Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo 4 Volume 2

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo 4 Volume 2

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo 4 Volume 2

Halo 4 Volume 2 Original Soundtrack

Halo 4 Original Soundtrack Volume 2

Halo 4 Original Soundtrack Volume 2 Cover

The soundtrack of Halo 4 (Vol.2) officially released on the 9th of April 2013. Adding to the first volume more of the in game music. In the first post of Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo about Halo 4 you can find more detail on the history surrounding the soundtrack and music of Halo 4 (Here)


This updated adds Halo 4 Volume 2 to the collection. While the soundtrack offers some great music, In terms of transcribable music it was sadly lacking. Atonement, Wreckage, Lasky’s Theme and Never Forget (Midnight Version) are great tracks to play on piano (or any instrument) But for a soundtrack of 20 tracks there is little that doesn’t require very specific synthesizer sounds and off key pitches to recreate the music.


The following tracks were added

01 – Atonement

02 – Wreckage

03 – Lasky’s Theme

04 – Never Forget (Midnight Version)

Atonement and Wreckage carried a lot of emotion in the music. Lasky’s Theme is tricky. Because it invokes the musicians to end large and grand while it’s design to be kept within certain bounds. Never Forget speaks for itself right ? if it doesn’t you need to play Halo 2 and 3 right now.

Up Next!

You may think hurray ! time for Halo 5 you are a bit too soon.

Up next is the (self named) Digital Soundtrack Collection. We are gonna pick the best tracks from the soundtracks made for Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Spartan Assault, Spartan Strike and Halo The Fall of Reach Animated. These are filled with beautiful music yet they get little attention. Only released trough platforms like iTunes, Spotify and Amazon, in other words, Digital Only.

If you say “Now normally you guys work by release date, Halo 5 released before The Fall Of Reach soundtrack released” You are right. however in terms of efficiency, style, and the fact the Spartan top-down games and TFoR share the same composer. The wonderful Tom Salta. We though it more practical to do the so far Digital Soundtracks in 1 package and then start Halo 5 as a brand new project.

So while we are laying the groundwork to turn Halo 5’s majestic music into notes on paper for you all to use. We first would like to offer you this.

Before the Digital Collection is added there most likely is gonna be a very special announcement. Soon…  (I love how 343 has turned the word ‘soon’ into something that makes Halo fans ticklish)


Copyright Hurrying Candy©



As always you can find the Sheet Music Here

You can find the Official Halo 4 Soundtrack store at Halo4soundtrack.com Other stores like Amazon or Itunes also offer most music.

This post reflects my personal opinion and not that of the Halo Archive in general.

Thanks for reading. Until next time!

– HurryingCandy



Posted by HurryingCandy in Blogs, Community Creations, Sheet Music, 0 comments
Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo 4 Volume 1

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo 4 Volume 1

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo 4 Volume 1

Halo 4 Volume 1 Original Soundtrack

Halo 4 Volume 1 Original Soundtrack

Halo 4 Volume 1 Original Soundtrack

The soundtrack of Halo 4 (Vol.1) officially released on the 22nd of October back in 2012. Now the release and different versions available for purchase got a bit more hectic then previous releases. Halo 4 being a big deal for the fans as well as 343 Industries was a reason for going all out it seem, which also started a nice tradition of Limited Editions Soundtracks.

The Halo 4 Soundtrack release timeline:

  • Halo 4 Original Soundtrack Volume 1 released on the 22nd of October 2012.  (Physical Release and Digital)


  • Halo 4 Original Soundtrack Volume 1 Special Limited Edition. Released on the 4th of November. It included (next to the standard OST) a bonus OST remix CD which includes artists like DJ Skee & THX, Gui Boratto, Sander Van Doorn & Julian Jordan, Apocalyptica, Caspa and some more great folks. Along with that also a Vinyl of the remix album with gorgeous art of Chief and Cortana on either side. A bonus DVD of the Making of Halo 4 Music and a book that feature behind the scenes photos and footage from the Abbey Road sessions, and Neil Davidge’s production and composition notes as well as a few words by Kazuma Jinnouchi and Sotaro Tojima. Plus a signed Halo 4 art print by Neil.


  • Halo 4 Original Soundtrack Remixes (The one included in the Special Limited Edition) Released digitally only on the 15th of November.


  • Halo 4 Original Soundtrack Volume 2 released on the 9th of April 2013. While it’s unknown why this released so much later and only digital. It’s a nice addition. It gave some more of the music that happen in game next to the grander pieces included in the first volume. More info at the bottom of this post.


A New Story, Creator, Composer.

Halo 4 Art Key 1

343 Industries had big shoes to fill with Halo 4. The soundtrack side of things was no different. Sotaro ‘Tajeen’ Tojima (Audio Director 343 Industries) and Ken Kato (Executive Audio Producer 343 Industries) had to find a composer who would do justice to the Halo franchise. With Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori being gone and leaving fans more then a bit biased on how a Halo soundtrack should sound like. They didn’t have an easy job.

They gave us Neil Davidge, and man it was a good choice. The album debuted the No. 50 on the billboard 200 chart in the United States, making it the highest-charting game soundtrack ever.

Neil Davidge didn’t do it alone however. While maybe from a marketing perspective it’s better to put his name solely on all material. Neil talks a lot about Andrew ‘Drew’ Morgan who helped him tremendously writing the score and Jeremy Holland Smith who arranged a lot of the music together with Matt Dunkley who also did the orchestration. (Recommend everyone to watch the Making Of Halo 4’s Music video. You get to really understand the team effort it took to make this soundtrack)

That doesn’t dismiss the brilliance Neil put into the music. After arranging the soundtrack to sheet music and having had to listen to it more carefully then people normally would (need to?), I can safely say that it was a brilliant beautiful soundtrack with a unique vibe custom tailored to the Halo 4 story. It honestly fits no where else as good as with the Halo 4 in game vistas and art.

It’s been stated by 343 that Halo 4 was the first attempt to turn Master Chief, from the empty shell Bungie let the player glide into, into a fully formed character. While this mixed with the absence of the original Halo theme first heard in Halo: Combat Evolved made a lot of fans uneasy at first. Because it was simply not what they were used to, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good or (maybe more important) necessary.

But this piece is not meant to debate the quality of Halo 4 compared to other installments of the franchise. I personally do wanna make the comment when the soundtrack first released along with the game the reception was mixed but also overshadowed by the fact everything was new and took getting used to.


Halo 4 Art Key 2


The Process, Takes, Time (A Quick Word If I/We May?)

It’s quite normal for our releases to have some time between them. ranging from 7 to 10 months. We are now however almost a year after our last update. I thought it be good to give some explanation. With Halo Legends done and saying goodbye to Martin O’Donnells work.

With Opening 343’s can of music and finding ourselves immersed once more in a new musical landscape we had a feeling we could not let this pass. I could not let this pass. I’ve been arranging Halo Sheet Music since 2007/2008 now and it’s become a huge part of my life. My musical stance is completely orientated around the fact I use my equipment mostly for arranging Halo music. Its become very personal and I wanted to find a way to convey that to all of you who enjoy the music and sheet music. But I also wanted to inspire and support the people making this possible for me. The Artists and Composers and Producers and Grims (Insert another 800 Job descriptions) In short. 343 Industries. So while we did make you all wait a long time rest assured it wasn’t because we were getting lazy. Because !

We decided to do this.

Copyright Hurrying Candy©


As the banner states – Coming soon! (Really soon)

More info about the project, wonderful people and details are coming soon in a Special Edition of Scores of Halo!

To Arrive or Revive.

Now back to Halo 4. With volume 1 only having 15 tracks we had an easier task of choosing which tracks to Arranged. The criteria were kept simple. It needed to sound on piano, On anything really without exterior help. After putting the soundtrack trough that test this became the final selection

01 – Awakening
02 – Belly Of The Beast
03 – Requiem
04 – Nemesis
05 – Haven
06 – Solace
07 – To Galaxy
08 – 117 (Composed by Kazuma Jinnouchi)
09 – Arrival
10 – Green and Blue

These 10 tracks reflecting the heart of the Halo 4 Soundtrack while also being playable on an instrument.

Awakening was the first piece we heard and although it went trough a large amount of changes before we as fans got the final version. It has been called the Halo 4 theme. While Belly of the Beast, Requiem, Haven and Solace are more mission specific tracks as they each have their own voice. The somewhat grander pieces like Arrival and Nemesis are the battle pieces. And To Galaxy and 117 heed the call of the Space Opera role a Halo soundtrack demands.

Last but not least the most emotional track I’ve ever heard in a video game, Green and Blue. It was a real challenge to arrange this. Mostly cos I dreamt away while transcribing. It’s so full of emotion and soul. With a very spesific purpose. Representing the relation between Master Chief and Cortana. It has been masterly done and while I greatly adore the work Kazuma Jinnouchi is making for Halo. I really want Neil to come back one day, just once, Please?


