Halo, the differences between video game and TV series

Halo, the differences between video game and TV series


The Halo TV series has officially landed on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV (arriving today with the Italian dubbing) and we have also already talked about it in an article focused on the first two episodes. However, the most avid fans have welcomed the series in a somewhat fluctuating way, due to CGI effects between highs and lows, a rather strange script (for now) and above all many differences with the video game.

Updated article after the third episode.

Before proceeding, it seems correct to underline an important question: the narrative universe of the TV series is not canonical, this means that it is disconnected from the videogame franchise, positioning itself in a timeline called Silver Timeline and supervised by 343 Industries. This means that the television work will make choices that die hard fans will most likely not like, but which will inevitably be necessary to make the series more enjoyable for viewers unfamiliar with the huge and expansive Halo universe.

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Halo, the differences between video game and TV series

Cortana integrated in the cerebral cortex

In the video game (and in the lore), Cortana is an artificial intelligence that you can move in conditions of need. In fact, the Master Chief's helmet acts as a hub for inserting a chip into which Cortana can communicate. In the TV series, Cortana is grafted directly into John-117's brain, making it ubiquitous. To date we can define it as the biggest difference seen between the TV series and the video game.

Master Chief without a helmet

Let's start with the difference, for many, more painful: Master Chief takes off his helmet, showing the face. In the video game, John finds himself several times without a helmet, but his face is almost always hidden (apart from the legendary ending of Halo 4 where you can see the shadow of his eyes). Let's be clear, in video games we have always opted for this decision to make him a real avatar of the player, moving him away from a very specific "shape" as perhaps a Marcus Fenix ​​can be. In the TV series, viewers still have to empathize with a character and the choice of helmet removal was natural and obvious.

Children whose memory has been erased

In the TV series it is understood that the children kidnapped for the Spartan II project are actually unaware of their past. In the video game (and especially in the novels), nothing was hidden from the boys just to turn them into war machines that could respond to orders without any kind of distractions or thoughts on their mind. Currently, this is the biggest difference between the two mediums.

Origins of Jacobs and Miranda Keys

The Covenant "raise" a human

Surely the most interesting part of the series ( at least according to the first episode) is the human raised by the Covenant. We do not know who she is and how the Prophets found her, but the choice to "keep" her is perfectly consistent with the narrative universe of Halo, which sees humans as the true heirs of the Shroud of Responsibility and consequently the only ones to be able to draw their knowledge from the Forerunner artifacts.

The Silver Team instead of the Blue Team

Do you remember Fred-104, Kelly-087 and Linda-058? Here, forget it because the Blue Team has been replaced by the Silver Team, which however is vaguely composed of the same roles. Riz-028 is an attacker like Fred, while Vannak-134 takes the place of Linda as Marksman and finally Kelly is replaced by Kai-125, the sniper. We honestly don't know why we wanted to make a change of names since the team is the same, perhaps to give a more precise idea of ​​a "new universe".

The prophets know the "Spartans"

In the video game (and also in the novels) the Prophets never mention the term "Spartan", limiting themselves to using only the word "Demon" to indicate Master Chief. In the TV series, Pietà, he mentions the military rank of the UNSC super soldiers instead.

The soundtrack (sigh)

Accurate lore from the novels (what you would not expect is correct)


Soren exists in the Halo lore, precisely he is present in a story in the Halo Collection and his character is quite in line with what is seen in the TV series. In fact, his body reacted negatively to some of Dr. Halsey's empowerment "experiments", leading to horrible "mutations"

The Rubble

The place where Master Chief accompanies Kwan to be protected by Soren actually exists in the Halo lore. The only difference is that in the canonical lore, Rubble is a place inhabited by humans (external colonies) and Kig-Yar (Jackals), in addition to the fact that the entire structure is controlled by an I.A. called Juliana and not by Soren.

Master Chief takes off his helmet

True, in the video game Chief he almost never takes off his helmet (as we have expressed a little above), but in the novels Chief, in non-combat situations, wastes no time in taking it off and "resting". In addition to this, the face of the Chief is not a mystery (seen for example on "The Fall of Reach") and has nothing particular about it. We know that he is a normal light-skinned soldier, with no particular evidence in terms of scars or anything else.

DMR with automatic fire

During the initial encounter, the Spartan Vannak-134 fights with a DMR in automatic fire mode. In video games the DMR is known to be a medium-long range weapon with single fire, in reality in the novels it is explained that almost all weapons (as in the modern era) have different rates of fire, consequently what we have seen it's lore accurate.

