Spartan Ops in next Halo game? Hmm, could be…

Thanks to a tweet by GoBeyondEntertainment, I got wind of this job posting from Microsoft. In it, they are looking for someone to fill a role in “future episodic storytelling endeavors in the Halo universe.”

MS Halo Spartan Ops job

Hmm, sounds like Spartan Ops to me. What do you think? Spartan ops or something else? If Spartan Ops, do you want to see that come back in the next Halo game?

I for one most CERTAINLY do! I loved this game mode. I enjoyed the vid clips of the story, the missions and most of the commendations. (That Crawler Sniper one was a pain in the arse though…)

Source Link

-Sal

Meet three of Fireteam Majestic!

meetmajestic

Here are three of Fireteam Majestic as seen in the newly released Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide by DK (which you can find on sale at Amazon here):

demarco_660grant_660hoya_660

I will be receiving my copy of this book later today and will have a review of it tomorrow. I plan on reading this cover to cover first though!!!

Now if we only had a Season TWO of Spartan Ops. Am I right?!!!

-Sal

 

Podcast: Halo 4 Spartan Ops Epilogue

It’s been a long time in coming, but finally POD Dust Storm and I finally recorded our final Podcast for the first season of Spartan Ops. In this episode we talk about the final cut scene, and if there is a second season of Spartan Ops what and where could it take place.

      Listen/Download

I had SO much fun, thinking out loud and brainstorming in the episode. It was our first that we did LIVE via Twitch.tv.

While this was the last for SpOps season one, you can be sure if there is a season two, we’ll be back with more podcasts! (And I with more comic book!!!) If you haven’t seen those comic books I did for each episode, please check out these links to view each comic book:

Spartan Ops Episode 1: Departure comic book
Spartan Ops Episode 2: Artifact (comic book)
Spartan Ops Episode 3: Catherine (comic book)
Spartan Ops Episode 4 Comic Book: Didact’s Hand
Spartan Ops Episode 5 Comic Book: Memento Mori
Spartan Ops Episode 6 comic book! SCATTERED
Spartan Ops Episode 7: Invasion comic book
Spartan Ops Episode 8: Expendable Comic Book
Spartan Ops Episode 9: KEY comic book
Spartan Ops Episode 10: EXODUS comic book

or easier yet, feel free to download the whopping 160MB graphic novel (in PDF format) that includes all episodes and a little extra content not included in the individual comics.

And for everything I’ve covered on Spartan Ops, you can always go to the category section here: http://halofanforlife.com/?cat=34

I want to thank Dustin from Podtacular.com for having me on his podcast and for bringing me back each week. I had a great time recording these and I hope you good folks had fun listening to them. Dustin, thanks again man. I look forward to doing more podcasts with you, even if they aren’t Spartan ops related.

-Sal

Two Podcasts coming soon. Day one E3 review and Spartan Ops season one finale.

I eluded to doing a podcast the other day. This one was for the Day 1 review of E3. In that podcast I broke down the Halo 5 trailer (as I’ve posted as such on the blog). We also reviewed the other game trailers and talked about the specs and rules for XB1’s online play, with a little comparison to Sony’s PS4.

Last night I along with Dust from Podtacular recorded another Podcast. This was done live via TwitchTv.

Last night’s Podcast was our final one regarding Spartan Ops Season One. We talked about the CG Epilogue and then went into some fun speculation and brainstorming as to what a season two of Spartan Ops might be about and when it might come about.

Dust hasn’t posted it just yet. I think he’s still editing the previous Podcast…Once he gets it up on his site, I’ll link to it here.

In the meantime, let me give a synopsis of some of the ideas I came up with for a SpOps Season 2.

With Requiem being thrown into the star of it’s solar system, we obviously can’t visit there. So this leaves us with Majestic being on the UNSC Infinity. What do they do now and where do they go? And WHY?

