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     How could the Halos wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy after the destruction of installation 04? 
  • The purpose of the Halos was to purge the galaxy of all living beings of sufficient biomass to sustain the Flood. But at the end of the first game, one of the Halos (04) was destroyed. This means that unless all the rest of the Halos also accounted for the area covered by installation 04, (in which case, why did they build installation 04 in the first place?) there is a section of the galaxy that is no longer within the "blast radius" of any existing Halos (in which case, why couldn't the Flood or any other sentient being just flee to Threshold or some other area that used to be within 04's blast radius?)
    • The Flood still needs to feed. Had they gone to Installation 04 after the events of CE, they would have survived the rings but have nothing to feed on, because everything else in the galaxy would be dead and there appear to be no known lifeforms in the space around Alpha Halo.
    • Plus, Installation 00 was already constructing a backup Installation 04, so the Flood wouldn't have been safe for long. Presumably the same would happen for any other Halo Installation that was destroyed. And that's not even accounting for the fact that the Halos can move under their own power if need be, so one of the other rings could theoretically "pick up the slack" until the replacement was finished.


     If the Flood can infect and multiply from just a single cell, why do they need Infection Forms? 
  • Is it just to spread the infection faster?
    • Yes.
    • It's never stated that the Flood infect from just a single cell. You may be confusing cells with infection forms. If the Flood spread through a single cell, then everybody would be Flood.
    • It is said that a single flood spore can destory an entire world, although an Infection Form infecting a host probably takes a lot less time. Flood biomass very clearly emits spores into the air. It's possible that a host's immune system can fight the infection at the cellular level, but not when an Infection Form overwhelms the host with Flood biomass and takes over the host's nervous system.
    • Spore =/= cell, as far as I know.
    • I interpreted it as "a single spore can potentially mutate into a lager form capable of infecting non-cellular life".

    How did Johnson survive the explosion at the end of Halo CE? 

  • During the legendary ending of Halo CE, Johnson is fighting an Elite over an Assault Rifle. After the Elite and Johnson realize their fate (This is it baby, hold me), they decide to hug each other as Pillar of Autumn's reactor core explodes in the background. Later Johnson returns in Halo 2, and mentions that It's classified, with no further explanation when he is asked about how he escaped. Also, the time between Johnson shown on the ring and it's destruction is too short for any creative work around that may have been written into the novels.
    • Because Johnson fighting with the Elite is a non-canon Easter Egg.
    • Johnsons escape off ring is explained in the Novel First Strike. He managed to fight his way to a surviving Pelican drop ship, get off ring and link up with Master Chief in the Long Sword.
    • First Strike might as well be UNSC propaganda, nothing in the games (without referencing external sources) adequately explains Johnson's survival. I'm more confused as to how Gunnery Sergeant Stacker survived the events of HALO, especially when Stacker didn't get his own book.
    • First Strike was still canon. Johnson was, apparently, a SPARTAN-1. Which also gives a clue.
    • He didn't his death was retconned out (the Arbiter, despite not even being a character until Halo 2, also wouldn't have survived). Cortana explicitly mentions at the end of Halo: CE that there are no other survivors, no life signs and no ships after performing a scan of the entire sector. You also clearly see the entire interior of the ship was empty, so there was no way Johnson could have stowed away on board and they forgot to mention it. The only survivors of Halo: CE were Master Chief, Cortana and 343 Guilty Spark.
    • The whole "Spartan-I" thing is in that dubious area of canon where the games have never (and probably will never) acknowledge it. Even so, it doesn't really provide an explanation for his survival, unless one of the Spartan-I abilities was to transform into a stealth, hyperdrive equipped ship that has no life signs.
    • The Arbiter survived as it was revealed in First Strike the Covie fleet was hiding behind the moon. They appeared a few minutes after Halo 1 ended. As for the pelican it wasn't detected as they were hiding in amongst the billion bits of debris from the destruction of Halo. And they stole a Covie ship to get a 'hyperdrive'.
    • Exactly what constitutes the "whole area"? Master Chief escaped in a Space Fighter. It is doubtful its sensors would be that highly tuned to pick up every single object, much less a life sign, in orbit. Cortana has no sensors of her own (she's just software), so she simply assumed that was the case.
    • In the book, it clearly states that Cortana was just doing passive scans. After actively scanning the area, the Pelican containing Johnson and a handful of other survivors was found, along with the cryo-pod containing Linda.

    Why didn't the Forerunners just kill off the remaining flood? 
  • They had them all trapped inside the Halo rings. It makes more sense since they already had massive numbers of floating robots already inside the Halo rings, and the Flood had absolutely no way to expand their population so it would be a long but obvious outcome.
    • Apparently, those were research centers before they blew up the universe, and they never gave the kill order. Also, there might be more in another galaxy, and if a cure or prevention could be discovered before they arrive, you'd be glad you kept some to study.
    • Why bother killing them? They're a unique species that could yield valuable research, and they're all safely contained on the rings. The Forerunners' extinction was not Part of The Plan.
    • The Forerunner's extinction was totally part of the plan. They knew what the rings would do to them.
    • Nor was some ignorant alien shmuck blinded by religious dogma and unable to read the warning signs pressing the "Open" button.
    • If you recall the Terminals from Halo 3, you'll note that the Flood had consumed most life in the galaxy; the Forerunner, prior to firing the Ark, only had little more than ten thousand ships commanded by one AI as a last line of defense. This was against a fleet of five million ships, commanded by the Gravemind and a rampant AI. So prior to the first firing of the rings, the specimens on the Halo Installations were just an infinitesimal portion of a galaxy-spanning infestation.
    • It's implied that the Didact was considering activating the rings as a last resort.
    • They did activate the rings, during the battle between Mendicant and Offensive Bias. That was the actual pivotal moment in the battle that let Offensive Bias win.
    • The Flood originated from outside the galaxy, so even if the Forerunner had managed to exterminate them, the prospect of being helpless against future invasions would make this a bad plan. Ideally, after wiping out all "wild" Flood in the Milky Way, the Forerunner would want to have captive specimens to research an effective counter with.
    • This is the same reason we still have specimens of the bubonic plague and other potentially epidemic diseases. The Floor could mutate, possibly making current countermeasures ineffective.

    Where did 343 Guilty Spark get the Spartan Laser from? 
  • We see him in Halo 1 & 2, and he's pretty much defenseless, except for the gravity manipulation thing he has. Then suddenly, in Halo 3, he apparently has a Spartan Laser in his eye. wtf?
    • There's a difference between not having it and not using it. He really never has a reason to use his laser in Halo or Halo 2, even when he's captured by the Covenant. There's no reason for him to break free of the Covenant, since his main reason for existence (04) is gone and they're using him to help them figure out how Halo operates.
    • There are two points in the first game - when you first figure out what Halo really does and when you're hard at work tossing grenades into the Autumn's engine - where Spark is present, has both opportunity and reason to kill you, and instead settles for sicking his Sentinels on you. I'm sure everyone's shot him with a rocket towards the end of the game there, and noted how it does no damage to him - but he just keeps floatin' around, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he could fry you in an instant...
    • You're the Reclaimer, heir to the Forerunners. Guilty Spark very likely has inhibitions against attacking you, just as he would inhibitions against attacking any Forerunner. It isn't until the very end of the third game, when Guilty Spark has clearly gone rampant, that he can attack you at all. (Apparently, adding you to the Sentinel targeting lists is a loophole in his programming, but then Guilty Spark's been slowly going insane for eons, its just that it isn't until the final scene that he completely loses it.)
    • In Halo 1, Guilty Spark wanted your head intact when you were killed, presumably because he can activate the ring with only a human head in the absence of a living, consenting human. Also, Cortana was plugged into the Chief's helmet, and he wanted her so he could read through her databanks, perhaps about stuff such as human history in the last 100,000 years. He might have left the job to the sentinels because he was afraid his extremely overpowered laser would completely incinerate the Chief, therefore losing both the Reclaimer and the Construct.
    • His head had Cortana who had the Index. That's just what he wanted.
    • Clearly, during Halo 1 he was still chargin up his lazor. And furthermore, it looks more like a overclocked Sentinel Beam than a Spartan Laser. It only stands to reason that as the installation's monitor he would have an extremely powerful form of self defense.
    • It's possible the laser beam was damaged, and he had it repaired between Halo 2 and 3.
    • The laser doesn't need charging. He used it several times within a couple minutes at the end of 3. He left Chief to the Sentinels in CE because he probably had more important things to do (i.e. finding another human, as his dialogue suggested.)
    • There is a section in the Library (in CE: Anniversary, at least, couldn't remember if it was in Halo: CE or not), where you come walk down a corridor and see some Flood come flying a little round a corner. When you round the corner, there's more freshly dead Flood, and no suggestion of what killed them, except for Guilty Spark floating in the middle of the room and looking at you in a way that's impressively smug for an expressionless metal orb.
    • Bloodlines suggests that Monitors refrain from using offensive weaponry unless absolutely necessary, since they and protocol find personal envelopment into combat as "crude". Besides, 343's shields ARE ridiculously overpowered, so why in hell would he whip out a Wave-Motion Gun to counter 5 dozen rounds of easily disintegrated AR rounds? The only times he used them was 1: When he effectively took out his anger on Kig-yar pirates blindsiding him, 2: To obliterate a Flood Combat Form when there were no Sentinels around to do it for him, and 3: at the end of Halo 3. Justification was respectfully rage, efficiency, and Rampancy.
    • Rampancy DID seem to be over taking him at that point. Besides that, there's also the possibility that he had a sentinel laser installed as "payment" for helping the Covenant.
    • Which do you think is more likely: the Forerunners making him with the laser so he could protect his ring or the Covenant deciding to tinker with something made by their gods?

    Cortana in 3 

  • What was up with those Cortana sequences in Halo 3?
    • It's possible that both the Cortana sequences and the Gravemind communiques are either a form of biological telepathy- not actually that improbable, scientifically speaking- or utilizing the Master Chief's helmet communications systems. Cortana clearly has a very close attachment to the Chief, and she is being tortured horribly and having her programming screwed with by the Gravemind. More than likely the transmissions are her desperate, instinctive cries for help as Gravemind toys with her, and in her weakness she cries out to the one person she thinks could possibly help her- the Chief.
    • We know the Gravemind has telepathic capacities. Remember when Gravemind itself broadcasts to you the same way? 'I am peace... I am salvation' and all that? And the psychic scream you hear right after you've 'stolen' Cortana back? The Flood themselves and their hive mind? Gravemind's voice speaking to you through various Flood drones, towards the end of 'The Covenant' in Halo 3? If Gravemind is a telepath, and Cortana was directly interfaced to its mind while being tortured, its plausible she could have been using his faculties to sneak-broadcast messages to you.
    • Also Gravemind's dialogue in Halo 2 hints strongly at it being psychic(or at least capable of surveilance, even over interstellar distances):
      Gravemind: There is much talk, and I have listened. Through rock, and metal, and time.
    • Tell the truth, none of that really struck me as "psychic" powers. Just about everything the Gravemind is capable of doing could be accomplished by some form of transmitter; the Halo 3 Terminals even specifically mention that the Gravemind is clogging the various Forerunner communications channels with its transmissions. (my main objection to Gravemind being psychic is that, up until that point in Halo, there's been not even a single mention of psychic powers in any way, shape, or form.....)
    • Incorrect. Remember how Gravemind speaks to you through the Flood drones several times? Not to mention that Flood are capable of conducting coordinated attack plans across multiple locations without needing to use radios — hell, according to some of the Terminal Dialogues, the Forerunner War had the Flood capable of instantaneous communication across all of its various components over interstellar distances. There were more than a few indicators the Flood are a telepathic hive species. Granted, there's no other examples save the occasional visions of Master Chief as to the Flood being telepathic outside their species, but that's where Cortana and her almost symbiotic rapport with Spartan 117 comes in.
    • Just because the Gravemind is speaking to the Master Chief, it doesn't mean that he's using some psychic goobldygook. Its entirely possible and significantly more plausible that the Flood are using a biological analogue to radio; we know that animals are sensitive to magnetism, radiation, and high-frequency sounds humans can't hear, so its no stretch to imagine the Flood developing a simple biological method of transmitting/receiving data. Communications over interstellar distances are easily explained by the use of Covenant interstellar communications tech.
    • How is a "biological analogue to radio" that you receive in your brain different from telepathy in any way besides name?
    • Except for two things: 1) your EEG spikes and flatlines in funny ways while receiving one of Cortana's 'transmissions', and 2) nobody else: not the Marines on their helmet radios, not the comm sections of the Tsavo base or the Forward Unto Dawn, not Commander Keyes in the Pelican, reports hearing any transmissions whatsoever. If Gravemind is communicating with you on RF broadband, you'd think someone would have noticed. As for 'psychic gobblydegook', we are in a game with portals that instantly bamf starships a quarter of a million light-years away, energy swords, a parasite species that is flat-out impossible to have evolved naturally anywhere (NOT TRUE! There is a parasite that does the EXACTLY (Brown skin and all) the same thing to ants, takes them up high, and releases spores. The Flood also start as spores.) , and nine-foot-tall reptilian alien badasses who can flip over tanks with their bare hands. This is not the game setting for strict scientific realism. (Compared to most Sci-fi I'd say this is fairly hard. Not counting plotholes, few things of what we know today say that these things absolutely don't/won't exist one day.)
    • Also, the principle behind something having basic telepathy isn't really too implausible, especially for a hyper-advanced, ludicrous, borderline Eldritch Abomination species like the Flood. All it requires is an extrapolation of Gravemind's demonstrated ability to control or direct the Flood to its whims.
    • There's a big fat hint that Gravemind is psychic in Halo 2, with his very first lines, when Cortana, who is inside John's head as he looks at Gravemind for the first time, asks him, "What is that?" Gravemind replies to her, "I am a monument to all your sins." The fact that Cortana seems to have said this to John upon first introducing herself to him long before this occurs (recalled in one of the 'transmissions') would further suggest Gravemind is a bona-fide mind reader.
    • The Flood do nothing that cannot be explained by some form of biological capacity to mimic electronic signals. This is capacity is confirmed in Halo Wars with the proto-Gravemind creature, which actually can mimic a specific signal to lure in the Spirit of Fire's crew.
    • Wrong. Until the seventh level, "The Covenant", Cortana's communications with you occur while she and Gravemind are in another star system. Either the Master Chief has an FTL communicator built into his armor (hint: he doesn't), Gravemind can use a "biological capacity to mimic electronic signals" to send ordinary radio signals across interstellar distances at FTL velocities (hint: that's ridiculous)... or, the sonofabitch is psychic.
    • Critical Research Failure. The Covenant have FTL comms. Gravemind is in the middle of a Covenant holy city. Do the math. Also, its strange that one would consider a biological capacity to use FTL communications to be ridiculous, but at the same time you're perfectly willing to accept psychic powers as somehow being more plausible - in a universe that already has confirmed FTL comms.
    • Critical Reading Comprehension Failure: Gravemind's access to FTL comms means exactly jack unless you also posit that a) Master Chief has a Covenant FTL receiver built into his armor and b) The comm sections of the Forward Unto Dawn and Tsavo Base somehow utterly fail to detect an incoming Covenant FTL communication. Which, y'know, we already pointed out.
    • The Chief already has some form of Covenant communications interception equipment, which is how Cortana was able to warn the Chief about Covenant threats. I think that FTL transmissions were sent to Covenant ships which then relayed the transmission to the Chief. It's entirely possible that the Forward Unto Dawn and Tsavo would have picked up these comms, but the A.I.s there wouldn't have the Covenant translation subroutines because only Cortana and ONI needed them.
    • It doesn't need to be able to detect Covenant FTL comms. The Flood can mimic UNSC signals, as Halo Wars has already shown. The Flood can also mimic and jam Forerunner FTL comms, as Halo 3 has already shown, and Forerunner signals can be picked up by UNSC transceivers, also shown in Halo 3. And again, you are positing that psychic powers in a setting that has otherwise never even hinted they existed are a more plausible explanation than FTL communications when the Flood have already been shown to have FTL communication capabilities. There is nothing the Gravemind does that cannot be explained by that capacity.
    • Also, where exactly was it said that Tsavo base or Forward Unto Dawn didn't detect anything? When you're inside Tsavo Base, it is being invaded by the Covenant. They're not going to care about random, nonsensical incoming transmissions when they're hip-deep in brutes and engaging in a fighting evacuation. The only time Forward Unto Dawn is really in a position to pick up the incoming transmissions is when the transmissions are coming from High Charity while it is on the Ark, at which point - again - they have vastly more important things to worry about than sorting out a couple of random, nonsensical messages.
    • So, Gravemind can use Covenant FTL equipment to send a signal to Earth so precisely that he can hit one guy's helmet radio in the middle of a forest without any other UNSC receiver in the area hearing even a whisper? Remember, you're only a few miles away from Tsavo Base during the first stage, and to a guy shooting a beam at you from thousands of light-years away that's effectively no relative distance at all. And yet, nobody else with a USNC radio hears a single damn thing. There is also that the Master Chief's armor has no FTL receiver. It doesn't matter if Gravemind can mimic UNSC communications protocols, you don't have a UNSC FTL comm either! All you have is a tactical radio! So, sorry, the theory still doesn't hold.
    • ...and somehow, Psychic Powers are more plausible?
    • Entirely more plausible. The "radio" theory requires direct violations of canon (i.e., an FTL receiver being in Master Chief's armor), the 'psychic' theory simply requires believing that a game already up to its damn armpits in "rubber science" space-opera tropes is using yet another such trope, notably, psionics.
    • There's also that the 'Flood use biological radio' theory would make both the Forerunner and the Covenant look like total idiots. Remember, a Gravemind does not form until there is a certain density of Flood. This means that the Flood need the hivemind in order to be intelligent at all. And if their hivemind ran on electromagnetic frequencies, it would be vulnerable to electronic jamming. The Flood would be walking around with a giant neon sign saying "Please, shoot me in this horrendous weakness with your ECM jamming pods until I am totally lobotomized". Granted that even a non-sentient Flood rush is still a dangerous local hazard, its only a local hazard. The thing that let the Flood destroy a galaxy was that they were as intelligent as we were and could fly starfleets... but they're only that intelligent when there's a lot of them and they can communicate amongst each other. And yet, a species as technologically sophisticated as the Forerunner is supposed to have never thought of trying to disrupt the communications medium so as to render its enemy enormously more easily killed? No, its much more plausible that what the Flood use to network among themselves is not biological radio, because otherwise they'd be enormously less of a menace than they were.
    • Two things, first psychic powers is still technically biological so it would be more appropriate to simply say they don't have built in radios. Second a medium is still required for any Psychic powers to work at such a large distance, it is impossible to say that some thing with psychic powers can instant message a guy in another star system (light year distance) espcially if the psychic powers work as a Hive Mind. Considering the distance the gap is too big for the Gravemind to use his supposed psychic powers, unless he could mystically use the FTL to use his powers instead of collective network of flood across that distance then that would make the Gravemind's psychic powers pretty much like a radio thus rendering the spychic powers being more plasuible argument moot. The key detail is distance, the gravemind cannot single out one guy who isn't psychically standing out on a planet light years away full of living things with roughly equal... psychic-ness without the FTL. Which would render the powers as being the same as a radio, with the same limitations.
    • ...right. None of those arguments apply, as neither reality nor the game define psionics. Reality defines the rules and mechanics of radio; the game defines special exceptions to it. Solid arguments can be made regarding radio. The same cannot be said of psionics.
    • Those arguments actually work fairly well. Just because the game doesn't directly define psionics doesn't mean the basic conventions couldn't apply.
    • As mentioned, psychic powers don't appear anywhere in the game before the Flood stuff. could the heroes know the mechanics of Gravemind's communications? Assuming it's psychic, it'd be rather implausible to have some random Mr. Exposition suddenly know how the Flood work. Given the existence of the Flood is a Genre Shift in and of itself, I'm not sure why the existence of the paranormal has to be dismissed simply because the protagonists aren't informed on the matter.
    • To explain the communications without telepathy you need to assign grave mind abilities that are just as absurd as telepathy. People are talking about sending a message faster than light across the depths of space towards a planet, convert it into a radio wave and somehow have an omniscient ability to determine EXACTLY where the individual you're communicating with is, so that the transmission doesn't appear to everyone with a radio. Once you're at the level of trying to explain this kind of omniscient targeting, you're clearly entering Clarkes 3rd law, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
    • This whole argument is a perfect example of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane, except instead of "magic" it may or may not be "slightly softer science." Either way, the psionic thing can't be ruled out with a simple "it was never explicitly explained as psychic." Nor can the radio thing be ruled out with "psychic implications." Though the implications are definitely there.
    • Some of the transmissions seem to to be deliberately vague allusions to her plan; e.g. her statement that "I'm a thief, but I keep what I steal" referring to the Index. She has to keep whatever she says difficult to understand, because the Gravemind is listening.
    • First set of communications (during Sierra 117 and Crow's Nest) are her verifying who she is to the Master Chief, using phrases he knows from when he was inducted into the SPARTAN program. The second set (The Storm and Floodgate) are her trying to explain what she's doing and why she's being obtuse (she can't tell the Chief everything, but she is trying tot ell him she's on his side). Note that afterward, when you arrive at the Ark, communications with her cut out until High Charity itself arrives. Then Cortana begins actually telling the Chief things useful, like how she hints she has the Index, and then leading him to the panel to activate and reveal Halo. Everything after that is Cortana breaking down while being tortured by the Gravemind for information.
    • It may be because Cortana's been working with John for so long that her matrix has somehow imprinted into his brain.
    • Two Words: Quantum Entanglement, bitches. Quantum physics says that such communication is perfectly possible, even easy to do with the right techniques. Such an ability could quite feasibly be evolved in a lifeform that is actively directing its evolution.
    • Quantum entanglement doesn't work that way. All it does is allow you to measure the (entirely random) state of one of the entangled particles and, in so doing, infer what the state of the partner must be (it will be the opposite one). You can't send information this way because you have no idea what the state is before you look, and after you look it's still random, not controlled information. Also, we can talk "feasibly evolving" when you propose a biological mechanism to entangle particles that enhances the reproductive fitness of the organism in quesiton. ;)
    • Well, a biological particle entangler would enhance the reproductive fitness of the Flood because then they can communicate instantaneously. That's a good feature for hive-mind species to have, duh.
    • As another troper pointed out earlier, a "biological FTL communications device" is precisely identical to telepathy, there is no need to overcomplicate things. And that the covenant have FTL communication does not mean that The Gravemind is using it to send messages, merely that it is possible to make one within the boundaries of the Halo Universe. And the mind is far more unique than a fingerprint, it is by no means unfeasible that a message is tuned to one particular individual without even disturbing regular forms of communication. (And last but not least, whoever said this "Biological FTL Radio" works on electric signals or radiation? For all we know it might send some form of durable, microscopic floodspore to act as "messenger bird" through slipspace.) Basicly, all bets are off.
    • After reading Halo: Cryptum, I have a new theory to throw in: the Domain. I'm not exactly clear about it, but from what I can tell, it's basically an undefined network which Forerunners can input information into that other Forerunners (or, more specifically, anyone with Forerunner armor on) can access. Chief has his Mjolnir armor, which is pretty advanced, and Cortana has had extensive access to Forerunner systems and is pretty much the closest any AI has come to a Forerunner Ancilla so far, so maybe she sent a message through the Domain, which is not connected to hardware and seems to just be instant-access no matter where you are. (Sorry if this is messy, but it seems that, as a rule, everything related to the Forerunners must be kept incredibly vague, so the book's pretty complicated, at least to me...)
    • You're not that far off; both the Domain and the Flood originated from the Precursors, who were masters of an esoteric branch of science referred to as "neural physics". Presumably, the same "technology" behind the Domain's galaxy-spanning, extra-dimensional nature is also behind the Flood's apparent telepathy.
    • In Halo: CE the Flood do not have FTL comms and are not even oraganized until sufficient biomass is put together to form a proto-gravemind with Captain Keyes at the centre and it takes over a Covenant warship. Presumably, individual Flood forms are rampant unless controlled by a local gravemind.
    • Considering the revelations offered up in Halo: Silentium, it seems much more likely that the Flood truly are psychic, at least to a limited extent. Even before that, there were signs that the Gravemind is far beyond the capibilities of most UNSC and Covenant technology. Halo 3 shows it torturing Cortana, and the Halo: Evolutions short story, Human Weakness shows just what the Gravemind was doing to her including, among other things, causing her to feel physical pain (which Cortana herself notes shouldn't even be possible). So with abilities like that, I have no problem believing the Gravemind has at least, limited psychic powers.
    • The flood are the cancerous remains of the Precursors, who are implied to have had highly developed organic technological capabilities, as evidenced by the Domain. They themselves are an example of how advanced the Precursor's ability for manipulating organic material into extremely complex and advanced systems was. This being established, it's not infeasible that the Gravemind does have what we would call psychic powers, to a being with that level of understanding of biological technology, the human brain would seem no more advanced or complex then an obsolete computer would seem to us. It's a matter of abstraction in that we wouldn't even have the scientific know-how to figure out how it works, but if the Gravemind is capable of maintaining a galaxy-wide hive-mind network, and if the flood are capable of manipulating organic material in the highly specialized ways they do (Creating various flood forms, repurposing infected tissue, ect...) then it stands to reason that telepathic communication with a single individual is well within it's capabilities. It's not that it's magic powers, simply that we don't currently understand whatever scientific methods it uses to accomplish this.
    • Adding to this, the Precursors practiced something referred to as "neural physics", which allowed them to do things like create highly resilient megastructures spanning entire star systems out of basically nothing but thought; compared with that, telepathy is probably mere child's play for them. Also, I should note that "neural physics" goes far beyond mere organic technology; Word of God is that the same "scientific" know-how that allowed the Domain to be created also allowed the Gravemind to upgrade High Charity's engines to the point where it was able to make a direct jump from the Solar System to the Ark (located outside the Milky Way) without needing to go through the Portal at Voi.
      • Yep. They're Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, and the defining trait of that trope is the ability to do things with technology and science that would be considered supernatural if the reader didn't know better. A technology that appears for all the world to be telepathy fits the bill just fine.
    • Or maybe it is simply the unraveling of John 117 without Cortana. A battle of conscience; a battle between the kidnapped kid and the saviour, the man and the uniform, the sociopath and the empath, the killing machine and the hero. A hallucinatory manifestation of his internal conflicts.