Up Next ! – Halo 4 Volume 2

Halo 4 Volume 2 Original Soundtrack

Halo 4 Volume 2 Original Soundtrack

When the Halo 4 soundtrack first released the only hint we got at a second volume was within the book that came with the Special Limited Edition. Within this book the soundtrack was called Volume 1. Funny side note in the book Neil Davidge mentioned this.

“Everyone has their favorite piece and wanted it in the album. Tajeen / 343 send various track orders over, non of them within the time margin (78Min) I think if Tajeen had his way we’d have ended up with a 4 CD set!”

Which honestly, who would have said no to that ? Luckily 343 released a second volume (As mentioned before and next to the popular remix album) Sadly they only released digitally but they are available in Flac, which makes it OK I guess (Looks over at Tom Salta) Anyway, it has beautiful pieces on it, and contrary to the first volume, the mix is a little bit more balanced between Neil’s work and Kazuma. 11 tracks by Neil Davidge and 8 by Kazuma Jinnouchi. (An link to the soundtrack store is at the bottom of this post.)

We are finishing up work on the sheet music of the second volume as we speak and hope to share it with you soon. You all deserve a gift after the long wait!

As always you can find the Sheet Music Here

You can find the Official Halo 4 Soundtrack store at Halo4soundtrack.com Other stores like Amazon or Itunes also offer most music.

This post reflects my personal opinion and not that of the Halo Archive in general.

Thanks for reading. Until next time!

– HurryingCandy



Posted by HurryingCandy in Blogs, Community Creations, Sheet Music, 2 comments
Analysis of Halo: Fracture’s “Oasis,” the Prequel to Halo: Envoy

Analysis of Halo: Fracture’s “Oasis,” the Prequel to Halo: Envoy

Author’s note: this essay was written before Halo: Envoy’s release and published before I read it, which is why the section discussing “Oasis” as a groundwork for the novel is so very short.

Jat’s was the worst death in all of Halo. It was a coldly cynical death. Empty and brutal.

And it was narratively perfect.

On three separate levels.

To begin with, I must accentuate the fact that Jat’s death is consistent within the confines of the short story “Oasis” itself. While the manner in which this simple act both follows up on threads and lays groundwork for future fiction is impressive, those are both secondary. As discussed in my last article, moments in stories need to work first in their own context before operating on a different layer, such as a reference, callback, cameo, etc. (Smoke and Shadow). Oasis” was not marketed as the opening chapter to Envoy or as part of a series. It was released in Halo: Fractures as a standalone short story. Therefore, Jat’s death needs to make sense without referring to outside media. And it does.

Solidifying a Theme

The main theme of “Oasis” is survival.

It opens with Dahlia surviving the dangerous fever, it continues with Dahlia recalling the times she and her family survived the Covenant assaults, and its main conflict is Dahlia fighting to ensure that her family survives.

The introduction of the Sangheili Jat at first appears to derail this theme. Up until his appearance, Dahlia has been entirely motivated by survival (of her or her family), but her act to save Jat’s was born out of righteousness.

This couldn’t be right, Dahlia thought. Even among the aliens, there was some kind of law, honor. You couldn’t just execute someone right there in the sand. (Fractures, p 372)

Dahlia’s choice to save Jat seems to be in direct contrast to the theme of survival. It draws attention from an enemy. It puts her life, and by extension, the lives of her family, at risk.

What Jat’s inclusion does is provide a cost to the theme of survival. Up until he enters the story, survival is something to be achieved by any means necessary, but Jat establishes that there is a price Dahlia is not willing to pay. She is not willing to be merciless.

Artwork by The Chronothaur – used with permission

Jat – both as a character and as a narrative function – continues to push Dahlia towards these choices that challenge her outlook on life and her initial stance on survival. He takes the initial theme and begins to shape it, which in turn, shapes Dahlia. The subthemes present in “Oasis” are numerous and complex, but the one that Jat’s death hammers home is change.

Joining the ranks of Benti and Olympia Vale in the category of “young women learning life lessons from Sangheili,” Dahlia goes from someone who unquestioningly hates Sangheili, especially Jat’s leader Rojka, to someone who cradles his head in death. The contrast between her and the militia who came to her rescue and murdered Jat is stark. She is told that she wouldn’t consider the Sangheili a friend if she had seen what had happened to the Outer Colonies during the Human-Covenant War.

But of course, she did come from the Outer Colonies. She did know what horrors were wrought in the war. But she changed. She changed because of Jat, and because of Jat, she lived.

And moving forward, Dahlia will survive because she is willing to change.


The second narrative level on which Jat’s death works is as a groundwork for future fiction.

From the novel’s title and summary, it’s clear that “Oasis” from Fractures is a set up for Envoy. We know that tensions between Sangheili and humans on Carrow are high. We know that there is are larger players at work on the alien side – Thars and Rojka – and that Sandholm will likely be targeted soon. All of this establishes that “Oasis” does not exist in a vacuum; it’s laying the groundwork for a larger story that is on its way.

 Halo Envoy cover

These all set the societal groundwork for Envoy, but Jat’s death sets the emotional stage.

Jat’s death at the hands of the colonists ensures that we know going into Envoy that the tension between Sangheili and humans is real. While there’s hope from in the likes of Dahlia, the carelessness with which Jat is dispatched escalates that conflict into which Envoy’s protagonist, Melody Azikiwe, is stepping. Even more telling than Jat’s execution is the dismissal of his death and Dahlia’s grief. It establishes that the larger community is going to reject an offer of peace, even if the offer is as great as the protection of a child. This establishes exactly what sort of stakes Azikiwe is going to be facing in Envoy.

Symbols and Metaphors

The final narrative level on which Jat and his death work is on the broader scale of the universe as a whole, as a metaphor for one part of the spectrum of human-Sangheili relations. When Halo: Fractures was first released, Archive member Grizzlei made this observation:

One of the lingering thoughts I have for Fractures is three different stories showcased three entirely unique experiences of Human-Sangheili cohabitation.

Within Trevelyan, tensions between the volunteers and their families from Earth and Sangheilos are the typical kinda strained as expected for late 2553 but the air is filled with optimism—that it could be a better place. On Carrow, absolutely nothing is ideal. Sangheili settlers have begun to forcibly colonize a Human world, constantly encroaching on O.C.’ers territory. Well-armed, motivated, and objective militias defend both sides, and both are more than willing to utilize them for the most petty reasons. Neither Human or Sangheili colonists have the backing of their homeworlds. Lastly, on Venezia, it’s literally business as usual. Human, Sangheili—you name it—they’re on Venezia, finding peace wherever they can all for the sake of starting anew, free of any national or religious allegiances.

This is science fiction at its best highlighting no one single way of life. Post-war civilizations now prominently encourage narratives to deliver more diverse circumstances. In conclusion, here’s a wonderful monologue from Stargate SG-1, episode 200:

“Science fiction is an existential metaphor. It allows us to tell stories about the human condition. Isaac Asmiov once said, ‘Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today, but the core of science fiction—its essence—has become crucial to our salvation, if we are to be saved at all.’” (Archive)

The different characters and reactions that she is describing here is could be considered examples of “ficelle characters.”

Blackwell Reference Online specifically defines the ficelle as a “character whose role within the novel is to elicit information, which is conveyed to the reader without narratorial intervention” (BRO). Probably the most famous type of a ficelle is the “foil,” a character created specifically to contrast and highlight certain aspects of the protagonist. In his essay “The Human Context,” W. J. Harvey gives the ficelle its broadest definition yet: a character that “exists in the novel primarily to serve some function. Unlike the protagonist, he is ultimately the means to an end rather than an end in himself” (p 237).

Harvey goes onto list a multitude of functions that the ficelle can serve in the story before settling into the description of one in particular, which I will likewise be focusing on here. A ficelle, or rather a collection of ficelle characters can be used to function as a means to relate and propagate the effects of an epiphany throughout the story.

While Harvey uses the word “epiphany” to specifically describe a commonality in modern fiction around 1965, it can also be viewed in broader terms, as a critical moment of enlightenment, and thus change, in a story.

In order for an epiphany to carry an impact to the story’s conclusion, we must see “its effects radiating throughout time,” which “requires that the [epiphany] diffuses itself through many characters and many relationships” (p 245). In short, we must see the epiphany affecting characters other than the protagonist, and affecting them in different ways.

The [epiphany] itself must be gradually connected with the disparate and commonplace concerns of everyday life, through a careful gradation of characters from those who are able in greater or lesser degree to comprehend [the protagonist’s experience] to those who, all unknowing, are brushed by the events [leading to the epiphany] (p 245).

This gradation of characters is the collection of ficelles. Characters who are affected by the protagonist’s epiphany, and who respond in a multitude of ways in order to provide depth and understanding to the reader.

Of course, in a franchise as broadly spread as Halo, ficelles to one story may also be protagonists for another. In this essay, the terms are not mutually exclusive.

Jat is one of many ficelle characters that are an exploration of the effects of Halo’s first big epiphany.


Now we must ask ourselves: when was the first big epiphany of the Halo Universe? Not in terms of canon chronology – as ho boy, that’s an argument for the ages – but in terms of canon publication?

