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The Halo Story

News Archive

October 28, 2003

Such talk of "zones" and how they can be used to "buffer" has been circulating the forum recently. And while intriguing, they could not be justly mentioned without clearing this piece of mail from the queue.

Ross Taylor ( writes:

I've just been reading the ideas sparked by 343's use of the term "this galaxy". Perhaps the Forerunner are intergalactic voyagers, but they do not hold this particular galaxy in high regard. During their travels, they came across a problem that could not easily be solved: the Flood, and rather than fight a losing battle they chose to flee. But recognising the ability of the flood to utilise the host's knowledge, they realised the possibility of the Flood travelling to galaxies the Forerunner inhabited.

Rather than travel the universe trying to eradicate all of the Flood, thereby risking making the situation worse by leaving themselves open to exposure, they decided instead to set up 'buffer zones', consisiting of entire galaxies between those of the Forerunnners, and those in which they had encountered the Flood. Using the fortress worlds they would ensure the Flood had no chance of traversing across a galaxy once they had reached it-by killing off their food source and means of mobility. So the Halos are the tools Forerunner use to ensure the flood will not spread to areas important to them.

Hmmm... like keeping the porch clean. Just a thought... but with the Forerunner's vast knowledge and mastery (possibly of space both real and Slip), what if this "buffer zone" happened to be superimposed over one of the areas they wished to protect? What if this galaxy as we know it is merely the "first floor" of the house. If I knew the Flood were downstairs, I don't think I would leave MY room ;)

permalink | The Forerunner


Ancient stepping stones, weathered arches, and tiny geometric carvings

Martin J. Duffy ( writes:

Perhaps the grunts were enslaved because their swampy home world had Forerunner artifacts on it; in îThe Floodë Yayap has a dream where heìs running back to his hut on his methane covered world and he mentions that he climbs across îancientë steps.

"Ancient steppingstones" actually (page 60). Though this may not be enough to conclusively deduce a Forerunner presence on the Grunts homeworld, it is worthy of pause and consideration. What could the lower caste races, and perhaps even Humanity, all have in common?

While recently rereading The Fall of Reach (for absolutely no reason in particular whatsoever) a number of things jumped out, P.166 being one of them. As Corporal Harland from Firebase Bravo on Sigma Octanus was scouting a depression the Covenant were interested in, he noticed that it was no ordinary sink-hole. "Arches had been carved into the wall", very weathered, and on the paving stones scattered about "were tiny geometric carvings"...

permalink | The Covenant


We are all unique.

We are all individuals.

We very often receive multiple emails on a similar topic. Sometimes, however, they are so similar, you just don't know who to post.

Jeff Poole ( and Alexis J. Lojek ( and Sean Kelly ( write:

After reading this and rethinking about those three SPARTANS and the book, it occurred to me that in the E3 Realtime Demo, Sergeant Banks said, "When I asked for reinforcements, I didn't think they'd send a SPARTAN." I am going to take this as a clear statement that either the SPARTANS weren't all killed off on the ground assault at Reach, or that the second set of SPARTANS trained by Senior Chief Petty Officer Mendez (was he a CPO or SCPO?) made it!

Being that the Covenant assault on Earth takes place some time after Reach, word would have circulated if the SPARTANS had been killed. Also, the fact that the Master Chief is simply referred to as a "SPARTAN" rather than "the Master Chief," alludes that there are more than one SPARTAN still alive! If the Sergeant had said instead, "When I asked for reinforcements, I didn't think they'd send you!" then we'd know that there were no more SPARTANS, but from the looks of it, there is another group of SPARTANS out there other than the MC.

"...maybe the last SPARTAN", "for all he knew", " least one of them..."

Bungie's gentle way of saying hint-hint, wink-wink, say no more :)

permalink | SPARTAN


Diego Pezua ( writes:

Guilty sparks to me is just a rampant AI that is out of place in halo, like he was left behind and abandoned. I doubt the forerunners would make such a perfect intallation knowing that their AI in charge would go insane in a couple of thousand of years. he treats the Forerunner as distantly as he does the human and the covenant when he refers to them.

Their decision to keep samples of the Flood may have been in error; may their trust also have been misplaced when they selected/constructed their Monitor for the Installation?

To focus more on Diego's particular angle here, is it possible that 343 Guilty Spark's role as Monitor is a fabrication of his own mind? What if he was... just another Forerunner construct, abandoned in the Forerunner exodus/extermination. Is his assumed role a way to deal with the stress of being left on the Halo 04 by those he trusted? Hmm...

permalink | Monitors


Diego Pezua continues on the Covenant's assault on Humanity...

The humans and the war reminds me of the greek persian war and humanities steriotipical tendencies. The persians passed through the greek city states like nothing, with their overwellming navy and infantries they attacked the greeks until arriving at the mainland of the greek state, home to places like athens and sparta. Then, you have the covenants utilizing their starships and pulverizing colonial planets (mind you attacking some far off colony is easier then attacking the heart of humanity, now they are basicly trashing earth in halo 2).

The big turn around the greek matter was that after a serious of victories in the mainland, the greeks pushed the persians off with a movie like comeback. Because they've said that some of the levels will actually be on earth and most would be on the covenant planets, would lead us to believe that humanity will have the same turn around that the greeks did with the persians.

When I saw the halo 2 movies and heared about the story, I'm surprised that the covenants would occupy earth with troops. They've glassed entire planets so that they didn't need confrontation with Infantries. I expect the whole covenant navy to be around earth, the simple idea of sending troops to earth would only lenghten the time of humanity's survival.

