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From all that I've seen, the composer was used to protect the forerunners from the flood, and to create the Prometheans to fight it. I know it was a flawed design to save the forerunners, but why did they not try to "digitize" the flood and keep them locked away? Was this tried or no?

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No way to know / clearly inferior to traditional weapons

It's important to take note of the fact that we're talking about fictional characters, whose actions are entirely dictated by real-world authors. We must remember that one possible answer in all such cases is: "because the author had a different resolution in mind." Or, just as likely: "because the author didn't think of it."

Now let's consider what we do know about this situation.

According to the Halo wiki, a Composer is a device that creates a digital version of a biological organism:

the Didact chose to use the Composer to transform his Promethean warriors into AI constructs, a process he refers to as "Composing." The Didact believed that the Flood could be defeated this way, since they could only infect living tissue

An important consequence of doing this is that it destroys the real-world creature in the process:

When used on an organism, it painfully burns away the body layer by layer until that organism's "essence" is collected, leaving a pile of ash with a blue particle effect.

The Didact's plan was to make his army immune to the Flood so they could fight the Flood like traditional soldiers, i.e. in close quarters, without becoming infected and converted into more Flood.

You're asking about using the Composer on the Flood instead. Here's the core problem with that idea: you would still have to find each and every infected organism and use the Composer on it. Well, if you can do that, you might as well just use a laser weapon on the infected organism, or a flamethrower: the effort involved is the same, and I bet it takes less energy to use a laser weapon than it does to use a laser + computer to generate a digital analog of the target. I bet the laser weapon also works faster since all it cares about is burning the target instead of measuring and digitizing it.

Digitizing the Flood requires at least the same effort as simply burning the Flood. And (probably) nobody wants a digital copy of the Flood anyway. There is no value in "locking it away" -- everyone just wants the Flood to be destroyed, and they don't care how it's done.

It has been a long time since I played the Halo games, but I gotta say it honestly never made sense to me that straightforward quarantine efforts + planetary bombardment/glassing didn't work.

Of course, the real explanation is that the creators of the video game series wanted the Flood to always survive somehow in order to provide a story explanation for an army of zombie enemies for players to fight in the 3 5 16 games (and counting) they wanted to sell. It's pure teleology.

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