Hunt the Truth, sometimes stylized as HUNTtheTRUTH, was a promotional marketing campaign for Halo 5: Guardians. It consisted of two seasons of a series of weekly episodic audio logs providing backstory and information regarding John-117's history and involvement in the Halo 5: Guardians campaign. New audio logs were released for Season 1 on the Hunt the Truth tumblr page each week from March 22 until E3 2015 on June 16, 2015. Likewise, Season 2 aired on the same page beginning in September 2015 and continued until the release of Halo 5: Guardians on October 27, 2015.
On March 19, 2015, Frank O'Connor tweeted a link to huntthetruth.tumblr.com. The page had a countdown to March 22, 2015 at 1:00am UTC and an image of a bullet with a "TRAITOR" engraving. On March 20, a video was posted showing the bullet being fired from a sniper rifle and hitting John-117's helmet, making it shatter.
When the countdown ended, the bullet video was updated with a new version that allowed a viewer to "drag" the video backwards or forwards, slowing it down enough to see several words engraved on the bullet: SON, ABDUCTEE, VICTIM, ORPHAN, RECRUIT, SOLDIER, WARRIOR, ALLY, HERO, SAVIOR, and TRAITOR.
Episode 00: Primer
- Main article: Episode 00: Primer
- “What began as a high-profile hero story quickly turns into a full-blown investigation. Sources claim they know the “real Master Chief”: The boy, the soldier, the hero…the traitor? But who’s telling the truth?”
Episode 01: A Hairline Fracture
- Main article: Episode 01: A Hairline Fracture
- “Master Chief was born in the metropolis of Elysium City. Then known as John, he grew up like any kid in the Outer Colonies. Childhood playmates and school teachers share charming stories. But what happens when a single document throws everything into question?”
Benjamin interviews people who know of John's childhood on Eridanus II. He finds Deon Govender, who used to teach John in Elysium City Primary Education Facility Number 119. Benjamin also interviews John-117's childhood friend Ellie Bloom, who tells him about how she used to play with John and another girl named Katrina. He also managed to find a victim of the Insurrection, Thomas Wu. Benjamin later finds a document stating that John died in 2517 at age six, contradicting all the other information Benjamin had discovered.
Episode 02: Bad Records
- Main article: Episode 02: Bad Records
- “An obscure record from the far reaches of the galaxy contradicts everything. Government officials and conspiracy theorists weigh in. Stories of a remarkable young man are once again torn down by conflicting accounts.”
After finding a document stating that John had died at the age of six, Benjamin calls Michael Sullivan to see if he can help make sense of the inconsistency. Sullivan reminds Benjamin that most records from the glassed Outer Colonies are usually "a mess." Realizing this to be true, Benjamin then reviews a message he had received from Mshak Moradi, a man who had been sending Benjamin a message every day for the past two months without getting a reply back from him. Mshak had guessed that the government told Ben that the information wouldn't add up because it's from a planet that had been glassed. Ellie Bloom had also stated how hard it is to find information from a glassed planet.
Ben boards UNSC Unto the Breach in order to interview Gabriella Dvørak, an ONI Vice Admiral who claimed to have encountered John. Dvørak tells Ben about how she took part in saving a thirteen-year-old John among many other prisoners of rebels in Elysium City during the Insurrection and that John appeared strong compared to the other prisoners. She also stated that John told her that his parents had died a few weeks before he was freed. Ben decides to interview Deon Govender again. In their interviews, both Dvørak and Govender state that John's will to survive inspired them.
On his return home, Benjamin was called by Ellie Bloom, who was told by her friend Katrina that John died when he was six. Again faced with inconsistent information regarding John's death, Benjamin calls Katrina so she can explain what had happened. Her explanation of John's death at six years old was so detailed that Ben didn't believe that he could disregard her information. Katrina also stated that John's parents were alive in 2528, four years after their death as stated by all of the other information he has been given.
Episode 03: Critical Condition
- Main article: Episode 03: Critical Condition
- “Conversations with retired military paint very different pictures of John. More questions arise about John’s home planet and his involvement in a violent training incident. The cracks in the official account widen, and Benjamin is drawn in.”
Confused by conflicting information about the Master Chief's parents from Katrina, Benjamin has his friend, Ray Kurzig, try and find information to prove that the story unauthorized by ONI to be false. Ray found that the information was actually true, confusing Ben all over again. Ben later calls Sullivan to help clear the confusion, but just like in their previous call, Sullivan says tells him the "glassed planets have bad records." Trying to forget about the conflicting information, Benjamin interviews Jakob Walker, a retired Navy soldier. Jakob talks about how he and John trained together on Reach and John's natural leadership. Later, Mshak Moradi gives Ben the contact information of Anthony Petrosky, a former Orbital Drop Shock Trooper. He retold a story about a 12 or 13 year old John fought four other ODSTs in a fight, resulting in half of the men being killed and the other two being injured. This had also contradicted Ben's information, since it he originally was told that John finished boot camp at the age of 17. After the interview, Benjamin let's Ellie listen to his first episode. She insinuates that both Deon Govender and Thomas Wu lied in their interviews since boxing was forbidden on Eridanus II and Insurrectionists didn't abduct any of Elysium City's citizens. After trying to call both Deon Govender and Gabriella Dvørak and getting no response from either, Ben calls Thomas Wu to prove Ellie wrong. Thomas eventually began accidentally contradicting some of the things he said in his previous interview. Soon he became angry with how Ben was trying to pry information out of him and hung up. Ben then came to the realization that the entire interview was done through Waypoint, meaning any military personnel could have heard the interview.
