The Forerunners, within Halo, were an almost mythical race of hyper-intelligent beings. From their construction of sentient artificial intelligence, the masterful application of quantum particle research, or an affinity for astro- engineering on a grand scale, The Forerunners ruled the Halo-verse with superior technology at their fingertips. Halo:CE-Halo 3 was the golden era of Forerunner supremacy in terms of their interaction with the greater lore of Halo. Mysterious, unfathomably intelligent, and most importantly kept within the id of the franchise. Those dark depths which many a Halo fan became lost within for almost eight years.
When Halo 4 came along, fans knew the curtain would be lifted on The Forerunners. A good portion of the fandom did, and continues to look back fondly on Halo 4's narrative and depiction of The Forerunners. In some regards, I agree that Halo 4's characterization and overall arc were splendidly written and designed. John-117 and Cortana were fleshed out in a meaningful and complex way, while the stakes were raised without sacrificing continuity of canon. That is where my praise ends, however, and where I gaze onto the franchise in a more critical light. For technological supremacy is only as useful as that of tactical supremacy. The method in which one takes catalog of the tools at their disposal, and utilizes them in an intelligent method.
The Forerunners's post Halo 3 are arrogant, genocidal, and above all else incompetent. For all their technology and sway over an entire galaxy, they could not utilize that supremacy in order to negate the factors which endangered their entire civilization. Factors, which would eventually see their entire society commit mass and unnecessary suicide against the galaxies biological life. So now, let us take an unbiased and intricate look at why The Forerunners under 343 Industries are not the beings you want ruling, quite frankly, anything.
"Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven." - Edward de Bono
Imagine you are a general in some far off, foreign war. You have plans, machinations, and set dates that must be adhered to without question or fail. Your nation has planned for a five month conflict, but four years later it continues to drag on. Your old plans are no longer relevant or viable, and the grand design of logistical strategy which worked only years earlier has failed. Hurriedly, you must devise new tactics and spread your military even thinner than it already is. The other generals posses no knowledge of proper tactics, nor how to fight a prolonged conflict. You are on your own. In desperation, you begin to throw tactical plans onto the metaphorical wall to see what sticks, and what doesn't. Men die in the millions, and you begin to stray further and further from victory. Eventually, the quagmire of continually adding unplanned tactics sees the downfall of your empire.
You are a general of the German Empire, 1918. All is lost.
Of course, this isn't 1918, and this isn't the Great War. However, the trend of the Halo franchise throwing more and more unneeded content , which lacks planning and development mirrors the German Empire's struggle to stay relevant in an ever changing world. Indeed, if Germany would have shored up its existing Hindenburg Line it may have held off the Allies well beyond 1918. Just as Halo could have avoided the mess of narrative continuity, content, and poor characterization it finds itself in now. This isn't Flanders Fields, this is the development ground floor. Lives are not at stake, but many countless fans and financial assets are. Let the guns of Spring awaken, with a renewed and tremendous roar. Full Circle returns.
A Halo fan since the beginning, 2001. Also a games industry consultant, writer, and educator. These are my thoughts, praise and advice concerning the past, present and future narrative of the Halo franchise.
Halo, all assets within, characters and merchandise are property of the Microsoft Corporation and is developed by its subsidiary 343 Industries.
I do not own, claim to own or retain any rights to the Halo franchise. This is a fan based work, and is strictly non-profit.
All other images, articles linked, materials and franchises that are not strictly specified as my own are property of their respective owners.
A More Complete Look At The Halo Franchise
Written, Researched, Produced And Published By Halo-Nation member "Synth Samurai"
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