Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

With the Composer in the Didact's possession, Chief and Cortana must destroy the device before he turns on his next target.

Midnight is the eighth and final campaign level of Halo 4. It was first announced along with the rest of the achievements for Halo 4.[1] This is the only mission in Halo 4 where the F-41 Broadsword is used and where the Gravity Hammer appears, allowing players to get the Chief, Smash! achievement.

In The Master Chief Collection the par time is 25 Minutes and the par score is 25,000.



Screen fades and pans right to reveal a Broadsword. Camera changes angle. A hatch opens up and a bomb floats up to the Broadsword, camera zooms in to reveal the bomb is a HAVOK Nuke. The Broadsword is released, and with Chief as the pilot, flies out of the hanger. Screen fades to black.

Screen fades to the Ur-Didact's ship with Chief speeding up behind him. Camera changes into the cockpit of the Broadsword.

  • Cortana: "Approaching the Didact's ship in two hundred kilometers."
  • Cortana: "Once we get onboard, we'll find the bridge."

The Didact opens a slipspace portal.

  • MCPO John-117: "He's on the move again."
  • Cortana: "The fighter's shields aren't rated for slipspace!"
  • Master Chief: "No, but the Didact's are."

Chief boosts to the Didact's ship and gets below the shield just in time before the ship enters slipspace.


  • Cortana: "Broadsword's hull integrity is stable. We'll be safe as long as we stay below the Didact's shields."
  • Master Chief: "Where's the Composer?"
  • Cortana: "Close. I should be able to guide us to it."
  • Didact: "You have not been composed. Such inoculation should have not been possible."
  • Cortana: "Locking onto his transmission... he's at the Composer. We can take them both out at once."

Chief continues to avoid and dodge obstacles and take out turrets for some time.

  • Cortana: "Cherenkov Radiation fluctuating. We're coming out of Slipspace."

Mantle's Approach exits slipspace above Earth.

  • FLEETCOM: "At current velocity, hostile will achieve Earth orbit in approximately 4 minutes."
  • UNSC Infinity: "Roger. Battlegroup Dakota, close on the Forerunner vessel."
  • Cortana: "Infinity must have warned them!" 
  • Master Chief: "Sierra-117 to UNSC Infinity. Captain Del Rio, do you read?"
  • CDR Thomas Lasky: "Chief, it's Lasky. Is that you?"
  • Master Chief: "Affirmative, sir. Where's the Captain?"
  • Lasky: "FLEETCOM didn't take too kindly to his abandoning you on Requiem. I'm afraid I'll have to do."
  • Master Chief: "The Didact's got the Composer. We're in a Broadsword carrying a Havok-grade payload. On approach to deliver it."
  • Lasky: "Let's see if we can grease the wheels for you. All ships, prepare to engage!"

The Broadsword maneuvers through a tight tunnel filled with spires. Walls inside shift to block its path. Outside, the Broadsword must unlock further gates and clear anti-air defenses.

  • Lasky (COM): "Chief, the Battlegroup's moving forward to engage, but at the rate the Didact's ship is advancing, he'll reach the wire in T-minus two minutes."
  • John-117: "Commander, direct all your ships to the Composer."
  • Lasky (COM): "Copy that, Chief."
  • The next tunnel is larger, but has more anti-air turrets. The Broadsword clears these and moves on.
  • Fleetcom Watch (COM): "Orbital Defense Command, this is FleetCom. Hostile inbound. Proceed to Condition Red."
  • Orbital Defense (COM): "This is Earth Orbital Defense! MAC defense ineffective against enemy vessel. It's still approaching."
  • The Broadsword flies through a series of laser gates, which move up and down and are lethal to touch.
  • Lasky (COM): "Infinity to FleetCom! Battlegroup has reached Didact's ship."
  • Fleetcom Watch (COM): Captain Lasky, you are clear to engage.
  • The Broadsword clears a chain of gates, then reaches a tunnel whose interior grows smaller and smaller. After flying through it, it arrives at the Mantle's Approach's main weapon.

