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They are the approximate counterparts of the Sangheili Ultra rank, often leading groups of lesser Jiralhanae, Unggoy, and Kig-Yar in field combat. However, their shielding is much weaker than that of a Sangheili Ultra, and slightly stronger than that of a Sangheili Minor. Their physical resistance compensates for this weakness. In terms of hierarchy, they are equivalent to a UNSC Land Captain as they appear to lead a company of Jiralhanae like UNSC Ground Captains do.
In Halo 3, they also appear to play some sort of ceremonial rank.
Appearances of Jiralhanae Captains in the Halo 3 campaign vary based on the difficulty played, but some appear in certain levels regardless.
Jiralhanae Captains are more tactical and significantly tougher than their lesser brethren, and they will hold their ground more often. The armor they wear is much stronger than the standard Jiralhanae warrior and is much more effective. Their combat effectiveness, is due to more experience in the field and the use of heavy weapons.
They wear the standard Jiralhanae warrior partial body armor in Halo 2, but are shown with a small red flag extending from their back or shoulder. In Halo 3, they can be seen with full-body Power Armor with large, similarly-colored headdresses showing their rank instead of the flags.
In Halo 3 they wear purple-blue armor with a silvery hue. The right shoulder-pad worn by Captains in Halo 3 is identical to the shoulder pads of regular Jiralhanae Major and Ultras. The left shoulder, however, is more intricate, somewhat resembling that worn by Tartarus in Halo 2. Captains also wear plating on their forearms, and have heavier thigh armor than regular Jiralhanae.
In Halo 2, the standard and iconic armament of the Jiralhanae Captain is the Brute Shot and it is almost exclusively wielded by Captains. However, they will occasionally wield Brute Plasma Rifles (in Halo 2 only) Covenant Carbines, or Shotguns at various times. In Halo 3, their range of weaponry differs, and in addition to the Brute Shot, they wield both the Spiker and the Plasma Rifle.
The Jiralhanae Captain sports more defenses than the standard Jiralhanae, and is therefore more difficult to engage, especially on higher difficulty settings. Their primary tactics are to bombard an enemy at range with the high-caliber explosive projectiles from the Brute Shot and they also sport a ferocious melee attack at close range, making the options available to the player limited when encountering a Jiralhanae Captain.
The safest option is to use the Particle Beam Rifle from long range, although it takes several headshots to penetrate the thick helmet and skull of the Jiralhanae Captain, although the player may choose to resort to the M6C Magnum, Covenant Carbine, or BR55 Heavy Barrel Service Rifle, those three weapons are effective against Jiralhanae Captains. At close range the Energy Sword and the Shotgun are recommended. A preferable tactic when approaching any Jiralhanae Captain with a shotgun is to put a quick burst into their chest and quickly follow up with a beat-down to the face. This tactic can kill a Jiralhanae Captain with efficiency. They are the only Jiralhanae that, when killed, can trigger a Suicide Unggoy.
Jiralhanae Captain vs. Jiralhanae Bodyguard
The Jiralhanae Captains and the common Jiralhanae Bodyguard look similar (especially in dim lighting), however there are slight differences in their Power Armor color. The Jiralhanae Captains have a violet colored armor, whilst the Bodyguards have a more indigo color. It can be difficult to tell in the heat of battle, due to the fact that the armor shape is identical for both.
Halo 2: Anniversary