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The Halo Story


News Archive


August 26, 2004

Come with me on a fantastic journey back in time. To a land of promise and intrigue; where velvet hills sweep out in all directions and the grass grows right through your feet...

Well, let's be realistic. This is just the HSP. But when I said back in time I meant it; these ideas have certainly been finely aged ;)

Starcraft, Schmarcraft.

Mantis819 writes:

Compare this to the gold elite. Surprisingly its called a "zealot".

Starcraft backstory: (paraphrase)

There was an ancient race of Xelagna (forerunner?) who tried to create the ultimate race. They first created the protoss who had psi powers and such. The Xelagna finnaly showed themselves to the protoss and the protoss had a civil war. The Xelagna left their failed creations to their selves.

The Xelagna Then decided to start on a new creation. They created the Zerg (Flood?) on a barren desert world (hmm, did blizzard read the vang?). The Zerg were parasitic worms who gathered DNA of other species and created other mutations. The Zerg soon made command untis which were kinda like the Keyes blob. They communicated with psi powers. The Zerg soon took over their planet as the dominate species. The Zerg soon figured out how to launch into space (I forget how) and destoryed their creators. Soon after the Zerg destoryed the Xelagna they found a whale like space fairing creatures (they were quite large) and took their DNA and created living starships.

This is about as far as the parallels go. But in one of the starcraft books called "Shadows of the Xelagna" a Protoss scientist (Halsey?) finds a crystal (rembember FS?) on a terran backwater planet. Then chaos ensues and all 3 races start fighting to get this crystal. They finnaly get it out of the underground installation. The terrans launch a nuke at the battleground and the crystall feeds off the energy. A massive living energy being flys out of it and off into space. (hmm the being from PID and Marathon?)

Also in "The Vang" the battle master could create whatever living being it needed for the task at hand.(Much like the Zerg.) I hope that doesn't apply in Halo 2.

Oh, don't worry, it will :)

Whew. As Chris Butcher says, "the forgotten peril that ended a galaxy-spanning empire is a pretty fundamental tenet of good sci-fi (yeah, yeah, and bad sci-fi too)." Even so, quite the parallels.

permalink | Rampant Speculation

-Finn


Zanzibar, and beyond!

In response to questions concerning the playable multiplayer at this year's E3 convention, Pete Parsons had these pertinent remarks:

"...there's huge amounts of care that goes into putting [the levels] together. Contextually, we were playing in a piece of New Mumbasa [sic]. This was one of 49 power stations that was actually brought online in the 23rd century and was then decommissioned. We want to make sure that there's a history there, that there's a sense of place there."

While it comes as no surprise that Bungie would try to add as much history and depth as possible, it is worth noting that this level of historical detail and contextual flourish is significantly greater than that given to the first game's multiplayer arenas.

Will the trend continue? Will this info be concrete enough to be incorporated into, or shed light on, the other 'canon' materials? Time will tell...

permalink |

-Finn


Demolition Man

solidus90 (solidus90@comcast.net) and Mygoditsraining (ohmygoditsraining@hotmail.com) write:

While watching Demolition Man a few days ago, I noticed a few similarities between it and Halo.

1. Sylvester Stallone's character in the movie is "John Spartan"
2. He was frozen cryogenically.
3. They released him because the police sucked at trying to stop Simon (kinda like the Marines trying to stop the Covenant)

Biblical references aside, perhaps someone at Bungie just really liked the movie, "Demolition Man"...

"John Spartan, you are fined one credit for a violation of the verbal morality statute"

permalink | Rampant Speculation

-Finn


Some character connections between John, his Mjolnir armour, and... you know, Thor, Norse mythology... that kind of thing.

