Halo enemies list

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The Most Powerful Enemies In Halo

Halo is without a doubt an absolutely iconic franchise. It's a game that's so deeply rooted in the gaming community worldwide, it is still going strong years after its official debut. The series' roots in popular science-fiction tropes and its throughly engrossing first-person shooter action make Halo one of the best franchises to dip into for newcomers and veterans alike.

Related: Halo The Master Chief Collection: 10 Mods You Need To Try

However, Halo has changed a lot since the first game, Halo: Combat Evolved, released back in 2001. More specifically, enemy types in the series have evolved from their early beginnings. The different foes that Master Chief faces during his adventures are a part of what makes Halo so special for fans. Encounters with the Covenant and the Flood are just so memorable, you can't help enjoying a drawn-out firefight with them. And the Halo series is home to some notoroiously tough enemies. Read on if you want to check out the most unbelievably powerful enemies in Halo.

8 Promethean Knights

Promethean Knights are one tough nut to crack. During combat encounters in both Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, Knights are often surrounded by Promethean Crawlers and Watchers. This entourage makes it easier for Knights to relentlessly batter your shields. The difficulty in tackling a Promethean Knight is only enhanced in Halo 5: Guardians. In Guardians, you have to target two small points on the backs of their "shoulders" to bring them down. Not only that, but they have a nasty habit of teleporting into close quarters right when you're trying to snipe them from a distance.

7 Elite Honor Guards

Every Halo fan knows that familiar feeling of your stomach dropping when you see an Elite approaching you with a vibrant Energy Sword crackling in their hand. From the first Halo game all the way to the latest, Elites with Energy Swords have been the cause of bowels dropping across the fandom. As soon as these Elites catch sight of you, they march toward you at a relentless pace. The most you can do to survive is back up and blast away at their shields until you can drop them. If you don't do this quickly enough, you might end up within their reach. And as anyone who has played a Halo game knows, the reach of an Energy Sword is far indeed.

6 Sentinel Enforcers

Seen in Halo 2, the Sentinel Enforcers are no joke, and they end up feeling like mini boss encounters every time you meet one. A gargantuan shield covering their forward side means that you have to circle around them to do any damage.

Related: Halo: Every Movie In Chronological Order

Trying to do this while swarms of Sentinels hover over you and the Enforcer hurls energy projectiles in your general vicinity makes this a most difficult task. And while they were only seen in the second game in the mainline Halo series, the Enforcer made for a memorable opponent. Having one of these mechanical monstrosities looming over an open battlefield became almost as intimidating as seeing a Scarab.

5 Brute Chieftains

If an Elite with an Energy Sword doesn't do you in, then a Brute Chieftain swinging a Gravity Hammer certainly will. With heftier shields than an Elite's and a penchant to leap right on top of you, these Brutes mean business. In Halo 2, only Tartarus got to swing a Gravity Hammer. When Halo 3 rolled around, other Brutes got to accessorize with this deadly weapon as well. Campaign-ending impacts became the last thing you heard before the "whud" booted you back to your last save point. The inclusion of Brute Chieftains in Halo: Reach made many Firefight matches intense affairs, as groups of friends frantically concentrated fire on these rushing behemoths of doom.

4 Pure Flood Forms

When a Flood Infection Form comes in contact with a viable host, it turns them into Flood Combat Forms. These Combat Forms often take the shape of whatever host the Infection Form took over. This is why the outlines of Elites, Brutes, and humans are often seen in the shambling Combat Forms that attack you in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3.

Related: All Halo Games In Order According To The Lore

However, Halo 3 introduced us to "pure" Flood forms. These ranged from mobile creatures that loped around taking swipes at Chief to tanky monsters that could kill you in one punch. On Legendary, these enemies could absolutely wreck you in an instant.

3 Warden

If you tried playing Halo 5: Guardians on Legendary, you will remember the arduous encounters both Blue Team and Osiris had with the Warden. This Forerunner construct is a bullet sponge, and a beam of light from the Warden could send your Spartan sprawling. When Master Chief and his friends have to tackle three of them, it almost makes you want to throw up your hands and quit. Needless to say, we hope the Warden only makes limited appearances in Halo Infinite, if any at all.

2 Hunters

Playing Halo: Combat Evolved for the first time means that fear will come in the form of Hunters. Unlike other members of the Covenant seen up to that point, Hunters were uniquely large and fired explosive plasma bursts from their arm cannons. Always traveling in pairs, Hunters required precise aim to take out since most of their bodies were covered in thick armor. Even though their looks have only marginally changed from Halo game to Halo game, their status as powerful enemies in the Halo universe has not diminished.

1 Jackal Snipers

Before you laugh, just remember trying to play Halo 2 on Legendary with these critters scattered throughout a mission. Jackal Snipers are notorious for being one of the most impossible enemies in the Halo series. Able to kill you in a single shot and always located in tough-to-see spots, these Jackals are a nightmare to deal with. While it is laughably easy to deal with their shield-carrying brethren, Jackal Snipers apparently exist to take vengeance on any Halo 2 player who attempts to breeze through the campaign. The single glimmer of light given off by their headwear is the last thing you'll see before their quick trigger finger sends a beam straight into the Master Chief's skull.

Next: Halo Infinite Guide: Everything We Know So Far

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Here are some of the baddies you’ll fight in Halo Reach.

Elites- Elites were the main enemy in Halo CE, and the first half of Halo 2. But were your allies throughout Halo 3. Since Halo: Reach is a prequel, they are back. These monsters are 2 feet taller than Spartans and can be very sneaky and have great agility.

