- 1 Current Projects
- 2 Overview
- 3 Description
- 4 Culture
- 5 History
- 6 Anatomy and Physiology
- 7 Battlefield Tactics/Weaponry
- 8 Post-Covenant
- 9 Appearances
- 10 Halo 2 and Halo 3 Comparison
- 11 Brute Hierarchy
- 12 References
- 13 Project Notes
Draft for Brute (Halo)
|Halo series character|
|First game||Halo 2 (2004)|
The Brutes have been around since before the time of the destruction of the farming planet Harvest, but the Sangheili greatly feared the goals and ambitions of the Brutes and purposefully kept them in low-ranking positions for as long as they possibly could. They seem to have high aspirations, and are extremely zealous in their belief of the Covenant's Great Journey, mainly due to their blind faith in the Covenant. The plot, to have the Jiralhanae put into power over the Elites started with their alliance with the Prophet of Truth during the Battle of Harvest and continued to gain headway until the eventual splitting of the Covenant between Covenant Loyalist Brutes and the Covenant Separatist Elites. They became the Honor Guards of the Prophets after the High Prophet of Regret was slain by the Master Chief, resulting in the removal of the Elites from this traditional role. They protect the Prophets fiercely. They first appear in Halo 2, but only in the cutscenes are they shown until the level, Sacred Icon, but only dead ones are seen. They are first encountered as live enemies in the level Gravemind in Halo 2.
Brutes are of simian origin, they have been said to resemble large gorillas but, in some ways, they also resemble rhinoceroses, with bear-like characteristics. In Halo 2 they also resemble cougars. They have thick, grey skin, and are covered with matted, black, tan, or brown fur-like hair and some have short black coloured beards. Their large, stocky appearance is most likely due to the gravity on their planet, which is about twice the gravity of that on Earth. As they age, the hair will change to a greyish-silver colour, which is a great sign of respect for all the Brutes. They have very sharp teeth and sometimes use them as a weapon. Standing nine feet tall, they are immensely strong even when pierced by multiple bullet wounds (to the point of overpowering a SPARTAN in MJOLNIR armor in hand to hand combat) and fight hand-to-hand if they ever lose their weapon. John-117 barely survived a hand-to-hand battle with one, proving how physically dangerous they are.  The Brutes, with the exception of Tartarus , did not use energy shielding in Halo 2. In Halo 3, all of them are equipped with Power Armor. Brutes speak in deep, gravely voices when speaking human languages; however, they often speak with loud roars and grunts.
Brutes are extremely zealous creatures, known for their willingness to cling to ancient, bloody traditions and are deep believers in the promise of the Great Journey and in the Forerunners. Their home is war-torn, and the creatures are known for their particular joy in vicious activity, complimented by regimented discipline.
They prefer using weapons from their homeworld rather than the Covenant standard-issue plasma-based firearms. Brute weapons are notable for being extremely dangerous, somewhat primitive and brutal, and always featuring a blade attachment such as the Spiker, Mauler, Brute Shot, and the Gravity Hammer. These weapons show their barbaric nature. Although they do have their own type of plasma rifle, it is only found in Halo 2 (the rifle is red, but fires twice as fast as its blue counterpart, also causing it to overheat twice as fast). This type of plasma rifle was removed in Halo 3. However, it is proven that Brutes favour shotguns over all Human weapons.
In general, Brutes have a pronounced dislike of the Sangheili, due to the fact that they believe that they are better protectors of the Prophets than the Elites. The Prophet of Truth took advantage of this to ignite the Great Schism during the events of Halo 2.
Brutes have a fierce pack culture and lineage, a close knit affair that ties each member to another, and forces them into varying states of rage known as "berserking", and desperate mourning for their fallen pack mates should one die in the midst of battle. What a pack member kills may be the food of the pack. Each pack is led by a prominent Brute Chieftain that wields a ceremonial Gravity Hammer to denote his status. A Brute becomes a pack Chieftain by challenging the current Chieftain to a Mortal duel; the victor claims the title after executing the other. It seems that the Hammer is also passed down to the winner of the duel. An example is the duel between Maccabeus and Tartarus. Tartarus came out victorious and won the Fist of Rukt. Their warrior culture is extremely patriarchal, with rank measured by success in the battlefield. Female Brutes have never been seen in battle.
Most, if not all Brutes, have Latin-sounding names, some examples of which are Tartarus and Bracktanus. In Contact Harvest, it is revealed that the "us" at the end of their name is an honour denoting maturity or experience in battle. Oddly, in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, there was a Brute Shipmaster, by the name of Gargantum, which seems to contradict this rule, although this is never explained why. It is also possible that the ending "-us" could come from the name Brutus, who killed Julius Caesar. This can explain both the nickname of the Brutes, and their personal names.
