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Canonical conissitency issues in H2A/cutscene

OP JABBERWOCK xeno

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I have a few issues/concerns with what we have seen with the MCC collection in regards to canonical consistency. In case you don't want to read my whole thing, there's a Tl;DR version at the bottom. I also have a list of non canonical questions/concerns regarding H2A's cinemeatics here: https://forums.halowaypoint.com/yaf_postsm2990690_Questions-and-Concerns-with-the-Cinematics.aspx

Also, if this belongs in the MCC section, if a mod could move it, I would appreciate that.

For starters, let's look at halo 4, specifically in regard's to john's changed MJOLNIR armor and the redesign of UNSC frigates, specifically the Forward Unto Dawn.

In the intro video of Halo 4, we see various scenes that show the early days of the Human-Covenant War and the SPARTAN II program, and we see Spartans in that modified MJOLNIR armor. This implies that the change is intended to be a retcon, and that that is now supposed to be the standard appearance of MK 5 and 6 armor.

However, we can see in H2A, that John now has the same MK 6 armor he had in halo 2; Yet, we can see in the halo 5 trailer that john still has the halo 4 version of his armor. We can also see in H2A, that UNSC frigates now have their original look back.

This bothers me. 343i knew going into halo 4 that they were changing these things and retconning them, and they had to be aware of the consequences of that, and that there would be backlash, but they decided to it anyways. Even if I disagreed with that decision, it's even WORSE now that we have seen that they intend to carry those changes into halo 5, but aren't applying them to halo 2 anniversary.

Halo has long held itself for having good canonical consistency, and the fact that that is being ignored left and right for no reason (There were visual design reasons behind the change in MJOLNIR, but they could have explained it, and I can think of 0 reason for the change in the frigate design) bothers me immensely. I would rather they had made none of these changes in halo 4, but since they did, they should carry over to h2a.

Moving on, I have an issue with how Thel Vadam (the arbiter)looks in the Cinematic trailer that was shown recently. From what I can tell, they use the reach elite designs. While the visual design of elite armor in reach was fantastic, it was a huge change from previous designs of elites, to the point where they only look superficially similar, a closer look will show how radically different their anatomy is. But halo 4 elites, physiologically, looked amazing. They had the same body proportions as elites from 1 and 2, and had a saurian appearance to them, as they should, unlike reach's, they managed to look fierce, which was the intention behind reach's elites, without looking like monsters, 4 elites still looked like intelligent aliens. In a nutshell, halo 4 elites were a logical, and reasonable visual upgrade to halo CE, 2, and 3 elites, whereas reach elites changed too much. So why the halo 2 anniversary cutscenes use reach elites is beyond me, and bothers me a lot.

It's worth noting that this is really only an issue on the arbiter: Half jaw doesn't seem to be more of a mix of the reach and halo 4 design.

That brings me to my next issue: Armor: we see half jaw wearing a very faithful upgrade of the armor he wore in halo 3 originally. The issue is, reach retconned elite armor to actually have a different structure based on the rank, vs. just the color. This is one of the more popular changes made, people really like reach's elite armor, and as far as I am aware, memory constraints were probably a reason for why different models weren't possible back then as halo 2 was being made. I see no reason why rtas should have the standard elite combat harness colored white, and not a unique set of armor since he's the commander of the special operations unit, or at least a version of the ultra armor from reach (since he wore ultra armor in 2), or special operations armor from reach.

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TL;DR version:

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  • Despite the fact that 343i is keeping the MJOLNIR visual retcon and presumably the frigate retcon in halo 5, halo 2 has them as they originally appeared

  • The blur cinematics show elite's with reach like skin/anatomy, despite the fact that was a significant departure from elites prior to that point, and halo 4 brought us a far more faithful elite physiology that still had the good aspects from the reach design in it

  • Half Jaw is wearing the same armor he did in halo 2, despite since reach, elite armor has always been shown as having different structure, not just color, based on rank
I feel like you're forgetting that Chief's Cortanafied Mark VI in Halo 4 and beyond is based on an earlier Mark IV model (the one shown in the Halo 4 prologue). Towards the Frigate part you're right, 343i was pretty quick to drop the Charon-class light frigate retcon and instead gave the design to the Strident-class heavy frigate you see in Spartan Ops.
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I feel like you're forgetting that Chief's Cortanafied Mark VI in Halo 4 and beyond is based on an earlier Mark IV model (the one shown in the Halo 4 prologue). Towards the Frigate part you're right, 343i was pretty quick to drop the Charon-class light frigate retcon and instead gave the design to the Strident-class heavy frigate you see in Spartan Ops.
I'll admit I haven't been keeping up with the lore for a while, so I wasn't aware they switched up the new frigate design.

