There is… No value to human life. – Titanfall 2.

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Now that I have your attention. . . 


I have been playing Titanfall 2 for the last few hours before I was astonished by a complete change of pace, a change of pace that isn’t exactly exhibited in many games today.

And that change of pace is, Effect and Cause.

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A clever little mission that is the massive standout of this game, and I thought that it warranted my fullest, undivided attention. So here we are, writing, or in the case of you – the reader – reading my piece about this magnificent mission that I think we can all agree that is a massive standout.

Both in storytelling, and gameplay wise. It is clever, entirely clever.

The mission allows you – Shortly after some… Pseudo-platforming – to manipulate space and time continuum, in such a way that it makes you feel both empowered and like your actions matter in both present and past.

There’s nothing more satisfying than to listen in to the radio chatter and hearing your enemies frantically looking for you and wondering what the hell is happening, however, they stand absolutely no chance of getting to you, they’re dealing with the unknown. And that unknown is you.

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But that’s not what makes this mission so great – To me – after a bit of exploring, I found these audio logs that were interesting at first, some speaking about certain things of the past and the things that happened as you arrived.

They were merely interesting until I hit the jackpot, a 5-minute recording from General Marder, that shows more than just a little bit of information, but more so it is a crucial part of the information that is entirely amazing.

I found myself. . . Agreeing with the course of action that Marder had thought of. Something that doesn’t happen so often in video games these days.

grey side to a conflict, and an entirely logical purpose behind their actions.


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I will quote the entire speech by Marder, below.

I would like to spend some time today to talk about the value of human life. There is… no value to human life.

Now that I have your attention…

To be more precise; human life, to a certain limit, is expendable.

We are self perpetuating, yet self destructive.

Adaptable, yet flawed.

And always, always, resource intensive. We are endless consumers of resources.

But most relevant to our research here is one undeniable fact: that human life is abundant. Overpopulation of any colonized world is a given. Through the lens of cold objectivity, it is irresponsible to say that all individuals on such worlds are actually indispensable. Millions of humans die across the colonized worlds every day by any number of causes. Human life is… expendable.

Now our problem is twofold; On the one hand, we are faced with a hostile frontier populace opposed to our commercial pursuits for the greater good. And on the other hand, there is a never ending cry for natural resources demanded of us by the greater populations of the core systems.

We must have order on the frontier if we are the achieve true progress, but the Militia, in its provincial myopic lack of vision refuses to accept this.

Thus, we are at war.

Now the bitter truth; Reinforcements from the core systems will not arrive for several more years. The militia gains strength day by day, taking back one planet after another. Our choices are limited, drastic action must be taken.

Again, I remind you all of one simple truth: That human life is abundant. And, as distasteful as it may sound, human life is, in truth, expendable. And so that brings us to this planet typhon, where we have discovered a gift; a machine that will do more than change the tide.

Call it fate,

Call it evolution,

Call it what you will.

The truth is we have discovered our resolution, and in it lies a weapon with a powerful ability to fold space and time. We don’t know who built it, but we do know that is it quite old. And most importantly we have learned enough to bring it to life.

As we use this fold weapon, we will manipulate space time targeting anything we desire, sundering entire planets. Our restoration efforts in the mountains are nearly complete, but one task remains. We must complete a small scale test here first. To tune the power source, or the “Ark”, as our colleagues tend to call it.

Once we have accomplished this, we will transfer the power source, the Ark, to the full scale site and destroy one populated Militia planet and then another, until they capitulate. We will open an Einstein-Rosen bridge sending through thousands of concentrated gravitational waves. This will rip apart and sunder every molecule, every atom, and every living thing we target. Resulting in… total loss of life.

But lest we lose sight of the bigger picture, remember those losses are ultimately replaceable by the inexorable march of human reproduction. By decisively neutralizing the militia forces, we will in fact safeguard the existence of the human race, extending its reach and power towards a prosperous and bright future.

You can also listen to it, as I hyperlinked it before.


But take a moment to take all of this in, what does this mean, is he mad? Or is he entirely right in all he says? That’s entirely objective.

For someone fighting for the Militia, that means that it is personal, your home, and everything you fight for, threatened in an instant.

For the IMC? You are nothing but a terrorist, you’re destabilising the system with your revolts and pointless struggle if only you’d. . . Submit. They wouldn’t have to resort to such depths in their actions. Strong, immoral, maybe. But entirely, and completely, reasonable.

Think about it, the core worlds depend on The Frontier’s handiwork and resources, what happens when the Militia continue taking worlds that the IMC needs to help their core worlds. You destabilise Earth and the rest.

And as someone who sees both sides, I can’t help but agree with everything Marder is saying. It’s a strong handed decision that someone needs to take, the Militia needs to secede.

But, as I said, this is subjective, everyone will see this conflict differently, and that’s the beauty of it. Once you create a world and conflict with real intentions and issues, the lines become non-existent.

And I believe that’s the real gem of Titanfall 2. Real purpose.

And from now on, I will wait eagerly for everything Titanfall related. And hope for more like this.


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Now, let’s mention something else I wanted to talk about, in this short, but sweet post I have prepared for you all.

The dialogue options, and how clever it is to truly make you the character of this story while still retaining the personality of Rifleman, J. Cooper. And I can’t help but think that every FPS should innovate in this if we hope for the FPS genre to become a true and tried storytelling format that allows immersion and enjoyment of the story.

Halo 4 comes to mind in this regard, a true masterpiece of storytelling, that indeed sacrificed some of its immersion for some people to accommodate storytelling.

Imagine if we had these options in future Halo titles, and just like Titanfall 2, allow the time to run out between choices, allows you time to either respond or remain quiet. And that is very clever in what could be a great Halo title with storytelling such as Titanfall 2.

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There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain in this regard. And if Halo should borrow anything from Titanfall 2, it should be exactly this. And only this.


Author’s Notes:

However, I believe that’s all I should talk about this for now. If you wish to see more thorough thoughts from me in regards to the story of Titanfall 2 once I finish the game, please express your interest in it.

I am still, however, undergoing my journey through Destiny, but collecting enough notes, needless to say, my reception and thoughts of the story aren’t the best, though, I do have several good thoughts about it, and I am in the middle of reading through Grimoire to both benefit my understanding. . . And benefit you in how much the game is missing lore wise.

I am also, of course playing through BiA as well, I have plenty of thoughts about it and praise that I can’t wait to dump on you all.

But that’ll be all for today, and as always, live a good life, play Halo, and be safe.

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A Vanilla Experience – A Retrospective on Destiny.

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You can be a legend. . . For a couple bucks, I guess. 


So, I have been struggling a bit to think of how to start this, I even thought this would quite possibly be better suited for a video, possibly a 20-minute video at that. But I wouldn’t be any good at narrating this, so. . .

But I wouldn’t be any good at narrating this, so. . . Why don’t we start at the beginning? The beginning of my experience with Destiny Year 3, as a vanilla player.

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I am taken to the exact same page everyone is taken when they start their adventure, the character selection page. And of course, I already knew what I wanted, so I didn’t waste any time at getting at it.

I picked a Hunter, and I began from there, a Human Hunter. Very much representative of my past experiences with this game. Waiting to obtain great riches and hoping to obtain my own legend, using my enhanced mobility to my advantage.

I hit finish and I create my character, and then I was taken to that same old intro cutscene, the beautiful visuals of the men walking across the empty vast regions of Mars, up until arriving face first to where the Traveler laid low.

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Everything was going well, I get to the part where I begin my adventure. And the game crashes.

. . . I should’ve guessed this would be my experience with this, however.

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Connectivity issues aside, being either on Bungie’s end or mine, I restarted my game and began my adventure again. I rewatched the beautiful cutscenes and then, I woke up in the middle of this desolate land, with this. . . Obnoxiously voiced new Ghost by Nolan North.

Let’s say I liked Dinklebot’s grim, and sombre tone of voice more. It made him sound more knowledgeable, better than Nolan’s innocent and oblivious tone. But, here I was, beginning my experience with the game, from a vanilla copy. No DLC. No advantages.

I started my grind from zero. . . Granted, as being a resident of the third world country; Venezuela. I don’t have the capacity to take out $30 and waste them in a paid level boost.

However, I made my way inside the dark halls of the wall…  Peering my view inside as my Ghost’s light shined bright before me and illuminated the area in front of me, just barely. I made my way up and I found myself staring at a vast, dark space. And my ghost left my side, venturing deeper into the dark metallic chasm of this mysterious wall.

And then, the lights flutter to life, and I am found surrounded by this enemy all around me.

And, then conveniently a gun was in front of me after going through a door. Where did it come from? We don’t ask these things.

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Having played this mission before, I easily boosted through it, running like a mad man past enemies, bunny hopping my way to the outside world and then to the level 2 trigger once the ship is reached, having played through all of it before I knew exactly all that happened and it’s inner workings.

However, my journey didn’t end there, I was taken to the Tower, and once again that beautiful cutscene where we see the tower for the first time ensued. The atmosphere being grandiosely beautiful as the chills of seeing that scene again after a while, returned in kind.

But. . . That wouldn’t prepare me for the reality of Vanilla Destiny that hit the moment I stepped on the tower.

From this simple, obnoxiously simple book that continues to bleep giving out some sense of urgency and then once you go in to take that notification off, you’re met by the fact that you have to buy the DLC to actually make it stop.

To, the entire weekly raid selection being locked off to you from the start under the DLC, these are things that make the vanilla player’s experience diminishing. The game asks of you to whip out money to enjoy the fullest extent of it’s content, and while I understand it for things like the story missions and such.

Why is gear, weeklies and weapons locked off to you from the start except for a handful of things that are according to your vanilla status, but the rest is entirely locked off to you, in the fullest regard.

All of this is taking away the core experience of the game from you if you’re unlucky enough to own a standard copy of the game.

But, at the end of the day, to distract me from this, I did what any sane man can do. I played with friends. . .

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And, of course, it was a ton of fun to play with friends, we did patrols, missions and they helped me level up to 10 in one night and I was already halfway through the story, but of course, they being level 40, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was being carried through the entirety of it.

