The Stranger vs. Master Chief
by Robert Valdes
The Rules of Engagement
In order to do this properly, we need to set a level playing field. It is important that both fighters have the ability to use their particular skill sets, but that neither one has a distinct advantage out of the gate. We would have to figure out where they would fight, what rules they would play by, who would enforce these rules and what the terms of victory would be.
Location, location, location. Obviously, it’s unfair to set the fight in either of the respective hero’s worlds. We need neutral turf — something that neither combatant could use to their advantage. We were thinking something like one of the tennis courts from Top Spin Tennis or perhaps a multiplayer board from Tron 2.0: Killer App (Why not? Nobody else is using them.)
We ultimately decided that The Crusty Leaf Golf Course from Outlaw Golf would be ideal spot for our brawl. It’s big enough to let them spread out, and it provides them with the spots for cover they would both need in this fight.
So, how you wanna do this?
Perhaps the most debatable piece of this match-up is setting the rules. To make it as fair as possible, we set the rules thusly:
Both characters can only use what they can carry. They must also both fight with the “stock” arms from there respective games. Stranger has his crossbow and a full sack of “Live Ammo.” Chief is carrying frag grenades, the Battle Rifle and two SMGs and a full compliment of ammo for his weapons. No new ammo for either of them. Once it’s spent, its fisticuffs boys.
We would need some kind of referee. It has to be an impartial party — no ties and no allegiances. We needed someone suave, dashing — a complicated rogue. Someone with style and class. Someone with sophisticated tastes. A businessman, a community leader — did I mention style and class? The choice was obvious: Dr Lando Pepper would call the fight.
Terms and Conditions?
Simple. Last man… or cyborg… or thing… standing wins.
Let’s do this.
So with the rules set, I polled the people I knew who had played both games.
Dave, the writer: “No contest. Chief all the way. I think Chief would lob a couple of grenades at him, unload his SMGs and walk away saying, “Have fun with that.”
Greg, the IT guy: “I love Halo. I love the Master Chief. But if it comes down to who is the bigger bad a**, then I have to say Stranger. He’s agile and fast. He’s way more wily than an Elite. Chief couldn’t touch him.
Bobby, the art director: “It’s a tough call. With the parameters that have been set out, I would have to say that the advantage goes to Chief. He will simply out-gun Stranger because he can carry so much more ammo. If it got to a fist fight, I would have to say Stranger, but I don’t think it will. Master Chief would take care of him way before that.”
Claudia, the girlfriend: “Stranger all the way!!! Chief is cool but he’s a big dumb slow cudgel. Stranger has more street smarts, and he’s driven by more than simply following orders. Stranger has heart, and that counts for a lot in a fight.”
Tom, the boss: “I don’t know… who’s fighting? Can’t we all just get along? Is this for an article? Get out of my office, Valdes!”
Darrin, the artist: “You know how I feel about this. Stranger can shake off a rocket blast to the face for crying out loud! How can Chief beat that? Once his shields are dropped the Chief is a sitting duck. Chief is a big metal freak. He’s dead.
Me, the writer: “In a fire fight, forget about it. Chief could snipe Stranger with his battle rifle from 60 yards, while Stranger was trying to shake off the two full clips of SMG ammo Chief buried in his head. In a fist fight, it would be the same deal. Chief weighs something like 2000 pounds. I agree that it would be hard for him to get a hold of Stranger, but when Chief finally did, it would be nighty-night for Stranger.”
We’re deadlocked. Three for three. What now?