The Flood Halo Character – A Review

The Flood in Halo has nothing to do with water, and it is not a representation of the biblical Flood, either. Although, the bible stories may have served as an inspiration for the character.  Actually, The Flood is a character of Halo Wars, much like the character of Master Chief, except that this character is the ultimate villain.  

The Flood is the worst antagonist ever thought of by video game designers of the Halo Wars Saga and is one of the reasons Halo is what it is today: one of the most popular video game and sci-fi stories of all time.  

It is a made up of parasites, they assimilate any sentient form – alien or human, and turn it into a headless tentacled something that is out to infect and assimilate any other being it comes across. It infects the body and assimilates you into its collective beehive-like collective of minds called Gravemind.

What Is Halo? 

If you are not familiar with the full story of Halo, let us give you a quick update. 

Halo is storytelling at its best: a 20-year narration told by many developers, artists, and storytellers using various mediums. To date, these creatives have made many different video games, books, animated movies, Halo TV series, comics, and movies relating to the Halo Wars story and the character the Flood is the ultimate evil antagonist. 

Halo is the story of a universe dominated by different halo installations that encase planets. These installations were built by an ancient race called the Forerunners to prevent the gruesome Flood from escaping and infesting all sentient beings.  Unfortunately, the Forerunners fail to eliminate the Flood, as just as they are ready to activate the Halos, the race is taken to extinction by the Flood. 

Thousands of years later, humans have learned to travel throughout the galaxy. They have no idea that The Flood is waiting. Early on in the storyline of Halo 1, humanity comes across a strange collection of aliens called the Covenant that worships the ancient Forerunners. After finding hidden information, a human organization called the UNSC learns that the Covenant is trying to activate the Halo installations and, if activated, the Halos will release the dreaded Flood. It must be prevented. 

How did it all start? It all began with the first Halo game back in 2001, and since then, the saga has become like Star Wars, a legend in the science fiction world. 

What Is The Flood? 

Typical of all science-fiction, Halo has a super enemy, the figure that is the most evil of all. The character sits at the top of all enemy characters in all Halo games, stories, comics, and movies. This super-villain is the Flood in Halo, and it is the most dangerous of all foes, but it takes a while to understand what The Flood's ultimate goal really is – to assimilate all sentient beings, including humans.  

The Flood is a parasitic alien species that infects every sentient being it can find in the Halo Universe. It first appeared in Halo: Combat Evolved and later returned in subsequent Halo games and is a character in many of the Halo novels, comics, and movies. 

The Flood wants to infect any species, and any infected sentient being is called the Flood, which can go after other creatures and humans and infect them as well.  

This is an enemy whose beginnings started way before humanity could travel through the universe. It began as the evil enemy of the ancient Forerunners, who were ultimately decimated by it. In the end, they could not stop The Flood, and the few Forerunners that remained believed the only way to stop The Flood was to build a super weapon, ring worlds called which if activated could contain the Flood. There is just one major flaw. If activated, the halo rings will kill all sentient life in the universe and starve the Flood. This would mean that every person in the universe would die.

Indeed, it was a desperate measure for desperate times, but the Forerunner species died out before they could activate the rings, known as Halos. Now, humans are trying to keep other species from activating these ancient Halos and killing all sentient life in the galaxy. multiple flood characters

How Did the Name "The Flood" Come About? 

The name is a paradox. It could be based on the religious story of the bible or on what a flood of parasites would look like. At any rate, the Flood and its leader, Gravemind, are huge satanic figures inspired by a combination of bible stories and of the way parasites look. Is it really based on some of the old Bible stories? Well, consider the Master Chiefs' descent into the center of Halo to find the Flood for the first time. Notice its similarity to the biblical story of how someone descends into Hell.

The Parasitic Life of the Flood Forms

The lifecycle of the Flood in its infected hosts is similar to that of real-world parasites. The physiological changes work similarly to a parasite called the Leucochloridium paradoxum that affects amphibians. You can see it is true by looking at some of the parasite-infected frog pictures.  The Flood's ability to alter its surroundings is similar to the work of a parasitic wasp, a gruesome sight if seen under the eye of a microscope. 

