Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

Were you looking for the Great Journey, the Covenant belief?

Form an unexpected alliance, keep Tartarus from activating the ring.

The Great Journey is the fifteenth and final campaign level of Halo 2. As Thel 'Vadam, you will fight alongside other Sangheili, and several Mgalekgolo, to reach Tartarus and stop him from activating the rings. You will work alongside a Scarab Tank being controlled by Sergeant Major Johnson to break into to the door of Delta Halo's Control Room where Tartarus is located. Then, you must bring down the Jiralhanae Chieftain, Tartarus.



Scene fades in on Thel 'Vadam and Rtas 'Vadum, who is in a Wraith with its hatch open, conversing. The two are looking towards the Control Room of Delta Halo

  • Thel 'Vadam: "What is that place?"

Focus on 'Vadam:

  • Gravemind (flashback): "There is still time to stop the key from turning."
  • Thel 'Vadam: "I must get inside."
  • Rtas 'Vadum: "Then mount up, Arbiter. I know a way to break those doors."

Vadam turns to face the Control Room as Rtas 'Vadum enters his Wraith and closes the hatch behind him.


Your Ass, My Size-24 Hoof[]

As they travel to where a Scarab is visible, docked up on a ledge:

  • Rtas 'Vadum: "There, Arbiter. That Scarab's main gun will break the Control Room's door. At the far end of the beach there's a passage into the cliff. It'll take you up to the Scarab."

After clearing the area:

  • Rtas 'Vadum: "The Brutes control the cruiser, Arbiter. I'll remain here, make sure no reinforcements get in behind you. Then, I'm going to take the cruiser back!"

Vadam walks into a room with a Sangheili and two Mgalekgolo.

  • SpecOps Sangheili: "The Arbiter? I thought he was dead! Hold your fire. The Hunters have come to our aid, Arbiter. They will fight/stand by our side."

'Vadam fights his way to a room where two Sangheili Councilors and two Mgalekgolo are being held prisoner behind force field doors.

If the SpecOps Sangheili lives at this point and follows you to the room:

  • SpecOps Sangheili: "Free our brothers! Death to the Brutes!"

Once you clear the room, free the Mgalekgolo and Sangheili Councilors, then head to the top floor to the Scarab.

'Vadam and his Sangheili arrive upon a group of Jiralhanae preparing to execute the Marine prisoners.

  • Jiralhanae 1: "Yes, Chieftain. (to other Jiralhanae) A day's ration says I can do this in one cut."
  • Jiralhanae 2: "Two cuts at least."
  • Jiralhanae 1: "Done. Wait, movement!"
  • Jiralhanae 2: "Elite!"
  • Sergeant Major Avery J. Johnson: "Go, go, go!"

Gunnery Sergeant Marcus Stacker and Staff Sergeant Marcus Banks start fighting the Jiralhanae. Johnson jumps into the Scarab and disappears. The Scarab starts moving.



Johnson commandeers the Scarab.

Vadam turns around to see the Scarab's main cannon aimed at him.

  • Sergeant Johnson (COM): "Listen, you don't like me and I sure as hell don't like you."

Cut to Scarab's helm, Johnson at the controls.

  • Sergeant Johnson: "But if we don't do something, Mr. Mohawk's gonna activate this ring. And we're all gonna die."
  • Thel 'Vadam: "Tartarus has locked himself inside the Control Room."
  • Sergeant Johnson (COM): "Well, I just happen to have a key." (The Scarab's cannon opens) "Come on. Grab a Banshee and give me some cover. He's gonna know we're comin'."


Backseat Driver[]

Two Banshees arrive and the Sangheili pilots jump out

  • Sangheili: "Take my Banshee, Arbiter!"

Vadam does so, Johnson fires on enemy Wraiths.

  • Sergeant Johnson (COM): "Ha! How do you like it?!"

They approach the Control Room.

  • Sergeant Johnson (COM): "Stay clear of the doors. Hey, bastards, knock knock!"

If 'Vadam stalls:

  • Sergeant Johnson (COM): "Stay clear of the doors!"
  • Sergeant Johnson (COM): "Are you trying to get killed? Gimme some room!"

