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|Shield and Sword: The Monitor|
|Posted By: Leviathan <email@example.com>||Date: 10/17/12 7:22 p.m.|
Mission Six: The Monitor
"The Mind of My Enemy"
The Chief, Shipmaster, and War Sphinx stand on a rocky shore. A trail of blue-green crystal deposits lead out across the water to a mountainous island. Through the sharp rock, exposed fragments of gleaming Forerunner metal can be seen here and there. It looks as if a sphere was buried into the midst of a mountain...
The sky is clear, the water is cerulean, the path is green. We've seen a lot of Forerunner environments these days. Time to amp up their strange and surreal nature in unexpected ways.
War Sphinx: "Here lies the Monitor of this Installation. A dear friend of the Didact's, this place, the first of the Shield Worlds, was given to him to find the solution to the Parasite. This whole sphere became a simulation of the war against the Flood."
Shipmaster: "And though the Flood is gone, this oracle has never yielded."
War Sphinx: "He was forged in war. I believe he will forever be bound to its way. The machines you fought, Reclaimer, you saw how they began to reflect you. The Monitor was learning from you. You must act quickly and deactivate him before he finds how to best you and your allies."
Master Chief: "And before he take out the UNSC when they arrive." He looks to Rtas.
Shipmaster: "Then let us begin."
You and your Sangheili company make their way across the crystal path. The War Sphinx gently lifts off the ground and retreats to the clouds.
War Sphinx:" The Monitor will not tolerate my presence inside his system. I would only draw more attention to you. Your ancilla will know what to do when you find his core."
Reaching a cavernous entrance in the wall of the island, you begin to explore a spawling Forerunner facility. The inhuman-qualities are on full-blast here. Doorways either require you to crouch to pass through, or are as large as an Elephant. Fractured pathways built around hard light data paths (somewhat similar to the Containment Wall of the Sacred Icon) will require you to navigate the various rooms with studious observation and careful jumps. You find out why this place is so strange soon enough:
Cortana: "Wait. This facility doesn't just house the Monitor, it IS the monitor. And to think my galactic wisdom fits on a memory drive..."
Eventually you'll start to encounter Sentinels, from the small to the large to the Proto-warrior units. Here, Forerunner weapons are in full availability, from the tamer Sentinel Beams to the heavy weapon Needle Launchers dropped by the Enforcers.
You'll reach a repair facility for the Proto-warriors. Sentinel-size machines are pouring over wounded units and rebuilding them in the perimeters of the room. In the center a repaired unit spars with a hard-light Master Chief. It's a surreal and unsettling situation you stumble upon, at least until you blow it all to hell.
But upon clearing the room, the door to your exit path is broken through as you near it. A lone, massive Hunter now stands on the door's remnants.
The Good, The Bad, and the Mgalekgolo
The Hunter's armor has been heavily repaired and added upon. Cables run amok from its back to various key points in the hive's composition. Every few moments, bolts of energy are run up and down its exposed areas and inflict a drum of pain into the isolated, forlorn, Mgalekgolo hive.
The Hunter moves with hatred towards a Jackal next to him (bearing a plasma staff/scythe that also emits a shield from its center), but it roars in pain as it is shocked. The only way away from this pain is the enemy.
Shipmaster: "The Arbiter was successful in navigating the Hunter's strange politics and oaths, but still the Reconciled do all they can to hold onto their treasured old weapons."
These imprisoned Hunters are the biggest variation to date, and also the most savage and berserk. They are more open to rushing into battle and swiping multiple foes across the room in one movement as opposed to staying back and playing the long-range game. Instead of their exposed worms being their major weak point, an energy pack on their back, in between their spikes, will be their new Achilles' heel. Destroying that will stop the painful controls the Reconciled has placed on it, and will allow the Hunter to attack ANYTHING in its path. You'll likely get to see these large beasts rear up and literally stomp on their Jackal Overseers when they're unleashed.
War Sphinx: "More Reconciled starships are entering the Installation. I will do what I can to halt them. But they have been tracking our moments. Tread carefully."
Shipmaster (to the Chief): "If it was this War Sphinx that was keeping the Reconciled protected from this Monitor and his army, then they too will be its targets. This should be fun."
Zero-G areas have been sparse lately. In a few hangar-like halls, the Monitor will rectify that by throwing you into large bubbles of no gravity, floating you alongside Covenant creatures as Sentinels enter to exterminate you all. Good thing you have a jetpack.
