March 11, 2008

Crows Nest

> — Cocopjojo @ 8:46 pm

“Hey… check it out!”

“No way! A Spartan?”

“For real? You better not be…”

“No, man, he’s here! We’re gonna be alright!” [Crow’s Nest, Halo 3]

The second level of Halo 3 starts out – for me, at least – reminiscent of the second level of the first Halo game. Upon hearing those lines by the marines, I was immediately reminded of the dialogue spoken by the marines on Halo, the second level of the first game: as you finish off the first battle with the Covenant, and approach the marines, one of them expresses disbelief that a Spartan is there. The idea of the marines’ godlike view of the Spartans is prevalent throughout the Halo series, both in the novels and the games.

I like Johnson’s answer to Miranda’s question of where he found the Chief: “Out back. Nappin’.” And I find it interesting that only the three of them are in the conversation; the Arbiter is neither addressed, nor does he speak. The interaction between the humans and their new allies is definitely interesting to watch.

Miranda quickly summarizes what Bungie had been telling us in the months leading up to Halo 3’s release – that the Covenant came to Earth not to wipe out humanity, but to seek out an artifact buried beneath the African soil. Behind her, Johnson tends to an injured marine.

In fact, Miranda pretty much summarizes everything that’s taken place during the end of the last game and the time leading up to this one: that Delta Halo did not fire, but that the Covenant are seeking out “the Ark,” which can fire all of the Halos at once, which, by the Chief’s own description, “will kill us all.”

Lord Hood is brought into the discussions, at which point the Chief, and you, as the player, are given the first major plotline of the game: to neutralize a Covenant anti-air battery, so that Lord Hood can initiate a low-level strike against the Covenant Dreadnought. Halfway through the conversation, the power is cut, which I thought was a great device to catch your attention and break away from the past few minutes’ worth of pure dialogue.

“You are, all of you, vermin. Cowering in the dirt, thinking, what, I wonder? That you might escape the coming fire? No, your world will burn until its surface is but glass. And not even your demon will live to creep, blackened from its hole to mar the reflection of our passage – the culmination of our Journey, for your destruction is the will of the gods! And I? I am their instrument!” [Crow’s Nest, Halo 3]

A great speech, drawing upon the essence of what the Prophet believes. The final line contains the very first words that humanity ever heard from the Covenant, after the destruction of Harvest:

“Your destruction is the will of the gods… and we are their instrument.” [The Fall of Reach, pg. 98]

At this point, Miranda orders the evacuation of the facility, realizing that the Covenant have their location.

“Ma’am, squad leaders are requesting a rally point. Where should they go?”

“To war.” [Crow’s Nest, Halo 3]

Ouch. Miranda walks away, leaving the Chief, the Arbiter, Johnson, and the marine that had asked for a rally point, staring at her. A friend of mine commented that the marine should have said, “No, seriously, this isn’t a joke, where should I tell them to go?”

The player is given control at this point, even though directions haven’t been given regarding what to do about the incoming assault. I thought that this was a good way to decrease the length of the cutscene, while still providing the guidance and story elements that the player requires. You’re able to move around while the marine informs Miranda that their motion trackers are going offline, and that Phantoms are inbound. Another marine says there are more wounded than he expected, and that they all have to be evacuated.

Use this chance to grab the Black Eye skull.

It can be seen in the center of this screenshot, on top of the pipe. Use the structures at the bottom center of the screen to jump up onto the pipe.

Nathan Fillion’s character makes another appearance here, barking out orders to his subordinates.

Marty’s music here is very fitting, with the repeated melody overlaid on the rhythmic snare beats which seem to fit the UNSC base environment quite well.

I feel bad for the marines on the Warthog that you encounter as you enter into the battle; I’ve tried to save them, but have never been successful. According to High Impact Halo, it is very hard, if not impossible, to prevent the ‘hog from exploding.

It is impossible to save the warthog here. We didn’t want the player’s first experience with a driveable warthog to be underwhelming if someone got it accidentally. There isn’t that much room to move in this corridor. [DMiller, Bungie]

Instead of taking the left into the corridors, continue down and to the right. You’ll find two marines, voiced by actors from the popular machinima, Red vs. Blue. One of them is attempting to get past a door, with the other marine responding from inside.

“Hey! Open up!”

“What’s the password?”

“Password? Oh man, I forgot.”

“Forgot… what?”

“I forgot the password.”

“See, that was almost right. See, the password begins with “I forgot,” but ends differently. Try again.”

“No, I mean, I forgot the password.”

