Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

For the non-canon follow-up battle seen in the Believe promotional campaign, see Second Battle of Mombasa].

“This is the only place on Earth the Covenant decided to land. That Prophet is going to tell us why.”
— Admiral Terrence Hood[2]

The Battle of Mombasa was an engagement during the Battle of Earth, taking place in late October 2552. Over the course of the battle, Covenant forces captured the city of Mombasa, Kenya and it was quickly retaken in a matter of hours by the UNSC.[2][3] However, after the Prophet of Regret's retreat, the city was occupied by another, larger Covenant force sent by the Prophet of Truth.[4] In the aftermath of the battle, the Portal to the Ark was eventually found by the Covenant, which would prove to be a major determining factor in the final outcome of the Human-Covenant war.[5][6]


After decrypting Forerunner artifacts, the Prophet of Regret of the Covenant had been given Slipspace coordinates to a Forerunner facility highly important in their concept of the Great Journey. Unknown to Regret, this facility was on the human homeworld, Earth. In his characteristic brash and ambitious manner, the Prophet of Regret, wishing to proceed with securing the facility, took a force of 13 warships to Earth. Though surprised to find not only a human presence on the planet, but a planet more fortified than any previously encountered human-held world, the Prophet deemed his mission important enough to proceed and utilized many tactics to ensure his safe arrival on the surface. The coordinates provided by the Forerunner information indicated that his quarry was around the area of Mombasa, Kenya. Immediately after the Prophet of Truth learned of Regret's move, he sent a massive fleet he had collected in secrecy to pick up where Regret had left off.[4][6]


Covenant Invasion[]

On October 20, during the opening stages of the Battle of Earth, a single Covenant Carrier (the High Prophet of Regret's flagship) broke through the UNSC Home Fleet's defensive lines and entered Earth's atmosphere.[7][8] The ship hovered stationary above the island city of New Mombasa in Kenya, deploying infantry and mechanized support from the Uplift Nature Reserve.

The city was relatively lightly defended, with only NMPD forces as well as some Marine units, including the 17th Marine Regiment, present.[9] Some additional military units had been transferred to the city, along with Earth's other tether cities, following the Fall of Reach to bolster their defenses in case of a Covenant invasion. These included E2-BAG/1/7 as well as some UNSC Army forces.[10]

In the opening stages of the battle, even some civilians took up arms in an attempt to defend their city, joining the Marines from the 17 Regiment under command of an unnamed Marine officer.[11] However, this allowed for most of the citizens of New Mombasa to evacuate from the city to Old Mombasa using boats destined for other surrounding cities.[12] While some of the train tunnels collapsed during the attack, a portion of the civilians were able to escape using trains as well.[13] More UNSC Marine Corps and UNSC Army units later poured into the region after the initial attack, including the 405th Marine Infantry Division, arriving from Diego Garcia near India.

UNSC Insertion[]

H2a cinematic 00012

UNSC Forces approaching New Mombasa.

Some time after the Covenant insertion to the city and the civilian evacuation, the frigate UNSC In Amber Clad descended near Mombasa to reinforce the ground troops already present. Intercepted transmission from the Covenant forces lead the UNSC to correctly believe that it was the High Prophet of Regret in command of the opposing force, making his capture their utmost priority. Three Pelicans, one of them with John-117 on board, were deployed by In Amber Clad to reclaim the city and board the Assault Carrier hovering near the New Mombasa Orbital Elevator. However, before they could get near the Carrier, the formation ran across a Type-47 Ultra-Heavy Assault Platform which shot down all of the Pelicans. The first was destroyed by the Scarab's main cannon, the second, carrying Gunnery Sergeant Marcus P. Stacker and an ODST squad, was shot down and landed on the beach. A third carrying Sergeant Major Avery J. Johnson and John-117 was hit hard, crashing into a building, upside down.[2]

John engages Elites

John-117 engages Sangheili during the battle of Mombasa.

Both teams suffered few casualties from their respective crashes. The Spartan's team moved into a nearby bunker while Stacker's team moved up the beach to the Hotel Zanzibar and set up a command post, eliminating several Covenant units in the process. Both teams then waited in their respective locations for extraction.[2]

Masterchief with ODSTs

John-117 alongside ODSTs from the 2nd Squad.


