Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

This article is about the level. For the Halo: Reach song, see Tip of the Spear (Music).

Two massive armies clash! Time to go to war against the Covenant.

Tip of the Spear is the fifth campaign level of Halo: Reach.[1][2]

Upon completing the level on Normal or higher, the player will unlock the To War achievement and 10 Gamerscore.


After Jun and Noble Six's discovery of a hidden Covenant army, the UNSC decide to execute a large counter-attack against the Covenant. Throughout the battle, Catherine-B320, Noble Team's second-in-command, and Noble Six are able to destroy two Covenant anti-aircraft guns which makes it possible for two UNSC Frigates and several Longswords to bombard Covenant ground forces (which leads to the destruction of at least three Scarabs).

After killing a Zealot and destroying another anti-aircraft gun, Noble Six joins Jorge-052 to destroy a large tower, designated "Spire One," acting as both a cloaking device and teleporter around a Covenant base. After their Falcon makes its way through the Spire's energy field, the craft is disabled by an EMP pulse, which sends it crashing to the ground, killing the crew. The Spartans, Noble Six and Jorge-052, have to complete the rest of the mission on foot or in a Spade (or via hijacked Banshee). After deactivating Spire One's energy shield, Six leaves the area on a Falcon accompanied by Carter-A259 and Jorge-052 as the UNSC Grafton destroys the Spire with its MAC gun. Immediately after the tower collapses, the Grafton is shot and destroyed by the Covenant Supercarrier Long Night of Solace.



Szurdok Ridge, Ütközet

August 12, 2552 08:00 Hours

A convoy of Scorpions, Warthogs, several Mongooses along with AMX-4 Falcons and two Pelicans advance across a bare plain.

  • Auntie Dot: "It appears that Noble Team's discovery last night was not an anomaly. Large Covenant deployments have occurred undetected, and we are now under attack across the Viery territory, including orbital defenses. As per the Winter Contingency, we are countering on every front. Noble's reconnaissance has also identified sophisticated Covenant army hiding canopies, and has been pinpointed what's believed to be a landing zone for additional Covenant forces, the origin of which is yet to be determined."

The Warthogs, led by Kat and Noble Six, charge towards the Covenant landing zone, followed by a group of Falcons. Carter is revealed to be on board a Falcon overlooking the Warthog driven by Kat. Noble Six rides shotgun in Kat's Warthog.

At this point, the subtitles show Jun saying, "Time to bake that cake we made last night!" The dialogue was confirmed by Bungie to have been a last-minute change.[3]

Kat detonates the charge that was planted on the pylon in the previous mission by Jun, which is seen far to the right of the advancing Warthog strike force. The distant pylon explodes.

Banshees swoop down on the convoy and open fire, while Wraiths lob mortar rounds from a distance. The gunners on the Warthogs retaliate, firing at the Banshees. Wraith mortar rounds tear into the convoy and destroy several of the advancing vehicles. Kat and Noble Six dodge the mortar fire, and turn towards a bridge across a deep chasm, but as they prepare to cross, a mortar round destroys the bridge.

  • Noble Six: "Incoming!"
  • Catherine-B320: "Might want to hold onto something!"

Kat accelerates and the Warthog manages to jump the gap in the destroyed bridge, but crashes violently on the other side, killing the gunner and sending Kat and Noble Six flying.

Fade to white.

Fade back to Noble Six's point of view, which is hazy. The SPARTAN is lying stomach-down after the crash, with a grenade launcher lying several feet away. Vision clears, and Six looks toward the destroyed bridge. A second Warthog attempts to clear the gap in the bridge but fails, sending its screaming crew into the chasm. (The Wilhelm Scream is heard when this happens.)

  • Catherine-B320: "Six! Can you hear me? Six, you alright? I could use some help!"

Six grabs the Grenade Launcher on the ground.

  • Noble Six: "On my way."


Tempest Perimeter[]

Two Banshees fly overhead, destroying the overturned Warthog Kat was using.

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Kat, Six, what's your status?"
  • Catherine-B320: "Pylons are down, we're pushing up the hill."

