Is Master Chief dead?

Sept 20, 2007

A charred and cracked battlefield. An unstoppable swarm of enemies. A frightened soldier cowering behind his overturned jeep, mustering the courage for one final fight. And, in the center of this bloody war, an evil general holds humanity's last and greatest hope in his clutches. The Brute seems victorious; Master Chief appears utterly defeated.

You've seen the ads for Halo 3. But what the heck does it all mean? Is this how the game ends? Is this how our hero ends? Did Bungie and Microsoft just spoil everything?

We went straight to Halo 3's creators for answers.

GamesRadar: The current ad campaign is very evocative... and a little controversial. Where did the concept come from?

Frank O'Connor, Writing Lead - Bungie Studios: The concept came from McCann Erickson, our ad agency. The theme was "Believe" and the rest followed that evocation.

GamesRadar: How involved was Bungie in the direction and content?

Frank: Obviously we were busy making the game but we discussed the campaign with our marketing guys and we were excited to see such a unique direction.

GamesRadar: Do you believe that the serious tone and themes of the ads match what players will experience in the game itself?

Frank: This is the third part of an epic trilogy, with epic consequences. Character and story arcs are driving to a climax, some inspiring and some very dark. This campaign is designed to mimic the mood and tone of the start of the game. But after that, all bets are off.

GamesRadar: The spots contain some specific dialogue and references that many are interpreting as story spoilers. Are they right to be worried?

Frank: No. The ad agency was briefed on the first moments of the game. Everything else is mood and tone. There are no spoilers in the ads.

GamesRadar: Does the battle diorama represent an actual battle in the game? What about the scene of Master Chief arming a surprise grenade?

Frank: It's certainly evocative of some of the battles in the game, but it's not a specific moment - more a flavor of the battlefield. We don't cram quite that many bad guys into one encounter...and surprise grenades are up to you.

Charlie Barratt
I enjoy sunshine, the company of kittens and turning frowns upside down. I am also a fan of sarcasm. Let's be friends!