Halo 5: Guardians – A Marvel Stolen Out Of Fear. . .

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We come a long way together. A long way yet to go. . . 


I’d one hundred percent like to start this post by saying a huge thank you to my friend Taras (LateNightGaming) for helping me with this post with his experience. However, take everything here with a pinch of salt, as I won’t be talking anything with many sources to back me up, some theorycrafting and beyond.

I will be using Concept Art, remnants in the full game, and so on to fully explain this, however, it might not be very well put, or I may look over some stuff and if I do I deeply apologise and you can feel free to correct me, however, without further a due, I believe we should get started. . .


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Was it a lie?

Let’s open up with something simple, let’s address the elephant in the room, was it really a lie? By that, I mean everything in between Halo 4 and 5, all the marketing, all the stories told.

Which for that I can say it is quite complicated, why? Because half of it was true, some were never really meant to be taken seriously for the game they ended up making due to everything that happened.

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I’m certainly sure everyone remembers this image, showing things that were essential to Halo 5, but in reality, nothing in this really played a part into the full product, once upon a time it was essential but the final product didn’t make use of any of it. They might as well have a connection by association.

But what if I told you that all those little words going around the image, Mystery, Reconciliation, Family, Trust, Heritage, Truth, Honour, Heroism, Sacrifice, Betrayal and Redemption were going to play a bigger role in the original idea of the writers? Before. . . Everything happened.

Well, that brings me to my next point.

Causality, Post-Mortem Of Halo 4, influencing Halo 5:

Of course, I will bring this point which I have certainly brought up before countless times before, but I maybe haven’t really worded it perfectly before.

We’re the cause of Halo 5’s current direction. We really are. And the proof is all around the treatment of the Halo games Pre-Halo 4 and Post-Halo 4. By that I mean, the outcry for Halo 4’s Campaign being so ‘complex’ influenced each and every release afterwards, leaving seeds from the next and the next. It’s basic business, really, the people don’t like something? You’re usually forced to change it, as much as it pains you, and that’s what happened with Halo 5.

But let’s look at it from a thorough timeline of events.


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A Thoughtful Timeline:

2012 Arrives, release day for Halo 4, and you can bet that everyone and their mothers played this game, it had been years before they had stepped with John’s boots on the battlefield, we had somewhat finished the fight years before in a bombastic campaign that brought a close to Bungie’s trilogy as their contract was about to expire. They just needed to do two more games and that was it, but here we are. The elusive number 4 and it is a massive disappointment for everyone that expected something not deep or using the lore.

Fast forward a bit and we get Spartan Ops, it offers absolutely nothing to the company, plans are cancelled and efforts moved to Dark Horse’s Halo: Escalation comics which hoped to answer every single detail from Spartan Ops complaints, but as time went on, reception offered nothing to the company and brought little to no returns, 343 opted all these efforts cost money, and we did not support them, although we did complain a whole lot and that’s all they’ve had.

So we’re here at the turn of events and this deeper storyline is dropped to appease the increase of complaints in the community. Out of fear, and fear alone, the complex, character-driven storylines that we were offered from the start of Halo 4 were finally dropped around the time of E3 2014.

Well. . . Not everyone liked it. 

Those were the words of Bonnie Ross once in regards of Halo 4.

However, to avoid running on a tangent and never getting on the topic of today’s post, I want to address the only rebuttal I and everyone else that argues this comes across. Blaming it on the Community? How retarded can you be? 

It’s not blaming the execution of the games in the community, neither are we blaming the failures of 343’s projects on the community when the product itself is rather questionable when it comes to enjoyment, I have said this time and time again, I much prefer the old game’s gameplay mechanics, but what I will always defend is Halo 4’s story and beyond, with the exception of the final product of Halo 5: Guardians, however what I will defend in regards to it is their intentions.

But, when it comes to acknowledging the fact that we influence the concurrent releases more than most people give credit for, we must acknowledge our sins in our harsh treatment of Halo 4, as the cycle turns and people start loving Halo 4’s story which they already are because of many different reasons, maybe they start to understand it better, they are more open-minded, etc.

We must not fail to give fair trial without clouding judgements, nostalgia, hatred, these are things that cloud the mind and obstruct the fact that our opinions are what gave us Halo 5’s direction in the first place. And for that, all of the proof shall remain on the internet and the overall treatment, as a monument to all our sins. . . 


But, without further a due, after all that rant, let’s hop onto the juicy bits. Let’s look at the Halo 5 that we could’ve. . .

[DISCLAIMER: This is very loose interpretations of original plans, although, it may be denied, and it only went as far as the ‘Talk’ stage of preparation but not beyond that. I’d also like to state that this can be dismissed as theorycrafting as well.]

The Journey, The Story:

Let’s start with the basics, the story they wanted to tell, which was a character driven story with themes such as Family, Redemption, Heroism, etc. I’m sure they sound familiar, right? Well, let’s just give it more detail, shall we?

