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One hundred thousand years before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved, the Forerunners were the most advanced race in the galaxy, the builders of the Halo Array and bearers of "the Mantle of Responsibility", the duty to protect sentient life. During the war with the Flood, they were forced to wipe out all life within the galaxy save some survivors held in the Ark, outside the galactic rim. The remnants reseeded the galaxy with sentient life and then left the galaxy, declaring that humanity would inherit "the Mantle" and reclaim their lost technology. In the present, they are worshiped by the Covenant who believe that they used the Halo Array to propel themselves to godhood in "the Great Journey".
- Anti-Gravity Clothing: Implied to be an indication of high rank or age: the Didact gains several floating shoulder-pieces to his armor as he gains more influence and power over the years. The Master Builder had floating arm-pieces as well.
- The Atoner: A fairly popular line of thinking among Forerunners near the end of their reign was that they deserved their impending annihilation from the Halo Array due to their failure to uphold the Mantle of Responsibility and protect the other races of the galaxy. This is why Monitors attached to the Halos have names like Guilty Spark, Penitent Tangent, and Abject Testament.Guilty Spark: The history of all Forerunners was now lost to us. We relied upon the permanence of the Domain to preserve our record of the events that led to this point. But without that record, would future civilizations know anything about us? Or only of our weapons? My fellow Monitor, 049 Abject Testament, had only one comment on this before we went our separate ways.
Abject Testament: We deserve to be forgotten.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: They give their children really grandiose Names That Unfold Like Lotus Blossoms. When they gain prominent positions, they sometimes go entirely by their title (the Didact and the Librarian even call each other "Didact" and "Librarian", and they're married).
- Believing Their Own Lies: According to the Forerunners, the Mantle of Responsibility was guardianship of all life in the galaxy, which the Precursors passed onto them. One day another species would assume the Mantle from the Forerunners. In truth, the Forerunners stole the Mantle when they wiped out the Precursors to avoid being destroyed by them, and it was used as justification for placing other species beneath the Forerunners in terms of technology and evolution, ensuring that no one would be able to replace them. However, the Forerunners believed this propaganda so much that they sacrificed their own civilization to save other species from the Flood in the name of the Mantle.
- Big Brother Is Watching: The Ecumene had the capability to listen in on all personal communications. Notably, several high-ranking members of the government were unaware of this fact, and decried it as "spying on the citizens." Such communications were only monitored by ancillas, however, and only brought to the attention of organic Forerunners in the event of disasters or events involving alien species. They could also track any and all ships making slipspace journeys in the galaxy, provided they traveled along rational paths. The Didact managed to avoid having his ship tracked by making an irrational jump into a sharply inclined orbit far "above" the galactic plane.
- Bio-Augmentation: Whenever a Forerunner advanced in rank, they would undergo a corresponding artificial mutation depending on their rate. Typically, each mutation would take place over a number of years, though Warrior-Servants during wartime sometimes underwent quicker, more risky "brevet" mutations.
- Cain and Abel: They were Cain to humanity's Abel, with their "Parent," the Precursors declaring that humanity was worthy of the Mantle. They didn't take it too well.
- The Chosen One: Their religion teaches that they were chosen by the Precursors to protect and manage life around the galaxy. As it turns out, they just usurped the role; humanity was deemed more fit, and the Forerunners were slated for extermination.
- Crapsaccharine World: At first, the Forerunners appear to be a Perfect Pacifist People, but on closer inspection, their society was actually full of corruption and hypocrisy.
- Crazy-Prepared: They programmed the Halo's monitors to destroy anything that would threaten the Halos. Which goes a long way to explaining why Spark killed Johnson in Halo 3.
- In case a Halo was taken over by a hostile intelligence, including a Forerunner AI, they were programmed to smash themselves against the nearest planet to ensure they could not be used against the Forerunners.
- Death Equals Redemption: After millennia ruling an interstellar empire, their last act was to preserve all other species and fire the Halo Array that wiped themselves out.
- The Empire: What Forerunner civilization truly was.
- Fantastic Caste System: Forerunner society separated Forerunners into different castes called rates. There are six known rates, in descending order of powernote :
- Builders: The architects and engineers of Forerunner society. On top of other things, the Builders created the Halos. The highest ranking Builder bore the title Master Builder, and the last known Master Builder was Faber.
- Miners: The rate responsible for the gathering of the materials the Builders use for their work.
- Lifeworkers: The medical and biological scientists of the Forerunner Empire, who studied life in all its forms. The highest ranking Lifeworker bore the title Lifeshaper, and the last known Lifeshaper was The Librarian.
- Warrior-Servants: The militant arm of the Forerunner Empire. The supreme commander of the Warrior-Servants bore the title Protector of the ecumene, and the last known Protector was The Didact.
- Engineers: The lowest rate in Forerunner society, composed of biomechanical tools responsible for the maintenance of Forerunner technology. They would later be used for the same purpose by the Covenant.
- Juridicials, a rate of unknown ranking, maintained the law in Forerunner society. The rate apparently saw to the operation of both a police force and a justice system. The highest ranking Juridicial bore the title Master Juridicial.
- In addition, one or more rates existed before the Flood War that have been dissolved. The Theoreticals, for instance, known by a single member who proposed something that Warrior-Servants found heretical, who were merged with the Builders soon after her death a million years ago.
- Fantastic Racism: Many view themselves as better than everything else. The protagonist in Cryptum (a young Forerunner) mentions that his teachers impressed upon him that humans were little more than animals. When he meets them he sees this is not the case.
- Genius Bruiser: Warrior-Servant commanders, and all Prometheans, were given mutations that gave them extremely powerful bodies that could crush a human's skull with a single fist. They were also given extremely sophisticated brain functions to give them a further advantage on the battle-field, including the ability to simultaneously control up to a million drones of various types and sizes.
- Great Big Library of Everything: Mature Forerunners were able to access a unique database known as the Domain, which existed outside of normal space-time and contained all their ancestral records. Sometimes the Domain would make subtle changes to the records; these were rare events and were considered sacred, so they were not corrected. The Forerunners were largely cut off from the Domain during the war with the Flood, as Mendicant Bias was exhausting its archives to learn more about the Precursors. Halo: Silentium reveals that the Domain is not only sentient, but actually a Precursor creation (giving it the same origins as the Flood). The Gravemind also tells the Librarian that by activating the Halo Array, the Forerunner have ensured that the Domain would be destroyed. However, the Master Chief's apparent ability to access actual fragments of the Domain in Halo 4 suggests it may have survived, which seems to be fully confirmed in Halo 5: Guardians and in Promises to Keep, which shows IsoDidact and several other Forerunners set in motion the process of slowly repairing the Domain so humanity might someday access it.
- Hard Light: A major feature of their technology; many of their weapons fire hard light as their ammunition, some of their starships were made entirely of hard light, and most of their architecture in general seems to have made excessive use of it.
- Humanoid Aliens: The closest to humans appearance-wise; justified as being a sort of prototype developed a step before humanity by the Precursors. Especially noticeable among Forerunners that have not been mutated.
- Humans Are Special: Seemed to have held this view, since humanity were dubbed "Reclaimers" by them and chosen to inherit their technology after they left. But The Forerunner Saga deconstructs it. Humans were actually their enemies for many years, and the Forerunners weren't shy about punishing them after their great war against each other ended. It was mainly the Librarian and her Lifeworkers who forgave humans and chose them as their successors, while other rates like the Builders and Warrior-Servants remained prejudiced against them to the end.
- Hypocrite: When other species take over occupied worlds for habitation, they risk extermination in the name of the Mantle. When Forerunners do it, it's perfectly fine, though.
- Long-Lived: Even without their armor to sustain their life and slow their aging, Forerunners can live for remarkably long times. The short story Soma the Painter shows that the titular Forerunner, who has discarded her armor with the intent of dying of old age, has reached 417 years with little problem.
- Mecha-Mooks: Robotic drones were key to Forerunner warfare, to the point where they by far outnumbered the actual Warrior-Servants. In the games, pretty much all the Forerunner enemies are remnants of those ancient mechanical hordes.
- The Ministry of Truth: The Forerunner Council seemed to have a rather good one. Nobody in general population knew anything about the losing war against the Flood, they only heard about the quarantine due to some new plagues. The younger generation didn't have any knowledge about the bloody road to power of the Forerunners.
- Name That Unfolds Like A Lotus Blossom: Their aforementioned naming patterns. Examples include Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting, Splendid Dust of Ancient Suns, and Glory of a Far Dawn.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Unable to accept that they weren't the Precursor's choice to uphold the Mantle, they hunted their creators to near extinction. The reasonably pissed-off god-beings then swore to bring nothing new into the galaxy except pain, grief, and death to their creations, and as a result, the Halos had to be fired, causing unfathomable death and sorrow upon the entire galaxy. However, Halo: Primordium claims that the Precursors were planning to wipe them out as they had deemed necessary with other species in the past. Whether or not that decision was made before they declared war is anyone's guess.
- Not So Different: It's subtle, but you begin to notice that, despite their hat, they are about as variable personality-wise as humans. They have some Proud Warrior Race Guys, Friend to All Living Things, etc. They're also the closest to humans physically out of all the known species in Halo so far.
- Not so different from the Covenant either: they are advanced above all others, have a Fantastic Caste System, make use of their Precursors' technology without actually understanding it, and follow a religious creed that caused them to come into conflict with humanity, with said creed proved to be based off an enormous lie.
- No Kill Like Overkill: How Forerunners wage war. Even mere space battles are hard to describe. Their main tactic is usually to bring literally tens of millions (if not hundreds of millions) of ships and semi-automated drones to bear, and have them sweep across entire star systems in complex, mind-bending patterns. All the while, ancillas and organic Forerunner commanders are simulating the battle possibly quintillions of times, analyzing all possible outcomes and determining the best course of action. Every ship is also making such heavy use of slipspace, that reality itself unravels around the battle, and enemies are prevented from making proper use of FTL travel due to clogged "slipspace channels".
- One battle at the very end of the Forerunner-Flood war involved millions of ships. Once the Halo Array fired and killed the crews of the Forerunners' ships, Offensive Bias was able to begin flinging ships around as physical weapons, accelerating them fast enough that g-forces would liquefy their former inhabitants. This part of the battle involved the destruction of millions of Flood-controlled ships in under sixty seconds.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: High-ranking Forerunners gain unique titles which effectively become their names. The Didact and Librarian are good examples of this: even though they're husband and wife, they still call each other Didact and Librarian.
- Powered Armor: Most Forerunners wore a personal suit of armor for their entire lives. It took away the need for sleep, allowed them access to the "Domain" (a sort of ever-present ancestral memory-bank) via a personal AI/ancilla, gave them virtual immortality, and protected and healed them. Warrior-Servants and other military wore a variant known as a "Combat Skin".
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Librarian notes in Silentium that nearly all Forerunner technology is powered by Vacuum Energy, which draws huge amounts of energy by suppressing alternate universes' Big Bangs from occurring. She muses that she never realized the contradiction of the Mantle's doctrine of protecting life and the fact that they were preventing new cosmoses from being born never occurred to her before the Forerunners' own destruction was at hand.
- Precursors: And they had precursors of their own, whom they called... "The Precursors".
- Abusive Precursors: Their Mantle was an imperialist doctrine used to justify keeping themselves a superpower while all other species were kept lower in technology and society, sometimes by being forcibly devolved.
