The Katonian Press: Microsoft Outlines Plans To Ruin Halo

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Microsoft Outlines Plans To Ruin Halo With Unveiling of Halo Lesions Anime Project

“We’re really excited about the potential for ruining the Halo franchise with an anime series,” says creative director Frank O’Connor.

halo animeREDMOND, Wash. – The Halo video game series is considered Microsoft’s “killer app” for the Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles with the original trilogy of games selling nearly 25 million copies since 2001.  With such tremendous success behind them, it’s only natural for Microsoft to begin considering ruining the series.  It looks like plans for that are well under way, with the Redmond-based software giant announcing at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con their intention to release an anime series set in the Halo universe.  In collaboration with anime pioneer Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) and acclaimed director Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), the newly formed 343 Industries hopes to “ruin the franchise in new and profound ways.”

Bungie, the original developers of the game series, split with their parent company Microsoft in 2007, leaving the software giant in control of the Halo IP.  “We feel that [Microsoft] is completely qualified to take the series from this point forward and run it into the ground,” says Bungie president Harold Ryan.  Bungie’s confidence is bolstered by history: Microsoft has proven time and time again its ability to take good ideas and ruin them in unimaginable ways, from the potential iPod-killing Zune released in the world’s most unattractive color–brown–to an operating system release that many consumers would rather downgrade or avoid altogether.  They’ve even managed to sprinkle some important failures into their successful console division, notably the awkward “wrap-around” headset and mammoth-sized controller of the original Xbox.  The Xbox 360 failure rate, however, is perhaps their most stunning accomplishment yet.  “Ah, the ‘Red Ring of Death’,” beams Robbie Bach, head of Entertainment and Devices at Microsoft.  “We really set the bar with that one!”


But how can Microsoft be sure it destroys the juggernaut that is Halo?

“The Halo series has been running really strong for the past eight years, and we felt it was about time to start meddling,” explains Bach.  “The first step was to kill off the Peter Jackson movie project, Halo Chronicles.  Man, that was going to be good.  Lord of the Rings good.  So, right away we knew we had to nip it in the bud.  Next, we had to find a way in which we could alienate as many fans as possible, and undercut everything that is beloved in the franchise–really Lucas the whole thing up.”

“We’re really excited about the potential for ruining the Halo franchise with an anime series,” says creative director Frank O’Connor, outlining the ways in which Halo Lesions will disappoint.  “We plan on taking the best/worst that anime has to offer and really toss canon out the window.  From the get go, we plan to shock fans by having The Master Chief take off his helmet in the very first scene.  Boom!  We want to punch fans in the gut right from the start and then take them on a roller coaster ride of utter disappointment.”

The story revolves around The Master Chief and his band of plucky friends, on a quest to collect all the lost Forerunner artifacts in the hopes of unlocking the mysterious Ark, set against the backdrop of the human/Covenant conflict.   “The Chief originally sets out alone–you see, he’s a brooding young man on a search to find himself,” describes O’Connor.  “But on the way he encounters a couple of misfits who decide tag along, much to his chagrin.” His companions include a precocious pre-pubescent girl and her pet baby flood spore, who constantly annoy him with questions about his past, and generally gets in his way.  “She quickly falls in love with him, a love he can’t return because of an incident from his past.  We hint about it throughout the story with scenes in which he ponders over a rose he keeps stashed in his armor, a keepsake that he refuses to explain, perturbing and frustrating his young crush.  And the baby flood is just there for the cute factor, as well as to symbolize the girl’s lost family, and to juxtapose the real and the perceived.” To lighten the mood a bit, the team has thrown in some comic relief.  “The Chief is joined by everyone’s favorite Monitor, 343 Guilty Spark.  He generally gets in the way, annoys the group, and makes things worse for everyone around him when all he’s really trying to do is help out.  He’s Halo Legend‘s ‘Orco’.”  Rounding out the bunch is the Covenant commander-turned-rebel, The Arbiter.  “Arby is a great character–he’s the surly ‘father figure’ of the group.  He acts all tough, but inside has a heart of gold, and does his best to look out for the whole group and keep them out of trouble.”  Even Cortana makes an appearance. “Oh Cortana definitely makes an impression.  A big impression.  High heels and tits the size of watermelons!”  He adds with a wry smile, “Not that The Chief ever notices.”

