Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha


This article is about disambig page. For the Halo 4 campaign level, see Composer
and for Composer (disambiguation), see [[{{{5}}}]].

Composer is the seventh campaign level of Halo 4. It was first announced along with the rest of the Achievements for Halo 4.[1]


The mission starts as John-117 slays a Sangheili from Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. The boarded Lich's course was too low and due to her rampancy, Cortana ignored John's repeated attempts to get her to correct their course, resulting in a collision with the Ivanoff Research Station. John then fights through the Covenant forces who were boarding the station to find his way to Dr Tillson. The Covenant were there to retrieve the Composer for the Ur-Didact. John met up with Dr. Sandra Tillson to inform her that the station's personnel must be evacuated, and that the Composer had to be destroyed using a nuke to prevent the Didact from claiming it.

John then attempts to hold off Covenant forces so that they could destroy the Composer. However, the Didact retrieves the Composer using a tractor beam from his ship. John makes his way to Dr Tillson but, unexpectedly, the Didact uses the Composer on the station and annihilates all of the humans on it, including Dr. Tillson, turning them to ash. Fortunately, Master Chief was unaffected, thanks to the Librarian's genesong, given in the level Reclaimer, which made him immune to The Composer's effects. John and Cortana then obtain a Broadsword from the station's hangar bay and equip it with a HAVOK Tactical Nuclear Weapon to pursue the Didact and destroy his ship before it reaches Earth.



Cut to an asteroid belt with a large planet in the background. A Slipspace portal suddenly appears in the foreground and the Mantle's Approach comes out, along with several Jul 'Mdama's Covenant Liches and Phantoms. They all move away from the belt. Cut to John-117, under cover in one of the last Liches. The shields protecting the ship from Slipspace fade away.


John, gazing at Installation 03.

More Phantoms and Liches cross in the background as John gets out from his cover and looks up. He sees a Halo installation.

John looks up at the Halo.

  • John-117: "Then why are they bypassing it?"

Cut to a nearby asteroid belt, where most of the Covenant craft are flying towards. A human station built into one of the asteroids.

  • Cortana: "Because the Composer's not on the ring."

Numerous Phantoms and Liches approach the station. Cut to John.

  • Cortana: "What are you waiting for? That station's not going to save itself."

Fade to black. A moment later, a gunshot can be heard. Cut to the inside of the Lich. A Sangheili's shields flare as he collapses on the floor, the entry wound in the head still smoking. John steps over the body, carrying a Covenant carbine, as he walks toward the control panel.

  • Cortana: (voice distorted) "Put me into the console."

John steps up to the panel and inserts Cortana into the console. A hologram of the station comes up.

  • John-117: "This is UNSC Master Chief to base. Do you read?"
  • Dr. Sandra Tillson (COM): "Yes! I hear you! This is Sandy Tillson of Ivanoff Station! We're under attack!"
  • John-117: "They're after a Forerunner artifact you took from the Halo ring."

Cut to the Lich's exterior; it is approaching the station.

  • Tillson (COM): "How do you know about that?"
  • John-117: "Doctor. I need you to protect that artifact until we arrive. Send whatever-"

The hologram of the station flickers and disappears completely, replaced by the figure of Cortana, who's undergoing another rampancy fit.

  • Cortana: (voice distorted and high-pitched) "Do you know what that condescending bitch said to me after our first game of chess?"
  • John-117: "Cortana…"
  • Cortana: "Even I don't call him by name anymore."

A red signal flashes on the screen as the Lich flies toward the station on a collision course.

  • John-117: "Correct your approach."
  • Cortana: "Yes, well he also said he works better alone."

The Lich flies dangerously close to the station with no deceleration. The red signal continues to flash.

  • Cortana: "I can see why you chose him, Catherine."
  • John-117: "Cortana!"
  • Cortana: "I'm your greatest achievement and you detest me!"
  • John-117: "Pull up! Now!"

Cut to black as the Lich crashes just below the open landing bay.

Any Landing You Can Walk Away From[]

John wakes up on the floor of the landing bay. The wrecked Lich is nearby, aflame. An Assault Rifle lies near him.

  • Cortana: "I'm sorry- I just… can't stop them!"

John gets up as his HUD flickers.

  • Cortana: "It's like a thousand of me arguing all at once!"

