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This page lists YMMV tropes for the franchise as a whole. For the first game's YMMV page, go here.


  • Accidental Innuendo: Halo: Legacy of Onyx has a scene in which Molly and Lucy discuss how much size matters...referring to a combatant's build in a fight, of course.
    Lucy: Are you saying that this is all about size?
  • Adorkable:
    • 031 Exuberant Witness does her best to help Fireteam Osiris in a very cheerful and friendly manner, and is in general quite endearing with her commentary. This quote sums it best:
    031 Exuberant Witness: (after hacking through one of Cortana's blocks) Ah ha! I did it! I did it. I did it!
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    • Jared Miller, especially in Spartan Ops episode 5, when arguing with Roland. He's easily flustered and his voice cracks when he gets excited, like a little kid. He also quickly shushes Roland when the AI hints that he may have a crush on Palmer. Awww.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Given the Grey-and-Grey Morality of the Halo universe, this trope is prevalent in both heroes and villains. Characters in the universe that are the most prone to debate are John-117, Dr. Catherine Halsey, Thel 'Vadam, Colonel James Ackerson, and invoked on Admiral Preston Cole.
    • That said, it took a little longer for the games themselves to begin presenting the "grey" aspects of the verse; Halsey made her first in-game appearance in Halo: Reach, but Halo 4 was the first one to reveal her shadier qualities to more casual fans.
      • The Glasslands novel is half dedicated to pressing the view of Halsey being a psychopath on the reader; personal opinion varies heavily on if it succeeded, as the people who called Halsey out on her controversial projects willingly allowed, no, approved of them, helped bring them about, were ultimately saved by them, and did just as horrible things on their own. It even glossed over some established canon (namely, Cortana's creation and her reasons for cloning the children) in an attempt to make her more controversial. Much (if not most) of this is generally attributed to Karen Traviss being at it again.
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    • The Forerunners get this as well. Noble, caring beings who sacrificed themselves to save the galaxy and did their best to fix the Flood's damage? Or sociopathic, fantastic racists who are the root cause of the damage done by the Flood? Canon seems to favor a middle ground.
  • Angst Aversion: The side-stories, and later the games themselves, make it clear the Halo universe is not a happy place. The UNSC, the so-called good guys, are willing to spy on their own citizens in the name of the greater good and screw their alien allies to advance humanity's self-interests. And the Convenant is even worse. The Forerunner book pushes the Halo series into Cosmic Horror Story territory. And our hero, the Master Chief, will save the day while losing close friends and loved ones.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The Master Chief Collection was pretty disastrous at launch with the multiplayer, as it would take forever to find a match, if you found a match at all. The menus also were a bit hard to navigate for which game you want to play and which aspect; Campaign or multiplayer. Even some updates and the release of the ODST campaign didn't really help matters much. 343 have spent the last few years developing solutions to the problems, which involved getting beta testers to help them optimize the collection, as well as constructive criticism from said testers to change or add things to make it better to navigate, which include revamped menus that separate the campaigns and multiplayer menus and add in an option to choose which parts of each games you want downloaded to your console if you don't want everything at once to save on hard drive space. The collection's also going to be added to the Game Pass, so people who haven't gotten the game can play it for free through that subscription. This patch also adds in upgrades to 4K and has HDR for the Xbox One X to make things look better. 343 Industries didn't stop there, as they added the much demanded Halo: Reach to the collection alongside eventually bringing the entire series to PC.
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    • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary remaster was often criticized for drastic stylistic changes in the environment, as well as cutscenes that, while overhauled, still looked somewhat awkward on a modernized engine. Halo 2: Anniversary improved in both aspects, sticking much closer to original game in its visual style and reworking the cutscenes through beautifully done CGI cinematics.
    • Halo 5 also got an upgrade patch, which really brings out the graphical fidelity within the game that wasn't initially there, since they had to be downgraded for the base Xbox One at launch.
  • Awesome Music: And how!
  • Best Level Ever: Halo has so many that it has its own very long section on this page.
  • Broken Base:
    • Which one was best? Or better yet, go out and ask which Halo game was the worst or where they stopped being good.
    • Ever since Bungie left the franchise to Microsoft, who turned it over to 343 Industries (one of their subsidaries), much of the fanbase has been divided into two camps: The fans who have been embracing the decisions changes that 343 Industries have been making to the franchise, and the fans who preferred the Bungie games and how they set the standards of the franchise. Arguments over the art style, lore, and the newer games in general frequently crop up.
