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Encyclopedia > The Flood (Halo)

The Flood is a fictional alien parasitic life form in the Halo video game series. Image File history File links Information_icon. ... The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, currently used by the SETI project in the search for extraterrestrial life Extraterrestrial life is life that may exist and originate outside the planet Earth, the only place in the universe currently known to support life. ... A parasite is an organism that spends a significant portion of its life in or on the living tissue of a host organism and which causes harm to the host without immediately killing it. ... Master Chief emerges from smoke and rubble that litters an African plain in Halo 3. ...



In the game series, The Flood is a parasitic virulent life form, which is spread by infected carrier hosts. The Flood appear in three primary forms: Infection, Combat, and Carrier forms, but also have forms such as the Brain form and the Juggernaut form which have not been fully explained. All of these have an attraction to any lifeform of sufficent mass to accommodate them and will try to attack/infect any they encounter.

Life Cycle

The lifecycle of the Flood begins at Infection form as a small, frail, gas-bloated creature that leaps upon a host and attempts to drive in three barbed tentacles (although the small spores that some Flood are seen to release are also used to either infect or incapacitate potential hosts, as 343 Guilty Spark explains over the din of The Library level in the first game).[1] From here, the host is paralyzed and loses consciousness. The infection form bores itself deep into its host, usually in the chest. For a while it plays with its new body, and over time it mutates it by changing hormones and replacing the host's nervous system with its own tentacles. In a combat situation, the host is never fed, and is carelessly treated. Often limbs become infected and begin to rot. Vital organs are liquified and the neck is broken. The disused head of the victim eventually falls off. If the host is of suitable size eg. Human or Elite, long whip-like tentacles emerge from the arms as weapons. If not of suitable size or sufficiently damaged to prevent use in combat the next stage of mutation occurs. The body becomes bloated and rotten. Smaller Infection forms grow within the ball of flesh, as it swells with gas and diseased innards. When the Carrier Form detects a suitable host, they swell and explode releasing Infection forms to continue the cycle. 343 Guilty Spark 343 Guilty Spark (alternatively known to the UNSC as the Monitor; and to the Covenant as the Oracle) is a fictional character featured in the video games Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. ...


In Halo, 343 Guilty Spark mentions that the Flood actually terraform the atmosphere to suit them:[2] This hints that the Flood live in an environment noxious to most other living creatures.

In the games, the true origin of the Flood has not been fully explained, their origins lost in the time passed since their inception and their discovery in Halo. According to what Cortana discovers during Halo, the Forerunner constructed research facilities situated over gas giants and later huge "Fortress World" installations (called "Halos" by the Covenant) to contain and study the Flood. In the event that the Flood was released and all other strategic possibilities were exhausted, the Halos were designed to destroy all sentient life in the galaxy; In Halo 2 Guilty Spark states that the Halo system was fired at least once, killing all life—including the Forerunners—as planned.[3] The thinking behind this is that if the Flood has no food then it will eventually starve to death, allowing the galaxy to slowly re-populate and preventing the Flood from spreading to even more galaxies throughout the Universe. In the sequel, Halo 2, some levels took place onboard a Forerunner facility. Throughout the levels were many small, decorative pedestals supporting objects that are similar in shape and colour to various forms of Flood. These decorations are repeated many times, too precisely to have been created by the Flood, and are probably intentional references to it. Cortana is a fictional artificial intelligence with female programming in the Halo series of video games. ... The Forerunner are a fictional race of beings (not yet confirmed aliens) referred to in the Halo universe. ... Halo 2 is a first-person shooter. ...

Flood forms

Infection form
Infection form

Image File history File links Flood3. ... Image File history File links Flood3. ...

Infection forms

The infection forms are small, tentacled creatures which have their own defined biological framework, and therefore are not dependent upon a host. Individually they are weak and fragile; they appear to come in huge swarms. An infection form will seek out any sentient life of capable bio-mass and calcium deposits to sustain itself, and proceed to attempt to use the creature as a host, by tapping into the spinal/nervous system, suppressing the host's consciousness, embedding itself in the thoracic cavity, and releasing spores which cause the host to mutate. (343 Guilty Spark mentions these "spores" during his own synopsis of the Flood life-cycle) At this point, the infected creature mutates into a possible one of three other forms. An Antarctic krill, whose species comprises roughly 0. ... General Name, Symbol, Number calcium, Ca, 20 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 4, s Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 40. ...

