Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha


For more articles of the same name, see Pillar of Autumn (disambiguation).

Escape intact as Covenant forces board your ship.

The Pillar of Autumn is the first campaign level of Halo: Combat Evolved and the Halo Trilogy. The UNSC Pillar of Autumn, having escaped the destruction of Reach, has arrived near a strange object. Unfortunately, the Covenant have arrived there before them and attack the ship. Master Chief Petty Officer SPARTAN John-117 is awakened from his cryo-sleep and makes his way to the bridge of the titular ship to be briefed by Captain Jacob Keyes about their current situation. After the brief meeting, the Master Chief, with his AI companion Cortana, makes his way off the ship via a Bumblebee escape pod.


This level is set on the UNSC Pillar of Autumn and mainly consists of training (below Heroic, or when the player first plays the game). The main objective of the mission is escaping the ship. This level is modified depending on the difficulty chosen. Sergeant Johnson makes different speeches at the beginning of the level, one for each difficulty. In Easy and Normal, the player goes through a testing diagnostic showing the bare basics of controls. In Heroic and Legendary difficulty, this is automatically skipped and the player immediately heads out to find Captain Keyes. On Easy and Normal difficulty, the motion sensor and grenades are disabled until certain moments in the level. On Heroic and Legendary, they can be used right from the start.


The Pillar of Autumn[]


The UNSC Pillar of Autumn.

{Original Cutscene} {Anniversary Cutscene}

Fades into space. Halo is visible above Threshold.

The camera slowly turns and zooms in onto the Pillar of Autumn. Longsword escorts soar alongside.

  • Cortana: "I think we both know the answer to that."

Inside ship, the camera focuses on Keyes as he gazes out the bridge's front windows, possibly looking for any signs of their enemies.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes: (sighs) "We made a blind jump. How did they—"
  • Cortana: "Get here first? The Covenant ships have always been faster. As for tracking us all the way from Reach...at light speed, my maneuvering options were limited."

Keyes begins pacing around, looking at viewscreens. Crew members he approaches stop to salute before returning to their patrols.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "We were running dark, yes?"
  • Cortana: "Until we decelerated, no one could have missed the hole we tore in subspace."

Keyes looks at a bridge crewman's console.

  • Cortana: "They were waiting for us on the far side of the planet."

The crewman presses some buttons. The screen shows a diagram of Threshold with Installation 04 in orbit.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "So, where do we stand?"
  • Cortana: "Our fighters are mopping up the last of their recon picket now, nothing serious."

Keyes examines the main screen, pulls his pipe out of his mouth and shakes some ash off it. He closes his eyes wearily.

  • Cortana: (continues) "But I've isolated approach signatures from multiple CCS-class battle groups, make it three capital ships per group. And in about 90 seconds they'll be all over us."
  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "Well, that's it then. Bring the ship back up to Combat Alert Alpha. I want everyone at their stations."
  • Cortana: "Everyone, sir?"
  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "Everyone."

Alarm klaxon sounds. Crewmen run towards their stations as the ship goes to General Quarters and prepares for battle.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "And Cortana..."

Cortana's avatar appears.

  • Cortana: "Hmm?"
  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "...let's give our old friend a warm welcome."
  • Cortana: "I've already begun."

Cuts to the main hold of the Pillar of Autumn. A Marine waves light batons to guide a Pelican into the correct docking position. The view moves towards the lower deck.

  • Cortana (COM): "Attention, all combat personnel: Please report to your action stations."
  • Cortana (COM): "5th Platoon, secure airlocks on Deck 11. 14th Platoon, rendezvous with 22nd Tactical at bulkhead Charlie 14."

Marines start talking, readying their weapons, preparing Scorpion Tanks and Warthogs, or just loitering, until the view shows Staff Sergeant Avery Junior Johnson walking through a line of Marines.

  • Cortana (COM): "This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill."

{Original Cutscene w/ All Difficulties} {Anniversary Cutscene w/ All Difficulties}

Marines get in two lines, facing each other. Johnson walks down the column between the formation.

