Posted 12 June 2007 - 12:51 PM
Voi is and has always been an important part of the Halo story...even though we're only now learning about it...
Here's a small portion of an h3da article I wrote about Voi early this year...I think it was January:
One question you may well be asking at this point is: "What the hell does Voi have to do with anything?"
Typically, we would say nothing, but our longtime readers are quite aware that the once small fishing village connecting Nairobi and Mombasa already has a place within Halo canon. According to the Halo 2 Volume 2 Soundtrack, the final suite entitled "Epilogue," has three sections. For those not in the know, the epilogue is depicting events after Halo 2, events more than likely within Halo 3. The suite just prior to this was entitled "Finale" and it included the notable tracks: Great Journey and Thermopylae Soon, predicting that Halo 3 would involve The Great Journey and implications extracted from the original Battle of Thermopylae.
This battle pitted roughly three hundred Spartans against the entire Trojan military, literally hundreds of thousands. This battle parallels the one involving the UNSC defending the Earth against the inbound Covenant fleet, incidentally tapping into the ancient Spartan and Greek history that the Halo story often does. Then after that, the “Epilogue,” which must be assumed to take place after the events Halo 2 and possibly during Halo 3. The final suite is divided up into three sections: Beholden, Road to Voi, and Subsume. We’ve talked about this before, but it’s been a while, so we’ll once again revisit it.
If we attempt to take these three items and insert them into what we understand about Halo 3, knowing full well that they were scribed (and the songs recorded) in association with themes that Marty O’Donnell, Bungie’s music composer, know will represent the events between Halo 2 and Halo 3, as well as events within Halo 3 - what do these three sections mean?
Beholden means to be indebted to someone or something, to have a sense of gratitude about the actions of someone else. Perhaps this is in response to the Master Chief. In the events of the “Starry Night” commercial it’s clear that the Chief’s mortality is being put into question, as they believe he is dead and he responds flatly: “Not yet.” It could be a response, from humanity, to the Master Chief.
Perhaps, during the events of Halo 3, humanity is beholden to Spartan-117 because of a sacrifice he has made, more specifically, his own life. On a personal note, it could have something to do with the relationship between Cortana and the Master Chief. Maybe Cortana is the one who saves everyone, as she clearly indicated she was capable of at the end of Halo 2. Though her motivations and status are questionable now, it is possible that the Chief and humanity could feel gratitude for her sacrifice, even though she isn’t a physical being. We’ve also talked about the interesting relationship between the Chief and his prior archenemy, the Arbiter. They have forged a tenuous bond within the bowels of Delta Halo. Could Halo 3 show them working directly together to end the Covenant’s Great Journey? Maybe it is the Arbiter who sacrifices his life for humanity in an ironic turn of events?
Road to Voi, which is obviously the title of this article, seems to be specifically talking about the Announcement Trailer. In both the commercial and the trailer, the Master Chief is heading west across the African landscape west toward a spiraling dome of store clouds. We later understand this to be the atmospheric changes above the Forerunner artifact being caused by some unknown energy product from within the Ark. The road that the Master Chief travels leads to Voi, from Mombasa, which is clearly the metropolitan wreckage seen behind him. On the way toward Voi, the Chief locates the Ark. Although Mombasa has been severely damaged, some of it still remains. It is likely other parts of the East African Protectorate have been salvaged as well. This may be the bulk of the environments we experience on Earth, since the Covenant seem pretty set on this one piece of real estate. Ultimately, this is where we get the statement, “road to Voi.”
It’s part of Bungie’s official information and, as Joseph Staten has already admitted to Northwestern University (of which he attended), that the final three levels of Halo 2 were canned. One of which may have included the Ark, as a concept drawing from Halo 2 admits. This may well be the reason Marty O’Donnell felt so comfortable recording the score, as this portion of Halo 3 was originally scribed for inclusion in Halo 2. In fact, we would surmise that the ending we received in the final version of Halo 2 was probably the replacement ending when they realized they would not have time to include the real ending, which was delivered to us in the forum of the Announcement Trailer.
Subsume is the final track within the “Epilogue,” and it is defined as to bring inclusion to or to consider it (whatever “it” may be) being part of something larger. Immediately following “Road to Voi,” it is possible that they are talking about humanity’s world view, but for the sake of the story, the revelation of the Ark to humanity. For a hundred thousand years, this large, 14-mile wide artifact has existed deep below the soil of Africa. This is something not anticipated by the Chief or anyone for that matter, so it forces an awakening or epitome for humanity, as we’re now aware of this hidden item beneath our own planet. This also brings into play the notion that humanity and the Forerunners are related.
Many have suggested, so this time will be no different, that the Forerunners were humanity’s ancestors. It is not known at this time whether that’s the case, however, it is likely that there is a relationship between the two. Humans are referred to as “Reclaimers” by the Forerunners’ installation monitors and are the only ones who can retrieve the Index from the Library (the key to activate the Halo rings). Africa is also seen as the cradle of our evolutionary civilization, but if the humanity evolved from Africa according to our traces, it is possible that the Ark is a ship or structure built by the Forerunners to escape the Flood and when the wake of the ring’s firing had cleared, they emerged and discarded their old practices, eventually becoming what we know today as humans. They probably looked identical to humans of 2552, but were clearly trying to hide their story. Perhaps there was an “Adam” and an “Eve” within the Ark – maybe some of the Forerunners are still there?
No one knows for certain, but it is entirely plausible to think that this new subsuming involves humanity’s recognition that they came from the Forerunners and perhaps even the recognition of the Covenant and their Prophets. At some point, the Covenant must be revealed that humankind (if they are, in fact, the Forerunners) are the very gods they worship. Would they lash out in revenge and hatred or would they make a truce and leave? We’re hoping for the former, because the latter sounds pretty boring – but either way, if this is going to play a role in the story, expect a lot of drama from the Covenant’s revelation.
Sorry for the meteoric post, but rather than talk about it continually and constantly over the course of five pages, I figure this should bring everyone to square one. This was just a small section within the entire article, so my apologies if it seems tangential and disparate.