Gears of Halo - Video game reviews, news and cosplay

Halo and Destiny - news and reviews.

Tuesday, December 29

"Didn't think anyone survived Pegasi, Sir."




In the Halo Reach Trailer one of the Spartans recognises an MIA Spartan, whom we'll call the Lone Wolf and says, "Didn't think anyone survived Pegasi, Sir."


What is this Pegasi reference?



51 Pegasi is a system approximately 50.1 lightyears away from Earth, in the constellation PegasusThe stars planetary system was controlled by the Covenant during 2545, and was home to 51 Pegasi B and Pegasi Delta, used by the Covenant in mining deuterium and tritium in the planetoid's rich oceans.


That's the boring crap, what about the Lone Wolf Spartan? What happened on Pegasi?


Oh yeah, him! The Lone Wolf might have been involved in a mission known as Operation Torpedo:
Most of the following information is gleaned from the Halo novel, The Ghosts of Onyx which was written by Eric Nylund.


The aim of Operation: Torpedo was to destroy a Covenant deuterium/tritium refinery. These chemicals were used in the Covenant's plasma reactors, therefore making this refinery an excellent refueling plant for Covenant ships, right on the edge of UNSC space. The destruction of this supply point would triple the length of Covenant resupply time frames and buy the UNSC some valuable time to recover from the ravages of the war it had found itself in. 
A tactic of using long range nuclear bombardments was met with complete failure as the Covenant ships shot the weapons out of the sky. The operation was then assigned to the newly commissioned Spartan-III Beta Company, attached to the UNSC All Under Heaven.
The outcome was a Beta Company victory, but at great cost. All Spartan IIIs, with the exception Tom-B292 and Lucy-B091 were killed. However, all Covenant forces groundside as well as several Covenant ships were also eliminated.
-
That last line is telling - the Lone Wolf might thus be one of those Spartans - or it could be a totally new character unheard of in the Halo story before.....it could be you.....
Most the info for this page was borrowed from Halo Wikia


Monday, December 28

Meet Reach's Noble Team Members




So who is this Noble Team? They are the Spartan soldiers who were introduced to the Halo Universe with the first official Halo Reach Trailer in mid December 2009.

The Noble team were first featured with the release of the Halo Reach Logo (see top of this page for an
example) Spartans where silouetted against the yellow / orange planet (Reach). With the release of the trailer, Bungie have update the image to include more detailed spartans, including a bit of colour to help identify the team.
The Halo Noble Team features spartans:
Carter 259 and Kat 320 are the only members of their original squad, the rest are obviously replacements.

Halo Fans who are way more onto it than me, have reasoned that Noble Team is one of the first Halo canon appearances, along with Yasmine Zaman, of the SPARTAN-II Program's Class-II, or perhaps of the SPARTAN-III Program.

The Lieutenant is fast becoming known as the Lone Wolf, because in the trailer for the VGA awards, the Commander Carter tells him that he doesn't want any lone wolf business. Indeed, in the trailer, a Spartan says "Didn't think anyone survived Pegasi, sir." 

He says this after noticing "Lone-Wolf". Commander Carter-259 seems to confirm this by telling Jorge-052, "Spartans never die, Jorge. They're just missing in action."

Either way, in the weeks coming before the release of Halo Reach we are sure to learn more about the Spartans of the Noble Team!

As I've noted elsewhere in this blog, the fact were are being shown these particular Spartans strongly hints that the Spartans featured in the novel The Fall of Reach are not going to be the heroes of the Reach game and that Noble Team will be. Update: Correct according to the leak

As for game play, many fans are talking/speculating about a 'classed based' style approach to the Campaign of the Reach game. E.g. You can play as the Snpier or Jorge etc... I'm wondering if you play as the Lone Wolf while the others run around as part of the AI ala Arbiter in Halo 3. I'm also picking you get separated from Team Noble as well.....

Who's your favourite Noble team member so far? I'm picking Emile, it's him right?

Saturday, December 26

Military Power: Reach (excerpt from CAA FACTBOOK [l.update 1.5.2550])

Military Power: Reach (excerpt from CAA FACTBOOK [l.update 1.5.2550])


  • Total Available Military Manpower: 385,421,100
  • Total Land Assets: 58,430
  • Total Naval Assets: 1,209 (T); 75 (X)
  • Total Air Assets: 11,050
  • Serviceable Airports: 1,246
  • Defense Budget: cR. 38,287,000,000 [2548]



While Earth is rightly seen as the UNSC's commercial, political, and cultural center; Reach is undeniably the hub of its military power.