Kat and Six encounter heavy resistance as they move up the hill, including two Fuel Rod Shade variants. After eliminating the enemy forces in the area, a Pelican shows up with a Rocket Warthog.

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Kat, be advised: ONI has identified two hostile anti-aircraft guns southwest of your location."
  • Catherine-B320: "Copy, Commander. New target, Six. Shut down those AA guns. Commandeer that Warthog, get us there in one piece."

Kat and Six drive a short distance before arriving at the AA gun.

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Six, AA guns should be in visual range."
  • 2 Lima 4 (COM): "Two Lima Four to Noble One, those guns are pounding us with high-velocity plasma shells!"
  • Auntie Dot: "Which would mean a strike by the frigate Grafton is also out of the question."
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Noble Six, all our birds are stuck out of range unless you can do something about those guns."

As they approach the gun, a furious battle can be seen in the valley below. Three Scarabs and multiple Ghosts, Wraiths, and Banshees attack a large group of Warthogs, Scorpions, and Falcons.

Kat and Six proceed to the AA gun, encountering resistance along the way. Six eventually makes it inside and destroys the gun. Alternatively, Six uses heavy weaponry to destroy the AA gun.

  • 2 Lima 4 (COM): "Control, Two Lima Four: permission to commence bombing runs, heading two-two-four point six, over."

After the AA gun is destroyed, three Longswords and two heavy frigates, the UNSC Grafton and the UNSC Saratoga, fly overhead.

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Good work, Noble Six. UNSC air support: skies are clear."
  • Control (COM): "Copy. Two Lima Four, bombing run, heading two-two-four point six, permission granted - out."

The frigates open fire on the Covenant forces in the valley, as 2 Lima 4 commences a bombing run on the three Scarabs, destroying two of them and disabling the third, which detonates seconds later.

Kat and Six proceed on, soon driving under a partially destroyed bridge. A Pelican, while under fire from a Phantom and a Wraith, drops off a portable bridge, allowing Noble Team to continue. They soon arrive at a mining facility that is across a canyon.

Hand Over Fist[]

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Noble Six, there's a mining facility near your location. The Covenant are using it as a command outpost. Troopers on-site have already engaged."

The Spartans arrive at a bridge over the canyon. Several Army troopers are under fire from Covenant troops and a Shade turret, which are soon neutralized. The Spartans and troopers advance on the BXR Mining facility.

  • Auntie Dot: "New intelligence: friendly forces near the Covenant outpost have spotted a high-value target. An Elite Zealot in fact."
  • Catherine-B320: "A Zealot? We're onto something big here, Commander."
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Eyes on the prize, Noble. Take out that Zealot if you get the chance, but keep moving towards the spires."

They move into the facility, encountering resistance as they go.

  • Catherine-B320: "No visual on target."

The Spartans move farther into the facility, eventually finding the Zealot and a moderate amount of Covenant forces, including Special Operations Unggoy.

If Six eliminates the Zealot:

  • Catherine-B320: "High-value target has been neutralized. Impressive, Six."

The Spartans reach the end of the facility, finding a Plasma Launcher along the way. Then, Kat and Six move outside to find two Unggoy, two Ghosts, and a Revenant. Kat and Six commandeer a vehicle, moving up the trail.

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Update, Six: scans show another Covenant AA gun ahead of your location. I want you to neutralize that gun, by any means necessary."

Kat and Six arrive at the second AA gun and engage a large amount of Covenant forces, including two Wraiths and a Hunter pair.

After neutralizing the Covenant forces in the area, Six destroys the AA battery by disabling the power core, or using a vehicle. A Phantom arrives nearby, dropping off reinforcements. Then, a Pelican deploys a squad of troopers to assist the Spartans defeat the reinforcements.

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Well done, Six. ONI needs up-close recon on those Spires, we're gonna fly you the rest of the way."
  • Catherine-B320: "Jorge has a Falcon inbound to your position, Lieutenant. Highlighting the LZ now."

A navpoint appears on Six's HUD.

  • Catherine-B320: "Commander, I'm going to set up a forward observation post here."
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Copy that, I'm waiting on new intel. See what you can see, Carter out."

