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Escape is the fifteenth and final level of the real-time strategy game, Halo Wars.
The remaining UNSC Spirit of Fire survivors have to open six interlocks to open the Portal that the Spirit of Fire needs to go through to escape Shield 0459 before Sergeant Forge activates the FTL drive. There are Forerunner symbols on each door. Serina discovers that doors marked with the same symbols must be opened after each other. Otherwise the door that is opened first will close. The UNSC forces, however only have 30 minutes to open the portal and yet have to deal with Covenant, Flood and even Forerunner forces. With the help of the Spartans from Red Team, the Spirit of Fire successfully escapes the Shield World.
Sergeant John Forge and Red Team are setting up the Spirit of Fire's Slipspace Reactor to set into Shield 0459's internal sun to destroy the installation, when they are attacked by a large force of Sangheili Honor Guards and the Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee. Red Team easily defeats the massive Sangheili force, and Sergeant Forge eventually kills the Arbiter by stabbing his neck with his combat knife, ' Lucy ', and finishing him off with his own Energy Sword. The reactor, by then, is already malfunctioning. Being in overheat (due to Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee puncturing it with his Energy sword) it requires somebody to manually trigger the detonation. Jerome-092, the leader of Red Team, volunteers to set it off at the expense of his life, but Sergeant Forge takes the responsibility, quoting that the human race will need every Spartan it can get.
Meanwhile, the Spirit of Fire is trapped inside the Shield World due to an escape passage being closed. The ground forces eventually defeat massive forces of the Covenant, Flood, and Sentinels to open up a passage that will allow the Spirit to fly out. When the reactor is set off inside the sun, the gravitational forces pull the Spirit into it, but due to some careful maneuvering by Serina, the Spirit slingshots around the sun and out of the planet. The planet, the internal sun, and countless waves of Covenant, Flood, and Sentinels are destroyed from the resulting explosion.
After two weeks of no Covenant or Flood, the majority of the Spirit's crew is put into cryo-pods, along with a protesting Professor Anders. When Captain Cutter walks by an open pod, revealed to be that of the late Sergeant Forge he closes it, sighs, then walks off, presumably into his own pod.
After the credits, on Legendary, Serina's voice can be heard telling Cutter that "something has happened".
- Forge: "Gentlemen, we're burning sunshine here!"
Forge and the Spartans start to get the FTL drive ready, while the officer goes to open the site's main door. The Marine Lieutenant presses a panel on the Forerunner door.
- Marine Lieutenant: "It's active!"
- Jerome-092: "Sergeant!"
- Marine Lieutenant: "Aaaah!"
- Forge: "Lieutenant?"
Forge turns around and sees the Arbiter killing the Marine.
- Forge: (to the Spartans) "Take care of those Elites! He's mine."
Forge releases the safety locks on the reactor to crush the Arbiter; Red Team gets in position to engage the incoming Elites.
- Jerome-092: "Let's go!"
Jerome kills the first Elite with a shotgun blast; Douglas-042 and Alice-130 charge into two Elites and shoot them with their SMGs. Alice grabs a spear from another attacker as Douglas shoots him and she finishes him off. An Elite attempts to impale Douglas but is quickly dispatched while another's spear is stopped by him and cut in half by Alice's; Jerome quickly reloads his shotgun and kills the unarmed Elite, while Douglas and Alice throw two spears and impale two Elites from the distance.
Meanwhile, Forge finds out 'Moramee had evaded the reactor's blow and realizes the latter's behind him, camouflaged. Forge barely dodges an Energy Sword's lunge, but manages to hit the Arbiter, evade and face him. As Moramee advances, Forge starts spraying with his MA5B but to no effect; the Arbiter tries to hit him again with a sword's slash which Forge avoids, but takes out his Assault Rifle with a second hit. Forge charges the Arbiter and both fall; Moramee tries to raise his right arm to kill Forge with his sword, but the Sergeant blocks it by using his body mass, then hits Moramee's head with his elbow and manages to disarm him of his sword by shooting the Arbiter's hand with his M6C. Moramee immediately grabs Forge with his left hand, strikes him to the ground and punches him in the stomach. Forge's pistol drops away, empty and useless.
