- "It is an honor to meet you, noble warriors."
- —Santa to the heroes in Test Your Might
Santa, as named by Caboose, is an alien A.I. construct that was left behind on Chorus by his "Creators" to ensure that their gifts were passed on to those they deemed worthy. He first appears in the episode Tourist Trap.
Role in PlotEdit
Finding the True WarriorEdit
Santa first appears in Tourist Trap, after Tucker pulls out his "sword" while at the Temple of Arms with Dr. Grey, Sarge, and Caboose. When Tucker sees a holographic panel displayed outside the temple he approaches it out of curiosity when suddenly Santa appears before him. Frightened, Tucker swings his sword at Santa, but the blade passes through the A.I. and strikes the panel, reactivating the temple. Santa then speaks to the four, believing them to be his own people, but when Tucker replies "What's up?", he deactivates the temple and reveals coordinates leading to the Jungle Temple, in order to test them.
Later on, Santa briefly speaks to Locus after the latter enters the portal at the jungle temple but does not reveal himself to him. When Carolina, Grey, and the Blues arrive at the jungle temple after the Space pirates depart, Caboose enters the portal and Santa quickly becomes amazed at his mental "clarity" and strength. As a result, he recognizes Caboose as a true warrior and proceeds to reveal himself to him and the others (although he asks for someone with a broader vocabulary to speak with). Santa informs the group of the Temple of Communication, which can allow them contact with Earth without the interference of the radio jammers.
He also mentions the Purge, a procedure his creators constructed that will eradicate all life on Chorus, as well as the key of Chorus, located east of their location. Upon hearing this, the group are ambushed by Sharkface and his band of pirates. As Carolina protects her squad with a domed energy shield, Sharkface leaves to the get the key. Tucker pleads for Santa's help but the latter refuses to get involved in human affairs and disappears. Santa later reappears at the Temple of the Key, where he informs Felix that the key has already been taken by Doyle.
Activating the TemplesEdit
Later on, after Felix gains the key from Doyle, he and Locus return to Santa at the Jungle Temple in order to activate the Purge. However, when Felix leaves to speak with Control, Santa expresses his skepticism of Felix actually being a true warrior, until Locus asks Santa of what Felix is afraid of. Santa tells him that the answer is obvious before disappearing to prepare for the Purge's activation. Later on, Santa reunites with the Reds and Blues at the Temple of Arms, where he happily greets the group before allowing them to utilize its alien artillery.
After the crew and Chorus armies attack the Communication Temple, the crew gain entrance to the control room, where they once again meet Santa. Unfortunately, when Felix and Locus arrive, the former hunts and attacks the crew. However, Santa encounters Locus and asks why the latter wants to kill the Reds and Blues. When Locus is unable to provide a reasonable answer he asks Santa what Felix is afraid of, in which the latter reveals that Felix is afraid of Locus himself. After Locus learns of this, he betrays Felix and helps the crew in killing him, allowing Locus to obtain Felix's sword. Locus then activates the temple for the crew and disappears, allowing for the crew to broadcast their message.
Following the Reds and Blues' victory and subsequent retirement, Kimball became president, with Santa serving as a close friend and advisor. At some point, the two received a message of unknown origin meant for the Reds and Blues, but could not deliver it as the UNSC First Fleet blocked the planet in response to a group of false Reds and Blues committing terrorist attacks supposedly on behalf of an independent Chorus.
When reporter Dylan Andrews meets with Kimball, Santa acts as a lie detector of sorts, making sure Dylan's intentions are not malicious before revealing himself and explaining their situation. His ability to enter peoples' minds led to his discovery that Dylan was afraid of him, much to his amusement, as well as Kimball's trust to have Dylan deliver their message.
In his initial appearance, both physically and vocally, Santa was portrayed to be quite intimidating and frightening, accentuated by the fact that no-one could understand what he was saying at first nor had seen him before despite his presence on Chorus for (presumably) thousands of years. However, once he mastered the English language, Santa was shown to be quite cordial and respectful to those he deemed worthy, stating it was an "honor" to meet Carolina, Epsilon, Tucker, Caboose and Grey, politely answered all questions they had and even accepted the name of "Santa" from Caboose.
Santa also appeared to be fiercely protective of the Temples he was left to guard, going as far as to call the Space Pirates who had disturbed one of his Temples "meddlers" and even testing both the away team and the Space Pirates to make sure they were worthy of his creators' gifts. On the other hand, despite this protectiveness, Santa refused to take a side in the Chorus conflict, stating he would not involve himself in "human affairs". He also aided both sides equally, though as more of Felix's psychopathic tendencies began to surface, Santa began to doubt whether the mercenary was really a true warrior after all and began to favor the Chorus inhabitants more as the conflict drew on. Despite this, Santa still eventually relented to Locus about what Felix's fear was, albeit somewhat mockingly as the A.I. thought that it was obvious.