Halo hogfight

UNSC forces advancing on the beach.

After the Covenant made several attempts to eliminate John-117's group including sending in a pair of Hunters, a Pelican found the group and gave them coordinates of an extraction point. Commander Miranda Keyes ordered Johnson to regroup with the In Amber Clad so that he could coordinate further deployment of infantry and armor units while the Spartan continued on foot through the city to find the 2nd Squad.[2]

The pinned down ODSTs in Hotel Zanzibar were rescued by John-117, who then organized an offense by destroying Covenant infantry, armor, and Covenant artillery emplacements on the beaches facing New Mombasa.[2]

In the meantime, the UNSC Brasidas crippled a Scarab in Old Mombasa for Marine capture.[14]

Assault on the Bridge[]

John-117 and his makeshift Marine unit entered a blown-out hole in a tunnel and destroyed a Covenant convoy. After the engagement in the tunnels, they advanced towards the bridge connecting Old and New Mombasa. Before the Spartan got there, the Marine unit at the bridge had already exhausted itself fighting the Scarab.[2][3]

John-117 arrived at the bridge to assess the situation while Sergeant Johnson reinforced the Marines with weaponry, including a Scorpion tank. John traveled across the bridge with the armored unit, clearing it of both Covenant armored and mechanized forces. These forces included Ghosts, Wraith Tanks, Phantoms, and Banshees.[3]

Industrial District[]

After the engagement on the bridge, UNSC forces entered New Mombasa in large numbers. They linked up with various squads of Marines as they moved through the city, eliminating Covenant forces that were setting up positions. John-117's team worked their way into the Kilindini Park Cultural Center through the sewer system, and then towards the city center via Shimanzi Road and Beria Plaza, finding that the Scarab had, likewise, taken a similar path.[3][10]


The Scarab fires upon a M808 Scorpion MBT, destroying it instantly.

Once in the heart of the industrial zone near the city center, John-117's team found a Marine outpost holed in a corporate building, commanded by Staff Sergeant Marcus Banks of "A" Company under siege by a unit of Wraiths. The UNSC forces, with the help of John-117, destroyed the Wraiths, and secured a landing zone for reinforcements. The Pelicans then dropped a platoon of Marine infantry and a Scorpion Tank.[3]

Destruction of the Scarab[]

The lumbering Scarab appeared from the other end of the plaza the Marine outpost was facing and the Scorpion tank opened fire on it, with no effect. After the Scarab destroyed the tank with its main gun, Marines opened fire on the walker, but it was unaffected and impervious to the weak rounds and climbed over their position and moved into the canals of the city. However, it soon found itself trapped inside of the walls of the canal, giving the Marines a chance to attack it openly with Pelicans.[3]

John-117 and A Company followed the Scarab through the canals and the Spartan boarded the walker. While the Marines provided some cover fire, John defeated the forces manning the Scarab walker. After defeating its command crew, he managed to destroy the Scarab from the inside by damaging either its internal operating systems or the core system. Realizing that they were at a tactical disadvantage, all Covenant forces began retreating to Regret's carrier. John-117 was extracted by Sergeant Johnson's Pelican and taken back to In Amber Clad along with the remaining members of A Company.[3]

Regret's Withdrawal[]

HEVs Dropping

HEV pods falling into New Mombasa moments before the Slipspace rupture backlash.

Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood was hesitant to let In Amber Clad engage the High Prophet of Regret's Assault Carrier, still above Mombasa and beside the New Mombasa Orbital Elevator. He instead opted to call in two heavier vessels from the Home Fleet to intercept the Carrier once it returned to Earth orbit. However, when the Carrier initiated its slipspace drive, preparing to jump while still in the atmosphere, Hood recognized that the only ship able to follow was the In Amber Clad and gave the ship the green light to give chase. Another three vessels followed, but were unable to reach the Carrier before it jumped.[3]

The Pelicans carrying Spartan-117 and the Marines entered the In Amber Clad, which followed the Assault Carrier into Slipspace. Just before the Carrier jumped, remaining ships of the UNSC Home Fleet deployed dozens of SOEIVs down to the city in an effort to infiltrate the Carrier, only to be caught by the EMP blast in mid-flight, frying their navigational and safety systems, plunging them and their Orbital Drop Shock Trooper occupants to almost certain death. It is likely that only Alpha-Nine survived, having changed their course away from the carrier at the last moment. Many of the city's buildings were heavily damaged but remained standing, including the Orbital Elevator. The rupture also created a large crater in the mainland, north of New Mombasa, revealing a section of the Forerunner Portal.[15]


Main phantom

A Phantom dropping troops in New Mombasa just after the Slipspace event.