- Ripa 'Moramee: "Like the rest of your race, weak and undisciplined."
The Arbiter throws Forge against the reactor.
At the same time, Alice-130 jumps over a charging Sangheili, fires a short burst of her SMG, weakening it, grabs its back, and turns around, causing another charging Sangheili to stab its ally. Jerome-092 kills the second Sangheili with his Shotgun and turns around, just in time to meet the last Sangheili face-to-face. He shoves away the Sangheili, and runs back to the reactor to aid Forge. Forge is thrown to the ground by the Arbiter, who swiftly picks up his Energy Sword.
- Ripa 'Moramee: (as he throws Forge away and picks up his Energy Sword) "There will be no female to save you this time."
- Forge: (slowly sitting up) "Look me in the eye and say that."
- Ripa 'Moramee: (closing from behind) "As you wish."
The Arbiter grabs Forge's head and brings his face close to his.
- Ripa 'Moramee: "My face will be the last thing your pathetic eyes would ever see."
Just as 'Moramee raises his sword for the kill, Forge drives his combat knife into his opponent's neck, who drops his sword; Forge picks it up and uses it to impale the wounded Arbiter, who dies.
- Forge: "And for the record, I would have kicked your ass the first time, if the lady hadn't stopped me!"
The Arbiter's body is rolled off the platform by Alice, while Douglas places the reactor inside the elevator; thereafter, Jerome realizes the reactor has been damaged during the fight.
- Jerome-092: "Sir, it's already overheating. I'll have to separate the core and align them manually when they need to blow."
- Forge: "Son, I've a feeling before this is over, we'll need every last Spartan in the fight. I can do this. Report back to the ship."
- Jerome-092: "Good luck, sir. It's been an honor."
The Spartan and Forge stare at each other as the elevator's door close and salute with a nod; then Forge begins his ascent while looking at the artificial sun.
Cinematic opens as two Pelicans fly over a closed exit portal.
- Serina: "Captain, the exit passage has been sealed. Our escape is blocked."
The Pelicans touch down near a UNSC Station with some UNSC Marines nearby.
- Cutter: "Ground teams. Find a way to open that portal or we're all dead!"
- Anders: "The portal has six doors. You'll need to open them in the correct order."
The Pelicans lift off from the base.
- Serina: "Based on Anders' observations, the alien technology will only react to human touch. Any other alien life nearby will lock the system."
- Jerome-092: "Clear out the area around this interlock."
Upon releasing the first interlock:
- Jerome-092: "We got this interlock released."
- Anders: "The doors have some sort of alien glyphs on them. That may be the key to opening them."
- Forge: "Forge to Cutter, I'm beginning my ascent. Estimate thirty minutes to the detonation site."
A 30-minute countdown to the detonation appears.
- When the timer reaches 19:10:
- Forge: "Forge here. I'm at the access point to the sun. I'll need some time to break through."
When the timer reaches 11:10:
- Serina: "Covenant forces will be at Forge's position in approximately ten minutes."
- Forge: "I'm in the sun. You heard Serina, I'll wait ten minutes, then detonate the core. That's all the time I can give you."
- Cutter: "Roger that. We can't let them leave with those ships. Good luck, Sergeant."
Upon spotting a Scarab:
- Serina: "Watch out. Several large Covenant vehicles have been spotted."
Upon spotting the Covenant base west of the portal:
- Serina: "We've spotted a large Covenant base west of the portal."
- Anders: "We are detecting movement coming from the east side of the portal. Possible large alien infection."
Upon releasing the second interlock:
- Anders: "That's it. The doors are paired. You need to activate both doors of a set to open them."
Upon releasing the third interlock:
- Jerome-092: "Another interlock is down."
After releasing the final interlock, the mission ends.
The portal opens, the arms supporting its central ring unlock and descend into the pit one by one. Finally, the central ring releases a burst of energy and falls into the tunnel. Two Pelicans fly over the portal.
- Cutter: "Sergeant Forge, all ground forces are evacuating back to the Spirit of Fire."
