Reimagining Halo 5’s Antagonists: The Ur-Didact and Mendicant Bias

In the first of these ‘reimagining’ posts, I discussed how I would have written Cortana in Halo 5 while working within the constraints and limitations of Halo 5’s established narrative structure and disrupting as few campaign resources as possible.

While I presented a case to be made for how I think her role in the story could have been improved, I am still adamant that bringing Cortana back (at least this soon, in this way) is not at all the direction that I would have taken.

No, I have a different view on which two characters I’d have put in Cortana and the Warden’s place, which is what I’ll be discussing in this third reimagining piece. This is how I would have told Halo 5’s story with the Ur-Didact and Mendicant Bias in the antagonist role.didact17 Continue reading

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Reimagining Jul ‘Mdama’s Fate

As those of you who kept up with my Halo 5 postmortem articles know, this is a subject that I have rather a lot to say about. While I’ve already discussed and analysed the matter of Jul ‘Mdama’s death and my alternate narrative for him at-length, it has been spread across various other posts and I wanted to pull that all together into one.

Like with the post I did on reimagining the way in which Cortana was written in Halo 5, this will not be a complete rewrite of the story – rather, this post will aim to actually work within the confines of the game and the limits of the narrative structure and resources as best it can to illustrate how this could have been done.

In the words of ‘Mdama himself, “we have no time to dither”. Let’s just get into it…julm7 Continue reading

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On the Organon, the Domain’s Origins, and the Precursors

Another week, another new Halo release, another loaded topic of esoteric ancient era lore to talk about…

As if Mythos wasn’t enough, just earlier this week we saw the release of the new anthology novel, Halo: Fractures. With it came a smorgasbord of incredible stories from new and old writers of the franchise, lots of interesting twists, reveals, and emotional gut-punches (the ending of Oasis, man, and that epilogue) for us story fans to digest.

Back when the book was announced and we were told that there were going to be some Forerunner stories in it, I said that I would do what I did with Soma the Painter and write something on them. Today, we’re looking at some lore introduced to us in Promises To Keep by Christie Golden, and how it was the turn-of-the-screw for a theory I’ve had about the Domain that has been floating around in my head since Silentium came out. After that, I’m going to lend a few ideas I have about the Precursors and how they may have formulated the very idea of the Mantle in the first place.

If you hadn’t already guessed, this post contains SPOILERS for Halo: Fractures.cea70 Continue reading

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Subtlety and Nuance – Reimagining Halo 5’s Cortana

I can give (have given) you over forty thousand reasons why I abhor Cortana’s portrayal in Halo 5…

I scorn it because the writers’ dishonesty was disproportionate to their suggested story. I spite it because it forced the premature shutdown of half a dozen major plot points and character arcs from the previous three years of fiction.

But, for all that, I never actually considered what I would say if 343’s writing staff turned up at my door with a stack of blank paper and said: “Okay Haruspis, you think you’re so damn smart! Within the limitations set by the game’s narrative structure, make Cortana work…”guard1 Continue reading

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Mythos: The Curator, the Domain, and the Ark

As of today, Halo: Mythos has officially released, but this post was actually written just under a week before today because it won’t release for another month for us poor lore peasants in the UK and one or two lovely people who got it early have given me some sneak previews of the content within the book.

Since Mythos has just released, here is your mandatory warning: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS (and yes, there is actually new story content to be spoiled).

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk Mythos…la7 Continue reading

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Requiem Ruminations

So I was semi-recently doing what I call a ‘photography run’ of Halo 4, I call it this because there’s no campaign theatre mode so it has to be done using the blind skull and the Xbox’s screenshot feature. This kind of playthrough really gets you to appreciate the art and the visuals of the game, in fact I went through it trying to recreate certain shots from the concept art and ended up being rather successful in doing so. As such, all the screenshots you see in my posts, just like with the Halo 5 postmortem, are ones I’ve taken.

Anyway, I got to photography running Spartan Ops and decided to rewatch the cutscenes through because, while it does have its flaws, I do still regard it as a net-positive story.

But one major thing has always bugged me since Spartan Ops ended in 2013 and I’ve never really talked about it.

Requiem’s fate…hf399 Continue reading

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Y’know, amidst all of the discussions we’ve had about both the present and future of Halo, along with the announcement of Halo Wars 2, I’ve been taken with the desire to look back on the original game in the first of (hopefully) many retrospective posts. As a note: I don’t have any planned structure of things to talk about and analyse, these infrequent rumination posts will pretty much just be me sitting down while listening to the soundtrack of the thing I’m talking about and spewing out thoughts about a given topic until I run out of things to say.

I decided to start off with Halo Wars because I have wanted to write something about this game for a long time – it’s a game that has a ridiculous amount of sentimental value to me, for both its story as well as its multiplayer, and I very recently replayed it so if there’s ever been a time to do this it’s now. Also, Halo Wars 2 is shaping up really well from what we’ve seen thus far – I am cautiously excited, but I’m loving what I’m seeing. I sincerely hope it all goes well, I’ve a wealth of faith in Kevin Grace’s writing.

Anyway, we’re burning sunshine with this intro, let’s just get right to the topic…wars10 Continue reading

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