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Warning you now, if you're a tl;dr kind of person, turn back.
I'm not sure about everyone else, but the Halo 4 campaign came across as mediocre to me; the pace was slow towards the beginning and progressively sped up as the missions stacked up. In the end, we had MC visit only a fraction of the planet before he chases Ur-Didact to Ivanoff Station and Requiem is destroyed during the Second Requiem Campaign. I've written (IMO) an improved plotline that should have played out instead. Let me know what you think.
(I'd especially appreciate criticism from the illustrious critics, like Karl-591, Kal825B, or NG101)
Major Differences from the actual Halo 4 Campaign:
- Sangheili loyal to Thel 'Vadam are present
- Del Rio is killed
- Ur-Didact is more arrogant and has a more active role
- Returning character; General Thel 'Lodam (Formerly known as Major Thel 'Lodamee)
- Expanded upon battle over Earth
- Sarah Palmer's personality is more like Linda-058
Master Chief wakes up inside the Forward Unto Dawn in the midst of a conflict between brute and remnant forces. He uses an escape pod to launch himself towards Requiem but is intercepted by a Remnant assault cruiser (Unlike the game, this is all a cutscene). Initially, they are neutral, but Jul M'dama orders MC to be executed (actual gameplay starts there). Chief relieves a Sangheili of his kit, granting his first loadout as a Covenant Carbine and a Plasma Rifle (Yes, that was kept), and makes his way to a hangar bay to find another way off the hostile cruiser. He finds a Seraph and, with no other options present, flies towards Requiem. During the descent, plasma fire from the Brute fleet damages his Seraph and it enters the inner layer of Requiem. [Insert title flash here]. Chief wakes up and salvages equipment from the ruins. He travels a short distance and discovers a Brute patrol that has landed to salvage another crashed Seraph. MC disposes of the Jiralhanae, and comandeers one of the Ghosts that the group arrived on. After a bit more traveling, he encounters an injured Sangheili that is speaking gibberish, with occasional audible words.
Cortana reveals that his translation software was damaged in the crash, and dismisses it as it was outdated anyway. Frustrated, the Elite hobbles up and gestures for Chief to follow it. After hearing the words "Arbiter" and "Spartan," MC follows the Elite, all while disposing of Brute forces along the way and receiving minor firing support via plasma pistol from the Elite. They find a flipped Warthog from the Forward unto Dawn and Chief drives through a valley while the Elite rides in the passenger seat giving directions.
Not soon after, the duo arrive at a Sangheili base of operations (not Remnant). Chief is strapped up with updated translation software, and taken to the General in charge, 'Lodam, and is informed about the Remnant, Requiem and how they had ended up trapped on Requiem a week ago while fleeing Brute pursuers. 'Lodam also comments that he remembers MC from when the latter raided the Third Fleet of Glorious Consequence, and expresses a small desire to possibly finsh the duel they started 13 years ago. At that moment, the General is informed by radio that unknown enemies are attacking an away party near a forerunner structure, so the General orders Chief to reinforce his men. Chief discovers Prometheans, and fights his way through a ravine and over a fortified hill.
That point would conclude the first two missions
After Chief rescues over half of the Elite troops, the General praises Chief, but is slightly dismissive about his success. At that moment, the Elite's distress beacon is picked up by UNSC Infinity and the Elites signal the ship. Though the Infinity recognizes the beacon as Sangheili, they also pick up the Forward Unto Dawn's beacon, and steer toward Requiem.
Chief knows that they will get trapped inside too, so he tries to shut off the beacon, but the General does not allow it. Prometheans attack the Sangheili base and Chief helps defend it by activating several plasma turrets, breaking enemy strongpoints, and delivering weaponry to pinned troops.
