Data Hive is the ninth and penultimate campaign level of Halo 3: ODST. It is set in the immense data facility below the city of New Mombasa, where the Covenant are trying to gain access to the Superintendent's data core. It is the first linear level in the game after the hub.
The Rookie, having found Dare's distress signal after exploring the city, descends down an underground elevator shaft into the Superintendent's Data Center. He arrives at sub-level 7 of the complex and must fight his way down to sub-level 9, where Dare is hiding. On the way down The Rookie has to defeat a range of Covenant, including Brutes and Drones, during this time the Rookie runs into a NMPD Officer searching for his men. He follows the Rookie until he is killed by either the Drones or the Rookie (Depending on the amount of audio logs found). Once the Rookie and Dare are reunited, Dare informs the Rookie of the true nature of their mission. The two then fight through a Drone hive to the Superintendent's core to secure its data as well as "the asset," revealed to be a rogue Huragok named Vergil that has taken refuge there. Vergil has assimilated the Superintendent's data with its own knowledge, making it an extremely valuable defector to the UNSC and a major liability for the Covenant. Buck fortuitously arrives just as Covenant reinforcements attempt to secure the complex, and with his help Dare and the Rookie escort Vergil safely to the surface through heavy resistance.
View of a dimly-lit room in the Superintendent's Data Center is shown, with an elevator car on the bottom of its shaft. The Rookie descends from the elevator shaft, and drops to the top of the elevator car.
- Dare (COM): "Buck, is that you? (Static) They've got me cornered! I'm low on ammo! If you can hear me, I'm on sub-level nine, near station t-"
As Dare is cut off by static interference, The Rookie clicks his comlink with his fingers, and glances at the wall to his right, where the text "SUBLEVEL 07" is written, accompanied by the Superintendent's avatar.
- Grunt #1: "Why Yanme'e not yet seal this entrance?"
- Grunt #2: "Too busy building fancy spit house!"
- Grunt #1: "Nah. If traitor escape, it their fault, not ours."
- Grunt #3 (After spotting the Rookie): "Alarm! Intruder, in tunnels!"
- Survivor: "Do it Vergil, now!"
- Superintendent: "CONSTRUCTION AHEAD. EXPECT DELAYS."
- Survivor: "I'm gonna die, you hear me!"
- Brute: "This way! We have it trapped!"
As the Rookie pushes through a few Covenant lances, he rescues the survivor, who turns out to be an NMPD Officer.
- NMPD Officer: "Thanks, Trooper, they almost had me. I'm trying to get down to the next level checking my team, but...this stack is locked down tight."
The Data-Stack suddenly activates when the Rookie approaches it.
- Superintendent: "WELCOME. ACCESS GRANTED."
- NMPD Officer: (whispering) "Well, guess you have something I don't."
- NMPD Officer: (whispering) "Well, looks like you got the magic touch."
Drones suddenly flies out of the shaft.
- NMPD Officer: "Buggers, look out!"
After the Drones are killed.
- NMPD Officer: "What's wrong with you, Vergil? You trying to get me killed?"
- Superintendent: "WARNING! HITCHHIKERS MAY BE ESCAPED CONVICTS!"
The two descend down into the stack. They drop into a circular room. The Rookie heads through a door.
- NMPD Officer: "Can't see a damn thing. You go first."
The Rookie can see Drones eating some bodies.
- NMPD Officer: "Son of a bitch! These are my guys. Buggers got all of them! (whispers) Now I'll have to check on the Doc myself..."
- NMPD Officer: "What are you doing down here, anyway? Don't want to tell me? That's all right...we all have secrets."
The two continue through many locked data stacks filled with Covenant.
- Brute: "Seal all exits from the lower levels!"
The two defeats the Covenant forces. They eventually meet a dead end with a Data Stack.
- NMPD Officer: "You going down to Level 9 too? Guess I could use some backup..."
- Superintendent: "WELCOME. ACCESS GRANTED."
- NMPD Officer: "Go ahead trooper, raise the stack."
If the Rookie doesn't have 29 of the Audio Logs, the officer will stay up as Drones appear.
- NMPD Officer: "You hear that? Buggers! Down at your level. Oh no! They're up here too! Coming out of the damn vents! Get back! No! Ahhh!"
The stack closes as the officer is killed by the Drones.
- Superintendent: "CRIME DOESN'T PAY!"
Alternatively, if the Rookie does have 29 Audio Logs, the officer jumps down with you.
After heading through the door, the two emerge into an icy hallway, with Covenant patrols and a War Chieftain ahead. The two kills all of them.
- NMPD Officer: "Trooper, hold up a sec. I got to check on a...personnel issue."
The officer walks up to a door on the left side of the frozen room.