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Well, to recount things told to me, the story was going to have two sides, like two sides of a coin, but it was originally planned to be played from the perspective of Osiris alone, giving us insight on Blue Team through cutscenes instead of gameplay, which gives me the perspective that Halo 5 sounds more like a spin-off title preparing for the mainline game rather than a mainline game itself, however, the writers wanted to go deeper and give the two sides a deeper perspective, it was going to be very much like Detective work making incredibly intricate Easter eggs that activated with certain weapons in certain locations, some at certain times of the day, and beyond.

It was going to give depth into the story preparing everything for the ultimate reveal, Didact returns and he is controlled by Dr. Halsey and The Librarian as they used the Janus Keys to find and wake the Guardians.

And your work as Locke was to genuinely hunt Chief down, ONI’s legitimate orders were to kill John, By Any Means Necessary as he had gone rogue. But as you went deeper into the story and you uncovered more and more secrets your task changes from killing John to aiding him, and your actions could’ve triggered a civil war between UNSC and Innies.

But it wouldn’t come without hardship as Osiris was going to be shattered, a heavy sense of disdain would fill the team in your journey as your team genuinely hated your guts, Tanaka hated your ONI badge, Vale hated you for similar reasons, but Buck was the only one open to discussing and dialoguing with you. However, it would be a rocky relationship between the two.

Meridian comes and you’re met by an incredibly pissed Tanaka in the middle of your mission to hunt John after your tracks came to no end. She despises you, she yells at you that you will never know how it is to live in an outer colony, and how much she despised his guts. But you move on and you return to Infinity for your next mission, and so on would your journey go where your family would slowly build from the ashes of hatred while Blue Team shattered to pieces.

Fred would become incrementally worried about John’s mental health, as Linda would deny it all, there’d be fighting, distrust between their ranks. Although between references of older missions, brothers and sisters in arms lost, they would find the way to see their mission through, until the end of the line.

But as missions unfolded and the next came, your family in Osiris would build more and more, you would see all of their character arcs unfold before you, Buck would happen in Andesia, given the cityscape in a very similar setting to ODST he would get through it with Osiris, with cutscenes entirely dedicated to building this relationship in between brothers and sisters in arms.

And then comes Sanghelios, we’re at the wake of the Battle of Sunaion, the revelation is through, Blue Team is in Sanghelios and hunting a Guardian so you must hunt them down, for the first time you see your family bond without disdain and Tanaka would give some words to the team. Before heading into the deep end once again, where you would find Warden for the first time granting access to the Guardian to Blue Team, but, however, not to you.

So you fight this unit, this new enemy that would come from nowhere to fight you. And I believe beyond this mission we would slowly find out Halsey’s plans. . .

But that’s as far as the information I have goes, sadly, not everything is really known and well this is very much theory as much as it may be obscure fact.


Although, beyond that, that’s honestly all that’s left for Halo 5: Guardians, a cesspool of speculation and reminiscing. One fact is clear, though, it’ll definitely live on as a monument to our collective sins. But beyond that, one cannot deny the state of the game’s story as is, is laughable at best, and quite depressing when you learn all of the things they had planned. But out of fear, opted not to appease their own need and sense for creation and instead cater to every complaint.

However, I’m sure every single plan that was once talked or pondered about, will live on in the form of art. . .

But, whatever it was supposed to be, whatever it is, whatever it will become. None of these are healthy thoughts to have in mind beyond the caring thought of the franchise you love. It’ll only leave you a headache when it’s gone. . .

We can’t really dwell on the past, and we can’t dwell on the future, we can only look at what is in front of us and hope for the best, we know for an absolute fact that the men and women in-house at 343 Industries are not evil much more the complete opposite of this.

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They’re humans, just like us, with their own issues and intricacies. But we also fail to acknowledge that the industry doesn’t work like it does in our dreams. It’s very complicated and it is a lot of check-ups upon check-ups of each and every single work done. And they sure as hell work their arses off.

But, of course, you may provide the criticism you feel you must expel from your body, however, remember that our words affect more than it doesn’t. ‘It falls on deaf ears’ is not entirely accurate. So criticise fairly, constructively. That’s what’ll help the franchise move forward, not acute insanity.


Author’s Notes:

Oh wow. . . TWO posts in one day. That’s a new milestone for me, but then again I have certainly been working on this one beyond two days, a month even, with all the research done in between from earlier posts and for this one, lots of discussion with Taras, Ian, etc. It has certainly shaped up the vision of this post, I not so much wanted to tell the remainder of the details of what we could have had, but I wanted to be clear on the fact that, this is very much our own sin as it is 343’s. Just as much as we influenced Halo 3 to make Arbiter and the Great Schism almost non-existent, we did the same here. That is something we must definitely acknowledge.

This post has also certainly taken many different forms in my head, from in-depth research regurgitation of many different articles online which I gathered, my experiences with in-depth conversations about its development, or whatever else my crazy mind thought of. However, I hope this double deal is very insightful for all of you. And I hope you enjoyed.

Click here to read my article in regards to the Battle of Earth.

