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Halo 4: Dark Planetoid Rising

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#1 vociferous

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 11:53 AM

Bungie_Marathon_poster.jpg

The dominant theory about Bungie's next game is that it will deal with events from Bungie's previous trilogy, Marathon. What is this based on? Well, a number of items, the most significant of which I believe is first (Caution, below are some potential spoilers for Contact Harvest. They're not major story spoilers, but they are small 'surprises' within the story.):

  • Game Informer says so. Wait. What's this? Since when do they own the Bungie rumor mill? Well, since they landed the Halo: Forerunner story several months before Bungie officially announced Halo 3 in early 2006. In the article, they talked about Bungie's next game being centered around the Master Chief, showing off scale, having large encounters with a variety of choices, heavily fleshing out details about the Forerunner history and including 4-player online cooperative play - none of which could have been known without a source on the inside (the latter, no one expected until the beta hexcode snafu), at least not that early. Likewise, just a month or so ago, the magazine ran another rumor blurt claiming that Spartan-117 and the protagonist in the Marathon series are the same individual, meaning that 'Halo 4' will take place several hundred years after Halo 3's events and involve the ex-Spartan/Master Chief character as well as the general storyline utilized during the Marathon game.
  • What about the Edge 'shooter' comment? January of this year, during an interview with Edge, Harold Ryan, Bungie's Studio Manager, let it slip that the next 'Halo' game will likely be a shooter. [Edge, Partly, but not entirely. With likely less than a year of Halo 3 development left, and the end of this monumental trilogy (though not necessarily of Bungie Halo games – Ryan at one point refers to “the next Halo game" and says it will likely be a shooter) in sight, the germination of new, original projects is already underway.] Marathon is obviously a shooter, for those even with a cursory familiarity of the trilogy.
  • And the obvious Legendary cliffhanger. The end of Halo 3 places the Chief and Cortana, not simply at the finality of the Halo Trilogy, but seemingly at the start of a new adventure, as the broken frigate section floats past a large structure described as a 'planetoid' by Joe Staten. [GameTap, There is a crazy planetoid floating out there. Who knows? If you look really, really carefully at the lights on the planet, though, there is something to be seen in those lights.]
  • The Planetoid's secret billboard... Others in our own group (NJ, here's looking at you) have suggested that the item being described on the 'planetoid' installation is, in fact the Marathon logo. There are similarities, although nothing confirmed.
  • Contact Marathon. The Marathon logo has been confirmed, within Halo canon, that it is more than simply lip service to the studio's previous IP within Halo's easter egg cache. According to Contact Harvest, it's the symbol for 'Reclaimer,' a crucial part of the Halo mythology. [Halo: Contact Harvest pg. 274-5, < THIS IS NOT RECLAMATION > the Oracle boomed. < THIS IS RECLAIMER > Slowly the glyph turned upside down, and its central shapes - the concentric circles, one low inside and the other, connected by a thin line - took on a different aspect. The shapes' previous arrangement had resembled the pendulum of a clock. Inverted, the glyph now looked like a creature with two curved arms locked above its head.] Not only does this tie the Halo and the Marathon universes together, but it also bridges the gap between the Master Chief and the main protagonist of Marathon.
  • Terminally positioned. The terminals in Halo 3 clearly show that some of the Forerunners partook in 'The Great Journey' during or immediately after the Array was launched and perhaps it was their goal that their human 'descendants' to follow their footsteps. If by firing the replacement for Installation 04, the Chief and Cortana were carried on that Great Journey, this could be the linchpin in restarting in a Marathon setting, tying the Forerunners to Marathon's Jjaro, as well as some of the other very obvious parallels.

Now, keep in mind that I'm not suggesting that Bungie is about to remake, word for word, every square inch, the Marathon series, but it does seem likely based on a number of factors that Bungie will revisit the franchise by remaking and re-envisioning the series in the light of the events of Halo 3, particularly those events which stand out at the end of the Legendary cinematic. I remember in a video tour of Bungie's studio, Frank jokingly scoffed about their 'next project' being Marathon IV, by having it scrawled on a white board and then erased for humorous effect (11:19 minutes), but ironically (and much to my chagrin), the end of Halo 3 and these other factors set the player up perfectly for some type of return to the Halo universe, and a return as the Master Chief.

I've openly stated that I don't like the idea of them using the Master Chief again and that they would have to make one hell of a sell for me to not see it as a cannibalization of a perfectly finalized IP, but if they sell it through Marathon it might work actually work - then again, I still have some serious reservations considering the conclusion of Halo 3.