“No, okay, see, you – you got it wrong again. See, you said the same thing as last time.”

“I’m being serious; I don’t know the password!”

“No, no, no, see, you changed the first part. See, that – that part was the right part. See, now you’ve got the whole thing wrong!”

“No! I forgot what the password is, and I just need you to open the door!”

“Alright, come on, man, now you’re just guessing!” [Crow’s Nest, Halo 3]

This dialogue changes based on the difficulty you’re playing on.

Moving into the next area, I’m reminded of the excellent job Bungie did with the marines’ random dialogue in this game; I really enjoy the marines’ responses to the Chief’s actions; the timing is perfect. In the hangar area, I was climbing up a staircase, and as I passed a Grunt, I shot and killed him. I continued up the staircase and passed a marine who casually said, “Nice shot, Chief!”

You also have the chance here to grab a turret.  The third-person animations for the Chief are perfect – the Chief’s movements really seem to convey the idea that this incredibly strong man is carrying a massively heavy item. The Chief looks like a real killing machine holding a turret (or any support weapon).

The turrets spawn randomly – but one always spawns on the lower level and one always spawns on the higher level. [DMiller, Bungie]

It’s in the hangar that I first noticed Adam Baldwin’s marine – he played Jayne Cobb in Firefly. His lines in Halo 3 are fitting of his character from the show.

I’m also fairly positive that Alan Tudyk (Wash) can be heard in this area.

Watching the Pelican pull out, pick up the marines, and fly out of the hangar is a rewarding finish to this encounter. It gives you a sense of accomplishment to see the marines that were fighting with you escape to (relative) safety.

Johnson calls you back to the Ops Center, beginning your first set of backtracking. I think that it works in this case for multiple reasons: it works for establishing the base as a military base, rather than a level; it’s less like you’re linearly moving through a level, and more like you’re just defending the installation. Secondly, the backtracking is very short. It doesn’t take more than a minute to retrace your steps, and get back to a previous location. I think that providing a sandbox environment like this level does, does a good job of harkening back to the days of the first level of Halo 1, even though you can’t choose which area you want to tackle first.

Wow, are Drones introduced well in this game; the marine giving you instructions and then getting pulled into the air is awesome. Too bad we knew what was going to happen because of the E3 trailer. Providing a crate of BRs and plenty of cover makes for a great encounter with Drones, and unlike most Drone encounters in Halo 2, I really enjoy playing this one. Although, on Legendary, there do seem to be slightly too many Drones at this section.

Most people ignore the Covenant shield. If you place one in front of a turret, you can murder the drones pretty easily. (Covenant shields can be shot through one-way with most bullet-based weapons). [DMiller, Bungie]

Arriving back at the Ops Center, you see the bomb, and hear Miranda tell Johnson, “you might want to put that out,” referring to his cigar. He actually tosses it to the ground and stamps it out.

This encounter is one of my favorite in the game; eight Brutes, one with invincibility and a Hammer, all of them with the higher ground, and no way for you to flank them – it all makes for a tough fight.

As you leave this area and drop down into the pipe area, Cortana flashes in with a line.

“You have been called upon to serve.” [Crow’s Nest, Halo 3]

Here’s an excerpt from The Fall of Reach; Dr. Halsey has just had the seventy-five children that will be trained as Spartans abducted from their homes, and taken to the planet Reach. Following is the first thing she says to them upon their arrival:

Dr. Halsey took a tentative step forward. “You have been called upon to serve,” she explained. “You will be trained… and you will become the best we can make of you.” [The Fall of Reach, pg. 30]

The Drones flying through the pipes and crossing your path were a nice touch, because, in the novels, their primary purpose is not fighting; Drones are technicians aboard the Covenant ships, able to excel in their duties due to their ability to fly and their multiple limbs.  Their actions here seem to reinforce that idea; they don’t want to fight you, they are just trying to get to where they have been ordered to go.

I called this ‘Halo frogger’ during development- you can sneak by the drones if you so chose. This used to be far more unforgiving, where if you were spotted, 15-20 drones would come out. We toned it down because this area is meant to be more of a ‘cool down’ area than a hardcore battle- especially between two of the bigger brute encounters in the game. [DMiller, Bungie]

Before you leave this section, be sure to grab the second skull of this level, Grunt Birthday Party. Right before you drop down the pipe at the end, inch your way over the edge; there’s a lower area that you runs underneath the grating that you’ve just been walking down. Drop onto it, and turn around – the skull is easily seen.

