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A "Reclaimer" (Latin: Homo Sapiens Augeous) is an individual who, whether by chance or by precedent, has been placed in charge of activating a Halo super-weapon. The individual must journey to retrieve the Halo's activation key (the Index) from the ring's Library and then use it to activate the Halo Array. It has been demonstrated that it is the role of a Reclaimer to activate Forerunner technology on installations such as the Ark or the Shield Worlds; it is additionally true that other undiscovered Forerunner constructs - also requiring a Reclaimer to operate in some fashion - lay scattered across the galaxy.
The exact qualifications of a Reclaimer are not entirely clear; however, it appears that only a human or Forerunner can be a Reclaimer. Many or even most fans consider the word "Reclaimer" to mean any individual of either species, but as this term is used many times throughout the Halo games and literature with no clear-cut definition, this cannot currently be proven.
Reclaimer has often been used by Forerunner AI and Huragok as a general term for humanity although not all humans appear to qualify. While John-117, Marvin Mobuto, Sergeant Major Avery Johnson, and Miranda Keyes all fell into this category, none of the humans in a small group of marines captured by the Covenant Remnant in 2557 seemed to qualify.
Chronologically, the title of Reclaimer is first used by 032 Mendicant Bias, as described in Halo: Contact Harvest. While correcting the Covenant's misinterpretation of the Luminary's readings, Mendicant applies the term to the human population on Harvest. This is later put to use by the Prophet of Truth, in realization that the Luminary's reading of the humans as Reclaimers would help him scour the galaxy for any other human colonies. This may help explain why Covenant forces are so often quick to converge on the position of John-117 in an otherwise vast and barren network of tunnels as found in the Halo constructs. Mendicant also claims that the humans are his makers, which corroborates what 343 Guilty Spark says to the Master Chief in Halo 3: "You are the child of my makers. Inheritor of all they left behind. You are Forerunner."
After Mendicant, the next known bestowal of the title is when Guilty Spark addressed Sergeant Marvin Mobuto in Halo: The Flood. Following Mobuto's death at the flood's hand and Spark's first meeting with SPARTAN-117, the title is laid upon the Master Chief. 2401 Penitent Tangent also instantly recognized the Chief as a Reclaimer. In addition to the Master Chief, both Commander Keyes and Sergeant Johnson are referred to as Reclaimers, and 343 Guilty Spark seems to show them the same respectful attitude that he shows the Chief. Professor Anders seemed to be able to access Forerunner artifacts better than the Prophet of Regret (which was the reason why she was kidnapped), and was thus considered a Reclaimer as well despite the fact that there was no Monitor or Sentinel present to explicitly identify her as such.
It is also important to note when the term "Reclaimer" is not applied. All Covenant species are referred to as "intruders" or "meddlers" by 343 Guilty Spark. In addition, non-Reclaimers are unable to access or fully utilize Forerunner weapon systems on the Halo rings, the Ark, and Shield Worlds (as well as, most likely, other Forerunner constructs that have not yet been discovered). Because of this, the Prophet of Truth had to force Sergeant Johnson to activate the rings in Halo 3.
Additionally, in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, the Sentinels do not identify the humans on Onyx as Reclaimers. It could be that Sentinels only possess limited analytical intelligence while apart from a controlling Monitor. It is safe to speculate that the Monitors, as custodians of the Halo installations, play an important role in helping local Sentinels determine who is friendly and who is not. This is noted by the behaviors of the Sentinels on the first Halo construct that the Master Chief visits: namely, their general ignorance of the Chief until the Monitor demanded that they attack. It should also be noted that the first human a Sentinel tried to identify on Onyx was Ash-G099, one of the SPARTAN-IIIs. All of the SPARTAN-III's possessed artificial augmentations, most notably a cocktail of illegal drugs, which were designed to affect the brain's frontal lobe to enhance certain traits in combat. This may have been reasonable enough for the Sentinel to identify him as something other than human or Reclaimer (after Ash spoke to it, the Sentinel said, "Reclassification of targets as non-Reclaimers. Aboriginal subspecies."), and after that the Sentinels may have simply assumed that all humans on Onyx were of the same classification. Logically, by the term "subspecies", and by the aboriginal notation therein, the Sentinels could easily, by conjecture, be making the notice that the chemical changes in the brain caused by their augmentations cause the SPARTAN-IIIs to represent an earlier, more animalistic breed of humanity to their scanners.
