The level follows John-117 on a mission to reach Halo's Control Room. The Covenant are deployed in greater numbers and in a more superior force than previously seen in the game, using Wraiths, Ghosts and Banshees. The majority of the level is set in a snowy, outdoor environment. Although the level seems to be natural, there are networks of tunnels and elevators built by the Forerunners that connect sections of the constructs into the Control Room.
The level is known for its variety and well roundedness. It allows the player to use every weapon and vehicle in the game (except the Shotgun), and is the only level in Halo: Combat Evolved that allows John-117 to use a Scorpion tank. Although the level is famous for its snowy outdoor battles and large bridges, there are also a variety of indoor skirmishes, including standoffs with Zealot Elites. There is a mix of vehicle, long-range, and close quarters combat. The player is assisted by a handful of Marines after their Pelican crashes, but the level is mostly a solitary experience.
At the end, John-117 reaches the Control Room and Cortana interfaces with the computers. She is horrified to learn that Halo houses the Flood, and the weapons cache that Captain Keyes is looking for will lead him straight to the parasite. Cortana elects to stay behind, while John rushes off to find the Captain.
I Would Have Been Your Daddy...
Fade in to the interior of a large Forerunner dome. The camera pans down to a long shaft. A Grunt Minor paces on an open platform.
Close up of the walking Grunt Minor, while other Grunts are sleeping around him. He stops as he hears jets, he sniffs the air, and yelps as a Pelican rises up from the chasm in front of him, screams and runs towards the door.
- Carol "Foehammer" Rawley (COM): "This is as far as I can go."
- Foehammer (COM): "Good luck. Foehammer out."
The Pelican hovers at the edge of the platform, John gets out. He proceeds into a series of circular rooms and begins clearing them of Covenant.
- Cortana: "The Covenant presence here is stronger than I anticipated. They seem to have the entire region secured."
John emerges onto a bridge, where he discovers that it is snowing.
- Cortana: "Interesting... the weather patterns here seem natural, not artificial. I wonder if the ring's environment systems are malfunctioning... or if the designers wanted the installation to have inclement weather. "
A Pelican Dropship flies over the bridge. The Covenant forces on the bridge open fire.
- Fire Team Zulu Sergeant (COM): "This is Fire Team Zulu requesting immediate assistance from any UNSC forces. Does anyone copy? Over."
- Cortana: "I didn't think there were any human forces left on this part of the ring." (COM) "Cortana to Fire Team Zulu, I read you. Fire Team Zulu, this is Cortana. Hold position. We're on our way."
- Fire Team Zulu Sergeant (COM): "Roger that. Make it quick."
The Pelican descends to an area below the bridge.
John enters another structure and descends to the ground level, where he returns to the canyon. A large number of Covenant have three Marines with an overturned Warthog cornered. A Covenant Wraith tank fires plasma mortars as Shade turrets and Ghost vehicles strafe the Marines.
- Marine: "Glad you could join the party, sir!"
- Marine: "Master Chief, Sir! Good to see you!"
After enemies in the area are eliminated
- Marine: "They gave it their best shot, but they didn't count on running into the biggest squad of Marine bad-asses in the Corps!"
- Marine: "That's all of them. The area's secure."
John finds a second group of Marines fighting near a Scorpion tank. With his assistance they clear the area.
- Marine: "Enemy forces eliminated. The area's secure."
- Fire Team Zulu Sergeant: "That's the last of 'em - area secure. Stand down, team! They did their damnedest, that's for sure. This is all that's left of my platoon! The Covenant are down here in force... and they brought plenty of toys! I wouldn't have given us a snowball's chance until you showed up, Chief."
John and the Marines advance.
- Marine: "Aw, crap. Let's get the hell outta here, man! Somebody call the dropship!"
- Fire Team Zulu Sergeant: "You stow that garbage right now, mister. You're a Marine, so act like it, dammit! We've got a job to do here."
- Marine: "Shut up! Show some backbone, amigo!"
- Cortana (COM): "Negative, team. No evac available at this time. But the Chief and I could use some assistance."
