Your orders are to destroy Sword Base... Or are they?
The level begins on August 29, 2552. It takes place around the destroyed Sword Base, as well as in an interior cavern underneath the facility that was kept a secret.
Noble Team is ordered to destroy Sword Base in a torch-and-burn op. Noble Six and a small strike force of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers infiltrates Sword Base to take out Covenant anti-air turrets so reinforcements can land. On their way to the facility, the team finds an operational Scorpion Tank that they use to fight through Covenant forces around Sword Base. Meanwhile, the Falcons carrying the rest of Noble Team land at Sword Base and begin the assault.
Noble Six arrives at Sword Base, and the entire team pushes through to a set of pre-arranged coordinates. However, there is nothing there. Auntie Dot receives a set of revised coordinates from an AI of unknown origin, and a hidden door slides back to reveal an excavation tunnel. Noble Team rides a cart down the tunnel, where they find a large Forerunner cavern.
On the way down, Dr. Halsey reveals herself as the one who orchestrated their arrival. She asks for their assistance in defending her lab while she decrypts final information from the Forerunner ruins.
Noble Team uses Wolf Spider turrets to defend the lab as the Covenant begin their attack. They engage in an open firefight against incoming waves of Covenant and after a period of time, Dr. Halsey opens the doors to the lab.
Noble Team walks into the lab, revealing a large, glowing Forerunner artifact in the center. Dr. Halsey tells them about a great discovery that could change the tide of the war, and stresses that it is imperative that they get the information off-planet. She then shows them Cortana, who is revealed to be the AI that sent them the revised coordinates. She stores Cortana in a data storage unit and gives it to Noble Six, whom Cortana has chosen. Jun leaves to escort Halsey to CASTLE Base, while the rest of Noble Team gets into a Pelican to fly to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn that is awaiting their arrival. As they depart, a large underground explosion destroys Sword Base, denying the Covenant access to whatever remains of their research.
Sword Base, Babd Catha Ice Shelf, Eposz
August 29, 2552 26:16 Hours
Fades in to the burnt and destroyed landscape outside Sword Base, in the Farragut Station area. A Falcon flies overhead as Noble Six walks out from a small hill. Six walks down the rocky terrain.
- Colonel Holland (COM): "We need that base taken out, son. What's your status?"
- Carter-A259 (COM): "Still outside. Thermal on the interior shows standing-room-only. We're gonna have to thin 'em out or we'll be way too popular."
- Colonel Holland (COM): "Copy that, Noble One. Holland out."
Six jumps over some boulders and lands beside three ODSTs.
- Carter-A259 (COM): "We've got a job to do, so let's stay focused and get it done. Six, are you in position?"
- Noble Six: "Affirmative."
- Carter-A259 (COM): "Good. Execute."
Six signals "halt" and then "follow me" with his/her left hand.
Torch and Burn
- Carter-A259 (COM): "Covenant own this sector now, and are defending for a major strike, not a small-group infiltration. Eliminate all hostile anti-air defense so the rest of Noble can land at Sword Base for the torch-and-burn. Keep a low profile, we'll take 'em by surprise, this'll be a helluva lot easier."
- ODST Sergeant: "Spartan, we'll follow you."
The team moves down to the flooded Farragut Station in front of a Covenant outpost, comprising of a deployable lookout tower, Shades, a Ghost, and a group of infantry. A Falcon has crashed in the water between the generator and transmitter buildings.
- ODST Sergeant: "Falcon down. Watch for bodies."
After clearing the area:
- ODST Sergeant: "Structure's cleared, Lieutenant."
- Emile-A239 (COM): "Kat was right. It does seem like overkill. Sending us back here for a simple demo op?"
- Jun-A266 (COM): "ONI thinks it's worth it. That tell you something?"
- Emile-A239 (COM): "It tells me things ain't so simple."
They come across another deployable lookout tower and a Scorpion hidden from it.
- ODST #2: "Looks like we have a Scorpion still operational, sir."
More towers and Ghosts appear, but are soon eliminated by the team.
- ODST Sergeant: "Ready to get that anti-air whenever you are, sir."
Noble Six clears the area.
