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CF: CHATTERNET - Lights in the Dark

OP GrimBrother One

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Welcome to our next installment of Canon Fodder: ChatterNet. Normally, we're the ones culling through all your questions (and boy do you folks like asking questions ;-) ), and trying to give you answers where we can. Well this time, YOU are on the hot seat! Occasionally, you'll see a thread like this pop up where we'll ask a question of you, and then pull a few different answers for inclusion in an upcoming Canon Fodder. Remember, we'll likely be pulling far fewer entries than participants, so hopefully you are here primarily for the glory of discourse! In light of this week's theme we thought it would be fun to include a couple of your thoughts on the topic...

Your question for this week's Canon Fodder:
What were your favorite moments or aspects of Halo: Hunters in the Dark?

Tips:
- ONE post per user
- You can be as detailed as you like, but be aware that do to space/time constraints, we might choose to take excerpts from selected posts rather than including full answers. It's not you, it's us.

Have fun!
<3
Grim
My favorite moment was easily when I realized just what the snow beasts actually were. The book mentions Vale hopping on the back of one of these creatures, grabbing on to the two horns that protruded from its back. It was right then that I realized why the description of these creatures sounded so familiar. I immediately stopped reading and start searching through all of the Halo concept art I have stored on my computer, and before long I had found the concept art for a creature that was planned to appear in Halo Wars. Sure enough, I compared it with the descriptions and there was no doubt that the two were the same.

Something about bringing back something that was cut from previous games, especially an alien creature (if you can't tell by my name, I'm kind of a fan of alien fauna), makes me so excited. Especially because this creature in particular was something so minor from a relatively old and less popular game. The Sky Leviathans and Blind Wolves both take a close second, but that feeling when I recognized the snow beast (now known as the Chaefka) description was just great, and made me super excited for what the rest of the book would bring.
My favourite moment was probably around Chapter 15, when the group in the Citadel is split up. Some of them jumped down the chute John-117 and Thel 'Vadam took at the end of The Covenant, in Halo 3. Not only did it excellently describe the tunnels - so well that I was having Halo 3 flashbacks - but Henry Lamb's death was also so sad and unexpected. More than any of that, though, one name was bouncing around my head like crazy at that point: Installation 04C! It made the whole chapter really nerve-wracking, for me at least, because my brain wouldn't shut up about the possibility of another replacement for Alpha Halo. While it ended up being decidedly less awe-inspiring than another Halo, the secret uncovered there was no less hard-hitting... That amount of Retrievers could literally dismantle every celestial body in the Sol system.
A favorite scene for me was when N'tho took the Mayhem through the Ark portal to the protests of the humans on the ship. It really showed an interesting side of his personality, that he would continue on with the mission without delay, even if there were those that disagreed with him.

Another moment I liked was when Usze started pacing in frustration after being locked on the other side of a door from Luther, and tried to play it off as the "walking-guard form" to Kola, who didn't buy it for one second. And then after their battle with the armigers, with Usze and Kola bloody and cut up, Luther asked them how they were. Usze responded with incredulity, while Kola tried to downplay their injuries right before collapsing. It was a nice, humorous scene.
Shedrakzo wrote:
A favorite scene for me was when N'tho took the Mayhem through the Ark portal to the protests of the humans on the ship. It really showed an interesting side of his personality, that he would continue on with the mission without delay, even if there were those that disagreed with him.
Ahhh, beat me to it. That's also one of my favorite scenes. I think it shows the confidence N'tho has in his ship and his Sangheili crew. I don't think he did it not caring it could provoke a war, but because it had to be done and he believed they had a chance to complete the mission.
Easily the moment when Vale is questioning 0000 Tragic Solitude about why he is the one to judge humanity, and the judgement of the Forerunners at the hands of the Flood gets brought up.
Aaah this is a tough one. Book had lots of great parts. I did enjoy seeing the "cut" animals being brought back like the Blind Wolves, I loved Vale's interactions with the Ark's monitor from start to finish, I can't really pinpoint what I enjoyed most unfortunately.
Getting the payoff after 3 years of wondering about Remote Contact Teams and the Rubicon
For me it was when the book described all the areas that we had previously been to in Halo 3 (Shell of High charity, Scarab wreckage, The towers and the Citadel). My second favourite bit was when the Retriever sentinel appeared just after the portal opened, it really added a sense of danger even before they even left for the Ark. Finally I would say that the interactions between Vale and Solitude were my third favourite moments, but in all honesty the entire book was filled with great moments in every chapter.
The Blindwolves.
Going back to the Ark in general was pretty awesome, as was meeting the Ark's Monitor. The meeting between Vale and Solitude was a lot of fun to read about, and Vale came off a an extremely well rounded character, one I cannot wait to meet in Halo 5. However, I think the absolute best aspect of HitD was the story of Kodiak and N'tho. The dynamics between these character, Kodiak having to deal with the baggage of his past and growing as a person was spectacular!

