I like Spartan Agryna

She sure is a heck of a lot more likable than Spartan Palmer.

Sure some of her lines do come off as written by someone who hasn’t spoken to a seasoned combat vet whatsoever. But then again, I think that is kinda the point. She is a newer and greener Spartan-IV who has seen only a little combat experience since she volunteered.
Her intro cinematic showed her in London being invaded by Banished and saved by Spartan-IVs donned in MJOLNIR Mark VII Gen-3. With the disappearance and destruction of both Laconia Station and the UNSC Infinity, it is likely that Anvil Station and the Johnson Academy are the only places left with organized clusters of Spartans.

And she is certainly a much more likeable person than Commander Palmer. Instead of a “tough-love” attitude that came off to most players as her being this disrespectful person to the Master Chief in Halo 4, Laurette instead has a sort of Hybrid between Johnson and Dubbo.

She has taken a acting command role for the time being and has a sense of humor, but she isn’t such a stern and strict personality that people aren’t hating her.
What did I say about being funny?
Keep doing it?
Right!

To be honest, I think most of the hate for her comes from the fact that her current model and animations in-gameplay when she is not wearing her helmet has a similar effect to the Mass Effect Andromeda facial animations . . . by which I mean that BioWare Montreal used mokap, and yet the characters and their performance was quite dead-pan and lifeless.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b6qH48bslA

It’s not as noticable when Spartan Agryna is staring at something to the side, but when she is looking dead-center at the camera; she has this glassy-eyed expression of someone who just got brought from their desk job to help participate in a retail-worker-training-video-tutorial.

Hopefully future seasonal animations do not have this dead-lifeless-homunculus look about her.
Otherwise?
She is definitely a much better take on a Spartan Commander than Sarah Palmer was written and portrayed as.

12 Likes

I half agree. I think Palmer definitely could’ve benefitted from some writing adjustments (especially the tough, sometimes disrespectful attitude). But I feel like Agryna is almost a knee-jerk reaction to Palmer in that she’s REALLY chipper and almost buddy-buddy with the player. She’s almost too likeable imo. There’s some potential but I’d like to see more to her than just her patting me on the back joking about the Banished AI (which put a man in a coma) going after me as bait.

If I remember correctly, isn’t this cinematic supposed to be actually set in the Covenant War and the Mark VII armor’s appearance is not explained/fully accurate (kind of like Halo 4 showing Chief pre-Halo 4 in the Halo 4 suit)?

Edit: Yep, Axis Studios who made the multiplayer cinematic confirmed that it is intended to occur in 2552, making the Mark VII’s appearance as mass-produced armor anachronistic.

5 Likes

I cannot recall the Covenant landing anywhere except for the Kenyan regions of Africa and, if the multiplayer-map descriptions of Halo 2 are to be believed, some small facility in Chicago. (“Foundation” if memory serves me correctly.)

I just looked it up, the studio (Axis) confirmed the cinematic occurs in 2552 (Covenant Invasion) and in the books the covenant did go to a few other places such as Cuba and Australia. Africa was just kind of the big focus because of the Portal. The cinematic also suggests that they attacked London at the same time (which would make it a minor addition to previous canon).

2 Likes

343 Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . for SHAME.

You had the Mark V Bravo Armor Core in the game. With a few touch-ups, it could’ve been made pre-render cutscene available and then used in the cinematic instead. Especially since that was the “Heroes of Reach” seasonal cinematic.

First Halo 4 with the whole “Prologue cutscene and first few missions will be entierely in the new art style INSTEAD of having the first half of the game being in the old art style and THEN upon regrouping with the UNSC Infinity, Chief can get an upgraded MJOLNIR while in the mission prior to that we get to see him use new art style UNSC gear as the UNSC Infinity had just arrived.

You know, something like THIS (but with a suit up sequence between these two mission cutscenes)

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlcBK1PQefo&t=123s
2 Likes

Personally I prefer Palmer. She sure was annoying as hell in Spartan Ops, but her appearance in the main game was fine, and the cutscenes she was in demonstrated she’s combat competent. She also had believable reactions to dire situations, where as Agryna just seems to smile.

No sleight against Agryna, but her introduction feels like another attempt at 343 trying to sweep as much from H4/H5 under the rug.

1 Like

Honestly, this is the line of dialogue that solidified my negative opinion. It reminds me of the way I used to write stories when I was 12, and I absolutely cringed when I heard it the first time. It’s honestly bad writing so I dunno if I can blame the VA for the lines, but the soft spoken voice sure doesn’t help create this image of a strong leader.

It’s clearly meant to be witty, but it’s done in a way that just kinda whiffs it. The line preceding this sets the joke up, Agryna follows it up with a witty imposition, the pilot calls the bluff, and Agryna just kinda accepts it with her getting the last word thinking it’s a witty comeback? It’s boring and doesn’t go anywhere, from this I can’t tell if she’s a pushover or genuinely thinks that’s a funny comeback.