Also, be sure to check out my patreon! (Shameless Double Whoring of the Patreon)

And make sure to check out the Halo Archive and 343i Community as well!

As always, though, for the second time today. This Venezuelan hopes you live your life, stay safe and play lots of Halo. ❤

TL:DR: Halo 5: Guardians was a much more intricate creation.

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A Battle To Remember – Filling the Blanks of the Battle of Earth

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First echelon, you’re with me—blanket those cruisers, take ’em out one by one. Second echelon, keep those carriers busy.


Well, I struggled into bringing this one in the making, from many discussions on the Twitterdel to a lot of brainstorming, I thought that I should make something very important which surfaced in the making of many arguments in my mind.

We don’t know much about the conflict still do we? 

For a centrepiece of the games, there really is an immense lack of information regarding it, we know more about Reach than we do Earth, at least in my experience. Questions like

How many countries were affected by the conflict?

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Did the Covenant just land on New Mombasa? 

For the average player that’s how things seem, which is not reality, of course, we know Cuba, Arizona, Antarctica, Australia, etc were heavily affected by the conflict, but what else? What happened to Admiral Joseph Harper? How did we lose Mars?

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The question itself just becomes a question of what we can do to fix it and not what is missing, at least in my eyes, there’s plenty of stories left to tell about the conflict that started on October 20th, 2552.

I’ll be going through all of those today, as well as giving an in-depth timeline of the conflict that we have at hand right now with all the events that are specified with dates, times, etc that I have gathered from Halopedia.org

So, without further a due, let’s start.


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A Timeline:

October 10, 2552

The UNSC CVA-92 Totem Lake is lost with all hands after reports of outdated Civilian IFF Codes were detected near Enceladus, upon approach twelve of the vessels made unauthorised slipspace transit leaving the Sol System, the UNSC Totem Lake was lost with all hands in the process.

October 20, 2552

1248 hours: Io Station station pings the encroaching Fleet of Sacred Consecration and relays this data to flag headquarters on Cairo Station.

At flag headquarters, Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood awards SPARTAN-117, Staff Sergeant Avery Junior Johnson and Captain Jacob Keyes medals for their efforts during the Battle of Installation 04 and subsequent actions, in the case of John-117 and Johnson, now a Sergeant Major. Miranda Keyes received her late father’s medal posthumously.

1412 hours: The Covenant Fleet, consisting of 2 CAS-class assault carriers and 13 CCS-class battlecruisers exits slipspace just beyond the effective range of Earth’s orbital defence platforms Fleet Admiral Joseph Harper prepares all available vessels to engage the Covenant. This order is overruled by Lord Hood, who instead orders the fleet to form a defensive perimeter around the ODP clusters.

1421 hours: The Fleet of Sacred Consecration launches Type-28 Tick boarding crafts toward the orbital defence stations to plant antimatter charges. Two are destroyed in the process: Athens and Malta Stations. Cairo Station is safe from the same fate by the efforts of John-117. The fleet subsequently clears the defensive grid and sends a first wave toward the planet’s surface.

1450 hours: John-117 uses the antimatter charge brought aboard Cairo to destroy a the Day of Jubilation, one of the two CAS-class assault carriers in the Covenant Fleet.

1459 hours: The Solemn Penance, the other assault carrier the Prophet of Regret’s flagship, blows through the Malta’s debris field and heads straight for New Mombasa, Kenya and deploys ground forces. The First Battle of Mombasa begins.

1512 hours: A number of Huragok deployed to New Mombasa are designated tier-one assets by the Office of Naval Intelligence and judged to be exposed to capture or kill. One of these, Asset RD-9743-X, would successfully be acquired by ONI in the hours to come.

1557 hours: A squad of ODSTs, Alpha-Five, confirms the successful procurement of the Conduit, a Forerunner device, from the Covenant pursuant to Operation: WINDOW PANE.

1602 hours: Operation: BUMRUSH is greenlit and ODSTS of the 65th Shock Troops Division are launched from the UNSC Say My Name with the goal of breaching the Solemn Penance.

1603 hours: Solemn Penance makes a sudden slipspace jump only hundreds of meters above the city. The assault carrier is pursued by the UNSC In Amber Clad, which is in turn followed by two UNSC corvettes and two other frigates. This atmospheric slipspace jump creates a massive overpressure wave and electromagnetic pulse. The ODSTs’ drop pods are scattered throughout the city. With Regret gone, Jiralhanae elements in the fleet suddenly turn on their Sangheili compatriots, heralding the Great Schism soon to come.

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1606 hours: Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck exits his drop pod and moves toward Tayari Plaza, the location of Captain Veronica Dare’s.

1624 hours: All members of Alpha-Five are designated KIA and the Conduit is determined to be lost.

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1636 hours: UNSC Marines launch an attack on Covenant occupiers in Uplift Nature Reserve.

1649 hours: The Mombasa Tether collapses. 38% of New Mombasa is occupied and controlled by the Covenant forces, now without Sangheili, at this time.