  • Sergeant Johnson: (Easy) "Men...keep your eyes down range, fingers on your triggers, and we all go home in one piece."
  • Sergeant Johnson: (Normal) "Once again, it is our job to finish what the flyboys started. We are leaving this ship, platoon, and engaging the Covenant on solid ground. When we meet the enemy, we will rip their skulls from their spines, and toss 'em away, laughin'!"
  • Sergeant Johnson: (Heroic) "Men, here is where we show those split-chin squid-head sons-of-bitches that they could not have picked a worse enemy than the human race! We are going to blow the hell out of those dumb bugs, until we don't have anything left to shoot 'em with! And then we are going to strangle them with their own-living-guts!"
  • Sergeant Johnson: (Legendary): "Men, we led those dumb bugs out to the middle of nowhere to keep 'em from gettin' their filthy claws on Earth. But we stumbled onto somethin' they're so hot for, that they're scramblin' over each other to get it. Well, I don't care if it's God's own anti-son-of-a-bitch machine, or a giant hula hoop, we're not gonna let 'em have it! What we will let 'em have...is a belly full of lead, and a pool of their own blood to drown in!"
  • Sergeant Johnson: (turns around) "Am I right, Marines?!"
  • Marines: "Sir, yes sir!"
  • Sergeant Johnson: "Uh-huh. Damn right, I am. Now move it out! Double time!"

The Marines break formation and run out of the area, as Johnson follows them slowly.

  • Cortana (COM): "Attention, all personnel: We are re-engaging the enemy. Internal and external contact imminent."
  • Sergeant Johnson: "All you greenhorns who wanted to see Covenant up close...this is gonna be your lucky day."

Cut to a computer screen.

>X - CORTANA 1 0 CRYOSTOR. 23.4.7

The crewmen begin pressing buttons.

  • Tech Officer Marcus: "Okay. Bringing low-level systems online. Cracking the case in thirty seconds."

Cut to John-117's cryo tube:

  • Tech Officer Marcus: "He's hot! Blowing the pins in five..."




The Master Chief exits his Cryo Pod.

Note: Testing only happens in Easy and Normal difficulties.

  • Tech Officer Marcus (COM): "His suit shows green. Cycle complete."

Tube cover lifts itself

  • Tech Chief Shephard: (salutes) "Sorry for the quick thaw, Master Chief. Things are a little hectic right now. The disorientation should pass quickly."
  • Tech Officer Marcus (COM): (waves) "Welcome back, sir. We'll have you battle ready stat."
  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Chief, please look around the room. I need to get a calibration reading for your battle suit's diagnostics."

The Chief looks around.

  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Good. Thank you sir."
  • Tech Officer Marcus (COM): "I'm bringing your health monitors online, sir."

The HUD's health bars appear.

  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Vital signs look normal. No freezer burn. Okay sir, go ahead and climb out of the cryo tube."

{Original Cutscene} {Anniversary Cutscene}

The Master Chief gets out of the cryotube.


  • Tech Chief Shephard: "I gave you a double dose of the wake-up stim. Take a quick walk around the cryo bay and join me at the optical diagnostics station when you're ready."

Thom walks over, soon Master Chief follows him and stands on a red square.

If the Chief does not face Thom or begins to wander:

  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Sir, I need you to look at me so we can begin."

Chief turns to look at Thom, but isn't standing on the square:

  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Stand on the red square, please."

When the Chief faces Thom and stands on the square:

  • Tech Chief Shephard: "I know the ordnance techs usually take care of your targeting sensors, but we're short of time, Chief. Just look at each of the flashing panels to target them. When you lock on, it'll change color."

Chief looks at the flashing lights.

  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Okay, that looks good..."
  • Tech Officer Marcus: "Sir, I'm getting some calibration errors. I'm going to invert your looking pitch, so you can see if you like it better that way."

The pitch is inverted.

  • Tech Officer Marcus: "Try targeting the flashing lights again."

The Chief looks at the panel.

  • Tech Officer Marcus: "Is that better or should I switch it back?"

The Chief decides the way he wants.

  • Tech Officer Marcus (COM): "OK, I'll leave the pitch normal/inverted. But if you want, you can change it yourself later. (pause) I'm ready for the energy shield test now."
  • Cortana (COM): "Fire teams: Report to defensive positions Alpha through Sierra. Sensors show inbound Covenant boarding craft. Stand by to repel boarders."

The Chief looks at Thom, but isn't on the square between the shield testers:"

  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Stand on the yellow square. This will just take a sec."

The Chief steps into the square.

