Reaching For Halo Infinite: What has Master Chief been up to?
There's three years between Halo 5 and Halo: Infinite, how did Master Chief end up unconscious in space?
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Regardless of your opinions of Halo 5 and 343 Industries, Master Chief has been on an emotional roller coaster since the reclaimer saga began. Everyone is talking about Halo Infinite Master Chief, but what about post-Halo 5 Master Chief?
Cortana, the only entity Master Chief has formed a personal relationship with for years, turned rampant. She is now hell-bent on destroying mankind with her network of surveillance and fellow A.I. Earth is forfeit and the UNSC is on the brink of destruction, how can life, or Master Chief, go on in Halo: Infinite? Let’s cast our minds back to the end of Halo 5 and take it from there.
Team Osiris manages to free Blue Team from the clutches of Cortana’s cryptum, and then the screen goes black. Locke tells Master Chief that Cortana is gone, which is followed by a dead-filled scene from the UNSC Infinity jumping into slip-space, narrowly avoiding a massive EMP pulse from a Guardian. A panicked Lasky commands random hyperspace jumps until they find a way to fight back.
Thanks to Fireteam Osiris and 031 Exuberant Witness, Cortana’s plan to keep Master Chief and Blue Team in stasis for 10,000 years was foiled. This was a last resort effort of a rampant Cortana desperate for Master Chief to understand why her actions are necessary for everlasting peace in years to come. Yeah, it’s best to just avoid A.I rampancy if you can readers.
Halo Infinite Master Chief – How did they get off Genesis?
031 Exuberant Witness confirmed there were no Forerunner vehicles suitable to transport eight people off-planet, but craft left from recent visitors may suffice. Opting for a portal summoned by Exuberant Witness alongside commandeering a Pelican, they ended up on Sang Helios.
Master Chief expresses a rare sign of remorse, apologizing to his fellow Spartans for putting them through this mess. He felt the guilt of not ending Cortana before her rampancy took hold. Linda, Spartan 058 and primary sniper of Blue Team, disregarded Chief’s comments by telling him he did what he thought was right at the time. The bond of child abduction and the following augmentations tend to develop deep bonds with teammates, apparently.
Locke also stood down and confirmed Chief did what he could, which lead to the Blue Teams’ revelation of Dr. Halsey being aboard UNSC Infinity, hoping she knows how to take Cortana down once and for all. After all, she knew Cortana better than anyone. Little did they know that Halsey would shortly greet them.
Spartan Palmer, The Arbiter, and Catherine Halsey greeted Master Chief and company, with Halsey displaying her standard sarcasm and whit stating “Well, it took you long enough”. It had been six years since Chief and Halsey had seen each other, and it was time for a night of feasting and rest to celebrate the Sang Helios victory against the Covenant loyalists fought just hours before.
The following morning, at around 6 AM, human forces bid the Arbiter and company farewell as they boarded the Pelican to meet the USNC Infinity. Chief, Locke, Halsey, and a handful of Spartans were called to the bridge As they entered the fifth dock, ending Halo 5.
Halo Infinite Master Chief – Shadows Of Reach
Around one year after the events of Halo 5, Blue Team is sent back to where it all began, Reach. Their task, Operation Wolf, is to recover an asset needed in the fight against Cortana (now dubbed ‘The Created’) from beneath the ruins of Oni’s Castle Base. The planet was previously destroyed and glassed by the Covenant shortly before the events of Halo: CE. These events are covered from the viewpoint of Spartan Team Noble 6 in Halo: Reach and in the Halo Novel ‘The Fall Of Reach’.
Whilst Castor, now Chief of the Banished holds Covenant Ideology, the Banished just want power. This may end up being an important plot point later on in Halo: Infinite. They are also on Reach looking for the coveted ‘Portal under the mountain’, which is more or less where Castle Base is. Chief doesn’t have much luck, does he?
It turns out that a band of humans survived the fall of Reach with the discovery of the Viery Militia fighting The Banished threat. Blue Team ends up helping them achieve their goals in exchange for getting to the ruins of Castle Base. Long story short, some revelations are unveiled and Blue Team completes operation wolf, but what did Halsey need from Castle Base?