Overall, Santa is probably one of the most intelligent characters in the series, though finds the actions of some humans questionable, similar to Delta. However, he is also shown to be exasperated with Felix and Locus, finds Tucker's return to the Temple of Arms amusing, is thoroughly perplexed (yet impressed) with Caboose's strength and gets angry at any threat to the Temples. These attributes make Santa seem more like a sentient being compared to any previous A.I. encountered (with the exception of Church, Tex and arguably Epsilon) as opposed to a computer program, though he does lapse into a more 'computer' way of talking on occasion. This may be because he is likely a full A.I. as opposed to a broken down A.I. or a fragment, or that being dormant for a long time may have caused Santa to reach metastability. With Santa being an alien A.I. however, the theory of metastability may not apply to him, making the former more likely.
By Season 15, Santa has befriended the inhabitants of Chorus and willingly works with them as Kimball's A.I. partner. Though he retains his serious and professional demeanor, Santa appears to have developed a even greater sense of humor, finding Dylan Andrews' reaction to him amusing and even lightly joking with Kimball on the matter.
Skills and AbilitiesEdit
Despite his recent introduction, Santa proves to be one of the most advanced A.I.s in the series. When Tucker reactivated the temple in Tourist Trap, Santa briefly summoned and re-activated all Alien artifacts originating from Chorus, resulting in the destruction of all Charon Industries' hybrid weapons. This included those no longer on the planet itself, where even those with the Chairman self-detonated from this action. Santa can also transmit himself across miles within seconds, as he did so to get to Jungle Temple before leaving a detailed map to the location at two different locations.
There, Santa proves to have the capability to recreate the greatest fears, insecurities, and past experiences of anyone he meets, implying he can enter the minds of any individual and immediately learn everything about them within moments. This proves very effective, as it leaves even the most skilled characters in the series mentally defeated, including Locus, Felix, and Carolina. Along with this, Santa soon masters the English language just from these interactions, as shown in Test Your Might.
In the episode Chorus Lessons it is revealed that Santa is capable of telling if a person is lying.
- Santa's name is a reference to the fabled Christmas character of the same name, and it is most likely referring to the fact that they both wear the color red. Additionally, he gives gifts to those he deems worthy, a reference to how Santa Claus gives gifts to children he deems "naughty" or "nice", hence why Caboose gave him his name. Additionally, the pronunciation consisting of two syllables, the latter of which is "-ta", is common to several of the Greek letters for which Freelancer A.I. such as Beta, Delta and Theta are named, and Santa may have also been intended as a pun on this.
- Although obviously a non-canon video, Santa was used to promote the 2015 Christmas sale at the Rooster Teeth store, further referencing his namesake.
- Santa is the first confirmed A.I. in the series to originate from another alien species and to have a holographic avatar not based on human appearance.
- Although an A.I., Santa is the first canon alien to speak the English language in the series.
- He is not the first Alien-based character to make use of the English language as a method of communication, however, as one of the Religious Aliens uses written English (albeit with poor spelling) to insult Wash, the Meta and Doc in Revelation. Also the aliens that Peake cared for was able to parrot words in English.
- Santa in Spanish and Portuguese means "Saint". This is fitting seeing as Blue Team's other A.I. is named Church.
- Historically, saints also presided over churches, much like Santa presides over the Temples of Chorus.
- Santa is depicted in the Halo 3 engine due to Halo 4 and Halo 5 not giving the option to play as Elites.
- The required armor permutations to recreate Santa are the Ascetic helmet, Assault left and right shoulder and Commando chest. In Season 15, the Ascetic helmet is retained, but his shoulders and chest are switched to Flight and Ascetic, respectively.
- The use of the Ascetic helmet is interesting, as one of the tasks of the Ascetics in Halo lore is to provide the correct interpretation of holy scriptures to their fellow Sangheili, similar to the "biblical" tone of the rules of the Jungle Temple, and promote ideological purity, similar to Santa trying to find a being that fits his ideals of a true warrior. The armor of the Ascetics, particularly the helmet, was also designed to frighten would be enemies of the Sangheili and the Covenant, alluding to how Santa was deemed frightening at first and how he can get into the minds of others and replicate their worst fears.
- Santa is always portrayed holding a Plasma Rifle.
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