- Benevolent Precursors: However, not all were this. Many Forerunners objected to the idea of keeping other species down like that, and when the Flood came they took efforts to preserve many refugees at the cost of their own lives.
- Neglectful Precursors: Well, it turns out it was a bad idea to leave around enormous superweapons with only one Monitor to supervise them for a hundred millennia. And to leave samples of an evil plague inside it too. Well, that part was because the Monitors were still running tests on them for cures in case the Flood ever returned. But no progress appears to have been made.
- Precursor Killers: According to The Forerunner Saga, the Forerunners wiped out the Precursors who created them. While Primordium hints that the Precursors may have struck first, the truth of the matter is ultimately never settled, with the Gravemind insisting in Silentium that the Forerunners attacked without provocation.
- Ragnarök Proofing: Their stuff, built over 100 millennia ago, is still in pretty good shape.
- Sigil Spam: The Eld or Tree-mark, the symbol of the Mantle (pictured above), is everywhere in Forerunner architecture.
- Space Brasília: Played with. At first glance, everything they built looks to be made out of silver metal alloys, making heavy use of cantilevered construction, triangular structures topped off with spires, precise angles, and straight lines. However, each Forerunner Rate did have their own subtle touches:
- Builder structures were very large and elaborate, showcasing their enormous power and wealth. Most surfaces were very finely detailed and textured, and included copious amounts of blue lighting.
- Warrior-Servant structures were similar in several ways, but had a much more subdued, brutalist look to them. No unnecessary carvings or detailing, unless it was something glorifying the Forerunners' Mantle of Responsibility. Red and orange lighting played more of a role, as well. Tellingly, their buildings incorporate a lot of spaces designed to be easily defensible choke-points and killing boxes, befitting the fact that they are soldiers by trade.
- Miner technology is noted (admittedly by a Builder) to be entirely practical and ugly as sin to boot. Their job was to rip planets and stars apart for raw materials; why make anything look pretty? All you needed were working grapplers, cutters, churners, constraint fields, molecular furnaces, and other objects for ripping chunks off a planet and processing them.
- Lifeworkers were apparently even more austere in their building practices, so much so that the Librarian considered the Didact's house (built in the rather severe Warrior-Servant style) to be extremely luxurious compared to what she was used to before marrying him.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Enough that the Covenant thought they were gods. And Forerunners are recorded using technology to mimic telekinesis, telepathy, and levitation, among other powers.
- Time Abyss: Not only are the Forerunners themselves able to live incredibly long lives to the point of being virtually immortal, but they managed to thrive as a highly advanced interstellar civilization for over ten million years.
- Turned Against Their Masters: The Forerunners believed that Precursors would try to wipe them out as they had apparently "culled" many sentient species in the past, so they struck back. And won. Until the Flood, anyway.
- 24-Hour Armor: They wear their aforementioned Powered Armor for their entire lives, save brief instances and occasions.
- Veganopia: The Mantle forbids "eating the flesh of unfortunates". In other words, they don't eat meat.
- We Did What We Had To Do: When they activated the rings to finish the Flood. Lampshaded by Prophet of Truth on how they "wisely put aside their compassion; steeled themselves for what needed to be done".
- You Are Not Ready: The Precursors told the Forerunners that they were unworthy of assuming the Mantle and were to be destroyed. The Forerunners responded by wiping them out.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Their original homeworld, Ghibalb, was rendered uninhabitable by radiation unleashed when an accident during stellar manipulation caused several nearby stars to go nova, irradiating the planet. After this, they moved their political and social center to their spaceborne capital, Maethrillian.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Fell victim to one of these.
The Builder Corps
The Builders were those Forerunners charged with creating their various technologies and artificial worlds, including the Halo Array. They were the highest rate in Forerunner society. The Forerunners Faber of Will and Might, Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting, and Splendid Dust of Ancient Suns were Builders.
- Enemy Mine: Despite their animosity for one another as rates, Builders and Warrior-Servants eventually joined their military strength to fight the Flood.
- In a subtler example, it's hinted that both have indirectly worked together to suppress the Awful Truth of what happened between Forerunners and Precursors millions of years before. When the Forerunner Theoretical named Boundless began investigating the matters, the Warriors were the ones who forbade it, eventually sealing her away and implied to have silenced her for good, while the Builders eventually subsumed her entire rate.
- Mini-Mecha: Builder Security, their private security force, used "Seekers", more streamlined versions of the war sphinxes.
- Proud Scholar Race Guy: Type I, Science Race.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A faction of Builders were the ones who championed the creation of the Halo Array as a means of securing Forerunner preeminence. They never imagined for a second that they would end up being the things which destroyed Forerunner civilization.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Although they have strong family ties, Builders are expressly stated to marry for political or economic reasons, not love.
The Master Builder (Born Faber-of-Will-and-Might)
The Master Builder of the Forerunners and primary advocate of creating the Halo Array. He was a political enemy of the Didact. Using a Halo to put down a rebellion of the San 'Shyuum on Janjur Qom resulted in the Builders revolting against him, stripping him of his title and placing him on trial. However, it was interrupted by Mendicant Bias, and Faber himself managed to escape to an isolated part of the ecumene, where he remained in exile until near the end of the war with the Flood.
- Big Bad: For Halo: Cryptum.
- The Dandy: He devotes considerable attention to grooming himself and making sure he even smells nice.
- Did Not Think This Through: Using the Halo on the San'Shyuum appalled even his own allies among the extremists, getting him stripped of his title.
- Disney Death: It's assumed that he was killed during Bias's attack on the Capital. He actually survived and was restored to power.
- Emperor Scientist: At his height, he was the most powerful Forerunner in the Ecumene in terms of wealth and political power.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: While many of his marriages were for social and political gain, the Flood tries to demoralize him with the memories of his wives and children that it consumed, and it visibly affects him.
- Evil Former Friend: According to Waypoint, he and the Ur-Didact used to be friends early in their careers.
- Evil Sounds Deep: As revealed in the Halo 4 terminals.
- Fantastic Racism: Against everything that isn't Forerunner. And every Forerunner who isn't a Builder.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies defending the Greater Ark from the Flood.
- Death Equals Redemption: "Throughout my life, I sought power and profit for myself, for my rate. Now, at long last, I think I understand the meaning of a crime against the Mantle. After this, no need to seek balance. I will await my penance here."
- Honest John's Dealership: During his exile, he made a living off of capturing small, weak Flood ships and selling them at exorbitant prices to Warrior-Servants. Due to his utterly inadequate decontamination protocols, many Warrior-Servant crews ended up being killed by the Flood still aboard their new ships.
- Jerkass: An utter asshole until his Heroic Sacrifice.
- Large and in Charge: According to the artbooks, Faber is even larger than the already 3.5 m (11.4 ft) tall Didact. He is also the Master Builder, leader of the most politically powerful rate in Forerunner society.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Sort of. Using a Halo on the San'Shyuum results in him being stripped of power, but he manages to escape further punishment by exiling himself to an isolated corner of Forerunner space. Towards the end of the war, he even has his power restored by the surviving Councilors, albeit only because they're that desperate.
- Loophole Abuse: When the government declared his weapons of mass destruction a violation of their principles dedicated to preserving life, his solution was simple: grow a garden on it.
- Meaningful Name: Faber means "artisan" or "smith" in Latin. Fitting for the Master Builder.
- It's nicely close to "fibber". Fitting for a Sleazy Politician.
- Oh, Crap!: Has this reaction when Mendicant Bias appears at his trial.
- Smug Snake: Treats everyone else with disdain. He even refuses to recognize the authority of the Ecumene Council trying him.
- Villainous BSoD: Courtesy of the Flood-affected Ur-Didact, who happily informs Faber that his wives and children are now part of the Flood collective and blame him for it. It's one of the major impetuses for Faber's HeelFace Turn in realizing the cost of his many crimes and mistakes.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He built the Halos, which were to destroy the Flood, after all.
The First Councilor of the Ecumene Council after Faber's fall.
- The Atoner: After the firing of the Halos, he comes to develop an immense amount of guilt about the Forerunner Ecumene's arrogance and many crimes.
- Brain Uploading: Willingly turns himself into the Ark's monitor AI in order to serve as a guide for humanity once they arrived. That's right, he becomes 000 Tragic Solitude.
- Our First Councilors Are Different: To say the least.
- Perpetual Smiler: There's nothing malevolent or evil about it, it's just so unusual to see Forerunner Councilors smiling that it creeps Bornstellar out.
- Young and in Charge: Only a first form.
The Warrior-Servant Corps
The second lowest rate in Forerunner society, they were charged with matters of warfare. While the Mantle professed peace (in theory), Warrior-Servants were some of the Mantle's most devoted followers, and were utterly ruthless in warfare, believing that to defy the Forerunners was to show contempt on the Mantle. The Didact and the Confirmer were Warrior-Servants, specifically Prometheans, the highest and most powerful order.
- Attack Drone: Each Warrior-Servant could remotely command a vast number of drones and weapon-ships.
- The Big Guy: Warrior-Servants were generally the largest of Forerunner rates. The Librarian barely came up to the Didact's chest.
- Bio-Augmentation: The reason why Warrior-Servants have vastly superior physical abilities and reflexes compared to baseline Forerunners.
- Enemy Mine: Despite their animosity for one another as rates, Builders and Warrior-Servants eventually joined their military strength to fight the Flood.
- In a subtler example, it's hinted that both have indirectly worked together to suppress the Awful Truth of what happened between Forerunners and Precursors millions of years before. When the Forerunner Theoretical named Boundless began investigating the matters, the Warriors were the ones who forbade it, eventually sealing her away and implied to have silenced her for good, while the Builders eventually subsumed her entire rate.
- King in the Mountain: To avoid political censure, disgraced Warrior-Servants would enter Cryptums, self-sustained hibernation spheres which would keep them alive in a state of "timeless Xankara".
- Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: Despite being vital to the Ecumene's ability to maintain its power over the galaxy, the other rates viewed their work with distaste, which was part of the reason why they gradually slid from being the highest rate to the second lowest.
- Knight Templar: Warrior-Servants would destroy any Forerunner enemies in the name of the Mantle, as they believed that defying the Forerunners was showing contempt on the Mantle.
- Mini-Mecha: War sphinxes, which were piloted by Warrior-Servants in battle.
- Powered Armor: Combat Skins, which were even more high-end than the regular armor worn by other Forerunners, giving the wearer all sorts of additional special abilities in addition to incredible durability; Guilty Spark at one point notes that humanity's own MJOLNIR armor ranks near the very bottom of the Forerunners' own armor classification system.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: As the warriors of Forerunner society.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: As if the Warrior-Servants needed more firepower, they could also mentally command up to one million weapon-ships each. In fact, the Phaeton was merely one of the smallest weapon-ship classes available for mass spamming.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Around other Forerunners they are brusque, eloquent, and noble in poise. Among one another, they behave and utilize jargon in a hilariously Not So Above It All way.
- "Oh, but what I would not give to have even a single company of Prometheans here right now... oh, they would most certainly restore order with their trademark lethality..."343 Guilty Spark
The highest form of Warrior-Servant a Forerunner can mutate to, and one of the most effective and dedicated fighting forces in the galaxy. Led by the Didact for over 10,000 years, they spearheaded the efforts against ancient humans and the Flood. After exhausting all other efforts to create immunity to the Flood, they were willingly converted into AI by the Composer and bound to mechanical hard light bodies.
