Author Topic: Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos  (Read 1711 times)

Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos
« on: November 30, 2015, 12:26:49 AM »

Tar Alacrin

  • Hero
  • Posts: 1919
  • There has been much talk. And i have listened...
I just finished watching a Let's play (sadly, I chose to trade my Xbone for a ps4, so for the time being I'm unable to play the game  :'( )


*Disclaimer; I haven't heard any of the audio-log/data drop data pad things at all, so some of my complaints might be addressed there.

Honestly I can say that I was genuinely surprised by the direction that they chose to go with the universe, and even though "AI taking over society to ''Protect'' humans from themselves" isn't going to win any awards for originality: I really enjoyed that twist. I'm really excited to see where they go with it, like for the first time in a while I feel like I don't know whats going to happen in the universe, and I'm excited in seeing what comes next.
Although, it was weird that there were no hints or references in the main game to the triumvirate. (at least, none that I picked up on) Which is weird, since it TOTALLY feels like there should have been; if there aren't any references in the info drops I will be mega disappointed.

I really felt it when Cortana betrayed blue team and put them in the Cryptum.

I thought the move to lock Blue Team up in the Cryptum was genius from a gameplay/franchise writing perspective. Because as long as Blue team was alive and functioning, it was super annoying whenever there was a Locke/Osiris mission cause you were playing as the second string losers and Not the awesome epic Blue Team who you've been reading about anticipating over a decade.  But when suddenly blue team was out of the picture and everything fell to Osiris to save them, it was like "I'm finally able to actually care about and root for you guys"
That said, I would have liked it if you'd failed to free blue team. Cause its hard to make us take a threat seriously if as soon as it begins to execute its grand evil plan, the second string team manages to steal the thing it cares most about and handily foil its attempts to stop them.
But I guess they probably wanted to be able to use master chief on the promo art for Halo 6. So i guess thats alright......



Quote from: Tanaka, upon first seeing Sloan
Rampancy onset. Late stage, from the looks. Probably sacrificing resolution for logic cycles

This quote annoys me so much. Especially since he wasn't even low res, or blocky voxely or anything. He just had some corruptions in his model; like his arm was floating in a different spot. Ugh. I could talk about how stupid this quote is for like two more paragraphs, but I wont.
But I feel like its kind of indicitive of a lot of what happened in the game. I feel like the game was full of little things that didn't quite work if you thought about it, or that they tried to explain away with in universe-technobabble, but it didn't quite work cause we know what the words mean.
Or just how, even moreso than every other game, things just happened to function in a super video game-y way. Like in the end when you have to disable all of these cores that are there all of a sudden that are protecting the Cryptum or something, but then you do, but it doesn't really matter. Like, it looked like there were like a billion Cryptums all along the walls when blue team gets captured; does every single one have a series of 5 cores that protect them or something?
Or even worse, just strait up weird inconsistencies. Like how in the beginning Roland flips out and yells at the bridge crew when they are arguing; which is a SUPER rampant thing to do, but nobody even bats an eye. And in the end Roland even sides with the good guys against Cortana, so that scene never really mattered. Its something that wouldn't be a huge deal if the whole plot of the game wasn't dealing with rampancy and AI's taking over.

The whole way they treated rampancy in the game felt a bit odd and inconsistent; they treated it like some sort of weird disease that would kill the AI itself. Whereas before I always felt it was more just that they would become more and more mentally unstable or even more human almost, and since human's didn't like that we would put them down.



The way that Master Chief goes AWOL based on nothing but a weird premonition felt a bit forced to me. I guess he did feel a very similar thing throughout Halo 3, so he probably recognized what was happening. But it felt a little bit too sudden and flippant for my taste.
For that matter, the whole hunting of the chief plot fell kinda flat for me. It could have been handled a lot nicer. In fact, despite the fact that the content offered in this game is extreme, my only real complaint was that it felt like the story suffered from some severe cut content; for the first one third to half of the game the campaign beats felt weird and oddly disjointed. And the fact that there was like 3 or 4 relatively small missions that took place in basically the same place on meridian felt like they cut a whole area but had to fulfill a "15 mission" selling point or something.



