The Hayabusa Powered Assault Armor is a type of United Nations Space Command powered armor, developed independently from the MJOLNIR Project. It is compatible with SPARTAN-II supersoldiers and components of the Mjolnir Armor.
The Hayabusa is a powered battle armor system, similar to the Mjolnir Armor, except stemming from Project HAYABUSA as opposed to Project MJOLNIR. It was developed by RKD, an Earth-based "think-tank" in the year 2536, six years before the MJOLNIR Mark V first entered production. It was presented to the UNSC Ordnance Committee as an answer to the self-contained powered armor problem. Advanced materials are used in the production of the Hayabusa armor reducing the weight of the current generation armor by nearly a third at that time.
Development and History
While HAYABUSA had different goals than its rival project, MJOLNIR, both programs resulted in powerful battle armor that boasted energy shielding. It is unknown though whether the original version had energy shields. The HAYABUSA project was intended to develop self-contained power armor, and the project eventually culminated in the development of the Hayabusa Powered Assault Armor, which was developed by Facility RKD on Earth in the year 2536 and was accepted by the UNSC Ordnance Committee the same year.
The Hayabusa armor's advanced materials decreased its weighty bulk by one-third, and is aesthetically Japanese in design. The armor was designed after ancient samurai designs. It includes spiked shoulder pauldrons (correctly referred to as s'ode). The purpose of the Japanese aesthetics was to instill fear in enemy soldiers while compensating for the armor's lack of defensive strength by angling the pieces to reduce ballistics penetration and providing a sleek, aerodynamic figure.
The Hayabusa armor's helmet was designed with a defensive and ultraviolet protective visor. Like all UNSC helmets, the visor is the weakest part. Thus, a small visor was designed to be more difficult to accurately penetrate. As such, the small visor provides for better protection of the wearer as well as better camouflage. The Hayabusa was designed with greater emphasis on heavy lifting and Extra-Vehicular Activity than the MJOLNIR. It is slightly slower and less dexterous than its MJOLNIR counterpart, though it is nonetheless highly effective and possesses most of the design features of the MJOLNIR Mark VI.[notes 1]
Although initially developed as its own powered armor system, it seems that the Hayabusa armor has been modified and adapted to be compatible with the next-generation Mjolnir Armor system. This allowed it to be available for use by the SPARTAN-II supersoldiers although its field deployment appeared to be extremely limited.
The helmet features seven angular spikes, one to each side, and the face plate is fused into a single piece and contour. The top rear guard of the helmet is pointed, revealing a protruding spike. The bottom rear, around the neck, forms a neck guard, like that of a samurai helmet. The seven spikes are always silver-white regardless of armor color. Clips can be seen on the side of the helmet.
Shoulder Pauldron Characteristics
Its shoulder pauldrons are replaced by three metal plates arranged in an overlapping fashion similar to the armor of a Japanese samurai, also known as the "sode."
The chest armor features a thick, round collar piece protecting the neck, as well as an angular strip of armor that appears to be strapped over the chest, featuring a small delta in the center.
How To Unlock
- Helmet: Obtain all thirteen skulls. (Blind, Black Eye, IWHBYD, Iron, Cowbell, Famine, Grunt Birthday Party, Tough Luck, Catch, Fog, Tilt, ThunderStorm, and Mythic)
- Shoulders: Obtain nine skulls.
- Chest: Obtain five skulls.
- The Hayabusa armor bears a resemblance to the armor worn by feudal-era samurai. The armor is named after Ryu Hayabusa, the protagonist of the Ninja Gaiden series and a combatant in the Dead or Alive series. The helmet is almost an exact copy of the "ninja of the future" costume in Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox. Bungie likely created the Hayabusa armor as a tribute to Team Ninja for adding Nicole-458 into Dead or Alive 4. Team Ninja, the developers of the Ninja Gaiden series and Dead or Alive series, are mentioned in the credits for Halo 3.
- The Hayabusa armor is sometimes called ninja armor by many players. However, it resembles the armor of the samurai, not the ninja. This is probably due in part to the armor's roots as a Ninja Gaiden reference.
- Hayabusa is Japanese for "peregrine falcon," and is also the name for an unmanned space mission conducted by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency that returned to Earth in 2010.
- Although HAYABUSA is a counterpart to the Mjolnir Armor, the description of one of the Hayabusa-equipped Halo 3 action figures mistakenly refers to it as a MJOLNIR variant.
- The Hayabusa armor and Rogue armor are the only Halo 3 Armor Permutations that did not return in Halo: Reach thus far.
- Many fans have nicknamed the Hayabusa armor the Power Ranger armor.
- The seven angular spikes of the helmet, as well as the fact that 49 (7 squared) achievements are needed to unlock the katana are references to Bungie's love of the number 7.
- Armor permutations have no effect on gameplay.