However, this reclassification could have also been caused simply by Ash not exchanging the proper response to the Sentinel as it had asked him. The fact that, initially, it automatically identified Ash as a Reclaimer on sight (which never once happened when Forerunner technology came into contact with Covenant species) supports the theory that the human species as a whole, rather than some specific members of it, were deemed Reclaimers by the Forerunners. When it reclassified him it also said he was a possible infection vector, whereupon the Sentinels' increased hostility may have had to do with a directive about preventing any way for the Flood to infiltrate the Shield World. It seems entirely possible (given that the Forerunners were ultimately willing to sacrifice themselves in order to halt the Flood's advance across the galaxy) that even an actual Forerunner that did not know the proper response, should an Onyx Sentinel have somehow come into contact with one, would have been treated the same way in order to halt a possible Flood infestation.
- The glyph for the Reclaimer is the Marathon logo, a reference to Bungie's earlier game. However, as seen above, the glyph was redesigned in Halo 4 to make it look less like the Marathon logo to avoid property rights issues with Bungie.
- 032 Mendicant Bias refers to the Chief as the Reclaimer through the Terminals in Halo 3.
- Halo 3: ODST is the only Halo game that does not feature any interaction with Forerunner technology, and Halo: Reach, which includes a Forerunner artifact (Installation 04), but no Sentinels or Monitors, in which no characters are explicitly identified as Reclaimers. However, Ellen Anders could almost certainly be classified as a Reclaimer, as she was kidnapped by Ripa 'Moramee and forced by the Prophet of Regret to activate Forerunner technology on the Shield World, Shield 0459, precisely the way Miranda Keyes and Sergeant Johnson were used by Tartarus and the Prophet of Truth, respectively, in the Halo Trilogy.
- It is possible that 343 Guilty Spark does not recognize Reclaimers as individuals, but instead believes that every Reclaimer is the same being. When talking to Master Chief in Installation 04's Control Room, Spark says, "Last time, you asked me, if it were my choice, would I do it? Having had considerable time to ponder your query, my answer has not changed." It seems that Guilty Spark was referring to a question posed to him by a Forerunner - most likely Ur-Didact - prior to the activation of Installation 04 one hundred thousand years prior. This theory is not entirely solid, however; in the cutscene before you fight Tartarus in Halo 2, Spark warns the Brute Chieftain to "Please be careful; this Reclaimer is delicate," assumedly referencing the Master Chief's durability as contrasted to Keyes'. It is also possible that 343 Guilty Spark believes that the Reclaimers are one mind in many bodies. Another theory: Spark's statement to the Master Chief could just have been a result of his instability; somewhat like humming in battle. Another more complex idea is that since all humans seem to be able to be classified as Reclaimers, and Spark when speaking to the Chief (a Reclaimer) on Installation 04B states "You are the child of my makers, inheritor of all they left behind. You are Forerunner." Spark views the Chief as a continuation of the Forerunners, and the "same" as The Didact. Other characters also reference the humans as the same as the Forerunner in some fashion. Spark said that humanity holds the Forerunner's duties (Reclamation, The Mantle etc.), Mendicant Bias holds himself in debt to humanity when he cannot find any Forerunner to redeem himself to, and the Gravemind views the Forerunner as humanity's "Father" and holds Humanity responsible for their sins.
- Reclaimer is also a rank in Halo: Reach.
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Halo 2
- Halo 3
- Halo 4
- Halo Wars
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Halo: The Flood
- Halo: Contact Harvest