Despite their savagery, Brutes have proven intelligent enough to achieve spaceflight and space-faring status, though their warlike nature meant they quickly collapsed into civil war after, falling back to their former pre-space status and learning nothing from the experience. The Brutes had recently concluded a mechanized war of attrition in which the many Master Packs fought and pummelled each other back to a pre-industrial state. When the Covenant discovered them, they had just rediscovered radio and rocketry. Their warrior culture makes them formidable opponents, even for Spartans, and they were incorporated into the Covenant as fierce guards for the Prophets and heavy infantry.
Brutes are obviously carnivores, given their fearsome fanged jaws and propensity for violence. It has been stated that they feed on the flesh of their enemies, such as the Humans they face in battle, and have been seen eating the meat of a Thorn Beast, apparently considered a delicacy among Brutes. They have once stated they would have gladly devoured the Arbiter, had they been allowed.
As part of the Covenant, Brutes were required as a prerequisite to convert to the Prophets' religion of worshiping the Forerunners. Previously, their original culture revolved around the worship of totems and idols, but they made swift converts. As it is, the Brutes are now the most fanatical adherents to the Prophet's faith, although they seem to hold little concept of sanctity, evidenced by Tartarus's handling of the "Oracle", among other things. Though Brutes are described numerous times as the most recent additions to the Covenant, their "ancient feud" with the Sangheili means that their introduction into the Covenant was still some time ago.
Even at a glance, the Brutes are one of the most primitive members of the Covenant, at least technologically. Even though they employ Power Armor, and use a selection of the Covenant's weapons such as the Plasma Rifle, their native technology is crude; they use weapons propelling crude spike-like or explosive projectiles. These weapons are often fitted with vicious yet crude metal blades for melee combat.
Doisac is the name of the Brute home world. It possesses three satellites: Warial, Solrapt, and Teash, and is the fourth planet of the Oth Sonin system. The gravity on the planet is approximately 2.1G  while the atmosphere is 1.3 atm. Surface temperature is between -15'C to 52'C. The estimated population of the planet is approximately 12.5 billion. Its habitat is described as being dominated by magma and magnetism. 
Anatomy and Physiology
Brutes are physically imposing enemies to face in combat. Standing at approximately 9 feet tall, they not only tower over their human opponents, but the majority of their Covenant allies. They have thick, grey skin that is extremely resilient to damage.
They are covered in thick, shaggy fur that offers further protection. It covers most of the body except for the head and the shoulder blades. However, the Brutes in Halo 2 are shaggier than those of Halo 3. In Halo 3, the Brutes have what looks like scales on their arms, but it may have been extensions to their Armour. Brutes exhibit two coloration's: brown and grey. This is perhaps an indication of age, since lower ranking Brutes are brown and most Honor Guards, and Tartarus himself, are grey. In Halo 3, they are seen with shaved faces, which increases the fearful effect they have on opponents.
In Halo 3 Brutes have mixed red-and-blue blood (on first glance they look completely red, but on closer inspection one would see blue spots in pools of Brute blood). At a casual glance, it appears purple. In Halo 2, however, it appeared black. Brutes resemble a cross between an ape and a rhino, being taller and more muscular in the torso and limbs than a human.
Heavily muscled and possessing an animalistic brutality and strength, Brutes can rely on close combat to defeat their enemies, even more so than their human counterparts. However, their great strength may in fact be simply relative, due to the species' evolution on a world with twice the gravity of Delta Halo, Earth, and other planets and structures with one g. featuring characteristics simian, ursine, and alien, their appearance matches their human given name.
Brutes have four digits on each hand including opposable thumbs. As such this allows them to make use of a variety of weapons both of Covenant and human design. Their feet have only two digits. When it comes to ranged conflict Brutes show a tendency to use large, rapid firing, often powerful weapons. This may be indicative of their mentality and an extension of their brutal nature. The many spikes and serrated edges that adorn their race's weapons, vehicles and Armor further exhibit this. It is interesting to note that in Halo 2 Jiralhanae can be seen using Human M90 shotguns. The Brutes also created a handgun version of the Shotgun, the Mauler, in Halo 3.
Brutes are not as mentally slow as they may appear, and are often fairly cunning tacticians. As such they can pilot vehicles, ships, and command both land based and fleet encounters with strategic competence, if lacking in artistic flair.
Brutes are known to descend into a highly aggressive berserk killing-rage when all their pack mates have been killed. Their incredible physical strength coupled with a dogged self determination to kill their target makes a berserk Brute a force to be reckoned with, powerful enough to kill Hunters (if they slam into the hunter enough). Also, when berserking, they will not hesitate to attack an enemy, even if the target is in a vehicle, such as a Ghost. If the target is in a Spectre or Wraith, they will board it and attempt to kill (in a Wraith) or force the enemy out (such as in a Warthog or Spectre). Interestingly, they will not attack, nor hijack a low flying vehicle (such as a Banshee).