If you have followed me on Halo-related social media for any stretch of time, it shouldn’t surprise you that my answer is not the Flood/Halo reveal in Combat Evolved, but Thel ‘Vadamee becoming Thel ‘Vadam in Halo 2.

This is more than wild fangirl speculation; all the reveals in the canon leading up to Halo 2 were still consistent with the environment of the Human-Covenant War. Child soldiers? Horrendous and shocking but appropriate for the environment. Reach falling? Earth being found by the Covenant? All appropriate for the environment.

Even the Flood and Halo in Combat Evolved do nothing more than escalate the current environment. There are no alliances forged between human and alien to combat the new menace; it’s “merely” a new player on the field. The Halo ring’s threat of mutually-assured destruction doesn’t cause the combatants to back down, it’s “merely” a new asset to take or deny the other party’s taking.

Halo 2, on the other hand, breaks the environment of the Human-Covenant War. This is the story that takes Halo from a very clear “us vs. them” battle into a fight for mutual peace. And the person on which this epiphany is centered is Thel.

Strangely enough, Thel is rather passive in his Journey up until his grand epiphany. He doesn’t actively pursue the truth until the very end, and his first alliance with humanity was based on necessity and was not his idea. But once the epiphany lands, in the control room of Delta Halo, it sticks, and then goes onto create the new environment that would define the Haloverse until the events of Halo 5.

With few exceptions – Henry and Benti from “The Mona Lisa” come to mind – every human-Sangheili relationship has been defined by and birthed from Thel’s choice in the control room of Delta Halo. Some of these are hopeful, as seen in Hunters in the Dark. Others are cynical, such as those displayed in the Kilo-Five trilogy or “The Return.”

As a ficelle, Jat becomes the embodiment of both the conflict on Carrow and the one propagated by ONI’s Parangosky. A Sangheili believes cooperation is the only way to survive, but humans just want the hingeheads dead. Richard Sekibo in Hunt the Truth is a similar ficelle to Jat, his human counterpart in many ways.


I would just like Noah Eichen to personally understand that I am still mourning this man.

Through the ficelle characters of Jat and Sekibo, we can see the effects of a cynical take on Thel’s epiphany. Before we go further, we must first establish what exactly Thel’s epiphany is, and for that, I turn to Joseph Campbell’s monomyth.

The Classical Monomyth is summarized by Campbell in the following description:

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. (Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. 1956, p. 30).

Thel’s epiphany happens when he takes his step across the threshold between “the world of the common day” and into “the region of supernatural wonder.”

The normal world [of common day] is that which the protagonist occupies before the start of their journey.  It is often a place of comfort and safety or at least familiarity. However, there is something inherently wrong within this world (Campbell, 1956, p. 37).  The hidden world [of supernatural wonder] is a realm beyond what the protagonist initially experiences.  It is full of new wisdom and dangers, and most importantly, the power which can fix the wrong within the normal world. Thel’s normal world is the Covenant, more specifically the battlefield.  The hidden realm is diplomacy and peace, and the power from this realm is the ability to destroy the Covenant. …Not just the establishment as a whole, but the ideals which it represents [hierarchical oppression].  (Hero’s Journey of Thel ‘Vadam: Introduction)

For a further discussion of Thel’s monomythic Journey, visit ArbiterAnalysis on Tumblr.

The “region of supernatural wonder,” i.e. diplomacy and peace, is Thel’s epiphany. It’s the realization that ongoing destruction, and social/galactic elevation through destruction, is not what will bring about salvation. Cooperation will.

A critical line in Halo: Escalation hammers this home:

“Finding a way to pacify the Brutes and get access to their resources is in the UNSC’s best interests. And the Arbiter knows it’s in his best interest… He’s not happy about it, but as leader of the Sangheili, he knows it’s what’s best for his people.” – Admiral Hood, Escalation Issue #1.

Even when he isn’t happy with the idea of cooperation, Thel knows it’s the right thing and acts accordingly. And, as rest of the Escalation arc shows, he commits everything to it, regardless of his personal feelings.

A perfect ficelle to Thel, Serin Osman stares at almost the exact same situation, thinks the exact same thoughts – duty over emotion – and comes to the exact opposite conclusion:

She wondered if she was telling herself that [Hood’s and Thel’s peace treaty] was a meaningless exchange simply to justify what ONI was doing. If the Arbiter really could deliver peace, then she was doing everything in her power to stoke a revolt that would remove him. But she couldn’t gamble Earth’s future on the goodwill of one individual. What was that line the Parangosky never let her forget?
It’s not the enemy’s intentions that you have to consider. It’s their capability.
Osman was going to have those damn words tattooed on her arm one day (Glasslands, p 360)

Osman, Parangosky, Sapien Sunrise, and Jat’s murderers are all on the gradation of characters that “are able in greater or lesser degree to comprehend” Thel’s epiphany in a cynical light. They look at diplomacy and cooperation, and instead of embracing it, they try to destroy it. Osman and Parangosky have yet to be fully successful – and there is still a potential for Osman’s view to change – but Sapien Sunrise and the militia on Carrow brought this interpretation of Thel’s epiphany to a brutal conclusion.

And because Halo’s story is not yet complete, Jat… and the likes of Sekibo, Osman, Rhu ‘Vrath, and perhaps Melody Azikiwe, all of them, for better or for worse, are symbols of what the galaxy could one day become.

W.J. Harvey’s “The Human Context” was originally published in the book Character and The Novel in 1965. All citations here are from its reprint in the essay collection The Theory of the Novel in 1967.

DilDev has a WORDPRESS and a HALO-FOCUSED TUMBLR. She also is on PATREON for Halo and other video-game analyses.

Posted by Dildev in Blogs, Halo Meta, 0 comments
Homeri Carmina Nostra – A Halo Poem

Homeri Carmina Nostra – A Halo Poem

Homeri Carmina Nostra – A Poem Dedicated to the Domus Diaspora.

Overpopulation of our Earth and Wars to come would wake a new era,

Leaving our home planet of Earth, we sought out new frontiers, beyond our bright blue skies,

New beginnings rose from the dirt, as we began to look up to the stars, and wonder,

Wonder what it had in store for us, and went out to venture into those same stars that we saw in the night sky,


Luna, our first new world, would rise from the dark void, as we journeyed there beyond centuries ago, 

Our feet stood on the pale lustrous soil of the moon, and when we did, we dared look up,

Tiny dots scattered across the dark sky, all the opportunities for us and it were all up for grabs,

We felt like we deserved the universe as our feet stood beyond our green soil on that pale moon again,


So we ventured deeper into our solar system, taking a hold of what was ours, our worlds,

What became of this endeavour for humanity, however, slowly became a gamble of war, 

Our worlds fell to conquest and asunder as we fought each other for territory and land, 

Koslovics and Friedens at each other’s throats, knife held deep, lacerating flesh,


War, that would leave many shattered and broken, 

From our soil in Earth to the farthest reaches of our Solar system, 

With our enemies destroyed, a treaty would sign peace,

But a new threat would lurk in the dark, after our conflicts,


Our colonies would be subjected to overpopulation and famine, 

But once more, light would be shed in our darkest moments, 

In our refusal to give out, humanity’s best would achieve salvation, 

Granting us the possibility to look past our star, and expand beyond our cluster,


A diaspora, the greatest diaspora would arise from our chaos,

As we embarked far too deeply, defiant into that howling dark, 

And dared the skies to swallow us whole, as we wagered towards our new worlds, 

Worlds that awaited us beyond our home, and worlds we would dare call home as well, 


Our destiny would be clear, as we set sail for the greatest incursion of all,

Not with weapons, or death, but with hope and aspirations for the future,

Our greatest odyssey, enterprising into our new worlds, 

Leaving our past and history behind, as our blue planet would be farther and farther away, 


The greatest leap for mankind, begins with all but peace, taking a small step forward each time. 

Posted by HaruspexOfHell in Ascendance, Blogs, Community Creations, 1 comment
Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – The Halo Sheet Music Collection

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – The Halo Sheet Music Collection

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – The Halo Sheet Music Collection

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – The Collection Stats

The Halo Sheet Music Collection on The Halo Archive


Halo Combat Evolved Sheet Music – 14 Tracks over 45 pages

Halo 2 Volume 1 Sheet Music – 10 Tracks over 30 pages

Halo 2 Volume 2 Sheet Music – 12 Tracks over 32 pages

Halo 3 Sheet Music Part 1 – 8 Track over 22 pages

Halo 3 Sheet Music Part 2 – 14 Tracks over 37 pages

Halo Wars Sheet Music – 12 Tracks over 25 pages

Halo 3: ODST Sheet Music, Part 1 – 10 Tracks over 24 pages

Halo 3: ODST Sheet Music, Part 2 – 10 Tracks over 30 pages

Halo: Reach Sheet Music, Part 1 – 9 Tracks over 25 pages

Halo: Reach Sheet Music, Part 2 –  9 Tracks over 20 pages

Halo: Legends Sheet Music – 15 Tracks over 35 pages

A total of 123 tracks with a total of  325 pages!

