Concerns About The Master Chief

The most unpopular thing I get hated on for saying to halo fans is that I believe the Master Chief was artistically killed off by bungie at the end of Halo 3. Regardless of that being true or not I do believe there is a very significant reason bungie decided not to use the Master Chief in the last two games they made (ODST, Reach). I believe they were quite aware of many things and I will explain my thoughts here because well, I love halo.

  1. Character exhaustion / story exhaustion

A lot of games dont have to worry about this because the story lines are either unimportant (mario, donkey kong) or they allow the character to act in repetition, without disturbing the reality of the fictional world they inhabit (lara croft, sam fisher, agent 47) what I mean is that it doesn’t matter how many people you kill as agent 47 or how much you explore as lara croft because it doesn’t have a massive dramatic impact on the world they inhabit. The Master Chief does not have this luxury because every game hes been in he has saved the entire human race from extinction. This can work for a super hero but not for a character that is supposed to be human. At some point Master chief will become a caricature of himself. Nothing he does will feel meaningful because well, hes done it a hundred times already. It also takes away the magnitude of what he’s done already, saving the planet earth against both the flood and the covenant.

This is why Bungie made Reach imo, they didnt want to keep adding on to his list but rather go back and supplement what he has done by showing the sacrifice of noble team to achieve what he did. The ending shows them protecting the pillar of autumn as it takes off reach. The game is highlighting the magnitude of the situation and the sacrifices that had to be made in order for the master chief to even begin his mission.

George Lucas tried did the same thing with star wars. He knew he cant top the originals and trying to outshine them would only downplay what happened. So he made the prequels to do the opposite, to show the build up to this legendary one time event. Now you can argue that he did not do a good job with the prequels however, they achieved the intended effect.

  1. Halo is not Master Chief

Just like the star wars example I gave, star wars is not luke skywalker. It is a fictional universe with many stories and characters. Luke, like Master Chief are the most legendary heroic characters and the original story is built around them. However you cant make 9 movies all about Luke Skywalker you just cant. Hes in the same boat as the chief is regarding his “savior” status. They cant be the savior every time and still resemble a normal character. Halo is a vision of the future, there is so much stuff there that can be done. Focusing only on the Master Chief is just limiting what they can do with the halo universe creatively speaking.

Sorry for the long wall of text this has just been bugging me. I heard Frank talking about how this was gonna be Master chiefs biggest journey yet and it made me laugh. sorry Frank I respect you a lot but what could the chief possibly do thats greater than saving the entire human race? You cant really top that. The problem here is that there isnt really much they can do with the chief here without all the halo fan boys crying, like they were after halo 5. the problem wasn’t the lack of master chief it was the lack of halo.
I have a lot faith halo infinite will be the best halo game 343 has made and I do believe they are listening to the fans with the trailer they showed. I personally think they screwed up big time with halo 4 and 5’s story so heres hoping they can backtrack and make things right again.

I think your points are justified, but I don’t know whether or not I can agree. It’s a complicated subject. I guess at the end of the day you have to ask how long do we want Halo to last? (That’s not rhetorical. I don’t have an answer.)

I agree with all your points and I hope other will too.

About a year or so ago, Waypoint (Vice’s Waypoint, not Halo Waypoint) conducted several interviews with some of the lead Halo devs (343 included) and compiled all of the interviews into one article, titled ‘The Complete, Untold History of Halo.’ In the article Marty O’Donnell discusses Reach’s development and specifically mentions that Reach was originally intended to be Halo 4, but was obviously changed sometime later in favour of telling a different story in the same vein as ODST. Apparently Bungie was just sick of Halo in general at that point, and according to Jaime Griesemer, the Halo 3 sandbox designer, even with all of the changes in place Reach’s development was still a “slog” for those who stuck around after Halo 3 and ODST. So is there some merit in saying that the Master Chief character was beginning to wear thin? Yes, but that extended to the entire Halo series at the time from the lead devs’ perspectives. One thing’s for certain though—according to Marty in his recent lecture at Kent State, Master Chief was never intended to be killed off in any capacity.

