If there is one thing that the most dedicated of Halo fans are passionate about, it’s story. But with the greatest armed conflict in the history of the human race now brought to an end, what’s left for Master Chief? That’s the question that will drive the next trilogy of games, starting with this November’s Halo 4.
Thanks to a few fans with some time on their hands, we may have an idea of the events that Halo 4 will focus on, pulled from the game’s script itself. The script certainly appears to be directly from 343 Industries, so those who’d rather not know what characters and interactions – and fights- will be starring in the game’s cinematic cut scenes, beware: spoilers may definitely lie ahead.
The script pages in question were initially spotted in the recently-released ‘A Hero Awakens’ making-of video, in the hands of motion-capture performers, and elsewhere. So far fans have known that the Chief, as well as the crew of the UNSC Infinity would find themselves stranded on the Forerunner Construct/planet ‘Requiem,’ encountering foes both old and entirely new. But the details pulled from the glimpsed script don’t just explain how the Covenant will factor into the equation (old feuds die hard, it seems) but who the main antagonist may be, regardless of his motivations.
The information gleaned from the few still images of the script has been posted online at NeoGAF, featuring several key figures and concepts that will be familiar to those who have followed the Halo series of novels. Have a look at the basic actions outlined below:
- When Master Chief awakes, the Forward Unto Dawn is boarded by a bunch of Covenant – they are looking for something, not the Chief.
- The Covenant, a particularly religious remnant led by the Elites, have come in search of Requiem to find and look for a Forerunner weapon cache.
- The Covenant also believe Requiem to be the place where a living god is being kept – they wish to find and wake him up to enlist his aid in fighting humanity.
- Main antagonist is called Didact, an ancient Forerunner. He is the being the religious Covenant believe to be a living god.
- Dr Halsey, who made a cameo in Reach, makes an appearance as the Chief wants her help to find a solution to Cortana’s “problem”
- Cortana is able to project multiple versions of herself at once – multiple Cortanas
- A climatic battle involving the Chief, Didact and Cortana takes place
- A character has, or appears to have, telekinesis
Even revealing that the Chief and Cortana will come face-to-face with the Didact confirms that the next few Halo games will be delving much deeper into the Forerunner mythology than any before, but the actual climax promises some compelling gameplay as well. The stage direction provided to the motion capture performers describes a scene with the Chief being held in one of the Didact’s raised fists, until being swarmed by multiple Cortana projections. Cortana’s “problem” being alluded to is presumably rampancy, the equivalent of insanity in AI form. But exchanges between the characters focusing on the importance – or lack thereof – of humanity as a whole means anything is possible.
Some might wonder why 343 would bother placing key details into a making-of trailer sure to be seen by millions, and that this information is just as likely a feint or diversion. While that’s possible, we’re inclined to believe that these details are accurate. Bringing the Didact into the plot of the game certainly makes plenty of work for the developers in terms of storytelling, but it isn’t like they’re hurting for mission length. The previous trustees of the Halo legacy always combined gameplay and story in equal parts, even if the plot was designed to set the player on a collision course with combat encounters. If 343 calls upon some of the most well-developed and expansive elements of the franchise’s fiction, it would be a strong way of distinguishing themselves, as well as setting up the series for the next decade.
What do you Halo fans think of the Didact’s possibly problematic placement in the plot of Halo 4? Is a stronger story the way to go for the first entry in the ‘Reclaimer Trilogy’? For full details, and a few additional Didact hints found in an online preview of the next Halo 4 novel, head over to GAF.
Halo 4 releases on November 6, 2012, exclusively for the Xbox 360.
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