1736 hours: Fierce fighting is waged along Kizingo Boulevard.

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1810 hours: In cooperation with the NMPD, ODSTs from Alpha-Nine set demolition charges on a bridge leading to ONI Alpha Site, in order to destroy it and slow the Covenant advance in reaching the site.

1852 hours: ONI Alpha Site, the Office of Naval Intelligence’s headquarters in the EAP, is destroyed by the UNSC and New Mombasa Police Department in order to deny intelligence to the enemy.

1914 hours: Gunnery Sergeant Buck and Lance Corporal Kojo Agu make their way to the NMPD Headquarters for pickup by an NMPD Pelican. The pelican is shot down before it can reach them and a skirmish breaks out between Alpha-Nine and Covenant air units.

2141 hours: Remaining CCS-class battlecruisers from the Fleet of Sacred Consecration coalesce over New Mombasa.

2101 hours: Alpha-Nine moves toward Kikowani Station, intending to escape the city through the MagLev train tunnels leading to Old Mombasa.

2206 hours: Lance Corporal J.D., an ODST from Alpha-Nine, awakens after being knocked out after his Single Occupant Exoatmospheric Insertion Vehicle was thrust off-course in the wake of the assault carrier’s slipspace jump to careen into the side of a building. He begins to search the city for others from Alpha-Nine.

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2215 hours: The excavation of the Excession begins.

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2227 hours: The Covenant controls 78% of New Mombasa.

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2319 hours: Asset RD-9743-X is sighted and reported by Captain Veronica Dare beneath New Mombasa in its data centre.

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2324 hours: 94% of New Mombasa is lost to the Covenant.

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2359 hours: Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck consolidates with Veronica Dare and Lance Corporal J.D. The Huragok, Asset RD-9743-X, is reported as secured.

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October 21st, 2552

Another Covenant fleet arrives at Earth.

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New Mombasa is fully occupied by the Covenant and it and its surroundings are glassed in efforts to uncover the portal. Alpha-Nine extracts Asset RD-9743-X from the city safely.

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October 20th – November 3, 2552

Spartan-II Blue Team, composed of Fred-104, Linda-058, and Will-043, is deployed on numerous zero-gee operations to repel Covenant warships over Earth. They team also participates in numerous combat missions around the world, including the Battle of Ross Island in Antarctica and an engagement with Covenant forces on the sea floor off of the Yucatan Peninsula.

November 3, 2552

1420 hours: Blue Team is deployed to Cuba, where the Battle of Havana is underway.

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Art By Tacit-Axiom http://the-chronothaur.deviantart.com/

1550 hours: The Centennial Orbital Elevator is recaptured from the Covenant but destroyed by the intentional detonation of nuclear devices in close proximity to its upper reaches. Shortly thereafter, the team uses a captured Covenant Destroyer to depart for Onyx.

November 10, 2552

The Covenant begins to excavate and occupy built-up positions centred at Free-fire Area OZONE in Arizona, United Republic of North America, while also attempting to activate an artefact there.

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November 15, 2552

1725 hours: Avery Johnson interrogates Quick to Adjust, the Huragok recovered from New Mombasa, at the terminus of the Quito space tether.

November 17, 2552

The Forerunner Dreadnought arrives at Earth. Spartan 117 bails from the ship, landing in a Kenyan jungle. He is recovered by a group of Marines led by Avery Johnson.

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The Marines, with Spartan-117, make their way to Crow’s Nest, where a plan for a counterattack is devised. The base is invaded by the Covenant and eventually destroyed by the UNSC.

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The UNSC forces regroup along Tsavo Highway, eventually assaulting the Covenant-held town of Voi.

UNSC Forces neutralise Covenant anti-air defences in Voi. A battle group from the UNSC Home Fleet initiate the assault on the Forerunner Dreadnought, with no effect. The Portal is activated. Covenant Loyalist forces flee to Installation 00 through the Portal.

Immediately thereafter, a Flood-controlled ship emerges from Slipspace over Voi, crashing to the town. Flood infestation starts spreading around the region. The Sangheili Fleet of Retribution, having given chase, arrives at Earth and glasses Voi as well as its surroundings.

A transmission from the UNSC AI Cortana is retrieved from the Flood ship. The Sangheili fleet, along with the remnants of the UNSC Home Fleet, goes through the Portal to the Ark.

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UNSC forces launch a counteroffensive against the Covenant at free-fire area OZONE.

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November 19, 2552

0630 hours: UNSC flag word LUX is declared and UEG emergency broadcast is initiated.

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0700 hours: A tactical nuclear deployment is carried out against multiple shielded Covenant positions.

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December 3, 2552

Operation: MARSH FLASH sees clusters of Jiralhanae leadership eliminated.

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Now, that’s the timeline of the conflict, surely it seems like there was a lot more to it than just all we did in Halo 2, 3, ODST, etc. But still, blanks remain in between, and that’s what I hope to help fill with a few ideas I would like to present for a hopeful future in the franchise.