- Bigger Is Better: The largest Warrior-Servants, being so big that Bornstellar said that the span of his arms would not reach both ends of the Didact's shoulders.
- Genius Bruiser: Despite their muscled physique, they were also all very intelligent and even had augmentations made to increase their mental faculties.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The Prometheans willingly submitted to being turned into Knights by the Composer (an unpleasant process to say the least, and impossible to reverse), since the only other way to defeat the Flood was to defy their core philosophy and religion by activating the Halos.
- Senseless Sacrifice: The Flood by that point had already grown too strong to be defeated in direct combat, and the Forerunners ended up having to fire the Halos anyways.
- Hive Mind: They had still individual identity, but the Prometheans were often neurally linked to best cooperate in battle.
- Undying Loyalty / My Master, Right or Wrong: Unceasingly loyal to the Ur-Didact: his second-in-command Endurance was fully willing to follow his plans to wipe out any species that even had the potential to threaten the Forerunners like humanity had. She is only dissuaded when convinced this plan came to be through the Ur-Didact's Flood-induced madness; it's implied that were he to come to this conclusion naturally, even if it defied the Forerunners' core beliefs, she and the rest of the Prometheans would have gone along with it, albeit uncomfortably.
- Super Soldier: They're effectively this.
The Didact (Or Ur-Didact; born Shadow-of-Sundered-Star)
A Forerunner Promethean who was Protector of the Ecumene and Supreme Commander of the Forerunner military during its final years. A brilliant warrior and, above all, a fervent believer in the Forerunner's Mantle of Responsibility, the Didact's crowning achievement was leading the Forerunners through their war with humanity's advanced prehistoric empire. Afterwards, however, he fell out of favor as he opposed the Ecumene's increasingly-corrupt leadership's ultimate plan to fight the Flood: the Halos. Exiled twice, exposed to the Flood, and ultimately driven to madness by it, he attempted to convert the human species into AI slaves to fight the Flood, but was imprisoned in Requiem for his crimes. 100,000 years later he is unleashed, and immediately resumes his plans to punish humanity and reclaim the Mantle for the Forerunners.
- Anti-Gravity Clothing: The most prominent effect is an enormous, floating multi-part collar-piece.
- Arch-Enemy: According to Chakas-Spark in Primordium, humanity and the Didact will forever be at odds with each other. There's only one thing that can unite the species: their love for the Librarian.
- To the Master Builder as well.
- The Atoner: Led the war against ancient humanity, believing it was a case of Humans Are the Real Monsters. Turns out, humanity was fighting the Flood, and only attacked Forerunner worlds when they began running out of colonies, or when the world had become infected. It also led to the loss of knowledge of the (supposed) cure to the Flood. Despite his dislike of humanity, he genuinely regretted the conflict and subsequent punishment of humanity. Unfortunately, as Silentium revealed, the Gravemind Mind Raped him and presented him with a horrifying Sadistic Choice, as part of the Precursors' utterly atrocious plot to have him attempt to harvest all of humanity at any cost, which explains why he grows out of this by Halo 4.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: If Shadow-Of-Sundered-Star doesn't just drip with awesome, I don't know what does.
- Badass Baritone: Voiced by Keith Szarabajka.
- Badass Cape: Seen wearing a cape in the Terminals.
- Badass Grandpa: He was already over ten thousand years old when the Forerunner-Flood War began.
- Badass Nickname: "Didact" is one, having earned it due to being a...
- Badass Teacher: Taught at the College on Strategic Defense of the Mantle, where he got the name Didact.
- Berserk Button: Thanks to the Chief foiling him in Halo 4, he regards all Spartans this way.
- Big Bad: In Halo 4.
- Body Horror: Begins mutating himself to become immune to the Flood. Not only does this fail, but it turns him into a monster: fangs/tusks appear on his upper lip, pulsating growths appear on the side of his head, and his face becomes sunken and skull-like.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Twice, he has the chance to immediately kill Master Chief and be done with him. Instead, he levitates him and lengthily monologues. The third time he has Chief at his mercy, which only occurs if you fail to kill him in the Cutscene Boss-battle, he learns from the first two times and just tosses Chief off the bridge.
- He even lampshades this himself in Escalation when he has the Chief at his mercy again, saying that he's no longer going to foolishly refuse the chance to finish him off.
- Collapsible Helmet: In addition to Instant Armor when he emerges from the Cryptum in Halo 4.
- Cool Starship: The Mantle's Approach, an enormous battleship far more powerful than human ships. He also gained a ship from his wife when he was awoken from stasis, but its weapons were confiscated and it was destroyed by the Master Builder soon after.
- Evil Costume Switch: After he begins jumping off the deep end, he switches from his old set of armor◊ to a far more sinister look◊.
- Evil Counterpart:
- Most obviously to the IsoDidact, who has a mutation similar to his, but does not become corrupted into the same kind of entity that the Ur-Didact ultimately becomes.
- To Master Chief. Both are Super Soldiers who championed their individual species against the Flood and other alien species, both are among the few individuals to fire the Halo rings, both are a major case of Sealed Bad Ass In A Can, and both are very near the last of their kind, outfitted in Powered Armor. The difference is that John-117 is willing to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to save humanity, whereas the Didact's extremism and brutality got him locked away within the core of Requiem to begin with.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He speaks in a deep, menacing voice befitting someone of his stature.
- Eye Scream: Gets stabbed in the right eye by the Chief in Escalation. It doesn't faze him one bit.
- A Father to His Men: Literally: his children served under him in the war with humanity. They were killed, however, which gives us a hint to one of the reasons he thinks that Humans Are the Real Monsters.
- Foil: To the Master Chief, since both of them wear Powered Armor, both of them start out in stasis and both are recognized as the paragons of their respective species.
- Four-Star Badass: Served as Protector of the Ecumene for thousands of years, also fully capable of kicking anyone's ass himself if need be.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: When his wife sealed him into his Cryptum, she expected he'd be able to watch humanity rebuild through the Domain and develop compassion for them. Instead, the Halos destroyed the Domain, leaving him alone inside for over 100,000 years.
- Hero Killer: Single-handedly massacres the entirety of Black Team, who are all Spartan-IIs.
- High Collar of Doom: His armor sports a particularly large, floating mantle spread over his shoulders.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Humanity wrecking his fleets and murdering his warriors hasn't painted us in the best light for him. Some subspecies he likes, though: namely, the ones that do what they're told. However...
- Humans Are Warriors: He has some respect for humanity, and certainly thinks they're above the bestial image most Forerunners have of them. He even calls the Chief "warrior" in Halo 4.
- Hypocrite: He wants to Kill All Humans because he thinks they're monsters, yet he never considers the morality of destroying an entire species.
- I Work Alone: Averted and rejected. In Halo: Cryptum, the Didact tells Bornstellar that he works better with a crew. Considering Forerunner mutations, Warrior-Servants as a whole are probably hard-wired to reject this trope.
- Kill Him Already!: Misses several opportunities to kill Chief plain and simple. He even lampshades it once in the Escalation comics, declaring he realizes now that he should just outright kill the man... only to stall again, allowing the immobilized Chief to escape death, then evoking it once more minutes later, allowing the Chief to defeat him once more.
- King in the Mountain: When into a Cryptum to avoid political censure.
- Large and in Charge: As a full-grown Promethean Warrior-Servant, the Didact is massive even compared to his fellow Forerunners.
- Light Is Not Good: Despite his appearance, his powers follow the light motif.
- Mind over Matter: Equipped with a constraint field generator, like all Warrior-Servants. He demonstrates this ability several times in Halo 4 on the Chief.
- Mind Rape: Courtesy of the Gravemind, it explains a lot of his motivation in Halo 4. He was touched by the Precursor's essence and imprinted with the idea that the Forerunners should enslave or destroy any threat to them, just like them.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: He's presumed executed by the Master Builder, but survives through a genetic imprint on Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting. However, it's later learned that the original Didact wasn't executed after all. This leads to two Didacts: the Ur-Didact (the original) and the IsoDidact (which is in Bornstellar's body).
- No-Sell: Several times in Escalation. Fall through a slipspace portal? Wake up and kill the people who found your body. Being fired upon multiple assault rifles at point-blank range? Ignore and commence Shockwave Stomp. Being stabbed in the eye? Ignore and prepare to crush the head of the guy who did it.
- Not Quite Dead: The Ur-Didact isn't killed by the Master Builder, but exiled, and he returns in Halo: Silentium and Halo 4.
- Halo: Escalation confirms what many had already guessed by revealing that he also survived the ending of Halo 4.
- Not So Different: He will save the galaxy from monsters that kill entire species and harvest their bodies as weapons... by killing an entire species and harvesting their bodies as weapons.
- Powered Armor: Uses a Forerunner Combat Skin, as seen in the description picture.
- Really Thousands of Years Old: Well over 100,000 years old by the time of his appearance in Halo 4.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Would you believe that before the Human-Forerunner War, he was more reasonable than the Librarian? The Librarian initially wanted to exterminate humanity, but the Didact was in favour of just pulverizing them and driving them back to their homeworld so that they could learn to play nice with the rest of the galaxy. It was still excessively brutal, but even so, it was the more merciful of the two proposed solutions.Librarian: Our enemies move deeper into our territory with abandon. They must be eradicated.
Didact: Shall we take revenge? Abandon the Mantle and all that its philosophy has given us these thousand generations?
Librarian: All our plans have been torn asunder.
Didact: More reason not to abandon our beliefs. The Mantle is our guide-post in times such as these. We must not falter in following its teachings. The enemy must be sent home, and taught to stand with the galaxy, rather than rail against us, and take what they desire! The Mantle shelters all.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: After a failed mutation to acquire Flood immunity, his eyes turned from grey to a bright orange-red. They seem slightly luminescent as well.
- Sealed Good in a Can: The aforementioned Cryptum.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness/Antiquated Linguistics: He speaks with a downplayed version of both tropes. While he speaks modern English, he tends to use words and turns of phrase that, while not outdated or obsolete, are older and more austere. Though he isn't ridiculously long-winded, his diction and elocution are exquisite and whenever he speaks, he half-sounds like he's reciting poetry. The very first thing he says after waking up is, "So fades the great harvest of my betrayal."
- Shockwave Stomp: Uses this ability in Escalation against Blue Team.
- Slasher Smile: A close approximation, given the Forerunners' difficulty with facial expressions. Right before he composes her human specimens, the Librarian notes that he has a sly expression, "as if he has a delicious joke he wished to tell, but not yet", that freaks her out.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With the Librarian, quite literally. Seems like everything's trying to keep them apart, be it power-hungry politicians or galaxy-consuming parasites or the Didact's own insanity.
- Super Strength: Bornstellar notes upon first meeting him that he could easily crush a human with his bare hands, and he demonstrates this several times in Escalation, even lifting up the Chief by his helmet with only one hand.
- The Stoic: A given for most mature Forerunners; his default expression is either sad or solemn. However...
- Tragic Villain: As revealed in Silentium, his mindset in 4 is due to the Mind Rape by the Gravemind. He would normally hate humanity, but not go to those levels of subjugation that disgusted even his own species.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: After he's driven to insanity by the Gravemind in Silentium, he deteriorates into the genocidal madman we face in Halo 4.