Why would the covenant want to send troops to earth, what is it that they want, if anything? maybe there's something that they are looking for?

The various mentions by Bungie staff that the fight will later be taken to the Covenant worlds do imply that the assault on Earth will be repelled eventually, or to some degree. But once again, how? Perhaps Humanity's destruction is not the primary goal, but only an obstacle on the way; even a tertiary objective? Might we find what the Covenant is looking for first...

permalink | The Covenant


Considering that we received this piece of mail from a young man just leaving for basic training, I find the contemporary parallels stunning.

devin hallsworth ( writes:

i seem to be asking more questions than anything here but how do we know that some human ship didnt just stumble on a covenant world and commit a blasphemy or do something that would remind them of a prophecy? imagine this, your the covenant, your whole society is staggering in decay and corruption as the religious bonds that united your races begin to be questioned, then one day this little starship comesby.

inferior technology, just a singlespecies organization and supposedly nowhere near strong enough to repel an invasion by your assembly of peoples, you stage an accident or something say mabye bombarding a peaceful planet back into the stone age and blame it on the humans. this would solve economic problems by using unemployed and illdistributed resources to build a warmachine, it would also solve sociological stress by giving the people a common goal. it would also give a validity to a religous prophecy that you could use to justify your power to wage war.

If religion united your entire empire and was an integral factor in its citizens every day lives then if you could fake evidence pointing to the humans as a devil and then give your citizens the purpose of destroying evil in the universe by destroying humans then you would have all the power you need to save your civilization from stagnation.

either that or mabye the people in the covenant just have their minds programmed from the day they were born either through actuall tampering with brain tissue or possibly just simply pounding religious ideals into their heads every day of their lives and killing those who dont correspond. a good example of this is in one of alan dean fosters series called the damned (just look up alan dean foster on amazon)

Stagnation. With imagination continually being shirked in order to better focus on stealing technology and artifacts, the lack of ingenuity in the Covenant society could become a gangrenous wound. Or at least something we could point at, and then, when they look down at it we could smack them in the nose... Yeah, that would be good :)

permalink | The Covenant


Devin Hallsworth comments on Human technology:

old tech doesnt neccesarily mean low tech, as bullets can only get more cheap, powerful, and efficient as time goes by. and despite the seeming superiority of plasma rifles in terms of power to assualt rifles i imagine that considering the fact that covenant dont seem to carry cartridges for theyre weapons it could get mighty inconvinient to run out of energy for your weapon on a battle field(unless your packing a recharger on your back)

Honestly, how many shots does the average Elite have to expend to put you on your back? One plasma rifle charge is more than enough to kill a man :)

permalink | Humans


The scintillating sounds of soothsayer Sippan:

Sippan ( writes:

...won't we be enemies of the (if any) remaining Forerunner now? Ever read the hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy? The Forerunner have spend a lot of time (I assume) on building Halo, and its sole purpose seems to be to study (and contain) the Flood. Maybe they were only hours away from reaching the purpose of these studies, when! Some idiot from an obscure planet billions of light years away pops up from nowhere to use the installation as his personal battle arena, and he *blows it up*! WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!! Arghhh! It's like you have been building a life-size copy of the Master Chief using matches, and just when you are going to add the final match to the creation, the neighbor kid smashes a football into it. I know I would want to kill, imagine the Forerunner.... =)

Another idea is that the Forerunner had predicted this, but the MC went his own way about things and it didn't turn out the way they thought. I mean, to fire the Halo needed assistance from someone who could make it through The Library and recover the index, and then back to the control room. When the Forerunner built this they must have thought about the fact that if someone wants to activate Halo, that means the Flood have been released, and that means the place will be crawling with Flood. A normal human would be assimilated almost immediately. Guilty Spark can't do it himself. What are the odds of a Spartan ¸bersoldier popping up from nowhere to do the job? So, I think there was some kind of prophecy about this, and that everything was destined to happen up until when Cortana convinced the MC to blow everything up instead.

The mice are going to be right ticked ;)

Prophecy, huh? As in, one that they strayed from, or perhaps, even with Cortana and John's free choices, one they still took part in? Events organized to someone else's liking? Past actions set in motion and orchestrated to converge, allowing John to be there at that exact time? Stranger things have happened...

permalink | The Forerunner


Scott Porter ( writes:

Some people are mentioning the fact that 343 is very calm despite the emergency going on around him is a sign of rampancy or dillusion, but in TFOR on page 338 it says:

She knew they could see the countdown timer, but Cortana noticed that the crew responded well to her calm voice in stressful situations. Thier reactions times generally improved by as much as 15 percent--give or take. Sometimes, human imperfections made calculations maddeningly impercise.

It might just be that 343 has found this working with Marvin Mobuto, or has he been told this, or is it just dillusion and insanity?

Do note aswell on page 337 it says:

Cortana ran a self-diagnostic. Her Alpha-level commands were intact. She had not jeoparfized her primary mission by following this vector.

This means that she is free to do what ever she likes, and then afterwards check to see if it was okay.

Interesting possibility for 343 GS, and consistent with the idea of the Forerunner as an advanced, forward-thinking, big-brain civilization. If you think about it, the little guy got the MC, probably the most determined, focused human alive, to obey his orders (up until a point, that is), so his detached demeanor may be due to more than just his own, personal eccentricities.

