Halo: History Of The Mjolnir Armor

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  • Birth Of Mjolnir
  • Improving The Design
  • Suit Up, Master Chief

The Human-Covenant war that ravaged multiple planets and star systems was nearly the end of humanity. Our species was pushed to the brink by the collection of alien killers who were hellbent on eliminating the human race. It wasn’t until Dr. Catherine Halsey implemented her Spartan program that instilled hope in our survival.

Spartans are genetically enhanced super soldiers that are trained from a young age for combat. Although the majority of the Spartans were wiped out in the Fall of Reach, a few survived and turned the tide against the Covenant, and now, against the Banished. Spartans use special suits of armor to further enhance their abilities called Mjolnir. There’s a deep history associated with the development of the Mjolnir armor that doesn’t get fully explained throughout the Halo series.

Birth Of Mjolnir

Along with the Spartan program, Doctor Halsey is also credited with creating the Mjolnir armor. There are a total of seven iterations of the iconic suit, though the first three weren’t ever cleared for combat use.

The development of the first prototype for the Mjolnir armor began in 2512. The exoskeleton suit was designed to significantly improve a Spartan’s speed, strength, reflexes, agility, and durability. There is also a gel-like layer that regulates the temperature of the suit and can innately apply bio foam to patch wounds temporarily.

What makes the Mjolnir armor special is the layer of reactive metal liquid crystal that’s capable of storing artificial intelligence. Typically, AIs are used on massive starships to help navigate through space, but Halsey was able to design her Spartan armor to support these same AIs. The computer programs are transferred onto a small card that’s inserted into a slot in the back of their helmet. Unfortunately, only Spartans or humans that have received some sort of skeletal augmentation are capable of safely wearing the suit.

Improving The Design

Doctor Halsey began development on the Mark 1 Prototype in 2512, 13 years before the start of the Human-Covenant war. Although Halsey started development on the Mark 1 in 2512, it took ten years for her and her team to complete the first design. The first prototype accomplished its main goals of improving the wearer’s strength and stamina, but the suit had to be tethered to a fusion generator, which severely limited its combat functionality, and it could not support an AI. Roughly 40 suits were produced but were primarily used for combat training and transporting storage.

The next two prototypes after Mark 1 were similar designs with minimal improvements. Mark 2 added a refractive coating to better protect the user from explosive attacks and an improved seal around the suit to survive damage dealt in the vacuum of space. The third prototype presented a breakthrough in the form of a wireless power transmitter, so the suit didn’t have to be connected to a power generator. However, the armor had a limited range from the generator, and if that generator was damaged, the suit would go offline and leave the wearer susceptible to attack.

The fourth prototype of the Mjolnir armor was the first successful one for combat deployment. Mark 4 saw fieldwork from November 27, 2525, to August 29, 2552. Spartans first used the armor suit in the Battle of Chi Ceti and continued using this prototype for nearly 30 years. The heads-up display was significantly improved to identify objects that were picked up. There were five different variants of the armor created that were used for specialized situations: EVA, Grenadier, Security, CQC, and EOD.

Suit Up, Master Chief

The fifth iteration of the Mjolnir armor can be viewed as the closest to Halsey’s vision up to this point. While the Mark 5 was only used for 11 months, it took ten years to finish developing the suit. Halsey was finally able to implement AI support by splitting the crystalline layer into two parts to better form the internal network, while also increasing the user’s strength and reaction times. She was also able to reverse engineer the self-recharging energy shield system used by Jackals to help protect Spartans. Mark 5 was used by Master Chief in Halo: Combat Evolved and Noble Team in Halo: Reach.

In October 2552, the Mark 6 prototype was issued. This iteration of the Mjolnir armor was the most used throughout the series, from Halo 2 to Halo 5: Guardians. During the final stages of development, a secret team in Seongnam, United Korea began working on their own prototype codenamed Mjolnir: Black. This suit further improved the energy shielding system, allowing it to recharge quicker and be stronger overall. Mjolnir: Black was approved for combat use after humanity lost Reach and became the Mark 6 suit for surviving Spartans who returned to Earth.

The current Mjolnir suit Master Chief and other Spartans use is the Mark 7 prototype. Issued in early 2553, the Mark 7 is the suit used in Halo Infinite. Again, created by Halsey, this suit has the capability to upgrade itself while the wearer is in cryo-sleep. Halsey added nanobots to automatically repair both the user and the suit, as well as an atmospheric insertion to allow the user to free-fall from orbit. Although the Mark 7 is the most advanced Mjolnir armor, it’s still labeled as a prototype, which gives the impression that Halsey is working on possible improvements or another future iteration of the suit.

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