The Center of Attention

… I still got goose bumps upon the delivery of the final, foreboding line, made by an overpowering new adversary who will become Master Chief’s first true nemesis. [emphasis mine]

– BS Angel, 6.9.12 bulletin after E3 2012

“First true nemesis.” I’ve been thinking about these words and what they could mean, and there’s no shortage of theories/questions out there:

  • Is the Didact the new villain?
  • If so, what happens after Primordium to cause this to happen?
  • Does the Master Builder return in some form?
  • Why did the symbol flip?

And on it goes. I have not yet read Cryptum or Primordium, so I don’t feel qualified to go into that kind of speculation – however the idea of a “true nemesis” intrigues me.

The Oxford dictionary gives several definitions, but the way I think the word was used points to this meaning:

a long-standing rival; an archenemy

An archenemy/nemesis is something John has never had; the Prophet of Truth and the Gravemind are the closest Halo has come to a main villain, yet neither of them would fit the above definition of the word “nemesis.”

John 117 Halo 4

So what would fit? The defining characteristic of this new antagonist has to be the personal connection he or she has with John – it’s the only way to have our hero meet his nemesis, to meet someone who makes the battle personal.

And the foundational pieces have already been laid – we know 343 is working to give us Master Chief: the man. We’re going to know more about him, and that includes seeing – for the first time – how he responds to an individualized enemy.

In my times with the novels (specifically The Fall of Reach) it’s shown that John takes any attack on those in his team personally (for example, when Linda-058 is hit with plasma near the end of the book it feels like it’s hitting him as well); but to feel empathy – no mater how strong – is different than fearing for your own welfare.

John has feared for his own person before, but in a general sense. The no-nonsense, I-get-it-done-because-those-are-my-orders Master Chief has always seen the enemy as something standing in the way of his task list, not something personally set at odds with him.

But with Halo 4 that changes. How will John react to an enemy that is dedicated to his personal ruin? The fate of the universe has been threatened before, but whatever this villain’s goals are one of them will involve 117’s downfall.

I’m excited to see how John handles being the center of attention. I’m excited to see how he moves forward with his mission knowing that he isn’t just part of a larger story, but the story who’s outcome will affect all that he cares about.


>>>>>>>[Post tenebras lux]

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