John grabs the assault rifle, and his HUD clears up. {Gameplay}

  • John-117: "Doctor Tillson, are you there?"
  • Tillson (Video COM): "Oh, thank God! When your signal cut off I di-"
  • John-117: "Doctor, listen to me. You have to issue the order to evacuate the station."
  • Tillson (Video COM): "We've been trying! The Covenant… they've already taken over the landing bays!"
  • John-117: "Send me your coordinates. I'll see what I can do about clearing an evac route on my way to you."

John runs to the end of the landing bay, where there are several supplies in crates. As he approaches the exit, the doors open. A security guard, wielding a Sticky Detonator, is thrown violently against the wall as projectiles from a Needler kills him. The explosive from the Sticky Detonator detonates, killing two Kig-Yar at the end of the hallway. John runs down the hallway and around some corners, arriving at another doorway. It opens to a hangar.

  • System: Emergency quarantine released.

A security guard is jumped by a Kig-Yar and is killed if John-117 takes no action. Two scientists run past, attempting to escape.

  • Scientist #1: "They're killing everyone!"

John kills the Kig-Yar and enters the hangar. Two Phantoms are dropping off Jul 'Mdama's Covenant forces. John takes care of them and pushes on, running into another squad of Covenant soldiers. He takes them out and and moves on. Some security guards and scientists are making a stand nearby.

  • John-117: "What can we do to keep the Covenant out?"
  • Cortana: "The Harbormaster controls can erect a barricade over the bay, but we'll have to locate them."
  • Scientist #2: "Where's Jesse? Jesse!"

An infinite amount of Phantoms arrives to reinforce Covenant positions. John begins assisting the pressured security forces.

  • Scientist #3: "How'd the UNSC get here so fast?"

John begins taking out Jul 'Mdama's Covenant forces on the platforms, eliminating several Sangheili on the way. If the player approaches the wrong platform:

  • Cortana: "Wrong platform, Chief! Dock controls are on the other one!"

John gets to the controls and activates the system.

  • System: Warning. Emergency Harbor Barricade engaged. Enacting in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…
  • Cortana: "Doctor Tillson. Bay 7 is secure and we're moving to your position now."

A blue barrier activates and blocks the hangar from any more Phantoms.

  • Tillson (COM): "Really? Oh- that's incredible! Thank you!"

John quickly runs to a door leading toward the doctor, which opens up to reveal more Covenant soldiers. John eliminates them. Inside the room, a group of security guards are taking cover behind crates and engaging more Covenant soldiers.

  • Scientist #4: "Where are the other station cops?"
  • Security guard #4: "We need backup! Bay 7 Duty Port Baker!"
  • Security guard #5: "Spartan? How many of you are there?"
  • Security guard #4: "Guys, we can't hold this position!"
  • Security guard #5: "Fall back! Fall back!"

John assists the security guards, killing the enemies in the area after a lengthy battle. He runs to the end of the room and into a large staircase, where two more security guards are holding the bottom floor. Several Unggoy make their way down the stairs. John and the security guards eliminate them, joined by the two others behind them. The group begins pushing up the stairs, engaging more enemies on the floor above. Suddenly, an orange scan line from the Mantle's Approach moves through the station.

  • Cortana: "Didact doesn't know where the Composer is! Just that it's on the station."
  • Tim (PA): "Attention! Station's security's just broken through to Emergency Station 12, A-11. Lifeboat access there is limited but functional! ES12, A-11!"

John and the security guards continue pushing up until they reach the floor overlooking the bay. They engage another Covenant squad and finally secure the bay. John makes his way through another door leading toward another hallway. As he runs down it, another scan line moves through the station. John runs down the length of the hallway, meeting up with a distressed scientist.

  • Scientist #5: "Help us! A pair of Hunters forced their way in. Take this. It's calibrated for heavy armor. Please! Help them!"

John picks up the nearby Thruster Pack. The door opens to reveal the next room, where several scientists and security guards are in a one-sided battle with the Mgalekgolo.

  • Cortana: "Hunters!"

John does battle with the Mgalekgolo in the control room, eventually killing them.

  • Scientist #5: "Is everyone OK?"
  • Tillson (COM): "Spartan? Are you all right? It sounds like the end of the world out there!"
  • John-117: "Cortana? Door controls?"

