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The Halo Story

News Archive

April 30, 2003

Hah. Uppity stalwart Finn thinks he's found all the good stuff in the inbox, but he hasn't found my secret stash of substantially special speculative submissions! And what's more, I've got stuff hidden all over the place! Ahahahahaha!

Now, where did I put my keyes?

Of a possible encounter with Mendez at John's post-Cote d'Azur ONI debriefing...

Nicholas John Roberts Jones ( writes:

i've alwyas wondered what happened to Chief Mendez. i know that when the Spartans graduated and went and got their Mjolnir armour, he said his goodbyes, and John recalls never seeing the Chief again after that. but we never do know what happened to the Chief. or do we?

i've noticed something that could show where he ended up in the Fall of Reach. now i havent read The Flood yet, so correct me if i'm wrong, but i think he works for ONI.

my first thoughts at this were that being a part of such a project s the SPARTAN project wouldnt allow him to be around other field-personnel or allow him to continue as a Drill Instructor.

the other thing is something i've spotted a few times but never really thought it was worth mentioning. it is during Chapter 24 when the Master Chief reports to ONI at Camp Hathcock. as he recalls the firefight with the Hunters and he rewinds the tape to where the Jackal was crushed, he makes a statement that someone says "What do you mean, son?"

now i know it may be nothing, but it is a new voice that sounds "older and rough", just like Mendez. The Master Chief says he can only offer his opinion and the same, scratchy voice replies "Offer it, Master Chief, i for one would be very interested what someone with first hand experience has to say...for a change."

this sounds like a rebuke at his ONI superiours as they were always rather sceptical of the project, and the fact that there is a "rustling of papers, then silence" could be the annoyance of them.

this may not be much, but the other thing is that we see that the older, rougher sounding man that i think is Mendez is smoking a cigar:

"The old man chuckled. The faint glow of a cigar tip flared near his voice then faded." could that by any chance be a Sweet William cigar? or am i just throwing sticks at ghosts?

the last thing is when one of the panel says "Jesus...what do you expect from one of Dr. Halsey's wind up toys?"

"Thats quite enough, Colonel!" the older man snapped "This man has earned the right to some courtesy...especially from you." now, this to me sounds like a trainer defending his trainee doesnt it? also, why would the Master Chief have earned some courtesy ESPECIALLY from this Colonel? my guess is that the Spartans perhaps rescued him once? and Mendez will probably read up on ALL of the Spartan's missions, cos after all he did train them to be what they were.

Hmm. It's always nice to have friends in high places. If it was Mendez, let's hope he still remembers us when we get back to Earth. ;-)

permalink | ONI

-mnemesis ( writes:

Recently, a good gaming buddy of mine, Matt, and I were discussing our D&D campaign world that I run. He is constantly trying to get me to use gunpowder in it, which I will never do, but his arguments got us both thinking. A society that did not develop gunpowder/explosives would tend to develop technology remarkably similar to Covenant technology. Instead of focusing on how to build a bigger bomb (nuke), they would instead focus on building a bigger battery. Their energy efficiency would blow ours through the roof. However, they would not have to be any more advanced than human beings. Just as they have very few forms of explosive technology- the plasma grenade and needler being the only two examples- humans have limited forms of energy efficiency near covenant levels. The meaning of all of this? Humans and covenant could actually be about the same age, but have developed radically different technologies. Perhaps, if the Forerunner did create humans/covenant, they gave them each 1/2 of the puzzle. Or is it 1/2? Could each have been given 1/3 and the remainder kept or given to ANOTHER race?

A third race? Time will tell. ;-)

permalink | The Forerunner


In a big ol' rambling paragraph, Aaron notes some irregularities in regards to the Flood and their activities.

Aaron Claussen ( writes:

...was in reference to GS saying that the Flood were hard at work repairing "your ship" (referring to the Chief and the POA). It was argued that there was no evidence that the Flood were making any sort of repairs to the POA and that they were in fact blowing bits of it up during the fighting we see during the rush to get to the Longsword fighter. I submit that there was no evidence that the Flood were repairing any Covenant vessels either, and that they were "shooting up the place" in those ships as well. And there were parts of the POA we never visited, locked away parts that the Flood managed to infiltrate during the Covenant's occupation of the vessel, who knows what they were doing there if they were hidden away? I also had the thought that if the Flood were truly that intelligent they were most likely repair any and all vessels they possibly could to get off of Halo, purely as a means of escape and the fact that what better way would there be to approach Earth and a Covie world but than in a vessel of that world, a sort of Trojan horse if you will.

We certainly didn't see all of either of the ships, but he's definitely right about the Flood blowing bits of the POA up. Has anyone ever looked at the various things going on during the Maw run to see if there is any organization to it? Eggs are nice, but has Rex hidden anything else, anything story-related, in all that chaos? ;-)

permalink | The Flood


Sean has a pretty good question.

Sean Durkin ( writes:

Where is GS actually going after Halo 04 is destroyed??

To earth? Unlikely. Why would he go there? He would sentinels, nothing. Sure he can interface with human technology, but why bother when u would have hundreds of AI's working against u? Plus he wouldnt want to destroy earth because he says he was so glad to see 'some of them survive and reproduce'.

So where is he going?

Well, there are those other Halos he alluded to...

permalink | Monitors


Brian Goodrow ( writes:

To further speculate on the "how the covenant found Earth" issue, I turn to the ever trusty Halo: Fall of Reach.

I believe that it might be possible that the small Covenant tracking device on the back of Keyes' old ship Iroquois could have sent the signal. After all, that ship was damaged extremely, and could have been sent back to shipyards on Earth for scrapping (or sent to Earth for another reason). It never says that that tracker was limited to only one data signal in the form of a crystal.

Tailed all the way back to Earth, just like a cheap detective story. Damn.

permalink | Humans


In response to an earlier post by Young Kim, Sagar notes the observation that 343 Guilty Spark might have "stumbled across the location of Earth," and observes that that shouldn't be possible.

