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The Halo Story

News Archive

November 28, 2002

Can I kick it? Yes you can!

This installment of the HSP has us examining a rather broad assortment of hypotheses and other creative ideas regarding everyone's favorite parasitic ravager of worlds, The Flood. Wash your hands, suit up, and get ready for dinner.

From the Forum's foregoing Flood frivolity:

Hedgemony ( writes:

Cortana states that the ship [on Keyes] has been disabled by the flood. This ship cannot be the T&R. Cortana had already disabled it upon arriving at Halo. I conclude that this ship was one of the 3 ships that initially attacked the PoA. It stayed, and held position until further orders, or until the marines were near enough for it to send troops out.

Cortana's perplexing comments once MC gets back inside the ship:

"The Covenant battlenet is a mess.I can't access the ship's schematics. My records indicate that a shuttle bay should"

Maybe Cortana just thinks that this is the T&R. Being on a different ship could explain why her own records do not correspond with their location. She is not on the T&R, this ship differs in design.

permalink |

This has come up numerous times before. It seems safe to say it isn't the T&R. Next, and most interestingly:

It's clear that the flood have affected the battlenet, could they be trying to communicate to a place outside of Halo? Or are they smart enough to shut down Covie communications so that the Covies cannot organise an effective response?

Perhaps an even further demonstration of the Flood's intelligence and ingenuity. If they weren't just jamming, who would they be trying to contact?

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Flood Cellular Biology (see also page 352, specifically Fig. 12.1, of text. Lab report is due Monday) :

Spoonjappa ( writes:

I've noticed a couple things about the flood and have come up with some theories concerning them. First of all, I'm going to use my terms for flood in this: The spores are candies, the carriers are pinatas, the Covenant flood are swipies and the human flood are zombies. The pinatas and candies are the only real flood. The rest come from candy parasites. Now, most people who have played any level after 343 GS knows that melee attacks simply don't work on the swipies or zombies, and neither do sniper rifles or head shots of any kind. I think this is because when the candies take over the bodies of their hosts, they begin immediately transforming all living mass into a more protist state, where all the cells work together but have pretty much the same function, instead of individual functions such as digesting, thinking, and complex stuff like that. This means that melee attacks don't really do anything because no vital organs are being damaged, because there are none. (Let's face it, it's going to take a long time to kill someone by hitting them in the arm.) This means that the most effective way to kill them is to blow them to pieces with a shotgun, rocket launcher, or grenade. Assault rifles also work by shredding them all up, but aren't as effective, and plasma weapons and lasers don't do much at all.

The "undead" never go down without a fight. Word has come down from on high in the past that the Flood do still utilize the basic life support and nervous systems of the host (id est: dead or too damaged ain't much good), but this idea still has a lot of merit. And besides, the use of descriptive vocabulary is outstanding ;)

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The Flood as a symbiote armour

Larry ( writes:

My theory is that the forerunners were trying to create super soldiers (like the MC) by using the flood as a sort of super symbiote. This would explain why halo has so many different types of terrains for which the soldiers could train on. Then something must have happened and the flood got loose and got out of control and began to take over Halo.

Hey, this suit fits like a glove... Yeah, a really scary glove that burrows inside you chest ;)

permalink | The Flood


A few keen Marathon connections relating to our theme:

kareem ramos ( writes:

I once asked a Bungie employee if the Forerunner in Halo are the equivalent of the Jjaro in Marathon. He said, "Pretty much." Those two words alone explain quite a bit! So, to know the Forerunner, you need to know about the Jjaro. Who were the Jjaro? Here's a little bit of what I know...

The Jjaro were one of two or more races that first appeared in the galaxy. It's unclear how many other races were present then. One of the terminals in Marathon 2 has this to say about the Jjaro:

"The Jjaro were a mysterious race that disappeared from our galaxy millions of years ago, leaving behind military and civilian outposts on the moons of many habitable worlds. Most of the Pfhor's technology was plundered from sites abandoned by the Jjaro."

