September 30, 2006
Niven and Pournelle Talk Bungie
Apparently Bungie folk have been chatting it up with Mr. Niven and Mr. Pournelle in regards to future game topics and stories, including Legacy of Heorot (I doubt it; Bungie's never been interested in permutations of the Heroic Epic :P ). Interesting to see what will become of this.
permalink | Rampant Speculation
September 28, 2006
A Big Day for Everyone
Yes, game journalists around the world slept soundly last night, a silly smirk curling up on the one side of their mouths. And who can blame them: all that news from X06 would've tuckered anyone out. For the comprehensive, check out Wednesday's news.
In brief however: Halo Wars (name and in-demo Spartan catch phrase hopefully subject to change), a real-time strategy (RTS) based in the early days and first encounters of the Human-Covenant conflict, is being developed by Ensemble Studios. The trailer is beautiful. The premise is great. In some aspects there does appear to be the hint of a pure motive (finishing of what Bungie started oh, so many years ago).
The Human player's base of operations is the UNSC Spirit of Fire (whose logo is visible during the halowars.com loading page), a Phoenix Class ship, with the rather haunting motto of Exitus Acta Probat, or, as Slothboy points out "The result justifies the deed".
There have been some murmurings of "Contradiction! Inconsistency!" from the ranks already: the Elites are lumbering and giant compared to their sleek and agile Halo 2 counterparts (though it could be, as I wondered and Peptuck as well, that they are merely wearing a bulky, cold-weather armour). Again, Elites are not encountered in The Fall of Reach until the battle of Reach itself (as dude points out here) making their inclusion in these battles somewhat problematic (yes, yes, perhaps no one survived to report them, etc. but ONI Intelligence seems to have been quite active in the first days after contact, and even before if our intuition serves us correctly). This has to be my least favourite portion of the liturgy of any developing story universe: "Forever and ever, Ret-con without end. Amen."
Second is the announcement that Wingnut Interactive, Peter Jackson's own game studio in partnership with Microsoft, will be creating a new Halo series (not just a single installment) that will be "neither a game nor a film", as Jordan-117 reports. Tantalizing.
Excitement abounds, there's no denying that. Due to the eclectic emotions still busying themselves down into a state of cozy equilibrium, I would encourage you to take this next bit... as you should; that is, in a not entirely negative way. This will merely express one side (and admittedly the cooler, somber one) of the expanse that is the internal continuum (talking of the other, a nigh-wholesale excitement shared the world over, seems slightly redundant at this point). I would like to quote something, something short and succinct, and I hope you will understand.
"Imagine a painting of a horse, a marvellous white stallion. This stallion happens to be lying in a crumpled heap on the ground, dead. And [insert title here] employees are standing around it in a semicircle, beating the horse with various blunt objects. The painting is titled..."
permalink | Rampant Speculation
September 27, 2006
What?! Exclusive Halo Story info available only on expensive, subscription based telecommunications devices (aka "cellular phones" for the already subjugated)!?!
Frick; we're going to need a field reporter for this... ;)
Recruits, step up!
September 26, 2006
Aramaic/Hebrew influence on Elite naming? Well, we always knew they meant something...
UrsusArctos (email@example.com) writes:
I just caught on to something about Rtas 'Vadumee, aka Half-Jaw. Spelled in hebrew, the characters for 'VDM become AVDM- AVD would be the spelling of 'Avada' or "I destroy", which also appears in Harry Potter as a killing curse (Avada Kedavra-"I destroy as I speak").
All the elites have their surnames beginning with a glottal stop (') and ending with 'ee'. That little glottal stop has considerable religious significance.
Don't let the old post keep you from following up. Go to it.
permalink | The Covenant
September 25, 2006
I used to have a coral necklace, and a childhood friend has an onyx one. I think that's the one I broke when we were playing 'Aladdin' at school. It's probably significant. Never did like onyx much. Too cold.