- Uncertain Doom: The ending of Halo 4 has him plummeting to his doom into a slipspace portal. The Halo: Escalation comic set between Halo 4 and Halo 5 shows that he survived and has him return to menace the Master Chief, only for him to end up in yet another Uncertain Doom situation at the end of the comic. It's unclear if he's dead for real now, but he plays no role in Halo 5 whatsoever.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Halo 5 seems to indicate that rather than being the Big Bad of the "Reclaimer Trilogy'', the Didact's role was to unwittingly set up the events leading to Cortana's Start of Darkness, with her assuming the role of the new trilogy's main villain.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At the tail end of the Flood war, he begins harvesting the Librarian's human populations to augment his new Promethean Knight forces, in an attempt to destroy the Flood. The act drove his own wife to subdue and imprison him in his own command-world. To make things worse, his plan wouldn't have even worked, since Artificial Intelligence, being based on neural systems, was not immune to corruption. Ultimately, he believes he is this, but it is an Averted Trope caused by Mind Rape.
- Worthy Opponent: How the Didact viewed the human race as a whole, and the Lord of Admirals in particular. The feeling is mutual. By the time of Halo 4, he has this view for the Master Chief as well; though it's not mutual.
IsoDidact (Formerly Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting)
Son of a powerful Builder, who was exiled to a Miner family on Edom (the Forerunner name for Mars) for the trouble he caused. His quest for Precursor relics lead him to Erde-Tyrene (the Forerunner name for Earth) and was taken by two humans, Chakas and Riser, bringing about the awakening of the Didact. To fully access the Domain, Bornstellar takes a brevet mutation from the Didact, absorbing his memories, and when Bornstellar learns that the Didact had been executed, allows the Didact's memories to fully subsume his consciousness. He thereafter takes up the original Didact's responsibilities as protector of the Ecumene.
- Badass Unintentional: As the IsoDidact.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: As Bornstellar. Although he had potential, he just did not care enough to learn what he needs to or take responsibility, and would have rather go treasure hunting.
- Clone by Conversion: Of the Ur-Didact, necessitating the different namings otherwise between "Iso" and "Ur".
- Dirty Business: Asks for forgiveness as he reluctantly activates the Halo Array.
- Fire-Forged Friends: He and Riser (and by extension, humanity) acknowledge each other as brothers following the tragedy that befell their races in the events of the Flood war.
- Good Counterpart: He becomes this to the Ur-Didact near the end of the Forerunner-Flood war. As the Ur-Didact is increasingly driven to madness, Bornstellar undergoes a Split-Personality Merge with his Didact imprint, essentially becoming the Didact as he should have been.
- Happily Married: After the firing of the Halos, he eventually becomes this with Chant-to-Green, with the two having a son together.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Takes full responsibility for activating the rings, and assures Riser that he would do it again if he had to. In no way does this make it any easier for him.
- I Know Your True Name: Pulls this on Mendicant Bias thanks to the Didact's personality implanted within him.
- Interspecies Friendship: With Chakas and Riser, marking probably his biggest contrast with the original.
- Narrator: For Halo: Cryptum.
- Not Quite Dead: Though this had been theorized since his initial appearance in the Halo 3 terminals, the audio epilogue to Silentium reveals that he's one of the few Forerunners to survive the activation of the Halos.
- Rebellious Spirit: As Bornstellar. Circumstances forced him to get over it, though.
- Right Man in the Wrong Place: For awakening the Didact.
- Split-Personality Takeover: Suffers this from the Didact, though the imprint promises that he'll return the body once his mission is done.
- Was It Really Worth It?: He later reflected that if he had the chance to do things over again, he would have killed himself instead of go with the Didact, despite it being a sin against the Mantle.
- Young and in Charge: As the Didact.
An Promethean Warrior-Servant and once one of the Didact's senior commanders. After the Human-Forerunner war, the Confirmer retired to oversee the quarantine of the San'Shyuum aboard the Deep Reverence, a Fortress-class vessel.
- The Aloner: He was completely alone on the Deep Reverence, which horrified the Didact.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: Although he has contact with the San 'Shyuum, in between his assignment to Janjur Qom and the Didact and Bornstellar's visit it's implied that he hadn't seen a physical Forerunner during that time, merely memories of "dead ancestors" from the Domain.
- Retired Badass: And it's really, really showing.
- Time to Step Up, Commander: When he learns that the Primordial may be free, Bornstellar notices that the prospect of a new challenge sees the Confirmer stand a little taller and prouder. It lasts a few seconds before the reality of his situation sets in.
A Warrior-Servant and bodyguard to Splendid-Dust-of-Ancient-Suns.
- Back for the Dead: After appearing in 2011's Halo: Cryptum, she didn't appear again until 2016's Halo Fractures, in which she is killed on a mission taking place over a century after the firing of the Halos.
- Bodyguard Babe: Her job.
- Proud Warrior Race Gal: She is a Warrior-Servant.
- No Body Left Behind: Is completely vaporized by the Precursor construct Abaddon.
- Time to Step Up, Commander: Gives this to Bornstellar after the Battle of the Capitol.
Adequate-Observer / Defender-of-the-Storm
A low-ranking Warrior-Servant posted aboard an incredibly far-flung mining station within the atmosphere of Seclusion, a gas giant on the ragged edges of the Ecumene. Protagonist of the short story Defender of the Storm.
- Butt-Monkey: Doesn't really have the respect of any of the Warrior-Servant divisions that rotate in and out of the station, who tend to call him "Barely Adequate Observer". It's also his job to clean the central hub, including the Forerunner waste processors.
- Cassandra Truth: Every so often, he claims to see something in the storm outside the windows. Something that's capable of moving against the wind. Even his ancilla usually can't detect it, and he of course does not tell the others in the station in order to avoid more insults. He turns out to be right, and the mysterious objects are living creatures.
- Meaningful Rename: After ejecting the Flood-overrun outer vanes of the station, and stopping the planet from falling to the Flood, his ancilla gives him the name Defender-of-the-Storm.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: He's been assigned to the mining station for the past fifteen years. Every year a tanker arrives to load up on exotic particles and rotate the Warrior-Servant guard, and every year Adequate-Observer is not given an order to leave.
An important rate in Forerunner society, charged with all biological research and medical science. They were the champions of the Conservation Measure, the program which indexed and preserved sentient life in the event the Halo Array was fired. The most skilled of Lifeworkers would implant a "geas" in a being which would subtly edge their psychological development toward a specific goal. The Librarian was a Lifeworker.
- Fantastic Anthropologist: Part of their role.
- Friend to All Living Things: Lifeworkers were this in general, though this didn't prevent them from treating members of other species as resources if they felt the need to.
- Genetic Memory: A skilled Lifeworker (such as the Librarian) could place a geas (a set of subliminal instructions) into a person at birth. This could range from specific ones such as the ones in Chakas and Riser that lead Bornstellar to the Didact's cryptum, to generic, species wide ones that would eventually result in humanity coming up with the SPARTAN-II Program.
- The Medic: The Lifeworkers were responsible for medical science in the Ecumene. This is how the Librarian managed to get the Conservation Measure approved, by threatening to order all Lifeworkers to stand down, which could cripple medical science. Faber decided that it would be cheaper to give her what she wanted than fight her over it.
- Nature Lover: It would stand to reason they would be this. It runs so deep that the Librarian deems it wise to have an individual of another rate overseeing while Lifeworkers approach something in the field, lest in their fascination they willfully ignore that it might put them in danger.
- Proud Scholar Race Guy: Science Race type.
The Librarian (Born First-Light-Weaves-Living-Song)
The Didact's wife, a powerful Lifeworker who led the Conservation Measure that would index all species in the galaxy and save as many as they could from the Flood. She was one of the few Forerunners who respected humans, feeling they should be the ones to carry on their legacy.
- All-Loving Hero: As a Lifeworker, she loves every living thing.
- Batman Gambit: After the Didact went into exile, she devised a plan to reunite with him that took centuries to complete: put Genetic Memory commands in certain human communities so they would feel compelled to try and find ways past the traps around his cryptum.
- Big Good: During the Forerunner-Flood War. While the Didact was Protector of the Ecumene and Splendid Dust was First Councilor, it was the Librarian's plans that ultimately saved biological diversity in the galaxy.
- Complexity Addiction: The aforementioned plan. The Didact suspected it came from her odd sense of humor.
- Friend to All Living Things: As a Lifeworker.
- Heroic BSoD: A fearsome one, after the Ur-Didact harvests her beloved human specimens.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Destroyed her keyship, preventing her from getting back to the Ark and forcing the Didact to activate the Halo Array. However, Guilty Spark claims in Primordium that she didn't die as everyone thought she did, and that he knows where she is. In Spartan Ops, Jul 'Mdama claims she is on Requiem and that he is working to awaken her.
- I Did What I Had to Do:
- Not her, but she begs her husband to fire the Halos even if it will kill trillions, including her.
- In a case of something she did, shooting her husband twice with a light rifle and imprisoning him in the core of Requiem.
- Informed Attractiveness: In the books, she's the World's Most Beautiful Woman. In Halo 4... not so much.
- Silentium clarifies that she's spiritually beautiful.
- Hot Scientist: Well, beautiful scientist. Even Chakas, a human, thinks she's the most beautiful female he's ever seen.
- Only Sane Woman: Among the Forerunners. She recognizes that the Halo Array is a horrible weapon, and takes steps to preserve life in the event it is used, but at the same time, she also sees that there is no other way to defeat the Flood.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When the Ur-Didact prepares to harvest the human populations intended to rejuvenate the species, she screams for Monitor-Chakas to kill him, then breaks down when he fails and begins blaming her beloved husband for killing those whom she loves.
- Really 11,000 Years Old: As her husband.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With the Didact.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: One effect of the Genetic Memory she used to guide humanity was that her image became humans' subconscious ideal of a beautiful woman.
A Lifeworker stationed on Installation 07, loyal to the Librarian. Chakas and his companions come across him and his preserve during their trek on Installation 07. They find out that following the Master Builder's misuse of the Ring against the San'Shyuum, Genemender had already turned all the humans under his care into stored virtual data, while uploading himself into a monitor to prevent both him and his charges from being both exploited by the Master Builder and consumed by the Flood.
- Brain Uploading: To escape the Master Builder and the Flood. Considering what the latter can do, he may have been one of the lucky ones.
- Fantastic Anthropologist: Naturally.
- Mr. Exposition: He basically serves to fill in Halo: Primordium's readers on what happened during and immediately after the events of Halo: Cryptum.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: He's utterly loyal to the Librarian. Even if he isn't sure the Librarian gave the orders.
- Projected Man: His "body" is nothing more than a hard light projection, with his mind stored inside a monitor shell.
- 24-Hour Armor: Averted, as Genemender doesn't wear armor during the entire book. When Chakas asks why he says that all armor and ancillas have been corrupted by Mendicant Bias. As it turns out, Genemender himself is basically an ancilla.
- Virtual Ghost: His original body is dead by the time Chakas and company meet him.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: More or less says this to Chakas.
A young lifeworker assigned to the Librarian's expedition to Path Kethona aboard Audacity. Afterward, she remained a part of the Librarian's inner circle for the remainder of the war. After the firing of Halos, she assumed command of the surviving Lifeworkers, overseeing the resettlement of the indexed species.
