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32 Game Endings of Christmas
Halo 2: Let's Not Finish the Fight
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 20, 2011   |   Episode 27 (Show Archive)  


Welcome to the 32 Game Endings of Christmas, our daily look at some of the most memorable finales of all time. Every day between Thanksgiving Day (November 24th) and Christmas Day (December 25th) you will see a new installment, complete with information about the ending and why it's memorable in the first place. Best of all, you'll be able to see the video for yourself! Needless to say, beware of some very old spoilers below!
Halo 2: Let's Not Finish the Fight
[ Company: Bungie | Year: 2004 | Grade: F ]

Halo 2 (Xbox)
It's the 27th day in our month-long look at the 32 Game Endings of Christmas. With less than a week to go, we're finally digging into some of the best endings of all time. Sadly, this Halo 2 ending is one of the worst. If you ever want to hear a nerd cry about being unfulfilled, get them started on the many, MANY problems associated with Halo 2's narrative. Find out what I'm talking about when you read today's episode of the 32 Game Endings of Christmas.

Previously On Halo 2: After defeating the original Halo and getting shiny new armor, Master Chief is back to, well, do it all again. This adventure takes place shortly after the first game. Everybody seems happy and for once things appear to be peaceful. But don't look now, because a Covenant ship just showed up to destroy the festive mood. Yet again our hero is asked to go kill a bunch of aliens, all while Miranda Keyes looks for the key to stopping this alien scourge once and for all. This involves a whole lot of fighting through open fields, alien ships and other outer space-y locales.

In a twist once reserved for Metal Gear Solid games, it turns out that you play as more than one character in Halo 2. Instead of simply taking the role of Master Chief, players are able to see the fight form the enemy's point of view. For much of the game you take control of a disgraced Covenant soldier (referred to as The Arbiter) who teams up with the Human race once he learns about the plan to extinguish all life in the solar system. The two heroes fight to stop the Covenant from pushing their religious zealotry on everybody else. Oh, and Master Chief fights a giant talking plant at one point. But let's forget that ever happened.

How It Ended: The tension has been building and the stakes could not get any higher. The Arbiter has fought his way and it looks like he's going to save the day. But at the last minute the

If you love Master Chief, then you're going to love half of Halo 2!
ring is activated and everybody is forced to scramble and stop it. Thankfully Miranda Keyes is able to snag the key in time and save all of Humanity. Unfortunately, it turns out that the system had a fail-safe protocol, which automatically triggers seven new Halo rings that can be activated remotely. Things just went from bad to worse.

Elsewhere in the solar system, Master Chief stands waiting to jump into action. He's informed of the new rings and knows what he has to do. His plan? To finish the fight! Sadly, our hero

Am I the only one hoping Halo 4 is really a sequel to Halo Wars?
isn't going to do that fighting in this game. Instead of getting the closure we were all hoping for, Halo 2 ends with the biggest cliffhanger in video game history. This unsatisfying ending is only made worse when you realize that it took Bungie another three years to bring us Halo 3.

How It Should Have Ended: Trilogies work when everybody knows it's a trilogy. Everybody going into The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers knew up-front that this was the middle chapter. Nobody came out disappointed that we didn't get much resolution. All we had to do was wait another year to see how the story concluded. But that's not what Bungie did. Instead they decided to announce the Halo trilogy (which, it turns out, isn't a trilogy at all) during the ending of Halo 2. It's the video game equivalent of blue balls. So how would I change the ending? I would actually end Halo 2 with some closure, even if it sets up the fight in Halo 3. This is the moment everybody should have realized Bungie is no good at telling a narrative.


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