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Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player Campaign
Posted By: KiGlow <>Date: 9/15/04 4:05 p.m.

Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player Campaign

Before I begin, I would just like to apologize for any incoherence on my part. This stuff really racks your brain.

I think it is impossible for one to "figure out" the SPC of Halo 2 for two reasons. The main reason is that Bungie will likely throw some twists into the storyline that could NOT have been foreseen by anyone (the Flood is the most obvious example of this). Therefore, it is understandable that no speculation of the plot for Halo 2 could possibly be 100% correct, unless of course you've gotten ahold of one of those nifty crystals and time warped from the future ;)

But seriously, one shouldnt expect to be able to fully predict the Halo 2 storyline. However, it is possible to come pretty close if you are able to overcome the second reason: bias. Rumors start, people latch on, and before you know it people are so stubborn they wont open their minds to other speculation. So, if we can get rid of this bias, perhaps we can come pretty close to hitting the mark as to how Halo 2 will unfold, albeit skipping over the plot twists.

So lets get started. Most of my speculation comes from FACTUAL evidence provided by the game, the books or Bungie employees. Im going to try not to fall into the hole of bias to the best of my ability. If you catch me falling in, please grab my arm or something ;)

Note: Im not claiming to have a near-perfect speculation of the plotline. However, if you want to remain completely ignorant of the possibilities, I would suggest you stop reading now. Also, if you havent read First Strike, you'd be best to steer clear of this rant.

Halo 2: The Opening

This is a source of most of the arguing plotline-wise. Will the game begin where it left off? Or will it start out on Earth? Despite claims from various gaming news sites, I would say the beginning of Halo 2 lies just after the final scene in Halo. There is plenty of evidence suggesting this theory. Here is a thread I posted on the forums a while ago with a link to an interview with Peter Parsons in which he says the following:

"The current game picks up right around the same time [in reference to First Strike]. So effectively, a lot happens with the destruction of the Halo and Chief coming back to Earth. Essentially it picks up right after where Halo left off with First Strike filling in some of the gaps." - Peter Parsons, E3 2004

It can be derived from this interview that Halo 2 will be composed partly of the storyline from First Strike. Granted, not every single detail from the book will be in the game (ie Halo didnt contain everything from The Flood). Rather, Halo 2 will more than likely take us through the major plot points from the book and continue on from there.

If you still want more evidence, check out what Joe Staten had to say in the Making of Halo 2 video:

"..take the player from the ruins of Halo to these ancient Forerunner facilities in the atmospheres of gas giants. Its sort of a galactic romp from one place to the next, and I think that in and of itself is gonna keep the player on the edge of his seat wondering 'Where am I gonna be' and 'What do I get to do when I get there?'" - Joseph Staten

So with this knowledge in hand, lets get started on the level count.

Level One: Ruins of Halo/Ascendant Justice

I have a feeling Halo wont begin with MC and Cortana bewildered at Halo falling apart, but rather theyve already begun to search the debris for survivors. Im not sure how long the opening video would be, or even if there would be multiple opening videos (one for story recap and one for level introduction). However, it wouldnt be too unreasonable to watch MC and Cortana find Sarge in the Pelican, link up and outrun the Covenant patrols and finally enter into the Ascendant Justice. This would be the intro level: taking over the Ascendant Justice.

In Halo 2 MC gets upgraded with some badass new MJOLNIR armor. However, in FS, he doesnt get his new armor until after theyve escaped from Reach. This might complicate consistencies between the book and my ideal two first levels, but then again MC is going to magically acquire the ability to duel wield in Halo 2 so Im not too concerned about this.

What I am concerned about, though, is the mini-tutorial at the beginning of the first level (ie good ol' Sam and company on the POA). Perhaps once inside the Covenant shuttle bay Haverson will walk us through the basics as the Covenant come through the doors. I wouldve much rather preferred a tutorial from Dr. Halsey upon receiving the new armor, but that would mean there would be a huge gap between the end of Halo and the beginning of Halo 2.

Anyway, this level will most likely take us from the shuttle bay to the Bridge. MC will likely then go to repair the coils (or whatever it was Cortana wanted him to fix). This level will be our first introduction to the Engineers. MC succeeds and returns to the bridge, ending the level. A video will probably ensue explaining the need to go to Reach.

