Master Chief, path from the beginning to the Halo Infinite

Halo: Master Chief, A man in a space battle suit

Anyone who has played even one game from the Halo series will know how exciting and memorable this game is with its main character John-117 or better known as Master Chief. Of course, there are many more interesting characters, such as Cortana, the holographic artificial intelligence, then Dr. Halsey, and many others.

Today, we’re going to introduce you to Master Chief and his adventure path all the way up to the events of Halo Infinite. Of course, we will not describe every event, but we want all the main points from his combat and life adventures.


The story begins in the distant future, March 7, 2511, when a boy named John was born on the outer colonial planet of Eridanus II. This child lived a normal everyday life with his parents, played and mingled with the other children of the colonists, and attended Elysium City Primary Education. In the military SciFi novel Halo: The Flood, John is described as a boy with freckles and brown hair. In the first six years of his life, John met friends and dreamed of stars, but things will quickly go in a completely different direction. 

The boy lies in the grass and looks at the stars
John’s childhood on Eridanus II

John was soon noticed and marked by Dr. Catherine Halsey and LTJG Jacob Keyes as the ideal candidate for the top-secret SPARTAN-II program. This secret project of Halsey was aimed at creating elite soldiers to fight human rebels and, more importantly, the upcoming threat of a cruel and technologically superior alien alliance known as The Covenant

The Spartan program included a process of biological augmentation, something that was very dangerous, and most subjects would not even make it through the first adaptations.

Because of his physical and mental proportions, John stood out as the perfect choice for one of the 150 preliminary candidates. Under cover of night, the boy was abducted along with the other candidates and replaced by his clone to cover up the abduction, to make it look like nothing happened. Those clones would die soon.

SPARTAN-II military training

John is taken to the planet Reach, where he spends the next eight years in military training, becoming stronger and learning what it means to be a soldier. The following day upon arriving at Reach, he unveiled on his uniform his service tag and his new name, John-117

In the first training session, he was included in the team with Kelly-087 and Samuel-034. They competed with other teams in the game “Ring the Bell.” Although John was furious and was convincingly the first to cross the finish line, his team lost because the rest of his team arrived last.

So that was the first lesson he learned, that he has to work together with the other teammates to win the team. The next day, his team had much more success. Since then, he has become very close to his teammates, and they have become close friends for life. John was trained in history, military strategy and tactics, and handling different types of weapons. He also underwent extreme physical training. He grew into a true leader, capable of leading in the coming battles.

When he completed the first cycle of training after eight years, it was the turn of an extremely dangerous process of biological augmentation, which always results in high mortality among candidates. How dangerous it is, is witnessed by the fact that out of 150 candidates, only 33 candidates, including John, successfully completed the process. After recovering from the surgery, John and some others returned to Reach for further training. 

A man lies on the operating table
Process of biological augmentation

Shortly afterward, a Blue Team was formed, a super lethal squad composed of the Spartans led by John-117. The Blue Team, made up of John, Kelly, Fred, Linda, and Sam, was given their first assignment, code-named Operation: TALON, to capture the rebel leader, Colonel Robert Watts. After successfully completing the first mission, where they capture the Insurrectionist leader, they will carry out several more successful missions in the next few months. However, a new, terrifying, alien threat, The Covenant, will soon emerge. 

The Covenant mercilessly attacks, massacres, and destroys everything on the planet Harvest. After an attack on the colony world, Spartans were sent in to assess the situation. It was their first engagement with the Covenant, and this was where John-117 received his first Mjolnir-powered armor. As Covenant forces began to ambush the Blue Team, they would plan their next move; take an ANVIL-II warhead to the Covenant spaceship and blow them to pieces. In the ensuing chaos, three members of the Blue Team, John, Sam, and Kelly, managed to damage the carrier’s hall. The plan itself was a success, but Sam’s armor was severely damaged in the combat. So, he stays behind, sacrificing his life to complete the mission and destroy the alien ship.

Four people in spacesuits
Blue Team

In 2526 John would join forces with the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) for the first time, completing various missions and becoming friends with Avery Johnson, a senior non-commissioned officer of the UNSC Marine Corps. Thanks to his success in those secret ops missions, John was awarded the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer and was highly looked upon by many UNSC personnel.

The next mission in which the Spartans participated was the rescue of a squad of cadets, the only survivors of the Covenant attack on the Corbulo Military Academy. After the action was over, the Master Chief gave one of the cadets, Thomas Lasky, a piece of alien Mgalekgolo armor in recognition of his bravery and ability. 