John's HUD flickers again. Cortana responds, but with a series of incomprehensible computerized tones and beeps. John's HUD stabilizes again.

  • Cortana: "Tillson's inside the door over there!"

John quickly runs to the door and activates it. Fade to black.


John walks through the open door. Sandy Tillson is right in front of the door and greets him immediately and nervously.

  • Tillson: "I desperately hope you know why all this is happening. Because, to be honest, my objectivity isn't doing me a whole lot of good right now. Hold on, I'll start us down."

The two arrive at the control panel at the end of the room. Tillson starts inputting commands in, opening up the window in front of them and letting in some sunlight.

  • John-117: "The device you recovered was a Forerunner weapon. The commander of that ship wants it back."

Tillson hesitates and turns back to John as the room starts descending.

  • Tillson: "Wants it back? You don't think you can remove… it can't leave this station, you know that, right?"
  • John-117: "We don't have any choice, doctor."
  • Tillson: (shaking her head) "It's not a matter of choice. It took three months, and the biggest starship the UNSC could throw at it just to relocate it here. Unless you're a lot stronger than you look, it's not going anywhere."

The room descends enough to allow the two a view of the Composer. A spotlight shines on the extremely large artifact. Cut back to the two.

  • John-117: "Can you give Cortana access to the station's supply manifest?"

Tillson walks back to the control panel.

  • Tillson: "What for?"

She starts typing into the panel. John continues to look at the Composer.

  • John-117: "If we can't move the Composer, we have to make sure the Didact can't either."

Tillson stops, looks up and back at John.

  • Sandra Tillson: "Oh wait… we have years of work invested here."
  • Cortana: "Inventory lists Seven excavation-grade Havok mines. Just one of those would turn this base into a piñata."

Tillson looks at John in entreatingly.

  • John-117: "I'm sorry, doctor. Keep routing your people to the evac centers. Once we take care of the Composer, you won't have much time."

Tillson hesitates again and looks down resignedly, in deep thought.

  • Sandra Tillson: (barely composed) "I'll… make sure the nukes are primed so you can detonate them remotely."

John turns and begins walking out of the room.

  • Sandra Tillson: (sadly) "Maybe next time you rescue us, you can give us more time to pack?"

John turns to listen to her. He nods.

  • John-117: "Next time."

John turns again and walks out the room. Tillson watches him go and looks down sadly. The door shuts behind John. Cut to black.


John is outside in a hallway on a lower part of the station. A nearby door crackles with electricity.

  • Tim (PA): "Attention, attention. Lifeboat 12, A-11 is now filled to capacity and about to depart. Do not head to 12, A-11- we're prepping additional shuttles out of Bay 7, C-5. Again, Lifeboat 12, A-11 is exhausted and about to launch."

John walks through a door in front of him and down a short hallway, arriving at a doorway, opening to the large, open cavern where the Composer is.

The Composer[]

Composer ground level

The Composer, and its ONI Security detail.

John walks out and around the large area, meeting with several security guards and active Mantises being piloted by scientists. An explosion is heard, followed by the station shaking violently.

  • John-117: "Doctor, what was that?"
  • Tillson (COM): (in shock) "The Covenant… the Covenant just shot down the first evac shuttle."
  • Cortana: "The station should be equipped with outer turrets. If we can reactivate them, I can program the station's defenses to provide cover for the evacuation."
  • Sandra Tillson (COM): "OK… OK, I'll send you the coordinates."

John makes his way across the atrium, passing by a group of security guards.

  • Security guard #6: "Orders are to keep the Covenant away from the artifact; no withstand or buts. Gus, Edwards, you two take the flanks."
  • Security guard #7: "Yes sir."
  • Security guard #8: "On it."
  • Security guard #6: "French, lock down the far edge."
  • Security guard #9: "Sir."
  • Security guard #6: "Warren, keep your eyes peeled and mainly stay out of the way."
  • Security guard #10: "Mmm."
  • Security guard #6: "Keep it safe, gentleman. Go!"

Nearby the door leading to the objective, a scientist is watching his coworker trying to work the nearby Mantis. The Mantis stomps the ground, startling the scientist next to it.

