Right off the bat I want to say that I love the personal AIs. I mean, I have my favorites and, um, less favorites, but yeah the whole AI thing is awesome.
No doubt we are going to see many more AIs to come, many of which will be just “this is another one programmed to help Spartans and has a new and unique voice/personality”. I love that, and want to see more of that, but I’d also like to see some with more story to them side by side with those unique simpler options. I want their quips to tell me about what they’ve been through, not just who they are. The Superintendent is an example of one that not only has all this story before Infinite that comes with it when you unlock it, but also had a ton of story to it in its original game. So here is one specific idea I had that I’d love to see in the game:
A Yip-Rap based AI core: I want to see an AI core that was damaged when their Spartan died on Zeta. Maybe they’re programmed to self terminate when their Spartan dies, I don’t know the lore there, but if so this one’s damage prevented the self termination code from activating. Stranded, they survived by controlling suit servos to crawl to some sentinel remains. Hacking and using whatever code they could find to add to themselves, mostly from that sentinel, but also by accessing the Banished battle-net. Part of the damage also ruined the AI’s ability to communicate and its original personality matrix, so it has to reform that code and draw upon available resources for communication. What’s available? DJ Yip-Rap’s propaganda broadcasts. This AI has to “Bumblebee” its way through reforming its personality matrix and communication capabilities by reusing old Yip-Rap broadcasts. The AI eventually escaped Zeta via Yip-Rap’s main Forerunner built coms array seen in the campaign, thus returning to UNSC controlled space in time to be given to another Spartan in training for the multiplayer.
Now, this is all cool, but the most important part is conveying all of this through their dialogue and doing so by using old broadcasts crudely edited together from Yip-Rap. Use a lot of the recordings already in the campaign, and make some new ones that were broadcast before MC was rescued by the pilot to fill in anything you need. This is where you can take advantage of any unused recordings that you already recorded for Yip-Rap from production that were cut for whatever reason. Recycling. Keep it clean! Oh, and maybe add at least one line of dialogue for Yip-Rap in the campaign complaining about “an AI that was impersonating him” before it “silenced his tower” but then he “defeated it and made it flee through the network” showing how “brave and important” he is to the Banished as an “AI bane”. You know, or something.
Some other simple ideas that could be fleshed out just as well as that first example:
- A line of AIs based on fallen heroes of the past (Johnson, Dubbo, Keyes [either], etc.)
- A remote operator in place of the AI that’s actually a “guy in the chair” (Bonus: it’s voiced by Wade from Kim Possible). This is an experimental suite of systems to avoid introducing AIs that might side with the created. Possibly a team of people that also talk to one another, but even if it’s just the one person it should have audible background keyboard clicking any time their mics come on to speak as they frantically make micro adjustments to the suit’s performance that’s usually handled by AI.
- A Huragok that somehow transferred its consciousness into a Human AI chip, possibly to avoid death or detection by Banished
- An AI that is secretly hacked or planted by the Insurrectionists, being revealed slightly in their dialogue, possibly hinting at some sleeper agent Spartans being trained inside the program right now. Maybe the player is an insurrectionist sleeper agent so the AI can directly address them as such in a less subtle way
- AIs from fractures that act like they’re still in that alternate universe, like the crazy space Vikings that are in an endless war with the Flood, and the honorable space Samurai
- An experimental AI developed from the remains of the ONI captured heavily damaged 343 Guilty Spark which was “interrogated” as the basis of knowledge for the Forerunner trilogy novels
- A Covenant AI gifted to the Spartan program from the Swords of Sangheilios as part of their new experimental technology division, possibly imitating the voice of The Arbiter or The Shipmaster as a way of honoring them.
- A copy of any past AI such as those from Halo Wars, maybe even Sloan somehow. How these AIs could become personal AIs would write a story just trying to make them make sense, and you can reflect that in their dialogue.
- The player’s Spartan has a new implant that can let their own mind play the role of the AI by completely interfacing with the suit and hack things by thought, allowing the player to record/import their own dialogue for each AI callout as “internal dialogue” (ridiculously ambitious)
I am 100% confident I can come up with more. This list took me less than 45 minutes of thinking and typing (including Yip-Rap).
As an honorable mention that doesn’t fit the story canon, but has tons of story:
- Any character/characters from RvB, especially Sheila, Caboose, Church, or Sarge IMO, but others prefer other characters.
So that’s 11 examples with probably 100 possible AIs suggested through grouped concepts.
But also I had one more closing thought:
Can we get a “random AI” option? I prefer the Butler, of course, but I wouldn’t mind starting a match and being given any of the others from time to time. Fret is my least favorite so far, reminds me of the claptraps, but I still wouldn’t mind getting him from time to time. It would be cool if we could select “Random AI” instead of a specific one, and also if that system gave greater weight to the ones we “favorite” in the menu with like 3x weight. So you’re 3x more likely to get the ones you “favorite”, but you could get any one you have unlocked at random.
Hell, maybe make it pick from any of them, including those you haven’t unlocked, but don’t let us favorite the ones we haven’t unlocked so that we can potentially get them as a sort of “trial” with the random option, but it’ll be rare. This may encourage people to buy the season pass just to get that AI that’s otherwise locked after they hear them and decide they just must have it. But I’d say keep it simple by only randomly picking from those we have unlocked. It’s cleaner.
Anyway, thanks for the game, 343I!!! I’m having a blast with this campaign. It’s everything I dreamed it would be when you started advertising, and even a version of Halo I’ve dreamed about for like 17 years. I seriously look forward to any possible future DLC expansions to the campaign as well, assuming they’re in the roadmap. Huge opportunities here. Please make the multiplayer more player friendly, though. That shop is ridiculous. Thanks!