"Aya." - A recurring expression of acknowledgment or affirmation, similar to "aye", prominently used by the Didact and the other Prometheans.
"You are what you dare." - a proverb reflecting the Didact's philosophy in life.
"I had hoped to rise in triumph and recognition of my judgment—but instead, I find myself facing young fools and the offspring of ancient enemies. This is worse than disgrace. Only one other reason... one other provocation would make the Librarian revive me under these humiliating circumstances." - The Didact shortly after being revived from his Cryptum.
"All we have tried to do as inheritors of the Mantle—all that will be violated, and the galaxy will be murdered... because they do not understand. Worse, it may already be loose. Join your human friends and sing sad songs, Manipular. There is judgment, and just doom is upon us all." - to Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting, upon realizing why the Librarian had him revived.
"You're being kidnapped, young Manipular. The humans have to come as well. Apologies to all." - to Bornstellar as he prepares to leave Earth on his newly-constructed ship.
"We fight for the grace of the Mantle." - to Bornstellar, referring to himself and the Librarian.
"The fools... And they claim that Warriors violate the Mantle." - upon seeing the destruction visited on Charum Hakkor by a Halo.
"Humans are naturally purists. They resent having to live with other species. In fact, they're among the most contentious, bigoted, self-centered... I never understood how my wife tolerated them." - the Didact sharing his view on humanity.
"They understood the universe in ways we never will. We can't unlock their secrets—but now, apparently, we can destroy all they ever made. That's what I call progress." - on the Precursors.
"In the name of the Mantle and all I honor—I hope it is dead, I fear it is not. They have unleashed it." - after seeing the empty cage of the Primordial.
"You wonder what forced me to enter the Cryptum. It was my refusal to agree to this plan even in its early stages. With all my being, I fought against the design of these infamous devices, and for thousands of years forestalled their construction. But my opponents finally won. I was reprimanded by the Council, bringing shame upon my rate, my guild, my family. Then I became the infamous one—the conqueror and savior who refused to listen to reason. And so, I vanished." - explaining his fate to Bornstellar.
"The humans will be sequestered in their cabin. I don't think they like me." - to Bornstellar before traveling to the San'Shyuum quarantine system.
"I've never been naïve enough to believe following duty led to glory, or experience elevated one to wisdom among Forerunners. My young ones, I wish you were truly still here to counsel me. I feel weak and isolated. I fear what I will find when I walk among Builders again. Their rule brought us to this impasse." - while conversing with his war sphinxes holding the impressions of his children.
"You'll never know her the way I did. She possesses a sense of humor rare in all Forerunners and impossible to find in Warrior-Servants... or in most Builders. It would be like her to summon me from my peace and set me this challenge." - on the Librarian.
"Long duty has not been good to the Confirmer. No warrior should allow his weapons to rust." - on the state of the Confirmer and the Deep Reverence.
"You've picked and preserved... in error." - to Faber, who had failed to preserve the right San'Shyuum to interrogate.
"Didact. They called me that when I taught at the college of Strategic Defense of the Mantle—the War College. Some of my students seemed to think I was overly demanding and too precise in my definitions..." - the Didact's imprint explaining the origin of his name to Bornstellar.
"Greatness and power are often allied with defeat. It is how civilizations are shaped—some ideas prosper, others die. The quality of the ideas has little to do with the outcome. It is personalities that matter. Pay attention to those around you." - the Didact's imprint instructing Bornstellar.
"It spoke in a Forerunner dialect, one I could barely understand—archaic Digon. I remembered clearly what it said, but it took time for the context to become clear. Context is everything, across all those centuries. It spoke to me of the greatest of Forerunner betrayals, the greatest of our many sins." - the Didact's imprint recalling his conversation with the Primordial.
Ur-Didact: "There can be no misgivings. Mutation is a personal journey, not to be coerced."
Bornstellar: "If I don't do this, you tell me the entire galaxy could be wiped out... That isn't coercion?"
Ur-Didact: "Allegiance to duty is the Forerunner's highest instinct and purpose. It is what empowers us to defend the Mantle."