UrsusArctos (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I read the Halo 3 Data Archive's excellent first look at connecting Ghosts of Onyx with Halo 3. One of the things that interested me the most was their interpretation of the sentence on the (non-final) back cover, "The Master Chief stays back to defend a beleagured earth." They interpreted that as referring to Master Chief staying back to fight Regret, and that the events of Ghosts of Onyx occur during the events of Halo 2. Eric Nylund also mentioned that the other Spartans didn't appear in Halo 2 because they were off doing something elsewhere, almost certainly on Onyx. And, finally, we have Frankie saying in one of the weekly updates (I think it was either on 12 or 16 May) that the human fleet at Earth was distracted by the events of Delta Halo. The back cover reads, "The fleets of the UNSC and Covenant race to claim it (The Forerunner artifact on Onyx) to change the course of the Human-Covenant war."
What does all this mean? First thing, the cause of the fleet leaving Earth doesn't seem to be the distraction caused by Delta Halo, but rather, by Onyx. If both events are happening at the same time, then the events at Delta Halo might be linked to those at Onyx, and something that happened on Delta Halo may have resulted in something else that happened at Onyx that the UNSC was aware of, and so rushed off. The Forerunner power on Onyx seems to be able to think and act on its own, and it might be connected to the Halos in some way or the other. For all you know, it might be watching John, the Arbiter, the flood rampage and all the other things going on Delta Halo and reacting accordingly. That way, the events of Delta Halo would be responsible for luring away the UNSC fleet (albeit indirectly). Interestingly, that would mean they neglected the covenant armada called in by Regret's distress beacon, leaving Earth itself open to invasion. That artifact is clearly worth more than Earth's freedom.
Second, Ackerson and Section-III(Which he is a member of) knew about something on Onyx for quite a while, just like they knew about the caverns under Menachite mountain on Reach. If the plan had been in response to Regret's initial half-assed invasion scheme, they cooked it up very fast indeed, and put it into execution in no time at all. Given Ackerson's hatred of the Spartan program, this makes me think that he wants a suicide mission to buy time for something else. Multiple plot threads have been mentioned in the novel, one of which might be a deeper look into Section-III's activities
permalink | Rampant Speculation
It's been hinted at before, but I'm a sucker for a concise submission.
Kyle Maurer (Rykaziel@bu.edu) writes:
Of all the statements that Gravemind makes, there is one that continually surfaces in my mind.
Gravemind:: "I? I am a monument to all your sins."
I believe this statement reveals much about Graveminds origin and the fate of the Forerunner. However, the following analysis of this quote assumes that at least one thing is true :: That the Master Chief and Cortana resemble the Forerunner, and as far as the monitors of the installations and Gravemind are concerned, Humans (especially Master Chief) are regarded as Forerunner or at least meet certain criteria that would make Gravemind and the monitors assume Humans are connected in some way.
With that out of the way, let's examine the quote. The two most striking images are monument and sins. Trying to remove extreme religious symbolism, we can imply that sins means a wrongdoing, an act that goes against a natural law. A monument, is a testament, or a physical, timeless interpretation or product of an event. So to clarify Gravemind's statement, he is the product, or embodiment, of Forerunner wrongdoing.
My hypothesis, is that the Forerunner began to experiment with genetics, and got past the point of cloning, until they tried to create a new life altogether. Their intent may have been wholly moral, and wholly good, but they emerged was something terrible. As an example, the Forerunner may have given the Flood the incredible regenerating capabilities it has, thinking maybe the Flood could be used for rejuvenating an endangered species. However, whether intentional, an error in genetic code, or as nature's retaliation for trying to do what only nature can, it also had it's virus-like characteristics. The Flood, the Forerunner creation, became their demise.
Because of the Forerunner sin against nature, Gravemind, an old, old Flood form, may have been one of the earlier forms from which the rest of the Flood came from, or simply one of many very old advanced forms. He is the image, the terrible product of Forerunner arrogance, and he endures as a monument of the Forerunner's colossal sin against nature.
As for Gravemind's intentions, that remains to be seen.
permalink | Gravemind
Got a lot of pictures this week. Check out the thread for the forum discussion.
