How did the Long Night of Solace even get inside of Reach's atmosphere completely undetected?
Is there some explanation for this? Slipspace travel is even detectable while the target ship is still totaly in transit. Slipspace ruptures of any kind—entry or exit—is blatantly detectable from far away. At the beginning of Halo 2, UNSC probes near Io (a moon in the outer edge of the solar system) detect "slipspace whispers" that would very soon become Regret's fleet. The L No S is almost 29 kilometers in length, and there is no possible way it could have jumped in, deployed the spires, and cloaked, before evading detection. And THAT'S assuming that no one saw a 29 kilometer titan of a ship emerge from slipspace. The Covenant would not be at all capable of a slipspace jump like that anyway—Cortana invents the first jump to or from a planet's atmosphere (or equivalent), using a Covenant flagship and her own custom tweaks (that the Covenant don't do because they lack the means and their religion forbids even trying). The massive ship alone would probably cause a significant enough gravitational disturbance that it would be detected (even if only affecting the waves/oceans/currents). Next, the L No S would have been quickly shot to pieces by the many Orbital Defense Platforms; in the time it would take for the Solace to charge its plasma torpedoes, it'd already be mincemeat. A ship that size would be impossible to miss if it traveled close to Reach, even in slipspace, let alone exiting from it smack-dab in the middle of the UNSC's most secure planet. Oh, and the slipspace rupture would be visible from orbit, and the entire orbit is constantly monitored by advanced satellites and AI's, whose resolution is good enough to be able to see details in a specific, tiny sector when asked to view it. Fact is, I just can't find any way for this whole set up to not be one giantPlot Hole.
It's implied to some extent that the ship itself could cloak. The tower was merely projecting a field hiding activity over a wide area from the outside, notice how once inside everything is visible, but the carrier is still absent. Once it was disabled though the ship knew the jig was up and came out of cloak and engaged. Also being mostly technobabble anyway we can't be SURE it's impossible to hide a slipspace entry or just how detectable it is at range, as for instance prowlers seem to be able to slip into places unnoticed. So if we assume it slipped out a good distance outside the system and then approached under cloak we can perhaps get it into orbit without being detected.(The covenant being able to cloak ships like that seemed a shock so we can assume they don't routinely look for such things) If the ground side stuff had then been covertly assembled to allow deployment from the orbiting carrier that would still be a stretch, but we've seen a cloaked phantom so maybe, maybe you could buy that... Even that's denied though as we clearly see the carrier IN the atmosphere as it blows up the frigate, and that's just impossible. There is simply no way something the size of Manhattan is entering the atmosphere without being seen by the naked eye of everyone in the facing hemisphere. The only possible explanation it to partly ignore the visuals and assume the frigate kill shot comes from orbit, as the carrier uncloaks and attacks from about where we see it in the space level once the ground operation is blown. Using the above rationalization we can at least concoct a way it MIGHT be able to get that far. Still it was pretty terrible writing and I'm not sure how such a dumb idea got approved to be honest.
The Covenant have never displayed the ability to cloak a dropship. The only case of ANY cloaked Covenant craft was a small corvette that specialized in stealth, ECM, and avoiding detection. It had no shields and almost no armament, and Captain Keyes destroyed it by ramming it with his still-heavily-damaged destroyer. And, you know, he detected it in the first place, despite it being in orbit and the whole thing taking place in the middle of a gigantic space battle. Regardless, you need a LOT more than just invisibility to remain completely undetected in space. For one, a supercarrier 29 kilometers in length generates so much heat in so many ways that it would be impossible to miss. It wouldn't really matter either way, though, because it is literally impossible for the UNSC to have not detected a massive slipspace rupture anywhere within a lightyear of Reach. And no, prowlers can't hide their slipspace ruptures either, they merely specialize in either containing their heat emissions in internal heatsinks (to avoid detection) or using ECM (Electronic Countermeasures) to made precise locating/targeting very difficult. Even then, prowlers generally stick to places easier to hide (like behind a moon, or near a gas giant). And even then...hey, looks like there's some kind of ground-invasion force in those valleys? Yeah, let's just have one of our Orbital Defense Platforms (or frigates) fire a MAC round into that "dark zone" and see what the deal is. At worst, you'd knock out whatever is causing the field but not kill much (because there's not much actually there). Most likely, it'd hit the L No S first, revealing it fully and immediately. In as little as five seconds later, a full-velocity MAC round from an ODP punches through the L No S's shields and into its hull, doing major damage. Followed by another, and another, and another, and that supercarrier is going to die very, very fast.
Actually, they do have cloaked dropships. In Halo 3, you can observe Elite Separatist dropships cloaking as they fly away, or decloaking as they get close.
I don't recall anything like that, but it's still rather irrelevant. Being invisible in the visible spectrum of light is probably the LEAST difficult and meaningful thing with regards to stealth in space. And there's no way a gigantic 29-kilometer supercarrier is capable of such perfect visible cloaking that even 26th century, military-grade satellite and UAV imaging, analyzed by a dozen AI's, wouldn't notice that there's some rather odd visual distortion going on (not to mention the heat distortion, gigantic heat radiation, plasma radiation, gravity distortion, etc.) while taking a look at the general area around the cloaking spires (on a scale and level much, MUCH bigger and more overt than all of the spires combined). If the Covenant possessed the ability to achieve that level of stealth for days, if not weeks on end for a 29-kilometer supercarrier, even in atmosphere and a warzone, then why even bother with more conventional assaults on other UNSC worlds/fleets/forces? They never try anything like that at Earth, in any of the novels, and...wait, the Forerunners never did anything like that, either. Huh. Would have been extremely useful against the Flood. Well, good thing the Covenant are so good at innovating advanced technology to levels far beyond the Precursor relics all of their tech is based off of!
