Five Long Years

A group of UNSC Marines cheering as a Covenant Destroyer comes down.

Halo Wars is set in the year 2531 right as UNSC forces retake a planet called Harvest from the alien Covenant. The story of Halo Wars is told through the eyes and ears of the crew aboard Spirit of Fire, a UNSC support vessel. As the ship approaches the planet Harvest to begin a dangerous and urgent mission, Captain Cutter reflects on the long and bloody battle to retake Harvest from the Covenant...”
Ensemble description of the trailer[1]

Five Long Years is a Halo Wars trailer released on the July 14, 2008 depicting the five-year-long struggle to reclaim Harvest from the Covenant. It is also the introductory cinematic of the game.


New halo wars trailer 2 high quality

New halo wars trailer 2 high quality

  • Cutter: "Captain's report, February 4th, 2531. Five years. Five long years. That's how long it took us to get Harvest back."

{Transcript Begin}

Harvest battle

Marines firing on several Elites

(Several marines race through a battlefield and are successfully gunning down a group of oncoming Elites. A Marine gets killed when a nearby wall explodes and debris and plasma engulf him. The surviving Marines recover quickly and start to move forward.)

  • Marine: "Go, go, go!"

(They confront a Lance of slowly advancing Elites whom are separated by a wall of debris, a few of the marines yell out as they arrive. One Marine quickly joins in and starts to fire upon the Elites, only to be shot by a plasma bolt to the chest.

  • Marine: "I've been hit!"

A Warthog then appears and runs the aliens over. The camera then cuts to the rear of the Warthog driving through a battlefield with the gunner firing the turret.)

Pelican on Harvest

Pelicans on Harvest

  • Marine: "Keep firing!"

(Three marines fire their weapons. The camera then cuts to a shot of several Pelican dropships arriving with several Warthogs racing through the drop zone. Marines then charge out of one of the landed Pelicans. There is a cut to a Marine hitting an Elite from behind, so that it falls down and is shot dead by another Marine. Then it cuts to a panorama, showing nine Marines cheering and a Warthog overlooking the battlefield; a destroyed city with a burning Covenant Destroyer in the distant sky, presumably shot down by UNSC forces.)

Human Execution

An Elite impaling a wounded Marine

  • Cutter: "At first, it was going well."

[Fade to Black]

  • Cutter: "Then setback after setback..."

(An Elite pierces a Marine with its Energy Sword. UNSC troops are overwhelmed by plasma fired by Elites and Banshees. The camera then cuts to a scene where three Elites jump over a crumbled wall, the two in the background wielding plasma rifles, the one in the foreground activating two energy swords.)

  • Cutter: "... loss after loss..."

(Two Covenant Destroyers begin to glass Harvest)

  • Cutter: "... made what was going to be a quick and decisive win..."

(A surviving Marine attempts to crawl to safety when an Elite approaches and slaughters him with his Energy Sword.)

  • Cutter: "... into five years of Hell."

(Camera turns toward the skies and another ship appears and activates its energy weapon. White follows.)

{Transcript Ends}


  • The trailer is 1 minute and 29 seconds long.
  • The marine who is killed by the Banshee screams the Wilhelm scream as he dies.
  • The trailer was made available for free on the Xbox Live Marketplace on July 19, 2008.
  • The Pelicans have the Legendary symbol on the nose of their hulls.






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