Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

At X06, the Halo 3 Announcement Trailer was shown. Unlike the Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 trailers, the trailer is in widescreen, HD (high-definition). Cortana's final line within the trailer seems to reference the first of the Cortana Letters.


H3 Cortana
Chief Visor

The Ark's Portal reflected on John-117's visor.

Fade in from white to ruins at the edge of New Mombasa. A comical warning sign depicting a Grunt crossing swings in the wind. The camera slowly pulls back as a gust of wind kicks up a cloud of sand. A flash of blue light flows toward and past the camera, a partial image of Cortana visible.

Cortana: (distorted) "...I have defied gods and demons..."

Cortana vanishes, and the camera continues to back through ruins. A cloud of smoke rises, along with the storm, distorting the familiar silhouette approaching the camera. Again, a transmission from Cortana flashes by, showing her lips moving realistically.

Cortana: (distorted) "...I am your shield. I am your sword..."

The figure, which is clearly John-117, walks through the smoke, an AR over his shoulder. He stares off to the right. He readies the gun and looks straight ahead. A transmission flashes by showing Cortana's entire face.

Cortana: "I know you. Your past, your future..."

Her face fades away into John. Three Banshees fly toward the camera from behind him. We follow them to see an Covenant Assault Carrier in the foreground with a fairly sizable Covenant fleet in the background. Nine Banshees (whose pilots' identities are hidden from us) are escorting a Phantom. John stands at the edge of a cliff. We follow the Covenant ships to see a massive Forerunner structure in the valley. A hole is in the center, directly beneath the eye of the storm within the raging clouds above. A shockwave sweeps the valley as plates in the structure rise. As soon as the shock wave occurs, the Assault Carriers start moving out of the huge crater. The cliffs start to break away, and John watches his footing. Energy gathers in the center; we see the reflection in John's visor. It fires; fade to white; cut to black.

Cortana: (voice over) "This is the way the world ends."

The Halo 3 logo is shown, folllowed by the Bungie logo, and the trailer ends with:

Finish The Fight


Album Cover Soundtrack Song Name Soundtrack Number
H3 Cover OriginalSoundtrack Halo 3: Original Soundtrack Finish the Fight 31


Ark concept

A storyboard image.

800px-Grunt 360 PNG

An Easter Egg image.

  • If you listen carefully, when Cortana speaks, a voice similar or identical to the Gravemind is saying the same words. This steadily becomes less and less obvious as the video goes on; by the time she says, "This is the way the world ends," the second voice is completely absent.
  • Cortana looks much different than in the final game. She actually looks more like her Halo 2 model. It is possible that this was used as a placeholder, as Cortana's Halo 3 model may not have been finalised by the time this trailer was shown to the public.
  • In the beginning, you can see an Easter egg - a "Grunt crossing" sign. Bungie replies - "The New Mombasa City Council had an incredibly efficient public works department until and even during the tragic and devastating Covenant invasion." [citation needed]
  • The enormous hole in the swirling clouds above the middle of the structure in the crater is, according to Bungie, caused by strong, unseen forces from the structure itself.
  • It was revealed in Halo 3 that the announcement is an early build of the final scene of the level The Storm.
  • When the Announcement Trailer was first revealed, Halo 2's plot had implied that The Ark was located on Earth and this trailer was believed to be depicting its activation of the Halo Array, until the plot of Halo 3 revealed that it was actually the Portal, which would lead to the actual Ark.
  • Cortana's final line in the trailer references the Cortana Letters, a series of cryptic e-mails sent to marathon.bungie.org (a sister site of halo.bungie.org) as a publicity stunt before Halo: Combat Evolved's announcement during Steve Jobs's keynote at the Macworld Expo in 1999. The full line from the Cortana Letters is "...your poet Eliot had it all wrong: this is the way the world ends." This references T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men, whose final stanza (perhaps the most quoted of all of Eliot's work) goes:
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

External links[]