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The Halo Story

News Archive

August 12, 2003

The Engineer As we all know, many aspects of Halo had to be trimmed to produce a smooth, balanced game for release. The gravity rifle, ambient life, etc. Counted among the axed was another member of the Covenant, previously seen only in this early screen and mentioned in The Fall of Reach. In the words of Jason Jones (EGM #54):

We called him "The Engineer". Imagine a huge, long slug with pouches of gas bubbles bulging out of his back. He would float everywhere, he had these six manipulator tentacles, and he was the guy the Covenant sent down to Halo to suck all the secrets out of the machines. His role in combat was basically to add a shield to the Covenant around him. He was a total coward; he'd hide from everything, so he was kind of hard to kill. It definitely made the fighting interesting and different...

Well, the hacking shenanigans of BOLL have recently unearthed, amongst other things posted to the forum, a model of this new caste, left buried on the Halo DVD. They float, wiggle, and look darn cool, though without an AI, they're about as sharp as a sack of wet mice. (A movie of the Engineer "in action" can be seen here.)

Are there any other models or details scattered about the disc? Louis isn't the only one scraping brains off of the wall...

permalink | The Covenant


August 7, 2003

Humanity's relationship to the Forerunner has been questioned and touted a great deal in our hallowed halls and lofty pages. At this stage in the game, direct evidence is still scarce, but signals and signs are abundant. For example, early backstory for Halo mentions Human colonists discovering seemingly indigenous Human settlements on distant worlds; a powerful conglomeration of races wants Humanity exterminated for a reason that has few satisfying, foreseeable options; the various biblical parallels involving both the Flood and "Ark theories" provide ample history; John and other's almost tacit knowledge of Forerunner interfaces; at least one inspiration for Halo's story sees Humanity in the position of descendant in relation to a mysterious, enigmatic race; 343 Guilty Spark's highly ambiguous commentary portends a presence and background we have not yet fully conceived.

In this post by Ace we are, as with most speculation, presented and left with more questions than answers, but with a little fiendish editing for brevity and focus...

Earlier I posted about the "Class 2 Armor Thing." After reading a couple of reply posts, it hit me. Like a flood tentacle, right in the face. THAT ARMOR! WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MASTER CHIEFS ARMOR?? Try and bear with me, I feel a rant coming on. Everybody has been talking about how guilty spark recognizes the [human] armor: the armor was taken from forerunner technology, the armor was copied from covenant technology, etc. But we're missing something HUGE here.

The covenant possess nothing which they have not stolen. To quote the prophet from The Flood: (Prophet, to an Elite, talking about Mjolnir armor) "The technology underlying the armor you wear came straight from the forerunners. To say that it is in any way inferior [to the Human-made Mjolnir] verges on sacrilege." (p. 95-96)

Think about it. The covenant are religious zealots, but they don't worship the forerunners themselves, its the TECHNOLOGY they are after. The Covenant have created an entire religion based on pillaging and making use of this technology. EVERYTHING they use, from the Covenant Battlecruiser to plasma rifles to a grunt rebreather mask, is directly from the forerunners. Meanwhile, the humans make some decent reactive body armor and reverse engineer a shield system. Our equipment is barely on par with a Gold Elite. WHY THE HELL would guilty spark pick out Master Chief as forerunner [or as Reclaimer, whatever relation that may have to the Forerunner] when he's got an entire Forerunner tech Armada flying rings around his giant ring!?

...Don't you think he would be a lot more familiar with them instead of us pesky humans?

The Master Chief and Mobuto do have at least one thing in common, and given the assortment of supposedly familiar gadgetry wielded by the Covenant, armour or tech do not seem to be the necessary requirement for 343. Whether Humanity's ultimate role is that of heir, servant, prodigal son, exile, or favourite child, this post suggests again, with a certain bluntness, the specific place of importance Humanity appears to occupy in relation to the Forerunner. Ace has more to say on this and other topics. Drop in and work it out :)

permalink | Humans


August 4, 2003

Not so long ago, in a forum fairly close at hand, Simpsons Rule inquired as to the meaning of a particular passage from The Fall of Reach. Among the responses, Wado SG checked in with some rather simple, though revealing mathematics and hypotheses connecting the stones of Sigma Octanus, back-scattered matter, and Halo's previous firing. His summarized submission is as follows:

The pulse-laser is mentioned (in Halo: The Fall of Reach on page 234) by Cortana who says that an extremely powerful†pulse-laser struck the accretion disk of the black hole causing matter to backscatter at near the speed of light. The signal was trapped in the event horizon of the black hole where it was found by UNSC scientists. The signal matched what was found at the 60,000 year old meteor impact site on Sigma Octanus Four, so I conclude that the rocks at the meteor site were from the black hole [or a related incident or location]. The black hole is 40,000 light years from the Sigma Octanus system†which means that†the rocks traveled a†little more than 40,000 years to reach there.

60,000 + 40,000 = 100,000 years.

In Halo: The Flood page 242 it is stated that with no food the Flood lay dormant for more than 100,000 years on Halo.†We know from 343 Guilty Spark that the Flood specimens were placed on Halo after the last catastrophic outbreak.†If Halo was used to end the Flood threat during the last catastrophic outbreak, then that means Halo's superweapon was fired sometime just more than 100,000 years ago. About the same time that the pulse-laser struck the black hole.

Halo's pulse-laser is fired at a black hole, striking the event horizon and the result is a massive release of lethal radiation. I'm speculating that it would be Unruh Radiation and possibly with the radiation a thermal wave would strike the planets, boiling†surface life and burning atmosphere much like the effect of glassing a planet with plasma.

Of course there's no guarantee that Halo's superweapon is a pulse-laser, but the timing of the pulse-laser and of the last firing of Halo did appear to happen at approximately the same time. What more do we need to know? Pulse generators on Halo amplify the signal. Need I say more?

In light of this, it would seem that 343 Guilty Spark's 101 217 local years of isolation and the over one hundred thousand years of Flood dormancy (mentioned on page 241 of The Flood) are somewhat equivalent; a "local year" may be very similar to the standard terrestrial. Has the ambiguity been solved? If this riddle has been laid bare, is Brannon out of secrets? Out of a job? Time will tell... ;)

Another cause of furrowing brows could be the method of delivery for the rocks found at Sigma Octanus, If an asteroid turned meteorite travelling near the speed of light were to collide with a planet... well, it would make the results of a more common, extinction level impact look quite tame. A ship then? Is there another possible chain of events? There is definitely more to dig up and put in order here. Join the forum post or let us know :)

permalink | Halo Installations


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