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The Halo Story

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June 28, 2004

Over on the HBO forum, that perennial hotbed of Halo-mongering proclivities, an interesting thread has developed. The blanket statement, "it is a generally accepted theory that humans are the forerunner," might be a bit too absolute for my tastes, but the thread has a lot of interesting, comprehensive speculation going on. Chances are, if you're reading this here you've already been there, but go check it out anyway and throw your two cents in! Who knows, maybe someday we'll inspire some folks "in-the-know" to chime in. ;-)

permalink | Rampant Speculation


June 17, 2004

Sam Haverson, by way of the fine folks at the GameFAQs forum ( writes:

There's been some speculation as to the purpose of the war. I found this theory extremely plausible: the Humans are Forerunners... and the Prophets know it. The Elites, Brutes, Jackals, Grunts, and Hunters don't. Now see, the Prophets know that the Humans are Forerunners that are rather inferior to the original type. They, being smart creatures, know that if the Elites and other races see that their gods are these inferior beings with low technology, they will inevitably turn against them; their point being something like "You had us worshiping these things?". The Prophets, to make sure this doesn't happen, immediately declare that the gods hate humanity and that they have told them to destroy it.

One of the more intriguing things about the approach of Halo 2 is the possibility of some significant Prophet interactions. They seem to hold most, if not all of the keys in the Covenant empire. After all this time, aren't we entitled to some Tru7h?

permalink | The Covenant


Fritz Langford ( writes:

I think that 343 knows you are of the same species as a human, though maybe he doesn't know that we call ourselves 'human', but maybe he thinks we are part of the Covenant. To my knowledge, we have no instances of Sentinels fighting the Covenant until after 343 GS is trying to kill us (beginning of Two Betrayals). He also says that

"The Flood are already hard at work repairing your vessel. Its parasitic nature belies the Flood's intelligence." - 343 Guilty Spark

Now, it seems to me (and many, many others), that the flood are trying to repair the Truth and Reconciliation, not the PoA. But in the Maw, he knows that the PoA (or at least it's record) belongs to you

"...To have a record of all of our lost time! Human history, is it?..." -
343 Guilty Spark

So perhaps he thinks BOTH ships belong to you, or your race, at least...
Curiouser and Curiouser...

Excellent conjecture. I wonder if our little friend will turn up again. We know he's alive, after all, but it would be nice to be able to get a few, er... answers out of him on some things.

permalink | Rampant Speculation

-mnemesis ( writes:

I'm not sure if anybody's suggested this before, but it seems everybody thinks that the Forerunners were human. What if they were, instead, our overlords?

I can't help but wonder if maybe the humans were at one point enslaved or created by the Forerunners - in the Bible, God made a "Covenant" with Noah (or just humanity in general, but I can't remember, nor can I find my Bible at the moment) that he would never unleash a "Flood" again. Now, the Flood part is obvious. And I'm sure that it's been postulated before that the Covenant may have been created or commanded (or something) by the Forerunner to guard the Halo installations.

Now, there are obviously some problems with this idea, but I've got a few answers to those questions, too. Since the Spartans seem to be eerily familiar with Forerunner stuff - the light bridge comes to mind, as does the Reach underground with the symbols and everything - it seems to suggest that at some point in our far past, the humans were created by the Forerunners and would, subsequently, gain an intimate knowledge of their constructs and language and all that. Now, have there been any people aside from Spartans that have been oddly familiar with Forerunner things? It a long shot, but maybe it has to do with the augmentations Dr. Halsey made to them - a side effect of the reaction speeding, perhaps. IIRC, it increased the speed of information inside their brains? It isn't impossible that such an unexplored surgical procedure could enhance other abilities, like increased capacity to access genetic memory.

Good point. The uncanny abilities that the SPARTANs have with certain Forerunner elements has always pointed to some kind of relationship between the two, but, as always, the specific definition eludes us. Perhaps we have found a way to tap into our "inner Forerunner."

permalink | The Forerunner

I've got one last thing - I'm starting to believe that the symbols at Sigma Octanis and Reach were created by Humans, rather than Forerunners. Why would a race trying to study or contain a species - in what I would assume to be seclusion - point the way to its cage? Instead, I think the Humans put those symbols there to make sure that if the Flood were ever released again (is "broken covenant" of any Biblical significance?) they would know where to go in order to kill them. I just can't reconcile this with the fact that the Covenant knew where to look for the stones, though.