     Spartan "recruitment" policy. 
  • Just got finished watching Halo Legends. Here's a thought. Instead of kidnapping children from their families at a young age and replacing them with clones, why not, I don't know, JUST USE THE CLONES TO BEGIN WITH! The whole reason the children were selected were for certain genetic markers right? Cloning them and making the Spartans from the clones seems much more humane for everyone involved. In this situation you wouldn't have them escaping, returning to their families and murdering the clones/committing suicide because, quite simply, they don't know what it is they where missing.
    • The Flash clones that were made, while having the memories of the people they replaced were biologically unstable. Notice how the clone was in a wheel chair. It's frankly amazing she had lived as long as she did.
    • It was mostly a cost thing. The Spartan program operated on a budget that prevented them from taking all of the suitable candidates, leaving them with half that number. Presumably growing a proper clone, if it can even be done, would be a lot more expensive and ONI wouldn't give them that kind of cash. It was cheaper to just grab several dozen children and replace them with flash clones.
    • That's really harsh. Also wouldn't awesome clones or even adequate clones make good shock troops or less ethically questionable cannon fodder?
    • There are several problems with that idea: For starters, we don't even know if it's possible to make perfect clones of anyone. By their very nature, clones are "unstable" for lack of a better term, both physically and mentally, so even if it was possible to do, it wouldn't be practical (never mind the fact that the augmentations may not even work with clones). Secondly, there is still budget concerns, and I doubt creating a perfect clone is cheap. Finally, using clone shock troops is more ethically questionable than the original program! What you're suggesting is breeding living humans from birth to become human weapons, which raises even more ethical issues than kidnapping six-year old children to turn them into super soldiers.
    • To further clarify for onlookers; while the UNSC is good at quickly and cheaply cloning individual tissues and organs, full human cloning is both difficult and insanely costly for them, with any attempt to accelerate the clones' growth resulting in ones that tend to die really really really fast (Daisy's clone was one of the few to actually live longer than a single year). Additionally, UNSC cloners seem to have particular problems with the brain; Halsey, the smartest human alive, had to go through twenty different clones just to get a single brain that could survive for long enough to be used to create Cortana. Long story short, we're not on Kamino anymore, Toto.

    Why go on foot to stop Truth? 
  • Why, in the finale bit of "The Covenant" mission, couldn't the Arbiter and the Chief just hop in either the hornet or the handy-dandy Phantom there and just fly up to where Truth was, instead of taking the elevator and forcing Keyes to do it instead?
    • They probably didn't know they could break through the glass. Remember, this is Forerunner engineering. They probably felt they had enough time to reach Truth and stop him without risking plowing through potentially-impenetrable Forerunner transparent substances, until Truth turned on the rings. That was when Miranda did her desperation move with the pelican.
    • Also, it would have been pretty embarrassing to break through the top window and then find out that the transmitter room was in an armored sub-basement. It wasn't until the Master Chief & Arbiter were already inside the building at the bottom of the shaft, and radioed how far away from Truth they still were, that Miranda could make an educated guess as to Truth's location.
    • Alternatively, the barrier around the place acts like a giant drop shield: anything that isn't in-use weaponry can get through. (Alternatively, think like those shield generators the Gungans has in Phantom Menace) The plan seemed to be for the three groups to drop the shield, then for 'Vadum to fire a VCB on the Citadel, obliterating Truth, his guards, and any possible way to activate the Halo Array. The only flaws were A: Johnson's capture, which could've been used as a bartering chip by Truth, if not for B: High Charity crashing down and having a Flood Dispersal Pod slice right through the Shadow of Intent.
    • Why didn't Truth fire the rings before The Chief and The Arbiter attacked, he'd reach the Citadel and nothing was stopping him.
    • He needed a human to activate the control systems, in the form of Johnson, and he had to go through his sermon before firing it. Scary Dogmatic Alien and all.
    • That raises the question of why the Covenant, who have known since the last game that you need a human to activate Halo, just take a human, any human with them? They could have just nabbed any schlub off the streets of New Mombassa and had him turn on their galactic death machine. I mean what exactly were they planning once they got on the other side of that portal?
    • Alternatively, they were fired already. Remember at the end of Halo 2, there are several minutes between when Tartarus forces Keyes to enter the Index in the console and when the ring would've fired, had Keyes not ganked it. It's entirely possible that Truth doing the same with Johnson on the Ark is the exact equivalent; the rings were just building charge until the could fire, and John canceled it before it could finish, just like Keyes did.
    • Why didn't Johnson stop Truth after all the brutes had run off to fight the chief, he just sits there cradling Miranda whilst an unarmed weak alien trys to destroy the galaxy. Also there's plenty of time for Mirana and Johnson to hop into the Pelican and fly away.
    • Judging by the Brute corpses near the Prophet, there were at least a couple on guard after the rest went to fight the Chief.

    Why do the shield doors block everything but organic creatures? 
  • Vehicles and bullets just stop. Not only that but the armor should have gotten in the way.
    • You mean the ones on Tsavo Highway, right? I figured those just stop anything travelling too fast or with too much mass, which would stop vehicles pretty effectively.
    • One problem: I'm pretty sure that Master Cheif weighs somewhere around seven tons.
    • Only about half a ton actually, which is still far lighter than the six ton warthogs.

    "Wake me... when you need me." 
  • Uhh, Chief? You do remember that Cortana is the type of AI that dies after seven years, right? Meaning that, unless there's a planet really close by and/or your half gets there really fast, she's not gonna be there on the other end, right? What gives? Did the "Smart AI" thing get cut out of canon? Or is the Chief just being his normal self?
    • ...that did not occur to me. Maybe she doesn't decay if she's not running full-out? She could go into stasis herself, setting a few surface algorithms or whatever to activate her if something interesting happens/.
    • Smart AI lifespan has apparently been cut from canon. The latest novel, Contact Harvest, has Loki/Mack, who is/are a smart AI(s) that has/have been around for decades, alternating when they reach a point of rampancy. Keep in mind, Bungie's own canon policy is new stuff overrides old stuff, and Contact Harvest was written by Joeseph Staten himself.
    • As of The Cole Protocol it has been reduced to "Legally, after seven years, we gotta put you down" Juliana, it is implied, is older than the mandatory seven.
    • Actually, it's not been retconned away at all; Cortana spends all of Halo 4 struggling with rampancy (and explicitly mentions the "7 year lifespan limit" to Chief), and various other post-3 media also deal with the issue.
    • There's also the possibility that either A: She IS rampant and well past the point where an engineered death SHOULD occur, or B: accessing Forerunner tech and Flood hivemindery have left her with a severely expanded amount of 'room', and in turn lifespan.
    • You forget that the final stage of Rampancy is Meta-Stability, a phase when the AI finally gets over the fact that it's not real. from what i've noticed, cortana hit meta-stability when Chief rescued her from Gravemind.
    • As it turns out; she's not metastable.
    • There is a planet really close by, didn't you see it turn to the day side as soon as he said that line?
    • It is also possible that Cortana KNOWS she's not going to be around forever. With her ability to make trillions of calculations, and many of them within the space of an instant, it is entirely possible that she (and perhaps even the Chief, what with them being so synced up) knows of the possibility of her lifespan coming an end on the trip. Therefore, the Chief says to wake him so that they can be together in her final moments.
    • This is one of the more likely explanations, while it's never stated that Chief is similar to Solid Snake, it's very possible that he's tired of all the fighting and ready to "retire" with his best (and only) friend.
    • "Wake me ... when you need me ..."
    • I thought that after seven years AI just started to go rampant (crazy), and they were "put down" or erased. Cortana could have easily lived for as long as necessary, as long as they had power. However she wouldn't be all that reliable after a few decades.
    • Recall that the ship has been sheared in half, and the interior, including the area where the Chief is located, has been exposed to the vacuum. He only has a limited supply of oxygen in that suit, so he can't exactly sit around chatting with Cortana while they wait for help or a lucky break. Going into cryo-suspension is his only choice, and as for such a terse comment, it's simply in his nature to be The Stoic. Presumably, she'll wake him up if rescue arrives or... if she needs him.
    • Rampancy is a side-effect of having too much data to index and maintain. It's not that after seven years an AI automatically goes rampant, it's just that 7 years is about how long it should take an AI functioning normally before it happens. Since they're adrift in space, it's possible that Cortana won't be getting enough data to push her over the edge for a very long time, especially if she can put herself into some kind of standby mode.
    • They changed it. Old rampancy - "Smart" A.Is slowly become irrational and "die" in a logic loop. New rampancy - "Smart" A.Is go insane and wreak havoc, until they have to destroyed or the A.I stops acting crazy.
    • Actually it's more like Old rampancy made into New rampancy made back into Old rampancy. The "New" rampancy works more like how rampancy worked in the Marathon universe, another of Bungie's works that Halo borrowed a lot from.
    • In fact, Halo 4 and other later media explicitly state that the logic loop explanation is still in effect, it's just that one of the symptoms is "going insane and possibly murderous".
    • Either way, she seems pretty fine by the time Halo 4 begins. Not counting the whole "ship falling apart and being dragged towards a mysterious planet" situation.
    • Actually, she starts breaking apart pretty quickly once the plot is underway.
    • This complaint got rendered invalid by Halo 4 and the intro sections of each Forward Unto Dawn episode; Cortana does go rampant, and is only barely holding herself together.
    • And then Cortana's apparent death at the end of Halo 4 got jossed, and apparently she's the main antagonist of Halo 5, so...


