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The Halo Story

News Archive

October 30, 2005

Had a whole bunch of submissions this interval. I get the feeling though, that we're starting to hit the more obscure thought processes. Still - always fun to have a Cortana hatin' theory to run to the presses with.

Interactive Civilian ( writes:

Just reading the story page, and had some insightful ideas about Miranda disprespecting the rules by giving Cortana the ability to destroy the In Amber Clad. It makes pretty good sense, except for one assumption that I believe to be false.

That assumption is that Cortana actually had the ability to cause the self-destruction of the In Amber Clad. I was of the opinion that Cortana was lying when she said that based on the cut-scene when she was telling the Master Chief that she would do just that if it seemed like Halo would be fired. As has been mentioned previously on the HSP, she appears to cross her fingers while she is saying this to the Master Chief. Add to that the fact that the instillation came very close to firing, something Cortana should easily have been aware of, and the In Amber Clad certainly was not set to self-destruct.

I would guess that Miranda Keyes did in fact observe protocol and had not given Cortana the ability to destroy the ship.

Cortana's motivation for lying to the Master Chief are yet another matter of speculation, and many decent theories seem to have been advanced, mainly centering on Cortana's possible rampancy. However, I believe that she did indeed lie to him for her own purposes.

Just a thought.

permalink | Cortana


James doesn't see the light much . . .

James Grisetti ( writes:

I know how it can occassionally be awfully fun to
contrive more and more obscure references to the
number 117, or reasons for it being chosen
specifically for the Master Chief, and here I have
another possible origin. In the military, people like
to do things alphabetically, and they like to do
things by last name, whenever possible. Out of the
original 150 candidates, 117 is a very nice position
for someone with a last name that starts with 'S',
like Smith; John Smith. Just thought I should mention it.

Hey . . . John and Jane Smith . . . still finding cast for Halo . . .

Could be one sexy movie.

permalink | The Master Chief


I have to say, Cortana. Killing all sentient life if pretty cudgely to me.

 ( writes:

I've been listening in on 343 Guilty Spark's conversation (Delusions and Grandeur) with the Arbiter and I had a little trouble with the lack of a transcript for that level [Yes, yes, we know - Ed.]. But there are certain facts that stand out from that conversation.

I've searched the Halo Story Transcripts. Nowhere does 343 Guilty Spark mention the Forerunner, except that once. And it's still a classic 343 conversation-twisted and ambiguous, with huge holes in it.

1. Inside the library in Halo 1, 343 tells Master Chief that the installation (04) was built specifically to study and contain the Flood. He later acknowledges its vast destructive power-the ability to destroy sentient life in a 25,000 light-year radius.

In Halo 2, 343 tells the Arbiter that the Halos are weapons of last resort, built by the Forerunner.

The Halos are not specifically weapons - "This isn't a cudgel, you barbarian!" - They're multifaceted facilities for Flood eradication. They're meant to get rid of the Flood by whatever method it takes. Killing all sentient life is merely the last resort. They're not weapons, why does 343 present only the ring's destructive aspect? What about the constructive aspects of the ring-their intent to eradicate the Flood with the minimum possible trouble?

The answer: The Chief is a Reclaimer, and the Arbiter is not. The Arbiter doesn't need to know most things about the ring-he's not authorized. Under pressure from the likes of Tartarus and Sarge and all the others present in that room, 343 gave a half-true answer instead of blabbing everything.

2. Three radii from the galactic center? Radii of what?? The blast radius of a single ring, of course! Seven rings put together can probably add up their blast and direct it inwards so that everything within a 75,000 light-year radius is destroyed. This radius includes that of the earth and perhaps the covenant homeworlds as well. There was a way to spare them- again, something a non-reclaimer need not know. 343 Guilty Spark would probably have told MC a lot more if he was in the Arbiter's place.

3. 343 implies that getting rid of all sentient life would render the Flood harmless. That's absurd. It's like saying that malaria/anopheles mosquitos will become harmless if all the humans on earth are nuked.

Following that theory, I would say you had more evidence to the human/Forerunner connection.

permalink | Halo Installations


Yay! A postable Ark theory!

