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Anime / Halo Legends

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Halo Legends is an anime-styled series of seven short stories set in the Halo universe. What The Animatrix did for the The Matrix films and Batman: Gotham Knight did for The Dark Knight Trilogy, Halo Legends does for the Halo Expanded Universe. It was produced by Microsoft's internal Halo entertainment team, 343 Industries, with the animation done by six production houses, namely Bee Train, Studio Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G, Studio 4°C, and Toei Animation. The shorts were originally released one by one on Halo Waypoint over the course of late 2009, before getting a full DVD/Blu-ray release in early 2010.

The stories shown in this movie are:

  • The Babysitter (Studio 4°C): A story about the rivalry between the Spartan-IIs and the ODSTs as they're sent to a Covenant-controlled world to assassinate a Covenant Prophet.
  • The Duel (Production I.G): Taking place long before the Human-Covenant War, this short tells the story of an Arbiter, Fal 'Chavamee, who refuses to accept the Covenant religion.
  • The Package (Casio Entertainment): A CGI-film about a SPARTAN-II raid on a Covenant fleet.
  • Origins (Studio 4°C): An expansive history covering the past 100,000 years of the Halo universe, narrated by Cortana in between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4 (which was released 2 years after the compilation was released). It is comprised of two parts.
  • Homecoming (Production I.G / Bee Train): Focuses on the tragedies caused by the SPARTAN-II program's means of recruitment, and the Spartans coming to terms with their new life.
  • Prototype (Studio Bones): The story of a Marine nicknamed "Ghost" who, despite orders to destroy an advanced prototype armor, uses the suit to buy time for the people evacuating from the planet.
  • Odd One Out (Toei Animation): A non-canon, Affectionate Parody involving a Hot-Blooded Spartan only known as SPARTAN-1337 getting stranded on an unknown dinosaur-inhabited planet.

This series features examples of:

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    In General 
  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Though only The Package is 100% CGI, visible computer effects can be seen in several of the other episodes.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Quite a few preexisting characters got a hair color change; specific examples are listed with their respective shorts.
  • Alien Invasion: The shorts primarily focus on the war against the Covenant, a multi-species religious hegemony seeking to wipe out humanity for supposedly being living affronts against their gods.
  • Alien Sky: Almost all of the scenes take place on planets not named "Earth", so the skylines tend to be on the exotic side.
  • All There in the Manual: Not only does the collection serve as supplementary canon for the games, but the shorts themselves reference a lot of lore that (at least at the time of release) only existed in the expanded universe. Additionally, 343i has since released numerous bits of lore that provide extra background details for all of the shorts (minus Odd One Out).
  • Animation Bump: It's quite obvious that The Package, Origins, and Odd One Out were the shorts that received the best animators, with The Babysitter being the best animated of the other four shorts. Prototype also gets a big bump in animation quality during its climactic fight scene.
  • The Anime of the Game: A rare case of this being literal for a Western franchise, which usually go with Western Animation studios for their animated adaptations.
  • Artistic License: Per Word of God, the animators were given a lot of liberty to mess with the visuals. For example, the shorts have a habit of giving the Covenant species the wrong color of blood (such as The Package having all the Covenant bleed green, even though no core Covenant species canonically has green blood). Again, further examples are listed with their respective shorts. invoked
  • Art Shift: Since all the stories are done by different studios, they all have varying styles.
  • Broad Strokes: The shorts take a number of liberties with previously established canon. This quickly became contested among the fans, though later sources managed to reconcile some of the discrepancies.
  • Dubtitle: Did they record the Japanese or the English dub first? In any case, the English home release captions the English dub on both audio tracks, making watching the Japanese track rather distracting due to inconsistent scripts (wildly different, in some cases), timing that's fine for English but horribly distracting to a regular viewer of subtitled Japanese, and very noticeable silence filling.
  • Dull Surprise: Evident in a lot of the voice-acting in the English dub. Especially in Homecoming, where the UNSC Marines, who are supposedly surrounded, outnumbered, outgunned, strung-out, and fighting for their lives, sound bored and uninterested.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: While the shorts do mostly follow characters not seen before, pretty much all the main characters are either Spartans, ODSTs, or Sangheili (who are actually referred to by humans as "Elites").
  • Humanoid Aliens: Most of the alien species seen are four-limbed bipedals. In order from most to least human-like, we have the Forerunners (who themselves speculate in later media that the Precursors are the reason why they and humanity look surprisingly similar), the Brutes (who look like ape-bear hybrids), the Grunts (who look like arthropod monkeys), the Prophets (who have incredible long necks), the Jackals (who have a rather bird-like appearance), and the Elites (who look like tailless dinosaurs with a distinctive split jaw). The Hunters have a vaguely humanoid form, but are actually sapient worm colonies.
  • Laser Blade: The signature weapon of the Elites is the dual-pronged energy sword.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Several of the shorts demonstrate just how fast, strong, and tough the Spartans really are when not constrained by gameplay mechanics.
  • One-Man Army: Every single Spartan is shown to be a force onto themselves.
  • Powered Armor: The signature MJOLNIR worn by the Spartans.
  • Proud Warrior Race: Like in other Halo media, the Elites are shown to relish the glory of combat.
  • Super-Soldier: The Spartan-IIs were created to be humanity's finest soldiers, though the shorts have a fondness for showing how their numbers got thinned out.

