5 of Halo's freakiest creatures, oddities, and entities
The Halo universe is filled with strangeness and oddities — but some of them are way stranger than the others. In this article, we identify what we think are the top five freakiest things in Halo.
When it comes to science fiction, species, societies, weapons, and everything between are often considered to be "out there," and Halo is no exception. Halo's lore is chock full of weird and interesting things, but there are five specific ones that we think are way above the rest.
5. The Hunters
Out of all of the Covenant species, the Hunters (also known as the lekgolo) are by far the most unique.
What most assume to be giant beasts in armor, are actually a colony of independent, sentient worms that come together and form a single cohesive organism. The foes we see in-game that come in pairs are the result of a colony getting too large and splitting itself in two. These two separate groups of worms form a bond when this happens — this is why when you kill one Hunter, the other berserks and charges you.
Aside from their common function of forming Hunter pairs, the lekgolo are capable of several other incredible feats. For example, the Scarab walkers the Covenant employ have thousands of lekgolo intertwined within. This allows them to control the vehicle; Scarabs do not require pilots.
Another significant example of the lekgolo's capabilities is their ability to "consume" pieces of technology. During their explorations on the lekgolo homeworld of Te, the Covenant discovered that the lekgolo were ingesting Forerunner artifacts and structures. Due to the Covenant's religious beliefs regarding the Forerunners, this sparked a bloody, vicious war that resulted in the lekgolo being tamed and integrated into the Covenant. Aside from serving combat roles, the Covenant also put the lekgolo to use by having them explore the nooks and crannies of newly discovered artifacts.
Biologically, very little else is known about the lekgolo, though we know they have vocal chords based on the in-game sounds made by Hunters.
4. The Spartan-III Program
The training for candidates of the Spartan-III program were even more disturbing and controversial than that of the Spartan-IIs.
Like the S-IIs, the S-IIIs were abducted at an extremely young age and brought to a state-of-the-art military facility for training, Unlike the previous generation, however, the S-III candidates were all orphans — a result of the Covenant slaughtering their parents.
Filled with rage and hatred for the alien invaders, they were eager to become super soldiers and exact revenge. The UNSC exploited this and consistently influenced the trainees' psyches, encouraging their anger and training the new Spartans to fight with fury. After their physical augmentations were completed, the Spartan-IIIs (who were as young as twelve by the end of their training) were deployed against Covenant forces in key areas as suicide soldiers. As a result, Spartan-IIIs rarely ever returned from missions. In fact, over 90% of the first 600 Spartan-IIIs were killed in action.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this program came with the augmentations of the final company of Spartan-IIIs, Gamma Company. With Gamma, the UNSC took their rage-encouragement policy one step further and administered these Spartans with illegal drugs that increased aggression and injury tolerance in their biology. However, as a side effect, this drug could deteriorate higher brain functions. If a Gamma Company Spartan went too long without taking a counter-agent that quelled this side effect (codenamed "smoothers") than the Spartan could fall into a feral-like state, attacking friend and foe alike.
3. The Engineers
One of the strangest forms of life in Halo is the Engineer, or huragok, species.
What initially seems to be a type of aquatic jellyfish-squid hybrid is actually a biomechanical race created by the Forerunners to maintain their technology. Some huragok possess the ability to also heal life forms.
The huragok are essentially a series of gas sacs connected to several small tentacles and an elongated head with numerous eyes on it. They utilize their sacs to float in their desired direction, while they use their tentacles to interface with technology. In all experiences with the species, huragok are able to repair broken pieces of machinery in seconds what would take the most skilled human technician days. Because of their value, the Covenant forced the species into slavery and made them repair and retrofit their own tech, though this ceased after the Human-Covenant War ended.
The biological huragok operate with similar style and efficiency. Using their tentacles, these special Engineers are able to fix grave injuries or cure severe ailments in the blink of an eye.
In terms of reproduction, the Engineers, like the lekgolo worms, do so asexually, albeit in an interesting way. Huragok will use its surroundings in order to build other huragok, provided enough resources are present.
2. The Flood
Due to its ability to turn a force against itself through infection, the Flood is uniquely terrifying.
Through infection either by spores (airborne) or infection form (physical) the Flood take over the nervous systems of their hosts in seconds. Then, the newly-transformed combat form (the infected body of the host) attacks and subdues other potential hosts, paving the way for the infection to further spread.
As the infestation grows and grows, the Flood forms collect as much biomass as possible and compile it in one area. As they do this, the Flood then transmit the information and knowledge within host's minds into this biomass, creating a central intelligence called a Proto-Gravemind. This intelligence becomes a full fledged Gravemind if allowed to continue its growth; once a Gravemind is formed, the Flood become much more dangerous. When coordinated by a Gravemind, Flood warriors are capable of performing high-functioning tasks like piloting vehicles or using weapons.
Upon reaching this level of coordination, the Flood is almost impossible to stop. During the Forerunner-Flood War, the Flood were able to turn the Forerunners' own weapons against them once they infected enough personnel that was skilled with weaponry. This also occurred during the Human-Covenant War, when the Flood was able to gain the ability to fly Covenant and UNSC ships to spread the infection.
1. The Precursors
Even freakier than the Flood are the mysterious and seemingly divine Precursors.
Capable of outrageous feats such as shapeshifting, tampering with the fabric of the universe and creating life at will, the Precursors are responsible for the Halo universe being the way it is.
Classified as trans-sentient beings, the Precursors were, for all intents and purposes, gods. As they seeded the Milky Way with life, they looked fondly upon their creations, even scaling themselves down to their level in some cases to experience and re-experience evolution. These hyper-advanced rulers watched over the galaxy for eons.
No other species in Halo has ever attained this level of advancement, and not many species from other science fiction franchises have, either. They are undoubtedly one of the most unusual and advanced species ever to grace the genre.
What are your top five freakiest things in the Halo universe? Make sure to let us know in the comments below!
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Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.
I never knew that about the Hunters. Wow!