Halo Concept Art: Halo 4 Spartan Armor

Hello again folks. This is the second of today’s two concept art articles. Earlier we looked at equipment of Halo 4, no we look at just some of the concept art for multiplayer armor in Halo 4.

Shall we begin?

halo_4_unsc_spartan_armor_scout_by_albert_ngThe Scout. Also known as Commander Sarah Palmer’s armor. The helmet redesign reflects that of the one from Halo 3. These and others to follow that show the armor in orthogonal views give dimension to the art. One thing I remain curious about is the lack of armor around the mid-section. I know 343 said that they reduced the profile of the armor to allow for more realistic movement in game. However, that really seems to leave the character exposed. Still, I’d take this armor over anything currently used in today’s militaries of the world.

Scout armor trivia:
• Did you know that Spartan Jun from Noble team of Halo Reach wore a version of Scout armor?
• It is for that reason above the Palmer chooses to wear Scout armor. It’s an homage to Jun, who recruited her into the Spartan IV program.

halo_4_unsc_spartan_armor_recon_by_albert_ngThe Halo 4 version of the armor does not look much like it’s predecessor, other than the helmet. To be honest, that to me is what makes the armor identifiable.

Recon Armor Trivia:
• I can has Recon? This was a popular saying back in the Halo 3 days.
• The armor wasn’t available for the longest time. It was only for Bungie employees.
• On a rare occasion, they would award it to a gamer for doing something above and beyond.
• Eventually, the armor was made available through Vid-Master Challenges.
• IIRC, well after that, it was finally given away free.
• In Halo 4, Spartan Madsen of Fireteam Majestic wears the Recon armor. He’s a Sniper. Good thing for someone who does recon, eh?

halo_4_unsc_spartan_armor_eva_by_albert_ngThe EVA armor. Again, other than the helmet, the rest of the armor is of a new design. While this helmet reflects that of previous EVA iterations, in-game it has a move tapered visor, rather than the much more rounded version form Halo 3 and Reach.

EVA Armor Trivia:
• Spartan Emile from Noble team in Reach wears a version of EVA armor. However, his has been heavily modified. In fact, he etched in a skull-like visage into the visor to evoke fear in the enemies he faces.

halo_4_skins_pr01_by_paul_richardsFor the first time, we didn’t just have secondary colors that looked about the same for each armor set, we now got “skins”. These specialized skins were aesthetic in nature. However they gave us something to work for while playing Halo 4. In the above a color palette much like Chocolate Mint is shown. That is great use complimentary colors. They contrast well so that we the viewer are able to immediately determine what is the base color of the armor and what is the “skinned” portion of the armor.
Some skins in Halo 4 are fairly tough to get. I’m almost done with commendations, at 97%. And yet, those last few elude me.
Of the skins shown above, I think only one of them or a close variant of it,made it in-game.
The one I liked the best of those above has to be the bottom right. That EOD helmet most definitely says “SKULL” to me!

halo_4_mp_spartan_scanner_helmet_by_kory_lynn_hubbellThe Scanner Helmet. I really like the design of this helmet. In the graphic we get to see what it would look like without the scanner itself. It would have been very cool to have been able to choose if we wanted the visor up or down. Maybe the next game will have choices like that.

Scanner Helmet trivia:
• The Scanner helmet was an exclusive. Due to fan complaints of this, 343 reversed that and made it more readily available to everyone.
• IIRC, the inspiration for this helmet came from Clone Commander Cody in Star Wars Revenge of the Sith.  (Don’t quote me on that though, as I can’t find the source)

halo_4_mp_armors_warmaster_by_kory_lynn_hubbell_and_robo_gaboWar Master Armor. This by far is my favorite helmet design of Halo 4. I’m a HUGE Iron Man fan. This helmet is the closest one to that helmet. Other than just a couple of days ago, I’ve used that helmet in Halo 4 fro well over a year. Why did I change armor? Well, now I’ve gone to an armor set-up that is as close the the new character from Halo5 Guardians. (See below)

My H4 Spartan-H5 Spartan
The only other helmet that I think might be better is the Deadeye helmet. And of course that is the ONLY one I do not have… 🙁

halo_4_mp_armors_soldier_by_kory_lynn_hubbell_and_robo_gaboThis Spartan segues nicely as it uses the same helmet I have from above. It’s the Soldier armor set. Other than the rounded dome, this armor set looks “tough”. The addition of the pouches harkens back a little to Halo CE’s Master Chief.