    • 343 Guilty Spark turning out to be Not Quite Dead has remained a contentious topic; a lot of fans feel that it's cheap and ruins the ending of Halo 3, while another sizable group think his redemption arc in Renegades was more than captivating enough to justify his revival and look forward to seeing where his character will go in the future.
    • Both Halo 5: Guardians and Halo Infinite are rated T by the ESRB, a fact that is a common point of conversation among fans. A number of people point to this rating as proof that the series is going Lighter and Softer, and call for a return to the more visceral blood and Body Horror effects that the the classic Halo trilogy could provide at times. Others don't put much stock in the rating change, and point out that Halo has generally always preferred to communicate violence through weapon impact rather than gore. Confusing things further is that Values Dissonance could be in effect, as PEGI has consistently given every Halo FPS a 16 rating. This debate is heated enough that Infinite actually references it, with the Medium Aware Glibnub reminiscing about the days when they were M-Rated.
  • Cheese Strategy: The "Noob Combo" is a common tactic where a player uses the Plasma Pistol overcharge to immediately drop an enemy's shields then switches to a headshot weapon for a One-Hit Kill. While most games have included nerfs to make the combo less effective, its ease of use and lack of effective counterattack make it a reliable strategy across the series.
  • "Common Knowledge": Many fans who haven't read New Blood have extrapolated from its two major plot points (that the Rookie is killed by Insurrectionists and Mickey betrays over to the Insurrectionists) that Mickey either killed the Rookie directly or intentionally arranged the circumstances that lead to his death. Neither is true, Mickey's Face–Heel Turn occurs as a direct result of the Rookie's death being a Cynicism Catalyst for him.
  • Complete Monster: The Prophet of Truth, Ord Casto, is one of the Big Bads of the original trilogy and instigator of the attempted genocide of two species. After finding out that humans are the descendants of Forerunners, thus violating Covenant doctrine, Truth, along with his cohorts Mercy and Regret, decide to wipe out humanity rather than risk their species losing power. While originally more concerned with personal power instead of the Covenant religion, as time goes on Truth becomes more and more devoted to the idea of procuring godhood for himself through the Great Journey, and takes more drastic steps to make it a reality. Believing the Jiralhanae (Brutes) to be more vicious and mindlessly devoted pawns than the Sangheili (Elites), Truth secretly orders the genocide of the Sangheili race after ensuring the Jiralhanae will supplant them. This triggers the Covenant Civil War. Cold-blooded and ruthless, Truth feels no loyalty or affection for his fellow Prophets. Truth prevents Covenant forces from saving Regret in order to use Regret's death for political gain, and allows Mercy to be killed by the Flood in order to seize absolute power over the Covenant. Even when having evidence that the Halo Rings were not devices to procure godhood but are instead weapons of mass destruction, Truth decides to activate all of them anyway, willing to risk the death of all life in the galaxy just to have the chance to become a god.
  • Critical Backlash: The franchise tends to get lumped with other shooters such as Call of Duty as being everything wrong with the video game industry or disproportionately bad, causing people who end up trying it to solicit this reaction.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Shooting Grunts in the head? Cruel. Having the head explode with confetti popping out and children cheering? Hilarious.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Any kind of sniping enemy or flying enemy bar the Watchers, which are more Goddamned Bats.
    • Jackal Snipers. Either you have to worry about being instantly killed by a beam rifle, or have to deal with a Focus Rifle blocking your vision. Especially in 2. The description for Halo Infinite's Legendary difficulty even Lampshades this.
    • Drones, due to their high numbers and flight. Hiding from them is practically impossible.
    • Rocket Launcher-equipped Flood in Combat Evolved. Insane reflexes plus sniper rifle accuracy plus a tendency to spawn in enclosed areas equals a bad time for all involved.
    • Stealth Elites, particularly in Combat Evolved, where your first encounter with them will inevitably result in most of your squad and you being killed in seconds by these invisible, energy sword-toting enemies. Thankfully they're Glass Cannons.
    • Ranger Elites, especially in 2, where they can fly indefinitely.
    • Flood Stalker and Ranged forms. The former aren't to dangerous, but are skittishly fast and can be difficult to put down (melee works surprisingly well however) as they reposition, while the Ranged forms can be difficult to kill in larger numbers due to their distance and having to worry about being pelted by their needles.
    • Flood Combat Forms in 2 and 3 on Legendary, maybe Heroic. As usual, they overwhelm you by swarming from above, but with fewer places to hide, and now they can melee while wielding a weapon; a direct melee hit from them is instantly fatal on these difficulties. ** ** Flood Infection forms in these games can resurrect ungibbed corpses, grotesquely transform live victims in real-time in part 3, and are instant death if they touch you with your shields down (unlike the first game where you had a chance to shake them off). And God help you if you randomly run into a Combat Form with a Sniper Rifle in 2, who will be just as accurate as a Jackal and will hide in the darkest spot of the room. They get a little better in 3, since they're more easily killed, but the Pure Forms more than make up for this.