Elite

Elite

Elite Spec Ops

Elite Spec Ops

Elite Ultra

Elite Ultra

Brutes- Brutes showed up in Halo 2 and were the main foe in Halo 3 and ODST. They are in Halo: Reach, but have a lesser role than the elites and are more “bruteish” and will charge and be less tactical then the Elites.

Brute Minor

Brute Minor

Brute Major

Brute Major

Cheiftan

Chieftain

Hunter- Hunters have been in every Halo game and were large tanks that were hard to kill other than a shot to the back. They are back in Reach and are an astounding 10 feet tall! (That’s 4 feet taller than the Spartan). I’m sure these bad boys will pack quite a punch.

Hunter

Hunter

Skirmisher- Skirmishers are the new drone like enemy, because they are very quick and and travel in packs. (They can’t fly). They are similar to the Jackel only are way more of a treat, even know Jackals are still in the game.

Skirmisher

Skirmisher

Grunts- known as the pussies of Halo, they are still there only are now more a threat rather than a humor. They no longer speak English (or whatever Earth language) so they can’t make those ridiculous jokes. Grunt Birthday is still in so if you want funny, they can be funny.

Grunt

Grunt

Grunt Minor

Grunt Minor

Grunt Heavy

Grunt Heavy

Engineer- These floating aliens are back, and they still give over-shields to nearby baddies. Now they are easier to kill though.

Engineer

Engineer

  • Jackals- Same throughout halo games, only real difference is their shields are more protective. (sorry for bad picture)
Jackel

Jackal

  • Other forms of Brutes, Elites, Hunters, and Grunts
  • Heretics- Covenant using human weapons (only seen in firefight)

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Halo: Every Covenant Species, Ranked From Weakest To Strongest

The roster of alien bad guys featured in the Halo universe ranges from ancient murder robots to evil meat mushrooms, but the original cavalcade of interstellar enemies-of-humankind is the Covenant. And though we might think them beaten and conquered, we still don't know exactly what Halo Infinite has in store for us, so it might be a good idea to review the specifics. Essentially, as a league of fanatical alien zealots, the Covenant is composed of several different alien races united under a pseudo-religious doctrine that seeks to bring about the end of all sentient life in the universe, albeit unwittingly.

RELATED: Halo: 10 Things You Didn't Know About The Flood

Each of these alien species is fascinatingly unique (and sometimes horrible) in their own way, and extremely varied in their degrees of usefulness to the Covenant's agenda. If you've ever wondered which ones are the toughest and what makes them tick, then you're in the right place. Keep scrolling to join Game Rant as we check out each of the Covenant's client species and rank them "Warthog fodder" to "we're gonna need a bigger tank."

8 Grunts (Unggoy)

The diminutive Unggoy is the very first Covenant race that most Halo players ever encountered. They're short, angry, and kind of hilarious, but they're a lot less than intimidating for an armored Spartan super soldier with a bad case of the Mondays.

On the average, small groups of Unggoy are practically ignorable, being poorly disciplined, clumsy, and seemingly combat-inept. But underestimation is their hidden strength. In numbers and under the leadership of the militaristic Elites they can be made tactically effective, and they're capable of operating heavy weaponry such as the Fuel Rod Cannon.

7 Drones (Yanme'e)

Drones are essentially just winged insects, which might at first seem to put them on the lowest rung of the totem pole. But their flight capabilities and tendency to be deployed in massive swarms definitely evens up the odds when comparing them to other Covenant species, though only by the thinnest margin possible.

Their combat mobility can make it difficult for a conventional marksman to land a shot, and their overwhelming numbers combined with their hive-mind mentality will result in withering fusillades of molten plasma when on the attack and left unchecked.

6 Jackals (Kig-Yar)

As anyone that's attempted a Legendary run through Halo 2 is well aware, Jackals are the worst, and not just due to their deadly and unerring accuracy with the ludicrously overpowered Covenant beam rifle. These lanky, ugly little creatures are spiteful and permanently itching for new ways to express it, preferably with an uncannily well-placed shot to a human skull. Or any skull, really. Unsurprisingly, they don't tend to get along well with other species.

RELATED: Halo: The 10 Most Overpowered Weapons In The Entire Series, Ranked

When they're not stealthily sniping holes through anything they can lay their uncomfortably bulged eyes on, they're equipped with bulletproof defensive shields for maximum frustration. Thankfully, they're not at all durable, and will crumple under a stiff breeze.

5 Engineers (Huragok)

The Huragoks' merit as a "species" can be contested, as they're more Forerunner fabrications than they are organic lifeforms. But they definitely do look the part, and despite their complete lack of direct combat capabilities, their usefulness to the Covenant borderlines on indispensable.

The Huragok are technological virtuosos. They can interface with any computer system, whether based on human, Covenant, or Forerunner technology, and are innately able to repair any mechanical structure, vehicle, or implement that they come into contact with, hence their designation as "Engineers," and explaining their role in the Covenant war machine. They might not be "powerful" in the conventional sense, but their capabilities are extraordinary enough to warrant their placement.

RELATED: Halo: The 10 Best Multiplayer Maps In The Entire Series, Ranked

4 Hunters (Mgalekgolo)

Hunters are among the strongest and most interesting creatures with the Covenant's roster. Rather than a singular, comprehensive entity, each Hunter is actually made up of dozens of individual 'Lekgolo,' small, serpentine creatures that bond together to form a hive functioning as one. Slap some armor plating on the thing and attach what is essentially a souped-up Fuel Rod cannon to it, and whoever it comes across is going to have a real bad day.

