“We’re not leaving him here” – upcoming posts/thank you!

Sergeant Johnson: “Radio for VTOL, heavy lift gear. We’re not leaving him here.”

He looks down and realize the chip is empty. The Chief reaches up and grabs Johnson’s wrist

Master Chief: “Yeah. You’re not.”

He pushes himself slowly to his feet

“Arrival”, Halo 3 (pulled from Halopedia)

It’s to my shame that I haven’t posted on Reactive Bias in a while, and a thank you to everyone who has been checking out the site since then – even with the lack of content.

And a thank you to all the randoms who continue to come to the site by mistake – your poor search skills are my gain!

Like many things that I enjoying doing (but require work), I’m always thinking about writing but when it comes making it happen I’m easily distracted.

(Specific distraction: I’ve been playing through the Assassin’s Creed series, currently on Brotherhood. I could say a lot about it, but I’ll keep it short – it’s been fantastic.)

But enough of my excuses – I wanted to give you guys a head’s up as to what I’ve been working on and plan to roll out in a more steady fashion.

It’s what you do that defines you (thank you Ms. Dawes), so here’s what I hope to do!

  • HBOhio – the rest of the pics! You’ve seen a few, but I plan to draw out the nostalgia with even more photo goodness.
  • New deck conversationsmore additions to the often sarcastic world of Halo ecards.
  • Hey, weren’t you reading the novels? – yep. Last entry was here, and I’ve finished a few since then. Reactions incoming!
  • Hyperion knowledge bombs – I laid out the ground work here, and I’ve been loving the Halo 4 Visual Guide. I’m excited to be able to use these resources to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the universe, and to add a few of my thoughts along the way as well.
  • Articles, smarticles – I have some thoughts on new articles (Why Spartan Ops needs to be more like Tie Fighter, commentary breakdown of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, etc.) as well, so those will come as I can get to them.

Again, a big thank you to everyone who’s read (and especially followed!) Reactive Bias.

I’ve been MIA, but you’re not leaving me here …

Did he just compare himself to Master Chief? And he's talking in 3rd person?

Did he just compare himself to Master Chief? And now he’s talking in 3rd person? Yikes.

The fact that people are still with me means a lot.

Thank you!

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Composing the Dawn

Earlier this month Waypoint released an interview with the composer of the original score for Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Nathan Lanier.

If I enjoy the content, I’m always happy to get more context on how it came together – and this interview does just that.

So let’s take a closer look at some of the words I particularly enjoyed that came out of Mr. Lanier’s face, shall we?

The most important element of my preparation is getting inspired – reading the script, discussions about the characters, the drama of the story, and seeing the early visual sketches and edits

This has to be one of the best part of any project, before the real work starts. You take it all in, get pumped, and attempt to plan out how you’re going to be a part of making something that’s going to entertain people.

Nathan also mentioned how he’s “… spent many hours playing the Halo games over the years”, so as a fellow fan it’s great to see someone who’s spent time in the universe get a chance to put their own stamp on it.

… but what really got me excited was the emotional honesty and gritty reality of what is basically a coming of age drama. The core of a great sci-fi story has to be rooted in the profundity of the human condition and the universal struggles therein

One of the strengths of Forward Unto Dawn is how real it feels – you get a sense of it being lived in, that the environments in the live-action web series have been around for a while. I think that is part of the “emotional honesty and gritty reality” of the series Lanier spoke of.

It was interesting that while he was thrilled about the project being Halo, it was the human condition that “really got him excited.”

In most sci-fi franchises the futuristic setting is fantastic – but the relatable struggles the characters go through are what really keep us invested, and that seems to be the case for the composer as well.

After reading the script, one of the first challenges was to come up with a theme for the main character, UNSC Cadet Lasky … The first thing that came to mind was Tchaikovsky’s “Fantasy Overture” from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. There is something so foreboding and haunting about the opening woodwind chord progression in this piece that really spoke to me

This was one of several specific musical influences Nathan mentioned, another being Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis”.

I love hearing the influence and inspiration of where music comes from, and the classical roots made it all the more powerful for me (click on the song titles to listen).

Much like the rich universe that supported the storytelling of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, melodies and movements emerge from the past to enhance the score and bring the viewer that much more into the fictional world.

Pretty wild to think about two 19th century composers having an influence on how I experience Halo.

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