343 hid an audio log in its latest Halo Infinite blog post that has certainly caught the attention of Halo story fans.
In the Inside Infinite blog post over at Halo Waypoint, 343 linked to a .wav whose file name begins with “halsey_journal_01”. The easy to miss link in the text “stories to be found” reveals a conversation between Master Chief, Catherine Halsey and an unnamed man.
THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD.
The conversation references Master Chief’s final encounter with Cortana at the end of Halo 5. Here’s the conversation:
- Halsey: “How many now?”
- Man: “16 systems shut down so far, seemingly random locations. I’m attempting to lock her and the others out of the main-“
- Halsey: “You will not be able to stop her. She knows more about how this all works than… well, anyone.”
- Master Chief: “Dr. Halsey.”
- Halsey: “John.”
- Master Chief: “What’s the plan?”
- Halsey: “The plan? Right now, we are in survival mode, again. Cortana’s message has spread across the galaxy, most sentient AI are siding with her.”
- Master Chief: “Against us?”
- Halsey: “Yes… But maybe not you. Tell me John, what was the last thing she said to you?”
- Master Chief: “She said… goodbye.”
For reference, here’s the cutscene in Halo 5 in which Cortana says goodbye to Master Chief (skip to 21:30):
At the very least, this audio log suggests Halo Infinite is not leaving the divisive Halo 5 behind or retconning it in a meaningful way. At the end of Halo 5, Cortana sets off to enact her Reclamation plan. Master Chief and co land on Sanghelios to meet up with Halsey. “Took you long enough,” Halsey says. If the player completes the game on Legendary, an extra cutscene shows an unknown Halo installation powering up while Cortana hums. The video below shows it all off:
This new audio log sounds like it takes place soon after Master Chief lands on Sanghelios, with he and Halsey about to plot some kind of fightback against Cortana.
Microsoft has released Halo Infinite’s opening cutscene, below. In it, Master Chief is found floating in space. After his awakening, Master Chief prepares to land on Zeta Halo.
We don’t know much about Halo Infinite’s story, but we do know it revolves around Master Chief this time, the action will be set on Zeta Halo, and the Banished from Halo Wars 2 and Cortana are involved. In 343’s blog post, Halo Infinite campaign art lead Justin Dinges said: “Players will not only experience the immediate story of Chief’s reawakening to confront the Banished and Cortana but if they look around, they may find glimpses of the future as well.”
It’ll be interesting to discover how Master Chief goes from chatting to Halsey in relative safety to floating in space, adrift. Perhaps we’ll find out via collectible audio logs like this one.