The Epic of Halo

The wildy popular Halo franchise recently hit its tenth anniversary and most of us can’t help but look back at the one game that started it all. 

As you probably already know, Halo is currently a multi-billion dollar science fiction video game franchise (originally created by Bungie) managed by 343 Industries and owned by Microsoft Studios. 

The property has obviously expanded since the early days of Combat Evolved, and now includes Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo Wars (RTS), Halo Reach, Combat Evolved Anniversary (HD), and Halo 4, which is still in development.

There are also multiple bestselling novels and graphic novels which have sold quite well (the Halo Graphic Novel sold more than 100,000 copies), with a number of them appearing on Publisher Weekly’s bestseller charts.

In addition, Tor’s first three novels sold more than one million copies by April 2000, while Ghosts of Onyx, Contact Harvest, The Cole Protocol and the first volume of Cryptum made the well-respected New York Times bestseller lists.

And, last but certainly not least, a report written by Roger Travis (published by The Escapist) linked Halo to the Latin epic Aeneid penned by Virgil. Travis pointed out a number of similarities between the plots of both works – comparing the Flood and Covenant to the role performed by the Carthaginians, and the Master Chief to Aeneas.

But getting back to the nostalgia aspect of Halo. Gaming is a big part of millions of childhoods, and looking back at the years we played video games can take us back to a much simpler time in our lives.

So to celebrate Halo’s anniversary, X Box Magazine and Future Publications put out a special issue celebrating the event, where fans and people who worked on the game alike brought up their favorite recollections of the game. 

As John Holmes, who was creative director for Halo 4 recalled, “The game was so epic. It made me feel more immersed, powerful, and heroic than any other game I’d played.”

Kiki Wolfkill, and executive producer on Halo 4 also recalled, “I played through the first three hours with my friend on the phone. I totally effed my neck up because I didn’t have a speakerphone. It was the first time I felt like I was participating in an epic adventure versus just playing a game.”

Ed Fries, who was in charge of Microsoft Game Studios, recalls that he didn’t know the game was going to be so important. 

”We were just trying to get together a set of content for launch… We had less than two years from the initial approval until we had to launch the product, which is a pretty short time to put together high end console games. There was a small set of games we decided to spend all our TV money on. And Halo was one of those games.”

The memories among gamers are certainly fond, the issue even talked to the last people that played Halo 2 on Xbox, who went under the gamer names HiredN00bs, Agent Windex, and xxBooker Dxx, to name a few.

 As xxMAKDADYxx recalled, “It was special to be able to give Halo 2 a proper send-off and show Bungie and Microsoft how much we love it.”

Here’s to hoping 4 carries on the proud Halo tradition!