In the next 20, and a few more, years, John 117 and his Spartans took part in many top-secret missions against the Covenant and also against human rebels from the colonies.

The Covenant invade the Reach

But a very significant battle with an alien threat is yet to come. The Covenant Valiant Prudence Fleet invaded Reach in July 2552, but John and the other Spartans were unaware of this conflict in order to protect the intended Operation: A mission known as “RED FLAG” aims to seize an assault carrier of the CAS class or a supercarrier of the Sh’wada type with the intention of using it to transport Spartans to the Covenant capital and seize a High Prophets, also known as a Hierarchs, hopefully bringing the war to an end. 

When finally, after a month, Spartans came to Reach, Chief’s suit was upgraded to Mark V, which is the next generation of MJOLNIR, the new and improved power exoskeleton suit issued to the Spartan II, and is presented with a built-in AI named Cortana.

The twenty orbital defense platforms that powered Reach were protected by the majority of the Spartan-II that were deployed, while John was dispatched to Gamma Station, along with James and Linda, to delete an unprotected navigation database aboard the Prowler UNSC Circumference ship. The location of every human world, including Earth, would be revealed to the Covenant if they managed to get their hands on the database. Although the NAV database was destroyed, Covenant Sangheili ambushed Linda and James. One of these Sangheilis was defeated by John in close-quarters combat before he could endanger the mission.

The rest of John’s crew did not fare as well; James got lost in space, and Linda was seriously hurt in the battle. Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson was one of the four Marines on the station that John saved.

John’s team returned to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, and following the protocol of not alerting the Covenant to Earth’s location, the light cruiser would enter slip space attempting to disappear without a trace. Turns out, they were followed. Escaping slip space, the crew of Pillar of Autumn had discovered something breathtaking, an artificial ring world just outside the windows of the cruiser. John’s team returned to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, and following the protocol of not alerting the Covenant to Earth’s location, the light cruiser would enter slip space attempting to disappear without a trace.

Turns out, they were followed. Escaping slip space, the crew of Pillar of Autumn had discovered something breathtaking, an artificial ring world just outside the windows of the cruiser. It was beautiful, and everybody took a moment to revel in his beauty, but things quickly took a turn when they learned the Covenant had followed them through slip space and began boarding the ship. As the attack took place, Captain Jacob Keyes ordered Chief to be woken from cryosleep to defend the ship and also his AI Cortana, while he crashed the ship upon a then-unknown ringworld. 

John fled the ship and used the SKT-9 Bumblebee lifeboat to land on the ringworld construction. This will kick off John’s Halo adventure as we know it back in Halo 1. Upon arriving in Halo Installation 04 Master Chief would go on various missions while simultaneously thinking he is the only surviving Spartan. Among his first was a mission to rescue members of Autumn’s crew, who were captured after the crash, and this is where he rescued Captain Keyes and learned of the Covenant’s plans: they called this ringworld Halo, and they wanted to find its control room to activate the weapon. Sometime later, the Covenant accidentally stumbled upon the Flood that lingered on the ring and released the alien parasite. 

The Master Chief then arrives to investigate the disappearance of Captain Keyes’ unit and encounters a control room with the Monitor, an artificial intelligence created by the Forerunners, creators of the Ring, who directs him to activate the ring’s weapon to destroy the Flood. The Forerunners were an ancient, extremely technologically advanced civilization that fought against a terrifying and deadly, destructive threat known as The Flood that threatened to destroy all sentient worlds in the galaxy.

Cortana informed John that it wasn’t a good idea and that the Monitor wanted to trick him, because that, along with the alien parasite, would actually destroy the Flood’s food, which is all sentient life in the galaxy. Knowing this, Chief, with the help of Cortana, destroyed the Pillar of Autumn’s fusion reactor in order to destroy the Halo ring itself, and he then manages to escape from the destroyed megastructure on the Longsword interceptor.

After the events of Halo 1 Master Chief escaped a Covenant flagship and met up with some old friends including Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson. The group then worked together to take control of a Covenant flagship, Ascendant Justice, which they then used to return to the planet Reach to look for surviving Spartans if there were any. There they manage to save some of their fellow Spartans, and they also manage to rescue Dr. Halsey. At this point, the Covenant knows the location of Earth. Blue Team came together in an effort to stop the Covenant’s advance to Earth, and with the Ascendant Justice, which they had just taken control over, they crashed it into the Covenant fleet, destroying over 490 enemy ships on that occasion. With the threat in the human world imminent, John and Blue Team return home to take on the battle near the front lines.