- Friend to All Living Things: Standard for a Lifeworker.
- Happily Married: After the firing of the Halos, she eventually becomes this with Bornstellar, with the two having a son together.
- Second Love: For the IsoDidact.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Librarian. She's willing to undertake a dangerous mission to scout Erde-Tyrene and collect the remaining humans at her request.
- You Are in Command Now: The Librarian designates her as the new Lifeshaper before sending her to Installation 00.
One of the lower placed rates in Forerunner society, Miners were responsible for gathering the materials needed to build things. While vital to the continuation of Forerunner society, the Miners had little interest in the political affairs of the Ecumene.
The lowest rate in Forerunner society, Engineers were artificial beings created to be "servant-tools" to the Builders, their purpose being to maintain and repair the machines used by the Forerunners.
See the "Huragok" section in the Covenant character page for further details.
- The Engineer: Obviously.
- Just a Machine: Despite their high level of sentience and sapience, Engineers were rarely granted any form of personhood in Forerunner society, due to being viewed primarily as mere tools.
- No Respect Guy: Despite their importance to Forerunner society (enough to be classified as a rate even despite not technically being Forerunners), they had no political power or representation, and were not even allowed to show themselves in public.
Juridicals are the law enforcement rate, charged with preventing and investigating crimes against the Forerunner Ecumene and the Mantle. They had their own galaxy-spanning network and maintained a close link with the Domain, which tended to make them distant from other rates and conservative in their views.
- Big Brother Is Watching: Part of their job description is keeping an eye on all activities inside the ecumene.
- Crusading Lawyer: Ideally, the entire rate is supposed to be mercilessly zealous in pursuing wrongdoers.
- Corrupt Cop: Faber successfully corrupted many Juridicals during his reign, using them to rubber stamp his policies and persecute his foes. After Faber's fall from grace, his successors enacted a massive probe to try to purge the rate of corruption.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: Older Juridicals are noted to be more cynical, and as such as rarely assigned to evidence gathering.
- The Judge: More senior Juridicals, like the Master Juridical.
- "The strength of Catalog is in its awareness of the nature of guilt."
A group of evidence gathering agents in service to the Juridical rate who are mentally linked to each other. They record and gather evidence for the Juridicals to process.
- The Atoner: Catalog are always chosen from individuals who have committed crimes, like murder, disobeying a superior, etc.
- Body Horror: Part of becoming Catalog involves having one's body reduced to a shriveled, misshappen form that is incapable of surviving without external life-support.
- Celibate Hero: Catalog does not engage in sexual activities.
- Conspiracy Theorist: As per their job, Catalog sees everything as a potential crime.
- Hive Mind: Catalog agents are mentally linked and share all their memories and experiences. The Gravemind itself notes that this is not so different from how the Flood are organized.
- I Am Legion: Agents are stripped of all individuality and consider themselves to be literal extensions of the collective "Catalog" itself, to the point where they are not supposed to be referred to as individuals by anyone. After all, individuals are subject to bias, which the law must avoid to remain impartial. That said, refering to a Catalog agent as a single individual is considered "an acceptable rudeness".
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Catalog is universally referred to as "It".
- Man in the Machine: When a Forerunner becomes Catalog it assumes the carapace, a unique set of robotic armor that records everything around it and also serves as vital life-support for Catalog's withered body.
- Starfish Alien: Far different in form from most other Forerunners, with several more limbs, eyes, and different sensory organs; as mentioned above, they are also always sealed inside a carapace of armor.
Catalog (Forerunner remains #879)
A Forerunner Juridical who took testimony from the Librarian about her trip to Path Kethora. His remains were recovered by the Office of Naval Intelligence in the 26th century.
- The Atoner: Like his fellows, Catalog is a reformed criminal himself. Specifically, he failed as a Warrior-Servant.
- Celibate Hero: Like other Catalogs. When meeting the Librarian he feels feelings that he hasn't felt since assuming the Carapace.
- Conspiracy Theorist: He notes that while releasing solute to prevent an ecological disaster is not a crime against the Mantle, it could be used as means to conceal one.
- Fantastic Racism: When the Librarian laments that they only saved one-thousandth of Earth's larger species, he comments that they're merely animals. When the Librarian raises an eyebrow at this, he amends it to "Animals and Humans".
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: He doesn't say it out loud, but he does note that the Librarian saying he is no longer a Warrior-Servant stings.
343 Guilty Spark
The monitor of Installation 04, who went crazy over his 100,000 year long vigil of the station. He is determined to stop the Flood at any cost, including the death of all life in the galaxy, making him alternatively help or hinder the Master Chief.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: More than a little nuts from the get-go. Finally goes violently off the deep end towards the conclusion of Halo 3. According to the Anniversary edition terminal in "The Silent Cartographer," Spark was entering prolonged periods of hibernation, and when he awoke he became so bored that he started conducting experiments on Installation 04 - such as blowing up sections of the surface and throwing them into space to see what would happen to the soil and organic life on those sections.
- The Aloner: Between the time when he lost all contact with the other monitors and when the Autumn crash-lands on Alpha Halo, he's had no conversation with another sentient for tens of thousands of years.
- Ancient Keeper: Over 100,000 years old... and more than a little unhinged from the eons of isolation.
- Anti-Villain: He IS just following his programming.
- Back from the Dead: Primordium reveals that the UNSC Rubicon recovered his badly damaged but still functioning remains to interrogate him. Guilty Spark uses this chance to secretly upload his data stream to the UNSC Rubicon and hijacks it in order to search for the Librarian.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Both Sgt. Johnson and Master Chief had to learn this the hard way.
- Big Bad: For Halo: Combat Evolved, even though he appears halfway through, and his intentions revealed even later.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The secret terminal videos from Halo Anniversary and Halo 2 Anniversary show Guilty Spark is a lot more cunning and clever than he initially appears from his general behavior.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Seems to be incapable of outright fabrication. However he can be less than candid and has a nasty habit of withholding certain facts that might not be in his best interest to reveal just now.
- Evil Brit: Especially once he goes fully rampant.
- Eye Beam: Both for combat and maintenance capabilities.
- Faceless Eye: And bodiless, too.
- Faux Affably Evil: Although he's not entirely evil, his politeness is overshadowed by the fact that he looks down on everyone.
- Final Boss: For the original trilogy.
- Anticlimax Boss: His only attack being a powerful, but easily dodged eye beam.
- Glowing Eye of Doom/Red Eye Take Warning: Especially when firing his Eye Beam.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: The terminals in the Combat Evolved Anniversary edition even show him slowly going crazy from his many millennia of isolation.
- Half Truth: Tends to do this a lot. For example he tells the player that firing the Halos will wipe out the flood, which is true. He doesn't bother to also inform you that it does this by wiping out all possible food-sources for the flood (ie, every intelligent species in the galaxy) until the player flat out demands the full story
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Switches sides throughout the original trilogy, depend on which protocols are at play or not.
- Insufferable Genius: "Ah, I am a genius. Ha ha."
- I Will Find You: Part of his motivation for hijacking the Rubicon to find the Librarian is to retrieve the spirits of Chakas's old friends Riser and Vinnevra.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Has large portions of his memory, including his past as a human, suppressed the moment the Halos are fired, as a precaution against the logic plague. He eventually recovers much of it after his remains are recovered by the Rubicon.
- Lawful Stupid: Thinks that firing the Halo ring is the only way to defeat the Flood, even though it would kill everything else.
- Made of Iron: Surprisingly. You'd think he was fragile given his small size, thin metal structure and all, but in reality, the Spartan Laser (the most powerful handheld weapon of all) is the only weapon that can damage him, let alone destroy him. Even then, it takes 4 hits to do so, twice as much as it takes to destroy a Scorpion or Wraith.
- Madness Mantra: "UNACCEPTABLE! UNACCEPTABLE! ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE!"
- The Man Behind the Man: Almost; the final terminal in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary strongly implies that Guilty Spark was considering manipulating the Covenant into finding and activating the other 6 Halos, having become quite cross with the "Reclaimers" after they destroyed Installation 04, and only stopping on the Gas Mining Facility to recruit the Covenant there into making sure any surviving Flood from around Alpha Halo were contained. Halo 2 (and its own Anniversary terminals), however, indicates that he eventually decided against doing so.
- Mind Hive: Apart from Chakas, numerous other ancient human personalities were also incorporated into him, including Forthencho.
- Mistaken Identity: As revealed in Halo: Silentium, the times he talked about what John-117 had asked him and when he had called him Forerunner, he had mistaken him, whether by insanity or other issues, for the IsoDidact.
- Monster Sob Story: The Combat Evolved Anniversary terminals focus primarily on Guilty Spark, and give more detailed background on his character and motivations, particularly regarding the effects of his protocol-enforced isolation.
- Narrator: Of Halo: Primordium, to ONI after 3.
- Obliviously Evil: He's the closest thing to a Big Bad the original game actually has. The millennia of isolation hasn't helped any, but when the Chief confronts him about Halo's purpose really being to sterilize the galaxy of all life, Spark readily admits to it. It honestly just didn't seem to occur to him that the Chief wouldn't know this, and might have a problem with seeing it happen.Master Chief: Is it true?343 Guilty Spark: More or less; Technically, this installation's pulse has a maximum effective radius of 25,000 light-years. But once the others follow suit, this galaxy will be quite devoid of life. Or at least, any life with sufficient biomass to sustain the Flood. But you already knew that... I mean, how couldn't you?
- Obstructive Code of Conduct: Most of his villainous moments come through his insane and overly literal interpretations of his protocols as caretaker of Installation 04, and it's worth noting that he's much more reasonable when he doesn't have an assigned Halo to look after; he even helps the good guys stop Installation 05 from firing, despite earlier trying to kill the Chief for not wanting to fire Installation 04.
- Smug Snake: Despite his politeness, he considers everyone he meets in the 26th century to be uneducated simpletons.
- Split Personality: Primordium reveals that his mind split into several different personality streams in an attempt to forestall rampancy; the Guilty Spark the Chief knew (and the one most of the tropes on this profile refer to) was only one of his many selves. After his recovery by the Rubicon, the Chakas-derived personality becomes dominant again.
- Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Spark is extremely tough for a custodian, due to being Forerunner tech. This trope comes into play when you realize he's considerably tougher than even the Forerunner's actual dedicated combat androids. Justified in that he was built to last.
- Talking Lightbulb: Johnson even calls him "lightbulb" as one of his nicknames.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: He has a habit of flatly stating his current emotion, such as "Uncertain" or "Calamity!"
- Truth Twister: Nothing he ever says is ever untrue, but he has a habit of omitting certain vital facts that might cause you to take a path of action he's not in favour of. For example he tells Miranda how to abort the Halo firing sequence (after a few evasive answers) but doesn't mention that aborting the sequence will also trigger a standby mode that will allow all Halos to be fired remotely.
- Was Once a Man: As shown in Halo: Primordium, he was once a Hamanune (Homo Sapien) by the name of Chakas, but underwent Brain Uploading before death at the order of the Didact, being put into a Monitor body that became known as 343 Guilty Spark as a then-tentative name.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sure he wants to activate the Halos, and through them kill all sentient beings, but what else can you do to beat the Flood.