- Forge: "Copy that. Get our people out of here, I'm blowing the core!"
Cinematic starts with Spirit of Fire seen facing toward the artificial sun which is beginning to degenerate. Camera gradually pans to the bridge where Cutter and Anders are gazing out the window.
Serina: "Hangar bay reports all crews checked in."
Cutter: "Then let's not outstay our welcome. Best speed away."
Serina: "Captain, the gravity field from the sun is expanding. We're not going anywhere."
Cutter and Anders look at each other, Anders with a disgruntled look on her face. Cutter turns back towards the sun.
Cutter: "Let's see if we can't turn that to our advantage. Serina, plot a course that takes us into the sun. We're going to slingshot around it."
Serina: "Threading a needle, while accelerating around an exploding star, inside a planet that's falling apart. Sure, why not?"
Cutter: "Serina, can you do it?"
Serina: "It's done. You might want to hold onto something."
Cutter and Anders move away from the window and sit down.
Serina: "Closing your eyes might help, too."
Spirit of Fire accelerates toward the artificial sun as a several pieces of the planet are pulled into it. The ship circles perilously close to the sun, burning it's edges as blinding light floods into the bridge. Spirit of Fire successfully slingshots around the sun and accelerates through the exit passage. It bursts out of the planet just as it begins to collapse. As the ship speeds away the planet begins to implode, then suddenly explodes outward along its horizontal axis.
The camera pans over Marines and Navy personnel in cryo-chambers.
SPIRIT OF FIRE
CRYO ROOM 3
MARCH 11TH 2531
- Anders: "Captain, I would much rather stay awake to monitor this area."
- Cutter: "Professor, there's been no sign of the Covenant for almost two weeks. There's nothing to do."
- Anders: "But, Captain-"
- Cutter: "But nothing, Professor. You got us all out of there alive. Get some rest."
Cutter guides Anders into her cryo-chamber and taps its key pad.
- Anders: "Not all of us, Captain. Not all of us."
Her chamber's cover closes and she immediately falls asleep. Frost forms on her face. Cutter walks to the chamber beside Anders' and closes it, empty. The camera fades to black as it centers on the name on the chamber's cover: SGT. J. FORGE.
On Legendary, extra dialogue plays after the credits.
Serina: Captain, wake up. Something has happened.
- The way that Sergeant Forge kills the Arbiter is similar to the way Sergeant Buck and his squad kill the Brute Chieftain at the end of the level NMPD HQ.
- The Elites that attack Red Team during the opening cinematic are armed with Elite Honor Guard staffs, but have the armor coloration and apparent shield strength of an Elite Minor. This could have either been the Elite's last stand, or an oversight from Ensemble.
- As with Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 3, the final mission in Halo Wars involves escaping an explosion designed to destroy a Forerunner structure and stop the antagonists.
- There is a Mega Turret that seems to have been abandoned (much like the Scarab in Beachhead) near one of the Covenant Bases. It can help destroy the base if garrisoned.
- This level has some objective references to Halo: Combat Evolved, for destroying a planet-sized Forerunner installation to prevent the end of humanity and Marathon: Durandal of putting a sun into an early supernova.
- In the center of the level, there is a structure similar to a Sentinel Shop or Protector Plant. It produces Protectors in groups of three most of the time, and the Covenant will battle with the Sentinels if contact is made.
- The Forerunner symbols on the projected blue floors are the numbers 1-5 from the Iris campaign. Though after 5, the symbol for 3 is repeated.
- The soundtrack, Out of There Alive, which is also the music for the final cutscene, is a reference to Captain Cutter's line: "But nothing, Professor. You got us all out of there alive. Get some rest."
- If the player skips the credits when playing on Legendary, it will skip ahead to Serina's Legendary dialogue, rather than skipping it too.
- It is possible to permanently kill a Spartan. Have them stand on top of the platform and then open it. They will fall and fail to reappear.
- The opening cutscene where Red Team kills the Elites was rated #4 in The top five gaming moments of all time, a feature by Game Informer.
- This is the only level in Halo Wars in which you can use all three leader powers: MAC Blast, Carpet bomb and Cryo bomb.