Then, of course, you have to consider the fact that these hulking behemoths prefer to work in pairs. They're tough and they pack enough firepower to make a Spartan sweat in his presumably air-conditioned armor. However, they all possess one crucial weakness that definitely drags them down in the rankings. There are myriad gaps in their armor that expose their incredibly vulnerable innards, so vulnerable in fact that a single, well-placed shot is capable of putting them down for good.

3 Brutes (Jiralhanae)

The Brutes are every bit deserving of their name, because if they are to be described as anything, it's brutal. Visually resembling a half-way point between a canine and an ape, their imposing physicality is every bit as intimidating as the barbaric weaponry they employ. Speaking of which, they like to lug around big, bladed grenade launchers, and those nasty Gravity Hammers that everyone seems to be so crazy about.

But even without their signature weapons, the Brutes are more than capable of tearing apart just about anything with their bare hands. However, their willingness to do so is a big problem for them. Brutes have a bad temper, and when cornered, will forgo any tactical sense, throwing down their arms and simply charging in to melee combat. This primal flaw is easily exploited, and prevents these otherwise deadly combatants from taking the top spot.

RELATED: 10 Plot Holes In Halo That Were Never Explained

2 Elites (Sangheili)

The Sangeili are, or were, depending on where you're at in the timeline, the backbone of the Covenant's military forces, and for more than a few good reasons. These honor-bound warriors wield Covenant technology with deadly proficiency, entering battle equipped with a vast array of tactically selected weaponry and energy shields that are more or less equivalent to those employed by Spartan MJOLNIR armor.

Where the Brutes rely on... well, brute strength, the Elites temper their might with tactical cunning and battlefield ingenuity, making them the more deadly adversary when placed on even footing with their rivals. They vary in rank and prowess, but the truly 'elite' among the Elites are extraordinarily lethal, and best fought with caution as well as brawn.

1 Prophets (San'Shyuum)

The Prophets aren't physically imposing in the least. They're visibly frail, if not outright decrepit, but their might isn't at all physical. After all, they're essentially the ruling caste of the Covenant, and managing to keep their motley assortment of various warriors in line should speak volumes on what a woeful mistake underestimating them would be.

Even 343 Guilty Spark regards them as masterful manipulators, which is precisely their core strength. They possess the innate gift of being able to get the other, more martially capable races to do their fighting for them, which essentially means their strength is the sum of the entire Covenant's. That said, they aren't without recourse in combat, generally commanding the finest and deadliest technologies within the Covenant's arsenal.

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Halo: Combat Evolved/Enemies

This is a list of the enemies in Halo: Combat Evolved.

Covenant[edit]

Unggoy (Grunts)[edit]

Cannon fodder for the Covenant, they are the smallest and weakest but most numerous Covenant warriors. They wear methane tanks that allow them to breathe. The minors have orange tanks with plasma pistols, while the majors have red ones with needlers. Occasionally, a Grunt may be seen with a fuel rod gun. Don't waste too much precious ammo on them, take them down with a pistol, or more preferably melee them. You can also leave them to your Marine comrades. Be especially wary of the fuel rod gun Grunts. To combat them, you may want to move up closer to them so they don't fire because of collateral damage.

Sangheili (Elites)[edit]

The ironheart of the Covenant, they are relatively strong and are a common enemy. They have energy shields very similar to yours which you have to deplete before dealing any real damage. Almost all of them carry plasma rifles. They come in many flavors. Blue-armored ones are the easiest, as a burst from the assault rifle followed by a melee often kills it. Crimson Elites are harder, but not by too much. Invisible ones are, what else, almost invisible, although carry no shields and thus you can just spray the assault rifle wildly in the air. Golden ones are very tough and most of the time, they will carry an energy sword that cuts through Marines like butter (and you). However, they usually have no ranged weapon, so just shoot from afar. These will always be your biggest threat.

Finally, on the final level, The Maw, be wary of Special-Ops Elites. Clad in jet black armor, they are stronger than all but Golden Zealot elites. It is worth noting that not only are their shields stronger, they also have a unique ability - they throw their plasma grenades at over twice the speed of other elites, resulting in an unexpected death for the foolish.

Kig-Yar (Jackals)[edit]

These avian creatures carry large round shield that, unlike the Elites, have a physical form and are thus avoidable. However, the shields are indestructible to human ballistic (bullet) weaponry and only destroyed by plasma weaponry or melee (charged plasma pistol shot removes the shield instantly). They all carry plasma pistols and have only two ranks. The blue ones have less health than the red ones. Otherwise, just don't let them charge their pistols, because your shields go down like that!

Grenades are very effective. Otherwise, shoot their exposed hand and then kill it with a pistol headshot as it recoils.

Lekgolo (Hunters)[edit]

These hunks always appear in pairs and are rather large. Their entire bodies are invulnerable except for two small orange spots. Their weapon of choice is a modified version of Fuel Rod Gun. Despite this, with enough skills, they are fairly easy to kill. Just shoot the orange part with the pistol. Instant kill! Watch out for its melee attacks!

Flood[edit]

Infection Form[edit]

First appearance of The Flood

These are the small, popcorn-like things you see often. Despite their swarming tactics, a shot from anything will kill it. They also explode when killed, creating splash damage and a potential chain reaction across the entire swarm.

Although tempting, shotguns are inefficient against the swarms of the infection form, as a single bullet from an assault rifle can do the same amount of damage from one shotgun blast. Shotgun shells are best saved for the combat and carrier forms.