The ε Eridani fleet is a full strength Carrier Group with the supercarrier UNSC Trafalgar at its core. The planet itself has a semi-mobile array of 20 Orbital Defense Platforms, and they are in turn defended by multiple wings of single ships and tactical multi-role craft.

Friday, December 25

The Spartan Project: (excerpt from CAA FACTBOOK [l.update. 5.21.2547])

The Spartan Project: (excerpt from CAA FACTBOOK [l.update. 5.21.2547])

The members of the Spartan Program are elite military operators recruited from all corners of UNSC governed space. Each of them is a highly decorated veteran with literal decades of combat experience and an unwavering commitment to the defense of mankind. In order to aid them in their goal, they are armed with the absolute bleeding edge in military technology--the Mjolnir powered assault armor.




More to the point, the Spartan super-soldiers are the only men and women alive with the extensive training and physical wherewithal
necessary to harness the full potential of this highly specialized equipment.

Sauce: Bungie

Thursday, December 24

Planet: Reach (excerpt from CAA FACTBOOK [l.update 12.7.2535])


Planet: Reach (excerpt from CAA FACTBOOK [l.update 12.7.2535])

  • Length of day: 27 hours
  • Length of year: 390 days (local)
  • Gravity: ~1.08 g
  • Natural satellites: [2] Csodaszarvas, Turul

Reach is the 4th largest planet in the Epsilon Eridani [K2 Orange-red dwarf] system, second closest to ε Eridani. Stable for planet of its age [<1B years]. First planetary confirmations were in early 21st century.



Reach is the location of the UNSC's largest and most active shipyard. It is also where the UNSC's most elite troops, the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, are trained. Reach is also the largest non-automated exporter of titanium. ε Eridani's superior interstellar jump point has been the most active S-F space transfer zone (arrivals and departures) for over thirty years, with ε Eridani's inferior IJP and Sol's superior IJP regularly trading second and third place spots.

  • Population: 703,341,500
  • Largest Cities: Manassas, Quezon, Ezhtergom

Sauce: Bungie

Thursday, December 10

How to get the 'No shots fired or grenades thrown' Achievement for ODST




Yeah, avoid this kind of confrontation, arguing with your mother in law is easier

The goal: achieve the "
Finished any level solo on Legendary, on LIVE, with no shots fired or grenades thrown"

There's probably a million ways to get the 'No shots fired or grenades thrown' for Halo ODST's Xbox points achievement. I'm just going to share how I decided to do it - and did it on the first attempt (I'm not braggin, it's easy, like your momma*).

First, select to play the level Uplift Reserve. Have your game skill level set to legendary - it's a requirement of the achievement. Heck, it would be too easy on any thing below!

I chose Uplift Reserve because it's vehicle based and you can zoom to the moon through it. None of this stealth B.S.

Here's my strategy:

Get yourself a Warthog jeep at the start of the level. Try and get a soldier to man the cannon. If you like, feel free to kill enemies in your way. Dodge the Wraiths if you can, other wise destroy them with the cannon man.

I managed to swap my Spartan laser with a soldier's rifle and got them to get in the side of the Warthog. They duly took out the first Wraith for me...

Speed thru with your A - Team, trying to get to the check points. You will die trying believe me. Sometimes it was handy to hold your ground and take a few grunts and brutes out with the soldier using the cannon before running a Covenant Gauntlet. 

Never honk your horn or doing any trigger pulling on the controller - the game will think this is a grenade or gun firing shot and not award you the achievement! (Well, I think I read that on Bungie.net some where). You can still melee if you need - but hey! get back in your jeep!

This achievement is part of the Vid Master Challenge, so if you want Recon armour, you gotta do it! 

As I said, this is the way I did the Halo achievement, there's many levels on Halo: ODST, like Fleetwood Mac, you can go your own way if you want! You won't run into any Engineers on this level so.. um yeah, carry on my wayward son. 

* I hear this on xbox live all the time so it must be true. And let's face it, she was gagging for it.

Tuesday, December 8

Is ODST Buck in Reach? Find out here




GV TV managed to get a sweet interview with some of Bungie’s key staff who have worked their asses off this year to bring us Halo 3: ODST. The interview is mostly a reflection on the successes and failures of the game itself and the way it was produced and communicated to the fans.


