*ITT = In This Thread
Thought I’d give this a little try. Using some of the cool theories and information from the Halo media, I’m going to give it my best attempt to predict the plot of the next major Halo game. I’ll likely be off the mark in the end, but it’ll be a fun experiment and see how people will react.
I believe the game will be set sometime in late 2558 or 2559, mostly due to the events detailed in the short story, The Return, from Halo Evolutions. In it, a Sangheili shipmaster returned to a human world he glassed long ago to reflect. Since the story in Halo 5/XBO is supposed to be the darkest of them all, the lack of “darkness” circa 2559 is a top off. The Return also hints at a harsher relationship between the UNSC and Arbiter, after all the shipmaster finds a wounded human on the world after a firefight with Jackal pirates and plans to get information about the Forerunner discoveries found on the world out of the human by any means necessary.
To me, that implies torture, not something allies tend to do to each other. There is going to be a new Halo comic released later on called Halo Escalation as well. In it, the Arbiter plans to meet with the Brutes to form a peace treaty and the UNSC Infinity is set out to defend the negotiations. Considering the Elites and Brutes fight in a bloody and costly war up to the events of The Return, I think the talks will break down and violence will erupt. In the chaos, I think some of humanities more nefarious plans will be revealed, perhaps making the Arbiter weary of his alliance with the UNSC. So in a way, tension is going to escalate.
Now the since reported to be not as accurate description of the next Halo mentions how sentient life is being hunted down. While inaccurate according to Frank O’Conner, I think a nugget of truth might be in there and back up the Escalation name of Halo: Escalation. The San Shyuum mysteriously vanished in The Return, perhaps a small hint at some unknown threat lurking in the horizon. We also saw in Spartan Assault that certain bands of Covenant, not just Jul’s, are looking for Forerunner technology. The Office of Naval Intelligence is also doing it’s best to hoard what it can. I have a feeling this unknown threat will play into an arms race for Forerunner technology by multiple factions, thus allowing for the reintroduction of Brutes, Drones and the rest of the Covenant.
This arms race will further along the main story too with the UNSC Infinity continuing it’s mission to find the remaining Halo rings and Jul 'Mdama and Dr. Halsey because of their half of the Janus Key introduced in Spartan Ops. The Janus Key, as you’ll recall, has the real-time location of all Forerunner technology and thus presents a huge advantage. Due to it’s significance to the Halo story, I believe one of the first stopping grounds will be Installation 07. The ring is last remaining of the original 12 Halo rings and was used to house a population of ancient humans. With those ruins likely still around and the possibility of a few function Monitors of humans and Forerunners turned by the Composer on the ring, this place may provide insight on humanities past the Librarian introduced back in Halo 4.
From there, I believe the UNSC Rubicon will enter the scene. Why this ship? Because of it’s new occupant, 343 Guilty Spark. Turns out he is far more resilient than we thought and survived, though now with access to his full memories. In Halo: Primordium, he stated that he was going to search for the Lifeshaper, the same rank the Librarian officially had. With her dead and Spark’s tendency to confuse people, like with Master Chief and the Iso-Didact, there is one prime candidate in the galaxy he could mistake for her: Dr. Halsey.
With this knowledge and a common goal, the next point for our crew may be towards the Charum Hakkor system. We know the UNSC has found the system as the War Games map known as Monolith is set near the planet Sothra Hakkor, a world in that system. Obviously, the ruined world of Charrum Hakkor would be the mist logical step due to it’s relevancy to ancient humanity and the Precursors. It would make the most sense for this to be where we learn more about the Precursors as well. There is a theory that relates to this, remember that weird crystal in the building on the map Impact? Some believe it to be the remnants of a Precursor starroad, a massive construct with unfathomable power shattered by the Halos due to the map description saying it predates the Forerunners. It is possible that over time the Precursor technology destroyed by the Halos could rebuild itself and finally come alive once more. This would coincide with the return of the Flood prophesied by the Primordial in Halo: Primordium at a time when humans were arrogant and prideful, a lot like humanity in Halo 4.
A bit of an aside, but ONI will likely have a more direct role this time around. Evidence suggest that they have been trying to increase their power and influence, one example being the secret construction of the UNSC Infinity for 20 years before it became to big to conceal in the budget. The newly introduced Prefect armor could also be taken as an example of ONI developing better armor for the Spartan-IVs, maybe going so far as to build a private army. Along with the order to execute Dr. Halsey, I think this may cause Chief to rebel or defect. With Cortana still being on his mind and Halsey likely being the only one who could revive her, in his mind anyway, I don’t think could continue on the UNSC’s path anymore.
Through some means, maybe with Jul’s remnant or with Guilty Spark’s aid, this is where the Ark theory comes into play. This theory contends that the place Chief was at in the Halo 5 teaser was the Ark. Due to my limiting characters, you can find the in-depth theory, here.
In brief, the old Forerunner AI known as Mendicant Bias, buried on the Ark, would be the Absolute Record mentioned by the Librarian in Spartan Ops. He would warn of the coming Flood and Precursor threat and use the Janus Key to combat it.
What happens yet, I’m not sure. To really cement this as the darkest Halo game, I have a feeling that the Infinity, Earth, maybe Sangelios, or all of those things will be destroyed by the end. Perhaps it sounds cliche, but I think it would drive the point home.
Really all I’ve got thus far, it’s a bit of a jumbled mess with a lot of concepts thrown around I know, but that’s the best I can put together right now. Needless to say, I forsee a lot of discoveries playing out and humanity being knocked down a peg.
Thanks for reading.