The Halo Conflict
The Halo Conflict is a four-part video documentary series on Halo Waypoint, which chronicles the events of the Battle of Installation 04, retelling the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo: The Flood. It was released as a promotion for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, showcasing the game's remastered graphics. The video series was originally featured in the "Universe" section of Halo Waypoint, but can now be found in the "Learn" section of the Halo Channel.
Strange New World
Halo Waypoint description: When the Covenant arrive at Reach, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn flees into slipspace, carrying what the crew believes to be the last surviving Spartan as well as Cortana, an AI of incredible importance to the survival of the human race. However, this departure does not lead to safety, because the Covenant follow. Both factions arrive at Halo, a mysterious ringworld artifact containing secrets that could change the course of the war.
Halo Channel description: For humanity, the ring was a strange new world; but no sooner did the crew of the UNSC Pillar of Autumn lay eyes on the installation than the Covenant laid siege to their ship. Luckily, the Master Chief and Cortana manage to survive...
August 30, 2552: The full might of a Covenant invasion force arrives on Reach, its unparalleled power sweeping through the already weakened colony. This fortress world would most certainly fall , and under no circumstance could the Autumn be captured by the covenant. With the UNSC fleet completely battered above the planet, the Pillar of Autumn set course away from Reach. The UNSC ship carried Cortana, an unparalleled AI construct of human creation, and the Master Chief, the last known surviving Spartan supersoldier. Though ordered by Captain Jacob Keyes to plot a random course away from the planet, Cortana instead chose the Soell system because of information gleaned from the Battle of Sigma Octanus only a month earlier. This intel indicated that the same alien race which had scattered relics across the surface of Reach had placed special significance on Soell; more specifically, a site between the system's enormous gas giant, Threshold, and its moon, Basis. On September 19, the Autumn arrived at this remote location bring Keyes and his crew face-to-face with Halo, a ring-world installation ten-thousand kilometers in diameter, locked between the planet and its moon. The Autumn's crew also discovered that they weren't alone: the Covenant had followed them. The Fleet of Particular Justice, lead by its Supreme Commander Thel 'Vadamee, had pursued the ship to this distant location and now had its eyes set on the ring. For the Covenant, Halo represented the culmination of centuries of exploration and its sought-after activation would be the fulfillment of their "Great Journey". For humanity, the ring was a strange new world, but no sooner had they laid eyes on the installation then the covenant would lay siege to their ship. With the Autumn under fire, the decision could not have been more clear for Captain Keyes: get the Master Chief and Cortana off the vessel immediately. The UNSC could not afford losing either the Chief or Cortana, and all the information she possessed, to the Covenant's attack on the Autumn. So the Spartan retrieved Cortana and made his way to an escape pod, launching down towards the ring's surface and bringing the fight to the covenant on the ground.
Truth and Reconciliation
Halo Waypoint description: As the Master Chief and Cortana are launched headlong toward the ring's surface, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn's captain, Jacob Keyes, is captured by the Covenant. The Covenant bring him to the Truth and Reconciliation, a battlecruiser where the captain learns the truth about Halo and exactly why the Covenant are so interested in it.
Halo Channel description: And this would be the Chief’s next target. Captain Keyes and his crew had been captured by the Covenant and they were being held on the cruiser. Without fear, the Spartan dove deep into the belly of the beast, fighting through the Covenant horde and eventually securing the captain.
With the Covenant assaulting the Pillar of Autumn, Captain Jacob Keyes ordered the Master Chief to bring Cortana to the surface of the mysterious ring-world, safe from capture by the enemy. The Chief, accompanied by the Autumn's Marines and lead by the ODST Major Antonio Silva, launched headlong toward the alien construct while Keyes and his crew crash-landed the ship. Upon reaching the Ring's surface, the Spartan and Cortana found a world untouched by time: vast fields and verdant hills, looming alien spires and enormous caverns. But it wasn't long before the Chief went to work, securing Marines and returning them to Alpha Base, where Silva had set up a Command-and-Control center for the UNSC to operate from. However, further up-spin, the Covenant had done the same: the battlecrusier Truth and Reconcilliation, damaged in the earlier skirmish, had come to rest above a plateau and was being used as a base of operations. This would be the Chief's next target. Captain Keyes and his crew had been captured by the Covenant and they were being held on the cruiser. Without fear, the Spartan drove deep into the belly of the beast, fighting through the Covenant horde and eventually securing the Captain. And it was there, within the bowels of the enemy ship, that Keyes began to unlock the mysteries of the Ring. Overhearing the Covenant's plans, the Captain explained that the Ring was called "Halo" and that it was a weapon of unimaginable power, one that their enemy fully intended to use. With this new-found information, Keyes sent the Chief and Cortana to a remote island. To the naked eye, this was an incredibly beautiful paradise, but that was only a facade. Below the island's surface lay Halo's map room, the Silent Cartographer, the one place where the UNSC would learn how and where to access Halo's control center. Attempting to head the human forces off, the covenant had already made their way to the same structure, fortifying it while they attempted to unlock Halo's secrets from elsewhere. Unfortunately, the secrets the Covenant would unlock would be darker than anything humanity could have imagined. Deep below the Ring's surface, something stirred: an ancient force that was long ago put to rest would once again be awakened.