- ODST #1: Area secure."
- Carter-A259 (COM): "Get a move on, Noble Six. Our Falcons are standing by."
- ODST Sergeant: "Enemy guns dead ahead, Lieutenant.
- Carter-A259 (COM): "Time to get to work, Noble Six. Take out those guns."
Noble Six destroys the first AA gun.
Carter-A259 (COM): "First target neutralized. Falcons, standby."
After destroying the second anti-air gun:
- Carter-A259 (COM): "Nice job, Six. Falcons, commence descent. Meet you inside the base, Lieutenant."
- ODST #1: "Nice kill, Spartan!"
- ODST Sergeant: "Make sure they pay for Reach."
- ODST #1: "Give 'em hell, Spartan!"
- ODST Sergeant: "They sure gave it to Reach"
Falcons fly over Six and towards Sword Base. Six continues to the Sword Base's gate.
- Carter-A259 (COM): "Noble Team: Falcon group has landed, hostiles engaged. Jun is working on getting the gate open."
- Jun-A266 (COM): "Really missing Kat right about now..."
Six gets to Sword Base's gate area, defended by Covenant troops and vehicles.
- Jun-A266 (COM): "Got it. Gate's opened, boss."
- Carter-A259 (COM): "Six, get over here! Covies all over the base."
Six reaches the gate.
- Emile-A239 (COM): "Tangos, coming from the pad!"
- Jun-A266 (COM): "And the garage!"
- Carter-A259 (COM): "Double time it, Six! Come on!"
If Six stalls at the gate:
- Carter-A259 (COM): "Noble Six, get inside the base!"
Six finally arrives at Sword Base's courtyard. The rest of Noble Team are seen fighting Covenant troops.
- Emile-A239: "Just in time, Six."
- Carter-A259: "Kill 'em all, Noble!"
Noble team finish off the Covenant in the courtyard. They enter the base and clear out the entrance. Noble Team heads to a door at the end of the parking lot.
- Carter-A259: "We'll have to go through maintenance. Elevator's out."
- Emile-A239: "Way this place been done, we're lucky anything still works."
Noble team enters the maintenance hall and climb up a series catwalks, engaging some Jackals on the way, finally arriving at the top and entering the security check, which has been severely damaged.
- Jun-A266: "Where we going now, boss?"
- Carter-A259: "Dot?"
- Auntie Dot: "Please proceed to the prearranged coordinates.”
- Emile-A239: "Cryptic..."
- Auntie Dot: "You know as much as I do, Noble Four."
A door opens, and the team continues into Sword Base's main atrium.
- Auntie Dot: "Coordinates nearby, Commander."
- Carter-A259: "Alright, we're close. Up the ramp, to the right!"
The team eliminates the Elite forces defending the atrium.
The team continues to the coordinates. They come across a door with the ONI emblem on it.
- Carter-A259: "This is it, in here."
Noble Team enters a corridor littered with dead bodies and destroyed equipment. An unmanned turret stands behind some sandbags.
- Jun-A266: "Looks like they got themselves cornered."
- Carter-A259: "Or were committed to the position."
Emile continues through the corridor: a dead end.
- Emile-A239: "I'm going with cornered. There's nothing here."
- Jun-A266: "No load-bearing columns, either. Sir, if we're supposed to blow this place, this ain't the spot to do it from."
Carter accesses his TACPAD.
- Carter-A259: "Dot, check your vector."
- Auntie Dot: "Vector confirmed, Commander. We are precisely where ONI has directed-"
- Auntie Dot: "Apologies. Coordinates revised. Please confirm?"
- Carter-A259: "Revised...?"
- Auntie Dot: "By an AI of unknown origin, whose clearance is well above my own."
- Jun-A266: "Well, it's pointing us a klick and a half east and two thousand feet underground."
- Emile-A239: "I didn't bring my shovel, Commander."
- Jun-A266: "Sir, I say we go AI-free on this one. Obviously, these coordinates are junk, and the longer we go chasing them-"
A sudden grinding noise cuts Jun's sentence off. Everyone raises their weapons. A wall in the dead end opens, revealing a secret passage. Emile stands in front of it, securing the way ahead.