Combat Form[edit]

A Flood that had infected (or took over) a human or an elite. Plasma weaponary is less effective against them. Most effective way to defeat them is to shoot their hearts with a shotgun or 7 rounds of needler. Meleeing is useless, however. They'll occasionally wield weapons. Since they use melée attacks so often, it is unwise to use plasma grenades as you will likely be killed by the resulting explosion when they charge.

Carrier Form[edit]

These giant blobs are just walking incubators. When shot, they explode and about 6 Infection Forms pop out. Don't get close to it; the explosion has rather large splash damage.

Sentinels[edit]

These robots are your allies for a bit, but then turn on you. Simply use a Covenant weapon, preferably overcharged plasma pistol or plasma rifle, and they'll go down quick.

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Enemies list halo

Every Halo 3 Enemy, Ranked By Power

Halo 3has gone down in history as one of the finest games ever. It had a revolutionary and exceptionally popular multiplayer mode which has been given a new lease on life thanks to The Master Chief Collection, while its campaign is a timeless masterpiece. In that campaign, you face a wide range of enemies, some much more powerful and much more interesting than others.

RELATED: Halo 3: Every Skull Location (& What They Do)

We’ve taken a look at the campaign as a whole and ranked each variety of enemies you can snipe in the head or launch a sticky grenade at, based on their power.

14 Constructors

The Constructors come in last place on our list simply because they can barely be counted as enemies. These guys aren't exactly on team Chief, but they never try to hurt him either. They simply float around fixing stuff as their name suggests; however, if they get attacked, the Sentinels will know about it.

13 Grunts

The weakest and most comedic of all Covenant enemies are the Grunts. These little triangular guys are always out in force during fights but have very little impact on their proceedings. Typically, they carry a plasma pistol and miss most of their shots, but they can occasionally mount a turret or drive a Ghost. Known for their stupidity, it’s easy to take down a grunt. A well-placed headshot with most guns with be their downfall, while a quick melee to the back will take down all of them. At their least intelligent, you can wander past a group of Grunts taking a nap (which actually happens towards the start of the Halo 3 campaign) or see one sprinting towards you with sticky grenade attached to its hands.

12 Drones

Probably the most annoying enemy in all of Halo is the Drone. A bit like a glorified bumble bee, the Drones fly around your head every now and again, seemingly more intent on getting in the way rather than doing any actual harm.

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As they’re so small, each Drone can be killed incredibly easily if you can manage to find a moment where they aren’t whizzing around too quickly. Most of them wield a plasma pistol just like the Grunts. So as long as you can find some cover from which to attack them, they shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

11 The Flood (Infection Form)

The Flood is the catch-all name for the zombie-like parasite that can consume sentient life. The infection form of the Flood is the simplest form of Flood enemy you can face in Halo 3. However, they're basically the zombified equivalent of the Drones - they're annoying, but not difficult to kill. Like the Drones hover around you in the air, these guys gang up on you from beneath your feet.

10 The Flood (Combat Form)

The Flood don’t tend to discriminate, turning both UNSC marines and Covenant into their mutant form. Their basic Combat Form is dangerous but unrefined. With a bit of poise, you can take out this variant way before it is actually able to attack you. When you can still see the remains of an Elite underneath their mutated outer shell they're bloody terrifying, though.

9 Sentinels

The closest thing to a Constructor in terms of physiology is the Sentinel. They look pretty similar, but the main difference is that the Sentinels are equipped to fight back. There are a few different varieties of Sentinel, and they cover a range of Forerunner activities, from repair (like the Constructor) to defense. When you come across one equipped with a Sentinel Beam, it might be a tough fight. Until you remember how susceptible they are to plasma weapons, that is.

8 The Flood (Carrier Form)

The Carrier Form of the Flood looks like it would be one of the most dangerous foes in the Halo world, but they're surprisingly easy to take care of. A Combat Form Flood will eventually evolve into the Carrier Form, which will eventually spontaneously explode and send Infection Forms out around it, thus starting the cycle again. This makes them crucial for the Flood's survival, but not particularly difficult to stop.

7 Jackals

The Jackals play an important role amongst the line-up of Covenant enemies. They are one of two Kig-Yar subspecies (the other being Halo: Reach’s Skirmishers), and the only enemy well-versed in the use of sniper weapons. They might be rather rare in comparison to the likes of Brutes and Grunts, but noticing a Jackal up in the treetops is pretty scary when you remember how accurate they can be. On higher difficultly, one shot in the head from a well-hidden Jackal is going to take your entire shield away, so you really need to be on top of your game when fighting off these guys.

6 Brutes

In Halo lore, the Brutes are the most recent addition to the Covenant. Their real name (Jiralhanae) can be translated to Wild Slave, thanks to their savagery. While among the least intelligent of the Covenant, they’ve still managed to form a society that has an impressive grasp over explosives and has access to their own jetpacks. Fighting a Brute can be simple if you’re able to keep your distance, as they tend to fight with close-range weapons and physical aggression. But on higher difficulties, they're a challenge. Also, remember that Brutes have a hierarchy. Some lower-ranking Brutes will have limited armor and weaker weapons, but Brute Chieftains, for example, are suited and booted while wielding gravity hammers.

5 Monitors

Monitors are in charge of the various types of Sentinels while they are stationed at each Halo installation. They are highly intelligent but seem to have the large majority of their interactions and decisions built around an inbuilt protocol, and as such, their knowledge outside of their Installation is pretty limited. The Monitor we are most familiar with is 343 Guilty Spark. He (and his fellow Monitors) rank quite highly in our list as he provides the game's toughest boss fight, but once you know what you're doing, he isn't too hard to take care of.

