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  • Actor Allusion:
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  • Adored by the Network: It's becoming clear that Microsoft loves their franchise based on references cropping up in their other products. Besides the smartphone assistant named after Cortana, the replacement for Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, was codenamed Spartan while the Windows 10 codename was Threshold, the name of the fictional gas giant that Alpha Halo orbits.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: There really is a "Master Chief" rank in the US military - Master Chief Petty Officer is a naval rank, and yes, the correct way to address one is "Master Chief". Quite understandably, when a suspect of such a rank once showed up on NCIS, surprise and confusion ensued for some.
  • Ascended Fanon: The first edition of the Halo Encyclopedia pretty clearly copied a lot of its information from the Halo wiki, including several of the latter's errors. While 343 Industries have said that the Encylopedia's errors should not be considered canonical, one bit of fanon that snuck has managed to become official canon; the United Rebel Front, which originated from a misinterpretation of a single line in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, was eventually established as an official faction in later Halo media.
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  • Cash Cow Franchise: Five main games, various books and comics, the requisite action figures, an anime series, six Gaiden Games (including two on mobile), several Alternate Reality Games, and two live-action serials, not to mention various promotional tie-ins.
  • Cast the Expert: Pete Stacker, who voiced Captain Jacob Keyes and Sergeant Stacker, was a Vietnam veteran. An outtake on the Bungie website has him talking about hearing incoming artillery fire for the first time.
  • Creator Backlash: Bungie began to regret what it created; note that this only applies to the franchise specifically. They're proud of their own games, but were neutral-to-hostile when it came to the spin-off games, novels, etc. that cropped up around them, despite originally giving their blessing. According to Eric Nylund, author of several of the EU Halo novels, Bungie tried to kill the whole EU project in the cradle halfway through the first novel, thinking that the EU filled in too many details that would be best left to the players to decide for themselves, most notably Master Chief's personality, which they wanted to be a blank slate a la previous FPS protagonists. According to Ensemble Studios founder Tony Goodman, Bungie flat-out said that letting spin-offs be made (like the Halo Wars project he worked on) constituted "whoring out the franchise." This may be the reason that Halo: Reach crapped all over the meticulously-laid timeline of the extended universe.
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  • Creator Killer: Even by tabletop game standards, Fleet Battles and Ground Command sold absolutely horribly and were the direct reason the once-promising Spartan Games ended up closing their doors in 2017.
  • The Danza: Recurring marine sergeant Marcus P. Stacker is voiced by Pete Stackernote .
  • Defictionalization: The Windows Phone and Windows 10 digital assistant is named Cortana. Jen Taylor even voices her, and the avatar is a halo. Word of God states that the two are completely different entities, though she does give some Continuity Nods if you ask the right questions.
    Question: Which is better, you or Siri?
    Answer: Not to brag, but apparently I'm going to save the universe in about 500 years.
  • Fake American: SgtMaj. Avery Johnson was voiced by the British David Scully.
  • Franchise Zombie: Originally, the franchise was supposed to end in 2. Then it was supposed to end in 3. Now it has seven games in the FPS genre alone, with more scheduled to come, though the original studio that created the franchise doesn't even own it anymore.
  • God Never Said That:
    • Before Halo Wars, Halo fanon had claimed that the armor worn by Arbiters was the same exact suit that it had been through history, the successor receiving it after his predecessor had died (which is implied, but not said, in Halo 2, with the Prophets saying that the bodies were all in the mausoleum, and the armor's systems being outdated). However, the Arbiter of Halo Wars Ripa 'Moramee was killed and pushed down a chasm before his body was destroyed in a Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Henceforth, that meant the armor had been destroyed with it. Fans were annoyed, but it was later pointed out that since the Arbiter is intended to be sent on suicide missions, there would have been many cases where the armor was destroyed and/or impossible to recover. Such as falling to the core of a gas giant, like Thel 'Vadamee was about to.
    • One of the major complaints from the fandom when 343i took hold is that they made the Jossed the idea that the Forerunners were human, and instead established the ancient humans as another species entirely. Many fans seemed to think the Bungie-Era games unambiguously painted the Forerunners as ancient humans, and that 343i was retconning a major aspect of the franchise. In reality, there was always enough evidence (both in the Bungie games and in the EU) for both interpretations of the Forerunners, so what 343i did was more like Cutting Off the Branches on a Multiple-Choice Past than anything else.
  • Hire the Critic: Luke Smith of 1UP got hired to Bungie after he wrote the article "Broken Halo", where he criticized Halo 2's multiplayer for being highly unbalanced. Following that, he put some real work into designing the multiplayer for Halo 3 and Halo: Reach.
  • Jossed: Halo 3's entire storyline, specifically The Forerunners' relationship with the Flood, the Forerunner's relationship with humanity, and the possible (lack of, as it turned out) ulterior motives the Prophet of Truth had for activating Halo.
  • Long-Runners: 17 years and counting. Since 2001 the franchise has seen five main games (Combat Evolved, 2, 3, 4, and 5), six gaiden games (Reach, Wars, Wars 2, Spartan Strike, Spartan Assault, and ODST), a canon series of DLC missions for 4 (Spartan Ops), and dozens of other pieces of media including novels, comic miniseries, animated movies, live action web movies, very detailed tabletop games, and even in-universe encyclopedias and books.
  • Mid-Development Genre Shift: The first game was originally conceived as a Real-Time Strategy game, but it made it to shelves as a First-Person Shooter, probably because its plot and factions coupled with its genre would have made it too similar to RTS heavyweight Starcraft. They eventually revisited the RTS idea, though.
  • Newbie Boom: Pre-Halo, Bungie had a small but very dedicated fan community, primarily drawn from previous Bungie titles like Marathon and Myth, with whom they kept a very close relationship, hosting fan events, or attending events organized by fans. They even would release a few teasers into the fan community before any formal announcements had been made (such as with "The Cortana Letters".) When Halo came onto the scene, the fan community experienced an explosion in population size, often completely bypassing the original "old school" community entirely and forming vast new communities which quickly overshadowed them in size and visability. The older Bungie community is still alive and active, but is now a small piece of a much larger whole.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Both Miranda Keyes and the Prophet of Truth got new voice actors in between Halo 2 and 3.
    • In Halo Legends, John-117 is voiced by David Wald instead of Steve Downes, while Cortana is voiced by Shelley Calene-Black instead of Jen Taylor. Additionally, neither of them apparently voiced the Halo 4 teaser trailer, though they both came back for the game proper (which was the first time they actually worked side-by-sidenote ).
    • Avery Johnson was voiced by an uncredited actor in Halo Wars 2, as David Scully was involved with a video-game voice-actor strike at the time.
  • Referenced by...: In Stellaris, one Megastructure you can build is a Ring World Planet. Doing so may net you a visit from a neighbor civilization concerned that it might be a Weapon of Mass Destruction.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Among the most famous, influential and profitable console first-person shooters ever... was originally going to be an RTS. For Mac.note 
    • There was originally going to be a film of the game directed by Neill Blomkamp, the director of District 9. Of course, District 9 was only made because Blomkamp couldn't do the Halo movie; if there had been a Halo movie, we might very be lamenting the opposite situation.
    • Bungie tried and failed in each of their numbered games to get the Engineers in, but programming and rigging led to them being cut each time until they finally debuted in ODST. Per Halo 2's commentary track, they would have been seen in the intro as Arbiter is branded, floating around like a popcorn dispensery.
    • There have been a number of cancelled games and rejected pitches throughout the franchise's history:
      • Halo DS was pitched by an unknown studio as a Halo game for the Nintendo DS, with a proof-of-concept demo featuring the multiplayer map "Zanzibar" from Halo 2 running on the handheld GoldenEye: Rogue Agent engine. If it ever was seriously pitched to Bungie, it never went any further than that.
      • Halo: Chronicles was a game developed by WingNut Interactive, a studio created by Peter Jackson, and intended to serve as a companion-piece of sorts to a Halo film he was also attached to. It would have focused on an ordinary Marine who had an alien arm grafted onto them, which slowly turned them into a Forerunner warrior. Gameplay was built around that transformation, as the player gradually unlocked new abilities that enhanced their mobility and combat skills. The game was ultimately cancelled when Peter Jackson's involvement in the troubled Halo film came to an end. Halo 3: ODST was created in its place and incorporated some of its gameplay ideas, while the Forerunner warriors, Prometheans, would make their debut in Halo 4. Meanwhile, the 'human is given an alien arm that slowly takes over their body' idea found its way into District 9, which was a direct successor to the cancelled Halo film project.
      • Titan was an Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game game set in the Forerunner-era developed by Ensemble Studios, who created Halo Wars after the project was cancelled.
      • Haggar was the Working Title for a game by n-Space based on the Mega Bloks line of Halo toys, which would've seemingly played like a cross between the LEGO Adaption Games and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. It was cancelled around 2013.
      • Creative Assembly made a rejected pitch for a Halo Wars 3 shortly after the release of Halo Wars 2. The pitch focused on the idea of space battles, with the ability to upgrade specific parts of your capital ship to affect its performance in battle.
      • Halo Online was a free-to-play multiplayer game based on Halo 3 exclusive to Russia and developed by Saber Interactive (who handled the graphics of both Anniversary games), which was cancelled after its closed beta. It is most infamous for a Fan Remake named ElDewrito that was created after its cancellation, which was shut down a few days after its first release by 343 Industries. In a happy ending, 343 cited the existence of the ElDewrito project as a major factor in their decision to port The Master Chief Collection to the PC, and even consulted with the ElDewrito developers when doing so.
  • The Wiki Rule: Two; Halopedia, an independent wiki, and Halo Nation, which is hosted by Wikia. The two were previously one wiki, but split apart after a dispute about the new Oasis skin for all Wikia websites. The two share many of the same administrators but have a tense relationship otherwise. There was also a third, Halo Wiki.net, which focused primarily on multiplayer, but is since mostly defunct.
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