Category Archives: Analysis

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.

Storytelling Has To Evolve.

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Do you please your audience, or do you please the depiction of the story you had in mind? 


This is something that has been a long time in the making now, from various posts on my Twitter account and rigorous conversations regarding one of my earlier posts in regards to Master Chief Petty Officer. John-117’s death in the Halo Universe.

I just quite couldn’t make my voice heard that well, and I couldn’t put my finger on what I actually thought to deliver a cohesive argument in 140 characters or less.

But it wasn’t until Star Wars Rebels episode Twin Suns came out, and an intense study of what the producers and everyone who worked on it thought in regards to it, that I actually started to see a clear image on the matter.

I’d like to say, that this is something that I deeply believe in, as much as you could quote Death to the Author or anything against my arguments here, I believe that this is something that every storyteller has to aspire towards and believe in.

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So, I think the best way to start this is to quote Carrie Beck, Producer of Star Wars Rebels in Rebels Recon 3.20, Inside Twin Suns. 

“Going into this, I know we had a really rigorous conversation around the idea, of whether or not this is something we should be doing. And especially knowing the journeys of both of those characters. Really making sure that that moment was being constructed from a place of what the story demanded. Not from a place of something that we all personally wanted to see.” 

 

So, what does this mean in the context of what I want to say here? Well, it’s very clear. Storytelling is something that you shouldn’t tread lightly with, every possible outcome and possibility must be tackled and considered in an equal amount. That’s where all the great stories come from and where all the amazing characters are born from.

George Lucas surely created his universe with everything thought out, you could tell, going into rigorous studies of the Star Wars universe it is easy to tell the amount of love and work he placed into the universe.

And this is what a writer and storyteller should do, critical thinking of your own story of every possibility. The world is your playground, and you shouldn’t be afraid to use complete freedom in crafting your universe or stories.

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Which brings me to another point. Do you appease your audience? Or do you allow yourself to create something that is entirely unbiased and of your own doing?

The Outlast series by Red Barrel Games is a clear cut example of this, it’s something that is seemingly created with the experience and not the player, from the story to the gameplay itself, it boils down exactly to the creators want and not what the creators think the audience wants. This is an example of full creative freedom done right, without fearing what the audience must or mustn’t say.

And with their recent new game in the series Outlast II they only followed this trend, allowing themselves to create something that isn’t just scary through and through, but a full experience of countless taboo topics used with a freedom that to this day remains unparalleled in regards to what I can see.

 

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[POSSIBLE SPOILERS SKIP AHEAD IF YOU MUST]

Outlast 2 utilises a grand variety of topics, many of which are due to cause any backlash if any at all should happen – however, in the current industry we live in, anything is due to cause backlash of any amount, however baseless or factless. Two examples I can give right now are D.Va’s Police Outfit and Polygon’s newest post about Call of Duty WWII.

But I digress, and as such, I will list out some of the topics that we see tackled in Outlast 2.

  • The very real threat of rape in both male and female genders
  • Possible pedophilia
  • Extremist religion
  • Catholicism as an extremist religion
  • Satanism
  • Killing babies
  • The Apocalypse
  • Mind Control
  • Conspiracy
  • Evil Corporation orchestrating an evil project

And that’s just some of it from what I could see going into the game and reading up on its story and lore. But I am running on a tangent here, I believe this should only further prove my point, however.

[NO MORE OUTLAST 2 SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT]

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My point being: You shouldn’t be afraid to tell a story from the perspective that it should be told in terms of the characters’ journey and the progression of your universe, you should not be obligated to appease your audience with the story they’d want to see. Instead, you should focus on the story

Instead, you should focus on the story you want to tell, and you must tell it however it must be told to give way to growth and further meaning to the universe.

And for that, I believe I must once again quote Rebels Recon.

“How did you come to the conclusion that it had to be done this way?” 

“We never entered into this story, trying to think about how satisfying that battle should be. It really became about what was the genuine intention of this moment. And knowing where these two men are at this point in their lives. – I think it’s important for us, even though, in the timeline we aren’t at A New Hope, yet, to think about what we know about Obi-Wan in that movie and to work backwards in someway, to make sure the character progression charts appropiately”

This is what Carrie Beck replied when questioned in regards to how they decided to give Maul an end in such a way when it came to the end of the episode Twin Suns.

And this is what Dave Filoni replies with when tackled with the same question.

“If you talk to a lot of people that sword fight, they’ll tell you that people who are very good, don’t have long fights. Its very quick. And so that scene, is an homage to the Seventh Samurai, I think on one level people would be excited to see another prolongued lightsaber fight. But, I just really never saw the confrontation that way because to do that is to say the characters don’t have growth, yes, its exciting as an audience member but it’s not a really belieavable thing – The storytelling has to evolve.”

So, here you have it, the thing that all writers should strive for. A believable, well thought out, story. With actual growth and stakes and this is what I firmly believe as a storyteller and as a dreamer.

Your stories are yours, which you choose to share with your audience, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, a project can be truly amazing when it comes out of the sheer strength of your love for your content and imagination and not from the perspective of what everyone would like to see on the screen or on paper.

Believe in your story, and write what you must. It’s the only way you’ll truly be happy as a writer, don’t write what you think people would want.

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Author’s Notes:

And now we bring this one to an end, it has certainly been a long time coming, I always wanted to bring my thoughts out there in a true cohesive way in regards to this matter, it’s something that I feel strongly about and with good reason. I am a writer, a dreamer, I love my stories and seeing so much appeasing to the crowds in the industry just worries me like no tomorrow, hopefully this gets somewhere, or stays right here, I don’t mind, what I mind is that I finally got my thoughts out for those who really wanted to read them. And for that, I thank you all.

Now, let’s give a collective tease of future projects that I have on the way for you guys.

And one last thing coming straight from the guys at Progressive Halo! 

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We’ve been working on a project that will certainly be amazing, I am incredibly looking forward to the reception of everyone towards it, more info will be released soon enough as we’re closing in final stages for it! Look forward to it and follow the Progressive Halo twitter account at @ProgressiveHalo.

Join in the ProgressiveHalo Discord right now clicking this link as well!

And as always, live your life, play Halo, enjoy some good stories – and dream.

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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.

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!