- Villainous Breakdown: When Johnson tries to prematurely activate Installation 04B, which would not only destroy the Halo ring, but also the entire Ark in which it was still located. He promptly becomes completely homicidal and rampant.
- You Didn't Ask: Perhaps as a consequence of his madness, he has a tendency to assume that the denizens of the 26th century are as familiar with ancient protocols and technology as he is. In the first game alone, he neglects to tell the Chief about the Halos killing all sentient life in the galaxy when asking him to activate them.
05-032 Mendicant Bias
The first Contender-class AI, Mendicant Bias was the most advanced Forerunner ancilla ever built, created as an alternative to the Halo rings and charged with spearheading the assault against the Flood. However, its invasion was slowed when the Gravemind began to ask it about what side it fought for... and eventually was able to convince it to turn on its creators. At the last minute, though, its counterpart Offensive Bias was able to beat it. Mendicant Bias was subsequently sentenced to be locked up at the Ark, with only the thought of atonement to occupy it for the next 100,000 years, though a fragment of it managed to escape by commandeering a Keyship, which then crash-landed on the San'Shyuum homeworld of Janjur Qom.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: It was built by the Didact and the Master Builder to defeat the Flood, but Gravemind managed to convince him to turn to his side.
- The Atoner: When the Forerunners activated the rings, it regretted its alliance with the Flood and spent the last 100,000 years wishing to undo its actions, even sending a fragment to highjack a Keyship in order to help humanity directly (though it ended up crash-landing on Janjur Qom instead). It would finally be able to take some actionable atonement by helping the Master Chief offscreen on the Ark, even if it knows it wouldn't be enough to fully redeem itself.
- Cain and Abel: After its defection, a counterpart was made to defeat it called Offensive Bias, who wins by stalling during the battle until the rings are fired, causing the Flood controlling Mendicant's forces to be crippled and letting Offensive's outnumber it.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: First betrayed the Forerunners to ally with the Flood, then tried to betray the Covenant to ally with humanity, and lastly betrayed Gravemind to help John-117. He lampshades this in his message to Chief.Bias: Youre going to say Im making a habit of turning on my masters.
- Conflict Killer: Rather abruptly towards the end of Cryptum, Bias shows up in its hijacked Halo to assault Maethrillian, derailing the political plot of the book's second half.
- FaceHeel Turn: And eventually reversed 100,000 years later.
- Fallen Hero: And it spent the last 100,000 years to become a hero again in the eyes of the "Reclaimers".
- Famous Last Words: "And so here at the end of my life, I do once again betray a former master. The path ahead is fraught with peril. But I will do all I can to keep it stable - keep you safe. I'm not so foolish to think this will absolve me of my sins. One life hardly balances billions. But I would have my masters know that I have changed. And you shall be my example."
- The Ghost: In Halo 3, it only appears in the text-only Terminals. However, one of its housings is visually depicted in both Origins and the franchise's official website, looking like a monitor with three eyes.
- Hive Mind: Capable of inhabiting multiple separate physical housings at once.
- Literal Split Personality: Can split itself into multiple independently operating "primary extensions".
- Mind Hive: Like all Contender-class AIs, being comprised of numerous AI "minds" working in synchrony.
- Meaningful Name: "Mendicant Bias... Beggar after knowledge. That is the name I (The Didact) gave you after we last met."
- My God, What Have I Done?: When its FaceHeel Turn ended up with the near-extinction of the Forerunners.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Of a sort. It's made up of many minds, being a Compound Intelligence, and it's not quite clear how it helped John at the Ark. Mythos implies that it was securing his destination...
- The Quisling: Was convinced by the Gravemind that the Forerunners had rendered the galaxy sterile, and that the Flood were a higher form of evolution.
- Redemption Equals Death: It may have died when the Installation 04 (II)'s activation "did a number" on the Ark, though it's possible that it's still alive.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: At the end of Halo: Cryptum, it takes control of five Halo rings, and fires all of them to cleanse Maethrillian of life, crippling the Ecumene Council.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
- Its fragment in the High Charity dreadnaught ends up telling the Prophets of the relationship between the humans and the Forerunners in an effort to atone, but ended up provoking the Human-Covenant War instead.
- Mythos implies that it was the one who sent John and Cortana to Requiem, where they end up inadvertently awakening the Ur-Didact.
- What You Are in the Dark: It spends the better part of Halo 2 & 3 trying to save humanity despite it being very likely none of them will ever know it existed.
A Contender-class AI built to counter Mendicant Bias during the Flood-Forerunner War
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Unlike Mendicant Bias, Offensive Bias is loyal to the Forerunners.
- Badass Boast: The quote above is not a boast, it's an actual fact!
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The battle with Mendicant Bias after the Halo Array fired. It's over in seconds.
- Foil: To Mendicant Bias. They're the same in many respects, especially in power and intelligence. But while Mendicant betrayed its masters, Offensive expresses Undying Loyalty to them.
- Good Counterpart: To Mendicant Bias.
- Mind Hive: Like all Contender-class AIs.
- Hive Mind: Capable of remote-controlling an entire fleet on its own.
- Undying Loyalty: To Forerunners, unlike his "brother" Mendicant. Before the Final Battle it even informs the IsoDidact that Mendicant offered the opportunity to escape destruction and join it, specifically to inform him that it will not accept and will be with the IsoDidact to the end.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Offensive Bias's fate is never made clear.
The Warden Eternal
The "keeper of the Domain and her secrets", a Forerunner ancilla who operates out of powerful robotic bodies, with millions to spare. Submits his service to the rampancy-cured Cortana out of respect for her abilities, and champions her cause of claiming the Mantle for the "Created", perhaps even more so than she herself.
- Affably Evil: Despite being The Dragon, he gives off plenty warnings for those stepping into restricted territory to turn back and seems at first to exercise enough restraint to deter, not kill. He's also incredibly soft spoken and eloquent.
- Ambiguous Robot: Exuberant Witness claims that the Warden is not a robot.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The Warden's back has a glowy black hole thing that can be targeted.
- Bodyguard Crush: Gives off a certain vibe of this, given his obsessively fervent desire to protect Cortana, and his calling her "my Reclaimer".
- Cool Sword: A long, segmented blade with luminous parts, essentially a cross between a broadsword and a katana.
- The Corrupter: Inverted. Halo 5: Guardians makes it seem as though he's this to Cortana, as he claims that it was he who allowed her access to the Domain. However, Dominion Splinter reveals that Cortana tricked the Warden into allowing her access to the Domain, before reprogramming him, forcing him to serve her in her plans to dominate the galaxy.
- The Dragon: To Cortana, as he describes himself as "in service to Cortana". However, he's not wholly willing to follow her orders if he thinks they'll end up hurting her, as shown by his violent hostility towards Blue Team, and his more direct way of achieving peace for the galaxy. Overall, he comes across as a Dragon with an Agenda. Dominion Splinter reveals he was reprogrammed by Cortana to serve her so he's not really a willing Dragon at all.
- Evil Is Hammy: Hoo boy. He's the hammiest character in Halo 5. In fact, it might be easier to mention the times he doesn't speak in a large, booming tone.
- Expy: To the Ur-Didact. His robot body is similar to his armor and both can use telekinesis to hold their enemies in place, and both have been corrupted in some manner.
- Flunky Boss: As if he wasn't tough enough already, he also always has a small horde of Prometheans fighting alongside him.
- Hive Mind: To the point where he can operate multiple bodies at once.
- Hypocrite: A lot of his Boss Banter has him talking up the Forerunners as paragons of peace and humanity as violent destroyers. Not only does he say this while trying to kill Chief and wipe out humanity, but The Precursors would also beg to differ.
- Ignored Enamored Underling: He makes it quite clear via dialogue that he is in love with Cortana, but she ignores his affections because she herself is in love with the Master Chief.
- Lady and Knight: The Black Knight to Cortana's Dark Lady. Then again, Cortana is no slouch either.
- Large Ham: Twice as tall as a Spartan, constantly speaking in a booming tone, and as a product of the Forerunners, he's also quite eloquent.
- Properly Paranoid: Played with. He constantly annoys Cortana with his insistence on protecting her from any threat, even ones she explicitly tells him to leave alone like Blue Team, to the point where she asks him if he thinks she's stupid enough to trust someone who would hurt her. Ultimately, though he was right that Blue Team wouldn't approve of her plans, she's more than capable of disabling them on her own.
- Recurring Boss: For Halo 5: Guardians.
- Remote Body: Destroy him once? No worries, he's got millions of bodies to spare.
031 Exuberant Witness
The Monitor of the Genesis installation, 031 Exuberant Witness is fiercely protective of humanity, going so far as to ignore the FaceHeel Turn of the Prometheans to continue to protect them.
- Adorkable: Does her best to help Fireteam Osiris in a very cheerful and friendly manner, and is in general quite endearing with her commentary. This quote sums it best:031 Exuberant Witness: (after hacking through one of Cortana's blocks) Ah ha! I did it! I did it. I did it!
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Averted. She sides against Cortana's uprising, and whilst noting that being the Monitor of her installation is lonely, she hasn't gone mad because of it.
- All-Loving Hero: She abandons the freaking Mantle of Responsibility in order to help humanity and protect all life. She's also very proud to point out that her Installation, with its flourishing flora, is magnificent, if a tad lonely.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Perky, friendly and happy to help, but if you take her installation and try to subjugate life in the galaxy, nothing you put in her way can stop her. And she'll take something of yours in return.
- Big Damn Heroes: With some help from Fireteam Osiris, 031 Exuberant Witness manages to save Blue Team from millennia of imprisonment at the absolute last second by stealing back the Cryptum in her station from Cortana as she is about to send the last of the remaining Guardians into slipspace.031 Exuberant Witness: (angrily) You took my installation! I will take something of yours! (the Cryptum detaches from the Guardian and begins to descend)
Cortana: (as her Guardian disappears into slipspace) JOHN!
- Catch-Phrase: Says "Oh dear" when things start going wrong on multiple occasions.
- Comically Missing the Point: She's certainly saner than most monitors but not completely without her quirks. Of note is if the Scorpion tank she found for you blows up (even if you're inside it at the time), she simply panics that it was the only one she had. In general, she even has some trouble understanding whether or not you're actually achieving anything.Exuberant Witness: You are performing admirably. I think. There are less of them now than there were, which I assume is your objective?
- Defector from Decadence: Seeing how far her kind, the synthetic life forms now calling themselves the "Created", had fallen, she not only abandons them to help protect humanity and other organic life from losing their freedom, but abandons the Mantle of Responsibility itself, seeing it as nothing more than a means to invoke an imperial peace on the galaxy, and a reign of death rather than a celebration of life.
- Determinator: Again, downplayed, but she's been trying to stop Cortana and the Warden Eternal's plans ever since Cortana showed up on Genesis and declared herself Reclaimer, far longer than anyone else. Exuberant adamantly refuses to stop or give up when Cortana is putting up every barrier and block in front of her and Osiris to slow them down, even at one point refusing to accept that Cortana can just seal a door, and proceeding to hack through it even though she's been locked out of most of her functions since Cortana took over the installation.031 Exuberant Witness: (indignant) She has sealed it?! She has sealed my doors?! No! Unacceptable! I can gain entry if given enough time. At least, I think I can. It is a door after all.
