The Engineers of Halo 3: ODST and maybe Reach?

engineer from halo odst reach

Halo 3: ODST's Engineers were a surprise for me. I'd never heard of these creatures before - plenty of fans had though and Bungie made no secret of their existence:

"First seen in still images prior to the retail launch of Halo: Combat Evolved (and then again by industrious players who coaxed character models out of unplayable portions of the disc), our official unveiling of the Engineer didn’t go down until eight years after the Master Chief first went toe-to-toe with the Covenant. But since you’ve now seen these curious, armor-clad characters floating and sputtering around the city of New Mombasa, we figure the time is right to declassify their artistic origins."

So now that Halo 3: ODST is done and dusted, Bungie took the time to explain a bit more about the design and origin of the Engineers. A chat with the lead designer Shi Kai Wang sheds a lot of light - for instance they were inspired by sea creatures like jelly fish!

"I definitely looked at a lot of sea creatures for inspiration - the way they move, the way they emit light, the fluidity of their bodies - and tried to translate that into a creature out of water. Under water sea slugs and glowing jellyfish were the main source of inspiration." - Shi Kai Wang.

Note the giant ball sack, top right. hehehe.

Engineers are formally known as Huragok and are effectively a class of Covenant.

Within the Halo universe,  their origins are that they were created by the Forerunners prior to the first activation of the Halo Array. Being mechanical structures rather than true life forms, they survived the activation and were later found by the Prophets.  The Prophets subsequently made the Huragok their slaves to do work regarding understanding and using Forerunner technology.

While Engineers possess no true tissues or organs, their nano-mechanical surrogates so closely mimic their biological analogs that they seem almost indistinguishable to later observers. Gas-bladders serve as their method of locomotion, allowing them to float through the air even after their deaths. The bladders also serve as part of their respiratory system; if their gas bladders deflate, they will asphyxiate and die (source).

The Engineers as a concept and as a design have been around since Halo: Combat Evolved was being put together by Bungie. As noted above, they were even spied in some pictures before Combat Evolved was released.

Due to time constraint issues, the Engineers were "left on the cutting room floor" while Halo CE was being finalised. They were cut so late in the piece, however, that they remained in the game's code. Xbox modders and hackers located the Engineer files within the code on the game disc and manged to spawn Engineers in various configurations within the game. These are the images that may be found on the internet:

    Hey! I don't belong here!

    What's purple and doesn't look like Cortana?

Will the Engineers be in Halo: Reach? There's a real possibilty they might be as they are actually referenced in The Fall of Reach novel. The Master Chief watched an Engineer dismantle a vehicle's engine, assemble it into various other working configurations, and then return it to its original state (page 183 of the book).

There is real potential for at least some kind of reference in the xbox game now that they are official in the 'released game cannon' and not just in the Halo novels. Time will tell...

Extra for Experts: Maybe Microsoft should have used the Engineers to fix all the Red Rings of Death that seem to occur all over the world....


JJ said...

Thanks Morhek, I thought I had deleted the comment but yours deals to it nicely. Thanks for the support!

The Me... said...

this is probobly one of the best Halo:Reach sites i've come accross actually...

Anonymous said...

^^^ Is telling the truth that OTHER annonimous can get lost.

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Anonymous said...

It appears Engineers are in Halo: Reach. If you want proof keep a close eye on the computer screens in the newest ViDoc.