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.