Master Chief is the star of the Halo franchise, but not much is known about him. Initially, developers at Bungie kept the Master Chief's physical characteristics and personality as secret as possible. With such a blank slate as a character, it was hoped players would better be able to immerse themselves while playing as him.
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But with an expanded universe growing around the Halo series, more light is getting shed on the Master Chief, whether he wants it or not. Read on if you want to know more about the Master Chief's superpowers and weaknesses that he'd probably wish to keep close to his chest.
10 Superpower: Enhanced Vision
As part of John-117's induction into the SPARTAN-II Program, he had to endure several body augmentations. One of those augmentations dealt directly with his eyeballs. As a result, The Master Chief has unbelievably good eyesight. He can see with much more clarity than the average human. As a matter of fact, John-117 can practically see in the dark. However, we don't actually get to see this ability in action in the games because he always has his helmet on. But it's good to know that if Master Chief ever found himself without a helmet in a dark area, he'd be just fine.
9 Weakness: Freezer Burns
Cryo-chambers are featured heavily throughout the Halo series. The UNSC uses them to store personnel during faster-then-light travel. People aren't supposed to enter cryo-sleep with clothes on, otherwise painful freezer burns occur because of the formation of ice crystals between a person's skin and the cloth. Technically, this applies to armor, too.
In the expanded Halo universe, it's revealed that John-117 suffered from heavy freezer burns all over his body during the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. That would mean he was in pain for the entirety of his time on the Halo ring. He sure can keep his misery a secret.
8 Superpower: Strength
The Master Chief isn't one to flaunt his skills, but maybe in a future game, we can get a good look at just how strong he really is. As part of the SPARTAN-II Program's augmentations, John-117 can perform incredible feats of strength. He can lift up to three times his body's weight. And for those of you who aren't keeping minute track of how much Master Chief weighs, he is roughly about 290 pounds (130 kilograms). If we do the math here real quick, that means he can lift up to 870 pounds (390 kilograms). Makes you think, doesn't it? Why doesn't Master Chief just forcefully punch his way out of every problem?
7 Weakness: Underexposed Skin
A Spartan without their Mjolnir armor could hardly be called a Spartan at all. However, perhaps the Spartans have weakened themselves by overly relying on their massive suits of armor. Even though we've only gotten glimpses of the Master Chief's face, it is known that the Chief is extremely pale.
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This is because after donning that suit of armor, he has hardly taken it off. His skin has rarely been exposed to sunlight. Not only does the Chief have to worry about a Vitamin D deficiency, he also needs to be wary of being in the sunlight without Mjolnir on.
6 Superpower: Speed
Thanks to those augmentations that Dr. Catherine Halsey forced on the SPARTAN-IIs, they can all run at incredible speeds. As things currently stand, Kelly-087 is the fastest Spartan of that group. She has been clocked at around 38 miles per hour (62 kilometers per hour). With his Mjolnir armor on, Chief can get up to 60 miles per hour. It's funny how in the games, especially the early ones without a sprint button, it sometimes seems as if you're going as slow as molasses. Maybe John-117's been holding out on us.
5 Weakness: Decreased Libido
Part of what makes a human, well, a human are the natural drives and inclinations that propel our species forward. Part of the augmentation process for SPARTAN-IIs involved decreasing the participants' libidos.
Spartans no longer feel the urge to procreate the way your average human would. The Chief is not exempt from this effect. While this decreased natural urge is not strictly a weakness, it does serve as yet another divide between the Master Chief and humanity.
4 Superpower: Extremely Durable Skeleton
Ever wonder how Master Chief has survived all those falls from space? It is likely due in part to the augmentations that reinforced his skeletal structure. Master Chief's bones are nigh indestructible, meaning they're less likely to fracture or break like ours. Hence, his ability to jump out of spacecraft and land on planets without shattering every bone in his body. Though of course, we do have to wonder where this hidden superpower is when we jump from a mountain during gameplay and somehow off Master Chief with that drop. If he can survive a fall from space, a little bitty mountain fall shouldn't hurt him.
3 Weakness: Age
Age is a weakness that nearly everybody tries to hide. People dye their hair, use make-up, or even undergo surgery to try to reverse the effects of aging. Master Chief hides his age quite well. For one thing, he has a helmet on, so no one can really see how old he is.
Not that that would be a good indicator. Due to exorbitant amounts of space travel which required years of cryo-sleep, the Master Chief's real age is a jumbled mess that perhaps he might not even know. Now that's a well-hidden secret. Our best guess as to how old the Master Chief is would be around 50 years old.
2 Superpower: Cortana
Admittedly, Cortana is her own AI self and not some engineered superpower the Master Chief possesses, but when they work together, she does become a behind-the-scenes superpower the Master Chief can rely on. A little-known fact about John-117 is the cybernetic implants placed within his body. Those implants allow Cortana to directly interface with the Chief's bodily functions.
Scary stuff, but she can enhance his reflexes to such a degree that he moves even faster than his already incredible speed. While working together one time, they were able to punch a missile out of the sky. Plus, with Cortana on his side, there is virtually no door that can remain locked against him.
1 Weakness: Cortana
Just as Cortana serves as the Chief's strength, she is also one of his greatest weaknesses. As one of his only friends, the Chief has become extremely loyal to her. This proves to be a bad thing in Halo 5: Guardians, after Cortana comes back from a nasty bout of rampancy with high-minded ideas about controlling the universe.
Plus, in Halo 4, when Cortana was actually going through rampancy, we could see how her involvement with the Chief's armor systems became a detriment to his fighting ability.