Sound like the Forerunner? That's what I thought...

Those outposts could be the equivalent of the Halo's that we know, and the Covenant could have plundered lost and forgotten Forerunner tech from them. A more plausible theory is that the Covenant and the Forerunner had close ties. The Bungie employee said that the Covenant have a long history with the Flood - and who created the Flood? The Forerunner. That would also explain the similarity between the Covenant and Forerunner tech. It's similar because it IS from the Forerunner. It was given to them!

In Marathon, the Jjaro were probably cybernetic. They made a race of part cyborg/part sentient beings called the S'pht, plus another race based on the S'pht, called F'lickta (they look like "Swamp Things" ::cough:: ...Flood... ::cough::). The F'lickta were used to terraform planets. In Halo, I think that the Flood were created for this same purpose. Guilty Spark tells us that they can make repairs to ships, so I'm assuming that they can keep a planet nice and tidy also!

Tantalizing indeed. But terraforming to who's specifications? "Your environment suit should serve you well", so assuming Guilty Spark guesses you to be Forerunner, it seems the atmosphere is not being changed more to your benefit or liking. Oi. More questions than answers :(

permalink | The Flood


Wrap your head around it...

I understand that people don't understand the need of the Flood if the halo is capable of destroying sentient life.

How about this, Halo destroys sentient life by RELEASING the Flood into the galaxy. After all, the Flood feed on sentient life. Once all sentient life has been wiped out by the Flood, what do the Flood do? Die of starvation. Leaving planets free for colonisation. The perfect weapon. And we ARE told that the way to kill the Flood is to activate the halo.... well in a round about way this IS achieved. Destroy the Flood by starvation by activating the halo and killing sentient life.

That works (in my opinion!)

permalink | The Flood


And of the same ilk, Spoonjoppa ( writes:


How does Halo work as a weapon? It's not a cudgel, but it's also not a nuke. It doesn't blow everything up and wipe out all life, just that with sufficient bio-mass. So what kind of weapon would pick out only things that are large enough to kill flood? Perhaps Halo, when detonated, sends out a mutant form of flood that simply eat and eat or mutate incorrectly and then die out quickly. Maybe that's the reason for keeping the flood... to make a mutant form whose DNA can be contained within the Index???

Lastly, how did Bungie get to be so frickin' awesome? I just got an idea! Maybe the forerunners started Bungie and with all their advanced technology, so they could make the best game ever...

Bungie? A mere front for Forerunner operations? Hmmm... That explains quite a bit actually ;)

permalink | The Flood

We ain't seen nothing yet? The Flood may have more secrets than we imagine (as if there weren't enough already):

bhoo ( writes:

Very few people (as far as I can tell) have wondered what the Flood are going to evolve into by the end of their parasitic metamorphosis. What if 343GS destroys their food so as to not let them get that far? What if the flood ARE the Forerunner and that 343GS killed them off long ago for some devious reason and cannot allow them to "re-evolve" and get their revenge on him (assuming that the spores still contain memories from the past fight with 343GS)?

And maybe 343GS had kept some Flood alive in order to attempt to retrieve some memories or info from whatever "brain" they may have in spore form (those computers are all about retrieving as much info as they can, regardless of the dangers that may present).

But now that Master Chief destroyed Halo 004 (and any chance of retrieving memories from the flood spore), 343GS may have added him and the rest of Humanity to his list of enemies to destroy. If this AI is as vengeful and mean-spirited as I imagine him to be, then I wouldn't put it past him to align himself with the Covenant in some way, shape or form to take down Earth for good.

permalink | The Flood

Continuing this, from KitzBritz (

I've been thinking along the lines of why the flood are so important, or so dangerous, to a race that extinguish all life from a galaxy in one fell swoop. We know the rings are meant to stop the flood because Cortana says so, and so this rules out many possibilities (one of which may have been that the Forerunners were simply sparing the galaxy a gruesome fate). Perhaps the Forerunners were afraid of what the Flood could one day become. Think about it: Why doesn"t the weapon merely destroy the Flood, instead of all life in a galaxy? The sentinels make it obvious that the Forerunners could kill the Flood if they really tried, which must mean that they think the energy it would take to preserve carbon-based life would be better spent on other things, so they figure they"ll just kill the food supply and end the Flood, much like the way we might think of lesser creatures on earth. Perhaps the Forerunners were not alive the way we know life. This is supported also by the fact that has been pointed out many times; sentinels were not made to handle converted races. A few drones can easily overwhelm a sentinel, as can the MC.