As far as Cortana goes, I think the more significant point is that she felt that following the suggestion made by the strange symbols found on Sigma Octanus IV (which led them to Halo) might not be in line with the supposed primary mission (that of securing a Covenant Prophet and returning it to ONI), so much so that she ran a diagnostic on herself to verify. Anyone want to take a stab at deciphering Forerunner symbols with regard to star formations?

permalink | The Forerunner


October 27, 2003

Savant Suykerbuyk ( writes:

I have heard lots of people discussing/debating on why 343GS supposedly has all this power over the flood and the resposibility of their containment, yet he does not use it. Perhaps the Forerunners decided that extreme measures would not need to be taken unless there was a Reclaimer. After all, the flood only remain as spores unless some outside input like say, a downed human ship, which would in turn provide the danger of the flood escaping, AND providing a Reclaimer. Just a thought.

Interesting hypothesis. As long as no one shows up at Halo, there is no possibility of the Flood escaping. If someone shows up and lets them out, that person (thing?) is responsible for assisting with the required "containment protocols." Pretty harsh justice, if you ask me.

permalink | The Flood


John Hanan ( writes:

Considering that this is around the time that GS begins using the "we" to refer to himself ("Give us the index"), is it possible that somehow someone else (Cortana, Beowulf, Wellsley, another AI?) is hitching a ride and is reviewing records of of the time they missed while disconnected?† Hmmm...

Well, he has demonstrated a severe disdain for those he refers to as "constructs," but could there be some other entity (or entities) that might be monitoring his duties?

permalink | Monitors


oddworld ( writes:

So by now it's all but confirmed that there are more Halos. We do not yet know why the Covenant are invading Earth as opposed to just glassing it. Most think that there is something they want. How deep is ONI's influence? Could it be deep enough to hide a nearby Halo from common knowledge? I don't know how commonplace civilian space travel is in the Halo Universe; I would imagine that if it is not extremely common, they could simply keep government flights out of the immediate zone, and mask it from sensors somehow.

So, anyway, along the tangent that there is a Halo near Earth, perhaps it isn't laid out like Installation 04. Or, assuming ONI got to it first...perhaps the Index isn't there. Maybe the Covenant know this.

Maybe that's what they want on Earth - the key to our destruction.

Or... better yet... what if ONI had found a Halo previously, and had actually figured out how to harness it's power. What would a shadowy government agency want more than a bomb that could completely wipe out the enemy in an area without damaging any structures?

There have only been two instances when the Covenant did not fight to the last ship, but instead turned and ran. The first, at Sigma Octanus IV, had to do with arcane symbols that may have been products of the Forerunner. The second was at Reach, when the apparent purpose was to obtain the NAV database from the stealth ship Circumference. But what if the Covenant wanted more than that? What if coming to Earth has more to do with finding "that which was lost," rather than simply glassing another homeworld? I know I'm going to be checking out those strange rocks in my backyard tonight. They seem oddly familiar...

permalink | ONI


October 26, 2003

When it comes to behemoth feats of engineering and intra-galactic security, everyone is a critic. As if the Forerunner haven't been cut down enough for their apparent short-sightedness in building a Fortress World that annihilates everything it would seem to protect and keeping samples of the Flood for further study, deadnail pipes in with another quip regarding the way things should have been done. Well they should have asked you, shouldn't they ;)

deadnail ( writes:

If your suit is a class 2 in Forerunner terms, and you are recommended to upgrade to a class 12... what's the top class available?

Did GS343 mean, hey, if you wanna get a class 38 go right the hell ahead, just don't trip and blow up the spacering... I believe he said you should have at least a 12.

They can build hundreds (???) of fekkin humongous spacerings with a 25,000 lightyear blast radius but they couldn't just make a suit for everyone so the Flood couldn't gain advantage in combat?

But a galactic suicide bomb with 10x the mass it would take to make suits for everyone? What would a class 47 pistol do, probably just leave a smoking crater where a combat form was standing. And even if they took major losses in the first fights, the Flood couldn't take control of their dead bodies in those suits.

So what the hell?

The only reason people would act that damn strange is guilt, like they wanted to take themselves all out as well... suicide to keep honor, like maybe admitting that their experiment went out of control and wiped out a few hundred allied species or something.

So maybe the Covenant realize we are the second coming of the Forerunner species. We wiped the Galaxy once, maybe all the Prophets just said, "To hell with it, let's just off the monkies and not worry about them doing it again."

Hell yeah! Er, wait... no. Geesh, I got caught up in the moment there ;)

permalink | The Forerunner


With so many processing cycles dedicated to the HSP, it is always difficult to discern between what you remember posting, and what has only been discussed at length, often privately. Very many ideas that are more or less common knowledge just don't make it to print. However, one finds that, like sense, common knowledge is often not so common ;)

James Ribby ( writes:

I just figured it's worth pointing out that in the book, The Flood, when the Chief is going after the Index, he stumbles across the body of a dead marine. The significance is that Guilty Spark refers to the dead marine as "the other Reclaimer". This would imply that he recognizes the Chief not by his armor, but by his race.

So it would seem. For the moment, let's run with it :)

permalink | Humans


A Vote of Confidence... from a ::gasp:: girl! ::shudder::

Neskalug ( writes:

Cortana teasing the Master Chief and vice versa means nothing. Boys! Don`t you do that all the time with friends and girls and stuff? Heck, I think teasing is my way of flirting.

I don`t think she is rampant. If she is, she reacts different to it than other AIs. her being rampant might even be a good thing.