From the Cradle[]

H4 Campaign BattlegroupDakota Screenshot2

Battlegroup Dakota over the Mantle's Approach.

The new area is round and surrounded by particle cannons. A tunnel at the center leads down to the interior of the ship, but begins to close off.

  • Cortana: "There it is… No, wait!"
  • John-117: "Infinity, the Didact just closed off our entrance to the Composer."
  • Lasky (COM): "We could try punching a hole in that hull plating, but Infinity won't be able to get a clear shot with all that flak."
  • John-117: "We'll take care of the guns."

The Broadsword destroys a beacon at the center of the arena, which shuts off the cannons forming hazards on the floor. It then destroys the energy source inside one of the cannons.

  • Lasky (COM): "Whatever you're doing's working! Clear up the approach and Infinity could drop in to punch a hole for you."

The Broadsword shuts down the second cannon.

  • Cortana: "Two cannons neutralized. Two to go!"

The Broadsword takes out the third cannon.

  • Cortana: "Only one gun left."
  • Lasky (COM): "Copy, Cortana. Weapons, prepare firing solution! We promised to get John inside that ship, and I am not about to let that man down!"

The Broadsword destroys the final cannon.


John and Cortana's Broadsword zooms out of the firing area.

  • John-117: "That's the last one. Infinity, you're clear."

Cut to the Infinity, positioning itself to face the Didact's ship.

  • Lasky (COM): "Roger that, Chief. You might want to back up a little. Main battery, fire!"

Infinity fires twin fore weapons, which strike the front of the Mantle's Approach and create a hole leading to the interior. Chief's Broadsword flies back to enter the ship.

  • John-117: "Clean hit. We're proceeding to insertion."
  • Lasky (COM): "Acknowledged. We'll be on station if you need us. Make sure you give the Didact our regards. Infinity out."

The fighter curves around and dives inside the still-burning hole. Inside it's dark and a tight fit. A wall tries to close to block John's way.

  • Cortana: "Chief, look out!

The Broadsword spins out of the wall's way. More walls start closing in to stop their fighter. Cut to the Broadsword's cockpit. John can see the tunnel growing tighter and tighter.

  • Cortana: "I don't think this is going to end well!"

Cut to black as the fighter crashes. Fade in and pan back to it, as John jumps out. Cortana: "Now what do we do?" John turns around and carefully removes the warhead from the missile. He then locks it onto the back of his armor and grabs his assault rifle.

  • John-117: "Plan B."

As John walks away, cut to black.

…To the Grave[]


John heads down a tunnel; moments later his HUD tints purple and begins to flicker with static. Cortana's image appears on a side screen. Multiple waypoints are listed on John's HUD

  • Cortana: (voice squeaking and distorted) "Chief, I know I'm supposed to know what to do, but…
  • John-117: "We'll have to deploy the warhead manually. How and where?"
  • Cortana: "I always know what to do. I always know what to do! …Just give me a second."
  • John-117: "Keep scanning for the Composer. We'll figure it out along the way."

John's HUD turns back to normal. He then engages several enemies. Promethean Knights are encountered in the next room.

  • Didact: "Where reason does not stop you, perhaps force can at least delay you."

More Knights are fought in a room with two doors.

  • Cortana: "I recommend entering the doorway to your left."

John jumps down a shaft, his descent slowed by a gravity lift.

  • Cortana: "I won't leave you! I promise! (in the background simultaneously) I will always take care of you."

John lands and Cortana's face returns to his HUD. Cortana: "Still good for something, I guess. I detected an energy signature up ahead. I think it's a transit system like on Requiem. Find a way to access it." John goes down the hallway to find a room with a large chasm. The platform at the end has an activation port. John's visor flickers purple again.

  • Cortana: "I'll try to route us to the Composer. Put me in the system."

John plugs her into the system. Cortana briefly appears then fades to a glowing sphere, flickering white and red.

  • Didact: "Is this the secret you've kept from me? This… evolved ancilla?"
  • Cortana: "Didact knows I'm in the system. Hurry! Go!"

