University of Maryland, College Park
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Will Halo Wars 2 be Halo 4?
Before you jump all over this and start to think this idea
is crazy, lets look at the facts (by the way, this is quite lengthy):
1.) Halo 3’s Legendary ending has Master Chief drifting off
into space towards what may or may not be a Forerunner Shield World, but is
certainly of Forerunner design.
2.) Halo Wars ends with Serena waking up Captain Cutter and
alerting him to something that “has happened”, which we have no idea about.
3.) The Cole Protocol.
4.) The Battle of Onyx
Okay, where to begin. From the timeline of the Halo
universe, we know that the events of Halo
Wars took place twenty years before the initial Halo event. During the
course of the game, Captain Cutter orders the Spirit of Fire after the Covenant ship towards what we now know to
be a Forerunner Shield World. Not much is known about the Forerunner, though it
is known that they had a tendency to build their structures in the most remote
places, like the Ark on the edge of the Galaxy. Therefore, we can conclude that
the Shield World Captain Cutter and the crew of the Spirit of Fire encountered was located in an equally remote
location. Evidence of this is that Serena didn’t know quite where they were,
indicating that they were beyond the stars visible from Earth. Now lets go to
this Shield World. Here the Spirit of
Fire encounters the Covenant ship, and shortly after destroys the
Forerunner structure with the ship’s only FTL (Faster than Light) drive,
stranding the Spirit of Fire and her
crew in the unknown regions of space. What we don’t know is where the crew is,
but what we do know is what their actions would be…
Protocol, established by Admiral Preston Cole, clearly indicates that any human
ship that comes in contact with the Covenant is to make a jump (through
slip-space) to a location that is not in the direction of any human occupied
world, namely Earth and the Inner Colonies. Captain Cutter, as evidence from
various cut scenes, was not one to whimsically disobey an order. We can
conclude from his ideology, then, that he would continue to follow the Cole
Protocol and not head for any human occupied world, even though he would be
traveling at a fraction of the speed of light. Though the crew of the Spirit of Fire didn’t know where they
were, they also knew where the human worlds weren’t: on the galactic rim.
Traveling at half of the speed of light for twenty years would put the crew ten
light years from the destroyed Forerunner Shield World. This is an important
fact we’ll come back to later.
Now we’ll talk about Halo
3. During the course of this FPS (First Person Shooter) game, the main
character, the Master Chief, ends up traveling through a Forerunner
transportation device (The Portal), perhaps an advanced slip-space device, and
ends up on what is known as the Ark, a location where all seven Halo rings
could be fired remotely. The Ark is located on the Galactic rim of the Milky
Way. Naturally, Master Chief, ever our hero, deactivates the Ark and destroys
the Halo ring it is making as a replacement for the one he destroyed in the
first game. In the process the Portal is destroyed, and Master Chief and
Cortana are stranded in the space surrounding the (apparently) desolate and
lifeless Ark. On the Legendary ending of this game it shows the Master Chief’s
half of the ship tumbling towards what looks like another Shield World,
apparently unaware of what is going on. Now we have two games ending in very
similar locations…how very interesting…but there’s more.
During the Battle of Reach, several Spartans are killed, but
not all of them. In the fighting that ensues, Dr. Halsey, the mind behind the
Spartan-II program, escapes with a few Spartans to the “planet” Onyx. This
planet is home to an ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) base that trains the
Spartan-III’s. Dr. Halsey soon discovers in the events of the Battle of Onyx
that the “planet” is not really a planet at all, but an entrance to a
Forerunner Shield World, which is located at the core of the planet. Amongst
all of the fighting, Dr. Halsey is able to escape with Spartan-II’s,
Spartan-III’s, and multiple marines relatively safe. To this day their location
and condition are unknown. Now we have the making for a great installment of
the Halo franchise!
I don’t pretend to hold all of the answers, and I don’t plan
on trying to figure out what the game play of Halo 4/Halo Wars 2 might
be. I am simply suggesting that it is interesting to note that in the Halo
universe the Master Chief is heading towards what could be a Shield World and
Dr. Halsey is supposed to be in a Shield World. Couple this with the Master
Chief’s present location on the Galactic Rim and the Spirit of Fire’s last known transmission in possibly a similar
location, and it looks as though Serena of the Spirit of Fire may have picked up on Cortana’s distress Beacon. I’m
sure that skeptics will tear this idea apart, but in my opinion, this information
is too coincidental for the people at Bungie/Ensemble to not have been planning
something after Halo: ODST and Halo: Reach. It would be the seventh
installment of the Halo franchise, and therefore perhaps the last (we all know
how fanatical the people at Bungie are with the number seven).
What do you think?
P.S.- I know that the average life span of a “smart” AI such
as Cortana and Serena is only seven years (again with the sevens), but that’s
if they’re doing something adaptive where they must continue to learn and
expand their knowledge. Previous Halo books have stated that if a “smart” AI
dedicated their time to something much more monotonous, such as piloting a ship
at half of the speed of light just to keep it from hitting stars and other
stellar bodies, then their life span could be significantly greater, and
therefore perhaps the twenty years required for Serena to still be functioning.