How Was the Flood Designed? 

The Flood was the idea of Bungie artist Robert McLees, who used the concept idea created for a previous game called Marathon 2. Once the designers at Bungie created this ultimate enemy for Halo, they decided to eliminate many of the more giant aliens to make room for the Flood's appearance and give gamers a real surprise. 

Designer and artist Vic DeLeon spent six months refining the Flood characters and finding ways to adapt ships and halos infested with The Flood. It took just as long to develop the concept art for the Flood combat forms. In the end, artists opted for removing the left hand of any Flood-infected being and replacing it with tentacles, then having the Flood's sensory apparatus sprout from the neck.

The Flood is a parasitic organism that infects sentient life forms of any size. It looks for hosts, living or dead, and drives spines into the host that tap into the nervous system. When these spines insert into the host, he or she becomes incapacitated, and the infection burrows into the body and begins to mutate. The Flood mutates the host into various forms that help find it more food. Larger bodies are turned into combat forms and grow tentacles. 

Dead bodies that are too mangled to become fighters are incubators for more Flood forms. The Flood has also created minds that coordinate the forms known as the Gravemind.

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The Flood Is a Central Character

The Flood is a central character in all Halo games, so Bungie developed it in early 2001 and introduced it in Halo: Combat Evolved, even before the game jumped from the Mac to the Xbox. The earliest design of Flood was in 1997. The concept was a fungus-like zombie. The designers intended it to be gruesome and horrible. It was inspired by artist Mclees's memory of a family member's infected thumb. 

The idea is that these creatures come from former foes and combatants, so the artist had to make sure the viewer could still identify the soldier while changing their form enough to look gruesome and different from the uninfected. However, the team didn't have the resources to create a Flood character for every human and alien form in Halo, so they changed the story a bit to say that some Covenant soldiers were too small or too frail to serve the Flood. Over the years, artists have created templates for the Flood infected species and hosts.

Design Changes to the Flood in Halo 3

Bungie creators decided the Flood needed an uplift by the time Halo 3 rolled around and the design task fell to Vic DeLeon. He had to change the organic Flood terrain of infected worlds, ships, and other places. His idea was to develop new Flood forms and other changes. These new forms of Flood had different weapons they could wield via their tentacles. 

DeLeon also changed Flood-infested buildings. He made them become angular, which counterbalanced the organic feel of the infected terrain. The game designers later added other things like exploding pods with Flood forms to increase the pacing and add more action and visuals to the game. Halo 3 also added new capabilities to Flood soldiers, including the ability to infect in real-time. The designers used the new graphic capabilities of Xbox to make the host transformation more dramatic and horrifying. 

The Flood's Backstory

According to the Halo storyline, the Flood is a long-time enemy resulting from the ancient war between the Forerunners and the Precursors. As a result, some Precursors died and turned into dust, but this dust had the ability to recreate. The idea was to regenerate the Precursor species, but something went wrong, and as it regenerated, it created horrible mutations. These mutations created the Flood who destroyed the Forerunners taking over the planets where they lived and worked. Initially, the Flood wanted to target the Milky Way, but in some ways, the initial attacks ended up benefiting humans but decimating the Forerunners. 

By the time Halo: Combat arrives, The Flood has assimilated most lifeforms in the galaxy, which are controlled by the beehive mind.  Of course, The Floods' physical appearance changes depending on the host, but the skin color is usually green to greyish black or brown.

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When Did the Flood Appear?

The first time the Flood appears is in Halo: Combat Evolved was a surprise for gamers. It was a major plot twist for them and gave them more action and interest. It was an incredible event, even when players had to replay the event over and over again until they learned to overcome The Flood.  

