The story of Halo, as instructed within the mainline video video games, isn’t precisely probably the most fascinating story ever instructed. The bigger world, nevertheless, is fascinating; there’s a spiritual cult of aliens, a number of completely different wars, an infectious race that threatens to destroy the universe, and a set of rings designed to destroy all of it first. The video games have a tendency to stay to the right here and now of the place the principle characters are standing or who they should shoot.
Fortunately, Halo’s ancillary materials — like books, comics, brief tales, and knowledge logs — helps fill out the background of the universe and explores the hundreds of thousands of years value of historical past that lurks past Grasp Chief’s intergalactic travels.
For individuals who don’t have dozens and dozens of hours to spend (waste?) studying the books — which largely have names like Halo: Cryptum — right here’s an abridged model of what they include. In different phrases, right here’s all of the cool stuff the video games largely don’t let you know about.
The creators of the whole lot
Halo’s historical past begins with the Precursors, a bunch of technologically superior, Lovecraftian beings who dominated the galaxy hundreds of thousands of years earlier than the occasions of the video games. The Precursors created each the Forerunners, the race of aliens the Covenant worship, and historic people (extra on them later). The Precursors believed in an concept known as the Mantle of Accountability, which they felt gave them accountability to guard all life within the galaxy — partly as a result of they created most of it. Because the Precursors’ civilization grew older, they deliberate to cross the Mantle on to people. Nonetheless, the Forerunners felt that the Mantle ought to belong to them, and they also started making an attempt to eradicate the Precursors to be able to take management of the galaxy.
By this time, the Precursor society was already in decline and, regardless of their technological benefit, they started to lose the struggle in opposition to the Forerunners. Because the once-great civilization’s final hopes of successful the conflict grew dim, the Precursors turned determined to each wipe out the Forerunners and assist themselves dwell endlessly.
Of their desperation to attain each ends, the Precursors by chance (type of) created the Flood, a harmful parasite with a drive to contaminate all clever life. As a result of the Precursors had been able to altering types over hundreds of thousands of years, some had assumed the type of tiny mud particles with plans to regenerate sooner or later. Nonetheless, over 1000’s of years, these particles turned corrupted, and ultimately they remodeled into the earliest types of the Flood.
With their civilization basically gone, the final remaining Precursors turned obsessive about the Flood and commenced instructing it to disregard people, as if that they had a pure immunity, and to search out Forerunners as a substitute. The utter destruction and destroy of the Forerunners turned the remaining Precursors’ solely mission in life, and technically, they succeeded.
The Flood are the one remaining legacy of the race by the point of the Halo video games. Actually, Gravemind claims to be a Precursor however is definitely the transferred consciousness of a Precursor known as Primordial who helped to fastidiously orchestrate the autumn of the Forerunners by convincing the race’s personal AI to show in opposition to them.
After the rule of the Precursors, the Forerunners took up the Mantle of Accountability and have become the watchers of the galaxy’s sentient life. However they weren’t the one superior species that lived there.
The golden age of humanity
Halo’s prehistoric people had been sensible and technologically superior ancestors of the people that exist within the recreation. They had been able to galactic journey and colonization, and for big parts of their historical past, they had been shut allies with the San’Shyuum — known later as the Prophets.
Finally, humanity’s journey via the celebs led them to the Flood, and conflict broke out virtually instantly.
The people and the San’Shyuum threw their collective would possibly on the Flood, just for the infectious race to proceed to unfold throughout their numerous planets. Out of desperation to get forward of the an infection, humanity took over a number of Forerunner worlds. Finally, the Flood merely stopped combating and infecting people — due to the Precursors’ actions described earlier on this story — and humanity survived their encounter.
And that’s when the Forerunners stepped in.
The human-Forerunner conflict
The Forerunners’ time as protectors of the galaxy was largely marked by a sequence of tremendously incompetent selections, together with the best way it handled humanity. After people invaded a number of Forerunner planets in an try to cease the Flood, the Forerunners dramatically overreacted. They assumed humanity was pushing towards conflict and determined people have to be stopped. It’s attainable that one cause for the Forerunners’ overreaction right here was as a result of they resented the truth that humanity was the favored race of the Precursors and easily wished them out of the best way, however since Halo likes to maintain at the least a number of mysteries across the Forerunners, we don’t know for certain.
