Halo: The New Trilogy

An ancient enemy uncovered. Destiny explored. And most likely, a vast collection of awesome vehicles and weapons. Halo 4 certainly has promise, but are there any clues as to what we can expect to face and experience?

Well, yes, there are.

You may scoff at my claims that I somehow know what to expect, but it would appear that I have involuntarily become some kind of Oracle within the community. While most turned their attention to the possibilities of the Flood being the off-shoot of a biological-supercomputer created by either the Precursors or the Forerunners, I was looking elsewhere, much closer to home, in fact.

It was during a previous fanfic, the aptly named Halo 3 Epilogue that I put forward several notions. One of which suggested a kind of pre-determined genetic imprint or marker with the specific aim of carving out a route or path for certain individuals. In this case the Master Chief. I put forward that during the re-seeding of the galaxy, after the original activation of the Halo’s, the Forerunners selected a genetic lineage with the aim of carrying out the wishes of the Forerunners long after they left the Milky Way galaxy. Many were chosen for this but one that stood out. A descendant of the initial imprint process who we now know as the Master Chief – a Spartan with exceptional luck, the kind of luck that is engineered into existence.

This ensured, by design, that the Chief would always duck at the right moment, always dodge the deadly swipe of an energy sword or dive in time to avoid a hail of plasma fire. This element of my fan-fic was simply known as Project Destiny by a Forerunner residing within a dormant chamber on Earth. He described how every lineage would culminate into a single point, the creation of a saviour. Now, obviously, none of this will seem at all relevant, but it is. When Halo Cryptum was released I was surprised to find something similar, Geas. Geas was a means to imprint certain markers on certain species, such as humanity. This meant that it was possible for individuals or entire species to follow a pre-determined path.

While I don’t for one minute think that 343i or Greg Bear were eagerly following my fanfic, taking notes on how to come up with a great story it did show that I can draw many similarities between the custodians of the franchise and my own imaginary ventures into the Halo universe – In other words, a common train of thought. But it didn’t end with destiny.

In simple terms, every version of Halo has always provided something new. While the war with the Covenant existed this usually meant discovering a new member species of the Covenant, seeing how the Prophets weave their web of lies and deceit or by improving on the already impressive gameplay, graphics or enigma of the Halo universe. Halo 2 was as different to Combat Evolved as Reach was to Halo 3. And this vein of creativity and a fresh approach must continue, if the franchise is both to survive and surprise. And my fanfic was no different.

Within the story was a new and ancient enemy, one previously unheard of but almost as advanced as the Forerunners themselves. War was inevitable and though technologically superior, the Forerunners found their new enemy (The Scourge) to be resilient and evasive. So as a final means of ending the destructive conflict the Forerunners created something even more resilient than their enemy. They created the Flood. But after the war the Flood still hungered for more; their appetite for death and destruction was insatiable.

While the plot of the Flood’s creation is vastly different to canon, it meant a new direction for the Chief, new enemies and a destiny to be uncovered. And believe me all of this will be present in the new trilogy, in some form or other. There will be a new enemy to face and not necessarily the obvious Precursors or Flood or even the Forerunners. No. There are darker things out there, waiting to be disturbed. But that doesn’t mean the aforementioned species won’t be present. On the contrary, they’ll play an enormous part.

Anyone who believes the Flood are dead and buried clearly haven’t played enough Halo. The Flood were everywhere at one time, but once defeated their remaining elements were placed in stasis on every available Halo. This is why they are so common in the Halo games, because the Forerunners wanted to eventually figure out a way to defeat them. But they may be forced to do something else, something more dramatic. Such as returning humanity to its former glory and reuniting humanity as a whole. After this, both the Forerunners and what will eventually come of the UNSC and mankind as a whole will be in a better position to fight the Flood and whatever else pokes its ugly head into view.

The Precursors are up for serious consideration as well, simply because they haven’t really been explored to their full potential. And despite the statement towards the conclusion of Halo Cryptum I really don’t believe the Prisoner was being completely truthful. He or it may indeed be some offshoot of the oldest known species going, but I don’t think of it as the definitive Precursor. Nor do I believe it’s the only one left. But there is one other little clue to wet your Halo appetite, one that I sincerely hope isn’t a simple typo. For those of you, who spent your valuable money on the Encyclopedia and were a little disappointed by the illustrations or the slightly inaccurate information, cast your beady eye over the timeline at the start of the book. There you’ll see a section describing the Forerunners rise to power and the creation of the ‘Mantle’. In this little paragraph of apparently inconsequential information is the mention of how the Forerunners came to be: ‘by acquiring advanced technology left by prior ancient races’. Not race or a single species, but races – more than one single species. This statement, though only small, does paint the briefest of pictures of an ancient collection of races, much like the Covenant. Though it remains to be seen if the relationships between each species were anything like what the Covenant once had. Perhaps they are more like the Federation from Star Trek, a United Nations, of sorts. Whatever their role, if the statement is accurate, then it opens up a variety of possibilities of what could happen in the remaining books of the Forerunners trilogy, and what could happen in Halo 4 and onwards.

