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The Halo 2 Announcement Trailer was shown in movie theaters and on TV in the United States on September 2002. The trailer gave a basic summary of Halo 2, and that namely the Covenant had arrived and attacked Earth. It depicts John-117 walking through a MAC Gun Orbital, before jumping out an airlock to ride a Covenant ship down to Earth. This video was recycled by Bungie for use in the Halo 2 cutscene Return to Sender.
A sentence appears on the screen:
Cuts to Master Chief walking through a doorway, walking towards the camera. Various static messages are heard over the radio.
Pilot: "Sir! They just folded in, inside our formation!"
Admiral: "Son, I need you to calm down."
Pilot: "...additional contacts - moving to engage (static)"
Admiral: "(static) ...and get your picket back to rally point Alpha."
A rack of Battle Rifles automatically extends as Master Chief approaches; he takes one. Again the screen appears:
:EXPLORE DERELICT RING HABITAT
Cuts to the rack closing. Master Chief walks away from the camera into an elevator, and the doors close.
General: "Admiral, you can't let them maintain orbit."
Admiral: "I'm trying, General, but we've lost advantage within the lunar perimeter."
:DESTROY HOSTILE GROUND FORCES
General: "Your pilots let up, but down here... it's the goddamn apocalypse!"
The elevator speeds down its' shaft. The trailer then cuts to John-117 who prepares his rifle to fire.
:NEUTRALIZE ADAPTIVE PARASITIC LIFEFORM
General: "I'm asking you to re-target the orbitals!"
Admiral: "And let more of them slip the kill zone? That's insanity! There's nothing more I can do!"
The elevator door opens, and Master Chief steps out into a chamber.
:OUTWIT ANCIENT A.I. CONSTRUCT
John-117 walks farther into the chamber toward the camera.
Pilot: "The core defense is too intense. Our grid is maxed, I don't think we can last another run!"
Cortana: "Admiral, tell your men to hold their positions. Reinforcements are on the spoke."
Admiral: "The entire fleet is engaged, Cortana. With respect, what the hell sort of reinforcement have you got?"
Master Chief stops and the camera turns to show Earth through an airlock window, various large explosions visible on its surface.
:STOP DESTRUCTION OF HUMAN RACE
Tech: "It's passing below your position, ma'am. Proximity zero."
Master Chief opens a compartment and prepares to pull a lever.
Cortana: "What if you miss?"
Master Chief: "I won't." (pulls)
The airlock doors open, causing air to be blown out. Master Chief rests against a pillar for a moment, and then flies out, shooting towards the camera. Fade to black, and fade in to Master Chief falling towards Earth, huge explosions evident on the African continent. A Covenant ship passes, allowing Master Chief to land on it. Fade to black and HALO 2 fades in.
- The original part of this is retained, but changed. Instead of setting himself down to Earth as a "reinforcement", he, in the final version, is "giving" the Covenant back their bomb and destroys a Covenant Assault Carrier.
- This trailer is evidence of a level's existence in Halo 2 that was cut from the final game, that level being named Covenant Ship. In the trailer, John-117 jumps from Cairo Station into the Covenant Assault Carrier without the bomb, whereas in the final game he jumps with the bomb and uses it to destroy the Carrier.
- The track played in the trailer is The Last Spartan.