The Prometheans are promptly fended off, but a Remnant forces land nearby and Chief is sent to conduct reconaissance. He discovers a force of Wraiths moving toward 'Lodam's camp, so he stealthily picks off the turret gunners and then steals one and destroys the others. Unfortunately, the explosions drew the attention of the Prometheans and allowed them to discover the base. Chief hurries back but the base is destroyed and everyone there is dead. However, MC is contacted by 'Lodam, who has retreated his forces into a nearby forerunner structure. 'Lodam is infuriated and continues to mock and rerimand MC for being an overrated Spartan when a team of SpecOp Sangheili would have gotten much better results. Nevertheless, he demands that Chief arrive at his location promptly. Chief fights his way to the Forerunner structure, where he learns that Infinity has entered Requiem and crashed a dozen clicks away. Chief cringes in disbelief as now the ship is trapped inside Requiem. The conflict with the general escalates until 'Lodam holds his sword to MC's throat and MC holds a magnum to the Generals gut. Before any else happens, Pelican Foxtrot - 26 arrives and a contingent of Spartan IVs step out.
Mission 3 concluded
Captain Del Rio makes his debut over hologram and surprisingly gets along with 'Lodam and the friendly Sangheili forces are temporarily invited to operate on board the Infinity while it is repaired. The rampancy of Cortana was revealed to Lasky, but not Del Rio, allowing for it to be kept a secret and for Chief to keep Cortana.
Disturbances below the surface cause the leaders to speculate that there are more layers below the current one and incline them to investigate a massive energy source nearby.
'Lodam and Chief use a Wraith and a Scorpion, respectively, to fight their way groundside towards a unique structure while Captain Del Rio offers tactical support and Lasky gives air support every now and then. Though an intense fight occurred, the Spartan and the Sangheili eventually reach Requiem's core and find out that Jul M'dama has sent a team of Remnant Zealots to investigate the disturbance. Though the pair managed to kill them off, the Zealots had already awakened the Didact. Ur-Didact uses his abilities to hold Chief and 'Lodam in place while he stabbed them both in the abdomen with hard light swords. He then leaves them for dead, assumes control of the Prometheans, and leaves.
Mission 4 ends
MC wakes up to find 'Lodam dragging him by the leg to safety. The situation looks grim as they are besieged by Promethean on all sides. Chief gets on his feet and they fight their way to a portal generator, which they utilize to warp fairly close to the infinity. 'Lodam says that he will attempt to rally the troops of both races while Chief should activate the AA guns of infinity to fend off Ur-Didact's Cryptum. Chief eventually succeeds but not before being launched off the infinity as Ur-Didact emerges from the Cryptum. Chief fights his way back up from the other side of Infinity as Captain Del Rio shouts insults at Ur-Didact. Chief arrives just in time at the bridge to see Ur-Didact execute a portion of the bridge crew. While Ur-Didact is turned away, Chief tackles him and the two fall through the window and onto the vehicle bay. Chief has to survive for a two minute period so Lasky could arrive in a Pelican and evacuate him; although Ur-Didact was determined to make life hard for MC by tossing vehicles at him. Chief successfully dodges the vehicles and Ur-Didact lets Chief go as Lasky arrives, but not before warning him that he did so only because Chief was a worthy foe and wanted him to be there when he composes humanity. With that, he leaves on his Cryptum.
At that point, Mission 5 just ended
The Remnant allies itself with the Prometheans, and focus on driving the Brutes off Requiem while the Separatist Elites and the UNSC attempt to regroup. Del Rio, Lasky, 'Lodam, and Chief discuss their course of action (with input from Cortana, and Jared Miller, who should replace Palmer in the early Campaign). They all agree that they must draw Ur-Didact out and decimate his forces. Del Rio will allocate all non-Spartan personnel to repairing the Infinity, Miller and Lasky will lead a Spartan assault on several Promethean power sources, and 'Lodam and Chief will disable a Forerunner dreadnought. Each team succeeds in their respective jobs, although Miller and Lasky's team took over 70% casualties. Eventually, they attract Ur-Didact's attention, who once again makes mincemeat of them. Del Rio is killed, and 'Lodam is crippled, although the Sangheili managed to pass his energy sword to Chief, who used it to injure Ur-Didact. Angered, Ur-Didact leaves to retrieve the Composer. Lasky gives them the good news that the Infinity is ready to fly, and they give chase through Slipspace of the Mantles Approach.