Arriving at Cairo Station, John-117 and Johnson, along with Captain Keyes’ daughter Miranda Keyes, participate in an award ceremony. This is where Chief gets his new Mark VI MJOLNIR armor, another upgrade over his previous suit. This ceremony is suddenly interrupted by the appearance of the Covenant fleet near Earth, which immediately begins a major invasion, initiating the Battle of Earth. John departed the station to give the alien invaders back their antimatter bomb, damaging much of their fleet that was in orbit.

The battle now shifted to Africa, to New Mombasa, where the onslaught of alien invaders was in full force. After great and intense fighting, the Prophet of Regret, the commander-in-chief of this invasion, was forced to retreat from Earth. Unaware that John was on his tail, the Prophet emerged through slip space at another Halo ring, Installation 05

John learns from Cortana that the Prophet of Regret intends to destroy the Halo Ring to fulfill their religious Great Journey. However, he becomes aware of how dangerous it would be and sets out to stop him at all costs. After killing one of these Prophets, Master Chief jumps into the lake below to avoid the weapons of the aliens. At that moment he is pulled into the depths of the water by the Gravemind, the Flood’s central intelligence. This is a big turning point where John meets the Arbiter Thel ‘Vadam, a ruthless Covenant’s warrior who was sent out to kill the heretics, and who is also captured by the Gravemind. 

In the clutches of the Gravemind, the Arbiter learns the Great Journey is a lie and decides to side with the Chief to stop the destruction of Installation 05. 

Considering that the interests of all three coincide at this moment, which is to prevent the destruction of the Ring, Gravemind sends them both on different tasks to prevent the destruction. During this impending chaos, John would battle the Covenant, the Flood, and now the Brutes who the remaining Prophets grant control before they tried to flee. After the successful completion of the mission, Master Chief boards the Forerunner Dreadnought, which is directed towards the earth by the dying Prophet of Mercy to destroy the human race. 

Two weeks after the events of Halo 2, jumping from a Dreadnought, John-117 crashes in the jungles of East Africa. There he is found unconscious by Sergeant Johnson, who tries to evacuate him to safety. However, at one point Chief wakes up and, seeing the Arbiter appearing from the forest, immediately attacks him, not knowing that he is now allied with the humans. Johnson calms him down and tells him about the new alliance between the two races, the humans and the Sangheili

After pushing his way through the jungle, Master Chief learned that the Prophet of Truth was looking for the Ark, an ancient facility capable of firing all seven Halo rings in existence. After intense fighting, John reaches an artifact he thinks is the Ark, however, the artifact only opened a slipspace portal to the Ark. This is used by Truth, who escapes through the open portal with his remaining forces. And when it seems that everything is over for now, the Covenant carrier appears and crashes to Earth.

Everyone thinks it’s just the remaining Brutes, but Chief was aware of what it was and says it’s something much worse. It was a Flood-controlled ship. John and his allies engage in a fight against the Flood infection and manage to board the infected ship, where he finds a message from Cortana explaining that there may be a way to stop the Flood if they go through that portal. As he learns that the dreaded Gravemind is on his way to earth, they immediately embark on a new combat adventure by going through a portal that takes them straight to the Ark.

Shortly after arriving at the Ark’s megastructure, he and his team set off to engage the enemy as they made their way to the Cartographer, the Forerunner’s facility where the complete schematic of the installation is located. John then goes from tower to tower, attempting to stop Truth from activating the Rings. At one point, Truth captured Sergeant Johnson because the man was needed to complete the activation process.

Miranda Keyes intervened and saved Johnson, however, they could not escape and since they were the only ones who could activate the ring, they decided to kill each other to prevent the activation. At that moment Miranda is killed by Truth and Johnson is the only one left who can activate it. As things get hectic the Chief and the Arbiter bust in to save Johnson putting an end to the Prophet of Truth by having the Thel ‘Vadam execute him. At the same time, John-117 deactivates the prepared Halo Array.

Halo: Master Chief, An alien warrior in armor and a man in a battle suit
Arbiter Thel ‘Vadam and John-117

However, there remains the threat of the Flood, which threatens to spread dangerously across the galaxy. While escaping, Master Chief receives a vision of Cortana, who guides him on what to do next. There he learns that there is a replacement, another Halo Ring made by Ark, for the destroyed Installation 04, which is far enough away from the inhabited galaxy that he decides to activate it and destroy the Flood, the alien parasite, once and for all. But first, he goes to High Charity, the Covenant mobile capital city now occupied by the Flood, to rescue Cortana. He destroys the city and all the parasites in it and runs away with Cortana, where Thel ‘Vadam comes to their aid at the last moment.