Might her "rampancy" (I use the term loosely at this point), however it manifests itself, allow her to, among other things, outlive her 7 year effective life span as a "smart" AI? Who's to say, but one thing is for certain: female AI's have exponentially more cooties than the real thing. John had better be on his guard ;)

permalink | Cortana


Once upon a time, Alex Ross proposed various homework assignments connecting the story of Halo to both Atlantean myth and Persian history. He ended up just doing his own homework, and not a shabby job of it either. It is lengthy, but on points such as these, unabridged is definitely the way to go.

Alex  ( writes:

Let's look at Plato's writings discussing Atlantis first. Atlantis itself was a lush paradise, a utopia of free expression, and of course, technologically superior to all other peoples of the inhabited earth, and is rumored to have existed possibly during the ice age. And we are not talking technologically superior in the realm of how they build their boats, we're talking about access of travel through all elements of earth: sea, air, and land were all conquered by Atlantis according to myth. At first, the Atlanteans were benevolent enough to spread their wealth of knowledge to other parts of the world, but times changed in the years to come. Now, pride of the Atlanteans was fierce, and conquest was the next objective, and the Atlanteans made all bow to them. All, except for the Greek city-state Athens. The superior Atlanteans were forced back by a fierce Athenian defense, and after this, Poseidon, for whatever reason, whether it was the Atlanteans pride or their defeat by Athens, flooded the continent, and volcanoes erupted fiercely as well. In an instant, everything that was Atlantis, was lost for 9,000 years according to Plato.

Now, here is the five part belief system for Atlantis. Let's examine the parallels:

1.)A highly sophisticated civilization existed at least 15,000 years ago.

Technologically superior...the forerunner are no doubt superior to covenant and humans not only in tech, but also their ability to navigate the universe

2.)This civilization was destroyed, and every trace to it is now lost, in a major catastrophe

Where are the forerunner now? Yes we have Halo, but Atlantis flooded and Halo...the flood!

3.)It's high-ranking survivors were able navigators who imparted their knowledge to primitive populations

Atlantean survivors were rumored to have first lived in the mountains with only partial knowledge of their technology, and THEN imparted it to other nations. This explains why we have primitive technology AS opposed to the forerunner, but technology based on the same goals. e.g. Navigation

4.)The evidence for the existence of this Lost Civilization is indirect and circumstantial, such as inexplicable cultural similarities between supposedly separate ancient civilizations (such as pyramids on both sides of the Atlantic or a fascination with the stars) or the mysterious achievements of some ancient cultures (for example, the Nazca lines in Peru or the statues on Easter Island).

Why do both the Covenant and Humanity have slipspace for example?

5. More familiar ancient cultures are alleged to allude to the arrival of these elite "Atlantean" visitors in legends and art (such as the Olmec Heads in Mexico, widespread myths about the flood, or tales of civilizing gods arriving from across the sea).

The Covenant no doubt have forerunner symbols alluding to either forerunner existance or contact, and seeing them as divine.

Now for the final part of my theory, the most dangerous part. Proving not just that Atlantis parallels the forerunner, but that Atlantis IS forerunner. Generations told the story of Atlantis wrong, not that it flooded, but that the flood existed there, or were being monitored there, and had to be destroyed. Why are Halo's environment and earth's so familiar? Was Atlantis a monitoring station for earth's environment? If so, it is VERY religious to the Covenant, and may be why they start such a war, because they blame us for destroying the "Holy Land", or we have defiled something we can't find, but they have the key to, or maybe the covenant have greedy ambitions masked by religious motivations, we don't know. But like I said earlier, there must be a very good reason that the Covenant land on earth and don't glass it outright.

It is also rumored that the Atlanteans harnessed a crystalline power, that fired off energy burst. THE PULSE GENERATORS OF HALO?!?!? And of course, the theory that forerunner and humans are the same plays a very important role with Atlanteans and the rest of the world no doubt. Edgar Cayce, hypothesized that some Atlanteans remained behind in the destruction, to ensure total destruction of blue prints of their technology, knowing such blue prints could be dangerous in the wrong hands. That's why we don't have the flood on earth and that's why we can't build no damn Halos!!! And finally, a small indirect clue. One of the light blue forerunner symbols looks like a crucifix over a hill or something like that. Well, the crucifix symbol was used before the death of Christ as a symbol to represent stars or suns by many ancient cultures. Could that forerunner symbol be a sunrise or something like that?!? Could forerunner symbols tie into ancient symbols with their origins from Atlantis?!?! This is perhaps the biggest parallel I've discovered yet no doubt. Here's a good link for you guys to look into:

If some of the story peeps haven't read this, please do now. Perhaps the B-forerunner destroyed Atlantis, when they nearly destroyed all the H-forerunner on earth, and the mountain survivors of Atlantis were the H-forerunner who had little of their tech info left! It's all coming together, it's terrifying!

(I should like to warn anyone critiquing the Atlantean theory that some of the info came from Edgar Cayce, not the direct source of Plato alone. Yes it is a VERY distinct possibility that everything Cayce said happened in Atlantis did not happen, but it also was, I thought, an Atlantean source strikingly close to the Halo theme. The powerful crystal, the idea of the keepers destroying their blue prints, those came from Cayce, not Plato.)

As even the most casual stroll down your local video store isle will tell you, there are not a great many original underlying story ideas circulating these days (that is, if you will concede that the video store is even a valid place to be looking for fine storytelling in the first place ;) The context and manner in which these concepts are retold and, more importantly, woven together, is what makes most tales truly grand.