John passes through the opened portal to another room. This hallway is filled with Crawlers.

  • Cortana: "Portal…"
  • Didiact: "I sense your malfunctioning companion, Human. And yet, she eludes me."

John passes through the portal at the end to another room with several portals.

  • Cortana: "Can't fight… Didactand… myselfsi-mul-ta-neously! Opening another portal…"

John travels higher up into the room until he reaches it. The next room is an armory. A whispering Cortana can be heard in the background.

  • Cortana: "I'm sorry, I can't control what my processes are doing. The stronger threads keep reprioritizing themselves over me. (in the background simultaneouslyJohn, our mother needs us!"
  • John-117: "What about the Didact?"
  • Cortana: "I can't hide much longer… I'll try to move you to the Composer again."

After stocking up, John passes through the portal and arrives at the previous room.

  • Cortana: "Portal open! Far side of the room!"

John reaches the portal, but the next room is not at the Composer.

  • John-117: "Where are you?
  • Cortana: "The Didact's cloaking the Composer from me!

Promethean troops arrive.

  • Cortana: "Reinforcements! Hold them off while I locate the Composer."

An infinite wave of Crawlers charges the player from the bridges.

  • Cortana: "I'm taking control of the local defense turrets."

Two Focus Turrets slowly charge and fire at the Crawlers. Cortana finishes and her image appears for the player to reclaim her.

  • Cortana: "I've got it. I locked him out of the system but I don't know for how long!"

If John stalls:

  • Cortana: "Pick me up and I'll take us to the Composer."

If John stalls further, Cortana will repeat these lines at random:

  • Cortana: "Over here! Come get me!"
  • Cortana: "I just want to help you. Please!"
  • Cortana: "You think I'll just let you go off all by yourself?"
  • Cortana: "Please don't leave me!"
  • Cortana: "You can't do this alone. Not this time."

John retrieves Cortana and runs down a bridge to the portal at the end. Turrets lining the bridge assist him.

  • Cortana: "The Composer's on the other side of this portal."

John teleports and walks into a gravity lift, which takes up several stories. His HUD flickers purple again.

  • John-117: "How do we get over there?"
  • Cortana: "Conveyor lift, end of the ramp. If we time it right, our momentum should carry us through the low gravity."

At the end of the platform is a man cannon. John runs into it, and he shoots forward through a tunnel to float into a large room. In its center is the machine channeling the Composer. John's HUD flickers during the trip.

  • Cortana: "Chief, once that warhead is primed, the window for getting out of here is going to be pretty slim."
  • John-117: "I know."

The room's roof opens up, revealing Earth in the sky above. An enormous slipspace portal forms in the chasm below the machine.

  • Didact: "And so, you come at last."
  • Cortana: "Activity! Significant slipspace event, building under the Composer."
  • John-117: "He's powering it up."

John lands on a platform with a hallway leading further in. After he passes through the door, he sees an orange energy shield now surrounding the Didact and his machine. The shield is projected by two beams at opposite ends of the room.

  • Cortana: "The Didact's shielded himself inside the Composer. The nuke won't do us any good unless we can disable that barrier. Find me a terminal."


John plugs her into a terminal at the end of the platform. Cortana's image appears, now flickering badly.

  • Cortana: "I've got to do something you're not going to like."

Cortana screams and her body contorts in pain. Each time she steps to the side, another Cortana comes out of her and disappears into the terminal. John then retrieves her.


  • John-117: "What did you just do?"
  • Cortana: "I ejected my rampant personality spikes into the system. If I do that at each of those beams, the copies can overwhelm the Composer's shielding."

John rides a man cannon to another platform.

  • Cortana: "Get ready!"

After fighting through many Prometheans, John reaches the platform's terminal.

  • Cortana: "Now! Before the Didact sends reinforcements."

John plugs her in and Cortana splits herself again.

  • Cortana: "That's it. It's working."

One beam powering the shields shuts off. John rides to another platform.