- Superintendent: "CRIME SCENE. RESTRICTED ENTRY."
- NMPD Officer: "Shut up, Vergil! You hear me?"
- Superintendent: "ICY CONDITION. CHAINS REQUIRED."
- NMPD Officer: "Freaking machine! The whole city's gone to hell... Wait here, watch for hostiles! I'll be back."
If the Rookie follows him:
- NMPD Officer: "What are you, stupid?! I told you wait outside!"
In front of him, a frozen body is crouched against the wall.
When the Rookie approaches the body:
- NMPD Officer: "Step away from there. This ain't none of your business!"
- NMPD Officer: "Kinsler gave me real specific instructions: Make sure the Doc's dead, and make double sure no one knows about it."
- Superintendent: "CAUTION, TRAVELER! CAUTION!"
- NMPD Officer: "Sorry, friend... You know way too much."
The Officer fires on the player. The Rookie kills the traitor.
- Superintendent: "CRIME DOESN'T PAY. GOOD CITIZENS DO THEIR PART!"
If the Rookie approaches the telephone next to Sadie's father, he can download the last part of Sadie's Story.
The Rookie leaves the room and continues to a cross road. To the left is a dead end with a Flamethrower in the corner. Up ahead is a path. The hall starts to go from frozen to normal temperature.
- Dare (COM): "Buck? Who knows if he can hear me but... I'm sorry. I should have told you more about this mission, more...about everything."
At the end of the hallway is a Covenant lance, trying to break through a locked door. The Rookie kills them. The door at the end of the hallway opens.
- Superintendent: "WELCOME. ACCESS GRANTED."
The door leads to a narrower hallway, with a locked door at the end. The Rookie knocks on the door.
The Rookie approaches the door cautiously, watching the hallway, SMG at the ready. He lowers it and knocks on the door two times. He readies his SMG again. The door opens and Dare pulls the lever on her pistol. Seeing the Rookie there, she looks surprised.
- Dare: "It's you! I thought..."
- Dare: "Never mind... What was your name again?"
The two hear a Drone's screeching coming from the hallway or (if you've escorted the NMPD Officer to the frozen section) an unknown, possibly Covennant gurgle like sound is heard.
- Dare: "Inside! Now!"
The Rookie enters the room. Dare hits a button and the door closes and locks. Cut to one of the Superintendent's cameras. It looks over the room that Dare and the Rookie are in.
- Dare: "This way, and stay quiet!"
The view cuts from the Superintendent to a view of the window, in which Dare and the Rookie can be seen walking towards the window. He displays the "Happy" expression upon seeing them.
A Drone crawls on the wall above the window, then flies away. The view goes inside the room. The Rookie walks up to the window.
- Dare: "Down there? That's the Superintendent. The AI that runs every system in the city. My mission — our mission, is to secure the Superintendent's data."
The view goes to the Superintendent's camera, showing the Rookie and Dare.
- Dare : "Problem is, there's only one way in from here...right through the hive. It would've been suicide to go alone, and I was hoping for more backup. I guess you're it."
View returns to the room. Dare walks up to the exit.
- Dare: "You've been solo since we dropped? Fighting on the surface?"
The Rookie nods his head.
- Dare: "Unless you spent all night hiding in your pod...you must know your stuff."
Dare readies her pistol.
- Dare: "Show me."
The two head to the exit at the end of the room. Back at the hall, the two encounter Covenant reinforcements.
- Dare: "Company!"
The two defeat the first group and encounter more groups Covenant.
- Dare: "Hostile reinforcements!"
The two destroy the reinforcements.
- Dare: "This is just the start of the hive. It'll be worse down below. Come on, we'll have to find a way down."
- Dare: "Here trooper, through the door."
The two make their way to the hole.
- Dare: "We'll have to jump."
The Rookie jumps through the hole and lands hard, injuring himself slightly. Dare jumps after him. They emerge into a huge room. The two turn into another room with a Covenant patrol. The Rookie and Dare kill all of them and turn right, into a huge cavern like room with Covenant crates all around.
- Dare: "It's getting warmer. We must be right under the hive. Head across the bridge. Let's see if we can find a way up."
The two make their way across the bridge, heading left to an open door.
- Dare: "Trooper! Through here."
The door opens to a small room with another door,locked,and an elevator.
- Dare: "I found an elevator! Come to me."
If the player stalls:
- Dare: "Trooper, come to my position."
- Dare: "Get on the elevator, trooper."
The Rookie gets on the elevator and activates it. It starts to go up.
- Superintendent: "ELEVATOR UP. NEXT STOP:"
The Superintendent doesn't finish the sentence, but Dare speaks up.
- Dare: "...bugger central."
The elevator opens to a narrow hallway. The two walk through it, reaching a opening in it in the middle. They reach another cavernous room.