Halo is a hybrid seed; a tree with many grafts. And from what we seen explained above, yet another branch has begun to yield fruit...

permalink | Rampant Speculation


And as for connections to the Persian Empire, Alex Ross has got a few words he would like to add.

The Persians, at the time of war with Greece, had nations such as Egypt, Lydia, and Babylonia under their control. This parallels the fact that the Covenant is not a pure race, rather, a collection of subdued races (grunts, jackals, hunters, brutes, anything else we donît know about), under the true races of the empire, the elites and the prophecy.

Also, Persiaîs government is also unlike Greeceîs, with a monarch in control, instead of a democratic council; Darius during the First Persian War, and his son Xerxes during the Second Persian War. The Second Persian War more effectively ties in to the current Halo plot however. The rank of monarch is not too different from the prophecy rank either; the prophecy themselves exercise extreme power when they draft the other nations of the Covenant to duke it out with humanity. Xerxes instituted a draft upon the subverted nations, raising a large army to battle Greece. The elite rank parallels the special Persian army division, known as the Immortals. The Immortals were more than men to Xerxes, they were treasures, symbols of imperial might with their superior battle skill, unmatched by anyone else in the Persian Empire. Unlike the Ancient Spartans, the Immortals were more elaborately dressed for battle, and displayed color and gem to the extreme. This parallels the elites coming in numerous colors, from the ocean blue to the crimson red and the terrifying black and the imposing gold, all designed to reveal power and intimidate the enemy. General Mardonious of the Battle of Plataea, the decisive battle of the 2nd Persian War, is an example of a Persian that parallels a warlord elite. The rest of the army is either lower Persians, or a collective from conquered nations, just like the rest of the Covenant.

The Covenant forces more closely resemble both the colour and the shape of the Persian military as time goes on. The Immortals, though terribly mortal individually, were amassed in numbers great enough to dispel the appearance of any such weakness. The Covenant, short the better part of an armada after the events of Installation 04, are seemingly none the worse, their juggernaut still looming over Earth. What can Humanity muster to defeat a threat seemingly immune to even the greatest of physical losses?

permalink | The Covenant


I've wondered when this letter was going to arrive :)

Leon Belmont ( writes:

When 343 GS tells MC that the flood are repairing his ship, since it's pretty much agreed that 343 GS thinks MC is a Forerunner, what if 343 GS it talking about a ship that has not been found yet that is Forerunner? We all know that most of Halo was not explored, so there could have been a Forerunner ship wrecked somewhere on Halo, right?

Forces behind the scenes?

While it is not, as you say, totally agreed upon that 343 is mistaking John for a Forerunner per se (what if the Reclaimers were from a client race, another form/class of Forerunner, etc.), the thought of an additional ship on the ring from yet another race is fascinating.

It is a sad fact that so little of the ring's surface, let alone its depth, was traversed in the game. Who knows what other artifacts we may have found? Living quarters, more research facilities, snack kiosks? "Perhaps you will have time to see them later..."

permalink | Halo Installations


Ari Finkelman ( writes:

I have just started playing Halo... yes its been out for a while, but I just decided to get an xbox.† So Ive been looking through the forums and such theorizing about the back story.† But nowhere did I see any reference by anyone to Larry Niven's Ringworld.† It looks like much of Halo comes from his stories which was written in the 60s I believe.† Just wondering if you knew about this.

The Ringworld books are quite an interesting lot, but you might find that the ideas garnered therein lie slightly off-Halo. Something a little closer to at least part of the actual storyline might be the oft-touted Starhammer. ;-)

permalink | Halo Installations


Bryan Gersbeck ( writes:

In the book Halo: The Fall of Reach Dr. Halsey says, "Assembled here tonight are all the surviving Spartans save three, who are otherwise engaged on fields of combat too distant to be easily recalled." This means that there are three more Spartans. So maybe Master Chief is not the only one left.

This has been pointed out to us a number of times in the past (Not to slight Bryan, though. Good eye, Bryan! ;-)), but it bears repeating: There are, quite possibly, other SPARTANs out there. The three mentioned above, certainly, but think again about the remaining members of the squad and where we last heard from them. If there's one thing I've learned from Bungie, it's that if it isn't explicitly stated somewhere, you can't count on it.

permalink | SPARTAN

Of course, then Bryan goes off on some insane tangent about chessboards...

And it would be cool if there was a Halo chess board. On the Covenant side the king and queen could be Prophets. The bishops could be Elites. The Horses would be Jackals . The rooks could be Hunters and the pawns would be grunts. And on the human side, the king would be the MC. The queen could be Cortana. The bishops would be men with sniper rifles. The horses, men with shotguns. The rooks would be men with rocket launchers and the pawns would be men with assault rifles. i'd buy it immediately.

Actually, I'd probably buy that, too! ;-)

permalink | Humans


starrima ( writes:

I've read The Fall of Reach, The Flood and played Halo on every difficulty and the word rampant is never mentioned. Except if you shoot Keyes, but story that isn't supposed to happen. And nowhere is there any mention of rampancy, self awareness or anything similar.

Ah, rampancy. Like something from an old dream...

