Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

The SPARTAN-II augmentation procedures were a series of biochemical and biomechanical manipulations applied to SPARTAN-II Conscripts at the onset of puberty.


Human biochemical experiments and enhancement procedures have been a part of society dating back to the 20th century. Their gains have attracted widespread attention in the hopes of improving human strength and endurance. Military experimentation of such enhancements has always been limited for the sake of moral and ethical concerns. However, as technology improved and as scientists continued to understand the human body, advancements paved the way for the eventual use of body enhancement chemicals.

The first bio-engineering protocol was established to help humans adjust to long duration spaceflight and different planetary environmental conditions, and subsequently for interplanetary war.[1] The fruition of such procedures to help create a superior soldier did not solidify until the limited success of the ORION Project, which would pave the way for the success of the SPARTAN-II Program.


Procedure Description Risk(s)
Carbide Ceramic Ossification Advanced material grafting onto skeletal structures to make bones virtually unbreakable. Recommended coverage not to exceed 3% total bone mass because of significant white blood cell necrosis.[2] Specific risk for pre-and near-postpubescent adolescents: skeletal growth spurts may cause irreparable bone pulverization.[2]
Muscular Enhancement Injections Protein complex is injected intramuscularly to increase tissue density and decrease lactase recovery time.[2] Five percent (5%) of test subjects experience a fatal cardiac volume increase.[2]
Catalytic Thyroid Implant Platinum pellet containing human growth hormone catalyst is implanted in the thyroid to boost growth of skeletal and muscle tissues.[2] Rare instances of Elephantiasis. Suppressed sexual drive.[2]
Occipital Capillary Reversal Submergence and boosted blood vessel flow beneath the rods and cones of the subject's retina. Produces a marked visual perception increase.[2] Retinal rejection and detachment. Permanent blindness.[2]
Superconducting Fibrification of Neural Dendrites Alteration of bioelectrical nerve transduction to shielded electronic transduction. 300% increase in subject reflexes. Anecdotal evidence of marked increase in intelligence, memory, and creativity.[2] Significant instances of Parkinson's Disease and Fletcher's Syndrome.[2]


Although the subject was in a state of unconsciousness, where the subject should not have felt any pain, the effects of the augmentation procedures produced excruciating pain. Physiological stress of the augmentations could have lead to cardiac arrest,[3] in addition to cross-chemical complications that could result in augmentation failure.

Each procedure was marked with its own unbearable pain. The carbide ceramic ossification was said to feel like the subject's bones were breaking, as if their marrow was made of glass and was being shattered.[4][5] The catalytic thyroid implant and muscular enhancement injections produce extraordinary pain as if the subject's veins had been injected with napalm,[5][6] as well as pulsating, and the feeling of them being torn out of the subjects skin. The effect of the muscles increasing in density is said to feel like the entire body was on fire mixed with the feeling of plate glass shattering and being worked into the subject's body.[6] The superconducting fabrication of neural dendrites was said to feel like fire was burning along the subject's nerves on their spines.[4]

The side effects of completing the augmentations varied, as the subject's brain re-learned how to move their body with faster reflexes and stronger muscles. The subject may have experienced neurological confusion that included falling over, exaggerated reflexes, and difficulty grabbing and holding objects. The subject could have experienced bleeding eyes, intense pain, constant headaches, and aches in the bones.[7]

As time went on, the side effects for successful subjects diminished either completely or to the point where it was considered mild. One observed physical effect; the result of being fed growth hormone supplements, many SPARTANs were exceptionally tall and heavy. Heights exceeding two meters were practically ubiquitous among them and weights in excess of 200 pounds were common.[8][9]


Only a few months after augmentation procedures, the SPARTAN-IIs were noted of being capable of running at speeds exceeding 55 km/h or 34.2 mph.[10] Kelly-087 was capable of running even faster than this speed. Later, during the Human-Covenant war, while in her Mark V Mjolnir Armor, Kelly-087's top speed was recorded at 62 km/h or 38.5 mph.[11] John-117 has been noted to briefly run at 105 km/h or 65.2 mph during a Mjolnir Mark V training exercise. However, his Achilles tendon was torn because the strain put on his body was unsustainable.[12]

The SPARTAN-IIs are capable of lifting three times their body weight, which is double the normal weight of an average human due to the ceramic bone augmentations, in addition to their increased muscle density.[10] Cal-141 was capable of negating a Jiralhanae Chieftain's Gravity Hammer swing with a single hand, dodging multiple retaliatory swings using her enhanced strength to jump great heights, and wound the massive adversary with a few punches and kicks.[13] During the Battle of Installation 04, John-117 was able to use his enhanced strength to kill a Special Ops Sangheili with a single punch.[14] During the events on the planet Onyx in 2552, Will-043 used his enhanced strength to engage a Hunter pair in hand-to-hand combat, and succeeded in killing one by tearing the worms from its bruised body.[15] In the same battle, Kelly-087 engaged three Sangheili Major/Minor Elites in hand-to-hand combat, snapping the wrist of one Elite, taking his energy sword, and cutting two other approaching Elites in half with a single swing.[16] Later in 2553, during the boarding of the Piety, Naomi-010 defeated a Jiralhanae with a single uppercut, breaking its spine in the process.[17] During the Battle of the Rubble in 2535, Adriana-111 used her enhanced strength to lift a Mongoose by the handle bars and ram several Grunts with it. She followed up her maneuver by using the mongoose as an improvised hammer, smashing three Grunts into the ground, pulverizing them in the process.[18]

A SPARTAN-II's reaction time, while impossible to chart accurately, is estimated to be twenty milliseconds. Their reaction times are significantly faster in combat situations or with A.I. assistance.[10][19] The reaction times of the SPARTAN-IIs are so fast that they are able to think, react and see things happen in slow motion. This phenomenon is nicknamed "SPARTAN Time" by Kelly-087.[20] SPARTAN-IIs are also known for their sharp eyesight being able to virtually see in the dark.[10] Jerome-092 demonstrated this on the Banished ship “Enduring Conviction” making light work of the sangheili in the area with limited visibility.

The thirty-three SPARTAN-IIs that were able to accomplish all this are without any serious physiological or mental instabilities.[21]

Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez states after the augmentations that the SPARTANs will only get better as they adjust to the augmentation.[10] Therefore, many of the SPARTANs attributes have increased through time. Despite the impressive feats the surviving SPARTANs performed, many of the fourteen year old candidates died or "washed out" as a result of the augmentations. Rather than be buried or cremated their bodies were cryogenically preserved with the hopes of one day reviving these candidates.[22] Experimental rehabilitation programs were performed on more than 80% of the washouts. The result of these programs, however, has yet to be determined.[23] The augmentation procedures performed on the SPARTAN-IIs paved the way for Project CHRYSANTHEMUM and thus for the "disposable" SPARTAN-IIIs.