Halo 5’s Online Mystery Game Suggests Master Chief’s A Traitor

Halo 5’s Online Mystery Game Suggests Master Chief’s A Traitor

We’ve always thought of Master Chief as the saviour of humanity in the Halo series, but the ARG kicking off for Halo 5: Guardians posits something much sinister: he’s a traitor.

What’s an ARG? It stands for alternate reality game, and usually means it sends fans chasing from one end of the Internet to the other to crack codes and unlock story secrets.

It’s fun when game companies find a way to spice up marketing campaigns, and the Halo series has a rich history of involving fans. Remember I Love Bees? That one involved pay phones! Do pay phones still exist? (I know that pay phones still exist.)

A Soundcloud profile recently went up called HUNTtheTRUTH, and features Keegan-Michael Key, half of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, portraying journalist Benjamin Giraud writing a profile on Master Chief. Giraud, once a fan of the Chief, finds himself questioning everything.

Is it possible everyone has it wrong, and Chief is really the good guy?!

The clip itself is only a few minutes long. Since this is labelled episode “00”, we should probably be hearing some more in the near future.

Folks on the Halo reddit are digging into the other pieces, which include a bunch of words secretly embedded into this trailer:

…and connecting the dots of a star map that’s been littered about in several different places:


While I’ve played all the Halo games, I’ve only dipped my toes into the lore.

We don’t know much about the story for Halo 5: Guardians, but that’s probably going to change in the near future. From what’s been teased so far, it seems like Master Chief might be on the run this time around. The last game was a more personal story, and this seems to continue that.


  • Ugh, 343. Called this before even Halo 5 was announced.

    My best guess is someone starts drawing a line between the Chief and all the horrors that followed the flood hitting africa in halo 3. Cortana was on the asteroid city which brought the flood, and the chief is out to get the AI back to life using Forerunner tech.
    So he scarpers off with his new Reclaimer DNA and starts making stuff happen again, so this leads to bad PR over the Didact turning a city of humans into knights, people blame the chief as he is a public figure by now.

    No doubt you will have to go to the waypoint app to have this story told to you in any fashion too.

  • Can’t wait for the cliched story arc where some high up military type spends a lot of time screaming about how the real enemy has been Master Chief all along, and how it all would have worked out fine if Chief hadn’t come along and screwed things up… And by screwing things up they’ll clearly mean doing all that shady stuff like stopping Halo from activating and wiping out mankind, etc, etc.

    • Ah! The patriot turned traitor, turns out to be a true patriot by Halo 6 story Arc…

      You’d think by now when a writer pitches this in a design meeting, the team lead is like “We’re paying you to write this?”

    • I think it has more to do with Halsey in Spartan Ops. Halo 4 suggested that Chief wanted to go after Halsey to fix/revive Cortana. Now that Halsey has defected, ONI’s probably trying to discredit the Chief for going after her.

      But don’t let me stop the 343 hate train, choo choo

    • Perhaps the Chief will then be contacted by some shadowy organisation named after a mythological creature, which will profess to have supported him all along, and claims to possess the resources to take the fight to the Didact once and for all.

      And more orange.

  • Reading some of the extended fiction (Halo 4 did a shithouse job of explaining things unless you’d read the books)….

    ONI has started declassifying some of the things it did during the war… including kidnapping and cloning children to make the Spartans. They’ve laid the blame for that on Halsey.
    I’d think that with Halsey now working with Jul M’Dama, they’ve branded her as a traitor.
    John 117 probably goes off to rescue her, and reactivate Cortana, which leads to him being branded a traitor by association…

    • >Reactivate Cortana
      how would that even work
      like you’d think once an AI hits the final stages of Rampancy, that’s it, no way to fix it, it’s effectively dead.
      I guess Chief could make a new one, but she’d not have the memories of the original

      on the subject of rampancy I felt H4 did a shit job of portraying it. it just felt too “hollywood” and not like what real rampancy would be like (exponentially getting worse, until it just stops working, none of this “lengthy moments of lucidity” bunk

      • I don’t know… I always pictured rampancy as similar to dementia.

        That said, I doubt there is a good way to show that given the how truncated games are.

  • Let’s hope 343 doesn’t royally screw up the games storyline this time and leave important plotpoints only explained in side-material like the comics, novels or soundclouds like this.
    When bungie did extraneous stuff like this it was always just extra little tidbits, additions to the universe that were important for the fanatics but didn’t take away from the game. 343 did not manage the same balance with Halo 4.

  • As far as I’m aware, we’re given the absolute idea that Locke is trying to find the Chief but for reasons that haven’t been revealed yet. I wouldn’t be absolutely surprised that Halo 5 does the dual-protagonist style of story telling as done in Halo 2 with the Arbiter/Chief. @deoff, I really do hope 343i manages to keep the important story bits contained within the game instead of pushing it to side-material for this game. I can’t agree more with what you’ve said.

    • I would, given that the split-narrative thing was SO unpopular in 2 that they reduced Arbiter’s story in 3 because of it. I doubt they’d try it again.
      Which is a shame, cause Arbiter was cool.

  • I have not played any Halo. I just got Master Chief Collection not long ago and started Halo 1 for a little bit. I guess I will need ages to catch up?

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