The main antagonists of Halo Lesions are the Prophets, the leaders of the Covenant Hegemony familiar to fans of the Halo series.  “The Prophets are your classic cape-wearing, effeminate, enigmatic baddies, who take an unhealthy interest in trying to stifle The Master Chief at every turn.  They, of course, want the power of the Forerunners for themselves, racing to collect as many artifacts as they can, even allowing Chief and his gang to lead them to a couple along the way.  In a bit of a twist ending, the Prophets actually succeed at unlocking the Ark, only to find that it grants them… nothing.  The real power of the Ark was proving to The Chief that if he had faith in himself, and could learn to put his past behind him, he could overcome any obstacle.  As it turned out, the power of the Forerunners was inside him all along, and he could summon it at any time to finally defeat the Prophets.”

In addition to the ridiculous story and characters, O’Connor assures fans that Halo Lesions takes full advantage of the art form to ruin Halo thoroughly.  “All the anime trappings are included,” he declares.  “Most frames are still shots of the Chief’s head, or slowly panning shots of the characters in front of a static landscape.  The giant eyes, the exaggerated emotions, the plewds, the unnecessary outbursts, the ridiculously oversized weapons–they’re all there.  We’ve even written it all in Japanese first so that the English voice acting doesn’t match up well with the comically simplistic mouth movements.  Get ready for The Chief to utter a lot of elongated ‘huhs’ and gasps to fill in where the English is shorter. Oh, and the Chief is wearing a Gundam suit.”

It certainly looks like Halo Lesions is shaping up to be a disappointment of fantastic proportions, but could it hold any other surprises that might truly ruin the Halo franchise forever?  “I don’t want to give too much more away,” teases O’Connor, “but let’s just say that the climactic scene features Cortana, the Gravemind, and tentacles.”

Look for Halo Lesions this fall.

kato
witfits [at] gmail [dot] com
katonian press-related stories

46 Responses to The Katonian Press: Microsoft Outlines Plans To Ruin Halo

  1. Mr Meyagi says:

    first!!!
    “features Cortana, the Gravemind, and tentacles.”
    surely you jest ^_^

    • oh no…. my dream came true… the gravemind and cortana…. JUMP ROPING! ZOMG! o_O

      • Kato says:

        Actually, it’s just a scene where they are holding hands (well, hands/tentacles) skipping through a meadow. Jump roping would have been infinitely better.

  2. Sailor Harry says:

    I thought Katonian Press published fiction…

    • Kato says:

      “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” – Ralph Waldo Emmerson

  3. Radius says:

    Oh, God. I keep thinking that the anime series will be exactly like this. If it’s not designed in Japan, the Japaneese inevetably screw it up. Especially with anime.

  4. Sailor Harry says:

    Though an infant flood going “Nom nom nom” on someone’s head would be kind of funny, Halo doesn’t deserve the abuse.

    • bs angel says:

      Aaawww, that would be cute!

    • Kato says:

      Honestly, the infant flood spawn idea was actually kinda cute in my head. I had recurring visions of it sitting there, vainly sucking on Master Chief’s shoulder plate, much to his chagrin. Even though it was gender neutral, the (unnamed, teenage) female character insists on putting a pink bow on its “head”.

      It was at least partially inspired by Togepi from the Pokemon Anime.

      • Admiral Madden says:

        God I hope they remember to change their undies every day!

  5. FishType1 says:

    D:

  6. StuntDouble2483 says:

    Kind of ironic that the story starts off talking about running Halo into the ground, but then does the exact same thing with its own joke around the time they start giving a synopsis. It flatlined after the fourth paragraph. Everything before that was pretty funny, though.

    “Man, that was going to be good. Lord of the Rings good. So, right away we knew we had to nip it in the bud.”

    NOOOOOO!!!!

