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Frankie's Halo Legends Q&A Session

On July 23, 2009, Halo Legends was announced at the San Diego Comic-Con, and the following Day Frank O'Connor showed up in our forum, with an offer to answer polite questions as best he could. You can read along in the thread, if you choose - but most of his answers have been compiled here for ease of browsing. Minor wording adjustments have been made (to make answers more standalone), but for the most part, these are the questions asked and answered.

XMixMasterX: How much of this new series will be directly related to the fact that it is anime instead of the identity of Halo? (Posted 7/24/09 5:22 pm)

Frankie: It's all Halo, interpreted by anime studios. Exactly in the way the Halo Graphic Novel was by folks like Moebius, etc. Halo Halo, Halo. (Posted 7/24/09 5:24 pm)

Schedonnardus: How did this project come about? (Posted 7/24/09 5:26 pm)

Frankie: Coversations, meetings, opportunties and ideas. (Posted 7/24/09 6:31 pm)

Schedonnardus: Where/When does this take place in relation to the Halo trilogy, does it tie into the "Main" Halo story, or is it just an expansion of the overall universe? (Posted 7/24/09 5:26 pm)

Frankie: Expansion. But in logical, known-ish corners. Just like books. (Posted 7/24/09 6:31 pm)

Schedonnardus: Do you like your tear martinis shaken or stirred? (Posted 7/24/09 5:26 pm)

Frankie: Frozen and Blended. (Posted 7/24/09 6:31 pm)

Mid7night: Where in the gradient of Halo "cannon" will this fall? In the realm of the current-released books, or more like "published fan-fiction" ? (Posted 7/24/09 5:26 pm)

Frankie: It's canon, like books. Except for Toei. But there IS interpretation - armor styling etc. It's art, after al. (Posted 7/24/09 5:42 pm)

Stephen L. (SoundEffect): I don't mind interpretation for things perhaps mentioned but never seen, but not for established things. It's the annoying thing about Star Trek: each movie takes place a few days or weeks apart, but the transporter effect is done differently because a new studio is handling the effect or they just want to update the look for no good reason.

This happens a lot more in sci-fi than other genres and I do not understand it.

If, say, on a TV legal show a lawyer drives a 2006 Lexus IS 250, that's pretty specific and NOT open to interpretation. Why in sc-fi then? (Posted 7/24/09 6:16 pm)

Frankie: Video games specififcally have the challenge of mapping to graphic advancements, honestly. (Posted 7/24/09 6:27 pm)

Hunt3r: Will more about the flood be explained in the retrospective pieces? (Posted 7/24/09 5:27 pm)

Frankie: The history of the Flood and the Forerunner conflict will be touched upon. (Posted 7/24/09 5:41 pm)

Hunt3r: Who's doing the voice work for characters we're familiar with? (Posted 7/24/09 5:27 pm)

Frankie: Casting isn't done yet. (Posted 7/24/09 5:41 pm)

Bryan Ojeda: Who is "1337" Spartan? (Posted 7/24/09 5:28 pm)

Frankie: He's in off-canon for laffs episode by Toei, which in no way prevents the RvB thing. (Posted 7/24/09 5:37 pm)

Document: Is this going to be released on DVD or just online? Will it be online first and DVD later or simultaneous? (Posted 7/24/09 5:31 pm)

Frankie: Some episodes this year thru Waypoint, the entire collection on DVD etc next year (early). (Posted 7/24/09 5:36 pm)

Document: Will any of the questions here be addressed, especially the ones under "Major threads"? (Posted 7/24/09 5:31 pm)

Frankie: Yes, eventually (at comcion now) (Posted 7/24/09 5:36 pm)

Document: Would you recommend the series as an introduction to Halo for non-fans or non-gamers? (Posted 7/24/09 5:31 pm)

Frankie: Absolutely. (Posted 7/24/09 5:36 pm)

kabu: Will we be getting any pre- Fall of Reach stuff and post- Halo 3 stuff, or is Legends about filling in the years before Halo and after Harvest? (Posted 7/24/09 5:32 pm)

Frankie: Yes, lots of background stuff, but each story is insular - and has no necessary connections to broader events - again like the HGN stories - self contained, but connected. (Posted 7/24/09 5:35 pm)

Impervium: Was that CG clip (the one where MC and the elite face off) the final product, or is it still being polished? (Posted 7/24/09 5:36 pm)

Frankie: Everything is still being polished, but CG especially. You will read some interviews where we showed folks new, 80% complete stuff that's moooooar awesome. (Posted 7/24/09 6:35 pm)

Jugus: Is there a canon explanation for the Spartans wearing MK.VI in the promotional images, or is it just the artistic direction? (Posted 7/24/09 5:41 pm)

Frankie: Sausage-making answer is that Mark VI amor is as much to do with a graphical generational leap as anything else. Canonical reason is that armor aesthetics are secondary to purpose - hence MP variants, etc. (Posted 7/24/09 5:47 pm)

Jugus: What's up with the space rocket motorbikes? (Posted 7/24/09 5:41 pm)