    • In Halo Wars multiplayer, Gauss Hogs, with Gunner/Grenadier Hogs only being Goddamned Bats.
    • Halo 3: ODST introduces two new types of Demonic Spiders: Engineers and Drone Majors.
      • The Engineers have the annoying habit of flying high above the battlefield while broadcasting an overshield to their allies in the area. They can only be easily killed with Sniper or energy weapons.
      • The Drone Major sports recharging energy shields AND rapid-fire Brute plasma rifles. Did we mention that Drones are already almost impossible to hit due to their small size and the way in which they erratically fly around the screen?
    • It's telling that Drones were pulled from Firefight in Reach - although half the reason they were cut was because of the addition of Skirmishers, super-powered Jackals who can move as fast and jump as high as Drones. Plus they can carry rifles and use plasma overcharges! Fun!
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Arbiter, despite being controversial when introduced simply for the fact that you weren't always playing as the Chief, eventually exploded in popularity for being an Elite that you could play as, his well-written story, and for he and the Chief becoming Bash Brothers extraordinaire by Halo 3. Many rejoiced at his return in Guardians.
    • Buck from ODST, being a hilariously snarky ODST Sergeant (and later Spartan-IV when he returns as a playable character in 5). To top it all off, he's voiced by Nathan Fillion.
    • Sergeant Johnson was initially just meant to be another Marine; he could be killed in gameplay and would appear later, and appeared getting killed in the Legendary ending when Halo explodes. However, his hilarious lines and no-nonsense attitude, helped greatly by his basis on Sergeant Apone from Aliens meant that he was brought back in the sequels as a major character with Gameplay Ally Immortality. May he rest in peace.
    • Vergil, the first Engineer we meet in the games who also provides help for the final missions, including energy shields after having to play the game without them previously. It also has quite a few Funny Moments.
    • Emile-A239 from Reach gained a great deal of popularity shortly after his first appearance. The fact that he etched a skull into his visor probably had something to do with it. His badass death scene only boosted that.
  • Epileptic Trees: (See: Halo)
    • Many of the people at the Halo Story Page are veterans at WMG, having previously been doing the same thing with the Marathon games.
  • Escapist Character: John-117 was ranked the eighth greatest video game character of all time by Electronic Gaming Monthly, simply because he doesn't talk much and you can't see his face, so you can easily pretend it's really you inside the armour doing all those badass things.
  • Fan Nickname: "John Halo" for Master Chief.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The Kilo-Five trilogy of books by Karen Traviss is largely ignored by the fanbase for being a massive Author Tract against Dr. Halsey, ignoring the positives of the SPARTAN-II Program (namely that it saved humanity) or sometimes contradicting canon to make her look as evil as possible. The contributors behind Halopedia quite blatantly hate these books as well, as shown by some of their articles reinterpreting their events to be far less biased against Halsey.
  • Faux Symbolism: Just outside the Milky Way Galaxy, the Forerunners built a massive space-station called "The Ark", which protected its inhabitants from an alien race called "The Flood". The Theme Naming is obvious, but that's where the similarities end. The Flood aren't even what killed everyone, The Ark itself is since that's where the Halo Array was constructed.
  • First Installment Wins: The original trilogy by Bungie is still considered the height of the series by many, whereas 343 Industries' titles are all some degree of Contested Sequel.
  • Franchise Zombie: It was going to end with the second game, but Microsoft made them stretch it out.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • Spartans don't die, they're only missing in action, that is how you respawn when you die! Also, the Gravemind's quotes in Halo 3? You know where he calls you the 'child of my enemy?' Originally we thought it was because humanity were the inheritors of the Forerunner legacy. However new information reveals that thousands of years ago humanity repelled the Flood and found a way to destroy them without firing the Halo rings. This Gravemind has the memories of its predecessor.
    • Also the Monitors' near obsessive insistence on firing the rings. They needed to be that way to prevent whoever was about to kill all life in the galaxy from having second thoughts.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • You know the Focus Rifle, the Covenant Sniper equivalent in Reach? It nearly blinds you provided the beam's hitting you in the face, and makes that frightening beeping sound as it's being fired? Keep in mind this is the Covenant sniper. Jackals are still in the game. You can start crying now.