9 Years… 9 Long Years.

Halo Sheet Music Collection

The Halo Sheet Music Collection Logo

Well, That was fun. After 9 years of making sheet music for Halo this is the result so far. We are quite proud of it. Since the last update on Scores of Halo we have remade the sheet music to Halo 2, 3, Wars and ODST.

This coincided with the fact that those soundtracks where arranged when we still used Musescore 1. We are now working with Musescore 2 and it shows. All sheet music in the Collection now is (hopefully) without faults. The Graphic and layout part have also gotten a good look at. And it’s noticeable too, cutting sometimes between 1 to 5 pages of a score.

The Layout is consistent as are the placements for Side Note’s, Tempo and Dynamic changes.

Also all tracks have new MIDI files so as to not leave any change between the MIDI and the PDF versions you can get.

We hope that the Halo fans out that with a musical side to enjoy this. And help other people find this. It’s our contribution to the Halo Community that has been incredible over the past 15 years ! (P.S. Happy B-Day Halo!)

We have tons of respect for Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori for all their work on Halo in the past, and their colleagues.

When they left and 343 had to fit their shoes we were a little bit scared. But Neil Davidge didn’t fail. Neither did Kazuma Jinnouchi, Tom Salta, The Teams from the Anniversary Editions and we have high hopes for Gordy Haab and the people at Finishing Move (Brian Lee White and Brian Trifon)

We as hardcore Halo Soundtrack fans thank and respect you!

We Are Just Getting Started

Now this may sound like a “we are done, goodbye” kinda post but it isn’t. Rest Assured.

We are already burying ourselves deep in the Soundtrack to Halo 4. Which isn’t easy because there are so many good tracks down there it’s easy to get stuck (Green and Blue anyone ?) And the plan for a Collection of the so far only Digitally released works ( Assault, Strike, FUD, FofR ) is also creeping around.

That was it! Short but sweet I hope. Next update will be Halo 4 Volume 1 !


As always you can find the Sheet Music on The Halo Archive Forums HERE


Thanks for reading. Until next time!

– HurryingCandy



Posted by HurryingCandy in Blogs, Community Creations, Sheet Music, 2 comments
Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo: Legends

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo: Legends

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo: Legends Original Soundtrack Sheet Music

Halo: Legends Original Soundtrack:

Halo Legends Soundtrack Cover

Halo Legends Soundtrack Cover

The Soundtrack to Halo Legends was written by Yasuhara Takanashi, Naoyuki Hiroko and Tetsuya Takahasi. With themes used from Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori. With additional composition and arrangements from Tilman Sillescu, Alexander Roeder, Alex Pfeffer, Markus Schmidt, Robin Hoffmann, Marco Jovic and David Christiansen.

Halo Legends released on the 16th of February 2010 on DVD and Blu-Ray. The Original Soundtrack released on the 9th of February in the same year.

Halo Legends in a collection of 7 short anime type films set in the Halo Universe.  One of the first Halo projects by the at the time, still young studio, 343 Industries.

The episodes include:

“Prototype” by the Animation Studio Bones, “Odd One Out” by Toei Animation.”Origins” part 1 and 2 and “The Babysitter” by Studio 4˚C, “The Package” by Casio Entertainment, “The Duel” by Production I.G and “Homecoming” by Bee Train and Production I.G.

The soundtrack logically has more of a cinematic vibe to it then the other Halo Soundtracks. While most of the tracks are remakes from the old Halo 2 and 3 Soundtracks. There are some new tracks that contain more switches in the style of music then what we are used to with Halo Soundtracks.


The Legend Continues:

Halo Legends Cover Art

Halo Legends Cover Art

With Halo Legends we finally started to finish the work that we always had something lying around of. We treated it like a bigger project then before. Looking more at how to play and converting big orchestral music to piano.

During our work on Legends we had to dig in our old Halo CE and 2 work because of the recurring theme’s. Seeing the difference in time and experience we decided to start working on re-releases everything up to ODST. We looked at it and decided that what we had accomplished so far showed huge improvement.

You have already seen this in the re-release of Halo Combat Evolved’s Sheet Music.

Halo Legends gave us the incentive to redo Halo 2 and 3. Graphically mostly with some overhauls. We tested it with CE and the result was well received so Halo Legends brought another positive spin on the collection then just it’s own new sheet music.

Halo Legends just is a brilliant soundtrack.

So without further ado, we present Halo Legends in the Sheet Music Collection!

Halo: Legends in The Sheet Music Collection:

01 – Ghosts of Reach
02 – Opening Suite 2
03 – Machines and Might
04 – Blade and Burden
05 – Steel and Light
06 – Impend
07 – True Arbiter
08 – Unforgotten
09 – Shattered Legacy
10 – Out of Darkness
11 – High Charity Suite 2
12 – Sacred Icon Suite
13 – Rescue Mission
14 – Here in Peril
15 – Finale 2

Choosing Paths:

With Halo Legends relying on existing themes, it was a bit easier to make more sheet music. Initially we filtered on music that was fun and possible to arranged and play on other instruments ( Mainly Piano ) and then taking what we already had and tried to do most of the new stuff. Some old ones are in here like “Ghosts of Reach”, “Impend” and  “Unforgotten”. Each having enough of a twist to make it fun and new.

What remained were new tracks created specially for Legends. Some tracks fit perfectly with only one episode. Like the episode “The Duel”. Other tracks came round multiple times. There are massive tracks like “Sacred Icon Suite 2”, “Machines and Might”, High Charity Suite 2″ and Rescue Mission”.

And there are subtle and soft tracks like “”Shattered Legacy”, “Blade and Burden” and “Steel and Light”.

From the old and never fail tracks like “Truth and Reconciliation” to made to fit tracks like “True Arbiter” to the new memorable tracks like “Rescue Mission”.

We hope we have an accurate representation of the Halo Legends Soundtrack. To most memorable and the most fun to play. We hope you enjoy these new pieces !

As always you can find the Sheet Music on The Halo Archive Forums HERE

Rearrangement Dilemma:

 .Halo 2 Original Soundtrack Volume 1 CoverHalo 2 Original Soundtrack Volume IIHalo 3 Original Soundtrack Cover.

Halo 2 Volume 1, Halo 2 Volume 2 and Halo 3’s Original Soundtrack Cover

In addition to this update which brings Halo Legends to the Halo Sheet Music Collection. There will also soon be an update to the Sheet Music of Halo 2 and 3. ( As mentioned before )

Much like the remake of the Sheet Music for Halo: Combat Evolved. The update will focus on the graphical part of it all.

While some tracks get a complete overhaul most tracks will be the same with minor alterations. This is all in the effort of brining up the older material to our current standard and quality we aim for. Being more then pleased with the effect it had on Halo CE’s Sheet Music we thought it appropriate to give Halo 2 and 3 the same dedication.

So Halo 2 and 3 are getting a makeover. BUT we are currently working in overdrive, to immediately begin work on Halo 4 alongside the remakes.

There will be a separate small update once this is complete for both Halo 2 and Halo 3. While the update will roll from disc to disk. So keep an eye out because the updates to the will come sooner then the final notice of completion.

Up Next !

The Next Large update will be Halo 4!

Halo 4 Soundtrack Cover

Halo 4 Soundtrack Cover

The First Game by 343 Industries. The next step for Halo. Also musically. Finding a replacement for the legacy Marty and Mike left behind was not an easy thing to do. Riddled with a labyrinth of opinions, preferences and first time moments 343 gave us a soundtrack Composed and Produced by Neil Davidge…..

And it was awesome!

As always. Thanks to The Halo Archive for the supportive environment and Special thanks to my music teacher for always being open to the weird stuff I trow at him.

Thanks for reading. Until next time!

– HurryingCandy



Posted by HurryingCandy in Blogs, Community Creations, Sheet Music, 0 comments
The Heart of Halo 5: Fireteam Osiris

The Heart of Halo 5: Fireteam Osiris

“If you don’t have those quiet little human stories, it doesn’t matter how many planets you blow up, nobody’s gonna care.”

This is a quote from the Halo 5 ViDoc, released by IGN back in July 2015. In one sense, I could say that Halo 5 has accomplished this. Both Meridian and Sanghelios undergo horrific events during the game. For Meridian, it’s the Guardian waking; for Sanghelios, it’s seeing the end of a civil war so traumatic it was called the Blooding Years [Halo Waypoint]. What makes the tragic and victorious atmospheres of these planets work are the small stories you can hear.

The increasingly-hopeful reports from Evelyn Collins, who we later hear crying for help on the space elevator. The saga of the ‘Arach brothers, the defection of Rhu ‘Vrath. All these give a sense of who is being lost or saved as the world is lost or saved. Why should we care for Meridian if not for the people returning to scrape out a life? Why should we care for Sanghelios if not for the people fighting for freedom?

So again, in a sense, Halo 5 accomplished this act of having quiet little human (or Sangheili) stories to show us why these planets are worth saving. However, in the ViDoc, this statement was tied specifically to the larger arc of Halo 5 and the two Spartan teams we follow:

“You got this big galaxy-spanning story – oh there’s these attacks that are happening on colonies, there’s this massive destruction that’s happening, somebody stop it, somebody save the day – but at the heart of it is again this story of these two families and these two things that they want. And if you don’t have those quiet little human stories, it doesn’t matter how many planets you blow up, nobody’s gonna care.”

