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Plotholes and Handgrenades *Half Silentium SP*
Date: 3/20/13 3:53 pm

Ok, so how is everybody? Good, good, glad to hear it. So the last few days as we approached Silentium's release, I gave some thought to what failed me in Halo 4's story and what worked well, and of course now after reading Silentium I have some interesting questions to pose to you all for speculation. I'll mark that section off at the bottom.

So, as for Halo 4's story...343i created a very emotional story between the Chief and Cortana, one that had some, but not an extreme amount of precedent. This is, of course, in the direction of "development" of a relationship, that for the most part works. We've always appreciated story development and depth, and 343i provided us with a relationship that was given greater depth than before, for which I applaud.

What the key issue is, however, is that the "grand space opera" ideal was almost downplayed, which I believe was at least partially 343i's intent, but I feel they don't/didn't realize to what scope they truly did.

With Silentium now in perspective, Halo 4's story seems much more epic (At least at a macroscopic level), because it is the continuation of a grand story we were not privy to before. This, however, was not 343i's intent. They once stated that Halo 4's story could be fully appreciated without the supplemental content, but was enriched by it. Correct, both trilogies do enhance the story of the game, but TOO well.

Those who don't read the novels or haven't had the chance yet might say, "But at least you get the full story! We don't understand half of what's going on!" True. But there is still a massive disappointment, at least in my eyes, that this material was not in some way included in the game's story. Even knowing everything I know from the back story, seeing my character and his supporting cast learn of anything is always immensely exciting. Sometimes it isn't what we learn, but what effect knowledge has on characters is where the excitement begins. The Forerunner and Glassland trilogies are stories teeming with knowledge, but they are stories of their own. The best way to explain what I mean is through some examples.

First, the Storm problem. I read Glasslands and the Thursday War and understand how Jul came to lead the Storm. This does not however, sate the desire for me to understand why they are fighting the Chief through his point of view. I was still confused because if I were the Chief, I would be damn confused. There is a lack of context. Ironically, lately I've found that the solution to this confusion could've easily been solved by including some characterization that I realized was extremely lacking in Halo 4...

Anyone remember the days when Cortana used to access the Covenant Battlenet more than a teenager checks Facebook? I do. Cortana's ability to do relatively ANYTHING was almost completely absent in Halo 4. This could be explained due to her descent into insanity, but could've been maintained more in the beginning of the game to help with these plotholes and been worn away later in the game, serving as even ANOTHER example of how bad her rampancy was progressing.

This could have also served to explain the Didact. Introducing us to the Didact via Covenant chatter in level 2 could've provided us with more insight into why the Storm existed, why there were there, who the Didact was (to some degree), and even provide us with more meaningful objectives. "Stop the Covenant from finding the Didact." It would've made our efforts to escape Requiem and contact Infinity more dire, and made the Didact's accidental release even MORE poignant, plus given us more insight to the villain that was portrayed so thinly already.

And as for his portrayal...The Didact, throughout basically EVERY SINGLE ONE of his appearances outside of Halo 4, has always been portrayed very strongly with good characterization. Halo 4 reduced him to a laughable villain with no purpose, backstory, or apparent motive. I understand his motives based on the Forerunner trilogy, and especially now with Silentium, but the issue is twofold. First, he seems barely threatening at all from the way that he actually behaves in the game. His representation does not evoke the response in my own mind as it does to our cast of characters. He also serves as a poor representation of the Forerunners in general, especially being Humanity's first contact with one, EVER. Second, this is his visual and audible debut. He deserved more gusto after all the build up.

On the topic of Silentium...*SP BEGIN HERE, EPILOGUE SPOILERS AS WEL*

The book was awesome. Though some might not appreciate the extent to which the universe was demystified, it was certainly handled well, written well, and actually satisfied my expectations. The Didact's personality from Halo 4 makes more sense now (but I still feel that he could've been characterized more strongly in Halo 4, as his personality still barely reflected that of the Ur-Didact we see at the end of Silentium)

Questions and thoughts to ponder:

*If the Precursors chose Humanity for the Mantle, and went so far as to protect us for this reason AND to get back at the Forerunners, why attempt to destroy us in the main trilogy? Maybe they weren't? Maybe they were only trying to defend themselves? Do remember that the Halo 1 flood did not have the benefit of being educated. And the Gravemind did pass over Earth; maybe this is one of those reasons?

*The only bits that I found lacking in their harmonization of all the Forerunner history sources is that of Iris. Why did they not attempt to reconcile the firing log? It can be imagined that the servers were put into place post-firing now that we know that...

*Bornsteller survives activation? Damn, twisty. So what does his future hold? Do any of his future (now past) actions have any unforseen effects on future events?

*Also, what of the new Lifeshaper, Chant-to-Green? What other actions might she take in her remaining lifespan? Is this the version of the Librarian the fragment of 343 seeks?

*And how long will that truly be? Do the Forerunners attempt to continue their existence? Where? And for how long?

*And last but not least...the Didact's final protector, Endurance-of-Will? Does she become a Promethian machine even though the Didact no longer stands to force it? What comes of her?

Some food for thought.

Messages In This Thread

Plotholes and Handgrenades *Half Silentium SP*DHalo3/20/13 3:53 pm
     Best post on HBO *NM*Avateur3/20/13 4:09 pm
     This post makes me wish I could read...padraig083/20/13 4:44 pm
     Re: Plotholes and Handgrenades *Half Silentium SP*ZaneZavin3/20/13 5:39 pm
     Regarding Endurance-of-Will....davidfuchs3/20/13 6:04 pm
     Re: Plotholes and Handgrenades *Half Silentium SP*Postmortem3/21/13 2:35 am
     More thoughts...DHalo3/21/13 4:08 pm
           Re: More thoughts...GrimBrother One3/21/13 4:46 pm
           Re: More thoughts...Grizzlei3/22/13 2:24 pm

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