In the Halo world, the complications of stealth in space are toned down so the UNSC can have Prowlers, which should be impossible. Additionally, it's implied the stealth technology that hid the supercarrier is new, seeing as the UNSC does not know what the Spires are initially or what they are doing, hence why it didn't appear in the any of the previous battles in the novels. And the UNSC did notice the distortion, that's why the level Nightfall takes place, to scout the sudden dark area. As for why the Forerunners never seemed to try it, we've seen little of the Flood-Forerunner war. They could have easily used it, or worse, the Flood may have gotten their hands on it.
Given some of the information from the Forerunner trilogy, the Forerunners were capable of cloaking their ships like that (and Forerunner vessels are massive, the Keyship and Covenant supercarriers are fairly small compared to the biggest vessels the Forerunners were capable of fielding). As for the gravitational disturbance, I'm not sure if this has any effect or not, but Reach is bigger than Earth so any gravitational distortion could have been harder to spot. And finally as mentioned, ONI was quite aware of it, and the distortion was noticed, so an all-out attack was ordered and the supercarrier was destroyed before ONI could get their hands on it.
Maybe they did know about it ONI suggested using Reach to draw in a big covie ship for the Spartans to capture and there is a lot of left hand right hand going on in the UNSC.
DMR / Assault Rifle damage
Is there an explanation (beyond "gameplay reasons") for the DMR and the AR doing different damage when they're supposedly chambered for the same cartridge? The DMR even ejects BR-type 9.5mm casings in-game... yet it's clearly described as a 7.62mm gun like the AR...
Barrel length. The DMR seems to have needed a longer barrel for both accuracy and to build up round velocity. And because of physics, the faster rounds hit harder. Another possible explanation is that they use different powders, loads, bullet designs, or materials in the rounds. Come to think of it, the covenant wouldn't be covered by the Hague, so therefore, we ought to have just been able to unload on them with non-FMJ rounds like fragmenting, mushrooming, exploding, and deforming rounds.
OP: The barrel length is probably it, then. They're both stated to use the NATO-standard 7.62x51 mm round (again, aside from the graphics flub which makes the DMR eject BR casings). As for your other point, the original pistoldoes use high-explosive rounds...
My guess, it's some sort of 7.62 nato derivative, like a sort of "super" round with a more powerfully penetrating projectile, better propellents, and likely a different casing.
The Corvette's atmosphere/gravity
Why does it only turn back on after Six kills everything? And who toggled that switch? This'd bug me a lot less if it came back after the cutscene where you let Jorge in, but no, it starts coming back as you walk toward the door button for no obvious reason. If it was some sort of UNSC hack, wouldn't it make sense to leave it off so the Covenant couldn't deploy the bulk of their forces? If it was a Covenant leadership decision, why did they turn it back on when there were still vacuum-deployable troops available?
Campaign dates, and the long fall back to Reach
What's with the dates in Reach? For example, there's a nine day gap between Long Night of Solace and Exodus. What the hell was Six doing for all that? Walking to New Alexandria? This applies to other levels, too.
Yes, Six was walking to New Alexandria. He reentered the atmosphere and crash landed out in the middle of nowhere. With the Covenant jamming communications, he was stuck with no choice but to walk, and the UNSC was a bit too busy to locate one missing person. As for the other gaps in time between some missions, the game is set over the month in which Reach went from first Covenant sighting to the final evacuation. It's showing a series of battles that Noble Team was involved in, and not every single event. The seven day gap between New Alexandria and The Package, for example, involved Noble Team working their way across a planet under siege to get to Sword Base. I suspect there was lots of careful flying and periods of hiding from Covenant air patrols.
I suppose what really gets me about the time gaps is that there is so much room for missions. The campaign could easily be twice as long, and they could have really showed us what Reach looked like during the Covenant attack. Instead we get the cliff notes version. That's what bugs me.
About Noble Six: if his/her armour can resist the heat of re-entry along with the impact of slamming into a planet after falling from the edge of the atmosphere, how is it that he/she can still be hurt by mere bullets and plasma? And while we're on about the armour, in the books, the armour weighs half a ton. Despite this, the various vehicles in the game never have difficulty carrying one or even two spartans at the same time. You'd think a Falcon with two half-ton soldiers sitting on either end of it might cause some technical problems.
Note the Re-Entry Pack that Noble Six has been wearing since leaving the Saber. It is designed to allow a single individual to survive orbital re-entry, functioning as a combination heat-shield and parachute. The Halo Graphic Novel short-story "Armor Testing" shows one of these in use. Also, note that at the begining of that level, when Jorge jumps out of a Falcon, you can see it rocking back and forth a bit as it corrects for his considerable weight being removed out one side.
Here's a more technical question: Why are Gregorian calendar dates used? Does Reach coincidentally have an orbital period of 365 days? Wouldn't that still leave the issue of the extra three hours per day?
A year on Reach is 390 days. They've never explained yet how they compensate, but given the rest of the dates in the canon, it sounds like they all go by Earth's Gregorian calender. Maybe they use a separate calendar on Reach, and the dates we see in the cutscenes are been given as Earth dates so we the players can tell when they occur in comparison to the rest of Halo's events. However the UNSC itself at the time would have instead using the regional calendar.
The last part is confirmed. All dates use the "UNSC Military Calender".
Both probably exist. I imagine the UNSC uses a standard, Gregorian calendar for everywhere to avoid confusion (both in and out of universe) since it'd be too hard to organize a galactic fleet when you have dozens or even hundreds of calendars to worry about. Civillians native to Reach probably have their own calendar.