When it comes down to it, the quality of the character is determined by the writers’ capabilities. It’s not impossible for a new lead character to coexist with the Chief, and Halo houses numerous potential candidates; the problem is, however, that the one foray into introducing a new main character ended in total disaster and now everybody’s too hesitant to try it again. Halo 5 solidified the fact that the Chief isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and so the best 343 can do right now is to stay true to the original character while simultaneously building up an interesting and compelling universe around him that people will actually want to explore on their own, without The Master Chief. Reach and ODST were both steps in the right direction; it’s a shame that Halo 4 and 5 were not.

> 2533274836465274;4:
> … so the best 343 can do right now is to stay true to the original character while simultaneously building up an interesting and compelling universe around him that people will actually want to explore on their own, without The Master Chief. Reach and ODST were both steps in the right direction; it’s a shame that Halo 4 and 5 were not.

Never forgetting that Halo 4 actually did take a bold and compelling step away from Chief-dependent story lines: Spartan Ops. I’d say it was the biggest step in the right direction yet - better than ODST and Reach in story telling if not in game play. It introduced compelling new characters in the form of Majestic, Jul, Roland, etc. - built on a character introduced in Forward Unto Dawn and H4 campaign in the form of Lasky - and also ultimately gave us the most substantial version of Halsey yet, and had the courage to make her the co-star along side Thorne. I thought the story was outstanding - a perfect blend of action and plot propulsion and good (great) characterization.

But Spops wasn’t very popular despite its brilliance. Did people not want to explore it because of the repetitve game play or did they find the story wanting in ways that I didn’t? Why does Bungie get accolades for producing ODST and Reach - both good on game play and story but weak on writing (imo) - while 343 fires on all cylinders and nobody seems to care or even notice? How many people bought and played Halo 4 without even trying out the Spartan Ops missions? Of those that did try them, how many just barreled in without watching the chapters of the story first? Is it proof that the average Halo player would rather have the Chief done badly than have a Chiefless universe done to perfection?

> 2533274836465274;4:
> When it comes down to it, the quality of the character is determined by the writers’ capabilities. It’s not impossible for a new lead character to coexist with the Chief, and Halo houses numerous potential candidates; the problem is, however, that the one foray into introducing a new main character ended in total disaster and now everybody’s too hesitant to try it again. Halo 5 solidified the fact that the Chief isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and so the best 343 can do right now is to stay true to the original character while simultaneously building up an interesting and compelling universe around him that people will actually want to explore on their own, without The Master Chief. Reach and ODST were both steps in the right direction; it’s a shame that Halo 4 and 5 were not.

I agree with this. I just feel as if people blamed everything wrong with halo 5 on spartan locke. They think the solution is just more master chief. Like you said the solution is just good writing. I think if a halo game is truly great people arent gonna complain about the lack of chief. I know a lot of people disliked reach’s multiplayer (I thought it was incredible) but I think the general consensus among halo fans is that the main story was one of the best of the series and is up there with all halo games as far as story goes and the chief isnt in the game at all.

> 2533274873843883;5:
> > 2533274836465274;4:
> > … so the best 343 can do right now is to stay true to the original character while simultaneously building up an interesting and compelling universe around him that people will actually want to explore on their own, without The Master Chief. Reach and ODST were both steps in the right direction; it’s a shame that Halo 4 and 5 were not.
>
> Never forgetting that Halo 4 actually did take a bold and compelling step away from Chief-dependent story lines: Spartan Ops. I’d say it was the biggest step in the right direction yet - better than ODST and Reach in story telling if not in game play. It introduced compelling new characters in the form of Majestic, Jul, Roland, etc. - built on a character introduced in Forward Unto Dawn and H4 campaign in the form of Lasky - and also ultimately gave us the most substantial version of Halsey yet, and had the courage to make her the co-star along side Thorne. I thought the story was outstanding - a perfect blend of action and plot propulsion and good (great) characterization.
>
> But Spops wasn’t very popular despite its brilliance. Did people not want to explore it because of the repetitve game play or did they find the story wanting in ways that I didn’t? Why does Bungie get accolades for producing ODST and Reach - both good on game play and story but weak on writing (imo) - while 343 fires on all cylinders and nobody seems to care or even notice? How many people bought and played Halo 4 without even trying out the Spartan Ops missions? Of those that did try them, how many just barreled in without watching the chapters of the story first? Is it proof that the average Halo player would rather have the Chief done badly than have a Chiefless universe done to perfection?