• There is always following up on the season ending cut scene with Halsey wanting Revenge. In doing so the Infinity could be used to chase her/Jul M’dama down.
-Chasing could be done on homeworlds of the former Covenant, finally getting to see the Grunt’s homeworld, maybe the Jackals, and Sanghelios would be something I think many would LOVE to see and visit in Spartan Ops.
– If not homeworlds, then colony worlds of the covenant. Makes sense as again, we’re chasing Jul’s Storm Faction of the Covenant and Covenant colony worlds would likely be welcoming of he and his fleet. Certainly more so than the UNSC Infinity.
– Searching former places Halsey has used as a base of operations. This would include Reach as well as Trevelyan. Since Trevelyan is a “Dyson” sphere Forerunner world there could be lots of opportunity to explore there. Also, Trevelyan was the place in which Jul M’dama was held prisoner for awhile. So he might want to exact some revenge there himself.

• Other than the Halsey story arc, we could see the Infinity investigating a resurgence of the human Insurgency that was prevalent pre-Covenant war. Dustin brought it up that people might not want to fight against fellow humans though. True enough. It was just and idea that I thought of while brainstorming SpOps Season 2.

• Another thought is that the UNSC does finally get the second part of the Janus key somehow and starts to explore other Forerunner installations. That story arc could go just about anywhere.

Chew on those ideas for a bit. Once Dust gets those links up, I’ll post them here and you can have a listen for yourselves. The E3 podcast was a long one at around 3 1/2 hours. We have a panel of folks.

Last night’s Spartan Ops finale was just under 2 hours and was solely Dust and myself. I think I talked the most during that one, LOL. Once I get started brainstorming, it’s hard for me to turn off the engine sometimes…

-Sal

Spartan ops season 2?

I’ve talked about this before. However, since we’ve now seen the XBOX One reveal and have some news of the games being released at it’s launch (No Halo titles), I’ve decided to revisit this topic.

With Halo 5 still a couple of years out, Spartan Ops season two really needs to be made.

Yes, we’re getting a Halo TV show, but only if you get the XB1. (Though I imagine someone is going to try a get that onto Youtube).

Then there is that Halo Bootcamp whatever it is….

Halo 2 Anniversary has been confirmed by Frank O’Conner as NOT being in production. There are no Halo titles due to release at the time of the XB1 launch.

So where does that leave us then for Spartan Ops?

Do we really need to wait 2 years until Halo 5?

343 had stated that this would be ongoing. That didn’t even happen with season one as there was that several week pause in-between Episode 5 and 6. That being for that ridiculous tournament (I still haven’t seen the winner named for the Spartan Ops portion of that contest.)

So what’s the hold-up? Yes, SpOps S1 ended with Halsey saying she wants revenge. Is that a plot point for Halo 5 or season 2? If it’s for Halo 5 fine. That doesn’t mean Spartan Ops can’t continue with a sideline story. I’d like to see Majestic/Crimson deal with other part of Jul’s armada. Then there is the rising Insurrectionist threat. Perhaps we could travel to Trevelyan and discover new Forerunner tech there with Prometheans to battle. (Trevelyan being the Dyson-sphere like world from the novels-and a good way to tie in that lore with the games even more)

I considered Spartan Ops to be a hit. I wonder if 343 did and what parameters they used for that assessment. If they do consider it a hit, then they need to continue with it to keep Halo in the forefront between the major game title. Again, not everyone is going to be able to get the XB1 at launch to be able to enjoy any Halo related content there.

Would a season two cost money? I’d be okay with that as long as it wasn’t too costly. At MOST, I’d be willing to spend $15-20, for season two. However, for that cost, I would hope there wouldn’t be as much reuse of maps.

In any event, Spartan Ops needs to come back and before Halo 5, IMHO.

-Sal

Spartan Ops: a discussion of facts and circumstances.

I replied to a forumite on Halo Waypoint regarding the ending of Spartan ops season one as well as addressed some of their questions regarding Spartan Ops (SpOps) in general.

Below is Claymore155’s queries and my reply.