Anyways, regarding the prologue: is that confirmed, or is that your interpretation of it? I took that scene to mean "We are retconning it so MJOLNIR always looked like this".
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I feel like you're forgetting that Chief's Cortanafied Mark VI in Halo 4 and beyond is based on an earlier Mark IV model (the one shown in the Halo 4 prologue). Towards the Frigate part you're right, 343i was pretty quick to drop the Charon-class light frigate retcon and instead gave the design to the Strident-class heavy frigate you see in Spartan Ops.
I'll admit I haven't been keeping up with the lore for a while, so I wasn't aware they switched up the new frigate design.

Anyways, regarding the prologue: is that confirmed, or is that your interpretation of it? I took that scene to mean "We are retconning it so MJOLNIR always looked like this".
The Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide says Cortana based her redesign of Chief's Mark VI on an earlier Mark IV model. Preview page for reference.
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I feel like you're forgetting that Chief's Cortanafied Mark VI in Halo 4 and beyond is based on an earlier Mark IV model (the one shown in the Halo 4 prologue). Towards the Frigate part you're right, 343i was pretty quick to drop the Charon-class light frigate retcon and instead gave the design to the Strident-class heavy frigate you see in Spartan Ops.
I'll admit I haven't been keeping up with the lore for a while, so I wasn't aware they switched up the new frigate design.

Anyways, regarding the prologue: is that confirmed, or is that your interpretation of it? I took that scene to mean "We are retconning it so MJOLNIR always looked like this".
The Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide says Cortana based her redesign of Chief's Mark VI on an earlier Mark IV model. Preview page for reference.
Ah, cool.

Yeah, I haven't purchased that yet. I stopped buying every halo related product shortly after halo 4 came out, so I have a lot of catching up to do, though I have read thursday war.
They wanted Halo 4 to be their game, that's why the frigates and armor and what not have a new flavor to them, and they'll carry that onward. But they're remaking Halo 2 now, so they're being faithful to the original.

Which makes me wonder: As much as I like Chief's armor in Halo 4, I kind of wish he looked like he did in the Blur trailer. No issues about armor changing.
Elite armor hasn't been retconned. Every single type of armor set we see in Halo is canonical.

(Except maybe for Hayabasu)
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They wanted Halo 4 to be their game, that's why the frigates and armor and what not have a new flavor to them, and they'll carry that onward. But they're remaking Halo 2 now, so they're being faithful to the original.
That's not acceptable. They might be making the game, but they are dealing with an existing, established fictional universe, and if they make a design change to something, that brings up issues.

Unless 343 comes out and says "X looks like Y in Z game because we wanted it to, and _ is the correct, canon design", then this type of thing brings up problems. As much as I would prefer that they didn't make visual changes just because they want to and can without having an in universe reason for it, if they do, they should at least outright say it and tell us what the canonical design looks like.

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Elite armor hasn't been retconned. Every single type of armor set we see in Halo is canonical.

(Except maybe for Hayabasu)
Every MJOLNIR and UNSC piece of armor, no doubt, but in regards to covenant gear, that's a lot less clear.

Whereas with UNSC stuff, every time a different appearance happens, it's given a new model name, we rarely see explanations or details regarding covenant stuff, especially regarding armor variance between games.

In halo CE, we have 2 distinct versions of grunt armor. In halo 2, there is only a single version that every grunt in the game wears, even in high charity. Same for the elites, the honor guards notwithstanding, and i'm not counting the heretics.

Since we can see in high charity, I think it's safe to say that every single elite and grunt during the time period that halo 2 took place wore the exact same type of armor is not a canonical statement, given that we know other versions of armor existed before that point, and that we see that in Reach, that ranks had designated types of armor, so it makes 0 sense in universe for that armor assignment to be reversed and for the covenant military to suddenly make everybody of the same species wear the same armor.

Especially since CEA had the grunts and elites have different armor for their ranks, when in CE it wasn't like that.
IMO the Halo 4 version of chiefs armor would fit the super realism of the Halo 2 cinematics better.

But...whatever. I'd like things to be fully consistent, but I'm not too worried about that in a remaster.

If Spielbergs series starts at say...the beginning of the spartan II program, then yes, consistency would be important there.
343 said several times that they didn't use the Mark VI variants from Halo 2 and 3 in the Halo 4 cutscenes because they didn't have the time and resources to make an entirely new model.
I can understand the need for fans to nitpick everything, I do it too, however I don't find appearances as important as story consistency. "But appearances counts as story consistency!" Technically yes, but as long as you can tell that you're looking at an Elite, Spartan, Miranda Keyes, Thel'Vadam, etc. does it really matter that the artist wanted to incorporate his/her own ideas into it?

I'd honestly be more angry with 343i if they did to the story what Reach did to the Fall of Reach but that's another conversation entirely.

I also think most fans would be pissed off if 343i didn't stay true to what everything looked like in Halo 2 for the Anniversary Edition.
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343 said several times that they didn't use the Mark VI variants from Halo 2 and 3 in the Halo 4 cutscenes because they didn't have the time and resources to make an entirely new model.
So…what, the in-game models are separate from the cinematic models? Because how are we able to receive it for MP after beating the campaign on Legendary, but said armour is apparently not available during campaign?
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343 said several times that they didn't use the Mark VI variants from Halo 2 and 3 in the Halo 4 cutscenes because they didn't have the time and resources to make an entirely new model.
So…what, the in-game models are separate from the cinematic models? Because how are we able to receive it for MP after beating the campaign on Legendary, but said armour is apparently not available during campaign?
It's a case of canon explanation vs production explanation. What I said up above is canon, what Sarge here is talking about is an explanation from a real world production standpoint.
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Elite armor hasn't been retconned. Every single type of armor set we see in Halo is canonical.