Sagar Patel ( writes:

Keyes initiated the Cole Protocol, and it's even stated clearly in the book that every UNSC ship has to follow Cole Protocol if under capture/ abandonment, those type of threats. 343GS couldn't have found Earth b/c all of the PoA's mem banks on locations should have been erased.

This raises what I think is a big question. When 343 Guilty Spark browses "all our lost time," what is he reading? The location of Earth has supposedly been deleted, but has anyone modified the remaining information? Cortana, maybe? Or someone else?

permalink | Monitors


Otto Mossberg ( writes:

I don't think Spark "survived" the explosion in the way some would think. My guess is that he teleported himself to the far side of the ring once he knew there was no stopping the explosion, putting him a nice 10,000 Km distant to stat with, then heading off ring in the oppisite direction of the PoA (Ie, toward the "outside" of the ring). That would give him a good 15 minutes of travel time, so depending on his maximum speed, he should be easily far enough away to survive the blast.

Well, we know he can teleport around Halo, and he's pretty indestructible, but just how does he move around in deep space?

permalink | Monitors


SA Premium Pilchard ( writes:

What THE FLOOD are is simply a parasitic lifeform that the forerunner have found on a planet. Then they found out that they are threatining to there survival so they built these ring worlds to contain them. Or The FLood could simply be the products of Thousand and millions of years of evoulution on halo. Like the evolution of the human race the flood may have been different many years ago.The other ring worlds may contain the flood but they may only be called the flood. They could be totally diffent to the ones on halo installation 04.The Forerunners could have placed different genetically engineered DNA into halos waters and well "waited".
343 GS is also known as The Moniter and well his name all says it "The Moniter" he may be simply a moniter of the Floods improvment in growth and evolution.As GS also says
"I am glad that the flood clould reproduce."well he is glad becoase the Forerunners must have realised that The Flood have grown into a parasitic life form and could change halos "perfect"atmosphere,landscape and whether so they contained them in holding cells and studied them from there And by not being able to feed them maybe it worked like this. One spore flood dies the dead spore flood feeds 3 spore floods.And although this has not been the greatest nousishment they have become crazey for real food.And also could be a bit mentle because they have been eating there own species so they may have developed mad flood disease.

So other Halos would have creatures on them, creatures which were once the same as what "our" Flood once were, only now they've mutated and evolved and OH MY GOD LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU!!

"Mad Flood Disease," though, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. We've got armor and shielding and it's not like we're gonna eat them, right? Right?

permalink | The Flood


Taylor Cone ( writes:

I was wondering about the flood on halo before anyone showed up. How did they survive if they reproduce by eating other organisms and using them as carriers if no one was on halo until the humans and covenant showed up? Halo was there for an unknown period of time, so how did they survive?

It seems, from Halo: The Flood, that Flood spores can survive without food for extremely long periods of time. Eons, really. This echoes a characteristic of the Vang, the parasitic species from the Starhammer books (remember those?). Did they really go all that time without anything? Or does 343 Guilty Spark have other, more domestic, duties besides browsing the Library and slowly going mad?

permalink | The Flood

Following that, a chilling prediction.

William Petraiuolo ( writes:

I have a new theory on the flood. I think they are a highly evloved disease. ... However it is possible that the evolved diseases outlived the forerunners as will proably be the fate of us....

If they're really able to remain dormant for hundreds of thousands years and still pose such a threat, can there be any doubt who will survive whom?

permalink | The Flood


Thomas Cranor ( writes:

Isn't it possible that the Halos were designed to destroy the food source for the flood, thereby keeping the flood from being able to go to other galaxies? certainly the forerunners wouldn't concentrate merely on one galaxy if they were so intelligent and advanced! they may have encountered the flood and decided that it was necessary to sacrifice one galaxy to save the rest of the universe. They wouldn't want to end all of the other races unless it was necessary, so they would need to contain the flood as best they could. The Halos were therefor probably just in case the flood did escape.

Neat idea. We have the misfortune to live in the wrong galaxy, home to the Flood and the mass-sterilization protocols which they necessitate. Dang!

If so, however, then the possibility exists that the Forerunner reside in another galaxy.
"Somewhere in the heavens... They are waiting..."

permalink | Halo Installations


Spacer ( writes:

About the covenant, why is such a technologically advanced (compared to humans) worried about religion? ... Technologically advanced people see science instead of religion, so why would the covenant (highly advanced, remember?) be waging a religious war?

It would seem that those whom the Covenant worship are also the creators of some highly advanced technologies. The Covenant may not see their weapons, armor, ships, etc. as tools, or scientific objects, but as religious artifacts. After all, they must have some way of justifying all of this mass slaughter, what better reason than "The Will of the Gods?"

permalink | The Covenant


SPARTAN John 117: the first, but so far, not the last

Angus Bradford ( writes:

I read through the site and saw no mention of this, which doesn't mean in my fever to read the text I might have missed something, so I decided to remind everyone of a fact posted in the book... While I don't have the book here to quote line for line I'd like to point out that the Master Chief might not be the last remaining Spartan... When the Spartans were being briefed by Dr. Halsey and Captain Keys on Reach, she gave a "roll call" if-you-will of the Spartans... Numbering those who died or were disfigured in the augmentation process, but she also said that there were 3 Spartans that wer not able to make it back to Reach due to them being in combat areas too far to be brought back to Reach... Now since the book makes no reference to where they were and I doubt that the Coventant launched an attack against these three such as the attack on Reach... I think it's a very good possibility that they may still be out there...

Since Halo: The Flood was released, we've received more than a few submissions questioning to assertion that the MC is definitely the last SPARTAN. In retrospect, it might be plausible for there to be others somewhere. I do feel certain that Linda was not present during the events of the game, considering that Keyes never mentions her anywhere in HtF, but that doesn't preclude another group of SPARTANs from showing up sometime.

permalink | SPARTAN Jesper points out, also.

Jesper Nielsen ( writes:

I can only recall the marines stating that in the book, when they say that the SPARTAN project was a failure and he's the only one left. Now, lets try to analyse this.

