Skip to main content

Forums / Community / Poll Discussions

Which Halo Difficulty is Canon?

OP Riprollonect13

  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. 2
  4. ...
  5. 3
I always assumed it was Heroic, however some of them being Legendary does make sense.
Heroic I think fits the best. It makes the Covenant and other enemies feel like they are actually a threat without being overly OP like on Legendary.
Heroic.
Legendary. The Master Chief is a genetically augmented super soldier with a reaction time in the milliseconds. Anyone like that in real life could 1 try most of the Halo Campaigns on Legendary (Except maybe Halo 2). Couple with that a lifetime of military experience and his luck and it's not that hard to believe he could 1 try the games on Legendary. Add to that the intelligence of actual Covenant forces and the fact MC has struggled against one Jiralhanae and one Sangheili at various points, a feat basically impossible on Easy, Normal or Heroic and its pretty obvious.
Plus Sangheili = Spartan II < Jiralhanae in strength, the Spartan's advantage always came from intense military training and possibly reaction time.
Things to add
- Plasma >>>>> UNSC in canon. I am reminded of both statements from either FoR or First Strike that depict MC taking a full clip or more of MA5B fire. But also the Wraith Mortar killing any Spartan within a 10-15 metre radius and Plasma Rifles downing shields in 2 or 3 shots (i forgot the source for this one but I think either Flood, FS or Onyx)
- The Iron Skull (Obviously, Chief had no checkpoints)
Quote:
Then finally, Legendary which is unrealistic by all means. You mean to tell me that Master Chief somehow survived all of the Covenant onslaught on Legendary without dying once and still able to spawn 4 sequels, yeah right. In order to have survived all those games he would already have to known the meta of each game, and I highly doubt the second he came out of that cryo tube he immediately knew to keep the pistol because it was somehow better than any human or alien engineered weapons besides the plasma pistol in the first game, like WHAT?! THE LIBRARY?! JACKAL SNIPERS ANYONE?! Trust me if the Halo Universe was meant to be played on Legendary difficulty the USMC would've lost the war a long time ago. Also Legendary difficulty plays the secret "Sgt. Johnson and Hugging Elite" secret cutscene which has been denoted as not being canon by Bungie, emphasis on NOT CANON. If you played Legendary for the sake of immersion I'm pretty sure that scene would bother you story wise and logically.
Chief knew the weapon meta. He's been trained since childhood by the weapon meta. Everyone forgets the Master Chief has had more training as a soldier than anyone who has ever played the Halo Games. That includes the people who conquered LASO, SLASO and Mythic. (Also IMO the Library isn't that hard). And I have a hard time believing the Covenant designed a sniper that isn't a 1 shot kill. That's literally the point of a sniper.
Also obviously in canon the M6D isn't stronger than a Sniper Rifle. That's gameplay.
He is a super soldier in titanium armour. Life is easy for the chief
The cutscenes change sometimes when you play legendary so I think that’s canon
I say it's a game by game basis, possibly even by level.

If I had to give each FPS game a canon difficulty it would be this. (taking the Expanded Universe into context)

Halo: CE - Legendary
Halo 2 - Heroic
Halo 3 - Heroic
Halo 3: ODST - Legendary
Halo: Reach - Heroic
Halo 4 - Heroic
Halo 5 - Heroic

Just my personal opinions. I think Heroic is a good base as it's a challenge, but nothing overly hard considering you're a super soldier Spartan-II (Spartan-III in Reach) and your fighting ability and armor is above snuff.
For ODST you're a normal human footsoldier, not a Spartan-II or III, so you'd be a lot weaker to everything, which is why I put legendary.
With Halo: CE Legendary wasn't as hard as later games would make it, so I'd say it's about as brutal as The Fall of Reach novel described fighting the Covenant.
If I think of any other reasons I'll post them below.

One thing we can all likely agree on is that Halo 2's Legendary isn't canon, sniper jackals and plasma burns aside. *sarcasm*
I agree, as an engineer, my answer is. 'It depends'.
But also in some books it seems like the author played through on easy to see what was what, in the first couple the ganes were out before the books, so he may have just taken a few things straight from the normal/easy game that don't come up or exist in the Heroic/Legendary game. Also with all the skulls and being able to play LASO, it just depends. But maybe your a tactical ninja like chief is and you just walk on by the enemies on Legendary... it just depends, on how you play the game. Here's a video I watch earlier today before seeing this post!
True Lore
It's called the "Normal" difficulty for a reason. It's the difficulty you're meant to play it at, especially your first time through. There's a reason you get the extra stuff, for playing the higher difficulty. It's a bonus for putting yourself through the extra hardship.
To be honest, I'm not trying to be rude, I think it's a bit ridiculous to ask. I don't think there is a "cannon difficulty". I however have always found it strange that there is a difficulty called normal, so you'd think it'd be that but than the description for heroic makes you think that it's heroic because it says it's the way Halo is meant to be played. Don't get me wrong, I find this question interesting and I have gave it quite a bit of thought myself but I honestly just came to the the conclusion that they all are cannon. I feel like calling difficulty levels cannon is kinda pushing what exactly cannon is. The difficulty doesn't even affect the story itself. Difficulties exist so that you can match the game to your skill level.
I'd say Legendary.

Because in Halo CEA, the cutscene at the very beginning and the part with Chief in the cyrotube is exactly the same as the original, whereas it's a bit more different on normal and heroic.

And in the Halo 2 Anniversary cinematics, they used Johnson's speech on legendary.