After all this, the best theory I can come up with is this: The Flood are not carbon-based at all, or are not alive in the way we think of it. Otherwise, Halo would kill them, as well as every other large mass of life in the galaxy.

One would think, from what we've seen, that the Forerunner would obviously possess the tools and the know-how to kill the Flood in whatever form they manifested themselves. If it is a question of priorities or convenience, what is it that their energies could be better spent on?

permalink | The Flood


Could the Flood still exist because of a moral dilemma? Because of sympathy?

Shawn Stevens ( writes:

Why keep the Flood alive? Well since the Flood has demonstrated a large degree of intelligence (maybe the most important one being that they wanted to take control of the Covenant's ship to leave Halo) it would be genocide if the forerunners completely destroyed them. However this poses a logical problem because the Forerunners have no problem wiping out innocent life in a whole galaxy to insure there is no food for the Flood. So then could it be that the Flood was spared simply for research? This is the most logical conclusion. GS says,

"The installation was specifically built to study and contain the Flood†. Their survival as a race was dependent on it. I am grateful to see that some of them have survived to reproduce."

This statement has a lot of meaning in it and we haven't been given all the background info yet. The Forerunners have something up their sleeve here. I don't see them as some type of benevolent race. There is something darker at work with them and I believe we will see what they are all about eventually.

Until we see the MC without his helmet,
make mine Halo
Shawn Steven

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts and minds of...

permalink | The Flood


Nate ( writes: wrote the following:

"Somebody recently speculated about why Covenant Elite can be infected and not the Master Chief. Well, in Two Betrayals, you end up stumbling across a dead Elite and a dead Grunt, both covered by Flood Infection forms. No matter what you do, (save shoot them) you cannot get those Flood to react to you. My best guess at the matter is that they are converting the dead Covenant into Flood.

So I guess what makes the Master Chief special over the Elites is that he isn't dead."

I want to bring up a contradictory point. On the level "343 Guilty Spark," if you actually take the time to listen to everything the frightened marine with the pistol yells at you, he says "That's what I did...I played dead. They took the live ones!" (I may have misquoted a word or two, but the message was the same.) This brings up a mystery/puzzle/enigma/conundrum. If the Flood appear to infect dead bodies (remember Cortana's observation of the Flood gathering dead bodies in the "Keyes" level), then how did this marine escape? Why did the Flood take the LIVE ones?

Dead = Food. Live = Host (or worse).

permalink | The Flood



Thomas Mugg ( writes:

I notice no one has noticed that the Flood exists within the halo without a hitch, but the halo is trying to prevent the Flood from escaping. Perhaps the Forerunners were not worried about the Flood spreading, but in fact LOOSING the Flood. Lets say the Flood get off the halo onto a ship, space is pretty big to try and find a tiny ship! Looking back, I'm forced to agree that the Forerunners seem to have needed the Flood. Eh? Perhaps, even more interestingly, Cortana said the halo's weapon systems destroyed the Flood's food do we know that she understood the data correctly, perhaps the weapon systems weren't used to work on the Flood's food specifically, but had a different, non-flood use, or perhaps to stop other life forms from stealing the Flood??? just a thought.

Quite an original idea. The universe's biggest security device... :)

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November 13, 2002

franki writes:

the cov. think that halo is of immense religious significance. we already know that the cov. use the same symbols as the for. why is this? given that they are a religious army, it makes sense that the best fighters would adorn themselves with religious symbols. religious symbols tend to have been around forever, just look at our own, they predate our entire "advanced" culture. here's my theory.

the forerunners were a widely travelled bunch in their time, they may have deliberately or accidentally left items on many worlds. any early pre-technology cov. races finding these items would take them to be magical or mystical.

