The lights are on
From the inception of the franchise in 2001, Halo’s fiction has only grown more complicated. Multiple games, novels, comic books, toys, animated features, and other media have created a rich tapestry of characters and storylines – but gamers new to the franchise could be forgiven if they felt a little lost at times. Without a doctorate in Halo-ology, what does a newcomer need to know? Last week, Jeff Marchiafava sent up the Halo franchise with an great funny recap of the Halo series for folks who don't especially care about the details of the story. You should check it out; it's quite amusing. For folks about to dive in to Halo 4, you may want a slightly more comprehensive summary of the story so far, so here we are here to help with an updated version of our Abbreviated Halo Fiction article.
So when is Halo set?It’s the 26th century. Humanity has been hard at work exploring and colonizing the galaxy. A discovery called Slipspace technology allows for faster than light travel, and our species is spreading far and wide. The United Nations Space Command (UNSC) governs and protects a huge number of planets and people across the galaxy.Who are the Spartans, and who is this Master Chief guy?Humanity still doesn’t always get along with itself, even some five centuries into the future. Many of the outlying colonies want to rule themselves, and rebellions against the UNSC become a big problem. To combat the threat, the military creates a secret super-soldier program – the Spartans. The Spartan-I soldiers were mentally and physically augmented marines, but the subjects eventually had too many side effects from their treatments to be viable. The Spartan-IIs were the brainchild of Dr. Catherine Halsey, a genius human scientist who kidnapped exceptional children from their homes and prepared them from birth for the program. Training them from childhood, enhancing their abilities with genetic manipulation, and gifting them with incredibly advanced protective suits called MJOLNIR armor, the Spartan-IIs were humanity’s super-soldiers – and they proved it in countless battles, first against the human rebels, and later against the Covenant. Master Chief is the leader of the Spartan-IIs. He’s almost always referred to by his rank. His lesser-known name is John-117: His original name (John) combined with his number on the list of potentially viable children for the program (117).
Who or what are the Covenant?One of two groups of “bad guys” that antagonizes humans through most of the Halo games. The Covenant is actually an organization, not a race. The collective is comprised of several alien races working together. They control a big part of the galaxy. They’re obsessed with a long-lost alien race called the Forerunners, around whom they’ve built a religion. They see humanity as a blight on those religious beliefs, and aim to destroy them.
So who are these Forerunners?Good question. Glad you’re paying attention. The Forerunners were an alien race that was around a hundred thousand years ago, and they left behind a lot of technology. They ruled the Milky Way galaxy until an extra-galactic threat called the Flood showed up.
The Flood. Those are the other bad guys, right?Exactly. The Flood is a parasitic lifeform that nearly wiped out the Forerunner’s advanced galactic civilization. They can infect any organism of reasonable biomass and take it over. In order to combat the threat, the Forerunners were forced into a desperate gambit. They built giant weapon installations, collectively called the Halo Array, to wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy and thereby defeat the Flood. To preserve as much as they could, the Forerunners built an Ark, where they kept samplings of a huge number of species. The Ark was built far away from the Halo Array to keep the species safe. The Forerunners fired the Halo Array, starving the Flood of their food source, and then reseeded the galaxy with all the races they’d kept safe on the Ark, including humanity. So that’s where the name of the game comes from?Yep. In the first game, Master Chief and his allies arrive unexpectedly at one of the Halo facilities, which looks like a giant ring world. The idea that one of these Halo weapons may be fired again, thus wiping out life in the galaxy, is one of the major threats in the games.
[Next up: I've got the backstory. What happens in the actual games?]
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.
The good stuff on Reach is coming, this is all a deliberate build up for newcomers and fans alike. Trust me, Bungie has given us some info. to play with, and we'll be passing it along. We promised Reach, and we'll deliver. Just be patient.
The anticipation is killing me.
I'll just blow off some time with ME2.
I have been clicking Refresh almost every 10 min and it was all for this??? I was expecting something really good (even when it was just a screenshot) every day of your soo called schedule. Hope you really deliver.
This is really starting to piss me off. Im about to give up on you guys. Hope you all get your heads on straight and live up to what youve promised on the 22nd.
You know when you know a good band that not many people listen to and suddenly they become really popular and you kind of get disappointed that it isn't as special as it use to be? Well Gameinformer you are telling everyone too much about the old Halo's! Reading this is cheating! They need to read the books and pay closer attention to the games!
What's next, the Mass Effect story! How dare you! How dare you!!!
that was a good refreshing article
Yeah GI give these Halo fanboys what you promised....! I couldn't care less because I own a PS3 but cmon that's messed up you promised you will be giving out more Reach info and you are not and its almost the end of January...
But I love you guys anyway
i just wanna kill people on live.
This is just stupid. Hey GI how about you give us info on REACH not Hale CE not Halo 2 not Halo 3 not ODST. This is just ridiculous. Everyone here is a big enough fan to know this allready and you are jsut pissing us off. Even a PS3 owner isnt liking how absoluty dishonest you are being. You say info about reach, now give some instead of wasting your time writing stuff no one will read.
One thing that's important to note is That UNSC ground forces were about even with Covenant ground forces plant side. Unfortunately, The UNSC was totally outgunned in space combat. So, even if The UNSC won on the ground, The Covenant would just glass the planet from space. I don't understand why everyone is so angry about not getting more Reach info. It'll get here when it gets here. Read the books if you want more info. They're just as exciting as the video games(if not more so).
I remembered when I first bought Halo for my Xbox thinking it looked like a good game to kill aliens in because I've never heard of it before. I was amazed how well the series has taken off. Good job Halo.
I LOVE HALO hated FPS's (didn't like the controls) Then Halo showed up and made them Easy to play and fun.
I like this article. It's like Halo 101- good for people who haven't really played Halo/want to get the Cliff's Notes versions of the game.
As for not giving info for Reach, ease back a bit, guys- GI is putting out an article a day for the last week of the month, and I'll wager that's when the good stuff hits.
maybe i should get around to playing this series...