The infection form parasites attack in a flood-like swarm (hence the Flood moniker) that rapidly advances on host organisms, then physically attach themselves to a host as they try to burrow into its chest. Once inside the organism it will begin to modify the host's genetic code and take over. The infection form cannot attach to a host if the host is protected by a personal energy shield; contact with the shield will make them explode with a distinct "pop" sound and will have a minimal effect on the shield's strength. However, if several dozen try to attack a shielded host they will gradually deplete their shields to the point that they are vulnerable. Thus, soldiers such as the human SPARTAN soldiers and the Covenant Elites have some protection against the Flood and may mount a counter-attack, but unshielded troops (the majority of both armies) such as UNSC Marines and Covenant Grunts, Jackals, Brutes, and Drones are quickly and easily obliterated by an attack by masses of infection forms. Brutes have not been seen infected, possibly due to their non-deployment to Flood-infested areas, while the symbiotic communal nature of the Hunter makes them immune to infection. The Covenant is a fictional galaxy-wide, militaristic, theocratic imperial alliance of alien races from the Xbox video game franchise Halo. ... United Nations Space Command Defense Force Logo In the fictional Halo universe, the United Nations Space Command (more commonly known by its abbreviation, UNSC) is a fictional world government ruling over a large interstellar empire of planets. ...

Human Combat form
Human Combat form

Image File history File links Flood_Human. ... Image File history File links Flood_Human. ...

Combat forms

If the host is strong or deemed "useful" by the parasitic infection form, then the host will be converted into a warrior or worker form, used in defensive/offensive situations as well as maintaining and repairing machinery. In Halo 2, the Flood have the ability to pilot and repair vehicles, which suggests that the Flood utilize the memories and knowledge of their hosts. The Halo novels also make reference to the Flood leeching the memories of their hosts to use equipment. These warrior or combat forms are extremely strong and agile and can jump to extreme distances and heights, with the Covenant Elite-derived combat forms sometimes being able to use the energy shielding technology on their remaining Elite armour in Halo 2. However, the parasite form within the host is susceptible to gunfire and, if shot, completely disables the combat form until another infection form burrows into it and takes control. These forms can use all UNSC and Covenant weaponry, but are not seen using the Fuel Rod Gun (and in Halo they did not use sniper rifles). Combat Flood are also capable of unarmed combat, striking with whip-like tentacles protruding from the arms of the host. These tentacles can grow out of the arm at an alarming rate, simply breaking the nearby bones and displacing them. They also carry the grenades equipped before the host was infected, which are dropped when killed. Flood combat forms totally ignore any threat to themselves and those fighting alongside them and will often kill themselves to kill an opponent. The source of this reckless behaviour has never been identified, though because the Flood are intelligent—albeit not necessarily on an individual level—it is unlikely that the explanation for the wantonly violent ways of combat forms is quite as simple as a primitive drive to obtain food. Halo 2 is a first-person shooter. ... The Covenant is a fictional interstellar, militaristic, theocratic imperial alliance of alien races from the Halo video game series. ... United Nations Space Command Defense Force Logo In the fictional Halo universe, the United Nations Space Command (more commonly known by its abbreviation, UNSC) is a fictional world government ruling over a large interstellar empire of planets. ... The Covenant is a fictional interstellar, militaristic, theocratic imperial alliance of alien races from the Halo video game series. ...

UNSC Marines and Covenant Elites are typically converted into combat forms. The Covenant type are larger and quicker with stiff tentacles that are used to slash, with their heads hanging limply over their backs as though their neck bones have been removed. In one encounter the Elite combat forms have active camouflage, although it is unknown if they are capable of operating it or were just wearing it when they were infected. Elite forms have learned to use their remaining armour's energy shields and some can be seen sporting them. The Human type is smaller, slower and more frail in their appearance and attack with whip-like tentacles. Both forms carry assorted weaponry, showing no discernible preference for weapon type or origin.

Carrier Form
Carrier Form

Image File history File links Carrier_Flood. ... Image File history File links Carrier_Flood. ...