But wait, you say, Marathon's first game is set in 2794, right? That's 242 years off of Halo 3's ending in March of 2553, so the Chief who is approximately 43 years old in the trilogy would be 285 years old by the beginning of the the Marathon series. That is technically true from our non-fictional standpoint. Of course, Halo: Contact Harvest says specifically that in the Halo universe you don't age during cryo-sleep at all [Halo: Contact Harvest pg. 64]. In fact, the idea that the Master Chief is even 43 years old is questionable. He may well be in his early 30's, as even Sgt. Avery Johnson questioned that he spent half of his life in cryo-sleep, which made keeping track of his biological age a decidedly difficult endeavor.

So, from my perspective at least, the pieces are set in place to revisit the Marathon series. For those who have yet to know what the series involved, it was basically two games, Marathon and Marathon 2: Durandal, with a third, Marathon Trinity, replaying some events of the second game with added sections and features. The game, like the Halo trilogy, is a gun-heavy, shooter based in a science fiction world, set almost entirely in space and by in large against an alien race (in Marathon, they are called the Pfhor and like the Covenant, they are a class-based, multifaceted enemy). Weapons in Marathon are considerably similar to those in Halo, and iconic elements like the 'UNSC' exist simultaneously in both series.

Here's the Wiki for those looking to go the extra mile.

061105_marathon.jpg

So, what do you think?



#2 Kinetic

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 12:16 PM

I'm going to have to say no to this one.

The UNEC Marathon was a huge colony ship (a very populated one at that, much unlike the wreckage of the Dawn floating in space), with the protagonist of the game being a security guard who later learns he's a "test" cyborg. The reason the Marathon was such a big deal was because this ship's travel marked the very first time humanity traveled through space to inhabit other worlds, and as everyone here knows, humanity had populated tons of other worlds in the Halo universe prior to Halo CE. Also keep in mind that nearly all of Marathon 1 takes place on the colony ship, while Marathon 2: Durandal takes place on the Pfthor world that many seem to believe is the planeoid in the Legendary ending.

Furthermore, if Bungie tried to make a 'Halo 4' into Marathon, they'd have some serious questions to answer. Where the hell's Cortana? Who the fuck are Leela, Tycho, and Durandal? Why did Master Chief degrade from Mark VI armor to Mark IV armor? How come I can see half of Chief's face now?

There are many similarities from Marathon to Halo, but the reason for this is because Bungie reached back to their earlier games for inspiration. In many ways, one could call the Halo saga a spiritual retelling of the Marathon series. It's a good theory just looking at these similarities, but once you get down to the actual story, Halo 4 couldn't be Marathon unless some drastic changes to Marathon canon were made.

Edited by Kinetic, 10 November 2007 - 12:28 PM.


#3 txlonghorn

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 12:50 PM

"I'll miss you" Cortana's final dialogue, makes me think that this is the end for Master Chief in any type of video game franchise. I think Bungie has the talent to make another game well without this iconic protagonist. I also think they are confident/arrogant enough to try.

#4 Shin Karasawa

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 01:40 PM

The dominant theory about Bungie's next game is that it will deal with events from Bungie's previous trilogy, Marathon. What is this based on? Well, a number of items, the most significant of which I believe is first (Caution, below are some potential spoilers for Contact Harvest. They're not major story spoilers, but they are small 'surprises' within the story.):

  • Game Informer says so.

These are the same guys who read your write up on Halo 3's story several months before it was released and called it a leak. Careful. :tongue:

#5 vociferous

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 10:10 AM

Kinetic, I agree, a complete copy of Marathon would be unlikely. I re-envisioning is what I expect based on the existing evidence. There are a litany of ways they can interlace the two stories, so I doubt that'll be any issue at all. Tex, I'd love to believe you're right, but a variety of evidences above indicate that Bungie isn't afraid of throwing the Chief into another game. I hope I'm wrong. Shin, you make a good point, but then again, didn't the entire internet think that was legit except for the people who were working on Halo 3? I stand by Game Informer's rumor mill because they've typically got a good track record. Again, let me say that I hope I'm wrong about this. Although I don't have a problem with another sci-fi shooter and a great story to boot, even if its Marathon-centric, I don't like the idea of using John-117 and/or Cortana. Bungie's incredibly creative and I believe they need not rely on such recycling to create a compelling story and interesting characters within it.

#6 urk

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 11:06 AM

Perhaps when John awakens, Cortana will be on Her Summer Vacation. ;) And do we know what a dozen decades of cryo would do to a man? Or how about an unplanned awakening? There are many possibilities here. None have to be obvious. The Demon is folded in black clouds.