Large numbers of Covenant troops remained in the city even after Regret's withdrawal. While most of Regret's troops evacuated into the Carrier, there was still a significant Covenant presence both on the ground and in orbit. Moments after Regret jumped however, a large fleet of Jiralhanae-led Covenant reinforcements sent by the Prophet of Truth arrived, and seized control of the battle. The remaining Jiralhanae from Regret's forces were simultaneously given orders to execute the Sangheili forces on the ground while the reinforcement fleet would do the same with the remaining Sangheili ships in orbit. During the course of the battle, more and more Covenant reinforcements commanded by the Jiralhanae started arriving at Earth. This was a part of the Prophet of Truth's personal scheme for the Covenant, which would come to its conclusion two weeks later when the Sangheili were officially removed from their positions as the main warrior caste of the Covenant.[4][6]

However, a sizable amount of UNSC Marines and NMPD forces remained. They organized an effective resistance, and fought for control of the city in various battles. The city's Urban Infrastructure AI Superintendent also had a vital role in the defense of the city.

Knocked off their course by the slipspace rupture, two ODST drop pods made rough landings, Buck's pod to Lumumba and Dare's to nearby Tayari Plaza. At this point, the Brutes were already redeploying their forces into the city. Buck fought his way to Tayari Plaza to help Dare, but she had mysteriously disappeared. After the battle, Buck met up with Romeo. As they had no idea of their mission, they decided to find their squad and get out of the city as fast as possible.[16]


Uplift battle

The battle for the Covenant LZ in the Uplift Reserve.

Around thirty minutes after the slipspace event, the UNSC was beginning to regroup, following the orders of an unnamed Colonel. The Marines' orders were to reach the Colonel's position near the city center, and take control of Solemn Penance's former landing zone in the Uplift Nature Reserve.

Remote-controlled F-99 UCAVs were sent to the city to maintain air supremacy over the Phantoms and Banshees. Meanwhile, Dutch linked up with Marines at the Uplift Reserve, and began to take out Wraiths in the way of them and the Colonel. Eventually, the New Mombasa Orbital Elevator, already damaged by the jump, collapsed, with miles of debris from the tether scattered across East Africa. The collapse also killed the Colonel.[17]

ONI Alpha Site[]

After the UNSC reclaimed the Covenant landing zone in Uplift Reserve, defending the Office of Naval Intelligence's Section 2 building became the top priority. Ninety minutes after the slipspace event, Michael Crespo linked up with a group of retreating Marines, falling back from an advancing Wraith convoy as the Covenant prepared to lay siege to Alpha Base. After clearing out enemy forces in the Boulevard, they then followed an NMPD officer further inside the ONI complex.[18]

Alphas destro

The Alpha Site is destroyed.

Within the ONI compound, the Marines and the NMPD forces destroyed the bridge leading to the base, in hopes of slowing down the advancing Covenant forces. This however, didn't stop the incoming dropships, but slowed the advance. The human forces fell back to the base's courtyard, which they defended against waves of Covenant attackers, before falling back into the interior of the main building. Again, they fended off multiple waves of Covenant. They then activated explosives inside the complex, to destroy it in order to prevent the Covenant from accessing the Superintendent's data facility deep under the complex. The Marines and the police forces evacuated to the roof, where they were picked up by an NMPD Pelican dropship. Once on board, Mickey detonated the explosives and they watched as the ONI building was completely destroyed. Six hours later, the building was still burning from the explosions when the Rookie saw it from the other side of the destroyed bridge.[19] At the time, the survivors of the siege were unaware that blowing up the building had woken up a whole hive of Drones beneath the building in the Superintendent's data facility, making it much harder to reach the data core later on.