  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Okay, bring his energy shields online please."

The Chief's shield meter appears, and charges to full.

  • Tech Officer Marcus (COM): "Alright. Shields read as fully charged."
  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Okay, sir. Bring them down to test the automatic recharge."

The Chief's shields get depleted, and recharge themselves again.

  • Tech Officer Marcus (COM): "Recharging normal. Showing green across the board."

Sam Marcus is shot and killed by an Elite.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "Bridge to Cryo 2, this is Captain Keyes. Send the Master Chief to the bridge immediately."
  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Captain, we'll have to skip the weapons diagnostics and I-"
  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "On the double, crewman."
  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Aye aye, sir. (to the Chief) The skipper seems jumpy, we'd better get moving. We'll find you weapons later."
  • Tech Officer Marcus (COM): "Okay. I'll leave the self-diagnostics running, at least."
  • Tech Chief Shephard: "Good idea. You'd better get to your evac group, Sam!"
  • Tech Officer Marcus (COM): "Affirmative. Just have to reset the computer and I'm outta here!"

Banging is heard on one of the observation chamber doors. An alarm activates and flashes red.

  • Tech Officer Marcus: "Oh God! They're trying to get through the door!"

The door breaks open and a Sangheili Major fires on Sam.

  • Tech Officer Marcus: "Security! Intruders in Cryo Two! No, please don't— (a plasma bolt hits Sam, and he falls) Agh!"

The Elite turns around and tries to shoot at the Master Chief from above, but can't get through the glass. The Elite runs off.

  • Tech Chief Shephard: (panicked) "Sam! Sam! (to the Chief) C'mon, we've got to get the hell out of here!"

Shephard unlocks the exit door.

  • Tech Chief Shephard: "This way!"

If you play on Heroic or Legendary, gameplay begins here

Thom leads Master Chief out of Cryo 2 and down a corridor. Thom tries to open the second door, which explodes, killing him in the resulting blast that gets through. The Master Chief leaves the area and sees crewmen battling the Covenant while another crewman is killed by an explosion.

PoA Crewmen

Crewmen attempt to fight off alien boarders.

  • Crewman 1: "Behind us! They're right behind us!"

A few crewmen run into the room while the doors are closing.

A crewman runs away from the blast door, with a second directly behind him.

  • Crewman 3: "Wait for me!"

The crewman is killed by an explosion just as he reaches the blast doors, which shut slowly.

  • Crewman: (if the Chief lingers) "Master Chief, sir, the situation's secure here. You're probably needed somewhere else!"
  • Cortana (COM): "Alert! All hands, boarding parties on port decks Four, Seven, and Twelve. Baker Team move to engage."

The Chief finds his way to another room where he comes face to face with a Minor Elite. It growls at him but is suddenly attacked by Marines, and the Elite flees. (Note: This Elite can only be seen in Easy and Normal difficulties.)

  • Marine 1: "Chief, Cortana says get to the bridge, double quick!"

Through out all this, Cortana continues to coordinate the crew's defence against the Covenant boarders.

  • Cortana (COM): "Warning! Covenant incursions on port decks Three and Nine. Alpha Team engage enemy boarders."


  • Cortana (COM): "Enemy boarding parties on starboard decks Eight through Ten. Echo Team intercept Covenant forces."


  • Cortana (COM): "Covenant boarding craft detected on port decks Four, Five, Seven, Eight, and Eleven. All available Combat Teams, respond!"


  • Cortana (COM): "Baker Team reports Covenant forces engaged on port deck Seven. Security teams move to assist."


  • Cortana (COM): "Warning! Covenant boarders on starboard decks Four and Six. Sierra Team reports heavy resistance! Security teams assist."


  • Cortana (COM): "Alert! Alpha and Charlie Teams report heavy fighting on port decks Five through Nine. Foxtrot Team move to starboard decks Eight and Ten, and stand by."


  • Cortana (COM): "Reserve Combat Teams Tango through X-Ray to port decks Five and Six, on the double!"


  • Cortana (COM): "Reserve Combat Teams Oscar and Romeo to port decks Nine through Eleven."

The Chief makes his way to a room where PFC Chips Dubbo is helping some crewmen battle the Covenant boarders.

  • PFC Chips Dubbo: "Sir! The Captain needs you on the bridge, ASAP! You better follow me."

