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Monday, April 12

Carter and Kat's Noble Hunt

A guest post by Seenoht that features his own original Halo artwork and thoughts on one of the Halo universe's most sturdy aliens, the Hunter. I am extremely proud to be able to post this to Halo Reach Game News!

A Noble Hunt

“There is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.” - Ernest Hemingway 


The Hunter introduction is a carefully constructed moment in every Bungie Halo game.


I, for one, remember bumbling around Silent Cartographer in Halo: Combat Evolved before realizing I had to head into the interior of the island.  Joyous at finally finding the proper path, I set out along an uphill journey and quickly found a stash of weapons and ammo that had been carelessly discarded.  I picked my way through this serendipitous offering until I died without warning in a blast of green.  Like some bastard alien just set Avada Kedavra on me.


Turns out I was pretty close to the truth.  Respawning and returning to the scene of my previous fail, I was cautious to engage this foe again.  Excuse me…foes.  A bonded pair according to my intel.  After darting over to stock up on ammo I took cover where I could find it and started pelting one of the beasts with all I had. 


I might as well have thrown my sidearm at it.


Maybe a melee attack will…nope.  That’s not it.


Oh, I shoot them in their bewilderingly unprotected lumbar region (designed by Achilles apparently).  I got this.  And just for good measure on my way past them, I crack one of the lifeless husks of armor with the butt of my pistol.  This gives a satisfying clang, much like spanking a rusty Chevrolet with Excalibur.


Their sudden gate-crashing entrance into Halo 2 was overshadowed for me when you actually teamed up with the Mgalekgolo later as the Arbiter.  This was the furthest thing from running around with a pack of the Keystone marines that I’d been saddled with for 1-1/2 games.  I had complete confidence rolling through Delta Halo on the yellow-brick road to Tartarus with my bonded pair out in front blasting and crushing every brute who stood in their path.


Hell, I could’ve bonded with them at that point.  So dreamy…


By Halo 3, I knew to be on the lookout for creamy blasts of emerald hurt, so I was ready when I saw a fuel rod cannon demolish a stack of precariously placed fusion coils.  This was accompanied by a great snippet of interactive music.  Kudos, Marty.  Of course, by this point handling Hunters is as easy as a continuous circle strafe to position yourself to abuse their special area.  Ooh, take it.


Perhaps I was most impressed by the armored giants in ODST because I wasn’t expecting anything different from them.  I had a pair of surprises instantly intrigue me in my first encounter with them in Tayari Plaza.  The first being the super quick melee attack they had for when I was behind them.  It made the dance to hit said area a bit more treacherous when you were already moving slower as an ODST.  The second surprise was battling the vanilla Hunters alongside the Spec Ops Hunters.  Having to keep an eye on which flavor was where so you knew which type of fuel rod blast would be incoming was way more fun than previous encounters.  It added a variety to fighting Hunters that has been noticeably absent.


Those last changes are what give me great expectations for the Hunters in Reach.  With the new animation overhaul and improved A.I., these monsters should be most frightening.  Graphical enhancements could possibly involve the churning colonies of eels within the armor writhing over each other and being visibly damaged by weapons fire.  I’m also hopeful for new Hunter audio that will rumble my living room when the 10,500 pound behemoths roar at me or thump through my bones with every step of their approach.  In a few months we’ll all know how they behave.  Bungie has saved their best for last, so expect one final fitting entrance for these giants of the Halo universe.


Seenoht







Composition
 Nearly there...
A Noble Hunt


Artist's composition notes:


My software of choice is Corel Painter, of which I’m using Version 10 right now.  The initial idea for this painting was “Noble team works together to bring down a Hunter”.  After a few different layouts it turned into “Noble team O.G.’s work together to bring down a Hunter”. 


I may do a companion piece based on “Noble noobs work together to bring down a Hunter” so I can paint the other 3 NPC Spartans.


My trophy shot on B.net is a Hunter so I’m familiar with their current appearance.  This was an artistic license to create a prequel style based on what already exists.  I would love feedback and don’t mind honest criticism, but please don’t harass me over minutiae.  The barrel of the fuel rod cannon was actually inspired by a pair of older Kicker ZR series amps that I had about a decade ago.  They were covered in cast metal fins that still had that rough texture and then each fin had a machine-cut face smoothly running along its length.  The amps were very solid and intimidating and that lent itself well to the look of the Hunter.  The steam and smoke was to show how dangerous the Legkolo weapon really is (btw, this one discharged because of the sudden trauma its owner just experienced).


The Spartans themselves were a new challenge since I am not that adept at figures.  It was super fun painting the human weapons though.  Can you tell what I’m looking forward to using in the Beta?
The rest of the painting was about the romantic scale of the battle.  Good prevailing over evil even as the last rays of light are extinguished for what must be a seemingly endless night on Reach.  Hope you enjoy it.  Drop me a message at b.net and let me hear your thoughts.


Seenoht




Should one anyone wish to use these fantastic Hunter images, please link back to this page as the source, and also acknowledge Seenoht as the artist. Thanks, JJ

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

awesome bro

Anonymous said...

this is sweet!