If 'Vadam stalls:

  • Johnson (COM): "What, do I have to spell it out for you? MOVE!!!"
  • Johnson (COM): "Hey, listen, I'm gonna count to three. One... two... three! Don't say I didn't warn ya!"

If 'Vadam moves when Johnson is counting:

  • Sergeant Johnson (COM): "Good! Now stay put!"
  • Sergeant Johnson (COM): "Hey, bastards. Knock knock!"

If 'Vadam turns back:

  • Sergeant Johnson (COM): (unamused) "Ha ha, that's real funny. I'm still shootin'!"

The Scarab's cannon fires, destroying Control Room's door. 'Vadam enters the Control Room, runs into some Jiralhanae.

  • Jiralhanae: "Do not let the Arbiter into the chamber! The Chieftain must complete his holy work!"

Vadam either kills the guards or sneaks past them, then heads into the main chamber of control room.

Delusions and Grandeur[]


Tartarus and four Jiralhanae Captains stand in front of the control panel, holding Commander Miranda Keyes and 343 Guilty Spark.

  • Tartarus: "Come, human, it is easy." (He tries to get Keyes to insert the Index) "Take the Icon in your hands... (growls impatiently) And do as you are told!"

He slams the Index on the console, which flashes red lights.

  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Please, use caution! This Reclaimer is delicate."
  • Tartarus: "One more word, Oracle, and I'll rip your eye from its socket!" (he turns to Keyes, pushes her forward)
  • Commander Keyes: (exhales sharply)
  • Tartarus: (soft menacing growl) "Which is nothing compared to what I will do to you."

Vadam walks in.

  • Thel 'Vadam: "Tartarus, stop."
  • Tartarus: (gasps, jerks his neck up in surprise) "Impossible...!"
  • Thel 'Vadam: "Put down the Icon."

Tartarus turns to face 'Vadam.

  • Tartarus: "Put it down? And disobey the Hierarchs?"
  • Thel 'Vadam: "There are things about Halo... even the Hierarchs do not understand."

Jiralhanae step forward menacingly, Tartarus waves them off

  • Tartarus: "Take care, Arbiter. What you say is heresy!"
  • Thel 'Vadam: "Is it? (gently) Oracle, what is Halo's purpose?"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Collectively, the seven—"

Tartarus grabs 343 Guilty Spark and jerks him around and growls.

  • Tartarus: "Not another word!"
  • Sergeant Johnson (off screen): "Please ...

Tartarus lowers 343 Guilty Spark to see Johnson standing next to 'Vadam. He holds a Beam Rifle and aims it directly at Tartarus.

  • Sergeant Johnson: "Don't shake the light-bulb."

Jiralhanae growl and approach

  • Sergeant Johnson: (raises Beam Rifle to Tartarus' head) "If you wanna' keep your brain inside your head, I'd tell those boys to chill."

Tartarus barks as commanded, the Jiralhanae back off.

  • Sergeant Johnson: (to 'Vadam) "Go ahead. Do your thing."
  • Thel 'Vadam: (to Guilty Spark) "The Sacred Rings, what are they?"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Weapons of last resort, built by the Forerunners to eliminate potential Flood hosts, thereby rendering the parasite harmless."
  • Thel 'Vadam: "And those who made the rings? What happened to the Forerunners?"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "After exhausting every other strategic option, my creators activated the rings. They and all additional sentient life within three radii of the galactic center, died, as planned."

Close up on 'Vadam, he lowers his head in sadness.

  • 343 Guilty Spark: (slightly awkward) "Would you... like to see the relevant data?"
  • Thel 'Vadam: (turns his attention back to Tartarus) "Tartarus. The Prophets have betrayed us."

Tartarus pauses, then throws 343 Guilty Spark at Johnson's head, knocking him down. He then grabs Keyes' hand and forces the Index into the console

  • Tartarus: "No, Arbiter! The Great Journey has begun. And the Brutes, not the Elites, shall be the Prophets' escort!"

Tartarus grabs his hammer as his energy shield turns on. The main platform splits into three as Halo charges up.