Level Two: Rescue Op on Reach

This level is pretty straightforward. MC will come down, kick some Covenant butt, and meet up with a team of Spartans and Admiral Whitcomb. From there we'll likely move down into CASTLE BASE via Covenant dropship. Take out a few Covenant baddies, rescue Dr. Halsey and the remaining Spartans, then escape.

Although this level would be incredibly short, especially in comparison to the second level in Halo, Bungie might be able to elongate the time it takes to complete the level by giving us the ability to shoot the big plasma guns from inside the Covenant dropship. I remember reading somewhere (albeit early in Halo 2s production) that dropships would be destructible. Wouldnt it be nice to have a huge aerial combat between dropships? The dropship we ride in would have to be AI-controlled (and whos to say it isnt possible with soldiers driving Warthogs), but at least we would have the satisfaction of watching Covenant dropships tumble and explode into a fiery ball of debris. They could even throw some Banshees in there for good measure.

For this to work there would have to be two guns or another function available for buddies when playing co-op mode. If this indeed has been implemented into the game, Im sure Bungie has cooked up something good.

Level Three: The Unyielding Hierophant

If there were only three levels spanning First Strike (and I highly doubt there would be more than that), there would definitely be a gap between Reach and the Unyielding Hierophant. But if you think about it, other than Reach and UH there isnt much in the way of ground combat. This would likely be one of the gaps Peter Parsons was referring to. However, something very important happens between Reach and UH: the Slipspace battle where the crystal warps time and space. Perhaps the Slipspace battle could be included in the second level, perhaps it could be explained in a tight-knit cinematic. Whatever the case, the time warp will most likely be explained to give reasoning to later plotlines and levels.

At any rate, we'll most likely be taking on the Unyielding Hierophant with our other Spartan buddies. Brutes and Banshees... this level is gonna be a blast. Literally, it blows up at the end.

And thus ends First Strike and begins the new stuff we've all be longing for. From here on out things will get a little shaky.

However, before I begin talking about Earth levels, Id like to explore some things about the storyline of what we know so far.

Plotline Speculation

Now, I dont have First Strike with me, so most of what I draw from the book is from memory. Im probably going to make a mistake somewhere in here, so please correct me whenever I do.

First off, I want to talk about Guilty Spark. I doubt he has any means of Slipspace transportation built into him, thats a Covenant technology. And the only way he was able to warp around Halo was because Halo had some sort of warping grid in place. But with Halo destroyed, theres no where to warp to (and I would imagine the grid was limited to Halo itself). So therefore, for GS to have any impact on Halo 2s storyline, he would have to hitch a ride with someone else.

He probably jumped onto one of the Covenant ships. I doubt the "familiar Covenant AI" aboard the Ascendant Justice was Guilty Spark, rather I believe it was remnants of the Cortana copies that spread around the Unyielding Hierophant. Remember that at the point in time where MC reaches the UH, there were actually TWO Ascendant Justices floating around. One of them might have been clustered with the group of ships, a copy of Cortana transmitted to this other Ascendant Justice, and from there the ship found its way to Halo.

Guilty Spark instead hid him/itself aboard the Ascendant Justice and waited until after the time warp to reveal himself again. Im not sure if Cortana found out how and when the Covenant discovered Earth, but Guilty Spark did acquire lots of human history from the POA. Perhaps he transmitted some of that information over to the Covenant after the time warp. If the Covenant found out about Earth BEFORE the time warp, please let me know. In fact, I think I remember Cortana finding this out while she was still in orbit above Reach. If this were the case, it would make sense that GS transmitted the information to a ship that escaped the destruction of the Unyielding Hierophant, and later on one of the Covenant soldiers found the information and reported it. In turn, the Cortana at Reach would find out the Covenant had gotten their hands on the info.

I hope that makes sense.

One last thing about Guilty Spark. Remember the Easter Egg that dealt with GS going through the medical tents in New Mombasa? I know most eggs arent meant to make sense, but if GS were to reach Earth, hitching a ride with Master Chief wouldnt be such a bad route. Itd be safe, at least ;)

Halo 2: Earth

The way Bungie is pushing the war on Earth in advertisements, I would imagine the time we spend on and around Earth is pretty lengthy. At *least* three or four levels. In order to determine what it is exactly we'll be doing on Earth, we need to understand why the Covenant are here, aside from obliteration of mankind.