The Chief follows Dubbo through a room full of dead or wounded Marines, possibly one of their armories. Outside there's another fight between the crew and the Covenant.

  • PFC Chips Dubbo: "Get clear, Chief!"

The blast doors close locking the Covenant out.

The Chief and Dubbo get to the bridge:

  • PFC Chips Dubbo: "Captain Keyes is waiting for us, sir!"

{Original Cutscene} {Anniversary Cutscene}

The Chief approaches Keyes.

Keyes shakes the Master Chief's hand.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "Good to see you, Master Chief. Things aren't going well. Cortana did her best, but we never really had a chance."

Cortana's avatar appears on the holotank.

  • Cortana: "A dozen Covenant superior battleships against a single Halcyon-class light cruiser. Given those odds I'm content with three...make that four kills." (to the Chief:) "Sleep well?"
  • Master Chief: "No thanks to your driving, yes."
  • Cortana: (smiles) "So you did miss me."

A loud explosion rocks the bridge. The Chief lurches and Keyes grabs a pedestal for support.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "Report!"
  • Cortana: "It must have been one of their boarding parties! I'd guess an Antimatter Charge!"
  • Fire Control Officer: "Ma'am! Fire control to the main cannon is offline!"
  • Cortana: "Captain, the cannon was my last offensive option."
  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "Alright then. I'm initiating Cole Protocol, Article 2. We're abandoning the Autumn. That means you too, Cortana."
  • Cortana: "While you do what, go down with the ship?"
  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "In a manner of speaking. The object we found, I'm going to try and land the Autumn on it."
  • Cortana: "With all due respect, sir, this war has enough dead heroes."
  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "I appreciate your concern, Cortana, but it's not up to me. Protocol is clear: Destruction or capture of a shipboard AI is absolutely unacceptable, that means you're leaving the ship. Lock in a selection of emergency landing zones, upload them to my neural lace, and then sort yourself for a hard transfer."
  • Cortana: "Aye aye, sir."

Cortana's avatar disappears.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "Which is where you come in, Chief. Get Cortana off this ship. Keep her safe from the enemy. If they capture her, they'll learn everything. Force deployment, weapons research... Earth."
  • Master Chief: "I understand."
Data chip

Captain Keyes holding Cortana's data chip.

Cortana's avatar reappears.

  • Cortana: "The Autumn will continue evasive maneuvers until you initiate a landing sequence. Not that you'll listen, but I'd suggest letting my subroutines handle the final approach."
  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "Excellent work, Cortana. Thank you. Are you ready?"

Cortana looks about the bridge for a moment, then sighs, lowering her head and accepting her orders.

  • Cortana: "Yank me."

Captain Keyes presses several buttons on the main control panel, then on the holotank, before he pulls Cortana's data chip out of the holotank and gives it to the Master Chief.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "Good luck, Master Chief."

The Chief slides the chip into the back of his helmet.

  • Cortana: "Hmm...your architecture isn't much different from the Autumn's..."
  • Master Chief: "Don't get any funny ideas."


AI Constructs and Cyborgs First![]

Keyes hands his pistol to the Chief.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes:"I don't keep it loaded, son. You'll have to find ammo as you go."

If the Chief lingers next to Captain Keyes:

  • Captain Jacob Keyes: "Get moving, Master Chief. There's nothing you can do here."


  • Captain Jacob Keyes: (angrily) "I gave you an order, soldier. Get off this ship!"

If the Chief stays on the bridge but not next to Captain Keyes:

  • Cortana: "We need to get off this ship, Chief, before we're completely overrun by Covenant."

If you attack or kill Captain Keyes or any crewmen:

  • Cortana: (shocked and infuriated) "What the hell are you doing?!"
  • Cortana (COM): "Security to the bridge, the Master Chief has gone rampant! Take him down, boys!"

Invincible Marines come in and quickly kill the Master Chief, taunting him afterward.

Continuing, without killing anyone on the bridge, the Master Chief leaves the bridge. After killing a trio of Unggoy, he makes his way to the mess hall where groups of Marines are engaging the Covenant.

  • Cortana: "Those Marines could use some help, Chief! Do what you do best!"

The Chief steps over a body of a dead Marine and picks up an Assault Rifle.

