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Halo Infinite Story Concerns

OP Doctor Ozaki

Though I am mostly optomistic about Halo Infinite, I have a few concerns in reguards to the continuity of the overall narrative:
  • Will Halo Infinite render the events of Halo's 1-3 irrelevant? I mean: Cortana's character no longer makes logical sense, high charity was (apparently) intact since Halo 3 and therefore, the flood are back, the Banished could become the covenant all over again, and on top of that, we have another Halo ring situation... Now I understand that 343 is trying to do a soft reboot to get the series back on track, but it seems as though they are doing this at the expense of Halo's 1-3!
  • Many players (myself included) have not read many Halo books and as a result, are clueless toward MANY concepts and story details in Halo 5 (i.e. Blue teams reunion w/ Chief, Blue team in general for those who haven't read The Fall of Reach, Buck becoming a spartan, the Domain, the Warden Eternal, the Didact's questionable death, etc.). Will these story gaps be propperly filled in going foreward?
  • Also, what exactly are the Prometheans? I realize this was explained in Halo 4, but it was poorly communicated and to this day I struggle to understand them.
  • Is there an actual reason for Chief getting his classic armor back or is that just fan service (because if it is, thats pretty retarded).
  • Which is canon: Halo Reach or Halo: The Fall of Reach? I mean come on, these two stories were clearly NOT meant to coexist.
Let me know what you think or if I missed something. Neither here nor there, Halo Infinite desperately needs an in-game Mass Effect style codex for both new and old players. It sould also include information from the previous games and books as well as references to them and since 343 seem to be leaning towards including some Open World and RPG elements to the game, this would be the perfect opportunity to implement this mechanic. However, we must remember that the books/codex should serve as a way to expand the players knowledge of the game, not the other way around (looking at you Halo Reach/Halo 5). Much like Halo's 1-3, Halo Infinite must have a story that can function on it's own without requiring the use of external source material.

343, if you are reading this, please treat the story with love and delicacy... and hire people who know how to write!
  1. I don't think so, but I understand your concerns. I imagine it will more or less build on the old games, but it's too soon to tell
  2. This has been a major criticism of Halo 5. So I imagine going forward 343 will do better to explain extended lore that enters the game lore. But as you said, a lot of these have now been explained in the extended lore, so I don't see all the concepts you mentioned getting fully explained within a new game
  3. The Prometheans were a form of Warrior-Servants. The original ones were voluntarily composed by the Didact to fight the Flood. When the Didact realized he didn't have enough of them, he began composing Ancient Humans (hence the skull behind the mask). I think it's been said somewhere that not all Prometheans are composed essences though, so some are basically just drones in a sense.
  4. There are two popular theories about Chief's new armor. One is that it's an old suit of armor that the UNSC found because they ran out of spare parts to repair his Gen 2 Mjolnir. The other is that it's a Gen 3 Mjolnir prototype
  5. Bungie didn't really concern themselves with extended lore when it came to the games. What I mean is, Bungie operated on the basis that any game lore took precedence over extended lore. That being said, Halo Canon on Youtube made an excellent video a long time ago that worked to reconcile the two story lines and showed that it is possible for both stories to coexist to an extent
Regarding a codex system, I really like the Phoenix Logs in the Halo Wars series, so perhaps something like that could manifest in Infinite.
The only way that they can make Halo 5's story make sense, while also creating a great story for Infinite would them having side missions within the campaign if it is going to be an open world game that give us some lore and context to the previous game, and the feelings behind H5. Like for example, Destiny has the public events, Halo can do something similar that lets you optionally watch a cutscene. This way you do not have to collect any logs, or read any extended lore to understand whats going on.
Why doesn't Cortana's character make sense?

They said Infinite will be a lot easier to understand without reading extended material, we'll see to what extent.

