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I'd like to talk about Hunt The Truth

OP TheKiltdHeathen

First, let's get this out of the way. No advertisement campaign and AGR has been 100% accurate for Halo. Not a single one. Halo 2's "I Love Bees" (The Axon Clips) only really connected with Halo 2 at the very end, and even then it's events are "ehhh" in terms of canonical accuracy. Halo 3's "Believe" ads showed events far-flung into the future (which may be subject to change, now,) and the famous "Believe diorama" depicted an event that never happened. Likewise Halo 4 showed the Master Chief getting captured by the Didact and "scanned". Again, never happened.

Which brings us to Hunt The Truth. Yes, the Chief and Locke never had a showdown while the Infinity burns in the background. Meridian didn't happen or look like that. However the Guardians did rise. Blue Team was declared AWOL. And the events of Hunt The Truth: Seasons 1 & 2 did happen.

Hunt the Truth: Season 1

Glasslands by Karen Traviss introduced a few issues into the Halo Universe. Some of them, such as Halsey being compared to "Space Hitler" were cleared up and amended by Halo 4 and Escalation. One detail in particular is addressed by Hunt the Truth, however, and that is the widespread dissemination of information regarding the Spartan II program by Admiral Parangosky.

The Spartan program has always existed as rumor and myth to the soldiers of the UNSCDF. Stories whispered in the dark of augmented, inhuman soldiers captured as kids. We see hints of this in Spartan Ops: Episode 3, when Madsen is passing rumors with DeMarco. "Story goes she kidnapped a bunch of kids." In Episode 4, when Thorne is speaking with Halsey, she mentions that it's still "Quite classified". This is in 2557, four years after the events of Glasslands. This was the beginning of the fix.

In 2558, Benjamin "Ben" Giraud was contacted by ONI to write a story on the origins of the Master Chief. It's clear that at this point in time, the nature of the Spartan II's is still relatively unknown, even among soldiers. It's all rumors and classified secrets. As the story goes on, Ben's story begins to unravel, and he's soon stumbling onto the truth of the Program. But when he goes to tear it all down, ONI gets to him first and "exposes" him as an Insurrectionist conspirator. His research, the truth, is discredited on live TV as Insurrectionist conspiracy, and he's locked away indefinitely.

The leak of information (written by Traviss) is now bottled up canonically. Did it still happen? Sure. But now it can be easily dismissed and passed off in-universe as rumor and hear-say. As we see in Spartan Ops: Episode 4, the information has been classified once more. And from Ben's perspective, ONI Section II has put a lid on the civilian sector.
Hunt The Truth: Season 2 much more closely tied-in with Halo 5 than Season 1, however I don't believe Season 1 was ever intended to be a direct link to Halo 5. We get rumblings of Chief going AWOL and potentially being a traitor (on a prior Op, but it puts the idea out there,) and we hear whispers of deep space anomalies causing disturbances and gravitational fluctuations. But it's not until Season 2 that we get more perspective on the Guardians - and the colonies that are briefly mentioned in the first level.

Season 2 doesn't really set out to fix anything, and more narrates how things are beginning to unravel even before Cortana shuts everything down. We've got ONI agents defecting from the government, Ilsa Zane running a Rebel outfit and quite potentially remaining a huge problem. And now two AI (Black Box and Pharo) who know things about the events.

All in all, Hunt The Truth adds a compelling facet to the events leading up to Halo 5 that could still very much come in to play with Halo Infinite, and tells a story that's more canonically impacting than The Axon Clips or any other ARG or ad campaign.
I loved listening to Hunt the Truth before Halo 5 was released, especially season 1. Going into it already knowing the Chief's backstory, and then hearing manipulated versions in the beginning of the season that had a couple elements of truth was perplexing and really kept me wanting to know what was really going on. Hearing the story being told from Ben's perspective also really brought more humanity into the story and made it more relatable and feel more realistic.

I also still liked all the Hunt the Truth trailers, whether they showed Chief might be dead or after a fight with Locke. Even if not all of it actually happened, it still set up the story that there would be friction between Chief and Locke. Not to mention they were just cool to watch.
It's on the same level of the absolute record/janus key arc in terms of having no impact on the story going forward after being set up to have a huge upcoming arc.I liked hunt the truth,but it was such a waste of time in the end because of how misleading it was
It's on the same level of the absolute record/janus key arc in terms of having no impact on the story going forward
Sometimes you've got to fix the past, though. Which, in turn, does have impact on the story forward.

  • Due to the Spartan II Program being re-classified (after Parangosky released it), they're back in the shadows, more or less. The public is aware of their existence, but they're back to being the official story; they're exceptional soldiers that enlisted of their own free will, survivors of Insurrectionist horrors, and rumors of child kidnappings are Outer Colony boogy-tales and Rebel conspiracy theories.
  • With Escalation, Halsey is no longer a prisoner of war. The charges of war crimes perhaps still remain (we'll see, with what all Cortana's Created have done, and especially considering that the Spartan II programs origins have been covered up), but she's no longer locked in a hole and compared to Space Hitler. She has relevance once more, despite Traviss' effort to write her out.
  • Again with Escalation, Jul's Covenant began to break itself apart. This directly led to his downfall in Halo 5, and a close to the Sangheili Civil war that was begun in Glasslands, and now the alliances between the UNSC and Sanghelios are back on track.
The Covenant is not completely gone. In the Janus Key arc, Sali 'Nyon escaped and took half of Jul's forces. I feel as if he's not done yet.
If Sali forms a Covenant, yes. But Jul's Covenant began to break (and was broken) because of the events with the Janus Key. His forces saw him lose favor with "the gods".
The saddest thing about Hunt The Truth is that it ended up having a better story than Halo 5 itself. It would be nice to see them continue Benjamin Giraud's story in some form in the future.
John9895 wrote:
The saddest thing about Hunt The Truth is that it ended up having a better story than Halo 5 itself. It would be nice to see them continue Benjamin Giraud's story in some form in the future.
There is the Seknar AI. And the Created are now a thing.
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To know the Lore is to know Halo
"Dont be spoiled, dont start a fight. Always be careful, here at night. Because the Spartans might come, in suits that weigh half a ton. And they'll steal from you all you gots, just like they did from Colonel Watts."
I’d like to bring up the point of Halo: Landfall. It was a canonical event (and trailer for Halo 3) that showed two ODSTs as well as a bunch of Marines holding down an area until they could track the decend of the Master Chief, allowing for Johnson and two squads of Marines to head to his landing position and retrieve Master Chief quickly (which is where Halo 3 picks up).

As for the Hunt the Truth tie in to Halo 5, that is not as misleading now as I once thought it was. I feel that Halo 5 is frowned upon too much because it does not give the “nostalgia” feel of Halo, but it was a good story, just maybe not for a Halo game though.
I think a lot of the blow-back that Halo 5 gets is because people took ads and in-canon propaganda (the Chief being declared KIA) as 100% what's going to be the case.