There is a substantial difference between the Brutes of Halo 2 and Halo 3. The Brutes of Halo 2 had very little Armour, were unclothed and unshaven. The Brutes of Halo 3 were largely shaven, clothed in tight-fitting garments and were adorned with Power Armor.
The aesthetic and graphic differences between the two games also had a strong dichotomy between them, for the Brutes in Halo 2 were less detailed and bulkier than they were in Halo 3. This is a result of the technology at the time the two games were made.
Given the absence of power Armour at the time of Halo 2, it is possible that the Brutes that were seen were members of Tartarus's pack and/or a subset of the Jiralhanae that shunned the use of extensive protection and emphasized relying on their own strength, skill, courage and ferocity to protect them.
In Halo: Contact Harvest, it is stated that before Jiralhanae reach full maturity, they naturally release pheromones. Other Jiralhanae can smell these pheromones and tell how others are feeling by the scent. When they do reach maturity, they learn to control the releases of their pheromones and most likely stop them all together.
Unlike Elites who are masterfully skilled tacticians, the Brute combat mentality relies on overwhelming force, sheer brute strength, power in numbers, and the firepower to kill its opposition, (and it must be noticed that this tactic will work in-game if the player doesn't run away fast enough). However, Brutes are also capable of more advanced tactics such as flanking maneuvers and taking cover. Most Brute packs encountered in Halo 3 will often consist of 4-6 individuals; the number of each type of individual varies with the difficulty being played. Often, these packs will consist of 1 Brute Captain, 1-2 Brute Majors and 2-3 Brute Minors. It can be twice that many if there is a Chieftain in command near by.
Whilst patrolling, Brutes exhibit a sense of calm and confidence, some have been found testing captured Human weaponry whilst in this relaxed state. Once engaged in combat the Brutes hunch into a more ape-like stance and begin firing upon their target(s). Often the target is subjected to a barrage of fire and explosives in excess of what Elites and Grunts can muster simply because of the new Brute weaponry.
Brutes rely primarily on their own technology. They are initially found wielding Brute Plasma Rifles to deadly effect. These faster firing variants on the standard Plasma Rifle suit the Brute mentality well. Higher ranking members of the pack (often Captains) are found using the Brute Shot allowing a Brute pack to lay down a withering hail of explosive fire on an enemy position. In the later months of the Covenant Civil War, they become much better equipped, with many weapons of their own make such as Spikers and Spike Grenades.
Originally only wielded by Tartarus in Halo 2, the Gravity Hammer is a favored weapon of Brute Chieftains in Halo 3. Swinging it with considerable power, Brutes use the weapon to crush their foes and knock enemies down.
Like the Elites, the Brutes can pilot most vehicles including Ghosts, Spectres, Banshees and Wraiths. Brutes also have the ability to Board vehicles. If given the opportunity, they will attempt to jump onto your vehicle and melee you off it. In Halo 3 Brutes use two new vehicles, the Chopper and the Prowler.
With the advent of the Covenant Civil War, Brute weaponry is more commonplace. The Type-2 Antipersonnel Fragmentation Grenade, more commonly known as the Spike Grenade, is a creation of the Brutes themselves. It is suspected that with their newly found dominance amongst the Covenant Loyalists, the Brute Plasma Rifle has been replaced with the Type-25 Carbine or Spiker. The blades that adorn this weapon are a testament to their barbaric nature and their affinity for close-quarters combat.
Brutes are also fond of explosives and will often use all types of Grenades in combat, although they aren't very accurate (they throw particularly Spike and Incendiary grenades). They have also been known to use Fuel Rod Cannons, Rocket Launchers, and even Frag Grenades. For some reason, Brutes seem particularly fascinated with human Shotguns, perhaps attributable to the advent of the Mauler into the Covenant ranks. Their skill with the Covenant Carbine, makes them dangerous at mid to long ranges. On higher difficulties in the level High Charity and in the level The Covenant, Brutes will use Battle Rifles (although the latter is in a Banshee), but this is quite rare, since they regard most human weapons as worthless (despite how effective some of these are against them, an example would be the Battle Rifle).
The last surviving Brute of a pack will go berserk, charging at its enemies in a blind rage. This may be due to the strong bonds with the members of their pack. A Brute, after calming down from its rage, will sulk and mourn the loss of its comrades, even caress the bodies of the fallen. However, upon seeing its enemy, the Brute will abandon its sulking mood and once again become enraged. This mourning is a rare occurrence, almost never seen in combat, and only when there is a brief lull in the fighting.