I'd be cool with Chief's armour just being a product of an overall art design change but knowing 343i I'm sure they'll lore it.
Will Halo Infinite render the events of Halo's 1-3 irrelevant? I mean: Cortana's character no longer makes logical sense, high charity was (apparently) intact since Halo 3 and therefore, the flood are back, the Banished could become the covenant all over again, and on top of that, we have another Halo ring situation... Now I understand that 343 is trying to do a soft reboot to get the series back on track, but it seems as though they are doing this at the expense of Halo's 1-3!
I feel like its a real leap to say the Banished will become the covenant again. They may have the same species, but their goals and level of power are very different. The flood in halo 3 said all you were doing is delaying them.

I'd say halo 5 has diminished Cortana's character, but there's not much that can be done to fix that.

Many players (myself included) have not read many Halo books and as a result, are clueless toward MANY concepts and story details in Halo 5 (i.e. Blue teams reunion w/ Chief, Blue team in general for those who haven't read The Fall of Reach, Buck becoming a spartan, the Domain, the Warden Eternal, the Didact's questionable death, etc.). Will these story gaps be propperly filled in going foreward?
Finally someone pointing some of these complaints so I can reply to:
  • I will completely agree blue team and its introduction was handled poorly in halo 5.
  • Buck became a spartan because he went under the augmentation process. I haven't read new blood and don't need to. Why is him becoming augmented a plot hole? He was called the next best thing to a spartan in ODST's promotional material.
  • The Domain was explained enough for halo 5's narrative. It has some more details in the books but we dont really know if they're relevant to whats going on yet.
  • The Warden Eternal is not a book character. There is a character called the Warden, but beyond being forerunner AI's and partially sharing a name they have nothing in common.
  • We may get back to the didact one day, but the comic did nothing but give him another generic villain hole to fall in to effectively.
Also, what exactly are the Prometheans? I realize this was explained in Halo 4, but it was poorly communicated and to this day I struggle to understand them.
The Knights are forerunner machines using composed forerunner and human minds to run them. The other promtheans are just support constructs. I don't know whats difficult about them.

Is there an actual reason for Chief getting his classic armor back or is that just fan service (because if it is, thats pretty retarded).
We won't know till they tell us or the game is out.

Which is canon: Halo Reach or Halo: The Fall of Reach? I mean come on, these two stories were clearly NOT meant to coexist.
They do. 343 has put out extensive stuff linking the two. If you're still this torn up about it almost a decade later, take the moment to go through it.
Though I am mostly optomistic about Halo Infinite, I have a few concerns in reguards to the continuity of the overall narrative:
  • Will Halo Infinite render the events of Halo's 1-3 irrelevant? I mean: Cortana's character no longer makes logical sense, high charity was (apparently) intact since Halo 3 and therefore, the flood are back, the Banished could become the covenant all over again, and on top of that, we have another Halo ring situation... Now I understand that 343 is trying to do a soft reboot to get the series back on track, but it seems as though they are doing this at the expense of Halo's 1-3!
  • Many players (myself included) have not read many Halo books and as a result, are clueless toward MANY concepts and story details in Halo 5 (i.e. Blue teams reunion w/ Chief, Blue team in general for those who haven't read The Fall of Reach, Buck becoming a spartan, the Domain, the Warden Eternal, the Didact's questionable death, etc.). Will these story gaps be propperly filled in going foreward?
  • Also, what exactly are the Prometheans? I realize this was explained in Halo 4, but it was poorly communicated and to this day I struggle to understand them.
  • Is there an actual reason for Chief getting his classic armor back or is that just fan service (because if it is, thats pretty retarded).
  • Which is canon: Halo Reach or Halo: The Fall of Reach? I mean come on, these two stories were clearly NOT meant to coexist.
Let me know what you think or if I missed something. Neither here nor there, Halo Infinite desperately needs an in-game Mass Effect style codex for both new and old players. It sould also include information from the previous games and books as well as references to them and since 343 seem to be leaning towards including some Open World and RPG elements to the game, this would be the perfect opportunity to implement this mechanic. However, we must remember that the books/codex should serve as a way to expand the players knowledge of the game, not the other way around (looking at you Halo Reach/Halo 5). Much like Halo's 1-3, Halo Infinite must have a story that can function on it's own without requiring the use of external source material.