Claymore155: …As for Spartan Ops, no clue. In all honesty, it could go in any direction. Halsey says she wants revenge but she never been so strait forward about her true intentions. This is also a great opportunity for the new Spartan IV’s to mature and start acting the way a Spartan should. (And something needs to be done about Palmer).
I know you play as Fire-team Crimson, but the story seems to follow Majestic, so the gameplay is (once again, only in my opinion) not that crucial to the story. Majestic team was actually starting to work and think like a team towards the end of the season, so they cold have a lot of potential.

HFFL: Agreed that there is SO much potential here with the Spartan Ops story. I hope we don’t have to wait until Halo 5 comes out for it to have more episodes/missions. Unfortunately, I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Each download of SpOps is huge. Some people have complained about that. More episodes would tie up space on people’s memory to the point where they might not even be able to play new episodes/missions due to too much space being taken up.

Agreed, that finally by the end of SpOps Majestic is acting more like a real Spartan squad and yeah, Palmer needs an adjustment, IMO.

Claymore155: Maybe Master Chief will get involved in the story as well. I personally wold like to find out what happened to Buck’s ODST squad for Halo 3: ODST.

HFFL: There are plenty of fans, count me in there, that would like to see the ODSTs return, specifically Buck. Especially if he became a Spartan IV.

Claymore155: 1.) In the first missions of Spartan Ops season 1, why did everyone act like they had never seen Promethean combatants before?

The storyline is supposed to take place several months after the main Halo 4 campaign ends. By that point, the Infinity with all of its advanced technology should have simulations to practice fighting the Promethians or at least had the time to educate the crew onboard about them.
The first few missions seem like the Infinity is running in with no previous experience with Promethians. It could be argued that Palmer is trying to share some “wisdom” with Crimson when they first see an enemy, but based on her character, I think she was basically saying spray and pray.

HFFL: Watch the first episode of SpOps again. Majestic and Crimson are NEW to the Infinity. They are brought on board right before Infinity slips to Requiem. Palmer wanted to run them through War Games for 48 hours, but Lasky said no, that the UNSC wanted them ready to go. (Not tired from War Games I’d assume) Essentially Lasky was saying he wanted boots on the ground the moment they exited slipspace at Requiem.

Claymore155: 2.) Why are there still Covenant around Requiem?

This one i probably my fault for not understanding. I just remember that when the Didact left Requiem to get the Composer, all (or what I thought was all) of the Covenant forces followed him.
I know they would probably want to return, but after the huge battle with the UNSC in Earth’s orbit, I wouldn’t think the Covenant would have enough ships, troops, and resources to go back before the humans. It just seems odd that after a huge defeat like that above Earth, the Covenant would been be able to dig in with such a large military presence before the UNSC could even get one ship out there.

HFFL: Fairly simple here. Jul M’dama’s “Storm” faction went back to Requiem to get as many of the Forerunner secrets as possible. Read the Kilo-5 books ([i]Glasslands[/i] and [i]The Thursday War[/i]) and you’ll gain a new appreciation for Jul’s forces. Those promise to ramp up even more in the third Kilo-5 book that takes place right before the events of Halo 4. Jul has assembled a large force of Covenant, now “Storm.” The UNSC/humanity is still reeling from the decades long war the the Covies, not to mention the destruction of New Phoenix just 6 months prior to going back to Requiem. They can’t devote a huge force to go back to Requiem. Sending the Infinity back is a logical solution, but not until they have the ground personnel they need to take Requiem from the Covies.

Enter the new large faction of Spartans now on the Infinity. Note in Episode 1 of SpOps that Palmer speaks of “old hands.” She’s referring to the smaller contingent of Spartans that were already on Infinity the first time they went to Requiem.