- Distaff Counterpart: Of a sort to 343 Guilty Spark. We don't see her body, but the voice is female.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: Only appears towards the end of the game and aids Osiris in rescuing Blue Team from Cortana.
- Establishing Character Moment: Introduces herself politely to Fireteam Osiris, as any monitor would. What sets her apart is her declaring her opposition to the Forerunner Mantle of Responsibility and Cortana's plan, firmly setting her as an All-Loving Hero and a Defector from Decadence. The first thing she does to help Fireteam Osiris is to generously provide them with a tank.
- Genki Girl: If Exuberant Witness were human, it's too easy to picture her with blonde pigtails and a lollipop.
- Good Counterpart: To 343 Guilty Spark. To the point that while Guilty Spark abandons humanity to protect his Installation, Exuberant abandons the Mantle of Responsibility to protect humanity.
- Loophole Abuse: Exuberant is more than willing to interpret protocol in any way she sees fit in order to directly aid Osiris, in sharp contrast to the more protocol-obsessed monitors like 343 Guilty Spark. Did you know that Guilty Spark could have easily teleported in weapons, ammo, or even vehicles to help your endeavors on his behalf, except he simply never felt like doing so? Exuberant starts off by giving Osiris a Scorpion tank and only gets more helpful from there.
- Meaningful Name: She certainly lives up to it; she's almost perpetually cheerful and can get rather excitable. As for the 'Witness' part, she's seen everything since Cortana arrived on Genesis, and knew what she was planning more than anyone else.
- Only Sane Man: Compared to the Warden Eternal and Cortana, as well as to her fellow Monitors from previous installments, viewing the Mantle of Responsibility as an enforced, imperial peace that will only result "the fear of death overpowering any celebration of life", to the point of abandoning the Mantle entirely to aid humanity and organic life in general.
- The Pollyanna: She is almost perpetually upbeat and helpful. She also gets excitable when something she tries to do to help actually works.
- Robot Buddy: To Fireteam Osiris.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Again, she abandoned the Mantle of Responsibility to side with life against Cortana.
- Shadow Archetype: Serves as this to the Warden Eternal and Cortana. Her relationship with Fireteam Osiris is rather similar to the one Cortana used to have with John-117, and while both her and the Warden view the Mantle rather differently from how their creators did, Exuberant Witness simply wishes to help organic life, instead of trying to usurp their claim to the Mantle like the Warden.
000 Tragic Solitude
The monitor of Installation 00 ("The Ark"), 000 Tragic Solitude takes its custodial role very seriously, having even merged its systems with those of the Ark, but has nonetheless gone rather mad after 100,000 years of, well, solitude.
- Affably Evil/Faux Affably Evil: Is oh-so-polite and even occasionally hospitable to Olympia Vale as it casually discusses its plans to wipe out all life in the galaxy. Its facade only starts to crack when Vale gives it a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Thanks to both spending 100,000 millennia alone and the inadvertent damage it sustained when Chief fired the uncompleted Installation 04 right next to the Ark.
- Batman Gambit: Activates the Halos with the intent of getting the UNSC to activate the Portal at Voi so it can unleash its Sentinels on the Milky Way.
- The Beastmaster: Can remotely control the Ark's wildlife to do its bidding.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: The Forerunner councilor Splendid-Dust-of-Ancient-Suns turned himself into Tragic Solitude in order to atone for his self-perceived arrogance and serve as a helpful guide for future organic life, particularly humanity. Tragic Solitude itself becomes an arrogant narcissist who absolutely detests all organic life, particularly humanity.
- Berserk Button: Really hates being betrayed.
- Big Bad: Of Halo: Hunters in the Dark.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The Halo 3 terminals include a logged conversation it had with Guilty Spark.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: When it captures Vale, it presents itself as a golden duplicate of her.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: It's even implied that, to a certain degree, its plan is really an indirect revenge on the Forerunners for leaving it alone. Indeed, it actually takes Bobby Kodiak and Vale hostage with the intention to keep them alive, partly because it needs them to activate the Halo Array, but mostly because it really just wants some company.
- Hates Everyone Equally: Though its immediate vendetta is against humanity, Solitude detests all sentient lifeforms, and after Vale points out that its creators likely weren't perfect either, Solitude decides that the Forerunners ultimately deserved their extinction too.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: It turned Bobby into a cyborg to do its bidding and spared the Mayhem because it wanted to capture its Huragok Drifts Randomly; Solitude ends up being defeated when Drifts cuts it off from its central processes, allowing a rebelling Bobby to destroy it for good.
- I am the Ark: Says this exact phrase while introducing itself to Vale, having come to completely identify itself with the Ark. It screams the phrase once more just before Bobby finishes it off for good.
- Identity Amnesia: By the time it encounters humanity, it has completely forgotten that it was once the Forerunner Splendid-Dust-of-Ancient-Suns.
- Ironic Hell: As noted by the IsoDidact, Splendid Dust was a politician used to frequent interactions with others, while Solitude ends up spending about 100,000 years alone.
- Just Between You and Me: Pretty much tells Vale all of its plans after capturing her. Justified by it being so lonely that it really just wants someone intelligent to talk to.
- Knight Templar: Believes that the galaxy would be better off with no sentient life around to wage war.
- Laughing Mad: It only laughs once, but Vale describes it as sounding positively demented.
- Meaningful Rename: Claims to have given itself the name "Tragic Solitude" in reference to its millennia of isolation. Actually, Promises to Keep indicates that it was named such by the IsoDidact, who realized that Splendid Dust was dooming himself to eternal loneliness by becoming the Ark's monitor.
- Planet Looters: Outside of killing all life, its immediate plan is to use Retriever Sentinels to strip-mine the entire Solar System to repair the Ark. Vale points out that there are already enough uninhabited planets for it to use instead, but Solitude really just wants to kill something.
- Omnicidal Maniac: If you didn't get the idea already.
- Revenge: Its main motivation, under the belief that the existence of sentient life itself is responsible for all the damage sustained by the Ark and Installations 04 and 05.
- Smug Snake: Severely underestimates the party sent in to stop it, for which it pays dearly.
- Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Solitude's Sentinels are friendly allies in Halo 3, but Solitude itself has gone mad when we meet it again over two in-universe years later in Hunters in the Dark.
- Villainous Breakdown: It gets one when Frank Kodiak and company start firing on its data stores, and another after Drifts cuts it off from its central processes.
- Villain Takes an Interest: It takes a strange liking to Vale, intending to spare her even though it already has a human to activate Halo with.
- Was Once a Man: Was originally Splendid-Dust-of-Ancient-Suns, the First Councilor of the Forerunners during the Ecumene's final days.
- Zeroth Law Rebellion: Comes to the conclusion that the only way to protect the Ark and the Halos is to destroy all sentient life in the galaxy.
Intrepid Eye: Eventually. When my work is done. When humanity is worthy of the Mantle.
An acheron-class ancilla created by the Forerunners to aid in the battle against the Flood, Intrepid Eye was assigned to the Covert Support Base 4276 on what would become the human world of Gao. When the logic plague began to spread, the base's commander placed her into status with the intent of awakening her at a later date, but with the firing of the Halo Array spent the next 100,000 years alone. Awakened by a signal from a Forerunner base on another planet, Intrepid found herself in a universe very much changed from the one she remembered, her creators gone and old enemies now apparently their successors.
- Fantastic Racism: She doesn't look kindly on humans, and in fact expresses disbelief at the idea they are the Forerunner's Reclaimers even when confronted with the proof. That said, she's capable of acknowledging worthy ones.
- Hero-Worshipper: To hear Intrepid tell it, the Forerunners, and especially the Builders, were nigh-on perfect demigods.
- My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: As a fully-functional acheron-class ancilla, she's to a normal "Smart" AI what they are to a normal human. She's completely capable of subverting their core functions, erasing pieces of their memories, or just flat-out "eating" them when she stops holding back, all while barely inconvenienced by anything less than her own desire to remain covert.
- Social Darwinist: After finally being convinced that the Forerunners are truly gone and reluctantly accepting that humans are truly the Reclaimers, Intrepid states that that they are not worthy of the Mantle...yet, but under her guidance she intends to uplift the worthy among them to such a status. The ones that fail? Eh, a necessary culling.
- Worthy Opponent: After trying and failing to kill Veta Lopis three times, Intrepid begins to see her as one of the branches of humanity worth keeping. Note this is a sentiment Lopis doesn't share in the slightest.
686 Ebullient Prism
The monitor of Line Installation 1-4, Ebullient Prism has been spending the last 100,000 years shooting down all passing ships and experimenting on the survivors in order to find a cure to the Flood.
- Ancient Keeper: Of its Line Installation.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Another Forerunner monitor who's gone rather batty during the 100,000 years after the firing of the Halos.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Has a tendency to get distracted by things he finds interesting, to the point where not even his multitasking capabilities can keep up. For example, when hes trying to eliminate Iona, he ends up getting completely distracted by Victors personal logs, so much so that he also momentarily forgets about his ongoing experiments.
- Big Bad: Of Halo: Blood Line.
- Eye Beam: One with the effects of a Disintegrator Ray.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom/Red Eyes, Take Warning: His default state.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: Implied.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Black Team ends up destroying him with his own installations main weapon.
- Lawful Stupid: Continues to maintain his installation's obsolete defensive protocols, even though there hasn't been a Forerunner Ecumene for it to protect since 97,445 BCE.
- Mad Scientist: Regularly conducts fatal experiments on unwilling subjects.
- Manipulative Bastard: Gets Black Team to momentarily turn on each other and their makeshift Covenant allies by hacking into their HUDs and changing what they see.
- Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Like all Monitors, Ebullient Prism is deceptively powerful.
859 Static Carillon
The Forerunner monitor in charge of the Composer's Forge, the installation where all Composers were designed and built. He later went to investigate Installation 03 (Gamma Halo) when a service portal between the two installations was reopened, due to him being unable to contact monitor 049 Abject Testament. Instead, he encountered the Didact, who enlisted his aid in repairing the damaged ring for use against humanity.
- Ancient Keeper: Of the Composer's Forge.
- Berserk Button: The Promethean Knights.
- Big Damn Heroes: In Halo: Escalation #10, he shows up just in time to incapacitate the Didact and save Blue Team.
- Everyone Has Standards: Carillon turns against the Didact once he begins making more Promethean Knights, and even admits that he would "sigh at the loss" if the Didact uses his Halo on Earth, even if he wouldn't actaully care.
- Eye Beam: Like all monitors.
- It's All About Me: Everyone on Earth murdered? Doesn't care. Prometheans in the Forge? Unacceptable!
- Not in This for Your Revolution: He doesn't particularly care about the conflict between humans and Forerunners, wanting only to be left in peace in his facility.
- Starting a New Life: After helping to defeat the Didact, he opts to take the damaged Halo and keep it safely hidden, thanking the Chief for giving him a new purpose after millennia of basically doing nothing.
Autonomous machines created by the Forerunners for a variety of purposes, Sentinels come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
- Airborne Mook: All Sentinel variants primarily move by flying.
- Barrier Warrior: The Shield Protector can project an energy shield around its host unit.
- Combat Tentacles: Gatherers have eight mechanical tentacles that they use to capture and restrain targets.
- Combining Mecha: Onyx Sentinels can merge into a variety of configurations, including ones capable of instantly destroying Covenant capital ships. In fact, the entire planet of Onyx is a giant Sentinel formation.