Did Halo 5 succeed in creating a these quiet little human stories for Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris?

This piece will be focused primarily on the latter; for Blue Team, the answer can be found on the Tumblr blog Arbiter Analysis. As for Fireteam Osiris, the answer is both “no” and, very emphatically, “yes!”

First the “no.”


Fireteam Osiris Pout

Don’t get me wrong; Osiris is absolutely essential to Halo 5, and we will be discussing why in a moment. However, Halo 5 lacks one particular item that keeps Reed’s statement from being accurate to the letter: this is not a story about what Osiris wants. They have no personal stake in the resolution of the relationship between John and Cortana, which is the driving force behind narrative events. There is no established “want” of the team as a family at the beginning that is answered at the end. In this way, the specific quiet, little human story that Reed talks about in the ViDoc is nonexistent.

That doesn’t mean, however, that Reed’s statement is inaccurate in spirit. There is an establishment of the team’s arc as a family unit. So while there is not a direct pursuit of a shared want in Halo 5, there is a quiet, little human story of a family at the center of the game. And here is our emphatic “yes!”

While Fireteam Osiris lacks personal stakes in the driving plot, they provide the necessary framework that makes us care about the events at hand.


Buck and Grey Area BS

The framing of a story, the point of view from which it’s told, is an essential choice in storytelling. Framework provides the viewer, reader, or player a reason to care about the narrative. The point of view characters can radically change how we feel about events.

One of the best examples of the importance of framework comes from a WWII movie released in 1981. It tells of a Nazi U-boat that crept into Allied waters, destroyed multiple ships in a British convoy, slipped away from the convoy’s destroyer escort, and attempted to assault a critical port before it was forced back by the Royal Navy. This could easily be a heroic story about Allied forces defeating an elusive, dogged foe. Instead, the framework of Das Boot is from the German characters’ perspective. The end result is a movie that plays out like a tragedy, all due to the critical choice of framing.

Most chosen frameworks tend to have investment in the driving plot of the narrative; characters that have personal stakes in the events at hand. We’ve already established that Fireteam Osiris lacks this in Halo 5, but that does not make for a poor choice in framework. Let’s talk Bilbo Baggins.

The tale of The Hobbit, the driving plot, is retaking the Lonely Mountain. To invest us in the outcome of the quest, it would seem natural to plant one of the dwarves as the tale’s protagonist. While the movies tend to give that role to Thorin, connecting his struggles with a dream of reclaiming his home, Tolkien’s original novel was told almost entirely through Bilbo’s eyes.

As the chosen protagonist, Bilbo Baggins had no connection to the story in the sense of personal stakes. The core thread of the adventure is not a personal need or want for Bilbo. Like Osiris and their pursuit of Blue Team, it is something that has to be done for a greater good, but there are no personal ties to the outcome. While we know in the extended lore that Smaug was a potential ally to Sauron, the dragon was not a threat to Bilbo’s cozy life at Bag End. An eventual threat perhaps, but not an immediate one, and never was that eventuality explored within the novel itself. Bilbo Baggins is disconnected from the driving plot behind the narrative of his own book. And yet without him in the lead role, we have little reason to care about these massive, historical events at hand.

While causal, the chapters of The Hobbit often read like a collection of vignettes or short stories: a threat or problem is encountered and defeated and the party carries on. The Osiris arcs of Halo 5 – Kamchatka, Meridian, Sanghelios, Genesis – are similar to this. Yet both stories work as a cohesive narrative because of the chosen framework. Bilbo becomes the reason we care for the proud Thorin, how we become fond of gentle Balin, how we learn to pity Gollum. It’s his growth as a person, from timid hobbit to bold burglar that is the tale unto itself.

Of course, The Hobbit and Halo 5 don’t have a perfect 1:1 parallel. All the characters in Tolkien’s work were unknown before they stepped into Bilbo’s life; Blue team, Cortana, and Thel ‘Vadam are deeply rooted in existing fiction. Their plights and stories carries a weight all their own. Nevertheless, like Bilbo and The Hobbit, Halo 5 is about how the members of Fireteam Osiris are affected by the events at hand, resulting in collective growth.

The conflict between Blue Team and Cortana may be the driving plot behind these mission vignettes, but it’s the growth of Osiris that is the framework and the heart of Halo 5.


Vale and Locke chat

In contrast with Bilbo’s story, it is noticeable that the majority of Fireteam Osiris do not grow as individuals over the course of the game. That in itself is not an issue as all of Fireteam Osiris is developed enough to stand on their own and there is an arc for the team as a whole.

Now there is a distinction that I am making in this essay between character development and character arcs. By character development, I mean the establishment or reveal of character qualities and traits over the course of a tale. A character arc the change in a character over the course of the story.

To have both character development and a character arc present is ideal, but the combination is not necessary to have a well-told tale or even interesting characters. A solid comparison for this is within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Iron Man and Captain America films. To vastly simplify both sets of movies, the Iron Man series is an example of a story with a character arc and the Captain America series is an example of a story with character developments.

Tony Stark’s stories revolve around how he must change as a person: from warmonger to philanthropist, from playboy to committed partner of Pepper, from self-centered to self-sacrificing. Tony’s stories are about him finding his flaws and seeking to change them. Steve Rogers’ stories are also about change, but not about a change in him. Out of all the MCU, Steve is one of the few characters who has the best grasp on what he sees as right and wrong, and so the changes he faces are almost all external. His character and morals don’t change over the course of the story, but rather define his responses in an ever-changing world. As such, different aspects of Steve are revealed in each movie with him only having minimal internal change.

Most of Osiris leans very heavily on the side of a Steve Rogers story. From within Halo 5 itself we know these things about the characters:

Jameson Locke is a professional. He’s noble and respectful, preferring to use words over force, but will stand his ground when pushed.

Olympia Vale is a new soldier. She’s naïve when it comes to the grey areas of ONI, but in her element in the alien world of Sanghelios, both in its history and it’s fierce, warlike culture.

Edward Buck is the old soldier. He’s humorous, charismatic, and loyal, and not above poking fun at himself or the others to keep the mood light.

As for Holly Tanaka, the discussion becomes a little more complex. If Osiris is the heart of Halo 5, then Tanaka is the heart of Osiris.


Tanaka Arc

Locke, Vale, and Buck don’t really grow as individuals over the course of the game. They do, however, grow as a team. It’s not the personalities that are altered over the events, but the relationship between them. They’re far more familiar with each other on Sanghelios than on Meridian or Kamchatka. And it all happens because of Holly Tanaka and her personal arc.

Most of the ambient and scripted dialogue between Fireteam Osiris on Kamchatka is related almost exclusively to the mission: questions about Halsey, Jul, and the Covenant. Their interactions are closed off, but not antagonistic. Friendly, but not open. Professional.

By the end of the game, however, that has all changed. There’s a vulnerability between all four. They begin sharing their doubts about their chances of success. These discussions are not safe curiosities like wondering how Halsey lost her arm. Instead, they’re leaning on each other for emotional support. Will this plan work? Can we get there in time to help the Arbiter? Can we trust the Master Chief to do the right thing? And Tanaka, seeing as this mission could be our last, would you mind saying a few words?

The scene that stands out to me is the beginning of the battle of Sunaion where Locke calls Osiris to form up as they’re about to drop and Buck asks to take a moment and asks Holly to say a few words. Notice how she can’t stop smiling at this, and she shares in the joke about Buck buying them all the first round of drinks when their mission is over. (Haruspis)

The two scenes of Tanaka and “a few words” are an indication of how far the team as a whole has come, but they’re also an indication that this newfound vulnerability is because of Tanaka.

Tanaka’s character card that comes with the Halo 5‘s limited edition establishes her personality at the beginning of the game:

Quiet, self-reliant, and unfazeable, Holly Tanaka has no close friends, and rarely fraternises with her fellow Spartans. She is a founding member of Fireteam Osiris together with Jameson Locke, though even he does not know her well. This reticence to connect with others is a result of her traumatic experience as a survivor of Minab’s glassing in 2550 (with thanks to Haruspis for the transcript).

However, despite her reluctance, it’s Tanaka that begins toeing the line between a strictly professional relationship and the family dynamic Osiris has at the game’s end. In the first level, she has a tentative start. “Anyone want to say a few words?” and “How’d you learn to speak Sangheili, Vale?” are the first displays of vulnerability from anyone on the team. Questions are a safe place to try to develop relationships – it keeps you from feeling like you’re being too vulnerable by spilling your thoughts and shows the other person that you find them worth your time.

On Kamchatka, it feels like Tanaka is cautiously inching her door open to try to connect with Osiris on a personal level. Meridian throws all such caution into the wind as the sight reminds her of Minab, triggering the knee-jerk vocalizations of home.

