Halo: The Reclaimer Saga, Rewritten

This started as a reply to a comment made in another thread about Infinite being dead, but as I typed, it grew so large I decided it needed a thread of its own.

The Comment that started this:

This could have been so good. I don’t think his story should have ended with 3, but it definitely should have been suspended. The player knows that Chief isn’t dead, he’s just asleep floating in deep space somewhere, waiting to be woken up.

In Halo 4, we meet and play as Locke. The game opens and it’s assumed Chief is dead (at least within the UNSC). We play through the Campaign fighting the Didact and Prometheans as we normally would, just without the Cortana subplot. The ending would see the Didact live, and mention he is looking for someone. One human specifically, John 117. And he will stop at nothing to find and kill him. There’s a bit of dialog where the UNSC tries to explain to him that the Chief is dead. He simply says “No. He lives.” And takes off in search of 117.

Halo 5 builds the same hype with the same “Hunt the Truth” campaign, only “The Truth” that we are hunting this time is whether or not Chief really is out there, somewhere, just waiting to be woken. The game takes us back to the Ark, retracing the steps Arby ‘N’ the Chief took during the Battle of the Ark, trying to find where Chief’s ship could have drifted. There is an extreme sense of urgency, as not only would the Chief help tremendously in the battle against the Didact and his Prometheans, but we know that the Didact himself is out there looking for Humanity’s Hero. We absolutely cannot let the Didact find Chief first. Halo 5’s climax sees a large-scale space battle between the UNSC forces and the Didact. It’s a very hard-fought battle, but the UNSC loses. Locke, the player character, dies in this battle, a la Halo Reach. The Didact, with his forces and ship crippled, leaves, but vows to return. He knows the only way he can guarantee victory is with the Chief definitively dead. The only UNSC ship to survive the battle, a lonely Pelican, puts out a distress call and waits, adrift.

Halo Infinite hype is through the roof. All pre-release promotion focuses on this lonely pilot and his loss of hope. In the final promotional material, we see the famous friendly beacon light up on his ship’s radar. As he raises his hand to clear the fog from the windshield, the screen cuts to black and the Halo Infinite logo displays, with a release date of November 15, 2021, 20 years from the release of Halo CE. Halo Infinite opens and we finally see what is outside the windshield. IT’S THE BACK HALF OF THE MOTHERFUCKING FORWARD UNTO DAWN! It’s been 5 years and 2 games since we’ve last seen the Chief. There have been rumblings within the UNSC about whether he’s alive or dead, but nothing conclusive. We’ve been led to believe the protagonist of Infinite will be this new pilot character through months of promotional materials. This would have been the most HYPE campaign moment in Halo history. You finally get to put yourself in the boots of the Chief again. Halo Infinite’s plot can follow roughly the same story, fighting Escharum and the Banished, but always with that little thought in the back of your head like, “When does the Didact show up?”

About halfway through the game, we learn that the Didact recruited the Banished to do his bidding, as his Promethean forces were shattered during the events of Halo 5. They bond over their mutual goal to destroy Humanity once and for all.

We can also finally see the Cortana subplot from Halo 4 play out on Zeta Halo, with Chief needing to find secrets within the ring to help Cortana with her rampancy, adding to the emotional depth of the story. Halo Infinite ends the way Halo 4 does, with Cortana sacrificing herself to help us defeat Escharum. No retcon or AI uprising. Just that absolute gut-punch that the Halo 4 ending delivers. The post-credits scene shows Atriox and the Didact having a conversation about the secrets of Zeta Halo. Atriox learns of the Endless, and betrays the Didact, vowing to release the Endless for his own personal gain. The Didact knows that with this betrayal, there is only one thing he can do. He must team up with the Humans to stop Atriox and the Banished from releasing the Endless, and possibly the flood.

This new shift of the galactic powers could be enough to fuel another trilogy, seeing the Humans and Forerunners finally allies after all these millennia. Learning through the Didact, the history of the Endless, and why they were so feared that they needed to be locked down tighter than the flood.

Looking at what we actually got, we were robbed.

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While i don’t think the use of explicit language is ever necessary i would say i kind of agree with the premise. For me it would have been better to push forward with more of a Destiny style story in which spartans are now being trained in mass and you play as your own spartan. Maybe not trained as young as chiefs generation but not like the spartan 4s where its just anytime it seems anyone can become one.

Chief would be more of a role model for our character but not really a main character and i would avoid anything to do with the didact or prometheans, they are just terrible not fun to fight enemies and i would say poorly designed in terms of aesthetics for the Halo universe.

I still don’t know what enemies you could put into the Halo universe that don’t feel like you’re milking it though. For me CE - 3 is the greatest story in all of gaming especially one told over multiple games.

Maybe have a more Covenant focused game and you play as elites fighting for their homeworld and then also going planet to planet saving the enslaved races still part of the Covenant.