Ur-Didact: "You're enjoying being a victim."
Bornstellar: "I am not! I am ready. Proceed!"
Ur-Didact: "You still believe you should be uniquely privileged to live your life in a certain fashion. There can be no rise in rate without a modicum of wisdom. You do not demonstrate that wisdom."
Bornstellar: "I had no part in creating this disaster, but I'm willing to sacrifice my life to save my people! Is that not selfless and noble?"
Ur-Didact: "Mutation to a higher rate requires acceptance of the Mantle. The Mantle is in part awareness of what all life has sacrificed to allow you to be. That arouses a deep kind of personal guilt. You do not feel that guilt."
Bornstellar: "I've violated the wishes of my family, I've involved these humans in my stupidity, and what will happen to them when you're done? I feel guilt! All through me, guilt!"
Ur-Didact: "Only arrogance. To dare is to risk selflessly, not to waste your life because you see no other purpose to your existence."
Bornstellar: "I don't want your sadness."
Ur-Didact: "It is the Mantle."
Bornstellar: "You mourn."
Ur-Didact: "I spent thousands of years mourning and found no virtue in it."
Bornstellar: "Tell me about your exile."
Ur-Didact: "Not wise, perhaps, but rudely curious."
Bornstellar: "What did you experience in the Cryptum?"
Ur-Didact: "Let us just say I did not find peace. What all the great, higher Domains of the universe mandate for Forerunners is never peace, never solace, never rest. Never consistency, logic, or even pure passion. Frankly, I envy your perversity, Manipular."
Bornstellar: "Your difficulty is, you regret all you have done. And you mourn."
Ur-Didact: "My blood and seed... wasted. My life with my family, my wife, so brief. I felt so much hatred. Hatred is still with me. Perhaps you are right to reject my imprint. The Mantle is as far beyond me now as..."
Bornstellar: "You weren't prepared to mutate either, were you? In combat, mutation was forced on you. A brevet mutation. Someone saw your potential even through your flaws."
Ur-Didact: "Touched by your blade, Manipular."
Bornstellar: "I accept my flaws as you accepted yours, and I will transcend them... as you did. I am as ready as I'll ever be, Promethean."
Ur-Didact: "So be it, aya-and aya again."
Ur-Didact: "Mentor and sponsor. From my life let the best be taken. Let the growth inherent in this youth be examined and maximized. Let all that is potential and beloved of the Mantle be nurtured and encouraged. Let all that was past be put away, and all that is future brought forward, made real and physical..."
—Bornstellar and the Didact converse before the former's mutation and imprinting.
"My finest opponent, the Mantle accepts all who live fiercely, who defend their young, who build and struggle and grow, and even those who dominate—as humans have dominated, cruelly and without wisdom.
But to all of us there is a time like this, when the Domain seeks to confirm our essences, and for you, that time is now.
Know this, relentless enemy, killer of our children, Lord of Admirals: soon we will face the enemy you have faced and defeated. I can see that challenge coming to the Forerunners, and so do many others.... And we are afraid.
That is why you, and many thousands of your people who may contain knowledge of how humans defended themselves against the Flood, will not pass cleanly and forever, as I would wish for a fellow warrior, but will be extracted and steeped down into the genetic code of many new humans.
This is not my wish nor my will. It arises from the skill and the will of my life-mate, my wife, the Librarian, who sees much farther than I do down the twining streams of Living Time.
So this additional indignity will be inflicted upon you. It means, I believe, that humans will not end here, but may rise again—fight again. Humans are always warriors.
But what and whom they will fight, I do not know. For I fear the time of the Forerunners is drawing to a close. In this, the Librarian and I find agreement. Take satisfaction, warrior, in that possibility." - when meeting with a defeated Forthencho on Charum Hakkor.