The thing that really stuck out to me about Tanaka’s ambient dialogue on Meridian was that for the most part, any time she talked about her past, it was in a sort of desperate way. It occasionally comes out of nowhere, without prompting from the others on Osiris and sometimes is left hanging in the air without a response. These sudden outpourings from Tanaka actually remind me of when I was a kid, trying to make new friends with past hurts still hanging over me. Out of nowhere I ended up blurting what had hurt me and how, and those words were left hanging. It was a sort of desperate response, similar to an analysis of Serin Osman in Kilo-Five:

And I just feel like she spends a lot of the trilogy essentially saying “I happened.  My life happened.  Oh God someone has to believe me.” (Dendritic-Trees)

This is especially important because the last glassed planet we saw Tanaka land on (in Escalation) was to find survivors that no one else believe existed. As a result, the soldiers sent down with her gave her a certain share of mocking disdain. Tanaka has grown and served with a great deal of her life dismissed – because no one could survive on a glassed planet.

While the first bit we hear from Tanaka about Minab is left hanging by the others, we soon hear Locke and others engaging with her in discussions related to her experience – “What kind of welcome can we expect here?” – and taking her advice on movements and diplomacy. Without a direct vocalization, Osiris’ actions said, “You happened. Your life happened. We believe you.”

As the mission on and after Meridian continue, this makes all the difference. She begins to smile, joins the banter of the team, chips in on discussions, and even makes friends with a pair of Sangheili if you have her talk to the soldiers working on a Banshee. Her reticence is gone and her walls are down in the face of her new found family.

In addition to her own arc, Tanaka also brings the others along with her on the way. In asking if anybody would like to say a few words, she’s offering Osiris a chance to be vulnerable with her. Buck, though not unkindly, bats away the offer with a joke. Later, Buck approaches her to reciprocate. Tanaka’s the first to ask about Vale’s history with the Sangheili. Also, Tanaka frequently responds to Vale’s questions and observations not with jokes like Buck, but with the intent to satisfy the younger Spartan’s curiosity. Tanaka’s also the first to broach the Dare topic with the former ODST.

On Sanghelios there is an easily-found piece of ambient dialogue in the level “Alliance” in which Vale asks Buck about when he last got to see Veronica Dare. It’s a nice glimpse to see the members of Osiris take an interest in each other’s lives, but it’s a moment made possible because of Tanaka. A little bit more difficult to find as the window in which it appears is small and usually passed over for the excitement of a tank, this dialogue is on Meridian:

Tanaka: Buck, heard you’re in a relationship with someone else in the service.
Buck: That’s true.
Tanaka: How do you do it? Can’t possibly see much of each other, bein’ on mission all the time.
Buck: It’s hard, but we make it work. Why do you ask, Tanaka? You got your eye on someone?
Tanaka: No! Just was wonderin’ that’s all.

Tanaka not only becomes increasingly vulnerable with the team, but she’s constantly opening doors for the others to do so as well. As a result, Tanaka’s growth towards an open, trusting relationship with her team makes the team’s growth towards a family unit possible. Both growths are subtle, but no less heartwarming for it.


Tanaka and Locke Head Boop

Halo 5 unfortunately does not utilize Holly Tanaka to her full extent. A lot of her character development and the beats of her character arc are found in ambient dialogue that the player must seek out. Overall, I am a fan of the ambient dialogue – it has been the primary reason for many of my replays – but seeing how core Tanaka’s arc is to the framework of the story, it would have been nice to have more scripted moments for her. For example, it would have really hammered home her role in the team’s growth if she had taken the place of Vale to help Locke to his feet at the game’s end. Additionally, she is the only member of Osiris to not have a one-on-one scene with Locke. A short one before the first Meridian level would have been ideal, with her preparing to get up close and personal with a planet so much like home. We had a brief glimpse of such a scene in one of the trailers leading up to the game’s release.

I would have given my left kidney for that small head-touch between Locke and Tanaka to be in-game. Nevertheless, despite all I would have loved it to be, Tanaka’s arc and the arc of Osiris as a whole is still well-written. It’s the framework that holds the game together. Because in the middle of all this destruction and chaos, as promised by Reed, there is indeed a quiet little human story. At the heart of it all is a family. And that makes Halo 5 worth playing.

DilDev has a WORDPRESS and a HALO-FOCUSED TUMBLR. She also is on PATREON for Halo and other video-game analyses. She also, appropriately, listened to “Light Is Green” from Halo 5’s OST on repeat when writing this piece.

Posted by Dildev in Blogs, Halo Meta, 0 comments
Sarah Palmer: Strong Female Character (TM)

Sarah Palmer: Strong Female Character (TM)

Sarah Palmer is a lot of things – loyal, hypocritical, problematic – and whether intentional or not, Sarah Palmer is also a deconstruction. Sarah Palmer embodies much of the Strong Female Character™ stereotype seen in a great deal of media, but at the same time, her story ends up avoiding many of the clichés such characters fall into.

The Strong Female Character™ (or SFC for short) is easily identifiable when she arrives on screen or on page. She takes no lip from the male character, usually out-performs him in some task or another, which may or may not include physically assaulting him, and tends to use feminine-gendered language in order to emasculate him. It is the writer’s way to tell us “Don’t worry, we don’t deal with weak women here. We have a Strong Female CharacterTM! Ehs beats up men and doesn’t afraid of anything.” Essentially, what the writers are doing is having the SFC give a display of dominance in a very masculine fashion.

Take for example the introduction we get to Dutch and Dillon at the beginning of Predator. They greet each other with wide smiles, clasp hands, and then struggle in a bout of arm wrestling. By the end of the encounter, we know that Dutch is the superior individual because he is the stronger of the two men.

While Predator does a great deal in terms of masculinity that I appreciate, its opening displays a rather unhealthy view that a lot of media has perpetuated. It presents the idea that masculinity is inherently competitive, and to succeed as a man you must be the dominant individual in a relationship. I believe that the SFC stereotype has been born out of this viewpoint.

“Strong” has been long associated with “dominant” in the stories we’ve consumed. In Joseph Campbell’s Classical Monomyth – the Hero’s Journey, the hero has to conquer the “Mother” and occasionally the “Father” individual in order to reach their true potential. Campbell directly puts the feminine heroine Journey in contrast, saying that it is the Journey of the man to conquer and the Journey of the women to be conquered (The Hero With A Thousand Faces, “Meeting with the Goddess,” pp 99). So what the SFC archetype does is remove the female character from the unhealthy feminine role in the story and place her within the unhealthy masculine competition for dominance.

Palmer takes DeMarco down a peg

This removal from the unhealthy feminine role often means leaving behind healthy feminine traits as well. Maureen Murdock, author of The Heroine’s Journey, calls this act as both the Separation from the Feminine and the Identification with the Masculine. Through the culture, we are told that traits as nurturing and emotional responses are not as valuable as traditionally masculine traits. Therefore, for a female character to be Strong™, they must display traditional and very often unhealthy masculine traits.

For the sake of clarity, unhealthy/toxic masculinity will be referred to as the “dominance hierarchy” throughout the rest of this piece. Traditional (and healthy) masculinity and traditionally masculine traits will be referred to as simply masculinity and masculine. Similarly with traditional (and healthy) femininity/feminine traits.

This is where the SFC display of dominance comes from. This is why Peggy Carter gets to punch out a man in her introduction in Captain America: The First Avenger. This is why Jessica, in The Man from Snowy River gets to round on Jim, snapping, “If I wanted your help, mate, I would have asked for it.” This is why Astrid gets to be dismissive of Hiccup at the beginning of How to Train Your Dragan. She is Strong™ because she is at or near the top of the dominance hierarchy.

This is why Sarah Palmer gets to immediately take DeMarco down a few pegs in the first episode of Spartan Ops, and then continually throughout the series. This display of dominance is where Palmer falls most strongly into the SFC stereotype. Palmer passes snarky comments at Captain Lasky, calls her troops “ladies… and other Spartans,” gets outright vicious when competition arrives in the form of Dr. Catherine Halsey, and generally throws her weight about.

Palmer looms over Halsey

There are two common ways that Strong Female Characters get to end their arcs, if they are given one in the first place. The first way is to become an affirmation of the male lead’s place in the dominance hierarchy. Remember that the SFC is at or near the top of this hierarchy, so for her to be beaten in competition by the male lead, submit to his leadership, or require rescuing from him, he is shown to now be the dominant individual in the story. He has now succeeded as a man.

This arc, or lack thereof, for SFCs has been coined as the “Trinity Syndrome” by Tasha Robinson (Dissolve). In her article, Robinson identifies Valka from How to Train Your Dragon 2 and of course the syndrome’s namesake – Trinity from The Matrix. Wyldstyle from The Lego Movie’s arc in particular is a succinct example of the Syndrome’s ties to the dominance hierarchy:

“Her only post-introduction story purpose is to be rescued, repeatedly, and to eventually confer the cool-girl approval that seals Emmet’s transformation from loser to winner. After a terrific story and a powerful ending, the movie undermines its triumph with a tag where WyldStyle actually turns to her current boyfriend for permission to dump him so she can give herself to Emmet as a reward for his success. For the ordinary dude to be triumphant, the Strong Female Character has to entirely disappear into Subservient Trophy Character mode.”