Also, don’t forget that the Infinity was repurposed to be a scientific exploration vessel and not a war machine. It took those 6 months after the Didact’s attack on Earth to formulate a plan for return to Requim. This included adding many more Spartan teams. (Note that Palmer was a Lieutenant during the campaign and was promoted to Commander at the beginning of SPartan Ops. This denotes the much larger presence of Spartan teams for which she is in charge of). Beyond this, the Infinity needed to add more personnel. Military for defense and Scientific for exploring/exploiting the Forerunner tech found on Requiem.

Claymore155: 3.) The way Halsey didn’t know that Master Chief was onboard doesn’t fit in.

Halsey is smart, but it’s not impossible to hide things from her. However, Master Chief’s presence tends to fill the air of where ever he is, yet no one seemed to be talking about him.
Master Chief is not one to sit out of a fight, especially when other people’s lives are in danger. And when when he fights, he (even unknowing) makes his presence known. So when the Infinity was boarded, why didn’t Halsey hear or see Chief? She was with Lasky, the acting commanding officer of the ship. Master Chief would do all he can to find and protect Lasky, or at least go out of his way to receive direct orders from him either in person or over a communication cannel (which were being jammed so he would have to meet up with him in person). Yet Halsey never saw John or even heard him some form of radio.

HFFL: Master Chief is not on board the Infinity at the time of SpOps. So that does explain a lot. As well, Halsey is brought on board Infinity as a prisoner. It’s safe to assume that only essential personnel had contact with her and that they were under strict orders not to talk of Master Chief being on board previously.

As for where Chief is at during the events of SpOps, that may have to wait for Halo 5, if not another novel before then.

-Sal

Halo 4 Spartan Ops Glitch – Out of Infinity + Exploration

Thanks to Halobungie.org for tweeting this. Specific thanks to IamTOOLBOX for finding the glitch and Youtubing it.

-Sal

Halo 4 Spartan Ops, Departure (with Podtacular) featured on HaloWaypoint.com

h4so1

I’ve had the good fortune and fun to had done 10 podcasts with POD Dust Storm of Podtacular.com regarding the episodes of Spartan Ops.

Starting this week and continuing for the next 10 weeks, HaloWaypoint will be rereleasing these podcasts on the main page for you to enjoy.

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to these podcast yet, PLEASE give yourself that opportunity. Not only did we have fun making them, I believe the information within each podcast can be of great help to you, especially if you’ve never played Spartan Ops, or haven’t finished it.

You can go here to

      download the first episode's podcast
.

If you dont’ want to download it, but still listen to it, you can go to Podtacular’s page.

Let me know if you’ve listened to any of the podcasts. Did you enjoy them?

-Sal

That Xbox Show – The Making of Halo 4: Spartan Ops // Extended Edition

Have you had an opportunity to see the comic books/graphic novel I created from the Spartan Ops CG series? If not, PLEASE take a look. The following link will take you to the Spartan Ops section of my blog where you can find all the comics and most recently a link to download the complete series as a compiled graphic novel.
As well, I’ve been a guest host for podcasts with “Podtacular” another popular fan site. podtacular.com
There we’ve discussed each CG episode and it’s corresponding 5 mission chapters. As we progressed with the story doing a podcast per episode, the discussions got longer. This due in part to the added details of the story and the new spaces to game in with the later chapters. As well, we both became far more acquainted with Spartan Ops and had so much more to talk about with regards to how it crossed the bridge between the game, novels, and other story telling outlets.
-Sal

The Janus Key (from Spartan Ops Episode 9) and it’s real world correlation

343 has done a great job of bringing in real world references into Halo 4. One of the best examples of this is the Janus Key. I did a search on the net and found the following fascinating info. Amazing how this all fits in very well with how the episode plays out.

Be forewarned the following text has a highly religious tone. I am not promoting religion in any way, just the correlation between the Janus Key and how it relates to the real world belief of Janus the Roman deity.

janus12

Janus, the ambivalent Indo-European deity with two faces, one on each side of the head, was one of the earliest gods of Rome. Originally the god of gods and benevolent creator, he became the god of change and transitions such as the progression of past to future, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, and of one universe to another. He was god of the gate and the presiding deity of the beginning of anything.

