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ISSUE 115

So, how has your week been? Anything cool happen? Welcome back to another edition of Canon Fodder, your friendly neighborhood fiction-focused feature that examines and explores the lore of the Halo universe. In our last issue, we took a look at the armor and arsenal that’s heading your way with the Master Chief Collection’s seventh and Sangheili-centric season. This edition, we’re taking a closer look at several of the elements and items you may have seen bandied about in this week’s festivities that kicked off with Sunday’s Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, or as many folks still colloquially call it “E3 season.” We’ll be answering a few of the questions you might happen to have and celebrating the overall excitement that accompanies opening new windows into our favorite fictional universe. Let’s get started, shall we?

COMBAT DANCE FLOOR

On Sunday, one of the key highlights was the first real look at Halo Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer experience. New gameplay, gadgets, and glorious moments were all on display, giving you a glimpse into some of the new memories to be made when you and your friends take your personal Spartan super-soldiers online later this year.

Of course, if you’re an avid reader of this particular feature, you likely came away wondering just as much about the names of the armor and mysteries of the maps as you did flag routes and fight dynamics. Today we’re going to pick out some of the items you saw showcased and pull the curtain a bit further back on some of the more fictiony bits and bobs attached to various elements of the scenery and the sandbox. But before we begin, just in case you haven’t seen it already—or want to see it again—here’s the relevant bit from the Sunday showcase:

In Halo Infinite, you are part of a new wave of Spartan-IV super-soldiers. Starting your training journey at a hidden facility on a frontier world. Preparing to replenish the ranks of humanity’s heroes. Preparing to write a new chapter in our fight against relentless and imposing opposition—proving yet again that humanity doesn’t really like being on the back-foot for long. Your journey begins at the Avery J Johnson Academy of Military Science.

SPARTAN AGRYNA

To guide you through your early days in the process, you’ll be meeting Laurette Agryna, Spartan Academy Commander. As we have shown over in glimpses over the last few years, the Master Chief and other UNSC forces have embarked on a daring mission to stop Cortana's efforts to bring a cold and unforgiving order to the galaxy. With the Chief and other heroes occupied both at Zeta Halo and elsewhere across the galaxy, the need to train and prepare a new generation of Spartan super-soldiers has fallen on the very capable shoulders of Spartan Agryna, who is no stranger to what it means to have heroes that can be relied on. After enduring many challenges of her own, she’s now the one helping give others new chances to make a difference.

The Spartan Academy program gives you the platform to hone your skills against fellow recruits and learn how to maximize the new tools at your disposal. Plus, there’s plenty of fun little elements to be dissected by lore-lovers and detail-divas.

For more on how the team at 343 are approaching crafting your personal Spartan’s journey—including another glimpse at the aforementioned Spartan Agryna and the Academy feature—make sure you check out the Halo Infinite Multiplayer vidoc released earlier this week!

ARMOR APPLICATIONS

Speaking of new tools at your disposal, let’s take a look at some of the new armor elements we’ve showcased, with each of the helmets below as part of the new Mk. VII armor core.

AVIATOR

Manufacturer: Hannibal Weapon Systems

The AVIATOR helmet is tailored for use by cybernetically augmented aerospace pilots. Among its many special features is a high-bandwidth machine interlink configured to operate seamlessly with next-gen neural interlaces.

ZVEZDA

Manufacturer: RKD Group

The ZVEZDA faceplate incorporates a programmable phased array antenna grid, though leveraging its full capabilities has proven to be a challenge for software developers.

SOLDIER

Manufacturer: Materials Group

The latest iteration of the SOLDIER helmet features a new revision of Materials Group's combat catalyst firmware. The fireteam synchronization features remain unfinished, but Dr. Halsey's interest may accelerate development.

And of course, there are always additional attachments and items that Spartans can leverage to optimize their presence on any battlefield. Take the Spartan below for example (outfitted in the best color, orange), equipped with elements such as the Mk.VII with UA/ARMET helmet attachment, AAP/ORDNANCE PACK, UA/VIATOR shoulder pad, and transhumeral prostheses. And hey, that S7 Sniper Rifle isn’t too shabby either.

