Machinima / The Codex

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_codex.jpg
I think the war just got here
A Halo machinima series released during 2005, The Codex was created by Edgeworks Entertainment, headed by Alexander Winn and Ryan Luther. Consisting of twenty episodes, it focuses on the Covenant invasion of a human planet named Ariaos II in order to recover a Forerunner artifact called the Codex.

The human resistance is lead by two teams of Spartan II supersoldiers, Red Team and Blue Team. Befitting their names, Red Team is lead by Jack Foster, a wild and optimistic soldier, and Blue Team is lead by Candice McKenzie, a more reserved and precise soldier. Overall command falls to the leader of the Spartans, the Chief. The Covenant forces are lead by the Praetor, supported by Anda Sofadee, and complicated by the presence of the Cleric and his Seraphim, who have their own agenda.

It is set as close to Halo canon as possible and focuses on the action and drama of its franchise, forgoing the humor that most Halo machinimas shoot for. The entire series was conceived and completed before any of its production crew had completed college and was produced only on personal computer equipment and X-Box consoles. Copyright laws meant that Edgeworks Entertainment could make no profits off the sale of the videos themselves, and instead kept the site active and funded through "sponsorships." It won six categories of the 2005 Rockets on Prisoner awards, and has a large international fan base. Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, even blogged about it.

Can be found here, with the videos now hosted on YouTube, and on iTunes in podcast form. The series spawned a prequel series released two years later, titled The Heretic. The Reclaimer, a sequel, was planned, but Edgeworks decided against making it due to Microsoft's Content Usage Terms.


The Codex Series Contains Examples Of:

