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Forgotten Halo Media May 9, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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We have started to receive the first game information for the newest Xbox console and players are chomping at the big hoping there will finally be some unveiling of the next Halo game, Halo Infinite, soon. The Xbox brand has been intertwined with Halo since the original console launched back in 2001, and as Halo games shifted from being developed by Bungie to Microsoft’s internal studio 343 Industries, the expanded Halo universe took off.

In 2009, shortly after the release of Halo 3: ODST, Microsoft’s 343 Studios launched the Halo Waypoint app. The app gave Halo players easy access to their online progress, awarded avatar items and offered exclusive video content you couldn’t find anywhere else. At around the same time, Halo: Legends was about to get released into Blu-Ray Disc, and Halo Waypoint was poised to take advantage of promoting the anthology.

Sadly, that app has not been ported to the Xbox One, and as of the time this article is being posted, many of the Halo Waypoint videos have not been officially added elsewhere, either to the Halo Channel app, a special feature in a Home Video compilation or Halo’s Official YouTube Channel.

The Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa was an animated short produced for the Xbox 360’s Halo Waypoint app during its heyday. It was an animated adaptation of a short story included in Halo: Evolutions and was produced by the same company who later went on to animate Halo: The Fall of Reach for Home Video in 2015. Here’s the trailer:

As you could see from the trailer, the titular Mona Lisa is invaded by Halo’s most insidious foe, The Flood. With no Master Chief to help them, the surviving crew must find a way to defeat the parasite or prevent it from spreading at all costs.

The short is horrific and just awesome, telling a gripping story in the Halo universe. It wouldn’t be the only animated short to get neglected…

Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian

A cancer-stricken soldier is recovering from major surgery as his ship is invaded by the Covenant. With the help of the ship’s AI, he needs to figure out how to keep the location of Earth safe from the invaders. The short was absolutely beautiful, told in many parts, with an epic ending. It has never been brought to the Halo Channel, nor has it been officially released on any other medium.

However, those two aren’t the only animated short that has seemingly been “lost”. There is one more.

The Return

The Return was an even shorter animated story taken from Halo: Evolutions. In fact I think it was the very first animated Evolutions short. Set before the events of Halo 4, the short tells the origin of the Elite that was not willing to accept the peace that was settled at the end of Halo 3.

Given that this was such a major component of Halo 4 (and its origin is very glossed over), this is an important story that should have been made a permanent addition to the Halo Channel.

I have no idea why the animated short and The Mona Lisa weren’t included on the Blu-Ray Disc release of Halo: The Fall of Reach, in fact the home video release of that animated special came with no special features at all.

The Experience Halo 4 Launch Event

Experience Halo was an enormous event that many press believed transformed an entire country into the Halo world for one night. If this sounds a little familiar it’s probably because some of this idea (interacting with Halo in the real world) is a reoccurring idea for Halo marketing since Halo 2‘s I Love Bees Campaign in 2004 and most recently has been expanded upon (to great success) for Halo: Outpost Discovery.

In Liechtenstein, the gaming press were treated to a fun little experience in anticipation for the release of Halo 4 on the Xbox 360. They were shuttled into busses and given instructions to complete a series of challenges in some wild environments. Along the way, they encounter the Chief in the middle of a battle. Here’s a press video of the event.

Halo Reach Developer Commentary

Players who picked up a copy of the Halo Reach Collector’s Edition or Halo Reach Legendary Edition received download code to unlock a special video commentary for the game that could be watched through the Xbox 360’s Halo Waypoint application. The commentary video is an hour long as features interviews with four major developers of Halo: Reach.

Due to the fact that the video required a DLC code to unlock it, it’s unknown how many people watched it, but we made a review of it years ago.

So there are a few examples of Halo media that has gone forgotten for all these years. If there’s anything you think I’ve missed, please post a comment below. We could be weeks away from seeing our first in-game footage of the next Halo title, and my hopes are high this will restore Halo to its place as the top game of the next Xbox console.

Halo Infinite is coming Holiday 2020 to the Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC.

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