At the end of Halo Infinite, Master Chief has to face off against a new opponent who called herself the Harbinger of the Endless alien race. Just like the Guardians in Halo 5: Guardians, Endless is a brand new faction currently being set up as the “ultimate big bad” of upcoming story expansion/sequel to Halo Infinite. However, since Halo Infinite got a (much) better reception from series fans, I don’t think Endless as a plot point will be dropped in just two games like the Guardians. Continue reading below if you don’t care about Halo Infinite spoilers or need to know a bit more about the Endless — also known as Xalanyn.
What Exactly are the Endless?
Described by 117649 Despondent Pyre, the Monitor of Installation 07 aka Zeta Halo, The Endless — or referred to as Xalanyn in the “Banished Audio Logs – Archeological Findings #03: Xalanyn” — is an advanced sentient ancient alien race that existed during the fall of the Forerunner’s civilization. For some reason, the Xalanyn were able to survive the activation of the Halo rings when the Forerunner tried to destroy the Flood, as Despondent Pyre talked about in the “Banished Audio Logs – Archeological Findings #01: Reintroduction.”
Despondent Pyre: Halo was Forerunner’s terrible and ultimate solution to the parasite’s relentless advance. Designed to destroy all sentient life, nothing was allowed to survive. And we were sure that nothing had. We were wrong.”
“Despondent Pyre: How could this happen? How could we not know of this till now? Xalanyn. A species previously uncatalogued.”
Both surprised and confused at the existence of and the Endless’ ability to withstand Halo activation, the Forerunner decided to meet their new neighbor while taking Zeta Halo into the range of the Xalanyn homeworld. However, as the “Banished Audio Logs – Archeological Findings #04: A Curious Directive” indicate, the Forerunner seemed to have ordered Despondent Pyre to subjugate a number of Xalanyn as test subjects and sealed as Cylixes at the Silent Auditorium on Zeta Halo in order to learn how they can withstand Halo rings activation. And as the Legendary ending showed us, someone called the Grand Edict then charged Despondent Pyre to guard the Xalanyn’s Cylixes and assigned Forerunner’s AI Offensive Bias to aid in this process.
A Cylix itself is a large slab containing the genetic information of specimens indexed by the Forerunners stored inside Halo rings. Each Cylix is adorned by a hardlight symbol depicting what species’ genetic code is stored inside of it. Although the primary purpose of a Cylix was to aid in the repopulation of the galaxy in the aftermath of a Flood outbreak, the Forerunners seem to also utilize Cylixes as prisons for beings perceived to be a threat in special situations.
“Despondent Pyre: The council has also provided me with an additional and… curious directive. We must understand the extent of what their kind can truly endure.”
“Grand Edict: The Endless must be contained. I will inform the Criterion to proceed.
Despondent Pyre: They believe we are here to help.
Grand Edict: It matters not. Today we do what it takes to maintain order. To preserve our truth. Time will forget they exist.”
However, during the Installation 07 Conflict or just before Halo Infinite starts, the Banished managed to get ahold of one of the Endless’ Cylixes while excavating Forerunner subterranean structures, a Cylix of a Xalanyn known as the Harbinger. As we learn in the “UNSC Audio Logs – The Prisoner #03: She Was Smiling”, the Banished then forced a human prisoner named Lucas Browning to interface with her Cylix to release her from captivity.
Lucas: They said only a human can open it. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. They held my hand against against the surface. It was so cold. So cold it burned. I screamed at them to stop but then…
But then it began to open. Slowly. Pieces moved. Slid open and then I saw her… face. Oh, God. She was smiling.”
Harbinger decided to ally herself with War Chief Escharum as she’s looking to seek revenge and release her fellow Xalanyn from the Silent Auditorium. She promised to help Escharum return the ring to its operational status. In the Halo Infinite campaign “Pelican Down” and “Conservatory” levels, we learn that the Banished army dug up the Conservatory in order to allow the Harbinger to enter its interior and kill Despondent Pyre and take important data off the Monitor.
Lucas: ‘I am the Harbinger,’ she said. ‘All that you know shall be undone.’ And do you know what he said? Escharum? He said, ‘Good.'”
Nevertheless, Master Chief and the AI Weapon were able to intervene on Escharum and Harbinger’s plan, killing both of them in the process. But of course, that is not the end of the Endless in Halo Infinite‘s story. In the Legendary ending, we can see the Banished head honcho Atriox managed to recover the Cylixes of other Xalanyn on the other part of Zeta Halo. The struggle and mystery of the Endless or Xalanyn will continue to unravel in Halo Infinite future content updates…
Halo Infinite is now available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.