“The prophets use you like they used me! Reject their lies! Or all your hives will perish.” You can hear the Arbiter shout these lines to a group of Drones that he’s fighting, as you drop down the pipe into a large, cavernous area.

“Spartan. The Brutes have taken some of your soldiers; as prisoners or meat for their bellies, I do not know. In case some yet live, we must be careful where we shoot.” I can’t praise enough O’Connor, Staten, or whoever wrote the Arbiter’s lines for this game. Everything he says is so well-written, and Keith David does a perfect job voicing him.

Entering the barracks is rough; not because of actual fighting, but because it’s terrible to see the marines being held upside down by their ankles, and thrown about by the Brutes. It’s always a good feeling to stick a Spike grenade to a Brute holding a marine, or to headshot one in time for the marine to escape. The first marine you have the chance to save in this encounter is voiced by Alan Tudyk. Be sure to kill his Brute captor if you want to hear him throughout the rest of the encounter. I’m not sure if it happens every time, but in this area, I’ve been lucky enough to have Fillion, Tudyk, and Baldwin all three with me at the same time.

The music in this area is taken from the first level of Halo 1; you can hear it at the very end of that level, leading up to your escape from the Pillar of Autumn.

At one point in this section, you round a corner, and on the left, there are a group of marines sitting down. While you’re battling, you can hear them muttering; it can actually be pretty eerie at first, since you can actually hear them before you see them, and their voices are so low that they’re almost inaudible at first; you hear them just as slight whispers, so soft that it can be hard to tell if you’re imagining it. When you’ve cleared the area of Brutes, the marines are ordered to their feet and the mutterings stop. It was pretty odd, the first time I heard it. It still is.

As you exit the barracks, the Arbiter consoles you, saying, “we did all we could. Let us move the survivors up to the hangar.” I find it interesting that he is attempting to keep the Chief from feeling guilty over the deaths of any marines.

Not many people know about the vents and side door in this encounter that can be used to flank around enemies.

There are seven marines here to save. Try to catch them all!

There are a ton of weapons in this part, make sure you are fully loaded when you leave. [DMiller, Bungie]

This next encounter is really fun; a packof Brutes with jet-packs attack. Damaging the packs on their backs will send them careening away.

Next, Johnson informs you that you’ll have to clean up after him again – last time, he was captured by the Brutes, and required rescue. This time, a pack of Brutes overpowered him, and forced him out of the Ops Center. You’re told to regain control and rearm the bomb.

Before you leave the jet-pack area, head through the door on the right; the one that a few Brutes came out of during the jet-pack fight. If you follow the hallways up to an overlook-area, then you can grab a cloak that will make the Chieftain fight much easier.

The door is on the right; the area you’re heading towards is at the top. You can actually break the glass and drop back down onto the pad, rather than backtracking through the hallways.  Watch out for the Pelican on the way down!

Yes, if you look carefully, Miranda is in the Pelican Driver’s seat when she comes to pick you up. [DMiller, Bungie]

Another Cortana flash occurs at this point:

You will become the protectors of Earth and all her colonies.” [Crow’s Nest, Halo 3]

Again, taken directly from The Fall of Reach – actually, from a section I quoted earlier, but left out the last line. Here it is in its entirety:

Dr. Halsey took a tentative step forward. “You have been called upon to serve,” she explained. “You will be trained… and you will become the best we can make of you. You will become the protectors of Earth and all her colonies.” [The Fall of Reach, pg. 30]

I find it really interesting that the word “protectors” is kept plural for the game, since no other Spartans have ever been mentioned, or seen, in the games. The marines often refer to the Chief as “a Spartan,” but there has never been a direct reference to the fact that other Spartans exist. However, Cortana is clearly speaking to a group of individuals, here, rather than just the Chief. For those who have read the books, this is nothing special, of course.

Fighting down through the corridors, you can hear a great piece of music; known as “Brutes,” in Halo 3, it draws on a theme that is reused often in the game, but originally heard in Halo 1 as “Under Cover of Night.” The melody is soft enough at this section that many players may miss it.

Entering the Ops Center, if you hold off on attacking, you can overhear a conversation between a Brute and the Prophet of Truth:

“Success, Holy One. We have taken their Command Center!”

“Have you discovered how they plan to stop me?”

“Not just yet, Noble Prophet.”

“Find out what I need to know, or your place on the path is forfeit. Tell me you understand!”

“Yes, Holy One. It shall be done.”