Behind the Curtain
Past a gauntlet of these three-sided battles (Halo has always been magnificent at those) you'll spiral into the center of this spherical facility and find the core of the Monitor. In this auditorium-like space, the level ends after another battle with two Hunters.
As the cutscene begins, the Master Chief and Shipmaster move more into this Control-Room-like area, but instead of the circle path surrounding a hologram of the installation like in Combat Evolved, they find it surrounding a large spinning sphere. Master Chief finds a pedestal for Cortana to unload nearby and the sphere slows to a stop, placing its glowing eye upon the intruders.
Monitor: "Draw closer."
The Master Chief looks side to side. Cortana notions him forward. The heart of the Monitor. It's blue eye pulses, just like the other Monitors you've met before.
Monitor: "You were a Reclaimer, once. You were to receive the charge of the Mantle. But I see you have left your post and sided with the Timeless One."
Master Chief slowly circles the Monitor as its gaze follows him. The Monitor's voice sounds... familiar.
Monitor: "You were my friend once, may I ask why would you do this?"
Master Chief: "We haven't met before."
Cortana: "You just have one of those faces I guess." The camera quickly jumps from Cortana back to Master Chief's uninformative visor to highlight the humor.
Back to Cortana as the Monitor's eye turns to focus upon her...
Cortana: "Monitors have made this mistake before. Who do you think my Spartan is?"
Monitor: "I am a machine... now, at least. We do not make mistakes."
Monitor: "I was once human... I think. That was many millennia ago. But I would never forget my
Master Chief: "I am not your friend." (just a little menacingly) The Monitor turns back to you.
Monitor: "Not yet."
Cortana: "Why are you trying to kill him?"
Monitor: "Because his future is not guaranteed! If he sides with the Gravemind, I am programmed to do all in my power to find a way to stop him and his kind."
Cortana: "The Flood? We are NOT the Flood. And we would never side with a Gravemind." Cortana begins to turn red at this. And I don't mean blushing - she turns red.
Monitor: "But he already has begun to. Your voice echoes through his mind, coercing him down a path of destruction. And I've heard your voice has echoed through the others and my machines. Turning them against me. I can see in your eyes the Gravemind is wak--"
Cortana: "I AM NOT A GRAVEMIND." Her body of light overloads and blinds the eyes. A pulse of energy winds through the chamber and the eye of the Monitor is surged. It looks upwards, through an opening in the ceiling, as the War Sphinx glides down to join his allies.
Monitor: "You? You would. Repeat. The same mistakes... Recondite Clairvoyant? You would. Attempt to.." But his voice is lost as his pulsing eye dims. The sphere lowers to a docking station below the circle walkway.
Cortana: "Kept him distracted long enough to block the incoming power conduit and overload the facility. He'll stay deactivated until we can bring him online under controlled circumstances."
Master Chief: "Why would we do that?"
Cortana: "A hundred thousand years of researching the Flood? That knowledge shouldn't be thrown away. If we ever have to... face that again, we should know everything" (quieter) "...we can... about our enemy." Cortana looks away as the War Sphinx steps towards the Chief.
War Sphinx: "You have mastered your enemy. Now, for your next task, Reclaimer, the Begotten lies slee--"
The Sphinx is interrupted by a voice coming over loud speakers.
"I'm afraid that's going to have to wait for now." A pelican comes into view over the ceiling's opening.
Shipmaster: "The Humans."
As my schedule continues to be heavy, and Halo 4 is on the doorstep, the next and last three levels will be covered in one last Shield and Sword post coming soon. "United", "The Begotten", and "Forerunner". Those three levels won't be as fully developed as the others, especially in regards to gameplay, I will be focusing on the core ideas presented in them and how they might find their way into Halo 4 or the rest of the Reclaimer trilogy...
|Shield and Sword: The Monitor||Leviathan||10/17/12 7:22 p.m.|
|Re: Shield and Sword: The Monitor||SonofMacPhisto||10/17/12 7:39 p.m.|
|No map for the mission this time?||Gravemind||10/17/12 8:18 p.m.|
|Re: No map for the mission this time?||Leviathan||10/17/12 9:19 p.m.|
|Re: No map for the mission this time?||Gravemind||10/17/12 10:47 p.m.|
|Re: No map for the mission this time?||Leviathan||10/17/12 10:56 p.m.|
|Soooooo good. *NM*||padraig08||10/18/12 12:34 a.m.|
|I love these!||Chewbaccawakka||10/18/12 1:41 a.m.|
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