  • Scientist #6: "I thought you were the Mantis expert."
  • Scientist #7: "I know how to use it to haul cargo, not shoot Covenant!"
  • Scientist #6: "The watch commander said he's sending someone down who knows how to use the weapons on these things."

John walks through the door and down the hallway. A security guard is sitting on the floor nearby.

  • Security guard #11: "Over here, Spartan!"

John approaches the guard, who stands up and walks toward the control panel for the door, keying it open and allowing John to pass through.

  • John-117: "Officer, seal the door behind me."
  • Security guard #11: "Yes sir."

John walks through the door and up a catwalk to the hallway above as the door closes behind him. Another scan line moves through the station.

  • Didact (telepathically): "You impress me, Human. Your singular valor will be preserved and studied, once your Composition is complete."

The station rocks again and the power is suddenly cut. John moves on and faces an Unggoy and a Kig-Yar. He quickly eliminates them and moves on to the door, which closes and locks.

  • Cortana: "The power loss triggered an automatic lockdown. Look for a service tunnel." John finds the service tunnel entrance not to far from the door and walks down it, taking out an additional two Kig-Yar. The door at the end opens.
  • Tim (PA): "All hands! Bay 7, Level C-5 is cleared and available for evac! Again, this is not a drill! Bay 7, C-5!"

John moves through the dark hallways, facing more Covenant troops. He engages them and arrives at the end of the hallway, where three doors open, leading toward a large room with three airlocks and more Covenant soldiers. John pushes through and eliminates them all.

  • Cortana: "I think that's the last of them."

A door opens at the end of the room.

  • Cortana: "Let's go."

John runs through the door, down a catwalk, and into another hallway, where some scientists and security guards are being cornered by Covenant soldiers.

  • Scientist #8: "Spartan! In here! They've got us cut off!"

John proceeds to assist the desperate personnel.

  • Scientist #9: "Help us, please!"

John kills all the Covenant soldiers.

  • Scientist #10: "Hey, it's the military!"

If the player walks away from the scientists:

  • Scientist #8: "No!"
  • Scientist #8: "No -wait!"
  • Scientist #8: "Don't go!"
  • Scientist #8: "Hey, wait! Come back!"

John approaches the rescued group.

  • Scientist #8: "The Covenant's just wasted one of the security teams! What chance do a bunch of archaeologists have?"


  • Scientist #9: "They ran! The security team assigned to us, the second the Covenant showed up! How could they do that?!"
  • John-117: "Find Doctor Tillson. She'll get you to the evacuation area."

A security guard or a scientist keys open the nearby door, leading to a small side area with two auto sentries. John walks back to the main hallway and proceeds onward. He rounds a corner and walks up a walkway to a level above, taking out two Unggoy along the way. He turns into another airlock room.

  • Cortana: "The battlenet's directing all troops to our position!"

John engages the Covenant troops inside. Meanwhile, Covenant troops are using the airlocks to enter the room from their boarding ships. John can use the buttons on the airlock door to vent it, causing the troops inside to be blasted back into the vacuum. John repel the boarders, leaving only a few more enemies.

  • Cortana: "Only a few more left."

She marks the remaining Covenant soldiers. John eliminates them, then walks to the upstairs area to the door on top, which opens up. John quickly runs through into the hallway. Another scan line runs through the station.

  • Cortana: "Maybe the Great and Powerful Didact shouldn't misplace his things!"

John runs up the length of the hallway to the door at the end, which opens, leading to a balcony overlooking the station's exterior. Phantoms are dropping off more Covenant soldiers, while a small group of security guards are attempting to repel the Covenant. Meanwhile, two cloaked Sangheili are checking the room.

  • Cortana: "That's the main defense console."

John begins engaging the cloaked infiltrators. His HUD starts flickering again.

  • Cortana: (rampant) "My intervention is the prerequisite of success! (ominous whisper) Why should we save them?"

John takes out all the Sangheili.

  • Cortana: (maniacally laughing) "Insert me into the defense grid."

John, having no choice, puts Cortana into the console. Her figure comes up and she turns and starts typing into a hologram.

  • John-117: "Doctor Tillson, are you there?"
  • Tillson (Video COM): "I'm here. Any luck?"
  • John-117: "Cortana's bringing the defense grid online now."
  • Cortana: "OK. That's it."
  • Tillson (Video COM): "I hear it! We'll broadcast the final evac orders."
  • John-117: "The nuke?"
  • Tillson (Video COM): "We're rigging it now. Meet us back on the upper platform and we'll help you get it to the artifact."
  • Cortana: "Pull me, Chief!"