4 The Flood (Ranged Form)

The most threatening thing about the Flood is their ability to adapt and infect with such speed. However, the Pure Flood variant is composed entirely of Flood biomass, meaning they don't have to worry about finding a host.

RELATED: The 10 Hardest FPS Games Ever Made, Ranked

The least impactful of the three Pure varieties is the Ranged Form, as it cannot move. The main problem with fighting a Ranged Form Flood is that their projectiles are highly dangerous if you don't have the ability to quickly snipe them, and they can turn into Stalker Form and back if necessary.

3 The Flood (Stalker Form)

Stalker Form is the Form that attacks the least frequently. Their immense speed and ability to jump long distances make them a formidable foe, while their ability to change into Ranged or Tank form makes them unpredictable in a fight. However, in a direct one on one battle, they aren't impossible to kill.

2 The Flood (Tank Form)

The Tank Form of the Flood basically does exactly what you expect it to. It's large, brutal, and tough to kill. The one good thing is that this makes them slower, easier to spot, and rarer. On top of that, they can create Infection Forms. The Energy Sword is the only way to kill them with speed.

1 Hunters

Interestingly, Hunters aren’t one singular life-form, but a gestalt of Lekgolo creatures who group together to form a Mgalekgogo (AKA, a Hunter). This leaves them as the most powerful, most resilient, and most intelligent of all the Covenant life forms. Even on the easiest of difficulty, Hunters are very hard to kill and take a lot of work with high-powered weaponry. On higher difficulties, they’re almost impossible to take down. And they almost always travel in pairs, so you have twice the fear to stare in the face. They also come equipped with a high powered assault cannon: this weapon is a version of the fuel rod cannon which is capable of shooting high powered incendiary gel directly from the right arm of the Hunter. Even when you finally manage to kill a Hunter, you can’t pick up its weapon.

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Ranks of the Covenant – Every Known Covenant Rank - Halo Lore

Covenant (Halo)

Fictional alliance from the game Halo

Clockwise from left: a Covenant Hunter, Brute, Jackals, and Grunts as they appear in Halo 3(2007).

The Covenant is a fictional theocratic military alliance of alien races who serve as one of the main antagonists in the Halo science fiction series. The Covenant are composed of a variety of diverse species, united under the religious worship of the enigmatic Forerunners and their belief that Forerunner ringworlds known as Halos will provide a path to salvation. After the Covenant leadership—the High Prophets—declare humanity an affront to their gods, the Covenant prosecute a lengthy genocidal campaign against the technologically inferior race.

The Covenant were first introduced in the 2001 video game Halo: Combat Evolved as enemies hunting the player character, a human supersoldier known as Master Chief. Not realizing the Halos were meant as weapons of destruction rather than salvation, the Covenant attempt to activate the rings on three separate occasions throughout the series, inadvertently releasing a virulent parasite known as the Flood in the process.

To develop a distinctive look for the various races of the Covenant, Bungie artists drew inspiration from reptilian, ursine, and avian characteristics. A Covenant design scheme of purples and reflective surfaces was made to separate the aliens from human architecture.

Overview[edit]

In the primary 26th century setting of Halo, humanity and the Covenant meet for the first time in the year 2525. Searching for relics left behind by their gods, the Forerunners, the Covenant stumble across humans at the colony world of Harvest. The Covenant leadership discovers that the Forerunners designated humanity "reclaimers" of their legacy, and that the Covenant religion is built on falsehoods; to prevent the truth from being uncovered, they instigate a genocidal war against humanity.[1]

The Covenant's superior technology gives them a distinct advantage in the war. In 2552, the Covenant discover and destroy Reach, one of humanity's greatest military strongholds. A human ship fleeing the battle discovers a Forerunner ringworld, Halo. The Covenant believe the activation of these rings are key to bringing about salvation, but the ring is destroyed by the human supersoldier Master Chief. Soon after, the Covenant falls into civil war as the truth of the Halo rings' purpose is revealed: they are actually weapons of mass destruction built to stop the spread of the parasitic Flood. The disgraced Covenant commander known as the Arbiter allies with the Master Chief to stop the Covenant and Flood, ending the Human-Covenant War. In the post-war era, various factions replace the power vacuum left by the Covenant; these include the Banished, who feature as primary antagonists in Halo Infinite.[2]

Game development[edit]

Throughout much of the development of Halo: Combat Evolved, very little concrete story details had been developed for the story campaign, and what trials the player character would face. Writer Joseph Staten and other Bungie staff came up with the idea of a coalition of alien races, subsequently deciding that the faction would be motivated by religion.[3] During the course of development of Halo, the designers decided upon three "schools" of architecture, for each of the factions represented—humans, Covenant, and Forerunners. For the Covenant, the team decided on "sleek and shiny", with reflective surfaces, organic shapes, and use of purples. According to art director Marcus Lehto, the principle designs for the faction came from environmental artist Paul Russell,[4]: 86  while concept artist Shi Kai Wang was instrumental in developing the look of the various races within the Covenant. Armor color was used to denote ranks of enemies.[3]

Like the character designs, Covenant technology, architecture, and design continually changed throughout development, occasionally for practical reasons as well as aesthetics.[4]: 98  According to Eric Arroyo, the Covenant cruiser Truth and Reconciliation, which plays a major role in Halo: Combat Evolved, was to be boarded by the player by a long ramp. However due to technical considerations of having a fully textured ship so close to the player, the designers came up with a "gravity lift", which allowed the ship to be farther away (thus not requiring as much processing power for detail) as well as adding a "visually interesting" component of Covenant technology.[4]: 100 