The first appearance comes halfway through the game Halo: Combat Evolved. It happens when ship 343 Guilty Spark lands on Halo. The crew is fleeing the enemy aliens, the Covenant, and lands on Halo, the ringworld created by the Forerunners. The AI Cortana sends Master Chief to look for the ship's commander, Jacob Keyes, who has disappeared into the swamp. Master Chief discovers that the Covenant has inadvertently released the Flood during his mission. Jacob Keys and many members of his crew have been infected and become soldiers of the parasite. Keyes is being interrogated by the Flood, who wants to find the location of Earth so that it can assimilate all humans. The AI, Guilty Spark, seeks help from Master Chief to activate Halo's defenses to prevent the Flood outbreak. However, Master Chief finds out that activating the Halo will wipe out all sentient life to prevent Flood's spread. Instead, he decides to blow up the Pillar of Autumn ship and destroy the ring without detonating the Halo weapon. 

The Flood's return in Halo 2 and Halo 3 was less of a surprise but still enjoyable. The gamer's reaction to the Flood has differed over the years. Some critics call it too cliché, but others rank it as the top video game villain of all time.

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The Flood in Halo 2

Players saw the Flood again in Halo 2 in 2004. This time the setting is the Halo ring called Delta Halo. Here the leader of the Flood is Gravemind, who is intent on setting the humans and the Covenant at war. The Arbiter, a leader of the Covenant, defects and seeks peace by asking the Covenant to avoid activating the ring. At the same time, Gravemind leads the Flood to infest the human ship In Amber Clad. After infecting the ship population, he crashes it into the Covenant space station, the High Charity, and infects all Covenant species therein. The Flood sweeps through the humans and the Covenant. Gravemind even captures Cortana. 

To prevent the Flood from spreading, the Covenant creates a blockade to prevent it from leaving its prison city. 

The Flood in Halo 3

The Flood appears again in Halo 3 mission Floodgate. The scene is a damaged ship that escapes the quarantine of Delta Halo. The infestation of Earth is prevented when Master Chief, the Arbiter, and the Flood form a weak alliance to prevent the activation of the Halo Rings at the Forerunner installation, the Ark. But once there is no longer a threat, Gravemind resumes the infestation. The Master Chief finds his way to High Charity and frees Cortana, then destroys the Flood infested city. In the process, Gravemind tries to rebuild his Flood soldiers on a Halo under construction. But the Halo is located outside the Milky Way, so activating the ring will only affect the local Flood. Cortana, Master Chief, and Arbiter activate the ring and escape in a ship.

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Halo 4 and Halo 5

The Flood continues to appear in these games and infects humans who become Flood soldiers. 

Books, Movies, and Animations

The Flood has also appeared in other mediums as well. It was introduced in 2006 when the author of The Halo Graphic Novel gave a fuller explanation of the character. This graphic book series narrates how the Flood is released during the events of Halo and expands on how the Flood is an intelligent being. In contrast, the games only hint at the intelligence of Flood. In the Halo Graphic Novel series, the Flood is shown to have a collective mind that assimilates and uses the knowledge of its host. 

In Lee Hammock's book "The Last Voyage of The Infinite Succor," he describes the Flood as the most intelligent enemy and more than just space zombies. 

Greg Bear's trilogy of novels, The Forerunner Saga, outlines how the Flood came into being as the remains of the Precursor and ancient race that could accelerate the evolution of a species and whose mission it was to shape the galaxies. The Precursors were already on the verge of extinction when the Forerunners overran them. Some Precursors turned themselves into biological powder as they died, and it would regenerate into their past selves. However, time changed the powder and rendered it defective, bringing about the Flood.


How Have Fans Received the Flood? 

When the Flood made its first appearance in Halo: Combat Evolved, fans loved it. The Flood offered an exciting aspect to the plot. It was scary, and even after repeated playthroughs, gamers still found it interesting. Critics said it was an example of how games should have a twist and turn in the plot. It was an excellent way of keeping the gamers on their toes. 

The response to the Flood in Halo 2 and Halo 3 was not as exhilarating, only because gamers were expecting it. 

Despite some players' comments, The Flood is one of the greatest villains ever. It has been commented on by Wizard Magazine, The Guinness World Records, PC World, and Electronic Gaming Monthly. MTV even mentioned that the Flood offers some great gaming moments. 

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