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What The Red Energy Sword In The Halo Infinite Trailer Means

With the multiplayer beta for "Halo Infinite" already being available for public consumption, the release of the game's highly anticipated campaign mode is scheduled for release on Dec. 8. Having been subject to lengthy delays throughout its development cycle, primarily due to the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, anticipation has only continued to grow for the next chapter in Master Chief's story. With each passing trailer and flash of iconic "Halo" imagery, fans have become more and more optimistic about the game's campaign. And thanks to the newest footage released from "Halo Infinite," eagle-eyed fans have gotten a look at a very interesting piece of weaponry making its return to the series. If you blinked, you might have missed it.

The latest campaign trailer for "Halo Infinite" dropped on Dec. 1, one week removed from the title's global launch date. In the new preview, the most prominent antagonists are the Banished, a mercenary group led by the war master known as Atriox, who broke away from the alien Covenant due to philosophical differences. Introduced in "Halo Wars 2," Atriox's Banished have been formidable foes to Master Chief, his UNSC Marine compatriots, and the Covenant, boasting ruthless attitudes and unique weaponry. 

One weapon in particular, a red variation of the Covenant's blue Energy Sword, seems to have been adopted by the primary baddies in "Halo Infinite." Here's what you need to know about this deadliest of alien weapons.

What is the Bloodblade?

Even if one has never played "Halo" before, it's likely they are aware of one of its most iconic weapons: the Energy Sword. Originally introduced in "Halo: Combat Evolved" as the primary weapon of the Covenant's Elite class, the Energy Sword is among the most powerful and dangerous melee weapons in the game' series' universe, capable of piercing both armor and flesh, and is easily identified by its menacing shape and cold, blue glow. Over the years, there have been many different variations of this weapon, employed by different factions both within and outside of the Covenant and its Elite warriors. 

In the newest "Halo Infinite" campaign trailer, the last shot is of a Banished Elite warrior named Jega 'Rdomnai wielding two Energy Swords — each of which emit an unmistakable blood red glow. This particular variant of iconic Covenant melee weapon is known as the Bloodblade. The Bloodblade is the preferred weapon of the Sangheili race (known to humans as the aforementioned "Elites"), particularly in spec ops groups such as the Silent Shadow.

What the presence of the Bloodblade in the Halo Infinite trailer means

While the presence of the Bloodblade in the trailer could be interpreted as a simple cosmetic change to emphasize the Banished's evil — much like Darth Vader's red lightsaber — the weapon's use might instead be a huge key into unlocking the backstory regarding new "Halo" enemy Jega 'Rdomnai. Aside from the fact that the Banished Elite warrior lost both an arm and the left side of his mandible in previous battles, much of Jega's backstory has remained unknown, shrouded in ambiguity. But Jega 'Rdomnai's wielding of the Bloodblade is actually a bit of visual confirmation: The part-cybernetic Banished villain is a former member of the Silent Shadow.

For the uninitiated, the Silent Shadow are among the elite of Covenant special operations groups, often tasked with assassinations and risky extractions from conflicts. They are forbidden from showing their faces to their superiors in the case that they are ever to be killed on orders from their higher-ups, and are extremely violent. Unlike other Elite classes, they sport a signature red visor to go along with the Bloodblade.

Jega's former affiliation with the Silent Shadow offers much insight into his ability as a warrior for his new cause, and the lengths to which he's willing to go to serve the Banished. This type of violent backstory provides Jega with a serious edge and an increased air of menace when compared to his Banished comrades. It's fair to expect that this will be one grueling battle for Master Chief when "Halo Infinite" launches on Dec. 8.