Sangheili reinforcements show up and wipe out the Jiralhanae Captains. Tartarus jumps to the platforms. Johnson hangs back, firing on Tartarus with his Beam Rifle.

  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Charging sequence initiated. Primary generators coming online."
  • Commander Keyes: "Well, shut them down!"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Apology. Protocol does not allow me to interfere with any aspect of this sequence."
  • Commander Keyes: "Then how do I stop it?"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Well, it will take some time to go over the proper procedures, I—"
  • Commander Keyes: "Quit stalling!"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Under more controlled circumstances, I would suggest the Reclaimer simply remove the Index."
  • Commander Keyes: "That's it? Johnson, I'm on it!"
  • Sergeant Johnson: "Hang tight, ma'am! Not until that Brute is dead! (when knocking off Tartarus' shield for the first time) Hey, Mohawk! How'd that feel?"

If 'Vadam stalls:

  • Tartarus: "You want revenge? Well, here I am. Come and take it!"


  • Tartarus: "What's the matter, Arbiter? Afraid of my little hammer?"

If 'Vadam further stalls:

  • Tartarus: "Just like the rest of your race, cowardly and weak!"

After 'Vadam scores a hit on Tartarus for the first time:

  • Tartarus: (slams his hammer on the ground) "A lucky hit. You shall not land another."
  • Sergeant Johnson: (when knocking off Tartarus' shield for the second time) "His shield is down, let 'em have it!"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Secondary generators charging. All systems are performing well within operational parameters."
  • Commander Keyes: "You're telling me that you cannot stop the sequence?"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Reclaimer, please understand that interrupting the wave generation process will severely damage this installation."
  • Commander Keyes: "Give me a direct answer!"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "I am but a Monitor. The Reclaimer can do as it likes."
  • Sergeant Johnson: (knocking down Tartarus' shield for the third time) "There goes his shield!"

(knocking down Tartarus' shield for the fourth time)

  • Sergeant Johnson: "Got his shield! Hit him now!"

(knocking down Tartarus' shield for the fifth time)

  • Sergeant Johnson: "Quick while his shield is down!"

The fight continues

  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Power generation phase complete. The installation is ready to fire. Starting final countdown."
  • Sergeant Johnson: "Come on, Arbiter! Kick that guy's ass!"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Firing sequence initiated. And may I say, Reclaimers, it has been a pleasure to serve you both. Goodbye."
  • Sergeant Johnson: "I can keep his shield down, but you've gotta finish the job!"

Vadam finally kills Tartarus.



Keyes jumps onto a rotating platform, ducks to avoid one of the other platforms passing right above her, reaches a main platform, and grabs the Index. The entire room shakes, making Keyes hold the Index up to her chest in fear.

Cut to exterior of Control Room. All the built up energy fires into space.

Cut to Halo's exterior, a large pulsing ball of energy is being formed in the center, the shot from the Control Room reaches it, the ball glows, explodes, then dissipates.

Cut to interior of Control Room, which seems to be running on emergency power, as many of the lights are dimmed or not functioning. Keyes stands in front of a holographic depiction, Johnson rides 343 Guilty Spark to her.

  • Commander Keyes: "What's that?"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "A beacon."
  • Commander Keyes: "What's it doing?"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Communicating. At superluminal speeds with a frequency of—"
  • Commander Keyes: "Communicating with what?"
  • 343 Guilty Spark: (a bit surprised) "The... other installations."
  • Commander Keyes: "Show me."
  • 343 Guilty Spark interfaces with the hologram, it depicts the seven Halos, a red message points to one ring (most likely either Installation 05, where they are, or Installation 04, which has been destroyed).
  • 343 Guilty Spark: "Fail-safe protocol: In the event of unexpected shutdown, the entire system will move to standby status. All remaining platforms are now ready for remote activation."
  • Commander Keyes: "Remote activation? From here?"

Johnson and Keyes talking to 343 Guilty Spark.

  • 343 Guilty Spark: (patronizing) "Don't be ridiculous."
  • Sergeant Johnson: "Listen, tinkerbell, don't make me..."

Keyes puts a hand on his shoulder.

