If you're like me, Halo's confusing plot has always taken a backseat to blasting aliens. Still, if you want a refresher before jumping into Halo 4, here's what I remember. You're welcome.

If you're looking for a more serious explanation of Halo's complex lore, Miller's got you covered. This is what I remember of the story in-between all the parts where you're shooting things. My knowledge may not cover everything, but I've still managed to save the galaxy from alien invaders five freaking times, so I'm willing to classify my understanding of the lore as "good enough."

Halo: Combat Evolved

Hail To The Chief
In the first three games, you play as Master Chief, a Spartan-II super soldier. The Spartan program was used to make normal puny soldiers into total badasses, and Master Chief was one of the lucky candidates who didn't die from the procedure. So right off the bat Master Chief is already pretty awesome, and pretty much the galaxy's last chance for survival. Oh, he also has a holographic woman named Cortana that lives inside of his head. She's kind of important.

Hello, Halo
The first game starts with Master Chief waking up on the Pillar of Autumn, which is under attack by an alien alliance called the Covenant. Captain Keyes tried to escape the Covenant by warping to an unknown area in the galaxy, which happens to be right next to the planet Halo. The ship was still damaged, though (some Captain), so Master Chief jumps ship in an escape pod.

After landing, Master Chief finds out that Captain Stupid crashed the Pillar of Autumn onto Halo, and then promptly got himself captured by the Covenant. Your job is to free him while investigating the weird ringworld. How does a planet form in the shape of a ring? The answer: it doesn't! It's actually a giant machine made by an ancient alien species, but we'll get to that later. First, Master Chief has some alien asses to kick.

The Covenant
As stated earlier, the Covenant is an alliance of aliens that are at war with humanity. These include the baby-talking-pushover Grunts, the cheap-sniping-bird-dude Jackals, the not-quite-as-good-as-their-name-implies-but-whatever Elites, and the "Holy-crap-get-that-thing-away-from-me!" Hunters. Later sequels would introduce more species in the Convenant, but these are the important ones. They're not the only enemies Master Chief has to kill, however.

Open The Flood Gates
After rescuing Keyes and some other survivors, Master Chief tries to enter Halo's control room in order to see what the heck the giant alien machine actually does. Meanwhile, however, the Covenant prove that Captain Stupid isn't the only one capable of making mistakes, as they accidentally release a plague of zombies called the Flood.

The Flood is another species of alien that infects and mutates other living organisms in order to control them. They're also pretty freaky looking, and have a tendency to swarm their enemies. The Flood eventually eats Keyes, so Master Chief decides he should probably stop them.

Guilty Jerk
In order to stop the Flood, Master Chief teams up with an idiot robot named 343 Guilty Spark. Guilty Spark tells Master Chief that he has a secret weapon that can kill the Flood, so our hero decides to help him.

Unfortunately, the weapon is guarded by the best security system in the galaxy; getting to it requires travelling through the Library, the longest and most monotonous video game level ever created, which kills intruders with its sheer boredom.

Master Chief is a badass though, so he takes some No-Doze and makes it through. But right before he activates the machine, he receives a last-minute warning from Cortana, informing him that activating the Halo will kill all life in the galaxy. See? I told you she was important.

Guilty Spark soon realizes the jig is up and tries to stop the Master Chief from destroying the ringworld. However, he's no match for the veteran space marine; Master Chief shoots Guilty Spark with a laser from his own robot henchman (snap!) and then hightails it off the planet before blowing it up.

Coming Up Next: Do I seriously still have four more games to summarize?!