Then they start a new task, which is to activate the still unfinished Installation 08 to suppress this extremely dangerous alien parasite. After arriving at the ring they engage in combat with Flood forces and make their way to the control room where they encounter 343 Guilty Spark, a highly advanced artificial intelligence. When the AI realizes that they want to activate the ring before its completion, it opposes them, because that would mean destroying the installation itself.

During the operation, Sergeant Johnson is mortally wounded, and Spartan kills the artificial intelligence and allows Cortana to activate the ring. While escaping from the destroyed installation, Gravemind appears to them telepathically for the last time and says that this victory will not mean the end of the Flood. While they were passing through the Slipspace portal with Forward Unto Dawn, the frigate could not stand it and split in half, sending the Arbiter to Earth and leaving John and Cortana floating in unknown space. 

After months of unsuccessful searching, Chief and Cortana are presumed dead. A ceremony was then held on Earth, attended by Thel ‘Vadam as well as John’s close folks, in honor of the fallen UNSC members during the war. 

While everyone thought they didn’t survive, the two survived the explosion of Installation 08 and found themselves in the cargo area of the ship’s remains. After Cortana explained that the rest of the ship they were in could not be properly managed and that it would probably be many years before anyone found them, Master Chief entered the cryotube and said, ‘wake me, when you need me.’

A man in cryostasis and a woman-hologram looking at him
Cortana watches over John, who is sleeping in cryostasis

Five years later, in July 2557, the remains of the Forward Unto Dawn enter Requiem‘s orbit, a Forerunner shield world, and John is awakened by Cortana as Covenant forces begin boarding the ship. He immediately engages in combat with them and by detonating a nuclear bomb, Chief managed to destroy a giant Covenant cruiser before being sucked into the shield world through Requiem’s open gateway. 

On Requiem, Chief quickly learned of Cortana’s rampancy, all IA’s begin to deteriorate after seven years. But if they could find Dr. Halsey in time, they might be able to fix her, there still could be a chance, but they’re stuck in this Forerunner machine world. Along the way, they encountered Covenant forces and were attacked by an unknown being that Cortana identified as Prometheans, ancient Forerunner warriors tasked with protecting the planet.

When the UNSC Infinity appeared above the planet, John-117 tried to warn them of the dangerous gravity field that had sucked Forward Unto Dawn. As they were about to relay this message, they accidentally freed an ancient Forerunner warrior from his long hibernation sleep. It was the Didact, a powerful warrior who was highly ranked in Forerunner society. In the speech that followed, the Didact said that the Forerunners were returning as the rulers and guardians of the galaxy and that humanity was not worthy of that task because he saw it as weak.

Halo: Master Chief, A fight between a man in a battle suit and an alien in armor
Didact and Master Chief, first encounter

After they leave the planet’s core and escape from the Didact, they meet up with members of the Infinity ship, which has crashed on the planet anyway. Among the crew members, he comes across their leader, Commander Thomas Lasky, which was the same cadet he had saved earlier on Circinius IV. These three, John, Cortana, and Lasky plan how to regain control of a crashed ship that has been taken over by enemy forces. After successfully capturing the ship, they use the ship’s weapons to force the Didact’s forces to retreat. 

Chief learns the Didact plans to use the Composer, an ancient Forerunners device, to enslave humans into Prometheans. As the Didact brought this device close to Earth, John fought his way through the light bridge with a nuclear warhead, trying to stop the enraged mighty warrior once and for all. Since John-117 was no match for the Didact’s powers, the dying Cortana managed to immobilize the powerful warrior, leaving room for Master Chief to attach a nuke to the Didact’s armor, push him off the bridge, and send him into the crevasse beneath the Composer.

As time is running out, John is forced to manually detonate the bomb and Cortana uses her last strength to save him from the explosion at the cost of her life.

Left adrift in space, John was soon found by a UNSC rescue team and brought back to Infinity, where he brooded over his recent loss of a close friend.

In between the events of Halo 4 and 5, the Chief teams back up with the Blue Team to investigate the disappearance of the science team and the Spartan Black Team at Installation 03. Arriving at the ring, they found the corpses of the group, and they were attacked by Promethean knights. The Blue Team then entered a portal where they found the Composer’s Forge; a place containing six new composers waiting to be used and with them the Didact who had survived back near Earth.

After a few skirmishes, John managed to stab the Didact in the eye, only for the Didact to pick John up by his helmet and break his visor. After the Didact was teleported to the control room, Chief acquired the activation index for the ring that he left behind. With this index, Chief gave control to the Forge’s monitor who then threw part of the ring towards the planets destroying the Composers Forge and eradicating the Didact for good, or at least they hoped this time.