NMPD Headquarters[]

While Dutch and Mickey were destroying the Alpha Site, Buck and Romeo made their way to the top floors of the NMPD Headquarters building, where they were to be picked up by the Pelican with Mickey and Dutch already on board. However, the dropship was shot down before landing, and it crashed on another rooftop killing the pilot on impact. Buck and Romeo fought their way through the rooftops, and eventually reached the crash site, where they fought off waves of attacking Covenant using heavy weapons from the Pelican. Finally, a Jiralhanae Chieftain dropped off from a Phantom, killed a NMPD officer and severely wounded Romeo. The squad managed to kill the Chieftain, after which they decided to evacuate through the train tunnels which led into Old Mombasa.[20]

Flooded City[]

The squad arrived at Kikowani Station near the city's northeastern seawall, only to realize that the station, as well as its surroundings had been flooded by water, making escape through train tunnels impossible. Romeo's condition was getting worse, so the squad used biofoam to seal his wound. The squad then decided to hijack a Phantom, in which they succeeded. Buck escorted the rest of the squad through the flooded sections of the city in a Banshee, while Mickey piloted the Phantom. The area was filled with Covenant forces, including a Scarab. They managed to fly out of the city, when Buck suddenly realized he knew where Dare was and decided to go back to find her, inside the Superintendent's Data Center. During the battle, arriving Covenant cruisers started excavating the area around the crater created by the slipspace rupture.[21]

City Streets[]

Around the same time, a lone ODST only known as the "Rookie," thought to be dead by the rest of the squad, woke up in his pod, on the edge of a rooftop in Mbaraki. The city was already occupied by the Covenant, with no UNSC resistance left. The Superintendent aided the Rookie to survive in the city and look for clues for what happened to his squad. Upon finding objects related to his squad, he envisioned what had happened to them over the course of the day. After wandering around the city for a while, the Rookie received a distress message from Dare, who was inside the Superintendent's data facility deep under the city. He made his way to a subway entrance, and descended down an elevator shaft, to Sublevel 7 of the data center.[22] At this point, the underground tunnels had become infested with Yanme'e, who had built massive hives in the area.[23]

Extracting the Asset[]

Hurag encounter

Dare and the Rookie meet the Huragok that "saved" Vergil inside the Superintendent's Data Center.

Eventually, the Rookie managed to meet up with Dare inside the Superintendent's Data Center. Inside, they discovered a Huragok, who had combined the Superintendent, namely its Vergil subroutine with itself. As the Huragok disconnected from the core, the AI shut itself down, as all of its data had been transferred into the creature. At this point, Buck arrived into the complex and the ODSTs escaped back to the surface through the tunnels filled with Covenant, while protecting the critically important Huragok.[23]

In the dawn of the next day, the area was already full of arriving Covenant capital ships. Buck, Dare and the Rookie made their way to the surface, through a Covenant outpost in the city, and eventually took an elevator to the city's Coastal Highway. They then pushed through the Highway and made a stand at the entrance to Uplift Reserve. The Phantom captured by the rest of the squad arrived eventually and picked them all up, and they made it out just as an Assault Carrier appeared from slipspace and glassed the area.[5]


Portal odst

The Covenant fleet uncovering the Portal.

Immediately after the occupation, more and more Covenant ships started arriving at Earth. They started uncovering the Forerunner structure which would later be revealed to be the Portal to the Ark.[5]

The High Prophet of Regret would arrive upon Installation 05 along with the In Amber Clad. It is possible he acquired the location of the installation over the course of the battle.[24]

The UNSC would not discover the actual purpose of the Covenant's arrival on Earth until two weeks after the Battle of Installation 05; most of the information was presumably received from the Huragok that had absorbed Vergil's data. By this point, the Prophet of Truth had already arrived in Sol System on the Forerunner dreadnought with the remainder of the Loyalist Fleet with him.[5]

A timeline of events in the Battle of Mombasa and the CSV of Edward Buck were compiled for Margaret Parangosky by Black Box titled "First Twelve Hours".[25] As well, a transcript of the interrogation of Vergil was given to Terrence Hood titled "Vergil".[26]

The remnants of New Mombasa were likely liberated when Truth's Fleet retreated to the Ark and were subsequently defeated.