Canonicity with The Fall of Reach
What bugs me is how much Halo Reach has trampled over The Fall of Reach. The way the timeline is presented now the entirety of the time the Chief spends on Reach at the end of the book is during the battle. The Chief, Halsey, Keyes, and the rest are quietly going about their business whilst the Covenant are invading the planet. They calmly debrief the Chief whilst a Covenant super carrier is blowing up their ships. They brief the Spartans on their mission to capture a Prophet whilst New Alexandra is being destroyed, the Chief drives to the firing range alone and unarmoured and they mess around with armour testing whilst the UNSC is on the back foot, and the Pillar of Autumn is at the ship breaking yards for 10 hours after the UNSC fleet has been destroyed and the Covenant has been glassing the planet.
There's an updated version of The Fall of Reach out/coming out. It's annoying, but Bungie policy on canon has always been "Newer stuff overrides older stuff, and the games trump everything." My guess would be that all that is going on at the time of the attack, and some calamity forces them to change plans entirely, ending with what he get in Reach. Alternately, the dates are simply moved back. Still doesn't explain what the Chief was doing aboard the Pillar of Autumn in cryostasis while Noble Six was out there saving his ass.
I haven't read it yet but apparently the dates aren't changed and most errors are left in. I know Bungie's cannon policy but why let people write books if you contradict them, especially this badly, the entire last third is non cannon now unless they change a few dates. Also I quote from the original Halo Manual 2 days before the mission (to find the prophet) is due to begin the covenant strike Reach annihilating the colony." Even their own manual gives the impression the battle was shorter and fits the Fall of Reach timeline better than the game.
Keep in mind The Fall of Reach was written nearly ten years ago. It's not Nylund's fault, it was a terrific book. What's weird is he was one of Halo Reach's writers. So he contradicted his own book. Yeah, I don't get it either.
Yeah he had no way of knowing just how big Halo would be and he never considered this game happening or that it would at all matter that he said Elites and Hunters weren't encountered until 2552. That's something he later contradicted in his own books. Still considering the well documented and cannoised power of Reach one feels the game would have been much better set on a different colony. I know it wouldn't have the same impact as Reach but there is no way a single supercarrier could take the Fleet and the Mac platforms. It took 300 Covenant ships to achive a very narrow victory and they had to cheat to manage it (disabling the MAC's ground power plants). I guess Eric was overruled a lot in the writers room.
That's the thing; you have to wonder if he was even there. Personally I think he was just credited as a writer for the influence the book had on the development of the game, not because he had any input on the final product. It happens in Hollywood all the time when they rewrite scripts; that's why you can see movies with 6 or 7 writers.
According to Frank O'Connor, he believes that one of the mistakes that they made when writing The Fall of Reach was being a little too specific with things like dates and first-encounters, because it left them with much less wiggle room in the canon for telling other stories or expanding upon existing ones. This, more than just the most recent game, is probably why they want to re-write it. They needed to apply a small amount of Canon Discontinuity and Retcon to allow the universe to fit a little more losely.
The only way to fix the timeline and other continuity snarls is to assume that the Pillar Of Autumn was part of the 60% of the fleet redirected to Reach that Carter mentioned at the beginning of Long Night of Solace. Then assume that the battle depicted in The Fall of Reach was much more drawn out and the Autumn also made a planet landing in between attack waves, maybe Master Chief met Keyes there after his Circumference mission. As for the snarls, the biggest one was that the only mention of the Super MAC's was destroying the Corvette that was harassing Sword Base (pointing at Reach), while the book had them form an impenetrable wall of MAC rounds that protected the planet in the first place. The original battle was apparently a common tactic for the Covenant, scorch and burn from orbit. The game changed that and included a reason why the Covenant didn't just do an orbital glassing, the Forerunner artifact. All in all, the game presents a battle that was far more nuanced and realistic, as even outnumbered it makes sense that Reach would be a highly drawn out battle.
There's also still references to simultaneous events from the book. For example, the radio conversations on several maps reveal the fate of Beta Red Team.
I just put Halo into five different continuities. The first is from the original trilogy. The second is from ODST. The third is from Halo Wars. The fourth is from the books. The fifth is from Halo Reach.
Except all of them interact with each other, quite well. Hasly's journal integrates the novels into Reach, Reach ties into 1, ODST ties into 2 and 3 quite well, Halo Wars has nothing to exclude it from the canon, etc.
The new Data Drops released for the advertising campaign of Halo: Glasslands do a pretty good job of reconciling the issues. Essentially, the crew of the Pillar of Autumn was kept in the dark about the Fall of Reach, because ONI was trying to lure in a Covenant carrier they could capture and didn't want to risk them trying to get out there to fight. The plan backfired, and on August 30th Reach was entirely overrun. Check 'em here.
Hasley's Journal from the limited edition actually managed to tie everything together quite nicely, and accounted for every inconsistancy between Fall of Reach and the rest of the novels and games. It's actually quite well done, so it's a shame it was only avaliable in such a limited fashion.
Sprint and Evade armor abilities
Why are Sprint and Evade considered "armor abilities" that require a special armor module to perform? What is it that prevents a Spartan or Elite from sprinting or evading when they have another armor ability installed? For that matter, why is the jetpack considered an exclusive armor ability? The jetpack is just a pack that fits over the back of the armor, yes? Why would that prevent another ability, say active camouflage, from being equipped at the same time?
Maybe the little backpack thing gives the armor a power boost that lets its motors move strongly enough? And it's not needed for the SPARTAN-IIs because they just have better armor? Or something?
Something like that. Maybe you should take another look at the manual, the explanation is it overloads the suit's systems and disables safeties. Presumably you need the AA to do it. Same for the Elites.