First of all, and most importantly, the source. He's a Helljumper, as tough as they come, and as we know, he's certainly not fond of the SPARTAN project. He's stranded, along with his comrades, of a mysterious alien artifact, where they have absolutely NO communication with any other humans. When the POA left Reach, it was in the middle of the battle and as far as I know, we never saw all of the Spartans die. So how would a Helljumper know? It's not like he could get confirmation from Earth, is it? And considering his hate of these bio-manipulated warriors, why would he keep up MC's hope by saying that the Spartans might have survived the battle of Reach? Of course he wouldn't, he would want them to fail!

As far as I know, we are still not sure if any Spartans survived the battle of Reach. Heck, we don't even know if Reach DID get glassed, as the POA and us, the readers, left in the middle of the battle. All I'm trying to say is; nothing is for sure. The events on Halo happened in parallel to events at the Inner and Outer Colonies. All we know is that the Cov. somehow managed to reach Earth (which i think means that they did not glass Reach, but instead used it to find valuable information, and therefore the Spartans might have had to possibility to escape!).

True. We must remember that what was happening on Halo was only a part of the much larger story. I fear that the answer (answer? Do those even apply here? ;-)) will not be known, however, until the release of Halo 2. Speculation, as always, is both encouraged and welcomed.

permalink | SPARTAN


Michael Zarzour ( writes:

I've had a few thoughts about the reasoning behind containing the flood, the weather patterns on Halo, and the ability of Halo to destroy such a large volume of space. It is perhaps that the Forerunners realized that it was futile to try and destroy the flood (just as it is very hard to rid anything completely of viruses or bacteria) and resorted to destroying any possibility of their spreading. The constantly varying and harshe weather conditions of Halo gives us insight at an attempt to make Halo hard to live on (for any possible hosts). The vegetation, oceans, and atmosphere would all contribute to making Halo a turbulent place, and the lack of animal life (or the removal of animal life from the origional concepts of the game) leads me to believe that although it is "possible" to live on Halo, it was designed to halt any attempt of a permanent colonization. If infact, a species of "flood-worthy" biomass were to stumble upon the planet, the self destruction would be sort of a "damn, now look what I have to do because of you" reaction; taking out the potential hosts, severely weakening the flood, and removing almost all possibilities for the remaining flood to find any nearby hope for furthur reproduction.

That would be a pretty severe reaction. ;-) But, an interesting idea nevertheless. I don't think we've seen a completely satisfactory explanation of the "inclement weather," although I feel that such an explanation would somehow have to include the mention of the Flood and their efforts to alter the atmosphere. Any thoughts? ;-)

permalink | Halo Installations


Shane ( writes:

Anyone who's read Halo: The Flood, knows that the Covenant 'Prophets' come from an abandoned Forerunner world. We also know that most Covenant technology comes from the Forerunner. This is confirmed at least twice in book. When Keyes talks to an ODST shortly after is rescue from the The Truth and Reconciliation and during a conversation between a prophet and the Elite 'Zamamee, "The technology underlying the armor you wear came straight from the Forerunners."

This would reinforces what Keyes states later in the book, "The essence of the matter is that while the races which comprise the Covenant seem to possess a high level of technology, most if not all of it may have been looted from the beings they refer to as the 'Forerunners,' an ancient race which left ruins on dozens of planets, and presumably was responsible for constructing Halo. In the long run, the fact that they are adaptive, rather than innovative, may prove to be their undoing."

I believe that what he means by this is that the Covenant are quite slow in their own technological development.

Interesting. The Covenant might have little or no inclination to continue developing their own technologies, considering the variety of sources they must have encountered in their relentless crusade across the galaxy. Always remember: Loot before you pillage.

permalink | The Covenant


The One That Walks In Darkness ( writes:

Anywho, I was reading your Marathon connections page and then I looked at some old Marathon art lying on my computer. Having just beat Halo I found this piece of artwork of the main character in marathon strangely you?

Ah, yes, the art of Craig Mullins. Beautiful stuff. We can only hope that his genius is being tapped for Halo 2.

Here's a small quiz: Where in the game can his artwork be seen?

permalink |


April 28, 2003

The comments are brief but the portent huge, as the mailbox ebbs ever closer to a more ideal, arcadian state of equilibrium. Hopefully this attests more to the self-sufficiency of the letters than to a waning wit...

William discusses the fact that the Sigma Octanus rock sample everyone's been dying to get their hands on was really only one of several that had been discovered by Humans over the years...

William Daniels ( writes:

We (humans in 2552) may already know where other Halos, or other forerunner stuff, is:

-Cortana's jump was "blind" and based on previously known coordinates, although they weren't considered coordinates at the time. They were based on the rock that the Master Chief recovered from the museum in Cote d'Azur.
Now as for other locations, my theory*...

-That wasn't the only rock of it's kind. Right before the section "Mjolnir" in the book, Dr. Halsey asks for Cortana's analysis of "the classified data brought back from Sigma Octanus Four." On the last chapter of the page we read: "Forty years ago a geological survey team found several igneous rocks with similar- though not identical- anomalous compositions." Now, okay, so they're similar, big deal. Right? Wrong. Read on: "UNSC geologists believe that these samples were introduced onto the planet via meteorite impacts- they are typically found in long eroded impact craters on the planet surface." Now, I theorize that these were "introduced" not by accident, but on purpose. My three possibilities:

-1: A space battle brought down spacecraft. These were onboard. After time the ships(just like cars)would have disintegrated, leaving behind "these samples" or to the aliens: our maps to lead us home. Evidence against this: Why would only these 'rocks' be left behind? Maybe there's more to be found or the geologists just didn't dig deep enough.

-2: Markers to lead lost aliens home. The aliens just dropped these rocks via large drop shells(it's just an idea) and since other species wouldn't know what they were even if they did stumble onto them (the covenant had the imaging beam box scanner). For instance, we humans had that one as a geological oddity in a museum. Evidence against this theory: impact craters. Why not just land, set up the outpost and leave. Of course my theory of 'drop shells' could stand true if the craters weren't to big.