Joe Dumais (duneraider77@hotmail.com) writes:

Hey there! I havent heard anything at all regarding the chief's armor being called "MJOLNIR", which is the same name as the norese god Thor's Thunderhammer. I think its a fairly interesting connection worth looking into. Ive already found some stuff which Ive listed below:

This came from a short definition site that is no longer online:

"MJOLNIR Definition: The legendary weapon of the Norse God Thor. "Mjolnir" means "lightning crusher." Made by the Dwarves Brok and Eitri, it possessed magical qualities. It would magically return when thrown, and was used for healing and even resurrection. The hammer was feared by the enemies of the Aesir, and stolen by the frost Giant Thrym, who demanded the goddess Freyja in exchange for its return. Instead, Thor disguised himself as the goddess, siezed control of the hammer, and slew all of the giants in the hall."

And this came from a site on Norse gods here.

Thor's red beard and halo (HALO AGAIN!)of fire were also allusions to lightning. His throwing hammer Mjolnir ('the crusher') was an emblem for his thunderbolts. While no Giant stood a chance against the business end of Mjolnir, so too could the stone hammer restore life when turned around.* Also characteristic of the pan-IE thunder god was Thor's chariot, drawn by the goats Tanngniotr ('tooth grinder') and tanngrisnr ('tooth gnasher'), and the Oak (Pillar of autumn, anyone?) was his sacred tree. The Norse elaborated the trappings of their thunder god with a steel-plated leather glove with which he wielded Mjolnir and his belt that, when tightened, doubled his strength (Doubled strength sure sounds like Mjolnir armor to me!)

Along with these accouterments and imagery, Thor was the quintessential thunder god in that he was a fervid enemy of the Frost Giants (Elites and hunters perhaps?) -especially of the monstrous world serpent, Jormungandr. Thor repeatedly sought out this monstrous beast. Twice it got away, but Thor finally killed it at Ragnarok, though dying in its venom. Despite the fearsome reputation Thor had with the Giants, he occasionally enjoyed their company. His is usually accompanied on these wanderings by Loki, who was originally a Giant though adopted into the Aesir. This is part of the reason modern mythographers suspect Loki personified fire, as lightning strikes could ignite fires. In some stories Thor could be characterized as a brutish buffoon (Cortana: Its not a cudgel you Barbarian!). This is exemplified even at the sad occasion of Balder's funeral, where he booted a dwarf (appropriately name "Lit") onto the pyre.

I'm glad we had this talk ;)

permalink | The Master Chief

-Finn


KYT and Moorcock: Shamelessly stolen, that is to say "borrowed", from the MSP

Charles Craig (fortunato2000@yahoo.com) writes:

Just wanted to write in with a little tidbit that applies to the "Facts and Puzzling Things About" section - it generally applies to "The Unformatted KYT Term. Message" (I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh...) and, to a lesser extent, to "You".

As William Spencer pointed out, it's definitely reminiscent of Michael Moorcock's "Eternal Champion" concept, wherein a lone human is reincarnated, over and over, each live fated to become a crucial figure in the battle between Law and Chaos. In the very first story, within the opening chapters, we see this:

"And the names? Was I John Daker or ErekosÎ? Was I either of these? Many other names - Corum Jhaelen Irsei, Aubec, Sexton Begg, Elric, Rackhir, Iliam, Oona, Simon, Bastable, Cornelius, the Rose, von Bek, Asquiol, Hawkmoon - fled away down the ghostly rivers of my memory."

Even more interesting is that the above is actually the REVISED version of that same text - Moorcock rewrote portions of the story when getting it printed in novel form in 1970. The original novella version, circa 1962, presented a slightly different refrain...

"Shaleen, Artos, Brian, Umpata, Roland, Ilanth, Ulysses, Alric"

Any of those names seem familiar?

