Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Halo 4 Campaign - What We Know So Far

So what did you think of the campaign reveal? It's pretty exciting stuff, eh? I imagine there are a lot of people left a little confused by it so I'll attempt to pool everything we know so far. The following will contain spoilers for the books Halo: Cryptum, Halo: Primordium and Halo: Glasslands, if you're planning on reading those books before Halo 4 then maybe don't read on. If you've already read them or aren't planning too then by all means read on. 

The Forerunner books introduced three main characters who may well show their faces in Halo 4. 

The Didact (pronounced Die - Dact)

The Didact was the commander of the Forerunner armies a the time of the original Flood outbreak and lead the Forerunner's fight against the Flood. He's a pretty cool guy and generally likes humans. 

The Librarian

The Librarian is the wife of the Didact, she is a "lifeworker" and was responsible for managing ecosystems and species dominence on various Forerunner worlds. She built the Library (from Installation 04/Halo CE) and also built the Ark (from Halo 3). She was responsible for the re-population of the galaxy following the firing of the Halo rings. This was covered in Halo: Legends if you've seen that. 

The Master Builder

This guy is a bit of a cock. The Master Builder is considered the highest "rank" in Forerunner society. He commissioned the building of the Halos and also fired them on the San'Shyuum home world. He was later trialed for war crimes. 

At this point it's worth noting that we don't know the outcome of any of their story arcs, the third Forerunner book is not due for release until after Halo 4 launches, presumably because their plots are intertwined. 

At the start of Halo 4, Master Chief, aboard the Forward Unto Dawn, is pulled into Requiem - a giant Forerunner planet inside an exo-planet. At this stage we don't know why he was pulled in, it could have been at the desire of one of the Forerunners mentioned above, it could have been Cortana's curiosity, it could have been a happy coincidence. Let's continue.. 

Chief is fighting Covenant?! I thought we'd finished that fight?

Yes, we did. However, in Glasslands we learn that following the Human-Covenant war ONI spent a great deal of effort trying to stir up a civil war amongst the Sangheilli (Elites), although we won't find the conclusion to this story arc until The Thursday War launches in October, it's a fairly safe bet the Elites weren't thrilled with us meddling in their politics. Other theories include space pirates, mercenaries and religious zealots. Whatever angle 343i take with it, it's not that much of a surprise that we're fighting Covenant again. 

What's this?

The Xbox Press site confirms it to be a Cryptum - that's sort of like a Cryo pod for Forerunners, except instead of sleeping for a few days/weeks, they sleep for millennia. It certainly looks intimidating, but it's important to note that it doesn't attack Master Chief and nor do we see it attack the UNSC Infinity (That's the massive ship you see crash landing in the campaign demo). 

My theory - and it's only a theory - is that this Cryptum belongs to The Didact and he's not an enemy. The demo is clearly set up to make him look like an enemy, the colour scheme of the Cryptum, the imposing way it rises up behind Chief and the fact that all hell breaks loose right after he arrives would all lead you to think that he's the new “Big Bad”. If it is The Didact, then having him attack the humans would be a considerable character retcon from what we learnt about him in Halo: Cryptum. We also see him scan the Chief and had he wanted to, he could have crushed him there and then. I believe that 343i are trying to make us think he's the enemy, as a prelude to a later reveal that he's on our side. Finally, when the Elite is charging Master Chief with the energy sword he is vaporised by one of the Promethean Knights, had they been looking to kill the Chief it would make sense to let the Elite do it for you – or at least weaken him. We never see that weapon fired against Chief for the rest of the video. I believe they were trying to capture Master Chief alive. 

Who are "they"?

We see three new enemies in the campaign trailer. Cortana tells us in the trailer that they're not bilological so presumably their some sort of AI/Sentinels we've not seen before. 

The Promethean Knight 
From what we can tell these are the leader class, quick and agile in combat and tricky to kill. They also get pretty freaky up close..

 The Crawler
Fodder class, seem very much in the vein of the Grunts, quick to kill, but intimidating in numbers.

