Anders' Signal is the eighth level of the real-time strategy game, Halo Wars.
It is the first level in the Halo Wars campaign to feature the Flood. After the UNSC Spirit of Fire finishes its Slipspace travel to pursue a Covenant ship holding Professor Anders, they enter into orbit around an unknown planet, and as Captain Cutter orders Sergeant John Forge to the surface, they encounter units of new Covenant species, the Brutes. As Sergeant Forge's Elephant crew kills all of the Brutes, they are assisted by Spartan Red Team. Two other Elephant crews on the surface, Echo and India, however, reported attacks from unknown hostiles, before all contact from them was lost.
As Sergeant Forge's units and Spartan Red Team investigate, they eventually encounter the Flood, and are forced to destroy and clear any Flood forms surrounding the two other Elephants. Then they are ordered to bring all the three deployed Elephants back to a nearby firebase for evacuation.
Prof. Anders and Sgt. Forge are at the remains of the destroyed Super Scarab. Anders holds a small hand-held camera, documenting the Scarab's remains. Forge grabs a piece of debris and poses with it.
- Sgt. Forge: "Hey, how 'bout one for the scrapbook, Professor?"
- Anders: "If you don't mind, Sergeant, I'm trying to document this area for study."
Forge drops the piece and turns his back at Anders. Moments later, an invisible Sangheili grabs Anders by her throat and uncloaks.
- Ripa 'Moramee: "You will come with me."
Forge draws a pistol and points it at the Arbiter
- Sgt. Forge: "Why don't we put the lady down and talk about this, man to freak?"
- Ripa 'Moramee: "As you wish."
Arbiter drops Anders and moves towards Forge. He shoots the Arbiter with his pistol but it has no effect. The Arbiter activates his camo, moves behind Forge and knocks Forge's pistol out of his hands with one swing of his Energy Sword. Forge goes down and the Arbiter moves to finish him with a stab. Anders runs in between both of them.
- Anders: "Stop!"
- Sgt. Forge: "Anders, get out of here!"
- Anders: "I'll come quietly if you let him live."
The Arbiter grabs Anders by her throat and walks into the Gravity Lift of a Spirit dropship hovering nearby. The ship moves away as the Spartan Red Team arrives with a Warthog shooting at it. After the ship goes away, the Spartans get off the Warthog and secure the area.
- Jerome-092: "Sir?"
- Sgt. Forge: "I'm okay. Spirit of Fire, this is Forge. I lost Anders."
- Captain Cutter: "What happened?"
- Sgt. Forge: "Some massive Elite came out of nowhere!"
- Serina: "Captain, I'm tracking her transponder. It's heading away from the planet."
- Captain Cutter: "Damn it! Sergeant, get up here on the double."
A Pelican flies towards the Spirit of Fire.
- Sgt. Forge: "Already en route, sir."
Forge enters the bridge with Spartan Jerome-092 behind him. Captain Cutter leans over the holographic display of Arcadia.
- Sgt. Forge: "We're all accounted for; why haven't we left yet?"
- Captain Cutter: "Why aren't you in the med-bay, Sergeant?"
- Serina: "The professor's signal has gone to lightspeed, headed for the border."
- Jerome-092: "That puts it outside weapon range."
- Sgt. Forge: (angrily) "What? We have to go after her!"
- Serina: "Sir, I can only track that transponder a few more seconds."
- Sgt. Forge: "Captain!"
- Jerome-092: "Sir, Anders represents a significant security breach."
Cutter pauses, then finally makes a decision.
- Captain Cutter: "Serina, get us underway immediately. Follow that signal."
- Serina: "Aye aye, sir."
Forge and Jerome leave. Hatches begin to seal around all the windows as the ship prepares for slipspace travel.
- Serina: "So...we left a note saying we're leaving, right?"
FEBRUARY 23RD 2531
Two ships come out of slipspace in orbit, as seen in the atmosphere of an unknown planet. A piece of the landscape twitches, then turns around towards the camera as three small tentacles twitch around its chest, revealing an unknown lifeform that resembles an Elite. The camera cuts to the Spirit of Fire's bridge.
- Captain Cutter: "Where the hell are we, Serina?"
- Serina: "We're in orbit around a planet in the middle of... Actually, I'm still working on that, sir.
- Captain Cutter: "Anders?"
- Serina: "The Covenant vessel we pursued appears to have taken cover on the planet's surface. I have rough coordinates."
- Captain Cutter: "Any sign of other Covenant activity?"
- Serina: "Not that I can detect, although this world is giving off some pretty crazy readings."
- Captain Cutter: "Get Forge down there."
- Serina: "I believe he is already aboard a Pelican, awaiting your word."
Captain Cutter exits the bridge and the screen fades to gameplay.
Two elephants with two squads of marines each move thoughout the terrain.
- Recon Team ECHO/INDIA: "Spirit of Fire, Elephant recon teams ECHO and INDIA are clear of hostiles and moving to potential base sites. Over."
The camera then zooms over a heavily fortified Covenant position, as two Spirit dropships move away.
- Captain Cutter: "Roger that. Sergeant Forge, you will need to clear that fire line just ahead of your location and get to your beacon. We'll follow up at that time."
- Captain Cutter: "Sergeant, logistics are preventing reinforcements. Train squads out of that Elephant."
After several Marine squads are trained, Forge and the Marines move towards the beacon but run into Covenant forces.
- Sgt. Forge: "Serina, I thought you said there weren't any signs of the Covenant down here. What do you call all this?"
- Serina: "Designation "Jiralhanae," a.k.a. "Brutes." Responsible for the attack on Harvest."
After a bit of heavy fighting, a Pelican drops off Red Team behind Covenant positions.