To quote, "Sprint: S-320 (Kat) is largely responsible for this plug. While not quite a hack, it does temporarily override the safety limiters on actuators and 'muscles' -cheating the system regulators to keep the operator cool as well." and "Evade: This appears to be a dummy module or terminator plug. While it is critical for operating the Elites' armor, its precise function is unknown. Spartans are encouraged to acquire it in the field if possible." I think they only allowed you to have one armor ability at a time for balance, too. It would be a little unfair if a cloaked jetpacker assassinated me in multiplayer. It would also give the player an unfair advantage in the campaign, which Bungie releases challenges for to earn credits.
Was it really necessary for the Noble Six and the rest of Noble team to stay behind and take on an overwhelming number of Covenant forces which they had no hope of defeating? I mean they delivered Cortana to Jacob Keyes, blew up the ship which was attacking the Pillar of Autumn, and Jorge detonated a bomb which was expected to put a dent in the Covenant invasion at the cost of his life and yet their commander couldn't stop one moment to pick them up. This makes Noble Team's sacrifice pointless, they should have lived to fight another day. They take their no compete agreement with Master Chief very seriously apparently, otherwise there should have been other Spartans accompanying Master Chief in Halo 1.
First, because more Covenant ships could jump in at any moment. Emile and Six bought Keyes exactly one chance to get the Pillar of Autumn off the ground and away from Reach. In the time it would've taken to send a Pelican down to pick up Six (assuming they could even find him, he might've gone to ground to avoid the Covvie patrols) a dozen more Cruisers could have shown up. Second, because as crass as it sounds, sometimes soldiers are expendable. No one person, not even a Spartan, is that valuable. It would be the height of irresponsibility for Keyes to risk his ship, his crew, and the survival of the entire human race just to rescue a single soldier. Noble Six was an acceptable loss. And third, because if they had come down and picked him up Bungie would've had to explain why he didn't show up in Halo:CE.
On the subject of Carter attacking the Scarab and dying, why at all was that necessary? Noble Six and Emile have just come out of a cave, and after the cutscene, Emile says to take the passage on the right...which is a five-second walk away and heads straight into a canyon too narrow for a scarab to follow/shoot you.
The Scarab's cannon charged pretty quickly, from what we've seen. That, and just because it didn't hit them directly if they ran fast enough, it likely would have cooked them alive inside the cave, or even may even lie in wait on the other side for them to come out.
Also, Carter looked pretty beat up from what was shown of him during the cutscene. For all we know, he had severe internal hemorrhaging and was going to die soon anyway. Might as well go out with a bang.
On that note, looking back, Carter's sacrifice was completely pointless. He dropped them and tried to draw the enemy fire to give them a chance to reach the ship... but despite all the enemy fire, he managed to fly the Pelican all the way to the point where he crashed it into a Scarab... If the Pelican survived until then, then Noble Six and Emile didn't need to jump off in the first place. Carter could have flown them the whole way (let's face it, you go through the tunnel, and you're right there at the shipbreaking yards), avoided the Scarab, landed on that platform where you meet Keyes, recieved medical attention (if a medkit can fix a fuel rod to the face, I'm pretty sure that internal damage should have been, if not repairable on the spot, at least fixed temporarily. I mean, it's called biofoam, comes in cans and bottles, and has worked for worse injuries.), and then there would be at least one more SPARTAN left alive to help fight the covenant.
Nobody on Noble Team knew Carter would manage to fly that far, and even then, it's still a risk to be on a Pelican in verge of being destroyed that also being piloted by someone who could die at any minute. And to date, I have never seen a medkit "fix a fuel rod to the face", unless you're referring to gameplay, in which case Gameplay and Story Segregation.
Covenant ship measurements
Some of the measurements floating around for the Covenant Supercarrier. Call it a hunch, but I get the strong feeling that Halopedia's estimate of ~27 kilometers is way too high. I think the main reason is that their source put the Corvette at about 800 meters (the supercarrier being about 34 Corvettes long). To me, the Corvette looks to be somewhere between 275-450 meters, and that it's likely that the measurer made a gross overestimate on the little vessel's size. A challenge for anyone who knows how to do ranging / size-finding and has a place to post their findings in (I don't): Use the official data on Jorge's height and estimates on Noble-Six's height, and the cutscenes with the two of them in and near a Sabre, to figure out the Sabre's size. Then use gameplay and the landing-on-top-of-the-Corvette cutscene to figure out how many Sabres equal a Corvette in length, and thus determine the Corvette's size. THEN use the Corvette times 34 to figure out the Supercarrier's size. As said, I don't have the equipment or the knowledge of how to do any of this myself.
You have obviously never heard of Stephen Loftus. A few years ago he did a series of calculations giving the sizes of various vehicles, weapons, people etc. It's a great series of articles, ones you should read through if you ever get the chance. Here is the page showing the size of a Covenant assault carrier (the type of ship the Long Night of Solace is); 5,346 metres. It's the measurement I've always taken as canon.
Apparently I should read more closely. Supposedly a supercarrier is an entirely different class of ship that dwarfs the assault carrier. Yeah, right. The two are identical. Why the hell would the Covenant need a ship twenty-six kilometres long for a stealth operation?
Because they're the Covenant. Practicality always takes a backseat to religion, ridiculousness, and having impressive setpieces.
Or perhaps in case... and this is wild speculation, mind you... The UNSC somehow found out about the canopies and sent an enormous strike force, including the most dangerous SPARTAN team on Reach to take out the Spire? No, that's ridiculous... oh wait, that's exactly what happened! The Covenant have a ship like that so if the Stealth Mission hits the fan, they can just destroy the place. Jun himself said the fleet would be backing up a graveyard if they didn't do something about it. In other words, it was a sound move on their part, and if you disagree, perhaps you should consider which side won the battle of Reach. And no, they are not identical. They look the same, but they aren't the same class. Bungie likes it that way, so that's how it is. And in addition, let's consider this. The covenant have a ship design. That design works very well. They want a bigger ship to do what this ship does better. What do they do? Build a bigger version.