- Carter-A259: "What is this, Dot?"
- Auntie Dot: "Our revised route, Commander."
- Carter-A259: "Alright... We came this far."
Carter signals Jun to take point, and the rest of the team follow them into the hidden corridor. The team continues down the tunnel and find a tram. View turns to a security camera watching Noble Team entering the tram.
- Carter-A259: "Your new AI friend tell you anything else, Dot?...Dot?"
- Auntie Dot: "She's been expecting you."
- Emile-A239: "That's perfect."
The view switchs into the tram as it starts to move. Dr. Halsey appears on a viewscreen.
- Dr. Halsey (Video COM): "Apologies for the unusual security measures, Commander, but the stakes demand it."
- Carter-A259: "Doctor Halsey. Casualty reports have you listed as-"
- Dr. Halsey (Video COM): "Yes, well, as they say, news of my death has been greatly exaggerated. I only wish the same could be said of the rest of Noble Team."
- Carter-A259: "We all do, ma'am."
- Dr. Halsey (Video COM): "It may please you to learn the data module Noble Two procured from Visegrad station contained precisely what my scientist promised: a latchkey discovery. It has unlocked, at last, the secrets of this excavation."
- Carter-A259: "Not sure I understand."
- Dr. Halsey (Video COM): "Your orders were a pretext to bring you to me and have been overridden. You are here, Team Noble, to assure the delivery of this vital data to a secure location."
- Carter-A259: "Doctor, our orders are to destroy all sensitive material-"
- Dr. Halsey (Video COM): "Others will handle the demolition."
- Carter-A259: "I'll need to confirm this new directive with Command-"
- Dr. Halsey (Video COM): "Colonel Holland will be briefed. You belong to ONI now."
Fades in to a camera overlooking the elevator traveling down to an ice cave. Cut to the Noble Six's view, him/her and the rest of Noble Team looking at the Forerunner cave complex.
- Dr. Halsey (COM): "Before you is an alien artifact neither human or Covenant in origin. Advanced beyond our comprehension... until now. Thanks to Noble Two, the decryption of its data is nearly complete."
Crumbling sounds shifted Six's attention to a few falling boulders from the cave's ceiling.
- Emile-A239: "Whatever we're doin' down here, we better do it quick."
- Carter-A259: "Have your data ready, ma'am. We're coming to you."
- Dr. Halsey (COM): "The decrypting data is still underway..."
- Carter-A259: "I don't think you understand. We're out of time. If it isn't portable when we reach you, it's gonna get buried."
- Dr. Halsey (COM): "Bury any of it, and you bury mankind's best chance for survival! Commander, you've been wondering what your Spartans died for? They died for this. Please. Buy me all the time you can."
The elevator door opens. Noble Team steps out.
This Cave is Not a Natural Formation
- Carter-A259: "Let's find Halsey's lab. Move!"
Noble Team moves out and explores around the cave complex. Four Wolf Spider turrets are located in different locations.
- Jun-A266: "Commander, I'm seeing turrets already in defensive positions."
- Emile-A239: "ONI was expecting company?"
Covenant Dropships begin their descent from the cave's ceiling.
- Carter-A259: "They sure as hell got it. Doctor, we have hostiles inbound."
- Dr. Halsey (COM): "Spartans, you cannot allow the Covenant to break through the door to my lab."
- Carter-A259: "Understood. Let's give the doctor the time she needs.
- ONI Control (COM): Noble Team, there are four defense turrets to assist you in defending the lab. Get them online, and quick! When the turrets take too much damage, they'll shut down to recharge. You'll need to reactivate them when they come back online."
The team arrives at the lab's entrance. There are weapons holstered on the side and Mongooses parked near the entrance. Weapons crates and armor abilities at the side. Sandbags provide defense and Noble Team hold their position there.
- Carter-A259: "Noble Six! Activate the turrets! Set up a perimeter."
Covenant Spirits and Phantoms are heard as they enter the area.
- Carter-A259: "They're landing out of range, across the bridge!"
- Dr. Halsey (COM): "I need more time. Whatever you do, do it."
After defending the entrance for a while, Phantoms dropped down Wraiths.
