Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

Arcadia City is the fourth campaign mission for Halo Wars. It takes place on Pirth City, on the planet Arcadia.

Although this level doesn't give the player control over Spartan-IIs, they will be assisted by AI-controlled Spartans. In this mission, the objective is to protect civilians as they run toward three evacuation ships.


{All It Did Was Point}

View of the outside of the UNSC Spirit of Fire. Cut to the Observation Deck.

  • Anders: "In the thirty seconds I had to examine the Artifact? Yes, all it did was point at a second star system."

Viewscreen shows up, showing a planetary system.

  • Serina: "Arcadia colony, to be precise. Population a little under three-million, largely unexplored but apparently quite the vacation resort."
  • Anders: "There's something there Captain, and I think it's important we get to it before the Covenant do."
  • Captain Cutter: "Our orders are to investigate Harvest. We still don't know a lot about what's going on down there."
  • Anders: "I understand that Captain, but everything I see here tells me that we need to get to Arcadia to figure this out."
  • Captain Cutter: "Very well, Professor. I'll clear it with Admiral Cole. Serina, set course for Arcadia."
  • Serina: "Aye, sir. Crazy mystery trip to Arcadia plotted in, spinning up FTL drive."
  • Anders: "Serina, get out of my lab."

Scene fades to Spirit of Fire approaching a planet.




Captain Cutter comes on to the Spirit's bridge.

  • Captain Cutter: "Serina? Situation update, please."

Serina brings up a hologram of Arcadia and a few ship markers.

  • Serina: "Two Covenant vessels came out of slipspace near Arcadia. The Belfast, Pillar of Autumn, Texas and Armstrong engaged immediately and caught one with its shields down. We lost the Texas and Belfast, the Armstrong is venting atmosphere and the Autumn is badly damaged. The second vessel is engaged in surface activity."
  • Captain Cutter: "What kind of surface activity?"
  • Serina: "Unknown. Wait, I'm getting a signal. Audio only."
  • Radio: "We're being overrun! Alien forces are inside the city limits and approaching the spaceport. We're still evacuating civilians, we need help!"
  • Serina: "Getting visuals now, Captain."

Captain Cutter walks over to a monitor to see, amongst various images of the battle, a group of Spartan-IIs engaging enemies off screen.

  • Captain Cutter: "Serina, launch Pods. Bring the ship to alert."


Scene cuts to Arcadia surface, Covenant forces are engaging civilians and transports, with three Spartans trying to fight off the enemy forces.

  • Arcadian Patrol: "Spirit of Fire, this is Arcadian patrol, civilians entering the city are being blocked by hostile forces. We need to clear that area, can you assist?"

A Pelican drops Forge's Warthog off with several Hornets to assist.

  • Sgt. Forge: "Arcadia ground control, this is Forge. We're inbound to aid in evacuation efforts, help is on the way!"
  • Arcadian Patrol: "It's a blood bath here! We need some cover now!"

Forge and the Hornets clear the area.

  • Arcadia Ground Control: "This is Ground control, Covenant are closing in, prepare emergency launch protocols, mark."

Evac launch countdown started.

  • Cargo Three: "Cargo Three, we're all alone out here! Can't you guys hurry up?"
  • Cargo Three: "Cargo Three, I've gotta get this bird in the air soon, we're dead down here."

{In-game Cutscene}

  • Cargo Three: "Cargo Three under fire! Screw the evac, proceeding with emergency launch."

Cargo Three lifts off, leaving civilians behind, and almost immediately hit by Banshee fire.

  • Cargo Three: "We're hit! We're hit! Somebody help! Plea-"

Cargo Three's middle section explodes.


  • Red Team: "Spirit of Fire, Red Team. the Covenant are getting control of the city fast, suggest setting up new ground operations."
  • Forge: "Spirit, Forge here, I agree. We got room to get a base up and running?"
  • Serina: "I've mapped some locations suitable for base deployment, make sure the area is clear."

Forge and the others make their way to the base location engaging various Covenant forces along the way, base is soon constructed.