The art team also spent a large amount of time on Covenant weaponry, in order to make them suitably alien yet still recognizable to players.[4]: 125  At the same time, the designers wanted all aspects of Covenant technology, especially the vehicles, to act plausibly.[4]: 143  In contrast to human weapons firing projectiles, many of the Covenant's weaponry are depicted as firing plasma. A few of the Covenant's weapons are not plasma-based, including the Needler, which fires razor-sharp pink needles capable of homing at organic foes. A weapons expert noted parallels between the Needler and ancient Greek Amazons painting their daggers pink as a psychological weapon.[5] Bungie designed the majority of Covenant technology to mirror the aesthetic of the Elites; the exteriors are sleek and graceful, with a more angular and complex core underneath hinting at the Forerunner origins of the technology.[6]: 60 

Species[edit]

Covenant society is depicted as a caste system composed of different species. Bungie's artists looked at live animals and films for inspiration; as a result, the species within the Covenant bear simian, reptilian, avian, and ursine characteristics.[4]: 51  Concept artist She Kai Wang focused on making each enemy seem appropriate to its role in gameplay.[7]: 47  The species within the Covenant include:

  • Elites (called Sangheili in the Covenant language) who stand nearly 8'6'' (2.6 m) and feature recharging personal shields. The Elites initially had simple mouths, which developed into pairs of split mandibles substituting for the lower jaws. Bungie concept artist Shi Kai Wang noted that project lead Jason Jones had been insistent on giving the Elites a tail.[4]: 37  While Wang thought it made the aliens look too animalistic, the idea was dropped due to practical considerations, including where the tail would go when the Elites were driving vehicles.[4]: 38  According to Paul Russel, when Bungie was bought by Microsoft and Halo was turned into an Xbox launch title, Microsoft took issue with the design of the Elites, as they felt that the Elites had a resemblance to cats that might alienate Japanese consumers.[8]
  • Grunts or Unggoy, are commonly depicted as basic foot soldiers. Squat and cowardly fighters, Grunts panic and run if players kill their leaders.[9]
  • Jackals or Kig-Yar carry energy shields or ranged weaponry. In some cases, such as with the Jackals, the overall design was honed once the enemy's role was clearly defined.[4]: 28 
  • Hunters or Lekgolo are collectives of alien worms encased in tough armor.[10]: 4–5  Initial concepts were less humanoid-looking and softer than the final shape, with angular shields and razor-sharp spines.[4]: 33  These alien worms also control the Covenant Scarab-tanks as one being. Floating, serene aliens known as Engineers or Huragok were pulled from Combat Evolved, but made later appearances in the Halo novels. They also appeared in the RTS "Halo Wars" (2009) as an aerial unit whose sole purpose was to heal units and repair vehicles and buildings. Slow-moving, unarmored, and unarmed, they serve no actual combat role.
  • Prophets or San 'Shyuum serve as the supreme rulers of the Covenant, and were primarily designed by Shi Kai Wang and Eric Arroyo. Originally, the Prophets were built in a more unified way, with the gravity thrones they used for flotation and movement fused with the Prophet's organic structures. The characters were also designed to be feeble, yet sinister. The three Prophet Hierarchs were each individually designed.[4]: 55–56 
  • Brutes or Jiralhanae are even more physically imposing than the Elites, with their society organized around tribal chieftains. Inspired by the animators watching biker films, the Brutes incorporated simian and ursine elements while retaining an alien look. Wang's final concept for the creatures in Halo 2, replete with bandoliers and human skulls, was simplified for the game.[4]: 37–38  Brutes were meant to typify the abusive alien menace of the Covenant and in the words of design lead Jaime Griesemer, to serve as "barbarians in Rome".[11]

Other members of the Covenant include insectoid Drones (Yanme'e); the animators found the creatures challenging, as they had to be animated to walk, run, crawl, or fly on multiple surfaces. Old concept art from Combat Evolved was repurposed in influencing the Drone's final shape, which took cues from cockroaches, grasshoppers, and wasps.[4]: 55  Cut from Combat Evolved were floating support workers known as Engineers. They appeared later in Halo Wars and Halo 3: ODST, as well as various novels.

With subsequent games, the Covenant and their look were changed or refined to account for increased graphic hardware or gameplay needs. In Halo 3, the Brutes became the primary enemy, and they were heavily redesigned. Concept artists took inspiration from rhinoceroses and gorillas, and armored them with buckles and clothing to represent a different aesthetic look compared to the Covenant. Weaponry was designed to reflect the Brute's "souls" distilled to its purest form—conveyed by dangerous shapes, harsh colors, and objects that looked "dangerous to be around".[6]: 47 The more seasoned the Brute, the more ornate clothing and helmets; the armor was designed to convey a culture and tradition to the species, and emphasize their mass and power. Designs for Halo 3 took cues from ancient Greek Spartans.[6]: 22–25  Character animators recorded intended actions for the new Brutes in a padded room at Bungie. A new addition to the Brute artificial intelligence was a pack mentality; leader Brutes direct large-scale actions simultaneously, such as throwing grenades towards a player.[11]

Halo: Reach served as a prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved, and creative director Marcus Lehto pushed for the team to revamp the Covenant. The aliens' translated English was replaced with untranslated, guttural alien sounds, and their look and weaponry was redesigned. The goal was to make the Covenant intimidating and more alien to players.[12]

Analysis[edit]