Frankie: The Booster Frames are EVA specific purpose machines cobbled together for a very black ops mission and are purpose built to do a single task. (Posted 7/24/09 5:47 pm)

Jugus: Will any characters or events from the novels make an appearance in Legends? (Posted 7/24/09 5:41 pm)

Frankie: Yes. A few. Cool ones. (Posted 7/24/09 5:47 pm)

Vincent: Can you make any comment regarding episode length? (Posted 7/24/09 5:47 pm)

Frankie: They vary between ten and fifteen and twenty minutes. One is more like a half hour and thus split into two obvious parts (the 4C "Origins" episode). (Posted 7/24/09 6:13 pm)

chris101b: I was basically wondering why the master chief would fight in a very... I don't even know what to call it. It is almost like he was doing a broadway type dance move. I always saw the master chief fighting in a way that got things done, not doing all these flashy unnecessary things. I mean the whole thing still looks awesome, but that was one thing that just stuck out for me. (Posted 7/25/09 1:14 am)

Frankie: It's called "Chanbara," look it up, but bluntly, when Marines or other armed forces are taught how to use swords, even now, they are taught traditional fencing techniques. It's not that much of a stretch for a Spartan to use "real" form using a large sword, but it's also overthinking it because it's part of a much longer fight scene and you're picking a specifically framed scene as the entire descriptor. (Posted 7/25/09 3:02 am)

Vincent: My understanding is that all stories except the one I mentioned [the one with the '1337' Spartan] are canonical. (Posted 7/24/09 5:56 pm)

Frankie: That is correct. (Posted 7/24/09 6:47 pm)

Leviathan: Is Halo Legends seen by you guys as the start of something more, a testing ground for like a longer series of animated Halo-ness? (Posted 7/24/09 5:53 pm)

Frankie: This is a one-off. I keep saying Halo Graphic Novel - but that's the best analogy. t-shirts aside, we really are being careful to serve, but not oversaturate. It seems like a lot now, because all our annuncements are coming at once, but this stuff is being paced. We're not turning into Madden or Mario.


That's hardly spam. (Posted 7/24/09 6:45 pm)

Document: How long has the series been in planning? (Posted 7/24/09 5:59 pm)

Frankie: Years if you include Mehve's desires! (Posted 7/24/09 6:26 pm)

Document: Are there seeds for it or influences from it in anything we've seen so far? (Posted 7/24/09 5:59 pm)

Frankie: Yes. And there are clues in the frames if studied and thought about in deep Halo context. (Posted 7/24/09 6:26 pm)

Document: Does seven films include both parts of Origins? (Posted 7/24/09 6:13 pm)

Frankie: Eight pieces, seven episodes. That make sense?

1. 4C's History piece - 2 parts.
2. Bones "Prototype" piece
3. Casio/Aramaki's Spartan/Space battle stuff
4. Toei's shenanigans
5. I.G's Duel (Elites around the time of the Prophet alliance)
6. I.G's exploration of the Spartan "recruitment" tragedy (kidnapping, etc)
7. 4C's ODST/Spartan rivalry (Posted 7/24/09 6:25 pm)

ev7rett: Re: I.G's exploration of the Spartan "recruitment" tragedy - I'm excited for that. Any chance we'll see Mendez or Halsey? (Posted 7/24/09 6:32 pm)

Frankie: what's a Menalsey? (Posted 7/24/09 7:08 pm)

serpx: How long has this been in development? (Posted 7/24/09 6:28 pm)

Frankie: More than a year. (Posted 7/24/09 6:46 pm)

serpx: Did you and your team expect the mixed thoughts on this project? (Posted 7/24/09 6:28 pm)

Frankie: Yes, reactions are according to Keikaku. (Posted 7/24/09 6:46 pm)

Simpsons Rule: If you are familiar with the Animatrix how accurate would it be to compare the two for their respective works, i.e., The Matrix trilogy to the Animatrix, and the Halo trilogy to Halo Legends. (Posted 7/24/09 6:49 pm)

Frankie: It's definitely a similar template - and we're working with some of the same talent - I think a fundmental difference is that animatrix was all "unexpected" in that it dealt with stuff they were creating anew - we're working with familiar people and places. We're giving the animators a lot of freedom, but within canonical bounds that really exist already, rather than ones we're creating on the fly. (Posted 7/24/09 7:06 pm)

Jugus: Are the stories (highlight on stories, not referring to art style here) simply Halo stories, presented in the anime medium or do they also have anime influence? And how much? At least the "mecha spartan" one seems pretty anime-influenced. Who's writing the stories, anyways? Is it the japanese studios or someone previously involved with the Halo franchise? How much influence do you, Frankie, have to the stories, and at this point, have you corrected any canonical mistakes they could've possibly made? (Posted 7/24/09 7:13 pm)

Frankie: I wrote or "created" all of the stories. In some cases entire scripts. In some cases, as with Sato Dai, they would take basic ideas and turn them into full scripts. (Posted 7/24/09 7:47 pm)

