Characterising Prometheans

Whether you loved them or hated them, the Prometheans are here to stay in H5G. Personally, I found their aesthetics to be nothing short of amazing, but perhaps a few gameplay tweaks would make them better.
But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. What I wanted to talk about was how to make them more evocative. Elites were always something people felt challenged by, Grunts empowered by, and Jackals annoyed by. Prometheans don’t ellicit such a strong emotional reaction, (other than Knight Battlewagons making people -Yoink- their pants on LASO, and Watchers making people throw their controllers at the screen), despite their roaring and skull faces.
So, how to fix this? In Escalation, we see the Composer’s abyss. A twisted, swirling void filled with tortured consciousnesses. Why not translate this into gameplay? When you kill a Knoght, as it dissolves, you may hear a ghostly “Thank you…” from the person it used to be. Likewise, auto-tuned voices could disturb you on the battlefield, as the stored personalities fragment and shriek in pain.
Fighting Prometheans could become a tragic experience, fitting for the supposed darker theme H5G is supposed to have.
Thoughts?

We could watch a character get composed and then be forced to kill the Promethean, watching as it fights its own programming to hang on to the last fleeting shards of humanity lodged somewhere in its mechanical heart. It could simply sit there, on its knees wailing at you, twitching its gun arm spasmodically, taking a shot whenever the Promethean overwhelms the Human somewhere inside the steel carapace.

I think it would be interesting if the Prometheans were designed to recapture the feel of the Forerunners. Not entirely aesthetically, though I would cheer that decision on, but have them sit and watch you throughout firefights. Divorce them from any idea of emotion and have them simply stalk the player through levels, making a point of following them through checkpoints and only striking when they’re weakest.

Or consume them with rage. Have their screams take on a human component and throw them into the battlefield with reckless abandon and suicidal zeal to end their torment by being gunned down by Spartans…

…basically ANYTHING other than what we got in 4.

(Also, don’t make them the main villain. They really aren’t unique enough for that imo.)

> 2535421619942348;2:
> We could watch a character get composed and then be forced to kill the Promethean, watching as it fights its own programming to hang on to the last fleeting shards of humanity lodged somewhere in its mechanical heart. It could simply sit there, on its knees wailing at you, twitching its gun arm spasmodically, taking a shot whenever the Promethean overwhelms the Human somewhere inside the steel carapace.
>
> I think it would be interesting if the Prometheans were designed to recapture the feel of the Forerunners. Not entirely aesthetically, though I would cheer that decision on, but have them sit and watch you throughout firefights. Divorce them from any idea of emotion and have them simply stalk the player through levels, making a point of following them through checkpoints and only striking when they’re weakest.
>
> Or consume them with rage. Have their screams take on a human component and throw them into the battlefield with reckless abandon and suicidal zeal to end their torment by being gunned down by Spartans…
>
> …basically ANYTHING other than what we got in 4.
>
> (Also, don’t make them the main villain. They really aren’t unique enough for that imo.)

Good ideas, but I’d disagree on the last two. They did a lot of shrieking and commanding Covenant in fixed animations. They were pretty intimidating, it’s just they could have a bit more flavour. That, and the Didact has the potential to be 100x better than Truth or Tartarus ever was if he gets enough characterisation. Book Didact is a brillant character.

This is so sick and twisted… I LOVE IT! This would give the prometheans dark characteristics they desperately need.

Promethean aesthetics are way too camp for them to ever be considered dark.

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> Promethean aesthetics are way too camp for them to ever be considered dark.

The “soul” of a brutally murdered and tortured human reflected in the Prometheans won’t be dark?

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> > 2535420014591908;5:
> > Promethean aesthetics are way too camp for them to ever be considered dark.
>
>
> The “soul” of a brutally murdered and tortured human reflected in the Prometheans won’t be dark?

I think a more apt question is why a four-armed, snarling, skull-faced robot looks camp.

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> > 2533274907934539;6:
> > > 2535420014591908;5:
> > > Promethean aesthetics are way too camp for them to ever be considered dark.
> >
> >
> >
> > The “soul” of a brutally murdered and tortured human reflected in the Prometheans won’t be dark?
>
>
> I think a more apt question is why a four-armed, snarling, skull-faced robot looks camp.