Wado SG finds something . . . coincidental. Personally, I'd glossed over the image in Joe Staten's interview. Looked to me like a weird, squiggly Flood thing, or like someone had let the artists in at the Mountain Dew again.
Wado found this while playing Silent Cartographer. Make what you will of the image.
The Silent Cartographer
"Analyzing. Halo's control center is located there. That structure appears to be some sort of temple or shrine, if I've interpreted this correctly. (Pause) Interesting. A shrine is an unlikely place to put such a significant installation..."
permalink | The Forerunner
The Covenant chatter's coming in hot at the moment. Most of it is repetitive, Chief, and that relic is being ripped apart by their Prophets. Thought you might find this interesting . . .
Knight Premier (Knight_Premier@hotmail.com) writes:
We've seen the relic [The so called 'Ark', for those like me who got confused] somewhere before, thats certain. We saw it in the original Halo art! In fact, the original cover art for Halo. The relic, is sketched top-down in the backround of this original Halo logo, the other rings around the sketch are the Halo's. The Halo Logo
You can find a BIG image of the 'relic' here at the Bungie Screenshots
permalink | Ark
Retsof-noraa brought a little something to our attention. And the forum exploded with talk. No longer are we wondering about the Forerunner-human connections, but have you ever seen Captain Keyes's face in the sky?
September 16, 2006
Let's start with this interim's forum round up. Bungie updates have been full of 'ooh'. It's my sandpit so first of all I'll point out this one:
Is it possible the Master Chief model has a face? A curious line in this week's update made me think.
The cover of the new novel Ghosts of Onyx has stoked the fires of speculation. Jadomaster has a pretty concise thought (a rarity) here, where he wonders if it will be a Spartan III. 58 isn't so sure and wonders if it could be Kelly here.
And last but never least, Ross Mills looks at Gravemind and Cortana speech patterns in the Halo 3 trailer.
In the search for yet more evidence, David finds this:
David Pelkey (email@example.com) writes:
In the Halo Graphic Novel on pg. 122, the document/ artwork left me thinking about Sgt. Johnson. The document is something from the ORION project, which was containing the SPARTAN program whose purpose was to create an elite group of soldiersힿ blah blah blah. In Breaking Quarantine, when the flood combat form fires the shotgun (pg 76-77), Johnson manages to duck just in time and nail the combat form. Now I doubt a standard marine would have the reaction time and speed to dodge a shotgun and near point-blank range while rounding a corner. Also, being able to fire and kill the enemy in one leap. Judging from the information given there and my own speculation, could Sgt. Avery Johnson be perhaps a survivor of the first SPARTAN project?
permalink | Sergeant Johnson
John Hill (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
People seem incredulous that the Forerunners could ever create a weapon of last resort that would wipe themselves out.
However, a more highly evolved and advanced species does not necessarily mean one with a greater sense of responsibility. We have shown that ourselves with nuclear weapons and our destruction of the environment for short term profit. Indeed, if th humans and
forerunners are one and the same as many believe, this flawed human facet holds especially true as an indicator of the frailty of the forerunners' sense of responsibility
Also, a more highly advanced race means that it is less likely to be defeated, not that it is less likely to panic when it is on the brink of defeat. In fact, it may be more susceptible to such emotions due to the rarity of such an occurrence.
permalink | The Forerunner
Jealousy is a sin
Energiser (email@example.com) writes:
I've been going over this for quite some time, and finally believe that I have developed my theory as far as I can, so I'm putting it forward to see what others can add:
Firstly, the Covenant. They worship the Forerunners, use their technology, salvage artefacts, and even attempt to follow them into "the divine beyond" What if they also emulated them in terms of their government, their society? What if "The Covenant" are only copying their "Gods" when they assimilate yet another life form into their society.
Now, this "Forerunner Covenant", according to my idea, this would mean that it were comprised of multiple different species, possibly arranged in a similar fashion to "The Covenant" with one species being Warriors (Elites) one being cannon fodder (Grunts), heavy weapons (Hunters), Technological (Engineers). Now, also assuming that, similar to "The Covenant" the names of each species was practical, describing their position in the society, this would possibly mean that the Forerunner Species was the technologically minded race (similar to the Engineers) in that they designed the weapons, the buildings, the Ships, the Halos, and even the AI Constructs. This would explain why everything is described as having "Forerunner Architecture", and why Guilty spark referred to them as "My Creators".