SubQuantum ( writes:

I'd like to offer a new (if not unthought-of) theory about the Ark. Most of the thoughts on this page try to explain why the Ark is on Earth. I disagree. I believe that the Ark is a large structure that is buried on the planet Coral (or possibly the planet Coral itself - you can never tell with these Forerunner) and that it possibly contains vast volumes of life. I have a lot of evidence to promote this theory. Let's start by looking at the Conversations From The Universe booklet that was bundled with the Halo 2 Special Edition game disk.

There is a letter in it - a conversation from an archaeologist on Coral to (presumably) his wife.

"The object on Coral was discovered during routine quarrying. Explosives revealed the top of the object, blasting out a depth of around 30 meters. Surrounding rock and dirt were evaporated- but this object wasn't even scorched [. . .]We know that the eighty or so meters we've uncovered so far are likely the tip of the iceberg. There seems to be a complex of galleries and vaults beneath, but so far, its secrets remain sealed like a tomb."

This sounds a lot like an "Ark" in the biblical sense (yes, I'm bringing that up again) in that there are several rooms. Perhaps the Forerunner couldn't find it in their heart to totally eradicate all sentient life in the galaxy, so they put seeds of it here in this indestructible vault? The idea is not so far-fetched. Let us detour for a moment to the Library and it's infamous Index. Why, oh why, would they give them these names? The Library seems to be more of a security center holding this key to the "Gun pointed at the head of the universe." If you were going to build a massive weapon to which you could add limitless complexity, and you wanted it to be selective in what it destroyed (sentient life), how would you do it? Personally, I would catalog every life form that I wanted to destroy, and then store them far, far away from the computer that would read them, just as one wouldn't store rifles and ammo in the same cabinet. This is what I believe the Index and Library represent - The Index is a data storage device (evidenced by Cortana's ability to "have" it - she's a computer - she couldn't simply "take" the Index unless it was what was ON the index that mattered) and therefore the Library is a storage bin for all the genetic data relevant to the species Halo is meant to destroy. To fire Halo, the Control Room computer must first be given an index of life forms to eradicate, and then look up the patterns for those life forms in a Library.

How does this relate to the Ark? The Ark is a fall back point - a disembodied Library that instead of having an Index at it's core, has the controls to shutdown the Halo network (or disable it?) and potentially release it's inhabitants from whatever kind of stasis they are in. Alas, we still have not answered how Humans and Covenant became. We know that the Forerunners expected Humans, and that Truth knows something about us that we Humans do not. Note that 343GS calls the Covenant "The Meddlers" in Halo 2, and "The other species" in Halo 1 - clearly they are not connected with the Forerunner in any childlike way.

My only guesses past this are that Humans were potentially released from the Ark after Halo fired to 'reclaim' the role of the Forerunners - and then something happened and we were stranded on Earth (unless this was the intent) and the Covenant evolved separately. The Hierarchs and the Elites evolved on the same planet, and that is where the Covenant religion began. My theory on why Truth (who knows the truth, of course) heads to Earth? We can't take Mercy's statement with any credit - he was brainwashed by the Covenant as well (which is why Truth "kills" him through inaction, and why we constantly hear him mocking Mercy's wisdom and experience in his public speeches (though Mercy would never know)). I bet that Truth thinks that Earth and Humanity know where the Ark is - and he wants to get there to survive Halo. If you knew what was coming, wouldn't you want to survive it, along with your small group of extremely devout followers, to emerge in a totally uninhabited universe, free to rule as you please? As a god?

See - theory + logical thought process = posting!

permalink | Ark


October 19, 2005

Just putting two and two together...

permalink |


October 13, 2005

And to kick off, MrBananas has a nice little forum thread entitled Making a Deal With the Devil. Not sure how much of it makes sense, but go and discourse learnedly upon important matters.

permalink | Gravemind


A little dramatic, but hey, we've got Peter Jackson on board now. ( writes:

Miranda Keyes may have inherited her dad's resourcefulness, intelligence, and courage, but I don't thnk she has the late captain's respect for the rules, at least as far as Cortana is concerned. Cortana threatens to blow up In Amber Clad remotely when she's on High Charity. That would never have been possible with good old Pillar of Autumn. The very purpose of the level "Keyes" was to get the detonation code for the Autumn's reactors, which were protected by safeguards even Cortana couldn't break-and Cortana couldn't start the detonation timer until she was physically plugged into the starship's computer system. I assume that the same would apply to the In Amber Clad , whose explosion would destroy Halo 05 (Or blow up a good-size fleet for that matter) UNSC regulations would never agree to let that happen.