A grenade-launcher Falcon variant arrives, carrying Jorge.

Noble Six mans a one of the gunner positions on the Falcon

  • Jorge-052: "Spotted some nasty business in the canyon on the way down."

The Falcon takes off, heading into the canyon.

  • Falcon Pilot (COM): "I'll call out targets as we go."

The Spire[]

The Falcon flies along the river It eventually reaches a bridge, with Covenant forces attempting to cross it.

  • Falcon Pilot (COM): "Top of the canyon, dead ahead."

Six eliminates the forces on the bridge. Jorge and Six encounter more resistance further down the canyon, including Wraiths and heavy infantry.

  • Falcon Pilot (COM): "Nice shooting, Spartan." (If playing 2 or more players the Falcon Pilot will say "Nice shooting, Spartans."
  • Jorge-052: "Stay sharp, Six. We're not out of the canyon yet."

The Falcon approaches a spire that is shielded.

  • Falcon Pilot (COM): "There's the spire."
  • Auntie Dot: "Latest intel suggests these spires may be projecting electromagnetic cloaking shields."
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Solid copy, Dot."

They arrive at the edge of the shield. The pilot hesitates, hovering just outside it.

  • Jorge-052: "Priority One, pilot. Gotta know what's in there."
  • Falcon Pilot (COM): "Affirmative, sir... Here we go."

The Falcon flies towards the shield, the screen flashes white.


The Falcon loses its power, via the EMP effects of the shield, and begins to spin out of control.

  • Falcon Pilot (COM): "We just lost all power! We're going down!"
  • Jorge-052: "Lock your armor, Spartan!"
  • Falcon Pilot (COM): "Brace for a hard landing!"

The Falcon crashes. Six is thrown a short distance from the Falcon. Jorge emerges from the Falcon, tossing out equipment. Six grabs a nearby rifle on the ground and stands up. After looking around briefly, Jorge picks up his gun.

  • Jorge-052: "Crew's dead. We shouldn't stay here."


  • Jorge-052: "I'm showing hostiles all over the place, we gotta move."

Jorge and Six move across the river.

  • Jorge-052: "Commander, we got eyes on the spire. Looks like a staging area."
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Copy, we have your visual. Dot's working the problem, stand by."

The spire comes into full view. A Phantom seemingly appears out of nowhere in the spire's midsection, and flies away.

  • Auntie Dot: "Noble Five, ONI believes those spires to be teleportation terminals."
  • Jorge-052: "Teleporter? Linked to what?"
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Frigate Grafton is on-station ready to kill that spire, but first we need to power down its shields."
  • Jorge-052: "Understood. Six, I'll hold these bastards off, you find a way to the top of the spire."

Noble Six eventually makes it to one of the gravity lifts, sending him/her up to the top of spire. Alternatively, Six hijacks a Banshee and flies to the top.

  • Jorge-052 (COM): "Noble Leader, Six is on his/her way up."
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Get in there. Take out that shield, Lieutenant."
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Spartans, I'm en route with a Falcon. We'll pick you up as soon as you knock out power to that shield."
  • Jorge-052 (COM): "Ready when you are, Six."

Noble Six proceeds to eliminate the Covenant forces at the top of the spire. An Elite Ultra, seen manning the controls of the spire, draws his Energy Sword as soon as Noble Six engages him.

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Hurry, Lieutenant. We got a frigate inbound to blow that spire as soon as the shield is powered down."

After Noble Six eliminates the hostiles in the spire and proceeds to the spire controls.

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Lieutenant, drop the shield and get out of there."

Six powers down the shield.


The shield dissipates. Six sprints for a Falcon and leaps off the spire and is caught by Jorge, who pulls Six up into the Falcon.

  • Carter-A259: "Get us outta here."

The Falcon begins to pull away from the spire.

  • Carter-A259: "Control? This is Noble One. Spire One is green, and you're free to engage. Have a nice day."
  • Air Control (COM): "Copy that, Noble One. Be advised, all ground units: Frigate Three-One-Eight heavy is inbound, and MAC rounds have been authorized."
  • Jorge-052: "MAC rounds? In atmosphere?"
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "One way to get their attention! Hang on to your teeth, people!"