    • In Halo: Reach, we are introduced to Brutes in a level where we are escorting civilians out of a city. Brutes are known for eating humans they've killed. So yeah.
    • You know the Arbiter, that snarky 7-foot alien buddy of yours that kicks ass? He's the one who, after Jorge died, called in the entire goddamn fleet to Reach. Essentially, the Arbiter/Thel 'Vadam helped murder most of Reach. Yeah. A trailer for Halo 2: Anniversary actually has the Arbiter mention this, implying that the Chief doesn't know yet (though the latter is obviously under no illusions about the Arbiter's innocence regarding the war as a whole), and both the Halo 2 terminals and Halo 5: Guardians reveal that Locke had originally volunteered to assassinate the Arbiter for this very reason. It helps, however, that there's some pretty heavy implications that the Arbiter is well aware of his sins while under the Covenant, not just to Humanity, but to the Sanghelli race itself, and is spending the better part of his off-screen time from Halo 4 onwards doing what he can to redeem himself by ridding the galaxy of the Covenant for good. Fleet Admiral Hood also acknowledges this at the end of 3, outright stating that while he can never forgive the Arbiter for what he did, he is grateful for his assistance.
  • Game-Breaker: Halo 3 gave us the Spartan Laser, a weapon with virtually unlimited range, can insta-kill players, and cripple if not one-shot most vehicles. Its main downside, that firing it takes a Charged Attack which gives away your location, often isn't enough to let enemies quickly counter it in the chaos of battle, the relative inflexibility of vehicles, or even just the Spartan Laser's user making clever use of cover to ensure they're unseen until its too late. The main consequence of this is that the Spartan Laser hard-countered vehicles and significantly altered the dynamics of Big Team Battle modes, slowing pacing to a crawl as whatever team had access to the Spartan Laser had a chance to dominate. It is noteworthy that Halo Infinite introduces the Skewer, a weapon that shares its use case with the Spartan Laser of old (insta-kill players and deal high damage to vehicles, a long-range) but gives it far more relevant and balanced downsides (a projectile with drop-off and travel time, replacing the charge with a punishingly lengthy reload).
  • Genre Turning Point: With Halo, shooters ditched Hyperspace Arsenals and took up regenerating health, among other things.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Yanme'e, aka Drones/Buggers. To the point where Reach's Firefight leaves them out. They're still in Campaign, though, and just as annoying as ever.
    • Watchers can be this in Halo 4 if there's a swarm of them. Thankfully they show up less in Halo 5: Guardians.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Plenty existed in Reach, but don't worry, they were fixed. Bungie has revealed these at different points:
    • A female Spartan model would turn male when their shields popped.
    • When rotating an Elite in the appearance section, the legs wouldn't move with the rest of the body.
    • Continuously bumping into Kat would cause her to string together suggestive dialogue.
      • Comic-Con 2010 also revealed one: when using a Hologram in Oddball, the hologram could pick up the ball.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "Get up so I can kill you again" is a lot less funny when the Flood proceed to actually get back up.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • The ONI official report makes it canon that Admiral Cole is still out there somewhere.
    • Some people who dislike the Dropped a Bridge on Him deaths of Black Team in Halo: Escalation like to think that it's different characters wearing similar armor who die.
    • In Halo: First Strike, some fans like to think that Spartans Anton and Li and gunship pilot Polaski were only separated from the others during their apparent flash vaporization.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • First, Apple does a Defictionalization of the Voice with an Internet Connection with Siri. Then Microsoft brings the whole deal full circle naming theirs Cortana. Which even has a Halo as its avatar!
    • The highest difficulty level is named "Legendary". In the Italian version, it's "Leggendaria". Now consider beatmania IIDX 21 SPADA, a 2013 game, and its infamous ✝LEGGENDARIA charts.
    • Back in 1988, Troy Hurtubise started work on Project Grizzly which was an effort to make a suit of armor (called the Ursus) that could not only survive an attack from a wild bear but also withstand all sorts of heavy impacts and even tumbling falls down steep slopes. Then in 2007, Troy publicly announced that he was offering the Trojan Armor for sale which is a full-body bullet-resistant protective suit that was created using the experience he learned from developing the earlier Ursus Armor. The Trojan Armor has been nicknamed the "Halo Suit" due to its unmistakable similarity to the MJOLNIR battle armor. Even though the Ursus Mk5B (which predates Halo by 12 years) is the closest example of a real-life MJOLNIR.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • It is quite impossible to hear about the series without hearing about the Flood, whose existence was the major plot twist of the first game. The later-released novelization of the first game was even called Halo: The Flood.