Here’s the interviewees:

• Joseph Staten, Writer & Creative Director

• Lars Bakken, Design Lead

• Curtis Creamer, Executive Producer

• Brian Jarrard, Community Director


The interview is notable for two references to Halo Reach which I'll focus on. If you want the ODST stuff, go read here.

G4: Are there any hidden Easter eggs that readers still haven't found that you want to spoil here -- or at least point everyone in the right direction?

JS: Players recently found the last big one -- and egg that changes a certain piece of music our Composer, Marty O’Donnell, likes to hide in every Halo game into something much more…danceable. But there are always smaller treats to find. Folks looking forward to Halo: Reach would be wise to pay particular attention to the license plates on New Mombasa’s “Genet” coupes…

The lads over at Halo Bungie are way ahead of the game here and began a list of the license plates in early October. “KRL 104F” for example, seems to refer to Spartan Fred who might be in the Reach Game as he is in The Fall of Reach.


G4: Have we seen the last of the ODSTs?

JS: I can’t comment on any future plans for our ODSTs. But it would be a shame if we made a game about the planet Reach -- a place where Buck, the ODST’s squad leader, was known to be -- and not have him appear in some way shape

There’s a pretty big hint that Buck will feature in some shape or form in Halo: Reach. Playable character? Who knows. From memory, I think in game during Halo 3: ODST Buck refers to the fact he was at Reach at some stage?

What do you think Buck will get up to in the Reach game?

Friday, December 4

The Package Plot Halo: Legends




This week's Halo: Legend's anime film on Halo Waypoint via the Xbox Dash is the first of two parts called The Package. 

The Package's plot follows the hero from the xbox games, the, er.. legendary Master Chief and four specially chosen Spartans as they launch out on a stealth cruiser into the heart of a massive Covenant fleet in a bid to recover a valuable intelligence asset.

This anime proves that Spartans are adept at fighting in zero-gravity and  are adept at piloting never-before-seen light attack vehicles. The  Spartans' target is a Covenant CCS-class Battlecruiser using the Booster Frames ships.  



Once Master Chief locates the target he and the Spartans blast their way on board the ship, where the action gets hand-to-hand as they fight through an army of Covenant troops in order to recover the most important Human intelligence resource there is....


Wednesday, December 2

What's is the plot of Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian?

What is the plot of Halo: Evolutions' 'Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian' short story?


Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian is a short story from the collection of Halo short stories titled 'Evolutions'.  This story intermediately will attract the keen Halo fans because the author is Frank O'Connor who is affectionately known by the gaming community as 'Frankie'.


Frankie had a large involvement in the development of the story line Halo 2 and 3 stories and is currently completely in charge of  plotting the direction of the Halo franchise as part of his role as Franchise Development Director of Microsoft's 343 Industries.


While Frankie was written for the Halo series before as noted above,  Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian is his first Halo based story to be published. Before we discuss it's plot, a bit of back ground is perhaps necessary.

The title of the story is not original to the story and was probably inspired by some history close to Frankie's Scottish heritage,  having being raised in Edinburgh. Sir Walter Scott originally published a novel in 1818 called 'The Heart of Midlothian' which focussed on a woman who travelled all the way to London by foot power, in order to receive a Royal Pardon for her sister, who was unjustly charged with infanticide. The title itself refers to an old prison. The Heart of Midlothian can also refer to an actual heart in the middle of a street in Edinburgh, or the city's soccer team

Presumably these elements of Scottish history served as Frank's inspiration for his short story.


In short, the plot of Midlothian centers around a brave ODST soldier who finds himself alone on a captured Human ship and  he must find some way to destroy it before the Covenant can determine Earth's location from it's data cores....

The story starts with the ODST having been put under for surgery to remove a tumor and when he awakes, he's the only human left alive on the spaceship. Living on borrowed time, he has to stop the Covenant from capturing the shipboard AI and learning the location of Earth.

The story has been turned into a 4 part anime - watch it any time on your Xbox 360 via the Halo Waypoint.

Monday, November 30

The Arbiter, Master Chief and a Prophet enter a bar...




I had to share a very bad Halo joke I made up with with you...

After a hard days battle, the Arbiter, Master Chief and a Prophet enter a bar.
Disturbed by their entrance the bar tender looks up and says, 'Halo!'


Ba doom doom dish!