Then there’s the question of the Forerunners themselves. I have a feeling that we’ll know a lot more by the end of the Forerunner trilogy written by Greg Bear. We’ll have a much better understanding and we’ll probably know whether or not the Forerunners did actually die out (which some believe but I do not) or, more likely, where they went and what their intentions are upon their return. But regardless of what could or will happen, I think it’s safe to say that the Forerunners will definitely make an appearance in the flesh, even if it’s only for the briefest of moments.

But what about John and his remaining Spartan comrades? The Ghosts of Onyx novel clearly frustrated a lot of Halo fans, simply by leaving an overwhelming cliff hanger concerning the fate of the Onyx survivors. But recently it was announced by BSAngel from 343i that the novel, Halo: Glasslands will follow on from this. But I have a feeling that John may need his Spartan brethren to combat his new found foe.

With the Covenant in disarray, the Sangheili seeing to their own affairs, for now and the possible likelihood of facing up to disagreeable Forerunners, Precursors, the Flood and quite possibly something even more nasty than all of them put together, the Chief will clearly have his hands full, so Spartans will be in demand, particularly the Chief’s old team.

So how do I think Halo 4 will play out?

I suspect the opening scenes in the game will most likely skip over John’s awakening shown in the E3 trailer and go straight for the interior of the shield world. We’ll start from some vast interior space with a view to die for, and one that will surely match the second level of Combat Evolved. Then the guidance will begin. Not the sort of guidance that we’re used to, from Cortana, but possibly through Cortana from something far more advanced. I definitely think that our little blue companion will be very different at times during the new trilogy.

Anyway, on to the meat of the story. I suspect there won’t be much of a presence on or within the shield world, apart from the usual mix of sentinels, of course. Instead, the shield world will most like fulfil the role of a simple stepping stone, be it a large stepping stone. Then our true journey will begin. We’ll have tasks to carry out in order to bring back those who came before, the Forerunners. But along the way we’ll have new and old threats to deal with, including, possibly, the remaining San Shyuum. Remember, they’re known for being deceitful. They sided with humanity against the Forerunners during the war and then decided otherwise when things went awry. Then they had second thoughts and wanted out of their star system, and were duly punished for their efforts. Actually it wouldn’t surprise me if they sided with the new threat to the universe for their own greedy gain. But in their way is humanity and the remaining Forerunners. And at some point the Flood will show their collective ugly faces.

The Chief will find himself isolated but I’m sure he’ll have the opportunity to gather some allies and possibly return to Earth, though I suspect his return to Earth will come during the second or third game. The first could even see him reunited with a select few Spartans before the ball is truly rolling into a future filled with chaos, death and destruction. But it’s the third act I’m most worried about.

The last in the new trilogy will obviously — I presume — see humanity come out on top, but at what cost? Who will fall? And will the Chief be among them? If he is bestowed with some form of Geas for the purpose of saving the galaxy, then when that mission or task is completed what purpose does he serve? Does his Geas induced luck extend beyond the completion of his task?

I won’t go any further into the subject of the Chief’s fate, but regardless of what happens I’m sure the trilogy will be amazing, a true testament to 343i’s guardianship and intentions.

And we’ll all be there to see it, take part in it and and play as our favourite Spartan again and again until we make the universe a safer place to live. But it’ll be a long and arduous journey.

“Were it so easy.”


3 thoughts on “Halo: The New Trilogy

  1. i like the idea of chief having a similur path of the geas, maybe he will become just like one. I think that would be a fitting end. laid to rest but always there if needed when dark things come from the corners of the galaxy. I really hope we get to see as many new races as we can. In a way i hope the covenant races are not in the new triology as a main race , but just there somtimes for story. I feel i have had enough of that from previous halos.

    Also concidering they starting a fresh and chief is in the middle of nowhere its like wiping the slate clean all to go back to and reintroduce old things again i feel is a mistake, keep it clean keep it fresh, let chiefs adventures effect and decide the universes fate but keep it seperate from earth, covenant and so on for now.

  2. Everything you say here seems to have the strength to support the weight of truth. I could indeed be a trilogy that see Humanity return to its stature from before its war with the Forerunners. I think it may be true that we’ll see the Forerunners in this trilogy, since they have done much now to give us an idea of what they look like. It could be that Onyx is a Cryptum. Don’t forget about the datapads from Reach. Those could easily have something to do with the story going forward, and all the AIs could be shaping these events for the culmination of the story from this trilogy. While I hope each game is as good as the previous, I hope it doesn’t take another 10 years to complete this story.