Sometimes this fall in the dominance hierarchy comes as a punishment for the SFC to dare step into a masculine world. After all, men are conquerors and women are the conquered. This is often why assertive women are often villainized in stories. She is either the direct antagonist, as opposed to the demure love interest, or she is a gendered dog-related slur. So her fall is just as much a comeuppance for her as it is a victory for the male lead. See certain interpretations of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew for one of the more famous examples.

Here is where Sarah Palmer begins to deconstruct the SFC stereotype. Palmer never loses her place in the dominance hierarchy. Never is she required to step down to affirm a male character or to take a fall as punishment for being masculine. In fact, it’s usually the men around Palmer who end up, not as a punishment but simply as a part of the plot, needing rescue.

Palmer saves Arbiter

Admiral Hood is taken hostage in a situation resolved by Palmer. ONI uses the capture of Gabriel Thorne to get Palmer and the Infinity to target a Kig-Yar outpost. The deaths of fellow Spartans, DeMarco (x) and Davis in particular, are used to forward her development as their commander. Even in her and Lasky’s disagreement over what to do with Halsey in Spartan Ops, Lasky successfully preventing the doctor’s death is never portrayed as an undercutting of Palmer’s authority. Their disagreement is one between equals. Palmer is never made less so that a male character can be more.

The other way that the SFC arc tends to end is for them to embrace their femininity and forgo any further masculine traits. When the narrative supports the dominance hierarchy, this ending falls under the Trinity Syndrome – again, see Taming of the Shrew – as in such stories, femininity is inherently submissive. However, not all stories have the hierarchy and in such cases, embracing femininity is a victory for the woman herself.

As a child, Éowyn’s arc bothered me. That she would give up war and glory for the sake of marriage, especially after having taken down the Witch-King himself! What victory was this to be marred by a romance? Nowadays, I have a very different opinion of the shieldmaiden’s story.

In Rohan, beneath the thumb of Saruman, the worldview of the dominance hierarchy was in play. I don’t speak of the actual governing system in place here, but again the concept that others must be lower for an individual to be successful. When her uncle was under the sway of Wormtongue, the nurturing aspects of femininity had become a cage to Éowyn. She was seen only as the niece of a failing king and a prize to be won by the loathsome advisor. The only escape available to her was that of death in battle and renown. The only escape was masculinity. However, while Éowyn’s personal narrative fits this conclusion, Tolkien’s overall worldbuilding does not.

Hamilton Eowyn

Tolkien’s stories are very male-heavy in terms of characters, but his narratives value the feminine traits to the same degree as the masculine traits. Healing, gentleness, kindness, empathy – all these traits are seen as a positives, as strengths in the male heroes of Tolkien. The Gondorian saying, “The hands of the king are hands of a healer,” places Aragorn in a distinctly nurturing role in his kingdom. Bilbo’s “kindly little soul” is what makes him, in the end, more heroic than Thorin (The Hobbit, “The Return Journey” pp 290).  And at the end of the Ring’s tale, for all the wars fought and battles won, it’s the compassion of Bilbo and of Frodo for Gollum that saves Middle-Earth.

Therefore, Éowyn’s declaration in the Houses of Healing –

“I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.” (Return of the King, “The Steward and the King,” pp 262)

– is just as much a victory cry as her challenge to the Witch King of Agmar:

“But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone if you not be deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.” (Return of the King, “The Battle of the Pelennor Fields,” pp 114)

Because of Tolkien’s worldbuilding and narrative, this is not Éowyn becoming “less,” but rather a realization of her value without the oppression of the dominance hierarchy. Femininity is a victory for Éowyn because Tolkien values femininity. And so does Halo.

Due to the variety of writers within the Halo Universe, this expression of value for femininity is a little less consistent, but it does exist. Halo 4 is the most evident example of this. Palmer stands out among the softness of Cortana and their male costars: Lasky, Thorne, Master Chief, and even the Ur-Didact in the Terminals. These five lead characters demonstrate gentle and nurturing characteristics alongside their assertive qualities. The lack of these feminine values in the (present-day) Didact and in Del Rio add to their antagonistic roles in the story.

In such a surrounding cast, it would be a victory for Palmer to become a more feminine individual. To reflect the nurturing traits exhibited by the male characters around her. Yet that is still not her arc. Rather those around her seem to push her towards a healthier version of masculinity.

Sarah Palmer doesn’t just sit near the top of the dominance hierarchy, she embraces it. This is why she has a dislike of intellectuals and part of why she despises Dr. Halsey so fiercely. Halsey isn’t just a threat to Palmer’s worldview, as discussed last year (Halo Archive – DilDev), but she’s also a threat to Palmer’s place in the hierarchy (Halo Archive – Mendicant Bias). Palmer doesn’t like people being smarter than her, and therefore takes the chances she gets to tear them down. She has difficulty accepting and learning from those who are better than her at something.

Palmer Doctor Quote

In episode 111 of Stuff You Like, Sursum Ursa (Jill Bearup) discusses the portrayal of masculinity in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. She notes that the dominance hierarchy (she uses the more common phrase “toxic masculinity”) makes it impossible to have friends, because it’s always a competition. Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson however display healthy masculinity in the fact that they are there to support, not compete, with one another (SYL). This is what Palmer needs to learn, and this is what those around her, specifically the men around her are demonstrating.

Musa-096, the Spartan-II who began the Spartan-IV program, is the most vocal about removing the dominance hierarchy from Palmer’s life. In New Blood he insists that there’s no real ranks among Spartans, aside from the need for fireteam leaders and a commander overall for Infinity. There’s no pecking order – they are all Spartans. In Initiation, Musa lectures Palmer in particular about this:

“You stand side by side with your Spartan brothers and sisters. You march into battle together — you do not charge ahead. You do not grab glory for yourself.” (Initiation, Issue 2)

Musa’s following line – “You are naturally superior. We made you better. You are Spartans now. Start acting like it.” – seems to muddle this a bit, appearing to slide back into the dominance hierarchy. However, Initiation’s author Brian Reed has claimed this to be Musa’s “with great power comes great responsibility” speech (Escalation Library Edition, pp 41). This is more a statement of “you now have greater physical prowess, use it wisely.” After all, how often did Peter Parker have to give up a chance for a place in his school’s hierarchy because getting into a fight would be dangerous to the other students?

The Amazing Spider-Man #4

It’s similar to another point Bearup makes about Steve Rogers:

“What happens when he becomes Captain America? Does he A) go back to that cinema and beat up that bully in a display of badassery and martial arts and leaves him crying for his mommy? Or B) does he go take on bigger bullies because some things are more important?”

In such cases, it’s a defiance of the dominance hierarchy, an argument that physical prowess is not to be used to secure your place in it.

In contrast to Musa’s verbal reprimand, Lasky never directly tells Palmer to cool it with the dominance hierarchy. Instead it’s her friendship with him that has the greatest effect. As Bearup pointed out in her The Winter Soldier episode, the hierarchy has no place for sharing vulnerabilities with others, and as Brian Reed has noted, Lasky is one of the last people we’d expect Palmer to share vulnerabilities with:

“Lasky, winning the day with brains instead of bullets. Back to what I was saying about Palmer on page 28 [She has an attitude towards people she perceives as smarter than her that I don’t understand (and actually dislike)] – given her way of seeing the world, her friendship with Lasky is really interesting. On paper, these two should dislike one another, yet they both obviously respect one another so completely. That’s nice.” (Escalation Library Edition, pp 69, 28)

And yet, that vulnerability is what we see develop between Palmer and Lasky. This level of intimacy is first offered by Lasky in Spartan Ops when we hear him voicing his doubts to Palmer about the hit called on Halsey. It’s reciprocated in-part by Palmer as she reveals her true motives for going after Halsey – “I won’t see you court-martialed over that woman” – and she slowly allows herself to arrive at that same level of openness. In issue 3 of Escalation, she snaps at Lasky in a display of grief.

palmer lasky mad

In issue 6, she apologizes for holding Lasky responsible for DeMarco’s death. In issue 16, she fully admits to Lasky that she too is feeling conflicted over the situation surrounding Dr. Halsey, confessing in a display of vulnerability that she doesn’t understand why she took the actions that she did. By all rights, Lasky’s intellect should be a threat to Palmer and her position in the dominance hierarchy, but it never comes into play in their friendship. Even when Lasky sends Majestic to rescue Halsey and stop Palmer, she doesn’t take it as a challenge but rather as a betrayal of trust. Musa’s lectures set the stage, but it’s her friendship with Lasky that draws her out of the hierarchy into a healthier version of masculinity.

Despite this, it’s also clear that Palmer’s arc has a bit of a way to go. After all, her arc with Halsey as a rival concluded in Escalation by appealing to Palmer’s insecurity in the dominance hierarchy. When Lasky asks why she’s far less frustrated about the doctor escaping yet again, Palmer replies:

“She had us, Tom. And she overplayed her hand. Let’s just say it was nice to see someone else pull that move.” (Issue 24)

Nevertheless, no matter how far Palmer has to go, it’s clear that she is moving out of the dominance hierarchy. And she’s doing so on her own terms.

