Haloed be thy name

By Derek Cheng

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'School kids make gun gestures mockingly. They'll be thanking me when the aliens attack.' Photo / Kenny Rodger
'School kids make gun gestures mockingly. They'll be thanking me when the aliens attack.' Photo / Kenny Rodger

It's one space-battle after another for X-box's biggest game character, Master Chief. But how would he cope with Newmarket on a peaceful Friday afternoon?

Being saviour of the universe means some big shoes to fill ... literally.

As I inspect the suit of the imaginatively-named Master Chief, hero of X-box's much-hyped Halo and now Halo 2, I notice the size of the boots. They're huge.

The rest of the armour follows a similar theme: the role of hero was never meant for a short, skinny Chinaman.

While some parts are generous, others are not. The suit seems to have been modelled on a large-thighed, concave-chested figure. In other words, a freak. Once I'm suited up, I'm told the heavy suit will restrict my movements. Who said you had to be agile to save the world?

I step out into Newmarket's Rialto Mall to be confronted by kids. They call me "the Milo Man".

They've never heard of Halo and the promo-guy next to me breathes a sigh of relief. Halo is R16 and should never, under any circumstances, be in the hands of the innocent and impressionable.

I look for some weaponry before I hit the streets, but am surrounded by handbag shops and florists.

I venture onto Broadway, unarmed.

The photographer tells me I'm not walking staunchly enough. He doesn't realise my delicate gait is from fear that my codpiece or butt-guard will fall off.

Nevertheless, I adjust my stance and puff out what little chest I have and, when the photographer isn't looking, duck into the National Bank.

I expect immediate attention from security, but all I see are customers and tellers staring at their shoes.

Nervous twitches and occasional glances tell me my presence is not wanted.

I'm tempted to open an account under "Master Chief" but my enthusiasm wavers when, after greeting a fellow customer, he ignores me. And, looking like a dwarf in an astronaut's suit, I'd say the snobbery was deliberate.

As I exit, I greet giggling schoolgirls who ask: "Who are you supposed to be?"

I'm clearly the saviour of the universe, I reply. One says I look sexy, although I suspect sarcasm in her voice.

By virtue of being a hero, I realise I've been transformed into a chick-magnet. This theory is dispelled moments later when, upon removing my helmet, the girls run screaming.

Other school kids make gun gestures mockingly. They'll be thanking me when the aliens attack, I tell myself.

To the movies and I ask the attendant to recommend something appropriate for the one they call Master Chief. In My Father's Den is his reply.

I would prefer something with aliens in it, I say, so I may study my adversary. He suggests Alien vs Predator. He also stares at his shoes.

Sweat drips from my forehead as I realise that the suit, while impervious to bullets and nuclear waste, isn't well-ventilated. I have little option but to abort my mission, leaving the duty of saving the universe to someone more capable. And less sweaty.

Let's hope the players of Halo 2 will have better luck when they step up to the task next week.

* Halo 2 is released on Tuesday.

- NZ Herald

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