaves everything else, so we were bound to stumble on something sometime.
Explosive: somehow kills everyone and everything they had, but mysteriously leaves the vegetation, the structures, and lets not forget the rings themselves.
Not really a weapon: Could actually be a tool for "The Great Journey" like the covenant say and all the Forrunner took a bit of a trip.
This leads me to my original theory:
Unmanned structure: Halo rings were left to be tended by the artificial intelligences, in order to keep the flood contained without fear of outbreak, and the obviously liveable terrains for visiting forrunner technitions.
The reason there was an outbreak was because a species such as the covenant begins to explore this seemingly deserted structure, frees the flood and gives them an opportunity to escape. So the forerunner come...tra la la... and kill all life everywhere. The weapon is most likely of the bio-only killing variety hence the "survival" of the monitors and sentinels. The artificial intelligence now has 100 millions years on their hands so they decide to take all the crap the aliens left behind and shoot it into space or something (they're so anal).
Why, you ask, couldn't they have done the housecleaning with the forrunner stuff if they were the last ones there instead? Let's say your parents and siblings die: what would you do with their stuff? The monitors obviously have forms of emotions as expressed buy 343's chuckling and pride and they also have an affinity towards the past and the keeping of records. Therefore the idea of them throwing out all of the Forerunner's things is asinine.
A theory I have been toying with:
This theory plays on the idea of the Great Journey. Scenario: Forerunner build rings to take them on "Great Journey". They build machines capable of making decisions by themselves, and in some cases capable of a small range of emotions. They leave these machines to guard these portals and give them the task of guarding the keys and making sure no one unworthy comes after them.
Now imagine this: you're an intelligent being and your creators say "we're off to enlightenment and paradise, never coming back, you be the bouncer." That would piss me right the hell off if I were them. So you kick around for a hundred millennia or so stewing in anger and two groups of people show up to the party. One of them worthy, one of them not. Toast em both I would say. So you activate the security system: namely the flood.
That's right, they are nothing more than guard dogs. Think about it: turn the unworthy into mindless killing machines with no desire to join the forrunner in the great beyond and sick them on whoever else may want to follow them. Never was there a better plan.
So now for the reclaimers: Humans are indeed worthy of the great journey. Guilty Spark really has no intention of letting them go when he can't. So he makes it seem as unappealing as possible: say...by telling them it will be the end of all life. No I know your thinking: but he tried to turn ON the big old machines.
What would happen to Cortana if all of humanity ascended? Most likely this is a voyage for the living and she would spend all of eternity alone, just like the monitors. So her and the Spark, while she spends the hours in the control room, devise a plan: play both sides of the fence. Get the Humans to prevent the rings from turning on, incite a revolution that will hopefully distract the Covenant: and sick the looming guard dog on anyone else that may want to desert them; keeping them trapped here: just like them.
They are in a prime position to do this, think about it: who is the only member of humanity that knows the slightest thing about the rings, who tells them all what is happening and the consequences of their actions? Cortana. And who do the covenant worship as the oracles: the providers of information: The monitors. They have been given the opportunity to make things happen their way when they want it to.
The Prophets? why they have been READING about the Foreunner for as long as they have known about them so when a floating lightbulb tells them they have "misinterpreted" countless centuries of information they simply ignore them. Usually religious fanatics have a pretty good idea of what they are fanatical about.
permalink | The Forerunner
March 19, 2006
"Surrounding rock and dirt were evaporated..."
A novel update; details are popping up on Amazon and the like. To quote the front page:
- Author is Eric Nylund
- Title is "Ghosts of Coral"
- Publication date is October 31,2006
- Length is 384 pages
Interesting. The title is an obvious reference to a section of the "Conversations..." booklet accompanying the H2 Limited Edition. (Yes, yes. The page is garbled; we tried to make it "cool", but the simple fact is that we're not yet allowed to post the whole text ;)
A side story? The Chief does seem a tad busy. A prequel? Possible, if anything might be inferred from recent, private conversations. ;)
March 17, 2006
High times! Bungie has announced a new offering, "produced, conceived and nurtured" in-house: the Halo Graphic Novel (HGN). In Frankie's words,
"The HGN is a 128 page, full color, high quality hardcover graphic novel, featuring an anthology of original stories, including one big story, and three shorter tales. Side stories, if you will. It should be available in July, 2006."
There you have it. Check the link for lists of the artists, writers, and even some samples and abstracts of the stories themselves.
Should be good :)
March 15, 2006
All I had to do was fall and miss the ground...
I've added a few more books to our critically acclaimed Recommended Reading List. These additions will be familiar from years gone by; most are from Jason Jones' 2001 Bungie.net interview (how silly to have overlooked them in the first place). Great stuff!
Speaking of books, here's a belated little note on the new novel. For those of you asking (pleading, pestering, grovelling, begging?) for info there have recently been a few public mentions.
1) It's happening,
2) not just one, but a few. Eric Nylund is neck deep in the first (by this time in editing, perhaps), and Frankie has apparently been made privy to an outline for another, by an as yet unannounced author.
I'll eschew the usual excrement-related illustrations.
Heh. Galaxy Rawk sounds a good a title as any ;)
March 7, 2006
Archetypal Auspices are all Amazing; Alliterately I Assault, Animate things...
Again on the forum front, BeastIce (firstname.lastname@example.org) provides a brief, but thorough overview of Halo's use of common literary (though specifically from this perspective, psychological) archetypes. Check it out.
Next up: Schemes and Tropes!
permalink | Rampant Speculation
March 6, 2006
He is well paid that is well satisfied.
An interesting discussion, primary between speculation-addict Bodie and the ever-edifying Narcogen of rampancy.net, has come up on the forum. The focus is primarily on the true motives behind both the Great Journey itself and Truth's own jaunt to Earth, but wanders here and there, nuzzling larger issues from slumber, such as what would make a satisfying conclusion to this tale of betrayal and revelation.
Yes, I'm behind on posting even the most basic of pertinent news items. I've a text file as long as my arm, and come to think of it, almost as strong. When I can resist it no longer, then I'll... ack!
permalink | Prophets
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