The Ideas:

Well, I will divide it into three categories for each one, gameplay, story and prices. Of course, I will list them all in different styles and be varying and I’ll list the one I’d want out of all of them, the ideal game for me. Which, will quite possibly be shocking.


Spacefaring civilisation, the sky is not the limit:

The first one, which is certainly my ideal game, expands from the ideas that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare presented. Shocking, I know, how could I get something good out of a Call of Duty game of all things? Well, It’s certainly quite easily.

Going through that game was an experience that didn’t really feel like anything else I have ever played before, how? Well, for one, we had control of an entire vessel to go wherever we really wanted across the Solar System, and that is something that can be applied easily to Halo.

Let’s go ahead with the mechanics first.

Gameplay:

My idea for the mechanics of the game have absolutely nothing to do with enhanced mobility, no boosters, no crazy double jumps, just good old mechanics very akin of that of Halo 3: ODST, no power armour, just normal people fighting the good fight with the return of Health Packs, maybe even make it some sort of ability of which you can trigger only when you’re injured and it allows a more thoughtful lay of the field, you gotta back up, get to cover, heal, then keep on fighting these alien bastards.

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But of course, the fun comes from controlling this giant warship, right? That sense of exploration, well, Halo games are really good at making vehicle mechanics, the ship could possibly become driveable as well, but that’s a stretch. So here’s where the map mechanic from IW comes in, allow us to explore the main destinations of the Sol System while engaging the enemy.

If anything allows us to play different characters with the use of signets like ODST, however, just use all of these things and implement what you can into the game but allow that sense of exploration of different locations in the world or maybe the solar system to remain. Something that we haven’t done before, explore a war barren Solar System. . .

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Story:

Well, the story layout in my head is very simple, we go around the Solar System fighting the covenant in certain locations of priority issued by Admiral Joseph Harper and maybe even Admiral Terrence Hood himself.

We go from location to location, filling in the blanks in between Halo 2, Halo 3: ODST and Halo 3 while still bridging into EU territory and acknowledging the events of Cleveland, OZONE, Cuba, etc. I believe it would make for the definitive experience of the Battle of Earth and beyond.

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Prices:

Now, of course, this would be a Spin-off game, something very ambitious to pull off especially at this time where the franchise is at its lowest due to all these other things, posing no real returns at the moment. But if anything this is the best bet for the best Halo experience in my honest opinion. 

I would believe that it should obviously be sold like a Triple A title, at $60.


Halo On Mobile; Again??unnamedLike the subtitle says, another mobile game, something that also comes to Xbox One like Spartan Assault did, but go much more in depth into the conflict on Earth without it being a simulation class for Spartan-IVs.

Gameplay:

It could be anything, not top-down like the Spartan games, maybe but more like a 2D platforming game, a la Inside solving puzzles and such. Fun, exhilarating, etc

Something exactly like LIMBO or INSIDE, heavily stylised, gritty art style with accentuated colours, lots of reds and blacks to signify the dark night illuminated by the fire of the city of Paris.

It could use stylised versions of the uniforms used by each military force at the time, it could also give us a gritty and dark look into the universe from the eyes of a civilian escaping the city to the UNSC designated LZ.

Lots of sounds, rain, very much like ODST but in a LIMBO/INSIDE type of game.

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Story:

We follow the story of an unarmed civilian through the City of Paris, escaping the Covenant as they lay waste to the city while we find UNSC forces holding out against the Covenant forces while we strive to run. We hop onto our extraction pelican and it is abruptly shot down.

We, however, wake up hours later in the rubble of the Pelican surrounded by dead civilians and UNSC personnel as the city is on fire, Covenant patrol ships everywhere, there is a working radio on the Pelican, though, and it is telling us where to go, but now we must escape the burning city controlled by the Covenant. But you must make it by dawn, or they’ll leave you behind, as the city has fallen to the Covenant.

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Price:

It couldn’t be much more than $10 dollars obviously, much like other mobile games it could become somewhat indie, even, platforming, and fun.


The Scrolls of the Loremasters:

Well, the simplest platform, Comics and Novels.

What can you create?

Here is fairly simple. Absolutely anything.

Wanna tell a story about Admiral Joseph Harper? Go ahead, that’ll be amazing to see and a great way to humanise an otherwise 2-Dimensional character that we only see in two parts of Halo 2.

Tell a story about the battle in Mars, how Ackerson got captured and do it in depth. A nice connection to a must-have Uprising. 

And you can obviously tell a story about the underdog, the Marines or Army troopers on Earth. Humanise these soldiers fighting for the last bastion of Humanity. Dirt 2.0.

In what formats?

Comics, Novels, Audio Dramas, Short Films, etc, etc.

Writers. . . Companies?

My choices would obviously be Tobias Buckell or Kelly Gay for a novel about Earth. Beyond that I’m sure whoever controls this at 343 Industries can go nuts with this, however, I don’t know much about the publishing process where I stand right now. As a writer, I feel I will have to learn about that eventually. But I won’t stand here and talk like I know what I am talking about in regards to this.