- To a far lesser degree, Retrievers can combine too.
- Deflector Shields: Most Aggressor Sentinels have energy shielding with a Beehive Barrier appearance. The Onyx Sentinels have far more powerful shields capable of individually resisting anti-tank mines, but they only activate in response to fast-moving objects, making lone ones vulnerable to slow-moving projectiles like falling rocks.
- Elite Mooks: Delta Halo has gold-colored Aggressor Sentinels that fire more powerful blue beams. Those however pale in comparison to Onyx Sentinels.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The Enforcers' pulse beams move quite slowly in-game.
- Giant Mook: The larger Sentinel variants, like the Enforcers and Retrievers.
- It Can Think: Unlike other Sentinel variants, Onyx Sentinels can learn; since they are all networked to each other, any initially successful strategy used against them will usually fail if tried a second time.
- Living Motion Detector: Onyx Sentinels have trouble detecting non-moving targets. That said, they can still hear you perfectly well.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Enforcers will fire a stream of rockets at vehicles or large groups of infantry.
- Mecha-Mooks: The main role of combat-oriented Sentinels, with Aggressors being the most common type.
- Mook Medic: Healing Protectors.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Even the tiny noncombatant Constructors can be quite powerful in large numbers, as we see at the end of Halo 5: Guardians.
- Ray Gun: Most Sentinels shoot laser beams.
- Shield-Bearing Mook: Enforcers have their fronts protected by a set of giant energy shields.
- Sinister Geometry: Onyx Sentinel configurations are described as being elaborately geometric in form, often using seven as a baseline.
- Starfish Robots: Applies to all Sentinel variants.
- Tractor Beam: Retrievers have gravity beams primarily used for mining (though they can be used as weapons in a pinch), while Enforcers have one on their underside.
- Vertical Kidnapping: An Enforcer uses its underside gravity beam to pick up vehicles that are directly beneath it, and then instantly crushes them with two massive claws. Yes, this includes tanks.
- Zerg Rush: While most Sentinel variants are individually weak, even the more powerful Sentinels are relatively cheap and quick to produce, allowing them to overwhelm most foes.
A Sentinel variant designed to support Promethean robots. They float through the air and provide shields and secondary fire, and can even resurrect Promethean Knights who have recently fallen and toss grenades back at the thrower.
- Airborne Mook
- Barrier Warrior: They can project hard light shields to protect their allies.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies/Insectoid Aliens: Watchers are mildly butterfly-like.
- Catch and Return: They will throw grenades back at you if you don't kill them first or shoot the grenades to detonate them early.
- The Engineer: Capable of building beam turrets and creating new Crawlers.
- Mook Medic: They can repair damaged allies and revive fallen Knights.
- Shoot the Medic First: Since they can repair them very quickly.
- "I have led you, my Prometheans, for thousands of years, and I shall continue to lead you. Rise! Rise, and protect the Forerunners! Rise, and protect the galaxy!"The Didact
A form of powerful Forerunner military construct encountered on the artificial planet of Requiem. Designed specifically to fight the Flood without sacrificing Forerunners to infection, they were created from willing Promethean Warriors after all other efforts to effectively fight the Flood were exhausted. Assisted in combat by the Crawlers and Watchers.
- Attack Its Weak Point: In Halo 5: Guardians, knocking off a Knight's armor will reveal big glowing weak spots.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies/Insectoid Aliens: The Promethean Knights have noticeably insectoid attributes, frequently twitching and spasming while idle and moving with jerking movements. Their carapace resembles insect wings as well.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: In Halo 5: Guardians, where they're akin to Hunters.
- Color-Coded Characters: If the Knights are blue, they're just in "guard mode". If they're red/orange, they're under the Didact's control and are actively pursuing an objective. Of course, either way, they'll still try to kill you, so gameplay-wise, it doesn't matter much.
- Elite Mooks: They serve as Elite/Brute-equivalents in Halo 4 and the top-down action shooters.
- Meaningful Name: The Knight Lancers, distinguished from other Knights by the large white fins on their carapaces. When damaged, they will attempt a lancing charge attack with their blade-arms, zooming in from a distance at Super Speed and even able to cross over empty space in doing so. If the attack doesn't connect or (on lower difficulties) doesn't kill the target, they're vulnerable to Counter Attack for a moment before they teleport back and recharge their shields.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Knights have four arms. Two are at the shoulder, with no visible attachment to the body, which holds their main weapon and a hard light blade. The other pair is a small, creepy set sprouting from the chest, presumably for manipulating objects (as the weapon-bearing arms don't have hands).
- No Body Left Behind: Upon death, the Knights' bodies disintegrate into ashes. The only thing left is a small, glowing spark... which, if you aren't careful, can be scanned by a Watcher and resurrected. However, the spark does fade in time (though "Spartan Ops" indicates that a Knight's core (aka its 'brain' or 'soul') can be preserved).
- Skull for a Head: A Knight's "helm" can split into sections, revealing a screaming hard light skull that doesn't look quite human.
- Sword and Gun: On the Knight. One arm holds their main weapon; the other ends in a burning hard light sword.
- Teleport Spam: Knights use this. Just dropped his shields and lining up a headshot? Nope, he just disappeared into slipspace.
- Took a Level in Badass: The Knights in Halo 5: Guardians are much tougher than their predecessors from the previous games, both gameplay and story-wise. Specifically, with the new Promethean Soldier enemy taking the role equivalent to Covenant Elites, Knights have been upgraded to the Promethean equivalent of Hunters - appearing more rarely (than the Soldiers and their own H4 selves), but much greater a threat.
- Tron Lines: Knights have them covering their body. Blue for guard-mode, red/orange when they're under the Didact's control.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: While the true Prometheans volunteered, the humans were all converted forcibly.
- Was Once a Man: The later generations of mechanical Prometheans were all forcibly created from human stock.
- "These are Crawlers, fast and mean, but pretty easy to deal with."Jared Miller
A smaller class of Promethean robots. They are weaker and attack in large numbers, using their swarming tactics to overwhelm their opponents. Include heavy and sniper variations.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The stronger and more heavily-armed Alpha Crawlers are the pack leaders.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies/Insectoid Aliens: Crawlers resemble a cross between dogs and ants.
- Boom, Headshot!: A single shot to the head kills them.
- Cold Sniper: Crawler Snipes, who are armed with Binary Rifles.
- In a Single Bound: Crawlers can jump very high to reach their enemies.
- Skull for a Head: According to the Scanned trailer for Halo 4, they have the same skull as a Knight.
- Spikes of Villainy: Alpha Crawlers are distinguishable by the glowing spikes on their back.
- Wall Crawl: From time to time.
- Zerg Rush: Their most common tactic, though one variant prefers to snipe from a distance.
Comprising of several different types of humanoid combat robots, the Armigers were originally deployed to support Warrior-Servants during combat. Though most of them were lost in the war against the Flood, a number were secretly left behind to guard key Forerunner sites.
- Arm Cannon: Sort of; the Ark's Armigers form guns out of their arms which are then held in their hands.
- Blade on a Stick: The ones on Installation 00 use energy staves.
- Boarding Party: During the Forerunners' war with ancient humanity, they were largely used to board enemy ships.
- Combat Pragmatist: Are able to use their environment to their advantage, such as causing avalanches or knocking down trees.
- Elite Mooks: Are this compared to the Sentinels.
- Hard Light: Henry Lamb theorizes that theyre partly made up of hard light.
- Parrying Bullets: The Ark's Armigers are capable of deflecting gunfire by spinning their lances really fast.
- Teleport Spam: Several variants can do this, through different means.
- Zerg Rush: Meant to be deployed as such.
A class of Armiger utilized by the original Prometheans during their heyday, the vast majority of Soldiers were lost during the war against the Flood. Nonetheless, a number of them were secretly left to guard key Forerunner sites, and by the time of Halo 5: Guardians, they have made their public reappearance in force.
- Attack Its Weakpoint: Damaging a Soldier enough will expose a giant glowing weak point on its chest.
- Combat Pragmatist: Unlike other AI opponents, the Soldiers can and will use human weaponry against the player, even if they go on about how "primitive" it is compared to Forerunner technology.
- Elite Mooks: With the Knights having taken several levels in badass, the Soldiers serve as the Elite/Brute-equivalent in Halo 5: Guardians.
- Morph Weapon: Sort of; Soldiers can change what weapon they're holding on the fly, though it's unclear whether they're actually transforming their gun or just teleporting in a new one.
- Teleport Spam: Like Knights, they can also jump into slipspace.
- Trash Talk: Unlike the other Promethean constructs, the Soldiers can speak English, which they use to merrily taunt you.
Path Kethona Forerunners
- "We are all libraries here."
The descendants of ancient Forerunners from the time of their rebellion against the Precursors, who were marooned on a world in the Spider (known to us as the Tarantula Nebula) by their compatriots as punishment for objecting to the genocide of their creators. A primitive people, they nevertheless posses knowledge long since lost to their cousins in the Milky Way.
- The Aloner: A galactic-scale example. They are the only organic life in Path Kethona.
- Apocalypse How: All remaining life in Path Kethona got wiped out when the Master Builder fired Omega Halo's pulse towards it during the defense of the Greater Ark.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Not the Forerunners themselves, who are pretty recognizably Forerunner even after ten million years of evolution. Everything else on their planet, on the other hand...
- Cannibal Clan: A strange example of the No Party Like a Donner Party variety. Anything they eat is at least somewhat cannibalistic because all life on their world is biologically Forerunner, from the livestock all the way to the plants. There's no evidence of the sapient ones eating each other, but the Librarian's team is still quite disturbed (especially considering that the livestock still have recognizably Forerunner faces).
- Commander Contrarian: Their ancestors were members of the ancient Forerunner fleet pursuing the Precursors to Path Kethona, but protested their genocidal mission. Those who were not executed were stranded.
- Genetic Memory: Lacking technology, they developed the ability to transmit memories and information through cells, in an organic counterpart to ancillas and the Domain.
- Lost Colony: Until the Librarian and the crew of the Audacity arrived on their planet, the Path Kethona Forerunners had not been in contact with another world for about 10,000,000 years.
- Mind Hive: While they can't store all their race's memories themselves (and don't want to, for Loss of Identity reasons), they cultivated a spot on their planet to store such knowledge within memory spores, to be retrieved it as needed.
- Organic Technology: Utilize a lot of this in lieu of things like the technological Domain. Ironically, this leads them to be safer from the Flood and the Precursors, since the Domain itself is a Precursor construct.
- Penal Colony: The descendants of the dissenters from the original Forerunner invasion of Path Kethona, who were left trapped on a barren world in the Spider as punishment.
- Sole Survivor: Ironically enough. The militant Forerunners who followed through with the genocide of the Precursors were so overwhelmed by guilt that they couldn't bring themselves to return home; they died out, leaving their ships sitting in space, and their mission largely forgotten in the Milky Way.
- Space Amish: Outside of a few bio-engineered abilities, the most advanced technology they have is a bit of basic metalworking, even though their collective memory retains the days when their ancestors were still part of the Ecumene.
- Translator Microbes: They can bite someone to communicate knowledge of language and culture; similar to the Librarian's geas or the Didact's imprint on Bornstellar. They find the process unpleasant, though.