If the Chief takes a hit with his shields down:

  • Cortana: (urgently) "Keep your head down! There's two of us in here now, remember?!"
  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "Combat Teams on decks Seven and Eight, fall back to secondary defensive positions."

The Chief leaves the mess hall and heads down a corridor. He comes across a group of three Marines fighting an Elite. After he helps them kill the Elite, the ship is rocked by a violent explosion.

Fixed elite battle

The three marines that the Chief encounters fighting a Major Elite.

  • Marine 1: "What the hell?! Did something just hit us?!"
  • Marine 2: "Move it! Back to the airlock!"

An explosion comes from the airlock, caused by a Covenant Boarding Craft crashing into the ship, killing two Marines standing guard next to it as they are sent flying by the blast. Covenant troops pour into the corridor.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "Reserve Combat Teams on decks Five through Nine, fall back to secondary defensive positions!"

If the Chief goes inside the Covenant Boarding Craft:

  • Cortana: "They're using our lifeboat airlocks to attach their boarding craft. We go out and they come in! Clever bastards..."

When the Chief leaves the area:

  • Marine: "Go on ahead, Chief. We will secure this airlock."
  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "Crew and Ops personnel on decks One through Four, report to evac stations immediately!"

Upon finding another trio of Marines fighting Covenant while taking cover behind Combat Barriers:

  • Marine 3: "We're taking fire. We could use a hand!"
  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "Ops personnel on decks Nine through Twelve, report to evac stations now!"

As the Chief comes into a room where the Covenant are on a ledge above him.

  • Cortana: "Covenant! On the landing above us!"

After the battle on the ledges:

  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "All hands, this is the Captain. Prepare to abandon ship! Combat Teams, repel boarders until Ops personnel are away. Good luck. Keyes out."

As the Chief sees a lifepod launching with pulse lasers bursting all around the airlocks.

  • Cortana: "The lifepods are launching! We should hurry."
  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "All remaining crew and Ops personnel, hit the lifeboats! Fall back to evac stations."

Plasma beams continue to hit the hull. Three lifepods launch from the airlocks in sequence. The third one is hit by enemy fire and explodes.

  • Cortana: "The Covenant are destroying the lifepods...they really don't want us on that ring."

As the Chief passes some blast doors:

  • Cortana: "Warning! Blast doors closing! (pause) We'll have to use the ship's maintenance access ways. Follow the NAV point, it will lead you to an opening."
  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "Combat teams Alpha through November, pull out to nearest evac station!"

Note: The following only occurs in Easy and Normal difficulties.

As the Chief enters the access tunnel:

  • Cortana: "I'm detecting Covenant movement outside the access ways. Activating motion sensor. Let's find a safe exit."

The Chief approaches the first door. Red dots surround his position on the motion sensor.

  • Cortana: "They're right on top of us! We need to find another way through."

The Chief finds another locked door. Red dots still appear on the motion sensor.

  • Cortana: "We're too close! We need to find another route."

The Chief finds an unlocked door leading into a darkened room.

  • Cortana: "Motion sensor shows all clear."

The Chief encounters a broken door.

  • Cortana: "Wait. We need to get through that door, but it's been damaged by an explosion. Analyzing... The door's control mechanism is offline, but it's taken a lot of damage. You should be able to bash it open with the butt of your weapon."

The Chief melees the door and it opens.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "Combat Teams Sierra through Victor, prepare for evac!"

As the Chief crosses through the control room for his cryo bay, he sees a trio of Elites looking around in the bay.

  • Cortana: "It looks like the Covenant wanted to catch you napping."

The Elite intruders spot the Master Chief, open fire on him (with no effect due to the glass protection), and soon leave the cryo bay.

The Chief leaves the control room and makes his way to another access tunnel.

  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "All combat personnel, fall back to tertiary defensive positions!"

Later, while the Chief passes through a damaged part of the ship:

  • Cortana: "The damage to the superstructure is extensive... I don't know how much more abuse the Autumn can take."
  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "Combat Teams, fall back to secondary defensive positions!"

The Chief fights his way to the final airlock

When all of the immediate Covenant forces around the last airlock are defeated:

  • Cortana: "There's one last lifeboat! Quickly, get aboard before it launches!"

The Chief enters the last airlock.

{Original Cutscene} {Anniversary Cutscene}


The Bumblebee lifeboat hits Installation 04's atmosphere.