So we decided to try out a higher difficulty. And what came next, really didn’t shock me. Being a Halo player I am used to going in missions with paramount odds against me when playing Legendary, I wanted this experience with them, something that made my time worth it and my agility and speed came into play like it has before in many playthroughs of Year 1.

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It started to get old at this point, it’s an unnecessary lock to something that is not going to benefit a vanilla player like me who’s still mounting up the ranks, at the end of the day outside of a feeling of accomplishment and adventure, I want that from this game. I want to be challenged and I want to use my character’s ability to the fullest exchange, but, just like everything else in this game. It’s entirely locked out from you.

I want to be challenged and I want to use my character’s ability to the fullest exchange, but, just like everything else in this game. It’s entirely locked out from you.

So, we just carried on, not looking back and focused on having fun. At least to an extent as the reminders that you have a game that is entirely locked off from every core experience and benefit is very apparent every second you play this game.

Well, we finished every mission on Earth, and then, we played Devil’s, Lair. . .

And we finished the mission in less than twenty minutes, Sepkis Prime being the easiest takedown I have ever experienced in this game while playing with two level 40s, there were no stakes involved in it, no urgency for you.

I can carry on retelling the story of Destiny Vanilla through my eyes and my experiences as I carried on upon my ‘legend’ or dare I say, my ‘destiny’. But there’s really nothing good I can say about it, the good of the game came from the gameplay, and my friends jerking around with me.

I can legitimately say, that I only died in this game five times, three of which were through falling off the map unaware. The stakes in everything are so diminished it’s almost non-existent, and if you want a challenge, you’re not gonna get it unless you waste your money on this.

And keyword being; waste’, this is the most critically acclaimed scam I have ever experienced, all the fun it can offer and all the good times with friends that it can give you are just not enough justification to waste your money on a half-baked franchise.

From discussions with my friends, I have learned that there’s more to the story outside the game than I could ever imagine. A game, advertise for the story and a huge world where you can play with your friends, has legitimately no story whatsoever unless you read the Grimoire cards, and that’s another issue, however, that’s an issue I will tackle more in-depth at a later time.

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Just to not keep running on a tangent, I will briefly mention some of the things I noticed myself, from the reef being barely of any substance, looking at that horizon, I can just see the failed promises that this game had, from trading to exploring the derelict ship Cassini.

Many things of which caused me to want to fall in love with the game, and I want to, I really do. However, I don’t feel any urgency to. This game fails to captivate me and others at every turn, there’s no Cairo Station, no Scarab Battle, no Truth assassination. There’s nothing for me to feel compelled to love this game.

And the answer to make me love this universe lies within the Grimoires, then I am thoroughly disappointed.

Nothing good comes from this game in its end game. If you’re a vanilla player, you’re left out of things that potentially make the game for others or things that are part of the core experience of this game.

And this is an awful practice that has plagued the industry in the last couple of years, whoever has the bigger wallet, shamefully wins. And this game is, sadly, no different.

However, let’s put aside what it does wrong, and let’s focus on what it achieves, despite locking you of half the experience of what it legitimately does good.

Social play, I have never experienced such a fun game to play with friends before, this was also true for Day 1 and Year 1, My friends kept me coming back and gripping the edge of my seat to see what we do next today.

Friends are the sole reason why you play this game, not for the game itself. And that’s something that Bungie should hope to capitalise on its fun factor and expand the game enough so that both factors are continually making you come back to their game and enjoy it.

Patrol missions are excuse enough to play with your friends – Though, I’d suggest adding a six-player fireteam cap to it – the public events and the random events that happen in select areas causing the NPCs to fight each other like the Taken Corruption are really, really fun.

There’s no way to describe the laughter I had when my console almost overheated with the number of enemies that appeared on the screen. It was ridiculously fun and good.

They’re so close to creating the perfect game, a game you keep installed forever and keeps you coming back every single day, this is what they can achieve, but greed is apparently too. . . Tempting, and oh, so strong.

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However, from the fun times to the disappointments I had with Destiny, I can conclude that it is, of course, not a bad game it does a lot of good in its experience, but it’s execution and handling is a scam.

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No amount of fun times, clever gameplay, beautiful visuals or even the experiences you can make with your friends along the way; really excuses the scam that is Destiny.

And as such, Destiny 2 must mark an improvement, a step away from setups like it’s predecessor. Doing so would open the game up to more than those who have a big wallet… Destiny 2 should strive to include everyone, not just those who buy the DLC, Day-1 players are important too, Vanilla players.

You gotta give us an excuse to care and want to come back if you lock us out, there’s little to no reason to want to do anything.

So at the end of the day, the journey really only ended. . . Back at the beginning. 

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Author’s Notes:

Now that this post has come to an end, I’d like to give a quick announcement/promotion towards Pictorial Hand at the HaloArchive, if you’re a Halo fan, if you’ve done anything that you’d like showcased and promoted, be it music, art, fan fiction, amongst others. Feel free to tweet at us at @HaloArchive, @AdvJones and @HaruspexOfHell and we’ll find a space for each piece!

We’re working hard on incentivising community creations, so if you have created something you’d like to show off, hit us up!

Also, be on the lookout for other posts from me, I will be going through the story fidelity of Destiny later on, from Vanilla to Rise of Iron in Story Fidelity – Analysing the Story of Destiny.

And I will be accounting some of the events that led up to Halo 5: Guardians’ ultimate objective failures, in Halo 5: Guardians – A Stolen Marvel. 

A Roman in Blue Chapter 4; City of Fire is also coming in nicely, 3,000 words and counting.

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Be sure to join us at the Halo Archive Forums! You’ll be sure to find a good time there and friends!

Also, the ProgressiveHalo Discord has been open for a while! Here’s a link to it; https://discord.gg/nzJThck

We’ve got plenty of cool stuff coming in, so be on the lookout for that as well. And as always, be sure to be safe, live your life, and play Halo. . . And other games, but especially Halo.

Alien Roots II

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Bam said the lady, though, it would cost her.


So, here we are again in another post in another time of the concurrent year. Possibly a quick follow-up as well having released the last one not less than possibly a week ago? Well, as promised here I am to deliver.

Today, we’re going to be looking at how Halo can learn from the Alien franchise, in the cinematic spectrum. And as such, I am going to be tackling those attempts which have been made on the small screen and a bit of a bigger screen with Forward Unto Dawn and Nightfall, Certainly two controversial topics in the eyes of many, though, they were not failed endeavours, they just didn’t deliver nothing new, outside of a compelling story that most were uninterested by.

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One may expect the hate for these to be . . . a little more fleshed out and composed, but in reality, the most opinionated would say something along the lines of “Why should I care about these Marines?” or “Why should I care about Locke or anyone in this team?” While failing to recognise and appreciate the valiant efforts of creating a good plot with fleshed out topics and story arcs. Even if the movies did not provide anything new to the universe.

Forward Unto Dawn with the concurrent theme of what it takes to be a Soldier, “I see a soldier in you, Lasky, you need to see it.” while still tackling the themes of the UNSC in a much more fleshed out manner, Duty, Sacrifice, Courage. UNSC Today, Tomorrow, Forever. 

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Or the most spoken line, ‘AXIOS’, the word that Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, acclaimed before he fell to his own sword committing suicide in the name of Emperor Nero after he ordered him to; the words translating to take the meaning of “I am worthy.”

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Nightfall would take a turn with the themes of Sacrifice, Honour and Duty, We are simple things, soldiers. We are taught honour, honour means sacrifice, sacrifice means death; either our own or our enemies’.” While running away with the means of giving this fallen Spartan a fitting sacrifice for his life that would, in his eyes, redeem himself for his actions, and for not being able to take care of his daughter. See, I already died. That’s the difference between you and me. Gave my life away when I was signed up to be a soldier.”

And later referenced yet again in the atmosphere of its official score, with the song “How will you die?” 

But I am definitely running on a tangent here, and I apologise, though, I do think these are things that needed to be said at some point or another, but thus brings the topic at hand.

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How can we learn from Alien? 


Well, the answer is rather easy, practicality. By that I mean, we need to look at the efforts of practical effects that have been ventured to create movies such as Alien, Aliens, Star Wars: A New Hope, and beyond.

Why did Sci-Fi movies work so well, back then? Because of the practical effects, the habit of actually building and creating where you are gonna stand and act, this what kept them alive, this is what has kept them ageless, beyond many aspects. And Halo is no stranger to practicality, though, the way our universe is created certainly poses difficulties on creating practical things, costumes, locations, etc.

It is no wonder that the two movies we’ve gotten, are done entirely with a mixture of CGI and practical effects, it’s cheap. Cheaper than creating the entire thing from scratch, certainly.

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The Site of an Engineer ship’s bridge in Alien (1979)

We have things such as the Sangheili, the Unggoy, the Jiralhanae, Kig-Yar, etc, etc

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Operation: Chastity’s Sangheili. (Operation: Chastity was cancelled in 2012)

These are the difficult ones to produce, especially with practical effects, though, we’ve seen one or two costumes created for mostly low budget Trailers, Deliver Hope is one such case creating the costume for the Sangheili and The Life for Halo 3: ODST

So, what does this mean? We’re left with separate options such as CGI.

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A CGI Kig-Yar for Halo: Fallen.

So, what I am thinking, as such is the case of Halo 4 Scanned and Recommissioning trailers they used a healthy dose of CGI and Practical Effects. As well as using an entire set built from scratch for the UNSC Infinity’s bridge while using CGI for things that seemed realistic enough with CGI. Offering good looking scenes that could almost look convincingly real. Almost.

But the one thing we must retain here is practicality. As such that if we must do something, we must do it right. Of course, Alien has retained its essence because most of its sets are real, props, locations, species, etc.

And as such, Halo hasn’t stayed behind at all in this regard, the thing is, we must continue to do this and of course, take it to the next level if any such promising projects may rise from asunder. . . Looking at you, Halo TV Series. 