Episode 04: Crossing the Black
- Main article: Episode 04: Crossing the Black
- “Rumors of discontent across the military and rumblings in the Outer Colonies are detected. A mandatory meeting at ONI branch headquarters takes an unexpected turn.”
Still haunted by the realization that the military could have heard his unsanctioned interview via Waypoint, Benjamin begins to fear that the conversation will get flagged by ONI. Ben calls Mshak Moradi, trying to get more information from his conspiracies. Mshak tells him about how the local soldiers are becoming restless and that the cause of this was Master Chief going AWOL. He even said that people are questioning the Master Chief's motivations. He also stated that many other factors where beginning to scare him. Ben had to end the call when he received a message from Sullivan stating that Ben had to travel to ONI's Boston Headquarters. Ben quickly realizes this is because of his recent interview with Thomas. After arriving in Boston, Ben goes to a nearby pub and meets up with his old friend Petra Janecek. While speaking with her, Ben begins freaking out about the situation and Petra informs him that the military is watching them and will start listening in if he gives certain visual cues. Petra admits to Benjamin that she has no faith in him successfully releasing his whole story. Just so he doesn't lose all of his information, Ben sends all of it to Ray. After he leaves Ben notices an obsidian sidewalk around the ONI campus. He also notices that nobody else dared to walk anywhere near it and that no birds were in any of the nearby trees. Ben walks past the obsidian to enter the facility.
Episode 05: Out of Time
- Main article: Episode 05: Out of Time
- “A visit deep inside ONI branch headquarters brings unexpected results. A voice from the past returns. And an in-flight incident sparks a flame that can’t be put out.”
After sitting uncomfortably in an empty waiting room, Benjamin is finally let into the office of Michael Sullivan. Ben was still worried that his conversation with Thomas Wu was flagged. After a short conversation with Sullivan, Benjamin is taken to interview Franklin Mendez, letting him lose worries about being flagged. Franklin told Benjamin about how powerful John became after his augmentations and how he was a natural leader at a young age. When Benjamin asked Franklin about how heavy a burden such as protecting an entire galaxy must be, Mendez became defensive. The interview was quickly brought to a halt when Mendez apparently had somewhere else to be and could be interviewed again later.
After Benjamin asked Sullivan where the rescheduled interview will be, he basically fired him and told him to transfer all of his recorded interviews to ONI. This made Benjamin realize that his interview with Thomas probably was flagged after all. On the ride back home, Benjamin heard a familiar voice. He recognized it as Jakob Walker, a man who he had interviewed shortly before. Interestingly, Jakob said he was permanently stationed near Saturn. Also, Jakob dressed a lot better than he did during the interview. As Benjamin greeted him he appeared stupefied. Before Benjamin could question him further, he was sedated by a flight attendant.
When he woke up back home he had a terrible headache. His recorder was left on after he was sedated, so he listened to the file. Apparently, after the flight attendant sedated him, two agents (presumably from ONI) came and gave him even more sedative, explaining Benjamin's headache. The men even called him "Ben" as if they knew him. Irritated by the lack of respect, Benjamin cancelled the transfer of his interviews and instead uploaded them so that everyone in the galaxy could listen to them.
Episode 06: Boxing Story
- Main article: Episode 06: Boxing Story
- “With major questions about the Master Chief now out on the open network, a flood of feedback and theories come in from all corners of human space. Rumors spread that ONI has fabricated elaborate lies, but why? What are they covering up? Has the investigation now put everyone’s lives at risk?”
Benjamin gets many messages from listeners, criticizing his interviews. Many of them are negative, but some are positive. He gets a message from Sully, disappointed that he missed the deadline, possibly still not knowing Ben uploaded the interviews online. Ben begins listening to even more of the messages sent from his viewers, going into seclusion for a while. In some of the messages, people state things corresponding with the story Ben got from his unsanctioned interviews. A lot of people also stated that Deon Govender was a "liar," scaring Ben since he seemed so honest in his interview. From there, Benjamin begins his search to discover what happened to John between the ages of 6 and 16. Many of the messages from listeners state that Deon is a real person and that he would be about 85 year old at the time of the interview. Ray arrives at Ben's home with news that Jakob Walker and Gabriella Dvørak's information is legit. Ben disagrees, considering how odd Walker was acting during their last encounter. Soon after, Petra breaks into Benjamin's apartment, annoyed that he released a recording of his last conversation with her. She threatens to kill him. Soon after, Mshak Moradi revealed that he was listening to the whole conversation through Ben's ComPad and cause his encounter with Jakob Walker on the plane. He also reveals that he was contacted by someone named "FERO" who he has never really spoken to. Petra and Ray leave, wanting nothing to do with Ben's story anymore. Before he leaves, Ray says that the real Deon Govender died seven years prior. Mshak also informs Ben that FERO will be contacting him soon.