“Have the Drones scour these machines! Find out what these heathens know about the Ark!” [Crow’s Nest, Halo 3]

Use the cloak you grabbed earlier to assassinate the Chieftain. I’ve noticed that sometimes, after assassinating the Chieftain, one of the Brutes will say: “He’s got camouflage! Be careful…”

Sometimes I prefer not to use the cloak; the fight in the Ops Center is a great example of a really well done “boss battle.” The Brute Chieftain wields a Fuel Rod Cannon, and he has a finite amount of health – there is no special tactic required to beat him, such as waiting for another character to bring down his shields, or acquiring a certain weapon that he is vulnerable to. You have the higher ground, your space is limited – and his weapon has a wide area of splash damage. And when you’ve defeated him, you’re rewarded with his Fuel Rod Cannon.

For a long time during development, the Hammer Chieftain once again appeared here. He had problems with this environment and a lot of the other designers were using a Flak Cannon Chieftain, so I threw him in there and he worked pretty well. [DMiller, Bungie]

The escape section of this level is great – the flashing lights and alarms force a sense of urgency upon you, and the game allows you to acquiesce to this feeling by only placing panicked Grunts and a few Jackals and Drones in your path, which you can kill, or simply run past.

The buggers were a welcome last-minute addition to this scene.

I originally wanted a timer on the bomb so the player actually felt pressure to get out, but a lot of people at Bungie reacted pretty strongly against this idea. [DMiller, Bungie]

Cortana makes another appearance here:

“There will be a great deal of hardship on the road ahead.” [Crow’s Nest, Halo 3]

This is, again, taken from Dr. Halsey’s first meeting at Reach with the group of young, in-training Spartans.

“The training will be difficult. There will be a great deal of hardship on the road ahead, but I know you will all make it.” [The Fall of Reach, pgs. 30-31]

After encountering another group of fleeing Grunts, accompanied by some Drones, Cortana speaks again:

“You will become the best we can make you.” [Crow’s Nest, Halo 3]

This is taken from a speech by Dr. Halsey that I’ve already quoted twice before:

Dr. Halsey took a tentative step forward. “You have been called upon to serve,” she explained. “You will be trained… and you will become the best we can make of you. You will become the protectors of Earth and all her colonies.” [The Fall of Reach, pg. 30]

The final escape through the hanger is relatively easy, too, with only panicked Grunts and a few more Jackals standing in your way. The Phantom, which dropped them off, flees as soon as you enter the hangar.

If you notice in the background (on the hangar floor) you’ll see grunts running back to the phantom that’s fleeing the scene. [DMiller, Bungie]

As you enter the elevator and begin your descent, the bomb that you armed detonates, and Cortana speaks one last time. Let me first quote Dr. Halsey’s version:

“This place will become your home,” Dr. Halsey said in as soothing a voice as she could muster. “Your fellow trainees will be your family now.” [The Fall of Reach, pg. 30]

What Cortana says here is made more powerful by its variation from Dr. Halsey’s original lines.

“This place will become your home…

This place will become your tomb.” [Crow’s Nest, Halo 3]

Crow’s Nest ends while casting further confusion on Cortana’s current mental state. However, there’s not much time left to dwell on that – the next level is Tsavo Highway, where you’ll finally be set free of the confining spaces that have been placed upon you so far.

Check out the addendum for the Legendary saved film and a few gameplay tips; and stop by the Ascendant Justice Halo 3 forum to read discussions regarding various aspects of Halo 3’s campaign.

38 Comments »

  1. The “protectors” comment Cortana makes isn’t really her. That is to say these are flashbacks rather than direct communictaion. Perhaps it is some residual of her. Or just some of her memories being left in the Chief’s head.

    The Chief and her are able to be linked. It’s explained in the book, but I forget the details. I do remember the book describing the way the Chief feels when she enters his armor for the first time and nearly every time in the book.

    I believe the Warthog scene on this level is a scripted event and impossible to change.

    Comment by marty is ruling — March 15, 2008 @ 7:09 pm


  2. Ofcourse as he explained Cortana didn’t actually say these lines. Hasley did, so to have a memerory of Cortana saying Halseys lines wouldn’t make entire sense. And he also said the warthog can be stopped :p

    Comment by Divine — April 3, 2008 @ 12:46 am


  3. Of the combat dialogs, I especially enjoy the ones that come after you’ve melee killed an opponent.

    “Whoa, I think you broke his skull”

    “Hey, Chief, I didn’t know you did kung fu!”

    Are among more humourous ones.