  • In a future so distant, why are humans still using pistols and shotguns?
    • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better
    • Standard FPS Guns
    • IMMA FIRIN MY (SPARTAN) LASER, which is, you know, blows up tanks and ships in one shot.
    • What alternative is there to pistols and shotguns? Explain carefully.
    • Why should they be? Projectile weapons work very well at their job, and its obvious that UNSC firearms are doing their job pretty damn well when they can be used effectively against enemies with much more advanced technology, including personal shielding. You don't update your military technology when there's no concrete benefit to be had with updating it.
    • In the 26th century (when Halo is set) mankind would be using laser guns, not obsolete bullet firing ballistic guns. In 2008 people use machine guns instead of flintlocks. Mass orbital bombardment and relativistic missiles can be used to destroy Covenant worlds.
    • 600 years ago, gun technology was "light this explosive stuff behind a metal object to fling it across a set space" Today, gun technology is "light this explosive stuff behind a metal object to fling it across a set space." Totally see how 600 years of improving projectile weapons just suddenly shits out a laser gun.
    • First of all, they don't know where the Covenant worlds are. Secondly, your silly attitude that guns would just go from "bullet" to "laser" has no justification at all. It's like saying that because people have gone from biplanes to supersonic jets, the future will be full of jetpack wearing humans who use flying cars. What about the problems inherent in using flying cars? The training? The plasma weapons the Covenant have are not amazingly more effective than the bullets of the UNSC either.
    • Look at the history of weapons development instead of assuming ignorance that "our" current technology is the apex of weapons technology. Weaponry 600 years from now will be more advanced its called "technological advancement."
    • To be fair, the only reason the Covenant weapons arent that much better is because they dont really utilize their fullest potential, due to most of their tech being derived from Forurunner artifacts, and them viewing it all as Holy relics. It's mentioned in the novel, First Strike I think. So in universe, plasma weapons could be far better than humanity's ballistic weapons, theyre just not cause the Covenant are too stupid (or religious) to use them properly. But yeah, just cos its the future, doesnt mean humanity will be using lasers. SO I wouldnt be expectin humanity to be using lasers, or at least, I wouldnt find it farfetched that theyre not. Though the weapons do still seem fairly low-tech in some ways. No real sights on the assault rifle, no attachments on any of the guns (Though to be fair, the Marines helmets doo-hickeys probably render most attatchments unnecessary). I guess its just to humanize humanity in the future, too much high tech could make it harder to relate to them.
    • They will be more advanced. This does not translate directly to 'lol laser guns'.
    • Plus, there are already a few legitimate laser weapons in the games. Halo 2 brought forth the Sentinel Beam, a laser beam that sucks compared to other weapons. Halo 3 brought us the Spartan Laser, which has the explicit purpose of being a rocket launcher in laser form.
    • "In the 26th century (when Halo is set) mankind would be using laser guns, not obsolete bullet firing ballistic guns." Wow, you can see into the future! There are a whole host of reasons why "primitive" weapons like ballistic firearms would still be used, not the least of which are cost, efficiency, and effectiveness. And to tell the truth, lasers are terribly inefficient as infantry weaponry anyway; the kinetic energy emparted by solid-slug projectile weapons can do a lot more damage to a soft target than direct energy transfer, and has better penetration ability when it comes to armor.
    • Ballistic weapons do have drawbacks. Ammunition for starters is unsafe no matter the storage. Coil guns that use bullets without a charge would be safer to store. Besides, over the next six centuries weapons technologies will advance eneough to make laser weapons effective. Remember how ineffective the first ballistic weapon was back in the 1400's. Check the history books.
    • I see. Tell you what... check back with me in 600 years, then we can have this argument with a little more weight behind it. But as long as you have decided we'll DEFINATLY have lasers in 600 year, I've decided that in 600 years.... we won't even exist
    • And why would the batteries powering these portable coil guns be any safer to store than ammunition? Current capacitors explode violently when overcharged. Just saying something does not make it true. What about the inefficiencies of laser weaponry? The limitations present in them being limited to line of sight? The laws of physics will not be radically different five centuries from now, whatever you might think.
    • WRT ammunition safety, I have a simple question - how many times has a soldier's ammunition cooking off actually been an issue in combat? Current ballistic ammunition is actually quite safe, and is usually quite securely stored. And more importantly, its cheap, its effective, and again, kinetic energy is more effective at both penetration and damaging soft targets than direct energy transfer. The same amount of energy you'd expend producing a laser beam or ball of plasma you could spend far more efficiently on a projectile.
    • Its worth noting that the UNSC's "primitive" firearms are also capable of defeating Forerunner-crafted super-alloys, penetrating Forerunner shields, and penetrating Forerunner and Forerunner-derived armor. Not to mention that such weapons have comparable performance characteristics with much, much more "advanced" Covenant and Forerunner weapons, and the armor crafted by UNSC technology is able to match up against "advanced" alien/Forerunner weaponry as well. That alone indicates that "primitive" UNSC weapons and armor are far more advanced than outward appearance would indicate. More likely than not, the UNSC put its efforts into further boosting the effectiveness and efficiency of its available technology, refining their weapons' capability once form had been perfected. After all, current firearms technology is simply a refinement of the basic firearms developed centuries ago, so who's to say that the UNSC hasn't been refining its tech in the intervening centuries? Just because the rifles and shotguns they use look like current ones doesn't mean that they are exactly the same.
    • "Mass orbital bombardment and relativistic missiles can be used to destroy Covenant worlds. Yeah, they have those. They're called MAC guns. They accelerate thousand-ton slugs at close to the speed of light and impact with force comparable to mind-bogglingly powerful nuclear weapons. Covenant Shields are STILL able to withstand the ship mounted ones to some extent (but not the planetary orbit ones).
    • Messy ballistic weapons with there recoil and muzzle flashes also have the advantage of being placed in the Darker and Edgier catagory.
    • As any troper knows, Sword > Gun. So doesn't it stand to reason that Sword > Gun > Laser? The level of broken that the melee weapons are seems to indicate that this was the line of logic followed by the developers.
    • I find it interesting the original poster is arguing for laser guns over projectile guns and then brings up mass driving as a viable weapon in his very next comment. Oops.
    • Not to mention would not an atmosphere high in moisture render laser weapons ineffective due to the droplets diffusing the beam in the air on its way to the target? With the advancement of slug throwing weapons, you could develop them to shoot exploding rounds that would rip apart soft materials and blast most personal armour.
    • You would think that 600 years in the future we'd at least have an automatic shotgun that can shoot farther than five feet.
    • Considering that we currently have automatic shotguns that fire mini-grenade rounds that go fairly far, i.e. more then 10 meters, I do find it a bit jarring that humans aren't using more advanced weapons, on a regular basis.
    • IIRC the automatic shotguns that we do have don't really have a use in combat. An assault rifle with an undermounted grenade or shotgun attachment does the same job without quite the recoil of an automatic shotgun.
    • Though, the auto shotgun has more customizable ammunition and holds far more of it then an assault rifle? Also, the bullets would be much more lethal, and have more stopping power. If the auto shotgun were using solid slugs instead of buckshot that could easily be more then .50 cal. It is more of an urban warfare weapon though.
    • It's also a balancing issue. If the shotguns could shoot 30 feet and still do a good amount of damage, they'd be too good.
    • The thinking that the shotgun is useless after five feet JBM. A shotgun blast will kill a grunt or a skirmisher in one shot at around 20-30 yards, and it'll mess up a shielded jackal at similar ranges as well (well, their shields anyhow). Shotguns don't work on elites, brutes, hunters, or spartans - all of which but normal brutes are either wearing seriously bad-ass armor, force shields, or both. Even the brutes probably have a solid layer of fat taking the primary blast of the shot.
    • Humans hadn't needed to deal with anyone other than other humans so they didn't NEED laser weaponry. Human ships are armored, not shielded, so a MAC gun and Archer missile pods were all that was necessary in most space engagements. On the ground, people still tend to die when shot with bullets, so that's what they used.
    • Come to think of it, how was the old assault rifle supposed to fit 60 7.62mm rounds in a single magizine and still be light enough for marines to carry?
    • The same way humans nowadays can carry two hundred 5.56mm rounds in a large box magazine and it's still light enough to carry. Ammunition is heavy, but not that heavy.
    • But there's still no way 60 rounds could fit into a magazine of that size.
    • To quote another game that likes balistic weapons over directed energy: "This is a 20 kilogram ferrous slug... every five seconds the main gun of an Emperor class dreadnought accelerates one to 1.3% of lightspeed. It impacts with the force of a 38 kilotonne bomb. That is three times the yield of the citybuster dropped on Hiroshima back on earth. That means: Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son of a bitch in space." Seriously. Fuck lasers. Kinetic energy will ruin. Your. Shit.
    • I think a better question is "Why are UNSC guns exactly like modern day guns?". It's a perfectly legitimate question when you compare the differences between a Matchlock musket and a modern day H&K Battle Rifle. They're both still guns, but in terms of sophistication and capability they're worlds apart. The best explanation is that they want to give the player human weapons that will be recognizable.
    • I noticed a lot of reference how much weapons have gone in 600 years. Yes, we have gone far. When you think it, our guns are basically still flintlocks, we just made them able to shoot faster. All weapons on modern day work on same principle as back 600 years ago: something goes boom, something flies out. Something hit someone, someones day is ruined. It works on humans, so why would human go for energy weapons? Considering how little it takes to make laser beam producing system stop working and how much you need to beat AK-47 before it refuses to work, I wouldn't be surprised that the UNSC is going for tried and tested tech rather than trying to build something they don't know will work under combat situations.
    • Why assume modern firearms are the zenith of projectile weapons tech? Here's a futurstic gun for you; one with caseless ammo, that tells you if you've hit your target, with an underslung rail/MAC gun to deal with enemy armour. Every single one of those things is feasible in the Halo universe but we don't see it. Plus the AK may be tough but not every gun is. Yes the UNSC seem to have made their guns much more reliable than ours but don't tell me that's all we'll manage in the next 600 years.
    • Caseless ammunition is used by the UNSC for the M7/Caseless Submachine Gun.
    • Even in the 26th century, combat-effective directed-energy weapons will probably still be restricted to aerial gunships and ground vehicles. Why is this, you ask? Simple. Heat and energy storage. In order to penetrate the armor of a tank, a weapon like the Spartan Laser would have to be capable of putting out pulses of laser energy more powerful than scientific apparatuses that take up hundreds of thousands of square feet today. Where do you put all that heat? How do you keep the weapon from turning into molten slag in your hands? One of the chief advantages of projectile weapons is that the hot, energetic materials involved in the firing process are expelled from the weapon. The brass case carries away some of the heat from the chamber and the hot, burning gunpowder exits the barrel with the projectile. With a laser - or any other DEW - much of the heat from the firing process is lost in the device itself. Plus, where are you going to get portable batteries/capacitors that carry an amount of energy equivalent to the daily electricity usage of over a thousand American households? In the 26th century, guns will certainly be more advanced than their slightly backwards counterparts in the Halo series. They just wouldn't be lasers. Smart projectiles, caseless flechette guns, explosive slug-throwers capable of toppling brick walls, grenades that home in on heat sources using rocket propulsion, high-density nanotech explosives that allow devices the size of a cereal box to level small buildings, et cetera. If anything, it's rather more unusual that the UNSC doesn't make use of drone warfare as extensively as a real 26th-century interstellar government would. Why put a flesh-and-blood supersoldier in a powered exoskeleton when you can have a AI or human operator control it from afar? A combat drone can pull off stunts that would pulverize the human body. Picture a multi-ton, flying, quadrupedal, wheel-footed mecha built with the same tech as MJOLNIR and festooned with all the heavy artillery one could reasonably pack onto it. Now, picture it leaping around and accelerating at over fifty gees with rocket packs to avoid enemy fire while dropping pinpoint-precise explosive shells on the heads of every baddie within a five-mile radius. All with no pilot inside. That's real 26th-century warfare.
    • Not really, as history has shown, the trend of miniaturization goes a long way. Weapons today are much smaller then their predecessors, use more advanced materials in their construction, and require less weight in lead and powder. In anycase, the US Airforce has already developed a direct energy laser that can blow up an ICBM. As well as another prototype mounted on a cargo plane that can melt tanks. It's not very inconceivable that smaller, more efficient means will have been developed in 400 or so years.
    • Remember, the UNSC hasn't had a conventional war in 4 or 5 centuries. They were prepped for counter-insurgency prior to the Human-Covenant War and drones like the ones you suggested would be impractical for that kind of war. For starters, constant communication must be maintained between the drone and the controller. If that comm link was disrupted, the drones are useless. Also, the Innies could hack the drones so that it responds to their comm links instead, or infiltrate the human controllers. Also, the drones would likely be very expensive, it would be far cheaper to train and equip humans. Humans are also more adaptable on the battlefield, a drone would be limited to whatever equipment it has installed. An army of drones would also be less than capable of stealth or subtlety. During the Human-Covenant War itself, the UNSC were too busy getting their butts kicked to develop completely new weapon systems. Every new advancement in tech was for their existing armed forces, not to mention the fact that their factories are probably working overtime on replacing their losses. Losing Reach didn't help. So in short, the UNSC does not have the motivation prior to the war, and no time and manufacturing capability during the war.
    • Firearms technology hasn't advanced in the last 600 years at the rate you guys seem to think it has. Firearms technology did advance at a relatively steady pace from the 1300s to the late 1800s but since then, things have stagnated quite a bit. The centerfire metallic cartridge has remained unchanged in its fundamentals since the late 1800s...the major improvements have been the introduction of smokeless powder, increasing the efficiency of said smokeless powder, and the invention of primers which don't line the barrel with corrosion-inducing salts after each shot. Pistol design hasn't improved much since the M1911, you can point out a lot of things that "look" improved but the fundamentals are still there. The Glock is really more of an improvement in manufacturing techniques and strengthening cheaper materials; in the realm of steel, heat-treating has gotten a bit better but it's no paradigm-shattering improvement. The Hi-Power still uses the same overall design as the M1911, it's just using a cam instead of a rotating-link to accomplish the same movement. Assault rifle design hasn't made any drastic improvements since the AR-10 and the AR-18. Nearly all bolt-action rifle designs used today, with some notable exceptions, are direct descendants of the Mauser 98, and just about every "improvement" and "alternative" doesn't really make any quantifiable improvement in performance, the main name of the game is just making the manufacturing more efficient. The M2 machinegun was introduced in the 20's and the fundamental design has remained unchanged. The Gatling designs are from the late 1800s. Caseless ammunition flopped due to insurmountable problems with physics. The PDW concept flopped due to lack of lethality. Real improvements in bullet design have been seen but it's limited to the civilian sector where expanding bullets have used; hollowpoints have gotten more reliable and more efficient and the invention of the ballistic-tip rifle bullet was a true improvement in performance for hunting bullets. To sum up, drawing a straight line charting firearms technology improvement from 1900 to 2552 could quite feasibly produce weapons essentially exactly like what we get in Halo.
    • No it couldn't because pretty much every gun is less advanced than modern guns.
    • The thing about UNSC firearms isn't so much will we be using bullets it's that they're less advanced than what we use now? Where are their under slung grenade launchers, scopes, UAVs, automatic shotguns? There is an Israeli weapon they use now that tells you if your bullet has hit the target or now. I know dialogue gives the hint the MA 5 series is like their AK47 but you'd expect to see fancier weapons around. Sure the bullets may be cool enough to go through energy shields and other super hard alloy but the guns that fire they're pretty low tech. There should also be more caseless ammo as they have solved the problems with it. I know the answer in reality to the debate is as said above they used standard FPS guns but that's not a valid in universe explanation.
    • Yeah, this is my major problem with the Halo series (well, the first game at least, I haven't played much of the others). The human weaponry is at best on a par with what we have now, and at worst is far inferior. The MA5B assault rifle is accurate to about 10 yards, and you'll be lucky to land a single bullet out of a magazine on a target at anything beyond about 30 yards. Compare this to a standard modern assault rifle, which can accurately hit targets at 500+ yards. I would certainly take an M16 over the fact I would probably take virtually any weapon of the past 100 years over the MA5B! I understand the need for game balance, but I think they really mucked up that weapon; for instance, why say that it fires 7.62mm bullets, and then give it a level of power resembling a BB gun? A 7.62mm bullet carries far more energy than the .50 bullet used by the Halo pistol, yet does far less damage in the game.
    • It's better in Halo: Reach. The MA37 (a derivative of the MA5B) is accurate to a much greater range, as long as you fire in bursts. It also does greater damage. The M6G Pistol, meanwhile, deals much less damage, but is still effective against unshielded targets.
    • The pistol bullets are high explosive headed. And actually the pistol is the only really futuristic human gun in halo. It is a pistol yet packs a punch and has a scope.
    • What really gets me is this. In Halo: Reach, one of the new weapons is the Grenade Launcher. It's been is service for three hundred years. I can understand never progressing past ballistic weaponry (frankly, it's more realistic), but how the hell is it that ODSTs are using the same guns their great-great-grandfathers used in the Rainforest Wars?!
    • Precisely how do you improve on that kind of a design? Its a tube that shoots grenades. Its simple as hell. There probably were minor improvements made on the design over three hundred years, but the fundamental design of a grenade launcher is so simple that it's hard to improve on it in general.
    • One thing to keep in mind that may or may not be relevant is that in Halo: Reach you aren't playing with the UNSC Marine Corps arsenal but rather that of the UNSC Army, which doesn't get the lion's share of the funding and hasn't for a while.
    • By that logic there should be a dozen types of guns in the world. An AK-47 and an M-16 both perform the same role, after all. And I seriously doubt the company that produced it in the 22nd Century was still producing it in the 26th. If anything you'd see new designed as corporations tried to compete with each other.
    • You could improve on it by not making it so it needs to be reloaded after every shot, you could miniaturize the grenades, make them home in on targets. You could make it as good as what we have now as opposed to some rubbish that looks like it's walked out of the 1940s.
    • We have a grenade round that can automatically detect when it's in proximity to an enemy and detonates next to them and that can also function as remote detonated mine while also producing an effective shield stripping EMP blast all crammed into a single 40mm shell? News to me. Also it's not "out of the 40s" it's "out of what we have right now" the M203 is functionally the same thing just bolted to a rifle and stand alone grenade guns are still used by numerous armed forces. Beyond that with a launcher the tube actually isn't important it's basically just a metal pipe you stick the shell, the meat of the system, in the rounds themselves are what matters and there's nothing that says they've never been updated in centuries. Really the idea that something must be replaced every five years or it's "outmoded" is a very recent, but arguably passing situation, the B-52 for instance might well remain in service for a century and compared to what amounts to a metal pipe for shooting grenades there's a crap load of things that could in theory be improved on with it. Sure we could probably build a new supersonic stealth bomber with a laser death ray or some such, but why? The B-52 works for just flying somewhere and dropping a crap ton of bombs cheaply, the grenade launcher works for hurling explosives in the direction of the enemy.
    • True but to the best of my knowledge the stand alone grenade launchers we use now have rotating drums and other magazines so you can fire 5 or 6 in rapid succession. Whereas old style grenade launchers had to be reloaded each time. Yes it is the same thing as is bolted to a gun but it's not so you kind of expect more from it.
    • The M319 grenade launcher in Reach is called the "pro pipe" because it takes smarts to use it as a good weapon. Having only one gernade at a time supports the use of strategy, rather than using it as a more conventional (if explosive) firearm.
    • The same reason the Colt 1911 and M2 Browning, both almost 100 years old, are still used today. They just work.
    • They're not 300 years old though. As for the grenade launcher it suffers from the same problem as the other human weapons, fancy ammo rubbish gun. Yes it can hurl stuff at the enemy but it could do it better with a magazine so it wasn't single shot. And surely there have been some advances in grenade technology over 300 years. You're not telling me they couldn't have shrunk the grenade a bit so a magazine could take more for example. The launcher is a very 1940's gun, it just has a fancy grenade in it.
    • Real-world example: the M79 grenade launcher is basically what the Halo: Reach grenade launcher is: a break-open single shot 40mm grenade launcher. The M79 was introduced in 1961, and was eventually replaced after 2006 in its role by the M32 multi-shot grenade launcher, a little less than 50 years after.
    • Just because it uses metal slugs launched out of a barrel does NOT mean it's exactly like modern day weapons. 60 rounds in a 3 by 6 magazine? The volume doesn't add up unless they're all slugs with no shells. That would mean the "rifles" are most likely coilguns. This is not a bad assumption since 540 years from now finding a way to eliminate the risks involved with storing and carrying ammo (explosive, useless when wet, shells jamming the breach on ejections) is probably more likely a goal in weapons research than looking for exotic ammunition. Also, the range and effectiveness of most of these weapons is greater than currently, probably from finding better explosives to use as propellants. My main issue is that there are a number of other features BESIDES the ammo and weapon types that are missing, like hit confirmation, multispectral scoping, or the currently in development "mini missiles" that can redirect their trajectory to track a target if it moves.
    • They're not coil guns, you can see and hear the casings coming out, and countless EU source material and game manuals makes it clear that they still use chemically propelled weapons. Reach was definitely a mistake with regard to weapon types, the game felt like Call of Duty 1-3 not a sci if shooter. Everyone with rifles and a few sub machine gunners, too many single shot weapons by half.
    • To paraphrase a Troper above me, just because the weapons in the games look less advanced than modern weapons, it doesn't mean that they are. UNSC weaponry is capable of tearing through Forerunner derived shielding and armor which indicates that they are a lot more powerful than they appear to be.
    • A lot of people tend to forget this, but a good reason why the equipment we see isn't as advanced as it should be in 2552-2553 is that the UNSC has been fighting a losing war for 27 years by 2552. Worlds have been lost, critical manufacturing infrastructure and equipment has been destroyed. They've had no choice but to switch from powerful, expensive weapons in smaller quantities to less powerful, cheaper weapons they can pump out in large quantities to offset losses. That's why you see weapons like the MA5B, M7 and M90 shotgun everywhere and weapons like semi-auto shotguns, multi-shot grenade launchers and UAVs are rare or nonexistent; the former is cheaper to make and in greater quantities. The UNSC probably tasked Misriah Armories (the largest weapons manufacturer in the Halo universe) to stop making expensive weapons and vehicles, and focus on pumping out as many cheaper weapons and vehicles as humanly possible, to keep soldiers equipped. Halo Wars is a good example of this: its set in 2531, six years into the start of the war. The UNSC was shown to have a lot of advanced equipment then: colony ships, EMP trucks, self-propelled artillery that fired plasma rounds, tanks more powerful than the M808 Scorpion, gunships and so on. 22 years later, where are those vehicles? They were either too expensive to keep producing, the factories that made them were destroyed or the UNSC was forced to rethink its tactical options. In 2557, look at the UNSC's postwar arsenal. Machine guns, more powerful rifles, gigantic mobile command bases, 3.5 mile long warships, energy shielding. They are able to field far better equipment and go on the offensive.
    • Agreed, and I think a lot of people are forgetting the fact that tracking technological advancement is not as straightforward as most think it is: During the 1950s-60s, it was predicted that everyone would have access to flying cars and jetpacks... by the time of the 1970s-80s. They have managed to create prototype jetpacks and maybe flying cars as well, but none of it is in mass production because its too unreliable. Besides, technological advancement can also go in ways that we can't really predict; during the same time periods, people thought the Internet was a pipe dream that would never work... fast forward a few decades and pretty much everyone on Earth can access the Internet from tiny devices with more processing power than the best supercomputer of the 70s. To be honest, the primitive nature of human weapons in the Halo series is not that unbelievable, and that's also ignoring that they are incredibly advanced in a lot of other ways, (such as FTL travel and fully sentient A.I.s).

    • This troper would like to point out that the guns actually are fairly advanced in several regards. First, some thing to keep in mind is that technological advancement of firearms could have as much if not more to do with improvements to the ammunition itself rather than the gun. I seem to recall from somewhere, admittedly I am not sure where... maybe halo wars codex?, that the guns in halo fire significantly more advanced ammunition that is faster/more lethal/has more penetration ability/something better. Also, something to keep in mind is that they are actually capable of killing people, specifically soldiers who are shown in some if not all cases to have extremely advanced body armor that is nevertheless capable of being penetrated by the rounds, not to mention their ability to damage the "armored" vehicles. Secondly, they seem to me to have some pretty advanced electronics built in most notably evidenced by The guns ability to keep track of keep track of ammunition left in the current magazines, which sounds incredibly helpful. This, with a little bit of WMG, implies that there is a computer built into the gun which is kinda an achomplishment in and of itself. This could also be the in-universe justification for the aim assist and could also play a role in the reduction of recoil especially if the ammo is indeed more powerful. As a final point I would like to invoke Murphy's law. What can go wrong will go wrong, so going with a simpler conventional design helps negate that. Also in a similar line the practicality of more advanced weapon systems that are currently being developed are questionable if they were to ever be used in a conventional war due to various ECMs and the more industrial and brutish character of a conventional war that necessitates weapons be cheap, reliable, and fast both in its attacks and production and that is a scenario in which everyone is roughly equal technologically not fighting aliens that are more advanced. Lastly, the UNSC operates in tons of different environments and atmospheres that require a weapon that will be reliable and at least moderately effective in all of them.

      • The ammo is powerful yes but the gun is still rather primitive and unimpressive. It's 600 years in the future, you expect more from a gun by
then than being able to count the bullets.

From what we have seen, most conventional ballistic weapons in the Halo series seem to have great effectiveness against all forms of targets, and that is the kicker, stagnation has given us weapons that work, battle-tested weapons that we know how to use, I would rather have a gun I know explicitly how to use, and that have been refined to be as user friendly as possible, also time and expense, reverse engineering covenant weapons would take time and costs we wouldn't have in a war, also one main point is that we use these weapons for a more tactical reason, barring a few elites, most covenant will point blank refuse to use human weaponary, I imagine in the religious sense using your enemies weapons is some form of heresy.

  • Shotgun and pistol Halo: CE, nuff said.

    • Warthog beats Ghost, Scorpian beats Wraith, Hornet beats Banshee.

    • Kinetic energy is king. Plasma is just ionized gas; put on some 'sacrificicial' ion grounders and they will absorb the ionization and can be replaced (all modern water heaters have 'sacrificial' ion grounding so...) Lasers just excites stuff I.E heat so, put a radiator on it and Bob's your uncle. Ablative armor can help but anything less than an inertial dampner cannot nullify kinetic energy.

  • It's very cliche for only the aliens to have energy weapons but not the humans. I blame Bungie for that.


    Why is the insurrection in the books but not the game? 

  • After all, it's a shooter, more enemies equals more fun, well usually. But still, having humans that hate the UNSC and as Master Chief, you must shoot through them while also fending off the Covenant. I'm not whining that they aren't in the game, the games are awesome. It Just Bugs Me that they would have a faction in the books that's nonexistant in the game.
    • Because it would have seemed really stupid for the humans to fight each other when they are under threat of extinction. The anti-UNSC factions are in the books to add detail to the universe, and to explain why the SPARTAN program was originally begun.
    • Because the story is entirely about the human war with the Covenant and the mystery of the Forerunner. Adding in minor factions of irrelevant human terrorists would be pointless and silly.
    • Bungie took pains to make sure you never even fight humans as the Arbiter: notice how all the humans you find in Quarantine Zone are already dead?
    • Not only that, but by Halo 2 Earth is the only planet humanity has left. There's nobody left alive in the insurrection.
    • Actually, it's not. The Covenant found Earth by accident, skipping past the few other human planets.
    • The rebels appear as minor AI enemies in the Halo Wars multiplayer.
    • That's because Halo Wars it set before the colonies started getting glassed.
    • According to Contact: Harvest, the insurrectionists where a separatist movement based in the system Reach was in. Reach was also the military stronghold (and therefore best defended) planet in the UNSC. At the start of Halo 1 we see Reach being burned, probably the last planet in the system to be conquered. In short, there would be no "innies" left to try to separate.
    • The insurrection was widespread and not always connected to each other. The only thing they had in common was that they wanted to separate from earth. It was on basically every planet, Reach, earth, harvest, Madrigal, etc. It's still very much alive and kickin'
    • Also, have you tried betraying your Marine allies? Human weapons basically can't be dodged, pretty much hitting you instantly. Plasma weapons though, have travel time. On any difficulty besides easy, it's near impossible to survive. I recommend you trying the 2nd level of Halo 3, Crow's Nest, sometime. Shoot some Marines and watch as they rip you to shreds. Apparently, they're only incompetent against the Covenant.
    • Also, it was mentioned that an Insurrectionist fleet fought alongside Admiral Cole during his Last Stand. It's possible that more did the same. Or, they could have hidden themselves and not take part in the war.
    • The Halo games all take place on alien worlds or human planets the Covenant is invading, the Innies have better things to do than fight the UNSC with the genocidal aliens on their planets. Also the Insurrection is supposed to have been dealt huge blows in the war. The UNSC, once unpopular is now fighting desperately to save humanity the Innies would loose a lot of their support and a lot are supposed to have joined the UNSC to fight with them. Most remaining Insurrectionists by late war just hide from the UNSC rather than fighting them. Also there isn't any legal civilian slipspace travel after 2531 during the war so the Insurrection was fractured and unable to communicate or resupply itself.
    • Halo is geared towards a younger crowd than other games like Call of Duty. And, from my experience, parents are more comfortable with their kids killing aliens than people (racist?). So Bungie keeps it your basic "everything that's not human needs a bullet in their head" game to allow a larger fanbase. In my opinion.
    • Uh, they are both rated Mature.
    • In the UK the Halo games are 15 or 16s. Call of Duty has been an 18 for several games now, plus they're probably thinking more parents will ignore the age rating on a sci fi shooter where you kill aliens than a realistic war game where you kill humans. It also keeps them undue the radar of the Moral Guardians.
    • At waht point is the Chief supposed to fight Innies? On the Halos? Will they be fighting against him while the Covenant army surrounds them on all sides in New Mombassa? Ooh, how about in the Covenant capital city! The Ark? Requiem? Please explain to me the incredible leap in logic you've come to to actually believe there is any point in the Halo series where it would make sense for the Chief to fight the Insurrection.
      • Jerkass much? What if MC is on a colony world with Insurrectionists?

    Why does all the creepy forum stuff and marketing have absolutely nothing to do with the game? 

  • The pre-release marketing is brilliant, with brain-melting puzzles and snippets of Forerunner logs and such that inspire passion-filled debates/flame wars, and the actual game is a FPS with far less cerebral thinking, bar the pain of Legendary and Mythic difficulty. Why?
    • You answered your own question with the word "marketing."
    • Not funny. Seriously, if Bungie's marketing team can come up with better, more fantastic stuff than the actual team of programmers, modellers, etc., then why not give them a crash-corse in gamemaking and let them get on with it? The ensuing game would deserve to be Game of the Year then.
    • Who said the "marketing" comment was meant to be a joke? Some of the marketing tends to aim for fringe elements, the hardcore fans and the like, while the game itself is designed to be accessible to a wide range of players - multiplayer fans, casual gamers, hardcore fans, etc. There's a reason they included different difficulties, to accommodate different fans. Just because the game has an easy difficulty does not mean it is a bad game.
    • Certainly making good puzzles does translate directly to making a next generation game, with all the 3D, sound and AI assets that come along with it.
    • Who says the viral marketing stuff doesn't relate to the game? The Iris ARG ties directly into the story told in Halo 3's Terminals.

    That boat in Halo 3 
  • It looks like you can get on it, but I can't pull it off. It's in the level before the flood show up, so could someone tell me if anything is on it?

