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343's Growing Problems with Halo's Endings

OP Ur Haruspis

Link to article.

In this piece, we look back at the endings for each of 343's major game stories (Halo 4, Spartan Ops, Halo 5, Halo Wars 2, and Awakening the Nightmare) and examine what they did right (with primary reference to Halo 4's incredible conclusion), but also an emergent pattern in where I feel they've been going wrong.
This is an incredible piece of work. I saw this on the Halo subreddit the other day and spent the better part of 2-3 hours reading through it all. I really hope 343i reads this and takes notes. Please, do more articles like this in the future.
Solid article as always, Haruspis. You have a way of being in-depth and thorough, yet not preachy and long winded.
This is an incredible piece of work. I saw this on the Halo subreddit the other day and spent the better part of 2-3 hours reading through it all. I really hope 343i reads this and takes notes. Please, do more articles like this in the future.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to read through this behemoth (I managed to get it to exactly 10,000 words lol) :')

I definitely intend to do a bit more prose work, in terms of those short little scene adaptations - I was really quite happy with how they bookended this article and the response to them has been great.
This is an incredible piece of work. I saw this on the Halo subreddit the other day and spent the better part of 2-3 hours reading through it all. I really hope 343i reads this and takes notes. Please, do more articles like this in the future.
Couldn't have said it better myself. This piece has fantastic, engaging analysis and is very well-written. We can only hope 343 storytelling is on the same wavelength as you are and have worked out many of the failings that H5's story had. Bravo
Imo awakening the nightmare and hw2 had good endings,the others didn't quite stick the landing
Very interesting.
Halo Wars 2's ending, gameplay wise, was awesome, holding off 4 lanes of constant enemies and scarabs using 3 spartans, a condor, and various other units. And with the reveal of the guardian at the end, it just raised the stakes even higher, so for me, HW2 was the best 343 game so far. Even the DLC had a great ending with the destruction of a proto gravemind. When a DLC for an RTS game has a better conclusion than 4 and 5, that's when you know how much of an overhaul 6 needs to be satisfactory. This article still states unarguable proof that 343 needs to fix their problem before the trilogy becomes a narrative joke.
Halo 5 was ooKKK but not as good as it should have been
Halo wars 2 and Halo 4 had good endings imo.
Spartan Ops was okay.
Awakening the nightmare and Halo 5 were very average.
Link to article.In this piece, we look back at the endings for each of 343's major game stories (Halo 4, Spartan Ops, Halo 5, Halo Wars 2, and Awakening the Nightmare) and examine what they did right (with primary reference to Halo 4's incredible conclusion), but also an emergent pattern in where I feel they've been going wrong.
Amazing as always, Haruspis. Water in a narrative desert.
I enjoyed that read. Always insightful. I don't have the same optimistic view of Halo Wars 2 that you do -- I'm disappointed with the implementation of the Banished and its characters -- but in just about everything else I agree. Except maybe the optimism. Less optimistic. That Bonnie Ross statement about simpler, Chief-focused stories has me a little spooked.
Link to article.In this piece, we look back at the endings for each of 343's major game stories (Halo 4, Spartan Ops, Halo 5, Halo Wars 2, and Awakening the Nightmare) and examine what they did right (with primary reference to Halo 4's incredible conclusion), but also an emergent pattern in where I feel they've been going wrong.
My dude, did you do this?? I salute you. Tremendous work.
You make a lot of good points, I will admit. However I have a thought regarding the ending of Halo 5, and what you call John and Locke's "nonversation".

Their emotional resolution already happened, before Blue Team was abducted into the Domain. Osiris runs up to Blue Team, who react defensively, until Locke puts his gun away and his hand up: They're there to help, not to fight, and they know that Cortana is the threat. Blue Team knows this too, and John hopes that he can talk her down. Locke and his team want to help, but before they can Cortana steals them away.

John and Blue Team are then betrayed; there's no talking Cortana down.

Osiris stops Cortana from imprisoning Blue Team, but the Spartan II's aren't aware of that fight and it's outcome. So when John asks Locke "Where's Cortana?" what he's really asking is "Is she dead?" But she's not dead, she's gone, and the threat remains. And we're even still unclear if John will acknowledge the threat that remains, or if he'll try to get her to "come back home" again. Does he have the strength, as the Warden Eternal mocked, to crush her in his armored fist?

What's more, there's even a secondary meaning to what Locke said: "She's gone" could also be taken to mean "There's no saving her." She's no longer present, and she's no longer the Cortana that we knew - if she ever was.

In the beginning of Halo 5, we see that Chief is not over Cortana's apparent death. He ponders on his helmet, stroking the AI Chip slot. He leaps at the opportunity to find her, going AWOL to do so. He strikes a fellow Spartan to keep them from getting to her first. By the ending, he's realized her threat. He's held her accountable for massive losses of life, and quite likely has emotionally let her go to address the threat that she now poses to the galaxy. She's gone, and it took John long enough to realize this. That's the journey (for John) in Halo 5, and it's not cliffhung at all.

That's my take on it.
343 better make Halo 6 a memorable one.