The Let's Play Archive


by Cooked Auto

Part 2: Level 2 - Halo

I have increased the duration of the subtitles. (From 3 seconds to 4 seconds.) There might be some slight issues of "stacking" subtitles with them coming after each other without much break inbetween. But it's mostly the case for part 1 and not so much in part 2. It's completly gone in the next update.

Level 2 - Halo
Seek out surviving Marines and help them fight the Covenant.

Part 1

Part 2

How to Play Halo

Comic made by Phillip M Jackson. Source

UNSC Database
Welcome back.
Last time we dealt with a short history of the UNSC up to the Battle of Reach and the subsequent flight of the Pillar of Autumn. Now we are going to deal with the military program that turned out to be the key to victory in the war against the Covenant and the person who perhaps epitomes the entire struggle.

Spartan-II program:
The origin of the Spartan-II program lies in the ORION Project, its purpose was to combat the growing insurrection during that time. One element of the project was the Spartan-I program which was initiated in 2491. The program tested genetic enhancements taken through injections on volunteers from the armed forces. However, the program was a failure in the end because of high mortality rates caused by the genetic enhancements. In addition, survivors later suffered from an increased rate of mental problems. The current number of soldiers that participated in the program is currently unknown and almost all files pertaining the program are either lost or classified. However it is known that some of the participants of the Spartan-I program managed to produce offspring, which have been nicknamed Spartan 1.1s. According to declassified files, there are sixteen known 1.1s. However, regarding the relative lack of information regarding the original project, there may be more of them. In addition, certain sources indicate that some of the offspring may have been selected for the Spartan-II program because of their special genetic traits.

Because of the increase in conflicts during the later years of the 25th century, it was decided that a small team of elite soldiers were needed to effectively handle the conflict with minimal civilian casualties among other reasons.
The project was led by the well know scientist Dr Catherine Elisabeth Halsey alongside Chief Petty Office Mendez from the UNSC armed forces. Both of which would pay a crucial role in the Spartans upbringing.
Instead of using adult volunteers the Spartan-II program picked its likely candidates from children. 150 suitable candidates had been found by 2517, only half were "conscripted" due to budgetary reasons. The candidates were selected for their superior mental and physical attributes. The ages of these candidates then ranged between 5 to 7 years of age at the time of conscription. These candidates were kidnapped and then replaced with flash clones to ensure the programs secrecy. These clones later died due to the numerous medical complications associated with flash cloning. Especially when dealing with cloning an entire human being.

These candidates were then taken to Reach to begin their training. Their family names were discarded to marginalize their civilian lives and in turn, they were given a combination of their given names and a number. Seven years later, the procedure of receiving the needed physical augmentations began, however these procedures were risky and nearly half of the candidates died as a result. A small number of candidates survived but suffered from severe physical disabilities and were in turn discharged from the program and placed into various non-combat programs where their enhanced mental faculties would be useful. Of 75 candidates only 33 made it through with complicates and remained fit for combat duty.
By 2525, the program was fulfilled when the survivors were fitted with the MJOLNIR Mark IV Powered Assault Armor.

However, the Human-Covenant War would see a change in the program objectives. Initially its goals were to quell rebellions but now the members of the Spartan-II program was forced into battle against a superior enemy.
Despite that the Spartans would at numerous times demonstrate their superiority over the enemy, the scope of their successes were only tactical in nature. However, their actions have most likely saved countless of people from the Covenant advances. It was also during this time that it was decided to go public with the program, in an effort to boost the morale among the troops.
At the same time, Directive 930 issued by Section Two of Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) stated that Spartans crippled or killed would only be listed as "mission in action" or "wounded in action" and never as "killed in action." This was to preserve the illusion of Spartan invincibility, as the program was a major propaganda boon to the UNSC.

Spartan-II Augmentation Procedures:
The candidates of the Spartan-II program went through the following procedures to augment their physical and mental capabilities.

1. Carbide ceramic ossification: Advanced material, special metal and ceramic layers grafted onto the skeletal structure to make the bones virtually unbreakable.
The recommended coverage should not exceed 3 percent of the total bone mass because of significant white blood cell necrosis.
Risk: Especially risky for pre- and near-post pubescent adolescents, because the skeletal growth spurts may cause irreparable bone pulverization.