I dont think people are even aware spartan ops had a story. This is bad storytelling. If the people dont even know youre telling a story you screwed up somewhere. As for reach being badly written I have no idea what youre talking about. All of bungies games have minimal dialogue. Spartans are not a chatty bunch, matter of fact they are historically known (ancient spartans) for Laconic speak. aka not talking at all unless there is something important to say. The chief is the perfect embodiment of this or well he used to be. There is more dialogue from the chief in one halo 4 mission than there is in the entire campaign of halo ce.

> 2533274836465274;4:
> About a year or so ago, Waypoint (Vice’s Waypoint, not Halo Waypoint) conducted several interviews with some of the lead Halo devs (343 included) and compiled all of the interviews into one article, titled ‘The Complete, Untold History of Halo.’ In the article Marty O’Donnell discusses Reach’s development and specifically mentions that Reach was originally intended to be Halo 4, but was obviously changed sometime later in favour of telling a different story in the same vein as ODST. Apparently Bungie was just sick of Halo in general at that point, and according to Jaime Griesemer, the Halo 3 sandbox designer, even with all of the changes in place Reach’s development was still a “slog” for those who stuck around after Halo 3 and ODST. So is there some merit in saying that the Master Chief character was beginning to wear thin? Yes, but that extended to the entire Halo series at the time from the lead devs’ perspectives. One thing’s for certain though—according to Marty in his recent lecture at Kent State, Master Chief was never intended to be killed off in any capacity.

I love marty as much as the next guy but he isnt a writer. He makes music. Everyone knows that joseph staten is the main writer of halo. Others like jones and oconnor certainly helped form what is halo. and of course they are gonna say that about master chief, they dont own him anymore microsoft does. They cant come out and say the Master chief is supposed to be dead because they dont own his character anymore microsoft does. and like i said before this isnt even about him supposed to being dead or not. Nobody ever would want to believe he was dead why would they? Its not convenient for a halo fan to think that.

> 2535423661615819;1:
> 1. Character exhaustion / story exhaustion
>
> A lot of games dont have to worry about this because the story lines are either unimportant (mario, donkey kong) or they allow the character to act in repetition, without disturbing the reality of the fictional world they inhabit (lara croft, sam fisher, agent 47) what I mean is that it doesn’t matter how many people you kill as agent 47 or how much you explore as lara croft because it doesn’t have a massive dramatic impact on the world they inhabit. The Master Chief does not have this luxury because every game hes been in he has saved the entire human race from extinction. This can work for a super hero but not for a character that is supposed to be human. At some point Master chief will become a caricature of himself. Nothing he does will feel meaningful because well, hes done it a hundred times already. It also takes away the magnitude of what he’s done already, saving the planet earth against both the flood and the covenant.

I disagree. Lara Croft, Sam Fisher and Agent 47 inhabit ‘only one world’. Master Chief inhabits a universe full of worlds. The Halo universe is big enough for him to remain relevant for a very long time.

Batman is supposed to be human, as is Iron Man and others. They’ve been around for a very long time and yet writers have found ways to make them relevant and meaningful. This, not mentioning the fact that nobody (to my knowledge) ever explained exactly what the Librarian did to Chief when she accelerated his evolutionary process in H4, so that he was prepared to face the Didact. How “human” is he?

Many people consider Master Chief to hold super hero status. I don’t see that much distinction between MC and any super hero. So, how do super heroes still capture the hearts and imagination of people around the world? The way I see it, it isn’t about the fact that they ‘save the world’ or ‘save humanity’ because that’s what super heroes do. And most do it in a ‘just my job’ fashion. So, I don’t see ‘saving a world from ‘X’’ or ‘saving humanity from ‘Y’’ dozens of times or more, as some kind of limiting factor to the longevity of a character like MC. That’s because it’s not about the fact that they do it, it’s about why they do it. For some it may be about for whom they do it. It can be about (as H4 opened up the aspect of) how doing it impacts the hero.

Good writers can bring so many more aspects of MC’s “saving of the world/humanity” to bear than just the fact that he does it again. Something that Halo 4 opened the door to exploring… and despite the fact that H5 basically threw that under the bus… it still alluded to it. If they do the story right, I can see it being very possible to show how and why MC can keep doing what he does without becoming a caricature of himself.

Infinite doesn’t even need to be the Master Chief’s “biggest story yet.” They said the same thing for 4 and 5 didn’t they? What does biggest mean anyway? Just make it a fun game to play, it can be a pretty simple yet effective story.

> 2533274833309866;10:
> Infinite doesn’t even need to be the Master Chief’s “biggest story yet.” They said the same thing for 4 and 5 didn’t they? What does biggest mean anyway? Just make it a fun game to play, it can be a pretty simple yet effective story.

I agree. Don’t over complicate things, go back to the Campaigns that halo fans loved & make it a memorable one.

Agreed, but I think that what they may be referring to when it’s Master Chief’s biggest journey is that not only we will see him defend the human race but we may also see the rest of his career and lifetime. We may see him in the UNSC until he retires and there’s also a possibility he maybe KIA

Interesting theory and it makes sense. Eventually 343i and the community are gonna have to let go of MC, wonder if that time will come in Infinite.

thanks for the replies guys. didnt expect people to agree with this flaming hot take yo. one thing for sure i dont think there has been this much hype for a halo game since halo 3. maybe im projecting, i sure am looking forward to infinite.

> 2594261035368257;9:
> > 2535423661615819;1:
> > 1. Character exhaustion / story exhaustion
> >
> > A lot of games dont have to worry about this because the story lines are either unimportant (mario, donkey kong) or they allow the character to act in repetition, without disturbing the reality of the fictional world they inhabit (lara croft, sam fisher, agent 47) what I mean is that it doesn’t matter how many people you kill as agent 47 or how much you explore as lara croft because it doesn’t have a massive dramatic impact on the world they inhabit. The Master Chief does not have this luxury because every game hes been in he has saved the entire human race from extinction. This can work for a super hero but not for a character that is supposed to be human. At some point Master chief will become a caricature of himself. Nothing he does will feel meaningful because well, hes done it a hundred times already. It also takes away the magnitude of what he’s done already, saving the planet earth against both the flood and the covenant.
>
> I disagree. Lara Croft, Sam Fisher and Agent 47 inhabit ‘only one world’. Master Chief inhabits a universe full of worlds. The Halo universe is big enough for him to remain relevant for a very long time.
>
> Batman is supposed to be human, as is Iron Man and others. They’ve been around for a very long time and yet writers have found ways to make them relevant and meaningful. This, not mentioning the fact that nobody (to my knowledge) ever explained exactly what the Librarian did to Chief when she accelerated his evolutionary process in H4, so that he was prepared to face the Didact. How “human” is he?
>
> Many people consider Master Chief to hold super hero status. I don’t see that much distinction between MC and any super hero. So, how do super heroes still capture the hearts and imagination of people around the world? The way I see it, it isn’t about the fact that they ‘save the world’ or ‘save humanity’ because that’s what super heroes do. And most do it in a ‘just my job’ fashion. So, I don’t see ‘saving a world from ‘X’’ or ‘saving humanity from ‘Y’’ dozens of times or more, as some kind of limiting factor to the longevity of a character like MC. That’s because it’s not about the fact that they do it, it’s about why they do it. For some it may be about for whom they do it. It can be about (as H4 opened up the aspect of) how doing it impacts the hero.
>
> Good writers can bring so many more aspects of MC’s “saving of the world/humanity” to bear than just the fact that he does it again. Something that Halo 4 opened the door to exploring… and despite the fact that H5 basically threw that under the bus… it still alluded to it. If they do the story right, I can see it being very possible to show how and why MC can keep doing what he does without becoming a caricature of himself.

