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|“||I...? I... am a monument... to all your sins.||„|
The Gravemind is one of the two main antagonists of the original Halo trilogy (alongside the Prophet of Truth). It is a parasitic hive-mind intelligence and the leader of The Flood. The Gravemind is a collection of the sentience and knowledge that has been gathered by the victims of the Flood.
It is the unseen overarching antagonist of Halo: Combat Evolved, a major antagonist in Halo 2, and one of the main antagonists of Halo 3 (alongside the Prophet of Truth). Additionally, it is implied that it was directly responsible for Cortana's descent into villainy due to it torturing her and corroding her sanity. Thus, it may possibly serve as the posthumous overarching antagonist of the Reclaimer Saga.
It was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
The Gravemind makes his first appearance halfway through Halo 2's campaign. Using his tentacles to save the Master Chief and Arbiter from perishing, Gravemind brings them face to face in a chasm on Delta Halo. Gravemind reveals to the Arbiter that the ring's architects, the Forerunners, died when they activated the installation in order to stop the threat of the Flood; the Master Chief verifies what the creature says, having stopped the firing of another ring in Halo: Combat Evolved.
Though the Arbiter does not accept the truth immediately, Gravemind sends the Master Chief to the Covenant city High Charity and the Arbiter to the Halo's control room in order to stop the deluded Covenant from killing all sentient life a second time. Though he promises an alliance, Gravemind has ulterior motives. His Flood infest the human ship In Amber Clad and makes a slipspace jump into High Charity itself, in an effort to use the station to escape the confines of Halo.Having taken over the city, Gravemind questions the A.I. Cortana, who was left behind to destroy High Charity if Halo was activated. Gravemind says that he has questions that he will ask, and Cortana agrees to answer them.
Later, after torturing Cortana to learn what she knows, the Gravemind finishes assimilating High Chairty, turning the Covenant City into a massive Flood Hive. It begins to plan its next move, invading Earth, sending a infested Covenant ship out after breaking through the quarentine the Elites had set up around High Charity.
After learning that its attack had failed, also realizing from the information it had extracted from Cortana that the Prophet of Truth was heading for the Ark, a Forerunner world that could activate all of the Halo arrays, the Gravemind slipspace jumps to the Ark, the super-hive that had been High Charity crashing into its surface before quickly spreading the Floods infection outward.
When it became apparent that Truth was on the verge of activating the Halo rings, the Gravemind made the startling choice to ally itself with the Chief and Arbiter, fighting by their side in their assault of the control room. However, once the threat was averted, the rings deactivated and Truth was killed by the Arbiter, the Gravemind turned against them, laughing maniacally while proclaiming in a sinister tone, ¨Now the gate had been unlatched, headstones pushed aside! Corpses shift and offer room, a fate you must abide!¨ To this, the Arbiter comments, ¨We trade one villain for another¨
Later on, the Gravemind begins to taunt the Chief as he makes his way through the Flood infested High Chairity in search for Cortana, growing increasingly enraged as Master Chief continues to survive all the Gravemind throws at him. When the Chief at last does find Cortana, the Gravemind begins to howl in a feral, primal fashion once it realizes that Cortana possess the Index Key needed to activate the newley created replacement Halo Ring.
Afterwards, despite the Chief injuring it by overloading the reactor of High Charity, the Gravemind launches all of its forces against him and the Arbiter, trying and failing to stop them from reaching the Control Room to the Halo. Seemingly accepting its fate once it realizes the Halo is about to fire, the Gravemind laments openly how its defeat was simply adding to the punishment imposed onto it by its enemies.
The Halo then fires, the blast tearing the installation and the Ark apart, destroying all traces of the Gravemind, at least for the time being.
- "A Monument to All Your Sins" is the name of a famous achievement from Halo: Reach that is unlocked after meeting requirements "Complete each Campaign Mission on Legendary - alone". This achievement name was derived from the Gravemind's most well-known quote: "I? I... am a monument... to all your sins."
- In the Chinese version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the Gravemind's face is never shown due to censorship.
- The Gravemind resembles Audrey 2 from Little Shop of Horrors in terms of appearance, and is jokingly called the Little Shop of Horrors Reject by the Bungie staff, the original team behind Halo.