Developer 343 Industries fired off an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) for Halo 5: Guardians that sent fans scurrying Sunday evening. The goal is to hunt down and put together bits of a large poster for the Xbox One exclusive like a puzzle. The result so far has been to reveal some possible co-op characters for the shooter that further sets the stage for Team Chief versus Team Locke with some old favorites.
Bits and pieces of images from the Halo 5 poster are being spread across the internet by 343 Industries and Microsoft. They have shown up in tweets from the official Halo Twitter account as well as the Xbox Germany Facebook page. There's even a hidden link on the official page for Halo 5.
The hunt has so far produced the poster you see below, compiled by German website Halo Orbit. It features the now familiar faceoff between Master Chief and Spartan Jameson Locke. What is of more interest are all the details that are still being filled in, particularly with the two groups of four characters standing underneath. Update (4/28): Final images have been shared by 343 Industries via Xbox Wire.
On the left, under Locke, is what appears to be Master Chief's team of Spartans. This appears to be the Blue Team that Chief was last seen running around within the Halo: Escalation comics from Dark Horse. The team currently consists of Chief (John-117), Frederic-104, Kelly-087, and Linda-058. Update: Confirmed. That is clearly Linda on the far left, Kelly to the right of Chief and Fred at the far right.
Now check out this more recent image taken from Halo Escalation issue 8. From left to right it is Fred, Kelly, Linda, and then Master Chief.
There's no confirmation of who might be on the Locke side of the equation, but the current speculation (via Reddit) is that it could be some old favorites from Halo 3: ODST: Buck and Romeo. Both joined the Spartan IV program in the Halo: New Blood novel and their appearance in Guardians would certainly help explain why they warranted a book as part of the franchise's extended universe. The identity of the fourth member of Locke's squad is certainly up for debate.
It makes sense that both Chief and Locke will run with their own squads. Both characters are confirmed to be playable for Halo 5, and co-operative campaigns have always been a focal point. Who makes up both squads is surprising though, as hardcore fans have longed to see Kelly and Linda in a game versus the extended universe.
Other details picked up from the pieced-together Halo 5 image is the large Forerunner creature that is taking up the space between Chief and Locke. It was previously seen in the teaser trailer from E3 2013, but 343 Industries never explicitly stated it would have a role in the game until now. Franchise director Frank O'Connor even added the following disclaimer.
It's not a War Sphinx.Additionally, the setting of the image appears to be the Elite homeworld of Sanghelios. Again, something that has been teased for Halo 5, but apparently now confirmed.
— Frank O'Connor (@franklez) April 27, 2015
Halo 5 is set to release for the Xbox One on October 27.
[Images via Halo Waypoint, Halo Orbit]
[Update: Added official images from 343 Industries along with YouTube video]