Chief's irony

During the episode, the young Kwan asks the Master Chief why he didn't eat, he replies with a rather cold and not very funny joke "Non c 'it's nothing I like, I usually eat bolts, microchips… “. Many fans were indignant at this aspect, in reality Master Chief has always been a person with a weird irony, but which is inevitably part of the character, just think of the phrase from Halo 2 "Go tell the Covenant" or the recent Halo Infinite “Oh, I love the Scorpion”. In the novels this feature is greatly amplified, making it in fact ... lore accurate.

The plasma gun is a dangerous weapon

In the novels, the plasma gun is a very powerful weapon. In video games it is very weakened to make it look almost like one of the "scarce" weapons, in reality its power can tear an Elite or a human to pieces in a short time, even without overload. In the first episode, a member of the Silver Team (Riz-028) blows up the head of a Sangheili thanks to the alien weapon.

The Spartans fight against the rebels

We have happened complaints or even opinions on the real involvement of the Spartans against the rebels of the outer colonies are at hand. Clear that for those who have played the video game they will never have heard of the rebels, but in the novels the Spartans are born precisely to counter the countless insurrections of the planets of the outer belt. With the arrival of the Covenant and the discovery of energy shields, the Spartans inevitably become central to the war against the alien race.

Miranda Keys daughter of Dr. Halsey

In reality this is also mentioned in video games (the beginning of Halo 5 Guardians is proof of this), but it is never confirmed, which instead appears evident in the novels. So… yes, Miranda Keys is Dr. Halsey's daughter.

The Elites are as bad as they should be

In the video game, the Elites are portrayed as almost "funny" soldiers, so much so that Bungie he has always represented them in an ironic way, inserting them in somewhat funny Easter-Eggs. In the videogame series they never manage to appear as bloody fearless warriors, unlike the Brutes. In reality in the TV series, the Elite are more coherent to what is described in the novels and in the Halo Encyclopedia: fearsome species that does not waste time in chatter (apart from the classic Wort Wort) by shooting at anyone who moves (children and teenagers included, massacred without restraint or displeasure).

Grunt and Jackal absent, why?

In the clash of the first episode we see Sangheili soldiers (Elite) fighting, without any kind of support from the Unggoy (Grunt, who we still don't know if they will be in the series) and Kig-Yar (Jackal). Many fans have complained about this, but it's actually lore-accurate as the Elite are the only Covenant soldiers tasked with recovering the Forerunner artifacts from the different planets. The reason is linked to the alliance created several years earlier between Sangheili and San 'Shyuum (Prophets), where the former took on the military burden of the Covenant and the recovery of artifacts and the latter engaged in the spread of religion and political stability of the Alliance.

Level quotes

In the first episode Riz-028 quotes a famous phrase from Cortana's Combat Evolved “This cave is not naturally formed“. For a fan, the phrase immediately brings back nostalgic memories. As soon as Master Chief arrives on Madrigal, an Elite immediately identifies him as he is recognized in the video game by the Covenant, "Demon". Madrigal is not a random planet, but one of the first to be attacked by the Covenant during the first contacts (the first occurred on Harvest). The name was taken by Bungie from its video game Myth (it was one of the main cities of the game) and its soundtrack is present on both franchises (among other things, wonderful), immediately becoming iconic. The planet is also mentioned in the novel "The Cole Protocol" and it is no coincidence that it resembles Arrakis (DUNE), since the inspiration comes from there! Reth is a character featured in the second episode of the Halo TV series, the funny fact is that in the book Halo: The Cole Protocol, Reth is the name of the Kig-Yar who created a lot of problems between the different factions (Jackals and humans) on Rubble. The Stalwart Dawn is a frigate seen in the second episode of the TV series and avid fans will surely remember that this UNSC battleship is actually featured in the video game Halo: Reach as well, resulting as one of the planet's defense ships during battle. defensive. Eridanus II is effectively the planet where Master Chief was born and where Dr. Halsey first met baby John. As soon as she is born, Cortana utters the following sentence "At the end of a game of chess, the King and the Pawns return to the same place", this is an Italian proverb which basically means that "After death, it doesn't matter who we are or where we come from, we all end up in the same place, ”and it's a memory Dr. Halsey shared with her mother. In the novels this part is present and it is also a beautiful quote.

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