SUIT YOURSELF

Oh, and speaking of new armor, this week we also released a brand-new official Cosplay Guide. Our first full foray into this space was the ODST “Rookie” guide last September. And of course, it’s only fitting that our next edition focuses on the Mk. VII [GEN3] suit of armor featured in Halo Infinite multiplayer. Coming in at a kinda-ridiculous 100+ pages of reference shots and delicate details with a Fodder-flavored flair, it’s the perfect foundation to kick off your own custom Mjolnir initiative. For more info and download links, make sure you check out our dedicated Mjolnir Mk.VII Cosplay Guide blog right here!

WEAPONRY THINKING

Care for a little info on a couple featured tools of the trade? We thought you might…

SKEWER

Its Jiralhanae design originating from before their alliance with the Covenant, the Skewer is an anti-tank spike cannon used by Banished packs for anti-personnel tasks. The massive, sharpened projectile is devastating—more than a match for titanium alloy armor at range—but reloading is a difficult task.

VK78 COMMANDO

Manufactured by Vakara GesmbH, VK78 Commandos were selected by the CMA frontier forces to replace their antiquated stocks of HMG-38’s in 2495.

VEHICULAR VICES

Of course, it wouldn’t be Halo without a variety of stalwart steeds to ride into battle with. Let’s take a look at some of those examples now:

BANSHEE

Kaelum Workshop Attack Flyer

The Banshees that dominate the local Banished occupation fleet have been thoroughly optimized to increase armor and combat durability, but also to maintain the base chassis’ core performance aptitude.

Ban-Ban! (C’mon, what else was I going to put first?)

CHOPPER

Bolroci Workshop Attack Bike

The shared knowledge of six disparate clans contributed to the refined and imposing Chopper design that now permeates the Banished ranks. Its raw firepower and visceral locomotion provide their forces with the perfect tool for both breaching and demoralizing any enemy presence.

GHOST

Riuctda Workshop Scout Bike

The Ghost has proven to be as versatile a mainstay in the Banished garages as it was within the Covenant. This particular iteration focuses on forward armor while also providing enhanced firepower.

WASP

AV-49 Attack VTOL

Fast to produce and easy to maintain and optimize, the AV-49 has seen increased widespread use in environments and scenarios where versatility and low-profile operations are at a premium.

RAZORBACK

M15 Light Tactical Vehicle

Originally a specialized offshoot of the traditional Warthog, the latest Razorback model is the result of a robust design study that incorporated learnings from rigorous testing programs on several virtually uncharted worlds. Even without onboard weapon systems installed, the up-armored design and increased payload capacity makes the Razorback an equally viable option on the battlefield alongside its more ubiquitous porcine cousin.  

MAKING IT PERSONAL

One thing you may have noticed in various multiplayer gameplay shots is the presence of a personal artificial intelligence unit. For obvious reasons, it’s only natural to expect the UNSC—or anyone, really—to be reticent when it comes to any sort of interaction with AI given recent events. That being said, the reality is that these constructs, in various forms, remain undeniably integral to a large portion of the foundational systems in place for 26th-century life—in particular when it comes to the military. However, necessary precautions aren’t unwise to uphold, and the UNSC has maintained limited integration of more rudimentary constructs, tailored to a variety of specializations. For example, meet Lumu, one of the available constructs you’ll be able to try out and have assist you in your Spartan training and combat endeavors.

LUMU

Lumu constructs share a common citation calculus core with AI used in the fields of finance, providing a distinctive cost-benefit approach to decision-making assistance. That being said, they aren’t quite as fun at parties.

There are others. And they are fun.

MAP WRAP

We’ll look to dive a bit more into some of the deeper fictional foundations to be found in Halo Infinite’s multiplayer playspaces later down the road, but here’s a little dab of detail to hold you over for now…

BEHEMOTH

It has survived for a hundred millennia, but this ring still holds fast to secrets yet unknown.  

FRAGMENTATION

Now more than ever, Installation 07’s serene surface belies a deeper strain and conflict.

RECHARGE

Resource infrastructure facilities such as those run by Axys’ hydroelectric division help maintain stable energy grids for colony worlds throughout the UEG.