When John with his team returned to Earth, he was debriefed by Admiral Hood. The admiral told the Blue Team to take a break and rest from the missions, but the Master Chief didn’t like that at all. Over the next year, Blue Team will run top secret ops around the galaxy and in October 2558 they would take on a new mission.

Boarding the UNSC Infinity, they set out to find answers about the disappearance of the ONI research vessel Argent Moon, which has been missing for nineteen months. While fighting his way through enemy lines on the Argent Moon, Chief was at one point left alone and separated from the rest of the team. Then he experienced a vision of Cortana telling him: 

“The Domain is open. Meridian is next.”

Going against the UNSC’s orders, John and his team went to planet Meridian to find some answers for themselves. The next day the UNSC would declare the Master Chief AWOL, and send Fireteam Osiris, a Spartan-IV squad led by Jameson Locke, to recover them. On Meridian, Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris will meet each other as they descend into the planet. Locke confronted the Chief, telling him that Cortana was now his problem and that he should back off, as they were sent there to pick him up.

Jon didn’t like that at all, and a confrontation ensued between the two, in which Jon prevailed and left Locke locked in place with the armor restraint. After a fight, John-117 and his team will board a Guardian and enter a slipspace on a course for planet Genesis, a Forerunner shield world. Cortana, who now has access to the Forerunner domain of knowledge, has begun amassing a new AI army, and awakening these Forerunner guardians across the Universe.

After arriving at Genesis, Dzon-117 and his team were surprised to encounter the well-known musical sound of ‘Oly Oly Oxen Free‘, from their youth in the Spartan training program, which was only known to them. Following the path, which they unlocked with the consoles with the help of a familiar sound, they faced the Warden Eternal, known as the protector of the Domain whose only purpose now was to protect Cortana.

When John explains that he wants to take Cortana home, the Warden says this is a threat to she’s plan. During a conversation, Cortana appears and tells the truth: she arrived through the wreckage of the Didact’s ship after it was pulled through slipspace. She says that her rampancy was cured by accessing the Forerunner Domain. She then tells Spartans to meet her across the planet at the Domain itself. In the meantime, Fireteam Osiris also arrived, who already knew what danger Cortana was now, and tried to get the Blue Team out before Cortana overcame them.

She manages to separate the two teams, who are now progressing separately. Finally, Chief meets with Cortana physically and her new holographic image. As he tries to speak to her, Cortana traps the Blue Team in a Cryptum, saying that she will ascend with her newly created IA army and use the Guardians as a force of power across the system. She intended to keep the Blue Team in stasis for about ten thousand years until they took control of the entire galaxy.

With the help of monitor 031 Exuberant Witness, Fireteam Osiris made their way to Cryptum and managed to free John and his team, while Cortana left the planet in the meantime. Then they fought together to escape Genesis, only to then agree to return to Sanghelios, the home planet of the Sangheili species, where they meet up with Dr. Halsey and the Arbiter. Here they talked about this battle, reminisced about their past, and discussed what was to come with Cortana and her creatures. Spartans were then invited to attend a celebratory meal of the Sangheili in honor of their victory, and the Chief together with the Arbiter evoked memories of past battles. Master Chief and the rest of the humans left the planet the next day for a rendezvous with the UNSC Infinity near Suban, one of Sanghelios’ moons. 

The last mission we’ll talk about here takes Master Chief and his Blue Team back to the planet Reach where they’ll face off against the Banished. The Banished are an organized band of mercenary raiders who rebelled against the Covenant Empire and rose to power following the end of the Human-Covenant War. Atriox, the Jiralhanae Warmaster, formed and led them. They were now one of the main emerging threats after the Covenant was weakened or nearly destroyed.

The goal this time was to infiltrate one of Halsey’s old laboratories on the planet Reach to obtain any information that could be useful in the fight against Cortana and her creatures. After some fierce fights with Banished forces, they managed to find a hidden Forerunner facility below the area of Halsey’s labs and acquired some items, three crypto bins, and a lockbox. Chief had alerted Dr. Halsey of his discoveries in her laboratory. 

On December 11, 2559, Dr. Halsey briefed Master Chief on his mission on Zeta Halo (Installation 07) to contain Cortana and return her to Infinity for deletion. When Infinity and her escort fleet arrived at Installation 07 the next day, they were ambushed by Banished dreadnoughts and boarded by their raiding parties. 

And this is roughly where Halo Infinite begins.

That’s all for this time, and soon we will release the next text, about the continuation of Master Chief’s story.

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