-3: It's all a test. Step one, find a planet that mimics your own environment and would probably draw settlers who lived in a similar environment. Step two, leave some bread crumbs to help the settlers find you or a testing grounds to see if you would want to meet them. Step three, wait. Of course they'd choose a planet without 'intelligent' life so the bread crumbs couldn't get lost or stolen. And also since it was an abandoned planet, that would mean a space-faring, hopefully technologically advanced enough, species would have to find it. As for why it was in impact craters, what do xenologists (studiers of aliens, or whatever they call themselves) look at? Grasslands, or impact craters that could have meteors that hold/held alien organisms. Evidence against, I'm sure there are plenty other than the fact that the aliens sure did have a complicated test.

Also, why would the aliens drop several different directions to stuff on the same planet? Was only one real? Were they just from a common meteor grouping?

Or, as you mentioned earlier, do they each lead to a different installation? Will these other samples return later in our tale?

permalink | Halo Installations


Those 'blue beams' as waste heat ventilation

Matt Cannon ( writes:

On HALO (the level) those big blue pulse thing could actually be waste from Halo's weapon. I mean with the plasma†rifle†when it over heats all the waste comes out. Maybe Halo's weapon produces so much power (25,000 light years, come on now) that the waste is disposed through those things and is vented into space.

Could be, could be...

permalink | Halo Installations


Alvin Cheung ( writes:

Beside the fact that Bungie had to make the game harder by making all these installations on Halo all big and advanced, why is†it so hard to get around. For example, in the Silent Cartographer, what are all those lifts for? One would think that a race as advance as the Forerunner would make a map more...well, public. Why would they go to all that trouble to hide it underground? My guess is that the Forerunner anticipated that someone would eventually stumble across ol' Installation 004, so in order to protect the ring world's secrets, they thought they should hide a map room underground. Yet, if they anticipated the fact that foreigners would arrive on Halo, why didn't the Forerunner make the Sentinels more adapt at fighting Flood warriors?

permalink | Halo Installations


kevin pearson ( writes:

Why the sentinel's weapons are so ineffective against flood warriors: GS says that the MC should upgrade to a class 12 combat skin, in order to get complete protection from the flood. So, what if all the Forerunner [or any race able to locate the ring] on Halo wore those class 12s? The Flood would no be able to modify them into Flood warriors. So there would only be the spore forms of Flood, which the Sentinels are very good at dealing with.

permalink |


Elessedil 111 ( writes:

Puzzling. You brought such ineffective weapons to fight the Flood, despite the containment protocols.

Human weaponry? GS is so surprised with it because the forerunners, and most likely the covenant, gave up on high-velocity projectile weaponry because they believed it inferior to energy weaponry. if the flood were created or at least contained by the forerunner, they probably would have believed wholeheartedly in linear progression and never designed or tried to use high-velocity projectile weaponry against them because they were so sure of their superior energy weapons, or that any race powerful enough to reach halo in the middle of space would have energy weapons, like the covenant.

permalink | Monitors


Sigma Octanus, the messages its rocks have preserved, and the similar signals in a Black Hole that confound us...

James  ( writes:

I've been working on a theory about Halo and the Forerruners I started forming after another read through of Fall of Reach, where a part in page 234 caught my attention (The part where Cortana is talking about the crystal from Sigma Octanus IV):

"I have also, um...coordinated with UNSC's astro-physics department and discovered some interesting bits archived in their long-range observational databases. There is a black hole located approximately forty thousand light-years from the Sigma Octanus System. An extremely powerful pulse-laser transmission back-scattered the matter in the accretion disk- essentially trapped this signal as this matter accelerated toward the speed of light. From our perspective, according to special relativity, this essentially froze the residue of this information on the event horizon."

"I'll take your word for it," Dr. Halsey said.

This 'frozen signal' contains information that matches the sample from Sigma Octanus Four." Cortana sighed and her shoulders slumped. "Unfortunately, all my attempts at translating the code have far."

Now for a while, I thought that Cortana was referring to the infra-red beam that the Covenant were using. However, on my last read through, I realized two things-

1. No matter how powerful that infrared beam was, it wasn't possible for that beam to reach a black hole 40 thousand light-years away- that infrared beam must've taken up a huge amount of power to get to the Covenant receiver ship- heck, my remote can barely turn the TV on from 20 feet!

2. Even if the infrared beam somehow reached the black-hole, it couldn't have been frozen in time for around 40,000 years.

Not to mention that the signal from the Covenant's analysis of the rock would have taken 40 000 years just to reach the black hole. Have we discovered another bit of incorrect information in the novel, or does this indicate someone else released such a pulse in millennia past?

For now I too will leave the exact physics of the beam's preservation to Cortana :)

permalink | Halo Installations


Brian "Berry Boy ( writes:

Earlier Ryan Hoisington showed that due to the Halo's having a certain firing radius, there would be a small area of space where the fields of fire would miss, unless they were overlapped. He speculates that the Forerunners wouldn't want that space to exist, and as such would move the Halo rings into a slightly closer position to overlap their area of affect...BUT!! what if the Forerunners (being the intelligent species they are) specifically LEFT that small pocket of space out of the area of affect...? They obviously knew what the Halo weapons would do, having designed it, so why intentionally leave an area untouched...maybe because that is where they knew that they would go to in the event of a Halo activation.

Think of it: the Flood get out of control, the Forerunners agree that the Halo weapons must be activated, and the galaxy purged. They board up, lock up, and leave the Halo weapons en masse (hopefully with no flood onboard) and retreat to their little "safety pocket" of space where the field of effect does not hit. Once there, the weapons activate, and the galaxy is wiped clean. Maybe they stayed there, after that, or maybe, the flood DID follow them or catch them, and in that unaffected area, consumed and destroyed the Forerunners. But then, seeing as the rest of the universe lacked any sufficient biomass to sustain them, the still withered and died...

permalink | Halo Installations


Trying to get a better look at the background images from the Halo Soundtrack...

vze4t8t8 ( writes:

I have just recently gotten the Halo Soundtrack, and I couldn't help but notice that on the back cover, there is a large diagram of Halo, distinguishing the unique features of Halo. These included labels such as:

1) Silent Cartographer
Map Room
(followed by illegible text)

2) Halo's control room and main activation terminal

3) The Library
where resides Halo's index

I noticed that the labels did not include the location of the PoA and the Truth and Reconciliation because these were not original features of Halo. I also noticed that it did not include the swampy area of Guilty Spark 343, where the Flood was released. I wondered to myself why this location was not listed, and I came to the only conclusion I could find: there must have been†more installations that the Flood were contained. How many there are cannot be precisely determined, but there must be quite a number of Flood installations if they were to spread so quickly.