- Dare: "Let's stick together. Move fast and quiet."
However, it isn't long before the Drones find them and swarm them.
- Dare: "Damn! Here they come."
The Drones start firing. The Rookie and Dare defeat them, but as they progress, more Drones come.
- Dare: "We can't go back. We have to keep pushing through."
- Dare: "Good shooting trooper. Keep it up! We're almost there."
- Dare: "Follow me. I see a way across. The data center is close."
The door at the end leads to a narrow hallway. At the end, a short drop leads to an open door. The door opens to a huge room, with the data center in the middle. A Phantom arrives.
- Dare: "It won't be long before they smash through that door. Let's take them out, now!"
The two runs to the door, where a Brute Chieftain and his bodyguards are trying to break in.
- Brute Chieftain: "(roars) Open this door, traitor!"
- Superintendent: "SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS. ALL DOGS MUST BE KEPT ON LEASH!"
- Brute Chieftain: "By the Prophets... You will pay for your insolence!"
The Rookie and Dare defeat them and secure the door.
- Dare: "Not bad. You do know your stuff."
- Dare: "Wow. I'm impressed!"
- Dare: "Something tells me you're not a rookie..."
- Superintendent: "WELCOME. ACCESS GRANTED."
- Dare: "Nice and slow. Check your corners."
The door opens to a slanting hallway with another door at the end. The door opens to a hallway with a scanning device. At the end is another door, which opens to the entrance to the data center.
The view shifts to inside the data center. The entrance opens to see the Rookie and Dare. They walk slowly in, weapons at the ready. At the end of the room is what appears to be the data core. As the two look at it, a spark lights off in it and there is a strange noise. The door closes on them. Dare activates the flashlight on her pistol. She points it at the core.
The view goes to the Superintendent. The camera is above the Rookie and Dare.
- Superintendent (on-screen): "EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN INITIATED."
The screen then goes to static, then shuts off entirely. Back with the pair, they walk to the core. Suddenly, Dare's pistol shows a small tentacle through a hole. If the player has 30 audio logs, Dare raises her pistol, using the attached flashlight on it to get a better look, but the Rookie interrupts her and shakes his head, thinking the creature was scared of the gun, He then whistles to bring the creature out. However, if the player doesn't have 30 audio logs, the Rookie will raise his SMG but Dare objects.
- Dare: "Don't shoot!"
Either way, a long and thin head sticks out. The view goes to the pair, where it reveals it's a Huragok.
- Dare: "We've seen them before on other ops, but we've never gotten this close."
Dare puts her pistol down.
- Dare: "Best we can tell? They're prisoners, or slaves. Either way, they don't like the Covenant any more than we do."
The Huragok comes close to them.
- Dare: "The Slipspace event fried most of the Superintendent's circuits. I thought it might be finishing the job. But now I see that you weren't trying to hurt the Superintendent."
Dare reaches out a hand and puts it close to the Huragok.
- Dare: "You were trying to fix it. "
The Engineer points his head toward a shard of metal on his back. Dare reaches up and takes it off. Dare reaches out and the Huragok appears to sniff her hand.
- Dare: "ONI calls them Engineers, believes they're some sort of biological supercomputers. If I'm right, this one's taken the Superintendents data and combined it with it's own."
Dare starts to pat the Huragok's head.
- Dare: "Everything we need to know about the Covenant, what they're looking for under the city is right...in...here."
A beeping noise from the core catches their attention. The Huragok floats toward it and uses a tentacle to push a button, revealing a small monitor. The Superintendent zooms in on some Jetpack Brutes landing on the rooftop. The view goes back to the room. Dare approaches the monitor.
- Dare: "Damn! Buggers must have raised the alarm."
The Superintendent zooms out of the Brutes and zooms in on a black figure. It's an ODST.
- Dare: "Buck!"
- Buck (COM): "Veronica? Where the hell are you?"
- Dare: "Data Center, but we're coming out."
- Buck (COM): "We?"
The Superintendent zooms in on him from another camera.
- Dare: "No time to explain but do not, I repeat, do not shoot anything pink!"
- Buck (COM): "Whatever you say, just come on!"
The view goes back into the data center, where Dare picks up her pistol.
- Dare: "Those Brutes are here for the Engineer. They'll kill it if they get their chance."
Dare pulls the lever on the pistol.
- Dare (to the Engineer): "You. Stay behind me. Okay?"
Dare then nods to the Rookie, whose next to the door. The Rookie opens the door. They both raise their weapons.
The three head back to the exit. Both troopers have energy shields now, provided by the Engineer.
- Dare: "The Engineer still has shields, but they won't last long in a firefight. Take point, clear a path to Buck."
