Halo 5 is coming in hot on Xbox One on 27 October, and it’s safe to say it’s the most ambitious Halo yet in both gameplay and story departments. Master Chief is no longer the sole focus in the fifth entry, with the introduction of several new characters – Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris – heavily marketed in the lead-up to release as fulfilling roles as both co-op partners and new perspectives for the narrative.
But several of these characters aren’t actually new; Blue Team have actually been around the Master Chief, otherwise known as John-117, since childhood as some of his closest allies and friends, as detailed in the novels of Halo published since 2001. Halo 5 is now bridging the gap and incorporating the rich lore from these books into the games to show us another side of the Master Chief’s personality and history.
If you don’t have the time to read all the books and other supplementary media to figure out who’s who in Halo 5, here’s a quick recap of who Blue Team are, the Master Chief’s allies and most important new members of his squad – and what you need to read further if you do decide you want the full low-down on their history.
Series spoilers ahead.
Blue Team’s first canonical appearance in the Halo universe was all the way back in 2001, even prior to the launch of Halo: Combat Evolved in the novel, Halo: The Fall of Reach by author Eric Nylund. Detailing the origins of the Spartan-IIs, the legendary generation of Spartans the Master Chief is part of, we are introduced to Frederic-104, Linda-058 and Kelly-087 while they are six-year old children.
All four of these warriors along with 71 other children were abducted by Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) researcher Dr. Catherine Halsey, a scientist put in charge of the expensive Spartan-II program, designed to create UNSC government super-soldiers to be trained and fight against rebel insurrectionists breaking up the UNSC’s hold on humanity in space – not the Covenant as many people believed when the Spartans eventually went public. These six-year old children were the most genetically perfect humans available and fit the bill.
Of course, the children had no say in the matter, and with flash clones replacing them back home, nobody but the shady ONI knew their true and horrific origins. Captain Jacob Keyes, another iconic character from the video game series, unknowingly helped Dr. Halsey screen the children for the program in 2517, and was present when Halsey picked John-117, the man who would become the Master Chief.
John-117 asserted his leadership capabilities early on during their harsh training regime, displaying ruthless efficiency while never compromising in keeping all members of his team alive. Fred-104 was also noted to be a capable leader in his own right. Alongside Linda-058, Kelly-087 and Samuel-034, the five Spartans composed the original Blue Team and took down several rebel leaders with deadly efficiency as just teenagers.
When the time came to be augmented with extremely dangerous and experimental biological augmentation procedures, only 33 of the 75 conscripted Spartan-II children candidates survived – a dozen were crippled and the rest died horrifically.
Blue Team remained the most famous fireteam within the Spartan-IIs battle group, and would be tested almost immediately after the procedures when news of the Covenant reached them in 2525. Blue Team attacked one of the first Covenant cruisers humanity had fought in space; John-117, Kelly-087 and Samuel-034 managed to infiltrate the cruiser to blow it up from the inside, but Samuel was forced to stay behind after his suit was breached when he saved John from a plasma blast.
This disastrous event hardened the Spartans and their resolve, especially John and Blue Team, to destroy the Covenant and defend humanity from genocidal extinction.
Frederic-104, otherwise known as Fred is one of the most interesting Spartan-IIs. Described as an introvert and probably the only Spartan who could blend in a crowd, the Master Chief always tagged his friend as a capable leader and top-place soldier. However, the group realised Fred actively chose to place second in their training drills even when he could win because he didn’t like the attention.
During the Fall of Reach, Fred was chosen by the Master Chief to lead the Spartan-IIs in defending Reach’s generators powering the orbital MAC stations keeping the Covenant fleet at bay in space. Fred commanded 27 Spartan-IIs into battle on the surface against an overwhelming force, and split the surviving members into four groups – Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma – each executing a separate operation. While Fred and Kelly survived their op, killing several hundred thousand invading aliens with a nuclear bomb, many others fell to the Covenant.
Against all odds, Fred survived and led his remaining comrades to safety and rescued Dr. Halsey while Reach was glassed from orbit by the Covenant, before the Master Chief returned to Reach (between the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2) and re-grouped with Fred. After several decisive strikes against the Covenant where several more Spartans from their dwindling group fell, Fred remained standing.
As the second-best sniper, spotter and close-quarters combat specialist, Fred is one of the most versatile Spartans, reflected in his participation in over 120 military campaigns by Halo 5. Despite popular opinion, the Master Chief is no longer the highest-ranking Spartan-II soldier alive – Fred is, having been promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade and leader of Blue Team in John-117’s absence. While this is the case, Fred conceded leadership of the team to the Master Chief when they all reunited in 2557, explaining why John is still their leader in Halo 5.