We think it’s a clone of her brain. In order to make a sentient A.I. like Cortana, a human brain needs to be electronically scanned. This also destroys the brain, which means only deceased subjects have the opportunity to become A.I.
Halsey decided to clone her brain instead, three times to be exact, then created Cortana. We think ‘The Weapon’ in the Halo: Infinite campaign trailer is the result of scanning one of Halsey’s retrieved brains from Castle base on Reach.
From here, we follow the events of Halo Wars 2. The Banished invade installation 0-0, known as Zeta Halo. It’s also around this time Oni Materials Group creates the third generation of Mjolnir Spartan class armor for Chief (which is how Halo Infinite Master Chief has a grappling hook and upgradable components). The UNSC Spirit Of Fire vessel also makes its way to Zeta Halo, thus starting the conflict seen in Halo Wars 2.
Halo Infinite Master Chief – UNSC Infinity On Zeta Halo?
The first Halo: Infinite trailer sees Master Chief floating in space above a broken Halo installation. The slip space demo gave us a date of 27th May 2560, which is from a grounded Pelican on Zeta Halo. We also know that Dr. Halsey modified Chiefs Majolnir Mk. III armor on 19th September 2561, which means humans have been on Zeta Halo for over 16 months by the time Chief is found by his new UNSC soldier buddy floating in space.
If Oni Materials Group made Mjolnir MK. III armor on The Infinity, it would make sense for the vessel to be on Zeta Halo due to Chief being able to upgrade his exclusive armor throughout Halo Infinite. This also means that The Spirit Of Fire and Infinity could end up teaming up, with Master Chief finding and fighting alongside not only UNSC marines, but other Spartans.
Halo Infinite Master Chief – Speculation and theories
It’s obvious that Cortana and The Created dominate much of the known galaxy, with any mention of either entity banned from being mentioned out of fear. When Cortana rallied all A.I. against humans in Halo 5, they also took control of communications and security protocols. This means if they are mentioned, it’s followed up by The Created with a Guardian teleported to that location.
It seems that Master Chief was onboard the Infinity as it approached Zeta Halo, which probably means the ruined Halo Ring in early trailers is a battle-damaged Zeta Halo. Maybe said damage is due to The Infinity crash landing? Let’s not forget, whilst it pales in comparison to a Halo Ring, The Infinity is a massive construct that transports UNSC armies from planet to planet.
It doesn’t feel right that Chief would be so cut and dry about Cortana post-Halo 5. He went through hell to try and cure Cortana’s rampancy, maybe he believes there’s a cure in Zeta Halo? Of course, the new campaign trailer shows what looks like a younger and new build of Cortana that’s hilariously oblivious. She even states she has been created to take Cortana down, but how will she achieve that?
There’s also a chance that we may get a sweeping reveal in regards to Master Chief’s heritage, something that goes past his ‘Reclaimer’ status. It looks like 343i have dropped the reclaimed saga line for a return to Halos roots. Guilty Spark 343 is about as original as Halo gets. He used to be a human named Chakas before his consciousness was transferred into the monitor we all know and love.
This one gets a bit heavy, but Guilty Spark has a Geas, a Forerunner genetic command that can be passed down from generation to generation. It’s kind of like human conditioning, linking commands to safewords (spoiler alert, Master Chief is the winter soldier). Guilty Spark talks to Master Chief in Halo: CE like he already knows what his role of ‘Reclaimer’ was in that monumental moment in the Control Room of Installation 04.
The first person to give Guilty Spark the command to light the halo array was Forerunner Manipular and Iso-Didact, Bornstellar. When we look forward to Guilty Spark on installation 04, he states “His answer has not changed” when Chief questions his intentions with the Halo array. Spark is speaking to Chief not as a Reclaimer, but as an Iso-Didact. Is Chief somehow connected to Guilty Sparks or Bornstellars Geas? let’s hope we get a massive revelation that links the whole franchise together.
On that note, we’ll give your brain a rest and wait to find out more when Halo releases on Xbox Series X/S and PC day one on Game Pass Ultimate on December 8th.