  1. No, it won’t be dark, it’ll just be horribly forced and out of place. I have no idea why modern entertainment products are so obsessed with the “darker and edgier” direction, but if you’re going to do it, at least make sure it doesn’t end up looking comical.

  2. Well, for a start, your description sounds like something a ten-year-old might produce when asked to write a spooky story. Then you have the fact this “skull-faced robot” is made of brightly-colored plastic and sprinkled with yellow glowsticks.

> 2535420014591908;8:
> > 2533274932540799;7:
> > > 2533274907934539;6:
> > > > 2535420014591908;5:
> > > > Promethean aesthetics are way too camp for them to ever be considered dark.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > The “soul” of a brutally murdered and tortured human reflected in the Prometheans won’t be dark?
> >
> >
> >
> > I think a more apt question is why a four-armed, snarling, skull-faced robot looks camp.
>
>
> 1) No, it won’t be dark, it’ll just be horribly forced and out of place. I have no idea why modern entertainment products are so obsessed with the “darker and edgier” direction, but if you’re going to do it, at least make sure it doesn’t end up looking comical.
>
> 2) Well, for a start, your description sounds like something a ten-year-old might produce when asked to write a spooky story. Then you have the fact this “skull-faced robot” is made of brightly-colored plastic and sprinkled with yellow glowsticks.

You might as well say the old Forerunner buildings looked like a bunch of concrete pillars glued together. Or that Covenant ships look like lumps of purple play-dough. It’s sci-fi. And I don’t think having Promies making jokes about their big orange balls a la Flipyap is a viable alternative.

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> > 2535420014591908;5:
> > Promethean aesthetics are way too camp for them to ever be considered dark.
>
>
> The “soul” of a brutally murdered and tortured human reflected in the Prometheans won’t be dark?

That sounds horrifying.

Stay on topic though, the Prometheans, however interesting their lore, or boring as balls to look at or fight.

The way you described it, I would expect a black sarcophagus of an enemy, a looming, sickly figure only ever moving when it needed to. I would expect it to wail long cries as it lunges at me out of desperation. I’d expect to understand the gist of it’s backstory without anyone having to tell me.

Halo 4 kinda falls apart in this respect. If no one told me wtf was going on, I never would’ve known. This is a video game. You have the ability to communicate the backstory of an NPC through their design and animations, through their sound and their movement, through their response to your actions and the emotions you’re forcing onto the player. See Dark Souls, Shadow of the Colossus, Halo CE, hell, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, for examples. Imo, Halo 4 never works that way.

The Prometheans are insect-like and silver and orange. Bright orange skulls are held inside metal heads and weapons that shoot brightly colored bolts with high-pitched “pew pew pews” are thrown out at you with light shows and laser blasts that illuminate, rather than darken. They bounce around energetically, soaking up bullets and then teleporting away to regain their shields as though they want to kill you but have serious ADD. Nothing about their design is dark in the slightest, so why the edgy backstory wholly more interesting than the creatures themselves?

ALSO: The Didact has a ton of potential, sure. But I don’t think 343’s keen on realizing it. So far he’s been beaten in crapshoot ways twice and his opening act in Halo 4 was literally the Force. Book Didact may have been awesome, but game and comic Didact leaves me annoyed.

I always wondered what it would be like if the Covenant and Prometheans swapped weapons and equipment. Energy Sword wielding Knight along with its own blade? Jackal Snipers with teleportation? Fuel Rod Grunts riding on Watchers? Crawlers that work in tandem with Hunters to flack players out of cover and herd them to the Hunters? Potential is there.

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> I always wondered what it would be like if the Covenant and Prometheans swapped weapons and equipment. Energy Sword wielding Knight along with its own blade? Jackal Snipers with teleportation? Fuel Rod Grunts riding on Watchers? Crawlers that work in tandem with Hunters to flack players out of cover and herd them to the Hunters? Potential is there.

Maybe even cannibalised Promietheans. Bits chopped off or removed and given to another nearby enemy. Extensions built or grafted on.
But that up there? Forget the backstory. That is terrifying.