The Watcher
Support Class, we see them catching and throwing back grenades as well providing shields for the Promethean Knights. They generally seem to hang back and avoid combat. A bit like Covenant Engineers?

In the live action intro we see The Didact's symbol on the screens of the UNSC Infinity, we also see the same "scan" effect that the Cryptum later uses on Master Chief.

I have a  theory as to how we got to this point. 

Master Chief lands on Requiem, awaking The Didact. The Didact realises that Master Chief has “stirred an ancient evil” (The Master Builder, perhaps?), in order to assist Master Chief, The Didact uses Forerunner slipspace technology to teleport the Infinity (humanity's largest and most powerful ship) to Requiem before pulling it inside. In the trailer we see the Captain of the Infinity looking out of the main viewport towards Requiem, there is a definite confusion/apprehension on his face, leading me to think they could have just been teleported there - that's total speculation though.

The Didact being responsible for the arrival of the Infinity would explain his symbol appearing on the monitors as well as his eagerness to get to the crash site.

The Forerunner infighting between The Didact and The Master Builder in the Forerunner books would tend to suggest that we might be joining sides with some Forerunners against other Forerunners. It also allows for more political sub-plots which have always been a staple of the franchise. 

In short, I think that The Didact will fulfill a similar role to The Arbiter in Halo 3 - Hopefully we may get a chance to play as him too!

I'd really recommend swotting up on your Halo fiction before Halo 4, well worth reading:

Halo: Cryptum
Halo: Primordium
Halo: Glasslands

- Cowboy Out. 


  1. that is great a brilliant piece of speculation bravo!

  2. The idea of the Didact not being the enemy is a much better thought than we had earlier.

  3. Thanks for the write up, interesting stuff :)

  4. Hmm, I don't know about the Didact being the good guy in Halo 4. It's clear from Halo: Cryptum and Primordium that he was a good guy, but we don't know what happened after those two books. At the end of the E3 2012 Campaign Trailer when the Didact's symbol is displayed a second time, the text "An ancient evil awakens" is superimposed onto the symbol while an unknown voice is heard saying "I have long dreamt of this day, Reclaimer. which I have to assume IS the Didact himself. I think the Didact in Halo 4 could be either a bad guy or (IMO) he's somewhere in-between; ambiguous.

  5. Mistah Cowboy! May I attend to you the new official Halo 4 website? It's got some information on the new maps, armor stuffs, and weaponry. http://halo.xbox.com/halo4

  6. Brilliant deductions flawless. (warning minor cryptum spoilers up next.) Obviously by "the didact" you mean bornstellar or any other young forerunner who happens to carry the imprint of said didact? Love everything we have seen so far ridiculously excited for this and hope you're right in thinking we are going to see one or more characters from the forerunner saga.

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  8. Not so sure about the Infinity being teleported to Requiem theory, I reckon it's more likely that they picked up a distress call from Cortana and went to go pick them up, though it seems they weren't prepared for the welcome they received.

  9. Great speculation on the whole campaign plot up to that point. there were many things in there that i have also thought about and fully agree on such as the Didact being our ally (side note it would make sense for him to be an ally even though he fought humanity and beat them a time ago, but he also is part of Bornstellar and they are now one and see as one in purpose but have sides of both). I had thought for just a second about the orb being a crytum but brushed it off quickly as an afterthought. Now im glade to have comfermation of what it is and that i should go with my first impression. There is a segment on Forward Unto Dawn called Summum Malum i think you should look at that picks multiple characters and things that could be the ancient evil and suggest you http://www.forwarduntodawn.com/ read it. I knew that the Didact probably would ally with us and fight against the Master Builder but i had never thought about the promethean sentinals trying to capture chief alive to bring him to the didact thanks for this whole article!!!

  10. Good stuff. I drew the same conclusions.

  11. Didact symbol is upside down, why?

  12. This theory is amazing, I dont want the didact to be the enemy, but about thee knight shooting chief, u need to take a closer look, u can see it fire small red beams, but it barely hurts u, and also I would like to say, during jimmy fallons play, he should have died so quickly against that knight, even watch, that makes sense for ur theory. Thx bro. :D