Even over four years since the release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and it’s span of terminals, the Halo community is still at open ends about one yet unanswered question. Many assumed this question would be addressed in Halo: Nightfall (2014) or even Halo 2: Anniversary‘s terminals; however, alas, it was not covered. That question happens to be who, or what, controlled the alien spacecraft that crashed upon the surface of Installation 04 during one of the terminals.
Basically, during the 100,000 years that lasted between the activation of the Halo Array and the events of the Halo trilogy, Installation 04 was visited by a seemingly harmless exploration vessel. The vessel crashed, and the Halo’s monitor—343 Guilty Spark—went to investigate. He would recieve no contact from the beings within the vessel, only a distress signal emitting every 72.83 seconds. Ultimately, due to a combination of both his own protocols as a monitor, and the lack of activity from any sentients within the vessel itself, Guilty Spark had it surrounded in an enormous metal sarcophagus…which sealed it for eternity.
As previously stated, we still don’t know who or what controlled the vessel. We don’t know why they came to Installation 04, why they had achieved spacefaring capabilities seemingly 60,000 years before the rest of the known species in the galaxy, nor really anything else about them. So, let’s make an attempt to answer those three questions:
Part 1: Who were the beings?
This is the primary kicker. Some have theorized that there never were any beings inside, that it was just a derelict starship rendered crewless by the firing of the Halo Array, eventually to drift into the proximity of Installation 04 after 40,000 years of silence. Although that would explain why no sentients made any attempts to emerge from their craft nor communicate with Guilty Spark, it doesn’t cover as to why there was an active distress signal. If the vessel was left vacant from the Halo array, the beings inside would not have had time to activate a distress beacon; they’d be dead before they knew what hit them. Therefore, it can be concluded that the derelict theory is pure booger juice.
Yet still, who were they? We’ll get back to this.
Part 2: Why did they come to Installation 04?
At this current moment, HaloSwallower has literally no idea. Maybe they were exploring space and happened to find a giant freaking ring and then, whilst gawking at the ring itself and blinded by its majesty, crashed into it. But again, no answers.
Part 3: How did they advance 40,000 years before the rest of the galaxy?
Again, HaloSwallower has absolutely no clue whatsoever. Like, we’re dumbed out to the real shits. That being said, let’s rethink this.
Part 1: Who/what the fuck are they???
We’ve been looking at this the wrong way. Actually, we’ve been missing a key detail. On the Halo Waypoint forums, a thread about the vessel was given the gentle blessing of the forum adminstrator named Catalog (who works for 343 and answers lore questions). Here is the incident involving Catalog:
Waypoint User: “Well, it was capable of space travel, so that eliminates dogs, cats, and certain bears.”
Catalog: “Query Answer: No known Tier 2 species matching suggested morphology [re: ursus sapiens].”
In regards to the species’ identity, Catalog immediately rules out the vessel being controlled by sentient bears. That means Elites (they sound like bears), Grunts (they look like fucking Teddy Bears), Brutes (they literally ARE bears), humans (because humans totally had spacefaring abilities 40,000 years ago), Drones (they’re just unbearable to fight), Hunters (again, unbearable), Prophets (they look like shaven bears), and Jackals (shhhhh), are all off the table. However, what he does not rule out…is the Yonhet. So far, there’s been no denial from 343 over any possibility of the Yonhet being responsible for the vessel’s existence.
Now, let’s have a looksie at our second question: why did they go to Installation 04? Based off what we learned about them from Halo: Nightfall, and the following quote from the Halo Waypoint article on the species itself,
“Yonhet, an alien race native to a small moon called Yonhe, and who appear to be very talented at acquiring a large variety of difficult to find items.”
It’d make perfect sense for the Yonhet to be capable of finding Installation 04. Finding rare objects is their talent, their expertise. Likewise, as for the answer to the third question, “How did they advance 40,000 years before the rest of the galaxy?” it’s because the Yonhet are fucking badasses.