    • You're also very likely to have heard about the Arbiter being a second Player Character for Halo 2, which came as a shock to a lot of people when that game was first released.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: During the series' height of popularity, it was subject to appear in "Most Overrated" lists simply due to the large fanbase it had acquired.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Thel 'Vadam, best known as the Arbiter, is a Sangheili commander and a genius warrior who rose to command through the crucible of battle, defeating and outwitting assassins sent against him by members of his own clan. A brilliant leader, 'Vadam ensured the Covenant victory at Reach, before the Flood was unleashed to deal him a defeat. Condemned by the Prophets, 'Vadam becomes their hidden enforcer, the Arbiter, and a One-Man Army who deals harsh punishment to rebels and heretics. Eventually betrayed by the Prophets, 'Vadam rallies the Sangheili and outfights the Prophets and the Covenant, personally killing the megalomaniac tyrant Truth and helping to ensure a lasting peace between humans and the Covenant, considering the Master Chief his friend when once he believed him a demon.
    • The surprisingly eloquent and crafty Gravemind is the Lord of the Flood. A genius who nearly defeated the Forerunners with its strategy and power, Gravemind even managed to use its force of will and a breaking speech to turn a loyal AI to Gravemind's own side while instituting a Logic Bomb on the other AI. After being defeated and returning in the current day, Gravemind manipulates the Master Chief and Arbiter into fighting for it to handle its enemies as it prepares the Flood to take over all else, even employing its clever strategy to spread itself, such as when it takes over a ship and crashes it to take over a populated city. Even in defeat, Gravemind proclaims that besting it for the moment is simply added time to "a sentence I never deserved, but you imposed", truly believing that peace will be gained when the Flood dominate the galaxy.
  • Memetic Badass: Jonas, a 6'10", 800 pounds man living in New Mombasa who's featured in Sadie's Story in Halo 3: ODST, has gained such a reputation in shitposting circles partly due to his face.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "I think Halo is a pretty cool guy. eh kills aleins and doesn't afraid of anything." From a hilariously mangled anonymous comment about Halo: Combat Evolved on 4chan.
      • Bungie.net 7/23/10 update shows that the Bungie team is aware of this meme:
      Q: "So, Forge 2.0 is pretty cool then, eh?"
      Chad (Bungie team guy): "I think he’s a pretty cool guy. He makes maps and doesn’t afraid of anything."
    • Halo 4's tagline, "An Ancient Evil Awakens..."
    • Following the announcement of the Master Chief Collection for Xbox One (which is a compilation of Halo 1, 2, 3 and 4) some gaming outlets have described it as "All of the Halo games in one box!" Cue snarky fans going "All of the Halos! Except for Wars, ODST and Reach!" Also Hilarious in Hindsight, since two of the three later were added to the collection.
    • "They. Are. A. BITCH."Explanation 
    • "Suck my dick, Cortana!" Explanation 
    • I Suck at Halo 3
    • #EnergySwordSundayExplanation 
    • "Master Chief, you mind telling me what you're doing on X?" "Sir, finishing this Y." Explanation 
    • Mister Chief, a poorly drawn Master Chief done by a Bungie employee that was embraced by fans and developers alike.
    • “GO WORK YOUR CRINGE 9-5 ILL BE GAMING”
    • Master Chief in the books be like: insert gameplay footage of SPARTANs performing awesome yet near-impossible feats. Explanation 
    • "They put the mamsnrhbr chehfde in the soder" Explanation 
    • "GREETINGS!" Explanation 
    • Halo 3 Rat Explanation 
  • Misblamed: Halo's userbase has been misblamed for the creation of the "juvenile and unfriendly" gamer. Apparently people haven't heard of the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, which has been in existence long before Halo was even thought of. Halo just brought the issue to light if anything.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Prophet of Truth crossed this back in Contact Harvest when he launched the Covenant's war of extermination against humanity after learning that the humans were the true "reclaimers" of the Forerunners, a fact that could cast the Covenant religion into doubt.
    • The Gravemind crossed it when it tortured Cortana while aboard High Charity. When the Master Chief finally rescues her, Cortana says "You found me" with such pain in her voice that you can't help but both get a lump in your throat and swear that the Gravemind is going to pay for what it did. It could be argued that all of its prior actions were driven by its Blue-and-Orange Morality or retaliating against the Forerunners that rose up against its kind. It has no such excuse here.
    • Colonel James Ackerson's SPARTAN-III program to some readers, which functions entirely on We Have Reserves using children.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH AAAAAHHUUHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOHHH UHHHHHH. OHHHHHHHHHHHUHHHHHHH AHHHHHHUHHHHHHHHHHH. AKA, the only game ever to make grown men cry just from the music on the menu screen.