    The Babysitter 
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Dutch is canonically brunette, but he's portrayed as blonde here.
  • Anime Hair: This trope is naturally in effect, given the medium, with O'Brien's fuzzy mop being a particularly egregious offender. In the commentary track, it's noted that real-life Marines would pretty much all have buzz cuts, but this trope was used to help visually distinguish the ODSTs from each other.
  • Badass Normal: Orbital Drop Shock Troopers are the best non-Spartan soldiers in the entire UNSC, and this squad is no different.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: O'Brien spends most of the mission resentful at being the backup sniper for Cal-141. He ultimately gets to take the primary shot, but only because Cal sacrificed herself to save him.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Checkman, the one black ODST in the squad, ends up dying before he's even able to exit his drop pod.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The squad succeeds in taking out the Prophet, but the Spartan dies saving O'Brien.
  • Brutish Character, Brutish Weapon: The Brute Chieftain wields a massive Gravity Hammer.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Downplayed. After Cal saves O'Brien from drowning by literally hurling his drop pod out of a swamp, O'Brien starts to complain about being thrown around, but instantly shuts up the moment he sees Cal staring down at him.
  • Compressed Hair: How does Cal-141 manage to fit all her hair into the tight confines of her helmet?
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Even without a gun, Cal is able to deliver a total beatdown to a Brute Chieftain.
  • Foreshadowing: The "alien" ruins on Heian. When you see them, you can clearly see the elements of ancient human architecture in them. It seems the producers were lazy, right? Wrong! Both Halo: Cryptum and the Halo: Evolutions short story From the Office of Dr. William Arthur Iqbal imply that those ruins are the last remnants of the prehistoric human civilization that once rivaled the Forerunners.
  • Embarrassing Rescue: Cal's second save of O'Brien is a major blow to the latter's ego, and Dutch instantly calls him out for his ungratefulness.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The officer briefing the ODSTs makes note of their resentment of the Spartans, but tells them to keep it out of the mission. With the exception of O'Brien's continual bitching, the squad manages to do so, and they all develop real respect for Cal-141 by the end.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Despite being smacked in the face with a Gravity Hammer, Cal is still able to live long enough to both order O'Brien to complete the mission and hand over her intel to the ODSTs.
    • Additionally, the Brute Chieftain not only survives being beaten to a pulp by Cal and kicked off a waterfall, but still has enough energy left over to track down his assailants and kill (though by accident) Cal.
  • Neck Snap: Dutch disposes of a Grunt this way.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: As the ODSTs quietly mourns for the death of Cal during lunch, a crewman who's a fan of the ODSTs joins their table. Unfortunately, he makes the mistake of bad mouthing Cal's death as "proof" that Spartans aren't badass as the ODSTs. O'Brien and his team throw their food at the rude guy and give him a Death Glare for disrespecting their late comrade.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Cortez assassinates a Grunt with the butt of his SMG.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Spartan turns out to be female (Cal-141 is presumably short for something like "Calandra", "Calantha", "Callee" etc.) Given that she never once speaks until her helmet is torn off, which itself only happens after she's been mortally wounded, the trope seems to be played more so that O'Brien realizes that there is an actual human underneath the armor, rather than any particular importance on femininity.
  • Shout-Out: A Super-Soldier badass is sent to a squad of normal human beings and is wrongly believed to be male. She is an amazing shot and her gender is only discovered after being injured. She also dies. Are we talking about Cal-141 or Tex from Red vs. Blue?
  • The Squad: The short follows a four-man ODST team and an accompanying Spartan.
  • Taking the Bullet: Cal is mortally wounded when she takes a direct Gravity Hammer blow to the face in order to save O'Brien.
  • Title Drop: When O'Brien initially hears that they'll have another sniper for the upcoming mission, he complains about having to be a "babysitter" for some "farmboy moose hunter". The extra hand turns out to be a Spartan who if anything ends up babysitting him — and the question that goes unanswered is "who was babysitting who?"