- Emile-A239: "We got targets! Watch out for those Wraiths!"
Brutes joined the Jackals and Grunts while Plasma Mortar rounds hit near the entrance. More Phantoms appear. Banshees enter the battlefield to aid their allies.
- Jun-A266: "Heads up, we got more trouble!"
- Dr. Halsey (COM): "Hold on, Spartans. I'm getting close."
Noble Team continues to engage wave after wave of Covenant troops.
- Emile-A239: "Another Phantom! Dropping troops to flank us!"
- Jun-A266: "Maybe we can grab a Banshee and bring the fight to them."
Ghosts and Elite Rangers join the assault.
- Dr. Halsey (COM): "Package is almost ready. Just a little more."
More Phantoms approach, right outside the entrance.
- Carter-A259: "More Covenant! Get your defenses ready, Six!"
A pair of Hunters and a lance of Covenant led by a Sangheili General are dropped from the Phantom right in front of noble team. They manage to kill the majority of the attacking Covenant troops.
- Dr. Halsey (COM): "Well done, Spartans. I'm opening the laboratory door."
- Carter-A259: "Door's opened, Noble Six. Get to the lab."
If Six stalls:
- Carter-A259: "Six, open the lab! That's an order!"
Six activates the pad and the lab door opens.
The door opens and Noble Team steps in. They begin running into the corridor and reach the end of it: Dr. Halsey's lab. A large sphere-shaped Forerunner artifact hovers outside the lab.
- Jun-A266: "What is this stuff?"
Dr. Halsey, still in the middle of preparing the package, moves to another monitor.
- Dr. Halsey: "Knowledge. A birthright from an ancient civilization. This AI is its custodian, and she has chosen you as her carriers.
- Emile-A239: "Chosen? By an AI?"
- Dr. Halsey: "By this AI, yes. Her measure of you carries as much weight as my own..."
Dr. Halsey moves away from view, revealing Cortana on a holo-tank analyzing Forerunner data.
- Dr. Halsey: "...Perhaps more. You are to take her to the UNSC ship-breaking yards in Aszod. There, you will find a Halcyon-class light cruiser waiting to get her off-planet."
- Carter-A259: "I understand."
- Dr. Halsey: "Do you? Mankind is outmatched. When Reach falls - and it will fall - our annihilation is all but certain. Unless... we can glean from this artifact a defense against the Covenant. A game-changer. On the level of the conical bullet in nineteenth century, or faster-than-light travel in the twenty-third."
- Carter-A259: "And what if we can't?"
- Dr. Halsey: "An apt question if there were somewhere else to place our hope. There is not."
Dr. Halsey looks at Cortana for one last time and shuts off her projection. Jun curiously looks around the lab as Dr. Halsey pulls out the data storage unit. Dr. Halsey, holding the unit with both hands, hands it over to Noble Six.
- Dr. Halsey: "Take it, Lieutenant... She has made her choice."
Six looks at Carter, who nods in response, and places his\her hands over the package.
- Dr. Halsey: "Do you have it?"
- Noble Six: "Yes."
- Dr. Halsey: "Say the words, please."
- Noble Six: "I have it."
Dr. Halsey lets go of the unit and Six looks at her. Fades out.
Fades in to Noble Team and Dr. Halsey walking out a tunnel leading to two Pelicans. View switches to the team and Dr. Halsey. The data storage unit, now on Six's back, emits a dim blue glow. Carter turns back to Dr. Halsey.
- Carter-A259: "Dr. Halsey, Noble Three will escort you to CASTLE Base."
- Dr. Halsey: "I require no escort, Commander-"
- Carter-A259: "Jun, make sure nothing falls into enemy hands."
- Jun-A266: "I'll do what's necessary, sir... Good Luck."
- Carter-A259: "You, too, rifleman."
Jun and Dr. Halsey head into one Pelican while Carter heads on to the other. Six and Emile slowly walk back, securing the area. Cut to cockpit of the Pelican, Carter climbs into the pilot seat.
- Carter-A259: "I need a heading, Dot."
- Auntie Dot: "At three kilometers north, turn right. Heading zero-five-zero."