Linda-058 is the quietest member of Blue Team and the Spartan-II group. As a child, she was recognised by the Master Chief as a true lone wolf, and one of the only Spartan-IIs who could probably operate as an independent agent just as effectively as a team. Her blood-red hair, emerald green eyes and extremely pale skin also gave her a very distinctive look among her group.
During the Fall of Reach, Linda was chosen by the Master Chief to accompany him on the more dangerous space-ops mission, alongside James-005. The trio had to destroy a NAV database on a docked ship in space that the Covenant could retrieve and use to discover Earth’s location. Despite her sharpshooting prowess, she was heavily wounded and John had to be carried her back to the Pillar of Autumn, where she was put in cryo chamber to be frozen. She was presumed dead.
When the events of Halo: Combat Evolved occurred, Linda was ejected from the Pillar of Autumn alongside all other cryo chambers that couldn’t be woken in time to fight the Covenant, as per standard UNSC procedure. Miraculously, her chamber survived the explosion of Alpha Halo and floated in space for days before the Master Chief found and picked hers up in his Longsword by pure chance, detailed in the novel Halo: First Strike.
When the Master Chief returned to Reach and re-grouped with his surviving Spartan-II comrades and Dr. Halsey, their creator and “mother” figure, Linda was revived by Halsey thanks to UNSC facilities and flash-cloned organs. She participated in several decisive strikes against the Covenant despite being injured and survived when others of her group didn’t.
Linda is the undisputed best sniper and spotter of the Spartan-IIs and Blue Team, sniping Covenant and rebel enemies in over 189 military campaigns by Halo 5. While still quiet and more reserved than her fellow soldiers, she has developed a close relationship with Fred and Kelly as one of the last Spartan-IIs alive.
Kelly-087 is the fastest member of the Spartan-IIs, and one of the Master Chief’s closest childhood friends. Alongside Samuel-034, she was the first to connect with John-117 during their harsh training regime, and their friendship kept them working closely together in Blue Team. She was so fast that during their training sessions, she became known as the “Rabbit” who often lured enemies to traps set up by the group.
Being the fastest Spartan-II, Kelly’s supernatural speed was already recognised by Dr. Halsey and ONI prior to her abduction at just age six, where she evaded her captors on-foot for days and was only captured because she thought it was a game for her birthday. After her biological augmentations, she could run at bursts of up to 62 kph – making her the fastest Spartan and human being alive. Her reflexes and speed are so fast that she had to slow herself down during training sessions with her comrades.
During the Fall of Reach, Kelly acted as Fred’s second-in-command of the ground forces operation to defend Reach’s orbital MAC gun generators. Her speed and leadership assisted Fred in keeping the dire situation together, and she helped Fred kill hundreds of thousands of Covenant soldiers with a nuclear bomb, though not without the cost of several other Spartan-II comrades.
Against all odds, Kelly survived and helped Fred rescue Dr. Halsey while Reach was glassed from orbit by the Covenant. She was severely wounded while defending Halsey from a pair of Hunters but survived long enough to re-group with the Master Chief when he returned to Reach (between the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2). Kelly would be taken away by Halsey during her recovery for a top-secret mission, without the rest of Blue Team’s knowledge, though they would all eventually re-unite.
While being the undisputed fastest human being alive, Kelly is also the most emotional Spartan in Blue Team, displaying her feelings via body language more openly than her comrades and displaying a quick wit and cynical sense of humour during missions. She has 201 military operations under her belt, only behind the Master Chief in number. Her close friendship with John, Fred and Linda dates back to their childhood, and her openness in displaying said friendship is evident in Halo 5.
Between the events of Halo 2 and Halo 4, Fred led Blue Team in battle against the Covenant, comprised of himself, Linda-058, Will-043 and Kelly-087 in multiple engagements on Earth while Chief led the charge against the alien’s efforts to fire more Halo arrays.
The full list of Spartan-IIs who operated under the Master Chief’s legendary Blue Team over the course of the years is as follows:
Current Blue Team
John-117 – Team leader
Fred-104 – Ranking officer but concedes command to the Master Chief
Kelly-087 – CQC specialist
Linda-058 – Sniper
Former Blue Team members
The surviving members re-united in 2557, one year prior to the events of Halo 5.
Want to know more about Blue Team and why they were not available to aid Chief prior to Halo 5? Their history and re-union with John-117 is depicted in the following novels and comic book series:
Halo: The Fall of Reach
Halo: First Strike
Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
Halo: Last Light