    Comment by Shu Sam Chen — April 22, 2008 @ 11:34 am


  4. The Brute Chieftain battle here caused me the most anxiety. The first battle with the Chieftain on Sierra 117 was difficult, but doable. After I defeated him after a few tries, I still wasn’t sure how exactly I got him (I wasn’t aware that the invincibility equipment was being used by him, and its duration was finite). So when I walked into the room full of Brutes and the Chieftain, with no place to run or hide (and the door locking behind me), I was apprehensive to say the least. After I whittled the Brutes down and the Chieftain charged me (I had forgotten he was up there), I totally panicked. I shot and ran and shot some more. That was a RUSH.

    Comment by Pete — April 24, 2008 @ 12:20 pm


  5. dmiller FTW.

    This is great insight into what was probably the most difficult level the game delivers. On Legendary and with certain skulls enabled, the Brute encounters (motorpool/barracks) are especially intense and brutal.

    Nice work.

    Comment by vociferous — April 29, 2008 @ 7:34 am


  6. most players have to remember that cortana restating Dr. Halsey’s lines makes perfect sense, because cortana being an A.I. was actually created in a clone of Dr. Halsey’s brain.

    Comment by green — May 4, 2008 @ 7:49 pm


  7. They DIDN’T want a timer? I think everyone I’ve ever talked to about this game were disappointed with the Campaign, and not just a little.

    This particular detail comes up every time. “Why didn’t they throw a timer in at the end of Crow’s Nest??”

    Again and again we find points of the game that are far too short, far too simple, or just plain boring. For example, on any mission whatsoever, if you take the time to turn in a complete circle, pretty much any time at all ina mission, you’ll see a weapon stash where you can get ammo… making the whole, “pick up and use other weapons,” useless and silly. Why? Why would I change out my one-hit-kill Battle Rifle and my shield-destroying Assault Rifle or Shotgun when ammo is EVERYWHERE?

    One high point of the original Halo was the overall build of the game. Bungie didn’t take time to scrutinize their work untill they were moaning about details like, “that gun on the ground should be one more inch to the left,” as they did with Halo 3, and guess what? It was HUNDREDS of times better than it’s later sequals. You had to pick up weapons, as there were ammo stashes only once, if at all, in a level. Getting from point A to point B took a long time, and vehicles segments didn’t take 1 minute to finish, as most do in Halo 3, save for the Ark… which only lasts about 3 minutes… yeah, way to go Bungie. You’ve sacrificed the most important thing, gameplay, for the least important thing, graphics. Way to be video game wh***s.

    I’m sorry, but this mission would have been so much better if it left freedom up to the player. The whole game would have been better that way. Let us save the Warthog if we put hours into perfecting a way to do so. Put a damn timer on the last leg of the level you non-difficulty wanting *******. And for the love of whatever you hold dear, take more than half the weapons on the level, off the level. I don’t need to pick up ammo every two steps, of every room, of every section, of every area. No. NO. Bad Bungie! You’ve ruined the whole formula of, “You can only hold 2 weapons!” We need LESS ammo, and more guns. That’s why it works. We run and gun, and we keep on running and gunning. We use what we find, not stop to look for ammo… or just pick the damn ammo up as we go, never needing to use the other weapons. Hell, I think the Plasma Rifle shows up in 2 or 3 missions, and the SMG shows up in 2… 2!??! Are you kidding me?? I know people still have a grudge against it from Halo 2 (save for the non-fanatical fans who think their opinions overule all… you guys know who you are, just let Bungie make their own damn game dammit), but jeeze, 2 missions? It should show up frequently as a standard-issue Marine weapon. Whatever. I’m done ranting. This stuff pissed me off so much. You’ve ruined a perfectly good series of games Bungie, no matter how many copies sold, they weren’t as good as you or anyone else thinks… except the first… and no, not becuase of the Pistol, that was a dumb idea.

    Comment by Rift — May 4, 2008 @ 11:57 pm


  8. I agree that they could have added a timer, but its also kinda nice that you don’t get to within 20ft of the elevator and then the timer goes off and you have to start over. Thats happened to me in other games and drives me crazy. As far as your whining that there is too much ammo, you can always turn on the famine skull.

    Comment by Scipio — May 5, 2008 @ 4:06 pm


  9. I had the IWOBYD skull and in the barracks i heard one of the funniest things ever said by a marine. We had just gotten done fighting and one of the marines walks over to a dead body and said, I’m gona miss you buddy but you said if you died i could have your stereo. I laughed for a good 5 min.