Mission 6 ends there
(Ivanoff Station Mission is near identical). Ur-Didact takes the device and heads back to Requiem.
Mission 7 is over
Agreeing that it was extremely dangerous for Infinity to enter Requiem again, a team is to be assembled for an assault on Requiem. After being forced to make do with what they have, the team is settled upon MC, 'Lodam, Jared Miller, Sarah Palmer, and several other surviving Elites and Spartans. They discover the supposedly inactive Mantles Approach and board it, believing it was a chance to asassinate the Didact. Cortana detects that it was actually a trap and they are forced to escape the ship, although Chief was able to briefly talked to the Librarian, who requested to see him. In the ensuing fight, all the unnamed Elites and Spartans are killed.
Mission 8 concluded
Chief is drawn to a certain energy beam in the distance by the Librarian's voice speaking in his head, and enters a Promethean inhabited structure (accompanied only by Palmer and 'Lodam while Miller guards the entrance). He discovers that Prometheans are ancient humans, and learns more about Ur-Didact. He also received immunity to the Composer, along with Palmer and 'Lodam. Ur-Didact discovers the interaction and launches a heavy onslaught of Prometheans to assault the location. The foursome escapes back to their camp and prepare to be evacuated, but unfortunately, an Incineration Cannon explosion shatters both of Miller's legs. Palmer reluctantly agrees to carry Miller and they flee the masses of Prometheans. The mission ends with a cutscene of the group jumping down into a large ravine; losing the pursuers.
End of Mission 9
The missions screen fades to Chef's point of view as he lies prone, hidden under some shrubbery. He begins to get up but suddenly hides again after he sees the feet of a Promethean Knight and a file of Grunts mere meters from him. After the patrol passes, MC pulls himself up and asks Cortana to develop a secure link between him and his separated teammates. Although she is unable to at that point in time, she locates an IFF tag not far from his position. As he heads out, he stumbles upon a conflict between a squad of Brutes and the Promethean-backed Remnant patrols. MC can decide to either sneak around or charge straight through them. A short while later, he encounters Palmer scanning from a high branch, and Miller at the base (with biofoam applied to his legs) of the tree. Palmer says that she has made contact with a Mammoth that had been left behind from the Infinity's last departure from Requiem. The marines have hunkered down in a mountainous area not far from them. 'Lodam also contacts the Spartans from the Mammoth, stating that the vehicle is mobilizing towards a visible landmark, and in this case, it is a crashed Brute cruiser. Chief, Miller, and the incapcitated Miller trek the short distance through a forested area before joining up with the Mammoth and laying waste to the Brutes and the Remnant along the way. The Brute ship served as a rag-tag base of operations for the remaining Brute Chieftains that haven't allied themselves with the Remnant, prompting the UNSC forces to crash the Mammoth into the cruiser. Realizing that it wouldn't be enough firepower, Palmer suggests that they detonate the nuclear warhead stored on the Mammoth. The marines set the timer and hold out until Foxtrot - 26 can evacuate them.
(Ending cutscene) The nuclear warhead explodes in the background as the Pelican returns to the Infinity. A massive power reading indicated that the Mantles Approach was powering up. 'Lodam warns Lasky, who readies the Infinity for departure as soon as Foxtrot - 26 arrives. The pilot lands them in the hangar bay and the ship positions itself to chase Ur-Didact's flagship.
Mission 10 ends here
(Beginning cutscene) Chief explains to Lasky about the Composer and his meeting with the Librarian. Lasky determines that the best team to combat the Didact with is MC, Palmer, and General 'Lodam, and tells them to be ready for anythng, as the final battle will be difficult. Miller is also shown being refitted with enhanced leg braces to allow him to walk again, although he can only offer tactical support from then onwards (which is a shame because his combat AI would use rockets).