I also noticed that according to the diagram, the Silent Cartographer and Control Room were on opposite sides of Halo. That means that Foe Hammer must have flown roughly 15,700 km just to get†MC from the level SC to AotCR.

Quite a journey. Now if we could acquire a higher quality version of this image or learn of more of its veracity.

permalink | Halo Installations


Upon reviewing the shear volume of related speculation, we may need to add a "Their Survival" subsection...

Menticided ( ) writes:

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

Perhaps what this means is that the Forerunners and Humans were once allied, and it was the Humans who became infected by the Flood parasites. Maybe the Forerunner believed that almost all of the Human race was infected, and since they were friendly, the Forerunner contained infected Humans to try to find a cure for the parasite and revert the infected Humans back to normal. This could explain why GS is surprised and glad to see Humans, and that they have "survived". The Halo as a weapon serves as a safety measure, obviously, to destroy the Flood, along with all life in the Galaxy. If the Forerunner and Humans were once friendly, this could be why the Forerunner wanted to preserve the Flood, but also be able to destroy them. The Forerunners probably were immune to the Flood for some reason or another [or sufficiently equipped to handle them], which is why they were able to stay alive and build the Halos and such.

And opens another possibility as to why 343 would call you Reclaimer. With Humanity as a partner or client of the Forerunner, the revelation of such a past relationship would still be enough to incite gasps from the audience and yet still leave the Halo universe with all the mystery and aura that only an unknown, powerful, though seemingly dead race can bring.

permalink | Humans


Structure and designation: Is each Halo an improved version?

Wade Yamauchi ( writes:

Did Bungie keep the 04 just as a tribute to Nathan? Or did they also keep it because it was an "Island 4"?

If 04 means the fourth generation of artificial "worlds" then the other installations (1 through 3) would be of a lesser technology, following the other installations (if they do exist) backwards to Installation 01 might bring us to the Forerunner Homeworld.

Anyway, I just came up with a new theory (well new to me at least): We won't see installations 1-3, at least not with any life on them. I say Halo (Installation 04) is the first (Alpha) of the next generation of artificial worlds. The Forerunners may have left it to go to Installation 05 (Beta). Installation 05 might be a huge Niven Ringworld sized place, or at least much larger than Installation 04.

Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta... Tiers of power, purpose, or control... hmm. We'll see.

permalink | Halo Installations


Island, Platform, Facility, Planet...

Would a ring in any other shape seem so neat?

Joel Edstrom ( writes:

I noticed that 343GS calls Halo installation 04 and so everyone is assuming that it is the 4th ring world. Or at least the 4th Forerunner installation (Island 4). Well, who knows really? Maybe the screwed up the first 3 times in making a Halo, or maybe the first 3 installations aren't even ring worlds. It is possible that the Forerunner built more than one thing in their time. Maybe their first 3 creations are other geographical shapes (square, pyramid, rectangle for example). We know that there are other Halos because GS says so, so they are probably #s 5 and up. It just makes more sense to me that the Halo that the Master Chief destroys is the first one because why else would they put something as important as the flood on their 4th best installation? If you had something that could kill every living thing wouldn't you put it on your best kept fortress?

permalink | Halo Installations


Islands and Versions

Responding from the confines of his restraints, er... retirement,

Astro the Space Duck ( writes:

Interesting thing to bring up... Two things... First of all, [Island] 4 might not mean 4th best, it could also refer to revision #. ie a Mark V battleroid is better than a Mark I.

Also, just because Halo is installation 004, doesn't mean it's the 4th. Forerunners may standardly use 0-based numbering, so Halo would be 5th.

permalink | Halo Installations


The Library: A test, or some time to think?

Sean Durkin ( writes:

And another thing::

GS was able to transport the chief to the Library........why not put him right up to the index? Why make him fight his way through?

A limitation of GS? or a test?

Perhaps something hindered him transporting the chief closer?

This has been touched on before, but is worth bringing up again. While it may be a test (albeit a rather superfluous and sadistic one) the most likely answer seems to be that Halo's teleportation grid does not allow incoming bodies within a certain proximity to the Index's resting place as a security feature, or in like manner, that all the security doors must be properly bypassed in order to enable its release. This would prevent the theft of the Index through manipulation of the teleportation system, and give you plenty of time to think about what you are about to do, preventing rash or hasty reactions to a possibly recoverable situation.

permalink | Halo Installations


In the same letter,

Sean Durkin ( writes:

I was wondering exactly what killed Mobuto.

The flood attack, and take people away to be infected or they kill and leave the body as seen in a number of levels, one that springs to mind is in the Maw after cryo B room where the overshield is located next to the body of the elites.

But Mobuto's body was a mess. To me this makes no sense. They would want to leave those they attack in a condition that they could†later be†used. So what went on?

Well Master Chief was brought up to be a soldier.....take orders... ask few questions. Mobuto was just a guy. Perhaps he wasn't happy with GS being so vague and became uncooperative, and GS attacked him with his Sentinels. Those lasers have got to be powerful enough to eat away at the armour and flesh and bone etc. That would explain why the body was in such bad condition.

While that is an intriguing explanation of his death, it seems that had he been killed with the Sentinel's lasers, comments would have been made of the burnt flesh or its odor which is commonly found elsewhere in association with the use of their weapons. 'Mangled' seems to imply the Flood's usual zeal and flagrant tentacle beatings...

permalink |



1. To cut off or remove dead or living parts or branches of (a plant, for example) to improve shape or growth.
2. To remove or cut out as superfluous.

