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The Halo Story

News Archive

December 4, 2006

I know what you're going to think. That it takes a hugely expensive marketing campaign from Bungie themselves to get me to update. That is simply not the case. It takes impending exams and the thought of studying to get me to update.

When you are sending a theory to the HSP, please be aware that we will only post a theory which is your intellectual property. If you send a wikipedia discussion or something you've found, we will not post it unless the original author gives us explicit permission. Please ask the original author before sending it to us.

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You might not have heard of it, but Bungie sneakily threw out some new media on Monday night. The forums are awash with thoughts. Well, they're awash with one thought.

Here are my noteables:
Our lovely Narcogen has a transcript and commentary. It's more of a reaction than a proper analysis, but it's a good read.

Some of the dialogue is unclear. Do you hear Cortana in the background? For reference, I thought that line ("leave me") was spoken by a male the first few times I heard it. I trust you, my loyal HSP followers, to be ever objective and scientific in your findings. But OMG we have so heard that line before!!!

That Edinburgh scum charming gentleman, Frankie, was kind enough to do a IRC FAQ

Who are the children? Want to know what my original thoughts were? Cortana and John. No one said I couldn't be metaphysical.

Lastly - and most importantly - please read this post before you tell us what you've found. Happy speculating :)

permalink | The Master Chief


I can't help it, I really like the whole Gravemind-Marathon idea. I know it's silly and contradicts some Bungie statements, but I like it God Damn it and I have the pretty upload button.

UrsusArctos ( writes:

Narcogen pointed out that Gravemind has parallels with the Jjaro AI Thoth in Marathon. Both are directly connected to the ancient race that started it all(Jjaro/Forerunner), and both merge with an AI that has been giving orders to and helping out the player (Durandal/Cortana). And they both speak in verse.

The Marathon Story Page mentions a secret terminal called "My Own Private Thermopylae" (Thermopylae! Uh-oh...), and it had this to say about Thoth.

"Beware. The mythical Thoth was concerned
with maintaining the balance between
creation and destruction, yes and no, light
and darkness, not the triumph of one over
the other.

Do you remember the days when computers
were simple, unreasoning things you could
turn off and on like flashlights? Is
memory what we perceived or what we want?
What does Thoth think? He concerns himself
with the states of off and on, good and
evil. Isn't his perception simple?
Doesn't it have to be?

I will return."

If Gravemind and the Flood are in Thoth's role, might they have been brought into existence to bring order to the universe? If the Forerunner spread all over the galaxy along with Sentient life, all life in the galaxy and perhaps even the universe could been snuffed out, irredeemably, by the Forerunner/Sentient Life expansion. As a result, a particular entity or agency created the Flood, who spread all over the Forerunner domains, consuming all sentient life. But the flood turned out to be so powerful that they threatened to do the same thing that the Forerunner did-bring an end to all life in the galaxy, and in much less time. The flood are somehow dependent on the existence of life in the galaxy, so that they become more potent when more sentient life exists, and starve to death in the absence of any sentient life.

As a consequence, the Halo superweapons and the Ark came into existence to save all life from the Flood threat.(In the podcast, Sketch says something like "Halo 3 is going to be about the agency that built the Ark", I think around 11:51)

About Gravemind? Considering that he's been there a while and knows enough to understand that wiping out all sentient life will starve the flood of a food source anyways, he waits patiently deep in the bowels of Delta Halo along with the Flood, so that he can create a balanced universe where he and his flood can exist for millenia in equilibrium with humanity and other flood food, and without the threat of starvation either way.

Notice that, like Thoth, Gravemind does seem to go on the side of the underdog. Even though he was acting in the best interests of the Flood, he did send Master Chief and the Arbiter back to a position where they could do what they did best. Gravemind sees everything in terms of 'flood' and 'flood food' and he's intent on keeping that balance between the two(Hence no flood in the Control Room where they could've stopped Tartarus from firing the ring).

One more verse by Thoth that should tickle someone's fancy-

i was left behind

our paths conv^rge

our fates are shared

chance tears and bends

I was left behind? We know that both controllable characters (Arbiter and MC) are "left behind" in one way or the other.

Thoth:"Our paths converge. Our fates are shared."

Gravemind:"Fate had us meet as foes, but this ring will make us brothers."


Lots of people have questioned the apparent Forerunner/Flood link before. In fact there was a theory in the batch I chose not to update with. I thought it was interesting to see it here.

permalink | Gravemind


This theory references Ghosts of Onyx

Rockus Merticus ( writes:

I checked some screenshots including the ones on the bungie website just to make sure, but the structure or relic - (In the Halo 3 teaser trailer, Jillybean) reminds me alot of the final events in "GoO". When the company is in the center of Onyx, there was a hill in the center of a huge room. The hill was made of rings that rose from the floor. Topping the hill were thirteen angled structures that they used for cover along with the slipspace rift.

Now, in "GoO" as the hill lowered to the floor, the structures also angled lower untill finally they were flush with the ground. The structure, 'Relic', on earth has thirteen angled structures that seem to do the same in the opposite direction. Also, the blue Haze in the middle appears to be a similar slipspace tear to the one in the middle of Onyx.

