The latest adventure in the Halo universe, Halo Infinite, brings Master Chief back to one of the titular rings. Facing down the Covenant rebels the Banished, our green-armored hero is fighting for humanity on another of these intergalactic doomsday devices.
In a recent interview with GamesRadar, 343 Industries confirmed that this ring is Zeta Halo, or Installation 07. Now occupied by a dangerous and unpredictable sect of Covenant outliers, Master Chief will likely be digging deep into this mysterious new piece of the Halo Array, uncovering more of the ancient history of these gigantic objects as he does.
Zeta Halo isn’t new though, and we have quite a bit of context to draw from in the Halo franchise for the ring and where its story make take us. Here’s everything we know so far about Halo Infinite’s setting.
Zeta Halo is the last of the original rings
The thing is with explaining the Halo rings is that, in order to so, you have to start diving into the franchise’s lore, which can be a bit long-winded to say the least. An easy place to start is that the Halo Array is composed of 18 rings in total – 12 following one outline, and a further six in another. They’re all roughly similar, the first dozen being slightly bigger and less effective, than the others. The Zeta Halo is the last of that original 12 still in any kind of operational state, and got quite a lot of explanation in Halo: Cryptum, Halo: Primordium and Halo: Silentium, Greg Bear’s trilogy of Forerunner novels.
Zeta’s history is actually tied to our own in the Halo universe. In this timeline, humanity as we know it now is the result of a soft reset caused by an intergalactic war we lost against the Forerunners, the technologically advanced society that built the Halo array. Most of us got sent back to the Stone Age, but a sliver were kept on Zeta as part of the Forerunners’ dedication to cataloging and studying all life in the universe. As such, Zeta holds the earliest known records of human life. This conservation proved crucial to the existence of, well, every living thing when the array was fired to stop the Flood the first time, leaving the last cluster of Forerunners to repopulate the galaxy using their own samples.
The Zeta we find is quite different from when it was constructed. Several rounds of damage have caused some sever changes, ranging from its diameter being reduced from 30,000 kilometers to 10,000 kilometers, to the massive fracture incurred during the events of Halo 3. What remains intact from eons of existence is yet to be seen.
What’s Zeta Halo like in Halo Infinite?
The gameplay reveal that was shown as Zeta Halo looking much like any of the other Halos you’ve encountered – a neatly barriered environment full of buildings, rocks and forestry to explore and shoot around. The Banished have taken over the structure, which is not good considering they’re a bloodthirsty organization of defected Covenant and other mercenaries and rogues, and it’s down to Master Chief to try and force the alien warmongers away from the antiquated weapon of mass destruction.
We don’t see or hear much directly about what state the bowels of Zeta are in, but it’s a safe bet much of it is in ruins that have been shaken, but otherwise preserved. Given the established human connection, finding remnants of the humankind that came before us is pretty plausible, and the Flood are an omnipresent threat when excavating Forerunner remains. Halo 3 baddie, Mendicant Bias, was actually installed here, committing all sorts of heinous experiments in the name of science, which opens the possibility of whatever we uncover tying right back to Bungie’s trilogy, and our own personal history with the series.