The Covenant serve as one of a number of religious allusions in Halo. Their name refers to sacred agreements between the people of Israel and their God in Jewish and Christian tradition, and could be used to indicate the attitude of superiority complex the aliens have to the inferior and sacrilegious humans. The Covenant's ships bear names relating to Judeo-Christian myth.[13] A review of religions and religious material in video games noted that the Covenant's invented religion had many similarities to those in similar games, and would likely be called a cult in the real world.[14] The thematic parallels of religious zealots fighting an American military metaphor was not lost on Microsoft's content review team, who forced a name change of the holy warrior "Dervish" to Arbiter before the release of Halo 2.[3][13] Theologian P.C.J.M. Paulissen notes that while on the surface the Halo games present a conflict between rational humans and religious alien fanaticism, the comparison is complicated by the technical superiority of the Covenant (they wield energy weapons compared to primitive human ballistics) and the games seem to reject the idea science and religion are rigidly disconnected.[13]

Cultural impact[edit]

Merchandise[edit]

Microsoft has commissioned several sets of action figures and merchandise featuring Covenant characters for each video game. The Halo 3 action figure sets have been made by McFarlane Toys, and include Brutes and Jackals.[15] The Covenant's weaponry has also been adapted into large-scale replicas.[16][17][18]

Reception[edit]

The ability to experience the storyline of Halo 2 from the Covenant perspective was described as a "brilliant stroke of game design". Allowing the player to assume the role of an Elite was described as providing an unexpected plot twist, and allowing the player to experience a "newfound complexity to the story".[19] In addition, some reviewers thought that this provided the series with a significant plot element—IGN referred to it as the "intriguing side story of the Arbiter and his Elites"—and its elimination in Halo 3 was pointed to as responsible for reducing the role of the Arbiter within the series plot.[20]Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition listed Covenant as 16th in their list of top 50 Villains.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^Lowry, Brendan (September 21, 2017). "Halo timeline: Beginning of the Human-Covenant War and the downfall of Harvest". Windows Central. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  2. ^Lennox, Jesse (October 6, 2021). "The story of Halo so far: What you need to know before playing Halo Infinite". Digital Trends. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  3. ^ abcHaske, Steven (May 30, 2017). "The Complete, Untold History of Halo". Vice. Vice Media. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  4. ^ abcdefghijklmTrautmann, Eric (2004). The Art of Halo. New York: Del Ray Books. ISBN .
  5. ^Samoon, Evan (July 2008). "Gun Show: A real military expert takes aim at videogame weaponry to reveal the good, the bad, and the just plain silly". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1 (230): 49.
  6. ^ abcBoroumand, Shaida, ed. (2008). The Art of Halo 3. Random House. ISBN .
  7. ^Robinson, Martin, ed. (2011). The Great Journey—Halo: The Art of Building Worlds. Titan Books. ISBN .
  8. ^Jarrard, Brian; Smith, Luke, &c (August 21, 2008). Bungie Podcast: With Paul Russell and Jerome Simpson(MP3) (Podcast). Kirkland, Washington: Bungie. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
  9. ^Boulding, Aaron (November 9, 2001). "Halo: Combat Evolved Review". IGN. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  10. ^Bungie (2004). Halo 2 Instruction Manual. Microsoft Game Studios.
  11. ^ abViDoc: Et Tu, Brute?. Bungie. December 2006. Retrieved February 15, 2009.
  12. ^Sofge, Erik (October 2010). "The Halo Effect". Popular Mechanics. 187 (10): 88.
  13. ^ abcPaulissen, P.C.J.M. (2018). "The Dark of the Covenant: Christian Imagery, Fundamentalism, and the Relationship between Science and Religion in the Halo Video Game Series". Religions. 9 (4): 126. doi:10.3390/rel9040126.
  14. ^Bainbridge, William; Wilma Alice Bainbridge (September 2007). "Electronic Game Research Methodologies: Studying Religious Implications". Review of Religious Research. 49 (1): 41.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^Staff (April 2008). "McFarlane 'Halo' Figures". Game Informer. 1 (180): 34.
  16. ^https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-games-best-gifts-halo-fans-20211001-ed3axofqizdunnlceo62qxp2lq-story.html
  17. ^https://www.ign.com/articles/2016/04/14/11-coolest-halo-toys-ever-made
  18. ^https://www.gamespot.com/articles/halo-5-gets-its-own-mega-bloks-toys/1100-6430709/
  19. ^Kasavin, Greg (November 7, 2004). "Halo 2 for Xbox Review". Gamespot. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  20. ^Goldstein, Hillary (September 23, 2007). "Halo 3 Review". IGN. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  21. ^https://www.digitalspy.com/videogames/a453360/guinness-world-records-counts-down-top-50-video-game-villains/

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenant_(Halo)

You will also like:

Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Every Covenant Enemy's Origin

The Halofranchise has many great strengths. It perfected FPS controls on consoles, bringing the genre into the mainstream like never before. It introduced depth to combat with its sandbox of unique weapons, fun vehicles, and all-important grenades. Perhaps most importantly, it featured enemies that were fun to fight thanks to their intelligent AI and standout designs. There were no simple undead quadrupeds or xenomorph ripoffs on the Halo rings. Each species has its own preferred weapons and strategies, and mashing them together makes for battlefield scenarios that are fun over and over.

For someone brand-new to the Halo series, or someone starting with a later sequel, the entire dance can be somewhat lost. These games build on perceived experience, so not playing through each game as the released can leave a player at a disadvantage when a pair of Hunters burst through a door and expect a good rumble. Whether diving into the Master Chief Collection or waiting for Halo Infinite, most of these foes will be waiting.