  • Frightened Marine: (thrown to the ground by an explosion) "Oh no, oh no!" (Picked up by the Chief and thrown into lifepod) "Ahhh!"
  • Cortana: "Now would be a very good time to leave!"

The Chief sweeps his rifle into the hallway one last time to check for enemies, and then enters the lifeboat. He grabs onto a handhold on the ceiling after sealing the rear doors, while the Marine he picked up crawls into a seat.

  • Master Chief: "Punch it."
  • Bumblebee Pilot: (seals her eye visor) "Aye aye, sir!"

The lifeboat launches out of the airlock.

  • Bumblebee Pilot: "We're disengaged. Goin' for minimum safe distance."
  • Panicking Marine: "We're gonna make it, aren't we, sir? I don't wanna die out here!"

The Chief pats him on the shoulder, giving the Marine slight encouragement.

  • Cortana: "Look!"

The Chief steps up front. Halo swings into view and the Bumblebee drops towards it

  • Bumblebee Pilot: "Hell if I know, but we're landin' on it."
  • Panicking Marine: "The Autumn! She's been hit!"

The Chief dashes to the back of the lifeboat, and watches the Autumn.

  • Cortana: "I knew it! The Autumn's accelerating! Keyes is going in manually!"

The Autumn is struck multiple times by Plasma Torpedoes as it roars over the lifeboat and heads towards Halo.

  • Bumblebee Pilot: "Heads up everyone, this is it! We're entering the ring's atmosphere in five!"
  • Cortana: "Sure you wouldn't rather take a seat?"
  • Master Chief: "We'll be fine."

The Chief grips the sides of the lifeboat, and bends his knees.

  • Cortana: "If I still had fingers, they'd be crossed..."

The Bumblebee heads into Installation 04's atmosphere.

Fade to black.

Level ends.


Album Cover Soundtrack Song Name Soundtrack Number
HaloSoundtrackCover Halo: Original Soundtrack Opening Suite 1
Brothers in Arms 3
Enough Dead Heroes 4
Suite Autumn 25
Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary Soundtrack Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Original Soundtrack Random Slipspace Trajectory 1
Bravery, Brotherhood 2
An End of Dying 4


Icon Name Description Value
HTMCC AchievementArt Arrival Arrival Activate Terminal 1 on The Pillar of Autumn. 5G
HTMCC AchievementArt Didnt-Like-This-Ship-Anyways Didn't Like This Ship Anyways Beat the par time on The Pillar of Autumn. 10G
HTMCC AchievementArt Megg Megg It's a sign. 10G
HTMCC AchievementArt My-Buddy-Chips My Buddy Chips Fight alongside Chips Dubbo and listen to his words of wisdom. 5G
Overshields are for Sissies

HTMCC AchievementArt Overshields-are-for-Sissies

Overshields are for Sissies Complete the level The Pillar of Autumn on Legendary without picking up an overshield. 10G
Pillar of Autumn (achievement)

HTMCC AchievementArt Pillar-of-Autumn

Pillar of Autumn Complete Pillar of Autumn. 25G (CEA)

10G (MCC)

HTMCC AchievementArt Pillar-of-Awesome Pillar of Awesome Beat the par score on The Pillar of Autumn. 10G
HTMCC AchievementArt Skulltaker-Halo-CE-Iron Skulltaker Halo: CE: Iron Find and claim the Iron skull in remastered mode. 5G
HTMCC AchievementArt Walk-It-Off Walk it Off Complete The Pillar of Autumn on Legendary without picking up a health kit. 25G (CEA)

10G (MCC)



Main article: Glitches
  • There is a glitch which allows the player to get back into the cryotube. The player must jump inside the tube and crouch before the cover closes. Once inside, the player will be able to see an apparently decapitated copy of the Master Chief, but once the cover closes, the player will be trapped inside and must load the last checkpoint or restart the level.
  • It's possible to stand outside of the energy shield test station while the test is running. Just move carefully into the square and when it starts, the machine will push the player out, freezing the player in place until the process is done.
  • There is a glitch in the level that allows the player to carry three weapons instead of only two. Get off the bridge very fast after Keyes gives the player the gun.
  • There is also another glitch that allows the player to exit the Pillar of Autumn. If the player goes to the spot where 3 Grunts stand near the 3 launched lifepod stations, the player can crouch on the window looking out into space and, still crouching, slowly move out of the ship.
  • After assisting the Marines in the mess hall, go through the door and there will be a beverage machine. Look at the bottom, and there will be a drink called "Chief's Surprise."
  • At the last room before entering the bridge, pause after entering the armory. The crewmen and the marine will fight the Cov
    Halo 2012-01-12 18-36-57-85