You can appreciate her characterization I won’t take it away from you, but for as much hate as Palmer got (from me included) I’ll stick with her instead. Even if her dialogue is out of line and campy at times, it’s still Jen Hale delivering the blows. I’m not entirely sure the reasoning behind Agryna’s addition as a character but first impressions are everything, and she seems like a pretty soft and feeble character (especially for a Spartan) compared to the legacy of robust heroes we’re used to in Halo.

3 Likes

I like her too. I think she’s a good commander and though I could criticize her being EXTREMELY positive, I’ll take Agryna’s positivity over Palmer’s utter willingness to kick me in the mouth in a very literal sense any day of the week.

2 Likes

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . how do you see this as a bad thing?

1 Like

Well for starters, she is ACTING Commander of the Spartans. As in she is the top-ranked of the remaining Spartans that she can get in contact with, so she assumes the role of Command. As a result, she is not used to being in such a high leadership position. Heck, I am a shift supervisor at my workplace, not the account manager who is just two steps above me and has to adhere to stricter rules and guidelines on conduct. Literally our supervisor training tells us that “You are no longer one of the fellas. You are now a role model. Proceed to grind your “flaws” to a polish like the rest of us higher ups and maybe you will make it up the career ladder.
Being low rung supervisor has me still at an in-between of “strict” and “joyous laughter on occassion.”

Second . . . how is it bad writing? Imagine it being spoken in Johnson’s voice.
“What did I tell you about being funny?”
“Keep doing it??”
“Right!”

Granted, if it was Johnson, it would sound more like
What did I tell you about being funny?
“Keep doing it sarge?”
“Damn right! Now let’s hustle into our new digs, I call dibs on the penthouse suite!”

I think the truth is that since Johnson had died, 343 has been trying to fill his “badass chill charismatic leader role” with other characters. But since Johnson is already taking that concept and turning it up to one-hundred-and-eleven, all other replacements have failed in some regard.

Palmer is just too strict and says no lines that actually inspire charisma and comradery aside from the intro in Spartan-Ops. She is often coming off as a person who was written to be the “strong independent female character”. But the flaw with that is that it is her only personality trait it seems. She almost always has a tone of condescension and angry eyebrows whenever you see her. The few times she actually does smile, it comes off as mockery rather than a genuine smile.

Tanaka just spouts lines that sound like they were written by that one high-school kid who wants to try to make memorable lines, but either just misses the mark or is to full of themselves to actually make any meaningful words of inspiration.

Agryna is a bit to chill, but I do like that she does have a personality that is still trying to radiate some level of positivity and allow some humor among the soldiers under her command that, honestly, need a bit of a break considering that they can indeed be wiped out at any second if the Johnson Academy was discovered.

I thought it was a bit of a meta line. Sort of reassurance to the players that “We here at 343 heard your feedback on Commander Palmer. So just to let you know that this Commander is a bit less strict and soul-crushing, we are going to show her letting her pilot crack a joke without reprimand. Even encouraging such behavior among her subordinates.

2 Likes

I somewhat agree; if only because 343i squandered Jennifer Hale’s talents. As a huge fan of Mass Effect, I make it no secret that I am a fan of her voice work (I always play femShep), and they could have done a lot with Palmer.

That being said, Agryna is not terrible in comparison. At the very least, she isn’t always complaining about eggheads or making digs at the chief’s height. So, she’s got that going for her at least…

I would like to see more of her to see how she develops as a character. Thus far, she has not entirely impressed me yet, but she has definitely made a better first impression than Palmer.

2 Likes

I like her as a multiplayer character. She’s a friendly introduction whose in-game commentary isn’t invasive. And when you lose a game she doesn’t downright insult you like a few other games franchises do.

Sure, from a story perspective her upbeat attitude to fighting the third major alien faction trying to kill humanity in a decade doesn’t really make sense. But one cutscene every three-six months isn’t really a strong story focus, is it? Plus if she ever does get serious, you know something is about to go down.

Just hoping whoever’s in charge of lighting the next cutscene is a little more careful.

1 Like

You know, I have the opposite stance
(https://forums.halowaypoint.com/t/why-does-multiplayer-have-a-story-and-why-are-its-cutscenes-so-bad/516587)

1- Why is a newbie our commander?
2- Why is our commander so unprofessional?
3- Why do her plans feel more like drama than strategy?
4- Why are our mission meetings just a few spartan get-togethers rather than a military briefing with multiple experts in different fields?
5- Did someone get paid to write this shlock? Why does one of the most expensive games ever made have such inferior direction? Hire a half-competent writer, or get a fan with passible fanfic credentials on it. It just feels like someone from the office fills in this stuff during their spare time.

2 Likes

The Palmer/Agryna debate feels a bit apples/oranges to me. They’re clearly intended to be dramatically different personalities, which may be on purpose owing to Palmer’s mixed reception among fans during the Reclaimer games. I personally thought Palmer had nowhere to go but up following H5 and actually really dig the backstory they started to establish for her in the first Matt Forbeck Alpha 9 book. But as with many, many other fans, I didn’t care for her attitude in H4 and Spartan Ops,

As for Agryna… Logistical questions about her back story and how prodigious her Spartan IV career must be leading up to Infinite aside, I just don’t know at this point. We haven’t been able to see her interact with any other actual characters, really. There isn’t anything off-putting about her personality at first brush- she balances a nice sense of levity well against a more objective no-nonsense attitude when it comes to the mission at hand, whatever that may be. She actually encourages the people who work for her instead of trying to motivate them by ribbing them (however well intended, this was always an eyeroller quality in Palmer IMO). So, that’s all good.