But we must continue to create proper props, sets, etc. That’s the main way for Halo to be successful on the big screen and smaller screens. The only issue is, of course, it is real bloody expensive to do, and this among many other reasons is possibly why we haven’t gotten anything yet in regards to movies, series, etc. Only smaller scale expeditions into the other genres that are too afraid to try anything new while still being grounded in good storytelling.

So, that of course, brings me to one of the most debated subjects in the Halo Community; storytelling.

So, what makes a good movie and/or series? Story wise. 

Well, for starters, a good story in a movie is made by the endeavours of Point A to Point B, beginning and end, explained cohesively throughout the movie without leaving loose ends and tying up every event together in the span of how long the series or movie to end.

And of course, a series is treated differently to how movies work, you gotta plan in advance your episodes, you gotta tie in their respective plot lines and arcs, bring them to a close, lay the seeds for the future episode, etc.

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A real prop, coupled together with the use of editing and video effects to make the HUD.

But I am running on a tangent, and I’d rather not continue to run my mouth before this turns into Rogue One vs The Force Awakens which is entirely beside the point.

My point with this is, a good movie or series is denoted by a cohesive, intelligent story that dares to challenge itself and make it through the other side alive. This isn’t exactly an easy task either, though, but with the track record of 343 and the things I previously discussed the last two endeavours of the live-action genre.

I am not worried that we could see something awful to the lines of Halo 5, especially with the genuinely good track record in their stories, novels or otherwise (With, of course, Halo 5 as the exception, not the rule.)


So, to run all of this down into a few words, from the quite possibly heavily convoluted line of thoughts I have just dropped on this page. What is it, that we gotta learn from Alien and retain it into our own endeavours? The essence.

The genuine feeling of it all, everything is real and it is on your screen right now. Practicality should lay valiant over CGI, and they should use as little CGI as possible in scenes that do not need it. And then, Halo can truly be alive in the live action genre.

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Like it certainly deserves to be, amongst all of the giants of the Sci-Fi genre as it deserving of the place amongst giants. With the only difference that it’d be the only one that feels as genuine and as alive as our splendid universe does.

Genuine enough for any given number of us to feel close and attached to certain aspects or characters if the universe, cultures, and more.

Only then, Halo will truly be alive. 

And bam will say the lady. But at a higher cost. 


And as a final topic, I’d like to bring attention to these fallen projects, yet so promising fan made films that never saw the light of day – With the exception of The Fallen, which you can watch here – but I’d like to bring the awareness as to why some of these fail.

And it all has to do with ambition, sometimes one can get so ambitious and life slaps you in the face with a hammer. Halo: Faith never seeing the light of days and only rumours surfacing from the midst of shadows, of course, it probably had to do with how they wanted to go wide on release and with how they were using major visual effect companies to aid them, though, nothing will ever be for certain.

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Though, then comes the cancellation of Operation: Chastity. And no reasons were ever disclosed. It was destined to die, as the husk of what could’ve been. And it is quite the shame, as it looked extremely promising, though, one can only speculate from what they had worked upon with their concept arts.

And, of course, The Fallen, as much as it released, I can’t help but think that it never lived to its full potential. As the contrast between its Prologue Teaser and the full release is extremely noticeable as the prologue has nothing to do with the final story.

And thus, in a twist of irony, The Fallen became, what to me is a fallen project.


And with that, I can bring this one to a close. Though, before I go I would like to post a few unused pictures that I believe would really serve their purpose further imagining what could be for the Halo Universe in the live-action genre, at least in my opinion, and of course, some final notes.


Writer’s Notes:

So, this is a new thing I thought of on the fly, since in the last one I did something similar, why not establish something to do, even if sporadically.

So, of course, this probably was a very convoluted post, at least in my opinion, I still hope it managed to get the point across, though, I am rather proud of it. I tried a couple new things in this post, as you saw I did picture tiles, as well as using the embed for Soundcloud. I hope to be more dynamic like this in the future. And with that, I bring this to a close properly.

And one last thing, before we bring this to a close, I shall plug a rather small exclusive rough preview of City of Fire and Anomalies right here, for the reader’s delight.

It’s still rough around the edges, and the finished product will not look as such. But that being said, I extend my goodbyes for now, and I shall continue to work on future projects. Remember to check out the Lorecast as soon as it is out! With Drizzy_Dan, Adv Jones, Toa_Freak, VincentGat and I!

And as always, live a good life, be careful, and play a whole lot of Halo (Also read the bloody books.)

-Joseph of the .jpeg, ‘HaruspexOfHell’.

Alien Roots I

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How Halo can learn from Halo Wars 2 and Alien: Isolation moving Forward?


So, here we are, yet again unto the breach with more of an analysis about Alien and Halo, where do we stand as a Universe and how our roots can help us grow if only we look back and piece out the things that should stay with us.

I planned to make this one big post going through the things we can learn from Alien: Isolation, but rightfully so, there’s more to talk about this topic and there are many words that need saying and a lot of feedback that will benefit the universe and the franchise going forward,

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So what are the things we’re  gonna speak about today, right here, right now? Alien: Isolation, and our newest entries on the Phoenix Logs from Halo Wars 2, I do believe that we could create something to cherish if we do a little something with these things.

So, for those who do not know, Alien: Isolation introduced us to the Sevastolink Consoles:

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Said Sevastolinik Console, booting up in it’s ‘dirty’, 80s tech style.

For those who do not know, what they contained inside after booting them up were a series of varied options, mini stories within the game, they often contained audio logs, and they contained cryptic messages and oftentimes, information about certain personas in the game, allowing you to understand the stories behind and surrounding Sevastopol Station, from your first section in the game you’re greeted with a large number of these, detailing things such as the decommissioning of the station and letting you have small tidbits as well as more and more as you venture deeper into Sevastopol Station.

A great way to allow you to venture into the main storyline while learning more about the universe and the surrounding environment, as much as Ripley may be the main focus, that atmosphere is the main character of Alien: Isolation, and it is delivered and executed splendidly well.

Now, how can we do this in Halo? We have had interfaces before, Halo 3 was the first to deliver this and it delivered half of what Alien: Isolation delivers.

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Halo at this point and time has experienced with all kinds of medias for the hidden aspects. We had our debut in Halo 3 with the Forerunner Terminals, Halo Wars with the Timeline, Reach with the Data Pads and the text-on-screen very much a la Mass Effect 1 exposition through text, Halo 4, CEA and 2A with the animations by Sequence, Halo 5 with Audio through the Mission Intel and once more in Halo Wars 2, text in the form of the Phoenix Logs.

Now, what do I think of this? We have had all of the possible ways to provide the exposition of the deeper Extended Universe through the games already, all of them were magnificent in their roles, while. . . some are done worse than others.

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Now, picture this, I will be using one of Halo 5’s intels as an example, specifically the History of Meridian chapters. And I will be using one of the Phoenix Logs from Halo Wars 2.

We find several Data Pads, Consoles, Covenant Disks, a variety of different utility pieces throughout the environment, placed carefully in logical places in the environment, while still being hidden in it, now, instead of scanning it we actually grab them and are able to go through it in their own interface with a minimalist structure that isn’t too hard nor too complicated to create, much like Alien: Isolation, scroll, back and selection.

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This could give us a chance for the game to provide us with these experiences in-game, and it could also retain the eerieness and mystery of Halo 3’s terminals.

Now, let’s say it has three options, audio, personal log and possibly a data tab where it can provide you with the owner’s information, nothing too out of the ordinary, though, if we really want to go all in, it could also have a video tab, but since I don’t want to give the guys at 343 a headache every morning, let’s just nail it down to the audio and text.

Alright, we open the text tab, and what we see is the information piling down into text on the screen, possibly with a very much Alien-esque vibe.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
ONI Section Zero Board//Surveillance transcription of internal communications between subjects ‘D’ and ‘S’, 02.15.2550 0313 hrs//Full transcript available on request//
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
> D: Whatever it is you woke me for it had better be good. I have a 0600 with Zero and I’m going to need my full four hours to keep ahead of them.
> S: Yes, sir. It’s one of the Unggoy we captured. It’s offering information in exchange for a deal.
> D: A grunt? Why are you wasting my time? Those things don’t know HOW to tell the truth. Besides, something that far down the chain won’t have access to plans. Not beyond kitchen duty anyway.
> S: You’re right, sir. But it’s not about the Covenant. The Unggoy says he was snatched from the Covenant. You remember the attack on Carter Guard Armory six weeks ago?
> D: I’m still trying to make up the losses from the fallout. They took everything we had and left no survivors. I’ve never seen the Covenant take our gear like that before. Are you telling me we have a splinter group to contend with now?
> S: Maybe. Whether they’re our problem too is another matter. I started doing some digging and the group’s targets seem to be chiefly Covenant. I guess hit what you know, eh? Anyway, I pulled the security vids of the raid to get the Unggoy to identify the leader.
> D: And did the grunt ID? Do we have a visual?
> S: Pulling it up now. It’s a little blurry, but what you’re about to see is the leader, a Jiralhanae, fighting a squad of ODSTs. There’s a lot of blood, sir. It’s not an easy watch.
> D: Good lord. Is he beating that ODST With…? Do we have a name?
> S: We do, sir. From the Unggoy. Says his name is Atriox.
> D: Make sure no one else talks to that grunt. I want this compartmentalized. Some at ONI will see this as a problem to be fixed, not an opportunity. Find out all you can on this Atriox and keep me informed.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

[TRANSMISSION TERMINATED]

Then we could hit back and the screen moves back to the main screen and we pick out the Audio Transmission, we see a transcript of the transmission below as it’d allow us an option to hit play.

I’ve been putting together a retrospective on Meridian in these, her final days. Records indicate that 139 ships, carrying 70,003 souls arrived on this green ball in 2432. Since many of those settlers came from France, they named the first town Avignon, and established the colony of Meridian.

Transmission ends, and let’s say, much like Halo 3 where the console boots you, this utility dies down and you’re forced to drop the interaction with it.

Now, if we really want to get eerie and mysterious, the screen could crap out much like Halo 3’s did, flash an image briefly, possibly a face, much like Araqiel in First Strike, which I will quote the exact moment below.

