Halo and Me

Unless you have been living in a hole for the past 10 odd years you know about Halo. Bungie’s, probably, most famous game that single handily saved the original Xbox from going the way of the Sega Dreamcast. Now I could just talk about how great the game is but that would be a waste  of time. Instead  I will talk a little about the controversial Halo 1 Pistol. Then I will talk about the over all story including the books.

My first experience with the pistol was when I played the Halo 1 demo on Gotham City Racing. An if I remember correctly the level was the Silent Cartographer level. On this particular occasion the pistol was very useful  when I had to take out a pair of hunters. Thought my real first experience with the pistol was when I went to a friend’s birthday party and we had a LAN party. That is when I learned to love the pistol.(Side note: I am an average player when it comes to shooters but I always seem to be better than my friends so I had a good night K/D wise) For the most part we played Hang’em High with pistols. An at least on that particular night I felt empowered by the pistol. I just went wild and laid waste to my friends. It was a wonderful feeling, a feeling that does not come  as frequently any more.


Later on in life I kinda wondered why the pistol was so powerful, but not enough to find out for my self. Though thanks to IGN’s interview with Jason Jones , one of the master minds behind Halo and Destiny, I now know why the pistol was so awesome. According to Mr. Jones the game was near its release date so the game was in lock down and he was not all to happy on how the pistol was turning out. So instead of changing data he changed some code without telling any one. “What we did feel comfortable doing was changing the code, and s… I added code specifically, when the map was loaded, to change a single number on the pistol. Whether that was ‘ninja style’ or not,” he says with a laugh, “I’ll be happy to let you decide.” Personally I do not know I would go as far as to change code at the last-minute without telling any one. But if I was the co-founder of a famous game company  I would probably consider doing something similar.


Changing gears now we will redirect our attention towards Halo’s over all story. For me this is why I love Halo and to be honest I only really played Halo 2 and 3’s multiplayer. I still remember when I first read The Fall of Reach and how the story just drew me in an has not let me go since. One of the good things about reading the Halo books is that they are actually written very well. They are the exact opposite of how video game movie adaptions are. Another upside to reading them is that one gets a better understanding of the Halo Universe as a whole. Depending on which books you read there are some events that deal with things that happen in-game. A broad example would be the The Flood book which is essentially the first game from multiple point of views. You can see how your actions as a player affect other humans and covenant a like. An speaking of multiple points of views all the books do this. Each book will focus on about 3-4 characters and will show how their actions affect others in that book and sometimes in other books. 

(Has nothing to do with the story but I like this old live action)

On a personal level the The Fall of Reach  was the first book  that I finished  when it come to reading for fun. It was also the first book that I re-read. For me the series has always been complex enough to keep it interesting but simple enough to keep up with everything. The characters that are talked about for more than one chapter are given just enough background  and personality  where you start to care for them.  Now these books are not like Game of Thrones where you start to like a character and they die. The characters that do die are the equivalent to red shirts(ten points if you get the reference). Most of the characters live to the end of their respective book. But one thing I do want to point out is how the series evolves when it comes to tone. In the first three books it focuses on the fact that humans are fighting a losing war. After the first three the tone slowly changes more towards how do we live in  a time were humanity is almost extinct and the morality/ethical issues of the Spartan II project. Now this is not so true with two of the books that take place years before the first book, The Fall of Reach.

Overall I enjoy the books more than the game because it opens up a the Universe of Halo more than the games ever can. Plus I do not have to deal with pre-teens yelling obscenities at me. If you love Halo and or like sci-fi military books then I would say at least read the first book.


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