Set nearly three decades before the events of Halo 5: Guardians, the original Halo Wars follows the exploits of the UNSC Spirit of Fire – a Phoenix-class colony vessel repurposed for war. Helmed by Captain James Cutter, the Spirit of Fire is sent to investigate Covenant activity on the embattled planet Harvest.
When Sergeant John Forge goes planetside to provide recon, he finds a Covenant relic-hunting contingent led by Arbiter Ripa ‘Moramee – a task force sent by the Prophet of Regret to glean secrets from an ancient Forerunner site buried in the Harvest tundra. After chasing the Covenant from the site, Dr. Ellen Anders discovers that the site had given the Covenant coordinates to another location – this time on the human colony of Arcadia.
When the Spirit of Fire arrives at Arcadia in pursuit, the UNSC finds itself in a furious fracas that sees them both protecting human colonists as well as valiantly breaching a Covenant energy shield and destroying a deadly prototype super Scarab – still under construction but fully operational. Unfortunately for the UNSC, Dr. Ellen Anders was abducted by Arbiter Ripa ‘Moramee in the aftermath, prompting the UNSC to chase the Covenant into uncharted space – and onto a mysterious undiscovered planet.
What Captain Cutter and his crew would soon learn was that this planet was no ordinary place, but instead was a massive Forerunner construct – an enigmatic artificial creation known as a Shield World, containing concave and inverted environment on its interior “surface.” Eventually the UNSC would learn the true nature of Regret’s zealous chase: the reactivation of a long-dormant Forerunner fleet that would almost certainly spell the Covenant’s final death knell against humanity.
Through fierce tenacity and incredible resolve, the crew of the Spirit of Fire would match the Covenant blow for blow across the surface of the ancient Shield World, an effort that would culminate in one final confrontation that saw Sergeant Forge and Spartan-II supersoldiers Alice-130, Douglas-042, and Jerome-092 lay waste to the malevolent Arbiter and his Sangheili guard. In the end, Sergeant Forge would sacrifice his own life to not only save his crewmembers, but also destroy the Shield World and the Forerunner weapons it contained – saving humanity as a whole in the process.
While the UNSC Spirit of Fire would escape the Shield World’s destruction, it did so at great cost – the ship’s own slipspace drive having been used to bring down the ancient construct. For nearly thirty years the Spirit of Fire would drift though deep space, cut off from the rest of humanity and eventually declared “lost with all hands” in February 2534.
But now, something has happened…