  • Forge: "We're here to save as many civilians as we can, but there is no way we can save them all."
  • Arcadia Patrol: "The civilians have no cover! They're dead without military support!"
  • Forge: "Just try to get as many to ships alive as possible."
  • Arcadia Patrol: "Patrol here. I've got enemy fire near a crowd of civilians, assistance required."
  • Arcadia Patrol: "This is Patrol. Civilian crowds under fire, we need help now!"

These next few lines are when the transports and civilians come under attack.

  • Cargo One: "Cargo One here, we can't take much more of this, get them off us!"
  • Cargo One: "Cargo One is taking heavy fire, requesting assistance."
  • Arcadia Patrol: "Patrol again, we're losing people here, it's a massacre! We need the military!"

If Cargo One is lost:

  • Arcadia Patrol: "Cargo One is not responding, transport assumed lost, focus all attention on Cargo Two."
  • Cargo Two: "Cargo Two is under enemy attack! Don't leave us out here to die!"
  • Ground Control: "Ground control, t-minus two minutes, over."
  • Serina: "Covenant Battlenet chat suggests heavy turrets are coming online."
  • Cargo Two: "T-minus sixty seconds."
  • Cargo Two: "T-minus five, four, three, two, launch! All systems green, clearing launch platform. Good luck down there."

{In-game Cutscene}

Captain Cutter: "The transports are away, Sergeant Forge pull back and re-group, new orders are incoming."

Forge: "Roger that, Captain. Most of us are heading out of the city through the traffic tunnels."

Level ends.

General Strategy[]

  • Cargo-3 is destroyed no matter what the player does. Concentrate your forces on the other transports at all costs.
  • On Heroic, Legendary, and sometimes even on Normal, a Covenant Mega-Turret will be constructed near the end of the count-down. Pay attention to Serina: she will tell you when it comes online.
  • A large, heavily-defended Covenant base is near the second base building site. Destroying it is optional, but it will be a hazard later on in the mission. Because of this, it's also not worth trying to seize the second base.
  • Garrison Marines in the watchtowers to help defend civilians that are running for the transports, this also increases their survivability and their lethality.
  • Banshees are common, and their bombs will do a lot of damage to the transports. Take them out as quickly as you can.
  • If you have the funds, upgrade to ODSTs as fast as possible. This will provide swift response.
  • Immediately deploy your Hornets to defend the transports as soon as you start the mission. Aircraft are faster than ground vehicles; they also have more superior weapons and defenses.
  • Spartans are AI-controlled, and may hijack vehicles at random. This will increase their viability and deadliness.
  • Quickly destroy the Elites with energy swords, they are devastating against Forge and ground units in general.
  • It's best to concentrate your units around Cargo 2, especially on Legendary. Leaving Cargo 1 alive for as long as possible allows enemies to be distracted from attacking Cargo 2.
  • Build as many Supply Pads as possible and Reactors as well. Upgrade your Firebase to give you extra slots, then improve Supply Pads to Heavy Supply Pads. Don't construct Barracks and Vehicle Depots, your air force is key to this mission and therefore build Airports as fast as you can.


  • There is a hidden console which releases a child named Adam. Saving Adam gives the player the achievement The Real Winner.
  • It is impossible to complete the mission with all three cargo carriers intact, because Cargo 3 is apparently programmed to be destroyed, according to research from the original script.
  • Some of the footage of cameras viewing the battle aboard the Spirit of Fire in the opening cutscene of this level are part of the Five Long Years Cinematic trailer as well as the opening cinematic of the game.
  • Editors from Official Xbox Magazine were invited to play the first five campaign missions from the game, but only revealed the name of this mission, stating it to be their favorite. They mention this mission is also a good showcase for Halo Wars cooperative mode.[1]
  • In the opening cutscene, six Spartans are seen, yet only three appear in the level. The Spartans in the cutscene are almost certainly the six-member Team Omega, who were deployed separately from the other members of Red Team. It seems the player can only receive a capacity of 3 Spartans no matter what the population restriction is, therefore this must be the main reason for acquiring half the number of six.
  • Each of the Arcadia levels allows the player to construct two UNSC bases, while also containing a Covenant base which can be destroyed in an optional objective. The player can then build additional structures over this decimated Covenant site.



  1. OXM January 2009 article