Narcogen is to Larry Peterson is to Shishka is to...

Narcogen ( writes:

For clarification, the Beowulf of the legend was not, in fact, a Dane at all, but a Geat. However, the Danish king in the story - Hrothgar, whose mead hall is terrorized by the monster Grendel - had a grandfather named Beowulf.

So there's likely no connection between the AI named Beowulf, the AI named Cortana, and the AI named Durandal - except that Bungie has thoroughly mined the Song of Roland as well as other pieces of medieval literature when coming up with names and themes.

Just my $0.02 :-)

permalink | Marathon Connections


April 26, 2003

The straw that broke the e-camel's back...

The exploration of the possible roots of the name Foe Hammer is nothing new to Bungie fans of old. And while this speculation entered the Halo universe a considerable time ago via a certain Thomas Dow, Jr., its mention was obviously not prominent enough , as we still receive notes to this day kindly pointing it out.

And so, in an effort to finally curb this well meaning, but unfortunately superfluous, stream of mail on the subject, I present, without further ado and with all appropriate apologies to those not credited, the definitive and hopefully final post on this particular relationship, barring any major future revelations.

Stuart Chan ( writes:

Glamdring, the elvish name of the sword worn by Gandalf the Grey in The Lord of the Rings, actually means Foe Hammer in English.

There :)

permalink | Rampant Speculation


April 25, 2003

The neck bones connected to the shoulder bone, the shoulder bone's connected to the foot bone, the foot bone's connec... oh sick!

Arthur Wellesly ( writes:

I'm sure everyone knows that Reach is apparently in the Epsilon Eridani system. Well guess what? Epsilon Eridani is an actual star, and it is indeed close to Earth... only 10.5 lightyears! (99,340,500,000,000 km). So what is the true purpose of this message? Well, keep reading.

Expert scientists have determined that there are at least two planets in orbit around Epsilon Eridani. They are, of course, both gas giants. But these same scientists have also admitted that there may very well be rock class planets in the system, but they are smaller and harder to see. The two main problems are that Epsilon Eridani is a very young star, and secondly planets "a" and "b"'s proximity to the habitable zone (area where liquid water can actually exist (in this system it is estimated to be 0.53 AU)). You see, because of the star's young age, planets in the habitable zone would be bombarded with asteroids that have just recently been attracted to Epsilon Eridani's gravity. (The same thing was happening to†Earth at around the same time period).†The two planets, because of their proximity and position, would not help sling asteroids away from any hospitable planet like Jupiter does for us.

Bottom line: Any planet in the habitable zone in the Epsilon Eridani system would be suitable only for microorganisms and NOT for humans, such as Reach has been described.

Good research. But come on, give them some leeway... it is science FICTION after all ;)

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New! Vitamin Enriched Typos and Dates!

We've received several letters curious about an apparent discrepancy on Lt. Jenkins' video recorder on 343 Guilty Spark:

Shawn St.Clair ( writes:

If you haven't already noticed, the numbers following "Open Record View" are a time and date stamp. It starts with the sequence 2552.5.27 5.52.26 L and ends with 2552.5.27 6.39.23 L. I am guessing all of the events on Halo are taking place on Memorial Day weekend in the year 2552. The L at the end of the numbers means (most likely) Local Time.

A fine and appropriate suggestion. However...

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Dave Wolff ( writes:

In the level 343 Guilty Spark at the scene where the Lt. Jenkins tape is replaying, there is a date at the end of the recording posted at the bottom. In the transcripts you have it posted as î>End Record View (#'s)ë †Well the î(#ìs)ë start with a date ˜ 2552 05 17 ˜ and end with the time of day of the recording. May 17, 2552? According to the time line of TFoR that would be months before Reach fell.

The plots thickens as we look to The Flood for further confirmation. Two early references to McKay's mission clock appear to be the victims of an extra 1 at the beginning (128 (p.127) and 144 hours from departing the Autumn (p.148), rather than a more consistent 28 and 44). Doing a little chrono-dancing, it appears that the events of Halo all take place roughly between the wee morning hours of September the 19th and the Pillar of Autumn's atomic sunrise on the 22nd, 2552.

Ahhh, inconsistencies; definitely not the first instance, and undoubtedly not the last.

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Spencer Ruport ( writes:

Maybe the forerunner are still monitoring the Halo's from afar and maybe... this is exactly the kind of experiment they had hoped for...

Hmmm. Those super-sentient races of antiquity always seem to pop up at the most unlikely times, leaving notes and telling you what to do. "Sleeping God" this, and "Tau Ceti" that...

permalink | The Forerunner


Furthering an earlier post by Shishka,

Larry Peterson ( writes:

...a little research into Cortana's name gives a bit of legend about Charlemagne. That's right. Charlemagne. Particularly, this legend where Charlemagne presents a sword to the prince of the Danes.

The sword bears an inscription:

"My name is Cortana, of the same steel and temper as Joyeuse and Durindana."

And of course, the most famous of the Princes of the Danes was ... Beowulf! †Another AI in the Fall of Reach!

permalink | Marathon Connections


landon ( writes:

the covenant are a collection of species aren't they. why don't they just incorporate the humans into their covenant. if i was a covenant i sure wouldn't mind master chief on my team would you?

No, I can't say that I would mind one bit. It's like I always say, when the going gets tough, make the tough some cookies ;)

permalink | Humans


Jamirus99 ( writes:

vec-tor n. 2. Pathology. An organism, such as a mosquito or tick, that carries disease-causing microorganisms from one host to another.

So basically what 343 GS is saying is that, even though the Flood have, through evolution of thousands of years, come to genetically "own" a like host body ( the Ranger type discussed before) it is the disease that is the flood, not the body itself. Looks like even the Ranger forms are slaves of the Flood(the ticks, you might say)†: probably natural selection made them the best form to use†because of their endurance and mouth, which would easily allow the Flood to inject its spores into the next†host body.