343, if you are reading this, please treat the story with love and delicacy... and hire people who know how to write!
High charity wasnt completely intact.High charity was so huge and a big chunk of it was destroyed and the rest was intact
Though I am mostly optomistic about Halo Infinite, I have a few concerns in reguards to the continuity of the overall narrative:
  1. Will Halo Infinite render the events of Halo's 1-3 irrelevant? I mean: Cortana's character no longer makes logical sense, high charity was (apparently) intact since Halo 3 and therefore, the flood are back, the Banished could become the covenant all over again, and on top of that, we have another Halo ring situation... Now I understand that 343 is trying to do a soft reboot to get the series back on track, but it seems as though they are doing this at the expense of Halo's 1-3!
  2. Many players (myself included) have not read many Halo books and as a result, are clueless toward MANY concepts and story details in Halo 5 (i.e. Blue teams reunion w/ Chief, Blue team in general for those who haven't read The Fall of Reach, Buck becoming a spartan, the Domain, the Warden Eternal, the Didact's questionable death, etc.). Will these story gaps be propperly filled in going foreward?
  3. Also, what exactly are the Prometheans? I realize this was explained in Halo 4, but it was poorly communicated and to this day I struggle to understand them.
  4. Is there an actual reason for Chief getting his classic armor back or is that just fan service (because if it is, thats pretty retarded).
  5. Which is canon: Halo Reach or Halo: The Fall of Reach? I mean come on, these two stories were clearly NOT meant to coexist
  1. Halo Wars 2 pretty much already rendered the original Halo trilogy as pointless. It makes sense that there might be Flood on Zeta Halo as there was on Alpha and Delta Halo (not to mention Zeta Halo's extensive history with the Flood). What doesn't make any sense was the existence of Flood on the Ark after destroying them in Halo 3.
    I think a problem Halo has always had is explaining context without major expository cutscenes. I love cutscenes like the one at the start of Two Betrayals and the end of Floodgate, but I think one such cutscene per game is enough. Halo 5 had too many scenes set within the Infinity in which they provided blatantly shallow exposition, and Halo 4's attempt to explain the entire Human-Forerunner War in a single scene was too much information at once while also managing to be too vague at the same time. All we need is a few explicit and well-written lines of dialogue to explain things like the appearance of the Flood or the Banished in game. The problem is, not all writers are capable of pulling this off in a few lines, so they either overdo it or underdo it
  2. I'd rather they focused on the story of Infinite rather than messing things up by constantly referring to plot points that should have been explained in Halo 5. If you really wish to find out more Buck, Blue Team, the Domain, etc. you can read the books. Relating to my earlier point about well written lines, as long as Infinite does a good job of explaining everything within its own secluded story, I'll be happy. It shouldn't be forced to overcompensate for Halo 5's errors.
  3. I haven't read the rest of the thread yet, but I'm sure others have this covered.
  4. Again, I feel like other people would have this covered, but in short, the answer is unconfirmed but strongly hinted that the Infinite armour is Gen 3, which is based on a mix of Gen 1 (from Halos Reach, CE, 2 and 3) and Gen 2 (Halos 4 and 5).
  5. That's ground I don't want to touch, but there are ways they can both co-exist, even if there are still a few discrepancies. Both are canon. You may have to use your own headcanon for any contradictions that remain after you do your research.
Thanks for all the replies everyone, I really enjoyed going through each of them. I do have a few responses for you guys - Mostly about things you pointed out, stuff I poorly communicated, and some things I hadn't concidered before:
  • Happy Place8166 - Yes, many people have already pointed out that H5 was overly reliant on external source material, so I can see 343 addressing this in Halo Infinite.
  • The problem I did have about Reach's story was Bungie's blatant disregard to the book.
  • Fully Skully - Tons of people have explained why Cortana doesn't make sense in H5 much better than I can, but I just think it was a stupid the way she was handled and this is one of my biggest concerns for Halo Infinite.
  • KineticDrop6190 - I agree, it was a bit of a stretch to simply label the Banished as the Covenant all over again. I guess I was just grasping at straws just to get my point across and it was a stupid thing of me to bring up!
  • I do recall the flood asking the player at the end of H3: "Did you think me defeated?" And I agree that destroying High Charity alone would only delay them. However, I also recall Cortana stating: "This reactor... Start a chain reaction, DESTROY High Charity!" AND "We need to get to Halo and destroy the flood once and for all." If the aftermath of Halo didn't finish off the Flood, then what was the point?
  • I agree that the story of Buck becoming spartan would have been irrelevant to H5's plot (and that certainly wouldn't have made it any better), and that the Domain was explained well enough for the plot.
  • I did read a summary about the Prometheans and the Composer. Guess I just didn't know what "compose" meant in this context.
  • I have read/watched content about the connection between Halo Reach and the book (although it's been a while). Don't get me wrong, I love 'em both, it's mostly the way Bungie handled the story that frustrates me. Although, I think this was also a point I shouldn't have brought up!
  • Perserverance23 - What I was trying to point out was that in HW2 the Flood actually came from the Ark where, based on the events of H3, they should've been eradicated. Also, despite the fact that Cortana told the player to "DESTROY High Charity," it actually looks relatively unharmed after the "chain reaction" caused by Master Chief blowing up it's reactor.
  • MinusSquire2145 - Yes I guess HW2 has already rendered Halo's 1-3 pointless. I just hope Halo Infinite can drive the focus back without making that mistake again.
  • I also loved those cutscenes you mentioned because of how efficiently they explain things. Although Bungie isn't perfect, I think the issue is much more prominent in 343's games. I guess we'll see how Halo Infinite does.
  • Now that you mention it, I also think 343 should focus more on looking ahead instead of trying to explain away the failures and shortcomings of H5! Thanks for bringing that up.
Thanks for all of your informative thoughts. The've certainly helped clear things up👍 Although let us hope for the best for Cortana😥
Why doesn't Cortana's character make sense?