The holographic crystal shattered into a thousand glittering fragments and swirled upward into a helix. “I’m in, and—”

The shards pulsed and coalesced. Facets and hard shimmering planes fit together into curled horns, an elongated jaw, and oversized eyes that flickered with holographic fire. It turned and smiled at Dr. Halsey, baring razor jags of teeth.

“Civilian consultant 409871,” it said in a deep bass rumble that contained a crackle of thunder. “Doctor Catherine Halsey.” 

It could, or could not speak, it could be the reason the utility dies out and you’re forced to drop all interaction with it and resume with your mission, and with the introduction of The Created, it could all make sense that it was an AI that saw your interactions and blocked you off.

C6rmX8dW0AAdvrMMuch like Mendicant Bias, however, this could have its own story, it’s own mystery and it’s own cradle for answers. But this could be like Halo 3 2.0. To the full of extent of the word, this would be better, and I am sure more than one of us could be very intrigued by something like this.

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Now, let’s say we come in contact with intels that are very much Covenant, or Alien in origin, why don’t we see it as we did in the Halo 3 terminal, giving us their actual scripture first and then translating it entirely so you could be able to read it.

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We know the disks have their own, semi built interface with the scripture, though we may not know what it says there right now, quite possibly just gibberish, it could be interesting for them to give us actual interfaces for it and the other utilities.

A Mixture of all

Now, what I clearly suggest, is, let’s mix this up, let’s make the best experience we can do and it could all be derived from those who gave the franchise the very inspiration to existing in the first place. We’ve already ventured into all the things that Alien: Isolation did in one big package (Minus animations). So why not try to follow in those same steps.

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Going back to our Alien Roots, to create a better future.

Or like they would say in Weyland-Yutani

Building Better Worlds. 


Now, while I struggle to find a way to bring this one to a close, let me plug in some stuff right here at the end and allow you to know what to expect on the next few parts to come.

I plan on possibly making a deeper analysis of what makes Halo and what we share with Alien, as well as those things that we should retain going forward are, our identity depends on those key details, for the next part, however, I will be speaking about how Halo can learn from Aliens (1986) in the cinematic spectrum, we have learned some things, but we are yet to learn more.

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Alien Roots Part 2 – How Halo can learn from Aliens, will be coming soon. (Will eventually update with a link here.)

And as a shameless plug, please check out A Roman in Blue – A Halo Fan Short Story on the Halo Archive. Chapter 4 – City of Fire, coming soon.

And that will be all for this one, everyone. Hope it has been an insightful one, and I hope it reaches the right ears – or more so eyes – with the guys at 343 Industries, it has been fun thinking of this one and I hope you enjoyed reading through.

And as always, live your life, be safe, and play more Halo. (Also read the novels, they’re great)

AXIOS! I. AM. WORTHY. – Halo & Military Aspects

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Axios. I am worthy.


So, here we are with another piece. This time, about the military aspects of Halo, specifically the UNSC’s. 

I’ll be frank, at the start of this I didn’t know what to write about with exactitude, but now that I have looked into some comics, saw the differences between Bungie and 343, went back and forth between the games and played the entirety of Halo 3, once again. I can see where I should go with this.

And that is, what is missing from Halo’s military aspects. Rather than what is there. If I went with just what is there, we’d be here all day and you’d end up reading a 20,000-word piece on the many things I have collected.

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And I am not joking. 

So, let’s keep it short shall we, let us venture into this new article. I would also like to let everyone know, that this is a possible response to ActMan’s video about the Military in Halo, but not only that, it is also an analysis for 343, something to let them know what they’re missing.


In short, what is missing is not the huge battles, the chain of command, the military, grittiness, everything is there. And I mean it, absolutely everything is in Halo 4. And you cannot really think just because of Halo 5: Guardians decided to go the way it did because of its story, the fact that it was a Special Forces Operation and nothing more, Halo is moving away from this, because it is not.

In fact, there’s more military stuff now than there had ever been and even in Halo 5, we got to see our first in-depth look at how the Sangheili of the Swords of Sanghelios operate, even some more on the Covenant.

The battle of Sunaion? Yes, that is an immense battle, a lot of things going on, a lot of equipment, a lot of bodies and AI, 343 got it right there.

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Marines fighting Prometheans in New Phoenix

But I am going off on a tangent here, what is missing are none of the things that conform a military, but the things that make them present.

Military equipment scattered, weapons, present bodies that you can easily see, damage on the bodies, wounds, burns, high-quality wreckages; the little things.

And speaking about the grander things, this one is easier to tackle upon. We need to scale back on the intelligent AI

Halo 3 had incredibly intelligent AI if we could do that in ’07 imagine what we can achieve now, capitalise on AIs 343, make them even better than Halo 3 and you have a win there.

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Proof of intelligent AI, the chieftain challenges you to a duel.

Now, with the Scorpio, we don’t have to worry about quantity either, scale the quantity back up, crank it up over 9000 if you have to (Yes, Dragon Ball reference). Make our friendly AI and the enemy AI even more intelligent.

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UNSC forces engaged in a firefight in Requiem

As for the Halo 5 squadmate AI, scale it back, give us the ability to play alone if we’re not playing co-op, their dialogue can still be there, there are a hundred ways to explain it.

Either that or give us more tools to control them a la Republic Commandos or Rainbow Six, let them be useful to us, not be a distraction.

Because as far as it goes, they’re incredibly distracting in Halo 5, they’re useless too, you barely even use the orders.

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A Sniper on New Phoenix.

And let’s be frank, having them through the trip as an immense distraction takes away that scale we felt before, look at Thel in Halo 3, he accompanies us more than once in battle, but he’s never stupid and he’s never a distraction.

So, in resume, what is missing from Halo right now is not the military aspects, but the little things that make up a battle.

Not the grittiness, not the chain of command, not orders, none of this.

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High-quality wreckage, ongoing smoke after it is destroyed.
  • Props are missing.
  • Good visuals that make these stand out
  • High-quality wreckages
  • High-quality explosions
  • Visible wounds on character models
  • Dynamic destructible parts on vehicles and props
  • Good ragdolls and death animations
  • Better AI
  • Allow me to shot the hat off a marine with a rifle like I used to in Halo 2 and let that be a separate prop on the environment for me to shoot at
  • Among many other things.

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Master these, 343, and you’ll master the battlefield and our hearts.

And that, I believe, is all that is missing, after going through the last few games and seeing all the little things with an analytical eye. This is all we need, argue for this, provide this feedback, but do not cry out into the sky and yell that 343 does not pay attention to the military because they absolutely do.

If you need more proof, then I am glad to give you as much proof as you want.


Halo 2 Anniversary (Blur, 343.)

While we may have seen these before 343 took the helm, 343 and Blur truly made these shine, not only with beautiful graphics but with details that Bungie would’ve ignored in the long run.

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Four ODSTs in diamond formation.
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Sniper Team, never looking away from the scopes.
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Decorations and medals on the fully detailed dress uniform.
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Two Navy Officers(presumably) in dress uniform standing at attention, along with two fully armoured marines on guard.
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Marine prepping for battle; notice the accurate cammies.
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VIDCOMs, stating name, rank, location, etc. An actual intel feed.

Halo 4 (343, Axis Animations)

With all the things I could show you about Halo 4, I have decided to narrow it down to these images.

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A small unit being inserted into the AO (Area of Operations)
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Captain Del Rio, staring beyond the observation windows at a small broadsword recon sortie team.
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Marines saluting you on approach; acknowledging the rank, not the man.
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Captain Del Rio briefing the unit led by Master Chief Petty Officer John-117

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Marines providing cover for the HAZMAT Team, crouch and at the ready.
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Commander Palmer and two Spartans clearing out the area before acknowledging you.

The elephant in the room; Halo 5: Guardians.

Now, we tackle this one, the one who sparked the whole worry about Halo not being military anymore, let’s tackle it directly.

This game is military proficient, for one thing and one thing only. Can you guess what it is? It is a Special Forces operation. The Spartan branch is one big special forces dedicated branch, they’re the elite of the elite. These men and women run operations like this every day, it is called unconventional warfare. Yes, there’s a term for it.

Halo 5: Guardians could also be classified as a direct action operation, even demolition to a certain extent, Fireteam: OSIRIS also acts as an AWOL Apprehension unit.

By all means, Halo 5: Guardians carries away from depicting a certain thing that many Halos have done before, but the military is still there, the chain of command ever present, the only difference is that this is a highly sensitive UNSC operation, you aren’t even supposed to be on Sanghelios aiding the SoS, this is why we do not see marines of any kind on the planet, nor do we see any kind of UNSC presence anywhere in the game outside of our own teams.

But Halo is still very much grasping tightly from its military roots. And 343 has done this everlasting.

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Hangar bay full of life and motion.
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Lasky and Commander Palmer briefing OSIRIS
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OSIRIS ‘stacking up’ upon a door.

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Now, with all of this having been said, I think it is fitting to bring it to a close here, I intended to do more, but after seeing how much I had it seemed redundant and that I would run on a tangent for too long.

But Halo is not losing its military roots, nor will it ever.

Halo is, however, losing its dynamics in the sandbox, while 343 is learning still, they haven’t fully learned from what Bungie had brought us before.The games back then were never exactly 1:1 military accurate either, they were combat accurate and this is what people are mistaking.

As for 343’s military accuracy, I believe this should be more than enough proof that they know what they’re doing and they have provided us more accuracy in that field since ODST and Reach. Which both are the most military accurate Bungie games. And their last ones.

So, as always, live your life, be good and learn a little. There’s always more to learn around the place, information is limitless.

A Reflection of John-117 – An Incredible Life and a Possible Death.

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We’ve all known the story of John, maybe no the full story in the case of some, as the claims that he was originally birthed as a husk, an empty being, a vessel. Throughout Halo CE, 2 and 3, we only saw but a glimpse of the major character he composes in the universe.

John has been entirely built for the mainstream media with the entire believe that he is this badass being, this demigod, someone who will not die in any way or form, he’s bigger than the world and he’s bigger than the galaxy.