The opening month of the year (January, from janua, “gate”) was sacred to him, as was the first day of each month. He presided over the start and the vestals took care of the completion of any enterprise. He ruled the birth of gods, the cosmos, mankind and its undertakings. As warden of gates, which he opened and closed, he was depicted with a doorkeeper’s keys and staff. His two faces meant that he watched entrances as well as exits, and saw into the internal as well as the external world, left and right, above and below, before and after, for and against. His shrines were archways, such as gateways or arcades at crossing places. (Taken from Dictionary of Symbols, Jean Chevalier & Alain Gheerbrant).

Let us look now at the esoteric symbolism of Janus, especially in connection to arcane Christian Mysteries. A curious document expressly representing Christ in the form of Janus shows a cartouche painted on a detached page of a fifteen century manuscript found at Luchon, in France. This painting ends the leaf for the month of January in the prefatory calendar of the book. At the summit of the medallion is the monogram “I.H.S” (for Hiesou, Greek for “Jesus”) surmounted by a heart.

The rest of the medallion features a bust of Janus and his dual function in the harmonization and blending of his/her dual nature. The two faces represent a male and female; they both share one crowned head, which we will discuss later on. The male figure holds a sceptre in his hand and his female counterpart holds a key.

In reproducing this document, Charbonneau-Lassay writes: “On Roman monuments, Janus is shown crowned as in the cartouche of Luchon, with the sceptre in the right hand, because he is king; he holds in the other hand a key which opens and closes the epochs; this is why, by extension of this idea, the Romans consecrated to him the doorways of houses and the gates to cities.

Christ, also like the ancient Janus, holds the royal sceptre to which he is entitled by his Heavenly Father as well as by his earthly ancestry. His other hand holds the key to the eternal secrets, the key colored by his blood which opens the doorway of  life for lost humanity.”

To translate the Christ mystery into our own language, the “cartouche” shows the process and the result that it brings about in a seeker. It shows us the level of consciousness we call the Cosmic Christ or Cosmic Consciousness. In the Christic Mysteries, the seeker who has reached this level of attainment is called a “Son of God.”

Before going deeper into the symbolic meaning of Janus, let us look at what Charbonneau-Lassay meant by the word “blood.” In an esoteric and spiritual context, blood represents all the integral qualities of fire, heat and vitality inherent to the Sun and the Cosmic Christ. Therefore, according to mystical tradition, blood represents new life, new beginnings and resurrection. By “blood of Christ,” Charbonneau-Lassay means a spiritual and alchemical process of purification from all past karma so as to receive “new blood” and reach a new level of spiritual energy. This means that this process brings about a complete renewal and the birth of a “Son of God” in the flesh.

The symbolic image of Janus/Jana is androgynous, since the masculine and feminine energies and qualities are in complete balance and harmony and their respective attributes makes the head of Janus/Jana crowned. This shows us that their dual nature unites at the mind level and becomes one complete new being. Some authors regard Jana as Diana/Artemis, a lunar goddess representing the feminine aspect of Janus. Janus is also a lunar symbol but it represents another aspect of the lunar process that is more active and masculine. Hence when observed separately, each of the figures of Janus/Jana represents the psychic energies within the seeker that have been transformed and purified, each holding his/her own virtue and function.

The crown that harmonizes and unites them after their “mystical wedding” gives rise to the third face, which remains invisible and represents the crowning of the great work, the androgynous level of consciousness where God incarnates in the seeker. Thus, the seeker knows in all humility that he is a Son of God. For this reason, the crown is a solar symbol and, therefore, the two streams of the moon within the seeker blend, and from a level of duality, they unite with the Sun symbol of the Father and God. The alchemical symbol of the rebis reminds us of the same principle hidden behind the cartouche of Janus/Jana.