- Fire Team Zulu Sergeant: "Okay, Marines. Time to pay back the Chief for pulling your sorry tails out of the fire. Prepare to move out!"
John reaches a second large open area, where one Wraith hovers on the ice and another lurks on top of the cliff at the far end of the canyon.
- Marine: "Bloody hell! Enemy forces have armor support... it's time to earn our pay."
- Marine: "Enemy mortar tanks sighted at my position... it's gonna be a busy day."
- Marine: "Dang, they got armor support! Watch out for those tanks!"
- Marine: "Contact, contact! Covenant mortar tanks are moving in!"
- Cortana: "The Covenant placed their tanks to defend the entrance to the tunnel."
John destroys the first Covenant tank.
- Marine: "Looks like that armor wasn't so tough after all! Let's mop up the rest of 'em!"
John enters the tunnel, and comes across a large cavern. More Covenant wait inside.
- Marine: "More Covenant!"
- Marine: "More Covenant sighted! Man, these guys are like cockroaches..."
John crosses the cavern and exits into another tunnel, which soon turns into a rocky slope heading upwards.
John clears the area, including the fourth Wraith of the level.
- Fire Team Zulu Sergeant: "You monkeys almost look like golden boys!"
- Marine: "Damn straight!"
John comes across two Hunters chasing after a squad of Marines and Sergeant Stacker, where the path switches back and goes down to a frozen river leading to the cave to the last area of the second chasm.
- Cortana: "I thought the Covenant had eliminated all the Marine forces in this area."
After John engages and defeats the Hunters, a Covenant Spirit appears from behind the cliffs and drops in on the ridge he just descended from.
- Marine: "Anybody else hear that? Aw, man... Covenant dropship inbound, take cover!"
- Marine: "Quiet. Anyone else hear something? Dropship! Covenant dropship inbound!"
- Marine: "Look sharp boys! Enemy dropship inbound, let's move!"
- Marine: "The Covenant are dropping in behind us! We're trapped!"
John nears some switchbacks leading up to final area of the second chasm.
- Marine 2: "Master Chief, the Covenant have stationary guns dug up in those rocks!"
- Marine 3: "Whoa, Sir! The Covenant are dug up in those rocks! They've got us pinned down here!"
- Cortana: (to Master Chief) "We need to get up this ridge." (O.S.) "Marines, hold your positions. We'll handle those guns." (to John again) "Master Chief, we should scale the ridge and get below those stationary guns."
- Marine 2: "Roger that. Marines, stay here and cover the Master Chief."
- Marine 3: "I'm in no hurry for a heroic charge on those guns, Cortana. Holding position."
John eliminates all enemies in the area, including a Banshee and two Ghosts, and approaches a door in the cliffs.
- Cortana (COM): "Cortana to Fire Team Zulu. I've sent a distress signal tagged with your current position. Hold your position and await evac. The Master Chief and I are going to continue on ahead."
- Marine: "That's affirmative! Fire Team Zulu out!"
- Marine: "Affirmative! Okay people, evac bird's on the way!"
- Marine: "Give 'em hell, sir! Fire Team Zulu out!"
John battles his way through more interior areas and across two more bridges.
- Cortana: "Resistance appears to be increasing. We must be close to the Control Center."
John reaches a door to the third chasm.
If I Had a Super Weapon...
- Cortana: "Analyzing. This must be the Control Room. Subtle. The entrance to the Control Room is at the top of that pyramid structure. Bring me up there and I should be able to get us inside."
If John doesn't get to the Banshees in time, he proceeds through more inside areas before reaching the ground floor, where he once more emerges into the chasm.
- Cortana: "The entrance to the Control Room is at the top of the pyramid. Let's get up there. We should commandeer one of those Ghosts, we're going to need the firepower."
John battles his way up the pyramid and through big doors into a large corridor, where he kills all of the Covenant inside, including a Zealot.
- Cortana: "Scanning... Covenant forces in the vicinity have been eliminated. Let's move on to Halo's Control Room."