October 20, 2552[]

  • 1459 Hours: The CAS-class assault carrier Solemn Penance targets New Mombasa.[25] The carrier slipspace ruptured down to the city,[27] and came to rest over the Uplift Nature Reserve.[17]
  • Between 1459 and 1603 Hours: Solemn Penance drifts towards the New Mombasa Orbital Elevator. John-117 deployed to Old Mombasa[2] and fights into the heart of New Mombasa.[3] Sadie Endesha teams up with Mike Branley and struggles to reach the Mombasa city center.[13]
  • 1602 Hours: ODST units are dropped from UNSC Say My Name.[25]
  • 1603 Hours: Solemn Penance departs from the city via slipspace.[25] UNSC In Amber Clad follows.[3] Alpha-Nine squad members are scattered by the shockwave.[15] Edward Buck crash lands in Lumumba and attempts to meet Veronica Dare at Tayari Plaza. Ends up with Kojo Agu.[16]
  • 1632 Hours: Taylor Miles exits pod in the Uplift Reserve and links up with UNSC forces to secure landing zone. UNSC conducts F-99 Wombat flyovers of the Reserve.[17]
  • 1649 Hours: The Orbital Elevator collapses. Covenant occupy roughly 38% of the city.[25]
  • 1732 Hours: Marines begin retreating and grouping up at a rally point at ONI Alpha Site. Michael Crespo links up with retreating UNSC forces on Kizingo Boulevard.[18]
  • Roughly 1800 Hours: Marines and remaining NMPD officers retreat into the inner walls of the ONI Alpha Site. Road bridge leading to it destroyed. Covenant begin dropping forces off by Phantom.[19]
  • 1852 Hours: Alpha Site is destroyed. Covenant occupy 51% of the city.[25] Michael Crespo and Taylor Miles were extracted to NMPD Headquarters.[19]
  • Roughly 1900 Hours: Michael Crespo and Taylor Miles are shot down over a Covenant occupied NMPD HQ. Kojo Agu and Edward Buck rescue and link up with them.[20]
  • Roughly 2100 Hours: Michael Crespo, Taylor Miles, an injured Kojo Agu, and Edward Buck proceed into Kikowani and find transport out of the district.[21]
  • 2141 Hours: Remaining Covenant cruisers begin to group up at Mombasa.[25]
  • Roughly 2200 Hours: The Rookie wakes up in his pod. He begins to search for his squad mates by looking for clues. The Superintendent assists.[22] The Rookie meets Dare at the New Mombasa Data Center.[23]
  • 2215 Hours: Covenant begin excavating the hole the Solemn Penance tore into Old Mombasa.[25]
  • 2227 Hours: Covenant occupation is 78%.[25]
  • 2319 Hours: Veronica Dare reports that she has spotted Vergil.[25]
  • Roughly 2300 Hours: The Rookie, Dare and Buck escort Vergil along the New Mombasa Waterfront Highway.[5]
  • 2324 Hours: Covenant occupation is 94%.[25]
  • 2359 Hours: Vergil is secured.[25]



Naval Assets[]

Class Name Status
Marathon-class heavy cruiser UNSC Say My Name Unknown
UNSC destroyer UNSC Brasidas Survived
Stalwart-class light frigate UNSC In Amber Clad Survived

Military Personnel[]

Branch Rank Name Status
UNSC Navy Captain Veronica Dare Survived
Commander Miranda Keyes Survived
Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 Survived
UNSC Marine Corps Colonel Unnamed Colonel KIA
Lieutenant Parisa Unknown
Unnamed Lieutenant KIA
Sergeant Major Avery J. Johnson Survived
Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck Survived
Marcus Stacker Survived
Staff Sergeant Marcus Banks Survived
Corporal Taylor H. Miles Survived
Palmer Unknown
Perez Survived[note 1]
Lance Corporal Kojo Agu Survived
Jones Unknown
Morton Unknown
"Rookie" Survived
Private First Class Michael Crespo Survived
Private Butkus Unknown
McKenzie Survived
O'Brien KIA
Walpole Unknown