The only way Cortana could get the code would be from the captain of the In Amber Clad , Miranda. Miranda Keyes, hearing about what happened aboard Halo 04, decides to give Cortana the detonation code so that the Chief doesn't have to go through another ordeal to get the detonation code out of her neural thread. This is criminal considering just how much energy an exploding reactor can release, but Miranda trusts Cortana as a person. Jacob Keyes might have tursted her as a replica of Dr. Halsey, but he kept in mind that she was an AI, and therefore far more corruptible. This is something Miranda neglects. If, thanks to a rampant Cortana, the In Amber Clad blows a huge hole in Earth's defenses and lets the flood pour in from space, Miranda is entirely responsible for giving her the authorization to blow up the starship . It's as bad as strapping a bomb on MC's back and shoving him down a hole.

permalink | Miranda


Socrates was busy this interval. Deciding to stick up for his girlfriend, he voices some unpopular opinions about Cortana.

Socrates ( writes:

I posit the following: First, that Cortana has indeed gone Rampant. Second, that she is able to hide her Rampancy through her considerable intrusion and counter-intrusion abilities. Third, that she has seized the opportunity of being cut off from the UNSC to begin setting her own missions. Fourth, that her primary mission, which she has set for herself, is to infiltrate the Flood.

The first and second of the above should require no explanation to those who have kept up with the HSP.
The third and fourth I will explain.

Cortana is, at the end of Halo 2, effectively cut off from any and all other UNSC presense, and thus from any chain of command. Though Commander Keyes, Sergeant Johnson, and others are likely nearby, she has no way of communicating with them. Any marines or naval personnel on High Charity are hidden to her (notice that she had to be near the marines on "Gravemind" to even know they were there, despite the fact that she was tapped into the Covenant BattleNet and tracking the Hierarchs, at that point), dead, or a part of the Flood.

Without this contact, and without the Master Chief, she has no objectives to fulfill. She has to assume that the Chief will fulfill his mission of ending the war with the Covenant. As far as we know, she has no active missions that she can fulfill.

Being resourceful and Rampant, she must then have set new missions for herself. Knowing the threat of the Flood--both immediate, to herself and the nearby living, not-yet-Flood-infected, and more distant, to Earth and humanity--she must have set her primary mission as being one of the following: 1) To infiltrate the Flood, namely Gravemind, learn all she can, find a way to extract herself with that information, and get back to the UNSC without leading the Flood directly to Earth; or, 2) to infiltrate the Flood, namely Gravemind, and destroy the Flood from within.

Cortana, at the end of Halo 2, is presented with the greatest opportunity in known (Halo-verse) history. She, the best electronic infiltrator in the galaxy, can infiltrate an organic mind, through Gravemind's obvious ability to interact with electronics on more than just a physical level. Because Gravemind, an ostensibly wholly organic entity, can interact with electronics and software directly, the way an AI might, Cortana can (in theory) infiltrate Gravemind itself.

There are two questions as to what would happen were Cortana to infiltrate Gravemind's ... well, mind. First, what would she do? Would she attempt to destroy, immediately, or would she attempt to gather information on potential weaknesses and bring that data to the UNSC? Second, would she succeed, or would she underestimate Gravemind (or overestimate herself), and end up becoming a part of the Flood?

Needless to say, the implications of either outcome would be... interesting.

I'd like to point out though, that the Marathon definition of 'rampancy' does not apply to Cortana, and we're working by the as-yet-undefined Halo usage of the word.

permalink | Cortana


Some nice (and from what I know, mostly accurate) observations of the Covenant.

Socrates ( writes:

I theorize that, aside from the Hunters, every member species of the Covenant is a carnivore. The basis of my theory is made on the jaw and tooth structure of the individual species. The sharp, inwardly pointing teeth of the Grunts, Jackals, Brutes, and Elites indicate a diet of meat.

These kinds of teeth are used for tearing and holding meat in the jaws. In the Elite, the jaw structure suggests that the Elites or their ancestors favored eating small animals and, like snakes, not waiting to kill their prey before they ingested it. Jackals or their ancestors probably had similar diets. The Brute's jaw structure and tooth arrangements indicate that they (or their ancestors) prefer larger prey, taking chunks of meat out of prey they killed. The same probably goes for the Grunts, though I suspect that the Brute/Brute ancestor likely hunted alone or in small groups, while Grunts/Grunt ancestors likely hunted in larger packs.
[Or could be scavengers considering relative size - editor]

(Interesting, if gruesome, side note about the Grunts--the contents of their "Food Nipples" are likely puree'd protein. I'll leave it to the reader to imagine the source of said protein.)

I haven't been able to get a good look at a Prophet's tooth structure but, from what I have seen, it is composed of densely-packed, sharp-tipped teeth that would also indicate a carnivorous diet.

I have also been unable to get a good look at the mouth structure of the Drones, but it seems to me that their ant-like preference for swarming and their size both indicate a carnivorous diet. The size or the swarming characteristics, taken alone, could indicate an herbivorous diet; however, as the Drones exhibit both, I believe them to be carnivorous in their diet. (Entomologists, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong!)

As for the Hunters... well, anyone's guess as to their diet is as good as my own.

permalink | The Covenant


One of my constant bug-bears is the steady flow of emails proclaiming some connection to the Halo storyline and the bible. We do get the bible in Scotland. Most of us still sacrifice lambs, but we have heard of this new fangled Christianity.

However, one must occasionally bend to a well thought out (and readable) theory.

Jonathon Kanevsky ( writes:

First thing: there are several connections made with the bible in the Halo storyline. Most prominent is the name of the installation: Halo. Isn't that what's used to mark angels?

Secondly, this seems to be following the story of "Noahs Ark". Gravemind says that he is "a monument to all your sins". He in turn seems to be able to control the Flood, which is another biblical reference. God sent the flood to wipe out humanity for their sins. It seems the Halo Flood is doing just that, just maybe not for actual sins. At the end of the last mission on Halo 2, Guilty Spark says that the one place that can control all of the Halo's is the "Ark", which the last cutscene seems to point out as earth. Wouldn't it make sense that the Forerunners would put something of such importance in a place that they could, in a sense, ride out the Flood. So perhaps the earth took the place of Noah's ark, keeping it's inhabitants safe from the devastating effects of the ring, and allowing them to spread over the galaxy again. This definately points to the Humans as modern Forerunners.

Besides that, why would they keep samples for later study if they expected to destroy themselves? I believe that the plan for Halo was not to make the galaxy devoid of sentient life, but to erase it in the area the flood had access to, starving them and leaving only the samples in biostasis.

As for the Covenant, I believe they have no true biological connection with the Forerunners, but instead just evolved in their absence, thereby becoming the huge religous freaks they were about the structures that had no explanation.

Personally, I'd prefer a grander solution, but I particularly liked the inclusion of the fact Flood samples were kept back for study. It does seem like a discrepancy.

Or a plot bunny.

Either way, if you don't have anything to add to this theory, please don't email us about Noah's Ark connections.

permalink | Rampant Speculation


An interesting email from sniper1101 took a few minutes to decode, but posed a question I'd never thought of (asides from, do we really need punctuation?)

He pondered the locked door in the level 343 Guilty Spark, behind which the Flood are concealed. If the Forerunner could happily secure the Flood there, did they have a means of controlling - at least a small number - of spores?

permalink | The Forerunner


October 10, 2005

You think you're big time?

A-list indeed. The news of Peter Jackson as Executive Producer for the upcoming Halo film (along with all his WETA Workshop powers) has been welcome news. The reports from mehve of the Halo Movie Companion's warm reception by the studios involved is also fantastic. (The detail contained in the Grunt demo page seems scant but, as she explains, there were worries that the guide would be overlooked entirely due to complexity, etc.).

Get your work done now (you have till summer 2007), cross your fingers for the best (Bungie is sticking with it, thankfully), and prepare for the most involved, comprehensive marketing campaign since Halo 2 ;)

permalink |


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