Monday, October 22, 2012
Halo 4 speculation - The Didact and The Precursors
With only two weeks left until the release of Halo 4, I thought I would go ahead and explore one part of the game's promotional content that has left me quite curious as to what direction the story will take. Please note that at this time I have not read any of the spoilers that have apparently broken out over the web - I like my gaming experiences to be pure, with the story unfolding as I play it. While I am happy to entertain other theories my readers might have, any spoiler content posted in the comments will be promptly removed. That said, the content of this post deals heavily with content from the Cryptum and Primordium novels of the Forerunner saga, and there may be spoiler content regarding those for anyone who has not read them.
The most standout element of the trailers for me has, thus far, been the reference to an ancient evil awakening in Halo 4. While the team at 343 Industries stated very early on that the Forerunners would be central to the story, we know by now that they were anything but evil. As the Forerunner novels indicate, the Didact was the most feared Forerunner warrior among the humans that faced them in the ancient interstellar war. We also know that, despite his dissent toward the Librarian's plan to construct and fire the Halo array, the Didact aided in keeping order to this plan by instilling Bornstellar with his own memories and abilities. In that sense, Bornstellar became a sort of second Didact.
Even if the Didact was greatly feared by the ancient humans and their primitive descendants that were relocated to Erde-Tyrene (Earth), the humans in Cryptum and Primordium appear to be more in awe of the Didact than actually fearful of him. Also, at no point during the events of Cryptum does the Didact instigate physical combat, he merely plays self-defense against the Master Builder's forces. In nearly all of the trailers for Halo 4, the Didact's symbol appears (as seen above) - the center of the hexagon may be filled in, but it is otherwise a perfect match.
All of this leads me to believe that the Didact will be important to the events of Halo 4. I don't see a way for either the original Didact or Bornstellar to be physically present, unless one of them miraculously survived the firing of the Halo rings. But it is possible that they left messages or clues behind for the Reclaimers (specifically, Spartan 117). The Didact did make mention of those who came before them, the Precursors, and that the Precursors encountered the Flood and managed to contain it before the Forerunners really took their grand role in shaping the future of the galaxy. Though we know practically nothing about the Precursors aside from the fact that their technology was incredibly advanced for its time, the symbol of the Didact could be the link between them and the recurring theme of an "ancient evil". Will we actually see any Precursors in-game? I don't know, but I kind of doubt it. Bungie shrouded the Forerunners in mystery for so many years, and to suddenly throw in a new alien race with little more than a brief mention in Cryptum seems an odd progression. But I think that the presence of the Precursors will be felt throughout the game, assuming my theory is correct.