Brutes are extremely resilient, and can take enormous amounts of damage. Before Halo 3, they lacked any form of equivalent to the Elite Personal Energy Shield. As of Halo 3, regular adoption of Power Armor has been cycled into Brute ranks. However, the Power Armour is weak to Plasma-based weaponry and can fall apart. If the armor is successfully destroyed, the Brute will charge and try to fight hand to hand.
A Brute Rampage (also known as "Berserking") is when a Brute becomes enraged and aggressively charges its enemy in a reckless attack (In Halo 2 an enraged Brute will drop their weapon and charge immediately). The Brutes in Halo 3 keep hold of their weapon, though they still charge instead of firing it. When a Brute berserks they may charge in a straight line towards you. Usually they will pause for a brief moment immediately before the charge, this gives you a chance to anticipate their actions. It is possible to exploit this tendency by allowing the Brutes to charge in a straight line off the edge of a cliff, while using yourself as bait. Weapon Chieftains do not drop their weapon; instead they charge with their Gravity Hammer. Captains have been seen going berserk, while wildly firing their weapon with full/semi-full power Armour.
Their "rampage" stages come in two types, in Halo 2 the brutes would run at you on all fours and then melee you to death while remaining on all fours. In Halo 3 they will put their arms outwards and run at the player and do a smashing type animation or jump at the player and do the same.
- Member of said Brute's pack is killed.
- When the player is seen by a Chieftain.
- Random anger on higher difficulties for higher ranks.
- When their Power Armor is stripped.
- When it is the last Brute alive.
- When it is hit with a Spike Grenade or Plasma Grenade.
Though the Jiralhanae retained their pack and tribalistic culture, their constant internal feuds began to take a back seat as enmity with the Sangheili built up, caused by the similarity in roles between the two species. Though the Jiralhanae retained the majority of their pre-Covenant technology, they also began to incorporate aspects of Covenant technology into their own designs, including mounting a plasma cannon onto their Prowler, a vehicle with a strong Jiralhanae aesthetic but with some Covenant technology. The Jiralhanae have little need to learn the languages of other species, instead relying on translation devices. Their exact fate, after the disastrous defeat at the Ark, is unknown, though it is extremely unlikely that they would surrender or retreat, or that the Sangheili would allow them to. Thus, it is reasonable to think that the UNSC and Elites destroyed the remnants of Brute resistance or are in the process of doing so.
Chronologically the first appearance in canon that the Brutes make is in Halo: Contact Harvest, where the Prophets send a Brute-operated vessel, rather than an Elite ship, to capture the "relics" on Harvest: actually the Human occupants. The resulting hostilities led to the Human-Covenant War.
After the events at Harvest, the Brutes played an even more reduced role, absent from almost every battle or event in the war. This is possibly explained by their failure to eradicate all the Humans on Harvest. They soon began petitioning the High Council for more participation within the Covenant military. They were next seen in Halo: First Strike acting as Temple Guards on the Unyielding Hierophant. In Halo 2, they began to replace the Elites within the military, eventually replacing them completely after they withdrew from the Covenant, and in Halo 3 they make up the dominant caste among the Covenant armed forces. In Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Brutes are shown loading Human nuclear missiles aboard a destroyer for analysis, but play a relatively minor part. Brutes did not appear in Halo: Combat Evolved.
- Halo: First Strike
- Halo 2
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Halo: Contact Harvest
- Halo 3
- Halo: Uprising
- Halo: Last One Standing
Halo 2 and Halo 3 Comparison
The Halo 2 Brute and the Halo 3 Brute differs in many ways. Appearance is one thing, but damage resistance is a big difference in the two games. Probably due to the fact that there are far more Brutes in Halo 3 than Halo 2, the Halo 3 Brutes are somewhat weaker, able to take slightly less damage than their Halo 2 counterparts.
The Brute species is arranged in a pack society, based on a hierarchy determined by viciousness and number of war kills. A “pack master” leads brute packs. A Chieftain will frequently be addressed as such while issuing orders during combat. In Halo 2, the ranks were mostly determined by red flags on their backs, the amount of Armour they wore and the colour of their fur (sometimes even their weapons). Like the Elites, ranks in Halo 3 are differentiated by Armour colour. Furthermore, the higher the rank, the more advanced and resilient the Armour becomes.
- Halo: Contact Harvest, Page 194
- Halo 2 Collector's Edition Game Manual
- Halo:Contact Harvest
- Halo:Contact Harvest
- The Arbiter, Halo 2-"Them? What about us? My belly aches, and his flesh is seared just the way I like it."
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Beastarium collector's edition
- Halo 3, Essentials Disk 1
- Halo: Contact Harvest
Draft for Prophet (Halo)
|Halo series character|
|First game||Halo 2 (2004)|
My Brutes article was just copied from Halopedia, lazy I know. I'll have to cull the fancruft and add more real world facts so there's lots to be done yet.