"So fades the great harvest of my betrayal. Even these beasts recognized what you were oblivious to, human. Your nobility has blinded you, as ever. The Librarian left little to chance, didn't she? Turning my own guardians... my own world... against me. But what hubris to believe she could protect her pets from me forever. If you haven't mastered even these primitives, then Man has not attained the Mantle. Your ascendance may yet be prevented. Time was your ally, human, but now it has abandoned you. The Forerunners... have returned. This tomb… is now yours." - Introductory speech to John-117 upon being released from his Cryptum on Requiem.
"In this hour of victory, we taste only defeat. I ask, why? We are Forerunners, guardians of all that exists. The roots of the galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms... And the impervious shelter beneath which it has prospered. I stand before you, accused of the sin of ensuring Forerunner ascendancy. Of attempting to save us from this fate where we are forced to... recede. Humanity stands as the greatest threat in the galaxy. Refusing to eradicate them is a fool's gambit. We squander eons in the darkness, while they seize our triumphs for their own. The Mantle of responsibility for all things belongs to Forerunners alone. Think of my acts as you will. But do not doubt the reality: the Reclamation... has already begun. And we are hopeless to stop it." - Epilogue speech.
"Shall we take revenge? Abandon the Mantle and all that its philosophy has given us these thousand generations?" - In response to the Librarian's initial agreement with the Council's plans to eradicate the humans for their violent incursions into Forerunner territory.
"More reason not to abandon our beliefs. The Mantle is our guide-post in times such as these. We must not falter in following its teachings. The enemy must be sent home, and taught to stand with the galaxy, rather than rail against us, and take what they desire! The Mantle shelters all." - Voicing his opinion on how to deal with the humans.
"Your fears are unfounded. The enemy will be turned, and I shall stand by your side once more." - Responding to the Librarian's worries about humanity's increased aggression.
"The humans' actions threatened the galaxy, yet we have treated them as the Mantle requires. Their punishment was just." - On the Council's decision to have humanity devolved.
"They are closer now to the animals they behaved as." - On humanity's reduced state.
"The humans were not meant to protect others. The Mantle of Responsibility for all things is ours, and ours alone." - In response to the Librarian's statements about humanity's potential to hold the Mantle.
"Lord of Admirals... So very many years have we battled. My finest opponent, the Mantle accepts all who live fiercely, who defend their young, who build and struggle and grow, and even those who dominate—as humans have dominated; cruelly, without wisdom. But for all of us, there is a time like this... and for you, that time is now. Know this, relentless enemy, killer of our children, Lord of Admirals: soon we will face the enemy you have faced... And we are afraid." - To the Lord of Admirals after humanity's defeat in the Human-Forerunner War; an abridged version of a similar monologue in Halo: Primordium.
"They took the Mantle of Responsibility upon themselves, and in so doing, they brought the sickness to our shores." - After the Librarian's discovery that the ancient humans' aggressive actions were all committed as part of an effort to stop the Flood.
"I have led you, my Prometheans, for thousands of years, and I shall continue to lead you. Rise! Rise, and protect the Forerunners! Rise and protect the Galaxy!" - To his newly created Promethean Knights.
"The Flood is still too strong. Perhaps if I had greater numbers..." - Pondering on the losses suffered by his Promethean machines.
"Humans, your kind brought the Flood to our shores. Now you will aid in ending its threat." - Before composing the humans of Omega Halo.
"Your pets have a nobler purpose ahead of them." - To the Librarian, after she discovers the composition of Omega Halo's human residents.
"I have an army to build from the raw materials harvested this day. The citizens of this Halo are my first conscripts and with them in my thrall, the Flood will meet its defeat. Humanity's loss of biological form will serve as final payment for their crimes. It is a kindness they do not deserve." - Explaining his plans for the Promethean Knights to the Librarian.
Sangheili: "Pilgrims... on the path of enlightenment."
Ur-Didact: (exhales) "You are Sangheili, loyal and strong — even in your second form. You will serve well. How did you- (pauses and spots John-117) No... this Sangheili was not responsible for my liberation after all... was he, human?
—Awakening dialog used in the Halo 4 casting demo.
