Hello and welcome to the Spartan Ops After Show, where we talk about Spartan Ops after the show is over! It has been six weeks since the Spartan Ops mid-season cliffhanger. Episode 6 is out now; it’s called Scattered, and it’s pretty amazing. We’re here with the main cast of Halo: Infinity. Today, the actors who play Crimson team are going to be sharing their thoughts about this week’s episode. If you haven’t seen it for yourself yet, there might be spoilers!
Note: Since this is the internet, we’re going to spell this out very clearly. We’re not talking to actual actors, or even anyone from 343 Industries. These characters are just literary devices to convey my thoughts on the Episode in what I hope is an entertaining way. The personalities you’ll be reading are all fictitious.
So Crimson, what did you all think about the opening cinematic?
Sam: Jul ‘Mdama is hiding at Sniper Alley? Why aren’t we going in there and kicking [butt]?
Emily: Because our characters don’t know where he is yet. If anyone had known that he’s looking for the Librarian, we could have taken him down in the third episode. Lasky, Palmer, or Roland would surely remember where the Master Chief was when he found the Librarian.
Sam: It certainly explains why the Covenant would keep that area well defended, too.
What do you think about Halsey’s quip that the UNSC are children in a sandbox?
Sam: In a lot of ways, it mirrors how these episodes go down. We show up at a location, we’re given a basic idea of what to do, and the director sends extras at us. We pretty much improvise and use what’s available to us.
Reginald: I think it sums up the rest of the season rather well. No more playing with dudes out in the middle of nowhere. Everything is going to have a heavier focus on narrative, introducing new ideas each week, and seeing how they pay off.
Emily: Just look at this week. We have five new locations to shoot at this week alone, and our characters are taking the fight to the Covenant. The last time we did that was in the first episode. Everything between this week and then has all been reactionary.
Alright, let’s talk about the first chapter, “Escape Plan.” What can you tell us about this?
Jake: There’s a shot at the start of this chapter where my character breaks loose from the power coupling thing and then takes out the guard in front of him with his bare hands. It’s a really cool shot, but it wasn’t me doing it. It was some kid for a charity thing.1
Emily: I liked this location. There were plasma weapons everywhere, and I even found a crate with Fuel Rod Cannons in that first large area. That made me really happy.
Reginald: There were a few Ghosts driving around, and not a whole lot of cover. Dudes were all over the place, so rushing in and hitting them hard was tricky. Being the short range guy really sucked until the robots2 came in. It was pretty intense, though!
Sam: I liked these scenes better when we were shooting them, because there wasn’t any contact from Infinity until the second half. They added in extra lines from Dalton and Miller in post, which really took away from the idea our characters we were trapped behind enemy lines with only their wits to save them.
Emily: I agree. The mid-season cliffhanger had us surrounded. Having Infinity establish contact with Crimson as soon as they woke up really took the tension out of it.
Sam: I liked the location. It’s called Lockup in the script, and it certainly does convey a feeling of desolation. It gave me the creeps, but then I saw false walls opening up. I have to wonder if the set builders have any more rooms hidden or not, because that could make this one of the more versatile locations we shoot at.
We’ll have to find out later! Let’s move on to the second chapter, “All the Secrets.” I noticed that this is one of the locations that Master Chief’s story was shot for the Requiem scenes. Tell us about that.
Jake: My contract clearly specifies that I do not do shoots at night.
Emily: Commander Palmer, Dalton, Miller, and Roland are all working together to get Crimson through this. I like that. It’s another reason why it would have been nice to delay Infinity reestablishing contact in Escape Plan. Make it clear that the Spartans are a family. A really big family, but a family nonetheless.
Reginald: I didn’t like it when Palmer and Miller would call everything out when I was just a fan of the show. Now that I’m working on the set, it becomes even more annoying. I’d think the audience would know by now that Crimson has to kill dudes before we can move forward.
Sam: Yeah, it’s definitely a return to formula.
Reginald: There were shotguns stashed away near the drop off point, so that was great. I actually got to use the Thruster Pack offensively here, and this set was made for close range fighting. On the third level there were dudes with Concussion Rifles inside the structure, so I had a blast just knocking dudes up with that. I felt like I really got to strut my stuff here.
Sam: My favorite part was when you used it to knock the extras out of the way of my Ghost.
Jake: My favorite part was when you almost hit me with the Ghost when you ramped it off the top.
Sam: Here’s a tip for you: Don’t use your [censored] jetpack when you’re going downhill.
Emily: Uh, hey, so speaking of going downhill, I didn’t like that I couldn’t lock on to the Banshees at the end with my rocket launcher. Phantoms carried them in, but I could not, for the life of me, get a clean shot on them.
Sam: I couldn’t hijack any of the Banshees either. Would have made it easier to deal with all of the Elites.
Right . . .so moving on! Tell us about “Need to Know.” We . . . need to know . . . about your experience here.