    The Duel 
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Of a sort, and in terms of male Sangheili, subverted. Sangheili are portrayed initially as having more humanoid mouths... But they can open up their mandibles to take a more traditional appearance similar to a threat display when provoked.
  • Art Shift: Uniquely, the short uses a filter to make the artwork resemble a watercolor painting.
  • BFS: Haka's giant metal sword, unusual in a setting dominated by Laser Blades.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: The short took a lot of Artistic License in order to achieve this trope; this is its depiction of a female Sangheili/Elite! Canonically, however, female Sangheili are actually physically nearly indistinguishable from males (slightly shorter with wider hips); Word of God is that the animators simply felt that making Han too "alien" would, well, alienate audiences, with 343i head Frankie O'Connor even admitting around the time of release that a canon-compliant visual depiction of her would be a lot more "alien and gross".
  • The Brute: Haka, a hulking clansman of Fal who serves as the Prophets' most capable muscle.
  • Collateral Angst: Han's death at the hands of Haka serves primarily to drive Fal to his fatal duel against her killer.
  • Defector from Decadence: The short reveals that the reason why the previous-esteemed rank of Arbiter became a position of shame for the Elites is because Arbiter Fal 'Chavamee rebelled against the Covenant after no longer being able to tolerate how it's corrupted his people.
  • Dual Wielding: During his battle against an entire Covenant army, the Arbiter's Energy Sword runs out of power, so he punches out two enemy Elites and grabs both their swords.
  • Doomed by Canon: Anyone who has played Halo 2 knows the Arbiter is a rank shamed Elites take on to redeem themselves through suicide missions. Fal is the reason it is.
  • Downer Ending: The Arbiter and his closest family and allies are all dead, the Covenant's oppressive theocracy continues on, and the very position of Arbiter has become a mark of shame.
  • Flashback: Most of the short is technically a flashback showing why the Arbiter is heading to the titular duel.
  • Flashback Nightmare: The scenes of the Arbiter publically declaring his opposition to the Covenant's beliefs are revealed to be a flashback dream he's having.
  • Giant Mook: Hunters have always been huge, but the ones here are several stories tall.
  • Happily Married: The Arbiter has a very loving relationship with his wife Han.
  • The Heavy: Haka is the one who carries out the Prophets' dirty work and is Fal's target when he kills Han.
  • High-Pressure Blood: A massive torrent of blood spurts out of Fal after he's mortally wounded by Haka.
  • Honor Before Reason: Fal is well aware that any rebellion against the Covenant will not end well for him and his clan, but he cannot stand the dishonor of serving under the Prophets' lies any longer. In fact, the Prophets end up exploiting this by having Haka kill Fal's wife so that Fal is honor-bound to challenge Haka, even if he knows it'll lead him into a trap.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Covenant army can not land a single shot on the Arbiter while he's charging in on them (though some of this is due to Fal's own skill).
  • In Medias Res: The first scene, which shows the Arbiter heading towards his climatic duel with Haka, takes place after most of the events in the short have already happened.
  • Master Swordsman: With nothing but a couple of energy swords, Fal 'Chavamee is able to take on (and destroy) an entire ARMY of Covenant soldiers alone. He's even able to deflect several plasma shots with his blade.
  • Origin Story: For the Arbiter's legacy within The Covenant as one of shame. And also its true legacy, as one of honor and vengeance that Thel'Vadam eventually rekindles. It even showcases the kind of context the Covenant have when they use the phrase "demon" as they do with the Master Chief.
  • Praetorian Guard: Haka travels with six bodyguards and they ambush Fal as he goes to confront Haka. The vengeful Arbiter kills them all without suffering a scratch.
  • Predator Pastiche: While the Elites are already Predator-like, Han has another aspect not seen before or since: dreadlock-like hair.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: The entire duel between Fal and Haka consists of only a single strike from each, ending in a Mutual Kill.
  • Skyward Scream: The Arbiter does this upon finding Han's corpse.
  • Suicidal Sadistic Choice: Haka forces Fal's attendant Roh to help him execute Han on pain of death. Then he kills Roh anyways.

