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5 most iconic moments in Halo, from Combat Evolved to Infinite

The iconic Master Chief (Image via 343 industries)
The iconic Master Chief (Image via 343 industries)
Sidhartha Deka

Halo as a series has changed so much over the years that most people might have a hard time keeping track of what is going on. The series debuted in 2000, with the first game being subtitled Combat Evolved. It tells the story of Master Chief, in most games at least.

In the years to come, Halo grew in popularity until Bungie, the original developer, said farewell to the series as the reins to the franchise was given to 343 Industries. Then followed Halo 4 and 5, two of the lesser successful games in the franchise.

However, 343 Industries made a comeback with Halo: Infinite last year, with its campaign probably one of the most well written in the game's history and with the multiplayer meeting player expectations quite handily.

So, here is a list featuring some of the best moments in the franchise, from Combat Evolved to Infinite.

Note: This article reflects the writer's opinion.


5 memorable moments from the Halo series

1) Betrayal x2

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During the campaign of Halo: Combat Evolved, Master Chief is stuck on a large circular orbital ring-world known as a Halo, battling the Covenant empire. There, he meets an AI known as 343 Guilty Spark, the monitor of the installation.

This monitor, throughout the ensuing levels, guides Chief on ways to stop ‘the flood,' a species of parasites bent on consuming all life forms in the galaxy, which had accidentally been released during the battle. The Chief cooperates with Guilty Spark, as he had lost his personal AI, Cortana in a previous mission.

Guilty Spark finally leads Chief to the command console for the Halo installation and asks him to activate it (only humans may activate such technology). As Chief approaches the console, Cortana appears on the desk, telling Chief that doing so will ‘fire’ the ring, obliterating all life in the galaxy to starve the flood, which is a failsafe in case the parasites were ever released.

Thus, the Chief realizes that Guilty Spark has betrayed him and decides to trust Contrana’s judgment to not activate the ring. Upon which Guilty Spark betrays him again (the level itself is named '2 Betrayals') and attacks the Chief and Cortana with robotic sentinels.

While this scene initially just existed as a plot point, Guilty Spark’s betrayal stands as an iconic lesson, as even in his later appearances players should never wholly trust him.


2) Return to Sender

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At the start of Halo 2, the Covenant launched a siege on Earth, surrounding the Orbital Defence Platform known as Cairo Station. The Master Chief, with some soldiers, has been tasked with regaining control of the platform back from the Covenant.

During this strikeback, the Chief discovers that the covenant had secretly planted a bomb, designed to take out the station along with nearby reinforcement. In an innovative turn of events, Chief has a brilliant idea (things he normally didn’t do in the first game): to just return the bomb back to the covenant.

What follows is one of the coolest cutscenes in Halo history, as the Chief takes the bomb out of the airlock, propels is along the ensuing space battle, into the reactor of a damaged Covenant battleship, and gets out of there.

The explosion that follows nets the humans the victory. Players also get the best line spoken by Sgt. Avery Johnson, as Chief lands on their frigate: “For a brick, he flew pretty good."


3) The Hog run

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The Hog run used to be sort of a staple in the older Halo games, as a last ride at the end of the game. Having originated in the first game and returning again in Halo 3, players took control of a warthog vehicle and hastily escaped the immediate area. While the run at the end of the first game is the original, the one at the end of the third game takes the cake.

Not only does this run look better, players get to drive through large open spaces and witness beautiful vistas in the distance. The music used is much more intricate than what players took in at first.

Additionally, the Master Chief is also accompanied on this run by the Arbiter, the only other character in the franchise to come close to earning the same amount of respect as the Chief from players.


4) Coming full circle

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The events of Halo: Reach tell the tale of a team of Spartans called the Noble Team as they fight off Covenant forces that have invaded planet Reach. Over the course of the game, it becomes evident that Reach cannot be saved, and so a final mission is given to the members of the Noble Team.

Dr. Elizabeth Halsey enlists them with transporting Cortana, an artificial intelligence that has been entrusted with key intel to turn the tide of war, to the last UNSC ship, Pillar of Autumn. As Noble's members carry out these orders, they each give their lives one by one to ensure that Cortana gets delivered to the ship.

Ultimately, they are successful as the final member of the team, Six, delivers the AI personally to the ship’s captain, Jacob Keyes. Six however, stays behind to make sure the pillar of Autumn can safely take off. It is in this ship, where Halo: CE starts, with Cortana being given to Master Chief to utilize her intel in the battlefield.


5) The Weapon Learns the Truth

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By the events of Halo: Infinite, Cortana is gone, after having tried to destroy life and take over the galaxy (although Halo fans don’t like to talk about that). The Master Chief is on a new Halo ring and paired with a new AI, known only as the weapon (who looks suspiciously like a younger Cortana).

Over the course of the game, Master Chief and the weapon come to odds due to his reluctance to trust her, which eventually sets them apart. However, near the end of the campaign, the weapon comes to realise that she is actually a clone of Cortana, from before she met the Chief.

The truth devastates the AI, as she had been shown to be a very emphatic model, able to feel, wonder and delight at new things. Learning that she was the same as Cortana, who had shown to be capable of so much ruthlessness, she understands why Chief didn’t trust her.

She asks Chief to delete her, so that she may not become like her predecessor. But in a scene as heartwarming as it is tear jerking, the Chief replies with a firm ‘no,’ insisting that they will complete their mission together. She asks him how would he trust her, to which he replies that he doesn’t but he wants to.


Edited by Abu Amjad Khan

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