Perhaps such a hypothetical earlier human civilization had a secondary purpose in putting those symbols where they might be found. After all, might there be some of us who would realize that we had left those for ourselves? Would our previous selves trust us that much? Are we worthy of such trust? Hypothetically speaking, of course? ;-)

permalink | The Forerunner


God_Holocaust ( writes:

Ackerson gave the covenant AIs as well. That bastard.

Cortana notes that part of the dissected Covenant AI looks like her, but... horribly fractured. And she also notes that the copying software might do the same to her. Am I the only one making 3 and 4 equal 7? Ackerson sold the Covenant one AI, as well as Earth and all the rest, which I already discussed, and the covenant copied it over and over and over.

Oh, and one more thing pointing to my theory being correct?

Ackerson's attitude towards Reach. Lieutenant Wagner thinks Ackerson sounds almost as though he WANTED the Covenant to glass Reach. And how did Ackerson get back to Earth anyway?

"Halsey's freaks have finally lost their luster of invulnerability." Ackerson is speaking almost from a Covenant point of view. The Covenant know now that the Spartans can be killed.

Ackerson also pours cold water on the idea of sending a scout ship to Reach. His reasoning, on the surface, is that the UNSC cannot spare one ship. He drills the idea that everyone on Reach is dead into the good Lieutenant, making it seem silly to send a scout ship. There obviously was something on Reach that he didn't want the UNSC to know about.

He also suggests pulling back everything to defend Earth. It seems odd that the Covenant had a massive fleet at the Unyielding Hierophant. Ackerson, you bastard! He was trying to catch all of the UNSC forces at Earth, and wipe them all out in one fell swoop.

It is a well-known fact of science fiction that government spooks are never to be trusted. Is Ackerson any different? Time will tell...


permalink | ONI

-mnemesis ( writes:

Mostly all of the weapons of the covenant are plasma weapons but, what about the Needler?
I think the Needler was originaly a Forunner wepon to exterminate the Flood and the Covenant Found it and added it to there weaponry. Proof: On the 343 Quilty Spark level in one of the rooms we see two Needlers laying on the ground With refill cartridges. Thats the ONLY time we see cartriges for the Needler. My Point is that why Do we see the refills only on that level?

Good question. The needler would, by all appearances, be a terrible weapon to use against the Flood, as it's highly likely that a good portion of the pink death you fire will be coming back to you, bounding along on twitchy, flailing tentacles. That said, why is that the only place where needler ammo is available? Bungie sadism? Or something else, perhaps...

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Xzilen ( writes:

From the looks of it, the Covenant vastly out number the UNSC in Fleet size, or at least they did.

The Covenant may have higher numbers, and the UNSC may have taken heavy losses in the past, but from reading Fall of Reach, The Flood, and First Strike, I believe that the Covenant may only be able to launch one final offensive, if their first attack on Earth fails, I do not think they will have the forces to launch another.

Here's what I came up with:

172 Covenant Ships lost throughout the Fall of Reach book.

5 CONFIRMED (a covenant armada obliterated sounds to be a bit more though) Covenant ships in Halo: The Flood

And with the Nuke on Reach and other kills Cortona made added to the Vice Admirals destruction of an estimated 488 covenant ships, I would put Covenant losses at 500 in Halo: First Strike.

Over all, thats 682 Covenant Capital ships destroyed that I could come up with. Don't really know if this is important, but I found it intresting.

682 ships, huh? Since we aren't given any clue that this means much to the Covenant and their galactic domination plans, I shudder to imagine how big the rest of the fleet is.

Hold on a sec... 6 + 8 + 2 = 16, and 1 + 6 = 7. Yep. Must be right.

permalink | The Covenant


H¬kan Alvner ( writes:

When you read Halo: The Flood, it mentions Sarge Mobuto, who made it quite far in The Library.

Apparently, the Monitor thought as him as a possible Reclaimer too. I find that very, very odd. Take this into the equation: "But you already knew that. I mean, how couldn't you?" and we have trouble.

In my opinion, it doesn't really matter what he was supposed to know, the important things are:
1: Both John-117 and Sergeant Mobuto were candiates for being a (The?) Reclaimer. (Instead of what many believe, that John was, in Sparks eyes, destined to be a Reclaimer based upon one of 343GS's previous meetings, and that he confuses John with that Reclaimer.)
2: 343GS just assumes that the Reclaimer know. How could that be if multiple persons are candidates for being a (The?) Reclaimer? Does he assume that everyone who comes to "Installation 04" knows everything about its purpose, or that the one who manages to pass the test of The Library must be in possession of that knowledge?