    How exactly does a man in half a ton of armor float in a creek? 
  • For that matter, since when are metal guns buoyant?
    • The SPARTAN and Elite character models have about the same weight as Marine models. Its simply an oversight in the game design.
    • It should be noted that the Master Chief doesn't float; after all, in Halo 2 he jumps into a lake and sinks like a rock. The Chief floating in Halo 3 is definitely an error.
    • I prefer to think that the suits activate some sort of inflatable inner lining that allows half-ton suits to float.
    • The suits have a balistic gel layer that activates when anything goes wrong. This probably activates to keep them from drowning.
    • In the event of a water landing, the Master Chief has been designed to serve as a flotation device.
    • The Halo:CE manual actually says that MJOLNIR armor is capable of adjusting its density, meaning that me could float, sink, or stay suspended at his current depth if he felt like it.

    How the heck can Master Chief flip over a tank? 
  • I know he's bio-engineered, but it seems odd. These tanks are probably many tons, and Master Cheif can just throw them about 30 feet like a human can throw a ball.
    • The tanks are lighter than normal tanks and the MJOLNIR suit gives him Super Strength.
    • It still seems unrealistic, especially when he's also holding a rocket launcher, and about to die.
    • Yeah, and why can't he do it in combat? What? There's an enemy tank next to me? Who needs rocket launchers? I'll just flip that sum' bitch over.
    • Because losing your tank after it gets flipped over is not fun.
    • A quick look at the manual for at least one of the games lists most of the vehicles as weighing several tons. The warthog was listed somewhere from 3 to 8 tons, so this really isn't limited to tanks. On another note, the AI marines in some games have been noted to flip vehicles, and I don't see any heavily engineered armor on them.
    • In the marines' case it's probably a case of Gameplay And Story Segregation. The Spartans probably could turn over a Scorpion tank (although not easily) as they only have to lift one end, diverting most of the weight to the ground. There's no need to lift more than two tons at most, which is probably within the MJOLNIR's capacity.
    • I'm pretty sure Word of God is that Master Chief can't really flip a tank, but they let you do so in-game anyway because losing your tank in the middle of a mandatory vehicle segment would suck.
    • In The Flood, he's actually shown to flip over a Warthog.
    • The Spartans probably could flip a tank over, just not as easily as they do so ingame.
    • Forget Master Chief flipping a tank the ODST squad can flip Warthogs. And they aren't seven feet tall bio-engineered super soldiers in Powered Armor.
    • Because it sucks when you flip over your vehicle and can't get a new one.
    • If you flip the Elephant, a vehicle that can carry tanks, the game lampshades this.
    • "Press RB to flip... Wait, what? How did you do that?"
    • The heaviest tire flip on record is 1,350lbs by Jean-Francois Caron. If a normal - albeit extremely fit and possibly roided-up - human can do over half a ton, the explicitly-superhuman SPARTAN IIs in powered armor should easily be capable of four times that.

    Another on the topic of "why are Spartans...". 
  • The world has established them being around a half ton of mechanically and bio-mechanically enhanced super soldiers, who can flip tanks and survive almost any fall (providing it wouldn't prevent the player from continuing the mission). Can somebody tell me why Spartans, in their massive armor with uncountable computer assisted parts and buffers, still have to deal with recoil when using the standard army issue SMG in both hands? I know, oooh, gun recoil makes it seem more "real," but that only really applies when you aren't a walking tank with the military training since childhood, schooled in all manner of weaponry and combat. If the SMGs actually had enough recoil that even holding one with both hands while wearing a massive, engineered for battle stress suit of armor, while you yourself are 8 feet tall and have more muscle than a buffalo, that means that any regular infantryman would immediately have his arm ripped from his sockets when firing the first shot. Which also doesn't make any sense at all, as the SMG is an incredibly weak weapon.
    • Survive almost any fall? From Halo 2 onward they completely removed fall damage in order to incorporate the Banshee and to make the game easier for people who don't understand that you shouldn't be able to jump off a 50 foot ledge without taking damage. Never mind that you are an incredibly dense, heavy, un-aerodynamic lump of metal. What should happen is when you hit the ground, the torso of your body comes down on the leg armor so hard the armor would probably impale itself, and you in the process, if it didn't just fracture on impact and liquify you too.
    • Read your fluff. Spartans are able to survive falling thousands of meters into the ground at terminal velocity. Falling fifty meters is nothing to them.
    • even then the results weren't pretty. A few Spartans didn't make it.
    • Because its a video game.
    • Game balance. Strangely, I've heard Halo 1 fans take that exact thing as an example of the "dumbening" of the series, despite the Halo 1 Magnum having more per-bullet kick than the SMG. I'm not sure of the physics of the argument, but I believe the suit is largely supported by both itself and the SPARTAN inside it, meaning the load the SMG recoil lifts might not be as large as one thinks.
    • The Halo 1 magnum was said to fire a .50 round or something similar. It would have more kick.
    • It uses SAP-HE ammo. That means Semi-Armor Piercing High Explosive. Only for Halo 1 though. The others used Semi-Armor Piercing Incendiary rounds. Semi-Armor Piercing means the round will penetrate inside any body armor the target is wearing but will not exit the target's body. High Explosive and Incendiary are self explanatory.

    Why hasn't Kamal been drafted? 
  • For the story, Jersey mentions a draft at the end and he has to go to war, as he is now 18. But what about Kamal? He's twenty five, but isn't at war.
    • Clearly, he's a draft dodger. This would earn him a trip to Firing Squad Land.
    • Not everyone who turns eighteen will necessarily be drafted. Arming every single able-bodies adult over eighteen would be nightmarishly expensive. Kamal probably just got skipped over.
    • Not to mention unnecessary. What the UNSC really needs is more ships, which means they're going to need people to build them. I imagine a number of those drafted would actually end up like the "Bevin Boys" of World War II (1 out of every 10 British conscripts was sent to the coal mines or another field crucial to the war effort).

    Why board the Truth and Reconciliation on foot? 
  • In Truth and Reconciliation, you troop around the walls of the plateau and fight your way to the elevator, then ride it up to a blatantly predictable ambush where your entire team is probably slaughtered and the ship is put on high alert. Sure, typical FPS silliness. Then when you need reenforcements, Cortana just tells them to fly right into the docking bay and unload, which they can do repeatedly with impunity. Why wasn't this Plan A?
    • Because the docking bay is locked from the inside. You have to physically lower the shields from a control terminal inside the docking bay before your reinforcements can enter the ship.
    • If you enter the docking bay at the beginning and lose all your Marines, Cortana will call Foehammer in to drop reinforcements off. However, right before you enter the bay, you can see a dropship take off from the bay through, opening the forcefield when it does so. I suppose no one thought to close the forcefield in the ensuing firefight. It would make sense that they wouldn't consider directly depositing troops into the bay itself as a viable plan without actually having eyes on the location to confirm that they could.

    What's the deal with the human grenades? 
  • They don't even kill, at worst they mess up your shield, or they tip your vehicle. Even if you're standing right on top of it. Are the humans trying to lose the war?
    • It's because of game mechanics. Do you really think that the games are an accurate depiction of the actual war?
    • No, which only makes things even stranger. It sorta made sense when it was a simulation of war, as those grenades might've been made for squishier people. However, with game mechanics, the grenades are made for Spartans, shouldn't they be able to kill a Spartan?
    • No, the grenades were not made for a Spartan. The grenades were made for ordinary human marines who make up the vast majority of the UNSC's military. And they were made to kill Covenant, not humans, but what kills Covenant kills humans just as easily.
    • ^Point of order: UNSC weapons were made for humans, Covvie weapons were made for Covvies. Which is why Covvie weapons are good against shields, but not so much with unshielded opponents. Hence, the infamous "n00b combo".
    • Throw a frag grenade next to a Marine, Grunt, Jackal, or any other low-tier badguy or character. There's a great chance they die. Spartans and Elites tend to survive grenade explosions because of that pesky Supersoldier status, and all that Powered Armor and Energy Shielding.
    • Also, most modern grenades won't make a light vehicle even budge. The fact that the humans have grenades that can knock around huge, multi-ton armored military combat vehicles says something about how powerful those weapons really are.
    • In all truthfulness, frag grenades really shouldn't do much to a Spartan. First off, MC has his shield to protect him. That shield takes continuous pounding from 10 7.62mm NATO rifles firing at 15 rounds a second for several seconds and they barely drop. They also took fire from 50mm autocannons mounted on a jet and didn't deplete. Even if the blast gets past his shield, shrapnel does jack shit to armor of any kind. Even modern day body armor stops shrapnel in its tracks, to say nothing of what a nearly bulletproof suit of heavy powered armor would do.

    Shotguns in Live 
  • Technical question. The shotgun has fairly good range in campaign, if you're the host in an XBL match, or in a LAN match. However, if you're not the host in an XBL match, the shotgun has fairly weak range. On Halo 2, in Xbox Connect, the shotgun is also a decent weapon, compared to its pathetic counterpart in the Live matches. So, what is it about Live matches that makes the spread so much more? This leads me to believe it's lag, but in that case wouldn't it affect it in Xbox Connect? Even if it is a form of lag, I could see how that'd make you miss a shot, or if it registered you hit them later, but why would it make your spread so much worse?
    • It could be that the Master Chief during campaign, who is the luckiest SPARTAN there ever was, gets lucky every time. Then the normal SPARTA Ns in multiplayer just aren't as lucky. Plus, in campaign (at least against Grunts) the shotgun is super-strong since they have no power armor, and multiplayer SPARTANS do; though with the Brutes and Elites that doesn't apply as much unless they have worse power armor than humans. This seems unlikely since the Covenant's myriad races have had time to develop armaments long now? And the UNSC probably didn't spend as much time on it.
    • A final explanation is that everything was fixed for multiplayer because they wouldn't want players to ragequit, where as the unfortunate aliens you kill can't, barring game crash.

    How much do the Covenant know? 
  • At the start of the first game is said the covenant were talking about Halo being a massive weapon, hence the reason why we went to such great effort to search it and stop them. The only thing they didn't expect was the Flood being sealed, never stated they were going to activate the rings at least not without proper study. This doesn't match up to the second game when they thought it was a way to the great journey and wouldn't have known about it being a weapon.
    • According the Covenant, it's both. They believe it'll take them on a Great Journey, and kill all humans and heretics.
    • In the first game, Cortana says that she believes that the Covenant think that Halo is a weapon. She adds the caveat that "If I'm analyzing this correctly...." Cortana isn't infalliable, as the rest of the game shows, and she wasn't analyzing it correctly. She probably confused all the refernces to "cleansing fire" and "divine light" as references to weapons.
    • The Covenant think it will send all true believers on the great journey while wiping out the rest of existence. They still think it's a weapon, just that it works differently.
    • As for the Flood, the Covenant had knowledge that there was something that terrorized the Forerunners near the end of their reign, but the prophets largely covered up most of the important information pertaining to this great enemy as much as they could, because it suggested that there was something potentially stronger than the Forerunners. That doesn't make them sound very god-like. There was at least some knowledge of it that was public enough for the Covenant to put a name to the Flood, but not enough that they actually believed it to be real until they encountered it on the Halo.

    What happened to all the flood? 
  • They were released, took out a number of convenant ships and landed on Earth. Sure some followed to the ark but after the end of Halo 3 suddenly they're all gone?
    • It's implied all the Flood that landed on Earth were on Africa, which got glassed. You kill the Gravemind at the end so now they're scattered and unfocused. Are there more out there? Well, that's the mystery, now isn't it?
    • Whatever makes you think they're all gone? I don't remember any comment being made on the subject.
    • The Terminals indicate that when the Gravemind perceives a threat to itself, it launches all available forces against it. All or most of the Flood were located on High Charity, and they went straight to the Ark without stopping. Any that escaped Halo by other means could have been tracked by the Elite fleets and destroyed.
    • Never understood that weakness of Gravemind as he can rebuild himself (or rather the flood makes a new one) provided there is enough biomatter so his death wouldn't have mattered. You would think he would send a bulk to the ark A) to prevent the rings from firing B) if the rings fire they're outside the range but also leave behind a suitable number to go to weaker planets and rebuild their numbers in the event of their success. Also if all of the Flood went to the ark why did we only see High Charity. I thought Cortana said a fleet of Flood controlled ships where on their way to Earth?
    • Cortana says he's coming with an "army" of Flood, not a fleet.
    • The fastest way we know of to reach the Ark is through the portal they opened on Earth. Being direct Forerunner tech, it should be faster than the derivitive Covenant tech. It's very possible that the human fleets simply fought off the Flood. Miranda's ship was the only human ship that went through, the rest were Covenant Separatists. There was still a sizeable human force on Earth under the command of Lord Hood.
    • Actually, Word of Waypoint is that the Flood jumped to the Ark from Mars (referred to as Edom in the post), with High Charity never coming close to even Earth's atmosphere.
    • Or of course, it could be that the Flood really will return. When Halo 3 ends on Legendary we see Master Chief floating to a planet. What's to say this isn't hundreds of years into the future, and all that is left are Flood in hibernation?
    • Also, don't forget that the Flood are extra-galactic in origin - meaning there could very well be a whole galaxy full of flood out there we.

  • I have a gameplay problem which is really bugging me as I try for 100% completion at long last. Why do the covenant and the humans have so little tactical knowledge? I know 'it's a game' but Halo was marketed on its intelligent AI. On Halo 3, the level 'The Ark' the Scarab, thethree brute choppers, the ten or so ghosts, in fact, every single soldier in the covenant army, focuses on killing you. Normally I would not mind, but they focus on killing you at the expense of killing the tank squadron rolling down the hill spewing flaming death. I was on foot, with a rifle and a plasma pistol. I know I'm a super soldier but even I can't compare to four tanks! It would make far more sense if the covenant blew the tanks, then came for me, or spilt their troops evenly, or anything other than throwing them all at me. It breaks the faint illusion of reality when they focus that heavily.
    • They're focused on killing you because you are the Demon that has slaughtered tens of thousands of Covenant soldiers all by your lonesome and destroyed one of the centers of their worship. In the Covenant's eyes, you are the greater threat than the tank squadron rolling down the hill.
    • Not to mention that killing the demon will result in enormous prestige.
    • On a related note, haven't the human forces heard of backup plans? Same level, the marines response to seeing a Scarab is 'I want everybody supporting the chief, he'll take it down.' Again, I know I'm the main character and a super soldier, but I am trying to imagine that this game is placing me in a real war, and the elite-marines have just said, 'wel screw it, our tanks, jeeps with rail guns and rocket launchers are clearly going to do no good, leave it all to the man with the rifle, he can take it. It wouldn't even have bothered me had the marine sergeant not said that, but it really broke me out of the flow of the game.
    • Presumably, if you had died while attacking the Scarab, they would have proceeded tot ake it down themselves. That's what's considered a "backup plan." The Chief can bring down a Scarab without risking the lives of any additional Marines who would have been killed fighting it, so why not rely on him to destroy it in a manner faster and more efficiently than they can?
    • One question, despite them focusing everything they had on you did you destroy them all anyway? Still think they were stupid to focus everything they had on you?
    • On a related note, it is way easier for the Chief (and the Arbiter) to defeat a giant walking tank, mostly because of the amount of Brutes on board the thing. Not only would the Scarab have to 'land' for the Marines to get on it, but then they have to fight off anywhere from 4-8 Brutes to even get the chance to blow its power core. Considering that the Chief (and the Arbiter) are almost even matches for Brutes, it a sound plan.
    • Even matches for brutes? Master Chief blows the crap out of tons of Brutes along the way, many in groups. How is that an even match?
    • That's mostly because Brutes are dumb, but they are a match, or perhaps stronger, then him physically, which is what I meant. Brutes can manhandle Marines far easier then the Chief and the Arbiter.
    • You sure about the physically stronger part? I haven't ever seen a Brute flip one of the way-too-freaking-heavy tanks yet.
    • Considering that an Enraged Brute can kill you in one-hit melee, with full shields; Yes, I consider them physically stronger then the SPARTANS and the Elites. But both of them can defeat Brutes by using their brains.
    • Well, in First Strike a Brute nearly manages to kill John. (And is specificly described as physically stronger, although this seems to have been retconned since) About the Scarab and the fact that all of the stuff they had, it's mentioned in Halo 2 that the Scarab stood up to 50 caliber machine gun rounds and rockets. They'd obviously be hard to take down in any space that has armor. That's why the subject in 3 is to "Target its joints".

    What's with weak Halo Wars Elites? 
  • My reaction was more like 'What is this, a UNSC propaganda movie? An unaugmented human beats a senior Elite with an energy sword in melee? Supposed Honor Guards that are Blue Elites, without headdresses, who go down more easily than Jackals? Supposed Honor Guards that actually forget they have guns and could just shoot at the three Spartans who are out in the open? Man, even Grunts are smart enough to remember that you can throw a grenade or something.'
    • First off you need to separate gameplay from other canon, Elites in the games are strong, but in the novels short bursts of gun fire do kill them fairly quickly and they'd NEVER say take a rocket or sniper bullet to the face and live. Frankly the novels and other sources have always portrayed the Elites as so driven by a thirst for glory and honor it blinds them to logic at times. Also for the first bit it's not like Forge got him a boxing match and won or something, he went after him with a bloody assault rifle at first, and still pretty much got his shit completely ruined until he out right tricked him by exploiting his enemies one weakness: pride. A well known Elite Achilles heel. To me this made it even more awesome.
    • Absolutely nothing you said above even remotely explains how or why alleged Honor Guards entirely forgot to just stay back and use carbines and beam rifles, which would have the range advantage against Spartans armed with SMGs and shotguns. Or why three enemies standing clumped next to each other in a narrow place they can't maneuver in was not treated as the obvious plasma grenade bait they were. Or how an unaugmented human being supposedly tackled an Elite and knocked it flat on its ass, when the Elite is twice his size, three times his weight, and ten times his strength. Or how he actually survived being punched by the Elite's full strength repeatedly. Or any of the other ridiculous crap in that video. Hell, that video isn't even consistent with itself — the Elite that Forge fights takes multiple assault rifle and pistol shots on its shields without flinching, but all the "Honor Guards" go down from single SMG bursts or shotgun blasts as easily as unshielded Grunts would have. Seriously, the UNSC war propaganda office needs better CGI.
    • Fan Dumb see Culture Alien that's you right now, seriously. Halo is more or less an action movie you can play and you're complaining about the hero being improbably tough and beating the villain in a somewhat unlikely way... I'm pretty sure you really just don't get the genre at this point.
    • The one Forge was fighting wasn't another honor guard; It was a previous version of the Arbiter. You also need to keep in mind that Forge was beat to hell after that battle, had obvious signs of internal bleeding, and was going on sheer adrenaline. He knew he was in bad shape, which is part of the reason he volunteered to detonate the bomb.
    • Forge also only took a single punch; other than that, he was simply being thrown around by the Arbiter. And its worth pointing out that Forge was pretty much out of the fight immediately after that initial punch, most of which was absorbed by his armor, and as the above troper pointed out, he was obviously suffering from serious internal injuries.
    • WRT to weapons: the Honor Guard in Halo Wars do not have guns or plasma grenades. They're melee fighters, pure and simple. If they had guns or grenades they would have used them, and I sure as hell do not see any guns or grenades on the Elites in that cutscene.
    • WRT knocking the Arbiter down: I've personally witnessed a one-hundred pound girl knock down a two-fifty pound man flat on his ass with a tackle. All it takes is speed, balance, and center of gravity. The Arbiter was moving foward in that scene and his arm was extended high up in the air after slashing with his sword. That's the perfect time to slam into him with a two-hundred plus pound ball of man and armor. Strength has little to do with it unless your feet are set, and the Arbiter's weren't.
    • WRT shielding: Elites in Halo Wars do not start with shielding in the first place, and must upgrade to it. Since these were obviously rookies, judging by their armor color, they probably haven't been equipped with upgraded shields yet. The Arbiter's armor is simply superior and thus lets him wade through rifle fire like its a gentle shower, which is completely consistent with how the Arbiter can wade through fifty Marines pouring bullets into him in-game.
    • For whatever reason, none of the normal elites seem to have any energy shields in the cutscenes and they all seem to have the light blue armor of rookies, although why they would assign rookies to protect the Arbiter and a Prophet is beyond me.
    • Presumably, the red-armored Honor Guard departed with the Prophet of Regret when he returned to High Charity. The troops with the Arbiter were probably just recruits or raw, fresh, young soldiers. Its not like you need to protect the Arbiter, anyway.
    • Dude, Rule of Cool.
    • They may have also been the least experienced Honor Guards. Remember? Asskicking Equals Authority? Even though they were Honor Guards they may have been fresh out of Honor Guard training.
    • Even junior Honor Guards would have to be tough cookies to deal with. Remember, such Elites as Usze 'Taham were considered for such a position, and if you didn't know, Usze is the 4th player avatar for Halo 3 campaign, meaning he is good enough to have the Arbiter and Chief's backs. However, you're all forgetting who the Elites were fighting: 3 Spartan Supersoldiers, all of which were on par with Master Chief, who could take the Elites down alone with only minor difficulty.
    • Isn't it entirely possible that the Honor Guards didn't have any guns? I don't remember them using guns ingame, who's to say that they were equipped with them at all? Maybe Honor Guards didn't use guns until the FPS Halo games, maybe due to religious reasons, but switched to using guns after events like Halo Wars.
    • The above troper is correct: the Honor Guard in Halo Wars do not use guns, and in the FPS games they alternated between swords and guns. In Halo Wars they stick exclusively to melee weaponry.
    • Rememeber the Elite's honour obsession, they probably turned off their shields for the attack to show how skilled they were. Same about using the higher prestige/important pikes.
    • After watching that video again, I wonder how the hell the Covenant recovered the Arbiter armor. One of the spartans tossed it over the edge, and then they blew up the planet.
    • I've always wondered that myself. There are close to 200 caskets in the Mausoleum of the Arbiters. That armor has survived its wearer dying nearly 200 times, yet is still intact... Of course, the prophets are lying bastards so this might just be another one.
    • They could have simply built a new suit, or keep multiple suits around.
    • It's explicit in Halo 2 that it's always the same suit, and they always get it back. Arbiters are generally all but expected to die during the course of their duties.
    • No, it isn't explicit. The only indicator that the suit itself is old are references to the suit's cloaking device being not as "new" as the Spec Ops Elites' units, which could mean something as simple as the cloaking device is old and hasn't been replaced.
    • Close inspection will show that the Halo Wars Arbiter's armor does look different; it has more jagged edges and spikes on the arms, as well as bigger handguards.
    • Aside from that, Ripa is almost a foot taller than Thel.
    • It is possible that they don't update the Arbiter's suit for religious reasons. Cortana was able to get much more out of the Ascendant Justice's plasma turrets by changing the settings, something they never did because the Forerunners are divine beings and trying to improve on their work is tantamount to heresy.
    • They didn't. Ripa's armor was destroyed with the shield world. They simply produced a new set of armor after that. One thing to keep in mind is that the Arbiter is meant to be sent on suicide missions. Why waste the latest in high-tech equipment on someone who's meant to die?
    • Forge could be a SPARTAN-I, you know.
    • That's what I've always thought.
    • The main issue there is his birthdate; the ORION project had already ended by the time Forge joined the Marines.