Soldier Armor Trivia:
• This armor set is used by Spartan Paul DeMarco, Fireteam Majestic’s leader.
• It’s also worn by Spartan Scruggs in the comic book series Halo Escalation. That armor is white primary/yellow secondary

halo_4_mp_armors_orbital_by_kory_lynn_hubbell_and_robo_gaboThe Orbital armor seen above feels and looks more like EVA armor to me. It’s a decent design. Personally, if I had other choices, I’d never wear a helmet that has a large visor. It just hollers out,”SHOOT ME HERE.”

halo_4_mp_armors_infiltrator_by_kory_lynn_hubbell_and_robo_gaboThe Infiltrator armor, the helmet in particular is quite a departure from helmets we’ve seen in the past. While the basic shape is similar, it’s in the faceplate that the difference are the strongest. This is one mean looking Spartan!

halo_4_mp_armors_final_rogue_small_by_kory_lynn_hubbellRogue Armor. (Not Rouge as many people spell it…LOL) This is another design that I liked a lot. Not so much the helmet, but the torso harness as well as the shoulder armor. The skins you get for the shoulders help to make this one stand out.  This is a solid, well designed set of Mjolnir armor.

halo_4_mp_armor_stalker_secondarycolor_by_paul_richardsStalker…wait what? Heh, the name itself has always bothered me. I know what it seems 343 was going for, but that word has a negative connotation to it. Consequently, I never use it. It’s not a bad design, though the flat top of the helmet is really different.

And finally a concept of what likely is Gungnir armor. I love the level of detail in this piece.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our little journey into some of the multiplayer armor of Halo 4. If so, let me know by replying below.

Tomorrow, we look at weapon concepts of Reach, then the following day, weapon concepts of Halo 4.


Halo Wars 2??

In an article on gamespot.com, Phil Spencer talks of RTS games for the XBOX One. Halo Wars 2 is mentioned. Here are the Halo related excerpts from the article:

Phil Spencer Head of XBOX

• Spencer told IGN earlier this year that he thought the original Halo Wars, which was exclusive to Xbox 360, was fun and expressed interest in seeing a new one. He also suggested it was possible that such a game could be developed internally due to there not being many “great RTS developers out there anymore.”
• His Favorite Halo game is Halo 2.

Okay, not much, right? However, it is very good news that Spencer would consider it. Even more so to do it internally. That would mean 343 would have a hand in it and not another company who might not know Halo as well.

To read the full article, click the source link below.

Source Link

Special thanks to HaloArchive for tweeting the link.


Modded Halo 3 Covie vs Covie battles!

Gamecheat13 made this vid of various Covenant vs other Covenant. Stay through the whole vid to see the fun BONUS rounds!

Normally I’m not much of a proponent for modded stuff. This though is FUN!
I wish we, the average gamer, had the ability to do this.

You can find this and more at Gamecheat13’s YouTube channel HERE.


An extra edition of the Spirit of Fire Podcast: Halo 5 Guardians Theories!

Spirit of Fire Podcast LOGO_R-sm

We just recorded a podcast two days ago…Yet here we are again. This time Martin and I (well mostly me) talk about my theories about the new character as well as the location of the concept art.

You’ll forgive me that my voice might sour a little muted. With all of the talking I did with other fans about Halo 5 Guardians in the past two days, my throat has become a little irritated. But I just HAD to get these theories out to you to listen too and hopefully form theories for yourself.

Fore-warning…a bit into this episode, my dog passed gas…I had to turn the fan on, so it may be a little hard to hear for a couple of minutes. (Apologies on that, and YES IT WAS MY DOG! lol)

Without further ado, here is our episode. Spirit of Fire: Halo 5 Guardians Theories

Listen here:

      SoF 5-18-14 H5G theories

Or download here and listen to at your leisure.

SoF 5-18-14 H5G theories

We can also be found on iTunes. Search for the podcast: Spirit of Fire
Please let me know what you thought of the podcast, more specifically my theories.


Hold your horses, it IS Sangheilios!!! (in the Halo 5 Guardians concept art)

I did some more research into the concept art’s depiction. And I have found what has to be near definitive proof that we are seeing a scene from Sangheilios. Likely the Arbiter’s Keep.

Sangheilios is part of the Urs system. The Urs system is comprised of a white primary star of the same name. The other two stars orbit the primary one. Their names are Fied and Joori.

There are four planets within this system as well. One of which is Sangheilios. So there it is. The concept art is showing a scene from Sangheilios. The look of the buildings relative match those for the Vadam Keep.

Vadam Keep (the Arbiter’s keep) is built into the lower slopes of the Kolaar Mountain, with warrens running inside the mountain itself. If you’re not sure what warrens are, there are a couple of missions within Spartan Ops (latter half of the season) on a map by the name of Warrens. Check that out and you’ll have a much better understanding of what warrens are.