- Alice-130: "Spartan Red Team, reporting in. Sergeant, we will flank the enemy and move to your location."
After the Covenant forces are cleared:
- Sgt. Forge: "Our beacon is just up ahead. Should be easy going now."
- Recon Team ECHO: "ECHO is operational. Situation normal. All is... Hold on. Something's... moving! We've got movement, all over!"
- Recon Team ECHO: "This is ECHO! Help! Help! They've breached our-aaahhhhh!!"
ECHO suddenly disappears on map and radar.
- Serina: "ECHO signs are offline - quite suddenly I might add."
- Captain Cutter: "Sergeant, take a team out there and find out what's happening."
Very soon, Recon Team INDIA reports in.
- Recon Team INDIA: "INDIA, reporting in. Elephant unpacking. Hold for...wait. Over there...what the hell was that?"
- Recon Team INDIA: "Spirit! This is INDIA! They've...they've taken over...get us...aaahhhhh!!"
INDIA also disappears.
- Serina: "INDIA signs are offline as well. How very ominous."
Sergeant Forge's forces move close to where Recon Team ECHO was stationed.
- Marine: Signal flares. We must be close.
Once they reach ECHO's last known location...
- Sgt. Forge: "Forge here. I believe teams ECHO and INDIA are compromised, over."
- Captain Cutter: "Covenant? I'm not reading any Brute signatures."
- Sgt. Forge: "Not Covenant, sir - something else, something worse. Much uglier."
- Sgt. Forge: "Clear that crap around the Elephant. We need to get it mobile."
After all the Flood surrounding the Elephant are destroyed.
- Sgt. Forge: "You're clear - let's get you home."
- Captain Cutter: "Sergeant, I'm approving your beacon for a firebase site. Serina, prep pods for launch."
- Serina: "Aye aye sir. Location marked and pods launched. Don't do it wrong, boys."
Once the base has been set up:
- Serina: "Well, that's new. And scary. These organisms are...interesting. Our database has nothing on their origins - or, well, anything about them, really. At first glance, they appear to be a species of virulent, parasitic organisms that thrive by consuming other sentient life of sufficient biomass."
- Sgt. Forge: "Serina, you ever hear the phrase "too much information"?
With a stronger UNSC force, Sergeant Forge heads out to recover the second Elephant, and succeeds.
- Sgt. Forge: 'Hostiles clear. Let's move - it's getting darker out here."
- Captain Cutter: "We need those units intact. Bring all Elephants back to base, Sergeant!"
- Sgt. Forge: "All right, let's get everyone back to the base. Move. Move. Move!'
If a lost ODST squad is found:
- ODST: "There were more of us in our platoon. We all scattered when it hit the fan."
If more ODSTs are found:
- ODST: "Thanks for the rescue, sir."
If the third lost ODST squad is found:
- ODST: "Thank god you found us - we thought we were goners for sure."
At the last missing ODST squad:
- ODST: "One of them bit me and ran off... Is that bad?"
- ODST: "Something's wrong. I feel funny..."
The entire ODST squad turns into Flood Combat Forms.
When all Elephants are back at the base:
Captain Cutter: "All Elephants are home. Hold for new orders."
Sgt. Forge: "Spirit, any closer on that transponder's location?"
Serina: "I'm still trying to confirm Professor Anders' coordinates...a watched pot and all that."
- The soundtrack, Put the Lady Down, which is the music for the cutscene, is also a reference to Sgt. Forge's line: "Why don't we put the lady down and talk about this, man to freak?"
- Not only is this the first Halo Wars mission to feature the Flood, but chronologically this is the first mission out of all other Halo games to reveal the Flood, since the events took place in 2531, 21 years before the main Halo trilogy.
- It is the only level in Halo Wars where Brutes lead Grunt squads. Players can notice that at the beginning of the level if one looks carefully at the Brute taskforce.
- It is possible to gain control of the Spartans without killing any Covenant at the beginning. To do this, select Forge and move him to the area where the Spartans will spawn, ignoring any Covenant units. If he is fast enough, he should be able to survive Covenant attacks and reach their position, which will trigger them to become playable units. The Spartans will also be able to board the Choppers, which can be used against the Flood. Using the Sugar Cookies skull may help.
- When AI-controlled, the Choppers will repeatedly run the Spartans over, but the Spartans will not board them.
- Serina's line "Well, this is new. And scary," was first said in an early Halo Wars demo video, but rather than the Flood, she was referring to the sudden appearance of a Scarab.
- If you move the view to Echo and India's location before they go dark, you can watch as infection forms pour over cliffsides and attack the Marines, infecting them, followed by the Elephant's spontaneous explosion. The Marines in India will briefly turn red and become hostile before becoming infected.
- You can run into four different Flood Dens; one of which is past the position the Brutes are holding, on high ground, another of which is north of the base, while the third is south of the base, surrounded by steep ridges, and the fourth is at the bottom area of the map, just outside of the unit-accessible area (it can still be rendered dormant by Hornets). The first two dens can be accessed prior to any other interaction with the Flood, yet nobody will make any comments about either of them at all.
- If you stall for too long in retrieving the second Elephant, Brutes will be dropped off by an invisible dropship(with a visible health bar) to the east side of your base at intervals. These Brutes are upgraded with the jump-pack ability.
- This is the only level in the entire series where Brutes are referred to as Jiralhanae, their actual name.
- The recording device that Anders uses to catalog the debris is the front part of a Spartan Laser.
- There are crashed Forerunner Ships and Elephant debris scattered across the level.
- If you stay at the beginning for a while you will hear the noises of Flood jumping also heard in Halo 2 and Halo 3.
- During the opening video, when Red Team drives into the area in a Warthog, mud will splatter on the screen.
- At the beginning, most of the level is blocked off until the first encounter with the Flood.