Questions, questions.

Title by proximity, eh? Interesting concept. I don't know if the Library would be considered a "test", unless that were the only place that the Flood could go, once they were released. I suppose it could be a test of your following skills, maybe. ;-)

permalink | Monitors


Patrick Welsh ( writes:

Just something I thought you'd be interested in, I was looking at numerical values of Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic and noticed some odd occurances. They ranged from downright interesting:

-Cortana's Greek numerical equivalent is 782, so it means the word 'sabotage'. (I might have gotten that one wrong, but the rest are correct).

-The 117 in our very famous, John 117, is the Jewish value of ZIQ, meaning 'comet' or 'meteor'. the downright strange:

-343 in Hebrew is 'Ark of God'. BIG blasphomey to any Hasidic or Orthodox Jew. the downright spooky:

-343 in Greek is 'Membrane' or 'Origin'. This makes complete sense in my twisted mind, seeing how he is basically the brain of Halo.

Also another note, 343 BC is a big date for the Egyptians. It was the fall of the 30th, and last natural dynasty for Egypt. Artaxerxes of Persia conquered them. But Nectanebo II, the last of the rulers, lived on, despite his family and lordship crumbling. I thought that was pretty interesting, possibly a prelude of GS outliving the Forerunner?

Once again, it is to the Bungie fans that these fantastic, yet strangely seductive connections are left to discover, and then scrutinize deeply. Fascinating stuff!

permalink | Rampant Speculation


James Grubb ( writes:

After I finished reading the books, I remembered that the tactics the UNSC fleet used (excluding Captain Keyes) were reminiscent of tactics in the Revolutionary War. I reread The Fall of Reach and discovered that my observation had been pointed out, briefly.

"Admiral Stanforth had the fleet exchanging fire with the Covenant like a line of Redcoats and colonial militia in the Revolutionary War -- tactics that could best be described as bloody ... or suicidal." - p. 189

It was at that point when I decided to try and find as many similarities between the Revolutionary War and the Covenant War. My findings are as follows:

1) The UNSC fleet, approx. 48 ships, was lined up to engage the Covenant fleet, approx. 20 ships, strait on, the same as early infantry battles in the Revolutionary War.
2) The ships were positioned in a line, limiting maneuverability, which kept the fleet from being able to dodge incoming plasma. The same is true with the American and British forces when advancing towards each other, they can't dodge the rifle or cannon fire, so they walk straight into it.

Now that there are some similarities, I move on to some suggestions that may have made the battle at Sigma Octanus IV less costly for the UNSC fleet:

1) If more ships like the Cradle had been at the battle, they could have taken the bulk of the Covenant plasma hits, sparing dozens of Human battleships from certain destruction. As a suggestion for future "head-on" ship engagements, a series of "shield ships" should be constructed and used to block the first few Covenant salvos, before being completely melted away. That would even the odds significantly.
2) It was later observed in the book that as a Covenant ship exits slip-space, it shields are down, and they take a few moments to power back up. Had this been realized shortly before the Covenant fleet arrived at Sigma Octanus IV, the UNSC could have launched a volley of archer missiles (with a few dozen nukes mixed in) at the approaching ships. Many of the missiles would be destroyed by plasma turrets, but some of the nukes would make it within range to do some serious damage to the Covenant ships.

More similarities between the two wars:

1) Both wars saw that head to head combat is deadly, and ineffective when attempting to stay alive.
2) Guerrilla warfare proves to be the best means of defeating the enemy.

However, the Revolutionary War had an end, but so far, the Covenant/Human War does not. Time for some speculation....

The colonial forces were desperately seeking help from other nations, and found that France was willing to help, if the colonial army could produce a victory. When a victory was achieved, the French sailed over and trapped the British at Yorktown, where the war eventually ended.
The UNSC attained a minor victory against the Covenant fleet at Sigma Octanus IV, but also suffered a crippling defeat at Reach. However, Halo proved that the UNSC forces could defeat the Covenant on the ground. In addition to the victory at Halo, the destruction of the Unyielding Hierophant and a large portion of the Covenant fleet in First Strike proved that humanity could deal crippling blows to the Covenant without high human losses.

With these victories in place, is it possible that humanity could find an ally? And if humanity found an ally, who would it be? The Forerunner?

An alliance of some kind would be something definitely worth looking forward to in Halo 2. But, as James says, with whom?

Then again, isn't always left to the hero to ultimately save the day? Might it not be our destiny, as with certain previous encounters with fate, to go this one alone?