As said, I think the measurer made a big mistake in estimating the Corvette's size, and when he used that incorrect measurement to figure out the supercarrier, the mistake scaled up accordingly.
Twice the length sounds about right, because that Corvette really was tiny in comparison to it. I still think they might be the same, though, because they're identical. Did Bungie really not want to design a totally new ship?
Is anyone up to doing a proper measuring of the Sabre, and from that the Corvette, and from that the Supercarrier?
Loftus might get around to doing it eventually. He's updated the size comparisons after each game, but the major articles all date from 2005-2006.
Here is a article that explains where that huge number for the supercarrier came from, and he shows his work.
No need for that when you have OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION! The new Essential Visual Guide gives the ship's length as 28.96 kilometers. The discrepancy between this number and Loftus' figure probably arose from the fact that the heavy frigates in Reach are about 45 meters longer than the ones seen in Halo 3.
Additionally, the Visual Guide also identified the ships to be two different classes. The assault carrier we're all familiar with is the "CAS-class Assault Carrier", while the supercarrier in Reach is the "CSO-class Supercarrier". Official confirmation that they are two different ships.
It bugs me that Kat and Carter consider Thom a Leeroy Jenkins, because he was just following the mission. Wasn't Kat going to put the bomb in that ship as well? And considering she didn't have a jetpack she wouldn't have made it out either. In fact, if they had given it to Thom in the first place, he could have just flown right to the ship and might have lived.
She was probably going to throw it into the ship's gravity lift. Thom flying it up was Plan B (or possibly K).
I'd like to point out that Kat and Carter feel only sympathy and self-resentment for Thom's death. They both blame themselves for his death. It's their commanding officer that thinks he was a Leeroy Jenkins, saying he should have waited for backup.
Yeah, right. It was a fucking tactical nuke. You think it could just be disarmed like that? Thom flew the bomb into the cruiser, thereby completing the mission and saving the lives of friends, as well as the rest of the UNSC forces below. He's a hero in my opinion.
Why does it say that the birthday confetti armor effect helps the enemy? I can get flaming skull and storm, because those single you, out, making you easier to target, but birthday confetti alerts the enemy to your teammates position? How?
I can't speak for everyone, but I know I would be far more motivated to kill someone if I knew they would burst into confetti to the sound of children shouting in joy everytime they died.
The best explanation I can come up with is that the developers expected players to stick together and work in teams, hence the effect 'giving away' your team's position - they expected your team-mates to be around you. The players, for their part, ignore this advice.
This doesn't really apply. Unless the player is using a sniper, then when he shoots at the enemy players, his tag is gonna light up yellow (orange when shot at, and red when dead). Whether he kills the enemy player with the birthday Armor Effect equipped or no, the other players will realize where he is because of their teammates contact with them.
Except there are ways you can grind credits like EXP, therefore destroying the "cR = skill" argument. And it helps a little bit more to know if you've killed an enemy or not if they explode into confetti upon death.
What is "Corrected" a reference to? All the other weapon sprees have names that make sense, and are pretty funny at that, but if you get 15 stickies... what?
Maybe it's a reference to Halo 2?
Cortana: Bet you can't stick it. (you'd "correct" her by sticking 15 dudes in one life)
I have to wonder if that's still series canon, since I don't think very much of the E3 2004 trailer (where that dialogue line was found) made it into the final game.
The fact that both the Chief's and Cortana's Firefight voices reference it when someone gets stuck means it's at least an injoke.
Halsey and the Spartan-III soldiers
If Dr. Halsey worked with Noble team on Reach why does she act like she didn't know about the S-III program in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx? (I know Ghosts was written long before Reach, but it's still a big character development-ruining plot hole)
Because the Spartan-III program was kept a secret from her, I believe. ONI wanted their own super-soldiers and weren't going to deal with some uppity scientist with ideas about "morals" and "ethics".
She probably just assumed Noble were another group of SPARTAN-IIs, perhaps as a continuation of the SPARTAN-II project.
I thought she memorized all the Spartans' names.
She did, and Bungie has admitted they fudged this a little bit from the books. One theory is that she naturally assumed another branch of the military was training a second group of Spartan IIs in secret from her. They are wearing Mjolnir armor, after all. And, well, by that point she was getting into more pressing matters than caring where these additional Spartans came from.
Her journal doesn't make any reference to the actual Spartan III's only that they were Spartan's she didn't train (she was so close to them that she is able to tell them apart even in full identical armor). She could tell Noble Team was augmented (meaning they had similar enhancements) and was angered that they were more "brutish" when her program outline was meant to weed out those kind of soldiers. The actual details of the S-III program was likely not available to her until Ghosts of Onyx.
To note, the "brutishness" comes from Spartan-IIIs being orphaned refugees from worlds glassed by the Covenant, who were specifically recruited with the promise of striking back at the Covenant. The Spartan-IIs were kidnapped from their parents, but were specifically chosen by Halsey for their genetic and personality characteristics. While the novel The Fall of Reach claims the list of 150 was cut to 75 for budget reasons, it could just as well be an additional "weeding out" process. Besides, the original Spartans were trained to fight rebels, not a giant interstellar empire.