Sunday, November 29

Movies and Media that make references to the Halo Universe



References to Halo found in other movies


The original Halo is famous for being inspired in part by the Aliens series of films. It's no secret that some things were borrowed straight out of the movies. Quotes, characters, in jokes and vehicles shared Aliens themes and styles. Check this list for some examples.


Sometimes things come full circle, and now some movies are referencing the Halo games. Here's a list of notable mentions:


"Taken" (2002)
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)
Temporada de patos (2004)
 -  "Halo? What's that?" "It's a video game"
The Hard Problem: The Science Behind the Fiction (2004) (V)
 -  mentioned once
The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
 -  Andy talks about playing Halo.
"Jeopardy!: (#22.48)" (2005)
 -  correct response in "Computer Gaming" category
Last Laugh '05 (2005) (TV)
 -  dialogue
"Game One: (#1.1)" (2006)
 -  The show reports about the progress of the Halo movie, showing scenes from the game too.
"30 Rock: Blind Date (#1.3)" (2006)
 -  One of Liz's ex boyfriends used to play Halo all day
"30 Rock: Tracy Does Conan (#1.7)" (2006)
 -  Dennis plays Halo till Liz falls asleep
Dead & Deader (2006) (TV)
 -  "I'm more of a 'Halo' guy."
Doomed (2007) (V)
 -  video game mentioned
Sydney White (2007)
 -  Gurkin describes the video game he created as a combination of several others
"Trading Spaces: Thrills and Spills" (2007)
 -  Mentioned during the part where they buy the video game system for the kitchen
Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001 (2007) (V)
 -  mentioned once
Lost Signal (2007)
 -  mentioned in dialogue
"The Big Bang Theory: The Dumpling Paradox (#1.7)" (2007)
 -  the guys play it
Fable 2 (2008) (VG)
 -  The Collecters Edition has two items that can be downloaded. Hal's Armor and Hal's Sword which resembles Spartan Armor and the Covenent Energy Sword respectively. There is even a backstory about a "Hal" coming through a rift from another world.




Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special (2008) (TV)
 -  Mentioned in dialogue
17 Again (2009)
 -  mentioned that Ned has the new 'Halo' game
"House M.D.: Here Kitty (#5.18)" (2009)
 -  "Over 400 teenagers you were playing 'Halo' with last night"
"Gossip Girl: The Grandfather (#2.19)" (2009)
 -  mentioned by Blair
"The Big Bang Theory: The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition (#2.19)" (2009)
 -  Penny offers to play it.
"Harper's Island: Snap (#1.10)" (2009)
 -  When asked if he's ever actually shot anything, Sully replies with the names of three video games he's played
"The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XX (#21.4)" (2009)
 -  Jimbo is dressed up as the Master Chief.


    Jimbo Jones as the Master Chief in The Simpsons TV Show

District 9 - the ship that carries the Prawn to the mothership looks suspiciously shaped like a Pelican. Also the lead character says the word 'Halo' at one stage.

List borrowed from
IMDB

Saturday, November 28

A brief history of Halo: The Story Explained





A brief history of Halo


The story of Halo is no fairy tale set in a Castle that needs protection from a marauding dragon. It is, however, a monster of a tale spanning the length of the universe from Earth to places with strange names like Onyx. Many fans might know Halo only through the Xbox games, others may have expanded their knowledge from reading the books, graphic novels and the Halo Encyclopedia. Halo Waypoint has handily put together a brief history of Halo for anyone who might just be a little curious about what’s actually going on as sometimes even in the games it’s not clear!

The Halo Story Explained

Long before humanity shed its own earthly shackles, an ancient race known as the Forerunners had already mastered control of the heavens. Using their technology they took it upon themselves to protect all life in the galaxy. But when a dark threat emerged from the blackness beyond the galaxy’s stars, the Forerunners surprisingly were caught off guard.



The Flood, a parasitic alien species that propagates itself by infecting sentient beings, had already infested a variety of worlds within the Milky Way galaxy. By the time the Forerunners took action against the Flood, it was too late; the Flood had already surpassed any efforts at containment offered.

Fearing all in the galaxy would be lost forever to the Flood, a group of Forerunners developed a plan to stop the parasite once and for all. They called this plan Halo. Using a massive installation known as the Ark, they built seven ring worlds, which they spread throughout the galaxy as a defensive mechanism. This Halo Array, as they called it, when fired, would destroy all sentient beings within range, effectively starving the Flood to death as there would be nothing left for it to use to spread.