    The Package 
  • Action Girl: Kelly-087, who can more than keep up with her male Spartan teammates.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Though Dr. Halsey is canonically 52 years old at the time the short takes place in, she's a full-blown sexy scientist here. The producers have admitted that they let her design stray from canon for a little fanservice.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Halsey is canonically dark-haired, but is made blonde here.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: Unlike the other shorts, this one is completely CGI.
  • Battleship Raid: The entire short is about the Spartans attempting to retrieve the titular package from a Covenant ship.
  • Beehive Barrier: The Spartans deploy a Bubble Shield to protect themselves upon first boarding the Covenant command ship.
  • Big, Bulky Bomb: Of the same spiky type the Covenant used in Halo 2; they've been spread all over the Covenant fleet as decoys, and one is used to kill Solomon-069 after he's lured to the wrong ship.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Spartans successfully save Halsey, but at the cost of two of their number.
  • Black Dude Dies First: The one black Spartan of the group, Solomon-069, is the first to die.
  • Call-Forward: From Halsey to John:
  • Continuity Nod: Much of the banter between the Master Chief and Dr. Halsey is exactly the same as the dialogue between Chief and Halsey's AI clone Cortana in the games.
  • Cool Ship:
    • The ONI Prowler, which serves as a stealth carrier with legit active camo.
    • The Booster Frames piloted by the Spartans are basically flying space motorcycles bristling with missiles and various kinds of cannons.
  • Disposable Vehicle Section: The Covenant flagship starts detaching several of its own sections in an attempt to stop the Spartans from reaching the package, killing a ton of its own crew in the process.
  • Distinctive Appearances: The Spartans all wear different-looking (and colored) armor from each other, so we can tell which one is which. This was unlike previous Halo media; Halo: The Fall of Reach explicitly noted that the Spartans all looked identical with no visual markers when in full armor, with just their trackers to tell them apart. However, later media like Halo: Reach decided it was unfair to keep the player/audience guessing every time, so they too began featuring more customization.
  • Dual Wielding: Fred pulls out two knives in his fight against the Elites.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: The Elite Supreme Commander configures several bombs to emit the same beacon frequency as the titular package, and spreads them out among his fleet so that he can lure the Spartans to an explosive death. He successfully kills Solomon this way, but the remaining Spartans quickly figure out that he must be keeping the package on his flagship.
  • The Faceless: In keeping with Halo tradition, John's face is never shown, even though those of the other Spartans are.
  • Fanservice: Right before John-117, Fred-104, and Kelly-087 commence their assault on the flagship, there's a back shot of them crouched and bent forward ready to sprint toward a large group of Covenant soldiers. Guess whose butt we have the best view of?
  • Filling the Silence: Kelly-087 throws an extra Pre-Mortem One-Liner along with her grenades in the Japanese dub.
  • Gatling Good: Awesomely (if a bit impractically), the Booster Frames have a rear chaingun turret.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Frederic-104, being a good guy, sports several attractive facial scars in accordance with his appearance in the books.
  • Guns Akimbo: As befitting the short's focus on action, the main Spartan trio all do this, coupled with some fancy Gun Fu:
    • John pulls out two SMGs while back-flipping over a Brute.
    • Kelly grabs two plasma rifles out of (and while in) mid-air.
    • Fred takes the cake; he pulls out an SMG to take care of a group of Covenant to his side while still maintaining aim with his Spartan Laser.
  • Gunship Rescue: Twice! First, Halsey and John are saved from a group of Seraphs when Fred and Kelly show up in their own stolen Seraph. Then when another swarm of Seraphs appears, an ONI Prowler shows up in the nick of time to rescue everyone.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted when Frederic-104 remains behind to hold off seeming overwhelming numbers of Covenant while armed only with two knives...And survives. It helps that he had already appeared in multiple works which take place chronologically after The Package.
  • Honor Before Reason: When the Master Chief runs out of bullets against Major Thel 'Lodamee, the latter responds by... tossing him an Energy Sword so they can duel. Though Thel does beat the Chief rather easily almost immediately after, and the latter is only spared by the Elite Supreme Commander choosing to beam Thel out.
  • Human Popsicle: The titular "Package" turns out to be a cryotube containing Dr. Catherine Halsey.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The Spartan-IIs practically LIVE in bullet time, with their aim being on point regardless of what acrobatics they pull.
  • Lip Lock: The Japanese dub is not quite in sync, since the short is CGI and was animated based on the English track.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Booster Frames each have twelve missile pods that split into numerous small homing missiles.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Towards the end, Elite Supreme Commander Luro 'Taralumee pulls Thel 'Lodamee away on a gravity lift to retrieve him while their fleet escapes into slipspace. Unfortunately for the Covenant, Thel was just about to kill John when he got pulled away at the last minute.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Fred's fight against Thel 'Lodamee is never shown.
  • Outrun the Fireball: When the bomb that kills Solomon goes off, Fred and Kelly are just barely able to escape the explosion.
  • Out of Character: While Dr. Halsey is generally depicted as a cold, stoic character who the Spartans see as a motherly figure of sorts, this short gives her a more light-hearted and quippy personality similar to that of Cortana. She even comes close to flirting with John (which adds an unfortunate bit of Incest Subtext due to the aforementioned motherly role, though Halo: The Fall of Reach does imply that Halsey does indeed find John attractive despite herself).
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Frederic-104 says this right before he's about to take on the Major and his cronies:
    "Alright, the Great Journey ends here."
  • Red Shirt: Despite being Spartans, Solomon-069 and Arthur-079 seem to be only there for the purpose of having a couple of the good guys actually die.
  • Roboteching: Plasma torpedoes are shown to launch "vertically" from Covenant battlecruisers before homing in on their targets.
  • Saved by Canon: Even at the time of release, any Halo fan familiar with the expanded universe would already know that Chief, Kelly, Fred, and Halsey are guaranteed to survive.
  • Shout-Out: The Booster Frames look suspiciously similar to the GP03 Dendrobrium Orchis from Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.
  • Space Is Noisy: The space battle is full of the sounds of engines, weapons fire, and explosions.
  • The Squad: The short mostly follows a small Spartan-II fireteam.
  • We Have Reserves: The Elite Supreme Commander is rather cavalier with the lives of his soldiers, to the point of ejecting significant parts of his ship while his troops are still inside simply to slow down the Spartans' advance.