Obviously the planet isnt going to get glassed. At least, if it DOES get glassed, it wont be until after we're just about ready to leave. Now, the only other case we know of in which a planet didnt get fully glassed was Reach. I dont believe the Covenant even tried glassing Sigma Octanus IV, so that planet doesnt count. They learned their lesson, though, and glassed every part of Reach they didnt need. However, from the little information we have, it can be safely assumed that the Covenant dont try glassing Earth either, at least not at first.

Note: If you've been keeping clear of the latest media screens and info, I would highly suggest skipping over the next paragraph as it contains a bit of info about one of the new multiplayer levels.

Transitioning from the Unyielding Hierophant, it seems that upon arrival at Earth, we'll find the war has already begun. In one of Frankie's updates I recall Joseph Staten saying he was trying to implement the Halo 2 announcement trailer into the game. If this is the case, we can assume that what happens in the trailer is, more or less, part of the storyline. The Admiral doesnt seem to know that Master Chief is there. "The entire fleet is engaged, Cortana. With respect, what the hell sort of reinforcement have you got?" MC then opens the hatch and flies out to the Covenant ship. Now, I could argue that taking over the Covenant ship would be the first level at Earth. However, it would be rather redundant after the level on Ascendant Justice. Instead, I think this part of the storyline will take place in the multiplayer area. Midship, the multiplayer level that takes place aboard The Begotten Angel, clearly takes place at Earth due to the Earth moon sighted outside the windows in some of the screenshots. Perhaps this is the ship MC jumps to in the trailer.

Moving right along. We all know that one of the levels takes place on New Mombasa. For whatever reason, Master Chief has been dispatched to save some soldiers and then make his way to the Covenant cruiser. However, we dont actually know the purpose of getting to the cruiser, as Cortana is cut off by the rain of Elites that pour from the sky. "Bingo! Theres the cruiser. Now, all we need to do... is..." Damn you, Bungie.

To me this doesnt make sense as an opening level to Earth. There will probably be a few big levels that take place in deserts or mountains or other cities before we arrive at New Mombasa. The Covenant, it is speculated, arent glassing the planet right away because theres something on Earth that they want. I would imagine something is hidden on Earth much akin to the crystal from Reach. If I had to pick a spot where something was hidden, it would be beneath the ONI HQ that Wagner was at during the conference with Ackerson. Then again, it could be right out in the daylight for the Covenant to take like the artifact from Cote d'Azur. Whatever the case may be, Im speculating that the Covenant manage to get what they want and try to leave, but the ship that is carrying what they want takes two in the nose and drops into the atmosphere. You can see where Im going with this. MC is then dispatched to New Mombasa to retrieve whatever it was the Covenant stole. And as long as what they want came crashing back down to Earth... and stays there... the Covenant wont glass the planet.

Halo 2: After Earth and Beyond

Whatever it was the Covenant wanted, once MC gets control of it, we'll find out it has some huge power like the crystal from Reach. The Covenant will get scared and flee Earth, leaving the surviving populace in peace for the time being.

From here on out practically anything could happen. Some suggest we return to the pre-destroyed Halo installation 04 and follow the plotline that Spartan clones have been training on Halo or at a rebel base; Ackersons secret project will finally be uncovered. Although I am a believer in this theory, I dont think we'd linger too long on Halo. In fact, despite my belief about the Spartan clones, I wouldnt be surprised if we didnt return to Halo at all (even though timewise it might still be possible). Instead, we might end up at another Halo. If the teleportation grid on Halo is connected to OTHER Halos, then perhaps Ackersons clones were able to warp to a different installation before Halos destruction.

Note: Again, if you dont want some multiplayer aspects ruined, and also in this case some SPC info, I would suggest not reading the next paragraph.

Another key plot point that will take place sometime during the Earthcapades will be the analyzation of Halos info from Cortanas memory. This will most likely determine where it is we go next. I would imagine from the info gathered on Halo we find out the whereabouts of the other Halo installations. If indeed there were Spartan clones on Halo 04, and if they did indeed teleport to another installation, Cortana might have a record of it. That would help determine which installation we go to. It has been confirmed we go to another Halo or the original one at some point due to screenshots of the multiplayer level Lockdown. The background in one of the screens clearly shows the curve of Halo arching into the sky. And of course, why wouldnt we go to another Halo ring... its not called "Halo 2" for nothing.