"any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke

so these symbols become part of early cov. religion. fast forward, the cov. races explore space. they encounter eachother and what do you know, they share symbols in their religions. this is the glue that binds the races. on their travels they find other examples of forerunner artifacts. they develop aspects of their own technology by reverse engineering forerunner artifacts.

so halo, whether it was found by the covenent before the game starts or whether it was as a result of cortana's "blind" jump, is the ultimate artifact. a complete functioning world full of the technology that has got the cov. where they are today. no wonder they want to access the restricted areas.

This has been theorized before, but it's wrapped up nicely (if still lacking in capitals...).

permalink | The Covenant

He goes on:

as for the humans, here's some conjecture. perhaps early humans were stranded forerunners. this would explain the genetic similarities but the lack of forerunner tech on the human's part. why do the cov. hate them? perhaps they know that humans are forerunners but that they have seemingly forsaken their technology. perhaps they think that the humans were a banished sect of the forerunners and so see themselves as completing the task of banishment by utterly destroying the humans. perhaps the cov. think that human existence is a blasphemy. we won't know until halo 2 when i believe we will see more of the religious leaders. all we've seen so far is the soldiers and since when were soldiers ever let in on the whole story?

The part about being "stranded" is an especially interesting idea, and very popular in sci-fi. Oh, for a glimpse at Halo 2! :-)

permalink | Humans


On the origins of the name "343 Guilty Spark".

Sean ( writes:

...I think, but don't quote me on it, that it is the name given to some sort of theorized protocol given to a safety mechanism to be built into any A.I. constructs that may be built by people today. Like I said don't quote me on it, and unfortunately whenever I serach for it now on the web I just get halo references of no use in this field.

Yeah, the term "guilty spark" has been thoroughly co-opted by our community here. :-) Anyone have any information on this term with regards to computer AI?

permalink | Monitors


Another vote for the theory that the Covenant are annihilating everything in order to stop the Flood.

Brandon Merrell ( writes:

maybe the flood are THE SOLE reason for the covenant... the covenant want to kill the flood by killing all organic life in the galaxy, and they obviously wanted to use halo for their holy war... it would make their job that much easier, rather than killing everyone else off then committing suicide. Glassing planets would kill off everything with sufficient mass to sustain the flood, and maybe thats what theyre doing... killing everything off, then getting ready to kill themselves.

"We are the tools/instruments of the gods" they follow GS? perhaps the prophets are under the influence of someone or something else... someone who is not organic that wants the flood gone, someone who has a way to stop the flood from infecting them, or someone can survive when halo fires.

permalink | The Covenant


An interesting idea on the origins of the Covenant alliances, and the possibility that the Flood may already be out there somewhere...

Spartan 117 ( writes:

There is one possiblity that I haven't seen posted yet, the Flood are loose in the galaxy now. The only reason that the Covenant are still around is that they joined together to stave them off. This is the reason for their holy war, to rid they galaxy of another potential host race for the Flood.

So the Covenant believe that their purpose is to rid the galaxy of Flood host? Kind of like the Halo itself, eh?

permalink | The Covenant


News Item:

Just so everyone knows, there are a couple of things that have been pointed out many times thus far.

The Marathon logo is visible on the side of the PoA, in the middle of the Halo logo, and a few other places.

The name "Foe Hammer" has been previously seen in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

343 Guilty Spark will say, "Stop being human," if you shoot him a few times.

Thank you. Have a nice day.

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Ever thought about what it would be like if the Flood did get out? If we were unable to stop their "galactic joyride"? Here's an idea.