  • Converging-Stream Weapon: Forerunner weapons are depicted as being able to combine their fire into a single devastating beam.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Cortana is narrating to the Master Chief, despite the latter being in cryosleep.
  • A Death in the Limelight: The first Halo media to directly depict the Forerunners, choosing to do so right at the moment of their fall.
  • The Cameo: The turncoat Forerunner AI Mendicant Bias makes a brief appearance surrounded by Flood.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Cortana's narration waxes rather philosophically, implied to be at least partially due to rampancy.
  • Framing Device: Both parts are framed as Cortana narrating to an unconscious Chief while their ship drifts in space.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: With only her own thoughts and a sleeping Master Chief accompanying her, Cortana's psyche is not in the best of shape seven years after the end of Halo 3. And that's not even accounting for her developing Rampancy.
  • Hope Spot: In Part I, there's a brief moment of triumph when the Forerunners are initially launch their counterattack against the Flood. Then the short reminds you that it's the Forerunners who are fighting here.
  • Human Popsicle: Master Chief is still in cryosleep.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Deconstructed in Part II. Cortana laments that humanity will never be rid of war, and that the only thing keeping us from killing each other is uniting against a common foe.
  • Kaiju: Some of the Flood forms depicted are absolutely massive.
  • Recap Episode: Sort of. While all the animation is brand new, the actual "plot" is basically just a review of the franchise's overarching storyline that fans are almost certainly already familiar with.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Frankie O'Connor has stated that Origins is merely a rampant Cortana's own interpretation of events. Cortana herself even admits while recounting the Forerunner-Flood war that she's relying in part on guesswork.