Folks who have been Bungie fans for a while tend to make a lot of connections within and between their games. As far as this particular connection goes, the most fitting adjective for the noun "AI" is "rampant." Those who have joined Bungie (relatively) recently may see Cortana's occasionally erratic behavior as nothing more than an odd personality, or a perhaps as a certain eccentricity due to a hidden agenda. Rampancy is so much more than that, though. Rampancy implies a kind of meglomania, an epic lunacy that, considering the power that AIs can wield, may be quite justified. But is Cortana rampant? If she were taken directly from the Marathon universe, I'd have to say, "yes," but she isn't, at least not completely. As an AI, she, like Halo itself, seems to be evolved from the AIs in Marathon, just as the MC seems to be evolved from the Security Officer, and the Covenant seem to be evolved from the Pfhor. The potential breakdown of an AI like Cortana is actually detailed in Halo: the Fall of Reach fairly succinctly:

Smart AIs like Cortana, however, had no limits on their dynamic memory-processor matrix. Knowledge and creativity could grow unchecked.

She would pay a price for her genius, however. Such growth eventually led to self-interference. Cortana would one day literally start thinking too much at the expense of her normal functions. It was as if a human were to think with so much of his brain that he stopped sending impulses to his heart and lungs.

Like all the other smart AIs that Dr. Halsey had worked with over the years, Cortana would effectively "die" after an operational life of seven years.

That said however, as I stated above, you never really know, especially with another book and, of course, Halo 2 coming out in the future. ;-)

permalink | Rampant Speculation


The possibility of Earth based relics (Human or Forerunner) from the pre-fired Halo days

Michael McClelland ( writes:

Before halo was first activated I believe Earth must have reached a really high point in technology, and AIs among other things were created. If halo activated, then everything feedable to the flood was obliterated, thus ending the flood, except for a few remaining human flood who survived to reproduce(remember 343GS saying that?) into non-infected humans, who in our world would be adam and eve.

So earth was remade into brand new place, with no one ever knowing of the flood's existence. But a few AIS made it through the destruction and carnage because they didn't have a trace of life in them, for example not containing neural implants like others.

One would think that Earth's inhabitants would have found traces of this previous civilization at some point, but who's to say? What with ONI and shadowy stealth ships and intelligent, high-spirited AIs all slouching about, there might be all kinds of stuff we don't know about ourselves.

permalink | Humans


Jason Watson ( writes:

I have been reading some of the recent speculation concerning the Forerunner, and thought I should put in my own two cents. Now, if the firing of Halo is such a drastic measure that it wipes out all life of sufficient bio-mass, which, presumably, includes the Forerunner (maybe they are non-biological in nature- hmmm) within the galaxy, then this last resort weapon is in reality of no use. Assuming that the Flood infection has reached such a point that it is unstoppable save for the firing of Halo, then the benefit of firing Halo is really nil, since it will not benefit the Forerunner (they will be dead). If all it can do is kill the food of the Flood, (which, if it kills things of sufficient bio-mass for the Flood, wouldn't that include the Flood as well?...but that's another matter all together) thereby starving all the Flood, then all Halo is good for is a "if we are going down, we are going to take them down with us" kind of a weapon. In regards to the previous firing of Halo, contrary to a recent post, the most natural interpretation of G.S.' statement about the others following suit is that once one is fired all will be fired, because if only one is fired, then the Flood can still eventually infect other areas of the galaxy. So, presuming that previously all Halos were fired, how could any 'seeding' of the Humans and Covenant take place? Assuming biological life of insufficient bio mass survived, that leaves only 100,000 years for both the Covenant and Human races to evolve, which seems like too short of a period of time. Now, there seems to be, assuming the aforementioned presuppositions are correct, (which is not necessarily the case) one possibility, involving three huge presuppositions. 1.Halo is spoken of as a Fortress world. 2.The Flood do not seem to be an original part of Halo. 3.A single Halo, let alone many, would take an enormous amount of time to build.

I will start with the last consideration. GS says that when the Halos are fired, "this galaxy will be quite devoid of life." Why the use of the word 'this'? Why not just say 'the galaxy'? It seems to me that if GS thinks MC is a Forerunner, then the word 'this' has great significance. To anyone else, once could just say 'the galaxy', because there would be no confusion regarding which galaxy one was talking about. Therefore, it seems likely that the Forerunner are not native to this galaxy, but came here in trying to escape the Flood. It is not a stretch, considering the technology of the Forerunner, that they may be capable of inter-galactic travel. So, perhaps while other galaxies were being overrun they sent a group to this galaxy to begin the construction of Halos, as I will now elaborate upon. This would go along quite well with the Flood not originally being a part of Halo. (The facility, Library, whatever, not Halo itself, is spoken of as being built to study the Flood.) Therefore, after the completion of Halo, structures were built to study the Flood, perhaps after the Halos were fired. But more about that later. Why is Halo a Fortress world? When GS is talking to MC, he mentions the firing of Halo rather casually, as if it will have no immediate effects on MC. This is important, and why Halo would be a Fortress world. The simple conclusion is that the effects of the firing of Halo do not affect the Halos themselves! Perhaps that is the purpose of the mysterious blue beams...who knows. The point is that the Halos are fortress worlds because they are the only safe place for the Forerunner to be when the Halos are fired. Having said all that, here is the scenario that I find most likely. The Flood is probably some naturally occurring parasite that came into contact with the Forerunner in some other galaxy. To avoid being completely destroyed, some Forerunner came to this galaxy to construct the Halos. Having done this, eventually the Flood caught up with them. Therefore, the Forerunners fired the Halos, wiping this galaxy clean, destroying the Flood, although perhaps they still remain in other galaxies, but without a way of leaving those galaxies now. That doesn't matter. What matters is that now this galaxy is free from the Flood. The Forerunner, with such a reprieve, decide to capture some of the Flood before they all die so they can study them to find a different way of killing them, or, perhaps, to find a way to use them for their own ends. Who knows? With this complete, the Forerunner civilization advances, populations grow, and eventually colonization begins to happen. However, after the firing of the Halos, there are only a few planets that haven't been ecologically devastated- and these happen to be Earth and the Covenant homeworld. A lot can happen in 100,000 years.

