‘Halo: Nightfall’ Tells Halo 5 Character’s Origin Story
Halo 5 adds a new player character to the Halo universe in the Spartan armor-wearing Jameson Locke, and the upcoming live-action film series “Halo: Nightfall” means to tell his origin story.
At the “Halo: Nightfall” panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, 343 Industries and Scott Free, the production company of “Nightfall” Executive Producer Ridley Scott, gave fans a few details of the plot and other elements of the upcoming series. Unlike “Forward Unto Dawn,” 343’s last Halo-related live-action film series, “Nightfall” takes place in the present of the Halo timeline. It also takes place in a familiar locale to Halo fans: a partially functioning piece of the halo ring destroyed at the end of Halo: Combat Evolved.
It’s the aftermath of the Covenant War, and the story follows characters from Sedra, an outer human colony planet whose residents feel as though they’ve been abandoned by the United Nations Space Command, Earth’s major governing body. The story follows Locke (played by Mike Colton), an agent from the Office of Naval Intelligence and a well-known manhunter, when he and others arrive at Sedra to investigate terrorist activity on the colony. There, they link up with some bitter soldiers from the Colonial Guard military force – a group stationed on the poor, distant Sedra that finds itself forced to use outdated UNSC equipment and tech.
The panel featured a short teaser for the series, which will be available to Xbox Live subscribers on Nov. 11, that suggests alien forces (maybe Covenant, maybe Prometheans – 343 wouldn’t specify) have discovered some kind of element that can selectively kill only humans. The teaser suggested the location of that element is the chunk of the destroyed Halo ring, which is what sends the ONI officers and Colonial Guard troops to the inhospitable piece of the ring-world.
“Nightfall” isn’t just about Halo 5 plot-making, though – the focus is more on trying to tell a human story set in the Halo universe, revealing what happens to Locke that ostensibly seems to lead to his becoming a Spartan.
“With ‘Forward Unto Dawn’ we have a fairly light connection between one of the characters (appearing in the games and the film), who shows up – it’s not a cameo but it’s not much. If you don’t watch ‘Nightfall,’ first, you’re an idiot,” joked 343’s Franchise Development Director Frank O’Connor. “It won’t keep you from enjoying Halo 5, but we’re giving players some really compelling insight into Locke’s character. As Mike (Colter) said, it’s the origin of a superhero, in a way and we see Spartans as sort of like superheroes. Locke’s a little more complicated than just an All-American boy, though, and I think there’s going to be some nuance and layering to his character in both of these things, in both Halo 5 and ‘Nightfall,’ that fans will become attached to.”
Scott Free and 343 also want to use “Nightfall” to show some things that haven’t really appeared much in the Halo universe before – namely, what everyday life is like in the 26th Century. The story displays some pretty stark opposites, O’Connor said, showing colony life and its implications as well as the action-heavy science fiction for which the games and series are known.
O’Connor said the story of “Nightfall” will give players an idea of the politics and economics of life on the colonies, as well, with many characters from Sedra dealing with animosity about their relationship with the UNSC. The colonists feel as though they’ve been abandoned during the war, and they’ve been without support from Earth’s larger government. One tangible example viewers will see in “Nightfall” is the Condor troop transport, a new Halo vehicle that wound up leaking through the course of the panel. Rather than the Pelican players are used to seeing in Halo, the Condor is a larger ship, something of a “Super Pelican,” O’Connor said. It’s equipped with a slipspace drive and which has been more or less cobbled together from older UNSC equipment.
“Halo: Nightfall” is part of the Halo: Master Chief Collection coming later this year to Xbox One, and will be available digitally on Nov. 11.
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