(Except maybe for Hayabasu)
''The Hayabusa is a powered battle armor system, similar to the MJOLNIR Armor, except stemming from Project HAYABUSA as opposed to Project MJOLNIR. It was developed by RKD, an Earth-based "think tank" in the year 2536, six years before the MJOLNIR Mark V first entered production. It was presented to the UNSC Ordnance Committee as an answer to the self-contained powered armor problem. Advanced materials are used in the production of the Hayabusa armor reducing the weight of the current generation armor by nearly a third at that time.''

It's canon.
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I feel like you're forgetting that Chief's Cortanafied Mark VI in Halo 4 and beyond is based on an earlier Mark IV model (the one shown in the Halo 4 prologue). Towards the Frigate part you're right, 343i was pretty quick to drop the Charon-class light frigate retcon and instead gave the design to the Strident-class heavy frigate you see in Spartan Ops.
What's the problem with the frigates? They are different models and both exist. If charon frigates were used in halo 2 then it's logical to use them in halo 2 anniversary
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It's a case of canon explanation vs production explanation. What I said up above is canon, what Sarge here is talking about is an explanation from a real world production standpoint.
It still doesn't make sense, either way to me. In regards to the canon explanation, Mjlonir GEN-1 armour doesn't have nanobots, so Cortana couldn't really change it using such technology anyway. Even if it did have nanobots, It is in no way plausible that the armour could change that drastically.

As for production, if they are stating that they didn't have the time to pre-render the old model, then technically they shouldn't have the time to pre-render the new model, either. Basically, what i am saying is, rather than wasting their time and resources trying to create a brand new model, they could have simply pre-rendered the older model, kept it consistent, and avoided one big head ache.

So in short, neither explanation is acceptable, or even sensible.
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It still doesn't make sense, either way to me. In regards to the canon explanation, Mjlonir GEN-1 armour doesn't have nanobots, so Cortana couldn't really change it using such technology anyway. Even if it did have nanobots, It is in no way plausible that the armour could change that drastically.
Says who? No where was it ever said that GEN 1 MJOLNIR didn't have any form of nanotechnology. The engines found in Warthogs and Mongooses use a form of nanotechnology and they're mass produced on an assembly line. I don't understand why people have a hard time believing that the single most expensive piece of UNSC equipment wouldn't also use it.

As for whether or not they could change his armor? I'm sure they could. Look up Nano Assemblers or Molecular Assemblers.
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I feel like you're forgetting that Chief's Cortanafied Mark VI in Halo 4 and beyond is based on an earlier Mark IV model (the one shown in the Halo 4 prologue). Towards the Frigate part you're right, 343i was pretty quick to drop the Charon-class light frigate retcon and instead gave the design to the Strident-class heavy frigate you see in Spartan Ops.
What's the problem with the frigates? They are different models and both exist. If charon frigates were used in halo 2 then it's logical to use them in halo 2 anniversary
Ahha Pix this is where I have you. There are no Charon-class light frigates in Halo 2, only Stalwart-class light frigates. The dropped retcon thing was talking more about the Charon-class light frigates we see in Escalation that clearly look like the Halo 3 versions. Of course the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn still looks like a Strident-class heavy frigate in Halo: Escalation #8.
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I feel like you're forgetting that Chief's Cortanafied Mark VI in Halo 4 and beyond is based on an earlier Mark IV model (the one shown in the Halo 4 prologue). Towards the Frigate part you're right, 343i was pretty quick to drop the Charon-class light frigate retcon and instead gave the design to the Strident-class heavy frigate you see in Spartan Ops.
What's the problem with the frigates? They are different models and both exist. If charon frigates were used in halo 2 then it's logical to use them in halo 2 anniversary
Ahha Pix this is where I have you. There are no Charon-class light frigates in Halo 2, only Stalwart-class light frigates. The dropped retcon thing was talking more about the Charon-class light frigates we see in Escalation that clearly look like the Halo 3 versions. Of course the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn still looks like a Strident-class heavy frigate in Halo: Escalation #8.
Charons and Stalwarts look similar. As does the Paris class heavy frigate. Although I admit that each has differences the two classes of light frigates are probably easier to confuse one class for the other.
343 is all about distinguishing characters they gave John a personality In Halo 4.....it is likely they changed his armor to give him a new look for the new era of Halo it is still similar to Mark VI and the excuse was that Cortanas used nanobots to modify it she based modifications off of the original mark IV that is why in the prologue the Spartans resemble the Halo 4 armor it is not so much as an inconsistency as a simple change to a character.
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