They said Infinite will be a lot easier to understand without reading extended material, we'll see to what extent.

I'd be cool with Chief's armour just being a product of an overall art design change but knowing 343i I'm sure they'll lore it.
Well they didn't lore it for Halo 3-4, it was the same armor, it had the scar still. So it's probably an art style thing, it's the same reason Cortana changed appearance in 1-5. Knowing they didn't lore it for 4, I don't think they'll lore it for the difference too much
Why doesn't Cortana's character make sense?

They said Infinite will be a lot easier to understand without reading extended material, we'll see to what extent.

I'd be cool with Chief's armour just being a product of an overall art design change but knowing 343i I'm sure they'll lore it.
Well they didn't lore it for Halo 3-4, it was the same armor, it had the scar still. So it's probably an art style thing, it's the same reason Cortana changed appearance in 1-5. Knowing they didn't lore it for 4, I don't think they'll lore it for the difference too much
Didn't they have some excuse like Cortana upgraded it while he was in cryo (from 3 to 4). I remember I thought it was a dumb reason but there was an actual canon reason none the less.
Though I am mostly optomistic about Halo Infinite, I have a few concerns in reguards to the continuity of the overall narrative:
  • Will Halo Infinite render the events of Halo's 1-3 irrelevant? I mean: Cortana's character no longer makes logical sense, high charity was (apparently) intact since Halo 3 and therefore, the flood are back, the Banished could become the covenant all over again, and on top of that, we have another Halo ring situation... Now I understand that 343 is trying to do a soft reboot to get the series back on track, but it seems as though they are doing this at the expense of Halo's 1-3!
  • Many players (myself included) have not read many Halo books and as a result, are clueless toward MANY concepts and story details in Halo 5 (i.e. Blue teams reunion w/ Chief, Blue team in general for those who haven't read The Fall of Reach, Buck becoming a spartan, the Domain, the Warden Eternal, the Didact's questionable death, etc.). Will these story gaps be propperly filled in going foreward?
Much like Halo's 1-3, Halo Infinite must have a story that can function on it's own without requiring the use of external source material.
I highly doubt 1-3 will ever be irrelevant. The Banished are nowhere near the power of the Covenant and I personally believe the Flood was only brought back in a side game's side expansion to satisfy the raging fan demand, not because 343 actually had a plan to use them again (though I have no evidence to support this hypothesis). Though, this does bring up an interesting point. If the Covenant and Flood return, people will (rightfully) complain that 1-3 are irrelevant, much like is happening with the terrible Star Wars sequels. But, when the Prometheans came along, people complained that they weren't fighting Covenant and Flood, so at this point I don't think 343 can ever win, regardless of what they do.

