Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Species of the week #5 - Sangheili

The Sangheili, commonly known as Elites, are one of many species encountered in the Halo series of games. Their design is great and they make a formidable presence when they attack you in game as they are more or less on a par with your genetically enhanced character the Master Chief. Some races are even stronger and weirder, but this race has always been the most memorable of the Covenant races and that's why I picked them for this article. Spoilers for Halo 3 included.


Designation: Sentient
Homeworld: Sanghelios
Average Height: 8'6"

The Sangheili are incredibly well designed as opponents. They have the general humanoid frame, though large enough to make you duck for cover. What's good is that the designers stopped at this, they didn't make them just human with different facial features they created an original look. The Sangheili's jaw is split into four prongs that expand out and retract with eating and expressing emotion. I think that just this alone makes them a cool and original race.

The Sangheili are a proud warrior race, intelligent and cunning and technologically advanced. At some point in their early history they became part of the Covenant, a fanatically religious union of species bent on conquest. Their might and cunning put them in first place in this Covenant, the prominent force of the military, commanding the weaker Unggoy (Grunts), the stealthy Kig-Yar (Jackals) and the powerful but slow Lekoglo (Hunters). They even took the role of honour guard for the Prophets who lead the Covenant of their quest.

The Covenant encountered the Humans, who had colonised many planets, and waged a brutal war that nearly drove humanity into extinction. The Sangheili did think that the humans should have been invited into the Covenant, but as loyal members they continued to fight humanity and devastate their worlds. But things changed for all the species involved when the human colony of Reach was destroyed, one ship the Pillar of Autumn escaped and crashed on a mysterious structure - a ring shaped artificial world. This, it seemed, was the object of the Covenant's religious quest so they did everything to capture it and rid it of the humans that had been stranded on it. But, lead by a SPARTAN 2 super soldier known as the Master Chief (or Demon to the Covenant) the humans discovered that the installation housed the Flood, a super powerful parasite that consumed life. Worse if the Covenant activated the installation, all life in the universe would die.

Humanity succeeded in destroying the installation, and the Sangheili race were cast into disgrace and replaced by the Jiralhanae (Brutes) - one leader was demoted, but given the role of Arbiter, acting for the prophets and acting on the most suicidal missions. The Sangheili were not content with their treatment and began to see through the Prophets and their misguided teachings. A Heretic movement was formed, which the Arbiter tried to quell. But eventually the race as a whole turned their back on the Prophets and allied themselves with the humans. They helped to turn the tide of the battle and gave humanity a chance for survival. The Covenant and the Flood were eventually driven back and an uneasy peace with many hard memories was established between the Sangheili and Humanity.

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