Whenever the symbolism of Janus relates to time, between the past (which is no longer) and the future (which is not yet), the true Face of Janus—that which looks at the present and is supposed to face us—is not shown; it is neither one nor the other of the two we can see. This third face is, in fact, invisible because the present in its temporal manifestation is but an intangible and imperceptible instant. (This is also why certain languages, such as Hebrew and Arabic, do not have present tense verbs.)

Thus, the seeker lives on a different plane of existence, since he is “invisible” and does not dwell in the past or the future. He is awake in the present, and is not affected by his past or his future. He trusts only the present moment because he lives in the spirit, which contains all reality. (Hmm, does this sound like Master Chief?) This third, invisible face of Janus reminds us of the sacred and divine face of the Cosmic Christ, the Divine Face hidden within the “seed.” Thus this little cartouche contains all the keys and tools of the mystical process of this great mystery.

Hindu tradition has a similar symbol: the third eye of Shiva that is also invisible and not represented by any corporeal organ. This invisible eye represents the “sense of eternity,” and its glance is said to reduce everything to ashes, to destroy all manifestation, and purifies and transforms karma, keeping only what is pure in the eternal present. Thus the apparent destruction is, in reality, a transformation of the old ways into no ways, no opinions, no judgments, no limitations, living “out of time” and yet in it.

Thus we see that Janus represents he who is not only the “master of the triple time (past/future/present—a designation that Hinduism also applies to Shiva), but also, and above all else, he is the Lord of Eternity.

In the New Testament, Christ said, “I am the alpha and omega,” the beginning and the end. The master of time cannot himself be subject to time, which has its principle in him, just as, according to Aristotle, the prime mover of all things or the universal principle of movement is necessarily immobile. It is the center that is everywhere, and its circumference nowhere.

Janus is portrayed as holding the sceptre and the key. Now, like the crown, the sceptre is the emblem of royal power. Seen from a mystical perspective, they symbolize one who has reached the highest level of Cosmic Consciousness as an awakened master of himself and of his own destiny. Furthermore, since the sceptre is on his right, or masculine, side he represents, in an initiatory sense, the inner spiritual power of the mystic. The key, on his left, or feminine, side represents Jana, his complement, or Sophia, the higher intuition and intelligence within a mystic that holds the key to the kingdom. The crown symbolizes the three principles in a mystic, i.e., his mystical wedding or the union of the two opposites on the axial neutral pole of pure Consciousness and Being. According to Hebrew Kabbalah symbolism, the right and left correspond respectively to two Divine attributes: mercy (CHESED) and justice (GEBURAH). On one level, this shows that the seeker judges no one except himself, and on a more spiritual level, it proves that the invisible part or third face is the real judge of the living and dead, the one that conveys harmony and peace. This small cartouche, therefore, shows us that when the masculine and feminine energies within the mystic function properly and in harmony, then the mystical wedding takes place in the seeker, bringing about his/her own invisible face and presence of Cosmic Consciousness. This invisible presence also has the symbolic name of Melchizedek.

Sometimes Janus is shown with two keys, those of the solstice gates, Janua Celi and Janua Inferni (I wonder if we’ll see those names pop up in Halo?), corresponding respectively to the winter and summer solstices, the two extremes in the sun’s annual course, for as master of time, Janus is the janitor who opens and closes this cycle. Janus is also the god of initiation into the mysteries. (The word “initiation” derives from in-ire, or enter (again the symbolism of the gate). Christ said, “I am the Way“—another connection between Janus and Christ?)

Turning to their initiatory symbolism, Janus as the god of initiation has two keys, gold and silver, that represent the greater mysteries and the lesser mysteries, and the celestial and terrestrial paradises, respectively. Because Janus is also the master of the solstices, with ascending and descending cycles that begin at the winter and summer solstice respectively, he is also the Master of the Two Ways to which the solstice gates give access, the ways of the right and the left, which the Pythagoreans represented by the letter “Y,” represented exoterically in the myth of Hercules as the ways of virtue and vice.