Oh, and before I forget, thank you for bring both N'tho 'Sraom and Usze 'Taham back into the fold. It was awesome to see these characters again.
The Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain but in the case of Hunters in the Dark, the monitor of the Lesser Ark. In the first 2 games we had two different monitors for the Halo rings and it was weird that during the events of Halo 3, we had humans, the covenant, and a gravemind trampling all over the Ark, but never saw a new monitor for the Ark. So finally getting a chance to read about Tragic Solitude and how he took the destruction of the Ark and what he was willing to do to correct the wrong that was done to the Ark while getting his revenge that almost came to fruition.
For sure the Sangheili and Spartans working together, it's the kind of joint-operation story I've been waiting on since 2004. In addition to that I really loved the relationship between Vale and Usze. You can bet every time I play an Osiris mission in Halo 5: Guardians I'll be Vale.
One of the stand out moments in the novel for me was when the Spartans and elites came across a gap that needed to be jumped across. N'tho proposed finding a way around which Kodiak ignored insisting he could make the jump and once Kodiak leaped in mid air he had doubts he could actually make it wondering what bothered him more the fact that he might die here or the fact that if he did he could Imagine N'tho recounting his tale as the Spartan that would rather die a dishonorable death then admit he had limits. Our two Spartan buddies both made it of course with the help of their "jump jets" while N'tho easily made the gap with his speed alone which Kodiak almost jealously noted. It's just great seeing the Spartans and Sangheili perform physical feats together and Kodiak's arrogance and inner commentary just made the scene one of my many favorites.
Undoubtedly Tragic Solitude giving the Forerunner names for creatures cut from previous Halo games, as well as their inclusion in general. I love cut content being later re-used in future media. Now we just need the Cougar APC to appear in Halo Wars 2...
The relationship between N'tho and Kodiak was pretty gold. It was interesting to see Kodiak overcoming his grudge against N'tho and learning to work alongside him.

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I want to go with Usze's ending talk to Olympia but I can't help but settle on N'tho's calmness and frankly not giving a damn about what others thought of him moving the Mayhem into the portal without authorisation from humanity was just too funny.
Mine is one of the book's weirder moments - the conflict with the 'not-Ents'.

First of all, I was deeply amused by how aware Peter David was of what he was making reference to, as Kodiak recalls "a centuries-old fantasy story that had living trees" - it's wonderful to know, and quite topical for the overall theme of the book, that Tolkien's books of a great adventure undertaken by a Fellowship of people from very different backgrounds and cultures find common ground fighting against an evil that threatens all their lives and has the mantle of the world passed from the great civilisation of the Elves to men... It's nice to know that such a story still lives in human hearts and minds all those centuries on.

Secondly, I have a great love for the 'weird' side of Halo's universe - the things that have you re-evaluate the preconceptions that you'd built, the things that seem quite out there. The 'not-Ents' reminded me very much of the organic kind of technology possessed by the Path Kethona Forerunners and the Stoics of Janjur Qom who we see in Broken Circle.

Lastly, this is exactly what I hope we will one day be able to see in the games. Halo 5 has taken a great leap forward with its emphasis on dynamic AI behaviour and more open level design - how long will it be before the games themselves are an odyssey such as this?
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