Spartan 117 ( writes:

...With a race like the Flood, a single ship is the begining of the end. The race that started exploring the world that the Flood originate from probably fell victum to the Flood themselves. Now say they only brought one ship with them and 40 of them were on it. Now that one ship and those 40 hosts are out in the galaxy. They land on a world and the spores disperse among the populace. That is a world that can only be Reclaimed by quatentining it and burning every potential host the Flood could take. But, say those military forces that land there either don't know that is the only way to contain the disease or are unwilling to slaughter those thousands or millions of creatures. Then the world provides a lot of host bodies, but more importantly, a lot of ships. These ship baring Flood scatter to the wind and one shows up on this world, another here, another there. These worlds fall and very quickly it becomes all but impossible to destroy this force that is so deadly not because of they military might that it imploys, but because that it is so multaplicative. It only takes a very small amount to start, but that sets of a chain reaction that unleashes countless thousands.

permalink | The Flood


Sean (another one) spies a tidbit of solid info over on Bungie's Tru7h and Reconciliation site, in the Two Betrayals Legndary Walkthrough:

sean1 ( writes:

...Well, in the [Two Betrayals] walkthrough, it says, and I quote, "We also discover why the Monitor keeps calling you "Reclaimer." Apparently he confuses you with someone who has done this before, and assumes you already knew what the index would do. When Cortana reveals the key vital tidbit of information, you abandon your former allies."

So, it is clear that there was a last outbreak, and that it was contained...

Good eye. But, who is he confusing you with?

permalink | Monitors


November 12, 2002

"I" to "We": Hitchhikers May Be Escaping Convicts?

Wado SG ( ) writes:

In Halo: The Fall Of Reach, we learned that the Pillar of Autumn had a shipboard AI named Beowulf. Not much has been said about him, either in the book or in the game, but we've had a few people who wondered about him.

...I think, however, I'm on to something more to support [the idea] that 343GS is not alone when he escapes the destruction of Halo. He could have the AI [Beowulf] with him perhaps.

In Two Betrayals 343 GUILTY SPARK says:

"If you are unwilling to help, I will simply find another. Still, I must have the index. Give your construct to me or I will be forced to take her from you."

The key words are me and I, but in the Maw 343 GUILTY SPARK says:

"Why do you continue to fight us, Reclaimer? You cannot win! Give us the construct, and I will endeavour to make your death relatively painless and - "

Here the key word is us. Notice he does use the I to describe himself only. Could he be referring to his Sentinels when he says us? Perhaps, but the Sentinels were there in Two Betrayals too and 343GS said give me the construct, not us.

Perhaps when 343 GS found "our lost history" he found something else, eh?

permalink | Monitors


Scott Meyers (†) writes:

I was reading the halo story page and I realized that something was odd about one of 343 guilty spark's lines. At one point, Spark asks, "Why would you hesitate to do what you have already done?" This however creates a problem. Spark must know that if any organism (e.g. master chief) activates halo, they would be immediately destroyed by it. Therefore he knows that if master chief ever activated it in the past he would be dead. Therefore it wouldn't make sense for Spark to say this even if he only recognized the suit of armor, or if there were any bizarre time travel shenanigans. The answer must be that it is not MC or the Mjolner the Spark recognizes... it's the other person in the room. Spark may be refering to Cortana, its the only conclusion I can come up with. I read "the fall of reach" and I know that Cortana is the supposed replica of Dr. Hasley. But if there is one thing I learned from Marathon, its to never think you know everything about a computer named after a sword.

Not sure how Cortana could have fired the Halo before, but definitely sure about computers named after swords. Can't trust 'em.

permalink | Cortana


Ben Haire ( writes:

During the mission 343 guilty spark, when you first come across the installation, I noticed something that caught my eye. As you approach it, a fairly large group of covenant run away from it, like they often run away from you when you have the upper hand. They are being fired at with an assault rifle. Of course most people think this is the flood, but if it was, then why didn't it follow the covenant out? Have you ever known a flood warrior to not pursue it's target?

Which leaves a human force, but in all honesty, do you think the humans would be able to break a covenant force they like that? Especially after being attacked by the flood, they'd just want to get out of there.