In essence, as Moorcock developed the idea of the Eternal Champion, he started to assign many of his other fictional works to that pantheon, making the lead characters of most of his stories (and indeed, a number of minor characters as well) incarnations of the Eternal Champion. However, in the earliest draft, he simply used figures out of actual history. Artos is the Latin of Arthur - the somewhat famous figure out of British legend. Brian is most likely Brian the Blessed, who also figures into Irish and British myth (his head being buried under the Tower of London, protecting England from invasion). Ulysses (or Odysseus) was the main character in the Odyssey, and came up with the idea for the Trojan Horse (he also fought with Achilles). Alric was the leader of the Germanic tribe which eventually sacked Rome. Ilanth MIGHT be Iolanthe (a Fairie, from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta of the same name). I have no idea about Umpata or Shaleen, though as for Roland, I think we all know him by now...

Moorcock is fairly well-known in fantasy/sci-fi circles - consider that TSR looted his works as well as Tolkien's when they created Dungeons and Dragons. I'm sure at least SOMEONE at Bungie could be pushing for the idea that many important characters in the Bungie mythos are bound by a similar destiny, if not one-and-the-same (consider the Pathways/Marathon/Halo main char connection - it COULD be the same char).

permalink | Marathon Connections

-Finn


And from our own mailbag o' treasures: Moorcock and destiny (cont)

Spongecake (Jemwatson@30july.freeserve.co.uk) writes:

Hi,

Just a little thought regarding the recurring question of the Mjolnir IV cyborg from Marathon and his possible relevance to the world of Halo. I may well be way off-base, but I just thought I'd run this up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes. At the final screen†of the (staggeringly trippy) Marathon:Infinity, the text†reads;

"We've watched while the stars burned out, and creation played in reverse. The universe freezing in half light. Once I thought to escape. To end the end a master, step out of the path of collapse. Escape would make us God."

**This is the A.I.†Durandal contemplating the Big Crunch, which he has unsuccessfully†sought to evade.

"Yet I cannot help†remember one enigma. A hybrid, elusive destroyer. This is the only mystery I have not solved. The only element unaccounted for."

**†Hybrid... destroyer = man/machine hybrid = cyborg. No prizes for that one. He makes a Marathon reference which I shall skip, then continues:

"But you were dead a thousand times. Hopeless encounters successfully won. A man long dead, grafted to machines your builders did not understand. You follow the path, fitting into an infinite pattern."

** The first time he says 'dead' it's figurative, as in there was seemingly†no way to come out of those situations alive. 'Hopeless encounters successfully won' is starting to sound like our boy the MC now, until the reminder that the Mjolnir IV is a man 'long dead' (Gherrit White?) -†FoR†shows us that the Spartans are certainly not hotwired corpses.†But what really makes me sit up is... 'grafted to machines your builders did not understand'... are we looking at humans dicking around with Forerunner artifacts here? Slapping together something they think will be a better fighting machine without the faintest idea what they might really be starting?

'You follow the path, fitting into an infinite pattern'? Which path is this? This is strongly redolent of the 'Eternal Champion' in Michael Moorcock's novels, a kind of constant figure existing across numerous incarnations in multiple parallel universes whose fate is always to fight courageously against staggering odds, often†bringing tragedy†to themself and those around them, to maintain a kind of cosmic balance between Law and Chaos†even at the cost of their own destruction ("Two forces in balance/ancient endless balance/then nothing" - Aye Mak Sicur terminal 2).†Maybe Durandal's just getting†flaky in his old age - and by this point he's been around for aeons - but then you don't get that old without learning a thing or two.

"Yours to manipulate, to destroy and rebuild."

** Manipulate destroy and rebuild what exactly? The 'pattern' again? I can only assume this means the pattern of events as they happen.†Has the Mjolnir IV somehow independently gained the ability to move through time/between alternative timelines†after†we leave him at the end of†Marathon:Infinity? Did dormant Forerunner technology 'your builders did not understand' unexpectedly grant this cyborg the capacity to change history, and if so, to what extent did he use it? What motivates a dead man fused to a mass of cryptic hardware? Did the technology return to its makers the Forerunner, taking the Mjolnir IV with them, or did he escape the Big Crunch by†somehow using it to move backward through time? Most importantly, was it the Mjolnir IV that Guilty Spark 343 met before and mistook the Master Chief for?

"Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time.

"I know who you are.

"You are Destiny."

** For a hard-headed AI to come over all metaphysical, you know something big's afoot.

permalink | Marathon Connections

-Finn


ONI = demon. Oh, and that other Bungie game.

Winters (PMOH_Winters@hotmail.com) writes:

For some reason, ONI is often seen as a shadowy, sinister organization, where their agenda is not always clear.†I think that the word, Oni seems to describe them perfectly.†Oni is a Japanese term, and in English, translates roughly as "demon", "devil", or "ogre".†Their features are often described as horned and fearsome beings. Just looking at the mask of one certainly brings to mind Sgt. Johnson's comparing ONI's looks to Engineers. Its a common misconception that Oni are evil, but in Japan, Oni are often seen as both a destroyer and a protector. ONI is certainly Oni-like when it comes to the "destroyer" part. After all, it was ONI that authorized the SPARTAN project, and undoubtedly countless other projects and operations over the years. It can even be argued that ONI is possibly the "destroyer" of Earth. after all, as mentioned in First Strike and the HSP: it could've been their operatives' disregard for the Cole Protocol which could have (accidentally?) led the Covenant to Earth. Yet, ONI is also a "protector". In Japan, people used to put up tiles shaped like Oni faces to ward off evil spirits and worship the Oni for protection. This shows ONI's other face. Even though ONI may have many secret agendas, such as maybe leading the Covenant to Earth on purpose, ONI's primary directive is†to protect Humanity and ensure its survival.

As a side note, Bungie also has another game on their site, aptly named "Oni", for the Playstation 2. Unfortunately, I know very little about it.

Oh, but I bet someone around here might...

permalink | ONI

-Finn


Arthur, etc.

eMCee (wwwdotnonamedotcom@yahoo.com) writes:

I noticed that someone compared 117's title as Reclaimer to King Arthur. I read up on Legends of Charlemagne and came across an interesting character by the name of Ogier the Dane. Ogier was seven feet tall and was given the sword Cortana upon rescuing Charlemagne in battle. (Seven feet tall with Cortana in tow? hmmm....) Long story short, Ogier is kidnapped by a jealous Fairy by the name of Morgana and is kept on an island with King Arthur where they await their opportunity to reclaim the King's throne.

I'm a sucker for Marathon connections, so I thought I would add this terminal passage too.

"Well, there was this knife, more aptly described as a broadsword, and I see, well, I was swinging down the street on my way to a movie and this guy, yeah. He was about six foot eight and huge. He was holding this knife, only to me, I would describe it as a broadsword, something from the Knights of the Round." -where are monsters in dreams

If I remember correctlly, Cortana is a word for "short blade," and a knife is definitely a short blade. There are a lot of Terminals that scream Cortana at me, but that's another submission entirely (and a long one at that)

Bungie forever.

Word.

permalink | Rampant Speculation

-Finn


August 23, 2004

The Widow? The Queen? The Operator/Melissa? Evacuation of Troy? James James? SPARTAN 1.0's? Dana (Gheritt?) White? ARG's? Axon hot? ilovebees.com?

-Gamespot's assessment
-NetninjaBeeWiki and Netninja Bee Log: catalogued progress
-Fireflies: Another excellent depository
-HBO's word on bees...
-Coverage and background by Wired Magazine

-The story so far...

UPDATE: Webshift's chronologically-ordered sound clips.

Hold onto your hats...

permalink | Rampant Speculation

-Finn


August 19, 2004

Sharp observers might have spotted a very interesting discussion over on the HBO forum earlier. The first post in the thread is quite long, but the insight and care put into it (not to mention - *gasp* - spelling and grammar! ;)) more than make up for it. It brings up the controversial topic of multiple timelines/time travel, but has a pretty solid basis in official Halo story sources. Go check it out!

permalink |

-mnemesis



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