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Matt Forbes ( writes:

The following theory was posted a few months ago on the Forum, but was done so in reply to a dying thread, (there were reasons for this which I won't bore you with), and as such was hardly read by anyone. (Here's a newer thread that looks at the same stuff, which currently can be replied to. -Ed.)

I was playing through the Library last night, when something 343 said struck me as odd, and made me question whether he really knows who or what he is talking to. He refers to your armour as a "Combat Skin" in the comments he makes about your need to upgrade it, but when he mentions the Flood changing the atmosphere, he says "Your Environment Suit should serve you well..." This differing nomenclature made me wonder whether the two items he refers to are different - i.e. your armour is what he refers to as the 'Environment Suit', and your 'Combat Skin' is the Chief's body?

Sounds bonkers, but bear with me. We don't really know anything about the Forerunner, and have no physical evidence of their form - could they be so advanced that they no longer have their own bodies, but have the ability to control other being's physical forms? The Chief certainly seems to know how to use Forerunner tech even though he's not supposed to have come across it before, and 343 GS could recognise something in the Chief's brainwaves, rather than in his physical form. A Forerunner may be piggybacking his way across Halo in the Chief's brain! GS could be berating the Forerunner's choice of body to secure the Index - he came in a crappy Human combat skin, rather than another one. Perhaps the last time Halo was set off, the Forerunner were forced to occupy Flood beings, as the rest of the Galaxy was "quite devoid of life", and this is why GS says that "their [Forerunner?] survival as a race was dependent on it" - meaning the enduring of the Flood. Why don't the Forerunner have full control over their human vehicle? I don't know, but possibly they've been used to sitting in a Flood's knackered cerebral cortex for too long and are out of practice, or maybe John 117's intense military training and monolithic sense of duty makes him immune.

It could also explain why all the doors on Halo are different sizes, because depending on which being the Forerunners were inhabiting, different sized portals may have been necessary. The idea that GS isn't actually talking to the Chief could account for the perception that GS thinks the Chief has set off Halo before - he doesn't think the Chief has at all, as he is actually addressing the Forerunner in John 117's head, who have/has set Halo off before, and having done so were forced to inhabit the forms of the very creatures they sought to contain.

Indeed, we don't know much about the Forerunner. Their creation was all around us throughout the game, yet we've never had the slightest inkling that something was watching from the shadows. Or, have we? And, which shadows, eh?

permalink | The Forerunner


June 15, 2004

Curiouser and Curiouser...

There has been some discussion lately over on the HBO forum concerning Grunts. Specifically, Grunts without their masks on. There are a couple of very interesting points made in that thread. It might be worth a look (or worth contributing to ;-)). "Why show the Grunt without a mask?" you might say. Well, only Bungie knows that, and while we normally would look for official word somewhere, sometimes things wash up on a hard drive somewhere that simply can't wait. Take a look. ;-)

permalink | The Covenant


June 7, 2004

Wade Yamauchi ( writes:

Could 343 Guilty Spark have never actually met a reclaimer personally. What if he had just gone through simulations of firing Halo. The simulations of course are not real, however, perhaps 343 GS is a bit confused and thinks the simulations were real.

Even if Halo's superweapon was actually fired before for real, there is no positive evidence to support that 343 GS was the one in charge of Halo when it was fired. He could have been put in charge after the last time Halo was fired. Simulations would have been part of his training protocols.

Oh, he's "confused," all right. Interesting possibility that there might have been another Monitor around, one who would have theoretically been 343's superior. Now, would that be 342, or 344? ;-)

permalink | Monitors


dcburt ( writes:

Is the index holographic or solid? it seems to change to switch around. The chief holds it, and then the moniter zaps it into data, and then cortana's hologram hand tosses it away. What actually is it?

Excellent question, really great. This is one of the things that I imagine one would find in the pages of the famed Halo Story Bible, right there for anyone to read. Anyone who gets past the Webmaster, that is. Which all goes to say that we might never know. Damn. But, again, good question. ;-)

(Which is not to say that the subject hasn't been toyed with...)

permalink | The Forerunner


Charles Grey ( writes:

hey, I just figured out how the hunters do NOT get infected by flood!!!

It goes like this: the ONLY (known) way of cheating the flood of infecting you, besides not letting them near your spine, is to have Borens Syndrome, like Sarge has.

Now your thinking, " So what?". Fine, be that way. Anyway, the Hunters cannot be infected because...(drum roll) all the Hunters in the game ALL have Borens Syndrome, or something like it!!!!!