    Comment by Matt — May 6, 2008 @ 5:41 pm


  10. Cortana could quite easily be saying Halseys lines, i can’t remember if she was created before or after the Spartan II program started but if so then she would have at least some of Halseys memories. (See Contact Harvest AI Sif for exactly how much the formers memories affect an AI, she feels that her operations on the Tiara feel lie her her is being brushed)

    Comment by Reclaimers Doubt — May 7, 2008 @ 6:06 pm


  11. After reading all the Terminal articles, could it be that the Cortana visions Master Chief has are really Mendicant Bias projecting into him?

    By the time the Dreadnought is on Earth, Bias has already decided to help the Chief, and bias can communicate in some form of telepathy, as he does with the gravemind. Guilty spark also changed terms so they could be better understood, like Maginot Sphere, so Bias could have used familiar images and phrases from the chief’s memory to do the same.

    Anyone agree?

    Comment by Jon — May 7, 2008 @ 10:17 pm


  12. #2

    Of course as he explained Cortana didn’t actually say these lines. Hasley did, so to have a memerory of Cortana saying Halseys lines wouldn’t make entire sense. And he also said the warthog can be stopped :p

    Comment by Divine — April 3, 2008 @ 12:46 am

    umm actually it does make sense considering Cortana was made from a flash clone of dr halsey which i believe(could be wrong) also contained her memories

    Comment by william — May 10, 2008 @ 5:30 pm


  13. Correct. Cortana is an AI built from Dr. Halsey including her residual memories.

    Comment by Malignant Resolve — May 23, 2008 @ 10:34 am


  14. I know people still have a grudge against [the SMG] from Halo 2 (save for the non-fanatical fans who think their opinions overule all… you guys know who you are, just let Bungie make their own damn game dammit),

    You’ve ruined a perfectly good series of games Bungie, no matter how many copies sold, they weren’t as good as you or anyone else thinks… except the first… and no, not because of the Pistol, that was a dumb idea.

    Comment by Rift — May 4, 2008 @ 11:57 pm

    So let me get this straight: no matter how many millions bought it, no matter how many hundreds of thousands play it on a daily basis, we’re all wrong?
    How is it possible for something to not be as good as one thinks it is? If I think it’s good, then to me it is. End of story.

    Comment by Dan — May 23, 2008 @ 7:51 pm


  15. WOW! that rant was pretty deep #7. I agree with the ammo thing but there are skulls to make the game more difficult. Turning on all of the skulls (exept blind) at once on normal is 100% harder than no skulls on legendary. Try it sometime… you’ll probably cry cause it’s nearly impossible to win.

    I personally think the new voice for Miranda Keyes is rediculous and ruins everything about the character. The voice actress from Halo 2 is way better and had better lines even though her voice was a bit naizaly (I kinda thought it was cute honestly). I seriously was not that upset when she died, considering she murdered every line she had.

    Comment by Joel — May 23, 2008 @ 11:54 pm


  16. sorry i came up with this late and if someone already sead it sorry but cortana is Dr.Halsey in a maner of speaking it came from the docs brain i think after the spartans are taken

    Comment by deathless — May 24, 2008 @ 12:33 pm


  17. I really like how when Cortana speaks to John she quotes Dr. Halsey like watch she’s saying has already been said by her. Which is pretty much true because Dr. Halsey was Cortana like human base Cortana has all of Halsey’s memories and stuff.

    Just a theory about the Cortana message about Chief being the protector. Like Cocopjojo said it’s like Cortana was speaking to the other spartans as well because they’re all potential reclaimers.

    Comment by Zen Mice — June 2, 2008 @ 5:00 am


  18. When my screen went black in the cutscene. I thought that the cd was broken in some sec 😀

    Comment by Swes`Achumes — June 2, 2008 @ 8:22 pm


  19. This quote: “we did all we could. Let us move the survivors up to the hangar.” reminds me of Mendez informing John, the newly acquired Squad Leader, that each life must be worth something.