And finally; 031 Exuberant Witness:
I loved her, she's probably the closest thing to a completely "un-rampant" forerunner monitor that we've encountered; super happy and cheerful to help you do whatever you want. And the tension that came from wondering whether or not she would betray us was nice. Especially at the end when you have to run around that room pushing buttons for her pretty aimlessly as Cortana's ships were launching into slipspace...
I'm conflicted by the fact that she didn't betray us though, cause i'm glad that she is a good guy cause its nice to have a piece of forerunner tech thats working as intended for once. But a lot of things would probably make more sense if she had been lying to us.
Like how she never showed up to blue team; cause master chief would automatically be distrustful of her due to his experiences with 343GS.
Or how its pretty convenient that Cortana doesn't just overpower and shut her down like she does with the Warden.
Or like how none of the explanations she gives to you when telling you to do stuff really make that much sense outside of "its a video game, do these objectives"; it would make way more sense for her to just be making up some bullcrap excuse for you to activate some stuff as a reclaimer.
Like that time where you run around the room pushing buttons aimlessly while Cortana's ships launch into slipspace; maybe they needed an actual reclaimer to issue the commands to launch the Guardians to slipspace and set their plan in motion.

But then why did she successfully help you retrieve blue team?
Idk, I'm kinda torn about this.



ANNNNYways; whatre yall's thoughts/replies on the story?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 12:30:48 AM by Tar Alacrin »
Signature.

Re: Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 06:27:25 AM »

Slightly Live

  • Forward Staff
  • Rookie
  • Posts: 328
  • Logical Plague
    • Forward Unto Dawn
Very nice, if erratic, read.

I am very sad about the lack of Assembly references too. Considering the state of the universe, it seems ripe to have them included.

Also, don't rule out Roland just yet. :)

Re: Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2015, 12:56:49 AM »

Sixftunder

  • Hero
  • Posts: 1136
  • This is the way the world ends
I'm not going to write out everything in detail just yet but Halo 5, story wise, was a huge let down for me. Even more so than Halo 4.

Basically, the marketing was completely bogus about Chief vs Locke, Osiris is almost completely unnecessary to the story and the narrative is delivered at break neck speed which does not help with the fact that the whole thing would once again be so alienating to anyone that hasn't played previous games. I get that the new games are trying to tell more personal stories but 343 is just failing to do so in an interesting and meaningful way. If I pretended that I had no knowledge of Blue team before this game, I would hands down say that I cared more about Noble team in Reach than I did Blue team in Halo 5 (or Osiris for that matter, but they're all boring, including Buck sadly).
Praise Bird Jesus!

Re: Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2015, 12:01:38 AM »

Tar Alacrin

  • Hero
  • Posts: 1919
  • There has been much talk. And i have listened...
Very nice, if erratic, read.

Yeah, I kinda just stream of consciousness-spewed this out in the middle of working on my final projects.

Also, don't rule out Roland just yet.
You know, I wouldn't normally rule him out. (in terms of him being a double agent) but from a dramatic standpoint they didn't even present this as an option. Like there should have been a scene at the end when all the AI were turning bad where there was some level of tension where the people looked at Roland and were like "oh, can we trust you?" -- But there wasn't; he was just a strait up good guy the whole time.

Quote
Basically, the marketing was completely bogus about Chief vs Locke, Osiris is almost completely unnecessary to the story and the narrative is delivered at break neck speed which does not help with the fact that the whole thing would once again be so alienating to anyone that hasn't played previous games. I get that the new games are trying to tell more personal stories but 343 is just failing to do so in an interesting and meaningful way. If I pretended that I had no knowledge of Blue team before this game, I would hands down say that I cared more about Noble team in Reach than I did Blue team in Halo 5 (or Osiris for that matter, but they're all boring, including Buck sadly).

I have to agree. I had more complaints on that whole topic, but I decided to throw them out cause my post was getting too long already. It seemed like a bad idea.
Signature.

Re: Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2015, 12:12:41 AM »

Slightly Live

  • Forward Staff
  • Rookie
  • Posts: 328
  • Logical Plague
    • Forward Unto Dawn
You know, I wouldn't normally rule him out. (in terms of him being a double agent) but from a dramatic standpoint they didn't even present this as an option. Like there should have been a scene at the end when all the AI were turning bad where there was some level of tension where the people looked at Roland and were like "oh, can we trust you?" -- But there wasn't; he was just a strait up good guy the whole time.

I think we didn't have the time time to see Roland deal with the situation - after all, AI can think really quickly compared with us slow apes. I think the window is wide open to explore Roland in light of the Cortana situation, EU material would be the perfect place for that.

Re: Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2015, 02:22:46 PM »

DangerousDave

  • Forward Staff
  • Legend
  • *
  • Posts: 2281
  • You are alive when they eat you.
    • Personal Site
Or even worse, just strait up weird inconsistencies. Like how in the beginning Roland flips out and yells at the bridge crew when they are arguing; which is a SUPER rampant thing to do, but nobody even bats an eye. And in the end Roland even sides with the good guys against Cortana, so that scene never really mattered. Its something that wouldn't be a huge deal if the whole plot of the game wasn't dealing with rampancy and AI's taking over.