Samus 117: How would you react if you were invited to do another Bungie podcast as a guest? (Posted 7/24/09 7:52 pm)

Frankie: They have beer at the podcasts. And Shishka likes to hear my ideas about AR starts in Team Snipers. (Posted 7/24/09 9:38 pm)

GrimBrother One: Will we be given any clue about the Halo Universe (not just MC's whereabouts), post-Halo 3? (Posted 7/24/09 7:24 pm)

Frankie: That would be telling. (Posted 7/24/09 9:29 pm)

GrimBrother One: Will we (ever) see a Forerunner in the "flesh", and does any of the fiction tie into Mr. Bear's upcoming novel trilogy? (Posted 7/24/09 7:24 pm)

Frankie: You'll see elements of the civilization and its technology and yes, it will connect. Mr. Aramaki is a HUGE Greg Bear fan, coincidentally. (Posted 7/24/09 9:29 pm)

GrimBrother One: Will the Halo Legends episodes be in any way connected with the "out of game" achievements and "Halo Career" forthcoming with Halo Waypoint? (Posted 7/24/09 7:24 pm)

Frankie: Watching them won't hurt. But we won't force you to do anything. (Posted 7/24/09 9:29 pm)

Mr Fiddle: Will Marty be involved with the music? Or will that be interpreted by someone on the anime side of things? (Posted 7/24/09 7:51 pm)

Frankie: Marty didn't write any new music for this, he's awful busy on ODST :-) but the reorchestrated existing Halo choons sound amazing, as folks will hear. (Posted 7/24/09 9:22 pm)

newguy2445: Where does this tie in to the Halo canon? (Posted 7/24/09 9:28 pm)

Frankie: Songnam is not the only location for prototype armor projects. (Posted 7/24/09 9:32 pm)

CaptainTony: [In reference to alternative armor projects] A German team designed the MJOLNIR Mark VI CQB armor if I remember correctly. (Posted 7/24/09 9:38 pm)

Frankie: Earth, is not the only location :-) (Posted 7/24/09 9:40 pm)

Littlebigman: What kind of rating will it have? As in... PG... PG 13... R? (Posted 7/24/09 11:00 pm)

Frankie: Weirdly, probably PG 13-ish. Movie ratings are a lot more lenient and forgiving than games, and ironically this will have some darker themes and even grittier violence in some regards. (Posted 7/25/09 2:51 am)

Littlebigman: I didnt want to have to come out and say it... but will there be Cortana boobs? (Posted 7/25/09 3:20 am)

Frankie: They're canonical. But actually ours are fairly demure compared to the game. (Posted 7/25/09 3:33 am)

Miguel Chavez: Video format... DVD is being mentioned, but I'm hoping BluRay is implied. Any statement to that effect? (Posted 7/24/09 11:37 pm)

Frankie: Warner has confirmed DVD, Blu Ray and normal digital distribution. (Posted 7/25/09 2:53 am)

MasterNoob: Since the developers are Japanese, will the language be Japanese, and then translated to English, or will it be English first? (Posted 7/25/09 12:41 am)

Frankie: Language is perhaps uniquely, simultaneously "developed" so that lines sound correct at first pass and don't require tortured translation. This has been a fun challenge. So both English and Japanese vocal tracks and subs, as well as normal Euro/Asian language subs. (Posted 7/25/09 2:55 am)

MasterNoob: Will the language be R, PG 13, or PG (like most English translations tend to be)? (Posted 7/25/09 12:41 am)

Frankie: PG-13 in theory, but it's a way off. (Posted 7/25/09 2:55 am)

MasterNoob: While you've said you are still figuring out the voice acting, are you trying to get original voice actors from the games? I just couldn't imagine MC or Cortana, or even Johnson with a different voice. (Posted 7/25/09 12:41 am)

Frankie: No casting announcements yet. (Posted 7/25/09 2:55 am)

Vashkey: Will we learn of what happened to Cortana between Halo 2 and 3 while she was held captive by the Grave Mind? I always though it was odd she turned out just fine after sending so many transmissions during Halo 3. (Posted 7/25/09 3:29 am)

Frankie: hmmm. (Posted 7/25/09 3:34 am)

stan: Can you expound on your decision to title the series "Halo: Legends"? Does that refer to legendary figures within the Halo universe, or are we talking "Halo: Fables"? (Posted 7/25/09 10:44 am)

Frankie: The name Legends directly applies to the stories and the characters in them - there's this idea that each of the moments is a Legend among those who know of the tale - ODSTs, for example, or Elites remembering a brave act. It also riffs off of a word we all associate with Halo. (Posted 7/25/09 12:40 pm)

stan: Why'd you chose Anime? (Posted 7/25/09 10:44 am)

Frankie: If you don't like anime, there's nothing about this content other than the idea of animation, that should be off-putting. Only one episode relies on anime tropes and that one for comedy. (Posted 7/25/09 12:40 pm)

stan: Who's responsible for the content of the stories? (Posted 7/25/09 10:44 am)

Frankie: I am responsible for most of the stories. (Posted 7/25/09 12:40 pm)