Halo 3 Announcement Trailer Screencaptures


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As the dust blows away, the buried structure is revealed; an illuminated circumference punctuated by toothlike metal protuberances.


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This shot's got everything; Banshees roaring by, frightened birds flying away, Covenant capital ships, a swirling vortex and lightning striking the surface of the artifact.


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From the second sequence of distorted Cortana images, as she voices "I am your shield, I am your sword."


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A clearly recognizable Cortana amongst the first sequence of distorted images.


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In the distance, a figure walking towards the camera becomes visible.


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The image of an arid African plain comes into view. Dust blows from left to right, and a public works sign with a picture of a grunt on it, very likely the "easter egg" referred to by Frankie in Bungie's FAQ, twists in the wind.


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This Banshee roars over the head of the Master Chief in the Halo 3 Announcement Trailer, flying towards the mysterious buried artifact in the distance. But who is flying it? The cavity the pilot would normally appear in seems to be empty.

A delibrate omission by Bungie, to avoid revealing the species of Covenant currently invading? Or just a clever strategy to minimize the amount of artistic effort needed to create the trailer, thus ensuring the least impact on real development work?


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Chris Sohl, who captured this image from Bungie's Halo 3 announcement trailer, had this to say about it:

Who is this dude?!?! His faces are less than a second apart in the trailer.

The first face doesn't have a lot of definition at all, so while I wouldn't bet the house that it isn't Cortana, I wouldn't argue strongly against someone who felt that it wasn't, either.

The second is so distorted that it's difficult to say much at all, except that it looks menacing. Sort of like a slee-stack from Land of the Lost.

As for what's going on in the trailer with Cortana, I think there are two possibilities:

Cortana mentions during Halo 2 gameplay a "presence" in the Covenant system that is resisting her, that she thinks is unusually strong for a Covenant AI. Perhaps it is a Covenant AI, or a Forerunner AI, or something else. This face might represent that entity, whatever its identity is.

We know that Cortana is being held captive by Gravemind. But we still don't know much about who or what Gravemind is beyond the "Flood hive brain" description. We don't know what his genesis is.

If, as some believe, the process of the formation of a Gravemind-like entity is what we were seeing in the Keyes blob, it's possible that perhaps in the distant past, Gravemind was also a humanoid. Perhaps it is that face we are seeing here; the initial or primal identity subsumed by the Flood into the body that eventually became Gravemind.

Some of the more conspiratorial theorists may still hold to the notion that Gravemind himself is the Keyes blob, somehow escaped from the destruction of Installation 04 and transported to Delta Halo. As unlikely as that is, this would make the face perhaps Captain Keyes. I don't particularly see any resemblance, but again, the image does lack definition.

Chris Sohl, who captured this image from Bungie's Halo 3 announcement trailer, had this to say about it:

The ghostly "ancient artifact" shows up one additional time, again in a single frame.

Chris Sohl, who captured this image from Bungie's Halo 3 announcement trailer, had this to say about it:

I'm a photo restoration artist, and I decided to extract the clearest picture of Cortana and clean it up from the weird lighting effects. Here's the result. This is the first and best look we have at Cortana in Halo 3, and she's lookin pretty cute... for an AI... *This is not technically a true screen capture; it's about 15% rendition and substitution.

The weather is stormy over the mysterious buried artifact, as lightning strikes in the distance and a mysterious funnel cloud swirls directly overhead. Some have speculated this is the result of Covenant technology at work that uncovered the artifact.


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The sun glints off his armor as the Master Chief strikes a pose. He thinks this is his best side.

Anyone who thought that after Halo 2, things couldn't possibly get any shinier, was obviously wrong.


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The glare of the sun nearly obscures the Master Chief as he stands near the cliff edge and a Covenant ship-- presumably a cruiser although possibly an assault carrier-- passes overhead and towards the mysterious buried artifact.


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The Master Chief peers over the precipice down to the ancient artifact as Covenant vehicles wheel overhead.


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