Halo 5 Tie-In Animated Series Halo: Fall of Reach Gets First Trailer

The three-act animated series will tell Master Chief and Blue Team's origin story.


Microsoft has released the first trailer for Halo: The Fall of Reach, an upcoming animated series that explores the origins of Master Chief and Blue Team. Watching the series should help players better understand the story of Halo 5: Guardians, as Chief and Blue Team are at the heart of the narrative.

The Fall of Reach is based on the 2001 Erik Nylund novel of the same name. It's a three-act series that is set both before and after the Covenant attack. It's meant to provide new details on the SPARTAN-II program and members of Blue Team.

You can watch the visually striking trailer below--there is even a glimpse at young John's face.

A "Canon Fodder" post on the Halo Waypoint blog dives much deeper into Halo: The Fall of Reach. Halo franchise development director Frank O'Connor explains that there may be some differences between the novel and the animated series, but the spirit of the book will be kept intact.

"Without getting into the weeds, we've been careful to align with the novel where it makes sense, but in visualizing the universe--which has evolved so much in the intervening years--we were presented with a few challenges, but also a lot of opportunities," he said. "So you'll see a few differences, choices of Covenant ship, weapons and so on, but it adheres tightly to the core canon, with a few flourishes here and there to fill in gaps or smooth over previous errors."

Executive producer Kiki Wolfkill goes on to explain how Halo 5 players may benefit from viewing Halo: The Fall of Reach.

"The theme of family and the bonds that exist between soldiers (and even AI) has always been intriguing for us. We left the Master Chief at the end of Halo 4 contemplating a future without Cortana. Who can the Master Chief trust? In Halo 5: Guardians, John is reunited with Blue Team who represents a different kind of family for him--what is their bond and how was it forged? Halo: The Fall of Reach explores not just John's origin story but also that of Blue Team itself."

Halo: The Fall of Reach is included with the Halo 5 premium versions. Everyone else can buy it separately a week after Halo 5 launches on October 27. Standalone pricing has not been announced.

At Comic-Con last week, developer 343 Industries responded to concerns about the fact that the $250 Halo 5 Limited Collector's Edition does not come with a physical disc. The developer also warned fans not to rush through the game's campaign and discussed Halo 5's length and 60fps frame rate.

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Poo poo

Avatar image for spikepigeo

Fall of Reach is one of the best sci fi books I've read, so I'm excited for this.

However... it is the story that the full blown Halo film (if it is ever made) should be based on. Hopefully it is still considered.

Avatar image for Raphy_Turtle

@spikepigeo: It should definitely begin there but you can't call it 'Halo' and not tackle the story of the first game. They could easily write a good script that has maybe the first 15-20 mins be a dream/flashback of the Fall of Reach of the Master Chief. Then you cut to him waking up in his pod in the Pillar of Autumn above the first Halo's atmosphere.

Add narration during the dream and resume it while we get our first look at the fully suited Master Chief and then the ship arriving near Halo. From there you just tell the story of the first game.

The classic introduction of Captain Keyes and Cortanna who then gets yanked ouf of the ship and into Chief's suit, only to jump to the ship being attacked and boarded by the Covenant. The rest fo the films 90-120mins can easily cover the entertaining story of Chief and the crew of the Pillar of Autumn crashing on Halo and building a small resistance. Rescuing Keyes, The Attack on the Control Room could make for some amazing action and visual shots with the Normandy like storming of the beach from the UNSC drop ships Pelicans, and into the center of the island down into an underground ecosystem with snow and synthetic life.

Halo has so many amazing set-pieces that could make into a truly spectacular movie.

The turning point of the movie being the discovery of Halo's true purpose as a life eradicating cosmic super weapon and the existence + imminent release of the Flood.

The suspense of the first Flood encounter and the shady meeting of 343 Guilty Spark.

Then of course the Climax of the movie happening between the discovery of Captain Keyes deceased and transformed/cacooned body containing the codes to overload the Pillar of Autumns nuclear core; and the ultimate showdown within the ship and its destruction along with Chief/Cortanna's escape.

What is key to making the movie interesting to non gamers is setting it up tonally and introducing the universe properly. I think an entire movie on the Fall of Reach wouldn't be enough to make it a franchise (it would gather a cult following but nothing more) whereas showing the creation of Spartans who like their namesakes are taken at a very young age from colonies to undergo brutal and deadly transformations...explaining they were created to fight rebels not aliens, but that the first encounter with the Covenant (easily covered in a brief flashback/opening sequence) just happened after the Spartans were already established as the UNSC's elite force.

Showing how vast the halo-verse is, is key to getting movie fans into it and warrant various sequels. Good scripts could easily combine Halo Reach/Fall of Reach and Halo 1 into a great first movie. From there you can either make the Earth invasion and triumph into 1 or 2 connected movies. (I personally would make it into one since there's less turning point story elements in Halo 2 and 3. Then continue the franchise where 343 started until eventually Halo games and movies are potentially in synch or one and the same.)

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oly oly oxen free

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Animation in that looks pretty bad. Like that motion-comic stuff.

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I always thought it was kind of idiotic that John was Cortana's choice because he was 'lucky'.

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The book is awesome. How John was Cortana's "choice", Blue Team origin and how Mjolnir armor functions. It's all there.

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@Zicoroen said:

The book is awesome. How John was Cortana's "choice", Blue Team origin and how Mjolnir armor functions. It's all there.

When I first got my Xbox alone with Halo CE years ago, I didn't know there was Halo books just almost when Halo 2 was getting ready to release to the world, I read the Fall of Reach, The Flood, and First Strike. Really cool stuff but after that, the last Halo book I read was Code Protocol.

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@davillain-: Cole Protocol was Ok...Contact harvest wasn't good at all (I couldn't finish it). The Kilo 5 trilogy is almost as good as what Eric Nylund wrote...really worth giving them a shot. The Forerunner saga is good too, though it's really heavy on the sci fi and difficult to understand.

Avatar image for Spartan-1657

This was a really great book. Eric Nylund wrote quite a few Halo books and he was great for them. I am just shocked it came out in 2001! It was that long ago?! Damn!

Hope this series is a good one.

Avatar image for unreal849

Looks cool, but I hope they start upping their game with the video content. Aside from the better books, Halo tie-in products have always felt like glorified advertisements to me, unable to stand on their own merits.

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@unreal849 said:

Looks cool, but I hope they start upping their game with the video content. Aside from the better books, Halo tie-in products have always felt like glorified advertisements to me, unable to stand on their own merits.

I will say that Halo Forward Unto Dawn was pretty good for a tie-in game minus Lasky appearance looks.

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@davillain-: Still, I view it as throwaway content. By itself, it holds no purpose or value to the extended universe, and the Syfy-grade acting and special effects don't help anything, either. At the end of the day, it was part of an ad campaign for Halo 4, and no one will be going back to watch it for its own sake.

Avatar image for davillain-

Cool, already pre-order Halo 5 limited edition and I hope this animated series is good unlike Halo Legends.