Friday, 6 July 2007

Vehicle of the Week 7 - Pillar of Autumn

This week's vehicle represents the Science Fiction world of HALO, which I have blogged about before. This greatly thought out game, which was used to launch the X-box way back when, has infuriated me due to the difficulty in getting it, especially with Mr Gates using the success of the games to try and force players to buy his latest operating systems or consoles. But nonetheless I played and thoroughly enjoyed both games and I'm eagerly looking forward to the release of Halo3 and Halo Wars to see the conclusion of the exciting and mystifying war.

Pillar of Autumn

Halcyon class cruiser
Length: 1,170 metres
Speed: Slipspace drive installed
Weaponry: Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, mutliple missile launchers
Affiliation: United Nations Space Command
Captain: Jacob Keyes

This ship has it all. Power, armamaents, a cool design and above all a very cool name. How the crew came up with Pillar of Autumn as the name for the main spaceship (in fact it's the only named spaceship in the first HALO game) I have no idea, but it works and makes the imaginitive names of other genres look like they were drawn out of a hat without thought. The design is great too- far more boxy than many would dare to design, but it works the whole ship looks like a weapon...which it is! Lastly an added bonuc to understand a ship is being able to walk around it - something HALO gives right from the start as you gun your way past alien boarding parties to get to the bridge, which is unbeliavably cool. From the glowing information panels to the gun turret you have to climg down to it feels like a real space ship right through, as computer games will inevitably be a much bigger part of how Sci-Fi expands I think the Autumn sets the bar fairly high.

The Halcyon class cruiser was outdated by the time war between humanity and the union of alien races known as the Covenant broke out. Had the war not put all humanity in great danger the class would have been decomissioned before one Halcyon and it's crew would play a critical role in the war. The design was succeeded by the Marthon class which had a similar design but greater firepower and durability, but the need for resources kept several Halcyons on the front line, fitted with hasty reconstructions to make up for design flaws. These ships, while outdated and in some ways flawed, served well during the war.

The Pillar of Autumn, refitted for war was stationed at the colony world of Reach, and was one of only two ships to escape when it fell, carrying a very precious cargo - one of the Spartan 2 super soldiers known as the Master Chief. Protocol demanded that the ship make a random Slipstream jump to protect Earth's location, but the ship's onboard AI engineered the jump so that the ship came out near an alien artifact she'd heard of. The ship came out by the planet of Threshold where instalation 04, otherwise known as Halo was located. Fighting off a far superior force as well as boarding parties the ship managed to crash land on the installation - a large, inward facing, ring covered in luch terrain and dotted with strange temples. Fighting broke out as the survivors of the ship fought against alien invaders and then a new parasitic threat known as the flood which posessed members of both races turning them into horrific soldiers. The Master Chief realised the full scale of the threat and uncovered the mystery of the flood, an ancient race and the most dangerous threat in the universe. So he initiated the Autumn's last act in the war - self destruction to destroy the installation and end the threat of the Flood as well as taking out a large portion of Covenant troops.

But then, Halo was known as Installation 04 for a reason...

My thanks to the Halo Wiki which I've basically plaguerised!!

No comments: