Many questions remain unanswered. What we do know to a virtual certainty is that the power of the Flood and the reawakened might of the Precursors will be extinguished. The beam energy of the installations cannot travel slower than light, and ultimately, will propagate at near-infinite velocities.
Already, two of our Halos report pre-echoes that suggest the combined discharge has already happened.
What choice remains to me, then?
Somewhere, sometime, I have already given the order…
She would end this nightmare as she began it - giving her name, rank, and serial number. She had to strain to form the words. She didn‘t need to look within the Gravemind now to discover what rampancy - death - would be like. She knew. She felt it touch her, the fraying of her mind, the loss of control, not knowing if words and thoughts were her own, not sure what was real and what wasn‘t. She felt a cold numbness creeping into her hands…
“This is UNSC AI serial number CTN-zero-four-five-two-dash-nine.“ It was an effort to get all that out, and even then another voice hijacked her moment and added: "I am a monument to all your sins.”[Human Weakness]
He was struggling to dredge up new pieces of his past to delay the numbing advance of the alien presence in his mind. It was harder to maintain a grasp on who he was, as the various pieces of his life - the things that made him who he was - were stripped away, one at a time.
“Keyes. Jacob. Captain. Service number 01928-19912-JK. YOU. WILL. NOT. HAVE. ME!”
The display’s shimmering geometric patterns nagged at him, as if he should recognise them somehow. Even with his enhanced memory, he couldn’t place where he’d seen them before. They just seemed… familiar.
He reached a finger out to one of the symbols, a blue-green circle. The Spartan expected his finger to pass through nothing more than air. He was surprised when his finger met resistance - and the panel lights began to pulse more quickly.
“What did you do?” Cortana asked, her voice alarmed. “I’m detecting an energy spike.”
“I… don’t know,” the Spartan admitted.
He wasn’t sure why he touched the ‘button’ on the display. He just knew it felt right.
[…] He seemed to know instinctively how to activate the panel - it almost seemed hard-wired, like his flight or flight response. [Halo: The Flood]
Perhaps my favourite thing about Halo, other than the story, is the music. Across the last 14 years, this is just one department that has never ever let up in its quality. So I thought I’d compile a list of my top 20 Halo tracks which I listen to for the purpose of relaxation.
Many will remember this from The Truth and Reconciliation’s opening stealth segment, but to me it’s grounded in my memory from the ‘Final Run’ section of Two Betrayals where you have to get to the Banshee in order to deactivate the final pulse generator. On your way, you’re caught in the middle of Covenant troops giving it their all against hordes of Flood. It’s one of Halo’s most unforgettable encounters.
The camera pans up past a barren mountain and over a clifftop to gaze up at the crashed hulk of the Pillar of Autumn while a single, solitary Banshee is crashing right towards it because the Master Chief is a huge nerd and loves showing off.Yeah, this is the track which punctuates that.
Our first of several unreleased tracks. This plays during the bit after reuniting with Miranda and Johnson where you’re fighting the Sangheili Rangers out on the station’s hull. The choir is ridiculously soothing to listen to.
This one plays after John kills the Prophet of Regret and is forced to flee the temple as a Covenant ship’s energy projector begins to glass the area, and is dragged to an uncertain fate by the Gravemind.
You’ve heard this many times in Halo 2′s main menu suite, but also at the start of Uprising where Thel learns that the Jiralhanae have murdered all of the Sangheili in the area. Like so many tracks in Halo 2, it conveys a haunting and mournful sense of sadness. Says rather a lot that I find this sort of thing relaxing…
You’d think that being caught in the middle of the eruption of the Great Schism would call for great bombastic tracks as you shoot, punch, slice, and explode your way through High Charity. Nope, you’re going to watch many small Grunts get slaughtered by Jiralhanae in pretty gardens and you’re going to feel relaxed doing it!
I have actually come to associate this track more with the late Monty Oum, as he used this in the opening of the video that made his name as an animator on the internet about 8 years ago - Haloid. Rest in peace, Monty <3
A personal favourite of mine, the choir that makes up the first two minutes is so damn beautiful. That image of the Pelican flying towards Installation 04B as Thel affirms to Rtas that he will see this fight to its end is really quite powerful, and the track leads into gameplay as you make your way over to the control room.
I love Halo Wars. I love Halo Wars’ story, I love its multiplayer, and I love its music. I find the music so relaxing that I actually feel sleepy at times when I’m waiting for my next batch of Hawks to finish construction and this track is playing. If you listen closely, you can hear the faint drumbeat in the background playing In Amber Clad.
This track was not actually in the game which makes no sense to me because this fits so well with the ambience of Mombasa Streets. I don’t actually know if it was made by Marty and Michael, but I’ve been listening to this for 6 years now it’s as consolidated a Halo track as any other to me.
ODST’s music is just… some of the best you’ll ever hear. Wandering through the streets of New Mombasa by yourself while evading Covenant patrols, searching for audio logs and clues, just soaking in the very noir atmosphere, is an experience that I don;t think anybody ever expected Halo would or could do. But it did, and it was the best thing ever, and the music is like 90% of the reason for that. It just sells it.
New Alexandria stands out as a shining beacon of everything I had hoped Reach would be like. The level was absolutely fantastic, a much-needed break from form where you could essentially do whatever you wanted and had a wider variety of objectives. There’s a really ODST-esque vibe about this, which is fitting since Buck is in this mission.
You’ve heard me say it a million billion squillion times, but this is my favourite Halo track. Ever. Of all time. I have nothing new to say about this track other than what I’ve been saying for almost 3 years now. I can’t believe that human beings made this.
I actually remember not being too sure whether I liked this track when I first heard it, and if I had a time machine I’d go back and slap my past self for that because it is simply stunning. Also, the second half of the track plays during one of the most horrific and tragic moments in the Halo franchise, so you get to feel sad and relaxed at the same time.
I actually have a habit of hanging around the opening area of Requiem just to hear this in its entirety, just taking in the scenery with the remains of the Dawn, the mortally wounded Covenant feebly crawling towards their weapons, the ‘god rays’ poking through the cloud cover and piercing through the smoke. It really set the tone for the game, and is followed up by…
…this! You emerge out of the caves and stumble upon one of the most unforgettable vistas in Halo’s history. Great floating spires shifting over a circular cityscape-hanging over a mountain complete with a waterfall. Again, this just sells the atmosphere of the game, that feeling of exploration and open alien environments. It brings Requiem to life.
I kind of cheated because this makes 21 tracks, but I just had to include it. This plays at the end of the campaign where John is floating in space after his farewell with Cortana , and then transitions into a very ODST-inspired piece which was not in the game outside of the Halo 4 beta menu.
Vaguely I wondered about the giant ring. Had I imagined it? It had seemed so real. Then a word flashed into my revived mind, echoing from the image I had just seen or imagined or conjured up from anoxia.
That single word connected intimately with the precious little the Domain had revealed to me: Death. Destruction. Massive power.