Related: Halo: The Master Chief Collection: Multiplayer Tips & Tricks

Treat the following information as a UNSC combat guide, going over everything from the most common Grunts of the Covenant army to the brutish behemoths Master Chief encounters in later entries. Part of Halo's appeal is in the depth of its worldbuilding buried just beneath its FPS surface. It's time to take an Energy Sword to that top layer and start digging.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Origin Of The Grunt

The Unggoy, known to the human forces and many other species as Grunts, are the Covenant's rank and file soldiers. Commonly deployed in groups due to their tendency to taste defeat, players will run into Grunts in nearly every stage throughout Halo's many campaigns, often accompanied by a higher-ranked Covenant soldier.

Grunts first appeared in Halo: Combat Evolved, where they were more straightforward in their combat strategies. Later games solidified them as Covenant cannon fodder, including kamikaze units that run at players with activated plasma grenades. Their armor always features an explosive methane pack on their back, but the Unggoy need it to breathe. Needless to say, it makes for a great target if a Spartan tires of easy headshots.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Origin Of The Jackal

One step above the Grunts on the Covenant totem pole is the Kig-Yar, also known as the Jackals. This is partially due to their arrangement with the Covenant army, choosing to merely accept payment for their service rather than fully accept the teachings of the Prophets. This makes them similar to human mercenaries, and they do their best work as scouts or snipers surrounding strategic Covenant holdings.

Related: Why The Needler Is Halo's Most Reliable Weapon

When met on the battlefield, ground troops will almost always carry their signature wrist-mounted energy shield. Kig-Yar will duck out from behind their own cover to take potshots, but often have little recourse to a Spartan rushing in and attacking. More troublesome are the Jackal Snipers, particularly in human cities with vertical perches everywhere. On higher difficulties in certain Halo games, it's often up to mere chance whether a Spartan can evade their deadly fire.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Origin Of The Elite

The proud Sangheili were the original race to collaborate with the Prophets in the formation of the Covenant, and their defection during the series would lead to the ultimate collapse of the universe-spanning religious hegemony. Known by humans as Elites thanks to their leading role in Covenant military operations, their alliance with the humans continues into the modern games following the fall of the Prophets and their supporters. Particularly, Spartan Locke and his team find themselves side by side with Sangheili warriors in Halo 5: Guardians.

Elites are the one Covenant foe that matches the Spartan in both size and prowess, with higher-ranked Elites able to take out a player single-handedly. Equipping a wide range of weapons and utilizing battlefield cover whenever possible, they are a challenge alone or in groups and should be taken seriously whenever they strike.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Origin Of The Brute

The Jiralhanae, also known as Brutes, are the final species to enlist in the Covenant and the species that replaced the Elites in the hierarchy. A savage race, the Jiralhanae prefer their own weaponry to the standard plasma rifles and pistols used by the Elites, leading to many new weapons and vehicles emerging towards the end of Bungie's Halo trilogy.

Related: How Halo Almost Made It To PS2

Master Chief first ran into Brutes in Halo 2, but the full force of their arsenal didn't appear until their takeover was complete in Halo 3. They utilize bladed guns that double as melee weapons and often go into a primal berserker state if shot several times. Brutes will serve as the main antagonistic force of the upcoming Halo Infinite, led by Halo Wars 2 antagonist Atriox and his Banished forces.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Origin Of The Drone

Originally conscripted as simple laborers, the Yanme'e's ability to reproduce at a quick pace earned them a spot high above the Covenant infantry. Insectoid by nature, the creatures known as Drones always swarm their prey in large numbers, peppering them with fire while swooping in for the kill. The species would eventually return to their home system following the dissolution of the Covenant, with small pockets remaining loyal to the Brutes.

Only seen in action by Master Chief in Halo 2 and Halo 3, the Drones almost never attack with other groups of enemies. Swarms erupt when players least expect them, but each unit's frail body makes them easy to take down in most situations.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Origin Of The Hunter

One of the most interesting of the Covenant's military forces, the Hunter is not a single creature but a hive of Lekgolo. These worm-like creatures also power the Covenant Scarab and several other constructs, but the Hunter armor is the most common.

Related: Halo 2 Marines' Subtle Weapon Swap Animation Noticed After 17 Years

Seen since the days of Halo: Combat Evolved, players have to aim at any exposed orange bits of the walking tank in order to deal damage. In early games, the Hunters are extremely vulnerable to weak spots on their back, but later games give them the strength to match their impressive stature.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Origin Of The Engineer

The Huragok are a noncombative race of the Covenant that have direct ties to the Forerunners that the Prophets worship. Designed by the ancient race to maintain their facilities, the floating beings are single-minded in their tasks, rarely communicating with other species.

As the Brutes took over Covenant military operations, the creatures humans called Engineers were strapped with bombs and sent into combat on the streets of Earth. This is the only place players can see the species in-game, during the conflicts depicted in Halo 3: ODST. Following the war, many Huragok were brought in by UNSC forces to improve human technology and decrypt alien artifacts.

Next: The Ten Biggest Games Coming In 2021

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About The Author
Alex Santa Maria (851 Articles Published)

Alex Santa Maria is a writer, editor, and critic based out of the Sunshine State. Raised on a healthy diet of gaming mags at an Xbox LAN center, Alex is an enthusiast who loves shooters, roguelikes, and arcade-style games. He has an unhealthy obsession with bad movies, a love of the 1980s, and the skills to rack up a high score on your local pinball table. When not covering the latest news on Screen Rant, you may find his byline on a growing number of webzones, including GameRevolution, TechRaptor, Mandatory, and WrestleZone.

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