HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED (2001)
In the year 2552, mankind is doomed. An alliance of alien races, known as the Covenant, has declared holy war on our species... and we're losing fast.
Master Chief - A super soldier genetically engineered to kick Covenant ass. His real name is John 117, but his real past is a mystery.
Captain Jacob Keyes - Thirty years ago, he led humanity's first counterattacks against the aliens. Now a respected hero, he helms a space cruiser named the Pillar of Autumn.
Cortana - A highly advanced artificial intelligence construct. She can be plugged into almost anything, including the Master Chief's head.
Sergeant Avery Johnson - A gruff, cigar-chomping Marine. That's, um, pretty much his whole personality.
343 Guilty Spark - A robotic orb programmed to guard the secrets of the Forerunners, an ancient and (assumed) extinct race.
THE STORY IN ONE SENTENCE: In an effort to outrun alien forces and lead them away from Earth's location, the Pillar of Autumn makes a random jump through space, accidentally discovering Halo, a ring-shaped station built by the Forerunners and worshipped by the Covenant, which attempts to activate the structure as a weapon but ends up unleashing the life-consuming extraterrestrial parasites called Flood instead, which Master Chief and 343 Guilty Spark team up to stop by firing Halo themselves, until Cortana interrupts with some rather disturbing news.
THE TWIST: Halo wasn't designed to kill the Flood; it was designed to starve the Flood by killing its food. Guess what? Both humans and Covenant are that food. Guilty Spark's protocol is to erase all sentient life in the universe, just as he did to the Forerunners long ago.
THE ENDING: After fighting Guilty Spark, the Master Chief and Cortana manage to destroy Halo and the Flood by causing the crashed Pillar of Autumn to self-destruct. They escape the explosion unharmed. Captain Keyes, infected and transformed by the Flood, dies. Sergeant Johnson miraculously survives. Guilty Spark floats away in one piece as well.
MISSION BY MISSION:
The Pillar of Autumn - With the Covenant closing in, Master Chief must protect Cortana and the crucial information she carries. History of humanity, anyone? The two flee the ship in a drop pod and land on the mysterious ring structure below.
Halo - No time to admire the surprisingly beautiful scenery. Our heroes round up the Pillar 's remaining survivors, only to discover that the most important crew member has been captured.
The Truth and Reconciliation - Captain Keyes is on board this Covenant cruiser. Using stealth, sniping and the aliens' own gravity lift, Master Chief is able to crash the barracks and rescue his commander.
The Silent Cartographer - Why is the enemy so excited about Halo? Are they intending to use it as a weapon? Keyes orders Master Chief and Cortana to locate Halo's control room by first locating its map room, hidden beneath a tropical island.
Assault on the Control Room - Master Chief trudges through the snow - and wave after wave of Covenant - to reach Halo's nerve center. Finally there, an alarmed Cortana informs him that the ring's true purpose is not what everyone believes.
343 Guilty Spark - While racing across a rainy swamp to warn Keyes, the Master Chief encounters a zombie-like parasite called the Flood... and then a robotic monitor who claims to be able to stop the virus.
The Library - Guilty Spark leads Master Chief on a (seemingly endless) quest to retrieve the Index, which will activate Halo and destroy the Flood.
Two Betrayals - Oops! Seems the robot was guiding our hero to his own annihilation. Cortana steals the Index and commands the Master Chief to destroy Halo itself.
Keyes - To destroy Halo, Master Chief needs the Pillar 's self-destruct code. Keyes has it, but unfortunately, he's now a gross and pulsating Flood monster. The Chief puts him out of his misery and grabs the Captain's neural implants instead.
The Maw - Back on the ravaged and desolate Pillar of Autumn, Master Chief and Cortana run into some resistance from Guilty Spark. The self-destruct countdown is cancelled, so the Chief resorts to Plan B and throws some grenades at the engine's fusion reactors. After a thrilling escape on a Warthog jeep, he and Cortana fly into the stars and watch Halo burn. Game over.