Changing how Covenant equipment looks
I can understand the differences in Human tech here, as the focus is now on the Army instead of the Marines, but why does Covenant tech look completely different? And I don't mean "better graphics" different but COMPLETELY FUCKING DIFFERENT. And this is only about a month or so from Halo: CE! You even fight the same fleet! Also, you'd at least expect the classic, bowl-shaped tri-shot shade turrets, sharkhead helmeted elites, and fish-tail grunts, but no. Not to mention, the C.E.◊ and Reach◊ versions of the Pillar of Autumn are about as similar-looking as the Acclamator and Ventator class Star Destroyers.
Halo canon is, by Bungie's admission, ridiculously fluid. Basically (and it's been said on this very page), newer stuff overrides older stuff. For example, the absence of the BR55 Battle Rifle from Combat Evolved - Contact Harvest established it as being in use since 2525, and by the time of the first game, a mainstay of the UNSCDF for more than twenty years. Not to mention the improvements in computer hardware in the time between 2001 and 2010; changes are to expected, not abhorred.
The unique weapons, like the needle and concussion rifles, are canonically restricted by unit. The beam rifle and carbine presumably are, too. This could be extended to the Elites' armor, similar to how you have MJOLNIR armor instead of SPI. The Pillar of Autumn was refitted with...some stuff between the two games. No word on the Shades, though.
Maybe they just used different equipment for Reach; certain classes of Shades are used for different purporses. Or something.
My theory is that the Covenant fleet that glassed Reach and pursued the Pillar of Autumn to Halo had limited supplies of some personal and equipment. These were over deployed on Reach and were entirely destroyed by human defenses in the process of capturing and then glassing the planet, and the fleet never got a chance to resupply before Halo Combat Evolved. This is based on the official story on the skirmisher jackals to explain why they never appear again in chronologically later games, that they literally went extinct in the conflict on Reach. Presumably, all those armor abilities being used by elites on Reach were stolen from dead Spartans and the elites didn't have enough left over after the battle to field them in later games and never succeeded in reverse engineering them.
The Covenant seem like just the types to completely refit their weapons and equipment for different situations. Reach was a ritualised mass extermination and exploration mission, while in Halo CE they had planned for a search-and-destroy mission. Both presumably required different "blessings" and different designs.
Actually, the ships that pursued the Autumn to Halo were a small part of the Reach fleet, and had to break off to pursue during the glassing, while most of their forces were still deployed on the planet. Assumedly the forces you fight in Halo:CE are just whatever happened to be left on the ships at the time. They sent all their best "invasion" hardware and troops down to the planet, and were left with a limited set of weapons and armor as they pursued the Autumn, as they didn't have time to pick up troops and equipment while the Autumn was escaping. Everyone you fight in Halo:CE would just be the ships' guards.
Noble Six's atmospheric re-entry
Why didn't Noble Six burn up on re-entry? I know Spartan armor can survive great falls, as has been shown in novels. But it's specifically noted they can't survive re-entry burns.
If you look carefully during cutscenes, you can see Six wear wearing a "Re-entry Pack" on his/her back. It most likely just decelerates the wearer as they fall from orbit. The only reason stuff burns up is because of the speed, about a dozen times faster than a speed of sound. If Six was falling at terminal velocity (about 200 km/h for a normal human) then she/he could have survived re-entry. After that, well, other Spartans have survived similar falls.
Lack of character development
Did anyone else feel like you didn't get to know or care about the other members of Noble Team (except for Jorge)? It seems that instead of showing how the team eventually accepts Noble Six and Six eventually stops being a jerk, they gave all of them memorable send-offs to make up for it (except for Jun, who just leaves the impression of being a sniping psycho). I even forgot about Carter before his sacrifice.
When was Six ever a jerk? Just because he didn't talk much doesn't make him a jerk. And they seemed to accept him just fine right off the bat. I saw absolutely no tension between Six and the rest of the team.
Wasn't he all about letting all those stranded soldiers die in the first mission?
Nope. Jun was the one who pointed out they had "better things to do than round up strays".
If you pay attention they do show some tension toward the beginning (possibly for replacing Thom), then acceptance near the end.
Kat talks to him with some familiarity right before she dies.
Jorge was always seemed friendly enough, but his lines before he died confirms it.
The way Carter greets him in New Alexandria indicates that he's impressed with 6. Also: "That AI chose you. She made the right choice."
Jun seems friendly enough since the beginning, and acts glad that you're alive in New Alexandria.
Emile... well, being Emile, he seems to like 6 by the end just because you've plowed through thrice as many Covenant in a few weeks as he has in his entire life. He was a Psycho to the end, and we loved him for it.
As for 6 himself, he was a Lone Wolf, then he became a team player, got to know his comrades, watched them die one by one, sacrificed his life for Humanity, and went down doing what he does best: kicking alien butt.
L No S: Choice of Slipspace drive
Why didn't they use the corvette's instead of the Savannah's? The whole plan hinged on using a slipspace drive to Portal Cut the supercarrier in half. Presumably, this could be done with any slipspace drive, including a Covenant one (which we know operate on the same principle thanks to Regret in Halo 2). Covenant corvettes have slipspace drives, presumably ones that wouldn't shear the ship in half when used. Why was it necessary to use the slipspace bomb from the Savannah when using the corvette's drive could have done the same thing without killing Jorge in the process?
Presumably, the Corvette's drive could only generate a Corvette-sized slipspace rupture. That would make a hole in the supercarrier, but not destroy it.
Also, maybe Covenant slipspace drives work differently and can't malfunction in the same way as the human ones.
"Actually, it worked fine. The drive was mounted improperly after a service haul-out. When it fired, it ... teleported half the ship to oblivion." It never came down to a malfunction, and in fact, hinged upon the drive working perfectly. They used the Savannah's because it was easy to procure, transport, and more importantly, secure until they could get it to activate. Humanity as a whole barely understands how Covenant tech operates, and so accessing it and figuring out how to use it would be more trouble than it would be worth. Really, if the objective had been to acquire a Covenant Slipspace Drive and use it for the "bomb", they likely would have gone in knowing that someone was going to have to be left behind.
