Despite its name, Halo infinite is very literally limited. Like most story-driven games, the 343’s childbuster first-person shooter comes to a conclusion – and, man, it’s bananas that have all sorts of consequences for where glorys narrative could go. Now a bunch of you guys have seen it. You probably have a lot of thoughts and feelings. Fasten your seatbelts.
Spoilers, of course, for the end of Halo infinite.
Halo infinite‘s campaign culminates in a couple of boss fights. The first is against Escharum, the leader of a hostile faction called the Exiles. Escharum is the mentor of Atriox, the former Banished leader who beats the hero Master Chief Halo infinitethe opening film, but apparently dies before the game actually gets underway.
For a cocktail of reasons, including honor, bravado, and the compelling rationale for “I’m the villain, so fight me,” Escharum spends the entire game yearning for a one-on-one showdown against the Chief, and eventually kidnapping the Chiefs only human friend. , a space military engineer known only as the Pilot, for use as bait. You will find them. You beat Escharum. He dies. You save the pilot (whose real name, Fernando Esparza, is revealed a few movie sequences later). Cool. Move on.
The second fight, and the more consistent one, is against someone called Harbinger, who is so on the nose with an appropriate name that she would fit perfectly into a BioWare game. You see, Harbinger is an envoy from an ancient civilization, the Endless, who were imprisoned thousands and thousands of years before the beginning of Halo infinite. Her goal for the entire game is to free her people from their prison on Zeta Halo (where Infinite takes place largely). Yours, in the last fight, is to stop her.
That’s when the shit gets genuine. Even if you defeat Harbinger (who so bravely fights alongside an incredibly frustrating beast with a one-hit-kill gravity hammer), she apparently still completes her mission. Fernando comes in and picks up the Chief, but notices that he has been off the radar for three days – even though the match lasts an hour, it’s top notch.
Chiefs AI Companion, The Weapon, who had heard of her sensational, blood-soaked origins-that she is a copy of Chiefs former AI buddy, Cortana – in a series of hologram footage just before the final match, she mentions that she has decided on a name for herself. Dishes for black.
Read more: Halo infinite Developer rights about the game’s most shocking moment
Oh, what is this? Another spoiler warning?
Spoilers for the legendary end of Halo infinite.
It’s tradition too glory games featuring two end-credits stinger-one cutscene for those who beat the game and another for those who beat the game on legendary difficulty, the highest level. If you’re done Halo infinite on Legendary you can see … the same scene that you do on any other difficulty level. The only difference is that it has a date line and an enigmatic voiceover track.
The cut scene at the basic level, as you can see here, shows Atriox open prison containing Endless. Part of the scene is to state that yes, Harbinger succeeded in his mission, but it is also meant as a shocking revelation. You’re telling me that this enemy, who we’re repeatedly told is dead, but who we did not see die on screen, was not actually dead all the time? Get the hell out of here!
That’s just part of the story. For your reference, in the event that you endure to corn introduction of cooperative games to tackle Halo infinite at its highest difficulty, here is the legendary movie sequence:
See? Same thing. But the devil lies in the details.
Let’s place that date line: 97,368 BCE is shortly after the Halo network was fired in 97,455 BCE, whereby all living life is obliterated from the galaxy (well, except for those who hid on arken, an exogalctic facility). Huh.
It is also telling that Despondent Pyre, the AI unit responsible for monitoring Zeta Halo, speaks in this convoy. If you remember, before the end of Halo infinite, Discouraged Pyre is very, much death. The other chatterbox is the Grand Edict, a presumably senior member of the Forerunner, the people who imprisoned the Endless. At the end of their conversation, Grand Edict mentions it Offensive Bias, another AI device, has been inserted.
IN Halo Lore, Offensive Bias was designed as a fail-safe for Mendicant Bias, a junk AI device whose 100,000-year history would require at least ten more blogs for proper review. For now, I’ll lead you towards the character impressively thorough bio-page over at Halopedia.
Some fans think that Halo infinite is engaged in temporal hijinks. That movie scene is dated to almost 100,000 years ago; how else could Atriox have ended up there (wrong then), if not for time travel? It makes sense that Atriox would also like to flash back in time. His planet had, after all, been wiped out by Cortana; the only way to prevent that from happening would be to fall back on some Avengers: Endgame-level plot turns.
Plus, there’s it all in the present day glory story where the Master Chief mysteriously jumps off the radar during his fight with Harbinger only to reappear three days later. And some of the dialogue in the last voiceover – especially the part where Despondent Pyre says “Time is not a construction we can control”, only to get the big edict to say “We can not allow it to be theirs” – indicates that time travel will play a role in the future glory story lines.
Other fans are not so sure.
One theory claims that the date line exists solely to set a time for the conversation we hear, not the events we see. The conversation still took place almost 100,000 years ago, the theory suggests, but Atriox, which unleashes Endless, goes down either during or shortly after the event Halo infinite. There is a precedent for such a lummer: Halo 4 drawn a similar trick with its legendary ending.
Halo infinite ends up with open-ended questions in addition to the question of time travel – specifically about who, or what, the Endless are. A Reddit user put forward the idea that the endless is actually the deluge, a hivemind species from the original glory trilogy, intent on eating all the sensuous life in the galaxy. Another user took that thought a step further and by assembling various glyphs and development assets from around the world glory oeuvre, compiled a compelling argument that The Endless is actually a hivemind, but is more technologically advanced than the Flood. (Seriously, the theory is ridiculously well researched, and worth reading in its entirety.)
Where or when glory going next, The Endless will definitely play a big role. In 2020, said developer 343 Industries to Halo infinite would not receive a successor, and would instead serve as a base platform for “the next ten years” with extensions and such. Last month, as NME reports, Microsoft filed a trademark for “Halo: The Endless.” maybe Halo infinite is still not so limited.
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