    To be precise:
    ‘ “Squad Leader,” Mendez called out. “A moment.”
    “Stay,” John told the orderly, and marched to face Chief Mendez. “Yes, sir”
    “Let them go,” Mendez said quietly. “They can’t fight anymore. They don’t belong here.”
    “John inadvertently glanced at the view screen and the long line of canisters as they shrank in the distance. “What will happen to my men?”
    ” The Navy takes care of its own, […] They may no longer be the fastest or the strongest soldiers- but they still have sharp minds. They can still plan missions, analyze data, troubleshoot ops. . .” ‘

    This is the quote that I feel is more relevant:
    ‘ Was there something else, Squad Leader?”
    ohn furrowed his brow, hesitated, and then finally said, “I was Squad Leader. The last mission was therefore my responsibility . . . and members of my squad died. What did I do wrong?”
    Mendez stared at John with his impenetrable black eyes. He glanced at the squad, then back to John. “Walk with me.” He led John to the view screen. He stood and watched as the last of the canisters vanished into the darkness.
    “A leader must be ready to send the soldiers under his command to their deaths,” Mendez said without turning to face John. “You do this because your duty to the UNSC supersedes your duty to yourself or even your crew.”
    John looked away from the view screen. He couldn’t look at the emptiness anymore. He didn’t want to think of his teammates -friends who were like brothers and sisters to him- forever lost. ‘

    Comment by Aidsterramma — June 2, 2008 @ 8:32 pm


  20. I think that the warthog scene is scripted and can’t really be stopped. After the grunts drop 2 plasmas in front of it (I turned on Cowbell for good fun)it flies up into the air, delays for a second or two, then explodes.

    Comment by Chris000 — June 9, 2008 @ 8:05 am


  21. Personally, I believe that this level was one of the best indoor levels in the Halo series.

    Let me explain:

    In Halo:CE, there were only two truly indoor levels: The Pillar of Autumn, and The Maw. This is because you could not go outside, because you either died by falling several hundred (probably thousand) miles straight down, or the airlocks where nowhere to be found, such as at the end of the first level on Halo 2. These levels were fun for a while, but it’s all just repetition of the same areas over and over again, and gets really boring–even with the new addition of the engine room at the end of The Maw!

    In Halo 2, the level Cairo Station reminds me of the Pillar of Autumn level, because you are cooped up in a space station until the very end. In the level The Arbiter, you are mostly inside a wide variety of complexes unless you count being in the air, or being outside for the briefest moment. For the levels Gravemind and High Charity, you are the Master Chief inside the Covenant Holy City, and don’t have the range to move around freely. It can be true that Delta Halo and Regret also fall into the category of indoor levels, but I don’t believe this to be so.

    In Halo 3, the only other indoor levels I can think of is Cortana, which has a lot of flood swarming at you at every turn, which can get annoying, in my opinion. Crow’s Nest may send you back down many areas, but it can have many good oportunities for training certain skills. Plus, there is a chance to save a marine from a Brute, and skills can really be trained, and homed in on in this level. The only downside is the only weapons in a good supply are human, so there is not that many plasma rifles for those who play co-op over X-Box Live.

    This is all a matter of personal opinion, so if some of what I said is incorrect, please do not hesitate to offer constructive criticism-PLEASE NO BAD MOUTHING MY OPINIONS!! Seriously–don’t.

    Comment by Mark — July 8, 2008 @ 6:24 pm


  22. Cool. I don’t wanna be the guy who just comments to criticize, but one more thing: the Arbiter says “all your HIDES will perish”, not “hives”. He is referring to the entirety of the Covenant.

    Comment by Trevor — July 11, 2008 @ 7:16 pm


  23. He does say hives. He’s talking to the drones in that particular part, no other covenant are there.

    Comment by Brandon — August 3, 2008 @ 11:05 am


  24. Actually the prophets did believe in the “great journey” according to the most recent book….

    Comment by kgg533 — August 13, 2008 @ 4:50 am


  25. What about the idea that somehow, the fusing together of the Chief and Cortana’s ‘minds’ has left almost like imprints of her memory in the Chief’s mind. I am confused as to how Cortana is communicating with the Chief, if at all seeing as shes trapped in that stasis shield.

    Comment by Gary — August 13, 2008 @ 3:06 pm


  26. What about the idea that somehow, the fusing together of the Chief and Cortana’s ‘minds’ has left almost like imprints of her memory in the Chief’s mind. I am confused as to how Cortana is communicating with the Chief, if at all seeing as shes trapped in that stasis shield.

    Comment by Gary — August 13, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

    I think that is the most likely explaination. Or a copy of Cortana from First Strike.

    I also noticed that the last Cortana flashes after High Charity crashes on the Ark have memories Cortana gained since leaving the Chief’s head so maybe the corrupt bit in the Chief and the actual Cortana synchronized when they came in range of each other.

    Comment by Andrew — August 14, 2008 @ 4:53 pm


  27. It’s interesting to note that the Brute Chieftain is voiced by John DiMaggio, who voiced Bender on the TV show Futurama. I could really hear the resemblance when he says “We have taken their command center.”