Author’s Notes:

This is certainly one article I’m one hundred percent proud of, I hope it is a good read for everyone certainly a lot of ideas that came into this for making it, so this is the final product which you see here. I was gonna add a lot more images as well, but well as you see I didn’t add a lot because I thought it would cloud out the entire thing. I hope you enjoyed!

Also, make sure to go by my Patreon if anything! Anything that you in regards to helping me support my content and make it better for all our sakes is very appreciated! I’m just a humble Venezuelan Rat making content for all of you!

– Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/haruspexofhell

And as always, live your life, be safe and play lots of Halo. ❤

A Ruminating Fallacy; A Grandiose Experiment – Destiny: Story Fidelity.

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Now, this. . . Is the law of the Jungle. As old and as true, as the sky. 


Let’s go on the way back machine, Watch this trailer, and enthuse you in the game that we were definitely supposed to get, something concise, it had thought and might. It was the work of a great mind.
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I have wanted to touch upon it in many different ways, I could’ve regurgitated what every single person who has talked about this has done and said, I could’ve gone through every single mission and recollect everything about them and probably regurgitate what they showed and study them, etc.
But in reality, this only needs something that is akin of that of the game that I am speaking about, something simple.
So, I decided I should go upon this on three different topics and sections, Story, Grimoire Cards and Gameplay along with my main issues and consequences with the game. So, without further ado.
Destiny. 
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Story:

So, I wanted to drive this forward here, I like the universe that Destiny is attempting to drive forward with so many issues at hand, it tries and every time it has me on the edge of my seat waiting for that moment that solidifies the universe in my mind.
It just doesn’t happen.
All of the time I’ve spent in this game has shown me little to no reason to really care about this universe, interesting characters that we never get answers for, interesting plot points that never get shown or resolved, possibly due to complexity or a variety of different reasons.
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It’s no secret that the game underwent massive rewrites in order to make it a simpler game – something I truly hope is recanted and fixed in the future title Destiny 2. But as of today, I still remain to wait for that moment. The Warthog Run, The mid-air catch of ammunition that was shot straight at me thanks to a perfectly placed grenade in between enemies, the grand assassination of your enemy, the discovery of a seeding parasite.
All of these things, remain, to this day, shelved in the Destiny universe. There’s no urgency to you as the player, an absolute vicious cycle where you go back to the beginning every single time like nothing has happened. That’s how Destiny’s story feels to me, and probably to many other people, however, let’s get to the points at hand, as I am running on a tangent here.
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What makes a good story?: Why, a variety of reasons I can assure you, consistency, good writing, well thought out events, character progression, world building, etc. In games it is different to books, vastly, show don’t tell is something that is probably said a lot in the industry, however, this is not a movie.
Video games offer a variety of ways where you can offer a great story, but never show and don’t tell. Show and tell.
But ambiguity is good, certainly, Dark Souls comes to mind in this regard, or Outlast 1 & 2, however, when does ambiguity become a bad thing? Simply put, when you’ve got 42 pages of content in different cards that deliver excerpts of story, some more important than others.
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You must let the audience know something, at the very least about the story you want to tell, then leave things to ambiguity, selectively, not leave a collective of information to ambiguity and host it all in a third party location that has absolutely no connection to the game’s immersion whatsoever, you must constantly step away from the world to seek your answers and that’s not storytelling, that’s a cop out when your game has close to none of this. You aren’t showing, and you aren’t telling either.
However, is Destiny Lore good? yes a vehement yes, it’s deep, concise, well thought out. However, it’s convenient that half of it derives from the work that Staten did for Bungie that was cut early in development. All of it plugged into cards outside the game.
Let’s, however, take a step back and look at how they could’ve told some of this into the overall story, let’s go with something that always stood out to me, the very beginning.
Ares One – the mission to Mars.
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Ghost Fragment: Human
– From the diaries of Commander Jacob Hardy, pilot, Ares One

The mission is a go. Crew of three: Mihaylova, Qiao, myself. Immediate departure at the next Hohmann window to Mars. The MREs and return ships will chase us out. How do I feel? I said at the press conference I felt privileged. Historians will read this diary, but it won’t take their insight to tell the world that I’m terrified. It’s the human reaction.

What I wish I could convey is the – the exhilaration. That’s the biggest thing. I’m not a spiritual man, but I’ve always believed there’s something transcendent about spaceflight. Something pure. We go out there because we can. Because it’s who we are. Now we go because we have to. Because the unknown came to us. In fourteen months we’ll be face to face with it, and by the time we arrive, it should be active again – just like it was active on Jupiter, and Mercury, and Venus.

I wonder what happens if it doesn’t stop at Mars. I wonder if it’ll leave us there in the sand, and come to Earth, and do here what it’s done everywhere else. I hate that we’re carrying weapons. I understand the necessity. But I hold to my belief: there’s something beautiful out there.

It’s up to us to reach it.