The next clue comes when you walk into the installation, as you approach the elevator, it returns from the bottom of the shaft, indicating someone has just gone down there. In my mind, that definitely rules out the flood. So, the question is, who or what, could break a covenant force using a human assualt rifle no less, then ride down an elevator into a flood installation?

Is it the Flood? Or is it something much more than that? ;-)

permalink | The Flood


David Winn ( writes:

I was reading your section about the Forerunners, and I'm surprised no one has said what I think it obvious: the Flood probably weren't harmful to the Forerunners, or at least not enough to warrant immediate destruction. Maybe they were robotic, or, as one person suggested, hyper-evolved plants, or of some other form of life, but the forerunners probably didn't destroy them because they didn't pose a direct, serious threat to them.

Indeed. It's been proposed that the Forerunner were built much like humans, but there are any number of possible ways that they would not be "appetizing" to the Flood. Lucky us, we and the Covenant seem to be quite tasty, though.

permalink | The Flood


Galaxy cleansing technology or galaxy cleansing xenoform...which to use, which to use...

Dustin Green ( writes:

...But in my opinion, the most logical reason that you would keep a dangerous organism is if you needed it. perhaps it was neccisary for research, food, i think as a weapon is unrealistic since they already had the halos which can destroy all significant life. anyway, i think the answer lies in examining t! he basic needs of the Forerunners.

Why would the Forerunner need the Flood? They have the ultimate super-weapon, so there's no need for an inferior, biological alternative. (Even if the Halo was only built after the first encounter with the Flood, the Forerunner nevertheless had the ability to manufacture such a thing) To create a "mass strilization protocol" such as the Halo's primary weapon, they must have felt pretty strongly about the survival of the Flood. After all, a whole galaxy is a terribly large thing to gamble on. Unless, of course, they didn't think there was anything worth saving in this particular galaxy...

permalink | The Flood


kapowaz ( writes:

...I was struck, upon watching the E3 2000 trailer, by the similarities in style between the UNSC Marines and the Colonial Marines from the film Aliens. Their uniform (battered, paint-scratched metal plating, helmets with an viewfinder over one eye), their weapons, and even their conversation (The commanding officer speaking to his squad onboard the Pelican on the trailer insists he wants a "Nice tight dispersal", echoing Sgt. Apone's words "I want a nice tight dispersal this time" on board the dropship in Aliens).

It wouldn't appear to be a coincidence that we have a Sgt. Johnson who looks like, sounds like, and even has the same rank as Sgt. Apone. His motivational speeches onboard the Pillar of Autumn again echo those of Apone onboard the Sulaco prior to the Colonial Marines' departure in Aliens.

Then we have the female lieutenant flying the lifepod upon your escape from the PoA, who bears more than a slight resemblence to Corporal Ferro, the dropship pilot in Aliens... and Foehammer's pilot also mentions some similar military jargon to Ferro (Ferro: "We're in the pipe, five by five", Foehammer: "I read you, five by five." - an interesting discussion of what this expression means can be read here:

Finally, the most obvious similarity for me was the last-dash escape from a fusion reactor going critical, with your ship speeding off just in time to avoid the nuclear fireball that ensued.

I'm sure there are other links between the two that more observant individuals will send in. Bungie must really dig Aliens, but who could blame them?

Yes, we've known that various Bungie personnel were fans of the Alien films and it's good to get all this noted in a nice, well-written bundle. But what other influences can be found in Halo, hmmm? ;-)

permalink | Rampant Speculation


Mary Hansen ( writes:

The first two covenant species to exist were the Elites and the Prophets. The Elites provided a military command, while the Prophets are the political and religous figures.

I get the feeling that much of the political and social structure of the Covenant (and possibly the Forerunner) will be revealed in Halo 2, but the following passage really caught my eye:

permalink | The Covenant

I also think that the flood were the failed splices of themselves and that they were actually some of the leaders of their race.

We'd looked before at the concept of the Forerunner creating the Flood, but it's interesting to note the possibility of the Flood being "an experiment gone awry."

permalink | The Flood


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