  • Action Girl: Spartan Daisy-023, who's the toughest soldier in the entire short.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Dr. Halsey is depicted as blonde, despite being canonically dark-haired.
  • Clone Degeneration: Daisy-023's clone is sickly and confined to a wheelchair, and ends up dying from medical complications soon after she meets the original; while 26th century humanity is perfectly capable of cloning viable organs, creating a human clone that doesn't degenerate is still a pipe dream.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Ralph ends up killing his flash clone in a fit of despair and eventually washes out of the SPARTAN-II Program, while two of the other trainees who find their clones commit suicide offscreen. As for Daisy, she almost snaps and shoots her clone, but manages to stop herself at the last moment, afterwards throwing herself wholeheartedly into serving as a Spartan-II.
  • Dies Wide Open: After Daisy dies from her wounds, her eyes remain open until the Chief finds her body and closes them for her.
  • Downer Ending: Bordering on Shoot the Shaggy Dog; not only does Daisy die, but all of the soldiers she was escorting and all the soldiers sent to evac them are killed as well.
  • Due to the Dead: John-117 ends up finding Daisy's corpse while out on patrol. He makes sure to close her eyes and place her teddy bear keychain in her lifeless hands.
  • Dwindling Party: The escaping Marines fall one by one, until it's only Daisy and Sergeant Hauser left. And then they both die too.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Daisy's teddy bear keychain is a recurring image, being the only thing she has left of her pre-Spartan life. The final shot is of the doll in her hands after John finds her body.
  • Flashback: Much of the short consists of flashbacks about the time when Daisy and several other Spartan trainees attempted to run away from the SPARTAN-II Program. There's also a brief scene set even further back, showing when Daisy was kidnapped by ONI.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The first scene already shows Daisy serving as a Spartan-II, so even casual fans will already know that she's not going to be able to escape the program.
  • Hope Spot: A Pelican transport manages to arrive and gun down a bunch of Covenant just as Daisy and the surviving Marines make it to the evac point. However, Daisy gets mortally wounded by several Needler rounds, and the Pelican ends up getting blown up because the Marines won't listen to Daisy and leave her behind.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: Virtually every character not named Dr. Halsey or John-117 dies.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Sort of. While she doesn't do it in front of her superiors, Daisy does rip off her dog tag and throw it into a fountain after returning to her homeworld.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: After Daisy is mortally wounded, she yells at the Marines to leave her behind; their refusal to do so gets them all killed.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Deconstructed. It's Ralph's refusal to leave Daisy behind that gets everyone killed. In fact, it's implied that the evac attempt was doomed right from the start.
  • Old Friend: Daisy and Ralph both react in shock upon hearing each other's voices over the comms, as they haven't seen each other since their ill-fated escape attempt years ago. Despite how much time has passed, it's clear the two still regard each other quite fondly.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: Right after receiving their augmentations, Daisy, Ralph, and three other Spartan trainees attempt to escape the program and return back home.
  • Plot Parallel: The "present day" scenes of Daisy and her Marine comrades attempting to escape the Covenant are intercut with flashbacks of Daisy and some fellow trainees attempting to escape from the SPARTAN-II Program.
  • Replacement Goldfish: As per franchise canon, children abducted by the SPARTAN-II project are quietly replaced with faulty clones that die young, so the families never look for the real ones.
  • Samus Is a Girl: It's not until Daisy takes off her helmet after whooping a bunch of Covenant ass that it's revealed she's a woman.
  • Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: Daisy is shown to have a pretty spartan (har har) bob cut when she takes off her helmet.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Daisy's teddy bear keychain. She lost it while being kidnapped by ONI, but later had it returned by her clone as a parting gift.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Daisy and the other escapees (minus Joseph) manage to make it back to their homes, but they all realize after confronting their clones that they don't belong there anymore.