John grabs Cortana and runs to the other door in the room, making his way down the hallway.

  • Cortana: "Chief, if we pull this off and actually get back to Halsey? Don't tell her how bad I got. Please?"
  • John-117: "I won't say anything."
  • Cortana: "Thank you."

John runs into a Covenant squad running down the hallway in the same direction ahead of him. He quickly takes them out before they notice him. He walks down the hallway and turns to his left through another open door, leading to the room with more Covenant. There are Ungggoy cheering. At this point, subtitles appear:

  • Unggoy: "The Didact shelters all! The Didact shelters all!"

John takes them out and makes his way to the door at the end, where another lance led by a pair of Sangheili stands guard.

  • Sangheili: "Kill the Librarian's pet!"

It opens to another hallway, with another door at the end. John approaches it and waits for it to depressurize, finally letting him into a room with a view of the cavern.

All Things Lost and Found…[]

Inside the cavern, several Phantoms can be seen dropping off more Covenant soldiers near the Composer. Multiple Unggoy are cheering around disabled Mantises while no human can be seen inside the cavern.

  • Cortana: "Keep them away from it!"
  • John-117: "They found the Composer."
  • Cortana: "(distorted) Stop them, Chief! You can't let them tell him it's here!"

John leaves the building and enter the atrium. He operates one of the Mantises and engages the Covenant."

  • John-117: "Doctor Tillson, the Composer's location's been compromised. You've got to get the nuke down here!"
  • Tillson (COM): "It's- It's not ready yet!"
  • John-117: "Ready or not, I need it now!"
  • Cortana: "They're throwing everything they've got at us to get the Composer!"

Chief defending the station from covenant forces.

Phantoms enter the area to drop down troops, Ghosts and Wraiths. John eliminates the deployed Covenant. More Phantoms enter the cavern.

  • Cortana: "Another wave!"
  • Unggoy (chanting): "Didact! Didact! Didact! Didact! Didact!"

A squadron of Banshees enter the atrium.

John destroys the Banshees and continue to hold off the Covenant's Phantoms.

  • Cortana: "Where is he?"

Phantoms stop entering the atrium as John kills the last Covenant soldiers.

  • John-117: "Doctor Tillson! Where's the warhead? Doctor Tillson!"
  • Cortana: "Head back to the elevator platform. I'll keep trying to raise her."

John enters the elevator in one of the buildings.

  • Cortana: "The HAVOK mines will be in one of the cargo bay. Start us up."

John activates the elevator, which begins to ascend.

  • Cortana: "Chief! Immense Casimir wave building outside the atrium!"

Suddenly, the roof of the cavern breaks off, exposing the entire atrium into space. One of the cranes loses controls and smashes into the elevator's window. The elevator stops as the crane falls off. The Mantle's Approach is seen firing a strong orange beam into the atrium.

  • John-117: "What's he doing?"

The Composer breaks off from the ground and levitates out of the station.

  • John-117: "Cortana, see if you can raise Tillson. Get me a status on the rest of the station."

John's HUD begins to flicker.

  • Cortana: "I can't believe he did that…"
  • John-117: "Cortana, I need that info!"

Cortana doesn't respond.

  • John-117: "(sigh) Look… don't think about the Didact, don't think about the composer. Only focus on finding me Tillson."
  • Cortana: (strained) "Tillson, Sandra K. Female. 51 years of age. Doctor of Archaeology. Pegasi Institute-"

The elevator resumes.

  • Cortana: "Got her. Biosignature stable on 350-level, B-deck."
  • John-117: "Thank you, Cortana."

The elevator stops, and John presses a button to open the elevator door. Cut to black.


Cut to John's first-person view. Several scientists, including Tillson, are on the platform, some running around on their tasks. Tillson is conversing with two coworkers.

  • Tillson: "They've compromised the station's hull."

Cut to John. He runs over to a nearby console, passing Tillson on the way.

  • John-117: "Didact's taken the Composer. Get these people to the evac centers!"

He takes out Cortana and puts her in the console.