- Carter-A259: "Which leads to?"
Six walks into the troop bay while Emile sits down on the open troop bay door of the Pelican.
- Auntie Dot: "The ship-breaking yard in Azsod. The only off-planet extraction point left on this continent. Small-scale air attacks have decimated many convoys en route. An armada of Covenant cruisers have hastened to side as well. UNSC cruiser, Pillar of Autumn is waiting for your arrival."
Both Pelicans take off.
- Carter-A259: "Wouldn't be a Noble mission if it were easy."
Emile shuffles backwards slightly as explosive charges detonate beneath the ice shelf, destroying what remains of Sword Base and the Forerunner complex. The surrounding waters pour into the opening, flooding the excavation area.
Fade to black.
|This Is Not Your Grave||Complete the level on Normal, Heroic, or Legendary||10G|
|Tank Beats Everything||Finish The Package on Legendary with the Scorpion still intact.||25G|
|Banshees, Fast and Low||Hijacked a Banshee during the Reach Campaign.||25G|
- This level can be played on the Co-op Campaign playlist, along with most of the other missions.
- Jun in gameplay carries his sniper rifle, however in all cutscenes he is shown using a DMR.
- When your objective is to "Proceed to the coordinates" there is a typo. They spell "proceed" with 3 E's.
- The Tribute Room easter egg can be found on this level.
- There is an easter egg on this level. To perform it, two players must be playing. Push the box under the Shade turret. Then Player-A must go further and destroy the tower next to the Scorpion Tank. When destroyed, go behind the tower and look for a button and press 'X'. Have Player-B wait and then press the button under the Shade turret (If Player-B fails to press the button after a short period of time it will disappear and it will have to be redone). While the two buttons are pressed, four Banshees will spawn on the roof on the first building.
- This level's name may be a reference to the Halo Legends episode of the same name, in which the "Package" was Dr. Halsey herself. While in Halo: Reach, the package is a fragment of the A.I. Cortana.
- The name of the final chapter, "This Cave is Not a Natural Formation . . ." is a reference to a line spoken by Cortana in the Halo: Combat Evolved level Halo, when John-117 drives a Warthog into a Forerunner tunnel. Bungie added the reference as a humorous reminder of the obviousness of Cortana's statement.
- The Firefight maps Outpost and Glacier are based on this level.
- The Banshees in the final sequence of this level have no pilots; this can be easily seen when hijacking one.
- When Dr. Halsey talks to Noble Team at the end of the level, she closes a display screen of Jorge and Kat, both of whom have been listed as MIA as per ONI Directive 930.
- This is the last level Colonel Urban Holland is heard speaking.
- The caves of Sublevel 9 bear a striking resemblance to the Forerunner caverns and tunnels seen in the level Cleansing from Halo Wars.
- You can blow up the AA guns with a heavy vehicle as you can on Tip of the Spear (i.e. Scorpion, Wraith, Rocket Hog).
- In the final cutscene when Noble Team is running towards the lab, the only two Spartans to put their weapons on their back are the two Spartans whose faces are shown (Carter and Jun), while the other two Spartans that do not put their weapons on their back never show their faces faces at any point of the game (Emile and Noble 6).
- The abundance of Plasma Containers in the area with the Tyrant Anti-Aircraft Cannon makes dealing with any Covenant Infantry easier.
- In the very beginning of the level, when the player starts at what used to be Farugut outpost, the area is flooded. This could possibly (and most likely) be caused by the explosions seen from space in the mission "Long Night of Solace" when Jorge is headed towards the UNSC Savannah. These explosions generate enough heat and energy to vaporize the glaciers around the point of impact, explaining the flooded area.
- This could however be wrong as there are still snowy remains and some glaciers around the area.
- This would most likely be the result of the Covenant using high-orbit glassing to attack the base, which would explain why everything is flooded and the terrain is slightly different. They could not have used the low-orbit glassing, as Sword Base is still intact (albeit in bad condition), and low-orbit glassing would have completely destroyed everything in the vicinity, much like the outskirts of New Alexandria.
- Halo: Reach Legendary Commentary
|Halo: Reach Campaign Missions
The Pillar of Autumn