But those observations are all based on seeing Agryna interact with the player character and no-name NPC’s as far as I know. To get a really good sense of her character, it’d be useful to see her interact with other well defined characters from the canon. For example, an entire new side of Palmer (my personal favorite side of that character) emerged when we got to see her dynamic with Halsey. Between seeing her interact with Chief, Lasky, the named S-IV’s working aboard Infinity (most of whom made her look like a consummate professional by comparison…), Halsey, etc. we were able to see a lot of dynamic angles to her personality. That personality remained pretty polarizing, but it felt well rounded.

Just haven’t really gotten that opportunity with Agryna yet, so she kind of feels like a nothingburger so far (was hoping for some of this with Dinh and Ecklund, but have basically no sense of their characters either). Agryna has been amicable and respectable in the context we’ve seen her in, but still strikes me as a bit two demensional because we’ve only really seen her in that singular context.

1 Like

I don’t really mind Palmer or Agyrna as characters tbh. Neither of them are still in my “list of top tier Halo characters” or anything, but I don’t need EVERY character in a universe to be absolutely perfect.

I assume a lot of people’s hate is mostly feeling upset that Steitzer wasn’t used for ANYTHING in H5 Warzone/ launch Infinite BTB. Are the characters kinda cool? Sure. Are they cool enough to replace Steizer as the medal announcer? Heck no!

I cringe everytime someone yells about them being added just because of “wokeness” though. That stupid a** opinion needs to be called out and shut down any time it’s brought up imo (not saying anyone here is saying that right now)

I don’t really like her. It’s less about what she is narratively but more she keeps talking during Multiplayer Gameplay.

Most of the time it’s just useless things like “GO!” or “you sure looked sharp in that victory”, It just makes me not like her.

I don’t think her voice lines add anything of value considering the AI in the game do her job better anyway. She feels shoe horned in and to make matters worse the cutscene did her no favors. I don’t know what happened but her face is completely distorted.

1 Like

I was under the impression that The Academy is pretty isolated from the rest of the galaxy. Not from any special tech or anything, more like just sitting on a quiet rock in some low populated corner if the galaxy.

Places like that would likely operate with limited resources, both in the context of combat and scientific research. And also have a very flexible command chain as whoever the highest rank on site any given day would be making the calls (likely with some guiding principle established by the true highest ranking officer that has communicated with the facility)

Yeah I know, she just doesn’t come across as such, 1.25 seasons in (maybe this will change by the end of lone wolves).

Look at Miranda Keyes, voiced by two relatively soft spoken VA’s, her spoken dialogue however conveyed power and authority even if her tonal pitch doesn’t match. She was rock steady in what she spoke, and stayed on target with her eye on the prize at every step.

I had a boss (someone I’d actually call a leader) that was one of the nicest women I’ve ever met, but that propensity for remaining positive didn’t mean that she was a pushover, nor did she come across as one with the way she interacted with her subordinates.

I’ve had pushover bosses, and Agryna kinda reminds me of them.

I’m glad you followed it up with a “Johnson” translation. I was about to say “I honestly cannot see Johnson responding the exact way Agryna did”. I disagree that Johnson would’ve let it slide, in fact I believe there was a line in Halo 2 where Johnson simultaneously acknowledges and shuts down funny business (through his presence) without any need of further banter.

Chips Dubbo - “It’s like a postcard: ‘Dear Sarge, kicking -Yoink!- in outer space, wish you were here’”
Johnson - “I heard that, -Yoink!-!”

I agree with this, I also think that the writing for most of 343’s titles has been pretty subpar at best so while I’m voicing my displeasure with the character it really encompasses my disdain for the writing as a whole. The overall iffy writing has definitely made filling the gap a little difficult.

Johnson is a tough act to follow, which is why I speculate that Buck was brought back for H5 as a likable relatively strong fleshed out character from the Bungie age.

It’s definitely a perspective I’ve never considered, so credit where it’s due. For me personally it honestly kinda falls flat. I think instead of dialing back the abrasiveness of Palmer a little like you suggested, they turned the dial negative and turned Agryna into a teddy bear.

Honestly, if Agryna were my boss/CO I don’t think I’d have any reservations mouthing off to her. I don’t say that as an insult either, I say that as an observation.

1 Like

This is a 100% right here and a big factor into why I think Agryna is so chipper. On topic of Johnson, he had some funny/likeable moments too, but when crap was going down he came across as still commanding authority and not putting up with someone’s crap. Agryna seemed cool in the opening cutscene, but going forward I hope we get see a slightly more authoritative, serious side instead of just patting the player spartan’s back. I guess like you say it all comes down to 343’s writing.

1 Like

She’s ok… I don’t really find her all the memorable though honestly. The only time I can is at the start of the game where she’s running you through the tutorial and that’s about it.