    • Kato says:

      I opt for The Onion/SNL model for comedy: take a joke, stretch it out to the very limits of it comedic tensile strength, and then run it so deeply into the ground that the original premise actually approaches the believability threshold, transforming the entire piece into a near-prescient commentary on the nature of existence.

      That’s why I provide convenient paragraph breaks, so that those overwhelmed by the experience can take a breather and go enjoy a delicious beverage or perhaps a Lunchable.

    • CBD says:

      Since when was Lord of the Rings considered good? I’d rather watch Star Wars Episode 1 then re-watch the first Lord of the Rings movie [/sarcasm]

  7. pittofdoom says:

    The only thing wrong with this article is that called the Prophets protagonists, rather than antagonists. It’s mistakes like that that ruin the credibility of any journalistic endeavor.

    • Kato says:

      Typical pro-human propaganda. Clearly, Master Chief is the antagonist of the entire Halo drama. The Covenant are peacefully searching the galaxy for the answer to the questions of existence, and Master Chief busts in and starts blowing everyone away. He derailed the Great Journey, a physical and spiritual pilgrimage that would have united the Covenant with their gods. What a dick!

      [As a side note, you guys are the greatest copy editors an Onion-wannabe faux journalist could ask for. You don’t miss a thing. I guess I should stop writing articles at 4am, bleary-eyed, and half-lit.]

    • bs angel says:

      I am just thankful there are people in this world who understand that writing an article on the internet means you are excluded from the forgiveness of making an occasional mistake. Messing up one word out of 1253. Really Kato? You’re fucking fired dude. FIRED!

      <3

      • Kato says:

        You can’t fire me… I work for free!

        • bs angel says:

          DAMN IT!! Foiled again.

        • Kato says:

          I’ll make it up to you… I’ll let you get “Maybe Next Time Buddy” on me next time I’m Mongoosin.

  8. The fangirl in me wants to have nothing but hope for Legends…

    But the rational me is afraid that this all may be true. Minus the hentai.

    • Kato says:

      I would have really loved it had they just done an animated film/short set in the Halo universe using Western-style animation, instead of opting for Anime (which has its place, but not telling a Halo story). The cynical part of me assumes that this is a deliberate move by Microsoft to increase interest in the franchise in Japan.

      Although I will probably feel that the stories are a blasphemous treatment of the source material, I’m hoping that there will be a jewel or two in there that will appeal to me, like Final Flight of the Osiris in the Animatrix.

  9. Mizzy says:

    I bet Cortana gets a panty shot.

    • Poopie McGhee says:

      she’d HAVE to for the reasons of running into the ground… i’d watch it then tho… sadly…

      • Poopie McGhee says:

        ALSO… i love the “really Lucas the whole thing up.” that’s a great analogy i’m gonna use sometime if i can… STARWARS!!!! Why? INDY!!! Why? THX1138 was cool tho… like a trip…, oh i just realized this was a reply to my own reply, but because i’m lazy, it’ll do… take that conformity!!!

  10. CAVX says:

    I feel like the first 3 paragraphs ruined the entire thing for me, because they just felt like the writer was someone who got an RRoD on their XBOX once under warranty and decided to hate everything that Microsoft did forever. That feeling was bolstered by the section describing Microsoft’s history of “ruining ideas.” That part wasn’t satire, it was just exaggeration, so it felt like someone was just trying to take a cheap shot at Microsoft.

    I didn’t mind the part that was actually about the Halo anime, although if you truly are trying to pay homage to the Onion or SNL, I think your story needs to be slightly different than what actually happened. For example, you just slightly changed the name and details of the anime they’re actually going to release. I think it would’ve been better if you announced that they were revealing another, similar project, and then simply showed a reference to the anime to show what you’re making fun of.

    Regardless, as I mentioned, it was good, but the first few paragraphs ruined the whole thing for me. If I had skipped those, I probably would’ve enjoyed it.

    • Kato says:

      Although I have no wish to argue with you, I feel the need to defend my work.