Of course, a lot of people wouldn’t know this, it’s never told to us who those people are, what they’re doing, what is the giant ball making rain on Mars.
It’s not even clear what is the purpose of the scene in the first place. It’s just there with no explanation on sight. But what if they gave it purpose, those lines could’ve been very easily included into the game, the entirety of the ‘Human’ Ghost Fragments could’ve been included in the game in several different cutscenes focusing on Mars, showing us glimpses of the Golden Age and giving us some information about the Traveller.
But, alas, the game is too preoccupied trying to keep information from you that it forget that it needs to show you and tell you something in order for you to even care and be interested.
I believe the only occasion where Destiny’s story truly piqued my interest was in Paradox Daily, and that was fleeting. As we didn’t hear anything about Praedyth ever again after that mission.
However, that brings me to my next point.

Grimoire Cards:

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It’s no secret that there are countless places that have dedicated themselves to the gathering of these, Ishtar-Collective is one of them, of course, it is twenty times better than Bungie.net’s choppy and tacked on user-interface used for the grimoire card section makes it feel more like a chore to read, rather than anything else. I refused to read them until now, of course, because of my belief that they’re a cop out. I could not bring myself to read anything from there provided by Bungie.

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However, I did, for the sake of anyone reading this and for my sake, as the game was driving me closer and closer to the point of insanity as it left me more questions than it actually answered I very much ventured into Ishtar-Collective.net and tackled upon a list of cards that were provided to me. Among others that I read for myself.

However, even after reading them, the sour taste in my mouth from the collective mess that Destiny – the game – is, remains, and it was only heightened by these. Let’s take a look at a few that stood out to me, however.

Bannerfall.

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Possibly one of the most interesting locations I have ever visited on Destiny and it is only there for one mission and as a multiplayer map. It is almost unjust how criminally underused this wonderful map is, however, it turns out it certainly has its own story that roots deeply to the New Monarchy – my faction of choosing – although none of that is heard anywhere in the game. Not even as a fleeting comment from the NPCs.

ARENA DESIGNATION: Bannerfall
LOCATION: The Last City, Earth

Lysander and the Concordat mark the most recent example of a City political factions rising in opposition to the Consensus. This site marks a legendary battle where New Monarchy’s Guardians rose to deliver the final blow to the Concordat, unraveling the war effort Lysander sought to bring against the Vanguard.

Lord Shaxx has commandeered the area not only to commemorate this last stand, but as a reminder of the City’s solidarity against those who seek to undermine the extreme efforts and sacrifice we make together to keep our peace.

Now let’s take a look at a different Grimoire Card, Ghost Fragment: The City Age

“And so it is agreed. The Concordat shall no longer be recognized among the Consensus. We’ll begin the dismantling right away. But what of those Guardians who have pledged to them? We can’t afford any more banishments.”

“I’m sure Zavala can see to their realignment.”

“We’ll do our best. Lysander chose his followers wisely. It may take some time.”

“Lysander will not back down. He’ll continue his crusade from wherever we stuff him.”

“And so we’ll need to find some new ideas to replace his.”

“The Symmetry has been gaining a strong following…”

“Ulan-Tan’s teachings are too dangerous. Too much fear. Who knew he’d be more trouble dead than alive?”

“We’ll need to refocus our collective minds on combat. The Speaker’s anxious to regain ground we lost after the Gap.”

“There is the War Cult.”

“Too secretive. Have you ever tried to talk to one of their ‘soldiers’? Like a child. Answering questions with questions.”

“They are dedicated to the war.”

“Which one?”

“Good question.”

“Zavala?”

“They seem focused. Strong. More interesting than worrisome.”

“Let’s take it to a vote. All in favor of the ascension of the Future War Cult?”

“Unanimous? Good. We’ll grant the Future War Cult access to the Tower and a seat among us. Ghost, please offer the Speaker this proposal.”

“Now onto the next order of business…Shaxx is here with another proposal for his Crucible.”

So, apparently there once were rogue Guardians in the City who weren’t mindless drones and actually had alignments, maybe the political alignments in the game had more power once. I cannot help but feel saddened however at the lack of interesting concepts such as these in the game, I have always said and continue to say, the past of the Destiny games is more interesting than the present.

This simple card just confirmed to me that we arrived in Destiny in the most uninteresting moment possible.

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Lady Efrideet

This is Lady Efrideet, she has a song dedicated to her and she basically controls the Iron Banner. She was once presumed dead. That’s all you’d know about her following the games alone.

Now let’s go through her card.

In the tales of the Iron Lords, Lady Efrideet was one of the most prominent characters. She once threw Saladin like a javelin into a Fallen Walker—a City favourite retold for centuries. How she met her end is less clear, but the tales agreed that Efrideet had long ago died her final death.

Until she returned.

Now Efrideet serves as the new Iron Banner representative while Lord Saladin devotes his attention to the SIVA Crisis. She urges Guardians to see the Banner tournament as a chance to strengthen their Light, for fighting and for more metaphysical purposes. The Vanguard are also intrigued by Efrideet’s accounts of a nonmilitary Guardian community in the deep system, but Efrideet, though happy to talk about the group’s pacifist philosophies, refuses to disclose the settlement’s location at present.