  • Didact: "You humans sought the Didact; you will have him."
  • Cortana: "Chief, his ship's in range! Once we get the barrier down, you need to get the nuke in there fast!"

More Prometheans pour in to stop the two of them.

  • Cortana: "Hurry, run, go! Merge me into the vessel!"

John plugs her into the terminal. Cortana splits herself one more time, then turns to see the shield disappear.



The Composer firing.

The shield around the Composer flickers out, but the beam of the weapon itself is active. Cut to the Didact, fully armored and standing in front of the beam.

  • Didact: "And yet, still you fail."

With a wave of his hand, the Composer activates and fires at Earth, seen above. The beam strikes in the North American southwest. Didact rises into the beam itself, while enormous energy from it is seen surging below the machine. Cortana turns to face John. John tries to retrieve her but the terminal suddenly disintegrates, knocking John away and draining his shields.

  • John-117: "Cortana!"


John stands up and retrieves his weapons. As he runs down the platform, he can hear Cortana whispering in the background. The phrases play at random.

  • Cortana: (whispering) "Save me." 
  • Cortana: (whispering) "Destroy it."
  • Cortana: (whispering) "Take it to the core. Destroy it."
  • Cortana: (whispering) "I always take care of you."
  • Cortana: (whispering) "We will light this."
  • Cortana: (whispering) "Place the bomb in the core."

John returns to the original platform via a man cannon and fights off more Prometheans. Midway through, his HUD flickers more violently than more.

  • Cortana: [rampant] "Prime the nuke... Sa-a-a-ve them. Destroy the Composer."

The current objective notice appears on John's HUD, but rather than an objective, it is a message from Cortana: "It's alright. But you must hurry…" John reaches the gravity lift at the end and is lifted to the light bridge. He runs down it to reach the machine at the end.


John cautiously walks down the bridge, keeping an eye out for the Didact. Looking into the beam, he sees the Didact inside vanish. He continues to walk forward, then turns and aims his BR85 Heavy Barrel Service Rifle when he hears the Didact speak.

  • Didact: "You persist too long after your own defeat."

John levels his weapon, but can't see the Didact anywhere. Seemingly alone, he cautiously backs away then continues down the bridge. Behind him, the Didact floats down.

  • Didact: "Come then, Warrior. Have your resolution."

John turns to fire on him but the Didact telekinetically bats him away. John's battle rifle falls off the bridge and the nuke falls toward the end of it. John skids to a stop, turns to look at the Didact, then at the nuke. He charges toward the latter, but the Didact again telekinetically stops his lunge. The Forerunner lifts him midair and floats John towards him, removing his own helmet as he does so.

  • Didact: "So misguided."

The Didact floats John off the edge of the bridge. John is unable to do anything to free himself. His shield flickers from the constraint.

  • Didact: "Humanity's imprisonment is a kindness."

He tightens his fist, and John begins to choke. Hearing a strange whispering, the Didact looks and sees multiple Cortanas rising from his light bridge.

  • Cortana(s): "In that case, you won't mind if we return the favor."
  • Didact: "Your compassion for mankind is misplaced."
  • Cortana(s): "I'm not doing this for mankind."

The Cortanas leap into his armor and form chains of light that hold down his arms. The Didact loses his grip on John, who falls and manages to catch the edge of the light bridge. He looks up.

{Gameplay/quick time event}

John struggles to climb up the edge. His shields are down and don't recharge. After looking down at the Composer's slipspace energy below, he pulls himself up and pulls out a Pulse Grenade. The Didact is still struggling to free himself. John dashes toward him and plants the grenade on his chest. The Didact breaks free and punches him away at that moment, but the chains still impede his legs, keeping him from reaching John. The Didact again strangles John using the constraint field, and the Spartan is about to lose his breath when the pulse grenade detonates. The Didact reels from the blast and falls off the bridge, dropping into the swirling energy below (If the player failed to plant the grenade on Didact, Didact will throw John off the bridge, and the game reverts to last checkpoint). John looks down after him then groans as he crawls to the HAVOK bomb. He tires and eventually can only pull himself with his arms. Grabbing the nuke and priming it, he looks up at the beam firing on Earth and decides there's no time to escape. With a loud cry, John punches the bomb to make it immediately explode. Fade to white as the nuke detonates.


Master Chief and Cortana in the Void

Chief and Cortana, meeting for the last time.

John comes to inside a purple bubble, which seems to be made out of hard light. He looks around him then stands on his feet.

  • John-117: "Cortana? Cortana, do you read? Cortana, come in."

Johns turns around and sees Cortana striding towards him. Her body is made out of hard light, and she's now as tall as a real human being. The two of them walk towards each other.

  • John-117: "How…?"
  • Cortana: "Oh, I'm the strangest thing you've seen all day?"
  • John-117: "But if we're here-"
  • Cortana: "It worked. You did it. Just like you always do."

Cortana smiles. John looks around the bubble curiously.

  • John-117: "So how do we get out of here?"

Cortana looks down at the floor a little gravely.

  • Cortana: "I'm not coming with you this time."
  • John-117: "…what?"
  • Cortana: "Most of me is down there. I only held enough back to get you off the ship."
  • John-117: "No. That's not-! We go together."
  • Cortana: "It's already done."
  • John-117: "I am not leaving you here."
  • Cortana: "John…"
  • Cortana walks up to him and touches his breastplate. The spot glows in response.
  • Cortana: "(sighs) I've waited so long to do that."

John looks away.

  • John-117: "It was my job to take care of you."
  • Cortana: "We were supposed to take care of each other. And we did."

John looks up. Cortana smiles sadly.

  • John-117: "Cortana. Please."

Cortana begins to back away, out of the bubble.

  • John-117: "Wait."
  • Cortana: "Welcome home, John."

Cortana steps out of the bubble and vanishes forever. Cut to John, staring at where she was as the Didact's ship crumbles around him. Fade to white, then cut to black.


Extra dialogue in the ending scene between Cortana and John-117 was cut. The dialogue was portrayed in the motion capture performance but was not included in the final release.[2]


Album Cover Soundtrack Song Name Soundtrack Number
Halo 4 OST cover Halo 4: Original Soundtrack Sacrifice 18 (Vol. 2)
117 12
Arrival 13


Icon Name Description Value
H4Achievement08 Midnight Completing the level on Normal, Heroic, or Legendary difficulty. 10G
H4Achievement25 Chief, Smash! Kill three Crawlers in one hit with the Gravity Hammer during the eighth campaign mission. 20G (H4), 10G (TMCC)



  • Through a glitch, it is possible to get out of the level. The tutorial can be seen here.

Easter Eggs[]

  • There's an easter egg that gives the player three Battle Rifles after shooting two beams of energy in the room before the big room with the hologram in the middle (this room is the one before the one with the gravity hammer and other weapons). If done properly an enemy sentinel will go through the portal and fly to the hologram. After that, the three Battle Rifles will fall from the hologram (This can be done on any difficulty).


  • The segment when you use the Broadsword is very reminiscent of the trench run from Star Wars.


  • At the time Cortana tells the player to insert her to stop the Didact from using the Composer, if one were to stall time, she would gradually get more and more angry, with her last statement being "YOUR KIND WILL BE COMPOSED IF YOU DO NOT ACT."
  • This is the only level where you can pilot the Broadsword and the second time in the series to pilot a space vehicle. The first time was in the Halo: Reach level Long Night of Solace where the player gets to pilot the Sabre.
  • This is the only level in the Halo 4 campaign where the player does not spawn with an Assault Rifle as one of their weapons.
  • Because the player is in control while Mantle's Approach is in Slipspace en route to Earth from Installation 03, a distance of what could be hundreds or even thousands of light years, it can be said that this level features the furthest distance traveled in the entire Halo series during actual gameplay.
  • The way the pulse grenade knocks Didact off the light bridge at the end of the level suggests the Pulse Grenade has an alternate function.
  • Many small antennae can be destroyed or rammed by the player with no adverse affect during the Broadsword flight.


Concept Art[]