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Some interesting questions and notes from the book
Posted By: Skeletor <>Date: 11/7/01 12:59 a.m.

I read Halo Fall of Reach last night. I'm always looking for similarities and/or oddities between Halo and Marathon, so I took a few notes I'd like to share with you.

Warning: there are some spoilers ahead (for the book, not the game).

Quote from page 23, while they are observing the first possible Spartan at play:
"King of the hill," Dr. Halsey remarked.
One boy stood on the crest. He blocked, pushed, and strong-armed all the other children.
"That's our boy."
He was taller than the other children by a full head, and-if his performance in the game was any indicator-stronger as well.

This reminds me of a portion of the Marathon manual:
It's funny, but you've always been the colony's trouble shooter. You're bigger and stronger, and a better shot. In games, you always scored the most points and looked the hero.

Quote from page 238:
"The Pillar of Autumn is forty-three years old," Cortana said. "Halcyon-class ships were the smallest vessel ever to recieve the cruiser designation. It is approximately one-third the tonnage of the Marathon-class cruiser currently in service.

Marathon-class cruiser?? Is this just a memorial slapped into the story as a sort of joke for the Marathon fans? Or does it actually have anything to do with Marathon?

Quote from page 273:
"We finally have an AI," he remarked to Hikowa.
"We've got more than that, sir," Hikowa replied. "Cortana is running the shakedown and supervising Dr. Halsey's modifications to the ship. We have a backup AI to handle point defense."
"Really?" Keyes was surprised; getting a single AI was tough enough these days. Getting two was unprecedeted.
"Yes, sir. I'll see to the initialization of our AI as soon as Cortana is done running through her diagnostics.

and from page 290:
"Cortana has been running the Pillar of Autumn's shakedown. We have our own AI, but by the time we get it initialized and running this ship-the battle may be over."

Although It never mentions the other AI being initialized, (up until Cortana is ported to John-117's Mjolnir armor she had been in control of the PoA) In the fourth Cortana letter the source of a message is "BW-AI aboard (?) PoA".
BW could stand for the creepy ONI-spook AI named "Beowulf" (Page 100). In the same letter, Cortana refers to this "BW" character as "slavishly loyal and humorless".

Quote from page 235:
Cortana was a "smart" AI, an advanced artificial construct. Actually, the terms smart and dumb as applied to AIs, were misleading; all AIs were extraordinarily intelligent. But Cortana was special.
So-Called dumb AIs were engineered to function only within set limits of their dynamic memory-processing matrix. They were brilliant within their fields of expertise, but were lacking in "creativity."
Smart AIs like Cortana, however, had no limits on their dynamic memory-processor matrix. Knowledge and creativity could grow unchecked.
She would pay a price for her genius, however. Such growth eventually led to self-interference. Cortana would one day literally start thinking too much at the expense of her normal functions. It was as if a human were to think with so much of his brain that he stopped sending impulses to his heat and lungs.

Hmmm......Sounds like the description of rampant AI to me. Anyways, Cortana's description of the "BW-AI" would then make sense if "BW" was a "dumb" AI.

I'd also like to note that there seems to be a difference between the word "Mjolnir" in Marathon and Halo.
In Marathon, when I mention "Mjolnir", you think of the "Mjolnir Mark IV Cyborgs".
In H-FoR "Mjolnir" are highly-advanced pieces of armor that form-fit to the wearer's body, enhance the wearer's strength and various senses multi-fold, and basically read the wearer's mind.
So: Cyborg, and Armor, is there a difference? Perhaps in Marathon people somehow got used to calling the Spartans "Mjolnir Cyborgs" because they're always wearing the Mjolnir armor....I really don't know.

I'd also like to rant about some other things which has been eating away at my mind recently. I hoped the book would explain some of these things, unfortunately it has not:

WHY in god's name does Captain Keyes wear a Marathon logo on his right-breast?!?!??
And WHY is it also on the PoA??!?! Especially since the PoA is a "Halcyon" class cruiser, as opposed to a "Marathon" class (page 238)!!
And WHY doesn't John-117 salute Captain Keyes on the bridge of the PoA in the second Gamespot-released cutscene (halo_xbox_5.mpg) when he does it so damn much in the book?!?! IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!!!!

Halo seems to be using names, logos, technology, etc. from Marathon, but they're being implemented in different scenarios. Finding the key to link them together is turning out to be a very puzzling challenge indeed (I'm starting to doubt there is a connection, although I still have hope).

Okay I'm done.

Message Index


Some interesting questions and notes from the bookSkeletor 11/7/01 12:59 a.m.
     And did you notice that... *SP*Chanan 11/7/01 8:33 a.m.
           Hehe, tricky CortanaDjof@School 11/7/01 11:05 a.m.
                 Office of Naval Intelligence (NT)Cannibal Harry (codeboi) 11/7/01 11:51 a.m.
                 Re: Hehe, tricky Cortanapojucan 11/7/01 11:29 p.m.
                       Re: Hehe, tricky Cortanabeef 11/7/01 11:40 p.m.
                       Re: Hehe, tricky CortanaSkeletor 11/8/01 12:53 a.m.
           Re: And did you notice that... *SP*Eric Trautmann 11/8/01 8:57 p.m.

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