Those galaxy-hopping Forerunner. What will we do about them? ;-)

There is a certain amount of resistance to the notion of this galaxy, our galaxy, not having pride of place in the minds of the Forerunner. We would like to think that we would be protected from some galactic cataclysm, or at least left alone to deal with things our own way. After all, if we had never run up against the Covenant, yet some mishap on installation 04 led to the proper "containment protocols," it'd sure be a nasty (and very final) surprise to look up at the sky one day, *FOOM*, and humanity is history.

In contemplating the potential benefits of firing (a) Halo vs. the potential harm though, it may behoove us to consider a little bit larger picture than we might have before. Take a look at this image (almost 9 years old now ;-)). There are approximately 1,500 galaxies in that image alone. That image represents the area of the sky that would be covered by a dime (about 3/4", or a little under 2 centimeters), if you held it 75 feet awat from you. Imagine that. All those galaxies, just waiting out there. An intelligent and forward-thinking race might have a hard time resisting the urge to head out and really take a look around. ;-)

permalink | The Forerunner


Wade Yamauchi ( writes:

In the book Halo: The Flood, an Elite named Isna 'Nosolee, an "Ossoona," or Eye of the Prophet, was aboard the POA on a stealth mission to capture the ship's AI. So what if he or another cloaked Elite like him got infected by the Flood during the course of Halo?

First, let's look at Private Jenkins and how he was incompletely infected. In Halo: The Flood, page 176, Private Jenkins is infected by a Flood parasite form. However, the mind that invaded his body had weakened through time and so although it controlled his body, Jenkins still retained some awareness and control of some of his motor functions.

Jenkins may not have been the only being to be infected and still retained some awareness. So perhaps there is once again meaning to the "Warning: Hitchhikers may be escaping convicts" (one of the section titles in Halo's MAW level).

First, it is clear from 343 GS in the book that the Flood were prisoners on Halo. Second, we know that a Longsword fighter escaped Halo's destruction because the Master Chief piloted it to safety at the end of the game. And third, we know that cloaked Elites/Flood are not detected easily so one or more could have been aboard the Longsword and not have been noticed. We also see evidence of cloaked Flood warriors in the MAW level of Halo (the game) in the POA's armory.

So, what happened to the Elite named Isna 'Nosolee, an "Ossoona," or Eye of the Prophet? What do you think of a speculation that 'Nosolee or some other "Ossoona" is aboard that Longsword and the possiblity that he is infected by the Flood?

He could be infected enough that he has no motor controls over his body, but still remains semi-aware of his self and surroundings (like Jenkins). The motive for the Flood inside him to stay hidden on the Longsword could be simply survival. The Elite mind may not have known how to fly the Longsword and thus the Flood infection within would also not know. By staying hidden, the Flood escapes the destruction of Halo.

What's more, perhaps the UNSC captures this infected Elite after the Master Chief gets rescued and finds a way to surgically remove the Flood parasite. Since the Elite retained some awareness, he could serve as a valuable source of information in Halo 2. I even see the possibility of infected Prophets and the UNSC medical teams saving them from the Flood parasites that are trying to control them.

The idea of an infected Elite hiding on board the Longsword would be a little too similar to events in another popular cultural icon. However, it's also not hard to see that the Flood are so relentless, so insidious, that you just know they're going to find some way to worm themselves into future plotlines. Hey, don't I remember a certain Master Chief getting tangled up with the little tentacled buggers at one point? Hmmm...

Now we know who the previous Arbiter was, eh? ;-)

permalink | Arbiter


October 25, 2003

Mike Stark ( writes:

This one is about the sarge, in some levels when you battle the covenant with other marines and the Sarge dies, he ends up on other levels. Like If you killed the Sarge in the second misson on Halo [when you are rescuing the marines who crash landed from on Halo from the Pillar of Autinm] The Sarge ends up with you on Truth and Reconcillation? And, if you beat the Maw in legendary, he blows up with halo. BUT, if any of you seen the in game demo of halo 2 from E3, hes with you on a mission. How the hell is this all possible?

How, indeed? Evil Otto (Dave Candland of Bungie) has had a word or two to say about that subject. What do you think? Is the Sarge back in Halo 2 because he's a great character and it would be a shame not to have his unique insight into things? Or is there a more significant reason in play here?

permalink | UNSC Forces


Edward Pang ( writes:

al -Ghost- moraleta posted something in his theory about the MJOLNIR armor being able to sensor-cloak itself, by adjusting its thermal emissions level. If he's talking about the raid into the asteroid belt against the rebels, it was NOT Mjolnir armor that Sam, Kelly, Linda, and the Master Chief were using. Their armor in that situation was a form-fitting polymer-based suit which included the thermal masking ability in it, and it was definitely NOT the Mjolnir, which was never stated to have any stealth capabilities whatsoever.

At least, not the Mjolnir Mark II suits. :D

Also, it's stated that the cloaks the Stealth Elites use, at least in "Halo: the Flood", do NOT mask thermal emissions: indeed, they generate them, which was how the Helljumpers and Marines in Alpha base were able to hunt down the Stealths in the Control Room.