Having defeated countless enemies singlehandedly in the games, we’re led to believe that he’s all that stood between our total annihilation and our victory, that he is the sole reason we won, he and only he.

But that’s not all that he is, and he is so much more than just a soldier behind a mask. He is many things.

The Hero, the Saviour, the Child, the Abductee, the Warrior, the Soldier, the Friend.

From his early beginnings, he’s struggled in his life to overcome hardships, even since he was a kid in that circle he stood on testing his ground and fending off any odds that would come to his doorstep, fighting his way through life, through pain and hardship.

It is at that point that he becomes the man we needed him to be, the warrior. Which would bring him on, to endure many other hardships in the future

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From his first day in boot camp, he knew what to do, when to do it and how to do it, although it would take him some getting used to, he would still endure anything that would be thrown at him, in any way he needed. He would come to become a leader, the rightful alpha of the Spartan-II Program.

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And from his first day, he also knew pain and fear. And as such, Spartans were trained to know pain, and so, to endure it all. Anything that would come their way.

But in all of this, John was forged from incredible hardship, becoming close to the members of a team of the greatest soldiers alive, that only he would lead, and so he did, learning early on what is the cost of sacrifice. The difference between spent lives and those wasted.

Mendez stared at John with his impenetrable black eyes. He glanced at the squad, then back to John. “Walk with me.” He led John to the view screen. He stood and watched as the last of the canisters vanished into the darkness.
“A leader must be ready to send the soldiers under his command to their deaths,” Mendez said without turning to face John. “You do this because your duty to the UNSC supersedes your duty to yourself or even your crew.”
John looked away from the view screen. He couldn’t look at the emptiness anymore. He didn’t want to think of his teammates—friends who were like brothers and sisters to him—forever lost.
“It is acceptable,” Mendez said, “to spend their lives if necessary.” He finally turned and meet John’s gaze. “It is not acceptable, however, to waste those lives. Do you understand the difference?”
“I . . . believe I understand, sir,” John said. “But which was it on this last mission? Lives spent? Or lives wasted?”
Mendez turned back toward the blackness of space and didn’t answer.

Though he would never obtain an answer from Mendez as it was objective at the time, as time passed life answered his own question. The difference between a wasted life and a life spent. This would come with a slap in the face, however, more than the gentle caress of a lover.

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As his best friend, Samuel-034, ultimately sacrificed his own life after his MJOLNIR Mark IV suit was breached by plasma fire. He understood then, what he hadn’t before as his best friend fell to the HAVOK Nuke they had installed just minutes before after boarding an enemy craft.

He would come to endure many hardships of this kind, he knew he would, and so he did, losing almost his entire Company throughout the war, from augmentation, those who became stranded, it is no wonder that John has the weight of the world on his shoulders, as broad as they may be, he’s endured many losses. He carries the weight of every death in his shoulders.

He is broken, immensely so, but yet he remains ever stoic, he remains a husk from his own emotions by choice as he feels his job is greater than anything, but his job is to safeguard his friends, his family, not only acting as the main line of defense to whatever odd comes to the doorstep of humanity.

His life has been entirely given to the service of humanity, of the greater good, and to his family, whatever is left of it. He’s chosen this life that was chosen for him, and he will see it through to the end. Whatever the cost.

“Last time we were here, I asked Sam to trust me to take us home. To follow me. Will you trust me now, will you follow me?”

screenshot-363And as we see, he’s back with Blue Team, his friends, his family, whatever is left of it. Just four people and he stood there, asking if they will follow him once again, a question which we obviously know the answer of; but what of the outcome? What would it be of John? To what measures will he go, to protect the last remainder of his family.

And the answer is simple, he’ll exhaust everything he has in his repertoire, including his life. No matter how lucky, no matter how hard it will be.

And as we’ve seen, he’s endured everything life has thrown at him, everything, whether it was luck, an unwillingness to go quietly into the night, or skill, is debatable. What is for certain is that he did it for them, he saw everything through in the name of his brothers and sisters, those who gave their lives, those who he had forced to be spent, those who were still around, those wasted and those missing.

He gave his everything because he wasn’t ready to die, not in Installation 04, not in Mombasa, not even in the Ark as Thel stood beside him creating a friendship out of the asunder and ashes of the word that Thel bore in his mind as he stood back-to-back with this Sangheili whom John called friend.

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He found that he was not ready to die each and every time, but it wasn’t until he fought the Didact the last time, that he truly realised this in his own mind, he knew it, he wasn’t ready to die. After having lost Cortana, after having lost almost everything.

“I knew someday I would die in battle, but now that it is here… Now that it is my time to die… I find, I am not ready.”

He wasn’t, not at all, especially not with the last remainder of his family in danger of dying to the very same aggressor that held him so tight. But of course something had broken in him, even if he had continued fighting on after this through every odd, he was still, of course, broken and he knew it.

His days would be numbered from this point forward. And a very possible death would set its path onwards from this point, and how do you bring such a behemoth of a character to his final resting place? On a blaze of glory, you’d think. But no, not this way, not in a million years. It would go against everything his character showcases.

He would not want to be elevated above anyone else, given that special death, it would ultimately break his character and the true perception of it. How so? Well, we know it in a narrative that has been pushed all throughout.

“The queen doesn’t sacrifice herself to collect a pawn!”

“At the end of the game, the queen and the pawn go in the same box…”

It has always been there, in plain sight, from Cortana’s birth which these were the following words she uttered when she was activated in Italian.

From this sole quote, said by John after he took the bullet for Sam when they went after Watts. I know the exact death I would give him, and I know, I know this might sound like some kind of heresy or blasphemy. But think about it, it is true, you know it so.

The death I would give to John, and the death he deserves and would want is to die like a dog, in the middle of the battlefield. Just another strategic casualty. Among corpses, his death unknown to everyone and living on as a legend with just his legacy to be simply marked as ‘MIA’ as just another corpse in the wet dirt, covered in plasma, ionised particles and gunpowder residue, a last grand battle for humanity of epic proportions which will be eventually forgotten by history.

In John’s eyes, I believe this would be the rightful death if it meant saving his family… Or be laid to rest among them.

And that is the incredible life and a very possible death Of John-117.


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The Hero, the Saviour, the Child, the Abductee, the Warrior, the Soldier, the Friend… The Dog of War. 

On a last note, before we bring this reflection to a close, he doesn’t need a badass-being-badass death, he doesn’t need to die in blaze of glory of immense proportions alone and surrounded a la Noble Six, because what ultimately makes him badass is his legacy, his complex character, the depth of his emotions that are so scarcely thrown into the screen.

He will live through in his actions as a badass to all of us, his legacy is what makes him badass.

He does not need a death to cement what is already cemented. Both in-universe and out of it, he deserves to live on as a legend and as a monument to his actions through an unfortunate and slow death on the battlefield amongst rattled corpses. As a reminder that war isn’t fair.

And I simply cannot think of a better example, than a real life figure of heroism and valour. who died in battle at Iwo Jima on February the 19th, 1945. Sergeant John Basilone.

Basilone’s Death as Depicted in The Pacific

And on that note, I shall bring this to a close, for any of you to decide whether you support this idea or not. Either way, it is just the thoughts of a man, on a screen about what he thinks would be best for a character so beloved.

As always, keep on keeping on, see you next time. Possibly with a new story.

Cheers!

Homeri Carmina Nostra

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Homeri Carmina Nostra – A Poem Dedicated to the Domus Diaspora.

First Posted on Halo Archive

11/20/2016


Overpopulation of our Earth and Wars to come would wake a new era,

Leaving our home planet of Earth, we sought out new frontiers, beyond our bright blue skies,

New beginnings rose from the dirt, as we began to look up to the stars, and wonder,

Wonder what it had in store for us, and went out to venture into those same stars that we saw in the night sky,

Luna, our first new world, would rise from the dark void, as we journeyed there beyond centuries ago, 

Our feet stood on the pale lustrous soil of the moon, and when we did, we dared look up,

Tiny dots scattered across the dark sky, all the opportunities for us and it were all up for grabs,

We felt like we deserved the universe as our feet stood beyond our green soil on that pale moon again,

So we ventured deeper into our solar system, taking a hold of what was ours, our worlds,

What became of this endeavour for humanity, however, slowly became a gamble of war, 

Our worlds fell to conquest and asunder as we fought each other for territory and land, 

Koslovics and Friedens at each other’s throats, knife held deep, lacerating flesh,

War, that would leave many shattered and broken, 

From our soil in Earth to the farthest reaches of our Solar system, 

With our enemies destroyed, a treaty would sign peace,

But a new threat would lurk in the dark, after our conflicts,

Our colonies would be subjected to overpopulation and famine, 

But once more, light would be shed in our darkest moments, 

In our refusal to give out, humanity’s best would achieve salvation, 

Granting us the possibility to look past our star, and expand beyond our cluster,

A diaspora, the greatest diaspora would arise from our chaos,

As we embarked far too deeply, defiant into that howling dark, 

And dared the skies to swallow us whole, as we wagered towards our new worlds, 

Worlds that awaited us beyond our home, and worlds we would dare call home as well, 

Our destiny would be clear, as we set sail for the greatest incursion of all,

Not with weapons, or death, but with hope and aspirations for the future,

Our greatest odyssey, enterprising into our new worlds, 

Leaving our past and history behind, as our blue planet would be farther and farther away, 

The greatest leap for mankind, begins with all but peace, taking a small step forward each time. 

From the Arrow to the Shield [PREVIEW]

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PROLOGUE

August 23rd, 2554

Maginot Line “Jat-Krula Sphere.”, Unknown Location.

Sometimes the world blows up in your face, for many reasons and many of them alike, for the most of us, it was the Covenant’s arrival and the glassing of Harvest. For others? It was the Insurrection and their grizzly attacks to our many colonies… But you know what they say; one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. As much as I’d like to believe that either side was wrong, there’s some that held much of that blame grasped tightly that even in death they’d hold it still. For me, however? It was a little bit of both; I think I am here because of the necessity of the situation, hectic tends to turn the best side of us into a hollow shell that shall remain incarcerated in a chasm. That was Halsey with her SPARTANs, the SPARTAN-IIs, made only to quell rebellion and now, saviours of humanity and everyone’s poster boys, that’s us. Halsey’s SPARTANs, we learned to live with it even if many of us didn’t make it past ‘Graduation Day’, in other words, the Augmentations.

