Those who grew up playing Halo would know the fact that Master Chief is the hero of the entire game franchise and that the games are part of an entire canon. Then again, even though Master Chief is the very essence of what a Halo game is, you might be wondering if there was ever a Halo game wherein he died. That sounds a bit absurd, considering that Halo games are interconnected with one another, but that is something that we are to look at.
Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
Halo: Combat Evolved is the very first Halo game in the franchise. Of course, this was the game that introduced Master Chief to the entire gaming community, as he soon became an icon because of how popular the first Halo game was during the time of its release.
The focus of this game was Master Chief’s journey across the entire gigantic Halo Ring, as humanity was still in the middle of a war against the Covenant. However, he also discovered in this game that the Halo is actually a superweapon that can destroy all sentient lifeforms within a good radius from it so that an alien race called the Flood won’t be able to spread across the galaxy.
In this game, Master Chief and Cortana successfully destroy Halo. They also managed to escape aboard a spacecraft and survived the destruction of the superweapon. As such, Master Chief survived the events surrounding the very first Halo game.
Halo 2 (2004)
Prior to the events of Halo 2, Master Chief discovered that the Covenant learned the location of Earth, and that leads him to mount a preemptive strike against the alien race that they have been in a war with for a long time. However, the Covenant still managed to survive his preemptive strike, as Master Chief was now back on Earth during the events of Halo 2.
In Halo 2, the main story revolves around Master Chief defending Earth from a Covenant invasion. However, he soon discovered that there was another Halo superweapon that he needed to prevent and destroy before it was activated. Master Chief was forced to join up with a disgraced Covenant commander named the Arbiter, as they sought to stop the Halo’s activation with the help of the Gravemind, a Flood intelligence.
However, the remaining Covenant leader called the Prophet of Truth heads to Earth so that he can activate the Halo remotely from the Ark. This forces Master Chief to pursue the Prophet of Truth, as Halo 2 ends in a cliffhanger that opens the story up for the events of Halo 3. It is safe to say that Master Chief indeed survived this game’s events.
Halo 3 (2007)
In the events of Halo 3, Master Chief joins up once again with the Arbiter, as both of them seek to stop the Prophet of Truth from activating the Halo superweapon from the Ark. The game follows Master Chief and the Arbiter through a portal located at the edge of the galaxy. This portal sent them to the Ark so that they could pursue the Prophet of Truth.
Master Chief eventually got into the Ark, as a Flood ship crashed into it. Meanwhile, he was able to stop the Halo weapon from activating and had to battle through the wreckage of the ship so that he could find and save Cortana.
After rescuing Cortana, Master Chief was able to activate a replacement Halo that was still in the middle of construction on the Ark. This allows them to destroy all of the Flood while also sparing the rest of the galaxy from its effects because the weapon was yet to be completed and did not have its full power. Master Chief and Cortana escaped aboard the ship Forward Unto Dawn, but they found themselves adrift in the middle of space, as fans were wondering about Master Chief’s ultimate fate at the end of what was supposed to be a Halo trilogy.
Halo 4 (2012)
Halo 4 was the first time Master Chief returned as a playable character in the Halo franchise five years since the release of the previous main Halo game. That’s because he didn’t make an appearance in both Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach.
In Halo 4, it was revealed that Master Chief and Cortana were still alive while drifting in the middle of space, as the hero was actually in cryonic sleep for five years, given that Halo 3 happened in 2552 while Halo 4 happened in 2557. As such, Master Chief didn’t die at the end of the events of Halo 3.
The ship Forward Unto Dawn drifted towards a Forerunner structure called the Requiem. As the duo sought to prevent another Earth ship from drifting to the Requiem, Master Chief and Cortana attempted to activate what they thought was a communications relay but was actually something that woke up a Forerunner called the Didact, who hated humanity and wanted to resume his war against the humans.
Master Chief and Cortana pursue the Didact so that they can stop his attempt at starting a war with Earth. However, Cortana had to sacrifice herself so that Didact’s plans would fail. As such, Master Chief survived the events of Halo 4 but not Cortana.
Halo 5: Guardians (2015)
Somewhere before the events of Halo 5, Master Chief was able to reunite with the members of his Blue Team, who he had not seen for more than five years. Meanwhile, as he resumed his leadership of his Blue Team, he received a vision from Cortana requesting him to go to a human colony called Meridian. Disregarding orders, Master Chief and the rest of the Blue Team headed to the coordinates of Meridian.
Because Blue Team went AWOL, the UNSC had to dispatch Fireteam Osiris led by Jameson Locke to bring them in. In a cinematic trailer, the team behind Halo 5 even teased us of the possible death of Master Chief at the hands of Locke, but this was not the case.
Meanwhile, the legendary Master Chief was announced dead by the UNSC, even though he was still alive pursuing Cortana. Technically, he “died,” even though that wasn’t the case in reality. Then in Meridian, Blue Team got transported to the Forerunner planet called Genesis.
In Genesis, Cortana revealed how she was able to survive her supposed death in Halo 4, as she used the Forerunner repository of knowledge known as the Domain. However, she revealed to Master Chief her new plans of deploying Guardians all over the galaxy under what seemed like an authoritarian regime.
Because Master Chief was not in on Cortana’s plans, he and Blue Team had to be put in stasis until they were rescued by Fireteam Osiris. Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris had to retreat when Cortana started putting her plans into motion. As such, Master Chief survived the events of Halo 5, which set up the events of Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite (2021)
In Halo Infinite, Master Chief continued his mission to try to stop Cortana. She was already dead, but remnants of her data were able to survive and were wreaking Havoc through an entirely different Cortana. Master Chief was already aware that his one-time partner was already dead, and he was forced to put down what remained of her.
While trying to learn more about what is called the Zeta Halo, Master Chief also comes into odds with The Banished, whose leader’s home planet was decimated by Cortana sometime between the end of Halo 5 and the events of Halo Infinite.
However, Cortana eventually realized the mistake in her ways and actually deleted herself to confirm her exit from the franchise for good. She sent a message to Master Chief to apologize for her actions. Cortana also told Master Chief to embrace “The Weapon” just as he did her. And this weapon is just actually an AI that resembles Cortana.
Halo Infinite’s story wraps up with Master Chief alive and well and free to explore the open-world environment of the game. As such, Master Chief still survives the latest installation in the Halo franchise, as the future for the game series was revealed during the post-credit scenes of Halo Infinite.