She apparently has done a lot, a lot we don’t actually see or are even told. Hell, something as simple as a discussion about her throwing Saladin like a Javelin against a Fallen Walker. How do you miss something as awesome as that and don’t let your audience know unless they go out of their way to read these.

I hope my point is coming out crystal clear on these, though, which is, you can not show, nor tell. You must do one or the other if you can’t do both.

Apparently, Bungie took the can’t do both part and kept it close, however.

Now some honorary mentions of characters who get no attention in the game.


Gameplay:

Destiny is entirely addicting, where the story fails the gameplay delivers, but, I can be addicted to Cocaine, doesn’t mean that it is good. . .

Time and time again in Destiny I find myself questioning my actions in the middle of a mission, others, raging at the stupid Crucible as every weapon seems to be the literal definition of trash and my enemy always holds the right weapon for the kill, all the time. At least that’s how it is now, being a Y1 player, Crucible is barely tolerable now.

But I find that I have my favourite moments here rather than with the story, here’s where I find my friends to go play and explore, pretty much my most offensive moments have been had here coming up with an insurmountable amount of slurs that if my ancestors heard me they’d slap me clean.

Even the ‘Rat’ nickname for me surfaced in Destiny. 

But there’s plenty that Bungie needs to fix in this. My favourite missions, raids and strikes, however, that show the variety that Destiny can truly have are

Queen’s Ransom

By far this mission oozed story, from the implications that Skolas is taking his forces from all throughout time to capturing your enemy. Hell, first time ever going into the Citadel as well.

Blighted Chalice

Great mini-puzzle style start of the mission, the pacing is great, focuses more on punishing your abilities than punishing you with countless hordes of enemies.

The Wretched Eye

Environment playing tricks with you, interesting boss fight, interesting mission layout and location.

Vault Of Glass

We all know what Vault of Glass does, and playing it with some of my best friends makes up a perfect mix.

Prison of Elders

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One thing, Firefight, this is the closest thing in Destiny. And Firefight is by far my favourite mode to pass the time

Paradox

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Interesting tone, ideas, characters, great pacing in the mission, exploration is rewarded.

Now mix all of this Bungie, I don’t want to see filler, scan and shoot missions when you can surely give me grandiose concepts such as these. And please give stakes to your missions, give them weight, because as it is right now, my journey usually ends, right at the beginning.

Nothing changes and my actions hold no weight.

So every single mission just feels like it ends, in the beginning.

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Also, give me more of this, it feels special. Wondrous and interesting, first time I felt it in Destiny was right there when I started the fire to become worthy of my artefact.


Author’s Notes:

And with that, I bring this one to an end, mostly because I will keep going in circles if I do, I have expressed what I wanted to express. It has certainly been a long time coming as well, more so than any of my other posts, it went through several different iterations in several different times. My head was a mess trying to think of the many ways I could work with this and how to deliver all of this information, at the time of finishing this I have probably compiled over 10,000 words of information and I only wrote all this in 2k. Quite the accomplishment, however.

I wanted to talk about A Khvostov Rising, the development issues that Destiny suffered, the cut content, etc. However, the more I ventured into this I just realised that it was a worthless amount of content that would only lengthen the post with no worth, certainly wasn’t worth it to bring everything else to the table outside of the things that I mentioned.

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But that’ll be all for today, however, I’d like to mention a few new things I have been working on in the past few days and well a mini update on the status of my country.

First of all, hello, I got a patreon! It’s cool, though I don’t expect much from it, highly appreciated if anyone even considers donating to me something, I am yet to fully finish it, however.

Second, of all, I’m working on two different projects now, one which shall remain under wraps, for now, another one which I am happy to give some details upon right now!

Project March is what I’ll call it, a Post-Apocalyptic universe I’m working on right now, giving it a full Novella treatment, I’m working on world building right at this moment and I’ll have some stuff out for it before you know it!

And third, of all, I am in the process of getting a new page! Thanks to my boy, Joshua Ezzell who has been working on it hard for me, love you, bro, no homo <3.

 

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New HaruspexOfHell site.

 

And an update on A Roman in Blue, I should be pulling all the released chapters from the Archive soon, I shall be touching them up once more and then rereleasing them in PDF format as the full thing on the Archive once more when it’s fully finished. I should quite possibly include my two poems in it.

As for my country, I’m sure you all have seen my retweets on Twitter if you follow me, I’m sure it gets taxing or it is probably a bit too much, I have been keeping away from retweeting NSFW ones but some escape me sometimes.

But my country is basically going through full blown dictatorship right now, rebellion is at an all-time high, it’s a really bad situation and it only gets worse, so if some of my content stalls, that’s one of the reasons.

That should be all for today, though, expect more content in the future

And as always, live your life, be safe, and play lots of Halo, my dudes.

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P.S. I listened through the entirety of Destiny’s three soundtracks three times while writing this. I have the excerpt of the rose stuck in my head. Cheers.