The master chief is absolutely not a superhero nor should he be. The last thing id like to see is the chief end up as is an empty shell of a character like batman, to be used over and over a hundred times just for the sake of making money. Im not trying to diss superheros but thats what they are at this point. They are uncreative cookie cutter easy to make stories that get rehashed every year or so for a quick buck. Batman isnt even a real character at this point he is a corporate entity.

> 2535423661615819;15:
> > 2594261035368257;9:
> > > 2535423661615819;1:
> > > 1. Character exhaustion / story exhaustion
> > >
> > > A lot of games dont have to worry about this because the story lines are either unimportant (mario, donkey kong) or they allow the character to act in repetition, without disturbing the reality of the fictional world they inhabit (lara croft, sam fisher, agent 47) what I mean is that it doesn’t matter how many people you kill as agent 47 or how much you explore as lara croft because it doesn’t have a massive dramatic impact on the world they inhabit. The Master Chief does not have this luxury because every game hes been in he has saved the entire human race from extinction. This can work for a super hero but not for a character that is supposed to be human. At some point Master chief will become a caricature of himself. Nothing he does will feel meaningful because well, hes done it a hundred times already. It also takes away the magnitude of what he’s done already, saving the planet earth against both the flood and the covenant.
> >
> > I disagree. Lara Croft, Sam Fisher and Agent 47 inhabit ‘only one world’. Master Chief inhabits a universe full of worlds. The Halo universe is big enough for him to remain relevant for a very long time.
> >
> > Batman is supposed to be human, as is Iron Man and others. They’ve been around for a very long time and yet writers have found ways to make them relevant and meaningful. This, not mentioning the fact that nobody (to my knowledge) ever explained exactly what the Librarian did to Chief when she accelerated his evolutionary process in H4, so that he was prepared to face the Didact. How “human” is he?
> >
> > Many people consider Master Chief to hold super hero status. I don’t see that much distinction between MC and any super hero. So, how do super heroes still capture the hearts and imagination of people around the world? The way I see it, it isn’t about the fact that they ‘save the world’ or ‘save humanity’ because that’s what super heroes do. And most do it in a ‘just my job’ fashion. So, I don’t see ‘saving a world from ‘X’’ or ‘saving humanity from ‘Y’’ dozens of times or more, as some kind of limiting factor to the longevity of a character like MC. That’s because it’s not about the fact that they do it, it’s about why they do it. For some it may be about for whom they do it. It can be about (as H4 opened up the aspect of) how doing it impacts the hero.
> >
> > Good writers can bring so many more aspects of MC’s “saving of the world/humanity” to bear than just the fact that he does it again. Something that Halo 4 opened the door to exploring… and despite the fact that H5 basically threw that under the bus… it still alluded to it. If they do the story right, I can see it being very possible to show how and why MC can keep doing what he does without becoming a caricature of himself.
>
> The master chief is absolutely not a superhero nor should he be. The last thing id like to see is the chief end up as is an empty shell of a character like batman, to be used over and over a hundred times just for the sake of making money. Im not trying to diss superheros but thats what they are at this point. They are uncreative cookie cutter easy to make stories that get rehashed every year or so for a quick buck. Batman isnt even a real character at this point he is a corporate entity.

I disagree. Some may hold MC to superhero status, it’s up to individual opinion as to whether he is or is not one. But Batman? An empty shell of a character? Go back to the '60s when Adam West played his role and take a look at his character back then. Not dissing what Batman was then, nor Adam West’s portrayal of him, but seriously, any “corporate entity” that’s been around for any length of time is going to run low on new threats to face and new ways to deal with them. That’s how it works.

Therefor, the best way to attempt to keep them from becoming “uncreative cookie cutter” characters/stories is to do exactly what has been done with any modern day superhero. Modernize them. Evolve them from what they used to be, years ago, and bring them up to speed with present day trends, attitudes, ways of thinking… ways of life. The OG Batman TV series was so predictable with its “cookie cutter” stories that it was borderline laughable. Yet he was still loved by many then… and still is now. Things are very different in the world now, compared to life back in the '60s and so is today’s Batman. Anyone who looks at him can see that. You can’t just look at the last decade +/- of any superhero and claim uncreative cookie cutter unless you’re looking past the character and only to the stories. But if you ask me about any particular superhero, or just plain (as in MC) hero, if you prefer… I’m not going to focus on his story alone because he’s become much more than that to me.

Name any superhero and tell me they weren’t used over and over, from their very inception, to make money. Did '60’s Batman make money? You bet he did… “cookie cutter” TV series and all… otherwise he wouldn’t be around today. Being used over and over to make money comes with the territory.

I personally would love to see a prequel trilogy that focuses on a new cast. I think MC could pop up for a role in one entry but I think it would be kinda cool to follow new spartans in the vein of reach along with adding new things to the lore.

As for the MC superhero thing, I agree that it has to do with good writing, but unlike MC, comic characters can be rebooted and changed to fit the times. Iron Mans origin changed this way. from a Vietnamese prison to middle eastern terrorist because of changing times, the reason he becomes Iron man changed due to the times. 343 just really needs to make a new faction.

It sounds nuts, but I kinda want Halo to have its own yuuzhan vong “death to everything” event that spans multiple games, books and comics. You have everything we know (UNSC, Covenant, Promethean) working to stop and outside force, maybe a race the precursors fought against in some ancient time. Think of the good guys kinda like a Star Trek Federation group.

Very good reasons. However, since that was Bungie’s
last halo game, I feel like they did try to kill master chief to make it harder for 343 to continue the story.

> 2533274873843883;5:
> > 2533274836465274;4:
> > … so the best 343 can do right now is to stay true to the original character while simultaneously building up an interesting and compelling universe around him that people will actually want to explore on their own, without The Master Chief. Reach and ODST were both steps in the right direction; it’s a shame that Halo 4 and 5 were not.
>
> Never forgetting that Halo 4 actually did take a bold and compelling step away from Chief-dependent story lines: Spartan Ops. I’d say it was the biggest step in the right direction yet - better than ODST and Reach in story telling if not in game play. It introduced compelling new characters in the form of Majestic, Jul, Roland, etc. - built on a character introduced in Forward Unto Dawn and H4 campaign in the form of Lasky - and also ultimately gave us the most substantial version of Halsey yet, and had the courage to make her the co-star along side Thorne. I thought the story was outstanding - a perfect blend of action and plot propulsion and good (great) characterization.
>
> But Spops wasn’t very popular despite its brilliance. Did people not want to explore it because of the repetitve game play or did they find the story wanting in ways that I didn’t? Why does Bungie get accolades for producing ODST and Reach - both good on game play and story but weak on writing (imo) - while 343 fires on all cylinders and nobody seems to care or even notice? How many people bought and played Halo 4 without even trying out the Spartan Ops missions? Of those that did try them, how many just barreled in without watching the chapters of the story first? Is it proof that the average Halo player would rather have the Chief done badly than have a Chiefless universe done to perfection?

I don’t know about the rest , but I can say what turned me off of Spops were the reused campaign assets. Every now and then would have been great , half would have been tolerable , but nearly every stage (if not every stage) was reused from the campaign. I get game development is expensive and time consuming , but just getting new story elements using the same palette smacks of NES style of extending games. (Metroid , Zelda and several other games used the same map but moved items to new places for new game +).
I guess I just expected more , and couldn’t get past my own disappointment with the product to give it a fair shake.

I think Microsoft has failed us so far this generation. Not because Halo 4 and 5 were bad, I honestly think they are really good games, but because they haven’t done anything else with the Halo IP. I know, I know, Halo Wars. Good game, but they aren’t doing enough!

This is Xbox’s biggest IP. Halo is an insanely huge universe filled with THOUSANDS of untold stories. I love me some MC, but I want other stories too! ODST and Reach were great. Why not a gritty ODST game following the events of Halo 4? A game about Buck would be cool. Half of it being ODST and the other half Spartan.

Maybe my examples are bad, but we don’t have to stick with just Master Chief. At some point, Master Chief’s story will end and we will need another person to lead us through the Halo universe. I wouldn’t want to do it with any of the characters introduced by Bungie or 343 as of now.