Episode 07: Who's Listening
- Main article: Episode 07: Who's Listening
- “In scanning the slush, Ray makes an interesting discovery. Petrosky returns to tell a terrifying truth about the origins of the Spartan program. And FERO finally surfaces, helping concoct a plan to expose ONI’s ugliest secrets.”
Episode 08: Drip, Drip, Drip
- Main article: Episode 08: Drip, Drip, Drip
- “FERO drops a bomb that ripples throughout human-occupied space, calling the Master Chief’s allegiances into question. Did the Master Chief do that? Or are there more nefarious elements at play?”
Episode 09: Phantoms
- Main article: Episode 09: Phantoms
- “A new report surfaces about a Spartan abductee, but there’s no time to check the facts. FERO is missing, and the Senate meeting is about to begin.”
Episode 10: Gag Order
- Main article: Episode 10: Gag Order
- “Freshman Senator Andrew Del Rio wastes no time turning Biko into an anti-Chief campaign, but news from the Outer Colonies tells a very different story. With the truth about the Spartan program hanging in the balance, how far will ONI go to bury it?”
Episode 11: Down To The Bone
- Main article: Episode 11: Down To The Bone
- “The window on Petra’s lead is closing. With only 72 hours to get past ONI and into Deep Space, it’ll take a miracle–or a timely intervention–to keep the story on track.”
Episode 12: Full Payload
- Main article: Episode 12: Full Payload
- “Petra warns against the dangers of going public, but the gears are already grinding on one last, big plan. It’s time to burn ONI once and for all.”
Episode 13: In The Bag
- Main article: Episode 13: In The Bag
- “Every story has a villain. Today, we meet ours.”
Episode 00: The Only Deliverable
- Main article: Episode 00: The Only Deliverable
- “A rebel rally ends in slaughter, FERO is unmasked, and a new hunt for truth begins.”
Episode 01: Cube B-349
- Main article: Episode 01: Cube B-349
- “A missing man appears on Midnight, “anomalies” appear in the Colonies, and Maya receives her new assignment.”
Episode 02: From Fire To Blood
- Main article: Episode 02: From Fire To Blood
- “A city lies in ruins, Maya meets a madwoman, and the Colonies mourn the death of a hero.”
Episode 03: Safe House
- Main article: Episode 03: Safe House
- “A friend returns from the dead, a safe house becomes a trap, and Maya is faced with a decision that will change her life forever.”
Episode 04: Jackals
- Main article: Episode 04: Jackals
- “Kig-Yar pirates imprison the crew, an ancient phrase becomes a warning, and Maya puts it all on the line.”
Episode 05: Where the Third Life Shines
- Main article: Episode 05: Where the Third Life Shines
- “The crew gets grounded, Maya remembers a safe place, and the Triad rises.”
Episode 06: Transcendence
- Main article: Episode 06: Transcendence
- “Maya risks it all to spread the truth, the anomaly is revealed, and a new hero rises on Laika III.”
- Benjamin Giraud is voiced by Keegan-Michael Key.
- In Episode 02, Benjamin stated that the year 2517 was 41 years prior to his interviews, meaning that they take place in 2558.
- Xbox Wire - Ominous Halo 5: Guardians Teaser Casts a Shadow on Humanity’s Greatest Hero
- Twitter - Frank O'Connor @franklez: The countdown is on http://huntthetruth.tumblr.com/ #Halo5 #HUNTtheTRUTH
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 00 - PRIMER
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 01: A Hairline Fracture (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 02 - Bad Records (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 03: Critical Condition (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 04: Crossing the Black (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 05: Out of Time (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 06: Boxing Story (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 07: Who's Listening (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 08: Drip, Drip, Drip (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 09: Phantoms (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 10: Gag Order (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 11: Down To The Bone (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 12: Full Payload (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth - Episode 13: In The Bag (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth, Season 2 - Episode 00: The Only Deliverable (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth, Season 2 - Episode 01 (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth, Season 2 - Episode 02 (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth, Season 2 - Episode 03 (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth, Season 2 - Episode 04 (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth, Season 2 - Episode 05 (Part 1)/(Part 2)
- Hunt the Truth, Season 2 - Episode 06 (Part 1)/(Part 2)