  • My Real Daddy: Bungie created the foundation for Halo but it was Eric Nylund's The Fall of Reach that expanded its universe. The Retcons that began to come about from Halo Wars and Halo: Reach caused a good segment of fans to cry foul over negating FoR's continuity.
  • Narm Charm:
    • 343 Guilty Spark, and Bungie knows it. Even when he gets red-eyed pissed off, he's sort of cute.
      343 Guilty Spark: UNACCEPTABLE! UNACCEPTABLE!
    • Rtas 'Vadum', as a result of his epic hammyness.
  • Narm: The sight of the Prophet of Mercy struggling to fight off one small Infection Form was already a pretty pathetic sight. What was even more pathetic was realizing that single Infection Form actually succeed in killing him. Downplayed in the Anniversary version, which is quite violent in comparison.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Halo universe has its own page of horrors.
  • Older Than They Think:
  • Player Punch: The deaths of many favorite characters, including Captain Keyes, Sergent Johnson, and Miranda Keyes with Cortana's in Halo 4 perhaps being the ultimate example. And Halo Reach is really just one big punch.
  • Polished Port: As noted under Porting Disaster and Author's Saving Throw, the Master Chief Collection was had a disastrous launch with broken matchmaking code and downgraded customization options, much to the intense chagrin of players. Around 2019, however, a series of patches were made to resolve the technical issues surrounding the game in preparation for Halo Infinite, alongside porting the games to PC and adding Halo Reach to the collection alongside the full version of Halo 3: ODST. By late 2020, not only was most of the customization content restored alongside a slew of original content, but several games had additional features added to make the collection finally push into this territory.
  • Pop Culture Holiday: Fans unofficially consider November 6th to be "Halo Day", as Halo 4 was released on November 6, 2012.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • A strange variant with the original, in that it was mostly competently converted to the PC in and of itself (all that was noticeably lost was co-op mode, in return for actual Internet play for competitive multiplayer and later mod support) and reasonably well-received, but delayed for so very, very long (almost exactly two years after the Xbox version) that by the time it came out, the competition was far ahead in every aspect, and it really stood out how very unremarkable and average it was compared to other PC First Person Shooters.
    • Originally, Halo: Combat Evolved was supposed to be a PC game first. That this led to a backlash when the Halo series ultimately became, as the main page says, 'one of the premiere franchises exclusive to the Xbox' is, perhaps, understandable, especially when it was made clear by porting disasters.
    • The PC version of CE has some very strange frame rate behavior. Basically your hand moves at a smoother frame rate than the world around it, which is constrained (likely due to the scripted nature of the game). This is surprisingly disorienting. It also has issues with texture detail, due to the heavy use of bumpmapping that, for whatever reason, is only actually visible in this version of the game when the flashlight is shone directly on it. This crosses over to the classic graphics in Combat Evolved Anniversary, as well, as it was built off of the PC port.
    • Halo 2's original PC release fared even worse, in that even though its graphics were hopelessly outdated when it finally came out on the PC (the much-better-looking Halo 3 was just four months away from release by that time), it was released as a Windows Vista exclusive to convince people of the technological wonder of DirectX 10. To add even more insult to injury, the game doesn't even actually use DirectX 10; it just runs a check as to whether you have it or not (unsurprising given that it was made for the first-gen Xbox, which used the equivalent of DirectX 8.1). A simple hacker-made patch allows it to run normally in Windows XP.
    • And then, there's the Master Chief Collection, a Compilation Rerelease of Halos 1-4 for Xbox One, which shipped with horrifically broken matchmaking code that could search for hours on end and still not find a suitable game. Cue a flurry of patches from 343 trying to fix the problem.
  • Sci Fi Ghetto: In 2011, Game Informer did a poll on what readers thought was the best military First-Person Shooter up to that point. They threw out the votes for Halo on grounds of it being a sci-fi shooter, not a military shooter. Apparently Game Informer hasn't heard of Military Science Fiction.
  • The Scrappy:
    • It would be hard to find someone who likes 343 Guilty Spark for putting everyone through The Library and repeatedly backstabbing the player. You can't tell us you all didn't enjoy finally getting to shut him up at the end of Halo 3. With Primordium, Silentium and Anniversary out, he just might get some sympathy, considering his backstory. Renegades is his Rescued from the Scrappy Heap moment for some, as his Chronic Backstabbing Syndrome is finally confronted, ending with him ultimately overcoming it.