Name Status
Mike Branley Unknown
Roberto Bustamante KIA
Daniel Endesha KIA
Sadie Endesha Survived
Benjamin Giraud Survived
Marshall Glick KIA
Petra Janecek Survived
Jim Odingo KIA
Tom Uberti KIA
Carlos Wambua KIA
Jonas Unknown
Kinsler KIA
Stephen Unknown
Unnamed Communications Officer Unknown
Unnamed Crone KIA
Unnamed NMPD Officer KIA
Unnamed Commuter Unknown


Naval Assets[]

Fleet Class Name Status
Fleet of Sacred Consecration CAS-class assault carrier Solemn Penance Survived


Branch Rank Name Status
High Council High Prophet Prophet of Regret Survived
Prophet of Truth Survived
Unknown Unknown Quick to Adjust Survived (defected)


  • With the release of Halo 3: ODST, it soon became apparent that there is a clear conflict between facts. Bungie restructured New Mombasa, removing the canals present in Halo 2.[28] This means that the destruction of the Scarab could not have happened in the manner that it did in Halo 2. Bungie has not provided an explanation for this to any extent.
  • The multiplayer levels Turf, Terminal, District in Halo 2 and Longshore in Halo 3 take place during the Battle of Mombasa. The Halo 2 level Tombstone apparently takes place after the battle, with the city in ruins.
  • There were multiple Scarabs present in the battle. One Scarab being destroyed by John-117 and the other one by Marines who made it crash by luring it into the many twists and turns in the city, in the narrow streets of Old Mombasa. Later on, several more were dropped from the ships of the Covenant excavation fleet. The fact that these were of the new, Lekgolo-powered variant and not the ones piloted by other Covenant species suggests that this is around the time that the latter were phased out of combat. This may be due to the fact that the Prophet of Regret did not expect humanity to be present on Earth. This would mean that his fleet may have been equipped only with the original mining platform, rather than combat ready scarabs.
  • In the Halo 3: ODST side-story Sadie's Story, the Covenant Carrier arrives via a slipspace rupture. The Carrier's actual descent to the atmosphere is never shown in any other source, but it may have made a short, pinpoint jump to get away from the UNSC forces.


Concept Art/Pre-Release Material[]



  1. Perez survival is suggested in Quarantine Zone, where Johnson questions McKenzie and Perez regarding the status of their exit.


  1. Halo 3: ODST, game intro
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Halo 2 - Level: Outskirts
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Halo 2 - Level: Metropolis
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Bungie.net: Bungie Weekly Update: 01/23/09
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Halo 3: ODST - Level: Coastal Highway
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Halo Waypoint, "Ten Twenty" history article
  7. Halo 2 - Level: Cairo Station
  8. Halo Graphic Novel, page 90
  9. Halo Graphic Novel, pages 86-98
  10. 10.0 10.1 Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "Palace Hotel," page 367
  11. Halo Graphic Novel, pages 92-93
  12. Halo Graphic Novel, pages 97 and 98
  13. 13.0 13.1 Halo 3: ODST - Audio Log: Sadie's Story
  14. Halo Waypoint: New Mombasa
  15. 15.0 15.1 Halo 3: ODST - Level: Prepare To Drop
  16. 16.0 16.1 Halo 3: ODST - Level: Tayari Plaza
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Halo 3: ODST - Level: Uplift Reserve
  18. 18.0 18.1 Halo 3: ODST - Level: Kizingo Boulevard
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Halo 3: ODST - Level: ONI Alpha Site
  20. 20.0 20.1 Halo 3: ODST - Level: NMPD HQ
  21. 21.0 21.1 Halo 3: ODST - Level: Kikowani Station
  22. 22.0 22.1 Halo 3: ODST - Level: Mombasa Streets
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Halo 3: ODST - Level: Data Hive
  24. Halo 2 - Level: Delta Halo
  25. 25.00 25.01 25.02 25.03 25.04 25.05 25.06 25.07 25.08 25.09 25.10 25.11 Halo Legendary Crate - Bonus Item: First Twelve Hours
  26. Halo Legendary Crate - Bonus Item: Vergil
  27. Halo 3: ODST - Audio Log: Sadie's Story, Circle 1, Arc 2
  28. Image of Mombasa in Halo 3: ODST