The UNSC Grafton, in a shallow dive, moves towards the spire past the Falcon with Six, Carter, and Jorge. The Spartans brace themselves.

HaloReach - PlasmedGrafton

The UNSC Grafton being destroyed by an energy projector beam

The Grafton continues to move towards the spire, and, with a bright flash, fires its MAC cannon, hitting the Spire and shattering it. Jorge, satisfied, turns back and nods at Carter and Six, failing to notice as a purple glow illuminates the sky above the Grafton. An energy projector beam shoots down from the sky and hits Grafton's bow section, instantly gutting the ship. Secondary explosions blossom along the hull, and Grafton begins to plummet towards the ground.

  • Auntie Dot: "New contact. High-tonnage."

The Spartans watch as the aft section of the Grafton explodes. The forward section crashes to the ground.

  • Jorge-052: "No. No! Somebody tell me this ain't happening!"
  • Air Control (COM): "UNSC frigate Grafton, do you copy?"
  • Carter-A259: "Grafton is dust! We need to get out of here, now!"

As the shattered UNSC Grafton falls towards the surface, a massive CSO-class supercarrier, the Long Night of Solace, is revealed holding position over the destroyed spire.

Fade to black.

Level ends.


Icon Name Description Value
Reach Achievement 44 To War Complete the level on Normal, Heroic, or Legendary difficulty. 10G
Reach Achievement 10 Your Heresy Will Stay Your Feet Kill the Elite Zealot before he escapes. 25G
Reach Achievement 20 Banshees, Fast and Low Hijacked a Banshee during the Reach Campaign. 25G



  • It is possible for players to kill themselves during the cutscene after your Falcon goes through the Spire by continuously firing the grenade launcher at the shield. The grenade fired may thus kill the player, which instantly reverts the game back to the previous checkpoint, even if the cutscene has been triggered.
  • Using Tilt and Cowbell, you can get out of Tip of the Spear. First, hijack a Banshee then head to where the Falcon crashed. There will be a narrow opening in the top corner of the Spire's shield. Flip your Banshee, and push it past the 2nd tree with a Focus Rifle. You will then break the barrier and you can fly wherever you want.
    • Using the Banshee you can fly up to the UNSC Grafton and actually walk on it. Bungie must have known you could get out of the map if the Grafton is programmed to walk on, and not simply a sprite.
  • You can't hijack the Spire banshees when they're upside down.
  • Near the entrance to the last AA there is a covenant weapons crate wedged in between some rocks. Going near the crate will cause it to lunge at you. This is due to another crate phased into the rock next to it. this crate can be seen sticking out the side of the rock.
  • On the part before you get on a Falcon and head towards the Spire, there is a barely operational Warthog sitting atop a half collapsed bridge. Near the Warthog there is a Data Pad. Also, if one were to use this particular Warthog's unusually powerful machinegun and shoot at the Anti-Air gun, the gun would be destroyed in a matter of seconds.


  • In the opening cinematic, Jun was originally supposed to say "Time to bake that cake we made last night!", instead of "Det-charge link is loud and clear!" as he does in the game. This line still appears in the subtitles over his actual dialogue.
  • The player loadout consists of a DMR and a Grenade Launcher. The DMR starts off with 3 less rounds in the magazine, and 48 spare rounds. This seems to be a developer oversight, as they probably forgot to update the DMR's ammo count, as in the Beta, the amount of bullets in the magazine was 12, and the maximum ammunition was 48, but in retail it has 15 rounds in the magazine, and 60 maximum ammunition.
  • The Warthog that fails the jump at the beginning cutscene is nowhere to be seen in the canyon below. It may have floated off with the river.
  • The Falcon you ride in has no pilot.
  • The Shade Turrets that you gun down when on the Falcon do not have operators.
  • If a Banshee flies through the energy shield protecting the Spire, it will not be knocked out and fly just fine. However, it is possible that Banshees are immune to the energy shield since both the shield and Banshee designs are of Covenant origin.
  • When the Falcon loses power after going through the shield, it spirals out of control before crashing into the ground. It should not spin after losing power as the Falcon does not have a tail rotor like a helicopter. During gameplay, Falcons which are affected by an Electromagnetic pulse will simply drop straight down.
  • When boarding the Falcon grenade turret, the player will always be on the left side (from the front) in the EMP cutscene, even if using the right side in-game.
  • In the beginning cutscene when the Warthog gunners fire at the Banshees the barrels of the turret don't rotate.
  • The Falcons in the final cutscene are not actual Falcons. There are, in fact, the scenery models used in this level.