    • Arguably, Sarah Palmer. She is disliked by many fans because of her lack of respect toward the Master Chief and generally abrasive attitude, as well as her pointless shooting of Dr Halsey despite being ordered not to. Later materials have somewhat improved her reputation, as she acts more fitting for her position and her disliked traits and moments are called out within the series.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Dual-wielding. Much was made of the new ability to use two guns at the same time in Halo 2... especially when players realized the Magnum, nerfed as it was, still ate through shields when paired up. As Bungie tries to give guns, grenades and melees equal standing in combat, they quickly responded: first by nerfing the Magnum in 2, then by making it so dual-wielded weapons did less damage in 3. ODST and Reach both only feature single-wield guns, and the Chief has straight-up forgotten how to dual-wield in 4.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Upon its original release, Halo's combat was praised for its incorporation of three elements in particular: a two-weapon limit, rechargeable shields, and dedicated buttons for instantly-accessible grenade throws and melee attacks. Individually, all these features had been seen before Halo, but they were far from predominant, especially when combined together in a single game like that. Now, they are pretty standard genre conventions among both console and PC FPSs, so these days it's common to hear the Halo series criticized for being "generic" rather than praised for these contributions.
  • That One Boss: The Halo series only has a few bosses, and generally they are pretty fun on Normal or Heroic, but on Legendary they all easily enter That One Boss territory (except 343 Guilty Spark)
    • The Prophet of Regret in Halo 2 rides around on a flying chair that makes him immune to all damage except melee attacks after you board his chair. His chair also has an instant death laser on it, the same one the Hunters use. As if that weren't enough, he's also guarded by a trio of Sangeili Honor Guards at all times, along with a bunch of grenade spamming Grunts. This alone wouldn't be so bad, but his mooks constantly respawn. You attack the Prophet, board his throne, punch him a few times and get kicked off the Prophet's chair after he teleports? BOOM! You just got hit with a One-Hit Kill energy sword by one of his Honor Guard. You dispatch a pair of Honor Guards with the Noob combo?. Turns out you spent too much time standing still, and a grenade just landed next you. You try to attack the Prophet only for him to teleport away? Well, turns out he teleported behind you. Instant death laser.
    • There's also the Heretic Leader in Halo 2. Equipped with a jetpack, near-instant-death dual Plasma Rifles, and holographic doppelgangers that can take almost as much damage as he can and do the same damage.
    • Tartarus in Halo 2 is also a bitch. He runs just as fast as you do and has a shield that makes him impervious to damage until you can take it down. This means most of the fight will consist of you running away while blindly firing plasma rifles until Johnson decides he wants to snipe him, at which point you have to get in and do as much damage as you can until he turns his shield back on. If you get caught on the scenery or pause for even a millisecond, he will One-Hit Kill you with his gravity hammer.
    • The Sangeili Field Marshall at the end of Halo: Reach also counts. By himself, he's tough, but manageable, with more health than an Elite Zealot and shields strong enough to withstand two charged plasma pistol shots. He'd be a pushover if it weren't for his squad of Elite Zealots. They distract you while he One-Hit Kill you with his Fuel Rod Gun. If you try to go directly for him, you'll get gunned down by the Zealots. Unlike every enemy in the game, melee with him is suicide since he will rip out an energy sword and One-Hit Kill you.
    • Recurring Boss The Warden Eternal from Halo 5: Guardians. He's pretty much a Hunter taken up to eleven, with a wide array of powerful attacks, and on higher difficulties is a full-on Damage-Sponge Boss. And while the ability for teammates to revive each other is usually a minor blessing, on other occasions it's worse than useless since when you get killed by his sword (which has the same unavoidable bullcrap hitbox as Zealots in Halo: CE), any attempts by your teammates to revive you will just get them picked off one-by-one. Later, Fireteam Osiris fight two at once, and though that battle allows you to avoid having to fight both of them at the same time, there's no such luck when Blue Team fight three. On top of that, he always has a small horde of Promethean enemies backing him up, including Focus Turrets in the final encounter.
  • That One Level: Levels with the Flood as the primary opponent seem to be the standard.
    • The Library is the most legendary Ur-Example. Guilty Spark isn't kidding about the ten doors bit. Dank corridors, and nothing but Flood. Sometimes you'll have aid from the Sentinels, but they'll bugger off on occasion and leave you alone. The Flood can seem endless, and while it's not too difficult once you figure out the tricksnote , the level, seemingly knowing this, throws some curveballs; first, it traps you in a space that gives you limited room, and then, Flood with rocket luanchers show up. This was before fuel rod guns got better and more common, and was usually instant death.