I've always believed that they burrowed into the bodies so that they could release the spores into the bloodstream. They just latch on and let the spores flow from them into the host body...then stay on as a base for the coming evolution.

And, as he goes on to ask, if this scenario is true, how long then has the Flood virus had these Ranger bodies at their disposal? Were they accrued through evolution or engineering? Alternately, the term used by 343, vector (which public consensus seems to rest on), could in this case be being used dismissing the aspect of the disease as a microorganism, rather pointing to the Ranger itself as the disease with the Host playing vector; or more simply, referring to the Host life form as the vector for the Spores originally carried within the Ranger.

permalink |


Frank "Arsynic" Rivers" ( writes:

The point of Halo is two-fold: To study the flood virus and if their is an outbreak, to destroy their hosts. See, the Forerunners did not know how to kill the Flood virus. What you see in the game is the EFFECT of the Flood virus, not the CAUSE. What you shoot and kill in the game is the EFFECT of the virus.

This is an important point: The Forerunners didn't know how to kill the Flood virus much like we don't know the cure for AIDS today. Now using the AIDS analogy, while we're trying to discover a cure for it, we also have measures in place to deal with outbreaks. Halo serves both functions: To find a cure for the virus and if another outbreak occurred, to kill the food source of the Flood. Sadly the Forerunners never got the chance to find the cure for the virus. Thus the conundrum: They were willing to sacrifice the lives in one galaxy for the benefit of other galaxies. Halo's purpose is for others to continue the work that the Forerunners started and to find a cure for the virus.

"Whoever controls†Halo controls the fate of the universe..."

That makes sense. Whoever controls Halo†has access to its research facilities†which can be used to study and find a†cure for the cause, the Flood virus. The fate of the universe depends on finding a cure for this deadly†disease.

However, what remains a mystery is the fact that 343 Guilty Spark didn't use a member of the Covenant to†do his dirty work. Why weren't they†qualified to reunify the index with the core?

More Human-Forerunner evidence (either as a direct link or showing the Humans to be a client race or "favourite child" of the Forerunner), or were Mobuto and John-117 merely at the right place at the right time? What exactly, are the criteria to qualify as a Reclaimer? Ability? Uniform? Rank? Humanoid? A "combat-skin" of some sorts? Or is simply enough to be Human (whatever that entails)?

permalink | Halo Installations


Jonathan Latkowcer ( writes:

Just because the Halo you're on was fired, doesn't necessarily mean that all the other Halo's went off. There might be a deactivation switch on them, just in case something went wrong and one was set off accidentally. Also, perhaps the other Halo's weren't built yet. It seems possible that only a few Halos were used against the Flood, and then the Forerunners decided to build more as an afterthought.

An intriguing possibility, though building several Halos is a pretty big afterthought ;)

permalink | Halo Installations


And again from Jonathan Latkowcer:

Finally, "Guilty Spark"? Sounds like what you might name something that would fix an error by lighting a bomb, wouldn't you say?

permalink | Monitors


Finally! An age old homework assignment finds its way to our desk.

Roy Vandewater ( writes:

I looked up some references on Google with it set so the word Halo was excluded. I got some interesting results. The phrase 'guilty spark' is used to describe the actions that fathers take when a tragedy occurs. A tragedy of a lost child, causing the father to become insane and kill people. Perhaps the forerunners were wiped out for some unknown reason and GS has become insane. GS want's to kill everyone because it thinks that it was the cause of the forerunner's extinction. That would explain his great want to set off Halo.

TrËs intÈressant.

permalink | Monitors



Shane Meyer ( writes:

In Halo: The Flood, some of the marines talk about when a grunt or jackal was infected by the Flood it was used as a "nucleus" from which several other Flood "spore" forms grow around. This proves that without a doubt that without hosts to "infect", the Flood would perish, if not go through a long hibernation such as the one they went through on Halo. That only leaves one more question? Can the Flood weaken and die over time or can they remain in hibernation indefinitely?

Given the seemingly immense lengths of time that the Flood laid dormant within the Halo prior to their most recent flourishing, it would appear that they can hibernate for quite a while (unless, as has also been speculated, they were in a state of suspended animation/stasis of sorts). But if this is the case, and the Flood are only forced into remission by a lack of host, rather than eliminated entirely through starvation, then what good is the Halo, a weapon that would then only slow the inevitable?

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Longtime HSP patron Ryan7 ponders the poignant possibility of potential Covenant survivors.

Dallon ! ( writes:

Did some of the Covenant on Halo escape? And is that the key to how they found earth?

Recently it occurred to me that it is possible that some of the Covenant on Halo could have escaped alive. We know that the Longswords are very fast - they must be or Cortana and the Master Chief wouldn't have got far enough away from Halo before it's destruction. However, in the intro sequence of the first level Cortana specifically states that the Covenant ships are faster than human ones. Of course it is possible that Cortana did not mean that all Covenant ships are faster than all human ones but even so it seems possible that at least a few of the them could have escaped alive.

This brings up another point. We know that in Halo 2 the Covenant have found and are attacking earth. The Covenant in that dropship were probably on the Pillar of Autumn before they took off and may have examined the ship's systems, as 343 Guilty Spark did. It is possible that they did this while Cortana was in there (when she and the Chief visit the bridge he puts her back into the POA's systems for a short time) and learned the location of earth (Cortana stores this information - this is why Captain Keyes gave her to the Chief to protect). If they did this and then escaped they could have then informed the rest of the Covenant and then they would have launched an invasion of earth, which would explain how they found it.

Well, they didn't leave on the Pillar of Autumnm or the Truth and Reconciliation, that much is clear. Cortana seems to indicate that no one else was present in the Threshold system after the ring's destruction, and we know that the "[Covenant] leadership ordered all ships to abandon Halo when they found the Flood", but one would assume that at least a single ship would have needed to remain to launch the strike teams from...

permalink | The Covenant


Playing to lose

Aida-kun ( writes:

Maybe 343 Guilty Spark had some agenda he wanted to pursue away from the Halo, but was forced to watch over it as Monitor by directives programmed by the Forerunners. He couldn't directly go against his preprogrammed directives, but he COULD play to lose -- make "mistakes" at certain junctures, such as failing to activate the mass sterilization protocols until the Covenant freed the Flood.