Despite that all though I learned that the end doesn’t justify the means, most of all I learned that all conflict does not come without hardship, loss, saviours, martyrs and heroes. Hardship however constitutes about ninety percent of what war is, and War is Hell. Let us however not forget, that we journey into a dark void, but we remember those who were left behind and never to return, those we left for dead, those that stayed behind to make sure we’d make it here, but war is hell after all, the dead will plague our memories like a bad rash and there’s nothing we can do about it. It is an inevitable truth that we can’t save everybody, but at least we can safeguard humanity to guarantee another day to fight. But most of all, we must not forget our purpose as SPARTANs. We will remember those of us that did not make it to this day, for death does not diminish Duty, Honour and Self-Sacrifice in a soldier. Nor does friendship and loyalty… That’s the part that Mendez always forgot, the bond created in the battlefield and out of it, after all they always treated us as equipment, but we’re a damn good surgical knife if nothing more, precise and concise, deadly and thoughtful.

Our duty is clear, however, be the hunter or the hunted, the Grim Reaper or the dead, The Demons that Humanity needs… Demons and only Demons we shall be as the damned Covenant called us, it’s all we’ll be in the defence of humanity, protect everyone whatever the cost may be so they can live another day. Through life or death; through hell and back. Every day we spend in hell, is just another day in the office that no one can do except for us. Spartan Group Epsilon. “In scutum, gladium in aeternum.” We can continue to do this. I can continue to do this because I have my family, my friends, my loved ones and the only family I’ll ever have with me, right here beside me as we go to hell and straight back. The only family I will ever have, and the family I will die beside to.

Some may say that Orbital Drop Shock Troopers do the entire dirty job, that hell is their office. While it may be true, for the most part, it’s us who get things done; we’re the surgical knife in the operation and the brunt in the United Nations Space Command’s repertory of heroes and valiant, gallant personnel.

For we are SPARTANs, bringers of unity, bringers of death, the wolves that hunt alone and the wolves that hunt in a pack, children of the gods and children of the great 300 Spartans and the Great King Leonidas of Sparta.

We acknowledge however that was done to us was horrible, but it became a choice, our lives were shaped like this in the sake of the greater good, our new family had been formed in the wake of our own hardship too. We were the only thing that stood between life and total extinction and when the time came, we were ready for what was to come, all of us, ready to do what was needed to defend Earth and all her colonies from a fate much like Harvest’s, Jericho VII, Madrigal, Biko, Bliss, Circinus IV, and many others that we lost.. We became the sword and the shield of humanity, and eventually we became their heroes, their saviours, their spark of hope that we just might live another day. I’m of course not proud of many things I may have done in the process however, from the slightest mistake that may have cost someone’s life to the bigger ones, I am the shield that transitions into the arrow, from a shield to an arrow I shall always be, I am Epsilon’s Bow and Arrow, I am the shield, I am the eye in the sky. I had a duty to keep my head in the game at all times no matter what came our way, the odds are just numbers, numbers can be decreased depending on the stakes. And our stakes are higher.

Though, I did not know what true pain was, even after all these years I did not know pain, even with everything we had been through, the sacrifices, the injuries. We had always been together through it all. Whatever the odds. I did not know what pain was, the kind of pain that tears you apart from the inside with fear that you don’t feel anything else other than a sheer feeling of helplessness, you can’t do anything but watch as everything you have fought so hard for to keep safe is taken away in a span of mere seconds something that for a Spartan feels like a lifetime, colloquially dubbed “Spartan Time” you’re forced to see every detail as your mind remains thinking of every possible scenario only to find out that all your efforts are useless in that situation, you can’t do anything and that’s how it would stay not knowing what will happen next as those seconds that seem like a lifetime pass.

Fear, the worst part of it is that we all knew we’d encounter it in our lives, fear, pain, sorrow, helplessness, the list goes on… Like SCPO Mendez had told us once, we were trained for this, all of us. Trained to know pain, to know fear, to know how to counteract it.

In your lives you will encounter fear, you will encounter pain, but the key to survival in those moments is to not let fear nor pain dominate us, take over your whole being to the point that all you want to do is sit down and cry, sit down and just close your eyes tight and pray that everything is a dream, that dream that we will wake up from and we will be in our parent’s embrace once again, but that’s not possible, and it will never be because this is a dream that we will never wake up from, a dream that is our lives that mostly becomes a nightmare, but you can’t break down, you can’t sit down and cry let it out, you can’t do any of it because your brothers and sisters need you, they need to know that you are at your best that you are operational and ready to do what needs to be done, it’s funny how two four-syllable words can overcome you, can take over you so easily, but the right way to do things has never been the easy way.

It was the way that you’ll encounter the most pain in your lives, we all crossed that path because it is our path, our destiny. It is the path that humanity needed us to take.

 


 

CHAPTER 1

July 22nd, 2552

Onboard the UNSC Uno Momento, Unknown Crash Landing Location.

There was only darkness that’s all that could be seen inside the MJOLNIR Mark IV [S], SPARTAN-157 Gavin knocked right on the ground and he thought his gear had been malfunctioning, it wasn’t until his visor began to be filled by stars that Gavin realized that the suit wasn’t the one that had been malfunctioning, it was him. It only took him some time before he started to distinguish some voices as his head looked from one side to the other, trying to distinguish what had happened, he could see a few spots of light glistening in the air around him- sparks flying all around him, all around him and the other Spartan that laid beside him, completely immobile to his view it wasn’t long before Gavin had sat down slowly crawling closer to the Spartan in a MJOLNIR Mark IV Operator system configuration, SPARTAN-115 Sage who laid immobile and limp as Gavin wrapped his prosthetic arm around the back of her neck and gently lifted her limp body, it was a gentle movement despite of the motions of the MJOLNIR-clad, intensifying his movements ten-fold he wouldn’t have done that unless he meant it, though she still had a pulse as evident in biomonitor in his HUD.

“Sage, wake up,” Gavin said, as his hearing was slowly returning to him, whatever had hit them, it hit them hard. “Sage… god dammit.”

“Gavin, pick-up the damn COMs and tell me your status, that’s an order.” could be heard on the other end of the TEAMCOM channel, SPARTAN-055 Andre. “Gavin, sit-rep.”

“Sage is down, I’m operational,” Gavin said as a cold calm took over, the job wasn’t over, it never really was. “Barely. . .”

Andre had sighed audibly into the COMs, both in relief and disgust towards the situation. “I’ll send Jena down, for you.”

Gavin looked around him, he was sending SPARTAN-054 Jena for them, he decided otherwise to this, however, he figured she was needed elsewhere, there were sparks and malfunctioning screens everywhere, they were just outside the cargo hold and his SRS99-AM “Lupus” lying just a few metres away from him and Sage beside her, was her M392 Designated Marksman Rifle, Gavin stood, his prosthetic arm being removed from Sage as he looked around, devising the situation and it was bad there was damage everywhere around him, some halls were collapsed and others had malfunctioning blast doors, he picked up his weapon from the ground and clicked his flashlight on, illuminating the area around him as he pulled the rifle onto his back, crouching down once again to lift Sage in his arms cradling her close against his chest as he began to move away in the dark room that had an eventual flicker of light from the sparks and the ship’s malfunctioning lighting system, whatever had hit them had made quite the damage, but they were still alive, which suggested something; whatever it was that hit them or whatever weapon hit them missed any vital parts of the ship by just a small pint of luck. Maybe their luck was still holding on, all of this however happened only minutes after that last conversation.

“Negative sir, I’m making my way to you,” Gavin asked over the SQUADCOMs, relaying his voice to Epsilon. “Do we know anything about what hit us.”

“Copy, make your way to Hangar Deck 3, Jena will treat Sage.” There was a short pause as Andre looked from Jena going from one side to the other, treating whoever she could of the wounded and injured crew, before he looked away light shining into his visor as he looked out from the open blast doors of the Hangar Deck, there were a few engineers working on the vehicles that had been damaged in the crash and the blast that ripped through the east side of the hull. “We have a pretty good idea, you’ll have to see them yourself.”

There was a short pause as Andre looked from Jena going from one side to the other, treating whoever she could of the wounded and injured crew, before he looked away light shining into his visor as he looked out from the open blast doors of the Hangar Deck, there were a few engineers working on the vehicles that had been damaged in the crash and the blast that ripped through the east side of the hull. “We have a pretty good idea, you’ll have to see them yourself.”

“We have a pretty good idea, you’ll have to see them yourself.”

Andre had cut the COM then, looking away as he picked up his MA5D that he bore in his hands, his fingers tapping the rifle as he then pulled it over his shoulder, watching a few Marines that were still operational patrol the open blast doors and some looking out into the distance at the large edifications that moved in the water, they fired an array of light into the sky of the colour of gold, that completely enlightened Andre’s crimson coloured polarized visor of his MJOLNIR Mark IV with a prototype Mark VI-looking helmet one of the first few prototypes, however, he turned away to walk around the deck, pulling the rifle onto his back holstering it as engineers slowly made a few repairs here and there in the hull and the halls, he started towards the bridge.n the path they had already cleared to get from the Hangar Decks where some of the crew were being treated to the bridge, where the now acting Captain; James Rivera and his now acting Commander. Connal Allard stood on the flickering holo-table running scan surveys on the area, Connal couldn’t had been older than 18 he was young but he was also capable in Andre’s mind.

In the path, they had already cleared to get from the Hangar Decks where some of the crew were being treated to the bridge, where the now acting Captain; James Rivera and his now acting Commander. Connal Allard stood on the flickering holo-table running scan surveys on the area, Connal couldn’t have been older than 18 he was young but he was also capable in Andre’s mind.

“Sir,” Andre had gone crisply into attention the moment the Captain casted a glance towards the 6’8” all titanium-a clad SPARTAN-II. 7’3” tall armoured clad Spartan-II that stood beside him.