      I’m sorry the first three paragraphs “ruined it” for you, but you seemed to have missed the joke. I implore you to consult the meaning of satire: “1. The use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.” Also: “In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement.” However, my piece was not strictly satire, but rather a parody of real news items set in the context of gaming news. Parody can be defined as “a work created to mock, comment on, or poke fun at an original work, its subject, or author, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation”. Satire, parody, etc. ARE exaggeration. That’s kinda the point. Taking an idea and presenting it in a totally ridiculous way, for the purpose of humor.

      The title of the article was “Microsoft Outlines Plans To Ruin Halo…” Any news article worth its salt will support the subject of the article with background information to catch the readers up to speed. Since the concept is Microsoft’s ability to ruin, the second paragraph presents examples of where Microsoft has “ruined” products in the past. Each of the things I listed I did not because I have some hatred of Microsoft, but rather because they are things that Microsoft has been publicly criticized for: choosing brown for the color of the Zune, the troubles with Microsoft Vista, the very large original Xbox controller, the Red Ring of Death, etc. Of course I’m taking the opportunity to tease Microsoft, but you’re missing the context of the article. As a parody of real news, this piece is presented in a straightforward, almost positive manner. It’s irony. The article is delivering the concept of Microsoft ruining Halo as if this was something to look forward to. The fake quote from Robbie Bach about RROD is delivered gleefully, as if “ruining things” was something Microsoft was proud of. You would never see a real news article seriously wondering “how can Microsoft be sure it destroys the juggernaut that is Halo?” Again, that’s kinda the whole point. If I talked about Microsoft’s successes (the dominant market share of their OS, how awesome the Xbox 360 really is, etc.) I would be telling the truth, but would be ruining the joke.

      As for your suggestions as to how I could have improved my piece, I respectfully disagree. I didn’t just “simply [change] the name and details of the anime”, I followed through with the original thesis by showing how the company would fulfill their mission of ruining the franchise, in part parodying the language and conventions of most press-releases (including the Legends press release). I deliberately did not call the anime project in this article “Legends” for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was to ensure I didn’t fall afoul of libel. And, of course, the name “Lesions” is an obvious joke (in much the same way a Weird Al song has a joke title relevant to the subject matter of his parody, and not the same title as the original song, which wouldn’t make any sense).

      The piece, as a whole, wasn’t a parody of Halo: Legends per se, and that’s perhaps where I lost you. It was, instead, more of a commentary on the idea that once a big company gets their hands on something you love, they can come up with ingenious and fantastic ways to make it totally suck. This is presented in the context of the Halo: Legends announcement, a convenient backdrop and springboard from which to launch my (attempt) at humor and commentary.

      Having said all that, I appreciate your feedback, and I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the article as a whole. There are complexities and subtlety in parody and satire that are not obvious to all, and like the taste of Soylent Green, the opinion of my writing and humor various from person to person.

      Perhaps next week I will succeed at tickling your funny bone, or at least eliciting an LOL.

      • Sailor Harry says:

        Kato, I really enjoyed this piece, as I do with all your other work. Please keep your style and what you write about. What struck me about it is that, like others, I noticed the satire was a bit more dark than usuall. It also seemed like this was a bit more personal.

        Anyway, I really enjoyed it, even if I could be used as an explanation as why would Microsoft do this to the Halo franchise.

  11. Sailor Harry says:

    I agree with Kato. This is obviously a way to increase popularity in Japan.

  12. Darth_nazgul says:

    FINALLY! Somebody sees that the anime was a bad choice! Next thing we know we’ll get a prequel trilogy. *rolls eyes*

    • Darth_nazgul says:

      Wait, is this satirical?

      • MoltenSlowa says:

        I hope not. This is the one article of Kato’s I might actually believe…y’know, for more then 5 minutes.

  13. Mike says:

    once again… so much of this article is based in fact it scares me… chills me to the bone…

  14. HellCat says:

    Anime is cool in its own ways but it shouldn’t be mixed with other things. Its like if you put a pizza and a brick in a blender and ate it. Both are good separetly but together they give you the worst case of stomach nausea ever… just like legends.

    Btw i like the lucas joke, he ruined starwars, but since i’m a hardcore fan i have to like it (or they’ll beat me). I wonder what will be run into the ground next?