Then, after staying the hand of judgment as long as they could, the Forerunners finally fired the rings and seemingly vanished from existence to never be heard of again. The knowledge surrounding the Halo Array and its use and as well as the Ark was lost for a time. All that remained was the hope that someone, somewhere in the distant future, would discover the truth.



One hundred thousand years later, humankind finally turned its eyes to the stars. But even after developing the technology of Slipspace travel, which allowed them to colonize distant worlds, they failed to learn from their own primitive nature, they went too far, too quick.

Not long after humans built other worlds to inhabit, they began to war with each other. A powerful governing body known as the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) attempted to quell any insurrectionist factions, but there seemed to be nothing that could halt the mounting tide of violence between mankind.


It was then that an agency known as the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) commissioned the SPARTAN-II project. This extreme measure sanctioned the abduction of young children who would be genetically engineered into the most advanced supersoldiers humanity had ever seen. And for a time, this solution worked flawlessly, the Spartans meted out swift, almost merciless, judgment against any who resisted the orders of  United Nations Space Command.

But in 2525 CE, all of that changed.

Without warning, the Outer Colony of Harvest was obliterated by an unknown force, a force that would later reveal itself as the Covenant. This alliance of alien species believed humanity was a stain that needed to be wiped from the galaxy, and they committed themselves to this belief without any mercy and proved ruthless in doing so.

Extinguishing every human population they could find, the Covenant were consumed with humankind's total and complete annihilation. However, despite being greatly outnumbered, the Spartans engaged the alien enemy in groundside conflicts, frustrating the Covenant’s advancement every step of the way. Ultimately, each terrestrial victory proved insignificant, since the Covenant dominated space battles without contest.


Still, it wasn't until they attacked the planet of Reach, Earth's veritable doorstep on the brink of humanity’s extinction, that these legendary Spartans fell.


Fleeing into Slipspace at a seemingly random vector, a UNSC warship brought with it what was believed to be the last remaining Spartan, the enigmatic Master Chief, John 117. As they arrived in a remote, uncharted region of the galaxy, they suddenly came face to face with something they had never before seen —Halo.

What is the plot of The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole?




The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole plot summary


In the beginning, before Halo: Combat Evolved was even released on the original Xbox, Bungie had thought big and organised a book tie in. That book was The Fall of Reach. It's job was to set up the events and plot that had lead to the start of the Halo game. It's author was a chap called Eric Nylund and he went on to write two more of the 5 Halo novels that followed the Fall of Reach. 


Halo: Evolutions is a collection of Halo fiction in the 'short story format'. It seems only natural then that Microsoft bought back Eric Nylund to have a crack at a story. 'The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole' is his take on one of the Halo universe's key characters.


The title itself is most interesting. On the face of, it says nothing. It's almost in the style of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and other book titles that seem to describe the plot. 

Players of the original Halo game may remember that the Pillar of Autumn arrived at the Halo, after following the directive known as The Cole Protocol. Named after the protagonist of Nylund's short story, the Cole protocol was itself the subject and name of the sixth halo novel.

The plot of Nylund's story gives an insight into what may have really happened to Admiral Cole as according to the official records, he died...but did he?

-

Clearly, this isn't the full plot summary, it will be here when I've read the whole thing!

Thursday, November 26

How to set your Gmail Theme to look like Planet Reach

So like Google's fantastic Gmail has background themes you can use to make your Gmail  Email experience like totally awesome in Full Halo Glory (TM). 


For those so inclined, one can change the theme setting to 'Planets' and if you squint your eyes a certain way, it looks like the planet Reach:



Hey, I told you to squint!

Here's the comparison to Bungie's vision of the Planet:



See, that orange colour means it's the same!



And this just proves it!

So, I know you're sold on this 'Gmail Reach Theme' and because I'm a lovable chap I'm gonna tell you how to get in into Gmail for free.

Log in to your Gmail. Click Settings at the top right. Click Themes on the far right. Select the Planets picture, middle of the third row. The change to your theme will happen automatically and you'll be blessed with Full Halo Glory (TM).

All this shows is that despite their rivalry with Microsoft, the lads and ladies at Google love Halo. Heck, their Chrome logo was modeled on Guilty Spark 343 right?





           The things I do for you Halo fans..... ;)

Wednesday, November 25

What is the Halo Encyclopedia?

Aren't encyclopedias extinct because they are redundant in the internet age? I'm mean you don't see any salesmen wandering streets trying to sign young mothers up to monthly subcriptions of Britannica's A-Z of the Universe any more do you?