The Forerunner-human conflict was extra like an annihilation. Even if the people had expertise that rivaled, and in some instances even surpassed, the Forerunners’ tech, the human race had already been pushed to the brink of extinction by the Flood. Humanity, largely combating alone after the San’Shyuum surrendered early within the conflict, ultimately acquired pushed again to their residence world of Charum Hakkor. After a siege that lasted a number of many years, the people had been lastly defeated.
As a result of the Forerunners refused to take heed to humanity’s cause for taking the planets within the first place, or something about humanity’s battle with the Flood, they decided that people had been too harmful to be permitted to proceed to evolve. So to be able to defend the remainder of the galaxy underneath the Mantle of Accountability, the Forerunners returned humanity to what they known as Tier 7 expertise. The Forerunners have an advanced tier-based rating system for expertise; Tier 7 is the bottom, describing Stone Age tech, and Tier 0 is the very best, which solely the Precursors ever reached.
As a last act of bitter revenge in opposition to the Forerunners who wrongly worn out their civilization, humanity destroyed all of its information of the Flood simply earlier than they had been regressed.
After their battle with the people, the one race within the galaxy that might fairly oppose them, the Forerunners loved a protracted interval of peace. Actually, issues within the galaxy had been so peaceable that the Forerunners really de-weaponized fully. Which turned out to be a dire mistake with the Flood nonetheless round.
When the Forerunners first found the Flood, they assumed it to be an unintelligent illness, moderately than a sentient race hell-bent on consuming all dwelling issues. Due to this assumption, they began by treating it as a medical situation that may very well be solved by quarantine, short-term therapy, and the seek for a treatment. This strategy continued for over 100 years whereas the Flood slowly took over increasingly more of the galaxy. By the point the Forerunners realized the reality, they had been already late to a conflict that began a century in the past, and so they didn’t even have weapons to struggle it.
Regardless of making some progress in weapon growth and containment, the Forerunners actually solely managed to sluggish moderately than cease the Flood’s progress via the galaxy. Lastly the Forerunners realized that they needed to discover a bigger, extra apocalyptic resolution. Whereas there have been main disagreements throughout the Forerunners’ ranks concerning the choice, they ultimately determined to create the Halo array to be able to destroy each dwelling factor within the galaxy, with solely The Ark appearing as a life-saving vessel.
Because the Flood takeover of the galaxy acquired progressively worse, the Forerunner often called the Didact (who each is and isn’t the antagonist from Halo 4) fired the Halo array, which labored … largely. It worn out practically all sentient life within the galaxy, and just a few Forerunners survived on The Ark.
The Forerunners left behind automatons just like the Sentinels and AIs like 343 Responsible Spark to re-seed the galaxy with life, together with people and members of the Covenant, resulting in the occasions of the primary Halo recreation.
Halo has someplace round 30 books out at the moment, with the most recent being launched in October 2021. Most of those books aren’t concerning the historical past of the galaxy and the Forerunners, however a number of are. For those who’re thinking about studying extra about what occurred in Halo’s universe earlier than the video games, listed below are a number of books value studying.
The Forerunner Saga
Greg Bear’s trilogy of books is a very powerful place to start out for any of Halo’s historic historical past. This sequence of books covers the Forerunners and historic people, and it’s the place virtually all our data on these two civilizations, and the Precursors, comes from. These books are entertaining, however provided that you’re actually, actually deep into the Halo nonsense, as a result of they’re proper-noun soup and all of the characters have names like Bornstellar Makes Everlasting Lasting. (I loved them very a lot.)
These aren’t actually books, however the Halo 4 Terminals provide you with a little bit of details about a few of the most vital characters within the Forerunner Saga. In addition they don’t imply a lot with out the books to again them up.
Halo Mythos is a large guidebook to the Halo universe and affords a timeline of the whole story (at the least up till 2016). Solely the primary part is concerning the sequence’ historic historical past, however it’s fascinating and helpful nonetheless.