As for the books, Bungie hasn't exactly been a star player in that regard either with 1-3, though probably better than 5. I.E. How did Sgt Johnson survive the Flood from the first game? I'm sure there are other examples as well. Then there's the whole Reach debacle which 343 has barely been able to patch together. Again, I think it's a no win scenario for 343. They either neglect the books entirely which will doubtless lead to retcons that will tick off the die hard lore community like what happened with Reach; or they require some knowledge of the books and tick off non-readers. Honestly, I understood 5 just as well as 2 when I played them for the first time (before I started reading any books), and just accepted some of the things I didn't fully understand in both games as part of the wider universe. I will agree an in-game codex is the best way to solve this, though preferably without collectibles to unlock the entries. Having to spend hours searching a level or looking online to find collectibles is just as bad as having to use Google to answer a lore question that was answered in the books not the games. Same thing with terminals.
Why doesn't Cortana's character make sense?

They said Infinite will be a lot easier to understand without reading extended material, we'll see to what extent.

I'd be cool with Chief's armour just being a product of an overall art design change but knowing 343i I'm sure they'll lore it.
Well they didn't lore it for Halo 3-4, it was the same armor, it had the scar still. So it's probably an art style thing, it's the same reason Cortana changed appearance in 1-5. Knowing they didn't lore it for 4, I don't think they'll lore it for the difference too much
Didn't they have some excuse like Cortana upgraded it while he was in cryo (from 3 to 4). I remember I thought it was a dumb reason but there was an actual canon reason none the less.
Yeah you're right... I forget if it's mentioned in 4s campaign or not. Though I think it's a big opportunity loss, as they could've had him start with Halo 3 armor, have it super damaged or something, and when infinity crashes, they decide that the armor needs to be upgraded or rebuilt or something. I feel like fans would then have taken the art style change, in a better way
Well the original story in Halo CE was Cortana was supposed to turn against Master Chief when she got the Index. Chief was supposed to stop her from taking over the universe. They changed that obviously but they kind of brought it back in Halo 5. That's why it don't make sense.
Why doesn't Cortana's character make sense?

They said Infinite will be a lot easier to understand without reading extended material, we'll see to what extent.

I'd be cool with Chief's armour just being a product of an overall art design change but knowing 343i I'm sure they'll lore it.
Well they didn't lore it for Halo 3-4, it was the same armor, it had the scar still. So it's probably an art style thing, it's the same reason Cortana changed appearance in 1-5. Knowing they didn't lore it for 4, I don't think they'll lore it for the difference too much
Cortana's appearance changed very little in Bungie's classic graphics. The jump from Halo CE to 2 gave her longer hair and different colouring, but her figure and facial structure remained the same. Between 2 and 3 her colouring changed a little again and her model was improved, but mostly she remained the same. The Halo 3 and Reach models are literally identical except that Halo Reach's model uses her classic CE colouring for continuity/timeline purposes.
It's not until 343i took over that her appearances became inconsistent: CEA uses her Halo 3 model but with obvious deficiencies in colour and polygons. Her appearances in Halos 4, H2A and 5 all have completely different bodies, hair, face models and motion capture actresses. Halo 5's face model and actress felt nothing like Cortana, in my opinion.

Regarding the MJOLNIR, the canonical explanation is that Cortana uses nanobot technology to alter the Master Chief's armour over the four years of his cryo-sleep using features from a particular MJOLNIR Mark IV used years prior as inspiration. This was mentioned in Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide.