Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha


For other uses, see Gravemind.

"The Prophets have the Index and plan to use it? Over your dead body."

Gravemind is the twelfth campaign level of Halo 2. The level takes place within High Charity, after the Gravemind teleports John-117 there. The Prophet of Truth has the Index, and you must get to him before he leaves for the control room of Delta Halo. As you travel through High Charity, you will experience the beginning of the Covenant Civil War.

Strangely enough, apart from the opening and ending cutscenes, there is no contact with the Gravemind or the Flood. Also, the word "Gravemind" is not mentioned until two levels later in High Charity. This is also the level where the Energy Sword appears most often, and is one of only four missions where there are no Human weapons. This is the first level in which you can use the Brute Shot and the Brute Plasma Rifle. You also fight Brutes for the first time here.[1]


Inside Job[]


John-117 begins to wake up, and sees a red circle of lights on the ceiling of some underground area. He sees that he's being held aloft by a tentacle, and he is brought towards the head of a massive creature: the Gravemind.

John-117 is held in front of Gravemind's head, the head being one giant mouth made from separate parts, somewhat similar to an Elite's.

  • Gravemind: "I...? I am a monument to all your sins."

As Gravemind talks, he breathes out Flood Spores. Two tentacles bring forth a struggling Thel 'Vadamee.

  • John-117: "Relax. I'd rather not piss this thing off."
  • Thel 'Vadamee: "Demon!"

The Gravemind makes loud huffing sounds, and indicates John-117

  • Gravemind: "This one is machine and nerve, and has its mind concluded." (a tentacle wraps around John-117's head, then indicates 'Vadamee) "This one is but flesh and faith, and is the more deluded."(turns 'Vadamee upside down)
  • Thel 'Vadamee: "Kill me or release me, parasite. But do not waste my time with talk!"
  • Gravemind: "There is much talk. And I have listened. Through rock and metal and time. Now I shall talk, and you shall listen."

He raises two tentacles, one wrapped around a red Monitor, the other merged with an infected Prophet of Regret

  • 2401 Penitent Tangent: "Greetings! I am 2401 Penitent Tangent. I am the Monitor of Installation 05."
  • Prophet of Regret: "And I am the Prophet of Regret, Councilor most High... Hierarch of the Covenant!"

2401 Penitent Tangent sees John-117.

  • 2401 Penitent Tangent: "A Reclaimer? Here? At last! We have much to do. This facility must be activated if we are to control this outbreak!"
  • Prophet of Regret: "Stay where you are! Nothing can be done until my sermon is complete!"
  • 2401 Penitent Tangent: "Not true. This installation has a successful utilization record of 1.2 trillion simulated and one actual. It is ready to fire on demand."
  • Prophet of Regret: (to the Arbiter) "Of all the objects our Lords left behind, there are none so worthless as these Oracles!" (yells) "They know nothing of the Great Journey!"
  • 2401 Penitent Tangent: "And you know nothing about containment! You have demonstrated complete disregard for even the most basic protocols!"
  • Gravemind: "This one's 'containment'..." (gives a disgusted huff) "And this one's 'Great Journey'... are the same."

He lowers his tentacles, and Regret shrieks in fear.

  • Gravemind: (to 'Vadamee) "Your Prophets have promised you freedom from a doomed existence, but you will find no salvation on this ring. Those who built this place knew what they wrought. Do not mistake their intent, or all will perish as they did before."

At this moment, 'Vadamee stops struggling against the tentacles. He stares somewhat curiously at the Gravemind.

  • John-117: "This thing is right. Halo is a weapon. Your Prophets are making a big mistake."
  • Gravemind: "If you will not hear the truth, then I will show it to you. There is still time to stop the key from turning, but first it must be found." (indicates each in turn) "You will search one likely spot, and you will search another. Fate had us meet as foes, but this ring will make us...brothers."

John-117 and Thel 'Vadamee disappear in teleportation rings. Fade to black, fade in on High Charity.

A swarm of Covenant ships attack each other outside of High Charity. Fade in on the walkway outside the Council Chamber, Honor Guard Brutes guard the gates from Grunt and Jackal rioters.

Cut to Council Chamber. A line of Honor Guard Brutes stand at attention. A cameraman Grunt focuses a holographic camera on Truth as he delivers his propaganda, while the Prophet of Mercy watches from aside.

  • Prophet of Truth: "The release of the parasite was unexpected, unfortunate. But, there is no need to panic. In truth, this is a time to rejoice. A moment that all the Covenant should savor." (raises the Index) "For the Sacred Icon has been found. With it, our path is clear, our entry into the Divine Beyond guaranteed! The Great Journey is nigh..." (the Grunt notices John-117 appearing out of thin air behind him) "...and nothing, not even the Flood, can stop it!"

John looks down at the shocked Grunt.

  • John-117: "Boo."

The Grunt yelps, throws up his Needler, and flees. John-117 catches the Needler and aims it at Truth. Two Brute Honor Guards shield the Prophets with their Energy Stave.

  • Prophet of Truth: "Kill the Demon!"

The Prophets and some Brutes escape through a gravity lift, leaving two Brutes behind.


  • Cortana: "Brutes! The faster you can kill these Brutes, the better." (John kills one Brute.) "They don't have shield generators, but take them out before... it's berserking!"

John-117 kills all Covenant in the room

  • Tartarus (Loudspeaker): "The Demon has infiltrated the Council Chamber?! Protect the Hierarchs! Seal the exits!"
  • Cortana: "Oh, I don't think so."

After John-117 fends off the attackers

  • Cortana: "Put me down on one of the pedestals near the door."

If you approach where Truth was sitting before:

  • Cortana: "They've locked it from below. There's a door at the other end of the chamber."

The Spartan approaches the door, and Cortana's hologram appears.

  • Cortana: "That Prophet, Truth. He has the Index! You've got to take it from him. Let me get these doors. (John reaches for the pedestal) Go! It will be easier to track Truth if I stay in the network."

If you continue to wait:

  • Cortana: "Don't worry. You can pick me up later."

John-117 fights his way to the ledge where Thel 'Vadamee was tortured.

  • Cortana (COM): "Watch out for the Captain, it's got a Brute Shot!" (Note that the Brute Captain with the Brute Shot first shows up in the Council Chamber on Legendary.)
  • Cortana: "Truth is moving through the lower levels of the tower. I'll reverse this Grav Lift. Drop down, try to cut him off."

If John stalls:

  • Cortana: "It's safe, really. Just step in."

If John continues to stall

  • Cortana: "After that stunt on the Cairo, I know you're not afraid of heights."

If John still stalls:

  • Cortana: "Fine, I won't watch. Meet you at the bottom, okay?"


  • Tartarus (Loudspeaker): "Reinforce all approaches to the holding pens. Slay the Demon on sight!"
  • Cortana: "They're beefing up their patrols. Stay sharp."


  • Cortana (COM): "Wait a minute! I'm reading Marine IFF transponders. The signals are originating somewhere below your position."
  • Cortana: "There's another lift in the next room."

When John-117 reaches the lift.

  • Cortana: "Here, Chief. Jump in."

He takes the Grav Lift down.

  • Cortana (COM): "There are two groups of Marines in the detention block. I'll zero in on their locations, you neutralize the guards... quietly."

John-117 kills the Covenant forces on the top level.

  • Cortana: "Chief, come to the lower level. The Marines are just inside, careful of the guards."

John-117 enters the brig, and kills the guards.

The brig doors unlatch, and the Marine POWs arm themselves with dropped Covenant weapons.

  • Cortana: "Listen up, Marines! John's hunting a Prophet, and you're gonna help him kill it."
  • Marine: "Affirmative!"


  • Marine: "No sense sticking around here!"
  • Cortana: "One more group of Marines to go, Chief."
  • Cortana: "Chief, come to the middle level. More guards, get ready."

John-117 frees the second group of Marines.

  • Cortana: "That's all the Marines, Chief. Good work."
  • Cortana (COM): "We'll get out of here the same way we came in - the central Grav Lift... Reinforcements, coming down the lift!"

John-117 and the Marines kill the reinforcements.

  • Cortana: "The lift is clear. Step on in."

If John stalls:

  • Cortana: "We've got to get after Truth, Chief. Step into the lift."


  • Prophet of Truth (Loudspeaker): "Fear not, my brothers! The Sacred Icon is secure. It was Tartarus and his Brutes who took the Icon from the Flood, and for that they have our thanks."
  • Cortana (COM): "Excellent! Truth is broadcasting on the move. It'll make him much easier to track."


  • Prophet of Truth (Loudspeaker): "The Elites have failed to protect the Prophets, and in doing so, have put all our lives at risk. Let no warrior forget his oath, 'Thou, in faith, shall keep us safe, whilst we find the Path.'"
  • Cortana (COM): "I've got a fix on Truth, just outside this tower, Chief. There's an exit nearby. Hurry!"


  • Prophet of Truth (Loudspeaker): "With my blessing, the Brutes now lead our fleets! They ask for your allegiance, and you shall give it."
  • Cortana (COM): "You wouldn't believe the number of kill-systems the Covenant are throwing down around me. Not to worry, it's pretty sloppy stuff. I guess they never expected a hostile intelligence to penetrate their networks from the inside."


  • Cortana (COM): "The Covenant just destroyed two of their own ships! And I'm hearing reports of small arms fire throughout their fleet."
  • Prophet of Truth (Loudspeaker): "Creatures of the Covenant! The path is broad, and we shall walk it side by side."


In Amber Clad flies by overhead.

  • Prophet of Truth (Loudspeaker): "Be glad! A reward for all your toil and all your sacrifices in the year at hand."
  • Cortana: "Hailing...no response. She's crashed into another tower ahead of our position. I'll keep trying to make contact, but I'm not registering any human vital signs."

You can hear the In Amber Clad crash.


  • Prophet of Truth (loudspeaker): "At this moment, the Council is gathered on Halo, to see the Icon secured."
  • Prophet of Truth (Loudspeaker): "There are those who said this day would never come. What are they to say now?"
  • Tartarus (Loudspeaker): "Once the towers are clear, we'll drive them from the lower district."


  • Prophet of Truth (Loudspeaker): "I have listened to the Oracle, and it confirmed our deepest hope. The Great Journey begins with Halo."
  • Tartarus (Loudspeaker): "The Elites are falling back to the Mausoleum. Fools! Their Arbiter can do nothing for them now!"
  • Prophet of Truth (Loudspeaker): "Who would doubt the Prophets? What have they foretold that has not come to pass?"


  • Cortana (COM): "If we're going to catch Truth, we'll need to take a shortcut, straight through the Mausoleum. Look on the bright side: for now, they seem much more interested in killing each other."

John-117 approaches the very large fight in the Mausoleum.

  • Cortana: "You might consider sitting this one out."

After the room is cleared:

  • Cortana: "Hang on, I'm picking up two more transponders. It's the Commander and Johnson! They're closing on Truth's position, Chief! They'll need your help! This way, Chief."

The exit opens, with several cloaked Elites and an Honor Guard Councilor running out. John kills them.

  • Cortana (COM): "...This isn't good. I’m getting confirmed reports of Flood leaving the In Amber Clad's wreckage. Let's get the Index and find a way out of here, before things get really ugly!"


Tartarus and his Brutes take Keyes, Johnson and 343 Guilty Spark toward a platform where the Prophets of Truth and Mercy wait for them, with three Phantoms

  • Tartarus: "Split them up. One in each Phantom."

Three Brutes do so rather brutishly. Keyes notices In Amber Clad in the tower before being pushed into the Phantom. The two Phantoms take off. Tartarus kneels before the Prophets.

  • Prophet of Truth: "The hopes of all the Covenant rest on your shoulders, Chieftain."

Prophet of Truth hands Tartarus the Index.

  • Tartarus: "My faith is strong. I will not fail."

Infection Forms spring up and rush them. The Brutes spot them and they get ready. The Brute Honor Guards throw their pikes aside and stomp on several of them. Tartarus flattens one with the Fist of Rukt. The Brutes manage to shoot or crush most of them, but one gets through and lodges itself to Mercy's throat, knocking him off his throne.

  • Prophet of Mercy: (screams in agony)

Tartarus moves to remove the Infection Form.

  • Prophet of Truth: "Let him be."

Tartarus turns to Truth in surprise.

  • Prophet of Truth: "The Great Journey waits for no one, brother...not even you."

Prophet of Truth boards the Phantom and the Honor Guard Brutes follow immediately, but Tartarus hesitates at the dying Prophet of Mercy. He looks at the Index, makes his decision, and turns away from Mercy.

Level ends.


Icon Name Description Value
HTMCC AchievementArt Don'tMakeAGirlAPromise Don't Make a Girl a Promise Collect the Cortana toy in Gravemind. 5G
HTMCC AchievementArt ForceofWill Force of Will Beat the par time on Gravemind. 10G
CortanaAchievementHTMCC AchievementArt Gravemind Gravemind Complete Gravemind. 30G (H2V)

10G (TMCC)

HTMCC AchievementArt He'sRunningaMarathon... He's Running a Marathon... Spot the developer in the opening cutscene of Gravemind on Legendary in Classic Mode. 5G
HTMCC AchievementArt Knowledgable Knowledgable Activate Terminal 10 on Gravemind. 5G
HTMCC AchievementArt Official Business Official Business Beat the par score on Gravemind. 10G
HTMCC AchievementArt SkulltakerHalo2Anger Skulltaker Halo 2: Anger Find and claim the Anger skull on Legendary. 5G



  • When playing this level on Heroic or Legendary, the Covenant Loyalists tend to be more formidable than the Swords of Sanghelios.
  • The best weapons to use against Brutes are Plasma Rifles or Needlers for close range, Beam Rifles and Covenant Carbines for headshots, and Brute Shots for crowd control. When fighting Jackals, use the Plasma Rifle or the Brute Shot. Lastly, when facing Drone swarms, don't waste important weapons like Brute Shots, Carbines, Fuel Rod Guns, or Energy Swords. Instead, use dual Plasma Rifles to finish them off quickly.
  • One of the easiest ways to die is at the hands of a berserking Brute. The best way to prevent this is to have John-117 jump on to a scenery object or ledge higher than the berserking Brute. If the Brute is smart, he'll run around the room searching for a new target. If he's dumb, he'll try to melee you, not realizing you're higher than he is, which makes for an easy kill with a dual Plasma Rifle and/or Needler barrage or headshots with the Beam Rifle or Covenant Carbine.
  • When facing off against Covenant loyalists, any weapon will work against Elites or Grunts, but when facing Hunters its best to use dual Plasma Rifles and Brute Shots. Be ready for the other Hunter when it enters a rampant revenge state and charges at you.
  • An effective way of killing the Hunters in the small rooms with the banisters is to lure one into the niches in the walls under the banisters and having the Marines shoot the Hunter's exposed back with Carbines and Beam Rifles. You are also effectively safe from the other Hunter, who wouldn't dare shoot his bond brother. Your Marines, however, are not as safe.


  • Your marine can suddenly die by standing next to one of the covenant containers in the hanging gardens.
  • In the Hanging Gardens B area, if you can keep the Grunts alive, they will never attack you, even once all Brutes are killed. Marines (if they are still alive) will attack the Grunts.
  • When you reach the first gravity bridge, it is possible to fall onto the two beams under the bridge. You can still continue the level if you do.
  • Sometimes if you kill a Brute in an Elite's presence, the Elite will congratulate you as if you were the Arbiter.
  • If you kill any of the Gunner Grunts holding portable plasma turrets near the start of the level immediately after it deploys it, sometimes they will drop an undeployed turret even though there is one already deployed. This glitch only works if the Grunt is still operating the turret, and it only works once (even though there are two grunts with turrets).
  • After you rescue all of the Marines and Cortana says enemy reinforcements are coming down the lift, quickly drop down to the bottom floor. If done at the right time, all the enemies will be dead when they land.
  • In the very last room of the level, if you walk up the small ramp of the Sarcophagus of the Arbiter Armor and keep walking towards it, the lower half of your body is visible instead of just your legs.
  • If you manage to get a Hunter to fall into the area behind the Sarcophagus in the middle of the last room then it won't attack you, no matter how close you are. Although if it is in the more open area of the space behind the Sarcophagus then it will melee you eventually.
  • Sometimes when you are killed by an Elite, he will say "The Prophets will reward me well for this!" even though the Prophets have ordered for the elimination of the Elites.