    Forge's rank 
  • Here's one thing that bothers me: Forge is a sergeant. He's virtually in command of the Spirit of Fire's thousands of Marines, he's tasked with a huge range of dangerous missions, and he has enough apparent technical knowledge to design advanced tanks. Yet he's only a sergeant? If you replaced every instance of "sergeant" with "colonel" it would have made sense.
    • Apparently Forge has a big discipline problem (Military Maverick), so it keeps him low on the totem pole. Doesn't explain why he seems to be second in command of the Spirit of Fire's crew after Cutter or why he gets special tank upgrades, though. A similar scene in Halo 3 also kinda bugged me; Lord Hood wants to make humanity's last stand on Earth, while Chief wants to go to the Ark and find Cortana's solution. Lord Hood more or less acquiesces, despite the fact that Master Chief Petty Officer is way lower on the totem pole than Admiral (I guess at least in that instance it can be handwaved that Hood realized that there was really nothing he could do, save hope the the Chief pulls a miracle out of his hat. Again.)
    • Lord Hood was more or less just taking advise from Master Chief. Every good leader knows when and how to take advise from those under them. Also, let's not forget that Chief also probably had Commander Keyes on his side, who, while beneath whatever rank Lord Hood is, is still a commissioned officer. I got the feeling that, if Lord Hood wanted to, he could've told Chief to stuff it, and forced him to stay on Earth. He chose not to though, as they would've been dead anyway if he didn't send any human reinforcements. Especially considering the Elites, who don't take orders from any of the humans, already decided to go through.
    • Later media has shown that the UNSC brass in general hold the policy that you ignore the advice of a Spartan, especially the Chief, at your own peril; heck, the end of Halo 4 has them reliving Captain Del Rio of his command for basically ignoring the Chief's advice; despite the former being much higher-ranking.
    • A note on the original premise: Forge could never get to be a Colonel unless he went to Officer Candidate School. There's actually two sets of ranks in the military: Officer (Lt, Cmdr, Capt, Maj, Col, Adm/Gen, etc) and Enlisted (Pvt, Corporal, Sgt, etc). (Look up "Pay Grades" on The Other Wiki for more details.) Whatever rank you have, you can give orders to anyone below you... But Officer outranks Enlisted, period. A Second Lieutenant who just graduated from Annapolis this afternoon can still give orders to the highest-ranked Enlisted soldier alive—incidentally, "Master Chief Petty Officer"—and that Master Chief has to follow them, because he is outranked, regardless of things like experience, length of service, Hollywood Cyborg Super Soldiery or, say, actually knowing what to do. (Of course, if the MCPO has an opinion, even an Admiral would be a fool to ignore it, much less a 2LT.) Now, as to Sgt. Forge: he's, what, E-5? A Navy Captain is O-6, so a Sergeant has enough experience and tenure to serve as an ad-hoc XO to a Captain, even if he is way lower on the comparative-ranking totem pole.
    • The problem is that the Spirit of Fire carries a huge compliment of Marines - enough so that the highest-ranking Marine officer should be at least a Lieutenant-Colonel. Yet the lowly E-5 is the one commanding battalion-strength UNSC ground forces?
    • As opposed to the Navy, who address petty officers by "petty officer," "chief," and "master chief," the Marines tend to address any sergeant as just "Sergeant," even up to a Sergeant Major of the Corps. Forge could very well be an E-7 (Sergeant First Class or SFC) or E-8 (Master Sergeant or MS) and they STILL address him as "sergeant." Also keep in mind, the Human-Covenant War has severely depleted the UNSC of commanders and candidates for command. Spirit of Fire might be lacking officers qualified for field command and thus have to give the reigns to an enlisted man for groundside combat.
    • Except even in the manual, his rank is explicitly referred to as "sergeant" - including in his character profile. Not "Master Sergeant Forge" or "Sergeant Major Forge" - just vanilla "Sergeant." Also, Halo Wars is taking place toward the beginning of the war, and as such the UNSC hasn't suffered that much depletion in its military ranks yet.
    • The other answer is that you, the player, are the field officer and Forge is your Sergeant. Although the manual might just list him as a Sergeant, he's probably a much higher rank than that.
    • That would work if it weren't for the fact that Cutter repeatedly, consistently, and directly orders Forge to do what you're doing during the course of the games.
    • Oh waaa. Maybe you're conveying the orders from' Cutter to Forge in those instances.
    • BTW; Master Chief wouldn't have to follow orders from a O-1, according to the halo wiki his rank was "Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy" which is the highest enlisted rank and given a "3-star protocol equivalency." So I guess that means only a full admiral can order him around.
    • Just to correct what an above troper said, simply for clarity purposes, in the Marines, we call ranks by their rank. If you wee to call a Sergeant Major a Sergeant, you're likely to get knocked down. Motto mention SFC is an Army rank and it is indeed the Army in which all variants of sergeants are called sergeant. And to add to the discussion, MCPO, especially MCPON if the troper before me is correct, is not a rank to be ignored even by combat experienced officers as at that level of the enlisted ranks, even an ordinary man is someone with a considerable wealth of knowledge and experience, things you don't simply discount. In regards to Sergeant Forge, in the Marines your Segeants are some of the most versatile people on the battlefield due to general youth, battle experience, leadership experience and simply being directly preset in the conflict. An officer who ignores his enlisted advisors is a poor leader.
    • Word of God is that both Cutter and Admiral Cole decided that Forge, regardless of his rank, was the best man to lead the Spirit's marine contingent; them putting their considerable authority behind him was the main reason (along with Forge's own competence) why everyone else on the ship goes along with it.

    Delta Halo 
  • This has always bugged me since Halo 2: It makes sense that the first Halo they run across (Installation 04) would be referred to as Alpha Halo, but why is the second one (Installation 05) Delta Halo? Wouldn't something like Beta Halo (since it's the second one encountered by humans) or Epsilon Halo (since it's the 5th Halo installation) make more sense?
    • Another meaning for delta is "different." 05 is a different Halo, ergo, Delta Halo, as opposed to the first Halo, which is Alpha.

    How did the Rookie survive his drop? 
  • Or anyone, for that matter. It seems as though they all got scattered and blown apart before the emergency pod braking systems came on. If thats true, the fall should have killed everyone.
    • First, if you watch and listen closely, Rookie's team was far enough away that they only got hit by the EMP, not the actual blast wave, frying the electronic systems (and even then radio, at least, still worked, as you hear Buck talking after the wave hits) but not the pods themselves; an assured rough landing, but not necessarily a fatal one. Second, the pod chutes did deploy just before the wave hit them (look closely). Third, due to Capt. Dare's interference, the squad was far enough away to avoid the brunt of the blast; most of the other pods of other squads were obliterated.
    • Maybe ODST pods are just that good at shock absorbing. In the books it's said that a Spartan could survive a drop from orbit if they wear their armor (well, they could survive a crash at terminal velocity, they can't survive an actual fall from orbit due to atmospheric burning). If future human tech can make such efficient shock absorbers into a relatively small suit of armor, then logically they should be able to build it into a pod specifically designed to drop from space. Also, it's not like they didn't get banged up; the rookie was knocked out for six hours, his radio broke, and both Dare and Buck had problems with their pods.

    What's with Slipspace shockwaves? 
  • How come when a ship enters Slipspace while in an atmosphere, like Regret's assault carrier, it causes a tremendous backlash wave of energy, yet whenever we see a ship exit Slipspace into an atmosphere, like in cutscenes in Halo 3 & ODST, this doesn't happen? Has this particular mechanic of Slipspace been explained yet?
    • In an interview with the Halo Story Page, Joseph Staten (Halo's head script writer) explained slipspace mechanics using the following analogy, supplied to him by Robt Mclees (another of Bungie's main story writers):
      "If we look at the mechanics of a Slipstreamspace jump in its most basic form, the exit and re-entry points into real-space could be represented as two panes of Plexiglas suspended parallel to one another. The pane representing the exit has a hole drilled in it - say, big enough to accommodate a ping-pong ball - and a sheet of latex attached to it opposite the re-entry pane. A "rupture" is created when the ping pong ball gets pushed through the hole, stretching the latex until it touches the re-entry pane. The mechanics of how the ball passes through the pane are much less interesting than what happens to the stretched latex after the ball is removed. Basically, it snaps back. And this is why traveling through Slipspace is so dangerous: if you do it haphazardly - if you don't have good math - there's a good chance somebody is gonna get smacked (see the citizens of New Mombasa in Halo 2)".
    • In short, the forces at the jump entry point are far more violent than those at the exit point. Here's the full interview if you're interested.

    How do the Covenant not know where Earth is until they stumble upon it? 
  • Knowledge of where Earth is qualifies as common knowledge to humans, the specific coordinates would be known by a smaller amount but still quite a few, and all it would take is just ONE person with that knowledge breaking under torture for them to get the location and glass Earth.
    • .....because of the Cole Protocol? You know, the thing they go into major detail regarding in the games and books that is specifically intended to prevent the Covenant from finding human population centers.
    • The Cole Protocol is only nigh-foolproof from the electronic side. While they do wipe all electronic information, and USNC ships are supposed to self-destruct to avoid capture, that doesn't change the fact that the Covenant can and do get human prisoners, and that all it takes if for one human with the right knowledge to break under torture. Even with Orwellian misinformation campaigns(which is risky on military) and prisoners giving false information that leads to ambushes (which is countered by scout ships), the Covenant have to get lucky exactly once.
    • Except the Covenant don't usually take prisoners. They simply kill all humans they encounter, without bothering to interrogate them.
    • How would an average human soldier, or hell, even a navigator, be able to tell the covenant where earth is? One would think computers would do all the work.
    • Yeah, I think it's safe to say that computers would do most or all of the navigational work in this setting when the setting makes it explicitly clear that purging navigational data is foolproof enough to secure human colonies and population centers, and that the Covenant are only able to find human worlds through old-fashioned methods like bugging human ships.
    • It's pretty much confirmed in the short story Midnight in the Heart of the Midolothian (written by Frank O'Connor himself) in Halo Evolutions that only an AI actually knows the coordinates of Earth.
    • One of the extracts at the back of the Fall of Reach reprint answers both these questions. Any half decent navigator can lead the covies to Earth or any other colony. I assume that co ordinates are just a grid reference style stystem and it's confirmed the hard part is plotting a course there through slipspace. However ONI has a policy to prevent the co ordinates being leaked, upon detection of covenant forces those UNSC servicemen that can lead the covies to Earth have their IFF transponder broadcast a location beacon so ONI can 'secure' them. Plus the covies hardly ever bother to take prisoners and humans think they never bother so they don't even try surrendering, casuing them to fight harder making it all but impossible for the Covenant to capture them.
    • Heh... One also wonders how the humans of earlier in the war would've reacted if told that even after the Cole Protocol and all the other security, the Covenant were going to find Earth by complete fucking accident
    • The Covenant always knew where Earth was. Regret went there to use the Ark. What they didn't know was that the planet listed in Forerunner records as containing the Ark was also the homeworld of the human race, which is why Regret was attacking with such a small fleet. Remember, Lord Hood comments that the Covenant attack on Reach was 50 times the size of their attack on Earth... but that's because the Covenant were actually planning to attack Reach, while what's happening here is that the Prophet of Regret and his escort fleet is having an unplanned meeting engagement.
    • And the Covenant thought Reach was humanity's homeworld. Makes sense why they would go to Earth with just over a dozen ships, given the events of Halo: Reach. A single supercarrier (the Long Night of Solace) is enough to completely control the space around the planet, as well as engage in a guerilla war and orbital bombardment of Reach itself. Sixty percent of the UNSC fleet was heading there to deal with a single ship.
    • It's shown in First Strike that the Covenant had found Earth and were readying themselves for an attack, though this contradicts Cortana's version in the game, where she says that the reason there weren't that many ships was because they didn't expect humanity to be there, whereas the Covenant fleet in the book had HUNDREDS of ships.
    • No, Cortana says that they were heading toward Earth's location, not that they had found the homeworld of humanity.
    • A fleet of one hundred ships need not be for direct military action. When you're ascending to godhood, it's probably best to do so with a massive entourage.
    • Allow me to explain. In Halo: First Strike, they stop The Prophet of Truth's invasion fleet. Truth DID know about humanity, but was a backstabbing asshole and didn't tell the other Prophets. Regret, therefor, didn't know about humanity being on Earth. He went there because they were picking artifact readings. Regret knew about the artifact, and Truth knew about humanity, but they didn't know what the other one did. Had they not been greedy, they would have won.
    • Well, were it not for Truth's greed, the entire war would never started in the first place.
    • There's no evidence the fleet in First Strike was Truth's.
    • Consider that, in Halo 2, Cortana points out that "it's odd a prophet would have such bad intel on his enemy's homeworld." This means that she's surprised that one of the leaders of the Covenant didn't know that the planet he was going to was the same planet the fleet in First Strike was going to attack. This is evidence that the fleet was Truth's, and that he had not told the other prophets about his intel.
    • There is evidence for the First Strike fleet being Truth's Bungie has confirmed it somewhere. Basically Truth found out Earths location and that it was humanaties homeworld/a big human outpost. And had assembled a Brute led fleet to attack it in secret. That was destroyed delaying his plans, meanwhile Regret discovered the location of the Ark and meade to investigate but discovered a huge human presence, they attacked anyway and the rest we know.
    • Not just Bungie; 343's website and the Halo 2: Anniversary terminals both basically confirm your point as well.

    How are we expected to believe that Earth is the only planet the UNSC has left? 
  • I suppose we can assume that the UNSC's territory extends in every direction around Earth. If this were true, then the Covenant invaders would have had to sweep the entire UNSC territory for colonies, and somehow not find Earth, which is just completely ridiculous. They should have at least half, if not more of their colonies intact, which makes 400+ . This is assuming that the covenant invaded from one side the UNSC and didn't somehow simultaneously attack the entire circumfirence at once.(which would also be ridiculous.)
    • This also leads to the notion of there being only 200,000,000 humans left. Even if this number is just for Earth's population, how did all those people die? From what we see, the only place that was glassed was Voi and the surrounding area. And it seems like only africa, and a few other scattered places were hit by invasion forces. A very conservative guess would put Earth's population in 2553 at around 10,000,000,000. There is no possible way that the covenant killed 49 out of 50 people on the whole planet. They only had about 27 ships left when they went through the portal to the ark, which is not nearly enough to almost completely destroy a planet like earth.
    • WRT ther only being 200,000,000 humans left on Earth: Do you honestly think the Covenant wouldn't go out of their way to kill as many humans as possible?
    • "They only had about 27 ships left when they went through the portal to the ark, which is not nearly enough to almost completely destroy a planet like earth." Go read your fluff. 30 ships is enough to completely strip the atmosphere from a planet in 24 hours.
    • According to Reach, it isn't. It's a rumour spread by a Council of human AIs, who have secretly been aiding humanity in its advancement and (later) it's survival. I have also heard that that figure might simply represent the number of UNSC personnel currently serving. High, but not impossible (100 million where mobilised during World War II).
    • The Reach thing is complicated; while the council is deliberately exaggerating the Covenant's glassing capabilities, it's implied that they themselves initially underestimated the Covenant's capabilities; said datapad dates in-universe to only one year after the beginning of the war, back when the Covenant was still using a tiny fraction of their military against the humans (the AIs were even explicitly assuming that the Covenant fleet was only the same size as the UNSC's, which we know was definitely not the case).
    • This complaint is ultimately invalid; Word of God is that most of Earth's population decrease was due to people evacuating the planet (as opposed to them actually dying), and that most of them came back to resettle Earth after the battle was over.
    • "Earth is all we have left" is figurative speech. We know from Fall of Reach that the Covenant bypassed dozens of Inner Colony worlds to get to both Reach and Earth. Earth is the last military stronghold of the UNSC. Also, the Covenant didn' need to land and assault Earth to inflict massive casualties; "Crow's Nest" confirms that the Covenant simply bombed human population centers from orbit, and there's simply no UNSC fleet left to defend against the orbital assault.
    • Pre-war the UNSC's Navy was basically an anti-piracy/anti-insurrection force. There's really not much reason to presume that they could have produced the kind of fleet necessary to realistically defend every colony (especially considering that a "fair fight" is considered human forces outnumbering the Covenant 3-1). Also it is indicated in the books that there are some former insurrection forces hiding among the asteroids of unimportant solar systems who have chosen not to fight.
    • Not just asteroids; there were also plenty of Innies in regular colonies that the Covenant had simply skipped.
    • Not every colony is going to be the size of Reach. Most were small, in the low millions, primarily based around agriculture, mining, and light manufacturing. The heavy lifting and majority of the population was either at Earth or Reach. A statistic in Reach has eight worlds falling in the first year of the war, with a loss of approximately 62 million people. That's a population of, on average, 8 million people.
    • Actually, this complaint is completely pointless; every single piece of media set after Halo 3 shows that plenty of human colonies managed to survive the Covenant war unscathed, mostly because they were too insignificant/distant for the Covenant to notice in the first place.

    Why don't we see anything coming out of the Portals? 
  • In Halo 3 the first portal opens in the lower atmosphere as a big blackish blueish sphere, but after the Human/Elite fleets pass through it they appear above the Ark just like any other time they leave slipspace. High Charity likewise just appears inside the Arc's atmosphere. At the end of the game the Arbiter pilots the Dawn to a portal identical to the one they left Earth from, but is seen reentering earth's atmosphere. From where? Again the portal they left from was well within Earth's atmosphere. Are the portals supposed to be direct links from Earth to the Ark? If so then why do we never see a ship leaving the portal, only regular Slipspace rifts in seemingly random places above and below atmosphere. If not then who activated the exit portal on the Ark?
    • That's the way the portals work. They operate like Slipspace ruptures. Note that the portals are very consistent in that a ship that passes through exists like it would exit a normal Slipspace rupture.
    • It makes sense to have the ships come out at a different point than where they would go in. Otherwise, you run the risk of collisons.

    Halo Legends: Origins I 
  • Okay, near the end it shows that the forerunners gathered up a bunch of species and hid them inside some sort of pods to protect them from the Halo effect, noah style. Okay. But why did they not put in members of their own species in there as well? The Forerunners could have lived on, but for some reason they didn't even though they clearly had the means to save themselves.
    • Who said they didn't? Didact survived the activation of the Halos, and presumably so did other Forerunners.
    • In fact, the Forerunner prequels reveal that a small number of Forerunners did survive the Halos, but they all decided to exile themselves and leave the galaxy to its own devices.
    • Forerunners are humanity's ancestors, which means at least some of them survived long enough to breed our entire race...
    • No. Forerunner and homo sapiens are entirely different species. It's just that the Librarian liked us better than all the others, and the Forerunners set us up to assume their mantle once we develop spaceflight.
    • Actually, it's a little more complicated than that; it's mentioned that the two species have a surprising amount of genetic similarity, implying that they at least had a common ancestor that was meddled with by the Precursors for their own purposes. That said, humans and Forerunners had already diverged into reproductively-incompatible species long before the Flood came.

  • If they can make flash clones to replace the kidnapped childrens for Spartan training. Why don't they just clone more of the recruits to make more Spartans?
    • Because clones only live for a few months at best.
    • Because flash clones only live for a few months at best, and actual clones (aka 2010-era) must start from a baby. Still, if they start training at 6 years old I don't see why they didn't flash clone for the families (well, they did) but then true-clone the SPARTAN trainees and wait another six years.
    • Funding was limited to only seventy-five trainees, period. They couldn't afford to clone, raise, and train more.
    • Also, flash cloning appears to be the only method of cloning they have. Besides, they were in a hurry and have limited funding as stated above.
    • They do have traditional forms of cloning, but again, it produces embryos that have to be nurtured and raised from infancy. Plus, it's expensive anyway, and you'd have to make sure that the egg used in the process ALSO came from a genetically perfect specimen. And due to the way genes work, using DNA from anything other than an embryo results in a shortened life-span due to telomere degradation. TL;DR: cloning is impractical.

    The compass on the Assault Rifle 
  • How does it point North on planets outside of Earth? I can even buy that it's going to point north on any planet that has a magnetic pole. However, how does it point north inside a space ship? Or a Halo Ring? Or the Ark? How does North even exist in those locations?
    • As far as "Story North" goes, I have no idea. Game North is easy enough, though - whatever happens to be North for that particular game map.
    • On Halo the compass supposedly points towards Threshold, the gas giant the ring was orbiting. That would make "North" the direction of the planet-side edge of the ring.
    • Not just "supposedly", the actual manual states this.
    • Like an actual compass, it probably points to the most relevant magnetic source.

    Why does the Arbiter continue wearing the armor in Halo 3? 
  • It's directly stated as being weaker than its contemporary equivalents, and, yeah, it does have symbolic value - as a direct servant of the Prophets' will. Considering how honor-obssessed the Elites are, I'm surprised they didn't destroy it.
    • Two possible explanations. It was an Elite symbol of honor before it became a Prophet mark of shame, so he wears it with honor, to show his indepence of the Prophets' control. He received it at a major turning point in his life, so he might feel it's a major part of him now. As for regards to practicality, the Elites, and the Covenant in general, have shown themselves to hold honor/tradition above practicality. Hence they wear armor that's bright blue, red, or gold, as opposed to something that'll blend in with the background.
    • The second explanation is that he feels he still deserves it. He knows the Covenant religion is all a load of crap now, but he was taught that religion from birth. Something ingrained that deeply into your psychology doesn't disappear in a matter of a couple months.
    • The Arbiter is a symbol of the Elites as a whole. Note that when the Arbiter is fighting the Brutes in Halo 2, one of their responses if they kill you is to say that they've torn out "the heart of the Elites." The armor is a part of that symbol. Hell, its entirely possible that the Elites are simply viewing the armor as a different symbol now that the Arbiter has switched sides, taking it as a sign of their rebellion. Symbols only have as much meaning as those who look upon them put into them.
    • To add to everything else; the Arbiter is a position that predates the Covenant by at least several thousand years (dating all the way back to when the Elites' most advanced military technology included metal blades and stone fortresses), and was a rank of extremely high esteem, to the point where Arbiters were effectively leaders of their entire species. To put it this way; the current Arbiter is reclaiming a symbol that was stolen by the Prophets, and basically saying "I am going to restore the rank of Arbiter (and our people as a whole) to what it was before the Prophets put us under their heel".

    What happened to all the non-Americans? 
  • I've read a few Halo books and played basically all the games, their society is essentially present day America in space. While there are a few token foreigners here and there, everyone speaks English with an American accent (and a significant portion of people are actually FROM America). What happened to China, Europe, Russia, and everyone else in the world? Did they all just BECOME Americans?
    • Because Bungie is an American company, with an American voice-acting pool, selling primarily to an American audience.
    • America is a melting pot of cultures. The Future is too. Best I can figure.
    • The games all have tons of Mexican, Brit and Aussie marines, I assume Bungie intended it to be very international but didn't add more accents simply because they didn't record that many accents. As for why everyone speaks English, I recall hearing somewhere that it's the common operational language of the military. On a related note, can any Halo players from non-English-speaking nations tell me how accents were handled in the dubs they played?
    • You do realize that pretty much all the levels that take place on Earth are set in Africa, right?
    • During those levels, barring the audio logs in ODST, the only people you hear talking are military, and, as mentioned above, English is the common operational language of the military. In the "Sadie's Story" audio logs, Sadie and her father, citizens of New Mombasa, speak with African accents. We could just be experiencing a Translation Convention, or the voices are getting translated in-game by the same tech that allows us to understand Brutes and Elites.
    • Also, the background radio broadcasts in the Halo 2 levels set on Earth are actually all spoken in Swahili.
    • In Reach, the civilians you meet during 'Winter Contingency' speak Hungarian, as does Jorge, a Reach native himself.
    • There is reference made to a mostly Jewish or Musilm colony in I Love Bees (the characters mention not being allowed to eat pork)
    • Curent theories are that we will all speak English in the future or more accurately whatever English evolves into.
    • A lot of this complaint has been rendered invalid by later media; while English is implied to be the common language of the UNSC, a lot of individual colonies have largely non-American-descended populations who have kept at least some of their original cultures intact; Reach is predominated by Hungarian place names, Mars has an entire country that is basically the Philippines In Space, Sansar is mostly Swedish, Bhuj is implied to be mostly Indian, etc. Heck, one of the Warzone maps in Halo 5 has signs that are mostly in Chinese. Additionally, there have been a lot of characters of non-American descent added in since this complaint was originally made; hell, the current head of ONI herself is of Turkish descent (with a name to match), and her old team consisted completely of non-Americans (a Brit, an Aussie, a Russian, and a French-Canadian/Chinese, with the latter two fluent in their parents' native tongues). To be fair though, English language names do still predominate far more than one might realistically expect, even in later media.

    Shield Strength 
  • Covenant ship shields. They can be downed (or at least brought close) by a nuke going off right next to the ship (though not farther out). Space-combat nukes are stated to vary between 30-60 megatons in yield. Yet a Covenant ship's shields can withstand 3 or 4 impacts from a ship-mounted Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, which (with 600-ton shells hitting at .4c) impact with (according to Halopedia) "1.17 teratons per shot". That's 1,170,000 megatons. So... a Covvie ship's shields can take a 1.17-million-megaton direct hit, but they can't take a 50-megaton direct hit. ...HUH?
    • EMP. More specifically, nukes produce extremely powerful EMP, to the point that a single nuke can permanently blow out the electronics on a UNSC ship hundreds of thousands of kilometers away. That is likely going to have a negative effect on Covenant electronics, too.
    • In Reach, an EMP is what brings Elites' shields down (you get a medal for it, too!) Weapons that produce this effect include the Plasma Pistol and the Grenade Launcher, though I may be missing one.
    • Shiva nukes are way, way, way beyond a mere 60 megatons. They're capable of generating detonations in space that reach thousands of kilometers, which requires incredibly high yields. NOVA warheads are even further beyond them. The only time we see a 30 megaton nuke used on a Covenant ship is when the Spartans are sneaking one into a Covenant landing area to detonate when they're lowering their shields to drop off troops.
    • To be fair, that 30 megaton nuke was described as nuclear hand grenade, and it was the size of a football.
    • Also, 1.17 teratons is a retcon, and a massive one at that. I vaguely remember they used to have yields in the double digit kilotons or megatons, though I could be wrong. This got retconned because A) Bungie likes the number 117 way too much and B) at the old speed it would have taken MINUTES to cross standard engagement range, making them absolutely useless.
    • That 1.17 teratons figure may just be for the ODG stations like Cairo from Halo 2. Johnson claims they can kill a Covenant capital ship in a single shot, and we've seen frigates and cruisers do almost nothing against Covenant shields.
    • Just looked at the Halo wiki. Apparently the ODG stations could fire rounds that would hit with the force of 40 Gt of TNT. So, powerful, but not absurdly so.
    • Actually, Halopedia keeps changing it back and forth between the old and new numbers, mainly because of old-number purists not knowing that it's time to just let it go. It's stated that ship-grade MACs hit with 1.17 teratons of force, enough to wear down a Covenant ship's shields in about 3-5 hits. The station-mounted Super-MAC shells impact with 9.98 teratons of force, enough to punch a hole clean through anything, shields and all, and keep going.
    • I can see why they keep changing, because that number makes a hell of a lot more sense. Why do Covenant cruisers and carriers have shields so many orders of magnitude more powerful than what they give Elites/Brutes/Seraphs? Those can do down with a couple of bursts from a 0.50 cal machine gun; when you scale it up to kilometres, they shouldn't magically gain the ability to absorb Chicxulub-sized impacts.
    • Power. An Elite's armor is tiny, so it only gets enough power to resist a few bullet bursts. A starship, on the other hand, can carry a fusion reactor or two, allowing it to divert more power to its shields. INSANE POWER.
    • But the "old" measurements currently on the site make no sense for space combat! You're telling me ships fire rounds that only go 30km per second? In space battles, which routinely take place on scales of tens of thousands of kilometers? For a Covenant ship 30,000 kilometers away, it would take a MAC round (30,000 divided by 30 equals...) 1000 seconds - over 16 and a half minutes - to reach its target! Whereas the 120,000 kilometers-per-second shot given by the Encyclopedia would take only a quarter of a second. Having relatively-slow-as-molasses projectiles MAKES NO SENSE. THAT'S likely why Bungie changed it for the encyclopedia.
    • Go play Mass Effect if you want a more realistic description of the power of mass accelerator/MAC rounds. About three times the yield of Hiroshima, by the way.
    • Clearing something up here. The 1.17 Teraton number was an old encyclopedia entry that was retconned by the Halo: Fall of Reach reissue. From Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 108; (2010 edition), page 130, Nylund describes the Charon-class light frigate as being able to fire a 600-ton ferric-tungsten projectile with a depleted uranium core at 30,000 meters per second. This will have an impact energy equivalent to around 64 kilotons. The OD Ps fire a 3,000-ton ferric-tungsten rounds at .04c with around 51.6 gigatons. Thing is, no UNSC or Covenant ship has ever been able to survive a hit from an ODP.
      • Problem with that is that we're back to the original reason Bungie increased the rounds speed. They are useless in a space battle at ranges of hundreds of thousands of kilometres doing only 30kph. The ships can fly faster than that. Thing about the 2010 reissue of the Fall of Reach is that very little was changed however in Halo Evolutions a ship based Mac slug is described as traveling at "a fraction of the speed of light". So it sounds like Bungie is still leaning towards the new numbers.

     Elites in ODST 
  • Or more specifically, the fact that they're all dead. An entire city full of Proud Warrior Race Guys with dug in positions, heavy armor, and air support. Dead within seconds of a ship full of them leaving, and replaced by brutes like nothing had ever happened. the only evidence that they had ever been there is a dozen or so corpses scattered around a city they had completely occupied moments before. and we are give no explanation as to why this happened.
    • This is after/during the Brute uprising. The dead elites are there because the brutes killed any Elites still on Earth, and occupied it themselves. It might make the timeframe a bit wonky, since Regret only just left, but everything else fits. The ornate Brute armor (which they should still be naked like in Halo 2 if it was before the Brute uprise), the multiple ship invasion (wasn't Regret more or less the only ship in Halo 2?).
    • ODST is pretty much one big Retcon - see the completely redesigned New Mombasa that doesn't have the suspension bridge from Halo 2 anywhere in sight.
    • I'm more peeved at the fact that every single elite in the whole damn city just drops dead within seconds.
    • Who said "every single Elite" in the whole city dropped dead within seconds? The only time you encounter any Elites in ODST was at the beginning, where the Brutes clearly overwhelmed a small contingent of them in an isolated part of the city.
    • I'm just saying that the elites were all over the city, and there should be at least more that a dozen or so bodies around the city, if not outright pockets of resistance. Especially since, as I said, they had dug in positions, heavy armor, and air support.Or maybe I'm over thinking it, and you just manage not to run into anything more than a dozen or so corpse in that small part of the city, and most of the elites that were there left. or were eaten. or behind locked doors. Ya know, now that I think about it, there are plenty of reasons why you don't see them.
    • Actually, even the original Halo 2 explicitly states that Regret had a small fleet with him; hell, the ending cutscene of "Cairo Station" involves Chief blowing up a different Assault Carrier, so obviously Regret's ship wasn't the only Covenant ship around. Additionally, there's not necessarily a contradiction between what the Brutes wore in 2 and what they wore in ODST; the ones in 2 were basically Tartarsauce's personal cronies stationed at High Charity, while the ones in ODST are from a separate fleet (Word of God is that Covenant custom is to give military standardization the middle finger, so that one Brute pack might favor wearing lots of armor and another might prefer to go mostly nude).
    • The Halo Waypoint video on the Brute history notes that the Brutes attached to Regrets forces at New Mombasa actually had orders from Truth to stab the Elites in the back once Regret had found the location of Delta Halo and pulled out, while all the reinforcement ships that arrived during the game were under Truths command and staffed by Brutes. The majority of the Elites in New Mombasa returned to Regrets ship before he left, and the remaining Elites were quickly betrayed by Truth.

     The Mona Lisa 
  • A trivial issue, but why the hell would somebody name a prison ship after the painting?
    • Maybe the shipbuilder was feeling artistic that day?
    • Given other USNC ship names we see throughout the fiction (Say My Name, Two for Flinching, Eminent Domain, heck, even Pillar of Autumn and Forward Unto Dawn), it's pretty clear that UNSC shipbuilders/crewmen have a lot of leeway with regards to naming.

     "Firing Alpha Halo B" 
  • Wouldn't firing it have activated the other instillations? It may not have been fully linked to the network but that's a pretty risky move.
    • There's no evidence firing one Halo triggers the others.
    • At the end of Halo 2 the failed firing of Delta Halo triggers the activation of the other installations for a firing of the whole array. Guilty Spark says that the only place where it is possible to activate the entire array is on the Ark. Normally a tactical firing requires an Index obtained from your local Library.
    • Guilty Spark specifically states that the blast in halo 3 was a "tactical" firing to wipe out the "local" infestation, indicating that the rings can be fired alone if necessary.

    Cortana stating the incredibly obvious 
  • In Halo, on the eponymous level, why did Cortana feel the need to state that the square, metal tunnel clearly engraved with some sort of almost runic pattern—on a ringworld, no less—was not "a natural formation"?
    • Because Cortana is fallible and based on a human mind, and its part of her personality to make unnecessary - sometimes obvious - commentary.
    • If it had happened to be a cave weathered out of the rocky/earthy top surface of the Halo over the millennia since the ring was constructed, then "natural" would have been a perfectly valid description for it. But the cave clearly hadn't been weathered away without intevention - the geometry and patterns indicated someone intentionally constructed it, which is why she concluded that it must lead somewhere.
    • Also, if I remember correctly, it was actually a goof on Bungie's part. They intended for the cave to actually appear like an actual cave, but when actually designed, we got the tunnel. But the dialogue was either already recorded or forgotten to be changed. In-universe, the previous explanations are valid, along with the possibility that we couldn't see very far into it. For all we knew, only the entrance to the cave was lined, and then turned into a "natural" cave.
    • Maybe she meant less "holy shit John this cave isn't natural" and more "head into this cave" along with her reasoning as to why: people don't build caves that don't go anywhere.

    Prisoner treatment 
  • In Truth and Reconciliation, why does the Covenant keep their ships brightly lit, yet keep their very important prisoner in a very, very dark room and discuss matters of holy war within earshot, in English?
    • For the same reason that they don't encrypt their transmissions. They're arrogant and don't believe humans can understand them when humans have hardwired translation software in everyone's neural implants.
    • Said software was (I think) very unreliable at the time and might possibly have translated "The Holy Ring" into "Halo", explaining why they're never refered to such by Covenant again.
    • I recall the Prophets calling Halo Halo several times in Halo 2. "halo's destruction wa syour error and you rightly bear the blame" for example.

  • When the Chief watches the recording of the dead marine on 343 Guilty Spark, why does the apparently digital memory chip make VCR fast forward sounds? For that matter, why do the comm devices of 2552 still make walkie-talkie static sounds at the beginning and end of messages? And why does the crazed marine never run out of bullets?
    • Interface, probably, to indicate that the video is fast-forwarding to anyone listening. As for the comm devices, they make "walkie-talkie" static sounds because, like modern comm devices, they're radios. And the crazed Marine never runs out of ammo for the same reason nobody else ever runs out of ammo: AI characters don't run out of ammo in any of the games.
    • Seconded. Every camera phone or digital camera made nowadays makes a shutter noise. Even if the people were using digital radios, they might still make the noise for aesthetics. OOC: It's The Cocunut Effect, for the players' benefit. Many modern walkies just beep or something like it.

    What the heck is going on with The Library? 
  • For The Library, who opens that revolving door at the beginning before Guilty Spark and the Chief arrive? Why doesn't Spark teleport the chief to the highest level and just activate all the procedures while the Chief waits away from most of the Flood? When he grabs the index, what is the Chief standing on, and why is he in some sort of electrical cyclone? Where does Spark hold the index?
    • Revolving door: Guilty Spark, likely on arrival. Teleporting to the highest level: because whatever the recovery procedure for the Index is, it involves starting on the bottom and moving up. "Electrical cyclone" is a gravity lift/elevator. Spark stores the Index inside himself, through Forerunner nifty technology.
    • Sparks is quite insane. Maybe he wanted to give the Reclaimer a tour while they retreived the Index. Maybe he was actually trying to kill the cheif (the double-locked-door flood onslaught springs to mind). Maybe the library has safety measures in place to prevent teleportation too close to the index's holding unit (we know the Gravemind is capable of tapping into the halo teleportation grid).
    • Spark did not want to kill Chief until protocol told him to. My guess is that going from the bottom up had something to do with protocol, as well.
    • The "T"-shaped greenish device is, if I am not mistaken, a storage device for the codes. 343-Guilty Spark was probably not carrying the device, but just the codes - just like Cortana did.
    • It's also possible that the Index, being Forerunner tech, is apparently a hard light digital construct. Hard light seems to be the basis for quite a lot of their technology. As such, the Key itself is little more than data given a physical representation.

    The Sentinels and the countdown 
  • On the Maw, speaking canonically, why do the Sentinels not destroy the countdown display glass if you skip the cutscene? And then, why, if you skip the cutscene, are they not able to destroy it during gameplay?
    • Mostly because walls in the original game are indestructable, and the countdown glass is tagged as a wall.

    How did the elite survive? 
  • One non-canonical one, in the Legendary ending, Johnson survives the ring explosion, yes, ("This is it, baby. Hold me.") but what happens to the elite?
    • Because its a non-canon Easter Egg that has no bearing on the actual plot.

    Why blast open the door? 
  • Why do the humans have the tech in Halo 1 to open locked Forerunner doors in 5 seconds (and we may assume the Convenant could do this with all the other doors, too), but the Covenant need to blast open the door on Cairo Station? I mean, it even makes more sense to open it part way and shoot around the corners rather than obliterating all cover.
    • According to the novelization, it actually took Keyes' team several minutes to break the encryption on the door leading to the Flood chamber. This wasn't shown because several minutes of Marines standing around scratching their asses is boring. As for the Covenant breaching doors, A) Covenant computer tech is actually only equivalent to UNSC tech, not superior, and B) explosions generate shrapnel, which generate casualties, as well as shock, smoke, and cover. Its for the same reason that in Real Life, SWAT teams and special forces use breaching charges and storm rooms. you never, ever, ever "open it part way" because doors are narrow spaces that allow defenders to concentrate their fire on a single point. When assaulting a room, you always blow it open and storm inside immediately to quickly clear the room of defenders. If you're standing at the doorway trading fire with the defenders, you've screwed up badly.

    Gravity outside Cairo? 
  • Why is there universal gravity on Cairo, yet simply stepping one foot outside lowers the gravity? Why is it simply lowered, in stead of being equal to the inside or just plain microgravity? Why can you fall off the station, downward? How do the terrestrial jetpacks of the elites work in a vacuum?
    • Stepping outside means you're no longer walking around on the gravity plating inside the station. That partially reduces gravity. Falling off the Cairo is an issue with the game engine; its always pulling you "down". The jetpacks work in space because force still pushes you regardless of whether you're in a vacuum or not; there's no evidence that the Elites' jetpacks only function in atmosphere, and it would be silly if the Elites didn't have jetpacks similar to the ones modern astronauts carry.

    Why not use snipers everywhere

    Why not use hologram balls everywhere
  • If the hologram balls used by the heretic leader are apparently so disposable, why don't they use more of them?
    • I got the impression that the armed holodrones were specialized Forerunner tech not readily available to the Covenant; the Heretic Leader only had access to them because he was in a Forerunner station and working with Spark.
    • Also, they were used by the Heretic Leader. We know the Covenant deliberately gimp their technology, or at least don't upgrade it where they could, because it's Heresy. If the Covenant had such holo-drones, they may consider them more valuable than soldier lives. After all, the Grunts are mass-bred to be cannon fodder. Forerunner technology is usually considered unassailable sacred artifacts, except by the Prophets.
    • Another possibility could be that the holograms carrying weapons which deal damage is Gameplay and Story Segregation to create a hard bossfight. Canonical holograms cannot interact with the "real" world in Halo, and in the Canonical fight the holo-drones may have been only decoys, and not actually shot at the Arbiter. After all, in most other cases of holograms in Halo, you can walk straight through them and they do not physically impede you. Additionally, the Plasma Rifles disappear with the holograms, and are not dropped. A holographic plasma weapon creating real plasma? If you could do that, your "holograms" could quickly approach the level of technological, small-scale Reality Warping with enough power.
    • A fleet of holographic Cairo Stations, anyone?
    • Although, the Heretic Leader is using Forerunner holograms. Most other holograms are Covenant or Human, and the Forerunners already kind of do this, especially in the books. Probably only Forerunner holograms can be corporeal. This still doesn't answer how a holographic Plasma Rifle can shoot.

    Delta Halo's convenient battlefield 
  • Why does the activation of the warm up sequence on Delta Halo turn the immediate surroundings into a prime futuristic battlefield complete with grav lift, totally unlike the control room of the first game?
    • Because they're different Halos and thus have different design specs. I thought this was obvious, considering how vastly different the layouts between the two were.
    • We never saw the warm up sequence for the Halo in the first game either, since Cortana sabotaged it. And in Halo 3, you activate it prematurel, causing the place to immediately fall apart, so there's no way of knowing what standard Halo warm up sequencing is, as we've only seen one.

     Spartan-IIIs in Halo: Reach 
  • How is it even possible that there are Spartan IIIs within Reach's timeframe, when the Spartan IIs are still "young". And furthermore, the Noble Team have varied, more advanced armor in unusual contrast to the Spartan IIs, who have identical armor.
    • One: Bungie can retcon things. In their view, the canon pecking order goes games > novels > other.
    • Two: The Spartan-IIs are not "young" by the Fall of Reach. The S-II soldiers have been in action since 2525. The game takes place in 2552.
    • Exactly. Reach fell in 2552, mere hours before the start of the first game. The Spartan III program was started in 2531. That gives Kurt 21 years to pull a handful of soldiers away from about 600 from Alpha and Beta companies.
    • Three: It's been said on that Kurt-051, the Spartan-II in charge of training the Spartan-III soldiers, has been pulling a lot of strings behind the scenes, calling in favors and working behind Ackerson's back to put together an elite Spartan-III squad (with one S-II) equipped with state-of-the-art MJOLNIR-variant armor as opposed to the crappy, shieldless SPI Armor that regular Spartan-IIIs get. That's how Noble Team came to be. As for the differences in the Team's armor? Personal customization.
    • It would have made more sense for them to be Spartan I Is. They were there when they were when Reach fell, and they could have just been a unit already deployed. Also, Halsey meets them and recognizes them as Spartans. She wasn't supposed to know about the program. Also, Onyx would have been their 'home' as they were trained there, not Reach, even if it is a military operation, and they seemed a bit old, weren't the members of Alpha Squad still teenagers at best, just like Beta Squad? I understand the games come first, but it seems to a continuity error to me.
    • The Nylund co-authored journal partly clarifies that Halsey always suspected that ONI had greenlight another supersoldier project behind her back, but was under the impression that Noble was basically Spartan-II 2.0, not the fire-and-forget suicide soldiers that the mainline IIIs were. Also, please review your copy of Ghosts of Onyx and general Halo timeline; Alpha Company training began in late 2531, with the average age of "recruitment" stated to be around 4-6 years of age. The Fall of Reach takes place in mid-late 2552. Doing the math, your average Alpha (had the main company survived Operation: PROMETHEUS) would be around 25-27 years old during the events of Reach, which certainly does not make them "teenagers at best" (it should also be noted that even the two Betas from Onyx were old enough to be legally allowed to smoke in the current USA). However, Word of God does explicitly state that Noble's Alphas were somewhat older than the norm; Carter began training at 11, and Jun and Emile were about 8. Also, it's worth noting that only Jorge, Noble's token II, ever refers to Reach as home.

    Why does looking through an external scope get rid of your Motion Tracker? 
  • It's on the inside of your helmet. The scope on the sniper rifle is on the outside. (There's obvious gameplay reasons, but still...)
    • You're not actually putting your eye to the scope; instead, you're wiring its feed directly into your helmet display. This is why there's no animation for sniping.
    • Though its canonical status is dubious at best, "The Babysitter" from Halo Legends actually shows the Spartan sniper wire the gun into her helmet.
    • I'd put it up as Gameplay And Story Segregation, considering the tactical value of a motion tracker while otherwise focusing entirely on sniping.
    • Also, having the motion tracker seems like it would take up valuable real estate on the display that would distract from focusing on the target.

    MAC shots in Reach 
  • Dude. Ship-scale Magnetic Accelerator cannons being deliberately fired in-atmosphere towards/into the planet's surface. A UNSC frigate taking down a spindly little tower by firing a 600-ton, 140,000-kph shell with 1.17 teratons of impact force, and a Super-MAC firing a 3000-ton, 150,000-kph shell with 9.98 teratons of impact force through a Covenant Corvette straight down through the ship into the planet. They deliberately fired killer-asteroid-level impacts directly into their own planet. And what's more, those calculated-to-be civilization-fragging impacts didn't even leave any sign of impact! Not even a splash column from the Super-MAC punching into/through the lake (and presumably the crust and a bit of the mantle beneath it)! Why would they fire civilization-killers directly into their planet to take down targets that could've been dealt with using (comparitively) lesser means? And also, why were there not near-immediate catastrophic consequences for the planet? And before you give the "Reach was already doomed" excuse, remember that both instances were before the main Covenant armada arrived at Reach, and the local UNSC thought at the time that they could handle this comparitively-small invasion relatively easily.
    • Yeah, its not like they could have dialed back the yields or anything by reducing the power of their shots for precision work. These are only guns whose outgoing power is directly proportional to the amount of energy being fed into them.
    • ...Point. The idea of variable power outputs honestly never occured to me. I assumed MACs all had only one power setting: Full Power Total Annihilation. It didn't even cross my mind that they could be fired at half-charge or 10% charge or such-and-such.
    • Also, that figure is probably horribly wrong. A frigate that size is carrying around 600 ton shells? What happens after it fires all four of its projectiles?
    • Not necessarily I thought so to, but in another example of not trusting the gut I ran some numbers and was surprised. Even a seemingly "small" object can be extremely heavy if it's dense. If one runs the numbers for a solid tungsten projectile(density about 19250 kilograms per cubic meter) a a 600 ton slug actually only requires about 28 cubic meters of volume, this can be gotten by a cylinder shaped slug about 3 meters wide by 4 meters long. It's not tiny, it's still roughly equivalently to loading a minivan into the breech, but on something significantly more massive then a modern super carrier(which even a Frigate is) you could in my opinion certainly find room to pack them away a few hundred at least.
    • We know the rounds are very dense we see the Super MAC rounds in Halo 2. They weigh thousands of tons and are barely bigger then the Chief. The ship ones could be tiny so plenty could be fitted inside. The books do mention limits to the ammo, it was three rounds on the first MAC destroyer and about 6 rounds on a modern frigate.
    • Why is the animation for the Mac guns so...weak? In Halo 3 and Reach they look like pop guns. That frigate that killed the tower in Reach didn't have to be RIGHT on top of the thing to take it out. He could've sat back miles away.
    • That ship was already providing local fire support. After you take out the first AA tower, you can see it in the background moving in.
    • My point was that it basically almost rammed that tower. Why did it need to be so close? And the animation still looked very, VERY weak. This is a MAC gun we're talking about.
    • Most likely a combination of the MACs being on low-power settings for in-atmosphere close-range use, and graphical limitations and/or deliberate choice - its probably rather hard to accurately portray the raw force and speed involved in the weapon without looking like an energy weapon, and maybe Bungie didn't want noobs or inattentive/new players from thinking "OMG teh humanz have lazerz?!".
    • I would put it up as simply crappy writing and a depressing amount of Did Not Do The Research on the proximity.
    • Hey, it's not the first time MACs have been fired in-atmosphere.

    Orbital Mac Guns 
  • Why didn't Reach's orbital mac guns just blow the crap out of the Covenant supercarrier? One Super MAC round is enough to cut clean through a capital ship. And for that matter, how did the UNSC Navy lose orbital control of Earth? Wasn't it defended by 300 Super MACs? That's 300 dead covenant ships in every 14 seconds it takes to reload.
    • The UNSC lost control of Earth because the Covenant can concentrate force on a single point, like , ay, the weak point in the UNSC defensive grid caused by Regret's attack. Also, Earth is round. Half of the guns will not be able to fire on a concentrated fleet. In addition, the Covenant can precision jump next to each gun and attack it at close range, or even jump past them straight to the ground.
    • I also doubt those guns were very manuverable. It's kind of difficult to reoriantate a half-million ton space station in the middle of a battle.
    • The UNSC lost control of Earth and because in game the MAC guns aren't as powerful as in the books. Also the Covenant jumped below them to get to their power stations. Still the UNSC did hold them off for over a month which is the longest battle in the entire war by a long way, they normally last a few hours, days if they're lucky and it's implied the Covenant loyalists don't have a fleet any more other than the few dozen on Earth. This is out of a fleet of thousands.
    • Not to mention that 300 Mac guns is not a whole lot when you're talking about defending an entire planet. The circumference of planet Earth is a little over 40,000 kilometers. With 300 Mac guns that means the space between each of them is about 133 kilometers! And that's assuming they're arrayed in a single ring around the equator (which would be an incredibly foolish choice since the Covenant could simply jump to the north or south ends of the planet and be well out of the firing line). If the guns are arrayed in a spherical formation around the planet then the distance between them is even greater.
    • A few hundred kilometers is nothing in space. Those MAC guns are supposed to fire at relativistic velocities — that is, significant fractions of the speed of light (which is roughly 300 million meters per second, for the record). Even at .01c (1% of the speed of light), that's still 3,000 km/s. Three hundred guns each capable of killing a capital ship every 14 seconds should be more than enough to defend against a fleet of anything less than thousands. In regards to the comment someone above made about Earth blocking half of the guns from firing — that depends entirely on how high an orbit the guns are in. If they were in Low Earth Orbit, then you'd have a point — but a more sensible place to put them would be farther out, somewhere like the gravitationally-stable lagrange points (roughly 400,000 km up, depending on which L-point you're talking about), which would allow most of the guns to fire on any given point around the planet.
    • It's all but confirmed that the Super MAC platforms are in geosynchronous orbit over certain points on the planet (most likely over the cities they're named after, i.e. Cairo Station is in geosynch orbit over Cairo, Egypt, Athens Station orbits high over Greece's capital, etc).
    • Yeah, except we can clearly see the Super MAC guns in Halo 2. They're not stationed at the Legrange points. And again, there's a weak point in the UNSC defensive sphere, which coincidentally happens to be over the point on the planet Truth is interested in.
    • Please remember, all 16 guns over Reach were capable of engaging the covenant fleet.
    • Likely to be non-canon now. In Reach Jun is incredulous that the SPARTAN-IIs are being deployed to protect civilian transports. It's probable it was a cover for whatever was going down with the Autumn. Most likely scenario in regards to the MAC guns is the Covenant supercarrier Long Night of Solace destroyed them after Noble Team disabled its cloaking shield.
    • Actually Reach had 20 guns all capable of attacking the fleet. Don't ask me how badly the guns were arrayed for this to happen but maybe there was another set on the other side of the planet that wasn't mentioned or maybe they are mobile as the whole station can pivot, or perhaps they were deployed at the poles and the Covenant were stupid enough to attack side on so both sets could get them. Though the book gives the impression the Super MACs are all in the one cluster away from both poles. BTW the Supercarrier couldn't have destroyed them as they're used in the battle later. All I can think is the UNSC really were stupid enough to put them all on one side of the planet and the Carrier was on the other side.
    • If they only had twenty I'd assume they were mobile. The ones in Earth orbit weren't, beccause they had enough to cover the entire planet. If they were mobile, then the Long Night of Solace probably destroyed them with its fighter contingent, and took down anything larger than a corvette itself. (I haven't read the revised edition of The Fall of Reach, so I don't know if the MAC Cannons were actually used.)
    • Read the revised edition, all 20 super MAC guns still up and running till the final battle.
    • It's been explained in the data drop. They hid them on the other side of the planet to try and draw in a ship like the Long Night of Solace for the Spartans to capture. Unfortunately Nobel team blew it up before the Operation Red Flag team knew about it.
    • The biggest headscratcher I have is that how the heck do they aim these things? They have AI's sure and whatnot, but it still must be a huge bother. Sure the gun is awesome and intimidating but appears very much to be Awesome, but Impractical.
    • The same way regular UNSC spaceships aim their MAC guns; a mix of advanced computing systems and long range sensors, not to mention that the orbital guns likely have modest maneuvering capabilities so they can adjust their aim independently of orbit. In fact, the average war-era UNSC ship is little more than a MAC gun with missile launchers, turrets, and engines bolted on. It's clear the UNSC solved the aiming problem long ago; the main practical flaw of orbital MAC guns is that their maneuvering capabilities are too modest to avoid return fire.

    UNSC ship shields 
  • Okay, I am pretty sure this one has already been asked, but I couldn't find the answer so I'll ask again: why do UNSC starships not have energy shields? They managed to miniaturize them enough to put a fairly powerful shield in the MJOLNIR battlesuit, so why can't they just put a larger one on a ship? Wouldn't that significantly increase their chances in a space battle? The Saber fighter from Reach has shields on it... Is it ever explained?
    • Yeah, it is. The MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor required a fusion reactor to power its shields. The smallest one ever built, in fact. If they need that much energy to generate an energy shield around a single person, how much do you think a ship would need?
    • Plus, the MJOLNIR energy shield is not all that powerful. On Heroic difficulty (which we can safely assume is the most canon choice since it's described as "the way Halo is meant to be played" as of Halo 3) the MJOLNIR energy shield can take maybe five or six direct hits from a plasma rifle before failing. If human-made energy shields can only take that much punishment from simple small arms fire, imagine how quickly they would fail under the much more powerful weapons of a Covenant battlecruiser.
    • Who knows, maybe there are other technical problems with scaling the tech up that human engineers haven't been able to solve yet. Problems emitting a shield that large, weird interactions with the human slipspace drive, not to mention opening and closing bits of it to let missiles and MAC rounds out.
    • Dr. Halseys journal, included with the Halo Reach limited edition, notes that the power requirements for energy shields increase exponentially as the shield size increases, and that no existing UNSC starship design had the power supply needed to mount one. That comment was made in 2536, with the Mark V MJOLNIR armor (The first to include energy shields) introduced in 2551. The Sabre starfighter was likely introduced around the same time. So far, those are the only two cases of the UNSC deploying energy shields. It's likely that future ship designs were being made with the intention of installing energy shields, as soon as they solved the power problem.
    • The UNSC finally solved the shielding issues in 2557, and equipped the UNSC Infinity with energy shielding. It took the help of Engineers and study of Forerunner tech to solve the issue.

    Grenade physics 

  • Why is it that, in at least Halo 2, everything from ragdolls to vehicles to broken bits broken off of stuff had full-on physics applied to them, but grenades and dropped weapons still did that annoying "Quake bounce?"
    • I can only assume it's a programming issue. Things that ragdoll aren't picked up and used, while weapons and grenades are. Maybe it was too difficult to program something to be both ragdoll and pick up-able.

  • While I understand the gameplay reasons for this, how does a hammer run out of ammo exactly? I know that there is a propulsion system in it that makes the hits harder, but it's still like 50 pounds of metal traveling pretty damn fast in the hands of a Spartan/Elite/Brute. It should still kill enemies aplenty if it were swung properly, but once the ammo runs out, all they ever do is stab them with the handle?
    • I can only speculate but perhaps the hammer uses some sort of mass-shifting technology (hence the name "gravity hammer") to make it light as a feather while swinging yet impart thousands of tons of force at the moment of impact. Without that mass-shifting device the hammer is actually really damn heavy and no one but a Brute is strong enough to swing it.

    Why does Master Chief have a flashlight? 
  • Why doesn't he have night vision in his helmet? The sniper rifles have night vision scopes, and the ODSTs and Noble Six have night vision, so why doesn't the best soldier the UNSC has have night vision? Instead, he has a dinky little flashlight.
    • Because he doesn't need it. The only benefit it provides is stealth (as flashlights make you very visible), and in the games, Chief is never really equipped for a stealth mission. Noble Six and the ODSTs have greater need for stealth.
    • He doesn't need night vision, one of his enhancements was to his eyes and it was commented that he could see in the dark.
    • ...So why does he have a flashlight?!
    • So you can see.
    • Are we sure it's a FLASHlight and know, the OTHER kind?
    • Gameplay and Story Segregation I just re-read one of the novels. The Chief does have thermal imagery and probably quite a few other toys in his HUD we just can't use them in game. As for why he has a light as well several guns come with it as standard and it seems sensible to always carry a torch. Maybe it's so he can light up things for marines?

     Why did Keyes keep his pistol unloaded? 

  • Really. I mean, there was a war on!
    • The possibility of a bridge being stormed before he can walk over to a bridge armory and getting a magazine is significantly lower than the possibility of an accidental discharge into a valuable hunk of bridge equipment.
    • The real question is why does he tell it's not loaded when it really is. You walk away without having passed any visible amories, and Master Cheif pulls out the pistol with half a magazine already loaded in it, and a few magazines ready for backup. WTF Keyes, you liar?!
    • The Chief probably picked up ammo on the way to the bridge or had some on him after the battle at Reach.

     Where did Spartan Lasers come From? 
  • All the weapons UNSC ever use are bullet-based. Suddenly, with absolutely no explanation, Master Chief pulls out a laser gun halfway through the third game. Huh? Who invented this? Also, since Spartan Lasers are so dangerous, why doesn't the UNSC equip ships with laser weapons? In fact, how did they develop man-portable lasers before huge, cumbersome ship-based ones? In the early days of gunpowder, guns were heavy and usually used on ships, then became smaller and easily carried. In the Halo-verse, the opposite is apparently true (this applies to UNSC ship shields too, but that's already been discussed).
    • Lasers vs. Kinetic weapons has also already been discussed in depth further up the page. Pretty sure that argument will answer some questions. Or just make you angry. It's the 2500s, with FTL travel, crazy aliens and handheld plasma weapons. We have lasers that can shoot down missiles right now, so a man-portable anti-tank laser isn't particularly far-fetched. As for early gunpowder weapons, you are incorrect in stating that the earliest gunpowder weapons were large and ship-based. The earliest known firearms were man-portable cannons. As for why up-sized lasers aren't mounted on UNSC space vessels, the energy requirements might have been too great for an effectively destructive beam (scaling issues, you can't just make it twice the size for twice the firepower), the diffusion of said laser over space combat distances might have been too great (which is really true), or Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better. Also, the Spartan Laser might just be ridiculously expensive to manufacture in any sort of large quantity.
    • I would first like to apologize for my mistake about the history of firearms. You are correct that the first guns were man-portable. Also, I have no problem with the UNSC using a laser weapon because, as you pointed out, we have those now. The points you raised about the potential ineffectiveness of lasers in space are also valid. The bothersome thing about the Spartan Laser to me is not so much its existence as it is the lack of explanation for its appearance. The UNSC embodied kinetic weapons are just better for the first two games, so I would think that the sudden appearence of a laser weapon would be explained in-game, but it is never even mentioned by any of the characters in dialogue. Why are none of the characters more impressed by the first field deployment of the UNSC's first laser weapon system? If I was a marine, I think that I would be astounded by the sudden appearence of frickin laser beams in the hands of my allies.
    • Because the Spartan Laser has been in use since 2531. It's used by members of Red Team in Halo Wars — that's probably how it got the nickname.note 
    • True, but even in Halo Wars it's not explained who invented the lasers (although I assume that Anders might have). Also, that causes a slight continuity error: Why are there Spartan Lasers in Halo Wars but not in Halo 1 or 2? A meta explanation is that the dev team hadn't thought of them yet, but there is no in-universe explanation.
    • Fair point. There's surprisingly little information on the laser, as compared to other UNSC weaponry. It is mentioned in EU material that they cost as much to manufacture as four Warthogs and require a large recharging station to have any use past their battery life of all of five shots. Which might help to explain why you don't run into them until most of the way through Halo 3. They're just not particularly common or practical to field except for very specialized tasks. In-universe, they're manufactured by Misriah armory (who also makes many of the other, more conventional UNSC weapons). Sort of reinforces that Kinetic weapons are just better, assuming the lasers were manufactured some time ago, and phased out for more practical or maintainable weaponry.
    • Notes on the Gungnir helmet (the one that has a camera instead of a visor) in Reach explain that the Laser was developed as part of Project GUNGNIR, making the G/GNR in its official designation something of a backronym. Everything developed by the project was originally intended for use by the Spartans, hence the laser's name, but most of it wound up being co-opted into the rest of the human forces. You can actually see the Gungnir shoulders and knee pads on certain UNSC troops in the game.

     Is it stated anywhere what Elites do when they come upon human civilians? 
  • We know Grunts, Brutes and Jackals eat humans. But Elites? Do they just butcher the lot?
    • I'd make the assumption that Elites, being generally Proud Warrior Race Guys wouldn't eat humans. It's even stated that some Elites respect Humans as enemies more than they respect some of their allies (particularly the cowardly Grunts).
    • Of course, it's stated that Covenant have never been known to take prisoners; Probably either ignore or kill them.

     Do the humans know the Arbiter was the one that led the Covenant that bombed Reach? 
  • It seems that the Chief wouldn't be so cozy with him if he knows that the guy that has his six is the one that murdered most of his team...
    • I don't think the Arbiter was the one who personally went down there and killed Noble Team. Beyond that, what is he gonna do exactly? Kill an extremely valuable ally because he was in charge of the invasion that killed a bunch of people he doesn't know, even though he admitted what he did was wrong and in joining you he's trying to set things right? The UNSC isn't exactly in the position to casually murder those who try to help them. It's just like when Western Allies caught wind of the Katyn Massacre the Soviets committed; sure it was an atrocity, but the fact of the matter is that it was in the past and there was pretty much no point in calling the Soviet Union out on it and risk losing a very powerful ally.
    • Besides, while cheif may not know Arbiter was at Reach, they do know that he was a high ranking Elite, who, prior to being betrayed, was helping to lead a genocidal holy war against the human race. All the Elites had their hand in genocide of some degree, whether or not it was Reach. It's not like Master Cheif is under any false impression that the Arbiter is innocent.

    How come you never fight humans in the Halo games? 

  • Its odd as multiplayer consists of almost solely fighting spartans and the occasional elite. It can't be about ratings, as the series is already rated T.
    • Because the games are about humans fighting aliens. Multiplayer is about as relevant to the singleplayer game as butterflies in Kansas are to the weather on Mars.
    • True, but there's a lot of talk throughout the overall Halo franchise about human separatist groups in the outer colonies or some such thing. IIRC, putting down colonial rebellions was why the SPARTAN program was started up in the first place. You'd think that at least one of the games in the Halo franchise would feature human separatists as minor antagonists in at least one level.
    • Mostly because they don't really exist by the time of the main games. The Separatists were mostly only active in the Outer Colonies, which were wiped out by the Covenant. By the time of the main games in the main series, they aren't around anymore. That being said, in Halo Wars, Separatists appear as minor enemies on some of the skirmish maps, protecting certain strategic points.
    • It's worth noting that in the first mission of Halo: Reach, wherein you investigate a Relay Outpost that's gone silent, the assumption is that it's Insurrectionists that have caused it. Also worth noting that when you play as the Arbiter in Halo 2, you never fight humans once. Maybe Bungie just has an aversion to killing humans in their games.
    • Either that or humans just aren't very good enemies. Marines are unshielded, and don't really have any edge over elites. It'd be like fighting taller grunts.
      • They could make various archetypes for human enemies, like basic soldiers, bombers, jetpack troopers, agile assassins, or heavily-armored juggernauts. Give them helmets and code them to protect their heads.
    • Actually, if you turn the Marines in the first game into hostiles, they can kill you damned fast. There was also a mod for Halo 2 that replaced the Covenant troops with Marines in each level...and the difficulty spikes dramatically.
      • He's talking about a faction of humans that you have a clear, story-based reason to fight, not betraying your allies and having them turn on you. It's annoying when people say shit like this.
    • Yes, but that's because the developers ramped up their accuracy to 100%. During normally gameplay, they have 50% accuracy, but to punish betrayals they get an accuracy boost.
    • Maybe now, but they didn't used to. The Myth series has a number of missions involving Mind Controlled units of The Light (and elsewhere in the story even a civil war amongst the good guys under MUCH worse circumstances than humanity is faced with in Halo,) while Marathon Infinity has an extended Necessarily Evil sequence involving parallel timelines that can make you feel like one sick, sick puppy.
    • One minor nitpick: there is one point in one of the Arbiter missions in Halo 2 where you can fight humans. Admittedly, they are on the other side of a chasm and are already under attack by the Flood, but if you move fast you can kill a couple of them before the Flood do. Not that there's much point in it.
      • Don't forget the corrupt cop in ODST.
    • In Halo Wars 2: Awakening The Nightmare DLC, there is an instance in the first mission where you fight the UNSC.

     Why can't you use first-person view/scopes while in a passenger seat? 

  • I can see the point of having a third person view while you're driving or on a turret, but it makes the passenger seats on the Warthog and Revenant practically worthless for anything but the heavy weapons, since you can't aim at anything past 20 feet. The zoom button doesn't do anything on vehicles, anyway, so you could use it to alternate between first- and third-person views. Allowing first-person view and scopes would make the shotgun seat a lot more useful.
    • Considering how most Halo players drive, first-person perspective would be completely useless. It would be like trying to shoot a man while sitting on a paint mixer. Third-person perspective isn't perfect, but at least your viewpoint isn't jostling all over the place.
    • This. In fact, Halo: Combat Evolved has first-person view/scopes while in passenger seats, and it was exactly as you described.
    • To elaborate: It was disorienting, bouncy, fast, impossible to aim, reduced situational awareness to zero, and made the guy in the side seat an easy kill for the enemy.
    • Sure was fun though.
    • True, but it did make it a lot easier to snipe quickly while parked.
    • If you're gonna park and snipe, you might as well just hop out.
    • I think the side seat is mostly designed for transport anyway, like in objective games, or if you need to bring somebody besides the turret guy for whatever reason.