  • Commander Keyes: "Then where? Where would someone go to activate the other rings?"

343 Guilty Spark is truly baffled.

  • 343 Guilty Spark: "...Why, the Ark, of course."

Vadam comes up behind Johnson and Keyes.

  • Thel 'Vadam:(walks up to them) "And where, Oracle, is that?"

Fade to black. Fade in on the Forerunner dreadnought exiting Slipspace, and heads straight to Earth. Covenant and UNSC ships are engaging each other.

  • Officer (COM): "We've got a new contact, unknown classification!"

Fade in on interior of Forerunner ship, John-117 listens in.

  • Lord Hood (COM): "It isn't one of ours, take it out."
  • Master Chief: "This is SPARTAN-117, can anyone hear me? Over."

Cut to Cairo Station's bridge, everything looks damaged.

  • Lord Hood: (to officer) "Isolate that signal! Master Chief? You mind telling me what you're doing on that ship?"

Cut to Master Chief.

Fades to black.

Level ends.

Credits play.



Fades in on the Flood-infested High Charity.

A Flood spore floats through the air, the camera pans off to the walkway outside the Council Chamber.

Cut to a damaged door that keeps trying to close, Gravemind's tentacles creep through.

  • Gravemind: "Silence fills the empty grave, now that I am gone."

Cut to Council Chamber, Gravemind's tentacles reach across.

  • Gravemind: "But my mind is not at rest, for questions linger on. I will ask, and you will answer."

Cortana's hologram appears, she holds up her hand, the tentacles stop and move off.

Close-up on Cortana's face

  • Cortana: "All right... shoot."

Fades to black.


Album Cover Soundtrack Song Name Soundtrack Number
Halo2SoundtrackVolumes Halo 2: Original Soundtrack Heretic, Hero 6 (Vol 1)
Impend 8 (Vol 1)


Icon Name Description Value
HTMCC AchievementArt AreWeThereYet Are We There Yet? Beat the par time on The Great Journey. 10Gamerscore
HTMCC AchievementArt FrequentFlyerMiles Frequent Flyer Miles Beat the par score on The Great Journey. 10Gamerscore
HTMCC AchievementArt Obsessed Obsessed Activate Terminal 13 on The Great Journey. 5Gamerscore
HTMCC AchievementArt Pyrrhic Solution Pyrrhic Solution Collect the Didact toy in The Great Journey. 5Gamerscore
HTMCC AchievementArt SkulltakerHalo2BlackEye Skulltaker Halo 2: Black Eye Find and claim the Black Eye skull on Legendary. 5Gamerscore
OtherAcheivement117HTMCC AchievementArt TheGreatJourney The Great Journey Complete the level on Normal, Heroic, or Legendary difficulty. 30Gamerscore (H2V), 10Gamerscore (TMCC)



Main article: Glitches
  • If you are able to keep your Mgalekgolo alive after the fight with the Phantom on the bridge and take them to the next room with the cells holding the Sangheili Councilors and the Mgalekgolo, the Mgalekgolo in the cells will not be there. However, if you finish the battle in the prison then go back and get the Mgalekgolo, you will still have four Mgalekgolo, which is very helpful if the level is being done on legendary. They will not be there only if you've ever played Xbox live, or connected, otherwise, you will be able to have the Mgalekgolo as soon as you force the other two in the prison room.
Tartarus gang

A glitch spawns multiple Johnsons during the fight against Tartarus.