Source Links
Vadam Keep

Addition to my Halo 5 Guardians theory…the concept art location.

If you haven’t read my initial theory go here first and read it, then come back for this part.

Okay, so after scouring the net for more info on Halo 5 Guardians, I came across other fan theories. Some have merit and I want to make mention of some of those point.

halo-5-guardians-concept-explanationSo I broke this concept art down a bit.

Some other fans seem to think this may be Sangheili by design. You’ll note, I did not say it wasn’t Covenant or more specifically Sangheili. This could very well be. In fact as others theorize, this may well be Thel ‘Vadam’s (The Arbiter) “Keep”. Now that is an interesting thought. If that turns out to be true, then it would be a foregone conclusion that we’d see the Arbiter in Halo 5 Guardians.

WHY would we see this? That part hasn’t really been theorized. So I’m going to take a crack at it. A prevailing thought is that Master Chief will have gone rogue. He has very little allies. However, one of his biggest ones would be the Arbiter. They did team up in Halo 3 to defeat the Prophets as well as the Flood. So my thinking is that this is one place along the way of Chief’s journey that he stops at. The sight of the “Demon” by other Sangheili could create a conflict and Chief would have to fight his way out. The Arbiter while knowing the truth would have no other recourse than the go after Chief. This would make Chief an outlaw (even more) by the Sangheili. I’d already surmised that Chief has become an “enemy of the state” so-to-speak of the UNSC. Now with Sangheili actively looking for him, in essence Chief is a wanted man in our known galaxy.

One thing to note about that above pic. Those “flying squid”. They were supposed to be ambient life on Requiem, but were taken out. Here are some concepts of them:

Flying_squid_conceptHalo4_Requiem_jungle_concept-artH4_Requiem_jungle_conceptFlying_squid_screenshotIt’s VERY plausible that 343 would reuse old assets not used in previous games. How do they fit in? Likely nothing more than merely ambient life again.

That does bring back the question then, is this Sangheili or possibly an OLD Forerunner location?

Let’s look at that first concept again:

halo-5-guardians-concept-explanationDoes that statue on the right look like any known race in Halo? I’ve read some surmising it might be a Jiralhanae/Brute statue. Possible, however, I think that’s a little less likely as 343 has seemed to distance themselves from Brutes. But it COULD be.

However…I think I might have just figured out where this is! If you’ve read Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, you might be a little familiar with this. The star system that matches a Binary Red Dwarf system is Groombridge 34. It’s located within the inner colonies. It’s also the place where Kurt-051 went missing in action. Later a dispatch of Spartans was sent as a guise to look for rebel activity there. This was however a guise to actually find Kurt and bring him back for use in the Spartan III program.

The station Kurt was at in this system, Construction Platform 966A, was tag with a HAZMAT satellite to keep would be renegades and others away. One key thing though. This station also was the port for the stealth cruiser UNSC Point of No Return. That ship was under the control of ONI (who else, right…). It was classified and officially doesn’t exist for the UNSC. it’s the largest ONI stealth cruiser and is as big as a UNSC destroyer. This would give the Guardian plenty of materials he would need to track down Chief and/or help him defeat a new enemy.

Some history on that ship. Colonel Ackerson met with several officers, one of which being Admiral Parangosky (the head of ONI at the time). This to discuss the Spartan III program.
The ship is still in operation having outlasted the war with the Covenant. A report was filed from the ship on Dec. 31st, 2552, from the dark side of the moon. This is the last known location of the ship.

Could it be that this is the Guardian’s ship? If so, with it’s port being at Groombridge, it might be possible that either Chief finds his way there and confronts the Guardian, or that it’s a place where the two finally agree to team up.

The red flags still elude me for a proper explanation. I’ll research that some more and see what I can dig up. What I have four is that there was an Operation Mission called “Red Flag” that was to bring an end to the Human-Covenant war. it too was something initiated by ONI. Another slight reference that ties back in with the Jiralhanae is that some wore red flags as a sign of their rank. Notably the Ceremonial Honor Guard Brutes of the Covenant.

For now, this still leaves some questions unanswered, but might lead us to further clues as to the whereabouts of this location.


Source Links:
Groombridge 34
Construction Platform 996A
Port of No Return
Ghosts of Onyx
Operation Red Flag

Halo Concept Art: Halo 4 Equipment

I had meant to post this on Friday. However, with the exciting news of Halo 5 Guardians, I devoted that whole day to just that topic in a myriad of articles, podcast, etc.