And finally; 031 Exuberant Witness:
I loved her, she's probably the closest thing to a completely "un-rampant" forerunner monitor that we've encountered; super happy and cheerful to help you do whatever you want. And the tension that came from wondering whether or not she would betray us was nice. Especially at the end when you have to run around that room pushing buttons for her pretty aimlessly as Cortana's ships were launching into slipspace...
I'm conflicted by the fact that she didn't betray us though, cause i'm glad that she is a good guy cause its nice to have a piece of forerunner tech thats working as intended for once. But a lot of things would probably make more sense if she had been lying to us.
Like how she never showed up to blue team; cause master chief would automatically be distrustful of her due to his experiences with 343GS.
Or how its pretty convenient that Cortana doesn't just overpower and shut her down like she does with the Warden.
Or like how none of the explanations she gives to you when telling you to do stuff really make that much sense outside of "its a video game, do these objectives"; it would make way more sense for her to just be making up some bullcrap excuse for you to activate some stuff as a reclaimer.
Like that time where you run around the room pushing buttons aimlessly while Cortana's ships launch into slipspace; maybe they needed an actual reclaimer to issue the commands to launch the Guardians to slipspace and set their plan in motion.

Well, she apparently *does* need a Reclaimer to do some of her work (she talks about needing a human touch), but that might just be a function of Cortana control over much of her installation.

As for why Cortana can't just shut her down, she's her own construct. The Warden's connection to the Domain apparently put her in Cortana's wheelhouse, to the point that she can disable his bodies. We've never seen any ability to control the monitors outside of, I guess, Cortana knocking back 343GS in the Control Room.

---

I don't think Roland arguing out of turn is rampant (otherwise Cortana woulda' been rampant a long time ago), it's a disagreement just like any crew member could have (although being an AI he probably has a much longer lease than usual fleshbag protocols in the military.) I do agree that I felt like we were missing one or two lines of dialogue in a couple of cutscenes—what do people say to Roland after his outburst? Why'd Osiris just sit back and let the rest of Blue Team escape? Why doesn't Lasky just give Roland a quick side eye and get reassured he's still on the same team?

Re: Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2015, 06:39:09 PM »

Tar Alacrin

  • Hero
  • Posts: 1919
  • There has been much talk. And i have listened...
Well, she apparently *does* need a Reclaimer to do some of her work (she talks about needing a human touch), but that might just be a function of Cortana control over much of her installation.

As for why Cortana can't just shut her down, she's her own construct. The Warden's connection to the Domain apparently put her in Cortana's wheelhouse, to the point that she can disable his bodies. We've never seen any ability to control the monitors outside of, I guess, Cortana knocking back 343GS in the Control Room.
As for Cortana; you mean; when she strait up disables him for a bit?? I feel like there's no real reason that in her powered-up domain state, that she couldn't take her out completely. I guess its just a nitpick.
Especially given the gravemind's ability to so easily render 2401 impotent; he was probably using his connection with the domain to mess with 2401's mind.

Mega rampant speculation:
Its interesting though; I like the idea that Cortana's exposure to the Gravemind somehow gave some understanding of the domain. Woah. What if the gravemind/flood comes back and the gravemind manipulates her with the domain and there is like some flood-cortana hybrid thing; or she takes the flood over. Or the gravemind gains control over forerunner tech through cortana. Bwaaaahhhh

I don't think Roland arguing out of turn is rampant (otherwise Cortana woulda' been rampant a long time ago), it's a disagreement just like any crew member could have (although being an AI he probably has a much longer lease than usual fleshbag protocols in the military.) I do agree that I felt like we were missing one or two lines of dialogue in a couple of cutscenes—what do people say to Roland after his outburst? Why'd Osiris just sit back and let the rest of Blue Team escape? Why doesn't Lasky just give Roland a quick side eye and get reassured he's still on the same team?
On further viewing of the Roland outburst Lasky does get annoyed and tells him he's out of line and gives him a look, so in that scene its a bit more forgivable. It doesn't excuse the lack of such scenes in the ending though. But his outburst is hella rampant though; he's flipping out, yelling at his commander because of his emotional attatchment to another AI? Also; the way that that cutscene transitions to the next scene (by slowly fading to black with no resolution on the scene) screams "this video got cut to be way shorter than it was".

Also; how "smart" is Roland? It feels odd that Lasky and Palmer and Halsey would know about the chief and Cortana, but he had no idea till they started talking about it in front of him.

Oh yeah; and something I forgot to write in my original post:
I liked the parallel with Cortana putting Chief in the cryptum; calling back to when the Librarian forced the Didact in.
And they've got to bring Mendicant into the next game right? Like; the plot is ripe for his inclusion. Being an AI who was tasked with the protection of everything and messed up and realizes it.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 06:43:31 PM by Tar Alacrin »
Signature.