  3. I have to agree with most, if not all, of the points that your mentioned. A large majority of your theories mirror the ones I produced on X360A shortly after the H4 teaser was released at E3. Just a few of my own personal musings. If some of the paragraphs seem a little off-topic or oddly worrded, I apologize. A large portion of this is copied from my earlier writings, which were originally worded in response to the questions and ideas of other users here:

    *Warning: This contains spoilers to the books and the games, primarily Cryptum and Ghosts of Onyx.

    On Enemies and allies:
    Based on the storyline of the 3 primary games in the series as well as the sheer amount of focus and Importance placed onto them, I believe the Flood are the singular most important element in the Halo Universe. They’re the Yuuzhan Vong and Reapers of the Halo series. Intergalactic lifeforms that are driven to, and quite capable of, destroying entire galaxies. The forerunner fell into Extinction because they could not contain the spread of the Flood. As they continued to lose more and more worlds to the creatures, they eventually created the Halo installations as their last resort and n the end were forced to use them.

    That alone tells us that the Flood is, for a fact, free and it will not be stopped by merely killing the Gravemind and destroying Halo and the Ark. That tells me that the Flood will continue to be an important element in the series and will probably be the primary enemy in the new trilogy.

    That’s not to say there won’t be other enemies in the series though. The Forerunner, though likely to be your allies moreso than enemies, do still have a history with humanity. There’s also the issue of the fact that we destroyed a Halo installation twice as well as the Ark being used to rebuild them. The covenant, although in shambles, do still exist as individual races as well and it seems likely that the Brutes could still play a role and may even possess the ability to maintain legions of grunts, jackals, drones, and hunters; However, the game takes place (I believe) outside of the Milky Way galaxy. Whether we’re in Dark Space or another Galaxy is left to be decided, but all I can say is that when the portal closed with half of the ship still inside, the half trapped in this portal could have very well ended up anywhere in the universe, likely being a place that the Forerunner managed to access perhaps as a means of surviving the Halo destruction and thus eliminating the need for the Shield Worlds (which would explain why the 2 known shield worlds in the Halo universe have been completely empty. This could easily eliminate any lack of Covenant involvement in a potentially Forerunner/Flood-centric trilogy.

    If the series does manage to get back into the Milky Way galaxy, perhaps some quiet, far-off corner that Humanity isn’t familiar with, than that would give us the option of Covenant involvement, S-III and S-II Blue Team involvement (remember they’re trapped in a shield world ) and Spirit of Fire involvement (they’re drifting in Space, but Serena said her sensor detected something just as the game came to an end.)

    This ties up the loose ends of 3 different story plots and potentially puts them back on one path, especially as they all work together for a similar purpose. John is the Master Chief and he gets Fred, Kelly, Linda, Alice, Douglas, and Jerome, all of the survivors from the S-II program, as well as the S-III’s Tom, Lucy, Ash, Mark, Olivia, as well as Team Katana of Gamma Company. Than having the Spirit of Fire would give the Spartans the ability to maneuver through space and do whatever it is they need to complete their mission and go home (with the assistance of the Forerunner or possibly Engineers in the rebuilding of their Shaw-Fujikawa Slipspace generator.

    On top of the previously mentioned plots, I think this game will tie in a lot of the information that Cryptum has given us as will the next 2 novels in the Greg Bear Trilogy. The most important, I think, will be the prisoner that was found on Charum Hakkor. There was an excerpt posted by 343i staff on Waypoint that precisely stated “Set in the aftermath of Halo 3, Master Chief returns to confront his own destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe, and a new trilogy begins.”

    The prisoner is most certainly, or at least so it claims, a Precursor. Obviously given the rebellious and naive nature of Bornstellar, the main character from Cryptum, he’s not going to know the first thing about the Precursors, especially their appearance given how ancient they really are, so the mystery behind the memory he receives at the end of the book would understandably remain shrouded in mystery.

    That being said, here’s the excerpt from the book word for word. This is what the prisoner told the Didact during their first encounter on the Precursor world, which is than later recounted at the end of the novel through Bornstellars memories as the Didact:

    “We meet again, young one. I am the last of those who gave breath and shape and form, millions of years ago.
    I am the last of those your kind rose up against and ruthlessly destroyed.
    I am the last Precursor.
    And our answer is at hand.”

    I’m convinced that’s the truth and that whatever was inside was indeed, at least at some point, a Precursor. Whether or not it still is remains to be question as the book suggests that it was being hunted by the Flood. I would also imagine that it is hunting the Forerunner species, which in itself would be a huge plot point (especially since it suggests that the escaped prisoner may very well have access and control of a Halo installation.)