Yesterday I was quite busy, so other than the theory of Halo 5 Guardians, I didn’t have time to get this posted then.

However, here I sit at nearly 3am EST, Sunday. I’m wide awake and ready to go. Now I had said the next concept article would be Halo 4 Equipment and Other Spartan Armor. With there being 24 pics for just the equipment, I decided to split them up.

So without further ado, let’s look at and discuss Halo 4’s concept art of equipment.

halo_4_actives_shield_final_by_kory_lynn_hubbellThe Hard Light Shield. Hard Light itself is not new to Halo. We’ve seen it from the beginning with jackal shields,light bridges and such. This design brings us the Forerunner equivalent to the Jackals shield. Though, I’d say it’s likely better. What I like about this concept is that it most definitely evokes Forerunner design. The upper right conner rendering seems to convey different layers of the shield. The orthogonal views real help in understanding the shape and size of the Hard Light Shield. Good piece of art here.

halo_4_belt_bomb_01_by_paul_richardsWhile this graphic is called “belt bomb” we know that they are really the ability upgrades. In just three colors for each, we get a good sense of depth. I like some of these designs more than others.Notably 2, 8, 11, 13, and 16. The one that stands out the most to me though is 12. Does it or does it not look like a controller?

halo_4_concept_art_by_thomas_scholes_23bNext we have this ammo crate. This is a very detailed concept. I appreciate the dimensions being put in as well. The texture sample boxes show just how much can go into something as simple as an ammo crate. Did you know there is a version of this up for sale soon? Check it out HERE!

halo_4_concept_art_by_thomas_scholes_24bThis piece of art looks strangely like an XBOX 360. Coincidence? LOL The scratched metal adds character to what would have otherwise been a standard green box. Even for a sketch, there is a good amount of detail in here. I’d have loved to have seen this become a Halo 4 XBOX!

halo_4_fr_fusioncoil_final_small_by_kory_lynn_hubbellWe’ve been used to fusion coils in Halo. Now we get to see an amazing design for the Forerunner fusion coil. Both the highlights and shading give the renderings plenty of depth. For me, my eye immediately goes to the blue light though and it’s glow against the coil itself. Excellent design!


Another thing we’ve seen in Halo are ordnance crates. Don’t forget the tube shaped ones in Halo 3 for example. Here we have an ordnance pod that looks designed to mean business!  Basic shapes in this concept coupled with a muted color scheme actually work very well for this piece. It’s a utility device. So as such, does not need to be fancy. This is a well thought out concept.

halo_4_pickup_projector_02b_by_paul_richardsHere are three more fleshed out armor ability attachments. Visually it was important for 343 to be able to differentiate all three styles. Clearly UNSC had to be green/grey, Covenant Purple, and then there the Forerunner attachments. With the Didact’s armor having a lot of silver with orange lights, it made sense to bring that feel to the attachments as well.

halo_4_tortoise_console_by_kory_lynn_hubbellFunny enough, by looking at this piece we see the Mammoth may have been named the Tortoise instead. (I much prefer Mammoth) The consoles within took a little bit of a different shape in the final in-game version. This concept shows well the early concept stage (upper right), more fleshed out designs, and even placement as see at bottom. Note the main pic within has the console being very detailed, while the outer parts are rougher in rendering. This is a good way to direct the viewers eye to specifically where you want them to look.

halo_4_tortoise-ammorack_concepts_by_kory_lynn_hubbellEven the ammo rack had to be designed. Once again, it’s fairly simple in shape and color. The accouterments of the rack are what gives it its detail. Without, this could have been a multitude of things.

halo_4_unsc_communication_tower_by_josh_kaoDid you see these in the game? If not, go check out Spartan Ops Episode 5, Chapter 1 (Spartan Miller). There, your task in part will be to activate and defend these towers. It seems 343 really wanted to show detail in their concepts for equipment. Even with it being mostly shades of cool greys, there is plenty enough detail to convey what this is supposed to be. BTW, if you haven’t ever played or have not played in a long time, Spartan Ops, I suggest going back and doing so. It’s a nice break from matchmaking. The whole 50 missions are like a whole other campaign unto themselves. And if you still need Covenant vehicle kills for Commendations, you can EASILY get them there!

halo_4_unsc_displays_by_albert_ngThis compilation of displays once again goes to show us the amount of detail 343 put into Halo 4. These displays are in many places within both the Campaign and Spartan Ops. A couple of display (not shown here) on the Campaign mission “Composer” are fantastic. They are located in the two-story room just before you have to bring up the shield to stop the Covenant from getting into the hangar bay. Search them out. It’s worth it, IMO!

halo_4_unsc_drop_pod_by_josh_kaoNow these I do not at all recall in the game. What they do look like though are the capsules form the 1960s rockets, when they crash landed in the sea after the missions were complete. While a nice throw-back, I’m glad this wasn’t put in, as we’ve already had much more advanced drop pods in Halo. (Halo 3: ODST anyone?)

halo_4_unsc_forerunner_knight_projection_by_albert_ngA digital concept showing a Promethean Knight on a Holotable. I do hope one day soon holographic technology like this will be real. We’re CLOSE!