Carrier forms

The third stage of the flood cycle. A combat form mutates into a carrier form when it is horribly damaged or useless in battle. Carriers grow large sacs which contain several infection forms. When a carrier is in close proximity to any number of suitable hosts; or is fired upon it triggers some manner of biochemical reaction, causing the sacs to explode and spread the infection forms in order to infect more hosts. This continues the Flood life cycle. Also, as the Flood do not care for their physical forms, older and worn combat forms can be turned into carriers once they have outlived their usefulness. Covenant Grunts, Jackals, and decayed combat forms are often used to serve as carrier forms.

Brain forms

Captain Keyes, mutated into a Brain Form
Captain Keyes, mutated into a Brain Form

Brain forms are large, spongy Flood forms which resemble a large bag of flesh with tentacles. They are used to collect information on important things, such as codes, planet locations and information about the species that the Flood can infect. In Halo, Captain Jacob Keyes was subjected to an 'interrogation' of sorts by one of these forms before finally being assimilated by the Flood form. Image File history File links Brainform_Flood. ... Image File history File links Brainform_Flood. ...

Over time the Brain form strips memories and information from its victims. However, Keyes was able to resist giving the Flood information regarding the location of Earth when he realized that the Flood could not strip away information that he could draw from his neural implants, such as his name, rank, serial number, and the name of the ship that he commanded. Thus by "feeding" the Flood that information, he could continue to access it and avoid giving the Flood more important information.[4] All body tissues and bones are soon reduced to fluid, and is digested as the brain slowly absorbs the information.

Large blobs of Flood matter are seen all over the city of High Charity after the Flood invasion. One particularly large blob is in the cockpit of a crashed Pelican, and may have been an absorbed pilot turned into a brain form in order to operate the Pelican.

Command forms

The command forms, due to their limited exposure in the Halo trilogy, are not well understood. Their purpose is not exactly known. The Gravemind from Halo 2 is a command form over either all Flood or that on Installation 05 (Delta Halo), and when the Flood invaded the Covenant supply ship Infinite Succor they used corpses and dead biomatter to feed what appeared to be a much smaller, developing gravemind, which the Prophet Legate assumed to be a sort of central brain controlling the infestation. Master Chief emerges from smoke and rubble that litters an African plain in Halo 3. ... Gravemind is a fictional character featured in the video game Halo 2. ...

Flood details

It appears that the Flood cannot or will not infect already dead lifeforms, as one of the Marines in Halo evades the Flood by playing dead.[5] However the ability of infection forms to reanimate incapacitated Flood forms seems to suggest that once the initial infection has occurred, a new Infection form can quickly take control. The Flood have been noted to gather corpses for use in the construction of command forms, however.

The Flood on Installation 04 were completely destroyed in Halo: Combat Evolved and in Halo 2 they returned with the ability to operate in-game vehicles. In Halo 2, the Flood is apparently led by Gravemind, a massive creature that dwells beneath Delta Halo's Library and on High Charity. It is not currently known if there is a Gravemind in each Halo, or if the Gravemind encountered on Delta Halo is unique. Gravemind is a fictional character featured in the video game Halo 2. ... In the video game Halo 2, Installation 05, also known as Delta Halo (see footnotes), is one of the Halo Fortress World Installations built by the Forerunners to contain the Flood. ... In the video game Halo 2, High Charity is the name of the mobile capital city of the Covenant. ...

"The Flood" were possibly named as such by the game's creators due to their overwhelming numbers. However, it may also be a reference to a Great Flood mentioned in the Bible (the story of Noah's Ark). This is supported in the game by the existence of an enormous, enigmatic Forerunner structure known as "the Ark," which can remotely control the Halos. A painting by the American Edward Hicks (1780–1849), showing the animals boarding Noahs Ark two by two. ...

External links

  • Halopedia - Halo Knowledge center
  • Bungie.org Flood Archives
  • Flood Discussion @ Bungie Forums


  1. ^ http://halosm.bungie.org/story/level_transcripts/lv07_library.html Halo Story Page | Level Transcripts
  2. ^ 343 Guilty Spark: Your environment suit should serve you well when the Flood begins to alter the atmosphere. You are a good planner.
  3. ^ 343 Guilty Spark: After exhausting every other strategic option, my creators activated the rings. They, and all additional sentient life in three radii of the galactic center, died ...as planned.
  4. ^ See the novel Halo: The Flood
  5. ^ Marine: Play dead! That's what I did... played dead. They took the live ones...
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