“At ease, 055.” Andre would pose on a relaxed stance of attention after he was given the command, the Spartan however had a question, he always had questions, more concerned on his team than on himself. “Sir,” He began to speak as the man looked at the flickering holo table that showcased a map of the area around them that had been slowly gathered through surface scans of the still operational scanning systems. “Any indications of where we landed, sir?”

James shook his head, straightening up as he leaned away from the holo-table before him as he fixed his uniform. “Without any assistance from Adimen as her core is still inactive after the blast, there’s no saying where, when or how we’ll get out of here.”

Connal, the kid beside the newly formed Captain of the ship seemed a little agitated at the mention of never getting out of here, Andre seemed calm however, his body posture completely void of emotions as he stared at the Captain through his crimson visor, a signature of Spartan Group Epsilon meant to inert fear into their enemies, that and their sigil that rested illustrated on his right pauldron, a skull resting on a shield where an arrow would go straight through said skull sideways with an uppercase E on the skull’s forehead that stood for the greek letter of Epsilon.

“I’ll see what Epsilon can do for you, sir.” Andre nodded his head just slightly, the kid beside the Captain had been staring intently into the Spartan’s visor, this was something he was used to.

The stares, every Spartan was used to those stares that felt cold on the skin almost as if every eye in the room was judging them or just plainly scared or just in awe of the piece of equipment they were. But as far as it went, that’s what Spartans were to these people. Equipment and Machines. Andre regained his thoughts however, his eyes fixated on the Captain as he continues to speak.

“We’ll have Adimen operational in no time, sir.” With that, the Spartan-II doubled over courtly and walked out of the room leaving the two of them behind, while there was still a lot to do, figuring out what happened to Adimen was a priority and they couldn’t do this without Sage. The moment he stepped a foot outside the bridge he shut off the outer communications from his helmet so he could speak freely through the TEAMCOMs “Jena, sitrep.”

There was just silence for a while before he asked again. “Jena, Sitrep.” he could hear fiddling on the other end, Jena had taken off her helmet, there was a continuous sound of slight static until Jena’s voice could be heard on the other end and she sounded… Concerned, maybe startled. “Gavin is here, it’s bad, Sage’s not waking up and I cannot figure out why with this makeshift equipment, it’s like everything is going downhill here, there’s wounded ever-” She was abruptly cut off by Andre in the middle of her heated rambling “Jena.” was the only thing that was heard on the other end and she fell silent for a few seconds as she took in a breath and calmed down. “We need Sage if we want to have a chance of getting back into the fight, Jena. Adimen is offline, the only experts are either dead, wounded or missing on the ship.” He spoke calmly, almost as if it was nothing. Andre had always had a way of maintaining his edge when the situation turned to worst.

“Jena, Sitrep.” he could hear fiddling on the other end, Jena had taken off her helmet, there was a continuous sound of slight static until Jena’s voice could be heard on the other end and she sounded… Concerned, maybe startled. “Gavin is here, it’s bad, Sage’s not waking up and I cannot figure out why with this makeshift equipment, it’s like everything is going downhill here, there’s wounded ever-” She was abruptly cut off by Andre in the middle of her heated rambling “Jena.” was the only thing that was heard on the other end and she fell silent for a few seconds as she took in a breath and calmed down.

“We need Sage if we want to have a chance of getting back into the fight, Jena. Adimen is offline, the only experts are either dead, wounded or missing on the ship.” He spoke calmly, almost as if it was nothing. Andre had always had a way of maintaining his edge when the situation turned to worst.

“Roger that…” Jena would say as she stepped closer to Sage and begun to work as more nurses worked around her on the clock treating the other wounded. Seven consecutive acknowledgement blinks could be seen on her HUD as she treated Sage, something that only the two of them knew as Andre proceeded to Open a channel with Gavin this time.

“Gavin, I need you at my pos.” there was a short pause as Gavin instantly started heading out of the Hangar bay. “Oscar-Mike. Paint the way.” The moment he said that a marker lit up on his HUD, a few hallways down as he moved closer to Andre, before he knew it, however, he was there with Andre. “Sir,” Gavin said as he adopted a firm posture out of respect to his commanding officer and friend. “We’re moving down on the medbays scour everything that’s still relatively useful to us, get it back to the hanger bays and then we’ll move down on the A.I. Core room.” Gavin’s brow rose under his Scout helmet, hid by his crimson visor but his head visibly tilted to the side at this order. “The A.I. Core?”

“I trust you have watched Sage work A.I.s before, right?” Andre stared directly at Gavin as he asked, there was a pause in all communications from the two armoured men before

Gavin nodded slowly. “Yes, Chief,” Gavin replied at the inquiry.

Andre nodded once before he began moving down the nearest and darkest hall, their helmet’s torches switching on in their command as they walk down that path that was illuminated by the eventual flicker of the hallway lighting systems and the MJOLNIR’s torches.

“You want me to reset Adimen?” Gavin asked as he glanced over at the Spartan beside him, looking to his right eventually to find a fuse box on the hallway column, he’d punch the lid open and tinker with the fuses, as the hallway came to life shortly after.

“I want you to do whatever’s necessary to make her operational, Gavin.” Andre stopped beside him, the moment the lights came to life down the hallways with the eventual flicker of light down the road he turned off his torch and patted Gavin’s shoulder. “I trust you can do this?”

“That’s gonna be a little difficult,” Gavin said, he felt the pat on his shoulder and resumed movement down the hall.

Looking down on his TACPAD as the brought up the ship’s schematics on it, he had the base schematics of some of the UNSC ships in service, luckily, the Valiant class super-heavy cruiser was one of them, schematics native to the UNSC Valiant.

“But you can do this?” Andre insisted.

“Yes,” Gavin responded quickly. “But it’s not gonna be a piece of cake for me, I’m not Sage.”

Andre looked at Gavin, his hand always hovering close to the holstered M6C on his magnetic holstered just in case. “You’re the next best thing.”

“Still,” Gavin retorted.

“Too late to back out.” Andre said, as they took a left down the hallways, they had to find a way around to the core room as the main accessing hallway was collapsed.

“Down this way,”

Gavin said as he led the way to the dark mess hall before them, their torches sparking up to life once again as they made their way into the hall, there were a three to five corpses still lying around on the hall, it seems not a lot of people had made it past a certain position of the ship except for Gavin and Sage it seemed, perhaps there were more stuck behind collapsed hallways or doors.

Gavin said as he led the way to the dark mess hall before them, their torches sparking up to life once again as they made their way into the hall, there were a three to five corpses still lying around on the hall, it seems not a lot of people had made it past a certain position of the ship except for Gavin and Sage it seemed, perhaps there were more stuck behind collapsed hallways or doors.

“Prioritize; A.I. Core, Search and Rescue is secondary.” Andre abruptly changed the orders of the game and Gavin nodded in acknowledgement. “We won’t leave anyone behind, but getting Adimen operational is priority.”

“Understood.” Gavin knew that without Adimen they would be as good as dead in this hellhole, he also wouldn’t protest to orders either, specially from him. Their friendship going way back to the first day of Boot Camp.

Andre nodded, he proceeded forward as they rounded closer to their destination on the tight hallways, Gavin never did like these tight hallways for combat, they were treacherous and the conditions they had made it even worse.

“Any covie survivors among the wreckage?” Gavin asked as he glanced for the slimmest of seconds towards the SPARTAN beside him as he took each step forward towards the ship’s AI core.

“Unknown.” Andre, spoke as they traversed the dark hallways of the ship.


To be continued. . .

Hope you enjoyed this short preview of what I have been working on the last few months, expect more of this as I continue it.

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Art Values, a Welcoming Gaze

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You’re probably asking yourself, what the living heck am I doing in this post? Why is this guy called HaruspexOfHell?  Who even is this man and why should I care about his opinions about the art, which I so very much adore deeply?

The answer is, no, you should not care about my opinions, I only wish to enlighten the unenlightened, though, my name is Joseph, I’m a guy living in Venezuela interacting with the Halo Community with the best of my abilities every single day with undying passion; I am also a writer myself – Albeit only a fanfictioner? Is that even a word? – Anyways, I digress, and I shall set upon the topic that has brought some of you here tonight, or this morning, or afternoon. . . Whenever, you see fit to read this piece, ha-ha.

And that topic, as it says in the post, at the start, and right here, right now is none other than the art direction.

And which art style you ask? Well, whatever there is and whatever there’s ever been in the Halo Universe, taking into consideration all of the changes and which ones I do believe that they fit, perfectly. And to do this, we must start with a little experiment, what experiment, however? Just follow me on this one alright? Let’s go back to Halo 4, the awakening to our long journey from Installation 04, The Battle of Earth, New Mombasa, Old Mombasa, Voi, all of these events.

Now, close your eyes, try to imagine the cold breeze of the cryo stasis caressing your skin gently, lost in space as you laid dormant in the middle of the FFG-201 UNSC Forward Unto Dawn, a Charon-class light frigate, drifting in space as it ventured into an unknown location of space, where a sleep danger would await, but you don’t know this yet, unbeknownst to you, you drift silently into the sky, with your loyal companion; Cortana, who remained ever vigilant for any new encounters, or rendezvous with the UNSC, that would never happen, as you’re missing in the dark corners of the Milky Way, without concrete knowledge of where you’re located at the moment. . .

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Now wake, John-117, wake up from your long night of solace, as you are awakened by Cortana, uttering the last thing you told her to do when she needed you ‘I need you!’ she screams and you wake up from Cryosleep as the tube is drained from the cryogenic that kept you asleep for just as long as eight years after you last went to sleep.

You look around, however, and everything you see is familiar, your armour the same you wore to battle many years ago, the technology exactly as you left it, the halls dark and lightly dim by the emergency lights operating in low power, alarms blaring, and the ship shaking carefully as something from the outside rocks it enough to cause distress in the ship, you exit the cryo-tube, and you step directly towards Cortana, ‘Seems like old times’, she says as you step in front of her and say ‘Ready to get back to work?’, to which, she replied with ‘I thought you’d never ask. . .’ 

