Within the studio walls, various teams around the studio are putting the finishing touches on all of the experiences that await you this fall. In one corner, the Halo Channel team can be found building an all new entertainment platform, and I can be found peeking in between desks in an attempt to get a sneak peek at Halo: Nightfall. In another corner, the Halo 5: Guardians team is finishing up various features that we’ll be talking about in the near future. And at my desk, endless amount of Halo: The Master Chief Collection “tests” are underway, in which I play an endless amount of multiplayer matches from each game. Conversations about featured playlists, tournaments, community events, and more fill the halls and conference rooms.
At the rare times when I manage to put my controller down and come up for air, I have the privilege of seeing all of these moving pieces in action, and I’m instantly excited about the games, programming, and experiences that await each of us over the course of the next few months and beyond. This anticipation generally leads to ponderings about what each of you are most excited about this fall, and it just so happens that we want to hear from you.
HFFL: As it just so happens, you will hear from us. I’ll be recording a podcast this weekend!
A Mini Giveaway
Between each of the titles in The Master Chief Collection, the Halo Channel, Halo: Nightfall, the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta, there’s a lot on the way, and we want to hear what you’re most excited about this fall. Whether it’s your favorite classic custom games or new storylines that will emerge, just send us a Tweet to be entered to win a limited edition Master Chief mini helmet, signed by the SDCC Halo panelists: Frank O’Connor, Dennis Ries, Max Hoberman, Franck Balson, and yours truly. There are only a few helmets that remain, and this is your chance to snag a rare few.
You can link to a tweet, YouTube video, Facebook, Instagram, or blog post, or a picture of your Halo 2 tattoo, and we’ll randomly select some winners this week – just tag our official @Halo account in the tweet. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
Last week, we began a new mini-series entitled “Canon Fodder” with one of our newest 343 Industries writers, GrimBrother One. In the coming weeks, he’ll be taking a look at the stories and events contained in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. If you’d like to catch the intro, head over to last week’s Bulletin. This week, we’re kicking things off by looking at events surrounding the discovery of Installation 04. Take it away, Grim.
September 19, 2552 is a date that holds significant importance for Xbox fans all across the globe. It’s a date that marks the beginning of our personal experience with the Master Chief. The moment Installation 04 comes into view and the eventual steps taken onto its surface are hallmarks of not just John-117’s introduction to Halo, but ours as well. Just as with all things Halo though, there is far more to the story than just what we initially see. The discovery of the first Halo ring was the culmination of a myriad of connected events, some simply good fortune, but many borne of careful planning or manipulative machination.
On the 18th of July, 2552, the Master Chief and other members of Blue Team won an important and harrowing ground battle with the Covenant on Sigma Octanus IV. During perhaps the most pivotal moment of the conflict, within the Côte d’Azur Museum of Natural History, they were able to claim the prize the Covenant were desperately after; a Forerunner artifact that would change the course of the war. Once in the hands of Dr. Catherine Halsey, the controversial but brilliant scientist was able to decipher the secret that the crystalline artifact contained: star coordinates, though not even Dr. Halsey could predict exactly what might be found there, and just how important it would be. The next two months would be a flurry of activity punctuated by the fall of Reach. Just when hope seemed lost, Captain Jacob Keyes and the crew of the UNSC Pillar of Autumn made what many thought was just another “blind jump” to escape the pursuing Covenant. Upon exiting slipspace, their next few days would be among the most important in human history. Let’s take a further look…
SEPTEMBER 19, 2552
Carrying Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 and Cortana, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn arrives in the Soell system by way of the information gleaned from the Sigma Octanus IV artifact, though the ship’s crew is unaware that this has been integrated by Cortana into the ship’s “random” trajectory. Upon their arrival, they bear witness to an enormous ringworld structure they will come to call “Halo” (Alpha Halo/Installation 04), anchored at the Lagrange point between the gas giant Threshold and its moon, Basis. Heavily damaged, and with the Covenant in pursuit, Keyes brings the Autumn down to the surface. While the Master Chief and Cortana extracts marines scattered across the ring’s surface, Keyes is captured by the Covenant and brought aboard the Covenant battlecruiser Truth and Reconciliation for interrogation.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2552
After the Master Chief leads a successful effort to free Keyes, the captain explains what he has learned from the Covenant: Halo is a weapon of incredible power and one which the enemy is desperately seeking to activate. The Master Chief and Cortana head to the “Silent Cartographer,” a map room which will show them the exact location of the ring’s control center, while Keyes, Sergeant Major Avery Johnson, and a squad of marines explore a potential weapons cache; but instead of finding an armament, they stumble upon a parasitic threat known as the Flood. The Master Chief and Cortana finally secure both the map room and the control room, but when they lose contact with Keyes’ squad, Cortana sends the Chief after him, only to discover the Flood has now been unleashed. While escaping from the containment facility and with the parasite in close pursuit, the Chief comes face-to-face with 343 Guilty Spark, a Forerunner AI which claims to be the monitor and caretaker of the Halo ring.
Next week, we’ll wrap up our look at the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. The story isn’t over there though, not by far. Hope you’ll stick with us…
HFFL: That’s a great summation of the story of Halo CE. It’s the TL:DR version.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen inquiries from those of you who want to see and hear about Halo: Combat Evolved within Halo: The Master Chief Collection. While we don’t have footage just yet (that is on the way, friends), we’ve got some in-game screenshots from Halo: Combat Evolved running on Xbox One, made them into fancy wallpapers, and also answered a few frequently asked questions. Should you have more questions about Halo: CE (or any of the other games contained within The Master Chief Collection), be sure to leave them in the discuss link or shoot ‘em over to me on Twitter.
Halo: CE FAQ
Q: Which custom game options will be available in Halo: CE within The Master Chief Collection?
A: All of the game types and custom game type options you remember from Halo: CE will be available in the custom games menu.
Q: Will Halo: CE Matchmaking include radar?
A: As is the case with all games within Halo: The Master Chief Collection, we will have a variety of experiences in Matchmaking that cater to a variety of playstyles. For example, you’ll be able to find Halo: CE games with radar enabled and disabled (in separate playlists).
Q: Will the PC exclusive Halo: CE maps be available for both custom games and Matchmaking?
A: Yes. The maps that were exclusive to PC for Halo: CE (and Halo 2) will be available in both custom games and Matchmaking.
Q: Will the PC weapons be available in Halo: CE?
A: You’ll be able to select your weapon set in Halo: CE from a brand new list of weapon sets, including “classic,” which will not include the Flamethrower or Fuel Rod Gun.
Q: Can we see screenshots from Halo: CE?
We’re sure you’ve got more questions, so be sure to send ‘em over.
Screenshot Spotlight: Autumn
Last week, we turned the spotlight on the DMR. Take a gander at the following autumn-colored screenshots, and maybe even find inspiration to make your own.
HFFL: There are two screens above I like. Emblazoned by RECEPTOR 17 and Hex by ComicBeast1212.
For your chance at being in the next spotlight, take a screenshot on Abandon and tag it with “Abandon” and “Halo Waypoint,” and maybe, just maybe, yours will be featured in the next Halo Bulletin!
HFFL: Ugh, my least favorite map of Halo 4.
And with that, this week’s Bulletin comes to a close.