"A restless unease in my gut warned me that gravity on these decks might fail at any moment. Very dangerous - gravity gradients are not to be ignored. I could be slammed up or thrown sideways, smashed to a pulp. As any warrior will tell you, unbalanced gravity is a (TT: expletive, possibly sacrilegious, untranslatable)." - while exploring the Builder hulk Faber exiled him on. The expletive has been excised by the automated translator.
"We're ruled by idiots." - To Sharp-by-Striking upon being told about the Forerunners' ongoing strategies devised in his own absence.
"I hoped as much. It's tough to survive an exploding ship in one's underwear." - As Maker-of-Moons gives him her armor before fleeing the Builder hulk and leaving the Didact and Catalog to fend for themselves.
"The whole concept of will, good or ill, is irrelevant when speaking of such beings." - In response to Catalog's comment about the Primordial bearing "ill will" toward Forerunners.
"Not an interview. A deep, burning brand. An upwelling of hidden genetic contents... So many things I would never have imagined. Things I cannot repeat, lest I lose what remains of my sanity, my Warrior soul." - Describing his encounter with the Gravemind while being interrogated by Catalog.
"I can't go any deeper. I can't tell you more. The questions you ask float. My answers float beside them. I feel nothing, care for nothing. But I did warn you. Be careful. You do not want to become like me. Stop this! Stop the pain!" - After Catalog forces him to continue his testimony via "calming encouragement".
"She will return soon, old one. What will she find? A broken and crippled home, a broken and crippled husband. We have become our own enemy, Catalog." - As he comforts a dying taratovire while awaiting for the Librarian to arrive in their former domicile on Nomdagro.
"Did you hear my blasphemy, wife? Do I discredit your belief in the Mantle?" - In reference to the above quote, after noting the Librarian's arrival.
"Humans drowned out entire civilizations with the Flood. They brought this horrific parasite to our people. Had we acted quicker, had we taken what was rightfully ours, we could have cut off the infection at its source. Know this: the universe will now be turned star by star, world by world, organism by living thing, into even more of a tortured mockery than it already is. Look what it's done to me! Everything it touches is afflicted with madness. It has touched me. I am myself mad!" - To the Librarian.
"Humans would have prayed to this. Everywhere they found powers and forces, in oceans and rivers, in trees, in animals-even in rocks. Forerunners pray their sorts of prayers only to the Mantle. Who, then, is more deserving?" - To the IsoDidact, in reference to a Precursor monument on Nomdagro.
"When we first met, Bornstellar, you were looking for treasure. Perhaps it's here and we never recognized it." - Following up on the above.
"The Domain is filled with sadness. A deep shadow has fallen over everything Forerunner. When I was pulled up from all that, pulled out of the Cryptum and revived... I couldn't remember. But now I do - in part. Horror brought it back. The Gravemind returned it to me. It forced me to listen." - To the Librarian while she visits the Mantle's Approach at the greater Ark.
"I need to fight against what it told me, what it has done to me, to all of us. I need to fight with all of my might and will, and everything I can gather... every weapon and resource. But I have been undercut from the very beginning by that Manipular, Wife. The worst thing I’ve ever done was imprint him. And so, forgive me in advance for what I must do. And know why I do it." — To the Librarian, before composing the humans of Omega Halo.
"Traitors. And yet... even in the midst of our most monumental failure, I will seize another solution." - Musing to himself as the greater Ark falls under attack.
"The human essences will go where all but one of my Prometheans have already gone. Their loyalty is now past question. They are our only hope against the parasite." — Upon being questioned by the Librarian about his composition of Omega Halo's humans.
"Your humans will find immortality as a new kind of weapon. They are now Prometheans - an honor I have granted them, though they do not deserve it." - On the Promethean Knights in the process of being created.
Ur-Didact: "No war, no fighting. Eternal bliss, progress and development without pause! Impossible dream."
Catalog: "The Librarian's dream?"
Ur-Didact: "Not at all. She understands life! How could they not? Peace and cooperation, never painful or deadly competition - that's what they must have desired. They understood nothing about their creations, really - else why open themselves to that sort of rebellion? Madness! It could only lead to madness."
—Conversing with Catalog in his former family home on Nomdagro while waiting for the IsoDidact and the Librarian to arrive.