The Mantles Approach enters slip space, with the Infinity in close pursuit. When the Infinity arrives at Earth, it is already under attack by Promethean forces. Chief gets dropped at the city of New Swansea and assists the Army in defending several military outposts and civilian locations. After this objective is complete, Chief pilots a Pelican and offers air support at various locations. With 9 objectives total after taking off, Chief is ordered to pick up Palmer and 'Lodam at different locations after every third objective. Their final objective is to activate the orbital cannons that would drive off the small contingent of Remnant troops. After they land and do so, Ur-Didact fires the Composer directly on their position, turning every Army trooper around them into Prometheans. The tough trio move to eliminate their former allies, and the Didact learns of their Composer immunity after watching them from space.
Mission 11 ends
After a fresh batch of Prometheans arrive, and the Composing continues, they realize that the only way to stop it is to kill the source; The Mantles Approach. Captain Lasky recalls them to the Infinity to plan the next offensive.
Both of Lasky and Palmer's ideas involve high-risk insertions, but MC has a better idea; infiltrate one of the Forerunner cruisers accompanying Ur-Didact's flag ship. The Infinity wouldn't be able to take them close enough without getting shot at, so the infiltration team takes a prowler to a Longsword airbase on Luna.
The Prowler gets shot down, and the group utilizes Scorpions (In zero-g) to make their way to the Longsword airbase. Miller contacts Chief about a "controlled" Nova Bomb at the base, and MC takes it with him. They take off and combat the Prometheans in space. Eventually, they board one the Forerunner ship and fight their way to the bridge. In the hangar, they get cornered by Knights, and Miller radios that he's coming in on "Makeshift transport" as a Grizzly tank flies through space and into the open hangar bay; slaughtering all the Promethean forces present. Miller then punches several holes in the walls to allow them passage while they protect him from infantry. They eventually make it to the bridge, where Miller and Palmer volunteer to stay behind and pilot the ship, although the Chief has to protect the pair from several waves of Prometheans as they acquaint themselves with the controls. A few minutes later, the deed is done and Palmer informs MC that she'll ram the Mantles Approach.
End of Mission 12
The Forerunner ship collides with the Flagship, causing the composing process to become disrupted. Chief fights his way to the very center of the ship while 'Lodam offers fire support from elevated platforms. The level will consist of plodding through waves and waves of Prometheans, as well as having to hit inconveniently located switches to activate hard light bridges or to open doors. When they enter the second-to-final room, Knights flood the room, and they start to get overwhelmed. The next door opens after Chief hits a switch, but closes before 'Lodam can get through. 'Lodam radios him from the other side, stating that he regrets that they never got to finish their duel, and adds that he's going to hold a glorious funeral pyre for himself. Before Chief could respond, explosions and the sound of Knights cut off the transmission.
Upon Cortana's suggestion, he inserted her into the nearby console to try and open the door, although she is unsuccessful. A suddenly blast destroys the console and crumbles her AI chip.
As MC furiously looked around, an Incineration Cannon shot knocks him over. He looks up to see that the current room was the core of the Mantles Approach, and spots Ur-Didact at the other end of the hardlight bridge. He starts firing his weapon and running towards the enemy, dodging several IC shots in a cutscene, but a final shot knocks him off the bridge.
Chief falls about a hundred meters, but his landing is softened by Ur-Didact's powers. He spared MC because he wanted a proper duel before he undid him completely, and that he was waiting at the top. Chief viciously fights through several platforms and towers full of Promethean forces to reach the top again, where the final boss eagerly awaited him.
Mission 13 is over
Ur-Didact hands MC a Light Rifle and a Scattershot before summoning a half-dozen Knights to fight him. Chief constantly bounces around dodging Knights and IC shots from Ur-Didact, who floated out of reach, (Did I mention that Ur-Didact can revive the knights like a watcher?) until all the Knights are defeated. For the next stage of the fight, the Didact lands and functions as an extremely buffed up Promethean Knight with a horde of Crawlers to support him. MC's weapons are replaced with a Boltshot and Suppressor. He blazes through this stage as well, finally causing Ur-Didact go on the defense. While the Didact builds up energy, MC runs up and hijacks his character (similar to the fight against Regret), causing the Forerunner to drop the Incineration Cannon.
