Halo: Reach Primer

With Bungie's final Halo title launching on September 14, Shacknews decided to recap the major events and programs that led to the battle on the planet known as Reach. The following primer will fill you in on the backstory of the Halo Universe prior to the events of Halo: Reach the game--and well before any other game in the series.

While the Halo brand is synonimous with the character of Master Chief, you play as a different Spartan in Halo: Reach. As Noble Team's replacement sixth member, you and the rest of your fireteam must face-off against the brutal Covenant army and hold out hope for humanity's survival. But where did it all begin?

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Ripples in Time and Space

Once humans discovered the ability to travel between stars at faster than light speed using Slipspace technology, colonization of the stars became humanity's greatest desire. Pushing to the far reaches of space, new colonies were born. As quickly as new planets were established, colonies demanded separation from UNSC control. Soon, the expanded colonies were at war for their own freedom and own safe haven in the stars. Here the conflict between the United Nations, Koslivics and Friden is born.

United Nations Space Command

The United Nations Space Command (UNSC) was formed as the military, exploratory and scientific arm of the United Earth Government. As quickly as it was formed to unite humans, war raged. Pursuing autonomy from the UNSC's grasp, rebel human colonies appeared on distant planets. To combat the "Communist and Fascist plague" spawned by rebels, the UNSC would move to eradicate it.

As the UNSC would battle to combat warring ideologies, new rebellions would be formed. As quickly as one group was destroyed, two would grow in its place putting a strain on UNSC resources and threatening control of the stars.

The Spartan Project

Developed by Dr. Catherine Halsey of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the Spartan Project was devised as the ultimate cure to the rebellion.

For the Spartan-II Program, the UNSC would abduct children proven to have superior genetic code, augment them over time increasing their speed and strength to superhuman levels, and train them as a lethal fighting force.

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Covenant Strike

Against a human uprising, the Spartans were proven unstoppable; however, those weren't the only adversaries poised to attack the UEG's protected planets. An technologically advanced alien collective known as the Covenant appeared out of the blue, hellbent on destroying all human life it came upon.

During a battle on Sigma Octanus, Covenant troops traced a departing UNSC ship to Reach, giving the stronghold's position to enemy forces.

The Spartans, now revised as new classes and outfitted with MJOLNIR-class armor, are the only soldiers powerful enough to combat the alien onslaught, culminating with an epic final battle on Reach.

Planet Reach

A terraformed planet used as a human colony by the United Nations Space Command, Reach is located iin the Epsilon Eridanu system and is widely considered humanity's greatest military stronghold. Along with housing one the UNSC's most important headquarters, Reach was the birthplace and training ground of the Spartan-II project.

While Reach was the battlefield for uprising human conflict, its darkest hour was the start of the Human-Covenant War in 2552. Here, the Covenant fleet faced off against the UNSC and its Spartans for control of the planet and the secrets found deep within surface.

Only one battlecruiser and Spartan escape from the planet's destruction.

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Noble Team

Comprised of Spartan-III supersoldiers and one Spartan-II, Noble Team is a fire-team within the UNSC Special Warfare Command Group (SPECWARCOM). Of the team's multiple suicide-caliber missions, only two original members remain: Commander Carter-A259 and Lieutenant Commander Catherine-B320 (aka Kat).

Noble Team's lone Spartan-II, Chief Warrant Officer Jorge-052, is one of the longest serving Spartans in the program's history. Jorge was first conscripted into the program at age six by Dr. Halsey on his home planet of Reach.

Rounding out the team is Warrant Officers Jun-A266 and Emile-A239. Jun (Team Sniper) is known for being chatty while Emile (Assault Specialist) is known for his aggressive nature to others, including his teammates.

Noble Team's most recent loss came at the hands of a battle on an unknown planet when Thom-293 (Noble Six) was killed during a bombing of a Covenant ship. Originally Kat was meant to execute the command but was incapacitated. So the mission would be completed, Thom grabbed the ticking bomb and flew into the Covenant ship. He did not exit the craft in time. (As seen in the video above.)

Noble Six // Spartan-B312

Assigned to Noble Team after the death of former Noble Team member Thom, his (or her) backstory is unknown. However, we somehow believe the new Noble Six will play a large role in the coming campaign against the Covenant in Halo: Reach.


Information pulled from Halo: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund, the Halo Encyclopedia and the Halopedia.