Plus, we know that Legendary has some extra scenes not shown on normal and heroic.
Legendary is supposed to be the cannon difficulty, the true difficulty if you will. Some games did it better and some did it worse, but it is supposed to be the cannon difficulty.
I Think Legendary is cannon because that is when enemy's feel the threatening
stckrboy wrote:
Edit: Actually, after reading through some commentary from fellow lore enthusiasts it seems there is no difficulty that can really be defined as canon. Retracting my earlier statement
Spoiler:
Show
Had this been confirmed by 343?
Yeah normal seems about right for actual cannon.
I agree, it is normal after all right? I mean its what we're set on when we start the game.
I think heroic would be closest to lore, but legendary for Halo ce and especially Halo odst because of you not being a spartan while facing the same threats.
I say it's a game by game basis, possibly even by level.

If I had to give each FPS game a canon difficulty it would be this. (taking the Expanded Universe into context)

Halo: CE - Legendary
Halo 2 - Heroic
Halo 3 - Heroic
Halo 3: ODST - Legendary
Halo: Reach - Heroic
Halo 4 - Heroic
Halo 5 - Heroic

Just my personal opinions. I think Heroic is a good base as it's a challenge, but nothing overly hard considering you're a super soldier Spartan-II (Spartan-III in Reach) and your fighting ability and armor is above snuff.
For ODST you're a normal human footsoldier, not a Spartan-II or III, so you'd be a lot weaker to everything, which is why I put legendary.
With Halo: CE Legendary wasn't as hard as later games would make it, so I'd say it's about as brutal as The Fall of Reach novel described fighting the Covenant.
If I think of any other reasons I'll post them below.

One thing we can all likely agree on is that Halo 2's Legendary isn't canon, sniper jackals and plasma burns aside. *sarcasm*
So with CE, I'd disagree because of how weak your shields are compared to elites. Spartan shields are supposed to be equivalent to elites, specifically I'd say an elite major. In CE legendary, I agree gameplay it's a challenge and a fair one, which Bungie made perfectly but canon wise, I think normal or heroic are canon. Marines wearing titanium armour just can't simply take about 7 hits and die, whilst grunts could take about 20 rounds of assault rifle bullets and die on legendary. Master Chief on the other hand in one of the Halo books managed to survive a direct hit from a wraith blast, which depleted his entire energy shielding and knocked him to the ground. In heroic and legendary, you'll die from it but survive on normal with about half of your health points gone.

Halo 2, we definitely agree legendary is blatantly unfair. Our shields are like a pillow and the Mark VI is supposed to be much more advanced compared to the Mark V. Heroic difficulty however still seems unfair, because your shields are still weak and you still have to take cover like a typical marine or ODST would. I believe accurately for gameplay, heroic difficulty should replace legendary but give enemies more health and faster fire rate. Plus, in heroic, one wraith blast kills you and one hunter melee with full shields and you're dead. I think canonically, the difficulty would be normal with skulls on: (anger, famine, mythic, swarm, and that's just... wrong), because you could still run around killing and the enemies have a good fire rate that's still lethal to take your shields and kill you if you're reckless.

Halo 3, so I tested heroic out in The Crow's Nest where there's about a platoon of grunts firing plasma pistols at you. Your shields break in about 8 hits which is still too weak, so I tried normal out with skulls: (famine, mythic, and tough luck). It feels about right; you take about 15 hits before your shields break and seeing Chief is wearing the strongest titanium, he should be able to take about 20 hits before dying from plasma damage. So about the same thing with Halo 2 basically.

Halo 3: ODST, I 100% agree with you that legendary is the canon difficulty. Also, I think many people dislike the whole stamina thing and they think it doesn't make sense. However, we do know ODSTs wear titanium with a protective gel that can strongly reduce heat damage and plasma shots that are about 2-inch thick coming at you should take an arm off in 2-3 hits. So with the ODST stamina system, I think that's just how much heat damage you can take without losing health and when it reaches the state where your stamina runs out, I believe it's because your suit realistically is extremely hot from the plasma damage and the gel is trying to cool it down. I think it makes sense, because Halo is 500 years in the future.

Halo: Reach, pretty much the same thing with famine, mythic, and tough luck skulls on. Spartan IIIs wear Mark V, which has the shields that Master Chief does but they just don't have Master Chief's precision shooting (Spartan IIIs have recoil) and his biological augmentations.

Halo 4, I'll say normal again. Your shields are actually weaker than Halo 3's in it. About 10-12 plasma shots takes your shields down, but other than that, just turn mythic, tough luck, and famine on.

Lastly, if people want to go even more canonical, turn the IRON skull on!
Heroic.
Bungie use to say Heroic was the cloest to in-universe accuracy. Plus the many times Heroric is mentioned as being the way to play Halo always gave me the impression that it was the canon difficulty. Plus Warzone A.Is in Halo 5 seem to act almost like they're on heroric settings. 343 Industries has said the promethean knights are much harder in universe than in game (note: this was back in Halo 4's heyday, probably why they made them so much harder in Halo 5). I always felt legendary was merely a nightmare scenerio of what could be while heroric is the cloest to canon.
I would say that the most important aspects for a Canon difficulty is that it should be open to new players without any pre-existing knowledge about the missions. Due to this, Legendary can be easily ruled out for most if not all Halo games due to some scenarios which do require some preparation like some section of the Gravemind in Halo 2, Warden fights and some Hunter fights in Halo 5, Corvette boarding section in Halo Reach and many other sections. Due to this, Normal and Heroic should be a reasonable choice dependent on the players experience with the game mechanics and the Halo game/mission.
  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. 2
  4. ...
  5. 3