    • High Charity, the Chief's only Flood mission in 2. You've got both Brutes and Flood in a melee, and like half the levels in the game, it's extremely dark. In addition, the oft-cramped corridors can prove chaotic, and later, Flood with sniper rifles show up.
    • Cortana. Thankfully, it's nowhere near as long as The Library, and the Flood are easier to kill in 3. Unfortunately, they throw almost endless numbers at you, there's plenty of corpses for them to infect, there's bud on the wall that spawn more Flood, the spaces are often cramped and/or have multiple entrances, making hiding difficult, and the entire level is composed of Flood biomass that acts as excellent camouflage for the Flood.
    • Regret, Regret, Regret. Tons of Jackal Snipers (and you thought Outskirts and Metropolis were bad), sometimes in cramped spaces, plus the sadistic gondola rides, designed to make you a sitting duck for Drones, Banshees, Rangers, and BFG-wielding Grunts. And That One Boss, the titular Prophet. You'll regret this, Bungie.
    • Many believe Infinity, Forerunner and Composer are nearly impossible on Legendary; Infinity mainly due to the choke point where you have to hold off the enemy until Cortana opens the door; and Forerunner when you have to shut down the Covenant beam generator. While not the whole level itself, the part in Midnight where the player must make a break for a portal with Crawlers endlessly spawning until they pass through it pissed off many Legendary players.
    • In Halo 5, every single level where you have to fight the Warden Eternal, especially on Legendary.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Unlike Truth and Regret, the Prophet of Mercy was pretty much a background character in Halo 2. Then Truth leaves Mercy to die to the Flood before he actually got to do anything noteworthy.
  • Villain Decay:
    • A minor example, but still counts: Spec Ops Grunts. In Halo CE, they are about as badass as the lowly grunts can get, frequently armed with Needlers and Fuel Rod Guns and with a cloaking device. In Halo 2, they're still pretty lethal for grunts, but decidedly rarer than before, and also finding one with a heavy weapon is less common. They really start to go downhill in Halo 3/ODST, where the Brutes evidently fuse their rank with the Grunt Ultras, resulting in a grunt that is rare (usually seen "leading" groups of other grunts), has no cloak, never carries anything bigger than a plasma pistol - and can still be killed very easily with a simple headshot. By Reach, they are just used like standard grunts, their only defining features being their dark colouration and their tendency to only appear alongside Elite Zealots.
    • Truth turned into Mercy, in Halo 3. He went from a silver-tongued, smooth-talking Machiavellian schemer into a raving lunatic with no method to his madness. Granted, this is justified due to a combination of insanity from having learned the true purpose of Halo and his true personality showing through, but it's still very jarring.
    • The Ur-Didact. Perhaps justified in that his Mind Rape by the Gravemind drove him insane, but in any case, it's hard to believe that the unparalleled strategic genius who laid low advanced empires and led the greatest military force in the galaxy could be beaten by... well, anything Chief could throw at him. His tendency to evoke Kill Him Already! certainly doesn't help. Halo: Escalation manages to make him decay even further, as he outright defies his principles and tries to use a Halo against humanity, even though the whole reason he led an uprising with the Composer was because he didn't want to use the Halos.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The series has a bit of that Star Wars-ish look to it, what with big heroic guys in green space armor gracing the cover. Needless to say, any bit of knowledge of the game makes it clear that it is most definitely not for children. Of course, being a massive big-name game, children are sure to hear of it and make their parents well aware of that fact, hence you will always - ALWAYS - find at least one 5-year-old playing on Xbox Live with you. Halo 5 Guardians is eventually rated T with the space opera feel highly toned compared to the previous games though.
  • The Woobie:
  • Woobie Species:
    • Poor Engineers. Initially pacifist critters who just like fixing technology, late in the war many of them end up defecting to the UNSC because of how the Covenant has been mistreating them, such as having bombs strapped to them. And how has Bungie managed to design a species that's both Starfish Alien and cute??
    • Grunts could also qualify. They're just Slave Mooks that mostly have no real qualm with humanity. Usually they're too tiny and weak to be a threat. Usually. Plus they can be really funny to listen to, like here.
    • Similarly, the Hunters are a largely peaceful race who are working for the Covenant out of fear. If they don't, the Prophets will nuke their homeworld and most of their race with it.
    • San'Shyuum, pre-Halo firing. Really, what species deserves watching their homeworld wiped clean of life in punishment for a fully justified uprising? Their treatment by the Forerunners leading the legendarily beautiful race focused on pleasure and peace into a decrepit society run by old Corrupt Politicians might qualify as well.
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