Sarah Palmer’s personality fully embraces the dominance hierarchy into which most Strong Female Characters™ are placed, but unlike many of her peers in media, she is allowed to thrive in it. None of the male characters are threatened by her position there. Rather, her gradual movement out of the hierarchy is for her own good and is part of her own arc, separate from any male character’s development. Sarah Palmer falls into the most stereotypical Strong Female Character™ clichés, but she still stands out among most others as she is the stereotype done well.

DilDev has a WordPress and a Halo-focused Tumblr. She also is on Patreon for Halo and other video-game analyses.

Posted by Dildev in Blogs, Halo Meta, 1 comment
Halo Sheet Music:  Scores of Halo – Halo CE Version 2

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo CE Version 2

Halo Sheet Music:  Scores of Halo – Halo CE Version 2

For the main Scores of Halo post on the Halo Combat Evolved Sheet Music. Please go Here

– This “Stuff” Is Your History. It Should Remind You Grunts Of What We’re Fightin’ To Protect!

Halo Combate Evolved Soundtrack


After years of transcribing and arranging, and the completion of the Halo: Reach Sheet Music. We reached (no pun intended) The end of the Bungie era of soundtracks. Yet the first Halo Soundtrack 343 Industries release was Halo: Legends. Which was filled with themes by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori reimagined.

So the next update to the Halo Sheet Music Collection you will see will be Halo Legends. Which will complete the Marty and Mike era. Which perhaps is maybe even more important.

You will find more on the history of this soundtrack Here

So imagine this as the last steps before the new and greater journey.

A Little Nostalgic Talk:

While we were looking back with fondness on the Soundtracks and the Sheet Music. We noticed something we weren’t really happy with. All tough, granted, it was the first and we learned the most of the soundtrack to Combat Evolved. The “old” version ( Which WAS available to you), did not live up to the standard we want to deliver to you all.

SO, we redid it all…… Mostly Graphically while some pieces required an overhaul. We remade it in our current style. We wanted to leave the Marty and Mike era behind us with dignity and be able to look back without saying “I wish we fixed this and that”

Adding a new track to make it up, here is the remake for Halo: Combat Evolved.

Halo Combat Evolved in The Sheet Music Collection:

01 – Opening Suite
02 – Truth and Reconciliation
03 – Brothers in Arms
04 – Enough Dead Heroes
05 – Perilous Journey
06 – A Walk in the Woods
07 – Under Cover of Night
08 – Covenant Dance
09 – The Maw
10 – On A Pale Horse
11 – Dust and Echoes
12 – Halo
13 – Halo ( Siege of Madrigal )
14 – Halo Love Theme Sketch ( Unreleased )

Halo Sheet Music:  Scores of Halo – Short But Sweet


The series of Scores of Halo continues !

The series of blog posts was originally intended for the work that was already finished, looking back on previous soundtracks. But the reception has been so well we are going to keep this style on the blog here on The Halo Archive.

The next post of Halo Sheet Music:  Scores of Halo will focus on Halo: Legends.

As always, You can find all sheet music here!


Until next time!

– HurryingCandy

@HurryingCandy on Twitter

HurryingCandy on The Halo Archive Forums

Posted by HurryingCandy in Blogs, Community Creations, Sheet Music, 0 comments
Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo: Reach

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo: Reach

Halo Sheet Music: Scores of Halo – Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack Sheet Music

Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack

Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack Cover

Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack Cover

Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack released on the 28th of September in 2010. With another new game and another new protagonist Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori made another entirely new sound for Halo.

With Reach being more somber, and knowing from the get-go you are fighting a losing battle, the Soundtrack was more dark and sometimes more solemn the previous Soundtrack.

Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori called in C. Paul Johnson and Stan LePard to help once again. The work for the ODST soundtrack was still in progress when O’Donnell started writing for Reach.

Halo: Reach was the final Bungie made Halo game. And with that we also lost O’Donnell as the main composer for Halo. Halo: Reach was his last Halo Soundtrack and left some big shoes to fill for 343. While it purely comes down to personal preference if you’d ask Halo fans. In my opinion, Neil Davidge picked up the fallen line and handed it to Kazuma Jinnouchi. And 343 is handling the music beautifully and are giving it much attention. It shows in the quality of the recording, the way they release it and the attention for even trailer and side games.

Still I personally hope O’Donnell, Jinnouchi and Tom Salta will get to work together someday, if only once.


We Will Remember:

Halo: Reach Menu Art

Halo: Reach Menu Art

With Reach we where sad to know it was our final Bungie soundtrack. While it also gave us a sense of pride knowing how far we had come. With Reach we finished out 100th track. Appropriately it was the track “Say The Words”, one of the few tracks brought in from previous Halo soundtracks. While also being unofficially Cortana’s theme.

With Reach having so many grand themes it wasn’t all that easy sometimes to arrange them for piano. With the track “Tip Of The Spear. Unreconciled” being the prime example of grand and majestic here.

The variation from Piano to Strings to Horns to eventually a grand orchestra made it a very diverse Soundtrack which is always fun because of the different styles you can use.

From the harp in “The Battle Begins” to the raw hammering of notes in “Lone Wolf”.  And of course Ashes and Ghosts and Glass being the beautiful piano pieces.

While it’s mostly new music it’s fun to recognize O”Donnell’s style even here. With the strings in “Wing and a Prayer”  resembling Halo 2.

Halo being the reason behind many things for lots of people. This last set of Sheet Music of O’Donnell is a special set for us and we hope you enjoy it!

Halo: Reach in The Sheet Music Collection:

Disc, 1

01 – Overture. From the Beginning & Swift, Strong, Brave
02 – Winter Contingency. The Battle Begins
03 – Winter Contingency. Lone Wolf
04 – Winter Contingency. Bait and Switch
05 – ONI: Sword Base. Latchkey
06 – Tip Of The Spear. Unreconciled
07 – Long Night Of Solace. Kat’s Plan
08 – Long Night Of Solace. Make it Count
09 – Exodus. Before the Fire

Disc, 2

01 – New Alexandria. Wind and a Prayer
02 – New Alexandria. Reflection
03 – The Package. Time to Dance
04 – The Package. Say the Words
05 – The Pillar Of Autumn. Shipbreaker
06 – Epilogue. Spartans Never Die
07 – Epilogue. Hymn for Reach
08 – Ashes
09 – Ghosts and Glass

With this set of tracks we come to the end of Bungie’s time. We hope this resembles a good summary of the more memorable and recognizable tracks from the game.

Starting with Overture and the Winter Contingency suite’s  for the opening and first time with Noble Team. Then “ONI: Sword Base. Latchkey”, “Tip of The Spear”, “Long Night of Solace” and “Exodus. Before The Fire” as we move along in the campaign and story.

And the more solemn music of New Alexandria, The Package and The Pillar of Autumn. Many tracks are arrangements of fairly big pieces made for piano. Still using the “Zip Style” for the creative and non-solo artists.

Closing with the 2 piano pieces “Ashes” and “Ghosts and Glass” and of course “Hymn for Reach” that plays during the very end, during Halsey’s speech.

Halo: Reach Concept Art

Halo: Reach Concept Art


Halo Sheet Music: Behind the Scenes – Please Say You Have It:

With Reach we say goodbye to Bungie and O’Donnell and Salvatori. But I’m very curious as to where the new soundtracks will lead us. If we will will have more great new themes in the future like Blue Team, Arrival and Legacy (Spartan Assault).

We have already seen something completely new with Tom Salta’s soundtrack for the animated Fall of Reach. An official Halo pop song “Take This Life”.  We have seen the old reappear in “The Trials and “Halo Canticles” in Halo 5: Guardians.  And we have new vibes and idea with “Requiem” and “To Galaxy”

All my experience with the piano and arranging is because of Halo and because of O’Donnell and his partners. I wonder what the new music will inspire and what we will learn from it. I can’t wait to share Halo: Legends and I’m more then exited to start on Halo 4.

You can find the Halo Sheet Music Collection here on The Halo Archive forums. Along with all the Soundtrack done, all new stuff will be added here too.  There will be a blog posts with each update. So keep an eye on The Halo Archive’s blog !



The Scores of Halo Series: The End

This is part 6 of a series of blog posts that will focus on the Sheet Music that was finished before the project got featured on the Halo Archive. Featuring Halo: Combat Evolved, 2, 3, Wars, 3 ODST and Reach

This is the last post in this blog series. I hope you enjoyed reading them and have some new little Halo knowledge stuck in your brain.

We will be back with the Halo Sheet Music Update 3 in the future.

Thanks for reading!

Thanks to the Halo Archive and it’s members for their support !

Special thanks to my piano teacher.

Until next time with our main posts, Update 3 !

– HurryingCandy



Posted by HurryingCandy in Blogs, Community Creations, Sheet Music, 0 comments