So what's with Microsoft releasing the Halo Encyclopedia? Why do we need one of those?

The official blurb is "Created in full collaboration with Microsoft, Halo Encyclopedia is packed with hundreds of images, illustrations, and technical drawings that highlight all the information fans and newcomers to the game need to know. Everything you ever wanted to know about Master Chief and the Halo Universe: origins of the game, the mechanics behind it, all the weapons, villains, heroes, locations. Includes behind the scenes information, history, and insider tips on the game."

The book was witten by on Tobias Buckel, whom keen Halo fans might recognise as having been the authour of The Cole Protocol  The encyclopedia (Man, that word is hard to write!) also has a forward written by Mr Halo, Frankie O'Connor.

Okay I'm sold, where do I buy?

Monday, November 23

Halo: Evolutions: Not a Harry Fucking Potter Novel

Halo: Evolutions, released on November 24th 2009, is an extended written look at the Haloverse through the eyes of some very popular science fiction and fantasy authors and some key members of Microsoft's 343 Industries's staff. 



Is that a Monitor of a Halo Installation in the Chief's reflection?


On the author side, the Halo fans get stories from the writer of Star Wars: Republic Commando fame Karen Traviss, The Last Days author B.K. Evenson, and esteemed comic book writer Fred Van Lente. To cap it all off, Eric Nyland who wrote the first halo Novel, The Fall of Reach also gets another crack at Halo. 


I wondered earlier if the Halo universe was getting too full. This Halo: Evolutions book is an example of that concern. But who am I kidding? More Halo? Bring it on!


The 343 Industries is the Microsoft  team in  charge of all things Halo. From this team, managing editor Kevin Grace, and Robert McLees, a writer on the first three Halo games as well as the upcoming Halo: Reach have all contributed stories to Halo: Evolutions. And yay! Frankie is having a go as well.

Fans are being promised a look at "some awesome new stuff that wander into unexplored territory of the Halo mythos."

Here's a list of the authors who have made contributions to Halo: Evolutions

"Pariah" by B.K. Evenson
"Stomping on the Heels of a Fuss" by Eric Raab
"Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian" by Frank O'Connor
"Dirt" by Tobias S. Buckell
"Acheron-VII" by Sparth (art) and Jonathan Goff (words)
"Headhunters" by Jonathan Goff
"Blunt Instruments" by Fred Van Lente
"The Mona Lisa" by Tessa Kum and Jeff VanderMeer
"Icon" by Robogabo (art) and Jonathan Goff (words)
"Palace Hotel" by Robt McLees
"Human Weakness" by Karen Traviss
"Connectivity" by Robogabo (art) and Jonathan Goff (words)
"The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole" by Eric Nylund
"The Return" by Kevin Grace

The good thing about Halo: Evolutions from a parent's point of view is that like Harry Potter, it gets kids and the older kids away from the 360 for a while so they can get some good reading into them! Except, of course, Halo rules,  Harry sucks....

Sunday, November 22

What is the plot of 'The Duel' in the Halo Legends anime film series?



What is the plot of 'The Duel' in the Halo Legends anime film series?


The Duel is the second film in the Halo Legends short film series. The first was The BabysitterThe Duel was originally shown on the new Halo Waypoint that you can download to the dashboard of the Xbox 360. The next chance to see it will be if you get your hands on the Halo Legends DVD which be released on the 9th of February 2010.






The plot:



In the anime "The Duel," a Sangheili Arbiter named 'Fal' is charged with heresy by a High Prophet, because of his blatant and rebellious refusal to accept the Covenant's religion, despite threats made against his clan (think a Christian refusing to renounce his belief system for another's equivalent type scenario).

A second Sangheili serving the unnamed Prophet named 'Haka' takes his own initiative against Fal, forcing a servent of his to kill his wife Han whom clearly was in love with Fal, and him with her. Haka then proceeds to kill Fal's servant, and leaves both of their bodies in Fal's home.

When Fal ulimately discovers what Haka had done, he is enraged and begins a personal war against Haka's troops, even his fellow clansmen, killing many of them until he finally is before Haka.

The two duel, but it is a short struggle, as Haka slashes Fal across his chest, mortally wounding him. To his surprise he quickly finds that Fal has impaled him on his own sword. Borrowing a classic sword fighting premise from a million stories and films, both Sangheili  fall, each having killed the other.