John opens the final door.
- Cortana: "This is it. Halo's control center."
John-117 walks through the door and to a control panel at the center of a circular glass walkway projecting into the middle of a massive open chamber. A holographic map of Halo surrounds a smaller holographic map of the system, which shows Basis and Threshold, and Halo itself between them. Also noticeable are the red areas shown on the lands of Halo, possibly indicating where the Flood is currently spreading.
- Cortana: "That terminal, try there."
John unplugs Cortana's chip from his helmet and places her chip in the terminal. A moment later, she appears above the display. Data streams out from her in all directions. Her eyes are now red and her body is green, shifting occasionally to blues/purples.
- Master Chief: "You all right?"
- Cortana: (smiles) "Never been better! You can't imagine the wealth of information. The knowledge... so much... so fast. It's glorious!"
- Master Chief: "So...what sort of weapon is it?"
- Cortana: "What are you talking about?"
- Master Chief: "Let's stay focused. Halo... how do we use it against the Covenant?"
- Cortana: "This ring isn't a cudgel, you barbarian, it's something else... something much more important. The Covenant were right... this ring... it's Forerunner. Give me a second to access... yes, the Forerunners built this place, what they called a "fortress world," in order to... no, that can't be. Oh, those Covenant fools, they must have known, there must have been signs!"
- Master Chief: "Slow down. You're losing me."
- Cortana: "The Covenant found something, buried in this ring, something horrible, and now... they're afraid."
- Master Chief: "Something buried? Where?"
- Cortana: (looks horrified) "The Captain, we've got to stop the Captain!"
- Master Chief: "Keyes? What do we—"
- Cortana: "The weapons cache he's looking for. It's not really— We can't let him get inside!"
- Master Chief: "I don't understa-."
- Cortana: "There's no time. Get out of here, find Keyes, stop him! Before it's too late!"
John turns and runs from the Control Room.
|Assault on the Control Room||Complete the level on any difficulty.||25G (Anniversary), 10G (TMCC)|
|I’ll Be Taking That!||Hijack a Banshee during the level.||25G|
|Wraith Hunter||Destroy four Wraiths with the Scorpion tank in a single play-through.||10G|
- At the very beginning of the level, "Press X/E to enter side seat of Pelican" will appear. The player will be placed back on the Pelican as it flies back the way it came and can get off at any time. However, if you don't get out the Pelican, it will crash and you will die. This is known as the Pelican Death Glitch. Alternately, at the nearing of this glitch, the screen goes green and misty and you are forced out to perform this glitch, you get the opportunity to flip the Pelican if you a looking toward the cockpit when you a thrust out. Flip it twice, and you will definitely survive and land on a ledge the goes around the inside of the tunnel. You will start off facing the pillar that glows blue and white. Go left around the ledge and literally three metres away is a Siege of Madrigal location.
- By jumping at the right point, it is possible to board Fire Team Zulu's Pelican. It flies down, drops off the Warthog, then flies along the canyon. It crashes near to but not right on top of the preexisting Pelican wreck.
- If you bring a Banshee into the control room and kill yourself and destroy the Banshee by using the Fuel Rod on the Banshee, you will still move on to the cutscene, and the Banshee will be blue.
- When Fire Team Zulu's Pelican flies by the bridge, the vehicle's shadow is also seen on the lower part of the bridge.
- When the Pelican drops you off at the start of the level, once it goes away, you can see how it goes underground again through the tunnel, but has to go through 2 rotating tubes with a space in between, and the Pelican will often bump into these rotating tubes, staying there until it finally goes through the gap between them.
- By Wall Hacking, one can actually get inside the Control Room without triggering the cutscene, being able to fully explore it. Also, if one wall hacks through the first large blast door, the enemies inside are unresponsive. Players can then pick them off easily, as they will not respond to any action performed by the player.
- If you manage to drive a ghost into a lift, the ghost will slowly fall through the lift floor and drop below.
