What was buried in the African desert? Was it the Ark? If so, what was Installation 00? And what the heck was that portal all about?
Halo was, appropriately enough, about a Halo. A single ring, floating in space, with the potential to destroy the galaxy. Got it. Halo 2 was, appropriately enough, about a second Halo. Same deal. Understood.
The identity and importance of all the crazy alien structures in Halo 3, however, are tougher to follow than a road map to the Middle East. The cut scenes lead you to believe something like this: Delta Halo leads to Africa leads to the Ark leads to the Portal leads to Installation 00 leads to the real Ark leads to... another Halo? HUH?!
Our best guess: By starting and then stopping the activation of Delta Halo in the second game, our heroes inadvertently put all Halos in the universe on standby. The Covenant leader believed he could fire these rings simultaneously from a mysterious location hidden in the African desert. The Ark? Nope, the structure he unearths merely creates a portal to the Ark, light years away from Earth. Once there, you discover the purpose of the Ark is to construct new Halos, giving it the official name of Installation 00 (the ring in the first Halo game was Installation 04.)
Any clearer? Yeah, we didn't think so.