The First Strike book describes that human and Covenant slipspace drives do work a little differently. The human drives essentially use the brute force method to punch a hole into slipspace. This is why they are so much easier to track - every time they punch a hole in space/time, they're sending up a big flare, "Hey, I'm over here!" The Covenant drives are much more fine-tuned, allowing them to surgically cut a small tear into slipspace and enter it without a lot of fuss. Basically, just because they both use slipspace, doesn't mean they work on the same principle. This could also mean that Covenant drives may not be so easy to get them to cut a ship in half.
Mostly practicality. The fact is that by this point in the storyline, no Covenant ship had ever been captured intact, and humanity only barely understood the Covenant's computer interface structure, and knew nothing of how Covenant slipspace drives operated. Hell, Cortana herself was created with the primary purpose of riding along with the Master Chief just so she could figure out how to manipulate Covenant systems. Noble Team had no such expert system accompanying them, and no time to try to find one (not that even Kat knew such systems existed.) Even the location of the slipspace drive on a Covenant ship was unknown, let alone the knowledge of how to deliberately change its alignment. Using a human-built slipspace drive and bringing it aboard the corvette was just a more expedient and reliable option.
Why does Carter put his fingers to his helmet to communicate with the rest of Noble Team? It's been demonstrated in the books that the Spartans can communicate with each other basically by thinking it. Sure, these are privatized variants, so it could be that they don't have this feature, but any other time the Spartans talk to each other over distance, no one else seems to do this. On top of that, Carter tosses his helmet at the beginning of "Pillar of Autumn", yet still pilots the Pelican and communicates with you. So in the beginning of the game, he seemingly performs a needless action to communicate, and at the end of the game, he is able to communicate without a helmet!
Probably just a visual aid.
As for the Pelican, Pelicans have radios too.
They might also touch the helmet there to activate some other control, like switching the channel the helmet operates on, or switching it to and from a private transmission mode.
Maybe it's a nervous tic of his? or more likely he used to use a traditional radio during training that actually needed a button press and he's just used to it.
The most likely option is that it's a "courtesy" sort of thing. Remember, SPARTANS are sealed in and the helmet only conducts sound outward via a speaker according to the books. Carter probably uses the gesture to let people know "Hey guys, I'm talking to someone on the radio, quiet for a sec".
How many people does it take to pilot a Sabre? Six apparently can pilot one on his own, but if all it takes is one pilot, why do the Sabres have two seats? Also, why didn't Jorge take a Pelican to Anchor 9? The Sabers needed rocket boosters to launch, and Jorge must have added a full ton to the ship's weight.
The second seat in the Saber is for the Radar Intercept Officer, or "RIO", who handles communications, the radar (or whatever space-age equivilent the Saber has) and missile systems. That's why you have to switch between guns and missiles; you're giving fire command to Jorge to fire the Saber's Medusa missile system.
A Pelican would take longer to get to Anchor 9, since it doesn't have rocket boosters, just those tiny little thrusters. As for the 2nd seat, that's probably just in case, since collectively it would cost more to have two Sabres carry two people rather than just two people fly on one Sabre. The builders must have looked at the output of thrusters, saw there was room to hold a bit more weight, and thus added a second seat.
That would be a very questionable design feature. A passenger seat in a one-pilot orbital fighter? Not to mention that if they had a ton to spare, the engineers would have either high-fived each other or add more ammo. A radical design change such as a cabin twice as big makes no sense.
The second seat is clearly intended for a RIO or copilot, someone who can take care of communications and the like while the pilot focuses on flying the craft (just like Jorge does while he's in the Sabre). Many real life multirole aircraft have such a second seat onboard, but they're perfectly capable of running missions with just one crew member. We should also note the description of the Scorpion in the instruction manuals of the first two games, which lists its crew as 2 humans (presumably a driver and gunner) or 1 Spartan. Being supersoldiers, they're likely very good at multitasking, so this essential second seat becomes irrelevant when a Spartan is flying.
It is also possible that this was a training variation of the Sabre, with multiple seats to allow pilots to get non-simulated experience while flying with an instructor. Such things are common enough in real life, and it might explain why it was still on the ground as opposed to fighting up in orbit with the rest of the Sabres.
Come to think of it, if the Saber is top secret, then why the hell is nobody surprised or unprepared for a squadron of the things showing up at Anchor 9?
Holland briefed everyone while drafting the plan for UPPERCUT? Also watch the cutscenes again; Anchor 9 has docking bays that fit the Sabres perfectly. They probably flew up there after their test launches during development.
I'm just wondering why they were kept secret at all. I mean, they risked telling the public about Spartan-IIs, risking the revelation of their abduction and conscription, yet they need to keep secret a bunch of space-planes whose only "dark history" was how they smelted some ore and welded it with a bunch of reverse-engineered Covenant tech? Maybe I'm just a bit naive about military crap, but letting the public know that some Human ships now had shields wouldn't be an altogether bad thing, would it?
There's one mention in the canon of Noble Six using their pilot of the Sabre against Insurrectionists at Mamore. It's possible then that the UNSC is keeping the knowledge of Sabres secret because they worry that Insurrectionists might take advantage of that knowledge and thus be better prepared to counter a Sabre, or worse yet, capture one. (Also, the Spartan-II Program didn't go public until 2547, 22 years after the war began.)
Also, why not just use a Longsword? It can operate in atmosphere, orbit, and cross between the two without needing a booster. It's a multirole air/spacecraft which fulfills the roles of interceptor, space superiority fighter, AND bomber. Just toss a shield generator onto the thing and you'll have an air/spacecraft that is superior to the Sabre in every way. And better yet, it's already canon. Did the manta ray wing profile just not look photogenic or something?