  • The mining facility in this level is apparently run by the BXR Mining Company, a reference to the BXR button combination.
  • The widely known "Wilhelm Scream" is featured in the opening cinematic of this level on normal. Additionally, screams from the troopers on the Warthog that fails the jump in the beginning cutscene sound different on Legendary difficulty.


  • Tip of the Spear was alluded to in a Bungie Weekly Update before the release of Halo: Reach, which hinted at a level with the initials "TotS" becoming an instant favorite among fans.
  • The Covenant tower that Noble Six destroys is the central location for the multiplayer Invasion map, Spire.
  • This is the first level of Halo: Reach in which Yanme'e are encountered.
  • This is the second of two levels (the first being Winter Contingency) where the Assault Rifle you start with (after the Falcon crashes) has more than the usual 288 rounds. In this case, it carries 568 rounds.
  • After you clear the BXR mining facility, it's possible to push multiple troopers off the ledge. If you accomplish this, the troopers will follow you through the rest of the level.
  • A green Spade is also featured in this level.
  • It is possible to use EMP to disable a Banshee with the Grenade Launcher's alternate fire at the beginning of the level. However, these particular Banshees cannot be hijacked, clearly due to gameplay concerns. These Banshees can still be destroyed though.
  • There is an actual battle happening in the distance between Warthogs, Ghosts, Wraiths, Scorpions, Banshees, Falcons and four Scarabs. After disabling the first anti-aircraft battery, Longswords will bomb the Scarabs over the field, allowing ground forces to move forward.
    • This is the first level in Halo: Reach to have the Scarab appear in-game, although it is not fought by the player.
    • The Scarabs in the distance have a single looping walking animation, but they do not move anywhere. They also do not fire. When the Longswords bomb the Scarabs, the Scarabs appear to be destroyed but have no death animation.
    • The Scorpions engaged in battle in the distance fire rounds in an arcing path and look more like the Scorpions in Halo Wars.
  • Another way up to the top of the Spire instead of via Gravity Lift would be to hijack one of the Banshees in the area and fly it to the top. The achievement Banshees, Fast and Low can be obtained in the process.
  • Instead of disabling the power core of the AA guns, Players can use a vehicle to destroy the AA guns, via shooting the top portion.
  • If Kat or any AI is in the turret of the Rocket Hog, the rockets will lock on to any enemy, which is impossible to players. By extension, the AI can also fire any number of rockets, even though the muzzle will still flash six times.
  • This is the only level without the M45 shotgun.
  • A common glitch in this level will cause the player's screen to freeze while driving a warthog.
  • Outside of the spire, there is a large battle between Ghosts, Warthogs, Falcons, Banshees and Scorpions.
  • The Spires that appear in the distance are actually very small, lack detail, and are missing the lower portion.
  • Outside of the Spire, three Phantoms can be seen flying through each other, and the ground.
  • There is a never ending trail of Falcons outside of the Spire.
  • When you are seemingly forced out of your Rocket Warthog (due to the immovable concrete barriers), there is a way to get your Warthog past them. The easiest way is to go in the direction of the stairs, and turn around. There will be a gap between the barriers and the stairs big enough to continue with your Rocket Hog. It is useful against the Wraiths and the Hunters near the second Tyrant AA gun.
  • The infamous "Scarab Gun" is supposedly located on this level.




Preceded by
Halo: Reach Campaign Missions
Tip of the Spear
Succeeded by
Long Night of Solace