Fake Halo 3 Script Fails To Convince

Yesterday, Kotaku reported on a thread in the TeamXbox Forums that supposedly had a "leaked" copy of the script for Halo 3, in the form of a 119 page (barely 118 not including the cover, looks like the author was shooting for 117) PDF file entitled "Draft4". Shortly thereafter, the thread in the TXB forums was taken down. Kotaku updated their story with a link to the original source-- this thread in the RichesWillRust forum, to which many new users flocked to register and download the file. Meanwhile, several pages of comments on that thread were apparently deleted by a forum mod.

What's in the file?

The contents were written by someone with a passing understanding of scriptwriting formats and at least some familiarity with the Halo universe-- but not much more than could be gleaned by playing the games, reading the books, and browsing the occasional fansite.

There are, of course, many small details that reveal this as a fake, even in the absence of the informed denial provided by HBO's Louis Wu from his sources at Bungie. There are repeated misspellings such as those that would not be caught by most word processors, such as "hanger" instead of "hangar", and even "was" instead of "war"-- and that one is on page 2!

There are lines of dialogue given to the normally reticent Master Chief that seem strikingly out of character for him. There's a lot of unnecessary exposition where characters talk to each other awkwardly about things they already know, just to clue the audience in-- something that the Halo series so far has been studious about avoiding, for the most part.

The script is written as for someone with knowledge of the characters or their appearance at all. I've never seen the scripts for Halo or Halo 2, but as the general plot of the Halo universe, as well as its inhabitants and their general descriptions, is held within the Halo Bible, this level of detail would appear to be unnecessary.

There are also some items that seem as if they were meant to be found to identify it as a fake; the chapter title "A Pimp At Sea", for instance, a reference to Bungie's perennial April Fool's joke.

In short, there's little here to give anyone but a person who has never played Halo any indication that this is legitimate. As a piece of fan fiction, it's certainly no better than average and as a hoax it's nowhere near as interesting as the Enkidu Terminals.

PDF icon draft4.pdf203.45 KB


Anyone who knows the Halo series and reaf the entire script would spot several glaring errors instantly, such as how the script says that the last time the rings were activated, it was on the ARK, when according to 343 Guilty Spark's speech to MC back in the original Halo, installation 04 was activated by a an individual on the ring, not as a collective system from the ARK. These inconsistencies are all pointed out in the many Halo 3 topic threads on HBO forums, for those that wish to see them all.

In the 3rd paragraph from the bottom, I think that you mean "The script is written as for someone with NO knowledge of the characters or their appearance at all."

Good Overview

Well, I wasn't particularly trying to be cruel.

As Frankie pointed out in his post at Bungie.net, we don't really know if someone wrote this intending it to be a fake script, or if this is a piece of fan fiction that someone else is using for that purpose.

As such, I don't think it has any more glaring inconsistencies than, say, your average piece of fan fiction. Although there are fan fictions that are better-- I'd mention the Enkidu Terminals again as one that stands out, if not for the content than at least for the presentation.

Rampant for over six years.

I'd like to think I hewed a bit closer to Bungie canon in content (save a few liberties taken with malice aforethought) in the Terminals' storyline than with the current example... certainly so in the presentation, as you noted: no flashbacks behind the Curtain of Mystery, no neo-feudalism, no "as you know Bob" dialog, revelation as often oblique as direct. No direct attribution to Bungie staff, either.

(I still get a twinge whenever the Terminals are referred to as a "hoax", though I guess the label's fair. Maybe it's the connotation of malice that's stuck to the word... is there a specific term for "hoax that isn't malicious"?)

Since Frankie hasn't, I won't attribute malice to the authour of "draft 4" either... though it's hard not to do so to the person who slapped Joe's name on the cover.

Should the mystery authour be reading this; it's far from completely dreadful, but the story really doesn't fit the style of a Bungie story. Remember that the story is either told to your in-game character directly (note that in Halo 2, aside from a couple of set-dressing scenes, the cutscenes involve at least one POV character) or is revealed in-game by actions of the NPCs or cues in the level design. You won't see extended scenes involving characters we don't control... even in Myth, the storyline material is revealed by "your" entries into a diary.

I also seriously doubt that there'll be any in-game video of the Forerunners; their schtik is "mysterious, powerful force", and the more mystery you can keep around them the better they are at their schtik. Putting them on-screen kills a lot of that mystery.

-- Steve could go on with more, but is alas short on time. Maybe later.

Steve, I think you got a lot closer. In terms of emulation of style, both in writing and presentation, it was so much closer to seeming authentic that it's really laughable to compare the Enkidu Terms with this purported Halo 3 script.

As for the word "hoax"-- I think that applies not to the work itself, but to the "hey I don't know what's going on here" presentation, which everyone assumed was HBO's way of saying it might be from Bungie.

If it had been posted as "here's a new fanfic series with a unique presentation and great attention to detail" nobody would have called it a hoax.

As I seem to recall, my question was, would it have gotten nearly as much attention if that had been the case ;-)

Rampant for over six years.

throughout the "halo 3 script" there were a series of things that the creators took out, like the drinol, the blind wolves, and the kestrel. the creators just said "we just can't fit them into the game" its all evidence on the limited collector's edition halo 2 extras disk. and if this was real, they would've added the mongoose for the sandy, destroyed mombassa part.