If you've read The Ringworld Engineers, you'll know what I mean with [SPOILER if you haven't] Teela's inability to allow them to succeed -- so she fails, to achieve a more important goal than immediate victory. [END SPOILER] With the Halo and (hopefully!) Flood destroyed beyond salvaging, 343 GS cannot continue his duties as Monitor, therefore is free to do whatever he wants, within any other limitations he has. I think the assumption that he's angry about the destruction of Halo is not one we can safely make...


Speaking of programming, Darryl Henderson comments,

Could GS 343's insanity have been caused by a programming conflict? (Think of HAL-9000 in 2001: A Space Odysey and the resulting diagnosis found in the sequel 2010: The Year We make Contact.) GS could have unknowingly comitted an act that was in conflict with his programming, and it snowballed into insanity.

permalink | Monitors


Simpsons Rule ( writes:

I was reading about the nature of the flood and something struck me as familiar. It said that the flood adapt to there host by acquiring their technology. This can be readily seen when the flood take over a human or elite as they control the weapons with perfect precision. Now I read in the Fall of Reach that the Covenant go from species to species taking the technology of "useful" species and killing off others. Why does this sound like the Flood?

A "long history" together indeed...

permalink | The Covenant


Please Hammer don't hurt 'em!

Krillin Matthews ( writes:

In Steven King's first widely popular novel, he had written in a very crucial character known as foe hammer. In this book, based in a time of kings and knights, a rather mediocre king known as the Good King Rowland was off hunting one day when he encountered a dragon. While everyone else in his party were taken off guard by the dragon and panicked, he stayed calm, drew his bow... and shot his prized arrow, foe hammer, at this dragon. He killed it with that one shot to the heart and proceeded to eat its heart, as was custom... or something like that.

Later on in the book, this same prized arrow was used by his son to kill the very embodiment of evil known as the magician Flagg. I don't know if any of this has anything to do with Halo's Foe-hammer, but it's just something for you to think about.

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Reiyou ( writes:

Keyes is still en-route which means when he went in, the flood decided to have a second dinner and munched on marine. However, How do the†flood know to keep Keyes as non-combative flood? The answer†is the Covenant. The elites would know and if elites are part of the flood hive mind, it would obviously know†how to†access their memory storage.

Covenant: They're not just for dinner anymore.

permalink | The Flood


April 1, 2003

Well, Halo: The Flood is out and we here at the HSP have been reading like mad in order to soak up as much of the newly-defined story points as possible. Here is a rundown of some of the more significant things gleaned from the book. I've decided to limit the detail of information, as you all will get so much more out of it if you get the book and read it for yourself. :-)

First off, there's the subject of Foehammer, aka Flight Officer Captain Carol Rawley. I'm not one to discourage speculation, but this pretty much puts an end to the Foehammer as an AI theories. However, all is not lost for Foehammer fans. As pointed out by Gagaw over on the HBO forum, "Carol Rawley" seems a likely nod to Christopher Rowley, author of the Starhammer books. (Hey! I've heard of those somewhere!)

We also learn a bit about Prophets. As you probably know, in Covenant social structure, they are superior to the Elites. This may be due, in part, to the knowledge that the Prophets evolved on an abandoned Forerunner planet. I challenge you, however, to read carefully the section where this is revealed. Are things as they seem? You be the judge...

Some of the most interesting information comes from that paragon of beauracratic insanity, 343 Guilty Spark. We learn, for instance, exactly how long ago he was left in charge of things. I'll leave it to you to find out on your own, but I can say that it was a while ago. A looong while. Time enough for some serious personality quirks to set in, that's for sure. Another interesting thing pertains to the nature of the Reclaimer. It's pretty significant, so I'll make an exception here and quote right from the book:

"As he proceeded deeper into the Library, he found a corpse-a human one. He stooped to examine the body. It wasn't pretty. The Marine's body was so mangled that even the Flood couldn't make use of him. He lay at the center of a large bloodstain wreathed by spent brass. "Ah," 343 Guilty Spark said, peering down over the Spartan's shoulder. "The other Reclaimer. His combat skin proved even less suitable than yours.""
Intriguing! I wonder if the dead Marine's name is of any particular significance? ;-)

Speaking of the Flood, there are a more than a couple of passages that warrant some serious analysis. One particular plotline, however, may be significant. We've mentioned the Keyes blob before, but I expect it to be revisited with renewed vigor now that we get a glimpse of what it's like for Keyes himself to be consumed by the Flood, and a peek at what's going through their virulent little minds, other than shotgun pellets.

A few last quick points:

The MC seems to be the last SPARTAN. So lonely...
Ever wonder how you know what buttons to push on those enigmatic Forerunner control panels? Well, the MC in the book wonders that as well.
You've been battling Covenant for some time, even before the events in the game. You seem to have developed a bit of a reputation as well. You and your history are being scrutinized by more than a few er, characters.
The flash clone that replaced you when you were abducted as a child wouldn't have made a good SPARTAN candidate.
The Elite and Hunter names seem like they should be significant. Get out your decoder rings and your anagram amulets and get to work!

And this last bit:

You are being watched, even earlier in the game and more closely than you think...

permalink |

Paul Hobson ( writes:

The Pillar of Autumn:† There is a large corridor just before you follow the nav point and go through the heating/cooling vents on the ship.† In this corridor are 3 grunts right down the end.† Every time I get to this bit I pull out my pistol and WHACK!† Splat them..............makes sense right?† However, has anybody else noticed a creature (another Spartan?) in camouflage????

What makes me wonder is that I had not been able to hit this 'thing' ever.† And it makes me wonder where the thing goes to................does it beat you into the air vents?????

Nice work, Paul. Now, can anyone else verify the active camo spy on the PoA?

permalink | The Covenant


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