  • If you manage to bring a Spectre into the Control Room, you can get Johnson to ride onto it. If you drive it away towards the entrance and come back, there will be another Johnson in his place. Using this glitch, there can be up to four Johnsons (3 on the Spectre, 1 on the ledge) helping you for the mission which can be useful for taking out Tartarus' shields. In Halo 2: Anniversary, this glitch doesn't work; any attempts to drive Johnson away from the entrance will result in him disappearing and respawning where he started at the beginning of the fight.
  • It is possible to get Rtas 'Vadum and the other Sangheili to go with you into the building. Get Rtas 'Vadume and the Sangheili into the Spectre and drive it into the building then get them out. They will usually follow you, though this could take a few tries.
  • You can jump to the platform where Miranda Keyes is standing and stick her with a plasma grenade. She should run to the platform where Tartarus is. This may take some tries. Tartarus will then attack Keyes repeatedly and she cannot die. Tartarus will be distracted and won't respond to any attacks except melees.
  • Sending Tartarus off the ledge during the final battle will NOT kill him. He will respawn back in the center platform and instantly lock on to you...possibly right behind you.
  • It is possible to get a Banshee into the spot where you fight Tartarus. If you shoot your Banshee's wings after Johnson destroys the door with some maneuvering you can use it to kill the pack of Jiralhanae and their leader. When it goes to the cutscene, you will be ejected out of your Banshee, but if you return to the hallway, it will be there, allowing you to kill Tartarus much easier. This can also be done without destroying the wings and going through the building to get to the control room. To save time, wait for Johnson to blow open the door. Afterward, fly the Banshee around the left side of the tower (near the door, on your right), and the Banshee will be there after the cutscene.
  • If you let Rtas 'Vadum drive the Wraith or Spectre and a Jiralhanae tries to board him, he will never succeed as Rtas 'Vadum is invincible.
  • At the start of the fight with Tartarus, look down to your left and you will see Miranda Keyes standing on the death barrier, but she cannot die. She will stay there for a while and later will appear next to the monitor.
  • The Great Journey Vacation can be done on this level.
  • It is possible to swap weapons with the Sangheili Counselors while they are still in their cells and behind the energy barrier.
  • The Weaponless Brute glitch can be done on this level.


  • Marines interact with the player the same way as they do when the player is John-117, with lines like "Welcome to the party, Chief."  If approached, Stacker, in particular, will say something like "Chief! Glad you could make it!"  in the same way that Johnson does.
  • When inside the Control Room, if the player crouches on the lowest level of the platform, you will hit the death barrier and die instantly.
  • After Tartarus is killed, any surviving Sangheili will still shoot at his body, much like the marines who shoot fallen Covenant.
  • In the cutscene, Johnson's view from the Scarab will show Thel' Vadam holding his weapon in his left hand even though Thel' is right handed.
DSC 0961

The Pillars, as viewed from on top of the mountain behind the control room.

  • There are many unused objects that the developers left in the final level. Take a Beam Rifle and proceed until the part in which you have to escort Johnson's Scarab. Hijack a Spectre or Wraith. Proceed to the area in which Johnson blows open the Control Room door and drive directly into the water. Head towards the island with the Control Room in it. When you reach that island, look for a sloping rock face. Climb it using the Spectre or Wraith, until you are above the water and on dry land. Continue to drive up the island using the boost and the hand brake, when necessary. Then go towards the highest point, either the top of the island's mountain, or the top of the Control Room. Both can be reached by simply boosting and hand braking to the top. Get out the Beam Rifle. Look to the right, then zoom in to x5. In x5 zoom search for something that looks out of place. When you find it in the sky, to the right of you, zoom in to x10. What you are seeing are the pillars from the levels High Charity and Gravemind.
  • In the first shot of the "Delusions and Grandeur" cutscene, three Jiralhanae can be seen. In later shots, four of them are present.

Easter Eggs[]

Main article: Easter Eggs
  • The Black Eye Skull can be found on this level.
  • There is a Heretic Banshee on this level. It will spawn near the cliff where the level starts off if no vehicles are used to reach the Control Room. The player can then use it after "Backseat Driver" begins.
  • On top of the control room's spire is the word "REX" splattered in blood.


