Why Master Chief can be Considered a Pop Icon

The Halo series has unquestionably been one of the most influential video games of all time. With the release of Halo 4 just around the corner we thought it would be a fun idea to shed a little light on all the different forms of entertainment that Master Chief has made a difference in. He is a renowned hero that any gamer can learn to love, he is one of gaming’s most recognizable characters and has even been named the savior of Xbox. All these things and more make up the idol that he is but video games are just a minute group of population reached while this hero has gone afar the gaming industry. The Halo series has gone beyond the influences of home consoles and Chief made his way to a number of different entertainment forms. From movies, books, TV shows, comics and not to mention the multiple references in other video games this game has proven itself to be one of the prime example to show off gaming in other entertainment forms. Master Chief is more than just a video game character, he is an icon.

Master Chief has his own book series and of course that walks hand in hand with the Halo comics. This is known to most gamers and comic book fans. If you’re a fan of the game you have to read these novels to get the full story of the Halo series. These books aren’t new to gamers and neither are the comics but it is still worth mentioning when it comes to halo’s influences over the entertainment industry as a whole. Some of the other more popular references to Master Chief away from gaming include action figures and LEGO play sets.

Aside from the obvious book series, Master Chief has also been noted as the very first video game character to have had a wax figure made and displayed in a public museum. These life sized wax figures are displayed in the most famous wax museum franchises in the world, Madame Tussaud’s. The wax museums that hold the replicas of Master Chief are located in Los Angeles and Amsterdam. Master Chief stands in these museums with some of Hollywood’s most renowned talent and he fits in perfectly.

Master Chief has also appeared on a number of different TV shows. Although his appearance is usually discrete there are some cases where direct reference is made to the character. As most fans know Master Chief’s name is John and his number reads ‘117’. In an episode of popular animated cartoon, American Dad, the protagonists son is in the hospital with a roommate by the name of John located in room 117. This is one of the lesser known references to Master Chief but a little too obvious to be coincidence.

Chief has also been seen in CSI: Miami, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and The Big Bang Theory. CSI: Miami features Halo 3 game play with an original Xbox controller. The Halo 3 legendary edition of the game had come with a replica of Master Chief’s helmet which can be seen in the background of the main characters apartment in The Big Bang Theory. Although these references might not seem all that important, it is due to the fact of these shows attempting to create a visual of gaming and in order to do so they used the most recognizable game and character out there; Halo with Master Chief.

The Halo series has also been a ‘go-to’ game to appear in a number of featured films. Just as Master Chief appeared in multiple TV shows he has been no stranger to the big screen (aside from the whole Halo the movie idea/rumor that has been going around for years). Halo 3 can be seen on movies such as Jumper, Knight Rider and Eagle Eye. There has also been a 3D promotional poster featured in the film The Day the Earth Stood Still. Halo game play footage can be seen in music videos such as ‘Beggin’ by Madcon and Sydney Sampson’s ‘Riverside’.

Halo is still not stricken to just books, comics, wax figures, toys, TV shows and movies however, because its popularity has also brought its name, face and characteristics to other video games. No, that doesn’t mean which games copy its structure but it means which games actually feature Halo within them. In both Fable II and Duke Nukem: Forever a reference to Master Chief was made.

In Fable II there is a character of legend by the name of “Hal”. This character is otherwise known as the Master Chief and “Hal’s Armor” is also a clear visual of being inspired from the Halo series. It is also important to note that one of the first weapons that the player can get in the special edition of the game is an Energy Sword. In addition to the Collector’s Edition of Fable II the title “Master Chief” is available to use from any vendor.

In Duke Nukem: Forever protagonist Duke spoofs most popular video games out there, with Halo not being an exception. Once Duke is commanded to put on a Master Chief looking helmet and chest armor set Duke refuses and states, “Power armor is for pussies.” Although this isn’t Halo’s nicest or cleanest reference it was still part of the game and still another way the Halo franchise has stepped away from being ’just another video game’.

As you can see the Halo series has not only made a name for themselves but an empire like organization where people cannot escape the image of Master Chief… well kind of. Master Chief is everywhere and has been everywhere for years. He is the face of modern gaming and with Halo 4 being released this year we cannot predict that the habits of Chief appearing in random places will stop. He is a character that is not going to ever go away and a character that players have been dying to play as again for years. From books to movies and even wax figures the ways of Master Chief are not soon fading. Welcome back Chief and we hope to see you in more than just video games after the release of Halo 4.

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