One of the most iconic characters in video game history is Master Chief, who is also known by his real name of John-117. As the main character of the Halo franchise, Master Chief has been around for a while already and has always been the star of the main Halo games since 2001. But, given the fact that Halo has been around for a while already and the events of the game follow several years, how old is Master Chief in the games?
Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
The very first Halo game introduced to the franchise is Halo: Combat Evolved, which was released in 2001. This is also the first game that introduced Master Chief, who is humanity’s strongest soldier and their best weapon against the Covenant, an alien race that the humans were in the middle of a war with.
Halo: Combat Evolve’s release marked the beginning of a franchise that would soon become one of the most prominent in the world of video games during the new millennium. Of course, it was Master Chief who helped make the game so popular, as he eventually became a video gaming icon with his appearance in the first Halo game.
The events of the first Halo game focus on the war between the humans and the Covenant, as Master Chief discovered that the Halo Ring was actually a superweapon left by an ancient race of aliens called the Forerunners. The purpose of the Halo was to eradicate all sentient life within the galaxy so that the Forerunners could stop the spread of an alien race called the Flood.
During this time, the events of the story happen in 2552. Meanwhile, Master Chief was born in 2511. This makes him right around or somewhere close to 41 years old during the events of Halo: Combat Evolved.
Halo 2 (2004)
Halo 2 follows the events that happened right after Halo: Combat Evolved, as Master Chief learned that the Covenant discovered the location of Earth prior to the events of the second Halo game. He actually tried to intercept the Covenant fleet, but they were still able to make it to Earth.
In Halo 2, Master Chief is now battling the Covenant on Earth but soon discovers that there was a second Halo superweapon that he needed to stop. While Master Chief joined up with a disgraced Covenant leader named the Arbiter to stop the superweapon, it appeared that the leader of the Covenant called the Prophet of Truth had left Earth to remotely activate the Halo through an installation called the Ark.
Halo 2 happens right after the events of the first Halo game. This means that we are still in 2552 and that Master Chief is still somewhere around 41 years old.
Halo 3 (2007)
Once again, the events of Halo 3 happen right after the events of Halo 2. That’s because the entire story was made to be a trilogy, as the first three Halo games are often called the Halo Trilogy.
Halo 3 follows the events of Master Chief’s immediate pursual of the Prophet of Truth, who seeks to remotely activate the Halo weapon from the Ark. Master Chief and the Arbiter use a portal found at the edge of the galaxy to get teleported to the Ark.
As Master Chief and the Arbiter were in the Ark, a Flood ship crashed into the installation. However, the hero was still able to stop the Halo from activating, but the job was not yet done because he still needed to fight his way out of the situation and through the wreckage to save his AI partner Cortana.
Master Chief rescued Cortana as the duo used a Halo replacement that the Ark began to construct. However, because the replacement Halo n the Ark was yet to be completed, it was only able to destroy the Flood nearby, as the rest of the galaxy was spared from the effects of the weapon.
After destroying the Flood, Master Chief and Cortana escaped through the ship Forward Unto Dawn but ended up drifting in space. The ending to Halo 3 opened up a question that lingered in the minds of Halo fans, as they wondered whether or not there was going to be a continuation to the story, given the fact that the hero was in space with no way to get back home. As of that moment, Master Chief was still 41 years old because the Halo Trilogy all happened in one single year.
Halo 4 (2012)
The Halo Trilogy games were all released within a span of six years, but it took five years for another main Halo game to see a release. Even though there were two other Halo games released during the five-year span between Halo 3 and 4, it was only in Halo 4 that Master Chief returned to the franchise, as he wasn’t in Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach.
During the events of Halo 4, it was revealed that Master Chief had indeed survived the events of Halo 3 because he was put into cryonic sleep for five years, which is the same gap between the real-world release dates of Halo 3 and 4. As Cortana woke him up, the duo found the Forward Unto Dawn drifting into a Forerunner installation called the Requiem.
It was during their time in the Requiem that Master Chief and Cortana unknowingly woke up a Forerunner called the Didact, who hated humanity. Upon waking up, the Didact wanted to wage war against Earth, and he headed towards the planet.
However, before he could do so, Master Chief and Cortana prevented him but at the cost of the AI’s “life.” Cortana, who had to sacrifice herself at the end of Halo 4, was responsible for helping Master Chief stay alive in the five-year gap between the end of Halo 3 and the beginning of Halo 4. Master Chief was around 46 years old during Halo 4’s events.
Halo 5: Guardians (2015)
Before the events of Halo 5, Master Chief was able to reunite with his Blue Team and resumed command of it. However, he received a vision from Cortana, who told her to go to a planet called Meridian. Thinking that Cortana could still be alive somewhere, Master Chief and the rest of the Blue Team disregarded their orders and headed towards Meridian in search of the AI.
Because Master Chief went AWOL, the UNSC publicly announced that the legendary soldier was now dead. However, he was alive and well. The UNSC wanted to neutralize him by sending Fireteam Osiris, a squad led by Jameson Locke. Locke’s mission was to bring him in or possibly even kill the hero if he needed to.
When Blue Team got to Meridian, they found themselves in an ancient Forerunner installation, which transported them to Genesis, a planet that the Forerunners once inhabited. It was in Genesis that Cortana revealed how she was able to survive her supposed demise at the end of Halo 4. Her data managed to find its way into the Domain, which is a repository of knowledge used by the Forerunners.
But, because of the knowledge she gained, Cortana wanted to dispatch Guardians all over the galaxy in an attempt to keep all of the planets within the galaxy in line. Master Chief, who didn’t agree with this authoritarian plan, had to be put in stasis by Cortana. When Fireteam Osiris learned of this, Jameson Locke decided to rescue Blue Team instead because he realized that Cortana was an even bigger threat.
Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris decided to go for a tactical retreat when Cortana started putting her plans into motion. At this time, only a year has passed since the events of Halo 4. This means that Master Chief is somewhere around 46 to 47 years old during the events of Halo 5: Guardians.
Halo Infinite (2021)
Halo Infinite actually happens two years after the ending of Halo 5: Guardians. The game takes place in 2560, which means that Master Chief is somewhere around 49 and is close to his 50s. But he didn’t seem like a man that had slowed down due to the effects of age.
The main enemies of Halo Infinite are the Banished, who were aliens that banded together to form a coalition against Cortana. Much of the game is set on the Forerunner ringworld called Zeta Halo.
Meanwhile, the game opens up in 2559, with Master Chief losing to Atriox, the leader of the Banished. The Brute drops him into space as a UNSC found Master Chief drifting in space for six months.
After Master Chief was saved, he and the pilot went to find other UNSC forces to rally them against the Banished, whose homeworld was destroyed by Cortana’s Guardians. Master Chief also got hold of a new AI called The Weapon, which is simply a copy of Cortana. The Banished were also able to get their hands on their own weapon in the form of the Harbinger, an alien that was imprisoned on Zeta Halo along with the rest of the Endless.
Meanwhile, Cortana got captured by Atriox, who planned to use her and Zeta Halo. As such, Cortana deleted herself and damaged Zeta Halo. In a recorded message, Cortana bid farewell to Master Chief while also apologizing for her mistakes. Master Chief proceeded to defeat the Harbinger, as the game ends with a post-credits scene that seems to open up the next plot for Halo.