LIVE FIRE

Instructors at the Avery J. Johnson Academy of Military Science ensure their Spartans are prepared for any challenge that a hostile galaxy throws at them.

BAZAAR

The East African Protectorate's plan to rebuild the glassed urban core of Mombasa was ambitious and expensive, but Project Rebirth investment by the UEG and UNSC activity at the nearby Voi Excession has revitalized some sections of the metropolis.

We hope that you all are as excited as we are to experience the new curious corners in store to explore. The holiday season can’t come soon enough.

Wait, what? There was also campaign stuff too? Huh.

Well, I think for that we’ll hold off a bit. Suffice to say… these won’t remotely be the last questions you have as we head into this next chapter in the Halo universe.

He did say he needed a Weapon…

LEGACY LEANINGS

Of course, Halo Infinite wasn’t the only thing that got a little love this week—we also officially announced the launch date for Season 7 of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which drops next week on June 23! Our resident content hype hero, William “Pixelflare” Cameron, provided us with a slick brand-new piece of art to celebrate the season.

In the wake of the Great Schism, Sangheili culture was splintered; lines of uneasy allegiances drawn hastily, pitting clans and kin against one another. Ideologies were scattered, loyalties were fragile, and a once-great culture found themselves on the brink of collapse. Some clung fast to old faiths, warlords vying desperately to fill a power vacuum left in the wake of the Covenant’s demise. Others sought to chart a new path for their kind, exploring avenues and allies they once sought to destroy. Still others found their price—and home—in new and dangerous alliances.

On clandestine battlefronts, members of the Swords of Sanghelios—Elites allied with the Arbiter, and by extension, humanity—find themselves forced to hunt down and strike down remnant factions still bearing the mark of an empire fallen. In these times, the lines between friend and foe are as thin as the blades they wield against one another. And only time will tell which keep will remain standing.

SEASONS GREETINGS

One last thing while we’re on the subject of MCC, if you haven’t seen all six previous seasons of awesome content keyart produced by the aforementioned Mr. Cameron, definitely check them out below.

The Spartan legend was born on Reach, and many of them have given everything to defend it—or reclaim it.

Spartan-II super-soldiers have become more than heroes. They've become mythic warriors whose exploits are spun into tales to be told for generations to come.

Though ODST and Spartans have sometimes found themselves at odds away from the battlefield, when duty calls they're an exponentially lethal combination. 

Two Spartan-IVs patrol a derelict Forerunner monument, searching for a hidden danger still just out of reach. 

The Mjolnir platform's distinct developmental generations offer Spartans myriad ways to tackle almost any challenge set before them. 

ODST squads like Fireteam Raven have earned the lasting respect of any UNSC soldier—whether augmented or not.

READ & SAID

Before we go, there was a little gem we stumbled on in the community recently that we thought well worth a share: a reading by Alex “Haruspis” Wakeford of the short story “Soma the Painter” from Halo: Evolutions. If you aren’t as familiar with that particular tale, it’s probably because it was a bonus inclusion in Volume I of the aforementioned anthology when it was split apart to make the mass market paperback editions. It’s a tale that showcases the reintroduction of the Flood into Forerunner culture before the original firing of the Array. It’s a great read, and now, a great listen. Check it out!

And that will do it for today. If you’re looking for more info on the various elements we’ve shown this week in different places, make sure you check out our main Showcase blog, which is being updated throughout the week as new items pop up. There’s obviously more items and elements that you’ve gotten a glimpse at over the past several months that we didn’t specifically cover today, including some curiosity regarding that slick Yoroi set you may have seen—there's a good bit more to be said on that front later. But fear not: we’ll definitely be taking a closer look at those and likely many other aspects of the game as we continue the march towards launch.

Thanks for hanging out today, and for all the awesome interactions and Halo love shown over the past few days—hope you have a great week! But don’t go too far, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a bit more of each other here soon. Well, soonish.

Until next time… Live well, play Halo, and thank you to ALL the awesome teams and studios around the globe making amazing games for us to celebrate this week!

<3 Grim

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