The next idea has to do with "Reclaimers" and where they fit into this idea of mine, which, surprisingly enough, is right next to the Forerunners, as another member of the "Forerunner Covenant". Their purpose however, is unique among either Covenant, as "The Covenant" has not yet seen a need for ones to undertake this task. The purpose to the Reclaimers, I believe, is to reclaim the galaxy in the event that the Halos had to be fired. They would have spent their time almost exclusively on "The Ark", the only place in the galaxy which is safe from the Halos. I also think there was a second purpose to having them in the ark, and that was to fire the rings remotely (we know that this can be done from the ark) in the case that there was a flood outbreak, and it became impossible to activate the rings on-site.
We know that 343 Guilty Spark recognised both the Master Chief, and Miranda as "Reclaimers" this points to the fact that Humans are in fact, THE Reclaimers. Now that it is fairly obvious that the Ark is in fact on Earth, this stands to reason, since, if the rings were activated, and the Reclaimers survived in the Ark, they would emerge onto the planet, and begin their quest to reclaim the galaxy. Since the rest of the "Forerunner Covenant" was now extinct, the reclaimers basically had to start civilisation from scratch, since, without support from the other races, the old tecnology would have been semi-useless, with the Ark only having the ability to fire the rings, and nothing more.
Since the purpose of the reclaimers was to use the Halos to reclaim the galaxy, and defend it from the Flood, it only stands to reason that their instincts include the knowledge of how to use Forerunner Tech, such as the panels on Halo, since, not being able to understand would inhibit them from their purpose.
By this point I'm sure at least some people would think "But why are "The Covenant" attacking the Humans if we were a part of the purpose of their gods?". My answer, because they feel threatened by us. We were the one's chosen pick up from the "Forerunner Covenant" when it perished, rather than any of the other species which evolved in the Galaxy (such as the Prophets and Elites, etc). "The Covenant" want to activate the Halos, that much is obvious, but as Reclaimers, our purpose would forbid them from doing that, since it would involve the destruction of all sentient life yet again, sending us back to the dark age (or even causing Humans to become extinct in the case that the ark is no longer inhabited). As far as they are concerned, as long as they get to activate the Halos, we can perish, and the flood can claim the galaxy after we are gone.
Please note, this is just the basic backbone of the idea, I have more ideas that go hand-in-hand with this, but are too difficult to explain in such a general manner. I am sure that others will be able to expand upon this even further than I had ever thought possible.
But on another note - the caste system of the Covenant can only remain intact if there is something to fight. How many other species have faded into oblivion before they came to us?
permalink | The Forerunner
Do you want to be spooked about Halo 3's legendary? Read on . . .
UrsusArctos (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Robert-117 made a very interesting suggestion about the creatures seen in the Halo 3 trailer documentary- he suggested that they were indeed prophets in armor. Agreed, the prophets did put up a fight as that mural shows, but it seems to have been a very long time ago. The present prophets have been sitting in administrative posts for too long, they hardly seem to be the types to do any real fighting. Regret fought the Master Chief ferociously, but he was facing a real and very deadly threat, wasn't he? Besides, he was on that floating throne of his all the time. I imagine the rest of the Prophets would be like Regret- stay back and fight only when threatened, because they're likely small in number and best used for their intelligence.
As to what the creatures were...didn't Joe Staten mention in the last interview that the Prophets and their Engineer librarians had a library of Forerunner glyphs, and hinted that at least some of them might know a lot more about the Forerunner glyphs than it seems? Jaime Greisemer mentioned in an old interview that the Prophets were meant to be included in Halo, but got shifted into the background, although their intentions could be deduced under close inspection. The Guilty Spark line "I would conjecture that the other species on the installation are responsible for releasing the flood. They have been most persistent in accessing restricted areas." most likely refers to the Prophets. Halo 04 had extensive research facilities and a huge cache of data on flood biology. If the Prophets knew the Forerunner language or at least some of it, they could have recovered all this data and translated it, using it for their own purposes. Engineers are technical geniuses, they could build a great big genetics lab for the Prophets based on data from installation 04. The Prophets could then splice together data from different Covenant species to create whole new ones-a Brute-Elite mix with some added flood traits, for instance.