  15. Personsen says:

    …Pet Flood spore? O_O
    But one can wipe out an entire species!!!

    This really is a plot to ruin the Halo series!

    Bungie… Reach had better be good… Because it’s going to have to make up for this crap… >_<

  16. Janaka says:

    This isnt fiction, this is “spot on” true!

    When I first saw the Halo Legends trailer I found myself even more confused then usuall, I did not know what to think, I had never seen anything Halo related that lookt that bad, not even Halo Wars, this wasnt even close. One corner of my mind wanted to think that Martys epic music and flashy Forerunner writing was awesome. But then, just as soon as I saw the first actuall anime I was struck by discontent, and what followed was even worse.
    Why did I even hope that it might have been good, of coarse they wouldnt be able to translate Halo into a anime series without it also being tainted by its steriotypical mentality.
    I really dont believe that the japanese developers behind this project are capable of understanding Halo, the cultural differances are simply to big. And although I respect that anime is drenched in japanese culture, I really dont think that it has anything to do with Halo.
    Either Microsoft did not acknowlege this, or they just didnt care.

    The worst part , by far, is that it probably will contain a lot of exclusive information about the Halo universe, so that I, as a Halo fan would have to watch it if I wanted to know more about the story.
    I really hope that Bungies next IP will be so good that I can forget Halo all together. But I do admit that I feel quite sad, having to think that way. Why couldnt Microsoft just calm down? Halo Anime, really?!
    It is perhaps because of something like this that Bungie wanted to leave MS, one of the reasons anyway, but what a price they had to pay :(

    • Chris101b says:

      Have you seen the animatrix? If you have not, go to youtube and watch all of the episodes, especially “Beyond”, “The Second Renaissance” Part 1 and “Part 2”. You can never judge a book by its cover. The Animatrix was one of the greatest animated things I had ever seen. And if you looked at the Matrix, you could never see it as an anime. Well, they did it and it worked. The same thing will happen here. Frankie (One of the writers for Halo 3) was talking about the teddy bear on the string thing and this was his quote, “When you’re crying after you find out what that’s about, I will make a Martini from your tears.” Now, with promises like that, you know that it is going to be good.

  17. Araknoros says:

    I lawled, I loved the RRoD comment, cause mine RRoD’d for the 2nd time 14 days after my waranty was up… *insert sad face* but over-all: Great Journalism and great lulz. keep up the good work man

  18. DethPwn says:

    Oh god! Halo can now be discussed using the term “original trilogy”! WE’RE ALL GUNNA DAAAAHHYYYYE!!!!

    Unfortunately, Frank O’ Conner actually did compare Halo to Lucas and Star Wars. I’m afraid we can all kiss those memories of Halo’s original plot and canon goodbye, because it’s all downhill from here.

    Aside from reminding us of our deepest fears, this was hilarious! Great work, Kato!

  19. Sean C84 says:

    I’m still optimistic that it won’t be totally crap. At least, not all of them will.

    • Poopie McGhee says:

      i’m hoping for at least one (or Two) to be “decent” maybe good… that’s the optimist in me, however the heartless, cynycal bastard that is most, says this will be worse then “DOO DOO”… only time will tell, however

  20. Ken00bie says:

    Personally, I actually like Anime, and I am actually looking forwards to Halo: Legends. :)

  21. Don A K Bab says:

    That’s cheered me up today.

  22. Admiral Madden says:

    guaranteed the cortana/tentacles scene happens as soon as the Halo 2 ends.

  23. Bryce says:

    Simply brilliant.

  24. SpitFireReborn says:

    I think it’s funny that people who only know about the few animes that are shown in the US that are made for little kids think they are informed enough on the topic to stereotype anime as a whole. The companies that are producing 6 out of the 7 of these shorts make very adult animes with adult situations so there won’t be stupid things like big heads and baby flood spores. But the company that is making the 7th short made Dragon Ball Z so one will be the stereotypical anime shown in the U.S. Even if this is meant to be funny it isn’t it just show how ignorant most halo fans really are. Before you try to make fun of something you know almost nothing about do some research on the topic first.

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