  • An Arm and a Leg: Ghost is implied to lose the lower half of his left arm when the prototype suit he's piloting gets its left arm blown off by a plasma grenade; blood is visible as the suit goes flying out of control from the ensuing explosion. Plot-wise, this signals that it's time for Ghost to activate the self-destruct.
  • Arc Words: "Be human". They serve as Ghost's driving force due to them being the last words a female marine from his squad said to him before she died. They are later the the prototype's password for the Self-Destruct Mechanism, and as soon as Ghost says them, he notes that for one last moment he's human again.
  • Arm Cannon: The titular prototype has a gatling gun and a grenade launcher on its right arm, and a pair of missile tubes on the left.
  • Badass Boast: Right before he's about to engage the Covenant with the prototype suit, Ghost has this to say:
    "Ghost to Hades Corp. Fall back immediately. Ignore the Covenant. I'll hold them off. Nobody's dying here."
  • Blood from the Mouth: After the prototype suit sustains too much damage and a plasma grenade blows off a part of Ghost's left arm, blood can be seen from his nose and the rightside corner of his mouth.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The Covenant meet some rather gruesome deaths at the hands of Ghost.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sergeant Ghost sacrifices himself to save the remaining evacuees.
  • Delayed Causality: While airborne, Ghost launches a missile at a flying Banshee that manages to seemingly clip the alien craft and careen onwards, only for the Banshee to slowly erupt into a fireball a few seconds later. A FREAKING MISSILE!
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Ghost is haunted by the memory of one of his marines slowly dying in his arms.
  • Distant Reaction Shot: The explosion from the prototype's nuclear self-destruct can be seen from outer space.
  • Due to the Dead: In a flashback, it's shown that though Ghost was unable to bury the marine who died in his arms, he still takes the time to properly lay her to rest, even putting some flowers in her hands.
    • At the end of the story, after Ghost sacrifices himself to save the evacuation as well as destroy the prototype, the commanding officer retracts his request for a court martial and furthermore officially lists Ghost as Missing In Action. Combined with the MJOLNIR-like appearance of the prototype, Ghost is essentially honored as a Spartan in death.
  • Final Speech: A dying female marine gives one to Ghost during a series of flashbacks, urging him to find his humanity.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: The titular prototype is essentially a scaled-up MJOLNIR suit with a wide variety of heavy weapons, a Jet Pack, and a dynamically-reacting Bubble Shield. And unlike MJOLNIR, it's able to be used by unaugmented humans.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The prototype is not just tough and powerful, but agile as hell, being capable of keeping up with aircraft.
  • Metaphorically True: Ghost's orders are to destroy the prototype suit and destroy all related data, not pilot it into battle. However, Ghost justifies his jumping into the suit by stating that he's already destroyed all the data and set the self-destruct timer, and is merely using the remaining time to buy his marines a chance to escape.
  • No Name Given: None of the characters in Prototype are named; even "Ghost" is just a callsign.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The password to confirm the prototype's Self-Destruct Mechanism just happens to be the last words of the female marine who died in Ghost's arms; "Be Human."
  • Quivering Eyes: The dying marine's eyes are visibly shaking as she tries to summon the strength to say her last words to Ghost.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Ghost openly disobeys his superior in order to use the prototype to save his people, since he's not planning on staying alive to be court-martialed anyways.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The prototype's nuclear reactor can be set to self-destruct in an emergency.
  • Shoulder Cannon: The suit has a missile launcher over the right shoulder and a recoiless rifle over the left.
  • Shout-Out: The prototype bears more than a passing resemblance to several mobile suits from Gundam's UC continuity. It is also apparently inspired by the titular mecha from an earlier anime directed by production designer Shinji Aramaki, the 1987 OVA Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01.
  • The Stoic: Ghost is not the type to show emotion, which is misunderstood by most of the other troopers as being a lack of empathy for those killed in the war. The only time his facade breaks is in a flashback showing Ghost screaming in grief after the last of his marines dies in his arms.
  • Super Prototype: As the short's name suggests, the suit is an experimental prototype that needs to be kept out of the hands of the Covenant at all costs.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Ghost's actions are ultimately an attempt to atone for losing the entirety of his previous platoon.
  • Taking You with Me: After Ghost is finally overwhelmed by the Covenant, he activates the suit's self-destruct mechanism, which generates an explosion large enough to take out any enemies in a large enough area to be seen from space.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: With the suit, Ghost is able to buy enough time for his marines to escape, taking down a whole bunch of Covenant ranging from Elites and Hunters to Wraiths and Phantoms in the process.