    One of the dead crewmen with the unusable pistol

    enant forces, but since the checkpoint doesn't load unless you get close to exiting the armory, you can linger back and watch the battle. The most interesting thing is that the crewmen can be killed, but the marine has unlimited health. However, the dead crewmen's pistols cannot be taken.


  • Sam Marcus and Thom Shephard are wearing orange fatigues in the beginning cut scene, but during the diagnostic, they are wearing yellow fatigues.
  • The officer that shouts to Cortana "Ma'am! Fire Control for the main cannon is offline!" wears blue in the cut scene, however, when the player walks up to him, he wears yellow.
  • The pilot in the escape pod also calls the Master Chief "Sir," although she is a lieutenant. Technically, this makes her Master Chief's superior officer, however many other higher ranked Marines also do the same as, more than likely, the current situation where the Master Chief's involvement required him to be in command, meaning he was temporarily in command of them until told otherwise.
  • If the player looks closely, the player can see that when the Master Chief's escape pod launches, it still has its rear hatch open.
  • Captain Keyes tells the combat forces to pull back to their tertiary (3rd) positions before he tells them to pull back to their secondary (2nd) positions.
  • Captain Keyes is wearing the insignia of a Naval Lieutenant when he should be wearing that of a Captain.
  • In the cinematic when the player goes to the bridge for the first time, the Pillar of Autumn is hit by an antimatter charge, and the bridge will shake. Captain Keyes and Master Chief will fall on the bridge, but not the crewman behind them.
  • If the player strafes right-to-left on the Autumn's bridge, the player can see by noticing the clear changes in perspective that the model of Installation 04 in front of the Autumn only has a diameter of about 50 meters with a width of only a couple feet and is only several feet in front of the bridge, while in reality the ring is approximately 10,000 kilometers in diameter and quite a few kilometers in width.
  • When given the pistol from Captain Keyes, he is talking with the side of his mouth open as if he was smoking his pipe, but in the cutscene it shows he has no pipe.
  • Sometimes, in the cafeteria area, there are 2 Johnsons among the Marines. One of them come out of the door where the Sagheili Minor is as normal. The other one is where the rest of the Covenant forces come out of the two doors at the other side of the cafeteria. The second Johnson is pointing his weapon at a pillar that's next to a table. He doesn't attack the Covenant or the player when the rest of the marines think of the player as a traitor. He won't budge unless the player or the Covenant kill him. He'll still do his speeches as normal.
  • Sometimes in the final Cutscene on CEA, a mistake will show 2 Halo rings.

Easter Eggs[]

Main article: Easter Eggs
  • The bulletin board located near the entrance to the bridge has many fliers that can be read, including the flier for the missing cat, Jonesey.
    • In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, you can find several references on this board including an "ad" on the top left corner of the board, which is actually a teaser to Halo 4, or would make sense since it says "A Dark Planet is rising." Also, at the bottom left of that bulletin, if you look closely, you can see the troll face. There is also a poster for a missing cat, a reference to "Alien."
  • There is also "The Megg" which looks like an M made from blood and bullets.
  • "Keyes" on Captain Keyes' uniform says "Hello my name" above it. The "is" is missing. This is probably due to the fact that it wouldn't fit.


  • Sergeant Johnson has different dialogue in the first cutscene if the player plays the level on different difficulties, just as he does in Halo 2 on the levels Outskirts and Metropolis and in Halo 3 on the level Arrival.
  • "Reveille" is French for "waking up," referring to the Chief's cryogenic sleep. It is also the name of the bugle call commonly heard in the U.S. military that is played at sunrise (usually 0500) each day.
  • If the players listen to the Naval personnel fighting at the beginning of the level, they will say, "I'm a cowardly fool!" and "Help me! Help you!." In the level The Storm in Halo 3, the construction workers can be heard saying the same lines.
  • The phrase "Unseal the Hushed Casket" is a reference to the last line of John Keats' sonnet 'To Sleep'.
  • The Naval personnel uniforms look vaguely similar to the uniforms seen in the Star Trek franchise, though they are actually based on the uniforms worn by the B.O.B.s from the Marathon series.
  • The first two lines of this level are shared with the last two lines of Halo: Reach, along with the opening scene being identical to the ending of Reach.