    Comment by Demolition Pants — August 15, 2008 @ 6:56 am


  28. I find it hard to believe that people are freaking out because there are a lot of weapons in this level. IT’S A MILITARY BASE!!! You aren’t going to walk into an army base and find an absence of weapons. They are made so that the soldiers inside can defend it without having to worry about running out of ammo. You guys should be grateful that there was plenty of ammo around or the chieftains would have pwned you all.
    As for comment 15, I’m pretty sure(I could be wrong) that they used the same voice actress for Miranda. I heard nothing wrong with her acting.

    Comment by MC Warhammer — August 16, 2008 @ 1:15 am


  29. You mention that the Prophet’s speech at the beginning mirrors that from Fall of Reach. I was just re-watching the original E3 2000 Halo demo and near the very end the Elite says to the dying marine “Your destruction is the will of the gods, and we are their instrument”. I had completely forgotten about that line!

    Comment by herr zrbo — August 21, 2008 @ 5:18 pm


  30. I think that the cortana flashbacks might be gravemind trying to mess with the chief’s head, bringing back memories of what he has lost in hopes of causing him to despair. I can’t really support this theory though.

    Comment by gauntletrunner — September 22, 2008 @ 2:48 am


  31. Gauntlet, I actually agree with you, and this is something that I’ll be touching on in the “Cortana” article.

    Comment by Cocopjojo — September 22, 2008 @ 3:20 pm


  32. It’s actually the Gravemind extracting her memories, like the Brain Form did to Keyes.

    Comment by Xij29y6 — November 13, 2008 @ 1:45 pm


  33. Going back to the #7 rant, while I love Halo: CE and Halo 2 I think the third is the best… namely because I was a little upset that they took the assault rifle away in Halo 2 and brought in the battle rifle and SMG’s, but Halo 3 has all the weapons, so take your pick…
    and also, I’m pretty sure there were 2 different actresses for Keyes… Julie Benz did the voice in Halo 2 (she is a pretty well known actress, being in the Buffy and Angel series), but I don’t know who did the voice in Halo 3… I liked the voice in Halo 2 better…
    also, I liked the voice for Truth in Halo 2 better… while I love Terrance Stamp, I just didn’t care for him in this…

    Comment by John — November 22, 2008 @ 9:01 pm


  34. Seriously why bitch about having enough ammo? If one thing annoyed me in Halo 2 it was the fact that my SMG and battle rifle where constant out of ammo and that I constantly had to get a covenant weapon. Im not a fan of alien weaponry, I always prefer the down to earth bullet spewing assault rifle or a variation on that.

    Comment by Lexus — January 1, 2009 @ 9:46 am


  35. You didn’t mention the greatest little visual in the entire level. If you’re bored, as I was one day, you can kill the Marines in the control room. It’s simple enough on Easy and Normal, but I don’t think it’d be very fun on Heroic or Legendary. You almost have to do it in Co-op, since the Arbiter is annoying good at headshots and seems to defend the Marines. Anyway, the Marines eventually conclude, after two to four of the Marines are murdered, that you’ve lost it and you need to be eliminated. En masse, they charge and scream, and their battle cry, if you can call it that, is quite funny in my opinion. It sounds like a soccer riot, or maybe the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on a bad day the week before Christmas. Pretty similar, really.
    Obviously, those Marines that have weapons fire at you, and it does hurt, indeed, but if you get the chance to look at some of the techs as they ‘attack,’ they’re doing this fake-kung-fu-thing with their hands, some of them gloved, apparently because they don’t have guns. The funniest part is that the fake-kung-fu-thing, whatever it’s supposed to be, actually does some decent damage, and they can assasinate you.
    In addition, if you get upstairs in the control center, either when the door is left open or by jumping onto the big display screens (look at it for a while, and you’ll get it), then begin murdering Marines, Cmdr. Keyes doesn’t seem to care. She just paces around, either ignoring or just accepting your homicidal escapades.

    Be careful of Sgt. Johnson, though. Sometimes it seems like one hit from him kills, and that just might be the case.

    Comment by TheAsterisk! — April 5, 2009 @ 6:51 am


  36. Uh, rift? Crow’s nest is a military base, so you’re going to find ammo scattered everyhere.

    Comment by Christian Bethel — April 22, 2009 @ 1:10 pm


  37. Once again, very informitive and well written,

    Comment by Valiant — June 9, 2009 @ 12:22 am


  38. @ #11 That idea is 100% pure fantastic awsomeness. Just saying.

    Comment by Matt — August 6, 2010 @ 3:52 am


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