  • At the end of this level, you will run into two cloaked Elites and one "Honor Guard Councilor." A closer look shows that this Elite is actually an Honor Guard Ultra with a Councilor's helmet. This has been confirmed to be a result of incorrect coding.
  • If you look closely at the Grunt that runs from John-117 in the beginning cutscene, you will see that he slides instead of running.
  • At the beginning cutscene you see six Brutes in the council chambers: two next to the Prophets (which are fought in gameplay after the cutscene) and four others standing guard in the line. The four on the line disappear once the level begins. This was most likely either an oversight by Bungie, or an attempt to keep the first encounter with Brutes from being too difficult.
  • If you manage to keep any of your Marines alive through this level, they will seemingly vanish, and won't be able to help you on the level High Charity. They weren't supposed to survive, and it is highly unlikely that any will on the higher difficulties.
  • For some reason, if you look closely at the infection forms sometimes in the ending cutscene an infection form will burst.
  • Strangely you can see that the Grunt in the council room is wielding a needler; but in gameplay, he is wielding a plasma pistol, even though Grunts do not carry two weapons.
  • In the beginning cutscene, (if you pay attention very closely) when Gravemind brings up 2401 Penitent Tangent and the Prophet of Regret, in the subtitle where 2401 Penitent Tangent introduces himself, it says there, "....I am 2041 Penitent Tangent..." Instead of 2401, it is 2041.

Easter Eggs[]

Main article: Easter Eggs
  • The Anger Skull can be found on this level.
  • When played on Legendary difficulty you can find the Lonely Soul Easter Egg during the beginning cutscene of this level. When you first see the interior of High Charity, you will notice a Grunt climbing on a wall. The scene to his right is blurred. But, as it focuses, if you look into the crowd of Grunts, you will see Jason Jones floating there in his underwear.
  • There is a Reversed Message in this level.
  • If you manage to keep any one of your Marines alive until the "Mausoleum Battle," take away their long range weapons and they'll take a break and watch the battle if you don't join it. They will even make comments about it on rare occasions such as; "Those Brutes are done for!" or; "Wow, did you see that guy?!"


  • The insects scrambling on the Floor near the Central Gravity Lift are rumored to be the grub that are mentioned in Chapter 6 of Contact Harvest due to the fact that Grunts are sleeping all around them.
  • The popular "Mario Death Scream" from the Halo 3 Beta can be first heard on this level upon falling to your death occasionally.
  • When you reach one of the corridors, the Prophet of Truth says "Thou, in faith, will keep us safe, whilst we find the path." This is the last known sentence of the Elite Writ of Union.
  • Truth says in this level - "There are those who said this day would never come... what are they to say now?" was quoted in the Halo 2 commercial.
  • The song "Blow Me Away" by Breaking Benjamin plays during this level at the point where John-117 reaches the Mausoleum of The Arbiter.


  • You can see birds similar to those in the level Delta Halo flying around High Charity. If shot, they will explode into tatters. The only difference is that these birds are white.
  • Gravemind has only one chapter name in the whole level, "Inside Job," despite the fact that it is the longest level in Halo 2.
  • The Anti-Gravity generators holding up the spires can be destroyed, allowing them to fall. While it seems at first merely a cosmetic effect, these fallen pillars can provide quick cover and can even kill a Brute, Jackal, or Grunt if properly knocked over. Just be sure not to get killed by it yourself.
  • In one of the garden areas there are Covenant Koi.
  • It is possible to jump up to the roof of the council chambers by jumping into the gravity lift at the right moment as it brings a couple of Brutes in to kill you. Jump in at the right time and you will fly up to the top. If you land on the right part of the wall, you won't die, but if you miss, you will fall to your death.
  • It is possible to have four Hunters in the Mausoleum fight between the Separatists and Loyalists. It is suggested to try this on Easy to Heroic, not Legendary. You must force your way through the door leading to the Mausoleum fight without attacking the Separatist reinforcements entering the bridge.
  • If you kill the Brutes before Cortana says "It's Berserking!" she will end the dialogue without saying so.
  • If you swap weapons with the Marine holding a Covenant Carbine, it will have 138 rounds instead of the maximum of 72.
  • It is interesting that Truth says, '... In the Year at hand...,' because the Covenant does not count time by years, instead they use Units and Cycles. However, since the player is actually hearing Truth's dialog through translation software, it is possible it was altered to fit Human preferences.
  • This is the first level in the trilogy in which you fight Brutes and the last level in which you fight Elites. After this level, the Elites become Separatists and are thus sided with Humans.
  • This level has the largest amount of Hunters in Halo 2, a total of 8.
  • The levels Gravemind and Uprising occur at the same time.


Halo 2[]

Halo 2: Anniversary[]


Preceded by
Quarantine Zone
Halo 2 Campaign Missions
Succeeded by


  1. Halo 2 - Gravemind