  • If the level is played in co-op mode, the cutscene depicting the Master Chief climbing out of his cryotube will be altered to show two identical Spartans exiting cryotubes. This is the only cutscene in the entire franchise that is altered to depict a second Master Chief for co-op mode. This alteration is faithfully carried over into Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.
  • Sergeant Johnson appears a few times in this level. Firstly, when he is giving his speech to the line of Marines and also appears as the driver of the Warthog in the background at times. He is in the mess hall fighting Covenant. He then sometimes appears guarding a lifeboat airlock, and then is killed in an explosion, and finally appears in the battle with the Covenant on the landing.
  • If the player kills an ally from outside the bridge, they will be teleported to the bridge. This is a programmatic measure to prevent the player from escaping the horde of invincible Marines that try to kill them; it stops the player from rushing out of the bridge after killing an ally. However, the player may climb down a ladder near the pilots' chair and regenerate there. You could repeat those actions but eventually your ammo runs out and the player will eventually die.
  • If the player kills Captain Keyes on the bridge, Cortana will say that the Master Chief has gone "rampant," and a squad of invincible Marines will enter the bridge and kill the player. Alternatively, if the player kills the crewmen next to him, but not Captain Keyes, Cortana will still sound the alarm of the player's rampancy. The bridge's exit doors will be locked down preventing the player from escaping. The player can also kill a crewman, then shoot at a man in a chair. If the player shoots them in the head, they will not die, but the reticle will change from blue to red when the player targets them.
  • Sometimes the player has to kill bridge crewmen to trigger the invincible Marines, and sometimes the player only has to injure one.
  • In the novel Halo: The Fall of Reach there is a Command Chair on the bridge, but there isn't one in this Level.
  • Zuka 'Zamamee was an enemy in this level, but with a different Elite model (Usually a Sangheili Major). By hints from Halo: The Flood, Zuka 'Zamamee is probably the Elite guarding the last escape pod, as this is the setting that the book best describes his presence.
  • Strangely enough, all the Covenant the player finds on your way to the bridge are invincible. This could be so that players cannot take weapons off fallen enemies.
  • Likewise, all the armed Marines and security encountered on the way to the bridge are seemingly invincible. It is possible for one security guard to accidentally shoot and kill another guard. However, the player will still be unable to retrieve the fallen guard's pistol.
  • The Covenant encountered on the way to the bridge will mostly ignore the player. Sometimes they will shoot at you, but inflict very little damage.
  • The three Grunts encountered outside the bridge will not drop their plasma pistols when you kill them, though sometimes they will drop grenades.
  • Cortana's line referring to the Chief's armor having an architecture "...not much different from the "Autumn's" may be a reference to the Xbox itself. The console was marketed to developers as having very similar architecture to an Intel Gaming PC (it used an Intel Pentium III which was a top-of-the-line gaming CPU at the time) and as such, easy to port PC games to the console and making developing games for the console much easier for developers who have never designed for a console.
  • Idle Grunts can be seen doing 'Grunt Aerobics' on this level.
  • The soundtracks played in this level includes Brothers in Arms, Enough Dead Heroes, Perilous Journey, and a small section from Suite Autumn.
  • While on the bridge of the Pillar of Autumn in CEA, looking at Alpha Halo and moving, you will see the model is very small and will seem to turn as you move.
  • In CEA, Tech Officer Marcus's face is modeled after a Make-A-Wish child who told Jessica Shea he wanted to "live forever in Halo."[1]
  • The Pillar of Autumn never moves. The camera's movement only creates the illusion that it does.[2]
  • Paul Russel built the model for Pillar of Autumn in four minutes.[2]
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, when in the foremost and lowest part of the Bridge and when playing in the Anniversary animation, the Halo ring will cast a shadow on the bottom side of the Hull above the bridge. This is due to the fact that the Halo ring shown in the level is a prop that is scaled down from the actual size of the ring, giving the impression that it is distant and large.