Chronique:Canon Fodder - Didact's Delights

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Alex Wakeford

This month, we finished up the story of Halo Infinite's third season with the Site Unseen event, revealed the cover art for the highly anticipated Halo: Epitaph featuring the return of everybody's favorite Warrior-Servant disaster man—and there's still plenty more to cover in our latest issue of Canon Fodder!

Let's start with the big man himself. Come then, warriors, and have your resolution…

Forward Unto Epitaph[modifier]

Earlier this week, we revealed the cover art for Halo: Epitaph.

There are many times where the silent wait to show things off to Halo fans is incredibly challenging. We announced Halo: Epitaph at the 2022 Halo World Championship back in October, so you can perhaps imagine the extent to which that has been felt—both for us, and for your own anticipation with the promise of this titanic character returning.

You can head over to Simon & Schuster's site to pre-order Halo: Epitaph, which is slated for release on January 2, 2024.

What better way to kick off a new year than with a meditative, soul-searching journey in the Domain with the Didact? It'll pair very nicely with your rewatch of The Muppet Christmas Carol.

To kick things off, here's the full resolution spread of the cover for your desktop backgrounds. The final result from Chris McGrath (who has previously done the covers for Silent Storm and Shadows of Reach) is something we're absolutely thrilled with!

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There are, of course, some cool symbolic elements on this cover that can be seen on the Didact himself—his face half-obscured by his damaged helmet, Phantom of the Opera-style, its socket hollow from where he lost an eye to the Master Chief during the events of “The Next 72 Hours” from Halo: Escalation. His bestial appearance, as seen in Halo 4, is a physical reflection of how far he has strayed from the Mantle following his last brevet mutation where he attempted to gain immunity to the Flood.

This is the Didact's nadir, the cascading culmination of his failures on the path he has chosen since the Gravemind returned him to the Forerunner ecumene as an agent of chaos and misery.

And, finally, the embers that are trailing away from his helmet call to mind the disintegration effect that takes place when you kill a Promethean. Colored orange and blue, there are several connections you could make as to what those might evoke—we'll pass the baton of speculation over to you…

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As we've stated in previous issues, we'll have more to come later this year in the form of chapter previews and an interview with Kelly Gay about the book.

In the meantime, if you haven't pre-ordered already, head over to Simon & Schuster's site and secure your copy in trade paperback, ebook, or unabridged audiobook formats.


Battle Born Boogaloo[modifier]

In further book news, Halo: Battle Born and Halo: Meridian Divide by Cassandra Rose Clarke are officially getting reissued by our publishing partners over at Simon & Schuster!

Previously published by Scholastic, Battle Born and Meridian Divide tell the story of a Covenant invasion from the perspective of human civilians. These are ordinary people who are simply living the not-so-often-seen everyday lives in Halo, facing ordinary problems—from absent parents to supporting their family, getting into a good college, or simply aspiring to make the next hit holo-film. But all is thrown into chaos when the Covenant arrives at the Outer Colony world of Meridian.

If you've not already picked these books up, the reissued editions from Simon & Schuster are the perfect opportunity to do so and experience a unique perspective on the Halo universe. And for those who already have them, we might just be exploring some additional bonus content to include as well…

Halo: Battle Born is due to go on sale on February 6, 2024, followed shortly by Halo: Meridian Divide on March 5, 2024.

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Unseen Sites[modifier]

The story of Season 3: Echoes Within recently came to a close with the Site Unseen event in Halo Infinite.

This season, we learned about some of Spartan Dinh's traumatic backstory as Iratus explored his memories before he awakened in the Avery J. Johnson Academy. We got good with the M392 Bandit, discovered ONI had some secrets buried beyond a mysterious door… and now, we have delved into the depths of the black site underneath the Academy to discover what lies at its heart.

We've uploaded the Season 3 cinematics to YouTube, which you can check out at your leisure.

You can watch these in-game as well by pressing X from the Season Overview to go to the Season Intro screen, then hitting Y to bring up the list of cinematics.

Armory Infinitum[modifier]

Armory Infinitum is back once again to provide a brief exploration of a moment in time in which certain weapons in Halo Infinite have been used.

The Cindershot is a new Forerunner weapon that we introduced in Halo Infinite, serving as a hardlight grenade launcher with a few additional quirks, and you can find the Backdraft Cindershot variant in a few different places in the campaign.