In Hindu tradition, these same two ways are termed the “Way of the Gods” (deva-yana) and the “Way of the Ancestors” (pitri-yana). The symbolism of Ganesha has many parallels with that of Janus. He, too, is the Master of the Two Ways and therefore Lord of Knowledge, echoing the idea of initiation into the mysteries. Finally these two ways could be construed as those of the heavens and of the hells. However, for seekers, these two ways are part of an initiatory process, the right side representing ascension into heaven and the left, descent into hell—cycles of purification that the seeker must undergo.

So Janus/Jana acquire their powers and virtues only after the seeker has successfully entered and purified his own karmic “inner hell,” a long and gradual process. The more the soul of the seeker “allows” him to descend into the depth of his personal “hell,” the more he is elevated and ascends to a level of “heaven” that corresponds to the level of consciousness that he has achieved through purification. These spiritual “operations” are linked together and can never be separated. (Hmm, I wonder if this is something Halsey will have to do? Or possible Chief?)

Credit to this site for the text above:

Okay, so having read all that, there could be some truly amazing things in store for Halo. The Janus Key in episode 9 of Spartan Ops is supposed to unlock the location of all Forerunner locations. It’s a means to launch humanity forward greatly in evolution through technology. Seeing how the key looks in episode 9 and there being a reference to a “Y” shaped configuration, might it be possible that the key could be combined this way to unlock yet more secrets that the Librarian did not show? In the episode, she locks the Key together to form a rectangular configuration.

If anything, I once again have to applaud whomever did their research at 343 regarding Janus and bringing that into Halo in the form of the Janus Key.

-Sal

 

 

Podcast w/Podtacular re: Spartan Ops Episode 9 Key

Last night I recorded a podcast with POD Dust Storm of Podtacular. This is the next installment of our review of each episode and a break down of each playable chapter. This time we talk about episode 9, “KEY.”

You can download the podcast

      here
. You can also listen to it at Podtacular without having to download it here.

Beyond talking about the episode and chapters, during the podcast, I also briefly talk about the Janus Key and it’s real world correlation. Look for an article about that shortly.

New/Returning enemies for Spartan Ops season Two and future games?

A poll was put up in the HaloWaypoint forums about what we’d like to see in terms of new and returning enemies (ones that didn’t make the cut in Halo 4) being brought into Spartan Ops season Two. (If there is a season two)

Below are the choices that were presented as well as my “For and Against” discussion. Read on and PLEASE leave a reply letting me know which of these you’d be for or against and why.

Here’s a for and against for each:
Brutes
For: Big and bulky, these guys were feared in Halo 2 and 3. They were easily a match for an Elite.
Against: That’s one of the problems…they were a match against elites. 343 wants Elites to be the main Covie enemy
Drones
For: We definitely need an aerial Covie enemy and the Yan’Me fit this nicely. Coming in swarms they could be a real pain in the arse.
Against: Potential lag? IMO, they do resemble smaller versions of Promethean Knights. Not exact, just similar.
Engineers
For: Okay, they are NOT an enemy class, but they do bolster the shields of enemies. They look cool as hell.
Against: They take up a true enemy slot that we could be killing otherwise
Skirmishers
For: Nasty and fast
Against: 343 would have to recreate them to look like their Halo 4 Jackal cousins.
New Promethean Types
For: Having only 3 Promethean types was kind of slim for a new enemy class. Would be great to see something else.
Against: With Requiem gone, are there any Prometheans left?
New Covenant Species
For: Definitely would love to see a new race found by the Covies.
Against: People like what they know. Plus this would have to be explained. Maybe Halo 5? Also, would they be part of the storm faction or the original covies?
Flood
For: Lots of people want to fight them again.
Against: I’m not one of them…
Sentinels
For: Flying enemies can always be a pain since they can find you anywhere from any angle
Against: We now have Promethean Watchers
• Drinols/Sharquoi http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Drinol
For: WHO? Okay, a new race. Given their description though, they sound much like Hunters and we already have them.
Against: WHO? See above. Besides, they were cut from Halo 2 for a reason. Whatever that reason is, let’s just let sleeping dogs lye.
• Insurrectionists
For: It’s about time we see the UNSC put these guys down!
Against: Killing your own kind? EWWW