But'', you say,'' there is no proof''. Ah , but YOU are wrong. See, reveiwing our knowledge of Borens leads to this info:
(1. It leads to some mental degradation.
(2. It is caused by extra exposure to plasma.
(3. It renders subject immune to Flood.

And HERE is the proof:
(1. Hunters dont seem too bright
(2. Hunters have a huge Fuel Rod Gun strapped to their arm, which would leak a huge amount of plasma.
(3. Hunters are not nfected by Flood

The main proof is the 2nd one, and who can deny the fact that the fuel rod gun is big, glows, is very um... plasma-using, and is strapped to the Hunter???

AND, to prove even more, I have a hunch that the amour of the hunter is also radiating plasma. The only proof of this is the immense stregth of it, but ill try to convince you. Explain: Imagine weapons-grade plasma or similar, and then this plasma is somehow BONDED on the atomic level to a very strong metal. AND after this, you may get something similar to Hunter armour. This all links nicely to my original theory: Hunters have Borens Syndrome.

Nice! While I hesitate to question the Sarge's intelligence, there seems no doubt that the Hunters themselves are a bit, er, simpleminded in their duties. Strong as hell and a nasty backhand, but simple nonetheless. Hmm. I wonder if erstwhile Halo Story creator Brannon Boren has ever harbored any Hunter-like aspirations. ;-)

permalink | The Covenant


Harbinger: the title of First Strike's epilogue, and so much more...

Paul ( writes:

Hi guys,

firstly, I just wanted to say that you guys rock and that as a huge fan and halo fan that you're work on keeping all us loonies informed is not without great thanks and kudo's.

Ok - I have been doing a bit of dictionary and thesaurus work of late on Halo names and one that got me quite excited was when I plugged in "Forerunner" into (not plug intended) and heres what a got:

a. One that precedes, as in time; a predecessor. b. An ancestor; a forebear.

a. One that comes before and indicates the approach of another; a harbinger. b. A warning sign or symptom.

Ok - so most of us are like "duh" about the first result, as in #1. But #2 has some major implications on who the Forerunner are. And I doubt seriously that Bungie would have chosen the word and its meanings by chance.

No, never by chance. There has been mention lately of the possibility of a new race and/or species in Halo 2. Could this be the "harbingee" Paul's theory would allude to? If so, the Forerunner link would have to indicate that the Forerunner themselves knew this possible "other" was to come. Intriguing!

permalink | The Forerunner


dogsounds ( writes:

Recently, Giorgio Vassallo posted some findings on his Halo=Romans theory, and said:

"4th: Back in the Roman times, september used to be the 7th month, october the 8th and so on...and halo takes place in SEPTEMBER!!!! does this tell us something?"

To which you commented "Whew...apparently. But what exactly?"

Well, story-wise, not much, but perhaps it gives another insight into the name "Pillar of Autumn" - September being the first month of the season...a supporting month, a support for the coming season? I know what I mean I just seem to be having trouble verbalising it...although Foundation may be a more apt term than Pillar...

However, this really only adds possible meaning to the name in terms of Bungie and their reasoning, not within the scope of the story. Gah.

It's all connected, all of it. Always. :-)

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Nick Turner ( writes:

Has anybody brought up the point of Cortana still having possession of the Index from Halo 04?

Could this be a factor in Halo 2? There is meant to be another Halo installation in the sequel and maybe the index can operate other/all Halos, I may be throwing an idea way into the air but if I were to already have the key to a super weapon It would make my enemies think twice about pissing me off.

I can't take credit for having the slightest idea of what possibilites percolate madly away in the heads of Jason, et al, as they feverishly populate the Halo universe with conundrums wrapped in riddles wrapped in enigmas wrapped in bacon and sizzling at the hearts of alien suns, but I am willing to lay heavy money on the Index coming back in Halo 2. It's just too interesting to leave in Cortana's increasingly cramped and disorganized databanks. ;-)

permalink | Cortana


Nick Hlatky ( writes:

i dont know if anyone has noticed this before, but i havent seen it mentioned on your website. when cortana is on the pillar of autumn she is colored purple. however, when she is in the control room and inserted into the mainframe, her color is different. im not sure what this means but it could mean that something has changed about her.

Actually, I don't think I have seen that pointed out anywhere before (Okay, maybe once, but my decrepit mind tends to repress things sometimes, especially from Ross ;-)). Now that you mention it though, she does look a little bit green when she first gets a taste of the Control Room. Envy, perhaps? Rampancy theorists, arise! ;-)

permalink | Cortana


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