  • Action Girl:
    • Anda Sofadee is the leader of the Covenant Special Forces, which the Cleric is apalled by.
    • Candice McKenzie is the leader of Blue Team, and the Spartan that the Chief relies on when he needs precision.
  • Anti-Villain: The Praetor has noble qualities that make him quite superior, at least on a moral perspective, to the Cleric, while maintaining a genuine and deeply personal faith in the religion of the Covenant.
  • All There in the Manual: The Edgeworks Entertainment web-site hosted a lot of info on the personal history of all characters (Since removed from the page). This included names for many unnamed characters, training and areas of expertise, and general background information.
  • All There in the Script: The official web-site gave the names of many characters who are not named in the series themselves.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Lykurgus, the Spartans' AI.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Praetor is the overall commander of all Covenant forces in the system, and is one of the best one-on-one fighters. The Cleric reveals that he is as well when he duels the Praetor in the final episode.
  • Badass Normal: Sergeant Henderson and his ODSTs, which arrive in the middle of the series to support the SPARTANs against the Covenant.
  • Beam Spam: The UNSC vs Covenant fleet battles in The Heretic are filled with plasma and laser fire arcing across the screen in swatches thick enough to almost blot out the action.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Even the other Spartans realize that Jack and McKenzie's constant head-butting covers a deeper attraction.
  • Big Bad: The Cleric is the overarching threat, even above the Praetor. While the Praetor wants to kill the main characters and conquer the planet, the Cleric wants to activate the Halo systems to destroy all life in the galaxy.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Jack, quite literally, runs screaming into the midst of the enemy army.
  • Broad Strokes: The Codex universe is explicitly set within the "real" universe of the Halo games and novels, but lets a few of the details slip through the cracks in order to create a story involving a second batch of SPARTAN II Super Soldiers that could not exist in official canon.
  • Call-Forward: In their introduction in The Heretic, the prequel series, the Chief admonishes Jack for not treating the training exercise as he would a real battle, since in real life he would not charge blindly into the ranks of the enemy. Both Jack and Candice, however, say that they have no knowledge that he would not do such a thing.
  • The Cavalry: The UNSC Fleet, complete with announcement that "the cavalry has arrived."
  • Church Militant: Since this is Halo, the Covenant itself displays this, though the Cleric and his Seraphim are quite a bit more zealous than most of them.
  • Co-Dragons: Erda Renadee and Anda Sofadee are the Praetor's two closest lieutenants. Anda commands the elite Special Operations forces, while Erda commands the elite attack forces.
  • Cold Sniper:
    • Chris Hobart, the sniper on Red Team, is somewhat distant and quiet, especially compared to the machismo of the rest of Red Team.
    • Matt Caine, the sniper for Blue Team, turns this Up to 11: In the entire series he never says one single word.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Anda Sofadee rushes in to kill the Cleric and save the Prater right as the Cleric was about to perform the killing blow.
  • Death Seeker:
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Apparently memories work this way.
  • The Dragon: The Captain of the Seraphim is this to the Cleric. Especially after he becomes the Praeceptor.
  • Dynamic Entry: Anda Sofadee rushes in to kill the Cleric and save the Praetor right as the Cleric was about to perform the killing blow.
  • Elite Mook: The Seraphim, who serve as the Cleric's personal forces.
  • Enemy Civil War: Throughout the series, the Cleric and the Praetor turn increasingly argumentative and antagonistic to one another, and try to one-up one another at every turn. At the end of the series, the Cleric and his Seraphim try to wrest control of the military from the Praetor, resulting in the outbreak of open combat between their forces. The humans manage to dodge an enormous bullet as a result of the Elites' internal strife.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Chief's name is not revealed in either series, nor is the Praetor's. The Cleric was known only as "Cleric" in The Codex, but received a proper name in The Heretic.
  • Everyone Can See It: It is apparent to most of the Spartans that Jack and McKenzie have deep feelings for each other.
  • Guns Akimbo:
    • Almost every human character wields two pistols at least once, even if it is just an arming scene.
    • Elites are often shown wielding two Plasma Rifles. This also allows for the appearance of more people than there actually are by having all of the Elites dual-wielding offscreen.
  • The Hero: The Chief, nominally, but Jack does a lot of the major stunts.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jack does this in the final episode, holding off waves of Elites while armed with only a shotgun so that a bomb may detonate and destroy the Codex.
  • Jerkass: The Cleric, who will mock and criticize the Praetor no matter how well something goes because he disapproves of him placing a female in such a high rank. In his first appearance he goes from complimenting the Praetor on taking the Codex with such minimal damage and loss of life to mocking the operation as sloppy as soon as Anda Sofadee is revealed to have been the actual commanding officer.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Although it's not quite full-on running away, the Captain of the Seraphim spends the entirety of his fight backing away from Anda Sofadee after she sees the Cleric win his fight with the Praetor.
  • The Lancer: Jack and McKenzie compete to see who deserves the title on their side, as they each have skills that the Chief uses depending on the situation. Red Team (Jack) specializes in flashy, large-scale maneuvers while Blue Team (McKenzie) is quiet, stealthy, and precise.
  • Lost Superweapon: The Codex. Its function is to activate all seven Halos simultaneously.
  • Ludicrous Precision: Lykurgus is fond of this, although he is an AI...
  • Macross Missile Massacre: In The Heretic, the UNSC fleet bursts to the rescue and immediately begins launching hundreds of missiles. Energy shields being what they are, this is less effective than it might have been otherwise, but that's strictly canon.
  • Mauve Shirts: The ODSTs; some individual members are named and they appear in several episodes, but they don't receive detailed characterization, lack any identifying decals, and get killed whenever a large bodycount is needed.
  • Not So Different: When the Praetor and the Chief are each giving a Rousing Speech to their respective armies the video keeps cutting back and forth between them, highlighting that they are both fighting for their beliefs, nation and greater purpose than their own survival.
  • Old-School Dogfight: The CGI space battles in The Heretic feature several shots of Longsword fighters and Covenant Scarabs duking it out.
  • Power Glows: The Seraph Captain glows after he levels up and becomes the Praeceptor.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Jack delivers his punctuation with shotgun blasts.
    SCREW! YOU! YOU! UGLY! ALIEN! BASTARD!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Team is most suited to blowing things up out in the open, while Blue Team is most suited to quietly sneaking in the back way. Their respective leaders, Jack Foster and Candice McKenzie, each epitomize their own team.
  • Red Shirts: Green Team, the Spartan team killed almost to a man in the second episode of The Codex.
  • Rousing Speech: The Chief and the Praetor each give one to their troops in Episode 18, at the same time, while the video cuts back and forth between them.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: When Green 2 stays behind to give the other Spartans time to escape, the time everybody spends standing still arguing about it is actually longer than the delay he causes.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: When Green 2 and the Captain of the Seraphim square off the Spartan begins to unload his shotgun at the Elite, supplemented by a grenade, while the Captain slowly walks forward and kills him with a single stroke of his energy sword.
  • Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: The Chief does this to the Covenant in Episode 15, rigging the base at Mount Jefferson to blow as the humans make their escape.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: The Cleric is appalled that the Praetor has elevated a female to lead the Special Operations elites. This seems to be what singly turns him against the Praestor, and he and the Captain of the Seraphim derisively refer to Anda Sofadee as "breeder".
  • Stupid Sacrifice: When Green 2 decides to stay behind to give the other Spartans time to escape, their lead over the pursuing Elites was great enough that nobody had to stay behind at all.
  • Super Soldier: The SPARTAN II's
  • Survivor Guilt: Green 2, the only survivor of his team's massacre. This leads him to become a Death Seeker.
  • Sword Fight: The duel between the Praetor and the Cleric in the final episode. One of the first instances, if not THE first instance, of an energy sword duel in machinima.
  • Thwarted Coup de Grāce: In the climax of episode 20, the Cleric has the Praetor at his mercy and states that he will be thorough in killing him, only for Anda Sofadee to appear and kill him just as his sword is raised.
  • Unstoppable Rage: After she sees the Cleric win his fight with the Praetor, Anda Sofadee's subsequent fight is a steady, constant advance that even the Captain of the Seraphim constantly backs away from.
  • UST: There is quite a bit of this between Jack and Candace; fan opinion is split on whether it is genuine UST, or if they both know there are feelings but enjoy the banter.
  • V-Formation Team Shot: The Evil version. The Seraphim just love posing in a line with either the Cleric or their Captain before them.
  • Villain Protagonist: The Praetor qualifies for one of these. Despite his noble qualities, he is still committing genocide on the human race, after all.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Cleric, being a cleric of the Covenant, is revered by all the soldiers of the Covenant. When the Preator fears the Cleric will try to kill the Foreman he has members of the Special Operations Elites covertly guard the engineer, but being constantly shadowed by combat soldiers leads the Foreman to fear that the Praetor is trying to kill him and he runs to the Cleric for help.
  • Witty Banter: Jack and "Candy," and all the Spartans really, are a bit chatty.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Jack calls Candice "Candy" because it infuriates her. When he calls her "McKenzie", even she does a double take.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once the Foreman gains entrance to the Codex the Cleric decides that his survival is no longer a strict necessity.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Green 2 stays behind to buy time for the other Spartans to escape...at least, until the Captain of the Seraphim shows up.

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