2. Muscular enhancement injections: A protein complex is injected intramuscularly to increase tissue density and decrease lactase recovery time.
Risk: 5 percent of test subjects experience a fatal cardiac volume increase.

3. Catalytic thyroid implant: Platinum pellets containing a human growth hormone catalyst is implanted in the thyroid gland to boost growth of skeletal and muscle tissues.
Risk: Rare instances of elephantiasis. Suppressed sexual drive among subjects.

4. Occipital capillary reversal: Submergence and boosted blood vessel flow beneath the rods and cones of subject's retina. This produces a marked visual perception increase for the subjects.
Risk: Retinal rejection and detachment, which causes permanent blindness.

5. Superconducting fabrication of neural dendrites: Involves the alteration of bioelectrical nerve transduction to shielded electronic transduction. This causes a three hundred percent increase in subject's reflexes. Anecdotal evidence mentions a marked increase in intelligence, memory, and creativity among subjects.
Risk: Significant instances of Parkinson's disease and Fletcher's syndrome for some of the subjects.

Results of Modification:
The modifications done on the Spartan-II candidates produced several effects. Documents mention of candidates being able to running up to speeds exceeding 55 KPH, at one instance a candidate runs at roughly 105 KPH during a MJOLNIR MARK V training exercise.
The candidates were able to lift equipment three times their body weight due to their increased muscle density. This sadly led to the death of several trainers during close combat exercise in the beginning. They also posses a virtual night vision caused by the occipital capillary reversal procedure. The neural dendrites procedure increased their reaction times to 20 milliseconds and significantly faster during combat situations. They were also known to be capable of unprecedented teamwork with each other and the subjects that managed it through the entire processes possessed no physiological and mental instabilities.


Master Chief
There is limited knowledge around the background of John-117 (otherwise known as Master Chief). He was born in Elysium City on the colony of Eridanus II around 2511, and was identified at the age of six by Dr Halsey as one of the 150 preliminary candidates for the Spartan-II program. He possessed excellent physical and mental health and his genome stood up against the rigorous requirements needed for the program. He was then covertly kidnapped from his home and replaced by a flash clone.
He there recieved his new name John-177 and began his training to become a Spartan. The would be Spartans recieved weapons and physical fitness training by CPO Mendez and they also received tutelage in history, military tactics among other things from the AI Déjà. This training lasted for seven years.
He first friends during training were the candidates Kelly-087 and Samuel-034. Samuel, would in the end, be one of the closest friends he ever had.
The death of Samuel-034 in 2525 during a mission had deep and profound effects on John personality.
After a training mission he was promoted to Squad Leader of the Spartans. At this point he was around eight years old.

He was later promoted to Master Chief Petty Officer and his first mission was against rebels who acted in the asteroid belt of the Eridanus System. Which coincidentally was where his home world was located. He was wounded during his mission and received a Purple Heart shortly afterwards.
Shortly thereafter John was introduced to the Covenant threat as he and his Spartans entered the Human-Covenant war. For the next 27 years, he and the Spartans would combat the Covenant using the MJOLNIR Mark IV armor. He would later receive the upgraded Mark V armor on Reach.
It was during his first mission against the Covenant that Samuel-034 would be fatally wounded (as the Mark IV armors lacked the energy shields of the later versions) and due to his injuries being unable to be extracted without compromising his suit. He died as the Covenant ship they were tasked to sabotage was destroyed by explosive charges.
John served in over 200 missions against the Covenant, but it was the Battle of Reach that was the most significant for him and his future actions.
During the Battle for Reach he and two other Spartans, Linda-058 and James (Spartan tag missing in files) defended an unsecured NAV database that would, if taken by the Covenant, let them get access to the location of Earth. Which was during that time, still a closely guarded secret. The team was successful, however at a great cost. James was lost in deep space after an errant explosion sent him tumbling away and Linda-058 was gravely wounded by plasma fire that pierced her armor and she was classified dead at the time. During his mission John saved four other Marines, which included Sergeant Johnson and the team returned to the Pillar of Autumn and as the ship was heading into slipspace to escape from Reach, John and Linda was placed into cryo sleep for the long journey.