#7 vociferous

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 12:18 PM

Perhaps when John awakens, Cortana will be on Her Summer Vacation. ;)

And do we know what a dozen decades of cryo would do to a man? Or how about an unplanned awakening?

There are many possibilities here. None have to be obvious. The Demon is folded in black clouds.

Well said throughout. Urk, I challenge you to pick up Staten's novel. It's a good read.

#8 urk

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 12:35 PM

I still haven't touched Ghosts of Onyx. Tried to give it away, but nobody wanted it. Not even Halo fans. And the damn thing is signed! ;) I do need to make a book run. I'll give it a look.

#9 Jironimo

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 05:19 PM

I still haven't touched Ghosts of Onyx. Tried to give it away, but nobody wanted it. Not even Halo fans. And the damn thing is signed! ;)

I do need to make a book run. I'll give it a look.

I'd be interested in it. How much?

#10 urk

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 10:33 PM

I'd be interested in it. How much?


PM me your addy and I'll send it on it's way. I'm gonna be out of town all next week, so it won't go out until after the Holiday.

:)

#11 Va1or

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 08:54 PM

Posted Image

(Sorry Dual. And everyone else.)

#12 Nightshade

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 09:12 PM

Dual don't your remember how awesome this game is going to be?

Narrator: What? You thought it was over?

Posted Image

Master Chief: "Not yet..."

Narrator: It's time to finish all the fights you started and finished.

Posted Image

Arbiter: "Were it so easy..."

Narrator: Not with all new enemies like the Forerunner standing in your way. You will need plenty of something... Can you guess?

Posted Image

Cortana: "Luck..."

Narrator: So make sure to pre-order your copy of Halo 4: Planetoid, the fourth installment of the epic trilogy.

Posted Image

SGT Johnson: "The gaming franchise as stubborn as you are."

Narrator: And make sure to get your girlfriend one too.

Posted Image

Cortana: "Don't make your girlfriend a promise, if you know you can't keep it..."

Posted Image

Narrator: Rated "E" for everyone.

#13 Cocopjojo

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 10:02 PM

Thank you for putting that in here. I actually spent some time earlier searching for it.

#14 aassaa123

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:00 PM

Has any one considerd that could be a prelude to the Peter Jackson Project? (Btw, first post!)

#15 Arachnidus

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 06:09 PM

"I'll miss you" Cortana's final dialogue, makes me think that this is the end for Master Chief in any type of video game franchise. I think Bungie has the talent to make another game well without this iconic protagonist. I also think they are confident/arrogant enough to try.



Actually, Cortana probably said that because, as a Smart AI, her operational lifetime is only about 7 years. She'll probably be "dead" or rampant by the time the Chief is awakened, and hell, we don't know when the Chief is going to crash on the planet. The ending might be five days later, or two hundred years later.

#16 Anpheus

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:25 PM

Cortana can shut herself off though.

#17 vociferous

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 09:24 PM

Actually, Cortana probably said that because, as a Smart AI, her operational lifetime is only about 7 years. She'll probably be "dead" or rampant by the time the Chief is awakened, and hell, we don't know when the Chief is going to crash on the planet. The ending might be five days later, or two hundred years later.

In all actuality, the real question we should be asking is not where the Chief is but when he is.

Most estimates put him at 536 years before the first firing of the Array and before the Flood were uncovered. The Chief is revealed to be Didact and Cortana is actually the Librarian, given a Forerunner body upon accessing their world. The two's romance was cut short by the Flood and 300 years of bloodshed.

DPR: The End.

#18 Confalone

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 01:51 AM

If cortana was about to go rampant wouldn't it make more sense that she would be Mendicant Bias?

Edited by Confalone, 04 June 2008 - 01:51 AM.


#19 A. Nonymous

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 05:43 AM

:smile:In all actuality, the real question we should be asking is not where the Chief is but when he is.

Most estimates put him at 536 years before the first firing of the Array and before the Flood were uncovered. The Chief is revealed to be Didact and Cortana is actually the Librarian, given a Forerunner body upon accessing their world. The two's romance was cut short by the Flood and 300 years of bloodshed.


Does this come from the GS 343 line, "Last time you asked me if it were my choice [to fire the ring]..."?

#20 ReconO7

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 04:08 PM

As awesome as another Halo game made by Bungie would be I hope that take some time off Halo before starting again. As for the Halo-Marathon theories I remember Bungie saying in one of their weekly updates that the Halo universe and the Marathon universe are not interconnected but some of what is being tossed around about them being one in the same sounds plausible.



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