Fal's last moments alive are concerned with thoughts his wife.

As a result of Fal's actions as part of his actions leading to the Duel, the rank of Arbiter is stripped of its honour and is bestowed only apon the Sangheili who have been deemed to have no honor, in order that they might regain it.


In case you wanted a shorter crisper plot description, here's Halo Waypoint's official blurb:

"“The Duel” takes place thousands of years in the past at the dawn of the Covenant. The story follows a shamed Elite who defies his role as an Arbiter to take a path of revenge against those that stole the only thing that mattered to him. This ancient Arbiter must fight his way through ever-growing groups of former allies (Grunts, Elites, Hunters and more) until he finally stands face-to-face with the Elite who betrayed him."

The Duel's plot being set at the dawn of the formation of the Covenant gives us a small insight into the beginning events of the Halo 2 xbox game where the Arbiter, er... becomes The Arbiter. His disgrace at not having prevented the Master Chief from exploding the first Halo installation results in him being bestowed the title of Arbiter with the expectation that, as the "Blade of the Prophets", he will die trying to redeem himself. 

My point is that the Arbiter of Halo 2 and 3 has the brought upon himself the same dishonour that Fal bought upon himself, thus 'earning' the title.

Does the Duel have a New Zealand reference? In Maori, which is an official language of NZ, a 'haka' is a war dance which was historically done before a tribe battled another as a challenge. Now the All Blacks rugby team famously do one before each test match. I wonder if the name Haka is a reference to New Zealand and possibly the fact the one of Bungie's main men, Chris Butcher is from New Zealand. 

Probably a long shot but does any one have any ideas?



Where's New Zealand?


My first reaction to seeing this 'Word vs Brand New Videogame' chart  on Kotaku was to think, where the hell is New Zealand? We are home to Lord of the Rings! Man, we nearly got the Halo movie made! And heck, we made the Speed Racer Xbox game.

The news is that there is no news when new Xbox 360 games are released in New Zealand. We just get to buy them the day before America.

And that includes Halo: Reach. Woot!

What happened to the Halo Movie?






Let's just say Denzel Washington's Trip to Wellington in New Zealand  turned out to be a big waste of his time.


New Zealand's Godfather of Film, Peter Jackson had done the deals and was set to produce a silver screen version of the Halo universe till things crashed and burned like a Pelican crashing and burning on a beach. 

During 2005 - 2007, the stars, both metaphorical and literal, were aligning.


Initially Alex Garland, a novelist known for the script of his own novel, The Beach had handed over a script for Halo that covered the time frame of The Fall of Reach. Legend has it that Mr Garland was paid $1 million by Microsoft (who own the rights to Halo) to write the adaptation of Halo. Microsoft then sold the script to Universal for $10 million.


Enter Mr Jackson, King of the World after LOTR and King Kong. Let's make a Halo movie, he said.


Things were in production. Bungie was in cahoots, helping out with the canon and helping foster the film's development. 


Neil Blomkamp at the time an unknown ingénue who had built a strong reputation as a director of commercials was in Wellington preparing the film. Blomkamp directed a trilogy of live-action Halo short films (known collectively as Landfall)  to promote the release of the Xbox 360 game Halo 3


It was gangbusters and not Dambusters. District 9 was just a short film called Alive in Joburg.


They even made a real live Warthog jeep. Denzel flew into Wellington. Would he be playing Sergeant Johnson?


And then Hollywood took a royal dump on the whole shebang.


Production was put on ice. Best laid plans were sucked into the suck. The big wigs in Hollywood chickened out and canceled the Halo movie. Grown men wept and Denzel Washington left was never to utter the line "I know what the ladies like" in a movie. 


Blomkamp had this telling thing to say "It's not so much me as the entire vessel sank. Basically, it was a combination of; there were two studios involved that weren't getting along in the process of making it, Universal and Fox. That kind of stuff happens, it's a fragile industry. So the film collapsed at the end of last year, and it's been dead, ever since then. I'll be curious to see what happens." 


So fuck you Universal and Fox. 


In 2009, scriptwriter Stuart Beattie tried to get the Halo juices flowing again  with his own spec script. It was rumored that Steven Speilberg blew his load on the script but it was a galaxy too far and the Halo movie is happening no more.



Concept Artwork that Beattie Commissioned 


Extra for Experts: Peter Jackson also had planned to make a computer game called Halo: Chronicles. This too, never saw a byte published.