In Halo: CE the player is introduced to the Master Chief, the series primary protagonist. Within the game Master Chief is presented as a singular figure, a faceless, nameless and seemingly emotionless being with physical abilities far beyond those of the regular human NPCs. The limited amount of backstory that comes with the game explains that Master Chief is the last surviving member of a group of biochemically augmented super-soldiers called Spartans who were created and trained to fight the implacable Covenant, a group of technologically and numerically superior alien races who were on a religious crusade to destroy the human race.
This origin story bears a striking resemblance to the legend of the Golem of Prague. The legend relates that the golem was created in 16th century Prague by Rabbi Loew to protect the Jews of Prague from anti-Semitic mobs, here corresponding with the religiously motivated Covenant. The golem was a giant man made out of clay who was superhumanly strong and tireless, like the Master Chief. The Golem also could not speak and while Master Chief can, he is also famously taciturn. Eventually though, the golem was destroyed, according to one version of the legend, to prevent him working on the Sabbath, or in another, because he fell in love with the Rabbi’s daughter, but either way he falls apart and is stored in a box in the Temple so that he can defend the Jews of Prague when the need next arises. This last element corresponds quite well to the end of Halo 3 where Master Chief, stranded in uninhabited space after the destruction of the Arc and the defeat of the Covenant, enters cryogenic stasis to await rescue, literally climbing into a coffin-like box. Being a playable character, Master Chief is also controlled by the player. In that context he becomes the player’s virtual golem.
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