Now the Theory: If there is more than one structure like the one on Onyx, could there be more than just one entrance/exit to the shield world where blue team, Haley, and CPO Mendez are? The world itself is gargantuan in size so isn't it possible for there so be some trace, say remains, of the forerunners? Finally, along with everything mentioned here, the description of the shield world that is given to us tells us that it is there to protect the reclaimers from the Flood. Protection from the Flood sounds alot like what an Ark is supposed to do. There could be structures in the shield world that could be capable of much more than what we have seen on Onyx and Halo combined.

permalink | Ark


stick ( writes:

We know that Truth wanted Mercy dead, and that Regret was killed by the Master Chief. But did they fire at the temple because they knew Master Chief was there or did they fire on the temple because Truth ordered Regret to be killed? They would not have been given enough notice to get to MC's position, so I presume that they were ordered there to kill regret. This raises the question, why does Truth want the other prophet's dead? He also dispatched of the Elites and Grunts as well. And maybe he was looking for an excuse?

I've always thought the Chief was attacked pretty quickly - but I always thought about Marx . . . or was it Trotsky? Would the Covenant willingly kill one of their own Prophets? Was the Chief merely an excuse to make sure Regret was dead? Smells like radiation poisoning to me.

permalink | Prophets


This has been hinted at by others, but this theory by Sauth pulls it all together.

This theory concerns Ghosts of Onyx

Sauth ( writes:

The thing which most struck me about Ghosts of Onyx was the idea of ramping quality down, but production up, on Spartans. The idea of large-scale ground engagements in the Halo universe really grabs me.

It got me started thinking, though, on the particular shortcuts and changes in the S-III program. We're trading strategic thinking for easy mass-production, extreme aggression, and the ability to ignore damage that should be incapacitating. To counteract, we need a more clear-minded leader to keep the grunts in line.

Follow the movement in that direction as far as you can, and what do you get?

The Flood - and a Gravemind.

Spartan IIIs, a logical human reaction to a terrible opponent (the Covenant) and a faltering war effort, are almost like a mix between the Spartan IIs and the Flood. Given other examples of mass-produced, modular Forerunner tech (sentinels of Onyx), doesn't it seem interesting that the Flood are mass-produced and modular?

And doesn't it seem interesting that the human line of reasoning is leaning towards a mass-produced and modular solution? Seems to indicate that the Forerunner could have indeed been humans, and the Flood their army against some foe... until the Flood escaped their

permalink | The Flood


Don't miss this one.

Asmus Neergaard ( writes:

After reading Ibeechu's idea concerning the languages of the Covenant I began thinking. We know from the novel The Flood that Elites are capable of speaking English, though they loath speaking it. What language does Prophets speak, then? Let's assume that the language of Prophets are the exact same, or at least quite similar to the language of the Forerunners. After all, the Covenant uses hieroglyphs which are quite similar to Forerunner hieroglyphs. We have heard a Prophet speak in the Prophet tongue, in the cutscene in Halo 2 called Testament. This cutscene shows a hologram talking. Master Chief only understands what it is saying after Cortana translates it. From this we can conclude that the Prophet/Forerunner tongue is not a part of the MJOLNIR translation routine.

However, this cutscene also shows something else. That the Prophet language, and Forerunner language if I'm not mistaken, sounds very much like gregorian chanting. This fact is interesting, because which creature in the Halo-verse have we encountered, who "speaks" like this? I give you a hint:
"In the distance, he could hear a droning buzz. It had an odd, musical quality, Gregorian chant slowed to a fraction of its normal speed." (p.198, The Flood)
Now, what could this mean. Is it a mere coincidence? I think not. The Flood "speaking" like the Prophets, albeit slower?

permalink | The Flood


Did you make it this far? Good. Well done, young padawan. We'll finish with an old favourite today. Cortana and dear old Ursus.

UrsusArctos ( writes:

During the discussion of Reid's theory on the HBO forum, Narc pitched in with his two cents, pointing out that fans were missing the obvious Marathon-Halo connections and going for wild ones instead.

One connection(call it wild, obvious, or whatever you like) that came to mind after going through the thread was the similarity between Durandal-Thoth's end lines in Marathon Infinity and Cortana-Gravemind's line in the trailer.


Once I thought to escape. To end the end a master, step out of the path of collapse. Escape would make us god. [...]
But you were dead a thousand times. Hopeless encounters successfully won. A man long dead, grafted to machines your builders didn't understand. You follow the path, fitting into an infinite pattern. Yours to manipulate, to destroy and rebuild. [...]
You are Destiny.

This is in recognition of the fact that the player (The Mark IV cyborg) is the eternal hero and that he, not Durandal, is destined to become immortal. Durandal-Thoth realized this very close to the end of the universe, his end.

In the Halo 3 trailer, Cortana-Gravemind says, "I know you. Your past. Your future."

Does this mean that Cortana-Gravemind is indeed a reincarnated Durandal-Thoth, who engineered his own rebirth to happen after his 'death' at the end of Marathon Infinity, and who's back helping the eternal hero, knowing his proper place in the universe? Or does it mean that Cortana is simply a whole lot smarter than Durandal, and knows her place in a universe whose absolute, total end is irrelevant next to the immediate galactic situation?

The Durandal/Cortana thoughts have been before. But maybe she really is good.

Maybe we should believe her

permalink | Cortana


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