Ur-Didact: "We are no longer the same. Look at that forsaken sky. The shadowy dust of old suns glowing deep inside with young light. New stars being born. Planets condensing like rain, covering themselves almost immediately in a velvet of life. When I was young, I saw a universe filled with threat and constant danger. It took the Librarian to teach me it was more beautiful than I could bear... Beauty second only to her own."
IsoDidact: "And now?"
Ur-Didact: "All I see are the colors of nightmare. Every star turned against us."
IsoDidact: "What else do you see?"
Ur-Didact: "What I've always seen, what we've always seen. But now it's different."
IsoDidact: "The light is over a hundred years old. What could change?"
Ur-Didact: "Something deeper than frequency. Look again. The way it invades our eyes. Piercing. Slicing. Concealing. The light shuns us, space itself wishes to expel us. Can't you see? We are no longer welcome here. The Flood changes everything. Not just flesh. Space itself is infected. That's the power the Precursors once had... isn't it? They shaped and moved galaxies! They created us! How did we ever manage to defeat them?"
IsoDidact: Perhaps they were powerful but naive. But they've had ten million years to contemplate those mistakes."
Ur-Didact: "Yes... The Graveminds suck experience from all sentient history. One of them did everything but absorb me. Saw right through me, understood every strategy I've ever devised. They've advanced far beyond the Primordial. In absence of old strategies, new ones must be made."
IsoDidact: "I don't believe so. What we saw years ago at Charum Hakkor — before you imprinted me — the result of a unique Halo test. Complete destruction of all Precursor artifacts. Back then, it seemed an awful aberration... But now we know what Halos are really capable of. They can destroy any structure that relies on neural physics. They are our last hope."
Ur-Didact: "And loose damnation on the stars? My wife sympathizes with our enemies. This quest to fulfill the Mantle has haunted me my entire life. And for countless millennia, we have failed to realize the one truth that could have saved us from the beginning. The Mantle isn’t to be inherited by the noble, it is to be taken by the strong."
—A conversation during the two Didacts' reunion on Nomdagro. The Ur-Didact's quote "And loose damnation on the stars?" references a line spoken by Cortana on the level The Covenant in Halo 3 ("For a moment of safety, I loosed damnation upon the stars.").
Ur-Didact: "What wisdom have you acquired, buried in my pattern, in the shape of my flesh? Am I to be set aside, and you, no doubt screaming under all that pattern, perhaps hope to return to what you were? Or do you find this pattern more suitable - and hope to replace me?"
IsoDidact: "The Lifeshaper and I have work to finish. And so do you. There are no plans to set you aside."
Ur-Didact: "You still can't read her as well as I. She is stubborn, brilliant as a nova, dark as a singularity, with infinite depths. I've never discovered the core of her emotions, her self. I wonder what her duplicate would be like, what it would feel like to wear her imprint. To so many species she has made herself like unto a god, that they will remember her, that she can manipulate them in future times. She's explained that to you, hasn't she?"
IsoDidact: "I remember."
Ur-Didact: "Second-hand memory! You're a poor copy at best, aren't you?"
Ur-Didact: "There is no hope, continuing with your strategy, not in our time, not in this galaxy. That is a cold, simple fact."
IsoDidact: "I hold another opinion."
Ur-Didact: "Your privilege... Manipular. The Halos? Violating the Mantle all over again, with even greater destruction! Wiping out all intelligent life across this galaxy! By itself that proves you are a poor version. You've altered your strategic vision."
IsoDidact: "As every commander must."
Ur-Didact: "Don't you feel the truth of it? We gave the Precursors reason to retreat into madness. A passion for vengeance. And the Gravemind gave it all right back to me. I am filled with that passion, that madness, that poison! If we fire Halo, we lose everything."
Ur-Didact: "I leave the Lifeshaper to you, Bornstellar. She has obviously chosen your way, not mine. I will take my own ship and you will show me where the Ark has been hidden."
—A conversation with the IsoDidact, before the two leave Nomdagro.