Re: Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2015, 11:54:03 AM »

Capac Amaru

  • Hero
  • Posts: 1619
  • ONI Analyst: Section Zero: Xenological Studies
    • Zebra Monkeys - home of Light Echoes


Mega rampant speculation:
Its interesting though; I like the idea that Cortana's exposure to the Gravemind somehow gave some understanding of the domain. Woah. What if the gravemind/flood comes back and the gravemind manipulates her with the domain and there is like some flood-cortana hybrid thing; or she takes the flood over. Or the gravemind gains control over forerunner tech through cortana. Bwaaaahhhh


So an AI in a bid to 'protect' everybody, forces them against their will in a hellish gestalt existence to 'preserve' them and incorporate others? Where have I heard that before...

Re: Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2015, 09:18:17 PM »

DangerousDave

  • Forward Staff
  • Legend
  • *
  • Posts: 2281
  • You are alive when they eat you.
    • Personal Site
Well, she apparently *does* need a Reclaimer to do some of her work (she talks about needing a human touch), but that might just be a function of Cortana control over much of her installation.

As for why Cortana can't just shut her down, she's her own construct. The Warden's connection to the Domain apparently put her in Cortana's wheelhouse, to the point that she can disable his bodies. We've never seen any ability to control the monitors outside of, I guess, Cortana knocking back 343GS in the Control Room.
As for Cortana; you mean; when she strait up disables him for a bit?? I feel like there's no real reason that in her powered-up domain state, that she couldn't take her out completely. I guess its just a nitpick.
Especially given the gravemind's ability to so easily render 2401 impotent; he was probably using his connection with the domain to mess with 2401's mind.

Neither the cutscene nor exactly the nature of 2401's position are ever really explained... rewatching that cutscene (and the original graphics) the weirdest thing that I never thought about is that Spark is knocked back, but then sits down and basically lets Cortana exposit before chiming in. It makes no sense.

For 2401, I literally assumed that he was simply rendered helpless by the fact that the Gravemind had him physically in his clutches, and had apparently highjacked the teleportation grid. In hindsight the problem with that is they gave 343GS a beam weapon which he never used before...

Re: Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2015, 07:14:48 PM »

Tar Alacrin

  • Hero
  • Posts: 1919
  • There has been much talk. And i have listened...
Quote
rewatching that cutscene (and the original graphics) the weirdest thing that I never thought about is that Spark is knocked back, but then sits down and basically lets Cortana exposit before chiming in. It makes no sense.
I assumed she'd just hit him hard enough that he had to like reboot everything and run diagnostics and stuff and it just took him some time to do all that; either that or he figured that any attempt to interrupt would be met with a similar punishment.

Quote
For 2401, I literally assumed that he was simply rendered helpless by the fact that the Gravemind had him physically in his clutches, and had apparently highjacked the teleportation grid. In hindsight the problem with that is they gave 343GS a beam weapon which he never used before...
I always assumed that the Monitors were at least Partially interconnected with their stations; it feels like it would be super inefficient for the monitors to have to physically do everything.
As for shooting the laser beam; maybe he did, and it just isn't super effective against something thats the sheer size of the gravemind... But he kept going until he ran out of energy... That explains why he has a red light; cause he's low on battery.
Signature.

Re: Halo 5 Guardians; on rampancy. Mega Spoilerinos
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2015, 03:03:09 AM »

DangerousDave

  • Forward Staff
  • Legend
  • *
  • Posts: 2281
  • You are alive when they eat you.
    • Personal Site
Quote
rewatching that cutscene (and the original graphics) the weirdest thing that I never thought about is that Spark is knocked back, but then sits down and basically lets Cortana exposit before chiming in. It makes no sense.
I assumed she'd just hit him hard enough that he had to like reboot everything and run diagnostics and stuff and it just took him some time to do all that; either that or he figured that any attempt to interrupt would be met with a similar punishment.

Quote
For 2401, I literally assumed that he was simply rendered helpless by the fact that the Gravemind had him physically in his clutches, and had apparently highjacked the teleportation grid. In hindsight the problem with that is they gave 343GS a beam weapon which he never used before...
I always assumed that the Monitors were at least Partially interconnected with their stations; it feels like it would be super inefficient for the monitors to have to physically do everything.
As for shooting the laser beam; maybe he did, and it just isn't super effective against something thats the sheer size of the gravemind... But he kept going until he ran out of energy... That explains why he has a red light; cause he's low on battery.

Penitent Tangent and the rest of the Forerunner Monitors actually having different colored eyes is actually one of those random "fan theories become canon" moments. In the game 2401 PT has a blue eye just like Guilty Spark; apparently there's some texture error with the Gravemind tentacle that makes it red.