As far as these choices, I’d personally like to see the following back Halo:
Brutes I’d LOVE to see what a 343 designed Brute would look like. I miss those guys!
Drones Pesky yeah, but they were darn fun to shoot apart in previous games.
Engineers (though not as enemies) Come on, who doesn’t want Virgil back? (If you need to ask, then go play Halo 3: ODST first)
Skirmishers Another race I’d love to see 343 evolve. Since they are direct relations to Jackals, can you imagine a Halo 4/343 version?
Insurrectionists They are on the rise again now that the Covenant war is over. Would be one heck of a direction to move into. Perhaps the Innies might have their own super soldier(s)?

-Sal

Latest Spartan Ops Podcast with POD Dust Storm.

Last night I once again co-hosted Podtacular with POD Dust Storm. We talk about Spartan Ops Episode 8 and it’s subsequent chapters in detail as well as have some fun along the way with other tangents.

You can download the full episode here: 

      http://www.podtacular.com/media/podtacular/podh4so8-expendable.mp3

-Sal

We have a winner! (Spartan Ops Graphic Novel contest)

HFFL reader “GeneralDiaz” has answered correctly. There were 9 new pages added. They are as follows: 1 (New front cover), 122 (Dedication and Thank You page), 214 (Majestic Map Pack ad), 252 (Castle Map Pack ad),the following 5 pages are all character profiles: 295, 296, 297, 298, 299.

A set of McFarlane series 2 Halo Avatar figures will be coming your way, once you send me your address.

Thanks to all who downloaded the graphic novel. I hope you enjoyed the comics as well as the graphic novel.

I hope there will be a season two so we can do this all over again.

-Sal

Spartan Ops Season One Graphic Novel completed! (all 10 episode comic books in one document)

It’s here! Whew. This is the OFFICIAL article for replying to the Spartan Ops Graphic Novel contest. See this link for contest rules.

Spartan Ops Season One Graphic Novel COVER_sm

Download the full resolution Spartan Ops Season One Graphic Novel. The file is in PDF format. (This file is nearly 160mb, so it’s going to take some time to download.)

My thanks and a dedication:

First and foremost, I’d like to thank my wife for putting up with my many late night and well into the morning hours I put into this project. Secondly, thanks to BS Angel for her kind responses to the series. Thirdly, POD Dust Storm of podtacular.com. He and I spent many hours playing and replaying missions in Spartan Ops.Sometimes for fun, but mostly for research. Over the course of several months I co-hosted on his podcast with regards to Spartan Ops episodes and missions. Thanks Dust, it was a BLAST. Fourthly and most certainly not least, you the readers. I loved getting messages from you with nice things to say. There were times when I was wondering if people were reading these comic books. Through BS Angel’s promotion of them on HaloWaypoint.com as well as the previously mentioned podtacular.com, I think I can call this a success.

I want to dedicate this graphic novel to 343 in general for developing Halo 4. Specifically the team of folks who worked on Spartan Ops, including David Ellis and Chris Haluke. (Apologies that I don’t know all of the Spartan Ops team or they would have all been mentioned.)

This 300 page graphic novel is brought to you free by HaloFanForLife.com. If you have enjoyed the individual comic books and/or this graphic novel and would like to donate to the blog, please feel free to send a donation via paypal to: sal@halofanforlife.com. Any and all donations are graciously accepted.

I had a lot of fun creating this comic book series and graphic novel. Along the way I Photoshopped more than 1500 screenshots, not all of them making the final cut. The total time spent on the 10 episode series of comic books and graphic novel was over 200 hours.

While I started off fairly new to comic book design, I’ve been a graphic designer and production artist for more than 15 years. I’d like to think that over these past few months I was able to improve the design of each successive comic book. You be the judge of that though by leaving a reply below.

Now bring on Season TWO!
-Sal