Halo’s Master Chief is one of the most iconic video game characters ever, and Steve Downes has had the pleasure of providing his voice for 20 years. He recently recalled and revisited his favorite lines from the series.
Halo Infinite represented a full 20 years since the historic sci-fi series’ debut — Halo: Combat Evolved. The FPS has garnered countless rave reviews and generated a ton of money for Bungie and 343 Industries across its many games.
At the head of the table has been Master Chief, a true gaming mascot. The towering soldier has been front and center for the majority of the franchise, and whilst not too much is really known about the man behind the mask, the man behind the voice has truly enjoyed the role.
Despite primarily being just a talking helmet, Master Chief commands respect. His words are important, as are his actions. These are just two of the reasons why he’s been so consistently popular for the last 20 years.
The character has tons of fans, which is why in one of his recent YouTube videos, Master Chief voice actor Steve Downes responded to a simple question: “What’s your all-time favorite Master Chief line?”
He prefixes by saying: “My stock answer is, it’s your favorite lines.” Steve says that he appreciates that fans have a wide variety of favorites, he loves to hear what people think and acknowledges that new ones are being brought up all the time.
In particular, he references a significant line from Halo Infinite’s campaign: “The mission’s change, they always do,” from Master Chief to Cortana.
After this, he throws us back to Halo 4 and a conversation between the Chief and Lasky, “Soldiers aren’t machines, they’re just people,” Lasky says, to which Master Chief replies: “She said [Cortana] that to me once, about being a machine.”
“That’s one of my favorite lines,” Steve says, and indicates that Halo 4 is still probably his personal favorite game from an “experience standpoint.”
He finishes by saying that he’s loved being a part of Halo Infinite, especially because of Paul Crocker — Associate Creative Director at 343 Industries. “He really got the Chief in a way that others didn’t and knew how to get the best performance out of me. So that was a great experience and one that I’ll treasure.”
The video was lapped up by Halo fans with a thread on the subreddit talking about Steve’s work.
Users discussed and dissected their own personal favorite Chief lines, whilst also offering their admiration for the voice actor: “Steve is such a legendary guy,” “Man, forget Morgan Freeman. I want Steve Downes to narrate everything going forward,” and “I would love for him to do the Halo audiobooks. And my navigation app. And Alexa for that matter.”
We fully expect there to be more Halo games in the future and, hopefully, Steve Downes can continue to provide the powerful and commanding voice Master Chief has become known for over the years. In the meantime, Halo’s legacy continues through Halo Infinite and Ranked Play, and the upcoming Halo TV series.