     Why don't the rings have better safety/containment features? 
  • In Halo CE, the Flood are broken out, and after a few hours, Spark wants to (effectively) fire the entire array. Shouldn't the rings have a wider range of weapons and settings? e.g. When the Flood broke out of the containment facility, he should have been able to order a localized pulse on part of the ring to sweep just that continent; heck, the facility itself ought to be equipped with active containment systems, so that if a holding cell is breached, the corridors fill with superheated plasma or something to burn out the infection before it can leave the building. It doesn't make any kind of sense for the design to go straight from "door's unlocked" to "sterilize the whole galaxy!". (I'm ignoring the Sentinels because they're really combat rather than containment units; they can't really take on large numbers effectively, and they don't have any way of sterilizing the infection.) The reason it grates is mainly because by the end of Halo CE, the Flood still aren't an active threat to the galaxy: they have two broken ships that, given time, they would have been able to repair, but neither was off the ground yet - so there didn't seem to be any need for a response with effect beyond the actual surface of the ring. (And it doesn't need to be chalked up to storytelling necessities; the Covenant were actively meddling with the facility and the weapon systems, so the story could easily have gone the same way.) I know that half the point was that Spark was insane/evil and lying to the Chief for his own reasons, but it bothers me that this was never mentioned at any point.
    • The Sentinels are containment systems. They're specially designed to deal with Flood infection forms, and when you compare the Sentinels to what the Forerunners' actual weapons systems were capable of, it becomes quite clear that the Sentinels are little more than tasers by comparison. The Forerunners seemed to be operating under the assumption that anyone who came to the rings would be aware of the dangers of the Flood and treat them with respect; they didn't anticipate morons like the Covenant who'd just go bashing down every door. They also seemed to have anticipated that someone would be on hand with actual military forces comparable to their own to deal with the infection. Judging by how the Forerunners' technology works in Cryptum, a single soldier with a Class 12 combat suit could have obliterated both infections by himself with about as much ease as stomping a roach, let alone someone with a "serious" weapons system. Admittedly, these are both mistaken assumptions, but the Forerunners' designs make a lot more sense when you consider that the Array was supposed to be occupied by Forerunners or humans with comparable technology to the ones who built the rings. They weren't supposed to just be sitting out in space waiting for a bunch of idiots to show up and let the Flood out.
    • One of the extras at the back of Halo The Flood reprint is an extract from 343 Guilty Spark's log. Amongst other things he states he's not maintained the defense and security systems properly and bits of it have been damaged or disabled by the Covies.
    • The ring contains what looks like pretty strong external security systems according to one of the new cutscenes from Anniversary, as it was getting ready to shoot down the Pillar of Autumn until it realized it was a Human ship. There probably are stronger counter-measures for internal outbreaks thus, but Guilty Spark's rampancy caused him to take the "use a mallet to open a walnut" method by firing the ring.
    • According to Primordium, the flood really weren't supposed to be on the rings in the first place. The rings were supposed to contain species that the Librarian wanted to preserve, and the flood wound up on them against her or the Master Builder's plans. Also, the rings were less "battle station" and more "artillery". They were very easy to destroy by Forerunner standards because the Forerunners were more worried about losing control of one than they were with the ring being able to resist a direct attack, and they were never intended to be on the front lines. They were also practically disposable, given how easily the Forerunners could make more. From the Forerunner perspective, the rings didn't need any defenses because they were designed to be brought somewhere, activated, then put back in storage. Not to operate on their own or to contain the flood.

     How is the needle rifle from Reach so accurate? 
  • If you look at the projectiles, it basically fires six-inch twisted shards of pink crystal. Not the most aerodynamic of projectiles, and yet it has the accuracy of a designated marksman rifle.
    • Perhaps it uses the same guidance system needlers use on their needles to keep it on a steady course towards whatever you're aiming at.

     How could the Forerunner have built the Onyx Dyson Sphere? 
  • The Onyx Dyson Sphere is as large as Earth's Orbit in the solar system, millions of times the structural mass you would need for a Halo. But we learn in Cryptum that the Forerunners' slipspace network was strained to the breaking point just by transporting the 12 Halos to the their Capital. (Maybe it was all the energy needed to fire the superweapons that took up all of that capacity rather than a mass problem?)
    • No its not. The Onyx "Dyson Sphere" is the size of a planet, and they use slipspace wonkery to make it larger inside than it is outside.
    • I was referring to the problem of how they could possibly transport that much material to one location to build the sphere in the first place.
    • Considering the scale of the Ark, its not really that much of a problem.
    • But the Ark is less than the size of Earth. The Dyson Sphere is the size of EARTH'S ORBIT around the sun. If the slipspace network was pushed to its limit transporting the Halos, it would have taken millions of years to transport enough material to a star system to build that. The slipspace folding doesn't answer the question because you still would have to transport the mass to build the superstructure.
    • No, the Ark is way bigger than the size of the Earth. Halos are about as wide around as Earth's entire circumference, and the core of the Ark had a Halo being constructed there. Scale is sometimes difficult to comprehend, but the Ark is friggin' huge, and not the largest construct that the Forerunners built.
    • You're thinking of this as a human living in a planetary civilization. We haven't even harnessed the resources of our local star yet. The Forerunners were a multi-stellar civilization (I won't say galactic even though the Forerunner empire was far larger than the humans or the Covenant ever were). Building something like Onyx for the Forerunner was probably akin to a mega-project like us building a big bridge on Earth. It's expensive and takes time but it's doable. Remember that Onyx isn't the only Forerunner shield world: there are many if Halo 4 is any indication.

     Were the Precursors all Graveminds or were they just assimilated by the Flood?  

  • The ending of Primordium is very vague as to whether or not the Precursors were actually Flood all along or if they just created it as part of their plan for life in the galaxy and got assimilated by it.
    • According to Silentium, when the Precursors were losing the war against the Forerunners, they turned into some sort of dust form (basically, small cellular clusters that could survive harsh environments) with the intent of changing back when they had the opportunity. However, the time period involved was a lot longer than expected and much of the hibernating Precursor biomass became corrupted, eventually becoming the Flood. Those that didn't become corrupted during the stasis period saw an opportunity to exact revenge, and used their mutated kin to attack the galaxy.

    Spartan II reproduction 

  • Could a Spartan II Reproduce?
    • After all with all of those biological enhancements as well as their constant battle injuries I would imagine any child would, at best, miscarry. Assuming of course they aren't intentionally sterilized which seems like the sort of thing they would do.
    • Yes, they can have children. One of the injured "retired" Spartans, Maria, has a family.
    • Correction: She plans to have a family. But she has no children yet. Maria's never shown up in the canon since, so we have no idea how her efforts went.
    • There's actually nothing to suggest that they couldn't have children, though it is explicitly stated that the thyroidal implant used to enhance muscular growth during puberty greatly reduces sex drive. Not eliminate it, though.

     How Long Can you Safely Remain in MJOLNIR Armour? 

  • Does the suit contain facilities for relieving oneself as well as the ability to replenish water and nutrients?
    • yes. Most Spartans almost never took off their suits except for their helmets, and that was to eat or drink.
    • Never mind that, what happens if a Spartan gets an itch below the neck? D:
    • They're trained to ignore freezer burn to their bodies after being in cryosleep in full armor. An itch is nothing.

    Salary and payment 

  • Do Spartans get paid for what they do? Or have any personal property at all?
    • No. Payment and personal property are things that they don't care about. The Spartan-IIs were conditioned for war from childhood. Life outside the military is alien to them. Spartan-IIIs may have a better grasp of civilian life because they were recruited at a much older age, but I don't think they get paid either, though they definitely have personal property, to some degree (Emile in particular).
      • What about Spartan-IVs
    • I'm heard Jorge say "That's why they pay us the big bucks" in the Reach campaign. So maybe Noble Team gets paid. Or maybe he was just joking.
    • "That's why they pay us the big bucks" is most commonly used as a joking expression that really means "We don't get paid enough for this." By itself, it means nothing.
    • Actually, the IIIs are not much older on average; Ghosts of Onyx mentions that most of them were about 4-6 years old when they were "recruited" (making them even younger than the IIs), though most of NOBLE Team were somewhat older (with Carter topping the list at the ripe old age of 11).

    Last level Pelican 

  • okay, the last level of halo 3. I get that the pelican must've taken some damage, but why did it crash at the beginning? Is the chief just a really bad pilot? Was it another call back to the beginning of the last level of the first game? It just seems kind of ridiculous not to land on top of the control structure (or near it, if the pelican wouldn't fit.).
    • It crashed was damaged, like you said. Aircraft that are damaged do not perform reliably.

  • The entire hate on Halsey train, but the thing that especially confuses me is what broke the camels back for ONI. The cloning. Kidnapping children? Fine. Putting them through hellish training and indoctination? Still roses. Replacing them with flash clones that would only last months, maybe years if they are lucky? Suddenly Halsey has gone too far! Its like they've condoned horrible acts, only to turn around and be shocked at another, in some ways less horrible, act. This is especially true of the Spartan II's, who were completely fine with the first two, but are supposed to be horrified by the third. This is particularly laughable when other parts of the expanded universe suggest that other Spartans, when confronted with the knowledge they were cloned, simply carry on being Spartans, particularly when they are in adulthood.
    • Hey, that's why they invented Fanon Discontinuity.
    • Exactly my thoughts. And the book also claims that Halsey kept the existence of the flash-clones secret from ONI, when there'd be no reason to, or even ability to, since that would take so much of ONI's resources.

    Sesa 'Refumee, worst rebellion leader ever? 
  • Sesa 'Refumee is the leader of the Heretics in Halo 2, trying to inform the Covenant that the Great Journey is false and that the Halos are actually enormous weapons. He proves this by the testimony of the "Oracle", really 343 Guilty Spark. But when he shows the Oracle to the Arbiter, who like the rest of the Covenant accepts the Forerunner's words as law, why did he then suddenly start trying to kill the Arbiter rather than letting him listen and thus convert him to his side? The Arbiter isn't an idiot like Tartarus, who heard Guilty Spark yet chose to fire the ring anyway. Why did Refumee just not bother with letting him hear Guilty Spark's answers? Also, when the Arbiter catches up to Refumee trying to escape in a Seraph, why did Refumee stay and fight? Why didn't he just get in the Seraph, where it would be near-impossible for the Arbiter to stop him?
    • At that point, the Arbiter was dead set on getting his honor back and was very much on the side of the Covenant. It's likely the Arbiter wouldn't have listened to him at that point. It wasn't until the Prophets gave the order to kill all Elites that the Arbiter realized the Covenant wasn't all it was cracked up to be. There's also the issue that the Arbiter had just killed all the heretics in the area, many of whom 'Refumee may have actually known personally; revenge is an additional motive to kill the Arbiter.

     Crashed Ship from Anniversary Terminal 5 
  • That ship just brought up so many questions that are unlikely to ever be answered. What was that even for? It literally filled NO purpose, other that to give Spark something to do and to fill a terminal. Who or what even piloted that ship?
    • I assume that was the point, to be a mystery. As Tolkien once said, "Even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are." It was also to show how attached to protocol Spark was becoming. He kept himself from exploring the ship or trying to contact its inhabitants, even when he really wanted to. His rules were beginning to dehumanize him.

  • From Halopedia: "The Sangheili often refer to humans using the word "nishum," which translates roughly to "worm" or "intestinal parasite." The origin of this term lies with the first encounters between Sangheili soldiers and human military personnel. Upon first sighting human infantry, the Sangheili mistook their body armor for an exoskeletal shell. After examining dead human soldiers, the Sangheili discovered the relatively weak, fleshy creatures underneath the "shells" and came to the conclusion that they were some sort of internal parasite." But the Elites also wear body armor, and are fleshy underneath. Same with other Covenant races like the Grunts and Hunters. Why then would they not recognize body amor on humans?
    • I guess Elite skin is tougher than human skin, so we're soft and squishy compared to them. In Halo 4, we see some "sleeveless" Elites, with only armor covering most of their bodies, even in a vacuum. Besides, Elites are a bunch of hypocrites. They also rag on humans for being sneaky and underhanded, but have no problem with using invisibility to sneak up on you and skewer you with an energy sword.
    • Depends on the game. In Halo 2 and Halo: Reach, the Elites DO wear specialized space suits for in a vacuum. Additionally, we see the Arbiter naked in Halo 2 and he looks pretty squishy.

     Why are there female Spartan-2's? 
  • It is honestly not my intention to be sexist (I am female so it is impossible in this context) but if your intention is to make an army of invincible super soldiers why use women? I think most of us can agree that, on average, men are naturally physically stronger and more athletic than women and are generally far more aggressive and violent - this is why 90% of all soldiers throughout history are male and why most of the prison population doing time for violent crime are male. So surely giving the enhancements to someone that is most likely to have the characteristics you are looking for in a soldier from day 1 makes more sense? yes there are women with these traits but we are talking about a significant financial investment here... why take the risk when generally women don't want to be soldiers?
    • There's more to being a Spartan than strength. Other skills come into play. Kelly-087 is the fastest Spartan. Linda-058 is the best sniper. Kat-B320 is an excellent hacker and strategist. Too much aggression can be clouding for a Spartan: what they want is for them to be disciplined. Now, the strongest Spartans overall (Sam, Will, Jorge) are male, but strength alone won't save you from bullets; there's other skills that are more important. The augmentations tended to even everyone out anyway. Weaker or not, Kelly and Linda could still expected to crush a soldier's head with their bare hands.
    • Generally. That's the word. There are exceptions.
    • The Spartan program isn't anything close to normal military training. These people were taken and altered physically and mentally from early childhood to become soldiers far beyond human limitations. Their entire bodies have been essentially rebuilt into weapons. Considering the sheer amount of augmentations in a Spartan, it's hard to say if gender has any real impact on their performance.
    • The selection process for Spartans cared little for physical strength. The selection process involved intelligence, perception, willpower, and ability to adapt and learn. By the end of the augmentation process, any difference in strength between male and female would have been completely irrelevant. the difference between being able to lift, say, twenty pounds becomes unimportant when your strength has been enhanced to the point that you can pick up a Mongoose and swing it like a baseball bat.
    • Though the gender-based Bell curve of strength would tilt in favor of males over females, that wouldn't mean that they would select males exclusively. They're looking for extreme outliers, the pinnacle of human ability. There will be exceptional female children who pass the requirements for the selection procedure. IIRC, they had actually lined up about one hundred and fifty possible candidates for the project but only had the budget to handle half that many, so Halsey could be picky as to which candidates she chose, which would even out the gender ratios. Not to mention the selection process, as note above, does not pick for strength exclusively. When dealing with peak human ability, you look for more than just raw strength. You look for intelligence, reflexes, adaptability, perception, etc. The selected Spartans candidates were children who were genetically gifted to an extreme degree.
    • Being a woman does NOT mean you can't be sexist. Sorry to burst your bubble.

     How does Active Camouflage work on the flood? 
  • It's not like they can see anything, they use those little feelers on their "heads" like an insect. And mind you, this is the same camouflage that can be trumped by a simple motion tracker.
    • It's possible that it also masks the user's heat signature. The technology behind it bends light to obscure the user, which could include infrared frequencies given off by heat.
    • Except it doesn't. In Halo 4, the Promethean vision works the same way as an infrared sensor and can pick up on cloaked enemies as well. Maybe the flood can "see."

     How do the Flood survive once they've assimilated everything around them? 
  • The Halo array supposedly "starves" the Flood by killing all life forms that can be used as a Flood food source, which implies that Flood die if they run out of hosts. If that's the case, then how can Flood possibly reach an "intergalactic stage" after they've assimilated a galaxy (since they run out of food at that point), or even maintain a biomass after say, they've assimilated a planet. And how does Gravemind's plan to "assimilate all life" work if the end result is that the Flood will also die when they succeed?
    • Given that the Flood are the Precursors and given their capabilities in Silentium, it's possible that the Flood would just recreate entire species in order to continue feeding. And that's if they actually need to feed at all, it's never confirmed that the Flood truly starve in the traditional sense (the Gravemind on Delta Halo was alive for over 97,000 years after all, presumably with a lack of readily available hosts to consume). The Halos were shown to kill the Flood as well as all other life, and "starving them to death" may involve destroying the any neurologically complex hosts and life so that the Flood couldn't become an even bigger threat. We never get any actual confirmation that the Flood would actually starve, it could have just been the Forerunners and Cortana being poetic.

     About the Spartan-Is/ORION participants... 
  • Why exactly did the military seem so secretive about the ORION project even by the time the first Halo takes place? They are perfectly willing to make up a fake disease in order to explain the abnormalities that some of the inactive members exhibit in their new combat roles after the project was shut down. But why? By the time of the first Halo game there have been two more programs in the SPARTAN series, and the first to go by SPARTAN from the start is the SPARTAN-II so wouldn't people question why there wasn't a SPARTAN-I project if they didn't know about ORION? And for ethics... Ok so the ORION project was meant to combat insurrectionists whom were still human and so people could call the military out on using something like this against fellow humans. But would the fear of the Covenant really make people that much more accepting of the abduction of children (ORION members were already in the military before their enhancements) and their forced augmentations? Even if ONI set up a smoke screen and said that yes, the SPARTAN-IIs are enhanced which is obvious, but "forget" to mention the abduction thing, wouldn't that mean people would be just as accepting of the ORION project since they would both have the same origins under that lie?
    • Frankly, it's largely just ONI being their typical insanely secretive selves; remember, they kept the Spartan-II program secret even from a good chunk of the UNSC's own soldiers for the first 22 years of the Human-Covenant War (despite the fact that Spartans were already working openly with non-augmented regulars as early as the Harvest campaign). Additionally, they could always handwave the "II" demarcation as being a reference to the Greek Spartans (in fact, much of the real life fandom still make the same mistake themselves). On a slightly more practical note, the secretiveness was probably there so that potential outside enemies would have far more trouble tracking down ex-ORION personnel (and/or their medical records and research notes) and studying them to get some idea of how government augmentation tech actually worked (since even the flawed augmentations of the ORIONs were at least more stable than say, the Rumbledrugs favored by Insurrectionists).
    • I got the impression that the ORION project wasn't that successful, so ONI didn't think there was a point ever telling anyone about it. The Spartan-I Is were just so balls-out awesome that whatever secrecy ONI wanted to maintain, became secondary to showing humanity that the Covenant could be fought and sometimes beaten.

     Arbiter and Co beating Chief to earth 
  • At the end of Halo 2, the Dreadnought arrives at earth with Chief in tow. Concurrent with this, Johnson, Keyes the Arbiter and their respective redshirt armies are still on Delta Halo, with an alliance implied but not formed. Go to Halo 3, and the Chief crashes to earth to find...Johnson and Keyes are already there? And the Elite-Human alliance has apparently been formalized to the point/long enough the Arbiter can hang around UNSC personnel and no one raises an eyebrow? How did they beat him there? And set up the alliance?
    • I believe this is explained in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx. Johnson, Keyes, and Arby catch another UNSC ship that arrived at Delta Halo, and it rides the Dreadnought's slipspace wake back to Earth (just like In Amber Clad did with Regret's carrier). The Dreadnought arrives but spends a week in orbit while the UNSC and Covenant fleets battle, waiting for an opening. Keyes and co. ship is cleared and allowed to descend to the surface.
    • You have the timeframe a little mixed up here, the scene with the Dreadnought arriving at Earth takes place 5 days after the events on Installation 05. It's never mentioned that the UNSC Dusk (the other ship at Delta Halo) took on any passengers afterwords, only that it rode an incredibly powerful slipspace wake (likely the Dreadnought's) that allowed the Dusk to return to Earth within a few hours. However, I always assumed that Rtas Vadum gave the cruiser that he took from the Brutes during the Great Journey level to the Arbiter and Keyes, who would likely have followed the same wake as the Dusk and got there before or after the Dreadnought, (the post above me is correct, Truth's ship stayed in orbit for about a week, before descending) so there was plenty of time for them to get back to Earth and to formulate an alliance. In answer to what happened to the ship that the Arbiter, Keyes and Johnson used, it was probably destroyed, either by accidental friendly fire from the human fleet, or by the Brute ships in orbit. And as to why the Dreadnought took so long to get to Earth when a human ship was able to ride its wake and get their faster: chalk that up to the Creative Sterility of the Covenant.

     Why did Truth betray the Sangheili? 
  • He seemingly just decides to massacre his own troops for shits and giggles. This is just a monumental failure of storytelling. This was why Humanity won; Truth just fucking decided he wanted to lose. It's the single most important event in entire story and it makes absolutely no sense on any level. Why in the blue fuck did the writers not just have the Arbiter be the active agent and lead the Elites to rebellion after learning the truth about the Halo array (and, oh look,? None of his actions have any degree of coherency to them.

     How did the Forerunners manage to wipe out the Precursors? 
  • When the Precursors decided to give the Mantle to humanity, the Forerunners rose up and wiped them out to the brink of extinction. But... how, exactly? The Forerunners weren't even at the pinnacle of their society at the time or were anywhere as advanced as they were at the time of the Flood wars. So, how could they have been able to eradicate a race of hyper-intelligent, shapeshifting, reality-hopping beings who were essentially gods?
    • Well for starters, they didn't wipe out the Precursors. But there are several things to consider: while the Ancient Forerunners may not necessarily have been as advanced as their future versions, they clearly had some tech that they don't have in the modern day, with reconciliation mirrors being one example. As for how they even got so far, if the Primordial's words are any indication, the Precursors were simply amazed at the Forerunner capacity for violence and let it happen as a result. As we see with the Gravemind's resurrection in modern day Halo, it's not like death is much more than an inconvenience to the Precursors anyway.

     Why do all the melee weapons have a limited amount of ammo? 
  • I can get the energy sword working this way, but why do even things like giant hammers work this way? Furthermore, why do they have such a low capacity (you can only hit things about 8-10 times before it runs out)? This only makes sense if the Covenant melee weapons are really poorly made, as a real life hatchet or baseball bat can be used to hit things a lot more than 8-10 times before breaking.
    • A good chunk of that is gameplay mechanics. In-universe and even when being used by enemies, the gravity hammer and energy sword have a lot more power to be used against you. But their status as power weapons in-game means that the amount of ammo is significantly lower for the player than it actually is.

     Where did the Gravemind on Delta Halo come from? 
  • The Flood thrives and reproduces by assimilating organic races of sufficient biomass and cognitive capability. However, the Halos, as far as we can tell, only comprise non-sapient animals. Plus, based on the timeline, the Flood outbreak on Installation 05 occurred after the Halos were fired. So how did the Flood infestation on the ring escalate to the point where a Gravemind was formed if there were no sentient life forms to consume? And on top of that, what was keeping the Flood on the ring alive for so long? I mean, the Flood starved to death after the rings were fired, and the time between the start of the outbreak on Delta Halo and when the Covenant rediscover it in Halo 2 was well over 90,000 years.
    • Firstly, the Flood don't literally starve. We've seen the Halos wiping them out alongside all other life in several different sources. Cortana and the Forerunners using the phrase "starve them to death" are merely being metaphorical and poetic about what the actual plan is. As to how the Gravemind was actually formed on Delta Halo, it could be any number of ways. As we see from Halo Wars 1 and 2 with the Proto-Graveminds, non or minimally sapient animals could function enough to supply the Flood with enough intelligence to hit that critical mass needed to form a Gravemind. After all, we don't actually know how many people are actually necessary for the Gravemind to form, it could be a lot less than we might think. Overall, like the crashed ship on Installation 04 and the lack of information on it, perhaps it's simply meant to be a mystery.

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