Sam: The Warrens location is beautiful. There are arches, caves, pylons, and so many great natural structures here. There are waterfalls, the wind whistles through the caves, and ground water seeps down the cave walls. It’s gorgeous.
Emily: You can hear the ocean lapping against the rocky shoals below, too. That wasn’t added in post. It’s an amazing location. I want every episode to be shot here.
Reginald: There were a bunch of those little dudes sleeping at the start. Made it easy to rush in and take them out quietly.
Emily: I’m sad that I don’t get to use Active Camo this season, because there were several patrolling Elites, too. I think we could have taken everyone out quietly at the start if we had the tools.
Reginald: I found a crate of swords. That was pretty cool.
Jake: Some of the Elites carried one, too.
Reginald: Yeah, but you know how the prop guys are. Leave one lying around for too long and they’ll swoop in and clean it out.
Sam: It makes for a cleaner shot. Did you see the hammer in the cave?
Reginald: Oh yeah. It was like Christmas came early for me.
Sam: I spotted a pair of Banshees parked in the cave. If someone had been willing to use their jetpack for a beneficial purpose for once, I could have been flying one of those around early.
Jake: I’m sorry, I was too busy being shot by a [censored] of Lightrifles.
Sam: The Knights were brought out later.
Jake: Maybe you should bring your own jetpack next time.
Emily: So how about those Prometheans?
Reginald: I like the Scattershot. I think the props were broken this week though, because I couldn’t blast a robot apart with it. It took me three or four shots to drop it at point blank.
Sam: I didn’t care for all of the Knights being more than willing to warp towards us. Talk about overwhelming. My shield can only deflect shots from one direction.
That’s great. So “Search and Destroy.” I actually got to sit on set for this chapter. It was great watching everyone in action.
Jake: You might recognize this “set” from the War Games, where we call it Cyclone. Great place for a Big Team game. So much better to be playing on the field than “acting.”
Sam: It’s natural to take an interest in the things we’re good at.
Reginald: So this set is pretty great for close range shooting. Lot of tight spaces that let you get right up in on dudes before blasting them.
Sam: I found that the Ghost was best here.
Jake: Of course you did. Didn’t you slam into one of those plasma stockpile things?
Sam: Yeah, and that wasn’t a very good idea. It’s not just dialogue, those things really are volatile. The pyrotechnics burned right through my suit.
Emily: Oh, so that’s why you were taken off set.
Sam: Yeah, not fun.
Jake: Good job.
Reginald: I recall you setting off the first stockpile from a turret and being taken off set yourself.
Jake: It was like, 10 meters away. It looked safe. Those suits don’t get cozy when they burn.
Emily: It looked pretty, though. The pyrotechnics, not the suits melting. Unless they caught on fire. Did they catch fire?
Reginald: Did anyone notice the script? When the worm dudes come out, Dalton sends ordinance down.
Emily: Ordinance? Like, a rule? Did they seriously write ‘ordinance’ instead of ‘ordnance?’3
Reginald: Yeah, girl. It’s really funny.
Sam: I liked the part where Palmer tells Crimson that they’re closest to Switchback. Of course we were, because they were in the Pelican flying next to us. And we’re behind enemy lines! Who else is going to be anywhere remotely close?
Speaking of Switchback, that’s the title of the last chapter this week. Tell us about the Harvester. What is it?
Jake: It’s an ancient demigod from beneath the sea.4
Sam: It’s just a Harvester. The writers haven’t told us what it is yet. Audience is just supposed to be introduced to it and wonder what it is for now. They might reveal what it is and what it does later.
Emily: I hate ambiguity. Especially since they’re spoon-feeding us with obvious things like Miller saying we’re in the presence of enemies. It’s a weird juxtaposition.
Reginald: I hate those dog bots. When I’m shooting them with my Assault Rifle, it’s easy. When I get in close for melee, it’s like they disappear.
Sam: Yeah, they like to hide right in front of you, but they’re so small you have to look at your feet to see them.
Reginald: I hate them. Makes me dizzy trying to deal with them, and dealing with them on a hill just makes it worse.
Jake: I actually want to talk about the script here. What happened to Switchback?
Emily: It’s another mystery. We’ll probably find out next week.
Sam: I bet the Prometheans teleported in, grabbed them, and then teleported out. Quick and clean, no traces.
Emily: Yeah, or they used some kind of jammer?
Reginald: Maybe they just left their tags there, and are hoping the eggheads figure out the clues they left?
Jake: I can’t believe I signed a contract to work with you nerds.
That’s all the time we have for now. Stay tuned to find out what household item can give your cat mutant powers. Join us next week to see what Crimson has to say about the filming of Spartan Ops Episode 7, Invasion.
- That moment really happens, but it’s not player controlled. It’s a scripted event. ↩
- Prometheans ↩
- Yes, they did. ↩
- The inside reminds me of Nespirah and L’Ghorok from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. You could go inside those, too. Visually, the Harvester looks like a giant, augmented Flood bug. I do hope 343i explains what it is, because all we know is that it’s called a Harvester and is apparently used to go digging. ↩