I’m not sure where this pump is in the game, though I want to say the multiplayer map Complex. (If I’m wrong, please let me know where this can be found in-game.) As for the art, it’s very simple. In that though, it’s CLEAN. No real stray lines to detract you from the design. With varying shades of grey, we again get the sense of shape and depth to the art, without it having to be full color.

halo_4_unsc_hanger_platform_by_albert_ngRemember that Hangar Bay I mentioned earlier? Well, this is the section where you have to run to to bring up the shields. At the end, there is a column (not shown) by which to bring up the shields. This design brings me back to Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back. Specifically within Cloud City, during the lightsaber fight between Darth Vader and Luke. Yes, that’s an old reference…But I just LOVE those movies!

halo_4_unsc_missile_battery_by_albert_ngNow this is most definitely on Complex, during certain Spartan Ops missions. Good color application brings this to life. The bulkiness of the missile battery give it a sense of power, however, it’s likely they are short range.

halo_4_unsc_powercore_by_kory_lynn_hubbellAnother example of something that can be found in Spartan Ops. In one of the Cauldron missions, you have to protect the marines as well as these power cores. There are only two of them. It’s a fun mission and pretty tough if you go it alone on legendary. I used this mission to get my assassinations of Covies commendation done. Regarding the art, I’m glad that the color version was put in. The other three look a little flat. Yes, there is some shading, but most of it is very dark. Once again, color really helps to show off detail and depth.

Here’s the follow up that shows the progressive damage the power cores take. Here is where this concept really blows up! Yes, pun intended… The callouts (text around the design) explain the damage well. Good piece of transitional art.

The name of this is a UNSC projector. I’m not quite sure what this means or where it might be in the game. I can only think maybe the holotable or the hologram projection armor ability. Sketches like this represent a brainstorming session. It’s where you have no definitive design choice and just come up with as many different designs as you can quickly. This helps as the people involved, especially those in the decision making, have more things to look at. They may like a piece of one, a part of another, and so on. I’ve done many of these types of things over the years. It’s a very good method to use.halo_4_unsc_props01_by_paul_richards
In the above top, we see a modular temporary base. You can tell it’s modular by the design. It’s something that’s meant to be put up quickly, and/or shuffled around to meet the requirements of the mission. The in-game version can be seen in Spartan Ops. While just grey in color, the line work is enough in the sketch to make out the shapes. Sometimes your line art can stand up to a more colorful design, so long as they are drawn well and not sloppy. This is an example of a well done piece of line art,with a bit of grey added in.

halo_4_unsc_science_lab_large_door_by_albert_ng_01Not quite equipment, but this is the section the above fit into the best. It’s amazing how something as simple as a door can have many compacts of it.All of them are quite good. I think the bottom oat right is my favorite of these. Which one is your favorite of them?

halo_4_unsc_space_station_props_by_albert_ngMore props to fill in a room. It’s these kinds of extras that make a place look more real. Without, you’d have a mostly empty space. The variances as well as similarities tells us that while they may have different uses, they are all of the same design manufacturer.

And finally, the Holotable. I saved this one for last as I like it the most of all of these in this article. We’ve seen on tv something similar. I think it was CSI: Miami that had one. Though that wasn’t a holotable. It was more of a glorified tablet in table size. This can be seen in both the campaign and Spartan Ops. Sarah Palmer actually damages it in a later episode. Go check it out.

Whew, okay, it took me almost an hour and a half to get this article done. Mostly because I’m feeling a little ill this morning. I found a round steak in our freezer and thawed it to be grilled for dinner. After grilling it and my wife and I ate it, she wanted to know where it came from. I told her…. I shouldn’t have got that steak. Turns out it was one forgotten and was literally 4 YEARS old. Yes, frozen that whole time…But I think that’s why I’m sick this morning…yuck. (It did taste good though).

Later today, I’ll have up the other concept art article on “Other Spartan Armor” of Halo 4. And who knows what else might just pop up.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the article and looking at the concept art. Let me know if so by replying below. (Rhyming not intended…)