The Darkest of all Threats
Halo Waypoint description: As UNSC and Covenant forces vie for control of Halo, the latter begin to pry at locked doors, some which were never meant to be opened. After the Covenant release a dark threat upon the ring which had lain dormant for over 100,000 years, the Master Chief must find a solution before time runs out.
Halo Channel description: When the Flood first appeared within the galaxy’s borders, the Forerunners believed that the only way to permanently stop this threat would be to develop a cure. So they kept the parasite dormant and contained on Halo, but all of that changed when the Covenant began prying at locked doors.
Guided by the Silent Cartographer, the Master Chief and Cortana pushed their way into Halo's Control Room, fighting through an overwhelming Covenant occupation force, courtesy of the Fleet of Particular Justice. This fleet, lead by Supreme Commander Thel 'Vadamee, had descended upon the Ring in an effort to secure it from the humans. But strife between their leaders created conflict within the Covenant ranks, conflict which eventually spelled disaster. In their efforts to unearth the ring's secrets, the Covenant stumbled upon an underground site hidden in the bogs of Halo. Here, they would unwittingly release the Flood, a parasite which had been held dormant for a hundred-thousand years. When the Flood first appeared within the galaxy's boarders, the Forerunners, who had built Halo, believed that the only way to permanently stop this threat would be to develop a cure. So they kept the parasite dormant and contained, but when the Covenant began prying at locked doors, all of that changed. The Flood had been released, and its first human victims would be a squad of Marines lead by Captain Jacob Keyes and Sergeant Avery Johnson. While Johnson would narrowly survive, the others would be claimed by the Flood, turned into monsters that would seek out other sentient life as part of the parasites insidious design. This included Jacob Keyes, the Pillar of Autumn's captain and a veteran of the Covenant War. The Flood brought Keyes' infected body to a nearby Covenant ship where it would initiate the early stages of forming a Gravemind. After securing the Control Room, Cortona learned of Keyes' fate and sent the Master Chief after him. Unfortunately, the Spartan was too late: the Flood had been released, giving humanity and the Covenant a common foe, one capable of consuming all sentient life in the galaxy. But in the dark swamps that surrounded the now infested Flood containment facility the Chief found something else: a Forerunner A.I. by the name of 343 Guilty Spark resued the Spartan, bringing him to a site on the Ring known as the Library. The A.I. claimed to be the monitor of the Ring, its managing caretaker for over a hundred millennia. The construct explained that the only way to wipe out the Flood would be to activate Halo, and that was exactly what the Chief planned to do.
He Was Called Reclaimer
Halo Waypoint description: After the Master Chief secures the Activation Index at the behest of the Forerunner AI 343 Guilty Spark, Cortana explains to the Spartan the true purpose of Halo: the ringworld is a weapon of extraordinary power, capable of destroying all life in the galaxy. Now the Master Chief and Cortana must find a way to stop not only the Covenant, but the Flood and Guilty Spark's efforts to activate Halo.
Halo Channel description: The Covenant discovered the location of yet another Halo ring and, tragically, Earth. The human home-world would become the location of humanity’s final stand against the Covenant and the beginning of the last chapter in the war.
After learning of Captain Keyes' fate within the Flood containment facility, the Master Chief saw the true threat of the parasite: it was a violent unstoppable force which needed to be eradicated before it was given a chance to leave Halo. A Forerunner AI called 343 Guilty Spark explained that the only way to stop the flood was to activate the ring. So the Spartan complied, descending into the dark corridors of a structure called "the Library", where the activation process could be set into motion. Deep within this complex and past legions of flood lay the Activation Index, a key which would fire the Halo Instillation when reunified with the Control Room's Core. But the only one who could initiate the activation was a Reclaimer, an heir to the Forerunner lineage, a title only a human could claim. And so the Master Chief reached deep into the heart of the Library, ultimately retrieving the index. When they returned to the Control Room they attempted to fire Halo, but Cortana had different plans. Fully aware of the Forerunners' intentions for Halo, she prevented the index from activating the core, explaining to the Chief the true purpose of the ring. The Halo Array was built to destroy all sentient life in the galaxy. When one ring fired, the others would respond accordingly, their harmonic pulses penetrating every corner of the galaxy until it was completely devoid of intelligent life. Having no hosts to propagate their parasitic offspring, the Flood would be destroyed; but so would humanity, as would all other sentient life. With this new-found knowledge the Spartan retrieved Cortana and the two set their sights on the Pillar of Autumn's wreckage and its powerful fusion reactors, the only way they could put an end to both Halo and the Flood. When detonated, the reactors would destabilize the Ring's structure, breaking it apart and eradicating anything on its surface. After retrieving the Captain's CNI Transponder, the key to detonating the Autumn's reactors, the Chief and Cortona returned to the ship. But they were not alone. Guilty Spark, committed to the protection of Halo, had already arrived ahead of them and was prepared to prevent Cortana's plan. But despite his efforts, the Autumn would be destroyed by the Master Chief, taking Halo along with it. While the Spartan and Cortana would survive this cataclysmic event, the threat of the Covenant and the Flood would end for a time. But like many true threats their defeat would be only momentary: the Covenant had discovered the location of yet another Halo Ring and, tragically, the planet Earth. That would be the site of humanity's last stand against the Covenant, and the beginning of the final chapter of the war.