Joining the Covenant
Before it was found by the Covenant, Balaho was mostly dominated by Unggoy tribes living in a pre-industrial level of advancement. This allowed the Covenant to easily annex the planet and enslave its people.
Sixteenth Unggoy Disobedience
The planet was also the site of the Sixteenth Unggoy Disobedience. The Unggoy, once again disobeying the Covenant, were put down on Balaho during a battle in which the Covenant, commanded by future Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee, led the Unggoy back to the order of the Covenant.
The Covenant's twenty-seven year long war with humanity increased dramatic pressures on Balaho, with the planet being mined extensively to fuel High Charity's militarisation. By the war's conclusion, Balaho had been effectively stripped of its natural resources and the planed's population reduced to 320 million, formerly standing well into the billions.
It is a mostly-frozen planet with temperatures ranging from -33 °C (-27.4 F) to 5 °C (41 °F). Being a terrestrial planet with significant amounts of methane in the atmosphere, Unggoy wear methane tanks while they are on other planets. This gas prevents much of the world from being seen from orbit.
The parts of the surface that are not covered by polar ice caps or fresh water are brackish tidal flats where naturally occurring pillars of fire exist. Most of the Unggoy live in this area where the cold season is not as harmful to them. The world is still recovering from an environmental collapse caused by massive global over-industrialization prior to the activation of the Halo Array, made worse by the Covenant's mining operations.
Flora and Fauna
- Balaho means "slush" in Tagalog, the language of the Philippines. Unggoy means "monkey" in the same language.
- Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, about 23 times stronger than CO2, which is strange considering how Balaho is so cold when the planet's atmosphere is composed mainly of it. The most likely explanation is that Balaho is much further away from Tala then other habitable planets are from their suns, and was only warm enough to support life because of its methane atmosphere.
- Halo: Contact Harvest (Mentioned only)
- Halo: The Flood (First mentioned)
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx (Mentioned only)
- Halo Legends
- Origins (First appearance)
- Halo 2: Anniversary