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Was Dr. Halsey justified, ultimately, in creating the Spartan-II program in Halo?

T'Zariah

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Dec 16, 2008
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This is one of the more controversial parts of the Haloverse both among fans and those in canon.

As many all know, ultimately, 343 went in the direction of having the details of the Spartan-II program come public, and basically having Halsey blacklisted.

Was she justified in her kidnapping of children which ultimately saved the human race?

Or is she just a war criminal/mad scientist under the guise of morality and guilt?

Do the lives of many outweigh the lives of few?

My own opinion: I think had the Covenant not attacked, there's no way in hell I'd green light it, but, that being said, I'd do so with a heavy heart with knowledge of the threat and knowing they're capabilities. Wrong, but ultimately, preserving a humanity.
 

shinobi602

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Sep 28, 2010
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In the end, yes.

But at the moment of kidnapping the children and putting them through tortuous training to keep rebellious colonialists in check? No. No one knew of the threats humanity faced ahead of them at that time, so those actions were of a war criminal no doubt.
 

Deadly Cyclone

Pride of Iowa State
Apr 24, 2008
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Yeah, in the long run. She may not have gone about it the best way, but the Spartan program essentially helped win the war. Not to mention it created an incredible moral boost in the other fighting forces, and fear in the enemies.
 

Mondy

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Jul 31, 2013
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Master Chief has practically saved the Galaxy like 3 times. Of course she was justified.
 

szaromir

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Apr 26, 2006
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This "halsey = mendele" thing in Halo Glasslands is probably the most idiotic aspect in the Halo lore.
 

Woorloog

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Apr 18, 2010
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Since i don't believe in "end justifies means" philosophy, no, it was not.

The UN/UEG/UNSC are a body that forces humans together by force anyway, they didn't even consider letting the colonies become independent. So doubly not justified, since the Spartans were aimed for keeping the colonies in line with force...

That said, once the Spartans were created, they should be used, if they volunteered (which they do due to indoctrination but that's another issue).

EDIT and before anyone says anything about Traviss, i don't accept Traviss' reasoning or treatment of Halsey. I follow my own morals, which do not accept this.
 

low-G

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May 6, 2010
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Making cool military tech is a ends that is always justified regardless of the means.
 

Monocle

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Jan 16, 2008
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I can't believe how comprehensively 343 and Karen Traviss ruined Dr. Halsey. She was portrayed as a morally complex genius in Eric Nylund's books before they turned her into a sociopathic war criminal and had the balls to claim that their retcon was consistent with the original version of the character. Makes me so fucking sick.
 

Vooduu

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Aug 13, 2013
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Yes, it's positives
greatly
outweigh the negatives.

I can't believe how comprehensively 343 and Karen Traviss ruined that character. She was portrayed as morally complex genius in Eric Nylund's books until they turned her into a sociopathic war criminal and had the balls to claim their retcon was consistent with the original version of the character. Makes me so fucking sick.
Eeeeyup. This times a million.
 

Blue Ninja

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Kidnapping kids and indoctrinating/augmenting them to quell possible human insurrectionists? No, she wasn't justified.

Humanity just was lucky she didn't care. At the time.

I can't believe how comprehensively 343 and Karen Traviss ruined Dr. Halsey. She was portrayed as morally complex genius in Eric Nylund's books before they turned her into a sociopathic war criminal and had the balls to claim that their retcon was consistent with the original version of the character. Makes me so fucking sick.
Yeah, it's a shame. I'm blaming it on slipspace radiation. Addled her brain.
 

NekoFever

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Feb 21, 2007
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She created them to fight insurrectionists, not Covenant, which was completely unnecessary. That it worked out in the end has no bearing on her intentions and motivations for doing it in the first place, which was fucked up.

Of course, she ultimately only created Spartans because of the geas planted by the Librarian in humanity ohgodwhatamitalkingabout
 

Oggmeiler

Banned
Oct 28, 2013
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What about Colonel James Ackerson? The person that was responsible for Spartan III program. That shit was much worse than the Spartan II program.
 

Woorloog

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Apr 18, 2010
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People need to remember the Spartans were intended to fight other humans, to force human colonies to stay in the UN. They were not to be a weapon against external threats originally, so the project needs to be judged based on why it was created, not how they ended up being used.

End justifies means is a slippery slope. Sometimes extreme means may be required (and thus used), but even that does not justify them.
 

szaromir

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Apr 26, 2006
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I can't believe how comprehensively 343 and Karen Traviss ruined that character. She was portrayed as morally complex genius in Eric Nylund's books until they turned her into a sociopathic war criminal and had the balls to claim their retcon was consistent with the original version of the character. Makes me so fucking sick.
Yup, but it's not only that. ONI is described as this omnipresent and omnipotent sort of organization, it must have greenlit the Spartan-2 project itself as well as it must have commited greater sins than sacrificing lives of 150 kids. All the depiction of the ONI boss being morally superior to Halsey is extremely hilarious.
 

Valhelm

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Yes, certainly. It was a decision that harmed a small number of people but saved the lives of billions of others. It was a brutal program, but quite necessary.
 

JaggedSac

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Jan 14, 2010
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I can't believe how comprehensively 343 and Karen Traviss ruined that character. She was portrayed as a morally complex genius in Eric Nylund's books until they turned her into a sociopathic war criminal and had the balls to claim their retcon was consistent with the original version of the character. Makes me so fucking sick.
Lets not get carried with using those books as examples of great characterizations. They were about as shallow and flat as could be.
 