    Odd One Out 
  • Affectionate Parody: Of Dragon Ball-type Shōnen.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: The kids' T-Rex, who'll even play fetch if thrown a stick.
  • Arm Cannon: Pluton the Brute has energy cannons mounted on his arms.
  • Ascended Meme: There's SPARTAN-1337 himself, and there's Pluton getting ready to Shoop Da Whoop.
  • Beehive Barrier: 1337 makes use of the Bubble Shield a few times to save himself from Pluton.
  • Benevolent A.I.: "Mama" may be an aging rampant AI, but that doesn't stop her from caring for the residents of Cronkee like they're her own children.
  • Breather Episode: The only comedic short of the bunch.
  • Breath Weapon: Pluton can fire an energy beam from his mouth.
  • Canon Discontinuity: While the rest of the shorts are considered canonical, Odd One Out is explicitly intended to be "out of canon".
  • Captain Ersatz: The two teenagers act and fight exactly like Gohan and Videl from Dragon Ball Z.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The children towards SPARTAN-1337's antics.
  • Denser and Wackier: Basically "Halo, but as a goofy shonen anime". Where else would you see the Prophet of Truth send out a terminally stupid Brute Super-Soldier like a Monster of the Week and then lament that he needs a vacation?
  • Determinator: If nothing else, SPARTAN-1337 is persistent. To hear him say it:
    No one else would say it, so I will: the fact that I never give up is one of my good points!
  • Dumb Muscle: Pluton may be nigh-invincible, but he's also a complete idiot.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Pluton and SPARTAN-1337 aren't the only badasses on the planet; the two civilian teenagers can fight as well as any Shōnen protagonist.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: The beam Mama uses to open a slipspace rupture is rainbow colored for some reason.
  • Ghibli Hills: The planet of Cronkee consists almost entirely of untouched wilderness.
  • Hot-Blooded: SPARTAN-1337 tends to get rather passionate.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The teens in particular fight like they're Dragon Ball Z characters.
  • Made of Iron: SPARTAN-1337 takes an absolute pounding, but keeps on getting up.
  • Mama Bear: "Mama" will not tolerate anyone threatening her kids; it's mentioned she once drove out a band of Jackal pirates. Later, she straight up shoots Pluton into slipspace.
  • Megaton Punch: As part of the shounen-anime-style parody, Pluton is able to knock people across great distances.
  • Mistaken Identity: The Prophet of Truth sends out Pluton to crush Master Chief. SPARTAN-1337 is clad in the same iconic colors as John-117. Oops.
  • Mood Whiplash: On the DVD, Odd One Out comes immediately after Homecoming. It makes for a rocky transition.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Pluton takes some truly insane hits without suffering a single scratch and is still alive in space after getting blasted by a spaceship cannon through a slipspace rupture.
  • Power Levels: Pluton can explicitly increase his "power level."
  • Punch Parry: At one point, SPARTAN-1337 attempts to directly counter a punch from Pluton with one of his own; 1337 is blown away by the resulting impact, while Pluton is completely unaffected.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: As SPARTAN-1337 puts it:
    I. Am. Spartan!
  • Ramming Always Works: Mama disposes of Pluton by launching a space pod at him, pushing him through the slipspace portal.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The art style, the dinosaurs, Pluton's Chunky Updraft, and the baseball-shaped space pod (which unfolds to become Pluton's armor) are pretty explicit references to Dragon Ball Z.
    • The 'secret weapon' of the Covenant is called "Pluton", sharing a name with a certain battleship from One Piece, whose anime adaptation was also done by Toei Animation.
    • The slip-space cannon in the downed frigate in Odd One Out resembles the Macross Cannon from Macross.
  • Super Prototype: Pluton is stated to be a special project who hasn't been fully tested yet.
  • Team Mom: A rampant AI aboard an old crashed frigate turns out to be the one taking care of the kids on Cronkee. She's even literally referred to as "Mama".



How well does it match the trope?

4.33 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / DelayedCausality

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