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Highlands is one of three maps in the Defiant map pack designed for Halo: Reach. The map is set in a UNSC SPARTAN-II training facility in the Military Wilderness Training Preserve within the Highland Mountains on Reach. Outside the playable space, Covenant CCS-class battlecruisers can be seen glassing the surrounding environment.
The following are locations on the map that are so named on the player's Heads-up display during gameplay:
- Motor Pool
- Rock Arch
- Red Base
- Red Tower
- West Cave
- Rappelling Towers
- Blue Base
- Blue Tower
- Big Horn River
- Radio Tower
- Crash Site
- East Cave
- OUT OF BOUNDS
|Needle Rifle: Just by the ground door of grav lifts in either base. There is another one at each base on the second floor of the grav lift, away from the bases. There is another on the bottom level of Communications.|
|DMR: There is one at each base on the second floor of the grav lifts, towards the bridges. There is one on the roof of Operations. There is another in the West Cave.|
|Shotgun: There is one on the top level of Communications. There is another on the bottom level of Operations.|
|Plasma Repeater: There is one at the doorway at the bottom level of the Motor Pool, towards the Red Base. There is one at the entrance of the East Cave from the Underpass.|
|Plasma Launcher: It is located on the outdoor balcony of the Motor Pool, on the second floor facing the Pelican.|
|Fragmentation Grenades: There are two located with the Shotgun on the bottom level of Operations.|
|Plasma Grenades: There are two located around the Plasma Launcher. There are two located on the Island, towards the Waterfall.|
|Sniper Rifle: There is one located on the top floor of the grav lift at each base|
|Rocket Launcher: There is one at each base, on the bridge.|
|Grenade Launcher: It is located in the troop compartment of the Pelican.|
|Spartan Laser: It is located just in front of the rocks on the second floor of Waterfall.|
|Warthogs: There is one in the center of each base|
|Mongoose: There is one in the center of each base with the Warthog. There is another for each side when facing the center of the map from each base, it is to the left up each road.|
|Ghost: There is one at the bottom level of the Motor Pool. There is one at the Underpass, closer to Blue Base.|
- During development Highlands was known as Training Preserve. Current files on Bungie.net are even labelled as Training Preserve instead of the map's final name.
- This is one of two maps to feature locations previously described in the novel Halo: The Fall of Reach, the other being Condemned.
- This level's design is similar to that of the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign level Halo.
- The crashed Pelican was carrying Spartan-IIs in the midst of the Fall of Reach. They leapt out of the doomed Pelican, dropping into the Highland Mountains in the Viery Territory.
- The crashed Pelican's cockpit emits a radio conversation.
- The Covenant Cruisers hovering in the sky are not static; they wobble from side to side slightly and will often glass the area they hover over but not moving to a different area.
- This is the 5th level that includes a crashed UNSC ship and is the second in Halo: Reach to include one.