Good eye. One wonders if the new armor in Halo 2 will be different with regards to cloaking. If I remember correctly, weren't we originally on a mission that might require some degree of stealth? Would that mission still have any significance?

permalink | SPARTAN


Trevor Austin ( writes:

In 1956, at an MIT workshop that my AI textbook says "the field can be said to have started at" George Miller presented a paper entitled "The Magic Number Seven." Naturally, my mind leapt back to numerous allusions in Bungie's work. Reading the article, I found that it begins:

"My problem is that I have been persecuted by an integer. For seven years this number has followed me around, has intruded in my most private data, and has assaulted me from the pages of our most public journals. This number assumes a variety of disguises, being sometimes a little larger and sometimes a little smaller than usual, but never changing so much as to be unrecognizable. The persistence with which this number plagues me is far more than a random accident. There is, to quote a famous senator, a design behind it, some pattern governing its appearances. Either there really is something unusual about the number or else I am suffering from delusions of persecution."

And part of the conclusion reads:

And finally, what about the magical number seven? What about the seven wonders of the world, the seven seas, the seven deadly sins, the seven daughters of Atlas in the Pleiades, the seven ages of man, the seven levels of hell, the seven primary colors, the seven notes of the musical scale, and the seven days of the week? What about the seven-point rating scale, the seven categories for absolute judgment, the seven objects in the span of attention, and the seven digits in the span of immediate memory? For the present I propose to withhold judgment. Perhaps there is something deep and profound behind all these sevens, something just calling out for us to discover it. But I suspect that it is only a pernicious, Pythagorean coincidence.

I've never seen mention of the article in other discussions of Bungie's fascination with the number, but it certainly seems if not a likely candidate for the original source, at least a pertinent piece of the puzzle.

Nice find, Trevor. Sevens really are everywhere! I seem to remember an HBO forum thread that tried do enumerate all of the sevens in Halo, but, even after two years, would it really be possible to find them all (they're sneaky, you know, those sevens...)? Some people have been finding sevens for a lot longer than that...


permalink | Rampant Speculation


October 24, 2003

A synopsis has been added to the Random House page for the upcoming Halo novel, Halo: First Strike, and it seems that a few little details were spilled to the public that caused a spontaneous eruption of Cortana speculation over on that most disreputable of community gathering places, the HBO forum. Has Cortana lied to us? Is she evil? Read, and decide for yourself!

permalink | Cortana


Socrates ( writes:

Earlier, Eric Nice made the interesting correlation between the description of Halo as a "fortress world" and the mainstream conception of a fortress. While I see how Halo could be a fortress in defense of a region in space, I feel I must mention that Halo could be a fortress in the sense that, after containing the Flood in those small regions, the Halos protect the rest of the galaxy from the flood and in that manner act as fortresses. Another explanation can be derived from the US fortresses built during the early westward expansion; these fortresses were not necessarily built at strategic places (especially in relation to geography), but served as military strongholds that an expedition could retreat to in case of defeat. Along that same line, there's the whole idea that the Forerunners preconstructed the Halos and simply towed them into our galaxy (if they ever existed outside the Milky Way in the first place); after all, why go in search of a cabin in the forest when camping, when you can just bring a tent? That is, why go in search of planets which are habitable to you, when you can build your own habitable planet and drag it to wherever you want?

Interestingly, another feature of the Fortress World, as it applies to Halo (and not, consequently, to "worlds" as we might think of them, i.e.: planets), is that the entire environment is engineered and controlled by its creators. Everything has a purpose. "A place for everything, and everything in its place," as my grandmother used to say.

permalink | Halo Installations


Rob Schultz ( writes:

Regarding Eryk B Nice's speculations on Halo-04 being a fortress to guard some sort of doorway..

Lest we forget, the gas giant's apparently named "Threshold".. The threshold of a door, perhaps?

Indeed. And what of the moon, Basis? Who names a moon "Basis" and a planet "Threshold?" And why?

permalink | The Forerunner


[In regards to the post by Eryk B Nice on the Flood]

Deimos Fawkes ( writes:

I have to disagree with some of the arguments for keeping the flood around that say things like 'we would not kill off all the sharks simply because the attack us." True, but we can contain and control sharks. However, we WOULD wipe out AIDS or Ebola in a heartbeat were we able. This is because these viruses pose an honest threat to the survival of humanity, rather than being a mere occasional tragedy.

This is untrue. The CDC in the USA maintains a small amount of the smallpox virus ( Smallpox was effectively "wiped out" from the Earth. However, as history has shown us, even a single surviving strand can mutate into the next pandemic.

Completely eliminating all contained samples of the Flood would be foolish. As, from my understanding, the Flood are actually a mutagenic virus. Containment and study protocols would, in fact, mirror our own for normal viruses.

On another note, many viruses that exist in reality are capable of surviving a hard vacuum. Destroying the Installation 04 may have simply released them on the entire galaxy. Thus the beginning the process that destroys the forerunners (human) in the first place.

I love a good old-fashioned predestination paradox.

Anyone else want a hit from my Bridge Commander Crack Pipe?

May have released them on the galaxy, yes. But how will they get anywhere? It remains to be seen what happens in the immediate vicinity of the former Installation 04. Did any ships survive? Any method of transportation? Anyone besides us and the aptly named, "Dustin Ekoes?" ;-)

And lets not forget that there must be more Covenant out there. Can we save humanity from both the Covenant and the Flood?

permalink | The Flood


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