Woorloog

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Apr 18, 2010
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Yes, certainly. It was a decision that harmed a small number of people but saved the lives of billions of others. It was a brutal program, but quite necessary.
Had the Covenant already attacked, perhaps then yes. But it wasn't, humankind hadn't had its first contact when the project was initiated.
 

Village

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Jan 21, 2013
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To answer you yes, because its cool.

Bigger question.

If the spartan program was reinstated, why in the hell did we even play as master cheif in halo 4? Why not some new ruff and tumble spartan who we got our own adventure, and talk to our own people. Maybe dialouge tree's or something go on space adventures. Even if cheif was there, the prospect of being me in the regular story mode is far more interesting.
 

-COOLIO-

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Jun 9, 2007
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No. Because even without the suit, the player would save the day thanks to checkpoints and sticky aim. Even without regenerating health and armor.
 

IHaveIce

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Jun 24, 2012
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Yes, and what 343 seemed to forget was that she didn't decide that alone.

343 and Karen Traviss are so bad at portraying her, bring back Eric Nylund.
 

10k

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Mar 20, 2012
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In the end, yes.

But at the moment of kidnapping the children and putting them through tortuous training to keep rebellious colonialists in check? No. No one knew of the threats humanity faced ahead of them at that time, so those actions were of a war criminal no doubt.
This. Their original purpose was to stop human terrorists with super soldiers which was overkill but they got lucky to have the Spartans when the covenant attacked.
 

Stinkles

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Sep 5, 2004
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I can't believe how comprehensively 343 and Karen Traviss ruined Dr. Halsey. She was portrayed as a morally complex genius in Eric Nylund's books before they turned her into a sociopathic war criminal and had the balls to claim that their retcon was consistent with the original version of the character. Makes me so fucking sick.
Maybe if the book series only contained one perspective, or was actually finished, you'd have a point. As it is it's simply a perspective and one that is deliberately provocative and controversial as a means to control an uncontrollable person. There is zero retcon. Other even less savory characters are trying to harm her legacy to boost their own careers. And they're doing it by illuminating her prior actions in an ugly way.
 

Woorloog

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Apr 18, 2010
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Maybe if the book series only contained one perspective, or was actually finished, you'd have a point. As it is it's simply a perspective and one that is deliberately provocative and controversial as a means to control an uncontrollable person.
Doesn't justify Halsey's character/personality being changed quite a lot from Ghosts of Onyx. EDIT and previous books. Sure, people do change but not in a span of a few days between a couple of books.
 

Meia

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Feb 22, 2013
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Was she justified? Ultimately, she was shown to be, though for something they didn't anticipate.


She should still probably pay for her crimes by society, and she'd probably be one of the ones to agree. The only thing not making her a monster is her not being happy about it.
 

IHaveIce

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Jun 24, 2012
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Maybe if the book series only contained one perspective, or was actually finished, you'd have a point. As it is it's simply a perspective and one that is deliberately provocative and controversial as a means to control an uncontrollable person.
The decision ONI made made NO sense.

They didn't have to get a scapegoat to put some in blame, the public still didn't know children were abducted.
She did not decide this on her own, it was not like she acted above orders, she was granted that mission.
Ackerson and Kurt did the same for Spartan 3s

Spartan 2s and 3s are better than 4s and saved the human race, build her a statue.



Also pls Frank, bring back the Spartan 2s into the spotlight, Palmer and the Spartan 4s are as bland as it gets.
 

Stinkles

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Doesn't justify Halsey's character/personality being changed quite a lot from Ghosts of Onyx.
She wasn't under arrest in GoO. This is the first time Halsey's actions have ever been questioned in "peacetime."


A lot of things you do in war (whether it's civil or external) bear different scrutiny once the shooting stops. Hence this thread.


Anyway, Halsey is a character with an important future. You'll be seeing a lot more and even more perspective on the subject of this thread.
 
Oct 6, 2009
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Maybe if the book series only contained one perspective, or was actually finished, you'd have a point. As it is it's simply a perspective and one that is deliberately provocative and controversial as a means to control an uncontrollable person. There is zero retcon. Other even less savory characters are trying to harm her legacy to boost their own careers. And they're doing it by illuminating her prior actions in an ugly way.
I think this biggest issue is that it is the only angle presented in the newer books, and in Halo 4 Spartan Ops. I'm gonna assume the story continues to play a pivotal role, and hopefully things can be less black and white while still being provocative.
 

stuminus3

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Nov 29, 2006
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Spartans saved the human race but if they didn't then maybe something else would have. Maybe Halsey kidnapped a child who was destined to become a super scientist that developed some way of defeating Covenant with the power of farting but they never did because they were forced to be a Spartan instead.
 

Woorloog

Banned
Apr 18, 2010
19,089
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She wasn't under arrest in GoO. This is the first time Halsey's actions have ever been questioned in "peacetime."


A lot of things you do in war (whether it's civil or external) bear different scrutiny once the shooting stops. Hence this thread.


Anyway, Halsey is a character with an important future. You'll be seeing a lot more and even more perspective on the subject of this thread.
Halsey started hating herself and agreeing with her captors... quite suddenly. Sure, she was already regretting things in GoO, but not quite to that extent. Specifically in the sections that are narrated from Halsey's perspective.

But... despite my objections to the Spartan program, Halsey's cowardice is far more offensive to me actually. She kidnaps a Spartan, and lures some others away from Earth under guise of important findings, and thus prevents them from helping the humankind. All she tried to save were her Spartans, not the humankind as a whole.
EDIT this wasn't related to the Spartan Program really but just wanted to tell this.
 

Insaniac

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Nov 10, 2006
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Seeing has how her Spartan program saved humanity, I would say yes. Saving the whole of humanity is a case where I would say the ends justify the means