    On the topic of the Halo Installations themselves:

    As far as anybody has told us. all 7 of the known Halo installations in the primary array are in place (except for Installation 05 for obvious reasons.) Spark said all 7 were primed and ready for activation from the Ark at the end of Halo 2, which would suggest that they are in place as they should be; However, we know there were 12 rings to begin with and at the Climax of the novel it’s revealed in Cryptum that Mendicant Bias is in control of 6 of them when the attack begins, however, since there are still 7 functioning stations, this tells us that all 6 couldn’t possibly have been destroyed. 12-7=5. This would suggest that if one could’ve survived the battle, than it’s possible another one may have as well. It’s also suggested, like I stated above, that a Halo Installation had possibly arrived at Charum Hakkor prior to the attack and that the Prisoner had been taken away onboard the installation. The thought of a rogue Halo Installation somewhere in the universe is a terrifying concept in itself and would be more than a large enough plot-point to follow in the upcoming trilogy.

    I have no doubt, given the importance of the role Mendicant Bias played according to the terminals and Cryptum, he will be behind a number of the events that happen in the next trilogy. Whether or not the Prisoner is still alive by the end of the Cryptum trilogy will likely have an effect on whether he plays a role in Halo 4 or not as well. It’s tough to say since the first book was mostly just an introduction into the universe that Bear is trying to create. The action remains to be seen.

    On the Flood Species:

    It becomes painfully obvious that the reason the Flood were never wiped out after the 1st activation of the Halo installation is because of the shortage of Installations to begin with. If you think of the Halo’s weapon like ripples in a water it makes sense. If you drop a pebble into a puddle, you have a ring that goes out in every direction (hence why they’re built as Halos to begin with.) It eventually fizzles out and in a big enough puddle won’t cover the entire galaxy. But if you strategically drop in a handful of pebbles at specific locations, they will begin to overlap and will eventually cover the entire span. For whatever reason, the ark did not repair these initially destroyed rings and the flood were never wiped out because there’s a pocket of the Milky Way Galaxy that the Halo could not affect. This explains how the Gravemind was so able to survive for so long (a question I had been pondering since Halo 2 first came out.) This would also suggest that the existence of a Forerunner-controlled System may still be a possibility. If the Flood were safe from the Halos, than it’s possible some of the Forerunner were as well, thus giving us a possible gameplay for Halo 4 assuming we returned to the Milky Way Galaxy at the end of H3.

    On the Forerunner, the Geas, and the Master Chief:

    It was suggested to me by another Halo that perhaps the Forerunner are indirectly controlling the Master Chief during this conflict and that is what’s brought him as far as he has. The ability to speak telepathically is indeed an ability that Gravemind and, through him, Cortana were able to implement, in this case speaking to the Chief. The Gravemind’s existence is entirely derived from the Flood mutation (which can be thought of as a voice telling the infected to feed) and the intelligence of those absorbed into the overall biomass. That would suggest that the ability to speak Telepathically was obtained by a previous host. It’s a long shot, but it’s a possibility that the Forerunner were able to do this and it was given to the GM when he absorbed them. If they can, however, it would be quite strenuous to pull off as they never use it during Cryptum and prefer direct speech in person. It’s not likely though.

    The Forerunner, however, did have things similar to it. For instance, in Cryptum, the young Forerunner Bornstellar is put through an adulthood ritual from his first life to his second by the Didact War Hero as an emergency action to be prepared for imminent conflict. This ritual, known as Geas, weakens the Forerunner and is commonly done by the genetic father at a slow pace, but it was done so hurriedly for reasons I already stated. This ritual transfers memories and experience of the ritual father to the “child” and they slowly begin to unlock in the receiver’s mind. At first, Bornstellar cannot handle the powerful memories the Didact has given him, but by the end he has attained full control of everything the Didact knew and was.

    Getting back to the theory of the Forerunner influencing the Chief, while there is no basis and only assumption, in theory it would be possible to do the memory imprint on a human being. The Chief has been stated in the past as mysteriously being able to understand Forerunner technology and it seems entirely possible that a genetic implant was placed on the ancient bloodline of John’s family (In Cryptum, there were 2 humans that played an important role and became relatively close friends to Bornstellar. He knows the humans had a secret to defeating the flood, but the humans have long since lost the knowledge of it. It thanks to the Forerunner reducing the species back to a primitive state and it would seem likely that he would want to give at least one of these two humans imprints of Forerunner understanding in the hopes of the advanced humans in the future being able to recover that genetic memory. It’s also likely that, given Forerunner passed the mantle on to Humanity, they would at least want humanity to be able to understand how the Halos work in case they need them in the future.

    Summing it up, it seems likely that the Forerunner are somewhat driving the Chief indirectly by means of a generations old imprinting in accordance to my theory.

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