At any rate, we'll be jumping around from Halo installations to other "Forerunner facilities in the atmospheres of gas giants." However, of all the theories floating about, the one place I highly doubt we will go to will be the Covenant homeworld. Yes, Halo 2 will be a "galactic romp," but I dont think that will include destroying the Covenant just yet. I do have many reasons for this.

First off, Halo is the biggest thing Microsoft has going for them, and if it all ended with Halo 2, that wouldnt be a very smart move businesswise. There is potential for at least another sequel after Halo 2, because I highly doubt we'll be destroying all of the different Halos out there in Halo 2. Hell, it took us a whole game just to get rid of ONE ring.

This kind of relates to my second point. Taking it to the Covenant would just be too much for one game, I dont think we're going to go there yet, if at all.

Third, destroying the Covenant homeworld assumes that we will never reach peace agreements. THAT is bias. I havent seen much in the way of speculating that the Halo story will end with peace, it seems destroying the Covenant is all anyone thinks about. I dont deny that I would want to kill every last one of them, but Im still not going to fall into the mindset that genocide is the only option.

Theres other stuff I havent touched upon that will somehow relate to the Halo 2 storyline. Prophets. Dr. Halsey and Linda (Im guessing they went to Halo 04). The Flood. More possible alien races: Forerunner, Covenant or otherwise. All those twists we dont see coming. And what about what Marcus Letho said in the Making of Halo 2 video: "We really want it to feel like that there was history there. There was damage that existed from some battle that happened nine-hundred thousand years ago."


Halo 2 is going to be huge. How huge no one can yet say. I just wanted to get a feel for the size and scope of the game we're about to be dealing with. The original Halo spanned ten levels. In Halo 2, were looking at anywhere from 2-3 FS levels, 3-5 Earth levels, and anywhere from 3-7 other levels. That puts us in a pretty broad range of 8 to 15 levels. I would hope Halo 2 has at least the same amount of levels as Halo, and I imagine it would have a bit more. Fifteen doesnt sound too unreasonable, but with the amount of detail going into this game on top of all the multiplayer and online aspects, I would place my bet somewhere in the 10-13 range.

This is just one mans idea of how Halo 2 will unfold. Ive tried to go by what solid information we have, but we all know any attempt to totally figure out the storyline is futile. Whatever happens on November 9th, I doubt any of us will have seen it coming. Bungie, I love you.

~KiGlow (Sean Pfeil)

Message Index


Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player CampaignKiGlow 9/15/04 4:05 p.m.
     You should merge the first and second levelMirel 9/15/04 4:18 p.m.
           It might work...KiGlow 9/15/04 4:33 p.m.
                 T&R had different enviroments. Terraforming! *NM*Mirel 9/15/04 5:07 p.m.
                       Yes, but...KiGlow 9/15/04 5:13 p.m.
     Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player Campaignguns_n_cars 9/15/04 4:23 p.m.
     Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player CampaignAlex Cross 9/15/04 4:44 p.m.
           Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player CampaignKiGlow 9/15/04 4:53 p.m.
                 Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player Campaignop_ivy 9/15/04 9:22 p.m.
     Also...Alex Cross 9/15/04 4:50 p.m.
     Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player CampaignAin Soph Aur 9/15/04 7:12 p.m.
           Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player CampaignKiGlow 9/15/04 7:30 p.m.
           Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player CampaignMr. Kevin 9/15/04 8:39 p.m.
                 Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player CampaignAin Soph Aur 9/15/04 10:21 p.m.
                       Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player CampaignMr. Kevin 9/16/04 5:38 p.m.
                             Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player CampaignAin Soph Aur 9/16/04 6:03 p.m.
     Just one thing...time loops and more...Jamirus99 9/15/04 8:30 p.m.
     Time WarpSpartan39 9/28/04 6:47 p.m.
     Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player Campaigncam 9/28/04 7:27 p.m.
           Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player CampaignCompassghost 9/28/04 7:38 p.m.
     Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player Campaignmr_iggy 9/28/04 9:19 p.m.
           Re: Predicting Halo 2: The Single Player CampaignSteveOll 9/29/04 8:58 a.m.

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