(Cutscene) He angrily slams Chief multiple times against the ground and raises a Scattershot to the Spartan's face. Just as he is about to pull the trigger, Sarah Palmer appears on a higher platform and headshots Ur-Didact, forming a small dent in his headpiece. He waves his arm and summons a pack of Crawlers to dispose of her, but she manages to defeat the minor threat. The Didact then uses his abilities to pull Palmer towards him and grasp her by the throat. The Chief seizes this opportunity andaims the IC at the Didact, but hesitates to fire because Palmer is in extremely close vicinity to his target. Ur-Didact notices this and reprimands him for his weakness, and throws Palmer and MC, sending both Spartans tumbling away. When they get up, Ur-Didact is gone, although his voice echoes inside MC's head. (Gameplay starts)
Palmer switches her sniper out for a shotgun and aids the Chief in fending off a large number of Knights. When the Didact dares MC to come higher up the platform, Chief informs Palmer and the pair fight their way towards the Forerunner foe.
(Cutscene) Ur-Didact appears out of nowhere and knocks Palmer off the platform. He then dons another Incineration Cannon and fires and MC, who rushes to get behind what limited cover there is. Palmer radios him that she's fine, as she landed on a lower area. (Gameplay starts)
Inevitably, MC chips away enough of Ur-Didact's armor with his own cannon for the Didact to teleport and slash MC. As parts of the Chief's chestplate shatters and he collapses, Ur-Didact hits a switch and a large slip space portal opens up behind him. He informs MC that even more of his forces will spawn from the rift shortly. After that, the Cortana sequence plays out like it did in the actual game.
(Endgame cutscene) Chief desperately shoves a pulse grenade into one of the vulnerable spots in what was left of the Didact's armor, propelling his foe into the slip space portal. His opponent disappears from view, and Chief assumes he has won. As he turned around, he is pulled towards the portal. He quickly grabs onto a nearby railing and turns around to see Ur-Didact crawling out of the portal with a single arm outstretched to pull MC in. He curses the Chief, and adds that what he does is in vain, as the Forerunner ascendancy is already guaranteed, to which Chief smugly replies: "Just to let you know, a guy in a primitive Class-2 combat skin stopped you." (Allusion to 343 GS's line)
He lets go of the railing and uses the momentum of the pull to give Ur-Didact a high-speed, strength augmented spartan kick, and then propelling himself off the target. As the Didact falls into the slip space portal completely, MC tosses the Nova Bomb in after him. Most of the explosion occurred at the destination of the portal, and only a tiny fraction of the explosion occurred on MC's side. Nevertheless, it was stil large enough to decimate almost all of the Forerunner fleet and violently launched MC into space.
Mission 14 ends here
Chief is floating in a white backdrop, surrounded by other Spartan II's dressed in identical armor to him (like Dr. Halsey's prologue). He sees Keyes, Arbiter, Johnson, and Cortana as well. In the distance is Dr. Halsey herself (standing even further behind Halsey would be a Noble 6 easter egg). Everything suddenly brightens like a flare and fades away as MC wakes up in a pelican. Standing over him is Palmer, who informs him that he has been resuscitated. Lasky is heard over the radio, pleading to not be told that MC is dead. Palmer looks over at MC, and they both say the "Spartans never die" line. [Screen fades to black]
The epilogue covers Andrew Del Rio's funeral, the aftermath of the short but devastating conflict, how Sarah Palmer and Jared Miller escaped the explosion in time, and also reveals that General 'Lodam's body was recovered and cryogenically frozen in hopes that he could be revived at some point in the future. (Other than that, relatively the same as the normal epilogue).
Thanks for reading. If you've made it this far, be sure to leave feedback. This was also a plot development summary catechism because I'm working on authoring a book.