  • Tillson: "'Taken'? Taken how?"
  • John-117: "Tap the flight deck. Find us something that carry a pay load."
  • Tillson: "Wait, something's happening."

Tillson and the scientists stop to look at the Mantle's Approach, which is closing in on the station. The Composer on it starts charging.

  • John-117: "Cortana, can you access the station's defense systems?"

Cortana is fiddling with a hologram.

  • Cortana: "They're not responding!"

The Composer continues to charge. Cortana is attempting to start the defense systems, to no avail at every attempt.

  • John-117: "Cortana?"

Cortana turns to look at him. The hologram is still flashing a error warning.

  • Cortana: "Chief, it's-"
Halo 4 Sandy Tillson Composer

The composing of Sandra Tillson.

The Composer fires. The scientists stagger from the blow, their skin already starting to flake off into units of data. They all begin to collapse. Cut to a closeup on Tillson. She screams in pain as her skin, muscles, and skeletal system are broken down into orange flakes of data. John is unaffected, though his armor flickers orange as he collapses on the floor and blacks out. John awakens sometime later, the staff now reduced to ashes. Cortana is sitting on the pedestal, forlorn. Vapor is rising from John's armor, as well as the ash piles that are all that remain of the scientists. He wakes up, looks around, and gets up onto one knee. Cortana looks up at him.

  • Cortana: "Are you okay?"

John stands up with his assault rifle. He looks around at the ash piles, still smoking.

  • Cortana: "I monitored the data pulse. I could hear them… what was left of them…"

John moves toward the door, thinking.

  • John-117: "We need to move."
  • Cortana: "These people are gone."
  • John-117: "And more will follow if the Didact reaches Earth."

Cortana remains silent for a moment.

  • Cortana: "They will pair you with another AI. Maybe even another Cortana model if Halsey lets them."

John looks and turns toward her.

  • John-117: "That's not going to happen."
  • Cortana: "It won't be me, you know that, right?"

John doesn't respond, turning around again. Cortana stands up and activates the hologram again.

John turns back to her.

  • John-117: "Cortana."

Cortana turns toward him.

  • John-117: "It's not over. Not yet."
  • Cortana: "Not yet."

Cut to black. Level ends.


  • This is the second and last mission in the campaign to use the Mantis.
  • This is the final campaign mission in Halo 4 where the player fights Covenant forces.
  • The room with the Mgalekgolo has several specimens from Installation 03. There is also a small room within it with two of Halsey's personal log entries. It is possible that she had used it as an office earlier when she was sent to this station after being arrested on the shield world Trevelyan.
    • Also in this room is the activation index for Installation 03.
  • It is possible to break out of the level and join the security forces fighting Covenant in a large outdoor area. On the part before you activate station defenses, wait for the loading point to commence, but do not proceed into the room with the console. Instead, wait for the door to the previous area to close, and crouch jump into the doorframe. Careful jumping and experimenting will get you outside to the battle. Most of the time you will fall into an abyss though.
  • If you do manage to make it outside to the space battle, you can observe the security forces don't have EVA gear. Also, if you attempt to trade weapons with any of them, you and the station guard will lose your weapons, and the station guard will walk around aimlessly until killed.
  • Weapons are not retrievable in this glitched area.
  • It is also possible to enter and use the Onager MAC defense turrets in this area through very careful jumping and timing, detailed step-by step in this video.
  • You can cut short the fight in the hangar bay after the second Phantom by quickly making your way to the door controls and killing the Sangheili and other Covenant forces as fast as possible with a well aimed Sticky Detonator. You should be able to close the door when the second Phantom is actually inside the hangar bay still and as it attempts to leave it will humorously hit the hangar doors causing it to explode. This is difficult to achieve and may require multiple save point reloads, especially on Heroic and Legendary.
  • It's possible to save the first two security officers at the start of the level. If the player blocks the needler shots from the pair of Kig-Yar fighting the first guard, he'll detonate the sticky bomb like normal, killing them but leaving him alive. The second guard can only be saved if the Kig-Yar that tackles him is killed by a headshot. If the first guard is saved then he'll holster his Detonator and take out his sidearm, strangely enough it is impossible to trade weapons with him after.
  • There is a glitch where the player can fly in an invisible Banshee in the mission.


Concept Art[]