And ready she was, barely, as you stepped out of the cryo chambers, however making your way around the ship, everything was old, some monitors were frozen as they were subjected to the harmful aspects of the vacuum of space, a lot of the ship was damaged from previous encounters as well, from throughout the Ark Installation Campaign, however, you find this strange looking Sangheili, you yourself had never seen before, but, John has, however, he makes no mention of it. But once you reach the control centre, blast shields down and a Sangheili of a very familiar design stands there trying to open the blast doors of this ship, you sneak up behind him and assassinate him, clearing out the room shortly after only to discover that you stumbled upon a fleet of the Covenant.

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However, you fight you way through this, utilising old equipment such as the M392, BR55HB, MA5C’s, etcetera, etcetera. As well as you donning the old Mark VI GEN1 gear, unscathed and unchanged from when you left it, battle-scarred and worn.

You successfully launch the missile into the cruiser that was getting into position to attack the FuD, and when this happens, an ancient awakens below in the shield world that we drifted upon, fight or flight instincts kick in, you need to get out of the ship, so you get running back inside, going through the airlock as you quickly head towards the life pods, only for it to have been a failed measure as the hull of the ship rips off and you fall into space as you’re sucked out into the vacuum and get caught by the gravitational pull of the planet we’d come to call. . . Requiem.

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We land on the planet below, and while terrifying, we bask in its beauty, all of it goes noticed every second, every location of Requiem goes through noticed by our eyes as well as us being able to utilise the gear that we know and love, though, it all changes in a moment, abruptly as we start obtaining garbled distress calls from an unknown recipient and our objectives change as we try to figure out who is behind that distress call, the more we realise, the more our objective changes until we find that it comes from a UNSC vessel, the UNSC Infinity.

First of her class, the Infinity-class had caught the distress call from the Forward Unto Dawn and set forth to pursue it, however, our objective changes as we try to keep the Infinity off the grasp of Requiem, and all this, only ends badly as we find the Cryptum lying in rest as it was locked away a thousand millennia ago, holding an ancient terror that we had never seen before; a living forerunner? And yes it was, and his awakening would be directly our fault, as the Infinity is pulled into the planet losing control of the ship as she fell into the surface, finally crashing against the soil of Requiem.

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So, we decide to go help out, after we escaped in the ghost, everything crumbling in our path as we jump through a portal that Cortana had managed to get up, and barely escape not without almost falling off a cliff first, and we proceeded to see the Infinity fall from the sky as it soared above us in its behemoth size, this, is what the UNSC had been up to these last eight years, this is what our sacrifices propped up at the end.

We weren’t mice anymore and the size of this behemoth almost but screamed this fact, as it crumbled down from the sky and crashed far beyond us, and as was said, we decided to help out setting forth towards the crash location  of this behemoth, where we would acquaint ourselves with the new equipment, the new men and women who served the UNSC, not for war, but for exploration and growth.

And this is where I want to conclude this little experiment, bringing forth, something that I doubt has been tried before in the Community, do these things really not look Halo? For the lack of an explanation, I’d like to set out and try to explain what many have been saying about the art of 343 Industries, amongst many words the most common is ‘It doesn’t look Halo’ when in fact they do, some of these design look just as good – if not better – than those of Bungie. However, to explain this, we have to set forward and look at a few designs, which I shall couple together, and post below; first I shall make an example of the DMR, both M392 & M395 series.

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Look at these rifles? Not too different are they? Look at them good and hard. They’re one and the same, the Halo 4/5 rifle is the recipient of a lot of controversy in the community, however, many saying it doesn’t look good, or that it doesn’t resemble the original rifle, when in fact; it does. These don’t need changing, in fact, I would love to see these two together in a game, some day, though. . . Someday.

Now, let’s take a look at these different rifles, which I shall post below, here.

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Let’s take a look at the SRS99 rifles, or as we call them Sniper Rifles, let’s take a look at them, at first glance yes, each are very different but the base design in the same, I’ve seen plenty of people, complaining about the design of 343i, which being honest I have concluded that the hate for this design is entirely subjective, and most of the hate, however, is regarding the blue scope and the palette colour of the rifle, nothing more.

This is what I’d regard as blind hate, saying you hate the design, entirely based on something that does not pertain on the design but more how you look at it, and quite frankly their designs suffer a lot from this, too often. Here’s however, an edit made by a good friend; LateNightGaming, regarding the scope.

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And here’s a comparison.

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There’s not much to pick at when you look at it like this, and even then the design is still pretty good, a landmark of the new Halo’s in my honest opinion; however, I would rather see at least one other variant of the SRS99 in future games, just like everybody else.

Anyways, I digress, before I continue rambling about the designs, I am gonna tackle on one more design before I conclude the post, which quite frankly, if I continue it, it shall be only aimless rambles, and none of us want that, right? Okay, let’s move on with the Promethean Knight.

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LOOK AT THIS UGLY MOTHERF– I mean, beautiful guy, honestly I can’t say much about him aside from the fact that, quite frankly he does look Halo, however, he represents something that we’ve not seen before, ever. In the history of Halo, the Prometheans fit only for the Forerunners put them elsewhere and they’re definitely the odd man out, however, I can obviously sit here saying how we could improve the design, how the nodes and the hunch back should be in more of a square space, how you could maybe actually attach the legs to the overall body, etcetera, etcetera. While he. . . Or she is ugly like a rotten tomato with bugs, that does not make them not Halo, just because we don’t like their overall appearance most of the time, they can be much better, for one look at this design, they could recover this and redo the Knights in inspiration to this, would it not be better if you felt both terrified and intrigued to fight them? Awaiting what they would do next, etcetera, make them more interesting to us, the players.

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Yes? Look at that, how much better would that be? I certainly think it would one hundred percent better, imagine that you’re in close quarters when you rip the armour off of it and you release what’s inside only for it to grab at you and plead for you to let it free from its pain, the composer’s abyss which stores thousands of souls in pure agony as they bask in their own pain and hopelessness waiting for someone to come to save them, only that, this is a false hope as they will never be saved from their slumber, at least not with any method we know of or have ever encountered yet. . . Anyways, I shan’t continue my ramblings about any of this, as we near the closing of this post – albeit my first post – hopefully, you all enjoyed listening – More like reading – to my ramblings about art, I shall not keep you any longer as I have nothing more to add.

Be safe, live your life as you wish it, and you know, don’t let this guy catch you. I hear he molests teddy bears and does coffee?

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Anyhow, I hear there’s a birthday party coming up soon, must get ready, cheers!

Ancient, Lost Pride.

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A figure enters the desolate plains of a structure, with long days past as the light of Urs shines through the cracks, the cloaked figure stood in the middle of the entrance of the structure, looking around as he raised his arms and pulled the cloak off his shoulders, the Sangheili’s mandibles twitching slightly as he proceeded to walk further into the silent plains of the temple, coming up to the shattered and decayed temple grounds as the light of the sun Urs becomes clearer through the giant hole in the roof, he looks up at the hole and his mandibles separated just at the slightest as he stared around him in disbelief of their sacred temple, everything he could hear was a silence that echoed amongst the temple grounds where once wisdom echoed through its halls, but now only ghosts roam the grounds; a silent mausoleum deserted after their service to the San’Shyuum’s Covenant after being lied to with slander and false hope for years, their great journey which was a fate full of lies on their way. A weapon which would terminate all life in the Galaxy.

The Sangheili looked around the temple grounds in its desolate slumber, ghost roaming around its halls and silent echoes of wisdom as warriors came to receive wisdom, where their true intentions flourished, where hope was in the air, the man huffed a handful of air, his mandibles slightly moving as he breathed in before he began to walk forward, sitting in a circle paved on the ground, where the Urs shined upon directly, before he set the cloak aside on the ground and began to slowly crouch down, his legs folding upon the other as his hands were placed on his knees. . . Once again exhaling before his eyes slowly closed, around him the silence slowly became a song of its own, situating itself on the surrounding atmosphere as the gentle breeze of the Sangheili air caressed his skin, his chest rising and falling as he became one with the gentle slumber of the dormant, abandoned mausoleum. As his mind takes over, his imagination begins to fly the gentle sound of the breeze slowly becomes the gentle sound of voices, the cracking of the structure into footsteps, he slowly furrows his brows as the temple begins to sound more alive, covered in people like it once was. Men and women looking for the wisdom that this temple would give out. But then in an unmistakable act the sound of fire waving moves across him and his eyes peel open as he looked around, and what he would see is the temple in its greatest encounter, Sangheili wandering around its halls, the ornaments and the structure completely pristine, the light of the night filling the rooms as torches lit the temple grounds.

The Sangheili baffled stood, slowly from where he sat looking around as his mandibles positioned lightly in a slight smile as what he saw was an act of providence, an act of the gods, the temple at its peak. Everyone wandering its halls as it was filled with knowledge, wisdom and hope, it felt real, everything felt real but then the sound of a sudden crack and a heavy boulder falling on the dirt covered ground upon him woke the man from his slanderous imagination, and his hazel eyes peeled open as he glanced around, the sound of silence and Urs fell to dusk and orange covered the day as the plains became darker inside the temple with the gentle shade of a crimson orange; once again the Temple laid shattered, decadent of wisdom and people, abandoned and torn into million little pieces lost to time. It was a silent slumber, where every sound became a remnant of what it once was, a monument to their lost pride. . . Their honour barren and forgotten as their ways became poisoned by lies.

The Sangheili proceeded to pick up his cloak that he had cast off to the side, and proceeded to stand on the temple ground with a gentle sigh, he pulled his cloak over his shoulders and his hand gently took a hold of his hood, and with one last glance at the ruins of the once great temple; he pulled the hood over his head and turned around to depart from the temple. And so, once again, the temple became silent and undisturbed, an abandoned mausoleum that once meant more than an ancient sense of pride, where wisdom was sought out by the great, where wars were planned by the many, but now it is but rubble and dust. . . A silent remnant of what once was.

'Humans gamble. I'm betting that your side will win. Dead friends aren't much use'