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D: Ferrarius [legatio] grow ever more eager in their designs as the ecumene council's formal declaration of war with the humans becomes increasingly inevitable. Edifying Apparatus's proposition for expansion of the armiger constructs' neural framework certainly has interesting potential for [conscensis] operations.

B: Of particular note from their [ostentus] was a splinter-munitions launcher that proved to be effective. Its release of hyper-charged splinter core packets culminates in an impressive detonation, but its additional capabilities are sure to be utilized well by your armigers at range…

D: You are tempting my intrigue, [praeceptor].

B: The splinter core can be directed by the wielder in order to decide where its area of [interitus] is best placed. A launcher with such capabilities will be useful given what is known of the construction method of human vessel interiors.

D: I would greatly desire to appraise this weapon myself.

B: Worry not, old [discipulus]. I have already requisitioned a specialized variant for your personal use…

Community Lore Corner[modifier]

Let's take a look at some of the lore-based creations that the community have recently been making.

Starting off, we have a very unique video series titled “Lore to sleep to.” If you're lying in bed and need something calming to listen to, why not experience the myriad horrors of the Halo universe (as described in Halo Mythos) being narrated slowly and calmly by The Ashen Hollow?

On the subject of Halo horrors, Thought Potato has put together a two-part video exploring the science—that is, the biology, physiology, form, and function—of the Flood.

Installation00 has put together ten facts you might not have known about the SPARTAN-IV program.

And finally, GammaCompanyMark has put together a great breakdown of the Banished dreadnought from Halo Infinite and examined their role in the attack on the UNSC Infinity as well as their role as occupation craft and cultural preserves for the Jiralhanae.

Community Q&A[modifier]

Xbox_Chief: What happened to Nizat and Petrov on Netherop after the events in Halo: Oblivion?

Oh, I daresay you'll want to keep an eye out for Halo: Outcasts when that releases on August 8 and we return to Netherop!

Drof497: Do the Banished utilize other artificial intelligences in their ranks, be they of Jiralhanae origin such as Iratus, or potentially human ones akin to Roland and Cortana?

Iratus is currently the only known volitional AI utilized by the Banished, though those that would willingly pledge their service to Atriox would likely be recognized as a useful asset.

Like the Covenant, the Banished do utilize actuator plugs—semi-intelligent systems used for high-level automation tasks, such as the operation of vehicle subsystems and industrial machinery. An example of this can be observed in the Banished automated turrets encountered in Halo Infinite, in parallel with the Covenant's Shuku-pattern sentry turret.

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DecryptPixel: Considering we know of MIRAGE-class Mjolnir's existence now, is it possible that SPARTAN-G059 was not wearing SPI, but rather Mirage GEN1 or (more likely) GEN2 when she assassinated Avu Med 'Telcam?

It is indeed possible! It certainly bears a very close resemblance to the MIRAGE armor in MCC.

BigDeluxeOffice: In-universe, why are most UNSC sources hesitant to confirm that Requiem was destroyed?

This is perhaps best covered by the presentation of events offered in the 2022 edition of the Halo Encyclopedia (p. 359).

“After the Didact was unceremoniously composed on Gamma Halo, the humans' struggle for the shield world against Covenant forces ended up sending Requiem on a collision course with its local star, Epoloch. A massive energy burst and subsequent solar destabilization quickly followed, destroying Epoloch, but leaving no trace of Requiem to confirm its demise.”

Duranokal: Did the HVT Hunter unit known as Myriad in Halo Infinite act as a leadership figure for the Lekgolo on Zeta Halo similar to Colony on the Ark? Or were they simply a more individualistic and deadly Hunter pair?

While Myriad has notably demonstrated a particular behavioral evolution in Mgalekgolo towards an individualized identity, this bonded pair did not have the same level of command authority compared to what Colony possesses on the Ark. Myriad served as part of the First Combat Element of the Hordeworms of Svir, in which they were designated the leader of the Fifth Lance.

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That brings this month's issue of Canon Fodder to a close! We hope you're as excited for Halo: Epitaph as we are, and while there's still a way to go, we're getting ever closer to the release of Troy Denning's Halo: Outcasts!

And remember—you are what you dare.