  • If the player brings a Beam Rifle to the fight with Tartarus, he or she can snipe him to get rid of his shield and not have to wait for Johnson's to fire.  However, the vulnerability window is significantly shorter.
  • Since the Scarab is invincible, the player does not actually have to defend it.
  • Originally, there was a cutscene at the part of the level where the player is on the Scarab platform in which there was a gathering of Jiralhanae preparing to decapitate Marines. Joseph Staten explained that this cinematic had to be cut because at that time "real world events" made this a bit politically dangerous.
  • This is technically the first level in the Halo series and the only level in Halo 2 in which the Sangheili and the UNSC fight alongside each other.
  • Sergeant Banks and Sergeant Stacker will disappear right after the cutscene. They probably entered the Scarab with Johnson. However, if you kill any of them, their corpses will not disappear after the cutscene.
  • After this level it is unknown what happens to the Fist of Rukt. It might have been destroyed by the Sangheili in disgust since it took the lives of many of their kind. More likely it was simply left behind on Delta Halo. The Final Grunt claims he has it, but as he is trying to convince the player to let him into the Warthog so he can survive, he likely made it up.
  • If the player manages to hijack a Banshee after Johnson destroys the Control Room door, the Jiralhanae pilot will have no weapon and won't attack the player.  If a Banshee is nearby, he will get in one.  However, if the other Jiralhanae (in a Banshee or not) is killed near the first one, the first one will go berserk.
  • This level is ironic in that, being the last Arbiter level, 'Vadam is trying to convince Tartarus about Halo's true purpose, when 'Vadam had silenced the Sesa 'Refumee for saying the same things in the second Arbiter level.
  • If the player boards a Ghost or Wraith at the start of the level, the Jiralhanae will be holding Sangheili Plasma Rifles.
  • The last sentence said by John-117 was used as Halo 3's marketing slogan as "Finish the Fight."
  • If the player flies to Johnson's Scarab and loses the Banshee, towards the end more and more Banshees will strafe the Scarab.  They fly very close to allow the player to hijack one and fly to the control room. If the player is on the ground - near the Scarab's legs - a Sangheili-controlled Banshee will approach and the pilot will offer it to the player.
  • It is interesting to note that on Installation 04, the control room was in a temple in a snowy valley, but on Installation 05, it is in a structure in the ocean near the beach, seemingly complete opposites of each other.
  • Just before the player reaches the Control Room, there will be a flipped Wraith with a weaponless Jiralhanae on top of it below. If the player approaches him, he will let out a grunt and will walk up to the player.  Being unarmed, he is harmless.
  • When Johnson commandeers the Scarab, it starts moving even before he is able to go to the controls. He's only at the leg when the Scarab moves so it should be restricted from the player.  However there is a glitch that allows the player to get inside the Scarab and see Johnson. Johnson will say something like "Glad you could make it, Chief." This is because in every other level that Johnson is an ally, the player is John-117.
  • The Forerunner structure encountered by the unmanned Scarab, is coincidentally designed with almost exactly the same architecture as The Ark Cartographer.
  • It is possible to go through the first part of the level up to where the player escorts Johnson with a Ghost.
  • The beginning portion of the level is extremely similar in design to the Assault On The Control Room in which the player has to fight through a canyon with a group of surviving allies to take control of a structure.
  • The waves of Sangheili during the Control Room battle may seem endless, but eventually the waves of will stop.  At that point, Johnson will shoot faster.
  • This is the only level in the Halo trilogy in which Mgaelekgolo are the player's allies.
  • If Tartarus is killed before the other Jiralhanae, the cutscene will still progress but the Jiralhanae can be seen running around in the background.  This will also occur with Sangheili and other objects.
  • If the player parks a Banshee in the place that Miranda Keyes is running across to get the Icon, she will run through it during the cutscene.
  • If the player gets a shotgun from one of the four Jiralhanae fought immediately after the cutscene opening the boss battle, it is still considered "ineffective" against Jiralhanae.  However, when Jiralhanae are shot, from relatively close range, they will be temporarily stunned. This is especially useful against Tartarus when his shields are down.
  • It is interesting that Mgaelekgolo allies in the level are Covenant Separatists, but in Halo 3 they are Covenant Loyalists.
  • If the player flies the Banshee up and around on the mountain after the Scarab blows up the door, there is a decorative window on top of a medium-sized tower.  Jumping through the window will skip the rest of the level and be instantly "teleported" to the fight with Tartarus.


Halo 2[]

Halo 2: Anniversary[]


Related Pages[]

Preceded by
High Charity
Halo 2 Campaign Missions
The Great Journey
Succeeded by
Halo 2 Credits Arrival