Outside, two Jetpack Brutes jump out while a Phantom drops off more. The Rookie and Dare defeat them. The Rookie proceeds to the Covenant reinforcements.
- Dare: "Go, trooper! I'll cover the Engineer."
- Buck: "Rookie? I could use a hand over here. Come on!"
Buck and the three regroup. A door opens to the right.
- Buck: "This is our exit Rookie. Head through the door."
Behind the door is a short hallway leading to a hole. The Rookie and the others drop inside a dark room filled with sleeping Drones. They can either fire on them or sneak past. Buck is now protected by the Engineer's shields as well.
- Buck: "About this uh, asset. Feel free to fill me in whenever."
- Dare: "Not now, Buck!"
An opening in the left part of the room leads to the hallways that looks like the ones at the beginning. The four head to a right.
- Buck: "Door's locked. Damn!"
- Dare: "Don't worry. We have a key."
The Engineer heads to the door and starts unlocking it.
- Buck: "I've seen hundreds of these things today! Why is this one so important?"
- Dare: "This Engineer knows what the Covenant is after. If I could safely capture more of them I would. What they know can win the war!"
- Buck: "Oh."
- Dare: "You haven't...killed any of them, have you?"
- Buck: "No!" (after a short pause) "Well, maybe one or...two."
- Dare (sarcastically): "Nice work."
- Buck: "How was I supposed to know?"
After this conversation, the Engineer successfully opens the door. Up ahead, more sleeping Drones are spotted. The four can kill them or simply ignore them. The four head to a door at the end of the hall. It leads to a small room with an elevator. At this point, the Drones awake and start attacking. The four defeats them.
- Buck: "Elevator. Come on."
The level ends as the four gather on the elevator.
- You start the level on Sublevel 07, another 7 reference. The nine sublevels before the player meets Dare is one of the game's many references to The Divine Comedy, specifically the nine circles of hell. According to the book, the ninth level of hell is actually cold, as reflected by the frozen area where you find Dr. Endesha's body.
- Throughout the level are monitors showing data on the Superintendent's status. If you go too close to these screens, the Superintendent will interrupt the displays, labeling the information as classified. In addition, some "corrupted screens" will flash the binary code for "BARRETT," a reference to level designer Chris Barrett.
- Drones can create a suitable hive in a surprisingly short amount of time, considering the short time frame (i.e. less than a day) between the initial Covenant attack and the setting of this level. This is partially explained by the first two Grunts encountered on this level, who point out that the Drones have spent most of the time building their hive rather than sealing the complex's entrances as ordered.
- Just before entering Sublevel 08, you will encounter an NMPD officer. The Superintendent is seen acting strangely towards him, refusing to open data stacks for him and saying phrases like "WARNING! HITCHHIKERS MAY BE ESCAPED CONVICTS!" The latter is a reference to the final segment of the level The Maw in Halo: Combat Evolved.
- You can see Drones feasting on deceased NMPD bodies, as lower Covenant species and Brutes are known to do.
- Using Theater mode, you can see that the NMPD officer does not actually die if ambushed by Drones. He simply takes a few steps before disappearing.
- The Flamethrower in this level may have been used to set off the fire-prevention system that killed Dr. Endesha, although this is unlikely because it is at full capacity. It is possible that they did use it to set off the system and somehow reloaded it for unknown reasons, or Kinsler simply hacked the system and caused a false alarm.
- This is the only level in the games which you can use a Flamethrower against non-Flood NPC enemies.
- Dare's quip to the Rookie about him sleeping in his pod is quite ironic, as the Rookie did in fact stay in his pod for six hours after the drop, thus receiving relatively light contact with the Covenant as compared to his squadmates.
- The Superintendent's data core housing is very similar in design to Pfhor power core chambers in Marathon video game series.
- Two different cutscenes are possible when Dare and the Rookie meet Vergil. The default cutscene plays if you have not collected all 30 audio logs and shows the Rookie arming his gun and aiming at Vergil before Dare tells him to stand down. If you recover all the logs, the cutscene changes to reflect the information gained from reading them. Dare aims at Vergil instead, and the Rookie will motion for her to stand down and whistle for Vergil to come out.
- You can push Dare through the floor on this level through a glitch. When you and Dare are about to enter the small elevator, activate the elevator before Dare boards. After the elevator goes up, she will remain standing under it, and lowering the lift onto her will push her into the ground. She will later reappear on the upper levels of the hive.
- The Firefight level Chasm Ten is based on this level.
- At the end of the level, when you have Buck with you, as you leave the streets to go to the highway, on the floor in front of the elevator is a book titled "Military Vehicles" and has a picture of what seems to be a Warthog on the cover. This is the only place it is found, while the weapon cards are found scattered about.