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Official Site: Bungie
The Covenant is a fictional theocratic military alliance of alien races who serve as the main antagonists in the Halo science fiction series. The Covenant are composed of a variety of diverse species, united under the religious worship of the enigmatic Forerunners and their belief that Forerunner ringworlds known as Halos will provide a path to salvation. After the Covenant leadership—the High Prophets—declare humanity an affront to their gods, the Covenant prosecute a lengthy genocidal campaign against the technologically inferior race.
The Covenant were first introduced in the 2001 video game Halo: Combat Evolved as enemies hunting the player character, a human supersoldier known as Master Chief. Not realizing the Halos were meant as weapons of destruction rather than salvation, the Covenant attempt to activate the rings on three separate occasions throughout the series, inadvertently releasing a virulent parasite known as the Flood in the process.
To develop a distinctive look for the various races of the Covenant, Bungie artists drew inspiration from reptilian, ursine, and avian characteristics. A Covenant design scheme of purples and reflective surfaces was made to separate the aliens from human architecture.
Like most of the other characters and species in the Halo universe, the Covenant were slowly developed during the initial concept phase and refined as Halo: Combat Evolved progressed. During the course of development of Halo, the designers decided upon three "schools" of architecture, for each of the races represented — the humans, Covenant, and Forerunners. For the Covenant, the team decided on "sleek and shiny", with reflective surfaces, organic shapes, and use of purples. According to art director Marcus Lehto, the principle designs for the race came from environmental artist Paul Russell.
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