- Grunts sleeping in the level will still say their lines (e.g. "He's unstoppable!") when killed silently by Melee. Their cries will not alert the other AI characters of the player's presence.
- The pelican crashed near the Scorpion tank has E419 written on it. This means that it is Echo 419's pelican. This is strange, as she drops you off in the swamp at the beginning of the next level.
- If you cross the bridge in the cavern in a Scorpion tank you will hear the sound of glass breaking, even though the glass on the bridge is unbreakable.
- The Sergeant of Fire Team Zulu has Staff Sergeant Johnson's voice and model, yet at the time he was with the Captain looking for the weapons cache in the swamp.
- In The Art of Halo the level is mistakenly called "Attack on the Two Control Rooms." However, this may have been an early name for the level.
- In Halo 3, the mission start point for the final mission, Halo, is called "Assault on the Control Room." This is obviously because the level is a copy of the final segment of the Halo: Combat Evolved mission.
- The control room is shaped like the Marathon symbol if you look from a bird's eye view.
- The first chapter in this level is "I Would Have Been Your Daddy." "I Would Have Been Your Daddy" is a quote Sergeant Stacker says in Halo: Combat Evolved and is the name of one of the skulls in Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo: Reach.
- During the level's ending cutscene, Cortana phases between a pattern of three symbolic colors being green/yellow, blue/crimson, and red/blue. These three color patterns are reference to the colors of the three UNSC AI encountered throughout the Marathon franchise, Durandal, Leela, and Tycho.
- The Three Dead Grunts is found on this level, although it may be exclusive to the PC version of the game.
- The "The Lost Muse," which was accidentally left out of the Halo: Original Soundtrack is played on this level in the series of rooms where you fight a group of Stealth Elites and a pair of Hunters, immediately before the rock bridge overlooking the Control Room.
- Strangely, if one makes it to the bridge with Active Camouflage, the banshee pilots will notice the player's presence and board their banshees. They will not alert other enemies of the players presence.
- When John comes out from the bottom door and heads up the pyramid to the Control Room, there is a pair of Hunters in combat stance. However, neither of them will attack or move from their spot. They will attack/move only if an active vehicle is nearby, or physical contact. These two Hunters are presumably "sleeping," and thus, can be picked off very easily. However, this will only happen if you took out the ground forces with a Banshee first, and then progressed normally through the rooms.
- The song called Siege of Madrigal can be found at the end of this level. It can be found by flying a Banshee on the second bracket above the Control Room. Land the Banshee on the bracket and walk to the right until you reach the edge. Wait a few seconds and the song will start playing. It can also be found at the beginning if you fly a Banshee down the big shaft and stand on the right spot on the ledges.
- When you come out of the building onto the ledge in front of the Control Room, a couple of Elites enter Banshees and attack you. If you shoot one of them before he gets in, he will instead shoot at you with his Plasma Rifle. Then, you can take his Banshee and fly directly to the Control Room, skipping a difficult portion of the level.
- The level description describes it as a defensive mission, while an assault is the opposite of it. Rather than staying in one place to fend off enemies, you are the assault. However, this could simply mean that you are defending the Control Room from the Covenant.
- It is possible to board one of the Banshees found in the area just past where the Scorpion is located. This glitch works on both the original and the Xbox 360 version of the game, though it is a bit more difficult to achieve in the latter.
- This level is one of two levels in which Wraiths and Ghosts are seen in action (the other being Two Betrayals), and one of four where Wraiths and Ghosts are seen at all.
- Upon entering the cavern with the bridge, off to the right can be found seven dead marines and a single dead Hunter, as well as an ammo cache including rockets, sniper, assault rifle, and pistol rounds. If the player continues past the canyon and then returns, the bodies and weapons will have vanished, leaving only splotches of human and Hunter blood.
- Idle Grunts can be seen doing 'Grunt Aerobics' on this level.
- One can bypass part of this level with ease if they use the 'Easy Pyramid Structure'
The Silent Cartographer
|Halo Campaign Missions|
Assault on the Control Room
| Succeeded by|
343 Guilty Spark