I know that the idea of a Brute-Elite hybrid(with or without a little flood in it) sounds crazy, but doesn't it make sense? The Brutes are a whole lot tougher than the Elites and almost exclusively loyal to the Prophets alone. The Elites, however, are a lot smarter, as well as being highly disciplined. A creature with Brute toughness and Elite versatility would do a lot better on the battlefield than an ordinary Elite or a stupid smelly Brute, and might give a decisive edge against the other side. Why not hide the new creature(Maybe it looks like a mandible-less Elite?) under a breath mask so that none of your enemies recognize this new threat until it's too late?
permalink | Rampant Speculation
Neil thinks a bit about the exact timeline and the release of the Flood. It raises some questions about why the Covenant unlocked the Flood if they knew what they were . . .
Neil Corbould (email@example.com) writes:
In 343gs a marine states the Covenant tried hard to lock the Flood door but the thing is the Covenant were already running from the flood before the marines accessed the chamber. This would also explain the bodies outside the room. With hard enough viewing, I saw human blood next to the very place where the dead marines were which means the flood had already been let out before the marines arrived in the chamber. The covenant must have securely locked the Flood door before but then maybe an accident (presumably stupid grunts) opened it and a small portion of flood was let out before the covenant locked the door again without them noticing. This would explain a few scenes, firstly the [sic] Flood Elite [at the log]. I also noticed the Flood Elite was a yellow blip on the motion tracker but a red target on the reticule. Also the Elite that had his stomach scramblified, that also tells us that the Flood was released before the marines arrived. What ponders me is the wacko marine that shoots you. We all thought that all marines in the captainힿs squad had died, but this tells us otherwise. He must have survived because of 2 reasons:
1: he knows the Floodힿs image
2: he has wet his pants (either literally or an expression) in fear, telling me he has witnessed the events that occurred.
This scene is also on my mind. Some people playing Halo try to get out the way they came but find the elevator burnt and destroyed. 3 different reasons and anyone can be true:
1: the Flood that already broke loose might have secured the area above when you were meeting the Flood and destroyed the elevator either by blowing it up so that survivors will get stuck in the facility or they messed around and accidentally blew up the elevator.
2: the Flood that you meet in the chamber spread around the station destroy the elevator from below.
3: the Covenant might have ordered reinforcements and destroyed the lift blocking the floods way out sacrificing their own troops.
Another scene I guess people have already figured out. Deep in the station you enter a room from above where you watch 2 marines being violently beat up by flood. They are part of the rescue team at the end of the mission. So are the men that are killed with all the shotguns in the hallway and in the room after with dead jackals.
A list of possible flood mutations (most you probably know):
Elite = Elite Warrior
Grunt = Carrier Flood
Jackal = Carrier Flood
Human = Human Warrior
Hunter = None
Brute = Unknown because never seen but imagine an image of it. Now thatힿs scary!
Drone = Unknown but come on! Imagine a flying flood that would dive and whip you hard!
Prophet = I know this is weird but nobody has ever realised that Gravemind could be an infected prophet! Probably a prophet that the forerunners worshipped or something, evolved into a godly flood form because of years of containment and being around flood. Also you can view the first stages of an infected prophet in the beginning movie of the Gravemind level, guess who? Itힿs the paranoid prophet Regret!
Engineer = Possibly, quite possibly an I.Q form, what Keyes was turned into on Halo 1, level Keyes. If the engineer is infected and a high I.Q source is merged with it, it will form an I.Q form (or a blob of gooey flood) that is like infection forms only that it infects computer networks and absorbs data.
And "ooh, Gravemind!"
permalink | The Flood
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