Best guess? We're playing in the role of the Army in Reach. Longswords may be affiliated solely with the Navy. So while Sabres may seem ineffectual, they are more practical for the roles the Army would be called on more often/make more logical sense to test two prototype concepts at the same time.
A Longsword is also twice the size of a Sabre (210 ft long and 246 ft wide, versus a Sabre's 80ft length by 62ft width). We know that part of the difficulty of reverse-engineering Covenant shields is that the power requirements go up as the shield gets bigger, so the UNSC had to cut down to a fighter design nearly 3 times smaller to make the shielding addition practical.
How the hell did all those Covenant sneak up on Noble Team, let alone the rest of Reach's military and defensive networks anyway?
It started as just one ship (the rest didn't come until Jorge blew that one up, and by then the humans were well aware of Covenant presence). And Reach being a major planet, probably gets a lot of space traffic, so one ship could've blended in. The ground forces mostly stuck to wilderness, countryside, or otherwise mostly isolated places not likely to attract a lot of attention. We also see them using lots of radar and communication jammers.
Also, Reach is considerably larger than earth: that outpost in Winter Contingency was probably very isolated, so one or two dropships carrying Spec-Ops and Zealots could slip in and drop them off, no problem. By the time the station was silenced, more could descend and establish a small occupation. And it wasn't like it was a full-scale battle, it was 6 Spartans and a few surviving marines against 100-200 Covenant. As for the dozen or so camps shown in Tip of the Spear, in the time between Winter Contingency and Tip of the Spear, a well-lead force like the Covenant could have set them up easily.
Leadup to Jorge's Sacrifice
On the Fridge Brilliance entry, it's mentioned that the reason Jorge has to stay behind to detonate the slipspace bomb is because he got rid of his Re-Entry Pack after getting off the Sabre. This only raises another question: Why? Why did Jorge think it necessary, safe, or an all around good idea to ditch it?
All I can think of is that he had to get to the Savannah quickly, and if he had gone into space with it, it would have activated or something and messed up his course. Besides, getting stranded on a ship with "the only way off is gravity" as the only option wasn't part of the plan, they were supposed to fly off (although if you think about it, the chances of the mission going well was one in a million: there was way more chance of getting shot, stabbed, blown up, etc. than accidentally falling off a ship, especially with magnetic boots).
When I saw the scene when you enter Anchor 9 I heard an A.I. say his re-entry pack malfunctioned and then he asked for an override. He didn't get rid of it, it just broke, presumably in the dogfighting beforehand.
It might also have something to do with Jorge's size. The Saber cockpit was probably never designed to accommodate someone as large as a fully armored Spartan II. He might have had to ditch the re-entry pack just to fit in the seat.
Why didn't Jorge just grab a Marine or a Sailor and have him set off the bomb?
I'm pretty sure that, canonically, all of the other UNSC Soldiers on the ship were killed after the final assault on the hangar.
Oh yes, very heroic. "Hey you, private. Come set this bomb off and die for me. Thanks."
Why didn't he create a remote detonator? Would that have taken too long or what?
It was a rush job, and the system to have it detonate automatically was damaged. Probably the same would be true of a remote detonation.
Rigging up a remote detonator would take several minutes. Those were minutes that they did not have.
What I don't get is: what was the point of throwing Six out off the ship? She didn't really seem to be protesting at all. She seemed pretty down with the idea of him taking one for the team when he gave her his dogtags. So... was he just being dramatic or what?
My guess is he just wanted to make dead sure Six was off before he set off the bomb. What better way to do that than to toss him off himself? Also, maybe, to put some emphasis on his last statement.
Jorge might also have thought that Six would put up a protest, and decided to preempt any debate on the issue. An almost hug-like grappling of fists turns into a lift and a toss, settling the issue.
My question; Why didn't Jorge just start the bomb and throw himself out of the ship? UNSC Slipspace drives take time to power up. And this one's not connected to a fusion generator for power. It would take at least thirty seconds to power up and then depoly. More than enough time for Jorge to jump.
It looks like the plan was for him to crash-land into the super carrier and then detonate the thing. Or, like the answer above, he just wanted to be dead sure.
From the looks of the cutscene, this drive activates as soon as the countdown ends. Likely it was already in a dormant powered-on mode.
What kind of Spartan is Thom-293?
Halo Wiki and a bunch of other unoffical Halo info stuff says he's a Spartan-III, but his Word of God name says he's a Spartan-II.
He's a Spartan-III. With the exception of Ralph-303, no Spartan-IIs have a tag exceeding 150. The lack of a letter in his Spartan tag doesn't mean he's an S-II, because none of NOBLE Team had letters in their tag. Halopedia had to guess which company they were from, and thus their tag's letter, based on the team members' birth dates. Thom's birthday has never been released, therefore we don't know what company he's from. He's also not as tall as a Spartan-II would be, in the Deliver Hope trailer.
L No S Space Battle
What baffles me is why did Anchor 9 have their guns powered down? If they knew about Operation: UPPERCUT, which, most likely, they would, wouldn't they have the guns charged prior? After all, UPPERCUT takes place a day after the massive ground battle at Viery, giving them plenty of time to charge guns in case some ships find Anchor 9 and try to destroy it.
It didn't seem they were expecting a battle. Anchor 9 was just supposed to be a rally point for the Sabres to meet with the Savannah, and judging by the intense attack on the Sabre launch center the offensive by the Covenant had been rather recently started, not ongoing. Given their defensive batteries were about 56% charged once the first space Banshee attack began, they had been charging them as soon as hearing of the recent attack on launch center.